Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Of Course They're Our Friends

So  Pakistan tribal courts just found the doctor guilty of treason.   On the upside if he were tried in Pakistan federal court, the penalty is death - this way he's just completely screwed for helping the world rid itself of Osama.   What message does that send?

Let's see:

  • No charges against anyone harboring Bin Laden.
  • The guy who helps locate him gets convicted of treason.   

Yeah they're fully onboard with antiterror agenda.

I really want to just walk away from them and let them reap what they sew - sadly much like our own elections this country - when the idiots get what they deserve, we rational few get to reap it too.

I think it's time to apply my standing rule on foreign governments - you NEVER get what you pay for, so stop giving them money, and we'll just have to take our lumps.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Brief Flicker of Sanity

A judge actually did something sane - I suspect temporary sanity at best; as it pushes back the tide of Constitutional Crushing laws/executive orders for a brief moment.    I really wish this were the beginning of a trend but I doubt it.

It's incurable

Seriously?   It's like an incurable disease - this is the kind of crap that makes me really dislike organized religion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mixed Messages

From this and this we see that in a few places - some courts are starting to see the light.   But apparently not all the Police think it includes them.

Chances are - if you have a camera and your taking pictures of government buildings, or cops - your going to get harassed.   There are a lot of cops that still haven't gotten the message - or have chosen to ignore it.  

Part of the problem may be that our rights are being treated like gas prices - take away a bunch until we scream then give some of it back - rinse and repeat.   Get people used to losing some protection of the constitution a little bit at a time, until it's all gone.   Remember - they're doing it for our own safety.

I watch the wheel of state grinding away at us, making actions illegal,  that years ago wouldn't even raise an eyebrow.   We've become a government of bureaucrats, and nannies, who tell us You Can't while they do.   The government has been dismantling the constitution, attacking bit by bit, slowly grinding away.   Every crisis an excuse to crush it just a bit more.  We still have a mostly functional first amendment - so Speak now.  Speek now or forever hold your piece.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Liked it, but I'm not sure why.

I watched The Way (warning - links to the marketing site for the movie), staring Martin Sheen and directed by his son Emilio.   I really enjoyed it but I can't for the life of me figure out why.   I'm not a fan of Martin Sheen,  (or Charlie, or Emilio) - I don't dislike them particularly, but I don't go looking for movies they're in.   

I strongly dislike organized religion, for too many reasons to even get started.  To me, spirituality is a private thing.    That's not to say I don't appreciate a few of the things that have come out of organized religion - Architecture and music mostly.

I'm not fond of movies that beat you over the moral of the story.

The story is simple, the characters complex and perhaps that's why.   It's the story of a father, who travels to france to collect the remains of his son.   In the process he attempts to complete the last task his son had started - to walk the Camino 

Take it for what it's worth. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dumb or Dumber

We're going to get one or the other.   Why? Well there's just not enough of us to elect Ron Paul (R) or Gary Johnson (L).  The GOP lackeys are going to Vote for who ever the RNC tells them to vote for - that'll be Mitt.  And the progressives will vote for BO.   Either way we'll get what they deserve for a government - possibly what we deserve for not beating the GOP into submission 30 years ago and turning them into the Small Government Party.   I suspect we failed not so much from a lack of trying (although there was a fair amount of that) but lack of foresight as to just how screwed up the GOP would become.  In my case it was an absolute refusal to vote anything but Libertarian - knowing full well I wasn't going to win - but I could sleep at night knowing I hadn't sold out to the GOP. 

Would Ron be better?  Yeah, not ideal but better - except he'd get little or no support from the GOP congress.  Which means he could fix Communist Czar problem that BO created.  He'll probably put us in to seclusion mode for foreign policy - in the short run, as long as we keep up HumInt funding that might not be tragic.  But congress is unlikely to do the rational stuff we want to see until his second term - after we've ousted the idiots that didn't get the message the first time around.   Gary Johnson would be my first pick but he'd be even less effective than Ron Paul for everything but Regulatory appointments (Very important), Supreme Court appointments (Critical), Foreign Policy (serious).   Getting congress to behave - Nah, since neither one is the official candidate for the BIG and BIGGER government parties, congress (except the TP'ers) will be as uncooperative as possible. 

