Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another view on Government Corruption:

Another view on Government Corruption:
(From MartialTalk)

The Washington establishment and its kept media are feigning outrage over the fact that the governor of Illinois has been selling political favors. So far, the biggest laugh line came from federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who claimed that Abraham Lincoln would roll over in his grave if he were to know that an Illinois politician was selling political favors to the highest bidder. In reality, Lincoln would be rolling his eyes over the stupidity of such a statement. As Pulitzer prize-winning Lincoln biographer David Donald has noted, Lincoln’s aspiration as a young pol was to be "the DeWitt Clinton of Illinois." DeWitt Clinton was the governor of New York who is "credited" with having invented the spoils system.

By the time Lincoln ran for president, writes David Donald, he had become the master string puller in Illinois politics. He was what would today be called a "lobbyist" for the railroad corporations. In the late 1830s he led the effort to get the Illinois legislature to spend more than $10 million on "internal improvements" of roads and canals, none of which were ever finished; much of the money was stolen; and the taxpayers of Illinois were put deep into debt for many years. A Chicago politician is what we would call him today – a precursor of Mayor Daley and Congressman (and convicted felon) Danny Rostenkowski.

As president, one of Lincoln’s very first acts was to call Congress into a special session in June of 1861 to begin work on the Pacific Railroad Bill, which would eventually result in the greatest spectacle of graft and corruption in American history up to that point (the Credit Mobilier scandal). Lincoln benefitted personally from this legislation which gave him, the president, the right to choose the eastern starting point of the government-subsidized transcontinental railroad. He chose Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he had recently purchased a large parcel of real estate that is known to this day as "Lincoln’s hill." Many of Lincoln’s Republican Party luminaries, from Thaddeus Stevens to Justin Morrill and Oakes Ames, and even General Sherman, accumulated fortunes through graft and patronage that was created by Lincoln’s Pacific Railroad Bill (see my book, Lincoln Unmasked).

Downtown Atlanta recycles self into a Zero Waste Zone

Downtown Atlanta recycles self into a Zero Waste Zone

  • Story Highlights
  • Hotel now turns food scraps into compost rather than sending them to landfill
  • Spent grease from frying is converted into biodiesel, used in vehicles
  • "We are running out of room on our planet" for waste
  • Zero Waste Zone sees tons of perfectly reusable products effectively recycled

Sounds good to me. I like their reuse plans.

North Korea: Sanctions a declaration of war

North Korea: Sanctions a declaration of war

  • Story Highlights
  • North Korea says sanctions applied against it will be "declaration of war"
  • Pyongyang ready to "mercilessly punish anyone" who applies pressure
  • U.N. has condemned North Korean rocket launch
"North Korea said Saturday any sanctions or pressure applied against it following its rocket launch earlier this month will be considered a "declaration of war.""

Is it just me, or are these wack jobs just spoiling for a fight? I wonder if the US will invade them now too for failing to heed UN instructions (one of the many excuses for Iraq), or continue to Neville Chamberlin style of kissing their ass like the preioius administration did....

What's All That Secession Ruckus in Texas?

What's All That Secession Ruckus in Texas?

It was the shout-out heard around the world: Texas' Republican Gov. Rick Perry's praise for his state's tea party protesters, accompanied by not-so-veiled references to a potential Lone Star State secession

Coalition to Prevent Assault Weapon Violence.

Coalition to Prevent Assault Weapon Violence.

Help support these good people and their mission to prevent Assault Weapon Violence.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Proposed measure would change state's recognition of all marriages

Proposed measure would change state's recognition of all marriages
Wyatt Buchanan
Thursday, March 12, 2009

The same-sex marriage debate has been at a boiling point since California voters approved Proposition 8 in November, deciding by a slim margin to ban such couples from being wed in the state.

Out of the furor comes an idea that attempts to sidestep the debate: A ballot measure, approved for circulation this week, that would eliminate the term "marriage" from state statutes and replace it with "domestic partnerships."

According to the summary of the measure, " 'Marriage' itself would become a social ceremony, recognized by only nongovernmental institutions."

The measure, which will need 694,354 signatures by Aug. 6 to qualify for the November 2010 ballot, is the brainchild of two straight college students from Southern California.


For U.S. immigration, 'partnered' doesn't count

For U.S. immigration, 'partnered' doesn't count
John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, April 3, 2009

Shirley Tan has been with her partner, Jay Mercado, for 23 years. The Pacifica women have twin 12-year-old sons and have been registered domestic partners since 1991.

That means nothing to the federal government, which recognizes only a marriage between a man and a woman. Federal authorities ordered Tan, who is not a U.S. citizen, to be deported from San Francisco to her native Philippines this morning.

But with the help of her congresswoman, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, Tan received a three-week stay of the deportation order, allowing her to remain with her family until April 22.

A test case on same-sex fairness

A test case on same-sex fairness
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shirley Tan is a 43-year old Pacifica homemaker and mother of twin seventh-grade boys. Tan also wears an ankle bracelet assigned by immigration agents after a dawn raid on her home two months ago.

Barring a legal miracle, she faces likely deportation to the Philippines on Friday. That result would devastate her family and friends. But her case also touches off two flashpoint issues - immigration law and same-sex marriage - that are combining in a way that shows the unfairness of this country's laws.

If she is deported, Tan will be separated from her partner Jay Mercado, who is a naturalized citizen. For straight couples, there wouldn't be a similar problem because a citizen can sponsor a spouse for residency. But under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, this right doesn't exist for an estimated 37,000 same-sex couples where one partner is a noncitizen.

Thomas Paine on to Washington

Michael Badnarik Quote

The Patriot Act is the most egregious piece of legislation to ever leave Congress since the Alien and Sedition Acts, John Ashcroft and every member of Congress who voted for it should be indicted.

More Stupid Comments by Dumb People.

Don't these guys know, we can't be trusted with weapons? That only special people, with special permission, and nice pressed uniforms, or dirty stained flannel shirts should have them? Sheesh.


