Sep 29, 2010
For those of you who noticed a brief outage last night, that was me rearranging cabling in my office. One of my monitors died a few days ago, so I decided to get another one that was roughly the same model:
Both are HP LCD displays, but in order to accommodate two wide aspect monitors, I had to move the machine running the blog up to the shelf in the top of the photos. Previously I just had my workstation and the server sitting side by side. Moved the UPS and scanner to the top of the cabinet I keep my air guns in, and moved the wireless switch up topside too. On top of my Frankenstein machine, which is really a Mac in a PC case, is my flight yoke for X-Plane. Rudder pedals are pushed off to the side under the desk. All this leaves enough room for my MacBook or iPad on the stand to the left.
I like the glossy HP monitors for the home office, which don’t distort the clarity with an anti-glare matte, which I don’t need down here. The old display on the right is the HP w2338h, the display on the right is the HP 2310m. The 2310m looks a bit better than the 2338h, being a newer model. My big pet peeve is that the 2310m came out of the box with a marketing sticker on the top, telling me what a great monitor it was, which was difficult to peel off and left glue residue that impossible to clean off the otherwise shiny, ebony bezel. As pretentious and controlling as Apple can be towards customers, they would never do something like that with their packaging.
Sep 28, 2010
For those of you who aren’t paying attention, we’re fighting to pass Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania. And, to be honest, I don’t blame you if you’re not paying attention. However, you can tell those of us who are by the imprints on our foreheads where we’ve beaten our heads against the wall a few too many times.
Castle Doctrine isn’t too popular with Philadelphia Democrats. In theory, that shouldn’t matter. Though the Democrats control the House, it’s by a narrow margin and definitely due to the number of rural, moderate Democrats. The Speaker is one of those types, so he should move anything he wants out to the floor. Alas, that is not how it works.
We managed to move the bill out of one House committee, but only in exchange for some votes on anti-gun bills. The good news is that ours passed, and none of the bad bills survived. But, somehow, the Castle Doctrine bill then went on to the Appropriations Committee that is chaired by an extremely unfriendly Philadelphia Democrat who wouldn’t let it out. (Resume head banging against the wall at this point, please.) So, we got the sponsor to push a discharge petition. Yay! Except…
NRA and other groups have been alerting gun owners that the discharge petition would happen any day now. And it never happened. Then, it was on the schedule for tonight, and we were getting great updates from Rep. Seth Grove on Twitter as the vote progressed. So, we tuned in to PCN (our state C-SPAN of sorts), and found out the effort is being abandoned. Head banging may resume…
According to the statement by the sponsor of Castle Doctrine, the Democrats have agreed to release the bill tomorrow morning out of the Appropriations Committee. (Rep. Dwight Evans – the anti – had a very smug look on his face as he agreed, so I’m wondering what he got out of that deal.) According to the Majority Whip, there will be a full House vote on Monday.
In addition to working through the House, NRA has been sending out alerts to try and drum up support for a Senate amendment to House bill that will accomplish the same goal.
So, if you live in Pennsylvania, call your state rep and state senators. You know the game by now. And, if you’re really up for a little sausage making exercise, tune into PCN on Monday to see if the House Democrats hold true to their word.
UPDATE: According to Rep. Grove’s Facebook updates, the final votes will actually happen on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sep 28, 2010
First there was the Triangle of Death. Now we are the “Pro-Gun Forces of Darkness,” according to Bryan Miller. Forces of Darkness? Has a nice ring to it.
Sep 28, 2010
Jim Geraghty has pointed out a serious issue with the 2010 elections, from a gun rights perspective:
[...] it seems like a lot of rural Democrats who represent districts that voted for Bush and McCain have figured out that when they’re accused of being liberals, as long as they never vote wrong on guns, they can always point to their NRA endorsement and use that as cover. [...]
