Jun 10
On Simpleton Slogans
icon1 Justin | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 06 10th, 2014| icon31 Comment »

Over the last week, a brave soul in Seattle and two very damaged ones here in Vegas added further evidence that the slogan “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” is still a bunch of bullshit meant to inspire fantasies of Taxi Driver-style vigilantism and of course, sell more guns. There are surely cases where a gun in the right hands made the difference,  but such slogans are oversimplifications meant to justify stockpiling for the sake of profits instead of encouraging responsible gun ownership (that thing the NRA used to do).

Only an idiot would suggest we could just take away all the guns in the country with no problem. These idiots exist, but in far fewer numbers than the NRA wants you to believe. On the other end of things, only an idiot would suggest that more guns is the solution to the problem. These idiots exist, but in far fewer numbers than anti-gun lobby wants you to believe. Let’s ignore the extreme ends of the spectrum for a change and focus on the area of reality where the rest of us live in.

Keeping that in mind, here are the actions I’d like to see happen in light of these new incidents. Preferably in the order listed, but any is ultimately fine, so long as they’re done.

1) Our government must submit proof that their spying on the citizenry has yielded net-positive results or drop the program entirely. The two perpetrators of Sunday’s murders were broadcasting their intent rather publicly beforehand and any surveillance of them seems to have been mishandled, at best.

2) The issue of mental health services in our country needs to be revisited. We can either as a people continue to expend human lives ignoring how broken that system is, or maybe divert funds from other programs rife with waste.

3) Our legislators need to stop fearing the spending power of the NRA and pass (actually, reintroduce) sensible regulations pertaining to the availability/purchase of guns. If anyone out there wants to argue that idea with me, your argument must include where you draw the line on gun availability, because I highly doubt there are many out there who believe criminals and the imbalanced shouldn’t have to get their guns illegally. It should be hard and they should have to cheat, which is harder than one might think.

I’m interested in other lines of thought on the subject. Let’s just keep the slogans out of it, alright?

sep
May 18

Someone I know just posted the following image. Below that, you’ll find my response to it.

idiotmeme

To be fair, yes, you can be arrested for entering this country illegally (see this link for some numbers). Also, 99.9% of the time, people poaching the wildlife that belongs to all of us citizens usually get a fine, since it’s a misdemeanor, not arrested.

Of course, don’t take any of what I just said as meaning this country isn’t run by idiots. It just also has idiot meme-makers :-D

sep
Mar 19

A friend of mine posted posted the following image today:

bullshit

They had obtained the image from a group on Facebook called Cold Dead Hands. Want to bet that they’re political centrists?

This was my response:

“There is no reason why a young person should have to pay for college…” – Charlie Rangel

It is important, if we’re to believe that ideas should be argued on their own merit, that we actually argue the words being used to communicate those ideas. The person who created this meme image thinks what the three people pictured have said means “free”. The ideas they expressed, based on what they actually said, don’t mean what he thinks they mean.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DEFENSE OF THE PICTURED PARTY’S POSITIONS. Except Inigo. We all know where he stands :-D

This comes from something labeling itself an education website. What does it say when such a site posts something showing a lack of basic reading comprehension? Or worse, not a lack, but a purposeful ignoring of?

I could have gone on, but there isn’t any point, is there? If you are changing the argument of those you oppose, then you concede that you can’t beat the original argument.

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Mar 10

So a while ago, when I was running my own Kickstarter campaign, I’d pledged to a book based on a vampire named Varney. For those of you who are fans of horror/dark comedy/vampires/literary history/et cetera, this was a cool idea for a book because it resurrected (pardon) a character that predated Bram Stoker’s vision of Dracula and in fact had set down a lot of what we now accept as tropes in vampire stories (e.g. all that stuff people complain about vis-a-vis Twilight [though the shitty story should be their main concern]). He hit his goal and was able to put out an issue worth of material to shop around.

Cut to now and he has not only been picked up by Mark Waid’s Thrillbent (which is a pretty huge deal itself), but they’ve also got Scott Kolins (he’s worked for everyone) taking on the art chores to not only revamp the original pages, but finish out the series as well. They’re running a brand new Kickstarter to help cover print costs and they have some great swag from a ton of comic greats to offer! If you’d like to see a preview, go on over to the Thrillbent website or their new Kickstarter campaign now. You’ll be glad you did. And if you decide to get some of the sweet, sweet perks that are being offered, be sure to mention in their comments section that I sent you (I want them to know they owe me eternally).

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Feb 23
Trade Aggrievement
icon1 Justin | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 02 23rd, 2014| icon3No Comments »

A while back, a book called Economix came out that I found to be a really fun way to educate people about how the economy does or (in the case of the last 30 years) doesn’t work. I highly recommend you pick it up if you are at all interested in the subject (you should be since you are a part of the economy and should have a vested interest in things that affect you).

Well, the creators of the book have drawn up a nifty little follow-up that helps show us how bad the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) really is.

HERE’S THE LINK.

If you don’t have quite enough time to read it, here’s the super-short version:

Remember how NAFTA brought prosperity to all the countries involved instead of seeing jobs shipped elsewhere with no benefit to anyone except the people already at the top? No? Well, this is way worse and we need to stop it.

Might be worthwhile to let your representatives know your opinion on that before it’s too late.

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