Semi-Auto(nomous) Weapons

December 14, 2012

Maybe, just maybe, after the prayers* go out and we turn towards the inevitable discussion about what happened and what needs to be done, people will step outside of the usual, calcified scripts and realize that there are more possibilities than (racist/sexist) fear-mongering government gun control schemes and (racist/sexist) cock-swinging gun fantasies. That American-style gun culture is messed up is not a reason for more legislation and that our approach to social regulation is messed up is not a reason for American-style gun culture.

Yes, if we were to ever get to the kind of society I dream about, there would really be no place for de jure limitations on the possession of personal firearms; that would simply be the result of taking liberty and equality seriously. But at the same time, if we get there, we’re going to have taken “a good hard look at the social relations and lack of or failing social structures which would cause an individual(s) to resort to shooting up a school” and there would be no place for “systemic crushing alienation” either. (HT John Sabin Adkins @ Facebook)As Shawn P. Wilbur said in a Facebook post:
I’m pretty sure that no amount of modification of our gun policy (in any direction) is going to fix things as long as we live in a society where anger and despair are equally foreseeable responses to conditions that seem unlikely to ease. We probably won’t end the spectacular forms of senseless tragedy without ending the tragically systematic senselessness.
For those tempted to add that we cannot eliminate “psychopathy” (or murder or…), maybe not. What we can do, essentially, is confront the notion that we live in a society where acting autonomously, i.e. doing things because they are ends-in-themselves, is reduced to a minimum. What we seem to be getting as a result are people desperately finding ways to do just that, but these ends-in-themselves are violent, immoral and, if you must, psychopathic. But I’m not going to pretend that “psychopathy” (or whatever you choose to call it) is just some isolated thing that happens to some Other, nor am I going to be afraid to understand something because I might be viewed as excusing it.What kind of society do we want to live in? One that fashions us into semi-autonomous “weapons” of Hate, Alienation, and Destruction or one that fashions us into fully autonomous seekers of The Good, The True and The Beautiful?
* Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto them, O Eternal One, and let the Light above the Æons shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

Waiting for Mubarak

February 10, 2011

Egyptians,

There is no need to wait for Mubarak to “step down.” If you have decided that your government is illegitimate (as all states invariably are) then, in the words of Charles Johnson, “you have already completed the revolution: no government on earth has any legitimate authority to bind you to any obligation that you did not already have on your own. It’s a mistake to think of the State as holding you under its authority while you struggle to escape; at the most, it has power, not authority over you. As far as your former government is concerned, you have the moral standing not of a subject, but of the head of a revolutionary state of one.” Don’t give any more legitimacy to Mubarak by acting like some declaration on his part means anything. What are you waiting for? Look around and start living free.

Furthermore, “declare [the uprising] as the new basis of social organization and…appeal to the oppressed of the world to join with it. The call for a transitional government, constitutional reform, new elections, etc., should be rejected. The January 25 uprising must avoid being defined as something of significance only to Egypt; it cannot win if it is confined to Egypt — it must strip off its national form. In response to the secret negotiations directed by Washington, the January 25 uprising will have to aggressively declare its intentions to go global.”

Counter Culture

May 23, 2010

Allison Kilkenny writes:

The free market can’t provide solutions to many social problems. As Oliver Willis (sarcastically) put it, “instead of boycotting [the] bus, rosa parks should have been an entrepreneur and started her own bus service. let the market decide.” Therein lies the problem with Libertarian [sic] philosophy. Social minorities aren’t in a position to start their own businesses, and they are frequently at the mercy of state and private business policies. We can’t all be the CEO of BP. Most people live on the other end of the social spectrum, like the poor fishermen, standing on the Louisiana coast, waiting for the oil to hit the shore.

First things first. Repeat after me: Rand Paul is not a libertarian (or a big-L Libertarian, for that matter).

Next, a history lesson. Rosa Parks was standing up to state laws, not the bus company per se. It was precisely the existence of the government’s laws that prevented the free market from having any chance of working in this case. Read the rest of this entry »

Rape, OK!

May 13, 2010

TRIGGER WARNING This post and its links contain information about sexual assault and/or violence against women which may be triggering to survivors. Read the rest of this entry »

Pissed Off

April 30, 2010

The government will fall that raises the price of beer. – Czech proverb

When you invite the whole world to your party, inevitably someone pees in the beer. – Xeni Jardin

The Lost Abbey tasting room is literally an oasis in the desert. They are no joke and one of  only two breweries (along with Stone) to have two beers on Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s list of the top 25 beers of 2009. The San Diego area has 33 breweries, part of what makes it Men’s Journal’s top pick for American beer towns (Portland has a mere 29). Yes, it’s good to live in San Diego.

What was I saying before this turned into a tourism ad? Oh, yes. The tasting room. A dollar doesn’t get you much these days, but in their tasting room, “it’ll get ya drunk” on a seriously generous serving (4 oz.) of high-ABV beer of outstanding craftsmanship; full pints are a bank-breaking $4. It’s a ridiculous deal in a wonderful atmosphere, right among the barrels, tanks and attendant smells of a working brewery.

It was a good deal; then the state showed up to put a stop to it. The frustration, anger, and raw emotion expressed in this post makes for a breathtaking read. There isn’t much more to say. But I’ll say it anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

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