Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Electronic Stone age

On Friday night, I broke one of my main computer rules: I turned off the system. It seems like anytime a computer breaks, it happens when you turn it off. That is exactly what happened. The computer that I built on January 10 decided to go dead after I turned it off on July 27.
Dead. The power button doesn't do anything. The power light is on, but that is the only indication of life. The power supply checks out fine, so a 6 month old EVGA motherboard is dead, the second to die like that this year. I don't think lightning is the cause, as I run the system over a WiFi internet connection, and it is powered with a UPS, which is working fine.
I ordered a new MoBo(an AsRock this time), and it will be here by Thursday. In the meantime, I am tryping this on an older system.
This computer is a Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM.
Slow is not the word. At least it is better than the old days, when I had a 4800 baud modem. At any rate, I am checking email on an iPhone, and since the system I have is so slow, no internet and no blogging until my system is back up. That should be Thursday night or Friday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fringe benefits (mildly NSFW)

One of the fringe benefits of being a firefighter- it is relatively easy to talk women into removing their clothes.


This is our current justice system:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shoot Straight

As a part of my ongoing email exchange with Shoot Straight, here is the latest reply that I got from the store:

Please excuse our lack of clarity on the point you raised. Shoot Straight certainly respects the right to lawfully conceal a firearm. As long as the firearm remains concealed, and is not exposed, our staff will not seek it. However, if a staff member sees a firearm, then they may check it to make sure that it is unloaded. The meaning of our door sign that says “concealed means concealed”, is that store patrons that choose to conceal their firearms must keep them concealed at all times throughout their stay – even while on the range. It is against Shoot Straight policy for a customer to unholster their concealed firearm, or draw from concealment on our ranges. We hope this more detailed explanation clarifies any remaining questions. However, please do not hesitate to contact us again if there should be anything else that you might need.
 My remaining question is this: If I enter the store with a lawful concealed weapon, and I want to shoot at the range, are they saying that I must unload it prior to entering the store? I am not sure how to take this.

This is for you

This post goes out to Robert Hewes, who said in comments to this post:
The only incident I can think of off-hand (where a CCW carrier thwarted a mass shooting) was the New Life Church shooting that was ended by a parishioner.
These incidents happen all of the time. They just don't make the news. A mass shooting that doesn't happen thanks to a CCW holder just isn't bloody enough to make the news.

For example, Aurora had another attempted spree shooting two weeks before the Batman shooting:

There is also this shooting, where an armed robber was herding the employees into the rear of the store, and was stopped when the manager shot him in the face. While we don't know that the robber intended to herd them into the back in order to massacre them, it is certainly probable.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Disarmed victims

In the last twenty years, there have been numerous mass shootings worldwide.

- July 22, 2011: Anders Behring Breivik kills 77 in Norway at a youth camp outside the capital. The self-styled anti-Muslim militant admitted both attacks.
This terrorist attack happened at a youth camp, where the child victims were sure to be unarmed.  Gun ownership is also strictly controlled.

- April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, kills 32 people and himself on Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.
This happened on a college campus where guns are banned, thus ensuring that the shooter would carry his crimes out in complete safety, as victims would not have the ability to fight back.
- April 28, 1996: Martin Bryant, 29, kills 35 people in the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia.
 Firearms were already strictly controlled in the country, but the killer illegally purchased his weapons without the required license. Due to licensing, his victims, vacation resort guests, were guaranteed to be unarmed and defenseless. Australia virtually outlawed guns in the wake of this incident.

- April 26, 2002: Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, who had been expelled from school in Erfurt, Germany, kills 13 teachers, two former classmates and policeman, before committing suicide.
This killing happened in a country where guns are strictly controlled, in a school where victims are guaranteed to be defenseless.

- Nov. 5, 2009: Thirteen soldiers and civilians were killed and more than two dozen wounded when a gunman walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, and opened fire. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
The incident happened on a military base, where in a seeming paradox, soldiers are disarmed and defenseless.

- March 13, 1996: Thomas Hamilton, 43, kills 16 kindergarten children and their teacher in elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and then kills himself.
Defenseless victims in a school.

- July 20, 2012: At least 12 people are killed and 58 are injured when a gunman enters an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, releases a canister of gas and then opens fire during opening night of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
 Cinemark theaters are posted as off limits to concealed carriers. 

- April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.
Another defenseless school where the teachers and students are disarmed by the law.

- June 18, 1990: James Edward Pough shoots people at random in a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office in Jacksonville, Fla., killing 10 and wounding four, before killing himself.
 GMAC has a "no weapons in the workplace policy" that ensures that the victims would be unarmed.

- Sept. 23, 2008: Matti Saari, 22, walks into a vocational college in Kauhajoki, Finland, and opens fire, killing 10 people and burning their bodies with firebombs before shooting himself fatally in the head.
Another school in another country that controls firearms. More disarmed victims.

Why don't we hear about mass killings where guns are not off limits? Is it the criminals picking places where killing is easy? Or have their attempted killing sprees been thwarted by an intended victim who was armed? Mass killings make national headlines, but a wanna be mass killer who gets his ticket to Valhalla punched by a person who is legally carrying a weapon don't. That is why I carry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Answer from the gun store

A week and a half ago, I was at the Apopka location of the Shoot Straight gun range. They wanted to inspect my firearms before I entered the range. They have a sign on the door that reads: "No loaded weapons allowed inside. (Concealed carriers welcome, but concealed means concealed.)"

When the employee was shown my carry weapon, he had a cow. I sent an email to the store, to see if he was correctly following policy. This is what I got in reply:

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. In answer to your question, it is our store policy to make sure that firearms are unloaded while in the store. We visually inspect firearms to ascertain whether or not they are well-maintained and in a safe working condition. We also check ammunition to make sure that reloads are not used, and/or that range users are not using birdshot (which is not allowed in our ranges). We work hard to make Shoot Straight ranges safe for all users, and inspecting range user’s firearms and ammunition is just one part of the many steps we take to provide a pleasant, healthy and safe environment. Thank you once again for taking the time to write to us, and please let us know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else with which we can help. 

