Musings On A US Presidential Election Year

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina smashed through the New Orleans’ levees and killed over 1,800 inhabitants, certain right-wing religious types were heard to mutter that it was a punishment from God for the sins of that Louisiana city.

Exactly seven years later, as Tropical Storm Isaac creates havoc in Tampa, Florida, setting back the Republican Convention by a day, no-one is suggesting it might be the Divinity registering a complaint, about the policies of an ultra-right-wing political group determined to bolster the fortunes of the rich, at the expense of the poor.

But, that’s American politics for you. The Republican Party contains among its members individuals capable of making such inane statements, but only when its politically advantageous to do so.

If ever there were a positive side to Tropical Storm Isaac, it must be in saving us one day of convention tedium in a presidential election year that is surely about to break records as the most boring, yawn-inducing, electoral period in all of US history.

There’s been nothing said by either side that hasn’t been espoused a thousand times in previous elections; not even an original insult. And insults are the order of the day…the week…the month. Surely, the purpose of voting for the next president of the United States is more than a decision as to which candidate is the least childish? But, perhaps, that’s an insult to children everywhere. At least, those over the age of five.

There’s a certain obvious immaturity in the American psyche, so maybe they just get who they deserve. Take the attitude toward guns, for example. Very few US citizens would vote for anyone who threatened to curtail their access to these toys. And, yes, they are toys. No-one in their right mind would use a gun to shoot anyone. But, then, there do seem to be quite a few Americans who aren’t in their right mind, judging by the daily reports of gun killings on US streets.

The US Constitution allows citizens to own guns for the purpose of forming a ‘militia’ – in case the government turns nasty and doesn’t treat them right. Unfortunately, the government today owns every weapon known to man, including a nuclear arsenal, against which the weaponry of the farmer from Iowa, or the rancher from Colorado, would be as useless as a peashooter.

Perhaps the government should take away their guns and hand out pea-shooters instead? No, that would be way too mature. And the US media would have far less stories to fill their half-hour news slots.

Somehow, a crazed lunatic loose in a cinema with half a dozen peashooters and a bag of dried peas is less likely to raise the nation to an emotional peak of ire and grief. To create that effect one needs to throw in the odd AK47.

This election, like all previous US elections, is not going to be about guns. The media informs us the average voter’s main concern is the economy, or lack of it. Or, to put it another way, the average American is scared. And with good reason. When an economy tanks, so do jobs. Without jobs there’s no security. Without security, there’s fear.

Unfortunately, when people in America are afraid, they buy more guns.

Americans would have less reason to be insecure if there were a social safety-net to catch them when they fall out of work. It works well in most other countries. The only drawback – the rich and powerful have to pay for it. But, why shouldn’t they? After all, it’s the rich and powerful who take the jobs away from working Americans when the economy tanks.

No, this election will not be about gun control, or badly needed social reform. Neither will it be about jobs, or the economy, though both candidates will work hard to kid their supporters into believing it is.

This presidential election is about nothing more than prestige – the lifelong ambition of well-to-do families intent on shoe-horning one of their own into the White House.

In reality, nothing changes. For isn’t the prestige of the wealthy what virtually every US presidential election has been about? After all, of the forty-four presidents to date only nine weren’t millionaires, and the first one, George Washington, was the wealthiest of them all.[1]

So, we’ll continue to yawn our way through to the first week of November, in the surety that little will change, whoever wins.

Meanwhile, God Jehovah, content with His warning shot across the bows of the good ship Republican, is once more at the helm of a Gulf hurricane heading straight for that debauched, lecherous, and irreligious city of New Orleans.

There’s not much doubt who He’ll be voting for, come November 6th.

[1] “Money and Power: The Richest and Poorest U.S. Presidents” DailyFinance, February 17th 2012

16 Replies to “Musings On A US Presidential Election Year”

  1. Your misguided commentary about guns is puzzling. Either you know very little about guns, gun culture or why American stubbornly cling to their guns, or your simply choosing to gloss over this topic.

    Oddly, you tried to weave this into a political satire about the candidates we’re being offered. The strangeness is the two topics aren’t even related.

    May I suggest that next time, you separate the topics into separate essays? And do some research?

