A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for January, 2015

Not One, Not Two, But Three Pro-Bigotry Bills in Oklahoma

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Members of the Republican Party seem hellbent on ensure their party’s continued practical irrelevance. With the Supreme Court poised to make a ruling on whether or not same-sex marriages are constitutional the Republican Party has been throwing the mother of all hissy fits. In Oklahoma one senator has introduced not one, not two, but three pieces of legislation to discriminate against homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. The first bill is your typical prohibition against same-sex marriage bill:

House Bill 1599 is being called the “Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act.” It says taxpayer dollars or governmental salaries cannot be used for “the licensing or support of same-sex marriage.”

I love the title because it shows Sally Kern, the wretch that introduced these bills, has no idea what the word sovereign means. Sovereign means supreme authority or ultimate power. To say marriage is sovereign is to say it has ultimate power in regards to unions. If marriage was sovereign then the state couldn’t have any say in the matter of unions. The second bill would ensure parents could continue to subject their kids to “pray away the gay camps”:

House Bill 1598 “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act” says parents would be allowed to seek counseling and therapy to help change a child’s sexual orientation, without interference from the state.

Setting aside the fact that so-called conversion therapy has been proven to not work we also have the issue that this bill would further erode minor’s already non-existent agency. As I discussed previously minors have no agency and are therefore almost entirely at the whim of their parents. This leads to major problems when the parents don’t have the well-being of the child in mind. Because of how laws in this country works the only real option for a minor to resist bad parenting is to beg the state to intervene. If this bill passed into law then even that option would be stripped from them. The final bill would allows businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender individuals:

The other, House Bill 1597, would allow any business in Oklahoma to refuse service to any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person or group.

Voluntary association states that everybody is free to associate or not associate with whoever they want for whatever reason. This bill wouldn’t allow that though because under it homosexual, bisexual, and transgender business owners would not be free to discriminate against bigoted assholes. If one group of individuals can refuse service then other groups must be free to refuse that group service as well. Any bill that only grants special privileges to one group establishes more hierarchy and the last thing we need in this forsaken country is more hierarchy.

It’s fascinating to see the Republican Party continue to hold its position on social issues. As their generation dies out and later generations become the majority social conservatism will become even more poisonous to the Republicans.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 26th, 2015 at 10:30 am

Monday Metal: Romulus by Ex Deo

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It’s time again to combine history of metal. This week we’re listening to Romulus, Ex Deo’s song about one of the mythical founds of Rome (because Romans were so far up their own asses they had to make up an entire mythology surrounding the founding of their city). The only downside to this song is that it makes me want Ex Deo to make more music but that isn’t happening.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 26th, 2015 at 10:00 am

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America the Hypocrite

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Remember those videos that circulated of the Islamic State (IS) beheading reporters? Boy did that get people upset. Suddenly the entire world was ready to bomb the living shit out of the Middle East. Demands were made for the head of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS’s leader. And Obama himself took to television to remind people that he had no issue dropping bombs on the Middle East.

So how does America react when one of the IS’s biggest funding sources and perpetrator of beheadings loses its king? With sorrow and a bunch of nice words about how great of a man he was:

US President Barack Obama expressed his personal sympathies and those of the American people, on the death of King Abdullah.

“As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the US-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond,” he said.

Isn’t it funny how American politicians beat the war drum against radical Islam because of the IS but claim that one of the most destabilizing elements in the Middle East, one that shares many of the IS’s beliefs, is a force for stability? How can anybody take anything these clowns in marble buildings say seriously?

Written by Christopher Burg

January 23rd, 2015 at 10:00 am

Hillary Clinton is Getting Ready for Her Republican Party Presidential Nomination

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I’ve been saying that Hillary Clinton is the ideal Republican candidate. And I’m not alone. Democrats still love Hillary Clinton as well so I believe she may be the first candidate to receive both the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations.

