The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

04 December 2010

Quote of the day 12/4

Referring to the gun show that he is going to today:

"My loopholing  habits have changed.  When the world was a better place, I'd always toss in a few pieces I was tired of for trading stock. No more. I and most of my comrades have adopted the never-sell-a-gun philosophy. We keep them all  on grounds that the Messers Bernanke and Geithner can't press a computer key and create 60 billion Colts and Winchesters out of thin air."

The Travis McGee Reader, libertarian blog 12/4/2010, via Sipsey Street Irregulars

How inalienable rights become privileges

"What is the Second Amendment?

It is recognition of a right.

Parse that sentence again: Rights can be either recognized or abrogated but they cannot be granted.

In order to grant something, you first must have it.  The State does not possess the right to the people's self-defense (by definition) against either personal tyranny (e.g. a thug breaking into their home) or government tyranny (e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.)

You either accept that you, and everyone else, have an unalienable right to self defense or you do not.

If you do, then the right to possess weapons suitable for self-defense (which most-certainly includes any sort of small arm such as a pistol) is inherently encompassed within that right.

The NRA, the Brady folks and others all in fact argue over nonsense.  They argue over "reasonable restrictions."  But there are no reasonable restrictions when it comes to peaceable exercise of a right.


Great stuff from Karl Denninger

What's YOUR tipping point?

"I know there are a lot of people out there who feel that government is too intrusive and working way past the mandate of the Constitution. Where are they? Why is there not a constant crowd of people surrounding the Capitol, threatening those inside with imprisonment for abuse of power?"

"We have an opportunity to bring not just Tea Parties, or Second Amendment groups together to do something miraculous, but every American citizen who feels like the government has paid off too many banks, bailed out too many companies, assumed too much debt, left too many people unemployed, and charged our children way too much for these excesses of the Constitution."

History channel bans SCV ads aimed at promoting Southern perspective

...for the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States.

Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A&E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical ads: "The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language... is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN."  Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was "Not a 'civil war' fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war... against an aggressive invasion by federal troops."  She also complained that one of the commercials related to the causes of the War stated that the South seceded in part because "Northern congressmen were able to vote themselves virtually anything they wanted, using Southern tax money, while the South was powerless to stop it."

The SCV could consider scaling back the language to accurate statements about the Southern positions that are more accessible and less threatening to the brainwashed masses, er, I mean government public school educated populace.  There are ways to phrase the Southern perspective that would need softening of the language to achieve the goal of getting the word out of why the Southern soldier took up arms.

The ad/statement/program produced by the SCV should consciously exploit the current distrust of the Federal government created by the continued financial crisis, as well as Congress' continued flouting of the Constitution to build a case that will make sense to the American mind...

For example:  Fort Sumter -- Recall that South Carolina originally ceded land to the federal government for purposes of free interstate and international trade through the harbor.  As regulation of international trade, protection of the shoreline, and regulation of interstate trade are all powers that the several States granted to their new agent, the Federal government, under the Constitution, it was appropriate for one of the busiest ports in the new nation to be protected by the Federal government and U.S. Navy/ U.S. Coast Guard. 

When provisional Confederate States Army under Gen. Beauregard fired at Fort Sumter, was it treason, as many history books portray, or rebellion? 

At South Carolina's secession convention, an ordinance of secession was issued December 24, 1860:

"The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act."

This does not meet criteria for treason, nor does it meet the definition of a rebellion.

Treason definition of the US Constitution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

Rebellion, legal definition:  A citizen or subject who unjustly and unlawfully takes up arms against the constituted authorities of the nation, to deprive them of the supreme power, either by resisting their lawful and constitutional orders, in some particular matter, or to impose on them conditions. In another sense it signifies a refusal to obey a superior, or the commands of a court.

So, you see that the State of South Carolina has legally (through it's state legislature) withdrawn from the compact of states which established the United States, so the State's secession from the Union does not meet the definition of a rebellion.  First, it is a withdrawl of a whole state from a Federal compact.  Second, South Carolina never tried to change the U. S. government or resisted lawful or constitutional orders, as they were no longer bound by such orders after her reassertion of sovereignty.  

