Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"A Well Regulated Militia . . ."

Jack Camwell 2016!!!
I have noticed in the past few weeks that there as been some contention on the interpretation of what the Founders meant by "a well regulated militia," and its purpose.  I decided to consult my personal copy of the Federalist Papers to see what the framers of the Constitution meant.

Here is what I found.  I will present to you the quotes, and I'll leave you to interpret them how you want.  You can see my interpretation of the quotes over at FT's blog.

From Federalist #28, "A National Army and Internal Security," -- Hamilton:

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense . . ."
And from Federalist #29, "Regulation of the Militia," also Hamilton:

"If there be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of reeiveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants . . . and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed peoples?"

What say you?  I don't want this to turn into a god damned internet cock fight.  I want this to be an actual discussion about the meaning of the words of those who actually wrote the Constitution.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar, the Federalist Papers were written collectively by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

Their purpose was to pursuade the people of the need of a national government for the prosperity of the nation and for the protection of the people's rights.  In my opinion, if you really know what the Founders intended when they wrote the Constitution, this is the best explanation one can find.

Discuss.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Letters to a Democrat

Albert Camus: My hero.
January 25th, 2013

Friend,

It has been difficult to talk to you lately, because you seem to have abandoned one of your time-honored traditions: relying on facts and statistics.

You always told me that there was "evidence" that supported all of your policy goals.  You showed me statistics about people's beliefs on gay marriage and abortion.  You gave me some historical factoids and some numbers about how government spending helps the economy.  You even brought up the fact that Republicans supported cutting funding to programs that provide services for people with disabilities.

You'll have to forgive me for not understanding why you reject the facts, data, and statistics that I have presented to you over the gun control debate.  I've presented to you the statistics straight from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that suggest that the murder rate has steadily declined since 1989--yet you retort, erroneously, that we are seeing record numbers of gun-related homicides.

I showed you that out of all the gun deaths in America, only a fraction of them were committed with assault weapons.  Most gun deaths have come from handguns, yet you assert that assault weapons are simply too deadly and must be banned.

I even showed you that over 80% of gun violence is gang related or committed during the commission of another felony.  In response, you told me that there should be fewer guns in America, and the way to achieve that is to hamper our ability to legally obtain guns.  You didn't even answer me when I asked you how gun regulations will keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.

You told me that we should ban semi-automatic weapons.  When I informed you that over 95% of the firearms legally owned are, in fact, semi-automatic, you scoffed.  You told me that at one point, single-action handguns were the norm.  I informed you that single-action handguns haven't been the norm since 1885.  You scoffed again.  You didn't actually provide a retort, but you just scoffed.  Then when I told you that you sound very unknowledgeable about guns, you actually provided me with a statistic that supposedly shows most Americans want to ban semi-automatic weapons.

In reality, that poll only shows that most Americans have very limited knowledge about firearms.

You keep insisting that assault rifles are too deadly, too dangerous.  You got really quiet when I brought up the fact that more people are murdered with blunt objects than are murdered with assault rifles. You also don't answer me when I ask you to explain why a city with a handgun ban has a higher murder rate than a larger city without a handgun ban.But for whatever reason, whenever I bring these things to your attention, you sort of deflect the ideas and start talking about "emotions." 

Emotion is the problem, not the solution.  You always tell me that Republicans vote on their emotions and feelings when it comes to social issues, but what have you done here?  I think you're afraid to admit the truth.  In the face of hopelessness, you choose to take the rosey view.  Why?  So you can feel safer?  So you can feel like you're not powerless to stop the madness?

Facts are facts, my friend.  They're important because they help us to make logical, rational decisions.  You agreed with me once that most Americans only vote their feelings.  Their politics are based on what they feel is right in their hearts.  You agreed that they will ignore reality in order to maintain their worldview, because most people lack the intellectual capability of coping with a shattered worldview.

You can't choose to ignore the facts simply because they don't jive with your sentiments.  I've done my homework on this issue.  I've countered everything you've asserted with cold, hard facts that prove your statements to be false, or at least prove them to not be based on reality.

Why have you abandoned logic and reason?  Why don't the facts matter to you in the gun control debate?  I fail to understand why your facts are all-important, while my facts seem to make little difference.

Why don't my facts matter to you?!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We Are the Tyrants

The colors here are perfect.
Over at Western Hero, Finntan wrote an article about a business owner who fired two of his employees because they voted for Obama.

A little more background.  The owner claimed that because of Obamacare, he had no choice but to lay off two employees to make up for the cost.  He fired two workers, and then he publicly stated that he fired them because they voted for Obama.  Their vote, he reasoned, was part of the reason that he had to fire anyone at all.  So to him it "made sense," that they should be the ones to go.

Ho--lee--shit.

I'm going to make this very simple for everyone reading.  There's a reason that people aren't allowed to harass voters at the polls about voting for a particular candidate.  I don't think anyone would actually morally support buying off voters.  I am fairly certain that everyone looks back on the Tammany Hall political machines--and others like it--with justified disdain.

