Friday Quote – Margaret Thatcher

22 Feb
February 22, 2019

Socialists cry “Power to the People!” and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean. “Power over people. Power to the state.”

SCOTUS Smack Down

21 Feb
February 21, 2019

Civil asset forfeiture is a pernicious practice that allows the cops to steal property on the grounds it might have been used in the commission of a crime. Doesn’t matter if the property owner is charged (often not) or the property owner was even aware of illegal activities on or using his/her property.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court said that civil asset forfeiture can be considered excessive fines under the Eighth Amendment. While not a death knell to the practice, this ruling gives a strong weapon to those fighting not only civil asset forfeiture, but jurisdictions that use fines as revenue generators.

Best of all, it was 9-0. When your actions are so egregious that the entire SCOTUS signs on, you done fucked up good.

I’m hoping this is the first step to the courts ruling the whole practice of seizing property without a criminal conviction of the owner unconstitutional and demands restitution.

Six Hundred and Fifty-Nine Days

20 Feb
February 20, 2019

In May of 2017, I decided I would give the weight loss thing another try. There were two main reasons. I was tired of taking pills and buying new clothes. In May of 2018, I put up a post detailing my plan and weight loss up to that point.It was one of my more popular posts and even inspired a Facebook group.

Six hundred and fifty-nine days after starting down this path, I have officially hit my goal of 200 lbs. People ask me if I feel better now. Honestly, it was such a gradual process, I’ve noticed the new aches and pains of getting older than improved health from weight loss. Until I think about the fact that I don’t have to take my high blood pressure pill or statin pill. I have to take my heartburn med every other day instead of daily. That I can go up the three flights of stairs to my office with my backpack and laptop bag without being as winded as I was just climbing three flights of stairs.

I’ve done it. I’ve made my goal. It was hard work to get here, and it will be hard work to stay here. I’ll be counting calories for the rest of my life. It’s worth it though.

I don’t have to take the pillsc, but I’ve got to buy new clothes.

Starting with a kilt.

Metal Tuesday- Epica – Crimson Bow and Arrow

19 Feb
February 19, 2019

Epica put out an album of covers from the “Attack on Titan” anime. This was my favorite opening song of that anime.

Emergency Declarations

18 Feb
February 18, 2019

President Trump decides to declare a national emergency over the border wall. Partisans on both sides have spewed their normal rhetoric defending the views of their tribes. In one of those tribal rhetorics, Speaker Pelosi said this would make it easier for the next president to declare a national emergency on guns. I’ve heard derision of the comment from the RKBA crowd, but I think she’s right.

There are issues on the border with smuggling and the cartels, but not the kind that pose a direct and immediate threat to the nation as a whole or a segment of the nation. That’s kind of like saying the bad parts of Chicago pose a direct and immediate threat to the nation or Illinois, and the president should declare a national emergency to build a wall around those neighborhoods. Please don’t bring up the terrorism bullshit. There has been no credible evidence of any terrorists coming up the southern border.

What Trump has done with this emergency declaration is add another stone to the path towards the conversion from a presidency to an emperor. Trump is not unusual in this. I’m not sure if he’s going to end up adding more stones to the path than Bush II or Obama. I don’t know if this action will end up being a large paving stone or a small cobblestone. Either way, it’s another stone.

I don’t think Trump will declare himself Donald Augustus I when his term comes to an end. I do think he’s added another accepted power to the one who will.

Friday Quote – Mark Twain

15 Feb
February 15, 2019

Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.

Parkland + 365

14 Feb
February 14, 2019

A year ago, a student walked into his old school. He murdered seventeen and injured seventeen more. This became a rallying cry for gun control in a way the Las Vegas shooting four months previously was not.

The gun control groups were quick to press their advantage by riding on the backs of telegenic children to manipulate quisling legislators. Florida passed its first major gun control legislation in decades. Other states did the same. The mantra was the same. Easy guns, lack of universal background checks, and no red flag laws allowed this monster to kill children. Oh, and bumpstocks too.

