Saturday, July 02, 2016

I had a computer problem.

I'm now working on another pc.  And getting it set up, and trying to remember all the bookmarks I had...
While I'm doing that, you check the data; I'm tired and still trying to figure some crap out


And when the TSA is finally thrown out the window, some of their 'professional federal agents'

need it to be literally.  From at least five stories.
I'm not going to excerpt from this, because it'll make me want to break things.

Authorities have thrown out the charges, but the Cohen family has filed a lawsuit against the TSA, Memphis Airport, and Memphis Airport Police. None of the accused parties would acknowledge wrongdoing, but TSA representative Sari Koshetz made a statement saying, “Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.”
Because if you don't KNOW the assholes of the TSA are going to get bothered about something, it's YOUR fault if they screw up.

Fired,  Every damned one.  And personally liable for the damages they cause.

Friday, July 01, 2016

No, I'm not dead.

Put together a busy few days and computer trouble, you get no bloggy stuff.  However, some data did make it in, so:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Light bloggage the next few days

No, I'm not in the hospital, just stuff need to catch up on.

Two connected things

Law professors and lawyers instinctively shy away from considering the problem of law’s violence.  Every law is violent.  We try not to think about this, but we should.  On the first day of law school, I tell my Contracts students never to argue for invoking the power of law except in a cause for which they are willing to kill. They are suitably astonished, and often annoyed. But I point out that even a breach of contract requires a judicial remedy; and if the breacher will not pay damages, the sheriff will sequester his house and goods; and if he resists the forced sale of his property, the sheriff might have to shoot him.
A fact lots of people don't like to think about.  And why wizardpc wrote It all ends with puppy-killing SWAT teams:
I would like politicians and bureaucrats to acknowledge this: Every law, rule, and regulation made by the government ends in puppy killing SWAT Teams. Every dime that is spent in our name was taken at gunpoint.

I want them to understand that every action they take has this statement as a footnote: “This is important enough that my grandmother should be killed if she does not abide.”

The rhetoric might be a little over the top, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Take the story of Rawesome Foods, who were raided twice in one year by full-ninja swat teams for such horrible crimes as “improper egg temperatures.” I mean really what could possibly justify that?
For the time being let's ignore the idiots with badges who have no problem putting on their ninja suits to do full-out raids for crap like this and focus on the fact that lots of politicians and other idiots have no problem with people being killed in the enforcement of laws like this.  Which means there HAS to be protections for people, written into the laws.  Things like due process.  And this makes the attempts by the Democrats and some Republicans to damage or destroy due process such a disgusting act.

That's the second part of this: the willingness of people to violate their oath of office and work to damage the document they've sworn to uphold, all in the name of "I want this!  Public safety!  Give us this or the terrorists win!"*

And the mindset is perfectly  demonstrated by two people.  The first is a federal judge:
Judge Richard A. Posner, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote his opinion of our founding document in a piece in Slate.  Keep in mind that this judge is also a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21stcentury. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today.”
When you have no respect for the origin of our foundational document or the events that inspired its creation, it is easy to dismiss the rights it guarantees at a whim.

The other is that slimeball Ezra Klein:
To work, “Yes Means Yes” needs to create a world where men are afraid.   For that reason, the law is only worth the paper it’s written on if some of the critics’ fears come true. Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty Damn Sure. 

Let that sink in for a moment.  A US citizen is openly advocating for a law, that when applied correctly, convicts the innocent in ambiguous or spurious situations, in order to strike fear into the hearts of an entire demographic of people.

So much so for Blackstone’s formulation, on which America’s judicial system was founded: “All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer.”

So we get the spectacle of politicians who used to yell 'Secret lists are BAD!' now throwing tantrums on the floor of the House, and others declaring "If you don't go along with us, you want to give guns to terrorists!", because they want to use those secret lists for their own purposes; that makes them good, and something for which they're willing to wipe their ass with that document they swore to uphold.

And we get that corrupt hypocrite Diane Feinstein actually saying that if you find out you've been put on one of these lists “You can petition and prove that your innocent and get off of the watch list,"
Because suddenly 'innocent until proven guilty' is inconvenient to these people.

*The terrorists are watching these bastards do some of their work for them, and laughing like hell.  And if the oathbreakers win?  I think the line from some general was "Another such victory and I am undone."  Which we will be.

'Fourth Generation War Comes To America: What Are You Going To Do About It?'

Good piece at Michael Yon's place.
Yes, there are arguments with the 'sheepdog' idea, and Grossman has had some serious arguments made about some of his work.  Basic stuff is still good.  It's like Gavin de Becker: his book The Gift of Fear is good, just ignore the "Only trained professionals should use guns" crap.

One more reason to get rid of the EPA.  Remember that story about the USGS lab?
The top scientific integrity official at a federal agency that informs U.S. energy policy quietly departed this month, and the agency says that has nothing to do with a government report released around the same time that detailed widespread scientific misconduct at an agency lab.

Dr. Alan Thornhill left his post as the director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s office of scientific quality and integrity (OSQI) a few weeks ago. He took over as director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s western ecology division on June 12, according to his Facebook page.

That was just three days before the Interior Department’s inspector general, which oversees USGS, released a report that criticized the scientific integrity of work at one of the agency’s labs.
But it's all coincidence, NOTHING to do with the report, nooo.....

Under the heading of " 'Nobody wants to take your guns!' my ass",

we have the bastard State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, in Iowa:
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, says Iowa lawmakers should ban semi-automatic guns and "start taking them" from owners who refuse to surrender any illegal firearms through a buy-back program.
So we have a "I'm a gun owner BUT-" openly talking confiscation of anything he doesn't approve of.  But that's not supposed to trouble us.  And he, like Obama, wants the Australian Model: "Give us your property, or you go to prison.  Or, if you protest too much, we'll kill you.  But we'll give you a little money for it, so you don't feel too bad about this."

