Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Had another thought I was trying to address in my blanket blog-post recapping last week. I started down this road, but I didn’t quite take it all the way. I made reference to this mindset that says…
The enduring meme is best expressed as “Right or wrong, we are going to win this argument, because X. Right or wrong.” And then X has something to do with something being given excessive weight in this little melee, which everyone understands deserves no weight at all, but hey reality is reality right? And so it’s an eight hundred pound gorilla that decides everything…right or wrong. Barack Obama is a brilliant speaker and seems like such a nice guy. Seniors rely on Social Security and they vote. Black people, and women who use abortion as a contraceptive method, are angry. Bill Clinton is perceived by these angry women as (somehow) a sexy guy.
But there’s something missing. It’s been festering in the back of my brain all week, ever since the embassy was invaded this last Tuesday, but not quite fully teased out. Today, at the gun range while I was loading up a .40 cal, I managed to fill in the details.
It has to do with another diary entry from last year.
It impresses me that, as I pass through this big valley…the ones whose names show up in the newspaper where the murders happened, overlay with remarkable precision the places serviced by light rail and by bus lines. It’s true in Sacramento, in Seattle, in Detroit, and every other “big” place I’ve ever lived or visited.
The dependency-class is dependent. It depends on a service, and because it is dependent, anybody who denies the service, by action or inaction, is infringing on a fundamental human right. And, should this take place, this imbues the dependency-class with new rights it would not otherwise have. And so The System, which denied the service by inaction and failing to keep the machines in good working order, has it comin’. The rail hoppers will enter, again, that surreal region in which a crime is to be committed, but not really, because it is a “gettin’ even” for another crime that was committed. A written law will be violated, as redress of grievances for the violation of some other unwritten law.
Now, here is my epiphany:
We have, down at the shooting range, a “community” of sorts in which each participant holds in his hands, or has immediate access to, a mechanism that can cause instant death or permanent disability in a fellow human being. Because each one of us is a potentially lethal force, we observe rules. Some of these rules could arguably be called “stupid” rules, but nobody ever says so, nobody ever challenges them. We don’t think of them that way. We become very script-driven and process-oriented, even while we keep our wits about us as best we can, and make a point out of thinking things through as abstractly, as diligently, as we know how. We stay awake and alert and keep all the brain lobes lit up — but, at the same time, we follow the rules unflinchingly and unquestioningly.
So for those who are up on American politics, there is irony here. We think things through like right-leaning libertarians, but follow the rules like good statist collectivist liberals.
On the other side of the fence, where the light rail ticket station is busted so people just take what’s “theirs” so they can stick it to the system — there is also some irony. Their motives are “pure” libertarian, with each citizen looking out for his own interests. It crosses the line into anarchy, since it is clear why the most fundamental rule exists which is “when you ride the rail you must have a ticket to show you paid for the service.” And yet an unwritten, ethereal “jungle” rule has emerged to override this, the jungle rule says “if the machine is busted then you’ve been slighted by The Man and you have to get even to show you won’t take this lying down.”
In the dependency-class society, not only is the transportation all blue-statey and kiosk-driven, but the personal defense method is as well. If the burglar is breaking into your house at one in the morning, you dial 911. You do not have a gun. Proles cannot have guns; guns are for cops. That’s one of the rules. Whether that’s followed is another story.
But California is an exciting and intriguing patchwork of blue-staters and red-staters. The friction develops when the blue-staters make laws restricting the access of guns from the red-staters. This is a case of psychological projection. The blue-staters do not trust themselves with guns; therefore, they do not want anybody else to have guns either.
Now, these guys at the shooting range do have an ability to recognize “dumb” rules. We talk about them constantly. First and foremost is the dumb rule that says an automatic weapon owned by a California resident can’t hold more than ten shots. I’m sure there’s some fine “nuance” I’m missing there, regarding who lives where and on what side of the state line the weapon is being bought or brandished or whatever…but the law is somewhere around there. If you’re in the Golden State, ten is the max. Why this is a “dumb” law is an easy thing to establish (ten is a meaningless number, since if the criteria is that something could go wrong, the number that should have been chosen is nine less than that). Just about all of us agree on this. And yet, we follow it too. Without hesitation and without question. We follow that dumb state law, all the other dumb state laws, the not-so-dumb state laws, and we do exactly what the range-master tells us to do when he tells us to do it.
Those other people follow rules too. As long as it is convenient and they “feel” that the “system” is treating them “fair.” As soon as the machine stops dispensing tickets, the feeling flips around, the magneto-relay switch trips into anarchy mode, and it is “okay” to hop the turnstyle to “get even.”
With those observations then in place, I can boil this observation down to near bumper-sticker size.
One culture is in possession of deadly force, and as a consequence, it rejects the option of rule-breaking.
The other culture has embraced rule-breaking, and as a consequence it abjures deadly force.
My epiphany is: I think on both sides of this line, it is subconsciously realized that these two epoxy agents cannot be blended together — ever. People who flout rules on a whim, cannot have access to deadly weaponry, and people with access to deadly weaponry cannot flout rules. If those two luxuries come into contact with each other, the result is an abomination that will have to be eliminated if any system of law and order is to be maintained. And so the “half anarchists” permit themselves to steal a ride on the light rail, or a newspaper out of the busted machine, but will not avail themselves the use of deadly force; they will cross the line into anarchy but they do not want to become a threat. Because they live in a collectivist utopia, in which their entitlement to the staples of life depends on their social status. Naturally, in the land they call home, guns are outlawed — they have to be.
Those who make their way through life’s challenges by being responsible and capable, insist on the privilege and the right to defend themselves and their loved ones, with the option of deadly force being available just in case, God forbid, it is ever needed. But, for reasons mentioned above, they will not consider the option of breaking a rule. They, too, are properly fearing and avoiding that deadly epoxy.
How this pertains to the embassy incident: These turnstyle-hopper gun-avoiding blue-staters are all about “Winning the argument right-or-wrong, because X.” X being something dumb and stupid. College kids identify with Obama, women who can’t get their husbands to pay attention to them identify with Hillary, moderate/independent/centrist voters “feel” that Mitt Romney isn’t very approachable. Here in America, we have been seeing this all over the place and we’ve been seeing it for a long time. Teachers get so-much-of-a-raise, and so-much-vacation-time, not because it makes sense for them to get it, but because…they’re striking. Before them it was the garbage collectors, and the actors and the pilots and the sheet metal workers. Here, there and everywhere, someone is holding something hostage. We’re just suckers for a reasonable and logical exchange of ideas, followed by a rational compromise — which is then to be cut short because someone is holding something hostage. Like the lawyers say: Real justice is expensive, how much justice can you afford?
What holds the key to a peaceful resolution is this: Each community can make the decision about how it is to function, whether it is to preserve individual liberty and its associated responsibilities & follow rules; or, go full-anarchy, stripping the individual of the obligation to follow rules but also of the benefits of individual liberty. Communities can go either way. And with sufficient insulation from each other, they can live alongside each other…at a distance. They can even fit one inside the other.
And an anarchist, we-take-what-we-want community, can fit inside a liberty-preserved, live-by-the-rules community.
But — here’s the rub — not the other way around. If a law-and-order community lives inside a might-makes-right, turnstyle-hopping community, then the smaller law-and-order community is living on borrowed time.
The radical Islamists, who want what they want when they want it, constantly demanding things because of their ANGERRR!!!!, are trying to take over the world. All this talk about what percentage of the overall Muslim world population it is, how old Muhammed’s wives were, what passage of the Quran says what, is missing the point. The might-makes-right lawless can live in smaller communities of their own making, inside larger communities that function according to personal liberty, personal responsibility, and law & order. The reverse is not possible.
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