Friday, December 28, 2012

The Founding Fathers were...

I have seen many programs, read many articles and read a number of books regarding the Founding Fathers, those who wrote the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  I have seen how they were successful businessmen.  How they were inventors, innovators, soldiers and spies.  They risked their lives for the birth of our nation.  They were generally educated and accomplished.  I hear and see many people talk about the brilliance which they used to craft the bill that ensures freedom of speech and religion, prevents unlawful search and seizure and guarantees the right to trial by a jury of peers.  These men were the great men of their time.

Yet, when a discussion on the Second Amendment to the bill of rights is brought out, the opinion brought forth is that these were simple men who lacked the knowledge, foresight and scientific understanding to see where weapons development might lead, despite was was said when discussing other amendments.  I find this to be a curious, considering how many were involved directly in the War of Independence.  Looking into history, I see that firearms with a revolving cylinder were known as early as the 16th century, such as the revolving matchlock once owned by Louis the XIII of France.  I see that grenade launchers were not only in use as early as the 16th century (the Germans made them well), the British had a standard attachment for the 1747 carbine for launching hand grenades.  Speaking of which, grenades have been around since ancient times in one form or another.  During the classic ages when western civilisation centered in the Mediterranean area, they were more like Molotov cocktails intended to spread fire on ships, on those besieging a fixed fortification or inside a fixed fortification.  However, modern grenades have been around since the 16th century and were used by the British against the upstart colonists.  Rifling of barrels started in about the 1550s, so again we have "modern" inventions that apparently aren't so modern.  I won't even go into air rifles, artillery and rockets.

The founding fathers wrote this amendment with the full knowledge of what has already been sent to the battlefield.  Many of them had firsthand knowledge and the intellegence to know that things would only advance.  They had the option to put in wording like rifle, musket, pistol, flintlock and so on.  They didn't.  They debated this item for over three months before finalizing this amendment.  They knew what they were doing when they did it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

More hope-n-change...

So in the face of the "Fiscal Cliff" the Obama Administration decided that the need for more taxes can be met by....  Closing a company in operation for a century!  In a move as monumentally stupid as the removal of vast swaths of campgrounds in Yosemite Park, a small oyster farm in the Point Reyes National Seashore is now closed, 30 people are out of work, 40% of California's oyster production is toast and all the the revenue generated for the local, state and fedgov is history.  Nice. 

The environmentalists would have you believe that this operation was bringing Drakes Bay to its knees, devastating the wildlife, despoiling the shoreline and generally killing nature in a wanton slaughter.  They would like the area restored to it former beauty...  before humans arrived. 

However, when reality is checked we find that one can barely find the place on Google Earth. In fact, the place looks pretty damn good for a century of pillaging the bay. The reality is that they have a very small footprint and the impact to the environment is blown out of proportion by the environmentalists. In fact, the cattle ranching activities are far more damaging to the environment and they are all going to stay in place. 

This is the same mentality that is driving the various Yosemite plans.  They currently have 5 different plans for the valley to choose from, all of which result in less people in the park.  More and more affordable camping disappears so that the few who get in can see everything from a distance.  Having been there many times and seen the changes so far, I fear that by the time I get back, it will only be to see it from an ecologically sound tour bus.  I personally think that most of the upper management should be fired and the remainder of the staff reminded that the park is for the people, and if we return the valley to the condition seen in the 1880s photograph that is their actual guideline, none of the people will be able to see it.

Generally, I am for taking care of the environment.  However, decisions like this just bug the living crap out of me.  This is a perfect example of why I have no use for most of the environmental groups and will never support any of them.  None of them will be happy until we take care of the environment by ceasing to exist, thus preserving the pristine landscapes.  Personally, I hope a sinkhole opens under the offices of the West Marin EAC.  Then we could tell them that we cannot save them or their offices because it would interfere with the natural state of the environment.