A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for August, 2017

Just More Heroes Doing Hero Things

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While the majority of media outlets have been focused on Charlottesville, a threat that is far more significant than national socialists has continued waging war against the people:

Charnesia Corley was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when two cops from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stopped her in June 2015 for running a red light.

After searching her car, police claimed to have found .02 ounces of marijuana. That was enough, they apparently felt, to justify a full-body cavity search. When Corley refused to remove her clothes in the dimly lit parking lot where she was being detained, one of the officers threw her to the ground, pushed her partially underneath her own car, and yanked Corley’s pants down to her ankles. For the next 11 minutes, dash cam video of the incident shows, she was held down by two officers while being searched. Corley claims that fingers repeatedly probed her vagina and that the officers ignored her protests. A third officer stood nearby holding a flashlight. No drugs were found on Corley’s person.

The fact that an officer threw this woman to the ground and violated her for 11 minutes is goddamn awful. But the entire situation is made even more egregious by the fact that another officer participated.

Cop apologists, if they’re willing to admit to any corruption in modern policing, will often claim that there are just a handful of bad officers. However, if this were the case, we’d see a lot of incidents like this end with the bad officer’s fellow officers taking him down. That rarely happens. The chances of winning a lottery are probably higher than a bad officer being taken down by his fellow officers. If that doesn’t speak volumes to the severity of this problem, I don’t know what does.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2017 at 11:00 am

False Idols

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Early yesterday morning, and by early I mean under the cover of darkness, workers whisked away a handful of idols to a government that vanished some time ago:

Statues dedicated to Confederate heroes were swiftly removed across Baltimore in the small hours of Wednesday morning, just days after violence broke out over the removal of a similar monument in neighboring Virginia.

Beginning soon after midnight on Wednesday, a crew, which included a large crane and a contingent of police officers, began making rounds of the city’s parks and public squares, tearing the monuments from their pedestals and carting them out of town.

Thou shalt have no other state before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of false states.

Personally, I have no issue with remove idols of statism from public view. My problem is how selectively it’s being done. Idols to the Confederate States of America are being removed by idols to the United States of America have so far remained untouched. I know a lot of people who have been demanding the removal of Confederate statutes have argued on the grounds of racism and slavery. Since the United States of America maintained the practice of slavery after the Revolutionary War as well committed mass genocide of American Indians, it would seem appropriate to move its idols as well. Unfortunately, I find myself doubting that the same zeal will be put into removing idols of George Washington as Robert E. Lee because most people living in the United States seem to believe that it’s the One True State.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2017 at 10:30 am

The Funniest Thing You’ll See All Day

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Remember Christopher Cantwell? Although he’s fallen into obscurity (even more so than he was before, if you can believe it) in libertarian circles, he has been quite active in white supremacist circles as of late. He participated in the recent fiasco in Charlottesville and things didn’t go well for him. Although he talked a tough game before and during the event, he was literally crying like a little bitch afterwards when he realized that he might have to face the consequences for his actions.

I hope this video of bawling Cantwell makes your day as good as it made mine:

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2017 at 10:00 am

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The Importance of Proving Guilt

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People are trying to identify of the national socialists who attended the Charlottesville fiasco. The people leading this operation want to identify those individuals so they can be publicly shamed and fired from their jobs. I nominally have nothing against such a tactic. After all, it was a public rally so anybody there should have been aware that they had no expectation of privacy. However, if you’re going to ruin somebody’s life you damn well better be sure that you have the right target. Unfortunately, as is common with these Internet lynch mobs, people have been less concerned about evidence than about nailing somebody to the wall:

After a day of work at the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas, Kyle Quinn had a pleasant Friday night in Bentonville with his wife and a colleague. They explored an art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and dined at an upscale restaurant.

Then on Saturday, he discovered that social media sleuths had incorrectly identified him as a participant in a white nationalist rally some 1,100 miles away in Charlottesville, Va. Overnight, thousands of strangers across the country had been working together to share photographs of the men bearing Tiki torches on the University of Virginia campus. They wanted to name and shame them to their employers, friends and neighbors. In a few cases, they succeeded.

