Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Canary of Liberty and Rights

This morning I've read David Codrea's Gun Rights Examiner(1) and David Hardy's Of Arms and the Law(2). I also read the stories they linked to at Black Star News and Pittsburgh Live. I read the statist newspeak in those stories, and I have read many more over the years.

I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is the canary of individual rights. If you don't understand why I call it the canary look up the history of canaries and mining. If the air in a mine was bad, the caged canary the miners carried would be the first to die.

Consider this quote from Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields, "The NRA's tactics are intimidation and fear," Shields said. "My purpose is not to take your guns away. My purpose is to mitigate gun violence." Then go look up the video's of the New Orleans gun confiscations. Mr. Shields has police officers that can act under the color of law to violate your individual rights. The NRA does not. So who is really using intimidation and fear?

Consider this quote from the Black Star News: As Bob Herbert wrote in a New York Times column today, "We’re confiscating shampoo from carry-on luggage at airports while at the same time handing out high-powered weaponry to criminals and psychotics at gun shows."

Both sides of that statement are ridiculas. Many of TSA's actions have been described as "Security Theater". Confiscating shampoo is just part of that. And if anyone is handing out guns at gun shows, to anybody!, I want to know where I need to be going! Legal guns are expensive. If acting psychotic gets me a gun, will acting paranoid AND psychotic get me one in camo or all black?

Consider also a video that David C linked to the other day (3). Now I will be the first to say that the young man does not sound like he entirely understands the parameters of a "Terry Stop". On the other hand, I do not know what the state laws are concerning border patrol agents in that state. Can they issue traffic tickets? But to me, the canary in that mine is the statement "That in a Border Patrol Checkpoint a person's rights don't matter." That may be true south of the border. But it better be false on this side. Unfortuately we know that it is not. I've got to go cut my grass or I'd look it up, but there has already been a court decision that you and your papers are not secure against unreasonable search and seizure by the US Border Patrol. They can confiscate your laptop to examine it. With no practical time deadline to return it. In a similar practice, the Wisconsin man who was planting a tree when he was harrassed by cops for open carrying on his own property had to sue to get the return of his arms. The agents of the state will not voluntarily give up what they are able to take from you. Not time, not money, not guns.

And especially not rights.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get your religion out of my political party!

A little background before I explain the title of this post.
I am an Eagle Scout, I earned that award and the citizenship merit badges 36+ years ago in a scout troop where the scoutmaster was a judge in Maryland's highest court. I believe the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and the following amendments are the overarching law of this land. Since I turned 18 I have generally voted for Republican or Independent or Libertarian candidates. For the last 4 years I have served as a Republican Election Judge. About two and
a half years ago I started attending local Libertarian meetings and was even elected the vice-chair of the local chapter. That was after the IL GOP gave us a RINO instead of a real candidate to run for Governor. But by IL law, since I still voted in the primaries as a Republican I was still able to be a Republican Election Judge.

Last night I attended my first county Republican meeting. This morning I looked up the RNC's platform on values. I believe that the 2008 platform is not consistent within itself nor, more importantly, with the US Constitution. You can find it here:

Note the fine statements on "Ensuring Equal Treatment" and "Safeguarding Religious Liberties". The Eagle Scout in me applauds the explicit mention of the Boy Scouts and the protected freedom of association.

However... My personal religious beliefs do not extend life to before birth. My personal religious beliefs do not fear same sex marriage. What is it about some people that their beliefs in their religious values are so fragile that they do not believe that their marriages will survive if some men married each other?

I say get government completely out of religion based licensing. But if we can't do that, let us realize that there are and have been two halves to the marriage process. The civil part, where you get licensed, where Federal, State and sometimes local laws recognize a specific legal relationship between 2 people that is the civil side of marriage, a very specific form of contract that affects responsibilities for children, inheritance and fiscal responsibilities. You might actually call it a specific form of a LLC. (Limited Liability Corp)

And then there is the religious side of marriage. Some people do not involve the religious side in their marriage. They choose to be married by a Judge or other recognized authority. Most other people choose a marriage by a religious person, minister, priest, rabbi, druid, wiccan priestess, whatever. Now if your religious group chooses not to perform gay marriages that's just fine by me.

Just as its also fine by me if your religious group chooses to sponsor education and advertising initiatives to convince people to make a choice other than abortion. Teach abstinence, teach adoption. Teach all you want. Teach voters to choose representatives that will remove government funding for abortion procedures. I'm especially fine with that. Personally I think abortion is a bad choice. But unless its going to be my child, its not my choice, nor my responsibility to pay for it.

