Monday, November 30, 2015

Snow Day!

Winter arrived today. As I write this post, the snow's coming down steady and thick. Shoveling is going to be interesting, in the Chinese sense, when this is done.

Since today is when Winter returns to my part of the world, and folks are again having to remember how to walk and drive in this crap, I'm glad I did the smart thing and stayed home. I wish more folks would value their lives and health over their jobs, since very few people do anything so damned important that it won't survive not being done for a day, and just take a Snow Day of their own accord. There ends the commentary.

In the meantime, here's something happy:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Narrative Warfare: Here's Your Fucking Proof

This is it, your smoking gun.

This is a template, suitable for automation. It's a press release set up like a Mad Lib, with details to be filled in when decided upon by those promulgating the narrative in question. Those who put their name on this crap as a By-Line are committing fraud; they are stealing your time, attention, wealth, and belief by deception for the purpose of profit.

This is how it is for all beats in journalism, foreign and domestic. This is how it is across the world, no matter the country. This is how it is and that's why they are increasingly being seen for the liars, thieves, and frauds that they really are.

They decide on the conclusion first, and only include those facts--real and fake alike--that support the conclusion. Everything else gets culled into the Memory Hole. This is the perversion of Art (Storytelling) for the purpose and sake of Power.

This is Narrative Warfare is action!

Now, with that in mind, go read Mike Cernovich's article on the latest rape hoax and see how this is is the same bullshit scam applied in a different context.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

When Art Speaks True: SPECTRE (Again)

Following from yesterday's post, which is here if you missed it, I'm going to talk about SPECTRE as a work of art.

The power of art is the power to communicate ideas in both Dialectical and Rhetorical fashions simultaneously across generations, even eons, so long as the work endures. This power allows for the accumulation of inter-generational interaction between the past and the present, creating conversations via present review and response to past participation. This is the basis for the "Great Books" concept, which is still superior--far superior--to any extant pedagogical paradigm in education, which is itself an application of the Trivium Method.

Art that endures across the ages is art that communicates ideas that are true in a proper, universal sense. We still read, study, and enjoy Greek and Roman art of all sorts. In addition to being an enduring link to the past, and thus maintenance of a continuity that enables Civilization to prosper, such enduring art endures because it shows us things that are true (and therefore relevant) to us here and now. This is the power of the idea, but moreso the power of a true idea--a principle--because it is provably real.

So, SPECTRE. Here it is then:
  • Human relationships matter most. This is both relevant to tradecraft ("Human Intelligence"), and in general; the reason Bond's rogue actions end up saving MI-6 and the 00 program is because Bond proves that its principles work. Cybernetic means are, when used properly, nothing more than various augmentations to the core strength of direct human connection via one-to-one relationships. Even the villains wholly accept this principle, as it is the basis for their organization.
  • True success, and true wealth, comes when Man conforms to the principles that govern all existence. When men are men, women are women, and all act for the common good (which is where "commonwealth" comes from) everyone benefits despite the costs incurred in doing so. The more one deviates from the universal principles that govern all existence, the more you get the Dark Side effect: apparent easy success that proves self-defeating, in the manner that drug addiction destroys those that it afflicts. This we see in Bond's success coming from embracing this truth when Madelline challenges him to do so, while the villain's apparent success leads to his downfall when he's shown to abuse and refuse it.
  • The use of force is not wrong when done for the right reasons. It is right and proper to use force--including lethal force--when a predator attempts to prey upon you and yours, and that includes going into the predator's domain and destroy he and his. This is the Just War principle, and the film's events do touch on it via M when he talks to C about what a License To Kill means in practice, and called back in the final sequence twice.
  • Institutions are tools, machines specifically, and therefore only as effective as the user. When in the hands of incompetent users, they produce incompetent results. In malevolent hands, malevolent results. While tools are not truly neutral--following the Iron Law of Bureaucracy, they want to be used and will favor those who will use them most--they are utterly and totally amoral; before you blame the tool, address the user. Then address the tool. We see this, subtly, in that while opposing the Total Surveillance scheme of C, MI-6 has no problems using those same tools for their own ends- including legal tools of dubious ethical status, as shown when M arrests the villain at the end.
  • Human rules are only as good as their enforcement. A rule that is not enforced does not exist because it is not real. Only the principles that govern the universe are real, because they are self-enforcing. (Don't think so? Shoot yourself in the head with a Walther PPK in .380 ACP and see if you can go "Fuck Physics and Anatomy! Just rules! I do what I want!") This is why the formalism of institutions always gives way to the reality of human interactions and relationships when push comes to shove; until we replace all human employment with robots and software, this is how human society will really work.
Maybe I missed something. If so, I'll catch it when I watch it again some time down the road. You get the point nonetheless. Art isn't about feels; it's about reals. That so many don't grok this shows just how poor most educations really are now, and that is no accident; education populations are very hard to corral and control. Fortunately, the Internet exists and (for now) it's a place where nescience and ignorance is easily and readily remedied for those who wish to do so. Go forth, enjoy SPECTRE, and hope that the next Bond film is as good as this one was.

Friday, November 27, 2015

When Art Speaks True: SPECTRE

I held off seeing SPECTRE until I could go with my folks as our Thanksgiving holiday thing. That we did earlier today, and I have something to say about it. Blah, blah, blah spoilers- like that matters here.

First, the obvious: It delivered. Go see it. There, movie opinion sorted.

Now, the thing.

SPECTRE, aside from being the work of a competent master of the form in collaboration with other competent masters of their art or craft, is one of those films that demonstrates how competent art speaks the truth to the audience using multiple avenues simultaneously. Specifically, what SPECTRE does is speak the truth of how the world as it is now (a) came to pass and (b) intends to build towards a future that is deleterious to ALL of us.