But Mr. Quinn’s experience showed the risks.

A man at the rally had been photographed wearing an “Arkansas Engineering” shirt, and the amateur investigators found a photo of Mr. Quinn that looked somewhat similar. They were both bearded and had similar builds.

By internet frenzy standards, that was proof enough.

Following Blackstone’s formulation, which states that, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,” doesn’t make me the most popular person in the world but I’d rather have clean hands than be popular.

Justice cannot exist when there is no concern for evidence and proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before inflicting punishment. The only result of a lack of a substantial burden of proof is a system of chance. Maybe some guilty people will be punished, maybe some innocent people will be punished. If you’re accused of a crime, you will be facing a flip of a coin.

If you want to name and shame national socialists, that’s fine. However, you should actually have enough evidence at hand to prove that they’re national socialists. Likewise, people on the Internet shouldn’t take any accusations at face value. If somebody claims that an individual is a national socialist, you should demand to see the evidence and decide if the evidence proves that the individual is a national socialist beyond a reasonable doubt. If both of those conditions are missing, everybody will effectively be holding a gun to each other’s head and the only rule will be to shoot somebody before they have a chance to shoot you.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 16th, 2017 at 11:00 am

A Strange Dichotomy

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I’m sure a good percentage of my readers are aware of the drop safety issue with the Sig P320. For those of you who aren’t aware, the P320 appears to have a problem when the gun will fire if it’s dropped on its ass end. Sig has announced a free trigger upgrade (which is a nice way of saying voluntary recall), which will likely resolve the problem.

But here’s something I’ve found amusing about this entire fiasco. I’ve heard more than a few P320 owners claim that this issue isn’t a problem because they don’t drop their guns. What makes this funny is that quite a few of those individuals are also range safety Nazis. Don’t get me wrong, being strict about range safety rules is something to strive for. But to say that range safety rules are absolute while claiming that a malfunctioning drop safety isn’t an issue sends mixed signals. Can you violate the rule against sweeping other people at the range with a loaded gun if you know that you always keep your finger off of the trigger when doing it? Of course not because everybody screws up, which is why range safety rules are create in a way where screwing up isn’t likely to lead to serious injury.

While you may have never dropped a gun before that doesn’t mean you never will. Having a reliable drop safety is important because if you do screw up, and there’s always the possibility that you will, it won’t lead to you or fellow range member taking a bullet.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 16th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Posted in Guns and Gear

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Almost the Right Idea

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On Monday a group of individuals in Minneapolis held a solidarity march with the people in Charlottesville who protested the national socialists. This wasn’t surprising in the least. There is a pretty solid Antifa movement here in the Twin Cities as well as a large contingent of international socialists (although the two groups often overlap there are also people who are members of one but not the other). What was rather surprising though was that some of the marchers actually remove the Hennepin County flag at the Hennepin County Government Center and replaced it with an Antifa flag. Afterwards, the Hennepin County flag was burned along with an effigy of a Nazi.

I think that the protesters almost had the right idea. Had they simply remove the flag and called it a day I’d have given them serious kudos. After all, I’m in favor of removing the State’s symbolism. But replacing the State’s symbolism with more tribal symbolism is, in my opinion, pointless. So I guess I’ll give the protesters half credit for that one.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 16th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Why Collectivism is Doomed to Fail

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Nazism is in the headlines again because there are people who still take the ideology seriously. The fact that anybody takes Nazism seriously is evidence that not enough people have read Ludwig von Mises. Mises thoroughly destroyed Nazism in his book Omnipotent Government. One of the most important points he made was that Nazism, due to its foundational principles, was doomed to eternal strife:

The strong man, say the Nazis, is not only entitled to kill. He has the right to use fraud, lies, defamation, and forgery as legitimate weapons. Every means is right that serves the German nation. But who has to decide what is good for the German nation?

To this question the Nazi philosopher replies quite candidly: Right and noble are what I and my comrades deem such, are what the sound feelings of the people (das gesunde Volksempfinden) hold good, right, and fair. But whose feelings are sound and whose unsound? About that matter, say the Nazis, there can be no dispute between genuine Germans.

