A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for August, 2018

Love It or Leave It… If You Can

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Love it or leave it is a common phrase used by nationalistic Americans who would rather tell people who criticize their beloved country to get the fuck out than acknowledge its imperfection. What these individuals don’t stop to consider is that getting out isn’t necessarily easy and it’s becoming more difficult everyday:

PHARR, Texas – On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.

His official U.S. birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.

But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown on their citizenship.

It’s pretty difficult to leave without a passport.

This is another sign of something that nationalists often fail to acknowledge, the United States is a police state. Controlling passports and other forms of travel papers has been a beloved strategy of tyrannical regimes to keep people from fleeing to greener pastures. The Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic were especially notorious for this. In fact in those two countries merely requesting official permission to leave could land you on a secret police watch list. Even if it didn’t, your chances of getting permission were slim unless your communist credentials were solid or you had some collateral (i.e. family members) to put up to ensure your return.

As the United States government continues to tighten the cuffs it has placed on the wrists of population, passport denials for citizens will become more frequent. This, of course, will be sold as necessary for national security but it will really be about stopping tax cattle from taking their wealth outside of the government’s power to steal it.

Why Connecting Things to the Internet Doesn’t Give Me Warm Fuzzies

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The tend in seemingly every market is to take features that function perfectly well without an Internet connection and make them dependent on an Internet connection. Let’s consider two old automobile features: remote door unlocking and engine starting. Most modern vehicles have the former and many now come equipped with the latter. These features are usually activated by a remote control that is attached to your key chain and have a decent range (the remote for my very basic vehicle can reliably start the engine through several walls). Tesla decided that such a basic feature wasn’t good enough for its high-tech cars and instead tied those features to the Internet. Needless to say, the inevitable happened:

Tesla’s fleet network connection is currently down, which means that owners of the EV brand of cars aren’t able to sign into the mobile app. Unfortunately, this means that they can’t remote start or remote unlock their cars, and they’re also unable to monitor their car’s charging status.

In all fairness, this isn’t an issue unique to Tesla. Any product that makes features dependent on an Internet connection will run into a service outages at one point or another. Your “smart” coffee maker’s service will eventually go down, which will force you to walk over and press the brew button like a goddamn barbarian instead of kicking off the brew cycle from an app as you continue lying in bed.

When these Internet dependent features really bite you in the ass though is when the service provider goes out of business, especially if the product itself cannot operate without the Internet service. There are a lot of current “smart” devices that will soon end up in a landfill not because they mechanically failed but because their service provider went bankrupt. While the features that became unavailable when Tesla’s service went down weren’t critical for the functionality of the vehicle, no longer being able to remotely unlock doors, start the engine, or check the charging status would really degrade the overall user experience of the company’s vehicles.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 31st, 2018 at 10:30 am

I’m Sure It’s a Coincidence

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Let’s see if we can follow the events of this story and make sense of what initially appears nonsensical:

Aug. 30 (UPI) — A Pennsylvania mother of five died in a car accident after her boyfriend cut her brake lines to make a pipe for crack cocaine, police said.

Of all things, why would one use a brake line, a piece of pipe that contains some really corrosive fluid, to make a smoking implement? Maybe there’s something else in the story that makes that level of stupidity more understandable…

Before her death, Fox was scheduled to be a a witness in a case against Lackawanna County corrections officers accused of corruption and sexually assaulting female inmates, a woman who did not want her name revealed told WNEP-TV.

Well that’s an interesting coincidence. How much do you want to bet that these two incidents are connected?

Written by Christopher Burg

August 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Gotta Vote Harder

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After failing twice to accomplish anything noteworthy as the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, Gary Johnson announced that he was try his hand at failing to win winning a New Mexico Senate seat. This news was met with applause by the Libertarian Party people who prefer their libertarianism to be more watered down than most homeopathic remedies. Unfortunately, their hopes and dreams have once again been shattered because the game has once again been rigged:

In a sudden move with suspicious timing, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, an elected Democrat, announced today that voters in November will once again be able to vote for every candidate of a political party on the ballot by filling in just one blank. The option, known as the “straight-party” device, gives obvious advantage to parties with high voter-registration totals, while erecting roadblocks to otherwise over-performing candidates from third parties.

