Sunday, February 18, 2018

The 2nd Amendment's role in our abusive and violent society of social & legislative reformers. To Keep and Bear Arms Across Time - pt2

Clearly, as we're repeatedly beset with violent actions ranging from robbery, to assault, to murder, to the mind numbing mass slaughters we've experienced at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, a small town church in Texas, and now the sprawling high school in Parkland Florida, our society does have a problem with those who take up arms against the lives, rights and property of the rest of us. But just as clearly, confronting what the nature of that problem actually is, and why, as well as what actually can be done about it, is something that we've been fiercely unwilling to face up to - and that's worth taking a closer look at.

I argued in a previous post that it is because the primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not about Guns, that it is able to secure our right to keep and bear the personal arms of your choice, including guns. But why is that important? If you see its purpose as being nothing more than your possessing 'Arms', then you'll be easily diverted with irrelevancies, such as which arms (a .38 Special was the 'bad' weapon when I was young, as an AR-15 is today), or crime, or how much of that 'right' you actually 'need' - and if you don't see the problem there, it's that sort of perspective that would ask Rosa Parks why she needed to sit in the front of the bus. With a Utilitarian view like that, it may never occur to you that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is wedded to the rest of the Bill of Rights, in that its purpose is to secure our natural right to keep and bear arms in defense of all of our rights, and if you can manage to take that perspective, you'll quickly see that criminals are the least and last of the threats to the 2nd Amendment's purpose.

What most people are not thinking about when the 2nd Amendment is brought to their mind, is our willful failure to identify the nature of what our rights are, which not only prevents us from dealing effectively with those who trespass against them, but encourages the greater trespasses and the very violence which the social & legislative reformers so noisly (and usefully) decry. It is that blank spot in our thoughts, whch has brought about one of those ironies which history delights in, as the attentions that both 'Gun Rights!' and 'Gun Control' enthusiasts mutually focus upon particular guns, serves to push the concepts of Arms and Individual Rights ever further from our minds, so that both groups are busily weakening our understanding of what the 2nd Amendment requires us to know, in order for it to be able to preserve those rights that it was written to defend for us.

Without an adequate understanding of the concepts behind the 2nd Amendment, its revolutionary statement:
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.
, becomes empty words ("nonsense upon stilts" is the pragmatic and Utilitarian view) that fall easy prey to 'what the meaning of IS is', making it that much easier to deny or avoid dealing with what the issue of armed violence actually is. The 2nd Amendment's power can be no greater than our understanding of it, and those who stand to gain ever more power with its loss, are very much aware of the the possibilities that our ignorance holds for them, and they are using that power to socially and legislatively reform America, into something less than what our Constitution is capable of serving.

The role which the 2nd Amendment has in our abusive and violent society today, even today, is to provide We The People with the means of defending and preserving our individual rights, from those social & legislative reformers who justify using the power of government to infringe upon our lives through our rights, for their vision of the 'Greater good' - no matter how much disorder and violence those reforms might be shown to visit upon us. The role and responsibility of We The People in defending our rights through the 2nd Amendment, is to understand, and apply the concepts which its words defend us with. Those whose efforts are thwarted by it, know that, and they use every trick they can to muddle, evade, and ignore its meaning, so that such thoughts will continue to remain unthought by you, when the 2nd Amendment is brought to mind.

While the 2nd Amendment is proof that the pen is mightier than the sword (we would not still have either arms or rights without the words of our Bill of Rights), its unprotected flanks expose it to attack from those grounds it doesn't explicitly defend. The 2nd Amendment is not about Guns, Criminals or Hunting, but in the intellectual guerrilla warfare we're currently engaged in, those issues serve as excellent cover for snipers firing fusillades of misdirection and falsehood into our midst. If you want to defend the 2nd Amendment's ability to defend us, you must make the effort to understand it, and to spot, and disarm those assaults upon it, or it will be rendered powerless to help us. The Pen is mightier than the sword... but only if its words - and those fired against it - are understood.

Looking directly into the disinfecting sunlight
Before taking a look at how our social & legislative reformers evade reality, and the dangerous abuses that are inherent in, and will result from doing so, let's have a look at the truth that is so painful for them to look upon. The dose of reality that our fellow citizens so desperately need, doesn't take a lot to say:
  • There are NO LAWS that would prevent these shootings.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Democracy Dies in Darkness... and they like it that way

Ok, so I've finally read the dreaded "FISA Memo" which the GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote in regards to classified materials, which they had vetted on sources and methods, approved by President Trump, and released to the public. I've heard the Democrat's warnings about endangering national security and about out of context charges. I've read the NeverTrump'rs downplaying of the memo, by Nat'l Review's David French, and the L.A. Times; and of course, although I'd like to read it, we do not yet have the Democrat 'counter memo' available yet, to get 'the other side' of.

The three points noted below are what I find most significant in the FISA Memo, and everything here hangs upon them. If those three points are true, nothing else matters (and if they are fabrications then these charges should be reversed, with a vengeance). But let's deal with the above items first.

