Thursday, January 31, 2013

Assaulting 'Assault Rifles' is for sissies - arm your mind - The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 3

In today's permissive society, modern conservatives have become a target rich environment for the Alinskyite, whose 13th rule ("Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.") has been getting a thorough workout against the 2nd Amendment. But as with ill-mannered children, their getting away with what they want, depends upon your willingness to play along with them. If you don't, if you focus them upon what they are trying not to mention, if you discipline their 'facts' with a little bit of knowledge... it can all become very embarrassing for the poor little lefties, very quickly. And for people accustomed to thinking of themselves as the smartest people in the room... that tends to lead to some very entertaining hissy fits (see Piers Morgan... there's certainly no better reason to see him). No one who thinks that they're outsmarting you, much likes being forced to own up to the bill of goods that they were hoping to get you to buy for them, free of charge.

The trick to getting this sort of free entertainment, is to listen to their statements - less for what they're saying, and more for what they are trying so very hard not to say... which is,surprise, what they want you to own up to as being discredited by what they are saying.

Let's take a recent example and see if you can spot, in this prime piece of putzery from the uber-leftist Thom Hartmann (as the failed Air America host is brought to you by RT... that'd be 'Russia Today'... Pravda... hellooo)), what he is working so hard NOT to mention... but which he really, really, wants you to think of as having been discredited by what he is saying.

See if you can spot it:
Pure Evil
"The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. "
Did you notice what he doesn't mention?

If you listen to the whole video, you'll hear the same thing repeatedly not mentioned throughout his entire piece. Yep, that's right, he never mentions what the 2nd Amendment means.

He doesn't mention whether or not it is a valid Right, he doesn't mention whether or not it is a 'useful' Right, he certainly doesn't mention whether or not those 'slave patrol militias' would have been too likely to have been patrolling for slaves if those slaves had had the right to bear arms themselves... or what lessons that might provide us... no no no, the only thing he wants to 'discuss', is that the 'real' reason the Framers wanted to add a right to bear arms, was to get Virginia on board with the constitution, by helping to preserve slavery.

Pravda indeed.

As I said last time, this is truly evil stuff, selectively using facts not to illuminate, but to obscure the truth and prevent understanding, in order to eliminate what is Good (your Right). And yet that is exactly what "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ", is all about - figuratively throwing a rhetorical fit in the aisle of the supermarket of ideas, so that, embarrassed, you'll give them the candy they want. What you, as someone concerned with preserving liberty need to do, is to recognize what it is that they are doing, recognize that all of their stomping about and name calling, is done to unjustly discredit your position, without ever having to actually deal with it themselves - that is Saul Alinksy's 13th rule in action.

That the left favors this tactic, is an indictment all its own.

There is no real reason to refute this clap trap on its own merits - it has none - but it is interesting to look at how easily conservatives are being brow beaten by those who don't have the ability to land a single punch - look at this nothingness:
"The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. "
The 'real reason'. Really. Is that why the first states to demand a bill of rights protecting the right to bear arms, demanded them before anyone knew what Virginia might do? And if it was somehow was sought to protect 'slave patrol militias' in Virginia, why did the individual states already have the right to bear arms protected in their own constitutions?

Were these Yankees just generously anticipating the southerners wishes? Or was it something which they all had such a deep familiarity with, the difficulty of securing the hard fought right to keep and bear arms, a right that had to be continually re-fought over the centuries, was important?
"As a political gesture to the Anti-Federalists, a gesture highlighted by the Second Amendment's prefatory language, express recognition of the right to arms was something of a sop. But the provision was easily accepted because everyone agreed that the federal government should not have the power to infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms, any more than it should have the power to abridge the freedom of speech or prohibit the free exercise of religion. Like those freedoms, the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right belonging to every citizen, and one that nobody thought the federal government would have a legitimate reason to infringe."
The 2nd Amendment wasn't novel or a new enticement to anyone, it simply made explicit what everyone already knew they had a right to - and feared could easily be lost if they were careless. The putz continues,
"In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states. "
In the beginning. Uh-huh. Which beginning does he mean? Surely not the beginning in which New Hampshire was the first state to propose a bill of rights which included:
"XII. Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion."
Or maybe he means that that other earlier beginning... such as in that other noted slave state (not!) Pennsylvania, when in 1776 they first added,
"Section 21 . Right to Bear Arms
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
Was the 'real' reason for that... to get Virginia on board as a state in a nation not yet conceived of? As some sort of pre-conspiracy conspiracy? What concern did New Hampshire or Pennsylvania have with slave patrols... except to be doubly sure not to let a tyrant make slaves of themselves?

Again, we could keep this going back to much earlier colonial rebellions, where the rights of Englishmen were in continual struggles against the crown's attempts to disarm the populace, which when frustrated, sought to use restrictive hunting laws to accomplish their disarmament under cover of 'common sense' regulations. Or we could go back to Locke, Sydney, Grotius... Aquinas, Cicero, even back to Aristotle and the Athenian tyrant (and extreme democrat) Pisistratus' crafty trick for disarming the populace. Or maybe we could come forward in time to the 'real' reason that the 14th Amendment was passed, so that the newly freed slaves would be made citizens with all the rights, immunities and privileges of citizens of the US, especially including the 2nd Amendment, no matter which state they lived in. No no no, not those framers he'd doubtlessly say, they have no lessons for us to learned from, fuhgedaboud how the democrat party spawned Ku Klux Klan was formed to strip the former slaves of their new found liberty, and the republicans of their political power, to keep them all in a condition just as defenseless as slaves - unarmed.

No... nothing to see there, move along.

We could go into those ideas behind the 2nd Amendment, but there's no real reason to. Why? Because he isn't engaged in reasoning and is in fact doing everything he can to avoid being sucked into such a dangerous pursuit. The arbitrary charges and aspersions he casts, with an isolated factoid or two for decoration, are not meant to provide coherent evidence, but to keep such things at a safe distance - that is the whole point of "Freeze it, Personalize it, Polarize it", to prevent thought and to instigate emotional reactions - and it is nothing new. Only the ignorance of the proRegressive left, could allow them to think that Alinsky's rules were something new.

In refuting the claims of similar putzes, that the 'real reasons' that the framers wrote the constitution and amendments as they did, was to preserve slavery, there was one who was in a position to know the truth of the matter far better than anyone else today, Frederick Douglass, who in his “the Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-slavery?”, showed remarkably similar charges to be nothing but the two bit sophistry of demagogues,
"...I must ask you to look well to this statement. Upon its face, it would seem a full and fair statement of the history of the transaction it professes to describe and yet I declare unto you, knowing as I do the facts in the case, my utter amazement at the downright untruth conveyed under the fair seeming words now quoted. The man who could make such a statement may have all the craftiness of a lawyer, but who can accord to him the candour of an honest debater? What could more completely destroy all confidence in his statements? ... He merely characterized it as one to "deliver up fugitive slaves and servants like criminals," and tells you that this was done "after discussion." But he took good care not to tell you what was the nature of that discussion. He would have spoiled the whole effect of his statement ... and just here the truth shall come out. These illustrious kidnappers were told promptly in that discussion that no such idea as property in man should be admitted into the Constitution. ... was, in fact, promptly and indignantly rejected by that convention. He might have told you, had it suited his purpose to do so, that the words employed in the first draft of the fugitive slave clause were ... expressly declared that persons held to "servitude" should be given up; but that the word "servitude" was struck from the provision, for the very reason that it applied to slaves. He might have told you that the same Mr. Madison declared that the word was struck out because the convention would not consent that the idea of property in men should be admitted into the Constitution...."

