Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 69

07 Jan
January 7, 2013

In Chapter 69, Zombie Strike and the Truth’s force face off. The verbal battle between Cortez and Giant erupts into a gunfight. It ends suddenly with a surprise offer.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

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Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 68

04 Jan
January 4, 2013

In Chapter 68, Zombie Strike learns of how Father Rodriguez protected his parishioners against the vampires. They also learn who was responsible for sealing the crack between the vampires’ world and Earth. Then the village has some surprise visitors.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

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New Year, New Traditions

02 Jan
January 2, 2013

For this holiday season, we decided to start a new tradition. My brother and I are atheists, but my niece and nephew and their parents aren’t. At this point in their lives, it would be hard to explain fully to the kids why my brother and I don’t celebrate Christmas. So, the compromise was the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Holiday, which we celebrate on New Year’s Day. This also simplifies logistics and allows for the introduction of pirates.

All in all, it went pretty well, although there was a distinct lack of pirating. To make up for this, my niece and nephew went about creating omens of a possible “evil overlord” future for the two of them. My brother was resting on the couch. The children came in and tried to lift him off the couch. When informed that such a feat was impossible for them without the use of machinery, they then tried to roll my brother off the couch and onto the floor.

Brother: Why would you do such a thing?

Nephew (with niece giggling in agreement: So we can listen to your pain.

Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 67

02 Jan
January 2, 2013

In Chapter 67, the Zombie Strike has their first battle against the vampires. After a furious gunfight, the team makes it into the village of Redencion and meet the enigmatic Father Rodriguez who explains a bit and gives the team some very bad news.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

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Demands of Our Times

01 Jan
January 1, 2013

I did something today that a year ago I swore I’d never do. Today, I rejoined the NRA. This is the organization that back stabbed Florida gun owners over open carry. This is the organization that seemed to go out of its way to piss me off because I don’t fit their normal demographic. Yet, I still not only joined, but helped one of my friends join. Why?

Two reasons. One, because as bad as they piss me off, the NRA is going to be the most effective lobby group against the oncoming tidal wave of anti-gun legislation. In this kind of fight, As Sebastion put it, “we have to go to war with the NRA we have, not the NRA we want.”

Second, I can change the NRA far more effectively as a member instead of as a lone blogger. Right now, the NRA ranks somewhere between uneasy ally and my enemy’s enemy. If I want it to be more, I will have to help change it from the inside.

This is something I didn’t want to do, but something that I feel the times have demanded of me.

Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 66

31 Dec
December 31, 2012

In Chapter 66, Chief Warrant Officer Eric Stahl (US Army, ret.) and the rest of Zombie Strike land in Panama to meet up with the local forces. As the team and local forces move into the Panamanian jungle, they are briefed on the vampires that are supposed to have attacked a village. Then the attack comes.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

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What Price Gouging?

29 Dec
December 29, 2012

I keep seeing charges price gouging by the some of the major Internet retailers. I also see pictures of stores stripped of evil black rifles and their associated paraphernalia. These two claims are contradictory. If we are asserting there is an unusually high demand that has resulted in a low supply of AR’s and parts, we shouldn’t be surprised that the prices would have go up, sometimes dramatically. We understand this when we see prices go up for gas in an emergency (Hurricane Sandy being the most recent), but seem oblivious to it when it affects our hobby.

Sure we can complain “oh it’s just a simple piece of aluminum/plastic with a spring,” but there’s a scare supply. Brownells went through what would normally be a three year supply in three days. So, if some retailers have adjusted their prices to match the hyper-demand with low supply, that is not price gouging, that is how prices are determined. What will the market bear? If we as consumers believe these suppliers are charging too high a price, then we choose not to buy at high-priced dealers. When the supply increases or the demand (panic) decreases, those retailers will be forced to decrease their prices or not be able to move their inventory.

This is economics, not a conspiracy.

Friday Quote 12/28/12

28 Dec
December 28, 2012
The only real consensus I found [in the literature] was that these types of school shootings, or even spree killings, are too rare to do any kind of meaningful analysis of cause and effect… There’s more variables than there are data points. So you can’t do any kind of meaningful analysis. So we just don’t know what the important influences are and policies might reduce the risk of this happening again in the future.

Dr. Steven Novella, on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe #388

Everyone has been rushing to find a solution to these types of incidents. It must be guns, it must be violent video games, it must be because we don’t have armed security, it must be because of mental illness. The truth is we just don’t know.

Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 65

28 Dec
December 28, 2012

In Chapter 65, Castle is watching the beginning of a new satellite constellation and musing on his success in infiltrating most of the world’s sectors. One of Alan’s sorcerers call Castle to inform him a “tear” has opened in Panama. In Panama, Robyn and Tredegar wait to meet with a contact about a need for Zombie Strike in the country.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

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Collective Guilt

27 Dec
December 27, 2012

Penn Jillette went on the Wendy Williams show (which I’ve never even heard of) to pimp his new book Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday. He’s caught up in the roundtable discussion:

If you were able to make it through that video, Penn makes some great points. We don’t know enough right now to make judgements on how to stop these types of murders. So why are we so willing to punish people who had nothing to do with it?

Most people who own guns, even AR-15s, do not murder people.

Most people who who play violent video games do not murder people.

Most people who suffer from mental illness do not murder people.

Yet, there is a cry to punish each of these groups because someone did something horrific and we think these might have contributed to the horror. We can discuss the lousy state of treating mental illness and the stigma of having mental illness. We can debate if letting children play video games for long hours without supervision stunts emotional and social growth. We can talk about if the availability of guns has an effect on these types of murders. The problem arises when we are willing to punish these groups with ill-thought-out legislation in a rush to “do something.”

Why would we ever assume collective guilt of a segment of our population based on the actions of one individual?