Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tick, Tick, Boom?

Billy Beck’s most recent post Portents, in full.

You heard it from me first, ladies and gentlemen “All politics in this country is now merely rehearsal for full-blast civil war.”

Posted by John Venlet on 11/10 at 05:35 PM
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American Citizens, Not Subjects

The word citizen has been much on my mind, lately.  The word citizen, according to Etymonline.com, comes to us from the early14th century, and the Merriam-Webster.com definition of citizen is as follows.

1: an inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman
2a : a member of a state b : a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it
3: a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state (bold by ed. - italics by Merriam-Webster)

Since the 14th century, the meaning of being a citizen has been denigrated, as is evidenced by its definition, above, from being a freeman to being a subject controlled by force, i.e. “move along citizen, nothing to see here,” while a freeman is defined as follows.

1: one enjoying civil or political liberty
2: one having the full rights of a citizen

I was spurred to think on being an American citizen, not a subject, after reading an essay written and posted by Elizabeth Moon titled Citizenship.

Moon’s essay, posted as a sort of remembrance to the events of 9/11, but more in response to the plans to build a mosque near the hole in the ground where those heinous events occurred, lists attributes and virtues, which, according to Moon, will either make an individual a “success,” or “failure,” as a citizen, or human being.  While I agree with many of the attributes and virtues Moon ascribes to successful citizens/human beings, and vices ascribed to unsuccessful citizens/human beings, Moon’s essay Citizenship was written to be understood as if you are a subject, not a citizen, which is quickly grasped by astute readers when Moon bemoans individuals’ unfamiliarity with the book The Man Without A Country in the first paragraph of her essay.  (I own a fine copy of this book, and it is a short and good read, but its main reason for being written was to promote the Union rather than State’s individual rights)

I proudly considered myself an American citizen, but not of the subject variety.  I consider myself an American citizen of the type pictured and described in the following little blog post, which notes Obama’s characterization of certain American citizens as enemies of the state.  “The Free American Citizen - Enemy of the State”, which contains this quote from Sam Adams.

“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

Are you an American citizen and patriot, or a subject?

Link attributes.  Link to Moon’s essay via American Mercenary, and link to “Enemy of the State” post via American Digest.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/10 at 03:14 PM
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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Profane Authority

The word profane, according to Merriam-Webster, means the following.

1: to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
2: to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use

This word, profane, came to my mind, late yesterday afternoon, when the marriage of one of my brothers was being solemnized by the Reverend officiating with the following words.

By the authority invested in me by the power of the State of Michigan, and the Church of _____, I know pronounce you man and wife.

I was dismayed by this nod to the alleged power of the state in a ceremony where two individuals are publicly declaring, amongest friends and family, their love and hope to combine their lives.  It was not always this way.  From Wikipedia’s entry on Marriage licence.

For most of Western history, marriage was a private contract between two families. Until the 16th-century, Christian churches accepted the validity of a marriage on the basis of a couple’s declarations. If two people claimed that they had exchanged marital vows—even without witnesses—the Catholic Church accepted that they were validly married.

And why were marriage licences instituted?  From the same Wikipedia entry.

Marriage licenses from their inception have sought to establish certain prohibitions on the institution of marriage. These prohibitions have changed throughout history. In the 1920s, they were used by 38 states to prohibit whites from marrying blacks, mulattos, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Mongolians, Malays or Filipinos without a state approved license.

The profaneness in requiring the State’s authority in order to marry is neatly summed up in these words.

The authority to license implies the power to prohibit. A license by definition “confers a privilege” to do something. By allowing the state to exercise control over marriage, it is implied that we do not have a right to marry; marriage is a privilege. Those born in the US receive a birth certificate, not a birth license.

Marriage is not a privilege to be conferred by the State, nor should marriage require the alleged power of the State in order for it to be solemnized.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/07 at 10:32 AM
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Census 2010 Civil Disobedience - Census Dodgers Edition

I’ve posted many times regarding the recent census, here in these pages.  Just type “Census 2010” into the search feature, here, and you’ll find the posts.

Today, via Claire Wolfe’s Weekend miscellany, we are pointed to an article in The Register, penned by one George Smith, titled US census takers fight angry Americans for their data, with a sub-headline of, They barely even vote. Why would they fill in a form?

