Okay, okay, I know Facebook is totally eeeevil, just plain oooozing eeeeevil. But I tell you, Ragnar’s Freedom Outlaw Facebook Page is amazing.
In the few weeks it’s been alive, it’s received a whopping 2,000 likes (it’s within spittin’ distance of that this afternoon). It’s busy and lively and a great place to find some very funny freedomstuff. Better yet, you don’t have to join The Dreaded Facebook to view all that fun stuff. It’s got giveaways of pocket Constitutions and Freedom Outlaw wristbands, and other cool stuff (though you do have to join to compete for those).
But Ragnar’s Freedom Outlaw page has everything else. A huge thank you to Ragnar for giving such energy to the Freedom Outlaw meme and using the eeeevil FB to send beaucoup traffic to this blog!
On days you arrive here to find not enough blogitude to give you your Outlaw fix, or on days you just crave a little more Freedomista Power (with some laughs thrown in), there’s always something going on at Ragnar’s place.
UPDATE: That indefatigable archivist, Bill St. Clair, has put a much more attractive and easily readable version online. According to commenter Woody, Bill’s version can also be ported to Kindle and other devices (if you have Caliber software). Thank you, Bill!
The Moon is Down is a war story of an unusual kind. It’s set almost entirely in living rooms and drawing rooms, with the violence offstage. It’s about what happens when ordinary, peaceable people are conquered — but not defeated — by an invader. What happens when a top-down organization that prides itself on its superiority and meticulous planning meets that most unknowable of all things … the ordinary individual.
But as I try to write about those reasons, I find post after abortive post going in a different direction. Not because the reasons to be hopeful don’t exist, but because they all lead to a conclusion I don’t want to conclude.
It’s not a new conclusion. Others have reached it long since. It’s just one I think more of us need to quit dancing around, like it or not. We’ve bitched about how the fedgov now treats its citizens subjects as criminal suspects. But that misses the point by orders of magnitude.
You don’t spy on millions of people, militarize your police, encourage neighbor to rat out neighbor, define thousands of innocuous activities as “domestic terrorism, conduct checkpoints and VIPR raids, lock people up without trials, kick down doors in the middle of the night, or arbitrarily deny people the freedom to travel if you’re looking for mere criminals.
You do that only if you’re pants-pissing terrified because you fear that those millions — millions! — of peaceable people are enemies of your regime.
The U.S. federal government has (covertly of course, and gradually) declared war on its citizens. That’s the reality. We’re not mere criminal suspects. We’re enemies — and by their choice, not ours.
Sure, some of us may have philosophically fancied ourselves enemies of the state. Some of us prefer to be ignorers of the state. Most of us have learned to live, one way or another, peaceably in the shadow of the state. But I don’t know one of us who has ever violently attacked the state — or wanted to.
But no matter what we think, or how we live, or with what civility and decency we conduct ourselves, in the eye of Mordor-on-the-Potomac, we are all enemies. All despised. And above all — all subject to destruction at the whim of power.
We need to recognize exactly what that darkness is, massing on our horizon. We need to quit being indignant innocents protesting against it and nattering about constitutions and rights — as if anyone in power listened or cared. We need to understand exactly what the looming darkness portends for us — and what the forces behind it intend for us.
You know how the FBI and DHS have been broadening … and broadening … and broadening … the definition of “domestic terrorists” for all these years? Well, now Esteemed Senator Mr. Lautenberg and company want to bring us the logical culmination of that. Let the AttyGen arbitrarily deny firearms to anybody who fits the one-size-fits-all definition. Due process? Does anybody in the fedgov remember due process? Or is it now purely “we do it, so it’s the process”? (H/T WL)
Good news. Fed prosecutor Carmen Ortiz didn’t succeed in destroying these people as she did with Aaron Swartz. In fact the Caswells won a victory against that rapacious fed-vulture for property rights and plain common sense.
When you get your new issue of Backwoods Home in the next week or so (and you do get it, don’t you?) you should see an article by moi on hiding firearms. Bill Baldwin has a nice, irreverent adjunct to it. Though somehow I doubt he knew he was writing an adjunct to my article. :-) (H/T MJR)
I hope to return to Saturday’s theme in a day or two. I have more upbeat thoughts than I wrote earlier. But deadlines and other realities got in the way.
