Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Do your research!

Larry Correia gives the business on guns and fiction.

In short, make sure you know what you're talking about otherwise you'll snap the reader right out of the work.

I recall one time I was editing a scene for an Irish friend who had never shot a gun, and it showed. The fellow thought that when you pulled the trigger each stage of the action's motion moved slow enough that you could feel each part.

But it's not just guns. It's anything you want to write about. Or as Larry said "It's like having your character get into the car through the trunk." Now not everything you can experience, but (provided you live in the free world) firearms are.

"And all of these things are easilly countered by talking to a gun nut for 5 minutes, or going to the range yourself, even just once."

Via Weerd

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yet another predictive failure of global warming models?

Contrary To IPCC Climate Models, Massive Human CO2 Emissions Still Unable To Reverse Nature's Global Cooling Over Last 15 Years

This is my shocked face.

Of course the warmists fail to ask the most fundamental question: What if Your Core Hypothesis is Wrong? Link to a related post by Weerd.

Here we see confirmation bias run amok as "scientists" struggle to explain why their hypothesis is right despite a lack of clear data.

They're still having trouble finding a correlation between certain human outputs and specific climate effects. Let alone finding strong evidence of causation.

And yes, given the limitations of -well- planetary climate causation will be hard to prove.

Tough. That's like saying we should have just accepted the existence of the Higgs Boson because it would have been too expensive and hard to run the experiments.

Science doesn't work that way.

The latest education controversy? Algebra!

Let's look at another "debate" that some of our "elites" are demanding


Is there too much of it? Heckuva op ed there New York Times.

This debate matters. Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.

Yes becasue too much of a critical form of math is what's crippling the US education system.

And writer and social scientist do not make one a good example of a math intensive field.

I say critical because algebra is at the root of the understanding of the symbolic nature of mathematics. With algebra equations can become fully abstracted. It's no longer 5+6 = ? but the relation of X + Y = Z.

Algebra is a linchpin that forms the base for all the forms of "higher mathematics" and is the root of all problem solving math. It bridges between arithmetic and calculus, trigonometry, geometry, proofs and probability/statistics.

I have sympathy to taking issues with schools wasting money and having frivolous requirements. And I would prefer people to have more choice in what classes they take.

I also acknowledge that math is difficult for many and that much of it has no function later in life. However, cutting algebra for high-school seems to be the last math class you'd want to ditch.

If you want to streamline math requirements for those that don't feel they need it, take out prob and stats and the trigonometry. Paring down Calculus goes without saying.

Even Mr. A hates it: "If we just dumb everything down enough, we'll be able to say everyone is an A student and graduated high school! Won't that be great ,think of their self-esteem."

And then we get to the reason this "emeritus professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York" has his eyes on Algebra.

Quantitative literacy clearly is useful in weighing all manner of public policies, from the Affordable Care Act, to the costs and benefits of environmental regulation, to the impact of climate change. Being able to detect and identify ideology at work behind the numbers is of obvious use. Ours is fast becoming a statistical age, which raises the bar for informed citizenship. What is needed is not textbook formulas but greater understanding of where various numbers come from, and what they actually convey.

I'm not sure I grok how knowingly reducing mathematical rigor would increase understanding of very opaque subjects that have a heavy mathematical basis.

Call me cynical but it seems almost as if he wants to remove the foundation of mathematical understanding "how formulas work" and replace it with a more route recall of "where various numbers come from".

Here's the thing, without a firm grasp of the former the latter is meaningless.

This is why the author suggested replacing teaching of algebra with prob and stats. One problem... and one that Mr. A gets "I wonder if he realizes that you need algebra to do a lot of that?"

Yeah, that's like trying to teach someone Compressible Flow instead of Gas Dynamics.
Or trying to teach them Calculus instead of Algebra.

And it woldn't be Mr. A if he didn't get in his normal digs: "I love how he cites opinions from teachers in Tennessee and West Virginia, too."

And when pointed out that California schools suck too: "California's not really that bad, as long as you aren't in one of the 95% hispanic parts."

So yeah, you get that from Mr. A. Also recall that the public school system is his model of how healthcare should work in the US.

Interestingly Mr. A actually points out what's so offensive about this article.
It’s not hard to understand why Caltech and M.I.T. want everyone to be proficient in mathematics. But it’s not easy to see why potential poets and philosophers face a lofty mathematics bar. Demanding algebra across the board actually skews a student body, not necessarily for the better.

Emphasis added. And Mr. A actually nails it pointing out the patronizing attitude the writer must have to "think liberal arts types are dumb as dirt."

This would be like saying engineering types don't need read all those dusty old plays or memorize a bunch of pointless years, and besides their mathy minds would be incapable of understanding such things, best to leave them be.

Let's go back to the idea of "diversifying education standards". Okay why just limit ourselves to math? Why not have it so students could avoid taking History or Literature or Science classes to concentrate on which areas they work best at?

That's not really sarcasm. The idea of academic concentration is perfectly cromulent. There is a very valid issue to argue concentration versus "well rounded".

You think there's too much focus on Subject X? Well what about Subject Y? This guy doesn't actually want a debate about education requirements. He wants to gut mathematical course-load and have students take statistics classes without actually understanding what they're doing.

All because it makes him feel better. Since more people with more A's is a good thing. Who cares how they got them.

The question becomes why he doesn't look into the crippling effects of forcing students to take english of history classes that they would flounder in and never use. Ah but he does have ideas for history:

I hope that mathematics departments can also create courses in the history and philosophy of their discipline, as well as its applications in early cultures.

Once again, compromise only goes one way. Familiar, eh?

The problem comes in presenting it as something that math must negotiate. The onus is on mathematics departments to change their styles and teaching.

Again you see someone opine on a subject that they know nothing about and demand a debate on said subject.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nuclear Security Doing it wrong.

"Protesters" got into the Y-12 plant.

Though when you breach several fences to infiltrate a place where nuclear weapons components are built and nuclear material is stored in order to... spill human blood, protest might be too mild of a term.

Via. Reynolds.

Friday, July 27, 2012

And Cracked shits the bed.

And joints the bleating for "we need a conversation about guns"!

We get past the standard boilerplate of "I've shot guns but" and "I just want a real conversation and debate" and get to:

But guns are still a part of the core problem. If everything goes as expected this time around, not much will happen. But if nothing goes as expected, maybe we'll finally end up in a real conversation about guns and safety. And if we want that conversation to move beyond a simple "Well, that was tragic, here's hoping something like it doesn't happen again, and again, and again," then we need to stop saying the following four things, because they lead to nowhere. And as we all know, nothing gets done nowhere.

And then he picks for arguments that the writer doesn't want gun owners to use.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Fire and Drugs kill people, too you wanna outlaw matches and drugs?
Guns Save Lives
The Second Amendment says

Now this article is an amazing piece of rhetorical judo. Because no where does he actually have to talk about the Gun Control argument. And how banning guns would actually help things. And what should be banned and why.

Nope the entire onus is on the Gun Rights people to compromise and give up their arguments.

I'll ignore the first two points as they're the most worthless and concentrate on the latter two.

With the third one he concedes a lot of ground and then pretends he hasn't. He admits that guns have been used to stop criminals. Then he freaks out by people saying you defended yourself or that you protected yourself. He draws a direct moral equivalence between a causing harm to another person because you want their life, body, or property and someone fighting back against said aggressor.

Because I don't want to say that "Guns Save Lives" is absolutely meaningless. But it is muddy. It's just not all there, which makes it not have true meaning in the context of the larger conversation. The truth is, "Guns Have Saved Lives. Guns Have Ended Lives. Guns Are Meant to Kill." The issue isn't whether or not we have the right to protect ourselves and others, it's whether or not guns are the best instrument to do the protecting.

Look at his three properties of guns. This guy honestly thinks having something designed to kill and having to use it, in a situation where lethal force is legally justified is wrong. What is the alternative then?

And since he's "just asking questions" he doesn't have to provide a solution to what would be a better instrument. No he's too concerned about the poor goblins.

This is the closest he gets to a "solution"

A gun is not defense. The widespread use of an actual defensive weapon would potentially save more lives than a gun because, again, guns are for killing, not protecting. The sooner we are all provided a weapon LIKE a gun that merely incapacitates a person, the sooner we can safely defend ourselves, instead of defending ourselves by killing each other.

See fighting back is bad! You might hurt someone. We should all just wait until scientists invent sleep rays. You get attacked before that happens? Well too bad, if you fought back you'd just be making this worse.

