Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Then what IS your point?

Via David Codrea, this article regarding a wholly outstanding billboard in now-(more-)occupied Colorado:

Hell, I've probably linked to dozens of interpretations of that basic message before:  it works because it works.  And I'm perfectly clear on the primary objection that the control freaks have with it.  There's nothing new there.

But this...jeez.  Having dispensed with the usual "gun-article" formula of one-flaccid-statement-that-someone,-grudgingly,-might-call-"pro-gun-rights"-in-outlook, the remainder of the space is (of course) devoted to multiple, and of course wiser and more intelligent-like, opinions. Who speak, as usual, with the volume of those unencumbered by the weight of actual content.

Thing is, even for this crowd, this is done so...badly.
Greeley resident Kerri Salazar, who is of Native American descent, said she was livid when she learned about it. She said she doesn't have a problem with the gun rights message, but she's offended the Native American people were singled out, apparently without their consent.

"I think we all get that (Second Amendment) message. What I don't understand is how an organization can post something like that and not think about the ripple effect that it's gonna have through the community," she said.

What "ripple effect"?  How strange that we get no answer to that;  this is the last we hear of the "livid" Kerri Salazar with her standard-issue "big but".  Instead, we move on to another obvious expert, who is authorized for delivering approved opinion by virtue of her combination of ethnic origin, professional service to the State, and (uber alles) her willingness to denounce the unapproved billboard.
Irene Vernon, a Colorado State University professor and chairwoman of the ethnic studies department, said the message on the billboard is taking a narrow view of a much more complicated history of the Native American plight. She said it's not as if Native Americans just gave up their guns and wound up on reservations.

"It wasn't just about our guns," said Vernon, a Native American.

Well, apparently someone told her it was "just about our guns".  (Now don't you be impertinent and ask who;  a CSU professor implied it, you believe it, that settles it.)  And so, like Bruckheimer, we're off to the next thing that done go all blow'd up:
Greeley resident Maureen Brucker, who has worked with Native American organizations and who frequents the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as an honorary family member, said she thinks the billboards are making light of atrocities the federal government committed against Native Americans.

She said the billboard brings to her mind one of the most horrendous examples of that, the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890. Historical accounts say the 7th Cavalry had detained a band of Native Americans and asked them to give up their weapons. Troops began firing after a shot rang out. Death toll estimates of Native American men, women and children range from 150 to 300.

Again, notice the "one of them" bona fide implied in Brucker's description.  It's not that she is "Native American", per se, as it were, but see, she's "honorary".  Hey, no giggling now, this is important.  Those who tally such things may notice that in this little survey, 100% of "Native Americans" and their "honorary family member[s]" hate the sign, 100% of evil advertising employees have no problem with the sign, and 100% of those responsible for the sign are secretive bastards--almost certainly racist rich white guys who are known to eat their children--who have too much privacy and not enough morals.  This is iron-clad evidence, people!   (I have been told more than once that the decision-tree for a lawyer is as follows:  If the law is on your side, argue the law.  If the facts are on your side, argue the facts.  If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, assassinate the character of the witness.)

Now if one wanted to be extremely impertinent, one might well ask the question how--how on earth, or for that matter, how on any other planet in existence--this sign "make[s] light" of Federal atrocities.

And astoundingly, she actually tries to "answer" that question.  By referencing--look at the above quote again, if you have as hard a time believing it as I do--Wounded Knee.

Jeez, lady, you can argue against me publicly any day.  I'll have a harder time with the folks that will think I'm employing you as deliberate agitprop.  (They at least will have a compelling circumstantial case.)

Even for the control-freak crowd, with their well-deserved reputation of being better party-line stenographers than independent analysts, this arrangement of quotes is terrible.  It makes one wonder why the paper even bothered to run the article.  It's certainly "devastating to my case".

What all this smells like, of course, is an activist reporter who, preemptively trumped on all the usual Victim Disarmament Playbook responses, nonetheless had to come up with something, lest the unwashed masses become exposed to an unapproved message not effectively marginalized by their betters.

Maybe this is why "Authorized Journalists" need editors.  Perhaps this is what it looks like when one of them actually tries to go--uh--off the reservation, and tries to go beyond the playbook.

Somehow, that would be encouraging.  :-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Silber on Boston.

Arthur Silber returns from a hiatus with another blister-raiser, on the same subject Claire was recently on about.

