A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘1984 was a Warning not a Blueprint’ tag

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

It’s the War That Never Ends

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It’s the war that never ends.

It goes on and on, my friend:

Pockets of Nangarhar remain inaccessible to outsiders because of fighting, making it impossible to independently determine the cause of the fatal explosion. What is not in question is that in the 17th year of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, American airstrikes are escalating again, along with civilian casualties.

Operating under looser restrictions on air power that commanders hope will break a stalemate in the war, U.S. fighter planes this year dropped 3,554 explosives in Afghanistan through Oct. 31, the most since 2012.

This is why I see no appreciable difference between the two ruling parties in this country. While they may disagree on a few minor point, they march lockstep on the issues that matter. Obama initially came into officer on the promise of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After eight years he didn’t end either war and involved the United States in several more. Trump never promised to end the wars so I can’t really call him a hypocrite for continuing to wage them but his commitment to continuing the wars shows that the two parties agree that war is good.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 6th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Tightening the Chains

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The turkey won’t be the only thing to get a hand up its ass this Thanksgiving:

New TSA screening guidelines will likely make Thanksgiving travel a disaster for legions of Americans — and the worst is yet to come.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, TSA announced more “comprehensive” pat-down procedures which the Denver airport suggested might involve “more intimate contact than before.” TSA preemptively notified local police to expect potential complaints, and plenty of travelers are howling:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still hasn’t thwarted a single terrorist plot. After 16 years one might expect an agency to show proof of having accomplished something. Instead the agency has pulled the same stunt as every other government agency and claimed that its failures are due to lack of funding. And like every other government agency, the TSA has shown no evidence of improvement when its funding has been increased.

They’ll Let Anybody in the Military

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The Army is in a precarious position. It has been tasked with waging a war on terror. Since terror is such a nebulous term the Army has no defined condition for declaring victory. That being the case, the war it was been tasked with fighting has continued to grind on for almost more than one and a half decades. The problem with a grinder is that you need to constantly feed it fresh meat and the Army is having a difficult time finding enough meat.

Who wants to join the Army only to be deployed to the Middle East to get maimed or killed by an improvised explosive or a child with an AK-47? Not only is the work dangerous but the pay sucks too. The Army is offering a lot of risk with little reward, a situation most investors would run away from.

So how does the Army fill its ranks without offering better pay? By lowering its standards, of course:

The Army wants to widen the pool of recruits.

Facing low recruitment levels, the U.S. Army quietly lifted its ban on allowing people with a history of mental illness, self-mutilation and drug abuse to serve in the military – despite warnings from the industry about the risks involved.

The new rules green-light recruits who have bipolar disorder, depression and issues with cutting – a process in which a person takes a knife or razor to his or her own skin – along with those who bite, hit or bruise themselves intentionally.

If you suffer from certain mental illnesses, Uncle Sam won’t let you buy gun. Likewise, if you use illegal drugs, Uncle Sam won’t let you buy a gun. But now he’ll happily hand you a gun!

I’d make a smart ass remark about the deplorable state of education in the United States making this necessary but the decision to lower military recruitment standards is a necessity of any country fighting a decade and a half old war against an undefined enemy.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 14th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

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Proponents of gun control aren’t the only ones clamoring for a ban of some sort after the recent Texas shooting. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is setting the ground work to once again push for a ban on effective cryptography:

A Federal Bureau of Investigation official said today that the agency has been unable to access an encrypted phone used by the gunman who killed 26 people at a rural Texas church on Sunday.

At a press conference, Christopher Combs, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation, said the phone had been transported back to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia for examination. Investigators have identified Devin Patrick Kelley as the gunman in the shooting, which unfolded in the town of Sutherland Springs.

“Unfortunately, at this point in time, we are unable to get into that phone,” Combs said.

The shooter is dead and from what I’ve seen his motivations are understood. There is no evidence that he was part of a network that is planning other similar attacks so who fucking cares if the FBI can’t get into his phone? Statists. Why? Because the FBI’s inadequacy, in their minds, makes everybody unsafe. It’s the same mindset that causes people to demand a ban on firearms. If a technology allows an individual to defend themselves, especially against government agents, then it is dangerous and must be prohibited.

Statists want nothing more than to turn the entire country into Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Everything is a Russian Plot

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Привет товарищ! I bring great news of the glorious victory of Mother Russia, err, I mean I bring frightening news. Yeah. Terrible news indeed! It turns out that everything you love and cherish is a Russian plot, including Pokemon Go!

One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go and even contacted some reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans, CNN has learned.

The campaign, titled “Don’t Shoot Us,” offers new insights into how Russian agents created a broad online ecosystem where divisive political messages were reinforced across multiple platforms, amplifying a campaign that appears to have been run from one source — the shadowy, Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

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The donotshoot.us website in turn links to a Tumblr account. In July 2016, this Tumblr account announced a contest encouraging readers to play Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game in which users go out into the real world and use their phones to find and “train” Pokémon characters.

Nothing is beyond suspect. Your friends could be part of a Russian plot! Your spouse could be part of a Russian plot! Your dog could be part of a Russian plot! Even this blog could be part of a Russian plot! Trust nobody!

The only way to stop the Russians is for all of us Americans to come together and stand behind our government no matter what! Our freedom can only be preserved through blind obedience!

Written by Christopher Burg

November 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 am

Now You Too Can Be Big Brother

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We all know that Big Brother is watching us. Local law enforcers, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and various other government agencies are investing an incredible amount of resources into watching our every move. What if I told you that the day has finally come where you too can play an active role in Big Brother’s great surveillance apparatus? Axon is going to make that a reality:

Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, either wants to encourage helpful citizens or snitches—depending on how you feel about talking to police—to come forward.

On Thursday, the company announced “Axon Citizen,” a new “public safety portal” that lets civilians submit text, video, and audio files directly to participating law enforcement agencies that use its cloud storage service, Evidence.com.

While I spent the opening paragraph of this post mocking this product, I’m sadly aware of the fact that there are a lot of boot lickers out there who will actually use it. However, there is some hope that a bunch of decent people will get together and try to flood Evidence.com with useless data such as videos of lamp posts that are several hours long and high-definition pictures of pigeons. It would also be interesting to see exactly how much porn Evidence.com can store.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 20th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Judges and Science

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With all the talk about the importance of science you would think debunked forensic science would receive more coverage. Forensic science can literally be a life or death matter in some states for some crimes. Unfortunately, the courts are setup in such a way that the validity of forensic techniques is not determined by researchers in the field but by men in magic muumuus:

Giannelli, who served on President Barack Obama’s now-disbanded National Commission on Forensic Science, looks at how six forensic fields for which there is little to no supporting scientific research (or in some cases, that scientific research has discredited) — bite-mark comparison, arson, microscopic hair analysis, firearms and toolmark analysis, fingerprint analysis, comparative bullet-lead analysis. These fields vary in scientific credibility and probative value from little to none (bite-mark comparison and bullet-lead analysis) to possibly valuable, though the extent of which is still unproven (fingerprint analysis).

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But it’s quite a bit worse than that. The fact is, judges continue to allow practitioners of these other fields to testify even after the scientific community has discredited them, and even after DNA testing has exonerated people who were convicted, because practitioners from those fields told jurors that the defendant and only the defendant could have committed the crime. In the few fields where the courts have finally admitted that they got it wrong, for the most part there has been little effort to systematically review all of the cases that those mistakes may have affected. It has largely been left to defense attorneys and nonprofit legal groups to find those defendants and file claims on their behalf.

Of course, none of this should be surprising. We don’t ask judges to perform regression analyses. We don’t ask them to design sewer systems, hit fastballs or compose symphonies. We know they aren’t qualified to do any of those things. Judges are trained to perform legal analysis. No one goes to law school to become a scientist.

Judges should not be expected or even allowed to decide what types of forensic science are valid and what types are invalid. They lack the training and the background to determine such things. However, I’d hazard a guess that few in the legal system have any interest in putting qualified people in charge since that would likely reduce conviction rates and therefore cut into the State’s profits.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 29th, 2017 at 10:30 am

The Emperor Has No Cloths But Don’t Tell Him That

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How petty are those who claim authority over us? So petty that they can’t handle us snickering at them:

This is no joke, because liberal activist Desiree Fairooz is now being put on trial a second time by the Justice Department — Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department — because she laughed at Sessions during his confirmation hearing. Specifically, she laughed at a line about Sessions “treating all Americans equally under the law” (which is, objectively, kind of funny).

Police asked her to leave the hearing because of her laugh. She protested and was charged. In May, a jury of her peers found her guilty of disorderly conduct and another offense (“first-degree chuckling with intent to titter” was Stephen Colbert’s sentence at the time). The judge threw out the verdict, objecting to prosecutors’ closing argument claiming that laughter alone was enough to convict her.

But at a hearing Friday, the Justice Department said it would continue to prosecute her. A new trial is scheduled for November. Maybe Sessions, repeatedly and publicly criticized by Trump, thinks Justice’s anti-laughing crackdown will protect whatever dignity he has left.

Considering what I’ve seen from Sessions, I’m not at all surprised that the Department of Justice (DoJ) is pursuing such a petty thing under his watch. The man is such a piece of shit that I have no doubts that he’d order Fairooz executed if he had the authority to do so.

In the end, unless the next judge is pretty horrible (which is likely), these charges will likely be thrown out. However, Fairooz might be able to beat the charges but she wasn’t able to beat the ride. The hours of her life wasted fighting these bullshit charges are gone forever. It’s also possible that she’ll be out the expenses for her legal defense because it’s not guaranteed that a judge will order the DoJ to cover her legal expenses if it loses. She might be able to recover those expenses through civil court but then the hours of her life wasted on that will also be gone forever. Meanwhile, nobody in the DoJ will likely receive any punishment whatsoever for pursuing these charges.

The design of the system is as such that no matter how innocent you are or how erroneous the charges brought against you are, you will still be punished.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 6th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Just a Few Purges Away from Utopia

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Comrades, I have great news from the front line of the war against capitalism! Our glorious leader, President Nicolás Maduro, has seized control of the government of Venezuela and is now using his power to purge the counterrevolutionaries from that most prosperous of countries:

Venezuela’s new constituent assembly has unanimously voted to put opposition leaders on trial for treason.

The assembly said it would pursue those it accuses of supporting US economic sanctions against the country.

I’m sure this will fix Venezuela’s failed economy. Once the purges are complete food will return to the tables of Venezuelans, toilet paper will appear on store shelves again, and utopia will rise from the ashes. Socialism, after all, is always just a few purges away from bringing prosperity and equality to all.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 31st, 2017 at 10:30 am