Walls of the City reminds us (by way of Sharp As A Marble) that while we continue to speak of ourselves as the Land of the Free, we certainly are no longer:
30 years ago, you’d just assume that anything that wasn’t obviously contrary to morality was legal. That is, you’d have a built-in default setting of assuming liberty. And that assumption of liberty would then propel you to take actions.
But now, you have to assume that many things that aren’t contrary to morality are illegal anyway. And so you now have — quel coincidence! — a built-in default setting of assuming prohibition. And that assumption that many of the things you’d like to do are illegal and criminal thereby reduces your desire to take any action at all.
Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are felonies? Can you name all of the crimes in your state that are misdemeanors? Have you ever uttered the words, “Is that legal?” without actually being able to intuitively guess whether it is or not?
Welcome to the club. And the problem.
You should go and read the whole thing. It’s well worth your time, and even has some Latin words in it!
The Country for whom I would have probably died (in Vietnam – had I not been a disabled 4-F) no longer exists. She does on paper (The Constitution), but that was long ago, and like Benghazi, is no longer relevant.
Did you know The United States has more prisoners per capita than any other Nation? How many of these folks zigged when they should have zagged? Or were caught with weed. Or carrying a gun for protection?
Lets stop electing people to legislatures to pass more incomprehensible laws. Lets elect them to remove laws. And hold those accountable who messed everything up. THEY are the people who should be afraid. And incarcerated!
I’m kind of an old-fashioned guy. Or should I say old-school. I still like revolvers.
But, this doesn’t mean I’m a luddite. I DO appreciate what technology brings us. Anesthesia, antibiotics, magazines that hold more than 7 rounds…
And cellular telephones. Brought to us as a result of the Space Race.
I bought my first cell phone at a gun show (quelle surprise!) in the mid 90s. Why? Because I spent more-and-more time in the desert, and thought (presuming service was available) that modern communication was preferable to walking in 20 miles, if my then 8-year-old Isuzu Trooper failed.
And, just like advances in home computers, I’ve grown to appreciate the advances made in cell phones. But, with my financial condition, I was never able to afford anything past the basic flip phone. And I’ve kept them long past their expected life span. Two in eight years. My last one was on four years, had a screen failure, and was over her contract. I was paying month-to-month, not able to improve my technological lot.
Until 10 days ago…
My roomie, a savvy businesswoman who lives and runs her business on her smart phone, decided she wanted to upgrade her phone to the new Apple IPhone – and she asked me if I wanted her ‘old’ smart phone! At first I balked, because I was unfamiliar with the operation (okay, it scared me a little), and I started trolling the Internet looking for new smartphones. Then, I saw their price!
The fact that I can surf the Web, check all my email accounts, take wonderful photographs, do text messaging (which I loathe), and even make telephone calls is amazing! AND, if my four-year old-PC fails, in a pinch, I can even write this blog from there! That, and check email without climbing stairs – which is a good thing with my disabilities.
Thanks, J. for your kindness and generosity!
PS – I like semiautomatic pistols, too!
PPS – attn FTC, neither htc nor Apple gave me anything. Go find your own phone!
AND, as it’s Massachusetts, and he’s being charged* with acts of terrorism, killing at least four people, wounding 180+ others, evading arrest, shooting at authorities, killing a police officer, etc., I fully expect a show trial (complete with the trashing of the United States), followed by 3 years in minimum security. Or probation.
Have they actually called this terrorism, yet, or is it ‘workplace violence’, like the Ft. Hood guy?
Perhaps he’ll be out in time to run for Congress in 2014?
Of course, I’m jaded.
(and YES, I know he’ll be doing federal time. This is more a comment on ‘the system’, and the courts in Massachusetts)
*correction – he’s not yet been charged.
Fill Yer Hands recently blogged regarding a minor phenomena I’ve seen more and more of. And, frankly, have heard about for years.
You’re a gun owner – why don’t you join the NRA or the SAF or some other pro-rights organization and put your money-where-your-mouth is?
Because I don’t want to be on a list.
You think that mouthing off in your local watering hole about the President or his policies, or buying firearms and ammunition, or prepping, or posting comments on the Internet haven’t already gotten someone’s attention?
It’s been widely reported that the ‘temporary’ NICS background check files have been (illegally) saved by the FBI, and every time a licensed gun shop goes under, they are required to ship all their filed Federal Forms 4473 to the BATFE. We suspect there’s a huge database, although we’ve no positive proof.
