Two more tweaks to the blog

First, I added an analytics tool.  This is not a third party tool that is going to send your data elsewhere, it is a WP plugin that stores data locally.  There are two new non-essential cookies used by the tool.  Feel free to check out the cookie policy and privacy policy pages for more info.

The second thing I added, is something I’d like some feedback on.

It occurred to me that I tend to use a lot of acronyms and gunny terms that visitors who aren’t experienced gun owners might not be familiar with.  I don’t want to “dumb down” (no offense intended) my posts, so I installed a “glossary” plugin that highlights terms and when you hover over the term, provides a tooltip with a definition.

I’ve only defined a couple of terms so far and before I spend a lot of time setting up terms and writing out definitions, I’d like some feedback.  Is this function obnoxious, or useful?  If it’s obnoxious, I’ll get rid of it.  I really don’t think I get that many non-gunnies on this blog anyway.

My last post has a couple of examples so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Ammo Search Tool

In case anyone’s been living in a cave to wait out the demopocalypse, here’s some news: There’s an ammo shortage right now.

As a long time gun owner who’s been through this before, and a reloader to boot, I’m OK on ammo for every gun I had before the shortage began. I don’t have “enough”. I’m not sure there is an “enough”, but I can get by…with one exception:

Back in, oh, mid 2019, I stumbled across a deal on a 6.8spc BCG that I couldn’t pass up. I’ve wanted a rifle in 6.8spc for a while now. Since then I’ve been collecting parts here and there until finally, about November of last year I got it finished…and of course couldn’t find anything to feed it.

I found bullets. I found suitable powder. I have primers (good thing because those are made of unobtanium right now). But I can’t seem to find brass anywhere. I’ve got some on backorder.

So, every now and again, I go online just to see if I can find anything, anything at all, that I can feed the beast.

About a week ago I stumbled across this site:

Ammobuy.com

I’ve found a few of these aggregators or search sites before, but they’ve always been a bust. Click on the links and find that the seller is out of stock, but this one seems to actually work as advertised. I’ve found a few links that led to out of stock messages, but I’d expect that occasionally considering how fast ammo is flying off the shelves right now…and the vast majority of the links on the site have been accurate.

I’m not necessarily saying that the ammo you’ll find listed there will be cheap…or even reasonably priced based on “normal” demand…but if you’re desperate and “have” to get some ammo, the site will help you find it.

With this site, I was able to locate some VERY EXPENSIVE 6.8spc ammo. I ordered two boxes for way more than I should have, but at least I’ve got some ammo for test firing and I’ll have 40 pieces of brass to use for test loads and zeroing. Haven’t gotten it yet but UPS assures me it will be here in the next few days.

I just thought I’d spread the word about this well done site in case anyone else out there is looking for ammo during these trying times.

BTW: I am not receiving any compensation of any kind from this endorsement. I’m sure if you mentioned me or my blog to the proprietors of ammobuy.com, they’d say “who?”.

Adventures with SQL

I’m not much of a SQL expert…I’ve used SQL to run database queries a few times in my life, so I’m familiar with the process, but my knowledge of SQL could fill a thimble.

Every time I want to run a query, I have to look up the SQL reference to remember the proper formatting, keywords and syntax.

So, where am I going with this?

In an effort to clean up my blog a bit, I’ve been running various scans and evaluations on my content. The issue arose from the fact that I host all my images and videos locally, I don’t trust any of the big tech companies not to blackball me at some point, so I don’t use them. I’ve been doing that pretty much since I moved over from blogger many years ago.

The problem is that any of my old posts where I embedded an image or video from my own site, were referenced to the http: version rather than the https: version. That’s what was causing the warnings.

Well, I knew it would take freaking forever to go back and update 13 years worth of old posts, so I decided to do it the dangerous way. I logged directly into the WP database and ran a SQL query that replaced every instance of “http://sailorcurt.com” to “https://sailorcurt.com”.

I’m posting about it because I’m proud of myself for figuring it out, doing it correctly and not blowing my blog completely up. Of course, I backed up the database before I did it so I could restore if disaster struck, but I got it right the very first time and it worked perfectly. No more warnings about references to unsecure content.

