Monday, August 29, 2011

Some links worth exploring

Michigan Bar Owners Take Stand, Bar Electeds...

Frankly, I applaud them. I don't smoke myself, but creating smokers as some kind of second class citizen barred from public life...I don't much hold with. If this sort of resistance cropped up more often on more issues, we'd likely have a better nation for it.

Irresponsible bicyclists not paying their fair share

Author makes a start, but doesn't really get into the meet of the failure of most bicycle plans and madness - safety. Coercively integrating slow vehicles with low mass with normal and high speed vehicles of substantial mass should be regarded as nothing less than criminal negligence, perhaps manslaughter. A brief example would be if one must have an integrated bicycle lane, integrate it *inside* the line of parked cars (on the passenger side) so that the parked vehicles form a barrier to prevent lethal interactions between bicyclists and motor vehicles.

Why are you making it so hard for me to think well of you?

In an incident first reported by Ambulance Driver, after publicly criticizing local police, said police come out and shoot the victims dog. Is there some kind of slow-moving infectious neurological disorder spreading throughout police departments across the nation, affecting all but a small percentage of unusually ethical officers?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A most thorough fisking, indeed.

It is so seldom, but when there is so much fallacy, before one can really begin one must pause to count the ways a single article can be wrong, and perhaps even duplicitous. The Boston Globe in an unsigned editorial offers an example of one such.

The history of "gun control" in New England is fraught with racism and oppression, and not precisely a thing of beauty worthy of pride. From the 17th century gun control laws (where we define gun control as barring one or more classes of person from firearms ownership/usage - as opposed to requiring possession of firearms and secondary firearms products, a far more common practice in early New England) sporadically barring firearms to Native Americans or specific tribes thereof (with the distinct goal of discouraging forcible eviction of the colonists by the native populace)1 to the 1906 imposition of the subjective (and thus inherently discriminatory) License to Carry law, and on to the yet more oppressive (and most likely unconstitutional) Firearms Owner Identification card requirement we see a history of a state ever more hostile to one of its' major industries.

With the implementation of the Approved Gun Rosters, the environment became yet more hostile - but did not impose involuntary expense upon in-state manufacturers if they simply chose to ship their entire production out of state. Annoying for individuals who might prefer to purchase those locally produced products, but not so much for the manufacturers.

As is any manufacturer or businesses right - should a business environment become so toxic (whether for legislative, labor, or other causes) - to move to another location more compatible with its line of business. When the cost of tolerating the toxic condition du jour (in this case, micro-stamping) exceeds the cost of relocation, or looks to be a precursor of such imbalance, the decision becomes much easier for the business.

A citizen votes at the polls. A business votes with its feet.

Any state legislature about the business of regulating any industry needs to take into account that, if they create a sufficiently hostile environment in comparison to other locales, that the regulated industry may simply up stakes and migrate to friendlier turf - whether it is Boeing re-locating its' headquarters and ever more of its' manufacturing outside the state of Washington, Bar-Sto's migration out of California, Olin Corporation's move of their ammunition facility from Illinois to Alabama, or Colt Firearms contemplating the cost/benefit ratio of a migration out of New England2.

In the face of being forced to implement the expensive microstamping boondoggle and with other states welcoming firearms industry and the accompanying high-paying jobs with open arms, it should be no surprise if Smith & Wesson, Savage, Marlin, and Mossberg all are discovered to be engaged in quiet boardroom contemplation of friendlier climates.

Substantial doubts have been cast upon the validity of the assertions regarding the real-world application of micro-stamping technology (aside from significantly increased cost) made by proponents of the notion, specifically by a study out of UC-Davis3 indicating a number of serious technical flaws in the expensive technology.

Further field criticisms will be offered below.

Again, as is the right of any business large or small. Regulation is by its very nature a balancing act between advancing the interests of the State - legitimate or not - vs. driving business (and thus jobs and tax revenue) out of a state.

In yet another example, a rising new holster maker - Dragon Leather Works - is leaving New York this month to relocate to Tennessee, at least in part because of New Yorks regulatory structure that prohibits, at a felony generating level, any person (even a holster maker) from receiving or possessing normal capacity magazines - a fairly fundamental barrier if your customer is demanding you make a belt carrier for such a magazine; when similar barriers affect the firearms themselves, re-location seems a wise choice.

The New England states are not somehow magically immune from these fundamental laws of politics and economics, and have worked long and hard to create an environment hostile to industry generally and the firearms industry specifically - but until now, by avoiding imposing a major business expense upon manufacturers, have avoided stimulating manufacturers to begin considering whether the cost of moving legacy operations to a friendlier locale might provide a better operating environment.

