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Cost-Benefit Analysis

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For everything we do (or don’t do), we mentally perform a cost/benefit analysis first. Let me explain:

You wake up in the morning and you don’t want to get out of your warm, comfortable bed and go to work. After all, who wants to get out of a warm bed and go to work?

The benefit of staying in bed is that you continue to be warm and comfortable. The cost of staying in bed is you could lose your job, which leads to no housing, bed, utilities, food, car and so on. If the benefits outweigh the costs, then do it. If the costs outweigh the benefits, you might not want to do it.

Another example: In countries where Islam is the primary religion, theft was a rare crime because they tended to lop a hand off for being a thief. In the immediately preceding years, they have become “Westernized” and don’t do that as much today.

So, your benefit is whatever your stole, while the cost can include losing at least one of your hands and all the future handicaps associated with having only one (or no) hands.

I bring this up because for the past eighteen months, we have been pounded on an hourly basis about the “Trump collusion with Russia.” Up until recently, the whole story was, the event that started the “investigation” was when Papadopoulos told Downer (when specifically asked), “the Russians have Hillary’s missing emails.” We now know, thanks to the outing of Halper, that the entrapment started a month earlier, with Halper telling Papadopoulos, “Did you hear the Russians have Hillary’s missing emails?” Of course, the FBI had to approach Halper and prep him to do this, then there was the time invested in thinking this up before Halper was recruited, but you get my point. But I digress.

Those who have created and fed this "Trump-Russia Collusion" narrative, have finally realized realized the jig is up because even their most ardent supporters are seeing that this entrapment wasn’t Kosher, have been trying to do a “Peace with Honor” kind of withdrawal, begging the Republicans to not put them through what they have been putting Trump through since he took office. They want to get away scot-free with just a “we’re sorry.”

The point here is the Trump Administration needs to set the cost/benefit analysis for anyone who wants to “weaponize the government” (use the massive investigatory and prosecutorial resources of the federal government to advance personal or political agenda) way into the “costs outweigh the benefits by several orders of magnitude” category so no one never even considers doing something like this again.

The best way to do this is to prosecute everyone involved in the decision-making progress to the harshest extent possible. This means a public trial and upon conviction, lengthy prison sentences for Obama, Hillary, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, everyone in a government leadership position who participated or did not hinder this plan. This also means Downer, Halpin, the partners of Fusion GPS, and anyone in that little incestuous circle of “Hillary’s Friends” who worked on this. Maximum sentences, running concurrently (10 convictions @ 10 years each = 100 years jail time).

We know Obama was briefed on what was going on because of the texting between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, things like “POTUS wants to know everything." If Obama was the as transparent and ethical as he wants us to believe, the investigation could have been stopped with five words by him, “Shut it all down. Now.”

I NEVER want to see the resources of the federal government used to advance illicit political objectives ever again. Men went to prison and Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. There should be negative consequences of equal stature levied against those in the Obama Administration and Hillary campaign for this heinous usurpation of federal power.

If you disagree with this, please comment as to why you think this spying was okay. Your choices are 1) you can toe the party line and use convoluted reasoning to justify it, or 2) just publicly admit you're in favor of an American Police State.

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More bureaucratic overreach

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Let me make this perfectly clear: I *HATE* tobacco. Both my parents were 2 pack-a-day smokers. Growing up, other kids thought I smoked because I always smelled like cigarettes. For as much as I hate cigarettes, you can shift the decimal place to the right when it comes to cigars. To me, cigars smell like burning dog crap.

That being said, tobacco is as of I write this, a legal product to grow, process and use. I realize any attempt by the government to outright prohibit tobacco would be worse than the Volstead Act, the law that enforced the Nineteenth Amendment, otherwise known as Prohibition.

It came to my attention the other day that the FDA, in the infinite wisdom of the Philosopher Kings who run the agency, have decided to enact new regulations across the tobacco spectrum, including premium cigars. Much like when the BATF declared (not even using their own internal testing standards) that APCP (the only man-rated solid rocket fuel) was a "low-explosive" and subjected model rocketeers to 30 years of onerous and intrusive regulations. I speak of this and other examples in a previous post, Reasonable Restrictions.

Let me loop back here. I hate tobacco. I can smell someone smoking from 100' away. The smell seriously sickens me. When I was a Mason, several brothers smoked cigars. While they smoked, I was near them as little as possible. They were considerate in their use, the smokers sat in one corner of the public area and smoked near a return vent. You were free to join them or leave them be.

There is no "safe level of use" for tobacco. Every time you smoke, you purposefully introduce known carcinogens and toxic compounds into your body. The nicotine seriously stresses out your heart and other organs as well. Smoking even one cigarette enhances your risk of certain cancers and maladies for years afterwards. The "pleasure" one feels from lighting up is not pleasure in the usual sense, it is the relief of the symptoms associated with withdrawal from nicotine.

In order to be consistent in my Conservative beliefs about my opposition of Executive Branch agencies making law, I believe there should be zero regulations like this from the Executive Branch and minimal laws coming from the Legislative Branch in the first place. Products in demand by the public should not be banned at all. I can go with reasonably taxed and moderately regulated. I also fully support individuals to make stupid and self-destructive choices as long as it affects only themselves. I also have to stand with the hundreds of small "mom-and-Pop" cigar companies operating in the US who are going to be put out of business (and make thousands of workers jobless) because they don't have the resources to fight or adhere to these regulations and stay open.

