[FoRK] Fwd: Rand Paul: Obama Just Banned 1 Million Firearms

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Tue Aug 7 09:51:37 PDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM,  <mdw at martinwills.com> wrote:
>> I should probably take a few moments to explain what exactly is going
>> to happen to you, Martin Willis, you shivering cowardly mass of pig
>> vomit.
> Not quite and you really shouldn't compare me to your immediate family.
> You don't know me that well.


> I consider you to be nothing more than 10,000 monkeys typing
> simultaneously in the Google cloud and what I see is the result of their
> proprietary click algorithms.

A fine riposte.

> Sorry, I have nearly died half a dozen times in close calls.  My world
> view is pretty much set.

Not at all. Its never too late to change. Or be changed. If we move
through life without risking the possibility of being changed by it,
then we aren't really living.

>>>> Is there some way we can talk about your position that only members of
>>>> the armed forces should be citizens and vote?

> My position is my own and I said as much.  I don't particularly like
> sharing my things with strangers.

Honestly, I have no desire to touch your things.

>>>> Obviously some will agree and some will disagree, but surely any
>>>> discussion will involve having questions asked of you?

> Ask away.  I can't spend 24 hours a day in front of a computer, since I
> have to make a living.

Alrighty then.

>>>> I mean, you put the opinion out there on a public mailing list, whose
>>>> purpose is discussion, so your position can hardly be considered
>>>> private.This list can be a bit roughhouse sometimes, and I have been
>>>> on the receiving end of flames myself.
> Again, I consider everyone on this list to be nothing more than groups of
> monkeys typing furiously and the Google cloud translating it.

Hmm, even I am not so grandiose as to insult everyone in the forum at once.

Its a funny thing about internet mailing lists - few of the members of
this list have ever met. It is easy to question the humanity of the
writers, since all you ever see are their words, but in the end, you
will come to respect the minds you are engaged with, even if they are
AIs implemented on a substrate of, e.g. enormous numbers of
monkey-based computing elements.

> This email list is not a valid forum for debate.  Never has been, never
> can be.

Why not?

>>>>>> The <timeless and inerrant> constitution, "Dont f_ck with it", does
>>>>>> that include the amendments?
> F**King with it means attacking it and deliberately violating it in an
> attempt to destroy the country that is defined by it.
>>>>>> Does amending the constitution constitute "f_cking with it"?
> Ibid.

Would you consider a lawful and constitutional movement to repeal,
narrow or alter the 2nd amendment be considered an attempt to destroy
the country? Is the US really defined by gun ownership laws?

What about a lawful movement to change some other aspect of American
life? Is change the same as destroy?

>>>>>> Isn't swearing allegiance pretty much the same as swearing to uphold?
>>>>>> If not, can anyone swear to uphold the constitution, or does it have
>>>>>> to be within the context of some government sponsored lethal force
>>>>>> organisation? Is being a member of a government sponsored lethal
>>>>>> force
>>>>>> organisation the only way to uphold the constitution?

> I don't consider (in my opinion) that allegiance and upholding it are the
> same.
> My response is the same as Warren Buffet, "If you don't have any skin in
> the game...", you probably aren't going to appreciate what you have.

An excellent point. I had a discussion with a libertarian
anarcho-capitalist a while back, and one of his positions was that he
was unwilling to be bound by inherited agreements that he personally
hadn't agreed to. The thing is, he didn't feel like a citizen, because
he had passively inherited citizenship without having to take
ownership of it.

>From time to time there are proposals that everyone should go through
some kind of mandatory national service system. As a ritual into
adulthood and citizenship, this is a fine idea, but the message would
be missed by most. Certainly, where I have met people from countries
with national service, they seem pretty much the same as other people.

I imagine that there are many in the military (and police) who are
also missing the message, that is, not made any finer or more
respectful of the constitution or their citizenship by their service.
In your experience, are there really less venal and self-serving
people in the military and police than there are in other walks of

>>>>>> Why does a willingness to kill and be killed (in harms way), make
>>>>>> someone a more worthy citizen? What if you were in the armed
>>>>>> services,
>>>>>> but never left, e.g. the Pentagon - does that mean you were in harm's
>>>>>> way?

