A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for April, 2012

I’m Sure They Were Just Using it Wrong

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The Firearm Blog has a report about allegations that the H und K G36 doesn’t perform well once the barrel heats up. For those who don’t know the H und K G36 is Germany’s standard issue infantry rifle. Apparently the rifle is unable to accurately hit targets past 200 yards when the barrel gets toasty, a rather worrisome problem. Well, it’s a worrisome problem until you realize the weapon is made by none other than Heckler and Koch, who are the peddlers of high prices weaponry that is desired by mall ninjas the world over because H und K doesn’t like civilians.

Knowing H und K they will probably send out a press release regarding this issue that merely states “You’re using the rifle incorrectly.” I also expect H und K fanboys to make numerous excuses about why this isn’t actually a problem. If there is one group of firearm fanboys more zealous than the 1911 crowd it’s the H und K crowd. It is an understandable zeal, after all H und K firearms appear in every Rainbow Six game.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 26th, 2012 at 11:30 am

TSA Caught Smuggling Drugs

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Although bat shit crazy Torgerson believes we should be grateful to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) I would rather point out their failures to demonstrate why they should be disbanded. In the lastest scam the TSA were caught running a drug smuggling operation:

Four current and former security screeners at Los Angeles international airport have been arrested and charged with drug-trafficking and bribery.

The four accepted cash to allow large shipments of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana through X-ray machines, the US justice department said.

[…]

Two of the four accused are current employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), while the other two used to work for the organisation.

The current employees, John Whitfield, 23, and Capeline McKinney, 25, are accused of allowing shipments of more than 20kg (44lb) to pass through a screening area while they were on shift.

Former TSA screener Joy White, 27, is accused of a similar offence, while Naral Richardson, 30, is alleged to have made arrangements for shipments to pass unhindered.

Other individuals named in the indictment are accused of being part of the smuggling ring, several working as drug mules.

Between sexually molesting young children, old woman, and anybody who piques the interest of an agent it’s nice to know the TSA still finds time to perform other acts of depravity. This also demonstrates the futility of the TSA since any terrorist wanting to blow up a plane just needs to find an agent willing to accept large quantities of cash to ignore any explosive device traveling through the scanner.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am

NDAA Slight of Hand

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You have to love politicians. First they create a problem and when everybody gets into an uproar they claim to have a fix for the problem but the fix really isn’t a fix at all. This is exactly what’s happening with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

Late yesterday, Congressman Scott Rigell and 26 other members of Congress introduced a bill, H.R. 4388, which he is trying to sell to the American people as a “fix” for the National Defense Authorization Act. But in fact, it is a useless bill that might actually end up causing harm.

That’s right. The plan in the House of Representatives seems to be to try to fool Americans into thinking that they are fixing the indefinite detention problems with the NDAA and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, when in fact, they are doing nothing good.

Don’t be fooled!

Here’s how they hope their trick will work. H.R. 4388, which was sneakily mistitled as the “Right to Habeas Corpus Act,” states that no one in the United States will lose their habeas rights under the NDAA. That might sound like something good, but it’s meaningless.

The question with the NDAA was never whether habeas rights are lost. Instead, the question is whether and when any president can order the military to imprison a person without charge or trial. The NDAA did not take away habeas rights from anyone, but it did codify a dangerous indefinite detention without charge or trial scheme. And nothing in the proposed bill by Rigell would change it. The Rigell bill won’t stop any president from ordering the military lockup of civilians without charge or trial.

I’m sure nobody is too surprised by this hand waving. Much like the Student Loan Forgiveness Act is actually a bank bailout hidden in a warm fuzzy name the Right to Habeas Corpus Act is a bill that actually does nothing to fix the NDAA as its sponsor promises.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 26th, 2012 at 10:30 am

According to Krugman We Need More Inflation

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Paul Krugman decided to make a fool of himself again by claiming we don’t have enough inflation. The man is an idiot but I repeat myself. Thankfully the boys over at the Mises Institute website called Krugman out on his idiotic rambling:

In an Austrian framework, as in a natural-rate-of-unemployment model, monetary expansion and a low (relative to the natural rate) interest rate may increase employment; the policy may appear to succeed. But, as Hayek and Mises emphasized long before the development of modern macroeconomics, the employment created by stimulus, whether monetary or fiscal, and whether implemented when an economy is near full employment or initiated at a point where significant unemployed resources are available (Hayek 1939 and Ravier 2011) is unstable. Such employment, if it is to be maintained, will require ever-increasing distortions to the spending stream. A policy that uses inflation to generate employment hence contains the seeds of a return to stagflation, and if continually attempted every time unemployment begins to increase, ultimately, to the choice whether to end the inflation or move forward on a wrong path to a eventual crack-up boom.