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A legacy built on sand

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In order for something built to stand for a long time, it must be built on a solid foundation. While you can just pour a concrete slab for a house on dirt (houses in the south don't have basements), if you want to build a skyscraper, you have to drive pylons deep into the ground until you hit bedrock and then build from there. A skyscraper built upon a poured slab on dirt will topple over before it's completed.

Jesus spoke on this in Matthew 7:24-27: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

It is the same with the Obama legacy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Paris Agreement, DACA, the Iran "deal" and more have all been, or are in the process of being nullified precisely because Obama did not lay the proper foundation. In each of these cases, Obama did all these using only "his pen and a phone." The Senate did not ratify any of these agreements, nor was there any legislation passed by the Congress to show assent by the Legislative Branch for these actions. Trump is now dismantling all of these "Obama Legacy" achievements and more piece-by-piece simply because there was no foundation that these "cornerstones" of Obama's were built upon to they could stand in the face of a president that doesn't share Obama's ideological beliefs.

This, more than anything shows Obama's arrogance, hubris and exactly how good of a "Constitutional Scholar" he really was. If Obama really were the "Constitutional Scholar" he claimed he was, he would have known that any future president could by the stroke of their pen, nullify all of his "great achievements."

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Market forces at work

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Yesterday, the NFL came out with a new rule, "players may remain in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem, however if they are on the field, they must stand and show respect."

Since Colin Kaepernick first knelt two years ago, I have fully supported his choice to kneel. I said so in my post . And since I supported his right, I hoped he would support my choice to not watch football games where this disrespect was performed. The 3 hours of a Football game was a place I could be in and not think about politics at all. Colin and all who followed suit destroyed that safe haven for me. It seems that millions of other Americans shared my views, because since that first kneeling, NFL viewership is down some major numbers. Major enough that the sales downturn is enough that the yells of the accountants are now louder than the Social Justice Warriors.

I am not naive enough to think Colin's Caper is the sole reason. You have many people "cutting the cord" and abandoning cable TV services, plus Millennials who are starting their own households are not getting cable TV in the first place, opting for Internet only and streaming everything. It may be also that Football was the last reason why people had cable TV at all. I am sure there are at least one reason for everyone who stopped watching the NFL. All that being said, Colin may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. I personally gave up watching all TV except Football over 5 years ago. I stopped watching Football as of the Colin Caper. Right now, I have broken the habit and interest of Football for so long I have zero interest in watching again.

Now, if the NFL had been smart and saw what would happen (almost anyone with a modicum of common sense would have seen this coming) and had Colin apologize and beg for forgiveness the Monday after he first knelt, I might have been still watching Football. But they didn't so now I'm not.

I do support the NFL for making this change, I understand it's the best compromise they can make between the fans, the advertisers and the SJW's. For me, it's almost enough way too late.

Buh-Bye.

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Equal Prosecution under the law part 2

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Again (and again...) Liberals can flout the law with impunity and the Liberals in power and who make the decisions over who gets prosecuted turn a blind eye to their fellow Liberals. Conservatives, on the other hand, are investigated to the 5th decimal place and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for even the slightest misstep.

Now, we can do one of several things. We can abolish these stupid and silly laws or we can prosecute everyone equally as hard. Since Liberals love prosecuting Conservatives for insignificant crimes, it seems only fair that the reverse should happen.

Dinesh D'Souza, a Conservative political commentator and the right's equivalent to Michael Moore screwed up and reimbursed some friends who had donated to a single political candidate for an election. Yep, he broke the law. D'Souza pled guilty to one felony count of making illegal contributions in the names of others and was sentenced to five years probation, eight months in a halfway house and a $30,000 fine.

Now we have this report, Rosie O’Donnell’s campaign donations to Dems went over legal limit. From the article:

Filings show O’Donnell gave a combined $5,400 in contributions over the limit to the five candidates, and used five different New York addresses and four variations of her name.

And what are Rosie's comments on this matter?

“Nothing nefarious,” the outspoken star and Donald Trump arch-nemesis wrote in an email to the Post. “I was not choosing to over donate.

“If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money,” she wrote. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”

I cannot adequately comprehend nor explain these words. So, I am going to quote Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic, a character from the TV show Babylon 5:

"Ahh, arrogance and stupidity, all in one package. How efficient of you."

Like I stated in my original premise, Conservatives should prosecute Liberals who break the same laws that Conservatives are prosecuted for. I fully anticipate that O'Donnell be convicted or plead guilty to her crimes and since she did it *FIVE* times, she receive twenty-five years probation, forty months in a halfway house and a $150,000 fine.

If Liberals want to weaponize government and prosecute Conservatives for BS process crimes, Conservatives need to return the favor. It's only fair.

