An idea…

So, based on my last post, I’m thinking of trying to start a project. I’d start out on Facebook to see if there is any traction for my idea and then see where it goes.

The Political Primary Challenge

The rules are simple and goal even simpler. Lets use the political process against our ruling political class and send a message that can’t be ignored or forgotten in our generation. There are two ways to go about the challenge.

1.) Easy Mode:

During the next Primary Election, get the ballot for what ever political party you normally lean toward and for every office on the ballot specifically vote for someone other than the current incumbent.

2.) Expert Mode:

For those that can take the time to do a little research, during the next Primary Election, get the ballot for what ever political party you normally lean toward and for every office on the ballot try to vote for someone who meets the following criteria:
– For local or county elections, vote for someone who has not previously held any political office.
– For state elections, vote for someone who has not previously held any state level political office.
– For federal elections, vote for someone who has not previously held any state or federal level political offices BUT is likely qualified to manage federal affairs given a substantial background in business or other administrative positions.
– If all else fails, vote for someone other than the current incumbent.

By voting this way during the primary election, we can craft a more unique and diverse general election guaranteed, so much as is possible, to be void of incumbent politicians who are or may be corrupt but the current political process. However, do not deceive yourselves, this campaign is not without its own problems. There is a risk that many offices could be filled by people who are blatantly incompetent and unqualified for the positions they hold. In addition, if we were even 50% successful with the U.S. Congress, we would throw the entire legislative process into complete turmoil especially if we hit the real goal of getting rid the entrenched political leadership (i.e. Boehner, Pelosi, etc). For me, I believe our government has stopped working for us and causing the legislature and even the government in general to stop functioning is a good thing.

Thoughts? Tweaks? Am I nuts?

Archangel / July 26, 2013 / Political / 0 Comments

I’m so out of my mind angry

The government wants access to private SSL keys.

For those of you who aren’t technical, please allow me to explain what this means. SSL and TLS are the basis for nearly all secured internet communications. Log into your bank? You used SSL. Buy a sexy toy from You used SSL. Log into Facebook to change your password? You used SSL. Rent a book online from your local library? You used SSL. Hell… google secures their searches with SSL. You can default all your Facebook, twitter, MySpace and virtually every other popular social network or experience with SSL. SSL hides your information from prying eyes. It keeps people who can see your traffic from being able to understand it.

With the private SSL certificate signing keys, the NSA/U.S. Government can do a couple things:
1.) If they have a system in place to intercept your traffic… something called PRISM perhaps… they wouldn’t need the cooperation of any corporation, their network or their server administrators to get, log, and monitor your information and traffic. They’d just need a data center, say in Utah, that has the computing power to analyze the traffic and trap and store salient information. For what its worth… they could also trap every password change ever made for what ever purpose they want.
2.) Since SSL is based on key signing authorities and public key cryptography, if the government gets access to the private key of an issuing authority (aka Root authorities/certificates), they could easily generate their own keys and completely impersonate a company or operate as a man in the middle. This is particularly important because if they have access to someone who signed the certificates for a company that refused to give the NSA access… they just need to impersonate the certificates and voila!

Mind you… I’m not using hyperbole. I used to do certificate authentication for IKE tunnels for IPSec VPN and tunnel encryption and authorization for SSL VPN for a living and some of these things were part of my test cases.

GET ANGRY. I’m normally happy enough that someone cares enough to click like on Facebook… but that simply not good enough now. The government wants every post, every purchase, every IM, every email, everything you do to be private between you, the person you sent it to, and them! AYFKM! GET ANGRY! DO SOMETHING! Post your own anger. Tell your other friends and everyone you know that apathy is not an option. The government can find something wrong with every person in this country. They’ve made an impossible web of contradictory laws and regulations and you are guaranteed to have done something illegal! GET ANGRY!


I completely forgot the reason I wanted to post here instead of Facebook.

