Sunday, May 26, 2013

Watching "American Winter" Homeless and Hopeless

What kind of freedom do you possess when there are people below you who suffer for your success? They don’t need your judgment they need your help. They judge themselves enough. They hate themselves enough. They are down on themselves enough. Why don’t you become the hero and give them a reason to believe in the system you espouse? Reach your hand down and lift people up instead of pushing your foot down on their necks. You vampires of the poor and middle class, harbingers of poverty and cannibals of the workers.      

You make it impossible for them to get by, for them to live. Decent hardworking people can’t afford meals for their kids, electricity for them to do homework, heat to keep them warm. What some would call the basics. You are failing a generation. You have forsaken at least two generations if not three. As the wealthy, the businesses, the corporations make more, the workers work harder and make less and less. The growth in our economy and prosperity has not hit the middle class over the last 30 years. Trickle down has failed, it has failed the people it has failed our country. It is the most selfish, unAmerican and unpatriotic of policies. It lacks compassion, it lacks foresight. It has forsaken two generations and cast them to joblessness and poverty.
You alleged titans of industry, you vampires have sucked all of the blood from the middle that you can. You are starting to see what happens when there is no more blood to be wrought from the stone. You have consumed them, while tricking them into believing myths of upward mobility for them and their children that never can or will come to fruition, both by design and by construct. By hook and by crook you have taken everything from America and put it into your Cayman Island bank accounts, your mansions and your yachts.
While a child pushes away the pangs of hunger to try and study under the dim light of a candle you push the bill for your failures onto the American people with bailouts, corporate welfare, tax breaks for the wealthy. Your failures are socialized and your profits privatized like a bad poker game in a bizarre world. You then have the audacity to blame them for the carnage you created. All of that then paid for by the people you have cast to the wild, libertarian dystopia you have gradually built around them while you placated them with lies just long enough to take everything from them while they weren’t looking. You took their jobs, their futures and their children’s futures in the name of greed to make 5 cents more off a product, in the name of empire by creating fictional investments worth 4 times the GDP that tanked retirement accounts.

You are the captain’s of industry that have swiftly piloted the boat into the rocks every 10 years and made off with the booty unseen and unheard. Every time you have crashed the ship you have slapped the hands away of those looking for rescue because of your bad piloting, sticking your hand in their place. Ridiculing and deriding them for having the audacity to ask for help as they drowned in the mess you created, while you hypocritically wait for your subsidies hand outs. You wait for the tax payer to give you welfare to survive, to re-mast your ship to pilot it again into the rocks. Corporations, the rich…they are the welfare queens.      

You’re sick. You’re disgusting. I don’t believe in capitalism anymore. I should say I don’t trust it. It has done what it was designed to do. It has consumed. It has consumed our economy our ecology our workers our infrastructure and didn’t produce anything in return except an oligarchy. Capitalism is “the nothing” of “The Neverending Story.” Consumes everything and produces nil in the end. It has produced the elite few 400 who own more of America than all of those below them. The 400 people who make our decisions and run our government to further concentrate wealth and power.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Liberal…I don't think that word means what you think it means

People keep telling me I’ve gone a little conservative on the gun issue. No, I’ve stayed liberal on the gun issue, gun-banners have gone full-blown Republican and Tea Bagger on this issue. I haven’t changed my political philosophy. They have adjusted their philosophy to keep up with their party’s drive to become more authoritarian. Sure it doesn’t have to do with gay rights or women’s rights so most Democrats won’t give two shits. I think this guy sums that up best in “The Post in Which I Piss Everybody Off”

Let’s start with a definition

 LIBERALISM: c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)(

 Any liberal that suggests the usurpation, severe restriction or banning of a civil right, by definition, isn’t a liberal. I would argue that the preservation of your own life is a human right. Any person that would suggest levying a fine or a fee (i.e. “insurance”) to practice a right is not a liberal. Sorry, you’re not. You may be a party line Democrat but that doesn’t make you a liberal. The conservatives have jumped so far to the right and the rules of the protection of civil liberties and rights have changed so much in the past decade, that you may be confused as to where you actually stand in the political spectrum. But don’t confuse being in lock step with the centrist corporatist party with being a liberal.

