A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for December, 2011

Glock 30 10-Round Magazines

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As my company is shutdown all week I have a nice little vacation going right now. For the first time in what seems like forever I was able to hit the range and decide to do a little practice with my Glock 30SF. While I love my 30SF there is one thing about it I don’t like, the 10-round magazines. I’m not sure what Glock was thinking when they manufactured these magazines but getting that last round into the magazine is tough. I don’t mean tough like a math test but tough like 300 Spartans being expected to hold back Xerxes’s entire fucking army. Worse yet if you do get the 10th round into the magazine without destroying your thumb or magazine loader you’re going to have a fun time slamming the magazine home if the slid isn’t locked back. Did I mention having the slide locked back and lead to another issue, when you release it there is no guarantee it will fly forward as that 10th round is often in no mood to move forward.

With all that said the magazine spring wears down over time and becomes usable. I honestly recommend pulling the magazine springs out of new 30SF 10-round magazines and working them for a while (just compress a few coils again and again until you’re bored. Why this is required on new factory magazines is beyond me but I know Glock isn’t one to admit mistakes and thus this problem will likely never be corrected.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2011 at 11:30 am

Obama Believes Himself Above the Law

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I know you read the title of this post and thought, “No shit Sherlock.” While the title of this post is pointing out the bloody obvious overall, this post is referring to a recent development:

The funding provision for the federal health agency says that “none of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.” The language aims to ban taxpayer dollars from supporting gun safety research.

“I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient,” Obama said in a statement as he signed the bill into law.

The president’s signing statement also says he could end up ignoring a provision that bars taxpayer funds for paying for the “salaries and expenses” of so-called White House czars, including the director of the White House Office of Health Reform. The office was abolished earlier this year.

That provision “could prevent me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibilities, by denying me the assistance of senior advisers and by obstructing my supervision of executive branch officials in the execution of their statutory responsibilities,” Obama said. “I have informed the Congress that I will interpret these provisions consistent with my constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Did Obama seriously claim he has the Constitutional authority to ignore Congress? That’s how I interpreted his statement. While I’m not a “constitutional scholar” as Obama claims himself to be I can read and comprehend basic English. Let’s look at what the Constitution has to say about federal funding:

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

I read two things in this section; any bill involving money must originate in the House of Representatives and if a President finds any legislation passed by the House and Senate not to be to his liking he can refuse to sign it and send it back. In other words Obama doesn’t get any say in how money is spent and if he didn’t like the prohibition against using money to advance gun control he can only refuse to sign the legislation and tell the House and Senate why he doesn’t approve.

When a bill saying money can’t be used for a specific task hits the President’s desk it doesn’t mean he can simply say, “LOL, this part doesn’t apply to me.” Upon signing the bill the President must either agree to the entirety of the document or toss the entire bill back to Congress. It’s all or nothing.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Recalling Federal “Representatives”

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Something I’ve often recommended over the years has been initiating recalls on politicians who attempt to expand the powers of the state (be it an individual state or the federal state). People in Montana are attempting to recall their senators who voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

(HELENA) – Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 – 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, who voted for the bill.

It appears as though my recommendation has been for naught as recalling a federal “representative” isn’t a straight forward as I first believed. Each individual state is able to set internal policy including settings grounds for which “representatives” can be recalled or otherwise removed from office before their term is up. Unfortunately those working on the federal level believe themselves to be immune to any for of early removal not initiated by the House or Senate [PDF]:

The United States Constitution does not provide for nor authorize the recall of United States
officials such as United States Senators, Representatives to Congress, or the President or Vice
President of the United States, and thus no United States Senator or Member of the House of
Representatives has ever been recalled in the history of the United States

[…]

Although the Supreme Court has not needed to directly address the subject of recall of Members
of Congress, other judicial decisions indicate that the right to remove a Member of Congress
before the expiration of his or her constitutionally established term of office is one which resides
within each house of Congress as expressly delegated in the expulsion clause of the United States
Constitution, and not in the entire Congress as a whole (through the adoption of legislation), nor
in the state legislatures through the enactment of recall provisions

