Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ryan VS: Liberterian Solutions to Urban Poverty

Before leaving Louisiana I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans one last time. An acquaintance from back home had settled there and we reconnected. Eventually our schedules came together so I made the drive down. The neighborhood she lives in is to put it nicely a bit rough. There are still abandoned homes from Katrina and there are literally guys on the corner selling crack. As she put it there was very little victim type crime there because if someone had any money they wouldn't live Plus side it was reasonably near the French Quarter. Having a local tour guide is always cool so I got to see the same place (been there before) from a different angle which was neat. The visit was fun and a break from real life I needed then. Anyway the last day I was there I took her to brunch kind of as a thank you for playing host and tour guide.

As we were sitting there drinking coffee she asked about my politics. We have known each other forever but not really very well if that makes any sense. So I gave her the usual libertarianism level 99 speech.

[To set the stage I did not bring up politics or ask about hers. If  woman uses the word 'patriarchy' more than once outside of a social science class you pretty much know their politics. This is a good reminder that how people get along is largely determined by theoretical political opinions because we let it. More self identification than anything else. So while this conversation was polite and she was genuinely curious we certainly didn't share the same opinions.]

She asked me "So with those principles how would you help the people in my neighborhood?"

For those who don't know New Orleans has a large black population who are very, very poor. Like the kind of multi-generational poverty that only the most unique individuals can manage to get out of.

I sipped coffee and framed out the problem in my head. For the sake of the discussion I assumed I would have sweeping powers and not be limited by other branches of government, etc. My only real limits would be fairly basic tenants of my own brand of libertarianism.

First I would end the war on drugs. Make them all legal and destroy the incentive for people to buy them from criminals. It would take away the vast majority of their money. Also this would end or greatly decrease all the ancillary crime associated with those criminals protecting their terf, etc. This combined with eliminating a bunch of other stupid laws (basically everything that doesn't directly hurt another person) would end the massive prison industry which we currently have. For a host of reasons this industry targets poor people and minorities most often. This is really a two'fer of undercutting the gangs by taking away their ability to print money and getting people out of the revolving correctional door system we have now.

Second I would eliminate barriers to creating small businesses. Professional licensing, fees, closed systems of cronyism, etc are all alive and well in NOLA. This would let people start working for their selves. Also this would let existing off the books micro businesses expand. They could advertise (vs just using social networks), borrow money to expand and generally do things that will make their businesses grow.

Third I would seek to adjust the way welfare benefits were distributed. Granted this would be within a larger goal of shifting that whole industry to the private sector but that is another discussion. Right now we have a system that promotes women not having fathers involved and having as many kids as they can. I think, in a reasonable way so as to give people time to transition, we need to reverse that. Families should be better off when they make better choices, not the opposite.

I believe those 3 steps would go a long way towards fixing urban problems in the US. Also I truly believe that a free market will make most peoples lives better, not just the very wealthy. As always the comments section is open.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 Political Thoughts

1- I am seriously ashamed for our country that this is the best set of candidates we can field.


3- It is interesting that on both ends of the spectrum the candidates getting the most energy Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are very much anti status quo. They have vastly different goals and followings but they are both mad.

On the Democratic side it seems clear the party will (s)elect Hillary Clinton no matter what voters think. The PR machine and super delegates the lock seems to be in. I think this is good in a way as it shows the farce that is the primary process and we could argue elections in general. Hillary has so many negatives that I think she is a pretty weak candidate. All the scum of Bill Clinton but none of his personality. That is before Bengazi and Server Gate.

On the Republican side the establishment is eager for anyone but Trump. However his cult of personality and the establishment lacking super deligates in sufficient numbers to decide all but the widest elections it is not working. Short of Donald Trump being caught burning a bible wrapped in an American flag then going to Planned Parenthood for his teenage daughter's late term abortion and molesting a little boy in the lobby it is his race to lose.

4- So it looks like a Trump/ Clinton race. This makes me want to throw up.

5- What am I going to do specifically to prepare for the upcoming run on gun stuff? Probably not a whole lot. Another 20 PMAGs, 10 Glock mags, 6x 10/22 mags, 3 cases of 5.56, one of 9mm and a new AR would be nice. How much of that I will do is unclear.

6-  Continuing from 5 I am not really worried about anything getting banned. The house and senate are both held by Republicans. While I am not in love with their "we are pro gun because we hold the status quo" train of though I can't see them letting anything through. So we are safe for awhile until the house/ senate balance changes. My goals are more about front loading a year or so worth of gun related purchases before things get silly.

7- After they get silly, which I think they almost predictably will, I will focus on other areas. Also round out some non ban type items like a new scope for a rifle, some night sights, etc.

