So How’s That Global Warming Working Out

You know all those islands that are sinking due to rising sea levels caused by global warming climate change? Well they’re growing:

In recent times, the inhabitants of many low-lying Pacific islands have come to fear their homelands being wiped off the map because of rising sea levels.

But this study of 27 islands over the last 60 years suggests that most have remained stable, while some have actually grown.

I’m no expert but I believe growing is the exact opposite of sinking. Of course the people who are profiting off of believe in global warming are still spewing their bullshit:

But although these islands might not be submerged under the waves in the short-term, it does not mean they will be inhabitable in the long-term, and the scientists believe further rises in sea levels pose a significant danger to the livelihoods of people living in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.

One scientist in Kiribati said that people should not be lulled into thinking that inundation and coastal erosion were not a major threat.

So the “rising sea levels” aren’t actually sinking these islands yet these people are saying the inhabitants of said islands should be worried because “rising sea levels” are going to destroy them? What the fuck?

Weapons Heading to Mexico Seized

Apparently a large quantity of weapons has been seized on it’s way to Mexico:

Texas police say they acted on a tip-off and stopped a truck. Inside, they found 147 assault rifles, 53 bayonets and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition they believe were heading across the border to Mexico.

Oh no not bayonets! You could seriously poke somebody’s eye out with one of those. I’m sure the anti-gunners are going to be all over this in about five minutes. Of course they will harp how this is proof we need to ban “assault weapons” here although I’m betting most of those seized weapons were fully automatic and thus already heavily restricted (if produced before 1986, otherwise illegal).

Here’s my favorite part though:

President Obama has said that US demand for drugs has contributed to the violence in Mexico, and that the flow of guns from the US to Mexico must be stopped.

I have a better solution. Instead of wasting our money and resources protecting another country how about we just dump the prohibition on currently illegal drugs? The government can tax them thus creating a revenue source, our prisons will no longer be overflowing with people who harmed nobody besides themselves, and best of all it will eliminate the power of the drug cartels overnight. Seriously this war on drugs has accomplished nothing besides putting many American citizens in prison for victimless crimes and empowering the drug cartels.

Inexperience and Government

Yesterday I posted a good article that related to Minnesota’s own “gun show loophole” that isn’t a loophole. Something has been eating at me about that article, namely this:

Paymar has never fired a handgun, nor has he ever attended a gun show. He was moved to act, he says, after seeing a YouTube clip. In it, Colin Goddard, a Virginia Tech massacre survivor who was shot four times, attends gun shows and successfully buys firearms without undergoing a background check or even being asked to show identification.

I touched on it briefly in yesterday’s post but it’s something that has bugged me about government forever. Why do we find it acceptable to allow people with no knowledge or experience in a field to legislate that field? Paymar isn’t the only example. Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens we put in charge of Internet regulation even though he obviously had no knowledge in the field.

This seems to be a common thing with government. We find the most incompetent people and let them be in charge of something. This kind of incompetence doesn’t fly anywhere else but government (normally). Generally if you’re put in charge of something at a company it’s because you portrayed some kind of competence in the area of concern. If you’re not competent you are eventually fired.

But here Paymar has never been to a gun show in his life yet he feels justified in creating legislation that would affect gun shows. Now his bill was shot down in committee thankfully but he’s vowed to reintroduce the bill at a later time. This raises the question, what the Hell is he thinking? He can’t claim it’s to get voter favor since the bill doesn’t seem to have much traction here in Minnesota. The only people who really seem to care are us pro-gunners and the anti-gunners who generally don’t know what they’re talking about.

We shouldn’t stand for this. Instead we should demand that in order to legislate something the person writing the law much either have direct experience with the topic or have hired independent consultants who have said experience.

Testing Minnesota’s “Gun Show Loophole”

A certain representative with the last name Paymar has been trying to pass a law here in Minnesota to close the “gun show loophole.” Of course if you’ve been reading this site for any amount of time you know it’s not a “gun show loophole” but private property right.

Well a journalist by the name of Matt Snyders decided to test the “gun show loophole.” What he discovered is something us gun owners have known forever, buying a gun from a dealer regardless of venue requires paperwork, a NICS check, and here in Minnesota a permit to purchase or carry for certain firearms. First let’s bring up Mr. Paymar and his qualifications on firearms:

Paymar has never fired a handgun, nor has he ever attended a gun show. He was moved to act, he says, after seeing a YouTube clip. In it, Colin Goddard, a Virginia Tech massacre survivor who was shot four times, attends gun shows and successfully buys firearms without undergoing a background check or even being asked to show identification.

He’s never fired a handgun nor attended a gun show? In politics that makes him the most qualified person to write a law restricting both. In the real world that makes him uneducated and whole incapable of writing legislation that affects either.