But who is a genuine German? Whose thoughts and feelings are genuinely German and whose are not? Whose ideas are German ones—those of Lessing, Goethe, and Schiller, or those of Hitler and Goebbels? Was Kant, who wanted eternal peace, genuinely German? Or are Spengler, Rosenberg, and Hitler, who call pacifism the meanest of all ideas, genuine Germans?

There is dissension among men to whom the Nazis themselves do not deny the appellation German. The Nazis try to escape from this dilemma by admitting that there are some Germans who unfortunately have un-German ideas. But if a German does not always necessarily think and feel in a correct German way, who is to decide which German’s ideas are German and which un-German? It is obvious that the Nazis are moving in a circle. Since they abhor as manifestly un-German decision by majority vote, the conclusion is inescapable that according to them German is whatever those who have succeeded in civil war consider to be German.

This isn’t a problem exclusive to Nazism. Any philosophy that defines what is right or wrong by the “will” of a collective will suffer this exactly problem.

Another thing that Mises pointed out is, “All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.” A collective has no will. It cannot think, reason, or act. Individuals within a collective can think, reason, and act but the collective itself is nothing more than an abstraction. Discussing the “will of the people” is nonsense.

But the abstractions don’t stop there. Once somebody allows themselves to believe that a collective can have a will they inevitably start grouping individuals into various collectives. Usually these collectives are poorly defined. In Mises’ book he points out how poorly defined “genuine German” was. Under Marxism people are grouped into either the proletariat or the bourgeoisie. In the Soviet Union the government threw anybody it didn’t like into a catchall group called kulaks. What constitutes a genuine German, proletariat, bourgeoisie, or kulak? It depends on who gets to define those collectives. Usually the “good” groups, like genuine Germans and proletariat, are defined as “everybody who agrees with me” whereas the “bad” groups, like bourgeoisie and kulaks, are defined as “everybody who disagrees with me.”

The national socialists in this country are already busy defining their collectives. They obvious hold anybody who is white in the highest regard. However, if one happens to be both white and Jewish then they are relegated to the dregs of society because, according to national socialists, Jews are the lowest collective. I’m not sure how Asians rank in their system although I know they certainly rank below whites. Blacks certainly rank pretty low in the national socialist system although I think the current consensus amongst its proponents is that they’re still slightly higher than Jews. These definitions, being abstractions, will shift over time as new people gain influence amongst national socialists. The definition of each race will shift as well as the ranking of the defined races amongst each other. And, of course, battle for influence amongst national socialists will involve a lot of arguments over the minutiae with insults of people who disagree being “race traitors.”

Collectivism is doomed to fail because it relies on poorly defined abstractions. Any system that ignores reality in favor of arbitrarily defined abstractions will implement policies that don’t work in the real world and will therefore eventually collapse.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 15th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Voluntary Association Strikes Again

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A white supremacist website, the Daily Stormer, ran into a hiccup yesterday. The website’s domain registrar, GoDaddy, informed the site administrators that it no longer wished to associate with them and that they had 24 hours to move to another registrar. So the administrators moved the domain name to Google and was then informed by Google that it had no desire to associate with them:

For years, the website Daily Stormer has promoted hatred against Jews, black people, LGBT people, and other minorities, making it one of the Internet’s most infamous destinations. But on Sunday, editor Andrew Anglin outdid himself by publishing a vulgar, slut-shaming article about Heather Heyer, a woman who was killed when someone rammed a car into a crowd of anti-racism protestors in Charlottesville.

The article prompted a response from the site’s domain registrar, GoDaddy. “We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service,” GoDaddy wrote in a tweet late Sunday night.

On Monday, the Daily Stormer switched its registration to Google’s domain service. Within hours, Google announced a cancellation of its own. “We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service,” the company wrote in an statement emailed to Ars.

