Saturday, October 10, 2015

If your cause is so righteous...

Why do you have to lie?

And if you really care about your cause then why do you have to lie so badly.

So part of the Gun Control Movement has been trying to make the claim that the NRA is really all about gun free zones.  How you ask?

Yup... stating that the NRA bans guns on their convention floors.

Yeah... that's a lie.  I've carried at every NRA con I've been at.

Now Erin is starting a neat trend of if one can ID a gunny by their convention carry rig.

Well let's see if that works.

Let's see if one can guess who is wearing that fancy race-gun rig.
And who has their classic 1911 on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

And Cracked isn't even trying anymore...

Ah,  yes nothing brings me back like another bit of Cracked indulging in their inner anti-gun.

We've got another article by their resident anti-gun crank.  Luke McKinney.

A couple months ago he went on a tear about how why even Gun Owners should hate the NRA.

Now keep in mind,  just based on that previous article...  we've got a guy who  thinks gun owners should take advice from someone who considers high-capacity magazines insane, that Intelligent Americans shouldn't see guns as an individual rights,  and wants to ban AR-15's.

Oh, and that Gun owners should hate the NRA for successfully lobbying against gun bans.

Care to guess what his next article on the subject is like?

In standard Cracked fashion the insitu title differes from the URL.
7 Incredibly Biased Arguments Against Gun Control

Do we even need to go through it?

Well what's interesting is Luke's gotten more insulting where about every other paragraph he has some mockery of gun owners.  Mocking both intelligence and sexuality!

But what's more telling is a scattered lack of focus.  He'll flit around between how the "Constitution is out of date"  and "The constitution can be changed!"

(And yes Luke, the constitution can be changed,  you're welcome to try to get an amendment passed repealing the 2nd.  But if you try that,  we can still call you anti-gun.)

Oh and if you think you're hunting rifle will be safe...   Nope.

Skipping lightly over the part where you find people who say, "I enjoy killing things I don't have to for fun," and responding, "That sounds perfectly sane, have some rifles," I'd like to ask: At what point does one person's hobby overrule another person's survival? 


Oh and his scattered reasoning is on great display when he talks about drunk driving. And then blames unjustified police shootings on...  non-police owning guns.   And then there's his aside that he wants to make possession of guns in public completely illegal.

And the next page goes downhill...  with more of his unfocused ranting.  And continuing the idea that because guns are designed to kill... they are completely pointless.

What's interesting is he seems to be in an argument with a gun rights strawman living in his head.

A favored goal of the loudest gun-wielders is the ability to overthrow the government. I'm not sure how many countries are expected to laud nutballs who want to destroy that country, but I'm glad I don't live in one of them. 

Either Luke doesn't live in America... or he doesn't know what the Delcaration of Independence was about or the founder's views on revolution. That's not advocating overthrow of the government,  that's just pointing out how this country was founded.

And it wouldn't be Cracked if Luke didn't indulge himself and say "billionaires spend their billions sabotaging democracy on every conceivable level".  Huh....  hey Luke...  who is the nation's biggest advocate for gun control?

 And going even further back, the ability to violently overthrow the ruling authority stopped working at around the caveperson level. In every age after that workers were slaughtering each other just to swap elite rulers.

Ah...  so revolution only counts if the previous ruler is personally killed?  Pretty dim view of American history there too.  But see what I said about this guy being angry and unfocused?  And then he goes on about how drones will be used to murder American citizens.

Wow.... way to prove that Americans worried about tyranny are just paranoid.

And the last part does show part of the anger.  There's some blatant subtext that he's totally buying into the "there's a mass shooting every week!" line,  and he's getting *angry* at the lack of flashy gun control.

Again compare to his earlier work.  In that he's less (overtly) insulting to gun owners and while he has no understanding, he tries to make some arguments.

Here he's just venting spleen.   Yet another tell is the guy doesn't even bother to provide any "solutions",  oh there's a mention of "high capacity mags" and an oblique reference to purchase requirements,  but Luke's anger seems to be primarily on the mere *existence* of guns in civilian hands.

Though what really makes me laugh is the progression of the post-article footer.

