A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Members of Congress Will Continue to Use Your Money to Settle Their Sexual Harassment Cases

without comments

Sexual harassment has been a hot button issue since last year. Hollywood and Washington DC has been awash in accusations, apologies, and payoffs. However, when an actor in Hollywood decides to pay off their victims, they use their own money. When a politicians decides to pay off their victims, they use your money:

An overhaul of Capitol Hill’s workplace misconduct system is in jeopardy and likely won’t be attached to a government spending bill this week, diminishing the likelihood of reform before the midterm elections, according to Politico.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who introduced the bipartisan Congressional Harassment Reform Act last December, said on Monday that House and Senate leadership “stripped” provisions from the language from the spending bill at the eleventh hour.


Among its provisions, the act requires that members of Congress personally pay for sexual harassment settlements when they are found liable. Currently, lawmakers can tap taxpayer funds to settle with victims. Also, unless the victim opts for privacy, under the act, settlements would automatically be made public, thus lifting the veil of secrecy around the process.

Having access to tax dollars is yet another mechanism that politicians can use to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions. If Congress was composed of angels, this wouldn’t be an issue because the members wouldn’t vote themselves the power to use tax dollars to pay off sexual harassment victims. But Congress isn’t composed of angels, it’s composed of crooked bastards who only care about power.

While many voters will likely claim that they’re outraged by this, members of Congress know that voters will toss aside all of their outrage come election day because most of them will continue to cast their vote for the “lesser evil” incumbent. Members of Congress won’t hold themselves accountable and neither will the voters.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2018 at 11:00 am

Officer Noor Charged

without comments

Against all odds, the grand jury for the case of Justine Damond’s death decided that there were grounds for charging Officer Noor:

A Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman in July has been booked on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

This decision is somewhat surprising considering how biased grand juries tend to be in favor of law enforcers. I can only imagine that the evidence provided by Officer Noor’s defense was nonexistent. However, now the case goes to a jury, which also tend to be heavily biased in favor of law enforcers, so there’s still a very good chance that Officer Noor walks away from this unpunished.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2018 at 10:30 am

This Is What Happens When You Don’t Own Your Infrastructure

without comments

First YouTube purged gun videos and now Reddit is following suit:

Reddit’s bid to clean up its communities now includes what those communities trade. The social site has updated its policies to ban the trade of firearms, explosives, drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), services with “physical sexual contact,” stolen goods, personal info and counterfeits. Accordingly, Reddit has shut down numerous subreddits that either directly traded in these goods or were clearly meant to enable those exchanges, including r/gunsforsale, r/stealing (yes, it existed) and r/darknetmarkets.

One of the victims of this policy change was the great /r/gundeals subreddit. /r/gundeals was one of the best aggregators of firearm related deals on the Internet and while its content didn’t technically run afoul with the letter of Reddit’s new policies, it did run afoul with the spirit of Reddit’s new policies, which was to further tighten the noose around the site’s gun owners’ necks.

Once again gun owners are being taught a lesson about the risks of moving firearm related content to websites owned and operated by individuals who are opposed to gun rights. Hopefully the lesson will be learned and content will return to websites that are owned and operated by advocates for gun rights.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Gun Rights

Tagged with ,

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Not Far, Far Away

without comments

Remember the halcyon days of Internet gundom? Gunnies operated their own blogs, forums, and news sites. You might have had an account on several of the larger gun forums as well as several local gun forums, checked a bunch of separate gun blogs for new content every day, and jumped onto one of several Internet Relay Chat channels to talk about guns in real time. Those days began to wither away as much of Internet gundom began to transition to a handful of centralized services like YouTube and Facebook. As this transition was occurring a few gunnies, myself included, asked if it was wise to move our content to services owned and operated by individuals who are hostile to gun rights. The gunnies making the transition told us that it wouldn’t be a problem.

Fast forward to today:

YouTube is cracking down on gun videos. The video sharing platform recently updated its policies on content featuring firearms. According to the updated restrictions, the site no longer allows content that, “Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales…or links to sites that sell these items.”

