Free Society

Brady Campaign — Irrelevence

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.


The Brady Campaign talks about requiring universal background checks. This will require online sales and gun show sales to be subject to background checks. This ignores the fact that all dealers are required, as condition of licensure, to conduct background checks. The question is whether the Campaign is grasping at straws or is just generally irrelevent.

First, of the 2.1 blocked sales, these were generally people who were not aware that they were prohibited persons. The fact that they were going through the process indicates that there may be a number of prohibitions that screen individuals who are otherwise law abiding citizens. Note that Mark Kelly, a “gun safety activist” was denied a sale on an AR because his actions indicated he was not, in fact the end recipient of the weapon—he could have been prosecuted for a false statement on his 4473.

Second, all federal law is governed by the Constitution of the United States. The authority of the Gun Control Act of 1968, as Amended, is the Commerce Clause. Dealers are licensed because they deal in “Commerce among the States.” While the preamble of the Act references “Public Safety” there is no (nul, zip, nada) grant of power to Congress in this area.

And, despite the people, such as my wife, who believe there are inherent powers, this was a deliberate omission because the “framers” assumed that public safety was one of those general governmental functions the States would perform. Further, the anti-federalists pushed through an amendment which stated “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, before the late Nineteenth Century, when Congress discovered the Commerce Clause as a means to enact criminal penalties, there was a general belief that the safety of the population was a function of the States which have independent sovereign powers as opposed to delegated powers. (No, the Fourteenth Amendment did not repeal the Tenth, and the Tenth Amendment does supersede both the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause.)

Now to the nitty-gritty. My wife sold a shotgun to an individual in another state through We shipped through a dealer to the buyer’s dealer. The transaction was handled through the normal process. I have purchased weapons from companies that deal on the internet—in those instances the weapon was sent to my dealer and I filled out the 4473 and my dealer ran the background check. In other words, the Brady Campaign has been disingenuous in this claim.

At gunshows, dealers use the 4473 process. But individuals will sometimes bring items they want to trade or sell. There is no jurisdiction to regulate these sales at the federal level. The Peoples Democratic Republic of California does regulate all transfers, but that is at a State level. I have had to go through background checks for most of my purchases—no, money under the table will not substitute and there are ATF agents at most shows. If someone is dealing commercially without a license, then the ATF needs to make a case and prosecute.

Citizenship, Preparedness

21 August 1863 – The cost of non-resistance

© 2013 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Today is August 21, 2013. 150 years ago, Major William “Bloody Bill” Anderson led his raiders into Lawrence, Kansas, and committed murder and mayhem on the civilian population although the killing was limited, for the most part, to males of military age—remembering that in 1863, young en as young as twelve were found in the military service of both the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

About 10 am, William Clark Quantrill, Anderson’s “commander,” arrived in town, ate breakfast, gave orders to spare a hotel where he had once resided, and left. This was an irregular band or conglomeration of bands of raiders and command structure was sometimes confusing, but Bill Anderson had loose command.

What had happened in Lawrence that I find disturbing is that armed resistance was rare and sporadic. A Colonel Bullene and two of his sons were on leave. When raiders rode up to the Bullene residence, they were greeted with gunfire and decided to go elsewhere. There was a farmer named Levi Gates who grabbed his muzzle loader and went hunting and got two or three raiders before being cut down.

Three weeks before the raid the New England contingent among the city fathers had decided that the militia weapons would be “safer” in a central armory than in homes—anyone who thinks this bit of information did not get back to Quantrill and company needs a reality check.

It is not that the city did not know about the possibility of a raid. On 21 May 1856, the Sheriff of Douglas County, Samuel Jones, sacked the city to destroy free state and abolitionist newspapers and the Free State Hotel. However, the lessons of vigilance fade in time.

A personal note: My family were of the New England Puritan culture. When I went to a candlelight vigil some years back, there was a reading of names which included a number of Palmers and Griswolds—not ancestors but probably related.

In September of 1863, the Confederate Congress amended the Partisan Ranger Act to apply only to those partisan units operating also as regular cavalry. Neither Quantrill nor Anderson survived the war but a remnant of Anderson’s men in Western Missouri reconstituted themselves as the James-Younger gang.

On February 13, 1866, a group of about a dozen former members of Anderson’s outfit—including Frank James and Coleman Younger—robbed the Clay County Savings Association. This was the first daytime bank robbery during peacetime and netted $60,000 according to the robberies page of For the next ten years, the James-Younger gang was unstoppable in Missouri.

