Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Giffords Sue The Donald

Gee ... who knew that the President was a hireling of the Evil NRA?
I just may renew my annual membership, after all!

Trump administration sued by gun control group founded by Gabby Giffords:
A gun control group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., is suing the Trump administration for failing to disclose documents revealing the National Rifle Association’s influence on Trump’s views towards gun policies. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives earlier this week, accusing the ATF of failing to comply to various Freedom of Information Act requests for documents concerning communications between the NRA and the administration.
Personally, I think that "The Giffords" should start their own television program.  It would be like "The Jeffersons" except without the humor.   Should they hire someone to say "Dy-No-Mite!" every time a bad joke needs a punchline?

You can tell that a gun-control group is not receiving contributions when they resort to "Shock-Jock" tactics to keep their name in the headlines.

Texas Freeway Shooting Spree

Some nut has been shooting at cars on a Texas freeway.

As if Texas hasn't had enough problems with idiots who can't control their temper.

Man charged with aggravated assault in I-35 shooting spree | AUSTIN (KXAN) —
(November 6, 2017) Police identified a man accused of shooting at cars with an assault rifle along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 35 Saturday morning.
Hanging is too good for this creep!

McClang Defends the Second Amendment

Senator John McCain McClang interrupted a Senate hearing on the appointment of a Defense Department nominee because the candidate's politics seemed dismissive of Americans' Civil Rights.

Who knew that Ol' John still had a pair?  I'm calling him "Senator McClang" for the sound they make when he walks.
Senate panel stalls nominee who called assault rifle sales 'insane' | TheHill: The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday declined to move forward with a top Defense Department nominee after he made bold comments on gun control and military abortion policy during a committee hearing earlier this week. Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters that lawmakers still “have a number of questions” — specifically on “guns and abortions” — for Dean Winslow, the nominee for assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs. Winslow during a Tuesday hearing said he thinks it’s “insane” that civilians can buy assault rifles in the United States. That remark came just days after a deadly mass shooting in Texas. McCain at the time interrupted Winslow, telling him, “I don't think that's in your area of responsibility or expertise.”

"Military Style Weapons" to be banned?

Three days after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, 22 Democratic senators on Wednesday proposed a national ban on military-style weapons of the sort the Texas shooter deployed to massacre 26 people in a church on Sunday.Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, were the lead co-sponsors along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.“Connecticut’s ban was a model for us in drafting this,” Blumenthal said in an interview.

Do Democrats understand that there are very few firearms which cannot be accurately defined as "Military Style Weapons"?  This includes most hunting rifles, which are sometimes described (by Democrats and other Gun Confiscators as "Sniper Rifles".   Pistols?  Revolvers?  All issued to Military personnel.

(Well, of course they understand that!   It's in the book; you can look it up.)

Confiscation?  Not obviously on the public venue, but we can bet Registration is on the horizon, and Confiscation follows Registration as surely as Dawn follows Dusk.   And the kind of bill proposed would not be possible to enforce without registration of firearms in private hands "already legally in the hands of owners".   How else can they tell 'new guns" from "those already legally in the hands of owners"?

Oh, the Democrats are just eating this up with a Big Spoon!

Democratic senators propose military-style weapons ban - Connecticut Post:
The measure would ban the sale, manufacture and importation of affected new guns, but would not confiscate those already legally in the hands of owners. It covers broad classes of semiautomatic firearms including most versions of the AR-15, which the Texas shooter used, and which has been used in several mass shootings. The bill would also ban high-capacity magazines, which are also already banned in Connecticut. "Weapons of war have no place in our communities,” Blumenthal said in a written release. He defended Connecticut’s 1993 ban on military-style weapons in the state Supreme Court. “These killing machines have no purpose for self-defense or hunting and they must remain on the battlefield where they belong — not in our churches, schools and theaters,” he added in the release.
So, if "weapons of war have no place in our communities", why would the good folks in Connecticut (who have already raised the "WILL NOT COMPLY!" banner high) be expected to obey another new law which is impossible to enforce without compliance ... and without protest ... and without justification?

And for that matter, why would the REST of America feel comfortable with an "Assault Weapons Ban" .. which we proved decades ago would have no meaningful benefit? 

(1994 Assault Weapons Ban)

Connecticut seems an odd place to begin the confiscation of firearms.  One of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut has a proud history of resisting firearms confiscation.

