Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Habit of Losing Things?

If you follow the news, you may have seen the report recently that the BATFE has lost hundreds of millions of cigarettes.  That seems like a lot to me.  What I rather enjoy is that the news coverages mentions only that they were lost.  More likely they were sold off.  You can't "lose" dozens of pallets of goods.  If you can't find them in your warehouse, they aren't there.  It's not like not being able to find your car keys or your favorite pen. 

Of course, this isn't the first time the ATF has been accused of losing things.  There are many examples of them losing paperwork on NFA items, like machine guns.  Just recently during a sting one of their agents lost track of a full auto rifle.  By "lost track" they mean "ended up in possession of a criminal and we didn't get it back".  Oh, and in an audit a few years back it found the ATF lost 418 laptops, many with confidential information on them, and 76 firearms.

Oh, and then there was Fast and Furious, where they gave a couple thousand guns to known criminals and failed to get more than 1,400 of them back.  Sadly, many of the ones they did recover were at crime scenes, after they were used to shoot people, including one used to kill a federal agent.  I'm not the only one noticing this string of ineptitude either.

Next time you hear a politician talk about getting illegal guns off the street, suggest we disband the ATF.  They seem to be behind a fair number of guns that end up in the hands of those criminals.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ineffectiveness of the Police State

In a post 9/11 world, we've been asked to trade liberty for security.  It's a false choice, as giving up liberty isn't increasing our security.  It's simply implementing another threat against us, overzealous police forces.  As police departments militarize, interactions with citizens are more likely to be drawn up like battles, which puts said civilians at risk.  Meanwhile, they don't stop petty crime or large scale attacks.

Last night in Chicago 23 people were shot including 13 in one place.  Oh, and the same number over Easter weekend.  And 19 in one night last August.  It's a frequent headline in that city, more than a dozen people shot in a day.

Yet, Chicago has more police per capita than any other city in the country.  And those cops shoot a lot of citizens.  Chicago also has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

Add all that up and we have a large police force more brutally enforcing stricter laws than anywhere else in the country.  In a country that's trending towards a police state Chicago leads the way.  And yet, it's citizens experience the highest murder rate in the nation and the one of the highest violent crime rates.  It's citizens have given up liberty and it has not made them safe.  In fact, I think an argument can be made to the contrary.  The citizens have lost civil liberty and personal freedom and even civil rights and the tradeoff is they are at higher risk to be a victim of crime or a victim of the police.  That's a terrible tradeoff.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The War Against Guns in the Media

It is often heard that many mainstream media sources have a liberal bias that shows throw in their coverage of stories.  Many times this is dismissed, but a variety of sources have documented this phenomenon, especially during presidential elections. 

When it comes to the subject of firearms, this seems to be true as well.  The coverage of events often demonizes guns and tragedies are used as propaganda to promote control control points.  As well, when a shooter is conservative, the media runs stories on "right wing extremists" and blames the Tea Party or even Sarah Palin.  Shockingly enough, despite initial assertions by major media sources, most recent mass shooters have been left-leaning.  The DC shooter supported Obama, was a confirmed liberal and drove a Prius.  Of course, we don't see stories about how Obama supporters are crazed killers.  Imagine if the shooter was instead a big Tea Party guy, we'd hear nothing but how the Tea Party encourages extremists to be violent.

But what really stood out in this most recent event was how fast the media companies rolled out the anti AR-15 propaganda.  CNN ran a big special about how evil AR-15's are.  The Daily News had an AR-15 on their cover.  Even when it was shown that the shooter used a shotgun, not an AR-15, we saw stories that he tried to buy one. NBC did a "recreation" where the shooter had an M-16 with a grenade launcher.  Also it was classy the shooter was red (the color of Republicans) and all the victims were blue (the color of Democrats).  I am eye rolling so hard right now.....

The shooter never had an AR-15, yet there are hundreds of stories stating just that.  Why do we bother watching, listening and reading stories from these media companies anymore?  I don't.  You should probably consider avoiding them as well, since when you do you are making them money.

No One Is Trustworthy

This seems to be a theme lately, companies and agencies reporting false numbers.  In this case, a polling company decided not to publish numbers because they didn't agree with their political leanings.  Classy.

This sort of environment offers a lot of opportunity for companies that are forthright and truthful.  I'd certainly support them.  That's the best way to enact change, stop supporting the companies that are lying to us.  It's easy to do and it will have a real effect.

More Outright Lies From a Federal Government Agency

Just last week I wrote a post about how the Treasury Department was continuing to publish false numbers regarding national debt.   This week I made note that media companies often go to press with information that is wrong.  Today we have the Justice Department that has been shown to publish false numbers since 2010 regarding terrorist arrests. 