In the meantime, here are some good things for ya from other people:
“Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm.” I knew from reading his biographical essays that playwright-scriptwriter-director-producer-Tony-nominee-Oscar-nominee-Pulitzer-Prize-winner David Mamet liked and is knowledgeable about firearms. I remember him writing with regret about missing out on getting some memorabilia of the Fabulous Topperweins. But I figured his was probably an uppercrust gunnery — the “sporting guns for me but no ugly guns for thee” attitude we’ve seen so sadly often. But by damn. The man’s the real deal.
His UTD-1A Project aims to pull together — with your help — a lot of firearm-related information that hoplophobes and control freaks want to ban. Specifically everything related to creating your own firearms, parts, and magazines, whether by machining or printing.
There is a Legislator, (I won’t say whom) who wants to make the printing or making of your own firearms, weapons or parts, ILLEGAL. That is not just restricting your 2nd Amendment Rights, but your 1st Amendment Rights as well. This Legislator wants to make the dissemination of this “INFORMATION” restricted and or illegal.
So what I am going to try to do, is to create another drive. This one will have all the necessary software to machine or print, your files, plus as many of the pertinent files as I can get together.
I will be making them available for ANYONE!!!! Through uploading to one of my cloud accounts plus I will be seeding the files out as torrents as well.
So I am asking for your help. If you know where these files are or have access to them, SEND THEM TO ME.
I am right now downloading the LinuxCNC files and I am going to try to figure out how to set them up on a USB Thumb Drive like the KTD Project. That is going to be taking a LOT of my time. So please I seriously need your help.
And before somebody objects that 3D printing of complete, functional firearms isn’t ready for primetime yet, I’m sure Mark knows that. But this project will cover much more. So help ensure that all manner of information on homemade liberty tools remains in our hands in convenient form, where it can be tucked away against censorship, or bureaucratic/legislative whim. Give Greylocke a hand if you have or know of information to share.
* And don’t forget, if you don’t want to go to all the work of building your own KTD Preparedness drive, you can buy one (or more) ready-made from Scott. Price now $35. Scott’s only making a few dollars per drive for the time-consuming work. But he’s doing a good job. I have one of his drives. NFI, but I totally support these projects.
Since Newtown, I’ve been afraid — as I suspect we all have despite our anarchic bravado — of what the hoplophobes and control freaks will try to do to us with the deeds of one hopped-up wacko as their excuse.
I’m not afraid of DiFi’s proposed “assault weapon” ban. Oh, don’t mistake me; I hate it, despise it, loathe it, and have many unspeakable thoughts about it. But I don’t fear it. It probably won’t pass. And as we know even better than the banners, even if it did, it’s all about cosmetics. We’d be losing rights but only scraps of fuctionality.
The thing I most fear is a ban on private sales.
Nothing would stop private sales, of course. It’s just that every private sale could be a threat of 10 years in prison. And we’d learn to distrust people who ought to be our peaceable trading partners: “Is this one an agent provocateur?” “Will that one snitch if they put pressure on him?”
A private-sale ban is even more fearsome because the NRA and the R-Party will go for that one, and the most gun-hating people in Congress (Lautenberg and McCarthy) are already customizing bills to give their alleged opponents something to “compromise” on.
Some FFLs will even be in favor or it because they’ll think it’s a way to use government against the competition. Or force more of us to bring them transfer and background check business.
It’ll be only a closing of the true “gun-show loophole” at first. You and I will still be able to sell our possessions privately to our neighbors and friends. The NRA will tell us what a “reasonable” compromise they helped achieve and oh by the way, send Your Great Protectors another contribution.
But when tightening the screws on gun shows doesn’t halt violent crime — and it won’t — then … well, you know.
But of course, a lot of us are not going to fall for any of this. We’ve already made up our minds not to cooperate because government must never be allowed to know where all the guns are. They must never be allowed to know.
Because once they know, the fuzzy line we’ve all argued about for years is fuzzy no more: we will have crossed from being free people to being serfs. Not to mention easy victims.
