Posted by: reformedmusings | November 5, 2017

Another mass killing in a gun-free zone

I don’t understand it, but even free Texas prohibits carrying firearms in a church:

(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about the license holder’s person:
(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
Yep, today’s killing followed the usual pattern for gun-free zones. Providentially, one gun owner eventually showed up with his own rifle to stop the killing. Again, the “first responder” is an armed citizen, as is often the case. But imagine if several of the church members were armed. The cowardly killer would have turned and run, just like he did when finally challenged by an armed citizen.
Of course, the Democrats are calling for gun control. They should be repealing every existing gun-free, victim-rich zone so that the evil, deranged predators will face a hail of return fire when they attack. Arm up and be ready!
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Posted by: reformedmusings | September 5, 2017

Terrorist antifas unmasked and cheering for N. Korea

This is great! Independent Journal Review is publishing the mugshots of cowardly antifa terrorists who like to hide behind masks. You can see the wall of shame here. Looks like most of them live in their parents’ basement and the rest look like professional hoodlums. This is apparently the best that the communists can do. Be sure to do thorough web searches on names and criminal record checks before you hire anyone these days, as you might wind up employing these worthless clowns to your inevitable deficit.

As if that wasn’t enough, the antifa and other communist thugs are backing the dictatorship in North Korea over the U.S. This is my shocked face. Being uniformly ignorant, the communist terrorists have obviously not read Nothing to Envy. Ignorance is not only bliss, it carries signs advertising itself.

Of course, you won’t read any of this in the fake news outlets.

Posted by: reformedmusings | August 12, 2017

Lies opposing national concealed carry

The lefties are all up in arms over the fact that Congress has before it laws that allow Americans to do what the Constitution already says that they can do – keep and bear arms as they travel across the country. One stupid argument is that only police and the military should be able to carry arms. Well, back in 2012, the Illinois Tactical Blog did a great article compiling the data for police shootings vs. citizen shootings of criminals. Bottom line: depending on how you do the calculations, police are 11 times more likely to shoot an innocent individual than an armed civilian. We won’t even consider the hypocrisy of folks that hate the police are generally the same folks who say only police should have guns.

Let me be clear that I am pro-police, and the  police have a very tough job. They have to enter uncertain situations at great personal risk and make split-second decisions. That doesn’t excuse the murders innocents like Justine Damond or Philando Castile, but those are rare occurrences. The offending cops should be punished to the maximum extent of the law, but the do not represent law enforcement at large.

National concealed carry is a Constitutional right and should be recognized across the country. Imagine if you had to get a permit to speak in every state of the nation before you could espouse your views?

Posted by: reformedmusings | August 12, 2017

The big picture on anthropological global warming

Here’s an older set of graphs showing the long-term trends that show no real effect of man on the climate. Australia recently got caught with its hands in the cookie jar. As Fox Mulder used to say, the truth is out there. But first, we need to peel back the lies of governments and NGOs who have power and money invested in the lies of global warming.

Posted by: reformedmusings | August 5, 2017

Who Supports Black Gun Owners and Freedom From Subjugation?

The amazing Colion Noir answers the subject question in definitive style:

Yep, the liberals hate liberty and personal responsibility, and want to keep law abiding Blacks unarmed on the Democrat plantations. Democrats are so upset over President Trump trying to free folks from dependency under the Democrat thumb that:

democrat-slave-loss

Yeah, let’s not forget that the Democrats are political party of the Confederacy, Jim Crow, segregation, and the KKK. It was the party of Lincoln, the Republicans, that fought against all those abominations. This video is instructive:

Don’t be fooled by the Democrat switcheroo. They only want Black subjugation to keep their power bases on the Democrat plantations in the cities. All the Democrat lies come down to that core point. An armed Black populace could fight back in crime-ridden neighborhoods, could take a stand against government overreach, would not be dependent on the benevolence of the Democrats with other people’s money. Hence the 2nd Amendment. Hence the NRA to empower all, including Blacks. Know who your real friends are, not the false ones with their handouts to keep you on the plantations.

