Saturday, November 30, 2019

Why I Do What I Do

I've taken some flak lately for speaking at a rally where Confederate flags and pro-Trump signs were displayed. I've been asked why I would do such a thing. Well, here are some photographs to tell a story.

The gentleman in the first picture is Darren from Washington state. After I spoke, he came up to me and told me that even though he was a conservative, my speech had opened his eyes and changed his mind about queer people. He bought an OBS patch and gave me a hug.

This next picture is 20 days later. That's Darren working at the Pink Pistols booth in Seattle, gathering signatures to overturn Initiative 1639, the massive WA state gun control bill which was passed into law last year.

As you can see from this third picture, Darren is happy to be working side by side with the Pink Pistols. The lady in the purple is Sharyn Hinchcliffe, head of the Seattle chapter.

This is why I do what I do. There's no benefit to preaching to the already converted; we don't accomplish anything by staying where we're comfortable and only talking within our own little echo chamber. Instead, we need to go out into the world and show people that we're just like them, and we deserve to have the same rights as them and receive the same courtesy as them. That's the only way to effect change, and it WORKS. We won twice that day, because we turned an opponent into a friend who now works alongside us.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Subjectivity of Intolerance

In his 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies, philosopher Karl Popper wrote about the Paradox of Tolerance. Here is a quick summation of that concept:

I can see where Popper is coming from, and to a certain extent I agree with him. However, the problem with his position that we must be intolerant of intolerance is that there is no scientific test to determine what is or isn't intolerance. While it is easy to say that someone caught in the act of setting a synagogue on fire while wearing a swastika is committing a hate crime, things get a bit muddy if this person is just a regular, non-swastika-wearing person who maybe just likes setting fires, and things become downright troublesome if the arsonist is himself a Jew. The same applies to jokes, books, clothing, and other forms of expression.

In other words, nearly all “intolerance” is subjective and based upon opinion rather than an objective quality which can be detected through impartial, repeatable tests.

So while the concept of “not tolerating intolerance” is noble, in practice it ends up with whomever is the loudest being able to silence and ostracize those with whom they disagree. This results in mob rule where the strong bully and silence the weak, rather than a republic where individual rights are protected against the tyranny of the majority.

In short, intolerance of intolerance is un-American.

... as much as I'd love to leave it there on that mic-drop moment, it would be intellectually dishonest of me to do so. There is a difference between intolerance of ideas and intolerance of violence, and this is where things get uncomfortably muddy even for me. As a friend of mine pointed out, "An idiot spouting Nazi ideology is just an idiot spouting Nazi ideology, and societies tolerate madmen. An influential person who gains a following that uses violence to advance their political power must be countered before they seize power." I can honestly tell you that I would feel threatened and vulnerable if someone held a rally in front of my home while shouting "Death to Erin!", and the moment the leaders started saying things like "Burn the Queer!" I would be ready to start shooting in self-defense.

This admission makes me intensely uncomfortable, because I can't seem to delineate a point where speech ceases to be speech and becomes incitement. Even our legal system lacks an objective and repeatable system for what is and is not allowed, instead using a form of "I'll know it when I see it" called the Brandenburg Test.

As that same friend of mine said, "We tolerate things until they become intolerable." I can't help but agree that yes, that's the way it is, but the very subjectivity of the whole thing bothers me because I like being able to justify my actions (to myself, if nothing else) in clearer terms than "Because I felt like it."

I don't have a solution here. I wish that I did. I'm just pointing out that everything about this is highly subjective, and maybe it would do us all some good if we acknowledged for a moment that maybe what we "know" is actually just our opinion, formed by our objective mind and shaped by our biases.

As Walt Kelly might have had Pogo say, "Ain't none of us objective here nohow."

Monday, November 25, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 079: Erin Feels Ranty

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss the Supreme Court's lack of action on the lawsuit against Remington by the Sandy Hook families;
  • Weer'd blasts from the recent past with a fisk of an MSNBC segment about the summer recess protests and how they panned out;
  • David explains cartridge nomenclature;
  • and Weer'd bring back Lara Smith of the Liberal Gun Club to talk about her feelings on sexism in the 2A Community.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:

Weer’d Audio Fisk: 

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Two Nifty Things

First: I uploaded my glitter gif to gify. Now you can use it in Facebook comments, embed it in your posts, whatever.


Second, I have been accepted to speak at the 38th Life, the Universe, and Everything Symposium next February! I will be panelist Thursday and Friday, and a moderator on Saturday.

I hope to see you there. Come by and say hi, get a hug from me!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 078: We Urge Bloomberg to Run for President

In This Episode:
  • Erin's recent appearance at the Declaration of Restoration Rally, how haters are gonna hate, and how that is nothing but bad for the Second Amendment and freedom in general;
  • That new contender for the Presidency,  the anti-gun overlord himself Michael Bloomberg, and how that is an AWESOME thing for the Second Amendment;
  • And of course, the expected (and assorted) gun nuttery.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Thursday, November 14, 2019

And Now, Your Moment of Zen

My glitter toss in DC proved so popular that a friend made it into an animated GIF. Thanks, Sheryl!

Use it to indicate fabulousness. Use it to piss off humorless transphobes. Use it in whatever irresponsible manner you like, I'm not your mom.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My Nov 9 Speech on the National Mall

Doesn't that title sound awesome? Like I'm a big shot speaking before a crowd of thousands at a televised rally in Washington, DC?

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We had maybe 50 people on a cold, blustery day on the wide-open Mall, and the only people filming were people with their cell phones and Ford Fisher of News 2 Share. (Who, BTW, is an awesome person whose YouTube channel was demonetized by YT for some garbage reason. He has a Patreon, so consider throwing him a few bucks a month to help support private journalism and free speech.)

