Friday, May 31, 2013

A fool and his money

A man plays a carnival game trying to win an X box. He keeps losing, so he keeps going double or nothing, and spends his life savings- $2,600 trying to win the $300 game. All he won was a stuffed banana with dreadlocks. He calls the police and attempts to use them to get a refund.

- Why would you keep playing, when you keep losing?
- Why would you keep your life savings on you?
- Suing? Because you lost a game of chance? Vegas is gonna be in trouble.
- The police shut the game down? Under what authority?

PT Barnum was right...

Teen thugs

In 2011, the Miami police began a new program designed to reduce "juvenile delinquency" by simply not arresting them. You see, the criminal teen that is not arrested does not count when statistics of crimes by minors is compiled. This allowed the Miami-Dade Schools Police (the school system has its own police force?) to claim that they had reduced crime by juveniles by 60%- the largest reduction in the state.

Here is the press release (note the date)

The date there is significant because the family of teen Trayvon Martin was able to claim that the young man did not have a criminal record, even though school records show that he had been suspended three times between September of 2011 and February of 2012: Once for possession of drugs, once for vandalism and possession of stolen property and burglary tools, and a third time for unspecified reasons. (His family claims it was for truancy.)
There are claims that the Defense is trying to put the "victim" on trial here, but I feel like it is proper to expose the past of the person in a self defense case. To do otherwise is to permanently paint the loser in a fight as the victim, regardless of the facts.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guns at theme parks

So a guy today dropped his heater on a ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom. He was barred from returning to the park, but no charges were filed. Let me start by saying that this guy screwed up, and he is lucky. Although Disney claims to prohibit weapons on their property, this prohibition does not carry the force of law. Where he broke the law is:

790.174 A person who stores or leaves, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm, as defined in s. 790.001, and who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent or the person having charge of the minor, or without the supervision required by law, shall keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure or shall secure it with a trigger lock, except when the person is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity thereto that he or she can retrieve and use it as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body.

(2) It is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, if a person violates subsection (1) by failing to store or leave a firearm in the required manner and as a result thereof a minor gains access to the firearm, without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent or the person having charge of the minor, and possesses or exhibits it, without the supervision required by law:
(a) In a public place; or
(b) In a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner in violation of s. 790.10.
 Of course, there are comments to the various news articles, claiming that no one needs a gun at Disney, but I can tell you that I have posted on this before.

I have no problem with him carrying a gun in a theme park. I do it regularly. However, carrying a firearm comes with a responsibility. The man involved here failed in that responsibility.

Higher cost, lower value

In 1880, it cost:
$400 per year to attend Vassar. This included tuition, room, board, heat, light, and laundry service. Adjusted for inflation, $400 in 1883 equals $9,635 in 2013.
$300 per year to attend Georgetown. This included room, board, and tuition. Adjusted for inflation, $300 in 1883 equals $7,126 in 2013. Georgetown law charged $150 for the entire law school tuition, and $100 for the entire series of medical school lectures.

Since 1980, inflation has caused everything to more than double in price. What cost $1 in 1980 now costs $2.15. However, every dollar in college tuition in 1980 is now $5.98. That's right, college tuition is rising at a rate that is 5 times higher than inflation.

Abraham Lincoln took the Bar exam, and never even completed the third grade. It wasn't until the colleges convinced the government that they should mandate a college degree in order to practice many careers that college became the large business it is today.
In the 1980s, it was possible to be a Physician Assistant with only an Associate's degree. Now it requires a Masters. The school itself is still two years, but it now requires a Bachelor's degree for entry. What the degree is in does not matter.
Nurse Practitioner was a master's program, now it is becoming a PhD program.
Registered Nurse is fast requiring a profession requiring a BSN.

All of this increases the pay that people expect to receive for these careers, and therefore the costs of the services. Instead of being angry at what health care costs, the public should be angry at what it costs to be a health care worker.

In 1950, only one third of the adults in the United States had a high school diploma. Many of the adults were blue collar factory workers and made a good living. Only about 1 in 20 adults had graduated from college.
That was before education became big business. School became easier, and kids were passed on to the next grade, not because they had mastered the skills needed, but because teachers were afraid of damaging the kids' self esteem. In 2010, 80 percent of adults were high school graduates, and 20 percent had a 4 year degree or more.
The latest generation is flush with college degrees that mean little, because many schools are offering degrees in things that are not needed job skills. Because we have all of these degrees, we are demanding high wages, and this has driven the blue collar jobs out of the country. Unemployment is rampant. At the same time, we are paying people the equivalent of $10 an hour to sit at home for up to two years, so there is little to no incentive for work.
Instead of making things like cars and appliances, we sit around and make war and college graduates with degrees in French Poetry and Women's Studies.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On race

My mother has been doing our family's ancestry as a hobby. She was showing me the family's history this past week, and showed me something a bit interesting: The US census record of her grandfather (my great grandfather) shows him as "negro."

An octoroon is a person with 7 white great-grandparents, and one black one.That accurately describes my ancestry.

This means that under the law, I am an African American. See, much of the United States follows the "one drop" rule, where even a single drop of African blood makes you an "African American." This also means that I am part of the protected class, and I can now get preference in hiring, promotions, and I can whip out the race card whenever I wish. It is also impossible for me to be called a racist.

The funny thing is that people who claim to be minorities are more likely to get a job. I know someone who was looking for work, and was having trouble even getting interviews. She had been looking for work ofr over four months, and had not even managed to get an interview. She has brown skin, so I suggested that she start putting down "American Indian" in the race column. Less than a week later, she got a job. 

Claiming to be a minority is a fast way to get a job, because employers use the fact that you are a minority to prove that they are an "euqal opportunity" employer, and use this as a talisman against racial lawsuits.

This, more than anything, proves that racial definitions are silly.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Nation

Nothing makes a larger statement about the character of our nation than this story. The third place finisher for a TV contest that is so unpopular that it is about to be cancelled is more important than our veterans.