    This election isn’t about anything at all, except perpetuating the status-quo. There isn’t lick-spittle difference between Republican or Democrat, both are crooks, corrupt, inept and incompetent, incapable of meaningful change.

    Many American people are far too stupid to realize the simple truth and will once again in an endless repetitive cycle, fall for the spin and lies.

    This is actually what the guns are for, when this tiresome exercise in futility finally winds its way down exposing the horrible truth for what it really is and what we will finally do about it.

    We need a new government. And it won’t come by voting, or a voluntary effort, it will like in all countries throughout history, come about through revolution.

    All the nuclear weapons on Earth won’t stop a revolution (show me anywhere on the planet where it did).

    You don’t know what nuclear weapons are for either, apparently. America uses them to bully its way about the world (successfully) and as a ‘deterrent’ against other nuclear-equipped countries. But nukes are not used upon their own citizenry and probably never will be (for what should be obvious reasons – the country will destroy itself in a fit of frenzy and anger).

    Guns do in fact serve a purpose, when a government is no longer suitable for the people it governs. There are other reasons, such as self-defense. Clearly you’ve never had to defend your own life (I have) where a gun made all the difference in the world.

    And yet, I’m not pro-gun, certainly not pro-war or pro-violence. I’m simply pointing out that the reality of the world and proclivity of government to reign out of control is what we can always expect — and that one day, we will indeed have to do something about it.

    Or suffer under the boot heel of fascist authority.

    We’re very close now, edging ever closer all the time. The Republicants will move us to a frightening precipice of totalitarianism if they have their way — but the Demoncrats are just as bad.

    Individuals who cannot submit their lives to this immoral ‘authority’ that does not serve the people own guns and with good reason. If not us, then for our kids, who will most certainly need them.

    The alternative to this is to simply do nothing and let fascism reign in full.

    I find this utterly unacceptable and will own guns forever, even if they were to be declared ‘illegal’ someday. I will not submit to immoral authority under any circumstances, no human being should. Nor will I put my ‘faith’ in governmental authority to always serve me without violence or force (which it always does), or to always protect me. Anybody that puts their faith in government to act benignly is a fool.

    I am not a violent man, abhorring violence in reality. But a careful examination reveals violence all around me. All governments rule by violence and force, ultimately deriving all of their ‘authority’ by their willingness to do violence against whoever they choose (a constantly expanding list these days).

    Criminals act the same way. The incredible similarity between criminals and crime and what government does is very revealing.

    A disarmed man / citizen is simply a victim, now or later, who either cannot or will not defend himself. He’s also irresponsible, refusing his own authority and the inherent responsibility that comes with being human to restore any wrongs.

    Gun ownership changes all that, accepting both the responsibility as a citizen and the inherent demands that go with it towards government — treat the people with respect — in service to us and not to only yourselves.

    Gun ownership admits to the responsibility of government with restrictions (do no violence to us) like nothing else possibly can.

    Or do you suppose ‘voting’ does the same? How could it, when the candidates we are constantly being offered are known to be liars, corrupt, thieves and even murderers? Who, once in office, always betray their promises? Who constantly engage our country in a series of endless wars and occupations?

    Guns will keep a balance in a country that alleges freedom and liberty, with the consent of the governed — until such time as that consent is withdrawn by the people — or the government abuses their trust.

    The only thing protecting the people is their guns and their willingness to use them whenever that happens.

    Disarm the people and you have enabled the government to practice violence and corruption without restraint. Learn some history and you will find this true all over the world.

  2. John – apart from a few minor dissensions, our only disagreement seems to be how to achieve a successful revolution. I appreciate ‘guns’ is a touchy topic in the US, but you seem to think a nation can’t properly function without them. As one who lived half a century in a country where all bar shotguns are banned (and then you need a police-authorized licence), let me assure you, it can. In fact, I’ve traveled extensively through most of Europe and felt far safer walking the streets, knowing no-one was ‘packing heat’, than I feel in any shopping mall or cinema in America, always aware some lunatic could start spraying bullets around.

    On the subject of revolution, you can hardly have read much of ‘Sparrow Chat’ without realizing my views on capitalism and oligarchic governments. But, just what are you (and presumably a few mates?) going to do with your meager arsenals against the whole might of the US military machine? You don’t seem like an ignorant person, yet your views on revolution are out of cloud-cuckoo-land.

