My read on the Capital crud storm

So I got a concerned eMail from an aunt in England after the crud storm in DC yesterday. Below is my way longer than she probably wanted explanation of what was going on after pointing out that the ‘broke’ media over reported something while casting the worst possible light on it. Below that is a take on the political posturing that led up to it.

The reality is that 4 years ago the Democratic Party screwed up and did not cheat sufficiently to beat the groundswell of support that carried Trump to the presidency. The apparatchiks who thought they had a lock on the future of the country were horrified.

They started a low level insurgency in the gov’t and in the streets where of municipalities where they had absolute hold. Make no mistake, up until yesterday every place you heard about that was having street protests and really riots and violence were in deeply Democratic centers where the mayors and councils could neuter the police and had already neutered the ability of the people to push back.

This last time the Democratic Party was prepared for the Trump support and overwhelmed it. To my mind it looks like cheating put Biden over the top, but that is hard to prove since it would have been a passively cellular network of cheating in densely populated centers they already controlled. Suppressing Trump votes (which were still huge by historical standards) and expanding their own. Much of the issue both pro and con were changing the rules due to ‘COVID’ and a huge concerted drive by both sides to expand the vote, providing a jungle of confusion regarding the reality.

What is going on now is a knock on to that. The reality is that the laws regarding our national elections (in a republic of very differently governed states) are Byzantine in their complexity. What I think few have realized until this last 2 months is that the system has no real way of dealing with systemic breakdown in voting which is highly state centric. While the ‘news’ says that the thousands of accusations of fraud have been ‘proven’ invalid nothing like that has happened. Except in a few trivial cases nothing has actually reached the point of presenting proof. In every significant case the court has refused to take the case because:1) The protest should have been made before the election, once the election happened the protest is void (even though there was no time before the election to know what was happening.) 2) The person(s) making the protest had no standing because they were not directly harmed. 3) The court did not have jurisdiction and thus even if they took the case could not remedy any fault found. 4) The court did not have any remedy period…which is essentially what the US Supreme Court said when the States protested other States patently fraudulent election results.

The above and Trumps refusal to back down is what triggered yesterday which was very peaceful until an idiot shot an unarmed protestor in the capital building where she in fact had something of a right (as a citizen) to be. It should also be noted that this was a Potemkin affair, the Mayor (deep rabid Democrat) pulled the police and closed things down to enable violent rioting (that did not happen.) Also pulled the police from the capital and the protective services essentially did not push back when the crowds started building up. Then the politicos went into deep political posturing for the cameras thus providing all sorts of wonderful propaganda fodder for the ‘new.’

Should the invasion have happened, no. Did Trump make it possible, yes. Did his opposition PULL the crowds in for propaganda purposes, YES. Did the capital burn down or suffer any significant damage, NO.

What you see is the marxist left pulling the liberal idiots into their grip so that they can start stripping the country of its assets as they have been doing in the UK for the last couple of decades (from my view over the pond.)

An interesting blog piece on the background I discussed above from Mark Tapscott at Instapundit:

“….. the more fundamental question is whether Congress has the authority to set aside a state’s Electoral College votes. In my view, there are two key aspects of the question:

First, is there sufficient evidence of fraud in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and others to justify the decisions of Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri to register objections to the acceptance of their Electoral College votes? I haven’t had the opportunity to review all of the evidence for all of the allegations, but, as explained, for example, in this
“American Thought Leaders” interview on The Epoch Times with the Data Integrity Group, the evidence of vote manipulation in multiple states is substantial and cries out for a critical investigation.

Second, Congress has an absolute right to set aside the Electoral College votes, according to President Abraham Lincoln, who
told Congress on February 9, 1865, that “the two Houses of Congress, convened under the twelfth article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal, and it is not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a veto …”

The
process seen in Wednesday’s Joint Session, interrupted as it was by the riot around and within the Capitol, was conducted as prescribed in the Constitution. Each properly framed and submitted objection to the acceptance of a state’s certified Electoral College votes gets two hours of debate in the Senate and the House, at the end of which members of both chambers vote on whether to accept or reject the objection.

