A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for March, 2013

State Surveillance is the Problem, Crypto-Anarchism is the Solution

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It’s a new day, which means the state must be planning to expand its surveillance system:

The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.

As a result, more private sector employees than ever before, including those at big banks, utilities and key transportation companies, will have their emails and Web surfing scanned as a precaution against cyber attacks.

The state can’t help but expand its automated surveillance capabilities as automated surveillance systems allow the state to keep more of its stolen wealth for itself. Needless to say we’re not going to see a reduction in the amount of spying the state does on us but we can avoid Big Brother’s gaze. It really is time to start participating in crypto-anarchism. Encrypting e-mail, using anonymizers, accessing information through location hidden services, and performing transactions with crypto-currencies should be standard practice. In fact parents should be teaching their children how to use these technologies at an early age (because we know the state’s indoctrination centers won’t). If you don’t know how to use these technologies you should learn.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2013 at 11:30 am

Chicago to Close More than 60 Indoctrination Centers

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Woe is Chicago, their budget situation is forcing them to close over 60 indoctrination centers:

The city of Chicago plans to close more than 60 schools, in one of the largest mass school shutdowns in US history.

The move, which would affect about one in ten schools, is an effort to plug a $1bn (£659m) budget shortfall and address declining enrolment.

I know, everybody is screaming doom and gloom over this news but let’s be honest, the students weren’t using those schools anyways. When your city has a dropout rate of 40% your city can stand to close a few schools. It’s not like better alternatives don’t exist. Let’s face it, Chicago (along with most public education facilities) has been doing a poor job of educating children. With the 40% dropout rate we see that children aren’t falling for the bullshit and are leaving to pursue better options. Why continue to sink money into something that is ineffective and unwanted by students?

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 am

New York Looking to Prohibit Children from Gun Shows

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New York is doing its best to win the Most Tyrannical Fiefdom in the United States award. Unfortunately for its government that award doesn’t exist so all of their efforts are for naught. After prohibiting magazines that hold more than seven rounds, banning rifles that have one esthetic feature from a list of cool esthetic features, and setting up a hotline for people to turn over their gun owning neighbors to the Stasi the politicians are looking to prohibit children from attending gun shows:

A bill just introduced in the state Assembly would bar children younger than 12 from entering a gun show in New York. The bill was put forward by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who hails from that trackless wilderness and sportsmen’s paradise known as Manhattan.

“Children should be learning to read and write, not to shoot a firearm,” Rosenthal says in a statement, as if the two skills were mutually exclusive. “Today in New York State, however, a child of any age can gain unfettered access to gun shows. We as a society have placed reasonable restrictions on the ages at which children may watch violent films” — clearly, Rosenthal does not have premium cable — “or play video games that involve hyper-real gunplay; however, there are no age limits on gun shows. My bill will change that.”

Children should be learning what they want to learn. When I was a kid (damn I sound old saying that) I was learning to read, write, repair computers, and shoot firearms. You know what? I can do three of those four things very well and my writing is as deplorable as most (although, I admit, it’s pretty shitty). I’m not sure where Rosenthal gets off saying that our society has placed restrictions on the ages at which children can watch violent films, the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) ratings are voluntarily followed by movie theaters, they are not enforced by law. There are also no laws preventing children from playing video games, in fact I played a lot of violent video games when I was a child. Did I mention that I attended a few gun shows? I basically did everything that Rosenthal said I couldn’t.

I can tell Rosenthal one thing, if I ever have a child and want to take him or her to a gun show no bureaucrat sitting in a marble building or costume-clad thug is going to stop me.

Cuomo Claims to Push for Lighter Firearm Restrictions, Ends Up Lying Through His Teeth

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After banning magazines that can hold more than seven rounds and offering rewards to individuals willing to turn their neighbors in to the stasi, Cuomo is now saying that he will push to reduce the restrictions he signed into law. I’m not sure what his definition of restriction is but it differs vastly from my own:

The gun-control law, approved in January, banned the sale of magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition. But, Mr. Cuomo said Wednesday, seven-round magazines are not widely manufactured. And, although the new gun law provided an exemption for the use of 10-round magazines at firing ranges and competitions, it did not provide a legal way for gun owners to purchase such magazines.

As a result, he said, he and legislative leaders were negotiating language that would continue to allow the sale of magazines holding up to 10 rounds, but still forbid New Yorkers from loading more than 7 rounds into those magazines.

“There is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t exist. So you really have no practical option.”

