Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cracked: Gut the NRA!

I exaggerate.  A little bit:

To hear gun control proponents out, one might think that the best, fastest solution to the mass shootings plaguing our country would be to take a shiny litigatory scalpel and excise the NRA -- with their bottomless lobbying coffers, poisonous conspiracy theories, promotion of violence against protesters, and all-around assholery -- from politics and wider society. It's hard to argue against that. We certainly wouldn't stand for that shit from, say, the dairy industry. But the NRA somehow gets a pass every damn time.

 And then Cracked goes with the old chestnut of:  Oh but the NRA used to be good when it was a hunting and marksmanship program and didn't try to rock the boat by fighting gun bans!

 And followed by a paranoid conspiracy view of the Revolt in Cincinnati.

But this is the biggest part of Cracked's conspiracy:

Enter NRA 2.0. Within years of their rebirth, a slew of law review articles -- written by scholars funded by the ILA -- began to appear that argued that this reading was "incorrect," that the Second Amendment doesn't just guarantee state militias, but everyone the right to buy, stockpile, and use guns. And not just hunting rifles, but also pistols and other firearms crafted specifically to allow human beings to kill human beings without any training or skill.

The fiends!

The support of prominent politicians such as Orrin Hatch and Ronald Reagan soon codified this definition, and as the years wore on, public opinion started to shift accordingly. By 2008, 73 percent of Americans supported the "everyone gets guns" interpretation of the Second Amendment. It was almost inevitable that when the time came, the Supreme Court would agree.

As a result of this ruling, the court refuses to hear any other gun-related cases, apparently considering the matter settled. And that's perhaps the worst thing: By refusing to hear any other cases (and remember that the old interpretation was challenged four times), they're allowing an interpretation of the Second Amendment to exist that, unlike the rest of our constitutional rights, is totally unrestrained. 

What?  Totally unrestrained?
Umm....  then how come there's ANY gun control laws at all?

If that were true then how could several states have assault weapon bans or magazine bans?  How can there be federal regulations on the sale and purchase of new guns?

Heck totally unrestrained implies that machine guns could be bought via mail order with no background check?

Though the delicious part is that Cracked points out how the NRA are suckers for supporting Reagan despite the gun control he signed.   After starting the article screaming about how Trump didn't do anything to ban bump stocks.

Except  Trump did do just that.

No gratitude.  Which is to be expected.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Small Business Bites scene 3

Another part of the little story.

And yes the reason they were called in for this "favor for a friend of a friend" is revealed.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Small Business Bites Scene 2

Why not?
Here's a bit more.

Bit more world building and character interaction.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Helping!

Hey I know that guy!

I still get a bit of "impostor syndrome" when someone mentions my helpfulness as a teacher...


Cracked: Have racism allegories in your stories..... No not like that!


Shorter Cracked:
But they're all female. So that has to count for something, right?


1) Stop making your fantasy-allegorical races physically /different/!
2) Stop having humans react to non-humans in a way that changes their current prejudice stack! (Why I mean it's not historically the definition of who counts as "white" can expand depending on the number of "non-white" people are around)
3) Stop giving them unique/special powers!
4) And stop giving them fantastical and interesting threats!
Gee.... and then they ponder "Gee why aren't people interested int he stories that we want to say?"

Mostly I linked this because I'm back in the saddle of writing a story that has an alien species that well... are stronger than humans, have abilities humans don't have, and oh yes look like demons.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Small Business Bites

Got the first scene of my new short story project up on the other blog.
Can be read here.

(Temporary for now given how... hilariously dated that blog title is)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cracked on Self Defesne... not entirely bad.

Huh.... this advice from cracked is actually pretty.... good. There's a little bit too much of "you'll get killed in the street!" and "Criminals are invincible ubers so don't even try."

But.... The points about the value of alertness, deescalation, realizing a fight can be sudden, unexpected, and more brutal than one expects are valid. As is the article being open about saying it is not a fitting venue to tell people how to fight back.