Congress considered objections in 1969 (the “faithless elector” of North Carolina) and 2005 (Democrat objection to awarding Ohio’s votes to President George W. Bush) under this process and rejected the propositions. But Congress could have accepted the objections, which would have left Electoral College votes on the floor.

This reality should not surprise anybody who is familiar with the manner in which the Founders wrote the Constitution as a “legislative supremacy” document. So long as the Senate and House are of one will, Congress has, as Willmoore Kendal and George Carey
wrote, “all of the ultimate weapons in any showdown with either of the other two branches.”

Congress doesn’t like a program or action favored by the President? Congress can defund it. To cite but two examples: Congress doesn’t like how the Supreme Court is ruling? Congress can change the composition of the Court. If Congress has the will, the Founders gave it the power to do pretty much as it pleases so long as it respects the Bill of Rights.

Bottom Line: There is substantial evidence that Congress could have relied upon,
had it chosen to do so, in deciding to exclude the Electoral College votes of any of the challenged states Wednesday and thereby made either Joe Biden or Donald Trump our next Chief Executive.

Had I been a senator or representative Wednesday, I would have voted to uphold the challenges presented for Arizona and Pennsylvania (as well as those planned prior to the riot for Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada), on the basis of the Data Integrity Group’s statistical analysis, not because doing so would have given Trump another four years in office, but because somebody ought to go to jail after pulling off what is likely the biggest election theft in American history.

Either we have honest elections or we don’t.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader CptNerd for
this link to much easier to read version of the full Lincoln quote. I used the Congressional Globe link because the whole page makes interesting, though difficult to decipher in places, reading.”

Nuff said…

More on Politics sorry, got to get it out…of me..out there…something

It’s fascinating that the razors edge of revolution is often young women

The Challenge of Marxism
written by Yoram Hazony
Published on August 16, 2020

This well written and insightful article lays out the fundamental problem that ‘liberal-society’ has with Marxism, it is fundamental and insurmountable without stepping back and being able to address the core intellectual attraction of Marxism.

The article also points out clearly that the challenge to the liberal-capitalist society today is a dispersed network of Neo-Marxist follow ons not the International Communist Marxism of the soviet era.

The current rag bag liberal street agitation groups espouse Neo-Marxism in the form of defining the world as made up of human association groups (once classes now identity groups) who have natural affiliation and self awareness, organized in society into a hierarchy of oppressors and oppressed. Where the oppressors form a web of custom, law and history that supports this oppression largely hidden from most of the oppressed.

  • In this theory:
    • there is nothing but oppression and
    • that when seen this can and should be attacked in all ways possible up to and including direct violence. That there is
    • one true view of the world, that of the woke (or Marxist, SJW, etc) and
    • any other view is false and that
    • defending other views is violence and
    • can be addressed with physical violence up to and including death.

The basis of liberalism are enlightenment values of freedom, liberty, human worth… which can be argued are actually conservative values expanded to the masses without much of a rational argument.

The Marxist analysis of class, oppressor and oppressed is clean, rationale and expansive enough to cover most situations if the area of regard if defined clearly. The liberal while depreciating the marxists’ absolutist tendencies can understand the analysis and is forced to agree since they rarely have a good counter argument that does not require them negating marxist truisms and engendering attacks on their racism, classism, elitism, misogyny, etc. Over time one article of liberal faith or piece of history, has it’s context distorted to the Neo Marxist account and is then pulled down by the rabble no one can deny.

And so the Marxist cadre, not calling themselves that but acting in swarming semi accord have captured the elite institutions which were largely liberal and now are largely controlled by Neo-Marxists with the reins of power in their hands.

