Motorola has an interesting issue with their encryption. Once a file is encrypted there is no obvious way of decrypting it to transfer it directly to a PC. You can always upload it from the phone to some sort of cloud storage, but if you are encrypting a phone, then maybe, just maybe you value your info enough to not have it run through a cloud, get copied and stored by big brother and have your personal info gawked at and misused by any of thousands of anonymous bureaucrats. Other than that, a web search turned up no other options. I little tinkering later, here is the solution I came up with:
Gun control has its limits, and too often restrictions on firearms liberties disproportionately impact those who a are not prone to the sort of problems that are claimed as the motive for gun control. So much so that the net effect is often opposite of what proponents claim to want to accomplish. That argument has been made ad nauseum, and I’m often reminded of the quote “you cannot reason a person out of an idea that they didn’t reason themselves into.” So I’ll leave that particular soap box alone for the moment.
What is worth focusing on is how this or any other nation could come together (and why no current government in power is too keen on the idea). In the US we have what is often misnomered as a democracy. We do not have a democracy. Our nation was founded as constitutional republic, and has in many ways drifted in the directions of a constitutional democracy and a constitutional oligarchy. As it stands it is an awkward blend, but the common thread is that it is constitutional. There are many fine mini courses on the US Constitution that make up for the almost universal lack of constitutional instruction in our schools today, so I’d invite you to look into one or more of them if your understanding of the constitution has been limited to the bumper sticker phrases common in various media circuses.
The US has a constitution. That constitution could accurately be described as a document of negative liberties. It’s central focus is to constrain government by explicitly enumerating things the government can do, and explicitly stating that no authority but that which was enumerated could be claimed by the government. It should be noted that the bill of rights was considered redundant by many at the time they were being deliberated since the constitution granted none of the authorities denied to it by the bill of rights. But the bill of rights was put in place to make extra explicit certain rights considered central to liberty.
Specific to this discussion is the second amendment which reads:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
A few things are worth pointing out. First is that even in the absence of the second amendment, nowhere in the constitution was congress granted the authority to regulate arms. This would leave states some latitude in their ability to pass gun related laws, but another interesting thing about the second amendment is there is nothing in the second amendment suggesting that it would only apply to congress.
This is about the point where certain people who think quite highly of themselves go to hyperbole and ask if the people have the right to keep and bear nuclear arms. Putting aside just how ridiculous this suggestion is given the current mound of existing unconstitutional infringements, and the glaring logical fallacy of suggesting that since individuals having nuclear arms doesn’t make a whole lot of sense we should broadly disarm the population, there is this thing called an amendment process. Should this nation ever get back to the point where an oath to the constitution means more than party loyalty, I doubt the idea of individuals owning nuclear arms will ever receive any merit. To put it bluntly, anybody that can’t find even one state that wouldn’t ratify an amendment stating that “congress shall have the exclusive authority to regulate the use and possession of nuclear materials” needs to put up or shut up.
While the plain reading of the words in the constitution are simple enough for even an elementary grade reading level to interpret correctly, at a minimum it should be noted that the US Supreme Court has held that arms used by infantry are covered under the second amendment, and that the second amendment is an individual right.
So then how can this admittedly grand power be maintained such that it does not pose a threat to society? Well to be blunt, it can be controlled the exact same way the government controls anything it actually wants to be uniformly controlled. 99% of it would be voluntary compliance. The 1% would be low input, high yield controls that do not require micromanagement to be effective.
First is the reality that there are plenty of people in any society that have no business with arms. There could and should be plenty of debate regarding who falls into this category and what manner of due process is required to relieve an individual of their rights. But it is pretty solidly recognized that many forms of rights can be taken based on an individuals actions.
Second is the reality that no law or legal structure can eliminate evil, and in this case eliminating weapons completely can’t be done, nor could eliminating violence. As such, any legal constraint would not only have to be within the constitutional authority of a government (IE legal constraints have to be legal to be constraining), it would have to seek the greatest overall good.
