Sunday, December 23, 2012

Property Rights Individual or Collective?

From a Facebook discussion based on an image share.

I'll have to update, because this can't be the end.

Libertarian Party 12/23/12

Anonymous: Very big difference between a homeowner and school staff--very, Very big difference.

CR Cobb: Castle doctrine vs self defense. Well, not really versus, because they are complimentary. It falls to a question of property rights, and the state owns the facility, then you are at a dilemma. Do your property rights originate with security in your person? Yes, if you are an individualist. No, if you are a collectivist.

Yes, different either way, but the "gun free zone" concept is dead. And in the end, should the teachers have had the opportunity to effectively exercise their right to self defense?


UPDATE 12/30/12: Opponent abandoned the field. Argument won. Job done.

Larry Correia's Opinion on Gun Control

I haven't read the whole post yet, but I am certain that it is worth reading.

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

I am also exhausted debating against gun-control nuts.

The gun-control fundamentalists act as if they hold the moral high ground, but they don't. They are anti-individual rights. They are pro-"collective rights." "Collective rights" paved the road to totalitarianism over and over, because they are treated as privileges that the collective can revoke.

Rights are inherent to our being, not invented by the collective.


Realpolitik - A Cold Realty - That "We" Own

Our government has soiled its hands throughout the world acting informed by the Arab/Chinese proverb:
My enemy's enemy is my friend.
It sounds so cold and calculating to describe that as Realpolitik. But, the reality is that it is a cold-blooded act to get in bed with thieves and killers. And the bad guys our government befriended will one day turn their backs on our government.

And here's the real rub:

I have not created this idea. It is based on the ideas of others, like all revelations. In sports, fans often refer to the success or failures of the teams they support with the pronoun "we." But "we" did not win the game; the players did. The insidiousness of "we" appears in elections. And it shows up wherever someone identifies with a group, even when one doesn't have direct influence on those actions.

But like Lew Rockwell says, "we" reaches its apogee with connections to the state. "We" identify with the state's actions, even though we bear no responsibility for those actions. But what I noticed in recent news conferences by Obama is that the agents of the state say "we" to identify its responsibility for the people. A statist uses "we" not only as a fan of itself, but as a way to disarm the people. "We" take responsibility for you. "We" will act when and where you are not able. "We" absolve your individual responsibility. "We" hold those who oppose the state's will accountable. "We" are the moral center. "We" are the state. You are "we."

But are "we" you? Backward is Forward. "We" are you. "We" flood your identity. "We" calm your dead soul. All choices now reference the center, the state, "we."

Big Brother has nothing on "we." "We" is self identifying, self referencing, big, small, close, far, comforting, powerful, insidious.

Beware when you identify with the state. But be warier when the state identifies with you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Guest Aphorism

Liberals fear freedom. Libertarians fear liberals.
- Marie Sinclair

Guest Post: Defending The NRA

The NRA purposely delayed commenting on the Sandy Hook murders to allow time for those affected to begin the grieving process. I also suspect that they hoped cooler heads would prevail, so that their solution could receive a fairer "hearing."

One week still seems a little quick? Well they wanted to get their proposal out there, before schools start back after the holidays. They asked Congress to immediately fund placing an armed police officer in every school - as a stop gap measure, until further solutions can be explored.  

That is a great short-term solution.

Like LaPierre stated, the NRA has extensive experience in firearms training of military personal, police and security, homeowners, concealed-weapon carriers, hunters, etc. That expertise can be used to train retired police, military, and retired and current EMTs and firefighters to provide armed security in schools.
That is a great mid-term solution

What LaPierre did not immediate propose was eliminating "gun-free zones." But he did criticize them for provided environments that allow "maximum mayhem at minimum cost."
Allowing citizens to exercise their right to self-defense in "(legally-owned)-gun free zones" would be a great long-term solution.

The concept of "gun-free zones" is a fantasy. Really. Not only do "gun-free zones" give a false sense of security, but they actually add to a lack of security. Banning semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines (AKA "assault rifles," modern rifles) would add another layer to a false sense of security.

I logically assume that most parents are concerned with the immediate safety of their children. Some want the NRA to focus on the families. But don't you want someone to focus on your family? The safety of your kids? Real solutions instead of fantasies?


- Marie Sinclair

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Can Group Actions Be Immoral?

I really can't come to a a conclusion about a moral quandary: Is it immoral for a group to interrupt a wedding, for their own advantage (of course), when another time could still serve their purposes? Why is it a moral quandary? Because it might not be possible for a group to act immorally.

When does "just taking orders" fail to provide a moral get-out-of-jail-free card? Can an organization really act in an immoral way and does that give the organization defacto - and possibly legally - personhood like corporations, or are immoral acts always the responsibilities of individuals?

In the USA's Uniform Code of Military Justice, an enlisted person or officer, has a legal out, if he or she disobeys an illegal order - and a duty. But disobeying an unlawful order is a judgement call, and it puts you at the mercy of a superior or a court martial.

And when police officers obey unconstitutional or illegal or plainly immoral orders, then they might just be obeying some unwritten rules, like: "You better go along to get along - and getting along is us getting your back." Or: It's just fun being a member of the LEO class." Also, there is comfort in groupthink. A police raid on a wedding to arrest someone with a warrant seems more moral for the individual cop, because the guilt is spread among the raiding officers.

So if groups can't act immorally, because they don't posses personhood, then it is the duty of the individual to act above statute, regulation, orders, or groupthink.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peter Schiff Was Wrong-ish

I was watching this video.




Schiff said that there would be non more QEs, nothing beyond QE3, because Bernanke called for QE3 to be indefinite. Quantitative easing is needed to stimulate the economy, because interest rates are at 0%. Paul Krugman said that QE3 wasn't enough, but how would more be possible? Well, Krugman might get his wish.


Back in July, Businessweek.com's AP article France sells bonds at negative interest rate, they wrote:
In a sale Monday, the treasury sold three-month bonds at -0.005 percent, and six-month bonds at -0.006 percent. The treasury agency says it's the first time they have registered negative yields.
Well, there you go. Krugman can have his wish: more and more money! When the Fed gives money to the banks at negative interest rate. Let's say the Federal Reserve should lower their interest rate to -1%, so the general public can really understand the madness.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Is It Morally Reprehensible To Advocate Gun Control?

My hypothesis: It is morally reprehensible to advocate gun control.

Gun control addresses tools, not criminal behavior. It criminalizes legitimate behavior, like taking responsibility for yourself, your loved ones, the weak, infirm, young, and old. It attempts to create zones of peace and safety, but actually creates places of vulnerability and destruction.

Gun control regulations (illegitimate laws) threaten the natural rights of people to be secure in their property, whether they use weapons to defend their property, or the property is the gun, or the property is themselves.

Gun control attempts to make self defense illegal, but illegitimate laws are never legal; they are regulations that violate everyone's rights. Gun control puts your safety in the hands of the police, but the courts have repeatedly informed us that the police are not liable for your safety.

Those who advocate for more gun control after the Sandy Hook murders are making another attempt to turn us all into sheep. Gun control advocates attempt to portray the government as a good shepherd. But if we're lucky, the government includes a small collection of sheepdogs. And those sheepdogs are only worth a damn when they are directly guarding the flock. There were sheepdogs at Sandy Hook, to be sure. They were the teachers. They were armed with their wit and courage. They should have been armed with weapons, too.