> No, I think running into a burning compartment, and dogging the hatch
> behind you in order to help fight the fire and save your comrades as a
> true measure of ones citizenship.

I'm not a US citizen, but after I saw the first tower collapse, I went
downtown on 9/11, to do what I could to help out. Does that count?

What you are writing about is bravery and self-sacrifice, excellent
qualities in anyone.

They aren't called for in everyone though, and "normal" life, i.e.
peacetime life, doesn't provide too many situations that reveal these

You do make an interesting point though - the moment of self-sacrifice
(e.g. locking yourself in a burning compartment), is usually more to
do with your immediate comrades rather than any notions of patriotism
or citizenship or upholding of constitutions.

> This is only developed in people who
> have gone through some sort of training that develops discipline and team
> work. Part of that training is rigid review and purposeful diligence to
> paying attention. I have never seen a lawyer, computer hacker, sanitation
> worker exhibit these abilities unless they have gone through some sort of
> discipline training.

Discipline, teamwork and purposeful diligence are exactly the
qualities I have seen in lawyers, doctors, nurses, computer
programmers, and many many other professions.

I am a computer programmer by trade, and discipline, teamwork and
purposeful diligence are part of the qualities required for success in
the business. Also intelligence, creativity, linguistic agility, and

> This country (U.S.A.) is a team effort,

All countries are team efforts, the US is far from unique in this respect.

Actually, its not exactly true that a country is a team effort. Its
more complicated than that. Much more complicated.

> and those
> people who are trained to work as a team, approach it as such.  The loners
> and/or the arrogant egotists try to tear it down in order to build
> themselves up

Whatever the motivations of loners and egotists, perhaps you can agree
that they also have roles to play. The artists, scientists, writers,
philosophers. Even jesters and other assorted cranks?

Should Einstein have been allowed to vote?

Are you suggesting that I am trying to tear down the US in order to
build myself up?

> (or they join email lists to try to show everyone else how
> much smarter they are. They don't have a life or relationships outside of
> their email lists and is the only way to build themselves up).

I joined this mailing list 12 years ago, because I was searching for
info about binary xml and I found a discussion about it in the list

My involvement waxes and wanes, depending on how much time I have on
my hands, and how passionately I feel about the subject of discussion.

As you are probably aware, I am passionate about guns, but even more
so about democracy and egalitarianism. Your position on restricting
voting to members of military and paramilitary  organisations is the
antithesis of what I believe, and I am duty bound to challenge it.

> Both of
> these character traits are either replaced by learned team work or they
> are dismissed as untrainable in a disciplined training environment.

Other things taught by the military are, e.g. unquestioning deference
to authority. Its not clear that this is a useful skill/trait outside
of the military, and not really a useful trait in a democracy where
you want a multitude of traits/personalities to properly explore the
solution space.

>>>>>> Can you talk a little more about how, in your service, you have
>>>>>> personally contributed to upholding the constitution? Like, were
>>>>>> there
>>>>>> any specific actions you took that resulted in the constitution being
>>>>>> more upheld, versus less upheld if you hadn't taken that action?
> Standing watch on my countries warship, designed to kill enemies foreign
> or domestic that may try to destroy my country that is defined by it's
> constitution, is honoring my sworn commitment to uphold the constitution.
> Arresting an armed felon after racing high-speed through crowded streets
> and not pummeling him into a bloody mess, is honoring my sworn commitment
> to uphold the constitution (specifically it's 4th, 5th, and 14th
> amendments).

As an aside, where I come from, they don't really do high speed chases
any more - turns out that, on a cost-benefit analysis, less property
damage and bystander casualties are caused by letting them go and
catching them another time.

> Both of these examples are only possible through discipline and team work.

Consider an ants nest - many castes are needed in order for it to
function. Soldier ants are used in some circumstances, in others,
foragers, in yet others, workers, drones, or whatever.

When you look at an ants nest, you don't see any one caste as more
worthy than the others. Instead, you see the whole thing, and maybe
even marvel at how all these independent minds can form a whole that
is greater and more wonderous than the sum of the parts.

Probably the best dissection of military pride I have seen is the play
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolanus . Its also in movie form
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1372686/ . Well worth a watch.

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