Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yeah... pot legalization versus tobacco prohibitionists...

California has effectively decriminalized marijuana (possession of less than an ounce is a civil matter roughly equivalent to a speeding ticket — a rarely written speeding ticket), and the state has a medical (ahem) marijuana program that is, for the moment, largely unregulated. At the same time, the state is launching a progressive jihad against “vaping,” the use of so-called e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine in the form of vapor. The state public-health department says that this is justified by the presence of certain carcinogens — benzene, formaldehyde, nickel, and lead—in e-cigarette vapor. But by California’s own account, all of those chemicals are present in marijuana smoke, too, along with 29 other carcinogens.
If that seems inconsistent to you, you are thinking about it the wrong way: For all of its scientific pretensions and empirical posturing, progressivism is not about evidence, and at its heart it is not even about public policy at all: It is about aesthetics.

Yes much of progressivism seems to be social signaling via Positional Goods (both opinions and actual items).  Which is ironically rather like being in a rather traditionalist, conformist and shame-based culture.

(Oh and as a bonus, guess what wikipedia doesn't mention in their article on Monopsonies.  The closest they get is a half-hearted mention that maybe the  Pharmaceutical Industry in Australia might be one)

Vaping is, from the point of view of your average organic-quinoa and hot-yoga enthusiast, a lowlife thing. It is not the same thing as smoking, but it looks too much like smoking for their tastes. Indeed, California cites the possibility of vaping’s “re-normalizing smoking behavior” as a principal cause of concern. Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, says that vaping should be treated like “other important outbreaks or epidemics.”

Again, normalizing smoking is wrong! (Only for tobacco...) .  And the carcinogens in vaping are bad... never mind those in pot...

Progressivism, especially in its well-heeled coastal expressions, is not a philosophy — it’s a lifestyle. Specifically, it is a brand of conspicuous consumption, which in a land of plenty such as ours as often as not takes the form of conspicuous non-consumption: no gluten, no bleached flour, no Budweiser, no Walmart, no SUVs, no Toby Keith, etc.
There is not much that I myself am inclined to ban, from Big Gulps to recreational drugs, and I do appreciate that the main problem with rocky-road ice cream is the same as the problem with cocaine: It is exactly as good as advertised. 
And this is why I wrote this post.
You've got someone on the Metrocon Fortnightly approving drug legalization.  Even equating coke with ice cream.

There's also the fun bonus of people with private jets screaming about how the proles need to drive less.  And the evergreen "Trains are cool and European; buses are icky."

But then there's this...

This habit extends throughout the culture. For example, there is precisely as much evidence for the theoretical basis of yoga (the flow of mystical energy through the nāḍi, which, strictly speaking, do not exist) and chiropractic (the manipulation of vitalistic “innate intelligence,” which also, strictly speaking, does not exist) as there is for the young-Earth creationist notion that Adam rode out of Eden on the back of a prancing brontosaurus. But those ideas receive radically different receptions. 


Friday, January 30, 2015

There's scoring an own goal...

and then there's picking it up with your hands and tackling your own goaltender with a dive into the net.

Sure the President's plan to tax 529 College savings accounts was a bit of cynical political theater.  The measure itself was not expected to pass, but instead be a talking point about how mean the GOP is.

But instead...  529 savings accounts are a primary means of upper middle class, often Blue state living parents.  IE a core demo of the president's coalition.

But it gets worse.

See not only were other members of his party kept out of the loop, but the President himself uses these accounts for his own daughter's future education.

That's just amusing, and sadly typical.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Okay Cracked.... you made me laugh.

But maybe not for the reason you expected.

 I take a tiny bit of enjoyment on the difference in tittles.  See on the homepage this article is called "5 Things You Don't (Want to) Know About Your Justice System"  but on its own page the article is titled 5 Ways America's Justice System is Designed to Screw You

And this bit:  " The advantage [public defenders have] is that in our brief year or two on the job, we're able to see a shitload of cases. That means we know which judge is more sympathetic to single mothers and which prosecutors seek excessive sentences. Meanwhile, private attorneys spend most of their time in family or corporate law -- rarely do they do criminal cases full-time, and they don't see a fraction as many as we do."

Yeah...  that's why if you find yourself needing legal representation for a major charges...  maybe just maybe you shouldn't get someone without experience...

And for the self defense angle.  This is why it's kind of important to have a self defense attorney in hand.   Especially given the whole "Do not talk to the police." thing.