Not surprisingly this interpretation on individual state power was produced by the Senate. The bottom line is clear, according to the federal government a federal “representative” can only have his or her stay terminated early if a federal body initiates the expulsion. Some people are quick to bring up the Tenth Amendment as it reserves all powers not expressly mentioned in the Constitution for the individual states. Unfortunately the Constitution does describe how to send a “representative” home early in Article I, Section 5, Clause 2:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Nowhere in the clause does it state that expulsion of a member is solely reserved for the respective House but our federal “representatives” are interpreting it that way. Their justification is since removal of a federal “representative” is mentioned in the Constitution that power is exempt from the Tenth Amendment. I always find it funny how selectively the Constitution is interpreted. In the case of removing a federal “representative” the Constitution must be interpreted exactly at written, that is to say no unmentioned powers may be used. Meanwhile the Second Amendment clearly states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” yet, according to our “representatives” and the Supreme Court it leaves room for some infringements.

Sadly the Constitution wasn’t a well written document and contains a lot of vague language that can be twisted to grant the federal government more power than was originally intended. The purpose of the Constitution was to restrict the powers of the federal government but that intention was entirely lost when the individual states allowed the federal government sole authority in interpreting the foundational document. Now that the federal government reserves sole power of constitutional interpretation they have effectively made themselves immune to constituent scrutiny.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2011 at 10:30 am

I Think the Obama Reelection Headquarters in Minneapolis Looks Much Nicer Now

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There seems to be almost universal hatred of the Occupy movement within the gun blogging community. I still maintain a fairly neutral stance as for every anti-capitalist mouth breather that gets air time on the major media news shows there are protests like this that I fully support:

Think bad thoughts about the government and you could go to jail…forever. That may sound like a Soviet-era law, but civil libertarians say it’s possible under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which is awaiting President Obama’s promised signature.

The NDAA, was passed by the US Senate 86 to 13. Minnesota senators split on the act, Franken opposing and Klobuchar voting for it.

OccupyMN organized a pre-Christmas protest at the Minneapolis Obama Reelection Headquarters.

Part of their protest involved taping signs to the front window of the headquarters. My favorite sign is the one that reads, “POLICE STATE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.” The Occupy movement still seems to be a bring your own grievance movement and there are times when the grievances brought are ones I entirely agree with. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) should never have been voted for or signed into law. Its passage demonstrates the fact our “representatives” don’t care about defending the values this nation was founded on but prefer to strangle the populace with ever more draconian laws.

Kudos to OccupyMN for protesting this legislation and making a little trouble for the local Obama reelection robots. If you still believe Obama deserves to be reelected then I can honestly say you’re not paying attention to his actions. Granted most of the alternatives don’t look to be any better but if we start voting out bad politicians perhaps we can send a message and they’ll keep their tyrannical desires a bit more in check (by a bit more I simply mean they’ll be less blatant, there is no way to stop them from attempt to increase their power over us).

Written by Christopher Burg

December 28th, 2011 at 10:00 am

How the System Works

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Several times I’ve stated that the United States is no longer land of the free but a fascist state. When people read the term fascist state it instantly brings to mind cattle cars full of Jews being sent off to death camps. Those atrocities aren’t what defines a fascist state anymore than they define a communist state. Fascism is a fairly loose ideology that involves strong nationalism (America, fuck yeah) and a marriage of state and business. Our country meets both of these characteristics and the latter can be easily demonstrated by stories of government officials getting plush private sector jobs in exchange for government contracts:

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, hired Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, for a new unit seeking U.S. government contracts.

McChrystal, 57, will serve as chairman of Siemens Government Technologies, which spans security systems to engineering software for defense equipment, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. Siemens appointed former U.S. Army Lieutenant General John Sylvester and Robert Coutts, a former Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) executive, as board members.

If you’re a company that is looking for big money government contracts you need to play the game. The game isn’t played by offering the best product or best prices but by buying off political actors. By hiring McChrystal Siemens has sent a message to the United States military, “Buy our stuff because there is great high-paying sluff jobs waiting for you if you do.” When record companies want horrible legislation pushed through they send in their lobbyists, many of whom are former Washington politicians who were granted big money lobbyist positions in exchange for shoving through horrible legislation. Seeing their former comrades get such jobs encourages other politicians to follow suit in the hopes of receiving the same treatment.

