Archive | January, 2012

You break it, you buy it.

28 Jan

Sometimes I like to fantasize about what America would look like if hypothetically every liberal/progressive just laid down their arms and let the conservatives have 100% of what they wanted, including the crazy shit. Now obviously there is a spectrum of conservatism, and some conservatives have more wacky ideas than others, but by the way Huntsman has been soundly squashed in all the primary races, we can pretty safely assume that the whole of the conservative movement in America is bat-shit insane. So taken as a whole, what would be some of the things they enforced?

First off, lets get human rights out of the way:

Ban on abortion, including in the cases of rape, incest, and where the mother’s life is at risk. (Like the abortion Santorum’s wife had to save her life)

Ban on contraception. (Because, you know, sex is only for reproduction and it’s a sin to stop Jesus’ plan for your womb)

Ban on being gay, period. Forget about getting married, having legal equality, or even the ability to consider yourself human. “Get back in the fucking closet you filthy fag.”

While we’re at it, we might as well bring back Jim Crow laws, because you know, “those lazy niggers are all on drugs, welfare and vote democrat, so they don’t need to be voting in the first place.”

Continuing that train of thought, let’s turn the border between Mexico and the US into a DMZ like the one that separates North Korea and South Korea. “I’d like to see those dirty Mexicans try to hop across a mine field. ” Once the boarder is shut off, lets go around in trucks and round up all the Hispanic/Latinos we can find and ship them back to Mexico. (Never mind if that’s not where they’re from.) How do you say “Papieren bitte” en Espanol?

Death penalty for drug offenders. Because as you know, the death penalty is a perfect crime deterrent. People who commit crimes often stop and think “hmm, I shouldn’t do this because I might get the death penalty.” Newt Gingrich is right, Singapore’s draconian laws requiring the death sentence are a model of justice. As a matter of fact, perhaps America would be a much safer and just place if the death penalty was expanded to cover more types of crimes. Clearly the other countries that do that are at the peak of human development and well-being.

Lastly, lets not forget about protesters low level terrorists. Thankfully, our conservative congress and “conservative in all but name” president passed the National Defense Authorization Act that allows for any American citizen to be indefinitely detained without trial or a lawyer at the mere assertion that they’re a terrorist! Yipee! 6th Amendment we can finally start locking up these fucking hippies and union workers.

Shut down superfluous agencies

We can finally get rid of the EPA, FDA, and department of Education, interior, commerce, energy, and housing and go back to the good ol’ days!

(If you’re not rich enough to afford private education for your children, or to make sure that the food/water/medicine you take won’t kill you, then you’re probably a criminal anyways, so kindly fuck off and die.)

With the department of education gone, school boards across America will finally be free to pick what facts/realities/versions of history they like best and teach their children accordingly.

We can finally get evolution out of the classroom science out of the school and skip over uncomfortable topics like slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, and the liberal religious backgrounds of our founding fathers.

Speaking of religion:

Institutionalize Christianity as the state religion

We all know in our hearts that the founding fathers were Christian evangelicals of the Jerry Falwell variety. Now that the libs and progressives have stopped fighting, we can finally cement Christianity as the official and sole religion of the USA. The first Amendment will finally be understood for what it is: establishing Jesus as the lord and master of America. We can have mandatory school prayer back and we can institute religious tests for those running for public office. (Because we all know that every authority figure that’s had a strong relationship with Jesus has never turned out to be corrupt or misuse their power)

Invade all the things!

Manifest destiny preached that it was America’s God given quest to conquer from sea to shining sea, but why should that stop at Hawaii? You can say what you like, but we own this motherfucking planet bitches. This time, we’ll start with Iran.

Wouldn’t America be a utopia if conservatives got everything they asked for?

 

But seriously folks, what would America be like if all of this shit came to fruition? The place would turn into a theocratic police state of a hell-whole, which finally brings me to the whole point of this post:

You break it, you buy it.

Pretend we let the conservatives have everything they wanted, pretend they did this and turned the country into the above described house of horrors. When all was said and done, do you think they’d stop and go “Oh….shit…..I’m sorry, my bad.”