Given that such a move would almost certainly include tax credits from the new host jurisdiction, production cost savings after initial investment resulting from re-tooling with current generation (as opposed to legacy) tooling and automation, and the option of operating in a right to work state with fewer workplace strictures...and New England states may be faced with the choice of not just backing away from micro-stamping laws, but back-pedaling furiously if they want to retain the operations base of the now-awakened firearms manufacturers who could go almost any place else in the nation and find a friendlier operating environment.

It’s questionable how effective micro-stamping would be. The legislation would require firing pins on new makes of handguns to leave microscopic impressions of the gun’s serial number on each casing. Criminals could tamper with the firing pin to prevent impressions from being made or even leave used casings from other guns at crime scenes to cause confusion. Nonetheless, it might still provide useful clues in some cases. But this is a balancing decision that should be left to the legislatures, not gunmakers.

In comments on a public Pink Pistols (a pro-2A LGBT group) forum, one of the founders of that group, Gwen Patton, points out a number of the field impracticalities reducing the micro-stamping technology to expensive foolishness:

And the entire concept is idiotic.

Step 1: Use a revolver that doesn't eject brass.

Step 2: Scatter micro-stamped brass from someone else's gun that you picked up at the range while wearing gloves.

Step 3: Let's watch the fun, as the forensics morons try to match slugs to brass, and bring in sixteen different owners in for questioning, then find out the slugs weren't even from a semi-automatic weapon, and ALL of the brass is a red herring!
So not only is micro-stamping faced with technical flaws (imprint erosion, ease of defeating the device by criminals and civil rights activists, etc.), but it is easily defeated in the field as well - and that before we consider that not all small arms ammunition is loaded in relatively malleable brass cases - but that steel cased ammunition is also produced, and is not only less likely to accept the expensive micro-stamp, actively damage the micro-stamp mechanism, and is anything but rare...

While firearms manufacturers have a right to lobby against this legislation and explain their objections to it, it is inappropriate to wield the jobs of hundreds of workers as a weapon.

Actions have consequences, and legislatures are not immune from this basic truth. We return to the basic failure of the author to understand that lobbying is merely the equivalent of getting up on a soap box and advocating one clever idea or another.

The vote of an industry is expressed by whether its ethos or business realities are so negatively affected as to make doing further business in the affected region unacceptable. And short of proposing state seizure of industry, that remains a fundamental right of any move its operations to the locale the business owners and operators feel best suits their needs.

There exists no shortage of locales that would welcome Colt, Mossberg, and even Smith and Wesson with open arms and, more than likely, open pocketbooks. It is up to Massachusetts, Conneticut, and other New England states that have so studiously demonized the industry to find a way to make remaining in such hostile jurisdictions desirable.

Micro-stamping does not place any significant burden on the sale or manufacture of guns. It is not a ban or an arduous tax. It merely requires the engraving of a serial number in one more place on the weapon. If a state legislature decides micro-stamping is appropriate, it should not be forced to choose between citizens’ lives and citizens’ livelihood.

Whether a flat-out lie or based in mind-numbing ignorance, the above is simply untrue. The costs of implementing the patented and sole-source monopoly microstamping technology is simply boggling4,5, even before you face up to the fact that any monopoly can ramp up the cost of their product from mind-numbing to cost-prohibitive whenever the whim strikes once the product is required by law - from the projected increased cost at current pricing of $200 per firearm to vastly more.

Massachusetts has had gun-control laws for almost three centuries, and the Connecticut River Valley has been a center of gun-making since George Washington established an armory in Springfield. There is no reason that both gun control and gun manufacturing cannot co-exist for the next few centuries as well.

That Massachusetts has had gun control laws, often discriminatory and based in bigotry, corruption, and favoritism for a very long time is beyond dispute. Such is the case when any law is implemented based in unequal treatment of citizens, implemented to a random and subjective (and whimsically variable) standard by authority whether in the chill climate of New England or sunny California.

However, until recently, the demonization of firearms as an alternative to actually *doing something* about criminal bad actors in Massachusetts society has not significantly impacted the firearms industry that generates so many high-paying jobs in the New England region and so much could be overlooked.

Even if Smith & Wesson or Colt were unable to sell, due to regulatory stricture, a single firearm in Massachusetts, they could muddle along with the remaining 49 states and not go broke.

But imposing vast new costs on an industry in the midst of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, and then expecting them to just eat those costs - or pass them on to customers who are doing well to afford their products in the first place, before such pseudo-tariffs are imposed - when the problem can simply be resolved from that industries viewpoint by simple re-location? And then claiming that said manufacturers were in the wrong for refusing to cooperate in their destruction?

That, my anonymous editorialist is self-righteous and self-centered narcissism taken to an extreme rarely reached even by President Obama, a gentleman of vast skill in that field.

Further, it may just be that the microstamp kerfluffle is going to be enough to make those eager firearms-friendly states look a *lot* better to manufacturers.

