And The People Said, “No!”

It is said that there are three boxes to effect political change.

  • The Soap Box
  • The Ballot Box
  • The Ammo Box

The situation in Nevada made people go for the third box. My friend, Peter, has an excellent run down on it and I agree with his thoughts here.

I’m not going to debate whether or not Mr. Bundy is in the right. Honestly, I don’t think I know enough about all the twist and turns and intricacies to make a judgment there.

My takeaway here is that the natives have gotten restless. The people stood up and the feds backed down (at least for the moment. I’m sure it’s not over). This is a bit beyond lighting off a Roman Candle in city limits level of civil disobedience.

The government said, “Respect mah authoritah!” and the people said, “No!”

And that attitude is far from unique. In fact, it seems to be spreading. New York said, “Register you guns,” and the people said, “No!” Same thing happened in Connecticut.

Taking up arms and standing in the way of the uniformed men with guns is a pretty loud “No!” don’t you think? Not a single shot was fired, but I imagine it was heard, nonetheless.

What’s next? I don’t know, but it won’t be the last time the people say “No!”

Feminism Will Never Redefine Beauty

Spotted this going around Facebook. And then this little jewel.

Really? Neither feminism nor some photographer is going to make me see hairy armpits as beautiful. Sorry, not gonna happen. You want to grow them out, fine. They’re your armpits to do with as you like. I’m sure it’s because I’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy, but I don’t find that attractive and no amount of edgy photography or handwritten signs is going to change that. I’m not ‘perturbed’, I just don’t like it. I’m allowed.

Save for certain fetishes, no one is going to find it attractive if I smear myself with feces* no matter how beautiful I insist it really is. (And before someone jumps in and complains that I’m comparing body hair to fecal matter, no, I’m not. I’m using hyperbole.)

Beauty and attraction take at least two participants, the actor and the audience. If the actor wants to be attractive to a particular audience they will have to conform to the beauty standards of that audience. If person x’s definition of a beautiful woman is tall, blond with big boobs, I’m never going to reach that standard. I’m at peace with that. I fit just fine into other standards of beauty. I will never fit them all and neither will you.

You think being hairy is beautiful? Fine. Go be hairy and find someone that likes that, just don’t insist that I need to accept it as beautiful or find it attractive.

*Crushed up fish scales, on the other hand, are totally acceptable.

Freedom is Dangerous

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. -Sigmund Freud

Indeed. Far too many don’t really wish to be free. They want to be children shielded from the consequences of their actions and choices. They want to delegate their protection to someone else.

Responsibility often isn’t fun, but it is necessary to be free. A life without risk is not a life worth living. Guaranteed success is not success at all. It’s mediocrity at best. How can I possibly be the master of my own destiny if I allow someone else to draw the map?

The only place that can guarantee me regular meals, healthcare, and a place to lay my head is a prison. It doesn’t matter whether or not it has walls. And not even there can my safety be assured.

As for me, I’d prefer dangerous freedom over servitude any day.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you are anything other than a slave when you take your food stamps and welfare. Someone else dictates what you can eat and where you will live. That someone can decide how generous they are going to be. They will lull you into complacency and then figure out just how cheaply your vote can be bought. Already you have been deceived with lies and empty promises.

Freedom does not mean free stuff. It means responsibility. Responsibility for your own welfare, your own well-being, your own safety. It’s a shame that’s thought of as such a radical idea.

Sex, Drugs, and Hobby Lobby

I’ve been kind of paying attention to all the arguments surrounding the Hobby Lobby court case. In short, Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to pay for some forms of birth control that the owners consider contrary to their religious beliefs. The government says, not so fast. These methods of birth control are legal and since you aren’t a religious organization, you must pay for them regardless of your personal convictions.

Huh. Well isn’t that interesting? You know, I’d like a new firearm. I have every right to own a firearm. In fact, it’s a right protected right there in plain language in the constitution rather than hidden somewhere under the idea of privacy. I can’t afford a new firearm at the moment. By this logic, I should be able to compel my employer to purchase one for me. Right? Even if my employer was someone like Michael Bloomberg*.

They can’t refuse. That’d be denying me my right to own firearms. It would directly infringe on my access.

Except that, it wouldn’t. It would just mean that I have to spend my own money on it. It would be none of my boss’s business. As it should be.

Hobby Lobby cannot compel its employees not to use these forms of birth control. They cannot deny access to them. They just don’t want to subsidize it.

*Thankfully, my employer is nothing like Michael Bloomberg.

Are We Seeing That ‘Flexibility’?

Remember March 26, 2012? Dear Reader was running to re-election and said this to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility

He’s so flexible, he can reach a phone. Maybe even pen a strongly worded message.

It’s not like his top men have ever flubbed when dealing with Russia. We’re in the very best of hands.

And even though our military is being drawn down to pre-WWII levels, it’s really the leader that counts, right? It’s not like the other guy is some kind of super spy that makes movie villains look like philanthropists. I mean, who would you follow into glorious battle?

obama_putin14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To victory, Komrade!

Legally Sanctioned Discrimination: Be Careful What You Wish For

So the internet is all a flutter with the news of Arizona’s right to refuse service law being vetoed. Oklahoma has one in the works to which is being re-worked in light of the activities in Arizona.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am just going to go ahead and tell you that I’ve not read either bill. All I have seen is the reaction to it on both sides. And really, I sympathize with those celebrating the veto. I have no tolerance for bigotry*. Sympathize, but don’t agree.