I am not suggesting for a moment that I would expect or advise anyone to resist when the bullies arrive on your block in their war machines, laden with their war weapons. If I had been in that house, I would have done exactly what I was told to do.

But I wouldn't be grateful for it afterwards. And I certainly would not celebrate, nor would I congratulate myself for my astonishing courage. There are many words to describe the eager prostration before power, and the enthusiastic willingness to ally oneself with the overwhelmingly stronger side. "Courage" is not one of them.

Do please RTWT;  as with all things Silber it is worth the time.

And you have to love a man who can find the pluperfectly appropriate Nock quote:

The mass-man, ignorant of [the State's] history, regards its character and intentions as social rather than anti-social; and in that faith he is willing to put at its disposal an indefinite credit of knavery, mendacity and chicane, upon which its administrators may draw at will. Instead of looking upon the State's progressive absorption of social power with the repugnance and resentment that he would naturally feel towards the activities of a professional-criminal organization, he tends rather to encourage and glorify it, in the belief that he is somehow identified with the State, and that therefore, in consenting to its indefinite aggrandizement, he consents to something in which he has a share -- he is, pro tanto, aggrandizing himself.

I'm not sure I've ever seen it said better than that.

Vanderboegh the agitator.

It's encouraging to see an increasing amount of resistance that knows what it's about, and it's specifically heartening to see this man out in front again.  I certainly don't agree with Mike Vanderboegh on everything, but this is the very sort of basic bad attitude we could use a whole lot more of.

There is a transcript, here, but please do take the time to watch the video;  allowing for the usual sort of large-crowd speech semantic and vocal conventions, his performance is powerful and authentic. 

And, sadly, necessary.

Note this important addendum to the speech.  I'm sure that some will seize on a mixup of dates to try and marginalize MBV's content, but that won't stop the message from getting to those it needs to get to.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Claire on Boston.


Well, now we know what happens when police cordon off a neighborhood, declare it a Fourth-Amendment-free zone, send SWAT teams house-to-house, and hover helicopters overhead.

People cheer and applaud. They turn out in the streets to wave little American flags.

Hard to argue that, Claire.  And as usual, I'm sure that Master has received "our" message loud and clear.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Okay, so that's not all.

Some things are just hard to get out of your head.

I just posted the following on Facebook.

Twenty years ago today, impersonators of human beings committed mass murder on national television, hoisting their own flag in the charred remains of the incinerated crime scene as if they'd scored a goal at a sporting event.

And they did it to absolutely thunderous applause.

Nobody paid a meaningful price for this crime; several were even rewarded with promotion, and some still exercise power over other people's lives, today, using your money. None of the myriad and shapeshifting justifications were substantiated, yet there has been no apology--not for harassing the survivors, not for all the legal malfeasance and "lost" evidence, and certainly not for "not an assault"ing eighty-odd human beings to death.

By the look of things, they'd get the same applause today, if they did it again. The message "we" have sent them in the twenty years since it happened, is pretty clear: no problem, fellas, you just go take care of those weird folks for us and we'll have your back no matter what you do. (I know what you're thinking: "It's a good thing I'm not weird.")

The most shameful, horrible thing I can admit to in my entire life, is that I was taken by the official story when this happened. Yeah, that's right: the demon that comes for me in the dark is the one that reminds me that I was part of that thunderous applause. My only defense is that I then opened my eyes and looked for myself, and...well, life changes with the realization that it not only can happen here, but DID happen here.

I can't unmake my own shame, nor deny the personal horror that goes with it. All I can do is be perfectly clear in what I would say to those who not only perpetrated mass murder in front of my eyes, but who repeatedly lied to me, from positions of power and trust, in order to get away with it.

You are not forgiven.

Maybe it was looking at Bovard's post that did it, or maybe it was noticing that Claire didn't say anything today...maybe it was noticing that I'd seen nothing (nothing!) on Facebook about remembering Waco (contrasted with several posts about OKC)...but whatever it was, emotion got the better of me and this just started writing itself.

Tomorrow I can go back to remembering it differently--the part about people like Bovard, Evans-Pritchard, Browne, and most of all Claire, helping me to save my own life from the simply inhuman thinking I'd taken for granted. 

Twenty years...

Hey there, Leviathan:

You are not forgiven.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And now with the chest-thumping and sour-pussing...