In 2014, news sources reported that in Connecticut a confiscation of firearms was in the works, but this turned out to not be true.

Is it possible that this is just another example of "Fake News"?

Or have both state and National officials raised the flag of confiscation, just to test the waters?

Or have they truly, under the maniacal leadership of Democratic Senators, decided that this was "the right thing to do".

CTPOST.COM reports that this is not merely a proposed state ban, but is proposed as a FEDERAL ban on "Assault Rifles":
(Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, were the lead co-sponsors along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.)Three days after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, 22 Democratic senators on Wednesday proposed a national ban on military-style weapons of the sort the Texas shooter deployed to massacre 26 people in a church on Sunday. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, were the lead co-sponsors along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.“Connecticut’s ban was a model for us in drafting this,” Blumenthal said in an interview.
(Did anyone notice that it was a guy with an "Assault Weapon" who drove the rascal away? 
I didn't think so.)

Oh, Crap.
It hasn't been two hours since I swore to myself that I would no longer report on the Texas Church Massacre ... but our National Leaders haven't been able to demonstrate even that miniscule modicum of restraint.   (At least nobody mentioned the word: "BumpStock".)

You know what I think?  I think we should tar and feather the rascals, and run 'em out of town on a rail.  Like they did in the old days.

Write your congress-critter.  Better yet, phone his office.  Tell him this is a threat to Americans in every state and that nobody who votes for this kind of shenanigans will ever be elected to public office again. 

Oh, Crap!

When "The Economist" weighs in on a subject, it's a signal that we're so f*cking tired that anybody can have an opinion ... even if it's bullshit.   Which it is. (Nothing new here; move on!)
A minority of gun owners have a veto over gun laws - More mass shootings:
The NRA’s membership is relatively small. It should be less powerful than it is.
That's it?

That's all "The Economist" has to say about that?
Okay, I'm officially NOT blogging about the Texas Chainsaw Madman With A Gun Massacre any more
Nobody doesn't understand what happened there, nobody is any more or less upset.
But when the Mainstream Media (The "Economist", for Crissakes?) weighs in with nothing new to say except "GUNS BAD!"  you can be pretty sure that they no longer give a shit about the people who died there


Still Crazy After All These Years

The latest Crazy Talk from anti-Constitutional Liberals reveals (again!)  the  maniacal Bias of Liberals against "good men with guns".

The Texas Church Massacre was stopped by a "good man with a gun", after a "bad man with a gun" slaughtered 26.  Who knows how many more would have died if nobody had been ready, willing and able to step up and shoot the crazy son-of-a-bitch before he could have murdered many others in the pews of their church.

You can't stop the "bad men with a gun" because they will defy current laws; you can only hamstring the "good man with a gun", because they will obey the law .. however unwillingly.  Because  "law-abiding".

And yet the crazy Gifford family ignores recent history, and allows their emotions to over-ride the Constitution because of their own personal tragic history.

We can't blame the Gifford family for allowing their experience to color their response, but it would be "nice" if the could step back and realize that none of the laws they espouse would be "common sense" ... because the "bad men" would ignore them.

Criminals will always have guns, because "Criminals"!

Trump administration sued by gun control group founded by Gabby Giffords:
“The Trump administration appears willing to let the National Rifle Association dictate its federal gun safety policy, which includes remaining silent on how to stem our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center, according to the Huffington Post. “Protecting the safety of Americans should be the top priority of any president. Unfortunately, gun lobby profits seem to be more important to President Trump.”
Oh, thanks a HELLUVA LOT, Gifford Family, for making it much more complicated than the Constitution really needs to be:


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

"Concealed carry laws are a useless weapon against church shootings" - Chicago Tribune

The Trib lives up to its reputation for distorting the news, asserting that "Concealed Carry parishioners in Texas would have been unable to subdue a determined killer ..."

(See the original Chicago Tribune column by Dahleen Glanton) hereafter referred to as "she".

I must have misread all of the reports which categorically stated that an armed citizen stopped the Texas Church Shooting the other day.  (Reference: National Review, USA TODAY, CNN, CBS Baltimore. etc.)

Because a Chicago Tribune "contributor" contends that the man who stopped the Texas Church Shooting contends that he didn't stop the murders.

