Quote of the Day – Bruce Schneier (8/26/2014)

The White House is refusing to release details about the security of healthcare.gov because it might help hackers. What this really means is that the security details would embarrass the White House.

Bruce SchneierSecurity by Obscurity at Healthcare.gov Site
August 26th, 2014


[I have nothing else to add. -B]

 

Surprise, Feds making it up as they go along!

So some somewhere got his panties in a bunch.  even more entertainingly the feds are claiming they have the right and authority to ban it and regulate it.

There are so many things I can comment about that piece. Such as “lets run to the airport and tell some pilots people are shooting skyward.” Tell me, what the hell is trap and skeet shooting, there’s a reason they use shotguns in the sport not rifles.

Moving forward we have the feds claiming their aircraft and creates a safety hazard while then having the following Charlie Foxtrot:

But the question here is not why the FAA considers hand-sized drones to be aircraft, regardless of their size or the altitude at which they’re operated.  But why it can’t decide that an 1100 pound passenger-carrying Flying Hovercraft that looks like an aircraft – wings and all – and can fly at speeds of 70 miles per hour (and more) and at altitudes of 20 feet to more than 50 feet in the air, over water or land, is also an aircraft.  These flying machines, called WIG craft or wing in ground effect craft, fly on the air cushion created by aerodynamic lift due to the ground effect between the craft and the surface, the same as occurs between any aircraft and the ground on landing.  

Not to mention the complete destruction of the hobbyist activity of RC aircraft by reclassifying everything as a drone. Know why the FAA is now going that route to attack the activity? Because they keep losing their arguments on why they have the power.

So here’s a set of rhetorical questions:

  • If our elected officials are not held accountable to the same laws and regulations they create over us, why should anyone comply or care?
  • If regulatory agencies are constantly modifying and changing the rules to grow their power, why should anyone comply or care about them any more?
  • If regulatory agencies are using their power to stop activities which harm no one but the people in charge disagree with for political reasons, why should anyone comply or care?

America is a Republic, and what we’re seeing is the destruction of law through bureaucratic fiat. Me thinks I need to build a couple just for lunch time destruction during Boomershoot. Hey if it’s my own personal property, !@#$ off! There isn’t any commercial aspect involved.

Barron why do you want to shoot at drones?
Because !@#$ YOU!!! That’s WHY!

**Seriously I had no interest in doing such a thing until I saw they’re trying to stop it. Now it’s like owning a 100 round drum magazine that freezes after firing 10 rounds. I need one just because you said I can’t have one!

Hat tip “The short lady with the grey hair” (Otherwise known as my mom.)

Puritan: Someone that is afraid someone, somewhere is having fun.

Quote of the Day – Jeff Colonnesi (8/19/2014)

There is a serious problem that needs to be addressed in this country when infant gas masks are a reasonable part of emergency supplies, for the sole reason that they might be needed for protection against ones own government.

Jeff Colonnesi – Facebook Comment
August 18, 2014


[I have nothing else to add other than Nomex/kevlar blankets might be good for your kid to sleep in too along with a sloped cover for your child's crib. Otherwise cops might look at it like a basketball hoop. -B]

Sweat the little stuff

I’ll start with a little background on what prompted this post. Yesterday was an especially frustrating day at work. It wasn’t so much that there was any terrible thing that happened, but it was more of the same little frustrating things. Yesterday hit some of my team members especially hard which in turn hit me hard since I’m the project manager. In reality, it’s not really any different, good or bad, than it was a few months ago, but these types of things are cumulative and at times exponential. I’ll come back to this later.

This got me thinking about how relatively little things in the past have added up to bigger things. If we look back to the events of April 19th, 1775, it could have just as easily been just another day in colonial America, but it wasn’t. Individually, the events of Lexington Green, the North Bridge, and Miriam’s Corner don’t add up to a revolution, but tensions had been building for the better part of a decade leading up to this. For years, the colonials had been dealing with and pushing back on the Intolerable Acts, and once the Regulars started the powder raids, it really kicked things up a notch. The key point here is that the events of April 19th add up to more than the sum of their parts because of all the relatively little things that preceded them.

This brings us to a question that is often asked but never answered. Where does that put us today? The truth is that we really don’t know. The colonials couldn’t have told you April 18th that tomorrow they would become Americans, and I can’t tell you today when things will change for us, but I believe that tensions are high and the powder keg is not far from being lit. Our version of the events of April 19th could be just around the corner, or it could be years away, but a relatively small chain of events could happen at any time. It could have been Ruby Ridge, Waco, or the Bundy Ranch, and it could just as easily be in my home state with the seemingly imminent passing of I-594.

My hope is that your take-away from this is that maybe we should sweat the small stuff a little more. I don’t mean you should stress about every little thing that happens, but you should be aware that those little things can add up to more than the sum of their parts. In your work life, remember that all the little things can add up be they good or bad. Saying hello to everyone and little complements can really make it a much more positive place just like the opposite is true. In the rest of your life, be just as aware of the small things because you never know what the next Miriam’s Corner is going to be. Stay vigilant and maybe sweat the little stuff a little bit more.

