Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unintelligent Design.

            Recently I participated in a study for a biology course. The course focused on behaviors observed in the human population and attempted to identify them as adaptive, or maladaptive to the species, now or in the context of the past. One of the questions we wanted to answer in our study was whether or not religion was created circumstances that were incompatible with religion. Unfortunately that part of the study was cut due to the massive amount of data that we received and the time crunch we were experiencing.

            Recent events in Iraq have generated a significant amount of social media activity. The ISIS organization is conducting a civil war that borders on genocidal. Their primary target, as reported by the media has been the local Christian population. Religious crusades are far from new. Religious fighting between Christians and Muslims are certainly not unheard of. What particularly interests me about this event is that it is occurring in modern times. This allows one to observe the events without relying on any bias that can be attributed to the writers of history. Of course this does not account for the bias of media outlets or the restriction of confidential information by the federal government.

            What interests me about this situation is the response to this issue domestically. Let’s put this in evolutionary terms. A population is in a conflict with a neighboring population. The origin of this conflict is a lack of resources, or mating opportunities. It is solely due to a difference in ideology. The evolutionary smart thing to do would be to fight or hide.

            The other night I was going through my social media feeds and came across a post related to the ISIS attacks in Iraq. Some of the comments made me believe that people would allow their religion to override mechanisms that would allow them to survive, and consequently reproduce and support their offspring. If these people identified themselves as Christians in a hostile environment, they, as well as their offspring would be less likely to survive.

So then the question must be asked, is religion detrimental to the evolution of the human species?

I debated removing the names of the people on FaceBook that made these statements. But then I decided that if they felt that they could post their opinions, they should have their names attached to them. If they truly believe this, they can defend these beliefs in a public forum. 

The only reasonably smart answer I found. But don't worry, the devout jump on this lady relatively quickly. 

It might also be worth noting to those who suggested we need God in our country, that Iraq has two God’s in their country and that doesn’t seem to be working out for them too well. Perhaps nations would do better with a little less God.

Yeah, God will not forsake you, he's done a bang up job protecting the Christians of Iraq.....

And what was that about peaceful religion Wade? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty Drama.... No One Cares!

For the love of Lucy! I am a supporter of the Bill of Rights as much as the next guy. I believe in all of them, I don't pick and choose. As many of you may have heard Phil Robertson has been suspended from the show "Duck Dynasty" to which he owes his fame, and has provided America with a weekly dose of bearded men, doing bearded men things.

Apparently he was interviewed for GQ magazine and went on record as stating that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle, and he can't imagine a man choosing an anus over a glistening, meaty vagina. And yes he did actually say just that (minus the meaty and glistening bit). He was then suspended by his network for the rest of the season. Everyone is up in arms about his "freedom of speech" being taken away. And the "freedom of speech" being removed from God and homosexual fearing Christians all over this country.

Ok assholes, it's time for a civics lesson. The Bill of Rights is designed to protect you from one entity, and one entity only. The federal government. Over the years court decisions have determined that these protections also limit the authority of local and state governments as well. In the decade that I have been voting I never recall checking a ballot for the CEO or board of directors at A&E.

Simply put, he works for A&E. Any interviews with any media outlets are an extension of his work at A&E. GQ did not interview Phil for any other reason. Although there is some grumbling that a staff writer may have mentioned that his beard "was stuffed full of lice and sexy" but that cannot be confirmed nor denied.

NO civil rights were infringed in this matter. The government didn't send out their Anti-Jesus hit squads to track him down. His employer smacked his pee-pee for saying something that (newsflash) the majority of the country doesn't agree with. Interestingly enough this is a completely different form of pee-pee slapping Phil spoke out against.

Yes, a whole lot of Americans agree with him, because the Bible says it's so. But I would like to ask how many of those Americans also don't eat pork, shellfish, or wear clothing woven of more than one cloth. Yeah, that's right, I thought so.

So in summation, Phil makes some bigoted comments, hiding behind the guise of a religion that maintains everyone should be loved, and is created in the image of God. Except for those dirty fags. His employer did not appreciate being implicated in the statements so they suspended him. And not the Religious Right is crying that the civil liberties of all Christians are being stripped away.

Please, please, if you are going to come out and cry about a perceived infringement of civil liberties, learn what the hell you are talking about. Because some day, we are going to be fighting for the same cause, and I don't want to be stating my case surrounded by morons. America loves gays, get over it.

Oh, and for the love of Pete (not gay love, because that's icky)  stop comparing this to slavery or the acts of Hitler. Every time I hear that I get the uncontrollable urge to kick a kitten. Please stop, nothing in modern politics compares to slavery or the holocaust. And I am starting to run out of kittens. Can't everyone cut back on the hyperbolic bullshit and stop using your religion to tell me why I should marginalize a group of people in the same way you do. Stop using God to justify your actions to others, simply so you can feel better about yourself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Someone once said something about sticking together or hanging separately.....