As these examples continue to pile up, only a fool would give any credibility to anything published by a federal government agency or a major media company.  They lie so often there is no reason to have faith they are ever telling the truth.  It's a sad world we live in.

Welcome to the future!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All Hail the Police State, part 17

If you follow the news, you may be aware that police misuse of tasers is a serious problem.  Since it's considered non-lethal, they are often overused in subduing a subject.  It seems there isn't a week that goes by where a suspect doesn't end up dead from being tasered, sometimes when they are already cuffed or otherwise restrained.

Well, this product has made it even easier!  Taser cuffs!  You know, for when you really need to shock the hell out of that guy you already have restrained.  Having to use two tools to do that is so 2012.

Welcome to the future.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Being First is More Important Than Being Accurate

Today there was a man who shot some people in an office in Washington DC.  I'm sure it will be weeks before all the details come out, but that doesn't prevent the major news networks from broadcasting speculation and even lies about the event.  The companies are in such a rush to get the story first, that they publish or broadcast anything, whether it's true or not, to achieve that.  Every time there is a tragedy the news companies see it as an opportunity to make a quick buck.  They publish story after story, update after update, when there is no real and certified information available.  They just put something up so people will watch it and they get more money for their ads.

Look at the coverage today.  First there was a shooter, then 2, then 3.  Now maybe just 1.  Or maybe 2.  Or maybe 3.  Nobody seems to be able to decide.  The numbers of people injured and killed start small, ramp up then settle back down.  Two networks even released the wrong name, something they've done before.

It's atrocious.  And the best way to get them to stop is to shun coverage from the major news networks on events like this.  Let's be honest- it doesn't matter if you find out the details at 10 am or next Thursday.  But to the people who it does matter- like families of the victims, or people wrongfully advertised to be a killer, the media taking their time to get the facts in the story matters a lot.  Stop supporting the major media companies when they make a mockery of the facts.  They'll stop doing it if it stops making them money.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Parts Needed to Build an AR-15

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the US, and has been for a few years according to sales rankings.  It's popular for many reasons as I've written about in other posts.  It's flexible, available in a variety of calibers rainging from rimfire to 50 caliber.  It's a great choice for home defense.  It's the most popular choice for government agencies.  With a collapsing stock the same rifle can fit small and large shooters.  In the most common chambering of 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington it offers enough power for small and medium game hunting and light recoil since it's an intermediate power cartridge.   223 is among the most affordable centerfire rifle rounds, at least when we aren't in the middle of the great ammo panic of 2013.  Quality magazines can be had for $10 each.  All of these factors have made it the most popular rifle today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

They Must Think We Are Morons

Or at least too lazy to pay attention.  Maybe they are right. 
Remember when I mentioned that the US debt hadn't gone up a penny in months?  That was the end of July.  Guess what?  Six weeks later and it's still held at exactly the same amount, despite continuing to incur billions in debt every day. 

The financial statement released by the Treasury Department are lies, and anyone paying attention knows it.  Yet most media outlets are complicit, I heard on NPR today that we should hit our debt limit in October.  It doesn't take a math genius to know the numbers presented to the public are completely fabricated, yet the press is happy to report whatever the administration says.

It's time for new leaders and new press.  I fear what we have now has no desire to serve the interests of the populace or even take a modicum of effort when they are being misleading.  It's too much trouble to come up with a fake number, so they just keep using the one they have and just assume nobody will notice. 

I look forward to the next election cycle, I hope it brings some real change.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Syria, Revisited

I wrote my thoughts about action in Syria last week, and I wanted to add a bit to that.  Quite honestly, I'm flummoxed by how badly the administration seems to want this.  It seems the message changes every couple of days, they keep trying to say different things in order try to get the public on board.   So much of the media, even NPR, is coming off as pro-war.  But there are some serious issues.

The president and his supporters say we aren't going to war with Syria, we are performing limited strikes with no boots on the ground.  You know, like Japan did to us at Pearl Harbor.  Or Al Qaeda  did on 9-11.  Oh, wait.  We considered both of those acts of war and launched military strikes against the offenders, killing hundreds of thousands of people in response.  Why would we expect any less from Syria?  Because they are weaker than us?  Bombing buildings and killing people in a foreign country is likely to be considered an act of war and get a response.  It puts US citizens at risk.  And, even the US State Department says "We continue to believe that there's no military solution here that's good for the Syrian people, and that the best path forward is a political solution".