It is morally reprehensible to advocate gun control, because it only stops people who want to offer protection - not the selfish asshole who wants to violate our rights to the nth degree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Niall Ferguson, Thomas Kuhn, and Political Change as Science?

I love that Niall Ferguson mentioned Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolution in his blog post Turning Points: 2012 In Review. That's especially true, since it was only one of two science books that I "got" in college. The other was the text for my non-science-student science class, Physics of Light.

But I question his conclusion that seems to be based so much around elections, especially for the United States. The majority of "eligible voters" stayed home. But most significantly, there is finally such a clamor of libertarianism, freedomitis, and general dissatisfaction with government that the paradigm shift in political thought has happened despite the polls. We are in a new age, and once again politicians are set to follow. I wish I could contribute the quote referencing the civil rights era in the U.S., but it was said about civil rights that the great "leaders" like Kennedy and Johnson were just following what the people wanted. That's debatable depending on what "peoples" you speak with, but it is a "new" axiom that rings true.

The populous, not only in the U.S., wants their rights to be honored. We want our rights to be further codified. I want my rights to come first. Because they are natural, universal, and damn right.

My contention is that the paradigm shift is outside the state-sponsored election system. The paradigm shift is a ground swell that is fueled by freedom. The libertarian ideals do threaten the status quo of the state through direct challenges in the established electoral and political system, but freedom and freenecks will rock the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Best Guns for Home Defense II

Reexamining My Needs, and Variables for the Decision

Since I originally wrote about this, I have reevaluated my selection of primary home-defense weapon. I implied that shotguns were a great deterrent, so a great home-defense weapon. And through the wisdom of others, my thinking has abandoned the deterrent effect of a cocking shotgun. By default, my home defense gun has been a 9mm service-size pistol. I've considered other choices, but I have always reverted back to the 9mm. And I have choices, since I own a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle.

It all comes down to your individual needs.

I have narrow hallways. I've heard the counter argument that you can rule a narrow hallway with a staff, but I'm not game for that.


I'm concerned with overpenetration of drywall, because I have family at every turn in my house. 9mm can be an overpenetrator, and I've seen demos of 5.56x45 and 12 gauge with certain ammo being safer, in that regard. But that leads me to my next need:

My goal is not to devastate an enemy; it is to get a threat out of my house. 5.56x45 and 12 gauge can devastate a target with the right velocities and ammo.


And my wife is familiar with a 9mm. It's good to consider the ability and preferences of other users in your home. That will be more important when my kids get older.

Can you defend your home with a .22lr snubnosed pistol? Sure, but can you operate with the limitations and advantages of such a tool?

PREVIOUS IN SERIES:  Best Guns for Home Defense I

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.2

Right now, I'd like to write a nice post about a sheriff's deputy in Albany, New York who stood up to an airport authority PR director and protected a newsreporter/civil-liberties activist's first amendment rights.


But, instead ...

I am going through the tortured process of applying for a job with one of the big-box retailers. I am in desperate need of a job, and so I have fired a shotgun shell today, trying to hit the high-hanging fruit and the ground fruit of job possibilities. I'm tortured to know that, if I do get a big-box job, I will most likely work in an environment where most of the employees - including most likely me - will be forced into a sub-30-hour workweek, because Obamacare redefined full employment as 30 hours per week, which takes effect in 2014.

And in conclusion, thanks to Jason Bermas and Sheriff's Deputy Stan Lenic for standing up for the First Amendment. Really, watch the entire video. Though I am not a Bill of Rights scholar, it appears that Deputy Lenic went beyond protecting the First Amendment by refusing to act as an agent for the airport authority, when he was asked to collect ID from Jason Berma.

Oops. I went ahead and wrote about the nice deputy!

PREVIOUS IN SERIES:  "Simply A Business Decision" 1.11

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SuperDuperMax USA Gets More Secure

John Stossel reports that the federal government decides that U.S. citizens cannot invest in Intrade.com prediction markets. Up until now - and I don't know when it started - banks were not allowed to transfer money out of the country on behalf of Intrade.com investors. Now our nanny-state/socialist-anti-constitutional republic has decided, through established regulation, that prediction markets are "commodity options," and that Intrade.com is doing unregulated commodity-option trading.


Government Crushes Innovative Online Prediction Market by John Stossel, on FoxBusiness

Monday, November 26, 2012

Grand Union Flag Redux

I created a flag a while ago. It was really an exercise in combining concepts: being an American with anarcho-capitalist ideals. My idea was that the freedom movement could handle being a part of the USA - at least for a start.

When the Colonies confronted the Mother Country, there was an anticipation that the Colonies would remain part of the British Empire. The Union Jack held the place where the field of stars took over. The Union Jack still holds the same place in the Australia, New Zealand, colonial, and other Commonwealth flags. Well, the plan didn't work out, so the Union Jack left our flag forever.

First National Flag of USA - Grand Union Flag
I don't think our country will break up, despite all the secession petitions, but there is something wrong with our government, and changes might be coming that might rewrite our form of government. Also, not only does the Stars & Stripes represent our government, but it represents the Declaration of Independence (retroactively), the Constitution, a break from non-representative government, and - of course - us! So, I give you a Grand Union Flag Redux. We're still Americans, but there is something greater than the USA - freedom. And more people are recognizing that.

Last National Flag of USA? - Grand Union Flag Redux

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The King Is Dead. Long Live The King.

North Carolina Governor Perdue seizes defeat from defeat. Since NC Senate would not pass legislation, the Governor decides - unilaterally, with study group help and consultations with Republicans - to go with the state-federal "partnership" that keeps Obamacare health-care exchange financial responsibility with the federal government. The irony is that Governor Perdue really did not make the decision for North Carolina; she just set in motion the machinery to implement a decision. The state senate only missed a preliminary deadline to implement a state exchange by the earliest date.

Either way, what a mess. I thought refusal by a state to set up an exchange would keep heath-care exchanges out of the states. Apparently, nope!

It is interesting how the Charlotte Observer glossed over the fact that Perdue didn't actually make a decision for the state. NC's health care exchange will be state-federal partnership by Lynn Bonner. While the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald quoted Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger saying that Perdue's action was premature, and that a state-based exchange could be created at a later date. Gov. Perdue chooses state-federal partnership.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Obama Needs To Be Schoolhouse Rock[ed]!


Since Congress would not act to give more control to the government over cybersecurity, Obama once again has acted unilaterally.

I doubt that this will be adjudicated unconstitutional. Obama has acted unilaterally on too many issues, when Congress wouldn't do what he wanted. "[W]e can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will,” Obama said in October 2011.

"Obama says he’ll be taking ‘executive actions’ without Congress on ‘regular basis’ to ‘heal the economy’" by Nicholas Ballasy, The Daily Caller 


Well now a year later, it's more like, "If I don't get what I want, if Congress actually stands up and says that they won't trade more freedom for security, then I'll do what I damn well please. Enough of this 'Congress makes the laws'-grade-school crap."

NEWS FLASH (LOL): Obama Holds PBS Funding Hostage. Obama demands that PBS officials sign a contract that they will in perpetuity never show the Schoolhouse Rock! episode "Three Ring Government," and that they handover the copyright to Obama personally.



