Sunday, November 29, 2015

Anti Gun to Anti Free Speech

Here's something that I'm seeing as a broader trend.

If someone is anti-gun  eventually they will reveal themselves to be anti-free speech.

Especially if their rhetoric boils down to them not trusting the common person with firearms.

Doubly so if their lack of trust comes, at least in part, from not trusting themselves.
And why yes, this *is* a further point on "Edmund".

If you make the statement that you think "extremist rhetoric" is the root of all terrorism and strongly imply that every terrorist is an unwitting rube...

Well, that shows a rather scary view of how you think speech needs to be "controlled".

In Edmund's case sure there's the selective outrage where he only thinks "lies" and "extreme rhetoric"  are a problem when it goes against his politics, but that's bog standard.

No what's worrying is Edmund is one of those gun control advocates who admits the 2nd amendment would be a problem for implementing the gun control he'd really like,  but he sees it as being too hard to repeal,  and thus advocates for passing unconstitutional laws and pretending they're not unconstitutional.

And now he's making noises about free speech.

Friday, November 6, 2015

No: Telling me you don't trust yourself to not abuse firearms does *not* reassure me.

There's something I've been thinking on.

Consider the response that sometimes pops up when discussing conceal carry occasionally someone will reply with: "Oh no I could never carry a gun, I've been in situations where if I had a gun I would have murdered someone." Maybe not in those exact words, but the statement will contain a personal view that if they had access to a gun, they would have fired upon a person and it would not have been justified self defense.

Often this is coupled with this explaining why they're against carry in general (That is their experience means you should not be allowed carry) But let us put that aside for the moment.
Let us note how different groups respond the given statement.

A) Obviously, people who are anti-gun would be in agreement, even if to exploit greater gun control. They're a less interesting case but they have some crossover with the next group.

B) People ignorant of guns, people who aren't very fond of guns would applaud the statement. They might be a bit worried at the admission at the end, but since they don't carry guns,  since they're not experienced with guns  they'll have relief that the person in question (let's call him Edmund) doesn't have a gun on him.  Their focus is on the weapon itself,  which shows a view on the hierarchy of violence (that is that guns are "real" weapons, while knives and clubs are not).  And on deodands, that the gun itself has some agency.

This group would also be worried at the admission of a violent nature on the part of the question but they'd take comfort in "Well he doesn't have a gun so he can't do anything really /bad/"  After all,  people in this group have knives and blunt instruments and they don't kill people!

C) Now gun folk take an... different view.  This is especially true the more someone is informed on self -defense law. In short,  this groups sees Edmund (the person in question) admitting to mens rea. (That is the mental state of a person to intentionally commit a crime).

And yes, the above statement is an admission to being in the mental state where they /would/ have murdered someone. And the only thing stopping them was... not having a preferred tool at hand.
Imagine if Hannibal Lecter smiled at you and calmly assured you that you're okay because he didn't bring his favorite carving knives. How reassured would you feel?

There are a few ways a "person of the gun" can interpret the statement.

1)  Edmund (the POQ) is lying. He hasn't really been in a situation like that,  or when he was he did not really want to kill someone that was not a manifest threat to grievous bodily harm.  He's just saying that to exaggerate what /someone else/ may think. And is using this, as previously mentioned, to advocate for a particular gun regulation.

However... if your advocacy involves you intentionally lying to portray yourself has having murderous impulses... then your advocacy might not be so well thought out.

2) Edmund is lying to himself.  This is a more extreme case of 1.  Maybe they never were in the situation they've alluded to, but they've thought about it.  Maybe they were in a situation and they thought they might do it.  People do fantasize things.

And if we are dealing with someone who is not experienced with firearms, CCW, or self-defense law. Well, then you have their own ignorance and fears playing at their mind. This one has a potential to go very wrong for Edmund. Allow me to have an aside about training.

Training is a way to prepare and hone skills.   Specifically of the sense "If X then (a)"  That is, "If X happens to men then I will do (a)." An important thing to realize is that in an extreme situation one will be pressed for time.
This is why people will freeze in a situation outside their experience, they have no anticipated plan and thus their brain does not know what to do.  How often is a person's reaction to violence something like "I didn't think it was real." "I didn’t think something like this could happen to me." 
Thus the first part of training is to create the frame of "If then".  One has to have the frame of "If this happens to me… I should do (a)!" Later training is to refine the response to get better at doing (a). 
What's important to note, is that high stress encounters do not automatically result in necessitating lethal force. The other person might not be a manifest threat.   The person many surrender.  The person may be too far away. In short,  the Ability Opportunity Jeopardy triad may not be present. 
But that does not mean that the case will not be extremely stressful.  And  good training would improve the situation and perhaps keep it from becoming a mess in the first place.

And now back to Edmund.  We are dealing with someone who has trained himself into thinking he will  murder someone.

He has told himself (and us) that in a high stress situation he would kill someone that is not an immediate, lethal threat.  What is the "if then" operating in that person's mind? What would happen if such a person found himself in a very heated situation? He might take solace that he's "unarmed" but...

Take this hypothetical.

