Many years ago I was told that John Paul II didn’t feel the need to attack false ideas because they contained the seeds of their own destruction. There’s no need — so these folk told me — to go after sterile, self-defeating, silly ideas, because they’ll fall apart on their own. Somewhat like the Soviet Union.
Perhaps. But how many people will be destroyed in the process?
I know my conservative friends aren’t going to agree with me on this, but I have long felt that the Second Amendment is an anachronism that we need to amend.
Our system of government is based on setting one power against another, and making sure nobody collects too much power. The three branches of government check one another — state power limits federal power — rural areas provide a limit on the power of the cities — small states provide a limit on the power of large states.
The final check on that power is (and has to be) the use of force. In the political context of 1776, or 1787, that meant that citizens had to have guns so that states could defend themselves — against Indians, against other states, against foreign powers, or even against the federal government.
In 1776, or 1787, the idea that a citizen militia could fight against the federal government was not ridiculous.
It is ridiculous today.
And if the Second Amendment says citizens can have guns so they can fight against government tyranny, it also says they can own tanks, Apache helicopters, F16s, and even nuclear bombs. IOW, clearly there is some point where we draw the line, and I see no reason why that line has to be at the semi-auto AR-15 and not at the .38 caliber revolver.
I say we need to re-evaluate the purpose of the Second Amendment and rewrite it in keeping with modern realities.
As a general rule, I am in favor of private gun ownership, and I generally agree with the “more guns, less crime” approach. But that doesn’t mean I want private citizens to have automatic weapons or bazookas. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have limits on what citizens can own.
But at the same time, there has to be an effective check on federal power. Perhaps we should make a deal. Let’s strengthen state power — including the state militias, so that they provide a reasonable deterrence against federal aggression — but limit the weapons citizens can own.
I was at Homebrew con the last few days, and it was one heck of a time.
When I started brewing in 1986, the ingredients and the equipment were pretty primitive. There weren’t even convenient places to buy a fermenter. You’d go to restaurants and ask them if they had any left-over food grade buckets, and you’d go to liquor stores and buy a couple cases of returnable bottles — or just drink a lot of Grolsch in flip-tops and save those.
The malts weren’t of the best quality and the yeasts were terrible.
Nowadays, they have electronic gizmos that attach to your fermenter and send continuous updates to your phone on the specific gravity of your beer. It’s really crazy.
After surveying all the cool stuff available, I’ve decided that I like my low-tech brewing.
I’ve noticed a trend on Facebook. It goes like this.
The freakout of the week soaks into everyone’s consciousness as they are barraged with the thing non-stop for days. The main response (i.e., the most acceptable, which usually means the cry bully response) is memorialized in a meme.
The meme makes a general statement / moral judgement in response to the specific case. There is no room for nuance. The “correct” response is now cemented for all future stories that bear any resemblance.
For example, the most recent freakout is over a case where a man allegedly raped an unconscious woman. But the memes that flow out of this case have to do with “slut shaming” and so on. The result — intended or not (in some cases it is intended) — is to reinforce idea that if you think a woman should be responsible about where she goes, with whom, or how much she drinks, then you’re an apologist for men who rape unconscious women.
IOW, Facebook is eroding our (already pathetic) ability to make distinctions, understand nuance, and judge individual cases by the specific facts. We’re being conditioned into group hysteria.
The “consent” standard has failed, and it will always fail. There is, IMO, no way to make it work because “consent” is not an objective standard. It’s just what somebody was thinking at the time, and since we can’t record what they were thinking, what it really means is what somebody wants to say at a later date about what they were thinking at the time.
IOW, it doesn’t matter if a woman consents on Friday night if she changes her mind on Sunday. There is no objective way to determine if she truly consented. (The attempts to establish an objective standard — e.g., “Can I touch you here,” etc. — are simply laughable. Even if everything was video recorded you couldn’t establish consent.)
We know for certain there are genuine rapes, and we know for certain there are false allegations of rape. And we don’t have a good way to distinguish between then.
I think the only sensible thing to do is declare all sex outside of marriage to be rape. (Don’t read that to imply that I am denying the possibility of marital rape.)
That’s essentially where we are now anyway, since a woman can change her mind and declare that she had not consented. So let’s just be honest about it and tell every man that his freedom hangs on the whim of the woman he has sex with. If she decides to accuse him of rape, all she has to prove is that they had sex and weren’t married and he goes to jail.
I realize this would be a complete disaster. I don’t harbor any illusions that this would result in more marriages. What would happen is (1) we’d be locking up men like crazy, and (2) other men would retreat into porn and avoid women like the plague.
But we’re doing that already, so let’s just push it to its logical conclusion and be done with it. Let the chickens come home to roost. Let’s quit waiting for the sexual revolution to slowly destroy the country and let’s get it over with.
Perhaps … just perhaps … some people would wake up and there would be push back. But I wouldn’t count on it.
Now that there are 47 (and counting) “genders,” what will become of salutations? How long before that becomes the “civil rights issue of our day” and people start bellyaching that we’re not affirming their demiboy status?
I saw an article about some guy who may run for president whose qualifications allegedly include being “brilliant, incisive; on target on the sexual ethics issues and abortion; moral; ….”
My reaction? Blah blah who cares? (Or, if I have this right, which is highly unlikely: meh.)
Our society is so incredibly backwards, upside down, dazed and confused that anyone who had an inkling of sense on “sexual ethics” would be booed off the stage, shouted down and run out of town on a rail. We don’t need somebody who’s “right on the issues.” We need somebody who can destroy the people who are wrong on the issues.
And that, my friends, is the only reason I have a small amount of hope in the candidacy of Donald Trump.
The man is a buffoon. I don’t like him and I don’t trust him. But he has one quality that is essential to any potential reform in our society today. And that is, he is enough of a personality / ego / manipulator that he can take on the entire media, the entire left, and the vast majority of the establishment right.
There isn’t one person who is “correct” who can do that.
Given the world the way it is, Trump is what we need. We need a bull in the china shop. We need someone who is willing to question the unquestionable, challenge the unchallengeable orthodoxy, and poke fun at the establishment.
Our culture might already be too far gone. But if there is any hope at all, it lies in knocking down the guys who are currently on top and humiliating them. Trump may be able to do that. He doesn’t have the intellectual / moral / social firepower to replace what he destroys with anything of value. But he may be able to soften the ground for someone who can.
I heard this as a defense of Trump: When the barbarian is pouring through the gate, the guy who picks up a sword is your guy.
I think that almost captures the reality. The problem is, we’re really not sure on whom Trump is going to set his sword.
The actual situation is more like this. When you’re oppressed by a brutal tyrannical dictator, the guy who is most likely to knock him down is your guy. Then you can worry about who to put in his place.
The guy we want in his place is most definitely not Trump. But Trump might be useful in the short term.