Environments such as this breed conflict of interest. Instead of representing the wants of the people politicians are encouraged to represent the wants of large business who can afford to pay former politicians to be lobbyists. Nothing but corruption can spawn from this twisted marriage. Capitalism can’t work under fascist economic conditions as the profit motive is entirely eliminated, replaced by this gross beast known as the political means of acquisition.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 27th, 2011 at 11:30 am

Yet Another Reason to Avoid the Mall of America

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The Mall of America is a hellhole if one ever existed. Most of the stores sell clothing, everything you want to visit is on the opposite end of the mall from each other, their security brags about the number of people they needlessly interrogate , and they have nonconforming signs trying to ban people from carrying guns insides. On top of that mountain of fail there are several stories a year about shit like this:

A noisy, fast-moving crowd made up of more than 200 young people created a chaotic scene at the jam-packed Mall of America Monday evening, frightening shoppers and causing some stores to close early, eyewitnesses and officials said.

It took more than an hour to quell the disturbance, which began as a single fight involving a large group in a food court and spread through the nation’s largest mall, said spokeswoman Bridget Jewell. At least 10 juveniles and young adults were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct by Bloomington police and mall security officers, police said later Monday.

200 pissed off mall goers all jam packed in a single building? Sign me right the fuck up… to be somewhere else. Something to note about the Mall of America, while their mall cops are pretty worthless they do have a Bloomington Police Department precinct within the premises. For those who are participating in disturbances like the one mention in the story that means real cops can show up very quickly to arrest your ass.

While this incident didn’t involve any weaponry there have been shootings and stabbings at this mall as well making me wonder why they attempt to prohibit mall goers from carrying a means of self-defense, but that’s an entirely different story.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 27th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Give Us Your Money

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It’s no secret that the United States is broke off its ass and whenever a government is broke is turns to taxpayers to make up the difference. Personally when I’m unable to pay for something I just don’t buy it but when the state is unable to pay for something they use existing laws and enact new ones to increase the amount of money they steal from the populace. As you read this article the Internal Revenue Service (revenuers) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) are expanding their power to forcefully take more money:

US OFFERS SWISS BANKS A DEAL

The United States authorities have offered to lift the threat of legal action against 11 Swiss banks in exchange for information, a Swiss paper reported on Sunday.

The one thing I will say about Swiss banks is that they respect your privacy. Instead of spilling the beans about account holders they tell those curious about their customers where to stick it before saying something offensive in German and booting the nosey individual out on their ass. Unfortunately the United States government doesn’t have the same respect and have been trying to get Swiss banks to unveil customer lists for ages. Now the DoJ is making an outright threat; surrender your customer information or we’re taking your asses to court.

Obviously the revenuers don’t want to be outdone at their own game and have stepped up their game as well:

FEDERAL JUDGE GREEN LIGHTS IRS SEARCH FOR CALIFORNIA GIFT TAX CHEATS

A federal district court judge has given the Internal Revenue Service permission to serve a “John Doe” summons on the California State Board of Equalization demanding the names of residents who transferred property to their children or grandchildren for little or no money, from 2005 to 2010.

The IRS has used John Doe summons to seek lists of American taxpayers unreported offshore accounts at Swiss Bank UBS and at HSBC’s bank in India.

I’m going to let the DoJ and revenuers in on a little secret, you’re not going to find enough concealed wealth or missing tax dollars to make up for the massive deficit. What the government is doing now is equivalent to searching couch cushions for spare change. When you’re trying to pay of a $50,000 student loan there isn’t going to be enough change in your couch to even begin touching the interest payment. The only option our government currently has is to reduce their spending, a strategy they are fighting tooth and nail against. I wonder how long it will be before the revenuers start auditing everybody in the United States.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 27th, 2011 at 10:30 am

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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As this is still a new movie I’ll try to avoid giving away any major spoilers but alas this review is not entirely without them. If you still haven’t seen the movie I recommend you go see it, if you’re looking for an entirely amateur review by a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character continue reading on.

While the new Sherlock Holmes movies are based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters and elements are taken from his writings most of the experience is new. I think the new writers have done a spectacular job of keeping the most critical elements of the story; Holmes and his characteristics, an entirely competent and capable Watson (most movies portray Watson as a bumbling idiot, nothing like the character in the origional writings), and in this movie they made a very convincing Professor Moriarty. Unlike the original writings the new movies have been far more action oriented, which is good considering the change of medium requires different elements to remain entertaining.

