Monthly Archives: December 2005

I’m Alive!

I think the insanity is finally coming to an end. I have had a major project at work that was going on right through the holiday, but we seem to finally be in the homestretch. As a couple of people know, I’ve been working 15+ hours a day since about the Dec. 12th, give or take. I didn’t work Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but spent those with my family, of course. This week the workload hasn’t been as bad, but I seriously needed a break, so I left the blog, etc. alone.

Now that I’m back, I’ll catch up on email, see what’s happened in the world and get back into the swing of things. This project will keep taking up more time than normal, so my blogging levels will probably be lower than they have been in the past. And I do need to make my focus family and work first, blogging and online stuff second.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, I know I did.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

Massachusetts Attempts to Ban All Firearms

ALERT TO MASSACHUSETTS READERS: Move, Now, before they ban breathing and eating without a license.

Seriously, this is quite possibly the worst piece of legislation I’ve ever read in my entire life:

Yes, they want complete registration of ALL firearms, and compulsory liability insurance for all firearms, with a $250,000 minimum liability limit, failure to comply punishible by mandatory five years in prison!

Additionally, all handgun licenses will be reviewed by a 9 member board before issuance, and this is the great part, look at how they want to construct the board:

“The board shall consist of nine individuals, one of whom shall be a member of the gun owners action league, one of whom shall be a member of stop handgun violence, one of whom shall be a police chief selected from a list of four selected by the police chiefs association, one of whom shall be a district attorney selected from a list of three selected by the district attorney’s association, and one of whom shall be the director of the firearms records bureau within the criminal history systems board.”

I see… so suddenly a representative from an anti-gun political action organization is qualified to judge the competency and safety of applicants?

Who wrote this, Sarah Brady (well… that’s entirely possible).

Lets see reading further on, a one firearm a month hard limit (it’s a practical limit now since you need a permit to purchase each individual firearm unless you have an unrestricted license which they almost never give out).

Ahhhh, but here’s the kicker:

“All weapons as defined in section 121 including, but not limited to, firearms, large capacity weapons, rifles and shotguns sold within the commonwealth without a safety device designed to prevent the discharge of such weapon by unauthorized users and approved by the colonel of the state police including, but no limited to, mechanical locks or devices designed to recognize and authorize, or otherwise allow the firearm to be discharged by its owner or authorized user, by solenoid use-limitation devices, key activated or combination trigger or handle locks, radio frequency tags, automated fingerprint identification systems or voice recognition, provided, that such device is commercially available, shall be defective and the sale of such weapons shall constitute a breach of warranty under section 2-314 of chapter 106 and an unfair and deceptive trade act or practice under section 2 of chapter 93A.”

Ahh yes, all weapons not smart guns are hereby declared defective and unsafe and are now banned; oh and anyone who’s ever manufactured and sold one can now be sued.

Yes folks, it’s an effective ban on all firearms within the commonpoverty of taxachusetts.

Oh and for a final kick, anyone not a licensed FFL selling or otherwise transmore than two firearms in a 12 month period – no matter who they are sold to, lawfully or not – is mandatorily sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison without parole.

Honestly, I am not capable of editorializing this in an adequately derisory way without resorting to excessive vulgarity, therefore I will leave the spluttering and descending red curtains of blood to my gentle readers.

Crossposted from : The AnarchAngel

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Public and Private Information

Fuz posits the following:

What if two vehicles are hustling along a rural road, doing low-80s in a 75-limit zone, and a Highway Patrol vehicle comes from the opposite direction, suddenly pulls over, reverses direction, and catches up?

The patrol car hovers behind the rear of the two vehicles for about 4 minutes, then passes, hovers behind the front-runner for a few minutes, then lights up and pulls the front-runner over?

Mama-san, passenger with me in the rear vehicle, asks “Why didn’t he just pull the guy over instead of waiting so long?”

I, driver of the rear vehicle, replied “He ran the plates.”

“Wouldn’t he do that after pulling him over?”

“No, he wants to make sure he’s not pulling over some psycho who’ll try to shoot him. He wants to know whether this will be a one-unit stop, or a two- or three-unit. Bench warrant, multiple traffic violations, expired registration, Al Qaeda, you name it. Run the plates first, know what you’re getting into.”

Then the wheels were turning. He surely ran our plates too. Hmmmm, the patrolman was probably thinking, serviceman and his wife and kiddies. Nothing interesting here . . . The guy in the front tripped the radar. What about him?

Which makes me wonder: how many times have my plates been run, either by obvious marked patrol vehicles or air units, or by unmarkeds just weaving through busy traffic? What about when optical-character recognition technology is mated with radar camera units and fast, fast realtime connection to the databases, allowing hundreds of plates to be “run” per minute? The potential there for loss of privacy would be staggering. The anonymity of the herd would be gone if it isn’t already. The consequences of minor errors, either in the tag records themselves or in the data pipeline between the camera and the DMV, would be enormous.

