Another Sad Day in Amerika

lavoyIt’s another sad day in Amerika.  Of course, some of us will be sadder than others at the news that the Malheur confrontation was forcibly broken by government troops, with resulting loss of life and injury among the protesters.

I’m sad because lives were lost.  The government seems unable to end any disagreement without casualties among the opposition.  Of course, we do not have all the details — and possibly never will — but it is certain that there were casualties.

I’m sad because the protesters, whether or not intentionally, created an atmosphere of confrontation that encouraged the use of force on the part of government troops (not that they seem to need much encouragement these days).

I’m sad because the protester killed was the father of 11 and grandfather of 19. I’m sad because either he felt it necessary to lay down his life to make his point, or he was targeted because of or in spite of his situation.

I’m sad because the media, the government, and to some degree the protesters themselves dissembled and distorted the details of the situation, presumably to achieve an ulterior motive.  The issue at hand was immediately obscured and deflected by all concerned.

I’m sad because there are indications that citizens in the area allowed themselves to be swayed by government and media propaganda, such that they believe there were dangers that probably never existed.

I’m sad that the state of law enforcement is such that every “situation” becomes a crisis that justifies the use of equipment and technology so thoughtfully provided by the “1033 Program”, said provision and use neither necessarily justified nor beneficial.

I’m sad that every politician, elected official, government bureaucrat, and member of the “patriot movement” for miles around seems to have seized on the event to further an irrelevant agenda.

I’m sad that the concept of “government land” is allowed to exist, without constitutional authority or consent of the involved states.

Last of all, I’m sad for the family of the slain and wounded.  These casualties, whether for a valid cause, or whether a result of government necessity, are one more indicator of the deteriorating condition of our society.  Sadly, we seem to be either unable or unwilling to do anything about it, short of writing more sad stories like this one.

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Obscene Positions

I really didn’t want to do a piece on Campain (sic) 2016.  But this sprang up in my mind today, and what the heck, everybody else is, so why not I?  Submitted for your amusement, a wallet-sized snapshot of the key platform elements for (most of) the pResidential candidates.  I tried my best to be brief on each, but some folks just rate a more thorough scouring.  To the candidates I left out … try to statist harder.  Maybe you’ll make it next time.


Jeb:  “I am not my brother.  Think of me as more like McCain … or Romney.  As far as my specific positions, look, stuff happens.  Things happen all the time.  Things.  Is that better?”

Ben: “Maybe.  Possibly.  I am thinking seriously about things.  I have not yet fully fleshed out my policies.  This isn’t any evolution of my views, just that I’ve learned how to express myself.”

Chris: “I fixed New Jersey’s economy so well that the state’s credit rating was only downgraded nine times during my reign.  And we’re still ahead of Illinois!  Mary Jane is a gateway drug, and if elected I will rid the states of it root and stem.  I don’t need anything that gives me the munchies.”

Ted: “I’m bullish on killing.  Well, not babies.  But all other criminals, terrorists, and bad guys.  I strongly defend golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads.”

Rand: “I’m a Republican.  I’m a conservative.  I’m a Tea Partyer.  I’m a libertarian.  You name it, I can be it.  Except my Dad.  I can not be my Dad.  I oppose government control … except where it suits my purposes.  I think we can have most things both ways.”

Marco: “I am more conservative than anybody, but I support immigration reform, especially for my parents.  I dispute climate change science, but I have no problem with the Pope’s support for it.”

Donald: “It is wrong that a rich person can have more influence than people without money.  That’s why I’m financing my own campaign.  I beat other nations economically all the time, and as pResident I’ll do the same.  I oppose immigration reform, unless I’m ‘H2B-ing’ them.  I don’t believe all gun owners should be punished for the acts of a few individuals, but I think we should ban all Muslims.  I support traditional marriage to hot young chicks.  I want people to be guessing … I don’t want people to figure it out. I don’t want people to know what my plan is. I have plans. I have plans! But I don’t want to do it.”

Hillary: “I’m a proven commodity.  I’ve been First Lady twice, and have guided my husband through many tight (and some loose) situations.  I have been a Senator, and almost served two terms before destiny called me.  I have been Secretary of State and had a thinly disguised TV series made about that.  By the way, there are two other TV dramas based on me as well, so there’s that as well.  I’ve declared war on the billionaire class … at least until we’re no longer poorer than that.  I have bigger balls than any Republican war-monger … and I’ve killed more people than they have.  I’m more conservative than any Republican, and more progressive than any Democrat.”

Bernie: “I am not a socialist.  I do not want to replace capitalism.  I just want government to regulate every aspect of it.  I want to rebuild America’s job base by rebuilding muh roads.  Oh yeah … and free stuff for everyone.”