Don’t worry though, I’m sure the next election will be fair and will allow the Libertarian Party to bring its brand of watered down libertarianism to the national stage!

While many Libertarian Party members are screaming that this decision is corrupt and outrageous, the fact of the matter is that this decision is the norm. The Democrats and Republicans have a stranglehold on the political system because they’re in power and whoever is in power gets to make the rules. Whenever a potential threat, no matter how minuscule, to the duopoly appears, the rules are changed to eliminate that threat. The only surprising thing about this is the fact that there remains people who believe that a third-party actually has a chance of obtaining any meaningful power.

Of course I’m just parroting Samuel Edward Konkin III who warned the then young Libertarian Party about exactly this.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 30th, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Justice System at Work

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What happens when a secret compound is discovered where kids are being held against their will, abused, neglected, and training to shoot up schools? The responsible parties are allowed to walk because the government prosecution team couldn’t be bothered to schedule an appointment:

Two judges dismissed charges Wednesday against the defendants in the New Mexico compound case that has drawn headlines for weeks for its lurid and racially charged details, in a major blow to the prosecution.

Judge Emilio Chavez said that he had no choice but to release the three defendants, Lucas Morton, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah A. Wahhaj, because the office of District Attorney Donald Gallegos failed to schedule a court hearing to prove they had probable cause for their arrest within 10 days, as state rules stipulate, according to court representatives and defense lawyers.

I’m generally not a conspiratorial minded individual but in this case I wouldn’t be surprised if District Attorney Gallegos received a phone call from an agent of a federal three letter agency who informed him that the individuals his people arrested were federal assets (either as part of an idiotic federal law enforcement operation or an equally idiotic foreign proxy war, not that Gallegos would have been told either way) and that the case against them needs to be mishandled (because the story gained too much press for the charges to merely be dropped). It seems extremely unlikely to me that a district attorney would fumble the opportunity to make a name for himself by going after reviled criminals who received wall-to-wall national media coverage.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 30th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Security Theater Is Expensive

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During the Super Bowl Minneapolis was effectively turned into a giant prison camp. Barriers were erected, snipers were positioned, Humvees were cruising around, and heavily militarized law enforcers from numerous agencies were marching around. While all of that security theater may have looked impressive, it was also expensive:

The department is expected to spend $175.6 million for the fiscal year, coming in at $1.9 million over its $173.7 million budget, according to new projections from the city’s finance department. The projections were a part of a second quarter 2018 financial report presented to the Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday.

“The Police department expects to come in $1.9 million over budget due to payments to other agencies and overtime related to the Super Bowl and SWAT for the X-Games,” read an earlier draft of the report released on Monday. In the final version that was presented at Ways & Means, the wording was revised to “large planned events.”

It’s a good thing that Minneapolis has so many tax cattle to make up for this shortfall. It’s also a good thing that the National Football League was able to subsidize its security expenses by shoving a huge chunk onto the tax cattle. And let’s be honest here, you can’t put a price on the the convenience of the super wealthy tax cattle being able to attend the big game without the hassle of flying to it on their personal jet.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 30th, 2018 at 10:00 am

There Have Been Over 1 Billion Zillion School Shootings

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It’s no secret that gun control advocates outright lie about the number of school shootings. What is kind of surprising though is that their lies have become so onerous that even their sympathizers at National Public Radio (NPR) had to call bullshit:

This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. Child Trends, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization, assisted NPR in analyzing data from the government’s Civil Rights Data Collection.

We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports.

In 161 cases, schools or districts attested that no incident took place or couldn’t confirm one. In at least four cases, we found, something did happen, but it didn’t meet the government’s parameters for a shooting. About a quarter of schools didn’t respond to our inquiries.

The key to telling a convincing lie is that it should be believable. If, for example, you want to make the number of school shootings appear higher than it actually is, you should keep your inflated number within the realm of possibility. If there were only 11 shootings, you might want to keep your inflated number under 20. Inflating your number to 240 is going to raise a lot of red flags and people will likely investigate your claim.

This story also illustrates the fact that numbers reported by government agencies shouldn’t be treated as gospel. I know most, if not all, of my readers are aware of this fact but there are a lot of people out there who still believe that the government is a neutral entity that has no motivate to lie and therefore its reported numbers are accurate.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Cody Wilson Is the Most Uppity Slave

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A federal judge may have told Defense Distributed that it couldn’t provide its already widely available 3D printer files but the saga hasn’t ended. Since Defense Distributed can no longer provide its files for free, it will sell them on a USB drive:

AUSTIN, Texas—During what he called his first ever press conference, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson announced Tuesday that he would continue to comply with a federal court order forbidding him from internationally publishing CAD files of firearms. Wilson said he would also begin selling copies of his 3D-printed gun files for a “suggested price” of $10 each.

The files, crucially, will be transmitted to customers “on a DD-branded flash drive” in the United States. Wilson also mentioned looking into customer email and secure download links.

Now that the files aren’t leaving the United States, the primary argument being used to censor Defense Distributed is no longer in play.

What I find just as funny as Wilson’s unwillingness to roll over like a good little slave is how he has also become the biggest thorn in the side of gun control advocates seemingly out of nowhere. For decades gun control advocates have focused all of their attention on the National Rifle Association (NRA). While the NRA has acted as the 800 pound gorilla in the room, it has also been an extremely moderate organization. The NRA never pushed anything truly radical. Then along came Cody Wilson. He advocated something truly radical, the complete abolish of the State and by extent gun control. He also showed the world the biggest weakness in the concept of gun control: that guns a mechanically simple devices that can be manufactured with relative ease. While gun control advocates are trying to censor him, he has already done is damage. The world knows that firearms can be easily manufactured. Moreover, the designs for some basic firearms that can be created with a 3D printer have been released to the Internet and are therefore impossible to censor.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am

If You Ever Feel Stupid

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If you’re ever feeling particularly stupid, just remind yourself that somebody actually published this:

With the possible exception of the U.S. military (including veterans and families), no group was more indebted to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) than the human rights community.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2018 at 10:00 am

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Sometimes Violence Is the Only Thing People Understand

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I tend to favor leaving over deescalation and deescalation over violence. However, there are times when leaving isn’t an option and deescalation isn’t possible. In those situations violence can be the only solution:

What happened next, however, was road rage to the extent Bowlin had never in her life witnessed.

“The one time I leave a little too much space for the car in front of me, he then proceeds to go onto the shoulder and try to ram me with his car on the passenger side of his car, on the left side of my bike and with my left leg, into the cars … to the right of us, which would be considered the fast lane,” she told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

The driver, identified as 60-year-old Bruce Jones, repeated this action a couple of times, as Bowlin tried to get away. Jones’ wife was in the passenger seat the entire time; Bowlin observed that she had a shocked expression.

[…]

In the fetal position against the barrier as Jones weighed down on her, Bowlin began to slip in and out of consciousness due to the tightness of her helmet’s chin strap. Bowlin realized in her lucid moments that Jones was going to choke her to death.

“If he had gotten my helmet off, I would’ve been dead,” she said.

It was at this point that Bowlin suddenly remembered that she had a firearm. She knew that she had to save her life.

“It was me or him,” Bowlin said. “And I was coming home.”

She managed to pull her gun out of her jacket and fire, hitting Jones in the abdomen.

These are the situations that gun control advocates seem unable to comprehend. Bowlin was in a bad situation. She couldn’t flee and her attacker, who had given her plenty of reason to believe that he intended to kill her, was physically superior to her. If she was unarmed, she likely would have died. However, she was armed and therefore able to overcome the physical disparity that existed between her and her attacker.

Sometimes there is no avenue for escape. Sometimes your attacker isn’t in a reasonable state of mind and therefore cannot be talked out of their aggression. Sometimes situations only offer you the choice of fighting and living or dying. I very much wish this wasn’t the case but, unfortunately, my wishes have so far been unable to alter the universe I occupy.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am