As the article points out, the website isn’t likely to go offline because of this. Both Wikileaks and The Pirate Bay have a long history of having to jump from registrar to registrar to stay online. However, it is nice that GoDaddy and Google have the ability to decide that they no longer wish to associate with the Daily Stormer. But voluntary association is one of those things that people seem to love only when it benefits them or their causes. As soon as voluntary association clashes with people or their causes they quickly move to demand that the association be mandated by government.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 15th, 2017 at 10:30 am

The Importance of Values

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Ken White wrote a great post that rebuts those who believe the government should curtail certain types of speech. It’s especially timely since, as he points out, we’ve reached the bottom of one hypothetical slippery slope brought up by proponents of government restricted speech: Nazis marching down the streets of American cities.

But you cannot destroy a value in order to save it. Nazis — like terrorists — hope that we will abandon principles and fundamentally change who we are out of fear. Assault is assault, threats are threats, murder is murder, and all of them should be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. The allowance for self-defense by those threatened by Nazis should reasonably be generous. But despicable speech is protected by the First Amendment, and should remain so. Our present circumstances show why it is sheer terrified madness to entrust a broad power to prevent or punish speech upon a fickle state. We’ve flirted with that madness of abandoning rights in pursuit of safety for our nation’s whole life. The flirtation has turned sordid and degrading during the War on Crime and frankly self-destructive after 9/11. It would be philosophical suicide to hasten it now by giving a government — a visibly terrible and amoral government — the power to regulate speech. This is the final hypothetical come to pass: if the state asked you to give up freedoms in exchange for a dubious promise it would make you safer, would you do it? Would you convince yourself that the state would only use the power against Them, and not you?

Handing the government more power always sounds like a good idea when the people you agree with are in charge of that government. But that power looks frightening when its in the hands of the people you disagree with.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 15th, 2017 at 10:00 am

A Debate Between National and International Socialism is Hardly a Debate

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In America, much like in Europe, the concept of individualism is almost entirely absent. The political spectrum is synonymous with the socialist spectrum. On the left are the international socialists. On the right are the national socialists. Since the end of World War II, due to their side losing the war, proponents of national socialism have been more or less relegated to the shadows. That has started to change since the election of Donald Trump. The national socialists believe they were critical in getting Trump elected so they also believe that they have a great deal of influence and power, which is probably part of the reason why they are crawling out of the shadows and onto the streets:

Chanting “blood and soil,” “white lives matter” and “you will not replace us,” scores of white nationalists holding torches marched across the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Friday night.

Scuffles broke out between them and a small group of counter-protesters calling themselves “anti-fascists” who were surrounded as they demonstrated in advance of Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which is expected to be one of the largest far-right gatherings in the U.S. in at least a decade.

As you’re probably aware, the Unite the Right rally didn’t remain peaceful. Several scuffles broke out and one person drove a car into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring 19. This shouldn’t have surprised anybody though since this was a political rally and politics is nothing more than a ritualized form of violence.

It seems like most people have either sided with the national socialists or the protesters. If there is a silver lining to this two-sided split it’s that it has revealed many of the crypto-statists who have been hiding amongst the anarcho-capitalists. I’m not a fan of purges but I am a fan of duplicitous people outing themselves. Unfortunately, this being the United States, the protesters seem to be primarily made up of international socialists, which differ from their national socialists brethren only in minor ways.

Under national socialism you’re either a member of the nation and gain the “benefits” of socialism or you’re relegated to the slave class, which means you’re forced to provide the resources necessary for the members of the nation, executed, or the former followed by the latter. What defines a member of the nation or the slave class is largely arbitrary. American national socialists put a lot of emphasis on race, which they also define rather arbitrarily. For example, if you’re white, you’re likely considered a member of the nation… unless you happen to be Jewish as well. This sounds familiar doesn’t it? Replace “member of the nation” with proletariat and “slave class” with bourgeoisie and you have international socialism. So the political debate here in the United States is one of arbitrarily defined definitions.

The only way out of this socialist death spiral is a resurgence of individualism. But if there’s an ideology that is less popular than national socialism here in the United States, it’s individualism. Because while national and international socialists have their disagreements, they can both agree that people who view the individual, not the collective, as supreme are a threat to their power and beliefs and therefore must be exterminated. Since the only alternative to socialism is relegated to the shadows the predominant political debate in this country will hardly be a debate at all.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 14th, 2017 at 10:30 am