Sunday, December 31, 2017

Travel nightmare

We just got back from a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean with my wife's side of the family. My brother in law and his girlfriend flew in to the Tampa airport from New York the day before the cruise. We drove to Tampa, a 90 minute drive, to pick them up. When they arrived at the airport, we tried for two hours to recover their luggage, only to find out that it was still sitting in the airport in New York.

The airline blamed TSA, and TSA blamed the airline. The airline said that they would have the bags to them the next day at 7 pm. That was unacceptable, because our cruise was due to leave the dock at 4. We then asked if they would send the bags to Orlando on flight arriving there at 11 am. No problem, they said.

No matter whose fault it was: the airline or TSA, what happened next was all airline. The next morning, we called the New York baggage office at 6 am to make sure the bags made it on to the flight. They told us they were busy, put us on hold, and then the call was disconnected. Repeat calls went unanswered.

We stopped at the Orlando airport on the way to the cruise terminal, and the bags were not on the flight. We made a rush trip to the mall to buy clothes and other necessities for two people to be able to go on a 7 day cruise. Everything from toothbrushes to swimsuits, an from shampoo to formal wear was needed.

Repeated phone calls got a promise to have the bags forwarded to Jamaica, and one employee told my brother in law that his missing bags weren't her problem.

At any rate, we got back from our seven day cruise and the bags are still in limbo. This is why I try not to ever fly.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

I hope all of you are enjoying this holiday with friends and family.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Silent night

Sleep tight, enjoy family, and forget the worries of the world for a couple of days.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Voting our wallets

We think of campaigns in terms of people, but they're often decided by circumstances. The American voters follow their wallets into the voting booth. The bigger the increase in real disposable income from the year before, the more likely voters are to vote for the incumbent party.

Changes in real disposable income correlate with seats gained and lost by the incumbent party going back to 1950. If disposable income when adjusted for inflation goes down, the incumbents lose seats. When it goes up, they gain. This is why the Democrats have fought the tax reform plan, and why they continue to try and paint it as being only for the rich. If real disposable income rises by more than 3 percent, the Republicans will likely keep their majority in the house, and if the growth in disposable income is greater than 6 percent, they will likely keep the Senate. 

This is why Trump and the GOP wanted to get this bill done and signed as soon as possible. The IRS will need time to change the tax tables, and getting larger paychecks to employees is the key to the GOP winning the next election.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fifty is the new zero

There are many in education who claim that students should never get a zero for not turning in any work. They claim that a student with zeros has no hope of ever catching up, and loses interest in the course. There is a lot of pressure on teachers to give what is called a "healthy F." This policy means that a student who does NO work at all gets a minimum of a 50% for a grade, thus ensuring that they have a chance of doing a minimal amount of work at the end of the year to secure the 60 or 70 percent score needed to pass.

Here are two documents that have been sent to teachers in my area in recent days. (pdf alert) I disagree with the premise:

Consider two scenarios: A principal is late on a report and the boss says, “You
didn’t do it on time, so you don’t have to do it.” It’s April 16, your income taxes
haven’t been submitted, and you receive an e-mail from the IRS stating, “Your taxes
are late so you don’t have to pay them this year.” Neither scenario is realistic, yet in
schools many educators have policies that if a student doesn’t complete work on
time, the student earns a zero and the work cannot be completed for credit. Thus,
the student doesn’t do it. It is just the opposite that should be true: Students should
be required to do the work and not permitted to take the easy way out by accepting
the zero grade.
This is ridiculous. The student either meets the learning objective, or doesn't. You can't grade what isn't turned in. When a student doesn't do the work, what then? The author says that you assign them to an after school "homework club," and if that doesn't work, assign them to "Saturday school." Many of my students don't even come to regular school. What makes you think that they will come in on Saturday?

Let's being this to the real world: You boss tells you that he wants a particular project completed by Friday, so it can be completed for an important client. You don't do it. The boss tells you that you need to come in on Saturday. You don't. What will the boss do? Fire you. If he doesn't, he will still be forced to fire you when all of his clients find other ways of getting what they need.

This constant mollycoddling of students is why they are all graduating with expectations of being paid for not really doing anything.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

State of education

This is what I have been saying about education for years. We are required to give 85% of our kids a C or higher. Even then, we are often asked to increase grades later. Earlier this year, I was asked to change a student's grade from last year so he could be eligible to play basketball.


Monday, December 18, 2017

COMSEC

There are news stories that the leaders of the investigation into then Presidential Candidate Donald Trump that was responsible for the Fusion GPS dossier and wiretapping of the NYC election headquarters of Trump's campaign were using HAM radios to communicate and coordinate this effort, in violation of Federal law.

I find this to be a very useful bit of information, and it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The National Security Agency (NSA) picks up and records almost all electronic communications, thereby effectively wiretapping telephone conversations, email, and practically everything else we send out electronically.  When a FISA court permits spying on American citizens, that universal wiretapping capability can be used to spy on their conversations.  It now appears that an elaborate plot was crafted to generate phony accusations of dirty ties to Russia that would be used to get a FISA court warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

The wife of a Deputy Director of the DOJ was coordinating this attempted coup, and would be well aware of the NSA's capabilities. For that reason, I got to thinking about that. There are many technical reasons why spying on HAM radio would be a nearly impossible task. Just by using the frequencies and methods permitted to a person with a Technician license, there are thousands of available channels. Toss in the various modes like Digital, SSB, USB, AM, FM, CW, etc., and then consider that the higher frequencies are short range and would require hundreds of listening stations in every state, and it becomes a very difficult proposition to monitor HAM radio.

Insert basic tradecraft where a message is inserted into an innocent sounding conversation, and there is no practical way to shut down or monitor communications. It also becomes impossible to monitor a quick message through traffic analysis, if the operators do not identify, the conversation is short, and the transmitters mobile. 

The coup plotters know this, and this is why they chose to communicate that way. This is how the pros do it, so they can participate in an extra-constitutional coup. Lesson complete.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Useless products



How about just not putting your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Done with Florida carry.

I joined because I thought they were going to do a good job. Then this happened. Then, I joined their FB page and saw posts like these:

Clips are always Very handy. Im an old outlaw; and i know when things are about to go down. Not one of those scared guys with one in the chamber all the time

Okay legislative geniuses, what's the next step and when for this horrible HR 38 turd?

Most of thee group seems to be a circle jerk of wannabes who have exactly zero knowledge of the law, concealed carry, or anything else firearms related. Coupled with their recent opposition to changes in Florida law, I think that this is my last year as a paid Florida carry member.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Armed store owner catches felon

A store owner in Yalaha, Florida saw some suspicious activity at one of his gas pumps and went to investigate. When he saw that the man at the pump was installing a credit card skimmer, he confronted the criminal, who attempted to "intimidate" the store owner. The store owner drew a firearm and the man fled. The would be thief and his female accomplice were caught and arrested by deputies just a few miles away.

In Florida, it is legal for a person to carry a weapon, whether openly or concealed, at his place of business. It is also, as a matter of law, considered non-lethal force to merely point a firearm at someone. It is lawful to use non-lethal force to protect property or to prevent a crime. In other words, what the store owner did was completely legal.

So why is the Orlando media posting the same article with this misleading headline?