 It’s not just about the protection of civil liberties, let’s talk about the “amelioration of social inequities” and how “insurance” as a requirement to own firearms. Such a burden would make it cost prohibitive for those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder to practice a right. So, the poor, working poor and some middle class won’t be able to afford this insurance and you say, “so what?” If you look at it from a Marxian viewpoint the Proletariat will be left defenseless and unarmed while the Bourgeoisie and elite rich will be the only people to afford to be legally armed. To me, as a more Social-Democrat, I see that as a large issue. The last thing you want is the working class unarmed while the rich are the only ones that have the ability to arm themselves. Talk about a fast-track to the slavery of the working class.

 So, let’s be honest about why you want the “insurance” requirement: it’s not for any sort of liability, it’s the same reason Republicans want voter ID, it’s the same reason we had poll taxes. It is in order to make it cost prohibitive to own a gun therefore reducing the number of people who will go through the process of getting one.

You want de facto outlaw gun ownership with bureaucracy and, what would be for some, unattainable financial burdens.

 Instead of going through the front door and having a vote on the repeal of the 2nd Amendment which would set the party back politically for years, you will wrap your arguments in ignorance, fear, prejudice and emotion. You will use these mostly inane argument to have votes to do silly things like require liability insurance, allow people to only have 4.236 bullets in a 7 1/2 round magazine, make up arbitrary rules about which cosmetic features make a gun legal or illegal. You want to make the rules so confusing and the violation of those rules so severe that you scare people away from practicing a civil right. The new gun laws aren’t much different in ideology, practice and theory of the new voting rights laws.

 So, you can call yourself a Democrat or a progressive but please don’t call yourself a Liberal. You may be confused about what that word really means.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To dumb gun-ignorant liberals: Magazine size

 This is a Springfield XDM Subcompact (smaller than small) 9mm handgun. Full size then compact then sub compact is the general hierarchy from largest to smallest varieties of handguns. This is the primary gun my wife carries for personal protection and uses to protect herself and our home. I've laid it on a Blu-Ray case so you can see that it's not really a very large gun.

Here it is closed and unloaded. Really it's not very large at all. It fits almost entirely in my hand. It's one of the smallest handguns you can purchase that doesn't go into the micro variety of handguns.
 Now how many rounds do you think are in the standard capacity magazine for this handgun? 5 or 6? Remember it's a subcompact 9mm. Now look below. The standard capacity magazine for this subcompact is 13 rounds. 13. That means the standard capacity magazine for this small firearm would make this gun as illegal as an assault rifle if the new assault weapons ban and magazine regulation are put into place. This is the problem I have with these new laws. It makes no sense that you would label this gun as dangerous and deadly as a semi-automatic AR with a 30 round magazine. The 10 round magazine limit makes absolutely no sense. One day I'm a law abiding citizen, next I'm a felon because I own a magazine for a small gun that has the potential to hold 3 more rounds than the arbitrary number set by people that know nothing about guns.

Honestly we never keep all the rounds in there. Right now there aren't even 10 rounds in the magazine for two reasons 1) it makes the gun heavier when you concealed carry and 2) it stresses the spring.
 Here's the gun with the magazine inserted so you can see that this magazine fits completely inside the gun and does not hang down 10 inches below because this is the standard capacity, not high capacity, magazine for a gun this size and caliber.
So, when you talk about this 10 round magazine limit, it actually effects more than those scary assault style rifles. It effects the weapons people depend on every day for personal and home defense. It will make these people criminals simply for possessing these magazines. You don't even have to have rounds in them ask the soldier from New York that was arrested for having 30 round magazines in his trunk.

UPDATE: So, stop asking me why I need a 30 round magazine clip you goddamned fucktards. It's a magazine unless you have a WWII machine gun. I would like to have a 30 round magazine for my AR as that is the standard capacity magazine for that weapon, but I would most like to be able to use the magazine designed for my goddamned personal protection handguns without the threat of federal prison. And if you think that's wrong, then you can go fucking hang yourself because I don't give a shit what you think.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Gun Control: Whiny Asshats to the left of Me, Paranoid Fucktards to the Right

I noticed one thing after the Sandy Hook massacre, the right blames an imaginary magic sky wizard and the left blames inanimate objects. First let me start off by saying I certainly am not going to solve the problem of gun violence. It is a multi-faceted problem and really the smallest of the symptoms is the access to guns, as all the guns used by shooters in the mass shootings recently were all legally owned and registered as required. Gun crimes by definition are committed by people either using an illegal weapon to commit an illegal act or a legal weapon to do something already against the law. So, I’m skeptical that any new legislation to require more registration, more burden on the law-abiding gun owner will do anything to stem these violent attacks.

