Guns are not for self-defense.

They’re for revenge.

Think about it.

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Metro areas and Countrysides II

…considered in the New York City statehood discussion of 1971Time then concluded on something like my Autonomy idea, or even a semi-federalization ala the Tennessee Valley Authority or the MTA.

More on-point is a Harper’s 1999 piece on discussing — just discussing! — whether the 1787 Constitution is obsolete, inspired by Columbine and the 2nd Amendment rants of recent decades, and its virtual unamendability.  The older Time article concludes,

The new consideration of national cities and city-states is a refreshing move to examine the rationale of the nation’s long-accepted governmental divisions. One of the most important national problems throughout the next 20 years, predicts Bell, will be to decide the most effective social unit to handle each social problem. “What is best left to the neighborhoods?” he asks. “What to townships? What to municipalities? What to metropolitan areas? What to regions and what to the Federal Government?” The questions are simple, the answers elusive—but an imaginative quest for them is essential to the future of the nation.

It’s questionable whether we really looked at those things seriously as a Federation — or whatever — during the predicted ’70s and ’80s.  Maybe now it’s time.

BTW, I know a bit more about the background than the Harper’s writer, and the reality about English village and town “militias” and posses and whether they were “volunteerism” or compulsory.  Also, how even these supposed bulwarks of local freedom could be used to enforce local conformity, oppress next-door neighbors, “different” people, dissenters, gays, immigrants, Catholics, Quakers, church reformers, “liberals” — which would cover both today’s U.S. “liberals” AND “conservatives”! — etc etc etc.  Plus, the main body of our Constitution empowers — Guess who? — CONGRESS!!! — to “regulate” the State’s Militias.  Simply reading the text will sometimes work wonders itself.

On the lighter side, it’s entirely possible that the 2nd Amendment isn’t about guns at all, but heraldry: “Bearing arms” also means, and meant, publicly presenting yourself as validly possessing a coat of arms, i.e., as armigerous.  “Well-regulated militia”?: Heraldry was invented in order to distinguish fighters on and near a field of battle, i.e., to tell them apart.  It’s still used today by modern armed forces in those logos and patches that distinguish military units and countries’ forces … even countries themselves, hence national flags like the Stars and Stripes, the Royal Colours (aka Union Jack), the Tricolour, etc etc etc.  So it’s possible the Framers weren’t thinking about guns OR militias, but shields and crests, ribbons and supporters!  But AFAIK the USA has never granted individual arms of this kind, leaving that to WWW bucketshop frauds seducing you with “mists of antiquity” and “ancient seats” and hints of … royalty and nobility!!!

Maybe some scribe even switched the two words around, and it’s about arming bears … knowing how crazy we’d always be arguing about guns and militias, coats of arms and “crests” and “mists of antiquity,” etc.!  Maybe we’re not even supposed to bear arms at all, just sic armed bears on our enemies!!!

Arming-up against Obama, Democrats, poor, and probably those of us in need of healthcare too

You saw it on the front of Monday’s USA Today

Not just licenses, but permits to carry concealed!  This was a followup to an Election Week story.

You don’t need Concealed Carry to protect your home from break-in … unless you don’t even want your own family to know about it?!?!?!  And getting more guns when you think rational gun control is coming?  Only if you plan on murdering cops, sheriffs, ATF agents … you remember, “jackbooted thugs”?   (See Time magazine’s expose of ‘the new NRA’ – radical, militant, rebellious – around then, 1995.)  And just recently we were faced with the possibility of NRA/nationally-imposed  least-common-denominator Concealed Carry rules?!!  (So much for “States’ Rights”!!!)

No, at a time when GOP leaders, (formerly-)mainstream public figures like Chuck Norris, traitor Rush ‘I hope America fails’ Limbaugh, (let’s not forget their godfather G. Gordon Liddy,) and more than a few followers, are talking publicly about Secession and a New Civil War, it’s clear who these new guns, more and more guns, are being pointed at right now: the rest of us, our elected officials, our duly-appointed government officials, government employees just doing their legal jobs as apolitically as they can (Remember harrassment and threats against County Clerks in the Midwest based on 18th-century spelling and capitalization rules, not to mention a Day One of Law School grasp of Common Law?), anyone they consider “traitors” or “godless” or a “threat to civilization” or “persecuting” … THEM!

