A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for December, 2017

Like You and Me, Only Better

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If you’re being attacked and you managed to call 911, a law enforcer will probably show up in time to draw chalk around your body and take some pictures of your corpse. Now when a law enforcer is attacked the whole goddamned world will be alerted so that other law enforcers can drop everything they’re doing, such as responding to your attack, so they can help one of their fellows:

Last week, while many of us were caught up by the internet getting ripped apart by the seams, FCC chairman Ajit Pai also announced a new national system of wireless emergency Blue Alerts, which will notify the public if police officers are threatened, “missing, seriously injured, or killed.”

However, there won’t be such a system to alert everybody in the area when we’re being attacked. I guess we’re just not important enough. Perhaps if we spent more of our time steal wealth from each other to give to the State, we would get our own national alert system.

Isn’t it strange how everybody in this country is supposedly equal under the law but the law continues to establish an environment where favored individuals, such as government employees, enjoy privileges that others do not.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 20th, 2017 at 10:30 am

We the People Site Shuttered, But Nothing Has Changed

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Under the guise of better enabling the people to get their issues noticed by the federal government, the Obama administration started the We the People petition site. The site was celebrated by Obama’s supporters are a great step forward for the United States government. Now those people are upset because the Trump administration shutdown the site:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is temporarily removing a petition tool from its website after 11 months of silence, promising to respond to public concerns next year.

The Trump administration said the platform, used extensively by critics and less frequently by allies, will be removed at midnight Tuesday and return in late January as a new site.

It remains to be seen whether the site will come back online as promised or not. However, nothing has actually changed. If anything the government has just become slightly more honest. While Obama’s supporters celebrated the We the People site, it accomplished nothing. Any petition that reached the required number of signatures to be addressed by the federal government were either dismissed with a wave of a hand or tossed down a memory hole.

The government doesn’t give a shit about what you think and never did.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 20th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Individual Morality and Consequences

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As a radical individuals I don’t subscribe to the idea of objective morality. If such a thing as objective morality existed, the human race would have had no choice by to agree with each on the matter. But if you ask 10 individuals to describe their beliefs of what is moral and what is immoral, you’ll likely hear 10 different systems of morality.

When I express my disbelief in objective morality, especially to libertarians, I’m usually met with a lengthy explanation of how a world without objective morality would devolved into a world of murder, rape, and pillage. It’s the same argument Christians often make against atheists. Without a belief in God, they believe people will just murder, rape, and pillage. However, people who make these arguments make two mistakes. First, they assume that all morality must be established by an outside force. Second, they believe morality and consequences are interchangeable.

My disbelief in objective morality doesn’t mean I don’t have a system of morals. As I noted above, if you ask 10 individuals to describe their moral beliefs, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Each of those individuals will express a system of morality to you, indicating that they do have an established system of morality, but disagree on the definitions of moral and immoral. They will disagree on the definitions precisely because they have established their own system. While their system may be heavily influenced by outside forces, such as philosophy, it is a system unique to them. I, for example, have a self-defined system of morality. While I think that it’s a pretty good system and the world would be a better place if everybody lived by it, I have no way to prove objectively that it is a good system and the world would be a better place if everybody lived by it.

The second failure objective moralists often fall into is treating morality and consequences as interchangeable concepts. While an absence of a moral system may give an individual the excuse to murder, rape, and pillage, they very well might avoid performing those actions because they realize doing so could lead to severe consequences. If you try to murder or rape somebody, they might kill you in self-defense. If you try to pillage a neighborhood, the people living there might kill you in self-defense. Even if you managed to get away with such actions, somebody is likely to search for you or hire somebody to search for you so that their idea of justice can be exacted. Even sociopaths tend to understand that actions have consequences and that can often regulate their behavior.

Socialists and libertarians strongly disagree on what constitutes morality. Even though they disagree on morality they can often live together in relative peace. Why? Because they both recognize that their actions have consequences. If a socialist tries to appropriate a libertarian’s means of production, the libertarian might use violence to dissuade the socialist. Likewise, if a libertarian decides that a group of socialists is a threat to their private property and attempts to use violence against them, the socialists may respond with violence of their own.

Just because somebody doesn’t believe in objective morality, or morality of any kind, doesn’t mean they’re going to murder, rape, and pillage.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 19th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Another Day, Another Officer Involved Shooting

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Yesterday an individual somehow managed to get a weapon into a police interview room and apparently drew the weapon against himself, which lead to an officer involved shooting:

A man was injured after a police shooting inside Minneapolis City Hall Monday afternoon.

Police chief Medaria Arradondo said Minneapolis police personnel were interviewing the man, and then left him alone in a room.

“And he began injuring himself with an edged weapon. After attempting to subdue the adult male subject, officers discharged their weapons,” Arradondo said.