You had a good industry that provided good jobs. You may just have, in your totemization of inanimate objects and deodands, managed to lose the jobs, the industry, and the tax revenue - at a time when you can least afford it.


Clayton Cramer, Gun Control in New England Available online at

Charles Francis Adams, Jr., ed.,
New English Canaan of Thomas Morton
(Boston: The Prince Society, 1883; reprinted New York: Burt Franklin, 1967), 21-28;

Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (Boston: William White, 1853), 1:196;

Joseph H. Smith, ed., Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts (1639-1702):
The Pynchon Court Record, An Original Judges' Diary of the Administration of Justice in the Springfield Courts in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961), 208.

James B. Whisker, Arms Makers of Colonial America(Selinsgrove, Penn.: Susquehanna University Press, 1992), 16.

Timothy Williams, New York Times: States Pitch a Lifestyle to Lure Gun Makers From Their Longtime Homes, 8/10/2011, available online at
Firearms Microstamping Feasible but Variable, Study Finds,
5/13/2008, available online at
Opposition To Firearms Microstamping Grows In New York
Amid Concerns Of Expense, Lost Jobs And Results Of Independent
, 6/15/10,, available online at

Dramatic Price Increases and Reduction in Supply ,
1/23/2009, National Shooting Sports Federation, available online

Ed. Note: It appears as of 8/29/11 "reasoned discourse" has broken out over at the Boston Globe and all comments on the article in question (where the editorial writer was being thrashed on factual and logical grounds rather thoroughly) have magically vanished.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Freedom, Policing, & Governing

Roadkill just knocked out a post that I think could be easily misinterpreted, and amidst the performance of the can-can by a double-dozen drama llama in reacting to the misinterpretation rather than the real message, something fairly important may be lost.

The police are the people, the citizenry. They are not a military force, and to the extent an individual or department forgets that, they are deserving of every bit of contempt that may be summoned - and more.

"the police are the public, and the public are the police."
- Sir Robert Peel, founder of modern policing (1788-1850)

The core principals Peel advocated focused on accountability, ensuring that the police are not simply arresting job-lots to make quota, and the accountability of the police to the public - not authority.

That, in other words, police are (or should be) officers of the peace rather than enforcers of unlawful or unconstitutional laws and orders, and that they should not be so inflated by their authority as to believe themselves any more special than any other member of the public.
  • Every police officer should be issued a identification number, to assure accountability for his actions.
  • Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
  • Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount.
Recent events in Canton, OH and elsewhere have created reasonable cause for many to worry that large numbers of police officers have effectively come to regard themselves as elite "super-citizens" immune to the rule of law in some cases, empowered to make the law as they go along in others (through perjury, threats, abuse of authority, and/or simply insuring a lack of witnesses), and in yet other pathologies, either ignorant of or oblivious to their obligation to decline to follow unlawful or unconstitutional orders from superior authority (elected or otherwise).

And some few of us worry that, ultimately, policing (and officer safety) depends upon the support and cooperation of the public of which said law enforcement officers and organizations are *members*, and - if pushed far enough - support may be withdrawn at much more than a mere budgetary level.

The final guarantee, that I think that the very same "some few of us" hope never to see in our lifetimes, rests on what Roadkill refers to - that, sooner or later, the most officer-safety oriented officer needs to go home - assuming someone will sell or rent to an officer of a department or organization held in vast contempt. And a landlord can *always* find an acceptable reason to refuse to rent if they are sufficiently motivated.

That officers have loved ones, and that when that most dreadful of lines is crossed, they become in the eyes of the angry legitimate proxy targets (thankfully, it's been a very long time since we've seen much of this in the United States...but it doesn't take a terribly deep gaze abroad to find places where this occurs).

When 500 bars in Michigan are now refusing service to elected officials in protest of a smoking it such a stretch to believe similar hostility might not be shown to other organizations held in vast contempt?

This is not a place I want to see my country go, as I believe it is at best hazardous to the freedoms we hold dear and places both officers and citizens at risk of harm to persons and property. A police department viewed as an occupying force is neither a good thing, likely to endure, or likely to be effective.

I view such a course of events with all the enthusiasm I would have for a civil war or a barbed wire enema. Filled with badness, pain, and suffering with very little hope of any improvement.

I do not believe things have reached the state where things would go that far south. But with the rash of recent incidents that breed contempt for both the law and its enforcers, we come ever closer to that unhappy day.

If we don't want to see that day (or a great many other possible bad days available), we need to get involved. We need to ask inconvenient questions. We can no longer stand aside and assume that all is well.

We must support our friends in law enforcement that ARE paragons of Peelian principles, gentleman and ladies of the badge possessed of ethics and morals. I continue to believe that they and like-minded folks represent the majority of those in law enforcement, but it only takes a small minority screwing up with sufficient vigor to bring on the stupid we'd all like to avoid.