I've written quite a bit about Narrative Warfare. What SPECTRE shows, in roughly the fashion that is actually used in real life, is how this entire method works and to what ends. (Since I'm watching Skyfall again, much said of SPECTRE applies here also.)
  • The fictional SPECTRE (as with the front group Quantum) represents the so-called "Deep State", while it embeds itself into multi-national corporations/NGOs and (inter-)governmental agencies--especially the intelligence and security agencies--is itself not loyal to ANY government or ANY corporation. It is a quiet, often secret, organization who relies on personal ties between its members far more than formal chains of command; it is the idealized syndicate. In real life we have the network of bodies that we see and hear from a lot in the conspiracy world, such as the Bilderberg Group and the Round Table groups' sub-network where familiar names keep popping up.
  • SPECTRE operates by creating front groups (e.g. Quantum), often in the form of controlled opposition groups, in advance of a proposal that another front--one with acceptability in the targeted population--whose true effect is to increment the theft of said targets' wealth and freedom by another degree towards its goal of total control over all resources- including human resources. ISIS and many NGOs are examples in the real world.
  • SPECTRE's friendly front uses the criminal acts of its villainous front to give political cover to the friendly front's actions, creating (by way of human sacrifice, disguised as terrorism these days) the illusion of reality (verisimlitude) with the aid of a compliant media.
  • Connections formed early in life ("C" and the Home Secretary are old-time schoolboy pals in SPECTRE, which is how U.K. power networks really happen- something that is also true in the U.S., Canada, all of continental Europe, and so on.) are the basis for the Deep State's usage of personal ties for its organization. Skull & Bones in the US, and counterpart groups elsewhere, are real-life examples.
  • The organization, as a whole (Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action), matters; the individuals comprising it are expendable, disposable, and fungible- an attitude projected upon the populations that the organization afflicts and preys upon. It's a crystal-clear tell. Until all parts of the organization, human and otherwise, are destroyed the organization persists and will regenerate. In real life, it is the network itself and not any named group that is the organization.
  • SPECTRE's aim is total control, superior to all other possible rival powers. By control of all resources--information, finance, and natural resources being foremost amongst them--they want to put the population into a "Bend the knee or starve to death." situation, where they know that most will bend the knee to stay alive while being quite happy to let the rest starve. We are nothing more than cattle to them, to be herded or culled as they will.
  • There are true believers, and cynics who nontheless won't go along with such a group, in all these infiltrated agencies and corporations. Sometimes called "white hats", while asleep they give cover to the Deep State actors withing their organizations, but once awake become best able to clear out the entryists and lock down their org from return infiltration.
And yes, this shit is for real.

Paris was only the latest in a long--over a century, by some reckoning--of this scam in action.

This is getting very long. I'll break up and continue tomorrow, where I'll go into how this film--as a work of art--is the next layer where it speaks truth.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

No post today. It's Thanksgiving in the United States, and I've got family to deal with while eating the usual turkey and fixings. Come back tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Narrative Warfare: Another Real-Time Narrative Shift

Here in Minneapolis, we had an incident where five protestors at the on-going Black Lives Matter protest over the killing of Jamar Clark got shot. The media narrative already shifted from the facts. YouTube user Vernaculis shows this shift in action:

Another user, Teal Dear, also noted this narrative shift in action:
Some thoughts for the 'Why did they bring guns?' people. Concealed carry is legal in Minnesota ( They require no other reason to be carrying guns than they are legally permitted to. Also consider the following: If the intention was to go there and kill people, why bring small concealed hand guns? Why not large full automatic weapons or explosives which would be much more effective in a crowded environment or just plow a vehicle though them considering they're all in the middle of the road. Just dwell on that for a moment.

I hate doing the same thing twice in a row, and certainly not three times so I'm not doing anymore BLM BS unless something really unexpected happens (which is sad enough because that implies that violence and borderline rioting isn't unexpected). The stupidity and irony is just too painful.

The media reports totally ignore the protestors assaulting the shooters. The media reports harp on the White Supremacist angle, despite the fact that one was Hispanic, and have no confirmation from credible sources that this is indeed fact. They have no legal obligation to tell the truth, despite being the primary witness testifying to the public on all these matters.

The law allows the media to lie to us. Why do you trust them?

Until such time as news media are compelled to adhere to the same standard as a witness on the stand in a courtroom--first-hand knowledge, or expert testimony, on penalty of perjury--then we are utter fucking morons to take what they say as truth without verification from independent third parties. Triangulate or Trust Not.

Narrative Warfare: Watch a Shift Happen in Real Time

See that? That'a a Narrative shift in real time. Why? Because the PR hit of the first version did not perform as intended; by throwing the first version down the memory hole under the guise of a correction, they want to literally re-write events to their liking and get people to believe that their story is truth.

It's not. It's a lie. This is Narrative Warfare in action.

The reason for the shift is due to the political environment not turning to the liking of the Anglo-American Establishment, operating out of the Deep State, which has an interest in making this Syria narrative work because Assad's in the way of their geo-political aims for the region. It's all part of the scam, the long-con. I'll have more on this on Sunday when I post to my other blog, Empires Must Fall.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vlog Recommendation: Bill Still

Bill Still is an independent reporter, focused on economic and political policy and its effects on the common people. He's been on these beats for over 20 years, which allowed him to gather the knowledge and contacts needed to produce films such as The Money Masters and The Secret of Oz.

This video is typical of his daily video output: short, sweet, and directly to the point.

He's one of the folks (out of many) who've woken me up to how this world really works, specifically in the economic and financial realm, and when he's speaking from that position he's got the authority of expertise giving weight to his words. If you enjoyed his documentary works, throw him a few dollars so he can keep his operations going. He's done a lot of good, valuable work over the years; the man is a living testament to the value of persistence and determination.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Life as a Writer: Another Excerpt from "The Burning of Hugo"

(Work In Progress. This is from the beginning, where Hugo's ex-wife pays our protagonist Ken a visit.)

"If I don't hear a valid excuse out of your mouth by the time I put this rifle up and take aim, I'm going to kill you where you stand."

Ken slipped a thumb underneath the rifle's sling to lift it off his shoulder, and in a smooth motion he pulled it out and brought it up to his shoulder. He flipped the safety off, and with both eyes open he took aim through the forward-mounted scope.

"Hugo's in deep shit, and you're the only one I know that can fix it!" Jill's fat-faced form shuddered as she realized Ken meant it. "It's a cult, Ken, a fucking cult!"

"And why do you care? You stabbed him in the back when he needed you most, broke your marital vows, took him for half, and you get a monthly check for a fucking ridiculous sum. This sounds more like you're worried about your meal-ticket. I'd be right to blow your brains out here and now, and then make soap out of your fat-assed carcass."

"I just don't know-"

Ken slid his firing hand's trigger finger through the guard, setting the trigger with a clearly audible click and kept his aim fixed squarely between Jill's eyes. "Keep talking."

"Look, I know you're sore over the divorce, and it's because you care that you're the one I have to turn to now." Jill waved a thumb drive in her hand. "It's all here."