Edmund is driving on the highway,  there's a traffic jam, things slow down. There's a collision with a catering van. (We'll leave out who is at fault for the accident) 
Both vehicles pull to the side.  There does not seem to be any major injuries,  but the catering truck is stalled out. The caterer gets out,  he's a stout slightly overweight man who starts swearing loudly at his younger assistant who also gets out. 
Edmund also gets out to fix a flat. Trying to work with the tire iron sees the caterer yelling at his assistant while the  younger man is trying to recover what he can out of the back of the van.
The caterer then turns to Edmund and starts yelling at him about how he's ruined his business, that he needed to complete this job and now he won't make it. Angrily waving towards the traffic with his open hands, he walks towards Edmund and stops 10 feet away demanding his insurance information and saying that he'll hear from his lawyer. 
And here's Edmund. On the side of the road with cars whistling past,  his heart-rate is up, he was just in an accident, his adrenaline is still pumping in,  his emotions are high, and here's this guy blaming him for the accident that he caused, meanwhile this oaf is distracting him from trying to get these stupid bolts off the flat that he caused. 
So, still holding the tire iron, Edmund looks at the angry man.  Edmund has told many people that he didn't carry a gun because he thought he'd murder someone when his blood got boiling. 
He's told himself that he could murder someone....   And his blood is boiling right now. And here he is with a nice bar of steel and a pestering nuisance in front of him. 
Do you really think that he's got a tire iron and not a gun will make a different in his actions?  Do you think he'd be more or less at a risk of doing something horrific than someone who has not made the given statement?

Let's look at this example from a self-defense standpoint

Note the caterer may be angry but there is no Jeopardy. Being angry and threatening to sue is not a manifest threat of bodily harm. 
Ability is not present either,  while the caterer has an assistant,  that person is in the van. Edmund is not outnumbered. And at the moment the caterer's hands are empty and he has made no furtive movements 
Opportunity is also not as present as the man is outside of grappling range. 
Thus if Edmund killed, or hurt, the caterer he would have absolutely no defense. Especially if it were discovered that he made repeated statements about how he would commit murder in this exact way. In fact if the caterer fought back and hurt Edmund then he would be the one to have a self-defense claim.  Though his yelling and antagonizing Edmund would complicate matters.
(Which is why being calm in such cases is good advice.)

Just imagine if the prosecutor was able to get Edmund's given statements admitted as evidence. They would readily show mens rea for the incident in question.  "Members of the jury this man told his friends on multiple instances how if he had a weapon in his hand he would murder a someone, well," the prosecutor picks up the tire iron in its evidence bag. "this was what he had in his hand on the day in question.  He used it to kill a man,  sounds like it was a weapon to me."

Still, interpretation 2 has you are dealing with a person who has a potentially dangerous self-delusion. One that could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which brings us to the third way to take the statement.

3) Edmund is mentally capable of murder and is knowingly telling you that all that keeps him from murdering when under stress is he doesn't have his ideal weapon at hand.   You can easily replicate the caterer scenario with a person operating under interpretation 3.

One can see how none of the interpretations  1 through 3 reflect very well on Edmund in the eyes of one of the "gun folk". Edmund would range from  disturbingly deceitful to dangerously deluded to manifestly dangerous. Regardless, it makes Edmund a risky person to be around if things go bad.
How much would you trust them in a risky situation? Edmund's he has told you that you should *not* trust him.  He's told you he doesn't trust himself.
Even in a situation where lethal force would be justified.  Would *you* trust having that guy nearby you?
Say you're both walking and a couple muggers come out and shove guns in your faces and demand money or your life. You manage to get an opportunity to draw and shoot one,  he falls and his gun falls from his hand. The other mugger drops his gun as well and starts backing away. 
Now you've got to split your attention between two people who until a second ago were lethal threats.  You also have to get on the horn with the police and medical, deal with witnesses,  *and* be on the lookout for other threats. 
If you had someone you trusted with you...   well maybe they'd have a gun of their own, or if you had a spare gun you could give him it.  Or maybe he could gently kick those guns so the muggers couldn't grab them again. At the very least you could have another set of eyes who can help see if the police have come or if there's more bad guys.
Instead you've just deployed deadly force next to a person who has told you that he is irresponsible with regards to deadly force.

The best you can hope for is he won't make the situation worse. And we're not even getting into what kind of witness he would be.  I don't know about you but having someone who is, at best, a known liar on matters of life and death talking to the police as a witness does not fill me with joy.

For another hypothetical, let's go back to the caterer situation.  Now have it where Edmund is an associate (maybe even friend of yours). You're a passenger in the car.   And the situation starts to play out as it did before. How comfortable would you feel seeing your associate's white knuckles on that tire iron?

Heck we don't even need to have such a dramatic hypothetical.  Just being a passenger in Edmund's car is risky enough. Do you think someone who feels his anger is such he can't let himself carry a gun would be more or less susceptible to road rage?

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Daily Beast admits that gun control is a dog-whistle!

So they're talking about the racist roots of gun control in the US?

Well... no.

Or maybe that gun control still is used in a racist context?
(Take the objections to Voter ID and see how well they remap to UBCs)


Oh, well surely they're admiring that gun control and "common sense laws" are really code words for bans and confiscation.

Wrong again!

No, this article is all about how Gun Control just needs a new name!

Really the central thesis of this article is:  "Too many people think Gun Control is a dog whistle  for 'Gun bans and Confiscation', clearly the solution is to change the label used to advocate for Gun Control."

Heck the phrase "Gun Control" /itself/  was taken because the advocacy groups didn't want to have "ban" in the title.