 So, I am sending another email that reads:

Is it also policy to inspect lawfully carried concealed weapons? If so, it seems to me that the handling of a weapon always increases the chance of a negligent discharge, and therefore a weapon that remains holstered is much less likely to discharge than one that is being fumbled with. I assume that concealed weapons are not a part of the “no loaded weapons” policy you are alluding to, since the sign on the door says, “concealed means concealed.”
How can a gun store, a business that nominally supports gun rights, be as hypocritical as this. I can see not wanting people wandering around the store handling loaded weapons, but isn't asking CCW carriers to unholster INCREASING the risk of an ND?

Changes are coming

Reality. The reality is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, is here to stay. There is not any real chance of the Act being repealed, regardless of what the Republicans are saying on the campaign trail.

Even though many people are focused on the individual mandate, that is actually one of the least important changes in the Act. One portion that is going to change health care as we know it, is the provision that states if a person is treated at a hospital for the same illness more than once in a 30 day period, the provider doesn't get paid. This one provision is going to change health care as we know it.

You see, there are a lot of patients out there who are not compliant with the requirements of their disease. There is the patient with high blood pressure who won't take his medication, the COPD patient who won't stop smoking, the drug abuser who won't stop taking heroin. Any paramedic will tell you that this is going to really impact EMS like no other provision. We have frequent flyers who are sometimes transported 4 or 5 times a day. Reimbursement for EMS services and for ER visits already hovers at 40% as a nationwide average, and this threatens to make that number even worse.

This means that the delivery of acute care will be more costly than ever. Hospitals are already looking at ways to control these costs. In a lecture at the Florida EMS conference this past weekend, Dr Ray Fowler was the keynote speaker. As a member of the Eagles society, an organization of medical directors of the country's largest cities, he jokes that you cannot be a part of the eagle society unless the city whose services you direct is visible from space. During the speech, Dr Fowler stated that there is already an effort underway to redefine the role that prehospital providers play.

To minimize costs, there is going to be a need for paramedics to triage patients in the field, taking the truly sick patients to the ER, and taking minor complaints to walk in clinics, and to CHF management centers. Other times, paramedics will deliver care in the field and not transport the patient at all. Also gone will be the days when ambulances sit on the corner waiting for a call. Instead, between emergency calls, ambulance crews will conduct in home follow up visits on patients who have been recently discharged from the hospital, to ensure that they are compliant with medications.In short, there will be a larger push for preventative and maintenance care, and a shift away from emergency care.

The specific skills suggested for the APP above and beyond those encompassed by lower levels of care are:
 -Rapid sequence intubation (RSI)
- Surgical cricothyrotomy
- Central venous access
- Blood product administration
- Local anesthesia
- Anterior packing for epistaxis
- Dislocation reduction
- Trephination of nails
- Wound closure (sutures)
- Urinary catheterization
- Alternate disposition of patients (treat and street, or take them to places other than the ED)

In other words, APPs would gain some skill sets and training, while "regular" paramedics would lose others.

To those of you who have been in EMS any amount of time know that this is nothing new. Many of these proposed changes have been rumored for years, but have never come to fruition, mostly due to resistance from the nursing and physician communities. The difference is that now there is a real financial incentive for it to happen. If and when it does, the demand for paramedics will skyrocket.

Already in Texas, Minnesota, Colorado and  are beginning programs called "Community Paramedic" or "Advanced Practice Paramedic.(pdf alert)" The thought here is to provide a level of care that is sufficient for many routine and preventative care scenarios that enables $15 to $20 an hour paramedics to do jobs that are currently handled by expensive physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants- all of whom make $50 to $200 an hour.

I know that the agency that I worked for planned for this when the last fire station was built. There is an area of the building that is set up and designed to be a walk in clinic that will be staffed by paramedics. The prediction during the design phase of the structure was that this clinic would be a reality within the next ten years. Firefighter paramedics will staff the clinic 24 hours a day while not actually on emergency calls. 

Whether or not this will degrade care is still to be seen. The answer to that depends on how the program is done. There are a lot of lazy, incompetent medics out there, and if the selection, training, and hiring of these newly needed medics is not done well, it will be a disaster. On the other hand, done correctly, it would control costs and enable more advanced providers to spend more time on patients who are actually sick.

From the view of paramedics, this will greatly increase work loads of an already  hectic and busy EMS personnel, even as it eases the workload of hospitals. Medics will demand and receive more pay, and if not, there will be a mass exodus of good medics into other fields.

Interesting times.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shooting nonsense

Let me establish a bit of a knowledge base for you all. I spent six years in the military, as a part of a fire crew. We spent 20 or 30 hours a month "sucking rubber" in gas masks and breathing apparatus. I have also spent over twenty years since then working as a firefighter/paramedic. I also did HAZMAT and SWAT responses. I literally have spent thousands of hours in various gas masks and respirators.

I am an avid shooter and gun collector. Not as good as many, but I still shoot. A LOT. 

There are many that claim that the shooter in Aurora was virtually invincible, due to body armor and the tactical situation. I say otherwise. For starters, the vest he bought was NOT a ballistic vest. It was a tactical vest, and was bought online from a Missouri store. One of the things that surprises me is that the owner of a store that makes his living selling to the gun community would throw gunnies under the bus like he does:

We play a supporting role for law enforcement guys and military and we've been doing that for years and we're kind of proud of that role we play in supporting them," explains Andrew Hoefner, COO of Tacticalgear.com.  "I think if any additional scrutiny needs to be paid, it needs to be ammunition sourcing online and firearms and how those are purchased."

 Fuck you AND your store, you asshole.

Next, there is the issue of the shooter wearing a gas mask. This means that he had very limited peripheral vision. Anyone approaching him from the side or rear would have been unseen by him. Since he was shooting, his hearing would be diminished (as anyone who has ever fired a weapon indoors without hearing protection can tell you). The limited sense of hearing and sight would make him vulnerable, indeed.