Man pulls gun in confrontation over gas pump skimmer, deputies say

If one were to read the headline, you would think that the entire incident was some sort of road rage argument, and not a store owner performing a citizen's arrest on a criminal. It is subtle things like this that the press uses to influence public opion against guns and gun owners. Why not make the headline "Gunman interferes with man attempting to earn a living" and just go full bore with the propaganda?

As a side note, the man who is accused of the crime is not a US citizen, and has already been convicted once of credit card fraud.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Trials have become political footballs

I have to say that I usually tell everyone to respect the jury's findings after a trial. The jury got to see all of the evidence, and we did not. I have a much harder time doing that with the Zarate case. The jury in that case found a convicted felon not guilty of every charge involved with the killing of a young woman, with the exception of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

There was a comment on a recent post of mine, where an anonymous poster said:

Based on what I've read of the case, the jury verdict not to convict for murder seems correct. That the prosecution didn't go for negligent homicide instead suggests he overreached for personal political gain.

Let's see what we can find...

To me, the most damning piece of evidence was the security video of the shooting and its immediate aftermath:
During his testimony, video provided to him that was recorded from a distance was played for the jury. It showed Steinle falling, the suspect walking away and something splashing in the water.
So we have video of the suspect shooting the victim and then disposing of the evidence by throwing it into the ocean. The fact that he tried to conceal what happened is evidence that he knew that he had committed a crime. The suspect freely admitted that he had a firearm, he fired it (saying, "It just went off." when he picked it up.) The firearm that he had was stolen. He is a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He admitted to both in open court. He claims he "found" the firearm lying under a bench.

He was charged with manslaughter, which is the negligent or careless actions that result in the death of another. At the very least, he should have been convicted of that. My feeling here is that he was found not guilty by reason of being a liberal avatar for Trump hate.

Also to blame is the government of California.  The victim's family sued the state, claiming that their refusal to enforce the law (pdf warning) led directly to the killer being there to kill their daughter. A liberal California judge threw out the suit.

The result here is that a woman is dead, killed for doing nothing but walking in a tourist area. Her killer will be released, likely immediately, and criminals will continue to cross into our nation and kill our citizens.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Guns and criminals are not the target of gun laws

So the illegal immigrant convicted felon was deported 5 times before he killed a woman in California while illegally carrying a concealed firearm. These facts are not in dispute. He was acquitted of most of the crimes he was charged with, but was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, but under California, and not Federal, law. This carries a penalty of 16 months to 3 years in prison. Parole could cut that to less than 6 months in prison.

If he had been convicted of the same crime in Federal court, he would have a possible sentence of 5-15 years without parole.

Why do we pass laws that we do not enforce? Why does California push for gun laws and then allow people to break them? My guess is that these laws are not being used for their stated purpose.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

GOP tax plan is a tax increase

I just got off the phone with my CPA. The GOP tax plan is going to cost me tens of thousands more in taxes for tax year 2018. Let me explain how I understand this:

Most businesses are small businesses. Small businesses like LLC's, Schedule C corporations, and the like are called "pass through entities" and the IRS treats them as though they do not exist, for tax purposes. In other words, whatever income that your business has is your income.

Larger companies tend to be corporations. Those are considered to be corporate persons, meaning that their income is considered separate from the owners of the company, the stockholders.

(I am simplifying this to make it easy to understand, please don't flame me.)

As a part of the tax code changes, the GOP plan calls for doubling the standard deduction, and then eliminating nearly all other deductions, including the individual exemption, and itemized deductions like attorney's fees, paid accountant fees, deductions for mechanics who buy their own tools, security guards buying their own weapons, etc.

Because of this, pass through entities and individuals will lose out when they can no longer deduct the cost of carrying out their livelihoods, but corporations can still deduct those expenses from profits as a cost of doing business, AND the corporate rate is reduced. This is one time that the liberals are correct: this is a huge handout for corporate welfare, one that benefits the corporate taxpayer while screwing the small businessman.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Registration ----> Confiscation

Registration always leads to confiscation.
Hawaii, though, maintains an electronic database of both firearm purchasers, who must complete both the federal ATF and a state permit application, and medical marijuana patients. That allowed the Honolulu police to cross-check and compile a list of MMJ patients in the state’s firearms registry.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Be careful what you wish for

Lawyers are now claiming that the police use of bodycams is a threat to human rights. The problem here is that the used to use camera footage to find minor differences betewen police reports and camera footage to claim police were lying. Now that the police have the footage available, they are writing the reports based on the footage, increasing accuracy.

I think that the report reflecting what actually happened is a good thing, unless you are an unscrupulous lawyer who seeks to free your client, no matter what the truth may be. It makes me laugh that the same people who screamed for police body cams so they could get to the truth are now screaming about how unfair the truth is.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Freebies

Imagine that you told people that, if they break into your home, you will let them stay there, provide free food, free housing, and provide free college for their children. How many people would break into your home?

That is what is happening in California. Read this article, and see what is happening for yourself. The article is intended to make us feel sorry for the illegal immigrants and their anchor babies, but this is what it really means:

A family with no skills, no education, and no money illegally immigrates into the US, and then has 4 anchor babies, with all medical expenses paid for on the government dime. Since the 4 kids are all citizens, the family now gets welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, free cell phones, and free college educations. 

The college alone costs $27,000 a year, for a total cost to the US taxpayer of $432,000 for all four kids. In all, a rough calculation shows that this family has cost the US taxpayer more than $2 million in assistance since the illegal immigrant parents arrived here roughly 30 years ago. 

The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the enthusiastic support of Paul, or in this case, Pedro.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Get a gun safe

A high school kid committed suicide at his school after stealing a Glock 26 from a family friend while spending the night. The guns were locked up by those cheesy cable gun locks that are mandated by law in at least two states, and also inside of a soft sided case.

A determined adult (for all intents, a 17 year old is as competent and resourceful at defeating cable locks as any adult) can bypass these locks in just a few minutes, especially if he has stolen the gun and is trying to beat the lock in the privacy of his own home.

I have a gun safe. That safe is bolted to the floor. That safe has a switch on the inside that is connected to my home automation system. As soon as the safe is opened, it sends a text message to my phone and if I am not home, sets off the burglar alarm.

Every firearm in my home that is not under my physical control is unloaded and placed in the safe. Anyone who wants to gain access to one of my firearms will have to enter my house without setting off my alarm, and then force open the safe without setting off the alarm. This is as secure a system as I can imagine making, within reason.

Secure your firearms. Don't let an unauthorized person gain access to them. Gun safes are cheap. A decent one costs less than $600. Why would you invest thousands in firearms, and not be willing to spend $600 to protect them from theft?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Disenfranchised

There is a bit of a scandal involving a politician who is running for office, with several women who are accusing him of sexual impropriety from forty years ago. There are those in Congress who claim that they will remove him from office if he is elected.

The left is trying to convince the American people that President Trump needs to be impeached. They claim that, should the Democrats reestablish a majority in Congress during the midterm elections, they will impeach the President.

What is happening here is the disenfranchising of the voters. They are saying that the voters are not smart enough to elect their own representatives and, since they are obviously smarter and better than you, they will select your leaders for you. (Not a mistake there- the same who view you as unqualified to vote also view your elected representatives as your leader.)

If Congress is to simply impeach anyone with whom they disagree, then why vote at all? Why not simply let Congress choose? The fall of this nation continues.

Another attack

You will remember that last year I was attacked in my classroom for taking away a student's cell phone for texting in class, after being ordered to do so by the principal of the school.