In the end, the simplest means of controlling the flow of arms among those who through due process have been barred from possessing them is to simply list this restriction on the government issued ID’s of all those prohibited from possession. Then require that all arms transactions involve the seller viewing the ID of the buyer to verify it does not prohibit the transaction. Government officers with prohibiting ID’s attempting to buy from unscrupulous sellers would require no more than the rarity of boogie men to result in very high levels of compliance. This would eliminate the enormous (and growing) burdens on both the government to be a nanny, and the people to put up with the intrusions of said nanny.
But don’t hold your breath for anything like this. This solution does not expand the scope or power of government, it does not create more government jobs, it does not reduce the perceived need to levy more taxes, and it does not sound sexy to those who care about little else other than reelection. Its common sense is repulsive to those who seek control by marketing emotive knee jerk reactions to tragedies, and it might put an end to the fear based fundraising scheme of a certain allegedly pro gun lobbyist organization.
But if you wish to pass this idea along, feel free to snip, shorten, reword and pass along as you please.
This usually comes up at some point. What party are you? Are you conservative or liberal? Well, to me (and sorry to anybody that take offense to this), anybody that backs a party is either being fooled or is one. A party is by definition a collection of platforms accepted or rejected as a whole. This in and of itself is horrible, but in a two party system, it is atrocious. No person can have any true claim to allegiance to their nation if they first claim allegiance to a party. The reasons and examples for this are endless.
In the US specifically, both parties have capitalized on dividing the nation, while actively seeking goals contrary to the nation’s best interests. Any time one party has had the choice of backing the party or being true to the nation, they have predictably sided with their party. Even to themselves, the parties have refused to be true as they accept all measures of hypocrisy as they are convenient. One term torture is an abomination, the next, it is not only fine and dandy, but so is extra judicial murder. One term massive tax hikes are a great thing, the next they are misguided and foolish. The only thing that changes is which party is doing it, and the fact that party lines mandate loyalty to the party before any measure of integrity to the nation. All ills that plague the nation stem from the refusal to maintain integrity to the nation rather than to one’s party.
I hate the bumper sticker mentality so this isn’t a bumper sticker response.
I own guns. I am an unapologetic supporter of all civil rights including the right to self defense. In the scope of a school shooting, even talking about semi auto or full auto or standard capacity magazines is just stupid. WWI and a fair part of WWII were fought with low capacity bolt action rifles. Why on earth would anybody need more than a bolt action hunting rifle and a bag of ammo to go around killing defenseless children huddled in the corner of a classroom? Weapons beyond this have been a matter of convenience. The politicians calling for these bans aren’t this stupid, and the public deserves to know better. The whole discussion is such a non sequitur it’s mind boggling.
But to the question, the NRA more often than not just needs to shut up. Up until the 1990′s they were owned by fat white old men, and since then the “new NRA” has been dominated by bumper sticker retards. The main advances in actual gun rights have actually been opposed by the NRA right up to the last second before they slapped their name on it when it looked like good PR. They play the fool time and time again in public, and for whatever good they do, they do enough harm to have earned both reputations they carry.
That their response to this has been so painfully stupid and ignorant is no surprise. Plenty of schools already have armed guards in various forms. They have caused more trouble than they have stopped. Their response time to an incident like this wouldn’t be much faster than the police. They would essentially be bored lowest bidder types wondering around campus with a gun and some sense of authority. Anybody that thinks that is a good place for kids to be needs their head examined.
The first part of this issue is understanding the actual scope of the violence. School shootings account for a miniscule amount of the violence that plagues society. The overwhelming majority of violence is gang involved, and happens with and without guns. In most environments the only difference guns make in a society, is that playing fields between aggressors and victims get leveled. Gang violence with or without guns will go on so long as the fuel feeding them continues. What changes are the subtle things like what happens when 4 guys break into grandma’s house.
