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In An 8-0 Decision…

(from Fox News)

The United States Supreme Court…

In win for Asian-American rock band the Slants, and possible boost for the Washington Redskins, Supreme Court rules that the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.

More on this: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/19/supreme-court-rules-trademark-law-banning-offensive-names-is-unconstitutional.html

AGAIN, free speech is not about that with which we agree!

(Just when you thought the Supreme Court was worthless…)

NRA Disallows 1911s As “Primary Handguns” From Its “Carry Guard” Classes

(from TFB – James Jarrett)

Released to quite a bit of controversy at the NRA show, the NRA’s Carry Guard program is again the focus of controversy. As listed on the NRA’s Carry Guard website, instructions for prospective students of their “Level 1” program are specifically asked not to bring revolvers or 1911s as “primary firearms” to the classes.  This instruction is added as a note to bringing a full-size or compact handgun:

*NOTE: NRA Carry Guard Level One is designed for training with a semi-automatic handgun (Glock 19/17, Sig P226/P228 or equivalent). We will not allow revolvers or 1911s as your primary firearm in this class.

I can understand the reasoning to NOT want revolvers in a semi-auto class, but the decision to specifically bar the 1911 is most peculiar and likely to draw some ire of the NRA membership and potential student base.

I mean, the instruction simply does not add up. The NRA specifically asks for a “semi-automatic handgun” but then disallows America’s favorite semi-auto? I can understand if the program wants a minimum capacity, but even that does not make sense as they mention bringing backup guns, etc which then has the 1911 allowed:

You should bring a secondary firearm that you carry concealed, as well as a holster for such. We will run the course with a primary carry weapon and then run a course of fire with a secondary or back-up gun to evaluate the differences. Please bring at least 40 rounds of ammo appropriate for your carry firearm for this portion of the class. Revolvers, 1911s and/or subcompacts can be used for this portion of the class. (emphasis added)

If anything, the NRA should have set a type of handgun and impartial requirements. Instead, they are managing to shoot themselves in the foot with Carry Guard yet again…

I wonder what compelled the NRA to make such as decision?  Many CCW/Constitutional Carry folks with whom I am personally acquainted often carry 1911s.

Including me.

Could it be this politically correct age is creeping over into firearms choices from politics and ‘popular’ culture?

The NRA did ban ‘other’ CCW schools/insurance from their last convention, undoubtedly to limit competition between them.

I’ll bet is Col. Cooper were still with us (as an NRA Board member) this wouldn’t be a thing.

 

“The New Phone(book’s) Here!”

Remember?  From Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”?

Well this isn’t about that.  Or how I used to collect telephone books (when I was a PI).  (I’ve already written about that!)

How to be a PI (Lesson 4) pre-1986

Thankfully, my life isn’t ALL Sturm und Drang…

Today, is IS about the new CELLULAR TELEPHONES.  😛

S8 vs S7

My roomie has me on her cellular account, and loves new technology.  Fortunately (for us), the company with whom she contracts allows us to change or upgrade our phones up to three times a year!  At no additional cost!

Conspicuous consumerism and largess?

YES!

(Frankly, if I were living alone, I’d still have a flip phone, and be paying through-the-nose for service!)

The other day she decided she wanted to upgrade, and asked if I wanted to, as well.  (It had been well over a year…)

Duh.

To be fair, I was perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (although, I rarely used the note part, many times I cannot read my own writing!)  But I’m certain it was clogged with unneeded and damaging apps, slowing performance, affecting memory and battery life.

At least that’s how I rationalized my decision!

So, off we went to the store…

About an hour and a half later, we left, each with a new Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone!  Of course, not unlike buying firearms, there was an additional charge for the ‘+’ part, as well as the new protective covers!  (J gets hers largely for style; mine so I won’t drop the slick S.O.B.!)  These new phones are never the same dimensions as the old – smart marketing on their part.

Thankfully, it wasn’t much.  We don’t have much.

How great is modern technology?  In a span of less than 20 minutes, the rep placed our old phones adjacent to the new, activated a procedure, and transferred all our telephone contacts, applications, photos, privacy settings etc. to the new phones!

Of course, there’s always tweaking.  Like changing the personalized ring and notification tones.  (J’s ringtone on my phone is the Looney Tunes theme.  Don’t tell her…  😛 )

Now if I can just learn all the new features before she wants another upgrade.

Sigh.

Truly, another First World problem!

(FTC – Samsung and the phone company give us nothing.  We pay (monthly) for everything!  Get your own phone!)

And The Adventure Continues, Part Siete

Well, here we are, again…

The contractor returned Thursday to close the hole in the ceiling.  He said their estimate disagreed with the material provided by the insurance company (i.e. they mentioned a repaint, but NOT closing the hole in the ceiling!)  A minimum of THREE WEEKS before they return.

We’ll see.