So anyway, here's my speech.

Here's another view of it, whereby you can appreciate my lovely outfit in its entirely including my altogether too cute shoes. It's not the whole speech, but you already listened to the whole speech, so no worries, right?

Now for those of you who are wondering why I glitter bombed myself, here's a long and rambling tirade by Chris Hill, a man who was originally involved with the Declaration of Restoration but who quit/was kicked out early on. Not only does he say some incredibly disparaging things about me, he also makes some assumptions which even the most cursory examination would dispel -- for example, he thinks that I'm a far left liberal and anti-gun because I'm queer. Please don't go to his channel and pick a fight or curse at him because of this, though; I really do want to give him the chance to honor his promise and send me $100, which I will then donate to Operation Blazing Sword.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

GRPC 2019 Official Video

The official video of my GRPC 2019 speech, with professional level picture and audio courtesy of Polite Society podcast.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 077: The Good News Show

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss the good news regarding the growth of Constitutional Carry,  the 2A Rally in DC, and Dan Gross (formerly of the Brady Campaign) speaking out as a supporter of the Second Amendment;
  • David talks about using the right ammo in your gun, and some dangerous errors to avoid;
  • and Weer'd interviews Daniel Easterday, of Easterday vs. the Village of Deerfield, about how he defeated an "assault weapons ban" in his home town.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:
Gun lovers and Other Strangers
Daniel Easterday

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

WNW: My Little Swearing Ponies

For reasons I cannot explain, I find it hysterical when people dub swears onto MLP characters. I cannot explain this because, you, I maintain that these are wholesome children's characters and that is why I hate it when they are sexualized or depicted as injured, dead, or worse. They need to be innocent... and yet, I laugh like a loon when they curse. I can't explain it.

So with that said, let's start off with a classic which I may have posted here once before: Reggie Watts' Fuck Shit Stack dubbed over Fluttershy. Warning! Extremely NSFW Fluttercussing!

But that's just the appetizer, my friends. Now for the main course: actual NSFW bloopers from MLP's final episode! (Which I haven't yet seen, because I'm not yet ready for the series to end.)Let me tell you, Tabitha St. Germain drops some very potent bombs in this clip, and it's hilarious how smoothly such filth trips off Rarity's cultured tongue.

As much as I love Tabitha's "Fuck me [adjective]" lines, I am absolutely enamored of her use of the word "Ballsack!" as a vulgarity.

And as you can see, "millennium" is still giving her problems.

Sweet lord above, I love my fandom.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Miniature Black Holes

I don't mean black holes that exist only in a quantum state; I'm talking about the miniature black holes that exist in every one of our homes. We all have them. Yes, even the neat freaks.

What are they, then, if not what Hawking theorized? I'm glad you asked. MBH's are gravitic anomalies which only affect objects, never living beings. Much like regular black holes, you cannot detect them directly, but you can determine their presence based upon the persistent accumulation of clutter in an area despite your best attempts to clean or organize it. Sure, you can disperse one by removing the detritus surrounding it, but it's impossible to eliminate an MBH; you can only hope that it evaporates on its own. Of course, I suppose you could move to a new house, but that just makes the MBH someone else's problem, and you'll soon discover new MBH's in your new home.

Here are some MBHs spotted within my home, along with my observations upon their appearance, persistence and behavior.

This is a nascent MBH, only a few hours old. It is easily disrupted by taking the containers to the garage and dumping them into the recycling bin. However, it reappears on a weekly basis, thereby demonstrating that even baby MBHs are quite tough.

The increased size, spread and disorganization of the clutter indicates that this is a juvenile MBH. Though not quite a hardy as an adult, it nevertheless is much harder to disperse the debris surrounding it as said detritus is too useful to just throw out, yet not valuable enough to have a place of its own. It is theorized that MBHs form when clutter accumulates past a critical mass. This serves to draw in more clutter, since the semi-useful not-trash "must be put somewhere" and "this is as good a place as any to put it". It reforms near-daily.

Vain attempts at organization have only delayed entropy, not prevented it. Soon this clutter will collapse into a full-scale adult MBH and only violent action will remove its debris; even so, it will reform within the day. Drastic steps must be taken to remove it permanently, such as removing the table from the house. Even so, it is entirely possible that such a tenacious thing merely relocate... especially if a similar surface exists nearby or another table is brought in to replace it.

Flat surfaces are not the only places MBHs form; they also prefer corners. Despite being in bins and placed on shelves, my preps aren't neatly as tidy as I'd like. Perhaps the disorganization provides a nurturing environment for this juvenile? We may never know.

The rarely seen catty-corner MBH. Unlike the one on the table, these do not appear to be in a state of eminent collapse; rather, they have achieved a stable orbit around each other. This stability gives them a form of harmonic resonance, making it impossible to disrupt one without disturbing the other, and the size of the adult makes that a daunting task. Thus, the smaller MBH shelters in the lee of the larger. Perhaps this is a mother and child?

Finally, we see the effects of a supermassive MBH. Over four feet long and at least three feet high, this beast is impossible to clean up, let alone disperse. For scale is my dog Daisy, a West Highland terrier who is my rootie-tootie cutie patootie. As you can clearly see, she is herself unaffected by the MBH and can move from it at any time.

Further study into the creation, persistence, and dispersion of miniature black holes is desperately needed. If you have observed any forming in your houses or places of work, please submit your data for analysis.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 076: Drilling Down

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss some alleged controversial statements made by Tom King of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association;
  • Oddball discusses defensive fixed blade knives;
  • David tells us more tales from the armorer's bench;
  • and Weer'd brings us part two of his interview with Logan Metesh on the life and innovations of Dieudonné Saive.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:
Oddball’s Corner Pocket:
Gun lovers and Other Strangers:
High Caliber History:

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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