  • So I say that the Marxist analysis makes sense right?
  • No I said that the Marxist analysis is clean and rational.
    • But it purposefully limits the definition of ‘the problem.’
  • The basic analysis of self aware human groups is true.
    • But the abstraction of the definition is taken to extremes to sharply define a ‘class’ such as mobility, demographics, etc are limited
    • The other abstraction; of oppression, also goes to extremes to ignore countervailing facts, social cohesion, economics, even the availability of violence to both sides
  • In Marx’s time, while the Imperial Russian autocratic-oligarchy vs serf appeared to have some relationship to the Owner-Manager vs worker in capitalist free holds like Victorian England, the reality was that in all cases each side had its risks and its pains as well as advantages and pleasures.
    • And at the end of the day the masses always had the pitchfork and torch if things got bad enough. While peasant rebellions rarely ended well for the rebel leadership it usually had a positive long term effect on the survivors because the upper class wanted to avoid reoccurrences.

Ok so I have wandered on for some time, and off topic really, the article is very good, much better than my rough handling of a few of it’s very clear points. Read it.

Meaning of Liberty

Triggered in the best possible way by the following, Benjamin Constant, writing on meanings of liberty, ancient vs modern, in 1819 France. Read the whole thing it is shockingly applicable today.

This is related to the idea of todays forming Neo Feudalism and to a degree the concept of the Individual and sovereignty.

Constant lays out that in ancient times liberty (for the tightly defined citizen) was extremely broad and powerful, in Greece and early on in Rome, the citizens as a body had essentially unlimited power to wage war, make piece, expel, execute, as far as their power extended. But as individuals they were controlled, watched, forced to conform. This was possible because the citizens were a smallish percentage of the total population and well enough off to spend a huge part of their time debating.

In a practical sense these citizen assemblies were more like our Legislators than our citizens, though with arbitrary and absolute power. But Constant follows the traditional line and does not make this distinction. In part because he still lived in a world of urban aristocratic elites supported by a huge rural underclass.

In counter to ancient liberty he explains modern liberty as about the individual vs. arbitrary power of any kind. Essentially it is about the individual and their ‘happiness’ in the sense of controlling their own life and own concerns with the expectation that society and the hand of society (the government) has strictly limited power to interfere.

He points out that individual liberty is what humans really want but in the case of the ancients were willing to sacrifice for collective liberty since in their small and always threatened polities it was glaringly obvious that it was cooperate or be enslaved.

That stark choice is still there but hidden by the immensity and generally good living of the modern world. Governments span continents not little seaside towns and in the developed world we never want for goods unless we are ‘unlucky’ in some way. So the real power of gov’t is far from obvious to most, if you go along you get along and only criminals or sociopaths get in trouble…right? If everyone is on the same page maybe, but in a world of oligarchs, elites, yeomen, plebs and deplorables everyone is not on the same page any longer.

During the later 19th and through the 20th century there was, in the west and US, in retrospect, a fairly concerted effort to keep everyone on ‘the same page ‘ But as the echoes of WWI reverberated, the liberal republican concepts came under increasing threat from political philosophies we call communism, socialism, marxism, fascism, and their social outreaches of materialism, deconstructionism, etc. The ‘conservative-liberal’ mainstream dealt with the geo political threats fairly well but the social political attacks came through chinks in the armor that ‘freedom of expression and thought’ leave wide open. Children and Intellectuals are particularly attracted to the avant-garde, new, kind, progressive, and while many of them grew out of it as they moved through life ,all too many became entrapped in the mind fog if they did meet the real world of real people and real trade offs that the schools of hard knocks provide.

And so we are today a country, a civilization under threat of our own success. The varigated liberty of the constitutional republic has been hollowed out due to pragmatic, lazy, risk averse decisions by the interlocking social, fiscal, judicial, etc elites.

We deconstructed education, society, civility in the name of equality but without a consensus of what was going to replace those things and others. Deconstruction occurred in the shadows, the termites were at work on the frame with no replacement under construction because no one could agree on even a need as long as the old structure was there. Unfortunately no one told the termites to stop.

