Saturday, June 25, 2016

"I Am outraged about what you do to Germany, and how disrespectful you are"

(Presented without comment: all text below is from the youtube context.)

(January 21, 2016)

 Germany and Facebook censor users in order to suppress statements that oppose German mass immigration, islamisation, rape and murder of Germans, mostly by muslims. Censorship has been outsourced to the Bertelsmann company Arvato. Most German politicians, incl. socialist Heiko Maas (SPD) and chancellor Merkel are behind its introduction in early 2016.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I Support Universal Background Checks!

I am an experienced, highly trained firearms owner and I support Universal Background Checks.

Most Gun Owners Say the NRA Is Off Target | Mother Jones:
A new survey of gun owners finds widespread support for universal background checks and provides new details on who does and doesn't support the National Rifle Association.
But I do support the NRA, and I consider Mother Jones is anathema.  (THOSE people have their collective heads firmly entrenched in their personal nether regions.)

It's all about definitions.

I like background checks, but it has to be under MY terms, not Mother Jones'!  (What a horrible website name!  I gave up mothering when I learned to drink from a bottle!  Preferably, a smooth Rye Whiskey.)

Here are my terms for a reasonable definition of "Universal Background Checks":

(1)  The Federal Government is NOT a part of it!

Oh, sure, they should be a resource of information ... for my convenience, as an taxpayer.  But they should not be interfering in any lawful commercial exchange between two CITIZENS!  I don't want the Feds to be using any of their 'arbitrary rules-of-the-day' to decide whether or not I should be selling my guns.  I don't care how they view the person I'm dealing with.  I'm not a Licensed Dealer, and all of my private transactions are PRIVATE!

You may say that this would result in a lack of control over firearms.

That's what I'm talking about.  It's part of that whole "Shall Not Be Infringed" thingie.  I'm not selling firearms for personal gain.  I determine from time to time that I own guns which are no longer important to me, and I just want to find them a good home.

(Bear that in mind; exceptions follow!)

(2) All transactions should be processed through the NICS database.

Notice what I did there?  The word "SHOULD" is a lot better than "MUST".   It's not what Uncle Sam's Idiot Minions require; it's what *_I_* require!  (Exceptions noted below.)

I want to know that the person who intends to buy my "cast-off" guns is not a crook, a felon, a terrorist or a Really Bad Guy!   If the potential buyer doesn't meet MY personal perquisites, then I'm not going to sell him the gun.  
That's MY decision .. it's my gun.

 So the Feds have set up this really convenient NICS (National Instant Check System) database where anyone can go to it with the name and address and SSN and stuff, and find out if that potential buyer is legally entitled to own a firearm.

The exceptions are conviction of a felony, and .. uh .. who knows what else.

But the problems are two-fold:

(A) it costs money to do the NICS check, and I'm living on Social Security so I can't afford to pay the fees (no, I don't know if there is a fee attached; I just wanted to get that disclaimer in before some crank accuses me of being cheap.  Which I am, but that's a matter of circumstances, not a character flaw.)   And why should the Buyer expect to pay another $x for a background check?   That's your problem, not ours.
If he (the buyer) has a choice of buying a gun from someone who requires a background check, and someone who does not ... if the background check costs him money, he'll go for the irresponsible gun owner every time.

(B) the NICS check is not currently available to Private Citizens!Why Not?  If we private citizens are required to vet purchasers of our guns, they why should we be required to depend on someone else to do that for us?  They may lie to us, and then we (private sellers) are responsible for the consequences!
No, if the Feds want firearms transfers to be based on their records (which they do) and they want to hold sellers responsible (which they do) then they need to give us the ability to vet our buyers.
Note the word 'give' in the preceding sentence.  That's right; don't charge us for this, fellas, 'cause it's your idea.  Not mine.
(If you can't afford to staff your call center, then cut the pay of Congress-critters by 10% and cut the budget for their staff by 70%.   Those folks are only sucking on the federal tit anyway, and 90% of the laws they pass are not necessary.  They're the ones who are proposing laws to infringe on our constitutional rights, anyway. Maybe if they don't get paid so much or staffed so deeply, they'll be less inclined to make new laws to mess up their constituents.  It's a Win/Win deal!)

(3) The Government Should Not Be Involved ...
... other than their duty to respond promptly to requests for verification (via NICS) that a prospective buyer is not a felon or otherwise ineligible to purchase a firearm.