And it appears that it is time for another great swell of reform to purge the petty tyrants and thugs from our law enforcement organizations and elected office - ideally a purge accomplished by judicial and electoral means.

That discussion, ladies and gentleman, was the foundation of the recent great hooraw on GBC - and it is one we vitally need to have with each other online and off. And I believe it is that which RK addresses, and which I try and come at from a different direction.

In short, a plea for common sense - that we REALLY don't want to see our nation go there, and are worried we may have idiots dancing on the cliffs edge about to pull the rest of us over with them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Blogroll Link

This is probably a first, adding someone to the blogroll simply because I'm offended at a situation, but what the hell - it's my damned blog.

I'd like to welcome Roadkill to the blogroll, and hope that his blogging is more frequent and expands to include his offbeat irreverence and odd humor, in addition to his current largely factual postings.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Exchange with a Liberal on Free Speech

Anon 1
GOOD! "Teacher of the Year" suspended for his negative comment on Facebook regarding same gender marriage!
Mount Dora, FL – Jerry Buell, last year’s “Teacher of the Year” at Mount Dora High School, has been suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his own personal Facebook page, expressing his disapproval of legalized same-s*x marriage in New York. Buell commented that homosexuality is a sin...
  • 2 people like this.

    • Anon 2: You realize this isn't going to gain you any sympathy or supporters, Anon 1.
      about an hour ago

    • Anon 1:
      Whether or not this is Constitutional is not my concern Cynthia. The Constitution and the courts will determine that. But a public figure that places moral judgement on a group of people in a public forum should be called out. He is a public school teacher who teaches all children...straight, and lgbt. To be heard (or read) placing a moral judgement on some of those children via a public forum (Facebook) is NOT in the best interest of those children. A teacher's "personal" views are not "personal" in the public. A child needs to know that he or she is not being judged by a teacher on moral grounds just for how he or she is born. I agree with the action of the school administration, whether or not it is Constitutional.

    • GayCynic
      You might also consider this is a razor-sharp two-edged blade, that in other jurisdictions a teacher might be fired for posting in favor of same sex marriage.

      In general, posting off-duty under an employee's own identity without claims of representing employer opinion is none of that employers business.

      Anon1: ‎@ Ray, a teacher frequenting strip clubs that promote "barely legal" young ladies in school girl outfits, if that became public, how do you think the school board or parent organizations might react? So are publicly racist comments up for question or posting anti-semitic comments on Facebook?
      about an hour ago ·

    • Anon 1: Or is this all just "none of that employer's business?"
      about an hour ago

    • Anon 1: When are people going to understand that telling a young girl that she isn't as good as a boy, or telling an African American youth that "his people" are prone to commit crimes more than whites, or telling Christian kids that only THEY go to heaven, or telling gay kids that they are morally inferior by birth or telling the trans youth that she needs to act more like "the male that she was born" is BAD, WRONG AND THAT IT DOES DAMAGE TO THESE KIDS????? Seriously folks, Facebook is a public forum. It is a public forum frequented by youth also.

    • Anon 2: Anon 1 - whoa! I am not speaking about the legality, but the practicality. Dismissing the 'Teacher of the Year' will not win friends and influence people. It will lead to accusations of 'thought police' and seems to encourage hypocricy. This is not pro- or con- , just an observation of likely fact.
    • Anon 3: So we're to tolerate bigoted teachers because that would be the "practical" thing to do? My, my.
    • GayCynic:
      So it's *also* ok to fire someone who posts in support of LGBT causes, progressive initiatives, and pro-union activities?

      Freedom of speech isn't about "of speech we (or the majority) like and approve of" - it is at its most fundamental when it protects the speech of those with whom we violently disagree and hold to be utterly vile - because with absolute certainty, there are those out there who do not like us, our views, or our ability to express our views with equal fervor.

      @Brad, we should tolerate bigoted teaches (as long as they keep it off school property/stationary/etc) to the precise same extent we expect those on other side to tolerate LGBT teachers (that refrain from promoting LGBT issues on school time/premises).

      And, coincidentally, I think that sucks...but *whatever* choice we make, cuts *both* ways - so we are limited to only promoting policies regarding our opponents that we would like applied to *us* by those who disagree with us.

      Is it *really* a good idea to promote a society where employers (school districts or public entities or not) can suppress under threat of job termination their employees free speech and participation in the political process outside of business hours? Particularly when this could be applied *against* LGBT employees (DADT leaps to mind)...