How does legalizing the sale of 10-round magazines but still prohibiting storing more than seven rounds in it a lesser restriction? You can buy the magazine but if you load more than seven rounds in it you will still find yourself in a cage (or dead if you don’t go quietly with the costume-clad thug send to kidnap you). I’m guessing Cuomo thinks gun owners should get down on their knees and kiss his ass in the hopes of getting a very minor liberty back. The only correct response is to give him a swift kick in the ass and making sure the same mistake isn’t repeated by electing another person to the position of governor (seriously, you don’t need or want rulers because they’ll just screw you over).

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am

Turn Your Neighbor Over to the Stasi, Receive a Reward

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According to information received by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned the state of New York is encouraging denizens to turn in their firearm owning neighbors:

The state has established a toll-free tip line – 1-855-GUNSNYS (1-855- 486-7697) to encourage residents to report illegal firearm possession. The tip line also allows for information to be submitted via text – individuals can text GUNTIP and their message to CRIMES (274637). While the state will provide the administrative support and fund the rewards, the investigation and validity of the tip will be up to each local department.

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If the information leads to an arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm, the “tipster” will be awarded $500. DCJS staff will handle all of the financial transactions.

In other words turn your neighbor over to the Stasi and you’ll receive a reward. This doesn’t surprise me as the state always attempts to recruit members of the general populace into its surveillance ranks. This is also an example of divide and conquer. The politicians in New York know that gun owners are likely to stick together and will also ignore the new firearm restrictions. In order to enforce the politician’s decrees the enforcers must segregate gun owners from the general population and the most effective means of doing that is to incentivize the general population to move against gun owners. It’s the same tactic the Nazis used (go ahead, try to incite Godwin’s Law, it doesn’t apply to accurate historical comparisons) to encourage individuals to turn in their neighbors that were hiding Jews.

History has many lessons to teach us but it seems few are willing to learn. When the state starts offering incentives to turn over neighbors you must realize they aren’t going to stop with just one group. Eventually they will be offering cash rewards that will encourage your neighbors to turn you in. In a police state, like the one we live in today, the golden rule is don’t talk to the police.

I will close with the following thought: hotlines only have a limited number of lines that can be open simultaneously. There are a lot of people in this world who have phones. If they all continuously called the hotline with bogus tips (or just report every police officer sighting, since they carry firearms that violate New York’s new restrictions) it would render the hotline entirely ineffective. Bonus points would probably have to be given to anybody who setup an auto-dialer to continuously call the hotline from multiple phone numbers.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2013 at 11:30 am

Colorado Falls

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I don’t think anybody was surprised to hear that John Hickenlooper signed the asinine Colorado gun control bill:

The governor of Colorado signed bills Wednesday that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.

The bills thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go with new gun restrictions after the horror of mass killings at an Aurora movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

The approval by Gov. John Hickenlooper came exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot at the theater, and the day after the executive director of the state Corrections Department was shot and killed at his home.

The bills require background checks for private and online gun sales and ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

I’ve read several blogs urging Colorado gun owners to start tooling up for the 2014 election. Don’t worry, I’m not going to waste your time urging you to beg politicians next year to restore some of your liberties. I do want to see denizens of Colorado tooling up, just not for politics. Once again I’m going to bring up what I’m calling Plan B, the decentralized production of verboten firearms and accessories. But there is something those of us living outside of Colorado can do for those suffering under that state’s regime, get verboten products into their hands. Magpul has been trying their best to flood the Colorado market with standard capacity magazines but their operation doesn’t have to stop just because they’re leaving the state. Those of us living outside of Colorado can still put standard capacity magazines into the hands of Colorado gun owners and we should.

Yes, I’m urging gun owners to break the law. Just because some dude wearing a suit and sitting behind a fancy desk in a large marble building says something is a law doesn’t mean it’s just. When the state makes an unjust decree it is right to actively disobey it. If you’re living in Colorado don’t waste your time begging politicians for freedom, even if they grant it to you you’ll face the threat of future politicians taking it away. Instead render their power irrelevant, let them know you will not obey them, let them know that the people no longer view their decrees as legitimate. The only way you’ll gain freedom is if you take it.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am

Arizona Looking to Make Using the “Wrong” Bathroom a Criminal Offense

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I’m not sure what’s going on in Arizona but I’m left believing that they don’t have enough slave laborers in their prisons because there is no justifiable reason to make using the “wrong” bathroom an act that will land you in a cage:

Lawmakers in Arizona are considering a law requiring transgender people to use public toilets of the gender on their birth certificate.

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Penalties could include six months in prison.

Why does the state even care about this? Hell, why does anybody care about this? Is it really that offensive to people that somebody would use the bathroom of the gender they identify with? Considering the number of women I’ve seen use the men’s bathroom when the line at the women’s room was too long I can’t bring myself to believe most people care either way. I’m guessing this law stems from an act of self-hating politicians. That is to say I think one or more politicians in Arizona get hot and bothered when they see a transgendered person. Since many of those individuals were likely brought up to believe transgendered persons are bad they also hate their attraction and want to find a way to remove the temptation. When you combine politicians with unwanted (by them) temptations you get ridiculous laws.