It took me about 5 minutes to back up the database, about 10 minutes to remind myself of the SQL terms and syntax for the query I wanted to run and about 2 seconds for the query to actually execute.

Versus who knows how many hours it would have taken to fix it all manually.

Sometimes a little geek knowledge comes in handy.

Oh, and I fixed a couple of other minor little niggling things that had been bothering me too. If I get nothing else done all day (fat chance of that), I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment just for what I’ve done here.

Youtube Videos

Youtube is owned by Google (or, more accurately, by Alphabet, which is the parent company that also owns google).

Google is evil.

I recently ran a scan of my site and found out that there are several third party cookies being set as a result of posting embedded youtube videos. Sorry about that…didn’t think about it.

Personally I stopped using youtube very soon after they got bought by Google. My videos are all stored locally and when I embed them into a post, I use a locally served, open source engine to do it. No spying on you from my videos.

But many content creators still use youtube because they can monetize their videos there. I’ve never engaged in the fantasy that this was ever anything other than a hobby for me, so that’s not a concern of mine.

I hope that readers of my blog are conscious enough about that kind of thing to have cookies blocked, or at least third party cookies, but I still don’t like the idea that unsuspecting people are being tracked as a result of coming here…so…two things:

First, I’ll not be embedding youtube videos on my site any more. If it’s on Rumble, or Bitchute, or one of the other privacy minded video sites, I’ll consider it, but if it’s a youtube video, at most I’ll link to a site that’s already got it embedded. I’ll never link to youtube. They belong to Google and Google is evil.

I’d prefer it if everyone on the right would just stop using youtube and move to something else, but my opinion is only that, my opinion, and has very little chance of being heeded by the big internet fish when they can make money from their youtube videos…at least until they’re demonetized or flat deplatformed.

But I digress.

Secondly, in addition to no longer embedding youtube videos in my posts, I’ll be going back through old posts and removing the embedded youtube videos that are there. If I can, I’ll post a link to the related info, but a lot of it is old and outdated anyway, so I’ll just delete the embed code.

Hopefully at the end of all that, you will no longer be exposed to tracking cookies from my site even from something as ostensibly innocuous as an embedded video.

The upcoming war on “Domestic Terror”

Update: edited to fix a broken link down below.

Really should have seen this coming, but I have to admit it kind of surprised me.

The left (including politicians, the media and high profile pundits) cheered on rioters all summer long, even setting up funds and collecting money to bail them out of jail when they were arrested. I suppose it should have been clear what was going on when, in the few instances where people felt the need to defend themselves against the rioters, they were vilified and usually charged with crimes.

Apparently, we’re just supposed to be willing to let them invade our property, destroy our livelihoods and burn down our cities because “oppression” or something.

So, after telling us all summer long that rioting and looting and burning is free speech, is it any surprise that, after having an election blatantly and in plain sight stolen, that a few people on the right reacted in a similar (although extremely small scale and subdued) manner? Especially considering that there’s solid evidence that agitators on the left planned and coordinated the “assault” on the capital in order to get exactly the result they got.

So, some people on the right…a very small percentage of a huge crowd that gathered to peacefully support Trump and protest the stolen election…stirred up and encouraged by the left, broke into the capital building and…what? Turned over a table. Took a bunch of selfies. Sat behind the desks of some self-important blowhards. Stole a few “souvenirs”.

Yes, one cop was killed from a head injury and that’s terrible. I’m still waiting for the news that the dude who beat him with a fire extinguisher was one of the leftist agitators. Another protester was shot by an overly jumpy security guard or federal agent when she tried to climb through a window. But compared to the mayhem we’ve been seeing on the news all summer long from people pissed off that a common criminal died of a drug overdose while in custody after being arrested for passing counterfeit money and then resisting arrest…that was nothing.

But the left never lets a crisis go to waste, so despite the fact that the capital building wasn’t burned down, or even damaged to any real extent. Despite the fact that it was only a tiny percentage of the crowd involved and despite the fact that there were leftists agitators leading the charge – ALL people on the right, whether they were even in DC that day or not, are suspects.

So, we obviously need a new war on terror, but this time directed inward, instead of outward.