No way in hell.

The problem with these people is that, for all their pontificating on responsibility, they will never take responsibility for their mistakes. Instead they will hold fast to their delusions till the end, and seek scapegoats to point out for the reason the whole thing failed. They will NEVER entertain the idea that they could have been wrong. It’s a level of paranoia and delusion on a scale that was beautifully shown in the film “Downfall:”

So the question is, what do you do? They will never stop fighting to get what they want, but when they have it and it blows up in their face, they will always point to another and scream “You! You did this!”

People get the government [the majority of them] deserve.

13 Jan

I’ve always felt that a people get the government that the majority of them deserve. By extension, you can tell a lot about the majority of a people just by looking at their government. Unfortunately, a quick glance at the US government revels that the majority of Americans are ignorant, apathetic, fickle, and/or insane.

Yet this is not just isolated to America. Plenty of countries around the world are led by crazy people. There is just something about power that is an irresistible magnet for evil and mentally maladjusted individuals. You can see this on all levels, from as small as cult leaders, up to the leader of a nation.

Why do we allow these people to run for office, much less get elected to it? Because the majority of humanity is ignorant/apathetic/fickle/crazy themselves.

With this in mind, you can reverse it and find a healthy society. Look around the world for a country where the leaders aren’t crazy, where the government isn’t oppressive and honestly tries to better the lives of the citizens. There you will find a society where fewer people are ignorant/apathetic/fickle/insane. There they don’t tolerate transgressions on the part of their politicians.

Every once in a while the non-ignorant/apathetic/fickle/insane elements of a society will rise up to try and oust the crazy (like we’ve seen in the Arab Spring), but unfortunately too often enough, the rest of society doesn’t join the fight and the rebels lose.

The majority might complain about the government, but they are ultimately complicit in their own enslavement.

What about me? I’m trying to get the hell out of the US. Why don’t I stay and fight with the rest of the minority that isn’t ignorant/apathetic/fickle/insane.

Simple. I don’t believe you can win. I don’t believe you can stop the majority of people from getting what is coming to them. Their Orwellian enslavement is inevitable. I have one life to live. I don’t want to waste it fighting a pointless battle. I’m off to find a place where people don’t allow crazy people to rule them.

It is very well possible that there is no such place. If that’s true, then what does that say about humanity? If it’s true that there is no such place, that humanity in general is ignorant/apathetic/fickle/insane then there is no hope. It would only further reinforce my reasons for not sticking around.

There is a quote from the movie Der Untergang (Downfall) about Hitler’s last days in his bunker that has always stuck with me in regards to this topic:

Goebbels informs Mohnke that he has no pity for [the people], adding, “The German people chose their fate and now their little throats are being cut.”

Guns

11 Jan

Last weekend I took my conceal carry class required by the state of South Carolina in order to be issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Given that gun laws are one area where I most often disagree with my fellow liberals, I thought it pertinent to touch on the topic.

The strongest argument I have for why I feel gun ownership is good among responsible adults goes something like this:

If you’re a liberal (like I am on the vast majority of issues), you’re probably familiar with conservatives trying to get rid of something by banning it. Historically conservatives have taken aim at prostitution, abortion, drug use, alcohol, and gambling, just to name a few.

As liberals, we often point out that these are things that you cannot stop. People have done these things since the dawn of time, and will continue to do them no matter how much you try to stop them. Instead of wasting time and money trying to prevent the inevitable, why not legalize it, regulate it, and tax it to limit the damage and promote the public good?

The same it true for guns.

Just as teenagers have always had sex, just as people will always gamble and use drugs, there are people who will always commit violent crimes. In light of this reality, I feel that the best way to address it is to allow the would be victims the ability to protect themselves if necessary.

Disarming a populace does nothing to stop criminals from committing crimes. If anything, it makes it easier as they do not have to worry about people shooting back.

One friend once made the point that, “Guns only escalate the violence.” I disagree. If a person with malicious intent pulls a gun then the violence level has already been escalated dangerously high. A second person pulling a gun in response does not significantly raise the violence level. The worst case scenario either way is that someone gets shot and dies. I would argue that a second gun provides an incentive to lower the violence level. (Mutually assured destruction)

What are the possible outcomes of a senario where a gun is involved?