I’m thinking now is the time to begin an actual campaign to vote against and replace every incumbent, period. I don’t care if we’re replacing Republicans with Democrats or Libertarians with Socialists. I vehemently believe its time that we inform our legislature and executives, in the most obvious and painful way that we peacefully can, that the government works for us. Works on our whim and that our rights are not a negotiating point or a campaign strategy.

Anyone out there willing to try this? Anyone willing to figure out what it takes to change the government? To put your money into a cause and push blindly until you’re done?

Archangel / July 25, 2013 / Personal, Political / 0 Comments

Fool me how many times? I lost count.

I’ve really been trying to stay away from politics lately. It seems to be as good for my friendships as it is for my digestive system… but I am absolutely furious today.

First, the American people have been lied to, cheated and stolen from and we’re apparently ok with it. Nearly 2 years ago, we had a budget battle play out over raising the debt limit. The Republicans demanded massive spending cuts, things they knew they couldn’t get, all for the apparent purpose of grand standing. As useless as the argument was, the office of the president, specifically Jack Lew, recommended an even more useless compromise. Raise the debt limit immediately, put off cuts for a year while a commission studies the problem and then fails to make any recommendations and if no solution can be found cut budgets willy-nilly (this has now become known as sequestration). Over the last two years we’ve had several budget battles and elections which have repeatedly pushed sequestration down the road (all the while both Republicans and Democrats have been claiming the $1.1B in “savings” over 10 years). Worse, pretty much every “compromise” completely eliminates sequestration (the only real “cuts” we’ve seen in 10 years)… and the Rs and Ds will still claim the cuts!?!?!?!? Now… we have Nacy Pelosi, Stenny Hoyer and even Obama himself gallivanting around blaming the compromise on the Republicans (say what now?) and no one is calling them on it? Really people? You may not want your Social Security or Medicare benefits cut, but could you at least give a damn that you’re being blatantly lied to?

Second, for all the people out there who are thinking (but not saying) that I’m a crazy gun nut conspiracy theorist who sees nothing but government corruption… vidication is mine! I am 100% positive at least 90% of those reading this just rolled their eyes (assuming you actually read the link)… however, let me remind you, we have to pass the bills to know whats in them, because reading the laws to understand their impact is apparently not necessary. You may not believe, like I do, that guns exist in our society to protect the other rights, but how the hell do you expect to get your rights back once we pass a few more laws without reading them that grossly infringe your rights while the government is slowly eroding your ability to do anything about it? Tyranny though incompetence is still tyranny.

I honestly can not describe how angry I am… I won’t sleep tonight.

Archangel / February 17, 2013 / Political / 2 Comments

I swear I’m not a conspiracy theorist… at least I don’t think I am.

Dianne Feinstein intends to retroactively turn me into a criminal. I won’t detail what weapons I have the would fall under this new ban, but I will say every weapon that I own and intend to own is covered by this law. That isn’t particularly difficult since most pistols sold typically come with 12-17 round magazines today and many with some sort of accessory rail for a light/laser attachment. Most semi-automatic rifles come with collapsible stocks, “pistol grips” and 20 round minimum magazines. This law intends make me register every weapon I have under the NFA in a manner that is more invasive than what most states require from sex offenders (includes finger printing, duplicate photo IDs that are regularly updated and asking PERMISSION from local LEO and federal agencies when I move or take a weapon across state lines — which requires an approval form which at present takes ~4 months to process). As a gun owner who has never committed a violent crime, never threatened a person with a violent crime, and never committed a crime worse than a class E misdemeanor… I’m somehow more dangerous than a God damned SEX OFFENDER?! I can be treated worse than people who have rapped children even though I’ve never even shown an proclivity toward serious crime? WHO THE HOLY HELL ARE YOU, DIANNE FEINSTEIN, TO LABEL ME A PARIAH WORSE THAN THE FILTH THAT STALKS OUR CHILDREN AND RUINS THEIR LIVES FOR SICK, DEMENTED PLEASURE AND PREVENT ME FROM PROTECTING MY CHILDREN AT THE SAME TIME? I apologize to my friends and family who find this language abhorrent… but fuck you Dianne… This law violates my 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights and I intend to fight you.

