Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winning? (Part Whatever)

You know there's something going on when NBC of all places has an positive article about a book on Woman and Guns that touches on the millions (15+) of female gun owners in the US. And not just cops and fudds: sport shooting, collecting, and self defense is included.

And they have quotes such as this : “I’m a single mom and I’ve got two kids, so I feel like if I’m ever put in a situation where I need to protect them, I’d prefer to have a gun."

McCrum said almost every woman she encountered while working on this project talked passionately about gun safety. Many also were completely conversant on the gun laws in their states. McCrum, who doesn’t own a gun herself, was struck by the ease and confidence so many women had with their weapons after years of training with a huge emphasis on safety.

I will note that in the slideshow there's not one EBR or semi-auto handgun (other than one on a policewoman's hip). However there is a 44 magnum and 454 Casull which are more than most auto's.

Perhaps the book would have pictures of some "scary" guns.

Still. Interesting

Via Ace's ONT

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right.”

-June 23, 2011 Governor Perdue

So let that be an important lesson.

Showing ID to vote... a horrible obstacle.

Simply canceling the whole election due to a bad economy... vital to get things done.

Via Ed Driscoll

Who has another roundup on the Totalitarian Temptation

Constitutional Limits on Government, Representative democracy? Feh.

Frank Burns once said on TV’s M*A*S*H that “individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.” For the left, democracy is fine, as long as it’s moving the left’s agenda forward. When democracy isn’t working in their favor, it’s remarkable how quick self-described Democrats are willing to junk the notion for which their party is named.

It seems that the voting still has power, otherwise there goobers wouldn't be so afraid of it.
And there's still a difference between the Parties. Can you imagine a Republican publicly wishing elections could be canceled...

and not being hounded out of office (and rightly so) by the media?

Futility and Progress.

Roberta X looks at the progress of Homemade Fabs and small scale MFG.

For example the upper and receiver for my AR 45 were built in small shop the latter being custom CNC'd.

People being able to build their own parts as they needed is very freeing for do it yourself work and self determination.

It also shows the futility of gun control. What'll the gun grabbers do if the base metal parts can just be printed up? Ban springs?

An ammunition ban only goes so far.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Weight Of Law.

Silly proles, the system is too complicated for you to know when you've broken a law. But don't worry, the state will tell you when you do. Follow the link to read As Federal Crime List Grows, Threshold of Guilt Declines by By Gary Fields and John R. Emswiller.

For centuries, a bedrock principle of criminal law has held that people must know they are doing something wrong before they can be found guilty. The concept is known as mens rea, Latin for a "guilty mind."
Federal Offenses

This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically swells. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them.

As a result, what once might have been considered simply a mistake is now sometimes punishable by jail time.

Hell, in Massachusetts the threshold is so low you can win in court and still have to pay a fine!

It's nice to see that the State no longer has to worry about little things like actually getting a guilty verdict. And guess what would happen if you failed to pay the fine, despite having a court prove you committed no crime.

What? No Taurus Judge?

Cracked looks at 9 Self-Defense Gadgets Your Mugger Will Find Hilarious

The last one ends on a bit of a weak note but funny enough. Does underscore the stupidity of self defense gadgets. If your plan for defending your life depends on a novelty item, you might want to rethink things.

Paging C.S. Lewis...

It seems for many the problem with representative democracy is all that nasty representation.

Peter Orszag former White House economic adviser laments all that nasty democracy.

To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

Well, well. Isn't that NICE?

At least Orszag didn't suggest that we need a third way between the uncaring greed of Capitalism and the poverty-stricken incompetence of Communism.

Proposals abound for expanding this type of process. In the late ’90s, economist Alan Blinder proposed shifting responsibility for tax policy to a Fed-like institution of experts. Stephen Flynn of the Center for National Policy has proposed a similar process for infrastructure decisions—and, indeed, creating an infrastructure bank, as President Obama has proposed, would accomplish much the same goal. Such a bank would be empowered to select individual infrastructure projects, thereby removing some decision-making power from Congress.

So, Congress is not supine enough? They're not sufficiently enthralled to the vision of technocratic big governance? Obamacare and Stimulus and Dodd-Frank and McCain-Feingold didn't give enough power to "institutions of experts"?

So, there's really no bottom then?

Brian Preston summs up.

Putting these together, if you succeed, even despite the left’s anti-business laws, you should be grateful and be a good little leftist anyway. Capitalism is good until it enriches actual capitalists. Theocracy is bad except when a Progressive can use it to shame a conservative into becoming a Progressive. Democracy is good until non-leftists win, at which time “polarization” demands non-democratic rule by Progressive experts.