The place where guns stand out in glaring contrast is where law abiding people don’t have access to guns, but criminals are not physically barred or repelled from entering with guns. This is the gun free zone fallacy. But it isn’t just any type of criminal that is attracted to these gun free zones. It is often the suicidal nut job that want to go out with the most horrific bang possible. To them it isn’t enough to die. It isn’t even enough to die in some way where there dead body is left to shock whoever finds them. They want to murder as many people as possible prior to killing themselves or being killed by the police. They naturally gravitate towards places where they can kill as many of the weakest people they can and have as long as possible before they can be stopped.
This issue has three sides for anybody willing to be honest about it.
First is the one the media drones on about to no end. The availability of guns. The simple fact is that yes, if all guns were illegal on penalty of death for possession, certain acts of violence either wouldn’t happen or wouldn’t happen with the assistance of a firearm. But that would not stop criminals from manufacturing them or importing them any more than draconian laws have stopped drugs. It also wouldn’t have any impact on gang violence. Where the main impact would be felt is the ability of the average person to defend themselves and the uncertainty in the mind of the criminal as to what the risk is when assaulting an average person both go away. The impact this would have on a given society is very dependent on the society, but given the types of criminal activity that forms the “normal” baseline in US society, I don’t imagine we would all be singing and holding hands without fear of violence. Guns also aren’t necessary to murder little kids huddled defenseless in classrooms.
Second is the proliferation of mind altering drugs that are being passed out like candy by doctors. Almost as universal as the gun in school shootings are the medications involved. There are better ways of handling children with mental issues. They usually involve addressing the actual problem rather than covering it with drugs, but they are also much less profitable. For anybody with delusions that the “Gun Lobby” is some uber rich group that can squelch out all common sense, ask yourself how the pharmaceutical industry could buy the media out, but the “Gun Lobby” can’t even keep Fox news on their side. There is no good excuse that so many children have been spoon fed drugs given to them by medical professionals to cover legitimate issues in their lives.
The third is the Gun Free Zone fallacy that the NRA rather pathetically tried to address. Schools absolutely need a meaningful defense system in place. No mater what is done, somehow, bad people will decide to hurt kids. You can do what you can to keep guns away from nuts, and keep people from becoming nuts, but when both those fail, not having some way of physically stopping a literal assault on children equates to sacrificing children to the god of pacifism. I don’t know what the perfect answer is, but going back to the days of Columbine when I was still in school, the idea most sensible to me has always been that those teachers and staff who are inclined to do so should be able to take documented training on par or better than law enforcement standards, and be able to carry concealed on campus. It would be at their cost and time and at no expense to tax payers. It wouldn’t be every teacher (and likely a small minority), but the guarantee of defenseless children would be completely gone. A random teacher here and there might be in the right place at the right time, or they might be across campus and useless, but somebody could be there. The number of armed faculty would self regulate by the sentiment driven by the risk of armed assault. To those who take issue to the thought of teachers having guns around kids, ask yourself two things: If you can’t trust a teacher with a gun around your kids, can you trust them without (or quite possibly illegally with) guns around your kids? And who would you rather have guns, only a person attacking a school, or both a person attacking a school, and a person you have already trusted the lives of your children to?
Shock collars are often a topic of contention among dog owners. Most trainers won’t even talk about them for fear of them being misused. In there place, shock collars are absolutely priceless in that they add a dimension of control that often bridges a training gap when a dog learns that they can’t be forced to behave when they are out of arm’s reach in the open.
Just to clear up a tad on shock collars. I used them for formal guard dog training (a whole different topic of use to be clear), but I didn’t buy one for my own use until I had a problem dog that would bolt into streets, and run up to strangers (she wasn’t being aggressive, but I don’t expect strangers to know the difference between aggressive versus exited when a doberman is running up to them or their kids). Since then, I’ve found them very handy for general use IF you don’t confuse use and abuse.