8- Thoughts?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hookers for Hillary

Apparently there is a group, based out of the famous house of ill repute known as the Bunny Ranch, of prostitutes referring to their selves as Hookers for Hillary. They are advocating for Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I don't really know what to say about this but it is weird enough to bear mentioning.

On a sad but serious note. The prostitutes are honest about what they do and work hard for a living. They provide services that people want and willingly pay for. That is more than I can say for their chosen candidate.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ryan vs Everything: Opening Discussion

For the sake of adding a bit of variety to the blog I am going to discuss my take on a variety of different issues in contemporary society. Sort of my thoughts on the matter and in some cases how, if given a free hand, I would fix the issue. Potential topics include:
gay marriage
food stamps
rape culture
affirmative action
social security
gun control
illegal immigration
border security
the war on drugs
political zoning
political parties
Israel and Palestine
the IRA and Northern Ireland
drunk driving
open container laws
open carry
concealed carry
the National Firearms Act
Obama Care
Baby Boomers
Other topics as they come up

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of the Union and Linkeage

So it is about state of the union time. Currently watching the count down to it but don't see myself finishing it. Want to get a long nights sleep tonight. Do you plan to watch it?

A couple good articles came out recently I want to highlight:
Some notes on Sentry Neutralization by John Mosby

Reader Question: Do you have your Load Carrying Gear figured out? at Teotwawki Blog

Note: The way things cracked out I missed the SOU then caught some replies from various republican types. Am ambivalent about the whole thing.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blah Day But Great Ammo Deal

It seems the Knock Out Game is spreading to Philly as well as most large eastern cities full of "urban youth". It is reaching critical mass to the point that even the MSM can't ignore it. Honestly this so called "game" played solely by young black men does not worry me at all personally. I do not live in a place where that sort of thing happens and are not out late anyway (sure some of these incidents are at 2pm on a Saturday but a lot also happen late). When it comes down to it I am not, nor do I physically look like a victim. That being said not everyone is a young aggressive guy with some training. Plenty of fine people fall into the broad victim category and happen to live in large urban areas. I'm not sure where this trend will go but it could easily get really bad. I fear "urban youth" do not know just how crazy whitey can get.

The Senate passed The Nuclear Option so basically the majority party can confirm whatever nominees they want. Aside from the short term power grab for a real long term risk I am ambivalent about what it means politically. That being said in my mind the senate's best quality has been that it's numerous committees, arcane complicated rules and customs made it so almost nothing ever happens so I'm not a fan of this.

On the plus side I got 2x 250rd boxes of Remington UMC 9mm for $69 a piece before tax. That is almost 30% less than the best deal on bulk 9mm FMJ I've seen lately. Range fodder has been in thin supply for so long I buy it whenever I find relatively good prices; though the situation finally seems to be improving.

Defensive 9mm ammo has been available for awhile but stuff for training, practice and just plain fun has been hard to come by for almost a year. This purchase sets me up 2/3rds of the way for an upcoming class at a good price without needing to dip into the stash. That makes me happy.

Other than that it's been a long day and I am pretty tired. Going to try to hit the sack early.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Can Haz Debt Ceiling?

This whole thing has played out in a fairly silly fashion. Well it would be silly except there is the potential for it to go really bad. The Democrats seem to have claimed and thanks to their shills the mainstream media held the moral high ground though by a thin margin. The idea that the other side should give all of their leverage before having a conversation about what they wish to get in return seems like a hard one for anybody to seriously swallow. The Republicans seem more energized than they have in awhile but quite possibly unable to choose realistic goals, function as a cohesive voting block and of course manage their public relations/IO.

It looks like they have agreed to stop fighting long enough to avoid drowning in the water they are currently fighting in. Maybe we can get beyond talking points to have a real discussion about our government debt.

So do you think something seriously dangerous is on the horizon, and if so what, or that it's just another political theater?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Diane Feinstein's AWB Version 2

The much dreaded Assault Weapons bill was presented. I urge you to write your representatives and tell them in a nice polite way that criminals by definition break the laws and this will only hurt law abiding gun owners. If you are lazy like me Ruger makes it super easy by having a nice form letter ready to go and looking up your reps automatically. Seriously if you care about anything I say take the time to let our representatives know that you are against this.

Also if you have not already JOIN THE NRA.  They are not perfect but are big enough and strong enough to actually do something. Join some other organization(s) if it makes you happy but send the NRA some love first.

If your personal 2A preparations are not where you want to be I would think about working on it. Do not spend the rent money or max the visa but if you want it and can afford it then think about buying. Yes AR's that cost $650 2 weeks ago are going for 1,400ish BUT THEY ARE AVAILABLE. Cannot say that will be the case in 2 months.