At least North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue is more direct. She simply things we should suspend elections until the current emergency has passed.

“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,”

Right... because removing accountability is sure to make a politician's decisions less corrupt and make them less inclined to totalitarian urges. Besides Emergency Laws are always temporary!

Consider this, a sitting governor is saying the US populace cannot handle the responsibility of voting for congressmen and Senators due to the economic conditions. Odd, FDR did a lot of bad things but even he didn't cancel elections.

Does the governor even know the dark road that countries go down when you start canceling elections due to "emergency"? Hell, does the Constitution mean anything to her? Why does she think it's okay to even suggest such an idea?

Ace has the answer:

Because she is a prisoner of the liberal -- or leftist -- idea that the people are incapable of making sound decisions about politics, and require a "vanguard" of the enlightened to make decisions on their behalf.

The problem is (from her perspective) is that democracy doesn't permit the vanguard to do "good;" when the vanguard ignores the (stupid, ignorant) mumblings from the citizen-morons of the republic, the citizen-morons rise up and vote them out of office.

That won't do. How can you have a revolution against the (moronic) wishes of the people if god-damned elections keep getting in the way?

It seems that some consider elections should have the same weight as when a family "votes" on where to go for vacation. Sure the children get to vote, but they only count if it agrees with what the parents want to do.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Negative Voting.

To elaborate on an idea mentioned at yesterday's blogmeet. BTW good blogmeet, lots of chat about governmental stupidity, snow, and cars. Oh, and a bit of gun stuff too.

We all know the standard voting problem:

Candidate A is a complete incompetent/cad/bastard/ect that should never ever be in office.
Candidate B is better than A but still hideous.
Candidate C is almost palatable but still a no-sell.
Candidate D might be acceptable in low light and after looking at the other clowns.

However, there's a good 95% that either A or B will win. So do you Vote for B to maximize the odds of A not getting in (or not getting reelected) or vote for the candidate closer to what you want (D) but has no hope of winning?

I'm not here to talk about such "tactical" voting.

I'm going to go into fantasy for a bit and look at the idea of negative voting.

In that system, every voter (and how we define who can vote is another can of worms) can vote for or against a candidate. That is +1 or -1 to the total of Candidate i.

Under that system you can directly vote against someone without having to pretend you're endorsing the #2 goober.

It would also introduce a new metric in polling: the spite index. That is the percent of likely voters that are going to vote negatively.

Heck, we could have a real race to the bottom where the winner in an election actually has a net negative (but is simply the least negative around). Though in that case you could be banned from reelection.

And if there's too much spite on the part of the major players some minor party could slip in by having their base actually vote *for* their candidate.

I suppose one could have an open election with a mass of candidates and then a runoff with the top three or four. And for even more fun give each voter three votes that they can use up or down on any candidate they want in any combination they want.

At least it'd make the elections more "interesting".

And how about an anti-legislature with the business of repealing laws?

And a pony? What about that?

Nah... I don't want the government to give me anything. After all... who would they take it from?

Friday, September 23, 2011

How to use Habits for Good.

People are creatures of Habit.

We like to do things regularly and can fall into familiar grooves and patterns.
This can be a bad thing if the habit is self destructive.

However, new habits constructive habits can also be formed. Fore example, this is the idea behind practicing -well- anything. You repeat a task to make it more familiar and regular and build skills and the willingness to do it. It becomes normal, expected.

I had this in mind when I formalized my exercise regime. Three or four times a week I do sledgehammer exercises and go running with my dog.

I really, really don't like running. But I formed a habit, a procedure, that (and this is the key) once started I *will* complete. The key to building a new habit is to make it an If-then. "If X then Y." If I leave the house then I *will* do a pocket check. If I am holding a gun then I *will* obey the four rules. If I put on my exercise clothes then I *will* do my routine.

Again the most important thing is to build the if-then relation. The more you do it the stronger it gets, and the less inclined you are to deviate from the habit.
I came up with a few tricks to make the procedure stronger.
0) The Trigger that gets you in the "slot"
1) Something unique to the routine but easy to start
2) Something that is a daily duty that must be done.
3) The disliked task that you want to do (IE the Running).

For my example the components are as follows.
0) Put on exercise clothes
1) Sledgehammer exercises (After stretching do an upper body routine using an ordinary sledgehammer)
2) Take the dog out back for his business.
3) Go running (with the dog).