...I don't want to have the gun laws slung back so far that we start taking guns away and start limiting them to where people cannot enjoy guns, those that want to have it. And that's what I'm afraid, if we keep having these incidents happen, is what's going to happen."  'So I'm going to confiscate anything I don't like.  It's for your own good!'

Muhlbauer said a constituent approached him and suggested that the government place a chip in every gun that would ignite sensors should those guns cross into secure areas like school zones.

"I think that's carrying it too far," Muhlbauer said.
  'But confiscation is just right!'

And it's not just guns he doesn't approve of that need action:
Mental health must be up to date and not full of loopholes, he said. Muhlbauer also identified violent video games as a concern.

"We've got these video games out here for these little kids," he said. "Maybe it's time we start pulling them away. They're playing some really nasty games on there that are shoot-"em-up. Evidently our culture is pointing toward this."

Muhlbauer said he doesn't know how the Legislature would go about prohibiting children from playing video games he finds objectionable.

Same way you want to deal with guns you object to: ban them.  If you've got no problem doing that with guns, why a problem with banning video games?

So: He wants semi-auto firearms banned, he wants 'big guns' that you don't need banned, on and on.  And something done about those damned video games, too.  You really picked a winner, Iowa.

Monday, June 27, 2016

They all just seem to WANT to throw away their reputation...

Nearly two decades and $108 million worth of “disturbing” data manipulation with “serious and far ranging” effects forced a federal lab to close, a congressman revealed Thursday.
The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics – including many related to the environment – from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years.
Take note of that 'CONTINUED FOR ANOTHER SIX YEARS' crap.  From the freaking GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

Westerman cited a recent Department of the Interior Inspector General (IG) report that said impacts from the data manipulation “are not yet known but, nevertheless, they will be serious and far ranging. The affected projects represented about $108 million in taxpayer funding from fiscal year 2008 through 2014.”
'serious and far ranging'.
This is going to put not just everything from that lab, but lots of other stuff from USGS in doubt.  Because if they let one lab continue with this crap for that long, why wouldn't they let others do it?  And anything depending on information from that lab is in doubt, at the least.

Now take this:
Westerman also highlighted an interview the IG withheld from its report.

Tell me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic,” a former USGS official told auditors a former employee linked to the manipulation would say, according to Westerman.

Westerman added that the IG’s interview notes make the context of those quotes unclear.
and add this
The research topics that faced data manipulation – including uranium in the environment, health effects of energy resources, and U.S. coal resources and reserves – was “disturbing,” Westerman said.
We're back to Sherlock.

Is there ANY agency in the .gov we can trust?  On anything?

One of the problems of time passing:

I don't heal as fast as I used to.  I mentioned a healing process a couple of days ago, it's a leg injury that's taken a lot more out of me than I'd expected.  Not just the limping, but energy going to heal that is energy that can't be used elsewhere.


So I'm kind of sidelined on some things here.  I'd hoped to hit the outdoor range later this week, but I'm not sure limping back & forth to the 50 and 100-yard lines would be a good idea.  And it rained last night, which means the grass will grow; hopefully it'll be a few days before it's high enough to need mowing.

Speaking of, I just checked the forecast.  Last night it was chance of rain today & tomorrow, then little to none.  Now it's 40% through tonight, then anywhere from 20% to 50% the rest of the week.  Assuming they know what they're talking about.

At least I can hobble around enough to get some cleaning done.  Which needs doing again. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The author of Dilbert gets it

But we do know that race and poverty are correlated. And we know that poverty and crime are correlated. And we know that race and political affiliation are correlated. Therefore, my team (Clinton) is more likely to use guns to shoot innocent people, whereas the other team (Trump) is more likely to use guns for sporting and defense.

That’s a gross generalization. Obviously. Your town might be totally different. 

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

Yes, let's talk about racketeering

At a forum on Wednesday hosted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, several climate activists including Naomi Oreskes and representatives from the Union of Concerned Scientists admitted that they have been meeting with the state Attorneys General launching climate RICO investigations for over a year.

The fact that the AGs have been meeting with Oreskes is pretty telling considering that for years she has been spearheading the effort to find a way to prosecute oil companies under RICO laws. She’s author of Merchants of Doubt, a book published in 2010 that attempts to link ExxonMobil to tobacco companies. She’s also on the board of the Climate Accountability Institute (CAI), the group that organized the now infamous 2012 La Jolla Conference with the Union of Concerned Scientists at which activists brainstormed ways they could launch racketeering investigations into ExxonMobil. The New York Times even credits Oreskes with conceiving the conference.
Gee, doesn't that sound like collusion?  Racketeering?  The kind of thing they're accusing Exxon of?

"The founders could never have foreseen repeating weapons, let alone

the assault weapons we have now!"
Further evidence that 'bullshit' is the proper response to that.
At Maihaugen Folk Museum in Lillehammer, there is a treasure hidden in the basement: An over 400 year old German-made revolver in perfect condition. The revolver was produced in 1597 by a weapons smith in Nuremberg, Germany. It was a status symbol with decorative brass, bone and Mother of Pearl.

– The reason we know it’s from 1597 is because it is a stamp mark of a horse spur on it. It tells us with certainty that it was made by the German weapons blacksmith Hans Stopler, says director of Maihaugen Folk Museum, Gaute Jacobsen to Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation, NRK.

One of the best scenes every filmed.