J., my roomie, continues to have health problems, multiple doctor appointments and physical therapy.  Next is a nerve ablation on her neck, which causes her great pain.

We’ll see.

I discontinued my auto insurance and notified the State my car is no longer on the road, pending sale or donation.  No sale or donation as of yet.  She’s still collecting spider webs…

We’ll see.

J. added me to her auto insurance as an additional driver.

We’ll see.

I’ve my own doctor appointment tomorrow, with a vascular surgeon(?!) regarding my right calf, which continues to be oversized.

We’ll see.

Money continues to be an issue.  Quelle surprise.

We’ll see.

Weather?  Today 111º.  Tomorrow 116º.  Tuesday 118º  That’s The Valley of the Sun in the Summer.  Oh, wait?  It’s not Summer, yet!  😛

We’ll see.

I will update you kind folks as I know more.

Thanks, again for your support.

FACEBOOK – Now Even Creepier!

(from Peter – Bayou Renaissance Man)

Facebook becomes the corporate face of ‘creepy’

If Facebook were actively trying to define itself as ‘creepy’, it couldn’t do much better than this.  Two reports over the past few weeks have caused me to wonder at the sanity of anyone who still uses the service.First, it seems Facebook actively marketed to advertisers its ability to ‘target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability’.  Wired reports:

Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.

But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”

The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)

There’s more at the link.

Not content with that, it seems Facebook is trying to patent ‘creepy technology which spies on people and automatically analyses their facial expressions’.  The Sun reports:

The social network applied for a patent to capture pictures of a user through their smartphone.

The creepy designs, which date back to 2015, were discovered by software company CBI Insight, which has been analysing Mark Zuckerberg’s “emotion technology”.

. . .

Researchers at CBI Insights warned that the plans could put a lot of people off using the service.

“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield,” it wrote in a blogpost.

Again, more at the link.

So Facebook now wants to use the camera on your smartphone to watch you while you use the device.  Why would anyone in their right mind allow a social media network this kind of intimate access to their thoughts, feelings and emotions?  Is there no value attached to privacy any more?

From my moral perspective (which is admittedly that of an older generation), this seems not only an invasion of privacy, but actively evil – trying to use your own emotions to manipulate you, and/or sell data about you to advertisers and others (for example, political parties analyzing voter emotions and behavior) who will use it to manipulate you.

News reports like this make me devoutly grateful that I have no Facebook presence at all!  If you do, in heaven’s name, why do you want to expose yourself to this???

Peter

I joined FB long before I began blogging, or even reading other’s blogs.  I liked the Internet, and it just seemed to be the social thing to do.  (I was doing the IRC and bulletin boards before THAT!)
Yeah, I’m old.  😛
But, considering Pandora’s Box has already been opened, do I want to make it even easier for the alphabet soup of government, or private corporations or citizens?  Is it even worth the effort, now that the cat’s escaped the bag?
Maybe.  I am considering leaving FB.  Most folks who care I blog know Guffaw is my nom-de-Internet, and can do research to determine my FB moniker and extrapolate real info and data from there.
As if that’s worth anything…

And The ‘Adventure’ Continues, Part Seis(?)

In our last episode (spoken aloud in Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart voice…)

It was determined I do NOT have a blot clot in my lower right leg (twice!), although the leg remains enlarged.  Not painful, but engorged.  And hard(?) in spots.

I’ve an appointment later in the month with a vascular specialist.  Who knows?

The rash I had has largely dissipated (after THREE 5 day courses of Prednisone – thank you very much!) as well as a slow, agonizing decrease of the itch that accompanied it.  Rash gone, still itching.

But,  the itch has FINALLY gone away.

Roomie continues to suffer from her chronic health problems associated with asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure and emphysema.  And NO, she had never smoked tobacco!

She had, however, worked in plant greenhouses and beauty salons (with many of their toxic chemicals) for most of her adult life.

And she is continuing to recover from her shoulder surgery and is getting physical therapy for the same.

Will she be returning to work?  Who knows?

We could use the money – but at further risk to her health?

YES!  The shower leak has been repaired!  The hole in the living room ceiling?  Not so much.

roughly 3′ x 4′

Apparently, the contractor and the insurance adjuster disagree regarding the amount to be paid.  Or WHEN this is to be done…

I still possess the dead Oldsmobile in my parking space, now growing spiderwebs.  There are ‘complications’ with selling it (not to mention I’ve been offered much less than I thought it worth!)  Perhaps donation IS the best route(?)

AND, just to add to the fun – during daylight hours one may not exit the front door to the townhouse in safety.  The bees who have taken up residence in the tall bush adjacent to the door have become, well, more populous and hyper-vigilant!

Fortunately, this is an HOA problem.

Unfortunately, this is an HOA problem.

When this will get resolved?  Who knows?

(I’ll just walk around the back way to get the mail, thank you very much!)

