More Than Meets The Eye

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My new Emissary from Geek Chic arrived today. I put down my deposit last September, I think.



It has taken me a few days to decide whether to write this entry. I read TJIC’s original post the day he posted it and I thought it was in very poor taste. When I got the news that his Massachusetts gun permit was suspended, I still could not defend what he said. I’ve asked myself a number of times over the last few days: do I want to associate myself with speech with which I disagree? I decided that it doesn’t matter if I agree with TJIC because ultimately I still believe:

  1. TJIC had the right to say what he said.
  2. TJIC’s constitutional rights have been violated by the Arlington Police Department and the State of Massachusetts.

For those reasons, I am TJIC.

(Image credit: Borepatch)

I’ve been trying to explain the second point on the xkcd forums for the last few days. The thrust of it is the same thing Borepatch (and everyone else) has been saying; basically, that if he hasn’t even been charged with a crime then due process for denying an individual his constitutionally protected rights has not been served. As I wrote there:

Would you be cool with it if all the government had to do to limit your freedom of speech was suspend a license? A license they don’t even have to grant you in the first place, the issuance of which is entirely up to the policies of your local chief of police or sheriff? Maybe it’ll be a graduated license. It’ll be easy to get one if all you want to do is talk about sports, but if you want to talk about politics or religion you need to get a Class A License to Offend, for which you need to show cause and take an anger management class. And even then you can’t use hate speech or any words that aren’t on the Massachusetts Approved Diction Roster. You can get one without trouble in the suburbs, but in Boston you had better be a professional journalist or, well, I guess you won’t be talking about politics because the Chief of Police there is a hardass who thinks only the Right People need the freedom of speech. If you get caught spouting off about the Governor without a license that’s a felony. Does that sound like an individual right with constitutional protection to you?

I fail to see how TJIC’s First, Second, and Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by confiscating his property without due process. I hope that something good can come of this, namely that we can get a judgment against the Arlington PD and the State of Massachusetts stating in no uncertain terms that their restrictions on constitutionally guaranteed rights are Not Okay. Perhaps a measure of freedom will be restored to its birthplace. I am cautiously optimistic, but I think it is more likely that the governmental bodies involved will try to sweep this incident under the rug as it enters the judicial system and settle the case without conceding anything.

An Open Letter to the Airlines


Hello Airlines,

I know you’re slow to move. That’s fine. I just thought you should know why you won’t be moving me anywhere for the foreseeable future.

I used to love flying. It’s one of the reasons I studied aerospace engineering in college. I’ve held a US Passport since I was six years old. I’ve flown hundreds of thousands of miles around the world. So know how much it saddens me to say that flying commercial airlines has become so unbearable that I will no longer be doing it if I can help it. Right now I’ve got trips to San Jose, Reno, Las Vegas, Boston, Seattle, and possible Pittsburgh planned for 2011. In light of recent events, none of those plans include you. The most recent act in the TSA’s security theater is the last straw for me. You’ll get my employer’s money when I have to travel for business, but you’ll not see a dime of my own salary.

I’ve been through airport security in London, Bern, and Geneva. I’ve been scanned in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. I’ve had my bags prodded in Delhi, Bombay, and Madras. But I have never been treated in Europe or Asia with the depth of contempt that I’ve experienced from TSA employees in airports in Texas, California, and my home state of Arizona. I realize that you have no direct control over the TSA, but you have the lobbying power to get the Federal Government to back off unless they intend to spend a few billion tax dollars to bail out your failing businesses (again). Until you make noises about alleviating your passengers’ frustrations with the fatally ineffectual TSA, I hope your aircraft remain empty and unprofitable.



That Time Of Year


Yeah, it’s a week late, but I wasn’t even going to post the song this year until I found this version. It’s twice as awesome because this video is also performed in American Sign Language. Warning: This video is NSFW (language only) in two languages simultaneously! I’m not even remotely fluent, but I have had to give presentations in ASL (with much coaching) and this just kicks over my giggle box.



Fuck ATM. Seriously, who the fuck uses that anymore?

Gov. Brewer Signs SB1108


Article in the local puppy trainer.

It’s official, now. Arizona will be the third state in the US to allow the carry of concealed weapons without a permit.

Yes We Can!


Effect gun rights reform through the legislative process! Here’s the latest from AZCDL.

SB 1108, the Constitutional Carry bill, passed the House Third Read on April 8th by a vote of 36-19 with 5 Representatives not voting.  This was the final vote for this bill in the Legislature.  We made history today, and none of this would have been possible without YOUR involvement.  To see the final vote tally for the bill, check here:
SB 1108 eliminates the prohibition and penalties for law-abiding adults who carry a concealed weapon without a permit.  The bill has been sent back to the Senate and from there will be transmitted to the Governor for her consideration.  A letter to the Governor, urging her to sign SB 1108, has been prepared and is waiting for you at AzCDL’s Action Center:

The Governor has 5 days (not counting Sunday) to make a determination on the fate of any bill sent to her desk.  She can sign it, let it pass without her signature, or veto it.  Any bill she does not veto will become law 90 days after “Sine Die,” the official adjournment of the Legislature. We encourage you to contact her and request that she sign this historic legislation, and ask your fellow freedom lovers to do so as well.

Stay tuned!  When critical legislation moves, we will notify you via these Alerts.

If you want to get legislative news as it happens, follow AzCDL on Twitter: .
AzCDL “tweets” from the Capitol with committee votes and breaking news as it happens.

You can also follow AzCDL on Facebook: .

AzCDL’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is also on Facebook: .

These alerts are a project of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), an all volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization.  Join today! .

AzCDL – Protecting Your Freedom .

Copyright © 2010 Arizona Citizens Defense League, Inc., all rights reserved.

You knew this was coming




In #GBC last night someone linked to Raytheon’s jobs page for their Polar Services. They have a job opening right now for a network engineer on contract. Among their qualifications they list the CCNP, CCIE, and RHCT certifications. I’ve got all of those, and all of their “must haves,” so I’m seriously considering applying for the job. How cool awesome would it be to live in Antarctica for a while? Even if I don’t get it, or don’t take it, it might be to my benefit for my employer to realize that I’m looking around, just to keep them on their toes.

Won’t Make NRACon This Year


I had been planning to be at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC this year. Unfortunately, due to a conflict with my work schedule, it looks like I’ll be sitting this one out. If the NRA Convention sticks with PA as its location for next year I will probably be there, as I have family in the area that keep begging me to visit them.

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