Conspiracy theories abound… the most popular being that this is just a stepping stone. Indeed, it is a tried and true tactic used by civilized societies since the beginning of recorded history. Force an incremental change that may not drastically affect a huge number of people, and once enough people become complacent implement the full and unabridged version of your policies when no one can stop you. Chip away at some gun rights today and take away all the guns tomorrow. I can’t say this interpretation is completely invalid either, actually it seems to be a completely reasonable interpretation. Why else would this bill require most firearms in the U.S. to now be registered with multiple law enforcement agencies if not to make a list of weapons to confiscate later? Why create a massive bureaucratic nightmare for gun owners with multiple new felonies if not to turn them all into criminals overnight? The big question… if they intend to take our guns away from us in the short or long term… what comes after that? Once the American population is completely defenseless from a government with massive stock piles of guns and munitions, what can we expect?

To be honest… I don’t necessarily think the above is the immediate goal. I believe that Feinstein is coming from the most radical position she could find so that she had lots of fodder to give up when negotiations on the bill starts. The goal being that the turd bill they end up with seems acceptable given the horrific position she’s starting from. My problem is that she shouldn’t be starting from a position that violates multiple civil rights and expect to negotiate down from that. To me, that’s negotiating in bad faith an no one should give her the time of day. Either way, I sincerely hope we can defeat this measure in its entirety.

Now, some videos for your enjoyment… or disgust.

Archangel / December 31, 2012 / Political / 2 Comments

Gun control?

If you don’t live life in a deep dark hole and have some sort of moral compass, you have probably been thinking a lot about gun control lately. Rightly so. Not long ago, I asked a few questions to try to get some interesting discussion out of my friends (sadly, few replied — I wonder if that means I’m really just talking to myself here?), and now I’d like to have a new discussion. This time on solutions and what I honestly think will have a meaningful effect in society.

First, an apology to a my friends on Facebook. While no one said anything to me directly, I think I was indirectly accused of being a right wing, gun loving nut because of some of the pictures I shared. I assure you, I was not intending to give that view or be insensitive to the larger discussion society is beginning to have.

Before I go into the things I think we should do as a society, let me give the basis for my opinions:

  • The second amendment was NOT written to allow for self defense or hunting. Anyone who tries to tell me that an “assault rifle” isn’t necessary for hunting is either ignorant to the purpose of guns in our society or simply providing a strawman to provide a fear based reasoning. The 2nd Amendment was designed to keep the government in fear of the people and provide the populous the means to throw off their government should it cease to represent the people, their interests or the Constitution itself. Those who argue that the mentioning of a militia means the right to bear arms is kept by the government are still ignorant of the 2nd Amendment. At the writing of Constitution, the colonies had already formed a Continental Army under the control of a provisional government and if they had meant the army they would have said so. The amendment was written to allow private citizens to form and supply a private militia should one be required. I know its too much to ask, but I firmly believe that every discussion about gun rights and control MUST start with this understanding.
  • As a small aside… for those of you who think the Constitution is outdated and the 2nd Amendment no longer applies, the proper way to get rid of it is through the amendment process as we’ve done 17 times after the bill of rights. We should not simply choose to ignore our founding document which we’ve for 2 centuries held as the basis of our government’s power… if we allow anyone to simply ignore one part of the Constitution because its popular to do so today… just imagine the power we give to a government who stops caring about popular opinion.
  • As a matter of policy, most of the extreme crime that has made national news would not have been prevented by the former Assault Weapons Ban and in several cases the only law that might have prevented the crimes at all is a total ban on all weapons (or maybe semi-autos).
  • While we’re not really moving in the direction of a total ban, or even a ban on semi-autos, I think it important to note, at least for myself, that such bans (even if the government tried to go around and collect everyone’s guns) would at best only take the guns from people who are willing enough to give them up as to not hide them or otherwise make them unavailable for the government to take. In other words… we’ll likely only be taking the guns from the “good guys” therefore making an increase in gun violence after gun bans a self fulfilling prophecy.
  • I also think it is extremely important to note that across the country there are thousands of reports of crimes that were prevented or lessened by private citizens owning guns. Obviously, a very small minority of those incidents would have resulted in one or more persons’ deaths and I realize the number of lives actually saved is impossible to quantify, however, we must also recognize that placing absurdly strict gun laws into effect will reduce the number of incidents where a “good guy” used a gun to stop a “bad guy” and the number of deaths by violent crime will very likely go up.
  • As a concealed carry permit holder, I would like to point out that the number of gun deaths and violent crimes perpetrated by a licensed or permitted person is so low that it doesn’t even warrant a mention in the FBI violent crime reports despite the fact that the FBI does keep track of the permit status of criminals.
  • Finally, heavy and excessive gun controls have not caused overall violent crime to go down. For national examples we can look at Washington D.C., Chicago, and L.A. which saw and/or continue to see some of the highest crime rates and gun violence rates of anywhere in the world while the controls were/are in effect. For worldly examples we can look at Great Britain and Australia who saw spikes in gun violence after their laws were passed and have continued to see elevated violent crime rates ever since (I realize by comparison the U.S. has a dramatically higher rate of gun deaths than these countries as well, but it would take an entire dissertation to explain the differences between the U.S. and G.B./Aus and the answer isn’t simply gun control). For an extreme example, we can look at Mexico which I believe requires no explanation (and please don’t tell me that Mexico is different because it has drug cartels… the same cartels are operating just over our southern border and are slowly taking hold in many of our border cities).

I realize all of the above are things many of you have heard or read before. Some of you probably read them and can say “yeah but…” to every single one. [Because of these things, I’ve personally been accused of contributing to the deaths at the school in CT.] I’d love to hear counter points to everything above… just don’t give me emotional or accusatory drivel.

Now, for the reason I’m typing this morning. What would I do?

  • Close the background check loopholes: No one should be able to go to a gun show to avoid background checks and walk away with a small arsenal.
  • Create a national standard for background checking that includes proper criminal and mental health checks. Then, prevent any person who is not permitted in a state meeting these minimum requirements from carrying concealed or transporting a loaded weapon across state lines. The only purpose of this would be to provide incentive for every state to create a permitting process and would never actually prevent crime, but is a good step to making sure people have to go through proper checks to carry a weapon legally.
  • Safe storage requirements: If everyone in a home can legally own a weapon, then a locked door to the home is sufficient. However, if any person in a home can not legally own a weapon (i.e. felon, mentally ill, children under the age of 21, etc), then any and all firearms in the home should be required to be stored in a manner that prevents unlawful persons from gaining use of the firearms when the firearms are not in use by or in the possession of a person who can legally own said firearms. If the logistics are too hard for you or your family to handle… then you don’t get to have guns
  • Make gun laws for those who are legally permitted to carry concealed make sense. Remove all “gun free zones” from law for permit holders whose permits meet minimum standards for background checks and shooting proficiency. If we want to create a federal carry permit/license issued by the ATF for this purpose, bring it on, but lets stop creating public areas where people can not defend themselves from the guns the government can’t take away (even if they gave themselves the power to do so). [Note: a provision for allowing non-publicly accessible private land/facilities (i.e. a private residence or membership club) to post a no-guns sign would be acceptable, but limiting in a mall/theater/etc is just stupid.]

I do, very much, hope all my friends out there comment and contribute to this discussion. I know we’re not going to change anything ourselves, but it is most definitely worth it to share our thoughts and ideas.

Archangel / December 26, 2012 / Personal, Political / 8 Comments

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