Friday, February 22, 2013

The Results of Gun Control in the US

The nation’s toughest gun-control law made Massachusetts less safe - Opinion - The Boston Globe

Perhaps you are a believer in Gun Control, and you dismiss Chicago, DC and NYC because "the guns must come in from outside".
Relative to the rest of the country, or to just the states on its borders, Massachusetts since 1998 has become a more dangerous state. Economist John Lott, using FBI crime data since 1980, shows how dramatic the contrast has been. In 1998, Massachusetts’s murder rate equaled about 70 percent of the rate for Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Now it equals 125 percent of that rate.
How can you "blame the neighbors", when they have less gun control but are doing BETTER than you are??

Much like Doctors and Engineers, it would be wise to "first do no harm". Had crime dropped after the last AR / magazine ban in '94, then rocketed up upon it expiring  in '04, or upon the passage of Concealed Carry in 40+ states, is there any doubt whatsoever that those damning statistics would be streaming from every news outlet and politicians mouth in the land? I think not -- since those statistics show clearly that the ban going on and off had no effect, nor did Concealed Carry (unless it reduced violence, but I prefer to believe in both cases that the trend was down and neither action had significant effect).

How many have to die in Chicago, DC, Boston, NYC, etc before we look at the facts and leave behind the wishful thinking that criminals are going to respect gun laws?? If you are willing to murder, why would you be bothered by illegally obtaining a gun?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The American Spectator : Sequester Hysterics

The American Spectator : Sequester Hysterics:

Just read it, it is all good. Essentially, if BO says something, the best plan is to assume the opposite is at least more in the same galaxy as something marginally truthful.

'via Blog this'

Sequester Insanity

Obama, Republicans clash on forced spending cuts -

Nearly every day now there is another news story so unbelievable that any sane person has to wonder how this nation can be operating at all and how little time we must have left. The "sequester" madness is just the flavor of the day.

If you read WAY down in the article, a small piece of truth slips in.
However, such a deal has proved impossible, leading to the imminent application of $85 billion in spending cuts for 2013 and almost $1 trillion over 10 years.
It is STILL a Henny Youngman world/ (when asked "How is your wife?", he responded "Compared to what?) 

Compared to what indeed. Well, to understand $85B in "cuts", one has to look at total spending which is $3.8 TRILLION!!!!

So, if the spending was $850B, then $85B would be a 10% cut. 

If the spending was $1.7T, then it would be a 5% cut

If it was $3.4T, it would be a 2.5% cut 

So we are discussing a LESS THAN 2.5% "cut" ... which REALLY isn't a "cut" at all, since when you count all the "Quantitative Easing", off budget, + other gimmicks, we ALWAYS spend significantly more than the year before no matter what the supposed budget says! 

On top of that, BO has the gall to say that we need a "balanced approach" after he snookered the Republicans at the end of 2012 for a "millionaire tax increase" with ZERO SPENDING CUTS!!  (oh well, $250K income, but what is a $750K "rounding error" when you are "the one") 

As his actions have pointed out over and over, his "balanced approach" is raising taxes on everyone that works (BOcare for example) and continuing to transfer more money from them and future earners  to the nonworking!

Oh well, the Takers voted him in, so he really is just paying off his supporters like all politicians do!

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Narrative vs Fact

A CIA veteran on what ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ gets wrong about the bin Laden manhunt - Washington Post

Solid and concise  little explanation of what "enhanced interrogation" really was, how it was used, and how the story foisted on the American people is wrong by someone that knows the details.

First, as I've said many times in this Blog, if water boarding is torture, then we have tortured every one of our Navy Seals. They are water boarded as part of their training.

It is part of the human condition that life involves pain. In some cases, lots of it -- childbirth, accidents, surgeries, back injuries, burns, dental procedures, etc. Medicine is a case where pain is often inflicted with a higher purpose -- in that case, some improvement of the condition of the patient. In the case of water boarding, the pain is inflicted in hopes of saving other lives.

The main focus of the narrative of water boarding was the vast media effort to demonize W and his administration. We know there was absolutely no bounds to their efforts on that front; Abu Grab was pined directly on W, ("the fish rots from the head")  where anything under BO from  Benghazi to soldiers massacring civilians in Afghanistan is simply "something that happened". The stated and bragged about policy of "Terror Tuesday" where BO decides who lives and who dies at the hands of remote controlled drones is either applauded or not discussed. Gitmo has moved from being a horrible stain on the nation and western civilization to being a US base in Cuba.

As is common in the human condition, the narrative has won. We are fact based creatures only with significant effort and a good deal of luck.Facts may be stubborn, but humans tend to be even more stubborn.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Atheists, Autism, Empathy

Epiphenom: Atheists lack empathy and understanding

I had the opportunity to have a rather long discussion with an atheist heading up to St Paul to support 2nd amendment rights this week. Although wide ranging, that discussion focused on the potential for having a written constitution that is held sacred as the basis for a republican vs mob based government when much of the population is non-religious, agnostic or atheist. My view is no, it hasn't been done and it can't be done with human beings at the level of development we will be at for 100's of K of years. The atheist would of course love it to be possible, but understood that it hasn't been done in history, so we are on completely new ground in attempting it -- and as evidenced by the attack on the 2nd amendment in MN, we are losing at present.