He also brings up the Virginia Tech shooter who legally purchased both of his guns not a gun shows, but through a dealer. That means the Virginia Tech shooter when through the paperwork and background checks to obtain his weapons. In any logical argument that would make the example of Virginia Tech irrelevant and inadmissible. But as we all know anti-gunners don’t use logic instead opting for hysteria.

Anyways Mr. Snyder put forth the following mission for himself:

So I decided to try to buy a gun. To hear the Citizens for a Safer Minnesota tell it, this would be an easy task. I didn’t have a permit, but surely these gun merchants would insist I purchase their wares, federal red tape be damned. I might even enjoy it.

Obviously he should have no problem here. After all according to the anti-gunners you can just walk into any gun show and walk out with fifty machine guns without raising any eyebrows. But the truth, as usual, is at odds with what the anti-gunners think. The first gun show Mr. Snyder attended yielded several things. First it wasn’t just guns for sale:

Over at a literature table, dozens of books offer a history of killing machines from the 18th century to the present. Nazi-themed tomes, for whatever reason, seem particularly popular.

This is where the anti-gunners claim those of us in the shooting culture are Nazis. The truth is far less insidious though. Many gunnies are also big history buffs. They don’t collect World War II memorabilia because they think Hitler was right, they collect it because it’s a part of history that should never be forgot. One of my uncles actually collects many items from World War II from flags to helmets. He’s not a Nazi, racist, or bigot. He’s a history buff and owing a piece of history is a big deal for him. It’s no different than owning a jacket worn by a famous movie star except the memorabilia from various wars actually has meaning since good men shed blood over it. So how did Mr. Snyder fair on the gun front? Well:

Before any transaction is finalized, all licensed vendors must place a call to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System, an all-day hotline that every diligent vendor has on speed dial and which is referred to as “Nicks” (NICS). If the call turns up any felonies, instances of domestic abuse, or mental illness, the sale is canceled.

“This is not the venue for selling machine guns,” Tim adds as he nods respectfully to a passing browser. “Those are hard to come by. Only hard collectors get into them. Very expensive, plus there’s a $200 federal transfer tacked on for every sale.”

That’s a dirty little secret the anti-gunners never tell you. All transactions through dealers requires a NICS check and an ATF form filled out while machine guns are heavily regulated. So that only leaves sales between individuals:

About 12 minutes later, a prim man wades through the booths, black Romanian WASR-10 AK-47 slung over his shoulder. A white sheet of paper taped to its glistening black barrel announces its price: $500 or best offer.

“I want my baby to go to a good home,” he says, eyeing me up and down.

I can tell by his squinting, sun-weathered eyes that he doesn’t mean mine.

And as Mr. Snyder found out most individuals are picky where their property winds up.

That’s one failure so Mr. Snyder attends another gun show. First of all he finds out unlike what the anti-gunners claim gunners are not racists:

When three black men enter the show at around 1 p.m., however, no one pays them much mind. Asked about their experience here, they seem more taken aback by the question’s presumption than the surroundings.

“I’ve been to three gun shows, and I’ve never had a problem,” says Grant, turning to his friends for corroboration. They nod. They’re not here to purchase, Grant adds. For many, gun and knife shows are the male equivalent of window-shopping for shoes.

And later Mr. Snyder again attempts to obtain a firearm at a gun show without a permit or background check:

“You have your permit to purchase, right?” asks the vendor.

The answer to the question was an unfortunate no.

“No permit to purchase?” he said. “You’re shit outta luck, my friend.”

This “loophole” is starting to look more like a brick wall. How does Mr. Snyder fair at the next show? Surprisingly just as well as the other two mentioned shows:

But three consecutive attempts yield reactions ranging from apologetic to annoyed.

“No permit to purchase, no sale,” snaps a looming, pear-shaped man as his plump hands hastily repackage what would otherwise be a sale. “Wasting your time here without one. Good day.”

The vendors here are sticklers on every provision, clause, subsection, and footnote on the books. In one case, a clean-cut seller in a charcoal-black Harley Davidson shirt conversed curtly with two men, one who appeared to be in his 70s, the other fiftyish. The vendor refuses to sell more than two handguns to the befuddled duo.

“Them’s the rules,” says the vendor. “I don’t give a fuck, but them’s the rules.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll just buy the Colt and sell it to him,” replies the elder of the two.

“Now that’s a straw buy,” retorted the vendor. “One hundred percent illegal. I don’t give a fuck, but if I were to sell ya that after you just told me that, I’d lose my license!”

“I’ve known him since he was this high,” says the man, holding his liver-spotted hand four feet off the floor.

“I understand that, but it’s worse than dealing with the IRS if I sold ya two!”

Six days, three gun shows, and 19 attempts to buy handguns sans permit had yielded zero sales.