Posted by: reformedmusings | July 9, 2017

Identity politics, liberal lies, and racist gun control

My hero, Colin Noir, nails the democrat plantation owners for their lies and hypocrisy:

Oh, and he has great taste in pistols as well. The best of all worlds!

This is precious. Don’t forget, Nazism wasn’t a movement of the right, it was a movement of the far left. Nazi party was the National Socialist Party. The games start at 0:35 or so into the video. Watch and be utterly amazed…or maybe not.

If you look up “moron” in the dictionary, these people’s pictures would be there en mass as exemplars.

This is how it started in 1920’s Germany, and how it’s starting in 2017 America. Be ready when the real American fascists come for your business and/or family. Which makes the following video about these so-called anti-fascists of the left all the more relevant:

And don’t forget that the video sequences in the background of the NRA video are actual footage of the leftist fascist in action right here in America. Nor will we apologize to the violent fascists of the left:

Keep your powder dry, America.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 26, 2017

Obamacare lies and failures

20170620_HEA_obamacare_web_28

20170620_HEA_obamacare_web_40

OcareFact626

20170622_HEA_obamacare_twitter_collapse

And if that’s not bad enough:

20170620_HEA_obamacare_web_penalty_0.png

Quite the scam, eh? An OBYW, you cannot keep your doctor.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 26, 2017

Did God Actually Say Women Should Keep Silent in the Churches?

Here’s an excellent exegetical and historical analysis by my friend Billy Castro of 1 Corinthians 14. There’s some questionable analysis being tossed around the PCA in an attempt to support women leading in worship, including reading Scripture. Billy handles the subject extremely well.

Also of note is Billy’s relating the concept of “rereading Scripture.” In other words, reinterpreting Scripture in the light of current cultural trends. It’s not like that never happens. Despite the denials in elements of the PCA pushing for female leadership in worship, I believe that’s exactly what’s happening. Not sad…tragic.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 24, 2017

Lessons learned from the Philando Castile shooting

Here’s an excellent discussion on the Philando Castile shooting, as well as good advice for concealed carriers and police officers: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/the-philando-castile-…

Greg Ellifritz retired from a full law enforcement career and had been a weapons instructor for most of his LE time. He now teaches civilians and law enforcement. I’ve found that Active Response Training has usually provided excellent perspective which helps everyone.

I agree with Greg’s analysis. Mistakes were made by both men involved, but Mr. Castile did not deserve to die for his simple mistake. Former Officer Yanez made the worst mistake in panicking and shooting wildly into Mr. Castile. Had Yanez not been so close when he shot, I suspect that the girl in the backseat would have been hit as well if not the passenger as well. I’m pro-law enforcement, but Yanez should never have been accepted to be a police officer. As a military veteran I can testify that panic only gets yourself, your team members, or innocent people killed – maybe all three.

For legally armed civilians, the lesson for me here is simple – don’t offer information that’s not required or answer any questions that you aren’t asked. Most states don’t require one to inform law enforcement that one is legally carrying. If that’s your state, I highly recommend keeping your carry status to yourself. Minnesota doesn’t require notification, so if Mr. Castile didn’t say anything about his legal firearm, he’d probably be alive today. You never know the experience or mindset of the officer that stops you, and you want to go home alive, too.

If your state requires notification on LE contact, then follow Greg’s advice. Mas Ayoob has an excellent video on such interactions if notification is required:

As Greg Ellifritz says, when in any doubt, keep your hands on the steering wheel until achieving clarity as courteously as humanly possible. If moving or reaching when uncertainty occurs, stop immediately and slowly but deliberately put your hands on the wheel.