      The problem with principal is that it often *sucks* in the short term, regardless of any long term benefits. :( The flip side of the suckage is that taking a long term view equally often results in net less suckage over time. It's the "up front" that's no fun.
    • Anon 1: Wait a minute. Please answer my question. If that teacher posted on Facebook that Jews will go to Hell or Blacks are not as intelligent as whites or women are incapable of being successful in certain careers because their brains can't handle it would we be allowing that teacher to teach children? We are not discussing what this teacher said in the privacy of his own home , but we are talking about what this public employee said on or in a public forum. Pretty much like taking out a billboard in his school district and signing his name to it.
    • GayCynic: Let's shift it a little, and then I'll answer. If a worker at GE or Boeing or Starbucks took out a great big sign outside of HQ (to really push the analogy, and the example in no way implies those companies hold those views or would take such actions) promoting same sex marriage and alleging that all those who opposed it were mean & awful bigots that'd burn in hell - and the company du jour fired them or suspended them...would we be celebrating that companies actions?

      Or, is signing on with a public entity (say like Gould, AR; Renton, WA; Quartzsite, AZ) a simultaneous signing away of the employee's civil rights?

      If a teacher posts a *pro-LGBT* post on Facebook while working in a non-LGBT friendly district, is it ok in the face of great public uproar to then fire or suspend THAT teacher?

      I would answer your question that NEITHER teacher should be fired or suspended. That public employment should be based on job performance, not popularity contests. And that the off-duty off-premise speech of the one that we treasure (our allegorical pro-LGBT buddy) is only as safe as the speech of the one we despise.

      Otherwise, we face the question of "should public school teachers be barred from making any public/policy statement during the period of their employ, and from endorsing/opposing/criticizing elected officials?" similar to the rules binding the military.

      I happen to think that we can bear up under allowing teachers to enjoy their civil rights, even when we are unamused at their specific employ of them. Even when I thoroughly disagree with their viewpoints to the point of finding them utterly vile, I think teachers have as much right as your or I to voice their opinions without governmental or employer discipline or retaliation - so long as they do it outside of the workplace.
    • Anon 3: All good points, GayCynic. But would you mind taking up Tom's suggestion and re-writing your last post with reference to Blacks or Jews instead of LGBT? Just as an exercise to see how it feels to even write it.

    • GayCynic: See "disagree with vociferously" and "vile". I do not endorse nor support the positions taken by the teacher in question. I do, with some discomfort, defend his right to make them - however vile I hold them. :(
    • GayCynic: After some thought, the same principal applies, though working past the instinctive flinch when even the faintest hint of racism or anti-semitism is brought into the conversation *does* require thought to move from "emotive" to "logic". I suppose it speaks well of the progress in society that in the last sixty years we've moved from a point where anti-semitism or racism was acceptable to a point where merely bringing them up is sufficient to silence a conversation, even when no racism or anti-semitism has actually occurred or been implied.

      Freedom of speech belongs to *everyone* - regardless of race, gender, orientation, religion, or "niceness". Even when some white-sheeted knuckle-dragger speechifies in favor of one vile bit of bigotry or another, they have that fundamentental freedom - that should never be infringed by governmental or employer action.

      Where that line is crossed, for me, is where physical violence to persons or property is promoted or engaged in - or where speech creates a clear and immediate threat of physical harm. That's where "incitement to riot" and assault/homicide statutes kick in, as well as the "shouting fire in a crowded theater" example in common use.

      There is a *price* to be paid for living in a relatively free society. We get to have our feelings hurt, our viewpoints disparaged, and our worth questioned. But, so do those we disagree with - and I believe that the virtues of a position promoting folks minding their own business (which consenting adults sleep with which other consenting adults and how frequently being a prime, but not exclusive by any means, example of "none of your business") and respecting others as equals worthy of the same set of civil rights one enjoys will, over time, triumph inevitably over the bigoted and small-minded positions of those who would judge folks by such largely irrelevant factors as race/creed/orientation/gender (or even "niceness").

      My experience thus far would indicate that both bastardry and brilliance are fairly evenly distributed across the spectrums of each class named above - and that such equality of distribution is fairly evident to any reasonably observant person with an open mind and two brain cells in fairly close contact with each other.


    Free speech is pretty fundamental to my views, and I tend to take a relatively broad view of it. Similarly, I'm rather attached to "equality before the law". And you can't have either if they don't apply to everyone, not just the folks we like or whose positions we approve of - because what may be good for the goose, is sooner or later what the gander will get too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Petty Tyranny in tiny towns...

Opening with an expose of a farm raid by animal activists near Denver, Bob McCarty of Breitbart's Big Government proceeds to flay a number of recent incidents of local government gone bad - incidents that need exposure to the light of day.

Another such incident out of Oregon kind of drives home the point regarding small-town government gone mad - and if that's not enough, we have a city government in Gould, Arkansas passing ordinances to bar discussions of or meetings regarding any city matters within city limits.

Gould, innovative burg that it is, even includes physical assaults (including pistol whippings) of the Mayor as part of their unique small town charm.

All are good reads, and drives home the point that any government will extend it's authority - legitimate or not - precisely as far as the citizenry and the courts will allow them. The builders of these petty empires often come with large and fragile egos attached, are incapable of hearing criticism without engaging in retaliation, and are not much bothered by petty things like constitutional or statutory limits on their authorities...