Martin: “If you like the political climate in Baltimore and in Maryland, you’ll love what I’m going to give the United States.”

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Anybody Seen Lon?

For my first post of this calendar year, I address the so-called “Oregon Standoff”.  (Why not?  Everybody else already has.)

It might seem that every aspect of the situation has been covered to excess … and I’d be the first to agree.  And yet, we know very little about the reality of the situation.  And if you’re looking for clarification, you might as well move on now.

I confess to being perplexed by almost every facet of this debacle.  I felt confident in my position of support for the Bundys and their opposition to the BLM.  I felt confident in the information I was getting from sources I trusted. Generally speaking, I do not have that sense regarding the Hammonds.

Given my strongly held feelings about being governed, my inclination in situations like this is to always side with the anti-government position.  However.  My nonarchist tendencies do not extend to actions that appear randomly violent, overly aggressive, or self-serving.  Some parties involved in the Hammond case give off a fairly strong whiff of some or all of those attributes.

For example, what does the occupation of portions of the Malheur refuge have to do with anything?  Is it just me, or does it look a lot like an attempt to replicate the Ruby Ridge / Waco standoff situations?  Well, clearly it’s not just me, because some members of the groups opposed to trends in federal government are questioning the occupation in rather strong terms.  It is hard to ignore the possibility of a false flag operation, designed by the feds to marginalize gun owners, agrarians, opponents of federal bureaucracies, III%ers, and others in the loose confederation some call the Liberty Movement.

On the other hand, those generally opposed to the occupation are seizing on every tangential meme available: racism, anti-Muslim sentiment, domestic terrorism … and snacks.  One (admittedly ill-conceived) statement has produced a huge wave of scorn over the occupiers request for snacks.  The level of vitriol is remarkable for both its inanity and its irrelevance.

Meanwhile, government, showing its infinite patience with its wayward children (yeah, right), is basically doing nothing.  In other words, they’re riding the wave of divisive rhetoric for their own purposes.  What actions will issue as a result of the confrontation remain to be seen.  What ongoing actions will be ratcheted up, using the confrontation as justification, also remain to be seen.

Honestly, my concern here is that otherwise good people will be tarred by the brush that is the Oregon Standoff, to their detriment and the detriment of others like them.  This is rapidly becoming “a house divided against itself”, and I can’t stand it.

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On War

Postulate

Each war in which the united states have played a part has differed from the ones previous in several ways:

  • the strategies and tactics of the last war have not applied
  • the military has not been prepared for the new war
  • new technologies have exerted unexpected influence
  • the internal and external politics of war-fighting have mutated in unexpected ways
  • everything from terrain to logistics has differed
  • little or none of the changes have been anticipated
  • those who anticipated the changes were universally ignored by those in power
  • the effect on the troops and civilian population has been unanticipated
  • the aftermath of the war has produced unanticipated erosion of individual liberties

If you accept my postulate as correct, then I offer you the following hypothesis for consideration:

World War III started ‘officially’ for the united states on September 11th, 2001, and has been ongoing continuously ever since. (The ‘run-up’ lasted about 8-11 years, depending on which acts one accepts as being part of the prelude.)

We have not fought a ‘declared’ war since World War II. The individual conflicts since then have been bounded by more or less clearly demarcated events (though, for example, the “Vietnam War” has a frustratingly undefined start point.) This war has no true start point; my worry is that it may well have no true end point either. Of course, the alternative is even more frightening, if conflicts just continue to escalate until we destroy humankind through one cataclysmic means or the other.

Consider my hypothesis in light of the bullet points listed above. Can you identify specific occurrences that fit with one or more of them? More importantly, if the hypothesis is correct, is an acceptable outcome possible?

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The NC Constitution: A Relic Of “Reconstruction” Oppression

Nearly 150 years after the end of the War of Northern Aggression, North Carolina’s constitution — in spite of subsequent revisions — still bears the mark of Northern occupancy of the Tar Heel State.

More to the point, clauses of the NC constitution are antithetical to liberty, internally inconsistent, and are a denial of state “sovereignty”, a hallmark of the Founders’ intent.

Consider Section 4 of Article I (Declaration of Rights):

This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union; the people thereof are part of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.

This clause is inconsistent with the Founders’ intent for a federal government, as revealed through the writings of numerous authors of the time, most notably Jefferson. John Taylor of Caroline devoted much attention to this matter, providing lengthy refutations of ‘national supremacy’. This clause was forced on the state unconstitutionally by the Washington government after the war; that it has never been repealed is a burden that this state alone must bear.

Consider the preceding clause:

Sec. 3.  Internal government of the State.

The people of this State have the inherent, sole, and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, and of altering or abolishing their Constitution and form of government whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happiness; but every such right shall be exercised in pursuance of law and consistently with the Constitution of the United States.