 Also to frame the argument as gun control advocates versus gun nuts is absolutely a false dichotomy. Every legal, responsible gun owner, even those gun nuts like me in the NRA, ARE gun control advocates. That’s why we take the time to research the laws, fill out all of the paperwork, make sure our firearms are secured and placed away from children and the incompetent. That is gun control. I control, when, where and how the guns I owned will be fired. Enforcing liability for irresponsible gun owners should be a part of any new reform.

 Now two people I really respect put out two different arguments on the subject. Well-renowned atheist thinker Sam Harris on the anti-new-regulation side, and noted atheist from the Richard Dawkin’s Foundation for Reason, Sean Faircloth on the the pro-gun ban side as a rebuttal to Harris. You click on their names for their articles, as a primer for what I’m going to discuss.

 Second, if liberals are going to have a place at the table discussing legislation concerning gun laws and ownership they need to be educated about guns in general and specifically what laws already exist. Ignorant and stupid comments like this one: “An AR is just a semi auto AK47,” aren’t going to get you anywhere with gun owners. It shows you’re complete lack of knowledge on the issue. So, educate yourself. Because having people that make comments that ignorant on the issue proposing legislation and reform is scary and could actually be dangerous. Your calling for a ban but you don’t even know what the hell you are banning.

 As far as party affiliation goes I would say gun owners are split down the middle. I know just as many Democratic gun owners as Republican. All gun owners are now screaming because Pres. Obama is now going to institute sweeping gun reform according to the Washington Post, as they should. The NRA and conservative gun owners rightfully argue that the good majority of gun violence occurs in the inner-cities, population centers of over 200,000 and they’re correct. Republicans are partially to blame for the gun reforms that are coming because the call for stricter laws because of more gun crimes can be correlated to their social policies that have left the urban dweller to their own devices with dwindling assistance from the collective. They don’t want to help the inner-city and the desperate poor. They disparage those on food stamps and welfare, saying the $1 a day they receive for food is more than enough charity. Don’t invest in their schools and communities to help improve the community situation that would have a direct impact on reducing crime and especially the gun crimes that are of issue now. Libertarian environmental standards that allowed lead to be pumped into our environment. Lead exposure as a child permanently effects parts of the brain for impulse control, judgement and ability to pay attention. Parts of the brain that, if effected when you are young, will make you a violent person. Of course the communities have to shoulder most of the blame but the social Darwinism of heartless conservative libertarianism does not help the situation, where generations are born into hopelessness. 

The Republican base casts them off as welfare queens and lazy people trying to get something for nothing. They don’t want to invest in improving quality of life the inner city through those dreaded social programs, ergo crime runs rampant as the only means survive. When you pull what little support people have away from them and back them into a corner people become desperate as they feel abandoned and they do what they must to survive. Ask Jean val Jean. So, as they turn to crime they use guns to commit these crimes as is shown in FBI statistics where these population centers own 1/2 the legally and registered guns of rural areas but have two times the number of violent gun crimes. I’m not saying these individuals and community leaders don’t hold responsibility for their actions but when you abandon sections of your country to the libertarian philosophy to each their own, well, each will go and get take care of their own. Not to mention the people in the inner city carrying unregistered/illegal firearms are following the lead of the fringe, minority, gun owners who believe weapons should not be registered or tracked by the government.

