Archive for December, 2005

December 31, 2005

Pitfalls of parenting

You’ve been watching Noggin way too much when you start to think Laurie Berkner is kinda hot.

Seems unlikely but…

Via Jeff, comes this:

The U.S. government has called on NATO members to prepare for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the German daily Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

NATO officials said the United States is seriously weighing the possibility of military action against Iran.

The administration has been pretty clear on not allowing Iran to have nukes. Honestly, I figure if we don’t then Israel will. Kind of surprised they haven’t yet.

Continuing the non-story

The AP:

The White House said Friday its Web tracking technology is consistent with federal rules because it only counts the number of visitors anonymously and doesn’t record personal information.

The White House’s site uses what’s known as a Web bug — a tiny graphic image that’s virtually invisible — to anonymously keep track of the number and time of visits. The bug is sent by a server maintained by an outside contractor, WebTrends Inc., and lets the traffic-analysis company know that another person has visited a specific page on the site.

Web bugs themselves are not prohibited. However, under a directive from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, they are largely banned at government sites when linked to cookies, which are data files that let a site track Web visitors.

In other news, the White House checks out Technorati and may install a Sitemeter.

MTV on gun owners

Caught about 15 minutes of it and had to turn it off. Not due to bias but because I can’t stand that whole reality TV, Real World feel. They had a dumbass gang banger who said his Mac (which MTV called a machine gun though it wasn’t) held 32 in the chamber and said he needed money but wasn’t going to work so do the math. I did, 1 + 1 = fucking moron. Honestly, the show wasn’t as biased as I thought it would be even though 2 of their sample gun owners were criminals. Anyway, the girl who was attacked and then became a gun activist has a web page but I haven’t found it. If you have a link, let me know.

Happy New Year

Mine will be off to a rocking start being unemployed. But things will turn around. Not sure what blogging will be like the rest of the day since I’m taking down Christmas stuff.

So, to you and yours, Happy New Year. And if you’re Chinese, sorry my well wishes are late.

Speaking of gun porn

I asked for it and Captain Holly delivered.

Update: more here and here. My kind of guns too.

I don’t eat at McDonald’s

But if I did, I’d stop:

A McDonald’s maintenance worker who pulled out his gun and fired two shots at a woman who was robbing another employee at gunpoint has been suspended from his job.

While police officials say Clifton Brown Jr. violated no laws last week when he fired the shots shortly after the restaurant’s midnight closing, the franchise owner said Brown violated a ban on guns at the restaurant.
The shooting happened as Brown and a co-worker were taking out the trash and a woman, who was on foot, put a gun to the back of the second employee. She then robbed the restaurant in the city just north of Louisville, Ky., through the drive-up window, police said.

Brown told police that he pulled his gun out and ordered the fleeing robber to stop. She then raised her own gun and he fired two shots, which apparently missed the woman, before she continued to flee.

Via reader Kevin.

December 30, 2005

Year End Thoughts on Blogging

Michael Silence has some.

And, given the propensity for other bloggers to ask me for links, I’ll give you the top reasons why I don’t read your blog:

All linky, no thinky. Would it kill you to actually, you know, write something? If you’re just parroting, set up a link farm.

You tilt at windmills for a party line. Both parties are wrong. A lot. You should even call your own party on that.

No feed. Seriously. I have some older blogs I read that don’t have feeds. I read them now because I read them before I discovered Bloglines. If you’re a new blog and don’t have a feed, I probably won’t add you to my read list. Now that I think about it, with the exception of commenting, I don’t even visit my own blog that much. It’s true. I use gmail to read comments and bloglines to proofread it. I only visit my own site to keep up with some links and to address comments. All that said, my first visit to your blog won’t be through a feed but to your site.

You don’t update enough. Now, if you’re particularly insightful but update infrequently (like this guy), you’ll keep my interest. Otherwise, I’ll move on.

Because every time you post something new, you email me to tell me that. I don’t mind getting emails about things that are important or breaking or whatever. But don’t send me an email every time you write something.

