We were at MarsCon 2013 over the weekend, here in the Twin Cities. After a private social gathering and Scotch Tasting (and yes, much Single Malt Scotch was drunk), I went for a cruise of the party floor.
One of the posters depicted a nice scene from the Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Poking my head into another room, I saw some people dressed in Babylon 5 costumes, with one of them done up as a Narn. So I said to the Narn, "I have a question for you. Is it true that Narns are from Narnia?" The look on his face, and everyone else within earshot, was priceless. It was a deed well done. And yes, the guy thought it was very funny and liked it. By the way, his costume and makeup job was excellent.
This led to the below image after MarsCon. It just had to be done.
We will be hitting marscon again tonight. Doing the usual rightwing things like Scotch and ... well does it matter?
I haven't been blogging in a while. Way too long. But right now my feathers are ruffled, and I have a lot to say about, yes, you got it, gun control. The Leftie Loons are coming after our guns, one way or the other. Politicos such as Obama, Biden, Cuomo, Dayton, and a host of others either do not understand why our Founding Fathers inserted that simple clause in the Second Amendment, "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", or they simply want to move us closer to a totalitarian dictatorship. I suspect that for many of them, it is the latter. There are some, like Dayton, who are just too stupid to understand the Constitution.
Cuomo recently stated "It's simple - no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer". Well, yeah, he's right. No one hunts with an assault rifle. An assault rifle, by definition, must have selective fire capability, meaning it is capable to fire single-round, burst, or full auto at the pull of a trigger. To won such a weapon, one must have a Class III Federal Firearms License. In some states, like Minnesota, even if you have such a license, only a business, not a private citizen, can own such a weapon. The ownership of assault rifles is strictly controlled. And yes, no one seriously needs 10 bullets in order to kill a deer, unless you are a horrible shot.
But the Second Amendment is NOT about hunting. The founding Fathers did not put that in there to enable people to hunt, or to target shoot. Although you can rightfully conclude that, in part, it is about enabling people to defend themselves from criminals, the main reason it is there is to enable the American People to protect their rights, and their Liberty, from a potentially tyrannical government.
Think about your history for a moment. Why did the British march on concord and Lexington on April 19th, 1775? The Revolution hadn't started, no shots had as yet been fired, nor were there open hostilities between the British and the Colonials. Their mission was to secure and destroy military stores in the possession of the Colonials in those towns. They were going out to disarm the Colonials. The British didn't gain much success on that score, aside from disabling three 24-pound cannons that were buried on Ephraim Jones' property. Unless you count triggering the War of Independence to be a British success.
Sure, one can say "Well, the Founding Fathers didn't mean fully automatic assault weapons when they wrote the Second Amendment. They meant single shot muzzle-loading rifles." Note: Muzzle-loading single shot rifles were state of the art military grade weapons. As were the Brown Bess muskets typically used by the infantry of both armies. Note: The Colonials had stashed cannons and other crew-served military weapons in various places from the government.
The cornerstone of American Rights, and American Constitutional Law, is our Declaration of Independence. In it, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Without the Second Amendment, without the Right of the People to keep and bear arms, none of our other rights can remain secure.
Indeed, over the past few years we have watched our Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness be infringed upon by the Federal Government with the passing of ObamaCare, requiring the People to purchase certain kinds of health insurance, under penalty of paying higher taxes, even over-riding the right to religious freedom contained in the First Amendment by requiring business owners to provide contraceptive and abortion services through insurance policies, despite such requirements being contrary to their religious beliefs.
Our national debt now stands at over $16 Trillion, more than our gross domestic product. Budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion dollars per year since Obama took office in 2009, the only president to have deficits that high. Even under Bush, the highest previous budget deficits were $550 Billion (and yes, even those deficits were way too high, and thanks mainly to a Congress controlled by Pelosi and Reid).
And now the Administration may be planning to bypass Congress in an unconstitutional move to implement potentially draconian gun control laws via Executive Order. That is how dictators operate - via edict.