    You write: “…Many American people are far too stupid to realize the simple truth and will once again in an endless repetitive cycle, fall for the spin and lies.”… which means, when you go to war against the US government, you’ll be up against a few million who still support the Establishment. Okay, so there’s a few million of you, too. The result will be a bloodbath far worse than the one presently occurring in Syria, and you’ll lose.

    You say to read history. Which history? To which revolutions do you refer? The French? Well, it’s perhaps the only one which might loosely be termed ‘successful’, though at a terrible cost in lives. The Russian, perhaps, though which one? There were quite a few, culminating in the civil war of 1918. That, and the subsequent starvation of many due to a collapsed economy (a common result of ‘successful’ revolutions, I’m afraid) led to an unknown number of deaths, but between 9.5 and 65 million, depending on source.

    Then, of course, there’s the question of what happens after the successful bloody revolution. Who takes control? You could end up with another Stalin. If it isn’t easy to propagate a successful revolution, controlling a huge nation like the US afterwards would be nigh on impossible – expect a bear-fight over who gets the power jobs.

    There are better ways, but only if you put away the guns. I forget who said, “Revolution is impatience with evolution”, but he had a point.

    Perhaps, instead of a trigger-happy militia, campaigning for electoral reform, though slower, might prove less of a bloodbath. If Americans would just embrace social issues instead of the ridiculous ‘American Dream’ concept that cannot work – one man’s American dream is fifty American nightmares – equality, which is what most revolutions are about, might be forced on those presently determined to keep US society as unequal as possible.

    You may think the gun is your only answer to a tyrant government. It isn’t. The true answer is to replace it with a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Unfortunately, the Constitution was written in days when the weaponry of choice was musket and cannon. While you probably wouldn’t face nuclear weapons, modern tanks and MRAP vehicles would prove equally deadly against your old AK47’s.

    Do you really want to see your country enveloped in the kind of bloody civil war presently being waged in Syria?

  3. Adams,

    There are so many problems with your arguments with John I am not sure where to begin.

    But, lets begin with the un-winable American future revolution. First off, It seems pretty obvious to me that any attempts to institute change within the system that has significant impact on how the economy and the society operate is doomed to failure, it hasn’t worked for 150 years now. You may point out in contention that some important social changes have occurred and I would agree, but then again were also turned against the society by those in power. I also like to point out that if a significant amount of social unrest takes place, a few bones are tossed to the populace to appease them and shut them up without any significant changes taking place.

    As for your argument about an un-winable shooting revolution. Take a look at how that is working in other countries. Afghanistan is a good example. A non technological country taking on the most powerful western alliances with advanced technology and they still haven’t dropped to their knees after years of occupation. There is also, still, the question whether the military can force/use coercion to get U.S. military personal to kill U.S. civilians.

    As for civilians having arms against that segment of society that are violent, you are just flat out naive. How far would the movie theater shooter have gotten if there were a couple of armed citizens in the theater? Your arguments about this are specious. As a member of the human race I have the right and imperative to defend myself against those that would do me harm, including the government. You seem to be of the opinion that making civilian arms illegal will make a more peaceful non-lethal society. Way too many contemporary examples where this is flat out not true. The problem of violence in society is not what means they have for violence, but rather the attitude toward violence to accomplish an end. Switzerland has a very heavily armed citizenry (by government decree) and so does Canada and yet their armed violence is significantly less than the U.S. Historically, the disarming of the civilian population has always been the precursor to an absolute authoritarian central government. Many examples of this in the last 100 years.

    In the U.S., we have a government hell bent on using violence to accomplish its aims, most of those aims are not legitimate but rather pure power plays for dominance. Over the years, citizen ignorance of this fact or even pure compliance and/or support of these policies sets the tone for how civilians view violence.

    I think you should focus your diatribes on your governments use of violence rather than how civilians react to it.

  4. Oh my! It’s good to see a civilised discussion, RJ, John & Murph, on this deeply contentious issue.

    RJ – you know my views coincide with yours (apart from the question of for whom it’d be wisest to vote in November).

