Memorial Day

Well it’s Memorial Day. I’m not going to be doing much blogging due to the holiday.

Yes it’s an actual holiday, not just a day off of work. So take a few minutes to remember all those soldiers who have fallen in battle.

I Know Mayor Daley is Dumb But… Wow

So an 80 year-old man banished a demon back to Hell with a firearm. Of course most of us cheer the fact that the elderly man was able to have a mechanism of self defense at hand and thus preserve his life. Unfortunately this happened in Chicago and a handgun was used thus making what the elderly man did illegal. Apparently Sir Sodomy isn’t saying if the 80 year-old man will be charged but chances are he will.

But one of the quotes made by Sir Sodomy really stuck up at fucking stupid:

“I think everybody understands the frustration that people have in regards to guns, and that’s an instance, and I think we understand that,” Daley said. “But again, the access to guns in America, the access today is higher today than at any period of time in America.”

Wow. Access to guns is higher today than any period of our history? Really? Access generally means your ability to obtain something. You have access to a car if you are able to get a car to drive. Access in America today is not at it’s highest in our history.

In the past Americans could purchase any firearm they wanted. During the Civil War many people owned private cannons which were the artillery pieces of the day (for those morons who claim the Second Amendment only applies to flintlocks). Before the passing of the National Firearms Act any American could legally go into a store and purchase a machine gun, short barreled rifle, or short barreled shotgun without paying any BATFE transfer tax. Now thanks to the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act we can’t legally transfer any machine gun made after May 19, 1986. In order to purchase a firearm you need to go through an instant background check. No ammunition considered by the BATFE to be “armor piercing” can be imported into the country. Hell no gun not approved by the BATFE can be imported into the country. So tell me again how access to firearms in this country is at an all time high.

Man Chicago really needs a new mayor. Their current one is a complete dumb ass.

Obama Really Can Bring People Together

So Obama showed up in San Francisco to help raise money for Barbra Boxer’s campaign (apparently she’s with the program and does what she’s told). One thing I will say about Obama I may not like the man or his policies but he does bring people together:

While wealthy people who had paid as much as $2,000 each lined up to enter the Fairmont, across the street was a large and raucous protest against Obama and Boxer. And it wasn’t just one group, or even one half of the political spectrum. Obama was whipsawed, pummelled from all sides simultaneously. Left-wingers, right-wingers, pacifists, libertarians, communists, conservatives, people angry about the BP oil spill, people angry that Obama’s healthcare reform bill didn’t go far enough, others angry that it went too far, extremists, moderates, and everyone in between on both sides of the aisle.

I love it when people unite.

New BATFE Abuse of Power

The BATFE sure likes their power to change the meaning behind laws at a whim. Uncle reports they’re doing it again by mucking about with the mechanism businesses ship firearms:

Reversing an interpretation of the Gun Control Act that has been on the books for more than four decades, ATF today posted a ruling declaring any shipment of a firearm by a manufacturer (FFL) to any agent or business (e.g., an engineering-design firm, patent lawyer, testing lab, gun writer, etc.) for a bona fide business purpose to be a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act of 1968. As a consequence, legitimate business-related shipments will now require the recipient to complete a Form 4473 and undergo a Brady criminal background check. In many instances, these requirements will force shipments to a third party, thereby lengthening the process and the time that the firearm is in transit.

Man I wish I had the power to change the rules whenever I felt it convenient. So why are they doing this? Obviously isn’t because many gun transferred for bona fide business purposes have been turning up in crimes. Oh wait:

ATF is unable to identify a single instance during the past 40 years where a single firearm shipped in reliance upon ATF’s rulings was used in a crime.

So the real reason is simply, “Because we can.” And people seem to think government agencies are benevolent and good.

We’re Not Happy Until Everybody is Watched

As it sits right now if you want a cellular phone without having to be on a list (the phone company’s subscriber list in this case) the only way to go is pre-paid. In this case you walk into a store, grab a pre-paid cell phone, and pay for it using cash (it’s that funny green colored paper for those of you who only know how to pay for things using plastic cards). A couple of senators have decided that any means of avoiding the government knowing what you’re doing is a bad thing.

Senators Charles Schumer and John Cornyn have introduced legislation that would require people buying pre-paid cell phones to show identification and be recorded. For a quote from the stupid:

“This proposal is overdue because for years, terrorists, drug kingpins and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace,” Schumer said.