The list of forbidden accessories includes, but is not limited to, anything that enables a firearm to simulate automatic fire or converts a firearm to do so, and high capacity magazine kits. YouTube’s new policy also now states it will ban videos that show people how to manufacture firearms, ammunition, high capacity magazines, or even shows users how to install these accessories or modifications.

This was inevitable. Whenever you hand over control of your content to your enemy it will be censored. Maybe your enemy will pretend to be benevolent for a while but eventually they will decide to exercise their power to shut your message down.

I continue to operate this blog because I want to have a channel that I completely control. I own the hardware and the software that this blog runs on and am therefore beholden only to myself (and to my Internet Service Provider (ISP), which is why I’ve been harping on the need for a mesh network to remove control from ISPs). I also continue to encourage others to do the same. Everybody should have a channel that they completely control.

While this news was met with a great deal of screeching, gunnies have no control over YouTube. YouTube can decide to do whatever it wants with its property. If it doesn’t want to host videos explaining how to manufacture suppressors on its servers, it is under no obligation to do so. The only option is for gunnies to return to the old decentralized model where content was hosted on a number of individually owned and operated sites or to come together to create their own centralized video hosting site. I prefer the former since it’s the most difficult model to censor. But I can see the appeal of a centralized service like YouTube that is owned and operated by individuals who are friendly to gun rights. Either way, screeching isn’t going to solve anything.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Gun Rights

Tagged with ,

You Are Not the Company for Which You Work

without comments

How much are you willing to put up with from your employer? Apparently Facebook’s and Google’s employees are willing to put up with a lot:

For low-paid contractors who do the grunt work for big tech companies, the incentive to keep silent is more stick than carrot. What they lack in stock options and a sense of corporate tribalism, they make up for in fear of losing their jobs.

One European Facebook content moderator signed a contract, seen by the Guardian, which granted the company the right to monitor and record his social media activities, including his personal Facebook account, as well as emails, phone calls and internet use. He also agreed to random personal searches of his belongings including bags, briefcases and car while on company premises. Refusal to allow such searches would be treated as gross misconduct.

Following Guardian reporting into working conditions of community operations analysts at Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin, the company clamped down further, he said.

Contractors would be questioned if they took photographs in the office or printed emails or documents. “On more than one occasion someone would print something and you’d find management going through the log to see what they had printed,” said one former worker.

Socialists are quick to blame working conditions described in the article on capitalism. However, the paranoia demonstrated by government owned and operating factories in socialist nations indicates that this behavior isn’t unique to capitalist employers. I believe that working conditions like those described in the article are a product employees not recognizing their own worth and that they’re not the company for which they work.

Let’s address the first part, an employee’s worth. The employer-employee relationship under capitalism is far more balanced than socialists like to admit publicly. While socialists won’t publicly admit that the employer-employee relationship is balanced they do acknowledge it in their strategies because their strategies are built on employee actions such as strikes and, in the case of more radical socialists, sabotage. Strikes rely entirely on the fact that an employer is reliant on their employees.

If a large percentage of Google’s and Facebook’s employees quit, both companies would suffer a great deal. Facilities deteriorate without maintenance personnel. Software can’t be written without developers. Web infrastructure tends to fail without information technology personnel to maintain it. Without employees to perform all the daily tasks that keep Google and Facebook running, both companies would grid to a halt.

An employee’s worth extends beyond the confines of whatever company they’re working for at a given moment. If they’re even mediocre at performing their job, they can generally find employment elsewhere, especially if they have a big name like Google or Facebook on their resume. Many employees let themselves become psychologically reliant on their employer. It’s like they believe that their the skills they’ve developed can be seized by their employer if they leave. Skills are something you take with you when you leave an employer, which is why employees shouldn’t be afraid to walk away from an employer.

If your employer is treating you poorly, take your skills to another employer or use them to start your own business.