Again it comes down to this man thinking that killing is never, ever legitimate. And that pending non-existent sleep rays it's better to submit to an aggressor than it is to fight back because fighting back risks killing him.

Classy guy eh?

He also does a collectivist argument that because some people misuse guns, other people who have not must pay for it.

As for the last point the Second Amendment this guy's a total window-licker. We'll ignore his inability to understand grammar and the meaning of comma placement, and his bleating about "it's for the militia only!"

To be fair, he is right in saying that the SCOTUS ruling could be very temporary victory for us gunnies.

Our Constitution, of course, has not been rewritten in more than 200 years (read: ever). But people change, and nations change. Ideals and rights change. Life was, ya know, totally way different 230 years ago.

Yes, it has been changed. Just a couple paragraphs previously you pointed out that it's the Second Amendment. Amendments are exactly that, changes. As for not being changed in 200 years, the last amendment went through in 1992

And here we see the magic of the author's framing device. We just need a conversation about the issue, and the thing getting in the way of the issue is those icky gun nuts. Never-mind what would come out from the issue.

And we get this familiar argument.

Back then, guns were muskets, and muskets could fire about three incredibly inaccurate rounds per minute. Today, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle can shoot off more than 60 rounds per minute with extreme accuracy, and reload in seconds. Perhaps it's time to reevaluate our needs and freedoms.

Now Linoge has a great takeaway of Michael Moore making the exact same argument.

I'll just add this. In 1807 Forsyth patented the percussion cap. This was only 15 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified. Most of the Founders were around at that time. Forsyth's invention led to a radically new firearm action that was far more reliable.

Note that there was no "Oh no the 2nd Amendment doesn't cover caplocks. It's just for flintlocks." You'd think if the Founders intended the 2nd to just apply to the guns they used, they'd have tried to halt this.

You might say, sure sure but it's not like guns could shoot faster with caplocks!

Let's talk about revolvers then. In 1836, Samuel Colt patented the percussion cap revolver. So about 45 years after the ratification of the Second Amendment another radically new firearm invention came out. One that dramatically increased the firepower, speed, and reliability of a weapon.

You went from having handguns and rifles that fired one shot before reloading to ones that could fire six.

And yet... the Second Amendment was still considered operative. Hell it could have been repealed or modified back then. Especially in light of a massive increase in firepower that happened and became common place within living memory of the ratification of the Second Amendment.

This is a country that banned liquor by constitutional amendment and then repealed that amendment with another.

But remember this article says nothing about what gun control laws should be passed and how. Again the onus is entirely on the gun rights people.

Oh and to show that this guy's not just anti gun but anti liberty this is the sentence that follows immediately after the last quotation:

In fact, regardless of the gun control issue, perhaps we're about 200 years late on reevaluating our needs and freedoms.

Well, well, well. Yes what freedoms and needs do we need to reeavluate eh?
And gotta love how he sneaks in "Why do you need a gun?"

I'll leave it to the reader to check out the nauseating whinny treacle he ends this piece on.

Cody here's a hint. You know why we gun people don't want a conversation? Because we know you antis are either arrogant lairs or arrogant ignoramuses.

For the liar there's this example from Chuck Schumer:
The basic complaint is that the Chuck Schumers of the world want to take away your guns,” Schumer said of the argument made by gun lobbies. “I think it would be smart for those of us who want rational gun control to make it know that that’s not true at all.

Okay so he's not trying to take away our guns; what's the law he's proposing then?

The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

So he's not after our guns, but he's after our magazines. Gee why would people complain he wants to take away our guns? It's like we can't trust the guy.

Where of where would anyone get that idea.

Here's another example with Bloomberg revealing himself to being an arrogant idiot .
“The last time I saw a deer wearing a bulletproof vest was a long time ago,” Bloomberg said."

Here's the problem. You know those old wooden deer rifles, the hunting guns that are the "good ones". Well the most popular calibers for them are .308 or 30-30 Winchester. That makes them capable of penetrating IIIA or lighter ballistic vests.

That's not with armor piecing bullets mind you (which despite Bloomberg's complaints have already been banned) that's just pure kinetic energy. So one can see how saying
a deer wearing a bulletproof vest" is completely moronic. You want a gun that can reliably go through a bullet proof vest? A dear gun is exactly what you'd want.

This shows a deep ignorance of how firearms actually work. It's like taking advice on the abortion debate from a person that thinks a woman gives birth through her belly button.

For an example of mixing massive ignorance and fear mongering lies we can look to the President.

In short the president complains about battlefield AK-47's being on the streets and wants common sense gun laws to do just that.

The problem? AK-47's like that already fall under the National Firearms Act and are thus subject to national registration and special ATF background checks for every purchase and transfer. Oh and the registry was closed in 1986, so no new machine guns can be owned by civilians.

So... either he doesn't know machine guns are already under extremely heavy regulation. Or he's deliberately lying to get people to think scary commie/terrorist machine guns are flooding the streets and are easy to buy.

Ironic given that this is the same man that claimed Executive Privilege to shield the Attorney General during a Congressional Investigation into why the US government was flooding the streets of Mexico with guns.

You see, this is why we don't want ot negotiate with you guys.

The biggest lie of course is that the author's denial of being for gun control. He just wants a conversation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Annnnnnnd *Facepalm*

Romney? Really? You didn't have to praise your stupid Massachusetts gun ban. And you really should not have tried to say "plenty of gun owners liked it!"

No banning possession of guns with certain cosmetic features or magazines over a certain capacity that have been built after a certain date is asinine. Then again so is much of Massachusetts gun laws. Just read the Story of Elanor.

Stupid Romney. Way to show that both you and Obama are just as beholden to Baron Bloomberg's madness. Weerd, who has lived under Romney's rule spells it out:

We all know that Romney and Obama are anti-gun big-government Nanny-Staters. Obama DOES have the distinction of sitting on the Joyce Foundation board of directors…of course Romney has actually banned guns in the past. I really don’t care who “Wins” the competition of who’s better or worse on guns, because America loses.

Sure his statements are ATTEMPTING to spin things on a pro-gun manner, but like the President, Romney has no interest in the 2nd Amendment or guns for any reason….so he comes off sounding like the idiot he is AND can’t help but toot his horn about how awesome his gun ban was for Massachusetts, gun owners, and the 2nd Amendment. Yeah, He’s the pro 2A “Assault Weapons” banner.

This' really shaping up to be a great election eh?

Here's my advice. Your vote at the ballot box for the president is futile. Sure vote for the wookie, I'm gonna, but either way we'll spend the next four years ruled by an anti-gun, preeening, statist. Or hell even for for the new Lizard, if you just want to kick out the old lizard.

Sure the "new" one might be less of an imature, bumbling, jackass, incompetent, but competence here is dangerous too. I guess some upside is that the media will do everything it can to bring Romney down. And punishing Obama for his incompetence does have a nice ring to it. And I guess the downticket races have import too. Especially on giving legislative pressure.

But really vote with your time. Encourage people who have an interest to make the jump and buy that gun, and get that carry permit, and so on.

Take people to the range. Be an ambassador for the people of the gun.

Increase the number of people that are armed, that are informed, and that carry. The more people that own these Evil Black Rifles, that CCW, the more they’ll know that our political masters are lying goobers and are coming after them.

Sure were's on the knife's edge with SCOTUS and it's not getting better, but if things now were the way they were 20 years ago SCOTUS would have had a much easier time.

Unlike the 90's self defense has replaced hunting as the socially acceptable reason for gun ownership. That's huge. People are not buying guns to hunt ducks. They don't care about blather for "I support hunters and sportsmen but I'm against these guns designed to kill as is every other right thinking gun owner."

That idea has evaporated to a fringe of the gun owners movement and is almost always the antis doing a false flag of the "I'm a gun owner but-"

For one thing it makes the politicians that gear up in organge to go duck hunting look even more out of touch and exposes their disdain and lack of understanding for Gun Rights.

For the other thing it's now much easier to articulate the why of guns. We now openly say: "Carry your damn guns" and "Yeah it is for killing. Sometimes goblins need that."

Not quite as good as "Fuck you that's why!" or "To keep the politicians nervous" but it's some real headway.

It's the difference between the lie of: "I'm not going after your pa-pa's deer gun."
Versus"I'm not going after your me-maw's glock."

Like this example of JayG's where an 89 year old woman defends herself from two burglars.

Of note, mind you, is that she didn't even fire the weapon - the mere sight of it was enough to send the two goblins running. This is an elderly woman against two younger males - what chance would she have had without the firearm?"