You've said you've seen it on YouTube? Use one of those streaming-video-copying doohickies quick.

"Mr. President, doesn't ABC hold the copyright for Schoolhouse Rock!?" said Brett Doormat, from The New York Times

"That is an issue we can deal with. We will come to a consensus and move forward," said President Obama

"Who's we?" whispered freshman White House reporter Greg Truth of the Washington Times."You need to keep up, or you'll never get anything out of this place. Obama started referring to himself in the third person a couple days ago," whispered William Coaster from the Washington Post. "Don't kings do that?" "Shhh. You want to keep that press card, don't cha?"

E.O. 300000: Transfers copyright for "Three Ring Government" from ABC to PBS for national security reasons.

"President Obama Unilaterally Gives Cybersecurity Powers to the Military" on Hit & Run Blog by J.D. Tuccille, Reason.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.11

I realized what compelled me to think about planning and calendars. I had forgotten to file my weekly claim for unemployment. How depressing, except that I still had earned too much (severance) to generate an unemployment check. WOOHOO!!!

Since I filed my claim, I've populated my Google calendar with useful job-searching tasks. LOL. Well, some useful, some probably not - time will tell.

PREVIOUS IN SERIES:  "Simply A Business Decision" 1.1
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The State Is A Masterstroke of Social Organization 1.0

Hypothesis: Though it fails at its professed aims of improving people's lives, is unbelievably inefficient, and destroys natural incentives for individuals to organize themselves, the state is a masterstroke of social organization.

My hypothesis sounds counter to what Austrian economics and anarcho-capitalist theory claims. But my hypothesis assumes that the success of the state is not founded on its ability to provide anything to anyone that is a subject to or member (elector) of it, but success is founded on the amount and quality of the resources, people, and production that the state can command. That sounds counter to the most basic definition of success for a private enterprise - return on investment, usually calculated in monetary value. But the most important return on investment for the state is power.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.1

I just realized that I have not utilized a calendar since being laid off. I have not planned ANYTHING using a timekeeping tool for about a week and a half.

I've applied to a bunch of jobs. I've made several new contacts through my network. But I haven't done any real planning. I haven't looked to the future. I've been held captive my the present. I don't even know what compelled me to go to my Google calendar to schedule an "event." But I'll get something on there - quick.

FIRST IN SERIES:  "Simply A Business Decision" 1.0
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Just In Time Delivery & Inflationary Economy Kills Savings

This post was inspired by a podcast interview by Bob Mayne of 299 Days author.

Are we in a just-in-time efficiency paradox? Well, I think partially so. Our propensity NOT to save has an earlier source.

Inflationary monetary policy, that was perfected under Keynesianism, came first. Keynesianism created an incentive not to save. You would think inflation would at least give someone the incentive to invest. But the volatility of inflation makes even investing more risky. The safest place for your money is NOT in your pocket, mattress, or bank. The safest way to maintain the value of your government-controlled fiat currency is to convert it into practically anything else. And Keynes intended it that way.

Just-in-time delivery of manufacturing components and consumer goods has closed the circle on ANY type of savings, including storing things that are needed soon. It is not so surprising that the prepper community - and anyone that has their finger to the wind - has focused so heavily on storing what you will need for a short amount of time. Actually, preppers have moved beyond the three-day requirements to a month or more. You would think that was all doomsday hysteria, but it is based on a simple truth that I don't think most preppers are aware of. This is where Glen Tate and his 299 Days series comes in:

I was amazed at how quick certain store shelves have been cleared during impending storms here in Charlotte. You could chalk it up to idiots going out and buying up milk, bread, and eggs, when the weather report threatens a flurry. That's not so surprising, especially since every major intersection in this city could present you with a car wreck during a simple rainy day. Recently, I was also perplexed that I often find simple items not available on the grocery stores. The groceries stores don't look like the ones in the Soviet Union - not by a long shot - but things I expect to find aren't there. Then a day later they are.

Glen Tate explained in his interview on Bob Mayne's show that grocery stores are functioning on a Just In Time (JIT) model of receiving and stocking goods. That seemed like a great idea when I heard that a seat supplier would start making a seat at the same time that a car starts being built on BMW's assembling line and TRUCKS it over to the BMW factory just in time for it to be bolted into the car. Well, that's the reality for many goods that we depend on. Retail stores are no longer stores to a large extent, so you better have a store in your own house.

On a monetary level, I think we as a culture have drifting lazily so far from saving money, that we find it impossible to save for the long term. Maybe, many of us need intermediary steps. If you can get yourself to save something for a week, then next time save it two weeks, then a month, two months, four months, eight months, sixteen months. I think we have stigmatized ourselves in our own minds that we can't think of ourselves as savers.

If a squirrel can save, then so can you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Dodge Became Federal Policy



Until a few days ago, I didn't know about Obamacare redefining full employment from 35 to 30 hours/week for the purposes of socializing healthcare.

I feel for the workers. But "I pity the fools." It is very sad to see so many people make less money or lose their jobs because of a federal policy. I really empathize with their situation. On the other hand, I have pity for the politicians and bureaucrats that thought this was going to work.

The expansion of a wartime wage-control-dodging perk to a national "well being" policy is government gone amuck.  Obamacare heaps irony upon irony upon itself. A dodge (health insurance) that avoided federal compensation limits has morphed into a federal healthcare policy that has created another dodge (limiting employee hours to 30 hours/week). 

I’m just waiting for a federal work limit to come down the pike. 30 hours/week per citizen. What will we do with our time? Federal service, of course: 5 hours per citizen, to maintain citizenship. There will be plenty of need in the federalized healthcare service.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toshiba Satellite A105 Fan Maintenance 1.1

In hindsight, maintaining the fan in a Toshiba Satellite A105 by completely disassembling the computer is a really bad idea. Unless you work in a sugar factory, I don't see any reason to disassemble this computer in order to clean the fan in this laptop. I know the following will not get the fan as clean as completely disassembling the computer, but the risks to the computer is far lower.

Revised Steps For Cleaning the Toshiba Satellite CPU Fan:
Step 1: Turn off the computer.
Step 2: Remove battery, but I don't think this step is necessary.
Step 3: Turn computer upside down. Find the exhaust port for the CPU fan on the left side of the computer.
Step 4: Cover half of the exhaust port and place your mouth over the other half. Blow hard. You will hear a sound like a party toy. If the heat sink is dirty, then you will see a column of dust come of out the fan intake port. Repeat a couple times.
Step 5: Be happy that you saved yourself two to three hours and that your computer is still fully functional.

PROS: See step 5.
CONS: You will not get the heat sink perfectly clean.

Why didn't I used can air? I hate buying air, and I feel that you get a higher volume of air.

Previous Post In Series: Toshiba Sateliite A105 Fan Maintenance 1.0

Insurance Is A Foil

Insurance is a foil against risk, not a shield of invincibility.

Many people drive as if being insured protects them against bad outcomes, including death. The bad outcomes are still a risk, and insurance only helps people with the aftermath. Insurance cannot magically prevent a bad outcome or fully restore what has been broken. Life is funny that way.