Sadly, Mr. Castile isn’t the first innocent concealed carrier of any race to be killed by police while trying to obey conflicting orders, and likely won’t be the last. Stay courteous and default to hands on the steering wheel until you have crystal clarity about what the officer wants you to do.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 8, 2017

Solar activity low and going lower

We already have seen that none of the doomsday predictions of the social justice climate warriors has come true going back all the way to the 1970’s. The reason is simple – the sun dominates and decides the earth’s climate, not liberal imitation scientists, Al Gore-style liars, etc.

That said, there’s mounting evidence that solar activity is steadily decreasing over recent solar cycles. David Archibald relates key data and trends over on What’s Up With That. It’s a bit technical but even folks without a physics background can see where the data points. The earth will likely enter a cooler climate period until the solar activity picks back up. These are normal 7-year solar cycle fluctuations, but it looks dramatic because we only have data going back about the ’60s for decent solar energy measurements.

So, the global warming morons will be scrambling for funding as the earth cools, or, like the 70’s, they’ll just jump on the bandwagon blaming humans for the cooling. After all, there’s money to be made on both sides if you have no integrity. Just follow the bouncing Al Gore…

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 8, 2017

Kubuntu 17.04 on KDE Plasma Desktop 5.10

For anyone who cares, the Kubuntu 17.04 backport respository has KDE Plasma Desktop 5.10.1 available. It installed flawlessly on Kubuntu 17.04 and looks great. I’m still exploring the update, although you can see a summary here.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 8, 2017

If liberals were running the show in 1775

The illustration, courtesy of headlinepolitics, says it all:

paul-revere-vs-liberals

We’d still be colonists/subject of the British crown if Obama/Pelosi/Feinstein/Bloomberg crowds were in charge when it was time for real men to stand and fight. Remember why the British marched on Lexington and Concord – the redcoats were moving to confiscate the Americans’ firearms. That’s why we have a 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights, but it’s also a lesson that the libs never seem to learn.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 5, 2017

Anarchist fascist children

From the insightful folks at the Patriot Post, the truth behind the cowards with Trump Derangement Syndrome:

fascists-living-in-basements

And why to they wear masks?

covered-faces-grounded

The truth about cowardly adult children.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 5, 2017

The Lies of Anthropological Climate Change Over the Years

First off, there’s no such thing as settled science. Science by its very nature an inquiry, continuous investigation, a questioning of the status quo assumptions. So, to say that anything in science is settled is to deny the core of what science is.

Second, President Trump showed great leadership and courage in pulling us out of the disastrous Paris agreement. Obama sold the USA out to socialism on a global scale. President Trump rescued America from a slow economic death.

That said, here’s a recap of the lies being sold by the socialist so-called scientists over the last several decades:

climate-change-over-the-years

 

All lies. And it won’t end anytime soon. Models can show whatever outcome you want with the appropriate inputs as I’ve explained before. Don’t believe the lies.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 3, 2017

Greatest Beer Run Ever

This is an amazing true story from the Viet Nam War era. Great background story here. Awesome reunion and story video:

Nothing says you care like buying friends a beer. Or several. Half-way around the world. In a war zone. Truly amazing story of friendship.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 3, 2017

Minor Tweaks to Kubuntu 17.04

Two things annoyed me about Kubuntu vs. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. First was the stupid IM icon in the system tray. I couldn’t figure out how to eliminate it, even after uninstalling all the IM programs. It turns out that right-clicking on the system tray itself away from any icons brings up a context menu that allows you to select System Tray Settings. It’s not easy to find a region to right-click and access that dialog. It takes some trial and error, which is why it took me so long to find. Anyway, in the System Tray Settings, you can deselect icons that you don’t want to appear in the tray, including the IM icon. I deselected it and I was free at last.