Luke's  June post:
Check out more NRA nutcasery with 3 Reasons It's Time To Stop Taking The NRA Seriously and The 4 Most Meaningless Arguments Against Gun Control. 
Enjoy imaginary worlds where guns make sense with The Strange History Of Terminator Games and The Greatest Video Game Gun Of All Time.
And today's:

Do you want more rootin' tootin' anti-gun argumentin'? Of course you do! We've got more adventures in all-American gunplay right here, with 5 Reasons Even Gun Owners Should Hate The NRA and The 4 Most Meaningless Arguments Against Gun Control.
And don't forget that minigun barrages are entirely reasonable in professional, movie-invented, killer robot and/or generic foreign despot scenarios. That's why Luke gathered The Toughest Action Dads In Movie History and The Most Advanced Terminator Games Ever Made in handy lists, for YOU.

Yup.   Someone's angry.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cracked and the NRA

Oh  Cracked

The real problem is the article is only partially about how the NRA is a disservice to gun owners.   Much of it is about how much the author doesn't like that the NRA has kept guns he doesn't like from being banned.

The article seems to be less trying to convince gun owners why the NRA is hurting them, and more about how stupid gun owners are for supporting the NRA.

The former can be seen by how the writer goes on about how he wishes assault weapons were banned while complaining that the NRA has lobbied (with some success) against said bans.

The latter can be seen by the swipes the writer takes to the intelligence and agency of gun owners.  Oh and by the comments section full of anti-gun people lapping up the social signaling.

And the best part are their examples of how #5. They're Paid By Gun Manufacturers

 In the past, Ruger donated a dollar from every gun sold to the NRA, and now they're doubling down, pledging $2 from every Ruger rifle, handgun, and shotgun sold until the next NRA annual meeting. Crimson Trace laser sights donates 10 percent of their sales and $20 for each product sold through the NRA Instructor Program. Crimson Trace employees can't be making that much per unit.

MidwayUSA sells guns, ammunition, and completely sane high-capacity magazines, and it encourages customers to round every purchase up to the nearest dollar with the difference going to the NRA-ILA lobbying arm. Gun companies have donated tens of millions of dollars to the NRA's Ring Of Freedom sponsorship program and spend tens of millions more on advertising in NRA publications.

Yeah...  gun owners should totally *hate* gun companies that...  donate part of their sales.  And *gasp* ask customers to volunteer.

And note the swipe at the magazins that Midway sells...  to... those same gun owners.

Oh, and as a bonus they cite that debunked Yahoo investigation.  And with a double Cracked talks about Adolphus Busch IV's angry resignation.

The NRA represents regular gun owners the same way the National Pork Board represents regular pigs.

And number 4 is going against Nugent which is fair enough, but Cracked then diverts into Zero Tolerance policies with school kids.

And then we get #3 which is about Charles Cotton but opens with this lovely digression.

 I mean, having a gun that can pump bullets into children is a patriotic option he absolutely refuses to take off his or anyone else's table
Gee Cracked, yes I totally should take your unbaised advice on what's good for gun owners.

And then citing Talking Points Memo with this bit

TPM reports that he wrote "Perhaps a good paddling in school may keep me from having to put a bullet in [a student] later." Which definitely sounds like someone who should be equipped to decide if everyone within his line of sight lives or dies on a moment-by-moment basis.
Because...  no one who ever spanked kids could use a gun responsibly!

And then more and a empahtic demand for people to go to NRA on the Record . Org.

Oh  and for #2  the NRA are the racist ones.  You know, not the people who think guns are an "urban" problem,  or who want the police (you know those color blind fellows) to be able to deny permits without cause.   Not to mention the history of gun control...

Not even in a country where a Cracked writer can be placed on the No-Fly list for writing a satirical article. Right now the only difference between NRA talks and Al-Qaeda videos is production value.

What do you bet the odds are that this same Cracked writer wants to ban people on the No-Fly list from owning guns?

And really?  Production value?  That's a nice euphemism for organized murder.

Call me crazy but someone who writes stuff like this...   I don't think they have gun owner's best interests in mind.

And the final point would have some merit (it's about the NRA blaming stupid things from trenchcoats, to video games, and other idiotic things) but the writer goes well off the rails with a paranoid conspiracy theory.

Blaming everything except the gun is their only job, and the angrier it makes people, the better it works. First, the NRA board decoys discussion with patently ridiculous claims, then absorbs the resulting anger instead of the gun industry. Their sole function is to prevent rational debate. They're a responsibility crumple zone, prepared to fire themselves into public spaces as violently and repeatedly as it takes to distract attention from the weapons manufacturers making millions by selling lethal weaponry to civilians. The NRA is what happens when the Westboro Baptist Church settles down to get a corporate job.