"Been snooping now?"

"On advice by my counsel, I had a private investigator tail him. When he started seeing that author woman, his finances stopped being stable, and it turned out that he's being bilked into spending money on charities that aren't up-and-up."

"Still sounds like you care only about his bank account."

"They're tied to the group that killed your girlfriend 20 years ago."

Ken sighed, and lowered his rifle. "Fine, you get a reprieve, but you had better fucking deliver or you aren't going home."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Narrative Warfare: This Is What Countering It Looks Like

Over at one of my other blogs I go into what is not being talked about regarding the Syria issue, which is a very good case study into an ongoing Narrative Warfare campaign being used to facilitate an actual geo-political and military campaign.

Fortunately, more people are not only getting the memo, but they're reading it and heeding it. Memetic counter-attacks are increasing in both potency and frequency, and they're using the truth in both Rhetorical and Dialectical approaches to counter the Narrative Warfare campaign. Here's an example I just pulled out of my Twitter feed:

The user, @117Baz, is an anti-radical Muslim in the U.K. who went off on an epic Twitter rant this past week; it is because he threw out some historical red pills that my post at Empires happened this week. He's trying to get the West to wake up from its slumber, see that its leaders are far more Grima Wormtongue than Aragorn or Eomer (i.e. internal traitors collaborating with external enemies against we common folk), and thereby put an end to a centuries-long conflict that otherwise cannot end but in World War 3.

He's not only one doing something useful to counteract the Narrative Warfare going on. James Corbett (founder of The Corbett Report) and James Evan Pilato (Media Monarchy) do this regularly on their collaboration series, New World Next Wee. This week is typical of their quality:

James Corbett's been on this beat for a while. Here's his latest on the matter. Again, directly contradicting the Narrative via Dialectic.

Then there's Zerohedge, which has a length article on who is sponsoring ISIS, which is part of a regular flow of articles directly contradicting the Narrative with verifiable facts. This one debunking five common myths the Narrative promulgates is another good one.

Remember that, at its heart, Narrative Warfare is nothing more than a liar committing theft by deception. Don't believe what the mainstream media says, regardless of their slant. Seek out alternatives. Do your own vetting.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Life as a Shooter: The Little Carbine That Could

If there is one gift that I'd like for Christmas this year, it's a new rifle. I've had my eyes on this since I first heard of it a few years ago, but knowing now that it's still available and still rocks the house, I've put it on the Acquisitions List as a high-priority acquisition. I love CZ firearms, and this bolt-action carbine is no exception. It's just two steps out of spec to fulfill Jeff Cooper's Scout Rifle concept as-written, but that's good enough for me; this would be the jack-of-all-trade rifle that Cooper wanted the Scout Rifle to be. In particular, I want this in 7.62x39, w/ a few spare magazines.

Okay, fine, that's the company's sizzle reel. You want some substance? Here you go:

More meat? Fine.

Okay, you get the idea. That rifle is small, light, and handy yet stout enough to easily handle steel-cased ammunition from the former Warsaw Pact region. Put in commercial soft-point loads and it's a legit deer rifle that's ideal for a region like Minnesota, where flora restricts effective range to what that 7.62x39 cartridge allows. If necessary--just like the lever-action rifles that are favorites for deer hunting here--it can be put to use for homestead and personal defense because it uses a cartridge that militaries adopted.

This is just how I want to use it: a jack-of-all-trades rifle. For me, that means shooting at a range or private land most of the time with the very viable option of hunting any game in the Upper Midwest as Primary and Secondary considerations. It's not a safari rifle. It's not a battle rifle. It's not a squirrel rifle. It's a scaled-down Mauser, a mini-Gewehr 98, and as anyone familiar with Europe in the World Wars can tell you that's a hell of a pedigree. While an AK would be better for fighting, this carbine will do the job if put to it; I just have no ambition to do so.

May I be so lucky as to get my wish.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Narrative Warfare: The Gaslighting Element

This is garden-variety bullshit gaslighting, but it's part of a common Narrative Warfare tactic.

See that? That's very standard gaslighting, where the abuser brownbeats the target into accepting a lie as truth--in this case, that the target is obligated to aide the abuser in order to remain consistent on a position that the abuser abused the target about heretofore--and in and of itself is an act of Evil. (Refer to the previous post on the ethical dimension of Narrative Warfare).

When a government suddenly turns to some opposition and pulls this stunt, it's gaslighting in preparation for a positional shift in their Narrative Warfare campaign. Same thing applies when a corporation, or any other group, does it. Watch for this pattern; it's a reliable tell that you're dealing with someone who knows what they're doing--a willful predator--and not a simple deluded useful idiot.

And when you do encounter them? Crush them, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Show Recommendation: Legend of the Galactic Heroes

For those who are already aware of Japanese animation, it helps to know that Japan has no problems with using the medium of animation to tell stories that are not for children or have children as a secondary audience. While this does result in animated pornography, it also results in some very powerful franchises that are every bit as legitimate a work of art as the very best to come from live-action cinema and television.

One of the very best of these shows is one that is still very difficult to collect in the West because, until recently, there was no export of it: Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

This is a Space Opera, but nothing at all like Star Wars (or even its inspiration, the Lensman books). Instead, following the lead of the Mobile Suit Gundam and Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross franchises, this series' two main factions possess both heroic and villainous characters.

What makes this series in particular so good is that it does not shy away from putting matters of philosophy, principle, and morality front and center. So many red pills dispensed over the course the series, its movies, its side-stories, etc. that it makes even seeming throwaway episodes (which aren't, of course) reviewable without loss of gravitas. The original author, as well as those behind the animated and comic adaptations, are some of the most based people I've come across in a scene filled with them.

The leading characters, as well as many of the supporting cast, are not morons. They know that they live in a universe with consistent universal laws and know how to use them. The series doesn't shy away from the costs of war, at all levels, or how it is often corrupt psychopaths who exploit war as human sacrifice to attain their own venal ends. The human level is not neglected, and the creators display an understanding of both human nature and how history works that has to be seen to be believed.

It's not an action series. It has action in it, from fleet battles to assassination attempts, but this is one of those few examples where even the conversations had over dinner can possess meaning and richness far in excess of what is often found in such fare. For now, you'll have to resort to YouTube or some other streaming video sight to find the series without buying an import disc set- and then, watch with English subtitles. If that's not your bad, then you're gonna have to wait a while yet.