    I think the issues discussed here aren’t going to ever reach accord between British ex-pats and native-born USA-ans.
    We come from countries where the same (almost) language is spoken, but where custom & practice, personal experience, political evolution and historical background are very different.

    I don’t think a revolution is in sight yet – nowhere near, but there will be a revolution at some point when the pot boils over. Just now it’s on a very slow simmer. When the boil-over happens (if any of us is still around) the key question, I believe, will be one mentioned by Murph:

    “There is also, still, the question whether the military can force/use coercion to get U.S. military personal to kill U.S. civilians”

    Which also brings in the question of drones – whereby the killing or disabling is remotely controlled, and likely to be less distasteful to some military types.

    But that’s at least a decade or so ahead I reckon….if the Prez gets a 2nd term we’ll continue to simmer, then in 2016 a really hard-line Republican will probably wil the election (pendulum swings and all that) and then the pot will really start to boil – a rolling boil. After 8 years (with manipulation, natch)
    of that…..then watch what happens!

  5. Nobody seems to look at this issue from a feminine perspective. No big surprise there. But, historically and cross-culturally, what group of people are the most disarmed, and accordingly, the most victimized by occupational armies, institutions like churches (think Middle Ages), criminals, husbands, boyfriends, and strangers? That would be women and children.
    Personally, I began arming myself after a horrific crime when a man abducted a woman and her daughter and raped the daughter in front of her mother and killed them both. I thought that it was negligent of the mother not to have a way to protect her daughter, and I vowed this would not happen to me or mine. I don’t care whether we use a gun, a taser, pepper spray, or a baseball bat with a nail in it, we need to make the decision to use whatever it takes to level the playing field against these miscreants.
    I don’t think there is one answer for everyone. Some people are by nature warriors. Others may be healers or artists or whatever. But, both mothers and fathers have a natural instinct to protect their children, their tribe and their homes. To do less is cowardly.
    I would hate to shoot some other mother’s son. But, if he is attacking my husband or my home, trying to take that which I have worked hard to store up for my family, he is going to find that he has chosen the wrong damn home to invade. That goes for the government as well. They may kill a lot of us, but we are the many, they are the few.

  6. I suspect your sense of ‘security’ at home is simply your illusion that guns in the hands of private citizens are ‘unsafe’, and that a disarmed population is somehow ‘safer’ then an armed one. The statistics do not back up your assumptions.

    You missed the point that the only person that can protect you is you and none other. You’re given less choice then we are about how you intend to protect yourself or your family (or not). We don’t envy you at all and many of us wonder why you ever allowed this.

    Safety is an illusion itself. There really is no such thing, except in the recesses of our minds. We feel safe when nothing happens (to us, in particular, because the notion that “nothing happens” is simply not true, bad stuff is happening all of the time, all around us all).

    We may even feel safe if bad things are happening to other people, far away, comforted that at least it didn’t happen to us.

    The illusion that surrounds the notion of feeling safe is simply this — nobody knows when they will be unsafe, or in harms way — or as mentioned, the next victim of governmental abuse and tyranny.

    Plenty of us do not feel safe at all, knowing that the chalk line drawn around our cooling body is the only real ‘protection’ any of us have here. We’re just as likely now to be a victim of a criminal as we are to be victimized by our own government.

    You do know that our courts have ruled on numerous occasions that the police have no legal responsibility to protect anyone, don’t you? And since this is true, who do you suppose must be responsible for protecting you? Well, you of course, you are the only person who has that responsibility. Here, you get to choose how to accept that responsibility. In England, they took that right away from you, making you less enabled then the criminals themselves.

    Guns enable dangerous people to do more dangerous things. Take away the gun and you have not eliminated the danger from dangerous people.

    We have a saying here — take away our guns and only criminals will have them. The same is true in England. Your criminal class still has guns.

    Any citizen, with a gun, is in possession of a tool of immense potential, virtually “against” anyone if they so choose — or in the defense of their life — against anyone, even if supposedly “outmatched” as you claim. It is a huge advantage, one which we are simply not willing to give up like you did.

    With the hundreds of millions of guns in America, the vast majority of us consciously choose to not use our guns against anyone. Those that do, do not obey the laws anyway. Even in countries where the public is disarmed, guns are still used by criminals (and always will be).

    They are also still being used by the government against their own citizens — even here.