A house divided

In 1790, when the Census was carried out, the Union contained 3.9 million inhabitants. Virginia being the most populous state, with19 percent of the total population of  the Union: 747,610. The problem was that 293,000 of them were slaves. Many other slave states were in a similar position, with nearly half of their populations being slaves.
During the years of the Articles of Confederation, the south argued that slaves should not count as part of the population, since the could not vote, and the north argued that they should. This was not done out of kindness or cruelty on either side. The reason for this was that the taxes paid by each state under the articles was apportioned by population. The more people, the more taxes.
During the ratification and writing of the Constitution, the states changed positions. The new problem was that population equaled votes in the electoral college and representatives in the legislature. The northern states did not want to see the southern states dominate the political landscape, and so the three fifths compromise was born. The states agreed that the slaves, who could not vote, would count as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of calculating representation in the House of Representatives, and for the purposes of calculating electoral votes.
Even so, these 'extra' votes that were allowed by counting slaves allowed the south to dominate the political scene for the first 80 years of the union's existence. It was only through the passage of the 13th and 14th amendments that mooted the three fifths compromise and would have shifted political power to the southern states.
The Fifteenth Amendment mandated that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis of race. The north could not have that, so they proposed literacy exams, poll taxes, and other means of disenfranchising the black vote. This would have the effect of disproportionately disenfranchising blacks.
This was about politics and about power, just as the issues are today. You can trace the political questions about illegal immigration and other issues back to politics. Politics has never been about right and wrong, only about power and the desire for more of it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gun show waiting periods and background checks

There is some confusion on background checks in Florida. The papers are all abuzz, because Pinellas County and Fort Lauderdale are requiring gun shows to conduct background checks on all sales that occur at gun shows. This is allowed because in November of 1998, the voters of the state of Florida passed the following amendment to the state constitution:

(b) Each county shall have the authority to require a criminal history records check and a 3 to 5-day waiting period, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring within such county. For purposes of this subsection, the term "sale" means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Holders of a concealed weapons permit as prescribed by general law shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection when purchasing a firearm. 

 Note that there are two important exceptions to this provision: the holders of a CCW are not subject to it, and only gun sales that occur on land where the public has the right of public access. What does this mean? This means that a county may pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of firearms on public property (which is the only land where the public has a right of access).

Fort Lauderdale is in Broward County, which along with Pinellas County, have both enacted laws requiring background checks and waiting periods for firearm purchases on public property. The local officials are threatening to shut the shows down or not renew their lease.

"If they continue to challenge our enforcement, it's much easier to not have a gun show," Seiler (the local official) said.

If I were the gun show promoter, I would look for a new venue NOT owned by the public immediately, and then I would open the show as before, but I am in your face like that.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Home of the slightly more free

On this Memorial Day weekend, we should remember the sacrifice that so many have made, so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we have. Now I am one of the first to point out that in many ways, we are by no means the free nation that we once were, but are still more free than most.

Case in point: in the UK, people are being arrested for making anti-Muslim remarks on Facebook.The police claim that the remarks cause more harm to the community than Muslim thugs murdering people on the street.
Superintendent Matt Goodridge said: 'Surrey Police will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.'

So the removal of the right to own a means of self defense is followed by the loss of other rights, including free speech. How surprising, A government that lacks respect for one right, lacks respect for them all. Looking at this picture of one of the attackers, I would point out that the knife he is holding is also illegal in the UK, but once again we see that laws against weapons only stop the law abiding.

Friday, May 24, 2013

You don't know me

To be placed in the “friend zone” has a different meaning. To be put there means that the woman placing you there wants you to do all of the things that a boyfriend or husband would do: take her to dinner, travel, movies, etc, with one important exception:
You will never see her naked, nor will she ever be yours.

The song that I think is the saddest and most beautiful song about this phenomenon is this one by Harry Connick, Jr. I know I've posted this before, but it is simply a beautiful song.


A woman in Oregon calls 911, and is told that there are no police officers available. The dispatcher says that she should ask him to leave. Her ex-boyfriend breaks in and rapes her.

I take a few lessons from this post:
- First, the obvious: No one is responsible for your protection but you. When you are depending on others to protect you from harm, you are subject to their whims.

- The citizens refused a tax increase that would have funded services like police. The tax on a $100,000 is now $59 a year. The proposal would have raised it to $148 a year.

- The residents of this county lost their police protection when Federal budget cuts forced the Sheriff to reduce the number of deputies to 6.

- The people of this county are, in other words, wholly dependent on Federal tax dollars for their local government's needs. They would have me here in Florida foot the bill for the police to protect them in Oregon.

If the citizens of Josephine and Curry counties of Oregon don't care enough about their own safety and well being to fund their own police force, why should I here in Florida be forced to do so through Federal tax dollars? They don't want to pay a property tax of $148 dollars a year, so I am forced to pay it for them? Even though MY property taxes are $1600 a year for a $120,000 home?

This reminds me of the people in Tennessee who were angry when the neighboring town's fire department refused to respond to their home when it caught fire, because they didn't pay the fire fee.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I used to teach paramedic school. In 2006, two of the students in my class were best friends. They had joined the Army together in 2001 under the "buddy" plan, they went through Army Corpsman training together, and were sent to Iraq together.
While they were there, they saw some pretty horrendous fighting. One of the young men, we will call him Steve, was awarded the Silver Star for running to another soldier's aid during a fairly intense firefight, and shielding that injured young man with his own body. The other buddy, Sam, never came back whole. Sam had severe problems adjusting to the things that he saw over there.
They were discharged in 2005, and enrolled in Paramedic school. Sam had his demons, and was able to keep them in check with the help of his buddy Steve. They were roommates, and Steve was the steadying influence that Sam needed. Even though Steve got married in 2009, Sam remained their roommate, and was able to cope.
All of that came to an end in 2012, when Steve's wife became pregnant. They asked Sam to move out, so they could have room for the baby. Six months later, Sam killed himself.
That is a common story. We are sending our young men off to war, and then we are punishing them when they come home broken. They can't call for help, because they will be persecuted if they do, and still will not get the help they need.
Shame on all of us.

