Friday the goons over at Moms Demand
Something or Other Action (MDA) posted the following tweet:
Here’s a screenshot just in case the tweet falls down the memory hole (which seems to happen with alarming frequency on any Twitter account controlled by gun control advocates):
This caused Linoge and myself to wonder what a “peer nation” is:
We see with this tweet by the folks over at (MDA) a common tactic used by gun control advocates: massaging data. In almost any of the reports issued by any of the major gun control organizations there are terms such as “developed nations” and now “peer nations” scattered about within. These terms have no definite meanings, which makes them convenient stipulations on the data being used.
I could, for instance, claims that a “peer nation” is any nation that relies predominantly on coal to generate electrical power, possesses one or more aircraft carriers, has a population made up predominantly of people who hail from another part of the planet, consume beef as a primary form of meat, have no laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol but heavily restrict its sale and manufacturing, and has at least two cities with a population greater than one million. Doing so would lead to absolutely useless data but I could make claims without technically lying. This is what gun control advocates have been resorting to. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start with the results they want and continue to add stipulations onto what qualifies as a developed or peer nation until they get the data necessary to match their results.
I’m reminded of government provided statistics on inflation, unemployment, and other economic matters. They always look good. Even when things are bad the government provided statistics make them look at the very least OK. When you look into how the government calculates those statistics you see that it adds on a tremendous number of stipulations and when those stipulations aren’t enough they add a few more.
The thing is if you have to add so many stipulations to get the results you want then you’re working with meaningless data. Massaging data until you get a desired result doesn’t allow you to identify anything of value. You have to start with an honest data set, calculate the results, and work from there. But like the government, gun control advocates know if they worked with an honest data set they wouldn’t have a case.
I’m back on a folk metal kick (OK, I admit it, I was never off of the folk metal kick) so I decided we’re going to start this week off with the band that got me stated in folk metal: Korpiklaani. Soil of the Corpse is a song taken from Manala, the band’s latest album. As with most Korpiklaani songs it has very strong and obvious folk elements to it (some folk metal bands forget the folk part and end up being mostly regular old metal):
There are probably thousands of reasons why we gun rights activists have been winning. A lot of those reasons revolve around our tactics. Gun control activists spend most of their time fear mongering, screaming, and threatening acts of violence against gun rights activists. This has no effect on those of us that support gun rights but really rubs the people on the fence the wrong way.
Another reason we win is because gun control advocates harass businesses in the hopes of getting them to ban guns on their properties. Few businesses bow to their demands because gun control advocates aren’t very good at throwing money at businesses when they do. On the other hand when a business makes it clear that it supposed the rights of gun owners we shower them in money by frequenting their establishment:
MARYVILLE (WATE) – Shiloh Brew and Chew restaurant in Maryville is getting national attention after the owner put up signs welcoming guns.
Owner Sharma Floyd says she can barely keep up with all of the new business she’s getting.
“I’ve now been overwhelmed. I’ve now run out of food twice,” Floyd said.
The restaurant has been staying open late, and Floyd says she’s hiring seven more people this week alone.
“I can honestly say it is the absolute best thing I have done since I’ve been at Shiloh. It’s been incredible for my business.”
Before putting the signs up, business was struggling.
Us gun owners support those who support us. This is a stark contrast to gun control advocates who seem to either disappear after their demands are met or are so few in number that they can’t actually cause a noticeable uptick in sales. Either way a business has much to gain by supporting gun rights or remaining neutral while it has nothing to gain by banning guns from its properties.
A tip of the (not a fedora) hat goes to Guns Save Lives for highlighting this story.
According to the United States government everything within 100 miles of this country’s imaginary lines (often mistakenly referred to as a border) is a “Constitution free zone”. What this means is that the government can’t even be bothered to pretend to abide by the very document it created when it gave itself absolute power. So anybody living within 100 miles of this country’s imaginary lines, which is approximately two thirds of the country’s population, has fewer privileges than normal. For example, photographing Border Patrol agents inside of the “Constitution free zone” will result in your staring at the business end of a gun held by a Border Patrol agent:
About 10 days into the trip, an innocent action by one of the nearly two dozen Scouts at the Canadian border into Alaska set off a chain of events that lead to a U.S. border official pointing a gun at a scout’s head.
Fox said one of the Scouts took a picture of a border official, which spurred agents to detain everyone in that van and search them and their belongings.
“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” Fox said.
Just another day living under the most transparent government in history! This story should be a lesson though. Being a good citizen means doing what you’re told and not questioning authority. Good citizens are rewarded by being allowed to live, bad citizens get put down. So be a good citizen. Don’t question police actions, do rat out any of your friends who are committing acts of wrongthink, and don’t photograph the police. Failure to abide by the rules of good citizenry may result in your immediate termination.
As Mel Brooks told us in History of the World: Part I, it’s good to be the king:
When you’re the king you get to enjoy a lot of benefits that mere serfs do not. For example, you don’t have to deal with traffic because you can just shutdown entire stretches of highway that you want to drive on. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling on it during the weekend or rush hour because you get to tell all of the little people to get the fuck off of your road. And if a woman is apparently in labor that’s just too fucking bad for her:
A pregnant woman in labor Wednesday afternoon reportedly was not allowed to cross the street to get to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by authorities in Los Angeles because President Obama’s motorcade was going to come through the area.
I guess she should have went into labor after the king left. Hopefully she learned her lesson and will plan accordingly next time!