Concealed carry laws are a useless weapon against church shootings - Chicago Tribune:
Everyone knows that the issue of firearms is both complex and contentious. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to how to stop mass shootings from occurring in churches or anywhere else.
But it is unlikely a parishioner armed with a handgun would have been able to subdue a determined killer like Devin Kelley. Dressed in all black, wearing bulletproof tactical gear, carrying a military-style rifle and equipped with dozens of rounds of ammunition, Kelley entered the Texas church prepared for a massacre. When he was done, 26 people, about half of them children, were dead.
(emphasis added)

And yet, one armed man did stop the killing.  And you have a lot of nerve to contend that he did not.

It's amazing that a Chicago newspaper is so eager to denigrate the willingness of Texans to protect their own innocents; one can only assume that the Liberal Message ("Guns are always bad!") is more important than the truth as far as that Chicago Tribune contributor is concerned.

Glanton quotes Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (out of context):  
“All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he said. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."
(Glanton opines:) "The attorney general is delusional if he thinks an armed church member or even a security guard could have frightened Kelley into submission."

It may be possible that the Tribune Reporter merely misunderstood the Attorney General of Texas.

More likely, she is so involved in her personal anti-gun opinion that she cannot be relied upon to candidly quote her original news source without demonstrating her contempt for defense of the Second Amendment.

Glanton lives in Chicago, which has (arguably) the most strict anti-gun laws, and the highest murder-by-gun rates in the country ... yet she has the temerity to castigate Texas because their laws allow a private citizen to stop a mass shooting before it went any farther than it did?

Perhaps the key point in her screed is evidenced in her phrase: " ... could have frightened (the murderer) into submission".

Lady, the armed Texan didn't "frighten Kelley into submission".

He shot him dead, right then and there.  In doing so he stopped the murder of innocents immediately.

(And you would hoped for a 'better solution"?  Like ... maybe he would have convinced the gunman to stop shooting people by voicing a persuasive, logical argument?)

People who don't recognize a Hero when they see one, and who are all-too-ready to second guess them for "doing the right thing" ...?

She disgusts me.

"Nothing can Possibly Go Wrong!"

"The Human Driver of the other vehicle was at fault ..."

When self-driving vehicles can avoid human frailties, I'll begin to believe there's a future in it.
The assertion that "the incident caused minor damage" is facetious and self-serving.

I don't want to drive on a road shared by "self-driving" vehicles.
This is such a pile of bull-shit, I can't believe that anyone would allow it.

Self-driving bus crashes two hours after launch in Las Vegas | ZDNet:
A driverless shuttle bus crashed less than two hours after it was launched in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The city's officials had been hosting an unveiling ceremony for the bus, described as the US' first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared towards the public, before it crashed with a semi-truck.
 According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault, there were no injuries, and the incident caused minor damage.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Appendix Carry: oh, THAT'S gonna leave a mark!

I've always wondered about this.   Curiously, I made sort of an ... oblique (if it's not facetious of me to use the word here) reference to the possibility only recently.

Unfortunately, there's nothing "facetious" about it, when the (easily foreseen) consequences actually occur:
SayUncle  Use a holster: Still pointing the gun at the workers, Pouncy stooped over to collect the cash, Antonietti said. Shifting the gun in his waistband as he ran out, he apparently pulled the trigger, firing a bullet that struck him in the penis, Antonietti said.
 I am NOT going to 'snicker' here, or make any remark which might be inadvertently interpreted as to reference the inability of really stupid people to pass their genetic hindsight to their (now unlikely) progenity.

(Give me a moment; I'm still laughing at the fool!)

Please don't do that whole "appendix carry" thing on my range.  I have a sick sense of humor, and it's going to be difficult for me to phone for an ambulance while I'm laughing out loud at the stupidity of people who think that "Appendix Carry" is A Good Idea.

And you're bleeding? DUH!

It;s hard not to laugh at a man ex-man who will never get 'hard' again because he just shot his dick off.

Rule Number One: Never Point Your Gun At Anything You Don't Intend to SHOOT!

Bump-Stocks ... are they "The High Ground" or a distraction?

Like a lot of people who write about Second Amendment issues, I waffled on the question of "Bump Stocks".  In retrospect, I think I should have listened my my instincts

But in truth, I'm not the only one who had an immediate 'truth' response.