Anyhow this move finally introduces us to Moriarty, Holme’s arch-rival (who only appeared in two of the original writings). To say Moriarty is a total bad ass is an understatement, the man was the original super villain and equally capable as Holmes. This is one of the few movies I’ve seen based on Sherlock Holmes that does Moriarty justice. Instead of focusing on the man’s evil intent A Game of Shadows focuses heavily on his intelligence and comparability to Holmes. The movie is basically one giant chess match between Holmes and Moriarty… except with more explosions and far more gun play.

Yes the movie contains a great deal of gun play. Whereas Holmes and Watson periodically carried a pistol the original writings contained relatively little gun play. Considering the fact movies need to contain more action that movies if they are to be entertaining (in my opinion at least) the increase in action scenes was only logical. Lots of stuff blows up and/or gets shot.

I thought the story was well done and presented the strengths of both main characters. As the movie is a new release I’ll not delve into the overall story to any detail but I will say it’s good.

Overall I greatly enjoyed the move and on the Christopher Burg Scale of Arbitrary Ratings compromising fractional scores between zero and one I give A Game of Shadows a .9024. I highly recommend seeing it although I may be somewhat bias as Moriarty is one of my favorite literary characters of all time and this movie truly does him justice.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 27th, 2011 at 10:00 am

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Capitalism at Work

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Capitalism is a great system as it makes consumers the ultimate decision makers of company actions (unless the government gets involved of course). If you’re outraged by the actions of a private company you can let them know but taking your money elsewhere. It’s really a case of rational self-interest as companies who fail to meet the demands of consumers can only find themselves in a state of insolvency. GoDaddy recently came out in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the current piece of legislation being worked on to censor the Internet:

Website hosting company GoDaddy has officially voiced its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Bill in 2012, which is designed to thwart movie and music piracy on the Internet by empowering copyright holders to effectively shut down websites or online services found with infringing material. If passed, the U.S. government could blacklist any website it deems in violation of copyright, which could range from a few posts in a Web forum to a few links sent in an e-mail.

As you can guess many of GoDaddy’s customers were pissed. In response to GoDaddy’s support of SOPA many customers transfered their domains and hosted websites to other providers. Seeing this loss of money GoDaddy finally yielded and listened to their customers:

Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

This is the beauty of capitalism, the decisions of companies can be changed without the need for violence. Instead consumers can voice their concern and take their business elsewhere. Unlike the state companies can’t initiate violence in order to force their customers to continue paying.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 26th, 2011 at 11:30 am

To Serve and Protect

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There are times when I find myself absolutely disgusted with the capacity humans contain for inflicting pain and death upon their fellow homo sapiens. It seems people with incredibly high capacities for such behavior often find themselves in places of power tying others down and pepper spraying them to death:

No doubt you’ve heard the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. A picture of 62-year-old Nick Christie could be worth thousands of dollars when a jury sees it.

The photo shows the Ohio man restrained inside the Lee County Jail with his body covered in pepper spray.

“This photo is a picture of a man who is strapped to a chair naked inside a jail for hours with a hood over his face. That evokes thoughts of being tortured,” says Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello who represents the Christie family.

So who is the man pictured in this photograph? A poor son of a bitch whose wife called the police in order to take her depressed husband to the hospital and ensure he received his medication:

“I was shocked. This was something out of a horror movie,” says Joyce Christie. She said her husband was depressed and was showing signs of erratic behavior a few days before leaving for Florida.

She called authorities and pleaded with them to take her husband to a hospital and be given his medications. Instead, he was taken to jail for disorderly intoxication.

Instead he was taken, strapped to a chair, and pepper sprayed until he died. Obviously the officers who committed this heinous act are now in prison for murder… never mind that only happens to mere serfs like you and me:

The District 21 Medical Examiner ruled his death was a homicide because he had been restrained and sprayed with pepper sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, nobody has ever been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriff’s office of any wrong doing.

It’s been more than two and a half years and his wife still can’t accept what happened.

The motto found on my police cars throughout the country is, “To serve and protect.” This motto implies the police are supposed to serve and protect us but it seems from historical examples such as this one that they really exist to serve and protect each other. I’m curious if police brutality has been on the rise or has always been this prevalent that has only been brought to light with the invention of the information superhighway we known as the Internet.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 26th, 2011 at 11:00 am