 Remember the National Coalition to Ban Handguns?
Or by its current name "Collation to Stop Gun Violence"

Or how about the national Council to Control Handguns?
I mean they change their name to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Which is totally different from "Gun Violence Prevention"

Yeah... that'll fool 'em.

But the article has more to it than that.

1) The article is rampantly insulting to gun owners. Using terms like hoarders, fragile, paranoid, irrational, frenzied, and "holed up in their basement".

2) And the article laughs of the idea that Obama wants to ban guns and that any such fears are irrational.  Except... the president advocated and lobbied for a law that would ban the most popular rifle in America.  And he pushed hard when the bill doing just so came up in congress.  He also endorsed states that passed such bans while he was in office.  Hillary Clinton has also been a long time supporter of such a ban as well.

3)  And going beyond bans, both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have spoke approvingly of laws such as Australia's that confiscated millions of guns.

4) Which leaves two options for the writer of the article, Donna Dees,  a)  Dess is massively ignorant of the very subject she is giving advice on national policy.  Or b) Dees is lying about the intentions of prominent gun control advocates.

5)  Taking in  1-4  why on earth would a gun owner be persuaded by the replacement of the term  "Gun Control"  with "Gun Violence Prevention"?"

6) There's also that Dees is ostensibly saying this term change is required to better sooth the fears of gun owners.  But given the conclusion in 5 and the vitriol she uses in 1...  does that make any sense?

7)  Thus is Dees actually considering this change in labels to better convince people who aren't /gun nuts/?   Though that would imply that gun control has become an unpopular term to the public at large.  Something Dees studiously, perhaps tellingly,  shies from.

8)  Amusingly this article is actually behind the times.  Since trying to replace "Gun Control" with "Gun Violence Prevention" has already been tried and now the new buzzword is "Gun Safety".  Heck the Brady Campaign changed their name to almost the exact same phrase in 2001.

9)  For all the talk about how to label things... the article has a compel lacking of any proposed solutions.   Which perhaps might be because the writer has boxed herself.  If the article talks about how great bans and confiscations are, that means those gun owners are right to be concerned.  If the article talks about how great Universal Background Checks are,  the cited examples of death and destruction can be readily countered by pointing out that in the vast majority of the cases background checks /were/ conducted.

10)  Thus the article reads less like an explanation on how to save lives, and more a media trade journal on how to better market gun control.

11) It's noteworthy that an article that talks about dog-whistles, specifically about how they're used in racist contexts and gun control, doesn't mention for once the racist history of gun control.  Or that there are dog whistles still in use.  How many politicians put gun control under "urban policy"?  Or the old dog whistle of "Oh well urban areas need different laws than rural areas."

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

CNN's Smart Take on SC Church Massacre .... blame gun shows?


At least if you can believe the  "CNN Wire NEW YORK" byline.

Sure it starts out with the gun show loophole lie.  But then it gets stranger....

But gun buyers don’t have to go through a background check when they make a purchase at a gun show. 
Most Americans live somewhere near a gun show. The website lists 29 gun shows scheduled for this coming Father’s Day weekend, from Las Vegas and Philadelphia to Hickory, N.C. and Salmon, Idaho 
You won’t find them in cities like New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., where gun laws are far more restrictive."

Huh,  kinda sounds like the mere existence of gun shows is an affront to them. Or at least doing a social signal of "We don't let that stuff happen here".

Do I even have to point out the falsehood of "But gun buyers don’t have to go through a background check when they make a purchase at a gun show. "?

Since FFL's don't have some magic exemption from Federal gun laws when they enter a gun show...

Or is the operative word "gun buyers don't have to"  since they could go to the gun show and do a private sale?  Or go to a parking lot and do a private sale...

But wait the article goes even further.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, and President Obama tried to eliminate the gun show loophole in 2013, with a bill that would have expanded background checks. But Congress didn’t pass it. 
The President’s effort came after the killing of 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut.

Now the "gun show loophole" ban in that bill was a side effect of the overall ban on private sales.

And this isn't even counting that the the perp in that massacre didn't get those guns at a gun show...

But not the weasel words.  The article technically didn't say that the killer in Sandy Hook got his gun from a gun show or that the background check expansion would have prevented him from getting those guns...

Now note this bit of bizarre spin....

After this week’s gun violence at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white man killed nine African-Americans in a racially motivated attack, Obama hinted that he might try again. 
“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” he said, in a speech. “It is in our power to do something about it.” 
The killer, Dylann Roof, bought his .45-caliber Glock at a gun store in Charleston, where he would have been required to pass a background check. Though he had been arrested earlier this year for trespassing and drug possession, he apparently met the legal criteria.
Roof also displayed racist symbols on Facebook, but the FBI said that kind of information would not come up in a background check, since the database includes information on prohibited persons as defined in the Gun Control Act."

So... Obama will push to "close the gunshow looophole" even though once again... gun shows weren't involved?

And once again instead of outright lying, the article simply uncritically presents the president's line of  "this doesn't happen in".

Also then the last sentence is just strangely constructed both grammatically and logically.

To shift gears. The folks at PA Gunblog are worried about the whole "he passed an NICS check".  Sure there's been a lot of mass shooters that have done exactly that, and the antis have mostly used those massacres to demand for... private sale bans.