How about the DHS Watch Lists when flying, or taking a train, or traveling abroad? Or the NSA monitoring all the email traffic electronically, looking for key words like ‘guns’ in messages?
Personally, I suspect there has always been a list, and I involuntarily was added to it upon my first ‘papered’ firearm purchase. And my ranting in this blog (and as a commenter on other blogs) about libertarianism, the Constitution, Gun Rights, Civil Liberties and various government abuses probably has made my file thicker.
But, I don’t care. Why? If indeed there are concerted efforts to monitor the actions and locations of possible threats (e.g. gun owners and free-thinking people) I’m probably at the head of the line. Not only am I a gun owner and speak out about it, I’ve spoken publicly about the JFK assassination.
If there indeed IS a list, and we as a nation cross the Rubicon, I’ll never make to the camps…
(quietly removes tin-foil hat and skulks away…)
I recently had a conversation with a friend which sparked a bittersweet memory.
One of the things many of us miss as adults is the wonder, the surprise, the simple serendipity of joy. In childhood we experience it often, probably because most things and experiences are new to us, and we’ve yet to become jaded.
One of my favorite memories of my daughter Molly was when I gave her a gift. She was turning twelve, and I knew just as the Sun rose in the morning that soon she would be developing into a teenager, full of doubt and promise. One who no longer trusted her parents to be all-knowing and truthful. Because, of course, we weren’t and could never be.
But here we were, proud father giving his daughter a present. She opened it, her eyes widened, and there was that sudden exhalation of breath. Excitement, happiness, joy. Innocence and appreciation in one second, one breath. Followed by the big hug.
I don’t even remember what I had given her. But what she gave me was so much more. An everlasting memory of a happy young woman, unspoiled by the adolescent hormones of parental treachery. Not yet jump-started into that distrust generated simply by being parents and adults.
Zen masters tell us to be in the now. Live life as if each moment was your last. This is what Molly showed me that day.
I’ve had many difficult times of year. The holidays and my birthday comprise one such time. Not because of those specific events, but rather because of who’s not there.
But, I’ve already received my present this year. As I get every year – when I remember it.
Live in the now, with joy, and never be disappointed.
Thank you, Molly.
Roomie and I went gallivanting about the other afternoon, running some errands. We visited a local dry cleaning store. Roomie and I are helping prepare her stepmother’s house for sale (her stepmother is in a care facility at age 88). We had some draperies that needing cleaning.
“We don’t do cur-ens!” she was told. We hunted around and located another establishment that would do cur-ens.
Then, we went to T-Mobile. Roomie gets her cellular telephone/Internet service through them, and allows me access through her hotspot. Saves us both a little money over having separate services. Said hotspot wasn’t holding an Internet connection, and kept saying ‘low battery’, even though it charged all night.
I’d like to say the T-Mobile store connected the device to a machine to determine if it was the high-tech battery failing, or perhaps the device, itself. I’d like to say that, but NO. The clerk (behind the counter labelled ANSWERS) told us he didn’t know much about hotspots, then looked up the warranty info on his computer (which was built apparently by Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse using paraffin candles for illumination!) and eventually told us good news, a replacement battery was under warranty! Instead of costing $60, it was free! Plus the $7.99, no $8.99, no $11.99 handling charge for overnight delivery! (it WAS $7.99 for 5 day delivery, he explained) Special!
So, sometime tomorrow we’ll see if it’s the battery or something else that failed…(written Wednesday)
Customer Service. Yep!
PS – no battery has arrived, yet. It’s been TWO days. Overnight, yep. (1430)
PPS – the battery FINALLY arrived @ 1830 tonight. Two days, not overnight. Of course, it takes something like 12 hours for a full charge before use.
PPPS – after a lengthy charge, the new battery worked…for a few hours.
The machine is now saying ‘low battery’ yet again. Roomie is calling T-Mobile to see
if we need a replacement unit…
PPPPS – The new gizmo is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.
The adventure continues…
SO, of the competitors Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Tweedledum won.
SO WHAT? BUCK UP!
That third party guy GOOD IDEA received the most votes that party has ever received in a presidential election!
What do we know, now?
