Author: William

I am a History student at The University of Tennessee and I have never regreted being an American citizen. I love God, guns and dogs, and if that makes me a redneck so be it.

Guns of Tennessee

I believe that it is a fundamental right of every American to own and carry firearms. So I was relieved to hear the decision of District of Colombia vs. Heller, which said that the states can not bar any law abiding citizen from owning a handgun, although they did state that cities/states may “reasonably regulate” the carrying and ownership of fire arms.

My joy was elevated to a new level when I read in the paper that Tennessee is considering 4 bills that would expand the places that legally licensed individuals can carry their guns.

HB0959

Handgun Permits – As introduced, makes information contained in handgun carry permit applications and renewals, information provided to agencies to investigate applicant, and records maintained relative to the permit application confidential and creates Class A fine only misdemeanor of unauthorized publication of permit information or records. – Amends TCA Section 10-7-504 and Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB0960:

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, authorizes person with handgun carry permit to possess firearm in local, state, or federal parks. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

HB0961

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, authorizes person with handgun carry permit to possess firearm in a refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area, or on national forest land. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

HB0962

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, allows person with handgun carry permit to carry in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages as long as such person is not consuming alcoholic beverages and such restaurant is not an age-restricted venue. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17.

My opinion on each bill is as follows:

HB0959

I like the fact that they are trying to look out for the privacy of gun owners, I don’t believe that it needs to be public knowledge as to who owns a gun. I would have liked to see them set a minimum fine however, nothing less than $1000.

HB0960 & HB0961

(The committee vote of 960 has been pushed back to Wednesday or so of this week.) I think that the attempt to pass this bill recognizes that not all dangers occur in our homes or neighborhood. If someone is hiking in the woods and they get attacked by a rabid animal, a bear, or one of the marijuana growers that operates in the the back country where very few people go, then the carrier of the gun has the ability to protect him/herself . There is also the fact that a gun fired three times into the air is a universal symbol of distress. How, I ask, is somebody supposed to signal this distress if they are not allowed to carry a gun in these areas?

HB0962

The first few times I read this bill I didn’t quite get the “and such restaurant is not an age-restricted venue.” clause. However after pondering on it I think I understand it. The way I see it is that they want to allow people with conceal carry permits to go into standard restaurants, like Ruby Tuesdays, Appleby’s or (if you’re in East Tennessee) Copper Celler and Calhouns, normal resteraunts that serve alchohol, as long as the carrier doesn’t drink. Age restricted places in Tennessee are considerd “clubs” in Tennessee and I guess the thought is that if you’re going to a club then you are probably going to be drinking, or mixing with a high number of people who have been drinking, and guns and alchol, or people who’ve been drinking don’t mix with happy results.

I hope that these bills pass, and I hope that people realize that the people who follow the laws and are legally licensed to carry guns are less likely to commit gun crimes than anyone else.

Cycle of Democracy?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been about 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-­1813)

We are at 221 years now…and on to selfishness, with apathy and dependence already showing themselves.

After doing a little internet research it seems that there is no definitive answer as to who wrote this quote. It has been attributed to a number of people over the years and is likely several different quotes stuck together, see http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html for a good essay on the quote.

The fact that the origin of this quote is not known does not detract from the implied ideas behind it, which are fundamentally sound, if not slightly skewed. We are seeing the effect of the realization that people can vote themselves money by voting for someone who promises the most benefits from the treasury. Obama’s idea of the redistribution of wealth is nothing new, however the fact that 56-58% of the US population voted for him indicates that people are less willing to work for what they want/need and want it given to them.

As for the times given for the life of Democracies, it varies more than the 200 year mark, some have said that this is the time frame of the Athenian Democracy, but the Athenian Democracy was not a continuous period, rather it was interrupted on several occasions by the rise of tyrants, who often initially had popular backing. So really it might be best to disregard the time frame.

However it is easy to see that we are working our way through the cycle, and that if we are not careful we will go on to become a nation bound up by our government, and dependent on them for the littlest things.

However let us not forget that:

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

Sir Winston Churchill


So I don’t really have any answers but I have seen the symptoms, and they frighten me.

Fast Food Police

Quick Rant

I happened to see a news article online the other day, talking about how Los Angeles, held firmly in the sway of granola munching liberals, was/is going to ban fast food restaurants from low-income areas. This is all done in the name of benevolence. They think that by removing these grease-traps from the landscape then it will lead to a healthier population.

It might do just that.

That doesn’t make it any less wrong. The idea that somebody from the government is going to tell you what you can and can’t eat. Does anybody remember when Ronald Reagan said: “ The 9 scariest words in the English language are ‘I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.'”

The fact that the government feels the need to tell us what to eat, how long can it be before they tell us what to wear, or drive … WAIT, they are already trying to tell us what to drive, what will be next?

If the people in the low-income areas want to eat fast food, let them. If they get fat it’s their own dang fault, they made the choice to eat there. If more people decided to eat healthy then the BK’s and McD’s of the world would find themselves forced to change by market pressures.