And she’s not planning to coast buy on her war mongering credentials along. Hillary has been brushing up on her skills at impersonating every Republican’s favorite foreign prime minister, Vladimir Putin:

If 2016 doesn’t work out for Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state could find a new line of work on the theatrical stage.

During an event in Canada this afternoon, Clinton broke out into an impromptu impersonation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While trying to explain the difference between how the United States elects politicians and how other countries do (wink, wink – Russia), Clinton put on a Russian accent and performed a mock conversation she imagines Putin had with himself when deciding he wanted to be president.

Santorum, Romney, and Bush might as well stay home this election season. They don’t have a chance.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 22nd, 2015 at 11:00 am

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HealthCare.gov Sending Personal Information to Tracking Sites

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The war over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still be waged. Democrats are pointing out that the number of people with health insurance coverage is higher than ever, which isn’t surprising since you’re not required to purchase it by law. Republicans are upset because the ACA is still called ObamaCare and they wanted everybody to call it RomneyCare. Libertarians, rightly so, are asking how a government can force you to buy a product. But there’s a problem with the ACA that has received relatively little coverage. From a privacy standpoint HealthCare.gov is a total fucking nightmare:

EFF researchers have independently confirmed that healthcare.gov is sending personal health information to at least 14 third party domains, even if the user has enabled Do Not Track. The information is sent via the referrer header which contains the URL of the page requesting a third party resource. The referrer header is an essential part of the HTTP protocol, it is sent for every request that is made on the web. The referrer header lets the requested resource know what URL the request came from, this would for example let a website know who else was linking to their pages. In this case however the referrer URL contains personal health information.

In some cases the information is also sent embedded in the request string itself, like so:

https://4037109.fls.doubleclick.net/activityi;src=4037109;
type=20142003;cat=201420;ord=7917385912018;~oref=https://www.
healthcare.gov/see-plans/85601/results/?county=04019&age=40&smoker=1&parent=&pregnant=1&mec=&zip=85601&state=AZ&income=35000&step=4?

That’s a referrer link from HealthCare.gov to DoubleClick.net that tells the advertiser that the user is 40 years old, that the user (assuming a value of 1 indicates true) smokes, that the user is not a parent, that the user is pregnant, the user’s zip code, the user’s state, and the user’s income.

You might be curious why a website paid for with taxes is sending health information about its users to an online advertiser. Usually websites only send user data to advertisers if they’re selling it. I wouldn’t be surprised if HealthCare.gov is double dipping by taking tax dollars and selling data to online advertisers. It wouldn’t be a bad money making strategy. First you force everybody to buy your product and then you sell their data.

DoubleClick.net isn’t the only site that HealthCare.gov is sending user health information to. Akamai.net, Chartbeat.net, Clicktale.net, and many more are receiving this data.

Interestingly enough both the Democrats and the Republicans seem entirely unconcerned about this. The only thing they care about is the political dick measuring contest that has been going on between then since forever. But this violation of privacy has real world ramifications, especially since the advertisers receiving this data already have a great deal of data on many Internet users.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 22nd, 2015 at 10:30 am

Proof Climate Change is Happening

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It’s been a long heated debate between advocates of global warming climate change and those who don’t believe it’s occurring. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of scientific papers have been written address all angle of climate change. The renewable energy market has piles of papers proving climate change is real and the fossil fuel market has just as many say it’s not. But there is only one method we humans have for understanding the natural universe: democracy!

The Senate has finally voted on whether or not climate change is real. Thanks to their efforts we now know without any shadow of a doubt that it is, in fact, happening:

The Senate on Wednesday voted that “climate change is real and is not a hoax” as Democrats used the Keystone XL pipeline debate to force votes on the politically charged issue ahead of the 2016 elections.

The “hoax” amendment to the pipeline bill from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) passed 98-1, with only Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm, voting “no.”