 The Second Amendment and owning a gun has nothing to do with hunting and, here’s a kicker, I don’t believe the Amendment has complete bearing on whether or not Americans have a right to own something privately in their home so long as they don’t harm anyone else, it goes more to privacy and being secure in your person papers in effects. I have never hunted probably never will but it has nothing to do with me owning a tool or a machine. The 2nd Amendment has to do with a well-regulated militia having weapons, so militia members can have firearms to protect the government from a revolting mob, not to protect a mob from government. Conservatives are often confused by this and have obviously never heard of the Whiskey Rebellion. But there is no exclusion anywhere else in law that does not allow a law-abiding citizen to own a firearm…or a chainsaw…or an axe…or a Sanyo television. It’s a tool, but it’s the tool of a free man. There are limitations and constraints in the laws as to which firearms you can own but no prohibition. Why? Because in this country prohibition has never worked. How many people smoke pot? The purchase of that pot was just as illegal as buying a black market gun. Anyone remember when we tried to outlaw alcohol? All it did was create a HUGE criminal market. Really, you want to push the purchase of all guns to the criminal market with NO checks, no bureaucracy where everything goes to the person that can pay? That seems like a horrible idea. If you’re advocating total ban, that is what you are advocating.

 Arguing that we didn’t have assault rifles in 1776 so people shouldn’t be able to own assault rifles is asinine and stupid. We had rifles and muskets which were the deadliest small arms of the time. So, whether you know it or not you are making the argument that we should only be allowed to own up to the most efficient small arms of our times…the AR. We didn’t have the internet, television or radio when the First Amendment was written, does that mean the protections of the First don’t apply to those media. I know, I know, I said above the 2nd isn’t really the whole reason we should be able to legally own guns, it’s not the whole reason but it does have some bearing.

 So we can’t ban them, then what is the answer? Well think outside your talk radio box where all you hear is how evil guns are and how crazy anyone who owns a gun must be. Gun owners are Americans and they deserve the rights afforded to them under the Constitution. Freedom is scary and dangerous. Yes, more people will get shot by guns, stabbed by knives, killed by drunk drivers. But that’s freedom. I don’t like the idea that we have to legislate away every little thing that is scary to one group or another. Freedom takes courage.

 The pissing and moaning of a bunch of ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary liberals calling for bans and prohibitions won’t help get any meaningful reform accomplished. Every time you put someone like Sen. Feinstein on TV to talk about guns, all you do is entrench those on the hard right and lose those in the middle to the right who feel they are protecting one of the few alleged rights we have remaining. We don’t need to ban anything.

So, what can we do? And believe me I don’t like some of these anymore than any other gun owner but compromise comes out of concession. And reasonable, responsible gun owner need to add their input or the rules will get made without them and do you really want a bunch of hippies that have never seen a gun in their life setting the national laws for firearms.

 For fuck’s sake the first thing we need to do is close the gun show loop hole. It’s stupid that we haven’t. Every responsible gun owner that purchased their firearms from a reputable dealer that did the background check should want this as well. People with bad intentions are getting armed in these places and making it more difficult for us legal, responsible gun owners to enjoy our freedom. BLUF: it’s fucking it up for all of us.

 1) National standardization of requirements for firearm ownership, addressing, training, security of firearms and civil and criminal liability if reasonable means aren’t made to secure your firearms and they are used to commit a crime. ie. Adam Lanza.

 2) A national law that sets the standards for concealed handgun licensing and carry. This would piss off the "Tenthers" taking it out the hands of the states that all have 50 separate rules and laws and makes it very confusing and potentially legally hazardous when traveling. This has been a complaint of all gun owners no matter their political stripe for years. These permits would be issued by the FBI or ATF. In the process we'll be creating a whole new bureaucracy with lots of jobs just to make people feel better.

 These are your carrots and here's the catch to gun owners which they will hate, especially the civil libertarians, but who gives a shit about civil liberties anymore would someone think of the children? What you do with all of this is you add national gun registration, which is a concession on part of the gun owners. I, like most gun owners, don't like the idea of registration but I would even go so far as to say that maybe we do need to register all firearms; if that is the course we need to go to make you feel better. I don't like it but on my side that's a concession I'm willing to make. I don't think it will be prohibitive of any crime and I'm not sure what good that would do because the people committing heinous and illegal acts certainly aren't going to make sure they fill out the proper paperwork to make sure their gun is registered before they go shoot up a school, but it would hold gun owners liable and responsible for making sure their weapons are secured properly and kept from the incompetent.

 Sam Harris Article link: Sean Faircloth’s Rebuttal: