Friday, May 23, 2014

Smart guns and how to deal with them

Personally I think we're a long way from any sort of reliable smart gun no matter what the promoters of such think.   To prove the point here's what I recommend:  Once every police department is required to use ONLY smart weapons and has completely converted - then maybe we can require us normal folks.

New Jersey - already a police state in many ways has a law that is down right scary.

According to this statute, once “at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer in New Jersey or any other state,” a process in set in motion which, within 29 months or less, will outlaw the sale of all ordinary handguns in New Jersey.
Seriously - BAD.  How fast to you think they can ramp up production of a new gun - I think 29 months is very unrealistic.  Your talking bout significant chances to entire product lines - so, 29 months later they either DELAY, or the shelves are empty.   I think they're hoping for empty, put all those pesky dealers out of business.

If you think you've got a design that can' be hacked it's only because you aren't trying (you have been paying attention to the whole NSA thing right?)  If I were the government I'd love it if everyone had RFID controlled guns.  RFID is an incredibly weak signal - jamming would be simple.  Make every gun in a five mile radius unusable - might need a good size transmitter, more than you'd want to carry on a person - but easily portable.  For closer encounters - something the size of a pager would probably work just fine.   I'd say about a week after the cops have it, the bag guys will have it - maybe sooner.  Knowing this, if you were a cop would you trust your life to a gun with RFID?  Yeah, me either.    What about accidental interference with say WiFi or other signals. Then there's the power issue - with the wrist band, or ring needs a battery or the gun does - how often have you grabbed a flashlight only to discover the batteries are dead?

How about finger print scanners?   - how often have you seen these things FAIL.  They're delicate, touchy and unreliable - eventually they'll become more reliable.  But they're still easy to fool.  They also have the power issue.

In practice, the gun will almost always need a power source, to keep the gun from functioning the normal state need to be SAFE (will not fire) until the appropriate interaction takes place, then something needs to change the operating condition to FIRE. That's a difficult thing to do with out some sort of electronic control - which take power.

Almost any system that is reliable for the owner will be easy to hack - eliminating the advantage of "keeping them out of the hands of bad guys" - so while it might keep them from hurting the kids in the family, a modicum of common sense and a bit of diligence will do the same job.  So why?  The only reason I can see that has any actual validity is to keep your gun from being used against you.  Before the bad guy has a chance to bypass the security - more of an issue for cops than the rest of us. But still, it would be nice - if you could make it work 100% of the time and there was no way to interfere with it with out for example taking the gun apart.  I just don't buy for a minute that we're even close to such a solution.

Ultimately I like the "idea" of a smart gun, we're just a very long way from being able to build something that someone with more resources (government) or sufficient incentive (bad guys) can't get around.   So we're at best looking to make life more difficult, expensive and dangerous for those of us who KNOW we need to be responsible for ourselves.  Calling 911 is not an option when someone is treating a loved one, and anyone who trusts the government either hasn't read any history or they weren't paying attention.

So how do we deal with them - I'd like to see petitions go to the manufacturers stating that We The People will boycott any manufacturer who builds one, and any store that sells one.   If there's no market, maybe they'll stop spending time and money on the issue.  In my dreams we'd make it clear to the politicians that not one cent of tax money (or recently created fiat currency) should be used for R&D on this issue.

Security Alert

If you have accounts at Adobe, Paypal or ebay - you should go there right now and change your passwords - ebay will force you to change as soon as you login.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Follow your passion

Sometimes trivial events bring enlightenment, sometimes they're just trivial events.   Take Jeremy Clarkson.

Jeremy is a CAR guy - no... Jeremy is a CAR guy.  Life for Jeremy is all about CARS.  It's understandable, he makes a LOT of money being concerned with cars.  Cars have been his passion for most of his life.