Course...  as bad as the American justice system is I'd prefer it head and shoulders over other first world nation's systems like say... Japan or Italy or France.  (And that's not to say that there aren't reforms that are required.. but that's another can of worms)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New K31 Polymer Charger Clips.

Oh neat.

Northridge is making polymer charger clips for the K31 and Schmidt-Rubin rifles (G1911, K11, G96/11). About time someone did this! The originals were meant to be disposable, and are remarkably difficult to find these days. The polymer ones look good, but are still prototypes (I tried hard, but couldn’t get the booth rep to let me take one to try out). They should be available in a couple months, and I will be getting a few to test out and let you know how they run. Price is planned to be $14 each or 2 for $20. That’s not much less than original, but at least they will be available…and hopefully the price will drop over time.

Oh,  well the price could be better.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 is so transgressive...

That they have an article of someone who was wrongfully suspected of plotting a school shooting...  demand the schools and the police be even more intrusive.

See...  because he was a goth who wrote bad poetry...  which in his own admission wasn't exactly threatening...   the cops and school admin determined he was a... goth who wrote bad poetry.

And yes, seriously this is what he was demanding:

If you were a cop and charged with investigating whether or not some kid was the insane shooter anonymous tipsters were making him out to be, what steps would you take? Intense questioning of the suspect? A meeting with his parents? Maybe obtain a warrant to search his house for weapons? Check back every couple days for signs of mental deterioration? Nothing at fucking all?
And then he explains the "nothing" the cops did,  which was interview him and monitor is place of employment.

Oh and the school also "did nothing"  well other than:

I told the principal why I wrote the words I wrote, made it perfectly clear that I never had any intention of doing anything remotely violent, and insisted that I never threatened his or anyone else's lives. That's all. I even threw in the self-deprecating line about how there was no way I'd be invited to a party, so there was no way I could incite a panic at one. And I still got spared.
And gee... I'm sure the principal wasn't talking with the cops, nor looking at the writer's school records.

But the real funny part?  The writer opens of with this:

Here's something we keep forgetting about mass shooters... they usually tell us they're about to murder.
Now note... he opens with how mass shooters are pretty open with their intents, even linking to an article that shows that these goblins have a long history of visible early warning signs. 

Could the school admin and the cops have done more?  Well that's a leading question isn't it.  But hardly from "doing nothing", in this case, the authority figures acutally seemed to ascertain the writer's actual situation.

You know normally the people demanding "We need to do something!"  aren't directly asking for a jackboot to the neck.  But sometimes... they cut out the middleman.

Well at least he's not using this do demand more gun control. Well... recall the quote above. What did I cut out? That's where he went on about the Newtontruthers and used them to laugh off the idea that the President wanted to buy guns.

He also went on a joke about how "You can buy guns at Walmart!" Because apparently we need to "close the FFL loophole".

But other than that no demands for any sort of legislation or  even mentioning "gun culture".   So there is that.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015


After the nice sunny day of yesterday (where I made a great porkloin on the grill).

The grey and rain of today feels a bit muted.

But hey, I've still got meat!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Well... this sounds familiar...

Strategypage talks about a coming pension crisis.

You might wonder why such a topic warrants the attention of a site dedicated to military foreign  policy...

Time is not on China’s side. There are numerous examples of this. One of the more obvious is the shrinking Chinese work force. While overall population increased 7.1 million in 2014 (to 1.37 billion) but the working age population declined 3.7 million (to 915 million). The number of Chinese over 60 increased 10 million to 212 million. All this began in 2014 and will continue for decades. The biggest problem, though, is the growing shortage of workers. As the population ages, all those one child families means there will be more elderly than the economy (and the shrinking workforce) can effectively support. Currently there are 11 working age Chinese for every retiree. By 2050, there will only be two for each retiree. At that point, retirees will comprise 30 percent of the population (versus 13 percent now.) 

Oh.   Well...  ironic that.

Amusement at a communist police state facing a crisis you'd expect in Illinois (Or to be honest the US as a whole.  As a nation the USA is basically a pension system with an army).

But this is a serious case... given things could go squirrely with China.  Especially if you add in their looming gender imbalance.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Science? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does.

Brad Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz of Slate have a doozey of magical thinking and cargo cult thinking.  Seriously this is an article entitled "What The Wizard of Oz TellsUs About Climate Change"

Buckle up folks.