Neither does secession meet criteria for treason as defined by the Constitution, as there has been no levying of War against the other "United" States.   

If the act of joining a Union of States is voluntary, then any state can also voluntarily withdraw itself from the same.

Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, wrote on March 21, 1861: "The great principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." If southerners wanted to secede, "they have a clear right to do so." "Nine out of ten of the people of the North," Greeley wrote, were opposed to forcing South Carolina to remain in the Union.

Now, back to Fort Sumter and shots fired, and of course you say, that is levying war.  

But think again about the situation from the point of view of the South Carolina government:  They had donated the land to the Federal government after the War of 1812 to establish coastal fortifications.  Fort Sumter was established on a tiny harbor island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor:

As South Carolina had voluntarily given the land of this island to the federal authorities, and was now voluntarily leaving that federal organization, it would necessarily reclaim this land.  Any hostile US/federal presence at Sumter would completely disrupt the commercial lifeblood of Charleston.  Just look at the map to see that the little island was central to the harbor, much more than a simple "thorn in the side".

Abraham Lincoln sent a resupply convoy to Sumter, knowing it would provoke the South Carolinians.  South Carolina was protecting the mouth of its principal harbor against what had become a hostile (military) intrusion into its now again its sovereign territory.

So the sovereign State of South Carolina, for the second time newly independent, had to defend its commercial interests and reclaim it's territory which was occupied by Federal forces, and threatened with resupply.  It was goaded into firing the first shot...

Thus logically constructed, and showing the cynicism of Lincoln through what is now known of the historical record, an open minded American, newly doubtful (in 2010) of his or her government, can come to understand and appreciate the Southern perspective, which had never been taught in their public school or university.  

There may yet be mainstream (cable or satellite) media sources which will carry these ads:

Maybe the SCV should try to run the ads on Fox Business, since they are open minded enough to have excellent libertarian shows (Napolitano and Stossel) on every night now.

Otherwise try the Military Channel.  Southerners are disproportionately represented in the military, and that might hold sway, and there is the obvious military angle.

This is the tack the SCV should take in response to the History Channel rebuff.

03 December 2010

This coming week, your salary and savings will shrink

And gold and silver will go up as the dollar goes down.

More quantitative easing (QE) from our good friends and protectors at the Federal Reserve.

Every time that curve goes up, the value of your dollar goes down.  And the debts the government owes can be repaid in cheaper dollars.  The counterfeiter's way.

01 December 2010

I've heard of looking up old friends, but this is ridiculous...

TSA goes beyond ridiculous, making up their own rules at PHX airport

If this was my wife, I would be sitting in a Federal lockup, because I would have gone ape over this (my wife breastfed all three of my kids, and I know its value):

From Alex Jones Prison Planet, via Drudge:

Mother Kept In “Glass Cage” For Almost An Hour By TSA For Resisting Over Breast Milk

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Mother Kept In Glass Cage For Almost An Hour By TSA For Resisting Over Breast Milk 301110TSA
Steve Watson
November 30, 2010
Following their own guidelines will not get you anywhere because they make the rules up as they go along
The latest case of TSA tyranny to hit the headlines comes in the form of a young mother who was subjected to enhanced groping and then shut inside a screening box for almost an hour by agents after she refused to allow them to put her breast milk through an x-ray device, a legitimate request that is even written into the TSA’s own guidelines.
The ordeal, which took place at Phoenix airport earlier this year, was captured on security cameras, which Stacey Armato, who is also a lawyer, gained access to, but only after repeated requests and careful editing by the TSA had taken place.
After being told that her breast milk might have to be put through an x-ray scanner, Ms Armato attempted to show the TSA agents a print out of their own guidelines allowing non x-ray screening for breast milk. This act of serious disobedience resulted in the agent pushing Ms Armato into a glass cage, telling her “to be quiet if you know what’s good for you”, while calling for “back up”.
“Standing 50 ft away are the same manager and supervisor I had dealt with the previous week.” Ms Armato writes in her description of events, referring to a previous 30 minute delay at the security gate for the exact same reason.
After being shut in the box for some 20 minutes, in full public view of other passengers, Ms Armato began to cry and remonstrate with TSA agents. She was then approached by a police officer who told her that she had been singled out by TSA agents who recognized her because she had filed a complaint against them regarding the handling of her breast milk the previous week.
Ms Armato writes:
About 10 minutes into all this, a Phoenix PD comes to calm me down. I explain to him that there is no reason I should be treated this way and I have every right to be upset.
He then says “they” (aka TSA) saw me coming, have it out for me (from my complaint against TSA the week before when they didn’t know the breast milk rules then either), and I should travel out of a different gate in future weeks.
He said TSA wants me to play along with their horse and pony show and if I don’t then TSA can have the Phoenix PD arrest me! Well, I wanted to get home to my baby and my flight was 30 minutes from departure so I ‘played along.’ Three Phoenix PD watched in the background…I could tell they all knew this was a waste of their time but I was happy to have them standing by in case TSA continued to act out of line.
Eventually Ms Armato was released from the box, and subjected to a full groping from another TSA agent.
A TSA manager then approached her and told her that the milk had to go through the x-ray scanner because the containers it was in were “too full” and it was “not a clear liquid”. These are both made up rules that are not mentioned anywhere in TSA guidelines, proving that even the TSA manager had no regard for the official laws in this instance.
The guidelines allow “Mothers flying with, and now without, their child be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.”
According to TSA rules breast milk is to be treated as a medical liquid, which should not be subjected to x-ray radiation.
Ms Armato writes:
He read the first form which stated that medical liquids can have alternate screening (no x-ray). He was quick to say “well this isn’t a medical liquid!” So I had him read the second form which says breast milk is to be treated like a medical liquid. He then says, “well, not today.” I started balling all over again once he said that.
Again this is clear evidence of a TSA supervisor acting like a supreme authority and simply making up the rules as he goes along.
Ms Armato was then forced to pour out the milk into 8 different containers, only half filling each, as per the TSA’s new completely made up rule.
Because of all this, she missed her flight home to feed her hungry baby in Los Angeles.
The following video, which shows some of the lengthy screening process, was edited together by Ms Armato with the help of her family. The full unedited set of videos can be viewed at the foot of this article:

According to Ms Armato, the TSA edited out almost 30 minutes of footage, including a section where a TSA manager demanded and took down her personal information, took pictures of her breast milk and shouted at her for not watching closely as the agents tested it for explosive residue.
Ms Armato has vowed to fight the TSA on the issue.
“Southwest put me on the next flight home and, as luck would have it, I was standing in line right behind my Constitutional Law professor from my law school days. At that point I knew I needed to stand up for my rights and help myself and other mothers against the uninformed, retaliatory, and harassing TSA employees that help ‘keep us safe.’” she writes.
Last week we detailed reports of a woman being forced to remove her sanitary towel following TSA screening. These are the type of dangerous terrorists America must now be protected from.
Here is the full set of videos of the incident:
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’, and regular contributor to He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

Big Crash coming in Eurozone...

"The Eurozone is heading for a crash—anyone saying otherwise is either stoned, works in Brussels, or hasn’t checked the European bond market action lately: All hell is breaking loose there."

The Euro?

Are you prepared?  Read Gonzalo Lira's latest here

The 15th Alabama is overdue its rightful acknowledgement

Many of you will know the story of Little Round Top, perhaps the CSA's greatest chance to take the far flank of the Union line at Gettysburg.  The story was told by the victors, of course, glorifying the role of the 20th Maine and Col. Chamberlain.  Very few Americans know of the 15th Alabama who faced the men from Maine, or their commander, Col. William C. Oates of Alabama.  