Those headlines rather clearly exhibit George Smith’s displeasure at NRFUs ((pronounced nar-foos) for non-responders), which includes individuals such as myself.  George was employed as one of the enumerators for Census 2010, and his article, which runs 3 pages, is, in large part, a unfounded judgement of NRFUs, such as myself.

The second category included crazies from the upper class as well as those looking up enviously - people with the now common idea, reinforced daily by TV, that the US government is tyrannical and Stalinist…

The others were just census-dodgers. They lived in high button gated condos and apartments where they could count on the protection of corporate property managers who either passively or actively impeded the census. The corporate property managers had two motivations in this, one sometimes being a desire to cover up vacancies and the other being the idea that the wealth and class of tenants entitled them to a firewall against the nuisance of census workers…

After two weeks we knew all their tactics. They played possum. They would avoid taking down notices of visit - little slips of paper put in the door when they could not be initially contacted. Or they would put their notices on the doors on their neighbors, which in addition to being psychoneurotically antisocial, gave them away…

Or they came to the door and resorted to insults - why dont’cha get a real job - or beratings over how busy they were, particularly if they worked for an important or high-tech company. They would refuse to answer outright or engage in argument over invasions of their privacy and government violation of their inalienable rights. This was fueled by the Fox News network’s peddling of a continuous stream of programming insinuating that the census was government malfeasance or hiring criminals to go door-to-door.

George Smith’s article has additonal insults for census dodgers, but I’m curious if George, or any other enumerators, had any interactions with principled, crazy census dodgers such as myself, and which I recorded in a post titled Census 2010 - Doug the Census Taker, the Veteran, the Individual, and simply does not want to admit that rational individuals did have principled reasons for refusing to answer the census because such individuals are too challenging to their abject subject worldview.

I never did fill out the Census 2010 questionnaire, nor did I answer any questions when Doug the Census taker came to my door, received no follow-up visit from an enumerator after my talk with Doug, and have not, as of this date, been notified of any fine for my non-compliance.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/06 at 12:26 PM
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Friday, November 05, 2010

“So Who Is Worse”

In an interesting, and somewhat lengthy post at Counting Cats in Zanzibar, titled Stoics and Epicurians - inspired by Ian B, Paul Marks asks the following question.

So who is worse? The people who sincerely believed in statism and worked to bring it about - or the people who knew it would be terrible, but allowed a “we are doomed” state of mind to undermine all their efforts against it?

I contend that individuals who sincerely believe in statism are worse than the “we are doomed” individuals, with the caveat that the we are doomed individuals, if they do allow the “we are doomed” meme to undermind efforts against statism, whether through apathy or consent, are only slightly less in degree worse than the statist believers.

Marks’ post, in addition to referencing the Stoics and Epicurians, also references Marcus Aurelius, Bertrand Russell, Hobbes, Lord Salisbury, amongest others.  Worth reading.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/05 at 10:55 AM
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

“Schoolhouse Theories”

From an Andrew Klavan piece, posted at the City Journal, commenting on the events of November 2, titled What Just Happened?

...It could be—it seems just possible—that the “truth and science and facts” that these Democrats talk about are really only schoolhouse theories that have no bearing on reality; that they are tried-and-failed progressive fairy tales that could only continue to be believed by people who have spent most of their adult lives glued face-first to the public tit. It’s possible that the best-informed populace in history has risen up in a truly spontaneous grassroots movement deeply connected to the nation’s founding principles and prudently given the heave-ho to a bunch of spendthrift, incompetent, supercilious, and self-deceived buffoons who mistook their college degrees for wisdom.

Linked via the Gunslinger’s Journal.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/04 at 09:16 AM
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Remember the Meme - The Real American Revolution

Now that November 2 has passed, and a “new” selection of individuals have been granted the mantle of alleged representation of the people in Congress, selected individuals who mouthed promises of a return to limited government, fiscal and personal responsibility, and repeal of the State’s more onerous legislation, most we the people will now sit back with a wait and see attitude prior to passing judgement as to whether these newly selected alleged representatives of their interests words are reflected in their actions.

Undoubtedly, the Tea Party played a role in the events of this November 2, drawing American individuals’ eyes and minds back through America’s history to the original events of 1773 and the meme of liberty, freedom and revolution.  If the contemporary Tea Party can thanked for any contribution to our times, it should be thanked for resurrecting within Americans the idea upon which America was originally founded.

With the above in mind, I draw your attention to the following words of John Adams, in a letter to H. Niles penned in 1818.