As this became somewhat obvious there were those, maybe many, who said, ‘let it crash,’ ‘let it burn,’ ‘tear it down’ because it represented something that they defined as completely evil, even if the same underpinnings being eaten away kept the roof over their head and provided protection for their food and defined their safety from the wild.

The problem is that the people who most want it torn down least understand what it took to create and what it protects them from.

If you look at things a certain way you can see the US, the West sliding towards something all too like the Chinese model. Perhaps a kinder gentler version but that is no certainty.

Is there a way out? ?

Was there a way in?

My view is that we stumbled and mumbled our way here. Reality is that nothing here was planned. We live with the contingent outcomes of unplanned inputs. it is possible that this outcome was expected by some but they are unlikely to have had any ability to direct it.

It does not really appear possible to plan anything like a society any longer unless it is a subset of self selected actors. And since humans are human no such society will last longer than about half an average human lifetime.

So?

It is what it is.

Don’t see evil around every corner, there is evil in the world but it is rare in the wild. Most people just believe what they believe they learned somewhere. They are most likely wrong (as am i.).

And remember this, over the sweep of time things have been getting better for more and more (in absolute and relative terms) people across time. There have been crashes and horrors but most people most of the time were relatively happy. The up slope was ver, very low ten thousand years ago but it has been steepening as it goes. While the whiners all see disaster ahead the reality is that there are solutions for every problem we (as a world civilization) have. Where we are going in any one part at any one time is always a bit of a random walk but that walk is usually uphill (in the best sense.)

Stay strong, be happy, work at making a difference.

The individual

The big difference between the West and the Rest is the concept of the individual. Something that has been ‘forgotten’ or more realistically ‘suppressed’ in this our ‘post modern’ world. It is something easily missed if you do not have a rich background not in pure history but in social, economic, philosophic and practical history.

Starting with ‘the rest’ there is what is most likely an evolutionary base state of biological relatives, clan and tribe, those who we are of and who we know.

For a million years our ancestors operated in family groups, hunting groups, nomadic bands, of varying sizes and proximity depending on resources and most likely personal power. The family group was the natural base unit, not our family of mother and father but a more power based prime and his or her immediate family and then close relatives and a relational entourage.

While in the most basic state this family group could be either maternal or paternal in nature in most cases it would be physical in basis and paternal, with occasions where circumstances lead to a maternally lead or co leadership. Not getting into the development of language and our brain it is very likely that this development was biased by the ‘natural’ circumstances and lead to a paternal bias.

In the nomadic hunter gatherer state there is no real demarcation between family discipline, clan rule and religion, it is all one and the world is alive with thinking alien beings because our ancestors would have no conception of self as different from other. Superstition, ghosts, magic are all in the world. Like us these people would tend to idealize the past and childhood and so elders and then those who have passed develop a powerful mystique leading to ancestor worship.

As sedentary habits developed along with more complex societies and more hierarchy, ancestor worship tends to develop a formalized place in the society and the head of the family develops a priest like persona. As the hierarchy develops with time and population the family heads of the leading families develop into an aristocracy. Hierarchy being ‘natural’ the head of family is the most important figure and all others subsidiary. Often the mate of the leader is next most important, often symbolically, sometimes with nominal power. Then come heirs and possible heirs along with direct and near relatives. Then depending on the circumstances of time and history, would come lesser relatives, entourage members, hangers on, servants…slaves.

Thus evolves the PaterFamilias the GodFather, the ClanHead the chief, the chieftain, the king. As the sedentary society develops to a certain extant it becomes more possible for some surplus of resources to be accrued and then used. This may be communal at first but the chief has a big say and the chief can use the surplus to ‘pay’ for certain things. For protection, psychic, physical, social. As in any possible society the chief has a small inner circle, the circle members have circles. The nearer the chief you are the more power you are likely to have. Though, as with feral cliques today, individual members may be extremely marginal to the group.

