Thursday, February 26, 2015

What the HELL is "Net Neutrality"

The FCC Just Voted to Regulate the Internet Like a Utility - Hit &; Run : Reason.com:
In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to radically overhaul the way Internet service is regulated. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the commission’s two Democratic commissioners voted to move forward with the rules. The agency’s two GOP-appointed commissioners opposed them.

"Net Neutrality"

"Obvious Reasons"

I've watched this dialogue, and have NO idea what the issues really are.

Am I "The Only One" who doesn't understand the issues?

It seems to me that somewhere there must be a "Net Neutrality For Dummies" primer which gets past the jargon and actually describes the effect of one side of the dialogue vs the other.

And BTW ... what ARE the dialogue, the positions, and the roots of the controversy?

For myself, I just want to take advantage of the data-streaming provided by ... I don't know, Comcast?

That's my IP  (Internet Provider ... thank you for defining that small piece of jargon!)
... and I also like that I can stream movies, besides email.

Is that the crux of the controversy?  Is one "availability" (Broadband Streaming of Videos) contesting with another "availability"  (Email?)

Surely there's somebody who understands the issues, and can define them in terms which are not jargon-filled.

Someone?

Any one?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ISIS and END OF DAYS

Quotes of the day  Hot Air:  (allapundit)
But people don’t join ISIS, or the Islamic State, because they want better jobs with more benefits. ISIS is one of a long line of anti-Enlightenment movements, led by people who have contempt for the sort of materialistic, bourgeois goals that dominate our politics. These people don’t care if their earthly standard of living improves by a few percent a year. They’re disgusted by the pleasures we value, the pluralism we prize and the emphasis on happiness in this world, which we take as public life’s ultimate end…
The more I hear about ISIS, the more I want to re-read Tom Kratman's "A Desert Called Peace" series.

Again,



Corvair! The Love and the Bane of my life!

As "Unsafe at Any Speed" marks 50 years, Corvair values hit all-time high | Fox News:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed," in which the young Harvard-trained lawyer/activist did a serious hatchet job on what was a very interesting and unconventional American car. But the Chevy Corvair is clearly having the last laugh. Ironically, as the book turns 50, Corvair prices have reached an all-time high.

I owned a 1963 Corvair Spyder (the high-performance model) in College.

After I graduated, and after I came home from the Army, I bought a 1965 Corvair Corsa.  Also the high performance model.

Both were the convertible models.

Both were hot, sexy, and when they ran right they ran with the power of the Elk and the grace of the Gazelle!

Unfortunately, they didn't run that well, that often.

Both had the endemic problem of the rear-mounted engine:  when you pushed them too hard, it threw the fan belt and you had to stop RIGHT THEN and re-install the fan belt.

        If you didn't fix that RIGHT THEN .. in the words of RoboCop ... "...There Will Be Trouble!"



I carried a 1/2"  open wrench and a 5/16" socket wrench, which were the tools necessary to to loosen the idler wheel so I could put the fan belt back on track.

I also carried a spare fan belt, just in case; but it was never needed.  The fan belt was not damaged by the experience;  it just fell off into the rear-deck engine well.

The front end was the trunk.  In the winter (in the 1960-1970 period) in Oregon, we got some fearsome winters with snows six inches or more.  The snow lasted for weeks, to months.  The front of the Corvair was so light, I couldn't steer the car.  I had to put a hundred pounds or more of sandbags in the front-trunk of the Corvair so I could make it around a corner.

But I loved those cars!

162 Years In Prison For Owning A Cell Phone


Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

What if you wrote to your girlfriend every day, and you were a thief, And what if the postmarks on your letters proved that you were in the towns where your thefts occurred on those days?

And what if those letters were seized by the police, and were used to convict you of crimes (of which you were certainly guilty although perhaps not provably), and you were sentenced to prison for 162 years on that basis?

Even though you had never been convicted of a crime before?

And what if the police didn't have a warrant to seize those letters?

Isn't that an infringement on the defendant's constitutional rights?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sterile Guns, Sterile People!