Recently he got called on the carpet for possibly, but not actually, mumbling something that might have sounded like nigger* The liberal press had a field day - the BBC threatened a good sacking.  Then the conservative blogs and press had a field day about the liberals having a field day.   The man was just thinking about cars - it's an old, old rhyme, it's old enough most people don't even remember the whole thing.   He obviously considered the issue - he even did another take trying to make sure it didn't sound like he'd said it.  Yet, Those Who Seek Offense were offend - but damn, everything offends them so who gives a crap. Really? Who?   People who want to get Likes on Facebook?  People who want to get re-tweets?   People who are so busy worrying about what other people think that they don't have an original opinion in their tiny minds.  If you care about them, well then your part of the problem and I just don't give a crap what you think :)

I came across this little essay concerning Jeremy - this fellow, Mr. Howard Jacobson, thinks all the brouhaha was - well brouhaha - good for him. I agree. He also thinks, if Jeremy is to assailed for anything, it should be because he is passionate about cars.  Apparently this guy doesn't like bicycles either - not cyclists - bicycles and bicycle enthusiasts.  For him it's all just getting from point A to point B the rest of it is obscene obsession.  So what's his complaint about Jeremy?
As for Clarkson, it has always seemed to me that his real crime is to be interested in cars. Not just interested in cars in the way he is, as though they are a definitive badge of masculinity, as though the idea of a man unexcited by cars is inconceivable, as though the din and roar of them must be of universal male appeal, as though driving a car up a slope – sorry, up a hill – represents the ne plus ultra of human achievement, but just interested in cars full stop.

Wow - isn't that just a little bit elitist.  Follow your passion! unless I don't approve.

I'm sure he doesn't think he's being elitist - just displaying common sense.   Well, I'm a bit of a CAR guy, and it seems pretty elitist to me. Cars have been part of culture in Europe and America since their beginning - What does Mr. Jacobson think of someone who expresses their passion for what is a significant part of their culture...
A motorist has an ideological relationship with his car. In a sane society you’d get eight years for that.
A criminal?   Yeah, definitely elitist.

So Back to Jeremy - is he a racist? Seems unlikely but then - WHO CARES!  Does he preach racial devision like say -  Jackson, or Sharpton? No. It's not even close to his defining quality - which is to say,  delightfully obnoxious and pompous.   Then again, I love cars too so I cut him a lot of slack.   He's said some VERY unkind things about Americans - but then so have I - and yes, I've criticized American cars, and drivers and Car & Driver magazine - even.

All this angst about someone having personal opinions which get out'ed or little slips that get turned into millions of man hours of angst... get a grip people.  If you hate him, don't watch him, don't read him - just ignore him.   Me, I find him endlessly amusing, occasionally annoying, and sometimes idiotic. I mean - a set of expensive rubber burned off in a hour on the track - that's just stupid :)

*yeah that N word - People! It's a figging word.  You think saying "He said the N word" that somehow we don't know what that word is? No the assumption is that we do know, which means you pretty much thought about that word - did you turn into a puddle of spit?  did you burst into flames? No?  Go figure.  But he said it out loud.... Oh. My. God...  Huh, still no lightning, no flames.  Sure calling someone a nigger has some very unappealing baggage - I don't recommend it. If a child of mine called someone a nigger I'd slap them upside the head - then again I don't have kids.  On the other hand, the N Word?  like somehow just saying the word nigger makes you a racist.  Unless you're black apparently - although I'm really not sure why that's the case.  Mind boggling, really.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hipster Beards

Agony - I laughed so hard it hurt. 

Then again, I can change a tire - and oil, or rebuild an engine. I own a chainsaw and know how to use it.  I own a hammer (12 actually, framing(2), ball peen, sledge(2 small, one large) , small claw, brass head, plastic/rubber, rawhide, cross peen, and a geologists hammer - someplace, I had a tacking hammer but I haven't seen it since two moves ago... come to think on it, I haven't seen my cross peen hammer since then either... )   
I get why some guys don't have beards... well, no, actually I don't...  I've had one for hmm just a bit shy of 40 years.  There was a period there when I wasn't allowed - needed to be able to fit a full face respirator incase I needed to walk into a burning building - which is I guess a really good reason to not have one.