Monday, May 20, 2013


There is an 18 year old woman by the name of Kaitlyn Hunt who has been arrested for two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child between the age of 12 and 16. Ms. Hunt was engaged in a lesbian relationship with a 15 year old girl.
There are many who are claiming that Ms. Hunt's crime is that she is a lesbian. Wrong. Her crime is that she is a CHILD MOLESTER. She began her relationship with a 14 year old girl.A sexual relationship between an adult (18) and a child under the age of 16 cannot be consenting. A minor under the age of 16 cannot legally give consent for sexual activity.
The people who are defending this would not be defending this if it were an 18 year old boy having sex with a 'consenting' 15 year old, the Huffington post would not be coming to his defense. As long as homosexuality is involved, there is no limit to what they will defend.
The parents of Ms. Hunt (the 18 year old) have this to say:
They are trying to send an innocent young girl to prison because they are full of hate and bigotry. These girls are teenagers in high school, who had ONE mutual consenting sexual experience. My daughter isn’t a criminal, she isn’t a predator.
 Actually, she IS a criminal. Florida law (800.04(5)) says:

A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation...An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the second degree
The law goes on to say:

PROHIBITED DEFENSES. Neither the victim’s lack of chastity nor the victim’s consent is a defense to the crimes proscribed by this section. 

This is not about lesbian sex. People are getting their undergarments in a twist because the perpetrator's life will be ruined. Guess what? She was an adult, and the law says that adults can't have sex with children. The same people who are crying about ruining the girl's life for this would have no problem ruining her life if she were being arrested for having a shotgun in the trunk of her car that was in the parking lot.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Advice to paramedics

The difference between training and education is this: we train to know how to do something and educate to know why to do something. Training is therefore easier than education, but remember that the man who knows how to do a job will always have a job, while the man that knows why he's doing that job will eventually be the other man's boss.
Too many paramedics want to be trained, and not educated. This is because training is much easier than education. This is the main reason why paramedics must fight so hard NOT to be called "ambulance drivers," and a large part of why the rest of the medical profession doesn't give them more respect.
Strive to know the why. Don't just learn how to intubate, learn why. Learn the why not. Too many paramedics brag about how good they think they are at intubation, but very few of them can explain WHY they are intubating.
That goes for many of the skills that paramedics perform. Do yourself and your patients a favor: don't train yourself, educate yourself.

No due process

So it is the law of the land in Florida that "mentally defective" people who have been adjudicated as being a danger to themselves or others cannot own a firearm. Hey, most folks will support this law, if asked about it. After all, we don't want crazy people to have guns, right?
Until you start to redefine what "adjudicated" means. Now, thanks to a change in Florida's law, if a cop takes you involuntarily to a mental facility for evaluation, and you allow the doctor to voluntarily admit you for treatment, the doctor can have your right to ever own a firearm taken away. So a doctor gives you a choice: be involuntarily admitted and be declared incompetent, thus losing the legal ability to make your own decisions, or voluntarily submit yourself to outpatient treatment and merely lose your right to own a firearm.

The bill amends the definition of “committed to a mental institution” ... to include persons who have had an involuntary examination under the Baker Act and who have voluntarily admitted themselves for outpatient or inpatient treatment

But hey, a judge reviews the paperwork. So much for due process.

It seems to me that the only way to avoid this is not to let yourself be Baker Acted. Here is how: Cops, like most people, are lazy. They want to get back to whatever they were doing, and voluntarily going to the hospital keeps them from having to do all of the paperwork of performing a Baker Act. Simply agree to go to the hospital voluntarily, rather than make the cop take you into custody and Baker Act you.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mental illness

so CJ, in a thinly disguised attempt to say that supporting laws that restrict people with mental illness from firearms ownership proves that the Second Amendment is not absolute fails to overlook the obvious portion of my reply:

We are a nation of individual rights, and it doesn't matter if everyone else committed a certain act yesterday, I didn't.

 Today, there is a story from CBS Atlanta that proves my point: 1 in 5 children in the US has a mental disorder, according to the CDC. Now this doesn't mean that our kids are any different than we were, or even than our grandparents. What it means is that the definition of what constitutes a mental disorder is being expanded to include nearly everyone. That is why trying to predict who should have their rights preemptively removed is wrong and will result in a short ride to tyranny.

If you are so mentally ill as to be a danger, then you are too mentally ill to be out in public. If you cannot be trusted to own a firearm, then you can't be trusted to have gasoline, fertilizer, matches, or pointy sticks. In other words, you can't be trusted to be without a custodian.

Authority, responsibility, and accountability

I was a part of the fire party when I was stationed onboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower during the years of 1987-1992. One of the major events that occurred when I was stationed on her was when we collided with another ship that was sitting at anchor. (PDF warning) At the time of the collision, I was standing less than 100 feet away on the flight deck. I was a fire team leader of a pair of impromptu hose teams that put out a small fire, and I was reassigned to do a damage investigation by a Lieutenant that had taken over damage control. Even though several compartments were damaged, and opening one watertight door revealed that the compartment beyond was GONE, the Navy called the damage to the ship "minor."

The Navigation Officer and Commanding Officer's careers both ended that day, even though the Captain was not present on the bridge when the collision took place. The reason for this is simple: When you are in charge, you get to take credit for what your subordinates accomplish, but you also have to take the ultimate blame when your subordinates screw the pooch.

That is why I don't begrudge the fact that President Obama gets to bask in the reflected glory of SEALS finally bagging Osama Bin Laden. They did the job, and the guy at the helm gets some of the credit. That is what it means to be in charge. At the same time, the IRS fiasco, the Beghazi disaster, and the other problems that we see unfolding are 100% laid at Obama's feet.

