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LAGC

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Missoula, MT
Home country: USA
Current location: Deep in Red State Hell!
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,005

About Me

Godless democratic socialist, look towards northern Europe for inspiration on what role-models our economy should aspire towards. Love the ACLU and donate heavily to them each year, wish they'd get with the program and defend the Second Amendment with as much fervor as they do the rest of the Bill of Rights. Proud member of the 99%.

Journal Archives

Oh Boy, is My English Teacher Gonna be PISSED!

So we're winding down to the end of the semester in my English Composition 2 class.

Throughout this whole semester, she's been having us read excerpts from our textbook which (more often than not) have a definite liberal bent to them.

Most of the other students in my class are pretty conservative, so they've been struggling with some of the views being presented (everything from abortion to excerpts of Obama's Dreams from my Father book, to the idiocy of Dan Quayle), while the professor keeps praising me for consistently hitting it out of the park in my online discussion board posts.

Well, this week she is in for a nasty surprise. After having us read two argumentative opinion pieces heavily critical of the Second Amendment, I had the following to say:

Oh boy, gun control. Where do we even begin?

Adam Gopnik's short essay definitely tugs at one's heart-strings, his emotional description of all those cell phones ringing in all the dead kids' pockets at Virginia Tech, as parents desperately tried to call and find out if their sons and daughters were okay, definitely drives home the gravity of the situation. It must have been truly horrible for all involved, not just the dead kids but the survivors as well.

While I agree with Gopnik that it would be nice if we could keep guns out of the hands of crazy people who would use them to do harm, the problem is that the government just isn't very good at figuring out who those people are. Not just with the Virginia Tech shooter, but with the Aurora (movie theater) and Tucson (Gabby Giffords political gathering) shooters as well, none of them had any criminal record or history of being involuntarily committed to a mental institution whatsoever. So they could all legally buy their guns. Even instituting universal background checks on all gun purchases like the U.S. Senate just tried and failed to pass today wouldn't have stopped these people at all.

Now one could make the argument that we should add more people with even signs of mental illness to the prohibited buyers' list, but then you have the problem of denying rights to those who are suffering from minor mental illness but are currently being treated for it with anti-depressants or anti-psychotic drugs. Because the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous to anyone, especially if they are compliant with their medications. So I have a hard time scapegoating them for the acts of the very few truly deranged people who wish to do others harm. So I think Gopnik kind of misses the mark there.

Akhil Reed Amar's essay was a bit more balanced. He argues that both the NRA and the gun control side have got it wrong. He points out that where the Second Amendment states "shall not be infringed", it appears in its second clause, which speaks of "the people" and not "the states" like many gun control advocates presume it means. Indeed, the Founders knew how to say "states" when they meant states. He further makes the point that "the militia" covers the entire body of the populace.

Where I think Amar goes off the tracks is when he tries to say that "the people" doesn't mean individual persons. He claims that the phrase "the people" only exists in the preamble to the Constitution ("We the People...") and thus speaks of a "collective" rather than "individual" right -- the problem is, it also appears in both the First and Fourth Amendments, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a constitutional scholar who would claim that the First Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to free speech. Likewise, the Fourth Amendment defends an individual's right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. "The people" simply means every adult citizen, as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in both the recent Heller and McDonald decisions.

Amar then goes on to compare "the militia" to "the jury", suggesting that they both embodied "collective" political action rather than private pursuits. Fair enough. But as he even points out, the whole point of a jury is to provide a check-and-balance against judges and prosecutors, just as the militia's purpose is to provide a check-and-balance against a standing army. It's hard to imagine how the militia could ever hope to stand up to any army without being able to bear the same types of small arms that the organized military can. That is, if we are talking about a strict interpretation of that amendment. But I digress.

Amar goes on to point out that violent felons get their First Amendment (free speech) rights back upon completion of their prison sentences, but don't automatically get their Second Amendment rights restored. Indeed, both the NRA and the Supreme Court accept this bizarre double standard. My personal view is that if a person is deemed safe enough to be free walking the streets, they should be considered safe enough to exercise ALL of their constitutional rights. Granted, felons who are out on probation or parole still have restrictions, but for those who complete their entire sentences, full rights should be restored and their criminal records sealed like they do in France. If people are deemed too dangerous to have their gun rights restored, that's what lifetime supervision is for -- or Life Without Parole in the case of the worst of the worst.

I think Amar is more fair than Gopnik also when he points out that guns aren't just for "essentially killing people." Amar points out that there is a great deal to be said on behalf of an individual's right to keep a gun in one's home for self-defense as well.

And while it may be true that states with more restrictive gun laws tend to have less gun violence, it still doesn't stop determined crazy people from resorting to other means of violence, such as detonating bombs in crowded streets like in Boston earlier this week.

I know its a clichι, and I've said it before in this class, but: sometimes the occasional act of random violence really is just the price we have to pay to live in a free society. And sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

But that's just my 2 cents.




