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Monday, July 16, 2018

ACP Episode 015: Prior Restraint vs Due Process


In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss dog deterrence and nasal lavage;
  • the Main Topic is the importance of youth gun safety training, with a few stories of kids who found guns in surprising locations;
  • The Egghead talks about what equipment is best for outfitting your Ham Radio Shack;
  • Weer'd brings us a patented Audio Fisk of Rock and Movie Star Henry Rollins,
  • David discusses New York State gun laws, including the infamous SAFE Act;
  • and Steve talks about equipment failure while on surveillance.

Listen to the episode here.

Reminder: we will give away a C-5 Lower from Frontier Armory on July 18th as a Thank You to our Patreon Patrons. If you're reading this on Monday, you still have time to become a Patron!

You didn't know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like blooper reels!


Show Notes

Main Topic:
Weer’d Audio Fisk:
General Purpose Egghead:

    Thursday, July 12, 2018

    OBS on TTAG

    I know that many gunbloggers won't touch The Truth About Guns, mainly due to the actions of Robert Farago. If that's the case, it may interest you to know that Farago isn't with the company any more -- after he sold TTAG to Wide Open Media, they fired him in an attempt to improve the reputation of the brand.

    If that doesn't interest you, then at least let me point out that "staff writer" (I actually know the writer in question, having met them personally, but they requested to be kept anonymous and I respect that) wrote a lovely article about Operation Blazing Sword yesterday.



    Go read the article, even if you never return to TTAG. Just... don't read the comments. NEVER read the comments. Not unless you enjoy arguing with idiots or spiking your blood pressure.


    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    $30 IFAK Challenge

    In case you don't read it on the regular (and you should), I have an article over at Blue Collar Prepping wherein I give my solution to a challenge of assembling an Individual First Aid Kit for $30 or less.

    Go give it a read


    Monday, July 9, 2018

    ACP Episode 014: Now, Mr. Beard, the Advantage is Mine!


    In This Episode:
    • Erin and Weer'd discuss the California court decision that upheld their micro-stamping despite compliance with the law being impossible;
    • Weer'd brings us an audio fisk of Mike "The Gun Guy" Weisser;
    • The Egghead brings continues his series on Ham Radio with a segment on [whatever the plural of antenna is] and how to make your own;
    • David explains the difference between discussing the Second Amendment in person vs online;
    • and Steve tells us about a couple of gruesome accidents he needed to investigate.

    Listen to the episode here.

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that's $1/podcast) and you'll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like blooper reels!

    Show Notes

    Main Topic:
    Weer’d Audio fisk:
    Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

    Saturday, July 7, 2018

    What is Heteronormativity?

    A friend recently complained about the lesbian relationships that have been front-and-center in both Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow as "pushing a social justice agenda", and I thought this could be a good teachable moment. Sadly, I don't think my friend is open to this particular argument, so instead I'm going to turn the teachable moment into a blog post.
    First, a Disclaimer: This post is meant to be informative and to build bridges. I don't intend for this post to be scolding or lecturing, so if I come across as such, I apologize. I'm just trying to explain a concept that many people might not understand.
    Let's say you're watching a television show with your elementary school-age child, and two of the characters on screen have a romantic kiss. I don't mean "a kiss with a lot of tongue action", I mean a nice, prime-time-appropriate smooch without tongue but which is definitely more than just a peck on the lips. A good benchmark for this is "The kind of kiss that people share once they've been pronounced married."

    What is your reaction to your child seeing this public display of affection?
    1. Turn the TV off. Well, while I disagree with your decision*, I respect you for your across-the board consistency. 
      • * Mainly because you're saying "I don't think it's appropriate for my child to see two loving adults kiss" and that makes me wonder about the amount of love in your marriage, not to mention the fact that you're also saying that it's not appropriate to take children to weddings. 
    2. Allow your child to watch and then afterwards ask them "Did you have any questions about what you saw on TV?" This is the correct answer as far as I'm concerned, but ending my post here doesn't really teach anything. 
    3. React on the basis of the sexuality of the kissers. This is the troublesome answer, because if you picked this one I'm betting that you're okay with your child seeing a man and a woman kiss, but aren't comfortable with same-sex kisses. 
    #3 is what's called "heternormativity", the belief that heterosexuality (hetero-) is the social norm (-normative) within our society. And as beliefs go (and this is where I get into trouble with the SJWs), it's not incorrect; if we define "normal" as "usual, typical, or expected", then yes, heterosexuality is the norm, because depending on which studies you use, between 75% and 90% of the world's population is heterosexual.

    And just to be clear: there's nothing wrong with being heterosexual. I love my heterosexual friends and family! Without heterosexuality, I wouldn't be here, and neither would most of you.

    The downside of heteronormativity is that it causes people to think, perhaps without even realizing it, that everything which is "straight" is natural and everything which is "gay" is unnatural. To use my example above, I found it strange that my friend reacted so strongly to his child seeing lesbian relationships on television, yet was perfectly okay with his child seeing numerous examples of straight couples having sex outside of marriage, and at least one instance of having a child out of wedlock.

    Or put another way: If you feel uncomfortable every time a man talks about his husband or boyfriend, or a woman talks about her wife or girlfriend, or you see them kiss, then you maybe have a feeling of what it's like for us on the queer side of things to be constantly bombarded with cultural messages that we're wrong if we aren't straight. If you want to track this for yourself, bring a pen and paper with you when you watch TV and make note of how often characters talk about heterosexual relationships -- his wife, his girlfriend, her husband, her boyfriend. I think you'll be surprised at how many tick marks you have, and that you never noticed it until now.