I'd be remiss if I did not leave you with a taste, so here it is. You can expect moments like these to come along often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Age Is Turning. For Woe or Weal?

The world is changed.
I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is now lost,
For none now live who remember it.
(From the introduction to the film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring.)

One of the functions that historians play is to be the living ones who--as best we can--remember, and we remember so we can transmit the truth of the past to the present now alive. We transmit what is remembered so that those succeeding generations may learn from those past experiences, and thereby avoid repeating them.

One of the great lessons is that the same cosmic laws that constrain and govern the life of an individual--independent of Mankind's artifice--are wholly mirrored at every larger scale of life. Nations--distinct bodies of ethnicity and language--are nothing more than families writ large. Countries are nothing more than households writ large.

Foolish and wasteful individuals fall into ruin, and so do nations and countries. By these means do ages turn; those who cleave to the truth thrive, prosper, and live long lives of purpose and meaning while those who fall away become poor in all ways, eventually suffering oblivion and serving as examples to dissuade others from doing likewise.

So we are now seeing this play out. Generations of foolishness, fraud, and incompetency have had their compounding consequences upon the nations and countries of the West. (Most of them stemming from the first foolishness of Empire, but that's another post.) Now these consequences cannot be ignored, and with this crisis comes an opportunity--at the point of generational turnover--wherein the West can at last repent of what delusion it embraced after the second World War.

Otherwise, the Age will turn to the cost of the West--and all of you reading this, and I do mean ALL of you--and Civilization will once more collapse. For a historian, it's the loss of the Library of Alexandria writ large once more. Turn away, now, while you can.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Realities of the Entertainment Business

The survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek [Brenton Thwaites] undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful and vengeful god Horus [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] in an unlikely alliance against Set [Gerard Butler], the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.

Gods of Egypt is the film many of the folks I follow in the film, TV, and gaming worlds are whining about right now over "diversity" in the cast--complete with aspersions of racism--and I just shake my head in disappointment. These are folks who somehow fail to know better over how their businesses actually work, especially those in film and television.

Film and television is a business where the ones with actual shot-calling power are often not the ones credited with that authority. The larger the financing for a particular film or television show, the more that power gets away from those who would use it for the legitimate use of ensuring the best possible quality of artistic production.

It's about mitigating risk in a risky business.

Such is often the fate in many a big-budget movie, especially now that more and more of the whole global audience matters to the bean counters and not just the domestic marketplace of the United States, Canada, Austrailia, and a few Western states in Europe. This is nothing new to insiders or observers--it's been an increasing trend for decades--but now it's reached a point where even fools are noticing the effects.

Each of those men listed in the quoted film summary are significant in their home markets, and have significant presences in either London or Hollywood. The producers want to make a profit. The actors take jobs to boost their profiles and fulfill contracts. The financiers want a good return on their investment. At each level, business considerations trump artistic ones. This has less to do about Identity Politics bugbears than simple, banal, and utterly boring-as-fuck realities of the entertainment business.

It's about the Box Office.

That's why you get casting decisions like this: it's to use their appeal to draw as many people through the ticket stand and the concession stand before they sit in those stadium seats for 90-120 minutes. Money, not race-hating. Money, not sex-hating. Money, not politics. Money, money, money.


The sooner folks grok this, the sooner everything else falls into place.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Narrative Warfare: The Ethical Dimension

Brian Niemeier, author of Nethereal, wrote at his blog today a great explanation of the ethical dimension as it related to Social Justice cultists and others of their ilk (i.e. all who seek the destruction of Civilization). Go read that post in its entirety. It's time well-spent.

Morality Is Absolute
"Subjective morality" is an oxymoron. By definition, moral principles apply to everyone, everywhere, at every time. Objecting that extenuating circumstances can affect the moral value of an act is a self-refuting appeal to an absolute principle in an attempt to refute the existence of absolute principles.

The existence of absolute morality is essential to the concept of inalienable rights. If some things aren't always right and some things aren't always wrong, then citizens have no leg to stand on when their government deprives them of life, liberty, or property in the name of the "greater good".

In short, the only two options are absolute morality or no morality.

How to Define an Act's Moral Value
Every willful human act has three elements that determine whether it's good or evil.
  • The object/matter of the deed itself: the immediate end willed by the actor (what was done).
  • Intent: the actor's ultimate motive (why it was done).
  • Circumstances: conditions that can modify, but not fundamentally change, the nature of the act (who, when, where, how)
Here's how to do the math: if all three elements of an act are good, then the act is good. If even one element is evil, then the whole act is evil. God intends for the good, i.e. Himself, to be the final end of all human beings. Therefore all of our actions should be directed toward the good. This principle rules out intentionally doing evil, even if good might come of it (Romans 3:8).

Let's look at two examples of how to apply these principles in concrete situations.

A pro boxer enters the ring so he can excel as an athlete and earn a living. He trained hard for the fight, so he wins.

Another boxer agrees to a match for the same good reasons. He also wins--by loading his gloves.

Both cases have identical outcomes, but the second fighter's cheating makes his whole effort evil regardless of the goods he obtained.

(Note: Determining a thing's Moral Value lines up with the Trivium Method.)

No one ever said Good was easy. It it was, Evil wouldn't have anything useful to employ to seduce others to its side. Remember what Yoda said about the Dark Side: "...quicker, easier, more seductive..." (emphasis mine). Much like any other form of excellence, achieving and sustaining moral excellence requires a superior degree of discipline and diligence than most people possess.

People slip up routinely in the pursuit of this excellence, as they do with pursuing others; failure is not only an option, it is inevitable, which is why repentance and forgiveness are vitally necessary elements in the overall pursuit. However, as Brian notes in his post, this is NOT an excuse for Total Pacifism.

Evil must be fought by Good if Good is to endure, and that resistance does extend to the use of force to prevent and put down the violence--the violation--of Good by Evil. In short, there are times when it's a-okay to shoot them in the face, and discerning when that time comes is a big deal.

However, most of the time we're talking and not shooting, which is why this is a Narrative Warfare post.