Obamacare is based in part upon one great fallacy, that the accepted concept of health insurance is insurance. What the majority of Americans have through their employers, have obtained themselves or through government agencies is ONLY PARTLY insurance of catastrophic risk. The majority of what we now call health insurance is a massive redistribution scheme that profits cronies through legal mandate and entices government to regulate how we take care of our personal medical needs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secession and Balkanization

With the recent move to politely request for the government to leave us alone, through the round about process of submitting and signing petitions on the aptly named We the People page on WhiteHouse.gov, it begs the question whether all of this secession talk could lead us down the dangerous road of balkanization.

It is my contention that balkanization - the break up of a state into smaller states - is NOT dangerous. What is dangerous is the reaction to balkanization. The larger state feels threatened and lashes out and tries to retain territory. In the Balkans, the break up of a state was not in itself evil or violent. The most powerful state in the former union of Yugoslavia - Serbia - lashed out.

What is the threatened state in a secessionist bid in the United States? Why, the federal state, of course.

Just remember. In your secessionist bid, support the petitions in your sister states. You have about 34 choices the last time I counted.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.0

I'm here to vent. I vent about plenty of other stuff: politics, government, ergonomics - well, that's pretty much it.

I got laid off yesterday. I didn't know if I was fired or laid off, until I got a call from my former employer about an hour after I was let go. She wasn't there when her husband went ahead and let me go, because she was getting her hair done, and he had an appointment to go to. She told me that she wanted to be there, bless her heart.

She also told me that this was "simply a business decision." She and her husband, one of the salespeople, had been looking at the business over the last few weeks, and that this decision just makes sense. She told me that I am a good employee and that I do great work. And she wished me luck. So probably fortunate for me, my "separation from employment" status really was "laid off." (I love government speak. It's doubleplus ungood).


I had a feeling something like this was coming, because my former employer made a point a couple weeks ago of telling me that the two of them had been crunching some numbers. But when the layoff talk comes it's always a punch in the gut. And it was a nice touch when her husband told me he didn't want me to touch the computer when I was collecting my things from my office.

It seems quite easy to blame my most recent layoff on the reelection of President Obama. Hell, he got reelected 3 DAYS BEFORE they let me go. I could also blame the economy. I can just see and hear the words coming out of my former employer's husband's mouth after Romney conceded: "Well, Obama just got reelected. Time for plan B. We've gotta trim the fat. I know you want to do our own stuff, but we can send it out; it's cheaper. If they don't do it the way we want it, then we can just send it back; get 'em to fix it."

It is ironic, because my employer was not an Obama supporter. On the one hand, she knows better than an Obama supporter that things are going to get rough for small businesses, but on the other hand she knows that things are going to get rough for employees (They might get benefits cut if they have any. Hidden inflation might make their pay worth less. They might be laid off. D'oh!). 

To hell with all that, because I can wallow in an it's them not me game 'til I'm covered in shit. In the end,  I will never know what really triggered my layoff.

First steps for the newly separated-from-employment subject: (1) I made my unemployment claim. Wait! Is that a claim, or do I apply for it - is it really insurance? (2) What next? (3) What is next.

NEXT IN SERIES:  "Simply A Business Decision" 1.1

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take-Away Review: American Nations

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

I finished it. And it was a pretty good book, for me, since I finished it faster than I finish most books.

Colin Woodard definitely showed some of his prejudices - or at least his political slant, which is decidedly statist for most of the last quarter of the book. He criticized the "Dixie" block of nations for being against social welfare programs, environmental regulation, etc.

But Woodard did surprise at the end with a possible conclusion that I had considered for the future of our country. Our state might return to a loose federation or confederacy like it was under the Articles of Confederation of 1781. The central government would be limited to foreign policy, national defense, and negotiate interstate treaties. I don't know if that level of power would be low enough to satisfy me, or the component "nations" of a "reconstituted" state. But somethings gotta give.

The U.S. has a giant, bloated bureaucracy, giant, bloated redistribution and protectionist programs, a giant military that is deployed throughout the world, and no one wants or should pay for that unnecessary mess. I don't know if a revitalized regionalism expressed through resurgent "nations" would help fix the problem, because that might just transfer power from the federal government to the state governments. Also, the concept does not address personal freedom. But I do have a feeling that a weakened central government would do wonders for business, regional cooperation, and sovereign individualism.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like a Survivalist: 1.1

When I wrote about this before, I concluded that based on crunching numbers that I wasn't alarmed. But, well, I was never real comfortable with that. It is possible, that based on the sworn LEOs, and handicapping the Coast Guard to assume that all its personnel are war fighters, to conclude that the different federal agencies were procuring a reasonable amount of ammo. But it really is hard to believe that all of those gunmen and gunwomen are practicing and shooting at enough "bad guys" to utilize that much ammo. It is just logical to conclude that the federal government is stockpiling ammo for some reason.

And it is logical to conclude that those reasons could be (in no particular order) either-and-or-all-of-the-above: (1) The feds are expecting civil unrest based on fears of the revitalized freedom movement, which realizes that sovereignty is the individuals first. (2) The continued weakening of the economy, despite the feds fruitful attempts to conceal it, has made even the government's future ability to acquire supplies suspect. (3) The feds are competing in the marketplace with a revitalized civilian gun-owning population. (4) The weakening economy makes the possibility of food and employment rioting a distinct possibility. (5) The Oath Keepers, with their commitment to the Constitution, and their employment with local, state, and federal law-enforcement and military entities, are a direct threat to federal power within government. (6) Because of the current economic downturn, the feds plan to enforce nationalization of sectors of the economy through force. (7) The states are decriminalizing victimless behavior, making it less likely that the states will participate in the enforcement of federal victimless crimes (e.g. marijuana, which is already compelling the feds to make raids in California). (8) State and local officials are protecting citizens against federal enforcement of laws and regulations that threaten the lives of citizens (e.g. sheriffs threatening to arrest fed agents that would enforce rules against landowners creating firebreaks on federal land).

I've been mulling this issue over for quite sometime. Like Bob Mayne, on The Handgun World Show has said, I don't want to be a tinfoil-hat kind of guy, but there is something afoot. And I am not the only one still talking about this:

So, Why did the DHS Buy all that Ammo? by Brad Kozak on Guns.com is an interesting read.
The Federal government never communicated why they need this much ammo, and what they plan to do with it. We are waiting on answers. Are they “keeping us safe” by arming the Social Security Administration and the National Weather Service? I find that hard to believe. But I can believe that they are worried about riots and armed revolts. Because DHS is tasked with keeping the homeland safe, I wonder if this is how they plan to go about it.
Personally, I think the DHS distributed, on paper, ammo to the less belligerent agencies in order to do two things: (1) to feebly conceal the true purpose of the ammo, and (2) to easily distribute it to multiple locations throughout the country.

Whatever's going on, I am vigorously attempting to keep my tinfoil hat away from my head. But I've still got my finger to the wind. 

Previous In Series: Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like A Survivalist: 1.0

Monday, November 5, 2012

Obama is Our Governor

The term governor - used as the title for the political leader of each individual state within our United States - is an anachronism. It is a left over from the British colonial epoch, when Great Britain appointed governors to rule over its colonies. Australia still has a Governor-General and Canada still has a Governor General.

With the current state of state rights and  individual rights, it seems appropriate that the states choose a different title for their chief executives, since the governors don't represent a foreign power but lead the states themselves - and they haven't since our country kicked Great Britain out. President sounds good.

