Bruce Schneier Against Cyber Security Tsar

The bastion of common sense security, Bruce Schneier, speaks his mind on the appointing of a cyber security Tsar…

http://threatpost.com/blogs/do-we-really-need-cybersecurity-czar

As the man himself puts it.

Really what I think is it shouldn’t be anybody. We do better without a top-down hierarchy. Our economic and political systems work best when there isn’t a dictator in charge, when there isn’t one organization in charge. My feeling is there shouldn’t be one organization in charge. Not only shouldn’t it be the NSA, it shouldn’t be anybody,

I find myself agreeing with him yet again. I don’t know where this idea of appointing so called “Tsars” came from since we aren’t a Russian Monarchy but it’s getting bloody annoying. Having a single person in charge of anything generally fails. That’s why we have the Senate and Congress (granted they don’t really do their jobs in my book). Our founding fathers saw first hand what having one buffoon in charge does so they set up a system with many buffoons in charge.

Having a single person in charge of anything, especially security, leaves a single point of failure in the system.

European Union Thinks U.S. Should Relinquish Control of the Internet

Yet more news of the European Union trying to screw everybody else…

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/european-union-wants-cut-internet

This time they want some control over the Internet. This is an oversimplification but right now there is an organization called ICANN which acts as a central authority for Internet. Since 1998 they have been working under mandate of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This agreement is up for termination in September of 2009.

The European Union things once this agreement is terminated they should get a piece of the action. Never mind the fact that the U.S. funded and developed most of the technology that makes the Internet your are using right now possible. Never mind that many of the U.S. laws are the reason the Internet has remained on open source of information anybody can use. Nope that doesn’t matter.

Being the Internet is an international entity now it might seem logical to have other countries help in its oversight. The problem I have with this is many European countries are, or soon will, filter content obtained online. China currently is hold the record as the most famous attempt to filter Internet access (which they are failing at since there is no way to filter so much data). But China has no influence over the regulating body known as ICANN so they can’t force filtering for other countries.

If another group such as the European Union gained power over ICANN they could conceivably set into motion a list of items that would no longer be permissible to place online. Remember much of the Eurozone isn’t too big into the whole freedom of speech idea. And the Internet would not be useful if it wasn’t for the freedom of speech. I could see the E.U. wanting to place a ban on all pro-gun sites out there. After all we know how much the E.U. loves the right to bear arms.

L.A. Gun Buy Back Screwed Somebody

Apparently L.A.’s recent gun buy back program was a rousing success.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_12343624?nclick_check=1

They named all sorts of evil guns that were roaming around the streets killing people. According to the story, who’s accuracy I question on the grounds that the gun they picture is NOT a Tommy Gun as they state, everything from a $10,000 Luger to grenade launchers were dropped off.

And what does your $10,000 Luger net you? Why a $100.00 Visa gift card. What a deal! I’m betting money that if such a gun was dropped off it was stolen property. Granted the police are saying they will check the serial numbers to see if the guns are stolen but I’m doubting anybody will a gun as old as a Luger registered the serial number.

European Union Wants Companies Liable for Software

You know I hate the idea of the European Union a little more every day…

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39649689,00.htm

They have another idea that should not be. They want to hold companies and, in the case of open source applications, programmers liable for defects in their code.

To somebody outside of the software industry this may sound like a good idea. Who hasn’t been bitten by a software bug and wanted to unleash their wrath upon the coders? But as a coder myself I can tell you this, programming is hard.

More specifically parts of programming are hard. Getting an application up and running and then getting it to do basic tasks is pretty simple. The problem comes when you want to make those basic tasks reliable.

The damnedest things can cause a bug in an application. Forgetting to terminate a string in a null character in C for instance can lead to worlds of hurt. Sometimes when your application calls on outside code that outside code will cause an unforeseen but in your own code. The bottom line is trying to foresee all possible bugs and mishaps is impossible. This desire of the European Union would create a liability for software companies in that part of the world and probably cause them to move elsewhere. Maybe somewhere that isn’t trying to make life as hard as possible for businesses.

The “Honorable” Paymar at it Again

I got an NRA-ILA alert for Minnesotans…

http://www.NRAILA.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=4857

Pretty much Paymar has a strong desire to make legal gun ownership more difficult here in Minnesota. He’s trying to put through his pet piece of legislation yet again. What it amounts to is he wants to require all private sales to require background checks. Federally licensed dealers are required to do this via the NICS system which, the last I heard, it’s open to non-licensed individuals.

I really dislike that man.