That’s right six days, three gun shows, 19 attempts to purchase, and zero guns. Some loophole that turned out to be. So much for that “gun show loophole” that allows anybody to purchase untold numbers of guns without any regulation.

So the next time you hear a blow hard anti-gunners claiming anything about firearms go talk to somebody in the shooting community. We have experience and knowledge in the firearm fields, we know the laws, and we will give you the truth instead of the hysteria.

UK’s Gun Ban in Action

Ah yes the UK’s gun ban the single reason that the island is a perfect utopia where nobody is ever murdered or violently attacked. I wish I lived in the UK where there are no shooting.

Wait I hear reality calling, give me a second here.

You won’t believe this reality just called to inform me that the UK’s gun ban isn’t work. In fact a shooter just murdered four people using and offed himself with a gun. I just don’t get how this could happen though; guns are illegal there! Also the government will protect you!

AT&T Decides You’re Not Shafted Enough on Data

AT&T likes to prove HK isn’t the only company that thinks you suck and thus hates you. They just announced changes to their data plans. First and foremost they are finally going to allow tethering on their oh so precious network. They are only going to gouge you an additional $20.00 a month for the tethering option.

But that’s on top of their new data plan options. The first one comes in at $15.00 for 200MB of data and the other comes in at $25.00 for 2GB of data. If you go above the cap on the first plan you have to pay an additional $15.00 for each 200MB while the second plan charges $10.00 for each additional GB. That means if you want to use 5GB of data you’ll be looking at $55.00 a month. Ouch.

Oh and as a final note that unlimited data plan for the iPad, it’s not unlimited anymore. Nope that plan was moved to the $25.00 for 2GB a month plan. Sweet deal huh?

With customer service like that I’m glad I’m not a customer.

A Potential Solution for Shortened URLs

I’m not a fan of URL shortening services such as TinyURL. In my eyes they are nothing more than a security risk as you have no idea where a shortened URL is actually going to take you. That’s a huge problem and hence why I will not click on a URL from one of those services and automatically delete any comments containing shortened URLs. For a while now I’ve been hoping somebody would create some kind of plug-in for Firefox that would automatically expand shortened URLs.

Well somebody has released a plug-in that offers exactly this service. The plug-in is called Long URL Please. Simply put when a page loads Long URL Please replaces all the shortened ULRs with the URL that the URL shortening service redirects to. I installed it and am testing it on a virtual machine to see how well it works. So far it’s doing a pretty decent job although it seems to require knowledge of each shortening services and will only work with those known services. Either way if this plug-in pans out it will be one of those must installs for Firefox.

E Ink Advancements

Well it appears as though the company that makes the e-paper displays used on e-book readers I’m so fond of is making some real advancements. E Ink just showed off some of their new displays at the Society for Information Display conference. The linked article includes a video demonstrating some color displays (nowhere near as rich of color as current LCDs produce of course) as well as flexible displays. By the looks of the opening demonstration they have upped the refresh rate (the display was showing what was being written is damn near real-time).

It’s pretty cool stuff. I would love to see color displays come to e-book readers in the near future.

Just Kidding

Let’s say you want to setup an emergency preparedness drill for a hospital. As part of the planning committee do you:

A – Create a list of potential emergency situations and hold a training day for hospital staff on how to prepare for such situations?

B – High an outside group to prepare a detailed report on mechanisms the hospital can implement to best survive likely emergency situations?

C – Hire an armed man to run into the emergency room one random day to terrorize the staff by aiming a firearm at them?

If you answered C you may be the exact type of person St. Rose Dominican Hospitals-Siena Campus hospital is looking for. Via Bruce Schneier’s blog we learned this was what the above mentioned hospital decided to do for terrorism preparedness:

How’s this for an ill-conceived emergency preparedness drill? An off-duty cop pretending to be a terrorist stormed into a hospital intensive care unit brandishing a handgun, which he pointed at nurses while herding them down a corridor and into a room.

I can’t imagine how this could possible go wrong.

But in Monday’s incident, which occurred in a unit that houses the hospital’s sickest patients, nurses, patients and their families did not know it was a drill, said Renee Ruiz, organizer of the California Nurses Association, which represents staff at the hospital.

So nobody present knew this was a drill. Although it was reported by the Las Vegas Sun the incident took place in Nevada where people are allowed to carry a firearm through licensing. Imagine if one of those doctors or a patient had been carrying a firearm and decided to shoot the person he or she believed was a terrorist (I’d say a man running into a hospital brandishing a firearm at people would be good grounds for a self-defense case).

These kinds of acts have consequences. The hospital which designed and enacted the drill should have thought this through a little more thoroughly. Likewise the off-duty officer they hired should be brought this potential problem to their attention. There are simply layers of stupidity here that can’t be overlooked.