A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Side Notes’ Category

Nothing to See Here

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I was busy with shit last night. But, hey, you get what you pay for.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 17th, 2017 at 10:00 am

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Let’s Encrypt

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Most of you probably didn’t notice but over the weekend I changed this blog over to Let’s Encrypt. There really aren’t any changes for you but this is a project that I’ve been planning to do for a while now.

Since I changed this site over to HTTPS only, I’ve been using StartSSL certificates. However, when it was announced that StartCom, the owner of StartSSL, was bought by WoSign I was wary to renew my certificates through them. When it was later announced that StartCom and WoSign were backdating certificates to get around the SHA-1 depreciation deadline I knew it was time to move on. The good news is that Let’s Encrypt is far easier than StartSSL was. Setting it up took a bit of time because Nginx support in Let’s Encrypt is still experimental and the other options for pulling certificates without shutting down the server required some server customizations. But once everything was setup it was simple to pull certificates.

While I was changing over my certificates I also took the opportunity to implement a Content Security Policy (CSP). Now when you load my page your browser is given a whitelist of locations content can come from. This reduces the threat of potential code injection attacks. Unfortunately, due to WordPress, I had to enable some unsafe options such as executing inline JavaScript and eval() statements. I’ll be looking for ways to get rid of those in the future though.

So you can breathe easy knowing that you browsing experience is even safer now than it was before.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 10th, 2017 at 11:00 am

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A Socialist by Any Other Name

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I’ve seen several people celebrating the antics of anti-fascists. And I get it. I also hate national socialists. But in most cases the anti-fascists being celebrated are international socialists.

The reason I’m not celebrating their antics is because I don’t see any meaningful difference between national and international socialists. If you look at their history, both groups have a tendency to fill mass graves. Their criteria on who to kill may differ but in the end they both have lists of enemies that they purge when the opportunity presents itself.

So, no, I’m not going to cheer on a bunch of international socialists just because they’re fighting national socialists. Frankly, I want the two camps to wipe each other out.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 14th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Good People Exist in This World

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With all of the terrible shit that happens in this world I periodically need a reminder that there are some really good people out there. Take Mohamed Bzeek, for example:

The children were going to die.

Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway — the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system.

He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms.

Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.

Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa, just wants her to know she’s not alone in this life.

I have nothing but respect for Mr. Bzeek. Taking in and caring for children that are terminally ill is a tremendous emotional burden but it makes the last days of those children more comfortable. The world would be a far better place if it had more Mohamed Bzeeks in it.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 14th, 2017 at 10:00 am

When Your Organization Collides with Poe’s Law

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Nathan Poe once commented that, “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.” From that statement arose Poe’s Law, which states that it’s impossible to tell the difference between somebody holding an extreme position and a parody of somebody holding an extreme position.

For some time I’ve suspected that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an elaborate parody of animal rights activists. It seems that the organization has been performing increasingly outlandish stunts and making increasingly absurd demands in the hope that somebody will finally realize that the entire organization is one giant troll:

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals affiliate in London is asking developers at Games Workshop to ban animal furs from its Warhammer 40,000 board game.

[…]

The group spoke out on the issue in a blog post by PETA UK’s digital marketing manager, Dan Howe.

“[N]othing on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s conflict-ravaged universe could match the terrible reality that foxes, minks, rabbits, and other living beings experience at the hands of the fur trade,” Mr. Howe wrote.

I’ve never played Warhammer 40,000 but I’ve been down several Wikipedia wormholes about its backstory. Warhammer 40,000 is probably the darkest universe every conceived by man. We’re talking about a universe where hundreds or thousands of people are sacrificed every day to keep a decaying emperor alive because he is the only thing that stands between humanity and forces far worse than hundreds or thousands of humans dying every day. It’s like somebody took a black metal album and turned it into a story for a war game (which is to say it’s pretty fucking awesome). And PETA’s biggest gripe with it is that some characters wear fur.

I’ve said it before and I’ll double down on it now, PETA isn’t actually an animal rights organization. It’s a parody of an animal rights organization that is desperately trying to find an act or demand so outlandish that the world will finally figure it out.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 31st, 2017 at 10:00 am

Humble Water Filter Salesman Apparently Offered White House Press Credentials

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Granted, a majority of what Alex Jones says is bullshit but he claims that he’s been offered White House press credentials:

Here’s the deal, I know I get White House credentials, we’ve already been offered them, we’re going to get them, but I’ve just got to spend the money to send somebody there. I want to make sure it’s even worth it. I don’t want to just sit there up there like ‘m in the media, look our people are there.’ People don’t understand this paradigm, we’re devolving in a good way, power from the federal government back to the people, back from the centralized MSM to the people, just like Trump said in his speech.

