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The Republic Of Texas II ?

In a deliberate “show of force,” federal and local police forces raided a political meeting in Texas, fingerprinting and photographing all attendees as well as confiscating all cell phones and personal recording devices.

Members of the Republic of Texas, a secession movement dedicated to restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic, had gathered Feb. 14 in a Bryan, Texas, meeting hall along with public onlookers. They were debating issues of currency, international relations and celebrating the birthday of one of their oldest members. The group, which describes itself as “congenial and unimposing,” maintains a small working government, including official currency, congress and courts.

According to MySanAntonio.com: “Minutes into the meeting a man among the onlookers stood and moved to open the hall door, letting in an armed and armored force of the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, agents of the Texas district attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI.

“In the end, at least 20 officers corralled, searched and fingerprinted all 60 meeting attendees, before seizing all cellphones and recording equipment in a Valentine’s Day 2015 raid on the Texas separatist group.”
MORE

I see no indication of secret groups fomenting armed revolution here, just concerned folks getting together to discuss ‘possibilities’.  If there were any indication of insurrection, I’m certain the authorities would have made arrests.  Instead of the authorities conducted a wholesale violation of the rights of free citizens, and theft of their property.

Gee, I wonder why they would want to separate from such a rights-honoring regime?  (sarcasm font)

SO, we are ‘free’ to choose our own direction and destiny?  Or not?  Or to be ineffectual whack-jobs?

Apparently not.

“BANNING” – As The Republic’s Policy

Or perhaps I should have worded it the former Republic’s government policy…

It was recently announced that the BATFE was moving to ban certain ammunition familiar to users of the AR-15 rifle, specifically:

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.

It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.

Now, aside from petty power and control, why would they bother to do this?  Because they see a future where armored troops are engaging the citizenry serfs for power and control?  Perhaps.

But I think it’s that time ‘honored’ reason – because they can.  And have.

Which brings us to the larger question.  Should anything be BANNED in a Free Republic?  Or should the marketplace be the controlling factor?

Possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography is essentially banned.  This doesn’t stop possession, manufacture or distribution.  How about drugs?  Substandard (or poisonous/dangerous) products from overseas?  Or those domestically produced?  Remember cyclamates and hexaclorophene?

Perhaps it’s a bit callous of me, but I think the marketplace should be the deciding factor.  If you don’t want cyclamates, poisons or substandard foreign crap, don’t buy it!  Child pornography harms children in the production prima facie, so banning that is acceptable and appropriate.   Drugs?  If you are an adult, it should be up to you.  But, driving under the influence or committing crimes to support your habit is another thing altogether.  Then you are bringing others into the mix.  Without their permission.

If you inadvertently purchase something harmful, sue the bastards!  But, you have a responsibility – you should be an informed consumer.

Now, to the proposed ammunition ban.  The ‘sporting purposes’ argument.  Obviously, the Second Amendment is not about hunting.

Their regulation and argument is invalid.

Bruce-Campbellh/t Alphecca, NRA

Situational Ethics

The Blogosphere has a story about a couple of filthy hippies caught with marijuana paraphernalia.  Except they are not filthy hippies.  They are ages 65 and 67, and have numerous ailments.

What a crock to waste the efforts and funds of law enforcement on such people.

I have an occasional beer.  I sometimes partake in a fine single-malt Scotch – thanks to the Internet Scotch Fairy™.  There are weeks I won’t have any alcohol at all.  I sometimes use alcohol medicinally, in addition to my pain meds, to alleviate pain.  Which brings me to my point.

I was raised with the idea that illegal drugs are, in fact, illegal.  I HAVE NEVER SMOKED OR EATEN MARIJUANA, nor do I have any desire to.

I have consumed alcohol for the pleasure and the numbing effects.

How is this different from those who take marijuana medicinally or for pleasure, whether legal or illegal?

I know folks who used it in high school and college, who stopped when they grew up,  and that was it.  I haven’t known anyone who gatewayed to cocaine or heroin.  Or crack.  Or meth.

My prejudice against marijuana is generational, not based in facts.

But, in spite of PROHIBITION (or perhaps because if it) we as a Nation begrudgingly accept alcohol as the Nation’s drug of choice.  And, at least in some conventional circles, are fighting to keep marijuana criminalized.

What’s up with that?

Is it thousands of special police units and federal agents would be sidelined, and the majority of non-violent offenders could be released from custody (and prison guards laid-off)?

I don’t want the car next to me at a traffic light to have a driver using marijuana, alcohol or mood-altering prescription drugs.  And I don’t want my neighbors to be meth, heroin, cocaine or alcohol addicts.  And I certainly don’t want any children using any of this stuff.

But we’ve already opened Pandora’s Box, and the so-called War On Drugs is a sham, and a waste.