    Just because they are ‘the government’ doesn’t make this right. No citizen, anywhere in the world, should submit to unjust authority or tyranny, or rely upon the indefinite ‘good graces’ and benevolence of their government. Governments are capricious and fall into severe disrepair quite often — and where all efforts at reform utterly fail.

    You err greatly in assuming that the armed civilian is at a disadvantage to an even better armed government, exactly the opposite is true.

    The government should always be in fear of the people, or if you prefer, “respect” or “service” to the people, allowing them the same rights as they take for themselves. Being armed is (only) one of them, but it is also the only right that equalizes the citizen to his/her government like none other. Not even “free speech” can do this.

    You appear to advocating a one-sided sense of ‘trust’ — from citizen to government, which is to say in essence, “never harm me, I can always trust you”, but being denied that same trust from government to citizen, which is to say “never violently oppose us, you are not to be trusted”.

    It is clear that both views will lead to the same inevitable conclusion — abuse of the trust and expectations.

    Your fifty years of ‘bans’ are actually meaningless — in those same fifty years, you have lost an incredible amount of rights and have become citizen slaves, just like we have. Perhaps you do believe that you can reform your way back to freedom through a ballot box, but this is not what history shows.

    An armed citizenry is no longer defenseless against a tyrannical government — or as Murph pointed out — an invading army. It’s an especially important point in Europe by the way.

    You (rightly) advocate a ‘better way’, but to quite honest, your dreaming and grasping here. America is not going to vote its way to honesty and integrity anymore then England currently is. Your country is the world’s leading example of Big Brother, followed very closely by America. Your own efforts at ‘reform’ have utterly failed, as have ours, because you are no more democratic then we are (neither one is), both of us live under fascist governments now, growing worse.

    The path of history that I alluded to is clear — revolution always comes after oppressive tyranny, sooner or later. I am not advocating this fact, simply stating what is. Just as much as capitalism is a miserable failure, so is all notions that ‘peace’ prevails indefinitely or that the assumed benevolence and even ‘protection’ of government doesn’t become tyranny.

    Peace doesn’t always prevail, and it simply cannot, because of what I’ve already shared — dangerous people will always come into power or prey upon those that they can. And when that happens, as it always does, it is up to you and none other to defend yourself.

    It is no mystery that sociopaths inhabit the halls of power, finding such positions suitable for their desire for control and authority. This is what history also shows us — even in “democratic governments”.

    America has had its fair share of sociopathic leaders and will undoubtedly have more. This, along with onerous legislation and unjust laws will eventually lead to where it always leads — revolution. The real danger in America (and in England imo) is not the criminal class — but the suits and ties that inhabit the so-called halls of power and pass the laws, and those that have been tasked with enforcing them. These are the real tyrants and threats in every country, enforcing their demands upon the people through implied and direct violence.

    Nobody is advocating any of this, we are simply admitting to the likelihood, because it is what always happens. None of us want to be disarmed when it occurs.

  7. RJ,

    Because this issue is of rather intense interest to me, I have reread your post and the comments again. I have a couple more comments.

    You said; “As one who lived half a century in a country where all bar shotguns are banned (and then you need a police-authorized licence), let me assure you, it can. In fact, I’ve traveled extensively through most of Europe and felt far safer walking the streets, knowing no-one was ‘packing heat’, than I feel in any shopping mall or cinema in America, always aware some lunatic could start spraying bullets around.”

    This statement has some unsubstantiated assumptions. The biggest is that a gun ban means that an individual hell bent on killing folks for whatever reason would not have guns available. There are states and municipalities in the U.S. that have extensive and very restrictive gun control laws. Interestingly, they also tend to have the highest homicide rate. Not an absolute correlation but enough to give one pause. Even those European countries with strict gun bans have their element that get access to them and cause havoc.

    I live in an area that has a relatively low population density. Latest states I’ve seen indicate that over 70% of this population have concealed weapons permits and I honestly don’t know any household that has no firearms. Violent crimes are virtually non existent. This seems to be a traceable pattern for other parts of the country. I actually feel safer with my neighbors armed than living where no one is armed but the violently inclined.