...I have much confidence in the instincts of the slaveholders. They see that the Constitution will afford slavery no protection when it shall cease to be administered by slaveholders. They see, moreover, that if there is once a will in the people of America to abolish slavery, this is no word, no syllable in the Constitution to forbid that result. They see that the Constitution has not saved slavery in Rhode Island, in Connecticut, in New York, or Pennsylvania; that the Free States have only added three to their original number.

...When I escaped from slavery, and was introduced to the Garrisonians, I adopted very many of their opinions, and defended them just as long as I deemed them true. I was young, had read but little, and naturally took some things on trust. Subsequent experience and reading have led me to examine for myself. This had brought me to other conclusions. When I was a child, I thought and spoke as a child. But the question is not as to what were my opinions fourteen years ago, but what they are now. If I am right now, it really does not matter what I was fourteen years ago..."
Notice the many ellipsis... I've omitted much, all of which is very much worth your attention - I urge you to read it in full, you not only won't be sorry, you'll be rewarded for doing so.

Emptying you of the Common Core by means of Curriculum and Standards
What gives them the brazen 'confidence' to spew this sort of drivel out, is that they know full well, that you aren't likely to have any awareness of this history, you aren't likely to know hardly anything about our nations founding or the history of ideas which made it possible - they know that you don't know what you need to know in order to expose them - if only from the fact that they don't know it either. Cicero summed up our position quite well when he said,
"To be unacquainted with what has passed in the world, before we came into it ourselves, is to be always children."
They use the tactics of an 8 yr old, because that is who they have made themselves into, and they are confident, ignorantly so, that you are in no better condition than they are, or than Frederick Douglass was as a newly escaped slave, and these princes of putzery are so assured that you will not banish their shadows with embarrassing light, because for a decade of decades, they have influenced and then controlled the lack of Education present in your schooling. They have so fervently been seeking to transform you into being the ones they've been waiting for - for well over a century (and which they continue to pursue through Common Core Standards) now - because after all, when everyone has been made childish, then the most childish wins.

One of the things you notice when reading the modern left, is just how intent they are at driving everyone's conception of what one ought to do, down the intellectual scale towards the perceptual and away from the conceptual, towards pleasure and pain, over Right and Wrong, or put another way, towards the childish and away from the mature. Few have explained so well, or so brazenly, how to accomplish that, than the pied Piper of childishness, Saul Alinsky, whose "Rules for Radicals" strip rhetoric, ethics and politics, of all hierarchy, transforming the conceptual into the perceptual, and preparing a people not only willing to use his tactics, but to put up with them.

Take a closer look at the 13th Rule:

  • Pick a target. Does that mean analyze and isolate the essentials of your opponents argument? No, that means slap it with a recognizable label that communicates nothing of it's meaning. Sadly, in today's world, "2nd Amendment" doesn't mean a fundamental protection of all of our rights, what it means today is "Gun nutz!".
  • Freeze it. Does that mean taking care to summarize the opposing argument as best you can, in as timeless a manner as possible? Nooo... not quite. It means to tag your opponent with as unforgettably offensive or alarming a term as possible ("ASSAULT RIFLE! TANKS! CHILD KILLERS!!!").
  • Personalize it. Does that mean that you should examine the parts of an issue that people will most identify with, and explicate them? Nope. It means slap it as a charge upon YOU! , you, you toothless & ign'runt, knuckle dragging, cracker of a conservative you!
  • Polarize it. Does that mean that you should carefully examine it's Pro's & Con's? Nope. It means to tar you and your issue with promoting something offensive or to embarrassing to be associated with, so that no one will want to associate with it, or with you ("How can you be for endangering the lives of little children! What an offensive ideology! No civilized person can tolerate this!").
It is pure childishness, and the more immature and childish it can be made, to their mind, the better.

For an opposite approach, one that carefully examines the historical record, preconceptions and misconceptions in order to make a reasonable case for your position, see here. You may or may not agree with the author's conclusions, but you can understand his position and determine for yourself what value you think it does or doesn't have, because he presents a reasoned approach, whose premises are supported by facts that are rooted in the context of the historical record.

Which is the exact opposite of the Alinskyite 'guilt by association.' and insult - not using the power of persuasion, but the persuasion of power... and they have no compunctions against moving from assaulting your ears, to assaulting your person and property. Especially if you lack the means to defend yourself.

The left, especially the more modern proRegressive left, is rooted in the pursuit of power for powers sake, which shouldn't be all that surprising, for the pursuit of power, the desire for power, is a childish attribute... a desire to get your way, rather than having to bother with doing what is right.

For a more mature, and sober take on things, Frederick Douglass again, from a few years prior to the previous quotation,:

“...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. ...”
That's something to keep in mind, that "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress". Yep. And seeking to obstruct the liberty of others, is what makes you a tyrant. Or a wannabe, at any rate.

Don't forget that one aspect of what people will submit to, is what they are ignorant of, and the absence of the idea that it ought to be different. Ignorance is the best friend of those seeking to gain over over you - hence the methods and content of our schools today, and so very many yesterdays as well. But a little light goes a long way.

Bring it to them.

I think, therefore I aim
When they ask 'why you need an 'assault rifle', you don't need to reply with the length of one of my blog posts (though reading a few of them will help furnish you with the ability to say more with less), you simply need to strike the match. If asked why AR-15's should be allowed, try something like:
"So can I assume that, since you are so concerned about what weapons are, and are not, covered under the 2nd Amendment's 'Right to bear arms', that you agree that we all do possess the ancient right to defend ourselves?"

And in recognizing it as a Right, as opposed to a privilege, you must also realize how inappropriate it would be to try to justify that Right on the basis of 'needs', right? I mean, you wouldn't try to justify the right to freedom of speech, upon what you need to say, right? No more than you would question Rosa Park's Right to sit in the 'whites only' bus seat, on the basis of her needing to sit there, right?

And so, all we really need to concern ourselves with, is what 'Arms' are, right?"
More than likely they will flee in a stream of curses before you even finish saying that much, after all, those who get all atwitter over 'assault rifles' are sissies at heart. But if not, remember, that the ideas you express, are of the highest caliber, and have a lengthy, well established history, one that was once well known and acknowledged by all Americans, indeed they were the ideas that defined a person as an American. After all, Thomas Jefferson did not seek to write anything original when he penned the Declaration of Independence, on the contrary, he did his utmost to express in stirring and clear form, what everyone commonly understood. And he drew that understanding from what he called, "the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc."
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee Monticello, May 8, 1825
"...But with respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water. All American whigs thought alike on these subjects. When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, &c. The historical documents which you mention as in your possession, ought all to be found, and I am persuaded you will find, to be corroborative of the facts and principles advanced in that Declaration. ....
Tell me, what did you learn of Aristotle, Cicero, Locke or Sidney in school... other than that they were old, dead and white, I mean? Keeping familiarity with such ideas as far as possible from impressionable students minds, has been a guiding purpose of those who've been forming our students minds for well over a century. What begins with disarming the mind, ends with disarming the person. For a purpose. And as Aristotle said in The Politics,
That tyranny has all the vices both of democracy and oligarchy is evident. As of oligarchy so of tyranny, the end is wealth; (for by wealth only can the tyrant maintain either his guard or his luxury). Both mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
Ask yourself one question, next time you hear someone talking about limiting the right to bear arms... who is it that is most likely to be considered necessary to be kept in a defenseless state - a free man? or a slave?