They should just give the information, and whatever warnings which may seem appropriate.

This seems ... odd to you?

Keep in mind that only law-abiding citizens are going to use this facility.  Folks who don't care if they're selling guns to a felon are not going to bother accessing the legal check system.

Folks who DO use the system, need the information to guide them in their determination to only sell to people who are legal firearms owners.  (Even if they don't have a firearm the, they are legal firearms owners if they are not mentally ill or a felon.  Or perhaps if they're on the "Terrorist Watch List", or whatever other mode de jure the Feds are using to  to identify 'bad guys without guns'.)

(4) The Firearm Will Not Be Identified ...
... because when that occurs it constitutes REGISTRATION of firearms, which is NOT constitutionally acceptable because "abridged".   See Rule Two.

When a firearms transaction is contemplated, the only criteria is whether the receiver is legally 'permitted'  by law to purchase a gun.  It doesn't matter what gun, it only matters what person.   I don't want Washington to know what guns I own, because Federal Oversight is just another term for 'infringement' of my rights.  I have a right to own the gun, and as personal private property I have a right to sell it.  Just like a car .. except that a car must be licensed because its ownership is not Constitutionally protected.

If the feds have information about the FIREARM, they will record and track that.  NOT the purpose of the process.  The NICS was not (theoretically) established to track firearms transfers; it was established to keep the firearms out of the hands of felons.

Nobody who goes to the effort of checking with NICS is trying to sell 'crime guns'.  (Yes, I might be willing to discuss a 'different' set of rules for Firearms Dealers; we already know they're regulated to death, but they're in the business and have already accepted the regulations.  If they want to set up their own set of rules, fine;   these are MY rules for PRIVATE transactions of PERSONAL property.  They and The Feds can hash it out between them.  Just don't step on my rights as a private citizen, okay?)

on any proposed transaction which fails to certify the prospective purchaser from buying a firearms.
They must do that in person, by sending a law-enforcement officer to the residence and/or place of business of the rejected purchaser.

(As the seller, it's not my job to enforce the law; I need only tell the purchaser that his application to purchase a firearm has been denied, and I'm out of it.  I don't know why 'denied', nor do I care.   The only issue is if the purchaser decides to take it out on me because I won't complete the sale.  Let The Seller Beware!)

The Federal Government has the following obligations:
The (rejected) purchaser, having already provided proof of identity to the seller, should be advised of his/her rights, and a thorough review of the reasons WHY the purchase was denied must be reviewed.  The purchaser will be advised of his/her rights and provided the opportunity to contest the denial, in a court of law.  If necessary, if the purchaser cannot afford an attorney, one shall be provided.

This whole business of arbitrary alienation and abridgement of Constitutional Rights stops right there.

If the investigation disproves of the reasons why the purchase is contravened, then any records which indicate that future purchases will be denied will be expunged.

No, I don't care if the Feds have been 'watching' him/her for months.  If the government makes an accusation, it must show just cause .. if necessary, in a court of law.

No, I don't care if he/she is a 'suspected terrorist'.  Unless and until the matter has been adjudicated, the constitutional rights of the individual apply until they have been formally rescinded and the purchaser has been duly informed.  

If the federal government cannot allow the transaction to go through, then the purchaser should be arrested and charged with a crime.

 If the abridgement is contested by the purchaser, he/she has the right to a speedy hearing and either arrested, or the transaction allowed to go through.

If a trial before a magistrate must be effected to determine the status of the purchaser, then it should be 'speedy' as the Constitution requires.  The trial/hearing should take priority over any other cases before the local court, except for any cases which involve Constitutional Rights, or may result in the prosecution and arrest of the other cases before that court.  (If another court can be assigned the case, then that is an acceptable alternative compared to denying a citizen of his rights; non-citizens may not be afforded the same protections.)

Any Questions?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"The Most Transparent Administration In History"? Depends on

Apparently, if you want to live in a country free of corruption, you must move to Greenland.

The Most Corrupt Countries | FindTheData:
Though they didn't crack the top 30 list, Transparency International wrote in a report that the level of perceived corruption in Australia, Brazil, Libya, Spain and Turkey has risen dramatically. Also, note that these countries that made the list are all characterized by some sort of violent social or political conflict.

[Australia??? Really?]

The scale of the issue is huge. Sixty-eight per cent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem. Half of the G20 are among them.Not one single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free.

Which are the most corrupt (definition?) countries in the world?
(See the interactive 'world corruption map' here.)