Honestly, that’s the only reason I can fathom for why this law is even being considered.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2013 at 10:30 am

Perhaps I’m Becoming more Paranoid

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Perhaps I’m becoming more paranoid in my old age but I find it suspicious that one day after Paymar announced that he wouldn’t pursue universal background checks a news story broke that there was a reported active shooting at a middle school in New Prague, Minnesota:

Authorities in New Prague responded this morning to a 911 call concerning an “active shooter” at the middle school, but a staff member later said everyone is safe and there is no danger inside the building.

“We are in the process of trying to clear all the schools at this time,” Scott County Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said at about 8:30 a.m. “We have not come across any injuries at this time.”

At about 9:30 a.m., administrators told families that classes in all schools were canceled for the day.

A School District official said the middle school was on a “code red” lockdown soon after what 911 police scanner chatter termed a “weapon complaint.”

Was the caller a student looking to cause some chaos or a gun control advocate hoping to reignite demands for gun control? I have no idea but the zealous manner in which gun control advocates danced in the blood after the Connecticut shooting leads me to believe they would stoop to almost any level to push their political agenda. My paranoia aside, this story also demonstrates the issue with knee jerk reactions. When the news first broke I saw numerous comments on Facebook saying there was an active shooting happening at the New Prague middle school. It wasn’t until I did some digging that I found out that the only source of this information was a new report saying somebody had called 911 about a weapons complaint. Taking a news story about a 911 call and conjuring up an active shooting is a massive departure from logic and demonstrates how quickly people can take a rather mundane report and turn it into a wild story.

Always take a moment to gather all the available facts before believing what you read or hear. Words that indicate potentiality are often dropped from second hand reports. When you read a friend’s post about an active shooting on Facebook take a moment to determine whether their comment is accurate or conjecture.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am

The Surveillance State

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Via Bruce Schneier’s blog I came across an excellent, and short, essay regarding the surveillance state. Ian Welsh, the essay’s author, sufficiently sums up the tense relationship between the rulers and the enforcers:

This is one of the biggest problems the current elites face: they want the smallest enforcer class possible, so as to spend surplus on other things. The enforcer class is also insular, primarily concerned with itself (see Dorner) and is paid in large part by practical immunity to many laws and a license to abuse ordinary people. Not being driven primarily by justice or a desire to serve the public and with a code of honor which appears to largely center around self-protection and fraternity within the enforcer class, the enforcers’ reliability is in question: they are blunt tools and their fear for themselves makes them remarkably inefficient.

It’s easy to see the state’s motivation for implementing comprehensive automated surveillance. Paying enforcers to perform surveillance manually is expensive. Why would the rulers want to spend large amounts of money on manual surveillance when they can automate a great deal of the work and pocket the saved wealth? This is also the reason why the state tries to involve everybody, whether they’re an enforcer or not, into its surveillance system. How many times have we seen the phrase, “If you see something, say something?” Hell the phrase has its own Department of Motherland Fatherland Homeland Security (DHS) webpage. Every tattling neighbor increases the state’s watchful eye without incurring additional costs. Fortunately surveillance has a weakness:

The reliance on surveillance is however a weakness, one of many. One of the simplest ways to reduce the power and reach of the oligarchy is to destroy surveillance equipment, much of which is very easy to reach. I have frequently said that we will know that people are becoming more serious when they start destroying surveillance equipment, when it becomes an ethical imperative to do so; ideally when people believe that blanket surveillance is an ethical wrong.

I, am, thus interested to see that the Barefoot Bandit Brigade destroying surveillance cameras. In the US, those who oppose current elites directly seem strongest around Oakland and in the Pacific Northwest.

I touched on the strategy of destroying the state’s surveillance system when Minnesota politicians proposed reinstall red light cameras. Welsh puts forth an interesting idea: one can judge how serious people are about avoiding the state’s watchful eye when they begin openly advocating and participating in the destruction of surveillance equipment. It will be interesting to see if organizations like Camover and the Barefoot Bandit Brigade become more prevalent in the United States as the state becomes even more intrusive.

A Shocking Accusation

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Raise you hand if you find this accusation shocking:

A former member of the Westboro Baptist Church who recently published a book about leaving the hate-mongering group has also revealed that founder Fred Phelps’s anti-gay ideology may have spawned from a gay experience.

Nobody? I didn’t think so. When a person hates another person or persons with an high amount of zeal it often means that person sees in themselves, at least some of, what they hate in their targets. It shouldn’t surprise me if we later hear that Phelps participated in one or more gay orgies.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am