Now Borepatch makes an interesting argument for voting for the unrestrained reign of National Democratic Socialist/Communist/NWO terror that Obama supporters seem to want (of course they're not going to much like what they get but they're convinced they want it and there's no changing their minds). 

I understand the logic - I really do, I'm just not sure we'll recover from what an unrestrained BO will do to us - we may not get another election without a fight (literally a fight as in with weapons).   Maybe I'm over reacting - maybe he'll just really screw things up so bad that the TEA Party gets a huge boost - which means a lot more congress-critters get the boot.    I don't think the Tea Party trusts  Mitt anymore than I do, and they really do want smaller government, controlled spending, and lower taxes so I don't think they'll give up. 

I absolutely agree that Mitt, if elected, will sway in which ever breeze seems most likely to blow him into a second term.   The trick then is to make sure that breeze is fairly strong - dumping every incumbent and putting in a TP'er or Libertarian candidate.  My preference would be any libertarian - and I don't agree with a lot of them but they all want a Small (tiny, damn near non-existant government) which is what I want.   What's the difference between a TP'er and Libertarian - TP'er are still a little to ... Not Democrats rather than even Libertarian Light.   Still a little too willing to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt.  If I think a TP'er has a shot where a Libertarian wouldn't I'd go for the TP'er. 

It will either be BO or MR, both are worst choice, but at least we have a small chance of steering the Mittwit as he sees what we do to congress bit by bit.  Right Now - I just don't know. Either go all in with Borepatch, or hope you draw to that inside straight.   It's either completely screwed or completely screwed only slower.  Me I'm going to vote my conscience, if that means doing a write-in for Gary Johnson - I'm OK with that.  

Life after Julia

OK I am apparently not the only one who thought Julia was a joke, I do however seem to be a bit behind the curve - mayhap that's because I'm not reading enough.   On the other hand, I try to keep my VR to less than 10% of my RR.  Sometimes that's harder to do than others.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Really? It's not a Joke?

I'm pretty sure if I were a woman I'd be some kind of pissed off by The Life of Julia.   Are women really so mentally challenged, so incapable that they need the governments help with every step of their lives?    None of the women I've known and respected needed any of this help.   They all managed to make their own choices, pay their own bills, live their own lives.

Sad, apparently Obama thinks women of today just aren't capable of living life with out a nanny.

Happy Birthday F.A.

Thanks to Drang for reminding me.

One of my heros  F.A. Hayek - one of the first Economists to see the truth.

The Road to Surfdom (first written in the early 1940's - updated a few times for the U.S. audience)   Timeless.

If you have an interest in economics - his other books are excellent too (not easy, light reading to be sure).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Occupy Confusion

This feels a little bit like putting my foot in my mouth - since I'm going to say some things that I might regret later. Oh well.

I keep thinking about the Occupy movement, trying to understand the message, the goal, the idea. I'm not a lot closer to getting it than I was when it started. - Actually, I understood the concept behind Occupy Wall Street just fine - it was the execution that was completely wrong. Since then it's gotten more confused and even less effective in delivering a message - well except perhaps - Lynch the 1%!

So far the Message seems to be:
Corporations are not People
Something about immigration
National Heath Care is broken
Rich people should pay more taxes
Greed is the root of all evil, therefore you should give us what we want because it's not fair for you to have it when we don't.
I just want to destroy stuff because.

Any sales trainer or marketing person will tell you, keep your message clear and simple. Apparently there are no marketing or sales people involved in the occupy movement. If there are other messages they're so lost in the noise I'm not seeing them.

So let's take a look at these messages one at a time.

Corporations are not People - True, they are a legal fiction that management hide behind so they can blame their actions on the Share Holders. I have more than a few problems with the legal fiction of the corporation. I understand the need to sell shares to capitalize, and the benefit to investing, that's the good side of a corporation. The bad side is the way they get used. The company builds a product they know is faulty, but they do it anyway because the potential profits outweigh the potential costs of lawsuits, and there is no personal liability - so why not. Small corporations operate in a fraudulent manner, file bankruptcy, fold up, and start over with a new name and the same criminal practices.