So sometimes I am very afraid. Not that DiFi and Carolyn McCarthy will come marching door-to-door to pull our “liberty’s teeth.” (I’d love to see them try; and let them bring Chuckie Schumer, Josh Sugarman, Frank Lautenberg, and Barack Obama along for the task.)
But afraid of living in a war zone. Maybe not all-out war; I’d be surprised to see that in my lifetime (thank heaven). But something like the gang wars of Prohibition at least — the fedgov being the biggest gang. Sporadic violence; but always the threat. Never the sound sleep at night.
I can see secession, too. A wall of Rocky Mountain west states rises between east and left coasts. Eastern Washington and Oregon join Idaho rather than go on living under Puget or Portlandia rules.
That part’s a little exciting. No, a lot exciting. But still … too “interesting” in the Chinese-curse sense to wish for. You know what’s going to happen when DC, New York, and Massachusetts declare war on Wyoming and Idaho.
I wish these people who are so eager to have their agents control us would just quit poking the sleeping rattlesnake with a stick. The rattler won’t hurt you if you leave it the heck alone. Because they won’t leave it alone — and because I really don’t think they understand the power they’re so eager to let loose (and I mean the power on both sides — their government’s power to do evil and Americans’ power to stand when standing is undeniably needed) — I am so afraid.
How do you have meaningful due process when everything is a crime? Glenn Reynolds answers in “Ham Sandwich Nation.” (Per J.)
Everybody knows about the infamous “no-fly” list. But did you have any idea there’s also a “no-credit” list you can end up on if you happen to share the name of a suspected drug dealer, money launderer, etc.? And of course … it’s secret and you can’t appeal. Ah, the wonderful Land of the Free!
You think what New York politicians just did to gun owners was bad? T’aint nothin’ compared with what they wanted to do — and keep secret. (Tip o’ hat to MJR.)
The great Glenn Greenwald on Wall Street and Obama. The minions of O will destroy Aaron Swartz and lock medical marijuana providers in prison. But steal billions, ruin the economy, and you get dinner at the White House. “The real mystery from all of this is that it has not led to greater social unrest.” Yet.
It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.
ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates.
Nooooooo, we didn’t cancel it because more than a quarter third of our vendors and about 70 of our celebrity guests & speakers were boycotting us. We didn’t do it because some of those boycotting vendors were so huge our hall was going to be half empty. Or because both vendors and ticket holders were threatening to sue our weasely, politically correct, anti-gun asses.
We cancelled because you people have a lousy, family-unfriendly attitude! And if we just wait a while, we expect you to shape up!
After all, our decision to ban ugly guns only affects a few people nobody really ought to care about — only those silly Americans who cherish freedom.
But it took only minutes after opening the Brady’s book to realize that there was no freaking way we could base a gun-rights activist manual on it.
The reason: Everything in the Brady manual was directed toward getting corporate money and corporate media support. There was virtually nothing — nada, zip, zero — about grassroots organizing. Starting local chapters? Recruiting members? Forget it. Just get money and opinions from top of the hierarchy. Period. End of effort. That’s all you need to do if you’re a gun-banner.
Who cares what individuals think or want? Use the media to buffalo them into believing that there’s “widespread support” for “common sense gun control” and — ta da! — they’ll put up with whatever you want.
Eventually (to my surprise) we won the gun-rights battle. I’d hoped we wouldn’t have to fight the same old rights fight all over again … facing the same old proposals … the same old lies … the same old ignorance about firearms … and the same old limp-wristed compromising cowardice from organizations and well-placed individuals that claim to be “Second Amendment supporters, but ….”
Here we are, anyhow.
But times have changed (thank you, Internet). The grassroots now has a powerful medium of its own — and knows how to use it.
It was a bad Sunday for sponsors of an meeting to create a grassroots chapter of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence at the Glenview, IL Police Station Auditorium failed miserably as supporters of the Constitution and civil rights took part in the event.
In the end, unsubstantiated assertions by the gun control advocates were challenged by a boisterous audience.