The one assault weapon that is even more useful than an AR-15, is an informed mind. What are you doing to arm yours? Have I mentioned that the ammunition is free? See the links above, and lock & load.

Cross posted at The Bell News

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Tale of two talks upon the 2nd Amendment - The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 2

I have a friend who disagrees with the point I made in my last post, that you shouldn't answer disingenuous questioners, such as Piers Morgan, when you are aware that their questions are far less interested in your answers, than in making you look foolish for having answered them.

While my friend Lloyd agrees with me that the important point is to understand what the 2nd Amendment refers to, and more importantly why (no slouch on the constitution, his proposed constitutional 'fix' (on the legislative end anyway), 'Madison's lost Amendment', is the only promising one I've seen (though I don't want a constitutional conv.)), he is critical of pursuing a 'strategy' that doesn't give them the easy answers they are asking for. He sees no sense in doing as Dana Loesh did, when she recently refused to take Piers Morgan's 'tank question' bait, answering him only that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms.

Lloyd replies, in part, that he would have nooo problem,
"... answering Mr. Morgan's rather absurd question and pointing out that is not really the issue here.

But I guess my "strategy" is not clever enough. Anyone who can READ can quote the words of the 2nd amendment."
, and he feels confident that, having answered him, he would then be able to get on to discussing his points afterwards. Which, IMHO, is ridiculously naive position to take, when you are dealing with someone who's only reason for'discussing' the matter is so as to dismiss it - and you - as quickly and embarrassingly (for you) as is possible.

Happily, we have the chance to see two very different examples of these two approaches in action, and how they turn out. The 'reasonable' approach, was taken in the latest Piers Morgan interview with singer/actor Dwight Yoakam. His attempt at doing as Lloyd would recommend, attempting to answer and then move on to discuss the matter further, is... rather painful to watch.

How well that approach works out, hoping and trusting that Rule #13 won't lay a glove on you, is on display here in living color. If you want to jump ahead to the gory parts, click to the 5:46 mark, and have a look as Morgan is having a violent scene played in the background from a movie his guest was in, and Yoakam, caught unawares, suddenly hears the noises and, looking around, says
"... what's going on...?"
What's going on, is that his willingness to engage in a conversation with someone who had no intention of having one with him, was used as a means to implement Alinsky's lucky rule #13:
"13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. "
Unfortunately, surprise!, Yoakam's earnest answers are met with patronizing condescension by his host, and an incredibly unfair usage of quotes from his songs, and clips from his movies, all of which Morgan uses to successfully paint Yoakam as being a yokel. Which... is exactly what it means to pick the target (the 2nd Amdt), freeze it (TANKS!!!), personalize it (That'd be you, you ol' yokel idj't you), and polarize it ("I can't imagine wanting to see such violence continue").

The problem here is not in answering questions about the 2nd Amendment, but in doing as Yoakam did, making the mistake of thinking that Piers Morgan asked him his opinion because he wanted to hear his answers. He didn't. He wanted to use his answers to obliterate his position, which was all the easier to do because Yoakam wasn't (seemingly) all that prepared to argue what the 2nd Amendment means, relies upon, and requires - and why.

How about you?

Now compare the results of that naive approach, resulting in Morgan's barbaric and self-satisfied behavior, with his somewhat different demeanor at the end of his discussion with Dana Loesch, who refused to play along with his game.

He's positively pissed off by the end of it, crumpling, wadding up and throwing his papers around the set like a frustrated toddler denied his loli pop, why? Because he couldn't lure her in for the kill, he couldn't freeze her, he couldn't personalize the problem as her, and the only think polarized at the end of the discussion, was his behavior.


The thing to realize, is that when someone apes the forms of reason, they are not doing so in order to have a fruitful discussion, but to eliminate your point of view from discussion. Period. Don't help them pretend that they were ever after anything else.

The other thing to realize is, that if you deny them what they want, not only do they become unhinged, but ol' lucky #13 gets turned back around on them, like the double edged sword it is. If you don't allow them to make you look shrill and foolish, then they end up looking shrill and foolish.

Does that mean you should never answer questions about the 2nd Amendment? Of course not. I answered 'the tank question' at length in my last post, and went even further into it in the comment section with a leftie friend, Lance. What it does mean, is, for one thing, that you don't pretend that reality is something other than what it is. If you are facing an honest questioner, make some effort to ensure that they realize that there is a far more fundamental and important issue regarding the 2nd Amendment, than what is, or isn't rightfully considered arms. It doesn't take all that much,
"Which weapons are valid is worth discussing, assuming that you do agree that people have the Right to defend themselves, do you?"
If they answer yes,
"And do you agree that that Right follows from our nature as human beings, or because some old dead guys put pen to paper way back when, and said so?"
, what your after with the last part, is do they believe in something resembling Natural Rights, which are the basis of our system of government, or do they think rights are the product of legislation, dependent upon the whims of politicians and popular opinion.

Which answer they give is less important than the fact that they do give you a satisfactory answer - they don't have to agree with you - as long as they are disagreeing with your application of the principle, rather than using you to ridicule and dispense with the principle altogether. With that accomplished, you have an out in the open basis for a fruitful discussion. If you can manage to squeeze in that the Right which the 2nd Amendment protects is for individuals to defend themselves against personal threats, as well as for them to organize together and defend their community against larger threats, then you did good, you gave them something to think about. If you can get a longer discussion going than that, fantastic. Well done.

But if they won't give you a straight answer, or if they want to try and mock you, or the very idea of Rights... then what is further discussion on those grounds going to serve, other than furnishing them with more fuel to roast you with? In that case, don't give them any more of an answer than that truth which they are attempting to avoid... such as "The 2nd Amendment protects the Right to bear arms".

Shoot. I'd hoped to get into more of the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment, and the maliciously negligent tarring of it by Thom Hartmann (see video in the last post) and the current occupant of the White House... but I'm out of time.

Hopefully I can finish up tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 1

The 2nd Amendment meet's Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 1
Some interesting points have come up in discussions with friends, other conservatives, leftists and other internet nincompoops, regarding the 2nd Amdt, what it is, what it means, and what it covers. But mostly, in regards to the later, it has done little more than run up against Saul Alinsky's lucky number #13'th rule:
"13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. "
and in such a collision, the position that is least well understood, loses. That should give you pause.

For if your understanding of the 2nd Amdt doesn't extend much further than having memorized a couple quotes from our founders who DID understand it (and so were able to express themselves in those words you are quoting today), or if your understanding amounts to something along the lines of "The Constitution says so, I believe it, that settles it.", if that is the case, then you place yourself entirely under their power, and when they hit you with ol' #13, you will lose and lose badly.