I much prefer the Limited Liability Partnership. At least in this case the major players are actually subject to the consequences of their actions.

If you look at companies like Exon, or JPMorgan, or BofA you can see the dark side of the corporation and they are far from the only examples. In the case of BofA it's so extreme I'm sort of surprised the asshats are still alive.

Something about immigration This has gotten way too emotional - if they are illegal - send them home. If they're not - then treat them as if they were citizens of the U.S.A. It's not that hard. Sure there are lots of ramifications. If you send the illegals home, it will have an impact of prices. If you don't send them home, you basically saying - It's OK to exploit them as cheap labor. If your saying make them all citizens, I'd ask who the hell is going to pay for it? And if you say - the government I'm going to smack you upside the head with a 2x4. California tried that - they're bankrupt.

National Heath Care is broken
Yep. Broken pretty much everywhere it's been tried, with the possible exception of Denmark, maybe Sweden - but I say that out of a profound ignorance, it might be just as bad there as say in England where it's going broke, and it takes months to have critical issues treated.

I have no idea how to fix this. Perhaps if our expectations weren't quite so high... A good portion of the problem lies with our legal system - which is broken beyond repair. Part of it is the sense of entitlement. I've yet to hear any solution that I think has a chance in hell of working.

- Well actually I have some vague notions that I need to think on - they probably won't work, but...

Rich people should pay more taxes
I think I'd like to revise this. How about a corporate business tax on salaries and bonuses (including stock or stock options) in excess of say, $500,000 a year. - Say a 1000% tax, be kind of hard to sell that $10,000,000 bonus to the shareholders wouldn't it :). If you own the company, or it's a limited partnership, no extra tax - because it's YOUR company, not the shareholders. (yeah that's my anti corporate economy thing showing itself - but I really do think the thing that ruins the free market is government intervention and creating a legal fiction like the corporation is definitely interference.)

Greed is the root of all evil, therefore you should give us what we want because it's not fair for you to have it when we don't.
Blah Blah Blah - you want it - go work for it. Greed is a basic part of human nature - yeah it can be controlled, and if you believe in enlightened self interest, you probably do control it to a major extent. But that does not entitle anyone to the fruits of your labor. We had a word for people who's labor was exploited for the benefit of others - I think it was Slave.

I just want to destroy stuff because.
Classify them as looters and shoot them on sight. (Too harsh?)

Yes, I think the economy sucks, yes I think members of the 1% profited from creating the situation that made it possible. Yes I think the 1% profited again from their influence in government. No I don't think the changes made have been very effective, why would you expect them to be? It's not in the governments best interest to piss off their biggest donors - getting reelected (the only real concern of elected officials), is mostly a money thing, voters opinions are much to fickle and easy to change with sufficient funds.

So, one of the reasons I don't like the Occupy movement is the lack of a clear message, it seems to be a case of mass whining with no articulation. The other reason I don't like it is how they behave when they get together - it's the kind of thing I'd expect to see from a similarly sized group of baboons.

I think a more effective approach would be to focus on one company at a time, and have everyone purchase as many shares as possible - then go VOTE at the shareholders meetings. Vote for ethical behavior, reasonable salaries, Elect a board of directors with a conscience - then move on to the next company - sooner or later they'd get the idea. (Yeah I know, takes too long, too much dedication to principle, a clear goal.....)

- Posted from the pad

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Caliber Problem

Too many that I like - not enough sefl control - that's my problem
I suppose next to Tam, I'm a bit of a piker so there's that.

I've improved over the years, but I'm slipping again.
At one point I'd tried to get down to just .45acp and .308 But .308 is too expesive to blow though 500 rounds every few months. (well so is 5.56 but you have to practice right?) I'd almost made it but I couldn't give up the 9x23 and I couldn't give up the 5.56 and the 45-70. So I have 3 guns I'll probably sell this month - a .380, a .40S&W and at Win Model 92 in .44mag

The smart thing to do would be - sell everything except the 5.56 - and buy 3 M&P 9mm.
Since 2 is 1, and 1 is none the correct number would be 3 of each right? Would be cheaper than what I'm doing that's for sure. Even so, it's not going to happen.