This is going to come as a shock to some people but not everything you read on the Internet is true. Now that I’ve shattered your world let me discuss something that should raise red flags whenever you read it: anything that looks like propaganda. Propaganda can be easily recognized as it will make one side of an issue look perfect and the other as evil as possible. The reason I’m bringing this up is because there is a lot of people in the shooting community have, shall we say, a negative view on Muslims. While I can’t see wisdom in shoehorning approximately 2.2 billion people into a single caricature but I digress. Not too long ago news was circulating that Isis had handed down a decree that all girls between the ages of 11 and 46 be subjected to genital mutilation. This spread like wildfire and I heard plenty of variations on “See! Muslims are a bunch of barbarians!” As it turns out this story, like many stories that put a group into a very negative light, is probably bullshit:
top UN official quoted from a statement saying that Isis wanted all females aged between 11 and 46 in the northern city to undergo the procedure.
Jacqueline Badcock said the decree was of grave concern.
But media analysts say the decree seen on social media may be a fake.
It has typos and language mistakes and is signed by “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”, a name the group no longer uses, instead referring to itself as the Islamic State.
Some bloggers suggest that the alleged fatwa, which has been circulated on social media for about two days, may have been aimed at discrediting Isis.
Isis is a bad gang and can be easily discredited without fabricating stories. It is a bad enough gang that the story about female genital mutilation is believable. But just because something is believable doesn’t mean it’s true. And that brings us to today’s lesson. If it sounds like propaganda take it with a grain of salt. Try to verify the information through credible (or at least pseudo-credible) sources before you begin writing your epic hate-filled Internet rant on random message forums.
Fellow denizens of Minnesota, and me neighbors in North Dakota, we are facing a major problem. The federal government has been caught providing military equipment to local gangs:
The department got the 3-ton Humvee about three years ago through a federal program that provides local police departments and state agencies with military weapons and equipment no longer needed or used in the global war on terror.
A total of 1,549 weapons or other equipment — with an estimated value of about $3 million — has been distributed in North Dakota over the past decade by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency. More than 8,500 items have gone to law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.
The equipment ranges from night vision goggles and gun silencers to mine-resistant ambush-protected armored vehicles, better known as MRAPs.
I’m not sure what the federal government’s thinking here. Arming violent gangs who are eight times more likely to kill you than terrorists is not an effective method to fight terror. It is however a good way of perpetuating terror. Having a bunch of thugs roll up to your house in a Humvee at two in the morning, kick in your door, shoot your dog, and kidnap you is certainly a terrorizing situation and one that happens far more frequently than attacks by foreign terrorists.
Also, as a side note, when the fuck will I legally be allowed to buy a suppressor in this forsaken state? If people with a history of performing violent acts can have them then why can’t nonviolent people like me have them?
Governments are good at much but there are a few things they excel at. Killing people is one of those things. You only have to look at the number of people killed in democides to see how ruthlessly efficient government are at killing people. But the government seems to be slipping as it can’t even execute a man properly:
US death row inmate Joseph Wood has died after an execution in Arizona took nearly two hours to kill him.
The execution should have taken 10 minutes, his lawyers said, but Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in recent memory. No wonder it’s approval rating is in the shitter, it can’t even do the one job it’s supposed to be good at effectively!
This month the men and women of Minnesota’s various police departments have been holding one hell of a fundraiser in the form of speed traps. They’ve been using the tagline “There’s not excuse for speeding.” And they’ve been covering billboards, newspaper pages, and other advertising space (with our tax dollars no less) with propaganda about the dangers of speeding (the ads are kind of like reefer madness but less entertaining).
Do you know what fucks up traffic flow? People who don’t drive with the flow of traffic, which is always above the posted speed limit because those posted speed limits are bullshit and the state knows it. This shouldn’t surprise anybody though. Who knows the maximum safe operating speed of a stretch of road better than the people who drive it twice a day, five days a week as they go to and from work? Posted speed limits are the product of arbitrary decisions made by people sitting in marble buildings who have no idea what the maximum safe speed on a random stretch of road they’ve never driven on is. Flow of traffic is the result of people who have a great deal of experience driving on a stretch of road doing so at the maximum speed they know to be safe.
Since it’s existence was confirmed people have been wondering exactly a person had to meet to be added to one of the government’s terrorist watchlists. The most transparent government in history has remained tight lipped about the criteria claiming it would be a threat to national security. So we’ve been left to guess and ponder. That is until now:
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
The Intercept managed to get a hold on a complete copy of the guidebook and release it in its entirety to the public [PDF]. It’s a sizable document and I haven’t read through the entire thing. What I have read indicates that it’s a legalese justification for basically putting anybody on the terrorist watchlist without worrying about pesky things like due process or evidence. In fact it’s an easy list to get onto but not an easy list to get off of:
The difficulty of getting off the list is highlighted by a passage in the guidelines stating that an individual can be kept on the watchlist, or even placed onto the watchlist, despite being acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. The rulebook justifies this by noting that conviction in U.S. courts requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas watchlisting requires only a reasonable suspicion. Once suspicion is raised, even a jury’s verdict cannot erase it.
The only way you’re leaving this list is in a box. Just kidding, even being dead isn’t a good enough reason to be removed from the list:
Not even death provides a guarantee of getting off the list. The guidelines say the names of dead people will stay on the list if there is reason to believe the deceased’s identity may be used by a suspected terrorist–which the National Counterterrorism Center calls a “demonstrated terrorist tactic.” In fact, for the same reason, the rules permit the deceased spouses of suspected terrorists to be placed onto the list after they have died.
What this leak does is confirm most of the suspicions us crazy libertarians have had for a while now: the United States is without a shadow of a doubt a police state. Secret lists of people of interest that require no due process to get on and are practically impossible to get off of (after all, the government wouldn’t suspect you of wrongdoing if you weren’t doing something wrong) have been a favorite tool of especially tyrannical states since, most likely, the beginning of states.