See!  They're being stupid on purpose!   The're deflection ire away from the gun manufactures... who you know never get blamed.

Also note the "selling lethal weaponry to civilians."   Why it's almost like the writer doesn't *want* citizens to be able to own guns!

Which is followed by.
They've used political payments and public bullshit to push the gun control debate so far over any possible line that the middle ground ends up with their supporters armed with assault weaponry in every major U.S. city. Which is exactly where they are.

 Huh...   so... this writer thinks gun owners should take advice from someone...  who wants to ban assault weapons.  Oh!  And thinks of assault weapons are an "urban" problem.

Gee...  you know  the writer is conceding that the "middle ground"  would be an overturning of the numerous state-level assault weapon bans.  And that the NRA is contributing to that.

Yeah...  gun owners should *hate* that.

But there's more.  Immediately after that is this;
They've buried the country under so much bullshit that even intelligent Americans start talking about individual rights and waiting periods, as if there was any sane sequence of words that ends with a peacetime civilian holding an AR-15 other than, "OK, Mr. Schwarzenegger, and action!"

Note the writer breezily thinks that this "bullshit" is the *only* way an intelligent american would think about individual rights.   And that even waiting periods is too pro-gun for 'em.

And yes the writer clearly wants a total ban on the AR-15.  Which is the most popular rifle in the country.

Gun owners should totally take his advice.

So...  gun owners should take advice from someone who thinks high-capacity magazines are insane, that Intelligent Americans shouldn't see guns as an individual rights,  and wants to ban AR-15's.

I'm not sure a person that wants to ban the most popular rifle in America actually has the best interests of gun owners at heart.

Nor someone who is engaging in a paranoid conspiracy theory of the NRA being some sort of "
"decoys discussion "  and "responsibility crumple zone".

What's funny is if the writer didn't engage in how much he's really, really like to ban guns,  he'd have a good point to the ineptness and offensiveness of NRA leadership.

And then there's saying things like this:

They've used political payments and public bullshit to push the gun control debate so far over any possible line that the middle ground ends up with their supporters armed with assault weaponry in every major U.S. city. Which is exactly where they are.

Uh...  gun owners *want* to be able to own those assault weapons.  And given that many states have banned 'em.    If the NRA has made the  "middle ground" being overturning those bans...  well wouldn't gun owners like that?

And heck that's not even touching "urban" as a racist euphemism,  which has a long history with gun control.

The real problem is the article is only partially about how the NRA is a disservice to gun owners.   Much of it is about how much the author doesn't like that the NRA has kept guns he doesn't like from being banned.

Which... isn't exactly something the gun owners would hate now is it?

Really this is a prime example of the Anti's inability to do Red Team thinking.

That is that they cannot get into a gun owner's mental "frame". That is follow the logic, desires, and goals of such a person.

Which is why an article ostensibly giving advice to gun owners about the NRA's faults is riddled with asides on how great gun bans are and how bad the NRA is for  lobbying against them

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stross Equiod: A Rambling review.

Okay I'm amused when a writer who has a series that's basically   HP Lovecraft  Applied Mathematics;  Comp Sci division who devotes much of an entire short story to mocking Lovecraft.

(Not just his purple prose and the man's... issues).

But more taking the piss of the man's creative chops and bemoaning his literary influence (this particular series is first person so it's a bit difficult to separate author from character).

Then I realized that it was tongue-in-cheek.   And that the main character was being a wanker.  The real penny drop came when someone had to explain to him r/K selection theory.

Terminology that said character immediately started using like it was old hat.

Said character then started having his own "apocalyptic journal" get infested with purple prose and tacitly admit that Lovecraft's own narrative was actually correct.

So this is my roundabout way of saying that Stross' Equoid was rather amusing.

Though man...   Stross needs to take a holiday somewhere and get some trigger time to add a touch of verisimilitude to his work.  While it's great that his main character has become less of a "I don't like guns" weenie as he's matured (Yeah Bob, if you're a bloody necromancer working for nasty secret intelligence you don't get to whine about having to use a gun).

And that's not even getting into the...  CisBritish goodthinker politics that seems so quaint when put in well....    Applied Mathematics Lovecraftian Horror.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A blast from the Atomic and Jet Age past!

Boeing just patented a... novel engine idea.

Basically use lasers to generate micro fusion reactions.

This generates thrust out the back.  And on the front the high energy neutrons excite a uranium coating a thrust plate.  Said plate then heats up coolant which is run through turbines... which power the lasers.