Current Pistol:
.45ACP (for the 1911's and the XD)
.40 S&W (1 double stack 1911 compact)
.380 for the PPK that I really need to sell
9x23 for Burns Custom 1911 9x23 (I LOVE this round)

.44 Mag (For the Model 92)
.300 AAC (new and I'm sort of tempted to replace the 5.56 with it --- but.....)
.308 WIN

Shotgun (only 12ga) Yay!

I'm set up for reloading all of theses except the .44mag

I'm seriously considering adding 9mm

Adding 9mm would cut my ammo expenses for classes, and practice down a $100 - $150 / case, more if I used Wolf ammo. I suspect the real reason is that I keep looking at this M&P 9mm that my local crack (ahhh gun) dealer has and I kind of want it. I also want a second 9x23 (with perhaps a 9mm barrel I can swap in/out)

I've always had a talent for rationalizing gun purchases - part of which is I've never lost money on a gun. It's just that I'm thinking about spending 600 bucks on a gun to save myself maybe $300 bucks on ammo over the next couple years. Does this qualify as an addction?

From a TEOTWAWKI point of view I can see reasons to hang on to the ability to use 5.56 and 9mm - as I suspect those are the two most common (in terms of quantity) rounds in the U.S.A. at the moment. They're also cheaper to reload - so even better
Maybe I should sell the XD if I get the M&P......

See there I go again - it's a friggen disease. I'm really starting to envy those people who were smart enough to not go down this path - you know those of you who started with a 9mm Glock, then added an AR-15 - WAY smarter. I guess my excuse is I've had 40 years to get here, and when I started there were no Glocks - come to think on it - there was no AR-15 either.

- Posted from the pad

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Round II

I'm one of those people who enjoyed Part I of Atlas Shrugged, and I've been looking forward to THIS

I think the movie is an excellent update to the book.   I appreciate Rand, I'm just not 100% in agreement with her - say 90% - I can think of a few things that are significantly beneficial for society but as yet I can think of no way to privatise them (i.e. make them profitable).   Many of these come from the belief that most people find it very difficult to take a long view (longer than their lifetime).  Which makes some of their rational choices less than optimal for the future - say for example EVERYONE in congress.

A politician says they care about the future of our children - they're lying.
A politician or Bureaucrat says it's for the Greater Good - start looking for the Storm Troopers.

A Little Paranoia and a Little Prepping

I've been working with a friend on a root cellar - well more of a mostly underground storage. We're also adding a single lane 50 foot shooting range. While we can legally shoot on his property, we decided to not annoy the neighbors so an underground range was called for to minimize the noise. It's a lot of work but it's worth it.
I also did some research on converting my gun safe from an electronic lock to a mechanical one - looks like it'll run about $500. Why? Well it started as I was researching a book I'm writing. One thing led to another and I ended up spending a fair amount of time researching EMP causes and effects. One of those effects (albeit a minor one) would be to keep me out of my own safe. Originally I put the probability of an EMP fairly low, but the more I think about the situation in Iran, Pakistan, India, China, North Korea, Israel, the whole figgen world; the less sanguine I am about the possibility.
So the paranoid in me came up with a probability chart - based on some research and some gut feel (yes very scientific) Keeping in mind that I pay hundreds of dollars every year for homeowners insurance and the probability of a major claim is between .004% and .0008%
In my lifetime in my AO (Area of Operation - sounds very tacticool eh?)
(World effecting)
Economic Collapse > 30% and climbing (hyper-inflation)
Major earthquake (9.0+) > 25% (expert assessments not mine)
Super Volcano < 5% (who the hell knows)
Pandemic > 30% (if your under 25 figure 100%)
Major Comet/Meteor Strike < .004% (expert estimate)
Nuclear war < 1% No winers - too many losers
Civil War < 5% some days I think it's higher
Tsunami > 30% (bigger than Japan Tsunami)
Terrorist Attack > 10% (9/11 or larger in scale)
EMP (Solar) > 15% (best numbers I could find)
EMP (Terrorist) > 10% (gut feel)
Oil Shortage > 10% (based on China growth)
Global Warming > ? I've no idea
Poll Reversal 0
Riots > 1% It's just getting weirder
(Regional effecting - Costal, State Wide, Multi-State)
Riots > 20%
Foot shortages > 15%
Epidemic > 20%
Tsunami > 30%
Terrorist Attack > 10%
Volcano > 10% (already had one)
Earthquake > 40%
(Local Effecting)
Riots < 5% (fairly rural here)
Epidemic 100% (have one now)
Fire < 5%
Serious Gang problems < 10%
Food shortages > 30% (transportation issues)
Weather Related > 10%
Power Outages >10Days > 10%
- Posted from the pad

