Thursday, October 16, 2014

Does your NAME define your life?

Statehouse Shootout: Pa. lawmaker exchanges gunfire with would-be robber | Fox News:
(H/T: Lagniappes Lair)

The two suspects were caught close to the scene of the robbery, and two more teens were later arrested as accomplices. The Inquirer reported the suspects, 17-year-old Jamani Ellison, 15-year-old Jyair Leonard, 17-year-old Derek Anderson and 15-year-old Zha-quan McGhee, were all charged as adults. The group was charged with multiple crimes, including attempted homicide, conspiracy, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Is there something about your given name which drives you to crime?

I lost my cell phone yesterday - Random Search Patterns

Stupid little black box, my cell phone hides itself in the most inconvenient places.

The worst of it it is, we take phones for granted.  When we get up to go someplace, we put it in our pocket and forget about it until we need it.

And when we need it, we really need it.

I sometimes forget how much I depend upon my stupid phone, but there comes a time when it can make all the difference.

Other Technical Issues:
This week, my COMCAST Internet connection changed on me.  Well, it's not the general theme, but my modem was deemed 'outdated' (COMCAST's definition is "end of life", but that's another story) and I had to buy a new, improved modem.  When it showed up in the mail yesterday (actually, I think it was shipped via UPS and who knows how much cost to me) I was delighted.  Every time I signed onto the Internet for the past couple of months, I had to change my "adapter settings" (whatever THAT means!) to establish the Internet connection.   So I was glad to get the new modem, which was ... one assumes .. not near "end of life".

But as soon as I installed the new modem, it quit working!  And within moment of that realization, when I tried to get to my cell phone to complain .. I realized I didn't know where it was.

Looked for the cell phone all yesterday, and most of today.  Searched all the usual places (pockets, charging stations, between my mattress and the bed frame); looked in the freezer and the refrigerator *you've never put your car keys in the fridge?  You're too young to understand.*

I even performed a "Drunkard's Walk", which computer programmers understand, but 'real people' don't.  It's often more effective than a Binary Search, in 'hectic' ir 'chaotic' situations.  When your life is chaos, your solutions are often most effective when they, too, are chaotic.  That means 'unstructured' or 'unplanned'.  Or just 'not logical'.  Logic is the curse of the Programmer, and of society.  Life is not Logical.

Finally, I performed the ultimate search pattern:  I quit looking for my cell phone.

I spent today reading, tried to forget that I was needing my cell phone.

At 8pm I started doing my dishes (oh, I didn't mention that my dishwasher is also kaput?  Bad news comes in threes --- I need new brakes on my car, too).  At 8:15 pm I decided to wash the dishes, since my dishwasher is non-working, and when I grabbed an apron to keep from getting soaked .. I found the phone in an apron pocket.

I could have sworn that it has been two days since I washed dishes, but there was the cell phone.

If I had focused on searching, I would NEVER have found the damn phone. It wasn't where I would expected it.

The Drunkard's Walk search didn't work, but the "stop looking for it" did.

Such Is Life:

You know, when you strive to force 'Life' to meet your requirements, it never happens.  Sometimes ... often ... usually, the best thing you can do to achieve success is to not TRY so damn hard!

Fortunately, I'm lazy and irresponsible.  I function best, when I TRY least to be funtional.

I'm getting really good at being incompetent.    Hey, I found my cell phone, and I got my new modem working by (Real Men will not like this) not trying, and by asking for help.

Oh, my modem?  I re-installed my old modem, got online, asked COMCAST for help, and they performed some magic which is not mentioned in the installation manual.  As it turned out, there are things that need to be done to convert to the New Generation modem which the customers can't do.

PS:

Oh, yeah .. I managed to find my phone without using Find My Iphone.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Center For Disease Control: Why NRA lobbied to stop their 'research' on "Gun Violence"

New Jovian Thunderbolt: CDC:
(October 12, 2014)

 I'm getting tired of liberals whining, "if only the Rethuglicans didn't block the funding the Centers for Disease Control could study gun violence and help put an end to it."
I'm so grateful for this opening. I've been wanting to talk about the CDC and their campaign against private firearms ownership.

---

Several years ago (1993+), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) .. a federal agency ... experienced a Rite of Passage wherein their researchers were spending an inordinate amount of their time and efforts, not to mention (public) funding, railing against Gun Violence.  They had tons (figuratively speaking) of comments about the injuries incurred upon the American Citizenry due to firearms injuries.

Well .. they're doctors,  They can't help but be outraged (even though they are not Emergency Room First Responders, or whatever the terminology is) by the number of people who appear in hospitals all across America with Gunshot Wounds.  You can't blame them for their societal concerns.  Only for the way in which they misused their office to effect their personal goals.

You would have to be a callous person .. perhaps even an NRA member .. not to be appalled by the injuries which gun violence performs on Americans every single day. Of course .. firearms violence is no more driven by guns and inexpert firearm owners than crappy music is by guitars and singers with nasal blockages.