1) All guns are always unloaded2) Unloaded guns are “safe.”  When  around “safe” guns, you can relax!3) When handling “safe” guns, never be  concerned with the direction inwhich they’re pointed.  After all, they’re  not really guns anymore, arethey? There is no reason to even look!4) When  handling “safe” guns, have your finger constantly on the trigger,for good  control


Last week (February 11, 2015) John S. Farnam posted an article - "Sterile Guns, Sterile People" - on his Defense Training, International "QUIPS" website.  In this commentary (which has not yet been added to his website, as of this date), Farnam criticized gun clubs which use the "WEAPONS COLD" range rule.

His postulate is that the COLD RANGE rules lead to the assumption of the mindset which he exemplifies with his (very critical) Range Rules above.


HOT RANGE vs COLD RANGE:

This COLD RANGE rule imposes a requirement that all firearms remain unloaded until the (active shooter) is actually on the firing line, and the firing line is declared "HOT" by the Range Officer/Safety Officer.  At that time, the shooter(s) may load his/their weapon(s).

[At the completion of the exercise, on a Cold Range, every shooter is required to 'unload and show clear'; each individual is inspected by the Range Officer, deemed unloaded and clear, and weapons may not be reloaded again until the shooters are once again on the firing line and under the direct supervision of a Range/Safety Officer.]

This is in direct contrast to a "HOT RANGE", where all weapons are loaded at all times.   At the end of an exercise, shooters are expected to insure that their weapons are loaded before they leave the firing line.

DEEMED UNLOADED: FARNAM IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

The condition with which Farham takes issue is typical of the lax safety measures which most of us have witnessed often at the range.  People who are inexperienced, who have no training, are all too willing to learn how to be ALWAYS safe on the range.  They take safety for granted, and they assume that their friends are just as alert and aware of the safety rules as they are.

And accidents do happen, 'anyway';  that's why they call them "accidents".



How about ... deliberately being shot at?

Winston Churchill once said:
"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."


I've been shot at, and missed, in Viet Nam. In those circumstances, one tends to hug the ground while cursing the thickness of one's uniform buttons which prevent one from melting into the earth.

That's still not quite as frightening as having a gun pointed at your belly, close up and personal; even if you are absolutely certain that the gun is unloaded.

That's why I trained as a Chief Range Officer in USPSA, so I could help people to understand that pointing a firearm ... even one which is demonstrably unloaded ... is A Bad Thing.

I've still had a few unloaded firearms pointed at me.  It's still a frightening experience.  Most of those people learned from the experience.

And so have I.





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

IT ISN'T ABOUT GUNS; IT'S ABOUT CONTROL!

Judge Has Yet To Rule On CA’s “micro-stamping” Law | Gunalizer:

The Second Amendment Foundation, and Calguns Foundation, await a ruling from California Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller. On whether she will prevent the state of California, from its eventual ban, on all new pistol sales in the state. No new pistols meet the requirement, to non-existent “micro-stamping” technology, that’s required for them to be legal for sale. This case was originally filed in 2009.
GUNALIZER provides an update to this important test case about Microstamping.

I spent a large part of my blog hours in 2008 . (that link may not work *).. from February  through July ... in a dialogue with Todd Lizotte, the developer of the concept.  During the actual interview process, I raised a lot of doubts about the ability to modify the manufacturing process from the industrial standpoint, and the reliability of the 'microstamped' data to survive and be viable for investigators of crime.

The viability of the output was secondary; the main problem then, and now, is that manufacturers find it technically unsuitable .... and legally.  If  microstamping' does not work in the real world, the onus goes to the firearm manufacture, not to the 'developer'.

This issue goes beyond New Jersey's "SMART GUN" laws.  At least the Garden State tried to tie it into a commercially available product.   California has not bothered to obfuscate their attempt to ban guns in that state for a variety of 'safety issues', which are thinly vieled measures deliberately designed to drive suppliers out of the state.  The goal, of course, is to dry up the source of firearms to their citizens.

*See below for a summary of the dialogue, and some commentary.


SNARK ALLERT! (Reloads)

Endo Mike offers a video which demonstrates the need to remain "heads up" while reloading, during a defensive firing drill.

Okay, there's a lot of Snark in the comments about using live ammunition while your partner is downrange.  Consider that emphasis on safety to be a valid criticism, and let's move on, shall we?

Seems like the people criticizing the safety issues have a point, but they're missing ignoring the point of the lesson, which is that we need to learn to reload without looking at the gun.

My experience is instructing folks for IPSC/USPSA competition, and it's just as important (though arguably not as vital) to learn to reload while watching the field, rather than the reload, in competition as it is IRL (In Real Life).

IRL, if you can't reload without watching the gun, you're going to potentially miss movement of your 'target' .. which IRL is your opponent in a gunfight.

In competition if you're looking at your gun during a reload, you're going to lose track of the targets (which are steel and cardboard cutouts).   Thankfully, they're not going to shoot back at you .. but they may be moving.  Or, the target array may be so dense that the constitute a Target-Rich Environment, and it's all to easy to lose track of where you left off shooting.  So the best thing to do is to continue focusing your visual attention on the targets, so your attention doesn't wander.

Why is that important?

This is Socialized Medicine

Anger has hearing aids are rationed by the NHS: Hard of hearing patients given only one device to be worn on left or right ear | Daily Mail Online:  (January 25, 2014)
 The NHS has started to ration hearing aids for the deaf – with thousands of people being offered only one device when experts say they need two. Specialists recommend that patients who are losing their hearing in both ears should be offered two aids, but some NHS authorities have started to offer just one to such people, in a cost-cutting exercise that saves a modest £90 per person. The charity Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID, has found four hospital trusts in England and two health boards in Wales now initially offer one aid. 
That's "The Brits", today.

It's America, tomorrow, under ObamaCare.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday in Oregon

Is it still Tuesday?

check the clock .. yeah, 11:35pm, I can still talk about "Today".

We have a saying in Oregon:  "If you don't like the weather .. just wait 5 minutes.  It'll change!"



I love Oregon.  Here it is, February 17, and at 3pm I was enjoying a smoke break on my patio and looking up at Venus in the Western sky.

I had to shade my eyes with my hand to make sure it was really a planet, because the sun was really bright.  I made a note to look up Venus to make sure it was really called the 'morning star'.

The thing is .. it's February .. one week before my birthday ... and I'm standing out here in shorts, sandals and t-shirt admiring a planet.  Enjoying a sunny day.

I've been watching the news about the blizzards and such in the Eastern states, and I admit to feeling just a little bit smug.

People here were out on their front porches, chatting with friends and neighbors.  Dogs were barking,, running around in their fenced yards.  Sparrows were chasing the bees.  It's spring!

Okay, I know it's still winter, but I was thinking about my friend, the Hobo Brasser, who is currently snow-birding in Texas with the lovely Spicey O'Shea (his wife, who always introduces The Brasser as her "First Husband" .. they've only been married about 600 years but she's keeping him in his proper place of respect. ( And Mark, I know you're reading this.)   They left to avoid the winter, but honestly .. winter was last year.  This year ... winter is still last year!

Here's a picture from February 11 of last year:


... you can see, we can't always tell what the weather in Oregon will be like, just by the date.

I lived a couple of years in the Bay Area (California), and I couldn't stand it.  The weather was always the same!  GREY!

Last year I was trying to keep my car from freezing up; this year I'm catching some rays and working on my tan.

I don't know why everybody doesn't live in Oregon, but I'm glad they don't.  I resent the folks from California who move up here after they retire:  We call this the "Californication" of Oregon.

I would have shown you some pictures of the beautiful, warm February day in Oregon THIS year, but then you would all be moving here.  My rent is too high already, so please stay where you are.  I'm sure you're all very nice people, but I can't afford you as neighbors.

Please stay away.  And envy me .. that's A Good Thing To Do on a Tuesday in Oregon.




Four Minutes of Terror

Not EVERYBODY reads gunbloggers.com on a daily basis; if you read THIS blog, you should read that blogfeed.

Here's why: I call it Four Minutes of Terror

Hard to watch | Cornered Cat: In the video below, you’ll see an incredible event: a machete-wielding attacker literally hacks his way through a locked apartment door. The resident does what he needs to do to protect himself and others in the home. It’s like a scene out of a horror movie — but most directors wouldn’t use the footage, because what audience would believe that a door could be so flimsy? Or that someone with a machete would hack his way through it? Nevertheless, this really happened
(The video is embedded in the linked website; click on "Cornered Cat".)

Unfortunately, the Liberal Press contends that home invasions are rare, to the point of 'never happen'.  The video embedded in the above proves otherwise (as does this video link).

Fortunately, the family situation depicted by Cornered Cat turned out .. um, not well (the invader was shot), but the family was uninjured.  Traumatized, of course, but physically unharmed.

The police described this as a justifiable self-defense shooting.

Some anti-gun folks contend that there is no reason why anyone should have a gun.

This shows one reason why people might choose to have a gun.
It may make the difference between being a victim, or a being a survivor.

PS: I need a stronger door.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What is this "Sporting Purpose Exemption" thing of which you speak?

To protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers from the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest when fired from a handgun, the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended, prohibits the import, manufacture, and distribution of “armor piercing ammunition” as defined by the statute. The GCA, however, allows for the exemption of ammunition that would otherwise be considered armor piercing if the Attorney General determines that the specific ammunition at issue is “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” Interpreting the meaning of this statutory language, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has developed a framework that will apply to requests seeking a determination that certain projectiles qualify for this “sporting purpose” exemption ,,,,

There is no "sporting purpose" Exemption.

Except in the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA):

The 1968 Gun Control Act added a "sporting purpose" test which barred imports of military surplus rifles (a goal of many domestic gun makers) and a "points system" for imported handguns which barred from importation handguns based on penalizing features (short barrels, small caliber, short overall length or height, non-adjustable sights, etc.) believed to define the Saturday night special class of handgun.

Domestically produced firearms .. not so much.

The same test can be used to define "Saturday Night Specials"  (also known as "inexpensive handguns which are affordable to the people who live in ghettos").

Actually, that definition accurately describes the Kel-Tec .380 I bought as my backup defensive handgun a few years ago. I don't see anybody trying to take that away from me. What's the difference between that, and a very expensive handgun which will accommodate  "armor piercing ammunition".

So what's the big deal?  Is my Kel-Tec a "sporting purpose" handgun, but a more expensive (and more effective) pistol requires a "sporting purpose exemption" .. because it is more effective?

"They" are still trying to limit our availability to firearms.

First it was cheap pistols, now it's pistols that can penetrate a "bullet proof vest".

Oh, and of course there's the problem of knives, which will penetrate a "bullet proof vest".  Just ask the Brits about how well Knife Control legislation works!   (see also HERE)


How many of you have a clip knife in your pocket now?  I know MY hand is up!



Just how far IS our government willing to go, to deny its citizens defensive weapons to its citizens?

ANSWER:
The federal government is not beyond any treasonous act to disarm its citizens, if they think they can get away with it.  And until we stand up and say something like "MOLON LABE"  (as states are beginning to do this year), the elected representatives of the people will keep pushing to outlaw any defensive tool available by technology.


When you have to shoot ... shoot! Don't talk!

View From The Porch: Dirty pool.: As the great Jewish bandito warrior poet spoke from his bathtub, "When it's time to shoot, shoot; don't talk." The corollary to that is "When it's time to talk, talk; don't shoot your mouth off."

Uh ... if you're going to quote The Good The Bad and The Ugly .. do it right!  (it deserves to be precisely quoted!)

When you have to shoot .. shoot. Don't talk!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Doctor No Has Left The Island

Statement from Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announcing his resignation | Fox News:

I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon.

Personally, I'm delighted that Dr. John Kitzhaber has left the Oregon political scene. The reasons for his oh-so-timely retirement are unimportant compared with the resumption of good government to this state.

Why do I assume he will be replaced by "good government"?

It couldn't possibly be any worse.

(Expanded Fox News background available here)