When I was in the military, we were taught the principles of leadership. There are three of them, and leadership cannot exists where any one of them is missing: Accountability, responsibility, and authority. One cannot lead if they do not have the authority to change things, be held accountable for the results, and take responsibility for the outcome. It seems that Obama has mastered wielding the authority, but has not learned a thing about responsibility. One can only hope that he will be held accountable.


Luminaid is an inflatable, solar powered light that is good for preppers, campers, and hikers. It is water proof and costs less than $20. Check it out.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Youtube and Google

Screw you. I can't post comments on Youtube videos without using my real name any longer. There is no longer an option to use a screen name. Couple that with the fact that Reader is gone, and I am going to have to find another place to host this blog, or I will be shutting it down. I will also soon be moving away from a gmail address for my email.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Individual rights

In comments to this post, CJ wants to know:
 what happens if someone comes out with statistics that say people with blue eyes are 87% more likely to use a gun to commit a crime, or some other ridiculous 'fact.'
 We already have facts like that. Black Americans are statistically 4 times more likely to commit a violent crime than any other segment of the population. That does not mean, however, that we pass laws restricting the activities of all blacks. We are a nation of individual rights, and it doesn't matter if everyone else committed a certain act yesterday, I didn't.

DUI limits

One night while working as a firefighter, I was serving as the company officer of a truck company when a call came in to the neighboring company's response area for an accident. During the dispatch, it sounded pretty serious. The Battalion Chief, who was at my station, told me to be ready to be dispatched to set up a landing zone for a medical helicopter, because he had a funny feeling that we would be needed.

Well, we wound up at the scene, treating a woman who was seriously injured, while the first unit to arrive on scene was busy doing CPR on her baby. Being the only paramedic on the truck full of EMTs, I was incharge of her care. I tried everything, every trick that I had in my knowledge base, but the woman died. So did her baby.

It turns out, according to her own family members, who were driving in the car behind her, she ran the stop sign, and was hit by a pickup truck that did not have a stop sign. The accident was clearly and unequivocally her fault, and that mistake cost her life, and her child's life.

The problem here is that the State of Florida requires blood samples of every driver involved in a fatal crash. The driver of the truck, who did not seem impaired to me, had a blood alcohol of 82. He did admit on scene that he had 2 glasses of wine with dinner. I know what you are thinking- but his BAC did support the fact that he had only two. The State limit is 80. He was charged with and convicted of two felony counts of DUI manslaughter, and sentenced to twenty years in prison, and the accident wasn't even his fault.

Why the long story? Because the government is cutting the DUI limits again. From 100, where it was thirty years ago, to 80 in 1999, and now to 50. After the limit was reduced from 100 to 80, traffic fatalities actually went up the following year, not down. My guess is that the law is working to reduce drinking and driving, and the amount of income that the government is getting from DUI fines is declining, and the number of paying customers that DUI attorneys is getting is falling. Perhaps the cops aren't getting enough opportunities to earn free vacations for DUI arrests.

The truth is that the DUI law changes have had no discernible effect on the rate of traffic fatalities. Of course, the fact that the government uses traffic offenses as a cash cow, with Florida making $100 million a year  and Virginia doing the same from traffic tickets, has nothing to do with it. In California, it was recently discovered that 1,600 DUI checkpoints yielded only 3,200 DUI arrests (two per checkpoint), but resulted in $40 million in traffic tickets and 24,000 vehicle confiscations. Cops also won, being paid $30 million in overtime to staff the checkpoints.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Being charged extra for requests filed with government agencies or targeted for extra scrutiny, all based upon your political affiliation? This is nothing new. Gun owners have been putting up with this for years.


Anyone who has read this blog for a long time knows that I have long been an opponent of red light cameras. There are cities that have used dead cops to write tickets and cameras that have written tickets to stationary cars. Now it comes out that cities in Florida are shortening red yellow lights because it doubles the number of drivers that can't stop in time.


Five years later

Not quite five years ago, I complained that the war on terror had allowed the government to take onto itself a host of new powers that turned this nation into a dictatorship. My Republican friends told me that the Patriot act was needed to fight terrorism. I said:

The fun part is going to be where I get to point out to my Republican friends that the powers being abused by Obama are the same ones they gleefully gave W.

 Why did I say that? Because of all of the powers the TSA was granted, on top of the Patriot Act. Well, here we are in the midst of watching those nifty tools that were left in W's tool shed being abused by the other guy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Don't be a jerk

There is a guy in Tennessee by the name of Leonard Embody. Mr. Embody feels like he is making a stand for liberty and gun rights by parading around Bicentennial Mall with a loaded AK-47 clone pistol slung across his back. He also is known to walk around local parks.
What he is doing is completely legal, and he thinks that he is making progress on the gun rights front by being in your face with gun rights.
When it comes to open carry in the promotion of gun rights, there is a lot of controversy among bloggers in the pro-gun community. Uncle has this to say:
I don’t think it’s an effective way of getting converts. That doesn’t mean that I oppose open carry. But if you’re open carrying trying to get people to turn pro-gun, it’s probably not a good marketing technique. 

He also had this to say:
  Carrying a shotgun into a library is not going to win hearts and minds. It’s going to turn people away. This bill is going to draw more attention to the incident that led this politician to propose the bill. And not your rights.
You have rights. We get that. But when you’re focusing on your right and acting like a jerk, people tend to focus on that whole being a jerk part. There are effective ways to to win hearts and minds with respect to OC. Flashing guns at librarians and toting a shotgun on your back are not some of those ways.
This is like the kiss-ins that gay groups used to have. I’m all for gay rights and support gay marriage. But I don’t think a bunch of gay dudes kissing at the mall is effective at converting people to their cause.
You guys suck at marketing. And that’s it.
When you engage in activism, there are a number of ways to go about it. One way is to be arrested, and either fight in court on Constitutional grounds, or be a martyr for the cause. Another way is to win the hearts and minds of the people. Scaring Suzy Soccermom by being all in her face with a heater is not the way to do it.
If your point was "you can't stop the signal" with regards to the Liberator pistol, then you use Pirate Bay or for that. It's anonymous, and Suzy Soccermom already thinks those guys are kooky but harmless.

