Archive for the ‘Penn and Teller’ Category

From ForeignPolicy, Rosa Brooks writes a piece called “Blood on the Constitution”:

Here we go again. With 12 dead bodies at Washington’s Navy Yard, not including that of the shooter, Americans are back to the usual handwringing: Why, oh why can’t we stem the tide of gun violence?

People, this is not rocket science. (Yes, I’m mad).

That’s the best way to write a modern liberal column.  Impotent Rage!

Americans currently have crappy gun-control laws, “crappy” being the technical legal term for “hopelessly, pathetically inadequate,” especially when compared to other countries‘ laws. Yes, those countries with fewer guns and fewer gun deaths — they have much tougher gun-control laws than the United States does.

Those “other countries” being the usual suspects: cold-weather politemongers of Canada (who have abandoned their long gun registry as pointless and a stupid failure), ethnically whites-only no-guns Australia, under-siege religious-ethnic bonded Israel, unarmed UK, genetically homongenous Norway, and genetically homogenous xenophobic and occasionally murderously totalitarian Japan.

And why do we have crappy gun-control laws? Because of the Second Amendment, which gives Americans a constitutional right to crappy gun-control laws. That’s why we fought a war against the British: We wanted to the right to kill each other, instead of being killed by foreign enemies.

At least when leftists write mad, they write what they feel.  And she’s right, in her own warped worldview.  But we’ve had some of the kind of gun control laws she’d like in the past.  They were instituted so America’s slave underclasses and minorities and undesirables could be kept down.  Just the way she likes it – she just adjusted her sights to oppress the serfs of the Country Class.

The real reason we have the Second Amendment is to preserve a free state – as opposed to a tyrannical oppressor state.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

- Thomas Jefferson

And remember, he was referencing Shay’s Rebellion at the time – a domestic insurgency against perceived tyranny.  And it was viewed as a good thing, because it was necessary to keep the government honest.  Yes, that was TJ supporting armed rebellion as a way to keep government in check.

Brooks real complaint is that the classic liberal enlightenment document that the nation is based on must be destroyed.

For its time, the U.S. Constitution was a pretty impressive document, if you leave aside certain small details such as slavery, which was considered A-OK by the Founding Fathers, and women’s rights, which were considered not A-OK. But let’s give the Constitution’s authors a break; they lived at a time when slavery was widespread not only in the United States but around the globe and women were still considered semi-chattel in most of the world. For its time, the Constitution was not bad at all.

But for our time, it stinks.

First off, it was broad enough that “all men are created equal” in founding documents can easily apply just as well to everyone.  And things like the 3/5 compromise were written to slowly abolish things like slavery.  Also, amendments, how do they work?

Whenever I teach constitutional law, I ask my students if they’re happy that they live in a nation with the oldest written constitution in the world. They all nod enthusiastically. Then I ask them if they’d be equally pleased if our neurosurgeons operated in accordance with the oldest anatomybook in the world, or our oil tankers steered using the oldest navigational charts in the world, or NASA’s rocket scientists used Ptolemaic astronomy to chart the path of the Mars Rover.

Frankly, having the world’s oldest written constitution is not something to be proud of.

From here she goes into a leftist diatribe about how the Constitution sucks because it’s old, and thus it’s irrelevant and needs to be destroyed to represent her chosen vision of a modern world because remember, she’s mad.

But she’s got some specious argument there about age being a condition of obsolescence.  A counterpoint would be to ask students if they think their mathematicians should continue to use the Pythagorean Theorem, or if they should use the positions put forth in the Kama Sutra in their dorms.

soha ali khan

Picture of Soha Ali Khan unrelated.

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.  Often it means it’s tried and true, and especially as human nature tends to be rather consistent, the Constitution works rather well, just like the Quadratic Formula and cowgirl.

And boy, have circumstances changed lately. To return to gun deaths, the framers could never have imagined weapons technologies like those used in Newtown or the Navy Yard. But because the U.S. Constitution is amazingly difficult to amend (incredibly, women still have no text-based constitutional guarantee of equal rights), Americans are stuck with gun rules from more than two centuries ago.

The Founders were very, very smart men.  They were inventors themselves.  They also had privately owned cannon at the time – ordnance, not arms; and they were well aware of rapid firing weapons, anti-personnel munitions, and all kind of other assorted nastiness that could be used for evil intent.  Keep in mind that was also an era where swords were still commonplace, and unlike a gun, you don’t have to reload a sword ever.  Also, medicine to treat wounds in the 1700s was much more limiting. thus survivable wounds today would often have been fatal wounds then.

The Constitution is difficult to amend for a reason.  It’s so a bunch of mad shrews like Brooks don’t just go out and change it willy-nilly.  Anger-fueled madness triumphing over reason is how with the likes of Carrie Nation and later iterations of the temperance movement, we eventually got Prohibition, which no one but some progressive anti-freedom anti-drink busybodies wanted.  Government driven by progressive do-gooders inflicted Prohibition on the population, and murdered 10,000 US citizens for our own good.

Crime statistics of individual man on man pale in comparison to 10,000 murdered by the government in the name of “the common good” against “fiend intemperance”.  And that’s from a mostly benign government.  Government is the problem.

oleg volk government killing

This may help explain why the U.S. Constitution no longer gets much global respect. Just a few decades ago, the overwhelming majority of nations around the globe modeled their own constitutions on it. Today, that’s no longer true.

Just why other democracies are losing interest in the U.S. Constitution as a model is an interesting question, and there are undoubtedly a thousand and one reasons.  But I’ll bet the Navy Yard shootings just added 12 more.

Guess what, Brooks?  I don’t care too much what other countries do with their constitutions.  I like ours just fine.

I also don’t care because most of the world isn’t founded on the idea of a representative democratic republic based on Enlightenment ideals of the individual as the most important element of society.  Most new governments are filling themselves up with collectivist declarations of the special rights of group A or group B, not with the declaration of the Natural Right of Individual X.  They exist only to empower the Ruling Class at the expense of the ruled, to balance different balkanized groups against one another while the truly powerful play a game of favorites with resources they steal from the population.  It is a game of plunder, where Brooks and her Ruling Class plunderers distribute it for the good of their own personal power as the Ruling Class.

It’s worth noting that her bio includes this:

Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and a Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She served as a counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a senior advisor at the U.S. State Department.

She’s been a high-level advisor in the Obama administration, and a professor of law.  She teaches students that the Constitution must be destroyed, and she advises government to destroy the very document that governs the government.  She is one of those Ruling Class elites who of course would demand that you be disarmed.  It makes her job of administering your resources and deciding how you will be controlled that much easier.

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And as a complete counterpoint to her nonsense:

From Kurt Eichenwald:

Now, before gunnies run for their weapons and belch out that tiresome and frighteningly violent malarkey about prying their firearms from their “cold, dead hands,” let me be clear: I believe that people have the right to arm themselves. The concept traces back to English common law, which is how it made its way into the Constitution. The problem is, for a variety of reasons, the Second Amendment has been twisted and bastardized in ways that could never have been conceived at the time of the nation’s founding. Just look at what has happened in states so far: the Michigan legislature passed a law allowing folks to carry concealed weapons in day-care centers, and Ohio is going forward with its plans to allow guns in the garages at the state capitol. The right, they claim, comes from the Second Amendment.

Actually, no.  The right comes from natural law, which predates the Second Amendment.  The Second Amendment merely codifies natural law within the constitution.  Just because you go to a day-care center doesn’t mean that your right to defend yourself and your children ceases to exist; and the Second Amendement and Michigan’s law simply affirms this by leaving legal the most effective tools of self-defense.

and then there's this asshole penn & teller

Eichenwald really is.

As written, though, the amendment has nothing—nothing—to do with modern America. Worse, it is the biggest mess of verbiage in the whole Constitution, making its actual meaning almost impossible to discern. We need to get rid of it and try again with an amendment that makes sense.

The idiot sums it up with his “new” amendment:

The people retain the right to keep and bear arms, subject to reasonable restrictions deemed necessary by the Congress and the President to secure the lives and well being of others.

Yet another genius leftist who doesn’t know his wonderful idea has already been proven a dismal failure.  Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution:

Citizens of the republic may, for their protection, own guns and arms in their homes. Only arms sanctioned by the Army may be owned, and federal law will state the manner in which they can be used.

And thus, the only people with guns in Mexico are the police, military, and narcoterrorist cartels.  Pretty simple.  The Army doesn’t sanction, federal law states they can’t be used, pretty simple.  “Reasonable” restrictions from a despot mean “you will be disarmed”.

The rest of the piece is just the usual drivel and mindless blather that falls from the lips of leftists who can’t see that the big picture looks even worse in the long run when you have disarmament.  It is precisely this reason that the Second Amendment is the very reason we have modern America and the peace that the US has provided, as opposed to the kind of governance that rules in nations with total power.

oleg volk government killing

Takeaway quote for the last week’s discussion: “You can’t stop insane people from doing insane people by passing insane laws… that’s insane!”

>Wealth Redistribution Simplified

Posted: April 24, 2010 by ShortTimer in Obama, Penn and Teller, Redistribution

>

Figuratively.

Maybe.


The whole episode on taxes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit that this clip came from can be found here. Expect harsh, but justified language.