But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. While the king, and all in authority under him, were believed to govern in justice and mercy, according to the laws and constitution derived to them from the God of nature and transmitted to them by their ancestors, they thought themselves bound to pray for the king and queen and all the royal family, and all in authority under them, as ministers ordained of God for their good; but when they saw those powers renouncing all the principles of authority, and bent upon the destruction of all the securities of their lives, liberties, and properties, they thought it their duty to pray for the continental congress and all the thirteen State congresses, &c.

There might be, and there were others who thought less about religion and conscience, but had certain habitual sentiments of allegiance and loyalty derived from their education; but believing allegiance and protection to be reciprocal, when protection was withdrawn, they thought allegiance was dissolved.

Another alteration was common to all. The people of America had been educated in an habitual affection for England, as their mother country; and while they thought her a kind and tender parent, (erroneously enough, however, for she never was such a mother,) no affection could be more sincere. But when they found her a cruel beldam, willing like Lady Macbeth, to “dash their brains out,” it is no wonder if their filial affections ceased, and were changed into indignation and horror.

This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution. (bold by ed.)

Now that November 2 has passed, do not allow yourselves to fall into a somnolent state of mind regarding your liberty and freedom, a somnolence which will be induced by dronings, posturings and apologetics emanating from the mouths of the newly selected mixed with the voices of the old selecteds.

Remember the meme.  The real American Revolution is, as Adams states, “radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people.”  Fan the flames of the real American revolution.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/04 at 08:14 AM
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Whupped ‘Em Again?

This morning, many headlines and stories noting the results of yesterday’s elections utilize words such as roar, tsunami, rise, shocking, massive, and dead, as in Obama agenda dead.  These descriptive words are meant to convey alleged election success to Americans of the conservative bent, and by extension the supposed rescue of America from its fall into outright socialism.

Perusing these election reporting headlines and stories did not bring to my mind election success or the rescue of America.  What came to my mind was a scene from the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales.  Specifically the scene which can best be described as the Whupped ‘em again scene.

In that scene, Josey Wales and the sorely wounded boy Jamie are riding hard to the Indian Nations, and hoped for freedom, when they hear riders approaching.  Riders who are intent are capturing or killing Josey and Jamie.  Clear thinking Josey quickly and boldly removes them from this danger by hiding in plain sight.  After the riders pass Josey and Jamie by, the boy Jamie, slow to respond to Josey’s command to get up and ride, says “Whupped ‘em again, didn’t we Josey,” to which Josey replies, “Whupped ‘em again, boy.”

In watching the clip, linked above, of this scene, you’ll note that Josey Wales’ reply to the sorely wounded boy Jamie is not spoken with the sense of accomplishment which are evident in Jamie’s ascertain of whupping ‘em again.  Rather, Josey Wales reply is belied by the cold, hard and realistic understanding that the just escaped from riders are but one of a vast series of dangers remaining in their ride toward hoped for freedom.

Individuals who believe that this election has “whupped ‘em again,” are like the sorely wounded boy Jamie, heady with a seeming success, irrationally believing freedom is at hand, in denial of the severity of their wounds.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/03 at 08:21 AM
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

To Your Health

I enjoy vodka, especially during the coming winter season, typically drinking it neat, fresh from the freezer.  Anecdotically, many individuals are aware of the Russians’ seeming prodigious ability to consume vodka, shot after shot after shot, remaining, by all appearances, rather sober.

Most individuals would not be able to keep up with the Russians’ gusto when drinking shots of vodka, but that may quite possibly be because they are downing the vodka shots with the incorrect protocols.

Well, Igor Galynker M.D., Ph.D., the Associate Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, has kindly written down the correct protocols for consuming shot after shot after shot of vodka in a piece posted at BarnesandNobleReview.com titled Holiday Spirits, and, if Galynker’s vodka shot drinking protocols are followed, he assures of us “excellent results.”

If you have done everything right, you should be feeling tender warmth deep in your chest, spectacular tastes in you mouth, and no burning anywhere.

Pfeif, when do you want to try Galynker’s methodology?  No need to wait for the holidays, as far as I am concerned.

Linked via Fred Lapides’ GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/02 at 02:16 PM
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Why You Vote Behind a Curtain

Casting of ballots by citizens, throughout history, has in large part taken place secretly, thus the term secret ballot.  There were/are exceptions, of course, but in the majority of democratically run countries, votes are cast in secret, by law.

There are numerous justifications cited for individuals casting their votes secretly, none of which speak to the sanctity of voting.  Intimidation, bribery, political privacy, to name but a few.

I contend that voting is done secretly, behind the curtain, due to the inherent violence and immorality cloaked in the act of voting, and my contention is supported by the following statement regarding the motivations for secret ballots and political privacy.

Because politics is fundamentally about settling disputes, and includes appointing officials to hold a monopoly on violence, it puts winners and losers in unique positions to avenge themselves on each other. In a democracy, the winner is physically vulnerable as they often appear in public to explain policies and gain additional support. The loser is also vulnerable as they are subject to the interpretation of criminal justice by winners - law enforcement is often prejudicial, and an independent judiciary is not always available to ensure fairness in how winners of a political conflict deal with losers.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/02 at 12:21 PM
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Election Day Quote of the Day

Voting can no more be a duty than going to the store for bread. The existence of a right only makes it available; it cannot make it mandatory.

From a post by Francis W. Porretto titled Politics And Conscience: An Election Day Quasi-Rumination.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/02 at 09:09 AM
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Monday, November 01, 2010

Speech from the Alabama Restore the Constituion Rally

Posted at The Cliffs of Insanity, Alvie D. Zane’s speech to the atttendees of the October 30 Restore the Constitution rally is worth reading.  A brief excerpt.

Freedom is the absence of shackles and restraints against your life, your liberty, and your property. In order for you to secure your freedom, you must first recognize your condition. You must protest and ask for redress. And when they come back with more chains and shackles for you, then

you

must take action to avoid new chains, remove the old ones, and deny those who come to you with more chains.

YOU

must do this for yourself. You cannot rest upon what the founding fathers did. Their chains are not your chains. Their bonds are not your bonds. Though you’ve tasted the fruits of their labor, their victory is not your victory. You will have to go out and get your own. You cannot outsource the job of securing your freedom to someone else. Does it take an Army of One to free you? Yes. And You are the one.

Alabama RTC Speech: 10-30-10

Posted by John Venlet on 11/01 at 11:08 AM
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The New Normal? Armed Guards at the Cannibal Pots

Armed security guards will be on hand at 36 unemployment offices around Indiana in what state officials said is a step to improve safety and make branch security more consistent…

Unemployment Offices To Add Armed Guards

Is Indiana leading the way into the new normal nationwide?  The ladles are scraping the bottom of the cannibal pots.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/01 at 10:45 AM
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Why Wait Until 2012? - The Ⓧ2012 Project

Thomas L. Knapp is launching The Ⓧ2012 Project.  I first noted Knapp’s project at Bill St. Clair’s blog, the other day, and I also was encouraged to post regarding The Ⓧ2012 Project via a comment from Concerned American, here, who also posted a link to Knapp’s project in a post at Western Rifle Shooters Association under the heading No.

The stated purpose of the project is summed up in these words.

...The only people whose motivations can be known are those who choose to publicly divulge those motivations. The purpose of The Ⓧ2012 Project is to settle the question of motivations by providing a platform for Ⓧ-voters to register their Ⓧ-plicit non-consent to be governed by the winners of the 2012 US elections.

Ⓧ2012 is, plain and simple, a boycott of those elections, and of rule by the winners of those elections. While I’m personally prepared to claim that the non-voting 57% of Americans are non-consenting rather than merely apathetic, I contend that the time has come for non-voters to forcefully combat the “apathy” claim by publicly identifying themselves as Ⓧ-voters. This site will be the Internet headquarters of a campaign to encourage that public self-identification.

While I think Knapp’s project has merit, and bears individuals’ thoughtful consideration, I ask, why wait until 2012?  The old adage is, there is no time like the present.

I’ve been saying “No” to voting since January 2004, and will continue to say no to voting.  And don’t think, even for a moment, that my or your not voting can be adjudged by the simplicity of a Steve Greenburg cartoon.

Though I desire that Knapp’s project be successful, realistically I think the proposed boycott of the 2012 elections will achieve results similar to the proposed “Skip the Census” - “A Civil Disobedience Idea”, which I fully supported and encourgaged in these pages.  And what were the results of the “Skip the Census” civil disobedience idea?  A dismally high 74% participation rate by mail alone.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/01 at 08:55 AM
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