Stiff competition, folks. There are already many blogs out there and they’re better than yours. Heck, they’re better than mine. If you’re just parroting what others are saying, I’ll just go to the others. For example, I read Michelle Malkin so that I know what Republican blogs are talking about. Her site keeps me up to date with about 90% of what every other Republican blog is talking about. If you’re not adding anything, why would I read you and not her?

Your format sucks. I’m one of those folks who likes convenience and I like easy to read blogs. I don’t want to wait 10 seconds while all your scripts load. I like dark text on light background. I don’t like flaming red fonts or lots of graphics.

If your blog is merely a place for you to post the latest quizilla results or whatever the meme of the day is, yawn. Sure, I like you and all but I don’t care that much about you.

Now, if you want me to read, it’s easy. Two words: Gun porn.

IE Bleg

Can someone tell me why after I clear history, URLs still show up in the address bar?

Update: All better now.

Republicans have their Clinton moment

What’s up with the Republican blogs out there? There is a serious issue wherein the president may have broken the law. Yet, they’re more content to poo-poo the NYT for printing the story or US News for getting a FOIA request. Sorry, folks, but you’re not doing anyone any favors with this stuff. The press reports. Everyone ought to be concerned about the fact the president may have broken the law. The only complaint that should be leveled against the NYT is waiting for a year to time the report with a book they were pimping. And, guess what. People know the US spies. It’s not news. The details of it are news but Al Qaeda knows we’re watching them. They’re not suddenly picking up the NYT and saying: Hey, Abu, did you know they can listen to our phone calls? Stupid, little great Satans. They knew that already.

These are serious allegations and the Republican blogs may want to address the issue instead of crowing about another made up issue.

More on MTV and guns

I mentioned MTV’s show on gun owners. Haven’t watched it yet but TiVo grabbed it for me. Anyway, Bitter reports something interesting:

I was called to be on the show. I’m kinda shocked it took them so long to air it since they initially called me in early 2004. Anyway, since I didn’t kill any animals or people, I wasn’t considered a representative of what they wanted to show as the gun owning population in the final cut. Funny since I thought that those qualities made me quite representative of the average gun owner. I also gave them the names of several promising young shooters who compete and are doing well, but I guess they weren’t stereotypical enough for MTV either.

MTV chose two criminals of the four total they chose to cover gun owners. No, no bias there.

Uncle Builds an AK: Part 5

Here’s a couple snapshots of the AK project mocked up and getting close to being done. First is the side view:

Here’s a close up of the receiver:

Up next, slapping in the fire control group and some pins, which you can learn how to do here.

Party of fiscal responsibility, my ass

The WaPo:

Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said yesterday that the United States could be unable to pay its bills in early 2006 unless Congress raises the government’s borrowing authority, which is now capped at $8.18 trillion.

Snow, in a letter to lawmakers, estimated that the government is expected to bump into the statutory debt limit around the middle of February.

“At that time, unless the debt limit is raised or the Treasury Department takes authorized extraordinary actions, we will be unable to continue to finance government operations,” Snow wrote.

And this is not the first time the Republican controlled government raised the limit:

The last time Congress agreed to boost the debt limit was in November 2004 — from $7.38 trillion to the current $8.18 trillion. The government’s statutory borrowing authority was also pushed up in 2002 and 2003.

I guess fiscal responsibility is just a talking point during elections.

December 29, 2005

Steppin’ in da poo poo

Bob Krumm details a heart-wrenching interview of a child who lived in a meth house by a counselor. Read it all. Then come back. He ends with:

So let’s talk about drug legalization . . .

To which I said:

Ok, let’s. Did prohibition work?

Obviously, drugs are problematic. No one with any sense about it would claim otherwise. But is this supposed war on drugs worth it?