So, RNC, if you want to win back the political power that goes with seating more elected officials show that you know and love the US Constitution, and the preexisting enumerated and unenumerated rights that predated it. Have your personal, individual beliefs. I certainly have mine. But don't try to make them into law. You wouldn't want Sharia Law to become the law of this land. Why should your religion's rules become the law instead?

Please note: I am not calling for the removal of 'In God we trust". Because I do. But the voice of the Spirit of the Divine does not seem to be whispering the same messages in my ears as others say they are hearing.

Atheists may be asking what about us? Sorry. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. If you want that go help reestablish the Soviet Union somewhere else.

One last thought that I wish to capture here and share. A friend told me that when I took the podium last night my style could best be described as Khrushchev. Short of taking my shoe off. I can only say this - I would rather be passionately misunderstood than quench the fire in my soul that the Spirit has lite.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Something that woke me out of a backup induced daze

If you're a systems administrator you can probably relate to this scenario:
On a Sunday afternoon you come in to do a minor task because its the only time you can bring down a system. When you get there you find out that a less experienced system administrator has trashed one of your systems when an upgrade failed. And now you're spending the night trying to rebuild & recover the server. That's why I'm sitting here, reading blogs while watching a tape drive spin off backup files.

Its now 5am, I've read the usual stuff, Arms & the Law, The Volokh Conspiracy (including most of the comments). I decide to see if I can hit the proxy that doesn't block blogspot and whoppie I get through to militarymotivators a (a politically safe test for this job). BTW: that's After reading Ride Fast and Shoot straight I decide to check his blogroll for someone I've not read before or for awhile.

And what do I see? This blog listed. Wow, I've been noticed? Which also reminds me, when was the last time I updated my list? Oh, is on there. So while I see that the tape drive is still spinning SunStudio I do a quick update and write this note.

BTW: I do read a good dozen more blogs, Says Uncle, Ahab,, Days of our Trailers, Snowflakes included. I promise to do another update in the near future, but right now I think I'm going to go make more coffee, because the watched backup or restore never finishes. And daydream about how this unexpected overtime is getting me closer to a new H-D Cross Bones in olive.

p.s. Thanks for adding me, and if others have and I hadn't noticed, thanks to you all also.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As Even a 14 yr old Knows, The Republic was not the Evil Empire

I was reading Foxnews when I saw the following:

"During his address to the Center for New American Security, Danzig also said much can be learned about the motivations of terrorists by looking at, for instance, soccer fans who become absorbed by violence or even the Star Wars movies.

According to the article, Danzig said a terrorist from the 1995 Tokyo nerve gas attack once told him: “We have been raised on a theory of superheroes. We all want to be like Luke Skywalker.”

Danzig argued that anyone who leads a “mundane” life and loses his or her ambition can be tempted by the promises of an extremist group or leader."

Danzig use to be a Navy Secretary under Clinton and is now one of Obama's National Security advisors.

When I read this I tried to believe that he was referring to Chancellor Palpatine but then I found this at the Sidney Morning Herald, 'He added: "The parallels with al-Qaeda are obvious."'
So I called up the only 14 year old that I could think of. I asked "Was Luke Skywalker a good guy or a bad guy?" She said "Good guy."
So, a 14 year old can do what an Obama advisory can not: tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When will they come for my hammer?

Take a moment to look at the picture of a war hammer available at
war hammer.
Now go take a look at the popular hunting and target rifle:
and the US Army's Sniper rifle:

Do you see how little difference there is in the appearance of a rifle used by deer hunters and the one used by terrorist hunters?

There are people (for example: Pilozi, Feinstein, Obama) that want to ban or restrict weapons based on their appearance. Note that the new bill from Carolyn McCarthy,H.R. 297, is another Assault *Weapons* ban. Not guns, not firearms, not rifles. There is already a great deal of digital ink that has been spent on why there is no functional difference between a semi-auto rifle with a wood stock and a semi-auto rifle with a non-wood stock and a mount for a bipod or bayonet. And based on the appearances logic gunowners should expect attacks on their bolt action rifles as well. I want to go farther than that. I want us to think about banning "assault weapons" in general.

