Das Rabblemeister

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Archive for the ‘Second Amendment’ Category

Friday, November 5 — Guy Fawkes Night (from 1605), Iran hostage crisis (1979), Fort Hood Massacre (2009)

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Hugo Weaving as Guy Fawkes in the film "V for Vendetta." Click on the image for more info, including trailers.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring.
Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King!

‘Tis the traditional date for Guy Fawkes Night in Merrie Olde England tonight, also known as Bonfire Night, which has become curiously linked to recent American politics. It was also the inspiration for the quirky and interesting film V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving (whose face is never seen in the movie). Worth watching, but first be sure to read up on Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot — you’ll appreciate the movie much more. 

Click on the image to learn more about the courageous Canadians who helped six Americans escape from the American embassy in Tehran in 1979.

  • Also on this day:
    • Iran hostage crisis: On this day in 1979 the American embassy in Tehran was seized by “students” who were remarkably keen and skilled at locating and spiriting away all the intelligence documents they could find. Sixty-six U.S. citizens were taken hostage, some were later released, others escaped, but 52 of them continued in captivity for 444 days, released just as Ronald Reagan was taking his oath of office on January 20, 1981. It’s also worth remembering the Canadian embassy’s role in spiriting out six Americans who were able to get away from the Iranians, doing so at great personal risk to several Canadian officials.
    • Fort Hood Massacre: It was on this in 2009 that U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan, armed with a Belgian FN 5.7mm pistol, walked into a medical building in Fort Hood, Texas, jumped atop a desk, shouted “Allahu akhbar!” and started shooting people, apparently indiscrimately. By the time he was shot and restrained (by a civilian police officer; soldiers are curiously required to be unarmed on base) Hasan had fired 214 rounds, killed 13 people and seriously wounded 30 more. Hasan had been in frequent contact with American-born Al Qaida imam Anwar al-Awlaki (believed to be in Yemen), who called Hasan a hero and that “fighting against the U.S. army is an Islamic duty.” The FBI had been aware of Hasan’s ongoing communication with al-Awlaki for some time, but dismissed it as harmless, probably Hasan doing research. Hasan is still awaiting trial.
  • Reading the classics: For readers of great literature, Amazon is currently offering, free for the download, 23 of the world’s great literature classics. Lots of good stuff there: Homer’s Iliad, War and Peace, Gulliver’s Travels, even a few boring-sounding chick books by someone named Jane Austen, whoever she is. They’re all in electronic book format usable not only in Amazon’s Kindle but also other e-book readers or on your computer or smartphone with free available software (you can look up the software — I’m not going to do all the work for you).
  • Banning ammunition violates the Second Amendment: Seems pretty obvious that if you have a right to buy and possess firearms (just affirmed by the Heller and McDonald decisions) then you also have the right to buy and possess ammunition. But apparently the wise sages who run the city of Washington, D.C. didn’t see it that way, and it took a decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals (Herrington v. United States, handed down yesterday) to explain it to them. Duh.
  • Can I do this too? Our oh-so-responsible Federal Government is set to run a $1.2-trillion deficit in the next year. To cover just the first six months of its over-spending, the Treasury will need to sell $600 billion in Treasury bonds. And because investors have been reluctant to keep buying those bonds, the Fed has announced that over the next 6 months it’s going to print $600 billion in new currency in order to buy those bonds. In other words, to pay for its over-spending the next six months, the government is just going to print paper money. If that doesn’t scare the lab samples out of you, you’re not paying attention.
    Of course that bit of news immediately caused the dollar to plummet, making its fall even steeper than it was before, making every dollar you have — in checking, savings, in your pocket — worth less and less each day the dollar’s slide continues.
  • On the lighter side of nuclear particle physics (you didn’t know there was one, did you?), turn up the loud, yo’, and check out the Large Hadron Collider Rap.

And on that phat rap attack — have a good weekend!