Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."
Friday, June 21, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Work to add branches to your contact/communication tree. If you only communicate with 20 people in your everyday life, the web of your influence is pretty easy to map.
More connections and pattern breaking makes it harder to use automated heuristics and algorithms to classify you by your connections and activities. Each connection you make connects you with that connection's connections. This compounds exponentially until you are Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the entire nation.
Pretend to be a secret agent, whether you are one or not.
Do it for fun and piece of mind, even if you're not hiding anything.
Level: Secret Squirrel
Once a week, for no reason, drive with purpose to some random shop you've never been to before, put on a specific colored hat or wear a specific flower in your breast pocket, purchase a single cheap item, tip a strangely specific amount, say random things to random patrons "John has a long mustache 163893" and go home like nothing happened.
BONUS POINTS: "Lose" a personal item that has a "Please call X if lost" message on it. Make a stronger connection with a random person.
DANGER POINTS: Ask someone if they have the time, when they answer, ask them the same question, louder and slower. No matter how they respond, look freaked out, fast walk/run outside, pull out a notebook you brought with you, set it on fire, and let it burn into a trashcan, then leave immediately.
The Drop Box
Draft messages about things you've never done and people you've never met, than email them through "anonymous" re-mailers to random recipients, post them to random forums, or dump them in random IRC channels with lots of idlers.
BONUS POINTS: Drive across town, get on public wifi, respond to yourself with similar nonsense.
DANGER POINTS: When people ask what you're doing tell them "Allah will reveal all soon enough" or similar.
The Man on the Street
Drive to a popular intersection or onramp, and write a long string of numbers on the curb or a visible wall in chalk (CHALK!). Hundreds of people could see it per day.
BONUS POINTS: Put your message on one of those signs with handles on it, and sign-twirl it to get more attention
DANGER POINTS: Become a nuisance and get the cops called on you so your name and activities appears on the police blotter.
Create a twitter account, and just start tweeting coded messages.
BONUS POINTS: Drive across town, get on an anonymous wifi, create a new twitter account and follow your first account.
DANGER POINTS: "Follow" prominent Muslim figures and make a provocative name or include provocative hashtags. Death2America:"The time has come! 88135-38611-02395-43813-34835 #Jihad #AllahuAckbar #thingsiwishicouldtellmyeightteenyearoldselfeventhoughimlikethirtynowlolkomgbbq"
The Public Handoff
Level: Red flag
Buy tickets to a cheap sporting event, attend, walk around before it starts, buy a soda with your credit card, then leave early and buy something with your credit card across town as proof. Let Big Brother figure out who or if you talked to anyone there.
BONUS POINTS: Go home, wait for game to end, google search the game score, post on facebook how you couldn't believe X happened at the game.
DANGER POINTS: Make eye contact with security, get scared, run.
Level: On a List
Out of the blue, rent a dirt cheap motel room across town, read a book in it, then check out early. A warm body either had to watch your door while you did, or you've just added hundreds of possible connections when this data is reviewed later.
BONUS POINTS: Order four medium pizzas (different toppings) on your credit card, delivered to the room.
DANGER POINTS: Demand the pizzas be halal, make a big deal about this. Make them put it on the receipt.
The Home Grown
Level: Flagged for additional screening
Suddenly develop an intense interest in esoterica, stay up 3am doing google searches for the best industrial solvent to remove high temperature glues, or just wikiwander on wikipedia for hours, pausing for 15-30 minutes between clicks (or just open a ton of new tabs, http is connectionless, and usually there's no way to tell you're actually reading a page now or later).
BONUS POINTS: Google search "how to erase internet history" afterwards.
DANGER POINTS: Look up various explosive chemicals and how to make them using household products. Try not to have any of these products in your house, if you can. Less to explain to the raiding party.
The Pick Up
Level: Don't taze me bro!
Inexplicably go to a bar near your local airport, buy a soda with your credit card, wait one hour, then leave. Wonder what flights you might now be connected to.
BONUS POINTS: Drive to airport pickup, pull over, and yell a name at people waiting for pickups.
DANGER POINTS: Pick up a stranger, give them a ride.
The Long Drive
Level: Plead the fifth
Fill your car up with gas (the more the better), one or two days later, siphon out much of the gas out as you can (into safe containers, or burn/dispose of it if you don't care). Then drive your car to the same station on fumes, and fill it up again. Where the hell did you go to burn up all that gas? Why is there no record of you deviating from your normal pattern?
BONUS POINTS: Return to gas station a day after a fill up, and fill up someone else's car on your credit card.
DANGER POINTS: Actually drive, in the middle of the night, as far as you can toward another state until you get to half a tank, then buy something with your credit card, and drive home.
The House Guest
Level: Rendition SCHMENDITION
A spike in water or electricity usage can indicate one or more people are staying at your house, while a reduction can indicate you are not staying at your house. Let your rain barrels fill up, and use that water to fill the tanks of your toilets manually. Daily monitoring of water usage is pretty unlikely, unless you have a Smart Meter, so doing this off and on, over a month is easy and will drop your water usage noticeably for that period. If you DO have a Smart Meter then do it, 100% for one or two full days, with minimal electricity usage, and let 'em wonder. Or just do the opposite, and run every electronic device in your house for a few hours, flush your toilet twice and take extra long showers. Electricity and water is generally pretty cheap. They'll think you're part of the underground railroad.
BONUS POINTS: Do one of those one hour trips to the airport bar, then follow it up with excessive use of utilities.
DANGER POINTS: Post Craigslist ad opening your home to travelers, have them call a pay-as-you-go cell phone bought with cash. Let random strangers stay at your house for a day or two.
If the fifth dimension contains infinitely branched universes wherein different decisions were made, what if your consciousness was doing the same thing?
What if your consciousness existed as a probability waveform that you (or others?) collapsed with each conscious decision made?
That might make you think "you" in the universe where you made a different decision doesn't exist because you collapsed the waveform, but it only collapsed in this branch of the fifth dimension and exists in another.
When we make a decision and make a new branch of the fifth dimension, information (your consciousness) is passing, and persisting, between these dimensions. The only way this connection is through a pathway between the different points on the fifth dimension, the sixth dimension.
Does this mean our consciousness is a sixth dimensional probability waveform?
Suppose on that (theoretically) two dimensional plane where time branches out at each decision we make or don't make there was a third dimension sitting above it (the seventh dimension).
Would our consciousness not exist in that dimension because we died or otherwise don't exist there? Or if our consciousness DID exist there, what connections would our consciousness be able to make?
ALSO: In the double slit experiment: when the probability waveform of an observed electron collapses, does it collapse into another fifth dimensional universal branch?
This would imply that the observed electrons in a double slit experiment that went through the left slit only went left in OUR dimension, but by observing, we spawned a new fifth dimensional branch where it went through the right slit. (do we create branches by merely observing instead of actively deciding?)
If so, why is it we can observe, within our fifth dimensional universal branch, the RESULTS of a probability waveform in the form of an interference pattern, instead of just one of the possibilities?
This would be like Schrödinger putting his cat in a box, and instantly smelling dead cat while hearing a cat meow.
Every observation we make or don't make collapses our world into a new branch of the universe. How could unobserved electrons exist in a quantum superstate, while the rest of the world around it is in one quantum state?
Obviously this is some intersection of points; the sixth (or seventh?) dimension. Our concept of spacetime is a Planck frame, and there is some intersection with other universe's Planck frames causing all possibilities to appear in... all? Or just our frame? Could we send messages to other universes through these intersections?
Does this mean that, sixth dimensionally, we can measure or observe the RESULTS of the quantum superposition of our consciousness? How would we measure this? What would those results look like?
Friday, June 07, 2013
Maybe it's because I understand the truth of data
Actually, it's probably because I'm a paranoid hacker and a anti-government libertarian.
But this is my surprised face that the fedgov has been tracking all phone calls, all facebook/youtube/skype/google/apple interactions, all locations from which you use these services.
If you weren't already operating under this assumption you haven't been paying attention.
But don't worry, here's a few reasons why you're not already in jail for thought crimes!
1. Too much raw data
Good news: My suspicions were somewhat confirmed here that they can't process all the data yet. At the moment, they're just storing it. It's just a numerically indexed amorphous blob of data.
Now if you have an indexing point, such as "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" then, there's TONS of data you can review, and new branches on the connection tree you can investigate off that one leaf of data. But you need a starting point.
Bad news: Computing power is getting to the point where the amount of data is trivial. They're saving it not because they intend to go through all of it, but because they intend to, one day, have the technology to do so automatically.