This is the world we first start to see in recorded history. These societies became highly sophisticated and wide spread though far from global, or even continental in scope. In these societies the head of family was the only really important person, all others were subordinate with their self defined by their relationship (inherent and developed) to the head the main measure of their importance. They were not individuals they were members of sub classes and ‘knew their place’ in the society and would act to suppress anyone who stepped out of line, because it destroyed that understanding of worth.

Even the PaterFamilias was defined by position and if they fell from that position they were essentially non persons. This is something one should take into account when reading history in this historical past, actions that to us seem illogical were often driven by what we might see as a pathological need to maintain their place in society. It happens today but it is really pathological now because we should not define ourselves by our position and relation to others, though we do, a ‘natural’ hang over from our deep deep past.

In that world the old gods, demigods, demons etc explained much that had once been explained by animistic magic. It was always about heirarchy and your position vs the ‘real power.’

Into this world came the monotheistic religions. There were multiple starts and they most likely had philosophical links one to the other over hundreds or even a few thousand years. But eventually there was Judaism with its powerful emphasis on the god and a personal relationship to god for all members of the faith, though the relationship has a strong blood line connection which limited the impact. Then came Christianity which expanded the potential for membership to all mankind.

We can talk forever about the reality of the Christ and the Resurrection and many other events of the epoch but they are beyond the scope of this discussion. What the church that Paul created out the fabric of Jesus of Nazareth’s life did, was call out to those who felt hollow in the ancient regime, whose life as defined by their relationship to the PaterFamilias was empty of real meaning. Everyone has worth, everyone has a connection to the Christ, to God. You have inherent value equal to anyone else but no more, you are responsible for your actions and responsible for what you leave behind in this world.

And because Paul ended his apostolic work in Rome he established what was to become the path to the individual. Rome tried to suppress Christianity but eventually, through the back door of mothers and servants, saints and heroes, it built an eminence that forced the emperor to become Christian. Probably in the hope of subverting the faith but in the very long run with the result of it becoming a form of government unto itself separated from the political world. Over a thousand years and more the Catholic (universal) Church grew and spread and reached out first across Rome and then Rome and Byzantium and then far beyond the original secular boundaries. And the bishops and their clerks did battle (usually on paper or papyrus) with the emperors, kings, dukes, caliphs, to establish the Church as responsible for the soul of all the people, high and low, while the secular rulers were responsible for right rule and ‘happiness’ of the people.

Unintentionally this developed into a foundational philosophy that defines ‘the West.’ That every person is an individual with rights and worth that are equal before God (the universe) and before the Law (the government, other people.) It also definitively decided the secular and the sacred as two realms that should not intersect. The sacred should not Rule the Secular, the Secular cannot rule the Sacred. They are different realms one focused on the individual re the Universe. The other the integration of individuals in society.

If you look out across the world, Asia, Africa, Pacifica and pointedly the Islamic world, this evolution of the Individual, and its concomitant separation of secular and personal/sacred/religion, never occurred. It is a thing that people see when described, and feel once embedded in it but it is not native to those societies. It is something quite antithetical to some of those societies while quite easily integrated in others

Islam has Sharia, demanding obedience to the one God and a hierarchy of subservience that is at odds with the individual and the separation of the secular and sacred. You have Asia which, generically and simplistically, subsumes the secular and sacred in the nation/government/hierarchy and expects the individual to ‘worship’ this gestalt (in many ways very much like Marxism.) You have much of the rest of the world ‘Africa and Pacifica’ which is still extremely tribal, with a headman and hierarchy, where the perceived ‘cult’ of the individual is destructive in that it makes the cannon fodder think they have value.

So what?

I claim that the West is defined in part, by one very simple concept. That the individual has value in and of themself. Every person matters however young or old, damaged or heroic. That a closely related principle is that the secular and sacred realms do not overlap other than in the individual and thus are separate spheres as the individual is sovereign.

