Carl Bussjaeger

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Updated 6/9/2014:
"The New Terrorism"

My SCA Pages
Article and cartoon reprints, photographs, news clippings, and reminiscences.
Period Inks and Pigments Revisited, 12/11/2013
(follow-up article to Period Inks and Pigments from the Modern Kitchen)

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New GPG Key, 9/6/13

(Newer posts below)
EMERGENCY: JPFO Directors Selling Out

Update 5, 8/24, 2:30AM: Gottlieb spews back

Having known Aaron Zelman, I believe he would be disgusted by this move to sell out to that bagel brained Gottlieb.

Via Claire Wolfe:

Now, the JPFO board of directors has hatched a plan to hand JPFO over to SAF — a merger that is scheduled to be finalized next week if JPFO supporters don’t stop it.
This a very, very bad thing. Go read Claire's detailed post. Then come back here. I'll have more later. This is an emergency, so I wanted to get the notice out fast; I'll be going through correspondence and pulling out some quotes from Alan Gottlieb to demonstrate why this is more terrible than some of you might think.

If you want to do something now, considering writing letters to the JPFO board of directors:

Executive Board Director
Robert (Bob) Meier —

Senior Board Member
Bruce Bell —
NOTE: Bell's email uses a whitelist spam blocker requiring you to click a confirmation link. Clicking that link gave me an error message stating that my email had already been deleted.

Board Member and Managing Director
Doug Schuett —

Update: As promised.

I'll start with the usual disclosure. I have had ties to Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, both as a member and contractor. I've been paid by JPFO, and I've supported it financially. I'm listed as a co-producer on the video "No Guns for Negros," which details the racist origins of American victim disarmament/gun control.

I worked with Aaron Zelman. It was rough occasionally, because he absolutely would not compromise what he knew to be right. Sometimes my view of "right" differed (on administrative issues, never on rights and victim disarmament) and I had to remind myself that I was accepting JPFO's money to create something for Aaron, to express JPFO's position, in his way.

Aaron would not compromise. That's important.

The Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb is all about compromise.

"My support for a state universal background check bill must include a substantial victory for gun owners that includes, but is not limited to repealing, prohibiting and destroying the current state handgun registration system"
You might think that would be a fine thing for the state's gun owners, but an awful lot of them disagreed with the idea of fixing one infringement of their rights with yet another infringement. I wrote to Gottlieb:
You have set the new standard for "compromise" that the anti-RKBA civil rights violators will point to: "Look! Even Gottlieb and SAF -- famous for the pro-gun Heller decision -- think universal background checks are a good idea. So we can do it nationally now!"
– email, 2/20/2013
Gottlieb never actually denied that his Washington state "compromise" could (and would) set a precedent that disarmers would use nationally against RKBA human rights advocates. The closest he came was this:

The fact is in the 1960's I was in Tennessee fighting for civil rights for African Americans. I was even helping to arm them so they could protect themselves from the Klan.

Reread my statement as to why I am doing what I am doing. Even without what I do not want made public it is a smart thing to do. Getting rid of the state gun registration data base is a very big win!

Also notice all the ways to transfer a firearm without a background check that I am demanding.

You don't have to agree with me. But, understand there are many benefits to what I am doing so cut me some slack.


Let's parse that out:
  • Gottlib armed blacks in the '60s in a manner that his 2013 "compromise" would make unlawful.
  • He had double secret reasons for what he did, so don't question him; just accept it..
  • Washingtonians would be able to tranfer firearms without a background check so long as they went through a background check and training (CCW licensees).
  • We don't have to agree. Just shut up and do as Gottlieb says.
I only missed the part where it would be Gottlieb himself screwing us over.

Yes, Gottlieb did attempt to screw gun owners. Without lubricant or condom, and infected with a virtual disease of the Constitution: He helped write the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer (Schumer? An allegedly pro-RKBA type cooperating with Schumer?) national preemptively-prove-your-innocence and gun ban amendment.

I guess that bid for national PPYI fame was the double secret stuff he didn't want us to know in advance.

And in case you've forgotten, Manchin-Toomey-Schumer-Gottlieb was no compromise. It didn't require any existing limit or restriction to be lifted, as the WA state proposal pretended. It simply added more. I suppose Gottlieb would be happy to spin it as, "Of course, it was a compromise. We just raped you without lube. We wanted to wrap our dicks in sandpaper while we screwed you."

I liked and admired Aaron Zelman very much, and was happy to see JPFO continuing his vision and work. Selling out to Gottlieb violates his legacy far more completely than I think the directors realize.

Aaron abhorred the very idea of compromise on basic human rights.

Gottlieb thrives on it.

Update 2: Claire Wolfe has created a petition to prevent JPFO being merged with SAF.

Update 3: Heh. [grin]

Update 4: Friday afternoon, I sent an email to the JPFO directors, and cc'd the webmaster to be sure the organization had a record of my email. In that email, I took note that the reports available are allegations and offered to post a statement from the directors in its unedited entirety. As of Saturday, 8/23/2014, 12 noon, I have received two responses. One was an automated "whitelist" response from Bruce Bell which provided a link to get whitelisted.I clicked that link as soon as I received it, and got a message that my email was "no longer available" and that my request could not be processed; clearly he does not wish to discuss the matter.

The other response was a gracious message from the cc'd webmaster, Chris, who noted that he isn't privy to information regarding this issue but would be forwarding correspondence to the directors.

As we are now in the Shabbat, I do not expect further replies. And this being the American weekend, nothing is likely until Monday at least. Hopefully, by then the directors will have prepared a statement I can share here.

David Codrea, who is also a JPFO blogger, has published an Examiner column, "Announced takeover of Jewish gun group provokes controversy," which includes statement's from SAF's weasel Alan Gottlieb. Gottlieb implies that the takeover is a done deal and cannot be affected by protests ("not alter any plans or kill the deal"). He further rationalizes the takeover by invoking the grabs of and Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, "them running as they were before coming under the SAF umbrella.”

Ironically, SAF's takeover of KABA actually resulted in reducing a vibrant virtual gathering place of hardcore RKBA activists to a moribund, faded pastel, ghost of itself. The only thing left there of any pretend value is a news clipping service which – last time I bothered checking – consisted of out-of-date collections of stuff I'd long since seen elsewhere. Very few people comment anymore, which I attribute in part to the registration requirements and terms of service imposed by SAF

"We reserve the right to disclose any and all pertinent customer information to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate."
Lawyers of the world SAF, unite. You have nothing to lose but your customers' rights and privacy. In order to post a single comment on a single news clipping, you must register. SAF required info includes email address, name, physical address, and phone number. To be given to any gov agency any time SAF feels like it, no mention of warrants, NSLs, or subpoenas. Somehow, that doesn't sound much like running KABA "as they were before coming under the SAF umbrella", with its previous free, open, and anonymous discourse.

Frankly, I didn't even know the "Doctors" group existed anymore in any form. Way to go, Gottlieb. Looking at their website they appear to be just one guy, Robert B. Young, MD, posting a handful of columns per year (2 in August, 1 in July, 1 in June, and then nothing at all until you go back to November 2013). Impressive (that's sarcasm, for the cognitively-impaired).

This does not bode well for the future of JPFO, which Gottlieb appears to [want us to] believe is already set in stone. Should SAF complete this takeover, I suggest that JPFO supporters start a new RKBA education oriented group modeled on Aaron Zelman's vision, since SAF won't be using it.

Update 5, 8/24: As reported above, David Codrea wrote an Examiner column on the takeover. Gottlieb later posted a comment accusing Claire Wolfe of making "false and wrong claims," which seems to verging rather closely to libel for a lawyer. Well, maybe it's really a troll that isn't Gottlieb pretending to be that troll.

Claire Wolfe has reported other peoples' observations and predictions as to how JPFO might change post-takeover. Much of that came from seeing what happened to KABA. But for herself, she has primarily said that she doesn't think Aaron would have approved, and that things will change. Based on knowledge of Gottlieb and SAF she offered the opinion that the changes won't be good.

As to the first, I agree with her, because I worked with Aaron and heard him say things that support that opinion.

As for "change"... In the very column on which Gottlieb is commenting, David quotes Gottlieb as saying, "JFPO will get a new board of directors...” That's a major change right there. Additionally, at, John Boch, implying insider knowledge of the deal, writes, "It’s mission will change from an education-only organization to an education and advocacy group." That's a huge change. Furthermore, I recall an email from Aaron in which he explained why he chose for JPFO to be educational and not an advocacy group. His stated position in that email was quite incompatible with Boch's advocacy claim. (Edited to add: Gottlieb says the oh-so-well-informed John Boch is wrong: "JPFO is not going to be shifted to advocacy. Another false rumor. Their tax status prohibits it. It would be nice if some people reloaded their brain before they shoot their mouths off. Friendly fire can lose a war!". If only the JPFO directors and SAF would issue a statement of what they will do... before it's a fait accompli. It isn't as though no one has offered them the forum to do just that.)

Basically, I don't see what Claire has said that is "false and wrong." Gottlieb simply made a vague claim without supporting it with so much as a list of her alleged claims, much less a rebuttal. Attorney Ken White of Popehat often notes that "vagueness in legal threats is the hallmark of meritless thuggery." While Gottlieb's comment doesn't rise to the level of a legal threat, I think White's observation applies to seemingly meritless troll spewing, too.

Please, Gottlieb, be specific as to what Claire said that is "false and wrong," along with the accurate information, as you see it.

Of course, Gottlieb is pretty busy. He might even be helping to write more anti-RKBA legislation for his buds Manchin, Toomey, and Schumer.

Second Amendment Foundation supporters will probably – again – whine that we should cut Gottlieb/SAF some slack because they've done good work. True; but consider the start dates, and what Gottlieb/SAF have begun since Gottlieb's decent into hell. That they've done good work in the past, but then turned around to support human rights infringements, creating a dangerous precedent is exactly the problem.

I fear that Gottlieb and SAF have adopted the NRA business model of ensuring a constant flow of "gun control fighting" donations by ensuring a constant supply of gun control to fight.

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Now here's something I hadn't fully considered

The Catch-22 of Energy Storage
Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.
I've often pointed out that "biofuels" and other [semi]synthetic fuels are no overall alternative to conventional petro-fuels, because there's a net energy loss in creating them. They aren't fuels so much as "chemical batteries" charged through production.

I'll concede that I'm also one of the people who maintained that better storage systems could make "renewable" power sources like wind and sun industrially useful. Eventually. But these folks have done a far more in-depth analysis of the production costs of anything faintly resembling current battery technology...

And it's pretty bad.

You could get around the storage cost by simply over-building the wind and solar generation systems. That would entail building enough power collection systems around the world, to ensure a constant supply even when the wind stops and the sun goes down in any one location. Photovoltaic arrays meant to provide a constant 100 MegaWatts would have to be built to produce at least 200 MW, just to compensate for sunset. In fact, you'd have to build in more capacity for cloudy days. Then, to stabilize the grid supply, excess not drawn off for dark areas would have to be run into resistive loads to avoid grid surges. Likewise for wind power.

Very likely you'd run into the exact same production cost problems overbuilding generations as you would with storage. Obtaining the necessary rare earth minerals is already a technological/political issue. And it takes a whole lot of power to make a PVC panel.

Those who still want to believe that renewables are industrially viable must concentrate on that "anything faintly resembling current battery technology;" and search for something radically different with an entirely different – probably a couple orders of magnitude cheaper – cost per watt. A better lithium battery isn't going to hack it.

I happen to have confidence in humanity's technological capability. I think we can eventually make such a breakthrough. But genius level breakthroughs in theory and engneering cannot be predicted. They happen when they happen. Consider that humans – depending on your definition – have been around for 500 to 2,000 centuries, yet we only learned to fly (heavier than air) about a hundred years ago.

Whille we're working toward a breakthrough, we can either go all renewable and let 90% of the human race die in misery, or we can make the most of the resources we have: oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables as appropriate (generally for isolated, nonindustrial off-grid applications).

I prefer confidence and the latter option. Mass murder isn't my thing.

(Hat tip to Watts Up With That.)

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A Gun Rights Compromise

Relax. Bear with me for a few minutes.

