Watch out for hysterical politicians
Oct 7th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Clowns, Kids & Satan. The secu­rity expert Bruce Schneier coined a term for this: Movie plot threat. We imag­ine the threat to our kids is just like the one we’d see, or have seen, in the movies. It’s eas­ier to pic­ture Bozo with a bazooka than a car crash when mom or dad is con­fused by their GPS (which in our car seems to be about a third of the time), so that’s the threat we focus on…to the point where we start exag­ger­at­ing unlikely out­comes, or even see­ing things. [Free Range Kids­Free Range Kids]

Even now there are peo­ple being per­se­cuted (espe­cially in New York City) because of laws writ­ten by politi­cians who had con­fused West Side Story with a doc­u­men­tary. I hate to think what sort of future per­se­cu­tion will result from politi­cians think­ing that Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a doc­u­men­tary.

Not so offline as the Gestapo would like
Sep 21st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Court: Group’s 3D printer gun files must stay offline for now The fed­eral civil suit orig­i­nated three years ago when Cody Wilson and his group, Defense Dis­trib­uted, pub­lished designs for the “Lib­er­a­tor,” the world’s first 3D-printed hand­gun. Within months, Defense Dis­trib­uted received a let­ter from the United States Depart­ment of State’s Office of Defense Trade Con­trols Com­pli­ance, stat­ing that 10 files, includ­ing the designs of the Lib­er­a­tor, were in vio­la­tion of the Inter­na­tional Traf­fic in Arms Reg­u­la­tions (ITAR). This let­ter came despite the fact that these files had already been down­loaded hun­dreds of thou­sands of times and con­tinue to cir­cu­late online. [Ars Tech­nica]

This reminds of the 1990s, when the Evil Empire tried to keep encryp­tion tech­nol­ogy away from peo­ple using the same tac­tics. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Here’s a Bit­Tor­rent link to down­load the files in ques­tion.

Cops can’t even fabricate charges right
Sep 19th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Cops record them­selves allegedly fab­ri­cat­ing charges with suspect’s cam­era. In a fed­eral civil rights law­suit, a Con­necti­cut man has shared footage to bol­ster his claims that police ille­gally con­fronted the pedes­trian because he was film­ing one of them. Author­i­ties seized Michael Picard’s cam­era and his per­mit­ted pis­tol, and the offi­cers involved then acci­den­tally recorded them­selves allegedly fab­ri­cat­ing charges against the man.


The tick­ets Picard got were for the alleged use of a high­way by a pedes­trian and for allegedly cre­at­ing a pub­lic dis­tur­bance for car­ry­ing an “exposed loaded sidearm in plain view of pass­ing motorists.” The author­i­ties even­tu­ally dis­missed the tick­ets. [Ars Tech­nica]

Note that car­ry­ing an exposed loaded sidearm in plain view of pass­ing motorists is per­fectly legal in Con­necti­cut as long as you have a carry per­mit, which Picard did. Not only did the jack­boots get caught fab­ri­cat­ing charges, they were so stu­pid that they couldn’t even come up with some­thing that was actu­ally ille­gal for their lies.

Twenty Years
Sep 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

I’ve now had the domain name for twenty years.

The inevitable result of being a good cop
Sep 12th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

West Vir­ginia cop fired for not killing a man with an unloaded gun. He did what police offi­cers are sup­posed to do — put him­self at risk to save a life. [Radley Balko]

What Mader did upon arriv­ing at the scene is a hell of a lot braver course of action than sim­ply open­ing fire when the sus­pect doesn’t imme­di­ately dis­arm. What Mader did is in fact exactly what we want cops to do when some­one is in cri­sis. It’s also pre­cisely what law enforce­ment offi­cers say they do on a daily basis — put them­selves at risk in order to save lives. Mader should have been given a medal.

Of course the out­come of this guy being a good cop is com­pletely pre­dictable: he was fired. Also, two other cops showed up who were per­fectly will­ing to mur­der the guy who Mader wouldn’t.

Apparently his message was heard
Sep 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Fer­gu­son Activist Dar­ren Seals Found Shot and Dead in Burn­ing Car in St. Louis. 29-year-old activist Dar­ren Seals was found dead in a burn­ing car in the Riverview sec­tion of St. Louis this week, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Seals became an anti-gun vio­lence activist after being shot in 2013, and in 2014 was among the first pro­test­ers in Fer­gu­son, accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post.

Seals helped found the group Hands Up United and was a vocal oppo­nent of African-Americans vot­ing Democ­rat as a bloc. “Just because they’ve got the D next to their name, that don’t mean noth­ing,” Seals told the Wash­ing­ton Post in 2014. “The world is watch­ing us right now. It’s time to send a mes­sage of our power.” [Hit & Run)]

The dan­ger of send­ing mes­sages like that in a police state is that the peo­ple in charge might actu­ally get the mes­sage and decide to send back one of their own.

Another phony crisis
Sep 6th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

New Round of Fear­mon­ger­ing Over Tex­ting and Dri­ving. If you went by the breath­less report­ing on tex­ting and dri­ving, or the word of law enforce­ment or “traf­fic safety advo­cates” you’d think at any given moment some­one is careen­ing to their death because they or another dri­ver had their eyes on their cell­phones and not on the road. [Hit & Run]

I’ll con­sider believ­ing that phones are some sort of seri­ous threat to dri­ver safety that must be banned once they ban things that are unques­tion­ably more dis­tract­ing in cars, like small chil­dren.

Quote of the Day
Sep 4th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

An elec­tion is the act of choos­ing a new paint job for the tank which is plow­ing through your house and crush­ing your chil­dren.

Kent McMani­gal

Quote of the Day
Aug 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

…Any adult human — and most chil­dren past a cer­tain degree of matu­rity — ought to carry a knife. Oth­er­wise you’re just a chimp with a hair­cut.

Roberta X

Going green: Morocco bans use of plastic bags
Jul 1st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Going green: Morocco bans use of plas­tic bags [AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)]

I’ve writ­ten in the past about how absurd it is for Amer­i­cans to worry about Mus­lims impos­ing Shariah law in the US. Now, it seems that it’s the Mus­lims who have to worry about Amer­i­can Shariah laws being imposed in their coun­tries.

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