Now the Antis may change tactics and push to make the NICS more intrusive  such as expanding what would make a prohibited person.  Or just making the check more of a pain in the ass.

Or... in this case they may demand a gunshow ban.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The opposite of "It can't happen here"...

is  "It only happens here."

I'll start with a personal anecdote.

A few days ago, an associate of mine ( I wouldn't say he is a friend exactly, but I have mentioned him here before) was telling a story of when he lived in Massachusetts.  Basically how an apartment down the hall from his was robbed by three men with a shotgun.

And how the robbery happened minutes after he left.

The interesting part comes when a Canadian in the group nicely replies:  "Only in America."

What made this interesting were several factors.  Sure robberies, especially when the humble shotgun are not actually unique to the US.   But more interesting this same fellow had been less than a week before grousing about the corruption and violence of organized crime back in his native Quebec.

And as a bonus there's that Massachusetts, in many ways, has gun laws worse than Canada.

But, see,  the facts don't matter.   That comment was pure social signaling.

I mention the preceding because the president's comments today are quite similar.

In reference to the South Caroline massacre he said: “Let’s be clear —this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”  And complained about how he didn't get his gun control.

First off.  Wasn't the Charlie Hebdo massacre less than 6 months ago... and in France?  Ace has a list of more "such as England, Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, France, Norway, France, and even Denmark."

And then there's the little details about how the gun control laws the President was pushing for....   don't seem like they would have done anything.  (And yes that is Cooke writing a sober and accurate gun law article in Weekly Metrocon)

As the facts stand right now the killer used a 45 pistol, that was a gift from his father, and he reloaded frequently.

Edit:  And yes, this data is probably wrong given how soon it is, but it's not like the President is any better  so he's demanding gun control given *this* information.

Update:  Again first day most facts are wrong, but looks like the perp bought his gun from an FFL. Which raises questions of the reporting on a prohibited person (was he actually one?)  but does mean that "private sales" can't be blamed.  Oh who am I kidding.  The antis will blame gun shows  if they can get away with it.

As Cooke explains...  the pistol wouldn't have been counted as an AWB, the size of the magazines was moot,  and the Toomey-Manchin, universal background check bill... exempted immediate family transfers.

(As do the existing UBC laws of California, Colorado, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, New York, Iowa, Nebraska, or Delaware)

Huh.  That kinda sounds like not one of the proposed Post-Sandy-Hook laws would have changed anything.

Interestingly,  the perp actually violated many existing laws.  See, in South Carolina has a gun free zone Church law. (You need express permission from the owner to carry.

Oh  and the was apparently out on bond from a felony drug charge. Which if true means that not only was the perp a prohibited person unable to legally own a firearm, but since the father gave him the gun after that, he too is in violation of Federal law.

Like the earlier anecdote the facts don't matter and the legal status quo doesn't matter.

I found the parallels rather amusing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

At Least Carter was a USN submariners... or why is there no USS Leo Ryan?

In a bit of recursion I'll quote Tam who later on quotes me:

There's no USS Larry McDonald, but there's a USS Gabby Giffords? Dammit, stop the bus right here. I want off.

I mean, Larry McDonald* was actually murdered by a foreign nation's armed forces. And he was a Democrat, too, so what's the hangup?

The Jack pointed out that if being a shot congresscritter is enough to get a warship named after you, why is there no USS Leo Ryan*? He was a victim of Gun Violence and Religious Extremism! 

And heck if you look at Leo's CV he's also a Democrat and had done a lot of impressive stuff in his life.  And his social views would be a bit more... paletable to the Party than McDonald's

Saturday, June 13, 2015

In the end....

Everything turns to dust.

Go here for some pictures of the remains of the Soviet's Buran program

But at least NASA's shuttles got into space more than once.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Making pistols out of... carbines?

Forgotten Weapons has some M1 "Enforcer" Carbine pistols.

They look kinda cute in a stubby way.

(And yeah it's a gimmie post, but the other posts in the hopper were Mr. A linking to the Daily Caller about "mattress girl" and a post about a medeoccre article on Cracked. And... meh)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

They're.... baaaAAAAckk!

Linoge is doing another batch of his Russian Origami T-Shirts.

If you're a fan of folded receivers or simply want a  fun shibboleth then it's a good shirt to have.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jerry Miculek: Seems legit.

You've probably seen before but I got a real kick out of it.

And at 3:30s wow... he can deprime brass in the same move.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gun laws versus Hunting laws.

Tam has some history on Indiana's Deer regulations. 

In short:  The DNR was working to ween back a nearly extinct species (deer) about a hundred years ago and, surprisingly, succeed.  However despite having a glut of deer there mentality of "we need to make the culling harder" is only now slowly turning.

For even stranger lookup how the Indiana DNR determines what is a "rifle" cartridge versus what is a "handgun" cartridge.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mr. A cheers for.... Rand Paul.

So...   Mr A came up and was routing this link:

While saying "[Mr. A] does the freedom dance!"

Though it's not all skittles and beer.

See Mr. A is a known and very irate  Champagne Socialist and of late...  incoherent Gamergate supporter (incoherent in the sense that he produces pro gamergate memes that are dense and confusing).

So it shouldn't be surprising that  Mr. A is looking for other sources of news and taking it where he can.  This is a man who works in a technical field and despite being very liberal has a raging hate for Greens, Feminists, and SWJs (his words).