And with the current state of federal power, it seems appropriate to change the title of the chief executive of the federal government of the United States. Though our federal government is not technically a foreign power, it is becoming more distant from the individuals and states, it is creating its own federally-employed class with a ridiculous disparity of compensation compared to the private sector, and it is picking us off one by one with victimless-"crime" laws. The title president no longer adequately describes the federal government's chief executive. Governor sounds good.

Either way, I hope I don't wake up to four more years of Governor Obama or President Obama on November 7.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are You A First Responder?

Damn straight you are. If you're there when the shit hits the fan, then "you're up." Are you ready?

I'm not. Rusty on CPR. Etc.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Preliminary Book Review: American Nations

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

Less than half way through. Eye opening. The character of our nation (and the nations of Mexico and Canada) is deceptively simple, if you only look at state lines and stereotypical regions. Of course, this coming from someone that did not know that his dad grew up in Appalachia (I thought southeastern Ohio had character enough).

So far, I identify the most the "Greater Appalachia," which I happen to live in.

I've read - a couple times - The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau. It was a great read, but it was a snapshot of the area set - by default - in the late 1970s. Colin Woodard was right that the historical context of these "nations" is so informative, and that is what makes (so far) American Nations so compelling.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Freedom versus Liberty

I've described myself as a libertarian, classical liberal, even an anarcho-capitalist. All those terms seem defined by their context. Even taking anarcho-capitalist to its core, its larger category of anarchist leaves one defined by a context and not what is inherent to the person.  Anarchy literally means "without a ruler." (Wikipedia.org)

The concept of liberty is lacking. It sounds like you are being allowed to do something. Freedom seems more universal, less defined by a person's environment - more inherent. I've been frustrated by a lack of analysis or dialogue until I found this:

One might ask how [the] tyrannical society [of the indenture-servitude and slavery based mid-Atlantic] could have produced some of the greatest champions of republicanism, such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison. The answer is that Tidewater's gentry embraced classical republicanism, meaning a republic modeled after those of ancient Greece and Rome. They emulated the learned, slave-holding elite of ancient Athens, basing their enlightened political philosophies around the ancient Latin concept of libertas, or liberty. This was a fundamentally different notion from the Germanic concept of Freiheit, or freedom, which informed the political thought of Yankeedom [New England] and the Midlands. Understanding the distinction is essential to comprehending the fundamental disagreements that still plague relations between Tidewater [mid-Atlantic], the Deep South, and New Spain on one hand and Yankeedom and the Midlands on the other.
American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North American by Colin Woodard
And of course, once my mind was more open to the conflict, I ran across this: "Freedom vs. Liberty" by Joseph R. Stromberg on LewRockwell.com. This article goes into the etymology of the two terms. And Stromberg comes to a similar conclusion that I did, that "'freedom' seems a bit more world-bound or concrete than 'liberty.'"
 
Being on the freedom end of the political spectrum leaves one, as a matter of convenience, defined a libertarian or anarchist, or possibly a sovereign individualist. Is there a label or philosophy that is more concrete? Freedomer? Freedom lover? Well, the philosophy is freedom. That's simple. But what do you call the adherent? Freeman? Freewoman? Freeone? Freeneck? Freedomer?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi-Point Challenge: Weeks 3 & 4

Frankly, I had lost some interest in this one. Maybe because I don't need to go out and buy a Hi-Point tomorrow. Week 3 didn't add much to my interest.

The Hi-Point Challenge: Week3 on GunNutsMedia.

But Week 4, Tim got a donated custom Kydex holster. I've read about homemade Kydex holsters. Let's see - USACarry.com Homemade Hybrid Holster Forum Thread.

The Hi-Point Challenge: Week 4 on GunNutsMedia.

Looking for a DAO Auto (Seriously!). Found SIG P250, Again.

The single-action on my Ruger P95 is troublesome. Since, even with a Bell grip sleeve, I still have trouble maintaining my grip, especially, I've recently realized, when my pistol goes single action. Well, I've considered a stronger spring, but I don't know if it would just destroy the feel of the double-action trigger. I like a double-action trigger, for carry, and I can deal with the transition if it doesn't affect my grip. And holding my finger on the trigger shouldn't be part of my grip.

Well, I'm not giving up on the P95 - just interested in alternatives.

And why not have a consistent trigger? Almost all striker-fired pistols have them, so why not one of them? Well, I still like having a pistol sitting in a holster with a long trigger pull, since I don't want to depend on a safety. Like Gaston Glock found through research, safeties cause accidental discharges, because the user has to know what condition the gun is in - cocked, decocked, on safe (Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, Paul M. Barrett). Well, I'm back to wanting a long trigger for carry. Revolvers are great for that, but I like semi autos too, so ...

Used to, there seemed to be more choices for real DAOs. Ruger made a DAO P95. Some say it was done just as special order items for government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but I don't remember it that way. And there were Smith & Wessons. They seemed to be a compromise in the transition from revolvers to semi autos for police departments; a transition that was largely trumped by the entrance of Glock into the U.S. police-weapons market.

 
I'm interested in Kahrs - might end up with a CW9 or CW40 - but they are not true DAOs. Movement of the slide initiates the cocking of the striker, and pulling trigger finishes the cocking. That is something that, if I am correct, Glock does too, but with a single-action like trigger feel.

So, where are the true DAO autos, now? Beretta makes the Nano. And SIG makes DAK (short-reset, double-action) pistols. I'm interested in the Nano.

Nano - BerettaUSA.com
CW40 - Kahr.com











But there is something about the SIG P250. Maybe it's that modular thing, which the Nano has too, but the P250 seems to have more of it. "Gun Review: SIG SAUER P250 9mm 2SUM" on TheTruthAboutGuns.com.
TheTruthAboutGuns
And this a great review of the SIG P250 from a confessed SIG fan.

So what does this all come from and lead to?
Well, I already was interested in the P250 SUM2 truly modular concept. But now I'm interested in the plain old true DAO trigger, where that was a deal breaker in the past.

Also, in a round about way, the search for info about the SIG P250 led me to the Gun Guys Radio podcast - a truly listen-worthy podcast. And it gave a me a chance to put a smile on someones face. If you want to find out how, then listen at 1:12:55 of their 031 GGR – Cowboy Up! with Evil Roy & Randi Rogers episode.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ruger P95: Tauted As Quality Budget Gun, Again

Once again, the Ruger P95 is recommended as a quality budget gun - this time by Guns & Ammo. Guns & Ammo's 8 Quality Carry Guns for Under $400


Yes, I own one, so I am happy about its inclusion in Guns & Ammo's list. But as an out of the box carry gun, or duty gun, I think, depending on your hand-size, that one of the other suggestions would do you better. If you can grab it with a vice-like grip and still pull the trigger, then you're good to go. If you can splurge for a bicycle-inner-tube grip sleeve, then you're good to go. But if you don't want to fiddle, or actually do modifications, then possibly you should look further.

The S&W SD40 and FMK 9C1 seem to have a leg up on the Ruger P95 as far as grip ergonomics go. I've heard crappy things about the S&W SD-series' crappy trigger, but I've never shot it. I haven't heard a thing about the FMK 9C1. So I want to try both of them.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ruger P95 Modifications IV: Accessory?

"Bell" Grip Sleeve

Finally, some progress in the real world. Here's how I made a grip sleeve out of a bicycle inner tube.