I’m glad we’ve finally put that issue to rest! But there are so many scientific debates that still need to be studied. Hopefully the Senate can find time to vote on whether evolution is real of a stupid theory put forth by atheists to explain their lack of belief in deities. After that the Senate could decide whether nor not gravity is real.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 22nd, 2015 at 10:00 am

Illinois Legislators Approve Law to Requires Students Surrender Social Media Passwords

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Further demonstrating that the state believes it owns us, Illinois legislators have approve a law that would require K-12 and university students to surrender their social media passwords to school officials:

However, with the new law that Illinois legislators approved, school districts and universities in Illinois can demand a student’s social media password. The new law states if a school has a reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account on a social network contains evidence that a student has violated a schools disciplinary rule of policy. Even if it’s posted after school hours.

This week some school districts sent home letters to notify parents and students about the new rules. ” To get into a social networking site and it could be at a school or at home. That we would be able to get that password and get onto their account,” said Leigh Lewis Triad Community Unity School District Superintendent.

I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if the law only covered K-12 students. The state does believe that it wholly owns every minor. And if that were the case I would urge any parent to tell snoopy school administrators to fuck off. But the law also covers university students who tend to be adults. So now I must also encourage university students to tell snoopy school administrators to fuck off.

As with all Orwellian laws this one is being sold using fear. We’re told that it’s necessary to stop “cyber bullying” (apparently adding the word cyber to something is supposed to make it scarier). In reality it’s just another tool for school administrators to put the students in their place. The message is very clear, behave or some school administrator is going to do a detailed search of your entire social media presence including private messages. I feel confident in saying this because there is no reason whatsoever for a school administrator to need a student’s password. If a student is the target of harassment they can show administrators the relevant information (and they don’t even have to surrender their password to do it). Screenshots can be taken of any pertinent evidence. It’s very easy.

And since I’m on a kick of turning common statist arguments against them let’s also consider the children. Teenagers have a habit of sending naked pictures to their significant others. There’s no changing it, it’s a fact of life. What’s to stop a creepy teacher who suspects a student has sent or received naked pictures of themselves or others from making up an excuse to demand their password so they can comb through them? Not a damn thing since minors have no real legal rights.

The thing to keep in mind is that this law, like all laws, can be disobeyed. Just because the state says you have to surrender your password doesn’t mean you do. Upon receiving a demand for your password you can just as easily shutdown the account or, better yet, tell the person making the demand to fuck off.

Testosterone So Thick You Need a Knife to Cut It

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When somebody criticizes your friend what’s the appropriate response? If you said, “Beat the shit out of them!” then you are a psychopath. Congratulations, you can now join the fraternity of people who get bent out of shape whenever Seth Rogen opens his mouth. It’s true, Seth Rogen insulted Chris Kyle. I don’t pay any attention to what Rogen says because I don’t find his movies funny nor his statements thought provoking. But there are a lot of people who do pay attention to what he says and get really bent out of shape whenever his words disagree with their world view. Take Dean Cain, who is an actor I’ve never heard of before (which isn’t to say he’s not famous, I don’t pay much attention to actors). He’s publicly stated a desire to kick Seth Rogen’s ass for insulting his best friend forever, Chris Kyle:

Actor Dean Cain, who was paired in 2012 with slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle on NBC’s “Stars Earn Stripes,” had some fighting words for Michael Moore and Seth Rogen after the two made controversial comments about the autobiography film “American Sniper.”

“Seth…I like your films, but right now, I wanna kick your ass,” the former Superman wrote in defense of his friend Monday. “Chris is an American Hero. Period. Go to war. Then we’ll talk.”

The only reason I’m writing a post about this is because I want to address two things. First I want to address the concept of violence as a method of dealing with criticism. Most of the people who see Chris Kyle as a paragon of America have resorted to either threats of violence against or wishing tragedy on his critics (not in jest, mind you). Nothing shows that you’re a mature, well-adjusted adult like threatening violence and wishing tragedy on others who have nothing more than disagree with you.

