Google Analytics

Monday, December 24, 2012

Quick! Do something before I can think!

This is the primary problem with trying to pass a law in the wake of a highly emotionally charged event.
The people having the conversation regarding "common sense" concepts don't fully understand the concepts. Watch Mayor Bloomberg try to explain why supports a ban on semi automatic rifles by describing how an automatic weapon works.
He is either totally ignorant of that which he discusses or is being totally disingenuous in order to get his real agenda passed. Either way this is not the kind of people you want making new laws.
When making laws, you have to be VERY specific about the language and definitions. That opens the opportunity to take advantage of other peoples ignorance.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear NRA, I appreciate the input but placing one armed guard at every school is insufficient. For that to work you really need an armed guard for every person. While that sounds really expensive, it's not. It's called "eliminate the 'gun free zones'" You welcome, TFM

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I recently travelled through the SFO airport few times and have decided it is an excellent example of government inefficiency thwarted. Most people do not realize that you can opt out of having TSA run your security. You still have to follow TSA procedures and guidelines but you can have private security put you through the naked scanner instead. Some time ago, SFO did just that. The lines at SFO consistently move faster than most places I've been and the security seems more alert and sensitive to getting everyone through with a minimum of fuss. The time they it took them to scan and approve someone? About 5-10 seconds. Mainly just because they were paying attention to the fact that we all already knew how to do it. We had to wait on the machine to spin, not wait on the agent to talk everyone through each agonizing step. TSA is replaced with private security and the TSA sanctioned personal violations are more palatable, coincidence? I think not.

Even if you choose not to exercise it

Dianne Feinstein this morning on Meet The Press made a call for no longer having "the rights of the few outweigh the safety of the many" Mrs. Feinstein, I'm pretty sure the rights you hold in contempt belong to all of us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Glock Glock Bo Bock…

Yep, as predicted I couldn’t stay away and pulled the trigger (so to speak) and purchased my first pistol.


I took son #2 down to the range to try it out and teach him to handle it. He did quite well but still prefers something a bit more long range. He did appreciate the ZMax Zombie rounds though.

Notice how everyone always says “first pistol” Its just sort of assumed that, long term, this is going to be a more expensive investment. Its kind of like tattoos. I don’t know anyone with just 2 tattoos. They either have 1 because they did it on a dare in college or they have a bunch.

btw – you want to get a wide variety of extreme responses from people? Tell them you just bought a gun.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DNC ignores its own

Twitter is lit up discussing the gaffe the DNC made where they dropped certain things from their platform and had to, under pressure, put them back. That’s not the real story as I see it.

Here’s what just happened at the DNC. The chair gets up and puts the platform changes on the screen. He asks for a voice vote… “Yes!!!”…. ‘No!!!!” and then he does a double take as he realizes he didn’t get the required 2/3 majority from the crowd. He actually started to say that it passed with the required 2/3 majority but stops. So he says he’ll do it again. “Yes!!!”…. ‘No!!!!”   This time the “no”s are even louder. He now looks totally flummoxed and then leans over to talk to some who says

You gotta let them do what they’re gonna do

He then immediately interprets this as “Let the animals roar. You cant control it” because he proceeds to ask for a 3rd vote and when the result is the same he ignores it and claims there was a 2/3 majority vote.

This is absolutely INSANE. He just took a public vote and when the party members didn’t just fall in line he got flummoxed. But then when he regained his composer his decision, as the chair, was to absolutely ignore the voting happening right in front of him on national television.

The irony of moving to ignore the rules in order to have a special vote and then ignoring the results of the vote is unbelievable.

If the DNC leadership decides to let this change stand they will have demonstrably proved that they do not care about anything except getting their way, even when their own constituents visibly claim opposing views. This is not the party of inclusion. They even ignore their own rules and members. This is the party of My Way or the Highway.


also, is this open proof that the DNC (at least the half that voted no) is actually actively anti-Israel and anti-God? How does that sit with the rest of the constituency around the nation?

Monday, August 13, 2012

End Medicare As We Know It?

Hopefully. Medicare “As We Know It” is doomed.The alternative to ending Medicare “As We Know It” is to leave it “As We Know It.” And we all “Know” that Medicare “As We Know It” is unsustainable and will end itself soon enough.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another new hobby?

Went to the local shooting range with the missus to try out something new. I’ve had a little experience with rifles and shotguns before but none with pistols. While I can’t say I can justify the $3000 price tag right now, I did quite enjoy the Nighthawk Custom 1911.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Arguing the wrong point

Over at Borepatch yesterday there was a post about Democrats being creepy because they build an app that uses public data to show where registered Democrats live. I left a comment which was misunderstood so I’ll expound here instead of putting a long comment there. Mr. Borepatch’s comment notwithstanding

This simply makes my skin crawl.  We know that there are people who are willing to target their political opponents.

This is not a problem with the Democratic party using publicly available data. Do not blame them for using the tools available to them. If you think your party affiliation should be kept private – DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO COLLECT IT. Go get them to change the rules.