It's fairly reasonable to assume that most people would take grave offense to being bullied into voting for a particular candidate.  How would you feel if your boss essentially told you "if you vote for Romney, I will fire you"?  I'm fairly fucking certain that you would feel as though your personal liberties--your freedom of thought, speech, and expression--were being infringed upon.

If you would not feel indignant about that--if you would simply "take it," out of some warped sense of what true freedom means--then you have a completely pale understanding of what freedom actually means.

What irks me the most is that there are people actually defending this guy, knowing full well that they would fly off the handle if they were fired for their political affiliation.  I'm not the only one who rails against the entertainment industry for being unfriendly towards conservatives.  So why are the same people who come to the aid of their persecuted conservative brethren so quick to abandon liberals facing the same affront to their right to vote with impunity?

Sure, there are consequences for expressing your opinions.  You can be ridiculed, ostracized by groups of people.  But should there be consequences for casting a fucking vote?!  Of course it's not against the law to fire an employee (non-government) over their political affiliation, but does that make it okay?

No.  Not even a little bit.

This country is officially screwed, but not for the reasons most people think.  The Republicans aren't ruining it.  Obama isn't ruining it.  We the People are ruining it.

In Nazi Germany, the National Socialist Party used its thugs to stamp out opposition to Hitler's vision.  In the Soviet Union, "The Party," sent its people to the gulags if they didn't fall in line with the dream of a totalitarian Communist paradise.   In America, We the People have taken upon ourselves the role of ideology enforcement.

The DNC and RNC don't even have to have secret police, because they've both duped their respective disciples and drones into doing the dirty work for them.  The fact that this man fired people because they voted Democrat coupled with the fact that there are people defending his actions as justified is indicative of a society that has completely lost all of its principles.  We the People no longer give two shits about freedom of thought.

Freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of expression means that you have to be allowed to exercise those liberties without reprisal.  George Orwell wrote about that very notion in "Freedom of the Press."  He derided his colleagues who spit on and publicly ridiculed political dissenters, because their purpose was to stifle debate and diversity of thought.

You can disagree with someone all you want.  You are free to express your disagreement, but there is a big difference between expressing yourself and taking action against someone for their beliefs.  This man destroyed these people's ability to support themselves and their family based on their political affiliation.  Sure, it is his right to fire whomever he wants for whatever reason he wants, but that doesn't absolve him from being a giant, hypocritical douchebag.

Being an ignorant asshole is not a crime, but that doesn't mean he's not an ignorant asshole.

I very much welcome philosophical debate on this.  If you support this guy's actions, you will lose, because supporting his actions based on the notion of freedom of (insert something) is a logical fallacy.  One day, every soul sleeping sound in the warm embrace of blind narrow-mindedness will wake up and see that the tyrants aren't on Capitol Hill.  We are the tyrants.

Go ahead.  Try me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dumbass Idea of the Week: Say Hello Kitty to My Little Friend!!

It's been a while since I've done a dumbass idea of the week.  Instead of calling me lazy, let's just say that there's been way too much dumbassery for one post of the week to do it all justice.  I came accross this little gem that deserved some attention.

If you have a little girl who owns a Hello Kitty bubble gun, for the love of Christ don't let her "threaten," another little girl with it.

According to the article, a 5 year old child suggested that she and her friend shoot each other with their hello kitty bubble guns.  The problem?  She made this apparently psychotic suggestion in school.  For whatever reason, someone caught wind of it and the school suspended her for 10 days, ordering the parents to get her a psych eval during the suspension.

What.

The.

Fuck.

I honestly cannot comprehend how anyone other than these retarded school administrators would even entertain such an idea.  I have a four year old girl, and I can't imagine someone telling me that she needs a psych eval because of some completely harmless thing she said.  My daughter doesn't even understand the concept of death let alone how dangerous a bubble gun can be (sarcasm).

This just goes to show you that sometimes (and by "sometimes" I mean "most of the time") it's not a good idea to let your emotions rule your actions.  Were these teachers and administrators actually threatened, or did they believe this little girl meant harm?  No.  They were simply caught up in the hooplah.

They felt such a strong need to "set the example," to show the other kids that they mean business, that they allowed themselves to throw logic and sensibility out the window when deciding on a course of action.  Sound familiar *coughguncontrolnutscough*.

Well, at least we know that school is now safe from the murderous whims of a 5 year old girl wielding her Hello Kitty bubble gun!  Thank God for rational, informed people!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Reading you 1 by 1, Roger that" by AHB

Humans can understand and in some cases even accept many things as truth after being shown evidence, this is due to our brains being complex and sophisticated enough to process abstract reasoning. One of the things Jackie has spoke of before in his blog is the unwillingness of individuals to challenge their own belief systems with new evidence, because the risk you run is your internal beliefs not being in sync with this new evidence. It's as though you invalidate your time spent under a delusion, and no one wants to think that perhaps, they were fucked up.