Exclusive: What Happens In Vegas…Guns | Guns
But bump stocks aren’t a hill worth dying on, shot back those who never seem to identify a hill that is. Incrementalism to the end goal is the strategy, remember? Nancy Pelosi’s “slippery slope”?
It may be time to speak out more strongly on 2nd Amendment issues ... and perhaps I've been too weak to support the claim that I'm a viable Constitutional supporter.


Remember these old bromides?

"Who needs a magazine that carries more than 10 rounds?"
... 8 rounds ...
... 7 rounds ...
... 6 rounds ...

"Who needs a semi-automatic pistol?"
"Who needs a sniper rifle?"
"Who needs to carry a concealed pistol in a civilized society?"

It doesn't matter what kind of equipment you think you need or want, there's always someone willing (eager!) to attempt to infringe upon your Second Amendment Rights to decide what your "needs" are.  And when you give an inch ... they want to take your whole front yard and the watch dog you keep on a chain, too!

So I'm inclined to shrug and say "whatever floats your boat, Brother."

Personally, I don't "need" a bump-stock rifle.  But I see no reason why I should tell you that it's beyond your "needs".

The Second Amendment is not a toy; it's as legitimate as the First Amendment:

I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Unfortunately, the quote isn't real — or at least, it's not really Voltaire. It comes from a 1906 biography by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in which it was intended to represent a summary of his thinking on free speech issues.Jan 8, 2015
Your civil rights are not dependent upon a vote from the hoi polloi; they are part of a free people .. and America is perhaps the last best chance of Civilization if only because of our determination to defend the rights which we hold most dear.  Speech, Religion, and Firearms Ownership are equal in the eyes of God (according to the Founding Fathers who authored the Constitution to 'enumerate' our rights ... not to 'establish' them).   Those rights were a part of civilization before our country was founded.

America is merely the first nation to enshrine them, and make the part of our national creed.  We may not like our elected representatives, but at least we don't have to bow to others who might think they deserve our subservience.
*(Okay, not all of us are reluctant to bow)*  Even governors rate a bow from a President, if you're a Dwebe.

Personally?  If you're not holding a gun to my head, I'm not comfortable with bowing to you.

But I'm not a President.

Or a Democrat.

I'm just a cranky old guy who has too much time to think and not enough time to talk ... so I only have this single point of view to work with.

The problem, I think, is that I don't have anyone to argue with.

Well, at least I never lose an argument.   Which is probably as rewarding as arm-wrestling with myself; difficult to do because the Right Arm always wins.

Live should be more of a challenge.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

There's a moon out tonite!

Image result for phase of the moon tonight
TODAY - Sunday, November 5, 2017. The Moon today is in a Waning Gibbous Phase. This is the first phase after the Full Moon occurs. It lasts roughly 7 days with the Moon's illumination growing smaller each day until the Moon becomes a Last Quarter Moon with a illumination of 50%.

Today's Moon Phase - Moongiant

... which is the best I can do to explain that the moon looks HUGE,
and it's burning through the local high cloud layer.

I wish I could take a photo to show you, but my cameras are inadequate to the task.

And my poor rhetoric is equally inadequate to describe the glory.

The moon is not the blue color depicted on my downloaded version (above); 
it's gloriously bright and white-hot ... which is the best I can say to describe its intensity.

The high cumulous cloud layer seems to disappear as it passes in front of the moon ...
It's ethereal 
... and then the cloud layer reappears after it passes the direct path of the moon's
reflection of the sun's power from the other side of the earth.

I'm not a religious person, but it seems so awesome that I'm not entirely
 unconvinced of the existence of a God who created the Heavens and the Earth.

Who can stand in awe of such majesty, and dispute the heathen faith of our fathers 
who postulated that there MUST be a God who created the heavens and the earth?

Oh.  It's like the punch like of a bad joke.  "Well, I guess you had to be there!"

I was there.  I thought it was as beautiful as the birth of my children ... both a miracle,
both children a gift to a man who was not worthy.

I pity anyone who has not stepped outside in this midnight hour,
to behold a mundane miracle beyond understanding.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Nice article about saving a life by applying a tourniquet.