Having a history in technology, I am very familiar from a personal POV of both the systemizing strength and the interpersonal / empathy weakness of computer geeks. It is a stereotype, but like all stereotypes, it is not without a good deal of truth. "People die, get over it" is very close to the actual felt sentiment of many high tech computer people when faced with the reality of death -- death is real, but they can't see any "logical way" that it can be dealt with other than just "getting through it". They are generally smart enough to intellectually know that they need to "hide out" and try to at least act like they understand the feelings when in the presence of the recently deceased and loved ones, but generally, it is even harder for them than for most folks to find any words to relate to the other living and grieving -- they often "feel fake". Not that everyone doesn't, it is just on that range of feeling they are on the "very fake" side of the curve.

So atheism makes sense to them. Maybe THAT is why they are different -- they are just smarter than other people, have a better intellectual grasp of the REAL world, so being an atheist allows them a framework in which to explain their difference in what they see as a positive way. It does at least sound more intellectually appealing than "unfeeling lost geek".

My background is that the "road to Damascus" experience for a tech geek is likely to be a slowly dawning realization that all human understanding, especially the arid tech science geek "if I can't measure it, it doesn't exist" brand, is very and extremely sadly limited. Having gone through that conversion, I can also say that it is painful -- it is so much easier for a technically oriented brain to reduce all discussions to "just the facts ma'am" and seem to often "win" on materialist points, while sadly losing big on the interpersonal and I believe eternal tally. Hell is probably loaded with really super smart technicians.

So I'm a passable technician, a lousy human, and an extremely needy likely to be bare last on St Peter's list at heaven's gate at best. But a tiny ray of hope is WAY better than being without hope!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Justifiable Homicide?

Liberal Shooter Planned Mass Murder | Power Line

The MSM is actually covering this a bit, but I'll bet that PL is right, it will be VERY quiet!!

The wisdom of publishing a "hate map"?? Ho hum, as long as it is "hate" for folks that don't happen to agree with gay marriage, no biggie.

Man, those right wing crazies are SCARY!!!! Lefty crazies? Not so much.

Welcome to the Fascist Sate of MN

I wasted the better part of yesterday and today up in St Paul trying to show support for maintaining the rule of law over the rule of man in this teetering republic. 

We have a 2nd amendment to a written constitution. We pledge allegiance TO THE REPUBLIC, which means that the written law trumps mob rule.  If the mob wants to change the written law, they have a process -- 2/3 in both federal houses, 3/4 of the states ratify. That is that ... we have WAY to many folks up there saying "I don't care what gun owners think".  If you talked to a good many of them, they would care no more for what is in the constitution.

That is exactly why there is a 2nd amendment!  It is the only part of our rights  that has teeth, and it appears that the last tiny ember of freedom on the planet is yet again in danger of being snuffed out.  Freedom never was free, but it seems that every generation or so it ends up coming to blood. 

Having rule of law vs rule of mob is explicitly to prevent just what is going on up in St Paul. Endless discussion back and forth that ought to have no place in a country where people understood how their government was built to work and why. When there is no rule of law, then the only recourse is violence, and that is now the precipice we teeter on. If it comes to confiscation -- which is where they want to go with this, then the only answer a free man can make is "fight or flight". 

One of the ways that you know you are living in a totalitarian police state is if you are subject to the knock on the door, the stop on the street, and find that you have violated some item that the rules decided to foist on you. In America, formerly not a police state, you were  able to live your life without having to pay much attention to politics. You could focus on being productive. Being happy. Being free. 

Two guns are shown below. They are IDENTICAL in mechanism and function. They are both Ruger 10/22 firearms, one of the most popular of guns on the market. They are semi-auto guns that fire one bullet per trigger pull, and have detachable magazines that carry 10, 25, and other popular numbers of rounds. 

The top gun is legal under the proposed MN statute HF021 which states" (1) semi-automatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and 
2.31has one or more of the following:
2.32(i) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;"

If you violate this law you are:
"guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more 
9.11than 20 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $100,000, or both."

Got that?? You currently own, or are just visting the state of MN and you get caught with a standard Ruger 10/22 that happens of have a thumbhole stock and you can end up with 20 years in the slammer!! 

For a .22!!! The kids squirrel hunting gun. The first gun I ever had. Put a stock on it with a hole in it and it is an "Assault Weapon"!!!! 

Welcome to the Fascist state of MN Comrade!!! 

Science, Politics, Climate Change

Occam’s Razor, the Null Hypothesis, and Anthropogenic Global Warming | Power Line:

Fairly short and very much on the mark to those few still willing to look at science as opposed to politically popular views of "Global Warming" or "Climate Change".

Indeed, "Climate Change" IS true, always has been true and always will be true, it is just that to date, there is no evidence that humans play a part in it.

I love this quote from Feynman. It also doesn't matter how many people support the guess, or even how willing they are to call the people that don't support the guess "anti-science, stupid, etc".

In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience; compare it directly with observation, to see if it works.
It’s that simple statement that is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.”

'via Blog this'