[This is an exerpt (the beginning of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2) from a book I was working on which I will most likely not have time to complete. I thought people might still find these sections informative so I wanted to make them available here.]
“In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”- Albert Einstein [Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein (1954), where they appear in the section “Aphorisms for Leo Baeck.”]
Has there been a shift away from the Constitution in regards to the powers of the government and rights of the people, creating an increasing threat of government tyranny and oppression, while subsequently restricting and prohibiting the right of the people to bear arms through unsubstantiated claims and circumvention, such as ‘assault weapon’ semantics and a ‘tradition’ of hunting? This book intends to address that question. First, let me start off by saying that I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of the National Rifle Association. That statement is not intended to either denounce or support the NRA in any way, I just want to be clear that what I write in the following pages is not being skewed in support of the NRA, but is what I find to be legitimate facts pertaining to the 2nd Amendment in as unbiased manner as possible (I can’t seem to stop myself from presenting the occasional smart-ass comment now and then while presenting facts though, so if you truly feel the comment is not reflective of the facts at hand then by all means refrain from LOL and feel free to redact my sarcasm from the overall analysis as it will not change the nature of any conclusions.) I am not involved in the military or law enforcement, nor do I have any type of obsessive fascination with either of those occupations; again I do not intend to denounce the actions of those brave men and women who defend our country collectively or its citizens individually in those capacities. Other than dictated by U.S. law, I am not a member of any militia. I would also like to say that I am not a hunter, nor am I a vegetarian or vegan either, and once again I do not intend in any way to denounce or support those who choose to hunt for food and the other resources it can provide, nor those who denounce the use of that food or resource. I do not compete in firearms related sporting events and have never done so. I am not a felon, a fugitive, a drug addict, a mental defective (though I can’t deny that my wife on a number of occasions has attempted to form such an argument), I am a U.S. citizen and have not renounced my citizenship, I am subject to no court-ordered restraints and I have never been a party to domestic violence, let alone convicted of it; so I have no secret agenda in writing this to somehow argue I should have rights ‘restored’ by any conclusions this writing ultimately makes. I do not subscribe to any organized religion, and since the definition of ‘deity’ includes the preternatural where there is presumed to be a rational explanation for the unknown phenomenon such as being nothing more than an advanced life form, and I believe that in time all truths can eventually be discovered and explained rationally, then by definition I am also neither an Atheist nor Agnostic. I think it is ridiculous that I even have to address this next issue, but since it has been a documented argument as to why people desire to own firearms, I begrudgingly have to concede that genetics have been favorable to me and I am modestly endowed above the statistical average, so I do not suffer from Penis Envy. [Barry Bruce-Briggs. The Great American Gun War. 1976. The Public Interest 45:59] I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and I evaluate my positions on matters of concern on a specific issue by issue basis. Though I have had experience with firearms since I was a youth, I did not feel compelled to own a firearm until I was 43 years old. All these points of things I am not a member of, being made to show that my life does not revolve around the use of firearms, and I have not been programmed to be of any specific belief regarding firearms due to being a member of any subset of our society that appears to profess an ideology as a collective whole. Therefore, most importantly what I am not, is a sheep. [A deity is a being, natural, supernatural or preternatural, with superhuman powers or qualities, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred. The preternatural or praeternatural is that which appears outside or beside (Latin præter) the natural. In contrast to the supernatural, preternatural phenomena are presumed to have rational explanations that are unknown.[Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable.- all Wikipedia]
The sad truth is that most people have become sheep. People no longer want to think, they want to be led. Many in our society seem to have lost the concept of critical thinking, and cognitive ability for them has atrophied. They want their government, their ‘God’, their investment broker, their therapist, their television, their computer, their peers on Facebook and sometimes now it seems even their chihuahuas, to think for them. And why not, that’s a very easy life to have in some ways isn’t it, when you can blame the outcome of your life on other people’s decisions and sidestep any personal responsibility for the present state of your own existence? Even when life is hard, it’s just not your fault. I’ve never quite understood the world those people choose to live in, but then again I’ve never found the sight of a sheep’s ass all that appealing. There is also a more subtle version of the personal responsibility problem, such as when someone sees a random and unverified news article, maybe even a viral Facebook share, and then comes to a conclusion from what they’ve seen with no further research. Are they presented with all the facts or even any legitimate facts at all? Often not, yet they believe they have made an informed decision and would adamantly deny they were staring at the tail of another lamb. On many occasions, these seem to be the very same people, after having taken someone else’s word for something as mere fact, will not change their belief system even after they are shown the actual facts do not support their belief. They will go on and on finding one illogical reason after another as to why their belief is still correct in spite of all the contrary evidence…and yet they never truly formed that belief on their own to begin with, it was given to them. Apparently our 40th President Ronald Reagan was notorious for holding a belief long after it had been proven wrong and even embellishing the facts to justify his belief. [find reference from Drift] The problem being, that belief has somehow become a part of ‘who they are’ as a human being, and we’re just not supposed to say things that make people question their own belief systems.
I find eagles aesthetically pleasing. I find vaginas aesthetically pleasing. I don’t, however, think the second is a better symbol for our country than the first. Yet here we appear to be…a nation of pussies more represented by a symbol of a great big vagina than we currently are by a big free soaring eagle. Political Correctness is the antithesis of Free Speech, and yet we as a nation appear to violently cling to it in modern society while screaming about losing our Constitutional Rights in other regards. Although, it does appear that many people falsely believe they have a Constitutional Right not to be offended. When did the country go from wanting to be “free” to wanting to be “protected” from threats and offenses that didn’t directly relate to a loss of personal freedom? Ten years ago, 100 years ago…did we ever want freedom? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will… Um, make you break down and whine and cry like a little bitch without enough self esteem to stand up to a little criticism or name calling?
“Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town” is not a racist slur merely because both Naomi Campbell and milk chocolate are brown…and yet Cadbury apologized for making a racist ad? WTF? They called her a Diva, yes…and then she turned around and acted like a f’n diva. Good call Cadbury! I could go on for hours with stupid interpretations of things being labeled racist, religiously intolerant, religiously too tolerant and culturally intolerant… among others…which are clearly not. Racism, Nationalism and Religion are just a few of the issues subject to this new, weirdly applied “political correctness.” I’m in no way saying these things don’t exist, I’m just saying they often don’t exist where people think they see evidence of them. There are certainly racists, nationalists and religious folk out there…and in this country they have a Constitutional Right to be those things so long as they don’t allow their beliefs to drive them to take other actions that actually are illegal. Personally, I find racism appalling…I just think that most of the time when people cry racism it isn’t really racism. Eight out of ten times in modern society, it typically appears to be someone who holds an element of racism in their belief system seeing something, which is not intended to be racist, through their own biased filters.
I think this ‘politically correct’ nonsense is very apparent with this Washington Redskins situation. The Redskins have been the Redskins since, well basically The Great Depression (They became the Boston Redskins in 1933) and long before most of you were even born. I’d say 80 years of its use in its current form probably supersedes, and is a better representation of its current acceptable meaning, than whatever people thought the term meant 80 years ago. If you hear the term ‘Redskins” today…it probably means the Washington F’n Redskins!!! But what the hell, lets take a look at some of the other football franchises and see where we can point out some other names that might not be politically correct:
Steelers: Unionized iron workers that raised the price of American Steel to the point of no longer being competitive on world markets, crushing an American export and driving an entire state into virtual poverty. [Maybe the Lions will follow suit and change their name to the Detroit General Motors]
I find that name offensive.