Turn on the TV, and you would swear the muslim world is actively seeking the destruction of the united states and it's allies, if that was your only source of information. You would swear that there are scores of people being mowed down in a hail of bullets in all manner of public places coast to coast. You would swear that Glen Beck, Shawn Hanity, CNN, the women of "The View", Oprah or whatever talking head barking at you had all the answers to all the questions you ever need bother asking.

A fundamentally rational person, one whom is mostly free from a preconceived model of the world that must match their own, quite literally drives themselves crazy wading through the static and the hypocrisy.

Put simply, it is like the matrix. How humans define their reality is through what we can touch, see, hear, feel, and manipulate... however it is only when we internalize and parse this information do we come to a conclusion.

If you hear a really loud noise come from outside your bedroom window in the middle of the night, there are perhaps thousands of possible explanations for this, however only one is the cause that led to the compression of air and the formation of soundwaves that penetrated that window and reached your ear. You look outside and you see a car smashed up against a telephone pole, it is reasonable to assume with a cursory glance the noise was caused by the collision of the car hitting the pole.

I submit to you, when the barking heads on TV attempt to tell you that it was infact swamp gas refracting off the glow of jupiter which created a meteor which in turn hit a distant telephone pole in a perfect arc and smashed into the ground perfectly inline atop another telephone pole and that the resulting air pressure created a vacuum that sucked the car into the newly installed perfectly aligned meteorically displaced telephone pole, that you be skeptical and do not take their bullshit on face value.

If you allow another human being to reliably form your conclusions for you without some evidence, you are using the intellect of a child. I implore you to search out the obscure and often more accurate and objective sources of news, different competing theories of what you believe, straight up contradictions of what you believe, and all the varying flavors in between. Just as you cannot adequately sustain your body on bacon and milkshakes everyday, your mind and it's ability to think for itself cannot be sustained by the same tired information everyday. A common business motivational motto is "What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?"

 My answer to this has always been to dare to dream of never failing. I think a better and more thought provoking question is "What would you fail to achieve if you could not dare?" Non-cryptically I am asking; what would you accomplish if you did not try? Be careful, this one can actually backfire on you.

For instance, if you did not try to stop a fight between two people at a bar, and one of these combatants gets stabbed in the neck and dies. You may say you accomplished nothing, that indecision on your part was neutral and didn't affect the outcome, or you may say that you could have saved that guy who got stabbed in the neck, or you may also say that you could have gotten stabbed in the neck yourself, or you might have accomplished the greatest thing in the history of the species by not trying to stop the fight, because the guy who got killed jumped back up to his feet and woke up as The One.

This is a good example of the infinite rationalizations and explanations humans can conjure up. You can figure and fudge your way out of absolutely anything if you rationalize it long enough. How did life originate on earth? Can't fully explain it with science. Oh I know, must be the Creator, that wily ol bird. Why did you kill the milkman? "Cause he was looking at my wife with those horny eyes."

I am not claiming I have all the answers, far from it. At least I am still actively seeking them.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"NRA Duality" by AHB

Jersey is gonna love this one for about 30 seconds, and then go back to hating me: NRA being two-faced. The NRA has cited a number of things other than guns that is the "problem." Now, while I disagree with the idea that guns are to blame, I also feel that people who throw the guns under the bus are arguing from a place of ignorance. Same goes for the NRA, they are arguing out of a place of ignorance.

Video Games, movies, tv, music, etc... have been cited by the NRA VP as the "problem." Just like there are millions of guns that never kill anyone, there are millions of people who are exposed to all forms of media like this that never go insane and shoot up a school or a movie theater. If you look at what the actual violent crime rate is PER CAPITA, then you would realize that the problem is not one dimensional.

I have heard the bullshit statistic that "Baseball bats killed more people than guns did." Well that is an outright lie. However I can fix this statement to make it true. "Baseball bats killed more people than RIFLES did." Which that statement is typically true for annual statistics. So what is the first thing targeted and blamed by the gun control zealots? Magazine fed semi-auto rifles. Clearly, something is amiss.

No one wants to look at the truth behind violent crime, because the truth is simple and "hopeless." The simple truth is crazy people do crazy things, and you will never eradicate violent crime as long as there are people with emotions. People are looking for a solution to the "gun problem" ... what they should realize first its not a "gun problem" as much as it is a "consequence problem."

There are certain consequences and burdens that comes from freedom. Our ability as humans to act out of Choice rather than Instinct is one of many key differences between us and every other life form on this planet. What is appalling to me is how short-sighted people are when it comes to problem solving, and how easy it is to sway people on fickle emotions alone.

I am called crazy because I am a libertarian, someone who wants a minimalist federal government. It is my belief that every social structure that involves most of the power at the top is more prone to abuse and corruption. I would much rather that the people "in charge" of most of what rules or policies you have to obey, are within arms length of you. How do I personally hold Pat Tiberi's feet to the fire for some of the shit he has done and said that I don't agree with? I can't just call him or email him, I have to go through a massive god damn hassle just to submit a question.

Laws only limit the actions of the lawful. It is not the lawful citizens you have to worry about in this matter. Quit hitting mister ed's skeleton with that louisville slugger... those things can kill ya know