Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crying Wolf, but Ignoring the Coyote

I remember 2011 quite well. The Republicans had put forth the usual group of spineless, but nice, RINOs as candidates for the presidential election. I supported Herman Cain, who, while not a great candidate, was a darn sight better than any of the other yahoos trying to get nominated for the 2012 presidential election. And then his campaign was devastated by sexual misconduct allegations, allegations which disappeared into thin air the instant Cain dropped his campaign.

On the other hand, men on the opposite side of the political spectrum - Roman Polanski and Bill Clinton - engaged in blatant sexual misconduct and rape, and the left went on the warpath to protect them. Never mind that Polanski was a pedophile - "it wasn't rape-rape". Forget that the power dynamic between Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, and the silencing of numerous others accusing Clinton of assault and sexual impropriety - after all, it's just one "vast right-wing conspiracy" to discredit the Clintons.

The extreme difference in media response, with liberals only getting brought down when it's so blatant that the media can't hide it - and as Polanski proved, sometimes not even then - and Republicans getting lambasted when subjected to any claims of sexual impropriety... claims which go away when the Republicans in question are no longer politically relevant, and which usually happened decades in the past, with statutes of limitations well past...

If this dynamic is to be broken, or at least mitigated, so that you don't automatically cause roughly one half of the country to disbelieve you on sexual assault accusations leveled towards a Republican candidate then a couple of things need to happen:

  1. I don't care what Judge Roy Moore does - whether he goes to the Senate or obscurity - you better at least force a settlement out of him. It's too late for a criminal conviction (a point against you BTW), but you need to achieve something other than the destruction of his political career to retain credibility. Otherwise a fair number of people will (rightly) view your future accusations as both not credible, and as political weapons. Of course, it also doesn't help that most of what he's being accused of isn't actually illegal... but some of the things he is accused of were actually illegal, so if there's any truth to the accusations, we'd better see a result.
  2. Don't allow ANYONE, to get away with shit just because they share your politics. If you know (not suspect, KNOW) that someone is doing something (as, apparently most of Hollywood did about Weinstein) then f***ing report it to the police. Don't let it fester. Don't hold back until the statute of limitations is past (this one is important, both for credibility, and to ensure that sexual predators get taken out of circulation). Don't say that it wasn't "rape-rape". If you have personal knowledge of sexual misconduct, you have an obligation to do something about it. Of course, if you're the victim, reporting (or not) is your prerogative, and you may very well have some good reasons for not reporting. But Weinstein's actions were well known by far more than just the victims.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

On the 11th hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month...

The Armistice was signed.

Friday, October 27, 2017

They won't stop


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.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Well, It's a Start

Today the Supreme Court denied an appeal concerning non-violent misdemeanor offenses and gun rights, letting a lower courts decision stand. This makes it so that you can't be denied your gun rights for a non-violent misdemeanor. I don't support having any misdemeanor turn someone into a prohibited person - if a person's crime is so bad that they shouldn't be allowed to own firearms, it should be a felony - and I'm ambivalent about prohibiting felons, particularly non-violent felons, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the massive number of felony laws on the book, so many in fact, that no one even knows how many there are, let alone how to avoid committing one, to the fact that a reformed felon is just as prohibited as an unrepentant felon, and the unrepentant one won't have any issues with using the black market or other illegal means (i.e. theft) to obtain a firearm.

So the fact that the crimes that can lead to becoming a prohibited person have been significantly reduced makes me more than a little happy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

US in no condition to Lecture Communist Cuba on human rights?

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Oh wait... They're actually serious. Whatever the US's problems (and we have a few) the communist shithole of Cuba is not a state in any position to criticize us. Not to mention that most of their criticisms are complete bullshit:
"We have deep concerns by the respect and the guaranties of the human rights in that country, where there is a large number of cases of murder, brutality and police abuse, particularly against the African Americans; the right to live is violated as a result of deaths by firearms," the statement read.
It went on to list a litany of concerns: racial discrimination, salary inequality between genders, the marginalization of immigrants and refugees from Islamic and other countries, Trump's proposed wall on the southern border, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the imprisonment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, the killing of US and foreign citizens in drone attacks, the preface for and conduct of the wars in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, and estimates that the Republican health care bill would cause 23 million people to lose medical insurance.
Yeah...
  1. It's not unheard of for cops to be complete shitbags. However, it's also uncommon, and unless they get protected by their department and/or attorney general they'll face the consequences for it, and when they do get protection of that sort, it sets of a lot of bad press. It's also worth noting that the levels of corruption among US cops are quite a bit lower than most of the rest of the world. Casual bribery of cops is a part of life in most of the world, but not in the US.
  2. Right to live violated as a result of deaths by firearms? I hate to break it, but taking away guns doesn't get rid of violence and murder. It often makes the violence worse.
  3. Racial discrimination? There are race issues, but they generally get blown out of proportion.
  4. Salary inequality is a nonissue. The causes of it are as follows; many women take significant time off to have children, delaying their careers, and resulting in lower average salaries. Amplifying the problem is that women tend to pick lower paying (in fact, often worthless) degrees. It has nothing to do with sexism.
  5. Marginalization of refugees? Trump says some stupid shit. That doesn't mean that his rhetoric is entirely unjustified. The countries on his travel ban are all failed states without the ability to vet their passports, and with heavy terrorist influences in country. Illegal immigration is a major issue.
  6. The Paris climate accord is a scam to steal money from poor and middle class people in rich countries, and give it to rich people in poor countries.
  7. Killing US citizens with drones? Yeah that's an issue both legal and moral, if it's done on purpose. And if they're not acting as part of a terrorist group. Killing non-US citizens? If they're not terrorists, and it's done on purpose, again it's a moral issue (but not really a legal issue, since our government shouldn't have too much obligation to foreign nationals.
  8. I'm not going to go all over the Iraq and Afghan wars right now. I don't really have the time to do it justice, and I want to go to bed sometime. Suffice to say, we had our reasons. And they were good, even if we messed up the execution.
  9. Health care? Our system of healthcare works. In fact, the more government has gotten involved in it, the less well it's worked. Moreover, if you want to see what US government ran healthcare would look like, check out the VA. Yeah, all those people with socialized healthcare? They've basically got the VA, but for everyone. 
Cuba, if your country works so great, why were there ever balseros? Why was the "Wet feet, dry feet" policy such a big deal? Stop moralizing.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