2. Too many cooks, no one follows the recipes
Good news: If you go to recipe.com and myrecipe.com and search for wild rice gumbo on each, and your friendly neighborhood Big Brother FISA warrants all the information from those websites, there would not be a way to combine that data to output: "Times searched for wild rice gumbo=2" automatically.
Recipe.com and Myrecipe.com store their data differently, so no matter how similar they are, you won't be able to lock the data together like to lego bricks.
However, if they knew they wanted data on your IP address, and you connected to both sites from home using the same IP address, a person, not a computer, but a PERSON could review the data from both web sites, apply brainpower, and say, "It appears this person searched for wild rice gumbo from both sites."
But what if CableCo refreshed your IP address between the time that you went to recipe.com and myrecipe.com? Well then BB would need a FISA warrant for all of CableCo's data, and then a PERSON would have to review that data, and figure out how to connect a subscriber to a certain IP address for a certain block of time.
This problem becomes exponential because the more data you try to connect, the more complexity you add.
Bad news: There are new heuristics engines that can take a pretty solid guess at what things are, and how they might connect. They're not perfect, and a slight imperfection at the second generation means a HUGE imperfection at the twentieth generation, but they're getting better. Or worse, they might get data wrong and implicate or single you out simply due to a mistake.
3. Analog recognition
Good news: If I upload a video to youtube, youtube would love to be able to scan it automatically and return, "This video is about a cat that appears to be playing the keyboard. However, as this is unlikely, the owner is probably controlling the cat's arms. Additionally, the cat seems disinterested." But to a computer, a video is just a bunch of flickering lights. It can tell you technical things about it, the date it was recorded, the size of the file, the metadata, but it can't interpret the flickering lights.
Similarly, a phone call is a series of electronic modulations. Some are static, some are speech, some are background noise, some are all of those things together. Interpreting those warbles into actual speech can be very difficult.
The other difficulty is the sheer size of the data. Because each frame or millisecond of analog data may be important, you can't skip any of it. A high quality recording of me farting into the air intake of your central air system is a huge file. If BB could wave a magic wand and turn that waste of space and processing effort into "ET farts in vent lol" that's much easier to process and store.
Bad news: Speech to text recognition is pretty darn good, and getting better every day. Each time you use google's voice recognition or chat idly with Siri, you make their systems (and therefore, BB's systems) better at turning analog data into text or metadata that they can store and process at a tiny fraction of the computing/storage cost.
Facial recognition is up and coming, but far from where it needs to be. It still relies on old hardware and requires certain conditions. Sounds good right? Well, if you can control the hardware and conditions, like inside an airport terminal, or at the sidewalk outside a government building, they work just fine for exposed faces.
4. The noise to signal ratio
Good news: What percentage of all the data they're gather do you think they're actually interested in? It's nowhere near as high as 0.0001%
The sheer volume of data is gargantuan... no, monumental... no, unfathomable... no, galactic! Yes, the amount of data is GALACTIC. Think of every fart joke on twitter, every racist youtube comment, every "Lol LeIk YoU KaRe aBot Mi tRbL dAy OMGWTFBBQ" post on the faces book, all screaming in your face while you try to find where John Doeson saved a draft email reading, "These reasons and more are why I will strike back against The West for its crimes against my people."
Noise data is being created every day, it's unstoppable. The more of it there is, the harder it is to sift through. No matter the computing power.
A computer that processes all data instantly using unicorns is still limited by the pipes that feed that computer data.
60 million people processing this data day and night would never catch up to real time, so there MUST be limits on what data is deemed important enough to process, therefore, there are places where (barring some true stupidity) your data will be ignored.
Bad news: ... ? I guess if that unicorn computer existed, we could worry about faster pipes, but that just means more noise, faster. It's hard to get around this, even with quantum computing.
As terrible as it sounds, all the useless data on the internet does actually have a use... Be sure to thank a racist youtube commenter.
5. Data packages not partnership
Good news: All accounts I've read have indicated daily full data exports or individual requests. This is likely a function of legal requirements. BB may be able to subpoena X information between Y and Z date, but it cannot enforce a partnership.
Full data exports are giant blobs of data that must be transmitted, entered, and processed before something can be done with them. This means more overhead, and more difficulty. More importantly, this means BB has to conform and contort to work with THE COMPANY'S systems.
That means this data is not optimized, is subject to the company's limitations, and is affected by the company's data storage processes.
Your gmail notes how much free space you have available. What happens if you have 4 GB available, upload a 3.9 GB file of your manifesto (padded with 1080p recordings of bloggers farting into vents), then delete it, and upload a 3.9 GB file of 1080p recordings of paint drying? Does google "delete" the first 3.9 GB file, but secretly stores it forever? Good question.
Blogger keeps a history of posts I've made and drafts I've saved. If I delete a post, might Blogger keep it considering it's so small? Maybe. Multiply that by the tens of millions of users deleting posts every day, and there starts to be a serious cost to Blogger. But lets assume for a moment that they do.
What if I'm actively writing a post, and it's auto saving as I type, and I write "That's why we should kill the president and enforce sharia law" then erase it, and continue normally? Does blogger save all the iterations of my draft posts as they're automatically saved? Pretty unlikely. Maybe just the changes? But that requires more processing power to compare.
What if I delete my blog? Seems pretty likely that blogger might store the whole of my blog for some time in case I change my mind, or if BB requests the information I'm clearly trying to hide. But what if I overwrite ALL my blog posts with random bits of a book I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, THEN delete my blog?
Now you're thinking laterally!
Bad news: The real danger is data partnerships. This would be BB commanding all the company's data, in real time, be forwarded to them, in their own format, for processing. This is 100% connectivity from the company to BB. It eliminates thousands of man-hours, adds an instant update of all changes (ALL not just what the company keeps at the end of the day), and becomes limited only by processing power (which will become unlimited when they figure out that whole unicorn/CPU interface).
Companies may choose to interface in this way, but it's very unlikely. It is also unlikely BB may compel companies to interface in this way. But lots of things that have already happened were unlikely.
6. Your foe is a 20' foot 10,000lb dullard
Good news: At the end of the day, even backed by magical unicorn technology, the Federal Government just sucks at doing everything.
Bad news: There are individuals so zealous for statism and fascism that they work tirelessly to enforce their will upon you simply for their own personal satisfaction. You may be singled out by the dullard, and if he begins the paperwork to swing his fist at you, and you are in the same place long enough for that fist to hit you, it can destroy you.
So what do I do?
Treat all things that happen on networks you don't control as public information. Don't talk about your drug deal/tax evasion/murder over the phone, near your unused phone while under investigation, or with your onStar device tracking your every move and listening for "car accidents" (who owns GM again?).
Don't post things online that you don't want BB to see. (That includes this blog)
Use PGP for all electronic communications.
Obfuscate your meaning in messages.
Don't get on the radar. (I'm not talking about the "I'm a libertarian, Eff the fedgov" radar, I mean the "Plant the bomb on the first and third load bearing support in the parking garage of the federal building at 2am" kind of radar. The fedgov already knows ornery libertarians exist, and they certainly know they don't much care for the fedgov, but that only makes you one out of tens of millions of people.
Make your online persona fit one of BB's molds. Psychological profiles are excellent things to gather, and easy to extrapolate with "close enough" heuristics. Remember how the signal to noise ratio is so high that there must be things BB doesn't both to look at normally? Well there are certain personalities that BB is just not that interested in. Try to become one of those personalities filed under "loud but gutless" or "mostly harmless."
Poke holes in your online persona, and passingly embrace the stereotypes that others want to believe about you. Show that you are philosophically dishonest, and occasionally abandon your morals when convenient (at least, say you do online). "Yeah, I took that government aid, but it's only because it's my money anyways, I paid into the system, and it's not like it's stealing from someone else because it's my money too!" Become someone who doesn't stand out by fitting a stereotype.
Appear to fall into their trap. After the next attack, have a "Come to Obama" moment, where you realize that these "turrists" are "just too dangerous" for us to continue being "free" anymore because "freedom" doesn't mean anything if you're suicide bombed with anthrax ball bearings pressure cooker box cutter TERRORISTS!!!!11 From then on, let your online persona be that of a statist and government apologist.
But don't change too much too fast. A drastic swing in the content of your online postings is more worrisome that you posting, "Someone otta kill dem gubmint offishils!" every day for years.
WARNING: DO NOT DEVIATE
Remember when I was talking about heuristics? Patterns are something computers are GREAT at figuring out and monitoring. A computer system can definitely detect variations in activity, and flag them for review! The sensitivity must be reduced so it doesn't flag every person who buys their Starbucks five minutes later than normal, so if you must change, gradual changes are the key! It would be better to maintain, if you can, what you were doing previously in conjunction with your new activites.
