The 2nd Amendment Must Be Defended

“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.” Amendment II: United States Constitution Ratified December 15, 1791

The 2nd Amendment is obviously a very heated topic.

But there are a bunch of actual facts [vs. alternative ones] we can hopefully agree on that could help provide a framework:

  • The founders [mostly James Madison] were extremely deliberate in writing the Bill of Rights. [A total of 462 words]
  • The 2nd Amendment is wholly about the right to keep [own] and bear [carry] arms [guns].
  • The founders believed arms warranted their own Amendment.
  • The founders chose to make it the 2nd Amendment. [Right behind freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly  and freedom of the press.]
  • The founders were insanely discerning about every. single. word. written into the 2nd Amendment. [27 words]
  • The founders used a precious two of those words on “well”, and “regulated”.
  • The word “regulated” [or any of it’s derivatives] appears no where else in the Bill of Rights.
  • The words “well regulated” are found no where else in any Amendment to the Constitution.
  • The word “Militia” is restrictive. [However broadly interpreted, it most certainly cannot mean “everyone”. “Militia” describes a sub-group of the whole. Otherwise it would prove superfluous.]

The immortal 27-word sentence is bordering on nonsensical, but I do think it’s fair to conclude two general principles:

One, the founders of the United States intended for guns to be legal.

And two, the founders of the United States intended for guns to be regulated. well.

“I am Hopeful…

…Should I be Hopeful?” – The Decemberists

Right now, America is split into two factions.

The “For”. And the “Against”.

The Against has more of the people. This past election 73,648,823 [53.9%] voted that way.

Numbers aside though they also have more of the money, the education, the lawyers, the technologists, the athletes, the musicians, the cities, the marketers, the educators, the doctors, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, New York, Washington DC, the main stream media, the Obamas, the Clintons, the social media, the CEOs, the diversity, the worldliness, the worlds population, the food, the respect, the kindness, the women, the gays, the young people and the Elite.

The reason this did not turn into an election day route is not because these things no longer matter, but because Against’s energies were sprayed in all different directions.

Enter the Presidency of Trump.

Two encouraging ideas for Team Against.

First, this election proved you can be “extreme” in your positions and win [also think Bernie Sanders].

Instead of putting forth an Obamacare 2.0, Against is no longer constrained by the “working within reality” mentality. The next healthcare proposal must be single-payer.

And second and more importantly, it focused the energies of the sane.

As long as Against continues to frame the issues as “human rights”, future elections could prove quite fruitful.

Don is going to do his part each and every day to help organize.

Trump, the Uniter.

Who woulda thunk it?!?

This One’s on U.S.

Since November 8th there has been a flood of ink written about what “went wrong”?

  • The Russians
  • James “Fucking” Comey!
  • Gary “Fucking” Johnson!
  • Main stream media
  • Hillary stunk
  • Her campaign stunk
  • Her party stunk
  • Social Media
  • Fake News
  • Email Servers
  • Wikileaks

Most of these have merit and should definitely be analyzed further.

But none of them were responsible for the election of Donald Trump.

This one’s on U.S.

Every American, whomever you voted for.

At the individual level, it’s hard to believe that people who voted Trump did so because they lacked enough accurate information about him. That they were somehow duped.

This was an unambiguous vote “for” or “against” Donald Trump. The lines were crystal clear.

As a grateful citizen and beneficiary of the greatest country to ever grace planet Earth, I believe I have a duty to make sure it stays that way.

If prior to the election every one of the 73,648,823 voters who voted “against” stood up to their family, friends and colleagues, vociferously extolling “This is not Ok”, the outcome would have been different.

I most certainly did not do enough.

I take responsibility for the election of Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States of America. 

I take responsibility today. And you can be sure I am taking responsibility throughout the next 4 years.

Thanks Donald Trump

Two positive, fundamental principles which Donald Trump has reminded America:

#1 Anyone can be President
  It does not matter how intelligent you are, how kind you are or how much work you put in. 

Whether or not you have good ideas, or whether you actually have any ideas. 

It does not matter how you treat people, how much respect you show them or whether you give to others.

It doesn’t matter if you bully the less-fortunate or “grab em by the p*ssy”.

You can swindle, take shortcuts and just make it up as you go along.

You don’t really need to know anything about anything.

And you most certainly don’t need data, polls, advertisements, consultants, think tanks, endorsements, “listening tours” or even a political party.

A few tweets and some random, mostly incoherent words could get you elected.

It’s a beautiful system where literally anyone born in the U.S. and is 35 years old can be elected to the highest office in the land.

#2 The American people are the government  I am always taken aback when people use the word “they” when speaking about the government.

“They don’t know what they are doing.” “They taxing me to high heaven.”  “They are trying to take my gun away.”

What people are really saying is “We hold no power”.

But by getting elected against all odds, Donald Trump has once again proved that the American people own the government.

We control the power. We can dole it out any which way we choose.

“of the people, for the people, by the people”

Donald Trump has proven these words still ring true.

I Heart Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the best software innovation built upon the Internet.

It is an instant, anonymous, cost-free, border-less, traceable, un-hackable way to exchange value.

As technology and its adoption continue to march forward, it is hard to envision a future in which Bitcoin becomes less relevant.

There are really only two possibilities:

Possibility A  The number of transactions and “wallets” continue to explode and at some tipping point, Bitcoin goes “mainstream”. It becomes a staple in our lives, whether we realize it or not. Combine all those transactions with a limited number of Bitcoin and you have something quite valuable.

Possibility B  Bitcoin will be worth $0.

Bitcoin is obviously very volatile and not for the faint of heart.

But not having a few in your portfolio is investing malpractice.

Mo Guns, Mo Safety

“Guns make us safer. The more guns, the safer we are. We must have them in our grade schools, on college campuses, in restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, national parks and bars.” – NRA (aka. Republicans)

I always find it quite amusing, in the most hypocritical, heartbreaking way, that whenever the Republicans (aka. NRA) host a major gathering, firearms are banned.

Be it at their national convention or the upcoming Inauguration in DC, the Republicans deem it unwise to allow people to exercise their 2nd Amendment right.

“But…but, who’s going to stop the bad guy with a gun??”

They seem to be saying that having these devices around, whose sole purpose is to extinguish life, might not be the best idea when groups of people are congregating.

Sorry though folks, that’s only when it’s their safety that may be threatened. You and your family must respect some lame-o’s right to carry his pistol into Fresh Foods while you grab some juice.

If the open or concealed carrying of arms made people safer, they would be welcomed with open arms at the Inauguration. Thus, clearly making it the safest place on Earth.

Mommy and Daddy v1.0

Electronics. Oy.

The generation being brought up right now will never know a world in which the iPhone didn’t exist.

Where the word “app” meant a small bite before the main meal.

Where playing a game required a tv-wired console with controllers.

Where billions of videos were not a tap away.

And where all of this was not available every second. Every. Where.

This is the first time in human history where parents must parent screen-time, all the time. Every. Where.

Growing up my default was playing outside. Any chance I had I would head outside, shoot hoops, ride my bike or just stand on the front lawn and juggle my soccer ball.

Today, the default for most children is a screen.

I am a Technologist. Someone who is awed by our current assortment of devices and software. Someone who can’t wait to see whats next.

I love technology, but I sure am struggling to parent it.

It’s not that I believe using these devices is going to “rot her brain”. There is no question that becoming comfortable with computers, being able to leverage them as tools, is a must for my daughter to prosper in the future.

The issue is that they are all-captivating. All engrossing.

When she’s watching the iPad, the world around her, which is far more entertaining and exponentially more beautiful, simple fades away. I guess I am scared she may not come my  same conclusion.

Generation Screen is upon us. And we current parents are gamely attempting to discover the appropriate balance in this new age of ubiquitous 1s and 0s.