Some folks might want to think about caches. I have heard 6" PVC pipe and end caps as well as PVC glue can sell out in a hurry. Spare parts and manuals (a weak point of mine) are good things to have also. The cleaning stuff to put a greased up gun back into action would be smart also.

This weekends coming purchase binge will take care of most of my lingering accessory needs. Thankfully the stuff we need (vs want) is not targeted thought the overall everything with or around a trigger buying binge is affecting things all the same. Sure there is more stuff I want thankfully these are wants not needs. Some will be purchased when available like ammo and other stuff might be indefinitely postponed depending on how things go.

Honestly I am getting pretty bored of talking about this all the time. Think it is time to talk about other stuff and begin to resume normal operations.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Midway is Pushing Partial Back Orders Out The Door

 I ordered a bunch of different AR parts from Midway a couple weeks back. A full BCG, a spare bolt, a couple receiver extensions and some other stuff. The stuff that was in stock shipped and the rest was on back order. I wasn't worried about exactly when it showed up as it was just spare stuff anyway. This morning I got an email. It is unchanged except that obviously my last name is not XXXXXXX.

-Email follows-

Dear Ryan XXXXXXX,

We have been holding some products for you, waiting for other items to arrive so we could ship your order complete.  However, we believe an Executive Order could be released any day prohibiting the sale of certain products such as high-capacity magazines and AR-15 parts and accessories.  Therefore we have done a partial release of your backorders to ensure that any of these items and other items we had in inventory waiting to ship complete are all on their way, in case such an Order is forthcoming.  You will receive a shipping notification shortly.  Other items on backorder, that we have not yet received, are not affected by this partial release.

We appreciate your understanding and your business.  We always put Customer Satisfaction first and believe this action is in the very best interest of our Customers.


MidwayUSA Customer Service


Maybe they are just doing this to appease customer concerns or do they know something I do not? Thoughts?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Things were pretty crazy here getting used to having the new little one at home. All is well with child #2 but it is a lot to adjust to.  Still managed to get a few things done.

I sold a revolver to free up some cash and make room for a new gun. Leaning pretty hard towards a smaller stainless .357 magnum but we will see if something cool pops up. Then again I am going to re look what is on the gun/ defensive accessory list and maybe just wipe it out.

Spent some time more with the Solo Stove and think I've pretty much figured it out. Just got to fiddling with the Solo Pot 900. Pretty psyched about that combo.

This weekend a lot of time went into working on my systems. The EDC bag was totally stripped down. After taking all preparedness stuff out of it I reinserted a personal survival kit, one of those heavier space blankets, a cheapo first aid kit and a pouch for a steel water bottle. Need to pick up a bottle of water purification tablets to go in there and it will be good to go.Will probably talk about it this week.

The rest of the stuff plus a bit more went into a commercial hiking style backpack. I added a few more things and it is shaping into a pretty decent heavy get home bag/ bug out bag. Need to go over it again and plug a few small holes then things should be good to go. We will talk more about this once I finish the last little bit.

Coming up next week I am going to order a few odds and ends. Also plan to keep working my systems and talk about the stuff in my EDC bag. Speaking of EDC bags Teotwawki Blog is doing a series on them which should be interesting. May change mine a little bit based on stuff that comes up there. Also Wifey said I should go shooting so that will probably happen early this week.

What did you do to prepare this week?

A few things to share just to clear out some tabs:

Teotwawki Blog noted that CDNN investments has (had anyway) PTR-91's at sane prices.

They also linked to an excellent site that makes it super easy to write all of your federal or state representatives in one shot (instead of looking them up and wading through their websites). So click on this link and tell them what you think about the current hysteria and the Second Amendment in general. If you are not sure what to say Ruger put together an excellent blanket letter. Send it to your federal and state reps today. I did and it took like 5 minutes.

Apparently 100k people joined the NRA in the last 18 days. I was one of those. If you are not a member join the NRA today. They are not as extreme (in a good way) as GOA but they actually have clout. Join GOA also if it makes you happy.

$19 30 rd AR mags IN STOCK. I can't vouch for this company or the mags but if you need AR mags at this stage in the game beggars cannot be choosers.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guns For Me But Not For Thee

As Chris pointed out If armed security guards are ineffective, why do anti gun people send their children to schools with lots of them?

Why do their kids deserve to be safer than my kid or yours? 

How is it that some cops who get to carry all the time off work anywhere and public officials or rich folks who have armed security think I should not be able to have a weapon?

The only conclusions I can come to is that A) they think they are superior to normal folks and B) gun control is not about guns it is about control.