Amid Chicago gun violence, public campaign aims to help keep victims from bleeding to death - Chicago Tribune:
 Doctors said that if Watson and his partner, Paul Moreno, hadn’t taken those steps after the October 2016 shooting, the teen probably would not have survived. Medical experts say anyone can employ a few basic techniques to achieve the same results when confronted with a life-and-death scenario. And a public service campaign called “Stop the Bleed” aims to do just that: teach bystanders to save someone’s life by learning basic blood-stemming techniques. Stop the Bleed is a national effort established by the White House in 2015 as one response to the Sandy Hook mass school shooting three years before. It aims to arm civilians with skills and bleeding control kits to provide crucial aid in an emergency until medical professionals can take over.

I'm not sure I would have done that.

Not that I'm not a compassionate and caring person, but there are a couple of cautionary notes that YOU should be aware of before YOU apply a tourniquet to an injured and bleeding limb.

  1. If you shut of the blood supply to a limb, the tissues in that limb will begin to die immediately because it isn't getting the blood it needs.  If you shut off the blood supply long enough (say, for the sake of discussion, 15 minutes) the limb may begin to atrophy. Read: "ROT".
  2. If you save someone from bleeding to death, but in the process that person loses a limb due the drastic life-saving measures you undertook with the most humanitarian motives, you may be subject to a civil suit.  Unless you are a trained medical professional, you may lose the suit, should you choose to fight it.  It's like saving someone by kneeling on their chest so they can't breath ... you have possibly exacerbated the situation.  (Okay, that wasn't the best example, except that it was an 'emergency procedure' which you thought was appropriate ... except in that specific instance it wasn't.)
  3. If/when you go to court, you might be congratulated for attempting to save live and/or limb, but that's in the first hour of testimony.   After a certain point, your attorney might suggest that you agree to a 'lesser' civil penalty (eg: agree to a $100,000 payment instead of contesting a $1,000,000 payment) because .. well, you DID apply a tourniquet to the young girl's arm, and she DID have her arm amputated because the flesh was necrotic.  If you had delayed in applying such an "extreme" measure, she may NOT have died from blood loss but she certainly would NOT have had her arm amputated in the next week.
  4. ...
I'm not sure there is a "Point 4" here.  There are too many cautionary tales in the first three points, and I strongly suggest that you refer to other sources because I am neither a medical nor a legal professional; this is information which I received during "First aid/Traumatic Care" training in Basic, and again in NCOC training in the army.  (They weren't worried about civil penalties, they were worried about the best care for a wounded comrade. The training cadre envisioned much more frequent injuries, much more dramatic causes ... AK47 rounds or booby traps as the cause, which  cause injuries which are much more traumatic than, for example, a simple compound fracture.)  

[You should hear what they had to say about treating a wounded comrade who has had his jaw shot off!  STEP ONE: PULL HIS TONGUE OUT OF HIS THROAT AND TURN HIS HEAD TO THE SIDE, SO HE DOESN"T ASPHYXIATE HIMSELF OR DROWN IN HIS OWN BLOOD!]

Once again ... if you are concerned that someone may need your immediate care to keep from bleeding to death from some sort of lacerating injury ... go get professional training and earn some kind of certificate which documents that you HAVE been trained in this kind of emergency and you ARE qualified to make this kind of dramatic remedial care  (using a tourniquet on an injured limb).

If you don't do that, and you are faced with the situation and you do NOT apply a tourniquet ... and the patient suffers from your lack of care?  Guess what?  You're possibly still vulnerable from a lawsuit because of your refusal to apply whatever immediate care steps you might have been (sort of) trained in.

The Loneliness of the Liberal Gun Lover

In article titled (obviously) after "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", Politico offers an delightful article describing a group of people who are decidedly on the "Left" side of the political spectrum ... but who enjoy shooting sports.

The people profiled would feel quite comfortable chatting with the guy who sits beside me in The Short Bus on the way to an IPSC match.  I liked the personalities described in the article.  People think that Conservatives are hateful .. we just like to be left alone to hatch our plots and go shooting on the weekends.   Anybody who doesn't think that Guns are the Instrument of the Devil is okay.
(I was kidding about hatch-plotting;
 life's too short and there are only so many shooting hours in a day.)