The type I like have several options other than shock. All stick is no way to work with any dog (even pure working guard dogs hardly ever got shocked), much less one you count as a friend. The one I use has a good tone, a bad tone, and shock with 8 levels of shock ranging from tingle to jolt. The shock setting should be at least a few levels below what would make the dog start wailing unless you are preventing a serious safety issue like running out into a busy street, and never at a higher level than the dog needs to get the message. A common misuse of a collar is ratcheting up the level because the dog did something “REALLY” out of line – don’t do that. There is right and wrong, and only the dog’s level of resistance to the correction should dictate the level used. Sometimes the level needed for a dog that is running after something will need to be a level or two higher than if the dog is stalking something they shouldn’t, but you don’t dial up just to sock it to them. Dogs and I think about the same of owners that do that.
The good tone should represent about 98% of what you use the collar for. If not, the dog will resent the collar, and it won’t be as effective long term. A good tone should represent that the dog is going to either get a treat or some loving in the near future for something they did good. The bad tone should be about 1.9% of what you use the collar for. You are communicating displeasure regarding what the dog is doing and indicating that bad things might follow if they don’t knock it off. But you are showing that you are communicating rather than skipping strait to pain compliance. Dogs understand this and respect it. It is how dogs communicate with each other. The actual shock shouldn’t be more than about 0.1% of use, and be after the collar has been used for at least a few days using only tones, and should start at the lowest setting and dialed up just enough to get a response.
If the shock is used it should only be used following a bad tone warning unless it is to halt an immediate safety concern. Once the dog learns that ignoring the bad tone can result in discomfort even at a distance from you, most dogs don’t need anything more than the bad tone ever again. The main bridge that collars connect is getting your dog to behave equally well when they are within arms reach in a confined area or out of arms reach in the open. Other uses have to do with discrete communication from a distance while hunting or hiking. Eventually you won’t need the collar on at all unless you incorporate it into working / hiking use. If the dog relapses into bad habits, putting the collar back on right after negative behavior can teach the dog that bad behavior gets them a shorter leash so to speak. Over time the collar should generally mean it is either time to work, go on a hike, or just be on extra good behavior for a little bit.
If you live in or are considering a house without ceiling lights, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. It used to be the norm in many areas and sadly can still be found in new homes. The good news is that installing ceiling lighting is very doable by a home owner given a basic understanding of electricity and a basic understanding of safety when working in the confined space of an attic.
Continue reading “Ceiling Fan Installation” »
No, this isn’t a religious post (unless you draw your own parallels in that direction). It is more rather a life lesson that seems to pop up everywhere. Many years back, a teacher (one of few good enough to be memorable) was teaching a concept in anthropology regarding the creation of sacred places amidst chaos. I remember the concepts, but I’ve never seen it in writing. The concept is simple. You never focus on the whole of anything. You direct that which is important of the whole into a special (or sacred) place that you will focus on. Resources of the surrounding area are brought into this space, but the chaos of the surrounding space is not allowed in the sacred space. This concept is core to the deep roots philosophy, so by all means read on and enjoy. Continue reading “Creating Your Sacred Places” »
Ration bars. Emergency rations. Coast guard rations. People call them different things, but they are all referring to these bricks of allegedly edible stuff that is vacuum sealed in Mylar. If you have ever seen the inside of any sort of camping, boating, preparedness or automotive shop you have probably seen these, or at least past by them. They are popular as compact little bars that can sustain you during an emergency. They generally have shelf lives of around 5 years and can tolerate extreme temperatures. They are also generally pretty cheap as “survival” food goes.
Continue reading “Ration Bars” »
If you’ve been following this long, I’m going to touch on a bit that I’ve mentioned earlier, but in more depth. That is networking, and its close relative the reference. Continue reading “Job Hunting 107 – Networking / References” »
There are two predominant schools of thought regarding the resume. One says that it is dead and no longer relevant. The other seems to think the resume is how you job hunt. Neither is really the case. Keep reading and I’ll cover what role your resume plays, and what needs to go in it. Continue reading “Job Hunting 106 – Your Resume” »