Friday, December 21, 2012

My Response to Wayne Lapierre:

My Response to Wayne Lapierre:

Mr. Lapierre:

I will not live in an armed camp so you and gun industry executives can make obscene profits from the blood of our dying children.

I am among many who are fed up with the NRA and the gun industry for supplying militarized weapons to criminally insane murderers. You can no longer hide behind the fiction of the 2nd Amendment.

There is no other truth than the fact that you and your minions make obscene amounts of money through the killing of innocent human beings throughout the world.

Stop it. Stop it now. We will no longer tolerate your corporate dominance of the government of the United States.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Drawing the Line on Gun Control

It’s pretty clear we’re at a watershed in our national debate about gun ownership. 

The majority of the people in the United States are fed up with seeing their children murdered in public places by deranged individuals using militarized firearms. Arms manufacturers, gun lobbyists and their Congressional lobbyees have discovered an unsuspected capability for silence.

Fundamentalist interpreters of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution are forced to consider the possibility that Constitutionally guaranteed “right to bear arms” may not include the right to own semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines. The Constitution doesn’t specify what is meant by “arms,” just as it doesn’t define “a well organized militia.”

In the absence of Constitutional direction, Congress decided long ago that the right to bear arms does not mean the right to bear any sort of weapon manufactured by the global arms industry. Citizens of the United States already may not possess fully automatic weapons, explosives, bazookas, cannons, tanks, battleships, F-16s, nuclear weapons or B-1 bombers to deliver them. 

So the question or whether or not to have gun control is moot. Gun control is already on the books. The only thing left to discuss is the degree of gun control desired by the people. Where do we draw the line? 

As long as there are guns of any sort, deranged people will use guns to kill other people. Where do we find the risk balance in public ownership of guns between guns with legitimate civilian purpose and those that result primarily in public mayhem?

It must be noted that the children of Sandy Hook were murdered by guns that were legally and legitimately purchased on the open market. Would the outcome have been different if the only guns available to the murderer were single action, six shot revolvers and bolt action rifles? Perhaps not. Perhaps to a lesser degree. 

The possibilities must be weighed against the legitimacy of militarized weapons in the hands of the general public. Is there any overarching justification for the general public to possess semi-automatic firearms and extended capacity magazines? Can the desire for personal protection be equally served by less than semi-automatic weapons? 

Is there any reason why we cannot extend already existing gun control legislation to include all militarized weapons? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yearning for the Hypsithermal

Yearning for the Hypsithermal

Global warming’s bad they say,
For us and caribou, too.
Every dog shall have its day,
But the climate’s gone to pooh.

Singing: Hey nonny-nonny for the Hypsithermal,
That glorious age of heat,
When Africans swam in their own back yards,
And glaciers began to retreat.

Carbon dioxide is nasty old stuff
That humans leave lying about.
Unless you’re a tree, and breathe it with glee
Making O2 we can’t live without.

Singing: Hey nonny-nonny for the Hypsithermal,
The greatest age of the Holocene.
Life was jolly, trees were tall,
Every color was a shade of green.

It’s coming back, so the alarmists say,
But this time it’s gonna be bad.
Hotter than Hell, drier than sand,
The worst climate we’ve ever had.

Singing: Hey nonny-nonny for the Hypsithermal,
Paradise wouldn’t be so bad.
Warmer than glaciers, softer than ice.
The best climate we ever had.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Peter Kropotkin

December 9th is the 170th anniversary of the birth of Peter Kropotkin, who birthed the concept of mutual aid and anarchism.

I suspect modern tonsorial practices have much to do with the state of the world today, that and ties. The constant scraping of face and neck, the tiny hair bits breathed at the barber shop, the toxic chemicals used by the average barber have all contributed to the lowering the average IQ of the American male.

Ties obviously reduce blood flow to the brain. When men turned from the loosely gathered cravat to the modern four-in-hand neck ornament, somewhere around the American (un)Civil war, brain cells began a steady decline. Now we see the results. The loosening of morals, ignorance rampant on the streets and in the halls of power. 

Who needs ties? Let's decorate our necks with the natural feature that inalterably distinguishes the male of our species from the female: a blossoming beard in all its natural variety. Thus we refute militarized conformity, economic servitude and post-industrial ennui. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

On anarchism, socialism and things environmental

Any discussion of historical anarchism and socialism is interesting in itself, giving us some perspective on how we got here today. However, things are different today than in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, government bureaucrats and politicians have learned much in the interim about how to mold public opinion, manufacture consent and manipulate election outcomes. The corporate oligarchy has strengthened and expanded it stranglehold on the public franchise.

The fact still remains that anarchism and socialism have no intrinsic environmental advantages over capitalism, totalitarianism and corporate oligarchy. The state capitalism of the late Soviet Union was far more destructive to wild lands than Chicago School free market capitalism exported by the United States, as badly as that turned out. It is not capitalism or socialism that is the problem, it is industrialism.

industrialism - an economic system built on large industries rather than on agriculture or craftsmanship

"Industrialism, whether of the capitalist or socialist coloration, is the basic tyrant of the modern age." Ed Abbey

"Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris." Ed Abbey

Case in point: Here in Santa Cruz, on the Left Coast, the good coast, our City Fathers (and Mothers) have decided we don't have enough water to last through periods of drought. Their proposed solution is to build a $120+ million desalination plant, that requires 4 to 5 million dollars annual maintenance costs, and enormous energy consumption, whether it's used or not. They refuse to listen to the argument that we have outgrown our water supply, and therefore, an equally applicable solution is to stop growing, increase conservation and make do with what we have. Rather than deciding to step back from the edge of the precipice, turn around and walk forward, they've decided to pretend they can walk on air beyond the abyss.

Our task then is to prevent, by whatever means necessary, further degradation of the Earth's natural systems, and find a way to organize human societies such that we do not consume more resources than are naturally replenished, that we do not produce more wastes than can naturally be dispersed, and that allows us to exist within naturally occurring cycles of resource availability. 

"To The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States, Resist much, obey little;
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.
" Walt Whitman 

"If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream." Ed Abbey

"Be of good cheer, the military-industrial state will soon collapse. Meanwhile, we must do all in our power to oppose, resist, and subvert its desperate aggrandizements. As a matter of course. As a matter of honor." Ed Abbey