Yes good thing she was about to go out hunting and had her duck pistol with her.

These are exactly the stories the gungrabbers doesn't want you to know about. They would rather pretend that these stories - and the countless thousands like them - simply don't exist. Admitting that people can and do use firearms to protect themselves from predators means that there is a legitimate use for guns, and the antis (and media, but I repeat myself) certainly can't have that.

Admitting these stories exist means that they would have to admit that they want to make it easier for thugs to prey on little old ladies who have only committed the crime of being not as physically fit as their attackers.

And to be fair here's a "defense" of Romney's jumping on the bandwagon.
See Romney pinkie swears that he doesn't want "new" gun laws. But I'm sure he wouldn't mind if some just happened to cross his desk.

Then again, I doubt he'd bother with something like Fast and Furious to try to get his way, and he seems less likely to just go full imperial and deem gun control into place.

Though, really, I link for the scarier stuff at the end about lefties swooning over the idea of data-mining to determine who is a "danger" and having the police respond.

"Er… doesn’t that feel a little too Minority Report for comfort? Yes, we always want to prevent horrors like the one we saw in Colorado last week, but in the United States, people are innocent until they’re proven guilty. There are countless divorces, firings, and investment failures every day in America, but are you going to preemptively deny someone their Second-Amendment rights before they’ve committed a crime?"

To ask the question, answers it.

These guys don't care about limits on government power. The have just as much contempt for the First amendment as the Second. As this example of Dem mayors banning companies owned by people that have political views they don't like. proves

Even if the government may deny permits to people based on various reasons, it may not deny permits to people based on their exercise of his First Amendment rights. It doesn’t matter if the applicant expresses speech that doesn’t share the government officials’ values, or even the values of the majority of local citizens. It doesn’t matter if the applicant’s speech is seen as “disrespect[ful]” of certain groups. The First Amendment generally protects people’s rights to express such views without worrying that the government will deny them business permits as a result. That’s basic First Amendment law — but Alderman Moreno, Mayor Menino, and, apparently, Mayor Emanuel (if his statement is quoted in context), seem to either not know or not care about the law.

To be fair some opponents of same sex marriage Mayor Emanuel will grandly welcome into the city in the hopes of taking their counsel on how to make the streets safer. People like noted anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Moral consistency? What's that?

Obama's next pivot, this time he's going after your guns

Here it is.

Well nice to see that Obama decided that the madness of Baron Bloomberg is wroth emulating.

Obama threw his weight behind measures to strengthen background checks at gun shows and other efforts to keep weapons out of the hands of mentally-ill people.

“These steps shouldn’t be controversial, they should be common sense,” Obama said during the National Urban League conference. …

“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldier and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he added. …

“There’s talk of new reforms. There’s talk of legislation. And too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere. But what I said in the wake of Tucson is we’re going to stay on this persistently.”

Well there you go: common sense, belong on the battlefield, most real gun owners support gun control, gun show loophole, and of course the bit one, confusing fully automatic guns with semi-automatic.

You see, the AK-47 on the "battlefield" he's so fearful of, is already subject to universal federal registration, background checks, and tracking. It's also in a registry that has been closed since 1986. What more does he want? Also recall that in neither Tuscon nor Aurora was an AK-47 or even an automatic rifle used.

*golf claps*

Via Erin Palette in chat and PA Gun Blog.

I'll end with Roberta X
Like a moth to a flame, a Chicago Democrat is drawn to gun control. Sebastian's got the round-up. Here's the money quote from President Obama: "...AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."

Yes, that's what he said -- and you'll note he leave no room at all for the honest gun-owner, nor bothers with the distinction between a fully-automatic AK-47 (which takes a $200 tax stamp and Federal paperwork, above and beyond the stunning price the limited supply commands) and a one-round-per-trigger-press semi-auto tomato stake from Ed's Bait and Boomsticks. Nope, in his world they're all eeeeviiiiil and if you have one and you're not a soldier, you must be a crook.

Thanks for motivating the gunnie base, Mr. President -- though I'm pretty sure that wasn't your intention.

I think Obama's trying to rally someone anyone in his base and/or he feels Romney is neutered on this.

Way to go champ.

Sean has the video and notes:

It isn’t. “AK’s belong on battlefields and not on the streets of our cities.” He is calling for a new “Assault Weapons” ban. We don’t have full auto AKs sold to regular citizens, so he can’t claim he was talking about them. He’s flat-out saying we should ban private ownership of semi-auto box fed rifles that some people find scary looking.

This is arrogant AND stupid. He’s stupid enough that he doesn’t think we will know what he’s saying and he’s arrogant enough to believe that we’ll go along with it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lone Sad Anti.... oh and Michael Moore tries grease his way back into the limelight.

The comments here are an interesting realization. As for the actual article it's just Michael Moore being a Sad Panda. Meh.

Instead what I found hntersting was how the one person engaging in childlike insults, a massive vomit of exclamation points, and random all caps is an Anti-gunner who can't even use the proper term of magazine instead of clip. I speak of the rocket surgeon Richard Janal.

When talking about policy regulation and trying to convince someone the superiority of your views it is helpful to not sound like an angry, stupid clown.

Oh and use the right terms. A ban on gun clips over a certain size would be hilarious. If you don't know the difference between a clip and a magazine, you're on the internet look it up. It's more than Richard Janal could be bothered with.

As WEERD says in GBC chat: "No wonder he's hurling insults, he's alone, and without facts or intellect"

Ah and since writing this another anti has appeared. One saying "Look to Japan!", well at least she's civil.

You can see a similar effect here

And on the video at the end of this post.

Crimson Trace Range Report.

Previously Erin Palette had her mother install a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips.

It was a very interesting review of a non-gunnie's perspective on things.

And here's the range report of how the laser performed.

It looks like it did its job. Good show!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Well, this is a different angle on Blood Dancing.

So in the Aurora shooting, a lot of people need medical attention.

Expensive medical attention. If you can guess where this is going then... you know the depths of the Left.

Daily Kos and others, and I'm not going to link them, have been screaming that this shows how sick the US is. And it is galling and horrible that someone can be hit by a horrific event and then have a huge bill come due. And that's not unique to cases like this.

If you do want to help and donate you here is one of the charities the The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.

And to motivate you here's some quotes from the always cuddly Mr. A.

how about instead of patchwork bullshit, we dispense with the idea that unfettered capitalism is moral or acceptable in a civilized 21st century society, and focus on making sure EVERYONE (those who have publicity, and those who don't) gets medical care

Note that the "patchwork bullshit" he talks about here is a two tiered public-private healthcare system.

[Charity]'s a way to patch over the examples of capialism failing to be ethical or moral, by targeting the examples that have publicity

Because the State is well renowned for its ethics and morals, and the government never plays favorites towards victims with good publicity. In fairness, Mr. A does say he gives to charity though since he refuses to pay the taxes at the rate that he thinks a man of his income should...

Two Europeans were in the conversation and gave perspective of what its like in their home countries. In one the health insurance (either public or private) is not mandatory, but a provider has to cover you, until you get sick when they can drop you to the public system.

In the other, health insurance is mandatory and instead of being a tax it is a fine. And is also public and private. With government subsidy of base and private packages which you are free to expand more of.

Mr. A was most approving of these systems... these patchwork systems. I wondered what was wrong about a "Super Medicaid" that would do such a thing in the US. I have major issues with that plan but one would think someone who wants to help "the needy" and liked those European systems would be receptive. But I was ignored.

Later he clarified the inconsistency:

if people want to pay extra for unnecessary stuff like plastic surgery, or pay extra to get treatment sooner than medically necessary, that's not really a bad thing as long as the public system functions

And directly compares it to the education system:
it's fine if rich people want to send their kids to private schools, as long as the public school system functions and ensures that most kids are educated to the point where they can function in society

Now let's take a quote from earlier in the conversation which was his response to me pointing out what a wasteful money drain the US education system is.

Our education is fine in affluent and middle class areas. It's when you get to poor urban or overly christian areas that it has problems

Of dear oh dear. It sounds a bit like Mr A is okay with "acceptable losses" in education and healthcare.

Well note that despite his hatred for "patchwork" systems, he does not want a true single payer system. Oh no he wants to be able to buy whatever medical care he wants.

Which leads to this handy summation of his views:

You ensure needs are met through socialism, and allow capitalistic competition over the wants.

At least the man is consistently a champagne socialist.