For instance, as good an example of this as any, of Alinsky's 13th rule being flexed against the 2nd Amdt, came up in the comment section to my post on a despicable comment by Jay Carney made in a press briefing. An anonymous aninnymouse commenter was doing his best to avoid discussing whether or not there is a Right behind the 2nd Amdt, and frustrated at my refusal to take his bait, he jumped directly to Rule #13, and you would be hard pressed to find a better example of it than this one from the uber-leftist former Air America host Thom Hartmann (brought to you by RT... that'd be 'Russia Today'... Pravada... Hint)):

Pure Evil
"The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. "
I'll have more to say about this putz in the next post, but for now, this is truly evil stuff, and I use the term evil advisedly. If Good comes from using information to communicate a fuller, deeper, more integrated understanding of what is real and true, then Evil is advanced through selectively using facts, not to illuminate, but to obscure the truth, to dis-integrate, and prevent understanding, putting the listener under the power of lies, and that is what this is all about (see Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals' dedication page). To "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ", means to separate you from what is true and place you under their power.

To Freeze a target, requires isolating and separating it from reality - if you don't know why the 2nd Amdt is true, how are you going to prevent them from transforming what is a defense of everyone's right to bear arms in their defense, into a tool for slave owners to deprive others of their liberty?

They are personalizing the 2nd Amdt as you, as a knuckle dragging lover of violence, as someone who sympathizes with slave owners - how are you going to escape that?

They have polarized your attempt to defend everyone's rights, into a position which supports rich whites using guns as a valuable tool with which to oppress slaves and the poor. What are you going to do about that? Say "No I'm not!"?

Good luck with that.

If you don't understand why what they are saying is complete crap, which it is, but if you don't understand why it is, then what will you do?

I'll tell you what you'll do, having been successfully targeted, frozen and separated from reality, personalized as a friend of evil and polarized as supporting oppression and mindless hatred, what you will do is lose, and lose badly.

Every single time.

So please, pause with me here for a few minutes to consider our mutual interests, for it does require some serious consideration as to what it means. What does this Mean?:
Second Amendment:
"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."
Understanding the 2nd Amendment
What is it that we understand the 2nd Amdt to be protecting? What do our Rights recognize that needs to be upheld in law? Is the 2nd Amdt necessary, even if you do not own a gun and have no intention of ever owning a gun, is it still of use to you?

Yes. Emphatically Yes!

Rights, in the sense they were understood in regards to our Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, are a legal/political recognition of the actual nature of human beings ("..., that all men are created equal...") living in the real world ("...We hold these truths to be self-evident..."), and without which, a person would forcibly be living a less than fully human life ("..., that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."). The existence and power of the 2nd Amdt identifies, asserts and preserves each persons nature as a human being.

To live in a society that does not recognize that, to say nothing of one whose laws empower others to govern your life without appeal to such a Right, is one where a person is implicitly (and eventually explicitly) forced to live a life that is less than fully human.

We should all find that abhorrent, and especially abhorrent the idea of justifying an Individual Right upon a 'need to have' basis. As one Twitter wit put it the other day:
"I don’t “need” my AR any more than Rosa Parks “needed” to sit in the front of that bus"
That is exactly the right way to view our Rights. Rosa Parks did not in any way NEED to sit in that 'Whites Only' seat on the bus, but the mere existence of that 'Whites Only' seat was a forcible infringement of her Right to live as a fully human human being. The fact is, that a life deprived of the requirements of its nature, is implicitly under compulsion at all times, even when not explicitly suffering under the direct threat of physical force, and that does not change depending upon which fundamental Right you are abridging. It does not matter whether we are talking about the 2nd Amendment, or the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th or any other amendments, if you are recognized, through no fault of your own actions, to hold claim to anything less than a fully human life, then you are neither free nor in possession of anything resembling liberty. 

Under the 2nd Amdt, aspects of that requirement of human life ("...Inalienable rights...") are recognized and preserved against the good (or ill) intentions of our fellow man. It is because they are secured under law, that we are able to enjoy liberty, and if denied to anyone on account of their simply being alive, then though some might enjoy certain privileges, liberty is denied to us all.

I've gone into establishing how Rights are derived from reality over and over again within this blog, and elsewhere, here's one instance "Liberty - It all hangs together, or we all hang separately" , or here "Rights from the source... so to speak", so I won't expand this post by going over that again here, but I do want to address the question of how the 2nd amendment should be applied.

First, I think it is important to not allow the 2nd Amdt to become parsed apart in your mind. We tend to try to focus on the later portion, but it is extremely important NOT to do that, because you jeopardize the full meaning and requirements of all of our Rights, and of Liberty, by allowing yourself to do so. Any savage, noble or not, has the freedom to hold onto what is his, and to fight off attackers (or to try and take what others have), that is a consequence of living in freedom, but such a state of nature is NOT Liberty. Liberty only exists, can only exist, under a system of laws, upheld by a govt which respects them, and allows the faculty of Reason in its best sense, to rule in our actions and disagreements with each other.

Under a just Govt that upholds the rule of law, the nature of individuals are preserved and defended, because they are not individuals alone, but individuals living in community with others, under the rule of laws which enable you to live free from the threat of arbitrary force, which is a liberty that the savage living free will never know.

The beauty of the 2nd Amdt is that it recognizes not only the individuals right to defense, but it also recognizes their right (and responsibility) to associate with others and to combine their rights and powers in order to preserve the liberties of all, which is the meaning of the militia, and it provides for them to do so within their state, which will preserve their right to do just that.

Under this law, the Right to bear Arms, Liberty lives and prospers.

To threaten that law, is to threaten the rights and liberties of us all, and it is an expression of the tyrannical soul, to seek to do so.

But given that, does the 2nd Amdt give you, as an individual, a Right to amass weapons of unlimited nature, size and scope? Does it give you a Right to exist as a danger and perhaps even a threat, to your fellows in your society?

To answer that, first look at what is meant by Arms. From Webster's 1828 edition:
"To take arms, is to arm for attack or defense.
... In law, arms are any thing which a man takes in his hand in anger, to strike or assault another."
, and from Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd ed.: Arms.
"Anything that a man wears for his defense, or takes in his hands, or uses in his anger, to cast at or strike at another. Co. Litt. 1616, 162a; State v. Buzzard, 4 Ark. 18...." *
That was the common understanding at the time of our Founders, it was certainly what they had in mind when striping the traditional English 'right to arms' of its inappropriately limiting nature:
"...that the subjects, which are protestants, may have arms for their defense suitable to their condition, and as allowed by law."
Such a 'Right' strips not only Protestants, but all humanity of their Rights, by means of dealing with them as distinct particular persons, rather than as human beings as such, transforming their Right, into a particular privilege bestowed upon some of them, by those in power, who are presently pleased to do so. That is not a Right, but a means of controlling the citizenry.

" William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 125--26 1829 (2d ed.)
The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both."
"Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, Declaration of Rights, art. 13
Thorpe 5:3083
XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
But an ominous notation from Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution notes,
"...The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers...."
and then warns,,
"...The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights."
But recall the entirety of the 2nd Amendment, "A well regulated Militia",
"The body of soldiers in a state enrolled for discipline, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies; as distinguished from regular troops, whose sole occupation is war or military service."
, a 'well regulated' did not mean laws banning this or that weapon, but mandating that suitable weapons be kept, kept up, and regularly drilled with, by members of the community, coming together as their local militia in order to ensure that the people remained armed and ready. It wasn't to control weaponry, but to ensure they existed and would be available for service in emergency. Such was what was expected of members of the community, coming together under reasonable laws for the common defense and support of the law, meaning laws that are respectful of the rights of those who live under them, and for the protection of the community, a civic right and responsibility.