Because their idea of "Climate Denial" is about to get... weird.

The essence of the Anthropocene is not really about humanity’s planetary-scale impact, but about the beginnings of a radical destabilization of the core human ideas and institutions that made this impact possible.
No better example of the existence and consequences of this collective denial can be found than the ongoing debate over climate change, in which public discourse has plunged to levels of name-calling and character assassination that would humble a nursery school class.
At the core of this debate is an idea that has been central to the development of our identity as humans for the past 400 years: that the key to solving the problem is rational action dictated by scientific knowledge.
Give it up, folks.

That's right,  they come off the bat telling you to give up the idea that "rational action dictated by scientific knowledge" is key to solving problems.

Let's read on"

First: Science ain’t what it used to be. Our ideal of science is of a highly structured activity for establishing cause-and-effect relationships that can be tested in the field and the laboratory. Now the focus is increasingly on computational models and scenarios aimed at exploring complex phenomena (such as climate change) that unfold on scales from the global to the molecular.

Erm...   are the writers even aware that eventually molecular scientists have to actually, you know,  built those molecules...  and test them.

That there's still... laboratory work.  I mean the whole point of the computer models is to guide the actual real world application.  Otherwise it's just a video game.

Oh but it continues:

The process of observation, hypothesis development, and testing has come to seem like the embodiment of rationality itself. At the core of this first phase of scientific culture was reductionism—understanding things by studying their component parts—controlled experimentation, and confirmation and replication of results. If I didn’t believe your story that fish died in water with high lead content, I could repeat the experiment, changing nothing but the lead concentration in the water. Despite how complex the water and fish physiology and my conditions were, I could change that one variable, and over time achieve a clear pattern of increasing lead, increasing mortality.

Yup... basic science there.  The whole, let's acutally test what you're saying instead of taking it on faith.

But wait!  They claim there's a New Science!

But this method works only for simple, controlled, and closed systems, in which pulling out one variable to experiment with is possible. It does not apply to complex adaptive systems, in which the very process of separating out a single variable changes the underlying system unpredictably. Such systems cannot be replicated, and therefore cannot be subject to standard scientific processes of confirmation. No one can replicate global environmental conditions in such a way as to experimentally test climate change. For such complex systems, the best we can do is create complicated computer models.
(Emphasis added)
No...  the best you can do is run repeated and careful trials, attempting to untangle things as best you can.   And then you create a computer model, and then you actually test it.

And you know who else says their  ideas "cannot be subject standard scientific processes of confirmation"  con artists hawking  perpetuate motion machines and ESP.

But creating a model necessarily involves generating a set of rules that determines what we include in the model and what we exclude. And any set of rules that enables us to model a complex system that is coherent necessarily gives us a model that is partial and arbitrary—hence the common refrain that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” We can use the model to generate multiple scenarios of the future that are consistent with scientific understanding, but we cannot have the underlying system itself. The complexity of the Anthropocene—in which, for example, climate change is an emergent phenomenon of 300 years of industrialism—is not subject to the sort of verifiable and predictive understanding that characterized science of the sort that Copernicus, Newton, or even Einstein practiced.
(Emphasis added)

Uh...  if your model cannot be verified in the traditional way then how exactly do you know how useful it is?  That is the entire point of verification, to see if the model can accuratly predict phenomena.

I mean the entire idea of Anthropocentric Global Warming is that given Global Climate X  a certain mean temperature behavior (T1) will be seen with a gas generation G1.  However,  if one were to go with a lesser gas generation (G2)  then there would be some new temperature behavior T2.

Again, this is something where the refrain has been "The science is settled"  and challenges to it are "Denier!"

And now these guys are going on with "Naw,  Science doesn't need to predict things or be verified"

Also note the implicit condescension. 'Old' Experiments are things like "Copernicus, Newton, or even Einstein"  but modern stuff is far too complicated and sophisticated for those old expeirmental methods.

Never-mind that quite modern things like quantum computing, genetics,  fusion, all eventually have to go from computer model to experiment.  Do note that the  Large Hadron Collider isn't a computer model, its a giant experiment.

Oh!  But this paper gets better.   Sure they admit that Global Warming isn't "normal" science.

