A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for July, 2018

Foreigners Influencing Elections

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Anybody who has been paying attention to the news is aware that there is a lot of evidence that foreigners are influencing our elections! Before those of your who have assigned yourself to the left of the binary political spectrum jump up for joy thinking that I’m finally going to lambast Russia for defiling our most holy of traditions, I’m not talking about Russia. It’s actually time for those who have assigned themselves to the right of the political spectrum to jump up for joy because I’m going to talk about illegal immigrants being allowed to vote in a domestic election:

San Francisco began registering non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, to register to vote Monday in the November election for the city school board, reported The San Francisco Chronicle.

The move follows passage of a 2016 ballot measure by San Francisco voters opening school elections to non-citizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19, reported the publication.

Just kidding, I’m not really going to talk about this either. Instead I’m going to use this as a launchpad for mocking both of you!

Both sides are flipping their shit over foreigners influencing domestic elections… if they believe those foreigners are interfering with their agenda. Those who have assigned themselves to the right generally take aim at those who crossed the imaginary line separating the United States from the rest of the world. They believe that these line crossers only vote for people on the left side of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, they are entirely fine with the possibility of Russia influencing domestic elections because they believe that Russia is manipulating elections in a way that will ensure politicians on the right of the political spectrum will win. People who have assigned themselves to the left believe the reverse. They want line crossers to vote because they believe that they will vote for candidates on the left and they don’t want Russia to influence elections because they believe it will work for candidates on the right.

If both sides would be honest and admit that they don’t care about the issue of foreigners influencing domestic elections but only care about forwarding their agendas, they wouldn’t be a bunch of hypocrites.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Politics

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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

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Californians were scheduled to vote on a measure to divide the state into three separate states but they won’t have that opportunity because a men in muumuus said so:

The California Supreme Court shot down the controversial initiative from appearing on the November ballot in a unanimous decision, writing that “significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity.”

Proposition 9 would’ve asked voters whether California should separate into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California. It would’ve been subject to approval by US Congress. The initiative had gained enough signatures in June to qualify for the ballot on November 6.

“We conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election,” the justices wrote.

Proponents of Democracy believe that it gives the people an opportunity to voice their opinion to their government. That’s true only if their opinion isn’t radical. Democratic systems have a lot of safeguards in place to protect the status quo. If, for example, you are able to get enough signatures to get a radical measure placed on a statewide ballot, the safeguard of the courts kicks in to toss that measure out.

Whenever I say that real change cannot be realized through political means, somebody lists off all of the changes that have occurred through political means. What all of those changes end up having in common is that they’re minor, not radical. You cannot, for example, vote to abolish a political office, you can only vote on who occupies that office. So you may managed to get a slightly less terrible candidate to occupy an office but that isn’t real change, that’s a minor change. If you did try to get a measure on a ballot to abolish a political office, one of the state’s safeguards would kick in to prevent you from realizing your goal. That is democracy in a nutshell, the plebes can do no more than vote on some minor details.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 10:30 am

What What, In the Butt

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Law enforcers offer a lot of free services. If you see a black family grilling in a park, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and hassle them for you. If a member of your family is threatening to commit suicide, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and kill your family member before they have a chance to kill themselves. If you can’t afford a visit to the doctor’s office, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and give you a free prostate exam:

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — The cell phone video shows a ‘Stop and Frisk’ encounter last September between an MPD officer and M.B. Cottingham, a D.C. resident.

“Come on man! Stop fingering me, bruh!” the 39-year-old cries out.

“Stop moving,” replies Officer Sean Lojacono.

Now, 10 months after that pat-down, the ACLU of DC has filed a federal lawsuit against Lojacono, calling it an illegal and invasive body search.

“The officer, instead of frisking him for weapons, just jams his finger and his hand between Mr. Cottingham’s legs,” said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.

Not surprisingly, there were several officers involved:

The suit says several officers, including Lojacono, “got out of their cars and asked the men if they had any guns. They responded they did not.”