The drug war costs billions and billions and billions of dollars. Many innocent, peaceable citizens have been needlessly killed by a police force that has been essentially militarized and happens to no-knock on the wrong door. People are not secure in their homes because of no knock warrants and search warrants issued based on the frequently false testimony of criminals. Property is taken and lives are destroyed over a few minuscule amounts of drugs. Is it worth that price to confiscate an infinitesimally small fraction of a percent of the drug supply in this country?

People’s homes, cash, vehicles, etc. are taken without due process of law because someone might have a little weed. Seriously, that is frightening.

And yes, I’ve said that before.

No matter where you go, big brother is there

In England, anyway:

British offenders who fail to pay their court fines could receive a text message warning them “to pay up or get locked up.”

Under plans outlined by the government Thursday, magistrates courts in England and Wales are to look at sending messages by text or email to fine evaders and those who fail to show up to court or for community service.

Between this and their recent plan to record all things that happen on the roads and their camera system, it’s a bit scary over there. Particularly if you’re a dark skinned dude wearing a heavy coat.


Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what have for dinner. — JAMES BOVARD (1994)

Colt solved the sheep’s problem

More NSA silliness

The AP:

The National Security Agency’s Internet site has been placing files on visitors’ computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most files of that type.

The files, known as cookies, disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week. Agency officials acknowledged yesterday that they had made a mistake.

Nonetheless, the issue raised questions about privacy at the agency, which is on the defensive over reports of an eavesdropping program.

Cookies are generally harmless, of course, but I was unaware there were laws against them. I suppose there are laws against the Feds placing them. It looks like it was an accident, though that’s reported after all the bluster and scare:

Don Weber, an agency spokesman, said in a statement yesterday that the use of the so-called persistent cookies resulted from a recent software upgrade.

Normally, Mr. Weber said, the site uses temporary cookies that are automatically deleted when users close their Web browsers, which is legally permissible. But he said the software in use was shipped with the persistent cookies turned on.

“After being tipped to the issue, we immediately disabled the cookies,” Mr. Weber said.

Cookies are widely used at commercial Web sites and can make Internet browsing more convenient by letting sites remember user preferences. For example, visitors would not have to repeatedly enter passwords at sites that require them.

Privacy advocates point out that cookies can also track Web surfing, even if no personal information is collected.

Do I have a freedom from unreasonable cookies?

Set your dials

Tonight, MTV is set to do a show on gun owners:

MTV, Music Television, has become known more for its “reality” shows and political activism than for playing music videos over the past decade. That trend will continue Thursday night with the airing of the latest episode of the network’s “True Life” documentary series: “True Life: I’m a Gun Owner.” While some firearms enthusiasts are giving MTV the benefit of the doubt, many gun rights advocates are already questioning the objectivity of the program.


The Dec. 29 episode examines how “guns are changing the lives of four young people in very different ways,” according to a promotional “blurb” emailed to Cybercast News Service by MTV publicist Diane Domondon.

“While most gun owners are responsible, on average every hour someone between the ages of 15 and 28 is cut down by a bullet,” the promotional statement continued. “Whether it’s for protection, crime or sport, guns are having a deep effect on the youth of our nation.”

Update: It’s pre-loaded with bias:

The program features a convicted felon, a gang member, a hunter and a crime victim who is now an advocate of armed self-defense to present the various sides of the gun debate. Several gun rights advocates immediately challenged MTV’s math.

“It’s a bit offensive that 50 percent of the people they’ve chosen to feature as being ‘gun owners’ are people who are obviously breaking the law and probably acquired their firearms illegally,” Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America said of the gang member and the convict. “When you look at the statistics, it’s only a fraction of 1 percent of the ‘gun owners’ in the country who ever use firearms in an illegitimate way.”

Gun Bleg

Anyone have a CAD drawing or know the specs of a Colt 9mm magazine block?

Note to KABA

I really like the website Keep and Bear Arms. It has a lot of news and other items gun folks should be keeping up with. They’re having a fundraiser. So, go give them money if you like.

I don’t like the fact they don’t have syndication or feeds. I’ll make a deal with them: if they get an RSS feed for their news items, I’ll pledge $50. Anyone else want to make that deal with them?