Let's take up the Moral Value discernment rubric and apply it to a Narrative Warfare approach as we commonly see it.
  • The Narrative Warfare campaigner promulgates a claim, presented in the form of a story employing a mythological structure, where evidence and facts are carefully curated (and contradictory elements suppressed) in order to create the illusion of reality ("verisimlitude") regardless of the actual truth of the matter.
  • The intention is to acquire power or wealth by deception, i.e. fraud, which is a criminal act upon the targeted population and therefore it is Evil.
  • The means used are multiple instances of deception, often with confederates assisting. This is a conspiracy to commit fraud, which is Evil.
  • No matter the circumstances, the campaigner will double-down on the deception and often justify doing so by resorting to claiming that morality is subjective. This is yet more fraud, which is Evil.
There is nothing good in Narrative Warfare. If your devotion is to The Narrative, then you are a devotee to a cult dedicated to Evil and the destruction of all Mankind, and you done goofed. Adhering to the truth, doing Good, is hard and often thankless, but nonetheless both necessary and fundamental to creating and maintaining Civilization.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vlog Recommendation: Harmful Opinions

Harmful Opinions is a YouTube channel run by a man out of the United Kingfom who does commentary on social and political affairs of interest to him. In addition to being better at journalism that many of the journalists he takes to task in his various videos on incompetent displays from those same people, he's also got a scathing wit that speaks well of his ability with Rhetoric. The video embedded below is his criticism of a very bad story coming out of the Paris Attacks yesterday, and it is typical of how he does what he does. If you like your humor as black as your coffee, give him a try.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Life as a Writer: Wanderer Update

Here's the scheme for character generation as of this draft:
  1. Attributes: Roll 2d6 to determine the scores for your character's Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Use Traveller notation for scores above 9.
    • Note: Charisma is not merely how alluring your character is, but also a measure of divine favor. Social Status is another matter.
  2. Status: This is akin to Career in Traveller, with no draft step. You roll for each in descending order until you succeed or you run out of options. If you run out, your character is an Outsider with no Status at all and considered an Outlaw.
    • Note: The loose social model is based on the Ancient World, not the Medieval World. You'll have to bodge things to conform to anything more specific or different from this norm.
  3. Career Development: Using the options provided by Status, determine which Skills your character learns over the interim. Your character starts at Age 14, so a one-term character is Age 18. This otherwise works as Traveller.
    • Note: Careers are restricted by Status, and so are the skills that come out of them.
  4. Determine Boons: Instead of mustering out, ending development means that's when your character's backstory is done. Instead of benefits, your character won boons from patrons--mortal and not alike, as your table decides--and you roll on the provided tables to determine them.
    • Note: Ships--boats, really--are possible, but they will be the sort found in the Ancient World. Weapons will be exceptional in quality by default; magical weapons--explicitly supernatural--is a campaign decision not assumed here. Secret Society membership is a catch-all for various esoteric associations, and not presumed to be any in particular. Money is in gold and silver. Attribute modifications are presumed to be due to esoteric treatments received previously.
  5. Details: Determine name, sex, appearance, and other specifics that include connection to other characters at the table.

Now, that's the sort of minimalist approach I'm going for. There will be tables for the Careers and Status steps, and being that I'm presuming the Ancient World I also presume the presence of pre-Abrahamic religion and mythologies being a big deal in various social worlds. I'm making this with the assumption that you have the Internet, libraries, and can go dig up historical and mythological information on your own. That's a big reason for why I am not making a setting for Wanderer.

Tabletop RPGs are a hobby, and part of that is to deal in world-building, and to that end all I need to do is provide a framework for resolving actions and giving context for interactions. You want Wanderer to be a Hyborean Age epic? Go read Howard. A historical epic in Old Kingdom Egypt? Get some Osprey books, some documentaries, and make some notes.

I have no intention of spoon-feeding you supplementary material. This should be more than enough, minimal as it is, for you to do what you want.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Post Cancelled

Y'know, I think I can hold off on the Narrative Warfare post I had in mind for today. Japan's got another Earthquake to deal with. Paris is under attack by enemy agents out to slaughter the natives. Folks got better things to do than read my blog today. Go do that; go hug the kids, kiss the wife, call up your folks, and pray for the victims. I'll be here tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Narrative Warfare: The Core Role of Iconic Fantasy

I've been wrapped up in some more hype over World of Warcraft: Legion over the last day or so, as initial information about how the game's existing classes (and their specializations) will change in the upcoming expansion.

As I noted previously, the developers for the game have (by, I expect, independent effort) reached a conclusion similar to what Robin Laws did when he wrote a definition of the Iconic Hero (vs. the usual Dynamic Hero we're told--falsely, for the most part--is the way to write our heroes). The developers use "class fantasy" to discuss this concept, but it's clear that they're after the fulfillment of an iconic hero experience.

There's insight to be had here.

The Iconic Hero arises most often in the form of an emerging mythology, be it a truly emergent folk mythology that may later be formalized or (as we see now) the deliberate creation of fiction intended to mature into a body of mythology later on. Iconic Heroes are mythological characters, as such they need to be unyielding in their character and remain fixed in their essence.

James Bond, Beowulf, Batman, Superman, Arthur, Robin Hood, Paul Bunyan- as mythological characters, fulfilling mythological functions, they must be Iconic because their function is to impose order on chaos and enforce that order. Exactly what that order is, and in what context their function executes, varies wildly; what does not is that these are the agents of cosmic metaphors (when not literal) for essential forces of the universe within a mythology. As such, deviation from what the icon represents is not tolerated.

This is what happens when someone embarks on a Narrative Warfare campaign. They are attempting to create a mythological work, and into that work there must be a Hero and a Villain. This is why nuance is bad; it confuses what a narrative structure makes simple to comprehend (however false it is). This is why facts are weaponized and curated; it has to be something the targeted audience identifies with, invests emotionally with, and derives satisfaction from- and the whole truth, facts entirely on the table, messes all of that up.

Iconic Heroes & Villains are a Narrative Warfare tell.

Listen to the language used. If you can detect someone shaping the idea of their position into mythological structures, that's another tell. You want to learn how to defeat this abuse of human nature, then you need to know how this stuff works.

And here's a takeaway: the developers for World of Warcraft explain their design decisions on the basis of fulfilling an iconic heroic fantasy experience, the same emotional investment and payoff that Narrative Warfare seeks to exploit for their own perfidious ends. Fuck up that fantasy, wreck that investment, and you're going to get shit done in resisting a Narrative Warfare scheme.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Razorfist's Rant on Star Citizen & What to Take Away

Razorfist's video about Star Citizen is a rant, but it's a good one, and he's already more ethical than most games journalists in disclosing that he donated to the Kickstarter.