In this way the politics of fighting climate change share some similarities with those of fighting terrorism. Both have involved campaigns that use apocalyptic and extreme language in an attempt to create fear and insecurity among the public. Both seek to re-engineer society: In the case of global warming, for example, an important goal is to force broad changes in consumption and production patterns in the name of such meaningless goals as “saving the planet.” We should recall, though, that the threat of terrorism—a very real threat, as events in Paris remind us, and indeed in many ways much more tangible than climate change—was used to justify a radical erosion of the privacy of Americans, and to rationalize the invasion of Iraq, an action meant to stabilize conditions but whose destabilizing consequences continue to disastrously unfold.
(Emphasis added)
Yes... they went there.  So...  Global Warming is like the War on Terror...  including the erosion of liberties due to fear-mongering  and may cause "mishaps" like the Invasion of Iraq.

Uh...  is this a troll paper?  I mean is the whole Wizard of Oz thing a red flag that this is satire? Or is a genuine admiration of magical thinking?

 Our computer models can give us a thousand scenarios of how the climate may change. But remember that global warming is an unintended consequence of 300 years of industrialism—why would we think that equally momentous unintended consequences would not accompany the enormous social changes pursued in our effort to control the future behavior of the climate?
Well, given you've abandoned all pretense that these models are actually predicting things.  Then yes,  flailing about with massive unintended consequences does seem inevitable.

There is indeed a cruel dilemma here: In order for the science to matter, it must be heard; in order to be heard, it must be translated into catastrophic visions and simplistic policy formulations that are literally absurd abstractions of the complexity that we inhabit. 
*Facepalms*  So... it's not enough to advocate that science abandon the whole  "let's see if our predictions are right"  it also has to become even more of a fear-mongering Sideshow?

The necessary oversimplification, urgent appeal to fear and insecurity, insistence on predictive certainty, and direct linkage to an explicit social agenda that would create huge new groups of winners and losers (and is thus inherently divisive) obliterate the boundary between science and politics.
Oh bless their hearts.  See  it's not their fault that they have to lie and cheat to push for their economic agenda...  it's just too important!

Everything really is connected to everything else now, and the biggest mistake we can make is to focus too narrowly on one thing or one way of doing things. That’s the most important lesson of the abject failure of climate change policy and politics, and it’s one that we must learn if we are to effectively confront the new world that we have and will continue to create. 

See!  That's the reason climate change policy is failing!   The declarations aren't dire enough!

Oh and since you asked.  Yes...  both Allenby and Sarewitz are professors, in scientific fields.

Thinking on it... I really can't tell if this is an apologia to Global Warming advocates "grow[ing] increasingly loud, scary, and simplistic"  or if it is a satire against them.

Honestly, people who are worried about Climate Change should, frankly, find this article really, really offensive.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Is Shannon Watts a plant?

Sooo....   remember how we were called paranoid for thinking that that universal background checks would be used as firearms registration?

Well guess who also thinks UBCs = Registration?

A couple good discussions on Gun Rights Advocacy Strategy.

First we have Sebastian wondering   Is Losing Big Better Than Losing Small?

And then we have Joe Huffman on Carrots versus Sticks?

Both give a lot to think about.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Remember her organization only wants background checks and training!

Welp....  Shannon Watts decided to endorse vigilantism today.

What she left out was...  well just read the excerpt in the link to her own tweet:  the man with the gun had a carry permit, moreso it was holstered and out of sight.

Seeing the man slip on the holstered gun in the parking lot, the tackler followed the victim, an older African American man, right into the store. Remember having a permit means, per Florida law, the gentleman had gone through training and a background check.... the very things Watts supposedly "Demands"

Video of the attack here.

There you go,  the head of a major gun control organization is miffed that a white man can't stalk, ambush, knock to the ground, and choke an elderly black man...  without being arrested.  I guess she supports the notion that vigilantes should assume a minority with a gun is automatically up to no good.

Also... one can see that situation awareness is an evergreen lesson learnt.  Not just for the man who got jumped,  but also for others in the store.

Look at  the video again.   Older black man gets jumped by a  white guy who is shouting about a gun... and people don't react.  At all.

You are on your own.

Update:  Looks like someone's doubling down

Yup.... it's our fault some nut went off half-cocked and decided to attack an elderly man simply because he was a minority with a gun.  And nevermind the actual reality of crime stats...

Gotta love the "Get a grip!" at the end.

Via Linoge  who quips "Oh, she doesn't oppose CCW (yeah right).  She just wants CCWers tackled."