The man was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center. His condition is not known.

One has to wonder how the individual got the weapon into the interview room but I digress.

The more I see the term “officer involved shooting” the more I realize how euphemistic it is. The first reports of this incident simply mentioned an officer involved shooting, which didn’t tell me if an officer was shot, if an officer shot somebody, or if all parties involved were shot. If you read a headline that says, “An officer involved shooting occurred at the Minneapolis City Hall,” you might be lead to believe that somebody shot a police officer.

Why can’t people use the far less ambiguous description, “An officer shot somebody,” or, “An officer was shot?” Why do so many people fell the need to tiptoe around what actually happened?

Written by Christopher Burg

December 19th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Posted in Side Notes

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Without Government Who Would Withhold Evidence

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A man accused of rape was acquitted when a trove of text messages showed that his sexual encounters were consensual. What makes this story especially noteworthy though is that law enforcers withheld this evidence from the court:

The criminology student at Greenwich University had spent nearly two years on bail and three days in Croydon Crown Court when the trial was stopped in a dramatic fashion after it emerged police officers had failed to hand over evidence that proved his innocence.

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Now, the judge has called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” to understand why police failed to hand over critical evidence including 40,000 messages from the accuser to Mr Allan and friends.

It’s unfortunate that the attitude of law enforcers to go after convictions instead of justice expands beyond the United States’ borders.

What’s especially unfortunate is that this kind of behavior isn’t unusual. With these stories circulating on a daily basis one has to wonder why people still trust the government to dispense justice.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 19th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Monday Metal: I Wish You Were a Beer by Nordheim

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Written by Christopher Burg

December 18th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Media

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Goodby Net Neutrality. Almost Everybody Awaits Your Return.

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Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission Fascist Communications Club (FCC) voted to strip Internet Service Providers (ISP) of their Title II status:

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling Internet traffic.

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Going forward, home Internet providers and mobile carriers will be bound not by strict net neutrality rules but by whatever promises they choose to make. ISPs will be allowed to block or throttle Internet traffic or offer priority to websites and online services in exchange for payment.

Based on the hysteria that followed the vote, I’m surprised that the Internet didn’t turn off immediately. Apparently Title II status was the only thing keeping the Internet going and without it the Internet is certain to die.

If you’re one of the people who is panicking over this, remember two things. First, Title II status was only granted to ISPs under the last administration, which means that the Internet thrived for a long time without it. The absence of Title II status isn’t going to kill the Internet. Second, the removal of Title II status from ISPs is temporary. As soon as the current administration is replaced with a new one the possibility of Title II status being restored will increase. As I’ve been saying throughout this debate the real problem is precisely the fact that the FCC has the power to grant to remove Title II status. Until that power is taken away from the FCC the battle for net neutrality will continue perpetually.

I also want to take a moment to dispel some myths that libertarians have allowed themselves to believe because this blog is in part about libertarianism. Many libertarians have been celebrating the FCC’s decision because they mistakenly believe that this is the removal of government regulation on the Internet. Removal of government regulation would be stripping the FCC of its power to arbitrarily decide whether or not ISPs have Title II status. The FCC voting one way or another is not an exercise in removing government regulation.

Another myth that libertarians have allowed themselves to believe is that this vote restores a free market, at least in part, to the Internet. After all, if your ISP starts throttling or blocking traffic you can just take your money elsewhere, right? Wrong. One of the reasons so many people are freaking out about the end of net neutrality is because a handful of ISPs hold monopolies or near monopolies in most areas. This lack of competition comes to us thanks to government regulations on the local, state, and federal levels. However, it must be acknowledged because few people can vote with their money if their ISP starts doing something they don’t like. There’s a reason Comcast is simultaneously one of the most hated companies in the United States and a thriving business.

TL;DR: Follow the wonderful words printed on every copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: don’t panic. At the same time, don’t celebrate either.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 15th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The United States Armed ISIS

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Anybody familiar with the United States’ foreign policy won’t be surprised to learn that the country has been simultaneously fighting and arming Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS):

WASHINGTON — Sophisticated weapons the U.S. military secretly provided to Syrian rebels quickly fell into the hands of the Islamic State, a study released Thursday disclosed.

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The arms included anti-tank weapons purchased by the United States that ended up in possession of the Islamic State within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study by Conflict Armament Research, an organization that tracks arms shipments. The study was funded by the European Union and German government.

Efforts by the United States and other countries to supply weapons to rebel groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (Islamic State) forces,” the report concluded.

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Investigators were unable to determine whether ISIS captured the weapons on the battlefield or whether the rebels sold or gave the arms to the terror group.