Except, if anything, this proved the hollowness of gun control arguments. The Sun Sentinel – not exactly a friend to gun owners on their editorial pages – did amazing work showing the failures of Broward County.From how the schools failed to get the shooter help and then covered it up to how the Broward County Sheriffs Office and the local school authorities failed to take action when it happened. The failures documented in the official report were so bad, that the chair of the commission – the previously anti-gun Pinellas County Sherriff – reversed his position and called for armed staff in schools.

Every authority that we are told by our opponents need additional authority to protect us failed. Not because they did not have enough power, but because they did everything to subvert the controls in place to achieve other politically-motivated goals. I don’t believe that the individuals in place wanted a school shooting, but in light of their actions, is there any difference? About the only thing they people in charge could have done more to facilitate this tragedy would have been to give the murderer the money for the gun and ammo.

If someone tells me that Parkland is why we need gun control, I can honestly agree with them. Parkland is why we need gun control, in that we do not need it at all.

S&W Tells Whiny Nuns to Fuck Off

13 Feb
February 13, 2019

In much nicer terms. The Daily Caller relates a study published by American Outdoor Brands, who owns S&W, at the behest of an “investment group.” I use the scare quotes because this “investment group” (which includes some nuns as mouthpieces) are buying into companies not to profit, but for social change. The report had one of the sickest burns I’ve read in some time:

The Company’s reputation as a strong defender of the Second Amendment is not worth risking for a vague goal of improving the Company’s reputation among non-customers or special interest groups with an anti-Second Amendment agenda…

That’s a nice way of saying “Why the fuck would we care what people who don’t give us money and hate us thing?”

Metal Tuesday- Amaranthe- Army of the Night

12 Feb
February 12, 2019

I love Amaranthe. I love Powerwolf’s last few albums. I love covers.

This is Amaranthe doing a cover of a Powerwolf song. This may be on repeat in my head.

Guns and Mutants

11 Feb
February 11, 2019

I came across this article comparing the gun control debate with the debates over mutants in the Marvel universe.

From the article: The human tendency is to judge all people by their worst examples and to act accordingly. This is silly and frankly bigoted, but it’s what people do and you just have to argue around it. Almost all transgender people want to do is use a bathroom in peace and not molest children under pretext; however, people are ready to judge the 99.9% who obey the law by the rare example who actually does commit a bathroom molestation. Most immigrants, particularly from Islamic countries, want to immigrate to the United States for peace and prosperity; however, people are ready to judge all of them because of the few who come here and commit terrorism. I maintain that 9/11 was far more catastrophic than any school shooting, but we shouldn’t block Muslim immigrants because of the dozen or so who killed 3,000 Americans on one very bad day, or the one who killed numerous LGBTQ people in Orlando.

So the X-Men deal with the same crap. Some mutants have gone terrorist; all are judged by that standard. One mutant could **commit a crime; therefore, people assume that they **will.

To borrow a phrase, snip:

Still, readers connect with the X-Men despite the bona fide concerns of the world around them. Why?

Because we read the X-Men as “real” people. We know that not all mutants are not the Brotherhood and Magneto. We follow them as ordinary people who come from ordinary backgrounds. While they have extraordinarily dangerous powers, they’re not dangerous people. They date, play baseball, go to bars and movies, and are generally not interested in hurting anyone who isn’t out to hurt them first. For the most part, they want to help.

Joss Whedon had a run on Astonishing X-Men, which was the first comic I picked up after a fifteen-year hiatus. There was a scene where Cyclops confronts the rest of the team over who’s being mind controlled. The team is freaked out because Cyclops is holding a handgun. Cyclops. The mutant whose eye blasts can take down giant robots. And his team is more scared of the 1911 in his hand. Let’s just say it was something that yanked me out of the narrative right quick.