Also on another note if I ever get to rewrite the Constitution I will add an amendment that all elected officials are required to send their school aged children to the worst performing public school in the area they represent. Maybe then they would get serious about fixing education.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fed: Recession kicked median household wealth to 1992 level

Here is the article. This is not suprising but still sort of depressing. What they fail to mention is that a buck is worth considerably less today than back in 1992.

I look at who benefited from this, the classic cui bono if you will. It is pretty clear to me. Big bankers and financiers made a killing. Politicians did well on campaign contributions from those folks as well as using the money flowing into their coffers to buy votes. Personally they also made a killing on insider trading their consistently and consistently lucky investment choices. Some normal folks did well, if just for awhile. Nobody was complaining when their homes went up in value 20, 30 or even 40%. Nobody was complaining when the construction industry was booming.

I realized in writing this that I have sort of looked at bankers in the wrong way. I think a bit too locally. The assistant manager of West lake Trust in Peduke, Iowa population 50,000 didn't wreck out economy. That guy gives people loans they come to the bank looking for. Now the big bosses at Citibank, B of A, WAMU, etc all on the other hand had to knew what was really going on. That is why they got rid of these loans like a kid playing hot potato. They made money hand over fist for years. When the game was up they dumped all the junk onto the public in a variety of ways both above and below board. After that we loaned them cheap money which they used to buy up the competion which was slightly worse off or couldn't get easy money friend loans.

Between politicians making laws, setting conditions (keeping interest rates artificially low for years) and supporting their friends in banking and finance a lot of the blame goes to our wonderful elected officials. Banksters knowingly gave bad loans which they repackaged to unrecognizability then sold as rock solid. They bought politicians to do them favors and provide mafia like protection. These two groups royally screwed normal everyday Americans out of tons of money.

I cannot however totaly absolve people of the choices they made or the situations those choices caused. Lots of folks used electronic/ paper gains in their homes to finance vacations, new cars or home improvements and such. Some of them are mad now because they are "underwater" and have to pay back the money they so prudently cashed out during the boom. Lots of normal folks made poor choices thinking that somehow the good times would never end and ended up in a bad spot. Others tried to get in on the game and lost too, by the time normal folks get into the game the smart money is already on it's way out. Normal folks are standing when the music stops in the proverbial game of musical chairs.

Today I may be more disenchanted, with the establishment for lack of a better word, than I have been since the height of this mess in 2008 or so. Not exactly sure what if anything I will do about it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Night Ramblings and Tab Clearing

I always knew that liberal dudes were weaker and generally less masculine but now there is scientific proof.

Apparantly CNBN did a hit piece of the venerable Remington 870. Hat tip to The Firearms Blog for the find. Maybe they could have been even more unamerican by bashing apple pie and cold beer.
Now for my take. I will even set aside the fact that the so called experts who testify about how pretty much every firearm is unsafe FOR MONEY and are trying to sell some new safety thing they invented.

The thing is that shotgun safeties, to the best of my knowledge are not so much safeties as trigger stoppers. To the best of my knowledge there isn't a shotgun out there that has a safety which blocks the sort of accidental impact based discharge that happened to the unfortunate fellow mentioned in the story. Sort of like many open bolt machine guns if you give them a good whack they will probably go off.

There is a simple and time tested way to handle this mechanical weakness. KEEP THE CHAMBER EMPTY UNLESS YOU ARE ACTIVELY USING THE GUN! For a shotgun this means that when you are done using it take the round out of the cylinder and stick it back into the tube or buttstock carrier.
I own a Remington 870 Express. With both short and long barrels it is a really versatile weapon equally capable of defending ones home or all manner of hunting and sporting. I have trusted it with my life in the past as a primary home defense weapon and would not hesitate to do so again in the future. As to my thoughts on reliability and usefullness the Remington 870 I won't sell the one I have and at some point will get another one.