Anyone see a contradiction there? If the state of North Carolina was party to the ratification of the US Constitution, is it rational to think that we could do to that authority what we cannot do to the federal government it created? And does not history show that nullification and secession were clearly a major factor in the united states ratifying a federal constitution, knowing that should it deny state ‘sovereignty’, the states had those options as recourse. Is secession not the very nature of the colonies declaring independence?

Now consider the subsequent section:

Sec. 5.  Allegiance to the United States.

Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.

This clause affirms national government supremacy, which was the very crux of the debates that nearly killed the US constitution in its cradle. The Anti-Federalists, in exchange for their acceptance of the document, were given every assurance that the federal government would never exercise supremacy over the states.

We are long overdue for a reversion to the concept of state ‘sovereignty’. The passage of time, with its concomitant erosion of individual liberty by the national government and its ‘special interests’, makes this battle difficult. But we can start within the state, and send Washington a message, by removing the stain of “Reconstruction” from our state constitution.

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Madison’s ‘child’ was nearly stillborn

James Madison, often referred to as the “father of the constitution”, nearly killed that child in birthing it. His insistence on three key components of the “Virginia plan” (1) brought the convention to the brink of dissolution. Only Roger Sherman’s alternate suggestion (2) ‘saved the day’.

The information in the footnotes below reveal elements of the deep and divisive discord so often ignored these days in discussions of the constitution. Compare the Madison plan to the Sherman plan in the context of contemporary discussion, and it becomes painfully evident that the “Federalists” won the battle for the meaning of the constitution.

Our constitution today is treated as a guideline for governing — not, as was originally intended, as a document grudgingly creating a federal authority and serving as a document to strictly limit said authority to a ‘minarchial’ role, the bulk of authority resting with the sovereign states whose autonomy predated even the Declaration of Independence.

The rot is so deep and engrained (having spread relentlessly and insidiously for more than 200 years, only recently accelerating its pace) that only the several states can restrain it by exercising their originally intended sovereignty. No branch of the federal government has the ability to do so, nor the willingness, if truth be told. It remains to be seen if the states have the will, demanded by the people and exercised by their governments.

If we, the people, wish to restore the Founders’ vision of liberty, it is up to us to do so at the local, county, and state levels, independent and sovereign from Washington City’s fever swamp on the Potomac.

I doubt that Mr Madison would be comfortable with the monstrosity his federal government has become; I am sure that I am not.


 

(1) membership in both federal legislative houses determined by population; national legislature having veto power on any state legislation; and — least popular of all — national legislature empowered to legislate whenever it deemed a state incompetent or its legislation “disharmonious”

(2) objects of union strictly limited to only: defense against foreign danger; control of internal disputes and disorders; treaties; foreign commerce and its derived revenue

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Growing up ‘unsupervised’

When I was a child in Lumberton, NC (ages 5-11), I often left home after breakfast, and did not return until lunch … sometimes until supper. I played all over our neighborhood, and occasionally beyond. I swam in the swift-flowing Lumber River, and in water moccasin-infested White Lake and Lake Waccamaw. I went fishing on Scarborough’s pond without a life vest. I rode my bike without a helmet, attached pieces of line to the handlebars to simulate horse’s reins, and often rode behind the DDT truck in its cloud of oily insecticide spray. I smoked “rabbit tobacco” and played with my green army men (occasionally setting brush fires to better simulate a combat environment) .

We moved to Greensboro, NC in 1959. Our house sat in the middle of Mr. Benjamin’s cow pasture. I played with the estate caretaker’s son Bill in the field, and wandered through the woods — sometimes all day — accompanied by my faithful dachshund. I smoked real tobacco, and drank liquor when I could get it, with a definite preference for “corn”. I hunted and fished on my own, or with a friend, often trading my services shooting crows out of a cornfield in exchange for hunting privileges. Old Mr. Case’s wife would feed me country ham from the smokehouse and scratch biscuits off her wood stove.

If I were to do today at 8 or 12 what I did back then at those ages, I would be hauled in by Child Protective Services and my parents would be indicted. My parents were strict, God-fearing Southern Democrats of the highest moral standing, and they saw to it that we knew right from wrong, and acted accordingly. Yes, I transgressed, but never without guilt and at least an attempt to do better. It is not as though they did not care; they just knew that children need to be taught how to behave, and then be given the opportunity to learn from and act on that teaching.

Our modern era has produced in our society the belief that risk is not a part of life, rather something to be controlled by government, acting to protect us from every possible bad outcome. Government, so far removed from us by comparison, cannot function as a parent. It does not take a village — much less a nation — to raise a child.

Reference [caution: Faux News alert!] : Student Punished for Saying “Bless you”

Reference: Punishing Independence

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