These people seem to have the same priorities.   At the range, we all just want to go shooting:

The Loneliness of the Liberal Gun Lover - POLITICO Magazine:
A lifelong liberal who had voted twice for Obama, O’Quinn [the primary interviewee] absorbed the insults in silence [when subjected to anti-liberal comments in a public forum]. Despite her love of shooting—she owns a 12-gauge shotgun that she likes to take out for skeet shooting—she was wary of going to a gun range because she didn’t want to run into anyone like her instructor, people who would use the image of President Obama for target practice. Three weeks ago, she found the Liberal Gun Club on an Internet search, and realized it would be holding its annual meeting an hour from her house. “I was so uncomfortable,” she said to the group. “I’m so happy to be here.” The room gave her a round of applause.
Here's the thing:  People Of The Gun are pretty much live-and-let live kind of folks.  At the range, we don't want to talk about politics.  We don't care who you vote for, we just want to feel confident that you are aware of the basic rules of firearm safety and won't be pointing your gun at us.

The only politics discussed are which politicians are trying to undermine our Second Amendment rights.   Answer:  Democrats.  The political positions are their choice, so we tend to vote the straight Republican ticket.   People of The Gun are usually single-issue voters.  Don't fuck with us, okay?

Pretty simple.  Basics are important when everyone around you is carrying a gun.   So I can understand when a person who votes for the politician who is running on the political platform of "Gun Control" is held in dubious respect by the people at a pistol range.

However, I agree that shooting at targets which depict a political opponent is, at best, very bad judgement.

The Dog Ate My Homework

I was late to my "Introduction to USPSA" class Saturday.

It was unavoidable.

The dog ate my homework.

His name was "Dusty".  He was a blond cocker spaniel ... with a docked tail (I always though it was cruel of his previous owners to dock his tail) and when he was happy,  his little stub of a tail wouldn't do much.  So he wagged his whole rear end.

So cute!

He was always happy.

I got him when I was in the  fifth grade, which would be about 1950.  He would be ... what ... sixty seven now?  In dog years (a seven-to-one ration) that would be something on the order of 6,530 years old (in :dog years").  That's pretty old for a dog.

Lately, he wasn't wagging his tail very often.  I could tell he was too old for much joy.  I think he was getting a little broke down.  For example, his hind legs didn't work so good any more, so he had to drag his ass from one side of the front room to the other.  He couldn't sleep with me any more, either; the bedroom is upstairs, which he couldn't navigate.  Which was, frankly, okay by me.  Stink? oh my!

And as for jumping in my bed to sleep with me?  Oh Argh!   It was pitiful to watch, until he got too old to .. as I said .. navigate the stairs.  Which was about 20 years ago.

Anyway, I discovered Saturday Morning (the day of my class) that he couldn't lift his head above the doggie bowl to eat his breakfast.  He didn't miss much ... I quit putting food in his bowl last year, but he never noticed because .. well, he couldn't see into it.  (I saved a TON of money on dog food this year!)

But he DID have sufficient energy to eat the paper that I had used to print my class notes on. Such an ungrateful creature!

Okay, so maybe I could have given him some fresh food, but it has been so long since I fed him, I think we both had forgotten what dog food looked like.

So Saturday, when I was suppose to be at the range by noon, I noticed that Dusty wasn't his natural exuberant self.  I think perhaps he had forgotten where his tail was, so he couldn't wag it. 
Who needs a cocker spaniel who can't wag?

Well, he had already forgotten his name.  And my name.  And the street address (which I had, as a loving pet owner,  taught him to bark out in octal bytes .. he WAS the pet of a computer programmer, after all!)

So Dusty is history, except that he had already cost me seven dollars and fifty cents for dog food (which he never ate, bless his loving heart!) this year.

So I got out my dust pan, swept him into it, and dumped him into the trash basket.

And I put his name on the dust pan:  "DUSTY"!
(I used an erasable marking pen; I may buy another dog!)

He was such a good dog .. he quit pooping on the carpet years ago and never caused me a bit of trouble until he made me late for my class yesterday.

I'll miss him.

Also, I'll have to remember to dust that corner which was, and will always (in my memory) be "Dusty's Corner"!

(sniff)  eyew ... maybe I'll dust that corner tonight ... it's getting a little ripe.

To my credit, I didn't tell the folks in my class that I was late because "the dog ate my homework".

That's so lame!

"Common Ground" on the Second Amendment?