Hell, a number of States have lowered the penalties for personal amounts, and a few have made it medically accessible.

Frankly, I don’t care if people have a real medical need, or just like to get high.  Just keep ‘em away from me at intersections and we’re cool.

Let’s move toward legality, licensing and enforcing laws against unsafe drivers, instead.

And leave the old hippies at home alone.

It’s for the children.  (Liberty, Rights, The Constitution, and all that).

Animals And Their Rights

Kent (of Kent’s Hooligan Libertarian Blog) recently mused regarding the subject of animals, their ‘rights’, and his wearing of buckskin and eating animal flesh.  And the spurious arguments of radical vegetarians.    The money quote, to wit:

“I know how many vertebrates died for me to make my jacket. Three deer, a pig (for the brains I used to tan the hides), and an elk, which is where the sinew used to sew the jacket came from. (Various numbers of yellow jackets were also crushed when I rung out the wet hides during tanning.)

“How many animals died due to the farming or manufacture, and transportation, of your cotton, nylon, or hemp clothing? Habitat loss, agricultural chemicals, the trucks and factories and fuel all took a toll on animals. Both of us wear clothes that resulted in death. At least I own it.” (end)

Now, I’ve no argument with the rank-and-file vegan or fruititarian with regard to their lifestyle choice.  Some varieties might be healthier than my choices.  But, some seem bent on making me change my lifestyle choices, because they see theirs as the true way.  Much like a religious zealot.  Or a global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption (or whatever they are calling it this week) zealot.

As with any other good for you philosophy –  when tied to a political agenda, it loses it’s purity.

Because it’s for the children.  Or Mother Earth.  Or Gaia.  Or whatever they are calling it this week.

MY (libertarian-philosophical) choice is generally to leave others alone.  I try to pass this knowledge onto to others who are receptive to it.  If they are not, that’s their business.

Learning to leave others alone to their business is freeing.  And less stressful.

It’s for the children, ya know!

(I’m gonna go have a bacon cheeseburger now!  With onion straws, cheddar, barbeque sauce and mustard.  And crisp French fries. Your choices may vary.  And that’s okay.)

bacon cheeseburger

Living Off The Grid

pipe dream

pipe dream

Not me.

Not for lack of wanting to.

Back in the 70’s, some of my libertarian (small L) brethren and I mused about what it would take.  And, what living off the grid meant for us.  It did not mean creating some faceless corporation with innocuous fictional officers to purchase a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and moving there with a solar-powered trailer adjacent to a spring.

And with enough ammunition, fishing line and traps to get indigenous game for the rest of our natural lives.

(I’ve blogger friends who have accomplished something close!)

It meant having the option of leaving less of a trail.  Driver’s licenses and credit cards mailed to private post office boxes.  Passports in fictional identities.  Sufficient amounts of cash and gold to fund our meager lives.

With less government interference or surveillance.

Of course, doing all this was a pipe dream for those of us young punks with minimum-wage incomes.  Little did we know that BIGGOV would be in our future to such a degree that getting the gov’t-approved documentation would become much more difficult, expensive and illegal in the ensuing years!  There was a time if there was no criminal intent, there was no crime.  And, if so, it might become a misdemeanor.

Now, it’s a felony, intent regardless.

And we didn’t anticipate The Internet.  Or drones.  Or cellular telephones.

And, not only am I back to a meager income, but, it’s overseen by the government, due to my disability!

And now much of our movement and travel is monitored, as are financial transactions and Internet activity and Email.

I cannot afford to move to Costa Rica, or San Marino.  And I don’t speak their indigenous languages.

Hell, I can’t afford to move 10 blocks…they speak Spanish there, too!

Yep, a pipe dream…

Five Principles of Conservatism

Bill Whittle’s latest Afterburner…

Being a conservative libertarian (and a fan of Kevin Baker), I found this of interest.

YRMV

h/t The Smallest Minority

How Exactly DOES A Libertarian Deal With Quarantine?

Or libertarian (small L)?

From Say Uncle:

My wookiee suit is strong but . . .

How do libertarians deal with quarantine? Personally, I accept that I am a rational actor and I’d go all quarantine because I should and am responsible for my actions. But some folks, like patient zero, who is not a libertarian, say I’m looking out for numero uno. Libertarians might just tell you to fuck off but that’s not kosher in the whole “I am responsible for me” thing. What say you?

One answer (of 23 when I viewed it) from his posting:

  • Joe Allen Says:
    The Zero Aggression Policy perfectly addresses quarantine. If you know, or have reason to believe, you may have a deadly contagious disease, you cannot hop on a cruise ship or jet airplane and call yourself a libertarian.

Of course, no mention is made any longer of the illness(es) being brought ashore by the thousands of illegal alien children children who came here illegally without parents.  This has been relegated to page 24, if it’s on ANY pages at all!