But you know what's the weirdest part? In the conversation with Mr. A and the two Europeans? Gun control didn't come up. Not once.

They were all eager to tear into the US healthcare system, but didn't have a peep on gun laws. And one of the Europeans was a guy that assumes his countrymen could not handle CCW.

But that was a man that had no argument to Linoge's "Graphics Matter" pieces. Or the CCW chart here. His argument basically boiled down to "Well, Americans for the most part can handle their guns, but we can't."

Which is sad, but again, after Aurora there was no talk about guns from him.

So that's something. And if you want to "do something" make sure you're actually helping.

"Second Amendment Trifecta"

is what JayG calls the following three lists:

Weerd's "Gun Death" Files shows that horrible acts of murder don't need any guns to happen.

Barron Barnett's "State Sponsored Criminal Count" shows that the "only ones" can be complete monsters.

And finally Kim du Toit's "Dead Goblin Count", which JayG has stewardship of shows just some of the times when ordinary citizens use guns and lethal force to defend themselves.

Together they demolish the idea of the tool being to blame, that there can be a special class of people above the rest of us, and that ordinary people can and should defend themselves.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roger Ebert is an angry old scold.

Tam points out Ebert's latest screed in, where else, the New York Times.

One thing to keep in mind is that, this is also a man who is very angry at the First Amendment.

That's why he had his screed a couple years back about how video games can never ever be art. Yeah his words.

Because you see to Roger, "art" shouldn't be restricted. The things he likes, movies, are art and thus should not be restricted. But things that are not art? Well go ahead.

I also love the little anecdote, which I'm sure really, really happened.

I was sitting in a Chicago bar one night with my friend McHugh when a guy from down the street came in and let us see that he was packing heat.

“Why do you need to carry a gun?” McHugh asked him.

“I live in a dangerous neighborhood.”

“It would be safer if you moved.”

This would be an excellent time for our political parties to join together in calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons. That is unlikely, because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties that many politicians feel they cannot afford to advocate gun control.

Note that this took place in Chicago a city where carry is illegal (unless you work for the State), and where simply owning a gun is a massive legal hurdle... and until a few years ago had a full on handgun ban. And Ebert just happened to run into someone carrying, and openly bragging about it.

Yeah, I'm sure one more law will solve that Roger!

I gotta love the doublethink of a man "calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons" immediately following with a dismissal of "paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties".

Gee where would those gun nuts get the idea that you're after their guns Roger?

And gotta love the liberal mindset of you don't feel safe? Just move. Right because it's just that simple. Everyone has the money and ability to simply move to a "good neighborhood".

And yes, that's exactly Mr. A's views on carry. "You can always move to neighborhood safe enough to where the odds of needing it are vanishingly small."

And bad things never happen in "good neighborhoods". Note how quickly progressives go to defending "gated communities" and the like. I'd bet Roger would be a-okay if his neighbor simply hired a private security guard to follow him around.

And now I'm off to the range.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Some Sour Grapes.

Glenn Reynolds notes an article by Jim Merlino a former policy director (2003) for the Colorado Senate Democratic Party.

It's entitled: Post Aurora: Don’t expect new gun laws

Reynolds quips: What a whining Civil Rights Campaign Looks Like.

Well, let's unpack why Merlino thinks such a thing wont' happen.

But if you now think that meaningful gun control can emerge in Colorado – you’re dreaming. In a state where large mammals occasionally make a meal out of their smaller, two-legged brethren, gun control discussions take on a more primitive and decidedly less academic turn. In fact, if you think reasonable gun control is the entire solution to the now too-familiar occurrences of mass shootings, you are naive.

It almost sounds like he realizes self defense is a legitimate goal and that gun control can acutally do diddly. Oh wait... he doesn't think "gun control is the entire solution".

But does this mean we should surrender discussions about gun control, funding for mental health treatment and the role of government to radical activists and others who insist that government is playing an outsize role in our lives?

You see, it's radical anti-government types that are getting in the way of "reasonable gun laws". Yes, he uses that phrase later on.

But the question remains: What is reasonable legislation that would help stem the rising tide of mass shootings. And why is this discussion always propelled by the fringes rather than the middle?

To begin with, mass shootings can be as much about mental illness and the lack of a community as they are about unrestricted access to weapons. We can see that spending on treatment and screening for mental illness is finally becoming a bipartisan goal.

So why not reach a bipartisan consensus on reasonable gun laws aimed at curtailing gun violence? Would limitations on access to automatic high powered weapons like the AK and automatic hand guns make mass shootings less likely?

Here we see why he thinks gun control is only part of his "solution".

And why he turns around and bleats "But WHHHYYY can't you rednecks come around to our side and be common sense? Stop thinking we're trying to take your guns away! We just want access limitations! Totally different."

Look at his hat trick of lies: high powered, automatic hand gun, AK. None of the weapons used in Aurora were automatic, and none of them were a Kalashnikov or even Kalashnikov patterned.

And automatic weapons already fall under the NFA and are all pre '86 and cost over ten thousand of dollars. You want more restrictions than that bucko?

Are you so arrogant and ignorant that you don't know what automatic weapons are don't know the current regulatory state of them, and are too lazy to bother looking it up.

Or do you actually know about such things and are deliberately lying because automatic weapons sounds scarier? Which is it Jimbo?

Well he follows with:

I’m no firearms expert, but it is time for those who are to make modest gun regulation proposals based on facts and statistics — rather than nonsense like international conspiracies to take away grandma’s hand gun.

You don't have to be an expert to use wikipedia or a search engine, genius. And the Arms Trade Treaty isn't exactly a conspiracy, the UN is rather open with it's goals.

Gotta love how he has an equivalence between the "fringe" of gun rights people and the "fringe" that murders people.

Also you're the one that wants to "limit access to" "automatic hand guns". Unless you're talking about the plague of Glock 18's on the streets. Then yes, yes you do want to take away grandma's hand gun.


I do love that even the antis are forced to go "No no, we're not going after grandma's guns."
Hey Jimmy, that handgun grandma has that you swear you're not going to take away. You think she hunts many ducks with that?

This is why the anti's are so openly mocked and are not compromised with. We know they're lying. We know that there is no negotiating in good faith with them.

As Weerd points out this is a common thing that the anti-gun people do.

Ron Starts off with saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, then immediately contradicting this point by talking about how much guns kill people. Further he states that the “Constitutional Right to Firearms has never been threatened, and never will”….well except for the fact that in recent memory Heller v DC, and McDonald v. Chicago struck down some unconstitutional gun laws that had been in effect for generations. The Federal Assault Weapons ban was also fairly recent.

He’s either totally stupid, or he doesn’t even remotely believe the words he’s saying. So why is he saying it? Simple, he wants to appear more moderate on the gun control issue so that he can garner more support.

And this is not helping the antis. As can be seen here.

Gun tragedies used to draw widespread calls from lawmakers to toughen the nation’s firearms laws.

But over the past two decades, the type of Democrats who might have rushed to embrace new restrictions have been beaten in elections, worn down by the National Rifle Association and now stampede in the opposite direction of gun control.

Poor babies. Your blood-dancing isn't getting the results it used to.

“It’s a tough sell in Washington,” said McCarthy. “A lot of members in their hearts, they do believe and support common-sense gun-safety laws … but many members are definitely afraid of the NRA.”

And gun-control advocates noted that not even a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic-led House and Senate did much for their cause.

“We had that,” Dan Gross, the president for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said of a Democratic-controlled Washington. “Democrats had that, and nothing happened. Again, the political calculus was that health care reform was a priority but part of it is the … power of the gun lobby.”

Awww. They really, really wanna infringe on our rights, but they can't do it!
And more sad clown from Dan Gross.

Now Politco acutally does point out why the NRA has such power and clout, even if the gun grabbers don't:

An October 2011 Gallup Poll found that 73 percent of Americans would not support a ban on owning handguns except by law enforcement – the highest level of opposition since in more than 50 years. The National Rifle Association also enjoys considerable public backing, with 68 percent of Americans holding favorable views of the gun group, according to an April Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Oh yeah. That.

Meanwhile the Window-Licking Antis are also blaming Batman. See Bats. Decades of being staunchly anti-gun and what does it get you you?

They need you right now. But when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper. See, their morals, their code... it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Thursday and that means the Squirrel Report.

Looks they got a bunch of good topics for this week. Tune in at 9PM Eastern.

