Monday, January 23, 2012

No gun? No problem!

Leave it to this ingenious Goonies fan to craft a concealable, retractable knife out of random pieces of hardware.

Needless to say, this is probably 100% illegal in both California and the People's Republic of New York. Oh... that reminds me. Let me tell you something. On a recent trip to the State of New York, I needed a few tools I did not have with me, so I went to a Sears store to procure them, and attempted to purchase a box cutter so I could open up the clampacks (those impossible-to-open plastic packages). Well, the salesman, though very helpful and courteous (probably a gentleman born out of state), told me he couldn't sell me a box cutter because according to New York State law, those are considered 'concealable weapons', and they were not in stock at the moment, as they were in the process of resupplying with shorter-blade alternatives.

You have to be kidding. A god-damned box cutter is illegal in New York State? Mind you, the Sears store was located near a gun shop, so I went there, and after drooling over some sweet AR-15 rifles, picked up some really cool hunting knives. Seriously, I can buy a semi-automatic rifle, a pistol and a machete at the same shopping plaza, and you can't sell me a box cutter? Isn't it a bit inconsistent?

What's going on with New York lawmakers? Next thing you know, based on their infinite wisdom,  having intercourse with a member of your own species will be illegal, but if you are into sheep, no worries there. (Apologies for the distasteful analogy). The good legislators in the New York legislature work in mysterious ways indeed. Or maybe it's just that the box cutter lobby isn't as well funded as the gun lobby. Who knows.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Problem with Anarchy

Anarchy is the philosophical rejection of authority and power. The word literally means 'no power', which is complete baloney because there is always power, and there is always authority. Someone or something will always be dominant over someone, or over something else.

The true reason why anarchy cannot work is that anarchy does not exist.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homicide no longer in the list of top 15 causes of death in US

Leave the bulletproof vest at home, a bottle of aspirin is more likely to save your life.

The CDC's annual report on the top 15 causes of death in the US was released this past Wednesday, and surprise!: homicide is no longer on the list, this in spite of the expiration of the 1994 'Assault' Weapons Ban  in 2004. A gun-control supporter would probably be shocked to notice that the increase in availability of firearms has not caused the homicide rate to increase.

Guns do not cause murders, because guns are simply inanimate objects. The average American is more likely to die as a result of suicide than at the hands of a murderer.

The top 15 causes of death in the US are:

1 Diseases of heart
2 Malignant neoplasms
3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4 Cerebrovascular diseases
5 Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6 Alzheimer’s disease
7 Diabetes mellitus
8 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis
9 Influenza and pneumonia
10 Intentional self-harm (suicide)
11 Septicemia
12 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
14 Parkinson’s disease
15 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquid

So Americans are either increasingly safer from accidents and crime... or they are just increasingly unhealthier, which would not be surprising given their poor eating habits and lazy lifestyle. It is worth noting that as life expectancy increases, age-related diseases become more prevalent causes of death than accidents or violence.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can the media still ignore Ron Paul?

"Ron who? No, never heard of him. "

"It's obvious that after tonight's primary election results in New Hampshire that it's a three way race beween Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich."

Of course the preceding two statements are meant as jokes. Ron Paul has won second place in New Hampshire.  He can no longer be ignored by 'mainstream' news organizations. As Jon Stewart would probably say, he is no longer the 13th floor in a hotel.

The following headline from the CS Monitor made me chuckle:

"Is Ron Paul getting too much media attention?"

Here is more coverage of Dr Paul's 2nd place victory:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

So what if Iran had a nuclear weapon?

The United States is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons against another country. The year was 1945, and that other country was Japan.

According to the ican website:

"Between the 1960s and 1980s, an intensive arms race took place between the United States and Soviet Union. In 1986 the arms race reached its peak. At that time the two superpowers together had 70 500 nuclear weapons in their arsenals. The total explosive power of these weapons would have been enough to annihilate the world and all its living creatures approximately 25 times."

The USA and the Soviet Union collectively had the firepower to ELIMINATE ALL LIFE ON EARTH, yet no such thing took place. As a matter of fact, NOT A SINGLE nuclear weapon has been used in war since the US attack on Japan, in August 1945.

The US is THE force to fear. It is the only country with a documented track record of nuclear aggression.

Take a look at that number again: 70,500. 70,500 nuclear weapons, and not a single one of those was used in war.

It is estimated that the United States still has between 1,950 and 8,500 nuclear weapons. (source: And yet, we are supposed to be afraid of "big bad" Iran having ONE?