Heck, just look at this other peice on the same The Libertarian Republic  about "The Left" and their "War on Nerds"

What's interesting is the reaction from two others in the room.

[Blue-collar-Left-who is anti-police and anti-rich]: Huh rand paul
[Blue-collar-Left-who is anti-police and anti-rich]:  Guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day
[Quite Left, Quite Rich Englishman] Hey, at least your elected leader hasn't said "For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone."
That shows the lack of  true empathy (which is not limited to the left).  An American who follows police abuses and civil liberties should not be surprised that Rand Paul is anti-patriot act.

And as for the Englishman.... big words coming from someone who was all gung ho about "hate speech" laws.  And this isn't any sort of defense of the insane, totalitarian speech restrictions the Tories are promoting (which read like something out of an Allan Moore comic),  but then again, I don't advocate for hate speech or that news outlets I don't like should be banned...

[Quite Left, Quite Rich Englishman]  I'm pretty sure the tartan tory vote willl have literally died out within the next twenty years, after all.

Amusing given the Tartan Labour vote has also died out...  Don't they have the same number of seats up in Scotland as the Tories do?

Really the whole "One Nation" claptrap used to justify mass free speech suppression is darkly amusing given an openly secessionist party has one basically all of the Scottish parliament seats.

And Mr. A has some.. surprising thoughts on that:

I'm kind of thankful that the SNP exists.  Everyone in the states who gives a damn is looking at that and thinking, and we'd be a lot better off as a union of states than as either 'murrica or Amerikkka

Oh? "States Rights" and shrinking the power of the Federal government?  Though again don't take much heart to this,  given  Mr. A seems to be thinking this way because of "Those damn feminists!"

[Quite Left, Quite Rich Englishman] It hasn't stopped the UK electing a government whose agenda includes scrapping the Human Rights Act, permitting pervasive monitoring, bringing in arbitrary restrictions on undesirables, and introducing censorship of the media.  And that's just what they're admitting to.

Again, this is coming from someone quite well off (has a house in the London area that is astronomically valued) who thinks Labour isn't "red" enough.  And in the past has gone about the dangers of Hate Speech and that there's not enough restrictions to keep the media "honest".  Who, like Mr. A, has demanded confiscatory taxes that they themselves would be except from...

But this shows that "the left" is actually quite riven with division and cuts, especially when you go international.

Again the Englishman in the room has this sarcastic bon mot :

 On the 'plus side', telling the police union to piss off and live with their heavy cuts was a rather brave move for a politician to make after serious riots only a few years ago with heavy cuts to public services and welfare on the cards.

Which is a sharp contrast with the American leftists in the room who are extremely anti-police to where they'll even complain about police unions, which used to be sacred such US circles.

 (Though there will be come cognitive dissonance with gun control... in that cops shouldn't have weapons of war, but cops should be able to say who can and cannot have gun permits...)

All sorts of animals like Pet Pets.

From sharks,   to lizards.

Edit:  First link was borked here's another 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Out in the garden...

Well I was working on a side garden pulling out a dead bush and I found a nice creeping vine with lovely tiny purple flowers was growing on it.

So I made sure to pull out the bush gently and then got a set of trellises to replace it for the vines.

I also broke down and picked up some ferns while I was at the garden center.

I'll see how they do in the shade garden near the other ferns.

I also picked up a bit more English Ivy, and plant food and some soil...  interesting how it all adds up.

It shows my current gardening style of "Use perennials and natural shade and rip out weeds" is fairly low cost.... but is often a coasting on what's there.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Empty Turrets and the Duke of Columbia raised bounty on brigands by 30 gold crowns.

Two articles from Strategypage.

The first a bit of info on Russia's new tank.  Including the bit that made me interested on how there's no one in its turret. The crew is all within a capsule in the hull.

The second is about the United States giving bounties on various outlaws, pirates, and cut-throats..

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to spot the Media endorsing Censorship...

Ken White of Popehat notes that there's more than the overt pro-censorship messages among the media,  there's also pro censorship assumptions and rhetorical devices.  (Such as the idea that there's such a thing as "Hate Speech" under US law."

Fortunately , Ken White has some advice.

Fortunately, this ain't rocket science. Americans can train themselves to detect and question the media's pro-censorship tropes. I've collected some of the most pervasive and familiar ones. This post is designed as a resource, and I'll add to it as people point out more examples and more tropes.

When you see the media using these tropes, ask yourself: what normative message is the author advancing, and does it have any basis in law?

Monday, May 18, 2015

A range report.

So I recently got a CED 7000  shot-timer.

And yesterday, I just got back from the range with it.

And no complaints.   Menu easy enough to use,  sensor worked well.   It wasn't overly hot or overly bright today so I can't tell that.

One thing I did notice is:  Your mind LIES.

There were times where I thought my draw was slow and sucky,  but the timer said it was still on par.  There were a other times where I thought I was rushed and missed on the draw, but it turns out I wasn't any faster (I still missed).

But was important to realize that shaving some tenths of a second isn't good if I miss the steel.

So yes, I would recommend a shot clock.  Provided you've 1) got a range where you can have *some* privacy (the sensor would only pick up shooters within the same bay),  and 2) you're the type of shooter that has a logbook.  Since there's a lot of neat data you can get to compare your times versus groupings versus guns.