The tactic of putting the file out and then retracting it several days later wasn't ever going to work to advance gun rights. What it did do was let you brag about how "edgy" you were.  Minuteman proves that he is a post whoring jerk that is just looking for accolades and pats on the back when he links to my blog in an apparent dick measuring contest.

Don't be a jerk. That won't win you any converts.

Leatherbound Classics

Barnes and Noble has a leatherbound classics collection. These books are beautifully made, and I was enthralled by them at the store. With 4 bookshelves containing hundreds of books, I have been almost exclusively buying ebooks for the past few years (except medical reference books). I made an exception for these. They are works of art.
I bought this:

This volume includes the full texts of:
·         On Civil War—Benjamin Franklin
·         The Boston Massacre— John Hancock
·         The Declaration of Independence
·         Common Sense—Thomas Paine
·         The Articles of Confederation
·         The Federalist Papers—Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
·         The Constitution of the United States of America
·         The Bill of Rights
·         Farewell Address—George Washington
·         And others

I am going to buy many more from this collection.

Street prices unaffected

Supply and demand dictates that as supplies dry up and demand remains steady, prices will climb. It also dictates that prices will fluctuate with demand.

According to the UN, the street cost of heroin and cocaine in the United States, when adjusted for inflation and purity, has been constrained to a relatively narrow band for the past two decades. For Heroin, the band has been $342-618 in 2010 dollars. For cocaine, the range was $129-278.

The most expensive year was 1990.The reason for this was most likely due to demand, combined with the fact that many drug dealers were engaged in the violent turf wars of the 80s and early 90s. It is obvious that drug enforcement has little effect on prices. I would guess that the spike in prices on the left side is more due to the poor economy and weakness of the dollar than anything else.

It is obvious that prices are not fluctuating, which means that the war on drugs is not changing the supply or demand of street drugs like heroin and cocaine. The only real variations in the street price are other market factors like turf wars and currency fluctuations.

We are losing how much liberty to fight this losing war on drugs?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Another shooting in a gun free zone

In Louisiana, the State Police claim that it is illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a parade. As a result, we get another example of a shooting happening inside of a nominally gun free zone.

The goal of gun laws is to prevent people from breaking other laws(shooting people). If a person is intent on breaking  the law against shooting people, what does a law prohibiting them from using a gun accomplish, other than the disarmament of the intended, law abiding victim?

The 7th ward of New Orleans is a  crime ridden cesspool. New Orleans is already known as a hotspot for violent crime, with a violent crime index that is 9% higher than the average for the rest of New Orleans, and 36% higher than the rest of Louisiana. It is in the bottom quartile of safe neighborhoods in New Orleans. Your odds of being a victim of violent crime in the 7th ward is 1 in 116, and your odds of being the victim of any crime are 1 in 19.

Thought of the day

If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one you hit.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This is how liberty dies- one step at a time

The government sees a problem, and takes unto itself new powers to deal with it. The power itself creates another problem, so the government takes unto itself a new power with which to deal with the problem. Ad nausea, ad infinitum.

In 1938, the US government passed the national minimum wage, even though it had previously been declared to be an unconstitutional use of the commerce clause in 1933. This was a result of Roosevelt's threat to pack the Supreme court, as the SCOTUS now ruled it to be constitutional. (Incidentally, this was the period where the SCOTUS became corrupted and useless as a check on the powers of the Legislative and Executive branches.)
This created a demand for under the table workers. The seeds of illegal immigration were planted.
The price increases and unemployment, along with the influx of immigrants to fill the demand for workers that could be paid less than minimum wage that resulted from this law caused people to need assistance. So the government passed the Food Stamp program in 1939.
This program was expanded and illegal immigrants were permitted to qualify for benefits under the 'indigence' exemption of Federal law, which caused an even larger influx of low wage workers that were coming in to receive the free food and money that the government was distributing.
In 1986, the government passes a law that requires hospital emergency rooms treat people regardless of their ability to pay, effectively making health care free to anyone that enters the emergency room. This causes many immigrants to sneak in to have their babies for free in US emergency rooms. The newborn is an American citizen,or 'anchor baby,' and is eligible for all forms of public assistance. At the same time, illegal immigrants already in the US were granted amnesty.
The amnesty law, while granting amnesty to illegals, simply added millions to the legal workforce, making the now legal immigrants qualify for minimum wage more expensive. Enhanced penalties for illegals caused companies to begin using subcontractors, so that they could lower labor costs by hiring illegals at lower rates while absolving themselves of legal liability through plausible deniability. (I saw this happen myself at a certain large central Florida tourist attraction.)
US businesses support this, because they make LOADS of money from cheap labor.
Now to deal with all of the illegal immigration, we are establishing a National Biometric Database of all Americans. Here comes a registry of everything. People, guns, all of it. The journey to police state and dictatorship is nearly complete.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I weep for this nation

The basic flaw in Democracy is that people are stupid. Watching this video makes me weep for our future.

None of us is as stupid as all of us.


A paramedic in Texas was arrested for possession of a destructive device (a bomb) this past week. The evidence? The Feds claim he had in his possession (at his home) pipe, a canister of fuses, a lighter, a digital scale and a variety of chemical powders.

None of these items is a bomb, and they will not become a bomb unless assembled into one.

I have in my kitchen some flour, eggs, butter, milk, and sugar. That does not mean that I am in possession of a cake, unless you are the Federal government.


There are ways for people to be activists for a cause.
One way is to work within the system. Lawyers like Gura, or people like Gottlieb. This way risks little from a personal standpoint, but for a select few, they actually accomplish quite a bit.