Do you even realize how astronomically enormous of a crater the USA could create in that part of the middle east if Iran dared to use that fictitious weapon and the USA decided to retaliate with just 1,950 of its own? Do you realize how much devastation that represents? That would represent the end of 6000 years of Persian civilization, and probably a 100-year nuclear winter that would usher in a new Ice Age and make us all wish we lived right on top of the Yellowstone supervolcano for a reliable source of heat.

And you propaganda-swallowing fools are afraid of IRAN? Iran is the least of our concerns. Even if they did acquire a nuclear weapon, it would be SUICIDE for them to use it.  For that very reason, I am confident that they would never use such a weapon. It's common sense.

Ignore the scare tactics of Washington war-mongering fools. With or without a nuclear weapon, Iran is powerless against the imperial military machine of the USA, in spite of the USA's imminent bankruptcy. Do as Ron Paul says; just leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Live and let live.

Wait! Does Iran have oil? What's that? They produce 4.1 million barrels of it per day? Well that changes everything now, doesn't it? Let's jump onto the warmongering propaganda train and eat up the lies and live in irrational fear so that one day their oil can end up making oil company shareholders filthy rich after we have invaded them and occupied them for 10 years looking for non-existent WMDs at the cost of a trillion dollars. Learn your history, damn it! Do you not remember the Iraq war, or were you born yesterday? It's the same lies over and over again. "Some unscrupulous non-Christian enemy is trying to acquire WMDs, OH NO!" It's always the same story, just a different boogeyman every time. And every time, you silly fools fall for it.

I do not live in fear. I live free.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Identity Crisis

I decided to drop the 'His Lordship' prefix of my online pseudonym, partly because I am fundamentally against the idea of nobility, even given my blood ties to actual nobility.

I originally picked the pseudonym of 'His Lordship' while going through a phase of exaggerated pride and ambition. I was so full of myself, and genuinely thought myself superior to the rest of humanity. I chose the title 'Gun-Toting Atheist' for my blog because it marries two concepts normally not unified. You have 'Gun-Toting' which is normally more of a 'conservative' idea, and 'Atheist' which is typically more 'liberal'. The idea was to show that liberalism and conservatism are just meaningless labels that fail to illustrate the myriad of ideological flavors that exist in the real world.

Then, since my blog was called 'Gun-Toting Atheist', I figured I'd add that to my pseudonym as a way to indicate that 'His Lordship' wasn't referring in any shape or form to the biblical 'Lord', and also to promote the blog through that 'brand'.

Speaking of brand, somebody registered, but it is NOT me. I should probably have snagged it while it was available. Whoever owns the domain name never really did anything with it as of this writing, but still. I am not affiliated with the owners of that domain name.

I mentioned I liked to call myself 'Lord' because it inflated my ego. I still feel superior, but I'm a bit older and a lot more humble. Life experience does that to oneself sometimes. I realized that like so many others, I was just a peasant. It was time to no longer call myself 'Lord', so I switched to calling myself just 'Gun-Toting Atheist'. There's also the clown factor; calling myself 'His Lordship the Gun-Toting Atheist' and commenting on serious articles and blogs is a bit ridiculous and does not inspire more serious bloggers to visit my blog. Perhaps even 'Gun-Toting Atheist' is a bit scary for some, and I should perhaps pick a more benign name, such as 'John Smith' for instance, but then I would lose the 'brand image' that through hard work and hours of writing has earned me upwards of 2 regular readers.

I'm not really trying to become a major website or anything like that, but I want to clean up my language a bit and be a tad more respectable. I'm done arguing with apologetics, I realize now that it's a dead end hobby, and besides, If I want to be taken more seriously by readers, I have to become more serious myself.

10 New Year Resolutions

10. No more use of the F word, even with the u replaced with an asterisk.
9. No more insults: even f*ing idiots need to be treated with respect from now on. (Last one, I promise...  could not resist making one last joke)
8. No more posting of material not relevant to the nature and purpose of this blog.
7. No more borrowing of photographs without posting image credits, when they are available.
6. No more negative commentary aimed at specific individuals, except when they are already in prison.
5. No more unsubstantiated claims.
4. No more negative commentary aimed at specific religions.
3. No more posting of material I would not want my mother to read.
2. No more angry rants.

And the most important one of all:

1. No more drinking and blogging.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Free-market capitalism is at risk

In a Forbes article titled "The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value", Steve Denning argues that when the management of a company stops caring about its customers and its employees in order to please investors at any cost (what I call corporate whoring), the long-term sustainability of the company is at risk.

If you work in the corporate world and are baffled by dumb decisions by accountants who understand nothing about your work and treat you like a disposable diaper, this article is for you. Actually, I would argue it's not for you. It's for your manager. It's for your regional director. It's for your CEO. Forward this to them.