I suspect, as we are not the World’s policeman, we are also not their nanny.

What do you guys think?Guffaw

More Disturbing News

via Irish

Meanwhile in The Peoples Democratik Republik of Vermont?

This is an email I got from one of my blog friends, has anyone in Vermont seen this
as far as driver’s license renewal?It has been recently been related to me the new regulations concerning driver’s license renewal in VT. There is a list of afflictions, diseases, disorders, etc.. that are automatic disqualifies. I wasn’t privy too the renewal form, or the complete list, but having DIABETES is on the list. The person that told me about this had to take a day off from work to have forms filled out by his physician, then he had to deliver them to the official state physician, then a non-medical tribunal (death panel?) will adjudicate whether he is deserving to clog up the People roads. After doing some digging on the ‘Net, he found that non-disclosure of a physical condition would be hazardous to your freedom – the state already knows what you have. They are in hopes you purger yourself, especially since the IRS is in charge of health care now. Fines, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges await you if you don’t believe the Feds should be involved in EVERY aspect of your life. So much for HIPPA laws, HUH?
Another thing I was made aware of a while back. Doctor’s offices in VT have you fill out a form during a visit. On it,  are questions asking if you own guns, how many, what types, etc…. The questions are not optional, and you can not leave them blank. At the bottom of the form, you are informed that it is a FEDERAL document, and that any false statements are a FEDERAL crime. I imagine “None of your Fuckin’ business” would garner you a visit from your friendly local SWAT team at 2am.

I’m tellin’ you dude, the amount of crap is getting harder and harder to take. Something is going to break in this country, and it isn’t going to be pleasant when it does.
Whatever happened to the libertarian movement to move to a generally friendly State, to fill it with libertarians and make it a Mecca for freedom-loving people everywhere?  I seem to remember Vermont was on the short list as a possible choice.
Obviously, this hasn’t happened.
I do remember being concerned when I was diagnosed  with Type II Diabetes, just because I knew of folks who had difficulty maintaining consciousness during the day with this disease.  I’ve been fortunate that for me, this hasn’t been the case.  Of course, I am on various meds, and with my beater car don’t drive much or far!
And then there’s the whole HIPAA medical privacy thing?
Is this yet another gateway to backdooring medical records to make certain persons prohibited possessors?
Or is it just generic control, again…

Government Competence

and other oxymorons, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.

(From The Silicon Graybeard, in part…)

Is it just me, or is it really the case that there are no adults left in charge in the country?  These guys are worse than the faculty lounge crowd, they’re more like the student council!  There are so many examples, I don’t know where to start, but WTF happened to the secret service?  Didn’t they used to be competent?   We have agents being sent home for being drunk from the Netherlands, from Miami  and there was that rather big incident with the Colombian hooker.  We have the president in close proximity with a guy with convictions for assault and battery, who was carrying an illegal firearm. And, of course, we have this story, which is sucking up most of the air.  (Holbert at Townhall.com)

The NIH is finding cultures of deadly diseases lying around in old boxes, and the CDC exposed employees to anthrax, so no worry about them letting ebola into the country.

No, no, no.  Everything is fine.  They’re smarter and better than us.  We just don’t understand how lucky we are to have them.

For those who continually fall back on government as the savior they sometimes aren’t, that last part is sarcasm.

Ms. Clinton likes proclaim she was a Goldwater Republican in college – then she grew up.  I think those who clamor for government handouts when they are perfectly capable of working themselves are the true children.  And, like children, they worship their parents who can do no wrong in their eyes.

“… government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”  –  Ronald Reagan

 

Pahk Ya Cah? Can’t! They’ll be BLOOD IN THE STREETS!

(from JayG, in part)

More great news from the land I escaped…

Boston Puts Brakes On Haystack Parking App

A new app that allows people to find parking spaces in Boston is being shut down in response to a vote by the city council.

A new ordinance outlaws services that allow people to sell or save public parking spaces.

Got that? The app helped people find parking spaces, so what was the response from Boston? BAN IT. Smell that? It smells like Massachusetts. It gets better, though:

“They are dealing in hypotheticals. We’ve had no reported issues. We’ve heard this rhetoric, ‘There’s going to be blood in the streets,’ and that hasn’t happened. We’ve had over 1,000 successful transactions, and we haven’t seen any of that.”

Ah, yes, blood in the streets. We’ve never heard that prediction before. Ever. And even if we had, it certainly came true, right?

Of course, he’s referring to more citizens owning legal firearms.  And they have, and the whole blood thing hasn’t materialized.

And violent crime has dropped where gun ownership has increased.

Even in places like Chicago and Detroit!

Personally, I believe governments should think long and hard before banning anything in a ‘free’ country. – Guffaw

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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