Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Captain Mal Agrees with the Arizona Legislature

Capt. Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds is the captain of the spaceship Serenity, as seen on the TV series, Firefly, and in the movie, Serenity.  He's a little rough around the edges but he's a quite capable, fair, and a hard worker.



One of his best lines comes near the end of the movie, Serenity, when he is inspiring his crew to take drastic action in order to expose the government's evil deeds.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The X-Men are More Realistic than the "Social Contract"

The X-Men are the best super-mutant fighting force the world has ever seen.  It's obvious Professor Xavier knows what he's doing, at least most of the time.



If Professor X has any sense (which he clearly does), he probably has his mutant students sign some kind of contract before they officially join the X-Men.  It would be the prudent thing to do.  I'm sure there are all sorts of X-rules, X-non-disclosure agreements, and X-pectations that would be necessary in order to nurture a proper team environment and, of course, go save the world on occasion.  Once an individual has signed the X-contract, that X-Man is expected to abide by the rules he agreed to.  It would certainly be reasonable for the X-Men to develop their own way of resolving internal disputes without any outside interference.  Such is the wonder of private contracts.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Batman Can Let Alfred Use the Batmobile, But Not the Invisible Jet



We all love Batman, but how could Batman do what he does without the help of his trusted butler, Alfred?  Alfred is Batman's best friend and confidant.  Sometimes Batman needs help and Alfred is always there for him.  Could Batman let Alfred drive the Batmobile should the need arise?  





Of course!  The Batmobile belongs to Batman and so Batman can let Alfred drive it.  Could Alfred use the Invisible Jet if Batman gives him permission?  





Of course not!  Batman does not own the Invisible Jet.  Wonder Woman owns the Invisible Jet.  Batman is very talented, he has many skills and he can do a lot of things.  But one thing Batman can't do is give Alfred permission to use something not owned by Batman.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When is it Okay to Shoot Someone?

If I asked you to identify the most effective area of government, what would you say?  I'm guessing you wouldn't say the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Department of Education.  I would probably say that the most effective area of government is the military.



The United States Armed Forces are very good at what they do.  What exactly do they do?  Their main function is violence.  The military exists to smash things, demolish buildings, sink boats, bomb cities, and put holes in people.  The exact mission of the military is debatable and particular strategies are questionable in terms of effectiveness, but the United States Armed Forces have proven their ability to cause destruction.  Do you find it odd that pretty much the only thing government is good at is causing violence?  I don't.  Not at all, in fact.  Government is force.  Government is violence.  The reason why any government in history has ever existed is to make people do things, whether it is justified or not.  To make people do things you need leverage.  The simplest leverage is to make threats of violence.  All the better if you have the means to back up the threats.