Razorfist is a good egg. I like the guy, and I like that he's using this rant to give the rest of us a reminder about things like crowd-funding. Let's draw some conclusions, shall we?
  • Do your research before you back a damned thing. While it's often said that this is not like buying stock, it should be treated like that; do that drudgery of due diligence so you can spot bad projects beforehand and avoid wasting your money.
  • Consider whatever you give to be just that, a gift. It's not a pre-order, or an investment. The money you give is spent, and you ain't guaranteed shit. That's why you only back sure-shots.
  • Past performance matters. Hell, the past of the people--period--matters. You don't back known wankers, wasters, or worse. This--again--is why you do that research, so you can suss those snakes out (because they like to slip in unseen, like the thieves they are) early and blow the whistle. Cull the cultists, sandbaggers, etc. out as soon as you can.
  • Cultivate and keep constant a network of advisers on matters where their expertise trumps yours, and their judgement is proven to be sound. That will help you to avoid traps like Star Citizen (and its less-spectacular, more common counterparts). This is what journalism should do, but doesn't, and rarely ever has done. (Hint: If you're looking for a niche to fill, this is it.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Life as a Writer: What's On The Plate

These are what I have, in terms of writing, on my plate right now:
  • The Burning of Hugo: This is a novel within the same fictional continuity as Judgement at Solador, set before the Cataclysm, focusing on the event in Ken's life that set him on the path that would make him ready to become what he is after the Cataclysm.
  • Judgement at Solador: The novel with a complete manuscript, now in need of a cover. Follows William and Lucius as they deal with The Exalted of Solador. Set 100 years after the Cataclysm.
  • Wanderer: My fantasy/historical take on Traveller. Done as an exercise. Will be bare-bones, much like the original Three Black Booklets were.
  • Your Narrative Is Bullshit: My adaptation of my Master's Thesis to something useful for laymen, using the subject of said thesis as an example to illustrate the point as well as the process.

If there's anything in particular you want to see, say so below.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Exerpt from "The Burning of Hugo"

(This is a Work In Progress. What happens below comes near the end, just after the climax.)

The League didn't interrupt. They knew. They'd been there, one and all, when they too reached the point of no return. As the smoking craters behind them continued to smolder, and some of their minions cleaned up the remaining thralls of the hive, the members of the League gathered to watch as Ken screamed his rage at a sky full of stars.

"He witnessed The Red Bear murder Hugo before his eyes out of spite."

The Lord of Hate looked at the League's master. "My God." he said, his voice trailing off.

"It's always worst when it's someone you love." His eyes, still behind mirrorshades, scanned Ken, measure the man's vitals in real time. "He'll be ready presently. Get the others."

The Lord of Hate nodded. Slowly, deliberately, he turned to gather his collegues together. As for The Dark Lord himself, he approached Ken. He waited for a pause, a moment to breathe, before he put a hand on the man's shoulder.

"Do you want to make use of that pain, Ken? Hugo's murderers, the ones who cajoled The Bear into killing Hugo, got away. Our fight isn't over."

Ken turned his face to The Dark Lord. His eyes now red, his face streaked with Grief's tears, his shirt burnt and rent.

"Those warlocks stole what we loved, Ken. They serve an even worse master, and I need not tell you who their allies are."

"I saw the light of his eyes go out." Ken said, "First they set him alight, burning him alive, and then she stabbed him in the throat."

"You couldn't save him, Ken."

Ken took the knife from The Dark Lord's belt. Without looking, he cut his own palm. On his forehead, Ken drew the Valknut.

"What do you intend to do, Ken?"

"I'm going to kill them all." Ken's eyes took on a thousand-yard stare. "I will kill and kill and kill until not one of those warlocks breathes Terran air."

"Join us then."

"Gladly." Ken said, and The Dark Lord introduced the League to their newest member: The Maw of Fenris.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Narrative Warfare: It's Memetic Cancer

One of the things that a knowledgeable stage magician will confess to (eventually) is that people want a good story, and to get that story they are willing--eager, at times--to be fooled by the storyteller. This willingness to accept a falsehood in the pursuit of an emotional payoff of massive good feelings is what a stage magician uses as the foundation of his craft.

He amazes the audience, first and foremost, because he finds a way for the audience to permit themselves to allow the magician to trick them- and that's why good magicians are also good storytellers. Just watch Penn & Teller, or Chris Angel, perform. Very different acts, but the same methodology.

We are a story-telling people.

The use of Narrative is not an evil unto itself. It is a tool, a powerful tool and an ancient tool, but a tool nonetheless and therefore one that can be abused--misapplied--and put to ends other than what it is intended to fulfill.

Through stories we relate to ourselves, each other, the world we live in, the past generations we come from, and the future generations we issue forth. It is our method of connection to one and all, working through emotions to communicate in manners that pure Dialectic can't achieve.

So, when someone perverts the power in Narrative to serve as Rhetoric intended to manipulate targets into conforming to the war-wager's will, it is one of the oldest forms of gaslighting known to Man. When exposed, it destroys not only existing trust but also the ability to trust thereafter. A people cannot maintain a community without a strong trust between the elders and the youth, great and small, rich and poor, past and present.

Civilization itself runs off trust, at all levels. Waging Narrative Warfare, therefore, is an act of barbarism and cannot be tolerated. It's not just fraud, it's corrosive and destructive of our ability to keep things running at a fundamental level- the sort we usually speak of using terms of faith and philosophy. This is why Narrative Warfare is an act of abuse.

And such abuse cannot be tolerated.

