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

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, 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.


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.