Don’t be a jerk

There is a guy in Tennessee by the name of Leonard Embody. Mr. Embody feels like he is making a stand for liberty and gun rights by parading around Bicentennial Mall with a loaded AK-47 clone pistol slung across his back. He also is known to walk around local parks.
What he is doing is completely legal, and he thinks that he is making progress on the gun rights front by being in your face with gun rights.
When it comes to open carry in the promotion of gun rights, there is a lot of controversy among bloggers in the pro-gun community. Uncle has this to say:

I don’t think it’s an effective way of getting converts. That doesn’t
mean that I oppose open carry. But if you’re open carrying trying to
get people to turn pro-gun, it’s probably not a good marketing
technique. 

He also had this to say:

  Carrying a shotgun into a library is not going to win hearts and
minds. It’s going to turn people away. This bill is going to draw more
attention to the incident that led this politician to propose the bill.
And not your rights.

You have rights. We get that. But when you’re focusing on your right
and acting like a jerk, people tend to focus on that whole being a jerk
part. There are effective ways to to win hearts and minds with respect
to OC. Flashing guns at librarians and toting a shotgun on your back are
not some of those ways.

This is like the kiss-ins that gay groups used to have. I’m all for
gay rights and support gay marriage. But I don’t think a bunch of gay
dudes kissing at the mall is effective at converting people to their
cause.

You guys suck at marketing. And that’s it.

When you engage in activism, there are a number of ways to go about it. One way is to be arrested, and either fight in court on Constitutional grounds, or be a martyr for the cause. Another way is to win the hearts and minds of the people. Scaring Suzy Soccermom by being all in her face with a heater is not the way to do it.
If your point was “you can’t stop the signal” with regards to the Liberator pistol, then you use Pirate Bay or Kim.com for that. It’s anonymous, and Suzy Soccermom already thinks those guys are kooky but harmless.

The tactic of putting the file out and then retracting it several days later wasn’t ever going to work to advance gun rights. What it did do was let you brag about how “edgy” you were.  Minuteman proves that he is a post whoring jerk that is just looking for accolades and pats on the back when he links to my blog in an apparent dick measuring contest.

Don’t be a jerk. That won’t win you any converts.

Leatherbound Classics

Barnes and Noble has a leatherbound classics collection. These books are beautifully made, and I was enthralled by them at the store. With 4 bookshelves containing hundreds of books, I have been almost exclusively buying ebooks for the past few years (except medical reference books). I made an exception for these. They are works of art.
I bought this:

This volume includes the full texts of:

·         On Civil War—Benjamin Franklin
·         The Boston Massacre— John Hancock
·         The Declaration of Independence
·         Common Sense—Thomas Paine
·         The Articles of Confederation
·         The Federalist Papers—Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
·         The Constitution of the United States of America
·         The Bill of Rights
·         Farewell Address—George Washington

·         And others

I am going to buy many more from this collection.

Street prices unaffected

Supply and demand dictates that as supplies dry up and demand remains steady, prices will climb. It also dictates that prices will fluctuate with demand.

According to the UN, the street cost of heroin and cocaine in the United States, when adjusted for inflation and purity, has been constrained to a relatively narrow band for the past two decades. For Heroin, the band has been $342-618 in 2010 dollars. For cocaine, the range was $129-278.

The most expensive year was 1990.The reason for this was most likely due to demand, combined with the fact that many drug dealers were engaged in the violent turf wars of the 80s and early 90s. It is obvious that drug enforcement has little effect on prices. I would guess that the spike in prices on the left side is more due to the poor economy and weakness of the dollar than anything else.

It is obvious that prices are not fluctuating, which means that the war on drugs is not changing the supply or demand of street drugs like heroin and cocaine. The only real variations in the street price are other market factors like turf wars and currency fluctuations.

We are losing how much liberty to fight this losing war on drugs?

Another shooting in a gun free zone

In Louisiana, the State Police claim that it is illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a parade. As a result, we get another example of a shooting happening inside of a nominally gun free zone.

The goal of gun laws is to prevent people from breaking other laws(shooting people). If a person is intent on breaking  the law against shooting people, what does a law prohibiting them from using a gun accomplish, other than the disarmament of the intended, law abiding victim?

The 7th ward of New Orleans is a  crime ridden cesspool. New Orleans is already known as a hotspot for violent crime, with a violent crime index that is 9% higher than the average for the rest of New Orleans, and 36% higher than the rest of Louisiana. It is in the bottom quartile of safe neighborhoods in New Orleans. Your odds of being a victim of violent crime in the 7th ward is 1 in 116, and your odds of being the victim of any crime are 1 in 19.

This is how liberty dies- one step at a time

The government sees a problem, and takes unto itself new powers to deal with it. The power itself creates another problem, so the government takes unto itself a new power with which to deal with the problem. Ad nausea, ad infinitum.

