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Biology and Gun Control, or, War, what’s it good for?

This is probably a topic better suited to being ripped apart by LabRat, but I’ll give it the thumbnail sketch. (Via Shall Not Be Questioned)

One of the ongoing debates simmering in evolutionary biology lately is the competition versus cooperation argument. On one side, we have the more traditional Darwinian position that competition is the primary driver of adaptation, and hence survival of any given species.

But more recently, the idea is gaining traction that humans may have evolved most successfully not due to “survival of the fittest” but rather, “survival of the kindest,” quoting Dr. Dacher Keltner, Co-Director of the Greater Good Society at UC Berkeley.

Oh, dear God. Where do we get these people? It’s a classic rhetorical fallacy of False Dilemma. Either we are purely competitive psychopaths always ripping each other apart for the smallest advantage, or we’re wonderfully cooperative creatures who live in a fantasy world.

Horseshit. We are both. How we treat you is determined by what sort of group we feel you fall into. If you are of our tribe, great, we’ll help you out. That is assuming that you are following the tribal rules. If you aren’t of our tribe, we will compete with you unless helping you is to our advantage. It’s not that hard. Insiders get cooperation, outsiders get shot in the face.

This is one area where Western culture is clearly superior to most non-Western culture. We haven’t so much trancended tribalism as we have expanded the definition of it to include people who share our belief systems. Somalia is filled with people who owe their allegiance to their clan, where we’re filled with people who believe that if you act like an American, you’re as good as a brother. We’ve defined our tribe, American, to be anyone who accepts and espouses American ideals. That doesn’t mean we will universally like you, but you’ll be family. We’ll at least invite you to Thanksgiving dinner and talk bad about you rather than talk bad about you behind your back.

The real problem with this “Survival of the Kindest” malarkey is that it makes people think that competition and warfare are somehow set in opposition to cooperation. They aren’t. Competition is rarely one on one. Most competition is a team sport. All of warfare is a team sport. You cooperate with the people on your team and you compete with those who are not.

If you’ve got the time, pick up the Harry Turtledove “Worldwar” series. I am convinced that Turtledove doesn’t write to tell a story, he writes to answer a question. The question that this series answers is, “War, what is it good for?”

The series pits humans against an invading alien race who happen to show up in the middle of World War II. The aliens have been planning the invasion for hundreds of years, and are just certain that they are going to crush the pitiful humans. The problem is that due to constant warfare between competing groups of humans, we’re no longer riding horses clad in maille while trying to whack each other with swords. For the aliens, 500 years isn’t enough time to change anything, but for us we’ve gone from knights almost to atomic weapons.

Turtledove’s answer appears to be “the constant competition of war, coupled with the cooperation within the various warring groups, leads to intense technological advancement. Those groups that didn’t adapt and improve were swept away by those that did.”

I think he’s right.

What Scalia actually said, or, Cannons For EVERYONE! (*Video*)

There’s been a lot of talk about Associate Judge Antonin Scalia’s interview on Fox News. A lot of it seems to have been hype.

Let’s go to the tape. Watch the whole thing, it’s good. You might even want to buy the book. But for the Gun Control stuff skip to 6:55

 

(RSS Readers click HERE for video

He is saying that there are undoubtedly some restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. He’s also saying that those particular limits have to be explored in future cases.

He brings up the old law of “affrighting,” which is basically the same law we have in North Carolina called “Going Armed to the Terror.” It is a misdemeanor to take a dangerous and unusual weapon and parade around with it for the purpose of terrorizing people. It’s basically a “don’t be a dick” law.

The most important thing he is saying is that any limits on arms must be based upon the sorts of limits that were acknowledged to be appropriate at the time that the Constitution was written.

What’s going to be really interesting is when he’s presented with the historical information about crew served weapons. He thinks that cannons are not covered. He’s going to be shocked when he learns that at the founding of this country to well past the writing of the Constitution, cannons and warships were privately owned. In fact, we can prove that the writers of the Constitution considered cannon and warship ownership by private citizens to be normal.

