Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Yes, I'm going to "Die" on that Hill

I've seen a LOT of pro-second amendment gentlemen and ladies saying that Bump-Fire stocks, being a useless accessory, and the anti-gun narrative being what it is right now, that we need to sacrifice Bump Fire to avoid another assault weapons ban. Some of these people have been calling the rest of us out for calling the NRA everything from retarded to traitorous, and saying that we don't want to die on this particular hill. It turns out, we were right, and they were wrong.
If the anti-gunners want me to support a bump-fire ban, they'll have to trade something for it. I'm not compromising, because with anti-gunners there is no compromise. We give them an inch, and they take a mile. We let them write laws, and they churn out poorly thought out garbage that doesn't achieve anything other than pissing people off.
I'll waste political capital defending an accessory that I literally have no tactical use for, in any situation. And that includes if I was the one taking potshots at people to validate my pathetic existence. I'll waste that capital, because the bill is so poorly written that it'll affect things that are actually useful, and because if this bill passes the anti-gunners will smell blood in the water and go for more. I'll waste that capital, because, even if the bump-fire had made the jackass more effective (and it didn't, because bumpfire is less effective than pulling the trigger as quickly as you can) the actions of one depraved individual are no reason to take away the rights of all the law abiding citizens out there. I'll waste that capital, "die" on that hill, because this isn't going to do anything to stop the next guy, because bump-fire stocks are ridiculously simple, all you need to bump-fire is a belt loop and your thumb, and because the government has no right to decide what I can and can't own.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tastelessness Personified

Dr. Jerry Pournelle, one of Science Fiction's more notable names, died just over a week ago. His politics were somewhere to the right of Stalin, so naturally, character assassination is already going on.
The author of this screed, in addition to having the poor taste to post it so soon after the death, can't figure out that author's are not their characters, and considers the fairly libertarian Pournelle to be the grandfather of the Alt-Right. I can't say I'm particularly surprised by that, since jackasses like this managed to portray Heinlein as a fascist, and David Drake as glorifying war. This is so horrendously over the line that I don't really know what to do, other than to wish that they end up inhabiting a gutter so foul that even the fleas don't want to latch on to them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Because 9/11 Truthers are Retarded

Cross posted from the book of Faces:

A 9/11 Truther just told me that the planes slamming into the towers wouldn't have had much effect, because the planes are primarily thin aluminum, just like a beer can. He even helpfully provided weights (fully loaded 747: 395,000, fuel load: 120,000lbs). My response, with names redacted to protect the retarded (my response incidentally also ignores the structural framework of the aircraft):
At approximately 22 miles an hour, the plane would have the same energy as approximately 6.3 pounds of TNT (note that I used the Truther's figures, and subtracted fuel from the equation).
At the estimated 402 miles per hour that the Twin towers were hit at, (an eminently reasonable estimate, because that's the usual fight speed of such an aircraft), it would have about same energy as just over a ton of TNT. Assuming a 45% loss of energy as per the Truther's figures again, we still have approximately 1167.46 pounds of TNT.
If I throw a f*cking beer can at your head at 400 miles an hour, it doesn't matter that it's a f*cking beer can. In fact, it's beer canness makes it worse for your head, because it's going to come apart and dump all of that energy into your witless dome. And even the skull of a 911 truther isn't thick enough to survive that. The same principle applies to the twin towers and the aircraft.

Add fuel to the mix, and the kinetic energy equation gets worse. Then the fuel catches fire and burns at a temperature that robs the steel of it's structural strength.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Texas takes a step in the right direction

They've legalized the carry of large knives and swords. Of course, there are a few restrictions:
So although Texans will be allowed to walk down the street carrying a katana, it's illegal to take blades exceeding 5.5 inches to the following places:
Bars and restaurants that derive 51% or more of their income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption.
Schools and universities.
Polling places.
Secure areas of airports.
Racetracks.
High school, collegiate or professional sporting events (unless the person is a participant in the event and a location-restricted knife is used in the event).
Correctional facilities.
Hospitals, nursing homes and mental hospitals (unless written authorization is given).
Amusement parks.
Churches, synagogues or other established places of religious worship. Also, people under age 18 will not be allowed to carry such blades if not directly supervised by a parent or guardian.
Violating the law could result in a third-degree felony charge, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
That wording is because of a stabbing earlier this year. Because people who are going to engage in stabbings make sure to follow the law in all its particulars, and will of course never conceal a knife over 5.5 inches, despite the fact that it's not particularly hard to conceal even a large knife, and even swords can be concealed with a little prior planning. And of course they'll never just use a baseball bat or a half-brick in a sock, should the law actually work in preventing knives from getting in. And no one has ever died of getting punched.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Leopards and Spots