Yeah, I got nothin' else today. Ran real good, did some reloading prep, and now just want my brain to rest down.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

There's a reason weapons are called "arms"

And as long as someone can be beaten to death, no one is ever truly disarmed.

But in that case the advantage falls to the younger and fitter and stronger.

JayG comments on a man killed because some teenagers wanted to play a "game". A game where they beat random people.

16 years old. He struck a 62 year old man hard enough to knock him to the ground, where he hit his head. He died of those wounds the next day. Remember that the next time some bleeding heart bleats that George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teenager. For no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a 62 year old man was beaten to death by some punk bastard.

Thanks, Illinois, for making your streets perfectly safe for this kind of vermin. Because there are no provisions for concealed carry in the state of Illinois, these scumbags knew that they stood a very good chance of their prey being unarmed. Three young bucks in the prime of their lives chose a disabled man more than three times their age to beat up for kicks, recording the encounter and posting it on Facebook.

Compare that to the story I linked yesterday. There a 71 year old man made two teenage punks flee like jackrabbits.

Why? Because he was carrying a gun.

Note that in both cases you had multiple teenage men and a single elderly man. In one case everyone was disarmed. In the other case both sides had a gun.

JayG continues:

The nanny staters and gun grabbers would have you believe that it is the availability of guns that causes crime. Remove the guns, they claim, and we'll live in a crime-free paradise. Despite being proven wrong time after time, they keep insisting that one more law would have stopped [insert shocking crime committed with firearm]. If only we banned a certain type of firearm, or limited the number of rounds a magazine can carry, or limit purchases to one a month; the laws of human nature would cease to exist and we'd all have a group hug.

And then something like this happens; a crime so brutal, so primitive, so shockingly and banally evil that it has got to make some people think. A group of bored teenagers, with no respect for the law nor their fellow man, decided that it would be a good idea to beat a man down. For no reason other than a "game" that they thought would be fun - especially if they shared it on the internet - a man is dead; a father will never come home, a wife will never again get to talk to her partner.

JayG ends with one Jeff Cooper quote, but I'll go with a different one:

One cannot legislate the maniacs off the street… these maniacs can only be shut down by an armed citizenry. Indeed bad things can happen in nations where the citizenry is armed, but not as bad as those which seem to be threatening our disarmed citizenry in this country at this time.

Carry your damn guns. They're not magical talismans, they don't mean that you'll always win, but they'll give you more options.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How else can a 71 year old man make two armed thugs flee for their lives?

This. This is the empowerment firearms rights brings.

Just watch the video and see the two crooks run for their lives when suddenly faced with a citizen that can fight back.

Also shows the importance of caliber, shot placement, and why a .380 you carry is better than a 45 you leave home.

Carry you damn guns!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Maybe there is something to Whedon wanting the Alliance to be the good guys....

Welp, Zombie did warn about the Wrap's reporting being bad. And upon getting an actual transcript of what Whedon said, things become a bit clearer

To be fair, Whedon does say this: "We are turning into Czarist Russia. We are creating a nation of serfs. That leads to — oddly enough — revolution and socialism, which then leads to totalitarianism. Nobody wins."

But that makes him sound more resigned about Socialism being "too beautiful for this world" than against it as a political ideology. Zombie notes how this dancing around Socialism is all part of Whedon's train of thought.

So let’s wipe that all away and start with the raw transcript: What did Whedon say, exactly?

Well, first of all, it’s quite obvious that he’s very critical of and opposed to the current conservative fiscal philosophy, treating modern conservatives like lunatics who are outside rational debate. And he’s very praiseful of the left-leaning side of the Democratic Party currently in power, as he praises them as trying to preserve the “personal dignity” of the “working class.”

Because he purposely talks a bit obtusely in an attempt to partly disguise what he’s actually saying, it’s not necessarily easy at first to decipher his position; but the giveaway is that the bad guys are the ones accusing the good guys of being “socialists” — in other words the bad guys he’s speaking of are 2012's conservatives.

But in the middle of the speech he also does the typical Democrat do-si-do: first praise socialism in theory, then say it doesn’t work in practice, and then act like the very notion of socialism is only a Republican conspiracy theory. Hopping to and fro like this, he avoids being pinned down on any particular position.

What he apparently wants is some mysterious unnamed utopian magic solution that somehow manages to preserve private ownership but at the same time forcibly levels the playing field for the “working class” (and why is he using Marxist terminology like this?). This is pretty much the same rhetoric that Obama uses: Poo-pooing socialism by name, but then not-so-subtly proposing socialist-tinged solutions."

So he wants a utopian, "third way" between Socialism and Capitalism? A way but the State forces “personal dignity” of the “working class,” but where people can still be rich (maybe Lords and Ladies). And said well-heeled folk can take comfort in knowing they support a system that cares for the downtrodden masses and does its best to -well- make people better.

A'yup. It sounds like Whedon woulda been a big supporter of Unification.

I do recall him admitting that he and Mal would not get along at all, politics wise. Gotta give the man credit for that.

Quote of the Day: Sean D Sorrentino

Weer'd posts a video of Ladd Everit of CSGV bringing the boring crazy to a bunch of British school kid.

And Sean D Sorrentino has a great comment on what he would do if he had that audience.

“Hello. Let’s start with a question. Who’s afraid of guns?”

Wait for a show of hands.


Mumbled crap about them being used to kill people

“But you guys live in a country that utterly bans the possession, sale, and transport of handguns and makes it a 6 month proctology exam to get police permission to get a shotgun, which you have to disassemble and store in a gun safe when you aren’t hunting. Why do you need to be afraid of guns? There should by no gun crime at all in Britain. Your country has adopted all the rules that this bald clown here advocates and you are still worried about criminals running about with guns. Doesn’t sound to me like your gun control thing is working very well. ”

Then I’d go on an extended riff about how, sure, murders are higher in the US than in the UK, but EVERY OTHER SINGLE VIOLENT CRIME IS HIGHER. Plus your police count murders differently than we do. For us, dead body, not suicide or accident, or negligent = +1 in the “Murder” column at the FBI statistics branch. In UK, until there is a murder verdict, it’s not counted.

Emphasis added. Sorrentino's got a great point. In the UK the Antis won. Didn't stop criminals did it? But it sure did make a lot of innocent people a lot more vulnerable.

But don't worry, the Antis have a solution to that: Knife Control.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

About this Firefly Reboot: Will the Alliance be the real good guys?

Update: Looks like Zombie was right on the interview being... paraphrased.
I'm working on a followup post on that subject.

So Joss Whedon joins the rarefied heights of other Hollywood liberals and bleats about the
wonders of socialism and the failures of capitalism. Zombie reports:

Does Whedon sound the rallying cry for socialism to the assembled Hollywood elite at his $5.8 million mansion overlooking the Riviera Country Club in the toniest part of LA?

Does he rail against the czar as he collects his majority percentage of the $1.33 billion earned by his film The Avengers, the third-most profitable film of all time?

No, Joss Whedon is no socialist. He’s the ultimate capitalist, and he obviously loves to enjoy the lavish comforts that having tens of millions of dollars can bring him.

Joss Whedon is not just the 1%: he’s the 0.000001%. But he thinks he can retain his street cred if he recalls his red diaper baby roots and denounces capitalists like himself.

If you really look forward to a socialist America, Josh, put your money where your mouth is, and sign over your entire personal assets to the central government.

C’mon. We’re waiting.

Why would he do that? It's like those that bleat about taxes for "the rich" but will only pay their fair share when the State forces them too. Zombie also notes that "he does the typical leftist do-se-do, first embracing socialism, and then claiming that the very existence of socialism is a Republican conspiracy theory."

And there's some great comments too. Teacher in Tejas ponders:
I bet the third key grip on “The Avengers” got the same cut of the gross as you did? I am sure you made sure every daily extra got health coverage and was paid a living wage? Hey Joss, I am sure none of the tech work and CGI effects were outsourced to foreign shops right? I am sure every single person was union right?

Another Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, George Soros, get rich in the capitalist system and then make sure to pull the ladder to the tree house up behind you.

But it is werewife's comment that reminds me:
What makes this even wronger is that Firefly/Serenity is probably the strongest statement against the “benevolent” Caretaker State ever seen in pop culture. I am forced to think that Whedon the writer/showrunner/director is wiser than Whedon the know-it-all public blowhard.

Now take the idea of rumors of a Firefly reboot/sequel. Via Glenn Reynolds.

Will Whedon bother to square the circle? After-all he hit the idea of portraying the Alliance as being largely peopled by folks that thought they were doing good work by "civilizing" the poor souls that weren't as enlightened as them.

