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Changed my profile picture again. It's somewhere down there if you scroll. I'm not doing this right, am I?

...

I can rearrange the page. That is a thing I can do.
If you'd told me ten years ago that I'd spend half a decade obsessed with Poser-style 3D art; that I would accumulate a mere handful of very sporadic followers, mostly posting to myself; that I'd finally give up after six years; and in particular that my last published image would be a picture of Jenny Everywhere wearing nothing but rainbow-striped knee-socks—I'd probably say, "Sure, makes sense to me. The rainbow knee socks sound fun."

It was with this thought in mind that I didn't even try to post art on Tuesday. I did no renders the next two days, which was nice, actually. I suppose I really do have better things to do with my time.

So there it is. My 3D career closes out on a picture of Jenny Everywhere in her gaily striped socks. I'm very proud. So proud.

...

I'll render something else.
Well, I updated my DeviantID. I don't know how often I'll change the art, but it's nice to have something more recent down there.
I am trying to post more again, but I have this fear that no one likes anything I produce and everything I do is really crap.
OK, new schedule! I think I can do one of these little renders every fifteen days!

Just kidding. I'm never doing art again.


(Wait, that italicised bit was supposed to have a strikethrough.)
Well, I kept thinking I should do a comic again, and then little daily renders didn't seem like enough, so I did no art in the end.

I guess I should just say the comics are over, and still do some art, but it's not the same if I don't think I'm going to tell stories.

It may be a while before I do art again. I may never do art again (although that seems unlikely). I may do some tomorrow.

I like the last thing I posted enough to leave it as the last thing I posted. That has not always been the case. That makes it easier to just leave it as is. 
I am trying to refrain from adding, "This is crap, but it gives me something to post," to render descriptions, because I don't know what people will like. But I think it sometimes!
I hadn't sorted art into subfolders since April 2016. So I just did that for over 11 pages, close to a third of my gallery.

I should do a swimwear folder.

Bitter Ides of March got moved out of 'Featured' by my clumsy fingers and back in, so it's out of order in the Featured folder now.
Super blocked, super depressed. Expect nothing for a bit.
Forty-nine years ago today, they killed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those that conspired to kill him were part of the power establishment, including government officeholders. They killed him to stop his challenge to the ruling class. Dr. King wanted to share the wealth of the nation with the people of that nation who were excluded from power; with the poor, the despised, and the oppressed.

I see people call themselves “conservative,” “conservatives,” “right-wing,” or the like for a lot of different reasons–some good, some bad. Even I’m “conservative” in some sense, on an issue or two. Tradition can be worth defending, sometimes.

But the United States of America has a history of ridiculous, extreme racism on one hand, and extreme, ridiculous “laissez-faire” capitalism on the other hand. In that context, “conservative” has a meaning. “Conservative” has a default, primary meaning. This is what it looks like; this is what it is.

A tradition of racial abuse, or of peonage, or of violence in the service of a ruling elite–that’s not a tradition worth defending or “conserving.”

(No art today.)
Well, I got the submission page working again. I don't know what that was about.
I haven't gotten the submission page to load properly for several hours. There may not be new art here for a while.
Hey, remember when I said I was finally getting enough sleep? Ha ha ha no.
I...was sort of planning to do a comic tomorrow. I want to start doing a comic a week again. I don't know, though. I'm—not so much blocked as depressed. Or too easily distracted to finish much.
Five days ago, I wrote a rambling blog post about firearms and gun control, but I think after ninety minutes of writing it, I lost some threads of thought. It may be unclear what my point was, or what I think the law should be.

I think I probably implied that it should be harder to get a rifle in the USA; well, yes, it should be.

But I think my big problem is that gun rights advocates keep insisting that the answer to mass shootings is more guns. This isn't helping. Lots of people have good reasons not to carry. And a careless person with a gun is a menace. We don't really want everyone to be packing heat all the time.

It used to seem to me that people who want to own guns (well, some of those people) can, and people who don't want to own guns don't have to own them. But we keep arguing that people on the other side should live according to our choices:
When there's a mass shooting, gun rights advocates blame gun-free zones, then seem to blame basically everyone who doesn't carry for not having a sidearm ready and intervening (however unrealistic that may be).
At the same time, gun control advocates blame the gun market--sellers, manufacturers, and implicitly even other owners--for supplying the criminal with guns (bought or stolen). 
Blame gets thrown around a lot. And somehow in that blame, each side is implying that the other side needs to adopt their way of life. I don't think, "You need a gun, like I do!" is any better than, "You need not to have a gun, like I don't!"

The gun rights side aren't really that convincing in all this, because their reasoning is motivated. They don't want to give up a little personal property, or some liberty, in the name of public safety.

