Friday, August 26, 2005

...So Long As 100 Of Us Can Remain Alive...

On Tuesday, August the 23rd of 2005 Sir William Wallace was honored in a ceremony in the place where he was executed by the English in 1305.

Sir William Wallace was further honored by a few polls over the years:

"Opinion polls in recent years suggest between a quarter and a half of Scotland's 5 million people want the same independence from London which Wallace fought for seven centuries ago."

The man who honored Wallace in the ceremony went further to show his respect:

"Our country is still ruled from somewhere else,' he said, referring to the British parliament. 'It's time the leaders in Scotland woke up and listened to what the people want."

That quote was from David Ross, historian, author, musician & International Convener of the Society of William Wallace. I also recommend looking at his site WalkforWallace.com.

700 years ago Wallace was tortured, executed, butchered & scattered because he dared stand up to a foreign king who claimed dominion over his home. Today Scotland is still subject to the foreign land that Wallace fought against. It would seem to me that honoring Wallace would have to entail at least some sympathy for Scottish independence.

Now if the Scots wish to live subject to British Parliament then that's their decision. I'm not a Scot & I would not presume to tell them what to do with their country. But if you're wondering whether I'd support those Scots who wish to live absent the British Parliament my answer would have to be aye.
Oh Good Grief

This is not directly gun related (though I might play a round of "Six Degrees of John Moses Browning").

Gretchen Wilson is being asked by some ass in Tennessee (actually the AG, or Ass, Generally) to stop using chaw (i.e. smokeless tobacky) at her concerts.

"State officials said
Gretchen Wilson can be seen on concert jumbo screens pulling a can of Skoal from her pocket while performing her new song, 'Skoal Ring.'
That may violate the 1998 settlement between states and tobacco companies forbidding tobacco ads targeting young people, Attorney General Paul Summers said."


WTF??? Exactly how does it violate an agreement miss Wilson was not a party to?

"Many young people attend your concerts and purchase your music and T-shirts,' Summers wrote in a letter he sent to Wilson Thursday. 'Because your actions strongly influence the youth in your audience ... I ask you to take steps to warn young people of negative health effects of smokeless tobacco use."

Huh. Well I wonder how many "young people" read papers that have asshatted quotes from the AG of Tennessee? Doesn't that impart a duty on him to remove his head from whoever's orifice it's currently entrenched in? After all, we wouldn't want impressionable young folks to start acting like self righteous controlling statist assholes now would we? I mean aren't there negative effects of participating in such behavior, well other than being accused of being a lawyer? (To all my lawyer pals, nothing personal, but damn - jerks like Summers give the other 2% of ya'll a bad rep).

"The landmark $206 billion tobacco settlement 'provided that advertisements such as this would be and should be prohibited,' Summers said."

Hmmm. I am almost certain that "advertise" was used in the sense of compensating a person or company for the promotion of their wares or services. That would exclude the more generalized sense of advertise (i.e. AG Summers advertised both his ignorance of the law & his disdain for private actions not controlled by the state with his asshatted statements).

"U.S. Smokeless Tobacco does not have an agreement with Wilson or any artists to promote its products, said company spokesman Mike Bazinet. Summers said his office is also contacting the company about the use of its products at Wilson's concerts."

Hmm So Summers, being the astute paragon of legal intellect that he is, is claiming that an agreement between party A (the tobacco companies) & party B (the government) is enforceable against party C (miss Wilson). What a brilliant actionable strategy. I know; next why doesn't he make Smith & Wesson sign an agreement - wait, not Smith & Wesson since some still aren't over the last time they did that - let's get Rug...er, Col... Damn. I'm running out of untainted firearms makers. Let's get the firearms industry to sign an agreement with the government saying that none of their products will be "advertised" during a crime. That way should anyone use on of their firearms while committing said crime then the AG can write them a letter telling them to stop cause kids are impressionable.

Asshat.

Disclaimer: I don't know miss Wilson. I've heard one or two of her songs but only in parts. I did hear "Redneck Woman" when I was in the Carolinas, but it was performed by my friends in a band called Latitude not by miss Wilson. (In case you missed it the url was for Latitude; Myrtle Beach's finest Beach, Dance & Party music duo - now hopefully they'll stop calling me about that 20 bucks I probably owe them ;D ) Further I don't use Skoal or any other form of smokeless tobacco. I smoke cigarettes with an occasional cigar thrown in the mix. I am not being paid by miss Wilson, Skoal, or any group generally opposed to asshattery in public orifice office holders.

I am a musician though & the idea of the state even having a freakin' opinion on what I do that is not against any law, legit or contrived, is as repulsive as Tipper Gore's explorations into a new special place back in the mid 80's. I don't care if smokeless tobacco is bad for you. I don't care if fast food is bad for you. Nor do I care if language or subject matter is offensive. If you don't wish to be subject to that kinda of thing then don't go to the damn venue where it's occurring. If you don't want your children to be exposed to that kind of thing then don't let them attend the venue where that will be occurring.

I mean bloody hell, what's next? Banning t-shirts or caps cause they have a picture of a firearm? - oh, nevermind. Or perhaps suspending young children for playing cops & robbers at school? Er, nevermind again. Oh surely some places haven't proscribed the spelling of the word "gun" have they? Ayup.

