…Gun control? Who’re we kidding?

During the slippery slope SCOTUS case, VOISINE ET AL. v. UNITED STATES, Clarence Thomas shocked everyone by asking his first question from bench in ten years:

“Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor suspends a constitutional right?”

He was talking about the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, of course.

Thomas was right to raise the question, since even though all of our rights have been demoted to conditional privileges, the 2nd Amendment is under special attack these days.

And despite Thomas, our Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot-leaning SCOTUS ultimately decided that, of course a misdemeanor is sufficient to suspend a constitutional right. What isn’t?

I’m not a “gun nut” by any stretch. I love almost every other kind of gadget, device, machine or app. But I’m not a fan of guns. I’m not fond of what they do.

NoGunBut the 2nd Amendment isn’t about guns. It’s about violence, and trust. I hate violence, and I definitely don’t trust politicians with a monopoly on it.  It’s THEIR guns that most need restraint.

But humans, particularly in groups, are very emotional creatures. Where there’s a conflict between fact and feelings, feelings almost always win.

That’s why demagoguery works. That is why nearly all of human history is about oppression, slavery, genocide and war; and why peace, freedom and prosperity are very, very rare, but precious, blips.

…Because it’s not the emotions of love and loyalty and empathy that drive humankind’s political governments.

No, it’s fear, and greed and envy and sloth and…all the evil stuff.

So let’s be real clear on who oppresses, enslaves, commits genocide and war:

Our politicians, under that abstract incantation we call “government.”

It’s politicians – specifically our own politicians, invoking and blaspheming the common good while fanning the flames of all our worst emotions – that take away the freedom that’d be ours if left alone.

This is why human governments have a 100% failure rate. Aside from the obvious violence, they devalue currency, steal across generations, and generally self-destruct.

And it’s why people even consider the catchy but crazy “no fly, no buy” talk in the US Congress.

Yes, The Home of the Brave is terrified; so much so that The Land of The Free is surrendering even more of its tattered freedoms to promises of security from our entrenched, corrupt, arrogant, lying, thieving, heavily armed and violent ruling class.

While there can be some reasonable debate whether more guns mean less crime, or what the 2nd Amendment is really all about, there’s really no denying that gun control laws don’t work as politicians claim they do.

As the gun control debate has been going on for centuries now, there’s plenty of objective evidence demonstrating that, considering that some cultures are just more violent than others, gun control laws are, at best, ineffective. The pro-gun control arguments I’ve ever read or heard so far rely on either post hoc ergo propter hoc or false-choice logical fallacies, or disgorged-from-the-gut emotion. And only the purely emotional arguments for gun control suggest that gun laws would actually work.

No Fly, No Buy is No Different in terms of any promised effects.

I’m not objecting to the No Fly, No Buy marketing campaign just because of that; or because our increasingly militarized empire is pushing for a political monopoly on weapons, or because it’s another example of bureaucrats with too much power. And it’s not just that we beleaguered taxpayers are expected to arm everybody on the planet except ourselves.

I’m more concerned with how our political emotions work on the fundamental, psychological and even religious level.

We excuse the deceit, transgenerational theft, corruption and destruction inherent in politics because our fear, hatred and envy lead us pray to the false gods of politics for protection and vengeance. Wise people knew this to be unwise, so we’ve got some very excellent constitutions, state and federal, to keep a leash on our tendency to, for example, sacrifice our children to the whims of state.

But that wisdom has been discarded, and our government is now completely ungoverned. The regulators are unregulated, and the police are unpoliced.

The No-Fly, No-Buy canard isn’t just the abrogation of the enumerated rights to arms and due process; it stomps on the whole point of constitutional rule of law –

That it’s our politicians who need to be restrained…not us!

Our government has always kept secret lists of people, and there’ve been secret, but less-formal no fly lists for decades, enough has been said about the No Fly list as it exists today. The FBI and TSA denied it existed for the first 2.5 years of its now-acknowledged existence, which is plenty to lead us to suspicion about this embarrassment.

But the fear and loathing represented by this list are not only our nation’s recurrent gestalt, it’s what’s been, through the past one hundred years nurturing, fomenting, exacerbating and elevating to godhood a costly military industrial complex and thieving, murderous racket.