Each factor builds on the other.
Step 1 gives an immediate, relatively easy, and unique response to the trigger.
Step 2 builds on the routine, and is something unavoidable.
This serves to make step 3 feel inevitable. It will become something that you have to do.
And I'll stress it again, the key is follow-through. If you start then you *must* complete the routine. It's better to not bother with Step 0 at all, than it is to go to Step 2 and skip Step 3.

The former actually builds to the If-Then structure, while the latter gives you an escape hatch. And that undermines the whole idea of building a habitual behavior. The whole point is through practice to make it so that once you start you *will* finish.

Another factor is the use of the dog. If you have a dog and want to exercise more, take him with you. He'll enjoy and want the exercise and thus will want you to do it, and will get happy seeing you start the routine. Dogs are creatures of habit too. It'll be better for him and you.

Also much like my suggestion of daily practice (be it writing, art, or music) you should track the days you exercise. I found a simple red plus on a year calendar is a helpful way to show the days I exercised versus the days I did not.

Finally, a word on improvement. Doing the exact same routine does reinforce things, but gets stale. I found that edging my limits helps. I have a set amount that I run: From my house, around the block, and stopping at a corner. I found that simply pushing to the next corner every week or so does nicely. Again consistency is key. Once you set out to do it, do everything in your power to complete it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So.... Debate.

Yeah, not watching. I'd rather listen to last week's Vicious Circle and work on some wood grips.

I will be checking in on Steven Green's Drunkblogging.

*sigh* Negative votes would be so much better. Will have to elaborate that idea later on.

Oh, talked with Wee'rd and have decided on a new holster Not sure on the brand yet, why I need some time.

Woo... thrilling.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dating Don'ts

A bit of dating advice via Ace of Spade's Overnight Thread.

Good stuff. Mostly common sense stuff.

Basically, a date's not an excuse to vent about your past or interrogate them about theirs, and a bit about self control (drinking, emotions, spending, drama-llama).

And ends with a pet peeve of mine.

7. Playing on your cell phone. When my boyfriend and I go to dinner, I turn my phone off (and we’ve been together two years). So the least you can do on a first date is make a good first impression by not answering your phone at the table or playing Angry Birds during dessert.

Yes. Gah, that's a killer. Maybe it's an age thing but if you must leave your phone on put it in vibrate and discretely check to see if it's an emergency.

Ah well. Minor, but first impressions are first impressions for a reason.

Edit: Changed the title for crony alliteration

Gorge the Beast

Obama's latest excuse for not cutting government spending?

It'll raise unemployment!

Nice way to prove the ratchet-effect in governmental growth.

Soo... is that Obama's new plan to create jobs? Just give everyone a government job?

Well... isn't that how he fixed Healthcare? Can you say Job-Mandate?

If there's a plan to ease into Single Payer healthcare, why not ease into Single Employer jobs?

After all, if Healthcare is an issue of life and death, why not jobs? Why not food? Or housing? Oh.

Though not all government jobs are sacrosanct.

I think you can guess which ones Obama will cut, and somehow the money saved there is worth the rise in unemployment.

This is the same man that claims not reinvading Canada err Iraq is a money saving measure.

The perils of large numbers.

A hundred million dollars, a five billion dollars, a trillion. It can all get so foggy and hard to grasp.

But Carrie Lukas points out a simple way the Gainesville Tea Party has found to look at how boned the US is budgetwise.

Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Budget cuts: $385

Evil math! You can't just divide everything by 10,000,000.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speaking of Trucks...

Well... cows weren't bred to be smart.

Hah! Truck fun.

Thanks to spending my annual bonus and double paying for the last year, I'm down to my last monthly car payment.

So naturally, I had to take my truck in front-end work. Well, at least the parts and labor are only another month of payment in equivalent.

And the good news is that now my car doesn't vibrate at high speeds or chew up tires.... which is another needed purchase.

Ah well. It's still worth getting out of that debt.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ahh "Fall"

I'm starting to really like this late-summer, early fall.

The air is cool and a bit crisp without being cold. Which means pants and overshirt are quite comfortable.

I'm also liking this better than the equivalent weather in spring. Though that comes from the decrease in yardwork. The lawn grows more slowly and the leaves aren't down yet.

Still have to keep the hedges trimmed and the dog groomed. Australian Sheppards are great dogs, but they have a lot of fur.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Overheard at the Gunstore.

Customer : I just got this gun and this ammo seems all wrong. I get cracks and deformed bits on the cases and it just doesn't work very well.

Clerk : *carefully inspects a half empty box of cartridges and finds a mess of split cases and other damage* Well what gun did you say you bought from us?"