Sure the alliance had its monstrous people and dark evil things, but not all of them. Most of them thought what they were doing was right. They weren't black hat baby eaters. They were still wrong. The show was quite clear on that.

Well maybe the reboot can correct that "Han Shot First" style.

Maybe the reboot could center on a group of energetic, young, motivated Alliance troopers working to bring free healthcare, education and the rest of civilization to the outer worlds. All while trying to fight against those greedy Independents that cling to their guns and religion... or lack of religion.

Yeah, that'll be a much better story than continuing the subversive adventures of the crew of the Serenity trying to continue to escape from under the Alliance's bloated thumb.

A good range trip II

Well it cooled off a bit today. To just under 300 K (What? Ya'll wanted me to use metric temps right? would you rather I use Rankine? Fine it was under 545 R).

And thus I was much more comfortable at the range today. Still needed a good headband but was at least not dried up.

Tested the new triggers on my 1911's and had no faults with my reloads. I'm really liking Unique as a powder. I hear some people complain about it having more fouling when it burns off, but I haven't seen that with mine yet.

Also shot off another 20 Hydra Shoks.

That puts me at about a hundred though my Smith and Wesson 1911 (I'd have to look to my logbook for a true count) without a fault. Also got some velocities.

And put some rounds though my LCP. For such a tiny bugger, it shoots well, you just have to hold it right and pull the trigger without flinching.

Was good, and was nice to shoot with some people of the gun too. That had the right Weaver stance and were shooting at the right distance. And were also teaching their mother how to shoot, quite well too.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

EPA: Constitutional Procedure what's that?

So the EPA is extending its powers once again:

The EPA, working through the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard, is set to begin enforcing a new rule on August 1st that will require all large marine vessels (like cargo and cruise ships) sailing in southern Alaska waters to use low-sulfur fuel. The EPA is justifying the regulation as an extension of an amendment to a treaty, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), that Hillary Clinton accepted in 2010. The problem is that our Senate has yet to ratify that particular amendment — but when have such minute legal particulars ever bothered the EPA?

There you have it. Once again our political masters and their bureaucratic underlings don't even bother with the procedures.

I'm reminded of Thursday's Squirrel Report, when the UN Arms Treaty was compared to the Kyoto Treaty. Sure Kyoto was shot down 99 to 0 but that didn't stop the feds.

So now we have another data point.

Cracked Wins and Losses.

So Cracked has done a couple articles on Obamacare or Obamatax. Oddly enough their archive system and search sytems are so borked (yes deliberately invoked) that I can't find the articles again.

Basically what you'd expect, it's all good, no mention of tax increase, communist-fear-baiting, and a very amusing decrying of "libertarian radicals" who don't want health insurance just because they like life to be hard.

Oh and the distinction that making product X mandatory is fine because it's not something silly like "everyone has to buy parachute pants".

So there's that.

But on the upside there was this passage in today's article. 4 Great Love Stories in Movies for Guys. Specifically about Unforgiven (just run with it):

Most of the movie is designed to debunk the notion of the badass superman cowboy, but ultimately, it's just a long con. In the final scene we learn, despite everything we've just been taught, that outlaw heroes are real.

Early on, Richard Harris' character, English Bob, falsely claims to be such a man. He even travels with his own biographer. But Bob is reduced to nothing by Sheriff "Little Bill," played by Gene Hackman. Little Bill is a no-frills authority figure: smart and tough, but also not a hero. He seems to relish his authority too much. He delights in Bob's beating in a way that only a true bully could, and he exists in a town where guns are banned. He seems to perpetually have the upper hand. More than anyone, Little Bill wants people to know that cowboy legends aren't real.

Emphasis added. So we have an article written by a New Yorker being critical of a town where only the police have guns and have turned into bullies that abuse their authority and disarm to maintain their control on a powerless populace.

Huh. Funny how gun control results in exactly that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Well... that's one solution.

Nasa wanted to send a bigger and heavier rover to Mars. And the questions was... how to get it safely down.

Given the limitations with the thin atmosphere, the heavy rover, the need to avoid kicking up dust... they came up with a... solution.

This is the kind of Stuff Nasa and JPL are good at.

Impressive if it works. And meshes with my current reading material. Man so glad I picked up my copy for free.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coming? It's already here.

Gonzalo Lira writes on the The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy.

Brian and Ilsa are such anarchists—grey-haired, well-dressed, golf-loving, well-to-do, exceedingly polite anarchists: But anarchists nevertheless. They are not important, or powerful, or influential: They are average—that’s why they’re so deadly: Their numbers are millions. And they are slowly, painfully coming to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it anymore.

Via Glenn Reynolds who has a couple other links and notes:

This is what happens when the ruling class forfeits trust. It isn’t pretty. People at the top — in this country at least — used to worry about maintaining trust. Now they seem to take it for granted, or fail to appreciate the cost of losing it. The Gods Of The Copybook Headings are always there, though.

This is also what happens when the regular folks look and see the ruling class and the clients of the ruling class getting away with breaking all the rules and doing as they please.

And speaking of that, it's already happening. As Jerry Bowyer notes in Americans Revolt Billions of Times a Day

We have a Treasury secretary who cheated on his taxes. But he is not the only one. There are probably more people who buy goods and services via the internet and catalogues that don’t pay sales taxes than people who do. We’ve been rehabbing our 132-year-old home for several years now, and I can tell you, some subcontractors expect to be paid in cash. We follow speed limits only when we think they are being enforced. Dads let their teenaged kids drink beer. People cross the state line to buy fireworks, or any good, when the sales tax is lower. People on unemployment compensation stretch it out so they can work on their eBay business.


And most people have absolutely no moral compunction about any of these violations, either of the spirit or the letter of the law, because deep down they no longer believe that the law, especially the tax code, represents any compelling moral principle, nor do its dictates seem any longer to be fair. They don’t think their home state has earned taxes on the Amazon purchases or that it deserves any share of the mutually beneficial exchange between you and your dry wall guy.

I bet you can think of a few dozen more examples, and increasingly we’re all in business and in personal life thinking of more and more ways to game a system which we have less and less faith in.

Also via Glenn Reynolds today.

You might be an engineering geek if....

You look at this chart and freak out over the metric Mass side.

When showing the superiority of the metric prefix system don't cap it off with a legacy unit name. Especially one as confounding and arbitrary as the Tonne.

There's like five versions of that damn unit.

You undercut the whole point of showing how sensible your unit system is when you use 1 tonne to a thousand kilograms instead of going, oh I don't know, 1 Megagram to the thousand kilograms.


Also it would be more balanced if you kept up with two lenght ratios and two mass ratios for the comparison of both systems. Heck, this isn't even getting into the problem of comparing a weight system with a mass system.

It's also moot because the US is a metric country. Most all consumer products are labeled in both unit systems. There's just no legal compulsion to adopt sole metric labeling. Also the units are fully convertible. That's sort of how they work.

And yes, there are people that want to make using US colloquial scales illegal. Even worse they want to make sure it's round metric numbers. Because if companies shrugged and started selling 3.78 liter milk jugs that would defeat their whole point.

Yes there are militant metricists.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And for something less depressing.

For all of you RPG geeks and or Bronies out there. Erin's been working on a homebrew table top system. Well here's a playtest report on some new dice mechanics.

I like how the conflict system and success roll count simplified out. Striking the right balance of complexity on the roles versus play-ability ease / quick pace can be hard. So, it's nice to see a dice system I swagged up manage to work with a few simplifications.

And that's another good point. It doesn't matter how clever you think your model is and how many times you've run the numbers. The real question is actual field testing. What's cool hear is that there was two degrees of separation between myself and the DM and three degrees of separation between myself and the players.

Obamacare Obama Tax how much is it?

Veronique de Rugy crunches the numbers as to how much you'll be paying to the IRS

And he makes a good table, bit it lacks the visual punch. It also lacks showing what the effective tax rate Obama Tax will be. I fixed that.

Oh and that's not all the taxes that come with the law. There's five more.

Via Maetenloch for Ace of Spades ONT who notes: "And if this seems rather regressive to you, you're correct:"
Even a quick look makes it clear that 75% of the taxes to be paid will be paid by those making $120,000 or less. That, my friends is a middle class tax increase of epic proportions- something this president promised wouldn't happen on his watch.

Now don't worry, if you're the type that feels that a tax where the poor pay more than the rich (assuming you make more than 36 bucks a work day) you can reassure yourself that it's a tax you can get out of by giving money to the right corporations.

Yay! Progressives like corporatism right? Oh wait. They do.

As Jonah Goldberg explains:
It also illuminated how big business really doesn’t mind regulations, if the regulations help them secure market share and prevent other firms from competing.

That’s one of the reasons the health-insurance industry was perfectly fine with being thrown into the briar patch of Obamacare. Thanks to the individual mandate, the law protected the big insurance companies by turning them into de facto utilities.

The example I usually use for this sort of thing is the Americans with Disabilities Act. Big corporations didn’t object to it much because they understood that they could pass the costs on to consumers, while the burden of the regulations would prevent smaller, nimbler firms from competing.

When I make this point, people who don’t want to understand its implications look at me funny. “You mean big business likes . . . big government?”

But don't worry, I'm sure the progressives have a plan to fix this latest mess. And like all their solutions it involves mandating them more power and money.

Under the Radar Gun Control?

While Obama is very fond of gun control (Chigaco machine politician Joyce board member) and he has promised to do gun control "under the radar.

So what to make of this UN Arms Trade Treaty?

Just as the world's worst human rights violators sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America's enemies, was elected on Saturday to a top position on the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty being held in New York. It began July 2 and extends through July 27.

This came right after the same U.N. found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to the murderous Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, currently slaughtering thousands of its own citizens as an impotent U.N. joins the U.S. administration in standing around and watching.

Well Clinton is an eunthusiasctic supporter and Obama will eagerly sign it.

Now go to this link found by Weerd:

Just have a look at the picture. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez standing at the UN. Two people who are vying to be the Next Hiter, and they’re going to be instrumental parts in the UN’s actions.

Recall the useful idiots that think the UN has not just a legal legitimacy but a moral one too.

The same administration that claims Executive Privilege over Fast and Furious is eager and happy about an arms control racket. Never mind that the US's international arms sales are already heavily regulated. ITAR anyone?

The treaty also establishes a bizarre moral equivalence between countries that trade arms to defend freedom and those that do so to suppress and extinguish it. Would such a treaty allow us to sell weapons to Taiwan or Israel?

It's not so bizarre when you realize that evil regimes that regularly supply arms to other evil regimes are just fine with it. And even if the Treaty doesn't affect rights in the US it would severely curtail them in other countries? That's like saying Obama supports goverment censorship of media, publishing, and internet, but only outside the US.

Ace also thinks this whole thing stinks and points out that while the Senate probably not approve of this treaty, such Constitutional Limits wouldn't stop the President. Especially, given that this was the man that went to the UN for approval to go to war with Libya, and not congress.

This goes back to being under the radar. Well... no this is the exact oposite of under the radar.

Consider the optics. At the start this is a UN dictate to take away American Civil Liberties.
Yes it's not Blue Helmets marching the streets taking guns, but that's because the UN has outsourced the job to American Law Enforcement. And really that makes sense, the UN in and of itself is toothless, but a fancy treaty with a UN stamp could give the president cover to push his desires.

Could you see mass registration, restrictions on ownership and "normalization" of carry permits and the like? Sure.

Now Obama can take the treaty to the Senate for approval, which would be a plate of red meat.
You think ObamaCare Tax has traction among the Right to figh? Imagine a UN gun control regime.

Or Obama can ignore congress and just deem such a treaty law of the land.

Consider that. A law that infringes on the Bill of Rights, that came from a fogeign body, and is enacted without any vote by Congress. How is that not a blatant violation of the Oath of Office?

You see those Republican Governors saying they won't participate in Obamacare? Now imagine if the President declared that all their gun laws were being "federalized" to bring them in line with the UN mandate.

Yeah, that'll go over well.

To draw an analogy. Imagine if the UN passed a treaty that severely curtailed free speech, and that the president decided to just enforce it, ignoring both the role of the Senate to approve treaties and the Bill of Rights.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Not feelin' it right now.

Even have a handy chart I made on the O-Tax rate versus income levels (Hint the percent you pay goes down the more money you make. How's that for Social Justice!).

But instead here's a link to an infographic on beards.

Beards are great. I've had mine for more than a decade and no lookin' back.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Know what else is missing from Lakeoff's Little Blue Book?

Guns. The word gun only comes up once. Which beats the word nanny at least.

In a book written by a supposed master strategist, that supposedly aims to give liberals ammunition to spread their point of view and counter those evil conservatives. Gun Control, comes up exactly one time.

Once. And it's not even that detailed In the middle of the opening paragraph of his section on "The Four Effects of Extreme Conservativism". Chapter 8, page 53:

Extreme conservatism inflicts its damage in multiple venues: it chips away at democracy and the Public; it poisons the human spirit; and the would community, it contributes to human agony and damages both America's standing in the world and America's friendships with other nations. Extreme conservatism thus is not merely about abortion, the size of government, or gun control. Extreme conservatism is an all-encompassing world-view, and its adherents want to bring into its compass the lives of every citizen.

Emphasis added. That's it. In the whole book.

And yes, the guy really does open every sentence in that pargraph with the same two words. And note for a man thats's supposed to be a dispassionate scientist or at least a high level policy maker he whinges and whines like a weepy hippy about how the Extreme! Conservatives are hashing his mellow and making the chakras of the earth mother cry. Not to mention the hilarious projection of a man enamored with the idea of having every single democrat parrot his talking points complain about an all-encompassing world-view everyone that everyone has to buy into.

But it is telling that, again, this is the only time the word gun comes up. Firearm does not come up at all. Neither does pistol.

For contrast abortion comes up 9 times and fair or fairness comes up 15 times. Justice comes up 15 times. Though again nanny (as in nanny state) comes up zero times.

So to me it's telling that while Lakoff will blather about every liberal talking point and gives silly clichies (he even has a section on Social Darwinism, that'll make Goldberg laugh) that good liberals should use in to educate the proles, he is totally mute when it comes to guns.

No advice on how to frame the gun control movement Lakoff? No tips on how to counter the conservative narrative? Clearly he doesn't like guns, given the one reference he makes. But he is also at total loss on what advice to give a liberal politician about them.

And when facing something he doesn't like, he follows his own thesis and ignores it.

If you want to see how a "leading light" of liberal strategy thinks and recommends. Go and read the amazon preview. It's worth more than a chuckle.

The Little Blue Book: a liberal dog whistle and teddybear!

I'll let Zombie introduce this interesting little text that is marketed as an "The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic". It's written as a high level theory and strategy guide for democrats to present and frame their arguments. How does it go... well... not good. Zombie explains pointing to the title itself:

George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley — and highly regarded Democratic tactician — has just released his playbook for the 2012 election. Titled The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, it purports to be the ultimate insiders’ guide to liberal messaging and left-wing ideology.

Before you even open the book, its sly self-referential gamesmanship leaps off the cover: the very title itself is a wink-wink-nudge-nudge ironic-but-not-really reference to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, the kind of hidden-meaning secret message that progressives like to call a “dog whistle,” although they insist that only conservatives resort to such underhanded gambits.

Right out the gate Zombie shows the amazing disengenous delusions of this book. Such as how Lakoff apparently thinks best "way to convince undecided and conservative voters is to dazzle them with compliments you got from Van Jones and George Soros."

And Lakeoff is more than some crank. He's, apparently, the brainchild behind a couple ideas you may have heard of:

But Lakoff is not just any intellectual celebrity: he is deemed one of the most important contemporary philosophers of progressive thought. You know how whenever Democrats lose an election, they invariably blame their “poor messaging” and never ever the content of their policies? Lakoff came up with that. Liberals find it very reassuring: We don’t need to rethink our ideas — we just need to express ourselves more clearly.

And yet his new Little Blue Book is supposed to be an instruction manual on how to convert wavering conservatives and undecideds to the liberal worldview — even though insults and mockery are an integral component of that worldview. To summarize Lakoff’s presentation in one sentence, he essentially says, “Hey, you ignorant yet diabolical rubes, shut the hell up and submit to an incessant barrage of our vacuous euphemistic leftist slogans, because you’re too stupid and evil for an honest debate.
Lakoff is also the reason why liberals and conservatives never seem to be able to communicate with each other. This frustrating problem is no accident, nor a natural result of differing ideologies simply not seeing eye to eye. Rather, it’s a conscious behavior explicitly recommended by Lakoff over the years, and one which he hammers home repeatedly in The Little Blue Book. “Never use your opponent’s language….Never repeat ideas that you don’t believe in, even if you are arguing against them.”