Assuming that the article isn't quoting out of context (an unfortunate probability) then Trump has just managed to state out loud exactly why I'm not a fan. Everything he's said on the campaign trail and now has indicated that he doesn't really have any hard and fast convictions of his own. He is a populist who doesn't really care about the constitution.
Him not being able to get his way, despite the fact that much of his plan of action is either beneficial, or at least not terrible, is a Good Thing. I know that some conservatives are frustrated by the inability to achieve much, but we have to remember a few things:

The Constitution is not working as it should, but it is still performing its job to some degree. The executive branch has vastly more power than it did during the early days of the Republic, and the fact that it can still find itself stymied, that there are any checks at all remaining on it, is a good thing. We should not have to rely upon the benevolence of a single man, no matter how that man is picked. In addition, Trump's values have proven.. flexible enough that I'm not terribly sorry to see his power limited. In fact, I'm fairly happy about it. I'm not happy that we have yet to repeal Obamacare. I am happy that a determined executive can't just do what he wants.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blackmail is such an ugly word...

But CNN just loves it. 
Emphasis mine:
The apology came after CNN's KFile identified the man behind "HanA**holeSolo." Using identifying information that "HanA**holeSolo" posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man's name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.
On Monday, KFile attempted to contact the man by email and phone but he did not respond. On Tuesday, "HanA**holeSolo" posted his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald and deleted all of his other posts.
"First of all, I would like to apologize to the members of the reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened," he wrote. "I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts. I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did."
...
After posting his apology, "HanA**holeSolo" called CNN's KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, "HanA**holeSolo" sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.
CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
This has been up for a while, and has managed to set off 4Chan's /pol/ community and several other groups of internet trolls and shitposters. And with good reason. The CNN article is worded with a strong element of coercion. "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change." In other words, if "HanAssholeSolo" does something that CNN disapproves of they'll publish his information. Now, they've since said that the redditor in question gave his apology before they contacted him. That's not how their article - which is still up now, at 11pm EST, reads. In fact, reading their article, the Redditor, fearing the consequences of having his identity revealed (losing his job, death threats, etc.) was forced to stop performing his - completely legal mind you, albeit rather distasteful - actions. The fact that CNN would stoop to that level, against someone who doesn't even rise up to the level of "big frog in a little pond", and that they've allowed the article to stay up this long is indicative of a wildly amoral and out of control corporate culture. Unfortunately, I don't have cable, don't watch CNN, and my consumer habits make boycotting CNN's advertisers pointless, since I'm unlikely in the extreme to buy anything from them. That means that expressing my displeasure with CNN is basically limited to this blog and social media.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Movie Review; Kong: Skull Island

I finally got around to watching Kong: Skull Island. It's a visual masterpiece, with populated with deliberate military morons and blatant anti-war and "Green" message.

Helicopter gunships get in close to a being that can pluck them out of the air, and has demonstrated the ability to throw rocks and trees at them, as opposed to standing off and attacking from a distance, where they can't get grabbed and have a better chance of dodging thrown rocks and/or trees?

Check.

Military authority figure's irrational blood-thirst leads to him going all "Captain Ahab"? Check. Bonus points for being a colonel, which would be the same rank as a sea-going captain. His only redeeming feature is that he actually brings Kong down. Too bad about the fact that he was a moron in every other way, deliberately so.

Anti-war photographer heroine? Check. Bonus points for being hot, while not actually ever saying anything of substance, other than the bleeding obvious observation that Kong is a better choice than the Skullcrawlers. Bonus points for looking reasonable compared to the irrational military authority figure, thus destroying his credibility on all the actual good points that he makes concerning anti-war media coverage.

Blatant ecosimp moralizing? Check.

If it wasn't for the fact that the movie served up all the Giant Monster fighting action that I could wish for, I'd have ended up regretting it. As it is? Worth the watch, but rent, don't buy.

Brexit 1776...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It's nice living in a country where, with few exceptions, the only reason that I need to give for anything I choose to do is "Because I f***ing want to." And even though it started before July 4th, 1776, that was the day that we put it in words (or at least ratified the words).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well... Sh*t

I guess the Supreme Court simply doesn't want to hear second amendment cases, for better or worse. Having lived in California (and recently) I can say that this is distressing. Depending on where you live in CA, getting a concealed carry permit can be as easy as any shall issue state, or the next best thing to impossible. Given that California bans open carry, many residents of California are facing a de facto ban on bearing arms, a clear infringement of the second amendment. I fully endorse the dissent voiced by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, who called the decision "indefensible".

EDIT: And I thought that they were doing, a perhaps not great job, but an acceptable one. This is rather disappointing, especially since the court still has the same number of conservatives, liberals, and swing votes as it did for the McDonald and Heller decisions.