Don't go dark!
Refusing to use all online services and primary phone carriers may be more of a red flag than doing exactly what you're doing right now. Especially when BB thinks he has a bead on you.
Besides, why out the informant when he's more useful to you delivering counter-intelligence? Use these systems knowing they are specifically for BB.
Don't pull the onStar out of your car, wire it for battery power, and leave it in your garage on your special trip.
Don't stop using your debit card, use it to buy your groceries with your rewards card like normal. Then go back in, and buy what you want with cash and no customer card. Yes, the Jack Bauer 5000 license plate tracking system followed you to the store, and yes, Kroger's customer records show you bought X items for Y dollars, and yes, your debit card shows exactly Y dollars at that place in that time window. Do you think they're going to go through the trouble of pulling the security video tapes (if they're not overwritten!) to confirm that this was ALL you bought when they've already got so much data fitting their expectations?
Don't stop texting/calling your comrades! This is a huge indicator of some other form of communication, and will draw further scrutiny into how you might be communicating beyond BB's vision. Maybe a series of passive aggressive texts followed by a long shouting match over the phone, and some final four letter words exchanged via text? The ruse may fall apart when you buy Chinese food with your debit card at the place across the street from his house once a week.
Create digital alibis for your out of character actions. If you're going to meet someone at a book shop you've never been before, do a google search for a book you want, search for nearby bookstores, call the nearby book stores, do a google search for "book store inventory search online", call a couple more, then call your target book store, map directions to the place, text your wife that you're going to get the book and will be back soon, take your phone along, and buy gas on the way, actually buy the book, but not before going for a walk with your friend (with your phone in the car, and his phone at home so you're not on the same tower).
Provide a natural progression for your searches. Think of the murderers who google searched "How to kill someone" then after various searches searched "Where to buy trimetholpoisonate" and out-clicked to chemistrydirect.com. It wouldn't be much better for them to search, out of the blue, "trimetholpoisonate." But maybe if they were searching "My cat is constipated", then "diuretic", then "diuretic for cats", then "where to buy Shitty Kitty Drops", then "Shitty Kitty coupon", then "Shitty Kitty generic brand", then "Shitty Kitty active ingredient", then "trimetholpoisonate for cats", then "Where to buy trimetholpoisonate" and out-clicked to chemistrydirect.com. This stands out a lot less (assuming you actually have a cat... OR searched on google "craigslist free kittens [local city]", posted about your new cat on facebook, and used your debit card to buy cat food and kitty litter once a month)
Make one or two everyday tasks completely private, just for practice.
Buy and use a prepaid cell phone or credit card with cash.
Turn on a netflix movie at home, then drive somewhere without your cell phone, and add the spent gas back to your car (with cash) before you get home.
Create an email account that you only access from a Starbucks on the other side of town. (Left your cell at home, and refilled your gas tank before you got back, right?)
Pull the battery out of your cell phone and have a private conversation, or put it in the bathroom with the exhaust fan running loudly, and flush before you pick it back up.
Work out codes with your friend, and text each other with unassuming messages that are actually code for other messages.
Keep track of all the "traffic" cameras at the intersections near you, practice plotting routes that pass few or no cameras (You probably shouldn't do this on Google Maps...)
Don't ever think BB is all knowing.
By the way, listen to Glenn Beck. He's the only one who has been putting these things together in an honest and measured way.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Why are libertarians trying to force their will on other people when it comes to gay marriage?
It's not intentional (at least, I don't THINK it is), but the problem is this fight has become about forcing people to say the M-word.
Take prop 8 as a prominent example, It was one line of legislation. Yes, one. It read, in its entirety;
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Nothing about nullifying civil unions, blocking adoptions, or rounding up gays into internment camps. Just the M word.
"But wait!" I've heard many times, "A civil union isn't the same as a marriage!" Actually, it is. In the state of California, civil unions have the same protections and privileges as a marriage.
Prop 8 was literally only about the M-word.
And in that paltry petition, it failed. It lost because the supposedly liberal people of California didn't want it.
Sorry, it wasn't because ZOMG TEH MORMENZ, or because the Pope pooped in the woods. It was because the people of California, when asked, said "No."
Now we get to libertarian crazy town.
Because at this point, libertarians started arguing that the government should overrule the people's decision and force them to use the M-word in describing the union of two people of the same sex.
"Don't be ridiculous!" Larry "The Big L" Libertarian says, "You act as if gangs of gays are beating up religious people until they say the m-word! No one is being put upon by this legislation!"
If that's the case then why do they keep voting it down? Over and over and over again, in state after state after state?
"Because they're bigots and hate gays!"
Supposing you're right, do libertarians advocate forcing people to agree with us? Do Libertarians demand uniformity of thought? Or is that only for beliefs that you believe are dumb?
Technically the real issue here is that the vote keeps going to the people, and the people have spoken, just not the way libertarians apparently wanted. So libertarians are arguing that people should change to suit the will of others.
Does that seem libertarian to you?
"People's religious beliefs don't trump personal freedom. Majority opinion should be overruled when it comes to personal rights."
I'm glad you brought up rights, Strawman o' mine, because the people who voted "no" were freely exercising their religious beliefs. That's actually inside the 1st amendment. Which amendment is the right to have the fedgov anoint your marriage?
"But the majority shouldn't impose its will on a minority, no matter the reason. America is a republic to defend the rights of minority. The state should overrule them!"
From a perspective of federalism, yes, the state should be able to do whatever it likes, and actually, it can.
California could try to pass it legislatively, but they go to the people because they know gay marriage is unpopular, and they like getting reelected.
"Then the supreme court should tell the states and the people what to do!"
This is where the libertarian support of gay marriage seems to go full retard.
Since when do Libertarians run to the supreme court, and ask them to force a state whose people agreed on a course of action, to overrule the state and its people?
While we're talking about the supreme court, I'd like to remind us all that nine people in robes didn't give us our right to keep and bear arms, so they can't take it away.
I celebrated the Heller decision like everyone else, but only because it extended Claire Wolfe's awkward phase. It was not a magic bullet, nor was it validation. If I elect myself ruler of your life, and magnanimously deign that you may go about your business, would you feel relief at my benevolence? Or would you just chuckle?
"Alright, fine, lets be honest... We all know this is more about getting the government out of marriage than it is about gay marriage."
This is the crux of my concern. Two groups joined up to fight for the same ground with different destinations in mind. Once that ground is gained, libertarians will lose.
The fight has become over the top and, dare I say, flamboyant. A win on this ground is a loss for libertarians who hitched their wagon to this fight and are destined to suffer from its failure.
Yes, failure. This is not a popular fight. Gay marriage has been deeply unpopular even in deeply liberal states. Many failed pieces of legislation have proven that.
Libertarians shouldn't be running to the supreme court for justice. We should be appealing to the people with common-sense and rational arguments.
So raise your hand if you think there's been an abundance of common sense and rationality in this debate.
Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Bueller?
"The ends justify the means. Getting the fedgov out of marriage would be a huge win, no matter how we get there!"
Ok, lets imagine victory. Say the fedgov threw up its hands and said, "FINE! GO BE GAY IF YOU WANT! I DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE!" and got itself out of the marriage business. Say it deferred to the states, accepting any state marriage certificate as a union with the same protections.
Do you think this fight would be over?
Of course not! There'd be gay riots in the streets! How DARE the fedgov not FORCE every state to allow gay marriage! It's about rights! Except... which right would being infringed upon at this point? The right to force other people to say a word? The right to force people to vote against their religious beliefs? Then, when libertarians celebrated it as a victory, gay activists would turn on them for not sharing their goal.
Libertarians need to acknowledge that we don't share the same goal with the gay rights movement.
There is no victory here.
Either gay marriage wins, and libertarians become a group that opposes religion and forces their will on others, or gay marriage loses, and libertarians lose the momentum they've built getting the feds out of our marriages.
"So what do we do then? Give up the partnership? Lose all we've gained?"
Not really. I think we just need a slight course deviation. Not a 180, just, like, five degrees off to one side. We're going in the same direction, but we don't have the same destination (or convoy!)
So when a gay rights advocate fights for legislation to force all 50 states to acknowledge gay marriage, just say,
"Getting the government out of the marriage business is the root of this issue, and where we should be focusing. Because it would empower the individual residents of each state to chart the course of the state, and win the freedom they seek without nine unelected people in robes thousands of miles away telling them what to do."
"You just hate gay marriage."
