I’ve Got Nothing

I spend most of last night working on the finishing touches to WristCoin and planning a new project. So I don’t have anything else for you today. But I will say that the Pebble wristwatch is an interesting piece of hardware to program for. There are certainly some limitations, which cannot be avoided when you consider its diminutive size and several day battery life, but overall the API is pretty well thought out and complete (which is worth noting because the SDK is still in beta).

The Spirit of Metal in Nature

Mother nature again proves that it was metal before the gods of metal bestowed the heavenly music upon us:

This assassin bug sticks the corpses of it’s devoured prey (ants!) onto it’s back for camouflage and to hide it’s scent from other ants. On top of being an obvious “meat shield”, this also allows the assassin bug to infiltrate ant colonies while posing as one of their own.

And this is what the thing looks like walking around with the corpses of its enemies stuck to it:


Obviously this thing belongs on the cover of a death metal album. In fact this song came to mind as I was reading about nature’s little genocide machine:

We’re All Criminals Now

This post is for all of those people who believe this country needs to be tough on crime. While severely punishing criminals sounds like an effective idea the problem with such an attitude is that we’re all criminals. There are over two centuries of laws on the books at a federal level. Hawaii, the newest state in the United States, has over half a century of laws on the books while every other state has even more. It’s not just the laws that make us criminals but previous court decisions also create more criminals. In fact nearly 50 percent of black males and 40 percent of white males are arrested before they reach 23 years of age:

A large number of American men have already been arrested by the time they’re in their early 20s, according to a new report.

The study, published on Monday in the journal Crime & Delinquency, found that nearly half (49 percent) of African-American men and 40 percent of white men have been arrested by the age of 23, “which can hurt their ability to find work, go to school and participate fully in their communities,” according to a press release.

When everybody is a criminal the label criminal loses its meaning. That’s the point we’re at in our society. The average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. If we became tough on crime or enforced the laws already on the books every single one of us would be in a cage.

This is something you should consider the next time one of your friends or a politician blabbers on about the need to be tougher on crime.

Expected Behavior from a Politician

What happens when you give firearm to a person who is used to having immunity from the consequences that arise form their actions? They act negligently with it:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky lawmaker said Wednesday that she accidentally fired a gun in her Capitol Annex office on the first day of the legislative session this week, prompting a police investigation. No one was hurt.

Democratic Rep. Leslie Combs of Pikeville issued a statement saying the shot was fired unintentionally Tuesday and that state police assigned to the Capitol found no evidence to indicate any portion of the discharged round left her office.

Combs did not offer details, but a House colleague who said he was in her office at the time described it as an accident.

“She was emptying the weapon and she thought that it was empty and pointed it away and down and pulled the trigger and it went off,” said Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg. “Thankfully, no one was hurt. I know she feels terrible about it. … It’s just an unfortunate event.”

She is in a position where she issues orders that negatively impact the lives of everybody living in Kentucky. The fact that she was negligent in her handling of a firearm isn’t surprising but it is probably bar less dangerous that her actions as a oligarch.

Still, the lesson we should take away from this event is that you really need to double, triple, and even quadruple check that your firearm is unloaded when you want to work with it in an unloaded manner. Whenever I disassemble my Glocks I always take a deliberate moment to ensure both the magazine is removed and the chamber is cleared. There’s now point in rushing that check and failing to be thorough can lead to a bad day.

Man Harassed for Possessing a Standard Capacity Magazine

We knew this was going to happen:

Norwalk Police wrote a summons for Tyrone Watson, 30, of Bridgeport, on Sunday for possession of a large capacity magazine on or after Jan. 1, 2014, that was obtained prior to April 5, 2013. His court date is Jan. 17.

An officer stopped Watson’s vehicle on Water Street at 1:25 a.m. Sunday, because the officer felt that Watson was tailgating him, police said. The officer let Watson’s car pass, then pulled him over, police said.

While trying to find his license and registration, Watson took out his pistol permit and quickly put it back, according to police.

The officer asked if Watson had a weapon on him, and Watson replied that he was carrying a gun, police said.

The officer secured the handgun for the duration of the motor vehicle stop and while making the pistol safe, the officer noticed that the pistol had 11 bullets in its magazine and none in its chamber, police said. The magazine had a capacity to hold 15 bullets, according to police.

A portion of Connecticut’s new gun laws, which went into effect Jan. 1, make it illegal to have a magazine that holds more than 10 bullets. Large capacity magazines purchased prior to the passage of the new law had to be registered by Dec. 31.

With the simple change of the data a gun that has been legally carried by a man became illegal, at least in its standard configuration. Now the man will have to waste his time and money trying to defend the fact that he continued to use the specified equipment for his carry piece. Another arbitrary government decree causes another innocent person to be harassed by the state’s thugs.

