Not For Sale

Several years ago, one of our county sheriffs was running for reelection, and was asked his opinion about federal attempts at gun confiscation.  His reply was simple:

“They’ll have to get past my deputies first.”

He won by a landslide.

Here’s a little something for the Socialists to chew on while they make their little totalitarian schemes:

“Mandatory gun buybacks” is an imported idea that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke supported after the mass shooting in El Paso. The idea comes from Australia where the government instituted a mandatory buyback program following a mass shooting in 1996.
Liberals swoon at the results: suicides and homicides plummeted. But in addition to the mandatory buyback program, there was radical gun control legislation, making it much more difficult to own any kind of firearm.
Nevertheless, gun confiscation is no longer a scare tactic used by Republicans to get elected. It’s here. And it’s real.

Not gonna happen.  You can call it whatever you want, but we know what it is:  confiscation.

Good luck with that.  Bring body bags.  Oh, and send that little fucker “Beta” O’Rourke in first.

Go Boris!

When I saw this sentence from BritPM Boris Johnson, my heart sank:

You can’t just arrest your way out of a problem.

Then he redeemed himself:

It certainly helps, but it is only part of the answer. You need to tackle all the causes and incentives that are encouraging the criminal mentality, and that means first of all exploding any sense that the law is weak, or that criminals can get away with it. When the police catch a violent criminal, it is vital they get the sentence they deserve.
At present, there are too many serious violent or sexual offenders who are coming out of prison long before they should.
In the past five years, we have seen literally hundreds of convicted rapists who have come out of prison commit another sexual offence. There are thousands of ‘super prolifics’ – criminals with more than 50 convictions to their name – who are being spared jail altogether.
This cannot go on. I am afraid that as a society we have no choice but to insist on tougher sentencing laws for serious sexual and violent offenders, and for those who carry knives.
Our first duty is to protect the public in the most basic way – and that means taking such people off the streets.

[pause to let the applause and cheering die down]

Of course, policies like “stop and search” are going to cause palpitations amongst the liberals and criminal-symps [lots of overlap], but the plain fact is that when the police can do their job — i.e. try to prevent crime before it happens — and the justice system is allowed to work — i.e. impose jail sentences that keep criminals off the streets — society as a whole improves.

Just ask the denizens of NYFC when Mayor Giuliani and Police Chief Bratton did just that, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  And if it made it worked there, it can make it work anywhere.

And to let the BritPM have the last word:

Yes, in the short term it will mean more pressure on our jails, and that is why today I am also announcing that we are creating another 10,000 spaces in our prisons. The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, has agreed to invest up to £2.5 billion to deliver this commitment.

Get going, Boris.

When “Free” Becomes Rationed

Yet another horror story from Britishland’s NHS:

The absurdity is part of the recent NHS drive to limit the number of pricey, unnecessary operations.
GPs must apply to a body of health chiefs – called the Procedures of Limited Clinical Effectiveness panel, or PoLCE – before they can refer patients for certain procedures.
But what began as a sensible process to stop people getting breast enhancements and eyelifts on the NHS has snowballed into a deliberate ploy to deny genuine patients essential treatment.
It seems a the NHS is doing everything it can to stop doctors giving treatment that we know works.

Why are these opaque and unelected assholes doing this?  Here’s all you need to know:

Another local authority approved just 46 of the 1,162 hernia operations requested last year, according to NHS figures.

You don’t have to be a cost accountant to see the savings involved in denying over eleven hundred surgeries per annum — and that’s just for hernias.  Apply this ratio to all the other types of medical procedures, and the “savings” would add up to billions.

And screw the pain-wracked patients.  They’re just an annoyance to government employees, and their problems are just a line in the budget.

Remember:  whenever you’re faced with some tool who advocates “single-payer” medical care, kick them in the ass.  Hard.  Wear boots.

Third World Adventure

I once knew a German professional photographer (let’s call him Georg) who, along with a fellow German photographer (“Klaus”), decided to do one of those photo safaris — driving from Cairo to Cape Town, snapping pics along the way — that sounds so good back in Hamburg, but is completely foolish in reality.  Anyway, driving a mil-surp G-Wagen (not a bad choice, BTW), they set off and made it through Egypt without incident.  At the border, they had to get a “passing through” visa to get across the Sudan, which essentially allowed them to be in the country for three days.  When they got to Sudan’s southern border, however, the sole guard at the border post (just a hut) wouldn’t let them leave the country because they had the “wrong visa” — and they’d have to drive back to Khartoum (a two-day drive) to get the right one.  When Georg pointed out that their existing visa would expire en route and they would, in essence, be in the country illegally and imprisoned if caught, the guard just shrugged.  Not his problem.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.  Last week, faced with a looming legal deadline, I had to fly up to Chicago to get a legal document out of the Cook County Court archives.  (Why I was unable to access the document online, or even manage to talk to someone in the County Clerk’s office to send me the document is a story all by itself.)  Anyway, after having had my 5am flight canceled (thank you, American), I made the 7am flight only by dint of paying the full fare (don’t ask) and arrived at the Cook County courthouse (2nd District in Skokie) at about 11am, with all the data needed for the request on my trusty laptop..

