Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Nothing happens until something moves."

- Albert Einstein

Seems self-evident, doesn't it? But, when one takes into account the interplay of time, energy, and matter for the formation of perception and reality, the above statement is simplistically elegant.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Max Planck

Max Planck
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947) was a German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame rests primarily on his role as the originator of the quantum theory. This theory revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, just as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized the understanding of space and time. Together they constitute the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics.

In 1894, Planck turned his attention to the problem of black-body radiation. He had been commissioned by electric companies to create maximum light from lightbulbs with minimum energy. The problem had been stated by Kirchhoff in 1859: "how does the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a black body (a perfect absorber, also known as a cavity radiator) depend on the frequency of the radiation (i.e., the color of the light) and the temperature of the body?" The question had been explored experimentally, but no theoretical treatment agreed with experimental values. Wilhelm Wien proposed Wien's law, which correctly predicted the behavior at high frequencies, but failed at low frequencies. The Rayleigh–Jeans law, another approach to the problem, created what was later known as the "ultraviolet catastrophe", but contrary to many textbooks this was not a motivation for Planck.

Planck's first proposed solution to the problem in 1899 followed from what Planck called the "principle of elementary disorder," which allowed him to derive Wien's law from a number of assumptions about the entropy of an ideal oscillator, creating what was referred-to as the Wien–Planck law. Soon it was found that experimental evidence did not confirm the new law at all, to Planck's frustration. Planck revised his approach, deriving the first version of the famous Planck black-body radiation law, which described the experimentally observed black-body spectrum well. It was first proposed in a meeting of the DPG on October 19, 1900 and published in 1901. This first derivation did not include energy quantization, and did not use statistical mechanics, to which he held an aversion. In November 1900, Planck revised this first approach, relying on Boltzmann's statistical interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics as a way of gaining a more fundamental understanding of the principles behind his radiation law. As Planck was deeply suspicious of the philosophical and physical implications of such an interpretation of Boltzmann's approach, his recourse to them was, as he later put it, "an act of despair ... I was ready to sacrifice any of my previous convictions about physics."

The central assumption behind his new derivation, presented to the DPG on 14 December 1900, was the supposition, now known as the Planck postulate, that electromagnetic energy could be emitted only in quantized form, in other words, the energy could only be a multiple of an elementary unit E = h \nu, where h is Planck's constant, also known as Planck's action quantum (introduced already in 1899), and \nu (the Greek letter nu, not the Roman letter v) is the frequency of the radiation. Note that the elementary units of energy discussed here are represented by h \nu and not simply by h. Physicists now call these quanta photons, and a photon of frequency \nu will have its own specific and unique energy. The amplitude of energy at that frequency is then a function of the number of photons of that frequency being produced per unit of time.

At first Planck considered that quantization was only "a purely formal assumption ... actually I did not think much about it..."; nowadays this assumption, incompatible with classical physics, is regarded as the birth of quantum physics and the greatest intellectual accomplishment of Planck's career (Ludwig Boltzmann had been discussing in a theoretical paper in 1877 the possibility that the energy states of a physical system could be discrete). Further interpretation of the implications of Planck's work was advanced by Albert Einstein in 1905 in connection with his work on the photoelectric effect—for this reason, the philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn argued that Einstein should be given credit for quantum theory more so than Planck, since Planck did not understand in a deep sense that he was "introducing the quantum" as a real physical entity. Be that as it may, it was in recognition of Planck's monumental accomplishment that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

The discovery of Planck's constant enabled him to define a new universal set of physical units (such as the Planck length and the Planck mass), all based on fundamental physical constants.

Subsequently, Planck tried to grasp the meaning of energy quanta, but to no avail. "My unavailing attempts to somehow reintegrate the action quantum into classical theory extended over several years and caused me much trouble." Even several years later, other physicists like Rayleigh, Jeans, and Lorentz set Planck's constant to zero in order to align with classical physics, but Planck knew well that this constant had a precise nonzero value. "I am unable to understand Jeans' stubbornness — he is an example of a theoretician as should never be existing, the same as Hegel was for philosophy. So much the worse for the facts if they don't fit."

Max and Albert
Max Born wrote about Planck: "He was, by nature, a conservative mind; he had nothing of the revolutionary and was thoroughly skeptical about speculations. Yet his belief in the compelling force of logical reasoning from facts was so strong that he did not flinch from announcing the most revolutionary idea which ever has shaken physics."

In 1905, the three epochal papers of the hitherto completely unknown Albert Einstein were published in the journal Annalen der Physik. Planck was among the few who immediately recognized the significance of the special theory of relativity. Thanks to his influence, this theory was soon widely accepted in Germany. Planck also contributed considerably to extend the special theory of relativity.

Einstein's hypothesis of light quanta (photons), based on Philipp Lenard's 1902 discovery of the photoelectric effect, was initially rejected by Planck. He was unwilling to discard completely Maxwell's theory of electrodynamics. "The theory of light would be thrown back not by decades, but by centuries, into the age when Christian Huygens dared to fight against the mighty emission theory of Isaac Newton ..."

In 1910, Einstein pointed out the anomalous behavior of specific heat at low temperatures as another example of a phenomenon which defies explanation by classical physics. Planck and Nernst, seeking to clarify the increasing number of contradictions, organized the First Solvay Conference (Brussels 1911). At this meeting Einstein was able to convince Planck.

Meanwhile, Planck had been appointed dean of Berlin University, whereby it was possible for him to call Einstein to Berlin and establish a new professorship for him (1914). Soon the two scientists became close friends and met frequently to play music together.

At the end of the 1920s Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli had worked out the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, but it was rejected by Planck, and by Schrödinger, Laue, and Einstein as well. Planck expected that wave mechanics would soon render quantum theory—his own child—unnecessary. This was not to be the case, however. Further work only cemented quantum theory, even against his and Einstein's philosophical revulsions. Planck experienced the truth of his own earlier observation from his struggle with the older views in his younger years: "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Planck was very tolerant towards alternative views and religions. In a lecture on 1937 entitled "Religion und Naturwissenschaft" he suggested the importance of these symbols and rituals related directly with a believer's ability to worship God, but that one must be mindful that the symbols provide an imperfect illustration of divinity. He criticized atheism for being focused on the derision of such symbols, while at the same time warned of the over-estimation of the importance of such symbols by believers.