No, what made this unwinnable was the fact that Cinemark theaters bans people with concealed weapons permits from the most effective means of self defense. This, combined with the fact that they couldn't be bothered to make sure the exit doors weren't propped open means that this theater should be sued off the planet. Of course, the courts will never let that happen. We can't let a silly thing like dead bodies interfere with corporate profits.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Patients are the people we will be

To all of you who work in the health care professions:
I know that we sometimes get caught up in ourselves, and with the call loads, large amounts pf paperwork, and drug seeking frequent flyers, we sometimes find ourselves becoming burned out and jaded. In some cases, we may even begin to resent our patients. This goes for my nursing friends as well. When you feel that happening, remember this story:

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All pictures, no thought

I know today's posts are all pictures, but that is because I have spent the last 5 days at the state EMS conference. Here is more food for thought:

The EMS food pyramid

A picture is worth...

As you look at this photo, I want you to remember that the person that wrote this check has to be over 18, which means that their vote counts just as much as yours does.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Defense free zones

Roger Ebert says that the recent shootings at the Cinemark Theater prove that concealed carry doesn't help prevent crime, because no one at the theater took out the shooter. That is a major disconnect with logic. That is like saying that a building that has a fire proves that fire extinguishers don't work. By that same logic, police don't prevent shootings either, so we should get rid of police.

Ebert also overlooks that Cinemark Theaters have had a long standing policy of posting their property as off limits to legal concealed carry since at least 2004. Here is an encounter that happened in 2009. Here is another that occured in 2004.

Here is a picture of the signs that are posted today. As of last month, the Cinemark closest to my house was posted as not allowing carry.

Signs demanding that guns not be brought into a store only guarantee that a killer will not be facing armed resistance. After all, if he is willing to commit murder, a sign isn't going to stop him.

BioLite stove

The BioLite camp stove appears to be a handy little piece of gear. This is a stove that has a heat powered, forced air fan that allows you to burn any twigs you find, and also provides enough electricity to charge small USB devices. I don't have on yet, but I am planning on buying one as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You aren't as good as you think

Ego. That is what you get when you get a room full of paramedics together. Needing CEUs, I was sitting in an advanced airway class today. During an in-class discussion, the subject of intubation came up, and I remarked that I often use airways like the King tube for intubation, because it allows a provider to manage the airway of a cardiac arrest victim without stopping chest compressions, and there is no worry about missed intubations. This increases survival rates.

A medic in the row in front of me said that he gets enough intubations that he isn't concerned about that, because he is confident in his abilities. He also told me that he performs RSI in his agency, and he feels like he is good enough that he doesn't usually bother to prepare a back up airway in the event that he cannot secure a tube. Later in the day, during a break, I asked him how many intubations he gets.
He replied, "Three or four."
I asked: "A month?"
He says, "No, a year."

How do you think that you are proficient in performing a very complex skill that takes 30 seconds, and that you perform once every three months? You are so confident that you will give a drug to a patient that makes it impossible for that patient to breathe on his own, without making sure that you have a back up plan in place, in the event that your primary attempt fails to secure the airway?

Later in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to intubate a METI man. (This is a computerized high fidelity mannikin that reacts to medical procedures like a human would.) This medic and his partner were given a scenario where the patient stopped breathing, and were expected to intubate the patient before he desaturated to the point where his heart began to malfunction.

They failed, because they spent over three minutes trying to intubate, and were not ventilating the patient. He blamed the other paramedic that he was partnered with for the failure.

Yesterday Shipping

This is pretty funny. This is where Amazon and their shipping policies will inevitably take us:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is what we want to emulate?

A man in the UK died while waiting for an ambulance, because the closest crew was on a government required lunch break. We are told that this is the health care system is the one that we want to emulate, but is this really what we want?
EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: "Our practice on meal breaks comply, as they must, with the national NHS Agenda for Change employee terms and conditions, which require staff to be given a 30-minute undisturbed break."
Andto those who think that EMS and fire, being public employees, should be treated like every other employee, remember that this is what you get when you want them to be like everybody else- when you need them, they might be out to lunch...

like everybody else.


All of the cool kids are doing it.

visited 23 states (46%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Like this? try: The Next President

visited 38 states (16.8%)
Create your own visited map of The World or jurisdische veraling duits?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I didn't think they existed

I actually met an honest to goodness communist. This guy was hard core. He was trying to tell me how the Soviets had found the perfect form of government. We had a discussion, and I kept it civil, mostly because I was fascinated at his grasp on alternate reality.

I pointed out the many flaws of communism, and he actually said to me that communism will work, it just hasn't because no one that is smart enough has tried it, yet. When I asked him how he would keep people working, once they realized that they got a share of the wealth, whether they worked or not, he said that people should work for the common good, not for personal gain. He said that those who refuse are traitors to the peole and should be imprisoned or killed.

Debt train

During the past year, the United States passed an important fiscal milestone that went largely unnoticed by the media. The United States now has a debt to GDP ratio of over 100%. That means that the sum off all goods and services produced in the United States in a year is not enough to pay off our debt. As of today, the debt stands at 105% of GDP. Here is the chart for the last 50 years:

Why is this significant? Greece has a debt that is 150% of GDP. The only time in US history when the debt was higher was at the end of World War II. Of course, once the war was over, we stopped spending and managed to pay down the debt. That was also before the US was taken off the gold standard in 1972, which allowed the government to create money out of thin air, and spend like, well, like they could print their way out of debt.

Look at the spending versus median household income income:

Historically, countries that exceed 90% GDP to debt cannot experience economic growth. It seems as if the US is past the tipping point. From here on out, the problems will escalate. Here is a campaign ad from the presidential campaign of 1992.


The good 'ol days, when the debt was less than what the government spends in a single year.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who says this is about justice?

The prosecution in the Zimmerman case has released statements from one of George Zimmerman's cousins, alleging that GZ inappropriately touched her. When they were 6 and 7 years old. She also alleges that the behavior continued until they were 16 and 17.

Why do events that transpired more than a decade ago have any bearing on this case? Our justice system has become a reality show, where people dial a 900 number to vote for the winner.