If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms].
-- U.S. Representative John Dingell, 1980

.. a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen...
-- Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
-- Report of the Subcommittee On The Constitution of the Committee On
The Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, second session
(February, 1982), SuDoc# Y4.J 89/2: Ar 5/5

In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.
-- Stephen P. Halbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed", 1984

To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you're putting a money test on getting a gun. It's racism in its worst form.
-- Roy Innis, president of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 1988

I don't like the idea that the police department seems bent on kepping a pool of unarmed victims available for the predations of the criminal class.
-- David Mohler, 1989, on being denied a carry permit in NYC

Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power.
-- Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992

You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.
-- Rush Limbaugh, in a moment of unaccustomed profundity 17 Aug 1993

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Second American Revolution

We The People Stimulus Package

Texas continues to hint Secession.

Texas continues to hint Secession.

Recently martial arts expert and actor Chuck Norris said in a few interviews that he's willing to take up the mantle as President of the Republic of Texas, should Texas decide it's had enough of Washington's continued defecating on the US Constitution and leave.

On April 15th, Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

When Texas entered the union in 1845 there was an understanding it could pull out at a later time if it decided to. However when it did secede in 1861, is was forced back into the Union by force of arms. Currently, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point if it wanted to but not the right to secede.

The debate over the legality of secession has been ongoing as nothing within the US Constitution specifically states that a member State can not do this, indicating it is a valid option.

Texas has a history of being a very independent and freedom loving place. Concerns over the US Economy, the continued mortgaging of our future to bail out failing businesses and saddling taxpayers with mounting debt, as well as serious concern over Federal abuse of the Second Amendment and rumors of mandatory gun registration and confiscation, are pushing the people of Texas towards a hard choice.

If it happens, I doubt it will be a peaceful exit.

The Sham that is Airport Security.

The Sham that is Airport Security.
(Originally Posted at MartialTalk)

Airport security in America is a sham—“security theater” designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease.
by Jeffrey Goldberg

Reporter repeatedly manages to transport banned items, terrorist related goods, etc through the nations airports.

Doesn't seem like we're any safer now than 2 years ago.
"Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the starting points for the Sept. 11 hijackers, failed 20 of 22 security tests conducted by undercover U.S. agents last week, missing concealed bombs and guns at checkpoints throughout the major air hub's three terminals."

Or any more secure than we were in 2002

So, today we have huge lines, long delays, must show up hours earlier than we used to have to remove our shoes, aren't allowed to carry a great many common items, can't take snapshots in the terminal, are at risk of losing our phones, pdas and laptops, all in the name of "security".

And someone wearing a McD uniform can walk in the employee entrance, catch a bag-o-bombs tossed ver the fence and blow the snot outta the place.

A search on Google for airport security failures generates over 400,000 hits.

Someone explain to me how we're so much safer than we were at 6am on 9/11/2001.

Kids and Guns? A possible answer.

Kids and Guns? A possible answer.

Maybe the solution to the kids being killed by guns is a simple one, and one more easily done than banning them or eliminating them.

Educate them. Require regular fire arm education through out school. Teach them the dangers, safe handling, how to shoot them, maintain them, etc. Show them why they are so dangerous. Explain to them the law concerning them, and most importantly their rights as citizens to have them -if they so desire-.

Enforce the existing laws for misuse. Harsher penalties for use in a crime. Harsher penalties for negligence. Harsher penalties for unlawful acts.

Better to raise an educated, experienced and informed generation of possible gun owners, than an ignorant, uneducated and ill-informed generation of potential victims.

There are of course risks. Some kids will still get hurt and die due to guns. Tragic, but not as bad as it could be.

We teach abstinence, yet teen pregnancy happens. We teach "Just Say No", yet drug use still happens, despite those drugs being quite illegal. We tell them not to smoke, yet smoke they do. "Don't drink, and don't drink and drive!". Both still happen. So, teaching gun education won't be a 100% cure. But, it will still improve the odds.

Gun accidents account for the majority of child gun deaths. Parents need to keep their weapons secure, and should face harsh penalty when they don't. Children need to know guns aren't toys. We teach fire hot, knives sharp, don't run with scissors, we can teach don't point the gun at anyone too.

Gun dealers who fail to follow Federal and State guidelines regarding weapon sales need to be fined, imprisoned and put out of business. Shut down the black markets and the underground shops. Encourage lawful sale and possession.

Put gun education as a part of gun ownership. Make ownership something within the reach of all citizens, not just the ones who can afford exorbitant taxes and permit fees.

Encourage kids to train with them, to join groups like the Boy Scouts or ROTC who encourage civic activity and responsibility.

In the end, we can build a more informed and safer future.

"Its a different world today" is a common comment.

"Its a different world today" is a common comment.
Yep. It is, which is why they allowed for the ability to amend the constitution, yet made it difficult, so it wasn't done at whim without careful discussion and consideration. The Constitution consists of three parts: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the subsequent Amendments. This was the framework designed to run and restrict our Federal government. Unfortunately, a number of people claim it's outdated, vague, or allows greater power than stated because it doesn't specifically say "no". Others claim we don't know what they said, even though they left huge amounts of writing clearly stating most if not all the points.

Unfortunately, too many people who take oaths to "Uphold and Defend" the Constitution, choose to reinterpret things their way, and excuse violation when it's convenient or doesn't favor their own views.
Freedom of Speech doesn't mean just what you want to hear. It also means the vilest, foulest, most offensive imaginable.

Madison's original draft of the Bill of Rights contained two proposed amendments dealing with freedom of speech. One proposed amendment said "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."

Freedom of Religion doesn't mean just your faith, and the ones you accept. It means the rock worshipers, the sky dancers, the polytheists, the no-theists, and those people over there doing the weird stuff.

"Among the most inestimable of our blessings, also, is that... of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to John Thomas et al., 1807. ME 16:291

Right to Bear Arms means that every freeman had the right AND responsibility to own, train with, be experienced with, and understand arms. Arms isn't just a .22. It's a machine gun, it's an RPG, it's an M60, its an MP5.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." -- Zacharia Johnson, delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention, Elliot, 3:645-6

And so on.
Unfortunately, today we have a government that continually usurps more and more power, seeks to disarm it's citizens, to criminalize dissent, to create dependence, so that like children we are forever glued to the tit of government. Sheep, here but to be serfs under the illusion of free will. So yes, it is a different world. One which our Founders would be ashamed of, and disgusted that we have let it fall so far from what they created for us.