Say person A pulls a gun with malicious intent (violence level escalated)

1. Person A shoots person B (or multiple people)

2. Person A is somehow talked down by unarmed person B (or multiple people), however, this is unlikely given the power dynamics introduced by the gun in the scenario. Person A is clearly in control, and if they are unstable enough to pull a gun with malicious intent, the likelihood that they’ll listen to reason is slim.

3. Person A pulls a gun with malicious intent. Person B (possibly including others) pull their gun(s) in response. Person A fires, Person B (and possibly others) fire back.

4. Person A pulls a gun with malicious intent. Person B (possibly including others) pull their gun(s) in response. Person A backs down, others back down in response.

In a perfect world, nobody would be pulling a gun on anybody. In every situation the violence level is escalated by Person A pulling a gun. Situation 1 is arguably the worse, where Person A is able to kill people without fear of immediate reprisal. We’ve seen this at school shootings across the country. People are butchered like fish in a barrel.

Situation 2 is the best outcome, but also the most unlikely.

Situation 3 is terrible, but is better than situation 1 since there is now at least a chance that the damage done by Person A can be limited by Person B stopping him. People often point at school shootings, like the one at Virginia Tech, and ask “What if a responsible adult was carrying a firearm? There would have been at least a chance that they would have been able to stop the shooter from murdering 32 people.”

Situation 4, like situation 2, is one of the better outcomes. (Nobody dies) Here at least there is a strong incentive for person A not to proceed down the path they chose by drawing a gun.

I feel the biggest crux of this issue is responsibility.

I am not in favor of handing the mentally ill firearms. I don’t believe in passing out handguns to children. I believe responsible adults should be able to protect themselves.

The question then becomes “What classifies as a responsible adult?”

I would say that a responsible adult in terms of handling firearms is someone who:

Is trained in their proper use and saftey.

Does not use mind altering substances while carrying the firearm.

Does not boast about or brandish their firearm.

Knows that the firearm is the last resort option to be used in life or death scenarios  only.

Attempts to avoid confrontation whenever possible.

The fact of the matter is that some people are always going to commit violent crimes. If someone has decided to commit a violent crime they already have no regard for the law. They are going to get a weapon and commit the crime no matter what the laws say. The only people who obey the law are responsible adults. Disarming law abiding citizens does nothing but make the society a victim rich environment for criminals to prey upon.

If you feel that the outcome in situation 1 is somehow better than situation 3, then there really is nothing I can say to you. Both outcomes are horrible, but I feel situation 3 is the lesser of the two evils given that there at least exists the possibility to stop the attacker.

That’s the personal defense aspect of guns. The second aspect is the political one. At the time the second amendment was written, the colonies were breaking away from their government. Guns were needed to overthrow that government. The second amendment was written partly as insurance should the newly formed government become tyrannical.

Nowadays someone might object to this reasoning and point out that the US military’s weapons are vastly superior to anything a civilian has. True. Back when the 2nd amendment was written, weapons were more of a level playing field. Sure the army had more of them, and more trained people using them, but a musket was a musket and the government could not drop precision air strikes from unmanned drones in the sky.

Again it comes down to giving people a chance. While a civilian’s weapon might not be able to kill as quickly and efficiently as a soldiers, it still kills. French resistance fighters in WWII used cheaply made guns to ambush and kill Nazi soldiers, whereupon they took the better weapons. I am not saying that the American people would be able to overthrow the government with their weapons should the military turn on civilians like they do in Syria (something I just can’t imagine anyone in our military doing), but at least the people would have a chance.

Revolutions never come about from peaceful marches, rhythmic drumming, and being massacred. Revolutions are only successful when the rebels pick up guns and start fighting back. We can only speculate on how rebellions like the Green revolution in Iran would have gone differently if the populace had had the ability to fight fire with fire.

The question of “well how do we know if the rebels are just in their attempts to overthrow the government” is something that ultimately will be left up to the rest of society and the historians.

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