Every person has value to the universe and to society. Every person is responsible for themselves in the ‘eyes’ of the universe and society. No one can be responsible for any other responsible individual.

The problems I see in the ‘West’ today are caused by a long term breakdown of education and social learning due to both knowing and unknowing destruction of teaching the young and educating the populous.

We spout platitudes about individual rights and responsibility but do not root that in a social fabric. We have allowed our societies enemies to take the reins of education both active (schools) and passive (media) and trash the reality of what came before in the banal hope that ‘a better idea’ is in the wings. The enemy boosts the narcissistic tendencies of Individualism, see gender bending, et al, to destroy the root concept of the individual as having Value in the eyes the Universe (God) and society.

The espousal of individual value is the most powerful concept in our society. This does not mean that we are free of all bonds, we are responsible for ourselves as well and that means responsible for our mind, body, family, society and universe inasmuch as it touches us. But if everyone has value then every last pervert, criminal, fool, teacher, hero is of value independent of their being or history. Self aware machines would fall under this, as well as every human ever conceived and every living thing…this does not mean we have to starve because the lettuce plant might ‘want’ to go to seed on down the line to some reasonable level of ethical behavior on our part and the part of society.

I leave you to think about this, I am putting this down as my understanding right now. Not some timeless philosophy of all. And i understand that some ramifications of the above are unsettling but that is the way of the world we live in, there is no perfection, just striving.

I’m not a “conservative,” I’m an 18th-century Enlightenment radical

From Charlie Martin at pjmedia.com/lifestyle/ : Does buddhism require you to be a liberal? The short answer is no ….

I don’t think it’s necessarily so. In fact, I think Buddhism, real Buddhism, is inherently more in tune with libertarian “conservative” politics. (This isn’t the place for this particular rant, but I scare-quote “conservative” because I think it’s a bad term. As I was telling someone last night, I’m not a “conservative,” I’m an 18th-century Enlightenment radical.)

Absolutely! So am I.

And regarding the rant….as usual the “liberal” progressives have managed to at once de content and blacken + distort the abstract philosophical meaning of the words conservative and liberal…as I have whined about in the past. Politicians do this to avoid being pinned down, progressives to control the message and short circuit dialogue. Going back to the discussion on political philosophy, progressives often called liberals are not at all about liberty in anything but the most puerile sense and conservatives are generally cautious, not reactionary, and are pro liberty in its more robust sense. Progressives are generally about changing human nature by government fiat.

Libertarians…the old liberals, are about core human rights, property rights, equality before the law, the rule of law, financially competent government, citizen dominated politics, de politicized + meritocratic bureaucracy and minimalist + open regulation. In other words an eighteenth century Enlightenment radical!

Ignorance is Bliss?

Maybe
But only if your ignorance is buttressed by a life untroubled by interaction with the greater world, and the outside world is untroubled by interaction with you. 

Ignorance is not about technology or science (or it can be but usually is not,) it’s about the willingness to see things as they are not as you wish them to be, the strength to change your mind when the evidence shows that some alternative is superior, the arrogance to ignore the milling masses if need be and the humility to listen to the quiet voice of reason.

Some comments from some folks who understood …
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
― Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Collected Works
 “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“Beware the man of a single book.”
― St. Thomas Aquinas
“Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.”
― Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

WIRED | The Surprising Truth: Technology Is Aging in Reverse

An interesting discussion, at least for a futurist / SciFi writer.

If you know someone is x years old then you can know (generally) that they will almost certainly live y more years and will be almost certainly dead in z years.

However if you know a technology (defined almost as you like but embodying knowledge) is x years old then you can (generally) expect it to last at least x more years.

So as x gets larger Tlife gets longer but Plife stays the same…so aging, that is the rough measure of, age/life, is opposite for tech vs us biotypes… An interesting idea to roll into a story sometime.