"the number of accidental deaths of kids by firearms is enough to cause me serious concern!"

"I dunno...the number of accidental deaths of kids by firearms is enough to cause me serious concern! Those aren't negligible numbers, as one sees just by reading the newspapers."

But can you trust the newspapers not to slant things? The 20/20 special was pretty stacked to create the results they wanted. Leaving aside the Constitutional arguments for now (which are available at MT or on my blog), a child has a greater chance of being injured in a car accident than killed by a gun.

In poor countries like Africa, the leading cause of child death is illness and malnutrition, even in the nations in civil war, or other gun-heavy situations.

Accidents are, by far, the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.
0-1 years:
  • Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • All conditions associated with prematurity and low birth weight
1-4 years:
  • Accidents
  • Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth
  • Cancer
5-14 years:
  • Accidents
  • Cancer
  • Homicide
15-24 years:
The automobile accounts for the largest number of these accidental deaths. Make sure that all infants and children use the proper child car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
Other top causes of accidental death are drowning, fire, falls, and poisoning.

The NY Times also gives a more detailed picture

There is also this;

Most accidental gun injuries tend to fall into the negligence area. It was left where a child could access it in a ready state. This is a tragedy, but it can be treated by requiring gun owners to better educate themselves on proper gun safety, and properly securing the weapon.

More concerning is violence against children. Harsher laws only work after the fact as the criminal ignores them. The criminal also knows that his victim is at a disadvantage. Of course, a nation that has so far failed to educate it's children on safe sex, alcohol, cigarette and drug use, or civic responsibility can't be expected to properly educate it's youth on safe and responsible firearm use.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In reply to "April 15 is patriots' day"

Commentary: April 15 is patriots' day

  • Story Highlights
  • Paul Begala: April 15 is one day most Americans sacrifice for government
  • Begala says paying taxes to support worthy government services is patriotic
  • "Tea parties" are being pushed by GOP supporters who lost election, Begala says
  • He says President Obama and Congress have cut taxes for most

In the article above, Mr Begala makes some interesting points. I disagree that these "Tea Party's" are simply disgruntled losers from the last election. I'm sure some of them are, but I think the vast majority of American's are reaching the boiling point in frustration with administration after administration simply selling us out to the special interest groups, and covering their buddies asses. We The People are tired of paying more and more for everything, while watching government subsidized incompetence continue. We're tired of our so called leaders pushing flawed laws through then later going "oops, we've no idea how that was missed / got in there" after someone finds a problem with the latest 10,000 page maze of confusion they dump on us, while ensuring their buddies get a little something on the side. Our so called leaders are more worried about getting on a more prestigious committee, or impressing a campaign donor, then caring what we want.

Mr Begala makes an excellent point here:

He wrote "
You want something to protest? How 'bout protesting how little we give back to our veterans? Or how 'bout protesting that the entire budget of the National Cancer Institute (where government researchers battle a disease that will strike half of all men and a third of all women) is 0.03 percent of what we gave the bandits at American International Group alone? Oh, but veterans benefits and cancer research might cost money. It might require -- dare I say it? -- paying taxes."

Yes sir, you are right. It will take tax dollars. Maybe rather than bailing out collapsing businesses and rewarding the people who brought them to ruin with million dollar pay outs, it could have been funneled to help those who fight to keep this a free country. $11 Trillion dollars would have been a hell of a boost to our discarded veterans and their long term care.

In the mean time, it's time to start working to vote the elite's out. Rather than pick one of the tired old 2, look up the Libertarian, Green, Constitution or other third parties and see what the Democrats and Republican's don't want you to know. You have a choice. More importantly, you have the power to retake your government. Use it.

Taxpayers upset about officials who haven’t paid

Taxpayers upset about officials who haven’t paid

Facing today’s tax deadline, some Americans wonder why they should pay when the man who oversees the IRS didn’t.

By Tom Hamburger and Ralph Vartabedian

WASHINGTON—The treasury secretary, who oversees the IRS, didn’t pay all his taxes. Neither did five other top nominees for the Obama administration.

Now, as today’s tax deadline looms, some Americans are asking: Why should we comply with the arcane requirements of the IRS when top administration officials failed to do the same?

The harsh reaction to such disclosures resonates not just among the anti-tax people organizing protests around the country this week but also in low-income neighborhoods of cities like Los Angeles— and is even discussed in the hushed hallways of the Internal Revenue Service.

A Nation of Cowards

This is a most excellent read. Mr. Snyder has also published a book by the same name, which has received many high marks. Check it out after you finish this piece.


A Nation of Cowards


I have obtained reprint permission for the Internet for Jeffrey Snyder’s “A Nation of Cowards”. It may be reproduced freely, including forwarding copies to politicians, provided that it is not distributed for profit and subscription information is included.

I especially encourage you to copy and pass on this strong statement about firearms ownership to friends, colleagues, undecideds, and other firearms rights supporters. Your grassroots pamphleteering can counter the propaganda blitz now going on by introducing some reason to the debate. This essay is one of our best weapons.

To get plaintext: ftp, get /public_html/comment/cowards.txt The WWW URL is:

Jeff Chan

“A Nation of Cowards” was published in the Fall, ‘93 issue of The Public Interest, a quarterly journal of opinion published by National Affairs, Inc.

Single copies of The Public Interest are available for $6. Annual subscription rate is $21 ($24 US, for Canadian and foreign subscriptions). Single copies of this or other issues, and subscriptions, can be obtained from:

The Public Interest
1112 16th St., N.W., Suite 140
Washington, DC 20036

(C) 1993 by The Public Interest.


Jeffrey R. Snyder

OUR SOCIETY has reached a pinnacle of self-expression and respect for individuality rare or unmatched in history. Our entire popular culture — from fashion magazines to the cinema — positively screams the matchless worth of the individual, and glories in eccentricity, nonconformity, independent judgment, and self-determination. This enthusiasm is reflected in the prevalent notion that helping someone entails increasing that person’s “self-esteem”; that if a person properly values himself, he will naturally be a happy, productive, and, in some inexplicable fashion, responsible member of society.