There's also passages like this which are entirely good advice:
So while a lot of armchair badasses may think "I want to train to fight so I can pull the knife out of a mugger's hand and shove it aaaalllll the way up his ass," Richard does not consider that self-defense. Self-defense is saying, "Well shit, he can have my wallet. It's not worth a freaking blade in my lung." Or even better, saying, "That guy's acting weird, I'm getting out of here" five minutes earlier.

Yuuup, a good class will spend as much time on when to use force in response to an attack as what options are available.


Of course then the article undercuts everything by ending with:

"It's also not a bad idea to do what millions of women around the world have done, and get yourself a can of mace."

This isn't to knock a spicy treat dispenser; they have a very valid role, but.... after an article full of cautions and caveats ending with "Little Lady should just buy X" kinda undercuts the whole thing.

(For one such dispensers will blow back when used, and have a limited range, and may not work, so practice and training can /really/ help)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bitish Rationing in WW2, the rest of the story

InRange TV continues this interesting bit of history with 6 more videos

2:  What food one gets in a week

3:  Cooking to deal with the rations

4: the National Loaf; that is how bread was rationed

5: More nuts and bolts of the rationing system

6: Where Cafeterias and Restaurants fit in with the system

7:  Black Markets and booze

8: Conclusions

What's interesting is to see that for such a system to work certain levels of competence, fairness, and acceptance are needed on the level of the goverment at a minimum.

First the state has to make sure the system actually runs and that there is food available.  That is if a product is being rationed then having it available in some level is vital.  As is ensuring that people can actually live on the rations provided.

Second the system has to at least attempt to minimize the whole "shut up prole know your place" sentiment that is pretty eternal. Where the connected and well to do, especially if those people are the ones running the system,  can still gorge themselves on whatever they want.  (That said given game one harvested was not rationed, and hunting in the UK is very much a well-to-do pursuit...)

Third is acceptance.   Teetotalers and prohibitionists pushed for Lord Woolton, the man running the system, to ban alcohol in England. (Their argument was that grains used in booze could be better used in food) Woolton pointed out that asking workers who where already increasing their hours and lessening the variety of their food, to also give up all booze would cause riots.


One can see that  in today's world of  state governments that can't even keep a lottery self-funding,  goverment health organizations that enact polities that increase obesity,  where well to do bolivators and goverment mandarins take private jets to exotic locations to lecture on how the proles should have less electricity, and demand policies that seem to be driven out of spitefully denying people simple joys....

Well,  competence, fairness, and acceptance are in short supply. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

British Rationing in WWII

Ian on Inrange TV has a new series coming up



So far there's an overview of some of the nuts and bolts of the British WW2 (and beyond) domestic rationing system.
Not just linking for a historical interest, but as this was a massive state regulation of food with rationing (obviously), price controls, wholesale purchase, attempts to influence supply and demand, and social engineering.
And this is a scheme that seems to have functioned fairly well, resulted in improved health, and had less black market activity than many other rationing programs.
My natural libertarian leanings recoil at such at thing, but in the points of intellectual honesty I am curious to learn more.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Opening lines.

That's the first step right?

Well I have an idea of characters and setting, still planning the plot. As it's a short story do have to be careful about size and the 'verse.

But I'm pretty happy with this opening line:

When meeting a demon over drinks it pays to wear your nicest holster.  

It's a start.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Backup Procedures

Way back in the day I participated in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo).

I worked on a story called Backup Procedures.

Think of an alt-history future-pulp on other planets humans travel to via submarine.  Where humanity's allies in this universe are a race of large crab-like creatures and a demonic-looking all female species which is not actually demonic but created from humans and a race of eldritch old ones.

Never finished it.   Didn't even get to revise it like I promised.

And I'll admit my track record is... well time, time and time.

But I'm thinking maybe I could start with a short story to get back into  the 'verse

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Constitutional Carry for Indiana?

Another attempt is being tried with House Bill 1022.

As Tam says:

Contact your local legislator, Hoosiers, and also make sure that Speaker Bosma's office know that we will not appreciate him burying this in committee or shuffling it off to a study again. You can't call yourself "Indiana's Conservative Leader" and continue to kill gun rights bills. Pick one.

And I'll echo her mention that if you're  Hoosier and not a member of ISRPA, join up.  They're a great state-level organization and do the yeomen's work for gun rights in this state.