Max Planck said "All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter" in 1944, indicating that he believed in some kind of god.

Planck regarded the scientist as a man of imagination and faith, "faith" interpreted as being similar to "having a working hypothesis". For example the causality principle isn't true or false, it is an act of faith. Thereby Planck may have indicated a view that points toward Imre Lakatos' research programs process descriptions, where falsification is mostly tolerable, in faith of its future removal. He also said: "Both Religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view".

On the other hand, Planck wrote, "...'to believe' means 'to recognize as a truth,' and the knowledge of nature, continually advancing on incontestably safe tracks, has made it utterly impossible for a person possessing some training in natural science to recognize as founded on truth the many reports of extraordinary contradicting the laws of nature, of miracles which are still commonly regarded as essential supports and confirmations of religious doctrines, and which formerly used to be accepted as facts pure and simple, without doubt or criticism. The belief in miracles must retreat step by step before relentlessly and reliably progressing science and we cannot doubt that sooner or later it must vanish completely."

Later in life, Planck's views on God were that of a deist. For example, six months before his death a rumor started that Planck had converted to Catholicism, but when questioned what had brought him to make this step, he declared that, although he had always been deeply religious, he did not believe "in a personal God, let alone a Christian God."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Social Darwinism

Herbert Spencer, a 19th century philosopher, promoted the idea of Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is an application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. In its simplest form, Social Darwinism follows the mantra of "the strong survive," including human issues.

Some social philosophers extend this philosophy into a micro-economic issue, claiming that social welfare programs are contrary to nature.

At its worst, the implications of Social Darwinism were used as scientific justification for the Holocaust. The Nazis claimed that the murder of Jews in World War II was an example of cleaning out the inferior genetics. Many philosophers noted evolutionary echoes in Hitler's march to exterminate an entire race of people. Various other dictators and criminals have claimed the cause of Social Darwinism in justifying their beliefs.

Scientists and evolutionists maintain that this interpretation is only loosely based on Darwin's theory of natural selection. They admit to a parallel between Darwin's theory of Natural Selection and Spencer's beliefs in that, in nature, the strong survive and those best suited to survival will out-live the weak. According to Social Darwinism, those with strength (economic, physical, technological) flourish and those without are destined for extinction.

It is important to note that Darwin did not extend his theories to a social or economic level, nor do any credible evolutionists subscribe to the theories of Social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer's philosophy is only loosely based on the premises of Darwin's work.

Herbert Spencer
However, according to evolutionary theory, nature is a "kill-or-be-killed" system. Those that cannot keep up are either left behind or cut off. If evolution, through chance, is solely responsible for life as we now know it, why should that process be countered? If "survival of the fittest" or "kill or be killed" cannot apply in what we define as "decent society," then, which is wrong, society or evolution? If neither, then how do we explain morality, charity, and compassion? Why drain resources from the strong to support the weak?

All right, so let's review. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is entirely focused on an explanation of life's biological diversity. It is a scientific theory meant to explain observations about species. Yet some have used the theory to justify a particular view of human social, political, or economic conditions. All such ideas have one fundamental flaw: They use a purely scientific theory for a completely unscientific purpose. In doing so they misrepresent and misappropriate Darwin's original ideas.

Based largely on notions of competition and natural selection, Social Darwinist theories generally hold that the powerful in society are innately better than the weak and that success is proof of their superiority.

Darwin passionately opposed social injustice and oppression. It is likely he would have been dismayed to see the events of generations to come: that is, his name attached to opposing ideologies from Marxism to unbridled capitalism, and to policies from ethnic cleansing to forced sterilization. Whether used to rationalize social inequality, racism, or eugenics, so-called Social Darwinist theories are a gross misreading of the ideas first described in the Origin of Species and applied in modern biology.

In 1887, social scientists began using the term "social Darwinism" to apply the survival of the fittest theory to social situations.

Proponents of this particular form of ‘social Darwinism’, such as Herbert Spencer, taught that the powerful and wealthy were this way because they were biologically and evolutionally superior to the struggling masses. They believed that we should therefore do nothing to help improve the working and living conditions of the lesser evolved masses. Charities were clearly evil in helping sustain the lives of those who otherwise would and should die in the natural selection process. In other words, the weak were to do their duty and die while the fittest survived, which would one day lead to an evolutionarily super society and race. Pretty harsh, eh?

Soon, many began to view racial struggles, and war itself, as perfectly natural examples of survival-of-the-fittest in the human race. The horrific wars of the 20th century, employing shockingly brutal tactics, were encouraged by a belief in survival-of-the-fittest among humans. While social Darwinism itself was applied to social and economic situations rather than military ones, it is easy how extreme versions of social Darwinism could justify physical struggles among races.

Social Darwinism has been linked with racism, nationalism, imperialism, and atheism. Today. progressive elitists still use the arguments of the inexact and false theories of Social Darwinism to advance their social agenda, and to justify the murders of anyone who would stand in their way. The so-called evolution of the species is their justification to commit atrocities and decide who rules, who serves, who lives and who dies. It is not science and it is certainly not moral nor humanistic.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Amanda's Vimbacher

Giant Short-Faced Bear

The largest carnivore that ever lived on land was the giant short-faced bear. Twice the size of the biggest modern bear, it was 6' 5" tall at the shoulder when standing on all fours. Scientists believe it had very long legs and chased antelope on the North American prairies. It died out around 12,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch. It was the most common early North American bear and was most abundant in California. There are two recognized species: Arctodus pristinus and Arctodus simus, with the latter considered one of the largest known terrestrial mammalian carnivores.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Climate Change: A Collectivist Scheme

This climate change theory is actually a straw man argument meant to distract people. How do I know? I read, that's how. Additionally, it dawned on me that since we are surrounded by lies and propaganda, that it's a good thing to question any grand scheme put forth by politicians with an attached proposal of taxation. And that's what we have here. Carbon credits and carbon taxes. In any case, man-made “climate change” is largely a myth promoted by politicians to scare the public into accepting a vast expansion of government to supposedly stop “global warming.” It's another scam pushed down our throats by con men posing as compassionate caretakers of the earth.

Global warming is a manufactured problem played up by the government to stir up fear among the public. The government exploits that fear by offering a predetermined solution: the expansion of government at the public’s expense.