EDIT: Come on, people. Here is the money quote:

At one point — the interview isn't clear on timing — Zimmerman's mother said she didn't like President Barack Obama, the witness said.
"I said 'why not?' you know just thinking she was joking," Witness 9 told investigators. "And she said, 'Because he is black. I am a racist.' Just loud and proud."

This is absolutely ridiculous.

Currying favor from government

A post at Unc's today illustrates the point that I frequently try to make about business in the modern American age: Businesses are trying to gain market advantage, not by being competitive on service, products, and prices, but by getting the government to tilt the odds laws in their favor.

The sales tax is a way that businesses fund the services that local and state government provide. When I open a business in another state, I do not benefit from those services, therefore I do not pay the tax. (Before you argue about the roads that the goods are shipped on, those are paid for by taxes on the shipping company, a different entity)

So the local businesses were upset that they are at a advantage by having to pay a sales tax, forgetting that they have the advantage of the shipping fees, and the advantage of the customer instantly getting his stuff. The businesses sought to get the government involved, so that they could eliminate the Amazon advantage, thereby tilting the equation in their direction.

Amazon now has no reason to keep their shipping centers remotely located, since the reason that they were remote was to avoid the taxes. So now we have the brick and mortar stores making me drive to the store, offering poor service, and employees that know nothing about the products they sell,  in competition with Amazon, who allows me to buy the same stuff without leaving the house, and able to do it cheaper because of fewer locations and not having to pay the aforementioned stupid and rude sales staff, and using robots to ship your stuff.

So much for trying to use government to eliminate the competition.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shortages and breadlines

When I was a kid and the Soviet economy was crashing, I remember reading about bread lines- the Soviet people used to stand in line for hours to get a loaf of bread. Shortages were endemic, especially as the economy of that country got closer and closer to collapse. The most active part of the Soviet economy was the black market.

As our own economy falters and gets closer to collapse, we will see shortages get worse. Already, we are seeing significant shortages in medicine, and the ObamaCare changes haven't even taken effect, yet. Speed completion of your preparations. This is gonna hurt.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gun store inspecting firearms

I decided to go to the range today. I went to Shoot Straight in Apopka. They have an indoor range, and more importantly, they allow long guns, and since I needed to test some repairs that I had done to one of the ARs, we went there.

When we got there, I went to go pay the fee, and the employee behind the counter insisted that he inspect my firearms. Now, I have shot at this store and the sister store in Cassleberry perhaps 20 or thirty times. I have bought perhaps 15 firearms from that store over the last few years. Heck, I bought four firearms there so far this year alone. Not once have I had my firearms 'inspected' by an employee.

They have never asked this before, so I wanted to know why things had changed. He told me that they have always had this policy, and proceeded to lecture me about how they can inspect or search anyone who is on their property at any time. I told him that I wasn't looking for a lecture, I wanted to know what they were checking for. He ignored me. I still don't know why they were inspecting my guns.

This was rude, and will mean that I will likely never set foot in that store again. Congratulations guys, you just lost thousands of dollars in future sales.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is one man worth more than 3,000 people?

Years ago, before I became a paid fire medic, I was a volunteer, and I made my living in industrial automation. It was a tough life, and layoffs were common, because Florida doesn't have much industry to automate. One of the places that I worked was a certain theme park that was infested by a huge rat.

We, the employees, had a meeting once with management to discuss the future of the company. We were told that the company's vision was to have no permanent, full time employees. Replacing the full time workforce would save the company approximately $90 million in benefit costs each year. Later in the meeting, during the question and answer portion, of my coworkers pointed out that he had read an article that the CEO had been paid $270 million in salary, perks, and stock options the year before. He asked if it would be more prudent to let the 30,000 full time employees keep their benefits, pay the CEO $180 million, and the company would still save the same amount each year.

The management team told us that executive compensation was not up for discussion. My coworker pressed on: He asked how one man could be worth three times as much as every other employee combined. After all, he pointed out, if the CEO was on vacation for a week, no one would notice, but if the other 30,000 of us didn't show up for work for a week, the company would shut down.

He was disciplined for advocating a strike.

I think he had a valid question. The Disney CEO received nearly $53 million in salary and stock options last year. Disney's 58,000 other employees received $1 billion, meaning that the CEO was paid 3,075 times as much as the average employee. I can see paying a CEO more than the average employee, but how can you justify paying him more than 3,000 average employees COMBINED? You can't claim it is because he is such a great CEO, not when the company has shown a loss during four of the six years that the he has headed the company.

I think that the occupy movement has a legitimate beef, I just think that government intervention is not the answer.

Aftermath of a shooting, part three

This is the third part of a three part post. Part one is here. and Part two is here
When we got to the court, it turned out that the tests on my shotgun did indeed show that my shotgun had not been fired, nor had any other weapon that the police had taken that night. There was no evidence of GSR on my hands. However, the witnesses (teens in the car) all testified that they had seen me shooting.

Then, the attorneys asked the judge if they could have a recess, and it was granted. My attorney talked to the others, and then came over to me and said that the other side had offered to drop the charges against me, if we agreed to drop our charges against them. We agreed, and so did they. It all went away.

For weeks after that, gang members would sit outside of my house, watching us through binoculars. We called the cops daily. I still had no weapons, as mine had not yet been returned. They had plenty, I guess bought on the street. One day, my neighbor came over and told me he knew how to put a stop to the harassment.

He stood in my second floor bedroom, about 10 feet back from the window, looking back at the gangsters through the scope of his Remington 700. After a minute or two, the one with the binoculars did a double take, and they got in their car and left.

The harassment continued, and my wife did not want to stay home alone. We moved a few miles down the road.