So now what? They’ll have to go back to either using phone booths or stolen cell phones? Face it this law won’t change anything, criminals are always one step ahead of the authorities. Oh but best of all:

Faisal Shahzad, the 30-year-old suspect in the Times Square plot, allegedly used a prepaid cellphone to arrange the purchase of a Nissan Pathfinder that he attempted to turn into a car bomb, the senators noted.

Wait a minutes doesn’t a car require tax, title, and license? That generally means you have to register it with the state. So how exactly would having a law preventing people from buying pre-paid cell phones without identification help? Oh that’s right it wouldn’t.

Let’s hear some concerns from the people who actually think things through:

Civil liberties advocates have concerns about the proposal, saying there must be a role for anonymous communications in a free society. “They remain important for whistleblowers, battered spouses, reporters’ sources,” said James X. Dempsey, policy director for the Center for Democracy and Technology. And yet, he said, the space for such anonymous or pseudonymous communications has been narrowed. Pay phones, for example, have largely disappeared.

Pre-paid cell phones obtained with cash are also useful to those who want to keep the government out of their business.

Thankfully there currently is no similar bill in the House. But I’m sure that will change in about two days since this is needed to “fight the terrorists” (terrorists being anybody who doesn’t step into line with the government).

You Really Can’t Cure Stupid

It appears one of Sea Sheppard’s little nitwits is on trial in Japan. Peter Bethune was the former captain of the super high-tech speed boat Ady Gil before he parked it in front of a massive moving harpoon ship thinking the laws of physics could break for his righteous crusade (they didn’t). Well being one to blame other people for his fuck up he decided it would be a good idea to board the harpoon ship (after he was able to get a jet ski, it appears even Sea Sheppard wasn’t dumb enough to give this guy another expensive boat) to make a citizen’s arrest of the captain.

So what happens when one man illegal boards another vessel full of rightfully angry people? He gets arrested himself and sent to Tokyo for trail (he’s lucky if it were a Russian ship they would have probably dropped him in the middle of the sea on an inflatable dingy):

He pleaded guilty to four charges, including trespass and obstructing commercial activities, but denied a fifth charge of assault.

If convicted he could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Pro tip: don’t trespass on other peoples’ property. Illegally boarding the Japanese whaling vessel is akin to breaking into somebody’s home. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like what they are doing. If somebody doesn’t like the fact I own firearms they can’t break into my home and try to place me under citizen’s arrest.

Another Nook vs. Kindle Observation

Yes I keep making posts comparing the Barnes and Nobel Nook to the Amazon Kindle. It’s not that I hate the Nook, far from it I just find it lacking in several areas. Well I found another thing I love about the Kindle that the Nook lacks, access to the store without the device. Before I purchased my first Kindle I browsed through Amazon’s Kindle Store to see what books they had available.

Today I figured I’d see what books the Nook had available but am unable to find the store front on Barnes and Noble’s website. It appears the only way to browser their book selection is to have a Nook. That makes checking out the selection of books very difficult before buying the device.

The Kindle store let’s me purchased or obtain trails via my web browser and have them delivered to my Kindle when I next turn it’s wireless interface on. Sure this feature doesn’t sound like much but I actually use it quite a bit. There are quite a few times where I’ll see a book mentioned but not be near my Kindle. In that case I’ll just log onto the website and select the book as a sample. The next time I turn on my Kindle the sample appears and I remember a book which I most likely forgot earlier. Yes the website is nothing more than a fancy reminder system for me but it’s very convenient.

If anybody knows how to access the Nook’s store via web browser let me know.

Even More on Arizona’s Illegal Immigrant Law

A while back a certain state passed a certain law that was really unpopular. I expressed my worries about the wording of the law as well. My main beef was the fact the bill simple stated:


I feel that wording is poorly chosen as “lawful contact” could mean any number of things. Well I’ve been doing a little more digging into this law and found out that Arizona’s House actually corrected the wording in their HB 2162:

For any lawful contact stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c). A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:

I don’t know why I didn’t find this earlier but I can see why it was never really reported by the big media companies. This rewording pretty much takes care of my biggest gripe with this law. It does seem reasonable to check a person’s immigration status upon enforcement of other laws being background checks are usually run anyways.

There is still the potential issue of an officer pulling a person over solely to check their immigration status by making up some phony bull shit about a light being out but that threat exists for every law on the books. But I will openly admit I was wrong here and should have done more research at the time of writing about my issues with the law.