A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

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Politics is the art of inflicting violence by proxy. Instead of going to their neighbor’s home and stealing their shit, a political activist begs a politician to do it in their place. Much of humanity has called this violence by proxy civilized. However, the “civilized” nature of politics seldom lasts forever. Eventually people begin to recognize that they’re being victimized. When they begin recognizing this, politics become more divisive and eventually reach a point where people begin performing violence directly:

A Republican candidate for the Minnesota House said Monday that he is recovering after suffering a concussion from an attack at a restaurant in St. George Township a few days earlier.

Shane Mekeland is running for the House in District 15B, an open seat that includes parts of Benton and Sherburne County. He said that last Friday night, he was “blindsided” by an assailant as he spoke to patrons at a bar and restaurant he wouldn’t identify.

Granted, this is a minor incident. But minor slap fights and brawls like this appear to be increasing and will likely escalate to more severe violence in the near future, which is the inevitable progression of politics.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 16th, 2018 at 10:30 am

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When a Plan Backfires

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Elizabeth Warren was the butt of a few jokes when she claimed to have Native American ancestry. In an apparent attempt to silence her critics she had her DNA tested and it showed that there is evidence that she had Native American ancestry between six and 10 generations back. But releasing the results of her DNA test has backfired pretty severely:

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

One of the defining characteristics of politicians is an inability to qualify statements. It seems like every statement made by a politician is an absolute. Instead of claiming that she had Native American ancestry, Warren could have said that her family folklore claims that her family had Native American ancestry. If she would have qualified her statement by saying that her ancestry was family folklore, the results of her DNA test wouldn’t have mattered. She could have taken these results and said that there is evidence supporting her family folklore and left it at that.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 16th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Monday Metal: The Return by Mongol

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Written by Christopher Burg

October 15th, 2018 at 10:00 am

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Hey Siri, I’m Getting Pulled Over

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Do you carry an iPhone? If so, is it updated to iOS 12? If you answered yes to both, there’s a very useful tool you can download:

There’s a big new feature for iPhone experts this year: It’s an app called Shortcuts, and with a little bit of logic and know-how, you can stitch together several apps and create a script that can be activated by pressing a button or using Siri.

[…]

But Robert Petersen of Arizona has developed a more serious shortcut: It’s called Police, and it monitors police interactions so you have a record of what happened.

Once the shortcut is installed and configured, you just have to say, for example, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.” Then the program pauses music you may be playing, turns down the brightness on the iPhone, and turns on “do not disturb” mode.

You can download the shotcut here.

I’ve downloaded it and tested it. Sure enough it works as advertised. Grab it and install it on your phone so it’s ready if you get pulled over.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

The First Candidate with a Convincing Argument

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John McAfee is the first presidential candidate for this election cycle with a valid argument for electing him:

.@VerminSupreme and myself at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention. If that one chance in a trillion that I could be elected president actually happens, I will stand down and be replaced by him. Vermin would be the best president ever.

This looks like a winning team to me:

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2018 at 10:30 am

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Just Vote Harder

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If somebody is a member of the Libertarian Party, I generally assume that they have at least a basic understanding of the evil of government. If somebody has been a member of the Libertarian Party for a few election cycles, I generally assume that they have firsthand experience of how the two ruling parties prevent third parties from gaining a foothold in the political system. If somebody has been a member of the Libertarian Party for a few election cycles and still believes in the political process, I generally assume that they’re an idiot.

If you’ve recently joined the Libertarian Party, or any third party for that matter, and believe that you’re going to make a difference by helping a candidate break into the two party political system, let me give you an idea of what you’re in for:

Third party candidates are used to getting snubbed when it comes to political debates, but Dale Kerns says he was promised a spot in an October 20 senatorial debate in the Philadelphia media market—only to have the invitation rescinded as the debate neared, apparently at the request of the station hosting it.

[…]

Emails obtained by Reason show that Kerns’ campaign was twice assured of a spot in a televised debate by executives at the state’s chapter of the League of Women Voters, which typically plays a role in organizing debates. In March, Suzanne Almeida, the then-executive director of the group, told Kerns’ campaign manager that Kerns would “certainly” be invited to “participate in candidate forums after the primary.”

In late August, the campaign again contacted the League of Women Voters seeking information about planned debates. Jill Greene, who had taken over as executive director in July, responded on August 29 to say that she was currently trying to plan a Senate debate with the League’s media partners and that she would “be sure to include Mr. Kerns and Mr. Gale.”

Six weeks later, after the debate had been scheduled for October 20 on Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV, Greene emailed Kerns’ campaign manager John Odermatt to deliver the bad news. The League had asked to include Kerns and Gale in the debate, she said, but “other organizers” did not “feel as if current polling warranted an invitation.”

This is nothing new. In fact, this is the status quo. This is also why voting doesn’t matter.

Apologists for democracy claim that voting is how the people let themselves be heard but one only needs to take a look at a ballot to recognize the facade. A ballot consists of a list of officer with approved candidates for each office. The first indicator that voting isn’t what the apologists claim it to be is the fact that the names that appear on the ballot must be approved. The second indicator is the fact that the only choice is what candidate to put into the office. What if you want to abolish the office entirely (which is what every self-proclaimed libertarian should want to do to every office)? You can’t voice that opinion on a ballot.

If you’re involved in a third party, you’re playing a game where the rules are set by your opponent. Not surprisingly, your opponent is setting the rules in such a way that you’re guaranteed to lose.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2018 at 10:00 am

The Fake Facebook Profiles of Law Enforcement

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Do you remember that really hot chick who tried to friend you on Facebook? The one who claimed to be single and horny? There’s a good chance that “she” was a cop:

Police officers around the country, in departments large and small, working for federal, state and local agencies, use undercover Facebook accounts to watch protesters, track gang members, lure child predators and snare thieves, according to court records, police trainers and officers themselves. Some maintain several of these accounts at a time. The tactic violates Facebook’s terms of use, and the company says it disables fake accounts whenever it discovers them. But that is about all it can do: Fake accounts are not against the law, and the information gleaned by the police can be used as evidence in criminal and civil cases.

Investigators know this, which is why the accounts continue to flourish.

This should come as a surprise to approximately nobody. Law enforcers have been busy turning this country into a surveillance state. Meanwhile, Facebook has been busy collecting every shred of personal information about as many people as it can. They’re a match made in Heaven, or more aptly Hell.

The best defense against this, other than not using Facebook, is to only add people whose identity you have personally verified. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a person you know in real life isn’t an undercover cop, but verifying identities will at least cut down on the low level efforts to surveil you.

The World’s Largest Text Editor

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One of my Macs was screaming that it was running out of disk space so I pulled up a report of the largest files on the system. Since the system contains several virtual machines, those files were at the top as expected. However, as I scrolled through the list of files something jumped out at me. At some point I had installed the Atom text editor on the system. I don’t remember why I did that but it was probably because I wanted to test it for something. Regardless according to the report the Atom text editor was over 800MB in size. Just for fun I decided to download a copy of the latest version of Atom on another system. The downloaded file decompressed to 822.7MB.

I get that disk space is more or less plentiful and cheap but 822.7MB for a text editor is a bit excessive. I’m actually kind of impressed that a development team managed to bloat a text editor to such an enormous size (but not the good kind of impressed).

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The Plebs are Becoming Unruly

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All isn’t well in the People’s Republic of Minneapolis. The patricians are having a tough time conducting their very important government business due to the fact that the plebeians are becoming unruly:

Maintaining order in meetings has become a struggle for the new City Council. It has created a dilemma for a council majority brought to power on a progressive wave, putting former activists in the difficult position of having to hush their constituents just to get through the agenda.

It appears that a bunch of plebs have realized that members of their ranks being elevated to the patrician class hasn’t resulted in a better life for the plebeians. I doubt this lesson will stick though. These activists will probably still scream about the importance of voting, which will perpetuate this cycle of former and current activists eating each other. At least it gives those of us watching from a distance an entertaining show.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Get Out and Vote

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Unceremoniously stolen from the Agoristball Facebook page.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 10th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Politics

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