Oh, and if the range allows draw from holster that's gravy. As that's a neat time to checkout too.

But yeah, I really recommend a clock, especially if you want to work on some of the fundamentals.  And actually track how you're doing, because again,  your mind LIES.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Signals and Stopping.

Some info on a 3D Printed revolver.

A very intriguing design, and I'm amused by this bit:

The Imura revolver started when a university official, named Yoshitomo Imura, was arrested in Kawasaki, Japan after he was found to be in possession of 3D printed firearms. Even though some of these weapons had the ability to be fired with actual metal bullets, Imura claims to have only ever fired blanks with the weapons. The arrest took place after Japanese authorities found a video online with Imura firing one of his 3D printed guns, called a Zig-Zag Revolver.

Since his arrest the FOSSCAD community has continued upon his work and make several key changes to the weapon.  This is the latest version of the revolver now in 22lr.  No word on if this has been test fired yet but this proves that the 3d printed gun is still alive and well and the designs are continuing to evolve.


Via Oddball in GBC

Friday, May 15, 2015

A bit of advice to you married folk....

If you're out with your friends for Sicilian food followed by Avengers and going out for Mexican...  and in the parking lot your wife drives up and says "Honey, I've got my mom watching the kids and I've got a hotel room;  hop in."

Don't complain that you've had a beer and feel a bit sleepy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to remain optimistic.

Some instructions on how to deal with the robot uprising..

And hey, it's not just ecological and agricultural reasons that the machines will keep us around.

Companion animals too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beer Can Mortars

A neat primer. (No you empty out the beer and fill with concrete).

They really are quite fun.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Air Mobile ICBMs? It's possible!

Watch this mid-seventies test where the Airforce loads a Minuteman missile into a C5 galaxy and pushes it out the back.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Smaller carriers? More bang for the buck?

Foxtrot Alpha has an interesting article on the possibility of the US Navy going away from an "all nuclear super carrier" force.   That is building a mix of Ford/Nimitz class vessels and smaller Queen Elizabeth-ish  class ships.

It's an interesting idea,  as the US Navy doesn't have anything between the Nimitz and the Wasp/America class.   And there could be many situations where one needs a flattop but doesn't quite need the full "Alpha Strike" or multi-mission capability of a Nimitz.  Especially with the increase of precision weapons in the last few decades.

And having more flattops would increase flexibility.   Especially given that a given number will be in dock for maintenance.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Slate's Pearl Clutching on Homemade guns.

Oh Slate.

I'll give them points for actually doing some historical research and realizing that the home fabrication of firearms isn't exactly new.

But then they get stupid.   See they point out how current law is that  non-FFL's (that is normal people) can make their own guns but are bared from transferring them to anyone else.

Sagely they claim this "is hardly a disincentive to those already trading in the black market."   while suggesting that a totally banning the home mfg of guns will.

Slate is aware that it's illegal for people to make meth right?  How's that going?
Or going digital... those bans on pirating movies and music are sure going well aren't they?

It gets sillier....

 In 2013 a man named John Zawahri killed five people in Santa Monica using an assault rifle assembled from parts legally purchased online.  In October in Kawasaki, Japan, Yoshimoto Imura became the first person prosecuted for making plastic guns on 3-D printers. And just this year, four men in Southern California were arrested for allegedly marketing dozens of homemade AR-15-style rifles on the black market.
Such cases are clearly just the beginning and threaten to sink reasonable efforts at regulating the traffic in “ghost guns,” as these weapons have been called. 

Wait what?   So...  people illegally making guns... threatens to sink plans to ban people making guns.


Yeah, the rest of the article is just as logical.

Federal and state authorities are groping for ways to halt this alarming trend. Last year California Democratic Rep. Mike Honda introduced the Homemade Firearms Accountability Act, which would subject homemade guns to many of the same regulations as firearms sold commercially—though the bill stands virtually no chance of passage in a Republican Congress heavily beholden to the NRA and the gun lobby. Already in 2013 the Department of Homeland Security had issued an intelligence bulletin warning that halting or even slowing the distribution of the new homegrown guns “may be impossible.”

Oh no!  The evil NRA is blocking a bill that...  DHS thinks will be utterly impossible to enforce.  And the authorities are panicing over losing control.

So... Cody Wilson's right then?

And as for a bonus it ends with this bit of pearl-clutching:

 "But there’s a darker side to locophilia and the DIY movement, a place where the self-reliance of the woodshop putterer meets the libertarian zeal of the garage gunsmith."

Help!  If the citizens start to realize they can make whatever they want... why they might start thinking they can say whatever they want or maybe do what they want!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Vepr versus SVD versus PSL

A  neat comparison  of 54R  DMRs.

And huh.... I didn't realize that PSLs had gotten so expensive.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I don't mean to keep mocking Cracked but it's like they've gone mad...

So on Sunday Cracked ran an article where they postulated that the Police are: militarized, dangerous to the citizens, and utterly unaccountable  and thus there should be mass bans and confiscation of guns in private hands.

Now I've already talked about how fractally wrong of an idea that is.  Gee I wonder who's gonna enforce the demand that the citizenry give up their arms!

But Cracked managed to top themselves.

See now they're postulating that the Police are:  militarized, dangerous to the citizens, utterly unaccountable, and that voilence is the only means for progress against them Thus...  they've already stated the next Civil War.