Pretty influential. If... asinine.

And go to the link to see the top three of Lakoff's list "The 10 Most Important things a Democrat Should Know."

In short 1: Don't repeat conservative language or ideas, ever even to mock, 2: Moralize, moralize, moralize. Morals are more important than policy. 3: "Facts have no meaning outside of frames, metaphors, and moral narratives."

So yes, he was the big wheel encouraging liberals to continue harping about their "messaging", push moral narratives, ignore facts, never use the other side's terms, and, further, completely ignore their arguments.

And many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff’s recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can’t seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative “moral frames,” every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally out of left field.

Thus, he is the progenitor of and primary advocate for the main reason why liberalism fails to win the public debate: Because it never directly confronts, disproves or negates conservative notions — it simply ignores them.

And the delicous part is that this causes liberals to go back to Lakoff to buy the "solution" to the very problem he perpetuates. Because the solution of ignoring the other side's arguments doesn't actually win the debate.

Right out the gate, Lakoff would have the liberals cede considerable ground to their ideological rivals. Its like thinking you've got the better football team because you refused to go on the field.

This isn't to say that the Liberals don't win elections. Promising free ice cream and demonizing your opponents can work quite nicely, which is why it's so common.

Zombie points out that "By intentionally refusing to challenge, disprove, understand or even acknowledge the existence of the other side’s argument, you allow that argument to grow in strength and win converts." However, Lakoff assumes the exact opposite, that conservative and libertarian ideas would die off if you simply ignored the ideas and concentrated on mocking the candidates.

This would not be true if the other side’s argument were inherently weak or fallacious, which I assume is at the root of Lakoff’s blunder; he must assume that conservatives don’t have valid arguments or positions, but rather nothing more than sneakily effective ways of misrepresenting erroneous or ridiculous beliefs. In Lakoff’s universe, you can extinguish such beliefs by ignoring them completely, thus depriving them of oxygen.

This strategy of Lakoff would work if two things were true: First, that the conservative position really and truly did not have a valid point behind it; and second, that the conservative position did not have enough of a platform to reach the general public. In order to prop up his thesis, Lakoff must pretend (and insist that all his readers also pretend) that the conservative position is beneath contempt, even beneath ridicule. That solves the first potential problem. But the second one is vexatious to the liberal; Lakoff and his ilk simply cannot stand the very fact that conservative ideas are even allowed to be enunciated in public. Giving conservatives a soapbox is dangerous, even if (as Lakoff presumes) conservative arguments are nothing but a pack of lies and psychological disorders; if lies and lunacies are repeated often enough and cleverly enough, then they can successfully win the hearts and minds of the general public.

Emphasis added. Thus we see the liberal arguments for speech codes, Fairness Doctrines, Truth Amendments, hate speech bans, campaign spending limits, and other methods of restricting free speech. And this thesis comes from a book that is named in reference to a book written by Mao.


Now contrast with the Gun Rights side which deliberately spreads the talking points of the Antis with the express purpose of mockery and rebuttal. Which Zombie later on points out is a common tactic of all sorts of opponents to liberals.

"While Lakoff’s foolish insistence that liberals never repeat conservative frames means that conservative notions never get directly rebutted, this insistence backfires in other ways as well. Why? Because conservatives take the diametrically opposite strategy: They seize on every utterance that liberals make, and repeat their “frames” as loudly as possible to demonstrate how deceptive they are. So while liberals studiously avoid analyzing anything conservatives say, conservatives meanwhile are avidly dissecting every single thing liberals say. The end result is that conservatives, to their own satisfaction as least, successfully challenge and de-fang every liberal notion; but liberals never challenge or de-fang conservative notions, instead seeking to snuff them out with a lethal dose of Silent Treatment."

This tactic still flumoxes liberals. For example, Mr. A was confused and annoyed when after coming up with a Constitutional Amendment that would make the First Amendment only apply to reporters and outlets that tell "the truth". I applauded his honesty and proceduralism and encouraged him to spread his idea far and wide.

There reall is a sense of self superiority at work with these folk. A part of them gets very nervous when their supposedly neanderthalic, but oh so cunning, enemies react to their latest brilliant idea by smiling going "Keep talkin' Hoss."

And even worse "it is the very euphemisms and other ludicrous “conceptual metaphors” recommended by Lakoff which give[s] conservatives so much grist for their mill." As Zombie points out, he recommends refusing to fight the conservatives, while also feeding them "further evidence of liberals’ cluelessness or mendacity."

Here's an example that Zombie gives to show how bad this "bury your head in the sand" tactic really is:

And this brings us back to our example: abortion. According to Lakoff, liberals should in no way challenge the claim that abortion is murder; in fact, they shouldn’t even acknowledge that such a claim is being made. (True to form, Lakoff himself never mentions this position in his discussion of abortion.) But here’s the problem for Lakoff: It’s a really really convincing argument. And it’s also a concept that every woman on some gut-instinct level knows is at a minimum somewhat true, if not entirely true. Of course a fetus is human or a near-human; the only valid question (one which Lakoff forbids even asking) is when does it acquire individual human rights? Conception; birth; or somewhere in the middle?

So the Lakoffites can yap about “freedom of choice” and “women’s independence” and “reproductive rights” all day long, yet the listener will think: b/But you aren’t addressing the fundamental question. Is it murder?/b “Stop thinking in those terms,” cries Lakoff. But the public can’t stop, because the idea of abortion as murder has already been stated, and the idea of fetus as human existed even long before the modern political debates. Even if there were no Republican party, no conservative movement, a great many people would still have moral compunctions about abortion, because the controversy is rooted in biological realities, and was not fabricated out of thin air by reactionary rabble-rousers.

Emphasis in original.

Now recall Lakoff's preceding declaration that "Facts have no meaning outside of frames, metaphors, and moral narratives." Thus to him, the biological reality is irrelevant and in actuality was fabricated by the reactionaries by attaching it to a moral narrative.

And indeed as Zombie points out Lakoff forbids people from asking the only question Re: Abortion that actually matters and dares not even ask it himself. Way to give your tribe superior rhetorical ammo there champ.

Even more absurd he keeps hawking the "strict father" theory of Conservative. And is too lazy to come up with an example that's less than forty years old

To show just how out of touch Lakoff is, when analyzing core conservative values on pages 50-1 of The Little Blue Book he still cites of all people James Dobson (an evangelical Christian whose political influence peaked thirty years ago in the early ’80s) as a leading conservative philosopher; even worse, to prove his “strict father conservatism” thesis, Lakoff quotes a book that Dobson wrote back in 1970 about disciplining children, as if it was relevant to the 2012 election.

Zombie supposes that Lakoff is amber-like stuck in the very frame he made back in the 80's. And is so stuck that he completely ignores "a masterful maneuver of political akido".

The Nanny State.

Conservatism now stands for freedom from authority, while is it progressivism that seeks to implement the new scolding parent metaphor, now known as the “nanny state.” It’s liberals who want to tell you what to do and what is allowed, not conservatives.

Which side wants to tell you what you can and cannot buy? Which side wants to ban certian foods and drinks? What stance did Mr. A (a self avowed tax and spend Democrat) take on the Baron Bloomberg soda ban? Oh right, he was for it. Saying:

Sure it's paternalistic, but when you've proven that 58% of the target population can't manage not to be giant fatassess, well.. that's when a paternalistic approach is appropriate.

Though Mr. A does have his bouts of angry old man "social conservativism."

Back to the Nanny State reversal. I searched the book. Yes it is on Amazon, you can read the bulk of it for free, and it is fully searchable even the redacted parts.

The word Nanny, does not come up once. Lakoff's supposed master strategy guide does not even address the issue of "Hey, conservatives are now calling us the authoritarian paternalists; what should we do about that?"

Zombie ends with:

The Little Blue Book is being marketed as an “Indispensable Handbook for Democrats” to help them communicate their values more clearly. But I think that the marketing is itself a ploy. The Little Blue Book was not written to help liberals communicate; instead, it was designed as a feel-good mantra, a comforting rectangular teddy bear reassuring the left-wing audience that they are good people. The book’s real underlying message is this: We liberals are morally superior to our nasty and small-minded opponents; if everyone could just see what was in our hearts, we’d be more popular than those mean old conservatives.

That is the conceptual frame Lakoff embeds in The Little Blue Book: We’re better than you. Progressives can position it carefully on their coffee tables and feel righteous

In other words, he's profiting off of the fears and dreams of liberals by selling them snake oil.