Customer : A Judge.

Clerk : Well there's your problem. Judge uses 45 long colt, not 44-40.

Customer : There's a difference? I'm just using what you sold me.

Here's a bit of advice: when selling ammunition along with a firearm purchase make sure it's the right caliber.

Conversely, make sure when buying a gun that you know what caliber it takes. Check the firearm itself, don't just take the clerk's word for it.

That it was a Judge in question is just an extra layer of amusing.

It's fortunate that no one was hurt and that the problem was cleared up. Seriously, read the dang manual, it ain't that long.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Turtles all the way down...

So due to the union reforms (such as no auto withholding of union dues) the Wisconsins Education Association Council has to reduce staff.

Imagine that! When you give people a choice on whether or not they want to give money to a union, many choose not to. Well can't have that.

The funny part is that the WEAC workers are unionized. (Of course they are). And their union, the National Staff Organization, is boycotting the WEAC.

Yes, there is a union for the bureaucrats running the first union. One wonders if the workers at the NSO have their own union too?

And I'm sure having all these union workers on the taxpayer dime are paragons of efficiency. How dare Scott Walker and his ilk dare stop mandatory payment to these fine people?

Clearly Wisconsin teachers cannot be trusted to pay these fine chaps of their own free will.

Via Glen Reynolds who thinks of a different animal: "And smaller fleas to bite ‘em."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proxies and clean gloves

Via Joe Huffman, a handy quote.

The first thing I ask “peaceniks” who advocate gun control: Are you planning on voting to send armed government officials out as your agents to seize guns and kill those who refuse to comply?

How can you be in favor of ‘peace” and send out armed thugs to do your political will?

You are not a pacifist. You are merely squeamish, and want someone else to murder others for you.

Kristopher August 29, 2011

The nice old lady that says "nobody but police needs guns dear," wants to weild those same police against you. She's not anti-gun, anti-voilence, anti-force; she's simply against you having any of that.

Agents of the state, well they're just fine.

Speaking of agents of the state... now that the Libyan revolt is winding down it's time to bring back the gun control.

Yes, because it's not like arms in the hands of the general public could accomplish anything eh?

Look, you just lived under a crazed dictator and his cronies for 40 years, Libya. You know WHY it took 40 years to get rid of him and his depravations on the people? Think on this... Maybe keeping the 20mm cannon in the back yard may be more hassle than it is worth, but a rifle is a way to make any wannabe-Quadaffies from getting ideas. Maybe you Libyan should look at our Constitution again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Accountability: It's for the little people.

When selective enforcement isn't enough the State will simply punish you, even if it's legal.

Here’s the problem: If you have a permit, it’s perfectly legal to walk into a McDonalds in Connecticut while plainly carrying a firearm. As Gideon notes, the problem is that too many cops in Connecticut simply don’t know the law. Lawlor’s solution isn’t to educate them, but to come up with creative (and baseless) applications of other laws that allow cops to continue to violate the rights of Connecticut citizens who exercise their right to carry. Gideon’s analogy to the camera issue is spot-on. Because exercising this particular right tends to upset police officers, and because police officers aren’t aware of the law, the state officials in charge of law enforcement have chosen to simply not give a damn about protecting this particular right. If a citizen exercising his rights combined with a cops’ ignorance of the law results in a “breach of the peace,” Lawlor’s conclusion is that the proper thing to do is charge you for breaching the peace. It’s an abhorrent and lazy mindset that forgets everything about who serves who in a free society. In a just world, Lawlor would be resigning over it.

And he isn’t alone. Law enforcement officials in Milwaukee and Philadelphia have expressed similar sentiments, and without much consequence.

I suppose if there’s an upside to all of this, it’s that when someone in one of these jurisdictions does inevitably sue, they’ll be able to show that the violation of their rights was systematic, and part of an ongoing policy. Unfortunately, when they win, the payout will come from taxpayers, not from the pockets of clueless public officials like Lawlor.

Massachusetts does this too. If you open carry, despite it being legal, you run the risk of losing your carry permit and your permit to merely posses firearms.

This is a repeated theme of Robb Allen's. For instance in Ohio the police take a woman's firearms, and refuse to return them. Despite not charging her with a crime, let alone her being convicted.

Until you make cops, politicians, aldermen, etc. personally responsible for their actions, this kind of crap will continue until the sun runs out of fuel. Until then, they’ll get a sternly written letter and a few weeks paid vacation instead of prison time for breaking & entering and theft.

Speaking of personal accountability Robb Allen does have some good news on that front.