Second I want to address the whole “Go to war.” comment made by Mr. Cain. This is an idiotic rebuttal. It doesn’t refute Rogen’s criticisms. And saying critics of war need to go to war is the same as saying critics of murder need to commit murder. You can criticize something that you haven’t directly participated in. In fact almost everybody does. How many people who bitch about homosexuals have actually had sex with somebody of their own gender (come to think of it, many of them probably have and feel ashamed that they enjoyed it)? How many people have criticized referees at professional football games but have never been a referee at a professional football game? How many people criticize rapists but have never raped anybody? Saying somebody can’t criticize war or soldiers because they’ve never gone to war is fucking pathetic. It’s not even an argument. If you’re that butthurt over something that somebody has said and can’t come up with a good counterargument then maybe you should consider reevaluating your life.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 21st, 2015 at 10:30 am

The ATF is Solely Responsible for Its Ruling

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Gun owners, like libertarians, a very good at eating their own. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the conversations that have been surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’s (ATF) ruling that holding a gun wrong is a felony. You would think gun owners would be focusing in their wrath on the ATF but many seem to view fellow gun owners are the true culprits.

When the arm braces were released we all knew they were going to get an unfavorable ruling from the ATF eventually. Many gun owners wrote into the ATF requesting clarification on numerous corner cases involving arm braces. Some of the requests were serious but most of them were humorous. Apparently these requests are what caused the ATF to issue its ruling and we should therefore all scorn the gun owners who made those requests.

This is bullshit. Pure unadulterated bullshit. We all knew the ATF was going to issue this ruling eventually. After all, if there’s one thing the ATF hates more than gun owners it’s fun. I’m fairly certain the ATF has a staff that just combs YouTube for videos of people having fun with firearms and tries to figure out how to make those activities illegal. As soon as videos started popping up of gun owners having fun with arm braces it was over. The ATF detected fun and it was going to swoop in to stop it.

All of you who are blaming fellow gun owners for the ATF’s actions need to knock it the fuck off. I get it. You’re angry and you feel powerless against the ATF. But taking out your rage on somebody you perceive to be weaker is childish. It’s as if your teacher gave you detention so you decided to beat the shit out of her kid.

Some of you may not be angry but are merely trying to win favor from the ATF. Turning on your fellows is a great to display loyalty to a master after all. But it’s not going to work. No matter how much you kowtow to the ATF, no matter how much you lick its boots, it will not grant you the special favors you seek. When the next fun toy gets developed it will still rip it from your hands. That’s because it views you, correctly, as its subject.

The ATF issued and will enforce the decision. It is solely responsible for this mess. So take all of that anger that you’re using to lash out at people who aren’t responsible for this mess and lash out at the ATF. Who knows, maybe if our ancestors had told the ATF to go fuck itself instead of screaming at each other we wouldn’t be in the mess. Maybe if the ATF knew everything it did would be met with resistance it would be more hesitant to issue stupid rulings. But we’ll probably never know because we’re too busy blaming each other to dedicate any real energy to hating the actual culprit.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am

Louisiana Continues to Ban Oral Sex; Necrophilia A-OK

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There are a lot of ancient laws relating to how people conduct themselves in their own bedroom. Many of those laws are still on the books and I like to think that is because politicians simply haven’t gotten around to removing them. But Louisiana has shown us that isn’t the case. Their politicians debated their state’s sex laws and came to a strange conclusion:

The Louisiana House of Representatives voted this week to uphold an anti-sodomy law that bans oral sex in the state.

A measure to remove the ban failed by a wide margin Tuesday, in a vote of 27-67.

Meanwhile, according to The Blot, necrophilia or sex with a dead person is technically legal in the state of Louisiana.

So oral sex is illegal but necrophilia is totally cool*. OK, technically the law is unenforceable. The Supreme Court ruled laws prohibiting sodomy unconstitutional in 2003. But Louisiana’s politicians must be hoping a day will come when that ruling is reversed (because any arbitrary Supreme Court ruling can be reverse by a later arbitrary Supreme Court ruling) because there is no other reason to leave the laws on the books. This also shows that these laws having simply been forgotten. They’re still remembered, debated, and supported by many.

*Yeah, it’s a pun. Deal with it.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 20th, 2015 at 10:30 am