[…]

More inflation now would just repeat the mistake, trading some lower unemployment now for more unemployment and more inflation in the future. To avoid holding a tiger by the tail avoid inflation now. The crisis and slow recovery should not be an excuse to revive failed Keynesian policies but instead to examine critically a denationalization of money.

Krugman continues to be the idiots’ goto person for economic advice. Mind you the man has been wrong about almost everything he’s stated.

Let’s consider inflation for a moment. Very few people ever take the time to analyze what inflation is, they usually just accept it as a natural thing that happens and is unavoidable. Inflation is theft performed by the state, plain and simple. Scarce goods have a tendency to be worth more than abundant goods and money is no different. If there exists only 100 ounces of gold in the world then each ounce is going to be valued extremely high whereas if gold was as abundant as water nobody would give it much thought. The United States dollar is similar, when the state prints more of them each dollar becomes less valuable as they are now more abundant. The inflation of the United States dollar is directly controlled by the state who could choose never to expand the supply and thus save those holding dollars from having that holding constantly devalued. Instead the state prints money willy nilly, which devalues the value of dollars and thus punishes those who hold them.

Why does the state do this? Easy, their cronies don’t suffer the affects of inflation. Inflation of the dollar doesn’t kick in until those dollars begin to circulate. The first receiver of newly printed dollars actually has more purchasing power since the supply hasn’t increased as those dollars haven’t begun circulating. Once the first receiver spends those newly printed dollars they being entering circulation and that is when they devalue already circulating dollars. Basically, if you’re the first receiver of newly printed dollars you have a tremendous advantage and the first receivers are those politically well-connected. It’s a corrupt little system where politicians can exchange purchasing power for whatever it is they desire at the expense of everybody else.

This is why it’s smart to convert your dollars into something valuable. Every day you hold a dollar its purchasing power is reduced. Keynesian economists like Krugman claim constant devaluation of money urges people to spend it more quickly and that somehow is better for the economy. What those idiots don’t see is that inflation discourages individuals from saving money to be invested in larger projects down the road. Instead of relying on debt individuals would have the option to save their money unti they have enough to make a big purchase such as a home or factory.

When Krugman says we need more inflation he really means we need more theft. What he advocates is stealing purchasing power from individuals who hold savings of any amount. Policies like this encourage debt spending. Why save money to purchase a television if that money is constantly going to be worth less and less? Why not just put that purchase on a television and repay the debt over time with constantly devaluing money? Keynesian ideas are what got us into our current economic mess and if we continue following those ideas we’ll be in complete economic collapse before we know it.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Silence Citizen

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People often believe we live in a free country where the freedom of speech is respected. It’s not true, the United States censors people all of the time but isn’t as blatant about it as some states. Instead of outright censoring political dissidence the United States uses various laws and procedures claimed to be in place for safety reasons to determine who can and can’t speak as on blogger found out:

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.

Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition” without a license. According to the law, “practicing” nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups” and “providing nutrition counseling.”

Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.

When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.

But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.

Isn’t that a nice little scam to censor speech? First you require anybody practicing dietetics or nutrition to be licensed and then you make the act of providing nutritional “counseling” without said license illegal. Since counseling is a pretty good catch-all term that can be applied to any advocacy you can effectively prevent individuals from speaking about a topic unless they’re approved by the state.

The Free Market Carry Edition

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The beauty of the free market is that it doesn’t judge and doesn’t question it merely attempts to fulfill individuals’ desires. While the advocates of gun control continue to claim that gun ownership is on the decline the free market indicates otherwise. Clothing manufacturers better known for serving the needs of business men and women are now catering to those who carry firearms:

Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility.

And they are great for hiding a handgun.