Actually no, I think gays should be allowed to marry. I don't think the fedgov can provide a service to one taxpayer and deny it to another. However, if it weren't in the fedgov's hands, I'd defer to the states.
"How can you 'defer to the states' when widows of gay service members are being denied benefits!"
Yeah, I keep hearing that, and I think it's wrong and distressing (again, a service to one taxpayer, but not another), but I don't think it's happening enough to warrant all this pressure on the issue. Which begs the question--
What is this fight actually about?
Love is a personal experience, and I never understood what impact a piece of paper stamped or signed by another person could possibly have on it.
There are many gay men in committed, loving relationships right now, living happily, regardless of their union status as applied by the federal government (or lack thereof!).
Look at it from a gun rights perspective. The supreme court doesn't protect my rights. I do. With my rifle, my skill, and my willingness to use it. My freedoms are extremely personal.
If Obama stacked the court with liberals and they all but nullified the second amendment, that wouldn't mean the inalienable rights endowed to me by my creator ceased to exist.
So why would a bureaucrat stamping a form have some effect on your deep, abiding love and personal commitment to your soul mate?
It doesn't make sense, and I ask again; what is this fight REALLY about?
Personally? The only thing that makes sense to me, is that it's about wanting to be normal.
If the feds made a new classification of marriage called "Super Marriage," and only allowed to a select group of couples to apply for that status, I think there'd be plenty of excluded couples clambering just as desperately for the privilege.
But I think the only couples who thought they needed a Super Marriage would be the ones that were in trouble already.
The union of two people who love each other doesn't magically improve when you call it a marriage, or a "civil union with all the protections of a marriage," or a Super Marriage, or a jelly donut. It is what it is.
And it isn't what it isn't.
If you're not happy with your Honda Civic, forcing all your friends to call it a Lamborghini isn't going to help.
The Bard said, "The lady doth protest too much" and methinks the flamboyant and viciously vocal section of the gay rights movement is getting in our faces so it doesn't have to look in the mirror.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I was driving to work this morning and glanced in my rear-view mirror.
At the mere sight of the driver behind me, my immunohippie response gland dumped antihippomine into my blood stream, and I instantly knew everything about her.
What she was thinking: "I can't believe I have to work to feed this country's Corporatocracy." "Why can't I just live a carbon-neutral life in the woods, subsisting on stream water, berries, and Starbucks venti soy double triple mocha frappaccinos?" "How can I make name-calling a valid debate tactic?" "Mother Gaia, please give me the strength to attack idiots who believe there's a god." "I can't believe my car runs on gasoline. If only I had an electric car that ran on coal." "I wish everyone felt as horrible as I do. Then they'd understand how happy they'd be if they'd only live the way I tell them to." "I know the aphids and caterpillars need their 'fair share,' but my organic garden is in shambles!" "Should I ram the "don't tread on me" car in front of me?" "How hard should I ram the "don't tread on me" car in front of me?"
What she had for breakfast: Free-trade cruelty-free gluten-free soy-free organic cardboard pieces in a bowl of water, eaten with a fork (to save the water for tomorrow, because, the rainforest, or something). The horrible lingering taste assures a permanent scowl for the day, and the roughage offers regular bowel movements to withhold in order to preserve the Earth's precious resources of toilet paper, toilet water, and pinched assholes.
What car she was driving: A rusted, dirt-colored Saaaab 1.1 liter[e] 0.5 cylinder Pretentiousmobile, with at least one patch of duct tape to prove she wouldn't buy another car "just because this one is broken/slow/getting poor mpg/absolutely horrible."
What bumper stickers were on her car: "Tree hugging dirt worshiper," "You can't hug your kids with nuclear arms," "Imagine world peace," "Violence is never the answer," "Kill all Republicans," "YOUR electricity comes from coal. MINE comes from unicorn giggles!" "Carter '13," "Stop having kids, the Earth is full," "My gender non-specific child got a Rainbow in non-patriarchal Math at Free-To-Be-Me Non-School of Worldly Understanding, along with all the other children, so they didn't feel left out."
During the indulgence of this unavoidable physiological response, I couldn't help but wonder when this generation would do itself a favor and relieve the Earth of its burden by just turning to freakin' compost already.
I immediately lamented the increased average life expectancy that our decreasingly-free-market healthcare industry provided.
They'd probably linger longer than any generation before them, turning into that monolithic voting bloc: Single-Issue Seniors, with the added bitterness of a "generation ME!" selfish streak so thick the edges almost touch on the other side.
But wait! There's a sparkle of hope! Obamacare!
I'm reminded of a news piece noting Obamacare is likely to drive up premiums and drive out competition, and I realize the sweet poetic justice that this generation stuck its children with a bill so large that the interest payments will hit them first.
Though Obamacare will eventually burn everything to the ground, at least it will burn its supporters first, and give us time for a futile, but satisfying, "I told you so!"
The boomer generation hitting retirement and the power of this fully armed and operational Obamacare will be a knock-out blow to the already beleaguered healthcare industry, and it will crumple, giving way to the monumental 20,000 page dullard they have created.
The older generation, which requires healthcare at a significantly greater rate than the rest, will be forced to rely on federal healthcare schemes, which are already cutting back on coverage to deal with the same fatal flaw from which every Ponzi scheme suffers; actually paying the participants.
This generation, first and most, will taste the bitterness of admitting that maybe Sarah Palin was right about "death panels," as a nameless, faceless, unelected, and untouchable murder of bureaucrats finds chemotherapy is mostly unsuccessful, and therefore, not an appropriate use of increasingly scarce tax-payer dollars.
The spiteful satisfaction may be limited somewhat by the laughter coming from the Boomer Graveyard as aforementioned committee determines your allotment of rations is reduced to zero because you are not an appropriate use of increasingly scarce tax-payer dollars.
But all is not lost! If it's a suicide pact they wanted, they probably should have considered what armed, freedom-minded individuals oppressed by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy might do with nothing to lose.
So, shine on, you crazy conflict-free diamond, you've sealed your fate, and have likely set into motion events that will bring about the exact opposite of what you wanted.
The God of Unintended Consequences is a fickle contrarian, and you'll be powerless to stop his final domino from falling right on top of your fat heads.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Reuters: Boston Bombing Suspects Did Not Have Valid Handgun Licenses
Oh man! They're in for it now! You know the fine for that? I mean, sure the whole terrorist bombing and everything, but Reuters is ON THE BALL when it comes to these guys not having permits to own guns in the town they're from.
THAT'S ILLEGAL! It's like they didn't even care about breaking the law! OBVIOUSLY what we need is another law about guns, making it even MORE ILLEGALYER to not license your guns AND use them in the commission of a terrorist act. Like a mandatory add on of-- like-- 2 years! Thank you, Reuters, for pointing out that criminals have broken the law!
NEW BREAKING NEWS!
Boston bombing suspects BROKE THE SPEED LIMIT while fleeing the police!
FULL STORY SOON, THIS IS BREAKING NOW!!!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
[Huffy sigh!]Oh teh noes! Daddy found out we did a bad thing, and he's not just mad... He's disappointed...
A few months ago, in response to too many tragedies — including the shootings of a United States Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, who’s here today, and the murder of 20 innocent schoolchildren and their teachers –- this country took up the cause of protecting more of our people from gun violence.No, "this country" didn't take up the cause of protecting people from gun violence, YOUR PARTY took up the cause of taking guns away from law abiding gun owners, while everyone else wanted to talk about what makes these crazy people crazy.
If you really cared about protecting people you would have realized that bans DO NOTHING except make you feel like you did something.
Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders –- not just to honor the memory of their children, but to protect the lives of all our children. And a few minutes ago, a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms...A minority blocked passage of a bill? I didn't know minority parties could do that.
...even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.What?! They did this WHILE HIS PITY PROPS GLARED AT THEM FROM THE GALLERY?! THE AUDACITY! Everyone knows that if someone is really, really sad, and they make REAL BIG puppy dog eyes, that you HAVE to do what they say! Doesn't matter how stupid, dangerous, or pointless it is!
By now, it’s well known that...Oh, is it now? It's so obvious that you don't even have to cite any sources or apply any reasoning? Well, I'll just have to trust you then!
...90 percent of the American people support universal background checks that make it harder for a dangerous person to buy a gun.90%? I didn't think you could get 90% of the population to agree the sky is blue! But if it IS 90%, then that's great news for you!
If 90% of the American population was just snubbed, Democrats will take almost all the seats in the mid-term! Your enemy made a huge blunder, and practically assured your victory!
Unless, of course, you're just making shit up. Then you get nothing.