This is par for the course. The United States’ foreign policy can be summed up as picking sides in wars where all sides are assholes. Vietnam was probably the most famous illustration of this. If you read about the Vietnam War, you quickly realize that South Vietnam, the United States’ ally, wasn’t a beacon of freedom and democracy fighting against the evils of communism. The South Vietnamese government was absolutely atrocious. But that’s not to say that the North Vietnamese government was better. Both sides were committing atrocities at an impressive rate.

It seems like the only criteria the United States uses to determine it allies is whether or not they’re enemies of their enemies. The Syrian rebels may not have been angels but they were enemies of ISIS and that was a good enough reason for the United States to arm them. And either because they lost some battles or because they wanted to make some cash the weapons provided to them ended up in the hands of ISIS.

Libertarians tend to oppose the United States’ foreign policy because it’s interventionist. But it’s actually worse. Not only is the United States interventionist but it’s also incompetent at intervening. For example, instead of using its own forces to intervene it often chooses proxies, which are chosen for the simple fact that they’re an enemy of an enemy. When a proxy is chosen it’s given weapons. Oftentimes members of the chosen proxy defect and take weapons with them. Other times the proxy changes its alliance entirely and joins its former opponent. Sometimes the chosen proxy is wiped out and the arms it was given are taken by the victor as spoils of war. Regardless of the reason the weapons end up in the hands of the United States’ chosen enemy, its soldiers and allies get to face those weapons.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 15th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Getting Away with Murder

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While everybody was losing their shit over the Federal Fascist Communications Club’s (FCC) vote on net neutrality the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, announced that Officer Noor will almost certainly get away with the murder of Justine Damond:

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday that he does not yet have enough evidence to file charges against a Minneapolis police officer in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, blaming investigators who “haven’t done their job.”

Freeman made the comments during a union event after being confronted by activists, who recorded the interaction. They asked Freeman why it has taken so long for him to decide if Officer Mohamed Noor was justified in shooting and killing Damond on July 15.

“Fair question. I’ve got to have the evidence, and I don’t have it yet,” Freeman responded. “Let me just say it’s not my fault. So if it isn’t my fault, who didn’t do their job? Investigators. They don’t work for me. They haven’t done their job.”

Isn’t it nice when government agencies can work together to cover up the wicked deeds of a law enforcer? Freeman can blame the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for not doing a proper investigation while the BCA will likely be able to claim that it did a thorough investigation and that Freedom should have pressed charges but didn’t. In that way Officer Noor can avoid any consequences for his actions while both parties can divert blame.

Imagine if the perpetrator in this case didn’t have a badge. If you or I had shot Justine under the same circumstances that Officer Noor did, we would almost certainly be brought up on charges because we would be unable to articulate why we felt our lives were in immediate danger. When those of us without badges shoot somebody it’s automatically a crime and the only question is whether or not that crime was justified. When an individual with a badge shoots somebody it’s automatically justified unless another member of the government is willing and able to prove otherwise.

None of this should come as a surprise though. Double standards are the norm in the “freest country on Earth.”

Written by Christopher Burg

December 15th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Without Government Who Would Terrorize the Children

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I realize that most law enforcers receive barely any defensive tactics training and that makes them frightened little bitches when having to go hands on. However, this day and age I would think that law enforcer departments would put a significant amount of time into training their officers how to not look like goddamn fools on camera. But they apparently don’t so we get videos of armed law enforcement officers terrorizing and handcuffing 11-year-old girls:

The video released by police picked up as Honestie approached a pair of officers with her arms raised. One pointed a gun at her.

She appeared to be coming too fast for the officer’s liking: He began to tell her to put her hands on her head, then instructed her to turn around and walk backward toward him.

Her mother, in the background, yelled for the officers to stop: “That is my child!” she screamed. “She’s 11 years old.”

The moment intensified when Honestie reached the officers. One told her to “put your right hand behind your back” and ratcheted open a pair of handcuffs.

Honestie began whining, then screaming in terror: “No. No. No! No!”

One of the officers handcuffing her tried to calm her: “You’re not going to jail or anything,” but the screams continued as the video clip ended.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Honestie told Grand Rapids Fox affiliate WXMI after the incident. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve never got in trouble by the Grand Rapids Police. I used to want to be a Grand Rapids police officer, but ever since that happened, I want nothing to do with them.”

If an 11-year-old girl who hasn’t even shown hostile intentions scares the shit out of you, you shouldn’t be in a position of authority over anybody. If you’re the type of person who receives a power trip from terrorizing 11-year-olds, you’re a shitty human being and absolutely shouldn’t be in a position of authority over anybody. And if you’re too stupid to think that acting like this on camera won’t turn into a public relations nightmare, you’re too stupid to be in a position of authority over anybody.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 14th, 2017 at 11:00 am