OK, everyone is all wound up over the takeover of JPFO by SAF/Gottlieb. I've had things to say over the years that apply well to this situation, so let me summarize the arguments for a compromise.

Compromise isn't always a bad thing, not when everyone gains something good.

The Second Amendment Foundation has strengths. They have a pool of fine attorneys who do well in court, making gains both small and large against existing infringements. I would like to see them do more of that, and they appear to be happy to oblige. Great...


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Kal waiting periods kinda struck down

In a case of the Second Amendment Foundation doing what it should be doing (i.e.- concentrating on its strengths, not screwing up other organizations), a federal court has ruled against the 10-day waiting period to buy a firearm.

Sort of.

The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory in California in which the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the Golden State’s 10-day waiting period violates the Second Amendment “as applied to those individuals who successfully pass” the state’s background check prior to the ten days, and who are in lawful possession of an additional firearm.
Now, if you read that quickly and don't think too hard, it sounds good. It isn't quite a encompassing as some gun blogs have indicated, though. Look closely:
"as applied to those individuals who successfully pass” the state’s background check prior to the ten days, and who are in lawful possession of an additional firearm." (emphasis added-cb)
Eugene Volokh has more details.

"Lawful possession" is the stumbling block. In the People's Republik of Kalifornia, that means registered firearms. Guns the state knows you have, right down to the make, model, serial number, caliber...

The court effectively upheld firearms registration as a condition to "keep and bear". Expect to see the victim disarmers pushing registration as a "compromise" in the very near future. Kal already has registration, so this amounts to a slight improvement in that state. But it will be brought out as a precedent in other states that do not currently have firearms registration.

(And this is why I absolutely oppose Alan Gottlieb's attempts to preemptively "compromise." He appears to be incapable of understanding the difference between making small gains in court against existing infringements, and signing off on new infringements in legislation if the pols promise not to beat us when they rape us our rights. Silvester v. Harris is a net gain for Californians, yes. But when Gottlieb attempted to "compromise" Washington state into universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence, he set a precedent that could – and quickly was – used to push PPYI nationally (because "big time pro-RKBA Gottlieb says it's OK"). In WA, SAF didn't win a small victory against an existing wrong; they just rolled over supposedly for an exemption to the new requirement for folk who registered themselves with the government. And then Gottlieb turned to Machin, Toomey, ad Schumer to do they same damned thing to everyone in the country without even the nominal gain.)

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Cats for against global warming

A couple of years ago, I did a spoof YouTube video: "The Gender-Neutral Kitten Salvation Happiness Fund", complete with acccompanying Indiegogo fundraising page. The idea was to raise money to save the poor little kittens from global warming. I inserted every possible ridiculous cliche that would fit into 2min 7sec. I made up up statistics and pasted on screen that they were made up. I used the classic "Free Cat" picture. I... well, I tried to get a friend to do the voiceover, but it was too far over the top even for her sense of humor.

And people took it seriously.

Why do I mention it now, years later?

Because the Sierra Club has suddenly discovered that cute cats can fight global warming. Or something.

I've emailed them to offer to sell them the rights to my own – much more professional – video.

Welcome to the party, pals.

(-psst- Nobody tell 'em cats like it warmer – what with originating in the desert – until I've got the money.)

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Wobblies. Yes. They are.

Wobblies weeble but they don't fall.. oh. Wait.

Joel Simon posted a piece about the very strange Amanda Curtis, newly nominated MT candidate, supporting the Industrial Workers of the World. Commenter "John" took exception to me referring to them as "Wobblies."

Unfortunately, Joel's commenting system is doing strange things and my response to that seems to be disappearing in a cloud of disassociated electrons. So what I tried posting follows here:


Please examine the sign and flag in the picture above. Note the logo and the name "Industrial Workers of the World."

Checking the URL you provided, I find that "International" Workers of the World site states: "This is the official web-page of the International Workers of the World, IWW/AI
This section of the Anarchist International was founded/reorganized at the The First Nordic Anarchist Congress 15-17 october 1982 in Oslo" (emphasis added). That's decades after the Wobblies. Note their logo: a simple black and red rectangle divided diagonally.

From Wikipedia: "The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), commonly known as the Wobblies" (emphasis added). Please note that the logo displayed in the wiki article identifying the group as the Wobblies is the same as that displayed in the picture above.

The chronology of the "Industrial" Workers of the World, as given on their official website, shows it organizing in 1904 (Wikipedia says 1905; the difference could be one of organizing versus declaration, but that's a guess – Wikipedia has been known to be wrong [grin]). Again, note the logo on this official site. Same as above.

Using the site search function at the Industrial WW site for Wobblies pulls up several documents clearing showing that this group – again, using the same name and logo as the group pictured above – calls themselves "Wobblies".

Yes, the International WW is a different group from the Industrial WW. This group pictured is the Industrial (though probably not industrious) type. Clearly Curtis is supporting Wobblies.

(In fairness, the Hot Air text Joel quoted did ID the IWW as the "International Workers of the World. Since then, the article was edited to remove the "International" reference, and it now says "Industrial".)

Added: Joel points out that "Wobblies: is right on their banner.

So 'tis. I couldn't tell what that smaller print said until he noted the obvious for me.

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Climate Census Data

I'm trying to imagine applying "homogenization" to other fields. Like... racial census data.

"I'm sorry, Mr. K. K. K. Hoodhead. Our data shows that you're now 5% blacker than when you were born in the '60s. Models indicate that you'll qualify for NAACP membership by 2030."

I suspect raw data "correction" and models would suddenly get a lot more attention.

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Raiders of the Lost Corn

I meant to blog something about a personal tragedy this morning, but I got caught up in the JPFO controversy.

I've been raided.

That's my corn, such as it is. Given the temperatures at this elevation, and the less than ideal sun exposure, my corn crop is minimal at best. But something found it acceptable. I discovered that when I stepped out this morning. I still have a few plants left, so I'm hoping the whatever will leave me something.

I don't know what the critter was. I've had deer problems in the past, but I didn't find any tracks this time. Which means whatever it was, it was big enough to reach the inside plants without stepping into the soft garden soil within the frame. I suspect it has something to do with this.

For the past month or so, something has decided that lily bed makes a great... bed. Again, I haven't spotted it. Ever. I sneak out periodically at oddball hours throughtout both night and day, but I never catch it. But it keeps the lilies plastered flat, depriving me of that bit of color.

And now my comestibles.

So far, it's left everything else alone. Which is why I was able to harvest these today.

A couple dozen jalapenos. Not my first gathering either. And plenty more still growing. Some of those are about three inches long. This is definitely my best year for the peppers. So far. Critters allowing.

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Name change: The University of Dumbass

University newspaper changes its name because it ‘propagated violence’
The student-run newspaper at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) is changing its name from The Bullet to The Blue & Gray Press over concerns that its original name carried violent connotations.
Umm... what? Let's fsck this.
"the old name was “a little outdated” and was more representative of the Fredericksburg, Va., community’s ties to the Civil War and not the school as a whole."
"Bullets" are violent. War (the blue and gray reference) is just happy-thought.

"In this day and age, no one really cares about the Civil War. We wanted something that was updated," Thoet said.
Blue & Gray refers to that Civil War that "no one really cares about".

Oh, dear Bog, I can't continue.

In related news, The Bullet The Blue & Gray Press Fuzzy Pastel Tribble has changed its name because someone acquainted with American history pointed out the war connotations of earlier names. More importantly and ironically, over-emoting liberal arts students thought "Blue & Gray" was dreary and depressing.

Additionally, "bullet statements" will now be called "unicorn dreams."

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To be ask or not to be ask

Shakespeare had it easy back in the day.

According to Cheezburger, the humor site with an accuracy rating significantly higher than a William Connolley-edited climatology article...


Make up your effing minds.

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I have to give him partial credit

The gunniesphere is all... ahem a-twitter over this faux pas.

Deadly Assault Plugs

Breathtaking Ignorance
Yes, ladies and gentleman…that’s a reporter who doesn’t know the difference between rubber bullets and foam earplugs.
On the one hand, how did this clown reach nominal adulthood without ever being exposed to loud noises– gun range, power tools, heavy equipment, aircraft, pop music concerts? I'm mildly astonished that he couldn't figure it out. Or use a search engine.

But on the other hand; minimal credit where minimal credit is due. He asked. He didn't simply publish a putative "news" article outright asserting that they're something they aren't. Or claiming something that is absolutely impossible.

So he's an idiot, but maybe an only-slightly-dishonest idiot.

I wonder what he thought the ear wax was.

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Paying people for votes?

What? Suddenly that's new?

Panel wants L.A. to look at using prizes to boost voter turnout
"Maybe it's $25,000 maybe it's $50,000," said Commission President Nathan Hochman. "That's where the pilot program comes in -- to figure out what ... number and amount of prizes would actually get people to the voting box."
Seems to me they're treating symptoms, not causes. Maybe there's a reason people don't bothering voting anymore.
Study: You Have 'Near-Zero' Impact on U.S. Policy
A startling new political science study concludes that corporate interests and mega wealthy individuals control U.S. policy to such a degree that "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
"Startling" only to anyone who has never tried communicating with a DC Rep or Senator as a private citizen not representing an organization with deep pockets and a giving nature.

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Ferguson Jackbooted Thugs in action benched

In our previous thrilling episode, I observed that the Fergie Fifes were going to have a lot of trouble explaining why they needed to be tear gassing news crews and such-like. I rather thought some other folks agreed with my assessment since the governor officially relieved the SLCPD of responsibility for Ferguson, and they reacted by exclaiming, "Hot damn! Let's get the hell away from these dumbass yahoos," as they bailed out of the town. However, one should not forget just which yahoos were prepared to murder peaceful First Amendment participants.

I guess that still wasn't quite good enough. Possibly considering the mental stability of the town dipshits, the governor has acted again: FPD is fired. More or less.

Ferguson shooting: Missouri State Highway Patrol to take over security, governor says
The Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over supervising security in Ferguson, Missouri
Nixon said the change is intended to make sure "that we allow peaceful and appropriate protests, that we use force only when necessary, that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region appropriately."
Translation: "You goddamned idiots are too dangerous to play with anything but unloaded Nerf guns. You're fired." Without the actual firing part naturally, since the police union isn't about to let that happen no matter that these assholes make the Keystones Kops look good.

It takes a hell of a lot for a politician to step up and relieve an entire police department. My only question is: What the hell took you so long to notice, Nixon?

Side Note: Any bets on whether the Anonymous identification of the alleged killer cop turns out to be correct, despite the SLCPD claims otherwise? (I did a little checking and found some older material on the 'Net that makes it credible, though not confirmed.)

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Ferguson Jackbooted Thugs in action

There's no good way to spin this one, ossifers.

Click for story and video

I haven't had much to say publicly about what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, even though I used to live in the area. So far as the – original – shooting itself, I was troubled but awaiting more information. Which oddly isn't forthcoming as the cops decided that transparency was a bad thing. In court proceedings for a civilian, most juries would consider that incriminating.

But now... Click that image and read the story, watch the video. TL;DR/W: A news crew standing off at a distance, with things appearing rather quiet, all things considered. Suddenly the cops fire a tear gas grenade at them. Crew runs off. Cops immediately drive up in an armored vehicle (labeled St. Charles County Regional SWAT) and two gas-masked stormtroopers begin dismantling the camera gear, beginning by dumping the lights on the ground so they don't illuminate anything but grass,then turning the running camera down to look at said grass, while a third "guards" (from the quiet street?) with what appears to be an evil AR-pattern rifle of the sort that is meant only for "killing lots of people very quickly". About that time, they realize another crew is recording them. The cops then try to force the second crew to leave: "We don't wanna see you guys get hurt." Since there is no one else but cops there, I'll leave the question of who is going to hurt the crew to your imagination.

I still have contacts in the area, who aren't involved in the protests. Some of what they're telling me is hinted in the "news". Some I haven't seen reported (maybe it's there and I missed it): At the scene of the shooting, cops allegedly seized a cell phone – without a warrant – from a witness, a 15yo girl, and arrested her. Apparently Missouri cops aren't aware of Riley v. California, nor even MO's own Missouri Electronic Data Protection, Amendment 9. I think the cops just made that kid rich.