I am an overweight American. I am 6ft tall and my weight is currently around 237 down from 248 since last May, I think, (sometimes I go for a while without checking my weight).  I, however, don’t blame the fast food places … after all I chose to eat there. I need to have self-control and discipline in my diet.  I have completely cut out cola’s and I have greatly increased my intake of water.  I very seldom go to fast food restaurants any more … by my own choice.  No one told me I needed to do this … I had to do this.  No one shut down the fast food restaurants in my area.  In fact they still do pretty good business.

I guess what I’m getting at is that if people are unhappy with their weight they need to do some thing about it, and not wait for Uncle Sam to tell them what to do.

Apathy, Democracy and The Way Government Should Be

This is a collection of things that are just kind of ever present in my mind and bother me.

Apathy = Idiocy

Idiōtēs the ancient Athenians came up with this word to describe some one who was uninformed or didn’t care about the political proceedings of Polis. In recent months I have seen more and more Apathy ’08 bumper stickers on cars, including belonging to my own family. I sort of understand their reasoning but I have to disagree with it. They seem to think that since the candidate of their choice is no longer in the race then electing one of the remaining people will amount to choosing the lesser of the evils, and they believe there is something wrong with this. However I believe that you should intentionally choose the lesser because it is less likely to long-term major damage to the country. I feel that if you don’t vote, or vote for a candidate that has no chance in hell of winning then you should not be able to complain about what the eventual winner does. Of course both of my family members were probably Paulites, so if that’s the case than even in the primary they wasted their votes.

Democracy

It is interesting to me how people always seem to think that America is a democracy. Then again I also tend to believe that many people are uninformed idiots who believe anything that people will tell him. We are a Republic, we elect people to speak for us and we vote for them based on how we think they will stand on issues. If we don’t like how they did then we should vote them out of office. However even with Congress’ low approval rating there will probably be little turnover. Democrats being the majority party should suffer most but they will try to find a way to shift blame to the Republicans.

The Role of Government

This is one of those things that kind of irritates me. People like to say that the government should do this or that for them, the government should pay for their kids to go to school, or should pay so that their kids can have food. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me break it to you this way the only jobs that the government should do is to provide for the national defense, aka the Military, run a court system, and conduct foreign policy. There are several rights that should extend to everybody except felons. What are these right you might ask, well let me explain them to you.
1) The right to defend yourself, this means you should be able to own and carry a gun, knife or sword with no need for licensing, because an armed society is a polite society, and in a truly free society you should be able to defend yourself without worrying about what the court will say.
2) Freedom of religion, this means that you have the freedom to choose any religion you want and should be able to practice it anywhere you want and if someone is offended then they should GTH.
3) Freedom of speech, this means that the GOVERNMENT can not tell you what to say and what not to say, instead you are free to say whatever you want, however people are still free to take exception to what you say and sue you for libel and slander.
4) You have the right to find a job and work. You work or you starve. I think that pretty much explains it, I mean you could get charity from individuals or private charities but you should expect nothing from the state. It is not the job of the people who are actually out earning money to support you in your laziness.
5)The State can not agree to any treaties that will violate the basic rights of its citizens. So none of this crap about the UN outlawing guns, or mandating certain things that the US has to do, NONE OF THAT.

However that is just my ideal version of government I am to much of a realist to believe that it will ever work.

Democrats = Appeasers

So Democrats are bashing President Bush for his comments about negotiating with terrorists and radicals. They have a right to say what they believe, and it makes things simple for people like me because they sound like idiots. I was told growing up that “You got 2 ears and one mouth, so listen more than you talk.” However it seems that the Democrats never learned this.

In a speech to the Israeli Parliament President Bush included the following lines, which have drawn fire from Democrats, and their pet reporters;

“”Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Ok so Obama says that he is not saying that he will negotiate with terrorists, that’s all well and good, but he says nothing about the radicals, of which Iran is one, in fact he supports sitting down at the table with Iran, because if we discuss this like rational people Iran might decide that destroying Israel and The U.S.A. is not a good thing. What a load of crap. I have never considered Iran rational, and since they have espoused the idea that they should destroy Israel so many times I’m not exactly sure what, or even if, Obama is thinking.

Then there is the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton says something along the lines of “comparing any Democrat to Nazi appeasers is wrong.” Ok, so we are not allowed to call Democrats what they truly are, appeasers, so shall we call them spineless cowards, who have never studied history. The fact that people still believe that you can negotiate with people who have so clearly expressed their contempt as Iran has done for Israel and others, yet Democrats still want to negotiate with them. Of course Neville Chamberlin believed he could negotiate with Hitler after several overt acts of aggression including the annexation of the Sudetenland and the events of Kristallnacht. So to me it is still a viable comparison, calling Democrats appeasers, or spineless shortsighted fools, both work for me.

 

Science Fiction can Predict the Future!

This blog is something that I have been batting around in my head for a while now, and me sitting down to write it coincides perfectly with the conclusion of my term papers and Darren’s latest blog.