The Surprising Truth: Technology Is Aging in Reverse

Guns

Massacres of the innocents have happened in every society in every era that there is record of. Rationales are always sought and found, sometimes such good ones that the hideous crime becomes an almost understandable reaction, or ‘just one of those things’ rather than the monstrous (out of all reason or proportion) act it should be seen as.

It seems very clear to me that the modern massacre is largely a symptom of the banal and brutish celebrity culture along with the essentially ethics deprived (depraved?) news channels and news producer/editors.

Why do I say that?:

  • Celebrity culture?  Because so many of those on TV are so obviously no more deserving of anything than anyone else randomly plucked out of the crowed and made famous.  These people are famous for nothing, they are often famous for a few hours, days, weeks, then gone, except for questions in games of ‘cultural knowledge.  Some damaged person, hating the world, believing themselves deserving of so much more, hurting because they cannot make the grade, sees these celebrities and says, ‘why not me?’  And there is no rational reason in evidence.   (There may be a logical reason and many ‘idiot celebrities’ are far from the fools they make themselves out to be and their fame far less ‘given’ than it appears, but that is not obvious to those without a great deal of comprehension from the other side of the TV screen.)
  • The News Channels? :  Every time there is some new item, multiple guns, bombs, ‘Kevlar jackets,’ bandoliers, it then becomes the norm because its driven into the psyche of those watching by hour after hour after hour of banal repetition but know nothing talking heads who are desperately searching for new ways of saying the same damn thing again and again and again.

I see a lot of headlines decrying (as always) a culture of violence and/or a culture of guns.  I will not deny both are certainly somewhat valid criticisms of US culture, and both obviously are part of the massacre problem but they are not the direct triggers that the above two elements are.

The culture of violence trope: video games and violent entertainment in general,war metaphors in public discourse,  the gang problem, murder rates, rape rates.  Is massively overplayed because it is so very close to home to the largely urban population that lives with the problems endemic with even small rates of violence in highly concentrated populations.  And the politicians and dreamers who believe (or make-believe) that somehow there is a way to perfect the human animal and make them peaceful.

  • The games I played as a kid were as violent in their inane way as any video game or movie and to be honest the fact that the movies and games are so realistic these days is probably in general a violence reducer not producer, most of us do not want to die in ugly painful ways.
  • The use of violent and war metaphors in public discourse is again as old as man and is used because it is one of the few ways we can talk about mass movements and wholesale changes that can be commanded.  I agree this is a poor set of metaphors because they do not work in the civilian sphere (war on poverty, war on drugs, war on obesity …  gahh its all bladerdash (bullshit for you younger readers.)
  • I’ve said it before and will say it again, violent crime is in general decreasing not increasing in our society.  Most of the vicious crime in our society occurs in essentially tribal settings of gangs, where trust is utterly familial or feudal, whereas in the ‘trust based’ societies of the sub and ex urbs violence is rare because the trust thing alows folks to start talking before they start swearing or shooting and because resorting to violence is seen as a failure on all parties part.

The Culture of Violence trope is a reflection of life in the US, a country and over society, with vastly different life styles for many sub populations. The urbanites wishful thinking that there is somehow a cultural baddness that can be sopped up and made to go away is just fantasy.

The culture of guns trope: guns in the games, guns in the movies, the guns as a false icon of individualism, the effectiveness of gun laws,  the effectiveness of policing,  guns as violence accelerant.  This again is a trope that has come out of Europe and out of the Urban environs.