Local sources told me before the rumors hit the "news" that Brown was shot 10 times in the back. One report has it that he was kneeling with his hands in the air at the time. That does conflict with the reported witness statements that he was running away. We'll see.

What is in the news: “Your right to assembly is not being denied,” declared the cops as they strongly suggested that a peaceful group of protestors leave at gunpoint. But it's OK, because it was "no longer a peaceful protest". Well...not once the cops showed up threatening peaceful protestors with unjustified deadly force; that's not a peaceful act at all.

I strongly suspect that all the cops involved realize just how badly they've been effing up. The Saint Louis County PD is pulling out of Ferguson completely, and the governor has officially relieved them of policing responsibility for the town. That's a clear, Don't sue us. It was all Fergie PD! Too late, Officer Friendly; that was SLCPD's TOU vehicle with the cop pointing a rifle at protestors on top.

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Technically, he's right

Ol' Joel bets that none of us have a waterfall in the front yard. He's right.

Mine's in the back yard.

Would have been a lot more impressive if I'd gotten out there twelve hours when the storm runoff was still high. This is about normal for this time of year.

Looks like I need to do a little range maintenance, too.

Yes, we caught part of that "historic" east coast storm the lamestream muddia was hyping to deflect attention from little things like Barrycade's Middle East cluster-coitus.

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Emphasis on "special"

One may hope that, among their very many other coming problems, they're about to be sued into oblivion for unlicensed use of the Punisher logo. (If you don't know who the Punisher is, you should really read up to see why this is effing scary.)

YouTube video

Doraville, Georgia Police: Putting the "special" in SWAT.

The soundtrack music is "Die Motherf—-r Die". (Probably another licensing issue there, too; if Marvel leaves any crumbs.)

Doravillle, GA has a population of roughly 8,500. They did have a murder once. Five years ago.

Now let's talk about that "training" scenario recess play time. We'll excuse them driving the armored vehicle into a supposed hot zone with the door open; there might have been a tacticool reason for that beyond an inability to open the door quickly once on-scene.

But, seeing how long it took them to get the top hatch open and to toss out the smoke grenade – more on that – I'd bet on congenital fumble fingers.

Now the grenade. This was an officer down rescue scenario. One would hope that they remembered they were supposed to be putting the armor between the downed cop and the threat. Either they screwed that part up, or they threw the smoke grenade in the wrong direction. The smoke is meant to provide concealment for the rescue; it should be placed between the rescuing vehicle and the threat. Tossing it over by the downed officer merely obstructs the vision of the rescuers.

My badge-wearing days are long past. Apparently things have changed since then. Back in the day, when we practiced rescuing a downed person, we had to carry or drag him to safety. He sure as hell didn't simply stand up and walk back to the vehicle with us. No doubt the fine folks in Doraville are very accomodating and will ignore wounds to walk themselves to safety, sparing delicate officers back sprains.

Radley Balko has more about these dangerous idiots.

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Look! A herd of RINOs.

John McCain to campaign with Scott Brown in NH
It is unclear how much Brown is helping with branding by appearing with McCain
Unclear only to idiots.

McCain only did as well in NH primaries as he did because people still fell for that "R" after his name. People know better now. And Brown? Nobody but the NHGOP ever thought he in anyway whatsoever resembled a conservative with respect for the Constitution. If they'd just bring in Chris Christie at the same time, we could watch the NHGOP disappear into a black hole of ill-chosen political (in)expediency.

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Rule by fiat, New Hampshire style
See updates below: Links to old and new version of the application.

It looks like the Dimwits, unable to get actual anti-RKBA legislation past the people, have fallen back to the old stroke of the pen, law of the land technique to violate human/civil rights.

Bad Changes To New Hampshire Carry License Application Action Needed
Without notice, and without prior solicitation of comments from the public, a bureaucrat in Concord has exceeded his statutory authority, and added new requirements to the New Hampshire pistol/revolver (concealed carry) licensing process.
It's pretty bad. In fact, if you know recent NH legislative history, it's f--king disgusting.

Here are the worst parts (and this is the basis of the letters I just sent; you might want to use it, although Hassan's webform limits you 800 characters).

Dear ______,

I find recent changes to the RESIDENT PISTOL/REVOLVER LICENSE application (DSSP85, revised 08/2014) very troubling. Specifically:

1. "Has any state or federal agency ever claimed that you are prohibited by law or regulation from possessing a firearm?"

It is hardly unusual for officers and security guards to incorrectly make such a claim. Please note that this question makes no mention of a binding judicial finding, with due process protections (a condition already addressed by previous questions); there is no differentiation between an uninformed opinion by a low level bureaucrat and proper law. Nor does it differentiate between a permanent disqualification and a temporary order found to be improper.

This question is extremely troubling since it opens the possibility of a denial because one shares a common name with a person placed on one of the federal terrorism watch lists/no-fly lists, which have been shown -- repeatedly -- to be error-prone and lacking in due process. You may recall that a few years ago, certain legislators attempted to alter RSA 159 to allow issuing authorities to deny a license based on an unsupported claim that the applicant might be a terrorist (and again, with no due process to cahllenge that accusation); that bill resulted in aproximately a thousand people showing up at the State House to protest and the bill being deservedly and ignomiously declared Inexpedient To Legislate. Now, some bureaucrat has slipped that very – soundly rejected – provision into the licensing process.

2. "Have you ever held a resident pistol/revolver license before?"

Does this refer only to a New Hampshire license? If so, why ask? The form already asks for previous license information if the applicant is renewing a license. If a person voluntarily allowed a license to lapse because they did not intend to carry a firearm, this question allows the issuing authority to use that good judgement call against the applicant.

If the question refers to out-of state licenses, does this require me to provide decades of previous licensing data from other states to the issuing authority? If I no longer have a copy of a Georgia license that expired decades ago, can the issuing authority use that to deny my application?

This application revision must be revoked immediately, and the previous revision reinstated.

You can find the necessary email links and phone numbers in the alert article.

Added: Here's a link to the revised application, so you can look at it yourself. You might be able to find the previous revision online somewhere; if not and you really need to see, let me know. I saved it from last time I renewed.

Added 2: Looks like a lot of people want the old form for comparison. Here's DSSP 85 (REV. 03/11) (PDF).

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Prescription: Mandatory Customers

We have a new contender for the title of Doctor Death: Perry Grossman, a physician who lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Americans must stop carrying guns, revise Second Amendment
Where his argument became naive was the assumption that if only we could get the would-be assassin the mental health services he or she needs, we could prevent the mass murder from occurring.
The deadly doctor then elaborates by explaining that "the type of mental illness that leads to gun violence is [...] most often not treatable", nor is it detectable: "there isn't the perception of a need for mental health services". Therefore, honest folk should not be allowed to "carry devices specifically made to kill other individuals" to protect themselves from surprise attacks by those untreateable, undetectable lunatics.

Grossman being someone in the highly paid industry of treating illness and injury, one might wonder if his prescription for more victims is crazed or just a form of job protection for himself guaranteeing a constant stream of paying customers for his medical services. I'd prefer to think he's crazy rather than evil, since in my experience most doctors want to do good.

Certainly his solution to "gun violence" by armed lunatics isn't reality-based. He notes that treatment for "the type of mental illness that leads to gun violence [...] cannot be imposed upon individuals" under current law. But instead of changing laws to allow treatment of those judicially and medically determined to be an actual threat, he proposes changing the law to render everyone helpless in the face of crazed attacks. (And wait... I thought that the courts could involuntarily commit dangerously insane people, and that such people are already prohibited from possessing firearms.)

He thinks it's "naive" to change laws (actually, to use existing laws meant for the purpose) to work towards finding and treating the few mentally ill who would commit murder, but perfectly reasonable to change laws (and the Constitution) to find and disarm every honest and stable gun owner in the world. After all, the Second Amendment"was drafted in 1787 [sic], when we were a newly minted democracy, uncertain of the dangers posed to its citizens. The guns available at that time weren't assault rifles". Yes, the old "they never envisisioned technological advances" argument. Again. (Oh, and doc: the Bill of Rights was drafted in 1789, not 1787.) And yes, the old "assault rifles" argument; unless he was a military doctor in a war zone, it's pretty damned unlikely he's ever treated assault rifle wounds. Could be he's delusional and stupid. Or hopes his readers are.

Yes, firearms have improved. They are safer, more reliable, and more effective now. Kind of like... medicine. Perhaps the good crappy doctor would also like to reset all medical advances back to the 18th century, too. Myself, I prefer a world where doctors and their patients have access to more modern, effective tools to protect innocent life. But I'm not crazy.

Possibly Dr. Grossman doesn't subscribe the notion of primum non nocere (it does seem to have been eliminated from the modern version of the Hipppocratic Oath, as promulgated by Johns Hopkins). No wonder he advocates rendering the entire population of honest folks helpess against crazed murderers. Primum, nocent, pecunia, indeed.

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Update on L.Neil Smith

Neil is one of my favorite writers. While I considered him a friend, I'm forced to confess that I've largely been out of touch with him for a few years. So it took a while for the news to trickle down to me.

"To our friends who have patiently refrained from asking, Neil suffered a stroke on June 28. He is currently in an excellent acute rehabilitation program at a facility in Northern Colorado and is making good progress. I'm happy to share information. If you want updates, please let me know by email and I'll reply. Giovanni and I are working on making the house (built in 1949) accessible for Neil's eventual return."
Neil, Cathy, & Giovanni
Neil is a great writer, but he is not a wealthy one. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider helping out. I don't know what sort of coverage he has, but you know darned well that insurance never covers everything. Structural alterations so he can get around in his own home probably aren't covered at all.

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Note to M.E.

Got it. Thanks. Just now got a mail server bounce message, saying my acknowledgement hasn't been received.

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Recently, author and blogger Claire Wolfe posted "Bleg: Keep the roof over Claire’s head, looking for $4,150 bucks for roof repairs. She's a nice lady, a fine writer. And she could use a little help sometimes.We all can.

Within a few hours of posting that, she already had about four hundred bucks (and a few hours after that, the better part of $700). I've been making my books available for free "tips welcome" download for years. Sometimes I even get tips. But $400 is more than I've gotten... in years. Total.

I've been getting about one donation per 4-5 thousand downloads. I normally see around a thousand to eleven hundred downloads per month (that number keeps growing; I used to see a few hundred D/L a month).

More power to Claire. She's much more popular than this bitter old curmudgeon is ever going to be. I left my books available because 1) I do see the very occasional tip, and 2) it's been a slight ego boost to see people downloading thousand of copies of Net Assets more than a decade after it was originally published.

But it's not that much of an ego boost, and there aren't that many tips. Worse, those downloads are exceeding my bandwidth allotment, which means my host is going to be wanting more money, which in turn means hoping for tips and ego-stroking costs me money.

That's why those download links below will now give 404s. For evermore.

My thanks to that handful of supporters over the years.

For those who feel that "information wants to be free" and "those words aren't yours" (both of which I've been told by people who then demanded to know when my next novel would be out for their uncompensated pleasure), I concede the point and make my complete works available here.

Some assembly required.

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Why correct your vision

...when you can correct the world? Oh, right. You can't.

MIT: still leading the world in stupidity, proving why its rep is over-rated. Again.

Vision-correcting electronic displays could let users dispense with glasses
"The first spectacles were invented in the 13th century," says Gordon Wetzstein, a research scientist at the Media Lab and one of the display's co-creators. "Today, of course, we have contact lenses and surgery, but it's all invasive in the sense that you either have to put something in your eye, wear something on your head, or undergo surgery. We have a different solution that basically puts the glasses on the display, rather than on your head. It will not be able to help you see the rest of the world more sharply, but today, we spend a huge portion of our time interacting with the digital world."
So I could buy a vision-correcting dashboard, a vision-correcting cell phone, vision-correcting computer, a few thousand vision-correcting books, replace the forest with vision-correcting trees... Let's not forget to replace the nation's highways and streets with vision-correcting roadways. Sidewalks. Vision-correcting TVs. My corkboard. And stores: all the products on display should have vision-correcting labels! And...

Or I could just wear one pair of glasses.

Why do I get the impression that these clowns are a bunch of iAddicted millenials, with no idea of the rest of the real world?

