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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I Told You So - The Beginning Has Arrived

My country just elected a white supremacist to the highest single-office in the land.
I understand the desire for change and I felt it strongly, too. The desire for change is why I backed Bernie Sanders. The wild success of both Trump and Bernie are CLEAR indicators that the American people have had enough of the political bullshit from the status quo politicians in Washington. Enough is enough. Change is needed and that is why good people voted for Trump...

BUT

His rampant messages of hatred, bigotry, and racism SHOULD have been a deal-breaker for anyone who is a good person.

That said -

I'm a little bit racist - and so are you.
It's ok to acknowledge it to yourself; in fact, that is the only way to stop being tacitly, passively racist. It is nearly, if not entirely, impossible to be completely and totally unaffected by the rampant presence of systemic racism in our world.
The root of it is the fear of "the other" and it is a theme in society since before the time of the written word. Beowolf is one example of "the other" in ancient literature, as are several points along the journey of Odysseus. Examples can be found from ancient Egyptian and ancient Indian literature and the Hopi have tales of "the other" descending from the heavens to become their gods. The Other is an idea that is firmly rooted in our mammalian cores as something to fear and that fear manifests in several ways: usually as something to be reviled and hated or something to be obeyed and worshipped.
I choose to acknowledge the snippets of racism that float around within the programming society has given me and then, summarily, reject them. I choose to NOT accept that black people are more inclined to be criminals because of their race. I choose to NOT accept that white people are superior. I choose to NOT accept that asians are bad drivers. I choose to NOT accept that asians are inherently better at mathematics. I choose to NOT accept ANYTHING that starts with a categorical compartmentalization of people based on their race, their color, their religion, their gender, their sexuality, or any other broad category.

This is how I combat racism within myself: by accepting that it IS there and actively rejecting it. To do anything else would be to lie and deceive myself and, as a consequence, to let the tiniest fragments of racism that I have been unable to avoid take root and grow. I will not allow that and neither should you.


This has been an everyday problem since the dawn of groups clashing - from the earliest clans of mankind onward; perhaps even farther back into different social groups of proto-man. It's so ingrained in our culture that many, literally, cannot comprehend that it is a problem.

Which is where racism collides with current politics and where the title of this post comes in to play.

47% of the people who voted in the election voted for Donald Trump. Many did so based on his platforms and their desperation for change but many also did so because they are voting for his message of hate. Those did the former are complicit unless they actively fight the hatred in every way possible (you cannot convince me otherwise - either you actively combat the hate or you ARE the "good men" spoken of in "all that it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing"). Whether you intended to vote for the hatred by casting your vote for Trump is irrelevant: your vote showed those who voted for the hatred that their views are shared and accepted.

I spent a week after the election putting forth various "this is what you voted for" posts on facebook. I felt one week of "I told you so" was warranted since I had been warning of it for a year. Just shy of that week I received a comment from someone who shares my ideas, fears, etc of the topic outlining that I am, likely, alienating those who voted for Trump and making them defensive rather than getting my message across because they, who agrees with me, is tired of seeing it.
There is some validity in that comment but, more importantly: tough shit.
As white, straight, cis people we CAN turn off the messaging of hate: it's not pointed at us. We CAN change the channel. We CAN ignore it.

Everyone in the crosshairs canNOT. There has been a verifiable spike in hate crimes since Trump hit the 270 Electoral College (anticipated - the actual Electoral vote does not take place until 12/19) mark. Literally, on Day 0, there were physical assaults issued on people for being black and gay because "Trump won - we don't have to put up with you anymore."

Yes, literally.

Yet people who did not vote FOR the hatred and violence refuse to acknowledge the spike or, worse, they point to unverifiable reports and images of Trump supporters getting harassed and/or assaulted as proof that it is equally on both sides. It IS NOT. The majority of Trump supporters who are victims of vandalism and/or assault is significantly lower than those who are violated BY Trump supporters AND many of those are verified as fake.

Moving forward we have the mainstreaming of racial divides and hatred being brought up as news on sources such as CNN. Yes, really.

This is reinforced by the appointments he is making to his cabinet and transition team: mostly all people who represent special interests, homophobia, racism, sexism, and anti-trans mentalities.

Many people who voted for him, despite the fact that the rampant messages of hate SHOULD have been a deal-breaker for anyone, did so based on his policies and his views on what needs to happen; but, even if we put all of hate aside, what they voted for is STILL terrible.

Let's summarize his campaign points:
1 - Make America Great Again
2 - Make a wall to stop Mexicans
3 - Get rid of illegal immigrants
4 - Stop terrorism
5 - Get rid of special interest corruption in Washington
6 - Bring back jobs / stop free trade
7 - Protect free speech and freedom of religious choice and exemptions
8 - Hillary is a crook and cannot be trusted
9 - Label China a "currency manipulator"

To start with I understand the sentiment of #1. I understand the perspective that allows this to resonate greatly. Many liberals see that phrase and say "when was America Great?" in an attempt to force Trumpites to define it in terms that they can tear down. That is a bullshit approach. Greatness is a relative term and America was, for two generations, the greatest nation on the planet. It had many problems but the opportunities it provided for most far exceeded the problems. It had rampant systemic racism but, as a whole, America had the highest quality of life and standard of living of anywhere on the planet for a generation without any real competition. During that time America rebuilt Japan and was the first to provide aid to anywhere in the world that needed it; America was the first to arrive and bring help when tyrannical regimes tried to take power (unless, of course, we were backing the regimes - they fuck you, people). Couple this very real scenario with the power of nostalgia and it is easy to get behind the message of Trump's campaign slogan but there is one very real problem with it: how? I've asked MANY Trumpites (in random places online) "how?" and the closest answers recite the subsequent points. NONE of them have any idea HOW to "Make America Great Again" nor how Trump plans to do so (news flash: he has no plan).

Which brings us to a systemic analysis of each of the subsequent points of his campaign.

2 - Make a wall to stop Mexicans
This one started with a blatant racist comment about Mexicans all being racists and drug dealers and went into a promise to build a wall that spans the entire US-Mexico border. That promise in itself is not so odd but, what is, is that Trump promised to make Mexico pay for that wall and his supporters all bought into that idea.

My question, again, is "How?" How will he get Mexico to pay for a wall to protect us from them ESPECIALLY after insulting them so terribly?

Trump's answer is "trade deals." What he means by "trade deals" is that he wants to destroy the trade deals that allow for manufacturing that is done in Mexico to bring goods into the US without any tariffs (we'll only touch on the fact that he said tariff wars are a bad idea when talking about how to handle China).  Globalization happened - it cannot be undone without unraveling the entire world economy. There is no way to stop it without destroying that which you are trying to protect. If Trump were to alter the trade deals that allow manufacturing in Mexico at Mexican labor rates for cheaper products in the US there are two ways those trades deals can be changed: source-costs and destination-costs. Either the sender pays a tariff to get the product through the border or the recipient does; there are no other options.

This brings us to the appropriate time to introduce a metaphor that can be used to explain what will REALLY happen if that wall is built.

Let's examine Joe, a hypothetical dump truck driver.
Joe's company moves lots of things in the dump truck, mostly dirt and stone.
Joe does A LOT of dumps per day with his truck. Joe's company pays their employees and they pay their taxes and they do good work.
A politician decides that dump trucks inflict the most damage on the road so he promises to fix the roads and make dump trucks pay for it. Everyone applauds. A new tax is levied that requires every dump truck dump to incur a $5 fee to the department of transportation.
Joe's company is now responsible for paying $5 every time they dump a load of anything.
The revenue stream from this new fee IS, in fact, helping pay for the roads. To paraphrase Obi-Wan: it's true, from a certain point of view.
But the reality is very different. Joe's company is not going to eat the $5 charge per load. They will increase their costs accordingly. In effect, everyone who uses Joe's company's service will pay this fee.

This metaphor explains what will happen if Trump builds a wall and uses tariffs to pay for it: the cost will be added to the goods and those who consume the goods will end up paying for the wall: it won't be Mexico that pays for it.

Furthermore - Newt Gingrich, a GOP hero, has come out and admitted the wall is an empty promise that was a really great campaign tactic. So, that entire point was a blatant lie.

3 - Get rid of illegal immigrants
Again - HOW?
I live in an area where illegal immigrants are not a huge problem. They're not "stealing jobs" here but I can acknowledge that the data outlines that there are places where workers are being replaced by illegal immigrants due to the availability of the immigrants and their willingness to work for less money. Side note: the same people who complain about this also complain about the existence of the minimum wage and argue that workers will be paid what the employer thinks they are worth and it shouldn't be forced on the employer by the government. This duality is hypocritical because the reason that the immigrants are "stealing" the jobs is because the employer will ALWAYS try to pay less. They get the same value from an illegal immigrant as they would from the legal counterpart but they can get it for less through the illegal immigrant. This is why minimum wages are necessary: to prevent the legal exploitation of workers when there is a surplus of workers.

Trump has proposed an active hunt to round up illegal immigrants and deport them all. This proposal is met with cheers from his supporters but none of them have even contemplated the cost. To enhance ICE to the point where it could actively seek out and find all of the illegal immigrants in this country would carry an enormous, crippling cost and raises a question of "what do they do when they are done?" When the illegal immigrant problem is solved we would have a MASSIVE, federal police force equipped with monitoring and research equipment and the legal authority to abduct and detain people on the suspicion of their citizenship - it's not far from them being turned into a Trumpian Gestapo.

I'm for enforcing the laws we have. I'm for detaining illegal immigrants and forcing them to leave the country when they are blatantly flaunting the laws. I'm also for making a path for them to redeem themselves if they have a job and/or a legal family here.

Grouped in with this point, because it doesn't fit anywhere else, is the topic of illegal immigrants and taxes. Any illegal immigrant that consumes services here is paying the applicable taxes on those services. Any illegal immigrant that is working "under the table" is not making enough to pay any income tax on their income. Any illegal immigrant that is working but NOT working "under the table" is using fraudulent papers and a fraudulent social security number. This SSN is credited for the taxes paid by the illegal worker without ANY hope of a refund from the government on that earned money; furthermore, the true owner of the SSN is never aware of the use of the number (unless/until it is used in identify theft in other ways) so they, too, cannot claim the taxes paid - basically, any illegal worker using a fraudulent SSN is giving the IRS free money. The idea that illegal immigrants are not paying their share of taxes is bogus - unlike Trump, who has managed to utilize every shady loophole to avoid paying taxes for the majority of my life. Which brings me to another logical hypocrisy utilized by Trumpites: he's a savvy business man for ABUSING the system to avoid taxes but anyone who USES the system to get social assistance is a freeloader. If Trump's abuse means he's a smart man for getting the most out of the system then EVERY person who abuses the social support structure is also a smart person for getting the most out of the system. You cannot applaud one and condemn the other without being a hypocrite.

4 - Stop terrorism
This, like all the others, is a "how" question.
The problem with terrorism is that the actions we take to combat it radicalize more people and make them want to avenge the actions taken. WE created Al Queda, WE created the Taliban, and WE created the situation for ISIS to bloom. Our efforts to eradicate them have killed civilians and made America look like the horrible villain that we see when we look at them. They have every reason to hate us.
The path to eliminating terrorism is not to radicalize MORE people - it's to back off and stop giving them recruitment fuel.
There is no path that uses drones and mass deployments that will stop this problem. There is no political solution. The only solution is to quarantine any and all interactions with the hosting lands. We need to have a solid intelligence presence and pinpoint accuracy target removal of 100% positively identified individuals when they are in appropriate locales (NOT family barbecues or weddings). We need to utilize the intelligence network to stop attacks from being brought TO us and our allies without taking the attacks TO them. This is the only way to end the disease of radicalized extremism: through attrition. Even then, we still have problems like the "alt-right" in this country and the ultra-radicalized "christian" individuals who commit mass murders here. If we treated that population the same way we treat the Arab world we would have a MUCH larger problem of domestic terrorism than we have.
So, I ask, what is Donald's plan? Is it to do what I outlined? I doubt it. He said we should nuke them and deliberately go after the families of suspected terrorist operators. This is how we make MORE of them and make them MORE desirous to kill us and our way of life. It is the OPPOSITE or what we need to to.

5 - Get rid of special interest corruption in Washington
This one needs very little context other than to identify, and explain, whom Donald has already appointed to his staff but, since this is continuously being updated I cannot accurately list them all here.
What we do know is that he has chosen a Vice President who believe you can torture the gay out of someone; a man who says he is a Christian and a Republican in that order.
We know he has appointed a known racist and misogynist, and preeminent figure in the "alt-right" (an attempt to hide naziism under a new label) media to his staff.
We know he has brought in multiple lobbyists who represent the special interests and corpratocracy that Trump's followers wanted out of their government. That, of course, was the entire point of the "drain the swamp" rhetoric. It appears, with the appointment of these people, that he is trying to drain the swamp of Washington by digging a channel into the White House. Furthermore, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (GOP), thinks that the people don't care about "draining the swamp" and that they don't feel it affects them. Despite that being one of the core pillars of Trump's campaign.
His pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, was denied a seat as a federal judge for being too blatantly racist in 1986.
The Security Advisor candidate, former Army Lt. Michael Flynn, is blatantly anti Islam.
More recently than the others Trump appointed an anti-public-education, anti-science, creationist to the head of the Department of Education. Her main qualification? She donated $9.5M to his campaign. Of course, this is after Trump promised to eliminate the department altogether or, at least, "tear it to shreds." I guess appointing an anti-education billionaire will accomplish the latter.
Furthermore, most of the members of this team, and a few others, are blatantly homophobic which brings one to question how they will work with the gay racists that Trump is also bringing in.

Bottom line: there is no elimination of special interests in Trump's plan: there is a reinforcement of supporting Trump's interests and those of big business at the expense of the people.

6 - Bring back jobs / stop free trade
There is plenty of research that indicates that globalization is inevitable. There is plenty of past precedent that shows that labor slides to the cheapest source: always.
Jobs that leave to cheaper labor DO NOT COME BACK.
In order for the jobs to come back to the US the prices of consumer goods, which all the people who would work the jobs, would skyrocket. These people complain about the idea of a minimum wage inflating prices but then argue about bringing jobs that are currently being paid out at $.10 an hour being converted to $20/hr+ here.... The jobs moved because of the costs of labor here. End of story.
If the manufacturing comes back it will be dramatically reduced in the number of jobs it creates because automation will have replaced many of the jobs that once were and, eventually, it will replace us all. THE JOBS WILL NOT COME BACK.
Instead of looking backward to having plentiful jobs we need to look forward to the industries that will create new jobs. This is what the middle class needs; not a futile effort to bring back their old jobs.
Voting to bring back the old jobs is a "pipe dream" that cannot solve any of their problems.