Make no mistake. This is exactly what they wanted. This may have been part of the plan all along, or at least a hope that they had…that they could finally piss us off enough to get some sort of rise out of the right. Because they were looking for an excuse. This is not going to be a war on domestic terrorism, this is going to be a war on dissent.

It’s part and parcel of the movement to “cancel” the ability of the right to speak out, to raise objections, to protest. They’re shutting us out of the public square, not because our speech is dangerous to freedom, or liberty, or to our American ideal, but because our speech is dangerous to their power.

And this “war on domestic terrorism” is nothing more than a further extension of the effort to eradicate the right as a cohesive political force in this country. You think this is going to be about rooting out the crazy people who are in danger of shooting up malls? No, in fact, they’d welcome a few incidents like that because it would fuel their fire. No, this isn’t about “terrorism” this is about dissent. That’s what they’re waging war on.

Just popped into my head: I suppose that’s why they’ve been pushing so hard to get violent criminals released from prisons and refusing to prosecute crimes and such…they’ve got to make room for the wave of political prisoners that is coming.

Comment to Clayton Cramer

This is in response to Clayton Cramer’s blog post

The comments on this article over at Volokh Conspiracy demonstrate that we are past any realistic civility…There will be a divorce soon, and I doubt it will be amicable.

I was going to leave this as a comment but his blog is hosted (at least until he’s deplatformed) at blogspot…a google owned entity…and a google account is required to comment. I avoid google like the plague so I wasn’t able to comment there.

Maybe he’ll get a trackback from this and see it here…I don’t know:

I realized that over Thanksgiving. Had dinner with my son and his wife. They were both raised in Christian conservative households but then both families committed child abuse by allowing our kids to attend public Universities. Yes, there are things in life that I regret.

They both graduated not with an education, but with a re-education.

At any rate, after T-day dinner, the discussion turned towards politics. The scary thing is that we can look at the exact same set of circumstances and come to completely different conclusions. I believe I exclaimed at one point “we live in two completely different realities”.

Many of their claims and charges were directly from left wing media talking points: Trump praised NAZIs at Charlottesville. Biden’s obvious mental decline is just a manifestation of speech impediment he had as a child. Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian disinformation operation. Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating Biden. Biden’s brag about successfully pressuring Ukraine into not investigating his son’s company was taken all out of context etc etc etc.

They professed to be “open to other viewpoints” so I pointed them to several right leaning news outlets and have been relentlessly sending my son links to articles and posts undermining the position of the left, but so far their faith in the left has been unshakable so far.

Religions are like that.

Naw, we’re screwed as a nation. But I don’t think there will be a “divorce” as you call it. Too many Americans are too comfortable to give up their big screen TVs and on demand streaming of never ending reruns of Survivor and The Bachelor.

There will be pockets of resistance. They’ll be wiped out; the cry from the left to crack down on “Domestic Terrorists” will increase and since “deplatforming” will never be enough, “hate crimes” laws will be passed to criminalize criticism of the left. America will begin to look more and more like a totalitarian regime. It’s already started, it doesn’t take much imagination to see it continuing.

As more people who would be willing and able to fight are killed or incarcerated, the will of the remainder will continue to diminish and the inability to communicate effectively will prevent any kind of organization.

So, there will be no divorce. Just the typical battered wife living with the abuse because she’s both terrified of the violence that will be unleashed should she try to escape, and also terrified that she won’t be able to maintain the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed should she succeed.

If Mr. Cramer happens to come here, an explanation: I actually just added him to my blogroll yesterday. I know I used to read his stuff regularly and couldn’t remember why he wasn’t on the blogroll. Now I remember why. Google is evil and hates us. My blog used to be hosted by blogspot, but as soon as Google purchased it years ago, I purchased hosted webspace and a domain name and brought my blog over here. I removed Mr. Cramer’s blog from my blogroll specifically because he only allows comments by people with Google accounts. I don’t use Google so I can’t comment there and I don’t blogroll blogs that don’t allow me to comment so…there you go.

I guess I’ll be removing his blog from my blogroll again which is a shame because he really does share some good insights.

