Life Sentence Without Charges

Remember Obama’s campaign promise that he would close down Gitmo? I know it’s been so long that it’s hard to remember all his promises but closing Gitmo was going to be a priority. I guess, like the American people, Obama forgot:

But the order establishes indefinite detention as a long-term Obama administration policy and makes clear that the White House alone will manage a review process for those it chooses to hold without charge or trial.

Nearly two years after Obama’s pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo, more inmates there are formally facing the prospect of lifelong detention and fewer are facing charges than the day Obama was elected.

Meet the new boss… he’s just like the old boss only younger.

Canadian Gun Confiscation

Sadly Canada never managed to abolish its long gun registry and thus any firearm you own in that country is known the the government. Many people often ask what’s the harm in the government knowing what you have unless you have something to hide? The problem with gun registration is that it leads to confiscation every single time.

Take for instance the current kerfuffle in Canada. The Canadian government has reclassified the Norinco Type 97A and are trying to confiscate them (at least they’re willing to pay $1,400 per rifle but you don’t have a choice in whether or not you’re willing to sell the gun):

Several gun owners are refusing to surrender a semi-automatic rifle that was imported from China and bought legally before the RCMP retroactively declared it a prohibited weapon.

15 97A owners are taking the government to court over the reclassification. Of course Canada isn’t the only country that reclassifies firearms on a whim, recently our own ATF decided to reclassify pistol grip equipped shotguns without a stock. Thankfully we don’t have a long gun registry so the ATF’s only method of confiscation is to visit every gun store in the country, dig through all the stores’ 4473 forms, and try to classify whether or not each shotgun sold had a pistol grip without a stock. That’s still too easy for my comfort but at least it requires some semblance of work.

The Mexican Gun Canard… The Revenge 2

Between the anti-gunners whining and the ATF’s attempt to nab even more power this whole Mexican gun canard is getting out of hand. Anybody with half of a brain knows that Mexico’s drug cartels are obtaining their automatic rifles and grenades from somebody else as us lowly civilians can’t own such devices in this country.

Likewise all the laws the anti-gunners are clamoring for will only make life difficult on us regular citizens. What can be done when law enforcement personnel are the ones smuggling the guns?

Jesus A. Longoria, 31, of Brownsville, Texas, has been a Cameron County sheriff’s deputy since March 2006. On Dec. 17, before U.S. District Court Hilda G. Tagle, he pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge. He admitted that on May 5, 2010, while assigned to the Veterans’ and Gateway Ports of Entry to prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the United States, he attempted to send and export 13 semi-automatic firearms from the U.S. into Mexico.

Answer me this anti-gunners, how are all these laws making it more difficult for regular citizens to purchase firearms going to prevent government employees from smuggling firearms? In case you have problems with reading comprehension I’ll answer the question for you, they won’t.

So Much for Freedom of Speech

Did you hear about the war 131 protesters who were arrested in front of the White House last Thursday (December 16, 2010)? No? Yeah it doesn’t seem to have been reported too heavily.

Either way it’s sad to see that even though our Bill of Rights codifies the right of freedom against government censorship of speech, the government will arrest you for expressing that speech when it doesn’t approve. It really pisses me off that people are arrested for protesting on land that they in part own (all Federal property was purchased with American tax dollars and therefore we’re all part owners). Likewise they are protesting the actions of their employees (government officials). It seems once again that our employees seem to have the misguided assumption that they are our rulers, nothing too surprising there.

Fortunately for the protesters the charge brought against them was a misdemeanor and was punishable by having only $100.00 of your money forcefully removed from your bank account. Isn’t freedom great?

Why I Ban URL Shortened Service Links

It’s no secret to anybody who knows me but I absolutely hate URL shortening services. My problem with them stems from the fact when you click on a shortened URL you haven’t a clue where it will actually take you. This gives you a great vector for an attack by linking somebody to a link which sends an unsuspecting user to a malicious website that uses a browser exploit to infect their machine.

What I never thought about was using a URL shortening service to perform distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Hit the link to details (which are actually pretty trivial).

Audio Streaming Can’t be This Hard

A new update was released for the Evo 4G last week which seemed to consist entirely of new bloatware applications. I didn’t install it on my phone because the update didn’t have any mention of fixing the audio issues I’ve had since the Evo went from Android 2.1 to 2.2. Well it’s a good thing I waited because instead of fixing the audio player the update went and introduced new streaming audio problems.

Basically streaming MP3s over HTTP protocol doesn’t work… at all. In an ironic twist of fate AAC audio works great (AAC audio sound quality was destroyed in the initial 2.2 update due to problems in the StageFright media framework used in Android 2.2).

Rant time. How fucking hard is it to test your fucking patches? Streaming audio isn’t exactly rocket science. All you need to do to test audio streaming is run some streams using several popular services such as Pandora and If streaming fails fix the problem and don’t release the Odin damned patch.

I’ve never in my life seen a single platform with some many damned problem related to media playing. Playing media isn’t difficult anymore, we’ve been doing it for quite some time. I understand if something like the 4G radio has problems because that’s new technology which is in no way mature. Media streaming on the other hand is old technology that’s been around, we know how to do it.

Is it really that much to ask for to have a phone that can properly play audio files? My fucking iPod from the 2003 could play audio files without an issue. My damned Treo 755p from 2007 running an operating system who’s last major version came out in 2002 could stream MP3s properly. The Evo 4G is a flagship product and can’t do the same things my old Palm Treo 755p could do three years ago.

Seriously, what in the fuck is going on over at HTC?

Violent Crime Trend

According to the anti-gunners an increase in the number of guns on the street means an increase in violent crime. Using their logic the violent crime rate should be increasing and more states have passed right to carry laws. Strangely enough the exact opposite has happened:

The FBI is reporting a similar message nationwide for the first six months of 2010. The agency says the nation saw a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of reported violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decrease in the number of reported property crimes compared to the first half of 2009.

It seems the increase number of guns on the street hasn’t caused an increase in violent crime… interesting.

ATF Looking for Emergency Powers

Two phrase when combined scare the shit out of me; emergency powers and federal government. The ATF is look for emergency powers:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.” A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term.

The funny thing about emergency powers for federal agencies is the fact those temporary powers have a habit of becoming permanent. Likewise the number of guns going from the United States into Mexico isn’t that high. Why would drug cartels pay full price for semi-automatic rifles when they can get fully automatic AK-47s from neighbors to the south for far less? Of course the ATF has never been one to use logic nor common sense when doing anything.

I do find the last line interesting. If they’re claiming the emergency powers would only apply to “assault weapons” why not use that legalese instead of trying to term any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine as an “assault rifle?”