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The Fool (Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?)

ted-cruz-smarmy

the fool, he slanders Cicero

to further shameful schemes

while gathered scoundrels beam

and all fancy themselves heros

 

Pontificate from Senate floor

Denounce the people’s choice

Does violence with his voice

Truth is an inconvenient chore

 

Punch drunk on his sound and fury

the fool blathers and blasts

ignorant of the past

a mockery of history

 

The fool “abuses our patience

We cannot help but think

Pretension is his drink

Though ‘tis not much of a defense

Little boys will play with their toys

picture books, rhetoric

Cruising from bile to dreck

Enamoured with their silly ploys

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history

Arguments From Idiots: Civil War Edition

civilwarmap

I am going to address, briefly, in a point by point manner, some of the more stupid arguments some idiots (cough cough southern sympathizers cough cough) make about the US Civil War.

1. The Civil War was “not about slavery”

Yes it was. Read The Scorpion’s Sting for a clear and concise analysis of why people who do not believe the war was over slavery should stop making that argument and start potty training. The South fought over the RIGHT of the state to protect its largest and most profitable institution, chattel slavery. This institution was also seen as integral to preserving the “southern way of life”, which amounted to a feudal patriarchal system where rich plantation slave owners controlled most of the economy and political structure and kept the poor masses in line with promises that they too could someday own another human being. Every state that broke away declared that it was over the right of the states to preserve slavery. The Vice President of the Confederacy declared that secession was over slavery. All the constitutions of the confederate states protected slavery as it existed and claimed a right to expand it or protect it by force. This was not about “tariffs” so get your head out of your ass. Which leads to

2. Most southern soldiers did not own slaves

Most members of the Nazi party did not personally gas Jews but that does not mean they were not fighting for a system that depended upon and allowed this sort of abuses. Southerners fought to “protect their way of life” and that way of life was a slave state that enriched even the poorest whites by making them inherently more human than any black person. They had a choice to fight for a Union that was opposed to the expansion of this way of life…they chose otherwise. These people knew what they were fighting for, and why.

3. Slavery would have/should have been allowed to expire “naturally”.

This isn’t even an argument. It is a pipe-dream, and a rather horrifying one at that. The South wanted to freedom to expand their “peculiar institution” to the territories, and many wanted to expand it even farther to Cuba and to Central and South America. This was a dream of the slavers of the south and the politicians who represented their interests. If slavery would have been allowed to die out “naturally” it could have taken another 5 years…or it could have taken another 100. Either way this would have left millions of people alive and yet to be born to a life of subhuman servitude, abuse, rape, and death. If this had been allowed to happen then the US would have been just as responsible for this crime against humanity as the south was. 4 million black people in slavery is not a “bargaining” chip…they are human and deserved to be freed at any cost.

4. The North Was Just As Racist As the South

This is obviously false as the North had abolished slavery and THE SOUTH HAD NOT. Sure, individual Northerners may have been as racist as any given individual Southerner but the North DID something about slavery by abolishing it and challenging it and by allowing an abolitionist movement to flourish, even if there was violence against it at times. This was impossible in the south because of institutionalized racism. The North was a society with many racists in it, but the South was a society that COULD NOT EXIST as it did without racism as a foundation.

5. Blacks were “happier” under slavery:

I am not even going to dignify this un-intellectual racist bilge with a response. If you truly believe this then you need to take yourself out of the gene pool, ASAP, and spare future generations of humanity your genetic lineage’s stupidity

6. The South Was Attacked First

No. The South had spent 100 years manipulating the political process to preserve its own perverse racist economic and cultural system and when Lincoln was elected on a weak abolitionist platform they took this as an “attack” and like the ultimate sore losers choose to give up on democracy in order to create their own quasi-feudal republic. They occupied US fortresses and threatened violence against the democratically elected Federal government. They fired upon a US base in US territory. If this is “Northern Aggression” then the democratic republican nature of the Constitution itself was “violence” against the southern cause.

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Just some thoughts. If you disagree with me on any of these points see the response to argument 5.

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Philosophy

A Thought on Sentience (Contra Veganism)

Is that REALLY all that matters?

Is that REALLY all that matters?

I have been debating some radical vegans lately and I have noticed that many of their arguments depend upon assumptions about sentience and its agency i.e. how sentient beings should behave towards other sentient, or supposedly sentient, lifeforms. First, sentience is only ever defined by vegans in a way that bolsters their arguments or makes their moral beliefs seems inevitable Secondly, sentience as a value is taken as an a priori fact and is never really explored beyond just “sentient life is superior to non-sentient life”.

This seems strange to me coming from a supposedly life affirming and philosophy. if sentience is the standard by which we judge the value of life and human beings are expected to reject the exploitation of other sentient beings, then why do other sentient beings not need to change their behavior towards other sentient beings? By saying this is a human prerogative are we not saying that humans have a sentient agency beyond other sentient beings? Are humans to deny their evolutionary heritage but other animals are not? and if not why not? because they can’t, in which case there sentience is not on par with humanity, or they should not be expected to in which case humans are held to arbitrarily higher standard than other sentient beings. Just some ideas that I think I will explore further with time and more thought.

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Activism, Election 2014

Election Day 2014: I voted, did you?

Vote-Counts1

Just voted in Illinois! Voted Scott Summers of the Green Party for Governor of Illinois, voted against the “Victims Rights” state constitutional Amendment, voted yes for the “Voting Protection” state constitutional Amendment. Reluctantly voted for Dick Durbin for Senate and AGAINST my idiot Representative Randy Hultgren and FOR Dennis Anderson his Democratic opponent. I know that the GOP is making it harder to vote in many states and localities but it is worth it to try and vote. Make a nuisance of yourself! Be THAT person who demands to be heard! Go out and vote your conscience!

VOTE!!!

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Constitution, Politics

Proposed Voting Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

vote

The following is a proposal for a Voting Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. That language is preliminary and subject to revision.

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Section 1. No person shall be required to present any official form of identification when they arrive at the polls to vote in any election within the United States

 

Section 2. All people who arrive the polls to vote will be assumed to be eligible to vote; it will be the responsibility of the appropriate officials and jurisdictions to challenge and/or invalidate a vote if there is a reasonable suspicion of fraud

 

Section 3. All people eligible to vote in the United States will be registered to vote when issued their Social Security Number and Card. This registration will never lapse

 

Section 4. All legal residents of the United States over the age of sixteen (16) will be eligible to vote

 

Section 5. There shall be no laws establishing a test, written, oral, or otherwise, for establishing eligibility to vote

 

Section 6. The second (2nd) Tuesday of June will be the day on which state and federal elections take place. This date will be a national and federal holiday

 

Section 7. The Electoral College is hereby abolished in favor of a direct popular vote for President of The United States

 

Section 8. If convicted of voter suppression and/or intimidation a person shall lose their eligibility to vote until they have served the duration of their sentence or they have been released on parole

 

Section 9. If during the previous election the voters polling location had a wait of more than one (1) hour the voter will be eligible to cast their ballot on a date before election day, to be set by the local jurisdiction, or by mail

 

Section 10. Voting will be mandatory for federal elections with a tax penalty not to exceed One Hundred and Fifty (150) Dollars levied in the event of violation of this statute. Inability to vote due to injury or employment or childcare obligations will not be considered a violation of this statute. It is the responsibility of the local jurisdiction to report and prove a violation of this statute and the voter will have the right to challenge the accusation before a magistrate

 

Section 11. Any official, elected or otherwise, who votes for or signs a law or decree restricting the franchise will be removed from office and will henceforth be ineligible to hold public office

Section 12. Neither conviction of a felony, nor status as a felon, except for conviction for voter suppression or intimidation, will impact an individual’s eligibility to vote. Those imprisoned in state, federal or county prisons or jails will be allowed to vote either on site at the facility in which they are incarcerated or else be allowed to vote absentee

 

Section 13: Any proposed changes to polling locations or hours must be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection. Changes will be considered approved if ⅔ of the voters vote in favor of the changes. These changes, if approved, shall not go into effect until an election has intervened

 

Section 14: The residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, The U.S. Virgins Islands and all other United States territories and dependencies over the age of sixteen (16) will be eligible to vote for the office of President of the United States

 

Section 15: The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is hereby repealed


Section 16: The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

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