Monday, January 26, 2015

Here's another example of Big Charity faceplanting into Reality.

By way of Small Dead Animals, another megaFail from the UN and Dr. Feelgood Charities Inc. You know those anti-malaria mosquito nets that are getting handed out to the Poor Bastards in Africa?

They use them for fishing.

Nets like his are widely considered a magic bullet against malaria — one of the cheapest and most effective ways to stop a disease that kills at least half a million Africans each year. But Mr. Ndefi and countless others are not using their mosquito nets as global health experts have intended.

Nobody in his hut, including his seven children, sleeps under a net at night. Instead, Mr. Ndefi has taken his family's supply of anti-malaria nets and sewn them together into a gigantic sieve that he uses to drag the bottom of the swamp ponds, sweeping up all sorts of life: baby catfish, banded tilapia, tiny mouthbrooders, orange fish eggs, water bugs and the occasional green frog.

Note that this dragging entirely denudes the ponds of -everything-, including all those fish and animals that eat mosquito eggs. Thereby making everything to do with malaria so much worse.

Is this because Mr. Ndefi is an idiot? No. Its because there's no food, no agriculture and no industry, so Mr. Ndefi and his family eat bugs.  They pretty much won't live to see the environmental devastation of tomorrow if they don't capture every last ounce of edible matter out of that swamp today. The mosquito net is FREE, too. Therefore OBVIOUSLY Mr. Ndefi uses the net to fish, and damn the malaria. Way to go, Western charities. Oh and way to cover it up too, this is going on for a decade now and the New York Times is mentioning it only because the tree huggers are in an uproar.

Basically, the people we have trusted and given money to for a couple of generations now to look after Mr. Ndefi are a pack of lying assholes, who pretty much just steal all our charity donations. And we don't care. We give money to African charities because it makes us feel better, not because we really give a shit about Mr. Ndefi. If we gave a shit we'd go there ourselves and help the guy out, like missionaries used to do. Easier just to give money, right?

That's why I give money to the Canadian Warplane Heritage instead of OXFAM et al. At least my money is going to support something worthwhile, namely maintaining and flying antique weapons of war that remind us all of the sacrifices made so we can be free. It doesn't really help Mr. Ndefi, but at least he doesn't have to suffer MORE to make me feeeeeeeeeelz better about myself.

The Vicious and Uncaring Racist Phantom

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gun law, and the importance of having Friends.

Remember when David Gregory went on Meet the Press live from Washington DC, and showed an AR-15 mag on TV? Remember how many people wondered why he wasn't arrested and charged with a gun crime for that? Here's why:

Legalinsurrection.com's William A. Jacobson wrote: "The short version is that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department warned NBC News that it could not possess an actual high-capacity magazine, but NBC News went ahead and did it anyway. The MPD recommended a warrant for Gregory's arrest, but that request was nixed by the D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan because — my paraphrase — Gregory was just too nice a guy and had no other criminal intent."

The incident occurred Dec. 23, 2012 when Gregory displayed a 30-round magazine for effect while interviewing LaPierre following the Newtown shootings.

In Washington [DC], it is illegal to possess a magazine holding 10 rounds or more, even if empty.

Yeah, its illegal... unless you have a Special Deal with the district attorney's office. Then all that matters is if you're a "nice guy" or not. Clearly "nice guy" means loyal DemocRat and VIP in the media.

If Wayne LaPierre had held the magazine, they'd most likely have charged him AND perp-walked him out of the studio in cuffs on live TV. Because Wayne LaPierre is not a "nice guy" by those standards.

It pays to have friends.

The Phantom

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Liam Neeson speaks with forked tongue about guns. Must be Wednesday.

Mr. Neeson's remarks regarding the private ownership of firearms have annoyed the company that supplies him guns for his movie roles... where the characters he portrays do a lot of shooting.

"There's just too many... guns out there," Neeson told Dubai's Gulf News last week. "Especially in America."
He continued: "I think the population is like, 320 million? There's over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America.
"I think it's a disgrace. Every week now we're picking up a newspaper and seeing, 'Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.'"
Neeson made his comments in reply to a question about the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris earlier in the month.
This despite the fact that French gun laws disarmed everybody except the killers at the Charlie Hebdo atrocity.

But does the never-ending stream of Hollywood bang bang movies perhaps have anything to do with people shooting each other?

"I grew up watching cowboy movies, loved doing that [gun gesture] with my fingers, 'Bang, bang, you're dead!' I didn't end up a killer," he [Neeson] said.
"A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it's fantasy."
"Naw, that's cwaaaayzy tawk!" Mr. Neeson is pleased to have it both ways in the same conversation. Constant media propaganda about shooting guys for revenge has no effect on society, but the mere existence of guns in private hands is a "disgrace".

So, nothing new here then. Same old Hollywood bullshit, different day.