Cover of Falkenburgs Leigon

Sci-Fi writers can see the writing on the wall.

In the 1970’s Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle sat down and wrote a book entitled West of Honor and its sequel The Mercenary, which are combined into Falkenburg’s Leigon, these where the inaugural books in the popular CoDominium series, and where followed by Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Sparta the last two were written with S.M. Stirling, all of these are prequels to the best selling Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand.

These books where written during the Cold War and still make reference to the USSR. In this series the CoDominium is an alliance between the Soviets and America, in which the 2 countries essentially control the world. (Wikipedia has a good article on the back ground just search for CoDominium) My main concern with all of this is part of the internal structure of the USA at this point in time.

The stories start of in the 2040’s or 50’s and assume that humanity has colonized the stars. In the USA there are essentially 2 classes of Americans: Taxpayers and “Citizens.” The term “Citizen” as it is used here is a derogatory term, given to the class of people making up, what I guess to be, 60-80% of the population. I know that’s a wide range but he never gives any numbers that I can recall. The “Citizens” live in Welfare Islands where the government gives them money to live, they can get an education if they want and they can get a job, but once they get a job then they get kicked of the welfare rolls although they don’t necessarily have to pay taxes.

The Taxpayers, however, are the ones who reap all the major benefits. They usually have the largest share of power and get all kinds of perks from the government, because they float the system. This device is used in another prominent Sci-Fi series David Weber’s Honorverse, where this role is played by the Doles of the Peoples Republic of Haven.

It seems to me that this is unfortunately where America is headed. The more the upper class floats the government, and the more the government support the lower class, the less that the lower classes need to be involved in anything. If the government is going to give poor people who don’t work free money what do they care about who runs the government, as long as they get their share. Welfare creates a dangerous sense of entitlement and complacency when people believe they are owed something for doing NOTHING ! The very fiber of American society is coming undone. For America to be a land of equal opportunity it needs to be a land of equal contribution.

Now I realize that some people might say “But William, the poor can’t contribute as much as the rich!”

I understand that, and accept that. However equal does not always mean an equal amount. What if they just contributed the same percentage that everybody else did? What I’m talking about is a flat rate tax of 15-18%. I realize that some people dislike like paying taxes and think that it’s wrong and unconstitutional, but lets face it people … the government needs money to stay afloat or at least make an attempt at it.

Cover of Caliphate

Speaking of seeing the future

Author Tom Kratman has come out with a new book which has bumped it’s way to the top of my must read list. From what I can tell this book is set 100 or so years in the future when Europe, due to it’s declining birthrates, has become an Islamic territory. That’s about all I know, I did like his first book State of Disobedience and A Desert Called Peace, and Carnifex are on my list of books to read though it may be a while before I get to them. Kratman usually does a good job of writing books that make you think about government and I doubt these will be any different.

Hugo Chavez is a Boil & The UN Supports Hamas Genocidal War On Isreal

Hugo Chavez vs. Columbia

So it seems that good old Chavez, that infected boil on the ass of the world, the person who wants to be the next Fidel Castro (luckily for Venezuela … the people voted that down), has sent troops to his border in response to a raid by Colombian troops into Ecuador, following fleeing FARC (a leftist guerilla group) leader and killing him.

It seems that good ol’ Hugo has decided that the cause of these leftist guerrillas is a worthy one. Maybe this is because they are one of the leading contributors of cocaine to the U.S. and anything that endangers the U.S. makes Hugo happy. Chavez has said that, if the Colombian military strikes at rebel groups that are hiding in Venezuela, it will mean war.

It seems to me, a poor humble college student in the greatest country on the face of the planet, that the best way for Mr. Chavez to avert this war is for him to root out the guerrillas that are hiding in his country … or prevent them from entering. However, we all know that Hugo wouldn’t dream of doing this since this group is perceived by him as a sympathetic cause.

Let us not pretend however that Chavez would have done the same thing if the group had been a right wing organization that had been threatening his rule and hiding was in Colombia. Hell, he certainly would at least have accused Colombia and the US for supporting them. In a recent speech he even had the audacity to criticize Israel for their strikes on Hamas bases in Palestine.

While I am on that subject … 

Why is it that, when Israel retaliates for an attack on its territory by Hamas and accidentally kills civilians (because Hamas hides itself in the middle of civilian populate urban areas like schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings), it is attempting to commit genocide? Yet, when Hamas intentionally kills Israeli civilians … it is somehow fighting for its freedom.

Wasn’t Hamas at the negotiating table with Israel when Hamas launched its latest attack? This makes me think that Hamas doesn’t really want peace … they want to completely destroy Israel.

Therefore, as a symbol of solidarity and support for Israel , I wish the IDF good luck, and good hunting … and give’m Hell.

Women of the IDF

If there is to be any stability in the modern world, states need to have the right to protect themselves from terrorists organizations like FARC and Hamas, which both represent a threat to the stability of the entire world today. And … since there doesn’t seem to be a Leviathan out there to do the job … then it falls to respective freedom loving countries to do it themselves.