The gun control side is often at a rhetorical disadvantage, because of the perception that they don't use firearms, don't own them, and don't understand them. (This is a little unfair; just because someone knows how to shoot doesn't mean they're against gun licensing or gun-free zones. But since the USA has very low military participation, a random civilian is no longer assumed to have any experience with guns unless they have personally sought it out, and then the stereotypes of warriors and cowards kick in.) Worse--in many eyes--gun control types don't want your children to know how to shoot, or how to behave around a gun. How can you respond to a threat without preparing for it?

Well. I've put off writing this new blog post for four days, and events have ensued.

It's interesting, isn't it? The recent incident in Dallas was not resolved by a random "good guy" with a sidearm, but by a bomb squad robot.

I remember after the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie house shooting someone making this argument: You're not really going to stop the bad guy by being another clown with a gun. You might be mistaken for an accomplice, and you might be endangering the crowd by putting more projectiles in the air. And if the first shooter has body armor, you might fail to make the shot anyway. It is very hard for a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. The bad guy has initiative, after all.

I think the end of the shooting in Dallas is another blow to the gun rights side. The police had sidearms, and they called in a robot with an explosive.

Current events are giving us a lot of data on firearms. And it's not working in favor of the gun rights side now, is it?

What does a “well-regulated militia” have to do with anything?


Relevant image post: [Sig Sauer MPX, July 4, 2016] 

Gun owners, I get it. I do. Firearms are a powerful modern technology. You don't want your children to be left behind, to grow up not knowing how to use them. And you don't want to be caught unprepared. The genie is out of the bottle, you think. And in the USA, you were probably taught that you have a right given you by God and the Constitution that should not be taken away, nor diminished.

For Americans who think this way, the phrase "well-regulated militia" is irrelevant.

But even half your own countrymen don't want firearms in their homes. They don't want their children to get into them. They don't want to be scared of stray bullets from their neighbors' children, or from a fight down the block that gets out of hand. They don't expect that carrying their own sidearms will mean they're safe from drive-by shootings.

We do keep some kinds of technology locked up. Even in the USA, the federal government tries to track any large amount of explosive. Large amounts of fissionable material aren't even supposed to be accumulated in private hands, or even some government hands.

And it's very, very hard to get an auto-fire rifle in the USA.

But somehow an auto-loading rifle, that's deemed to be acceptable.

Weapons like this can be useful. They can have their place. I wouldn't want to take them away from the Kurdish freedom fighters, for example. On the other hand, I wish Sendero Luminoso didn't have them.

But another modern technology that's useful is legal and societal control of weapons access. There's a reason most people in wealthy countries don't actually have to put together a squad of armed men to safely drive a journey of 50 miles, even though they almost certainly have something worth stealing. Gun regulation, where it has been successful, has literally made many people's lives safer and freer.

Omar Mateen wasn't remotely in a well-regulated militia. He was one madman, seeking his blaze of glory. Clearly, Omar Mateen should never have had an MCX. The Second Amendment wasn't written to enable someone like him, but if anything to stop someone like him. But when you defend the right of every private individual to a weapon, you defend Omar Mateen's right to a weapon.

Admittedly Omar Mateen, without a rifle, might have gone in for arson, and possibly been an even more successful mass murderer. Or he might have gotten a rifle on the black market, maybe; that would have been far more expensive, though.

But so-called Second Amendment defenders aren't defending either freedom or security when they defend his right to a weapon. What are they even defending? A hobby?

Some gun rights advocates think that someone at Pulse should have had a weapon, but statistically, there would be more problems with firearms in bars than without them. More than mass shootings, we regulate guns to stop stupid little shootings–toddlers killing their parents, for example. And more than that, we have laws around guns to stop terror imposed by gangs.

Ultimately, the arguments about gun control aren't about guns. They're about law and regulation. Spend some time around the populist/libertarian right wing in the USA, the UK, or other English-speaking countries, and it becomes clear: The sort of person who rejects firearms restrictions often also despises minimum wage laws, environmental standards of most kinds, product safety laws, torts, professional licensing, and the very idea of paying tax on income or wealth. There's no coincidence these opinions tend to pop up in the same person; they're all the same opinion. It all comes from historical ignorance of why these things have been placed into existence. All of these social innovations are relatively recent in the English-speaking world, and are responses to the kind of problems society had without them.

Too many persons who live a privileged life in a community with functioning public services, public utilities, police, and so forth don't understand what it means to be without these institutions. So they imagine that with more freedom to do as they will, more respect of what they see as their rights, they'd be at least as happy, healthy, safe, & free of problems. It's easy to do when you live in ignorance.

We could live in a society where street gangs constantly patrol with fully automatic weapons, and people stay locked in their homes in fear. Many people have. Many people do. But having seen what that was like, statesmen and jurists changed things. Just like we've seen what it's like to live somewhere with no guarantee of water quality. Or with no law mandating overtime pay.

But it's not about that for Second Amendment defenders. It's about a fantasy version of history & morality they've concocted in their heads; the same one that says they don't need to be paid overtime pay or even a minimum wage, that they don't need CDC or FDA, that they shouldn't have to pay taxes.