~BSB

Apologists, Syncophants, and Surrender Monkeys

imgresSo the last piece related to the NRA had two distinct responses. There was a third type but that was largely only done by a single individual and he was the exception more than the rule.

The first type of response was simply that of agreement and relaying that they had encountered similar issues within fights in their .

The other, largely the source of this blog post was blindly defensive of the NRA without actually discussing any of the issues why, there was one exception as noted above. Which brings me around to the post title.

What was I really focused on?

It appears that the crux of my complaint was missed or oblivious to people so let me lay it out here:

Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?

Think about that for a second, they called asking for money but are no where to be seen in the 591/594 fight. End result I am spending my personal time and effort doing what they aren’t.

The response from others:

There were people who left comments to the effect of:

It’s just so much easier to bitch about the NRA than get off your ass and do something for yourself though.

Or the ever entertaining:

The gun culture will be destroyed when your last neuron stops firing from blood loss. Apparently, people like Barron, are cowards who will obey gun laws, gun confiscation,etc. If you have and love guns, you need to understand and be prepared to do the unthinkable if it comes down to it. I would hope that the gun culture in Washington will only be destroyed when there is physical death and destruction of every gun loving resident in that great state and not before that point. I guess people in New York and CT have harder balls than people i Washington.

That last comment is by someone who obviously is not familiar with the legislation and what it’s actually doing. Not to mention this seems like the rantings of someone perpetuating the “deranged knuckle-dragging stereotype.” I’d also like to point out that the goal of combat and war is not to die for your cause or principles, it’s to make the other poor bastard die for his. I-594, while certainly creating a system of backdoor gun registration, does much worse. I-594 makes felons from those who engage in instruction, sport, and education with its overly broad definitions. You’re right, the gun culture will die with my last breath because I was effectively prevented from bringing new people into the sport.

Where it all comes together:

The biggest gold mine was Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.18 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.33 AM

First, a quick reminder, let’s I wrote the post. Now lets rip apart those arguments shall we?

The NRA is working to elect pro gun candidates in every state. That’s a very bold statement, that would mean they’re working to elect pro gun candidates right here in Washington since it’s every state. Let’s look at the PDC shall we?Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 8.44.34 PM


The reason that the I-676 numbers are specifically called out is because the argument is the NRA is supporting candidates right?  We quickly discover that by far the biggest contributor to elections in Washington since 1998 isn’t the NRA but WAGOAL. By a ratio of ~1.5 to 1. But lets see exactly where the NRA is spending our donations.Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 2.01.17 PM

So it seems the NRA has a solid covering, but what is interesting is some of those candidates aren’t in serious battle areas. They are already very “red” and quite pro-gun as it’s the more rural parts of the state. Interestingly though Pam Roach, who is quite honestly one of the most gun friendly people up for reelection, is in a heated showdown to retain her seat has only a single contribution from the NRA this year. Know what’s interesting about that? She is quite literally in the middle of some of the most gun unfriendly territory in the state. So explain how the NRA is going to be helping pro gun candidates, when it seems their philosophy is to fire a shotgun at the wall and hope that something sticks. If you have limited funds, one should make sure to maximize the effect from what you do spend. Same goes for residents, comparing the NRA to say WAGOAL in terms of supporting candidates, I’m sending my money to WAGOAL.*

WAGOAL may look light on this years donations to political candidates, however they have contributed heavily to the 591/594, where normally they would be focused on candidates not an initiative battle; which when taken into account easily moves them to twice what NRA has contributed this election cycle, even with the NRA’s shell campaign.

What changed?

In 1997 the NRA committed, quite heavily I might add, to defeating I-676.  As you can see above the NRA brought over $2 million into the fight. This time we get crickets.

We get a lack of commitment on an opposing initiative that would help secure a legal challenge in the even I-594 passes. We get a battlefield of restraints our local representatives are constrained by. Ultimately I see the process of engineering for failure.

So how do I view this overall?

When you criticize the NRA or question the notion that the NRA is the “gun owners best friend and can do no wrong” mentality, you get excuses. Sort of like the battered spouse crying “Sure he beats and rapes me but he protects me from all these other things! He’s a good provider!”

Others see that parallel with the NRA’s relationship to gun owners. They claim that the NRA is fundamentally opposed to any idea that didn’t originate in Virginia, that the NRA is unwilling to work with other pro-gun organizations and that the NRA is the first to claim credit when things go well – and shift the blame with equal vigor.

These same people who then tell us that the NRA response to I-594 and I-591 is precisely what we should expect – a token effort or a shell campaign opposing I-594 so that NRA “leaders” in Virginia can claim victory if I-594 is defeated, and that “well, we tried” should it win. That we should be unsurprised when the NRA dismisses I-591 as irrelevant – as, after all, not only was I-591 not born in the depths of the NRA halls of Virginia, it was homegrown. After all, nothing good EVER happens when gun owners think for themselves and take the lead. That is the modern NRA – not the NRA of 1997, still equipped with a spine and marching into the fight with $2,000,000 in their pocket.