We know this strategy as the Hegelian Dialectic, a tactic used successfully by politicians for millennia in order to expand government, grab power, and fleece the population at the expense of individual liberties.

Literally boxes of these
were found in Baghdad warehouses.
The Bush administration used the strategy successfully in 2003 when it gained enough public support for the invasion of Iraq by claiming the country had weapons of mass destruction, and the war ultimately expanded the military-industrial complex and America’s emerging police state. Today, Obama uses the ISIS and the propped up fear of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism to the same ends.

Global warming is used in much the same way because it allows the United Nations to scare the world’s population into believing man-made climate change is too big of a threat for their country to handle alone and thus it can only be “defeated” through the expansion of the U.N. at the expense of their nation’s sovereignty.

State-funded scientists are given millions of dollars to promote the myth of “global warming” by fitting their data into the agenda. This is how science is manipulated at the cost of truth and for the agenda of those who envision a collectivist form of world government.

“This [climate change] was viewed as the most likely to succeed because it could be related to observable conditions such as smog and water pollution – in other words, it would be based partly on fact and, therefore, be credible,” G. Edward Griffin wrote in his book The Creature from Jekyll Island. “Predictions could be made showing end-of-earth scenarios just as horrible as atomic warfare.”

“Accuracy in these predictions would not be important; their purpose would be to frighten, not inform.”

The latest claim that 2014 was the hottest year on record rejects accuracy in favor of fear.

“Any temperature claim of ‘hottest year’ based on surface data is based on hundredths of a degree hotter than previous ‘hottest years,’” Marc Morano of Climate Depot reported. “This immeasurable difference is not even within the margin of error of temperature gauges.”

“The claim of the ‘hottest year’ is simply a political statement not based on temperature facts; ‘hottest year’ claims are based on minute fractions of a degree while ignoring satellite data showing Earth is continuing the 18-plus-year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’ [in warming.]”

The standstill he refers to can be found in Remote Sensing Systems satellite data that shows there has been no significant rise in global temperature since Oct. 1996, which is more than half the 36-year satellite record.

And this pause in warming could last at least another decade.

“The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with ‘substantial confidence’ that the science was settled and the [climate change] debate over,” climate analyst Lord Christopher Monckton wrote. “Nature had other ideas.”

Climate change? Well, the weather is always changing somewhere.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Phoebus Cartel

It's illuminating news!

Phillips, GE and Osram engaged in a conspiracy from 1924 to 1939 with the goal of controlling the fledgling light-bulb industry, according to a report published in Time magazine six years later. The alleged cartel set prices and suppressed competing technologies that would have produced longer-lasting and more efficient light bulbs. By the time the cabal dissolved, the industry-standard incandescent bulb was established as the dominant source of artificial light across Europe and North America. Not until the late 1990s did compact fluorescent bulbs begin to edge into the worldwide lighting market as an alternative.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Be The Change You Want To See

For those of us who have managed to survive 2014 with our lives intact, a quick review shows that we’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our constitutional structure flipped upside down, and our culture left in a shambles.

We’ve seen children burned by flashbang grenades, dogs shot, and old folks hospitalized after “accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams. We’ve been told we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, and those places are now considered “Constitution-free zones.” We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.

We’ve been given the runaround on government wrongdoing, starting with President Obama’s claim that the National Security Agency has never abused its power to spy on Americans’ phone calls and emails. All the while, the NSA has been racing to build a supercomputer that could break through “every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.” Despite the fact that the NSA’s domestic surveillance program has been shown to be ineffective at preventing acts of terrorism, the agency continues to vacuum up almost 200 million text messages a day. We recognize that these functions of government exist under both conservative and liberal leadership

We’ve seen the police transformed from community peacekeepers to point guards for the militarized corporate state. From Boston to Ferguson and every point in between, police have pushed around, prodded, poked, probed, scanned, shot and intimidated the very individuals—we the taxpayers—whose rights they were hired to safeguard. Networked together through fusion centers, police have surreptitiously spied on our activities and snooped on our communications, using hi-tech devices provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

We’ve been called suspicious for engaging in such dubious activities as talking too long on a cell phone and stretching too long before jogging. We've been dubbed extremists and terrorists for criticizing the government and suggesting it is tyrannical or oppressive, and subjected to forced colonoscopies and anal probes for allegedly rolling through a stop sign.

We've been turned into social pariahs for not bowing to the race pimps and for maintaining a healthy respect for our heritage.

We’ve been arrested for all manner of “crimes” that never used to be considered criminal, let alone uncommon or unlawful, behavior: letting our kids walk to the playground alone, giving loose change to a homeless man, feeding the hungry, and living off the grid. Blame it on a government mindset that renders us guilty before we’ve even been charged, let alone convicted, of any wrongdoing. In this way, law-abiding individuals have had their homes mistakenly raided by SWAT teams that got the address wrong. One accountant found himself at the center of a misguided police standoff after surveillance devices confused his license plate with that of a drug felon.

We’ve been conned into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. The truth is, we live in an oligarchy where politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics.

We’ve had our schools locked down, students handcuffed, shackled and arrested for engaging in such criminal behavior such as food fights. Our children’s biometrics are stored, their movements tracked, and their data bought, sold and bartered for profit by government contractors, all the while they are treated like criminals and taught to march in lockstep with the police state. Not to mention the revised history that is being taught along with watered-down curriculums that are essentially turning public schools and universities into socialization factories. Forget about education and self-determination.

We’ve been rendered enemy combatants in our own country, denied basic due process rights, held against our will without access to an attorney or being charged with a crime, and left in jail until such a time as the government is willing to let us go or allow us to defend ourselves. Our legal system and those employed by it support the process because, well, it makes them a very good living.

The military weapons we funded with our tax dollars are now used against us, from unpiloted, weaponized drones tracking our movements and armored vehicles, assault rifles, sound cannons and grenade launchers in towns with little to no crime to an arsenal of military-grade weapons and equipment given free of charge to schools and universities. All while at the same time, cultural forces aligned by the liberal government administration pushed for stricter weapons control among the civilian population.

We’ve been silenced, censored and forced to conform, ordered into free speech zones, gagged by hate crime laws, stifled by political correctness, muzzled by misguided anti-bullying statutes, and pepper sprayed for taking part in peaceful protests.

We’ve been shot by police for reaching for a license during a traffic stop, reaching for a baby during a drug bust, carrying a toy sword down a public street, and wearing headphones that hamper our ability to hear.

We’ve had our tax dollars spent on $30,000 worth of Starbucks for Dept. of Homeland Security employees, $630,000 in advertising to increase Facebook “likes” for the State Dept., and close to $25 billion to fund projects ranging from the ludicrous to the unnecessary, such as laughing classes for college students and programs teaching monkeys to play video games and gamble.

We’re treated like guinea pigs, targeted by the government and social media for psychological experiments on how to manipulate the masses. We’ve been tasered for talking back to police, tackled for taking pictures of police abuses, and threatened with jail time for invoking our rights. We’ve even been arrested by undercover cops stationed in public bathrooms who interpret men’s “shaking off” motions after urinating to be acts of lewdness. If we lived in China we still wouldn't expect this kind of overt surveillance.

We’ve had our possessions seized and stolen by law enforcement agencies looking to cash in on asset forfeiture schemes, our jails privatized and used as a source of cheap labor for megacorporations, our gardens smashed by police seeking out suspicious-looking marijuana plants, and our buying habits turned into suspicious behavior by a government readily inclined to view its citizens as terrorists.
We’ve had our cities and small towns used for military training drills, with Black Hawk helicopters buzzing the skies, Urban Shield exercises overtaking our streets, and active shooter drills wreaking havoc on unsuspecting bystanders in our schools, shopping malls and other “soft target” locations.

We’ve been told that national security is more important than civil liberties, that police dogs’ noses are sufficient cause to carry out warrantless searches, that the best way not to get raped by police is to “follow the law,” that what a police officer says in court will be given preference over what video footage shows, that an upright posture and acne are sufficient reasons for a cop to suspect you of wrongdoing, that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous tip, and that police officers have every right to shoot first and ask questions later if they feel threatened.

Some citizens still insist they are beyond the reach of the police state because they have done nothing wrong and have nothing to fear. To those sanctimonious few, secure in their delusions, let this be a warning: the danger posed by the American police state applies equally to all of us: lawbreaker and law abider alike, black and white, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, blue collar and white collar, and any other distinction you’d care to trot out.

You are being represented by idiots
and judged by morons.
The lesson of 2014 is simply this: in a police state, you’re either a cop or you’re one of the little people. Make no mistake, the lawyers, judges, clerks and others who participate in official suppression are all part of the problem. It's not us, or some fanatical guys from Afghanistan, or the local KKK that is a threat to our freedom. It is the system itself as well as those who administer it. Right now, citizens are the little people, the servants, the serfs, the grunts who must obey without question or suffer the consequences.

If there is to be any hope in 2015 for restoring our freedoms and reclaiming our runaway government, we will have to start by breathing life into those three powerful words that set the tone for everything that follows in the Constitution: “we the people.”

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Talk to your neighbors. Share information. Participate in local politics, make sure your objections are heard, call and write your representatives, educate your kids on their rights as children vs. those of adults, make sure your local police support the Constitution, insist that your media act as watchdogs for the people and not lapdogs for the corporate state. Get your own act together, and do not fear. They are the authorities because we have anointed them. What is given can be taken away.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

So You Want To Be A Writer?

John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces

John Kennedy Toole
What follows is the sad tale of an abbreviated life. If you aspire to pursue fame and fortune by selling your stories to the highest bidder, you might want to read the cautionary tale of John Kennedy Toole before setting your course.

John Kennedy Toole (December 17, 1937 – March 26, 1969) was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, whose posthumously published novel A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He also wrote The Neon Bible. Although several people in the literary world felt his writing skills were praiseworthy, Toole's novels were rejected during his lifetime. After suffering from paranoia and depression due in part to these failures, he committed suicide at the age of 31.

Toole was born to a middle-class family in New Orleans. From a young age, his mother taught him an appreciation of culture. She was thoroughly involved in his affairs for most of his life, and at times they had a difficult relationship. With his mother's encouragement, Toole became a stage performer at the age of 10 doing comic impressions and acting. At 16 he wrote his first novel, The Neon Bible, which he later dismissed as "adolescent".

Toole received an academic scholarship to Tulane University. After graduating from Tulane, he studied English at Columbia University in New York while teaching simultaneously at Hunter College. He also taught at various Louisiana colleges, and during his early career as an academic he was valued on the faculty party circuit for his wit and gift for mimicry. His studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army, where he taught English to Spanish-speaking recruits in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After receiving a promotion, he used his private office to begin writing A Confederacy of Dunces, which he finished at his parents' home after his discharge.

Dunces is a picaresque novel featuring the misadventures of protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly, a lazy, obese, misanthropic, self-styled scholar who lives at home with his mother. It is hailed for its accurate depictions of New Orleans dialects. Toole based Reilly in part on his college professor friend Bob Byrne. Byrne's slovenly, eccentric behavior was anything but professorial, and Reilly mirrored him in these respects. The character was also based on Toole himself, and several personal experiences served as inspiration for passages in the novel. While at Tulane, Toole filled in for a friend at a job as a hot tamale cart vendor, and worked at a family owned and operated clothing factory. Both of these experiences were later adapted into his fiction.

Toole submitted Dunces to publisher Simon & Schuster, where it reached noted editor Robert Gottlieb. Gottlieb considered Toole talented but felt his comic novel was essentially pointless. Despite several revisions, Gottlieb remained unsatisfied, and after the book was rejected by another literary figure, Hodding Carter Jr., he shelved the novel. Suffering from depression and feelings of persecution, Toole left home on a journey around the country. He stopped in Biloxi, Mississippi to end his life by running a garden hose in from the exhaust of his car to the cabin. Some years later, his mother brought the manuscript of Dunces to the attention of novelist Walker Percy, who ushered the book into print. In 1981, Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toole received a hardship discharge as his parents were having difficult economic times, his father struggling with deafness and an increasing incidence of irrational fear and paranoia. Toole looked forward to coming home and spending time talking with his mother. Toole turned down an offer to return to his post at Hunter, and arrived home to a teaching position at Dominican College, a Catholic all female school. He initially liked the position as it allowed him to teach for only 10.5 hours a week and afforded him the same leisure time he had during his less active periods in the service. The nuns on the faculty were enamored with Toole from the start, considering him well mannered, genteel, and charming. He used his free time to work on his novel, and to spend some time with his musician friend Sidney Snow at Snow's home in the Irish Channel and at various night clubs where he would watch Snow and his bandmates perform, among other things, covers of songs by The Beatles. The November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy caused Toole to fall into severe depression. He stopped writing and drank heavily. In February 1964 he resumed writing, at which point he added an ending and sent the manuscript to Simon & Schuster.

Dunces has been described as a "grand comic fugue" and is considered one of the seminal works of twentieth century Southern literature. It has received praise for its accurate use of various New Orleans dialects, including the Yat dialect. It concerns protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly, a slothful, obese, self-styled philosopher who lives with his mother. After an early financial setback for the Reilly family, caused by Ignatius, he is forced by his mother to seek employment in a variety of menial jobs to help the household financially, for which he is continually resentful of her. He subsequently takes revenge on several businesses for perceived slights. He incites black workers to insurrection at Levy Pants Company, eats more hot dogs than he sells, and attempts to break up a strip club. Along the way he runs into a divergent cast of characters, including Myrna Minkoff, a rebellious socialist intellectual with whom he conducts an ongoing literary correspondence. Although Reilly is partially modeled after Toole's eccentric friend Bob Byrne, Byrne and others have stated that much of Reilly is actually based on Toole himself:

"Ken Toole was a strange person. He was extroverted and private. And that's very difficult. He had a strong...desire to be recognized....but also a strong sense of alienation. That's what you have in Ignatius Reilly."

The book eventually reached senior editor Robert Gottlieb, who had talked the then-unknown Joseph Heller into completing the classic comic novel Catch 22. They began a two-year correspondence and dialogue over the novel which would ultimately result in bitter disappointment on both sides. While Gottlieb felt Toole was undoubtedly talented, he was unhappy with the book in its original form. He felt that it had one basic flaw which he expressed to Toole in an early letter:

"It seems that you understand the problem—the major problem—involved, but think that the conclusion can solve it. More is required, though. Not only do the various threads need resolving; they can always be tied together conveniently. What must happen is that they must be strong and meaningful all the way through—not merely episodic and then wittily pulled together to make everything look as if it's come out right. In other words, there must be a point to everything you have in the book, a real point, not just amusingness that's forced to figure itself out."

John Gottlieb
Toole made an unannounced trip to see editor Robert Gottlieb in person at the Simon & Schuster building in New York City in February 1965. When he found out Gottlieb was out of town, Toole felt humiliated.

Initially, although Toole was disappointed that the novel could not be published as is, he was exuberant that a major publisher was interested in it. He entered his second year of teaching at Dominican as one of the favorite new professors on staff. Students marveled at his wit, and Toole would make entire classes burst into laughter while hardly showing expression. He never retold a story or joke, and had many repeat students. Shortly before Christmas break in 1964, Toole received a letter from Gottlieb. In it Gottlieb remarked that he had shown the novel to Candida Donadio, a literary agent whose clients included Joseph Heller and Thomas Pynchon. Gottlieb told Toole they felt he was "... wildly funny often, funnier than almost anyone around". Also they liked the same portions and characters of the book and disliked the same parts as well. Gottlieb gave a list of things he did not like concluding with:

"But that, all this aside, there is another problem: that with all its wonderfulnesses, the book—even better plotted (and still better plotable)—does not have a reason; it's a brilliant exercise in invention, but unlike CATCH [22] and MOTHER KISSES and V and the others, it isn't really about anything. And that's something no one can do anything about."

Later on in the letter, Gottlieb stated that he still had faith in Toole as a writer and that he wished to hold onto the manuscript in case he or Toole would be able to see a way around his objections. Toole decided that it would be best for Gottlieb to return the manuscript, saying "Aside from a few deletions, I don't think I could really do much to the book now—and of course even with revisions you might not be satisfied." Toole made a trip to New York to see Gottlieb in person; however, he was out of town and Toole came back disappointed. He felt that he had embarrassed himself by giving a rambling, uncomfortable speech explaining his situation to one of Gottlieb's office staff. He returned home having left a note for Gottlieb to call him, and they later talked for an hour on the phone. In this conversation Gottlieb re-iterated that he would not accept the novel without further revision. He suggested that Toole move on to writing something else, an idea which Toole ultimately rejected.

In a long, partially autobiographical letter he sent to Gottlieb in March 1965, Toole explained that he could not give up on the book since he wrote the novel largely from personal observation and because the characters were based on real people he had seen in his life.

"I don't want to throw these characters away. In other words, I'm going to work on the book again. I haven't been able to look at the manuscript since I got it back, but since something of my soul is in the thing, I can't let it rot without trying."

Gottlieb wrote him an encouraging letter, in which he stated again that he felt Toole was very talented (even more so than himself) and that if Toole were to re-submit the manuscript he would continue to "read, reread, edit, perhaps publish, generally cope, until you are fed up with me. What more can I say?" In early 1966, Toole wrote Gottlieb one final letter, which has never been located. Gottlieb wrote him back on January 17, 1966, concluding their correspondence with a letter where he re-iterated his feelings on the book and stated that he wanted to read it again when Toole created another revision.

Toole taught English at Dominican College from Fall of 1963 until Fall of 1968. Initially, his Dominican students marveled at his wit and comedic talents. Later, as he began suffering from mental problems, his behavior appalled them.

Toole took the rejection of the book in his intended form as a tremendous personal blow. He eventually ceased work on Dunces and for a time left it atop an armoire in his bedroom. He continued to teach at Dominican where he remained a favorite among the student body with his classes regularly filling up well before official registration. His comedic performances during lectures remained especially popular among students. He attempted to work on another novel which he titled The Conqueror Worm, a reference to death as portrayed in Edgar Allan Poe's poem of the same name, but he found little peace at home. Toole's mother persuaded him to take Dunces to Hodding Carter Jr., who was well known as a reporter and publisher for the Delta Democrat Times in Greenville, Mississippi, and was spending a semester teaching at Tulane. Carter showed little interest in the book, but complimented him on it. The face-to-face rejection Carter dealt Toole drove him further into despair and he became angry with his mother for causing him further embarrassment.

Carrollton Station in New Orleans
Except for a few trips by car to Madison, Wisconsin to see army pal David Kubach, Toole spent most of the last three years of his life at home only leaving to go to Dominican. In the winter of 1967, Kubach, who had come down to visit Toole, noticed an increased sense of paranoia on Toole's part; once when driving around New Orleans, Toole became convinced they were being followed and attempted to lose the car. The family moved to a larger rental house on Hampson Street, and Toole continued teaching, with his students noticing that his wit had become more acerbic. He continued to drink heavily, and gained a great deal of weight, causing him to have to purchase an entire new wardrobe. Toole began having frequent and intense headaches, and as aspirin was no help, he saw a doctor. The doctor's treatment was also ineffective, and he suggested Toole see a neurologist, an idea which Toole rejected. Toole lived in this house in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans while teaching at Dominican.

Toole tried to maintain a sense of normalcy and enrolled in Tulane in the fall of 1968 with the hopes of acquiring a Ph.D. He took a course studying Theodore Dreiser, on whom he had lectured while at Hunter, and was particularly interested in Dreiser's close relationship with his mother and his anti-Catholic beliefs. The assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 added to his feelings of grief and heightened his paranoia. Several of Toole's longtime friends noticed he had an increasing sense of feelings of personal persecution. Toole went to see his friend Bob Byrne at his home in August 1968, where he again expressed sadness and humiliation that his book would not be published. Toole told Byrne that people were passing his home late in the night and honking their car horns at him, that students whispered about him behind his back, and that people were plotting against him. Byrne had a talk with him, which he felt, for the time being, calmed him down.

In the months before his suicide, Toole, who was usually extremely well groomed, "began to appear in public unshaved and uncombed, wearing unpolished shoes and wrinkled clothes, to the amazement of his friends and students in New Orleans." He also began to exhibit signs of paranoia, including telling friends that a woman who he erroneously thought had worked for Simon & Schuster was plotting to steal his book so that her husband, the novelist George Deaux, could publish it.

Toole became increasingly erratic during his lectures at Dominican, resulting in frequent student complaints, and was given to rants against church and state. Toward the end of the 1968 fall semester, he was forced to take a leave of absence and stopped attending classes at Tulane, resulting in him receiving a grade of incomplete. The Tooles spent Christmas of 1968 in disarray with Toole's father in an increasing state of dementia, and Toole searching the home for electronic mind-reading devices.

When Toole was unable to resume his position at Dominican in January, the school had to hire another professor. This greatly upset his mother and on January 19, 1969 they had a horrible final argument. He stopped by the house the next day to pick up some things and spoke only to his father, as Thelma was out at the grocery store. He left home for the final time and withdrew $1500 from his saving account. After a week she called the police, but without any evidence to his whereabouts, they took a report and waited for him to surface. Thelma became convinced that Toole's friends the Rickels knew where he was and called them repeatedly, even though they denied knowing where he had gone.

Toole was a lifelong admirer of Southern Gothic Fiction writer Flannery O'Connor, and the novel The Neon Bible he wrote in high school is said to be resemblant of her writings. Shortly before his suicide, Toole attempted to visit the home of the deceased writer.

Items found in Toole's car show that he drove to California where he visited the Hearst family mansion and then to Milledgeville, Georgia. Here he most likely attempted to visit Andalusia, the home of deceased writer Flannery O'Connor, although her house was not open to the public. This was succeeded by a drive toward New Orleans. It was during this trip that he stopped outside Biloxi, Mississippi, and committed suicide by running a garden hose from the exhaust pipe in through the window of his car on March 26, 1969. His car and person were immaculately clean, and the police officers who found him reported that his face showed no signs of distress. An envelope discovered in the car was marked "to my parents". The suicide note inside the envelope was destroyed by his mother, who later gave varying vague accounts of its details. In one instance she said it expressed his "concerned feeling for her" and later she told a Times-Picayune interviewer that the letter was "bizarre and preposterous. Violent. Ill-fated. Ill-fated. Nothing. Insane ravings." He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans. A few years earlier, Toole had driven his army buddy David Kubach to the exact spot where he would later commit suicide. As the location was unremarkable, Kubach did not understand why Toole had taken him there. He left his parents a two thousand dollar life insurance policy, several thousand dollars in savings, and his car. Toole's funeral service was private and only attended by his parents and his childhood nursemaid Beulah Matthews. The students and faculty at Dominican College were grief-stricken over Toole's death, and the school held a memorial service for him in the college courtyard. The head of Dominican gave a brief eulogy, however as the institution was Catholic, his suicide was never mentioned.

Thelma Toole
After his death, Thelma Toole became mired in depression for two years and the manuscript for Dunces remained atop an armoire in Toole's former room. She then became determined to have it published, believing it would be an opportunity to prove her son's talent. Over a five-year period, she sent it out to seven publishers and they each rejected it. "Each time it came back I died a little," she said. However, in 1976 she became aware that author Walker Percy was becoming a faculty member at Loyola University New Orleans. Thelma began a campaign of phone calls and letters to Percy to get him to read the manuscript. He even began complaining to his wife about a peculiar old woman's attempts to contact him. With time running out on his term as professor, Thelma pushed her way into his office and demanded he read the manuscript. Initially hesitant, Percy agreed to read the book to stop her badgering. He admitted to hoping it would be so bad that he could discard it after reading a few pages. Ultimately, he loved the book, commenting in disbelief:

"In this case I read on. And on. First with the sinking feeling that it was not bad enough to quit, then with a prickle of interest, then a growing excitement, and finally an incredulity; surely it was not possible that it was so good."

Despite Percy's great admiration for the book, the road to publication was still difficult. It took over three more years, as he attempted to get several parties interested in it. A Confederacy of Dunces was published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, and Percy provided the foreword. At his recommendation, Toole's first draft of the book was published with minimal copy-editing, and no significant revisions. The first printing was only 2,500 copies, and a number of these were sent to Scott Kramer, an executive at 20th Century Fox, to pitch around Hollywood, but the book initially generated little interest. However, the novel attracted much attention in the literary world. A year later, in 1981, Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book has sold more than 1.5 million copies, in 18 languages.

Toole's only other novel, The Neon Bible, was published in 1989. It was adapted into a feature film in 1995, directed by Terence Davies, that was a critical and commercial failure.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To metagrobolize someone is to utterly confuse them. (not my intent)

September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor

It's been 14 years since the events of September 11th, 2001. What a frightening, other-worldly sight it was seeing those buildings come down. It's taken all these years for some of us to realize something wasn't right about the whole affair and when you put it together with all the things that have occurred since, well it does add up. If you still can't see the bigger picture, then there's a free movie you can watch that'll help to clear up your propaganda-addled brain. It's called September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, by Massimo Mazzucco.

There are already a number of excellent documentary films concerning the official account, such as the Twin Towers or WTC 7, but September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor is a comprehensive treatment of 9/11, dealing with virtually all of the issues.

There have been propaganda pieces that treated the fictional official story as true. And there are films that use fictional stories to portray people’s struggles after starting to suspect the official story to be false. But there is no fiction in Mazzucco’s film – except in the sense that it clearly and relentlessly exposes every part of the official account as fictional.

It's a long documentary, yet so fascinating and fast-paced that you may want to watch it in one sitting. Not to worry, though. The documentary fills 3 DVDs and consists of 7 parts, so you can easily take breaks.

The video can educate people who know nothing about 9/11 (beyond the official story), or those with prior knowledge about the various problems with the official story. This could possibly be the most important video you ever watch.

The film is freely available at luogocomune dot net or Youtube.

Not to be confused with:

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004, ISBN 1-56656-552-9) -- a book written by David Ray Griffin, a retired professor of philosophy at the Claremont School of Theology. It draws analogies between the September 11, 2001, attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The title is taken from the 2000 paper "Rebuilding America's Defenses" produced by the Project for the New American Century, which noted that only a "new Pearl Harbor" would enable the military and defense policy transformations the group desired to rapidly take place.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cotton Fields

Two old friends, a US Navy Master Chief Petty Officer and a US Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant met up in a bar one day to discuss which had the more difficult and dangerous career.

The retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant said: "I graduated from High School, the next morning I was on the train for Parris Island, South Carolina. Following Boot Camp I found myself in a regiment shipped out to participate in the first Gulf War. We kicked some butt there. Then it was off to Bosnia for two tours. After that, it was Somalia. Finally, I wound up my career by serving three tours in Afghanistan to clean up that mess."

The Navy Master Chief took a swig from his San Miguel beer, looked the Gunny in the eye and said, "That figures, all shore duty."

Northern Atrocities

Here's another little history lesson that may rile some but the truth cannot be contained, it wants to fly where everyone can see it. Eventually all is known to those who pay attention. This piece is about the American Civil War and some of the misconceptions surrounding that titanic and tragic struggle of statism over freedom.

There is an unwritten code that civilians are to be left alone during the activities of war, unless they are engaged in combat against the opposing army. This rule was broken by President Lincoln and the Union Army on many occasions and is well-documented. The civilian population of the Southern Confederacy were targeted by the Union Army as a way to demoralize the South. It is a fact not well known because northern historians have blanketed the history of the war with their version. The reins of propaganda are held by the victor, right? However, the whole truth remains as part of the Southern side of the story.

Most liberals are interested in American history only if Southerners are portrayed as racist, in-bred villains. Perhaps that is why they refuse to publish anything showing that no one during the War for Southern Independence committed more such crimes than the Yankee invaders themselves. It also explains why, one hundred and fifty years later, descendants of the Confederacy still remember the atrocities committed against the South during and after the war.

Some of the most hideous Yankee crimes took place in Marion County, Missouri. After Missouri attempted to secede from the Union, the state was quickly overrun by federal troops. Anyone who expressed Southern sympathies was persecuted by the "loyal" Missouri (Northern-backed) government officials. In the town of Palmyra, Missouri, the war was particularly personal and ugly. After a certain Union informer in town came up missing, it was presumed by the Federal authorities that he had been abducted. The general of the Missouri troops demanded the return of the informer; or else, he threatened to execute ten Southerners being held in the local jail.

Gen. John McNeil
The men Gen. John McNeil held in jail were not criminals; they had been thrown into jail for expressing a pro-Southern point of view. The Yankees claimed that the Union informer had been captured by Confederate military forces but the Southern hostages held by the Yankees had no connection with military forces. They were civilians.

When the Union informer did not return, McNeil ordered ten men to be chosen for execution. Those selected ranged from nineteen to sixty years of age. With one exception, all were active in their churches and most were family men. The two who did not have a wife or children were Hiram Smith and Thomas A. Sidenor. Hiram Smith was twenty-two years of age and was chosen to die after the others had received their death sentence. He had spent much time in tears trying to assist those who had been given the death sentence, not knowing that his name was to be added to the list. When the jailer called him to the cell door and informed him that he too would die the next day, he ceased his crying and never shed another tear. Thomas A. Sidenor was a former captain in the Confederate army. His unit had been destroyed in battle and thereafter disbanded. He had taken up the life of a civilian and was engaged to be married. The new suit of clothes he was wore had been chosen to serve as his wedding garment.

Both pro-Southern and pro-Northern citizens made pleas on behalf of the condemned men. Those who thought they had some influence with the federals and who had a sense of decency implored the them not to commit this act of barbarity. At 1:00 P.M. on October 18, 1862, the ten men were loaded on wagons, seated on newly made coffins, and taken to the Palmyra fairgrounds. No one doubted that the executions would be carried out because it was not the first time such an act had taken place. In Kirksville, some seventy miles from Palmyra, Confederate Colonel McCullough and fifteen of his men had been murdered in a similar manner.

On reaching the fairgrounds, the men were placed in a row and seated on their coffins. A few feet away stood thirty federal soldiers. Behind the soldiers were an equal number of reserve troops. At the command "ready, aim, fire," the order was carried out. Only three of the men were killed instantly. One was not even hit. The others lay in pools of their own blood. The reserve troops walked among the wounded men and delivered a killing shot into each hostage. Mr. Baxler was the one who had not been hit by the first volley. Sitting on the ground, he watched as the reserve troops shot his friends at point blank range. His turn finally came as well.

The incident did not pass without protest. Not only in the South, but also in London and even in the North, decent people made loud protests about such a barbaric act. Twice in Lincoln's Cabinet meetings the issue was brought up about how to put the best face on the atrocity. Eventually, the incident was simply ignored. And what about General McNeil? Shortly after the Palymra massacre, McNeil was promoted to Brigadier General. The promotion was made by Abe Lincoln.

An aberration, you might guess? An ugly incident distorted by Southern sympathies? There are plenty more examples. Here's another:

Sam Davis
In Tennessee, the Yankee invaders captured a young Confederate soldier by the name of Sam Davis who had entered Confederate service at the age of nineteen. In 1863, Davis was selected as a member of Coleman's Scouts" an elite group from who entered enemy-controlled territory to gather information. Sam was taken in a federal raid while dressed in his Confederate uniform during a visit to his home. Regardless, he was condemned to be hanged as a spy. The Yankee commander told young Sam all he had to do to gain his life and freedom was to give up the name of the man who was the leader of the Scouts. Young Sam replied, "You may hang me a thousand times but I would not betray my friends.

Ironically, Sam's commander, Capt. Henry B. Shaw, was already in the hands of the Yankees. Shaw was being held in the next jail cell but the Yankees did not know who he was. All Davis had to do was to point a finger in the direction of the next jail cell but he did not. He stood by his country and friends, and, as a result, he was hanged.

War is hell, right? To this day, Union apologists would have the public believe a different vision of the old South and the people who lived there. Civil War stories of murder and mayhem committed by federal forces abound, yet the truth is often overlooked. Make no mistake, while it is popular to reduce the reasons for the American Civil war down to slavery and states' rights, the real reason was freedom from federal oversight and the right of southern peoples to establish themselves as a sovereign population. You race baiters and Southern haters need to get over it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Some Thoughts On Gun Control

To believe in legal firearms restrictions (Gun Control), one must assume the following:

That the more helpless you are, the safer you are from criminals.

That Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to gun control, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

That NYPD Blue and Miami Vice were documentaries.

That an intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .44 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

That firearms in the hands of private citizens are the gravest threat to world peace, and Iran, China, Pakistan, and Korea can be trusted with nuclear weapons.

That Wayne LaPierre as president of the NRA is a shill who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.

That ordinary people, in the presence of guns, turn into slaughtering butchers, and revert to normal when the weapon is removed. (There is some basis to this argument when one considers the over-zealousness of some police departments in the US).

That the New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns, just like Guns and Ammo has some excellent articles on heart surgery.

That one should consult an automotive engineer for safer seatbelts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for spinal paralysis, a software engineer for computer problems, and Diane Feinstein for firearms expertise.

That the "right of the people peaceably to assemble," the "right of the people to be secure in their homes," "enumeration's herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people," "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people," refer to individuals, but "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the states.

That the 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, allows the states to have a National Guard, created by act of Congress in 1917.

That the National Guard, paid by the federal government, occupying property leased to the federal government, using weapons owned by the federal government, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a state agency.

That private citizens can't have handguns, because they serve no militia purpose, even though the military has hundreds of thousands of them, and private citizens can't have assault rifles, because they are military weapons.

That it is reasonable for California to have a minimum 2 year sentence for possessing but not using an assault rifle, and reasonable for California to have a 6 month minimum sentence for raping a female police officer.

That it is reasonable to jail people for carrying but not using guns, but outrageous to jail people for possessing marijuana. That minimum sentences violate civil rights, unless it's for possessing a gun.

That door-to-door searches for drugs are a gross violation of civil rights and a sign of fascism, but door-to-door searches for guns are a reasonable solution to the "gun problem."

That the first amendment absolutely allows child pornography and threats to kill cops, but doesn't apply to manuals on gun repair.

That Illinois' law that allows any government official from Governor to dogcatcher to carry a gun is reasonable, and the law that prohibits any private citizen, even one with 50 death threats on file and a million-dollar jewelry business, is reasonable. And it isn't a sign of police statism.

That free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self-defense only justifies bare hands.

That gun safety courses in school only encourage kids to commit violence, but sex education in school doesn't encourage kids to have sex.

That the ready availability of guns today, with only a few government forms, waiting periods, checks, infringements, ID, and fingerprinting, is responsible for all the school shootings, compared to the lack of school shootings in the 1950's and 1960's, which was caused by the awkward availability of guns at any hardware store, gas station, and by mail order.

That we must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who owns a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

That there is too much explicit violence featuring guns on TV, and that cities can sue gun manufacturers because people aren't aware of the dangers involved with guns.

That the gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, and the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign is responsible social activity.

That the crime rate in America is decreasing because of gun control, and the increase in crime requires more gun control.

That 100 years after its founding, the NRA got into the politics of guns from purely selfish motives, and 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the black civil rights movement was founded from purely noble motives.

That statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control, and statistics that show increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

That we don't need guns against an oppressive government, because the Constitution has internal safeguards, and we should ban and seize all guns, therefore violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments of that Constitution, thereby becoming an oppressive government.

That guns are an ineffective means of self defense for rational adults, but in the hands of an ignorant criminal become a threat to the fabric of society.

That guns are so complex to use that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.

That guns cause crime, which is why there are so many mass slayings at gun shows.

That guns aren't necessary to national defense, which is why the army only has 3 million of them.

That banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, and Chicago cops need guns.

That the Constitution protects us, so we don't need guns, and can confiscate them, thereby violating the 5th amendment of that constitution. That women are just as intelligent and capable as men and a woman with a gun is "an accident waiting to happen".

That women are just as intelligent and capable as men, and gun makers' advertisements aimed at women are "preying on their fears."

That a handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.

That a majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population used to support owning slaves.

That Massachusetts is safer with bans on guns, which is why Teddy Kennedy had machine gun-toting guards.

That most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by, because they can be trusted.

That a woman raped and strangled with her panties is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

That guns should be banned because of the danger involved, and live reporting from the battlefield, which can keep the enemy informed of troop deployments, getting thousands of troops killed and perhaps losing a war, is a protected act that CANNOT be compromised on.

That the right of online child pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is a constitutionally protected extension of the Bill of Rights, and the claim that handguns are for self defense is merely an excuse, and not really protected by the Bill of Rights.

That the ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.

That police operate in groups with backup, which is why they need larger capacity magazines than civilians, who must face criminals alone, and therefore need less ammunition.

That we should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too. That guns have no legitimate use, but alcohol does, which is why we issue cops beer instead of guns.