I interviewed with EDS when I graduated - they asked me to come to a second interview but said I had to shave off the beard.   I looked at the interviewer for a minute then said, 

'I think I'll pass.  If I wanted to shave my beard I'd have joined the army, at least they'd have let me blow stuff up'

He was...  stunned? amazed? horrified?  no idea - but he sat there with his mouth open, making no sound as I got up and walked out.  

It's changed shapes a time or two but it's been there for me, day in, day out.   I wish I could say the same for my hair - it started to give up before my insurance rates dropped (age 25 in case you don't remember)  Such is life.

Minimum Wage

I've been digging around to figure out who was supporting the minimum wage hike and why.  There are a number of unsurprising supporters - notably almost any leftist organization.  Like the Economics Policy Institute - which is backed by unions and is constantly on the attack when it comes to conservative economics.  

Somewhat less obvious is Walmart - while they haven't come out in favor of the idea, they are considering it.   Why?  well let's think about what it's passage would really mean.    To a company like  Walmart the cost could be measured in millions for a company that deals in billions - that's not a crippling number.  But what about the small mom and pop shop?  If you're trying to run a business where your profit margin is about %30, raising your labor costs by 20% or more could be fatal.  Even if you're not losing money as a business, you will likely not be making enough to live on yourself.  How long are you going to run a business for the benefit of your employees when you need to go find another job to support yourself?   Not long.

Washington D.C. has a minimum for big stores - $12.50 and hour, Walmart decided to cancel the building of three stores.  Coincidence? No.  If on the other hand, that wage affected all of their competition... well that might have been a different story because those smaller businesses would have been hit much harder in terms of cash-flow, and net revenue.  Using the government to help you build your monopoly?  Yes.  Walmart already has a deleterious effect on small competing businesses. Sure it's good for consumers who aren't too picky about quality, or those shopping for brand name commodity type goods - canned and boxed groceries are the same no matter where you buy them, I tried their produce and their meats - never again thank you.  I've always thought the old saying about getting what you pay for is, not quite right, but in this case, yeah, I saved money and wished I hadn't.

Subway is another who thinks the minimum wage bump is a good thing - you have to ask, if it's such a good idea why aren't you doing it?  There's nothing to stop you from paying your people more... Oh, well except competition...  And when you have the deep pockets, encouraging the government to pile on expenses that your smaller mom and pop competitors can't handle, well that's just good business right?

What happens when the mom and pop's fail?   We lose jobs, and with the competition gone, you can expect some cuts from the big guys, since they don't have to compete on service anymore - they won't.

This really is a case of paying for what you get, rather than getting what you pay for.

So here's just one of the fallacies perpetrated by the left - it will only raise prices by a little bit.  Well sure, if we're talking about Walmart and Costco - and you didn't apply the minimum wage adjustment to all their suppliers, and to the manufacturers and the shippers.   If you raise the cost of manufacturing, the items in question will cost more.  When the distributors price goes up, they need to raise their price, if their employment costs go up too, then they have to account for that as well, which means an even bigger jump in price. The products still need to be shipped but if you've increased employment costs to the shipper they're going to have to pass those on.   Now it get's to the Retailer, who's employment costs have increase as well as their cost of goods - so when you calculate things like who much prices will rise for the consumer, just taking the minimum wage of the retail associate in to account doesn't tell the whole story - by a wide margin.

Should they be paying more?   We'll it's possible.  If you compare Costco and Walmart you get a little surprise - Costco pays better, and business has been improving at a good clip - Walmart typically doesn't and they're growth rate has dropped to something like %1.2  hardly stellar.  What's the difference?  Happy employee's work better - they're better with customers, they're better at keeping things stocked, they're better at keeping the place clean.  If you can afford to pay more, I'd argue it's worth it.   Not everyone can, generally in small shops there are other incentives, some provide greater flexibility in scheduling, some are just closer to home, some just provide a less rigid cookie cutter environment - in the end, if you have a choice you're better off.  If Costco pays more there will be more competition for those jobs, they'll get the more energetic employees, and they'll use them.  The mom and pop Pizza shop might have to settle for second best, but as long as it's good enough they can keep their business open, and that's a few more jobs... times a million small businesses.