This is the primary mistake many of these Democrats have made. Voting the right way on the gun issue can offer you some cover, but it’s not absolute protection if you get all the other voters out there angry at you. This means you can’t run in right leaning districts, vote for deficit busting government takeovers of health care, and expect to stay in office because you voted the right way on the gun issue.
The big question is what effect is this going to have on the Democrats disposition toward the Second Amendment going forward? Certainly after November, our opposition will be hammering on the point that, because NRA could not offer perfect protection, Democrats obviously have nothing to gain by being pro-gun. I worry that 2010 will undo many of the bipartisan gains we have made in this issue.
But it is worth pointing out, at least for Democrats, that adopting pro-gun views did lead to electoral success in rural districts before the Obama/Pelosi Health Care Reform Express started barreling down the tracks, with little concern over what political careers might get run over in the process. The lesson for Democrats is not that they have nothing to gain by being pro-gun, but that you can’t piss off multitudes of voters on other issues, then expect the single issue gun vote to save you. Even if all our people voted in lock step this election, we can’t stop an anti-incumbent tidal wave this big.
Sep 28, 2010
A few years ago Tennessee passed a law requiring you to pay taxes on illegal controlled substances. The law was ruled unconstitutional. Now it seems that a few thousand people may be owed tax refunds after paying their crack taxes. Ain’t America grand?
Sep 28, 2010
This Wisconsin State Journal article, touted by the Brady folks, would have you believe that your ordinary joe gun owners are turning against lawful carry in the Badger State. But it turns out that Adam Schesch is a left wing activist, and a professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, with seemingly strong ties to the peace movement, and who is described in this article as someone who participated in a “Socialist Scholars Panel.”
This, folks, is deliberate obfuscation on the part of the media, given that they only mentioned that he was a gun owner who once protested a gun ban. They fail to mention he’s Dr. Adam Schesch, and that he’s a highly left-wing college professor. Why? Because it goes against the narrative they are trying to create. The false narrative they are trying to create.
Dr. Schesch is certainly entitled to his opinion, but he’s not entitled to pass off as an ordinary, run of the mill gun owner, or part of the larger Second Amendment community. He is no more representative of your average gun owner than this guy is a representative of your average hunter. That the media is only too eager to pass college professors off as average joes says quite a lot about their reliability on being up front and transparent with the reading public on the issue of firearms policy.
Sep 28, 2010
Years ago there was an effort to create encryption that had a “back door” for law enforcement. Looks like Obama is reviving this idea. It’s a horrible idea, and not technologically feasible. You can’t have secure encryption that has a back door. I’m not sure how the government expects service providers to detect and disable encryption. Maybe I’m just sending gobbelty gook for my own personal edification.
This is like gun control. It’s not enforceable, and the only people who will comply will be those who have nothing to hide. It’s a bad idea that’s largely unworkable. Compliance is going to be very low. But I for one am so glad those civil liberty loving Democrats are in charge. If those authoritarian Republicans were in charge, I don’t know what we’d do!
Sep 28, 2010
It was obviously expected, but now it is formally a done deal, and well deserved. It will also, hopefully, keep the pressure on Casey. This means, for EVCs, that we can direct our armies of volunteers to Toomey’s campaign for Senate. I jest about that a bit, but actually, despite the fact that the gun issue hasn’t gotten much play, I’ve gotten more people this year wanting to volunteer than any year previous. Hopefully we can really make an impression on the local political establishment this year when it comes to the gun vote.
I should also note that every person to contact Bitter in her district (which mostly covers Philly and some of Montgomery County) have been Philly cops, who can’t really get involved in campaigns, but care about the issue and wanted to know who to support. The ones that care enough to call are the ones who CeaseFire PA and the Brady folks will tell you are on their side.
Sep 28, 2010
It was supposed to be yesterday, but was delayed until today. If you’ve already contacted your Pennsylvania State Representative, thank you. If not, there’s still time. Follow the link to NRA’s information page.