Thursday, April 27, 2006

No wonder I like Firefly and Serenity

(Via bookmoth)




You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


94%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


88%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


81%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


75%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


69%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


63%

Moya (Farscape)


56%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


50%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


44%

SG-1 (Stargate)


44%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


44%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)


25%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

I'm so damn pretty...

Only half right

CNN reports that a US Senate committee is recommending that FEMA be abolished and replaced with an all-new agency under the Department of Homeland Security.

Senators, you get an "A" on part one of the quiz; an "F" on part two. Abolish FEMA, and then don't recreate it. You're going to wind up with a lot of the same people doing the same dumb things. FEMA has pretty well proved that a large centralized bureaucracy can't handle this job. Let's try a decentralized plan for a change.

Return to the old Civil Defense system, where local and state governments are in charge, but expand it's original Cold War mission to cover the more likely scenarios of natural disaster and terrorist attack. Keep your Federal funding and the strings that go with it, let the states fund it as they see fit.

Some states, such as California, will probably feel the need to fund a lot of CD activities. Others, such as Nebraska, may not feel the need to fund as much. Each state gets what it's willing to pay for.

Of course, it'll never happen. It would lessen Washington's power. Can't have that, can we.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Hampshire thinks RealID is a RealBadIdea

(Via Claire Wolfe)

Remember RealID, the scheme to force all states to participate in what will surely become a national ID card? Some states, such as New Hampshire, are telling the Feds to take a hike.

Predictably, the Feds are less than whelmed at these developments.

"We're scared to go to New Hampshire," he said. "They have gun racks on their motorcycles. They don't want anyone telling them what to do."

That's the whole point, bureaucrat.

Now, if the whole country can grow a pair and follow where New Hampshire is leading, we may just start to dismantle the Leviathan.

Toddling Toward Totalitarianism

(Via Timebomb2000)

Or at least so it seems.

House Poised to Grant Arrest Powers to CIA, NSA

As Emo Williams once said, "Some days it just doesn't pay to gnaw through the straps."

How politicians get a bad name

You can tell it's getting close to primary elections here in North Carolina:

The sister-in-law of Randolph County Clerk of Court Lynda Skeen was arrested Sunday for allegedly assaulting a woman over one of Skeen's campaign signs, which had been rigged with needles, police said.

Apparently, the sign had needles placed in it to discourae anyone from touching it. When the folks who owned the business it was in front of were mowing, they tried to move it and werre pricked by the needles. Fearing for the safety of others (Others? Ever hear of "blood-borne pathogens"? It doesn't have to be a hypodermic needle to transfer these, folks.) they threw it in the trash.

Sister-in-law took exception in a physical manner and was arrested. I hope they throw her butt under the jail.

My wife used to own a busness, and we had a rule--no political signs. Lord knows how many signs, even from people I supported, that I threw in the dumpster over the years.

This idiot is lucky she didn't try this on me. I have this strange habit of defending myself when attacked, rather than waiting to be saved by bystanders. Outside of suing the daylights out of the morons who booby-trapped the sign. Some people....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Son of DMCA

OK, this is going to get geeky. You've been warned...

Most people who aren't technogeeks for a living (or a hobby) have never heard of the Digital millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Sold to the 18 people in the US that paid any attention to it as an update to our copyright laws to cover new digitally-created media, it turned out to be a huge giveaway to groups like the MPAA and the RIAA (double *spit*). Not only did it make it illegal to steal digital movies and digital music (ignoring the fact that it was already illegal), it made it illegal to even have "tools" that could be used for this.

It's also been misused to squelch competition by companies such as Adobe and Lexmark, as well as a tool by all sorts of companies to squelch news of which they don't approve.

Basically, the DMCA is just Bad. (If you want more details than I've got time to write about, check here.)

Anti-DMCA forces have worked for years to get the worst parts of the DMCA "fixed". Congress, however, has apparently decided that us proles haven't been screwed over sufficiently the DMCA isn't strong enough and it needs to be strengthened. News.com reports that they are readying the Son of DMCA, which will create classes of forbidden software, expand federal wiretapping, make it a crime to even try to break any copy-protection scheme for any reason (as a bonus, it's a federal felony) and create civil asset forfeiture penalties for any equipment used to violate the law.

Don't get me wrong. I don't advocate theft. However, theft of music, movies or any other digital property was illegal even before DMCA. What is happening is that the big media companies and their pressure groups, who by the way donate big money to politicians, are being given carte blanc to go after anyone and everyone they believe might even be considering violating a copy right.

Don't forget, these are the people that tried to have VCRs made illegal and the mindset that lead to the Sony rootkit fiasco of a few months ago. Oh yeah, and they don't believe in the "fair use" doctrine, either.

But it'll be OK. They do believe in price-fixing.
Edit: In one of those weird events of synchronicity, Jennifer Granick has an interesting article on a closely related topic that touches on things like the DMCA. And the Freeholder may have a new magazine to subscribe to.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Carnivals of Cordite

Yes, I'm pointing out two, because I didn't get to it last week (Shame on me!).

Carnival #55 has some very interesting reading, including some notes on one of my favorite pistols, the Walther P22. AnarchAngel points out that everyone should own one, and I thinks he's right. (Of course, .22s are like potato chips, and it's really hard to stop at just a single handful. You Have Been Warned.) Gullyborg also notes that a lot of folks actually bought a gun on BAG (Buy A Gun) Day. I unfortunately was not one of them, as I'm saving my pennies for an M-1 Garand.

Carnival #56 has some fully automatic fun, a lot of 2nd Amendment news, and more lucky folks you got to buy a gun on BAG day.

I've got to get back to the range so I have something of my own to write about. I hate being busy.

Messages from the past

(Via Worldnet Daily)

They have lain unopened in a horse manger in a forgotten part of the Belgian countryside for more than 60 years. But now, a set of incredibly well-preserved letters, prayer books, cigarettes and cartoons abandoned by American troops days before the Battle of the Bulge have been discovered.

At the start of the Battle of the Bulge, men of US Army's 2/26, 1st Infantry Division moved forward to counterattack the Germans who were attacking through the Ardennes. They left behind everything not absolutely essential to fighting, like letters. Over 60 years later, the letters have been found and are being returned to those men, or their families.

The curator of Belgium's Remember Museum, to whom the collection of letters has been passed, has made contact with the First Division museum in Illinois in an attempt to track down the soldiers.

To M. Marcel Schmetz, the Curator of the Remember Museum, I'd like to say "Thank you, sir. Your kindness will not be forgotten."