So it appears, at least via Claire and Codrea, that the Gottlieb-endorsed Manchin-Toomey preemptive sellout has failed in the gameplay stage.  (Be still, my heart.)

I'm sure this means we'll get to hear about how steely-eyed and brilliant the ultimate showdown was--on both sides.  Our noble "protectors" will crow of their chess victory, which of course they intended all along (send more money!), and the foisted "underdogs" will whine, shed a tear for continuing to fight the good fight, and get their next hate on (send more money!).  And the Tyranny Threat Alert indicator can go back down from "Vaporization White" to the more subdued "Incandescent Orange" (that's "normal", for the credulous, who may not know their terms).

I've already seen "Shame on you, US Senators." in my Facebook feed, and oh gawd, I know there's going to be a lot more of that to come.  A big part of any well-organized propaganda campaign, after all, is a professional-quality mourning strategy in the event of a setback, both to keep visible crocodile tears flowing, and (probably more importantly) to lay a fresh new claim on the "moral high ground" for the next sortie.*

I've been thinking about the proper response to this "shame on you" sentiment, and I think I've at least got an image that works, if perhaps not the ideal wording.  (Suggestions are of course welcome.)

How's this?

A failure to consummate gun control at the point of voting, is like a failure to penetrate during a sexual assault.  To bemoan or applaud the "technical failure" is to legitimize the attack in the first place, ignoring the fundamental nature of a crime of dominance;  just as rape is not "about the sex", so gun control has never been about "the public safety".  

I might forgive someone for feeling momentarily relieved--the outrage fatigue is strong--but I'm not in much of a mood to tolerate "happy".

* And of course there will be a "next sortie", as sure as the sun will rise in the east in the morning.  Political systems don't just enable that, they make it absolutely inevitable.

As to that:  anyone want to bet against something else happening right about now?  After all, Friday will mark twenty years of "not an assault", which worked so very well then;  why not a little extra push now from one of those ambiguous entries in the SPLC's "who to hate" catalog?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sorry, Alan. No.

I have to put in the usual disclaimer of veracity, but that may be a faint hope as David Codrea is as solid as anyone you will ever meet.

I'm talking about this:

“Just so you all know, I am in support on the Manchin-Tooney substitute bill to knock out the bad Schumer Background Check bill,” Gottlieb wrote. “I and our CCRKBA attorney lobbyist had a hand in influencing and writing parts of it.

Alan Gottlieb has done some fine work over the years, and I take nothing away from that.  But sorry, Alan.  No.  Hell no.  Even "aw HELLno".

Some, of course, will defend the action.  It's a chess move, for sure;  I've got little doubt that Gottlieb doesn't actually want to see the law on the books.  Perhaps he has convinced himself that by crafting a contender he can kill both the "worse" bill, and his own as well;  he may even be right that the thugs pushing the "worse" option would kill anything short of it, or anything authored by "the other team".

I don't give a flying duck-fuck about any of that.  Here's why.  It's really very simple.

  1. It's morally wrong, period.  Alan Gottlieb certainly has the right to gamble his own life on the outcome of an agreement into which he enters.  He does not--not--have the right to gamble the life of anyone else, no matter what the potential reward might be, nor how many other people might agree with him.  (Further, he does not have the right to enter into an agreement on behalf of anyone else without their consent, and expect it to be binding upon them.  But that is all politics, not simply "gun politics".)

  2. The chess move is pointless.  Defenders will claim that the "nice" bill explicitly prohibits a national registry, with a penalty clause, and that it "restores" other gun rights.  Well shit, Alan, if all it takes to restrain Leviathan from abusing its powers against us is a law, then maybe you can explain what, exactly, this shiny new thing is going to do that, say, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Fourteenth Amendment have all (QED, ferchrissakes) failed to do?  The way I always saw it, the concept behind the Second Amendment was that that was the damn penalty clause--and one a sight more rigorous than a 15-year "prison" term, don'tcha think?  

On one hand, I suppose I can't be surprised.  Play long enough in the political realm, and maybe it's just inevitable that you start believing that politics can be a solution to politics.  But I did want to believe better.  To believe that someone in Gottlieb's position would not go and Ruger us all over again.

Last time I checked, "No" is still a complete sentence, and a perfectly suitable, unambiguous answer to tyranny.  Even--especially--tyranny that is crafted to benefit me.