Lets get back to that war hammer and compare it to a common nail hammer. Stanley Tools has lots of hammers, large and small. You can see some at:

Let’s see, our war hammer has a square head, a spike instead of a nail claw, and a longer, metal shrouded hand grip compared to Stanley’s classic “16 oz. Curved Claw Wood Handle Nail Hammer”. But if you look at that webpage you can see “evil black” hammers. So, when the assault weapons banners come after our hammers will they decide that sporting purpose hammers should have the traditional wood shaft, not the military quality metal or modern fiberglass shafts? Will small tack hammers be banned because they are easily concealed? Will urban areas create local bans on sledge hammers because there is no reasonable use for a hammer of that size unless you live in the country driving fence posts? Will hammers over 16oz be considered to large for “civilian” use? Will normal people be allowed to only purchase claw hammers and not hammers with spikes because a spike on a handle would make it an assault weapon? What will that do to the market for pickaxes? Will those of us that own pickaxes be grandfathered? Will my old pick axe from my grandmother’s farm be considered a collectible and thus transferable to licensed collectors?

And will there be an outcry by members of the SCA and RenFaire performers when a writer for the Farmer’s Almanac suggests that there is no practical hobby purpose to their war hammers and that farmers and carpenters should not wish association between their hammers and the medieval recreationists’ hammers?

Do you think I'm being absurd? Let's not forget that hammers are used in deadly assaults. For example: 3 Women bludgeoned to death with hammer. Do I hear Frank Lautenberg preparing an amendment to a bill criminalizing the possession of hammers by men served with protection orders?

“The sword and the terrible weapon of the soldier, are the birth right of every American.”- Tenche Coxe (Philadelphia newsletter circa 1791)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Election Judges

I recommend that people who are really interested in helping our government work should do a stint as an election judge. I became one in a somewhat sideways manner. By Illinois rules I am considered a Republican because I last voted in a primary election as a Republican. Until I vote in a primary as something else I will continue to be considered a Republican. Even though this year I am the Vice-Chair of the Metro-East Libertarians. And one of the few Republicans in the county where I live. I have a friend who is very actively Democrat. And yes, we do have enjoyable conversations about politics. Any how, she knew that her precinct was going to need another non-Democrat as an election judge for the Nov 2006 General election. By IL law, it is going to be a long time before someone other than Repub or Dem will be able to serve as an election judge. I agreed to do it. The $50 for training and $150 for working election day was not actually an incentive since I lost money by not going to work that day.

It was an interesting and exhausting day. At the polling place by 5am (I often go to bed between 2-4am) and not able to leave until almost 8pm. But what got me was the inability of one of judges to follow the rules and instructions. And I'm sorry to say that twice I allowed myself to be coerced into following her lead. I promise you that it will not happen again.

Background: this part of IL uses the fill in the dot type ballets. Like a standardized test.

Incident 1: In setting up the little booths that people would use to fill out their forms the openings were suppose to be turned towards a wall. She insisted that they face the other way so that we could see if someone needed help. But also reducing the voters privacy.

Incident 2: "To save time" at the end of the day she insisted that we all pre-sign the paper work. Because the other judges agreed I only made a small issue of it. And then at the end of the day she almost violated election law and our sigs would have been on the paperwork. She was not going to count the write in votes! "Because they won't matter and don't apply to us anyway." There I put my foot down and when she continued to fight me I got ready to use my cellphone to call the county sheriff. She backed down.

I'm wondering how the primary/municipal elections are going to go this spring?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Freedom of the press - to make things up!

An important link if you have not been following the doctoring of news from the Israeli conflicts.

This message, and it’s links provides a capstone on a lesson people should have learned many times over – but don’t. “The Press” makes stuff up to suit their own agenda. I put the press in quotes because I want to point out that this fictional writing style masquerading as factual accounting is a tradition that is millenniums old. I provide as an example Julius Caesar’s writings of Gaul describing Celts and Druids. A more modern example is news media coverage of firearms incidents. When was the last time you saw a headline that describes a private citizen using a firearm, rifle, shotgun or handgun, to defend themselves against an attacker? There was the handicapped lady in NYC. Unfortunately to do so meant that she was probably breaking several NYC ordinances. According to the NRA it happens on an almost daily basis. The truth is probably somewhere in between Mainstream Media’s rarely reporting and NRAnews saying that it happens almost daily.

My point is that the truth is usually found by listening to both sides of the story, looking for as much of the raw information that is available, listening to what is not being said, and looking at the history behind the story.

More later,

p.s. Yes I promised more about being an election judge. It’s coming. I’m still needing to do more research in the Illinois Statutes.