Gun Violence is to Violence as as Country Music is to Music ...Horrible.  A bad influence, perhaps, but not the single driving cause of Badness.

And for those who really LIKE Country Music, I offer my apology;  I think it sucks, but I'm not blogging against Buck Owens singing "I've Got A Tiger Tail It's Plain To See .. although I think somebody should.  But that's just me.

Perhaps that's a better model than it seems.  Just because you don't like Country Music, that doesn't necessarily mean that all music is bad.

And just because Gun Violence is horrible, that doesn't necessarily  mean that Guns .. and the people who own them .. are also bad.

Somewhere, CDC got all confused about the cause, and the effects.  They assumed that Guns were the progenitor of Violence.

Just as I think Country Music is the progenitor of Discord.

Maybe we were both wrong?

Well, I've learned to enjoy listening to Patsy Cline.  And just because I cannot abide Buck Owens is no reason to tar all Country Music with the same brush.

But the CDC's attitude toward firearms is another story.

For one thing ... perhaps The Most Important Thing ... they are a Public Trust.  That is, we pay them to protect us from Disease.  You know?  Like .. Ebola?  We don't pay them to decide that a social situation that is also a Civil Right should be treated as if it were a disease.

The word "Disease" has a clear, well established definition: and that no more includes the free exercise of a Civil Right (eg: ownership of a firearm) than it does to exercise of a Privilege (eg: ownership of an automobile). .. both of which lead to thousands of deaths, annually.  These deaths occur because of abuse, not because of the inherent utility of the right or the privilege, but because of the inherent lethality of both mechanisms.

[Liberals like to say that a firearm has only one purpose: to kill people.  Based on the statistics, one would be inclined to say the same about automobiles.  People say that automobiles have "a useful purpose": transportation.  Realists might counter by saying that firearms have an even more 'useful purpose':  Freedom.  But that's a subject for another discussion.]

Getting back to the CDC:

These fine, well-educated, well intentioned folks took it upon themselves a few years (a couple of decades) ago to provide cherry-picked statistical 'facts' which proved (to their own satisfaction) that firearms were a blight upon society.

The provided reams of statistics which proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that firearms murdered thousands of people every year.

And their statics were correct ... thousands of people ARE murdered every year by firearms!

However, in their zeal, they neglected to document (as a famous New Reporter once considered important) :"The Rest Of The Story".

They forgot to consider the number of lives which were SAVED by firearms.

Not in the hands of the police, but in the hands of individual civilians.

So .. what about " ...  if The Rethuglicans didn't block the funding the Centers for Disease Control"?

Set the WayBack machine to 2011: from the New York Times:

The reality is that even these ...  basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research say the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work.
“We’ve been stopped from answering the basic questions,” said Mark Rosenberg, former director of the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was for about a decade the leading source of financing for firearms research.
From 2013:

Research on the prevention of firearm-related injury, supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and coordinated within CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), has come under attack from Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee initially rejected Rep. Dickey's attempt to eliminate the $2.6 million dedicated to CDC firearm-injury research. However, Mr. Dickey prevailed in the full Appropriations Committee. The Dickey amendment would transfer the $2.6 million to regional health education centers. This research has attracted a powerful and wealthy opponent — the NRA. The NRA has taken the position that firearm-related injury research at the CDC amounts to 'antigun' political advocacy and has also attacked the quality of this research. However, research proposals submitted to CDC are subject to a peer review process that follows standard practices. APA's Public Policy Office (PPO) has distributed accurate information to Congress on the nature of CDC-supported firearm-injury research and is advocating against the Dickey amendment.
Also from 2013: CDC Ban on Gun Research Caused Lasting Damage

From 2012:  "The ugly campaign by the NRA to shut down studies at the CDC."
In the 1990s, politicians backed by the NRA attacked researchers for publishing data on firearm research. For good measure, they also went after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding the research. According to the NRA, such science is not “legitimate.” To make sure federal agencies got the message, Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) sponsored an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, the exact amount it had spent on firearms research the previous year.
(BTW, nobody stopped the CDC from researching "Gun Control" issues .. we just stopped giving them our hard-earned tax dollars to pay them to undermine the Second Amendment.  Whoo-- EEE!  You can't believe how quickly they shifted their attention to issues which did NOT undermine the constitution!)

(You may wish to search information on "kellerman", who famously announced that if you had a gun in your home, you were "43 times more likely" to be a victim.  Here is one analysis of that decision.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Face of War

The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic:

" .... war is ugly. It’s hideous."
We need to be reminded of that, from time to time.
“If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it.”
Lest we forget.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rolling Stone interview with "Sonny Crockett"

Don Johnson on 30 Years of 'Miami Vice' | Rolling Stone:

The stubbled star talks about being showered with women's underwear and why the Reagan-era series is ready for a reboot

No, really!  He thinks he's going to do it all over again.

Background checks on gun transfers ARE a hidden "Gun Registration" measure

Last year I was at an IPSC/USPSA match in Oregon when a friend searched me out.

His pistol had fallen out out of his skeleton holster and hit the ground, and by the rules of Practical Pistol competition he was forbidden to touch it without the supervision of a Range Officer.  So I obliged him, of course, and I (safely) picked up his $3,000 race gun and handed it to him.

Then he went looking for someone else who had a similar pistol that he could use to complete the match.

He found another competitor who had a spare similar pistol, and safely completed the match.

He needed it: his C-More sight had taken the brunt of the impact on the hard-packed ground, and was broken.  Eventually, it cost him several hundred dollars to replace the broken electronic-dot sight, but at least he didn't have to drop out of the match.

Under the "Universal Background Check" rules, he would not have been able to rely on the largesse of his friends.


Bloomberg-Gates background check ploy first step to registration, confiscation - National gun rights | Examiner.com:

The first point is, a background check bill is impossible without creating registration data. That was admitted by no less an authority than Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice, who wrote a summary report on gun violence prevention strategies in which he concluded “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration.
Now, let's look at the same scenario under the "Universal Background Check" rules:

Universal Background Checks (may) apply even to temporary "loaning" of a gun at a range, except under certain narrowly defined circumstances.  See below.

The popular understanding is that this applies only to the transfer of ownership of firearms.   That's not necessarily true.

Breaking: Oregon Retro-Gov Kitzhaber PWND by Illegal Alien and his fiance

Oregon ‘first lady’ cops to green-card ‘marriage of convenience’ in exchange for $5G | Fox News:

 Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber got one hell of an October surprise, as his fiance tearfully admitted Thursday to having a green-card marriage to an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant. The stunning admission comes after an alternative newspaper first reported that Cylvia Hayes – who despite being engaged goes by the title “first lady” in the state – had been married, and divorced, three times before. Two of those were known. But the Democratic governor to whom she’s engaged, and the public, apparently didn’t know about the third.

This comes as absolutely no surprise to Conservative Oregonians (both of us!).   Doctor John has been making "bad choices" during his entire political career.

Five Grand?  He should be flattered; his probably-no-longer-to-be wife can honestly claim that she is worth more than he is.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Real "Gun Show Loophole"?

What happens when Liberals get control of a county?

Several years ago (and this is a true story, children.. well, mostly ... but the names have been changed to protect the innocent) in a small North-Western town which we will call "Corn Valley",   which was the County Seat, The County took control of The People.

One day, the County Commissioners (we'll call the county ""Benjamin"),  decided that gun shows would no longer be permitted at the Benjamin County Fair Grounds.

Now, there had been no complaints registered about the Benjamin County Gun Shows, which had been an annual event for decades.  The Citizens of Corn Valley, or of Benjamin County, had not objected to a "Free Market" in firearms.   There was no external reason for the Benjamin County Commissioners to establish a restriction on County Fairgrounds events. In fact, it was a money-making event for both the county and the fairgrounds.

They just decided this was The Right Thing To Do .. and the decision was passed seven-to-one by the Board.

The people of Corn Valley and Benjamin County objected to this arbitrary decision, and so a hearing was held one Tuesday evening at the fairgrounds.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Kroger: "If you don't trust me, I wouldn't trust you

(H/T: "Sharp As A Marble")

Last month, when the MOMS started harassing Kroger, I found a convenient place on their (Kroger) website to enter a comment.  (Look it up for yourself.)

I gave them my name, address and phone number.  I told them that I had been shopping for 'almost everything' at my local Kroger store (in Corvallis, that's "Fred Meyers' Store") for over 20 years, and I wanted to tell them how much I appreciated that they did not cave into the anti-gunners' exploitative pressure for the chain to kowtow to their nonsense.

I told them that the reasons I shopped there were many:  Convenient location, competitive prices, great selection of quality foods and other goods.  I get my prescriptions filled there.  Friendly people .. the clerks always ask if I found everything I wanted, and if I didn't ... I mention it.  Next time, or the time after that when I visit the store, they have stocked it again.

Also, I told them that I "may or may not carry" on their premises, but they won't know because if I did, it would be concealed in accordance to local law, and I'm not inclined to frighten other shoppers.  Most of them are my neighbors.

Finally, I told them that I never, ever, enter a store with a "No Guns" sign on their door.  I'm there to spend money: they're there to make money. I don't look for opportunities to be insulted, or make trouble.  I just want to go home with a full shopping cart.

Besides, a "NO GUNS" sign on the door is an incitement to violence.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Yay!

Durham Clerk of Court Shreds Gun Registry - YouTube:
 Published on Oct 6, 2014
In its 2013 session, the General Assembly repealed a 1935 law that had required Durham residents to register their firearms with the Durham County Clerk of Court. The State of North Carolina granted Archie Smith, Clerk of Court, permission to destroy the records. Sheriff Andrews was on hand this morning to observe and assist with the destruction.




(H/T: "The War On Guns")