Mr. Cramer, if you ever take off the training wheels and get off blogspot, or alternatively open up comments to people who don’t have Google accounts, feel free to let me know. You can leave a comment here, or use the contact link in the menu to send me an email. I’d love to put you back on my blogroll.

Conscientious Car Thief?

I have to say that I agree with the car thief:

Crystal Leary told them she had gone into the store to quickly grab a couple of items and left her 4-year-old son in the car with the engine running.

While she was inside, a man got into the car and drove off with the boy inside.

Leary says the suspect then drove back to the store and yelled at her, threatening to call the police because she left her son in the car. He ordered her to get the boy out of the car then drove off again.

It’s stupid enough to leave your car unlocked. Even more stupid to leave the keys in the ignition with or without the engine running…but if that turns out badly, you’re just losing property.

To do that with your kid in the back is flat out child neglect. And I’d bet this wasn’t anywhere near the first time either. The odds of her leaving the kid in the car with the engine running for the first time ever coinciding with the relatively rare event of having the car stolen is astronomical.

Maybe the thief should have taken the kid to the nearest child protective services office rather than give him back to the mom…”here, I found this in the back seat of an abandoned car…”

Hallmarks of a Democratic Republic?

I’m just wondering: does this seem to anyone to be the kind of attitude you’d expect from a government who truly believes that they are in power by consent of the governed?

The bill – H.R.339 – seeks to “direct the Architect of the Capitol to design and install an appropriate fence around the perimeter of the United States Capitol, including the East Front and the West Front.”

Seems more to me like the actions of a totalitarian government who is trying to exert control over people whom they are deathly afraid may not cooperate or take kindly to being “ruled”.

Just sayin’

Is Signal a false flag?

Over the past few days, I’ve seen several columns, articles and comments claiming that the Signal secure SMS system is run by the CIA or a CIA spinoff and/or is owned by Twitter.

Disclaimer: I’m just a layperson and this is based on the limited time I’ve had to research things and my own common sense. I could easily be wrong. I’m just providing you with information so that you can make a more informed decision. Personally, I’m not worried about Signal.

This apparently stems from This Article by a journalist named Yasha Levine.

It’s basically a bunch of “connect the dots” conspiracy theories that rely on innuendo rather than evidence.

First, is Signal owned by Twitter? No, that’s the easy one. That one isn’t a claim made by Levine, but I believe it’s based on a misunderstanding about one of the points he raises in his article.

The Signal Encryption Protocol (upon which the Signal App’s end to end encryption is based) was invented a guy named Moxie Marlinspike. Moxie Marlinspike was one of the founders of a company called “Whisper Systems” that was acquired by Twitter in 2011. It is possible that some precursor encryption protocol was acquired by Twitter in the sale, but the Signal Encryption Protocol didn’t exist at the time of the sale. Moxie Marlinspike started a new, nonprofit called “Open Whisper Systems” in 2013 and that’s where the Signal Encryption Protocol was developed. Twitter had and has nothing to do with it.

Secondly, the “Signal is a CIA false flag” charge.

Again, the Signal Protocol was developed by Moxie Marlinspike in 2013. It was at that time called “TextSecure” and was incorporated into an open source messaging app by the same name. The name was changed to the Signal Protocol in 2016 and the Signal App was born.

Before I delve into the “evidence” against Signal, I want to talk about my impressions about Mr. Levine.

I’m the first to decry the use of ad-hominems in an argument because if the information provided is true, it doesn’t matter where it came from, but in a case like this where the information is based more on innuendo and “analysis” than facts, it is important to get a feeling for the possible motivations of the person providing the analysis.

A little searching on the internet reveals that Yasha Levine is an immigrant from the USSR. On it’s face, that’s no big deal…in fact it could be a positive, but I don’t think it is. The first thing that caught my attention is the titles of a few of his pieces including A Journey Through California’s Oligarch Valley and The Koch Brothers: A Short History.

The next thing I noted was the publications he has written for. The list is a who’s who of leftist pablum: Wired, The Nation, Slate, TIME, The New York Observer, etc.

Finally, I find that he’s one of the co-founders of the “S.H.A.M.E project”, which is nothing more than an exercise in maligning prominent right leaning journalists and commentators by prodigious use of out of context or misleading quotes and information, or just good old fashioned guilt by association.