Johnny Law will assert that he has the power to use government-owned information and commerically-available technology to enhance the apprehension of lawbreakers. How can one object, unless one is caught redhanded and wriggling to escape? The syllogism: the innocent have nothing to fear, therefore the fearful are not innocent.

So how should the civil libertarian respond to this development?

As unfortunate as this is, there is no rational libertarian argument against the actions of the officer as laws currently stand.

License plates are the property of the state. By affixing them to your vehicle, and operating it on the public roads, you are implicitly giving the state the authority to view these plates, and to access the public records associated with them.

Now as to whether this data can be collected and indefinitely retained for criminal investigation, surveliance, or profiling purposes, that’s another question entirely.

Numerous times, in many courts, the argument has been presented that an officer could not arrest someone, because they had no probable cause to run the plates which resulted in a warrant hit and subsequent traffic stop. In all cases these arguments have been dismissed, because the plate number is indeed public information; as is your vehicle registration, and any number of other records that many individuals assume to be private.

I had a similar incident happen just the other day. I was driving home just above the speed limit, when a super trooper got up close enough to me to read my plate, then backed off for about 2 minutes, then accelerated and passed me by. My fiancee seated next to me wondered about his behavior and I said “He was running the plate”, to which she responded “Well, it’s not like we’ve got anything to worry about”.

That reminded me of something that happened to me a few years back. I was driving just at the limit when a local cop pulled in behind me for about five minutes, ran my plates, and then pulled me over. Unbeknownst to me, I had a bench warrant for an unpaid ticket. When I asked the officer why he ran my plate, he answered with refreshing honesty “Because I had nothing better to do”.

This is a basic principle of law, in that public information can be used for any purpose not specifically prohibited by law; and that includes vehicle registration, driving records, birth, death, and marriage records, certain tax and travel records… I could go on.

So what they are doing is in no way illegal, or unconstitutional. The question is, SHOULD IT BE specifically prohibited by law?

Honestly, with the current regulatory regime we live under in our society, this is a prefectly justifiable and correct use of information.

But there is no question that it makes us less free; and that, by it’s nature is evil.

The only way to rationally address this is to make these records non-public information. Either through the elimination of the records entirely (an unlikely, and in some ways unwise thing), or by the re-classification of many public records, as private.

I see no reason why my driving records, vehicle registrations, accident record, or any number of other records as I describe above SHOULD be public records; except as an instrument of governmental control. Perhaps all of these, and any other record the government keeps on us, whatever few those can be reduced to in a practical society (and that’s another issue altogether), should be treated as is our PHI/PCI (Private Healthcare Information/ Private and Confidential Information) wherein the use of the records must at all times require either a court order, or the consent of the subject or legal custodian of those records.

It would of course complicate matters greatly as regards law enforcement, but in the presence of a pervasive computing environment (which is not far off), it could certainly be technically possible.

It would be an easy re-write of the laws, and a massive policy and infrastructure undertaking; but no more so than the HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements that have been recently promulgated on business.

I think that this is the most likely, and most reasonable compromise position; Al-Quaeda or no.

H/T: Jed at Freedomsight

Reposted from The Anarchangel

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Lessons of Russia’s Gas Attacks

Today in St. Petersburg, Russia attacks using gas IEDs were launched against several hardware stores. Fox News is reporting that the Russians suspect that a rival hardware chain store may have launched the attack as part of a dispute the two businesses were having.

The lesson is that capitalism and the free market cannot exist without a rule of law that applied equally to all. The laws and the judicial system provide a means for entities and individuals to solve disputes peacefully. In Russia, according to the World Bank, Russia has high levels of corruption, respect for the rule of law is low, Russians have a difficult time expressing their opinions and having influence on their government, and the Russian government is unstable among less than ideal conditions for capitalism to thrive. Without the protections of the rule of law and a government whose sole role is to protect life, liberty, and property; anarchy prevails and anarchy, despite what many anarcho-capitalists would like to you to believe, usually leads to the rule of the gun where property rights are non-existant (ie. Somalia). The rule of the gun leads to tyranny as people cry for someone to restore some resemblance of order, such as the Russian people demanded Vladimir Putin restore order after the near-anarcharic rule of Boris Yeltsin. I think we can safely call Putin a dictator.

What Russia must do is combat political corruption and restore the rule of law, not the rule of a tyrant and the mafia in order to combat incidents like today’s gas attack. It also wouldn’t hurt for the Russians to develop a truly free and democratic system of government. Freedom makes people wealthier where as tyranny and anarchy keep people poorer.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.