Sure, I can see (no pun intended, for once) some useful applications for this technique. But the sweeping claims suggest it's not just their optical vision that's impaired.

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Phishing or ineptitude?

I received some feedback on my post regarding Ben Carson's evasion of RKBA criticism, purportedly from "Run Ben Run", but I'm not sure if it's a real inquiry from them, or just a targeted phishing attempt:

Name: Run Ben Run
Email Address: V***********
Subject: Run Ben Run
Message: Do you currently have an account with run ben if so, please give me the account name. We would like to contact you.


If it's real, they just did contact me, and could have clarified their position right there. And why would they think I'd have an account with a PAC supporting a candidate I don't like? Well, I could be trying to stay current on the opposition, I suppose. But a Yahoo email address? Why not the address given on their website?

It's a scam attempt, or the Committee is even more clueless than I realized. If it was legititmate, all they had to do was explain that they will bring the Gun Rights Questionnaire to Carson's attention in hopes that he'd take the time to answer it. (Note that bringing something to the candidate's notice, if only through publicity, does not violate restrictions on PACs.)

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That's probably going to impact the new season

Doctor Who Contracted Ebola in Grave Condition
Oh. Wait.
Now Brantly is himself a patient, fighting for his own survival in an isolation unit on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, after contracting the deadly disease.
Dear highly college-edjumicated, super-professional "journalists,"

Commas are your friends. Avail yourself of them.

I'm reasonably certain that the doctor, who contracted ebola, in grave condition, is not Doctor Who.

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Oh look; another cars:guns analogy

Idiots HuffPo writers should really learn something about guns before writing about guns.

The Path to Safer Guns
When cars first became available, air bags and seat belts weren't part of standard production. During the early 1900s, safety -- both for drivers and pedestrians -- became an issue as mechanical and structural failures in cars and reckless driving caused more and more accidents.
The same could happen today with guns.
I shouldn't even give this Baig loon the courtesy of link traffic.

In fact (an object class with which Baig has no familiarity), a heckuvalot has been done to improve firearms safety since they were invented. Better primers and powders for reliable ignition, eliminating hang-fires; frame safeties; grip safeties; trigger safeties; improved sight systems; light systems to see one's target; trigger disconnects to eliminate accidental discharges; better grips; better ergonomics generally; retention holsters; detachable magazines; speedloaders (yes, those do improve safety by eliminating fumbling)... the list goes on. And on... and on ... and...

I love it when victim disarmers try to compare the regulation of cars to guns, arguing that guns should be heavily regulated the same way. Sounds good to me. No license needed to buy a car. No license needed to operate a car except on public roads. No background checks. No registration unless you're taking the jalopy out on public roads. No horsepower magazine capacity limits. No limits on tiny urban electric commuter scooters concealable pocket pistols. And so on and so forth. You could build a gun and sell it without getting permission from your local police chief and the feddie ATF.

But this safety argument... Baig specifically mentions one "safety" system already available for guns: the Armatix iP1.

Defensive firearms are first responder devices. If Baig wants cars and guns to work the same way, then all ambulances would fail to start 10% of the time they're needed for a call.


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Run away, Ben

Update below.

Over at David Codrea's War On Guns, we hear that the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is busily trying to con people into supporting the waffler.

Run Where, Exactly?
I sent them this reply, referencing a Knoxville Gun Rights Examiner column by Liston Matthews I linked to earlier this month:
So is he going to answer this?

How about some unequivocal specifics to undo some of the damage he has done to his credibility with gun owners? How about running toward addressing their legitimate concerns, instead of away from them?

The Committee replied, though it failed to answer:
"The Draft Ben Carson effort is not associated with Dr.Carson, meaning, we can not communicate with him by law. However, everything Dr.Carson has stated concerning gun laws is below."
That's false on at least two points.

First, the Committee is a Super PAC, which isn't allowed to coordinate directly with candidates, but it "is legal for candidates and Super PAC managers to discuss campaign strategy and tactics through the media." All they have to do is publicize the questionnaire and encourage Carson to respond.

Not that they want that to happen, since he's – putting it kindly – damned weak on RKBA; the best you can say for him is that he's willing to waffle and flipflop in an attempt to say what he thinks the current audience wants to hear, so long as it can't be spun as offensive to yet another needed block of clueless voters.

Which brings us to the second falsehood in the Committee statement evasion: "everything Dr.Carson has stated concerning gun laws" is certainly not "below". They left out this gem of a response to Glenn Beck's question of whether people should be allowed to own semiautomatic firearms:

“It depends on where you live. I think if you life in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”
Sorry, I'm not about to vote for a clown who (probably?) thinks human rights are implicit in one's current location, rather than in the human.

Update, 7/30: I received some feedback, but I'm not sure if it's a real inquiry from, or just a phishing attempt:

Name: Run Ben Run
Email Address: V***********
Subject: Run Ben Run
Message: Do you currently have an account with run ben if so, please give me the account name. We would like to contact you.


If it's real, they just did contact me, and could have clarified their position right there. And why would they think I'd have an account with a PAC supporting a candidate I don't like? Well, I could be trying to stay current on the opposition, I suppose. But a Yahoo email address? Why not the address given on their website?

It's a scam attempt, or the Committee is even more clueless than I realized.

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And then something magical happens

I'll bet you thought magic bullets
had something to do with syphilis.

Via Tactical Gear and Military Clothing News, I've learned of a new (apparently vaporware) product called "Safe Access Ammunition (SAAMO)".

Everlokt SAAMO™ Summary Overview
Safe Access Ammunition (SAAMO™) is a new patent pending bullet technology different from current trigger gun control technology. Managing the bullet rather than controlling the gun itself will offer an easy cost effective way to modify existing guns for family and public safety. All that is needed is to purchase SAAMO™ rather than ammo and add SAAMO™ electronics to the gun possibly located in specially fitted gun grips, etc.
That's pretty much as specific as they get. Clicking their "How it works" link takes you to a crudely executed animation that doesn't actually tell you anything about how it works. You first load SAAMO "bullets" (why not the whole cartridge?) into your magazine, then load the pistol. Next, you disassemble your loaded handgun, removing the grip panels and replacing them with SAAMO grips.

Right off, I'm wondering where these guys gained their firearms safety expertise. (Hint to nongunnies: Unload,verify, then perform disassembly/maintenance procedures. You're less likely to shoot yourself that way.)

And you have to wonder: Do these clowns really believe that gun owners routinely leave loaded firearms laying on the floor with small children?

The new grips have to be squeezed in some special but unspecified manner in order for a cartridge to chamber. My first thought is that the magical unloadable "bullets" are flatnosed wadcutters or the like, and squeezing simply moves a springloaded catch that blocks the mag. Further research says this is an electronic system (remember to recharge your batteries when loading), so I have no idea. So far, they aren't talking. I can't see anything that makes this "safer" than simply sticking an inert snap cap round in the top of your magazine, nor any reason why I'd do either.

While I can appreciate Everlokt's desire to protect proprietary data, effectively telling us "buy this and magic happens" is somewhat less than effective as a marketing technique.

Everlokt seems to be... Well, I'm not sure. It doesn't look like they're selling anything but investor opportunities. Their claim to 15 minutes is a remarkable "touch-access" door unlocking system that bears an equally remarkable resemblance to RFID key fob gas pump pay systems. I hope they aren't infringing on someone else's patent.

I sent them a request for more info, and planned to hold this post until I heard from them. So far, I haven't even received an automated acknowledgement, so I'm going with it.

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Uh oh. Looks like someone is about to get fired.

Pa. doctor shoots patient who killed caseworker
A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist's office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.
Bad news for the doc. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital requires their employees to be helpless:
"Employees are prohibited from bringing firearms or explosives of any kind into the workplace."
I can't find anything on their website forbidding weapons in the hands of insane patients, but someone claiming to be a police officer who worked the crime scene reports that the hospital does have a magical gun-repelling "no firearms" sign posted. I'm sure the criminal will be sharply scolded. Right after they can the doctor for protecting co-workers and patients.

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Beretta: It isn't all rainbows and unicorns

Pardon my slow posting; I've been working on a paying gig.

But I couldn't help but notice gunnies across the country cheering Beretta's announcement that they're moving all the Maryland manufacturing to Tennnessee.

Slow down a minute.

Yes, it's good that Beretta told Maryland to shove their downright stupid new anti-RKBA law. But you can be darned sure that isn't how the ban-bunnies like Violent Criminal Protection and Everytown Mediasters Demanding Victims will spin it.

The victim disarmers will claim this as a victory: an eee-vul gun company has been driven from their fair, pacifistic paradise. All it cost was some tax revenues. And not much of that. The move will amount to the loss of 160 jobs along with the income tax on that. I'm not going to look up Maryland tax rates, but let's pretend all 160 workers make $100,000 per year and pay ten percent in taxes to the state (probably a significant over-estimate on pay; tax rate is probably close): Maryland loses a whopping $1.6 million per year. In statist-goon terms, that's petty cash; almost pocket change, and they'll make it up by taxing everyone else. Corporate taxes? Beretta is maintaining their headquarters in Accokeek, so they'll still be paying any applicable state taxes on corporate revenue. To rabid bunnies, that's perfectly acceptable. A small, not-really-noticeable price to pay.

I'm sure we'll be hearing about how well the victim-disarming law is working... right about now (why are those antis so fascinated... nay, fixated on gunnies genitalia and sexuality?).

Note to former police officer Michael Levy: I don't know about Maryland-specific data, but murder rates for the country have been declining for more than four decades, not just ten years. Or more than a century. Wikipedia, that bastion of All Truth, says the US violent crime rate has been in decline since colonial times.

Ban-bunnies will also crow about how this move will cost Beretta money. It will; though not as much as they'd wish, since the company was already moving some operations. But to the rights violators, this becomes a net gain for their death-wishing side. I'm not the only one to notice this.

This is a propaganda war. The disarmers and their lefty lamestream muddia buds will report this as Beretta backing down. Two can – and must – play that game. That's why it was important that Beretta also told West Virginia to shove it, and declined to move to NRA A-rated Senator JoeWussManchin's neighborhood (funny how he stopped being so proud of gunnies once he no longer needed the votes).

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So we're going to socialize the kids...

... by... replacing friends and adult mentors with robots that can't even pass a Turing test?

What could possibly go wrong?

Feds spending $10 million to build robot companions for children
The National Science Foundation has committed $10 million to build robots that will act as “personal trainers” for children, in an effort to influence their behavior and eating habits.

The government has spent $2.15 million so far for the five-year project, which is being led by Yale University. The project, “Robots Helping Kids,” will ultimately “deploy” robots into homes and schools to teach English as a second language, and encourage kids to exercise.

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to give each one his own little Spanish speaking illegal UAC?

Then again, some people appear to be getting a little too involved with their cell phones. Or...

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Be specific

Note: When doing web searches for images of belladonna, specify the plant.

I had no idea there was an... actress of that name.

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This should introduce a fun new aspect to police NDs*

" Cool! Now I can empty a whole magazine
into my own hand all at once."

Great Lakes Tactical’s Glock Giggle Switch
One of the things [Great Lakes Tactical] brought to the range was a G19 equipped with a proprietary giggle switch. The switch allows the shooter to swap from semi-auto fire to full auto with a cross-bolt type switch. Full auto can quickly overwhelm the shooter, but three to five round bursts can be managed easily with a good grip and stance.

The switches are not expensive, but GLT will only sell to other companies or individuals licensed as manufacturers of full auto weapons.

Bear in mind that it's illegal for a civilian to own or purchase a machine gun imported or manufactured after 1986. And I really can't see the military buying too many of these; a few for special ops types... maybe. So that means the real market will be cops.

I can hardly wait for the wave of full-auto "his service weapon, which somehow fired accidentally" incidents, in which some idiot with his booger hook improperly on the bang switch blows his arm or leg off.

Hopefully, no 13yo kids will be in the line of fire.

* ND: "negligent discharge"; what happens when someone stupidly pulls the trigger when he shouldn't have. Usually referred to as an accident or "the gun discharged itself" when a cop does it.
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NEWS FLASH! Nothing happens to couple not on doomed flight

News services go wild.