I looked at two different voter registration forms today California and Texas (that should provide a good spread, right?) California has a box marked “Choice of Party.” Texas does not. If the government is requiring the collection of information then it is going to be public information more often than not. And that’s a good thing. And if I can’t fill it out, you can’t build an app that shows the data. I’m not a “registered anything” because there isn’t even a place for me to declare it. (Although if I go vote in a primary for a party they take note of that)

FWIW, I built a similar app as a proof of concept 4 years ago when I discovered the political donation info was readily available. Want to get creepy? Map out everyone on both sides who donated with big $$$ based on how much they contributed.

The real issue here is that the state’s directly support the two party system by actually managing the process for them and registering you with them. There is absolutely no reason for the state to provide ballots or procedure or anything to the private organizations known as political parties. The state recognizes the 2 parties officially and keeps the current system in place which is good for the incumbents. (Now when it comes to what the party does with its own data – same story; its on you to know that they are going to use the info to their advantage unless specified otherwise)

You want transparency in government? Then live with that transparency.

p.s. Borepatch, surely in your field you can’t have been surprised by the availability and use of data like this.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t totally suck!

When explaining why he is not jumping on the “Mayors that want to ban chick-fil-a” bandwagon, New York Mayor Bloomberg gets it exactly right

You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job.

I’ve been completely stunned that a number of large metropolitan mayors and councilman have gone on record that they are actively trying to prevent a restaurant from opening in their jurisdiction without any evidence (or even claims) of discrimination happening in their businesses.

Given his history, I was even more stunned that Bloomberg not only wasn’t right there with them, but he actively spoke out against it.

Way to go Mikey! (on this one at least) Now can I have a large soda with that? Winking smile

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SCOTUS did not give free reign for obscenity on TV

A lot of posts/tweets this morning have been suggesting that the SCOTUS ruling against the FCC in FCC v. Fox means that we are going to see lots of swearing and nudity on TV. That’s not the case. All it means is that the FCC can’t change their rules willy-nilly or whop you with a massive fine without prior notice that the behavior you engage in will whop you with a massive fine (prior notice meaning “its in the rules”). They specifically called out that they were not even considering this a first amendment issue and that the FCC is free to adjust their rules to be more precise in what is or is not allowed.

From the ruling (my emphasis)

It is necessary to make three observations about this decision’s scope. First, because the Court resolves these cases on fair notice grounds under the Due Process Clause, it need not address the First Amendment implications of the Commission’s indecency policy or re- consider Pacifica at this time.  Second, because the Court rules that Fox and ABC lacked notice at the time of their broadcasts that their material could be found actionably indecent under then-existing policies, the Court need not address the constitutionality of the current indecency policy as expressed in the Golden Globes Order and subsequent adjudications.  Third, this opinion leaves the Commission free to modify its current indecency policy in light of its determination of the public interest and applicable legal requirements and leaves courts free to review the current, or any modified, policy in light of its content and application.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thanks for clearing that up, Indiana!

My biggest concern for the Castle Doctrine laws has always been what happens if the police break into your house. What do you think would really happen if the police charge into your house by mistake or illegally and you shoot one of them. Stories of mistaken addresses, misserved warrants or unlawful entries are not uncommon.

The Indiana state Supreme Court ruled last year that “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” Seriously. That was the decision.

Indiana now has a new law on the books that specifically allows

residents to use deadly force in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to protect themselves and others, or their property.

Maybe this will be a trend that forces police to reevaluate the use of “show of force” SWAT operations and starting knocking on doors politely again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Its too complicated. So just leave it as is?

Yet another argument in favor of limiting the size of Congressional bills

The Supreme Court spent 91 minutes Wednesday operating on the assumption that it would strike down the key feature of the new health care law, but may have convinced itself in the end not to do that because of just how hard it would be to decide what to do after that.  A common reaction, across the bench, was that the Justices themselves did not want the onerous task of going through the remainder of the entire 2,700 pages of the law and deciding what to keep and what to throw out, and most seemed to think that should be left to Congress.  They could not come together, however, on just what task they would send across the street for the lawmakers to perform.  The net effect may well have shored up support for the individual insurance mandate itself.

Argument recap: A lift for the mandate? : SCOTUSblog

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When No One Is Watching

Character is what you do when you think no one else is looking; or in this case, when you think your microphone is off.

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Obama Asks Medvedev for 'Space' on Missile Defense - 'After My Election I Have More Flexibility' - Yahoo! News

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why am I loitering? Why are YOU loitering?!


Cops take old armored car and build dedicated surveillance vehicle that can sit in one place and record 700 hours of video then jump out of it to charge man with loitering.

Peacemaker: Lauderdale police put trouble spots under surveillance

Friday, January 13, 2012

Obama’s campaign manager says “Bring home the troops!”

I just noticed an email I got on Jan 4 from Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection bid. Discussing Iowa’s Republican primary he says [my emphasis]

The extremist Tea Party agenda won a clear victory. No matter who the Republicans nominate, we'll be running against someone who has embraced that agenda in order to win -- vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinitely, restrict a woman's right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.

Now there is a lot of partisan nonsense here but the one that really stuck out was “leave the troops in Iraq indefinitely” I thought that the all the US soldiers had left which is a pretty big deal for Obama to take credit for. Why is his campaign manager so out of touch with what his boss is actually doing?