The company has added a second pocket behind the traditional front pocket for a weapon. Or, for those who prefer to pack their gun in a holster, it can be tucked inside the stretchable waistband. The back pockets are also designed to help hide accessories, like a knife and a flashlight.

The chinos, which cost $65, are not for commandos, but rather, the company says, for the fashion-aware gun owner. And Woolrich has competition. Several clothing companies are following suit, building businesses around the sharp rise in people with permits to carry concealed weapons.

It’s not just Woolrich getting in on the action, Under Armour is also joining the game:

Other companies are rushing to meet the demand for concealed-carry clothing. Under Armour, best known for its sports and action gear, will be adding a jacket and a plaid shirt with Velcro pockets for easy gun access.

Kevin Eskridge, senior director for outdoor product and design at the company, said the company had seen demand double in the last year for such clothing from traditional outdoor and sporting goods stores, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s.

Mr. Eskridge said the Under Armour apparel was catching on because of fashion but also because of its features, including moisture-wicking fabric.

So many people now carry firearms that the market is responding to better serve our needs. No longer are we relegated to wearing mall ninja gear (although I happen to like my 5.11 Covert Cargo mall ninja pants and will continue to wear them). Now we can actually walk around and look like normal people. Either way it must really make the gun control crowd angry knowing that carrying a firearm is now so mainstream that companies are outright advertising new products geared towards the carry market.

I wonder how long it will be until the gun control advocates to start protesting clothing manufacturers for catering to us?

Written by Christopher Burg

April 25th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Even Israel Doesn’t Think Iran is Developing Nuclear Weaponry

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When I argue that Iran developing a nuclear weapon is inconsequential to the United States somebody usually brings up that it’s still consequential to Israel. Why should we threatening to kill people for the sake of Israel is beyond me but if Israel isn’t concerned about Iran developing nuclear weapons why should anybody else be concerned:

The head of the Israeli military has said he does not think Iran will develop nuclear weapons.

Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz made the statement in an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

[…]

Gen Gantz says this pressure is beginning to bear fruit.

He added that Iran “is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn’t yet decided to go the extra mile”.

And speaking of the supreme leader he continued: “I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.”

The story points out that the Israeli Prime Minister disagrees with the General’s assertion but I would be more apt to believe a military general about military matters than a prime minister. Either way I plan to shove this in the face of every person who tells me we need to start killing Iranians to stop their government from developing nuclear weapons. If the head of the Israeli military isn’t concerned I sure as the hell am not going to be.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 25th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Implementation of Socialism and Capitalism

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As you can imagine I get into numerous debates with advocates of socialism. While I think Ludwig von Mises demonstrated that socialism will always fail in his book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis the debate will continue to rage on for eternity. One thing I often bring up is the conditions experienced in socialist countries like the former Soviet Union, communist Cambodia, North Korea, etc. When I bring this up the devout socialist I’m debating is always quick to rebute my statement by claiming those countries didn’t implement socialism correctly. I’m willing to conceded this point but when I make the same argument about capitalism the devout socialism will usually argue that America proves capitalism can’t succeed.

Here’s the thing, if you are going to use the argument that socialism hasn’t succeeded because it wasn’t implemented correctly you must also recognize that argument regarding capitalism. The United States isn’t a capitalist country, it’s a fascist country that married the state and private corporations long ago.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 25th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Posted in Politics

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The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

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This week on Politics: The Reality Television Show for Suckers we will be looking at HR 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. An innocuous piece of legislation that currently has strong backing by those with student loans this little bill is nothing more than a bank bailout packaged up in a warm and fuzzy sounding name. Any proponents of this bill are likely doing a double-take on that last line but rest assured I will explain. The trick of this bill lies in section 6:

‘(2) CONSOLIDATION OF PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS AS A FEDERAL DIRECT CONSOLIDATION LOAN FOR CERTAIN BORROWERS-

‘(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a borrower who meets the eligibility criteria described in subparagraph (B) shall be eligible to obtain a Federal Direct Consolidation loan under this
paragraph that–

‘(i) shall include an eligible private education loan; and

‘(ii) may include a loan described in section 428C(a)(4).