Idiocy of Gun Buy Back Programs

Today I was listening to the excellent Gun Rights Advocate’s Podcast. The episode dealt with gun buy back programs and it raised some excellent points.

For those who don’t know gun buy back programs are when organizations try to “get guns off the street” by offering money for turned in firearms. Normally these are no questions asked events so any gun you drop off is fine. The amount given is usually well under the value of anything beyond a Hi-Point though.

These programs are idiotic for so many reasons. The first reason is quite simple, it’s a felony to do these. At least it would be if any one of us did it. The reason it’s a felony is because these are done without federal firearms license. In order to buy and sell a quantity of guns you need to be a dealer. What qualifies a dealer is a federal firearms license which the BATFE (formally just the ATF I don’t know when the Hell they added Explosives to the title) dole out. If you deal in firearms without one of these license (with the exception of private sales which are restricted to a specific quantity) you are committing a felony.

That’s right every time a church or school decided to use money to “get guns off the street” they are committing a felony. But they never get charged with it. I wonder why that is. I know if I went a did the EXACT same thing I’d have the BATFE blasting down my door and probably curb stomping my ass. This is a perfect example of a specific group of people being above the law.

Now the next thing you might say is what about when police departments do it? Well it’s still a felony according to the law. But more importantly then it’s YOUR tax money being used to buy the guns. Police departments are tax funded and when they do these gun buy backs they use department money (i.e. your tax money) to buy the guns. Doesn’t it make you feel good knowing your tax money is being used to rip people off?

And it is a rip off. The highest dollar value I’ve ever heard a gun buy back program off is $200.00. The only guns you can get for that price are relics or Hi-Points. I know most gang bangers won’t be using relics. And that brings up the next point, the gangsters aren’t the ones turning in the guns. The idea of these events is the “get guns off the street” in the hopes it will reduce crime. Of course this only works if the criminals turn in their guns, which they most certainly won’t. So instead of the guns being sold to a dealer for fair market value they are practically given away. And the people giving them away are usually the law abiding citizens.

So we pretty much have a series of events that require committing a felony level crime in the hopes of reducing crime. But they don’t reduce crime since the criminals aren’t the ones turning in their guns.

Anyways I encourage everybody to listen to the most recent episode of the Gun Rights Advocate’s Podcast. And the next time you see a gun buy back program going on remember a felony is being committed and if it’s the police doing it it’s your tax money being wasted.

My Views on Gun Rights Restrictions

A buddy of mine ask me a very good question, do I support any form of gun control. My answer is a definite no. I don’t support any form of gun control. But simply saying no never really answers the important part of the question, which is why.

Let us look back at the reason we have a right to bear arms in the United States. This country was founded upon us declaring independence from the British and them trying to stomp us into submission. We declared our independence because Britain was tyrannizing our fair colonies. They tried to disarm us because they knew we were getting to the point of revolt. And then a funny thing happened, we got to the point of revolt.

Upon writing the Bill of Rights the second amendment was the right to bear arms. The reason was simple, our founding fathers wanted the citizens of the new found nation to have the the ability to defend he fledgling nation. This defense was meant to be against both foreign and domestic threats. That means if our government was ever to turn tyrannical the people could overthrow them all over again. To that end I feel it was implied that American citizens should be able to own armaments equal to those of the military. In this modern age that includes machine guns.

I’m against gun registration. The reason for this is simple and was demonstrated by Britain in 1997. Gun registration is a ploy, it doesn’t keep criminals from getting guns and it rarely helps law enforcement determine who used a gun in a crime. What it does do is let the government know who has guns. Britain all but completely banned (in the case of what little didn’t get banned their severely restricted) private firearm ownership. It’s illegal to own any handgun in Britain. Before this the government required registration of all firearms, the fact is they knew where to go to confiscate the guns when they banned them. To top it all off violent crime has been skyrocketing in Britain every since the ban on guns.

Another example of this which is probably more popular is this one. Many decades ago there was a failing country. This country’s economy was in shambles, it was cheaper to burn the national currency then use it to by firewood. Eventually a man with answers was given power. He turned the economy around and helped regain the country’s previous standing in the world. The citizens were quite happy with him. Anyways this leader eventually wanted each citizen to register any firearms that they own. Of course being the man who saved their country the citizens decided to go along with it. Not too shortly after wards the government confiscated every registered gun. This country was Germany and the government at the time was the Nazis. And don’t claim Godwin’s Law here. It specifically states that you can use valid references to Hitler and the Nazi party. After the guns were confiscated of course World War 2 broke out and the Jewish population was being exterminated.

This is a perfect case of a government tyrannizing their people and the people being unable to do anything about it. It’s hard to defend yourself and your fellow countrymen when you haven’t the same tools as those doing the tyrannizing. I know a lot of people say that could never happen here in the United States. To that I say bull shit, it can happen anywhere.

The first thing people generally ask me when I say I’m against all forms of gun control is why I’m for violent criminals having guns. I’m not. I flat out don’t want any violent criminal to have any means of harming somebody else. These people have proven themselves ill suited to live in our society already. But I’m even more against the idea of punishing the lawful citizens.

In order to do background checks there needs to be three things. The first is a group to perform the checks, the second is data on everybody who is to be checked, the third is the reason to check. The first is almost always the government. The second is the scary part. Information on everybody needs to be kept, especially dealing with any past criminal behavior. Of course you only need to keep data on actual criminals, but here is the kicker data is often entered wrong. Hell you could have a prohibition against owning a firearm on your file right now and not even know it. All because somebody accidentally entered the wrong name in a database. Of course to be useful this data also has to be difficult to expunge. The third thing would obviously be the act of buying a gun. Once again we have the party doing the checking knowing who is doing the activity they are checking. That means they know the person has one or more guns. Once again we return to the above two stories.

You can’t stop criminals from getting guns. If you put laws on the books that require people get background checks you will only be having law abiding people getting the background checks. A criminal by definition is somebody who breaks the law. If somebody is willing to commit a violent crime there is no way another law requiring them to submit to a background check to get a gun is going to stop them. They will just steal what they need from a law abiding citizen. In fact this is what happens today. Most crimes involving guns are committed by criminals with stolen guns. Background checks won’t stop this, it will only hamper law abiding citizens.

The law point I’ll make is my belief that all living creatures have a right to self defense. This also means that creatures can defend themselves with any tools necessary. You only have to look at nature to see life isn’t fair. There is no way a salmon is capable of defending itself against the claws of a grizzly bear. But if the salmon had a means it would most certainly deploy it.

The same goes for the human race. The main problem with humans is our greatest predator is ourselves. That means we are generally preyed upon by creatures with the same capabilities as us. If you have a criminal with a gun wanting to kill an unarmed man there is nothing the unarmed man can do buy die. The victim can try calling the police, but it’s true what they say when seconds count the police are only minutes away. Not give that unarmed man a gun as well. He now has a fighting chance, a means of self defense.

There are a lot of unpleasant people in this world. The majority are good people though. Why should the good people who follow the law not be allowed to have the ability to defend themselves against the criminals? Even if carrying a gun is illegal criminals will do it. In fact it’s illegal to carry a gun in Chicago yet many criminals do it. Making laws restricting the right of people to carry guns in which to defend themselves only unarms the innocent. We should never punish the innocent, we should punish the guilty. And defending yourself against an aggressor is not a crime, it’s a right.

Criminals generally prey on the weak. Even since 2005 Minnesota citizens have been able to get permits to carry pistols, in fact I have one. Also ever since 2005 the rate of violent crime has been declining. Why is this? Most likely because criminals don’t like going against armed people.

To quote Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, a noted gangster, “Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. I’m a bad guy; I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.”

He clearly states two things, first is he wants you to be unarmed, and second he’s going to have a gun no matter what.

That’s my view on gun rights restrictions. I feel everybody who either supports or doesn’t support gun rights restrictions should take a good amount of time and think of why. After all you really can’t stand for something unless you have a reason.

Wind Farms Cause Crime… Time to Ban Them!

I found an interesting story in The Financial Times today…

Mafia Link to Sicily Wind Farms Probed

Apparently the mafia in Sicily have been linked to many of the wind power farms that have been going up in the area. This itself isn’t surprising nor even news but it gives me an interesting point to make, once again with guns.

See many people say we need to ban guns because they are used by criminals. I always found this logic stupid since that would mean banning pretty much everything. But this little story make the point oh so well.

See a majority of anti-gun people are “progressive” liberals (But note that not all “progressive” liberals are anti-gun, I’m not trying to start any such flame war). And most “progressive” liberals believe we need clean energy sources that aren’t nuclear. Wind power is kind of the defacto clean energy source.

Thanks to this little tie in we can now use the same argument the anti-gunners use but for something they love. See wind power is being used by criminals. In fact not just criminals but the bloody mafia. They are using these wind farms to make money. Hence I have a proposal, we need to cut off this source of income to them by banning all forms of wind power immediately!

At the very least we need to control it. I propose we make laws requiring anybody building a wind mill to have to register it and go through a thorough background check. If you want to build more then one wind mill, well call it a wind farm, you need a special federal license. We’ll call it a Federal Windmill License or FWL for short. These FWLs will be controlled by a new agency called the Bureau of Wind Energy or BWE. The BWE will enforce all things dealing with wind energy and will be given unconstitutional authority to abuse people who disobey all wind energy control laws.

Furthermore we may want to look into outright banning certain wind mills. Some wind mills can produce over 100 kWh of energy with the correct wind speeds. These are obviously going to be more profitable for the mafia so must be banned. And yes I know the mafia isn’t making their profit off of the energy produced but damn it we need to do SOMETHING! Also wind mills above a certain height should be strictly regulated, requiring a large tax stamp and BWE approval to build.

See how stupid that sounds when applied to wind energy? Why then do we allow the same stupidity to be applied to guns? There is no constitutional right to clean energy but there is one to bear arms. Yet the right to bear arms is far more heavily restricted.

Effective Zombie Weaponry

Well it’s happening again, zombie outbreaks. This time the cover story is under the guise of a “swine flu.” Yes people are dying and turning into zombies and the best cover up that the governments can come up with is a flu found in pigs. But I guess it’s better then the last cover story of a flu found in birds.

Anyways as a certified zombie control officer I thought it would be best to post a quick brief on effective weapons against zombies. Refreshers are always good. The weaponry listed will be restricted to ones obtainable by average American civilians so no missile launchers or machine guns.

The first rule of engaging zombies is to do it from as far away as possible. So the first few things we’ll cover are the queen of weapons, rifles. Lister here are some nice rifles for combating the zombie threat.

-AR-15

Nice light and accurate. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the military’s standard battle rifles the M-16 (also come in M-4 style configurations). They’ve been around since the Vietnam War so most of the technical kinks have been worked out making them very reliable. They shoot a small bullet at high speeds. They have an effective range of roughly 400 yards although you can get more out of them if your a good shot and have good ammunition matched with an equally good gun. Their weight, or lack thereof, make them very nice to carry for long hauls. Ammunition is also fairly common (or at least was before the recent buy up craze). You can’t go wrong.

-M-14 / M1A

The previous battle rifle for the United State’s armed forces. It shoots a 7.62x51mm (.308) round with an effective range of roughly 600 yards. Once again a good rifle matched with good ammunition can get you much greater range in the hands of the properly trained. Their bloody reliable, more so then even the AR-15. Their also a lot heavier so hauling them around while running to the relative safety of the countryside can become burdensome. Ammunition isn’t as easy to find as it is for the AR-15 but it’s still plenty common. Do also note the ammunition is larger and heavier so you won’t be able to carry nearly as much. This means you need to make every shot count. Many can accept a fixed bayonet which makes the M-14 usable in close quarters combat (although there are much better weapons for that).

-AK-47

When Mikhail Kalashnikov invented this iconic rifle he was going for reliability and manageable recoil. He wanted all of this in a package that was easily portable by average people. What we got was one of the worlds most reliable rifles. Out of the ones listed here the AK-47 is the least accurate. Russians never really worried about tight tolerances when they built these things. But those lose tolerances also made for unstoppable reliability. This rifle will not fail you so long as you do not fail it. Drop it in the mud, sand, or water and pull it out and continue firing. This is one of the best anti-zombie rifles out there. It fires a 7.62x39mm round which has become exceedingly rare as of late. And it’s effective range his highly dependent on the quality of the rifle you obtain. But it will not fail, it’s easy to field strip, and easy to use. You simply can’t find a gun more suited for anti-zombie defense for average citizens. Get one.

OK now keeping zombies at a range isn’t always possible so we need to cover medium to close range combat.

– 12 Gauge Shotgun

When it comes to killing zombies nothing is more symbolic then the shotgun. It’s pure raw power put into a man portable system that is hard to fuck up. Simply aim at the head of your zombie target and pull the trigger. The only downside is range, you don’t have much of it. You’re looking inside 100 yards with slugs on a good day and less then 50 yards with birds shot. Buckshot has even less of a range, you’re looking at inside of 25 yards. There are many types but I’ll give my recommendation to the pump action variety. Unlike semi-automatics you don’t have to worry about jams with a pump and at the ranges you’ll most likely be using a shotgun for failures are not an option. The ammunition is bulky and heavy so you won’t be able to carry a whole lot. But shotguns are cheap and reliable. This is probably the best short range anti-zombie weapon money can buy.

– Springfield XD / Glock

I lump these two pistols together because they both have similar features. I chose pistols over revolvers when dealing with zombies because of the speed at which you can reload them and the additional capacity for ammunition. The trade off is reliability. Both of these pistols have been proven to fire reliably in the field so they are your best bets for pistols. When chose one remember to kill a zombie you only need to take out the brain and most zombies won’t be wearing helmets (unless the person died with it on) so any caliber which can penetrate skull will work. I usually say chose 9mm or larger. Do remember though with the increased size and weight of the rounds comes the side effect of not being able to carry as much so pick a happy medium for yourself. I chose .45 automatic because I’m familiar with it and it’s proven effective for me. For most people I recommend 9mm though because it’s small, light, and has very little recoil. The ammunition is also much cheaper.

– Subgun

A subgun is a small rifle style weapon that shoots pistol ammunition. They can get more range out of a pistol round then actual pistols due to the increased barrel length. I haven’t recommended any particular one because you should chose one that matches the ammunition your pistol will use. I have a Beretta CX4 in .45 automatic which has prove reliable to me. They also make the CX4 in 9mm and .40 S&W both good choices. The only real benefit you get from these is more range out of a common ammunition pool. These are NOT replacements for rifles. But having one can certainly increase your range in a small and light weight package (due to weight I do not recommend a Thompson submachinegun style weapon).

And finally for when things get really ugly and you have the undead within biting distance you need to get brutal. Brutality comes in the form of melee weapons.

– Entrenching Tool

Ah yes a small collapsible shovel. You never think of these things as being much for weapons but they certainly fit the bill. They have a nice pointed tip on the shovel which will pierce right through skull and brain with only a little force. And they work for digging and other various tasks to boot. All of this an they weigh almost nothing. This is the best melee weapon you can find when you factor in all the other tasks it can perform. Do note that many companies now make e-tools with cheap plastic, you don’t want one of these. You want to get the real deal. Go to your local military surplus store and pick up a nice one made of good old fashion metal. You won’t regret it (although you will regret not getting that rifle and having to deal with zombies at biting range).

– Machete

What beats a knife? Well when dealing with zombies anything that actually weighs enough to bust through skull. But more precisely a long knife with enough mass to bust through skull. Like the e-tool mentioned above machetes can server multiple roles. They are extremely handy if you have to cross heavily forested ares or jungles on your way to safety. They will cut through almost anything including the heads of zombies. Even if they become dull their mass is usually enough to cave in the skull of a nearby zombie. Do note that like the above mentioned e-tool many companies make cheap machetes. You don’t want one that will break in the heat of battle. Get a nice high quality one and it will defend you from the undead for years to come.

– Crowbar

Although not nearly as effective as the above two items a crowbar will let you bash skulls in Freeman style. They have enough weight to bust up zombie heads and are light enough to carry around. They also have a pointed end that you can jam through a zombie’s noggin. They are also very handy when you need to use them for their secondary function, prying things. Remember a crowbar is a fancy lever and you can always find a use for levers. As stated for the last two items get a high quality crowbar not some Chinese piece of shit made of pot metal. You don’t want this thing snapping when using it as a lever because it will fly up and hit you in the face most likely killing you.

This has been a public service announcement from the Zombie Control Task Force.

Fat People Are Environmental Hazards, Cause Global Warming…

Check this article out…

http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/is-being-overweight-a-climate-problem/?hp

According to this article fat people should be considered an environmental hazard because they help advance global warming. Direct from the article…

“The study concludes that being overweight or obese ‘should be recognized as an environmental problem’ because of its contribution to climate change from additional food and transport emissions.”

Expect to hear from Al Gore soon on how we should round up all obese people and execute them to save the planet. Seriously though this whole bull shit with global warming is getting out of hand. Every prick and yahoo out there is willing to do a study to prove X causes global warming so they can get grant money.

I’m all for reducing pollution and such but let’s think critically about this. According to the global warming chanters there is no longer a debate and anybody who things otherwise is mentally insane. On the other hand no study has actually been performed looking at any other possible causes then human caused.

And there is a reason behind this, if you say anything that countermands the idea that global warming (shit I forgot it’s called the redundant phrase “climate change” because this year was a record cold year and the ice caps are at their highest since the ’70’s) you can’t get any grant money. So much for the scientific process but I digress.

Oh well I guess we should just start charging fat people for more carbon credits. Hey that’s a new tax scheme, don’t base it on a person’s income base it on their weight. Oh I’m so patenting that idea!

Just like everything causes cancer soon everything will be labeled to cause global warming.