So, when exactly did you get turned into a Eunuch?

Apparently it's a requirement that British men get their balls cut off.
Who knew.
I mean, who knew that lock-back knives were scary? Or that a (max) 3-inch knife was "girthy-as-fuck". The only reason I can think of for someone to hold those opinions it a lack of balls.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Trump and Russia.

For the record (and as is fairly evident from reading past posts) I'm not a terribly big fan of Donald Trump. As far as I'm concerned, he was the third worst option last election cycle, running against the worst option.
Based off of his past views as expressed in his (mostly former at this point) associations and written words, he is one of three things:
  1. Newly conservative, at a time when most people are quite settled in their ways, and having been a Democrat for the majority of his life
  2. A liberal pretending to be a republican (based off of his actions since becoming president, this one is now the least likely scenario, unless he's playing a far deeper game than any US politician has played in decades).
  3. A populist with no truly personal political views. I favor this theory, because he's changed political affiliations a total of seven times over the course of his life.
Whatever the case may be, the fact that he's turned out to not be Hillary Clinton with better taste in clothes is not a ringing endorsement.

With that in mind, I have a few things to say to liberals when it comes to Trump.
  • This is your fault just as much as it is the conservatives. Trump won the primary, not despite the bad press, but because of it. When you turned Mitt Romney, perhaps the squishiest and most liberal Republican in the party, into the next thing to Hitler, and earlier, John McCain, who is probably the biggest swing vote in the Senate, into the reincarnation of Goebbels, you destroyed your credibility. So when Trump came along, and he actually was an asshole, no one believed you, and a significant portion of the electorate voted for him BECAUSE you said he was an asshole. Then you compounded the issue by running Hillary Clinton against him. You picked the one candidate capable of getting libertarians of any stripe to vote for Trump. You could have ran Jim Webb, who probably could have stolen a good chunk of conservatives from Trump. You could have ran Bernie Sanders, who despite being a batshit crazy socialist could've drawn a significant number of new voters, and basically all current leftist voters. Instead, you ran the absolute worst candidate you could've ran, one who alienated not just conservatives, but a good chunk of middle, and who failed to draw in any new voters to make up for the way she alienated the more conservative portion of the middle.
  • Remember the birther controversy? A lot of your recent ideas about getting rid of Trump are just as foolish. The whole "Russia" debacle? Not doing you any favors. If you don't have the conclusive ability to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, you probably shouldn't be making a big deal out of it. Otherwise, just like the birthers, when you can't prove it, you look completely retarded and help out your opposition.
  • Even should you manage to oust Trump, you'll get Mike Pence. You don't want Mike Pence. Hillary doesn't even get another shot until 2020, at which point in time you should probably pick another candidate. You're not getting any other democrat, because you'd need to impeach and remove from office 5 people before you got to someone who isn't a Republican. And, not only is he not a democrat, I doubt that you'd enjoy President "Mad Dog" Mattis. This assumes of course that you impeach people faster than replacements can be nominated, which is itself extremely unlikely.
That's it for now. Enjoy your free advice.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Well...

Trump hasn't been as bad as I feared he might be. I'd still rather have Ted Cruz or even Gary Johnson as president, but Trump has managed to meet the standard for "mediocre", not a standard I ever thought he'd reach. Of course, mediocre isn't exactly a desirable state of affairs, but he's at least managed to avoid being Hillary Clinton with a comb over. Of course some people would probably prefer him that way.

If somehow they choose to run Hillary Clinton again in 2020, I'll probably die of laughter. Clinton was perhaps the only possible presidential choice that he could have won against initially, and so long as he fulfills a few campaign promises and manages to refrain from putting anyone into death camps, he'll have a solid advantage against Hillary in 2020.