Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Much Hope for Gun Control.

There's something that I find inconsistent about the NRA's position on the Second Amendment. It's the fact that, while they will defend the right to keep and bear almost any kind of firearm without any consideration of the gun's killing capacity or lethality, nevertheless they do seem to recognize that there are limits to the constitutional right granted by the Second Amendment. The NRA doesn't claim to defend a person's right to keep an functional howitzer in the garage or a bazooka in the bedroom closet.... at least not yet, so clearly the honchos at the head of the NRA recognize that there is some level of firepower that just plain goes too far. The guarantee protecting gun ownership, then, seems to be a matter of degree, and not essence.

My personal opinion is that the real flaw isn't in the NRA or in the Second Amendment. The real flaw is in the Constitution of The United States itself. Every other democracy with a working constitution has a mechanism built into it that makes it possible (but not necessarily easy) to change provisions that prove to be unworkable. Other constitutions recognize that nothing is perfect. But here in the U.S.A. we only seem capable of dealing with absolutes. Our religions are absolute in the certainty of their beliefs. Our political parties are absolute in their sense of self-righteousness. And our Constitution is invested with a sense of absolute perfection. In a sane country with a realistic constitution, the Second Amendment would have been eliminated many years ago because of its intrinsic irrationality and threat to human life. But for those of us in America, absolutism trumps sanity every time. Don't expect much from Obama on gun control.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zero-Dark-Thirty is Right On the Mark

The little wife and I saw Zero-Dark-Thirty yesterday, and we both thought it was a truly remarkable film. We loved it. I know that the film has drawn a lot of criticism for its portrayal of the torture that America inflicted on captured Al Qaeda members in the early stages of "the war on terror".... and the scenes are hard to watch.... but I've gotta believe that the portrayal is accurate. To argue otherwise is simply to continue the string of propaganda lies pushed by our government. If the good ole U.S.A. really wants to make the world believe that our nation doesn't torture enemies, then we need to hear that from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. If Cheney pronounces Zero-Dark-Thirty to be bogus, then I might believe it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why Eliminate Obamacare?

Most, if not all, of the developed nations (excluding the U.S.A.) have a healthcare system that provides their citizens with all the medical care they need, even if they can't afford it. Here in America, our system provides our citizens with all the medical care they can afford, even if they don't need it. And by eliminating Obamacare, the Republicans are seeking to keep things the way they are. They think this will keep America "special," and in a perverse way I guess they'd be right about that.