And yet, while people are encouraged to revel in their individuality and incalculable self-worth, the media and the law enforcement establishment continually advise us that, when confronted with the threat of lethal violence, we should not resist, but simply give the attacker what he wants. If the crime under consideration is rape, there is some notable waffling on this point, and the discussion quickly moves to how the woman can change her behavior to minimize the risk of rape, and the various ridiculous, non-lethal weapons she may acceptably carry, such as whistles, keys, mace or, that weapon which really sends shivers down a rapist’s spine, the portable cellular phone.

Now how can this be? How can a person who values himself so highly calmly accept the indignity of a criminal assault? How can one who believes that the essence of his dignity lies in his self-determination passively accept the forcible deprivation of that self-determination? How can he, quietly, with great dignity and poise, simply hand over the goods?

The assumption, of course, is that there is no inconsistency. The advice not to resist a criminal assault and simply hand over the goods is founded on the notion that one’s life is of incalculable value, and that no amount of property is worth it. Put aside, for a moment, the outrageousness of the suggestion that a criminal who proffers lethal violence should be treated as if he has instituted a new social contract: “I will not hurt or kill you if you give me what I want.” For years, feminists have labored to educate people that rape is not about sex, but about domination, degradation, and control. Evidently, someone needs to inform the law enforcement establishment and the media that kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and assault are not about property.

Crime is not only a complete disavowal of the social contract, but also a commandeering of the victim’s person and liberty. If the individual’s dignity lies in the fact that he is a moral agent engaging in actions of his own will, in free exchange with others, then crime always violates the victim’s dignity. It is, in fact, an act of enslavement. Your wallet, your purse, or your car may not be worth your life, but your dignity is; and if it is not worth fighting for, it can hardly be said to exist.

The Gift of Life

Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that to not defend that life when offered violence was to hold God’s gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one’s duty to one’s community. A sermon given in Philadelphia in 1747 unequivocally equated the failure to defend oneself with suicide:

He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.

“Cowardice” and “self-respect” have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered “self-esteem” as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. “Self-respect” implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. “Self-esteem” simply means that one feels good about oneself. “Dignity” used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, the hollowness of our souls.

It is impossible to address the problem of rampant crime without talking about the moral responsibility of the intended victim. Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.

Do You Feel Lucky?

In 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh released the FBI’s annual crime statistics, he noted that it is now more likely that a person will be the victim of a violent crime than that he will be in an auto accident. Despite this, most people readily believe that the existence of the police relieves them of the responsibility to take full measures to protect themselves. The police, however, are not personal bodyguards. Rather, they act as a general deterrent to crime, both by their presence and by apprehending criminals after the fact. As numerous courts have held, they have no legal obligation to protect anyone in particular. You cannot sue them for failing to prevent you from being the victim of a crime.

Insofar as the police deter by their presence, they are very, very good. Criminals take great pains not to commit a crime in front of them. Unfortunately, the corollary is that you can pretty much bet your life (and you are) that they won’t be there at the moment you actually need them.

Should you ever be the victim of an assault, a robbery, or a rape, you will find it very difficult to call the police while the act is in progress, even if you are carrying a portable cellular phone. Nevertheless, you might be interested to know how long it takes them to show up. Department of Justice statistics for 1991 show that, for all crimes of violence, only 28 percent of calls are responded to within five minutes. The idea that protection is a service people can call to have delivered and expect to receive in a timely fashion is often mocked by gun owners, who love to recite the challenge, “Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.”

Many people deal with the problem of crime by convincing themselves that they live, work, and travel only in special “crime-free” zones. Invariably, they react with shock and hurt surprise when they discover that criminals do not play by the rules and do not respect these imaginary boundaries. If, however, you understand that crime can occur anywhere at anytime, and if you understand that you can be maimed or mortally wounded in mere seconds, you may wish to consider whether you are willing to place the responsibility for safeguarding your life in the hands of others.

Power And Responsibility

Is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? If you believe that it is the police’s, not only are you wrong — since the courts universally rule that they have no legal obligation to do so — but you face some difficult moral quandaries. How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?

Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you’re a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?

One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance. Let’s not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.

Fortunately, there is a weapon for preserving life and liberty that can be wielded effectively by almost anyone — the handgun. Small and light enough to be carried habitually, lethal, but unlike the knife or sword, not demanding great skill or strength, it truly is the “great equalizer.” Requiring only hand-eye coordination and a modicum of ability to remain cool under pressure, it can be used effectively by the old and the weak against the young and the strong, by the one against the many.

The handgun is the only weapon that would give a lone female jogger a chance of prevailing against a gang of thugs intent on rape, a teacher a chance of protecting children at recess from a madman intent on massacring them, a family of tourists waiting at a mid-town subway station the means to protect themselves from a gang of teens armed with razors and knives.

But since we live in a society that by and large outlaws the carrying of arms, we are brought into the fray of the Great American Gun War. Gun control is one of the most prominent battlegrounds in our current culture wars. Yet it is unique in the half-heartedness with which our conservative leaders and pundits — our “conservative elite” — do battle, and have conceded the moral high ground to liberal gun control proponents. It is not a topic often written about, or written about with any great fervor, by William F. Buckley or Patrick Buchanan. As drug czar, William Bennett advised President Bush to ban “assault weapons.” George Will is on record as recommending the repeal of the Second Amendment, and Jack Kemp is on record as favoring a ban on the possession of semiautomatic “assault weapons.” The battle for gun rights is one fought predominantly by the common man. The beliefs of both our liberal and conservative elites are in fact abetting the criminal rampage through our society.

Selling Crime Prevention

By any rational measure, nearly all gun control proposals are hokum. The Brady Bill, for example, would not have prevented John Hinckley from obtaining a gun to shoot President Reagan; Hinckley purchased his weapon five months before the attack, and his medical records could not have served as a basis to deny his purchase of a gun, since medical records are not public documents filed with the police. Similarly, California’s waiting period and background check did not stop Patrick Purdy from purchasing the “assault rifle” and handguns he used to massacre children during recess in a Stockton schoolyard; the felony conviction that would have provided the basis for stopping the sales did not exist, because Mr. Purdy’s previous weapons violations were plea-bargained down from felonies to misdemeanors.

In the mid-sixties there was a public service advertising campaign targeted at car owners about the prevention of car theft. The purpose of the ad was to urge car owners not to leave their keys in their cars. The message was, “Don’t help a good boy go bad.” The implication was that, by leaving his keys in his car, the normal, law-abiding car owner was contributing to the delinquency of minors who, if they just weren’t tempted beyond their limits, would be “good.” Now, in those days people still had a fair sense of just who was responsible for whose behavior. The ad succeeded in enraging a goodly portion of the populace, and was soon dropped.

Nearly all of the gun control measures offered by Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) and its ilk embody the same philosophy. They are founded on the belief that America’s law-abiding gun owners are the source of the problem. With their unholy desire for firearms, they are creating a society awash in a sea of guns, thereby helping good boys go bad, and helping bad boys be badder. This laying of moral blame for violent crime at the feet of the law-abiding, and the implicit absolution of violent criminals for their misdeeds, naturally infuriates honest gun owners.

The files of HCI and other gun control organizations are filled with proposals to limit the availability of semiautomatic and other firearms to law-abiding citizens, and barren of proposals for apprehending and punishing violent criminals. It is ludicrous to expect that the proposals of HCI, or any gun control laws, will significantly curb crime. According to Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) statistics, fully 90 percent of violent crimes are committed without a handgun, and 93 percent of the guns obtained by violent criminals are not obtained through the lawful purchase and sale transactions that are the object of most gun control legislation. Furthermore, the number of violent criminals is minute in comparison to the number of firearms in America — estimated by the ATF at about 200 million, approximately one-third of which are handguns. With so abundant a supply, there will always be enough guns available for those who wish to use them for nefarious ends, no matter how complete the legal prohibitions against them, or how draconian the punishment for their acquisition or use. No, the gun control proposals of HCI and other organizations are not seriously intended as crime control. Something else is at work here.

The Tyranny of the Elite

Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e., exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social “re-education” is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s famous characterization of gun-owners as “hunters who drink beer, don’t vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend.” Similar vituperation is rained upon the NRA, characterized by Sen. Edward Kennedy as the “pusher’s best friend,” lampooned in political cartoons as standing for the right of children to carry firearms to school and, in general, portrayed as standing for an individual’s God-given right to blow people away at will.

The stereotype is, of course, false. As criminologist and constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates, Jr. and former HCI contributor Dr. Patricia Harris have pointed out, “[s]tudies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners…. Later studies show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc.”

Conservatives must understand that the antipathy many liberals have for gun owners arises in good measure from their statist utopianism. This habit of mind has nowhere been better explored than in The Republic. There, Plato argues that the perfectly just society is one in which an unarmed people exhibit virtue by minding their own business in the performance of their assigned functions, while the government of philosopher-kings, above the law and protected by armed guardians unquestioning in their loyalty to the state, engineers, implements, and fine-tunes the creation of that society, aided and abetted by myths that both hide and justify their totalitarian manipulation.

The Unarmed Life

When columnist Carl Rowan preaches gun control and uses a gun to defend his home, when Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer seeks legislation year after year to ban semiautomatic “assault weapons” whose only purpose, we are told, is to kill people, while he is at the same time escorted by state police armed with large-capacity 9mm semiautomatic pistols, it is not simple hypocrisy. It is the workings of that habit of mind possessed by all superior beings who have taken upon themselves the terrible burden of civilizing the masses and who understand, like our Congress, that laws are for other people.

The liberal elite know that they are philosopher-kings. They know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable — and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way.

The private ownership of firearms is a rebuke to this utopian zeal. To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state. It is to reserve final judgment about whether the state is encroaching on freedom and liberty, to stand ready to defend that freedom with more than mere words, and to stand outside the state’s totalitarian reach.

The Florida Experience

The elitist distrust of the people underlying the gun control movement is illustrated beautifully in HCI’s campaign against a new concealed-carry law in Florida. Prior to 1987, the Florida law permitting the issuance of concealed-carry permits was administered at the county level. The law was vague, and, as a result, was subject to conflicting interpretation and political manipulation. Permits were issued principally to security personnel and the privileged few with political connections. Permits were valid only within the county of issuance.

In 1987, however, Florida enacted a uniform concealed-carry law which mandates that county authorities issue a permit to anyone who satisfies certain objective criteria. The law requires that a permit be issued to any applicant who is a resident, at least twenty-one years of age, has no criminal record, no record of alcohol or drug abuse, no history of mental illness, and provides evidence of having satisfactorily completed a firearms safety course offered by the NRA or other competent instructor. The applicant must provide a set of fingerprints, after which the authorities make a background check. The permit must be issued or denied within ninety days, is valid throughout the state, and must be renewed every three years, which provides authorities a regular means of reevaluating whether the permit holder still qualifies.

Passage of this legislation was vehemently opposed by HCI and the media. The law, they said, would lead to citizens shooting each other over everyday disputes involving fender benders, impolite behavior, and other slights to their dignity. Terms like “Florida, the Gunshine State” and “Dodge City East” were coined to suggest that the state, and those seeking passage of the law, were encouraging individuals to act as judge, jury, and executioner in a “Death Wish” society.

No HCI campaign more clearly demonstrates the elitist beliefs underlying the campaign to eradicate gun ownership. Given the qualifications required of permit holders, HCI and the media can only believe that common, law-abiding citizens are seething cauldrons of homicidal rage, ready to kill to avenge any slight to their dignity, eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless. Only lack of immediate access to a gun restrains them and prevents the blood from flowing in the streets. They are so mentally and morally deficient that they would mistake a permit to carry a weapon in self-defense as a state-sanctioned license to kill at will.

Did the dire predictions come true? Despite the fact that Miami and Dade County have severe problems with the drug trade, the homicide rate fell in Florida following enactment of this law, as it did in Oregon following enactment of similar legislation there. There are, in addition, several documented cases of new permit holders successfully using their weapons to defend themselves. Information from the Florida Department of State shows that, from the beginning of the program in 1987 through June 1993, 160,823 permits have been issued, and only 530, or about 0.33 percent of the applicants, have been denied a permit for failure to satisfy the criteria, indicating that the law is benefitting those whom it was intended to benefit — the law-abiding. Only 16 permits, less than 1/100th of 1 percent, have been revoked due to the post-issuance commission of a crime involving a firearm.

The Florida legislation has been used as a model for legislation adopted by Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Mississippi. There are, in addition, seven other states (Maine, North and South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and, with the exception of cities with a population in excess of 1 million, Pennsylvania) which provide that concealed-carry permits must be issued to law-abiding citizens who satisfy various objective criteria. Finally, no permit is required at all in Vermont. Altogether, then, there are thirteen states in which law-abiding citizens who wish to carry arms to defend themselves may do so. While no one appears to have compiled the statistics from all of these jurisdictions, there is certainly an ample data base for those seeking the truth about the trustworthiness of law-abiding citizens who carry firearms.

Other evidence also suggests that armed citizens are very responsible in using guns to defend themselves. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, using surveys and other data, has determined that armed citizens defend their lives or property with firearms against criminals approximately 1 million times a year. In 98 percent of these instances, the citizen merely brandishes the weapon or fires a warning shot. Only in 2 percent of the cases do citizens actually shoot their assailants. In defending themselves with their firearms, armed citizens kill 2,000 to 3,000 criminals each year, three times the number killed by the police. A nationwide study by Kates, the constitutional lawyer and criminologist, found that only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The “error rate” for the police, however, was 11 percent, over five times as high.

It is simply not possible to square the numbers above and the experience of Florida with the notions that honest, law-abiding gun owners are borderline psychopaths itching for an excuse to shoot someone, vigilantes eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless, or incompetent fools incapable of determining when it is proper to use lethal force in defense of their lives. Nor upon reflection should these results seem surprising. Rape, robbery, and attempted murder are not typically actions rife with ambiguity or subtlety, requiring special powers of observation and great book-learning to discern. When a man pulls a knife on a woman and says, “You’re coming with me,” her judgment that a crime is being committed is not likely to be in error. There is little chance that she is going to shoot the wrong person. It is the police, because they are rarely at the scene of the crime when it occurs, who are more likely to find themselves in circumstances where guilt and innocence are not so clear-cut, and in which the probability for mistakes is higher.

Arms and Liberty

Classical republican philosophy has long recognized the critical relationship between personal liberty and the possession of arms by a people ready and willing to use them. Political theorists as dissimilar as Niccolo Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all shared the view that the possession of arms is vital for resisting tyranny, and that to be disarmed by one’s government is tantamount to being enslaved by it. The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed. As Kates has shown, the Second Amendment is as much a product of this political philosophy as it is of the American experience in the Revolutionary War. Yet our conservative elite has abandoned this aspect of republican theory. Although our conservative pundits recognize and embrace gun owners as allies in other arenas, their battle for gun rights is desultory. The problem here is not a statist utopianism, although goodness knows that liberals are not alone in the confidence they have in the state’s ability to solve society’s problems. Rather, the problem seems to lie in certain cultural traits shared by our conservative and liberal elites.

One such trait is an abounding faith in the power of the word. The failure of our conservative elite to defend the Second Amendment stems in great measure from an overestimation of the power of the rights set forth in the First Amendment, and a general undervaluation of action. Implicit in calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment is the assumption that our First Amendment rights are sufficient to preserve our liberty. The belief is that liberty can be preserved as long as men freely speak their minds; that there is no tyranny or abuse that can survive being exposed in the press; and that the truth need only be disclosed for the culprits to be shamed. The people will act, and the truth shall set us, and keep us, free.

History is not kind to this belief, tending rather to support the view of Hobbes, Machiavelli, and other republican theorists that only people willing and able to defend themselves can preserve their liberties. While it may be tempting and comforting to believe that the existence of mass electronic communication has forever altered the balance of power between the state and its subjects, the belief has certainly not been tested by time, and what little history there is in the age of mass communication is not especially encouraging. The camera, radio, and press are mere tools and, like guns, can be used for good or ill. Hitler, after all, was a masterful orator, used radio to very good effect, and is well known to have pioneered and exploited the propaganda opportunities afforded by film. And then, of course, there were the Brownshirts, who knew very well how to quell dissent among intellectuals.

Polite Society

In addition to being enamored of the power of words, our conservative elite shares with liberals the notion that an armed society is just not civilized or progressive, that massive gun ownership is a blot on our civilization. This association of personal disarmament with civilized behavior is one of the great unexamined beliefs of our time.

Should you read English literature from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, you will discover numerous references to the fact that a gentleman, especially when out at night or traveling, armed himself with a sword or a pistol against the chance of encountering a highwayman or other such predator. This does not appear to have shocked the ladies accompanying him. True, for the most part there were no police in those days, but we have already addressed the notion that the presence of the police absolves people of the responsibility to look after their safety, and in any event the existence of the police cannot be said to have reduced crime to negligible levels.

It is by no means obvious why it is “civilized” to permit oneself to fall easy prey to criminal violence, and to permit criminals to continue unobstructed in their evil ways. While it may be that a society in which crime is so rare that no one ever needs to carry a weapon is “civilized,” a society that stigmatizes the carrying of weapons by the law-abiding — because it distrusts its citizens more than it fears rapists, robbers, and murderers — certainly cannot claim this distinction. Perhaps the notion that defending oneself with lethal force is not “civilized” arises from the view that violence is always wrong, or the view that each human being is of such intrinsic worth that it is wrong to kill anyone under any circumstances. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending. Far from being “civilized,” the beliefs that counterviolence and killing are always wrong are an invitation to the spread of barbarism. Such beliefs announce loudly and clearly that those who do not respect the lives and property of others will rule over those who do.

In truth, one who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God’s gift of life (or, in modern parlance, does not properly value himself), does not live up to his responsibilities to his family and community, and proclaims himself mentally and morally deficient, because he does not trust himself to behave responsibly. In truth, a state that deprives its law-abiding citizens of the means to effectively defend themselves is not civilized but barbarous, becoming an accomplice of murderers, rapists, and thugs and revealing its totalitarian nature by its tacit admission that the disorganized, random havoc created by criminals is far less a threat than are men and women who believe themselves free and independent, and act accordingly.

While gun control proponents and other advocates of a kinder, gentler society incessantly decry our “armed society,” in truth we do not live in an armed society. We live in a society in which violent criminals and agents of the state habitually carry weapons, and in which many law-abiding citizens own firearms but do not go about armed. Department of Justice statistics indicate that 87 percent of all violent crimes occur outside the home. Essentially, although tens of millions own firearms, we are an unarmed society.

Take Back the Night

Clearly the police and the courts are not providing a significant brake on criminal activity. While liberals call for more poverty, education, and drug treatment programs, conservatives take a more direct tack. George Will advocates a massive increase in the number of police and a shift toward “community-based policing.” Meanwhile, the NRA and many conservative leaders call for laws that would require violent criminals serve at least 85 percent of their sentences and would place repeat offenders permanently behind bars.

Our society suffers greatly from the beliefs that only official action is legitimate and that the state is the source of our earthly salvation. Both liberal and conservative prescriptions for violent crime suffer from the “not in my job description” school of thought regarding the responsibilities of the law-abiding citizen, and from an overestimation of the ability of the state to provide society’s moral moorings. As long as law-abiding citizens assume no personal responsibility for combatting crime, liberal and conservative programs will fail to contain it.

Judging by the numerous articles about concealed-carry in gun magazines, the growing number of products advertised for such purpose, and the increase in the number of concealed-carry applications in states with mandatory-issuance laws, more and more people, including growing numbers of women, are carrying firearms for self-defense. Since there are still many states in which the issuance of permits is discretionary and in which law enforcement officials routinely deny applications, many people have been put to the hard choice between protecting their lives or respecting the law. Some of these people have learned the hard way, by being the victim of a crime, or by seeing a friend or loved one raped, robbed, or murdered, that violent crime can happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime, and that crime is not about sex or property but life, liberty, and dignity.

The laws proscribing concealed-carry of firearms by honest, law-abiding citizens breed nothing but disrespect for the law. As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people. A federal law along the lines of the Florida statute — overriding all contradictory state and local laws and acknowledging that the carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens is a privilege and immunity of citizenship — is needed to correct the outrageous conduct of state and local officials operating under discretionary licensing systems.

What we certainly do not need is more gun control. Those who call for the repeal of the Second Amendment so that we can really begin controlling firearms betray a serious misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.

At one time this was even understood by the Supreme Court. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the first case in which the Court had an opportunity to interpret the Second Amendment, it stated that the right confirmed by the Second Amendment “is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” The repeal of the Second Amendment would no more render the outlawing of firearms legitimate than the repeal of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment would authorize the government to imprison and kill people at will. A government that abrogates any of the Bill of Rights, with or without majoritarian approval, forever acts illegitimately, becomes tyrannical, and loses the moral right to govern.

This is the uncompromising understanding reflected in the warning that America’s gun owners will not go gently into that good, utopian night: “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” While liberals take this statement as evidence of the retrograde, violent nature of gun owners, we gun owners hope that liberals hold equally strong sentiments about their printing presses, word processors, and television cameras. The republic depends upon fervent devotion to all our fundamental rights.


It is Un-American not to want to pay taxes???

It is Un-American not to want to pay taxes???

In reply to this article at IReport.

Yes, roads are crumbling, bridges are decaying, our health care system isn't perfect, people are homeless and hungry, etc.

At the risk of sounding callus, so what?

In 1773 British colonists in 3 colonies blocked the unloading of taxed tea, while those in Boston destroyed the tea in defiance of the Royal Governor. This was the famous "Boston Tea Party". Colonists were angered because they were being subjected to taxes from a government that didn't allow them a voice. This was a major point in the road to revolution, and the creation of the United States.

The commenter's points are valid. We need infrastructure repair. There is however more than enough money in the system to provide for all of that. If only our government would spend it wisely. I believe we are in a dangerous fall, heading towards the same type of unrest that led to the Revolution. One only has to look at how few American's were behind the over 15 Trillion dollars in bailouts that have so far been pass out to poorly managed big businesses to shore them up lest they fail. One only has to question the government or not blindly agree with it, to be labeled a traitor nowadays. The current tax code is so complex, even the IRS isn't certain about it. One only has to look at how many recnt goveernment appointees failed to pay to see a dual standard. They get forgiven, yet we mere serfs get fined and possibly imprisoned.

Not pay your taxes? How Un-American? No, How American!

Not paying taxes was a foundation stone of this nation. There is questionable legality to many of the taxes and fees (taxes in all but name) we are hit with. Our so called leaders no longer care what we want. They spend OUR money on their pet projects, at insanely bloated prices, to curry favor with each other. There isn't a single government agency in the US that doesn't have at least 1 political appointee who gathers a pay check yet does no real work. I've read countless cases where people are being paid yet haven't clocked in or shown up to the office in months, or where they sit and web surf or write their novels, because they fill a mandatory position yet have nothing work related to do because they are left over from the last administration.

In NY alone, we could return billions of much needed dollars to our general fund if we would eliminate the patronage jobs, cut government pay to the realistic yet very livable level of $50k per year per person, and require all hires and expenditures to be justified. Bids must be on par with what a civilian would pay, or less, to reflect bulk purchase. No more $1,000 hammers when you can get one just as good for under $25.

Another point is simply this. The argument goes that if we don't pay taxes, then others won't have shelter, or food, or medical treatment. I'm sorry, but that's not y faultand it's not my problem. More to the point, that is not the government's job either. "But if the governmt doesn't help them, who will?" you say? Feel free to help them all you want, out of your own pocket. Stop reaching into mine to finance it though. Taking something without permission has always been called theft. What is it when the government takes it without consent? It's still theft.

American's are a very giving people. The People don't have a problem paying a reasonable amount, for needed things. We do however take issue more and more with being seen as little more than a never ending supply of free cash to fund pork and keep an elite fat and rosy cheeked.

It's time to speak up and shout until the fat cats and career politicians hear us.

Visit and find a protest near you.
Add your voice to those who are tired of a deaf government.
Only you can retake your country from those who consider you litle more than an ATM.

Michael Badnarik Quote

The foreign policy of the US has been one of "empire building" ever since the First World War. The Constitution authorizes government to provide for "national DE-fense", not "international OF-fense". If Americans were really interested in promoting our national safety, they would realize that a policy of constant foreign intervention directly undermines that stated goal. Our country has military forces stationed in 135 countries around the world, and we are influencing their governments and economies either directly or indirectly in every case. That is the political equivalent of poking them in the eye with a sharp stick. It is little wonder then that dozens of countries and millions of people around the world harbor more than a little resentment against us. The recent mutilation of American civilians is just the beginning of the violence that will be directed toward us if we do not bring our troops home where they belong.
  • April 2004

These guys had no idea how stupid we are.

These guys didn't know what they were talking about. We need special people to let us know what we can and can't be trusted with, and they need to keep track of that for us as we're too untrustworthy and stupid to handle ourselves otherwise. So stupid they were back then.


When only cops have guns, it's called a "police state".

Love your country, but never trust its government.
-- Robert A. Heinlein.

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
-- Abraham Lincoln, 4 April 1861

"One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."
-- Constitutional scholar Joseph Story, 1840

Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.
-- From the Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775.

"As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks."
-- Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew.

No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
-- 16 Am. Jur. Sec. 177 late 2d, Sec 256

"Taking my gun away because I might shoot someone is like cutting my tongue out because I might yell `Fire!' in a crowded theater."
-- Peter Venetoklis

...Virtually never are murderers the ordinary, law-abiding people against whom gun bans are aimed. Almost without exception, murderers are extreme aberrants with lifelong histories of crime, substance abuse, psychopathology, mental retardation and/or irrational violence against those around them, as well as other hazardous behavior, e.g., automobile and gun accidents."
-- Don B. Kates, writing on statistical patterns in gun crime

"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
-- John F. Kennedy

he right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
-- Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story of the John Marshall Court

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.
-- Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson's Commonplace book

No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.
-- "Political Disquisitions", a British republican tract of 1774-1775

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
-- Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
-- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.
-- Attributed to Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Should the U.S. move the battle against pirates to shore?

CNN is asking "Should the U.S. move the battle against pirates to shore?"

I say yes.

It was due to the actions of one group of pirates that the US Navy and US Marine Corp were created in 1794. Taking the fight against the Somali pirates would be a worthy action for both forces today, provided they are allowed to engage and destroy the pirates, and not handcuffed by politicians.

Piracy is glamorous when it's Johnny Depp. Reality, is far uglier.

From the Archives: A Nation of Wimps.

From 2004
A Nation Of Wimps

Author: Hara Estroff Marano Source: Psychology Today


Maybe it's the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along th dirt three mile an hour. On his tricycle

Or perhaps it's today's playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And...wait a minute...those aren't little kids playing. Their mommies--and especially their daddies--are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching. Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves.

Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Presumably, parents now worry that school bathrooms are not good enough for their children.

Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. "Kids need to feel badly sometimes," says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. "We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope."

Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. Although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation.

Submitted by and Thanks to: The good folks at Arts and Letters Daily (

[Read Full Story]


When I was in school, I always heard about "the curve", and "blowing the curve". When I hit a snag, I had the "Needs Improvement" in red nephew gets 'feel-good' babble on his.

Growing up, my playground had huge slides, monkey bars, and a ton of swing sets.
Today, that same playground has 1 swing set with 'safety' seats, no slides, no monkey bars...but it does have a little 'play area'. Most of it is now a grassy field.

We now have helmet laws for bikes. My mother this last summer gave me the big lecture on how I need one. I'm 34. I've done the 'stuntman' bit so often, the old ECW guys are amazed. I've had at least 1 car-involvement accident. Never wore helmet, gloves, pads, etc. I'm still here.

I think sometimes, we worry too much. Yes, stuff can happen, but should we all walk around in armour 24/7 just in case? I'm reading a cook book, and there was a warning in there to wear safety glasses. Y'know, I've never seen anyone on any cooking show wearing em. Never seen them on Iron Chef. Not on Emeril, Mario or Alton. In 20 years of cooking, I've gotten hot oil once, on the eye. That was a few days ago. Is it risky? Yup. But no more than walking down the street, IMO.

Kids are too sheltered, too managed, to controled today. They need the room to make mistakes, to get hurt, to learn. Shelter them too much, and too long, and they will be eaten alive by the world. Is it any wonder kids are fatter today than before? The 30 minute scheduled play period isn't enough to burn it off...they want to run around, we call it ADD and drug them. If they act 'different', we tag them with a different name and start 'behavioral modification therapy'. 5 yr old makes a finger gun, goes 'bang bang', and gts a month off for violating the schools 'zero weapons' policy. 6 year old smooches a class mate, and is removed for class for 'sexual harassment'.

You know, if I was in school today, they'd have me executed fast. I used to play guns all the time...I used to kiss the girls and make em cry....I used to play DnD....oh my gawd! I even listened to heavy metal and wore a trench coat.

I truely feel for the kids today...I really do.


It just seems to me, that everything is getting so sanitized, and structured, that the 'spontaneity' and 'randomness' of youth is being lost. We as adults do the getup, goto work, work, come home, dinner, take the kids to their event (classes, games, shows, etc), come home, and pass out "dance" 5 days a week. Part of being a kid is just 'doing', randomly, wandering and exploring. I think it's missing for too many kids today.

The predators are a problem, I admit. It seems like every time you turn on the tv or read the paper that there's another one out there. This priest, that teacher, this neighbor, that relative, that friend, that politician, etc. Who is there that you can trust? All you can do, is what you can do, and hope and pray that it is enough. A key point however, is to do that protecting without seriously impacting the child's ability to interact with others. I think that means that as time goes on, you must relax the restraint.

Sometimes, you can go too far. A person I know, 24, still lives at home, still has a curfew, has never had a 'sleepover', must check in regularly when out, all friends must be 'approved' by the mother, etc. She's a nice gal, but completely incapable of being on her own, without the maternal management. I knew a couple that got married to escape controlling parents...they've been evicted twice, apartments totally pigsties...they haven't got a clue when it comes to 'housework'. Mommy did it all for them.

There has to be a point, or series of points where they are allowed to "grow up".

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