If the Obama Administration attempts to use an Executive Order to push gun control, we had better start seeing impeachment proceedings begin in Congress, and impeach anyone in the Administration, Congress, and the Judiciary who supports such an Executive Order should be immediately removed from office.
One of the things I like about writing a blog that covers Science Fiction, Fandom, and Politics is when I get to combine the elements into a single post. Thank you George R. R. Martin for making my day.
Martin, the author of A Game of Thorns, has dished out quite a bit of ignorance in regards to the issue of Voter ID laws that are slowly making their way through the country, and even plays the race card, insinuating that anyone who supports such laws is a racist. If that were not enough, his referring to those of us in the Tea Party movement with a euphemism for a crude sex act is more than enough to remove him from my reading list.
Skipping over the obscenity and race card, and other low-brow thoughts we get to this tidbit from his blog Not A Blog:
It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.
Now a reasonable person might think he is referring to recent attempts, attempts that have been going on for the better part of a decade, to disenfranchise military voters, especially those serving overseas. Nope, he is referring to Voter ID laws, those pesky initiatives that require voters to prove they are who they claim they are by showing a valid picture ID, like a driver's license or a passport, or some other form of, yes, government issued identification. You know, the same kind of documents you are required to show when you accept a job with a new employer, or get on an airplane, or enter some public buildings, cash a check, open a bank account, and so many other aspects of everyday life.
As for the claim that these laws are denying Americans their right to vote, Martin, and all the other zealots on the Left, are quite wrong about this. I can't say that this is true in all cases, but here in Minnesota the proposed law sets up a fund that will be used to provide identification cards to poor people for free (well, at taxpayer expense, and yes, I am okay with this expense). Now it may be denying some people the ability to vote using another person's name, like John Doe walking into a polling place and claiming to be Bruce Wayne and voting under that name, but that's why we need these laws. It will also prevent people from voting in more than one precinct, a problem we have here in Minnesota due to the nature of same day registration with no ID required, just someone willing to claim you are who you are and live where you claim you live.
An example of this abuse came in the after the 2004 election when a gal I met had discovered that there were 64 people who were registered to vote using her address, and yes, they all voted. Another more blatant example around the same time happened in the city of Coates, where the guy who ran a strip club there got a bunch of his friends to vote for him for mayor by registering to vote using the address of his club. Not sure if this clown is still in jail or not.
In the aftermath of the 2000 election, it came out that hundreds of people voted absentee in both New York and Florida, and yes, it is believed that there were votes on both sides of the political divide.
But the Left, instead of wanting to address the problems of voter fraud, they want to keep things as they are, because the Left knows that if they can't win in an honest election.
And those of us who man up and take this issue head on, we get called racist bigots, corruptocrats as well as other names involving crude sex acts.
Martin goes on with:
It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.
Martin doesn't believe Goldwater or Heinlein would approve of Voter ID laws? How omniscient of him. And, no, those of us who support Voter ID laws are not anything like Lester Maddox, or George Wallace, or John Stennis.
The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.
Um, no, we believe in free societies where elections are free of corruption, and as there are always people who are willing to follow the Leftist adage of "Vote early, vote often", we need to have Voter ID laws.
And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.
I guess I am not a "true" Libertarian, but that isn't surprising as there are several key issues I disagree with the Libertarian Party on. But one has to ask, has Martin tried to get a regular job lately? (Papers, please!) Or board a plane? (Papers, please!), or open a bank account? (Papers, please!) And the list of everyday tasks people asked for identification goes on and on and on.
It is clear to me that Martin needs to stop living in Leftie-Fantasyland and learn the basic facts behind Voter ID laws, instead of screaming "Racist" at those who support these laws.
Oh, yeah, be sure to peruse the comments in the thread, as some of Martin's response to his critics are absolutely hilarious, and I don't mean that in a good way.
After that, click on the "politics" tag and see some his other rants, including his desire to strip Joe Lieberman of his citizenship. Can we say "totalitarian wannabe"?
Apparently the National Ignition Facility thinks they can achieve breakeven by the end of this year. They are using a differnt method than ITER, but seem to be farther along in there goals.
Gleaned from powerline