08 July 2009

General rant

Let's see: I could write a book of how we all ended up in the current mess we are in and have been thinking about various topics.

1) failure of leadership: it seems that people are finger pointing at everyone for not taking responsibility. CEOs for not saying that it was ridiculous to fire everyone in a market economy, having a system based upon debt, using mumbo jumbo accounting practises to show a profit, and so on and so forth. Well, I have been saying how dumb these practises are and have the proof of it.

But no one listens to me.

2) The fact that I am a slacker and shirk responsibility. Sorry, but there is no reward in it for me. I've tried and know that I am a leader. On the other hand, there is only so long you can bang your head against a wall before you say "ouch".

3) "Leaders" refuse to tell the truth. For example, remember the Village Idiot on the Air Craft carrier deck saying something about "mission accomplished?" Likewise, I have been banging on about the correct interpretation of the Second Amendment, which is that it is to protect the institution of the Militia organised Under Article I, Section 8 and any other interpretation is gibberish. The masses tell me I am wrong and hurl a misquotation at me.

OK, let's see how the Heller decision works out. People are seeing that there is nothing there but meaningless words.

Why, because the Second Amendment is:

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.

Whatever punctuation you may choose.

It's not
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms


the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State

The Second Amendment must be read as a whole and in context of the Constitutional framework, which Includes Article I, Section 8 (and some other bits as well). Both the Militia clause and the Right to Keep and Bear arms clause work together and you can't separate them without turning the thing into total rubbish.

Tough shit if you think the contrary

4) On the positive side, people are not driving as much as they did or consuming as much fossil fuels as they have been because of the economy. Pluses and minuses here in my opinion. The major plus is that I think it is part of the reason that the weather is acting a bit more "normal". Not that I am a scientist or have proof behind this belief.

On the other hand, it's about time this happened. Too bad the infrastructure for public transportation has been neglected, trashed, or otherwise stagnated. It would be nice if Washington, DC's metro system were the worst of the pile instead of the best. INEPTA, or SEPTA, could use a lot of work and far more frequent service. NYC has a super system, but it's downright frightening compared to London.

I show my London bias when it comes to public transportation. London has the Best public transportation system I have seen for its age. NYC and London are roughly the same age, but London has tried to keep its system up to date. And terrorists to the contrary, it runs pretty well.

Of course, I love Belgian trams.

I wish Philly had all its trams still. The place would remind me of Melbourne (as Baltimore reminds me of Sydney).

5) Health care: why is it taking the Yanks so long to get it together?

6) Public v. Private debate in the US. Isn't this a non-issue, or are Yanks really stupid people?

In a "democracy" the government IS the people. I find it interesting how the anti-gevernment types get suspicious about the "government" when THEY ARE the government.

I guess they don't trust themselves.

Anyway, public means that the public has oversight over the process.

On the other hand, would you trust private enterprise with your retirement? Which is a question I have been asking for ages, but seems much more relevant now that everyone's retirements are tanking.

Private industry means that business as usual goes on and fuck the little guy.

Feeling a bit fucked lately?

7) On the other hand, I am feeling very anti-democratic and am probably in good company with the founding fathers. Quite a few of them owned slaves and decried "mobocracy".

Didn't anyone point out to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that it made no sense to say things such as "give me liberty or give me death" or "all men are created equal" yet own slaves? We the people, that is we the rich, white men who run things, not you effing peasants.

Furthermore, The unfortunate thing is that myth has won out over reality and they image of the Colonial miltiaman prevails (sorry Ladies, BUT). Instead of the War for American Independence being seen as a world war with France contributing a significant amount to the war effort. For example, the Siege of Yorktown, did you realise that there were 10,800 French troops and 29 French War ships compared to a total of 11,000 Colonial troops (8,000 regulars and 3,100 Militia). The militia had a terrible reputation in both the War for Independence and 1812 Wars.

I think the amount of Loyalists in the population was never properly assessed. Historians have estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the white population were Loyalists. Historian Robert Middlekauff estimates that about 500,000 colonists, or 19 percent of the white population, remained loyal to Britain. I think this number comes from the about 20% of the Loyalists left the U.S. to resettle in other parts of the British Empire.

But how many people were loyalists who kept their mouths shut just to stay in their homes?

Remember that most Colonials thought of themselves as British. Which is a good seque to...

8) Rights: What a nebulous term. What is a god given right anyway? If owning a firearm is a god given right, wouldn't they have been around well before 1100 AD?

9) I think the real issue though is that most people don't want to take responsibility for their action or contribute to society. For example taxes.

I wouldn't mind taxes if I had a way to pay them (same for bills for that matter). Taxes are the cost of living in society.

If we take the private enterprise model, a shareholder needs to contribute his share to the effort. Likewise, in a public/civic model, a citizen needs to contribute.

10) Which gets to the final point, there was a counter-argument to Thomas "Revolution for the Hell of it" Paine's Common Sense called Plain Truth. Unfortunately, it didn't have the flowery language of Paine's drivel, or the popular appeal.

Volumes were insufficient to describe the horror, misery and desolation, awaiting the people at large in the form of American independence. In short, I affirm that it would be most excellent policy in those who wish for TRUE LIBERTY to submit by an advantageous reconciliation to the authority of Great Britain; “to accomplish in the long run, what they cannot do by hypocrisy, fraud and force in the short one.”