Archive for August, 2011
The government has finally found its sacrificial lamb in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Fast and Furious fiasco, acting ATF director Melson. In fine government tradition of dealing with corruption not only was a single sacrificial lamb found but the lamb wasn’t actually sacrificed, instead it was simply moved somewhere else in the Leviathan:
The embattled head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is being replaced in the aftermath of a botched sting operation that allowed guns to knowingly fall into the hands of violent criminals in Mexico.
Kenneth Melson will be replaced as acting ATF director by U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday. Jones is expected to assume the new position on Wednesday. Melson is being reassigned as a senior adviser on forensic science in the Office of Legal Policy, the department said.
Your government at work.
Gibson was raided a couple of years ago over the use of “illegal” wood. Although no charges have been filed the company’s seized property has yet to be returned. Strangely enough is appears one of their competitors, Martin, uses the same wood but hasn’t been raided. It’s nice to see yet another case of the government selectively enforcing the laws it passed.
I’m glad we have the government watching over us and ensuring our safety. For example they’re suing a trucking company for allowing admitted alcoholics to drive trucks. Sorry I made a mistake, I meant to say the government is suing a trucking company because that company fired a known alcoholic:
The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem.
Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse.
The state’s justification for the lawsuit can be found here. Basically the government is pissed because the trucking company would dare permanently suspend somebody from driving one of the company’s trucks after it became known that the driver had an alcohol problem:
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-02153-PKH in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas), the driver at the Fort Smith location had worked for the company for five years without incident. In late June 2009, the employee reported to the company that he believed he had an alcohol problem. Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the employer suspended the employee from his driving position and referred him for substance abuse counseling. However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program. During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment.
As an employer Old Dominion should have the right to determine who can and can’t represent the company and in what capacity. If Old Dominion doesn’t want to allow people with a history of alcohol abuse to operate one of their semis then they shouldn’t be required to. Personally I’d prohibit anybody with a history of alcohol abuse from driving one of my vehicles. It seems like an unnecessary liability to allow otherwise.
Let’s also look at this case from a different angle. The state has the capability to revoke drivers’ licenses at will and they often do for people who have been caught driving with an arbitrarily set percentage of alcohol in their system an arbitrary number of times. So even though the state is more than happen to prevent people with a history of alcoholism from driving private companies aren’t allowed to do something similar. I’m not surprised the government would make a move like this because the move makes no sense and making no sense is what government does best.
Obama came to the Twin Cities yesterday to speak to the American Legion national convention. What I always find ironic is the fact that when the president of the “free” world comes to town everything goes into full tyrannical lockdown. Much of downtown Minneapolis was locked down for the duration of the President’s visit in an attempt to
reveal the true tyranny of the state through restriction of travel ensure the president’s safety.
The Red Star had another one of their live blogs of the event and boy did I find a doozy of a quote to pull out:
“Next weekend, we will mark the 10th anniversary of those awful attacks on our nation,” the president said. “In the days ahead, we will honor the lives we lost and the families who loved them, the first responders who rushed to save others, and we will honor all those who have served to keep us safe these ten difficult years, especially the men and women of our armed forces.
Emphasis mine. I wonder if these are the same first responders who didn’t get invited to the memorial service on September 11th?
Besides that his speech was a total non-event. As usual he made baseless promises of not cutting funding for Veteran Affairs, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (no mention of Libya of course), and ensuring the private sector hires veterans through some new proposed initiative that will blow up in his face just like all his other initiatives. Going by his track record we can now safely assume that he’s planning to slash the budget for Veteran Affairs, extend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ensure veterans become a hazard to hire through government legislation.
The anti-gunners had their panties all in a bunch when legislation was passed that removed the prohibition against legally carrying a firearm in national parks. They went on tirades claiming there was no need for guns in these natural refuges. Well I’m here to tell you why we need the ability to carry guns in national parks; it’s because most animals are far more powerful than we are and without a weapon for self-defense we can’t hope to match them. As evidence I put forth the two grizzly bear related deaths in Yellowstone this year:
Wildlife agents are trying to capture a grizzly bear that killed a man in Yellowstone National Park, its second such fatality this summer.
The body of John Wallace, 59, from Michigan, was found on Friday along the Mary Mountain Trail.
Dan Wenk, a park superintendent, said there were no witnesses to the attack.
Fatal grizzly attacks are rare inside Yellowstone – the July attack on a Californian hiker was the first such incident in 25 years.
Although rare these things do happen and the only way a human can hope to stand up to something as powerful as a grizzly bear is if he or she increase their defensive capabilities. Anti-gunners will claim bear mace is equally or more effective than a firearm when defending against bears. I’m not an either or kind of guy and I would never criticize somebody for carrying a firearm and bear mace because some situations lend themselves well to one tool while other situations lend themselves well to the other. Having both increases your capabilities and should the bear mace not dissuade the bear from eating you a well placed shot from a high-powered firearm will likely do the trick.
According to the commission on wartime contracting the United States government wasted some $30 billion in contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq. What’s truly frightening is the fact that $30 billion is barely a statistically notable amount when you look at the overall deficit this country carries.