So it's kind of like a lighter version of the Direct Air Cycle design for the old Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program.

Well. This is probably a less *dirty* design. But my guess it it'll give more radiation release than the Indirect Air cycle design.

Oh...  and the ANP  programs were at least workable.  The whole,  laser fusion thing...  I don't think there's an idea on a way to have the system be able to keep itself powered with the given fuel.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cracked: Pretty funny in a "I support free speech but..." way

There's the hyperbole of the title itself:  "How Casual Racism Ruined 'Free Speech' Forever"

Forever?  Really Clarence?

Because once you get past the silliness of statements like this:

For a clearer parallel, the World War II-themed board game Axis & Allies doesn't put a swastika on the Nazi pieces, because winning the game as Germany shouldn't be upsetting. They're not rewriting history; they're just making a strategy game fun by ensuring nobody has to play as the avatar of human cruelty. 

Uh...  so it's fine to play as the avatar of human cruelty by starting out on the territory they occupy and with the military forces they have and then try to Win World War Two... as the Axis.

But it's only upsetting if your little tanks and army men have swastikas on them?

Sure.  That doesn't sound nutty at all.

And get past when the writer does get a nice straw-man about how Apple isn't the government.  And yes... that's why people were going to other distributors, negotiating with Apple, or mocking them.  You know... instead of bringing a charge on violation of the First Amendment...

One would be amused how a professional comedy writer seems baffled at the idea that people would mock absurdity.

ANNND past when the guy criticizes the drawing of Mohammed as... this

Except terrorism kills eight times as many Muslims as non-Muslims, so Trey Parker and Matt Stone were really just defending their right to say things that were going to piss off, hurt, and kill other people, far away, that they were never going to have to see or deal with or care about. 

Well, unless they went to an art show in Texas... or based their production in Paris....

But really parse the writer's chain of actions.  So... Muslim extremists get inflamed by non-Muslims on the other side of the world doing satire...  said extremists kill moderate Muslims... and this Craked writer blames... South Park.  (Which was something said episode pointed out...)

Now go past when said comedy writer....  who again writes for Craked a very raunchy satire publication...  about how we all need social standards.

You finally, FINALLY get him admiring:

And that's fine! I can't stress this enough: As someone who puts things on the Internet with his real name attached for a living, I love free speech a whole whole bunch. So I will never fight to make it illegal for you to be racist, and say your racist stuff, and have your adorable little racist blog where you racist it up all day. I'd just rather you didn't pretend you cared about free speech while you did it. 

That yes free speech is important, even for people who are distasteful.  And that yes free speech even covers them.

The poor cracked writer simply felt the need to spend most of the article positioning himself and going "I support free speech, but..." which is amusing because he started the article bemoaning how every free speech case is going to degenerate into screaming and thus... he has to walk on eggshells.  I guess lest someone thing the above quotation be interpreted as him supporting racists.

Also from start of the article the writer seems befuddled and so disheartened that free speech arguments are all about fringe and hateful and distasteful things. Does the guy not realize that's how it works?

 There is not much traction to get the state to ban "Puppies are fluffy".  However if they say they want to ban things that most people find hateful or stupid well... that's an easier haul isn't it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chutzpah or.... can we say the President wants to ban guns now?

So....  a man who wishes he could ban and confiscate guns after a mass shooting laments people buying guns after a mass shooting out of fear they'll be banned and confiscated.

The Guardian has the details on the president's ire:

“When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.”
In the wake of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, when Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people and wounded 23, prime minister John Howard pushed through laws banning automatic, semi-automatic and pump action guns, and enacted a comprehensive gun buy-back scheme, despite strong opposition from parts of the Australian community.
Gun buy-back is a fuzzy euphemism for confiscation.

And the article ends with this:
Obama also lamented the rush of Americans who go and buy firearms after US shootings and the “extremely strong” grip the powerful lobby group the National Rifle Association has on Congress.
Gee Mr. President, maybe people won't go out and rush to buy guns if you weren't up there talking about how great laws that confiscated all semi-automatic rifles and pump action shotguns were.  Especially after a shooting where the murderous mutant used a handgun.

It kinda makes people not trust your good intentions.

Via Sebastian

Who also points out:

A surprise to no one, it turns out that compliance with New York’s SAFE Act is practically non-existent. They can erect their utopian laws, but it doesn’t mean we have to go along with their scheme. Even when registration was tried in Canada, the compliance rate was low.