Lessons learned:

- I should not have allowed the bat wielding teen to leave AND/OR
- Once I saw a weapon (the SKS) in the teen's hands in the car, I should have shot him. Letting either of them leave, taking with them the evidence to prove me correct, was a mistake.
- When the police arrive, keep quiet until you have an attorney there. There is not anything you can say that will help you that won't wait and help you after the attorney gets there. You can, however, say something stupid or make a minor mistake that will come back to haunt you later.
- When the cops get there, they will likely take all of your guns, not just the ones they think were involved.
- Lawyer up. Don't try to handle things yourself. There is an old saying: "A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge." I was amazed at how my attorney knew everyone, and at how he got things done that I couldn't. Well worth the money.
- The altercation took place in 1991. This country has decidedly gotten more self defense friendly as far as the law and local prosecutors are concerned. People in the 1980s and 1990s used to get routinely charged for murder in situations that people now walk free and clear in. In Florida and maybe other states you are now even protected from civil lawsuits after cleared in a self-defense shooting. That was unheard of until recently. Different time and different laws. This is why stand your ground is so important.
- This time period was during the early part of the anti-gun movement's heyday. Remember that.
- Even CCW laws are better now. This was back in the time when concealed weapons permits were nearly impossible to get. I will freely admit that I was committing a first degree misdemeanor by carrying a weapon without a permit for several years before I was able to get one.
-  Gangs used to be given more freedom to operate. If a situation like I described happened where I live now, it would result in an army of LEOs responding, and the gang members would be dealt with ruthlessly. In the 1980s and 1990s, I can remember drive-by shootings where 1 or 2 officers would show up and they wouldn't even bother looking for the shooters.
- This incident is why I have sympathy for George Zimmerman. I have been where he is now, except my incident was not a political football being used to advance political ambitions and agendas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sounds about right

Brock Townsend posted this over at Borepatch's place, and I thought that it applied to what we see in America today. Tell me what you think:

When certain sovereign and independent states form a union with limited powers for some general purpose, and any one or more of them, in the progress of time, suffer unjust and oppressive grievances for which there is no redress but in a withdrawal from the association, is such withdrawal an insurrection? If so, then of what advantage is a compact of union to states? Within the Union are oppressions and grievances; the attempt to go out brings war and subjugation. The ambitious and aggressive states obtain possession of the central authority which, having grown strong in the lapse of time, asserts its entire sovereignty over the states.

Whichever of them denies it and seeks to retire is declared to be guilty of insurrection, its citizens are stigmatized as "rebels", as if they revolted against a master, and a war of subjugation is begun. If this action is once tolerated, where will it end? Where is constitutional liberty? What strength is there in bills of rights-in limitation of power? What new hope for mankind is to be found in written constitutions, what remedy which did not exist under kings of emperors? If the doctrines thus announced by the government of the United States are conceded, then look through either end of the political telescope, and one sees only an empire, and the once famous Declaration of Independence trodden in the dust of as a "glittering generality," and the compact of the union denounced as a "flaunting lie".

Those who submit to such consequence without resistance are not worthy the liberties and rights to which they were born, and deserve to be made slaves. Such must be the verdict of mankind.

-Jefferson Davis' farewell speech to the United States Senate, January 21, 1861

Gun control success

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. That didn't help these two women and the EMT who was murdered trying to save them, but at least they weren't killed by a gun. This gun control success story just goes to show you that gun control DOES stop gun violence.

Aftermath of a shooting, part two

 This is part two of yesterday's post.

Just after midnight, two cars full of people pulled down my dead end street. The car closest to me had 4 teenagers inside. It was later determined that this car contained one female and three males. They were all known gang members with lengthy arrest records for various offenses, including drug offenses and weapons charges. One of them had been arrested 22 times before his 17th birthday.

I didn't know any of this. All I knew was that a car load of people who had threatened violence was 10 feet from me, and the front seat passenger had what appeared to be a long gun in his hand. (It turned out to be an SKS- at the time, one could be bought for $95) I ran to the car and stuck my shotgun into the window of the car. I said something along the lines of "If anyone moves, I will kill you."

It was at that moment that I heard a gun shot. I looked up in time to see the other car peeling away, and my neighbor lying on the ground. The car closest to me sped away. As they drove away, another neighbor (who HAD been drinking) ran out of his house and fired a shotgun at the car. (It was a 12 ga Mossberg 500 with a 3" magnum barrel, found at the scene by the police) I dragged my downed neighbor into my house to find my sobbing wife on the floor of the kitchen, talking to the police.

It turns out that my neighbor dove when he saw a handgun, and was not hit when the shot was fired.

They arrived less than 5 minutes later, but it seemed much longer. We told them our story. While we were doing so, the car came back. This time, the teens were all unarmed, and claimed that they were sitting at the light when I shot at them for no reason. They showed a pattern of holes in the driver's side door of their car.

I pointed out that the pellet count in their car was too high for my 2 3/4" shotgun, and that the incident could not have happened they way they said, because the bullet holes were on the wrong side of the car. The cops told me not to tell them how to do their job. I was photographed, and my guns taken. An SKS was found in the trunk of the teens' car, which the cops also took.

Three days later, I got a call from a detective with the VA Beach police. He said that he had a warrant for my arrest, and that if I came in that afternoon, he would get me released on my own recognizance. He said if he had to look for me, the bond would be high, considering the charges. I was stunned. I drove to the police station, where I was arrested for brandishing a firearm, discharging a firearm within city limits, discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, and aggravated battery.

I went to see the attorney that helped me get my CWL (he had been recommended by the NRA) and we went to the prosecutor's office and filed charges ourselves against the teens for aggravated battery (the cops refused to- they said that they had not seen them brandishing a weapon, and also stated that a bat is not a deadly weapon).

part three is here

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why don't they just print the money?

During a break, I was talking to some students about the country's economy, and I made the statement that our economic situation is unsustainable because we as a nation spend $2 for every $1 we get in taxes. The student asked me why the government needs to borrow, and why can't they just print the money.

I used this as an analogy:

Let's say that I give everyone in the country ten million dollars. Would that get rid of poverty? No. This is why: no one will go to work in the morning, because we are all rich. The problem is that no one will be there to make food, stock the stores, deliver goods, or staff the power plants and hospitals.