Step 1: I picked up a "standard" inner tube from WalMart. I got the largest one, because you can make more grip sleeves. It costs the same price as the small ones, and they are all the same diameter.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hi-Point Challenge: Week 3

So he's up to 600 rounds. How many rounds does it take to break in a gun? I’ve heard 500 rounds tossed around a lot, with the usual advice: “You can’t depend on a gun until …” A gun-store salesperson told me that Kahr recommends 750 for theirs, but their website says 200. So it all depends on the type of gun, the individual gun, personal expectations, the stars, and some other stuff …

He could also be experiencing a little operator error, too little lubrication, or too much lubrication. That striker, the slide, and his feed ramp might need a little home gunsmithery. He may need a more energetic round – or the gun is just plain ammo sensitive.

Hi-Pont Challenge: Week 3  on Gun Nuts Media.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Swiss Army Trumps Leatherman

When my "water shoe" failed, I assumed that I could turn to my Leatherman Skeletool for a quick fix, since the solution would be a pseudo-leather stitch job.

But in the end, the ultimate multitool came through - the Victorinox Swiss Army Champion.


The leather awl required a little assistance from the Champion's micro screwdriver, but it's still ironic that the Champion was the adequate tool for a leather-like job.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hi Point Challenge: Week 2

Comments get snarky, but maybe justifiably so. Appears that Tim and friends were limpwristing.

Hi Point Challenge: Week 2

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tools for (Car) Camping

What I had in my pockets, and a couple other items.
When I go camping, I tend to fill up my pockets with extra tools:

   Cellphone.
   Kershaw Half Ton that I always carry.
   Two sets of car and gun keys, one set I always carry and one extra for my wife.
   Two cans of pepper spray, one I always carry and one extra for my wife.
   Leatherman Skeletool. The pliers came in handy.
   Mini Maglite.
   A hammer for dealing with tent stakes.
   And the case holds my Ruger P95, and I brought plenty of ammo. My wife insisted that I bring it along. During our last trip to the campground, our neighboring camper had some emotional issues. And something similar had happened a couple trips before that.
   The P95 remained in its case the entire trip. But I'm glad I had it along. Why take a chance? And here is a  reminder of why you should be prepared to defend thyself: "September is National Preparedness Month: Guns to pack with your emergency kits," an article on Guns.com.

   Ironically while I was preparing this post, I ran across a short post about pocket survival kits on The Suburban Bushwacker blog. The above thrown-together car-camping survival mess in no way compares to a survival kit, but I had what I needed to get by if 20 feet from my car or tent.



My Political Philosophy 1.0

A sovereign individualist. Former minarchist, former conservative, former liberal, former military-industrial-complex proponent. But in every way, concerned with the pragmatic needs of the individual to survive and thrive in spite of the state.

Friday, September 7, 2012

WalMart Profiling Gun Buyers in the Name of the (Federal) Law

Steve at The Firearm Blog commented on a case of profiling and discrimination in his post "Extreme Sexism at Walmart: Woman Can't Buy Big Guns."  Though I'm not as torqued off by the sexism of the incident, I do think it is sexist how the employee treated the woman. And probably ignorant.

But the employee was apparently doing his job by profiling the customer and possibly preventing a straw purchase. And in most cases, he probably prevented a victimless crime, because no matter what the government says, it is not a real crime to possess a firearm.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hi Point Challenge: Week 1

Hi Point Being Tested on Gun Nuts Media?
There is something appealing about a tackle-box gun, though in my case it would probably be a toolbox gun, at least until I take up fishing. The Hi Point is something I wouldn't mind beating the crap out of, and that makes it attractive.


Hi Point Challenge: Week 1

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"flagged by pre-crime surveillance"

Who thought that the efforts to control crime would be so close to what was illustrated in the short story "The Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick?

How soon will the state start convicting citizens for precrimes? It seems like a small step from conspiracy.  And does the state really need a conviction or indefinitely detention? The psych ward has been used for decades for the same purpose. Wait! They're using it again.

Just the one quote seen in Tinfoil Tuesday's post, "The Empire's Veteran Problem," is chilling:
"flagged by pre-crime surveillance"
 [source of quote unknown]

Friday, August 24, 2012

7.62x25 and Guns You're Embarrassed to Like


Doc Wesson and Average Joe recently discussed a couple things on The Gun Nation Podcast that struck a cord with me. Check out 5-09-2012::Show No.46 - You Wanna Take A Tok?
Just like Average Joe, I am enamored with the 7.62x25. I should have bought a TT-33 back when they were about a $100, or a CZ52 when they were $150. I'd also like to see a modern pistol offered in the round, besides the Wise Lite Sterling (which appears to have been discontinued).

What gun am I embarrassed to like? From what I own, I'd say my "commercial" SKS and my Ruger P95. The SKS was $89 wholesale when I got it years ago and it was the poor man's deer rifle in my part of the country. But on the flipside, it is more of a rifle than an AK (whatever that means), it shoots a .30 cal, and it's got that evil spike bayonet. The Ruger P95 came at the end of the wondernine era. It post-dated the revolutionary Glock 17, but it has true pre-Glock double-action technology, and it is reasonably hard to find accessories for it. But it's built like a tank (so I've heard, except periodic bent extractor problems), fun to shoot with a grip sleeve, and a great quality value for an entry-level service pistol - if you have to buy new. 

Don't get me wrong. I really like owning those two guns. They are very good tools. But every tool has its limits, and sometimes it makes sense to follow what even the gun writers who hide it know: a snubnose .38  is the greatest fallback, pocket carry, warm weather, at-least-I-have-an-effective-weapon gun. And despite the resent popularity of S&W's M&P and the less-recent popularity of the Springfield XD, the resurgence of the 1911, and the often stated wisdom that no one size fits all in the gun press, Glocks are the ubiquitous, reliable, durable tools that have proven themselves worth owning. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taurus PT22 Ply: Small (Shoot A Lot) Pocket Pistol

Range report coming up. It's been a while since I took it to the range, but It's been just as long since I've analyzed what happened. Looking for my range bag right now.

Previous Article: Small (Shoot A Lot) Pocket Pistol Shopping

Favorite Wine

I've drank a lot of wine over the years. While living with my wife in New York, we defaulted to Chianti. It's very Italian, and so is she, and so was the part of New York City we were living in.

But what's my favorite? I just finished a glass of Pinot Noir paired with a meatball sandwich. It did not have enough flavor or weight for the sandwich, nor for me.

I like Merlot. Very fruity. I like Cabernet Sauvignon. Nicely balanced. But my favorite?

Shiraz. The Australian Sirah. Good body. Spicy. And it goes great with spicy Doritos and Pringles. Yes, I primarily pair wines with chips. Ah, it's great to be American.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Individual Burden of Government, Part I: For The Card-Carrying Statist

What is a person to do under the weight of government regulation? For starters, I guess it depends on who the person is.

The Card-Carrying Statist: For the individual who wants the state to regulate economic and personal life, the best course of action is to fully comply with all regulations and to follow the social-engineering publications that the government provides to the letter. But the card-carrying statist will need hope, because there are over 9000 federal criminal statutes alone.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Facebook

Bandoleered Bookworm has made the jump to Facebook.

Free-Market Charity?

