Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Space In The Campaign

Want to hear all about the actual technology required for a Moon Colony and Getting There From Here (and just how available all that stuff actually is)? Tune in to Fast Forward Radio at The Speculist tomorrow night (2/1/12) at the special time of 11 pm eastern/10 pm central to listen to Rand Simberg and Brian Wang, two guys who actually know what they're talking about and aren't running for any political office (and aren't indebted to anyone who is :)).

Yo, Phil, Stephen; I don't give a damn what else is in the news for this show at least. Tell the nice people who these guys are and then get straight to it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

They Got Me

I managed to pick up my first no shit trojan yesterday (FYI, I think it was hidden in some Java script within a you tube video and is called "blacole"), everything seized up and then my firewall went pffftt! I managed to ID it and remove it, but I still can't get my firewall back up, nor can I access my e-mail account. I can't get my desktop to uninstall anything either, so to the computer store we go - back in a week I hope. This little netbook allows me to do minimal stuff, but I sure miss that 22" screen and sound system.

At the moment, I'm mostly waiting for the 44 updates to finish. Man, I've got to start taking care of my computer gear a little more frequently one of these days (yeah, that's gonna happen :)).

Officially, it sucks to be me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Correlation With Liberty

One of the blogs I read regularly (look, see? It's over there to the side of the page) is M. Simon's Power And Control; he's a fellow USN vet and frequently addresses a number of different topics I am interested in but don't have the academic background to follow at a detailed level of discussion - he's good at explaining technical topics to a lay readership. Imagine my surprise upon reading this post title Gunners Look At Drugs.

The Gun Values Board appears to be a forum and one I'm not familiar with. I do know that writers and interview subjects don't always have editorial control over the titles on their published work, but "The Second Amendment Community Tends To Ignore The Connection Between The War On Guns And The War On Drugs" strikes me as more than a little ill-informed in my blog reading experience. The interview reads like an e-mail exchange (and if so the lack of supporting links is kinda annoying, but, again, editorial control and all that) and makes a reasonable if shallow case for the proposition that ending drug prohibition is consistent with defending our Second Amendment rights. You decide.

What I found compelling was the observation that:
Long term PTSD (everybody gets it short term if the trauma is severe enough) is a genetic problem, and roughly 20% of the nation is susceptible. Of that 20%, roughly half have problems well into adulthood. That would be the 10% of the population that are “addicted” to illegal drugs and alcohol.

The core organ involved seems to be the amygdala although the hippocampus is thought to play a role as well. The interesting thing about these organs is that they don’t “communicate” with the brain much except as chemical factories. Neural pathways are sparse into and out of the amygdala. So you can’t “think” your way out of the reactions those organs produce. You can’t will away the fear messages that the amygdala broadcasts.

Two thoughts come quickly to mind; "Just Say No" isn't gonna work for these folks, and it seems a quick jolt actually does make some people better (without quotes, scary or otherwise). I think it's pretty well established that the British shooting community (what there is left of it at any rate) is a good deal more tolerant of shooters having a "quick bracer" over the course of the day than we are on this side of the water. Might be time to give that a second - and actually science-based for a change - look maybe. Probably not, prejudice is so much more comfortable, and this from a group that ought to be more familiar than any with the virulent racism and class-based elitist prejudice that inspired so many of the gun-restricting laws and regulations that bedevil us in the US.

One other consideration did occur; of the roughly 10% of Americans that are genetically susceptible to long term PTSD, and of whom some portion is likely also among the 10% addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, how many are also members of the 60+ million households (that is the number the NRA claims isn't it?) that have one or more guns therein? Which, when you stop to think on it (and for a given value of us), makes them part of us. You know, fellow "gunners", members of the militia if they're the right age, all that inalienable rights guff we prattle at each other about. Unless they're sick, then it's a disdainful sniff and a quick view of our backsides as if they were unclean defilers of our privileged sect.

A closing thought; how about we make a concerted effort to shine a little medical (or any other that seems relevant) science onto what ails them and seriously consider offering our fellow citizens some of the treatment that contributes to unit cohesion and morale, just as we do amongst ourselves now (there's a very backhanded joke in there if your personal kink permits that sort of quirk). It is well established that we the citizenry are "the militia" the 2nd Amendment refers to; I don't read any exclusion to that other than age, so maybe we ought to act - and more importantly, think - just that way and treat our fellow militia members as such.

Think of it as strengthening the frailer links in the chain that guards our mutual rights, if metaphor helps at all.

Go and offer comment at M. Simon's post, he needs better gun rights material to work with. While you're there read the drug related stuff on his side-bar, it's informative. Liberty does have limits, but "Liberty is indivisible" has quite a ring to it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good Guess

I'd be more impressed if I knew how many guesses predictions were made in total. 10 for 10 is really something, 10 out of a 1000 not so much.

h/t Instapundit.

That's Their Story

And, apparently they're sticking to it.

So to speak.

h/t Instapundit.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Finally, TSA Bags One Not Their Own

I have to say, I'm kinda surprised at not reading all about this all over the gunblogosphere. It's been 48 hours since the mystery device was found in the carry-on baggage of Trey Scott Atwater of Hope Mills, Texas (as CNN made certain to reveal*) "wrapped in military grade wrapping" while said gentleman was boarding a flight for some mystery destination in N. Carolina (let's see, man in the armed forces flying to some place in N. Carolina ... hmmmm, wonder which branch of the service he's in?) (and while I'm being all parenthetical and such, what the digital-camo-blazes is military grade wrapping?).

Is this the performance bar we can expect from TSA/DHS/WTF from now on - a decadal cycle of apprehension of someone carrying something that merits being qualified as, "At no time was there any danger ..." according to FBI spokesman?

* To be fair, the local FOX affiliate wasn't coy about putting his identity out there either.