Three Ways to Find Common Ground of Guns
Democrats want longer waiting periods to buy a gun, a limit on gun magazines, a ban on “assault weapons” (though most have trouble describing them), a limit on the number of firearms you can own, etc.   Second Amendment supporters staunchly oppose all of those things.
uh huh.

Like that's gonna happen!
 Bunch of know-nothing libtards who are willing to give up ANY Constitutional Rights that they're not currently using.  Wait until their FIRST Amendment Rights are infringed!

Blessed are the peace-makers?

More like "Damned if they do/Dammed if they don't"!

For the Liberal anti-gunners, Vegas is just another talking point.  The rest of us damn the asshole with a gun all to hell.  He killed good people and at the same time provided yet another excuse for "Gun Control"  (hiss!) 

As if laws are going to stop an outlaw.

The Second Amendment is, always has been, always will be the most tendentious/controversial part of the Constitution ... and for good reason.

People who own guns are for it; people who don't own guns are against it.

Both sides have their reasons, present their arguments (sometimes reasonably; more often emotionally) and "... never the twain shall meet".

People who are determined to kill innocents won't be deterred by any law; that's why they're called OUTLAWS!
------------------------------------ *the bulk of the article is below the fold* --------------

Would YOU mistake a turtle for a gun?

We're putting more trust in "artificial intelligence" to take care of our fleshy bodies in risky situations than ever before.

Researcher: ‘We Should Be Worried’ This Computer Thought a Turtle Was a Gun - Motherboard:

Self-driving cars, airport luggage scans, security cameras with facial recognition, and various medical devices all employ 'some' variation of AI ("Artificial Intelligence") systems, and more systems will do so in the future, as we become more "comfortable" with trusting our machines to do our thinking for us..

 But neural networks are easy to fool, if you fiddle with the algorithms just a tiny bit.  Or worse, if you don't!

Or worst, we don't have to "fiddle" anything.   We just have to trust the humans who designed the systems to have thought of every possible situation, and have 'programed' the systems to know the exact best response to any foreseen situation.

What about the situations which haven't been "foreseen"?

One example might be the madman who ran a rented pickup-truck on a crowded sidewalk in NYC,  killing or injuring dozens of people?

Gee, who could have foreseen that?

Oh, it's New York City ... all kinds of freaky stuff happens in that, one of the most crowded cities in the world (with the possible exception of, say, "Tokyo").   In a crowded rat-cage, anything can happen.  And eventually, it will.

As the Mayor of NYC said, we can't put a policeman on every corner.

Even if they could post a cop on every corner, it's doubtful that they could have prevented either the tragedy in NYC.  People are weird ... remember "Bump-Stock Vegas"?

What's the problem?  "People are weird."   Right, we got that.

What's the solution?  Nobody knows.
  Prince William said recently that the problem with this world is that there are too many people in it.

He may have a point, but what's the solution?  Hitler had a solution; we didn't like it.  Hitler died in a hole in the ground bunker; good choice.

Maltheusian Theory is that eventually the earth will be so over-populated that we will be unable to feed everyone.  (Prince William must be channeling his inner Thomas R. Maltheus)

Eventually (stealing from the Science Fiction Literature premise of "If This Goes On ...") we'll end up like Schrödinger's cat ... locked up in this box called "Earth", we will be both alive and dead at the same time.   There's nobody watching us from the 'outside' to know the difference; there's just us.  You and Me.


Hitler saw this coming on a smaller scale (Germany in the 1930's).  He began his conquest of Europe in order to provide "living room" (and resources) for the expansion of the German people. That ended up badly for him.  (see above).

But what can you expect?  He was a madman and a visionary at the same time.   His only solution was to kill the people he didn't like (minorities) and conquer everybody else.  He came damn close to making his "final solution" work (for various definitions of "making it work"), and frankly it was only the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought the Americans into WWII.   If you cross your eyes and stare at a spinning bicycle wheel long enough, you might almost want to thank the Japanese for their contribution to World Peace!

Well ... perhaps not quite.  But you get the gist of it.

More likely, you may be a reader of Robert Heinlein ("If This Goes On"), or perhaps the maniacal ramblings of Harry Turtledove's "alternate histories", where the question of "what if the Confederate army moved to Africa and started a New World Order" may be explored in excruciating detail.  There are more than a couple of authors who imagine what our world might look like today if a powerful leader was able to impose his vision on the few of us who live lives of slavery and persecution.