How can I buy food that I need to survive, if no one grows, delivers, or sells any? At that point, since there is a large supply of money, but a small supply of food, no one will sell me their sandwich for a dollar. After all, each person has ten million dollars, but only a couple of sandwiches.

At this point, the only way to talk someone into selling a sandwich would be to offer them $100,000 for a sandwich, because the supply of money is too large for the supply of sandwiches.

That is what the unrestricted printing of money causes inflation. The more money you insert into the economy, the more inflation you get. I think he gets it now.

They aren't stupid, they are just ignorant.

Aftermath of a shooting

In the summer of 1991, Virginia Beach, VA. I was involved in an incident in which shots were fired. I did not fire them, but witnesses identified me as the shooter. I am posting this story to illustrate what can and did happen.

I lived on the end of a dead end street near Newtown Road in Virginia Beach. My neighbors had gotten clearance from the city to close off the street and have a block party. There was a lot of beer drinking and BBQ. I had been out at the movies with my (then) wife. I had NOT been drinking, nor had my wife. We arrived home at about 10:00 pm, and found some of the neighbors still partying. The wife stayed out to talk to the neighbors, but the BBQ was all gone, so I went in the house to make a sandwich.

When I came back outside, I found her and my next door neighbor having a loud argument with a man I had never seen before. I walked over in time to hear the man threaten to strike my wife. I walked over and asked what the problem was. The man told me that he was going to beat up this "asshole and his cunt girlfriend." I said that I didn't know what the problem was, but that he should not refer to my wife that way, and that he needed to leave. I told him that I had already called the cops, and that if he left right away, I would forget what he looked like when the cops arrived.

He told me that if I didn't get out of the way, I was gonna get it, too. That was when I noticed that he was holding a baseball bat. Seeing a weapon immediately changed my mindset. I drew my weapon (at the time I carried a S&W 4506) and ordered him to drop the bat. Still holding the bat, he turned around and walked away, and told me he was a part of "The Bayside Arms Posse" and that he was going to come back and show me whose town this was.

We called the cops. 15 minutes later, they arrived, and assured me that they would handle it by driving the area (Bayside Arms Apartments) where the gang hangs out. They left.

A few minutes later, there was a neighbor from a few doors down knocking at my back door. It seems there were 6 or 7 teens going door to door looking for me, and she wanted to warn me. As my wife again called the police, I grabbed my shotgun (870 Wingmaster with 19 inch barrel and an extended 8 round mag tube) and opened the door. I racked the shotgun, and immediately heard someone yell "They have guns, let's get out of here!" The teens jumped in a car with no license plate, and fled with their lights off. I did not see them very well, so I could not tell anyone if it was the same guy or not.

When the police arrived (ten minutes later) they searched the neighborhood, and then they left, promising to make more frequent patrols. My neighbor came over, and we both agreed that the idiots would return. I sat out front in the parking lot, in my car. My neighbor in his. As it turned out, we didn't have to wait long...

[There are those who will say that we shouldn't have waited out front for them, but I don't think it was wise to sit inside the house, either. We had already called the cops twice, and they had done nothing. You can call what we did an ambush, but it isn't like two car loads of armed gang members coming to a house on a dead end street (that was private property) after midnight were going door to door selling girl scout cookies.- DM]

part two is here, part three is here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Concealed weapon

Here is a picture of yours truly's waist, carrying an M&P40 in an MTAC holster. Those of you who are afraid of people carrying guns: you probably pass by more than a few people who are carrying every day, and you just don't know it.

Here is the handgun:

and yet, no one has shot at you yet, despite the fact that there are over 950,000 people with concealed weapons permits in the state of Florida. I have one, my brother has one, my mother has one.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nothing new here

Many on the right are blasting the recent ruling on Obama care, stating that the government has this supposedly new power to compel you to do things by using taxes as an incentive. As if taxing people if they do not buy things is a new phenomenon, or some new concept. The fact is, this has been going on for decades.
Buy a house, or you pay more in income taxes, because people who rent cannot deduct mortgage interest, nor can they deduct the property taxes that are paid as a part of the rent.
Buy energy efficient appliances, get a tax deduction.
Buy an energy efficient car, get a tax deduction.
Obtain an expensive college education, get a tax deduction.
Do with a student loan, deduct the interest.

Or are you pulling a switcheroo by claiming that a deduction on your taxes for buying something is any different from an addition to your taxes by not buying something? That is the same logic that a business uses when they are prohibited by law from charging extra for customers who pay by credit card, so they give a discount for cash.

Then there are the taxes that are designed to punish you for buying products, instead of not buying them:
Taxes on tobacco, alcohol, luxury goods, gasoline, tanning beds, certain foods, cars, and on and on. There are even taxes that increase with income, designed to punish you for being successful.

There is nothing new here, and you are fooling yourself if you think that the SCOTUS has changed anything with this ruling.

That doesn't mean that I am in favor of Obamacare. What it means is that I have long ago come to the understanding that taxes in this country only provide about 65% of what the government spends, and are used more for behavior modification than they are for revenue generation.

Friday, July 6, 2012


A lifeguard is assigned to watch a given area of beach. A swimmer in an area that is uncovered by a lifeguard a quarter of a mile away gets in trouble, and citizens report it to the lifeguard, who then leaves his assigned area to try and save the swimmer. He is fired for leaving his area uncovered.

I can understand why they fired him. The lifeguard company cannot allow this to happen. Unfortunately, policy is made because of legal liability. The company has to look out for what it is contracted to do. The company and its employees have a duty to act within their area, a duty that they cannot fulfill if their lifeguards are off elsewhere. It may suck, it may not make sense, but it is the way that the law works.

The lifeguard left the area where he had a duty to act in order to go to an area where he did not, thus leaving him and his company open to legal liability. The fact that nothing happened in his assigned area while he was gone doesn't change this. 

If the company he works for doesn't discipline him for this, then the precedent is set: other lifeguards can leave their area to do whatever, and then claim that they left to rescue someone, and the company will not be able to discipline them in the future.