As regards the hysterical 'Endangering National Security!' shrieking that we've been deafened by over the last few days by members of the Democrat Party, there are zero credible, or even stretchable points, that can be construed as to be threats to National Security, in this memo. The charge is ridiculous on the face of it, and further makes the case that they'd go to the most desperate measures possible to keep what's referenced in the memo, under wraps. IOW, 'Democracy Dies in Darkness... and they like it that way.'

Then there's the exercise in blinkered besides-the-point Fith'king (pansified 'Fisking'), from NeverTrump'rs (Left and Right) seeking to bone up the almost immediately discredited charges in a New York Times article last year, as being the only noteworthy points in the memo, and their 'oh boy this is gonna be great!' gleefulness about supposedly substantiating some fringe pieces of the "Russia! Russia! Russia!" case against Trump, are pathetic examples of personal pique, and desperate ideologically snowed-blind efforts to avoid allowing any 'good' to get near a story on Trump.

If anyone can read this memo, and come away focused only upon the charges against Trump, or Trump's charges against the media and FBI, instead of being absolutely incensed over the obvious use and abuse of power perpetrated against the American people, by those entrusted with protecting the American people, in order to further their own interests of political and personal gain, then they possess, IMHO, only sick, twisted, stumps of burned out apparatus, where effective minds had perhaps once dwelt.

The Democrats tell us that they'll put out a counter-memo, soon, that will show just how deceptively out of context the memo's charges are, which I'd very much like to see.

But.

Decades of experience reading what passes for 'The News' from all sides, has accustomed me to seeking out the possibility of missing contexts in stories, and as the bits and drabs of the truth of them have leaked out weeks, months or years later have confirmed to me, I'm fairly good at it. I can imagine a large number of clipped, minimized or dropped contexts in this Memo, but none that would actually matter, where it actually matters most.

What I find most damning in the FISA Memo isn't open to much deflation as a result of an expanded and clarified context, because whether or not the essential piece referenced in the Memo (developed from the Steele dossier) actually served as a foundational basis for the FISA warrants, or instead simply lent some additional support to the request for that warrant to spy upon American citizens, the nature of that document's unsubstantiated charges, and its authors' personal animus, bias, financial and political interests involved in its being used, catastrophically taint everything connected to it - especially as that nature was concealed from those who were presented with it as if it was worthy of respectable consideration.

Seriously! If Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the 'Russia Investigation' because he publicly talked to a Russian diplomat in a greeting line at a State Dept sponsored event, then there's damn sure no room for anything connected to that piece (sponsored and paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign), being used in establishing any aspect of any warrant, let alone the highly volatile nature of a FISA Warrant, and that goes doubly for such information being used while those facts about its origin were deliberately withheld from those who were given them to aid in determining whether or not to issue said warrant (see #4 below).

No matter the imaginable contexts and scenarios that may be brought to light in the future, the following points alone, establish unacceptable behavior, corruption, in the use of the most sensitive and debated investigatory powers our government is able to bring to bear upon American citizens, so as to abuse those powers for the very worst, most corrupt of purposes - that of changing the outcome of a presidential election, to suit the political judgment of a few.

And people, please, stop bringing up Watergate. There is no comparison to Watergate here - that scandal involved a criminal break-in for political purposes. This matter involves using the legal apparatus of our judicial system, to legally spy upon American citizens, in order to corrupt the public mind for political purposes, in a campaign for the highest elected office in the land - not to steal politically sensitive materials, but to corrupt the political judgment of the entire nation. I'll restate that last point: The purpose of obtaining this FISA Warrant, was to corrupt and taint the judgment of the entire American electorate, to manipulate their votes by corrupting the highest functions of our government - our judicial system and defense systems - to taint and dis-inform the public mind and alter their votes by means of our most powerful institutions which are entrusted to 'protect and serve' that same public.

These few points from the FISA Memo, short of their proven to be outright lies, these are not open to the sway of additional context:

  • "1 a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele's efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials."
  • "3 a "During this same time period, Ohr's wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs' relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC."
  • 4 "...While the FISA application relied on Steele's past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information." [emphasis mine]
If you can defend behavior such as that, I can find no means or warrant for defending yours.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Elections do have consequences - including being governed by who you've elected

If there's one thing that the 21st Century has made abundantly clear, is that elections have consequences - not the least of which is our suffering to be governed by those we've elected into office. Simple buyers regret, however, is not in and of itself a valid basis for reversing the decision of the electorate, and the progressive normalization of such behavior as we've been witness to of late, is, IMHO, a growing threat to representative government.

Elections do have consequences, but there are even worse consequences to be had from overturning elections. It is irresponsible, and not a little dangerous, to demand that elected officials be forced from office over unsubstantiated charges, with no other basis than the fervent opinions of some. And please do not resort to claiming that
"I have a right to my opinion! it doesn't have to stand up to a court of law!'
, you do have a right to your opinion, but your opinion alone is not a justifiable cause for demanding that the opinions of an entire state's (or nation's) electorate, that were voiced, tallied, and duly recorded in an election, should be overturned. The 2016 election is done and over, and the 'will of the people' was made known, and short of a radical change in the nature of the charges against our sitting governor, that election must stand, and if you care about our form of government, you should not demand it be otherwise.