The other thing I miss is up-to-date desktop versions. Kubuntu 17.04 ships with KDE Plasma 5.9.4. You can obtain a more updated Plasma version by adding the Kubuntu Backports:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y

As of this writing, that will give you Plasma 5.9.5 which has some important fixes in it. It eliminated some IMAP error messages that inundated me at boot up when I first installed Kubuntu. Plasma 5.10 just released, but that isn’t in the backports yet. KDE Neon distributes 5.10, but their repository is only for *buntu 16.04 LTS. I haven’t tried forcing 17.10 to use the repository because it doesn’t seem like a good idea. There’s a good possibility for library mismatches.

My remaining issue concerns Samba. Some clever person either at Samba or Ubuntu decided to disable the DNS provider in Samba, but the way that they did it produces a time consuming error EVERY SINGLE TIME you install a new package. That delay eats up a lot of time. So for now, I have uninstalled Samba, which limits file sharing on my network. At the moment, that’s a small price to pay to eliminate the constant error messages. If I ever solve the Samba issue, I’ll post the solution on this blog.

Posted by: reformedmusings | June 3, 2017

Getting the Brother HL-2280DW Scanner to Work in Kubuntu 17.04

If Linux has a weak spot, it’s scanner support. The system that supports scanners doesn’t appear to get a lot of love. There’s a basic support system called SANE – Scanner Access Now Easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. At least not for every scanner.

First, I downloaded the drivers from Brother, which provides excellent Linux support. Before installing the drivers, read the instructions from Brother. No kidding, read the instructions, especially the settings changes required. After you’ve done all that and rebooted, the scanner still won’t be found by the system.

That’s because apparently Brother hasn’t caught up with the latest 64-bit Linux directory structure. I found this helpful forum thread which contained a host of suggestions. You can read through the thread to see what worked for folks, but I suggest copying the /usr/lib64/sane files to /usr/lib/sane as the most important step for the system mods suggested:

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/sane
sudo cp /usr/lib64/sane/* /usr/lib/sane/

Although I made all the changes suggested throughout the thread, I’m not convinced that the rest of them made any difference except one other.

Kubuntu apparently doesn’t load the necessary USB library by default. You need to install libusb-0.1-4 yourself:

sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4

That last step is what got Kubuntu to recognize my Brother scanner. In fact, I even got the scan key on the scanner to work with the driver from Brother. Be aware, though, that the scan key only works with GIMP, which I use a lot anyway.

Now my scanner works perfectly. It took some effort, but it was worth it.

Posted by: reformedmusings | May 27, 2017

Goodbye OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, Hello Kubuntu

I described my reasons for leaving Ubuntu and going to OpenSUSE here. I really enjoyed my time on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. I put together a great desktop, and Tumbleweed was rock solidly stable. The integration of the elements in to the desktop was excellent and friendly folks on the support forums provided excellent help when needed. There was a learning curve on handling packages, but the result proved well worth it. And Yast, oh my, what a great tool! Here was my desktop on Tumbleweed:

Tumbleweed-desktop

Simple and effective.

So, why did I leave OpenSUSE Tumbleweed? For the very reason that their portal page warns – everything updates on a rapid pace. That includes the kernel, upon which things like proprietary video drivers and virtual machines (VMs) depend. Within a kernel minor version, like 4.10.x, most drivers don’t care. But, cross to 4.11.x and you are in for a ride trying to get drivers and VMs to load again. In addition, I could not get my legacy scanner to work in Tumbleweed. Scanners are the only remaining major issue in Linux, but usually there are workarounds. Not this time.

So, when Tumbleweed went to 4.11.0, I lost my virtual machine. Plus Tumbleweed still could not assign my scanner to the correct driver, even though sane-find-scanner would find the scanner and the operating system could find the driver just fine. I just couldn’t get the two married up. But loss of VM again was the final straw. I love the concept of Tumbleweed and its operation, but I just can’t live without my VM or scanner.