Sargon of Akkad and The Insanity of the Establishment Regarding ISIS

I'll talk more about World of Warcraft and the other Blizzard games in the days to come this week. This post is about a previous subject, Sargon of Akkad, because his weekly series ("This Week in Stupid") has an ISIS Special and you really ought to see it. (I'll have a second post later today, talking Narrative Warfare.) See if you can spot all of the Narrative Warfare methods going on in the stuff Sargon talks about.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: More Legion Hype

No, I'm not going to recount what's come out today at BlizzCon. Below are the links to folks who have the info. Go read that first, or mind their Twitch channels or YouTube channels for livestreams and videos, and come back. I'm presuming that you're familiar with what went down there.
Okay, time for some commentary.
  • The dev team got the memo. They're trying to un-fuck the game.
  • Dungeons and PVP are now fully co-equal with Raiding as an endgame progression path. About damned time.
  • The devs want to push players to do overworld stuff to develop any part of their character's progression, directly associating interaction with the world as well as learning the associated lore with achieving character progression. About damned time.
  • The devs figured out (a) that people want to play with pals and hate arbitrary barriers to doing so and (b) yanked many big barriers of that sort, albeit it only applicable in Legion content in most cases. About damned time.
  • The devs figured out that people are in this to play very specific fantasy experiences, following Robin Laws' "Iconic Hero" idea. That's why it's "progression" and NOT "development". So they're changing classes and specs to conform accordingly, using "class fantasy" as the buzzword.
  • The devs have no problem taking good ideas from other games and making them work for World of Warcraft. Some announced for Legion come from Diablo 3, some from Heroes of the Storm, some from older versions of the game itself, and some from another company's stuff (such as Guild Wars 2).
  • The devs finally got the clue that players like to do lots of different stuff, and have varying levels of ability to throw time at playing, so they came up with a variety of things to do and explicitly said that players need to choose what to do according to their priorities. They're demanding personal responsibility from the players. About damned time.
  • The devs so improved the Transmogrification system that, by itself, many lapsed players will buy into Legion just to access it. Fan-fucking-tastic.
So, what does this reduce down to: Legion is worth watching, and I hope to get selected for the Beta. I wouldn't say that pre-ordering is worth doing just yet, but I would say that this is worthy of hopeful attention at this time. Also, it shows one other thing, a thing that the tabletop RPG world still hasn't grokked after 40+ years.

It's about fulfilling an iconic fantasy, you cocksuckers. Deliver Or DIE!

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: Legion Hype

BlizzCon 2015 began earlier today. As I write this, the E-Sports events are in their Group Stages (except for Starcraft II, which is doing an exhibition event), but I'm talking about what was announced for today regarding World of Warcraft: Legion.

But first, some movie hype. Here's the trailer:

Good God, they actually dared to make something that looks like quality. Deliver, dammit!


World of Warcraft: Legion is the make-or-break follow-up to Warlords of Draenor, and it is a make-or-break expansion because Warlords of Draenor was such a crushing failure. The Q3 results have the active subscriber count at 5.5 million, down from 10 million just after the launch thereof just one year ago. Server communities routinely complain of population collapses. The raiding community and the PVP community report collapses in participation at all levels. Many guilds have all but collapsed, forcing reorganizations for those that did not outright disband. Experiments, by and large, did not deliver desired results.

In short, the World of Warcraft team failed and failed big. If Legion is more of the same, then this game is done. The game sucked this time around, hard, regardless of a player's interests or approach to the game. Yes, even for the Dress Up Doll and Pretty Princess RP niches. So the pressure to fix known issues, some long-standing, is big.

As of this post, there's been one panel about Legion and what new mechanics and systems it brings. So far, two big changes announced show that--at the very least--Legion will try to fix this game's problems.

  • Dungeons will use the Greater Rift mechanic from Diablo 3. At endgame this is a viable alternative to raiding.
  • Two raids, with 17 bosses between them, available at launch (not delayed, making a de facto tier split).
  • Endgame overworld content is Adventure Mode from Diablo 3. Dailies are not a thing anymore. World Bosses, Professions, Faction Rep, Overworld PVP, etc. are all incorporated into this system.
  • Leveling is normalized to your character's level, so you can do the four leveling zones in any order; you still have to do--and complete--all of them. The world scales to your character, not vice-versa.
  • Artifact Weapons eliminate a lot of gearing and specialization issues, allowing specialization overhauls- some very severe.
There's more tomorrow, and I'll make a follow-up post on the hype after that, but this should get you heading to the usual suspects (such as MMO-Champion) for more information.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Narrative Warfare: The Collective Is Its Tool

Yesterday I said that I would reflect on Sargon's video and relate it to Narrative Warfare. Here it is.

Narrative Warfare works by way of exploitation of known psychological phenomenon. It is the perversion of Art in service of Power. The more those seeking to take and hold power by these means, the greater the employment of mass-media techniques to make that happen. When seeking to deploy and use mass-media, a push towards Collectivism and all of the bullshit essentialism that goes with it has to happen.

Group psychology is a thing. Narrative Warfare works best when it can exploit the psychology of crowds, be those literal crowds or metaphorical ones. Working on the level of the Collective is a lot more efficient for those seeking to wage Narrative Warfare than fighting at the level of the individual. The latter is where the methods of Narrative Warfare require such gaslighting that it does get recognized as mental abuse and treated accordingly when discovered.

When dealing at the individual, the critical thinking skills promoted by a proper Classical education are effective and devastating against such assaults. At the collective level, where most people don't think critically (if they think at all), the Rhetorical devices used against them to bypass reason and provoke emotional outbursts intended to herd the cattle where the objective lies are quite effective.

This is why you see Narrative Warfare partisans focus on Collectivism over Individualism; it's so much easier to sucker a group over a body of individuals.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sargon of Akkad Talks Classic Liberalism: Individualism v. Collectivism

Sargon of Akkad released this video today. I'm making this post because it deserves greater exposure. Watch this video. Think about what he says, and what he cites to support what he says, and reflect on how this helps to clarify the political and social environment we have now. Then reflect on how Narrative Warfare factors into this. I'll make a post doing just this tomorrow.

My Life as a Gamer: Razorfist Gets Me (BattleTech)

Look, I'm just going to let the man do his own talking. On the occassion of the BattleTech PC game Kickstarter succeeding, he did this video for the entire property. He's a fan, and it shows. I'd love to play with him sometime.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: Warcraft Movie Hype

I would be lying if I claimed to have no interest in the Warcraft movie. The full trailer will be released at the BlizzCon Opening Ceremony this Friday, and I will post the full trailer as soon thereafter as I can, but for now here's the teaser.

Sure, it's a lot of flash in 15 seconds, but even if this film is a failure at the box office you can already see that there's real work put in to make this film have some weight and substance at some fundamental levels. It cannot be an utter disaster of storytelling. (It may be a failure, but it won't be akin to Plan 9 From Outer Space; think Krull.) Once we see the full trailer at BlizzCon, we'll be in a better position to call the likely result of this film at the box office.