Much as I dislike Eric Greitens - and I wrote several posts explaining why - I will not ignore the fact that unsubstantiated accusations and rumors against him, like any other form of 'sources say', is not a valid basis for my desiring that the will of the entire electorate, be reversed.

Especially not when we have nothing more before us at this point in time, than anonymous accusations which have been made without a shred of proof (and no, an unnamed disgruntled husband, allegedly recording the tearful accusations of his unnamed wife/ex-wife without her knowledge of his doing so, does not qualify as a shred of proof). Short of Gov. Greitens being convicted of, or admitting to, having committed blackmail or some other serious crime, whether or not he stays in office is not a proper consideration or justifiable choice for you or me to call for, and frankly it's not even properly his choice anymore - unless he knows himself to be guilty of blackmail, he should not step down - he is in that office because the electorate duly elected him to be there, and outside of the established paths for recall or impeachment, that is where he should stay for the duration of his term.

I understand your displeasure over discovering that he admitted cheating on his wife prior to his election, but that is not a valid basis for demanding an election be overturned - if that truly displeases you, perhaps pay a little closer attention to details of character, and demand explanations for major changes in stated beliefs, in future elections. Neither is there any valid basis for demanding that he resign because he doesn't 'network' with lawmakers and grassroots activists, as some might have hoped he would have. But worse by far, is for elected representatives to council him to resign - not because they know him to be guilty, but because they fear that a trial would be painful and uncomfortable - that is truly craven, despicable advice, and is dangerous to the continued prospects of representative government.

You cannot credibly claim to be for representative government, while also demanding that elected representatives be turned out of office for unsubstantiated charges. You cannot credibly claim to be for representative government, while also demanding that elected representatives be turned out of office for no better reason than the disappointed mood of a vocal mob - and yes, if you value your emotional disappointment, over the results of an election, if you want to force an elected official from the office that the electorate put him in, by the force of the wailing and stomping feet of a vocal few, then you have joined yourself to a virtual mob.

Do you seriously want to make removing an elected official, something that can be overturned on the basis of allegations alone? Allegations that are made by unnamed individuals, based upon a 'crime' they were privately told about by someone else? A 'crime' that the supposed 'victim' has not even come forward theirself about? Let alone without having even pressed formal charges?!

WTH is passing for 'conscientious consideration' here?! What the hell is wrong with you people?! If you want him out of office, then at the very least have the stones to begin a recall campaign - but I'd recommend that you have something more that you can substantiate first. Like the 'victims' name. And actual charges filed by that victim. And maybe a trial. Or a confession. First.

Do I think that it's possible that he engaged in blackmail? Have you heard his threatening conversation with John Brunner during the election? Have you heard about his belittling conversations with 'beady eyed' lawmakers? Yeah, I would be entirely unsurprised to learn that he sought to intimidate someone into silence, for his own convenience. But guess what - my suspicions do not become worthy of overturning the results of a clear election, simply because I think that they're valid!

I do not like Eric Greitens. I wrote numerous posts (here, and here, and here, and http://blogodidact.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-does-eric-greitens-identify-as.html, and here) saying why I thought he was unworthy of being elected our governor. However my point of view did not win the election. Those who voted for him for Governor, did win. By virtue of our system of representative government, he was elected by We The People - it would be a gigantic mistake to now demand that he resign his office because of unnamed sources, on unsourced, unsubstantiated, and unproven, accusations.

It's worth remembering, however, when you are faced with a choice like this again, before an election for instance, that it's best to choose those who are the most unlikely to find themselves the butt of unsubstantiated charges. What you can do to avoid that in the future, is to learn that 'hope is not a strategy' - that hoping that the fellow who claims he's a conservative, with no further reason or explanation given for that claim than the thinnest of appearances, really is a conservative, is folly and negligence of the highest order. Learn from that. Help your neighbor to learn from that. Because discovering that the guy that you helped get elected, isn't who you'd hoped he was, isn't enough to 'fix' that election after the fact.

I'll close out by leaving this snippet here from my first post having to do with Eric Greitens, "Is being Great all that good?" post back in 2015,
"...I'm not saying that I suspect our latest crop of great candidates of intending to do harm, I'm saying that I suspect them of not knowing what will, and what won't, cause us harm.

I'm saying that it's not their great qualities that concern me, but the little knowledge, understanding and conviction they've yet to demonstrate having about the fundamentals of our laws and their underlying principles.

I'm saying that without that understanding, which are the qualities that make any person, great or not, fit for office, and the lack of which makes anyone, great or not, unfit for office, then unrestrained by those convictions, they are liable, with the very best of intentions, to bring great harm to this nation and/or to our state. and at this point I'm not sure how much more of that we can take. ..."
Take the time to know that a candidate is worthy of your vote, to a reasonable satisfaction, because, as we are all finding out, elections do have consequences.