Sorry, Alan.  No.

"No" even if it's pissing into the wind.  "No" even if it's certain defeat.  The answer is still "no", because it simply cannot be anything but "no".

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Grigg on the UN ATT


As usual, it's a capital-R resource.  But this one is important even within Grigg's corpus of work.

File this passage in the "History of the Future" category:

For more than fifty years, the United Nations, with the enthusiastic support of the U.S. government, has pursued a vision of “general and complete disarmament” in which the world body, or its successor, would claim a monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force. Within that global monopoly, each national government would have an exclusive territorial franchise.

“Controlling the proliferation of illicit [that is, civilian-owned] weapons is a necessary first step towards the non-proliferation of small arms,” wrote former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in his official 2000 report, We the Peoples. “These weapons must be brought under the control of states, and states must be held responsible for their transfer.”

It was in pursuit of that formula that UN “peacekeepers” were deployed in Rwanda in 1993. The peace treaty they were sent to enforce required the collection of all civilian-owned weapons. Despite that country’s history of bloody ethnic conflict, Rwandans were assured that they had nothing to fear from a UN-approved government that claimed a monopoly on weaponry; after all, the Blue Beret-wearing emissaries of the “international community” were there to protect them, in the event their government turned feral.

In January 1994, Lt. Col. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer commanding the UN contingent in Rwanda, learned that the Hutu-dominated regime was planning to massacre the Tutsi population. He sent an urgent fax to UN headquarters requesting permission to disarm the government-backed militias by raiding their arms caches. He wasn’t allowed to take this pre-emptive action, because the UN’s self-assigned mandate called for civilian disarmament, not the disarmament of government operatives.

Less than three months later, the massacre began – a 100-day orgy of bloodshed in which roughly one million people were slaughtered. Most were hacked to death with machetes – but behind the machete-wielding goons were government troops, police, and militiamen armed with guns. Dallaire’s troops did nothing to protect the victims; indeed, many of them were butchered as well.

The UN official who was given advance warning of the massacre, and ordered Dallaire not to take any preventive action, was Kofi Annan – who at the time was undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations. In the finest tradition of Soviet career advancement, Annan was rewarded with a promotion to Secretary General, and eventually received the Nobel Peace Prize. Dallaire, who had done what he could to prevent the genocide, succumbed to near-suicidal depression and alcoholism. He was eventually rehabilitated after a reporter found him freezing to death under a park bench in Hull, Quebec.

Grigg does report his historical cautionary tales with a certain style, doesn't he?  One might be tempted to call it "plainspeak" as a compliment, but that might actually do a disservice to a man who in a sane world would be revered as a national treasure.

The problem with plainspeak isn't so much that hardly anyone speaks it any more.  It isn't even that hardly anyone even wants to.  If that were it, it would still be possible to live in peace. 

The worst problem with plainspeak is that too many want to forcibly remove it from existence.

What if nagware IS the model?

This unpleasant thought just flew into my head for no reason that I can explain:

Along with countless others, I have long wondered how online advertising can have achieved such staggering heights of annoyance.  I am not sure I've ever heard anyone admit to personally appreciating it, and by my accounting at least there is near-universal agreement that it continually gets worse--parrying every effort one can make to ignore it with some new nuisance.  And yet it all must somehow be effective enough, in the end, for the effort to continue.

But why should I presume that the goal is what it appears to be?  After all, one can conclude that the effort for nuisance advertising is successful without postulating WHY it's successful.  I've always simply presumed that enough people respond to the advertising to justify its continuation--but that's because that's how advertising is supposed to work.

But what if nagware IS the model?

I suddenly am very curious to know if advertisers get any sort of cut from their online hosts' subscriptions.  You know, things like "Upgrade to [product/subscription] for just $[amount] per [period] and make the advertising go away". 

The most unpleasant part about this thought is that it passes both the Occam's razor test and the cui bono test.  The latter, with flying colors:  the host retains an associative distance from the nuisance that drives business into its hands, and the advertiser gets to work it from both ends--those who are persuaded by aggressive advertising, and also those who run from it.  That's two new revenue streams, created from very nearly nothing.

This seems like something I should have thought of long ago (true nagware has been around for a while now, after all), but this application of the principle just hadn't occurred to me before just now.

Oh joy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This is what "nobody is coming to take your guns" looks like.

