Friday, August 30, 2013

About That "Trust Gun Loophole"

Last night's Squirrel Report podcast ended up being mostly (there was also boob glue) about President Obama signing an executive order that:
The Obama administration is also proposing a federal rule to stop those who would be ineligible to pass a background check from skirting the law by registering a gun to a corporation or trust. The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks as individuals if they want to register guns.
With such inspiration as this, what's a citizen to do?

I can't speak for you, but this citizen created a new NFA trust about 1:00pm CDT today, over the phone (go to or call (877) 448-6839 and ask for Nancy Blum and you can do the same thing for yourself).  There are no changes to the legal requirements for establishing an NFA trust. 


Yet, of course.  The BATFE has not issued any changes to the established NFA regulatory process, President Obama or no.

So Alan, get yours now while the getting is still good.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Anniversaries and such ...

It is the fashion to note the achievement of ... what, still breathing?  Tam makes note of her doing so for for the past 8 years today, and very happy I am that she has chosen to do so in such an entertaining and informative way, too.

I, on the other hand, don't get all that wound up about all that; it's breathing, I've been doing it mostly successfully for almost 60 years, for the last 7+ here.  So, duly noted and observed, I guess.  Now, if I can just figure out this whole "content" notion, maybe I'll be on to something.  :)

Congratulations Tam, very well done and a standard for the rest of us to attain to.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Naval Gazing Power

Richard Fernandez has written a convincing description of why and how the Obama administration might be in the process of responding to the alleged chemical/biological attacks reported to have occurred in Syria recently:
The administration is appears convinced that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own population, according to the NYT and may be moving to chastise it. The BBC however cautions that there may never be any evidence actually the chemical weapons violation. “UK Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that evidence could have been tampered with, degraded or destroyed in the five days since the attack.”
With the BBC innoculating the administration against future media accusations of ‘faked’ WMD evidence by declaring any proof imperceptible in advance, the NYT describes the administration’s possible game plan. “WASHINGTON — As President Obama weighs options for responding to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, his national security aides are studying the NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the United Nations.”

Wretchard then goes on to link a piece at by David Axe in which are described specific US Navy assets and capabilities well able to destroy-in-place any war-fighting assets the Syrian government might currently possess.

Which causes me to ask (again); why couldn't the US do essentially the exact same thing to the still-not-quite nuclear armed Iran too?

It isn't as though the Obama administration has any intent to actually invade either place (and what follows is key, so pay attention), nor is there any need to to achieve the strategic objective of denying development/usage of "weapons of mass destruction" to aggressor states (or anyone we don't happen to like all that much really).  There is no expectation of US troops occupying Syrian territory, only that US .mil air assets destroy Syrian offensive war-making facilities and equipment.  Entropy naturally follows as a result.

Why isn't doing the same exact thing to Iranian nuclear (and all the rest of the arsenal as long as we're about it) development and deployment facilities and equipment equally justifiable under the precise same political rationalizations evident in the Syrian situation?  Are we to believe that the Iranian pariah state is somehow magically more capable than is the regularly Russian-reinforced (or, at least, resupplied) Syrian military (not to mention the various other combatants rampaging about the Syrian territory and skies).

All of which is why I long ago decided that Iranian nukes are a strategic distraction, and worry over same a mark of advanced gullibility.  Not a tactical one note; destruction of Iranian capability is readily achievable, all of which effects the calculus of using a weapon, but nonetheless remains a minor strategic consideration.

Iran does not possess the capability to prevent the naval force described by Mr. Axe from doing to it what is apparently about to be variously gratefully received by the Syrians just any ol' day now.  Waiting for the Islamic Republic leadership to draw undeniable attention to themselves is an unconscionable failure by the American government, and has been for at least the last ten years.

OTOH, initiating the Iranian (Air) Campaign under cover of the public Syrian effort would be a bit brilliant, wouldn't it?  I know, never happen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jeff Bezos Bought The WaPo

... and consternation and apprehension are the most common result, with the usual helping of FUD to give the "news" a generous helping of misdirection and doubt.

I have no doubt Our Man From Amazon had a pretty clearly worked out plan for making the Washington Post a viable news reporting business venture again long before he started scrapping his pennies together to throw at the Graham family and their stock holders.  Many of the questioners and doubters seem to assume he simply must continue operating the paper in the established (and financially ruinous) fashion because that's how they get paid, don't you know.

My bet; NOT!

Just one easy example as to how to improve the print news reporting model follows:

Hire 250 bloggers around the country, 25 of which are experienced print reporters (columnists, etc) who have successfully continued the practice on their blog.  Pay all of them $1,000/mo and the experienced reporters twice that.  The experienced reporters "supervise" the story collection/reporting efforts of 9 of the others in a given story classification (politics, style, sports, etc).  All of a story's contributing writers/bloggers receive a percentage of a stipulated payment for each story published.  If no more then 30% of the "staff bloggers" are actually in the D.C. area, then any story, however national in orientation, would have a local and regional context included if only by dint of each contributors individual perspective.

Once this model is established (say a year, maybe 18 months tops), double the staff bloggers with the new hires being located in some other country than the USA.

At which point, The Washington Post spends a couple million a month at most and has original, unique news reporting wholly independent of any other reporting operation on (or off) the planet, all of which is for sale or syndication.  Along with the usual advertising revenue.  Probably with the actual "print" (as in on actual news print paper with all that implies) version as a premium option for the gentry readership.  I also expect to see podcast coverage of on-going or specific issue reporting to become part of the post-Bezos WaPo model too; read the initial story then download the podcast to listen to on the commute to work.

Not that Jeff needs my help with any of this, but I think this easily demonstrates that the established process to ruining a news reporting business isn't his only option; also, that I really don't know what I'm talking about here.

But this guy does.