In all honesty through I’d say every dollor spent on the wars in those countries was wasted.
The New York times has an op-ed piece titled “Republicans Against Science.” What’s ironic is the fact that it’s written by Keynesian economics Paul Krugman. That’s a bit like a pot calling a kettle black. Keynesians like to tout their scientific approach to economics through the use of empirical and mathematical methods but being economics isn’t a natural science, and individual factors can’t be isolated, traditional scientific methods prove to be almost completely useless. Any scientist will point out the fact that you have to use the right tool for the job and the only effective tool for studying economics is praxeology.
Although I was rather foolish in my youth and decided my Ford Ranger had to have the biggest engine on Thor’s Earth there are some great advantages. My truck guzzles gas at a rather alarming rate giving a mear 17.5 miles per gallon (regardless if I’m driving on the highway or in the city which is strange). But it has a few advantages that make it worth driving.
The first and most obvious advantage is the fact that is pisses the greenies off. It makes me feel good driving a truck that makes every Earth first fucker out there hate my guts and want nothing more than my immediate demise. Those self righteous bastards need to be pissed off more often in my not so humble opinion.
The second advantage is the fact that I can actually get under the vehicle without the assistance of a hoist. Being I live in an apartment complex the facilities I have available to perform regular maintenance on my truck are limited. This isn’t that big of a problem because I can actually crawl under the truck without having to elevate it in any way and perform simple tasks like changing the oil. I did try the whole let-somebody-else-change-your-oil thing but that only resulted in the wrong oil filter being placed upon my vehicle. I’m usually the first to decry zero tolerance policies but when it comes to my truck I have zero tolerance for incompetence. The old phrase, “If you want something done right do it yourself.” rings just as true today as it did when the phrase was first stated. Likewise having somebody else change you oil is fucking expensive. I think I save the money I pay in gas on the ability to change my own oil.
I don’t think I even need to mention the fact that Minnesota winters are much easier to deal with when you have a vehicle that can go through everything Mother Nature throws at you. During one of the major blizzards last year I had no trouble traversing the snow covered roads while some of my friends had to call into work and tell their bosses they were unable to come in that day.
So even though trucks guzzle gas, which is getting more expensive by the day, I don’t think you’ll ever find me in a car. They may be fuel efficient but if your ride isn’t pissing off the greenies then you ride sucks.
In the carry movement there is a popular analogy involving sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. People who use to this analogy generally compare most people to sheep, bad guys to wolves, and those who carry to sheepdogs. Although I’ve used to analogy before I’ve moved away from it because I feel the analogy is flawed as a sheepdog is tasked with defending others while those who carry usually do so to defend themselves. Alan points out another interesting flaw in the analogy:
Sheep dogs are someone’s property and they help control other property. It sounds like a liberal’s fantasy of society. You know, the flock carefully tended and controlled with the sheep dog doing the master’s bidding.
I never thought about that before but it’s true. Personally I’m not a sheepdog, I’m a human being. The firearm I carry is for self-defense not the defense of others (unless you’re somebody important to me). If shooting starts that doesn’t involve me or somebody of importance to me I’m booking it and calling the police. Some may say that’s cowardly and to those people I say yes it is. I’m not ashamed of being a coward if that means taking actions that best improve my chances of survival. Shoot outs are not good for my health so I’ll not participate unless somebody forces me to.
We’re going to play the destroy-an-illogical-argument-with-critical-thinking game. This game is easy, I’ll present a scenario put forth by some idiot who the newspapers have judged as being worthy of coverage and you use critical thinking to find a flaw in the presented argument.
The scenario is as follows; and arsonist has come to your home, doused it in gasoline, and set it ablaze. Using your ability to think critically try to determine where the blame for the blaze should go. I’ll give you a few seconds to think about it.
If you said the arsonist was to blame then you win. On the other hand if you decided lax United States gun laws or the country’s war on drugs was to blame you’re now qualified to be the president of Mexico (and you’re an idiot but I repeat myself):
His voice cracking with emotion, President Felipe Calderon said Friday that the United States bore some blame for “an act of terror” by gangsters who doused a casino with gasoline and set a blaze that killed at least 52 people.
But in unprecedented, direct criticism of the United States, Calderon said lax U.S. gun laws and high demand for drugs stoked his nation’s violence. He appealed to U.S. citizens “to reflect on the tragedy that we are living through in Mexico.”
“We are neighbors, allies and friends. But you, too, are responsible. This is my message,” Calderon said.
He called on the United States to “once and for all stop the criminal sale of high-powered weapons and assault rifles to criminals that operate in Mexico.”
Because of the United State’s “lax” gun laws the arsonists who burned down the casino were able to… purchase gasoline? With stellar logic such as that I’m sure our “lax” gun laws were also partially responsible for the black death in medieval Europe. Heck those same laws probably caused the recent earthquake near Washington D.C. as well.
Why does anybody take Calderon seriously? The guy is obviously incapable of making logical arguments and likely has trouble tying his shoes. What happened in Mexico was a tragedy by all means but blame needs to be aimed at those who committed the crime.
A tip of the old Australian hat goes to Snowflakes in Hell for bringing this absurdity to my attention.