I’d recently written about our Middle East Madness; and by now we all know that our own government creates, trains, arms and funds our enemies such that we end up in war against ourselves all over the world.

I’ll wrap this up with some context:
Our militarized police anti-constitutionally/criminally take more property than do all other criminals combined; and you’re 58 times more likely to be killed by cops than by terrorists. But it’s politicians who’ve increasingly put police into their ever-more adversarial role. And as already mentioned above, our politicians lie about pretty much everything all the time. They’ve destroyed their moral authority to issue speeding tickets; they hardly deserve any trust with a secretive, heavily armed, and globally aggressive crony network with control of nuclear weapons and our sources of information, education, food and water.

They created the situation that we feel we must respond to with laws that increase their power, secrecy and unaccountability…at our expense.

I say we run, not walk, in the opposite direction.

Over two thousand years ago Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “The more laws, the less justice.” We know that the “War on Terror” has dramatically increased terrorism. I think facts support the notion that the less politics we tolerate, the more security, prosperity and of course, freedom, we’ll enjoy. So I suggest that instead of more laws, we nullify our way out of this corrupt and complex tangle we’ve made of our nation, and try, at long last, what our wisest founders hoped we’d actually become; a nation where all are equal under law, and where prosperity and security come from liberty, and justice, for all.

Radically Reasonable

Besides the complaints about jobs, money and immigration that now seem ubiquitous on this planet, the Brexit supporters complained about the “unelected bureaucrats” in Brussels who write laws for all of Europe. This ruling cabal of commissioners was called things like, “…overpaid and arrogant, but opaque and unaccountable…”

USA wonks nodded their smug comprehension, apparently thinking that at least we elect our lawmakers on this side of the pond. At least our lawmakers can be fired.

But we don’t fire them. Nor can we; because most of our laws aren’t written by people authorized to write laws. And we didn’t elect them.

And, no, I’m not even talking about the lobbyists who write most of what Congress makes law.

You see, while the “lawmakers” in the US Congress are of course overpaid, arrogant, and almost completely corrupt, they’re practically irrelevant now.

Unelected bureaucrats in innumerable federal agencies (DOE, FDA, FCC, USDA, IRS…) and even private organizations with governing powers like “The Federal Reserve System,” make thirty times as many regulations as does the US Congress, though Article I Section I of the Constitution for the USA restricts all legislative powers to only congress. Even if counting only those regulations that affect USA citizens directly, bureaucrats wrote sixteen times as many laws as did the US Congress.

Some say the rapidly growing regulatory burden amounts to around $15K per year for every USA household. Whatever the actual cost, unregulated regulation is literally criminal, and very destructive to our prosperity, independence, opportunity and of course, freedom.

What’s worse is that these agencies are also, quite unlike our US Congress, heavily armed against us.

They have been granted legislative, judicial, and executive powers (armed with SWAT teams and military gear…the USDA has machine guns! Even the federal DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is armed now!!!) without checks and balances, without an electoral accountability, and without any constitutional authority.

And this doesn’t even count the UN

liberty

The Two Party System has to go

So,

I propose we limit lawmaking to only lawmakers, as the constitution demands.

I propose a sunset rule or constitutional amendment – a 10-year expiration date for all non-constitutionally specified agencies, laws, powers and programs to gracefully remove, or at least review for reinstatement, everything that’s not specifically written into the constitution.

I propose a Rule of Law reboot, to affirm that politicians must obey laws too…at last.

I propose we stand down our global military “whack-a-mole” machine, and concentrate on defending our homeland instead of browbeating and manipulating the world.

I propose that our government issue only sound money as constitutionally required, and allow free market trade and monetary alternatives as our constitution also demands (Amendments 9 and 10 in particular).

All this is what we’re supposed to be doing anyway. It’s what many of us think is what’s happening now.

It’s unfortunate that this sane, legal, proven sensibility would be nothing less than a revolution.

What’s fortunate is that it already belongs to us. We need only to choose it on Election Day.

HorningCongress640

This ain’t about religion, folks

I’ve got no idea what was going through Omar Mateen‘s mind when he decided he was a terrorist.  But I do know how people tend to justify anger and violence.  I know that the justifications sometimes become motivation.  And I’m certain that our modern culture of global, politically-inflamed and monetary-policy-fueled violence should be discussed.  