We’re talking about convicted felons, people convicted of domestic violence, people with a severe mental illness. Ninety percent of Americans support that idea.Forget all that talk about anyone who ever made eye contact with a psychologist having their gun rights revoked. Also forget that talk about veterans being denied their gun rights too. Really. Just forget it. Please?
Most Americans think that’s already the law.Really? Because TWO THIRDS of the states in the union don't require background checks for private transactions. But I guess if you only ask people in the other third of America, then yes, probably all of them will think that.
And a few minutes ago, 90 percent of Democrats in the Senate just voted for that idea. But it’s not going to happen because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea.Wait, what? There's that minority thing again, how are those dastardly Republicans controlling everything even when they are a minority in the senate?!
Is this like that time when the Democrats had a SUPER MAJORITY and still couldn't pass any bills because of those dastardly Republicans for some reason?
Hang on a second... If 90% of Democrats opposed 90% of Republicans, shouldn't it have been a tie settled by Joe "Shoot your shotgun into the air or through your door!" Biden?
OH THAT'S RIGHT! There are fewer Republicans than Democrats, hence "minority party." But 90% of a bigger number beats 90% of a smaller number.
UNLESS some Democrats voted AGAINST the bill?!!?!?!?@11/224jaOMG
So what you're saying is, this was a BIPARTISAN VOTE?! UNTHINKABLE!
A majority of senators voted "yes" to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks. But by this continuing distortion of Senate rules, a minority was able to block it from moving forward.GAH! Those EVIL Republicans DISTORTED the Senate rules to prevent it from moving forward! ARRGH! What "procedure" did they twist this time?! Did they hold it in committee? Did they force an amendment to cut the legs off orphan kittens?!
No, it was a floor vote... Hmm... How do you "distort" a floor vote? Well, maybe they stopped the vote from proceeding!
No, the vote completed. It was defeated 54 to 46.
I'M SURE THEY DID SOMETHING UNDERHANDED SOMEHOW!!!
I’m going to speak plainly and honestly about what’s happened here because the American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen.Good question! It's almost as if... the 90% support doesn't exist... Strange...
We had a Democrat and a Republican -– both gun owners, both fierce defenders of our Second Amendment, with "A" grades from the NRA — come together and worked together to write a common-sense compromise on background checks.Yeah, and you were totally for education reform until you actually got the power to do something about it. But if you're looking for token Republicans and token gun owners, why not have Biden change parties? He owns a gun!
Remember when he threatened to kill you if you came after his beretta? Yeah, me neither.
And I want to thank Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their courage in doing that. That was not easy given their traditional strong support for Second Amendment rights.Why would you thank them for the courage to do something that 90% of America wanted them to do?
If this was as slam dunk anyone could have done it. It's almost as if they were sticking their necks out to make this half-assed milquetoast watered-down translucent piece of legislation. But THAT would imply that gun control was deeply unpopular. Wouldn't it, Barry?
As they said, nobody could honestly claim that the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment rights.Technically that may be true, since this legislation did almost nothing, but We The People reserve the right to hate it on principal if not on substance.
Free people can do that.
All it did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.BZZZZZ! Wrong! It only applied to dealers, and dealers are already required to do background checks on every transaction they facilitate! This legislation did LITERALLY NOTHING.
So 60 percent of guns are already purchased through a background check system; this would have covered a lot of the guns that are currently outside that system.Well worded! How many more guns would have gotten background checks? "A lot." Well that's sure good to hear. I mean, it won't get the remaining 40%, so I guess "a lot" is a good enough victory for your side!
Their legislation showed respect for gun owners, and it showed respect for the victims of gun violence. And Gabby Giffords, by the way, is both — she’s a gun owner and a victim of gun violence.Nope!
The legislation didn't respect gun owners, it said, "We know you're doing evil stuff, so we're going to check up on you!" (I mean, not technically, since it was BS legislation, but that's what the sentiment was.)
So was Reagan, he didn't go crying to congress.
The legislation CERTAINLY didn't respect the victims! Because it was exactly what Toomey was. TOKEN. It was pandering, it was disrespectful, and it accomplished nothing. (The legislation, not the president)
She is a Westerner and a moderate. And she supports these background checks.A Westerner? What does that have to do with anything? Are us cousin-humping rednecks concerned about dem easterners terkin' er gerns?
"Why don't you dumb rednecks agree with me?! This person agrees with me, and she's from out west! I'll bet she even has one of those hats that say 'deer john' on them!"
Seriously, this is so transparent it's embarrassing. But at least something about this man is transparent.
In fact, even the NRA used to support expanded background checks. The current leader of the NRA used to support these background checks. So while this compromise didn’t contain everything I wanted or everything that these families wanted, it did represent progress. It represented moderation and common sense. That’s why 90 percent of the American people supported it.Blah blah, the NRA loves background checks, blah blah, the NRA is on my side, blah blah, this legislation was a steaming pile of shit, but at least it's better than nothing, blah blah, 90% of Americans love the shit I'm shoveling.
Just stop. No one believes you.
But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of "big brother" gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn’t matter.Right, because the government is required, by law, to destroy any background check records within 24 hours of the approval coming in.
Except when they miss something, approve the sale, then a week later call back and tell us to call John Doe back, and have him bring the gun back because they screwed up.
But I'm sure that information is stored for archival purposes not eeevil gun registration purposes. They've got to comply with the law, right?
Even if they destroyed all the records, it's not like the ATF, (which is not bound to destroy records by the brady law) could go to gun shops, and scan their 4473 forms... But that would never be happening right now.
And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners,Darn! It's the tyranny of those minorities again! Always overruling the 90% that support him... I guess... somehow...
and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators. And I talked to several of these senators over the past few weeks, and they’re all good people. I know all of them were shocked by tragedies like Newtown. And I also understand that they come from states that are strongly pro-gun. And I have consistently said that there are regional differences when it comes to guns, and that both sides have to listen to each other.How about, "No." I don't have to listen to you.
We've been listening for 80 years, and the tune is: compromise a little each time, over and over, until you have everything you want.
Well, the music has stopped, and we're not moving.
Not. Another. Inch.
But the fact is most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn’t want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun.Maybe that's because you didn't ask them that question, you asked them to sign nonsense legislation, instead of something that might actually make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun...
Just a guess...
There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics — the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections.There's that evil minority again! How are these tiny tyrants ruling the country so effectively?
They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment.Oh, you mean for passing a bill which adds federal regulation to their second amendment rights?
That's crazy. Lobby groups hate supporting their industry. Remember how big pharma was all like, "No, please regulate our industry more, also, we don't want any say in the matter."
C'mon, you gotta remember that. It must have happened during all those closed-door sessions where Obamacare decided to force people to buy more of their products and services?
And obviously, a lot of Republicans had that fear, but Democrats had that fear, too. And so they caved to the pressure, and they started looking for an excuse — any excuse — to vote "no."ANY excuse would do, even, "Well, Golly Gee, Mister President, I'd call this bill a turd sandwich, but at least a turd sandwich would leave a bad taste in your mouth. This bill is like eating an imaginary turd sandwich."
One common argument I heard was that this legislation wouldn’t prevent all future massacres."All future massacres?" This wouldn't even prevent the ones that supposedly prompted this legislation!
And that’s true. As I said from the start, no single piece of legislation can stop every act of violence and evil."So the solution is MANY PIECES OF LEGISLATION!" Obama barely stopped himself from saying aloud.
We learned that tragically just two days ago. But if action by Congress could have saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand — if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our Second Amendment rights, we had an obligation to try.No. We don't. If cutting everyones' arms and legs off prevents just ONE punching or kicking death, we have an obligation to try.
What's that? The comparison is false because arms and legs do positive things? Is a gun in the hand of a live woman standing over a dead rapist a negative thing?
And this legislation met that test. And too many senators failed theirs.Again, the test was "ZOMG TRY SOMETHING!!!111" So, why are we supposed to be upset that this "goal" was not met?
I’ve heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? A victory for what? All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check.Right, which is why no criminals have guns in the states that DO have universal background checks. They all run around with socks full of pennies. In fact, I recall there were 8 people killed in a drive-by socking in universal-background-check-having Chicago.
Though, from what I understand, some of the pennies came out of the sock during the event... and turned into bullets. Again, somehow.
That didn’t make our kids safer. Victory for not doing something that 90 percent of Americans, 80 percent of Republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done? It begs the question, who are we here to represent?Yeah, who do you represent exactly? Obamacare was deeply unpopular throughout its creation and passage. So who were you representing then?
But if you really did think that 90% of Americans wanted this, then you'd be hopping and skipping your way to the mid-terms so you could pass whatever you wanted with your inevitable mega-ultra-double-secret-probation super majority.