In James Madison's original wording, when he insisted that congress keep their word to the people and consider a Bill of Rights, he had put it this way:
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.."
, it is obvious that the meaning was that the people should be well armed so as to be able to form up a militia to ensure their continued liberty, and as you follow the debate, it was edited not out of concern for being too well armed, but over people seeking ways to get out of being armed and attending to the militia.

As Justice Story warned, we have let our responsibility, to our community and ourselves, waver, and gradually we have undermined our Rights. It needs only for a political community, be it a ward, township, county, etc, to resolve to correct that, and they could, in some circumstances, deliberate and conclude that their common defense requires them to own a fully operational Tank (that may not be too far fetched for some border communities in the not too distant future). Now, that presumes that a reasoned discussion and vote precedes that decision, one which is directed towards real, actual concerns, and not the least of which would be, does the cost of purchasing and maintaining such a vehicle justify the concerns?

Given that then, I can think of no good reason why a well regulated militia could not decide that it should own tanks, or F-15's for that matter. That would be an example of citizens, gathering together in community, in a well regulated manner, and providing for their right of self defense, and at a political level below that of the level of the State (though under it's oversight), let alone the Fed Govt.

But since we are dealing with leftists, we've got to consider the ridiculous... does that extend to an H-Bomb?

First lets dispense with the silliness of malicious hypotheticals which seek above all to distort and even dispense with Reality. To own and maintain an H-Bomb, would require investments of wealth, knowledge and manpower that no community in our world today, is going to have.

Reality is in some sense self regulating.

But lets say we're dealing with a community which consists of Bill Gates, George Soros, and the like, a billionaire Beverly Hills, who do have the resources to make the acquisition at least, a potential reality. In that case, given our world as it is today, then I think the surrounding communities would be justified in their own Rights to life, liberty and political security to say no those Beverly Hills Billi's desires to add H-bombs to their militia. And those communities would be justified in doing so for many of the same reasons that it is justifiable and proper for a community to pass an ordinance that homes shall not stockpile quantities of volatile and explosive materials in garages or apartments, as they would constitute an unreasonable danger and threat to the lives and property of their neighbors. Neighboring communities would reasonably and justifiably have the same concerns about not only their safety, but the intentions of that community, and as such they could pass laws in their state that would not permit the good people of Beverly Hills to acquire or stockpile nuclear weapons.

So no tanks? Did I say that? No, I did not.
So did I say that an individual could not own a tank? A brief googling will deliver up to you information and evidence to the effect that in our Founders era, individuals purchased, owned, fitted out, and put to sea, Ships capable of engaging in war with pirates, or later Redcoats... and certainly, as Pirates did, those ships with cannon, could threaten entire communities.

So why could an individual not own a tank?

I believe a person can own a tank. They do have a Right to own a tank. Fully operational, or not. Read the 9th and 10th Amendments,
Ninth Amendment:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Tenth Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The 2nd Amendment is not the last word on our right of bearing arms in defense of our selves, property and community, or of any other Rights. But it IS limited to owning weapons that qualify as 'Arms' referring to, IMHO, to what an individual can grab, carry, and use in their defense, as extensions of their physical arms as an ability to defend themselves. Knives, swords, pistols, hatchets, AR-15's, laser blasters, etc, a case could even be made for RPG's (see end of post) , though the rights of the community to safety and security could conceivably be brought against such as an existential threat, rather than simply defensive weapon.

It strains credulity to picture a Tank, or a Battleship as being an extension of your physical arms and ability to defend yourself.

But that does not rule out your Right to own one. It only calls into question whether such a possession would be protected, or not, under the 2nd Amdt as an individuals right to bear arms. And if not, then  ownership of such items would not be immune from the passage of reasonable laws by your community or state, in regards to them.

Is my word law upon this? No, of course not. Can you disagree with me about this? Of course you can (see 1st Amdt), and I can see some areas of my comments that need to be argued out. As long as we share an understanding of the principle behind the right which the 2nd Amdt upholds, then we can have fruitful discussions, and loud disagreements, over how to apply it, without endangering the existence of the Right itself.

But you've got to make an effort to understand it yourself, first.

* interesting note, Blacks Law goes on in its definition of Arms, to add,
"... This term, as it Is used in the constitution, relative to the right of citizens to bear arms, refers to the arms of a militiaman or soldier, and the word is used in its military sense. The arms of the infantry soldier are the musket and bayonet; of cavalry and dragoons, the sabre, holster pistols, and carbine; of the artillery, the field-piece, siegegun, and mortar, with side arms. The term, in this connection, cannot be made to cover such weapons as dirks, daggers, slung-shots, sword- canes, brass knuckles, and bowieknives. These are not military arms. "
As I said, there's room for discussion. Please do so.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The target is not the 2nd Amdt, or the 1st Amdt, but all of your Rights at once

Ah. Another wacademic professor of law, struts his stuff in the White House. It remains to be seen whether or not we can survive the lessons they've been teaching us, the last one nearly did us in... will this one make us stronger? Listen to this:
"“While there is no law, or set of laws, that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try. And I’m going to do my part.

This will not happen unless the American people demand it. If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, “Enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue,” then change will come. That’s what it’s going to take..”"

Yeah. One of the more straight forward things he's said.

My understanding however, is that, although it took a couple tries for Mr. Obama and Justice Roberts to get it right, he did take an oath of office, and that oath was this:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Leaving aside the splitting of legal hairs... how does any reading of the Constitution of the United States of America, condone the President, the Chief Executive of the Administrative branch of the Federal Government, issuing executive orders that 'clarify' how individual, private, doctors, should attend to how,
"...The Administration is clarifying that no federal law in any way prohibits doctors or other health care providers from reporting their patients’ threats of violence to the authorities, and issuing guidance making clear that the Affordable Care Act does not prevent doctors from talking to patients about gun safety."
Clarify. Yeah. As Don Corleone's muscular friend Vinny 'clarifies' that
''doz are sum nice kidz youse got dere... it'd be a shame should sumthin' happen to 'em."
One of the more dead on comments I've heard regarding the latest sweep of political doings, came from DaTechGuy (H/T Doug Welch), who quite properly asks our media Esau's to consider something before selling their Rights for tasty treats:
"If this or any president can restrict the 2nd Amendment by executive order doesn’t that mean this or a future president can do the same to the 1st?

If you don’t understand this then you simply don’t get what America is all about."
Very, very true.

But with executive order being issued 'clarifying' what Doctors should or should not ask regarding whether you own a gun... do you really think that the 2nd Amendment is what is being targeted there?

These have NOT been attacks upon the 1st and 2nd amendments, so much as they are attacks upon the very concepts and principles of Rights as such. Getting people to comply with justifying their rights - or not - as I tried to point out the other day, is but a means of sweeping them aside by reducing the One concept of Rights in the public's understanding, to many particular chips, which can then can be easily stacked up, measured and bargained away.

Pay closer attention to what the President said with "This will not happen unless the American people demand it". Worse than targeting specific amendments that protect our Rights, they are targeting our thoughts and the words we think them with. After over a century, they are succeeding in getting people to think of their Individual Rights as being simply a fluctuating set of privileges and pleasures, to be justified, and re-justified (or discarded) as reflects their present popularity. Once that is complete, and it is frighteningly close, then all of our Rights will have been transformed into favors and privileges to be bestowed upon us by those we've given the power to do so.

That is what has been happening to our liberty.

While we've been distracted with this and that amendment, they've been attacking liberty where it lives - in our ability to comprehend it. That was the point of what happened a year ago with 1st amendment, under the cover of attacking religion, and it is happening now with the 2nd amendment, via the push for gun control.

