Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On Guns

"Uh, Sis, what sort of gun should I carry?"

"Huh? Why the deuce do you want a gun?"

"Why, for what I might run into, of course. Wild animals and things. Deacon Matson practically said that we could expect dangerous animals."

"I doubt if he advised you to carry a gun. From his reputation, Dr. Matson is a practical man. See here, infant, on this tour you are the rabbit, trying to escape the fox. You aren't the fox."

"What do you mean?"

"Your only purpose is to stay alive. Not to be brave, not to fight, not to dominate the wilds -- but just stay breathing. One time in a hundred a gun might save your life; the other ninety-nine it will just tempt you into folly..."

-- Robert Heinlein, "Tunnel in the Sky"


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

One time in a hundred a gun might save your life; the other ninety-nine it will just tempt you into folly...

get you into trouble but it can't get you out

Anonymous said...

I cant watch the video on this thing...but doest Homer use his gun to change the channel, turn off lights etc....
Once again, absurdity in life barely outpaces reality...

mahakal said...

Back to Heinlein again, hardly an authority to base anything on. Not saying he's wrong, but it isn't actual data, just a work of fiction.

driftglass said...

Robert Heinlein, copied from various sources:

Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1929 with a B.S degree in Naval Engineering, and served as an officer in the United States Navy. He was assigned to the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked on radio communications, then in its nascent phase, with the carrier's airplanes. The carrier's captain was Ernest J. King, who later served as the Chief of Naval Operations during the Second World War. Heinlein was frequently interviewed during his later years by military historians who asked him about Captain King and his service as the commander of the U.S. Navy's first modern aircraft carrier. Heinlein also served aboard the destroyer USS Roper in 1933 and 1934, reaching the rank of lieutenant. His brother, Lawrence Heinlein, served in the Army, the Air Force, and the Missouri National Guard and rose to the rank of major general.


July 20, 1969, is probably the most important day in human history - the day men from Earth first set foot on another planet, Earth's moon. Robert Heinlein was a guest commentator (along with Arthur C. Clarke) with Walter Cronkite on this historic occasion.

Here is a link to the testimony Heinlein was asked to give before Congress on the importance of technological spinoffs from the space program;q1=%22robert%20a%20heinlein%22;start=1;size=25;page=search;seq=47;view=image;num=41


mahakal said...

Heinlein's military career has fuck all to do with this being a work of fiction you are citing. I realize that this seems to be at the root of your philosophical foundation, with his conservative TANSTAAFL foolishness and all, though Arthur C. Clarke took a more enlightened and far sighted view of things.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Also, don't you know that Homer Simpson is just a fictional character?

Silly Droneglass...

Compound F said...

It's been such a relief that you took a break from smearing Greenwald, and I am thankful.

Of course, soul-searching followed by an earnest apology would be best, due to the mere induction you have generated amongst the liberal chattering classes, including motherfucking Digby and TBogg, and even motherfucking Michael Shaw, who is normally...well, at least he did not go way too far...but mother-fucking-still...

Best wishes on that mea culpa. You're a smart man who needs to cop to his indecent savagery, because the basic argument goes as follows.

It is indisputable that liberals considered GWBush's wars of aggression, illegal wiretapping, and bank bailouts grievous crimes, just as it is indisputable that Obama has continued such crimes.

Thus, to your theoretical amazement, it is indisputable that "Both Sides Do It," both in terms of quality and caliber.

Unlike Greenwald, driftglass has nothing to lose by attacking Greenwald, whereas Greenwald risks his career and potentially his safety by reporting on the NSA.

With respect to motives, Greenwald has repeatedly said he is motivated by outrage at governmental lawlessness, especially with respect to civil liberties. His writing consistently reflects these themes, regardless of who is in power. Thus his writing is principled. His method is to point to verifiable facts & actions to make his point.

driftglass, on the other hand, appears to be motivated by partisan concerns (presumably for the sake of higher principles), so his big thesis is that the formulation, "Both Sides Do It," is rhetorical garbage meant to deflect real concerns. However, on items of recent historical importance, Greenwald, not dirftglss is correct. That is indisputable.

Further, whereas Greenwald uses facts, DG's method relies upon personal attacks (such as against Greenwald, but let's add Brooks, Sullivan, Friedman, because these attacks all bear the same marks of insult and humiliation, tit-for-tat, and fair game in my world, perhaps), and less reliance on black and white letters than Greenwald more factual analysis.

I am terribly sorry that your "Both Sides Do It Is Bullshit!" thesis has largely failed and now bears the heaviest burden of exhumation that failed theses can.

Again, you owe Greenwald one large mea culpa, bro.

DhiefD said...

Driftglass doesn't owe Greenwald jackshit.

Lumpy Lang said...

Droneglass is a liberal. At one time 'liberal' was associated the principle that the state power is answerable/subordinate to the rights of the citizen.

Liberals such as Greenwald, for all their shortcomings, continue to advocate for that principle.

More up-to-date liberals like Droneglass have reverted to the view that the citizen is subordinate to the needs of the state (at least when there's a Democrat in the whitehouse).

With childlike intensity, Droneglass clings to his faith that the state apparatus of Morgan Stanley, Boeing, Koch Industries, the Walton family et al. will repress only true wrongdoers and defend the innocent (So why should anyone who's not 'with the terrorists' be concerned about a government official monitoring our communications?).

But there are a few troublesome malcontents like Manning, Assange, Snowden who cast doubts on ths reassuring picture. The information they disclose about the nice men with the shiny black boots and their monopoly of surveillance and armed force disturbs Droneglass in his peaceful slumbers.

Droneglass wants to make those BAD people (whistleblowers) and their journalistic advocates go away... Perhaps the nice men in their shiny boots can help with that.

Droneglass and his friends will be safe in their jammies after all!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

cool story, Lumpy bro.

marindenver said...

You're so right on Mahakal because nothing profound has ever been said in any work of fiction. Literature is clearly a waste of time. At least for purist right thinkers such as yourself.

Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

OBS said...

So the trolls that complain that "Droneglass" talks about Greenwald too much come to a post that has nothing to do with Greenwald, and then talk about Greenwald.

Not that they're obsessed or anything.

Also, too: Heinlein was a misogynist prick and kind of a cranky weird-ass libertarian (at least in his later years) but that doesn't mean that quote isn't great.

Lumpy Lang said...

Droneglass doesn't talk too much about Greenwald; he just says all the wrong things.

Heinlein's creepiness, misogyny, racism etc - were the Zeitgeist of Cold War America. They became glaringly visible mostly in retrospect. As a kid in the 70s I worshipped his writing.

Pinkamena Panic said...

Our one-track-minded Greenrube friends can't let it go. Why, you'd almost think their vitriol was fueled not by the actual topic of conversation, but their hatred of someone who sees through Greenwald's bullshit... but no, that couldn't possibly be the case, pure little logical snowflakes that they are.

Lumpy Lang said...

Hatred of Greenwald isn't the same as 'seeing through his bullshit' (which implies you have something substantive to contribute here. Obviously not the case.)

The topic is the state's monopoly of armed power/coercion and how this is exercised with respect to the citizenry. The tie-in with the question of firearms shouldn't be too difficult to understand, even for Droneglass' most patriotic defenders.

Pinkamena Panic said...

Just remember: No matter what the topic is, the REAL discussion is about how That Evil Gummint And The Unjust Negro In Charge Of It All Who Won't Listen To The White Guy Who's Always Right are the most hideous evils ever, so sayeth the Most Holy And Libertarian Saint Glenny Of Rio.

We unwashed masses should just sit quietly while the True Faithful explain our ignorance to us.

Anonymous said...

The Manichean black and white world view of Greenwald's stalwarts is on full display again. Your butthurt is strong gentlemen. One need not even mention Glenn for you all to flock in demanding apologies.

An why not? Driftglass *should* be sorry for having divergent thoughts on such important matters. How dare he try to separate the baby from the bathwater with regards to surveillance and security?! His insistence that a person's methods and tactics may still be important regardless of how noble the cause--beastly, clearly quite beastly. And what is up with DG's foolishness in acknowledging that people with differing opinions (like Heinlein) may have made one or two useful observations? The unmitigated gall of the man!!!

The fact that you tatty clowns think there is no room for differing opinions on Greenwald (indisputable!!) is exactly your problem. It is obvious to anyone not sharing your bunker.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

I *adore* Lumpy for telling people they have nothing of substance to contribute as he drives by to heckle and deride people for thinking differently than him.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

The issues that Snowden dragged back to the forefront with his missives are undoubtedly a part of one of the greatest issues of our time: the runaway security state, empowered by bureaucratic inertia (budgets $$) and a terrified populace, and the refusal to address the structural causes of the financial crisis.

All told, I'm pretty comfortable with Obama getting rhetorically slapped around for his inaction on both of these issues. He may have not created either problem but he certainly hasn't been a lion in solving them either. He's made noises about winding down the "War on Terror" but as those are just noises (so far) I would say that skepticism is warranted.

You'll get no argument from me that War on Terrah has been a vast boondoggle, misused by every asshole in Washington who thinks that the world is a giant Risk board; used as a gravy train for a constellation of war profiteers for whom the immiseration of the American populace is a business opportunity.

The problem is even if you remove the boondoggle (and we should btw), the underlying factors that led to those terrorist attacks still remain. I have never 100% bought the preferred leftwing argument that blowback causes terrorism. The men who committed those notorious attacks in NY are actors in their own right, motivated as much by their own ideologies as they were by America's posture in the world. Dealing with their like in the future is undoubtedly going to involve intelligence gathering and the application of state violence.

This is where I finally get to Greenwald and his loyal defenders. I am quite happy that there is a vigorous push back to the depredations of the surveillance state. There may actually be a price politicians pay for diminishing the liberties of the citizenry, you say?--HOLY SHIT, THANK GOD! However, because I give an iota of a fuck about the opposing side of the argument--the demonstrated necessity of having a proactive response to radicals out in the world--I cannot help but be suspicious of Greenwald and his supporters as they demonstrate, time and again, that they have no interest in acknowledging the boundaries between disclosing criminality and disclosing state secrets. As abused as the idea of state secrets is the distinction nevertheless exists and reasonable people can disagree on where the line is drawn.

While I don't begrudge Greenwald his brand of advocacy journalism, I do resent his cultists insisting that I ignore the one-sidedness of his advocacy. The relentless policing of differing (not even opposing, mind you, just differing) view points and the utter hostility to criticism is astonishing coming from people who have the gall to toss around the word "hypocrite".

I shall repeat a few truths again: DG has a right to care about issues other than your #1 crusade target, guys, and he has a right to his reservations about Glenn's media style. All of your writhing around trying to upgrade these things to a cardinal offense is pathetic.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Hey Compound F, I have an alternate interpenetration for you. While the two parties are remarkably congruous in their views of national security, they differ quite a bit on most issues that are not about state violence or domestic espionage. Driftglass cares about a lot of those "other" issues and thus has good reason for preferring the Dems on those grounds. Your unwillingness to accept this means that you are really just demanding that he apologize to Greenwald for not sharing *your* exact sense of priorities. Sorta makes him less of a hypocrite and your more of a child with a keyboard in front of him, doncha think.

Here's another thing to consider: Pointing out time and again how Greenwald risks burying his own lede with his cattiness and score-settling is an opinion, not slander. Learn the difference please.

-- Nonny Mouse

Pinkamena Panic said...

Driftglass cares about a lot of those "other" issues

And that's why they hate him. He - along with the rest of us who don't play the Both Sides game because we see it for the bullshit it is - doesn't care about the pet issue of the Rich White Glibertarian Males over things like equal rights for GLBTQ people, or the right of a woman to bodily autonomy, or the endless struggle for some level of equality under the law for those of a skin tone darker than fish-belly white, or the equally endless struggle of the economically underprivileged against the lengthening odds for survival (which crosses over with all the aforementioned).

To the RWGM crowd mentioned above, these things don't matter - they're not going to lose their rights tomorrow because of some Rich White Right-Wing Male asshole's decision to enact a Fuck Those Not-Us People law. So these issues aren't important, and politics becomes an abstraction; a matter of principles over people.

But they'll never admit that. No, they'll couch all their concerns in dense, symbolist bullshit about Freedom!!! and Government Force!!! and endless ad-hominem attacks of "AUTHORITARIAN! SHEEP! WARMONGER!" against anyone who won't play the game their way. They've listened to the way we talk to their secret friends on the Right and they think they've got the inside scoop on hoe to win the argument.

The result? Something resembling one of those sitcom/cartoon episodes where some innocent character, usually a child, learns a Word You Can't Say On TV and starts using it freely, puzzled as to why all the adults suddenly look scandalized or outraged at what seems so useful a word. The difference is that these particular children don't listen when we try to explain what is and isn't appropriate, and gleefully continue their misdeeds.

TL;DR version: Fuck 'em 'cause they don't care.

Anonymous said...

I hear you Pink, though I'm still giving most of the Glennbots the benefit of the doubt. Things have been on a fucked up trajectory for a long time and it finally landed right on their doorstep, affecting them in a personal way, and they're damned pissed off. Pissed off so much, in fact, that they care about nothing more than how their ox is getting gored. I understand and would even be supportive if not for their insistence on dictating what are acceptable PoVs.

-- Nonny Mouse

marindenver said...

Ummm, can anyone point to anywhere in this post by DriftGlass where the words "Greenwald" or "Snowden" appear? Because I'm not seeing it. Topic to me seemed to be access to gunz. Are some people just wanting to rant about their mindless obsession with and huge crush on YM Snowden regardless of whether the post even mentions him? Do you guys not even know that TBogg puts up a "come and get it purist GlennDen trolls" post about every other day these days? Don't you have anywhere else to go?

Lumpy Lang said...

"[Droneglass] doesn't care about the pet issue of the Rich White Glibertarian Males over things like equal rights for GLBTQ people, or the right of a woman to bodily autonomy, or the endless struggle for some level of equality under the law for those of a skin tone darker than fish-belly white, or the equally endless struggle of the economically underprivileged against the lengthening odds for survival which blah blah blah...."


The Droneglass libs happily endorse police state powers, limitless surveillance, confiscation of democratic rights (such as they are), but offer - in consolation of the oppressed (i.e. to the major recipients of police violence) - an extra-generous helping of 'politically correct' verbiage!

Last time I checked women, Black people, Gays, not to mention 'the underprivileged' (sic!) were still citizens, and not merely the grateful objects of your liberal patronage.

Fortunately the fight against this crap has a long and noble history.

"An injury to one is an injury to all."

Compound F said...


I can hear your faith slipping, even if merely in the fact that you are trying to make a substantive defense of dg, which the usual clotpiles won't even dare, as such defense would render him and them as total clotpiles. Truth ain't on their side, so they avoid it like the plague. Devilry, I say.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

NM, I am satisfied with giving Greenwald some props for some of the things he's written, and overall, the already-known info that Snowden re-released seems to have started some pushback, finally.

The GlennWaldoes, though, bring their unquestioning obeisance to the Cut around, using their imagined purity and sophomore-year compositional verbiage to derail any possible discussion (as this one about guns) into factually inaccurate rants. Ignoring any evidence that contradicts their baseless, inane assertions.

The best recent example of this is the "well-known fascist Heinlein". bit. There's another "mentioning Xerox/PARC/Apple = capitilast stooge"bit in a more recent post.

Those creatures don't really deserve much in the way of benefit of the doubt. I figure they don't even really care about drones, or overseas military actions; all they want is to derail the discussions of people who do.

In particular, I like the way the rights of women, and LBGT folks, and minorities, was dismissed as "blah blah blah" Way to foster alliance, bunky! Are you sure you wouldn't be more at home in the Tea Party?

All I can say is, at least they picked nyms, and don't do it anonymously.

Pinkamena Panic said...

And the No-Longer-Stealth-Right-Wingers of the so-called left continue to post substance-free attacks against us.

What a surprise. You're not white, rich, and male? Your concerns are tiny in the face of OMG TEH GUMMINT!! WHY AREN'T YOU AFRAID???!!!!!!

marindenver said...

"Last time I checked women, Black people, Gays, not to mention 'the underprivileged' (sic!) were still citizens, and not merely the grateful objects of your liberal patronage."

Wow, mind if I use this in a post sometime? I mean it's just a textbook example of privilege.

Lumpy Lang said...

"I like the way the rights of women, and LBGT folks, and minorities, was dismissed as "blah blah blah"

Classic projection...

The police-state measures accelerated by Obama and endorsed by Droneglass attack precisely the rights of these groups, among others.

The best you can offer to cover your liberal ass is hypocritical PC blather and the symbol of a black overseer for the military/prison/surveillance/ industrial complex.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Lumpy Lang said...

"[Droneglass] doesn't care about the pet issue of the Rich White Glibertarian Males over things like equal rights for GLBTQ people, or the right of a woman to bodily autonomy, or the endless struggle for some level of equality under the law for those of a skin tone darker than fish-belly white, or the equally endless struggle of the economically underprivileged against the lengthening odds for survival which blah blah blah...."

Projection? How about a direct quote. You will note, however, that the 'blah blah blah' was inserted by Lumpifer, not the original commenter.

Just inserting accusations and dismissive derogatory names is not an argument, son.

Anonymous said...

Compound F -- I think you're projecting, Compound. My defense of DG is not faith-based. I do not entirely agree with Drifty; I defend his right to voice his opinions on his own blog and question your attempts to be the arbiter of what is an acceptable point of view.

Your fallacies are on full display; starting with the notion that Greenwald's logic and determination in pursuit of his cause somehow ratifies your hysterical intolerance to differing viewpoints; wrapping up with your blathering about "truth" (the objective) when criticizing a person's opinions (the subjective).

I remember how you wasted no time calling everyone who disagreed with you whores and ratfuckers, so just keep trying to climb back on that high horse--I'm not fooled and neither is anyone else who isn't already in your bunker.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Lumpy, you are sooo precious with your lack of self-awareness.

Offering up your own dictat on what is the *obvious* top priority for disadvantaged in the country (the same as your top priority, naturally) while condemning your critics for doing the same. Priceless.

This from the same people who are falling over themselves to dismiss the shooting of an innocent 17 year old black teenager as a "distraction" from what is important (their #1 issue, naturally).

I can't imagine why DG wouldn't want to be an uncritical member of your grand project. Baffling.

All your protestations aside, it is worth noting that minorities, women, and disadvantaged people have no confusion as to which party is better for them. So tell me again how you're not just some asshole whitesplaining to everyone why your issues should take priority.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...


You and I are in agreement then. It is really all the remorahs clinging to Greenwald's belly that I have a problem with, more than Greenwald himself (contra DG). Their ability to castigate other people for behavior they themselves are engaging in is astounding.

Though I'm not fond of Greenwald's media style, I'm actually kind of on the fence about his efficacy as a persuader. Glenn has a lot of money and media microphones arrayed against him. Maybe he has made the conscious decision to counter that disparity with a take-no-prisoners 100% offense strategy. I can't say if that is a bad idea or a good idea. Any thoughts?

-- Nonny Mouse

Pinkamena Panic said...


LL is a "PC"-screaming RIGHTY.

Opinions: Invalidated.

Pinkamena Panic said...

I hear you Pink, though I'm still giving most of the Glennbots the benefit of the doubt.

I'm hoping you're not anymore, now that they've just dropped all the rpetense of liberalism and are now into full-on Righty Hate Mode.

Anonymous said...


When I said "most of the Glennbots", I wasn't including Lumpy in the "most" category.

I don't rule out listening to right-wing PoVs on principle though, if you can find a conservative who isn't drenched in spittle these days (hint - they mostly call themselves Independents).

-- Nonny Mouse

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Any thoughts?

I guess in the Glennzilla-vs-Media-Mothra battle, I don't know. perhaps if one big rubber suit media monster is taking another big rubber suit media monster on, spittle flecked vitriol is a certain kind of weapon. I doubt it's efficacy, but I have never been in that arena.

I suspect you and I might have many differences (particularly as regards the importance of the Mekons), but that we could discuss them in a respectful, if energetic manner.

But (and driftglass actually made a post of this, although it was almost immediately sidetracked by the GreenWaldoes) in the case of people out here in the actual world, the Neighborhoods of America, calling everyone who is otherwise on your side vitriolic names because they don't agree with you on which side of your face should be white, seems to be a pretty quick way to get everyone in the vicinity to edge slowly away, and start muttering the "...dangerous, maybe" modifiers.

IRL, I often am facing someone of the "take-no-prisoners" attitude, and have been called names. In one memorable case, and inspectore tried to claim I had bought off a State Plan Examiner. Fun Times! But there is almost always room for compromise, and in subsequent disagreements, the ability to maneuver is strengthened by prior willingness to bend.

So I guess my inclination is that Greenwald is making a mistake by being Mr. Dickish.

Anonymous said...


I agree that provocation is a poor way to persuade, but I rather get the impression that liberals are not a group Greenwald is interested in persuading.

I'm probably just reading too much into it.

-- Nonny Mouse

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I wonder who he is trying to persuade, then, Nonny. I suspect non-liberals don't react any better to being called stupid and corrupt.

Or perhaps persuasion is not his aim.

Which is kind of what driftglass has been pointing out.

Lumpy Lang said...

Seeing is believing...

These Dems really are stupid and venal enough to waive the democratic rights that previous generations sacrificed and struggled to defend against the ruling class and its state apparatus.... Then they turn Droneglass-style - on those of their own tribe who would try to protect them.

Of course, what it's really about (under all the PC blather), is giving away OTHER PEOPLE's rights... precisely the poor, minorities, workers, i.e. those who can least afford to lose them.

Anonymous said...


The poor, minorities, and workers don't seem to agree with your assessment, Lumpy, based on how they vote.

Maybe you should go explain to them why your high-minded crusade about issues that might effect them in the future are more important than the domestic issues (poverty, crime, etc.) that are crushing them every day.

-- Nonny Mouse