Example:
In 1938, the US government passed the national minimum wage, even though it had previously been declared to be an unconstitutional use of the commerce clause in 1933. This was a result of Roosevelt’s threat to pack the Supreme court, as the SCOTUS now ruled it to be constitutional. (Incidentally, this was the period where the SCOTUS became corrupted and useless as a check on the powers of the Legislative and Executive branches.)
This created a demand for under the table workers. The seeds of illegal immigration were planted.
The price increases and unemployment, along with the influx of immigrants to fill the demand for workers that could be paid less than minimum wage that resulted from this law caused people to need assistance. So the government passed the Food Stamp program in 1939.
This program was expanded and illegal immigrants were permitted to qualify for benefits under the ‘indigence’ exemption of Federal law, which caused an even larger influx of low wage workers that were coming in to receive the free food and money that the government was distributing.
In 1986, the government passes a law that requires hospital emergency rooms treat people regardless of their ability to pay, effectively making health care free to anyone that enters the emergency room. This causes many immigrants to sneak in to have their babies for free in US emergency rooms. The newborn is an American citizen,or ‘anchor baby,’ and is eligible for all forms of public assistance. At the same time, illegal immigrants already in the US were granted amnesty.
The amnesty law, while granting amnesty to illegals, simply added millions to the legal workforce, making the now legal immigrants qualify for minimum wage more expensive. Enhanced penalties for illegals caused companies to begin using subcontractors, so that they could lower labor costs by hiring illegals at lower rates while absolving themselves of legal liability through plausible deniability. (I saw this happen myself at a certain large central Florida tourist attraction.)
US businesses support this, because they make LOADS of money from cheap labor.
Now to deal with all of the illegal immigration, we are establishing a National Biometric Database of all Americans. Here comes a registry of everything. People, guns, all of it. The journey to police state and dictatorship is nearly complete.

Cake

A paramedic in Texas was arrested for possession of a destructive device (a bomb) this past week. The evidence? The Feds claim he had in his possession (at his home) pipe, a canister of fuses, a lighter, a digital scale and a variety of chemical powders.

None of these items is a bomb, and they will not become a bomb unless assembled into one.

I have in my kitchen some flour, eggs, butter, milk, and sugar. That does not mean that I am in possession of a cake, unless you are the Federal government.

Activism

There are ways for people to be activists for a cause.
One way is to work within the system. Lawyers like Gura, or people like Gottlieb. This way risks little from a personal standpoint, but for a select few, they actually accomplish quite a bit.

Another is to engage in civil disobedience and put yourself out there in personal peril to be imprisoned or worse in order to change others. You do this by violating the law and showing defiance. People who have done this include Ghandi, Dr Martin Luther King, and others.

Yet another way is to undermine the law by refusing to obey. This is how many people in nations undermine the law. The quietly ignore the law, and once a critical mass is reached, the law becomes useless and changes. The 55 MPH speed limit is a good example of this. So are the people who have distributed the Liberator files on anonymous sites and torrents.

Then there are the people who are doing nothing for advancing the cause, and are simply engaged in an attempt to garner fame for themselves. They loudly proclaim themselves to be engaged in civil disobedience, get the spotlight focused on themselves, and before any serious consequences can befall them, they fold their tent and scurry away. They then spend a large amount of time patting themselves on the back, and demanding that others recognize the so-called huge ‘risk’ they took in doing absolutely nothing. They are doing nothing for the CAUSE, they are doing this for THEMSELVES and their over sized egos.

Look, the penalty for violating ITAR is a million bucks plus twenty years in prison. I GET it if you aren’t willing to risk that. I know I’m not, but that is no excuse to run around and brag about how much you did and how much of a risk you took. That does nothing but pull the focus away from the problem and place it on you. That is why I criticize people for this.

The people who put the Liberator files on sites like Pirate Bay, or torrents? They have my respect. They are engaged in actually undermining the law without worrying about personal accolades.

Posers

Internet commandos. After the DEFCAD incident, where the government took down the site for violating ITAR regulations, there were people who hosted the file in an attempt to give the Feds the finger. They had to know that the act was illegal, yet they did it anyway. That takes balls. This, in my book, is the sort of thing that Majatma Ghandi, Dr Martin Luther King, or Rosa Parks did: Risk arrest and imprisonment  to stand up for civil rights. After all, they knew it was illegal when they did it, right?
It turns out it wasn’t a stand for civil rights: It was a stand for bragging rights. The files were up for less than 48 hours, then all of a sudden, they ‘realized’ when told by their ‘lawyer’ that what they were doing might get them in trouble, so they pulled it off. Of course now they get to brag about how much they are doing.

So now they get to run around and tell everyone how cool they are that they hosted a file on a blog for less than 2 days. Then they get to tell people how much they are doing, and how they refuse to cower. How they will never turn their guns in if ordered to by the government. How can I believe that you will never turn in your guns, if you don’t even have enough guts to keep up a file with PLANS for a gun?

One of them even made claim that he believe John Adams when he said:

If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give
up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great
end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to
freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man
to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.

 I guess he changed his mind and decided to become a slave…