Monday, April 16, 2018

Cracked: Letters of Marque are Scary!

Yes,  Cracked has an article about 5 Crazy Scenarios You Didn't Know the Constitution Allows

It's a funny list,  given there's fretting over  a "dictatorship loophole",  which no one is sure how it would work, other than maybe the shocker that constitutional amendments can amend the whole of the constitution and thus can do any dictatorial thing, including change how the Constitution is amended...

Fretting over Texas being able to split up, that the President can devolve his powers to the VP,  and that people can still be put into slavery and bondage if it's "punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."  Which given the vast, vast number of people incarcerated in the US, shouldn't be a surprise.

But the one that tickled my fancy was the "The Constitution Could Make Us All Pirates".  That is freaking out about the Letters of Marque part.  (As a side note, it's a bit funny as some Cracked writers would go all fanboy about pirate hunting).

Which goes to what made me amused.  See this is Adam Wears' work.    Right, the same guy who is stating in this article that the Founders Intended to be able to give average citizens the power to hunt pirates, with actual warships,  thinks the Founders never wanted average citizens to have firearms.  And thinks this to the level that it was NRA insanity that got the idea of an individual right tricking the courts.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cracked: Fake News Makes people Afraid of Mass and School Shootings

That is David Wong Cracked's Executive Editor's assertion in this list.

"13 Myths About Society Too Many People Believe"

6) Myth: School Shootings Are Rampant
7) Myth: Mass Shootings Are A Significant Danger To The Average Person

And he does a calm rational way to show that yeah these myths are false.
And he's saying this as someone who would happily ban these guns.

I do have to wonder how he squares this with Adam Wears  the frequent, and bilious, anti-gun writer he has on staff.

Ah well. Does show that for all the time Cracked goes against pearl-clutching moral panics in the media, they're quite guilty of it too.

Also Wong takes apart a few other sacred cows so the article does read like one of those older Cracked pieces where one has to wonder if this is being subversive or not.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Looks like I missed one...

So turns out Cracked had another gun article about a month ago.

And turns out that this and the last two articles were all written by the same  Adam Wears.

Behold 6 Psychotic Gun Accessories (You Can Totally Buy)  which is an interesting mix of silly and more silly things.

Through it all Wears' tone is extremely angry  and literally ends with an unrelated "Even Australia recognized we needed gun control after their own horrifying massacre. Read about it here."

And that last link is a book about the massacre... not the laws passed after it.

What's interesting is the "even"  as if Wears is surprised that Australia passed gun control. Given Cracked has repeatedly pointed to they want Australia's gun confiscation to be done in the US.

The funny part is that despite Wears preening about how "We at Cracked have dedicated a lot of words to debunking the myths that popular culture loves to spread about guns"  his number one scary item? 

Tripods.  Seriously, the number one in the list is the evils of gun tripods.  Only a bit into does he get into "crank-fire" guns.

I am amused that the article opens with the expected "Gun owners are just beardo man-children obsessed with merch and pop culture" you know...  what Cracked used to jokingly, but lovingly, call their "core audience" Wears goes on about "when a gun nut spends too long on eBay."

One wonders if Wears really thinks that the things he listed can be bought on Ebay....

Thursday, April 5, 2018

It took them almost couple months....

But Cracked once again is beating the Anti NRA drum.

Now there's "6 Underreported Reasons Why The NRA Are Just The Worst"

Three things off the bat.  Note the the extremely clickbait formatting of the headline, even by Cracked standards  then note that the verb is conjugated for plural.  Meaning that it's not "the NRA" as being the worse,   but "NRA members" as being the worse.

And finally... under reported?    Reading the list of pear-clutching and conspiracy mongering the list is all stories that are pretty well known.

I'm just amused that Silencers (#1) are both somehow so effective that they're prefect assassin devices, but also so ineffective that they're pointless in reducing hearing damage.

And that when Smith and Wesson is pressured by the goverment to go into Smart Gun technology that's perfectly fine, but when gun owners decide to no longer by their guns  then it's suddenly an affront to the free market.

As a minor note, it is amusing that in some cracked articles Waco and Ruby Ridge are signs that the goverment is reckless and crazy and abusive of power,  and in other articles those events are legitimate and questioning them is just conspiracy mongering.  But since Cracked had their big editorial and contributor cull earlier this year, they probably can't do checks for consistent editorial stance.

 That said, I'm a bit surprised Cracked took them this long to write another article.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Small Business Bites End.

And we come to the conclusion.

Though there's room for a sequel, but, more importantly, there's always revisons.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Schedule Slip

Alas no writing to put up this Sunday.

The plan is for next sunday to have another scene up, which may be the last one for Small Buisness Bites.

So, there's that at least.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Small Buisness Bites... aftermath.

So...  Camille and Victoria had a spot of trouble.
And now they've got some of the consequences starting....

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Small Buisness Bites Action scene

After a week delay, I've got a new scene up.

And this one's got some action

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday Writing.

No Small Buisnes Bites today

Instead I've got a preview of another idea of mine.

This one is more... pulpy.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Small Business Bites Scene 4

And the story keeps truckin' along.

Camille and Victoria are making plans for what to do about Valli's problem but things may spoil their plans.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How do you get a Gun Control Advocate to be against armed agents of the state?

Have said agent be a teacher.

But hardening proposals also exhibit a circular logic that runs deeply counter to the spirit of the Second Amendment. Again, that provision implies a duty to resist tyranny, in all the forms of military, surveillance, and governmental overreach that helped spark the revolution. Suggestions to create a police state in American schools, however, mirror other pro-authoritarian tendencies that run counter to this instinct. In the creation of the carceral state, in the expansion of drug laws, and in the extreme militarization of police in recent years, people have argued that placing more guns in the hands of authorities is the only way to keep people safe. But why would pro-Second Amendment enthusiasts be in favor of providing more firepower to the government?
Of course the teacher in this question isn't armed as a requirement for their job.  Nor is it an issued weapon.  The object is instead to give the option for someone to legally carry a personal weapon.

Though to get to that bit you had to read through a lot of drec.

It also ends on an interesting note.

One legal theory used to oppose the preferences of many defenders of the Second Amendment is based on the fact that the militarized American police state has advanced far beyond the ability of any possible well-regulated militia to stop it. But lost in that observation is the fact that Americans—many of them staunch gun-rights advocates—have pushed repeatedly to bolster the military and the creep of militarism into other civic arenas. 

A true point.

They’ve then trapped the country in an arms race between government and civilians, one in which civilians face severe losses from both state and private violence. And now students, protected in schools by the most basic tenets of the social contract, find themselves in the line of fire.

Except the social contract doesn't work if the police refuse to do their part...

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


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.