My wife, who teaches at an entirely different school, was also recently attacked by a student. The incident was the culmination of a series of events over a three day period:

1 The student entered class while chewing gum, and was told to throw it away. The student displayed an attitude, and an argument ensued. Rather than write a formal discipline referral, my wife asked administrators to have an informal talk with the student.

2 The next day, the student AGAIN entered the class chewing gum. After being told to spit it out, she claimed that she "forgot" about the no gum rule.

3 The next day, the student came in wearing a hoodie with the hood up. When she was told that this was against the school's uniform policy, the student argued and called my wife, her teacher, a "fucking bitch."

My wife wrote her a discipline referral. After leaving the office from receiving her suspension, she immediately walked down the hall to my wife's classroom and attempted to physically attack her. The only thing that prevented the completion of the attack was the vice-principal, the school's police officer, and the superintendent of the school were next door for a meeting. They locked my wife and her students in their classroom for safety, and immediately escorted the student off campus with a trespass warning not to return.

Less than an hour later, the student and her mother called my wife in her classroom, threatened her, and stated that she was a "races" or something. My wife was so concerned that they were going to be waiting for her after school, coupled with the fact that she is disarmed by law, that she had the school's police officer escort her to her car.

I would say that we would be extra vigilant over the next few days, but I honestly cannot think of any precautions we could be taking that we already don't: We have a burglar alarm, security/landscape lighting (both visible and infrared), and security cameras, and we are armed everywhere that we legally can be.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Not likely

The Boston Globe recently wrote an anti-gun screed, disguised as news. I wanted to take a minute to examine the article and its claims.

It uses Australia as an example:
Some feared resistance. Howard, at one point, wore a bulletproof vest during a speech to a group of gun rights supporters. But the buyback went forward peacefully, and it claimed an estimated one-fifth of Australia’s gun stock — one of the largest gun confiscations in modern history.
One fifth? So the confiscation was ineffective more than 80% of the time? What now?

Since passage of the law, the country hasn’t seen a single mass shooting — defined as a killing of five or more people, not including the gunman.
In order to make that claim work, they have to do a bit of gymnastics. First, they exclude all killings not committed with a gun. Next, they exclude all killings where less than 5 people, exclusive of the killer himself, were killed. Then, they exclude all cases where no one was arrested (usually because the killer himself was killed.)

A study by researchers at Australian National University and Wilfrid Laurier University found a 59 percent drop in the firearm homicide rate and a 65 percent decline in the firearm suicide rate in the decade after the law was introduced. And while critics have noted the firearm death rate was already declining before passage of the legislation, the data show it dropped twice as fast afterward.
Another lie. The murder rate actually went UP after the confiscation, and then went down, and back up again, with the homicide rate in Australia only being down 5% overall. So where do the anti gun folks get their "fact" about a 50% reduction? From 1915 to 1996, about 30% of homicides in Australia were committed by people wielding firearms. From 1996 onwards, that has fallen to about 15%. So what we have seen is a 50% reduction in percentage of homicides that were committed by FIREARMS, but overall rate of all homicides has remained unchanged.

Then the paper goes on to suggest that it is time for a mandatory buyback confiscation, where the police collect the firearms in US circulation in exchange for $500 or so.

Part of the problem is the sheer scale of the enterprise. An operation on par with the Australian buyback — claiming one-fifth of American guns — would mean tens of thousands of police officers collecting some 60 million guns. It is, on some level, simply unimaginable.
That presumes that there are only 310 million firearms in private hands, according to the article. I think this number if FAR, FAR too low. There have been almost 275 million NICS checks in the past 20 years alone. Are we to believe that the number of firearms sold in the US from 1900 to 1998 is only 35 million, when Americans are busy buying 27 million firearms and 10-12 BILLION rounds of ammunition a year. That is more ammunition than  was used by the entire US military during each year of World War 2, when the average was just over 10 billion rounds a year. Some bloggers think that the true number of firearms in private hands is over 600 million.

The second presumption is that Americans will give up these guns without a single fight. While it is true that many will, others will simply ignore such an order, and will soon be selling firearms for many times the $500 fee paid by the government for turning in their guns. Even the threat of a new assault weapons ban several years ago saw people paying $900 for stripped AR-15 lower. Do you think that all of those people would pay that kind of money, simply to turn them in a couple of months later for a fraction of that amount in return?

When it doesn't work, what then? How many cops will want to go door to door in order to take them? How many cops and citizens will die as a result? Even if only 1 in 10,000 gun owners are willing to shoot it out, that means there could potentially be 60,000 active shootouts during this door kicking. Are you willing to see hundreds of thousands of dead cops and citizens, all for little gain?

So, to answer the overall question of The Boston Globe's article:
Is there any conceivable turn of events in our politics that could make confiscation happen? And what would a mass seizure look like?

I don't think so. Such a law would violate the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution.
Americans possess FAR more than the 310 million firearms that the left wants you to think are out there. Should such a law come to pass anyway, it would look like the second American Civil War.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Florida CCW numbers

Last July, Florida had one CCW permit holder for every 10.1 adults, which was, at the time, an all time high.
It's time to take a look at this again. As of October 31, 2017, there were 15,022,247 adults residing in the state of Florida. Those 15 million adults hold 1,812,542 concealed weapons permits. That is one permit for every 8.2 adults, another all time high.
The MSM still claims that gun ownership rates are declining.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gun show loophole

We hear from anti-gun groups how the "gun show loophole" allows "unlicensed dealers" to sell guns to criminals without background checks. That, as this case demonstrates, is a bald faced lie:

A Janesville man accused of selling hundreds of firearms, at least one of which was later seized from a felon, was indicted this week in federal court on charges of selling firearms without a license.
Gary Schroeder, 65, sold firearms at gun shows in Janesville, Delavan, Fort Atkinson and other area cities from at least April 2014 to at least January 2017, recording sales exceeding $200,000, according to court documents.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Criminals running the country

The UK has made it a crime for a person to use force in defense of themselves. This is the end result: the criminals are running the country.

A 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted three times in the span of an hour as she walked home from a night out in London, police said. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Revolution day?

The leftist groups claiming to be against fascism have been committing violent acts for over a year. One sect of this movement has declared today, November 4th, 2017 to be the day that the revolution begins. Their stated goal is the overthrow of the legitimately elected President of the US and the disenfranchisement of half of the nation.

Popular press is claiming that this is all a hoax, because the group making the threat is "Refuse Fascism" and the main group that has been protesting is "Antifa."

Call it what you want- I have been watching the violence for over a year. These nutbags on the left are getting out of hand. It is long past time for the police to rein in these domestic terrorists.

Sometimes, the process is the punishment

We are frequently told that we should let the justice system work, and since we each are entitled to due process, things will work out for the best. What about times when the process itself IS the punishment?