This is freelancing, pure and simple. I know this sounds harsh, but the guy who was drowning decided to swim in an area that is not covered by lifeguards, thereby assuming the risk that he was swimming on an uncovered beach.

This reminds me of the people who live in an area that doesn't have a public fire department, and refuse to pay the membership fees of the fire department who does cover their area, but then get upset when the fire department that they consciously avoid paying for refuses to provide service.

This lifeguard knew the rules, he was told that they couldn't go beyond a certain limit, and would be disciplined if he did. He broke those rules, and was fired. He knew what he was doing, and figured that the rules didn't apply to him.

Of course people in this situation are quick to say that you should, as a rescuer, be willing to sacrifice your job to rescue someone. To those people, I ask you this:
On 9/11, did you quit your job to rush to ground zero and help out?
During hurricane Katrina, did you quit your job to rush to New Orleans?
Why are you sitting here reading this? You should be out west, saving people from the wildfires there.

Or is it easier to bitch on the internet about what others should do, but not actually do it yourself?
There are limits to what we can do. We can't go off and try to save the world. All we can do is take care of our piece of it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sick time law

So the voters of Orange County, Florida are starting a drive to get an initiative added to the ballot in November: A law that would require employers to give an employee one hour off with pay for every 37 hours worked. All the employee must do is call in sick, and get paid for not being at work. This means that for every 37 hours of work, the employer must pay the worker 38 hours of pay.

This astounds me that people do not see what will happen here: Employers in Orange County will have to find a way to be competitive with businesses that are not in Orange County. There are a few ways to do this:
1 Not own a business in Orange County
2 Cut employee wages by 3%
3 Get rid of 3% of the workforce

Many will not be able to raise prices, because they will lose sales to businesses that are outside the county and charge less.

One way to reduce the workforce is by contracting. I work for an employer that only has ten employees, and the rest of us are "independent contractors" who are issued 1099's for work. We must pay our own taxes, so we are not employees: but we must still punch a time clock, wear a uniform, follow the policies of the employer, and are paid by the hour. Don't like it? If you complain, they will simply not call you to work any longer.

Local theme parks do the same thing. My son dates a woman that is employed by a company that is a contractor, contracted to a local theme park to train animals for shows in the park. They are paid 6 hours a day, but must work until the jobs are done: mostly this means a 10 hour workday.

My ex-wife once worked for an employer that refused to pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Instead, they added hours worked to a "paid time off" bank that you could theoretically use as vacation. The problem was that they never let you take the time off that you had earned. When she complained, they fired her. She had to hire a lawyer and sue them in order to get paid for the time that she had banked.

With laws like simply being paid for the time you actually work being ignored, I just don't believe that paid sick time will work.

This new law is a bad idea, and will not fix anything. Employers will just find ways to skirt the law, and it will hurt people in the long run.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Child support scam in the making

Under a proposed California law, a child can have more than two parents. This would mean that mothers would be able to receive child support from multiple men for the same child. Isn't modern jurisprudence wonderful? Get pregnant once, and you are set.

Biased press article

Here is a story complaining that an 18 year old man who was caught and convicted for committing a string of seven armed robberies, one of which where he engaged in a gunfight with a concealed weapons permit holder that resulted in an accomplice getting shot, and was sentenced to 162 years in prison. The press is complaining because he is a "teenaged first time offender."

He isn't a first time offender, he is a seven time offender. Just because he was committing so many crimes that he wasn't caught until after his seventh robbery doesn't mean he gets a pass on the other six. Under this theory, a serial killer who isn't caught until after he kills 40 women is a first time offender? Of course not.

In this case, the press would rather scream about the unfairness to the criminal, and outlaw the guns he used.  

The violent felon had this to say:

"There ain't no justice in the justice system," he said, gazing down at his olive-green prison jumpsuit and beige rubber sandals.
Justice? Justice here has been served. You are a person who has committed at least seven armed robberies, attempted to murder one of your victims, and now you want to talk about justice?

Rot in there, you fucking douchebag. And to the press that is slanting this article: this is why the mainstream press is becoming more and more irrelevant. We are tired of your biased reporting that blames the working people, and excuses the lazy slackers of the welfare and criminal class.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dirty cop gets away with it

Read the incredible story of German Bosque. He has been accused of cracking the head of a handcuffed suspect, beating juveniles, hiding drugs in his police car, stealing from suspects, defying direct orders and lying and falsifying police reports. He once called in sick to take a vacation to Cancún and has engaged in a rash of unauthorized police chases, including one in which four people were killed.

He has been arrested three times, fired six times, but still has his cop job:

In 1990 (while still in the police academy), he was arrested for impersonating a police officer, auto theft and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The vehicle he was driving had been stolen a year earlier from a housing division where he had been working as a locksmith.

He was arrested in 1992 for driving on a suspended license.

In 1994, he engaged in an unauthorized pursuit that ended with the deaths of four people.

In March of 1998, he was suspended for yet another unauthorized pursuit. He was suspended for the same thing in May. Then, he called in sick because he was in Cancun.

In 1999, he engages in another unauthorized pursuit, and then lies about it when it results in an accident. He waits 20 minutes to call the accident in, thus delaying medical care. He is suspended for 20 days over that one. Six months later, a prisoner accuses him of beating him after he was handcuffed. No action was taken.

In 2000, he was involved in yet another unauthorized pursuit. He was fired, but the union managed to get him rehired three months later.

Two months later, he skates out of trouble again, when he is reported by another officer for punching a 14-year-old boy three times in the head, telling the youth: “I am the law, if I feel like it right now I can f--- you up and no one will say nothing to me.’’ Bosque admits striking the boy, but the state attorney declines to prosecute.

A month after that, he is suspended for a day for skipping work.