Leaving aside the validity of their conclusions (Or pondering why is it that people living in cities like Baltimore don't have any real representation and even the poor are crushed by taxes and regulations... despite voting for the same Machine Politics for decades)...

Let's just bask in how Cracked is waving flag warning about an oncoming civil war...  while advocating that the police disarm their enemies.

Kinda makes you wonder exactly which side they're on?

Some fascinating firearms history

Forgotten Weapons looks at the Mannlicher 1885 semiauto-rifle.
One of, if not the, first weapons of its type.

Truely a fascinating bit of history, and one can see how it can influence the designs of subsequent weapons for over a century.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oh Cracked.... Maybe this week isn't the right time to decry free speech or Timing is everything.

I wouldn't normally keep going to the Cracked well but...

They keep giving these low, slow pitches.

Once again Cracked plays the game of article title is different from the url with 5 Cases Of Free Speech That Will Make You Hate Freedom

With the url of: /5-groups-people-who-will-make-you-hate-free-speech/

And yes... this comes out days after the Garland Texas shooting...    You know...  timing!

And to be clear here's how the article starts:

Knowing how to make good use of our right to free speech can be tricky. We all know you can't scream "fire!" in a crowded theater, but would it really be so bad if we were to lower the threshold just a skootch? Yeah, probably, but while certainly no American has any sort of God-given right to go through life without ever being offended, when that theater we were just talking about starts filling up with wild-eyed yahoos jabbering things like, "Slap your children so we can stop the fags from putting the Devil music inside us with vaccines!" one might start seeing the lure in tweaking the limit to, let's not say silence, but ... encourage those folks to shut the fuck up for the sake of society at large. Folks like ...

Damn.  And emphasis in original.

You see.  Using mockery and satire to put down people you disagree with (as the article itself does) that's free speech.

But when you couple that "encourage" with openly lamenting why that the threshold for free speech is too high...  well then it starts to get a bit scary.

That it's framed as " wild-eyed yahoos jabbering things"  well that just puts a nice level of classim on it.

Now in fairness.  The article was pretty even (as could be with 5 entries) of right wing and left wing asshattery.

Though Cracked...  a bit of advice,  when you run an article that asserts, as one of its main concluding points, that "the line between rich and poor has a barbwire fence built over it"  don't release it concurrently with the above article where you bemoan that powerful and well connected are legally unable to jail "wild-eyed yahoos" who say things you don't like.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First those damn robots took our fry-cook jobs...

Then they took our square-jawed space-plane pilot jobs!

Or was it the other way around?  

Seriously, here's some info on the X73 spaceplane.  Neat!

There's Blaming the Victim and then there's....

Okay...  Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washing Post has decided that the Garland Texas attack was analogous to hunting over bait:

If the contest was intended as bait, it worked. Police say two men drove 1,000 miles from Phoenix, shot at a police car outside the event and were quickly killed by one of the hired guards. The shooting has been condemned by Muslim leaders, and Geller, too, has come under fire for staging an event many viewed as purposely provocative.

Well then.     If saying Geller brought it upon herself is the metaphorical "She shouldn't have been wearing such a short skirt."

This...   this is: "Damn that Jezebel for using her harlot-whiles to get those nice boys kilt by the police! It wasn't their fault she got their dander up!"

And then the article goes on to talk about how Geller was "almost gleeful" afterwards and how bad of a person she is.

Uh... MSN...  yeah,  even assholes get Free Speech rights.

It's sort of like how  just because someone has a criminal record,  like say Freddie Gray...  still has the rights of due process, especially with regards to the police.

And for a bonus.... Geller might be an anti-Islam bigot.  I don't know her well enough to make that call.

What I do know...  she's not the one equating Muslims with some sort of game animal that can be predictably baited to a spot and then shot by hunters.  That's all on Somashekhar.

Huh, at least we know the writer's against provocative art that offends the sensitivities of gun-totin' religious conservatives.  Course... I'd worry about the incentive system being setup...

The latest group of "Only Ones" Theater Managers.

So... Cracked has had a bit of a... history of putting up some anti-gun screeds.

Now for amusement look at item #1 of this list  on behind the scenes at movie theaters.

Most managers started carrying a gun under their coat or at least had one in their office. It wasn't something the company was keen on, but when you are actually in the building ... you become aware of every gap in your security,


Now, personally, I applaud the management for taking the defense of their patrons seriously and realizing the limitations of their security.

But... I'm not the management of said companies that, sometimes,  ban carry in their theaters  or try to keep their employees from carrying.

And I'm not a publication that will occasionally run articles laughing off self-defense as a paranoid fantasy and demanding broad firearms confiscation.

But hey, maybe Cracked thinks  Theater Managers are, like cops, among the "Only Ones" fit to carry guns.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Tyranny of May Issue... Food Truck edition

Guess what,  Cali, NYC, and NJ all have onerous permitting requirements for getting a... food truck.


But don't worry, I'm sure there's no favoritism or other abuses in the issuing of those permits.

I figured since Craked posed something insanely stupid yesterday, I'd go into the slush pile for something to post today.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

And once again mass stupidity brings me back into bloggin...

So I was out sick for a while and then just... stopped posting.

But then   Cracked decided to post an article entitled:  6 Reasons (Beyond Racism) Why Cops Keep Killing People

And yes,  reason #4. More Gun Freedom = More Police Shootings.