I couldn’t write comedy of this quality if I had a year to do so!

The fact that an organization like InfoWars has apparently received White House press credentials is hilarious enough. But Alex seems genuinely excited about it! He has finally won the victory over himself. He loves Big Brother.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 27th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Welcome to Costco, I love you.

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Our future, ladies and gentlemen, is looking bleak. It’s not simply because of rampant statism but also because of rampant stupidity.

I make plenty of grammatical mistakes on this site. When somebody is gracious enough to point them out to me I thanks them and correct the mistake(s) they alerted me to. Apparently this isn’t the case with most people:

Scientists have found that people who constantly get bothered by grammatical errors online have “less agreeable” personalities than those who just let them slide.

And those friends who are super-sensitive to typos on your Facebook page? Psychological testing reveals they’re generally less open, and are also more likely to be judging you for your mistakes than everyone else. In other words, they’re exactly who you thought they were. That sounds pretty obvious, but this is actually the first time researchers have been able to show that a person’s personality traits can actually determine how they respond to typos and grammatical errors, and it could teach us a lot about how people communicate (or miscommunicate) online.

As somebody who prides himself on constantly improving I appreciate when people point out my mistakes so that I can correct them. It seems most people don’t have an interest in improving their grammar and instead get angry that somebody would dare point out their error.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 12th, 2017 at 10:00 am

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Happy Whatever You’re Celebrating

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Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or pouring out libations for the Native Indians killed by the European settlers, have a good day.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 24th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Nothing to See Here

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I decided to take the day off and head to the range. Last night consisted of loading ammo for the trip instead of writing posts.

What can I say? You get what you pay for.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 18th, 2016 at 10:00 am

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Making Enemies with the UPS Man

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One thing I don’t talk about much here is working out. Part of the reason behind this is because I only started regularly working out at the beginning of this year and don’t feel as though I have enough knowledge to say a whole lot on the subject. But at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to take some action of the healthcare front.

I had two primary motivations when I started my training regimen. My first motivation was enjoying the benefits of being physically fit. People who are physically fit can do more for longer and are harder to kill. My second motivation was to further divorce myself from the State. As an agorist I’m used to discussing ideas behind divorcing one’s self from the State. Most of these ideas involve avoiding paying taxes, buying permits, and otherwise providing money to the State. But there are other ways you can increase your independence from the State. Healthcare in this country has become almost inseparable from the State. Being healthy makes you less reliant on the healthcare system and therefore increases your independence from the State. As a slight aside, I did have an additional minor motivation, which was to simply not become the stereotypical fat white guy at the gun range.

At the beginning of the year my workout regimen wasn’t set in stone. I played with things until I found what I liked. One of the things I played with were kettlebells. I don’t like going to gyms so working out at home is a far more preferable option. Kettlebells are nice in that they’re relatively affordable and you can perform a full workout with them in even a small room. They’re also good for building both strength and stamina since many of the lifts are explosive in nature, which puts stress both on your muscles and your cardiovascular system. So I started with a 25 pound kettlebell (upper body strength has never been a strong suit of mine and was the primary limitation to the weight I could workout with) and slowly moved my way up with the goal of using a 50 pound kettlebell by the end of the year.

At the beginning of June my workout regimen started to stabalize. I alternated days between body weight exercises and the Simple and Sinister kettlebell program, which is built around swings and Turkish get ups.

Although a shoulder injury knocked my progress back I’m happy to say that last night I finally achieved the goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year:

53-pound-kettlebell

Until now I’ve been using enamel coated CAP kettlebells. They’ve served their purpose and I feel that they offer good bang for your buck but the handles are just a hair smaller than I’d like and the enamel coating is pretty brittle. This time around I decided to spend a bit more and was happy to receive quite a bit more.

My new kettlebell is a powder coated piece of iron made by Kettlebell Kings. So far I’m impressed. The powder coating is grippier than CAP’s enamel coating, the handle is wide enough where I can get the entirety of both of my hands in it, and there are no rough edges inside of the handle (the CAP kettlebells sometimes have a seem inside the handle but it’s tolerable because the enamel coating smooths it out mostly). I did my first workout with it last night and really enjoyed it.

However, I don’t think the UPS driver enjoyed it. I’ve unintentionally been a dick to him because I’ve ordered all of my kettlebells online (Amazon Prime is wonderfully abusable for this) and he’s had to deliver ever increasingly heavy boxes to my apartment and I’m not planning on letting up on him anytime soon.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 11th, 2016 at 11:00 am