The Necessity of Internet Access: Time to Talk Amongst Ourselves

Last Friday, at 4:30 p.m. Central Time, a technician severed my DSL connection. I contacted my ISP (CenturyLink) that evening, after exhausting self-diagnostic and restoration remedies, only to be told by the foreigner (for whom English clearly was a second language, clearly had no technical acumen, and worked entirely off a script) that no technician could answer for certain before Sunday. There was a chance for a Saturday response, but that did not happen. No technician came on Sunday. No technician came on Monday. I had to wait for today, this morning, for a technician to arrive and spend 10 minutes climbing the pole and reconnecting the wire to the exchange.

Nevermind that ISPs are a utility, equal to power or water, according to Federal law. Nevermind that there was no inclement weather, natural disaster, or other extra-ordinary circumstances preventing the prompt restoration of utility service. No, due to incompetent management on the part of a utility provider, I spent four days unable to engage in commerce (specifically, the sort that brings in revenue) and I am rankled at this display of incompetence on the part of a company whose sole excuse for existing is to provide access to the growing infrastructure by which more and more people engage in commerce and form communities. However...

The technician who did the repair also did the install, and we chatted about the matter. Politically, access is NOT treated equal to power or water under the belief that access is a luxury. It is NOT a luxury anymore, as everyone who could not rely on personal networks to find employment learned first-hand, but a necessity and therefore restoration of service must be done as soon as an outage is reported; if insufficient personnel to handle this grunt work is the issue, fix it. (Because if this bullshit persists, it becomes worthwhile to figure out how to splice into the backbone and provide for myself.) This problem will persist until management is convinced to fix it.

The solution is transparency. Specifically, for the population to become well-acquainted with what this technology is and how it works in practice. I speaking specifically of the hardware and firmware--the wires or cables, the modems, the routers, and how a thing goes from A to B--technology, and then all existing regulation and policies concerning that technology. (The software is a related matter.) In this respect, my chat with the technician did more to rectify my dismay than any amount of political action ever could. I had questions, he had answers, comprehension improved and things will be better in the long run. I encourage such conversations going forward.

Once we have accurate and relevant information then we can make and execute a useful and effective course of action. That course's objective is to pressure regulators to make--politically and legally--access to be equal to power and water while pressuring management to meet the standards we expect of power and water utilities. An informed and engaged population is a terrifying thing to behold. (And that leads back to why Narrative Warfare exists.)

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: The Dissatisfaction With Hit Points

Hit Points.

They're simple. They measure how much damage or injury a target can sustain before it dies or is destroyed. In and of itself, they're fine.

The issues arise when Hit Points get yoked to other systems or mechanics. The association between the clear and obvious purpose of the concept with the subjects of its employment--that Hit Points measure how much you can take before you die--gets messed up when you then latch on concepts such as Experience Levels and link the two. (Increasing Hit Points with level, a Dungeons & Dragons staple, being the most obvious example.)

I am dissatisfied with anything other than strict association. The reason is due to increased knowledge of how injury/damage and healing work, as contrasted with the abstractions employed to make manageable at the table that same issue.

I've been around a long time, so I'm aware of the alternatives. I'm going to stick with what I find to be a better compromise.

  • TORG: TORG uses a comparison of Effect Value vs. Toughness, read through a table, to determine a Wound/Damage result. Three levels incapacitates, and four kills/destroys. As this was a West End game, the similarity with the d6 System as seen in its version of the Star Wars Role-Playing Game is notable- and desirable.
  • Traveller: The classic form has a very playable abstraction of the importance of injury. Damage is directly applied to physical stats, with incapacitation when one goes to zero, severe injury at two, and death at three. Fantastic system, as easy as the D&D default regime, and avoids all sorts of issues.
  • Basic Role-Play: Static Hit Point scores, rarely modified after character creation, and largely determined by physical size and stature. Playable, sensible, and (as with Traveller and TORG) proven to work as intended.
So, as I work on "Wanderer", I'll try Traveller first (since that's what I'm deriving "Wanderer" from) and if that doesn't work for me then I'll go on with one of the others.

(Note: This post was intended to go up on this date, but an unforseen access outage delayed it to the 3rd of November, 2015.)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Life as a Shooter: Scary Boomsticks

In Minnesota, it's Hunting Season. The season gets further subdivided by what tools are allowed when, and we're soon to see plenty of people clad in a garish combination of woodland camouflage and bright-as-the-sun orange. They'll get their kills, and take their photos with those kills, and some (sub-)urbanite twat will screech "But that's a high-powered sniper rifle!"

Look, Concerned Pearl-Clutcher Who Knows No Hunters, you wouldn't know what a "sniper rifle" is if it whacked you upside the head with its buttstock because--for the vast majority of marksmen employed in such a role--the difference between a deer rifle and a "sniper rifle" is the target. That's because the bolt-action rifle used to hunt deer and the bolt-action rifle used to kill suspected terrorists might as well be the same damned thing; the modifications routinely done to the latter are open to the former (and those willing to pay for such things can get them).

Look at the scary sniper rifle...from World War I...used after the war to kill deer.

Fucking Hell. Nothing says "I am incompetent to participate in firearms-related policy discussions." like making fundamental attribution errors such as that. Rifles are not scary demonic boomsticks. Neither are shotguns or handguns. FORM IS NOT FUNCTION.

Which leads to this: there are an increasing number of people who take game using semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. In plain terms, that AR-15 is a valid sporting rifle, because (once again) the difference is the target. (It would help if you knew what "semi-automatic" means and stop confusing it with full-automatic fire.)

This is a hunter with an AR-15 used as a deer rifle. Get used to it.

It's not even illegal (in the US) to get a proper assault rifle or machinegun. It's tedious, hideously expensive, and the cost of ownership makes the burden much like owning a Ferrari (so most don't bother), but NOT illegal. Getting a sound suppressor--what you think is a death machine called a "silencer"--is almost as tedious, but much cheaper and actually is required in many European countries due to their beneficial effects (i.e. you ain't going deaf; guns are called "boomsticks" for a reason).

Basic knowledge of how firearms actually work--truthful, accurate, verifiable information--is readily had now. You have no excuse for your ignorance, and until you get up to speed you have nothing to say about the matter that needs to be heard. Once you stop screeching about "Boomstick scary! BAN BAN BAN!" like a petulant brat, then I will take you seriously. Until then you get to sit down, shut up, and study the facts.

And no, you don't get a say on what firearms I can have or what I do with them. You decide for yourself, and yourself alone. I do not, and will not, justify what I acquire or what I do with what I acquire to you or anyone else.

(Note: This post was intended to go live on this date. An unforeseen access outage delayed it until the 3rd of November, 2015.)