Another is to engage in civil disobedience and put yourself out there in personal peril to be imprisoned or worse in order to change others. You do this by violating the law and showing defiance. People who have done this include Ghandi, Dr Martin Luther King, and others.

Yet another way is to undermine the law by refusing to obey. This is how many people in nations undermine the law. The quietly ignore the law, and once a critical mass is reached, the law becomes useless and changes. The 55 MPH speed limit is a good example of this. So are the people who have distributed the Liberator files on anonymous sites and torrents.

Then there are the people who are doing nothing for advancing the cause, and are simply engaged in an attempt to garner fame for themselves. They loudly proclaim themselves to be engaged in civil disobedience, get the spotlight focused on themselves, and before any serious consequences can befall them, they fold their tent and scurry away. They then spend a large amount of time patting themselves on the back, and demanding that others recognize the so-called huge 'risk' they took in doing absolutely nothing. They are doing nothing for the CAUSE, they are doing this for THEMSELVES and their over sized egos.

Look, the penalty for violating ITAR is a million bucks plus twenty years in prison. I GET it if you aren't willing to risk that. I know I'm not, but that is no excuse to run around and brag about how much you did and how much of a risk you took. That does nothing but pull the focus away from the problem and place it on you. That is why I criticize people for this.

The people who put the Liberator files on sites like Pirate Bay, or torrents? They have my respect. They are engaged in actually undermining the law without worrying about personal accolades.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Internet commandos. After the DEFCAD incident, where the government took down the site for violating ITAR regulations, there were people who hosted the file in an attempt to give the Feds the finger. They had to know that the act was illegal, yet they did it anyway. That takes balls. This, in my book, is the sort of thing that Majatma Ghandi, Dr Martin Luther King, or Rosa Parks did: Risk arrest and imprisonment  to stand up for civil rights. After all, they knew it was illegal when they did it, right?
It turns out it wasn't a stand for civil rights: It was a stand for bragging rights. The files were up for less than 48 hours, then all of a sudden, they 'realized' when told by their 'lawyer' that what they were doing might get them in trouble, so they pulled it off. Of course now they get to brag about how much they are doing.

So now they get to run around and tell everyone how cool they are that they hosted a file on a blog for less than 2 days. Then they get to tell people how much they are doing, and how they refuse to cower. How they will never turn their guns in if ordered to by the government. How can I believe that you will never turn in your guns, if you don't even have enough guts to keep up a file with PLANS for a gun?

One of them even made claim that he believe John Adams when he said:
If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.
 I guess he changed his mind and decided to become a slave...

Expensive medical care

So Colorado has spent $62 million to set up their health insurance exchange under Obamacare and are asking for another $125 million. These funds are to set up and advertise the exchange. Not one person has received care or even signed up for the plan, yet. There are 350,000 people in the state who are uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid. That works out to $531 per person, and the still haven't paid for one procedure.

They claim that the exchange will pay for itself through a $1.80 fee that will be charged to people who obtain insurance through the site. Even if every one of Colorado's 5.1 million residents obtain their insurance through this exchange, the $9.3 million raised is less than 1/20 of what it cost so far.

Colorado residents spent $30 billion on health care last year.That works out to about $5,900 per capita. The Obamacare plan spent 10% of that already, and not one single procedure has been performed. Not one.

How is this going to make anything more affordable?

Give me your mammoth steak, or I'll club you

A responder to Robb's post (Elroy) got me to thinking.

Gun control advocates have an odd view on life. They seem to believe that everyone is incapable of controlling themselves, and the only way to keep people from losing control and murdering each other is to remove the ability for them to do so. They believe that by making guns illegal, there will be no way for people to just succumb to their desire to kill. This is absurd for two reasons:

1 There are more ways for one human to kill another than with a firearm. Ever since Og struck Ech over the head with his club in order to get his shiny rocks, humans have been killing each other.

Which brings us to point 2: We aren't neanderthals any longer. This is the crux of the problem. In modern society, man has learned that it is not proper for one person to kill another. This is why I don't kill other people, not because it is illegal, but because it is wrong.

Yes, there are those of us in the world that are violent, and carry out violent acts. By definition, these people are sociopaths. I have pointed out the statistical fact that the 8 percent of Americans who live in cities of greater than 1 million people are twice as likely to be the victim or perpetrator of a murder. Why is this?

A breakdown of culture. The people who are doing this are mostly our inner city people, and the reason for this, in my opinion, is that they are growing up in a paternal vacuum. They are being raised by single parents, which really means that they are being left to themselves in a "Lord of the Flies" way while the mother is out doing her thing, with "her thing" being partying, hanging out with friends, or whatever. (She likely isn't working. Having a child as a single woman is better than a job. Government benefits and freebies galore!)

So these children, left to fend for themselves, never get societal values programmed into them, and they feel free to club their neighbors in order to get their stuff.


In Central Florida, traffic can be horrendous, especially near the tourist areas. The key to avoiding this is to use one of the many toll charging expressways. The money that you spend in tolls is usually made up by less fuel consumption, and fewer frazzled nerves.

Florida has installed a statewide toll system, where you purchase a transponder to put in your car, and the toll is paid as you drive by the toll booth. This is a convenience for the driver, and a money saver for the state, as the system requires fewer toll booth operators. The system is called SunPass.

With the SunPass system, you set up an account, tell it which transponders are yours, and you prepay your tools by purchasing credits in $10 increments. You can do it with cash, or program it to place a predetermined amount of money in there, and charge it to a credit card. I have one, and it is convenient to not have to stop and wait at the toll booth every few miles.

Good idea, right? Until politics get involved. You see, Orange County figured out that they can get more cash if they cut the state out of the action, so they established the Orange County Expressway Authority. This authority has their own automated toll system, called EPass. An Epass transponder is supposed to allow you access to the SunPass system roads, and vice-versa.

Note that I said "supposed to." Yesterday, I got a letter from the EPass with a picture of my car, and a letter telling me that they have recorded 8 instances in the last two months where I passed through, and the system failed to recognize the transponder. The letter went on to say that the authority "may" issue me a citation for EACH time I failed to pay the toll. I immediately called the number on the letter.

