We live in a land of laws, guided by a Constitution that defines the power of government making and enforcing these laws, and assume that we, as citizens, will abide by the laws of the land. This is occasionally much more difficult than it would seem to be.
We will always need to be wary of those who believe that they know what's best and that we should follow their lead without question.
I operate on two simple principles: Question everything, and the Golden Rule (Do for others as you would have them do for you; Lead by example).
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Because People are competitive; always have been, always will be!
Some people take competition to extremes; again: always have, always will!
Fighting, from one on one to military against military, is and always has been a decision maker. Wars between clans, tribes or nations have determined who will lead. One day, August 6th 1945, war became harder to justify, because the weapons became too powerful. World War II ended abruptly when the world was first exposed to the awesome destructive power of atomic weapons; unfortunately it took two bombs to convince the receiving side that that war was done.
World War III was never fought! It was not because humanity and their nations had become less competitive. It was MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) that prevented the Cold War from becoming open warfare.
Small wars are still fought between groups of people determined to resist non-violent solutions to problems, but the threat of nuclear extermination limits the size and scope of these conflicts.
What has this got to do with anything?
Personal conflict has also become capable of extreme violence! Weapons designed for wars have made it to the consumer market, and given out bursts of anger, grief, passion, narcissism, megalomania, etc… new power to destroy and kill. Guns kill over 30,000 people every year (>1,000 accidents, >20,000 suicides, >10,000 murders) in the USA alone; actually we lead the rest of the countries of the world, not involved in a declared war, combined!
More than 100,000 people are injured or killed by gun fire each year here in the USA alone.
The first sentence in the second paragraph of the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Citizens of the USA can own guns because of the concept, “pursuit of Happiness,” but are not allowed to terminate another person’s right to, “Life.”
Some will say that the second amendment to the US Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) gives a person access to unrestricted ownership and use of guns.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
There is no reference to an individual’s right anywhere in that sentence and that is the entire amendment.
The legal precedent, with only two very recent exceptions, in the entire history of our country has supported the definition of militia as part of the nation’s military.
Modern guns and ammunition have given personal disagreement the power of death and destruction that civilians were not meant to have, and the military’s use thereof is also tightly restricted. It is time to take access to guns and ammo designed for the extreme circumstances of war off the streets of America!
Some will say, “If guns are illegal then only criminals will have guns!” Clean, intentional, miss! All guns should be regulated because they are tools designed to kill things, but not all guns and/or ammo will be illegal to own.
Some, often the same folks as in the previous paragraph, will say,”If regular citizens are allowed to carry their guns in public that that will control, possibly eliminate, gun violence.”
Question: How does crossfire in a fire fight (shoot out) quell gun violence?
Answer: It not only does nothing to reduce gun violence, it adds to the death and destruction because a shot can become a gun battle.
It is well past time to regulate (truly attempt to mitigate) the havoc, injury and death that guns can wreak.
You’re at an event with some other people, and across the room a disagreement is starting. A very large person is getting visibly angry and:
Is getting louder and louder; are you getting concerned?
Has balled fists; are you getting concerned?
Has picked up a chair; are you concerned?
Has pulled a knife; are you concerned?
Has pulled a gun; are you concerned?
Why? Why not?
In the USA only cars are as numerous as guns, and injure or kill more US citizens every year.
There are 100s of millions of cars in the USA, the vast majority of which are driven every day.
There are 100s of millions of guns in the USA, only a small minority of which are fired every day.
Some say, “I only use my gun for target shooting.” Target practice is for improving your ability to hit what you are shooting.
Some say, “I only use my guns to hunt.” That’s fine if you eat the animals you kill.
Gun rights advocates state that, “guns don’t kill, people do.” Half correct. A person with a gun can cause far more death and destruction, far faster than a person without a gun. If you’re unclear on this concept, refer back to the start of this post.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Bill of Rights, Amendment Two, reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The amendment relates back to The US Constitution, Article 2, Section 2/1:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…
The History of the US Army: the Early Years (copied from Wikipedia):
The Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Continental Congress as a unified army for the states to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander.
After the war, though, the Continental Army was quickly disbanded as part of the American distrust of standing armies, and irregular state militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal.
However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army. The first of these, the Legion of the United States, was established in 1791 and disbanded in 1796.
For more information about the history of the US Army, please refer to the Wikipedia article found by searching the site for: US Army.
Until recently (excepting only two decisions by Chief Justice Robert’s Supreme Court) legal precedent has always considered, “Militia,” to mean part of the US military.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Some of the 2% has purchased what had been a respectable Republican Party enroute to a plutocracy, sycophants serving plutocrats. Wealthy folks are using inherited wealth in pursuit of more and more and more; think of the seagulls in the movie: Finding Nemo.
Plutocracy’s greatest enemy is a large, informed middle class.
Eliminate useful information via fact free environments like: Fox Ooze (a.k.a., Fox News, Bull Sh*t Mountain), the Heritage Foundation, the US Chamber of Commerce, etc…
The middle class is being assaulted by union busting and by jobs being sent out of country via bad, “free,” trade agreements like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). These bad trade agreements have allowed least cost management to export both jobs and pre-tax income beyond US borders.
Folks finally understand the extraordinary problems being created in service to this attempt at plutocracy. Hopefully, more moderate conservatives will rise up and retake control of the Republican Party and bring it back to the rational perspective of fiscal responsibility that it had once represented; the party I had belonged to until 1980.
Republicans keep saying, “business is good, government is bad.”
The financial services industry (Wall Street, The Market, etc…) used mortgages and mortgage based ‘investment instruments’ to crater the US economy in 1986 and 2007; both times bailed out using 100s of billions of taxpayer’s dollars!
These bail-outs are socialized failure for the very same financial services casinos on Wall Street that had pocketed enormous sums of other people’s money pretending to create more and bigger short term wealth from the 15 or 30 year investments that are home mortgages.
Mortgages are most often 30 year investments for average consumers buying a home. Mortgage payments are structured in a manner that requires federal, and some state, government subsidies (income tax deductions) to be acceptable to consumers.
Isn’t it interesting that a political party, so vocal about the success of private businesses, insist that huge quantities of public funds from the big, bad government be funneled directly to rescuing those same businesses when they are found caught in traps of their own making.