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We protect our politicians with guns.
We protect our politician’s children with guns.
We protect our “movie stars” with guns.
We protect our jewelry with guns.
We protect our money with guns.
We protect sports stadiums with guns.
But can the serfs have their children protected with guns?
We “protect” them with a piece of paper that says “gun free zone”. It only works on the good guys though, as we’ve seen by real world experience, maniacs don’t obey laws against having a gun or committing murder. If things get ugly, we then call people who have guns to stop the mess in progress. But not before bodies have hit the floor. And we cannot protect our children, our precious children with the same things we use to protect our politician’s children? Or our money? Or our gold?
I’ve heard the same tired excuse-laden rationale, using the “Gunfight at the OK-Corral” garbage. Okay, if that would happen, why hasn’t it happened in those areas? Surely we must have our politician’s children (we may be sour on our politicians, but rarely are we sour on their children – unless it’s Bristol Palin, Guiliani’s kids, or the Bush twins)’s bodyguards stripped of their guns then, for their safety, ja comrade? No, we wouldn’t, because we know this makes them less safe. Let’s wise up and use what we know will work, what experience has showed us will work, and protect our children. But, we cannot do this, because some will repeatedly Ba like sheep, saying that they cannot tell the difference between a sheepdog and a wolf, and that both have teeth, and that teeth are bad.
Recently a Milwaukee Sheriff told people to take their own safety into their hands. Surely that was racist – SPOILER ALERT, the guy is black.
The reality is, when seconds count the police are only minutes away. In a brave act of public maturity, he told people this. People cry for “something to be done”, and when he suggested that the sheep learn to fight off the wolves, suddenly “something to be done” is unveiled to mean “something utopian that we like that has never occurred anywhere we’ve tired it, to be done”. There has been again hysterical outcry against this Sheriff. What is the alternative? Waiting for the police. Even if we simply throw money at the problem, police officers cannot be everywhere. Murders and attacks still occur, and not just to “other people” and not just “really rarely”. It’s so rare we have buildings FILLED with these wackos, they’re called jails. This is why we have jails, they’re not filled with people who ripped the tags off of pillows, many of those in there earn a spot in the place by committing violent crimes. The naive and completely false idea that such people doesn’t exist dies on that hill.
What’s upsetting, is in this civilian defense debate, we have ideas that are guaranteed to work at the conceptual level better than the pious-rhetoric alternative, and have the track record to prove it – yet we have to discuss things on the terms of the ignorant idealists. Experience shows some alternatives work better than others. Yet, when people with stature and ignorance in these matters verbalize their intentions without regard to reality, we end up having to dignify some of this garbage, and put reality on a shelf. Guess what. Ignorance of reality will not protect you from its dangers, nor shield you from its consequences. Even if the person saying this is a former lawyer in public office with degrees from ivory tower institutions, wrong is wrong. Intelligence is an advantage, but absolutely no guarantee of success in anything.
Logic and Experience are the tag team champions of ideas, the heels of Idealism and Pious-Rhetoric have yet to record a victory in the real world, despite their massive T-shirt sales, especially amongst the elite. In few places is it so obvious and crystal clear, as in this topic. In few places is the cost so great that we are no longer talking inefficiencies in value to consumers, but talking about the blood of our own people.
In thinking about this, I realized I had enough for a blog post! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it.
1) Thomas Jane made the best Punisher of the 3 films.
I personally feel he sold the role the best. I would very much like to see him reprise the role.
For those who were unaware, Dolph Lundren did star in a Punisher film once:
2) The Punisher, to me, is the hero/”anti-hero” that makes the most sense.