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm confused

The "demonstration" in Seattle is reported to have a group of black clad anarchist  - which seems to be a fairly standard tactic for these demonstrations - same thing happened back in 99 WTO conference.

So here's where I'm confused,   The Occupy movement seems to want bigger government - you know to put the screws to that greedy 1%  And yet they have Anarchists?   WTF?   These people aren't looking to have a form of government that has no monopoly on the use of force, or ability to apply force - they're looking for the Government to coerce the wealthy in to giving up their wealth (at least that's my take on it).

Is it the media that's getting this wrong?   Apparently it's happened in Cleveland -  a plot to blow up a bridge, again Anarchists and Anti-business - which I guess in this case means National Socialist rather than anarchits?  I think they use the term unadvisedly - perhaps they should stick with criminal.   It's sort of like Terrorist - at this point Terrorist really doesn't mean anything because it means pretty much anyone for any reason that someone else doesn't approve of.

My definition of Terrorist?  A person or group with a shared ideology, involved in or plotting violence against civilian targets for the purpose of causing harm and fear, with the idea that this will somehow prove beneficial to the terrorist in the long run.    So maybe these kids in Cleveland could be classified as terrorists but it would require that they have some goal other than just blowing shit up.  I doubt any of them are bright enough to have a long range goal.

Part of the problem is the Left seems to like to appropriate words and change the meanings - For example if this were the late 1800's and into the mid 1900's I'd be a Liberal - and a liberal would be a progressive (see they grabbed progressive because it sounds good, and used it for their own agenda).   Go read The Road to Surfdom by F.A. Hayek   He was there and explains it better than I do.

Blogging from the iPad

I take my pad everywhere - it's much lighter than my MacBook Pro, but it has it's downsides. I need to carry the Bluetooth keyboard (not a big issue), and when I want to use the keyboard I have to open the battery compartment and reverse the end battery. I do that to keep the keyboard from constantly waking up the iPad and killing my battery. What the damn thing needs is a real ON/OFF switch, instead of the just the ON switch - bad ergonomics.

Trying to edit blogger on an iPad using Safari is pointless - the right edge is cut off so you can't see the last two characters and there's no way to fix it. It almost never brings up the text if you decide to edit an entry - which means you can't edit entries. Basically like much of the free Apple software - it sits somewhere between sort of ok, and annoying.

Trying to use Apollo (Chrome's iPad browser) is just as bad in different ways - more often than not it just crashes.

So now I'm trying BlogPress - which if this posts ok will be a HUGE improvement over every other option I've tried.

- Posted from the pad

Protest about Nothing

Mayday, 2012 Seattle

I listened to the radio reports of the protest in Seattle yesterday as it turned violent.   Conspicuously absent from any of the reports was any comment on just what it was they where protesting.  No "WTO Protest", no "Unfair Labor Practices Protest" - just Protests.    If there is no coherent message and it turns violent - it's not a protest it's a riot.
If one were to base it on actions I'd have to say the protest was about wanting what others had with out having to work for it.   Or at the very least, wanting no one to have more than they had.  As part of the Occupy movement, it was consistent in that it had no coherent message other than "Take it from them and give it to us."

One segment of the march was shouting "All we want, is total freedom"  It seems that total freedom means being able to destroy private property with no consequence.

I suspect most of the "Protesters" don't really think about the consequences of their actions, either in the short term or the long.   If these protest continue in the direction they're heading - more frequent, more violent, less purpose, You will see more people asking for a crackdown, and the government will gladly jump in a quash a few more of the rights they find so meddlesome to running the country as they see fit.

I see this as one more sign that we're heading for serious trouble.