I was at the store the other day picking up a couple things on my way home from work. The folks in front of me bought some stuff using WIC. Nothing really new about that. Overseas food costs are pretty high so they calculate eligibility differently and a lot more folks get it. I bought my few items and walked out to the parking lot. The folks who bought the stuff with WIC in front of me got into a car that was maybe a year old. Nothing crazy, I think it was a Ford Focus or something like that. I got into my 10 year old SUV with some minor cosmetic damage and drove home. Honestly it sort of made me angry. Why should I be subsidizing them? If they don't make very much money maybe they should be doing things like not buying new cars so they can afford food for their kids. I got to thinking. Given the state of our nation I don't really look down on folks who figure out how to work the system a bit in their favor. A few years back I did look down on them for being moochers. These days I sort of look at it that if you can get a little bit back it isn't a bad thing.
Ironically this year we qualify for welfare Earned Income Credit. A nuance of combat deployments is that since our pay is not taxed. Thus as far as my taxes are concerned it does not count. Since I deployed in February and was gone for a year our taxable income was pretty tiny for last year. Thus we get welfare Earned Income Credit. I wouldn't have thought of it but a pretty sharp contractor (ironically also a contrarian investor and survivalist) said I should look into it. This is something I had some real internal conflict about. It is pretty crazy that we qualify because my income fell into a different column on the stupid little piece of paper that is the W2. I make a decent living and we aren't in any sort of need. However me deciding to be a good guy and turning away free money is not going to fix the national deficit. We are putting the money into our house fund. I kind of look at it as a partial refund of all that money I put into SS and medicare
The man who committed 10 felonies in 9 hours was pretty impressive. Some folks are just bad and if this sort of thing happens when everything is normal toss in a power outage or a hurricane or a riot and well, it ain't pretty.

Well it is just about a done deal that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican presidential candidate. I am almost entirely ambivalent about this. Got to purchase some more mags between now and November.
Heineken is pretty good and Jimmy Fallon probably has the best late night TV show these days.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reality Bites

It is interesting to me that I have never met an anarchist or a libertarian who is basically an anarchist that has actually been to a failed state. Talking about anarchy from a dorm room or college party house or a nice quiet farm out in the middle of nowhere is very different from actually seeing it. I am not saying there isn’t a person like that out there it is just that I haven’t interacted with one yet.

First of all anarchy is a very relative term. It is sort of like socialism in that it never truly happens, and when it does it is only for a short period of time. There is going to be some form of government clinging at the greased string of power until the last possible moment. Either that or some sort of  a thug stepping up to try and carve out his own little princely state, most likely a lot of thugs trying to carve out their own princely states. You can have bad government or ineffective government or illegitimate government but some sort of system will at least be trying to keep or take power.

Secondly it is really not something you want to be involved in. Between crime, general lawlessness and assorted thugs and former government entities vying for power there is often a lot of fighting. Basic rights such as property and relative (there is always some crime) safety which we take for granted would be gone overnight. Now granted there hasn’t been a civil war or riot or massive disaster of Katrina proportions in Idaho or Minnesota but ever indicator we have is that these events bring about the worst in people. Sure there are a few neighbors helping each other out and some good Samaritan will save somebody’s grandma but those are few and far between. My observation is that folks will typically do about whatever they think they can get away with in these situations. Also these situations are more likely to lead to another, even worse government, not a better government or a long term lack of government.

Look at how the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. After the Soviets left the Afghan commies fought on for a few years (till the money dried out with the fall of the Soviet Union if I recall) and then a transitional type government was set up for about a week followed by the big players like Heychmar and Massoud and other smaller regional guys fighting it out for power. The Taliban came to power because they could do a few things. They made roads safe to travel (a relative term in tribal central Asia). They had a court system that, while very harsh, was quick to deal with problems and most people found it to be fair. In short they offered the basic securities of rule of law.

The honest truth is that a pretty bad government is, by any functional measure, better than this sort of situation or the government which stems from it. It is not nice to say and goes against a lot of American ideals but if you look at history it is true. Our revolution is probably the only time in history that a revolution led to citizen’s lives getting better in the long run.

I file Anarchy under a “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”


Monday, January 2, 2012

I Get A Feeling of Peace

For the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of heavy stuff floating around in my head, worries about our economy and all sorts of stuff. For reasons I am not entirely clear on that has all just faded away and left a feeling of peace.

A lot of it is that I have figured out the answers to some heavy and dark questions. “What would I do if….” type stuff. The kind of stuff that, for a variety of reasons I do not talk about on here. I’m a person who can deal with just about anything once I wrap my head around it which sometimes happens quickly and other times it takes a bit longer. The speed of the OODA loop (so to speak) is definitely related to the necessity for action. Bigger, conceptual, but no less dangerous things take longer and can be mulled for a period of time.
It doesn’t hurt that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this deployment and that our long term plans are really starting to snowball (not the Dave Ramsey debt one as we don’t owe anybody money, just a normal snowball rolling down a hill).  We have a solid foundation and can put a good amount of energy towards whatever problem we decide to attack.

Where we are, where we need to go and what has to happen to get there is very clear to me. Certainly there will be delays, difficulties and complications but the path is clear. I am optimistically waiting to get moving forward.

Will I feel this way in a week or a month, I hope so but who knows. Sometimes I get down and worried so I guess this is the other side of that coin. I guess that I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
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