    You stated; “Okay, so there’s a few million of you, too. The result will be a bloodbath far worse than the one presently occurring in Syria, and you’ll lose.” So I have to ask you; How much repression and loss of freedom are you willing to live under? What is the price for having individual freedom when a government is hell bent on absolute control? I would gather that “Better red than dead” (and the numerous permutations of that concept) would be your concept of how to live when faced with that choice? That implies that living under any condition is better than not living? On a personal note, living as a slave is not one of my alternatives. Sure seems to me that a very large amount of folks at least voice that continuing to live is the absolute value, no matter the conditions.

    Freeacre (above) included the assaults on women principally by men. They need some kind of equalizer for this. A hand gun is a good one.

  8. Murph & Freeacre – I will respond to you jointly as I note from your blog you are together.
    Firstly, Murph, the people of Afghanistan have been waging a guerrilla war against invaders since the British thought they had conquered them during the reign of Queen Victoria. They eventually found out differently, massacred as they were pulling out of the country. And rightly so. It wouldn’t surprise me if there wasn’t a similar surprise in store for the US military. Already, they’re taking them out one by one.

    But Afghanistan is a nation occupied by foreign invaders. It’s not a revolution. There’s no civil war in the country. Civil war is the worst form of warfare. It pits brother against brother, father against son.

    Don’t get the idea I’m an anti-gun nut. I’m not. We live in an isolated area and there’s a loaded 12-gauge kept ready to deter any intruders. You’ll find one, or two, in every isolated farmhouse in the UK. They’re needed, when the local police are miles away.

    In the cities and towns, though, provided the police force is up to strength and properly trained, which it always has been in the UK, there’s no need to own a gun. Even the police don’t routinely carry them. Telephones hadn’t been invented when they wrote the US Constitution, and for the average Joe living in US suburbia, the police should be only minutes away. (I take note, though, of John’s comment that the courts here have ruled the police are not legally responsible for public safety. I didn’t know that, and I must say, I find the police in America less reassuring than their counterparts in Britain).

    I do take exception to your fourth paragraph. I don’t believe having more guns in that cinema would have saved lives. Quite the opposite. In the darkness, they’d have ended up shooting each other. Also, your sentence: “You seem to be of the opinion that making civilian arms illegal will make a more peaceful non-lethal society. Way too many contemporary examples where this is flat out not true…” Where are your examples? To which societies are you referring? I can name plenty that banned guns, causing the gun-crime stats to drop drastically. I believe I did when responding to John’s comment.

    For me, moving here ten years ago, the major concern isn’t losing my ability to defend myself and my family. Only a fool would insist on a 100% gun ban. As stated, in the UK shotguns are not illegal, just licensed. At reasonably close range it’s probably the best self-defense weapon there is (though, I agree it won’t fit in a woman’s handbag).

    You talk of statistics not backing up my arguments, but take a look at those in Britain. From 1969, when there were about 1,000 offences involving a firearm (this for a population of 60 million) the rate rose steadily until by 1996, when legally owned handguns (and some rifles) were rendered illegal, it was around 15,000. These are ‘gun-related offences’, not deaths or serious injuries. For the next few years the figures continued to climb, hardly surprising given the number of now illegal firearms still in circulation. By 2004, the figures peaked at around 25,000 offences. Each year since then they have fallen until by 2010/2011 they were down to around 11,000. And these figures include offences involving air guns (BB guns). The proportion of all recorded crimes in which firearms, including air weapons, were used was 0.3% during 2010/11, a similar proportion to previous years.

    If you want confirmation, here’s the link to a pdf download from the UK parliamentary statistics library:

    http://tinyurl.com/8cr4c6k

    Sorry it’s rather long, but it’s quite safe to download. (I’ve since shortened it!).

    I was writing of my main concern for some form of gun control. Kids in Chicago being killed almost every day by rival gangs. Some of the victims only five or six years old; the senseless slaughter of innocents by mentally ill people like Holmes in the Colorado cinema massacre; idiots who bear an undeserved grudge and ease it by pulling a trigger, as did the guy recently in New York. It’s one thing to own a gun when you live out in the wilds. Inner city gun violence (and, yes, it’s a problem in the UK, too, though not on the scale of America) is another matter altogether. If it took fifty years to get those firearms off the street, wouldn’t it be worth it to at least reduce those types of killings?