That's right!  In an article that's about cops killing unarmed citizens, the solution they present is "Let's make the citizens even more unarmed!"

What I love is they cite Canada as being such an epic gun control place.

Meanwhile, Germany and Australia had six cop-related deaths, and some people in Canada are currently scandalized that they've been averaging an estimated 25 deaths a year. Even accounting for population, and even if we go with the FBI's conservative (read: bullshit) statistic of 400 or so killings a year, US cops are still insanely prolific in this area. So what's the difference? It's not like these other countries don't have crime, racism, or police corruption -- shit, Europe probably invented those things.

Uh...   Cracked.  Canada's got a population of 35 million.  Oh wait, why normalize for population.  Or mention that Canada's got 30 guns per 100 residents.

Oh!  But they do mention the Canadian gun registry...  but not that was repealed.

But more importantly, they've also had troubles with guns. Like America, most of the countries we mentioned have had big gun massacres in the past 25 years. Unlike America, they've actually done something about it. In Australia, for example, 35 people were killed by a mentally ill gunman in 1996, and they reacted by immediately passing stricter laws that forced gun owners to surrender some types of firearms. We'll remind you that this is a country where saying "But what if a giant crocodile shows up in my living room?!" isn't bullshit.

Now do note this guy screaming "We have to DO something!"  immediately before this was hemming and hawing about mandating body cameras for the police.

And then the writer goes into a general aside for several paragraphs about how great gun control is (not even in relation to the police). And how the US is getting more violent (which it isn't  but hey he's on a roll...)

And then ends the section with this gem.

 English bobbies can afford to go on patrol with basically no means of self-defense except tasers and those pointy hats, but American cops are trained to be afraid of us because we might have guns. And obviously we can't just get rid of our guns now, because they are dang cool and awes-- uh, protection. We need them for protection, yeah. Lord knows the cops aren't going to help you in an emergency; they're too busy shooting people who might have guns.

So remember!   If you think you need protection from someone being violent you're just a paranoid.

But the state*totally* needs to take your guns away, because then all these cops who, thanks to 9/11 and drugs, are on a literal war mentality (item #3) and have no accountability (item #1)  will be extra nice to you!

That's right,  disarm so those paranoid cops who think they're in a war and have no accountability won't consider you a threat.   (Unless they think you have an illegal gun, because those will totally be gone).

So the author is framing the police as a paramilitary occupying force that can do whatever they want,  and his idea is to disarm the victims.

It's funny that the writer took such pains to deflect the whole "cops are racist" because if you remembered the disproportionate issue with regard to minorities then his gun control screed is basically...  "We need to ban guns for black people because cops keep thinking black people have illegal guns!  What? That's racist.  Fine   then ban guns for everyone!  That way those racist cops won't have to think."

Oh,  and as a bonus item #2 talks about how cops are trained to kill instead of wound.  Interestingly the writer points out that, contrary to Hollywood, is sensible.    And then he goes on about how cops think they'll need to shoot someone with switchblade.  Now he might be mocking the cops for being paranoid or think that's a legit fear.  Still either way...  doesn't that point out that cops will kill people even if guns were banned?

Heck, it's not like there was recent protests due to an officer shooting a man who he knew was disarmed.  Or that such incidents haven't happened (justified or no).

Note...  this is the guy who was just going on about how there needs to be mass gun control (specifically citing  handgun bans and registration and confiscation)  to make the police less "jumpy".

Though the real bonus comes from the first line... "In the time it took us to research and write this article, a man named Freddie Gray went from living anonymously in Baltimore, to lying comatose"

Wait...  wasn't Mr. Gray arrested because cops enforcing were Maryland's knife control laws?

Never-mind that Mr. Gray was killed... not in the split second of the cops confronting the man, never-mind that the cops were able to put him into custody.  Never-mind that the mortal injuries received had nothing to do with any firearms.  Never-mind that Maryland has more gun control at the level of the countries he stated.

Nope!  The answer clearly is: Cops get machine guns,  the proles shouldn't even have pocket knives.

Yeah... you can see why the fractal stupidity of this required me to post.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Well.... Mr. A is certianly *not* ready for Hillary.

Totally umprompted and just dropped into quite conversation...  Mr A gives this link:

Yes yes, it's about yet another book on Hillary scandals and dark money.
And then after a  few minutes of no one paying attention... follows up with

it'd be awfully nice if that train jumped the tracks early, made space for someone who didn't vote to invade iraq

Well....  that's not... angry eliminationist rhetoric.  Wait... it is. But it's okay because he's got the right politics.  I'd make a joke about "that's sexist" but to be honest... Mr. A is pretty sexist.

And yes, I know he's talking metaphorically with her campaign as at rain and hoping that a sufficient scandal will get rid of her.  And not actually wishing harm to her.

What's funny is there hasn't been a defense of Hillary from anyone else, only a sneering at  writers of the book calling them "breitbart and townhall writers..."

Maybe Roger L Simon is right when he says: "None of my liberal friends like to talk politics anymore.  They have nothing to say and it’s obvious why."

Course... this doesn't mean they won't line up and vote for her.    Do note that Mr. A's primary ire is not Hillary's actions themselves just that she is a sub-optimal candidate in his view.

Oh.... and I really should do a post on Taurus, now that I'm starting to feel better gain.