Like the couple in this 'story', this picture
has nothing to do with MH17

Seriously, can't they at least stick to making up conspiracy theories about Putin shouldering the missile launcher used?

ABC: Australian Newlyweds Escape MH17 Tragedy
(not hot-linked because I refuse to give this not-even-puff piece any traffic.)
Posta and Jovel are among the few travelers who were scheduled to fly on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down on Thursday while flying above eastern Ukraine, but for one reason or another changed their plans.
I wonder: How close must one come to being in an air travel disaster to make the international news? I'm feeling a little left out.

In December 1988, I took a vacation and flew from Frankfurt to NYC (is this sounding at all familiar?). Due to work, my travel plans changed; I left a week earlier than I had originally expected. On a Pan Am flight.

Yep. If I'd kept to schedule, I would have been on Pan Am 103. And not a single ABCCBSNBCREUTERSAPUPI reporter showed up to interview me.

In fact, my own Pan Am flight had so many mechanical problems (we got grounded for a hydraulic failure. Then the cabin pressure system wouldn't work. When we finally took off, the engines lost power, cycling up and down like nothing I've experienced on any other flight (and I've been on some doozies). When we at last reached cruise altitude, the cabin filled with smoke, with lighting randomly blinking on and off. The pilot chose to continue to NYC. Landing was interesting, too. And I won't bother you what we went through trying to get Pan Am ground agents to stay at their counters to get us our – missed – connecting flights; you may safely assume exits were blocked and a few threats muttered.

When I heard about 103, I immediately assumed that it had resulted from massive mechanical failure caused by shitty maintenance and worse crew decisions. I was astonished when I then heard it attributed to terrorism.

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Of course, that may be because the NSA activated your webcam

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Happy Lunar Landing Day

Forty-five years ago, some guys who were brave or crazy enough to strap themselves to the top of millions of pounds of explosives successfully landed on the Moon. Armstrong, Aldrin – and yes, Michael Collins, too* – are still my heroes.

That was the good part.

On the downside, a generation grew up hearing that as an example of the wonderful things government bureaucrats can do if we'll just let them run our lives. Allow me to point out a few things about our ground-bound heroes at NASA:

  • They orbited SkyLab, which was so flawed that it required major repairs to make it barely habitable.
  • Poor planning had SkyLab fall out of orbit years ahead of schedule.
  • The Challenger STS blew up during launch because those wise, all-knowing bureaucrats overrode engineering safety warnings.
  • The Columbia STS burned up on reentry because those bureaucrats overrode engineering warnings about the heat shield.
  • NASA routinely screws up things like throwing away $750,000 O2 tanks because said bureaucrats stored them in an outside junkyard, lost an entire Mars mission because the bureaucrats neglected a simple metric system to English system math conversion, shook multi-million dollar satellites apart because they cranked the g-table up to 10x the correct setting, lost another Mars mission because bureaucrats ignored engineering warnings about a landing contact switch producing a premature engine-cutoff signal, and much more.
  • After 45 years of additional research and development, NASA is no longer capable of putting a man into a simple suborbital trajectory, much less into orbit. Reaching the Moon again? They think they could manage that in another 20 years, with $104 BILLION dollars and some recycled 1960s technology.
I suppose that was why a NASA administrator declared that the new primary mission of his agency was now "Muslim outreach". At least Muslims aren't out of reach of the grounded space cadets.

NASA is the Veterans Administration of space exploration. Or the VA is the NASA of medical care. Flip a coin and pick one.

* Sure, he didn't land on the Moon with Neil and Buzz. He spent the whole time in solitary, keeping the mission going, wondering if the lunar explorers would make it back, and if he'd have to make a solitary return. I'll bet that he spent some of that time thinking on the fact, that human nature being what it is, he'd be forgotten long before crowds stopped cheering and remembering the moonwalkers. And he still did his absolutely essential job. You try sitting for a day, all alone in a little shell of aluminum built by the lowest bidder, a quarter-million miles from the nearest breathable atmosphere, while someone else gets all the publicity.
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Amtrak & The Crock Pot of Doom

Sleep tight.
Amtrak is on guard.

I heard an interesting story tonight. A correspondent had taken some acquaintances to an Amtrak station for a trip. An Amtrak agent heard them talk about having a crock pot in their checked baggage, and told them they couldn't have a crock pot in there.

Yes, freaking slow cookers are now considered weapons.

Well, maybe the way I cook... but getting one to explode is another matter. We aren't talking about a steel container designed to hold pressure. It's a bloody ceramic pot with a lid that just sits on top.

Don't you feel safer now?

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Mini-Review: Abnormal End

Look what showed up in the mail yesterday afternoon. Abnormal End, from Joseph Francis Collins.

Buy It!

When Collins published Kill Code a few years ago, it ended at point from which a sequel could easily be launched. Abnormal End is that sequel.

Kill Code introduced us to sniper Leo Marston, hacker Jackie Winn, and an unusual terrorist/freedom fighter. Abnormal End picks up roughly a year later when folks are thinking – wrongly of course, since these are action novels – that it's safe to go back in the water.

The upside to Abnormal End is that it's chock full of action. The downside is that it is not a stand-alone novel. While Collins does insert some background material, if you haven't read Kill Code then Abnormal End won't make much sense. So go buy 'em both.

Tyrannicide is back 'ciding tyrants. Unfortunately, his target discrimination sucks, and his minions' is worse. You'll see Albuquerque in flames, Kirtland AFB blown up (in a manner that suggests base security is still a lousy as it was when I was last there thirty years ago), and ... well, read the book. I can't give away everything. And there's a lot of "everything" happening.

Unlike Kill Code, which had a fairly definite closure (while allowing a sequel), Abnormal End is a classic cliffhanger ("tune in next week to see how our heroes escape this inescapable trap"). It's less of a separate novel, and more an extended chapter, a la the three books of Lord of the Rings. It leaves you with more unresolved questions than answers. Clearly, the next planned installment, Ghostnet will be a must read.

The only problem with this book is one commonly shared by self-published works: Proofreading/editing. As a(n ex-)writer myself, I understand how hard it is to proof your own work. Your brain knows what's supposed to be on that page, so your eyes "see" it, whether it's really right or not. Someone could make a killing by offering bargain basement prices for halfway decent proofreading for the exponentially inflating self-publication market.

BUY IT: Abnormal End. Kindle: $4.99, Paperback: $13.46

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Tewksbury, NH

When did we start annexing chunks of Massachusetts? And can we give it back, or did Mass demand we take it off their hands?

Click for WMUR misreport

It's obviously time to delete WMUR from my news bookmarks. The blindly reprint police press releases unquestioningly, misreport nonexeistent machine guns, refuse to make corrections when caught out...

...and fail basic geography. Meh. Maybe they can get jobs with the TSA.

This sucks. WMUR was the last website I had left for routinely getting local news. But like the others I already dropped, I can't count on them to get basic facts anything right.

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California School's Holocaust Denial Assignment Requires 'Reeducating' of Misled Youth
The assignment, which was given to eighth graders by the Rialto Unified School District in San Bernadino County, was part of a "misguided" attempt to satisfy Common Core curriculum requirements in critical thinking.
"Misguided," as in,"Shit, we didn't think they'd catch on."

"Reeducate," as in, "Dralm damn it, teach those little buggers to keep their mouths shut about what goes on in school."

Government schools have a strong disinterest in teaching actual critical thinking. After voters who can and will do that might try to vote out idiot politicians (yes, I do realize that's redundant), or vote down tax increases that wouyld funnel more money to schools and teachers who... don't teach critical thinking because...


If they had any real interest in teaching (or, Ghu forbid learning themselves) critical thinking, they should spend less time on exercises designed to manipulate facts (propaganda) and more on Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics.

But teachers typically coming from the bottom* of their graduating classes probably think General Semantics is a dead Civil War officer.

(Hat tip to David Codrea, who also notes that Assemblywoman Cheryl R. 'for Reeducation' Brown has her own problems with contributing factors in the Holocaust.)

Added: A commenter at War On Guns brought up something I missed about Brown's claim that her father helped liberate "the Aushwitz [sic] concentration camp". Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Red Army; specifically, the 322nd Rifle Division ("Cargosquid" mentioned the First Ukrainian Front; I don't know how that group related to WW2 Soviet forces). I'm wondering if a black man really did serve in the Red Army, and if he emigrated to the US post-War. Or if Brown is just full of shit. Not that the two conditions are mutually incompatible in a politician.

* Back in the '90s, a college instructor was more specific: He maintained that it was teachers with degrees in education who graduated in the bottom ten percent of their classes.
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The newest superpower on the block


Construction of New CYBER/ISR Facility
The 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, located at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Baltimore, Maryland
The purpose of this facility is to house a Network Warfare Group and ISR Squadron. The Cyber mission includes a set of capabilities, expertise to enable the cyber operational need for an always-on, net-speed awareness and integrated operational response with global reach. It enables operators to drive upstream in pursuit of cyber adversaries, and is informed 24/7 by intelligence and all-source information.(emphasis added-cb)
Now, you might be wondering why a smallish northeastern state needs global military power.

Me, too.

(Hat tip to Bruce Schneier.)

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So long as I'm comparing fiction to reality

SWAT Team Invades Innocent Family’s Home … For Credit Card Arrest
The fully-armed raid on the home was not done as part of a search for suspected murderers or armed robbers, but for two people who allegedly committed credit card fraud. None of the people Iowa police officers were searching for were found inside the home, nor was any stolen property found.(emphasis added- cb)
But way back in 1965, still well within my own lifetime:

    A few white chickens pecked disinterestedly in the littered barnyard; there was no other sign of life, but he knew there was a man inside.A man with a rifle, who would use it; a man who had murdered once, broken jail, would murder again.
    "Well, just what did happen?"
    "This man Morrison, and three other State Police officers, were closing in on a house in which a wanted criminal was hiding. He must have been a dangerous man – they don't go out in force like that for chicken thieves."

(emphasis added- cb)
Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, by H. Beam Piper, copyright 1965
No, they don't. These days, a chicken thief would probably call for a Hellfire drone strike.

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Firefly Alpha

This is interesting. And not just the reference to one of my favorite TV shows.

Firefly Space Systems Firefly Alpha
    Conventional rockets all use a traditional bell nozzle. The nozzle represents lost weight from a payload point of view, but is necessary to direct thrust and ensure that the exhaust gas expands at the correct rate. However, this expansion velocity is dependent on the external air pressure, and for a rocket, that pressure is constantly changing. In other words, traditional bell nozzles are a compromise; while they are effective at optimizing thrust for a given external air pressure, they are less efficient at other points during the rocket's trajectory.
    An aerospike tackles the problem the other way around: though not as efficient as a bell nozzle at a specific pressure, an aerospike uses aerodynamics to make it more efficient across the range of pressures in the rocket flight.
To the best of my knowledge, this would be the first practical application of aerospike in a launch vehicle. But... something sounds familiar about that description.

    "So you know how back pressure in the muffler affects the engine efficiency, right?"
    "Sure, that's why we go with straight pipe for racers and off-road shit. Mufflers block air flow enough to create back pressure that kills efficiency." Dom was on familiar ground now.
    Cal saw that, and played to it. "Well, rocket motors are kinda like that too. You know the exhaust... nozzles, the venturis on rockets?" Dom nodded. "The venturis are tuned to work best at certain air pressures, back pressure from air, so to speak. And one that works close to the ground doesn't work so good up high where the air pressure is lower. And vice versa." "I think you lost me again. This call for more beer." Dom started to stand up, then settled back into his seat. "What am I doin'? It's your turn to make the beer run."
    "Okay, okay." Cal rose to meet his obligation to the cause of inebriation. But gauging his own capacity and Dom's condition, he returned with just one beer apiece. Dom was drawing crude rockets on the wooden table top with the condensation from his previous bottles.
    "Alrighty, Einstein. I bet you thought I'd be too drunk to remember that you're supposed to be explainin' why shooting straight up was a good idea for the gov."
    "I can always dream," Cal replied with a grin. "Rocket motors only work best at certain heights, right?"
    "If you say so. Seems like the higher you go, the less back pressure you get, and the better the thing would work." Drunk he may have been, but Dom had obviously thought about it.
    "Well, it doesn't really work that way. Just take my word for it, okay?"
"Sure. It might even make sense if I weren't about half buzzed."
    Cal laughed. "Okay, so motors only work good at given altitudes. Therefore, NASA had to use more than one engine in different stages for when the rocket got to higher altitudes. One engine in one stage didn't do it. They had to use stages boosting vertically."
    "Damn," Cal's companion complained. "You're just tryin' to confuse me tonight. If one motor won't work from the ground to up high, how is Launcher doin' it? It don' make sense."
    Cal smirked. "Yes, it does. Our rocket motor won't have an exhaust nozzle."
    Dom just stared, groaned, and downed his beer in one long gulp. "It's a plot to screw with my head, right?"
    "It just looks that way because we're all out to getcha," Cal explained reassuringly. "Let's talk about aerospikes."