So, Levine is a refugee from an oppressive Socialist regime, but apparently his takeaway was to hate “oligarchs” rather than Socialism itself. I can’t say I blame him for disliking Oligarchs considering the fact that in the USSR, Oligarchs attained their wealth and power primarily through corruption, political connections and ruthless abuse of power – but failing to consider the role that the form of government itself had in enabling this behavior is a fatal flaw in my opinion.

At any rate, Levin is a dedicated leftist. So, what possible motivation could he have for maligning a communication avenue that is becoming increasingly popular on the right?

Hm…quite the mystery.

So…what about his claim about Signal?

Apparently, he bases his entire premise that Signal is a false flag for the CIA on three paragraphs from this article in the Wall Street Journal.

Around that time, the State Department was looking to use technology to support pro-democracy movements overseas. Mr. Marlinspike’s work caught the attention of Ian Schuler, manager of the department’s Internet freedom programs. Encrypted messaging was viewed as a way for dissidents to get around repressive regimes.

With help from Mr. Schuler, Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund, which is funded by the government and has a relationship with the State Department, granted Mr. Marlinspike more than $1.3 million between 2013 and 2014, according to the fund’s website.

Mr. Marlinspike was hardly a conventional Washington player. He and a government official missed meeting one another at a San Francisco burrito joint because the visitor assumed the dreadlocked Mr. Marlinspike couldn’t be the person he was there to see, Messrs. Schuler and Marlinspike said.

The fact that the State Department liked his work and he received a grant from a government sponsored fund is firm evidence that the Signal Protocol is compromised?

More of that patented innuendo and out of context information that Mr. Levin is so fond of.

What about counter evidence? Well, there’s the fact that there have been several analysis and reviews of Textsecure an Signal over the years, none of which have found any major issues with the encryption protocol or have indicated that it may be compromised in any way. These are not the contributions of a “journalist” with an axe to grind against the right, but analysis of cybersecurity experts from such organizations as The University of Waterloo, The University of Bonn, Stanford University, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, The University of Applied Sciences Austria…

I could go on but I think you get the drift.

Personally, I’d rather rely on crypto security experts more than a leftist journalist who relies on innuendo and vague conspiracy theories.

But that’s just me, what do I know?

Et Tu, TN?

Well crap.

Tennessee has been at the top of my shortlist for states to which to flee when Virginia gets too communist to abide…a state which is rapidly approaching.

But then I read this:

“I’m seeing a lot of people from California move [to Tennessee] because they’re attracted to our lifestyle,” Jeff Porter, U-Haul Company of Nashville president said in a release. Tennessee also has no income tax, plenty of jobs and is business-friendly, Porter said.

That is the death knell for any freedom loving state. That’s what happened to Virginia but from evacuees from the northeast rather than California.

That’s why Texas isn’t on my list…the government is working way too hard to get fleeing California businesses to relocate there and with relocating California businesses come relocating California liberals.

You see, leftism is not as much a political ideology as it is a religion. As with any religion, to its adherents, belief is an act of faith, not “proof” or “evidence” or “logic”.

So, in honor of their religion, Californians agitate for high taxes and unfettered migration, and lax enforcement of criminal laws, and strict regulation of every aspect of their lives, but then can’t figure out why their job went away, the median home price is more than they can ever expect to earn in their lifetime, gas is four times more expensive than right across the boarder in Nevada and more of their paychecks go to taxes than to their bank accounts.

So they flee.

And when they get to their new home of low taxes, minimum regulation, and low cost of living they immediately start agitating to turn their refuge into a mirror image of what they just fled.

Why?

Because it’s a religion. It can’t be wrong.

Look, I’m not a spring chicken. I’ve got maybe another 30 years in me max. I just need a place I can go where people (and the government) will just leave me the heck alone until I have the chance to die in peace. If they want to turn it into a communist hell-hole after I’m dead and gone…not my problem. I did my part to defend the Constitution and our way of life, if the rest of the country wants to give that away without a fight, there’s not much I can do about it all by myself.

So…South Dakota?
Wyoming?
Idaho?

How about Mississippi? It’s warmer there.