The once and future President of the United States promotes policies with which many of us disagree: More gun control, more Internet control, less free speech, more of our troops to unwinnable wars, more redistribution of wealth, support for other countries use of child soldiers, continued Federal attacks on State-legal marijuana dispensaries, quadrupling the warrantless wiretaps since the Bush era, continuing and expanding the so-called PATRIOT ACT, granting the FBI access to private communications without warrant, renewed FISA warrantless spying on banking and wireless communication, continuing the horrendous Federal Reserve QE debacles, and,
LEAVING OUR AMBASSADOR AND FORMER NAVY SEALS TO DIE IN LIBYA, WHEN HELP WAS AVAILABLE. AND HE WAS WATCHING VIA LIVE FEED.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t? Let’s make a two-pronged effort: 1) Pay attention to any government attempts to violate our rights, and be vocal in our response, and 2) Reform the opposition party so the leadership no longer consists of big government RINOs, to give us a real choice in the next election. Like Mr. GOOD IDEA was supposed to.
Because you just know Hillary is waiting in the wings for 2016…
Future Senator Bluto Blutarsky said it best: Let’s GO!
There was once an idealistic, motivated young lad, happily attending college. He was working full-time graveyard shift and having taken some core courses at another college previously, he was concentrating on courses in his major: Police Science.
Many of the instructors were cops, or ex-cops and this only added to the realism of the subject matter being presented. Guys that were ‘in it’ right then. ‘On the street’. Better than any TV cop show.
He opted for a course in Traffic Accident Investigation. Having run across (no pun intended) this sort of activity in his PI work, he thought this could only add to his knowledge and skill in this area. The instructor was an expert, being a veteran police officer and investigator in this subject for (excise governmental police agency name here). He was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic in his presentation of the course material.
However, about two-thirds of the way into the semester, some difficulty arose. The agency who employed the instructor transferred him to a city 90 miles away! He was trying to continue teaching the course, but the commute was a bitch. Both the instructor and the students suffered.
Ultimately, it became apparent that he would be unable to continue teaching the course, and that while perhaps 90% of the subject matter had been presented, it was obvious to both the instructor and the students that they weren’t getting the quality demanded by both.
The instructor knew he wasn’t going to be able to attend the last course session, the final examination. It didn’t seem fair that all the students should have to retake the course.
So, the instructor posed a solution: We were all to meet ‘for a field trip’ to a local pizza parlor chain across the street for the final class session, one week in advance of the final exam. Attendance was mandatory. Those who attended would pass; those who did not would fail.
We They all passed. We They were admonished not to drink and drive (beer was present); toasted the instructor, and after pizza went our their merry way.
The idealistic, motivated young lad was fortunate enough to graduate with high distinction. I’m certain he would have aced the exam, had it been presented.
As I’ve stated many times, when I began this blog I’d no expectations of anyone bothering to read it. It was (and is) MY weblog. For my reasons. I expected friends and family to stop by for a look, and that would be about it. Before I left the BLOGGER software platform, I had 48 followers (after one year of blogging). Then, I moved over here to WordPress, and the ‘follower’ process began anew.
The most interesting (and sometimes confounding) development about this process is not all of my former followers followed me over to this new site. I left instructions, a map, and everything! However, I’ve not only attracted many new followers, but many are off-the-mark from the expected
wild-eyed, gun toting, radical wookiesuiters responsible firearms-owning libertarians. Many more folks from off-shore, persons of an artistic bent, others than the small corner community in which I’d painted myself.
And how terrific is THAT?
To date, 39 people are following Guffaw in AZ, only four months after switching to WordPress! Of course, I have had an increase in spammers, but, I guess that’s the cost of doing business.
Regardless – Thank You! - Guffaw
I grew up reading with awe about the exploits of the men who were charged with protecting and defending the Nation.
I was especially impressed with the Secret Service. Their reactions at Blair House against the Puerto Rican Nationalist terrorists were spectacular!
And, I remember reading in some gun magazine in the 70′s, about Treasury Department training; how they had a four-story building outside D.C. – they ran up four flights of stairs, carrying 50 pounds, then into a bullet-proof room, dropped the weight and engaged complex target scenarios.
How cool is that?
And the unsung expertise and exploits of the Special Forces and Delta Force.
The British Special Air Service (SAS) carried Browning High Powers for years, Condition One, however, COCKED AND UNLOCKED! Without incident! Why? If one didn’t touch the trigger, one didn’t experience a negligent discharge.
Then, I saw this:
Secret Service Agent Accidentally Fires Gun (Fox News)
I really had hopes that those persons charged with protecting the President would have better self-awareness!
I am tired of seeing news dispatches daily regarding some police officer or another accidentally shooting themselves (or someone else).
But, I have even greater expectations of the so-called elite services. Apparently for nought.