You don't really have to destroy the amendments, only what people believe they are.

Make them think that the Right to bear arms in defense of your life, and all aspects of it, is something to be measured by what might be useful for hunting or taking down burglars - and it ceases to be a Right.

Make them think that the Right of liberty to follow your conscience depends upon making allowances for birth control, or exemptions from it - and it ceases to be anything other than administrative concessions to mollify those who can raise a ruckus.

I'll go a step further. What Obama actually said yesterday, as he signed his executive orders and called for legislation, was no more important than what he said the day before yesterday, in calling for such. Why? Because what is truly important right now, is not how those in power go about doing what they've been saying they're going to do, but in what you say and do about it (Sen. Rand Paul did make a nice start at getting the conversation started).

What is or is not Constitutional, hasn't changed all that much since it was ratified. As I pointed out in an earlier post "♫ ♪ ♬ You say you want a Constitution ... wellll ya know, we all want to change the world ♬ ♪ ♫", when a Federal Roads bill was passed in 1817, President Madison vetoed it as unconstitutional. When a Federal Roads bill was passed, and it was signed, by President Wilson, in 1916, and was not overturned as being unconstitutional, by the courts. Something had changed in that century, and in this regard, it wasn't the constitution, but We The People.

The Constitution records what We The People established for what may, and may not, be considered lawful. If any President or functionary seeks to act in contradiction to the Constitution, they are outside the bounds of law, as defined by the Constitution, which we defined.

If we forget the meaning of what it defines, and the reality behind that, then it's gone. A steady drip, drip, drip corrupting our understanding of what is, and is not, true, has been nibbling away at our Rights for 150 years. The more we forget that that paper serves only to remind us of who and what we are, that our Rights must be recognized and respected, that in order to 'pursue happiness' we must secure ourselves from what those in power would do - the more we forget that, then the more they will get away with doing what they will.

With FDR's outright theft of the citizens gold, where Supreme Court Justice McReynolds stated “This is Nero at his worst,” he thundered. “The Constitution is gone.”, but a case could be made that had happened twenty years earlier with the establishment of the first alphabet agency, the FDA. The Constitution has been dead and all govt actions have been those of outlaws for quite some time... but they can only get away with what you, We The People, forget about what they shouldn't be doing.

At the very least, the govt has been engaging in outlawry for a century. Thanks to an educational system that has taught us how to not only not understand what it means to be an American, but to actively wish that we weren't, we've now got a media, a culture, a President, a Congress, and a Supreme Court, who not only routinely disregard, but discard and disparage, the Constitution which they are formed from.

The Constitution hasn't changed. What Rights are, hasn't changed. You have.

And the more you continue to play along with their arguments, instead of pulling them up short, as any adult should do to an errant 8 year old trying to bargain their way around the rules, then those Rights which the Constitution serves to record for us, and which it does its best to uphold and defend, will be lost.

The secret of America and of the Constitution, is that the document doesn't actually do anything about your Rights - You do. It has always been you. The problem with Conservatives, especially, is that they have been foolish enough to believe in the magical talismanic power of paper. It has no power.

Never has, never will.

The Constitution does nothing more than serve as a reminder to us, all of us, that we do have Rights which are inherent in our nature as human beings, and which require a careful, orderly, defense - from our inherent nature as human beings. If we forget that it is every bit as much part of our nature to desire to exert power to get what we want, which is the reason why those Rights must be recorded, understood and defended - by us -  if we get carried away with thinking that all is well because of some asinine notion that 'We are the people we've been waiting for!", then what chance can Rights have to be respected and defended? And lacking that, what chance does Liberty itself possibly have? If you TRUST those who seek power over you, what chance has liberty got?

If we forget our Liberty and the Rights which enable it, or if we don't bother learning what they mean and require, if we are foolish enough
"... to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power..."
, deluding ourselves into thinking that lines on paper are somehow going to prop your liberty up for you so you don't have to strain yourself - then it will be lost.


Stop looking to politicians and start looking to your own understanding, or lack of it. If you don't understand Liberty and the Rights it requires, then you have already lost it. If that is the case... what are you going to do about it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jay Carney's vicious, blood thirsty comment: "If even one child’s life is saved..."

A quick rant in reply to this ass of a Press Secretary, Jay Carney, speaking on gun control:
"JAY CARNEY: If these things were easy, they would have been achieved already. If renewal of the assault weapons ban were easily accomplished, it would not need renewing because it would have happened already. The fact of the matter is the president is committed to pushing these proposals. He is not naive about the challenges that exist, but he believes that, as he said yesterday, if even one child's life can be saved by the actions we take here in Washington, we must take those actions."
What an unbelievably vicious, blood thirsty thing to say.
"...if even one child's life can be saved by the actions we take here in Washington, we must take those actions..."
Really. Why? Because one child’s life is saved? THAT calculus is what you propose to drive the laws that will govern your lives, America?

So you're going to get into a pissing match of tallying children's corpses? U.S. Grant's "terrible arithmetic"  as the basis of law?!

What do I mean?

What if someone proposes a law that promises to save two children’s lives? Must you take those actions as well? What if it conflicts with the plan you proposed? What if they can show more dead bodies would result from your plan than theirs? Do you then get into a counting match, counting children's bodies... what then, the one that produces fewer corpses, wins?

What if I propose the immediate slaughter of everyone who has ever shown a tendency towards improper behavior towards children... anyone who has ever spanked, beaten or leered at a child... that would undoubtedly save more than one child’s life... must we put that action into law as well?

Is that the sort of life you want for your child?

You cannot make decisions regarding people's right to live their own lives, based upon some utilitarian calculus - such a life would not be worthy even of rising to the level of being nasty, brutish and short.

To be civilized, to live a life worth living, requires that you live your life under the rule of law, but not just any set of laws will do. The Rule of Law must be comprised of laws whose foundations and purposes are derived from the need to uphold and defend the Individual Rights of its citizens, and among those rights they must uphold and defend, are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and the Right to defend that life, from all threats, foreign and domestic, is a requirement of all the rest, or they must become meaningless whims and nothing more.

Anything less than that will soon be reduced to one of counting corpses to justify any evil imaginable... though for the greater good, of course.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

There are no ‘reasons’ for your Rights – stop trying to justify them!

How many times have you heard this one recently?
"Tell me one good reason why you should have an assault rifle?!"
More than a few times?

And I'll wager you've heard it before too, in other forms, such as with
"What are you going to do about the 30 million uninsured?!"
, and again with something like:
"Give me a reason why someone needs billions of dollars?!"
Do you know how to answer those questions?
Now hold on there Charlie Brown! Before you go running at that football again, take a look at Lucy's eyes - take a moment, look closer, her eyes aren't focused on the ball, but on your feet. She's not holding it out for you to kick, she's only waiting for that magic moment when you are committed to kicking at it, so she can whip it away and watch you fly up into the air... and fall down on the ground... flat on your back. So she can laugh at you. Again.

Think about it - have you ever, ever, won one of the arguments you've entered into by answering that question (and yes, they are all the same question)? And no, being willing to kick at the football more times than Lucy is willing to stand it up again for you, is not winning.

When they ask what they always ask of something to do with your Individual Rights: "What reasons could you possibly have for ___?!". Don't try to give them any reasons - they don't want your reasons, what they want is for you to give up your ability to actually Reason with them, and if you answer that question, that is what you will do.