Instead, you're just butthurt. It's almost like you lost, and you know you lost, and you spent a lot of political capital to fail so miserably, and that there will be some serious fallout over this loss.
Nah, I'm sure you believe everything you're saying.
I’ve heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. "A prop," somebody called them. "Emotional blackmail," some outlet said. Are they serious?Yeah, it's called "appeal to emotion." You can find it in the Big Book of Logical Fallacies you obviously own and read religiously.
Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?If you think they are relevant, then why not invite some folks who saved the lives of their loved ones with guns?
Why not invite one of the many armed citizens who stopped rampages with guns and never got so much as a nod from any media outlet?
Oh, are we just playing your side? Never mind then.
So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.Not a day goes by without earned shame in Washington. Poor point.
Yeah, actually it is. You couldn't get the weakest, most piddly, ineffective, worthless piece of gun control legislation over its first hurdle.
But this effort is not over.
This loss was devastating to your side.
Anyone who didn't believe it before just needs to listen to your tone an demeanor to know it now.
We win. You lose.
Even though this legislation was as dangerous to gun rights as a sea sponge, we still said, "No."
And all the king's horses and all the king's men could not pass even the slightest bit of gun control.
I want to make it clear to the American people we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the American people don’t give up on it. Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities. We’re going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system. We’re going to give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns so it can do its job. We’re going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools.Wow. You really are thoroughly defeated.
Even now, after becoming visibly upset about the results, revealing that you really privately and personally believe in gun control, you still won't exercise your executive privilege to push on guns.
You're backing down again.
I can't believe we were worried about this wuss.
Blah blah, boilerplate blame congress, blah blah, not my fault.
But we can do more if Congress gets its act together. And if this Congress refuses to listen to the American people and pass common-sense gun legislation, then the real impact is going to have to come from the voters.
This didn't work when you had a super majority, it wont work now.
Little late for that, because all the people who DIDN'T support this legislation have already done that.
To all the people who supported this legislation — law enforcement and responsible gun owners, Democrats and Republicans, urban moms, rural hunters, whoever you are — you need to let your representatives in Congress know that you are disappointed, and that if they don’t act this time, you will remember come election time.
To the wide majority of NRA households who supported this legislation, you need to let your leadership and lobbyists in Washington know they didn’t represent your views on this one.LOL - Do you hear yourself talk? Seriously, we're not falling for it, so who are you lying to, exactly? Be honest. Is it yourself?
Yeah, I've never heard an anti-gun argument anywhere on TV in the newspaper, on the radio, or every other form of media known to man!
The point is those who care deeply about preventing more and more gun violence will have to be as passionate, and as organized, and as vocal as those who blocked these common-sense steps to help keep our kids safe.
It's a damn shame anti-gun arguments don't OOZE out of every orifice of American media! If only I was exposed to your beliefs more! That must be why I'm so wrong!
[Insert eye-roll so huge I detach my optic nerves here]
Ultimately, you outnumber those who argued the other way.Ha! Not anymore, Barry.
We'd been holding back because we thought we could win by being polite and making small gains at a time. Your zealotry forced us to pull out all the stops.
Casual comments that would have gone unchallenged turned into impromptu education sessions on facts, stats, and history that casual anti-gunners had never been exposed to.
Most of them hadn't ever argued gun control before, and when they were challenged and actually had to apply logic and thought to it, realized they were on the wrong side of the issue, and joined us.
You overplayed your hand. You have lost.
You've possibly lost several generations.
But they’re better organized. They’re better financed.wat
They’ve been at it longer.Damn straight. Since 1776, King George.
And they make sure to stay focused on this one issue during election time. And that’s the reason why you can have something that 90 percent of Americans support and you can’t get it through the Senate or the House of Representatives.There's that fuzzy math again.
Don't worry. We are.
So to change Washington, you, the American people, are going to have to sustain some passion about this.
And when necessary, you’ve got to send the right people to Washington.Don't worry. We will.
And that requires strength, and it requires persistence.We've got plenty of those.
A sob story doesn't make you right.
And that’s the one thing that these families should have inspired in all of us. I still don’t know how they have been able to muster up the strength to do what they’ve doing over the last several weeks, last several months.
FACTS and REALITY do. Your side has neither.
Yeah. We wanted to change things. But you just wanted to do something that felt good, accomplished nothing, and inflamed a huge voting bloc
And I see this as just round one. When Newtown happened, I met with these families and I spoke to the community, and I said, something must be different right now. We’re going to have to change. That’s what the whole country said. Everybody talked about how we were going to change something to make sure this didn’t happen again, just like everybody talked about how we needed to do something after Aurora. Everybody talked about we needed change something after Tucson.
So don't talk about wasted initiative. YOU wasted the initiative to do something REAL about the mentally ill in our communities.
The next shooting will be YOUR fault. Just like it would have been had this bill passed anyway.
Our words are not empty. Your head is.
And I’m assuming that the emotions that we’ve all felt since Newtown, the emotions that we’ve all felt since Tucson and Aurora and Chicago — the pain we share with these families and families all across the country who’ve lost a loved one to gun violence — I’m assuming that’s not a temporary thing. I’m assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words.
"Try something that has never worked before" is not a valid course of action when we're talking about saving lives.
It's stupid and dangerous.
THTHHTHTHPPHPHPHHPH! (that's supposed to be a raspberry)
I believe we’re going to be able to get this done. Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people.
Take your indignation elsewhere. You have no power here, in the realm of reality. Go back to the make-believe land that is DC.
I never thought we'd see that transfer to other objects...
CBS News: Pressure cooker maker: Our pots "not intended" for bombs
Fagor America, Inc ... released a statement Wednesday saying it has been contacted by investigators and is fully cooperating. The pressure cookers "are not intended to be used for any other purpose other than cooking,"Well shit! Why didn't you say so! I'll bet money they didn't even have "No Terrorist Bombings" on the warning label! THEY'RE CULPABLE! WHAT DID YOU KNOW, AND WHEN DID YOU KNOW IT?!
But it gets better! The maker of a battery used to power the device speaks out!
"We were appalled to discover that one of our off-the-shelf products was used in such a horrific and senseless act of hate,"So, now we need to investigate the these high capacity rapid fire electron holders?
This is utterly silly, the only thing that could make it worse is some stats about the previous products to strongly imply the danger we are all in at the hands of these merchants of death!
The battery company said the product, a 1.25V 3000mAh Sub-C siz Nickel Metal Hybrid, is widely available on the retail market and they have sold tens of thousands of it over the past year. Fager America said they sell over 250,000 pressure cookers annually.This is sad.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I heard him mentioning guns when I walked by his table at Bob Evans. When he and his family left, they stopped by our table and he shook my hand and said, "More people should practice their second amendment like that."
Also saw another open carrier in the wild! At half price books I saw him in the American History section and struck up a conversation about guns and ammo. He had a 38 LCR, kidney carrying with this shirt tucked in.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Friday, March 01, 2013
Alright folks, I have it on good authority that many of you really like these posts, and the at sign on my book shelf has been calling to me, so put on your Blessed +2 Spectacles of Dealing With It, because it's time for a Nethack Quest.
In preparation of this event, I had been installing Nethack on multiple devices so I could try out the experience on each platform. Sadly, none held the speed and versatility of a full keyboard. So Nethack lead me to the android keyboard project, which lead me to this bluetooth keyboard I'm now using to pen this post. From here, I'll be able to flip between the game and writing very easily, so this one might be more detailed than the other quests because they were written after the fact off of notes. Speaking of notes, I will be using dropbox's live text editor to keep notes. With this setup, I should be able to play, take notes, and publish from wherever I have an internet connection.
As to the software, I couldn't get past the convenience of a telnet connection to nethack.alt.org. If I got sick of the bluetooth keyboard, I could connect to the same game from any one of my android devices, my ipad (shudder), or my full computer... Suddenly I imagine playing nethack on the lappy connected directly to the large LCD teevee... It's glorious... So that will have to happen. Anyway, aside from some minor lag spiking, nethack.alt.org was the obvious winner. Also it allows spectators, and let's them send me messages while I'm playing, so you can tune in and heckle me when I log on. (Need to make a login indicator for the blahg so people can see when I'm online and tune in.) (And yes, this keyboard is very conducive to putting ALL my thoughts down, thanks for asking.) Oh look, a player list! Check here for user Aemaeth until I get that php going. ANYWAY... EDIT: Holy crap, I already did this! There's an annoying iframe under my email address on the right that shows if I'm online or not! Why is it so annoying? Because izf I'm online it has a blink tag because the gif animation I made is flagged as a virus by my hosting service! When that gets fixed it'll be slightly less annoying. Now back to your regularly scheduled post, already in progress!