The ‘Adventure’ continues…

Glock’s Fault, Or Yours?

(from TFB, in part)

Glock

I recently had the opportunity to re-certify my Glock Armorer Certification as it had expired. I highly recommend that anyone who can attend a Glock Armorer course to do so. Those people include:

  • Employee of Glock Dealer/Distributor
  • Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) Member
  • Active/Retired Military/Law Enforcement

All the instructors I have encountered or been taught by are thorough, challenge you, and you genuinely leave feeling more confident in your proficiency at manipulating the weapon and all of its 34 individual pieces.

Classroom book learning aside, what I found to be the most interesting conversation of the day was shooting the breeze with our instructor over lunch. Somehow, the topic of customer service issues came up. We talked about macho guys who limp-wrist a G27, and shade-tree gunsmiths who use their Dremel tool too much and ruin guns. The instructor eventually spit out some numbers that might surprise you.

Glock Customer Service Issues

  • 90% – Shooter/User Error
  • 9.9% – Ammunition
  • 0.05% – Maintenance (Or Lack Thereof)
  • 0.05% – Mechanical

***To be fair to Glock corporate, my instructor, and to cover my own behind, these numbers are not written in stone.

Our instructor was simply stating what he observed over many years of serving and working for the company and continually interacting with the customer service department.

It really begs the question though… If your Glock is failing you, can you look in the mirror and objectively ask, what am I doing wrong? Should I maybe not shoot the world’s cheapest, cruddiest ammo?…

Would love to hear your anecdotal evidence in the comments below. Not saying those numbers listed above are perfect, but 99.9% user error and ammo… oofta! That is incredibly reliable and I will feel like an idiot in front of my friends if have an issue with a Glock because it is probably my fault!

I found this of great interest!  In part because I’ve owned and shot (and carried) a number of Glocks (26, 30, 17) and found them to be universally functional and without ‘problems’.  Of course, unlike one of my Blogmothers™ (Tamara), this was done in strings of 50, or 100 rounds in range conditions, with cleaned firearms.

No stress tests for Guffaw’s Glocks!

And, I still prefer walnut and blued (or stainless) steel to polymer.

So much in the firearms world is the result of human error (think negligent discharge!)  Certain, what you feed them, technique and other human factors could be of more importance than mechanical defects?

I expect to hear from those who love Glocks, as well as those who hate them.

Get the party started…

But…But…Immigrants! The Huddled Masses…?!

(from FNC)

Trump Sending So Many Gang Members Back to El Salvador That Officials There Now in a Panic

Via Billy

The Trump administration is sending violent gang members back to their home countries in droves — so many that one country is dreading what’s to come.

El Salvador authorities are holding emergency meetings and trying to come up with new laws to keep track of all the criminals being deported from the U.S., The Washington Post reports.

Gee.  Do you think El Salvador actually supported these folks initially leaving and not coming back?
The Mariel Boat Lift comes to mind…

Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

(So much for the magical ‘this won’t hurt management or the owners’ argument regarding State Socialism – Guffaw)

A ‘shocking’ discovery was made when a pair of researchers at Harvard Business School decided to analyze the impact of higher minimum wages in San Francisco on restaurant failures…hint:  they went up.

Entitled “Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit“, this latest study on the devastating consequences of minimum wage was conducted by Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca and concluded that each $1 increase in the minimum wage results in a roughly 4-10% increase in the likelihood of a restaurant going out of business.

In this paper, we investigate the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area. We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit.

This paper presents several new findings. First, we provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit, although statistical significance falls with the inclusion of time-varying county-level characteristics and city-specific time trends. This is qualitatively consistent but smaller than what Aaronson et al. (forthcoming) find; they show that a 10 percent raise in the minimum wage increases firm exit by approximately 24 percent from a base of 5.7 percent. Differences in sample and specifications may account for the differences between our study and theirs.  (from ZeroHedge, in part)

link to the whole article and graphs

…And while we enjoy the affirmation of a conclusion that we’ve presented multiple times from such a reputable organization as Harvard, one which pretty much anyone could deduce with the application of just a moderate amount of common sense, for some reason the following scene from “Good Will Hunting’ comes to mind.

“You dropped $150,000 on a fucking education you could’ve got for a $1.50 of late charges at the public library.”

h/t Facebook

The “Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act” Has Been Proposed!

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the

(from NRA-ILA)

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the “Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act.”This bill would remove ATF’s authority to use the “sporting purposes” clauses in federal law in ways that could undermine the core purpose of the Second Amendment. Under Chairman Bishop’s legislation, all lawful purposes – including self-defense – would have to be given due consideration and respect in the administration of federal firearms law.

While the NRA’s announcement above is poorly written, the message is clear.  WE (gun civil rights advocates) are becoming the vanguard.

Sporting purpose never had a place in the Second Amendment.  Period.  Nice we are on the right side, for once.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…