And it seems that even some members of the formerly wishy-washy corporate gun crowd have gotten the message that gun owners are both united behind a solid concept of their rights and not to be trifled with.
Reader F. alerts me to an ongoing “situation” on the east coast. Reed Exhibitions announced just a few weeks before the big Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania that all ugly guns would be banned from the event.
Perhaps UK-based Reed believed the hype about “widespread consensus.” They shoulda done a reality check first. No sooner had they announced their crippling of the show when exhibitors started walking out en masse.
Most of the drop-outs are small businesses — many of them with little or no relationship to ugly guns. They make duck blinds. Boats. Camping gear. Spices. Archery equipment. Knives. But out they went — even though, for many of them, the ESOS show can make or break their profits for the year.
Big boys went, too. Cabelas — a full sponsor of the show — was among the first to pull out. Then went Ruger and Smith & Wesson. TV show hosts said, “No thanks!” The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said goodbye. Even the NRA, never known (except in the MSM) for its hardline attitude, dropped out. (Reportedly both the NRA and the NSSF had worked pretty hard to get Reed to change its tightly knotted little corporate mind.)
One after one, the exhibitors and sponsors stated, “We must be united in our support of the Second Amendment.” No more divides between the engraved-shotgun/sporting clays crowd and we more grubby gun owners. We’re all in — or we are OUT.
More are joining the boycott. It’s going to be interesting watching ticket sales plummet.
The show, which opens February 2, has now lost well over 10 percent of its 1,200 exhibitors. And boycotters have announced an online virtual show to compete with it.
No doubt some of the companies dropping out would be perfectly happy to support anti-gun compromises under other circumstances. (Ahem, Ruger …) Maybe some have just decided — given what gun owners did to Jim Zumbo, KMart, and S&W itself — that being firmly pro-gun is better than being wishy washy.
But no matter what their motives … they’ve learned the lesson. Do not mess with the millions of ordinary gun owners who care not only about their firearms, but about their inborn rights. Do not mess with individual, ordinary gun owners — who are powerful.
I intended to write a long (and no-doubt Deeply Profound) meditation on the above. And on how, even if we were all flying around in those personal gyrocopters the futurists of the 1950s were all so certain we’d own now, life would still be pretty much life, humans would still be oh-so-very-human, and time would still be pretty much wasted.
But my brain has been feeling soggy and loggy the last few days, as if somebody left it in tepid bathwater and it got all pruney.
That may be a good sign. Sometimes I get like this when Ye Olde Braine is cogitating on something Vitally Important that it just hasn’t informed me about yet. But for now …
All that fancy pocket-tech isn’t only for looking at pictures of cats.
I also thought I’d write something reflecting on this rather interesting essay on how modern brains are being programmed to destroy logic. (Very long but thoughtful; the bit toward the end about new-minted gun-banner and former Vatican attorney Alexis Haller is an eye-opener.)
But go. Do your own reflecting. You’re better at it than I at the moment. (H/T to WL for the link.)
And here’s a charming monkeywrench for you folks who plan to bury guns — or not bury them. (Thanks JB!)
It may be stuff like this that’s got my brain feeling as lively as a bowl of cold oatmeal this week. Obama worship. Not sure. But you’ve got to admit that when a large part of the nation thinks in these Obama-as-Jesus terms even after seeing him in action for four years, we are surrounded by some scary, scary people for whom logic and facts are definitely not factors.
I agree with Joel; Monday’s coronation ceremony (or re-re-coronation ceremony, as Bear pointed out) was weirdly inescapable even for those of us who usually manage to avoid all such rot.
Even the little bits of it I heard or heard about on the radio made it seem as though something far worse than usual has crawled into the heart of the land. I couldn’t decide whether the Second (or is it third?) Coronation of King Obama was more like a Roman spectacle or more like Germany in the 1930s. All it needed was Leni Riefenstahl.
I was happily ignoring the fact that today is the re-crowning of our Wise Monarch. Then Certain Persons (you know who you are, damn you) called it to my attention. Which did not brighten the day one bit, I have to tell you.
But then one of those Certain Persons made up for it by sending a cartoon that perfectly expresses the situation in terms that … well, I can relate to: