Further thoughts on the unlikeliness of “Texit”

The cartoon below notwithstanding, there is really no comparison between Brexit and the screaming I’ve been seeing over the last 24 hours for “Now Texit!!!!one!111eleven!!!”

For one thing, the EU constitution provides explicitly for a member state to leave the Union.  It’s that Article 50 that’s been bandied about in the media lately.  The state that wants to leave invokes Article 50 and some convoluted, arcane process that is to take no more than two years starts creaking along as the exiting state severs ties.  The US Constitution has no such provision; once you’re in, you’re in.

For another, nobody is going to fight a war over Brexit, for the very reason pointed out above.

On the other hand, Texas keeps talking about seceding, conveniently forgetting that they tried that once, and failed, and we’ve been an indissoluble Union ever since.  (Some historiographers note that the change from writing “The United States are” to “The United States is” dates from the end of the Civil War, and indicates clearly the mindset that joining the Union was considered an irrevocable act.)  If you think for one minute that the assholes in Washington are going to let the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP simply take a walk by virtue of a referendum victory, I think you are smoking some of that stuff you bought up in Colorado last weekend.

I will reiterate my strong and lasting belief that, one of these days, flyover country as a group is going to tell the bloodsucking, wallet-hoovering, imperialistic elitist coasts to take a hike.  But I think that has more likelihood of success than a single state saying fuck you and trying to walk away from the other 49.  There is strength in numbers, whether Texans want to admit it or not.

No, Texas, we’ve already been over that.

Found on Facebook:

Brexit no Texit

On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if flyover country as a whole divorces itself from the coasts one of these days.  I’ve figured on a “Friday” scenario for a long time.

Just wondering…

Has anyone heard lately from Old Grouch?  Seems the last time he posted was November 23.

Excuse me, sir? Mr. Trump? Sorry, but you just stepped in something.

It’s like he doesn’t really want to win at all.

Not that I was planning to vote for him, but really, how does one tack to the left like this while keeping one’s core anti-PC constituency — which includes quite a few bitter clingers, like me — on one’s side?  What part of “shall not be infringed” does the Donald not understand?

Because from here, I don’t see an iota of difference between him and Hillary on this issue.  Except that the Harridan would simply like to see all guns confiscated except those belonging to elites and their bodyguards, of course.  Trump hasn’t gone that far — yet.

Gun Free Zones delenda est

Cato the Elder would approve.

There cannot possibly be a person out there who truly believes that a simple declaration of a space as a gun free zone prevents people from bringing guns into it.  If you do, you are living in a dream world.  If you do and you are a politician, you need to be directed to the nearest political exit and never be allowed to hold public office again.

We have yet to see a situation in which an armed citizen, armed only for his or her defense, has suddenly gone mad and started mowing people down.  Indeed, we’ve seen plenty of cases where armed citizens have stopped a criminal act cold.  Sadly, local media rarely cover the latter, or downplay the armed citizen’s involvement, because “white-hat” armed citizens don’t fit their progressive narrative.

But we’ve seen plenty of cases where lone gunmen — typically, initially blamed on the right wing (usually the NRA), but almost invariably turning out to be somehow associated with the left, or the radical Islamic terror network (but I repeat myself) — have opened fire in gun-free zones where no law-abiding citizen was able to carry a weapon.

This madness must stop.  The 2nd Amendment exists for a reason.  But the gun-grabbers of the world do not want American citizens (or any citizens, for that matter) to be able to protect ourselves, because they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of those who believe that we must submit to the dubious protection of our government.  “Government knows best and will protect you from these bad people,” is their cry.

Yet, government cannot tie its own shoes, button its own pants, or balance its own budget, or get much of anything else right.  Indeed, sometimes it even acts maliciously for its own purposes (Animas River, anyone?)  It doesn’t even seem to have the will to protect our interests in the world outside our borders (let alone inside them).  And it clearly cannot prevent San Bernardinos or Orlandos even when it’s aware of damning facts about the eventual shooters.  Why, then, should we subject our personal safety and that of our families to it?  The Founders and the Framers did not believe that we should.  Nothing that has happened in the past 200+ years suggests they were wrong.

I call on governments everywhere, local, state, and national, to outlaw gun-free zones.  It is the Constitutional right of every American to carry a weapon for his or her personal defense, and this right has been upheld countless times by the courts, regardless of what politicians believe makes good law.  (Or for that matter, what the Ninth Circus, always an outlier and the most overturned circuit in the nation, has to say.)

Want to stop the madness?  Stop disarming citizens.  After September 11, 2001, as soon as terrorists realized that Americans would fight back on airplanes, attempted hijackings and attempted bombings of American airliners stopped, regardless of what TSA wants you to think or anything they claim to have done.  The same could be true of our self-inflicted free-fire zones, otherwise known as “gun-free” zones.

Real friends vs. social media friends

This came out of musings regarding a FB post bemoaning the use of the construction “If you don’t like my attitude about this, feel free to unfriend me” — something I’ve used a couple of times recently myself.  (I lost exactly one friend over that, according to FB Purity.)  This got me to thinking about the difference between real friends and Facebook (or social media in general) friends.

One of my best meatspace friends is a Bernie supporter. I can’t help it if he’s an idiot about that. We’ve been friends for four decades. We have much more in common than we do otherwise. So we get along and don’t talk politics. Much 🙂

My wife is a lifelong Democrat (but despises Hillary). I knew she was a Democrat (so are her parents) when I married her. But again, we don’t discuss politics…much.  (On the other hand, it helps that she’s more of a Scoop Jackson Democrat, not a wild-eyed radical dirty hippie like so many on the left are anymore.  She thought Occupy was stupid, too)

One of my fraternity brothers is not only a Democrat, he’s a union negotiator for the UAW. But again, we have more in common than we do otherwise. He holds political views that I disagree with…but we don’t discuss politics.  Much 🙂

Note the common denominator — I know these people well. They are long-time friends and associates in real life. I would no more “unfriend” them in real life than I would cut off my trigger finger.

On the other hand, I associate on social media with any number of people I barely know, and have either never met in meatspace or with whom I have only extremely limited associations.*  Some of those hold political views I find abhorrent. I’m sure they think the same of my political views. And the links with those people are often so tenuous that I honestly don’t care if they unfriend me for political reasons, or not.

Social media has been the catalyst for a lower and lower standard of social and political discourse over the past couple of election cycles.  As I touched on, below, in Democracy usually fails, the real-time ability to comment on other people’s opinions has turned the mill run of us into a community of mean, sarcastic assholes when it comes to those opinions.  The great Facebook Democracy of the Unwashed is driving our political conversation today, as it has for at least the last two elections.  What is sad is that the monolithic move to social media has led to the retirement (or near retirement) of a number of sane, thoughtful bloggers — because nobody reads blogs anymore.  That takes too long, when it’s easier to read pithy crap typed by your “friends” or view picture memes as if we had suddenly been reduced to a basic reading level where informed, thoughtful, and logical commentary is seemingly Sanskrit to the masses.  (In fairness, most millenials are already at that level, thanks to our crap schools.)

So when someone says, “If you don’t like my opinions, unfriend me,” maybe we should take them at their word.  It might make people spend a little more time thinking about what they say and write.  And that could only be for the good.
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* Many of them “handshake” Masons that I’ve met in real life maybe once, and en passant, or may not have ever met at all. I’m the international secretary-treasurer for a fair-sized Masonic organization with members all over the globe, so I get a lot of friend requests from people I know only because they send in a check once a year.  But I also have a lot of “friends” for whom I can’t really find a connection.  Naturally, if one of them starts spouting political crap that I’m diametrically opposed to, the likelihood is that I’m going to dump them.

Gun bloggers and Baen SF writers, in my view, are generally exempted from the “social media” category.  I’ve drunk good beer with some of them (well, not the SF writers — yet).  We get along.

Why was the 2nd not 1st?

(Posting from an away game.)

There are those who pooh-pooh the importance of the Second Amendment, because it wasn’t the First. E.g., “If protecting our liberties was so important, why didn’t the right to bear arms come first?”

It came second because first and foremost, it was imperative to enshrine the right of free speech, unencumbered by anything preceding it. Placing the right to bear arms first might imply that one had freedom of speech except when the government, by potential use of the militia made possible by the right to bear arms, might suspend it. Thus the enshrinement of the right to bear arms came second, as not only being necessary to protect freedom of speech, but also being subordinate to that freedom, because it was from the desire for freedom to speak out against an encroaching government without fear of retaliation that the American Experiment sprang. All else is secondary and subordinate to that one, single, basic human right. And that’s why the Framers put bearing arms second.

Bleargh

The short story I was talking about on May 24, below, ballooned into a novelette.  It clocked in at 12,338 words when I wrote THE END last night.

Worse, I may have seen the way toward turning this into a series of stories, picking and looting from the carcass of another oeuvre of writing I’ve been playing with for the last 30 years.

As noted before, it’s unpublishable in its current state.  Names have been changed (I spent some time thinking about names, then ended up stealing some of them from that other oeuvre) but some situations will be really obvious, and probably painful, to certain people.  And I don’t want to hurt anyone.  God knows I hurt myself enough by facing up to writing a story about…her.  And what might have been.  And what could be, assuming the existence of a Heinlein-esque multiverse and a way to slip between timelines.

Well, speaking of Heinlein.  As the Master said, or had his character L. Long say, “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”  So you’ll excuse me while I go wash up.

Multiversary

Yes, it’s the anniversary of D-Day.  That is true.

It’s also the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Midway.  I know Wikipedia says it ended on the 7th.  But Hammann was torpedoed with the loss of 80 lives on the 6th.  That Yorktown sank on the 7th is immaterial; the last shot related to the battle was fired on the 6th.

And, perhaps less important in the grand scheme of things, it’s my blogiversary.  14 years writing this crap.  I might do it one more year and say to hell with it.  Nobody reads blogs anymore; everybody’s on SpaceBook, where the low-content, poorly-spelled, and ungrammatical message is the medium and Big Brotherberg controls what you see.

The Internet was a wonderful thing, once….

Pfft.

Of course Hillary Clinton isn’t as smart as Henry Kissinger.

She’s not Jewish.

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