To be honest, the true benefit of this tandem play/publishing will be found in me never again failing to update the quest because I died and am still sore about it.
Yesterday was a full moon, and a great day to start some Nethack, so I rolled a lawful human Valkyrie named Camilla.
The luck of the full moon rewarded me with a co-aligned alter on the first level, and a couple liquor shops a couple levels down. I didn't have much money, so I only bought the cheap potions of water so I could make holy water later.
I started pushing down to sokoban (per the New Strategem) until a Gnome threw a dagger at me and I remembered I needed daggers to make awesome Blessed Deadly Daggers (BIG hat tip to Ellora), and I hadn't had any daggers to speak of on the last few levels. It made sense to go into the mines for daggers and general shop goodies.
Delving into the mines was pretty easy going, I happened upon a lamp which I rubbed greedily, and a djinn popped out! "Thank you for freeing me! I'm all out of wishes." Oh... Well... Wanna hang out instead? The djinn stuck with me for some time, but he started to slow me down, and I needed to move fast more than a needed a pet (with apologies to the dog I started out with... or was it a cat...?).
By the time I was in the mine town I had a decent stack of daggers and a decent armor class. I also seemed to happen upon tons of rings that didn't have any obvious properties, so I had stacks of unidentified rings and scrolls. I was in no rush to test things out. I was playing fast, but I wasn't playing loose.
The mine temple was counter-aligned, and there was no damn way I was going to try to convert it or kill the priestess. Priests are tough and even if I won the fight, I've already been killed by a haunted temple... So I just set up shop in the temple with a modest stack of extras.
After getting annoyed with the stacks of scrolls, I blessed/cursed identified them, then I price identified them, and read the most expensive ones. The first was a blessed genocide scroll, and I greedily killed all the rust monsters and disenchanters because fuck those guys. Normally the first choice is liches or mindflayers, but they won't be along for quite a while yet, while I'll be dealing with rust monsters much sooner. Also fuck rust monsters. Seriously. The second most expensive scroll didn't seem to do anything, which was confusing to me, because I haven't played in a while, and couldn't really guess at its purpose. Maybe taming?
With my equipment in better shape, I set off for sokoban rather uneventfully. Picking up rings and wands and food on the way, I made it down to the last level. Spotting a ring on the edge of one of the holes, I put on autopickup and jumped in. My knapsack was full so I didn't pick it up, but I still brushed the ring and sent it tumbling down to the level below with me. Ruby ring. Same as the other one I have, but at least with doubles, I can drop one in a sink and see what it does. As I write this I check my ring stash and realize I have THREE sets of double rings. No idea how that happened, but I'll be hitting the sink soon.
As I made my way back to the stairs I caught a glimpse of a Yeti, which was odd for my level, but it seemed to vanish. I wasn't in any hurry to face it anyway, busy with my sokoban prize. As I continued on, a pony came around the corner where the Yeti was. Maybe they fought it out, I thought. (But if I would have thought about that a little bit more, I would have realized I didn't "hear noises in the distance" and put two and two together.) As I entered the long corridor to the room with the stairs the pony trailing behind me suddenly changed into a green dragon! Crap! It's a chameleon! I should have figured that out! What do green dragons breathe? A gust of poison gas shoots past me, bounces off the wall, and barely misses me. Poison? I'm poison resistant! I'll just get behind the door, lock it, and wait until it changes into something less lethal (and hope it doesn't turn into one of the liches I purposely didn't genocide!). As I write this, I realize that dragon scales are more useful to me than something else... I'm pretty tough. I'm going to fight it.
What the hell was I thinking? I went back to face the chameleon and found it had changed into a winter wolf. Disappointed, I stayed there, behind the locked door, and waited for it to turn into something more useful to me. Eventually it turned into a baby white dragon, which was unlikely to leave scales, but I'd give it a shot. I burn up a few turns unlocking the door, opening it, and entering the hallway, ready my daggers and square up with... a minotaur... I don't think I've fought a minotaur before... I don't like this. I'm going to run. I back through the door, close it, lock it, and wrap my towel around my head to focus on my clairvoyance. The minotaur approaches the door and I back away wondering if minotaurs can break down doors, then it changes into something simple, and I hop out to kill it, but then it changes into a wraith which leaves a useful corpse (as I write this, I realize chameleons only leave chameleon corpses so what the hell am I doing?), and I make a move for it, and it changes into a useless gecko. Damn...
So for a while, I'm sitting there in the hallway, waiting while the chameleon changes into different monsters for something useful and I suddenly realized the dangerously stupid thing I was doing and said aloud, "What the hell am I doing?!" That chameleon could have, at any turn, changed into a tricky, nasty, or gnarly monster that I would not have been prepared to deal with, and I was just sitting there, waiting for it to happen. The possibilities for horrible out comes were almost endless.
I do the same thing i was doing before, waiting one turn at a time, but this time with much more apprehension. When it turns into a newt I loose some daggers and drop it. It leaves no corpse, and I move on, still shocked by my stupidity.
As I approach the treasure zoo at the end of sokoban, I run into two dogs and a cat, who gladly join me after I feed them. Don't get all mushy just yet, I'm going to use them to soften up the room full of monsters at the end. The cat wisely stays away, but the two dogs do an alright job of taking out the monsters they can handle, and at least waking up the ones they can't handle so I can deal with them in the hallway instead of inside the zoo where an errant dagger may wake up something I don't want to bother fighting. Both dogs are lost, but the cat lives on.
I finish the last level of sokoban stealthily, and get to pick and choose my monsters. I did use a lightning wand charge on an acid blob I couldn't get around and didn't want to wake up and let corrode my stack of blessed daggers. I get the amulet of reflection, and pick up all the useful equipment lying around, burdening myself.
I check my inventory and see I've still got those cursed low boots that are probably useful aside from being cursed. I found them who-knows-where, and held on to them even though they were cursed. The idea was to throw them at a monster that picks up armor, and see if I could get someone to try them on before I kill them and take the boots back. Specialty boots are like specialty cloaks, very useful, and worth identifying. But I had forgotten to throw them at the monsters that could have worn them, so now they were just taking up weight where I could be carrying more daggers or something.
I pull the scrolls out of my bag (where I had quickly hidden them when I spotted a pyrolisk), and see I have a remove curse scroll. Well, time to take a chance... I put on the boots and find them to be -1 boots of levitation! Great find, and definitely a necessity for later in the game! I read my helpingyou scroll and remove my now uncursed boots. I'm definitely dropping something else to keep these.
I sort my kit for a bit and do some experimenting with some unidentified potions, scrolls, and wands, and generally tighten up my knapsack. Get a cursed wand of create monster, which is either my ticket to Mjollnir or an untimely death. Guess I'll have to find out at the altar to Tyr. But first; next stop, the sink on level 2...
Alright, the sink says I've got rings of regeneration, free action, and MF'ing polymorph control! Can't wait to find myself a polymorph trap, and now that I think of it, I've got an amulet of unchanging that I can put on to keep myself from changing back from whatever form I choose! Vampire Lord, here I come!
Ok, I'm not going to count my chickatrices before they hatch, I have no way of easily finding a polymorph trap (aren't there usually some on the bottom of the mines?), so I need to continue on as if I'm not yet a Vampire Lord... Because I'm not. So let's head to the altar and sacrifice some monsters with my scrolls of create monster, and maybe, if I'm feeling dangerous, that cursed wand of create monster... The more I encounter random monster generation the more I worry I made a mistake by not genociding Liches... Well, let's head to the altar and get to work...
That large cat has been following me around since sokoban. Normally I don't tolerate pets very long unless I have a magic whistle or a really powerful pet I'm afraid of letting go feral if I leave it too long, but this cat has been doing an alright job of keeping up, and I've been giving him some slack for some reason. Getting attached I guess. I might even have to name her.
On the way to the temple, I remember a large box, and drag it with me so I can make the temple more of less of a base. It burdens me to carry it, but I trundle to my destination without incident.
The temple was in shambles. A peaceful dwarf was there, mining away the walls for gems or gold or something, but he made a huge mess of what was a very solid, defensible area. I haven't got a pick axe yet, and I'd love to just drop him where he stands, but attacking peaceful creatures is not what Tyr stands for, and he wouldn't much care for it at a time when I'm getting ready to ask him for a present. So the dwarf lives... For now...
While I prepare my inventory for the horror of the cursed wand of create monster (get rid of everything burnable, everything I don't want cursed, everything I don't want rotted to nothingness) my large cat starts giving the dwarf the side-eye... She lunges at the dwarf and takes him down! Sweet! I check his inventory and see he had a good helm and dwarvish mithril! This banded mail was been weighing me down long enough! Hey... He left a corpse... Well, I didn't kill him... sooo... *my sacrifice is consumed in a flash of light* The voice of Tyr booms: [oh crap] use my gift wisely, mortal! [Sweeeet!] I just got Mjollnir on a random ass sacrifice! So lucky I don't have to mess with those create monster items! Awesome!
This seems like as good a place to stop as any.
These posts are easy to put together one piece at a time, and Nethack is turn based so I can just walk away in the middle of the game without worry. Both of these elements are conducive to life with a newborn, so I'll do my best to keep these coming.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I wanted to get a keyboard hooked up to my android devices on the cheap, and found that with a little software, and some soldering, I could hook usb devices directly to my phone or tablet.
On the look out for a cheap usb keyboard to hack at I came across a Microsoft bluetooth keyboard for $12 on clearance.
So now I'm typing this post up on a portable little keyboard hooked up to my nook color. I see more writing in my future now that I can just whip out the keyboard and dump some thoughts onto my phone as quickly as I can type. Should be nice.
Nothing besides that. Just liked the deal.
The only reason I mention walmart is because someone commented.
I noticed the older gentleman taking note of my firearm and when we passed each other I took the opportunity to smile and nod at him. He gave me a smile and a thumbs up and said, "That's the way it oughta be!"
Friday, February 15, 2013
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Sam's Club loves OCers :)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
~Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Peter Carr 1787)
Saturday, January 19, 2013
After talking with him for a while I found out he was a retired cop, which surprised the heck out of me. When I told him why, he grudgingly agreed. He didn't understand most cops' reactions to open carrying.
I was very happy to be wrong.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
It's almost like he was pandering... but to whom could he possibly be pandering to??? ... It's not the conservatives... So that leaves...... RUSH LIMBAUGH MUST BE INVOLVED SOMEHOW!!!Next up is the much longer countdown to congressional libs saying, "So yeah, uh, if you could just forget about that whole AWB thing, that'd be greeeeaaaatttt..."
HAH! It's starting already!
BONUS POINTS: Republicans and states reacting as if Obama actually did something because why not?!
Man! It feels good to be on the offensive AND winning!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
This means that in a few months when all this nonsense dies down, people will be stuck paying for a rifle that's worth less than they owe on it!
Obviously we need an Assault Rifle Bailout.
There were a number of things Obama could have done by executive order that would have been illegal.
He didn't do any of them.
There were a number of things he could have done by executive order that would have been perfectly legal and within his power has president.
He didn't do any of them.
Keep up the pressure.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Stop apologizing. I don't mean you actually saying you're sorry for what you believe, I mean every time you've ever held your tongue. We've been coddling the softest of us for so long we think they're in charge. They're not. They never were. We were just conditioned to believe it.
This was no small feat. It was in our classrooms, our neighborhoods, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, our childrens' stories, our books, our newspapers, our TV shows, our commercials, our movies, our art, our music, our gender-neutrally adjusted history, our billboards, our decoder rings, the backs of our breakfast cereal boxes.
It permeated our society like a biological weapon that coated all media, transmitted from mind to mind by written and spoken word.
It is impossible that you still exist.
That you, through your formative years, felt that one splinter of doubt, deep in the back of your mind, and felt it long enough to locate, extract, and examine it. Only to realize it wasn't a foreign body at all. It was the one bit of truth left, and the rest of your mind was foreign.
Confronted with this reality you chose the hard path. You chose to take that splinter, now a seed, and painfully return it to your mind. Burying it deep where it could grow.
It's amazing you still exist, but you do for one reason. because these backward ideas are aberrant to our natures, and deeply different from what we instinctually know to be true.
Weakness is not strength.
Strength is not weakness.
Are you better than the man who accomplishes nothing, blames everyone and everything, including his peanut allergy, his parents for not hugging him enough, and his gym teacher for not making sure he was picked first at dodgeball?
Because when reality slapped you in the face, you didn't run or hide or make excuses. You learned, you grew, you changed, you adapted. Or maybe you just dug your heels in that much harder.
And while your cheek still stung, you looked it back in the eye and tried again.
When a hard thing hits a soft thing, the soft thing gets softer.
But not you.
Because when life hit hard it didn't make you softer, it made you harder.
Because when the authority figure repeats that unnatural lie with a wagging finger and disdain in his eye, you know in your heart that he's wrong, and your answer is the most powerful word in the world.
With that single syllable ejected forcefully from your lips, their world shatters, and so do they.
But how do I know this?
Because somehow, YOU still exist.
Because YOU are reading THIS.
Because you are still free in the only place that matters. The last bastion of reason. The final fortress of right. Your mind.
You preserved it for so long, tucking it away from sight when necessary, feeding it morsels from alternative news sources, alternative literature, and alternative people with alternative ideas.
Because you know that these things still exist.
Common sense. Reality. Truth. Honor. Respect. Integrity. Morals. The dogged refusal to give up.
You know they still exist because they still exist in your mind.
Because that's what this fight is actually about.
Because with these powers on your side, there is nothing on this planet that can stop you.
They knew this. They knew their weakness of mind, heart, and spirit never stood a chance against your strength. So to hold you back, they used the strongest person they knew.
When elephants are young they are tethered with heavy chains to stakes driven deep into the ground. They are mighty, but still small, and cannot escape. Eventually, they give up. They learn the FACT that they cannot defeat the tether.
When they grow to full size, and become many times stronger than the deepest stake, they do not struggle against the tether, and are held in captivity by a slender rope and a small stake. The only thing holding them back is themselves.
They ENSLAVED us.
They control us with their facts. But just because something is a fact does not make it the truth.
They would tell Edison the fact that the lightbulb can't be invented.
They would tell the Wright brothers the fact that man cannot fly.
They would tell America the many facts why man cannot set foot on the moon.
But Edison did, the Wright brothers did, America did, and YOU WILL.
Because YOU are reading THIS.
Because your chains don't really exist.
Because your freedom really is absolute.
Because your life is actually yours to live.
Because YOU are a HUMAN BEING, and YOU are FREE.
These aren't facts. These are truths.
And to begin to realize these truths all you have to do is say one thing. One syllable. One sound.
You say it to their faces, while looking them dead in the eyes, without flinching, blinking, or stuttering.
"I can't tell them what I really think. NO. That's not true. I can."
"I shouldn't do things differently. NO. I want to, and so, I will."
"I'd better do what he says. NO. I can make my own decisions."
"I can't do that, it's illegal. NO. It doesn't hurt anyone, so I can."
"It's impossible. NO. The impossible HAS been done before."
But be prepared for what will happen after you say that powerful word.
Because there is no fury like a master losing control of his slave.
They will rage and wail and threaten and slander and sneer and deride and spurn and scorn and seethe and burn with brimstone and sting with sulfur!
But you will notice one thing they will never do.
They will not stop you.
Because they can't.
They don't believe their own nonsense, they're too smart for that. This is why the rules don't apply to them. Publicly or privately. They know the game consciously or not, and they smirk when they see you following the rules, and they REVEL in their power over you.
Let me say that again; They REVEL in their POWER over YOU.
Every time they condescend you into changing your mind.
Every time they appeal to your better side to make you do something.
Every time they shame you into backing down.
Every time they threaten you into submission.
Every time they remind you of the rules they made up and never follow.
They get a thrill.
It's the thrill of commanding something much larger and more powerful than yourself. The thrill of tricking the behemoth into believing they cannot escape the tether.
So, as one Titan to another, I ask you to do the impossible.
I ask you to do perform futile.
I ask you to break the facts you've known your whole life.
I ask YOU, because YOU are reading THIS...
Pull on that slender rope.
Almost all stakes will pop free at the slightest tug, some will require struggle and strain, and a dangerous few, may take your whole life.
But once that stake comes free, so will you.
The walls that confined you will melt away. Monuments of fact, impossibility, and futility, built larger and greater, reenforced for decades by the careful architects of your mind will turn to DUST, and vanish into nothingness at the slightest breeze of TRUTH. Those glaciers that surrounded you your entire life will melt away and become puddles beneath your feet.
Then, you will truly be FREE.
Freedom IS a possibility if only we remember that what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Freedom carries heavy costs, but I would pay them gladly because you cannot enslave a free man. You can only kill him.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.It is time for this idea.
How do I know this?
Because YOU are reading THIS.