Friday, November 16, 2012

Breaking the Drought

Pardon me while I knock the top layer of dust off the old blog here...

Caught this YouTube video from a link over at The Smallest Minority that I think is worth your time.  Warning: It's an hour and a half long and you don't want to break the train of thought he's putting together so make sure you have the time to devote to this.  Also, Bill winds up using a few choice words there near the end when he starts getting emotional, just so you know.

I watched this through once and I think I may have to watch it through again before I can make up my mind as to whether this is something that I can get behind.  My first reaction, part-way through the piece where Bill is putting forward the idea of basically crowd-sourcing (as a more appropriate term eludes me) the funding for private spaceflight, was overwhelmingly positive.  One of my dreams is to see humans living on self-sustaining, off-Earth colonies in my lifetime.  While the time frame on that may be more of a pipe dream, I know that it will never happen if left up to our government.  Bill was spot-on with that.

However, as he further laid out what his overarching idea was, I couldn't help but feel that this is unreasonable optimism in the face of experience.  His basic premise seems to be to give up the fight to retake government and instead to ignore it aside from making certain all the laws and regulations it puts out are followed religiously.  I can't help but think that he's ignoring previous experience in this call to action.  The government has for years put more, and more restrictive, laws on the books.  By ignoring government, you're giving them the perfect opportunity to make exactly the things you're trying to do illegal.  Doesn't matter if it's nonsensical for these things to be illegal.  There's already too many nonsensical laws on the books to count.  A few more aren't going to make any heads turn with the "normal" people.  And I'm honestly afraid that's how most of the voting public would view this - as a small minority of nutjob malcontents who shouldn't be mixing with "normal" society anyway.  Who really cares if a few wackos are put in jail, amiright?

I think this way because that's exactly the kind of demonization that happened in the '80s and '90s to gun owners.  It's what got us the FOPA and the AWB.  These laws were and are horrible pieces of legislation that were passed with exactly the attitude described above by "normal" people who didn't really know what they did or why they were bad laws.  It was only the political backlash from the AWB that led to the Democrats losing control of congress that allowed us to let the AWB sunset (thank goodness that provision was in there, 'cause when was the last time congress repealed anything?).  We still haven't recovered ground from the FOPA.  Ignoring the issues wouldn't have gotten us any ground back and without active political resistance we'd probably be worse off than we are now.  Seriously, when it comes to politics if you're not advancing, you're losing ground.

On the other hand, Bill himself said the details are still in flux.  It's up to us to determine how this idea unfolds.  And I've still got just enough of a spark of optimism left in me to want to give this a shot  While I gave up on my government a while ago, I'm not yet ready to give up on my country.  I'm gonna watch the video again and then let the whole thing percolate for a while...

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