A woman in Lakeland, Florida was recently arrested for driving under the influence. The thing is, she was riding a horse. What will happen to her over the next few months is the process that we are told to allow to take its course:

Her drivers license will be immediately suspended upon her arrest, and the police will physically confiscate her license. She will be allowed to drive for 10 days, using her DUI citation as a license. After that, she will have to get a lawyer to appeal the suspension. This will mean that, since she cannot drive to work, she will either have to get a ride to work, or will lose her job.
Her auto insurance will immediately be canceled.
Since she no longer has car insurance, her tags will be cancelled.
She will have to bond out. This will mean paying a bondsman $500 or more for a bail bond.
30 days after her arrest, she will be arraigned, and will likely plead not guilty.
60 days after her arrest, her lawyer will receive all of the information on her charges: police reports, witness statements, etc.) from the state of Florida.  The case is reset for a hearing to take place in another 30-60 days.
Day 90-120, calendar call is when you let the judge know how the case will resolve.  It may be set for trial, a pretrial motion to suppress or motion in limine, or for a plea agreement.
Day 120-180, Preparing for a trial and/or motion hearings takes substantially more time for the lawyer to prepare.  A motion to suppress the stop, motion in limine or other motion will be held before the trial.  A DUI jury trial will be in front of 6 jurors and possibly 2 alternates.  A negotiated plea agreement (or if an agreement cannot be reached with the state) or a plea straight up to the judge will be held.

After all of this, the charges will likely be unsuccessful. You see, the state of Florida defines DUI as operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. A vehicle is defined as a device that can be used or be drawn to transport persons (or property) on a highway. A horse is not a device. Here is what a Florida attorney has to say on the matter.

In this case, the woman has a lengthy criminal history. That, however does not mean that she is not entitled to justice. She will likely have to pay thousands in legal fees, which she likely cannot afford. She will have to pay a sizable bond amount. Months from her life will be lost.

All because she was arrested by police officers who were misapplying the law. Sometimes, the process IS the punishment.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Failure in victim selection process

Orlando Police said an attempted robber approached a Loomis armored van driver from behind as he was servicing the gas station's ATM and sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. Despite feeling the effects of the pepper spray, the driver was able to draw his weapon and fire a shot, hitting the armed robber in the chest. The suspect is in critical but stable condition and will be charged with robbery with a weapon once he's released from the hospital.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Free healthcare for all? Not exactly.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service has decided that people who smoke or who are obsese will be restricted from some health services. In support of this policy, they claim that people who smoke or are obese increase health costs, and to rein in these costs, it is important to use the power of government to change their behavior “for the public good.”
The health service is using body mass index (BMI) as the metric: Those with a body mass index over 40 must reduce the number by 15% over that time period, and those with a BMI over 30 are given a target of 10%. I have never agreed with using BMI for anything. To get an idea of why I feel this way, let’s use some professional athletes to illustrate why BMI is not an accurate measurement of obesity:
This is a link to the roster of the Tampa Bay Lightning, a professional hockey team made up of athletes from all over the world, most of whom are also on their country's Olympic team. They are provided, as part of the team, with a full time nutritionist, the best medical care available, and they each work out 6-8 hours a day. In other words, they are in the 99.9th percentile of health.

At 5’ 10” and 190 pounds, Gabriel Dumont, is considered to be overweight with a BMI of 27.3. Just 19 more pounds from his weight as a professional athlete, and he would be considered too fat to receive medical care. No wonder the UK says that 63% of adults are obese! How many of us have a professional nutritionist, and work out at a professional level for the 8 hours a day required to maintain the physique of a professional athlete? Even with all of that, he is STILL considered to be overweight.
Run the BMI numbers for the rest of the team, and you will see that they are ALL overweight by the BMI standard. Consider Cedrick Pauquette, who at 6’1” and 198 pounds comes in with a BMI of 26.1. Does he look overweight to you?



The truth is this: Health care is not an unlimited resource. In some way, it MUST be rationed. In a free market system, this is done with supply and demand. In the UK, this is being done by a faceless group of bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies. Either way, there will be people who will get care because of who they know or how much money they have. 
For example, Liam Fox 


and Eric Pickles 




are both Members of Parliament. Do you really think that they will not have access to healthcare? 

Don’t let anyone tell you that it is better to have government healthcare. In any system, some will have to do without. Don’t think that some people having access because of money or privilege will change of the government is put in charge. The only thing that will change is that, once the government is in charge, they will take your freedom by holding you hostage under penalty of losing your healthcare. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Recertification course

Spending the day taking some courses. Two of them: The first being Basic Life Support, which is a CPR class for healthcare providers. I am also taking Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which is (as the name implies) the more advanced version. I offer this video as a primer on how to perform CPR:




Even though it isn't as technically accurate as the film for the course, it is certainly not as dry.

What happens when a cop is a burglar?

A Palm Beach cop is caught burglarizing a home. Evidence found in his possession indicates that this was not his first burglary. Florida has a castle law. What happens when you shoot a burglar who is armed with at least one handgun, but turns out to be a cop? 

The law says that you can't use force in a few cases, but here is the part about cops:

(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer. (emphasis added)

It would seem that the emphasized text above would have you in the clear, but this would certainly be a muddy case. 


Friday, October 27, 2017

Best and Brightest

Florida, in a bid to attract the "Best and Brightest" began a campaign a few years ago where they want to attract intelligent people to the teaching profession. If you meet the criteria, the state gives you a check for $7,000-10,000. The rules are simple:

- must be a classroom teacher

- The person has to have scored in the 80th percentile on the SAT or ACT, AND

- Has to have an evaluation of "Highly Effective" or
- Has to be a first year employee of the school district and not yet received an evaluation.

Since I am new to this district, and state law requires that 50% or more of teacher evaluations include "student growth" as measured by their improvement in standardized testing, and my student growth for last year can't be measured because they weren't mine for most of the school year, I am eligible for the money.

Except that the school is denying it, saying that since they couldn't evaluate my effectiveness through testing my students, I had a choice: they could simply assign to me the average growth of all students in the school, or they could use the English tests of my students. Either way, this would not result in enough student growth for me to be eligible to receive the incentive. They tried to cushion the blow by telling me that they are giving me a $250 a year raise next fall.

I have been a teacher for over three years. During my first year, a Vice-principal threw me under the bus with a parent, and lied about me to make himself look better. He and the principal got fired at the end of the year.

During my second year, a student with a rich, well connected attorney for a father was upset that she got a C on one of my Chemistry tests. The father called the school, and the Principal began investigating me. He spent a week questioning my students. He put a hidden recording device in my classroom.  The principal told me that out of the 50 students they questioned, all but three of them had positive things to say. He went on to claim that this was probably due to the fact that the students were afraid of retribution. I then said "So when a student complains about not liking my class, they are being accurate and truthful, but when they are happy with my class, they must be lying?" Three days later, the Principal called me into his office, and they fired me without cause, which is legal in Florida. Even for teachers with an annual contract. I got another job in less than two weeks. Six weeks after I left, my students had high passing rates for the state exam- 76%. The state average is 64%.

During my third year, I was told by my new Principal to confiscate a student's cell phone for texting in class, send that phone to the office, and tell him to come get it from the Vice-Principal. I did so. The student came into my class during lunch and physically attacked me in an attempt to get his phone back. The school did not support me. I spent two months on modified assignment before resigning. After I quit, the school contacted the state Department of Education to have me investigated. They also insinuated that I was, as a male, making inappropriate sexual comments to female students. After nearly a year of investigating, during which the state sent an investigator to the school to interview 20 of my students, I was cleared of any wrongdoing. In total, my legal fees were more than $4,000. The student who attacked me is going to college on a football scholarship.

Now in my fourth year, this latest outrage is costing me at least $7,000. I have finally had enough. It wasn't about the money. After all, if money was all I cared about, I would have stayed in the medical field.