Net Assets, 2002
There are differences. My system was a horizontally-launched spaceplane, rather than vertical ballistic. Manned vs. unmanned. I used a "first stage" which never left the ground; that launcher didn't use an aerospike because it always remained in one atmospheric pressure range and would not have gained any advantage from intrinic variability. I used LOX/JP-5 instead of methane. But like the Firefly, mine was a small craft boosting a comparatively (relative to conventional sat missions) low mass payload.

But it's good to see this happening. I wish them luck

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The NSA Mix

Buy it.

(No, I don't get a commission on that, darn it.)

Via ClaireWolfe:

Artist sends NSA a super-encrypted mixtape
When you're an artist and a software engineer and you want to thumb your nose at the NSA, what do you do? Send them a mixtape, of course.
Only the mixtape David Huerta sent to the National "Spy" (OK, OK, Security) Agency isn't neatly labeled with hearts and careful penmanship detailing the tracks, because no one but him (and a few close friends) knows what's on it.
Claire asks, "What would be on your 'mixtape'?"

This is a rough first pass through my library. I think it'll do.

Cheap Trick - Dream Police
Dan Starr - Reading of the Bill of the Rights
Leslie Fish - Jefferson and Liberty
David Bowie - 1984
Black Sabbath - The Mob Rules
Crash Test Dummies - I Think I'll Disappear Now
Sonny Rhodes - The Ballad of Serenity (Firefly theme)
Hank Williams - Mind Your Own Business
Jordan Page - Sedition
DDT - Visiting FSB General
Warren Bluhm - You Cant Be Trusted
Rush - The Trees
Leslie Fish - No High Ground
James Kempf - Anti-Reorganized Maximum Efficiency State Theme
Leslie Fish - The Sheep Look Back
Next - Stalker
Poker Face - Please Brother Dear Brother
Poker Face - Kontrol
Ray Stevens - The Mississippi Squirrel Revival
Shadow Gallery - New World Order
Bob Kanefsky - A Warning For Unknown Voters
Country Joe McDonald - F-U-C-K
Steve Vaus - Tea Party
CW McCall - Convoy
Boston - Don't Look Back
Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
Tom Lehrer - We Will All Go Together When We Go
Poker face - Fight For Your Rights
Rush - A Farewell to Kings
Les_Miserables - Do You Hear The People Sing
Julia Ecklar - Temper of Revenge
ACDC -Highway to Hell
Prism - Armageddon

I wouldn't encrypt it. Not because I think they could crack any encryption I used, but because I'd want them to listen and ponder.

Of course, I could just save myself some time and send them Leslie Fish's "Lock & Load".

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I was musing on the Streisand Effect and wondered: How many people around the world are still learning about Barbra's adventures in stupidity, not because of her direct actions, but through her becoming a meme for stupidity?

I can comfort myself with the thought that no matter how much I've screwed up my own life, at least I never got a derogatory effect named for me.

OTOH, "they" say there's no such thing as bad publicity. If it got people to actually pay for my books...

Meh. On the gripping hand, I was once the lead tech for a telecom company in a midwest city. One day the area sales manager rushed into my office with a newspaper.

"Carl, look! We have a huge write-up!" he exclaimed.

I looked. It was a big article, top of the fold on the front page of the business section, continued inside. Nice, if you didn't read it. Nor even the cringe-inducing headline. "Um, Tom (not his real name), the whole article is about how bad the company is: shitty service, crappy customer service, infrastructure problems, management problems. That isn't the kind of publicity you should be happy about."

"But it's publicity. Everyone will know our name," he countered.

"Sure," I agreed. "And they'll associate it with catastrophe."

"But they'll know who we are."

That company – surprise! – went bankrupt.* Completely out of business. It no longer exists. Because they valued even poor marketing over competence.

* Amusing note: That company tried to merge (i.e.- get bought by) WorldCom before the shit hit the fan. Normally when a merger of that sort is announced, one or both companies will see a stock surge. In this case, both stocks tanked.
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Somebody's looking for a lighning bolt in the ass

Jesus Christy Superheroine

Marvel's new Thor will be a woman
This morning on ABC's The View Marvel announced that Thor, Marvel's God of Thunder, will be a woman in the comics.
I'm looking forward to the gender-switched "Jesus Christ Superhero" comic. That's gonna put an... interesting spin on the theories that Christ and Mary Magdalene had a thing going.

Hmm. Maybe Marvel will do Jesus, and DC can do "Mohammed, Mover of Mountains".

And saints... Imagine a steampunk version of St. Ignatius Loyola kicking badguy ass and saving their souls, whether they like or not.

Possibly some of you readers weren't aware of it, but there are still adherents to the old Norse pantheon. I've met some. When the subject came up, most seemed to find the comic book Thor in slightly poor taste, but mildly amusing in a "Thor can take a joke, or destroy you if you overdo it" way. Maybe we'll see if Transexual Thor qualifies as "overdone".

(Hat tip to Claire Wolfe.)

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The 5 Most Dangerous Stupid Sheisse from Rolling Stone at least the last two days.

The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America
Using firearm trace data from the ATF, as well as FBI homicide records, we determined the types of guns most often recovered from crime scenes and/or used in murders.
Now, if that were anything like a semi-honest publication, you might be expecting to see the most popular-with-violent-criminals makes or models. I'll save you a little time by summarizing here (and believe me, you aren't missing anything by skipping the stock photos).

To begin,we have the very first clause of the very first sentence of the very first paragraph... you get the idea:

  • "Contrary to what those who defend the right to own high-powered assault rifles believe..."
    There is, of course, no such thing as a high-power assault rifle. The very definition of assault rifle specifies intermediate power (i.e.- between handgun and rifle cartridge power levels). This is because the concept is intended to reduce the size and weight of cartridges in order to reduce the rifleman's load.

    And this is, of cours – again – an attempt to blur the lines: assault rifles (i.e.- ATF-defined machine guns) are heavily regulated, very expensive, and require special taxes, permissions, and stamps to lawfully own. And you civilians can't even get one made after 1986 no matter how rich you are.

  • "Popular among handgun-owners, pistols are defined by their built-in barrel and short stock."
    No. They just described the "Short Barreled Rifle". Handguns – pistol or revolver – don't have stocks. SBRs are regulated and taxed similarly to those "assault rifles" the Rolling Stone already lied about.
  • "Some grenade launchers, shotguns, and rifles also have rotating barrels,"
    Not the attempt to equate revolvers – a type of handgun – with military grenade launchers. (And those rotating cylinder shotguns? They're called "streetsweepers" in common parlance, and are... wait for it .. heavily regulated just like SBRs and machine guns.)
I'll interrupt this slide-by-slide- analysis to ask: Have you noted a potential trend in the "most dangerous guns" yet?
  • "Law enforcement agencies pulled more than 39,000 from crime scenes in 2012, firmly establishing this weapon — designed to be fired from the shoulder — in third place on the ATF's trace list. "
    The deception is strong in this one. They've jumped from "most dangerous" to most traced. "Traced" guns includes stolen weapons that have been recovered, legal weapons seized for reasons unrelated to violent crimes (like Joe Blow's guns taken without due process with divorcing wife get a TRO), and pretty much anyting else. What they're avoiding with this shift is admitting that FBI Uniform Crime Report numbers show that rifles and shotguns together usually are used in fewer than 3% of all violent crimes (that includes armed robbery).

    And I'll bet you've figured out the "trend" to which I referred.)

  • "Unlike rifles, however, one pull of a shotgun's trigger may also spray the target with round pellets, or shot. Additionally, the explosive that creates the energy to fire the gun occurs in the fixed shell of a shotgun rather than the metallic cartridge of a rifle."
    Oh noes! Not spray and pray! That must mean (to idiot RS screed-scribblers and other idiots) that shotguns are machine guns, too. Not. (-psst- The burn ignites in the case/shell of all modern self-contained cartridges, hence the name.)
  • "With just more than 2,000 recoveries in 2012 ... derringers are the fifth most-cited firearm in crime scene recoveries. "
    Actually, derringers are so rarely carried that RS only included them because some editor insisted that this list had to have five entries. Something else that RS isn't telling you is according to CDC cause of death figures, more people are killed with blunt objects (rocks, baseball bats, candlesticks, etc.) than with rifles, shotguns, and derringers combined. More people are beaten to death with bare hands than killed with rifles. And so on, and so forth...

    Oh, that trend? Surely you jest. The five "most dangerous guns" of the RS are actually the most-traced-for-any-reason three classes of firearms: Handguns, Rifles, Shotguns. And they couldn't even get those classes right.

    sigh- This is just a part of the Stone's recent coordinated attack on human/civil rights, with the cock-slobbering, fawning interview of Bloomberg (in which he denigrated women and lied about... pretty much everything), and the demonization of GOA's Pratt.

    They should have stuck with sex, drugs, and rock&roll, where they actually have extensive knowledge and experience.

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    Death by stupidity

    Stupidity can be a capital offense. This idiot was very, very lucky.

    This was supposedly filmed in Kentucky; I don't know what city(ies). That moron committed several acts that would be crimes around here. He's obviously guilty of Reckless Conduct or Criminal Threatening, both class B felonies, and it might come as a surprise to anyone who never saw a news report about someone robbing a convenience store with a BB gun that it's Armed Robbery (yet another felony) because he tried to make it appear he had a real firearm. The other folks driving that vehicle and recording the incidents could be charged with Aiding Criminal Activity.

    Oddly enough, it's illegal to wear a mask in many places (usually with Halloween exceptions for minors). In the South, these laws typically had the KKK in mind. They are also used to target masked criminals of the more common thieving sort: criminal paraphenalia. I can't find the reference, but I recall a masked idiot with a toy "AK-47" being arrested on misdemeanor charges a few years ago in New Hampshire; the charge specifically related to the mask.

    But it pretty much would have been a moot point here. Without actually being in that situtation, I'd have to say that it's likely that I would have shot that masked idiot when he continued to approach me with "gun" in hand. Claiming it's "only a prank" would strike me as a ploy to get closer for criminal purposes.

    Update, 7/15: Some Kentucky specifics. Kentucky does have a law against wearing masks. I'm fairly sure that the NH offenses described above also have Kentucky analogues; those in Kentucky can look them up here. Have fun. You'll want to search on terroristic threat, criminal threatening, reckless conduct, disturbing the peace, assault, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

    As for the legality of that victim shooting "zipkid99":

    503.050 Use of physical force in self-protection
    (1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.
    (2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.
    (3) Any evidence presented by the defendant to establish the existence of a prior act or acts of domestic violence and abuse as defined in KRS 403.720 by the person against whom the defendant is charged with employing physical force shall be admissible under this section.
    My layman's read of the law, and having viewed the video as a former sworn peace officer/military/licensed security officer, is: that guy would have been completely justified – legally, morally, and rationally – in ridding the world of one more dumbass. Note that the victim need only have reasonable fear of harm (inflicting such fear was obviously the point of the "prank") and that a real fiream need not be present; the appearance of such presented in a blatantly threatening manner suffices to invoke self defense. Consult an attorney, preferably one admitted to the Kentucky bar, for a professional opinion.

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    Fame, courtesy of the lamestream muddia

    Police Officer Slain by Killer Who Sought Fame
    The gunman, 27-year-old city resident [name redacted because I'm not going to feed his 15 minutes], never tried to rob the store, Fulop said. Instead, he approached a witness and apologized for his conduct inside the store, then said to watch the news later because he was "going to be famous."
    Wants to be famous, news says, "Sure!"

    No doubt they'll be interviewing old high school classmates next.

    The hell with reading the "news" anymore. If someone notices anything actually worth reading, email me.

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    I don't know why I bother checking

    Top of the NBC "news" feed:

    Fast & Furious? Nope. EPA missing rules data? Uh uh. IRS missing hard drives? Surely you jest. Benghazi? Nada. Syria/Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan/etc? Of course not.

    There are several stories about Disney World (or Disneyland; not giving a damn, I didn't look closely), and more about the plight of the poor, downtrodden UACs illegally entering the US.

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    Some AGWarmista will blame global warming in... 3...


    Hot Spot: Yellowstone Road Melts, Sites Closed
    The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.
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    Just lie on the warrant application instead

    “Effective immediately: No officer shall inform a citizen that there has been a call to the emergency communications center, including a hang up call, when there in fact has been no such call.”
    Seems an officer admitted under oath, during a trial, that he lied to get no-warrant entry to a home. He said it's common. The chief denies that... but apparently it's so common that the cop was willing to admit it on the stand.

    Heck, just lie on the affidavit for a warrant. Sure, it leaves an incriminating paper trail, but the odds of the cop winning the Power Ball are better than anyone who matters checking up on it. And if they do...


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    Mug Shot

    In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say
    Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection
    Yes. They wanted to shoot the underaged kid full of enough Viagra to give Bob Dole a hardon, then take their own pictures. To identify him.

    Let's see:

    • Underage girl not arrested and charged for the explicit pictures she took and sent.
    • Underage boy charged as an adult for taking pictures of his underaged self.
    • Cops broke laws creating "child porn" by taking pictures of the boy's penis (yes, they did).
    • Cops and prosecutors trying to break laws and create "child porn" by taking pictures of the boy's erection.
    The only halfway intelligent thing anyone in this did was nolle prosqui the child porn creation charge. They're still going ahead with the adult charges of only one of the kids for sending a pic of himself.

    Detective David E. Abbott, the lead investigator, would seem by his actions to be one sick son of a bitch.

    I hope to hell the defense lawyers start mentioning "equal protection" and "selective prosecution", and demand charges for the girl, too. Not that I want her life destroyed any more than I want the boy's future ruined. I want this stupid crap to be seen as stupid crap. And handled appropriately.

    I want the cops who already took explicit pics of the boy to face the same charges they tried to lay on the kid.

    "Appropriately" would be: Teens send each other dirty pictures of each other? Parents act like parents, delete the images, taking away their cell phones, and tell the little idiots to stop it. If idiot teens want to continue, let them move out of their houses and buy their own phones.

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    I'll see your ATF stupidity, and raise it by ATF imbecility


    Seriously. They say that's a machine gun.

    (Hat tip to David Codrea.)

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    Obama ‘The Bear’ Lets Loose in Denver
    ust as the White House cautioned, President Obama, “The Bear,” went “loose” in Denver, breaking the “bubble” to meet with average Americans.
    Appparently that means something different in DC newspeak. Us ordinary peasants tend to think that being surrounded by at least nine bodyguards keeping us away from His Imperial Majesty is not "breaking the bubble".

    Too bad he didn't accept that joint. Then the feds could have jumped on his ass, busting him under fed law in contravention of state law.

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    I have a suggestion for their next pistol

    Not the Kahr
    (image source)

    Kahr Arms to offer purple pistols
    Kahr Arms is once again brightening up their product line by introducing another new color; purple. Following the success of their Cobalt Blue Kahr CW9, Black and Orange Auto Ordnance 1911, Burnt Bronze Desert Eagle and the popular Kahr PM9 in Robin Eggshell Blue, Kahr Firearms Group has partnered this time with Davidson’s, Inc., one of the largest and most progressive firearms wholesalers in America, to introduce a purple version in either the CW9 or CW380.
    They should produce the Bussjaeger .04 Hypersonic in titanium purple.*

    As I pointed out to Neil, I'm usually associated with somewhat larger bore weapons. But... hypersonic.

    The generally accepted lower threshold for hypersonic velocities is 5,625 ft/sec. Assuming a lead projectile, 19 grains isn't unreasonable. That would give you a muzzle energy just shy of 1335 ft/lbs. For comparison, a 230 grain .45 ACP round will be in the neighborhood of 510 ft/lbs. That Bussjaeger .04 will have 2.6 times the power of a 1911. It would be less than .454 Casull, but I can live with that. I'll even tolerate purple for that.**

    Kahr needs to start cartridge development ASAP.

    * It's on page 158 of the hardcover edition.
    ** Yeah, energy transfer to the target, due to the tiny cross bullet cross section, may be problematical, but still... that should alter most criminals' outlook on life.
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    Andy Lopez Murder Update

    We stand corrected.
    They can.

    Last year, Sonoma County Sheriff's Coward Erick Gelhaus shot an unarmed 13 year old boy from behind for the suspected misdemeanor offense of carrying a rifle in public. By the cop's coward's own account, Gelhaus shot Andy Lopez from behind multiple times less than 10 seconds after he drove up. Gelhaus maintains that it was necessary to kill the unarmed boy because he was afraid when the boy began to turn around in response to being yelled at by strangers.


    Protestors march following DA's announcement of no charges in Andy Lopez case
    Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said an investigation into the shooting death of Andy Lopez determined that deputy Erik Gelhaus “fired his weapon in response to what he honestly and reasonably believed was an imminent threat of death to himself or others.”
    Please note that Gelhaus' partner apparently did not share this pathological fear of being shot by an unarmed boy with his back to the cops; he didn't fire a shot.

    I strongly suspect that Gelhaus' murder of the toying-toting teen, and DA Ravitch's whitewash, have done far more to prompt an "imminent threat of death" than a kid playing with a toy gun at the neighborhood airsoft range (not on the street as some muddia outlets reported). People are pissed. I don't blame them.

    I'm sure Gelhaus wanted to go home safely at the end of his shift. If Andy hadn't been gunned down in fewer than ten seconds, he might have expressed a wish to make it home alive after Gelhaus' shift, too.

    It's worth noting that the lunatic who killed Andy Lopez is a firearms instructor who teaches other officers and civilians when to shoot, and has shot himself. Reassuring, eh?

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    Another 'teabagger" slur?

    [In deference to the sensibilities of my
    own stomach – and yours – I am
    not including an obvious graphic]

    It's old but – possibly – still significant. Walt Havenstein is one of the Republican field running for New Hampshire governor.

    What Walt Havenstein Thinks of the Tea Party (YouTube video)
    "We got a lot of problems in this country. The teabaggers or whatever they are, they have been telling us that all summer long,"
    For once, I'm willing to cut a politician a little slack on the "teabagger" slur. I'll be honest: My own... recreational tastes tend towards the plain vanilla. Until big statists of assorted types started using the term to denigrate Taxed Enough Already activists, I had never heard the term. I vaguely recall encountering a comment on a story that prompted me to do a web search which I found somewhat educational, if disgusting. I thought it said worse things about the sick people throwing the term out than it did about folks who simply think we're... taxed enough already.

    Watching that clip, I think it's clear that Havenstein was about as clueless regarding the insult as I was. I don't think he meant it in a bad way. I gather from the quotes that he was in reality trying to say that TEA partiers had a valid point. He just wasn't up on derogatory slang. That's an easy trap to fall into when punks are inventing new terms every day.

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    I for one welcome our new computer overloards

    Or I would if it worked that way. Really, could a PC running Windows Vista do much worse than Congress?

    By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' And That Could Be A Problem
    "Today there's no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be. If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the timeframe most experts predict. From that point on you're going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines."
    If I thought he was serious, I'd be forced to consider him a moron. Low grade. But it's important to remember that he's hawking a book on AI, you have to expect silly crap to appeal to clueless reporters.

    For something like forty years, I've been hearing that computers will achieve human-quality speech recognition within five years. It's still expected within five years.

    Granted, government run schools are doing their best to lower human-quality speech recognition to levels achievable by a Commoncore Commodore 64... But I digress.

    Until the computers can talk to each other and those semi-human cyborgs, I'm not terribly worried about them taking over. If they gain the power of speech... see above re:Congress.

    Speech? Let's not get carried away. Go to Google Translate for a translation of some foreign language web page. When you can get through the new version without giggling, it might be time to worry.

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    Birth Control vs. Corn Chips

    A Free Coathanger in Every Bag!

    Forbes' Rick "I write from the left" Ungar rants stupidly:

    Hobby Lobby Invested In Numerous Abortion And Contraception Products While Claiming Religious Objection
    But to now discover that these people are seeking to avoid their obligation under the law to provide their employees with a contraceptive benefit at the same time they are allowing their 401(k) to invest in—and profit from—these very products is, in my view, completely unforgivable.
    Let me begin by noting that this position is a strawman argument anyway. Let's say I'm a person who believes that self defense is a human right, an expression of basic survival instinct, but that I'm opposed to State-waged wars of aggression. MagPul makes magazines that government soldiers use in war. Should I refuse to support the company by purchasing their magazines for my own self defense use, because someone else uses them for purposes of which I disapprove? (That's a trick question: Of course the Left only wants government to be able to kill people.)

    With that out of the way, let's play Forbes' silly game:

    Hobby Lobby: It's been a while since I had a employers 401k, but as I recall it, I chose which mutual funds my money went to. And while I could request a list of investments held by the fund, holdings were subject to change without notice as the fund manager juggled them to maintain profits. So Hobby Lobby didn't invest "In Numerous Abortion And Contraception Products While Claiming Religious Objection"; they provided a 401k through which employees voluntarily chose mutual funds without a realtime way of knowing what companies the fund invested in, and one or funds invested in companies with products Ungar finds inconsistent with someone else's principles. He concedes in an update that employees do make the choice, but complains that evil Hobby Lobby management unfairly restricts fund choices for those poor unsuspecting employees to more eviller funds that invest in companies that might, and sometimes do, produce products used for birth control or abortion. How naughty.

    Ungar is claiming that HL should monitor which funds employees choose, constantly monitor the funds for current investments, track down those companies, get a full list of their product line, analyze the products for intended use and off-label use, determine which uses are offensive, and demand changes in a fund in which HL employees are only a small part of the pool of investors. Kind of which defeats the purpose of a mutual fund.

    Wait. I thought the Ungar's Left was big on personal choice. Shouldn't the employees be held responsible for choosing those funds? In fact... No one makes them invest in the 401k at all. They can decline to participate. But let's keep going with Ricky's line for a bit.

    Should HL refuse to allow investments in companies that sell knitting needles and coathangers, long used for abortions? What about Burpee selling Queen Anne's Lace, a progesterone blocker that can be used for birth control?

    How far up the production line should they go in search of unappproved materials? Do they simply refuse to invest in Consolidated Coathangers, Inc., or do they also decline to invest in Acme Aluminum, who supplies the raw materials for Consolidated's production line? But wait! what about the company that provides the enamel paint on those coathangers? Do they continue up the line to boycott the Shell Oil for producing the petrochemicals for the oil-bas for the enamel paint? What about the Ohio farmer with a leased oil well in the middle of his corn field that produces the oil for the petrochemicals for the paint for the coathangers for the off-use abortions?

    Boycott corn chips!

    Uh oh... Did you know that people have used sea sponges and dilute lemon juice for birth control for thousands of years? (And how did anyone get a patent on that?) -sigh- Yet another set of markets you can't invest in: Household cleaning products and citrus crops.

    Right. Shall I continue? I mean... I could go into the whole discussion of organics being composed of carbon (the EPA has told us how deadly that exothermal carbon is), hydrogen (eek! used in hydrogen bombs), oxygen (if that isn't bad, why do food nazis want us to eat antioxidants?), and nitrogen (nitrogen run-off is sterilizing our streams and rivers!), and frivolously demand those birth control/abortifacient precursors be banned for the sake of Forbes' alleged consistency.

    They do have an interesting point regarding the the Timothy Plan and the Ave Maria Fund. But I wouldn't be surprised if they'd never heard of them; I hadn't. If I were an investor, I'd want to know a lot more about their size, yield, reliability... there's such a thing as fiduciary responsibility. You'd think Forbes would know that.