More on FISA

Pretty good discussion over at Lean Left in the comments section about FISA. (once you get past the troll and me calling the troll a troll). My thinking is that Bush really stepped in it this time. FISA is pretty clear regarding wiretaps of communications involving US Persons and that said taps require warrants. Granted, those warrants can, in some circumstances, be obtained after the fact.

As Tom said:

At issue here is who gets to decide whether or not FISA is constitutional. Answer: Not the president. So the argument has to be either that Bush broke the law in violating FISA, or that FISA as written doesn’t apply to what Bush did anyway, therefore what he did was allowable irrespective of the constitutionality of FISA. It cannot be that because FISA is (probably) unconstitutional, it can simply be ignored by the executive branch.

Bush could have gone through the steps to properly obtain warrants without much trouble. He didn’t because it was inconvenient politically and practically. If nothing else, it indicates laziness. Triggerfinger says:

To deliberately evade the requirements of the law is to place yourself above it; and such a deliberate choice requires a response both swift and firm.

To do so over a mere 179 modified requests (plus two denied) from a total of 5645 is to demonstrate an outright contempt for the checks and balances necessary in a free society.

I have my doubts as to whether the “enemy press” has accurately identified the whole story. But if it has, the President has crossed the line.

Further thoughts: I don’t think said searches are inherently unconstitutional because they are reasonable in given circumstances. Said searches do, I think, violate FISA which was established to balance security needs with liberties.

And, barring any new info on the subject, I’m mostly done talking about it for now.

More Garands

Denise is showing hers off. Am I the only gun owner who doesn’t have one?

San Fran Ban Update

Apparently, the city and the NRA have struck a deal where if the city agrees to delay enforcement of the ban, the NRA will not seek a restraining order. My advice to the good gun owners of SF is first to move. If that doesn’t suit you, when it comes time to turn in your guns, turn in the ammo first.

It occurs to me

In two years, I’ve never made a left turn out of my subdivision. Just felt like sharing that.

December 28, 2005

On Tactical

Pawpaw on Tactical terms:

I listen to the young’uns on the SWAT team talk about tactical this and tactical that, and I want to puke. Equipment isn’t tactical. Your brains are tactical. Your training is tactical. Your equipment is just equipment.

Good point. Reminds me of Tactical Tommy Goes to the Store.

Padilla lawyers to ask for ‘Review of Powers’

The AP:

Lawyers for Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held as an “enemy combatant” for nearly four years, want the Supreme Court to resolve how much power a president has while the nation is at war.

Lawyers Donna Newman and Andrew Patel told the high court in papers filed Tuesday that the justices must step in “to preserve the vital checks and balances” on the president.

They cited the Bush administration’s interpretation of the president’s war powers to justify its decision to hold Padilla — until recently — without charges in a military brig in South Carolina.

Padilla’s lawyers also said President Bush abused his war powers authority by approving warrantless surveillance of conversations between people in the United States and abroad who had suspected terrorist ties.

Gun Porn Ho!

1928A1 compares the Gemtech Trinity/Talon to the LRM M169, complete with pics and video.

Quote of the day – ok, that’s 3

Seen at UC:

You can’t win the war on terror by getting wire tapped for your country, you win the war on terror by making some other poor bastard get wire tapped for his country.


The Gun Show Wars

They’re continuing. Rumor has it Mike Holloway canceled his 12/31 show. Odds are it’s a good bet since it’s not listed on his site. RK Shows is still on for 12/31. And in February of 2006, there are (for the third time) competing shows scheduled for 2/11 and 2/12. I think RK is putting the squeeze on Mike.

Quote of the day

Actually, two:

Any uninvited person found in my house at night will be found there in the morning,’ one reader wrote.

Heh. The writer continues:

“Gee, [that quote is] scary and intimidating, my well-meaning friends replied.”

“I had to agree, up to a point. Comments like those are scary. But only if you’re planning a home invasion.”

Double heh.

Via Keep and Bear Arms.