No, it's not a pretty picture ... unless you're a member of the Chosen People.

Have I strayed from the subject?

Not really.

We may not live in the "Perfect World" envisioned by speculative fiction, and that's a blessing to "most of us".


 We may not like our national leaders, but so far they haven't been able to impose their ideals on the most of us to the advantage of a privileged few.  (And yes, I'm aware that many people today who consider themselves "disadvantaged" will disagree with that statement.)

Getting back to the difference between a Turtle and a Gun ... oh, there was a point to be made; what was it?

Oh, right.  I remember now.

When we begin to put our faith in technology, we begin to lose our humanity.  A computer has no ethics.  It's just a machine.  We made it, we programmed it, and then we sit back and let the computer do all the work. 

What could possibly go wrong?

For starters: a computer can't always tell the difference between a turtle and a gun.

I was a computer programmer for 30 years.   I lived by the concept that "if anything can possibly go wrong ... it will".

People are fallible: they make mistakes, but sooner or later someone will say:
"Hey, what the heck ...?"   And then some underpaid computer programmer will pull an all-nighter and fix the program.  I know, I spend a lot of nights trying to debug a computer program that someone else wrote and had been doing things "wrong" for years, until someone happened to notice that their paycheck (for example) always ended with thirteen cents. 

True story. 

(Actually, I just made it up, but what the heck, it's my blog ... I can do that.)

People (well, most people) intuitively know the difference between a turtle and a gun.   That's important, especially if a thug points a turtle at you and says "Your Money or Your Life!"

  There's an old joke about the first passenger airplane which was  run by a computer.  Just after it took off with it's first load of passengers, it put the following message out on the Public Address System:

"Welcome to Artificial Airlines Inaugural Flight.   This airplane has no pilot, no co-pilot ... the only employees are those who will shortly be serving your lunch.  There are no humans involved in navigation or piloting this airplane.  It is completely controlled by a computer, and there is absolutely NO possibility that anything will go wrong (click) go wrong (click) go wrong (click) go wrong (click) go wrong (click) ..."

Trust me on this one:

Never trust a computer to get your paycheck 'right'!

Oh ... sorry; too late.

Politicians Presume to Instruct the public on Gun Control

(A Republican lent his weight to this travesty?  Oh ..  a New York "Republican".  Never mind.)

Thompson, King propose ‘anti-criminal, pro-Second Amendment’ gun control bill:
 U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and Peter King (R-NY) on Friday introduced a bill aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. H.R. 4240, the bipartisan Thompson-King background check legislation — officially known as the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017 * — expands the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the internet or in classified ads, Thompson’s office staff said. It does so while providing reasonable exceptions for family and friend transfers, they said.
*(emphasis added)

I wonder how they propose to track private transactions. Oh ... they'll pass a law!  Sure, that'll do it!

The funny thing about Politicians is the they can't stop themselves from pontificating, even if they don't know what they're talking about.   Their job is to pass laws ... usually (as in this case) laws which regulate private transactions which are already regulated.   Well, if they don't pass a law every year or so, people won't re-elect them (or so they think).
[Personally, if I ever meet a politician who has completed his/her entire term of office without imposing another law restricting my civil rights, I'll vote for him/her every time!]
This "Second Amendment Rights Protection Act" doesn't do a darned thing to protect the Second Amendment, but it adds a "suspenders on top of belt" level of legislation to impose a background check on top of background checks which are already in place, in most states.

To be more emphatic, the awkward (and inaccurate) title assigned to the bill doesn't do a damn thing to "protect" our Second Amendment Rights; but what it DOES is impose another layer of oversight on  transfers of firearms ownership which are already regulated on a state level.

Now, what do you think the National Instant Check System (NICS) does?

People who own firearms know that EVERY GUN SHOW IN THE COUNTRY already processes firearms transactions through NICS.

And "private transactions"?

"Gee, officer, I never knew that if I sold my shotgun to my neighbor, I needed to ask permission from the Guvmint!"

Bunch of self-righteous, smirking politicians. They haven't had a good day at the office until they've patted their secretary's fanny or infringed the civil rights of their constituents.

(Those Fat Bottom Girls have no idea how much they contribute to America's Freedoms ... a helluva lot more than their bosses, that's for sure!)