If nothing else, someone needs to tell folks that - in the age of the internet - even small town kleptocracies and empires are likely to show up on the 'net, with the full glare of day (and State Attorney Generals) shining down upon them.

The easiest and first step in resisting such idiocy (for it is best resisted while small, as it tends to just get worst) is ridicule and bringing the public eye upon idiocy and tyranny in an attempt to shame such goons out of office. Litigation, if you have the dollars, is a good investsment in such cases. And in each case, it's always good to look for a donation fund that can eat a few dollars.

This crap isn't America, and it needs to be brought to a screeching halt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Britain-Legal (So Far)

Not being expert on british law, I can't be certain...but having one of these in every closet in your neighborhood (hey, you like to fell trees for a hobby - you've just not got to it quite yet), I would think you might find them even more efficacious than a baseball bat. Though, as an improvised weapon, a baseball bat with a few nails driven through it might make a worthwhile war club...

Reverse the Eisenhower Tax Cut

The malefactor in chief and his merry band want new tax revenue...

Glenn Reynolds of the Washington Examiner proposes to give it to them, rather elegantly.

I can get behind this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The difference in the more free states...

Folks actually give a damn about their neighbors, and that without coercion.

From Tam.

Signs & Portents

You know, sometimes it's easier to read the tea leaves than others.

When a nation is so very screwed up it engages in vendetta-style raids against those trying to tell the truth about that nations economy, and predict said nations credit-worthiness based on their best understanding?

Yep, that nation is well and truly screwed, and merits immediate de-rating as force is now triumphing over law. Nobody is safe, and credit extended to such a nation is only as safe as the next whim of the ruling solons.

Bad risk, do not invest.

Great food there, though.

AAAaaand, back to Renton

In a move sure to go down in the history of blindingly stupid overkill, Renton has demoted and punished various officers for the offense of creating and distributing a cartoon that somehow manages not to (until Renton officials self-identified) identify the ridiculed city, state, or any confidential departmental information.

I'm thinking this kind of petty vindictiveness is a hint that department could stand some serious reform.

The pursuit/witch-hunt regarding the other 8 cartoons continues.

Previous Coverage here. Previous blog posts with links to the cartoons.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A lighter moment

An acquaintance posted this to a CCW list of all thing, was scolded for getting off-topic, but this out-take of the 2004 Japanese film Swing Girls (plot synopses here) and a rendition of the immortal "Sing, Sing, Sing" from Louis Pima is simply priceless.

Go. View. Enjoy. And then if you have the scratch, buy the movie. I'm thinking even with subtitles it'd be worth it for the music alone.

Renton Follies

Courtesy of PopeHat, it appears the kids in Renton are now back to a merely internal witch hunt for those with the temerity to speak out and engage in satire.

Previous coverage HERE.

The Economy

We are, simply, screwed. Not by an invading nation, nor by economic manipulation by hostile foreign interests, but by the vote-buying entitlement and purchasing programs foisted on us by our elected representatives in hopes of continued re-election.

As strongly implied by Anarchangel, and again by Mark Steyn, when it comes to economic bad times, we ain't seen NOTHING yet. The current Depression is just the warm up for when the bills come due, and that day is not likely long in coming.

How bad can it get? Take a look at the events of 1931, with food riots...and extrapolate from that just how much fun we could have in our cities today...

Looking very seriously at moving to more rural climes, here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

London, From Where I Sit..

Everyone, all over the world, seems to be sitting down and firing off opinions on the London Riots (now expanding), their causes, and appropriate responses. Oleg Volk, as usual, makes an insightful point or two, and the Financial Times offers an interesting viewpoint. And then we have Winston Smith, offering a view from the British common subject.

I might as well chime in with my own oddball views.

Britain is rapidly approaching the status of a failed nation, a status purchased through years of socialist policy undermining concepts of personal responsibility and consequences attaching to ones own actions combined with a heady broth of class warfare - what, heaven help us, the current administration attempts to foist on us, with likely the same long term result.

If Bratton can advise, so can I.

First off, once you lose control of a city the time for policing in the ordinary sense, is done. It is time to impose a curfew and bring in the regiments on a street by street sweep with fixed bayonets and live ammunition. The gloves are off on the side of the rioters - attempting to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules in dealing with them is merely a certain recipe for failure. Burning down the capitol city is not, typically, acceptable behavior and merits returning to old school solutions.

Not nice, not PC, but damned effective.

To causes. Ladies and gentlemen of Britain - the way you do things is not only broken, but it's been broken for a very long time, and fixing it is going to hurt. When the breakage is based on fundamentally faulty assumptions, repairing the damage hurts.

"The state will be there", and particularly "the state will be there to protect you and yours, thus you don't need those tacky self-defense tools" are two such assumptions.