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Oh, this is delicious

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On February 16th, 2018, Robert Mueller made a grand spectacle indicting 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies charged with “information warfare against the United States,” with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”

I specifically mean "grand spectacle" because I am sure Mueller never thought that these people and companies would actually travel from Russia to the US and face the charges against them. In Russia, they are safe from Muller's prosecution because they are beyond the reach of the US Justice system. So Mueller's team must have been very surprised and shocked when lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC actually showed up on May 7th to enter a "not guilty" plea for the charges against them. Not only that, they requested a speedy trial (no delays) and also requested that the discovery phase of the trial start immediately.

For those of you not familiar with the Justice system, I need to cover a few things before I get to my punch line.

1. A prosecutor can "indict a ham sandwich" because in a Grand Jury hearing, because all that happens here is the prosecutor shows the Grand Jury his evidence that the parties he is charging committed the crimes they are charged with. The standard of proof ("proof beyond a reasonable doubt") does not apply here because the level of proof is much lower. The defense also does not appear during the Grand Jury because this is not the trial, this is just to determine that there is sufficient evidence to convict. With the standard of proof being very low and no opposition, obtaining an indictment is a lot easier than obtaining a conviction. Just because there is an indictment does not mean there will be a conviction.

2. The "discovery" phase of a trial happens before anyone actually goes into the courtroom. Here, the lawyers for the prosecution and the defense meet and the prosecutors give the defense all of the evidence they have and will use to try the accused. This is so the defense can inspect the evidence, verify it's veracity and build a defense to introduce doubt and make the government's case fall below the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.

3. The Sixth Amendment clearly says, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial..." This means that if the defendant(s) demand a trial right now, the prosecution cannot "drag it's feet" for any reason. If the prosecutors do drag their feet, the judge can throw the case out.

Taking these three points together, the Mueller team probably cobbled shoddy evidence together and stopped collecting evidence and its' investigation in that area once the indictment was obtained, because they must have thought that no one would actually show up to challenge the charges. It must have been shocking to the Mueller team when lawyers actually showed up, requesting that the trial move forward immediately. This means that the Mueller team does not have the time to go and do the investigative work that is necessary to actually solidify their case and obtain a conviction. They have to disclose everything they have right now and cannot gather more evidence.

The equivalent sports metaphor here is the Wide Receiver who catches a 50-yard pass and there are no defenders around him. He then does a high-stepping saunter towards the goal line and spikes the ball on the 4-yard line because he mistook the 5-yard line for the goal line. The result is he fumbles the ball and the defense has the opportunity to grab the ball, deny the touchdown and maybe even run it the 96 yards back for a touchdown of their own.

And, you see, that's not even all of it.

On May 4th, 2018, Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III was presiding over a hearing related to the Mueller team's indictment of Paul Manafort and the charges of "money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, making false statements to investigators, tax fraud, bank fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts" against him.

This stumble for the Mueller team here is that according to their scope document, they are tasked with "(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a)."

Now, 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a) actually reads:

The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted. [underlines are mine]

So, it appears (and Judge Ellis seems to be agreeing with the concept) that crimes that are alleged to have been committed by Manafort in 2005 fall outside of the scope of authority for the Mueller team to prosecute. According to Judge Ellis, the reason for these charges seems to be a cudgel to threaten Manafort into turning "States' Evidence" against Trump.

In Judge Ellis' own words:

"I don't see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate," Ellis told prosecutors. "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud ... What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment."

Ellis later quipped: "The vernacular is 'to sing.'"

It appears to me that Mueller and his boys have gotten a bit too big for their britches and are going to get not one, but two severe smackdowns to their integrity.

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Equal Prosecution under the law

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"I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." - Ulysses S. Grant

The Republicans need to start speaking a language the Democrats understand. In the 80's, Hezbollah in Beirut kidnapped four Soviet attaches and killed one when the Soviets didn't acquiesce to Hezbollah's demands. The KGB then spoke in a way that Hezbollah understood, kidnapping a relative of one of their leaders and mailing said family member to the leader, one piece at a time. Hezbollah never kidnapped a Soviet citizen after that.

In December of 2017, Michael Flynn, President Trumps' initial National Security Advisor, plead guilty as part of a plea bargain for "lying to the FBI over the content of a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak." He was initially charged under the Logan Act, which has been around since 1799. Flynn was told that he would be "bankrupted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, along with his son, under the Logan Act" if he did not accept this plea bargain. Too bad we now know that during the interview with the FBI agents, the notes from the agents reflected that "Flynn was not being deceptive or misleading in his answers." I find it confusing to be accused and prosecuted for lying when the investigators didn't think the accused was lying.

The sticking point with me is, Flynn was carrying out his duties as the incoming National Security Advisor when he spoke with Kislyak in December of 2016, seven weeks after the election. He was expected, as the incoming NSA, to open dialogs with foreign dignitaries as a representative of President-elect Trump's administration.

Fast forward to today. It was learned in the days up to Trumps announcement that he would withdraw from the Iran deal, FORMER SecState John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) was communicating with the Iranian government "under the radar" about the deal he helped negotiate, clearly a Logan Act violation.

What really needs to happen is the FBI and the Justice Department investigate and pursue John Kerry exactly as hard as they did Michael Flynn. That is all I ask. Not "The Chicago Way" where "if they put one of us in the hospital, we put one of them in the morgue," but rather if the other side wants to pursue spurious charges on over-inflated events, we need to do the same to them as well.

