A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

The FBI and Child Pornography

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The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seemingly went scorched Earth during its campaign to takedown a hidden child pornography site. Except it didn’t take the site down. It not only left it running once it discovered where it was being hosted and continued hosting the site itself but it even actively worked to upgrade the site so it could distribute more child pornography:

Under the FBI’s stewardship, Playpen membership rose by 30 percent and the number of visitors to the site increased from roughly 11,000 to 50,000 per week, assistant federal defender Peter Adolf argued in a motion to dismiss his client’s indictment. Playpen distributed 200 videos, 9,000 images and 13,000 links to child pornography while the FBI ran the site from February 20th to March 4th, Adolf said. He supported his claims with archived messages from Playpen users commenting on how well the site was running during this same timeframe.

[…]

“Government agents worked hard to upgrade the website’s capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running ‘illegally,'” Adolf wrote.

How can the FBI claim it was fighting child pornography when it was not only distributing it but also working to distribute more of it? I’m sure the FBI and its apologists will claim that the ends justified the means but it’s exactly that attitude that allowed a supposed law enforcement agency to perpetrate a crime that a large portion of society finds especially heinous.

Furthermore, if the FBI isn’t punished for this what’s to stop it from setting up another child pornography site and permanently operating it in the name of fighting child pornography? What’s to stop it from partnering with child pornographers so it can increase the available content on its site so it can attract more child pornography consumers? I’m sure there are FBI apologists who will claim my insinuation is ridiculous but they would have probably told me that the FBI hosting child pornography was ridiculous just a year or two ago.

What’s the point of having a law enforcement agency that perpetrates the very crimes it’s supposed to fight?

Written by Christopher Burg

August 24th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Do You Want to Help Your Neighbors? You Better Pay Off the State First.

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The floods in Louisiana have received very little press coverage. This isn’t surprising since Louisiana is a poor southern state and those are undeserving of coverage according to most major media outlets. Joining major media outlets, the State has also provided precious little help so far. This has forced the members of the community to step up efforts to help one another (as they always end up having to do because the State doesn’t care about them). There’s just one problem. Most of these good Samaritans haven’t paid off the State and that makes it very angry:

NEW ORLEANS – The Good Samaritan who rescued hundreds, maybe thousands, of people during the ‘Great Flood of 2016‘ said he was not happy after a state lawmaker announced he wants to introduce legislation around future actions by citizen heroes.

Some of these citizen heroes, a loosely-organized group called the ‘Cajun Navy,’ gained national attention for their rescue efforts last week, but that attention is nowhere near the pushback lawmakers are discussing when it comes to a lawmakers proposal to require permits for citizen rescue groups.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, the State wants a piece of the action. It doesn’t care if people end up dying while you’re wasting time filling out paper work so you can pay the State for permission to help the people it’s not helping. It doesn’t even care if all of your belongings were just destroyed in a flood. If you don’t scrounge up money to pay off the State it will send men with guns to kidnap or possibly kill you.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 24th, 2016 at 10:00 am

New Rifle

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I don’t have much for you guys today since I spent last night sighting in an AR-15 I finished building:

ar-15-18-inch-barrel-magpul-furniture

It’s nothing too special. I wanted to build either an 18″ or 20″ rifle. Palmetto State Armory had an 18″ .223 Wylde barrel with a 1:7 twist on sale for $99 so I ended up building an 18″ rifle. As far as components I used the following:

  • Alex Pro Firearms (a local receiver manufacturer) upper and lower receiver.
  • Bravo Company lower parts kit (their trigger is basically a smooth milspec trigger).
  • Magpul MOE rifle stock.
  • Magpul MOE handguard.
  • PRI railed gas block.
  • WMD nickel boron bolt (it’s shiny and that’s what’s important).
  • Magpul MBUS Pro flip up iron sights (I plan on mounting an optic at some point).
  • Smith Enterprise Vortex flash hider.
  • Bravo Company Mod 4 charging handle.
  • Magpul Battery Assist Device.

As you can see, it’s nothing terribly fancy but it shot well. I put 100 rounds through it yesterday and experienced zero malfunctions. It’s more accurate than I am but that’s not saying a whole lot. I think I’ll end up replacing the trigger at some point. The Bravo Company trigger isn’t bad but I have a far better trigger in my AR-pattern .308 and I’m kind of missing it. On the other hand I really like the Magpul Battery Assist Device. I wish I could fit one on my .308 but the upper receiver isn’t cut out enough for one.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 23rd, 2016 at 10:00 am

Posted in Guns and Gear

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AgoraFest 2016

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It’s getting close the annual weekend of celebrating markets and voluntary interactions. I’m talking of course about AgoraFest.

This year was a bit hectic since our old venue, the Villa Maria, shutdown at the beginning of this year. We had already reserved the site and made our downpayment when we received the news. Fortunately, the Villa staff refunded our downpayment quickly but that still left scrambling to find another site. After a great deal of searching we went with Turtle Creek Glen in Wisconsin. The upside is that the venue is a bit cheaper so we were able to bring the price of admission down. You can enjoy four days, September 22nd through the 25th, of AgoraFest for $95.

What is AgoraFest? As the name implies, it’s a festival of counter-economics. There are talks, workshops, drinking, musicians, and most importantly exchanges. Agorists are encouraged to bring wares and services for sale (your business is your business, not the State’s), skills to teach, and camaraderie. Political types are encouraged to setup their booths and signs in the designated violence speech zone located about 20 miles from the site. Think of AgoraFest as a reprieve from the nonstop politics where real work at creating real change can be done.