    (Hat tip to Claire Wolfe.)

    * I could point out that the whole thing is BS, as government shouldn't be forcing people and companies to purchase a damned thing in the first place. But in practical terms, the SCROTUM SCOTUS has already rendered moot the basic Obamacare debate.
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    Oddly enough, that graphic showed up

    on The Gun Feed this evening, shortly before I saw this article.

    Dog Dragged Behind Vehicle
    Oklahoma police investigating a disturbing case of animal cruelty. Cops say they found a dog that appears to have dragged behind a vehicle.
    Poor little guy. Probably kept up with you for a mile or so.
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    Failbook: Still can't find anything original

    Now and then.

    26 years ago...

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    WMUR: Still defending the official lies

    Last month, the feddie prosecutor in New Hampshire claimed his peeps had seized a "45-caliber submachine gun outfitted with a silencer". Maybe they did; but the weapon on display was not a subgun, but the Kriss Vector CRB semiauto carbine with a barrel shroud. The identification was pretty easy to make (several other people have noted it, including at least one federally licensed NFA expert).

    Gettting a correction to the claim is tougher, as you can see above. WMUR doesn't even want you to see the truth (besides the comment, I sent WMUR a separate email detailing the issues with firearm ID and Feith's honesty). The Useless Leader was nice enough to allow a comment. But none of these Pravda outlets are fixing the reports to something more honest and less inflammatory like, "alleged submachine gun with a silencer". Naturally, they are not about to do something as extreme as publish a report that the identification is being challenged, or note that no charges reflecting the unlawful possession of a post-1986 machine have been filed, as would have been the case if Feith's ID was accurate. He lied in that press conference, he knows he lied, WMUR and UL know it... and the anointed lamestream muddia outlets apparently don't think a dishonest prosecutor is news you should see.

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    Preaching to the heathen, whether we like it or not

    I read a lot of news. I try to hit different sites for the various spins placed on stories in hopes of picking out a few common themes which may prove to be facts: ABC/CBS/NBC for the leftist look, FOX for the rightwing flap, RRND for aggregated libertarian-leaning material, CNN for the White House alternate reality, and throw in EurekAlert! because I'm interested in sci/tech. was on my "conservative" list until yesterday. CNS tends to be a little... extreme. I wouldn't have been bothering with them (or CNN) if I were out for opposing viewpoints in hopes of striking a balance that vaguely resembles reality. But like CNN, they aren't always making radio contact with reality. Point in case, this showed up in their RSS NEWS feed yesterday:

    Satan Laughs and Spreads His Wings
    "They have rejected Him completely and have chosen to follow me."
    It's – as best I can tell – pseudo-Christian proselytizing written in the form of a first person-Satan gloating screed. It's all very vague, making blanket accusations of bulk-rate sinning, without ever identifying the alleged sinners. Presumbably, in the author's eyes, we're all guilty. By which she means you, you, you, yes you... and you there, hiding behind the column; you, too... and me are all gluttonous, mother-humping murderers.

    Jen Kuznicki lives in a very strange world. I hope the medications help.

    The whole thing was so bizarre that my first thoughts were 1) WTF, CNS?, 2) Oh, wait; maybe they got hacked by fundie pranksters, to 3) No, they would have noticed by now and pulled it... and they do have a religious bias.

    As I said, CNS isn't a "news" service I'd normally want to use. I posted this comment:

    I've been reading CNS for news, not pseudo-Christian sermons. If you had some other point to make, you failed to do so. Apparently it's time to delete CNS from my bookmarks and look for another source of politically right-leaning spin. It's bad enough trying to pick out the facts in the assorted left/right/looney spun reports. Here, I'd have to sort out the proselytizing, too."
    Unfortunately, I left my Disqus options set to email me when I get replies to comments. Mostly that's useful, but in this case, I've "learned" that:
    • it's my fault for reading the opinion/commentary page (I didn't; this showed up in the news feed)
    • that this is a Christian nation established by Christians (...and the odd Jew, assorted Deists, agnostics, at least one associate of the Hellfire Club. I've even seen a claim that Alexander Hamilton had voudoun ties, but that seems quite unlikely based on his ties to Haiti's Toussaint, who opposed voudoun in favor of Catholicism.)

      A potential tie to Catholicism could be amusing, since the "Christians" of colonial and revolutionary America didn't have much use for Catholics. Funny how selective that "Christian" identification can be.

    • that I "have Libtard written all over you...MSLSD or HUFFPOOP is where you need to go...back to..." (The mind boggles at that assertion, and HuffPo is too biased even to make my list of opposing viewpoints. MSLSD? Never heard of it.*)
    • I steal picnic baskets and toilet paper
    • I'm blue. (I'm guesssing that person found his way to my web site and decided based on the color scheme that I'm a registered Dimwit. Sorry, I just like the color.)
    • And my personal favorite: "[T]here is a requirement of Adulthood that demands you not whine when you cannot tolerate an occasional faith-based commentary, and then threaten to take your ball and go home." See? I'm required to keep reading CNS religious screeds.
    Sorry, upbnd816; objecting to sermons in the news feed which render that source less than useful for news isn't whining.

    As for not being allowed to "take your ball and go home", please, do show me the section in the Constitution or US Code that requires me to read your favorite biased media outlet. For that matter, I suspect you can pull some vague, endlessly interpretable quote from the Bible that "proves" CNS is the revealed word of Allah, and I'll be beheaded G-d/J-h-v-h/Jesus (how come I can write out "Jesus" in full not "God"?) if I stop reading it; that should be entertaining.

    And no, Michael David Davis, I didn't assume from the outset that this was proselytizing. I came to that conclusion after reading the screed. Your fellow bigoted commenters underscore my point with the claim that I'm a "poor lost soul" because I don't welcome preaching in my news.

    Yes, removing CNS from my reading list was a wise choice. A "news" service that cannot keep personal messages from Satan out of their news feed (as opposed to a commentary feed) cannot be trusted or relied upon to provide useful, factual (if biased) news.

    * Ah. Apparently it's a Rush Limbaugh reference for MSNBC.
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    COPSLIE and the State helps

    "All-righty then. If we can't limit your free speech on plates, we'll stop it completely," says the DMV.

    New rules put New Hampshire vanity plates on hold
    The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles has put a temporary hold on issuing vanity license plates.

    The state Supreme Court ruled in May that New Hampshire needed to come up with more specific rules on what constitutes an appropriate vanity plate.

    If you aren't familliar with the case, Mr. human (not a typo; that'shis name) wanted a personalized plate that read "COPSLIE". (I avoid personalized plates, but then, I like to avoid hostile attention from cops; human understood what he wass getting into with that part). DMV guidelines allowed individual clerks to deny application for violations of whatever they happened to consider "good taste".

    The good news: The NH Supreme Court said they couldn't do that. Too vague. Subject to individual bias.

    The bad news: Rather than accept the ruling and go on with business, the DMV has stopped issuing personalized plates at all. Supposedly, this will be very temporary, while clerks are "retrained". Why clerks need extensive "retraining" simply to follow the new rules that plates may not include messages "advocating a crime and profane words" is puzzling, since the toughest part of that is scribbling a list of profane words. I suppose they're gov-school graduates and read very, very slowly. It isn't like they need to memorize the list; they can write them on their computer password cheatsheet under the calendar blotter.

    If they know how to write.

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    Just in case you needed another reason to oppose Scott Brown
    Scott Brown Senate campaign brings Mitt Romney back to New Hampshire
    He insists he's not running for president a third time, but Mitt Romney is campaigning again in New Hampshire.The former Republican presidential nominee is set to endorse Senate candidate Scott Brown on Wednesday, campaigning publicly in New Hampshire for the first time since the early hours of Election Day 2012 as he continues a larger effort to re-emerge as a force in Republican politics.
    Joy. RINO Romney endorsing the gun-grabbing, carpetbagging, debate-dodging, question-evading Masshole RINO Scott Brown.

    I've said that if the NHGOP picks Brown in the primaries I willl not vote for any Republican for any office, on the tested theory that they'll have proven the the entire party cannot be trusted. All things considered, I don't think I need to wait for the primiary to make that call. The GOP – noted for shoving unwanted, pre-anointed candidates down our throats – seems to be doing its best to kill off any real choices. Hardly a surprise, since "choice" has largely meant choosing someone from column A or column B of the Boot On Your Neck Party. The Mississippi GOP cooperation with the Dems to eliminate the TEA party challenger just highlights that. The fact that virtually no media site even mentions the Libertarian candidate's existence adds an underscore.

    Well, some of that is Libertarian Goldsmith's own ineptitude. His idea of voter outreach is a series of YouTube videos that sound like they were scripted by the ghost of Ayn Rand, and a web site last updated on May 21st.

    I think it's fairly safe to predict a November win for Shaheen, which is – depressingly – preferable to Brown. "The devil you know...""

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    I don't get paid for these. I don't have a publisher. In fact, the one "publisher" that put out bootleg copies of these books never paid me. Worse, he conducted some unauthorized activities under my name, causing me to get hit with the taxes on his pirated profits. Some pirates are still selling some of these, including a horribly edited, unauthorized collection of short stories (get The Anarchy Belt below: all those stories and more, and better edited) elsewhere on the 'Net. I don't get royalties. Never have. No advances either. Nada, nothing, zip.

    In short, if you like what you see, I'd appreciate it very much if you would consider dropping a little something in my Tip Jar. It's the only money I'll ever get out of all that work. It would be great if I could get enough to keep me in beans and rice. If nothing else, remember that it costs me money to maintain this site and provide the bandwidth for the free (to you) downloads.

    By special request, I can also provide these in other formats (Kindle, EPUB, etc.)


    Added, 4/1/2014: Someone wondered about the back story of my publishing woes. Looks like I killed the old page that explained that, so here is the short version of what happened. Enjoy.

    Net Assets
      What would you do, how far would you go, for freedom?
      Net Assets is the story of people who push all the limits – technological, political, personal – to develop an affordable space launch system which anyone can use. It is also the story of those who would anything to stop them. Anything.
      Bussjaeger examines the laws, treaties, and technology that make or break the old dream: real space development and colonization by real people, out of the reach of government bureaucracies that fear the consequences of unlimited freedom.
    2003 Prometheus nominee.

    Review of Net Assets, courtesy of Kent McManigal.

    Bargaining Position
      Sequel to Net Assets.
      An oddball pair of extremely individualistic asteroid miners on a speculative journey to the far reaches of the solar system think they have struck it rich: an ancient, robotic space probe apparently free for salvage. But who built it, and do they want it back? And is it really an unmanned robot?
      While grappling with those issues and suddenly quirky automation problems of their own, a few more people decide they want the probe for themselves.
      Is this First Contact? How do they define contact? How do they define life?

    Here's a nice little review of Bargaining Position compliments of John Walker.

    Kent McManigal also turned his attention to Bargaining Position: See his review.

    The Anarchy Belt
      A collection of short stories by the author of Net Assets and Bargaining Position. 24 tales of people dealing with new problems, and a few old ones in new contexts. Includes 12 more stories in the NA/BP universe.
      Piracy on the high frontier, high tech rednecks, revolution against... the post office?, psychopath training simulators, the right to keep and bear nukes, and much more.

    A Little Pussy
      A new short story with the Hunters from Bargaining Position.
      Aggressive housepets... sort of. And Bill unsupervised in the workshop. It's a toss-up which is scarier.

      (Note to prudes: look at that cover art and consider the reference to "housepets" before jumping to conclusions. So far as sexual content goes, I rarely exceed PG13, and never R. If you do want porn, you'll have to look elsewhere.)

    Free craft/SCA articles here
    A collection of craft and how-to articles. Includes paper-making; inks, pigments, and paints; sundials; brewing; medieval footwear; metal gauntlets and half gauntlets; spangenhelm; tactics; and more.

    I used to be active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, so a lot of these are written from that perspective. But they are still useful for anyone interested in learning how to do things for themselves.

    Bussjaeger Family Interests
    Family Links, etc.
    Genealogy: Family Tree

    Can you take this oath?

    I did.


Help me buy some groceries!
(Plain oatmeal and rice
gets old after a while.)

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Copyright 2003 - 2012 by Carl Bussjaeger