For me he requires the least “leaps of faith” or suspension of belief. I say this as someone that loves the “ridiculous heros”, an Ironman, Hulk. or the uber powerful last son of Krypton – Superman himself. He doesn’t have piles of money. He doesn’t have a super-genius intellect. He doesn’t have some kind of cutesy ”sick nasty throwing knife trick” he relies on exclusively (even though a person with the pre-requisite physical gifts like super hand eye coordination and eyesight that are necessary to perform the feat of throwing a knife effectively over 5 city blocks – would be infinitely more dangerous with a rifle) or any nonsense like that. He can’t fly, eat bullets, use metal claws to climb, none of that either. He’s a former Green Beret with a mountain of experience when it comes to doing bad things to bad people. He’s got several sets of skills that allow them to do this, he’s a world class warrior, one of the baddest dudes on the planet.
3) His former occupation.
I’ve had the great privilege of having conversed on many occasions with men of Frank’s occupation. Many former Special Operations warriors live normal lives upon their retirement from serving our nation. Their neighbors usually know these men as the “quiet guy at the end of the street. You see him jogging from time to time – he’s in pretty good shape, especially for an older guy. Keeps to himself, doesn’t bother anyone.” Knowing what I do about these guys, I enjoy seeing them represented with their own hero, the one that gets the job done. Of course he is different from his real life counterparts in several ways, but such is the reality in the fantasy (read: not real!) world of comics!
So many heroes, Kal-El and Batman included, are unwilling or unable to “kill” their villains. They would rather throw them in ComicGitmo or Super-Supermax, to allow them to escape for the 11th time, kill dozens more people, add a few more concurrent life sentences for their next 3 week stay, etc. As I understand it, the comic-book Punisher is sort of the same way. But in them Punisher films, he ties up loose ends. Frankie doesn’t have any silly rules that don’t allow him to stomp out villains like cigarette butts. Big mafia meeting at the local Italian restaurant that’s a front for money laundering? Frank has no problem crashing through the front door, and ventilating them with a Mk46 machine gun. In broad daylight, with 50 witnesses.
5) You don’t need to yell at the screen, Frank delivers.
I mulled over labeling this 4a! The Punisher films satisfy the movie goer’s appetite to see bad guys get obliterated. At the end of some vigilante movies you find yourself wanting more, “the bad guy got away”, or the feeling that they got off lightly. I know a lot of people were pissed off with how “Law Abiding Citizen” ended. The Punisher doesn’t let this happen, not while he can breathe.
6) No real mental road-blocks
The Sentry is a Marvel hero that doesn’t want to leave his house. In some comics, Bruce Banner does not like being the Hulk. Spiderman puts on mascara and does a Saturday night fever strut down the block. They cry, they stop being heroes for a while, etc. The Punisher? Everything he loves is gone. He’s got no real internal obstacles.
7) Analogous to the Terminator
Think for a moment – other than the robot part and the things associated with it, what separates the Punisher from the Terminator?
-Iron willed determination to complete the mission
-No sympathy for opponents
-Good one liners
-Wide array of tactics used
-Explosions, mayhem, and gore
-No mental hindrances/non-conflicts
As a Terminator fan, having a former Green Beanie ass-kicker that’s practically analogous to the Terminator is icing on the cake!
What do I mean by economic creationism? In this theory, one is to believe that Government drives the economy start to finish, thus when rich corporate greed head fat cats “have too much money” (because we can be the arbiter of that), it must be because Republicans/”they”/Conservatives/WhoeverTheWhinerInQuestionDoesn’tLike is manning the faucett and simply distributes more droplets of concentrated GDP to them. They would practically have you believe that during the 1990′s, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich went up a mountain side, and when they came down from that mountain side, they built the “ocominy” in 6 days, having bi-partisan break on the 7th.
What is the “ocominy”? See the actually economy is where millions of goods and services are exchanged via the choices of consumers and entrepreneurs and yada yada. The “ocominy” is like the economy, only it can be regulated to perfection, Government runs the spickets by which to distribute the income, and there is no such thing as the demands of consumers – thus it cannot change. The “ocominy” grows when the mean corporate fatcats give it food/capital, and when it doesn’t get fed, the Government “has to” feed it. You simply turn a dial, and out comes happiness; but the mean people don’t want to turn the dial, because we have to raise taxes to turn the dial. Bill Clinton turned the dial by raising taxes (which must have been the cause of economic growth), fed the ocominy, and all was happy in the land. This line of thinking is so silly you would think that L. Ron Hubbard wrote it. Ironically many of the Hollywood actors who believe in that man’s writing also believe in these silly government-creationism ideas.