Objectively it almost seems as if there’s actually two different NRA’s.  There is local NRA and field reps trying to find ways to be effective locally — whether that is testifying to the legislature or standing behind a booth at the fair, working a gun show, or any other task an activist must do.

Then we have the second NRA, sitting on the pocketbook – dismissive and uninvolved, a bureaucratic multi-headed monster in Virginia that works against those local representatives. The body that coughed up a total of $25,000 late in the game, in a seeming act of self-serving symbolism.

Representing that NRA we have Brian Judy, an NRA Senior State Liaison, has worked tirelessly within the dysfunctional ball field the Medusa of Virginia created in the Washington initiative battle and was fantastically effective during the Legislative Hearings in Olympia. Judy literally crushed the opposition without blinking an eye and did it effectively, without reserve, with an educational tone that nailed the subject at hand.

The NRA serves a purpose – but I seriously wonder how much they are really self-serving versus actually serving gun owners. They were helpful during the national fight January 2013, but at the same time they stabbed Washington State in the back – was that two NRA’s working to cross purposes?

Maybe it’s time to start working on solid local leadership we can depend on – if we cannot depend on the NRA of Virginia.

*Note I do not represent or claim to represent WAGOAL and could care less where you send your money. I am merely providing the information as an educational service. Do with it as you please.

Area of Operations
Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?
The representatives local to the state of Washington.

Quote of the Day – Karl Denninger (8/15/2014)

A very large number of black people aren’t rioters and thugs just like a very large number of white people don’t go around pointing machine guns at people and kidnapping them.  The common thread among all of those who don’t do the nasty things is that they’re not criminals, and have an inherent civil right to resist violence attempted against their person — a right that is constantly under assault by those who do commit the evil acts, whether they happen to have magical blue suits on or not.

Karl Denninger - Let’s (Properly) Rewrite A News Story

August 14, 2014


[First go read the whole thing, it's absolutely worth it and illustrates one of my biggest problems with law enforcement and how they're treated. Here's an illustrative picture of exactly what he's talking about.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

K, all read up? Here is another recent incident:

image33

That woman is pointing the firearm at another person, her finger is on the trigger. There is no question that woman is committing assault with a deadly weapon.  However thanks to the fact she's a police officer in the LAPD this has just been kicked to internal affairs and she will at most get a slap on the wrist.

Think about that for a second. A cop can do this:

checkpointguns3

and it's perfectly acceptable and OK. Never mind rule 2. Cops evidently are exempt and when they point a gun at someone it is NOT a threat of deadly force, it's just them doing what cops do. This is NOT acceptable in a free society and should not be tolerated. The problem is, who's policing the police. That's right, they've made it us vs them and that's why Ferguson has turned into a battle ground. If I heard there was a militia rolling that way tomorrow it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

If you aren't questioning the militarization of law enforcement compare it now to 20 years ago. This crap needs to stop.

Besides, when cops behave like the above is it any surprise that innocent unarmed people are shot? The rules exist for a reason. -B]

2,000 Times….

That’s how many time’s I’ve hit the submit button. This post is #2000 that I’ve published. I saw this morning when I went to check on the blog it was sitting at #1999. We’ll there’s a post scheduled for later this morning but I like nice even round numbers.

So here’s a couple Ear Worms to start off your morning:

Make sure you actually let this play at least to 1:30, the rest is an intro. Real song starts @1:48.
(I know not everyone likes heavy metal.)

Beware it might get dusty…

Quote of the Day – William McCormick (8/14/2014)

A valid point Mike. Not a contradiction of mine, but ….I have to say, one of my biggest beefs with the LE community. If you want my respect and consideration, that REQUIRES you to police yourself.

[Emphasis mine]
William McCormick – Facebook comment
August 13, 2013


[This was in reference to an incident by LAPD where they shot and killed a hostage after shooting every last square inch of a vehicle. I don't know all the details of said shooting. I do know if I shot an killed an innocent person while trying to defend myself in such a reckless manner I would be prosecuted for not exercising judicious marksmanship.

Look I get it, some times bad things happen. Problem is just because of your job you shouldn't be held to a lower standard than everyone else. If anything it should be higher. More importantly that statement above illustrates my issues with law enforcement currently quite accurately. I don't hate them, I don't think their all evil. I however have no respect for them as they cannot even keep their own house clean.

Doubly so as we then have people in the Seattle PD who go out and publicly endorse things like I-594, as members of the department. You want to make me a felon for teaching people how to shoot a firearm and I'm supposed to respect you for it? Thankfully WACOPS doesn't support I-594 and it's a glimmer of hope, but publicly denouncing that type of behavior goes a long way for the public trust, which at this point is dying. And at least WACOPS isn't someone doing so as a member of the department but as an organized body. I view this as the equivalent of me stepping up and saying something while claiming to be representative of my employer. Military members are not to make political statements while in uniform, why is it different for the police? -B]