Less than a year later, he slapped his girlfriend in the face while they were sitting in his personal vehicle, then slapped his own face and called police, telling them that she had battered him. An investigation subsequently showed that Bosque’s facial injuries were self-inflicted. Investigators recommended he be terminated immediately. Charges of lying under oath and making a false police report are dropped because the department failed to initiate disciplinary action within 60 days.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/30/v-fullstory/2876652/the-south-florida-cop-who-wont.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/30/v-fullstory/2876652/the-south-florida-cop-who-wont.html#storylink=cpy

He is caught making false statements on a police report a month later.

and on, and on. Read his entire record here.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/30/v-fullstory/2876652/the-south-florida-cop-who-wont.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/30/v-fullstory/2876652/the-south-florida-cop-who-wont.html#storylink=cpy


Scott Cate is a man who has everything you would want: A yacht, a private jet, a speedboat, and other toys. He also is passionate about the athletic program of the High School where his sons went to school, where he volunteers to coach football. As a self-made millionaire, he made a pile of money when he sold the company that he built from the ground up and retired. He decided to spend his time coaching high school football as a volunteer, and also funded many projects to help the school. He built $4 million worth of projects: A turf field, a weight room, a press box, and other projects.

He also funds an after school program that tutors high school students. In short, he is the kind of guy that the school system should be delighted to have as a booster. 

How did the school district thank him? They passed a rule prohibiting him from volunteering his time. It seems that many parents accuse him of doing this to build an all star team around his son. The problem with this accusation is that he has not had a child in school since 2006. It seems that the real problem here is that other schools in the district didn't like the fact that the school was successfully recruiting athletes from other schools because of the successful tutoring and athletics programs.

On any given afternoon, players can be found in the study hall with former college stars like Kaufusi. Cate retains the tutors, who double as assistant coaches, with a personal services contract. He pays for their advanced degrees or teaching certificates if they agree to spend five years working at any high school.
 The man says that he will take his time and his money, and donate it somewhere that it will be appreciated. Another case of class warfare and jealousy making equality more important than excellence. The idea here is that other schools were jealous that they did not have their own donor, so to make things "fair" decided to deprive the school of a substantial source of support. Never mind that this school was taking failing students, and turning them into A students.

Bills counted 11 players living within the Kearns boundaries on rival Hunter High's sideline during a lopsided loss this season. "You don't mind getting beat," he said, "but you hate getting beat by your own kids."
Certain schools are magnets for parents who think their children can thrive athletically and possibly earn college scholarships. Recruiting allegations have swirled for years, most notably around perennial power Skyline.
Lately, talk has shifted to Cottonwood, a team that until last year endured 17 straight losing seasons. The Colts lost in the 4A championship game last November and are poised for a state title run this season. The team's star running back, Stanley Havili, lives outside the area as do several other top players.

This is the end goal of socialism: to place everyone on the same plane, even if that plane is at the bottom. This is what "fair" looks like.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Libertarian position response

In comments to this post, Aaron be Bruyn states that there are different "stratta" [sic] of libertarians. Of course there are. just like there are democrats that support guns, and republicans that support abortion. I am talking about the party, and the beliefs of the majority of them.

The point he goes on to make, that a person should be able to "opt out" of police and fire, while still saying that an army is necessary is pure hypocrisy. What makes an army, designed to deal with external threats to the citizenry, any more legitimate than a police force, designed to deal with internal threats to the citizenry?

What if someone were to rob you, and you had opted out? What if your house caught fire? Would you be OK with the fire department standing by while your house burned down because you "opted out?" Or would you all of a sudden want to "opt in" at that point?

You see, fire departments are a way of spreading a risk pool among a large population, thus taking a high cost/low probability event and diluting the cost across that large population. Waiting until you need it to pay for it does not pay for the time that the fire department had be there during the times that you didn't need it.

Same goes for the police. If you "Opt out" and someone rapes and murders your wife, is it acceptable if the police don't enforce the law, because you "opted out?"

This is why I find your libertarian position to be ridiculous. Of course, the national party says:

1.5 Crime and Justice
Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property.  Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.
 How do you plan on enforcing the law, protecting people's rights, and having a speedy trial without police and courts?

Blame this one on bath salts, too?

Yet another attack where the assailant eats the other one's face, this time in China. You can't blame this one on the widespread Zombie mania here in the states, and you can't blame it on bath salts.

Of course, the recent attack in Miami that police blamed on bath salts wasn't due to bath salts, after all.

I don't care what is causing it, drugs, alcohol, or psychosis, if anyone approaches me without clothes on and covered in blood, he is going to see what my carry weapon looks like. If he doesn't immediately stop, I will use deadly force. This is getting totally out of hand.

On a related note, this man is foolish:


When people I know ask me which political party I consider myself a part of, many are surprised to hear that I do not consider myself a Republican because I own guns. As if gun ownership is the exclusive domain of the Republican party. However, I have done a lot of soul searching and decided that there is no political party for me.

I cannot be a Democrat, because I do not believe in taking money from one person and giving it to another, for no other reason that the rich have more than the poor, and because I am a gun owner who believes that gun ownership should be far less restricted than it is.

I cannot be a Republican because I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they choose, and that includes bigamy, homosexuality, and incest. As long as you are an adult, it should be your choice. It is none of my business what other adults do with their lives.

It is at this point in the conversation that many friends will thoughtfully say to me, "It sounds like you should be a Libertarian."
I cannot be a Libertarian, because because they think that immigration should be free and open, and there should be no borders. Libertarians also believe that services like police and fire should be private subscription services, but I would counter that these services are a part of the defense that causes mankind to form communities in the first place. (Although I will admit that many police and fire departments are much larger than they have to be.) In fact, I think that many people who attempt to claim to be Libertarians are actually confusing anarchy with that particular philosophy.

That brings to mind that anarchy will not work for me, either. I still think that we need police, fire, courts, and jails. We need national defense, but nowhere near the levels that we have now.

I do have to say that I really like the thoughts here, and they mirror many of my own beliefs. In short, I think that I am going to have to say that I am very Jeffersonian in my beliefs. I have read Adam Smith and John Locke, and I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what niche I fit into, because I am a political black swan.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


After thinking about my choices, I have decided that I am done with half measures. I am always voting for the lesser of two evils, and we seem to keep heading for the cliff. In light of this, I am just going to vote to get it over with.