The money is running out. The cost of social and governmental programs now exceeds what tax revenue can support, and the goose with the golden eggs has already been put to flight - those who aren't fleeing the country for tax purposes are giving it serious consideration (at least those with a shred of either sense or self-preservation).

In the face of the recent riots, your so-called conservative government is still reducing police staffing. Your government is still busy *thinking* about sterner measures to protect you...while your cities burn. Your nation has become so concerned about the feelings and well-beings of miscreants that those of the law-abiding and hard-working have become naught but hollow assumptions based on a foundation of molded sugar on a sandy beach with the tide coming in.

You can reverse this. But it will involve difficult choices, and the re-growth of the long-dormant yet just famous British backbone. You will have to reign in social programs. The NHS, in all its dystopian glory, will need to be privatized. Industry will have to be promoted, as will entrepreneurs. You cannot have peace without at least the HOPE of opportunity, and a stranglehold on business - even in the name of safety, fairness, and smurfhood - tends to quash such hopes. Desperate folks tend to do desperate things.

You will need to re-introduce the notion of consequences for bad acts. Both immediate, by allowing your citizens to exercise the fundamental right of self-defense against criminal assault with all the tools modern technology affords us, and long term through the use of meaningful and effective punishments.

There will be consequences to your good acts, as you will be breaking with generations of state-encouraged parasitism and irresponsibility. There will be riots. And they will need to be suppressed. Vigorously.

To rioters and protesters? You start burning down cities, getting to play with the big kids is the risk you take. The gloves come off at that point, as you are endangering civilization. If it's important enough to you that you're willing to take that risk - go for it. If not, don't whine when the regiments show up.

To parents and co-residents? If you want to keep your subsidized or outright granted housing, you need to keep criminals (even those related by blood) out of your homes.

Granted, this is just an off the cuff overview, the very worst of armchair quarterbacking. But, if we're all to comment, that's about what I'm willing to spend on it.

You have my best wishes for good luck, and my regrets that I cannot offer you much hope. From where I sit, you look to be on an irretrievable downward spiral to failed nation status.

Playing Catch-Up

Could you modify that so the kids can't get so advanced?

Yuma Gun Store Owner Sues ATF

A new shooting sport

Citizen intervenes, arrests perpetrator in Skyway shooting (introductory article)

A good idea in Florida...pre-emption with teeth...

Rick Perry on Gay Marriage

A new Anti-Viral - Very promising...

Madness Abroad

Exciting ways to waste money and go broke faster...

A store not to visit...

Most Dangerous Range Ever

Getting it right in Tampa...

Economic view from Hong Kong

Volokh's View on Renton Follies

SAF progress in Mordor

Huffpo notices Fast'n'Furious

It's a contract, stupid - and you defaulted

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brokest State in the Union?

Mordor (known to the less perceptive as Illinois), is the leading candidate for that distinction after years of not only being run as the personal fiefdom of the Daley clan and their assorted minions.

Not only do they fail to understand that self-defense is a fundamental human right (and that the Second Amendment applies to them, just as to any other state), they appear to have some rather limited financial skills amongst their electeds.

An argument for same sex marriage...

While far from the most objective journal in existence, the Seattle Gay News from time to time comes up with these little gems in their specialized purview that illustrate better than anything else why not only is domestic partnership simply not good enough, a status quo that refuses to acknowledge extra-jurisdictional marriages or lawful marriages performed under the laws of the states is actively bad.

A bigoted and grasping family attempting to rape a spouse of survivors benefits is far from an argument for virtue or civilization. Expelling the primary care-giver and spouse of a person suffering with AIDS, with the logical trade-off that said person will then need to (most likely paid by the government) hire an expensive professional care-giver is not an argument based in logic or sanity.

Equality before the law is not only more moral, it's *cheaper* - and in a time when our nation is suffering record deficits with ever greater insupportable obligations mounting due to the fiscal adventurism of the scoundrel in chief and his merry band of co-conspirators, cheaper is certainly a vast and mighty virtue.

It's time for this foolishness to end. Marriage, for the sake of legal sanity alone (if not for the sake of decency and simple morality) is and must remain a matter for the states and various foreign nations to define, not the federal government - with the codicil that the states must recognize and honor all of the marriages performed by every other state and foreign nation that in turn recognize all marriages performed by that state, OR recognize none of the marriages performed in or under the auspices of non-compliant states and nations.

If you don't like same sex marriage, don't have one. Otherwise, mind your own damned business.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where Great Britain used to be...

There exists a lesser land, a people of soul deformed, worthy of neither fear nor respect...merely pity.

Smallest Minority discusses the current burning of London, and shares a revealing then and now moment comparing the Britain that once was great, to the dystopian shambles extant there now...

Neither fear nor respect, merely pity.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Renton's Keystone Kops....