‘(B) ELIGIBLE BORROWER- A borrower of an eligible private education loan is eligible to obtain a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan under this paragraph if the borrower–

‘(i) was eligible to borrow a loan under section 428H, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, a loan under section 428B, or a Federal Direct PLUS loan for a period of enrollment at an institution of higher education, or, with respect to a borrower who was enrolled at an institution of higher education on less than a half-time basis, would have been eligible to borrow such a loan for such period of enrollment if the borrower had been enrolled on at least a half-time basis;

‘(ii) borrowed at least one eligible private education loan for a period of enrollment described in clause (i); and

‘(iii) has an average adjusted gross income (based on the borrower’s adjusted gross income from the 3 most recent calendar years before application for consolidation under this section) that is equal to or less than the borrower’s total education debt (determined by calculating the sum of the borrower’s loans described in section 428C(a)(4) and eligible private education loans) at the time of such application.

‘(D) PAYMENT TO THE HOLDER-

‘(i) SECRETARY- For each eligible private education loan that a borrower is consolidating under this paragraph, the Secretary shall make a payment to the holder of such loan in an amount equal to the amount consolidated under this paragraph with respect to such loan.

‘(ii) HOLDER- Upon receipt of a payment described in clause (i), a holder shall discharge the liability on the loan consolidated under this paragraph in the amount of such payment.

Emphasis mine. Part (D) is the real meat of this legislation. If an eligible borrower decides to take advantage of this legislation and is approved the Secretary of the Treasury will use government funds to pay off the private holder of the loan. Effectively this bill grants private banks the ability to rid themselves of risky loans and thus avoid taking responsibility for any bad loans that have been made. This holds quite a bit of similarity to what was pulled during the housing market crash. Passage of this legislation will merely mean the government will transfer money to private banks.

I haven’t even explained the best part, this legislation has been gaining the support of those who have been opposing bank bailouts and demanding that the banks be held accountable instead of being allowed to socialize their losses. The state has effectively gotten many of those who oppose the banks and bailouts to support a bank bailout. It’s disgusting pure evil that is also beautifully elegant.

Somebody is likely to ask where the funding to pay off the banks is going to come from. That part of this scam is also well played:

SEC. 7. OFFSET.

Funds appropriated or otherwise made available for a fiscal year to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall be made available from the funds available for Overseas Contingency Operations.

What the hell are the Overseas Contingency Operations? Simple, the renamed War on Terror. So money appropriated for the defense budget, the most inflated and unaccountable budget in the United States, will be used to bailout the banks.

This episode of Politics has everything. You have the drama from students unable to pay back their loans, corruption in the state leading to its bailout of the banks, and irony in getting people opposing bank bailouts to support a bank bailout! My compliments to the writers.

Kudos to Adam Curry on the No Agenda podcast for brining this to light. It’s good to know that somebody is actually analyzing this crap while traditional media outlets continue to play the state’s game and report nothing of substance.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 25th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Heicklen Ruled Innocent of Jury Tampering for Advocating Nullification

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Reader plblark was good enough to send me this story from Say Uncle about a judge who ruled advocating jury nullification isn’t a crime:

Yeterday a federal judge ruled that distributing pamphlets about jury nullification—even in front of a courthouse—is not jury tampering. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood dismissed a 2010 indictment against Julian P. Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor who was accused of violating Title 18, Section 1504, of the U.S. Code, which authorizes a jail sentence of up to six months for anyone who “attempts to influence the action or decision of any grand or petit juror of any court of the United States upon any issue or matter pending before such juror, or before the jury of which he is a member, or pertaining to his duties, by writing or sending to him any written communication, in relation to such issue or matter.”

I wrote about Julian P. Heicklen’s situation last year. He was passing out pamphlets in front of a courthouse informing potential jurors about their right of nullification.

For those of you unaware jury nullification is a side effect of jury trials. Namely juries aren’t punished for their decision or asked to justify their ruling so they can find a defendant innocent based solely on the ground that the law he’s being tried for is unjust. Unfortunately this right of jurors is no longer covered in school and judges outright lie to jurors by telling them that they must rule based on the letter of the law, not what they think the law should be. Thankfully there are organizations like the Fully Informed Jury Association and individuals like Heicklen working to raise awareness of nullification rights.

Good on you Julian P. Heicklen for being an advocate of liberty and not backing down when the state threatened to throw you in a cage.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm