Friday, February 12, 2016

Spider Politics



Spider Politics


Once I misread the prefix anarcho- as arachno-. From this random variation I evolved these words:

Arachnocapitalism (n.)
1. A process where, like a spider catching its prey in its web, the 1%ers catch the 99% in their statist web, allegedly erected for the people's protection, and make themselves richer, the rest poorer and worse off,
2. The same mass entrapment and exploitation achieved by monopolistic market-rigging.
3. A creepy anagram of ‘anarchocapitalism’, denoting the corruption of the anarchocapitalist ideal.
4. Crony capitalism with an arthropod face.

Arachnosyndicalism (n.)
1. The corruption of the ideal of communal economics.
2. Communism.

          These words remind me of J. Michael Straczynski’s science-fiction television series, “Bablyon 5”. In it, one of the meddling Elder Races is the predatory spider-like Shadows, who like to spread chaos by granting wishes, and who definitely practice arachnocapitalism.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Self-Contradictory Second Amendment



          The Self-Contradictory Second Amendment

The Second Amendment contradicts itself. On the one hand, well-regulated militia; on the other hand, uninfringed bearing of arms. But to regulate is by definition to infringe. One can make a lawyerly distinction between infringement and regulation; but the difference is relative to the observer.
          Shall guns be controlled? For instance shall they be kept out of the hands of children, criminals, traitors and the insane? If not then the militia is not well-regulated; if yes then arms-bearing may be infringed.
Suppose that Mr. Discord, who constantly earns his name, wants a large stockpile of powerful weapons; may he buy it or not? If yes, then the militia is self-evidently ill-regulated; if no, then bearing arms is a privilege not a right; and if it’s a judgement call, then the Second Amendment has no legal force and in effect does not exist.
          Perhaps, as a face-saving compromise, Mr. Discord has to fill out and notarize some paperwork before legally purchasing his arsenal. This paperwork, called the “Well-Regulated Militia Form, Schedule 23”, asks about name, address, e-mail, phone numbers, social security number, age, citizenship, restraining orders, psychiatric record, criminal record, safety and skill certification, types and numbers of weapons purchased and payment type. But you know how well Mr. Discord copes with paperwork. He’d call it bureaucratic interference with the free market.
Some say that the “well-regulated militia” clause is there just to justify the “bearing arms” clause. But if so then arms-bearing is the means, and well-regulation the end; so any arms-bearing that undermines well-regulation is against the stated intent of the Second Amendment. Any policies that aid one half of the Second Amendment and hinder the other half are in violation of it. Therefore the Second Amendment can exist only as a compromise.
          No other amendment has a qualifying phrase. There is no First Amendment call for “well-regulated” speech or religion.
          So the Second Amendment takes both sides of the gun control debate; therefore it can be quoted by both sides. How convenient! From this I predict that the big federal gun-control law, when it comes, will be titled, “The Well-Regulated Militia Enforcement Act”.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Force of the People



          Force of the People
          A Star Wars Fanfic

The film begins with a Jedi trainee running away to planet Corbom. He shelters with an eccentric scientist and his shady patron and raffish pals. With the runaway Jedi’s cooperation, the gang extracts some of his midichlorians, which they then breed by the vatful. One injection can give anyone Force powers. They also invent a plug-in module for droids. The powers conferred include telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance and danger sense; but also levitation, Force shields and healing powers. Also, resistance to Force choking, and Toydarian resistance to the Jedi mind trick.
The shady midichlorian dealer makes big money mass-marketing Force powers to his fellow Corbomites. With the runaway Jedi’s help, they climb a steep learning curve. They innovate; for instance, Force shield plus levitation equals Superman-type flight. The scientist tries to telepathically contact another but gets a message; “I am asleep or ignoring you right now, so please leave your message after the beep. BEEP!” Some Force accidents, followed by Force healings.
The Jedi and the Sith hear about this. They unite to defeat this challenge to their shared monopoly. The violent Sith and the manipulative Jedi agree that they, the genetic overclass, alone should have Force power, and not the common folk.
Many fight scenes. The Jedi and the Sith have individual power; the Corbomites have numbers. Eventually enough Corbomites learn enough Force control to hold their own, then push back. Light sabers and blasters are useless against Force shields. Jedi master to runaway Jedi; “You will come with me.” Runaway Jedi; “I am not the Jedi you’re looking for.” Jedi master; “You are not the Jedi I’m looking for.” A Sith lord tries to Force-choke the midichlorian dealer, who Force-flings him across the room, Force-slaps him, and sneers “Bitch!”
The Jedi/Sith alliance fails in its ground war, so they call in a Death Star. Onboard the Death Star, a Jedi master looks on as the Sith lord calls in the engineers. The Sith lord boots up the blueprints of the Death Star, and notes that the thermal exhaust port vulnerability has still not been fixed. He then points out equally fatal flaws in every other vital system on board. He intones, “I will not tolerate such incompetence.” The Sith lord kills the head engineer, promotes his subordinate, and says, “You will suffer a similar fate if you do not fix these problems immediately.” The Jedi nods. “It’s good to maintain discipline.”
As the Death Star approaches Corbom, flights of X-wing fighters try to save the day. But all of the vulnerabilities have been fixed, by hasty jury-rigging, and the heroes are repulsed or destroyed. Nothing stands between the Death Star and Corbom.
On Corbom, the Force-powered populace gathers together, in massive crowds all over the planet, all going OMMMM. A light blue Force shield forms around Corbom. The Jedi master and the Sith lord, sensing trouble, commandeer a shuttle and leave the Death Star just before it gets into firing range.
On the planet, the Death Star is clearly visible in the sky, and the Corbomites are going OMMM louder than ever, and glowing blue brighter than ever. We see a crowd, outdoors, OMMMing around a white-haired old man, levitating cross-legged. He’s holding his right forearm straight up; a beam of blue energy blasts out of his fist into the sky. We also see a short thin young black girl leave the group, run into a field of dandelions, sit down facing the Death Star on the horizon, and pluck a dandelion puffball.
The Death Star fires its superlaser. The beam hits the Corbomite Force shield; its energy ripples outwards in a wave which wraps around the planet, converges at the antipodes, bounces outwards, ripples back around the planet, reconverges at the target point, and spits out a beam aimed straight at the Death Star.
In the last few seconds before the planet returns fire, we hear, on the fleeing shuttle’s radio, loud uproar from the Death Star. Klaxons, alarms, shouted orders. We see the black girl lift the puffball to her face. We see the Death Star in space, we hear it emitting loud radio noise.
A blue-white beam engulfs the Death Star. The radio uproar from the Death Star cuts off; there’s a blast of static; then radio silence. The black girl blows on the puffball. The beam sputters out; the Death Star is gone. The seeds from the puffball fly away, to the sound of the wind. A cloud of red-hot gas silently billows away from Corbom. The girl smiles.
The fleeing Jedi master says, “Oh well, so much for Death Stars.” Their shuttle is fired upon; they surrender. A tractor beam grips the shuttle, and the Sith says, “They will put us on trial for attempted ecocide.” The Jedi says, “If you wish, I can testify against you, so they will execute you soon.” The Sith says, “Thank you. Shall I reciprocate?” “No, thank you.” The Sith shrugs and says, “Life imprisonment? That’s your choice.”
They dock; they open the door and walk out; a squad of levitating policemen surrounds the Jedi and the Sith. They Force-cuff them, and the top cop Mirandizes them. “You have the right to remain silent...”
Viewpoint pulls out from the docking bay, then away from the police ship, then pans towards Corbom, its Force field still glowing blue. The music swells; roll credits.