Looking at it that way, it seems about one step away from being "Freemen on the Land," really. Son profundamente locos.
I'm not too torn up about the Brexit result. Britain was not on the Euro. There are other European nations not in the EU. Britain can muddle through. The promises that this was going to be a great thing for Britain will prove to be the opposite of true. But it's not the mortal wound some are imagining.

I do see two glaring (if temporary) problems, however:

First, this is going to be a big annoyance for expats and for the residents of Gibraltar, and for various enterprises that cross borders and will soon cross higher barriers.

Second, and more worrying, I fear that it will temporarily elevate the sort of empty-headed public school boy politicians, like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who latched on to Leave cynically; while pushing out the more pragmatic sorts who of course sided with Remain.

Gove seems to think this will move the UK closer to the USA, but much of the USA's political class really don't care that much about Great Britain. Sure, the USA have military bases in Britain; but they also do in Spain, Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Qatar...you get the idea. The "special relationship" is rather one-sided.

After Boris started claiming that Barack Obama was anti-English because his father was Kenyan, I decided he was a fantasist, and sort of a racist prat.

I don't trust their judgement. i hope that they prove such obvious disasters that they are tossed out pretty soon.
I don't claim to know what the best answer is for the European Union nor for Great Britain. I was in favour of "Grexit" because I thought the Euro had failed the European periphery, and that Greece was being abused by the European Central Bank. "Brexit" is very different, but when I first heard it proposed, I sort of liked the idea of the EU losing ground, and maybe I still do. The truth is, when it comes to what I actually care more about—the knock-on effect of this vote on countries still attached to Europe and the Euro—I don't know what the effect will be, and so I don't know what to tell you.

But the main visible advocates of the "Leave" faction are sufficiently unpleasant to make me want not to support them. Nigel Farage remains a stupid toad. Gove has a strangely worrying smile on his face; what does he think he's pulling over?

And Boris Johnson says he'll apologise on telly if Brexit precipitates a recession. Well, that will accomplish just about nothing!

Put some skin in the game, Boris! Promise you'll give up something that costs you! Maybe you should pledge that if Brexit causes Britain serious economic or political problems in the first five years, you will donate your entire fortune to a preserve for moose and squirrel!

I play coy about my exact ethnic background and location. At some point I decided that my comic was largely set in the USA, because it’s a place I lived for years, and I could write that idiom.

But by and large, cartoon Nia has had two “homes”: one is an imaginary part of North America that owes something to Florida but is sometimes colder; and the other is, well, somewhere in Greece.

And both of my homelands have reasons to tell you to stop Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street Democrats.

Greece is overrun by refugees from civil wars, mainly the one in Syria, that American foreign policy intentionally helped start. And when Qaddafi fell in Libya and “Islamic State” started terrorizing the country, it was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policy to make that happen. When Syria had a famine, Hillary Clinton’s State Department saw it as an opportunity to “degrade” the government’s support among the populace by civil war. Many people in the Middle East think that the chemical attacks on the populace that are blamed on Assad’s government were really performed by American agents; I don’t know if that’s true. In any case, the global refugee crisis is worse because of her decisions.

The USA–Florida especially–has had great numbers of people lose their homes due to policies undertaken by the Wall Street faction in US politics. They “securitized” adjustable rate mortgages, although “financialized” would be more accurate in that they made the whole sector insecure. You’ve probably heard about this before; they turned the very act of homebuying into a scam where both a homeowner and an investor would lose everything they put in, while the original lender would walk away with all the money. It was the “pro-business” politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who repealed the laws that could have stopped it, when Mr Clinton was President. And afterward, Hillary went to New York to be the Wall Street Senator, and make millions of dollars in “speaking fees,” working for the big financial speculators.

Millions of Floridians, and Californians, and Michiganders, and Americans in general lost their homes when the financial bubble burst. And they lost their jobs, and they can’t even stay on welfare in a long-term economic depression because the Clinton administration in the 1990′s even limited that to a few years.

Millions of Syrians and Libyans had to flee their countries, because Hillary Clinton saw the populace as no more than a means to an end to hurt their rulers. This is directly based on the “Realpolitik” theories of Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a notorious mass murderer who is still protected by the Washington political establishment, and apparently a friend & mentor to Hillary.

Hillary Clinton was in political organizations that pushed those situations over the edge, and in the case of the civil wars, she was a policy setter herself. She is corrupt, she is dangerous, and she has already ruined nations.

If you are an American, please vote for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming primary. He’s more of a “populist” Democrat who will try to help lower-income people. And he seems to be a little bit smarter on foreign policy–at least he isn’t talking about how well he gets along with Henry Kissinger! 

If Hillary wins the primary, it will probably become a choice between her and Donald Trump, who is new to politics, in way over his head, playing at being an American Hitler in a desperate bid for support, & probably even worse than Hillary in several other ways. The primary is the best place to stop her.

Don’t reward this evil woman with even more power.