  • To a large degree America was all about the gun from the early days.  In some cases owning a gun was a requirement for a settler.  It was only as later waves of settlers came to the US from the largely disarmed Europe to settle in the cities where guns were rare, did this fact begin to be forgotten.  Guns were rare because the cities were generally full of poor hard-working men and women, guns were general expensive to buy and use while not needed for hunting for range combat with raiders in the city. Generally there was a move to make sure that the urban masses were disarmed so that the police could maintain control in case of riots etc, so guns because most common in the hands of criminals. Mind you these populations were not noticeable less murder prone or peaceful they just did it with fists, hammers and knives.
  • Guns are an icon of America as the leading light of the individualist state, and guns are a central fact of life in the world which means that unless you turn your back on reality guns will be in the equation.  Trying to make that fact go away by wishing is not sane.
  • Making out that taking guns out of the population is mostly about making the society safer is wishful thinking encouraged to make it easier to carry out   Anti gun laws are about controlling the population by making sure that the gov’t agents (police, etc) has the vast preponderance of force
    >>This is a protection racket writ large:: When inevitably the politicians’ (emergent group, not necessarily individual) stupidity and cupidity make the Public Protection, function of the police impossibly expensive to maintain, if the taxed population is disarmed they have no choice (or rationalize that they have no choice) but to accept higher taxes, or draconian laws to get the criminals off the street.
    >>The cities with the most draconian gun laws are generally less safe than the ones with the least restrictions.  In fact in general the more certain a thug is that the potential victim is going to be unarmed the more likely the thug is to act and the more violent those actions are going to be, to frighten the victim and the victim’s circle of acquaintances into acquiescence.
  • Generally the presence or potential presence of a gun in a ‘discussion’ is going to tend to make it more polite.  Concealed carry and open carry has spread quickly in the central US and the general trends in violence are down, not up.

The US gun culture is simply a fact of life that was bred into the country/state at its birth and is inextricably mixed with its reality. While the desire to disarm the populace so it will be more peaceful has been a trope for many years it is more fantasy than lie and more lie than practical solution. The unfortunate fact is that many people living in peaceful surroundings think that anti gun laws could work, the reality is that they only work so long as the social infrastructure providing that peaceful idyll exists. That infrastructure has nothing to do with the existence or non existence of guns, it’s all about money, when the money dries up the barbarians creep in.

In the real world the police are only able to deal with criminals after the fact. That is too late in most massacre situations. The massive cost and potential for abuse/loss of liberty of putting more police on patrol and giving them the legal tools to try and stop this sort of thing before it gets ‘too bad’ makes that solution untenable. The fact is that there is no ‘solution’ to the massacre ‘problem.’ Like terrorism, you can mitigate and reduce but not eliminate. The most reasonable ‘direct mitigator’ is likely to be a radical libertarian one. More guns not less and those guns should be in the hands of those with the most interest. Those who are seen as targets and victims or the protectors/mentors of those who cannot protect themselves.

NaNoWriMo 2012, water under the bridge and other thoughts…

So obviously I dropped the ball on NaNoWriMo 2012, and I started out doing so well with all the best intentions.   However with a daughter’s wedding and thanksgiving to survive and real work requiring attention so we can continue to pay the bills (not to mention a semi major home construction project gone a lot over schedule) I just ran out of the mental and chronological resources to ‘get-er-done’ as it were.

Catching the Watcher is not done-fore however I have continued to work on it though at a lot slower rate.  Its now upwards of 40K words and (I think) roughly half done, hopefully I can wrap it up sometime in January.

So obviously I am not a ‘real’ blogger either  … real life intervened and I heeded the call.  Despite all my toys and channels of access I still could not find it in me to even put a few thoughts down, post a picture, etc.   Maybe I should blame it on the new iPad with its beguilingly sharp yet tiny text and butter smooth reaction to my every touch, along with the strikingly fast LTE link and up-rated WiFi.  But then again I can do all sorts of blogging from the iPad so it should really be an enabler of more doing not more slacking off.

I could blame it all on others or on my own failures as a person.  But the fact is that life is impossible to regulate.  There is only one me on this thread of time from past to future and a practical infinity of other threads are bustling against me at the wave front of now.  To change frames, the water is flowing under my bridge and it will never come back.  But its good to watch it slide past every once in a while and realize that in no possible world can I ever realistically aspire to perfection, let alone reach it, but in aspiring to do the best I can with the now I have, I at least make progress in a direction I get to call ‘right’ as in right for me and the world as I understand it.