For the record, I’m using the Merriam-Webster definition of bigot

:  a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially:  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

So now the Christian screen-printer has to print up flyers for the gay rally. Their money is good, right? It’s a business offering a service for hire to the public. Don’t hate. Don’t discriminate. So what if the screen-printers happen to be black? Do they also have to print flyers for next week’s Klan rally? Their money spends the same, right? They are participating in a completely legal activity even if you do find them reprehensible.

The Christian bakery has to make big gay wedding cakes. And they’ll be fabulous, I’m sure. Going to have the Halal deli cater the reception? Huh. That’s funny. That wasn’t the conflict that sent anyone running to the ACLU.

Let me introduce you to Gary James, proprietor of Gary’s Chicaro’s in Enid, Ok.

Charming, isn’t he?

Love the shirt, by the way. I wish all the bigoted assholes in the world would label themselves so obviously. It should be absolutely legal for them to do so.

Just as legal as making sure that Gary’s Chicaro’s gains the reputation of being the best little gay bar in Oklahoma. Or setting up on the public street out front with a camera**. I do so love the idea of handling bigots with the ridicule and shame they deserve. Let the market do its justice.

The freedom of speech is not there to protect pretty speech. It is specifically designed to protect speech that makes people uncomfortable. The kind of thing that starts revolutions. Freedom of association has no clause stating as long as your associating with the ‘right’ people. It also allows you not to associate with those you choose not to associate with. It’s set up that way on purpose.

Think long and hard before deciding ‘there outta be a law.’ They all have consequences, and one day, it won’t be your side deciding how to enforce it.

*I suppose that means I am bigoted against bigots

**From a reasonable distance, wouldn’t want to be harassing anyone. Know your rights as a photographer. Not that I’m suggesting anything. Wouldn’t want to give anyone any ideas.

Not So Smart Gun

A Facebook friend brought this bit of tech to my attention.

The Armatix Smart System includes a watch and a gun, and the firearm will only work when it is within RFID range of the user’s watch. (Credit: Armatix).

 

Interesting? Sure, but I wouldn’t have one. Really, it brings up more questions than answers.

First off, I want to know what happens when the batteries die. Does the system lock up making your firearm a fancy looking club? What if there is some kind of interference?

And what is the range on that RFID? Anti-gun types often like to trot out the idea that a criminal will just take your gun and use it against you. I would assume that anyone that was close enough to snag your heater would still be within RFID range. Or is the range so short that I would have to be wearing the watch on the hand I was using to shoot the gun? I wear my watch on my left hand and generally shoot right-handed although I can shoot left-handed as well. What happens if I need to use the opposite hand?

I suppose if it works exactly as advertised, it would add a bit of security in the situation of a stolen gun, but that only lasts as long as it takes to hack the thing.

Or maybe it’s supposed to provide peace of mind when you leave a loaded gun on your nightstand. Bet Kendra St. Clair’s mom is glad she wasn’t using one of these. You can’t substitute technology for training. Teach your children to be safe around guns, and take the necessary precautions that fit your situation. No matter what 20/20 says, you probably know best how to keep your children safe. There is no one size fits all.

And finally, putting this technology out there does nothing to prevent crime of any sort. It’s just another marketing gimmick to separate naïve people from their money. Worse than that, it’s another place for some gung-ho legislator to hang their pet cause. Even if this worked perfectly, you can’t snap your fingers and make every firearm out there complaint any more than you can make all the icky guns disappear with a signature.

I wouldn’t want to live in a world where you could. You see, the world would be a far, far scarier place without firearms. Eliminating them would only serve to cripple the weak. Brute force would win the day. I do not want to live in a world where the most vulnerable among us are deprived of an equalizer against those bent on violence. You have to wonder about the true motivations of those calling for just that.

Police Officers Are Human

And thus superior to traffic cameras and also fallible and imperfect.

*queue the way back music*

It was the summer of 1997 and was attending the University of Central Oklahoma. My roommate and I decided we were sick and tired of campus food and headed out to grab something different. I was driving and my roommate was putting some really terrible Mexi-Polka “music” on the radio. I rolled my eyes at her as I pulled in beside the police cruiser that was in the far right lane at the intersection on Second and University.

The police cruiser was in the lane closest to Broncho Books and I was in the next lane over.

The police cruiser was in the lane closest to Broncho Books and I was in the next lane over.

I waited for the light to turn green and made a right turn onto Second St. The officer flipped on his lights, and so I pulled into the parking lot of the adjacent dry cleaners. I pulled out my license and insurance as he approached the window. I honestly had no idea why he was pulling us over.

Officer: You can’t do that!

Me: Do what?

Officer: Make a right from that lane.

Me: It says you can.

Officer: <dripping condescension> Where does it say that?

Me: Big white arrow painted on the road.

He turned, looked at the intersection, apologized, and sent us on our way.

So how might that particular interchange of gone differently if this actually passed? Would I have even remembered the incident by the time the ticket came in the mail? Maybe, maybe not. It would have arrived at my home address 25 miles away. It would have required that I make a special trip and likely take time off of work to argue it in court rather than handle the misunderstanding there on the side of the road like we did 1997.

I understand that a police officer’s job is dangerous. I get that they are taking a risk each and every time they approach a vehicle, but I am no threat to them and should not be treated as such. I had committed no crime, but had this law been in effect I would have been needlessly punished and it would have cost the city quite a bit more money.

This bill would reduce the officers to the status of traffic cameras issuing citations without discernment. Furthermore, it would unduly burden the citizenry with the human errors made by the officers.