USA probably should’ve clarified that that gun seller claimed an elderly couple came in afraid Pres. Obama was going to personally ‘invade their home’ and take their guns, since presumably the USA reporter didn’t meet the couple in question.  The seller could’ve just made them up, like the fake couple — actors — who torpedoed healthcare reform the last time, Fred and Ethel or whatever their names were.  And as for those Richmond, Virginia, suburbanites living on wild game shot by pre-adolescents in the cul-de-sacs — Rats? Squirrels? Raccoons? Possums? My Native ancestors ate groundhog stew, but didn’t “rely on it,” except maybe in lean years, or when English colonists penned them up in Reservations! — I’m just glad I don’t live next-door to them!  (Raising growing boys on rodents? I guess they’d better learn how to shoot!)  The Associated Press (that time) again should’ve said that that family claims to rely on game for food, even though Midlothian and vicinity seems to have no shortage of Food Lions, Krogers, and even a chain called Ukrops.  In journalism it’s called attribution.

As KCBS-AM Radio News in San Francisco reported in November, this spike also happened when Democrats last came into the White House (or last succeeded in coming into the White House), with Bill Clinton’s election in ’92.  [Coincidence, or marketing ploy?!!!]  But now is not then, and with all due respect to mainstream poli-sci academics, the other side has sounded a whole lot scarier since ’92.  At the time of the First Civil War, “paranoia” was stoked by “extremists” on both sides of the Slavery and other arguments, tearing the rest of the Federation apart.  The only difference this time is that our side isn’t too fond of violence; that could be good, or bad, relative to history … I’m not sure.  Does that mean no war, or a onesided rebellion … or a coup d’etat?

I’ve been wondering if it isn’t time to tamp down the rhetoric by giving our urban and suburban and other such areas, their own states, letting each not have to follow the other in areas so fundamentally (no pun intended) offensive to it: e.g., same-sex marriage for them, Wild West for us.  Or even some kind of extra layer of Sovereignty or Autonomy within their current States: e.g., on their side, even though marriage is often presented in religious terms, its cultural ramifications are undeniable, so let them have their culture; on ours, city/suburb-appropriate gun control.  Creative thinking, please, at least; Civil War is not creative.  Then again, there’s the idea of a voluntary, amicable parting of the ways between “Jesusland” and “the United States of Canada” — only, not by Red State/Blue State, but more as discussed in this paragraph!

In the meantime, go with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

On the sneakier side, can’t someone provoke a schism within the NRA, deprive them of some of their vaunted numbers and monies?  A sort of Rational Rifle Association?!!*  ‘Cause right now, between them and Big Business and the (so-called) Religious Right, this country and this planet are being run into the ground.  What about revoking their home-state Corporate Charter by the people’s Sovereign Prerogative…?  Make it an issue in the next legislative, attorney general, secretary of state, or gubernatorial election!

More esoterically, it’s real certain that the guys who put together the Constitution of 1787 had no intention of subjecting their power and that of their “heirs and successors” to the kind of revolution they had just forced upon 80 percent of their neighbors, their constitutional parliamentary Monarch, and his lawful officials and forces.  If Tom Jefferson opined otherwise, he was obviously being facetious, and if not, he certainly didn’t feel strongly enough to do anything about it: “Every 20 years”?  Let’s see, he missed 1796, 1816….  OTOH, “a free state’s well-regulated militia” would’ve been the first line of defense against such nonsense, as Shays and the Whiskey Rebels found out real early on.  Arguably their more-or-less-permanent federalization, and dispatch to multiple long intensive wars and adventures overseas (not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but Central America in the ’80s, foreign drug interdiction since the ’90s, etc.), as opposed to Congress using its power to raise sufficient armies and navies, subjects us to the risk of just such nonsense here at home.  Although considering the infection of our military and paramilitary ranks with these folks, we may be safer this way, here at home at least….  Unless a draft were to draw from all walks of life, ideologies, demographics, etc…..