    Of course, revolution is a whole different ballgame. I’ll finish this with a description of the type of revolution I could happily go along with. You may recognize it. I found it quite close to your home:

    “But, what if, in small towns, or even apartment complexes all over the place, we reached out to each other and declared peace amongst ourselves? What if we stopped using plastic? What if we got together a code to live by that actually did provide support and protection as well as equality, fairness and freedom? What if these parentless mall mutants tweeted or twittered themselves into a cohesive group and took over shuttered malls, and made the best of a difficult situation?

    Despite cosmic events, earth changes, dynasties, wars, pestilence, greed and idiocy, life seems to go on. Until it doesn’t. We also have courage, friendship, knowledge, joy, loyalty, trust and love. Those have been constants as well, in many forms. That is what has gotten us through the hard times in the past, and no doubt will again.

    I gotta feeling that the ruling class would like nothing better than to quell a “revolution” with some serious shock and awe. Even if they have to make up the combatants themselves, like these so-called “Black Panthers” that supposedly want to kill white people. Or, suddenly, “the anarchists” who are stalking the Republican convention and probably hard at work setting up IED devises to blow up innocent civilians like some domestic Taliban. Great! At the slightest outbreak of protest or civil disobedience (false flag or not), they can come at us with a dizzying assortment of para-military hardware and advanced and enhanced weaponry guaranteed to keep us in place (while making money on it all as well).

    What I would wager they really do not want is to have the citizenry reject the whole paradigm. Shun them. Turn off the TV during the conventions. Don’t purchase anything advertised on the tube. Don’t send them money. Take your money out of the banks and the markets. Don’t vote for anyone in Congress who voted for the bank bailouts. Cancel your newspaper. Don’t use your cell phone during the conventions. Laugh at them. Make other plans.

    Protest. But protest in a way that matters and won’t get you clubbed or used as an excuse to increase police and paramilitary brutality. We need to flex our financial muscles. If there is one thing they have taught us, it is that “money talks.” We need to speak to them in their own language.”

    Now, that’s my kind of revolution. Forgive the infringement of copyright.

  9. R.J.

    I do not wish to pound this subject to death. All that I would ask of you is to be aware of what studies have been done and some of the conclusion about those studies.

    Here are two sites that partially answer you question to me
    http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/emergency-alert-un-set-to-ban-civilian-gun-ownership

    http://www.odessahistory.com/gunhist.htm

    Here is a site with a whole bunch of statistical data that refutes much of your arguments.
    http://www.gunfacts.info/

    If after looking at those sites you still hold your position, then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

  10. murph – first, apologies for your comment taking time to appear here. The links caused my spam filter to question its veracity.
    No, your websites don’t cause me to change my position. In fact, I found the lack of corroboration on all of them disturbing. Anyone can write something on the internet and suddenly it’s a great fact proclaimed by those who would benefit from it.
    I took the opportunity to try and research some of these ‘facts’. Most don’t hold up to close scrutiny. The gun history site is almost derisory. To suggest the Armenian holocaust would have been prevented without gun control, when the Armenians were siding with Russia against the Turks, is quite ridiculous. The Nazis actually relaxed gun control when they came to power -except for the Jews who were banned from keeping weapons. I doubt it would have prevented the Jewish holocaust if they’d kept them. At best, they may have taken out a few Germans before being overpowered.
    One site (not one of yours) I visited was suggesting the 1961 Freedom From War pamphlet issued by the US government was a ploy to take the guns of US citizens. In fact, at the height of the Cold War, it was a discussion document on limiting, and eventually doing away with, nuclear weapons. Small arms were never mentioned in it at all. Now, the UN Arms Trade Treaty, specifically about trade in arms between nations and designed to help prevent arms and ammunition reaching the hands of terrorists, is being twisted by the unscrupulous into some crazy idea to take away the guns of US citizens, yet again. I’m afraid I consider Aaron Dykes to be just as dangerous as Ralph Reed of ‘Christian Coalition’ infamy, who recently re-surfaced at the Republican Convention.
    The problem, it seems, is a lack of sanity on both sides of the divide. Anti-gun websites are just as prone to twisting facts and statistics as those of the pro-brigade.
    I suppose, if we were all sane and sensible people, guns would not be a problem and innocent human beings would not be killed by them. Unfortunately, until we are, I must continue to hold the view that an awful lot of people who are not sane and sensible should be kept from owning them.
    I will end by stating that I have found our discussion stimulating, and can say with all honesty that I respect your views. Hopefully, you can respect mine.