The root of this (& here's how it does come back to firearms, albeit indirectly) is the desire to prohibit things that aren't thought to be proper. Even when things are popularly accepted there are some who would deny those things to others based on their own beliefs. (Temperence anyone?) It's different in specifics for sure, but the base is constant: someone is doing something I do not approve of therefore I will try to get them to refrain. Now acting asan individual I can tolerate a bit of that. But as an individual I can also tell you to go straight to hell & disregard any entreaties to stop whatever my "offensive" behavior is.

Summers is not acting as an individual. He's acting as an agent of the state of Tennessee. He has not told anyone they must stop doing anything, but the weight of the state is presumed to be behind him if he did so. If he wished to voice his concerns to miss Wilson as an individual then it wouldn't be that much of an issue for me. But to use his office to ask someone to reduce or eliminate a legal behavior because he does not approve of such behavior is a subtle yet brutal strike at the notion of a people not controlled by the state.

Sure, smokeless tobacky might be bad for ya, but it is not the states' place to protect us from ourselves. The states' place is to protect us from each other whenever we try to disparage the equal rights of one another. Anything more than that is more dangerous than any substance in a can could ever be.

Considering the title of some of her songs ("Redneck Woman"; "Pocahantus Proud"; etc.) I sincerely hope miss Wilson does not give AG Summers the typical southern courtesy & keeps the Marlboro red between her lips while she tells him to kiss her country fried ass.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day. The 229th anniversary of a statement of freedom from a government that impeded individual liberty. (Please note: the holiday is called Independence Day. It occurs on the 4th of July. Unless you typically wish people a happy 25th of December or ask if they have plans for the 31rst of December then please try to refer to the holiday by its rightful name. Referencing it by its date belittles the import of it to just another day that you don't have to work & the banks are all closed - thanks.)

Some are unhappy with the way things are yet hopeful. Some othersare unhappy with the way things are & feel dejected. There is a long list of grievences to be unhappy about for sure. Though unspoken as the cause, it's not difficult to speculate on the nature of some folks depression.

I was thinking about making a big long post filled with links to support the greivences I have against the government - or perhaps more accurately the ones it seems to have against me. The links above do a fine job of that, even if they're somewhat understated. Instead I'll point you to this post on Patriots' Day; this one about the Mecklenburg Declaraion of Independence & the Mecklenburg Resolves; this one on The Declaration of the Causes & Necessities of Taking Up Arms (No Quarters has more on the Document that We Forgot); this one on Independence Day; & this one on Bill of Rights Day. I'll also point you to The War on Guns' Patriots Day post as the pictures sum up things too accurately. Tell Me How Do I Get To My America? is another one I'd ask you to glance at. & it will be much worth your while to visit this post of IsThatLegal's where an Independence Day speech by then AG (soon to be Supree Court justice) Robert Jackson is transcribed.

Today is not a happy one for me. I think of my state & the Republic which she is a member of & I find little comfort or cause for celebration. I won't wax dramatic on you about it but I will say that I have little or no faith in the government & not much more in the people. Churchill said that it's good for an uneducated man to read a book of quotes. I admit I have found this to be good advice for myself at least. Sometimes words from others give solace & comfort to a troubled soul. I will leave you with some excerpts of folk more sober in thought & spirit than I am currently.



"Suppose two-thirds of the members of the national House of Representatives were dumped into the Washington garbage incinerator tomorrow, what would we lose to offset our gain of their salaries and the salaries of their parasites?" - H L Mencken

"It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law...that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts." - H L Mencken

"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar" - H L Mencken

"It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men." - H L Mencken

"The argument that capital punishment degrades the state is moonshine, for if that were true then it would degrade the state to send men to war... The state, in truth, is degraded in its very nature: a few butcheries cannot do it any further damage" - H L Mencken

"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights" - H L Mencken

"Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods" - H L Mencken

"All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man" - H L Mencken

"The ideal government of reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone" - H L Mencken

"It is the theory of all modern civilized governments that they protect and foster the liberty of the citizen;it is the practice of all of them to limit its exercise, and sometimes very narrowly." - H L Mencken

“The average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenth’s imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty--and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies. It is, indeed, only the exceptional man who can even stand it. The average man doesn’t want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.” - H L Mencken

"Anything that is moral for a group to do is moral for one person to do" - R A Heinlein

"No intelligent man has any respect for an unjust law. He simply follows the eleventh commandment" - R A Heinlein

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects" - R A Heinlein

"Any government will work if authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. This does not insure 'good' government; it simply insures that it will work. But such governments are rare; most people want to run things but want no part of the blame" - R A Heinlein

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do" - R A Heinlein

"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it" - Ayn Rand

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." - Ayn Rand

"A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims" - Ayn Rand

"Evil requires the sanction of the victim" - Ayn Rand

"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master" - Ayn Rand

"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws" - Ayn Rand

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force" - Ayn Rand

"Government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off" - Ayn Rand

"Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property" - Ayn Rand

"Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law" - Ayn Rand

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)" - Ayn Rand

"It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time" - Sir Winston Churchill

"It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required" - Sir Winston Churchill

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government" - Alexander Hamilton

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law', because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual" - Thomas Jefferson

"Can our form of government, our system of justice, survive if one can be denied a freedom because he might abuse it?" - Harlan Carter

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government" - Edward Abbey

"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood . . ." - James Madison

"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

For a few more quotes look here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play


Note: I use this site for initially posting audio stuff. My written posts can be found at http://publicola.mu.nu.