So, I then found GeckoLinux Next, an interesting merge of OpenSUSE 42.2 long-term release with keeping up with the latest application versions. It sounded great, but I could not get it to recognize my RAID1 array on installation or even after installation. Despite my best efforts at tailoring /etc/fstab, I could not get past the login screen. I was dismayed at the lack of RAID installation support because Tumbleweed found and mounted the RAID array with no issues during installation. At one point, GeckoLinux wiped my root drive and left me with an unbootable system. Ouch!

I did not want to go to OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 with the old 4.4 Linux kernel and older application versions. Kubuntu came to mind as a viable alternative. I started out Linux with Kubuntu about a decade ago, and although it is not as polished as OpenSUSE KDE desktop, it works the same way. So, used the GeckoLinux LiveDVD to download Kubuntu and burned a LiveCD. I booted the Kubuntu 17.04 LiveDVD, clicked Install, and after a few minutes I discovered that Kubuntu doesn’t recognize RAID arrays on installation either. Hmmmph.

So, I loaded mdadm, the software RAID manager, in the LiveDVD environment, ran the installation again, and after a 13-step process, had a fully operational system. You can read the details in this forum post. My data on the RAID1 array persevered, so when Kubuntu finally arrived at the KDE desktop with the RAID properly mounted as /home, all my system settings came to life. After loading the necessary applications, I was fully operational.

By that I mean that my VM loaded just fine, and Kubuntu even loaded the NVidia driver for my legacy card at my request, something that was never going to happen in Tumbleweed. I later got my scanner to work, but that’s a story for another post.

One of advantages that Kubuntu has it its access to the broad and deep Ubuntu repositories. That said, the Discover package manager is awful. It looks like a kids toy. I loaded Synaptic immediately to get real package management. Years ago, KDE had it all over Gnome for system customization and fine, granular control over settings. Yast on OpenSUSE gave me false hope that this was still true. Nope. Looks to me like Gnome has caught up to KDE and perhaps passed it in terms of access to deep system settings. Gnome as several settings programs, including one that goes to the core of the system. By comparison, KDE’s seem superficial. Although I love the desktop, I miss the Yast level of control over the system. The KWin compositor has turned out to be a winner for producing the 3D display effects for KDE. Gnome, not so much.

So, here’s my current Kubuntu desktop:

Kubuntu-1704-desktop

If you think that it looks like the OpenSUSE one above, you’d be right. The major difference is that VMWare Workstation and my NVidia driver work on this one. And will next week, I might add. That’s not a slam on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. Not at all. I loved Tumbleweed and especially their Yast system program. I’d still be using it if I had a way to stay on kernel 4.10.x and I could get my VMs, NVidia driver, and scanner to work. Alas, they warned me up front. That said, I don’t regret my two weeks on Tumbleweed.

For now, though, it’s back to Kubuntu. The Kubuntu community is right, KDE should be the default desktop for Ubuntu and Cannonical should come up with something comparable to Yast. In my dreams…

Posted by: reformedmusings | May 1, 2017

Goodbye Ubuntu, hello OpenSUSE

Recently, Cannonical announced that they were dropping the Unity desktop in favor of Gnome. Not just Gnome, but pretty much vanilla Gnome. I started my Linux journey back in 2006 on Kubuntu with the KDE desktop and loved it until the initial releases of KDE 4 which seemed very primitive. I went to Gnome at that time, but Gnome has changed over the years as well. I always missed the customizability of KDE, but I lived with it until the latest version of Gnome. Unity took Gnome in a new and somewhat exciting direction as it matured. With the demise of Unity, it’s back to the vanilla Gnome which I don’t care for.

That said, I switched to vanilla Gnome as soon as Canonical announced Unity’s demise, even though that demise was a year or so away. I was able to come up with a moderately acceptable desktop, but unfortunately forgot to take a screenshot before abandoning that setup. I used Dash to Dock to emulate the Unity side bar, which worked OK.