Of course, there’s TSA-type security at all these places these days, which is where I had a Sudan-type encounter of my own.  Reason?  No laptops allowed in the courthouse by members of the public.  I know, it’s inexplicable but hey, Cook County.  I looked around for any storage lockers:  none.

“So where can I store my laptop?”
“You’ll just have to take it back to your car.”
“I don’t have a car;  I just flew in from Dallas.  So what can I do?”
Like the Sudanese border guard, the fucking security guard just shrugged.  “Not my problem.”

At this juncture, I should point out that every single glass window and door at the courthouse has one of those idiotic little “No Handgun” stickers displayed.

I’m not saying that I would have shot someone — in fact, I absolutely would not have, even if I’d been able to bring the 1911 with me — but let me tell you, after a day which had begun at 3am, experienced a canceled flight and a massive fare surcharge along with all the other hassles of modern-day travel (full flight, idiots with too-large bags, crowded train from the airport into the city etc.), only to be faced with indifferent bovine officialdom at the end of it, I can quite believe that some other guy  might  have dropped the hammer.

Which, by the way, is what Klaus did at the Sudanese border.  He told the guard that he had the correct visa back in the car, fetched his gun instead and shot the guard dead.  Then he and Georg got in their G-Wagen and raced off into Uganda.  A real African tale, that one.

And now, the rest of my  story. Read more

With All Due Respect, Fuck Off

So the Attorney General thinks we should allow Gummint access to our private lives, does he?

U.S. attorney general William Barr has said consumers should accept the risks that encryption backdoors pose to their personal cybersecurity to ensure law enforcement can access encrypted communications.
In a speech Tuesday in New York, the U.S. attorney general parroted much of the same rhetoric from his predecessors and other senior staff at the Justice Department, calling on tech companies to do more to assist federal authorities to gain access to devices with a lawful order.In remarks, Barr said the “significance of the risk should be assessed based on its practical effect on consumer cybersecurity, as well as its relation to the net risks that offering the product poses for society.”
He suggested that the “residual risk of vulnerability resulting from incorporating a lawful access mechanism is materially greater than those already in the unmodified product.”
“Some argue that, to achieve at best a slight incremental improvement in security, it is worth imposing a massive cost on society in the form of degraded safety,” he said.
The risk, he said, was acceptable because “we are talking about consumer products and services such as messaging, smart phones, e-mail, and voice and data applications,” and “not talking about protecting the nation’s nuclear launch codes.”

Really?  That little speech probably sounded better in the original Chinese.

Then there’s the tu quoque  argument:

The U.S. is far from alone in calling on tech companies to give law enforcement access.
Earlier this year U.K. authorities proposed a new backdoor mechanism, the so-called “ghost protocol,” which would give law enforcement access to encrypted communications as though they were part of a private conversation.

As though we should emulate the British — who, lest we forget already  has governmental powers which allow them to preemptively ban anything to be published which they don’t like.  (It’s called a “D notice”, FYI.)

Here’s my take.  But first, a reminder:

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Considering how the “security services” have already violated this Constitutional precept against one person they didn’t care for (FISA?  Russian collusion, anyone?), why should we trust that these fucking spies won’t abuse this power against anyone else?

OF course, the fucking feds will no doubt blackmail the tech companies into doing their foul work for them:

Barr did not rule out pushing legislation to force tech companies to build backdoors.

I’ll bet he didn’t.   And Barr, lest we forget, is supposed to one of the good guys?  Can you imagine giving this power to a Justice Department, CIA, NSA DHS or any of the other little Stasi acronyms, under a future Democratic Socialist administration?

We might as well live in Communist China or 1970s East Germany.  Which is doubtless exactly where these pricks, all of them, would like us to be.  All for our own security, of course.

FOAD, all of you.

That’s my First Amendment right coming into play.  You don’t want me invoking the Second, you motherfuckers.  There’s another wholly different meaning to “going dark”.

Oops

Everybody told them that it was a monumentally-stupid idea;  but noooooo:

Restaurants Unlimited, a Seattle-based chain with restaurant locations in 47 US cities, announced on Sunday it was seeking Chapter 11 protection, citing “progressive” wage laws.
The company, which has operated since the Lyndon Johnson Administration, said rising labor costs—part of a national trend of government-mandated minimum increases—were part of its decision.

Note the 47 cities affected by these closures (see link).

I would feel more sorry for the soon-to-be-laid-off workers, but I’m betting that most of them supported the higher-minimum-wage idiocy in the first place, so… sucks to be them.  Maybe next time they’ll vote with their brains instead of with their greed.  (Granted, working-class people have trouble making ends meet in liberal shitholes like Seattle and San Francisco;  but the politicians who have caused the high housing prices are the same ones who pushed through the higher minimum-wage thresholds.  So there’s a double whammy here, and yet those idiot voters keep sending them back into office.)

Of course, it’ll be all Trump’s fault (according to the West Coast media).