Ultimately choice is better than no choice.  Every time the government get's involved choice is reduced.   Some businesses have made the choice to pay more, and in some cases it's paid dividends. But it's a choice.

It's New York - that pretty much explains everything.

So the Bloomberg legacy stupidity continues - That's right New Yorkers, All your Big Gulp belong to us!

It's gotta be something in the water...    I guess the more likely explanation is that this is a diversion -

Hey!  Look... Over There!

Why else spend resources, take up the courts time and waste ink on something that's already been decided - something that should never have been an issue to begin with.  They want everyone looking at Big Gulps instead of...  Well, honestly I have no idea but I suspect of you pick from one of the following categories you'll be heading in the right direction:  Corruption, Fraud, Abuse of Power, Even more egregious violations of personal liberty, Someone's bank account.

Maybe even pick two or three.

What He Said.

I'd have posted on this celebrity selfie campaign  but Larry Correia already did it better than I could have. 

So - Yeah, what he said.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Death of Religious Freedom

There have been signs aplenty that the left doesn't want Christians.   Muslims -  sure, Atheists - excellent!  Jews - not so much,  Pagans - too small a voting block to matter.   But Christians?  No! thank you very much now go away.

I'm not sure if the deportation thing was unique but keep in mind - One of the founding principles of this country is Religious Freedom.

The Left Also had a real Hate for home schooling - you're pulling the impressionable youth out of their Useful Idiot Factories.  It's much harder to create a totalitarian police state when people see what you're doing and actually understand the consequences.   So of course that family had to go - I mean really - Christian and Home Schooled?  Nope just can't have that kind of resistance to the the Group Think!

Some times I think we're falling down the rabbit hole, but to the best of my knowledge rabbits don't crap in their own holes - and the LEFT most certainly does.

Hope and Change

What the administration really meant by Hope and Change

When first questioned about the Terrorist attack on our embassy in Benghazi the Administration had a Hope that the story, about it being a spontaneous attack caused by hurt feelings over a youtube video that almost no one had seen, would fly  Failing that, they realized a Change was needed.

When the video story failed  they Hoped they could float the idea that there had been no warnings and that they responded in a timely fashion.  When that failed they realized they needed a Change in story.

When questioned about responding to requests for help, they Hoped they could ignore the question.  When the question just wouldn't go away, they simply decided to Change the question.

When Obama care was passed the Hope was that it would all take effect in 2014.  When the senators figured out it was going to cost them personally - they decided it need some small Change.

When the administration promised: if you like your plan you can keep it.  They had  Hope that everyone would believe it.  When they started getting called on their obvious LIES, they created a Change in the plan to transfer blame to someone else.  Somehow allowing insurance companies that had already instated the required changed to - require - some of those changes after it had already been completed would fix the problem.

The administration had Hope that people wouldn't realize what effect the employer mandate would have on employment numbers until AFTER the election.  When it because obvious that Obamacare was going to harm companies and cost jobs, Obama used his mighty pen to Change the law.

When Obama was running for office he clearly stated his position on marriage. He had Hope that his statement that marriage was - between one man and one woman - would get him elected.  Later he had to Change his mind because he wanted to get re-elected.

I could go on for WEEKS.  Yes the Obama legacy is Hope and Change - They Hope you won't realized how they're screwing you over - then Change to the story when it becomes embarrassing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Give me another 99 of these please

Okay, I don't know much about her but, damn I love this Ad.

Sometimes he's just an ass

Now and then I find Jon Stewart funny.  Sometimes he tries to be funny but the subject he's trying to make a joke about sort of pisses me off.   This little gem goes well beyond that.

Jon Stewart is an ASS

Yes, he actually was saying: WE DON'T CARE that this administration hung four Americans out to die.   It's been covered - nobody cares.

Stewart - you sanctimonious, elitist douche.    You think having to take all that time to finally DIG out the truth is a waste? You think four lives lost though either massive malfeasance or callous indifference is simply forgettable?   You think it's funny?  Apparently you do, you spend enough time making jokes about it.

I think you owe their families an apology.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Guns are obviously BAD


And Teachers are always GOOD