This year I’ll be hosting a seminar on build an AR-15 and another one on assembling a bug-out bag. I may do a cryptography talk as well but our networking infrastructure is limited since we’re out in the middle of nowhere. Anybody who wishes to attend and give a talk, host a workshop, or do business (that you want advertised to AgoraFest attendees) should shoot an e-mail to support[at]agorafest[dot]com.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 22nd, 2016 at 10:30 am

Monday Metal: Metsamies by Korpiklaani

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I’m feeling like listening to some folk metal this week so we’re going with Koriklaani.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 22nd, 2016 at 10:00 am

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Justice Department Announced It Will Keep All Federal Slave Laborers

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Private prisons have been controversial. A lot of people believe that for-profit prisons are evil and that all prisons should be owned and operated by the government. Somehow people think slave labor is morally superior when the government owns the slaves. I don’t understand that mentality. A cage is a cage and a slave is a slave. Regardless of my opinion, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it will keep all future federal slave laborers for Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR):

The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

Since this announcement private prison stocks have fallen pretty hard even though most private prisons hold contracts with state or county governments:

While any reduction in the federal prison population will be welcomed by those released, their families, and by reform advocates, the majority of inmates reside in state or county facilities. Only one in eight federal inmates was in a private facility in 2015.

So this change doesn’t affect many prisoners and won’t put Corrections Corporation of America or GEO Group out of business. But the falling stock prices weren’t unexpected and I bet many of the higher ups in the DoJ as well as those in the know in Congress made a good deal of cash shorting those stocks.

There is also the question of how long this decision will last. In December of last year the DoJ announced that it would stop paying civil forfeiture money under the Equitable Sharing Program. A lot of people heralded the decision as a victory over civil forfeiture. Only a few months later the DoJ announced that it would resume those payments. It’s quite possible the DoJ will announce plans to continue using private prisons in a few months, perhaps around November 4th when everybody is distracted by the election.

One thing is certain, nothing meaningful has changed. The DoJ didn’t announce that it would stop enslaving people or that it would stop using private prisons and abolish UNICOR. It merely said it would stop handing out slave laborers to UNICOR’s competitors.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Technology Empowers Individuals

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In all regions of the planet having sex is legal. But in many regions being paid to have sex is illegal. Some of those areas to have a caveat where you can legally be paid for sex but you have to be filmed doing it. Either way, governmental restrictions on sex work have made the trade more dangerous. Many sex workers have been relegated to operating under the authority of abusive pimps. However, technology is changing that:

Soon after Kate ran into trouble at the nightclub—like many other fresh-faced high school girls in Hong Kong today—she discovered online forums to run her own business as a sex worker. On HK Big Man and HK Mensa, where ads are proliferating everyday, so-called “compensated daters” offer their services without the help of a middleman.

Bowie Lam Po-yee, who runs an organization called Teen’s Key that provides outreach for these girls, says that it’s common for one girl to find an ad she likes, and then copy it—with just minor adjustments. Then, girls leave their contact information and negotiate where they’ll meet and how much they’ll charge. It’s easier to evade the cops that way: they’re less likely to be caught for solicitation if they’ve checked a client out to see if he’s legitimate. Police can be obvious as to their identity when it comes to brokering a deal over a chat app.

The job of a pimp has been to market out sex workers and they often use their position abusively. Ubiquitous communication technology allows sex workers to market themselves. Forums, smartphones, and chat applications allow sex workers to cut out the middle man, which allows them to keep all of the profits as well as not be reliant on an abusive individuals.

This isn’t just true for sex workers. Online communication technology has also made the drug trade safer. Technology often acts as a balance to the State. When the State makes a market more dangerous by declaring it illegal technology helps make it safe again.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 10:30 am

A Growing Idea

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More and more people are jumping onboard the idea that Trump is part of Clinton’s campaign:

How would Donald Trump assess Donald Trump’s candidacy? As he might put it: A lot of people are saying his campaign is an operation on behalf of the Democratic Party to destroy the Republicans.

“A lot of people are saying”? That’s not a very high evidentiary standard. What else?

Well, to start there is the photo. You know the one, where Trump and his new bride Melania are rubbing elbows with the Clintons. Bill Clinton spoke with Trump right before Trump announced his candidacy. Trump has of course contributed to Clinton campaigns in past years as well. This doesn’t even get into the fact that Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are friends.

Previous evidence leads me to believe that Trump isn’t an idiot. He has raked in a ton of cash over his lifetime and became prominent enough to rub elbows with powerful political figures. Yet he seems to have become entirely incompetent overnight, which leads me to think he might be part of his good friend Hillary’s campaign.

Why do I care? The only reason I care is because I want this to be true so I can rub it in the faces of all those so-called gun rights activists telling gun owners they need to support Trump even though he has a long history of being anti-gun. If Trump is part of Hillary’s campaign they’re actually providing material support to her campaign and that would amuse me to no end.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Disarming the Starving Slaves

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The people are starving in the paradise of central planning known as Venezuela. Starving slaves tend to be uppity slaves so the Venezuelan government has decided to attempt to secure its power by redoubling its efforts to disarm the slaves:

Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.

What’s rather entertaining through is the source of the slaves’ firearms:

Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.

I’m sure the police love this renewed effort since it will create more opportunities for them to sell more firearms.

Venezuela is fucked. Anybody living there should do everything in their power to get out. Things are only going to get worse as the slaves become more desperate and the government responds by becoming more tyrannical.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 18th, 2016 at 10:30 am

It’s Like Laws are Arbitrary

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User byutamu over at /r/guns created a nice image illustrating the absurdity of gun laws.

arbitrary-gun-laws

It’s like laws are arbitrary. Weird.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 18th, 2016 at 10:00 am