It’s easy to see why people react against “The Religion of Peace,” and why people of that faith want to defend their faith.

But with so much obvious ignorance and disastrously bad policy (have ANY of our government’s promises or justifications for warfare turned out to be true?), we’re past-due for a look at both OUR history, and our allies…including the one that seems off-the-table, taboo, and the Name Never Spoken: Saudi Arabia.

Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab (1703 – 1792) was a Sunni Muslim cleric who rejected modern culture and technology, and sought to purify and distill Islam to the faith and practices of the Salaf.  In other words, he wanted people to live in the year 700.

This was not a very popular idea among the very many Muslims who liked the advances made in the intervening thousand years.

Putting it more plainly, many wanted him dead. So the cleric sought out the protection of a well-known desert warrior/ emir, Muhammad ibn Saud.

It turned out that Wahhab’s ideas of religious discipline and zeal fit very well with Saud’s ideas of military conquest and political domination. They legitimized each other, in effect; and so they created a dynasty that endures to today.

But this militarized religion in the form of Wahhabism and the House of Saud had pretty powerful enemies within the prevailing Ottoman Empire. So the Ottomans eventually (albeit violently) contained Saudi Arabia’s inherent military expansionist zeal.

Through all this, however, Ottomans and Europeans were also fighting each other. It was mostly the British who started a practice of deceit and division to ally with opposing factions to disrupt the empire.

After the Young Turk Revolution and during WWI is when the young archaeologist T.E. Lawrence was pushed into Britain’s assymetric engagement to bring down the Ottoman Empire.

765px-Lawrence_of_Arabia_Brough_Superior_gifThomas Edward Lawrence, CB DSO FAS, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia,” was an amazing guy; and not just because the multilingual soldier/ archaeologist/ writer liked motorcycles. Mostly, it’s because he was both a key historical figure, and a Cassandric chronicler of our current problems in the Middle East.

During the revolution/fall of the Ottoman Empire, Lawrence tried to help the Egyptian-led Hashemite forces make a stable, peaceful transition to the modern world. But England was, at first unbeknownst to Lawrence, also subsidizing the opposing faction of Muslims in Riyad…the House of Saud.

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster.” – “Report on Mesopotamia” The Sunday Times (22 August 1920)  (does this seem familar somehow?)

Lawrence’s axis of Egyptian/Syrian Arabs did most of the real dismantling of the old Empire while the House of Saud/Wahhabis pretty much rebuilt in the background (and certainly avoided the forces helped/led by T.E. Lawrence).

With the increasing importance of oil, and the ready sources of it in his grasp, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdul-Rahman al Faisal al Saud became more than just a military force.

So the British then did in that conflict what the USA has done ever since…they funded, equipped and aided two sides of a revolution against a third entity, and ended up picking the worst side.

So it was the Wahhabist Saudi faction that gained the real power from the post-revolution/ post-WWI power struggles…because western powers took their side.

To make the long story short, Saudi Arabia became nobody’s friend, but everybody’s ally; especially since FDR signed a deal with the Saudis, and Nixon based the dollar on their oil trade.

Richer by far than the dissipating Rothchilds, as heavily armed as they want to be, and to seal their imperviousness to our domestic production, we just gave the Wahhabis our biggest oil refinery in Port Arthur Texas.

Global imperialism and concomitantly devalued currency wrecked the British Empire, so the USA has now taken on Britain’s role of self-destructing meddler-bully.

We’ve become both puppet and puppeteer, both thug and serf. The middle east is a divided, angry wreck because we made it that way over the past one-hundred years.

What’s next? What would you do if you were a non-Saudi in the Middle East? What should you do as a USA citizen?

Consider what Lawrence wrote as applicable to all of us:

With_Lawrence_in_ArabiaWhether they are fit for independence or not remains to be tried. Merit is no qualification for freedom. Bulgars, Afghans, and Tahitans have it. Freedom is enjoyed when you are so well armed, or so turbulent, or inhabit a country so thorny that the expense of your neighbour’s occupying you is greater than the profit.” – “Letter to the Editor” The Times (22 July 1920)