Gun Extremism

One of the tenents of the gun activists is they have a right to bear arms according to the 2nd amendment. That is, if you totally ignore the first half of the amendment or have no idea what the historical purpose of a militia was, which was in fact to do the job of the army when the army was too far away to help.

Keep your guns.  I’ve got one too.  But don’t be supporting the gun industry by adopting their talking points and absurdly extremist views.  Don’t let them slide effortlessly from more than reasonable gun control into a rant about gun confiscation.  Why promote such antagonism toward measures that will save lives?  The statistics prove it.

Those who do, boldly carry their firearms, loaded, of course, for quick response, (not withstanding the dozens of instances every month in this country of people shooting or being shot accidentally, many of them children) in case some incident of attack should come upon them.  No doubt in their hearts they believe that they not only have a right to carry that gun, but the accompanying right to use it, i.e. shoot someone, should in THEIR judgement, that person threaten them.  Displaying a loaded gun in public is a threat of the show of force.  They say, it’s an expression of free speech.  No, talking is an expression of free speech.  Carrying your loaded weapon in public is a means of attempting to intimidate those around you.  Period.  You have a loaded weapon which you display, nay use as a prop, an item of use and focus.  The inference is, at some point, I will use this gun to shoot people.  What is that point?  Good damn question.  How does anyone know at what point this person, caressing his loaded weapon that can kill dozens in seconds, in his own mind draws the line and says here is where I am justified in killing another person.

Take most any hostile situation where guns are involved.  What’s going to happen if I remove the guns from that situation?  Right off the bat, nobody is going to get shot.  There may still be violence, but nobody is going to get shot.  Just saved 50k lives a year.  Are there still going to be people dying from violence by knife or club or chainsaw?  No doubt.  The human race is what it is.  But it’s a lot harder to kill people without a gun.

Remember the age old tiresome argument by the extreme right, that if there is gun registration (which undoubtedly would go a long way toward removing illegal and easily obtained firearms), then “they” will know who has the weapons when they come for us.  First of all, why would they come for us?  What a logistical nightmare.  What are they going to do, send 350 million people into concentration camps?  It’s so hard to have them be consumers from concentration camps.  Are they going to kill millions of people? Maybe, but if the opposition (our own liberal governments, or the Communist hordes, or the Muslim fanatics, pick from a range of right wing extremist adversary fantasies) is of that size and determination, your little pea shooters aren’t going to be effective against, say, drones or bombers.  How much did rifles and pistols help London during the bombings of WWII?  So if we follow your logic, before long we come to the escalation of weapons ownership.  Why can’t we, under the 2nd amendment, have the bigger weapons necessary to maintain our freedom?  Why can’t we have nuclear weapons?  They’re still arms!  Keep and bear arms!  Why can’t we keep and bear nuclear weapons?  The founding fathers knew as little about them as they knew about automatic weapons.  Why aren’t you demanding the right to own and use nuclear weapons?  Seems even for the gun fanatics, some positions are too extreme.

EPA Says Budget Prevents Strengthening Coal Pollution Rules

“The EPA denied WildEarth’s petition explaining that budget limits force it to set priorities, the appeals panel said in its opinion.” What’s really happening is the EPA’s budget to stop pollution is being limited by the very polluters themselves through their monetary control over our reps in government. And many of the courts, also in the pocket of the oligarchs, see no problem at all with this blatant smothering of democracy. We who are forced to breathe the polluted air are left out of the equation in deference to those who profit from it, and those who are paid to do the bidding of the profiteers. And so the corporatists’ rampant trampling of the common good continues unabated.

Laws and Ninjas

“Ninja: That’s a night bike rider who wears dark clothes and eschews bike lights. Not only a bad idea, but against the law in every state.” So every state saw the “bad idea” and danger in that, and enacted laws against it, but apparently many saw no comparable danger in allowing guns everywhere and shoot first laws. 750 bike deaths annually vs 30,000 gun deaths. And how come the cyclists affected by the law weren’t putting up a hue and cry about it being the first step in taking their bikes away? I wonder if the motorists who killed the 750 cyclists were angry at the fact that their god-given right to drive where and how they want was being threatened by cyclists who should have stayed off the road anyway.

A Carnival Is Not Theatre

I was taken aback by the amplified polka band playing in a corner of Mt. Hope at the Faire in 2007, but that was outdone in 2009 by the electrified rock band playing very loudly on the Globe in the middle of the Faire day. I realize those choices have nothing to do with anybody but creatively-challenged owners, the controllers of the purse, who set sloppy and ill-conceived precedents, many times fervently embracing a hodgepodge of whatever they think will make money. Cohesion, theme, professionalism and audience enthusiasm are much better served by setting a premise and then not violating it every time somebody turns around. A delightful illusion is not sustained by constantly being mocked, contradicted and ignored. “We’re in the Renaissance,” wink wink, nod nod, chuckle chuckle, turn up the sound, crack a contemporary joke, sing an obviously modern song, blah blah blah. Some Faires try to excuse that by saying “We’re not theatre!” Yep that’s true. A carnival is not theatre, nor does it have the inspiration, transformational beauty and elevating effect on the human spirit like an event substantially built on the immense and age-old power of detail-oriented theatre. Plus, and directly to the point, money-grubbing carelessness has no more built-in profitability than bold art done wisely, except in the minds of the misinformed, the artless and the ignorant.

Lynching and Racisim in America

An 1893 newswoman’s report concerning the wide-spread uses of the Lynch Law. It’s easy to see why, with such revealing examples of equal justice only a dozen decades removed, the current Supreme Court would find that racism, along with any voting prejudice, is long gone in this country.

















Lynch Law
By Ida B. Wells

“Lynch Law,” says the Virginia Lancet, “as known by that appellation, had its origin in 1780 in a combination of citizens of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, entered into for the purpose of suppressing a trained band of horsethieves and counterfeiters whose well concocted schemes had bidden defiance to the ordinary laws of the land, and whose success encouraged and emboldened them in their outrages upon the community. Col. Wm. Lynch drafted the constitution for this combination of citizens, and hence ‘Lynch Law’ has ever since been the name given to the summary infliction of punishment by private and unauthorized citizens.”

This law continues in force to-day in some of the oldest states of the Union, where courts of justice have long been established, whose laws are executed by white Americans. It flourishes most largely in the states which foster the convict lease system, and is brought to bear mainly, against the Negro. Continue reading Lynching and Racisim in America

Toyota Settles for $1.2B In Criminal Inquiry

So correct me if I’m wrong. Toyota admits to committing corporate fraud that killed numerous people. Fined 1/50th of its cash reserves. Individuals inside Toyota purposely made decisions that they knew would kill people, and then tried to cover it up. But not a word about prosecutions. No one inside Toyota actually pays any kind of penalty for those decisions? Continue reading Toyota Settles for $1.2B In Criminal Inquiry

Commentary for Discerning Adults on Life in 21st-century USA