A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Your Government Doesn’t Love You’ tag

Remove Your Vehicle’s Slave Tracking Tag When Selling It

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Every state requires that your vehicle have at least one slave tracking tag attached to it. However, when you go to sell it, you should make sure to remove that tag so you don’t get dinged with fines later:

Nancy Findroff’s license plates were apparently stolen after she traded her car into the dealership. Now, she’s received more than 30 tickets, all for passing through tolls several states away.

“They started on August 23, 2017… and the most recent one we received yesterday for $583,” Findroff said. “We did everything everybody told us to do, and it doesn’t stop.”

Findroff’s husband John said they traded their Toyota Camry to BMW of Minnetonka. Now, their old plates are on a Hyundai thousands of miles away.

“We called the dealership right away and they basically told us that they didn’t have to take the plates off the vehicle,” Nancy Findroff said.

While one should be able to safely assume that a dealership will remove old license plates, there is no way for you to guarantee it will. This wouldn’t normally be a big issue. Common sense dictates that if your old license plate number receive a ticket, you should only need to provide proof that you sold the vehicle to get the ticket voided. But common sense doesn’t dictate bureaucracies. Instead of flagging the license plate number as stolen so police can be dispatched when it appears on a scanner, the people in charge of these systems have apparently decided to continue to mindlessly issuing tickets.

I do understand their motivation though. Arresting the individual driving with the stolen license plate number isn’t going to net a municipality any revenue whereas issuing tickets to the previous owners of that number may generate revenue (if they refuse to fight the tickets).

Written by Christopher Burg

May 25th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Land of the Free

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My feelings for government agents are well known but even among such a rogues gallery Jeff Sessions stands out as particularly loathsome. I often compare him to a Saturday morning cartoon villain. He’s a two dimensional character who seem to be evil for the sole sake of being evil. In his latest disregard of common decency he has decided once again that the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four were the heroes and should be emulated:

Sessions, however, refuses to accept this reality. Instead, he has claimed that the agreement caused 236 murders. He points to a journal article written by Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, and Richard Fowles, that asserts the reductions in stop-and-frisk encounters from 40,000 a month to 10,000 a month caused the additional murders in 2016. While the report accurately states the reduced number of stop-and-frisk encounters and the spike in murders in 2016, it provides no causal link between the two events.

The authors essentially suggest that a huge number of random stops will reduce crime because no one will ever know when they might be stopped and, therefore, will not carry weapons. Apparently, they are fine with randomly stopping hundreds of thousands of people, a practice with a greater than 84 percent error rate.

Remember when films portrayed Nazis and Cold War Eastern European guards asking for papers as bad guys? Those were the days! Speaking of Nazi Germany and Cold War Eastern Europe, those governments taught us that even if you establish the most ruthless police state imaginable, crime will still be rampant. Random harassment teaches people to avoid law enforcers, nothing more. Needless to say, with such an education a policy of randomly stopping and frisking individuals can only manage to catch the dumbest criminals.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Government Claims

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The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has claimed that law enforcers are being thwarted by dastardly criminals 7,800 times because the contents of modern smartphones cannot be easily decrypted. It turns out that the FBI has significantly exaggerated the number of devices that it has been unable to unlock:

Last year FBI Director Christopher Wray said it had failed to access 7,800 mobile devices, but tonight a Washington Post report reveals that number is incorrect. According to the Post, the accurate number is between 1,000 and 2,000, with a recent internal estimate putting at about 1,200 devices, and in a statement, the FBI responded: “The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported.”

7,800 versus 1,200? That’s only an exaggeration of a factor of 6.5, no big deal.

Lying is nothing new for the FBI, which raises two interesting questions. Why does anybody take what the FBI says at face value and why aren’t members of the agency fired when they lie? Everything the agency says should be taken with a giant grain of salt. Moreover, when agents lie to the public (you know, the people they supposedly serve) and Congress, no punishment is ever issued, which encourages agents to tell more lies.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 24th, 2018 at 10:00 am

$1 Trillion Doesn’t Go as Far as It Once Did

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$1 trillion doesn’t go as far as it once did… literally:

The House Armed Services Committee has sent its report on the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the floor. And buried in that report are words of caution about the F-35C, the Navy’s version of the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter—and the Navy’s whole carrier air capability in general. The reason for that concern is that the F-35C doesn’t have the range to conduct long-range strikes without in-flight refueling—and the Navy’s tanker planes are not exactly “stealth.”

Perhaps I’m mistaken but isn’t this something that should have been considered when the jet was initially being designed? Isn’t coming up with needed capabilities the first step in designing a jet?

I’m firmly convinced that the F-35 was never seriously meant to be a legitimate fighter jet. Instead I think it was meant to be a perpetual stimulus package for the defense industry. That’s the only logical explanation for dumping over $1 trillion into a jet that still cannot fulfill the missions for which it is designated.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 23rd, 2018 at 11:00 am

When the Government Is Big, Private Businesses Want to Do Business with the Government

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I find that a lot of people don’t think their positions through very thoroughly. For example, I know a lot of people who advocate for a large, powerful government but then become upset when they read stories like this:

SEATTLE — In late 2016, Amazon introduced a new online service that could help identify faces and other objects in images, offering it to anyone at a low cost through its giant cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services.

Not long after, it began pitching the technology to law enforcement agencies, saying the program could aid criminal investigations by recognizing suspects in photos and videos. It used a couple of early customers, like the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, to encourage other officials to sign up.

See this capitalist shit? This is why we need socialism, comrades!

The supreme irony here is that most of the people I mentioned above fail to realize that the very thing they advocate for, a larger and powerful government, is what convinces businesses to pursue government contracts. It’s true that Amazon is operating on the capitalist principle of seeking profit. However, in a country where the government is large and powerful the most profitable contracts are often government contracts. If the governments in the United States were weak and poor, Amazon would have no interest in pursuing contracts with them. But they’re powerful and wealthy so Amazon, like everybody else, wants a piece of the pie.

Speak English or Else

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Be mindful of what language you speak in the land of the free:

(GREAT FALLS) Two U.S. citizens were stopped and questioned by a Border Patrol agent early Wednesday morning for speaking Spanish at a gas station in Havre.

Ana Suda – who was born in Texas and now lives in Havre – stopped with a friend at a Town Pump store to buy milk and eggs.

They were speaking Spanish when a Border Patrol agent asked them for their documents.

Speaking Spanish? Ihre Papiere, bitte!

In all fairness, I understand how this situation occurred. Put yourself in the agent’s shoes. You’re an American of moderate intelligence who hears two people speaking a language other than English. You can’t imagine that anybody would actively invest their time into learning another language so you’re fairly certain that those two people are from Mexico. You also know from your training that anybody from Mexico is probably here illegally. With this knowledge in hand you decided to do what you were hired to do, harass people.

The United States, like many superpowers before it, is decaying and the rulers are looking for somebody to blame (besides themselves, of course). As is tradition in decaying superpowers, the rulers of the United States has decided to place the blame firmly on the shoulders of barbarians outsiders. This has lead to the establishment of policies meant to seek out barbarian infiltrators and remove them and their immoral influence from this great nation. In other words, there’s a witch hunt on for outsiders and anything that isn’t considered expressly American is a sign of a witch.

Beatings Will Continue until Morale Improves

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Government schools and prisons have a lot in common. Schools and prisons are often architecturally similar and attendance isn’t optional. The latter similarity has, not surprisingly, lead to a lot of students who are unhappy about being held against their will. Worse yet, many unhappy students show their displeasure, which can make the school as a whole look unpleasant. Fortunately, one school has a plan to combat this problem:

Northern Lebanon School District students in Pennsylvania must smile while walking the hallways at the institution or they will be punished, according to a report.

Students who do not smile in the hallways between periods will be instructed to, and if they refuse, they will be sent to the guidance counselor’s office to talk through their problems, reported Lebanon Daily News. Meanwhile, parents claim that reports of bullying in the district are mostly ignored by administrators.

A school is finally teaching children a real-world skill: how to bottle up emotions until they can manifest themselves in the form of a nice, healthy mental illness!

I guess it’s easier to threaten students with punishment if they don’t pretend to be happy than it is to make students legitimately happy by making the oppressive conditions in schools less oppressive.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 22nd, 2018 at 10:00 am

Misplaced Children

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The United States government has a difficult time keeping tracking of things. The Pentagon misplaces trillions of dollars; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives misplaces a lot of guns; and the Department of Health and Human Services misplaces over a thousand children:

Federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the homes of adult sponsors in communities across the country, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday.

The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.

Are these kids living happily with their sponsors? Have they been sold to human traffickers? Nobody knows, especially not the government agency tasked with knowing exactly this. Of course, as always, the failure is being blamed on a lack of funding. Government agencies are the only entities that I’m aware of that expect or outright demand a pay raise when they perform poorly.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Milking All of the Tax Cattle

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While I still stand by my ruling that Atlas Shrugged was a poorly written book with dull two-dimensional characters, I will admit that it was also prescient. The United States appears to be entering the part in of the book where the infrastructure is in a constant state of deterioration. Even the parking ramps are falling apart. And you know what that means! Soak the tax payers a little more:

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter ordered the shutdown of a major downtown parking ramp Thursday, the day after a chunk of concrete fell on a parked car and two days after he and other local leaders launched a public campaign for $58 million in state money to replace the aging structure.

Strange, I didn’t realize that a parking ramp in St. Paul served the entirety of Minnesota. But it must otherwise Carter wouldn’t be asking the entire state to pay for his city’s shitty infrastructure, right?

Unfortunately, when infrastructure fails, it serves as an excuse by the political class to steal more wealth from those they rule. To compound this problem, even though the political class is stealing more wealth, the infrastructure never improves. So a vicious cycle of failing infrastructure leading to more stolen wealth followed by more failing infrastructure persists.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 18th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The World’s Most Expensive Homeless Shelters

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Government choo-choos are all the rage these days in the Twin Cities. While they’re stupidly expensive, advocates for government choo-choos claim that they enable the poor, which is true. However, when those advocates claim that the choo-choos will help the poor, they mean that they will help the poor find jobs in wealthier neighborhoods. It turns out that the choo-choos are really mobile homeless shelters:

Grassrope is part of a chronic homeless population living on the Twin Cities light rail system. Authorities estimate some 200 people are using the system for shelter each night and the number is rising at an alarming rate.

Hey, at least somebody is riding it!

But this raises another question, is $2 billion a bit steep just to build another homeless shelter?

If the line from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie is built, Hennepin County will bear the brunt of the local cost. With the overall tab now projected to be just over $2 billion, commissioner Jeff Johnson, a Republican candidate for governor, said it’s time to stop approving cost increases.

Obviously I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here. I know that the new line won’t serve as a homeless shelter. Now that government officials are aware that homeless individuals are using the choo-choos to shield themselves from the elements, the fares will be raised. If there’s one thing government officials hate, it’s homeless individuals having an ounce of additional comfort. But $2 billion is a lot of money. While advocates for government choo-choos claim that they more than pay for themselves, I have a difficult time believing that more public transport (a bus system already exists) between Eden Prairie and Minneapolis is going to bring $2 billion of additional economic activity anytime soon.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 18th, 2018 at 10:00 am