So how do you deal with this type of question? You already know how. Annoying, isn't it? The truth is that you've either had how you should deal with this sort of question demonstrated to you time and again while you were growing up, or, if you're a parent, you've no doubt learned how to do it yourself, on your own.

See if this rings a bell:
"But Dad, it's only 30 more minutes, what is it going to hurt if I stay up 30 more minutes?!"
Yep, that's right, and just as 8 yr old you didn't give a damn about the reasons why it was that your dad thought it might be harmful to your night's rest to stay up 30 more minutes, neither does the leftist Lucy you are arguing with today. They are only looking for a way to help you slip up and abandon your principles and hand the argument over to them.

Again and again and again - flat on your back, is the only place that replying to that 'argument' will get you.

Conservative Catnip
Why this technique acts on conservatives like catnip... or footballs... is that in asking the question, it seems as if they are interested in the reasons Why you hold your position... it seems to be an invitation to discuss your disagreement, but like Lucy and her football, or the 8 yr old and their TV show, nothing could be further from the truth. It is only a pose, a taunt, and the moment you begin to discuss the matter, their interest in discussion vanishes as they begin to supply more and more spectacular examples to overwhelm every realistic reason you come up with for your position, a position that is no longer rooted in principles, but particulars, and on that playing field, their playing field, their impressive quantities sweep away the high ground you were standing upon just moments before.

The technique is to demand that you to give a particular, quantitative, justification, for a qualitative concept, but there's nothing fancy going on here, as every 8-year-old knows. By getting you to focus on a an isolated particular, preferably expressed with impressive sounding quantities ("just 30, more, minutes!'... '30 million uninsured!'... 'billions of dollars!'"), the questioner, be they an 8-year-old child, or a tenured professor (difference?) of constitutional law, just knows that if you bite, and nearly every conservative does, the moment you stoop to providing them with any of the reasons they've asked you for -you lose!

That's the reason why every 8-year-old child loves this technique so much - it wipes out the advantages you have in being an adult - experience and wisdom - reducing the debate to one of emotional appeal and numbers.

There's an old anecdote that illustrates this even better than Lucy and her football, where Winston Churchill, annoyed to no end by a flighty society girl, becomes fed up, turns to her and asks her if she'd sleep with him for a hundred thousand pounds. Surprised, she bats her eyes and answers "Well, ... uh... that is a lot of money, I'd have to think about it... ", at which point he changes the price to fifty pounds. Insulted, she demands "What kind of woman do you take me for!" and Churchill replies coolly
"Madam, what you are we have already established, now we are simply haggling over the price."
Get the picture? What happens, is that in the simple act of answering the question, you have abandoned the principle which determines whether or not numbers should be discussed at all, and any attempt to reclaim it is futile, all that remains is settling on the particular numbers it'll take for you to cave in (30 pieces of silver perhaps?), and in the end they get whatever it is that they desire .

This has been the favored technique with everyone from Utilitarianism’s Jeremy Bentham (you know, the fellow who called Individual Rights, nonsense on stilts), on down the line to the child who wants to stay up late to watch one more TV show.

The immediate answer of course, to the child anyway, is not to answer their question, but to remind them of the rule or principle they are trying to get you to forget:
"No, you can't stay up. Bedtime is 9:00. Get your butt in bed. Now."
Why? Because those are the rules and there are good reasons for them, reasons which have nothing whatsoever to do with any quantity of minutes of TV time they might desire. Reasons which have already been well established and validated, and aren't open for discussion. And the wise adult knows darn well that it doesn't matter whether you are talking about bedtime, or shoplifting, an eight year old, if you let them, will still ask,
"How will this little thing I do hurt anyone? Why can't I have what I want?!"
, and neither the eight year old, nor the 40 year veteran professor of law, has the least bit of interest in what is right or wrong, but only in getting what it is that they want. But of course while the eight year old is usually wise enough to listen to reason (and to avoid the consequences of not listening), the leftist... not so much.

The main difference here, is that with an eight year old you expect this sort of thing, it is part of the learning process inherent in moving from childhood to adulthood. With the leftist Lucy however, although you do tend to expect it, there really is no excuse, except that they learned such disdain towards reason and reasonable behavior, from what we teach them. .. after all, do we send students to school in order to learn what they need to know to become better people?, people more concerned with what is right and best to do? or do we send them to school to learn 'useful skills' for getting what they want to 'succeed' in life in the 21st century?

Don't bargain for your Rights, proclaim them
The next time someone asks you what good reason there is for anyone to ___ (insert the belittled Right here), just remember that they don't care what reasons you might have for your position, they don't want to determine what is right or wrong to do, they only want to overpower you, and their question is the handiest technique (indoctrinated habit) for keeping questions of right and wrong out of the conversation, freeing them to pursue what will be the most useful,efficient, effective means for achieving their desired ends.

So wise up already.

What the ignorant are hurtling us towards, the ultimate point of their asking for 'reasons' to justify your exercising your rights, is this:
'Tell me one good reason why you should have any right to do whatever you feel like, when that might cost someone their safety? Their security? Their health? Why should you be able to do what you want, if it oppresses your fellow man?! Give up your annoying Right' so we can do what is best for you.'
And that is the goal that our leftie Lucy's are focused upon, gaining the power to use your life to their advantage, and your principles stand in their way - and they are just waiting for you to try to answer them, to give them their 'reasons" and abandon your ground, so they can drop you flat upon your back again.

The simple fact is, in regards to the 2nd Amendment, or any other of our Rights, defended by the constitution or not, that my Right to defend my life, loved ones and property, does not depend upon my proving its value to you! And my Rights do not require that I put you at ease about the tools - arms - that I choose to defend them with. There are no valid reasons, no matter how beneficial they purport to be, that justify your seeking to interfere with my right to make that decision myself.

My Rights are inherent in my nature as a reasoning human being, and they are not subject to your, or congress's or any majority's approval. The 2nd amendment does not grant me the 'right' to keep and bear arms, it only defends it from the foolish and the powerful who feel threatened by it.

Our problem today, is not with who is in office, but with a people raised to think along utilitarian lines, rather than moral ones, raised to consider effectiveness and efficiency before considering whether or not something is right or wrong to do. These people do not seek to understand your arguments, they seek to strip you of what they do not understand - and playing their game won't score you any points or safeguard your rights against them. Their ignorance is the problem we face, and it threatens our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

There are no reasons that justify your having rights - you have Rights because you are a reasoning human being -you don't need to justify your rights, you need to understand them and assert them.
If you want those opposing your rights to see reason, you cannot abandon it when talking with them. Learn what your rights are, learn  what they mean and the principles which they depend upon (hint: it's not legislation) and without which America would cease to exist, and most of all, learn how to defend and to proclaim them.