Now let’s address the second part, the fact that an employee is not the company for which they work. I think I can best summarize this with a meme.

If the company an employee works for makes major profits, they may not see any additional pay. The profits go to the person who is taking the risks, the employer. On the surface this may look like a raw deal for employees but it offers them a great deal of freedom. If the company goes bust, the employer goes broke but the employees get to walk away with any money they’ve made and skills they’ve developed. In other words the success of an employee isn’t dependent on the success of any single employer. That being the case, employees should recognize that they’re effectively mercenaries and that their loyalty should be first and foremost to themselves.

If your employer is treating you poorly, don’t let a sense of loyalty to them stop you from abandoning ship. Instead let your sense of loyalty to yourself motivate you to abandon ship and either seek a better employer or start your own business.

I believe if employees recognized their own worth and that they’re not the company for which they work, employers would be far more hesitant to establish working conditions like those described in the article due to the fear of pissing off their employees enough to convince them to leave.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2018 at 11:00 am

If Violence Isn’t Solving Your Problem, You’re Not Using Enough of It

without comments

The United States government has been waging a war against drugs since 1914 when it passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. In 1970 it greatly stepped up its efforts after passing the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. For the entirety of its war against drugs, drugs have been winning by a landslide. I would think after unsuccessfully waging a war as rigorously as the United States has been waging its war against drugs since the 1970s, most sane people would realize the futility of the war and stop. But the United States prefers to live by the mantra of if violence isn’t solving your problem, you’re not using enough of it:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will unveil a plan on Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials said on Sunday.

The White House plan will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over the next three years by promoting practices that reduce overprescription of opioids in federal healthcare programs, officials told a news briefing.

As Anatoly Rybakov wrote, “Death solves all problems — no man, no problem.”

What will this likely accomplish? Nothing positive. People who suffer from chronic pain will have to resort to taking an aspirin and toughing it out, which will likely lead a few sufferers choose suicide over living a life of constant agony. But, hey, at least if they’re dead they won’t be addicted to opioids! Drug traffickers will continue to traffic drugs because they’re already subject to summary execution by law enforcers so the possibility of being sentenced to death is nothing new. I guess it will provide a little dog and pony show for the masses who want to see a drug trafficker executed after a trial instead of before.

Unfortunately, the war on drugs isn’t going anywhere. The profits of the government, especially its law enforcers, are too dependent on the wealth confiscated from drug manufacturers, sellers, and users.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2018 at 10:30 am

We Must Listen to Children… If They Agree with Me

without comments

Children make the best political pawns. If you want to boost the chances of your political agenda succeeding, find a way to make it “for the children.” If you really want to boost the chances of your political agenda succeeding, find a way to put some children supporting your agenda in front of a television camera.

Gun control advocates opted for the latter and helped organize an official school walkout day to support gun control. As part of this plan, gun control advocates said that it was time for America to listen to its children. And this plan largely played out the same way that walking children in front of television cameras always does. Children were made to believe that adults actually care about their thoughts. Unfortunately, they will likely learn that their opinions only matter when they agree with what adults are pushing them to support:

The idea that children, in their innocence, have special moral insight goes back a long way in Western culture — perhaps to the biblical injunction that, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” It has, of course, always warred with some variant of the belief that “children should be seen and not heard” — that children are not yet ready to hold up their end in adult conversations.

So when does the special moral insight of children manifest itself? When they are telling us that algebra is a stupid waste of time and the drinking age should be 14? No, funnily enough, children are only gifted with these special powers when they agree with the adults around them. Our long-standing cultural dichotomy lets adults use them strategically in political arguments, to push them forward as precious angels speaking words of prophecy to make a point, and then say, “hush, they’re just kids” when the children mar that point by acting like, well, children.

Do the opinions of children matter when they’re advocating for lowering the legal age to buy cigarettes? No. Do the opinions of children matter when they’re advocating for an end to homework? No. Do the opinions of children matter when they’re supporting gun rights? No. Their opinions only matter when they’re the correct opinions.

