Archives for posts with tag: Harry Potter

Pasted below is the Bill of Rights and some other links for easy reference.

Another school shooting has provoked the usual knee jerk response to violate the Second Article of the Bill of Rights, which is:

“Article the fourth… A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The defenders of infringing this right usually try these arguments:

  1.  Some countries have banned guns and have less school shootings.
  2. Guns are part of American national Identity, which needs to change.
  3. FOR THE CHILDREN

I’ll start with argument #1, because it is compelling on its face, but lacks substance in the real world.

Let’s talk Union Shops. You have seven clothing makers in an area. If they are all owned separately, each employer is in competition with the others for the best employees. Naturally, the best will gravitate to where they are treated best, compensated best, etc. So, the best employer sets a standard by which the others must calibrate how they treat employees.

So it is with countries. If England decided to start brutalizing their best and brightest, at this point, these people have an escape route, America, which for the purposes of this blog will be considered the “union shop”.  People might say “Oh, immigration is being restricted.” That is for the poor and huddled masses. The best and brightest are highly mobile, sought after, and usually have capital.

So there is something to the notion that America is a beacon of human rights. We elevate the rest of the world, because we exist as an escape hatch for the all-stars from other countries. My premise is the best and brightest are always welcome, the immigration rules don’t exist for them. This is real world stuff–we took in Nazi scientists after WW2, as did other countries. The best and the brightest are mobile.

So, by this logic, if America lowers its standards of Freedom, that is restricts the Rights stated in the Constitution, we make countries all over the world more likely to lower their standards as well.

In other words, our Constitution benefits people who don’t live here, but in foreign countries. We act as an example to the rest of the world, and as a threat to countries who treat their best people like garbage.

Argument 2- The reason for the 2nd Amendment is because of America’s cowboy history, and this should change because we are no longer cowboys.

I hear even “conservatives” spout this one, even that British guy who is always on Tucker Carlson. This is completely wrong, and painfully shallow.

The reason for the right to bear arms is the rights to property and free speech depend on it.  Can’t put it any simpler than that. If you disagree, you need to try living in the real world for a while.

What right does our government have to bear arms? Well, the right was allocated to them by the People. If the government does not act in accordance with the Constitution, the People have the duty and necessity to take the right back. After all, it is the lawful right of the People to begin with, otherwise the right could never have been allocated by the People in the first place.

I don’t hunt. I think shooting little animals is barbaric, and would certainly do so for food, but for sport? There are more efficient ways to control the deer population.

I support the Right to bear arms because I don’t trust groups. Individuals I can usually reason with, but the collective is a monster. Look at how governments and corporations act. They cower behind each other and vote heinous acts. The USA government invades countries when jet fuel incinerates structural steel. Madeleine Albright said the death of a half million Iraqi children due to sanctions was “worth it“. What did these deaths accomplish? Why worth it? Did CNN ever have a Town Hall meeting for these half million dead kids? No, of course not.

American kids are different though, you insist, as they force your defenseless, unarmed family into boxcars. I tried to warn you, but you were oh so smart. Look at you now.

3. FOR THE CHILDREN.

This is indeed a good point. Let me propose this–we take a thousand kids who would never, ever, shoot up a school, a 1000 kids who would, survey them as to why, and have real statistical data to support correctives actions to American culture. Violence is a systemic, endemic, cultural problem.

If the data shows that people who won’t shoot up schools have certain commonalities that differentiate them from would-be shooters, can we change the Constitution for that? You never read about committed Christian kids shooting up schools do you? Probably never happen. Should we make Christianity mandatory in schools? FOR THE CHILDREN? Might work.

What about kids who are firebugs, or if they can’t get a gun will get a machete, or make a bomb?  Evil doers find a way. Remember the Weather Underground? Not Christians, but these bomb makers and murderers were committed Communists.

In fact, most of these shooters are Left leaning, at least. I hesitate to say Democrats, because I know many fine people who are Democrats, but if Leftism was outlawed, schools might be safer–FOR THE CHILDREN.

My view of reality is reality based. It gets rough out there. I support the Second Amendment because I honestly believe children have a better chance of remaining free in a society where the average person has the right to bear arms. American Slaves could not bear arms. Ever wonder why? Irish people were forbidden from bearing arms by the British, and not long after was The Great Famine, or Irish Holocaust/Genocide, where fifteen million or so Irish people perished from hunger in a land that was a net producer and exporter of food during the worst of it.

Your life matters, my life matters. Don’t ever think that someone is not out there scheming to take it away from you if they perceive a benefit, or maybe they are just sociopaths who like to kill (it happens).

Live free or die? That is the choice we are faced with, but it is not really a choice. If we renounce our freedom for temporary safety, our physical deaths will soon follow, or the bill for our cowardice will be passed on to our children.

The three laws of Thermodynamics for Dummies:

  1.  You Can’t Win
  2. You Can’t Break Even
  3. You Have to Play

Natural Laws trump human hubris every time.

 

I have written about this topic before here and here.

Transcription of the 1789 Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing 12 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Article the first… After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article the second… No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Article the third… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article the fourth… A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article the fifth… No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article the sixth… The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article the seventh… No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article the eighth… In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article the ninth… In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article the tenth… Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article the eleventh… The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article the twelfth… The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

ATTEST,

Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of Representatives
John Adams, Vice-President of the United States, and President of the Senate
John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Sam. A Otis Secretary of the Senate

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The Harry Potter series of  books need little introduction. There were seven of them, and each became a movie. So the author J.K Rowling basically wrote a 4500 page novel (or so) and between the movies and all the rest supposedly made around a billion dollars, literally. Quite an accomplishment, and one to be praised. I get this. Now, let’s talk about the books, the basic question being are they significant beyond stimulating the economy, and, if so, in what way?

I may seem a bit late to this party, as the series was concluded a few years ago. A child I know is fond of books, and she read them. I suppose I could have discouraged her, or even forbade this. I did make her promise to read THE HOBBIT next, in my view a superior book. My compromise–I read the books along with her so I know what she was being influenced by. Readers recognize each other, and I know how influential a book can be on a child, for better or worse. Translate–I would not have read these books unless somehow prompted. Banning books just makes people curious. So, in typical fashion, I got on board with it so I could have some control over it.

The books are set in England. I will project and say there must be some ambivalence in England over the waning of the Empire. The conflicts in Harry Potter address this through a literary abstraction. At Hogwarts, the primary Magic school for the children of Western Culture, forced integration has occurred as the Pure Blood Magical people have been deposed from power and “Muggle borns,” or people with the magical knack born from non-magical people, are tolerated.

Hogwarts became a meritocracy after the downfall of the Pureblood leader, Voldemort. Before this, the magical world was pretty inbred, and marrying a Muggle born could lead to criminal prosecution.

Rowling makes a point of including Pureblood magical people of all races in Slytherin, the Pureblood school at Hogwarts, but all the principal magical Supremacist Baddies, if you will, are white skinned, so the whole book series is pretty allegorical. Indeed, the most magically pureblooded family in the book, the last descendants of Slytherin, are depicted as inbred English hillbillies, white trash living in a hovel, with nothing left but a few poorly understood family traditions and heirlooms.

One token Muggle born, Hermione, is depicted as example of all that is good in the world. Sterling intellect and rigid morality, but also likeable as a conduit through which other Muggle borns reading these books can understand the magical world better. Hermione is one of Harry Potter’s two main friends and co-conspirators as he struggles against the evil of Voldemort. So on the surface, the books promote a universalistic message.

What else do the books promote? Well, the occult, of course. There seems to be some kind of debate about this to which I must answer “Are you kidding me!?” These books are steeped in the occult. By presenting occult information in the form of a children’s book, Rowling really earned her paycheck, because she had to sacrifice some form of her better nature for it. In itself, the concept of sacrifice to further a magical spell is pretty occult in nature.

There is a gradual escalation in the books. The first one is pretty much a fairly good classic British children’s novel, well written with amusing social satire implicit. The hardcore occult stuff isn’t revealed until the reader is deeply into the books, and identifying with the main characters to the point that the reader’s point of view becomes chained to Harry Potter and his buddies. The occult elements in these books are what may have propelled them to such popularity, at least in the mainstream. Rowling carries water for occultists at times, such as her glossing over potentially telling symbols as the eye in a triangle that starts popping up. This was the Tolkien’s symbol for Saruman, the real Dark Lord, from the Lord of the Rings series of books from which Rowling has derived much.

Tolkien had a much more intimate experience with true evil as a WW1 veteran  than Rowling seems to have had, although of course I don’t know much about her. She is extremely photogenic and in a more grueling way, she seems to have suffered under Great Britain’s grinding Socialism, which is a form of Fascism, or at least her books spoof bureaucrats.

Politically, I liked the books and have no issues with them. The books are against Fascism and espouse what seems like Libertarian principles to me.

There were some plot holes, but refer to my first paragraph. This series is epic. Rowling accomplished a lot. Also, as an adult, discussing the various glaring problems can only diminish me and make me look ridiculous. Of course Potter should have tried to contact Sirius using the magical two way mirror Sirius gave him for that express purpose. Potter never even addresses this during his extended guilt over the death of Sirius, which was brought about by Potter’s use of magical Floo powder to travel to the Ministry of Magic to stop Sirius from being tortured, which was merely a trap set by Voldemort to lure Potter in. This type of observation makes me feel like a sissy nerd just for knowing, but still!! I mean, I know that otherwise the ending of Part 5 is pretty tame.

Harry Potter: “Oh, hi Sirius, I just had a pretty bad dream about you. Are you in reality being tortured by Voldemort to hand over the all important prophecy crystal ball, the having of which is absolutely critical to Voldemort’s taking over the magical realm and not incidentally, killing me”

Sirius: “No Harry. It was just a dream, no doubt brought on by the mysterious curse associated with your association with Voldemort.”

Harry Potter: “Well, that’s a relief. I’m off to finish up school for the year. Lots of magical exams, you know. Hope to see you over the summer. Lucky I remembered you gave me present to contact you with in case of problem, but after all, I am History’s greatest wizard, and you are one of the most significant people in my life. I mean, imagine how dumb I would have felt unwrapping your present after you had died from me not bothering to try to use it. I suppose my only recourse then would be to blame Dumbledore.”

My conclusion–Learning to read is hard. School takes good books and over-analyzes to take all the fun out of them. The Potter books get kids reading, and promote the literacy rate. Illiteracy is extremely dark magic in this world as far as getting paid goes. Mild profanity, some snogging (whatever that is), and if you read all seven you just completed at the very least an introductory magical primer on how to cast a spell. At least Rowling is fairly straightforward about it all. What you really have to watch out for is Frosted Flakes cereal ads. TV ads aimed at children are satanic, but the messages are subliminal. Those sugar coated bits of cardboard don’t even help you learn to read.

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