The company that supplied the guns used in the "Taken" movies, by characters who are portrayed as armed private citizens not to put too fine a point on it, is not amused.
PARA USA said Neeson's comments reflected a "cultural and factual ignorance that undermines support of the Second Amendment and American liberties".
On their Facebook page, the company added: "We will no longer provide firearms for use in films starring Liam Neeson and ask that our friends and partners in Hollywood refrain from associating our brand and products with his projects."
That's PARA Ordinance, a formerly Canadian company that according to Wiki is based out of North Carolina these days but maintains a factory in Scarborough Ontario. How they manage that I can't imagine, but they do.
Nice to see a firearms company sticking up for themselves and telling the Big Star to go pound salt.

Free plug for PARA Ordinance, they're purty.

Now, I've never been shy of talking about the gun control issue, and the extent to which people like Liam Neeson are full of shit. I'll be generous in his case and put it down to "going along to get along", because if he didn't spout anti-gun platitudes at the right time he'd never get another acting job the rest of his life.

But really, the more one looks into the issue the more one discovers a singular truth: virtually all gun murders take place in a few geographic locations. Namely, black neighborhoods in large DemocRat administered cities. If you plot the geographic location of murders on a map with tiny red dots, most of the map is completely empty and the part of downtown that looks like its on fire is the black neighborhood.

For those tempted to scream RAAAAAACIST!!! at this point, after punching yourself in the face you should consider that all black people don't live downtown. Or in cities run by Democrats. Its not about race, per se.

Here's a genius article that lays out the demographics pretty bluntly for y'all. Found it over at Five Feet of Fury today.
... Most gun deaths are urban homicides - maybe four a week in Chicago. In fact, eleven American cities – Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, Jacksonville (Fla.), Miami, Orlando, Omaha, Atlanta, Aurora, IL, and Dallas, account for over 70% of all American gun homicides – with a weekly rate of nearly 30 shootings.
Narrowing further, according to the 2013 DOJ crime statistics, 53% of all US homicides are committed by black young men (15 to 30) in urban violence with handguns. Blacks are about 14% of US population; but young black men are about 13% of the total black population. So, 13 X 14 = 1.82, less than 2% of our population commits more than half of all American gun murders. Thus, a very small percent of the US population commits most gun homicides. There are no recorded comments about this circumstance from CNN or the New York Times however.
Faced with that particular fact, Mr. Liam Neeson would I think be struck dumb by the implications. I'm sure the best retort he'd be able to muster would be "RAAAAACIST!!!"

Just to rub some salt in the wound now, the cities listed are the ones with the most stringent local gun control laws in the USA.

Mr. Neesom, please go punch yourself in the face at your earliest opportunity.

The Phantom

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

US cops now have radar "x-ray vision", didn't tell anybody.

Doppler radar on a single chip has been around for quite a long time now, I remember reading about it in the early 1990's in Scientific American.

Using radar to look inside a house has been a thing for quite a while now as well. Because when there's radar-on-a-chip available to fiddle with, people fiddle with them and discover they can do things that are pretty interesting. Like they can detect the motions of a human breathing from outside a house. They can obviously spot a human moving around inside a house as well.

Well, it seems that somebody built some of these super Tom Swift radars. Rolled 'em out to cop departments all over the USA. One problem: they didn't tell anybody.

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant.

Obtaining a search warrant is of course something they have not been doing. They've been scanning to see if there's anybody home first and asking permission later.

Agents' use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that "the government's warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions."

By then, however, the technology was hardly new. Federal contract records show the Marshals Service began buying the radars in 2012, and has so far spent at least $180,000 on them.

And the court has been letting them.

Agents arrested Denson for the parole violation and charged him with illegally possessing two firearms they found inside. The agents had a warrant for Denson's arrest but did not have a search warrant. Denson's lawyer sought to have the guns charge thrown out, in part because the search began with the warrantless use of the radar device.

Three judges on the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the search, and Denson's conviction, on other grounds. Still, the judges wrote, they had "little doubt that the radar device deployed here will soon generate many questions for this court."

Despite the fact that scanning a residence with any kind of sensor, be it thermal, radar or even a drug-sniffing dog without a warrant has been specifically disallowed by the Supreme Court of the USA.

Because its just too handy to be able to use penetrating imaging for fishing expeditions. It may not hold up in court, but if you do it secretly you can always find another reason to raid a guy's place if you try hard enough.

Incidentally there are drone-mounted versions of this technology available that can work at extended range. I would think a quadcopter would be large enough to carry something like that, their power consumption is relatively small and physically the whole guts of the unit will be the size of a cell-phone. There are also larger side-looking radar sets that can be mounted on an aircraft or dirigible which can image arbitrarily large areas. Just crank up the power and you can see inside stuff for miles.

Brings a whole new level of irony to the term "tinfoil hat" doesn't it?

