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.