This is why I have an especially low opinion of individuals who use children to push their political agenda. I’m sure some adults do genuinely care about the opinions of children but they are certainly the minority. Most adults only want to march out the children to push their agenda then return them to their boxes so they cannot be heard until the next time they’re needed to push an agenda. This is the kind of nonsense that I have to believe teaches children that they’re nothing more than disposable tools.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Technically a Gulag Is a Retirement Plan

without comments

A writer for Pravda Salon was giddy when he learned that some millennials aren’t bothering to save for retirement because they’re expecting a great socialist revolution within their lifetime:

Wood, 32, a political consultant, told me via Twitter that she felt similarly. “I don’t think the world can sustain capitalism for another decade,” she explained. “It’s socialism or bust. We will literally start having resource wars that will kill us all if we don’t accept that the free market will absolutely destroy us within our lifetime [if] we don’t start fighting its hegemony,” she added.

Technically spending your golden years in a gulag is a retirement plan.

I don’t think these millennials are complete fools but I do believe that they have been suckered by socialist propaganda. It’s no secret that the United States is becoming more of a shithole every year. Unemployment is at record lows… but more and more employment is becoming part time. Costs of healthcare and college are through the roof and the only reason people haven’t been forced to abandon hospitals and colleges is because they’ve taken on tons of debt. Speaking of debt, the national debt continues to rise at an astronomical rate. While the United States may not have prison camps per se, a massive percentage of the population is currently being held behind bars and many of those prisoners are stuck working for Federal Prison Industries. It’s also no coincidence that this degradation coincides with the United States abandoning capitalism for socialism, which is why socialists have to keep desperately parroting the claim that the United States is a capitalist nation and that all of its ills are being caused by capitalism.

A nation that operated under capitalism wouldn’t have Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or any other government provided welfare program. In order to provide all of those programs a government must necessarily nationalize a portion of businesses. Of course, politicians in the United States don’t use the term nationalization. Instead they call their seizing a portion of a company’s wealth taxation. Whether one calls it nationalization or taxation the result is the same, the government claims a portion of every business in the country. Every business owner works first for the State and secondly for themselves.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 20th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Heroes Doing Hero Things

without comments

I know most people expect an officer tasked with defending a school to rush in and engage anybody actively gunning down students. But officers just want to go home to their families at night like everybody else so sometimes they need to make a tactical retreat to keep themselves safe:

PARKLAND, Fla. — Video footage released Thursday from the Florida school where 17 people were killed on Valentine’s Day appears to confirm that a sheriff’s deputy did not try to confront the gunman accused of staging the massacre.

In fact, it does not show disgraced Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson doing much of anything.

In the opening minutes, Peterson is seen walking and talking with what looks like a staffer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. A short time later the two of them ride out of view in a golf cart.

I imagine that at least a few Broward County taxpayers are feeling as though they didn’t get their money’s worth out of their sheriff’s department after witnessing four of its deputies abandoning their children to die. Too bad for them though. Even though the sheriff’s department failed to protect their children, the taxpayers will be forced to continue funding the department. To make matters worse, this lack of accountability will likely motivate other officers tasked with protecting schools to also tear around in a golf cart while the children under their care are murdered.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 20th, 2018 at 10:30 am

I Guess Nobody in Denver Owned a Bump Fire Stock

with one comment

The government of Denver issued a decree that prohibited the private ownership of bump fire stocks. It turns out that the law was unnecessary because every bump fire stock in the city was apparently lost in a boating accident:

Denver Police police last month invited city residents to turn in any bump stocks in their possession but Denverite reports that none have been handed over.

The ban on bump stocks approved by the city council in January was considered largely symbolic. Denver had previously banned the types of semi-automatic rifles that can be modified with bump stocks.

I’m sure other governmental bodies will enact similar legislation and see similar results. It turns out that gun owners are shitty boat drivers and more often than not they end up losing their controversial firearms in bizarre boating accidents.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am