I already have a solid `A' in this class, so even if she gives me 0 points for this week's discussion board post, it shouldn't affect my overall grade that much.

Can't wait to see how she responds.

Oh FFS! Boston Bombing "Truthers" Coming Out of the Woodwork Already!

Poster "Libtards" says:

Now THIS is bizarre. A few minutes ago I posted a link to a FB page called "Thoughts Go Out To All Involved In The Boston Explosions." The page was created TWO DAYS AGO. Within a couple of minutes, not only did the page disappear, but so did my links to that page! But guess what? While I still had the page up on my screen, I PHOTOGRAPHED it. Better copy and send this around now, because something is very, very wrong here......


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=235717619902397&set=a.229595717181254.1073741828.229591930514966&type=1&theater

Photoshop aside, isn't it true though that you can EDIT the day when it says a Facebook page was created, not to mention edit the TITLE of the page/group after the fact? If that's true, then any one can (either purposefully or unintentionally) create a bunch of conspiracy theory drama just by messing with the dates/titles on Facebook.

These "truthers" made the same claims about Sandy Hook, claiming that "the gubermint" had staged the whole thing -- their proof? Facebook page create dates "before the event happened" of course!

Gimme a fucking break.

Senate Gun Control Bill Actually a "Christmas Tree" of Pro-Gun Measures?

Sounds like the pro-gun group Second Amendment Foundation had a heavy hand in crafting this Manchin-Toomey bill.

Here's SAF's Alan Gottlieb bragging about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=E9UMox1WoTw

“There’s a Million other checks in there it’s a Christmas Tree,” bragged Gottlieb, “We just hung a Million Ornaments on it.”

It sounds like, in exchange for universal background checks, quite a few pro-gun measures are going to be included in there, such as National CCW Reciprocity, and no record-keeping (hence registration), which could make it a bitter pill for the pro-control side to swallow.

Indeed, it makes you wonder how much the pro-gun side can get away with adding before the antis deep-six their own proposal.

This could be fun to watch.

These crimes will get you less jail time......

.....than having more than 7 rounds in your magazine in New York State:

120.70 – Luring a child | E Felony
121.11 – Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation | A Misdemeanor
125.10 – Criminally negligent homicide | E Felony
130.20 – Sexual misconduct | A Misdemeanor
130.25 – Rape 3rd degree | E Felony
130.40 – Criminal sexual act 3rd degree | E Felony
130.52 – Forcible touching | A Misdemeanor
130.53 – Persistent sexual abuse | E Felony (repeat child molester, must be caught and convicted in two separate cases before the charges even reach this level)
130.65 – Aggravated sexual abuse 4th degree | E Felony
130.85 – Female genital mutilation | E Felony
135.05 – Unlawful imprisonment 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
135.10 – Unlawful imprisonment 1st degree | E Felony
135.45 – Custodial interference 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
135.50 – Custodial interference 1st degree | E Felony
135.55 – Substitution of children | E Felony (switched at birth type of thing)
135.60 – Coercion 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
150.01 – 5th degree Arson | A Misdemeanor
150.05 – 4th degree Arson | E Felony
178.10 – 4th degree Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions | A Misdemeanor
178.15 – 3rd degree Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions | E Felony
220.28 – Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense | E Felony
240.05 – Riot 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
240.06 – Riot 1st degree | E Felony
240.08 – Inciting to riot | A Misdemeanor
240.15 – Criminal anarchy | E Felony
240.20 – Disorderly conduct | Violation
240.61 – Placing a false bomb or hazardous substance 2nd degree | E Felony
250.45 – Unlawful surveillance 2nd degree | E felony (Hidden cams for sexual gratification)
255.25 – Incest 3rd degree | E Felony
263.11 – Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child | E Felony
263.16 – Possessing a sexual performance by a child | E Felony

Because clearly those "evil base toters" with their "killer monster mags" are more dangerous than sex offenders...

Atlas Shrugged Part ][

So... I thought I'd celebrate acing my Math test earlier this afternoon, so I stopped at the Redbox on the way home and picked up a DVD. And lo' and behold, what did I find?

The sequel to the classic that almost put me to sleep... but I try to keep an open-mind, so I figured I'd give it another try.

First thing I noticed is that practically the entire original cast were replaced by newbies. Did the original flop that bad that ALL the original actors/actresses wanted nothing to do with the sequel? Say it ain't so!

Sure enough, once again the set consisted of mostly stuffy board rooms, cocktail parties, and the occasional train-car interior. It's probably not hard to turn a profit on a low-budget film when your only real expenses are the fancy suits and dresses the main characters wear!



Lots more boring dialogue, a rousing speech about how money isn't evil, straw-man arguments about the government supposedly getting so oppressive that it no longer allows for workers to quit their jobs or get pay raises, nor for inventors to invent new things (no more patents!) And of course the mystery dynamo -- the power source to end all power sources.

I wish there was more to say about this film, but that really about covers it. 111 minutes dragged out with a train crash or two thrown it for effect.

It looks like Dagny finally finds John Galt in the end. Wish they would have skipped straight to that part right at the beginning when they were showing her flying her plane, because the rest was all just pretty much filler in between.

I'm not sure there will ever be a Part 3, but I am kind of curious to see what kind of "utopia" they've created, supposedly free from the corrupting vices of the rest of society.

Oh well. $1.27 and a couple hours of my life I'll never get back.

Don't You Just Love Those Regular DVDs That Advertise Blu-Ray?

Seems like they are on every regular DVD rental these days.

The advertisements feature all this sharp sound and crisp picture, suggesting you only get that high quality if you buy Blu-Ray -- except, that's regular DVD quality at work there! What you are seeing/hearing is what you already got! Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to see/hear it!

They may as well just come out and say: "You don't really need Blu-Ray, because the status quo is just fine."



Some of these advertisers never cease to amaze me...

Steubenville Rape Victim Receiving Death Threats

STEUBENVILLE (KDKA/AP) – The victim of a rape case involving two Steubenville High School football players is now reportedly receiving death threats.

Police say two 16-year-old girls are charged with threatening the girl. They say one of the suspected girls was arrested and the other turned herself in.

Police say one of the girls tweeted a threat to the victim, and they later learned of another threat from a second teen.

In a tweet to the victim, Police say one of the teens wrote, “you ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry , so when I see you xxxxx, it’s gone be a homicide.”
..
..


http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/18/police-probe-death-threats-against-steubenville-rape-victim/

Jesus... no wonder so many girls and women are reluctant to report sexual assaults.

And now the whole world knows her name...

Mass. woman sues FedEx over marijuana delivery

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has sued FedEx, claiming the company mistakenly sent her a package containing seven pounds of marijuana, then gave her address to the intended recipients, who later showed up at her door.
..
..
Tobin said she thought the package was a birthday present for her daughter, because when she opened it, she found candles, pixie sticks and peppermint. There was also something she thought was potpourri, but it was marijuana.

Tobin said that about an hour later, a man knocked on her door looking for the package, while two men sat in a vehicle in her driveway, waiting. She said she didn't have it, and bolted and slammed the door. Tobin claims FedEx gave out her address, which led the men to her home.


http://news.yahoo.com/mass-woman-sues-fedex-over-marijuana-delivery-135742401.html

Jesus Christ... I'm not a big fan of frivolous lawsuits, but I think this woman may just have a case.

There's no reason FedEx couldn't have just sent the driver back to pick up the package.

Giving her address out to potential criminals just to save FedEx the labor/gas/trip is just plain negligent.

Someone needs to be held accountable.

Thank God Romney Isn't President Right Now

And I say this as an atheist... thank the heavenly Sky-Daddy!

Could you guys imagine this same aftermath of Sandy Hook right now? Not only would we likely be seeing the same gun control crap coming out of the White House, like a new AWB, but Mittens may have actually been able to peel off a considerable portion of the Republican vote in Congress to go along with him, just like Bush often did.

The nice thing about Obama being in the driver's seat is how predictable it is that the Republicans automatically knee-jerk against everything he does.

I mean, shit, he nominates a REPUBLICAN Defense Secretary, and the Republicans revolt along party-lines. Filibuster and everything. Go figure.

I have no doubt the Repukes are only going to increase their holdings in Congress in 2014, so it will be good to have a Democratic president to keep them in check.

Gridlock isn't necessarily a bad thing. Helps keep unconstitutional laws (like the PATRIOT Act and warrantless wiretaps) from seeping out of Washington.


So there are a bunch of conservatives in one of my community college classes I'm attending...

It's an online English Composition (writing) class, and the professor assigns us essays to read and discuss each week on a private online discussion board to help us analyze the works of famous writers. This week's required reading is an excerpt from Dreams From My Father, where Obama talks about how he first found out his dad had passed away. It was a very well-written piece and I was hopeful some good discussion might arise from it.

Anyway, the first half-dozen or so posters all said something to the effect of "I don't like Obama, so I'm not interested in anything he has to say." One even went so far as to call him a "pathological liar", which I took issue with. Here is what I wrote:

You think Obama is a "pathological liar?" I haven't noticed him stretching the truth any more than any other politician on Capitol Hill.

If anything, I think Obama has been quite candid about what he said his plans were back when he was running as a candidate, and has been quite diligent in pursuing those goals as president. He's fulfilled quite a few of his campaign promises, and those he hasn't only because of obstruction in Congress.

I don't agree with every stance of his agenda by any means, but I don't think its fair to single him out for being untruthful, considering who he has to work with in Washington.


Now I get to wait to see how many heads explode...
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