Very large scale version of the map here.

From the (2015) report by Transparency, International:

Five of the 10 most corrupt countries also rank among the 10 least peaceful places in the world.In Afghanistan, millions of dollars that should have gone on reconstruction have been reportedly wasted or stolen, seriously undermining efforts to sustain peace.
Even where there’s not open conflict, the levels of inequality and poverty in these countries are devastating.
In Angola, 70 per cent of the population live on US$2 a day or less. One in six children die before the age of five – making it the deadliest place in the world to be a child. More than 150,000 children die each year. But not everyone’s suffering.
Dubbed Africa’s youngest billionaire, Isabel dos Santos made her US$3.4 billion fortune from the national diamond and telecommunications business. She’s also the president’s daughter.

(I've tried to embed the map, but it just doesn't link to BLOGGER all that well;, which is why you may see a large blank space below.   It appears that even the original source is not quite as 'transparent' as one would wish.    I've carefully removed all embedded code which requires a security code to actually access the map by means other than going to the originating website.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why "Gun Control" is doomed to fail

Remember Jeff Goldbloom's annoying character "Malcom" in that dinosaur movie?

Goldbloom is still annoying, but the philosophy which the (brilliant) writers imposed on him is absolutely correct: Life Finds A Way.

And so do Armed Citizens:

Homemade submachine guns used in Tel Aviv shooting - The Firearm Blog:

Efforts by terrorists and rebel groups to produce homemade submachine guns isn’t anything new. Small workshops in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’ churned out hundreds of crude but entirely functional weapons which were used in sectarian killings by Loyalist paramilitary groups.
In the 1970s various rebel groups across South America including Argentina’s Maoist ERP set up factories to produce homemade submachine guns including close copies of the Swedish K / M45. Security forces In Colombia have in the past closed down factories operated by FARC which produced versions of the British 9mm STEN as well as MAC-10 submachine guns. 
We’ll likely continue to see more attacks perpetrated with this type of weapon in future, especially in areas in which the smuggling of conventional arms may present difficulties, thus leaving a void for entrepreneurs with drills and hacksaws to fill.
It doesn't really matter whether you are "A Good Guy With A Gun" or  "A Bad Guy With A Gun".

If you want one, you will find a way.

Laws are only obeyed by honest people.

When dishonest laws are imposed, they make honest people criminals.
Witness  "Will Not Comply".

One wonders how the Diane Feinsteins of this world manage to delude themselves into believing that they can make laws which contravene the Constitution,and Free Citizens will meekly bow their heads and comply.
Well .. it may have something to do with the fact that the only people she actually TALKS to are Liberals.

In Defense of IDPA

Yesterday I had a lot to say about IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) competition, and while the intent was not to be insulting, the comments I made gave little or no credit to what is an increasingly popular form of firearms competition.

It's only fitting that I mention the parts of IDPA which I found ... interesting, and occasionally laudable.   (I'll try to resist the impulse to criticize the format and structure of the IDPA Rule Book, although it will not be easy to do.)

The first thing in the rule book is a clear statement of intent of the sport:

Founded in 1996, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body for IDPA competition, a handgun-centric shooting sport based on simulated self-defense scenarios.
The IDPA competition format was designed to be enjoyable for all shooters of all skill levels, with a premium put on the social interaction and camaraderie of the members. Participation in IDPA matches requires the use of handguns, holsters and other equipment suitable for concealed carry self-defense.
With that in mind, and keeping the shooters' best interests in mind, IDPA's founders established equipment requirements that are based on commonly  available firearms and gear, allowing individuals the opportunity to compete with minimal investment.

By the way, the rest of this article is ... VERY LONG!
(coming up:  IPSC Abandonment):

Surprising sixty-second analysis by James Yeager: IDPA vs IPSC

I don't usually discuss commercial training websites (although I do look at them), but when someone says something thoughtful, my ears perk up.

Here's James Yeager talking about the difference between competition in IDPA vs IPSC.

"First of all, IDPA guys take themselves way too seriously.   It's not 'training'; a match is not training.
(And I can't get into the goddam vest, I'll be honest ...)"
... and ....
"I tried to get up to MASTER  (class in IDPA) shooting "Revolver", and I got dinged for leaving empty speed loaders behind. (How ridiculous can that be .. it just doesn't even make sense)".


