A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Posts Tagged ‘Politics

I Have a Cheaper Solution

Hillary Clinton has gone ahead and promised more American dollars to Central American countries to help them fight our drug war:

Mrs Clinton told a regional security conference in Guatemala that the US would increase its aid by more than 10% to nearly $300m (£187m).

Analysts say the figure is still small, given that more than two-thirds of cocaine sent from South America to the US now passes through Central America.

In total, some $1.8bn was promised to support the region’s security.

That’s a lot of taxpayer money just to enforce a prohibition on what people put into their own bodies. Instead of spending billions fighting this needless war, keeping non-violent people imprisoned, and getting people killed enforcing anti-drug laws let’s try something better, let’s just end the prohibition on currently illegal drugs.

Ron Paul and Barney Frank understand this and rumor has it that they’ll introduce a bill to legalize marijuana very soon. This would be the first step in ending the pointless war on drugs and would likely slash the number of people we put into prison every year.

We should have learned our lesson about prohibition during Prohibition. All the war on drugs has accomplished is the waste of untold billions (maybe trillions) of dollars, increase the rate of violent crime, lead to drug cartels gaining enough power to basically overthrow several states (and replace them with even more violence which is the negative part), and swelled our prison population to the highest in the world.

We can’t control what people put into their bodies because simply making something illegal doesn’t stop it from happening (which is why we have criminals by the way).

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Written by Christopher Burg

June 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

I’m Truly Shocked, California Did Something Right

Holy shit I’m actually surprised by something that happened in California, and it’s a pleasant surprise. I never thought I would actually have something nice to say about that forsaken state but it sounds as though they’re going to stop paying their “representatives” until the state budget is balanced:

It is often said if the state of California was a country it would be the eighth biggest economy in the world.

But with a $10bn deficit to match, and residents fed up of legislators missing the annual budget deadline by months, they voted for a new law.

It is the first time Proposition 25 has been put into effect – and it means all 120 elected members of the State Assembly and Senate will not be paid their wages, or their living allowances, until they pass a balanced budget.

Hell. Fucking. Yes. Obviously the “representatives” are complaining but they have no ground to stand on. Those people were hired to do a job and have failed to do it. As they have failed to do their job it’s only right that they don’t get paid (I’d fire them frankly but alas that’s not an option when government is involved). California should expand on this and refuse to pay their “representatives” until the state debt is paid off as well. Imagine how quickly such a program would accomplish turning California from a the most debt-ridden state into a debt-free state.

For once I can say there is something other states can learn from California, don’t pay the legislature until the budget is balanced.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Companies Abandoning California at an Accelerated Rate

What happens when you increase the tax burden on companies in order to correct a state deficit? Those companies start leaving. Companies are run by people and people are generally willing to put up with only so much abuse until they analyze their situation and consider their options. California has been increasing taxes on businesses and it’s now to a point where many businesses there have decided it’s simply not worth being there and are taking their services and jobs to another state.

In 2011 the rate of businesses leaving California has increased to 5.4 a week. Each of those businesses are also taking their jobs with them meaning the unemployment rate in California is going to continue getting higher. This is also a great demonstration of the fact that states simply can’t tax their out of debt. As they increase their tax rates the victims of those increases are going to leave and then will effectively pay $0.00 in taxes to the state.

California, like most socialist nations, is finally collapsing under it’s own ruined economy. They’ve tried to offer too much for too long and now they’re going all Soviet Union. Governments need to learn that the only way to effectively eliminate their debt is to spend less money. People will survive without government services but they won’t take loosing 90% of their earnings. I’m pretty sure it’s too late for California but I hope my state notices this and learns that increasing taxes on businesses and the wealthy (those who generally own businesses) is not going to reduce our debt but increase it in the long run as tax payers flee for friendly states (South Dakota is right next door and they’re generally pretty nice in comparison).

Written by Christopher Burg

June 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

I Bet He Cures Blindness By Throwing Mud in Your Eyes Too

When I saw this article on the BBC asking why the crime rate in the United States have been dropping I expected no mention would be made of the increase in issuance of carry permits. I’ve come to expect that from the media, especially Britain where guns are almost completely illegal. What I didn’t expect was the theory that our lower crime rate is due to the election of the Obamessiah:

1. The Obama effect could explain the increased pace of the reduction of the last few years, says one of the country’s top criminologists, Alfred Blumstein. “The prior expectation was that the recession would have the opposite effect. The question then is what distinctive event occurred in ’09?” The election of a black president could have inspired some young black men, who are disproportionately involved in arrests for robbery and homicide, says the professor. It’s very speculative, he adds, and probably only one factor of many, as one of the cities with a huge drop in crime is Phoenix, in Arizona, which does not have a large black population. “In the field of criminology, you don’t get consistent indicators as you would in physics. There are so many factors that could have contributed.” A separate study on school test scores supports the view that some black teenagers were motivated to try harder by the new presidency.

Hallelujah brother, it’s a miracle! Our president can cure the blind by throwing mud in their eyes, he can walk on water, he can turn water into wine, and he can lower the crime rate! Seriously could the media suck his… I’ll let you fill in the blank here, any harder? Did Barack personally send the BBC a shipment of hookers and blow?

Before some Obamabot comes on here and claims my heated reaction is just due to the fact that I’m a Republican/Glenn Beck supporter/dirty Satanist/whatever I should state that I’d have the same reaction regardless of what president it was about (also I’m not a Republican or Glenn Beck supporter or dirty Satanist).

Beyond that stupidity the article was written as I expected it. Almost all of the theories stated are attributed to the state and not a single mention was made about liberalized (in the classical definition of the word) carry laws raising the stacks for committing crimes. Regardless of the reason the decline in crime does demonstrate that liberalized (again the classic definition) carry laws don’t lead to higher crime rates and thus enacting stricter gun control laws to curb crime is an exercise in stupidity. This is even more important to note when you consider the fact that liberalized (classical definition) carry laws may be part of the reason crime rates are declining.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

I May Take Back Everything I Said About Texas

I ripped on Texas a short while back because they were trying to play tough and stand up to the federal government but folded the second the guys in Washington D.C. pushed back. Texas has a chance to redeem itself though as they have reintroduced the anti-molestation bill during a special session:

On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry presented legislation for consideration in the ongoing Eighty-Second Texas Legislature, First Called Session that would ban intrusive TSA pat-downs.

OK Texas this is your chance to prove to the rest of the union that you don’t take shit from anybody. Get this legislation through and tell the federal government where to shove their legalization of federal agents committing sexual assault. On yet another bright side it appears as through Texas may not be the only state telling the boys at the federal capitol where to shove it:

Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center tell us to expect at least 10 other states considering similar legislation in the 2012 legislative session. Utah and Michigan have already joined in. CLICK HERE to track the progress of all “travel freedom” legislation around the country.

I would love to see all fifty states take a stand against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There is no valid reason for allowing government agents to commit sexual assault on people simply trying to fly from one place to another.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Family of Murdered Border Patrol Agent Want the ATF Prosecuted

Things have heated up for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF). An investigation has been called for and the head of the ATF may have to resign and everybody else will likely get a congratulations and complimentary pat on the pack for their work in suppressing our rights. But as Uncle points out not everybody is happy with simply giving the ATF a slap on the wrist:

The idea was that once the weapons in Mexico were traced back to the straw purchasers, the entire arms smuggling network could be brought down. Instead, the report argues, letting the weapons slip into the wrong hands was a deadly miscalculation that resulted in preventable deaths, including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Terry was killed last year north of the Mexican border in Arizona after confronting bandits believed to be preying on illegal immigrants. Two weapons found near the scene of the killing were traced to Fast and Furious.

“I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe it at first,” Terry’s mother, Josephine, said when she learned the ATF may have let some of the guns used in the attack slip through its fingers. Terry’s relatives said they want all those involved in his killing and who helped put the weapons in their hands to be prosecuted.

“We ask that if a government official made a wrong decision, that they admit their error and take responsibility for his or her actions,” Robert Heyer, Terry’s cousin and family spokesman, said in a hearing last week by the House panel.

I wish Terry’s family the best of luck but alas I’m guessing they’re more likely to receive a lesson in the evils of statism than receive any compensation for the murder of their family member. The government has a habit of protecting their own which has lead to many government agencies literally getting away with murder without so much as an apology.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

Using Legislation to Force Adoption of Your Product

Let’s pretend that you’re a fledgeling inventor who has come up with a new mechanism to make a currently available tool safer. The idea seems solid but it’s also very expensive which has lead to nobody licensing your invention from you. What do you do? If you’re the asshole who invented SawStop you go to Capitol Hill and try to use government to force companies to license your invention:

Gass’ saw uses an electrical sensor to detect when the blade touches flesh instead of wood. Within a few thousandths of a second, the blade slammed to a stop.

But as well as the technology works, the major tool companies have failed to put this kind of device on any of their table saws — even eight years after Gass offered to license it to them.

“They came back and said, ‘Well, we’ve looked at it, but we’re not interested because safety doesn’t sell,’ ” Gass says.

SawStop, Gass’ little upstart company, has sold tens of thousands of these safer table saws, and lately things have been heating up in Washington. The National Consumers League last month brought in injured woodworkers to meet with lawmakers and regulators. They want to make the SawStop safety brake mandatory on all table saws.

That’s one of the most dick moves somebody can perform. When you want to make money by creating a better mouse trap that is great and I fully support you. On the other hand if you want to make money by getting the government to use their monopoly on the initiation of force to make people buy your mouse trap I will condemn you.

The reason saw companies aren’t adopting SawStop isn’t because safety doesn’t sell, it’s because safety isn’t worth the asking price to most people:

In other words, let consumers decide. Young says many consumers won’t want to pay for the SawStop technology, which could add $100 to $300 in cost, depending on which side you talk to.

As mentioned earlier in the article SawStop has sold tens of thousands of their safer saws. His customers obviously felt the additional cost of those saws was small enough that it outweighed their fear of getting injured should their finger get near the saw blade. On the other hand other people who’ve purchased saws want something that is cheap (for instance a person who uses a saw sporadically for hobby project) and adding an additional $100 to $300 will make a big difference to those people.

The reason a free market is great is because it allows us to determine what will be available. Different customers have different wants. Some people want an industrial saw because their business requires it while others want a cheap saw because they only use it once every two years. By mandating SawStop the legislature would destroy the market for those wanting a cheap saw as the cost of licensing the technology is more than some of those saws are.

And in the end there is an incredibly cheap and effective safety mechanism for saws called a push stick. Hell you can make a push stick with basic woodworking tools (no saw required) in a few minutes. Not only do I hope legislation mandating the inclusion of SawStop on all saws fails but I hope Mr. Gass goes out of business and ends up poor and penniless on the streets. Does that sound harsh? It should, I’m not a fan of somebody using force to line their own pockets.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21, 2011 at 11:00 am