  11. Thanks for the discussion, R.J. I do understand your position, and I respect it. If we all can work to resist the paradigm of war and fascism in whatever way suits us best, I can live with that.

    The tragedy of firearms in the hands of feral teenagers is another problem altogether. Much more complicated. Wouldn’t surprise me if the gov’t. dumps guns into the ghetto just to enable the drug trade. Laundering drug money has propped up the banks and the stock market and black ops projects for years. Read Catherine Austin Fitz’s “The Tapeworm Economy.” Probably won’t change while there is still so much money and damaged people involved. Very sad.

  12. freeacre – corruption in state and federal government has reached epidemic proportions. We can often only guess what really goes on behind the scenes. Then it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The pro-gov media witch-hunt of Assange is proof of that. Looked at as the big picture, there’s no doubt we’re on the same side. I’ve added Trout Clan Campfire to my blog reader and will follow it with interest. Best wishes to you both.

  13. R.J.

    You introduced another subject in your last reply that I have written about many times on our own blog site. Namely, the veracity of what one reads or listens to, and of course this applies to any written material and most of the public speeches that are given by anyone.

    This has been true for all of recorded history it seems. So all of us that have a desire to ferret out what is happening and the facts of the case sort through all we have time for or can find on any subject and then draw conclusions. It also seems to be true that multiple persons can see the same information and draw diametrically different conclusions. Of course this leads to a whole bunch of conflicts and acrimonious arguments.

    I will agree absolutely with you that the internet has afforded a lot of folks the ability to put out lines of thought or propaganda in abundance. Since none of us can be an insider on many of these issues, it comes down to what authority figure or outside researcher’s information we choose to accept. Most often it appears that we choose based on our individual abstract value system and biases. In other words, there is no such thing with humans as true objectivity.

    On top of that in regards to the internet, using search engines has become problematic in true inquiry. Instead, they are programing them to provide links and information that they have determined is your own special biases and interests. I have noticed this change in my own searches and often cannot find data or information that is contrary to my own line of thought. (I very often want to know what the contrary thought is on some issues).

    Since even reading hard copy (books, periodicals etc, much less the internet, provides little assurances of veracity in most cases, I really have no idea how one can be assured that what they are looking at is the facts and only the facts of the case.

    One of the tools I employ on a regular basis in reading information is examining the assumption implicit or explicit in the material. I am often amazed at the amount of assumptions that are contained that either cannot be supported, or are just not bothered to be supported, on both sides of an issue. Another tool is an examination of the agenda implied or stated in the material and who benefits by that agenda.

    Metaphorically, I guess we all thrash around in a sea full of information and have to pick and choose which appears to us as valid.

  14. What a civilized discussion has taken place behind my Irish back, RJA!

    Much food for thought from both sides of the gun divide. I’ve given serious thought to owning a gun myself having been threatened by a wingnut on another blogsite who would seize my property when the ‘time’ came.

    Or is gunpower a complete illusion for any of us?

    XO
    WWW

  15. WWW – I’m undecided whether gunpowder is an illusion, or not, but if you live more than ten minutes away from a police response in an emergency, then you really should consider protecting yourself.

    It was a very civilized discussion, that helped me to better understand the other side of the argument. Not that it changed my mind on the basic premise. It’s not the people like Murph and Freeacre that concern me, it’s the idiots and criminals who can so easily obtain firearms for their nefarious purposes. The sheer waste of human life in this country is beyond belief.

  16. R.J.

    Might help you further understand by looking up the stats for the highest cause of deaths in this country. It sure ain’t guns at this time. In fact, both medical malpractice/mistakes and auto deaths far exceed gun deaths by aggression. This does not include suicide.

    I agree that the idiots and criminals with guns are a problem but I think it would be a far less problem if most folks were legally armed. But that’s just my thinking. Banning guns wouldn’t eliminate the criminals and nuts from obtaining them, it would just disarm the rest of us that decided to comply and not be able to exercise self protection.

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