Ooooo-kay.  Here's MY personal opinion about IDPA, and understand I've never even SEEN a match;  I've just tried to read the rule book.   And here's the thing that turned me off:

There are too many rules.  
But "the one ring that rules them all .." is:  
(Failure To Do Right)

WHA .....?

What does that mean?  Nobody seems to be sure.
I'm torn between interpretations:  Either (1) Karma, or (2) Kumbaya, or (3) "Michael Row The Boat Ashore!"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Isn't there some kind of "Constitutional thingie" that applies here?

Dems abandon 'innocent until proven guilty' to push gun ban | Washington Examiner:
People whose names appear on a federal terror watch list or no-fly list shouldn't be presumed "innocent until proven guilty" for purposes of buying a firearm, according to Democratic lawmakers. "I don't think that innocent until proven guilty is the standard that applies here," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., told the Washington Examiner. "We're talking about owning a gun, not being convicted of a crime."


There are a lot (perhaps too many) of "WatchLists" in America today:
  • No Fly Watchlist
  • Terrorist Watchlist
  • No Gun Watchlist 
  • Inane Watchlist

Well, that last perhaps is not presumed by  Representative Alan Grayson. ... who urges his colleagues to Ban Assault Weapons.

He must understand that clerical errors can occur in the compilation of any list of names

"Watchlists" are commonly accepted to have been composed willy-nilly by

  1. People who are not required to justify their selections;
  2. .... and who do are not required to document the reasons for their selections;
  3. and the residents of these watchlists have not necessarily been allowed to contest their membership on said watchlists in a court of law.
There is a presumption of innocence in English Law, and Grayson is saying that if a prospective firearm purchaser is on one of these watchlists, he/she should NOT be permitted to purchase a firearm.

Rather, Grayson supposes that a person whose name appears on a 'watchlist' should not be allowed to purchase a firearm.


The problems are:

  • There is no way to find out if your name is on the on The List, until you try to (for example) buy a gun;
  • There is no way to appeal the appearance of your name on The List;
  • Nobody knows just how 'specific' the identification of individuals is; does it include your social security number, or other identifying information?
For Grayson (et al) to presuppose that simply because your name is on an 'anonymous watchlist' for a good reason is to suppose that everyone's name is ultimately unique; more than that, it presupposes that the anonymous agency which composed the watchlist is perfect in its accuracy.

A better solution would be to be more public in the reasons why people appear on the list; to provide a process by which your name might be removed (or at least be more specific); and/or to be more public in announcing the contents of the list.

Certainly, when we are presented with a list of names without individual identifiers, it performs no public service if it is not extremely careful that it might inadvertently include individuals whose civil rights have not otherwise been otherwise abrogated by trial in a civil court.

To do less is to undermine the rights of honest citizens.

Surely, Representative Grayson did not intend this sort of mischief.

The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their sons

I'm a procrastinator.

My idea of  'timely' is to start a project the day before it's due.  I've told myself that I was a 'fast worker', and "I work better under pressure".  I'm not sure NOW, but back in 'the day' it was an acceptable excuse for me.

Unfortunately, the procrastination gene seems to be dominant.

I got a "Happy Fathers' Day" phone call from my son ("The Squid Kid") at 10:30 on Father's Day.

Uh .. that was PM.

It's hard for us to talk on the phone.  Both of us like talking on the phone almost as much as we like chewing razors and washing them down with rat poison.  So it's a compliment to Squid Kid that he actually phoned.

I didn't expect it; but I was delighted to hear from him, because he phones on my birthday and on Father's day .. and he missed my birthday this year.

(Not that I've phoned him lately*; he has odd work hours, I never know when he'll be home, and that's excuse enough for ME!)

* ["lately" = "in the past year"]

There are a couple more complications; his diction doesn't come across clearly on the phone, and I don't hear so good.  So our conversations are often punctuated:  "What?  What did you say?  I can't understand you!"   That doesn't make for an open, free-flowing exchange of information and ideas.

Here's the funny thing.

Give us five or ten minutes on the phone, and we discover we have so much to say to each other that we just can't find a way to stop the conversation.  A five-minute phone call usually takes an hour to complete, as it did again last night.

The Squid Kid finally said "Dad, I hate to go, but I've got to get up in the morning and go to work" (it was nearly midnight by then.

I said: " I understand. Thanks for the phone call.  I have missed you.  I love you, son."

He said "I love you too, Dad."

I've waited all year to hear that.

It was worth the wait.