A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for May, 2012

The Kabuki Concluded

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The Vikings subsidy is on its way to governor Dayton’s office:

After a grinding week of late nights and marathon floor sessions, the state Senate granted final approval to a new Minnesota Vikings stadium on the final day of the legislative session.

“We delivered,” said Republcican Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Farmington, who sponsored the stadium bill. “We are going to have first-class stadium we can all be very, very proud of.”

The Senate approved the $975 million project on a vote of 36-30 amid cheers from Vikings fans in the gallery. The House gave final approval to the bill at 3:30 a.m., after the team agreed to kick in an extra $50 million.

Once signed the kabuki will be concluded and I must say it was fairly well done. As is the tradition of kabuki the stadium deal followed the five acts formula:

Nearly every full-length play occupies five acts. The first corresponds to jo, an auspicious and slow opening which introduces the audience to the characters and the plot. The next three acts correspond to ha, speeding events up, culminating almost always in a great moment of drama or tragedy in the third act and possibly a battle in the second and/or fourth acts. The final act, corresponding to kyu, is almost always short, providing a quick and satisfying conclusion.

The planning phase, where Zygi started making his intentions of building a new stadium public would have been the first act. It really set the stage, let the audience become familiar with the characters, and slowly got the ball rolling. The second act started with Zygi started petitioning for public funding in Minneapolis. From there acts three and four revolves around Minneapolis pretending they were at odds with the deal and moved it up to the state level where the debates started and the possibility of failure was fabricated. The last several days were act five, a fast passed series of late night debates that cumulated into a conclusion that many felt satisfied with.

Overall I believe it was a well done play although it could have been better. If I had written the script I would have had a tragic death inserted somewhere in act three or four then in act five I would have had one of the characters introduce a plea to name the new stadium after the fallen individuals. It would have been a far more emotionally appealing ending and much more drama could have been inserted. Even without the tragedy and drama of death the play was pretty decent and had many people on the edges of their seat. A good playwright knows how to engage his or her audience and you can’t say the audience wasn’t engaged with this play. We had audience members at the capitol dressed up in costume cheering on the characters while other audience members stood by with signs decrying the stadium supporters. Both parties felt as though they had a say in the ongoings of the play just as many people believe hoping a character in a movie won’t die has some kind of outcome on the movie’s ending.

My compliments to the writers. While I find the play less than satisfying because I was easily able to predict the ending I respect how well it was executed.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Sometimes Generalizations are Fun

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All Jeffery Tucker needs to say is, “I’m wearing a bow tie therefore your argument is irrelevant.”

Written by Christopher Burg

May 10th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Humor

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I Hope Bachmann Does the Right Thing

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Michelle Bachmann, runner up for craziest Minnesota politician (Lynne Torgerson currently holds the title), has obtained a Swiss citizenship:

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been granted citizenship in Switzerland.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman Becky Rogness says the congresswoman has been eligible for dual citizenship since she married her husband of Swiss descent in 1978.

I hope Bachmann does the right thing and renounces her American citizenship. The quicker she’s out of the country the better this country will be.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 10th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Posted in News You Need to Know

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The Result of Attempting to Control the Economy

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France is famous for Paris, wine, and interfering with business. If you wanted to start a business in France I would call you insane because the French government will punish you for daring to bring a little prosperity to their country. Some of the laws France has on the books are downright stupid but it’s good to see business owners have found ways around them:

Here’s a curious fact about the French economy: The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.

French businesspeople often skirt these restraints by creating new companies rather than expanding existing ones. “I can’t tell you how many times when I was Minister I’d meet an entrepreneur who would tell me about his companies,” Thierry Breton, chief executive officer of consulting firm Atos and Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2007, said at a Paris conference on April 4. “I’d ask, ‘Why companies?’ He’d say, ‘Oh, I have several so that I can keep [the workforce] under 50.’ We have to review our labor code.”

If you’re a business owner and hire more than 50 employees you’re suddenly in for a world of hurt. Thankfully France hasn’t made it illegal for individuals to own more than one company although I’m sure such a law will be in the works soon since these “exploits” are being brought to life. Such a ban would be entirely pointless since business owners would find another way around the new law but it makes entrepreneurs less willing to start new businesses and therefore the economy continues to suffer greatly.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 10th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Push to Prohibit Stand Your Ground Laws Federally Abandoned

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No sooner did several Democrats introduce a bill (named after Trayvon Martin of course, can’t let that crisis go to waste) to repeal stand your ground laws federally it has been rescinded:

Democrats backed off of their effort Tuesday to offer a “Trayvon amendment” to pressure states to drop their stand-your-ground laws after learning it was likely to be ruled out of order under the evening’s rules for debate on the House floor.

Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, said he will still try to force a debate at a more “appropriate” time in the future, saying action is demanded by the case of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who police said was shot dead in a street encounter with a neighborhood watch volunteer.

The Ellison amendment would have docked federal criminal justice grants to states that have stand-your-ground laws, which allow residents to use deadly force to respond to an attack without first having to retreat.

No debate is needed, stand your ground laws are basic common sense. Why should I be forced to face possible prison time because some punk decided to attack me outside of my home? Why should I be subjected to possible criminal charges because some schmuck fabricated a way I could have fled a location where I was attacked? Why should be I prohibited the right to self-defense in a life threatening situation?

I’m not at all surprised that an idiot like Ellison (why do these idiots have to be from my state) introduced a bill that would further disarm individuals and benefit violent criminals. Let’s face it, Ellison isn’t concerned about stand your ground laws. The Trayvon Martin case is the perfect platform for one to boost their political career. Public opinion has ruled Zimmerman guilty or murdering Martin so any politicians who can successfully exploit the tragedy is looking to get a little boost at the polls. This is pure exploitation plain and simple.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 10th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Gullible Suckers

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The gay community is standing up and cheering now that Obama has come out in support of gay marriage. Unfortunately Obama is suckering these poor people as his phrasing was very carefully chosen:

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.

Isn’t it funny how Obama entirely oppose the concept of state rights until it’s convenient for him? Obama’s statement could be better phrased as, “Hey guys I want to say I support gay marriage to get the gay vote but I don’t want to alienate the conservative christians so I’m still going to leave myself a backdoor.” He didn’t actually commit to anything, he just said something he knew people want to hear and let them fill in the blank themselves.

What people seem to miss is that the debate over legalizing gay marriage entirely misses the point. The debate shouldn’t be whether or not to legalize gay marriage is should be whether or not the state has any right to enter the marriage businesses (by the way the answer is no). Voluntary association only involves the people associating so nobody else should have any say in the matter. If you want to marry another person of the same sex, multiple people, a battle rifle, etc. it should be entirely up to you. Just remember that as an ordained minister and soon to be license to perform marriages in the state of Minnesota I will happily marry you to whomever or whatever you want.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 10th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Prohibition Against Illegal Aliens Owning Firearms Upheld

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Via Shall Not Be Questioned I learned that the 10th Circuit Court upheld the prohibition on illegal aliens owning firearms.

There isn’t much to say about this ruling beyond the fact it’s bullshit. Once again I travel astray from the common path many gun rights actives follow since I don’t believe any right is something granted by the state. If you are a human being you are a self-owner and as a self-owner you have a right to trade your labor for whatever mechanization you desire and defend yourself. This necessarily means you have a right to purchase a firearm and use it for your own protection regardless of your status as a citizen. In fact allowing the state to rule on rights is always dangerous because it sets a precedence that they hold domain over determine what that right entails and they will always rule in favor of themselves.

For some odd reason many gun rights activists hold the idea that illegal aliens should be prohibited from owning and carrying firearms. I find this strange because many of these very same gun rights activists claim gun ownership is a natural right. Let’s take a look at what a natural right is:

Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable. In contrast, legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by the law of a particular political and legal system, and therefore relative to specific cultures and governments.

Natural rights, of which I would argue only one exists, are inalienable. The one inalienable right individuals hold is the right of self-ownership. One cannot trade ownership of self to another as ownership because one cannot grant control of themselves to others. Even in a state of slavery you have free will and may refuse to obey your master or even go so far as to rebel. As you hold exclusive ownership over yourself you have a right to defend yourself and use the product of your labor as you choose.

If you believe gun ownership can be restricted by the state in any way then you believe it is a legal right. I personally believe the right of gun ownership is nothing more than an extension of self-ownership since you trade your labor for the firearm. Because of this I don’t believe anybody can be prohibited from owning a firearm. Those who agree with this court decision must also agree that gun ownership isn’t a natural right but a privilege bestowed by the state.

I’m Now an Ordained Minister

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North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage yesterday and the same item will be on November’s ballot here in Minnesota. I can’t help the people of North Carolina but I can do something in my own state.

I’m now an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery. When my credentials arrive I’m going to apply for my permit to perform marriages in Minnesota. Why am I doing this? Because the state has decided it has a right to define voluntary association and it’s about time some civil disobedience was done to give the state a giant middle finger.

I will perform straight, gay, polygamous, supernatural, and even self marriages (who could possibly love you more than you). Furthermore I am willing to observe and religious tradition you choose including christianity, judaism, islam, paganism, neo-paganism, asatru, or a complete lack of religious connotations if you so desire. Once married I leave it up to you to file your taxes under the status of “married.” If any questions are asked I’ll gladly vouch for the validity of your marriage.

Just because a larger group votes in favor of banning a form of voluntary association than the group that voted against banning it doesn’t mean the ban should be obeyed. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” If Minnesota votes to prohibit gay marriage give me a call and I’ll perform the ceremony for free. On the other hand if the state doesn’t vote to prohibit gay marriage I’ll still perform the ceremony and those wanting prohibited forms of marriage can still call me for a free ceremony.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 9th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The CIA Captured Their Own Man

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The news has been covering the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) foiling of the “updated underwear bomber.” I didn’t bother to cover this because I was waiting for the punchline and it has been delivered:

The would-be bomber in the recently-uncovered plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner leaving Yemen was an undercover intelligence agent. The plot was revealed to U.S. intelligence officials based on a tip by Saudi intelligence services, and had been revealed by a Saudi intelligence source who had been inside Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and providing information to the Saudis and the CIA for some time.

CBS News correspondent John Miller, a former assistant director at the FBI, reports that the double-agent revelation goes right to the heart of an intelligence agency’s nightmare, which is identifying a source that they’ve placed inside an organization.

Great job guys, you did some bang up investigatory work. You managed to not only foil an “updated underwear bomb” scheme but you also managed to catch one of your own agents. With quality work like this I feel safer already.

The Game

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People often ask me, “Chris, if you don’t believe we can change things politically why do you even talk about politics?” The answer is simple, politics is my sick form of amusement. Politics is nothing more than a sport in my opinion and in this sport there are spectators, commentators, players, and coaches. The spectators are your average people who merely watch the game and cheer by otherwise have no power to change the outcome. Commentators are the people who talk about what is happening, explain the players’ strategies, and otherwise help the spectators understand what’s happening. Politicians are the players and lobbyists are the coaches.

I play the part of commentator. Beyond explaining how the game is player I also explain what is or has recently happened. Like the spectators I have no actual power to affect the game but enjoy observing it and talking about it.

The spectators generally know the rules of the game by heart but know nothing of the nuances. They know that a bill must pass the Senate and House then be signed by the president but don’t understand all the lobbying and cronyism that goes on behind closed doors instead relying on commentators to explain those parts. While there are a vast number of teams playing this sport spectators generally have a very binary view of things. They only see the game as “their team” versus “the other team.” “Their team” is one the left or right side of the field while “the other team” is on the opposite side of the field. What about the other fields? Entirely forgotten unless “their team” is playing an away game there. Most of these spectators hold a great deal of superstition regarding games and believe their performance of certain rituals, like voting, can actually change the outcome of the game. No matter how many times you explain their wearing a specific red hat or jersey has no affect on the outcome of the game they refuse to believe you.

Coaches are the ones who call the shots. They train the players and develop the strategies but don’t physically play the game. Lobbyists and other cronies are the ones who tell the politicians what “the spectators” want and give them the strategies to achieve those desires. When an automobile manufacturer crony approaches a politician with a bill designed to shut out the manufacturer’s competition they will tell the politician how to sell it to the public. The crony will explain that the bill is for improving the environment and ignores the fact that implementing the bill’s demands is extremely expensive and therefore will cause smaller competitors to go out of business. Taking the crony’s advice the politicians being to play the actual game, selling the spectators what they want to see.

Each team promises to deliver its fans what they want. Fans of the “left” generally want the “right” to fail. When a player for the “left” says the fans want higher taxes on the wealth the “left’s” fans begin demanding higher taxes on the wealth. The “right” tells its fans to oppose higher taxes on the wealthy so the “right’s” fans begin vehemently opposing higher taxes on the wealthy. Whether the “left” wins or the “right” wins is irrelevant because nothing will negatively affect the wealthy, yet the spectators will feel as though they received a glorious victory or a horrendous defeat. Either way the spectators keep buying tickets and watching the game while the coaches and players become insanely wealthy.

That’s what politics is, a game. You can play any part if you really want to but ultimately the only people who matter are the players and coaches. That is until you realize that the game can no longer be played if the spectators stop showing up and giving the game legitimacy. Nothing will change regardless of what team wins, the only winning move is not to play.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 9th, 2012 at 11:00 am