Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Real spies look for virtual terrorists

In yet another sign that the Feds have too much money, the US intelligence (huh?) community is data mining online games such as World of Warcraft to try and catch terrorists who try and infiltrate the online world.

My best guess here is that some analyst at the CIA got caught playing video games, and he managed to convince the chain of command that he was hunting Bin Laden by looking for him in the online gaming community.

Monday, February 18, 2008

On rights and duties

I admit that posting has been light. A week long cruise to the Caribbean, two jobs, and a full time course load will tend to do that. Without further delay, here is the rant of the day:

On the campaign trail in Lewiston, Maine, Hillary Clinton made the following statement:

“I am the only candidate left in this race on either side who is committed to universal health care,” she said. “It is a core value, it is a human right. It is not a privilege.”

In order for something to be a right, it means that a person is entitled to it by merely existing. The right to be free from unreasonable searches, free speech, and others are rights which are due all people. Governments are established to ensure that no one tramples on the rights of others.

Calling health care a right means that a person gets health care whether or not they have the ability to pay for that care. That means that if a person cannot pay for the care that they receive, then one of two things has to happen: either the doctor (and other health care workers- everyone from the maker of the drug to the guy who mops the hospital floor) must work for free, or that people who work and pay taxes must have a portion of their pay taken from them in order to pay for it.

What I don't understand is how one man's right can create a duty upon another. The fact that the money stolen to pay for the health care is spread across a country is irrelevant. Let me use an example:

1 A man meets me as I leave my bank, and threatens me with death if I do not give him money. Is this morally wrong?
2 That same man, it turns out, is robbing me because he makes less than half of what I make. Does that make a difference?
3 That same man gets 5 neighbors who are in similar circumstances to assist him in robbing everyone who leaves my bank. Does that make it better?
4 Those 5 neighbors become a network of 5,000 people all across the state. Is it now OK for them to rob me, and others who make more money than them?
5 What if those 5,000 become a million?

What changed? nothing. Taking money from one person, simply to give to another, in order to correct some perceived inequality of outcome is robbery no matter what spin you put on it.

People in this country have gotten the idea that equality of opportunity means that the result should be equality of outcome, and if this does not happen it means that the successful have somehow cheated and should be punished. Ridiculous.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Brady Center to promote defenseless victims

I was reading Tam's gloating over Tennessee's score of 7 on the latest Brady scorecard, so I thought that I would go over there and see what my own state of Florida scored. California was the most gun banning state, with a score of 79 out of 100. We scored a respectable 8 out of 100, which makes us the 12th state in terms of gun owner freedom.

In 2006, California had a murder rate of 6.8 per 100,000. Florida had a murder rate of 6.27 per 100,000.

How are those gun laws working to prevent crime again?

While checking out the site, I saw and read a few of the articles on there. What a crock of total bullshit. This article advocates the prohibition of firearms on College campuses, because they don't want the students "caught in the crossfire." In Virginia Tech just last year, 32 students were killed when they weren't caught in the crossfire. No one was able to defend anyone, due to a law requiring that the students play the part of disarmed victims. The shooter owned the guns, despite being prohibited by law from owning them. He carried guns onto campus, despite it being illegal and against college rules. He committed murder, despite the laws against it.

How did those gun laws save lives again?

The same article goes on to state that "18 year olds could carry guns to class." That statement is a lie as well. It is illegal to brandish or open carry a firearm in Florida, except under certain circumstances like hunting, or shooting competitions, etc. Therefore, the only way to carry to class would be concealed, which requires a permit. to get this permit, you must be 21 years old.

I especially love this quote:

    Plus, college gun owners are more likely than the average student to:

    • Engage in binge drinking,
    • Need an alcoholic drink first thing in the morning,
    • Use cocaine or crack,
    • Be arrested for a DUI,
    • Vandalize property, and
    • Get in trouble with police.

Since crack, vandalizing property, DUI, and drinking under 21 are all illegal in the first place, what makes you think that a student will all of a sudden become a model citizen when gun laws are concerned? The ones willing to buy and sell crack already have guns, that is why we need something to defend ourselves with. The solution here is not to take away rights from law abiding citizens because other citizens break the law.

I could easily say that since the Brady campaign is headquartered in DC, and DC citizens are more likely to commit crimes than citizens of Tulsa, we should restrict their right to post this drivel on the internet.