I always enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations". I recognized him as a person with rather left wing views. But this is proof that not everyone needs to be a card carrying Tea Party, Conservative Christian, Republican, NRA member to support the second amendment. Yes, advocacy groups have their place. And I believe that is what the NRA once was. However I truly feel that they have been infected by the same mutagenic virus that the Republican Party fell victim to. When I receive their news letters I see the same inflammatory and exaggerated language that I see used by the Brady Campaign. This always annoyed me, I believe that if your cause is on the right side of the argument, then you can win the battle with logic and facts, without using fear mongering, emotion, and hyperbolic language.

Here is the link to Anthony Bourdain on guns. His stance is not what one would expect.

This is the primary reason I am fed up with the NRA. Their mailed advertisements are dripping with Tea Party propaganda. They often overstep the issues of gun control and push an agenda related to healthcare and other conservative pet issues. They are no longer a 2A group, but a Tea Party propaganda machine. Additionally, if one does not fit their ideal right wing persona then their rights to own a firearm are somehow second to everyone those who lean more to the left. People who disagree with second amendment protections are labeled "liberals" and in the process their stance is immediately discarded regardless of validity. But the plain and simple fact of the matter is the current Tea Party tactic is to label anyone who disagrees with any of their talking points as a liberal. Don't despise the Affordable Care Act? Liberal. Do you agree that illegal immigration is a problem, but are of the opinion that it is unpractical to bus 12 million people out of the country? Liberal. Atheist? Liberal. Pro-choice, or support equal rights for the LBTG community? Liberal.

What's in a label? Well first and foremost the arguments presented by pro-gun rights conservatives and liberals are pretty much the same. However the unfortunate effect of Fox News and the spokespeople of the Republican Party has done a great deal to negate the credibility of anyone who associates themselves with issues considered conservative. When the time comes to debate concealed carry law and other issues related to gun control, even the most reasonable conservative speakers tend to get drowned out and associated with the latest clips from the likes of Cruz and Bachmann. I am sorry, but neither of those two are known for their conflict resolution skills or general intelligence. The current practice of drowning out those who believe in gun rights, but opposed the conservative world view in other respects is a disservice to the cause as a whole.

A prime example of this self defeating behavior is what happened to the former Guns & Ammo writer Dick Metcalf. Once you get past the hype of his article, and consider his intended message, it isn't illogical. He stated facts of current firearm legislation. The second amendment is not excepted from regulation, no constitutional amendment is. Is that the appropriate and moral way to treat the Bill of Rights? I am not prepared to answer that question. But as it stands, between legislation, and Supreme Court rulings, that's the way it is. He simply stated that firearm ownership is subject to laws, and that is not tyranny, it is simply a fact of life. He pointed to the "well regulated" part phrase in the second amendment itself. In addition he stated that the right to own, possess, and carry a gun is not the same as having the right to be irresponsible with that firearm.

As a gun owner you, and you alone are responsible for maintaining the reasonable security and safety of that firearm. Nothing about that is false. And the fact that the uprising caused the magazine to run away with it's tail between it's legs is the reason that the conservative base is not taken seriously when it comes to issues surrounding gun control. He then went out on a limb and said that background checks are not a bad thing. I can't fault this logic either. If felons were unable to obtain firearms via private sale, then the law abiding gun owner is even further removed from the conflict. Would I support universal background checks? Probably, if the mental health system was fortified to report into the NICS system the information that it was always meant to, then yes, as a reasonable gun owner I would be okay with preserving my right to own and carry a firearm while taking reasonable steps to prevent felons and those adjudicated mentally insane from being armed. Why advocate self-defense, yet cripple the legal mechanisms that are designed to increase public safety?

When a spree shooter is found to have stolen the gun, then gun owners are off the hook. No security system in the world is thief proof, and that can be argued when the push for new gun control comes. No amount of foresight in the world will stop all criminals. So don't punish gun owners for something beyond their control. But when a spree shooter buys a weapon from a private party from a gun show, be prepared for the backlash. The seller will be blamed, and that blame will transfer to every person who ever owned a firearm.

Really, one of our own came out and said that gun laws should be followed, and it's each individuals responsibility to maintain safety and control of their guns got him ran out of town. Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy.

 Mark my words, that us versus them mentality will eventually be the downfall of second amendment rights.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ASU Police Department Continued...