I pointed out to my wife that I can go back to the medical profession, where a local hospital is hiring people with my qualifications for 75% more than I make as a teacher, but it will mean night shift and no more summers off.  I would be working three 12 hour shifts a week. She has agreed that I should begin looking to go back into the medical field after the first of the year. Luckily, my medical licenses are still active, I just have to take a couple of refresher courses. I will be taking them this weekend. .

I am done. The education system is broken beyond repair, and teachers are not valued employees. I hope to be out of there before spring. This is why the average teacher lasts less than five years in Florida: no money, no respect, and knowing that the entire system is failing.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lost my guns

"You're here to confiscate my guns, officer? Sorry, I lost them all in an incident involving strippers. Don't ask, the wife is still pissed off about it."

Armed in a nonpermissive environment: Sea World edition

I detest security theater. The security measures that have been put in place at various public venues have not done a thing to actually make us safer, and actually make us less safe. All these measures have done is make people FEEL safe, while providing no real safety. There is a lot of crime on the property of the theme parks, even being perpetrated by the very employees of the parks themselves, and not just a few times, either.

A few years ago, I took a class on terrorism at a local college in pursuit of my degree in Public Safety. One of the things that I did for the class was plan a terrorist attack on a soft target in the area, and then see what steps should have been taken to prevent it. As a result, I saw that the security at these locations was there only for show. I continued to check other locations and saw how flimsy the security was, and used some of these checks as the basis for a post or two.

These parks are all what is called a "non permissive" environment for people with concealed weapons. That is, no one is permitted to have weapons on property, but this is only a corporate policy, not the law. It is perfectly legal to have a concealed weapon on your person, but if you are caught with one, they will ask you to leave. As far as I know, this includes police officers who are not on duty. To enforce this policy, security has a mandatory bag inspection and randomly runs those entering through a magnetometer. For some events, ALL persons entering are required to pass through the magnetometer.

The latest theme park to be tested is Sea World. This park announced that they are tightening security, with multiple police officers working off duty, in uniform, as Sea World screeners. Supposedly, all guests entering the park must pass through magnetometers. It seems like it would be difficult for a terrorist, deranged criminal, or other person with ill intent to get into the park. I decided to try.

It turned out to be trivially easy. I signed up to dine at SeaWorld's "Dine with Sharks" restaurant. We were told to meet the employees at a side entrance of the park, where we had our bags checked before boarding a shuttle bus. Since I didn't have a bag, I got right on the bus while carrying a Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm with a spare magazine, and a can of pepper spray.

The bus drove through a back gate, where we were released into the theme park itself in order to eat dinner and then explore the park. We didn't have to circumvent security, the theme park's employees did it for us.

Even though a man with a gun entered the park, nothing happened.

Keep this in mind:

1 I did not enter in violation of the law. When I enter places armed, understand that I am not breaking the law. I have a concealed weapons permit, and although the company may not like the fact that I am armed, it is completely legal.

2 I am not interesting in debating the basis for concealed carry. One of the biggest comments I hear is how you don't need a gun at Disney or anywhere else, unless you are in a "bad" neighborhood. I think this is a rather na├»ve position to take, but if you don't think you need to carry, then don't. Just don't try and stop me for choosing to carry. I would, however point out that theme parks are a dangerous place, with even Federal law enforcement officers being kidnapped and carjacked there. Sometimes it is the Disney security guards themselves committing the crimes. Even the terrorist who was the shooter in Orlando had scouted Disney as a possible target. 

3 I also do not want to debate the morality of carrying against a property owner's wishes. I don't care what his wishes are. I don't owe him a thing, and I am free to ignore his wishes as I please, as long as I am following the law. 

Think of the above rules, and consider this:

A criminal or terrorist will bring a weapon in to these places, and doesn't care about the law, the owner's wishes, or whether or not concealed carry is a good idea. If I can legally sneak a weapon into these places, a criminal or terrorist could also do so illegally with the intent of killing, robbing, or kidnapping you. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Right of the People to alter or abolish it

People want to be able to live their lives by the rules they set for themselves. That is universal.

The second thing that many people want is to be able to force others to live by rules that they themselves set for those others. Those many who would force others to live by those rules do so through strength. That strength can be obtained through physical toughness: the weak are overpowered by those who are larger, faster, or can lift heavier things. It can be obtained through force of numbers: the many overpower the few.

We establish governments to support both of those goals. A limited government can support the goal of freedom. The danger is that the government with enough power to allow one group to overpower the other, and force rules on others, has enough power to take everyone's freedom, leaving all citizens at the mercy of the governing power at the helm.

The founders wrote about this (emphasis added):

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.
When we established the government, the intent was to restrict its powers, so that the second goal of using it to control others was impossible. When that fails, people will want to part ways with that government. Just as the citizens of Catalonia are doing, or at least trying to do. Their government is responding the way that governments always try to do. They are using force and clamping down.

This is going to be instructive.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mags and stuff for sale

I have a few magazines and parts for some firearms that I no longer own, and I wish to sell.

I have 13 magazines that fit G3 pattern rifles, such as the H&K91, or the PTR91. They are missing some bluing on the edges, but work fine. $2 each.

I have a 40 round steel AK pattern magazine. Like new $10.

Also, 3 Glock 19 magazines, factory. Like new. $20 each.

I will sell all of the magazines as a lot for $85.

I also have a stainless steel extended, threaded match grade barrel for a Glock 19. It has had less than 200 rounds through it. Storm Lake manufacture, 1/2"  28 threads for suppressor. With thread protector. It is 4.75" long. I am selling this barrel for $170. 

All prices are plus shipping. Let me know where you are, and I will quote you a price for shipping. I will not ship to places where I know they are illegal to possess, such as NY, MD, MA, HI, NJ, CA, CO, or CT. I will also not ship to IL. Also, I make as much effort as I can to weed out prohibited areas, but you are responsible to ensure that the items are legal to own in your area.

If you are interested, let me know in comments and make an offer.

Stupidity on TV

My wife was watching a show called "Chicago Fire" where some people, including an off duty paramedic, were trapped in a building collapse of a parking garage. One of the vehicles had a CB radio in it. The trapped people were listening to the CB, and heard the rescuers on their radios outside saying they were pulling back.

This is stupid. CB radios operate in the 11 meter band, meaning that the wavelength is about 11 meters. That makes the frequency near 27 mHz. This band is exclusively used for CB radios. The signal is an AM analog signal.

Public safety radios are allocated different bands. Chicago is operating in the 460 mHz band, and they are using FM digital signals. There are some channels in Chicago that are analog, but they are still in the 460 mHz band.

This requires different radios, different antennas, and the two are nowhere near compatible.

In short, there is NO WAY that an AM CB radio in the 27mHz band can receive an FM digital signal in the 460 mHz band. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

K9 cops

For years, police have arrested anyone who harms a police K9, claiming that the dogs are defacto police dogs. There is a Federal law that makes it a felony to harm police dogs.  I have long said that, if it is a crime for a private citizen to harm a dog, then police officers should also face charges if, through negligence or deliberate action, they bring harm to a police dog.

Well, a police officer left his K9 in a police car outside of the courthouse for hours. The dog died, and the cop is facing criminal charges. He is trying to get them dismissed. I think he should face charges and pay the price.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FEMA makes no sense

After the hurricane passed, many of the people in my area filed for disaster assistance. Two weeks later, many of them received checks for $800 or more. No inspections, no questions asked. I asked them, and the ones who got the cash said that they had no damage to their homes, and told FEMA so. They got a check anyway. All I got was an inspector who came to my house, and a denial letter saying that we didn't have enough damage to receive anything.

The inspector told us that the $800 was only given away during the first two weeks, and now that the disaster was more than a  month ago, that money was no longer available. The thing is, we applied just a week after the storm, and were told we had to wait for an inspection.

The government makes no sense at all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Errors in testing

So a man who was arrested for possession of Methamphetamines, after two field test kits said that white flakes found on his floorboard were drugs, sues the city of Orlando after the state crime lab certifies that they were actually the frosting from a glazed donut and wins $37,500.

The problem here is that the cops use their own pocket knives to put the sample into the test kit. The knives are contaminated with drugs from previous tests. So the test turns out positive.

Cops should have to report when they screw up arrests like this, so a person arrested is able to bring up the cops error rate in court. Drug dogs, too. When the police department makes a mistake like this, at least part of the money should come from the cop's pocket.

Back to business

Just a week ago, I posted that the casinos in Las Vegas would not be able to search everyone entering the casino. It turns out that I was right:

In the days after the shooting, visitors found marked police SUVs parked outside their hotels along the Strip. Security employees of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore casino-resorts used hand-held metal detectors to check bags. Guards asked some visitors to pop their trunks.
But those measures have since been scaled back. A tour of several major resorts found no apparent new security measures other than guards checking room keys at Mandalay Bay.
With more than 20,000 people a day entering these mega-casinos, it would be a logistical nightmare to search all of them. Not to mention the fiscal cost and the inconvenience. Remember that people go to Vegas to leave their cares at home, and the goal of the casino is to have people carefree and gambling. You can't do that if it feels like you are in a prison. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2 gun limit

Slate has gone full retard. They published an article on October 13th that forwards the idea that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, but since it doesn't specify which arms or how many, the people should be limited to two guns each: a pistol, and a shotgun. That's it- two guns per person, unless you apply for a license to own more and show a need to own those extra weapons. The license, according to Slate, will cost $200 and will list the serial numbers and descriptions of the guns owned.

The author is a former staffer at the Brady Campaign. He goes full retard here:
First, the Constitution and its text are a starting point, not an end point, for determining what gun regulations federal, state, and local governments may pass.
In support of this argument, the reporter admits that there is no right to gay marriage, and in this he exposes one of the fundamental flaws in his argument: the Constitution isn't now, and was never intended to be, a list of the rights of the people. The document is a list of the powers that were granted to the Federal government. Nowhere in that document is the power granted to regulate marriage, nor arms. Of course there are other, more obvious flaws.

One obvious one is, if the Second not mentioning the number of guns a person may own allows the government to arbitrarily limit the number of arms, then the same reasoning could be used to limit the number of books one may own, or the number of articles that may be written by a reporter. Of course, the comments to the article address this:

I originally spent over an hour refuting the rest of this idiotic article, but I tired of it. I am not going to change their minds. They also published this drivel. Don't let anyone tell you that no one is trying to take your guns.

I am tired of arguing. So here is my new answer:  I own guns because fuck you. If you think you have the votes and the ability to deal with the civil war that will follow, then go ahead and ban them.

Pass the law, and then order the cops to go door to door and take them. Your plan, aside from being based upon a flawed legal analysis, violates not only the Second Amendment, but the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth.

Even so, if the law you proposed were passed, there are practical considerations: How are you going to know when a person already owns two guns? Registration? Who will manage this? How will you pay for it? Have you considered what will happen when people refuse to obey? Or simply make their own? I can make an AR15 from scratch with hand tools. As long as they are illegal, I may as well make them with a happy switch. All of the felonies after the first are free. How will you prevent that?

What happens to all of the cops who kick in doors? Are you prepared to deal with hundreds of dead cops and the martial law that will inevitably follow? Really? Keep in mind that the same people who want to restrict guns to everyone but the military and the police are the same people who despise the police and military. This is a win for them- they get to watch groups of people they hate annihilate each other, while they sit safe- or so they thing- in their ivory towers observing their intellectual inferiors. Or so they think.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Everyone is suddenly a firearms expert

I ran across this post where a guy is claiming that the shooter in Vegas knew nothing about guns because guns are hard to shoot, and courts can't issue secret gag orders.

Here is my open letter as a reply:
There are plenty of courts that issue sealed orders, beginning with the FISA court. Even regular courts routinely issue gag orders that are sealed. I myself have been involved with a court case that involves a gag order, and that order has been in effect and sealed for nearly five years.

Bump stocks affect accuracy because it is impossible to hold the weapon on target with high precision while the thing is bouncing back and forth in the stock. The distance isn't that great, according to Google maps, it is only 280 yards from the hotel to the stage. It is 400 yards to the center of the concert area. My ballistics table says that you only have about a 25 inch drop at that range, and a 55 grain bullet still has more than 300 foot pounds of energy at 400 yards.

The guy is full of crap when he talks about the shooting distance being the hypotenuse. The bullet only sees the horizontal component of the distance when computing drop, but sees the flight distance (hypotenuse) when computing energy. Even so, the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by a 32 story hotel and a 400 yard horizontal distance is only 414 yards. That really doesn't matter a whole lot to energy.

As to accuracy: At 400 yards, one minute of angle is equal to approximately 4.18 inches. This means that the concert venue at 500 feet wide, being 400 yards away, is more than 1400 minutes of angle wide. The shooter wasn't trying to hit individual people, which I admit would take quite a bit of skill. Instead, he was shooting into an area the size of two football fields, and hoping to hit any of the 22,000 people who were densely packed into that area. This would be the equivalent of shooting at a standard highway billboard (which is 48 feet wide) at a distance of about 100 yards. NOT a difficult shot. Stevie Wonder could make a shot like that.

Only about 200 of the injuries/deaths were due to GSW. The rest of the injuries were due to being trampled or otherwise injured while taking cover. There were 22,000 people in the venue, and he hit less than 1% of them- meaning he missed more than 99% of the time.

I don't know why I am getting sucked into these discussions.

Incompetence, deliberate, or something else?

With regards to the Vegas shooting, there are many theories. Some are outrageous, some buying the official version, some make more sense than others. Everyone seems to have their own theory. Why there are so many theories is obvious: the official investigation is being publicly and obviously bungled.

The Las Vegas metro police cannot even establish basic facts. When did the shooter (I won't use his name) check in to the hotel? Was it the 28th? Or was it the 25th? Don't the police department, the FBI, and all of the other agencies involved have the ability to check the hotel register?  This seems rather basic to me.

They cannot even establish a timeline. When was the security guard shot? Six minutes before the crowd was fired upon? Immediately before the crowd was fired upon? After? When was 911 called? As a former emergency worker who was involved in hundreds of criminal and internal investigations, I can tell you that ALL radio traffic and 911 calls are recorded and time stamped. Why can't the cops reliably establish a timeline of something that their own systems record and time stamp?

Even though there are several receipts from room service showing that there were two people in the room, there has been no explanation of who the two are.There are reports that there was a phone charger that could not be matched to any of the shooter's devices, then the next day, the cops say "nevermind, we figured it out." Matching phones to chargers: a skill that any average American middle school student has mastered, seemingly can't be handled by the FBI or a major metropolitan police department.

While his car was out of the garage, his room was opened with the key. The police and FBI have not even tried to explain this one away. More incompetence? Cover up? Who  knows?

Instead of explaining all of this, the FBI's official line is that there was not a second person. Since the FBI can't figure out who the person was, there must not be one, and if there is not a second person, then the shooter was obviously faking the existence of the second person. Case solved. This is the height of incompetence and arrogance. The FBI is essentially saying "If we don't know it, it must not exist."

It is a fact that no one can count cards or cheat in a Vegas casino, yet the shooter- a man who is 6 foot four, was not seen on camera entering or leaving the place even once. To haul nearly a thousand pounds of firearms and ammunition into the room would have taken several trips, even using a luggage cart.

The security guard who was shot: Where is he? Why did he disappear? Why isn't there a security guard licensed in Nevada by that name? Was he registered under a fake name? Or is his legal name different than the name that people use? After all, I used to have people call me by my middle name, and maybe that is the case here. Even so, why did he disappear?

A reporter trying to get answers to these questions has had her press credentials taken away, and is now prohibited from attending LVMP press conferences. She was also chased away from the home of the missing security guard by an armed man who claims to work for On Scene security. On Scene security doesn't have an active license to operate in the state of Nevada. Their license expired in January, and the corporate address is a company that provides virtual office space.

There are so many problems and inconsistencies with the investigation that it is no wonder that people are creating their own theories to fill the void. Nothing about this makes sense. There are a few old sayings that come to mind: "Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence."

At the same time, there is Occam's razor, which essentially says that when presented with multiple theories about a phenomenon, the one which requires the fewest assumptions (the simplest) is usually the correct one.

In this case, we are asked to choose between two explanations:
1 That a man who has no public persona, no political opinion, no history of mental illness, was a person who made more than $5 million a year but can't fully explain where it came from, somehow managed to spend months or even years plotting to commit one of the largest mass murders in US history without leaving a trail for investigators to follow, and without alerting any of his family and close friends that anything was amiss, and without anyone figuring out that he was a "gun nut." No one has EVER been able to do this.

Then, after all of that, when the FBI, the local cops, the ATF, and every other police agency you can think of begin to investigate the shooting, they handle the investigation with so much incompetence, that they can't even establish who was in the room, or when he even checked into the room. This is the same FBI that arrested Tim McVeigh less than an hour after the Oklahoma City bombing.

2 That we are all getting played. The FBI and police know more than they are letting on, and are covering up key facts in this crime. The question is: Why? Who is playing us? The shooter? The cops and FBI? Or someone else? and to what end? This explanation creates more questions than answers.

This is fertile ground for conspiracy theorists.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Valid Question

If the shooter in Vegas was shot at 9:59 and called it in, then the shooter was firing on the crowd until 10:15, then why did it take LVMPD dispatchers until 10:25 to declare that there was an active shooter, and why did police wait until 11:20 to enter his room?

How many people bled to death while waiting for help that wouldn't come in time? Nearly an hour and a half passed before police entered that room.

Gun ownership: because when you need help, police are only an hour and a half away...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I support the NAACP

The NAACP says that the owner of the Dallas Cowboys is violating the Constitutional Rights of his employees by not allowing them to protest while they are on the clock. So is the NAACP saying that an employer may not violate the Constitutional Rights of their employees while they are at work? I want to see the result of THAT court case, so I can finally begin carrying guns at my workplace without having to worry about my 2A rights being violated...


(This is satire)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Disney: Guns only for the rich

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, said this week that we should be outraged by the Las Vegas shooting, and should be discussing gun control.

On the same page is a link to a story where Disney's government arm, Reedy Creek Improvement District, has budgeted $13.7 million to hire off duty deputies at $40 per hour to work at the park. I guess when you have millions to hire gunslingers to guard you and your business,  you can be for gun control, knowing that the laws will never apply to your hired guns. According to Disney, guns are only for the rich, because fuck the poor.

Lying liars that lie

So Steve Wynn was interviewed on 60 minutes about guns in his hotels and had this to say:

WALLACE: So, given all of that, and I know that you had a hidden metal detectors and you had profilers in your casinos, watching the people walking in and out, would any of those measures have prevented Steven Paddock from checking in to one of your hotels?
WYNN: Well, I know that my friends at MGM are particularly fastidious about trying to protect their employees and their guests. Having said that, there are couple of things in retrospect and it's always good to look over your shoulder on these things. But we have a routine with housekeeping, with room service, with audio visual, who anybody that goes in the room to do an inspection.
We also have rules about do not disturb. If a room goes on do not disturb for more than 12 hours, we investigate. We constantly -- we don't allow guns in this building unless they're being carried by our employees and there's a lot of them. But if anybody's got a gun and we find them continually, we eject them from the hotel.


He then goes on to claim that a person with a "Do Not Disturb" sign on a room for several days would trigger an investigation. I call BULLSHIT. First, are we to expect that a man who was known to gamble $100,000 an hour in a casino, who was a high roller, and a millionaire would be subjected to his room being summarily searched because of a "Do Not Disturb" sign?

Hidden metal detectors? What are you going to do when every person who goes through it sets it off because of their cell phones or keys?

I seriously doubt that the casinos in Vegas are going to search every person who attempts to enter or leave, and search the luggage of every guest. That just isn't a viable, long term solution. People would simply stop going to Vegas. Like he said, there are 15,000 to 20,000 people a day entering those casinos. It simply isn't practical to search each and every one of them.

What about the SHOT show? Are you going to tell them that they are no longer welcome?

Second: In June, I stayed in Las Vegas for a week. I spent two nights in the Freemont Street area, and 5 nights at New York, New York. During our stay, we walked into nearly every casino on the Las Vegas strip, including the Wynn. Since my Florida CCW is covered by reciprocity, I was able to legally carry in Las Vegas, and I carried all over that town. Including in the Wynn resort.

Not once was I approached by police, security, or anyone else.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Inconsistencies

There are a number of things that just don't make sense to me about the Las Vegas shooter. I'm not the only one. Now, I am not by any means saying that there was any sort of conspiracy, but there is a lot here that makes no sense to me.

First, there are the statistical anomalies: A 64 year old millionaire with a graduate level education, no political affiliations, no social media presence, and no history of mental illness just doesn't fit the profile. I read an article with quotes from a former FBI profiler who is just as stumped.

Then there are the other anomalies:

The note left behind turns out to have included hand-written calculations about where he needed to aim to maximize his accuracy and kill as many people as possible. To me, this seems to indicate one of two things: either a ballistics table, or a range card. Either of those would indicate a level of knowledge that is higher than the average shooter, not just the average American. A range card is used as a guide for soldiers, particularly ones who are going to be using a weapon to cover an area with fire, as opposed to using a weapon to engage point targets. Below is a range card, right out of the Army field training manual:



In other words, he was planning on using his automatic weapon to place fire into a "beaten zone" to fire into a crowd, where hits on specific people don't matter. All that mattered was putting fire into the zone, and count on the law of averages to get hits on individuals. Again, this would indicate a level of training and knowledge that is beyond what most people would know. Since this man is not alleged to have had any military training, where did he get the training?

Then there is the large amounts of cash he had. He paid cash for a house, gambled upwards of a million dollars a year, and there is a report that he won $5 million in 2015 by playing video poker in casinos. I am a bit of a gambler myself. I am not a high roller, but I do gamble enough to get limited comps, like the occasional hotel stay or cruise. Let me say this: The games are not predictable over the long term for people to pull those kinds of winnings out over the long term. Sure, there are people who hit the VERY rare large jackpot, but casinos use those large winnings as loss leaders to entice gamblers. People do not win over the long term, or everyone with some math skill would be in there making millions, and the casinos would go out of business. A more likely story is that he was using the casinos to launder money from some sort of illegal enterprise. Gambling is a great way to hide the source of illegal money.

Who pays cash for a house? Even millionaires don't travel around with a briefcase full of cash. They would pay with a cashier's check or bank transfer.

There are other anomalies pointed out here, and this is where things begin sounding like a badly written conspiracy theory novel:

He is a licensed pilot who let his medical certificates expire, but who still owned 2 aircraft. One of Paddock's airplanes, tail number N5343M, was an SR-20, in production since 1999, and retails for $390K.
It's now registered to Volant Associates, LLC (you should check out their website, and read the "Careers" page, to see if you get a whiff of Christians In Action as strongly as I did). The tail number is active, yet apparently, the plane has recorded not a single registered flight in the last three years.

Now the interesting part, if you go to faa.gov and put the same tail number into their search engine N5343M, you will find that the FAA says the n-number is inactive, and the last registration was a C152 (different aircraft) to some guy in San Diego CA. And no mention of the current registration by Volant LLC, or Mr Paddock. The FAA database is updated every business day at midnight. So, it looks like someone ether scrubbed the FAA database and forgot or didn't know that flightaware posted the same info.

(Pssst! Say, just wondering, who can double-register tail numbers, and make flight records go away? Asking for a friend.)

These anomalies beg for Internet detectives to spin yarns. What scares me is knowing that people are capable of doing stuff like this to advance an agenda- after all, the Obama administration came up with Fast and Furious. I'm not saying that there was a conspiracy here, all I am saying is that it isn't impossible.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

From London

Here is a picture of London police not carrying guns:





So is this attack going to result in demands for car control?

Friday, October 6, 2017

This week's lessons

The Democrats have come out dancing in the blood of victims of a shooting, as they always do, demanding more laws that wouldn't have dine a thing to prevent this shooting. However, there were some important things learned here:

There were many on the anti gun side who want to completely eliminate the Second Amendment and outlaw guns. Let's say that the plan comes true, the 2A is repealed, and a statute making guns illegal is passed: "Ladies and gentlemen, turn them all in. Here is a gift card for some sneakers."

There are at minimum, 400 million firearms in the US, likely held by at least 100 million people. Let's say that you get 99.9% of them, which would be a miracle, since Canada and Connecticut didn't get even 50% compliance the guns they wanted registered. That would leave 400 thousand firearms and 100 thousand gun owners.

Someone will have to go out and get those missing guns. That means door to door cops kicking in doors. Many of these gun owners would not be happy about this, and this will result in a significant number of cops getting killed. The end result is that the military will wind up going door to door, and gun owners will have to turn them in, go into hiding, or fight. 

One guy just committed a shooting that police admit they had no way of stopping. He was killed, but managed to kill 58 people in the process. Imagine the bloodbath if even 10% of these rogue gun owners did the same. When the dust settles, are the American people willing to see hundreds of thousands of deaths, military searches, and all of the fallout that would entail?


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Florida Assault Weapons Ban

Here come the politicians dancing in the blood of the Vegas victims to advance an agenda, as always. The proposed Florida law would make it illegal, as of July 1, 2018:
- to own nearly all semiautomatics.
- to own a magazine that holds more than 7 rounds
- a person who can prove that they owned such a weapon or magazine before October 1, 2017 can still own it, but must apply for a license for each such weapon or magazine. (No word on how much this will cost)
If a person doesn't have a license, they must sell it to a dealer, or turn it over to the police.
- the law also says that gun shows can only be held by or under the supervision of police
Violating this law will be a felony.


1 How is backdating the day to October 1 NOT ex post facto? 
2 Hopefully this will die in committee. 
3 Keep an eye on this one.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Don't just stand there, DO something!

This is one of the dumbest things that I have ever seen: A proposed law that makes it illegal to have rifles in a hotel room that faces a public venue, as if a spree killer would care about such a law.
While they are at it, they should pass laws against killing more than ten people without a permit, and then they could redefine Pi to 3.1, so math will be easier for people to learn.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Recovery phase

It's been nearly two weeks since we were hit with Hurricane Irma. One of my neighbors reported to me that he filed a claim with FEMA through disasterassistance.gov and received a disaster payment of over $800. I have seen many people claiming that people who want less government and want the government out of our lives are hypocrites for requesting government aid after a disaster. I don't agree. Yes, I am against big government, and I think that the only way for us to balance the budget and save our government is to cut spending. However, that has not happened, so even though I think the government spends too much, I am outvoted, and must pay the high taxes of a bloated government. Like Obamacare, I am forced to buy a product that I do not want. Since I am paying for it, I am going to get as much of what I have already paid for as I can.

Anyway, I filed the claim with FEMA, and told them I was without power for several days, and had damage to my home from wind driven rain and from water. I stated that the damage was minor. I got back a note saying that my home needed to be inspected to see how much I would receive, and I would need to file an insurance claim before I would receive any funds. My damage was largely not visible, and has already been repaired. Since the damage does not even fulfill my hurricane deductible, I did not file an insurance claim.

During the storm, we were without power for days. Since that time, our electrical power has been anything but reliable. There have been at least three major power outages in our area, with a two hour outage last night.

My home has been plagued with electrical issues, including tripping breakers, failing electronics, and other technology issues. 

One circuit kept tripping each morning at about 3 am and would successfully reset, only to trip again the next morning. the problem was this was the breaker for my garage door opener and some of my exterior security lighting. Not knowing whether or not you will be able to enter the home after being at work meant that we needed to keep backup keys for the front door with us. The breaker finally tripped and would not reset.

I went out and worked my way through the circuit, and found two issues: A light sensor had shattered, and the conductors were touching the metal of the conduit box, and there was another conduit box that was filled with water, probably wind driven rain water. I repaired both by draining the water, and eliminating the sensor from the circuit. I replaced the bulb in the light fixture with a smart LED bulb that now comes on at sunset, and is less likely to get damaged by weather. Cost: less than $50.

I have had at least one UPS simply decide to stop working. Sure, their job is to protect more expensive devices and they did their job, but it is still hurricane related damage. I also lost three IOT devices that were a part of my Smart Home system, as well as water damage to the buried coaxial cable that runs between the house and the dish. I imagine that some of this damage was due to the dozens of undervolt and overvolt power surges we have experienced in the past two weeks, and the rest by wind driven as well as ground water.

On top of that, we lost two trees and had damage to some other landscaping, and other outdoor damage. There was some minor roof damage, but that was repaired already because we made reservations with a repair company before the storm.

So when the FEMA inspector gets here, all of the damage will have been repaired. I didn't file an insurance claim because it wouldn't have met the deductible, but we will see. I know there were others who had worse than we did, but that was a result of not living in a flood prone area, not living in a mobile home, and preparing for the approaching storm. Hopefully, we can get a little cash for what damages we did have. To do otherwise would be yet another example of government rewarding people for poor decisions while requiring the responsible citizens to pay the tab.