Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So you are now hiking in grizzly country

A few years ago, I was hiking in the northwestern US, during huckleberry season, and found myself, well, in the middle of a huckleberry patch. Lo and behold, there before me, a fresh, steamy pile of grizzly excrement. The bear could not have been far away, and was perhaps even watching me. I did not want to find out the hard way if it was a mother and her cubs, so I hauled ass out of there as fast as I could, and made it back safely to my car after an hour.

I was not carrying any bear defense spray, and my only weapon was a crappy folding knife purchased at an equally crappy Ames store - clearly, no match for an adult grizzly.

I then went on an information gathering quest to identify the best possible bear defense weapon for use by hikers and campers.

I've read several article from so-called 'experts' (just google them, they seem to abound), and the most sensible information I can gather seems to indicate that the best choices are:

1. Don't hike alone in bear country. Stay in large groups. (duh!)
2. Canisters of bear defense pepper spray. (They have a range of up to 30 feet, but cannot be reloaded once discharged. Don't miss! Also, hope you don't meet a second bear on the way out!).
3. A rifle (although not necessarily practical when hiking).
4. A very, very large magnum caliber revolver. (So large, you might as well just carry a rifle.)


What are your opinions on the matter?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Law is the Law

Some in the anarchist blogosphere harbor such contempt for authority, that they resort to making veiled threats against authority figures.

Well, you are now on a list. Congratulations. You are now making yourselves legitimate targets for agents of the police state you fear so much. Your free speech must be tempered by reason. Speech is powerful, and with power comes responsibility. Having the right to say something does not mean it is in your best interest to say it.

In life as in quantum physics, the observer often ends up altering the phenomenon he is trying to observe, by the sheer act of observing it. If mere observation can do that, imagine what speech can do. Often people tend to attract into their lives the things they fear the most by their very words and actions. This is not superstitious hocus-pocus. You will find out the hard way when you are denied boarding at your gate.

The State is not an enemy. The State is us. Ours is a government OF the people, BY the people. Therefore, WE are the State. The law is merely an extension of the public will. The best way to bring about change is through peaceful democratic means. Anything else undermines the legitimacy of your position.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

Though you may disagree with certain laws, the laws are in effect and they must be obeyed. You may work peacefully to have the laws changed, but advocating willful disobedience of the law will only bring you misery.

Supreme court says violent video games OK for children

Apparently, it is OK for American children to purchase and play violent video games, because the Supreme Court just said it is protected free speech.

How odd that it is OK for children to be exposed to violent content, but not nudity. As if a 16-year old purchasing a copy of Playboy was worse than him playing a video game in which he can virtually decapitate or dismember other human beings.

In your mind, which one is worse for young people?

Which type of media content is less harmful to children and teenagers? Nudity or violence?

Or are both harmful?

Or are both harmless?

If violent content is constitutionally protected free speech, isn't nudity also free speech?

Why are Americans so addicted to graphic violence, but repulsed by titties?*

Is it hypocrisy?

*Apologies to those who find this word offensive. Get a life.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Predictions for the next decade

I may be proven wrong, but by June 2021, based on current trends, I predict the following:

1. One or more U.S. states will have some form of single-payer healthcare system supported by taxes.
2. Income taxes on the top 1% of earners will be at a higher rate.
3. Half the cars on the road will be either electric or hybrids.
4. We will have an HIV vaccine.
5. We will have the ability to repair cartilage and ligaments using stem cells.
6. We will have made-to-order replacement organs.
7. Marijuana will be decriminalized at a federal level.
8. We will have found a cure for cancer.
9. Cars that can drive themselves will come to market.
10. We will have smartphones that can last more than one day on a charge.

How marijuana legalization will help the gun rights movement.

A new bill, co-authored by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) would virtually legalize the production, sale, distribution and possession of marijuana in individual states by limiting the federal government's law enforcement role to international and interstate trafficking.

According to Jeffrey A. Miron and Katherine Waldock of the Cato Institute, authors of The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition, the U.S. federal government could save $41.3 billion dollars annually by legalizing drugs.

Drug legalization, or at least marijuana legalization, I posit, would help protect gun rights.

1. Drug legalization would help protect gun rights by removing an incentive for police to search homes, cars and persons and curtail civil liberties. With fewer laws justifying the ransacking of homes and the patting down of citizens, fewer citizens would have their guns stolen from them by police.

2. Drug legalization would reduce the incidence of drug-related crime such (as turf wars), therefore reducing violence involving firearms overall. With fewer violent incidents, a strong incentive for gun control will fall apart.

3. Drug legalization would keep thousands of people out of jail, and therefore keeping them and their families out of poverty. With less poverty, there will be less crime. With less crime, again there will be weaker support for gun control.

Drug legalization will save the government and the taxpayers money, provide a form of revenue if it is taxed at the same rates as alcohol and tobacco, and protect the civil rights of citizens.

For these reasons, supporters of fiscal responsibility and second amendment rights should consider supporting the legalization of marijuana.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18331456?nclick_check=1

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/DrugProhibitionWP.pdf