I will not waste your time in explaining the other theory in full detail. I will instead say: “Millions of people engage in the business process by choosing or not choosing goods and services, investing in businesses, and working jobs – in a complex ‘machine’ that has millions of moving parts.” They’re of the opinion that when politicians claim they can simply steer the economy in a direction they like, or create an entire industry because they like it (when investors were so confident about it they would NOT risk their own money on it, that’s not a good thing), and they can decree what the future is, those politicians might as well say this:
A good many other people are more economic-agnostic. Sometimes when folks are not familiar with the facts, and there are two sides who are very vehement about their own visions, they may reconcile this by defaulting to the middle. Research and having to make a call on what is right or wrong is hard, so by staying the in the middle one can claim a moral victory for the price of less work and less research! This is a “magic middle”, exactly the one referred to in politics. Imagine for a moment that Party A comes out and argues that we need to build a bridge (or high speed rail) over a canyon because it’s stimulus and it’s good for the economy, and it will cost $1 Trillion dollars. Party C comes out and says it’s ridiculous, we shouldn’t build the bridge, we don’t have the money, all that jazz. Well, members of the magic middle helicopter in and use their superior powers of logic and moral high-horsery to propose Plan B: Build half a bridge, pay $500 million dollars! That way no one is happy, except for those in the middle who have little stake in the argument. But this is preferable because it’s “fair” in a very abstract sense that neither Party A or Party C got their way, and it helped the believers of Plan B sleep at night.
Who comprises the magic middle? It’s not the “middle class” as 95% of people see themselves as middle-class when polled. Besides, politicians looking to gin up fear for votes have long been telling us that the “middle” statistical category title is becoming non-existent anyway. The ranks of the magic middle comprised of people who are too busy or can’t be bothered to take a hard look at both sides and make a choice. It is also populated by people who are trying to appear virtuous by not really offending either side enough to earn their ire. Those in the “main stream media” who aren’t oconimic-creationists are usually Magic-Middle-Economic-Agnostics.
(By mainstream media I of course mean the fabled “MainStreamMediaMonster” the right keeps talking about. We’ve never seen it, and the definition seems to change from time to time as does its roster, as does its deeds… It’s never been seen per say, but this is the best artist’s rendition I’ve seen):
The MSM in particular is very fond of economic agnosticism. They have long tried to halve the well-intentioned but inefficient ideas of the oconimic-creationists, and the free-market-economic-evolutionists, glue them together, and proclaim victory before they ever see the results. I understand how it happens, and I understand why, but I’m inclined to laugh when I see it.
In conclusion: I look at Free Markets as very analogous to evolution. They incorporate the experiences of millions of organisms and their choices made over time. They’re not always “fair” in the abstract sense, as species can die out, especially ones we like. They are not perfect, as in life there is never a “perfect” anything, only trade offs- but both systems are the best things available.
Walker wins today.
If I had to guess, by 4-7 points.
Another prediction: The state senator the Republicans need to retain stays in office by a small margin.
Edit/update: Looks like I was right! It was indeed Republican Christmas.
CHRIS HAYES: Thinking today and observing Memorial Day, that’ll be happening tomorrow. Just talked with Lt. Col. Steve Burke, who was a casualty officer with the Marines and had to tell people [inaudible]. Um, I, I, ah, [Steve] Beck, sorry, um, I think it’s interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words “heroes.” Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so comfortable [sic] about the word “hero”? I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
(Before I begin, he did issue an apology after the pitchforks and torches appeared.) See Chris Hayes comes across as one of those bleeding heart liberal types from the MSNBC network, the left wing echo-chamber where memes and ideas like this probably seem normal before being exposed to normal Americans. I believe the network is slowly becoming a parody of itself, the news-version of Whose Line is it Anyway: “Welcome to MSNBC, the network where the stories are made up and the truth doesn’t matter!”
“We’re calling troops heroes = we want more war” is the roommate of the “If you wave a flag, oops here comes 1939 Germany!” dribble that knuckleheads espouse in a pious tone whenever someone brings up the topic of patriotism. See this “logic” reminds me of that crappy line from one of the recent Starwars prequel films… ”Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering! o.o ” deal. No, no; one does not always bring the other, and it doesn’t perfectly follow that script. Believers in those two ideas could likely build beautiful rhetorical card-houses to try to prove their point, the problem is that they’re false, the cards do not stand even in the vacuum of theory.
So, Hayes is a dips**t. Big whoop. He said something logically-challenged and then got pilloried for it.
Well, just as I was beginning to simmer down, Cenk Uygur opened his garbage chute too. For those not familiar with Cenk Uygur, he’s known to some as “The Young Turks guy”, from their Youtube channel. (Note: The name is kind of bizarre, because that’s actually the name of the group that was responsible for the Armenian Genocide. Really dude? Really?)
“Everyone attacks Chris Hayes for daring…’How dare you possibly suggest that? You have to bow your head, call everyone in the military heroes, because war is awesome, the Pentagon is the greatest, our soldiers are all heavenly.”
When it comes to massive defense spending and crushing dictators I’m all for it. For a good stretch of my life I’ve spent oodles of time on web communities with a very high number of former armed forces personnel, been on their newsletters, read books published by the men, followed their works, I’ve sent care packages, yada yada-
(Let me stat: I am no Gary Sinese, there are others who support the troops in more productive or better ways than I do, this isn’t my point!), so I could be categorized as a member of the “vast right wing conspiracy”.
Let me say this:
-We, (Those who “agree” with or support armed conflicts overseas) do not think war is “awesome”.
Further, want to know how offensive this is to military personnel and veterans in particular? This is like saying that a civil rights group likes the firebombings of a certain group’s buildings, because it lets them do stuff. Yes, it’s that offensive. I cannot tell you how pissed and shocked some of them are when that stuff comes up. See, most veterans and active duty military personnel are simple family people who return from conflicts with the goal of simply living their lives in solitude. We rarely get to hear their side, those in the media who claim to support them seem to seldom really pick up their cause or listen to what they have to say when they disagree – (on say the effectiveness of waterboarding, who should comprise their ranks, rules of engagement, etc).
-We do not think everything that happens in the Pentagon is manna from heaven. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard the service members I’ve been around shake their heads and vent about people shining seats with their asses in the Pentagon, or what goes on in the procurement area? I’d have quite a lot of money. Know what a “Fobbit” is? Or a “Pogue?” If you knew what those terms meant, you’d understand the fact that there’s a little bit of occasional low-level-tension even within the service branches,
-We are not blind to poor conduct by armed service members. Being in the military involves real codes of honor that journalists likely wouldn’t understand, they (“military peoplez”) of all people are most pissed off when some knucklehead takes pictures with humiliated prisoners or something like that. They don’t quite need 40 straight days of front page NYTimes coverage (Referencing Abu Gharib here) to know how to police their own units. I find it interesting how these news outlets choose to support the troops (I Mean, of course they support the troops, they tell us this all the time): By letting the actions of a handful of idiots (in the stress of a warzone, can’t forget that context), becomes a vast majority of their coverage on the war. They become the paint brush that ends up painting a bad shadow on much of a war effort.
The TV media has done this too, when it’s not stressing the death toll on a nightly basis, which it did in the lead up to the 04 election, and the 08 election. Odd how it seemed to disappear after 08 though… hmm..
Want to know what I think is alarming? When we as a nation express our gratitude and reverence to these guys, that it makes some people uncomfortable for some odd reason.
To those people, let me pass on a message from some of the service members I know, and those who respect them: “**** you if it really bothers you that much.”