Originally posted at The Bell News

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear

From my second post on The Bell News"Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear"

There was only one undeniable issue in the last election, one issue that was the true cause of Obama winning, and the effects of it are to be found, not in what conservatives did or think they need(ed) to do, but in what it is that they think they are, and in what the nation thinksit is. The most obvious fact about the election was not that Romney lost because 10-15% fewer conservatives showed up to vote (or voted 3rd party), though that appears to be true, or that people when given a choice between a Leftie, and a Leftie-lite, chose the more authentic option, which is also to some extent true; those aren’t the true causes, and neither is whatever else you want to throw in regarding fraud, media spin, etc – those are all simply demographers noise.
The real issue, the true reason why Romney lost, was that given a choice of the policies represented by Obama and the Democrat party he leads,  more than 50% of the populace lacked a sufficient level of understanding of what America is and what its constitution means, is, and requires, to enable them to recoil in horror at the prospect of those policies becoming reality, hissing “No friggin’ way I can allow that – no friggin’ way I can vote for that!
That is the real issue, and the only issue of substance worth thinking about.
If you think your culture, or your memory of it, is attractive to the youth’… er… Millennials .. or appeals to the Hispanic… er… Lat… hell with it… to anyone, then you might want to check out these two articles, one  from NRO’s Kevin D. Williamson, his post “Risk, Relativism, and Resources”  & the other from Bill Hennessy, his post on “This is why I feel sorry for Millennials“. As Conservatives, we tend to think that our ideas are naturally attractive, I mean, who could possibly have a problem with having the liberty to blaze your own trail, making it on your own, etc. – that’s what America’s all about! Well guess what, not everyone seeks to take the risks that it takes to live that kind of life, and many, if not most, feel that a system which enables such risk taking, threatens those who prefer a life of safety and comfort.
Conservatism, the revolutionary ideals of classical liberalism that our Founders fought for, are not a threat to those who want a life of comfort and safety, but they won’t think so, not without  understanding them better, anyway. And not without your understanding them well enough to explain why your ideas are not a threat to the happiness they wish to pursue.
The problem is that our culture is no longer united in believing that, and that means it isn’t there to back you up.
Once the culture has been fragmented, as ours has, once a culture has reached the point where it is more likely to be referenced in mockery, than with respect, or in many cases may simply be ‘gone’ from people’s minds entirely (and thanks to our schools, that is pretty much the case), then it can no longer be referenced by people as an authoritative and substantiated word on an issue – the tank is empty – what it once had to say to the culture at large, is no longer there in their minds to be referenced in an argument, especially not in a political one.
If you try to pursue policies that seem conservative, without grounding them in the truths that conservatism springs from, what you will get will bear a striking resemblance to what John Boehner & Mitch McConnel have been demonstrating to the nation over the last couple months: Political spin on the half shell.
Conservatism, in the United States of America, is supposed to conserve the radical, revolutionary and only authentically new philosophical & political ideas of the last thousand years, ideas which were broadly understood at the time of our Founding Fathers – if neither the culture nor the people within it understand those ideas any longer, then your message will be received by them as the empty slogan it has no other means of being; without the necessary understanding – yours, theirs, or both – that it requires.
That message isn’t something you can ‘reach out’ with, if those being reached out to don’t already have some agreed upon understanding of it, it becomes simply ‘messaging’, spin – and to their ears, words spun in opposition to them.
I hate to break it to you guys, but Conservatism is not a bumper sticker movement, it is not a Gadsen flag movement, it is not an ‘appeal to the youth’… er… Millennials .. or ‘appeal to the Hispanic… er… Latinos, oh excuse me, ulllateennn-Ohhhs’ or an appeal to any goddamn other issue related movement. Messaging is fine and all when everyone understands what the message refers to, but once that is gone, it is no longer helpful.
The entire set of assumptions, of beliefs and ideas, preferences likes that conservatism typically depends upon, aka Culture, needs to be reestablished, before we can refer to them in a way that will again lend its weight to an argument.
  • “Liberty will enable you to live your own life”, is a winning argument. ‘Liberty will enable you to live like Ozzie & Harriet‘ is not, not if that culture was raised on Family Guy.
  • “Family values” are not a winning message to people raised in divorced, remarried, redivorced & reblended households. That culture reference isn’t there between their ears, and the cultural clutter conservatives typically try to prop their message up with, is weighing their message down.
A friend who was at a statewide conservative gathering with me last month, later said to me,
“…. many people don’t really have a consistent philosophy behind what they believe … in other words, they might believe the right things, but they don’t know why. Which is kind of the job of culture. We can’t all be intellectuals. Some of us got jobs.”
Which is exactly the case, and which is why culture, and respect for it, is so important (and why the left has been attacking it for so long) – it conveys the best understanding of the best of those the culture has produced, sparing every person, as it should, from having to do the due diligence of understanding every point themselves (Descartes, J.S.Mill, and other idiots aside, it is NOT sensible or even possible to doubt everything (see In Praise of Prejudice )).
Culture is a reflection of who you are and want to be, and represents the accepted answers to arguments most people likely don’t want to bother delving into. Except in rare instances, you cannot use your cultural example to win an argument against another’s cultural example, because a cultural reference is not a means of discussing an issue, but of answering one.
Cultures are not (and cannot be) won or defeated by means of being preached or imposed (short of total war), but only by means of people in one culture wanting to emulate that of the other. The attractiveness, the sense of something being worth emulating, is the only means of cultural change. It is how ours was changed out from underneath us, and if you don’t understand that, you are not going to be much of a help it righting it.
Are you, as a conservative, conveying your message in a way that anyone who isn’t a conservative, would like to emulate?
Conservatism is not the same thing as your favorite old movies or music, it isn’t allegiance to a party, or even your oh so consistent support of this political option or that one. Conservatism is, and only is, the response that is made by those possessing a particular set of ideas and their understanding; and that understanding, together with a basic knowledge of how they’ve played out in the history of mankind, together with a sense of why it is right that they should (hello to the Arts), such a person becomes one who chooses those choices which command a further respect for their fellow man and for the liberty of all; such a person recognizes their shared nature and Rights which ‘self-evidently‘ leads to those policies, and so seeks to conserve them.
Without that, you get people seeking the power of using networking to advance their causes – nullification, secession, Fed Marriage laws, ‘moderating’ the 2nd amendment… If you get your wish, that people become more effective and efficient in pushing what they want, without understanding what and why they should… we’ll just get the mirror image of what the left is selling… Power, which by any other name, would smell the same.
So… what?
So reach in, identify the core, the essentials that DO appeal to anyone and everyone, jettison everything else, and get on with it!
Don’t change your message – unburden it. ‘Liberty will enable you to live your own life‘, is the right message, it is a winning argument, and if you, and many others go about living a life worth living, others will notice it, and they will seek to emulate it, but not because you messaged your lifestyle or political opinions to them strategically, but because you live them in a way that others would like their own lives to reflect.
You cannot, if you are a conservative, expect to use the law as a means of changing a culture (unless your purpose is to corrode and destroy that culture), but that doesn’t mean that the principles of law (liberty), kept to their essentials, can’t be used to bridge the cultural differences we have, they can. There is no reason why security seeking and risk averse people who find themselves on the left today, can’t find security and safety under conservative ideas as well – it is in fact the only place they can – because those principles Are beneficial to any rational culture, and because those who find themselves within the other cultures can see them as being valuable and worthy of emulation and promotion (if the noise doesn’t keep them away) – that is why people have traditionally come to America.
Today we need to transmit that same sense to the people born in America, so that they will seek to become Americans as well, as did their forefathers.
For you part, present something worth paying attention to, without warding people off with your own personal preferences, and people will pay attention to it. In spite of themselves. The Truth that’s discovered from within, can lead to questions that will change a culture, even your own, from the inside out.
We all know that ‘the Truth is out there‘, find it, bring it in, make it yours, and it’ll spread…  Ring the Bell!

Please read the original posting here: "Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear"