Saturday, July 19, 2003

I was going to post about this last night, but realized if I did I would make Jeff at Alphecca seem calm & apathetic.

Jeff rants & links to this story about a man & his freakin' kitten being arrested in NYC. A month old kitten!

"According to the criminal complaint, the arresting officer wrote he "observed the defendant in close proximity to a cat, which was on top of an upside down bucket, not enclosed in a container ... the defendant knew he was not allowed to possess a cat not enclosed in a container inside a subway facility."
Melendez and Gizmo spent 40 hours in separate city lockups before a loving reunion on Wednesday afternoon.
'She's like my baby. I didn't want to leave her alone at home,' Melendez said.
A Manhattan criminal court judge on Wednesday sentenced Melendez to time served."

Okay, it's no big secret that I'm not a fan of NYC. Chalk it up to being raised in the south if you wish: part of some disgruntlement directed at those big city carpet-baggers that burned down the fair Atlanta out of pure meanness. But give me a freakin' break - a kitten? They lock up a man & his freakin' kitten because he was in violation of a city code? A cop claims to have 'observed' the defendant in 'close proximity' to a cat & that justifies taking away the defendant's & his freakin' kitten's freedom for almost 2 days?????

This is an article written by Clayton Cramer. It discusses some aspects of the mechanics & justifications for revolution. It's a very good read & while I wish it would have elaborated on some areas more it's still very informative.

The question that always pops up (for me at least) is when? When is revolution against ones government (be it local, state or federal) the right thing to do? Where is that line that we won't stand to have crossed?

Jefferson wrote in The Declaration of Independence that, "...Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed..."

Humans simply don't like revolutions. It upsets the status quo. Not to mention shaking up the economy. People on the whole would rather put up with abuse rather than take the steps necessary to stop it. It takes something special to set one off. & in a way this is a good thing: we wouldn't want to hear a call to arms because the line at the DMV is too long & moving too slowly.

On the other hand though we wouldn't want a call to arms just as the cattle cars are pulling up in front of our houses. (Yes I know most train tracks don't run in front of people’s homes - I'm being figurative here. Work with me.)

So when is it right to revolt? When is it too soon?

Let's look at NYC for a moment. Big city. Various things of a cultural & economic nature that make it an enjoyable place to live or visit for a lot of people. But at the same time self defense is frowned upon. Owning a gun in the city is difficult, carrying one is damn near impossible if you obey the law. The city is attempting to tax itself out of the financial hole it has dug. Civil liberties are an iffy thing. As a result people are being fined for such trivial offenses as sitting on a milk crate, or loitering in front of their own business. In fact NYC has decided that you cannot choose to allow smoking in your business but if you step outside to catch a smoke you could be fined for loitering.

Add an elderly woman who had a heart attack because the police used a grenade in executing a no-knock warrant & a D.A. in Brooklyn who thinks that you should do time if you defend yourself without the proper permit & I'd say the situation in NYC is pretty serious.

Top it off with a man & his freakin' kitten being jailed because said kitten was not in a cage.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that all the above added up justifies a revolution in NYC, but it definitely leans more on the 'for' side than the 'against'.

But the question remains: when &/or under what circumstances is a revolution the right thing to do?

For a revolution to be successfully executed it takes a number of factors: popular support, a reasoning for the revolution that the people, or at least a large minority of them can get behind, the strategic knowledge to pull it off, a set of well defined goals to let you know when you've pulled it off, the determination to see it through, & the means with which to see it through.

Would the jailing of a man & his freakin' kitten garner popular support for a revolution? Actually I know it would with some. But probably not enough to make it viable. While deplorable I'm afraid that the action was too narrow in scope as it only affected a man & his freakin' kitten. Also the consequences weren't severe enough. They lost their freedom for almost 2 days. I think losing ones freedom, even temporarily over such an asshatted reason (even though you caused no harm you disobeyed the state) is one of the most awful things that can happen. But not enough people share my view & see it as an inconvenience. One that shouldn't have happened, but an inconvenience nonetheless. But the man & cat were both physically unharmed.
Would it have been different if the man &/or cat were harmed? Somehow I doubt it. After all there was no large public outcry when a federal tax agency killed 3 cats (2 negligently, one intentionally) in the course of executing a questionable warrant that turned up nothing.

Would the crack down on any & every minor offense in an effort to generate revenue be sufficient cause? I think it tilts things more in favor of a revolution but doesn't manage to cross the line. It just doesn't, or hasn't to date made the people of NYC angry enough to consider an actual revolution. Or perhaps it has made them angry enough to consider it, but not angry enough to organize & seriously discuss their options.

So even as bad as NYC is it would have to be exponentially worse to generate enough popular support for a revolution. It would take even more oppressive acts to consolidate the whole country, or even parts of it into a revolutionary force.

Personally I think there is sufficient justification in some areas to warrant revolution. I could wax poetic about the crimes committed by the IRSS, BATF, local police of various locales, Justice Department, various city councils, various state governments & ultimately Congress. But unless this blog gets really popular, or a major newspaper starts agreeing with what I see as injustice, then there simply will not be enough popular support to accomplish anything other than having a lot of armed government agents assigned to my case.

Should the people of NYC revolt against their government? Probably. Will they? Definitely not.
Should the arresting officer get away with enforcing a law by jailing a man & his freakin' kitten? Yes. Most definitely. While being short of a capital offense I say this would be a good excuse to bring back the stock. Put him in Times Square as a lesson to those who value authority over freedom. Will he be punished? Nope.

This might generate some outcry in some circles, but for the most part it will be forgotten.

& the same would apply to most of the things that I (& perhaps you as well) find detestable. I'll rant about it; you may agree & likewise rant about it. But no great show of support from the masses will materialize.

What we are left with is a situation that is best described by Claire Wolfe, "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

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