Packers: We all know they are named less after the Indian Packing Company (not the Native American Packing Company, by the way) who originally donated the jerseys and more for the ass-fucking that takes place in the Green Bay Correctional Institution. The guard pulls back, the tight end gives him a big hole to plow through…and he scores…Go Packers!!!
I find that name offensive.
Texans: Clearly just another sign of self centered Texas narcissism in an otherwise united group of 49 other states in America.
I find that name offensive.
Saints: Well, you just knew someone would try to bring religion into football at some point. As long as there’s no Mass on Monday nights, right?
I find that name offensive.
Cowboys: Wasn’t that a derogatory term for a horse thief, robber and outlaw in the late 19th century? Um, O.K. Corral… ring a bell?
I find that name offensive.
Buccaneers, Raiders: Both ultimately terms for what were pirates at the end of the day. Seriously, are we a nation that promotes piracy for profit?
I find that name offensive.
49’ers: Nothing screams ‘get rich quick scheme’ like the California Gold Rush.
I find that name offensive.
Titans: They must be named after the Greek gods, because I hear they don’t use condoms in Tennessee.
Either way, I find that name offensive. [Although I must concede that naming something after a condom Would imply a strong defense]
Redskins: Ultimately the name was intended to honor Native Americans and not meant to represent the collected scalps of said Native Americans…which originated from a 1755 proclamation by King George II paying certain amounts for Native American scalps; which, at the time, where never referred to as “redskins.” Although it does point out that Native Americans were by no means the only people doing the scalping!!! I would think Native Americans would like that fact pointed out. By the way, I point these things out being Cherokee on my mother’s side of the family…but like most living blacks who were never slaves, I never had my land taken away, walked the trail of tears or any of the other atrocities that happened to Native Americans before I was born….so I learned from history what it had to offer and GOT THE FUCK OVER IT.
Some of the things I listed above are also twists of truth, exaggerations, examples of poetic license and most likely just irrelevant arguments against a particular team name, but not unlike this ‘redskins’ debacle. People need to pull their heads out of their ass, grow a thicker skin, get a set of balls and stop requiring everyone else to be so politically correct that they do not upset your delicate sensibilities. If you don’t, you are no longer going to have a right to Freedom of Speech to protect.
Here’s a link to the article: Hot water freezes faster than cold – and now we know why.
Here’s my initial theory on the matter:
Water is one of the only molecules whose solid takes up more volume than it’s liquid state…which means that the molecules in the solid form of H2O are further spaced apart in the crystalline structure than near freezing water. As water temp rises, the distance between molecules increases, until we get a gas…which requires energy. Due to the solid taking up more volume than the liquid, near freezing water would therefore have molecules closer together than necessary for the crystalline bonds required for ice. Near freezing water molecules would therefore require a little more energy to expand for the bonds to form than water at a temp with the correct molecular distance to create the bonds. Therefore, there would be a water temp at something above freezing where the molecules were spaced most appropriately for the quickest freezing, so to speak, with the least transfer of thermal energy necessary to do so. Which is why it doesn’t appear to be consistent. Water at a precise temperature above freezing can therefore freeze quicker than both water at a lower and higher temp than that equilibrium point, but warm water ‘in general’ does not freeze faster than cold water. Since a similar phenomenon does not happen with water turning to steam (i.e. the liquid does not take up more space than the gas), cold water would not boil faster than warm water.
There would also probably be a range of temperatures just above the equilibrium temp where the water could reach the equilibrium temp quicker than colder water could release thermal energy, and gain enough kinetic to cross over the threshold for crystallization, and freeze….further adding to the ambiguity and uncertainty in most data sets during experimentation. This phenomenon would also require that the water be placed immediately in a sub freezing environment and not merely having the surrounding temperatures drop below freezing on both samples. Some surface crystallization would have to immediately be able to take place, otherwise warm water would become cold water before Any crystallization could ever take place…thus defeating the premise by not isolating that variable.
Or maybe think of it something like this?: a regular filament bulb basically has a linear energy requirement to glow due to the resistance in the wire, much like warm water at the perfect temp; where cold water freezing has a small peak energy threshold it must overcome to crystalize before it then loses whatever thermal energy might be left in below freezing temperatures, much like how a ballast is necessary to light a halogen bulb crossing a peak energy threshold requirement, but then that quick boost of energy to cross that threshold is no longer necessary to keep the bulb lit.
To me their article seems to describe a symptom of the phenomenon or the means by which the phenomenon ultimately stabilizes…not necessarily the reason for the phenomenon or any explanation as to the ambiguity in the data set. Of course any insight into the matter is welcome, I only gave this a cursory thought. ???
But, hey, it’s not rocket science… : ) [yes, that’s intended as a joke]
ADDENDUM: One other observation. Crystals forming at the surface of warmer water already taking up a larger volume might also form a larger outer frozen boundary than crystals in colder, lower volume water. Cold water crystallizing from the outside in would then put more pressure on the liquid trapped in the center not yet crystallized. This would require more energy for the unfrozen water to expand the exterior crystalline structure already formed in order for the inner water to crystallize. If warm water is able to basically ‘flash freeze’ at the surface, it’s volume may not compress the inner water nearly as much inhibiting the expansion necessary to create further crystals, thus reducing the transfer from thermal to kinetic energy required for the final crystallization threshold. So I would want to determine if ice from cold water has a higher propensity for cracking at the outer surface when it freezes, than would water that was at that equilibrium temperature where the molecules are already properly spaced for crystallization.
How To Throw A Jab With Gross Results – These Boxing Technique Videos Don’t Suck Like The Others
I had watched this video by FightSmartTrav entitled “How To Throw A Jab With Gross Results – These Boxing Technique Videos Don’t Suck Like The Others.” I noticed something that was contrary to not only what I learned about the mechanics of a jab, but what I myself once doubted and had to confirm with a couple of physics professors regarding the soundness of the logic in the mechanics I was being taught. I did, of course, make the mistake of trying to point this out under the thread for the YouTube video I’m referencing, and was subsequently berated by those who did not understand what I was trying to say. Unfortunately, there is limited space with which to entirely explain a theory on YouTube, and it isn’t necessarily appropriate to go to that length on someone else’s thread…so I’ll try to do it here. I was also challenged to make a video of my own. I’m not going to take the time to make a video, nor do I think it is necessary…but I will try to better address the issue in this post. Keep in mind that I don’t claim to be a physicist, I may not always be using the proper semantics, and I’m merely trying to describe this as it was explained to me but in as readable manner as I can.
First, let’s break down two possible scenarios: One being that you are in range of the target and do not need to first take a step to close the distance; Second, you need to close the distance to establish range before throwing the jab.
In the first scenario, where range is already established, you do not need to take a step of any kind. It would be a wasted motion and would most likely do nothing but telegraph your punch. You will have both feet planted on the floor, most likely with your heels off the ground. You shift a higher percentage of your weight to your lead leg, shifting your center of mass forward over the base that leg creates, rotating your hips, swinging the shoulder forward as your hand is thrust in a whip like motion toward your target. You are using a shortened lever principle which accelerates the speed of your weapon (in this case ultimately either the first two, or last three knuckles on your lead hand) at the point of contact with the target. Force=Mass times Acceleration…so acceleration is key, as you only have so much mass to work with. This process shifts the mass and increases acceleration of the weapon in the most proficient manner. This is similar to how a bullwhip can break the sound barrier and thus create the cracking sound you hear. The whip starts with a slow but strong arc of the hand. As the force travels down the whip through the decreasing lever principle, acceleration is increased as you reach the tip of the whip…fast enough to break the sound barrier. The foot does not make the jab fast, the foot merely closes the distance to establish range. The proper mechanics of throwing the jab, and the decreasing lever principle make your jab fast (along with being blessed with a high percentage of fast twitch muscles, if you’re one of the lucky ones.) This is NOT what this video describes.
Okay, so what about the scenario where you need to close the distance to establish range? Well, again, there are two options here: First, you could take a step forward first (in whatever manner seems appropriate…step, hop, skip, slide, forward moon walk?) to close the distance and establish range, and then with your lead leg once again firmly planted, proceed with the mechanics described above; or Two, you could integrate the step into the mechanics of the jab itself. In the video listed, FightSmartTrav clearly says the important thing is that your lead foot hits the ground at the same time your fist hits the target. So we can clearly summize that FightSmartTrav is not talking about closing the distance to establish range first, and then proceeding with the lead hand jab. He is referring to a jab with an integrated step. For a moment, let’s consider another option. Maybe FightSmartTrav is implying that we start our jab first with our lead leg planted on the floor, with a slightly larger percentage of our weight on it establishing that base, then using the mechanics for a jab when range is already established as described above, you would start the rotation of your hips and moving your center of mass over your lead leg. Can you now lift your lead leg with the bulk of your mass moving over it in order to take a step? No, you cannot. So we can also exclude any argument he might be making that suggests you start the mechanics of your jab as above, and then move your lead foot mid jab, thus bringing it back down to the floor at the same time your hand reaches the target.
This leads us to two conclusions: One, we are talking about using a jab specifically where we need to close the distance to establish range; and Two, we are talking about a jab that integrates the step into the mechanics of the punch…and not prior to the mechanics of the punch.
This leads us to a discussion specifically about a jab that integrates a step into the mechanics of the punch. The mechanics behind this become that of a short lunge, such as in fencing. If you are integrating a step into your jab, you cannot be using your lead leg as a base as it is in the air at some point during the mechanics of the punch…and we’ve already established it cannot be lifted mid throw using the mechanics described previously. Therefore the movement of mass must begin with the rear leg as the base and a picking up of the lead leg, leading into the same rotation of the hips, extension of the shoulder and whipping out of the hand as described above. Those mechanics don’t change; otherwise you are just ‘pushing’ the punch into the target and excluding the decreasing lever principle from the equation.
The point of contention now becomes; Will you have more power in your jab (that incorporates a step into the mechanics of it) if your lead foot re-contacts the floor at the exact same moment your fist hits the target, or will you have more power in your jab (that incorporates a step into the mechanics of it) if your fist hits the target slightly before your foot hits the floor? I pointed out the latter, which is when people seemed to go nuts. I was not going to be so cliché as to mention Bruce Lee, but since someone else in the thread tried to use Mr. Lee as evidence I was wrong in my analysis; somewhat foreshadowing the conclusion, let me just quote the man here: “Remember, when advancing the foot must not land first or the body weight will rest upon the floor instead of being behind the punch – heel slightly raised and pointing outward” [Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do, pg 95]
Let’s look at a different type of scenario for a minute. Let’s say that FightSmartTrav is standing on the roof of his house. He has potential Energy. He’s depressed with his career and….Oh my god…, he jumped. Now it’s kinetic energy. Energy is the movement of a Force through a Distance. We can assume the Distance from the roof to the ground is the same on all subsequent leaps. You should already be aware of the law of conservation of Energy, so we’re not going to allow any mysterious acquisitions of Energy which is unaccounted for. We can also assume that FightSmartTrav neither ate nor took a piss between jumps, so his Mass is also constant. Since Gravity is also constant at that specific point on the planet, we can assume the Force of FightSmartTrav’s drop is his constant Mass x Gravity minus some coefficient of friction (also constant) in all jumps (The Kinetic Energy thus also being the same)…let’s call this Force X. Let’s also assume the Area of the soles of both of his feet are the same, thus creating another constant (left foot =A/2, right foot = A/2.) Now, on the first jump, FightSmartTrav lands exclusively on his right foot. Force X is now distributed to the ground through the Area of the sole of his right foot, A/2. Thus all the Force is distributed in half the total possible area. On the subsequent jump, FightSmartTrav lands perfectly balanced on both feet, the Force now being displaced at two different points through twice the area (A/2 + A/2). Since we cannot create Energy, and the Force is constant on every landing…that Force must now be distributed between the soles of two feet and the ground, at two distinct points with twice the surface area. Thus the Force which the left foot exerts on the ground, and the ground exerts back, is X/2 (because again, he landed with perfect balance, knowing FightSmartTrav) and the Force which the right foot exerts on the ground, and the ground exerts back is also X/2. X/2 + X/2=X. The Force did not double, the Energy did not double…the Force at each point of impact was halved, the total Force remaining the same. Adding the left foot into the equation decreased the Force with which the right foot impacted the ground. Pressure is Force per Unit Area…so we can also look at this as a Pressure calculation. (5 pounds of pressure from a flat weight sitting on your chest is entirely different than 5 pounds of pressure behind a knife poking into your chest. This is also why we punch with knuckle groupings and not the area of the flat phalanges at the front of the fist.) Thus, each foot distributes half the total pressure on the ground, each foot accounts for half the total Force.
Now, let’s go back to our jab with an integrated step. With the lunge, as you are pushing off the floor there is a small force component moving up vertically from the push and an opposing force of gravity, and a force component moving forward toward the target, with a force from the floor due to a high coefficient of friction opposing it. The total Force vector may be something like 20 degrees from horizontal towards the target. At the point before impact you have 2 Force vectors which will be added to arrive at the total Force applied to the target. One is vertical F1=Mass times Acceleration (or negative acceleration from the vertical pushing off of the floor) of Gravity the other is F2=Mass times Acceleration due to the decreasing lever principle toward the target…resulting in a subsequent total Force comprised of two Force vectors. If your lead foot hits the ground at the same time as your fist hits the target, it distributes the total Force between both the target and the floor, much like FightSmartTrav landing on both feet on the ground distributing the Force between the soles of two feet instead of one. You’ve hit the floor and the target at the same time, dividing the total Force between 2 areas of impact. For simplicity, I guess you could think of it as removing the vertical Force vector from the equation, though mathematically that might not be precisely accurate. (You may ultimately be striking the target with one Force vector pointing away from the ground or a vector returning to the ground depending on the exact timing, while the other is always moving horizontal toward the target. It would also be theoretically possible that you impact the target at the exact moment that the vertical acceleration is 0, making that Force momentarily moot.) Remember, for those of who you just don’t seem to understand (i.e. Max Loh)…we’re not talking about a step to establish range and THEN throwing a jab with the lead leg as the base…so you can’t argue the power comes from the lead leg being on the floor in this scenario. We’re already through the mechanics of this particular jab which create the total Force before the lead leg is on the ground either at or just after the moment of impact on the target.