This is what I was told, and what makes this so incredible:
The two systems are not always good at compatibility, and if the systems fails to communicate, it fails to pay the toll correctly. However, it is still the driver's fault that the system didn't pay the toll, hence the ticket.

1 On what planet does a known flaw with a provider's equipment remain the problem of the customer?
2 There is no way for the driver to know that the toll wasn't paid at the time of the failure. My first indication was the letter.

Nice racket, government. All of the money, none of the legal responsibility.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Irresponsible people do stupid things. If you own a gun, and there are children in the house, the gun should be locked up when it is not under your physical control.


Robb talks about having to put down his cat, which reminds me of my own experience. I am not a "cat person," or at least I wasn't until about 9 years ago. That was when my (now) ex-wife brought home a seven year old cat that she rescued from the shelter. Not being a cat person, I largely ignored him. I wouldn't even name him, I just called him boy cat. That was when he decided that I was to be his human.
Over the next eight years, that cat was a constant companion: he would nap with me on the couch, he would sit on my desk as I worked or surfed the internet, he would follow me around the house. He loved food, and and became so fat that his belly would sway to and fro when he ran. He used to sit on my chest while I laid on the couch, and he would tap me on the chin each time he wanted a treat, and I obligingly gave him one. He was a sweet, loving animal. He was my friend. Eventually, boy cat became Mr. Boy, and that was his name.
Four years after we got him, he began vomiting. A lot. The vet couldn't find anything wrong. He ruined several pieces of furniture. After a year or so of this, the vomiting stopped and we thought he was getting better. Then he began losing weight. He became rail thin.
Then came the day, last fall, that the diarrhea began. It became more and more frequent. His teeth began breaking. Then, one morning, I couldn't get him to stand, he was weak. He just laid there, looking at me, so weak that he couldn't even raise his head.
We took him to the vet, and the diagnosis was cancer. We had to put him down.

That was last September, and I still get teary eyed when I think about him. I miss my friend.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zero tolerance= zero freedom and zero brains

Two kids suspended for pointing pencils at each other and saying "pew! pew!"

This is a form of Orwellian mind control to teach children that the image of a gun in a slave’s hand is evil, while the same weapon in the hands of a SWAT team is good.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Logical disconnect

I just got in an argument on the Huffington post site with an anti-gunner. This is how it went:

Guns should be illegal.

Me: “Because that has worked so well with drugs.”

Banner:  "People are cooking drugs in their home kitchens. Know anyone manufacturing guns? If they would legalize drugs they could take the money out of it, regulate it, tax it and diminish the criminal element connected to it. Worked with alcohol. Guns are different."

 Few people make their own guns because guns are legal, and it is cheaper in terms of knowledge and cash to buy it commercially. The same argument you use for drugs. If people want something and are willing to pay for it, they will get it because someone will provide it. Make a product illegal and the only people who will get that product are, by definition, criminals. How are guns different from any other product?
Making guns illegal would simply result in a black market of guns.
As to your comment about no one manufacturing guns: Here is a 3D printable one, and here is a weapons factory in Pakistan where everything from antiaircraft guns, to machine guns, to pen guns are made by hand.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I thought it would be nice to revisit the Obama campaign promises, and see how he is doing after four and a half years:
1 Close Guantanamo Bay within one year. Status: Broken. It's still open. In fact, many detainees have been cleared to go home, but Obama won't release them.
2 Create or save 1 million jobs using $25 billion in Federal Funds. Status: Fail. This picture says it all.

3 All troops out of Iraq within 16 months. Status: Broken. There are still 3,000 troops in Iraq. (Even though most people believe that the troops left nearly two years ago, hundreds of special forces remained, and last September, after Congress cut of funding for those troops, Obama sent troops there to "keep an eye on Syria."
4. Create secure borders. Status: Broken. He is actually working to open the border and grant amnesty.
5. Reform government spending. FAIL. He increased the debt by $5.8 trillion during his first term. That's more than all Presidents from Washington through Clinton, and more even than GW Bush- the guy that the Democrats slammed for excessive spending.
6. End torture: Status: Broken.
7. Require new hires to deny cronyism. Status: DO I REALLY have to point this one out?
8. Deliver weekly fireside chats online Status: Broken. He only held a few, and then only when there was something he wanted. The last one was in February and talked about gun control.
9. Toughen hate crime laws Status: Broken, also see the next one:
10. Remove discriminatory obstacles to voting. Status: a twofer with the Black Panther case
11. Lift ban on gays serving openly in the military Status: Kept. He lifted "Don't ask, don't tell" in 2011.
12. Penalize vote fraud. Status: Broken, but the voter fraud was all in his favor, so why should he?
13. End American dependence on foreign oil in ten years Status: with his ban on Gulf oil drilling, I don't see this happening. We are more dependent on foreign oil than we were 5 years ago.
14 Ban executive employees from taking gifts from lobbyists. BROKEN.
15 But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. Need I say more?
16 Post bills online 72 hours before signing them Status: Congress doesn't even read bills before Obama signs them
17 Increase minimum wage every year Status: Broken. Although I oppose minimum wage laws, I want to point out that minimum wage increased twice during the George W Bush Presidency, and once during the Obama administration.
 18 Ensure taxes don't go up for families with incomes lower than $250,000 Status: Broken
19 Cut taxes on the middle class Status: Broken
20 Defend Israel Status: Broken
21  Remember when he said that he was not going to push for gun control?

For you who voted for Obama- Is this what you voted for?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

This made me laugh

Most Dangerous

The top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Detroit has four of them, including the top three. Chicago claims the fourth most dangerous. Together, Michigan and Illinois contain 11 of the 25 worst neighborhoods.