Chicago’s Ban on Firearm Transfers Ruled Illegal

In an unexpected twist of judicial ruling a federal judge decided that Chicago’s blanket ban on firearm transfers wasn’t constitutional:

A federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago’s ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.

“The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment,” wrote U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang.

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” he continued.

Of course this ruling, like most judicial rulings, won’t prevent Chicago from maintaining a blanket ban so long as it finds another way of doing it:

Chang explicitly did not rule out other types of regulation, short of a complete ban, in order to “minimize the access of criminals to firearms and to track the ownership of firearms.

Overly complicated testing and regulation for dealers, exorbitant permit fees, a cap on the number of authorized dealers within city limits, and many other options are still on the table. And one or more of those options will be used because there is no way the oligarchs of Chicago are going to allow their hard on for gun control to whither. But that’s how the illusion is maintained. Courts hand out rulings that appear to favor the people but always leave exceptions that allow the oligarchs to continue doing what they were doing. Then the cases go back to court where another ruling that looks to favor the people will eventually be made to continue the cycle.

Resigning Like a Boss

If you’re planning on resigning you’re going to have a hard time toping this former politicians:

On Thursday, David Waddell used the Klingon language to write his letter of resignation from the Indian Trail Town Council in North Carolina.

More politicians need to show the level of seriousness their jobs entail. In fact I would go so far as to say all political documents should be written in either Klingon or Elvish.

When You Don’t Have a Laser Pointer

What can you use in lieu of a laser pointer? If you’re an idiot and government official (but I repeat myself) you just pull out your handgun and use its laser site as a pointing device:

Jerome M. Hauer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s director of homeland security, took out his handgun and used the laser sighting device attached to the barrel as a pointer in a presentation to a foreign delegation, according to public officials. It happened Oct. 24 in Albany at the highly secure state emergency operations center below State Police headquarters.

You would think a director of homeland security, a person supposedly tasked with keeping people safe, would have some rudimentary understanding of the four rules of firearm safety.

Rand Paul Once Again Demonstrates His Love of Authoritarianism

It’s time again for me to take a swing at my favorite political punching bag, Rand Paul. This time it is in regards to a statement he made about Edward Snowden, the man who gave up his cushy job with a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor to enlighten us all on the widespread surveillance state we live under:

During an interview with Eric Bolling on Fox News last week, Sen. Paul was asked to respond to the video of director Clapper lying about the collection of data in March 2013 – before Snowden’s leaks. Paul told Bolling it’s ironic that the same legislators and pundits calling for Snowden’s imprisonment are turning a blind eye to Clapper’s committed felony in Congress. Disagreeing with the illustration Paul created, the Senator said he wants the law applied equally: both to Snowden for leaking and to Clapper for lying.


Along with Stephanopoulos’s question of clemency, the ABC pundit wanted Senator Paul to touch on his comments to Fox News’s Bolling, regarding a prison cell for Snowden. Paul told ABC’s “This Week” that the reasoning behind his statement was to convey a point of equality under the law, pointing out that Snowden and Clapper broke laws and that neither the pro-NSA or anti-NSA sides should throw a blind eye to broken laws.

Emphasis mine. This really irritates me for a couple of reasons. First, a precedence of jailing somebody who revealed criminal activity would decrease the likelihood of another person coming forward in the future. When agencies or corporations are engaging in criminal activity that information should be made public. Unless that information is made public it is too easy to cover up the evidence and sweep the story underneath the rug. This is especially true when oligarchs, such as government officials, are on the take. Based on the stories that have come to light about the activities of the NSA; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Department of Justice (DoJ) I don’t believe it is unreasonable to think anybody who used “proper channels” in an attempt to reveal criminal activity would find themselves in a cage or ditch.

Second, what Edward Snowden did was the right thing. Punishing Snowden for leaking those documents would be no different than punishing an armed person who stopped a school shooting. Yes, entering a school with a firearm is illegal but if it is done to stop somebody who is attempting to murder students and faculty then the violation of “gun-free” zone laws should be ignored. Likewise, any laws Snowden violated by leaking those documents should be ignored. More often than not the law stands between a good person and the right thing. When this happens the obstructing laws shouldn’t be enforced.

Rand Paul attracts support from both the neoconservative and libertarian sides of the aisle. The neoconservatives, rightly so, see a politician who is willing to talk the talk without walking the walk. Libertarian supporters of Rand Paul believe a rather absurd conspiracy theory. They believe that, upon being elected to the presidency, Rand Paul will turn away from his neoconservative nature and reign freedom and liberty upon this country. If somebody can show me a single instance of such a change occurring in a politician while he was in office I make consider that conspiracy theory a bit more than a theory. But as far as I’m aware such a change of heart has never occurred.