A realization hit me like a bolt of lightning after reading this quote by Murray Rothbard:
It is easy to be conspicuously 'compassionate' if others are being forced to pay the costs.
I thought of my own level of charity. Recently, I could only give items I no longer want and my volunteer time. If I could put a dollar figure on those things (which I really should be able to), they would be quite valuable compared to my current income.

And then I thought about my conversation with my employer today. She told me that she wished she could afford to pay me what I'm worth. Then isn't my employment - at least a portion of it - a type of charity:  a gift to a small business?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Practical Free-Market Business Resources

I hear and read a lot about resources that libertarians/anarcho-capitalists/sovereign individuals can use to avoid the government in their personal lives and finances. There is Bitcoin, search engines that mask your online ID, picking careers that don't require licenses, etc. But what can the average business owner, contractor, or run-of-the-mill employee to do?

I'm sure that Bitcoin is an option, and many other "off grid" resources and options, are viable for the average business person. But where is there practical advice for those resources? Where are they attractive for the average person?  Is this a failure of "marketing" in the libertarian community, or have I just not stumble across a resource yet?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tribute and Petition

Does the state own everything? Are property rights dead? Do you have to petition the government for your rights to own certain things, go certain places, and do certain activities? Do you have to pay tribute for some of those same things?

When did we hand sovereignty to the state? "Consent of the governed?" Well I didn't consent to be governed, because I wasn't around when the government was formed, so I never handed over my sovereignty. So why do I pay tribute and petition for my own rights?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Class A people are philosophers. They are interested primarily in ideas, and behave in accordance with intellectually analyzed standards.
Class B people are warriors. They act primarily out of a sense of personal honor, and place it above all other considerations.
Class C people are plutonians. They are interested primarily in money. ...
Class D people are lemmings. ...
Class C people are goblins [now, zombies?] ...
- Jeff Cooper, as quoted in Combat Handguns, August 2008, from the 1992 Volume 12 "Gunsite Gargantuan Gossip"

I guess that we can say that Jeff Cooper is a Class A/B person, being labeled a mythical warrior philosopher. From my scant reading of his writings, I could fairly say that he was really more Class A than Class B, and he was a warrior philosopher - meaning that "warrior" is an adjective and Mr. Cooper was, in essence, a "philosopher" - rather than a philosopher warrior.

And in essence, it is the thinking person that rises above all others. But action should not be undersold.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Government Is The Bad Guy

"The conclusions seem inescapable that in certain circles a tendency has arisen to fear people who fear government. ... Fear of the state is in no sense subversive. It is, to the contrary, the healthiest political philosophy for a free people.”
– Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries, vol. 4, no. 16, December, 1996
 The state attempts to govern us, hence it's preferred name. To question the state's actions and motives is not alarmist, obstructionist, subversive, or treason. It is the supreme obligation of a sovereign individual.

And who is this sovereign individual? Well, you, like it or not.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pragmatic Philosophy

The study of philosophy is pragmatic - well, can be pragmatic.

For example, with a foundation of self ownership and a process of logic, a student of philosophy would hopefully come to the conclusion that the most sustainable economic system is the free market. And not just a free market governed by a state, but a free market for everything - security, healthcare, food, housing, recreational goods, charity.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Smallest Minority

I keep stumbling across The Smallest Minority blog. What sticks with me is this quote:
The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
I guess that I'll finally put The Smallest Minority in My Blog List.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Good" Government

The litmus test for "good" government action is: Does this action violate anyone's individual rights in the name of privileges or manufactured rights? Yes? Then the government has planned a crime. Conspiracy charges anyone?
One simple truth that could be endlessly reiterated, and effectively applied to nine-tenths of the statist proposals now being put forward or enacted in such profusion, is that the government has nothing to give to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. In other words, all its relief and subsidy schemes are merely ways of robbing Peter to support Paul.
from Henry Hazlitt's Man vs. The Welfare State
One of the key words in that passage is "robbing." Government is literally stealing your money to finance social engineering.

And that's just government's redistribution schemes. The government has invented rights like the right to live in a state that bans prostitution, or "protects" us form unlicensed physicians. Those manufactured rights violate the rights of others to do whatever they want to do, as long as that work or behavior does not harm another person.

And control of careers leads to another form of theft. Government steals opportunities from individuals, by outright banning potential jobs or by making the cost of entry too high for many to attempt. Tack on to that the testing and interview requirements for many occupational licenses that limit additional numbers of individuals able to enter occupations beyond any manufactured "safety" standards, after individuals have already invested in government-mandated training to enter those occupations.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Your Bank is Bankrupt

I'm sorry to inform you of what you could figure out for yourself, if you put together the basic economics you were hopefully taught in high school.

There is a 99% chance that your bank is bankrupt. The same goes for any other deposit and lending institute you patronize. And if your bank existed before you were born, then it was bankrupt then, too. That is true because of the practice and policy of fractional-reserve lending.

For example, banks lend out ten-times what they have taken as deposits. So for every 1 dollar that a bank takes as a deposit, that bank lends out an additional 9 dollars. 

I'm not against fractional-reserve lending as a practice. It was done privately among Dutch (hopefully, I've got the nation right) goldsmiths, and they seemed to have done fine with the method.

A goldsmith knew the risk that depositors might show up one day with receipts for more gold than the goldsmiths had on hand. Either the goldsmith had insurance, backing from other goldsmith to cover a shortage, or an escape plan. The depositors knew that they had to trust the goldsmith. Were the depositors wise to fractional-reserve lending? Maybe, not at first, but that was the risk of putting ones commodity in another's hands.

What does bother me is this: With government backing, banks are allowed to exist in a condition that is insolvent. Banks cannot even satisfy the return of deposits to 20% of their depositors (Of course, they could get maybe that much from the Fed, which they can turnaround and lend about 8-times that amount, once they satisfy "calls" on deposits. But the Fed might balk at 30%.). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does "insure" each account for $100,000 (Oops, that was raised to $250,000 in 2008. Current depression - er, recession, er downturn, er collapse - fueling bank run fears?). But no private insurance company would take such risks of insuring businesses that are so close to failure.  A private insurance company would risk going bankrupt itself. 

No, only a government "corporation" with unlimited supplies of tax revenues and manufactured money could back such insolvency. And in the end, citizens of the United States - and the world - will pay, when inflation responds to all that extra money.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Congress Toying with Freedom of the Press

People’s Rights Amendment, et al

On CNSNews.com, Terence P. Jeffrey writes in his article, "Pelosi: Amend the First Amendment," about Congress's latest Constitutional manipulations.

This is insane. Congress is considering amending the First Amendment to counter corporations' ability to use "personhood" to protect their political speech from government regulation as “individuals.”

And an amendment of the First Amendment can go beyond reigning in corporate “rights.” Because newspapers, broadcasters, book publishers, online news sources, and publishers are often organized as corporations, an amendment could also restrict their abilities to distribute political ideas or advocate for political causes.

Unfortunately (for the Federal state), political speech is not just protected as an “individual” right. There's something called "freedom of the press."

All of this sounds like a carrot and a stick. The government gave corporations “personhood,” and now (125 years later) it wants its due – more control.  If Congress wants to stick it to corporations, then Congress should go after the 14th Amendment – and stop dabbling in free speech manipulation.

And it sounds like its time for corporations to unincorporated. The state giveth and taketh back more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Corporations are People, Too.