Some 42 years after the battle in which his brother was killed, William Oates was by then an eight term congressman, senatorial candidate, former Governor of Alabama, and Brigadier General of the United States Army during the Spanish American War.  Governor Oates sought to have a plaque honoring the suffering, sacrifice, and effort of the 15th Alabama at Little Round Top.  His effort was unsuccessful.  On the battlefield that has perhaps the most memorials of any American battlefield, no plaque has ever been placed to commemorate the Alabamians who fought and fell that day.

I came across a nice piece from 1997 describing Governor Oates' efforts in those later days, including an intriguing picture of a handwritten memorial laid by an admirer on the rock on which Lt. John Oates was mortally wounded:

In Storming Little Round Top, by Phillip Thomas Tucker, written in 2002, the author makes the claim that it was the Alabamians who were outnumbered, fighting in their second fight of the same day, their force already weakened, fighting against a semifortified position uphill, and the 15th Alabama nearly won.  Moreover, the famous charge of Chamberlain's Maine men as portrayed in the movie Gettysburg, Tucker claims, was fiction.  Oates wrote after the battle that the Alabamians were withdrawing under fire when the Maine regiment left their earthworks and retook lost ground downslope, nothing more.  

While I feel a memorial plaque to the men of the 15th Alabama should be placed at Little Round Top, I fear the controversy of where to place the plaque would persist from 1905, even if the matter is only 50-75 yards from here to there.  To place it lower on the slope would diminish what might have been the Regiment's true achievement, and to place the plaque as high as Oates' claim, even if it were the true marker of their advance, will surely arouse great passion in the cult of the Union and cult of  Chamberlain.  Not that it isn't worth the fight, mind you.  

This cause should be taken up by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as this is their duty as I see it, and perhaps an old wrong can be set aright.

30 November 2010

Quote of the day 12/1

"...And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

"There, I guess King George will be able to read that."
--John Hancock, July 4, 1776


How far out will you stick your neck?

Quote of the day 11/30

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

                                          Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

Compatriot bloggers take note

About distributed denial of service, cyberattacks against libertarian and patriot may be in our future.

Courtesy of

29 November 2010

Secession in Belgium?

No government for six months, talk of the King abdicating for his son, impoverished Wallonia being absorbed by more here

Bankers and hedge funds risk other people's money, and the taxpayers pick up the tab: Ireland

"International capitalism now has a new set of rules as formulated by the European Community. Invest in a bank and take your profits. Irrespective of how stupid or reckless a bank behaves, the taxpayers are made to pick up the losses."

A Sinn Fein activist sets the record straight about how the Irish people are stuck with the tab for the banksters, who never risked their own capital.

Kind of makes ya mad, don't it?

28 November 2010

Enablers of Tyranny

"These low level people are the enablers of tyranny. Without them, it makes no difference how malevolent the tyrant is; he must have many accomplices. This is why the goon who is “just doing his job” is more dangerous than the man at the top. He will do his job in most cases no matter what it is; his paycheck depends on it. He should be shunned and ostracized because he is a danger to society."

From Lew Rockwell

To the men and women of the ATF, TSA, FBI, DHS:  

Will you obey an unconstitutional order just because your "paycheck depends on it"?

Bonnie Blue de Catalonia!

Quote of the day 11/28

"It is the highest impertinence and presumption… in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will."

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776

Lesson for us for when we write a new constitution:  hold the government accountable for their expenditures, by the same rules that apply to businesses and individuals:  Don't spend more than you earn, and don't borrow more than you can realistically re-pay.

Struggles between central and decentralized authority picks up in Catalonia

There, as here, driven by the economy.
The nationalists are also benefiting from growing tensions with Madrid over changes to a charter that gave the northeastern region sweeping powers.
Spain's Constitutional Court in June struck down several articles of the charter that expanded the already significant powers of self rule of the Catalan government, sparking mass protests in the region.
The ruling "was seen as an attack on popular sovereignty," said Ferran.
Sound familiar?