It doesn’t matter our label or what we choose to call ourselves, but those of us who truly believe in personal freedom and responsibility – and live our lives in this way are rarely going to be victims. Sure, there are exceptions – we may at times be overcome by brute force, but anyone who thinks they’re going to rape, mutilate, or murder us will find that they’re going to have to have brute force on their side . . . ’cause we’re not going to make it easy for them to accomplish their nefarious aims.

We’re fully aware that life doesn’t happen TO us, but that things which happen in our lives are a direct result of the choices and decisions we’ve made. One of the things that has always been quietly prevalent throughout my life which makes it difficult for me to be a victim is what I call “scenarios”.

My first memory of this concept was around the time I was 12 years old. One of our neighbors who was remodeling his home was renting a house closer in to town while he made the renovations. His step-son, who was a couple years younger than I – got home one day from school to find that his step-dad dead – killed by a bullet from one of his own guns. It took years before they found the perpetrator, but I still remember vividly the call my mother got that afternoon. She was crying hysterically, and it took a bit for me to get out of her what had happened – naturally, I was afraid something had happened to my own father.

The repercussions for our family were that while my dad had had guns before (.22 rifle, shotgun) my dad acquired a .357 magnum, and immediately made sure that my mom and I knew how to handle it. Dad had given me a Daisy Red Ryder a couple years before, and I enjoyed playing with it, but this was a whole different ball game. I didn’t really like the loudness, but I was proud of the fact that I was a pretty darned good shot. At any rate, back in those days, we NEVER went anywhere without our gun along – and if my folks ever left me at home, dad would remind me “where my equalizer” was and give me a quick refresher. I think I only ever had to get the gun out one time as I answered the door (we lived out in the country and had no “peep hole”) and it turned out to be a friend, but I answered the door with the gun held out of sight in my hand as I’d been taught.

My point is, in order to teach me how to handle the gun and situations that could arise, my dad introduced to me the concept of scenarios. He didn’t call it that, but that’s what it was. He put into my mind the ideas of things that could happen and asked me to come up with how I should handle those situations. A few years later, as I became a driver and took my much younger sister out to movies and things, I would run through scenarios on my own to try to prepare myself mentally should we be accosted somewhere by someone who wanted to carjack or abduct us, and a few years later, I worked for our sheriff’s department (as a secretary in CID) and learned first hand some of the consequences of not being prepared for the worst. I took classes given through the department on self-preservation and rape prevention, but I think one of the greatest teachers I had was that of the crime reports that I typed and things I learned from them.

For a long time, I thought that I was the only one who ran “scenarios” in my mind. Then, when I met my husband, I would notice sometimes that as we were driving along somewhere, I’d look over at him and see him with his jaw set and a “don’t you mess with me” expression in his eye. Since there was nothing that I had seen to precede this behavior, and I knew he wasn’t angry with me, I finally asked him one day “what are you thinking?” when he explained to me that something that he’d seen in passing triggered his going into a daydream about a scenario and what he would do if he encountered it, I think I knew then that I’d met my prince.

Before we married, my home was broken into one day while I was at work. I arrived home, went to check the answering machine, and to my horror, it was gone. I can’t imagine that any thief today would bother with an answering machine, hehehe – but it was no laughing matter at the time. It took probably a full minute for the impact to sink in – for me to realize that my jewelry box was lying upside down on the bed, that a pillowcase was taken from the bed, etc. It was fairly obvious that my arrival home had probably scared the thief away – my VCR had been partially pulled out but not removed and screens were slit in both my kitchen window and a back door. All these years later, I still remember vividly how violated and angry I felt that some stranger had entered MY home and taken MY personal property. I felt deeply the lack of control and the powerlessness to stop what I’d not known was happening, but I quickly took action to insure that no more harm be done. I was a victim I suppose, in the the strictest sense of the word, but I wasn’t going to lie down and be victimized further.

As soon as I realized what had happened, I retrieved the small handgun that I’d had hidden and made a tour of the house – looking under the beds and in every closet, gun in hand. I then made two calls – one to my fiance and the other to the Sheriff’s department. Fortunately for me, hubby-to-be arrived first finding me standing in my driveway, gun in hand. He convinced me that it would be best to put that away and not mention it.

As sad as that was, I’m sure he was right. At that time, laws concerning handguns were more strict in Florida than they are now, and my gun could very well have been confiscated. It wasn’t, and for many years after, I carried it with me in my vehicle wherever I went. Like my dad before me, I resolved never to be caught unawares.

Things are a little different now – I’m home most of the time with my daughters – but I noticed that Daisy has brought back the “Red Ryder” again and they’re selling at our local Wal-Mart. Maybe it’s time I buy one for my gals – I’m definitely NOT raising them to become victims.

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!
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