    If you do, congratulations! You've just discovered something called cultural invisibility, which is a fancy way of saying "You've never noticed it because it's always been around you." Or, put another way: do you ever think about the air around you unless it's acting upon you (blowing) or taken away (drowning)?

    Queer people feel that wind blowing all the time. We're surrounded by it like you are, but we feel pressured by it while you don't. And so, it's nice to see examples of ourselves in media, because it's a nice shelter from the wind when our culture takes time to say "Hey, it's okay to be something other than normal."

    Speaking of which, can we use a word other than normal? Because the opposite of that is "abnormal" which has all sorts of unsavory connotations like "sick", "broken" and "unnatural." How about we use "ordinary" instead? It still means commonplace, standard -- you know, all the stuff that "normal" means -- but the opposite of ordinary is "extraordinary" which actually makes us non-standard folk feel awesome.  Admit it, you'd love being called extraordinary. You're not shorter than average, you're extraordinarily short. You aren't a weird geek, you're extraordinarily enthusiastic. It sounds like a superpower!

    Finally, if I leave you with nothing else, let me leave you with this: Queer people exist in the world, and there's just no getting around that or hiding from it. Don't hide us from your children; prepare them for the world that they're going to live in. We aren't bad people -- we're just extraordinary.

    Thank you.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2018

    Blame 1986

    People rightly complain that comic books were shit in the 1990s (and they were; there's a reason the 90s are called the Dark Age of Comics), but those seeds of shittiness were sown in the mid-80s, specifically 1986.

    In 1986, DC Comics started Crisis on Infinite Earths to simplify continuity, because allegedly comic book readers couldn't keep track of which characters existed on "Earth-1" and which on "Earth-2". This is of course pure bullshit, as anyone who has hung out with comic book nerds knows they love learning trivia and arguing minutia. Hell, I could keep track of the fact that Alan Scott was the Green Lantern of Earth-2 and Hal Jordan was the Green Lantern of Earth-1, and that the former was magically based and had a vulnerability to wood while the latter was super-tech and had a vulnerability to yellow, before I was 10 years old.

    Regardless, the "simplification" of DC Comics happened, and it screwed up a bunch of things in an attempt to cram multiple origins into a single universe. For example, Power Girl was no longer a grown-up Supergirl but was instead the descendant of an Atlantean sorcerer, and Hawkman's origin was broken so badly that I don't think it's ever been resolved (is he the reincarnation of an Egyptian noble? Is he an alien police officer from the planet Thanagar? I think that at one time they tried to make him be both at once). But instead of actually fixing things, this move instead resulted in an endless series of reboots that attempted to fix continuity: Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, and eventually Flashpoint which ended up throwing most of DC continuity into the bin and restarting the entire universe over again The New 52.

    So yeah, that simplification worked out really well.


    Compare and contrast that with Marvel Comics: while DC tends to reboot itself to varying degrees on a regular basis, Marvel doesn't reboot anything.  To avoid the whole awkward "Iron Man built his suit in the 1960s so he ought to be in his 80s right now" problem, Marvel just sort of nods in the vague direction of linear time. This is especially applicable in the case of decompressed storytelling, which is what you get when stories that could be resolved in a few issues are stretched out for 6 months to a year.

    In 1986, Marvel comics began its transition from "good comic book stories" to "soap operas in spandex" as they systematically fucked over books and characters in the name of drama and increasingly decompressed stories. For example:

    • The Thing leaves the Fantastic Four and decides to be a professional wrestler for... reasons. I was 13 at the time -- THE target demographic for this sort of thing -- and I thought this was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. "Sure, I can believe that Ben Grimm, who is both rich and famous as a member of the Fantastic Four, feels unfulfilled and decides the best thing to do is become a fake wrestler. Riiiiiight."
    • Steve Rogers is forced out of being Captain America and is replaced by Super-Patriot. He then becomes "The Captain", or basically "Captain America with a plain shield and the blue in his costume replaced with black", and he acquires a ridiculous sidekick named D-Man who is every awkward stereotype you can think of and who dresses in an outfit that looks like Wolverine's yellow-and-blue number hate-fucked Daredevil's old yellow-and-black costume. Ugh. 
    • The Scourge of the Underworld kills a bunch of villains, culminating in a mass murder at The Bar With No Name. I don't recall ever finding out who this person was, just that it was a heavy-handed way to remove villains (who no one had seen or cared about in years) from continuity. 
    • Cyclops goes from "heroic leader" to "massive shitheel" who abandons his wife and baby to take up with pointlessly-reincarnated Jean Grey, because mutants are a hot commodity now and the editors wanted to bring back the original five-man X-Band. 
    • The Mutant Massacre (again, killing characters for no reason other than shock value), leading to the X-Men -- a top performing comic, by the way -- being splintered as half the team goes off to Britain to form Excaliber (a comic which I couldn't read, by the way, because it was direct-to-specialty-stores-only title and I didn't have one where I lived; I could only buy my comics off the spinner rack) and the other half was shunted off to Australia for some damnfool reason. This is also the storyline that gave us Jubilee, so now you know precisely who to blame for that. 

    In short, blame 1986 for the trainwreck that was 1990s comic books.


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