[Congress shall have Power...] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

We don’t issue Letters of Marque anymore. While we are not a signatory to the treaty forbidding them, we generally follow that treaty. What is a letter of Marque? It’s basically an official commission from the government for a private person to attack enemy shipping without being branded a pirate. What do you think that a person would have to have in order to attack enemy ships with? You guessed it, a ship, armed with weapons appropriate to naval combat.

So there you have it. The very text of the Constitution tells us that it was not considered wrong for private citizens to own a ship nor to fill that ship with cannons.

Makes it pretty tough to argue that the Government has the power to prevent people from having cannons without running afoul of the Second Amendment, doesn’t it.

Want to know more about the privateers of the Revolutionary War? Here’s a list of about 2,200 of them. When you can point to a list of over 2,000 private warships in a country that had less than 4 million residents, you can’t even claim they were rare.

Concealed carry in theaters in North Carolina

I’ll bet you didn’t know that another one of the stupid concealed carry rules in North Carolina is that you can’t carry a gun in a theater. That’s right, the same law that bans guns in restaurants bans guns in any place that charges admission.

§ 14‑269.3. Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry any gun, rifle, or pistol into any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission thereto, or into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

 The Charlotte Observer, never one to miss a chance to sell newspapers on another person’s tragedy no matter how far away, discusses the “heightened” security at local theaters.

AMC Theatres, which runs the Northlake theater, released a statement Friday, saying “we are actively working with local law enforcement in communities throughout the nation and under the circumstances we are reaching out to all of our theatres to review our safety and security procedures.”

Here’s the comment that I left for them.

Hey, this is North Carolina. What do we have to worry about? The North Carolina General Assembly has made it ILLEGAL to carry a gun in any place that charges admission! Theaters charge admission, so therefore it’s ILLEGAL to carry a gun there. Isn’t that awesome?

Carrying a gun in a theater is just as illegal as using a gun to murder everyone inside that theater, so we have nothing whatsoever to fear. Anyone who wants to murder people in the theater with guns will realize that guns are BANNED in theaters and won’t even try.

Great job NC General Assembly! You guys think of everything!

Sometimes I think that “civilization” is just one giant game of “Let’s Pretend.” No one seems to have any connection with reality. They all seem to follow the Tinker Bell theory of reality creation. If they wish hard enough and believe strongly enough…

I can’t find video, but when I worked at Disneyland in the late ’80s, the announcer would say

“If you wish hard enough and believe strongly enough, Tinkerbell will appear and light this evening’s Fantasy in the Sky.”

Then Tinkerbell, who was a stuntman and was standing on top of the Matterhorn, would light her lights and slide down the zipline. She’d wave, zooming down the line, and run smack into two guys holding a mattress in a tower behind Fantasyland. She was rumored to make stunt pay of $500 a slide in the late ’80s.

From then on, this phrase is what I use to make fun of those people who think the world gives a damn about their wants and desires. Only a self-centered jackass would dream that the laws of physics would bend around their will.

Gunwalker T-Shirt orders closing soon!

I have to close the ordering for Gunwalker T-Shirts very soon.
Get your orders in now if you don’t want to miss out.


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Contempt: Show yours

Attorney General Eric Holder has been voted in contempt of Congress.
Who knows what’s going to happen now. I keep hoping there will be a great big ugly trial, ending with his extradition to Mexico for his crimes. Here’s the perfect shirt to wear during that trial.

Order yours now!

 

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Gunwalker T-Shirt orders Now Open!

In honor of President Barack Obama asserting Executive Privilige over the subpoenaed Gunwalker documents, I am reopening orders for Gunwalker Tee Shirts.
Am I the only person on the planet that didn’t get guns from the ATF?
GO HERE TO ORDER
I still have a couple of pink shirts left. Get them now before they are gone. I will not be making any more. There are a couple of shirts still in stock from the last run. If you happen to order a shirt I already have, it will go out immediately. The order period will remain open for 2 weeks, and then the shirts will be printed and shipped. Expect a ship date of approximately 4th of July.