(*–14 years ago Time seemed to think it was possible to bring out the voice of those 40 percent who turnover every year, kind of like a fitness club:
Such talk leaves little space for people like Dave Richards, 37, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a target shooter who joined the N.R.A. to support the rights of sportsmen. Two years ago, Richards quit after concluding that the N.R.A. had become “more about lobbying for extremes than the mainstream people who just want to go hunting.” A large number of those mainstream folks are now ex-members. Currently, four of every 10 members drop out when it comes time to renew their $35 annual membership. “All the smaller voices like mine,” says hunter Ray Guzman, “aren’t being heard.” Speaking with a louder, shriller voice clearly works within the n.r.a. [sic]  The question is whether America’s other citizens, including responsible gun owners, will make themselves heard as well.
Yes, the time may have come for The Rational Rifle Association … or at least a simple, mainstream, anti-ideological Sport Rifle Association, to fight the NRA who give a bad name to target-shooting enthusiasts and recreational hunters everywhere.  Or even just a pissed ex-nra.org outfit to go tit for rat-a-tat-tat with them!  Or compete with them and re-focus gun enthusiasts’ attention on something more wholesome. 

[Even though this post retains my inherent copyright, I hereby grant permission to anyone with aims consonant with what I’ve expressed here to use the URL “ex-nra.org,” “x-nra.org,” “exnra.org,” “xnra.org,” .net, .com, .us, .ws, .info, .biz, and such.  You’ll be doing a real public service.  OTOH, if you just commandeer it against these aims, I reserve the right to litigate for violation of my copyright!])

“If only outlaws have guns….”

…it’ll be pretty easy to identify them before they commit crimes.  Kind of like an Outlaw I.D. card, right?!!*  “Conservatives” like that, don’t they?!!!

(*–Only more dangerous….)

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3” several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

Funny Canada

About a zillion Canadian jokes here.  Not all keeping with the Canadian stereotype of PC or sensitivity or apologeticness!

One of my faves, in the style of Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck jokes (which got him made a Kentucky Colonel* believe it or not): “You might be a Canadian if… 23. You know that Canada is the only country to successfully invade the US and burn its capital to the ground.”  (Not that I advocate the violent overthrow of the United States government or anything!)

(*–Which reminds me of another joke whose punchline is, “It’s like the ‘Honorable’ in front of your name, Judge: It don’t mean a thing!”

Which reminds me of a conundrum: If Americans have to call Harlan Sanders “Colonel,” why can’t Canadians call knights “Sir”?!!)

The one about the temperature scale reminded me of the scene in the recent cable movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, when Sitting Bull seeks refuge across the border, and the Mountie says, “I welcome you in the Queen’s name.  But I should warn you, the winters get pretty cold up here – this isn’t Dakota!”

The “Cultural differences” one about Americans, Australians, British, and Canadians is pretty good too, especially:

Brits:   Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.
Aussies:   Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.
Americans:   Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.
Canadians:   Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.

Hey, a little perspective is good, eh?  🙂

Assorted Monarchy, etc., reflections

If everybody’s sovereign, nobody’s sovereign, and nobody’s subject, so those who can, will do whatever they wish, to whomever they wish.

For Christians, the Christian God is sovereign (hence the title “Lord”) over all Creation, and human sovereigns serve subject to Him, accountable to Him.

The Monarchy in England/Britain was always among the people, representing the Sovereignty of the people, the Nation.  They weren’t “angels in the form of men,” and they weren’t perfect, but they were part of a system.

In the American Constitution what we have is less a system where different branches, divided branches, and levels of government, check each other’s abuses, than a CABAL – ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine.’  (At least in Britain acts of government need the Sovereign’s assent, somebody who can say NO to the cabal.  If government acts needed “the sovereign’s” assent here, we’d all get to vote on every government measure – which of course would be inefficient.)  But this may be how the “Founding Fathers” and “Framers” intended it, wealthy White planters and traders – CABAL – that they were.  Certainly no President of the Executive Branch has ever been removed from office – have we really finally “found angels in the form of men to govern us”?!!! – and no State has ever stood in the way of Federal abuses.  (Though I’m not against the Federal government blocking State abuses, as happened not infrequently in the second half of the 20th century.)  Deals between the Houses of Congress and the Executive Branch go on all the time, and the politicization of the Supreme Court and the rest of the Federal Bench has become legendary.