Just thought y'all ought to know. Maybe get some aluminum siding on the house and mylar in those windows, eh?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sandy Hook commission grinds its way to inevitable conclusion: ban guns.

Whenever there's Something Bad that happens, the state and the local governments always form a commission or a panel of inquiry to "look into the matter" and "see what can be done" to prevent the next Bad Thing. Such panels inevitably find that the existing government policy is correct, except it didn't go far enough, so they always propose a new regulation or tax or law or some other newer,bigger, better restriction of the freedoms enjoyed by regular citizens.

Because people are stupid. They have to be controlled.

Well, wouldn't you know that there was just such a commission formed after the Sandy Hook public school shooting. And they announced their report today.

HARTFORD, Conn. – A Connecticut government commission created after the Sandy Hook school massacre will be proposing a "gun ban."

The Morning Journal reports:

An advisory panel charged with looking at public safety in the wake of the deadly Newtown school shooting agreed Friday to include in its final report a recommendation to ban the sale and possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading.

"Whether or not this law would stand the test of constitutionality is not for this commission to decide," says former Hartford Police Chief Bernard Sullivan, a member of the panel.

"The commission has expressed very strongly that this is a statement that is needed regarding the lethality of weapons."

The group wants to emphasize that there "needs to be more regulation of guns that can inflict mass casualties, even if it causes some inconvenience to recreational shooters."

Obviously. Because its easy, and accepted by their bosses, and will obviously be accepted by the media. That such a thing is 100% unconstitutional in the USA is "not for this commission to decide". Which was pretty awesome coming from a cop who swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States when he got hired to that job.

That it will make no difference if it becomes law is unimportant. That it will 99% likely fail to even become law is unimportant. That it wouldn't have saved a single child at Sandy Hook had it been law at the time... is unimportant.

What's important is that some government guys got paid to sit around and waste a bunch of time and resources generating one more bullshit report that nobody will ever read, and then went on TV to say how much they care.

That's what modern government is and what it does, in a nutshell. Repeat this hundreds of thousands of times per year, it gives you some indication of what goes on all over Western Civilization.

All I'm saying is, couldn't we all get by with a bit less of this? Couldn't we fire at least half of these assholes and not even notice they were gone?

I think we could.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pope says there are limits to free speech.

Well my friends, it appears that Free Speech has very few friends in high places these days. No less a leader than the Pope of Rome has decided Charlie Hebdo was asking for it.

Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good.
But he said there were limits.
By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.
"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."
 It goes on.
Francis, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.
Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs.
"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."
There you have it, my friends. No making fun of Islam, because the Pope says you're asking for it. Even though people mock Catholicism every single day and nobody does squat to them.

This is not "tolerance". This is not "consideration". This is the hidden racism of low expectations. Translating for His Holiness from the ecclesiastical double-talk, it goes like this: "Yes, Catholics can control themselves when somebody mocks Jesus, but those Mooselimbs, they're savages you know. Best not to provoke them, they'll kill you."

Darth Vader explains Charlie Hebdo to Princess Leia.

Or even shorter: "Shut up!" he explained.

The Phantom.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tyranny begins at home. Fight it here first.

As usual, the Ivory Tower is on the cutting edge of "Shut up and do as you're told!" Today's adventure in tyranny is another "its for the children" Trojan horse. Mechanized attendance enforcement.

Skipping class undetected for a game of ultimate Frisbee might become a thing of the past as more universities adopt mandatory-attendance policies and acquire high-tech trackers that snitch when students skip.

At Villanova University, student ID cards track attendance at some lectures. Administrators at University of Arkansas last semester began electronically monitoring the class attendance of 750 freshmen as part of a pilot program they might extend to all underclassman. And at Harvard, researchers secretly filmed classrooms to learn how many students were skipping lectures.

The moves reflect the rising financial consequence of skipping too many classes and, consequently, dropping out. More than four in 10 full-time college students fail to graduate in six years. Many are stuck with crippling student debt and no credentials to help them pay it back. Graduation rates also figure into closely watched school rankings.

At Harvard they just secretly filmed lectures and identified students from their ID pics. Nothing creepy about that, eh?

As usual, they pretend concern for the students, but the real deal is they're concerned about student loans. There's something like a trillion dollars worth of outstanding student loans out there right now, because it costs a couple hundred grand to get an MA these days. Less than an MA doesn't get you squat, PhD's are better but still no guarantee.

As usual, they pretend they are doing the public a favor by allowing their kids to attend these stately and august institutions.

As usual, the truth is still plain to see: WE pay THEM. THEY do not pay US.

And parents, if your kid can't be trusted to get his ass in gear and do the coursework, why are you paying for him to be at school? Let him pay you for room and board instead, while he learns that life sucks when you work as a landscaper's helper.

The Phantom