Throwing Up Your Hands And Giving In To Crony Capitalism, Because the Current state System Protects Privacy Rights Through Corporate "Person" Rights
 
The Cato Institutes Daily Podcast on April 12 featured Jim Harper: Privacy Rights and 'Corporate Personhood'.
 
Harper's conclusion is that providing "person" rights to corporations protects our privacy rights. 
 
But isn't "corporate personhood" a legal construct - not an inherent right? You might say that you lose your privacy rights for anything held by a corporation, if the corporation is not a "person." But isn't that because we have developed our legal system to treat them that way? We could more easily say that everyone's privacy rights extend to the information that they own, no matter where it is stored. Making that change would be a fight against 125 years of Constitutional, statutory, and case law. But individual rights are more valid, and absolutely a million times more inherent, than corporate rights.

So, you can tell someone that they will lose privacy rights, if corporations are not "people," but that doesn't mean that there is not another solution that is based on real individual rights.

The flipside: Should I incorporate my car, because State seizure laws allow the taking of property without a proper legal proceeding, because the property doesn't have rights?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like a Survivalist: 1.0

Hypothesis #1: A Civilian firearm and ammunition purchasing bubble has started in anticipation of a possible Obama reelection. Federal departments are purchasing and arranging contracts for large quantities of ammunition, so that they don't have to compete with civilians in a tight market.

Hypothesis #2: The Federal bureaucracy anticipates rioting, an insurrection, or other large scale conflict within our borders.

Hypothesis #3: Procurement schedules limit the actual amount of ammo on hand the federal departments will have. The large volume of these contracts and orders are just to secure a supply and prices over time.

Through a Facebook link, I learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE) have placed an order of 1/2-billion .40 S&W rounds. Sounds alarming.
RT America's YouTube channel claims that they report "the other side" of stories. Well, that's good, but I wish their anchor and reporter knew a little about ammunition. They acted like hollowpoint ammo was unusual, and that it couldn't be used for target practice, because it is very expensive. Well, I use hollowpoint ammo in my guns for target practice, because I want to know that it works. Also, hollowpoint ammo has been the standard for law enforcement and self defense for decades. It's debatable if it is appropriate for all applications, but on average it's the go to ammo.

Regardless, RT America reported that the the DHS/ICE order was for 450 million .40 S&W rounds over five years. 

InfoWars.com reports that the order is "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)" with a maximum of 450 million rounds, with an initial 12 months and optional additional four years. With that info, we have some numbers to speculate about:

Speculations About First 12 Months of Orders
DHS has approximately 216,000 employees. If a fifth of the contract is fulfilled in the first year, the DHS would have 90 million rounds in the first year, and 417 rounds for each employee. That's enough for each employee to qualify twice a year (2x40 rounds), and to practice 5 times (5x50), and to have 87 rounds to carry around (a little more than 5 standard magazines carrying 15-17 rounds each).

Of course, DHS does not have 216,000 "law enforcement" types. Actually, in the entire Federal government, there are only 105,000 employees "authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the 50 states and the District of Columbia," according to Wikipedia.com's article Federal law enforcement in the United States. But then you can lump in the Coast Guard's 50,000 active duty and reserve personnel, for a final figure of 155,000, since the Coast Guard is part of DHS. And DHS could supply all of those law enforcement and military employees with 580 rounds in the first year.

That scenario would require DHS to share ammo with other Federal departments. But maybe that's part of the DHS's ammo plan. Either way, 580 rounds per year for each law enforcement employee is still not alarming. 2 qualification a year (2x40), 87 rounds to carry around, and only about 8 quick practice sessions.

But then I found on The Rant forum a reply by Blue Trumpet showing that here are 151,427 armed agents (including the Coast Guard) under DHS. That's a larger percentage of law enforcement agents in DHS than I expected. If that is true, then you are still only talking about 594 rounds in the first year per employee.

US Forest Service Ammo Order NOT Alarming
There's a buzz about the US Forest Service, too. According to the Federal Business Opportunities website, the US Forest Service just finalized an order on September of 2011 for 326,000 rounds (including 120,000 .40 S&W rounds). That looks like a drop in the bucket, compared to even the first year of the DHS order. US Forest Service has only about 590 law enforcement types. But their order would only give their law enforcement employees about 200 rounds of .40 S&W each, and it would all have to be delivered in the first year.

NO LONGER ALARMED
For the time being, I am no longer alarmed by the massive purchase of ammo by DHS. It doesn't appear that they are stockpile or preparing for a massive conflagration with the American people. It appears to be the normal usage of ammo by a law enforcement entity - large, largely unnecessary entity - but that's a debate for another post.

Hypothesis #1 - Disproved
Hypothesis #2 - Disproved
Hypothesis #3 - Sort of Validated

What do you think? 

Next In Series: Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like A Survivalist: 1.1 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Taming the 4-Million Headed Hydra and Its 5̶0̶ 56 Little Friends

Who Controls Government the State?

The state that regulates itself most is best. To reformulate:
The best government is that which governs least.
Motto by John L. O'Sullivan for The United States Magazine and Democratic Review
Sounds good, but can we trust the state to police itself? We expect society to do that, if there isn't a state. But the state has "legal" power over us. Maybe: The state that is regulated most is best.

Another Good Reason for Sunset Provisions

An Executive Authority That Allows The Prez to Control Industry in Time of Peace - or "Emergency"

President Obama issued an executive order on March 16 of this year. It's called National Defense Resource Preparedness. It allows the president to control production of resources that the country needs for defense in peacetime and times of emergency. It utilizes an old Act of Congress called the Defense Production Act of 1950. And according to Hot Air, the authority goes back some 70 years (though not continuous prior to 1950) - and in recent years it was updated by Clinton and Bush - twice. So, Hot Air is not alarmed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

H.R. 4269, Interstate Legal Transportation of Firearms

First Time for Everything

I finally wrote  a politician about a issue I support. I used the NRA Institute for Legislative Action's Write Your Reps tool to send my U.S. Congress representative my request for her to support House Bill H.R. 4269. The text of the bill can be found using a search tool on the House of Representatives website by clicking on the "Bills & Reports" tab under "Legislative Activity" using the term "H.R.4269" (no spaces).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Top Shot's Little Sister, Top Guns

Top Guns' (and Top Shot's) Inaccuracies

I really like the series Top Shot, which airs on History 2, and is also available on Hulu. But I've noticed inaccuracies in definitions of firearm terms, repeatedly. It's understandable, since it's a TV show, running on a production schedule. I'm not under any production schedule, and I make numerous factual errors, which I probably catch and correct before anyone reads a post. But then I was watching Top Guns: Pistol Power, a spin off of Top Shot.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ruger P95 Modifications III: Research

I've settled on three things that I want to improve on my Ruger P95: (1) make it less slippery, (2) fix an edge that cuts into my trigger finger, and (3) change the three dot sights to something that won't cause a stroke. Meanwhile, I'll still be working on a 1000-round grip reduction and enhancement job.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Zombies Have Jumped The Shark

Michael Bane pretty much said that a while ago on his podcast. And what a torture it was when the Fonz did jump the shark, but I had my doubts earlier when I discovered that the Fonz's real name was Henry Winkler. But I digress. 

I like the zombie stuff.
Hornady Zombie Max

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