This is what "nobody is coming to take your guns" looks like, in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave(TM).

Feb 5th 2013, my veterans hospital primary care doctor called my home and heard a message on my answering machine that he said sounded peculiar. The VA contacted the local police to perform a “wellness check.”

The police came to my home, and, without any justification whatsoever, hauled me away for a psychiatric evaluation at a local hospital. I submitted to their forceful insistence under duress and fear of arrest or worse. I wasn’t arrested, no crime was committed nor any threats were made to myself or others.

They confiscated my guns and pistol permit. I was released two days later from the evaluation on my on recognizance. I have since attempted to use the courts and attorneys to fight the revocation of my pistol permit. Then on top of everything else, the bills from the short stay at the hospital and EMS bills that they billed me, along with what I had to pay the attorney adds up to a large amount of money.

The embedded video (ironically, of a radio exchange) certainly seems to support the above summary.

A cautionary observation, to anyone credulous enough to cling still to this absurd but heavily marketed fiction:  you may believe you have no stake in this issue--perhaps you just don't like guns, and just cannot empathize with those who do--but you're wrong.  You're wrong because this isn't about guns, it's about power and who has it--the little people or the ruling class.  (You perhaps think you're not little people?)

Now ALL politics, from traffic tickets to imperial marauding, is about power and who has it, but very few things are actually meaningful to this balance of power--meaningful beyond the panem et circenses gameplay of who gets to control the "legitimate" ruling mob for the next term.  "The gun issue" absolutely is one of those few meaningful things, whether you choose to recognize that or not, and the stake you have in it is exactly the same as the stake I have in it.  (Scoff if you will, but your disbelief does not make it untrue.)

Personally, I'm pretty sick of hearing otherwise intelligent people tell me that "they're not after your guns", because that quantity of ignorance very nearly must be a willful choice.  But ironically, in one sense this is exactly right, if not in the way you might expect.  It's true that "They" are not really coming for your guns--they are coming for YOU.

Yes, you.  And your neighbor Cindy.  And me.  Everyone.  It is no longer possible simply to live life without harming others and expecting only the same in return;  your peacefulness is unimportant, to the unaccountable power-jockeys with the "legitimate" weapons--it is only your unquestioning compliance that matters.  And who do you think gets to decide whether or not you are "complying"?

And we now live in a society in which each of us, legally, commits an average of three felonies a day, usually without being aware of it at all.  Yes:  you already are uncompliant.  "Legally", the ONLY thing standing in the way of your arrest and prosecution, right now at this very moment, is the discretion of whatever state prosecutor can secure a jurisdiction claim.  You and I are each only a "drop a dime" away from an encounter that could change, or end, our lives, today, and every day.

All that "gun control" will accomplish, is all that it has ever accomplished:  it will make it easier for the state to get me, or you, on yet another malum prohibitum statute that in no way requires for me--or you--to have actually done anyone any harm.  Perhaps you have also noticed that along with the frothing, frenzied push for such absurd statutes, is a comitant push to go ahead and "drop that dime" on your neighbor, for even the slightest perceived violation.  (Well, after all, this same philosophy has been a pretty wild "success" in the Drug War, hasn't it?  Just look at the proof:  all those convictions--and drink in the fear of the realization that all these...criminals have been living among you, closeting their secrets, for all this time...)

But perhaps you don't own guns, or smoke weed, or eat fatty foods, or record police abuse, or drink raw milk, or say politically heretical things, or encrypt your email, or [one could go on].  Oh, please.  Do you believe that you will be exempted, when your day arrives and the state turns its reticle on you?  Do you think Officer Friendly is above planting a little contraband--some herb or an "illegal" gun on you, yes you, to get the conviction to match his snitch's tip?  You think you'll be okay simply because you're a "law-abiding citizen", who has not "done anything wrong", meticulously obeying every possible law and rule?  (Gaag.)

Do you think the next move you make would qualify as "a furtive movement"?  Do you think that your opinion about that matters?

If you do:  may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.

And don't worry, either.  The inevitable is...well, just that.  Someday, however long it may take, "they" will get around to "not coming after" something you do care about.

Note:  I am presuming the basic veracity of the linked story, both because it is hardly the only one of its kind, and also because the details hardly matter, if nobody questions the legitimacy of the Almighty State to bring threats and violence to anyone it pleases without even a hint of due process.