Houston has two, Memphis has two, and just across the river, West Memphis has one. St Louis has two, Indianapolis has two, and the remaining 25 are rounded out with cities that have one each: Tulsa; Flint, and Saginaw, MI; Atlanta; Nashville; Greenville; and  Spartanberg.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Seen on Facebook

Minimum wage again

The Obama administration is talking about a minimum wage hike. The one that has been proposed is a hike to $10.10 an hour, which equates to $21,000 a year. The Federal poverty level for a family of four is $22,320, and for a single person is $10,890. So Obama's plan will wipe out poverty, right?


Coming on the heels of the massive costs involved with Obamacare, it would cost $12,000 more per year to hire a new worker than it did when Obama took office. Employers are not bottomless pockets full of money. In order to afford these new, higher wages, employers will have to do one of three things: cut costs, raise prices, or a combination of the previous two. Most likely, this will be done as a combination of the previous two. The first effect will be fewer jobs.

The second effect will be pay compression. Let me give an example: In 2004, workers in Florida followed the Federal minimum wage law. The minimum wage in Florida was the same as the Federal wage, $5.15 an hour. In those days, an unskilled position like fry cook at KFC started at about $6.50 an hour. A semi skilled position, EMT, started at $8 an hour. A skilled position, Paramedic, started at $14 an hour.

In 2005, the voters of Florida put a law in place that increased the state minimum wage each year. (Here it is - pdf warning) Right now in Florida, an unskilled position like fry cook at KFC starts at about $8 an hour. A semi skilled position, like EMT currently starts about $9 an hour. A skilled position like Paramedic starts at about $13 an hour. So, the minimum wage in Florida increased by $2.64 (a 51% increase) over 7 years, and while the wages of unskilled labor climbed by 23%, the wages of semi-skilled laborers climbed by only 12.5%, and skilled labor actually fell by 7%. Factoring in inflation, and unskilled laborers were the only ones who saw an increase. This is illustrated in this Sentinel article. About three quarters of the way through the article,
Eric Jackson is CEO and president of Total Roofing Services, a 2-year-old Orlando company with about eight employees. Jackson starts his employees out at $10 an hour, saying he wants to give everyone "a chance to earn a living wage."

Jackson said he's not particularly concerned an increase in the federal minimum wage would drive up his labor costs. He said he'd tell new employees, "I'm already paying you a buck above that. Prove yourself, and you'll make more."
So the skilled workers  making more than minimum wage would not make more when the minimum wage is raised, and would be making the same as what a KFC fry cook makes, only now all of the businesses who had to give raises to their employees (KFC, grocery stores, gas stations) charge more. Inflation.

Inflation brings us to the second way that employers react to an increase in labor costs: they raise prices. They pay for the wage increases and the increased costs of providing health insurance by raising prices.

One of the biggest complainers about the minimum wage law is waiters and waitresses. They have a "tipped minimum wage" that is only $2.13 an hour. They claim that this places them below the poverty level. I claim bullshit. I know your game. Waiters and waitresses make HUGE amounts of money, they just don't claim them. Since much of these wages are "under the table," unreported income, they appear poor, but my daughter works as a server, and she regularly brings home $200 a night in tips after an 8 hour shift.

A meal for two at a moderately priced restaurant like the Outback or Olive Garden runs about $35, meaning a tip of $4 or more. The average server works 3-5 tables. This translates into $12-20 an hour in tips. For a job that requires no licenses or real skill. All you have to do is write down what the customer wants and carry it to the table. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Banks screwing up

For those who may not remember or are new to this blog, I was swept up in the mortgage mess that started our economic downturn. You can read about the summary here. I declared bankruptcy in 2009 as a result. My mortgage bank lied and provided false documents in court, and I was able to prove it. I sued them in Federal Court, and we settled out of court for $7,500. They paid me to go away. Then, in June of 2011, I won the foreclosure case after a year and a half of acting as my own attorney as I fought it in court.

Because no one knows who owns the mortgage, there are three different entities who have a potential claim:

1 The original bank. (Let's call them Mortgage Trust Company) They are the ones that I beat in court. They claimed to own my mortgage, sold it, filed the assignment with the courthouse, but still claim to be the mortgage holder.
2 Fannie Mae (FNMA) They also claim to be the owner, and they claim that Mortgage Trust Company is acting on their behalf. Like Mortgage Trust Company, they cannot produce a single document to show that they are the owners of the note or mortgage.
3 Nationstar mortgage. There is a recorded document at the courthouse that names Nationstar as the mortgage holder, and it is signed by Mortgage Trust Company's agent, MERS. The problem here is that Nationstar has no record of this.

Clear as mud? So last year, they started trying to collect money again. So, last month, I filed another lawsuit in Federal Court. This time, I was able to get an attorney. Let's see how much money we get this time.

I am not alone. In Florida, the banks are still lying and committing fraud to steal people's homes. This needs to stop, but I am not counting on our corrupt government to stop it. This family has been messing with it for two years:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Killer Cop

There are some lessons to be learned from the case of Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman. He was caught on video and later admitted to planting a crack pipe on a homeless woman in 2005.

 Then, in 2011 he was arrested for murder when he placed his service weapon against a suspect's head and pulled the trigger, after killing the man's dog. His own partner turned him in.

So after all of this went down, he accepted a plea deal (according to the questionable reporting at this link) where he will plead guilty to negligent homicide with an opportunity to have the charge expunged from his record after completing an unspecified term of probation. He was fired from Phoenix, but the plea deal will allow Chrisman to regain employment as a cop in another jurisdiction or even in Phoenix.

The family of the deceased boy sued the city for unlawful use of force resulting in death, and the court threw out the suit.

So what are the lessons?

1 There are actually a few honest cops left who are willing to stand up against their fellow officers who are lawbreakers. Thanks to Chrisman's partner for having the morals to do this.

2 The police union in this case, standing up for a murdering criminal cop that plants evidence makes all unions look bad.

3 There is no limit to what a cop can actually get away with. This guy literally got away with murder.

4 Whatever you do, seriously think about what could happen if you ever need to call the cops.