Blowout pricing!

Pink shirts ANY SIZE only $11!

VERY FEW left. Get them now while I still have some!

There are two versions of the shirt.
The regular shirt, with the printing on the front, is priced as follows.
$16 – Sizes Small, Medium, Large, and 1XL
$18 – Size 2XL
$19 – Size 3XL
The pocket Tee, with a pocket on the front and the printing on the back is
$18 – Sizes Small, Medium, Large, and 1XL
$20 – Size 2XL
$21 – Size 3XL
Shipping costs
1 shirt – $6
2 shirts- $9
3 shirts – $12
4 – 11 Shirts – $15
If you buy 12 shirts, you get FREE SHIPPING!


GO HERE TO ORDER

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Yes, the name of the town really sounds like “p’tooie”

You might get a laugh out of the town’s name, but you shouldn’t miss Ptuj.
Today we spent most of the afternoon in the hot tub in the Grand Hotel Primus. We did take a walk in the evening where we got a few photos of the castle, plus a couple of dinosaur warning signs.


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So you want to see real gun violence?

Japete is always going one about “Advanced industrialized countries not at war” that we seem to have the worst rate of “gun deaths” of. Well one thing I know is true, we don’t have anything like the kind of violence in this country that is depicted in this movie about Brazil.

Elite Squad is a Brazilian movie about Rio de Janeiro’s elite BOPE, which appears to be a cross between a SWAT team, a military commando unit, and the most violent gang you can imagine. The movie is based upon a book written by a sociologist and two members of BOPE.
It’s not a pretty movie. You won’t come away from the movie singing the praises of Brazilian policing methods. The regular cops are all corrupt. BOPE uses a plastic bag during prisoner interrogation if simply beating the suspect up doesn’t work. The drug gangs basically rule the slums. It’s a level of horrifying that I don’t think our political enemies could possibly imagine. There is widespread and systematic screwing with the statistics so that the cops don’t have to actually solve crimes.
While watching all this, I kept thinking that japete pretends that our country has a worse “gun violence” problem because she and the other gun grabbers lump suicide in with murder, completely ignoring the fact that on a per capita basis, Brazil has more than 5 times the intentional homicide rate.
For a peek into REAL gun violence, get your hands on Elite Squad at Netflix. It’s in Portuguese, subtitled in English. It’s a great movie, and a window into a world of actual violence.

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Graphic Design Bleg

I need a bit of help with a photo. I am planning on using this photo

as the background for my travel blog. The “upload an image” link says that for a full background the image needs to be at least 1,800 x 1,600 or greater, and the image can not be larger than 300K in size. Anyone know how to make that happen?

UPDATE: Never Mind. I right clicked the image above, downloaded it, renamed it, and uploaded it to the travel blog. Problem solved!

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Darrell Issa & Mexican AG: “Fast and Furious guns used to kill 300=+” Ladd from CSGV: “BS”

In a stunning display of arrogance, Ladd Everett has told The Daily Caller that despite what Darrell Issa and Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales say, there’s no “proof” that guns trafficked under the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious operation were used to kill 2 US federal agents and over 300 Mexican citizens.
Are you kidding me, Ladd? Do you think for half a second that the Obama administration would allow this scandal to have existed for half a second if they thought that it was possible to dummy up ANYTHING that could be used to argue against the Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata murders being related to Fast and Furious guns?
I’ve argued before that CSGV is not actually and anti-gun organization. They are a Leftist organization, founded to push Leftist ideals on government. They just choose to push gun control as their primary means of advancing Leftist ideals. When pushed, their first instinct will always be to advance Leftist ideals as a whole rather than reflexively ban guns. And if they need to promote outrageous lies just to protect their Leftist allies in the Obama administration, they will do so without hesitation.
Don’t think of them and other Leftist (or Progressive as they like to style themselves) orgs as individual rocks in the stream of American political thought, each causing individual ripples and eddies. Think of them as connected parts of a great big iceberg. Each one a point on the bottom of that iceberg, connected to each other underwater and showing no more than 9% above the surface.


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