It’s not just that there are bad apples but that there are also a lot of indifferent apples willing to standby and let the bad apples do whatever they want.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am

One Reason for Social Media Sites to Avoid Censorship

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Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other popular websites are being pressured to censor “undesirable” content (what qualifies as undesirable content differs from person to person). Proponents of censorship believe that some content (which seems to always been content that disagrees with their worldview) is far too dangerous to allow to be posted. Most of the large social media sites have responded to this pressure by implementing some kind of (usually half-assed) censorship system. What has been the result? The proponents bitch that the censorship isn’t severe enough:

Last week, Facebook invited some media outlets to an event to hear what the company plans on doing about misinformation disseminated on its platform.

But many journalists, including CNN’s Oliver Darcy, were left dissatisfied with Facebook’s response.

Facebook invited me to an event today where the company aimed to tout its commitment to fighting fake news and misinformation.

I asked them why InfoWars is still allowed on the platform.

I didn’t get a good answer.https://t.co/WwLgqa6vQ4

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 12, 2018

In my opinion it’s hypocritical that an individual who works for a media organization that publishes a significant amount of false information bitching that another media organization that publishes a significant amount of false information isn’t being censored but opinions are like assholes, which is also why censorship is a difficult problem to tackle. Why is InfoWars (and for that matter, CNN) not being censored by Facebook? Because the opinion of Facebook’s CEO differs from that of Darcy:

Zuckerberg went on to explain that Facebook would examine sites that were flagged as “potential hoaxes”—in other words, limiting their spread across the site.

“Look, as abhorrent as some of this content can be, I do think that it gets down to this principle of giving people a voice,” he continued.

Zuckerberg has placed himself in a difficult place because he has implemented a censorship system on Facebook, which means he now has to fight in the quagmire that is public opinion on whether or not he’s censoring hard enough. The worst part is that there’s no winning that fight. One of the best arguments against a social media platform implementing a censorship program is that doing so opens them up to having to deal with everybody bitching that they’re not censorship the correct material or not censoring hard enough.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 19th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Posted in News You Need to Know

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I Bet Spain Hears That from All of the Subs

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I enjoy reading about engineering SNAFUs, which is why this story amused me so much:

An attempt to deploy a new submarine for Spain’s navy has run aground again, after it emerged it cannot fit in its dock, Spanish media report.

The S-80 boat was redesigned at great expense after an earlier mistake meant it had problems floating, and it was lengthened to correct the issue.

In the immortal words of Billy Mays, but wait, there’s more!

Excess weight of 75 – 100 tons has been added to the sub during construction and the current design is not able to resurface after diving. A former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place or by the addition of new technologic devices.

Billions of dollars flushed down the toilet because nobody bothered to double check the math. That ranks right up there with the old National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) SNAFU that resulted in a Mars probe crashing because an engineer failed to properly convert English to metric units.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 19th, 2018 at 10:00 am

The Last Time the United States and Russia Were Friendly

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A lot of Democrats are furious that the United States and Russia may be becoming friendlier towards each other. I prefer peace over war so my initial reaction to any prospect of peace is usually positive. However, after giving it some thought, I can see why people are angry at the prospect of the United States and Russia developing a friendship.

Every time the two countries have become friends in the last 100 years millions of Jews died and two Japanese cities were nuked.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Humor

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There are some jobs that are so critical that many people believe they must be performed by government agents. One of those jobs is protecting radioactive material. But what happens when you give an important job to an organization that historically sucks at everything? Exactly what you expect:

Two workers from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory lost an undisclosed amount of plutonium and cesium from a rental car parked overnight in a San Antonio, Texas, hotel parking lot in a neighborhood known for car break-ins and other crimes, according to an article published Monday by the Center for Public Integrity.

The loss of the highly radioactive material occurred in March 2017 and was discovered when the two workers awoke the next morning to find the window of their Ford Expedition had been smashed. Missing were radiation detectors and small samples of plutonium and cesium used to calibrate them.