We are (supposed) to be in a fair boxing match of ideologies. If they want to have a pair of brass knuckles on under their boxing gloves, we need to drop a horseshoe in ours.

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Net Neutrality

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"A bit is a bit is a bit." - Proponents of net neutrality.

There is a lot to say about this, let's see if I can unpack it and lay it out in an order that makes sense.

1. All bits are NOT created equal. Tell me, do you think your Netflix (or whatever) streaming is less important, equally important or more important than the stream of video, audio and data whereby a surgeon on one continent can watch and control a robotic surgery machine on another continent to save a person's life? I hope you answered "less important," because if you didn't, you're at least bordering on being a selfish, narcissistic sociopath.

So, there must be "fast lanes," "priority traffic," whatever you want to call it. And in order to do that, the person who wants that fast lane has to pay more. The roads that comprise our highways are laid out, built differently and cost more than a road within city limits. At a basic level, the Internet is no different.

2. The FCC should not have the power to make these decisions. The Legislative Branch makes the laws, the Executive Branch enforces those laws. When the enforcer gets to write the laws (you can call them "rules," "regulations" or whatever), it doesn't end well for those subject to those rules. Would you like it if the county sheriff where you live directed his Deputies to start issuing tickets for having a license plate frame on your vehicle? The state government or county commission didn't pass a law saying that license plate frames are a traffic violation, he did it on his own. This is the local equivalent of what happens every time a government Executive Branch agency issues a "regulation."

I have zero problem with Congress passing legislation for or against Net Neutrality (actually I would, which I explain later) but if my Representative or Senator votes opposite of what I want him to vote on the issue, at least I can vote against him in the next election. As far as Tom Wheeler or Ajit Pai, the FCC chairmen when Net neutrality became a regulation or was repealed, what do you and I do to get them out of power if we think he's gone overboard? Not a damn thing. They are appointed bureaucrats who are not answerable to We The People.

3. What is the result of "Net Neutrality?" I can answer that question in two words: Government Control. History (and this blog) are full of examples where government control, no matter if the control are elected politicians or unelected bureaucrats, does not end well for We The People. All those Liberals who celebrated Obama weaponizing government agencies ("I have a pen and a phone") and controlling more and more of our lives have been scared shitless over the past year because Trump now has all that power. I personally don't want either of them, or for that matter anybody to have that level of control and power over me. The government gets its' power from the consent of the governed, and I most certainly do not consent to the government having this kind of power.

Capriciousness in the exercise of power, no matter how great or small the amount of power, is an integral part of every human being. It is better to not let government (which is made of fallible, capricious people) have that kind of power in the first place.

4. The best way to fix this is... Competition. There are two things inhibiting competition when it comes to Internet services: Capital outlay and monopolistic practices. It takes a lot of money to bring Cable or DSL lines to every building and home in a city. It costs a lot of money to buy the hundreds of miles of cable, the workers and trucks to hang and maintain those wires, plus rent from the local entity that owns the power poles that the cables hang on. The big companies (like Comcast) also make anti-competition contracts with a local government body to make sure only their cable can hang on the poles. For as expensive as it is to hang all that cable on a power pole, that cost is a drop in the bucket compared to running it underground.

I currently get my Internet from Comcast, because I don't do DSL. If Verizon or Google were to bring FIOS to my neighborhood, I'd change providers in less than 0.3 femtoseconds, if the prices were lower and/or the service is better and not throttled. So if Verizon FIOS does come to my house, Comcast has to meet or beat Verizon's prices and services in order to keep my business. It's either that or go out of business entirely.

In the end, I want to have the final say in who provides services to me. I don't have that choice if the government makes the choice for me. A government bureaucrat in Nashville or Washington does not and cannot know what I and my family want and need, along with my criteria to determine what I want and need. So why should I let them make those choices for me?

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Bait and Switch

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So, even more in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the anti-gun press cannot get nor tell a story straight.

In the below video, a "child actor" is sent into to various convenience stores and attempts to buy tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets, which the sale of all of these items are highly regulated and tightly controlled by the states. A clerk can get fired for selling those products to a minor because the store can get into heavy fines or even be forced to close by the revocation of their business license. That's the bait, the paradigm that's set in your mind and you're still thinking about when the switch hits.

The switch happens when he goes to a gun show and buys a rifle. Because the purchase took place at a gun show, the reporter want's you to think "Ah, that must be that 'gun show loophole' that they're always talking about." I admit, they did use the words "private sale" to make the legal team happy, you're still left with the impression that "those stores can't sell alcohol/tobacco/lottery tickets and yet this kid can buy a gun???" However, unless you have some knowledge or experience with gun shows, you don't know about the difference between a purchase of a rifle from an FFL (Federal Firearms License holder) sale from a private sale.

To give an equal example as to what happened in the gun show, let's say the kid waits in the store until he sees someone buy a pack of cigarettes. The kid then walks up to the adult, still in the store and the kid says, "Hey, can I buy that pack of cigarettes from you?" The private sale that happened in the C-store is conceptually and legally the same as the firearms transaction in the video at a gun show.

Now I'll bet you're left with the impression he purchased one of those AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifles, right? BZZZZZZT!! Wrong! In the below image, the action of the rifle comes into view of the hidden camera, and we have... most likely an older model Marlin XT-22, bolt-action .22 rimfire rifle. It probably only has a 7 or 10-round magazine. Don't quote me on the manufacturer or the model, all I see is what you see. I can say for sure it is a bolt-action .22 rimfire, suitable only for shooting cans and hunting squirrels.

As a bolt-action, you have to manually load each round by lifting the bolt handle, pulling it back (ejecting the empty casing or the bullet already in the chamber), then pushing the bolt forward which loads a new round and pushing the handle back into firing position by moving it down. This takes your hand off the trigger and for aimed shots you can get a shot off about once every three seconds..

bolt action

Again, to give those who aren't in the know about firearms, this is the rifle that a 12- or 13-year-old boy would find under the Christmas tree when I was that age. Back when, you know, we could go out after the homework and chores were done and do what we wanted until dinner time or the streetlights came on. They're called "free-range kids" today. Before he got that rifle, he had to show a certain level of maturity and be able to articulate and demonstrate the four laws of firearm safety. Said rifle would also be quickly taken away and extra chores assigned upon an inappropriate use of the rifle.

And if you watch the presenter at the end, again he is correct in the facts, but does not specify that a private sale does not have to take place at a gun show, it can happen anywhere.

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More gun control lies

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I do not write these words lightly. I hold every man and woman who has served in the armed forces with more regard and esteem than I will any civilian. Zero exceptions. This is why this PSA burns me up.

I do not know if the words they spoke are theirs, if they believe the words they speak, or if they are paid to say them. I don't know and I won't speculate. That being said, this "PSA" is 90% lies and I will take it apart piece-by-piece.

1) The M-16/M-4 rifle is a true assault rifle. The M-4 is actually a carbine which is primarily distinguished from a rifle by the length of the barrel. These weapons are capable of firing semi-automatic (one trigger pull = one round fired), or depending on the model burst fire on the M-4 (one trigger pull = 3 rounds fired) and fully-automatic fire with the M-4A1 and M-16 (one trigger pull and the weapon continuously fires until you release the trigger or the ammunition is depleted). The rounds fired from these weapons are military-grade intermediate-power cartridges.

2) The AR-15 is a semi-automatic only version of the M-16 and was actually developed before the M-16. The inside mechanism is totally different from an M-16/M-4, the parts cannot be swapped to make the AR-15 capable to fire fully-automatic. While it is physically possible to compromise the AR-15 workings to get it to fire fully-automatic, the mechanism will likely quickly fail (as in explode during the first magazine firing full-auto).

3) To compare an AR-15 style rifle (semi-automatic operation only) to an M-16/M-4 would be like trying to compare the 0-60 acceleration times of a 1987 Yugo that has a 54 horsepower engine with a 1963 Mustang with a 354 Cleveland that produces 266 horsepower. The Yugo makes it 0-60 in 16.8 seconds, the Mustang/354 Cleveland team does 0-60 in 8.5 seconds. They are both automobiles, however in comparison they are in vastly different classes of performance.

4) The ballistic performance of the .223 civilian round and the 5.56mm M855 armor-piercing military round are also vastly different, the same Yugo vs. Mustang comparison also applies for the ammunition. If you were to attempt to fire a 5.56mm M855 round through an AR-15, the rifle would explode in your face. I promise you, that would ruin your whole day.

In conclusion of these four points, these two breeds may look the same, but they are totally different in every other aspect but looks and caliber.

Now, why in the world would someone want a weapon like that? I can answer that question in two words: Tiananmen Square.

For those of you who weren't born or able to remember 1989, it was a time of great change. Poland was breaking free of the Soviet Bloc, the USSR was going through Perestroika and Glasnost and there were calls by the Germans to reunite East and West Germany. In late 1989 (after Tiananmen Square), the wall that separated West Berlin from the rest of East Germany was torn down. Needless to say, the young Chinese heard about these things and wanted to get in on the action.

So, to protest multiple things, they did an #occupyTiananmenSquare in the capitol of Beijing. Except there wasn't Twitter, or hashtags back then. For about 6 weeks, they did what Occupy Wall Street did, without the yuppie tents and cups of Starbucks. There was great discord in the Chinese government about what to do about these protestors. The protests quickly spread to 400 cities throughout China.

Well, the Chinese government finally decided how to handle the protestors. They mobilized 300,000 troops, who went into to each of these protesting enclaves with tanks and fully-automatic weapons and killed the protestors. According to the article linked to above, over 10,000 protestors were killed just in Tiananmen Square. Those not killed by the bullets were bayoneted. If you don't know what a bayonet is, it's a long knife that is attached to the muzzle of a rifle and turns the rifle into a spear for when the trooper doesn't want to shoot you or has run out of ammunition, he runs you through the chest with the bayonet. It's a painful way to die and a common practice on how to handle enemy combatants left on the field after a battle is over.

In the aftermath of the bloodbath, those protestors who survived but did not escape China were either executed or sent to prison for years. Tiananmen Square is why you will never see another protest of the Chinese government. The slaves of the Chinese State know all too well the price to be paid for speaking out and saying unapproved things.

It is precisely this, a massacre of tens of thousands of people who were exercising something we don't even think about here, because being able to say whatever we want, especially when people protest against something the government did that they didn't like, we don't have to fear that we will be mowed down with automatic weapons. Because we have the Second Amendment and so vigorously defend the right to keep and bear arms, arms of a kind and type WE CHOOSE, not what the government thinks we should or should not have.

Do not believe for a second that if the citizens of this country are stripped of the Right to protect themselves from an oppressive government, that "Tiananmen Square will never happen here." It has happened too many times in the past 100 years for it not to happen again. In the 20th Century, upwards of 200 MILLION PEOPLE died at the hands of oppressive governments. Do you seriously want even a chance of that happening here?

During the Revolutionary War, the Militia (sometimes known as "Minutemen" because they could be ready to fight in a minute) who fought with the Continental Army had the same equipment as the professional soldiers they stood beside and against. That's all we, as citizens ask for today. Don't hit me with strawmen about crew-served weapons, anti-tank rockets and grenades. Those do not have a civilian purpose and are legitimate weapons of war. Besides, we can scavenge those from the bodies of the soldiers we kill. ;-)

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Science with an agenda

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I think it would be a good thing for there to be a calm, rational discussion on Earth's climate and what we can do about cleaning up our home, like cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patches. Hat tip to Real Climate Science for the charts and links to the data.

That being said, we can't have that calm, rational discussion because the climate-change scientists are a) always in a panic about the Earth "cooling off to an ice cube" or "igniting into a ball of fire" and b) can't stop altering their data to advance an agenda. You see, I am old enough to remember when climate science first became a thing. Back in the 70's, these climate change scientists were screaming about global cooling and wanted Nixon to cover the polar caps with coal dust to absorb more heat and stave off the coming ice age. Then Al Gore came along in the 90's and started talking about global warming. Just imagine how bad it would have been if Nixon had done what he was asked.

When you are kept in a panic mode by telling you THIS DISASTER IS HAPPENING NOW and WE HAVE TO TRUST THE EXPERTS AND DO WHAT THEY SAY, you tend not to look too closely to the data because you're no scientist and all those numbers mean nothing to you. This means you have to trust the experts, and by extension their credibility and integrity must be pretty much unimpeachable. Which, if you read the rest of my piece, you will find the scientists are sorely lacking in this department.

Now, the terms global warming and global cooling have been replaced with global climate change because that way it can mean whatever anyone wants, sometimes both warming and cooling at the same time. And once again, I call into question the integrity of these scientists because they have altered their data.

I downloaded this data from the NOAA website, Raw Data 1895-2017 and Adjusted Data 1895-2017. I am keeping it because it might "disappear" or be altered. From the NOAA Website, Raw and Adjusted.

This graph illustrates the altering:

NOAA 1

In a science where tenths of a degree are big things, this data has been adjusted downwards up to 1.5 degrees before 2000 and adjusted upwards up to a degree since then until now. Because we are talking about a government bureaucracy here, a certain number of weather stations do not report their data. When that happens, the home office has to put an "E" (for Estimated) next to the temperature they think it was, based on their computer models. Between 1970 and 2000, the failure to reports was between 10 and 20%. Since 2000, those estimates have skyrocketed to almost 50%. I'm no scientist, but I wash almost everything but my laundry through a spreadsheet. If 50% of my data was guesstimates, my analysis would be worth exactly Jack Shit.

NOAA 2In the end, a swing of temperatures of that drastic would indicate something. That being said, the actual data does not show that and how accurate can you be about your claims when half of your data is guesses?

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The myth of the 10 round magazine

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Liberals think 30 round magazines are E-V-I-L, and 10 round magazines are much safer, less E-V-I-L and thus more tolerable because a "bad guy with a gun" has to reload more often and thus able to be captured while reloading.

Of course, when it comes to firearms, pro-gun-control advocates are talking out their ass.

In the below video, Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone Country, Indiana has a professional competition shooter and a lady novice fire various timed drills with aimed shots. The first 2:00 is text clearly explaining the terms used.

Here are the numbers:

Pistol Drills Professional Novice     Rifle Drills Professional Novice
2x 15 round 20.6 22.9     1x 20 round 12.2 12.26
3x 10 round 18.0 25.5     2x 10 round 10.7 14.63
5x 6 round 21.5 26.9                

As you can see, the numbers are not significantly different either the total time between the shooters or the time increase to reload. The best-to-worst time spread for 30 rounds is only nine seconds, which isn't a lot of time.

For an additional reality check at 9:35 of the video a man was crouched "concealed" 25 feet away, who started running when he saw the reload taking place and stopped when the next round was fired. the guy got to within about 8-10 feet from the novice shooter, he barely made it out of concealment for the professional. Neither of these would have ended well for the other person. Also, if you notice throughout the video, the shooter's weapon is never "empty," meaning it always had a round in the chamber during reloading so the shooter could shoot anyone who attempted to intervene while they were reloading.