7 - Protect free speech and freedom of religious choice and exemptions
I need not say anything more than that Trump is advocating to imprison people for a year or revoke their citizenship if they burn a US flag. I acknowledge the desire to honor the flag but those who do have taken an oath to protect the very right to protest against that flag. Any person, ESPECIALLY of the military, who wants to impede the RIGHT to protest the government through flag burning is a traitor. They are trying to suppress the first right found in the Bill of Rights; the military personnel took an oath to protect that right against enemies foreign and domestic and, by trying to impede it, they are becoming that enemy.
They don't have to like it: I don't like a lot of what people think and say; but, they have the LEGAL right to their expressions. If I dislike someone burning the flag I have the right to tell them that it is inconsiderate, rude, and unpatriotic: that is MY right.... but the government does not have the right to tell them they can't do it.

8 - Hillary is a crook and cannot be trusted
She is a crook but she can be trusted to serve her own self interest (so can Trump) but that means keeping the status quo because that is what supports her power and wallet.  I don't like her and I believe, strongly, that she has been playing the long game such that suspect things are NOT coincidence and that they were all planned moves on the chessboard leading to her run for the White House. I also believe that there will not be any proof of any of it in her lifetime and, if ever there is enough evidence for wrong-doing, it will point to someone else whom she has setup to be the scapegoat.
Let's start by giving a brief outline of the scandalous items that involve Hillary:
USA Today found 900 suits filed against Hillary, the vast majority of which were filed by prisoners who filed lawsuits en-masse against high-ranking government officials (this is a fairly common practice for people who have nothing better to do but seek a pardon through any means possible).
The media likes to focus on two, fairly recent, scandals that are completely pointless: Benghazi and her emails. Benghazi is an event where the embassy was attacked and the security detail at it was insufficient to protect the Americans there - the Republicans controlled the committee that allocated security resources to this embassy. Her famous quote that has been twisted to mean she didn't care about the people is the opposite of that: she was outlining the hopelessness of the scenario because she could not get anyone there in time to help them; the news did her no good. As for the emails - Bush's presidency made use of private email servers and actively destroyed official records that, by law, were to be kept. Saying that she is evil for doing something that the GOP politicians generated precedent for is disingenuous and hypocritical. The third scandal, which has taken a back seat to these two, is the potential conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation. It is alleged that money was donated to it as a means to persuade her and/or compensate her for actions in office.
The rest of her scandals don't amount to anywhere near what Trump has accomplished in his career...

Now we can move on to the same evidence for Trump which CLEARLY shows he is at least an order of magnitude worse that she could ever be.

For starters, Trump says he is never sued and that he never settles lawsuits for fear of encouraging more. Both of these are untrue. There are at least 3500 lawsuits filed against him in some form and more than 100 recent ones were settled rather than going to court. His legal entanglements outnumber the next five-highest real estate developer entanglements COMBINED. This means he is so crooked that the next five highest real estate crooks COMBINED are not equal to Trump.
Trump insulates himself so that his business partners are left "holding the bag" whenever a deal falls apart. EVERY TIME. The American people are now his business partner for the duration of his presidency. He will arrange for us to be left "holding the bag" so he can profit.
In the recent suit about Trump University he defrauded students for $175M and walked away paying $25M in fees: that's right, he pocketed $150M of the fraudulent transactions' revenue.
Because I mentioned the Clinton Foundation it is only fair to mention that Trump, also, has a foundation setup for charitable purposes. The Clintons have ALLEGED conflicts of interest whereas Trump has PROVEN violations, including using the foundations assets to pay personal legal defense expenses.
Many of Trump's lawsuits are for scenarios where services were rendered and then he flat-out refused to pay the vendor. I have even heard a radio interview (which I cannot locate now) where Trump outlined that the greatest business thrill is brokering a deal and then defaulting on it and having the debt he owes go to collection so that he can buy the debt at a discount from the collection agency and then forgive it so that he can write the forgiven debt off on his taxes (if you find this PLEASE let me know so I can link to it below).
There are many suits still open, including 75 that USA Today says could distract from his Presidency.
Additionally, some of the suits are for reprehensible behaviors, such as raping a 13 year old (the case was dropped because the plaintiff received numerous death threats during his campaign).

Let's compare this to a list of suits filed against the person who SHOULD be the President-elect, Bernie Sanders:



That's right. If there are any they are incredibly difficult to find. Googling results shows suits filed against the DNC because of the way they handled Sanders and, essentially, gave the election to Trump.



9 - Label China a "currency manipulator"
There is disagreement as to whether this is true, though the financial and business experts say the current scenario does not meet the official criteria. Setting aside the actual disagreement and assuming that the label is applied -
But what will this actually DO? How will the official label actually change anything?
I'd like to have formal explanations on what the label allows our country to do about it because we can say it all we want - but what does it allow us to DO?


Furthermore -
Trump's candidacy is costing the taxpayers of NYC $1M a day in additional protection details. That cost will transfer to the Secret Service when Trump is elected because he has outlined intent to stay in Trump Tower rather than the White House. All of the rents for those facilities is revenue directly to his ownership of the tower.
Trump also says that the government can never run out of money because they are in charge of printing it. Obviously he is not aware of what happens when governments print more money in an effort to fix recessions and government debt.


History shows -
Trump's rhetoric is familiar to many who have a modicum of historical knowledge because it mirrors the same rhetoric used by future dictators when they are seeking to get elected. The most notable of these is Adolf Hitler. Godwin's Law aside, the parallels between Trump's campaign and Hitler's rise to power are disturbing.
Germany lost WWI and the economic cost of it ruined their economy because of the investment in the war and the following economic reparations forced upon the country by those it had victimized. This crushed the middle class and led to a rise in nationalism against anyone who was not a German; specifically, the Jews. All of the problems were placed on the immigrants and Jews and hatred for them grew. Over the course of 4 years, starting in 1925, the Nazi party exploded - more than quadrupling in membership as the hard times affected more people and the right-wing ideologies of hating "the other" spread. The Great Depression was felt around the developed world and it generated further economic troubles on the German middle classes than they had already been experiencing. The Nazi Party won seats in their version of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the following election awarded them greater voice including Hitler's rise to the Chancellorship. Less than a month later the Reichstag (their version of the Capital Building) was torched in an act of arson resulting in emergency powers and restrictions of personal liberties AND the first of the concentration camps. This was 1933. This is parallel to Trump being elected; he just needs an attack on a government building to seize emergency powers sometime in February.
From 1933 to 1937 the Jews were forced to register and wear the Stars of David on their clothing and stripped of their legal personhood. Following this was the invasion of Austria and Poland. In 1939 TIME Magazine named Hitler the Man of the Year and applauded his actions and there was a rise in Nazi sentiments in the US - people applauding the suppression of non-Christians and wanting to bring it to the US.

WWII stopped that from being socially acceptable and "The Greatest Generation" sent hundreds of thousands of young men to die in a fight against the Nazi war machine.... to fight fascism.

Now their children have elected to bring that same sentiment to this country.

History shows
Societies collapse. It happens. There is ample evidence to prove this.
Societies collapse after they have become too powerful and living in luxury, or, at least, those at the top.
The collapse of Germany into the fascist state has already been presented and, clearly, has economic ties. The French Revolution was the ultimate end of the aristocracy outpacing the financial means to support them at the expense of the peasantry. Lenin led the Bolsheviks to topple the monarchy in Russia because of their financial oppression. The success of the Bolsheviks emboldened those who felt oppressed in China and led to a revolution there which led to modern day Chinese Communism.
The USSR failed to recover from a stagnant economy despite massive changes in policy and, as a result, fell apart.
Currently there are multiple economic depressions in place that have citizenry who are rebelling against the rich overlords. The Ukraine is one example, or it was until Putin rolled tanks and the Russia military in to be "peacekeepers" (conquerors) and Venezuela is another. There are many articles examining the current state of income inequality in Brazil which, due to the various conditions there, had the worst Olympic Games conditions of the modern era. If we examine ourselves then it is apparent that the US is also on the brink of a financially-induced collapse because the own too much and their wealth is growing while the middle class is regressing and the poor slide further into oblivion.
Nick Hanauer wrote a great article, as a billionaire, about how the rich need to change BEFORE the inevitable financially-induced revolution happens. The outrageous support for Trump and the success of Bernie are the voice of the people who will be that force for revolution if the politicians do not fix it.
Jared Diamond did a TED talk about why societies collapse. Watch it. Parse it. Look at the reality that the mid 80s was the apex of America. We're approaching the second generation after the apex.


The lens through which all of trump's activities can easily be viewed to make sense.
1 - How will the action directly benefit Trump?
2 - How will the action indirectly benefit Trump?
3 - How will the action benefit Trump's peripheral interests?
4 - How will the action forward Trump's racist and misogynist philosophies?

ANY action taken by Trump, since he started his career, can EASILY be explained using those four points. If you disagree find evidence for me to review.


------


Trump is, literally, following the Hitler playbook (one of his exes even said he kept Hitler's books on his nightstand).
He may seem like a buffoon but he is not. He is doing this in a perfectly planned execution to gain control through fear and misdirection by seeding distrust in the very sources who can undermine him.

I am terrified for anyone who is not a white, straight, cis person. I am saddened for anyone who is not that AND male (because the step after oppressing the not-white, cis, straight population is to "put women in their place").

I am also fully, and acutely, aware that I am high up on the list of targets because I am willing to speak out against the regime AND I am an atheist so I cannot be controlled by distorting my faith through warped religious logic.

My willingness to speak up puts me in danger of being interred, too - despite my gender, sexuality, and the color of my skin.

Predictions
I, truly, believe that WWIII is about to happen and, if not, the 2nd American Civil War will. WWIII is about the only thing that can stop a second Civil War but that is not even a guarantee.

The path is laid out before us by history and it is perfectly clear to me and I cannot see any way to escape it.

The home front, domestic, small-scale terrorism is bad enough (and, yes, the violence based on race and gender and country of origin IS terrorist activity) and is terrifying because it is the people who LIVE around us doing the horrible things…. But the fear of the war is that it won't stop with conventional warfare. The world has moved beyond that.
The core psychological differences between our lifestyle and that of the Muslim extremists is the only reason they have failed to break our way of life..... BUT... once they figure that out it is how the war will be conducted. All sides will resort to the tactics needed to crush the other and that method is NOT the way we currently do war. War will change as much for the next major conflict as it did during the American Revolution, when lining up in orderly lines to face each other stopped being the correct way to fight.

The internal struggle will increase as more and more middle class people struggle against the slide into poverty and lose. They will blame the government and the immigrants because it is easier than reflecting on themselves and how easy they used to have it. Internal violence will increase until those who seek to defend the rights of the oppressed stand up for them as allies. The government will roll over them in an effort to appease the militant group of disenfranchised white people - don't believe it? Look at the Dakota Access Pipeline where the federal government is letting the state government and county law enforcement roll over all those defending the LEGAL rights of the native people ON THEIR OWN LAND for the sake of the profits of the oil companies.
Enough will be enough and war will break out.

Infantry will give way to biological and chemicals as our infrastructures are attacked. Mass attacks will follow. After, if not parallel to those, will be the feats that I know will cripple the culture that America IS. The same culture that Canada IS and that most of  “the West” is.

Society will not survive intact. We will be forced to re-cut politics and political boundaries and re-draft nations. Barring complete destruction of humanity the human species will continue…. but it will be as changed as it has been after any major, and massive, upheaval that destroys nations.

The world of 2100 will not resemble the geopolitical boundaries of today and those people will have forgotten what, and who, we all are as much as we can’t name the entirety of the countries that existed pre WWI in Europe.

But I think this is going to generate a combination of WWII, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War - leading to a new European Theatre conflict where the US, the UK, and France are an anvil and Russia is a hammer that tries to crush the middle of the continent - the resistance, ironically, will be led by Germany. Our country will then bifurcate with a new "shot heard round the world" as the liberal half of our country stands against the tyranny of Trumps regime and becomes a loosely disorganized set of geographically separated states who align with Germany to undermine the US involvement in Europe.

The end will have a new Holocaust of Muslims - further radicalizing those in the Middle East against "the West" and a Europe and America wading through debris and economic disaster. The extremist Arab states will benefit from this, as will China.

If we are lucky we will end up with the Northeast of the US, and the west coast, being annexed by Canada while the rest of the US implodes and Europe scrambles to stop the encroaching extremist culture that they are so afraid of.... I can't decide if China will march their million-man army in conquest or not.... there are too many factors at play to determine it.


I told you so before and I will have to say it again.
If you voted for him THIS is what you voted for.

If you don't start standing up against the tyranny as it appears you are complicit in it continuing; doubly so if you voted for the tyrannical powers to take office.








References:
https://www.reddit.com/r/EnoughTrumpSpam/comments/4r2yxs/a_final_response_to_the_tell_me_why_trump_is/ (this is a list of links, not a primary source in itself)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-white-flight-of-derek-black/2016/10/15/ed5f906a-8f3b-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html
http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/johnwright/this_anti_lgbt_trump_bumper_sticker_is_going_viral
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/us/post-election-hate-crimes-and-fears-trnd/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/20/us/hate-crime-unit-new-york/
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-37945386
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/Array-of-Hate-Crimes-Reported-Day-After-Trumps-Election-400711591.html
http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/trump-hate-crimes-violence-election-hoax-fake-donald-muslims-supporters-attacks-protests-riots-islam-racist-graffiti-nazi-california-new-york-louisiana-philadelphia-chicago-video-photos/
http://fox40.com/2016/11/11/hate-crimes-after-trumps-election-happening-across-the-country/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/newt-gingrich-alex-jones-and-the-other-bricks-in-trumps-wall-of-shame/2016/10/28/bb652aee-9d09-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html

Even super-"alt-right" sites are acknowledging the increase in hate speech but are downplaying it:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/11/13/wave-fake-hate-crimes-sweeps-anti-trump-imaginations/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWL7V6twoiM

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/12/fake-protests-anti-trump/93665092/

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a50906/are-jews-people-was-a-real/

http://theweek.com/speedreads/661335/newt-gingrich-admits-trump-probably-cant-mexico-pay-wall-but-great-campaign-device

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-10/trump-shows-every-sign-of-carrying-out-sweeping-immigration-crackdown

http://time.com/4569636/donald-trump-steve-bannon-reince-priebus/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mitch-mcconnell-drain-the-swamp_us_5835fbafe4b09b60560014cf

http://www.politicususa.com/2016/11/23/trump-picks-head-education-department-promising-eliminate-campaign.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/18/trump-staff-picks-disappoint-alarm-minority-groups.html (yes, it's so bad even FOX News is reporting on how bad it is)

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/28/trump-may-not-be-anti-gay-but-much-of-his-senior-staff-is/

https://ourfuture.org/20140622/what-is-currency-manipulation

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-09/trump-to-brand-china-currency-manipulator-treasury-veteran-says

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/11/13/trumpd-right-china-is-a-currency-manipulator-but-theyre-manipulating-the-yuan-up/#7bbceb7927a6

http://www.wsj.com/articles/is-china-a-currency-manipulator-data-say-no-1479255305

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-14/china-no-currency-manipulator-obama-treasury-says-for-last-time

http://www.npr.org/2016/06/12/481718785/clinton-scandals-a-guide-from-whitewater-to-the-clinton-foundation

http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/above-the-law-hillarys-huge-scandal-list-explodes-to-25/ (this site is anti-Clinton apply every one of their statements to Trump's history and see if it looks better).

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/tracking-the-clinton-controversies-from-whitewater-to-benghazi/396182/

http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/44-reasons-to-not-elect-hillary/ (also an anti-Hillary site - again, compare their list to the things Trump has done and said).

http://fortune.com/2016/07/20/clinton-trump-lawsuits-facebook-live/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/01/donald-trump-lawsuits-legal-battles/84995854/

http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/trump-lawsuits/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/25/pending-lawsuits-donald-trump-presidency/92666382/

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2016-trump-lawsuits/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

http://www.politicususa.com/2016/11/01/mainstream-media-ignoring-75-lawsuits-trump-focus-clinton-emails.html

http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/we-investigated-donald-trump-is-named-in-at-least-169-federal-lawsuits/

http://archinect.com/news/article/149956644/hillary-clinton-campaign-ad-highlights-architect-screwed-by-trump

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/25/politics/secret-service-trump-tower/

http://fortune.com/2016/11/21/new-york-city-police-nypd-donald-trump-tower-security/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/09/politics/donald-trump-national-debt-strategy/

https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/timeline/nazirise.htm

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2019712_2019694_2019588,00.html

http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/american-nazi-organization-rally-madison-square-garden-1939/

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist151s03/french_rev_causes_consequences.htm

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist151s03/french_rev_causes_consequences.htm

http://www.history.com/topics/russian-revolution

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014

https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/05/19/the-ignorance-of-nick-hanauers-ted-speech/#3eeb64d33ab3 (not everyone agrees with Nick.... but the path is following what he predicted and not what they did... so they're, obviously, not as smart as they think they are nor is he as ignorant as they make him out to be... afterall HE'S the mostly self-made billionaire, not them)

https://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse?language=en

Monday, September 19, 2016

November, 2016

I can't think of a better title....

I'm terrified of the current positioning of my country.

In November we have two potential outcomes, each of which is terrible.
The first, most heinous, and the one I predict to pass, is that Trump wins the election.
The second is that Hillary wins the election enraging the hoard of armed Trumpites to the possible point of a violent revolt.


Trump's current rhetoric and position closely mirror those of Hitler in the early 1930s in Germany.... during the time when the Nazi party had a HUGE following and great support in THIS country, too. BEFORE the atrocities began. Trump's rhetoric is following that path clearly and perfectly yet so many people who follow him cannot see that the nice brick walkway they are treading upon leads to mass oppression and genocide. They are angry. They are angry at how the government, and the political system have mistreated the people for their entire lives and they have every right to be. They have grabbed onto the one beacon that they feel shows them a way out of that oppression; but, they're all wrong. That beacon is the candle which they, all moths, will burn and die by.

I fear that Hillary winning will lead to controversy as 75% of this country will question whether she came by the victory legitimately. A third of those who question it will be relieved that she did, a third will be furious that she did and the remaining third will stop caring shortly thereafter because they cannot be bothered with politics except when the presidential election is about to happen.

I fear that, regardless of the outcome, we will be placed on the brink of a second American Civil War. If Trump wins the war will begin when the more reasonable states refuse to cooperate with fascist mandates from the White House; if Hillary wins the war will be brought TO the White House. This election could, literally, split this nation into two parts..... which could then split into further subsections (for example: Texas is financially solvent whereas most of The South is not so Texas would likely cut itself free and become its own sovereign nation, leaving the rest of The South to whither and die on their own).

The northeast will continue with their liberal views and advocate for equality for all and for everyone's right to have a good job. The Pacific Northwest will join them.

The midwest will fracture and be the main battlegrounds for this conflict.


I don't want this to come to pass but I see it happening so clearly. The only thing that can prevent it now is US, working together to promote a healthy future instead of an oppressive regime and NeoReign of Terror.

Friday, July 15, 2016

What Does Racism Mean?

Let's start this post by getting the immediate triggers out of the way:
I'm white.
I'm male.
For good measure - I'm not a parent and I have been a citizen of the U.S.A my entire life.

If you feel that any of these things (or anything else, for that matter) means I am not allowed to have an opinion on a topic feel free to leave. If you feel anyone is ever not allowed to have an opinion on a topic then you are a major part of the divisiveness problem in out country and in society as a whole.




Before we go any further let's get some other important bits out of the way.

Racism is real.
Racism is a very serious problem.
Racism is pervasive.
Racism is taught to us all from the moment we start to absorb language through until the moment we expire from life.
There is no escaping racism in the modern world; we can but reject the racist thoughts that have infiltrated our minds and embrace the notions of equality and egalitarianism.

I do not, and never have, rejected these notions.

I will admit, as per some earlier posts, that it took me until specific experiences to really understand what these idea meant and to witness them, but I never claimed they did not exist. I, merely, failed to comprehend them. When I was much younger I even questioned some of the things that existed because I hadn't seen any evidence of the systemic oppression that occurs.





Some time ago, I am not precisely sure of when, I encountered a graphic in the facebook feed of someone I do not know who posts many graphics, memes, news articles, etc that highlight the various problems in our country. Most of them relate to racism and sexism. I agree with most of them because these things are a problem. But, then, there was this one graphic that jumped out at me because of the core, and severe, level of wrongness. I tried to find it to embed in this post and failed.

It was a screen shot segment of a tweet (or some other social media post) that said:

Black people cannot be racist.
Black people cannot be racist.
Black people cannot be racist.
Black people cannot be racist.

I, immediately, took offense to this as did a variety of other people. As I outlined in previous posts I have experience racism. I have experienced the tiniest sliver of what it is to receive hatred because of my various genetic phenotypes and the resulting physical traits. It was unpleasant but I was able to walk away from all of it. I understand that Black people cannot walk away from it because out entire society is built to maintain that level of scrutiny and subhuman* treatment toward them.

There was another graphic I encountered in the same facebook feed, which I also cannot find, presenting another set of ideas:

Men cannot say what is misogynistic
White people cannot say what is racist
Abusers cannot define what is abuse

I believe it had five lines in total, but I am sure you get the idea. It's a sound concept that outlines that those in the dominant position don't get to define what harms those in the weak position. The bully doesn't get to define whether or not the bullied feels bullied. The assaulter does not get to define if the assaultee is harmed. 

This is important because the origin point of the idea that Black people cannot be racist lies in a specific "equation"drafted by Pat Bidol in 1970

Racism = racial prejudice + institutional power

By the tenets of this equation Black people cannot be racist. The problems with this concept, though, are numerous. First, and foremost, those using this equation seem to subscribe to the concept that the oppressors cannot define the oppression; but the equation was drafted by a white author. Therefore, the very equation they are using to redefine racism as being a practice that can ONLY be perpetrated by the dominant racial group is a hypocrisy in their belief set.

Aside from the hypocritical origin point let's look at the actual words involved.

The combination of the words "race" and the suffix "ism" form the word "racism." Let's take a look at those:





As one can clearly see from these constructs "race" is a specific group of people who share genetic similarities that are physically apparent and "ism" is a practice of some sort related to the root of the "ism." Racism, therefore, is a practice based solely on racial traits. That is the formal definition.
The formal definition has NO mention of it only being applicable to the dominant racial group: NONE. Therefore, by the very definition of the word, anyone individual can be a racist and practice racism.

This newer concept of racism was generated in 1970 and is accepted by only the most far-left liberal academics as being THE valid definition. The term "racism" clearly dates to 1932 in popular use and has been dated to 1902 where it began to replace the previous variant of "racialism." My very meager research into this shows that the term "racialism" has been dated to at least 18971 and that the word "race" applied to humans dates back to at least 1500 with racialist ideas and concepts being discussed all the way back to the beginning of written history (just open The Holy Bible). The idea of segregation and sorting by race is NOT new and NEVER has it been exclusively contained to the dominant racial group.

Furthering this, piggybacking on the idea, is an NEA statement from 1973:

“All white individuals in our society are racists. Even is a white is totally free from all conscious racial prejudices, he remains a racist, for he receives benefits distributed by a white racist society through its institutions. Our institutional and cultural processes are so arranged as to automatically benefit whites, just because they are white.
It is essential for whites for whites to recognized that they receive most of these racist benefits automatically, unconsciously, unintentionally.”
--from EDUCATIONA & RACISM, National Education Association.

This has some merit, which I acknowledged and agreed with above, but it is not a valid statement overall. Both the idea that minorities cannot be racist and that every white person is are removing personal action and personal responsibility from the equation. They eliminate the very seed of institutional racism from reality: personal actions.

Take these examples:

A white person refuses to serve a Black person because of their skin color.
A white person refuses to serve a Latino person because of their skin color.
A white person refuses to serve an Asian person because of their skin color.
A white person refuses to serve an Arab person because of their skin color.
A white person refuses to serve a Native American person because of their skin color.

All of these are an INDIVIDUAL action. The white person in each of these examples is practicing prejudice against another person solely for the color of their skin; they are practicing racism and are, therefore, a racist.

Now, let's take these examples:
A Black person refuses to serve a white person because of their skin color.
A Latino person refuses to serve a Black person because of their skin color.
A Black person refuses to serve a Latino person because of their skin color.
An Asian person refuses to serve a white person because of their skin color.
A Black person refuses to serve an Asian person because of their skin color.
An Asian person refuses to serve a white person because of their skin color.
A Black person refuses to serve an Arab person because of their skin color.
A Native American person refuses to serve an Arab person because of their skin color.

All of these are ALSO INDIVIDUAL actions. In each case the same exact prejudicial practice is being performed based solely on the color of the person's skin. BUT, according to the equation-based definition NONE of these are racism because none of the perpetrators of the action are white.

That's right. This new racism definition is, in itself, racist. It says that the color of your skin determines whether or not you CAN be racist.

Shortly after encountering the above graphics I encountered this article. The author describes herself as "queer, nonbinary Black fat femme writer, artist, and cultural producer."

I posted the article to my facebook feed because I felt it had some good points but, also, that it highlights an ongoing trend of divisiveness that DOES NOT HELP.

This is what I posted with the article:
I agree that it shouldn't be a hobby.
I agree that anyone showing up for a photo op is a problem (I'm being nice and gentle).
I agree that people showing up to undermine the protest and subvert it for their own "fuck the police" or any other political agenda are scum.

I agree that black people have suffered in this land at the hands of oppression since the first one was tossed onto North American soil.
I agree that the systemic issues have arisen and been constantly reinforced in a recursive cycle of smaller and more tightly knit subtle ways to keep power through active oppression.
I agree that black people are disproportionately poor in most places in this country.

I agree that we need to level the playing field by increasing opportunity for the poorest among us and that we need to give them more resources to be able to succeed.
I agree that our efforts to help the poor should go to the poor regardless of their color and that that means those assistance programs will mostly go to black people.
I agree that such an "unfair" distribution is not, at all, unfair.

I don't agree that unilateral reparations are deserved as that is the same level of entitlement that poor whites are accused of for being white.
I don't agree that anyone alive today has experienced 400 years of it of oppression, merely the results of the oppression applied to their lives (VERY different).
I don't agree that every white person is as responsible as those who started the oppression (it's not specifically said, but it is implied).
I don't agree that white people can't be upset and want to help while still having their lives intact.
I don't agree that white people have no place vocalizing against police brutality and racism.

Lastly - this article bothers me because it is, inherently and completely, racist in itself. One canNOT eliminate racism by switching the polarity. One cannot eliminate racism by seeking vengeance based on skin color. One cannot seek to make the world a better place while advocating to judge people based on the color of their skin regardless of what color that is.

This article, like so many other strong activist stances I have seen, is NOT good for society; it's highlighting and advocating for preserving the barriers of skin color rather than trying to erode them.

Whatever color you skin is does not matter - if you judge others by the color of their skin you are a racist. Racism is NOT good.....

I want to see an end to the problem of disproportionate poverty (and ALL poverty). I want to see an end to inequality in educational opportunities. I want to see an end anything other than a person's own merit being the measure of their worth.

Being a good person who adds value to the world should be the ONLY thing that matters. THAT'S what I want to see in our society.


And, again, I was presented with a tirade of condemnation for my stances because I called the author racist. I was told that she cannot be racist because she is Black. I was told that I am undermining the entire equality movement for refusing to accept that the newer definition of racism is valid. I was told that I am using my privilege to reject the suffering of those who don't have it. I was told that I am "white privilege in the flesh" because I refuse to accept that minorities cannot be racist. I was told that racism is NOT a niche of prejudice which, by definition, it CLEARLY is.
The onslaught against me deviated into questioning my stance on sexism in a manner I cannot even comprehend well enough to rephrase. My rebuttal to that was, quite clearly, that the effort to achieve equality for all is NOT the same as redefining a word so that minorities are incapable of it. That doesn't reduce the problem but, rather, it gives a free pass to the minorities to act out the behaviors.

White person does a racist thing - they're racist and a monster
Black person does the same thing - they're "just prejudiced" and it's excusable.

This is NOT acceptable.

Those opposed to my stance were not abated in their onslaught but, rather, became more and more enraged by my continued stance that the meaning of the word is, in fact, the meaning of the word.

Knowing that I am a white male and, therefore, not entitled to any opinions (see above) about anything regarding oppression of any sort of anyone I sought validation from those who are far more qualified to speak to racism than I.

Malcom X said:
"The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks,"
and
"I totally reject Elijah Muham­mad's racist philosophy" (Elijah Muhammad was Black, therefore Malcolm X is clearly saying Black people can be racist)

MLK has also said (though these are a weaker example):
"Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life."
and
"Racism is total estrangement. It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.”


If Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X can both acknowledge racism is something black people can be then it is pretty clear that racism is not something black people are immune to.

Likewise, sexism (because it was brought up in an attempt to undermine my position and my morals with respect to racism) is something that women are not immune to. The first recorded instance of the word "sexism" in print was in 1968 by Caroline Bird. Her words on it include:

Sexism is judging people by their sex when sex doesn’t matter.

Sexism is intended to rhyme with racism. Both have used to keep the powers that be in power. Women are sexists as often as men.

and




They know isn’t so, but they use the sexist arguments to get around prejudice.

Note that Bird CLEARLY equates "sexism" to racism and CLEARLY outlines that women can be sexist and CLEARLY outlines that sexism is a FORM of prejudice - a niche of it.

I stand on my statements that any individual can be a racist. The creator of the term "sexism" agrees with me, the dictionary agrees with me, the etymology of the words that are combined to make "racism" agrees with me, the most prominent Black civil rights leaders in modern history agree with me. To disagree with me on this is to disagree with all of those.

What I will say, though, is that there is merit to the Bidol equation but it is missing a word (which may very well be in the original text - I cannot locate a copy online to check).

Institutional/systemic racism = racial prejudice + institutional power

There is, without question, legitimacy to this variation on the equation and, by it, minorities canNOT be part of the systemic racism problem on a macro level (there are still micro pockets where they can be the dominant race and white people are victims of racism in those situations). But individual behaviors are STILL A CHOICE. Each and every person, regardless of the color of their skin, has the CHOICE to accept the racist programming of society, reject it, or reverse the polarity and be as racist as those they are racist against.

Individual behavior is a choice. To say that individuals cannot be racist because of the color of their skin is, in itself, racist. Putting forth such racist ideas is a true undermining idea for the pursuit of equality. To say that someone can't be racist because they are a minority is to CONTINUE TO SEGREGATE THEM AND CATEGORIZE THEM AS SOMETHING LESS THAN HUMAN.

So, anyone who subscribes to Bidol's equation as applicable to individuals - YOU are racist. YOU are subverting advancement by continuing to enforce racial compartmentalization. YOU are advocating for a unilateral pardon to all minorities when they commit actions that are racially motivated. YOU are saying that they cannot be individually responsible for their own behavior. YOU are saying that they can't be trusted with their own moral agency when it comes to racial biases and prejudices.

That's right - I am calling everyone who subscribes to Bidol's equation as applied to individuals part of the problem and roadblocks to progress.

Stop saying that minorities can't be something just because of the color of their skin: it's racist.

*Yes, I said "subhuman," I am NOT saying Black people are subhuman. I am saying our society treats them as such. They are oppressed - I am not. Therefore I am NOT privileged; saying whites, specifically men, are privileged is to say that the treatment of women and minorities is NORMAL. It is NOT normal: it is reprehensible, therefore, it is subhuman treatment.


A bunch of links:

https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/feminism-friday-the-origins-of-the-word-sexism/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/01/05/260006815/the-ugly-fascinating-history-of-the-word-racism

https://books.google.com/books?id=JkXJZtI9DQoC&pg=PA663&lpg=PA663&dq=origin+of+%22racialism%22&source=bl&ots=3AofE2tyXX&sig=Pb8iEE6nRuta6xpTpaAq-7YpI2w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjGyfWboPbNAhXK1R4KHY7fAC0Q6AEIRTAH#v=onepage&q=origin%20of%20%22racialism%22&f=false

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What I consider to be Reasonable Gun Controls


    Another post on gun control. This one is no different from the others I have written in that it has redundancies (points I repeatedly call for) as well as being in favor of reasonable regulation of the firearms proliferation in this country.
    My thoughts stem from the idea that “it’s not the guns: it’s the people.” This phrase, often put forth by gun aficionados, is often paraphrased as “guns don’t kill people: people do.” There is perfect logic in this. People do kill people BUT guns let them do it faster and more efficiently therefore we need to have a means to screen out the PEOPLE but also decrease the efficiency of the guns. There is not a single approach vector to this problem that will solve it as there is not full solution to the problem of violence.

    I examine this problem from the idea of wanting to retain my right to own a firearm (or several). I examine this problem from the perspective of acknowledging that not everyone SHOULD own a firearm. I examine this problem from the view that not everyone should be allowed to own a firearm. I examine this problem as a problem that weights the 2nd Amendment right to own a firearm against the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” of everyone not behind the trigger of any individual firearms. I examine the right to own and operate against the right to life. I examine the right to live against the inconvenience of regulations. Yes, INCONVENIENCE, of regulations. I examine the most advanced personal weaponry on the planet at the time of the 2nd Amendment being crafted against what we have now and I examine the SCOTUS ruling that decided to make “well-regulated militia” a superfluous clause of the 2nd Amendment rather than making it a vital component (thus, altering the 2nd Amendment without a new amendment – really, think about it).

    I have participated in, and lurked in on, many gun control discussions, debates, and full-on flame wars throughout many places on the internet. I have come to the conclusion that the most vocal on either side are unrealistic in their expectations and delusional in their views. Moreover, I have come to the conclusion that many of the pro 2nd Amendment people are psychologically unfit to own and carry firearms and this scares me; it also explains why they are so opposed to regulating the people as they MUST suspect that they would fail to pass any required psychological examinations.

    With all of this preamble here is my proposal for what I consider to be valid, reasonable, and achievable gun control in this country. These ideas are not all my own but the amalgamation is. I acknowledge it will take at least 10 years for true progress to be seen and that it will take two full generations for the existing proliferation of weapons to be brought under control to a point of normalization. But the best programs generate sustainable, and slow, change.

    This plan has several parts that must all be in place to manage the problem.

    1.    Acknowledge the intent of the 2nd Amendment
        a.    “Well-regulated militia” is a core part of the Amendment and needs to be honored. A “militia” needs an official definition and part of having a license needs to be membership in one. As far as I am concerned a local gun club that has rules on how often equipment is serviced and how often marksmanship and handling are tested would be sufficient so long as it maintains records to validate the “well regulated” part. Such records must be made available to the authorities if a warrant is issued. Only records of INDIVIDUAL SUSPECTS can be copied and taken by the authorities as part of an active investigation – with an additional warrant for that specific information.
        b.    The National Guard can be considered a “well-regulated militia” – those enlisted in it meet the criteria.

    2.    Manage the people.
        a.    Every citizen who wishes to have a firearm must possess a license.
        b.    There will be multiple levels of licenses and endorsements. Each successive license includes written testing on the features/liabilities/responsibilities of that level only. Practical exams include safe handling (common for all levels) and marksmanship for that level.
            i.    Base License
                1.    Requires an educational course, a written test, and a practical exam for proper firearm handling.
                2.    Grants unrestricted purchase and use of muzzle-loading weaponry for which the powder, wadding, and ball are separate (e.g. what was available when the amendment was written).
                3.    Requires a preliminary background check.
            ii.    Bolt / Pump Action License
                1.    Requires an educational course, a written test, and a practical exam for proper gun handling AND basic marksmanship.
                2.    Allows 3-round magazines.
                3.    Requires a deeper background check
            iii.    Semi-automatic License
                1.    Requires the bolt/pump action license and a written exam.
                2.    Has two base endorsements: hand gun and long gun. Either/both can be sought. Each requires practical test for marksmanship and handling.
                3.    Allows 3-round magazines
                4.    Requires a deeper background check
            iv.    Full-automatic
                1.    Requires an intensive training program including practical examinations for servicing, handling, care, and marksmanship
                2.    Requires a written test
                3.    Requires an in-depth psychological evaluation and background check (essentially government clearance)
            v.    Continuous expanding licenses
                1.    Each incremental step requires intensive training in the specifics of the weaponry genre and deeper restrictions on psychological and behavioral assessments.
        c.    There will be a government profile built of gun owners as they acquire weapons. This will be a combination of the weapon registry and the online psych eval database. This database will be thousands of questions.
        d.    There are no accidents – any injury or property damage due to a discharged weapon is someone’s liability and will be treated as such in the eyes of the law.
        e.    Anyone discharging a weapon in an unsafe manner loses their license.
    3.    Manage the liability
        a.    Proof of blanket firearm liability insurance must be possessed to acquire a license.
        b.    Each weapon must be added to the policy within 14 days of purchase.
    4.    Manage the weapons
        a.    Every weapon must be registered from point of completion through to disposal; instant registration at the point of sale is the default for licensed vendors.
        b.    Every weapon will have ballistics information logged every time it passes through a licensed firearms merchant (and upon initial completion).
        c.    Each change of possession requires a registration form be filed by both buyer and seller. Buyer’s firearm license number and insurance policy is noted on both.
        d.    Create a buyback program where guns can be turned in for cash.
        e.    Create an anonymous drop program where guns can be anonymously turned in.
        f.    Both d&e generate examination of the weapons, including ballistics, etc. and comparison against open cases. Upon completion of the investigation the weapons are destroyed.
        g.    Every weapon must be sold with a trigger lock.
        h.    Every weapon must be stored in a secure manner.
        i.    In the event than an owner loses their license they have a reasonable time frame to liquidate their arsenal. This will be determined by the judge who revokes their license. Any weapons and ammunition in their possession after the deadline are forfeit.
    5.    Manage the sales
        a.    Every sale must require proof of license and insurance.
        b.    Every sale from a licensed vendor requires to buyer to take a quick (~25 questions) online psych eval. AT THE VENDOR’S FACILITY AND AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE. This is a pass/fail scenario and the questions are pulled randomly from the government question base.
        c.    Every sale must have the background check performed. The more intense the licensure level the longer the waiting period. Licenses for up to semi-automatic should have an instantaneous background check.
    6.    Manage the ammunition
        a.    Magazines will be serialized.
        b.    Magazines must be registered; instant registration must be available and the default setting.
        c.    Magazines must be associated with a weapon owned by the same owner.
        d.    There will be magazine endorsements; each requires increasing background checks
            i.    3 magazines, 3-rounds each per weapon (standard)
            ii.    Two additional magazines.
            iii.    Up to 10 magazines
            iv.    Increased magazine capacity to 5 rounds
            v.    Increase magazines to 10 rounds
            vi.    Increase magazines to 30 rounds.
        e.    Ammunition will carry a 100% tax which goes toward treatment for gun violence victims and to support the licensure and background check program.
        i.    EXEMPTIONS
            1.    Police and military are exempted
            2.    Properly qualified security professionals are exempted
            3.    Licensed vendors do not pay the tax, they pass it along.
            4.    Licensed gun clubs and shooting ranges are exempted from charging the tax to members who consume the ammunition on premises. Only ammunition that is taken from the premises need pay the tax.
        f.    Boxes of ammunition are registered and tracked through to final point of sale. Inventory is carefully monitored so as to prevent unlicensed purchased. Individual purchases are assigned to a firearms license.
        g.    Ammunition cannot be purchased for a weapon not registered to the purchaser – even at time of weapon purchase (see instant registration)
    7.    Manage the weapons used in crimes
        a.    A weapon used for violence is forfeit; this also includes weapons that cause injury through accidents.
        b.    Upon completion of the investigation into the crimes in question the weapon is forfeit and destroyed. Even weapons discharged in self-defense are forfeit if they directly generate physical injury. This is a cost of discharging the weapon for violence.
        c.    The funds for selling the scrap metal are directed into the law enforcement and gun crime prevention programs.

In addition to my plan I’d like to share a list of outrageous comments I encountered when examining the gun control debate through the various venues. I tried to find a balanced number of ludicrous comments for each side but I failed.






1. Banning all guns will stop the problem completely

2. The answer is to give everyone guns.

3. No regulations or restrictions should be undertaken because they cannot completely stop the problem.

4. Guns are more important that driving.

5. Localized regions in the US that have strict laws and still have gun problems prove that no gun regulations will help.

6. Gun regulation has not helped anywhere in the world.

7. You can't take away someone's right to a gun even if they are a proven felon and dangerous to society.

8. There is no proof that limited magazine capacity and limited number of magazines would have had any effect on the mass shootings so we shouldn't even try it.

9. Single shot guns are all that should ever be allowed for any reason.

10. Obesity kills more people than guns so we should ban McDonald's first.

11. More people die in car accidents than by guns so we should ban them first.

12. Only the rich should have guns.

13. You can't impose any cost on gun ownership because it infringes the rights of the poor.

14. Everywhere in this country has tons of laws - nowhere can you walk in and buy a guy and walk out.

15. Waiting periods are unconstitutional.

16. Any form of gun control is saying that the entire civilian population is not allowed to have guns.

17. Any attempt to control guns is as bad as the Westborough Baptist Church.

18. Registration of guns will lead to confiscation of them.

19. No gun dealer ever bypasses the laws to sell guns; ESPECIALLY not at gun shows.

20. Private sales should always be exempted from any rules.

21. Every private sale should be illegal.

22. The good guy with the gun is not a myth. Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns constantly.

23. Every gun owner is crazy.

24. Every anti gun person is a communist.

25. Every anti gun person wants to take away ALL rights.

26. Gun ownership is a right, driving is a privilege so they cannot be compared.

27. It doesn't matter than the most advanced personal weaponry when the 2nd amendment was written was a double-barrel musket.

28. We should ban doctors because malpractice kills more people than guns.

29. Since people are killed for their beliefs we should get rid of the 1st Amendment to protect people from the repercussions of their words.

30. Owning guns is a God-given right and people can't take it away.

31. The cost of inconveniencing 100 million people (1/3 of Americans estimated to own guns) is too high to save the lives of people killed by guns every year.

32. Show me the data that shows gun crime is a problem here.
Data provided.
Well, you can't compare just the gun crime rates because poverty drives gun crimes.
Poverty data provided.
Well, the cultures are just too different so you can't compare those countries at all.
Note: countries compared were Canada, the U.K., Australia, Norway, and Israel (for good measure)

33. We shouldn't implement any gun controls because people can find other ways to do mass killings, like McVeigh and his truck bomb.

34. Any action that costs money will unfairly burden the poor so it can't be done.