The final conclusion would appear to be; If you make contact with the target before your foot hits the ground, the total Force is going into your target and not just the horizontal component of it… making for a more Forceful jab when incorporating a step into the jab. If your foot hits the ground at the same time as your fist hits the target, you are dividing the total Force between multiple points of impact.
Also, for those idiots who keep saying that a jab is not supposed to have power and is merely meant for ”this” or “that” purpose (maintain distance, setup a combination, a feint, etc.) …THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF A JAB IS TO HIT SOMEONE. The other uses of a jab are merely derivates of that primary purpose. If the purpose wasn’t primarily to hit a target, the subsequent derivative uses of a jab would cease to have any effect on your target. They work because the target is either being hit or trying not to be hit. It’s just that simple. Knowing this, no matter what the ‘use’ of your jab at any given moment…with all other things being equal, if you don’t want more power in your jab while sacrificing none of the following (speed, balance, precision, timing), then you’re just f’n ignorant.
Now, if there are physics professors out there who can either restate what I’m trying to say with better scientific semantics, or can show that the previous professors that went over and verified the mechanics of this were wrong in their analysis of the information I had found…I’m as willing to accept new logically sound information as anyone else. Again, this is not my idea. I do not take credit for thinking of it. I found this information from a few sources, and subsequently confirmed the logic behind the mechanics of this with physics professors instead of adopting the info without question.
The other thing I want to mention is that I only questioned this one very distinct thing in FightSmartTrav’s video. I’m not questioning his overall skill or knowledge of martial arts. He’s also very funny and his videos are well worth watching. Had they not been, I would have never bothered to comment on his video in the first place. I wish the guy well, I admire what he’s doing and I respect anyone that is attempting to share knowledge they may have with others.
This one is just short and to the point, and you can chalk it up to satire if you wish:
For those who haven’t quite figured it out, the difference between the Jim and Sarah Brady ideology [Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence & Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ] and the Mark Kelly / Gabrielle Giffords ideology [Americans for Responsible Solutions] is that the Brady group wants to ban guns for everyone, the Giffords group wants to ban guns for everyone but themselves…
People don’t kill guns…victim mentality kills guns.
*** NOTE: In no way is my intent to belittle the specific and unfortunate tragedies Brady and Giffords were subject to. I do not, however, think the appropriate response to such a tragedy is to make victims of everyone else… who were neither criminals nor victims in either of those events. And I guess I should be polite and take the time to say hello to the NSA while I’m writing this… Hello NSA.
“Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.” – Wikipedia
Though the description of Memorial Day does not specifically define the ‘reason’ the military was called forth when these people died for our country, most comments you see regarding them suggest they were defending the sovereignty of our nation or the Freedoms of the American people. My feeling, then, is that we should honor these people every single day and stop willingly handing away the Freedoms they died for in the past, and stop putting their lives at risk in the future, when it is not to defend the sovereignty of our nation or the Freedoms of its people. Why should these people be dying to support Afghani rebels, or Iraqi rebels, or Libyan rebels…when none of these countries are actually attacking our nation or threatening our sovereignty or Freedoms??? Our country is not presently at War…with anyone! We have not issued a Declaration of War against any country since June 5th, 1942. All other recent uses of the term War in present day operations and conflicts (though some legitimately approved by Congress) are misnomers…Gulf War (actually Operation Desert Storm), war in Afghanistan (actually Operation Enduring Freedom) [ double misnomer there!!! ], Iraq War (actually Operation New Dawn), War in Libya (actually Operation Odyssey Dawn).
I think many of those brave people you honor today would be appalled by your hypocritical use of the word “Freedom” on such a day. What did they die for if you are just willing to hand it all away and negate the entire ideology you honor today?
Now go buy that large capacity soda with your currency that says “In God We Trust”; shoot that deer on your property for food out of hunting season; buy that non-prescription over the counter Sudafed for your cold without an ID and signature; collect the rainwater that falls on your property; harvest your hemp; buy a $10,000+ motorcycle with Cash and ride that motorcycle helmetless across country w/ no insurance…with your handgun or a concealed fixed blade knife for self defense protection; do this without a state ID or passport but carry that GPS tracking device on your cell phone with you in your pocket; do so without your actions being videotaped by randomly placed cameras, satellite images or drones; try sleeping at a rest stop if you get tired; find employment without a drug test and complete background check into your personal life; wear your shirt that says “I support the Second Amendment” to that job (or school) without being terminated or suspended; distill your own alcohol for fuel or consumption; try posting some of this activity to Facebook and not getting arrested; while also trying to keep your job when not providing your employer with your Facebook ID and Password; try expressing your 1st Amendment rights; try enforcing your 2nd Amendment rights; try defending your 4th Amendment rights; try securing your 5th Amendment rights with the spreading of assumptive information by the media; try receiving 6th Amendment rights before being labeled a “terrorist” for what was otherwise merely a criminal act, try getting to 8th Amendment rights when your 6th Amendment rights were circumvented through “terrorist” semantics; try suggesting you even Have 9th or 10th Amendment rights; try expressing any of these Constitutional rights while owning Legal books such as military manuals, Chemistry books, Neurobiology books, survival books, Psychology books, Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’, weapons manuals, martial arts books, Playboy or Hustler magazines…or books on how to stay off the grid or be digitally anonymous…without these legal possessions ultimately being used as evidence of some other criminal activity; try going without health insurance while willing to suffer the consequences of not being able to afford and receive treatment should something happen; try taking herbal medications that have proven to work and have subsequently been banned because they hindered the sales of pharmaceuticals; try starting your own small business when the barriers to entry through fees, licenses, registrations, permits, insurance, work comp etc. leave only large capitalized firms to start new businesses, or often require small startups to circumvent the laws long enough to gain momentum or borrow money from many of the banks that are now allowed to own stock in your startups competition having a conflict of interest in seeing you fail while still collecting the interest on money you still owe them either way, or turn to a VC firm who will need to dilute your ownership in your company in order to provide the capital for a fair risk/reward scenario in doing so; try questioning any of this without fallaciously being deemed anti-American or a terrorist; and worst of all, try being homeless and see how free you really are.
Now, if you don’t like it you are free to leave the country, right? Try leaving the country with more than $10,000+ of your assets in cash, try leaving the country without ID (even Mexico and Canada requires ID now), try exporting your American assets without export restrictions and taxes on the things you already own. There may not be a wall, but you aren’t even as free to leave as you think.
I could go on all day about the Freedoms that you no longer have, but have become acclimated to no longer receiving, because they haven’t yet All been taken away. These brave men and women gave their lives for something. If you truly want to honor them today, maybe you should stop and take a moment to think about what that ‘something’ actually means before you throw around the word “Freedom.” If you want to honor these brave men and women every day, then be just as brave and stop voting for politicians whose goal is to restrict your Freedoms for the sake of some pseudo security or make policies ‘less American’ in ideology merely for the sake of appeasing foreign nations..and stop accepting the intrusion upon the Freedoms of the lives of the many due to the actions of a very few for no other reason than overblown and irrational fears that your mortal life is directly being threatened by something or someone that only your government can protect you from.
Look, I’m extremely pro Second Amendment…Extremely… pro Second Amendment. I am, however, pro Second Amendment based upon logical fact and critical thinking and not because I just “want” to be able to own firearms under any circumstances. The problem is, many people don’t care about facts, and in arguing the pro Second Amendment case will just say any damn thing they want and consistently try to argue points that have absolutely no bearing on the actual argument being made. Those people hurt the credibility of every single gun owner in this country. It is my own fault for responding to something on Facebook, however I try the best I can to bring to light any fallacious information I can in the debate…from both sides. What transpired really made me see one of the major problems in the debate, in that some people who are most vocal about their gun rights really probably are mentally deficient, and shouldn’t be speaking for the rest of us. Here is the post and the comments that followed:
Gun Control Kills
Between 1993 and 2011, nonfatal gun crimes plummeted 69%; from 1.5 million to 467,300. Gun-related murders dropped 40%; from 18,253 to 11,101. Gun-related murders for black Americans plummeted by 51%.
The report also shows that the media-created hysteria over school shootings is wildly misleading. Between ’93 and ’11, the murder rate in schools dropped by almost a third; from 29 to 20.
Background checks have also been exposed as another bogus narrative the media’s crafted out of thin air. This report proves beyond any doubt that closing the so-called gun show loophole will accomplish next to nothing. Less than one-percent of state prisoners caught with a gun purchased it at a gun show. Moreover, who knows how many of those criminals might have passed or did pass a background check.
So-called assault weapons are also not a problem, Only “2% of state inmates and 3% of federal inmates were armed with a military-style semiautomatic or fully automatic firearm.”
What this study clearly shows is that Obama, Democrats, and the media don’t give a damn about stopping gun violence. If they did, they would be focused on everything but the one and two-percent problems.
What we have here is a yet-another culture war; nothing more nothing less — and one aimed at the type of law-abiding citizens who attend gun shows and enjoy these so-called assault weapons. In other words, Red State conservatives.
Doug Hawk Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely accurate in regards to the background check comment. Though it is true the prison poll showed that less than one percent of state prisoners purchased firearms at a gun show, gun shows are not where most private party transactions take place AND FFLs already have to do background checks at gun shows. Gun shows do not directly correlate to background checks and those background checks at gun shows by FFLS may be Why felons aren’t getting many guns from gun shows. However, since its inception, background checks have caught something like 1.2 million prohibited people and kept them from purchasing a firearm. Granted a few were probably able to acquire one later anyway through other means, but certainly not all. Therefore, background checks actually have proven to work as intended, keeping firearms out of criminal hands while not restricting law abiding citizens. There is, however, no evidence that registration or waiting periods have any effect whatsoever. If they try to tie registration and waiting periods To the background check, then the whole thing goes out the window again.
The only legitimate argument to be made against background checks on private party transactions (sans any registration or waiting period, and assuming they make the database available to everyone 24 hours a day for checks) is that they will create targets for theft of those attempting to sell firearms in private transactions. Some of the criminals who could have otherwise bought them illegally without the sellers knowledge will just show up to steal the weapon at that point. Not all, but it will happen. Then, of course, they will transition all private party sales through FFLs like in California. Then FFLs will make a killing buying firearms for 40 cents on the dollar because the average person won’t want to go through the trouble of advertising to sell a firearm, having to drive X number of miles to an FFL just to have a buyer try to haggle or decline the purchase having been just a looky-loo to begin with, and figure they have no easy method but to sell the firearm directly to the FFL or get hit with a huge consignment percentage. At the core, the evidence does show that background checks do work as intended…but once you set that chain of events in motion will the repercussions still be worth the benefits or just shift those already illegal purchases (the seller just doesn’t know buyer is prohibited) into becoming a more violent crime?
Xxxx Xxxxx Sr “since it’s inception, background checks have caught something like 1.2 million prohibited people and kept them from purchasing a firearm.” This is blue label bullshit. If it were true then where are all of the arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations for lying on form 4473?
Xxxx Xxxxx Sr “Therefore, background checks actually have proven to work as intended, keeping firearms out of criminal hands while not restricting law abiding citizens…” More unadulterated HORSESHIT. Here is empirical Proof that Background Checks do not stop crime. The following mass murderers PASSED “background checks” and legally purchased firearms they used in their crimes. Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech; 32 killed, 17 wounded) Nidal Malik Hasan (Ft. Hood; 13 killed, 29 wounded), Jared Lee Loughner (Tucson / Gabby Giffords; 6 killed, 12 wounded) James Eagan Holmes (Aurora; 12 killed, 58 wounded). Even Adam Lanza’s (Sandy Hook; 27 killed) mother, the source of his firearms, passed a back ground check.
Doug Hawk Actually, you’re logic is extremely flawed. First, an arrest is not necessary in order for the FFL to have NOT SOLD THE WEAPON TO THE PROHIBITED PERSON. The prohibited person did not get to make the purchase, a following arrest or conviction has no bearing on whether that sale did or did not take place. The sale did not take place, therefore the system worked in STOPPING THE SALE. Not only is a following prosecution irrelevant, the system doesn’t even have to catch 100% of offenders to be effective. Second, just because these people you list who ultimately committed later crimes were not flagged as prohibited at the time of purchase has no bearing on whether background checks have prevented prohibited criminals from acquiring guns. What you are arguing is that background checks don’t stop non criminals from acquiring guns AND THEN committing crimes with them. That is true, but irrelevant to the effectiveness of background checks in keeping them out of the hands of prohibited people…which is the argument being made. But again, background checks don’t have to stop 100% of all crime to be effective. It’s like trying to argue that speed limits don’t work because 100% of speeders aren’t arrested. The probability that you’ll actually get caught for speeding is really rather low. Yet all across the nation, the general flow of traffic is usually right about at the posted speed limit.
You, Mr. Xxxxx, are why the pro gun control people think gun owners are idiots due to your HORSESHIT logic expressed above and you’re the reason I may lose my 2nd Amendment rights because people like you are tarnishing valid pro 2nd Amendment arguments with fallacious logic. You’re doing more harm than good…and it is a shame for all of us that you don’t have the slightest clue why and probably don’t comprehend a single f***ing thing I just said.
Xxxx Xxxxx Sr More Bullshit. Right out of the box… to whit; “… First, an arrest is not necessary in order for the FFL to have NOT SOLD THE WEAPON TO THE PROHIBITED PERSON…” How would the FFL know the buyer was prohibited? This determination is made by conducting the NICS check, which occurs AFTER FORM 4473 IS COMPLETED. It is a felony to lie on a 4473. If a prohibited person attempts a buy under false pretenses he s subject to prosecution. PERIOD. So where are your 1.2 million arrests? Clearly, you have no idea what you are talking about and have never worked in the Firearms Retail Trade. STFU and go home.
Doug Hawk So I was correct in knowing you wouldn’t have the mental capacity to comprehend a single f***ing thing I just said… And you’re picking a fight with someone who is extremely pro second amendment, and all you’ve done is make me wish you weren’t allowed to have a firearm. You’re ignorance, and arrogance in thinking you’re not, is hurting your own cause.
The problem is, many people make the same mistakes as Mr Xxxxx in his response. What is worse, you’ll never be able to show these people how the arguments they are making are not sound. You can’t even debate with someone who doesn’t have the cognitive ability for critical thinking…and he and I are on the Same Side of the debate. This man will most likely go to his grave without ever understanding the validity of background checks in keeping guns out of prohibited people’s hands has absolutely no bearing on what happens AFTER that sale is prevented. The sale was prevented and the prohibited person did not get the firearm…period. You can argue that these people don’t get prosecuted for the felony they committed lying on the form, but that is an entirely different argument to be made about the lack of effort of enforcement. You can argue that the prohibited person will go somewhere else where there is not a background check and still acquire the weapon. Again, a totally separate argument…and possibly a good argument For extending the background checks. The sale did not take place and the person was prohibited from purchasing a firearm at that time. There need not be any arrests to prove those sales didn’t take place, the record of the person being flagged and the sale not taking place is all the proof required.
It is the same issue with the mass murders he mentions. Nobody suggests that background checks will prevent all crime, but that is the argument he is trying to dispute. He thinks that by disputing that argument, he has disputed mine. I can’t even suggest that is an entire straw man, maybe more like just a straw colon or straw rectum. What a non prohibited person ultimately does with a firearm has no bearing on the validity of background checks keeping guns from prohibited people. Nobody suggests that background checks are psychic as to who will ‘become’ prohibited. If he therefore is suggesting that background checks can’t stop Any crime, he’s making an argument for the opposition that even more needs to be done, premeditatedly, to stop gun crimes….his opposition’s argument. He continues to follow up asking where all the arrests are to prove the weapons weren’t sold to prohibited people.
If this man can’t understand basic Logic, what the hell is he going to do when he needs to make a decision with his firearm in his hand? Though it terrifies me to think of this man having a gun, I have to support his Second Amendment right to possess one if he is not a prohibited person (though I think he is clearly mentally deficient) and I have to stand by my fact based evaluation in favor of the Second Amendment hoping that most gun owners are more educated than what I see in that thread. This man does not speak for me in the Second Amendment debate!
And this is the problem I see; 1) the pro gun control people are correct when suggesting that some gun owners are fanatics who should probably not own weapons, however they are not correct in assuming this man is representative of gun owners overall, 2) the pro gun people who are “fanatics” will even aggressively attack people who are on their side in the overall debate, 3) these types of people destroy the foundation on which the rest of the pro Second Amendment advocates stand, and are therefore also an enemy to our cause.
SUBSEQUENT ADDENDUM TO THAT POST:
I think what you’re not understanding is that I’m not necessarily for background checks overall, but I have to concede they do stop the actual sale of the weapon to prohibited people. Is that benefit to society worth the residual costs to society…I’m just not convinced. I also don’t suggest we pass some new laws in addition to the old. What I suggest is that we focus on things that do tend to work for the intended purpose, and actually GET RID of all the rest of the laws on the books that don’t, such as bans on specific weapons and magazine capacities, get rid of any registration requirements, get rid of any cooling off periods, get rid of Diane Feinstein and Michael Bloomberg…wouldn’t hurt to get rid of Obama too (I guess I should clarify I mean by Vote on those last three.) We’re only going to remove these useless laws IF we make rock solid arguments people can’t tear apart and stop clinging to things we “wish” were true because they support our opinion. I’m trying to strengthen your argument, and people like Xxxx Xxxxx Sr respond in an attacking way as though I’m trying to take his guns away. You can’t see the forest for the trees.
I don’t even know what country I live in anymore. Is it Italy, because we appear to cater to the Roman Catholic Church in spite of the Constitution’s prohibition on enacting laws respecting a specific establishment of religion? Is it Mexico, because we seem to cater to Mexicans over Americans in spite of existing U.S. Federal Immigration Laws? Is it France, because we seem to cater to an apathetic Socialist ideology over Capitalism and the motivation to better one’s life? Is it England, because we appear to cater to abolishing guns while accepting high crime rates in spite of the 2nd Amendment? Is it North Korea, because we seem to taunt the rest of the world with threats of violence? Is it Ireland, because people in this country seem to consume a lot of alcohol to mask the state of their lives instead of changing their lives? (The Irish at least still tried to change their lives) Is it China, because they own a high percentage of our future economic output? Is it Cuba, because it sure feels like we are on the fast track to becoming a military dictatorship while merely claiming to be a Republic?
This country was founded because people of various nations wanted to escape what they felt were government oppressions in their native countries. We fought to be a sovereign nation and adopted a Constitution attempting to prevent this country from making the same government mistakes that enticed those immigrants to leave those various countries to begin with. Now we appear to embrace the very government qualities that this country was founded to oppose. Over the years, instead of allowing the immigration of foreign people fleeing a government ideology, we have allowed the immigration of the foreign government’s ideology itself. We’ve tried to rule the world by collecting the world’s ideologies in the United States intending to strengthening ties with foreign nations (allowing immigrants who no longer want to melt in the pot and acclimate but instead maintain their foreign allegiances) and what we’ve done is allow the world to slowly rule the United States through our own system of Democracy by subsequently allowing foreign interests to have a vote.
I like foreign countries, I like foreign people. I also like our neighbors who live next door…but I don’t allow them to come into my house unsupervised, move my furniture, piss in my pool, scold my offspring, screw with my livelihood or manipulate my finances. I’d be destitute in no time, and be ostracized by my family for allowing it. The United States, however, has appeared to embrace this ideology…and yet we wonder why we’re broke. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely pro-United States of America…I just wonder where the hell it went. It appears we momentarily set it down somewhere in the late 1920’s, and then forgot where we left it.
Without a distinct sense of Nationality for this nation, it will cease to be a nation.
I can’t help but take note with this article “Guns, God and Background Checks” by Susan Estrich. It seems like someone who just wants to talk about gun control because it is a hot topic, and not because they have anything tangible or knowledgeable to add to the debate.
It gets tiring having to repeat this when people bring ‘God’ into gun debates. The belief that some deity controls the events and outcomes in your life is the exact same delusion that makes a mass killer believe that a particular group of people somehow control the events and outcomes in their life, thus seeking retribution by exterminating others for the wrongs the killer believes others have brought upon them. Religion has done the same thing over and over for thousands of years, exterminating infidels and non believers. If someone is trying to kill you and all you can do is pray to a deity, you’re a victim…plain and simple. You have a choice. You could choose to risk your life to stop the killer. Yes, possibly losing your own life to attempt to save your life or others, but would that not be a more noble death than cowering on the ground waiting for someone (or some unproven deity) to save you or hoping that ‘God’ makes the killer miss you while killing someone else? And if you truly believe in a ‘God’ and you might die trying to save yourself or others, what the hell are you afraid of that stops you from doing it? Wouldn’t that be an action that got you into heaven or whatever afterlife you believe in? That is a choice you have the ability to make. Or maybe you don’t truly believe in ‘God’ when it really gets down to the fear of death? Instead, you could certainly choose to get own your hands and knees and pray to a deity, making a great fixed target for a shooter. However, that was also your choice, not the deity’s. Believe in a deity if you want, but don’t try to make it the solution to everyone else’s problem. I’m not suggesting young children have much of a choice as far as not being victims in such a situation, but if a child is praying to ‘God’ at that age to save them then they’ve been programmed by someone else to believe in such a solution to their problems and fears. Most kids would be terrified and desire what they are familiar with to help them…mom, dad, maybe a favorite teacher they are starting to look up to. Mostly they’ll just be scared and confused. You could teach your kids options of things to do in such an event, just like they do for fire drills and tornado drills. Kids learn fast, and they can be pretty damn smart with a little information. I’m not sure why Susan Estrich thinks it is sad that she has thought about what she would do if there were a crazy person in her building…it’s about the only sensible thing she said in the whole article. Sad that she has to acknowledge it happens, maybe, but certainly prudent and taking personal responsibility that she has tried to think through actions to take should the scenario arise. It is a hell of a lot more effective than getting on your knees and praying. If your deity is both omniscient and omnipotent, then it knows you are there, it created the scenario and it might want you dead. Such a deity would not lack control over the initiation of the event, and yet have total control over the outcome…believing that would be insane. It is merely the difference between an individual delusion and mass delusion. At the end of the day, reaching for a deity during such an event is just replacing one delusion that is more accepted in society (religion) as a solution to another delusion which is not (I should kill the people who ruined my life.)
Or IS killing accepted in society? If all killers are mentally ill, then what does that make of the millions of people in the United States military? All trained to kill should the need arise. Are they mentally ill? Probably not. Susceptible to programming, sure, but mentally ill, no. And that is necessary to defend this country to some degree. You cannot suggest that all killers, or people willing to kill, are mentally ill. Some killers certainly are, there’s no doubt about that. Other killers have just reached the point where they feel murder is justified. Maybe it is a poor grade on an essay, or adultery, or flying two planes into the World Trade Center. Most of the world has a line that can be crossed that justifies killing. The debate then becomes, who’s line is acceptable? On one side of the line we say people are mentally ill, the other side of the line we call them Patriots, Heroes, Saviors. If you are classifying everyone who ultimately decides to kill as mentally ill, you’re missing much of the motivation people have for doing so, and therefore missing much of the solution for stopping it. The bottom line is, most people don’t want to accept the fact that many killers are ordinary people who have reached and crossed that dividing line, and it just isn’t the same line as yours…so we classify them as mentally ill in order to deal with it. Most people don’t want to acknowledge that their line may be deemed mentally ill by others, even though they have not reached a point of crossing their own line. I think the problem stems from fear of one’s self as much as it does a fear of guns…or in the case referenced in the cited article, a knife.
So, why would a law-abiding, mentally healthy person oppose background checks? Well, for starters it would mean that a person’s mental health, or possibly false evaluation of their health, would have to be made somewhat publicly available. Otherwise it is true that background checks would not stop mentally ill people from buying guns, only felons. It also opens up subjectivity in the ideology of what is “mentally deficient” when deciding who can or cannot possess a weapon. Do you have to have been committed to an institution? Do you have to have a history of seeing a therapist? Could you have merely had a drunken moment which turned into a 5150 violation? Maybe you’re deemed mentally deficient if you’re currently going through a divorce (confiscate all your weapons), or maybe a death in the family since that is traumatic (confiscate all your weapons) or maybe you’ve just lost your job (confiscate all your weapons)..the list of events that could possibly make someone ‘temporarily’ mentally unstable and commit a crime is endless. Maybe loners should be segregated and denied gun rights as mentally deficient, or maybe people susceptible to joining groups like cults and religions should have their gun rights denied. (I don’t know how many times I’ve heard religious people say non-religious people should not be allowed to have guns…I’ve honestly lost count) If you follow sports teams fanatically which have no impact or bearing on your personal life, maybe you are mentally deficient. Drink beer, wine, whiskey…there’s a potential to become mentally deficient a few glasses in. Someone has threatened to kill you? My, that is stressful (confiscate all your weapons.) At some point, someone could very well deem you mentally deficient when you aren’t…I’ve seen it happen to someone first hand. At that point, yes they will actively take your guns away…I’ve seen that happen as well. If a law or contract allows an action, even if you don’t think it could ever be taken, at some point it will. Second, another problem with background checks on private party transactions will be that criminals will most likely start targeting private party sales for thefts…most likely armed thefts…since they can no longer get the guns through private party transactions otherwise. It creates a great prospect for a criminal…always has, but in the past they could merely purchase the gun and avoid committing greater crimes. I will be shocked if background checks on private party sales don’t lead to more crimes committed during the ‘sale’ itself, with the criminal ultimately still getting a gun. Or worse, people selling guns will be so paranoid they’ll have loaded guns at the sale, possibly the gun for sale, and accidental deaths and bad shootings of innocent people will rise in those scenarios. Overall, I support extending the background checks to private party sales under certain conditions, but you can be certain it is not going to be a solution that does not create an entirely new problem to some degree. Private party transactions will become much less safe to conduct. It is not merely a ‘non-controversial’ issue.
Here is the part of her article I love most:
Meanwhile, back in Washington, a minor miracle was unfolding. Two NRA stalwarts in the Senate, one a Republican and one a Democrat, had reached a compromise that would allow a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases to move toward a vote. It is a ways from becoming law, but it is the first such bill in years that has not been “killed” before even getting to the point of consideration by the Senate.
A ‘minor miracle’ that background checks can move towards a vote. Huh? As if everybody in the world wants what she wants, except the NRA, and ‘God’ has performed a minor miracle to make it happen? If the majority of people want that legislation, it’s called Democracy, not a miracle. If they don’t…well, it’s still called Democracy. Maybe it just isn’t sound legislation being proposed. I also love how she puts “killed” in quotes to suggest that those who oppose the present incarnations of background checks are KILLERS. She might think it is cute, but it is a passive/aggressive way of blaming these Senators for the deaths created by actual killers. Susan Estrich appears to see things from only an emotional perspective and wants to suggest anyone who opposes current gun control legislation as it stands are killers (or I guess either mentally ill or not law-abiding citizens.) It is an extremely uninformed article which places a lot of blame for not adopting a specific solution (background checks), yet she can’t explain how that specific solution would solve anything while herself showing how it won’t, and then asking the same old question as to HOW to make HER solution work. It’s like saying “I know praying doesn’t work, but I want praying to be the solution so everyone should stop arguing about the lack of effectiveness of praying and figure out how to make praying work.” Frankly, I think she may be mentally ill as evidenced by the fact that she only has a limited capacity to understand the full scope of the problem at hand, along with understanding the chain of events each solution will logically create down the road. If a theory is disproved you can’t just keep adding exceptions to the theory in order to not admit it no longer holds water, you need to start testing new theories. I would expect more logic from a lawyer, a more educated perspective from a professor and certainly a better overall argument from a Harvard grad. But then again, maybe this is nothing more than well thought out political propaganda designed merely to distract people from the facts and not really address any issues at all…just place blame.
Okay, I typically don’t write about these topics but having watched the lunacy and lack of logic with which this has unfolded, I can’t help but comment on the idiocy that is California Assembly Bill 332 (AB 332). The bill is basically an extension of Measure B in the county of Los Angeles which would require the use of condoms in all adult films made in California, thus requiring CalOSHA or some offshoot of that agency to actively police porn production sets. I don’t work in porn and am not a part of the industry. I do, however, have friends, family and acquaintances that presently or previously worked in the industry and have seen some aspects of its workings first hand. On occasion I have to do a little research to see what these people are referring to, so I have a necessity to keep moderate tabs on it.
Protecting Free Speech seems like a worthy cause to fight over, but AB 332 doesn’t really appear to be a free speech issue at its core. Some might support the bill as an ultimate end to pornography, so I guess there are some free speech aspects inherent in fighting the bill, but it doesn’t appear to be the main goal of those pushing the bill. Protecting sex workers health and working environment seems a worthy cause, but this really doesn’t appear to be about that either. In fact, I know of very few performers who are actually in favor of mandatory condom use. I do know a few, but it is because they ‘choose’ to use condoms and want to have a better chance of getting work amongst those who are willing to work without one instead of being declined work due to their condom requirements, and not because they feel it makes for a safer industry. Many appear to be pro choice on the matter, but this bill does not address or guarantee the freedom of choice among performers. There are adult performers who are married and only have sex with their partner, but would still be required by law to wear a condom. Worse, mandatory condom requirements diminish the successful system of mandatory testing already in place. It appears more than anything to be about the underlying financial interests of those pushing the bill. Aids Healthcare Foundation suggests that condom use is already mandated by existing OSHA regulations. Theoretically, that may be correct. However, theoretically it might also be a sexual harassment violation for my male gynecologist friend to ask his female assistant’s second opinion on the condition of a patient’s vagina or clitoris. Theoretically, it might be an OSHA violation of some type for firearm manufacturers to have loaded weapons in the workplace environment. In specific and otherwise legal industries, some modifications to existing laws and standards must be made in order for the legal business to actually be able to DO their legal business. The statistics I find suggest that there hasn’t been an HIV outbreak in the ‘mainstream’ adult film industry in California in 9 years, and that all other diseases are found in the porn industry at the exact same percentages as the general population. So what exactly are the proponents of AB 332 trying to accomplish? It is an interesting question to ask, but first there needs to be some clarification of the facts in the situation.
The main group pushing for AB 332 is AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), headed by President Michael Weinstein. The main opponents to the bill appear to be the Free Speech Coalition and its Executive Director, Diane Duke…along with an endless list of people actually working in the industry. First, an ideology of extreme importance seems to need to be clarified for the battlefield, but appears that it never is for fear of being accused of “gay bashing.” The argument usually gets divided up into the straight segment of the industry and the gay segment of the industry. To point out anything with the gay industry as any sort of defense, you’re suddenly deemed anti gay or homophobic. The truth is, that is not an accurate dividing line between those two industries. There is the mainstream adult industry, which encompasses straight, bi and lesbian performers and then there is the virtually unaffiliated ‘male only’ industry. Not gay porn, but male only porn… gay (or gay for pay) is more of a necessity in ‘male only’ than an accurate description of the industry. There are PLENTY of lesbians (or gay for pay women) in the mainstream adult industry. Every now and then a male actor might work in both industries but would be required to get a clean test before working in the mainstream adult industry. The male only industry has its own set of procedures, its own set of priorities and thus an entirely different agenda than the mainstream adult industry. If fact, to the best of my knowledge, those leading the charge on both sides, Michael Weinstein and Diane Duke, are openly gay… so again this is not a gay vs. straight issue. Here is where it starts to go way off logical track. The ‘male only’ industry allows HIV infected performers to perform. The mainstream adult industry does not. That is not a negligible difference in ideology between the two industries, it is enormous. In an industry where HIV infection is already accepted among your co-workers, condoms become the optimum preventative measure…but only under those terms. Testing becomes irrelevant if you aren’t concerned with the results of the test. In mainstream porn, there was an outbreak of HIV 9 years ago. It is widely known now that Darren James went outside of the mainstream adult industry in California, worked in Brazil where he contracted HIV and then came back into the mainstream adult industry and worked prior to being retested since his previous test was still “technically” valid for him to work. He did NOT acquire HIV from the mainstream adult industry, but instead negligently brought the infection in. In fact, I have been told that mandatory testing procedures were immediately altered to prevent this from ever happening again. There was another HIV occurrence in 2010 when Derek Burts tested positive for HIV. He contracted the disease while working in the ‘male only’ industry and was thus prohibited from working in the mainstream adult industry due to the mandatory testing flagging him for an HIV infection. Again, the HIV infection did not come from the mainstream adult industry, but in this case was prevented from being brought into those circles. These are Michael Weinstein’s and AHF’s only two examples when arguing for mandatory condoms in the mainstream adult industry. Doesn’t make much sense does it? The two examples in support of mandatory condoms are both people who worked outside of the mainstream adult industry, one negligently bringing the virus into the mainstream industry and the other being an instance of prevention by the mainstream adult industry from allowing HIV to spread FROM the ‘male only’ industry due to their existing standards of mandatory testing. Two infections from outside the mainstream adult industry where testing wasn’t mandatory, where condoms were either not used or ineffective at preventing the infection. In trying to argue that there is a problem in the mainstream adult industry that needs to be addressed, Weinstein and AHF offer the solution that is used in the ‘male only’ industry? That is pure idiocy. The ‘male only’ industry allows HIV performers. CONDOMS ARE A MEANS OF ACCOMMODATING HIV PERFORMERS IN THE ‘MALE ONLY’ INDUSTRY, NOT A MEANS OF PREVENTING HIV IN THE INDUSTRY!!! Seriously, Weinstein and AHF are pushing for a preventative measure adopted to allow HIV infected performers to continue working and wants to make that system mandatory for a group of performers who have virtually eliminated the risks of HIV in their industry already. How is this even a debate, or worth wasting California legislator’s time? Why would anyone push an agenda like this? Does Weinstein make money from the existence and threat of HIV? Might he make money from condoms in some manner? Does he just hate straight and lesbian performers who work in an industry with a low probability of contracting HIV? Is there still an AIDS Healthcare Foundation President without the fear of the spread of AIDS?
Trying to change an industry with a great preventative track record, in order to adopt a solution designed to accommodate HIV within an industry seems pretty ridiculous to me…and frankly pretty fucked up and irresponsible. Weinstein’s and AHF’s example of HIV infection come from outside the mainstream adult industry and their solution is to adopt measures that accommodate HIV performers instead of prohibiting infected performers from working. Does bill AB 332 really offer to help all adult performers? Well, maybe if you have HIV and want to work in both ‘male only’ and mainstream adult, but otherwise it would seem the answer is no. It appears to put most mainstream adult performers at higher risk than they historically have been. It doesn’t appear to offer those performers who prefer condoms the ‘choice’ to use them, and the legal stability to demand that choice, which might be a sensible bill to propose for worker’s rights. It merely gives those who require condoms an economic advantage in the industry as compared to those women who have allergic reactions to condoms or dislike using them for the length of time it takes to film a scene. Nothing will really change for the ‘male only’ industry, they still won’t have to test negative for an HIV infection or other diseases in order to work.
Maybe it’s just me, and I hope it isn’t a choice I ever have to make, but if I had to choose between getting fucked in the ass by a guy with HIV and a condom, or a guy who tested negative for HIV entirely…I think I’d opt for the one with the negative test. There’s no doubt the condom will probably break while I’m trying to kill the guy before I get sodomized anyway. I would think any sane person who enjoys getting sodomized would come to the same conclusion. If you’re one of those people who is afraid porn performers in California are going to spread disease to the rest of the general population: 1) Do more research because that is statistically fallacious, and; 2) Then don’t have sex with an adult performer, or at least not without seeing a clean test first.