Renton Police, lacking other duties to occupy their time, are now busily engaged in a witch hunt to uncover the identity (even serving a search warrant against Google) of an anonymous satirist posting a number of cartoons about the adventures of an unnamed police officer in an unidentified police department at an unspecified location.

Not just lacking a sense of humor, but anything resembling a sense of prudence, Renton Police officials (after being turned down by the County Attorney) got an apparently addled city prosecutor (to steal a line, "is that the sound of prosecutorial immunity flying away on tiny little bat wings?") decided to rush out and announce that the depicted wildly dysfunctional police department was, in fact, the Renton Police Department.

Not satisfied with announcing their own dysfunction quietly, they chose to do so with great vigor - claiming that because the cartoons might hurt various folks delicate feelings such that the cartoons qualified as cyber-stalking under Washington Law (RCW 9.61.260) - somehow forgetting about the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (and Article I, Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution) - and talked Judge Bruce Cayce into signing off on a questionably constitutional search warrant to be served on Google to produce the identity of the poster of the parody.

Witch hunt well in progress, things began to unravel - with journalists of various stripes taking glee in ridiculing Renton, with little more effort than publicizing Renton's actions...which are sufficiently absurd and vindictive as to largely speak for themselves. And to provide top quality material for editorial page cartoonists and late night talk show hosts across the land.

Mr. Fiddlesticks, whoever you are, I salute you! Not just for the gracious gift of a fair amount of evil laughter, but for exposing a level of dysfunction at a mid-size police department that indicates a desperate need for the light to shine on in, but for then cleverly provoking said department and city officials into not merely self-identifying, but self-identifying in such a way as to bear out every allegation hinted at in the parody cartoons and more. My hat is off to you, sir or madam!

Enjoy the cartoons below!!










A letter to the DePere Electeds & the Green Bay Press Gazette

Seems the City Electeds of DePere, WI are all panicky that concealed carry is legal in their state now and are all in a hurry to find exciting new ways to ban it in their fair city. My response, more or less, below.

The sky is not falling.

Wisconsin is the 49th state in the union to end its absolute prohibition on concealed carry, with 37 of those states "shall-issue" states basing issuance on objective minimum standards (like Wisconsin). Meet the standards, you get your permit/license. Don't meet the standards? No permit/license.

In the 49 states with some form of issue, and the 37 states with "shall-issue" there would appear to be a distinct absence of the "blood in the streets" and "wild west" scenarios with lawful concealed carry in place that loom large in the deluded fantasies of opponents. Historically, folks willing to jump through the hoops of the various jurisdictions to lawfully carry have significantly lower rates of violent crime per capita than the general public.

Washington, my home state, has had shall-issue based on objective standards lawful concealed carry since 1961. Our world hasn't ended. And there are only four officially naughty kinds of places where folks with CPL/CCW are legally barred from carry.

1) Areas of establishments serving liquor restricted to persons 21+ only.
2) The secure area of mental hospitals.
3) The secure portion of a jail or prison.
4) Courtrooms.

(2) - (4) have worked out well for us, and make a fair amount of sense. (1) is a bit more questionable given the evidence available when we observe states that have lawful bar carry for CPL-holders (usually with an intoxication qualifier similar or identical to the local DUI standard, though the absence of this standard does not appear to increase casualties). Oregon, for instance, allows bar carry and does not impose an intoxication standard - but oddly, bloodshed isn't occurring at any greater rate than in Washington, which forbids bar carry. That would tend to argue that banning bar carry is an infringement without a benefit - one that results in firearms being left in cars and other less than ideally secure locations while owners go to the bars to hang out with friends.

If De Pere officials wish to act rationally, rather than out of emotionalism and panic, they might do well to observe how things have worked out where we've been doing this for awhile. In Washington, for over 40 years, it's been legal to carry concealed firearms in City Halls, firehouses, city pools, the community centers, well and pump stations and municipal service centers state wide - without world shattering consequences.

I find it difficult to believe that the people of DePere specifically, or Wisconsin generally, are so uniquely stupid/evil/incompetent as to make similar provisions more dangerous than we observe with Washingtonians.

Best of Wishes,


To contact DePere, WI leadership *POLITELY* please feel free to use the below

Last, First Title Telephone Facsimile Email
Bauer, Kevin Alderperson - Third District 920-309-1436
Boyd, James Alderperson - First District 920-336-0305
Donovan, Michael Alderperson - Third District 920-336-9471
Heuvelmans, Robert Alderperson - Fourth District 920-336-7822
Lueck, Larry Alderperson - First District 920-339-8339
Robinson, Daniel Alderperson - Second District 920-347-0828
Van Vonderen, Kathleen Alderperson - Fourth District 920-336-1847
Walsh, Michael City Mayor 920-339-4040
Wilmet, Robert Alderperson - Second District 920-336-6354