Yet, KDE 5 beckoned me. Although I’d used Kubuntu previously, there’s been some turmoil in the Kubuntu house and Cannonical distanced themselves a bit from it. Plus, I wanted a better-integrated KDE system, so I searched the web for exactly that. In the process, I settled on OpenSUSE. Because I’m pretty used to having a recent kernel and program updates, I went with the Tumbleweed rolling release version. I expected that to be a challenge because video drivers and my VMWare Workstation are sensitive to kernel changes. We’ll see how that goes in the longer term.

Installing OpenSUSE could not have been easier. The installation program picked up my RAID 0 array and assembled it properly. It did get confused with the other, unrelated hard drives in the system, so I had to reallocate the mountings, but that was easy. The rest of the installation flowed along nicely.

As soon as the installation finished, I set about ensuring that programs like Firefox, Firefox, and others could find their previous setups. That proved seamless.

I tried for 3 days to get the NVidia proprietary drivers to install and work, but alas, that didn’t work out. After finding the drivers for my old card, I tried using the automated and manual installations, but I only ever got flashing text screens. So, I went to the open source nouveau and mesa drivers, the latter for 3D support. Those work perfectly and provide the capability that I want. I don’t game, so I don’t need all the cutting-edge stuff.

So, here’s my desktop after several days of work, mostly wasted on the video drivers:

Screenshot_20170501_153329

Pretty simple, eh? It’s probably not my final. I keep moving the panel from top to bottom and back again. Actually, now that I think about it, I like it at the bottom:

Screenshot_20170501_161410

Yea, well for now. I like icons-only on the taskbar with loaded programs receiving some indication at their icon. That provides a compact taskbar that’s elegantly simple. So, I added the Icons-only taskbar widget and deleted the standard taskbar widget from the panel. I then added my most-used programs to the icon taskbar.

My other additions to the panel were the standard weather widget and VLC’s minimize to the system tray feature. I tried the plasma5-radioplayer widget on the panel, but it wouldn’t play sound. The VLC solution will work until I find something I like better.

The trick to getting 3D to work w/o the NVidia proprietary drivers involves the combination of both the nouveau and mesa drivers together. They work pretty well, and I have my desktop cube back after a lot of years of missing it. The multiple desktop widget works very well, too – another piece that I missed in Unity.

Kwin has come a long way over the years. It does respectable compositing and provides nice 3D effects for the desktop, including the aforementioned desktop cube, animated window minimizing/maximizing, windows dodging newly active windows, and fading inactive windows to name a few. Overall nicely done, with a few rough spots.

Another KDE improvement is Kontact, which is now a nicely integrated PIM with Kmail, Korganizer (calendar), tasks, etc. I like the maturation there. The only shortcoming is Kmail. While it has improved a lot and imported all my mail and accounts from Thunderbird, I cannot get it to send mail even after a lot of hand massaging. So, I’m back to Thunderbird, which has its own quirks, especially in conversation mode. The biggest advantage for Thunderbird, besides being able to send mail, is the unified inbox. I’d taken that for granted until I played with Kmail for 3 days.

Besides the NVidia video driver issues, which I have yet to resolve but care less about now that I have nouveau and mesa working well, I had issues getting Tumbleweed to recognize the printers. I had to go into the hardware printer settings and initiate searches for the printers. I also had to load the driver for my Brother HL-2280DW laser because the driver wasn’t available on the initial installation. The scanner driver is too old to install easily on the current system, but I will work on that issue.

KDE has a ton of setting tweaks, and I’m still finding them. OpenSUSE also provides YaST, which is an incredibly catch-all settings manager and toolbox.

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is not for new Linux users. It requires significant hand-tweaking to get some things working. I still don’t have my VMWare Workstation working, although it did install. I’m still working some issues, but the effort has been well worth it. The KDE desktop is very well integrated, and common programs like Firefox and Thunderbird integrate extremely well thanks to the OpenSUSE team. OpenSUSE does make a more conventional distribution called Leap, which updates about one/year. I look forward to a long and fruitful association with the OpenSUSE community.

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