The post I put about ASU has generated some buzz, here is a link to a blog that is written exclusively about that single issue. The take away point is that the ASU police department is not being run efficiently, and the ones suffering are the line level cops who will be the ones responding to our scenes. I have never seen accusations of misconduct that so badly required investigation. The only way will this will happen is if students and parents get pissed off enough.

Here is a link to the blog. I don't know the author, but who ever really knows the writer of a blog? But based on the repetition of these stories from around the internet I think it merits some trust at face value.

Also look for the interesting bit about the sexual assault reports from the last 10 days. All on or just off campus.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Arizona State University will not allow concealed carry, Police Department unable to handle active shooter

You probably know this already, but I am a huge fan of concealed carry. I believe it is safe, and even provides a benefit to those who choose not to carry. As soon as the news broadcasts that a new place allows citizens to be armed, everyone knows there may be a gun there, good guys and bad guys. But the Arizona Board of Regents would lead people to believe that allowing students 21 years of age and older, who have had the requisite background checks required of the concealed carry permit will lead to blood in the lecture halls. It simply is not true. Universities that do allow it have had no issues to date. 

In the last few months around ASU a student was beaten with a baseball bat, a shooting occurred at a party in an apartment complex near campus, another student was beaten and left for dead in an elevator around campus, and Tempe Police shot a guy less than a quarter mile from the ASU campus. The man was shot because he lunged at them with a box cutter. It could have just as easily occurred on campus to a student. Because as anybody who goes to ASU can attest, people who are obviously severely mentally ill wander around campus all the time. It is not rare to witness a transient yelling at a young women because she is wearing too little clothing, just add box cutter and we have a problem. 

The Board of Regents would also lead you to believe that they have thought about our safety and given us the protection we deserve. We have the ASU Police Department. Do I think that the presence of a police department is justification for removing the basic right of self protection, no, but its a start. At least I thought until I found this gem online. 

The following is an excerpt from a job posting site. Apparently the ASU Police Department is a frequent topic there. And that's when things got concerning. 

Straight from an ASU PD employees post on a job site. 

"One other thing I forgot to touch on...yes, all departments DO have their issues (no one is debating that fact here). But I cannot think of any, off the top of my head, that are so blatantly corrupt and mismanaged.

The amount of $$ the PD waste is absolutely mind-boggling; from a department that boasts a 70% FAILURE RATE FOR FTO (after spending the money to pay for an academy, uniform, salary, etc), to one that wastes money on ludicrous "specialty assignments" (really? ANOTHER new K9 vehicle!), take home vehicles for command staff, and a complete revamp of the uniform and badge. On top of that, ASUPD has the LOWEST paid officers in the Valley and the highest paid Chief. That is absolutely unacceptable.

Furthermore, because of staffing, the campus is ridiculously understaffed, and quite frankly, not prepared for any MAJOR crime on campus (like an active shooter). I am not even going to go into detail on the vast amount of public record tampering that transpires there too, because there's not enough space to detail it all.

I hope parents and the public at large find out how much money ASUPD wastes and how unsafe it is, because then maybe some significant change will happen there."

Yep, feel much safer now! Not prepared for an active shooter. Just to clarify, an active shooter the professional term for an unbalanced, cowardly asshole who takes a firearm and or explosives to a school, mall, movie theater, or place of employment and shoots every person they come across. Essentially every college campus shooting that has every occurred. Can we trust the Arizona State University, the Arizona Board of Regents, and Arizona State University Police Department to protect students. Or here is the better question, should I have to give up the ability to protect myself because I step foot on a college campus? I would love to hear some feedback from ASU or the ABOR that is honest and not in the form of a press release with the latest committee approved buzz words. 

Don't you feel safe now! At least let me protect myself. Thanks to ABOR for denying me the basic right of self preservation while simultaneously continuing to fund a dysfunctional police department.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Remora holsters review

I haven't posted product reviews, not sure if it is something I plan to do more often. But any rate here it goes. Recently I came across Remora Holsters on the vast interwebs. My first thought was immediate dismissal. In photos these holsters look to be nothing more than bigger versions of the common and cheap pocket holsters. However I needed a pocket holster so I tried I one. I figure at worst, I end up with a decent pocket holster, at best, it works as intended.

My initial thoughts couldn't be further from my assumptions. The built quality is more substantial than that of the typical pocket holster. What is most apparent is the heavy, high resistance rubber found on the outside of the holster body. The idea is that this material is substantial enough to anchor the holster in the waistband and keep it from moving. As a matter of fact it works so well it was difficult to remove from the plastic bag it was shipped in.

The inside of the holster is made from a substantial feeling nylon material. In between the two layers appears to be a neoprene like material. I am unsure of what it actually is, but it is thick enough to keep the bits and pieces sticking out from the gun from sticking you in the side, yet thin enough to add virtually no width to the gun.