“In a republic the people reign, they do not rule.”  Who rules?  Our cabalistas, the influential persons connected with our all-but-sovereign corporations, our ignoble rich, the pseudo-educated “neocons,” the big media barons, and the power-mad, hypocritical leaders of conservative Evangelical and Fundamentalist sects… as well as all who truly follow or emulate any of these.

If government excludes Nobles, then the ignoble will predominate!

“Law” used to be a combination of judicial precedent/”wisdom of the court,” legal and political custom, tradition, faith, morality, learned analysis, justice, solidarity, ‘what should be,’ the needs of society, as well as the interplay among Monarchy, Royal advisers and generals, governmental Administrators, Church Hierarchy (bishops and abbots), Lay Nobility, and elected Representatives of the Commons; etc.  Now it’s whatever a short-sighted, selfish, activist, falsely-influential minority from day to day says it is.  Such false democratism needs to be balanced by other things.

There is no “people of the United States” outside the non-legally-binding Preamble to the Constitution of 1787.  There are only the peoples of the Several States.

Maybe the Monarchy Party should change its name to the Crown-and-People Party!

Restoring the representation of State legislative houses in the U.S. Senate would restore the dignity of the U.S. House of Representatives and of the States, and provide more check on the Executive Branch.  But no statewide campaigning or “non-binding” elections should be allowed, so Senators truly represent the States as States again, as bodies politic, ie, their legislative chambers, and not campaign contributors/bribers.

Then we institute full public campaign financing for the House of Representatives, to remove their beholdenness to contributors/bribers also.

Either House of Congress should be able to Impeach, requiring the other House to try its Impeachments.  The present model is based on the UK Parliament, where the Commons impeaches, and the Lords, who traditionally include a judicial function, try impeachments; but the U.S. Senate has never had a judicial function otherwise.  (Of course now in the UK, where they look fixed to remove the Law Lords from Parliament into a new Supreme Court, this distinction between even the Houses of Parliament would cease to exist, giving even less reason for it in America.)

Responsible Government (ie, “parliamentary”) needs limitations on it to mitigate the occasional phenomenon of virtual “elective dictatorship.”

There are more guns per capita in Canada than in the U.S.  Why do more Americans than Canadians shoot each other, or die of accidental gunshot wounds?

It’s easier to prevail upon the morality, wisdom, etc., of one Monarch, than of 218 (or 290) out of 435 members of the House of Representatives, 51 (or 60, or 67) out of 100 Senators, one President, and five out of nine Supreme Court Justices.  On the other hand, it’s easier to suborn the latter than the former, especially if she is unbribeable and not subject to electoral politics.

The Founders and Framers were two-faced.  When it served their purposes, they treated the King of Great Britain as an absolute despot when even in the late 18th century he was limited by his Council and relations with Parliament; yet they treated many Colonial governors as limited by their Councils, when they were ultimately answerable only to London.  So why didn’t they give the President a Council?  They gave him more power than the Kings of England had since the Reformation!  They didn’t even limit him to two terms!!

Was Communist Albania history’s first “atheistic state”… or was (small-R) republican America?!

The ethnic nationalism that grips Orthodox Churches has to be overcome.  Maybe Victoria Clark has it right after all: ‘Phyletism vs. Hesychasm,’ ie, Tribalism vs. inclusive, pan-Orthodox repentance and humility and prayer and faithfulness and communion (koinonia).  OCs in the West aren’t supposed to be so distinguished by immigrant background, nor Orthodox countries in ‘the East’ by pseudo-religious flag-waving, nor their hierarchies by whining and prostrating to the West.  Of course, these phenomena are common in the West too – in fact they’ve been furthered by the West for two centuries – but that’s not my Church, mine by choice is Orthodoxy.