Before you get all excited and try to tell me about Gabby Gifford's shooter (I by policy do not mention their names) who was subdued during the reload, that happened because he basically flubbed the reload in the middle of a crowd of people, basically an arm's length away.

In closing, remember that anything that someone who is "pro-gun-control" is selling you a bill of goods. They don't want to ban all guns because they like the military, police and their private security teams to be armed, just not you.

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Mixing politics and business

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Businesses have one purpose: to generate a profit. Not to "make jobs," not to "help people" or anything like that. They offer a good or service to fill a demand in the market place, making more money for the owners/shareholders than they spend providing their good/service. Delta Airlines, for example, offers a service to transport you long distances faster than you could walk, run, swim or drive there.

Advertising is a way to increase awareness of your good or service. Television shows, radio shows, newspapers, podcasts and websites (I will collectively call them sites) sell advertising space to these companies because that site can show a certain number of people engage with the site every day. The more engagements, the more the sites can charge the advertisers. The rates and metrics are not important. Leave it at Rush Limbaugh can charge way more for ad space on his website than I could here, if I chose to, which I don't. Business can also partner with other businesses and organizations to offer discounts on their goods and services to the members of the organization, employees of the company and so on.

All that being said, advertising and discounts should be neutral and politics-free. The politics of the site or the advertiser should never be an issue in the decision on whether to advertise there or not. Advertisers wisely analyze the number of visitors and the demographic makeup of those visitors to a site and determine if they want to reach that group of people or not.

As consumers, we want to choose the goods and services we consume in such a way as to maximize value and minimize cost. I really do not care one way or the other about the views on marriage the CEO of Starbucks has, as long as the hot flavored liquid that company sells is what I'm looking for at a price I'm willing to pay, unless they start actively crusading for something I don't believe in, whatever that my be.

In the wake of the Parkland School Shooting, multiple businesses have decided to cut their business relationships with the National Rifle Association because a couple dozen people, appearing to be tens of thousands have deluged these companies, sweating "never to do business with you again!" unless the business acquiesces to their demands, and drop any relationship with the NRA.

There are a couple of problems with this model. First, the hatred and anger constantly demonstrated by Liberals burns white hot, but it burns out quickly. Next week their anger will be directed at something else. They have to constantly switch targets to keep the anger up. If they focus on one task too long, the anger fades. The rest of the country does slow burns. Not very hot, but we burn for a very, very long time.

If Liberals had wailed against the NFL and stopped watching over the kneeling during the National Anthem issue, most of them would have been back watching their teams play well before the end of the season. Us regular folk stopped watching football and never went back. The result is NFL viewership is off by significant numbers, bad enough that the networks had to do "paybacks." When a site promises a certain number of visits, and the visitor logs show that the stipulated number has not been reached, the advertiser gets credit or cash back to reflect the difference between anticipated and actual numbers. Since the whole kneeling kerfuffle started, NFL viewership is down over 20%.

When Delta and the other companies ended their relationship with the NRA because their politics interfered with their business sense, these companies pissed off 5,000,000 NRA members. Five million people who have a very long collective memory when it comes to who helped them and who abandoned them. As an unintended consequence of Delta's decision, the State Legislature voted to end Delta's exemption for a state sales tax on jet fuel in Georgia (the location of their hub). That means their expenses are going to go up and their pool of customers will likely experience a decline. In contrast, Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, told these Liberals to go pound sand and would not cut ties with the NRA.

A business should never be active in politics, as in granting or denying discounts to groups based on their political ideology. The only question should be, "Can we increase our profits if we offer discounts or special services to a particular group of people?" If the answer is "Yes," then the business should. If "No," then not. Any other criteria will alienate current and potential customers of all groups.

Just in case you didn't know, the political power of the NRA does not come from making campaign contributions and lobbying to politicians. According to Open Secrets, The NRA in the 2016 elections cycle spent just a bit over $1 Million in campaign donations, which is #489 on Open Secret's list. #1 on that list is Fahr, LLC., an organization dedicated to stopping global climate change. That organization donated over $90 Million, exclusively to Democrats. The political power of the NRA comes from its 5 Million members. When properly (or even improperly) pissed off, NRA members can change elections. That block of voters in a district can swing an election either way. They can elect a pro-RKBA Democrat over an anti-RKBA RINO (Republican In Name Only) or make sure that anti-RKBA Democrat never has a chance in getting elected.

I personally would prefer "buycotts" as opposed to "boycotts" because that's where you preferentially engage with businesses (like FedEx) who keep their political nose out of their business, even if they may be a little more expensive than the politically active businesses.

Quite frankly, that political power just jumped with both feet into the economic area with this "pissing off." Watch for these companies to have a noticeable decline in sales over the next year:

  • First National Bank of Omaha 
  • Enterprise/Alamo/National Rent-A-Car
  • Hertz Rent-A-Car
  • Symantec
  • Simplisafe
  • Avis/Budget Rent-A-Car
  • Allied/North American Moving
  • Truecar
  • Delta Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Paramount RX
  • Starkey

The best way to hurt a business is not to purchase its goods or services. So, I plan for a very long time to not use any of these companies unless they are the absolute and unavoidable last resort. I thought about sending them a nice email letting them know I will no longer do business with them, however my (and my wallets') absence will be way more effective in communicating my displeasure than any email.

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The AWB of 2018

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I think Trump is playing the Democrats again. I am waiting to see how this plays out. The last time Trump did this was with the DREAMers. He offered the Democrats everything they wanted and more, and they walked away. He offered again with gun control, and the Democrats are now going whole hog on this. Here are the current House Bill (hr5087) and Senate Bill (s2095) about the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.

I hate to quote Nancy Pelosi and admit she's right, but "they have to pass the bill to see what's in it." If you know anything about Parliamentary procedure (I keep a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition on my desk). A Congressman can stand up and say, "Mr. Speaker, I move that concerning hr5087, the lines starting at page 18, line 7 and proceeding to page 19, line 4, inclusive, be stricken from the bill." If that motion is seconded and voted on in the majority, then the exemption for federal, state and local government entities to purchase any of the weapons in the ban is removed. That might change things a bit. It would be simple, would it be easy? Of course not. However this is the method one party puts "poison pill" riders in a major bill from the other side of the aisle to make the bill fail.

Like the Affordable Care Act, I cannot see a single Republican changing the bill or voting for it. They want the Democrats to vote for this, in unanimity because that will show the American People how the Democrats regard the citizens of this country. These bills have less than a 5% chance of reaching Trump and I am sure he would never sign the bill, because he knows his approval rating and his base would dwindle to almost zero within minutes of the ink being dry. What it has done is clearly shown that every sponsor and co-sponsor of these bills and everyone who votes for them, unless they are in the super-blue districts or states, are going to have a very tough time retaining their seat in the midterm elections in November, regardless of party.

If this issue is properly played by Trump and the Republicans, the midterms should be beyond devastating to the Democrat party.

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The 'why' of the Second Amendment, part 2

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In the last post, I plainly explained why you must have the freedom to acquire tools you deem necessary to protect yourself, because the police can’t, won’t and don’t protect you. Here I will reinforce that with current events.

First of all, I am not taking a position on either side of the arguments for these two examples. I am not saying who is right and who is wrong, either last week or 300 years ago. This situation just is. Back in 2000, the government of Zimbabwe confiscated White-owned farms and gave the land to Blacks that did not own land. There was one small problem, the Blacks who now owned the land did not know how to farm, so the country known then as “the breadbasket of Africa” today cannot feed itself. Twenty-five percent of their population is fed by foreign aid.

The point here is, the government let by Robert Mugabe didn’t like Whites owning land, so the law was changed and these farmers were rounded up and forced off their land. If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it,” Mugabe said, “we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it.”

Today, right now, the same thing is happening in South Africa. Jacob Zuma calls for confiscation of white land without compensation. The situation same exact situation that happened in Zimbabwe 18 years ago is repeating itself right now in South Africa. The government “just decided” that this was going to happen, so the laws were/are being changed to let it happen. The military and police will carry the confiscation out and there isn’t a damn thing the Whites can do about it.

And just in case you don’t think that’s serious, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema is quoted as saying,

“We are not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now. The rightful owners of the land are black people. No white person is a rightful owner of the land here in SA and the whole of the African continent." [emphasis mine]

What does that have to do with the US? Very simply. If the government, any government wants something, they can make a law and take it, without your consent. What stops them? Nothing but every armed citizen. Let’s give you some perspective. There are a total of 1.3 million men and women currently serving in the US military. Realistically, there about 250,000 men who are capable of squad-level combat between the Army and Marines. The rest are either other forces not trained for insurgent warfare (Like the Navy. The Navy’s only ground combat forces are the Marines) or are support personnel. A good part of the Army are support personnel. You can expect a supply clerk to be reasonably proficient in how to use an M-4, however he probably hasn't practiced infantry maneuvers since Basic Training.

The other side of the equation is the citizens of the US. On the opening day of deer season in Pennsylvania alone, over 1 million men and women are in the field with a rifle. They are versed in fieldcraft (hiding in the woods) and are able to consistently put a bullet into a dinner plate-sized target at 100 yards. Think about that. One State can field a pool of armed citizens four times the military’s entire combat ready troop force. And there’s 48 more states behind them (I’m not counting Hawaii because it’s a gun-controller’s wet dream). I am not expecting Joe Suburban to be a Rambo and mow down companies of troops. If every armed citizen takes out one trooper, he's done his job. The citizens may rarely win, if at all for any stand-up fights. However we can make the effort so difficult and unpalatable that the government gives up. After all, it’s how we won against George III.

The Jewish people who survived the Holocaust had two words to say about it: "NEVER AGAIN." I believe with all of my heart that if each Jewish family had armed themselves and killed one SS trooper when they were rounded up, the Holocaust would have been far less than the devastating six million dead.

So the lesson is this: If you have the means to protect yourself from criminals or government (or even the criminals in the government), then you can resist their demands. If you have been disarmed, no significant resistance is possible. When we surrender part of a right (a type of weapon, a certain size of magazine, etc.) it just makes it easier for those who took that away from us to come back next week and ask for more. This is why pro-Second Amendment people refuse to compromise. Once we start down that road, it becomes increasingly difficult to do a U-turn and get back to where we were.

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