Carrying the gun inside the waistband proved easy with a small .380. It worked well in just elastic band shorts. I was very impressed with the small sized holster, so I decided to try it with a bigger, heavier gun. I ordered one for a officer sized 1911. The model in particular was a Rock Island compact. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, even with the significant weight of an all steel gun, the holster didn't move at all. It stays anchored well against an undershirt. But even more surprising, it is completely anchored against skin.

The .380 model was ordered with their one handed re-holsering option. This is essentially a piece of plastic sewn into the holster mouth which allows it to stay open against the waistband of the pants. While it does make it easier to put the gun into the holster, it isn't quite one handed, but it beats taking the holster out and reinserting the whole affair. It does make pocket carry a bit more difficult.

Overall I am very impressed with these products. I can see myself quickly expanding my collection to handle most of my other often carried guns. Next on my list is giving their dual magazine carrier an honest try. I will update more with the results of that test. But so far, I have been converted to a Remora believer from a skeptic. When I first saw these I assumed these were another gun show fad designed to do nothing more than take money from gun owners pockets. But I was proven dead wrong, these are a simple but stunningly effective first rate product.

Masterpiece Arms Protector II Review.

Hi all

I am posting this on my favorite few forums and blogs (and here because it's mine) because I had a hard time finding reviews on this model.

This is a review of my Masterpiece Arms Protector II. I have searched far and wide for a review of this gun before deciding to pick it up ages ago. As it seems, there aren't so many examples of this gun on the internet. What appealed to me is the steel construction and the lack of MIM'd parts on the gun. The gun resembles a Seacamp .380, the main differences include the added beavertail, barrel porting, and the placement of the magazine release.

First impressions. This thing is light for a solid steel gun. When I picked up the plastic hardshell box it came in I immediately thought someone at the factory forgot to put the firearm in there. The gun comes packages with one magazine, a +10% magazine spring and a flat baseplate to replace the one with the finger rest. I tried the flat base plate, and did not like it. The extra mag spring wasn't needed as the gun functioned ok without it. Also included is the most worthless trigger lock I have ever seen. It is like the one that Big 5 uses, it is simply a large screw with plastic blocks on either side. The head of the screw has two holes that a spanner type key fits into.

One thing to note on this gun is it is capable of firing without a magazine. However there is a warning not to. The side of the magazine functions as the internal surface which the trigger bar rides against. If it's not there, it will disconnect after releasing the hammer. The fix for this is easy, it just involves removing a grip panel, but not something you want to do out in the wild if it can be avoided.

The slide was very stiff when first handled unboxed. This is typical of most .380 pocket guns. However after the initial run of 100 rounds it is much easier to use. Keep in mind that the recoil springs (there are two) need changed every 200 rounds. I would highly advise keeping a few extra on hand, the manufacturer sells them at a great price.

At the range I fired three types of ammo. Hornady Critical Defense, Aguila JHP (both 90 grn), and HPR 90 grain XTP JHP. First I ran 25 rounds of the HPR ammo. At first I noticed that some of these rounds were too long for the magazine. Not all of them, but maybe one out of five. Then I ejected a round that was chambered half way through a magazine and noticed excessive bullet setback. I fired a few more rounds and had a high failure rate due to the bullet taking a significant set. They did the same thing in my Sig P238 as well. I was able to compress the rounds by hand, so I blame this solely on the HPR ammo. The other rounds did function 100%.

Down to the actual shooting. This gun lacks traditional sights. Instead it has a U-channel down the top of the slide, and continuing to the barrel. It does what is meant to do, but it will never be a bullseye gun. The farthest I shot at was 20 feet. I didn't produce the best group I ever had, but all of the rounds were easily center mass. In retrospect I should have taken a picture of the target. Recoil was stout, but not as bad as I expected. Those two small holes for porting really do their job. The Aguila and HPR produced a decent flash from the porting. But the Hornady Critical Defense didn't produce any that I could discern. And no flash was visible with any ammo if you were focusing on the sight. My two complaints are that the grip panels may need touched with a fine grit sandpaper at the rear by the beaver tail as there is a very slight edge to them. And the magazine release is hard to manipulate. But when taking the grip off ( because I forgot to insert an empty magazine when dry firing) it pops right out. A little Flitz along the edges that interface with the spring and the cut out in the frame, and a drop of good lube and it works much more smoothly. Also about 25 rounds in plus some good lubing the slide is much easier to manipulate.

All in all for under $300 this is an excellent buy. It's not without the limitations many other pocket .380's have. But for the same price range as a Kel-tec (who I love by the way) its a great choice.