The best part? This isn’t the first time government agents have lost plutonium:

The missing plutonium and cesium join the ever-growing amount of MUF—short for material unaccounted for—that has resulted from thefts or losses over the years. In 2009, the Energy Department’s inspector general took account of radioactive materials the military loaned to US academic researchers, government agencies, or commercial firms. The conclusion: despite being listed until 2004 as securely stored, one pound of plutonium and 45 pounds of highly enriched uranium were missing.

Who needs a uranium enrichment program when you can just take what the United States has already produced?

This news shouldn’t surprise anybody. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has a history of losing guns, the Pentagon has a history of losing money, and the Department of Health and Human Service has a history of losing children. The federal government flat out sucks at keeping track of anything left in its care.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 18th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Public Relations Nightmare

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I imagine that MGM’s public relations people are having a rough day:

The owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 victims of a mass shooting that killed 58 people in 2017.

It turns out that MGM Resorts International is being sued by groups of victims of the Las Vegas shooter and this lawsuit is an attempt to establish that it is not liable for the harm caused by the shooter. Good luck to MGM’s public relations people on explaining that though.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 18th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Side Notes

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Grandstanding Is Easier When You’re Shielded from Consequences

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Advocates for gun control are in a virtuousness competition. This competition has lead to some rather hilarious moments. For example, the Eden Prairie City Council here in Minnesota attempted to demonstration its virtuousness by proposing a resolution that would ask firearm sellers in the city to not sell ascetically offensive firearms. The entire debate was meaningless because of state preemption, which prevents municipalities from passing their own gun control laws, but it allowed the city council to broadcast to the world how virtuous they are.

Now the St. Louis Park City Council, also here in Minnesota, is considering stepping up the game by outright violating state preemption:

Some St. Louis Park City Council members have set their sights on a state law that limits cities from creating gun restrictions.

After discussing gun laws with students from St. Louis Park High School at a May 21 study session, Mayor Jake Spano said, “We’re openly discussing flouting state law and getting sued. I’m not interested in picking fights for no reason, but at the same time this has got to stop.”

They realize that doing so would get them sued so why would they even consider such action? Because if they go through with their plan and they are inevitably sued, they don’t have to suffer the consequences. The St. Louis Park City Council members won’t have to payout if they lose such a lawsuit, the tax payers in St. Louis Park will.

Grandstanding is easier when you’re shielded from consequences. When city council members do something that gets the city sued, they get to sit back and relax while the city pays for lawyers and, if the city loses the court case, pays out the fine. The icing on the cake is that while the city is paying out for the members’ grandstanding, it is also still paying their salaries.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Moving in the Correct Direction

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Sometimes it seems like the United States is the sole remaining country that at least has its head somewhat screwed on straight when it comes to gun laws (and considering how restrictive the gun laws in the United States are, the bar is set absurdly low). Fortunately, there are signs of improvement in other countries from time to time. The Czech Republic, for example, is moving in the correct direction:

The lower house of the Czech parliament has agreed to alter the constitution so that firearms can be held legally when national security is threatened.

The amendment gives Czechs the right to use firearms during terrorist attacks.

It was passed by the lower house by a big majority, and is likewise expected to be approved by the upper house.

The move by parliament is a challenge to EU gun control rules which restrict civilians from possessing certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons.

Moving gun laws in a sensible direction and telling the European Union to go pound sand? Double win!

Governments throughout history have tried to varying degrees to monopolize violence. Not once has this strategy succeeded. Every time it has been attempted the result has been that the government and those willing to ignore the law have enjoyed a duopoly on violence. That means that the fools who abide by the law are easy prey for the duopolists and, predictably, end up being preyed upon. Usually the fools who abide by the law eventually tire of being preyed upon and decide to ignore the law, which sometimes even results in the overthrow of the government (but then the revolutionaries once again demonstrate their foolishness by establishing another government so that the vicious cycle can be repeated). Perhaps the Czech Republic can avoid that situation by giving the law abiding fools the option to defend themselves.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 10:30 am