On September 7, 1876, the gang ventured into “Yankee” territory again. This time it was Northfield, Minnesota. This time, however, there was armed resistance. Townspeople grabbed weapons and the gunstore handed out new Winchesters. Frank and Jesse James managed to escape through the Dakota territory and got back to Missouri—the armed response and ensuing manhunt resulted in death or incarceration of most of their confederates. The total take was $26.70 because they took the word of the acting cashier that there was a time lock on the safe.

Citizenship, Free Society

(Non-existent) Gun Show Loophole

(c) 2013 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

The dreaded “Gun Show Loophole” must be closed. One problem with that strategy—the GSL does not exist.

The 1934 National Firearms Act did not prohibit or regulate weapons. Read the government briefs in the Miller case. The Act was for revenue and falls under the excise power of Congress. Further, the sawed off shotgun in question was of no military utility and therefore the Second Amendment does not come into play.  If this does not comport to your perception of reality, take it up with FDR’s Solicitor General.

The 1968 Gun Control Act, while it mentions public safety, is grounded in the Commerce Power of Congress. As such dealers operating in the area of “Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States” are subject to regulation. This is the concept which has accompanied the progressive takeover—that is stretching the Commerce Clause to fit the occasion. In the New Deal this was the justification for the second National Recovery Act—it was (improperly) upheld by a chastised Supreme Court after the first act was (properly) struck down. Dealers, weapons and prohibited actions are defined, with the prohibitions limited at first to constitutionally disabled individuals. It has been modified upon occasion and some of the modifications are questionable though they have not been challenged.

Gun shows are not mentioned by the act. Individual transfers that do not involve crossing state lines are neither prohibited nor regulated. That means that I can sell one of my World War I bolt actions to a friend or trade for one of his/her single action cowboy pistols without paperwork. The same would apply for any legal weapon under the Act—this includes semi-automatic weapons of the Stoner and Kalashnikov platforms. At gun shows patrons often bring weapons to sell or trade. Often they “trade up” to weapons from dealers. And they sometimes will get a better price or better trade from another patron. Believe or not, people have been trading and exchanging weapons for longer than I have been alive and I have been so trading for about half a century. I have purchased weapons from both dealers and other patrons. The transactions between patrons of a gun show are no different than transactions between individuals outside the gun show venue.

Now there are individuals who are, in fact, unlicensed dealers who use the gun shows as distribution venues. They will not get tables but will have two or three “personal” items on them as well as letting the patrons know where to contact them. There are also, at major gun shows, ATF agents supposedly looking for violations—they are not as easy to spot as they were in the old days when there were standards for professional attire. The two groups know who each other are and dance the dance. The bureau needs to do the job and nail the unlawful dealers, many of whom are probably their informants.

The use of gun shows by these people is not the fault of the law. The 68 Act follows the Constitution in not regulating private sales. These actual dealers are violating the law and need to be prosecuted. That is pure and simple—to the extent of it.

A law that mandates universal checks is unwise because it is unenforceable and because it sets up a registry. A registry is the mechanism for confiscation the next time public opinion may get manipulated. I mention the UK, Australia and California as examples of where this has happened. In Canada, fortunately, the long gun registry was an expensive joke that was made unenforceable through non-cooperation—I would expect that in this country abetted by juries that nullify the law.

Citizenship, Free Society

RINO, DINO, who really cares?

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us! — Robert Burns

As I sit here watching the political infighting among Republicans I can see why they remain a minority party. One of the key words I here is RINO. The concept is that the individual is a Republican for the purpose of getting elected. It is a matter of perspective. Bob Dole mused that when he was deciding to run for County Attorney he weighed the number of Republican voters as opposed to Democratic voters in Russell County.

Now I would point out that in 1956, George Docking, a lifelong Republican, having been previously rebuffed for the Republican nomination for Governor of Kansas, registered and filed as a Democrat. The term DINO was not used. He won and his son Bob also won as a Democrat. Back then the lines were not drawn as sharply as in the national parties.

Jim Pearson, whose Republican credentials no one questions, switched from the Democratic Party to be appointed and thereafter elected as a United States Senator from Kansas.

Joan Finney, a Republican County Commissioner in Shawnee County, became upset when her mentor Frank Carlson did not support her for Second District Representative. She became a Democrat and ran for State Treasurer. She was elected and reelected and eventually elected Governor.

For a good deal of my life the major parties have been non-ideological. I identify as a Goldwater, conservative and see individual liberty, not populist family values, as defining my philosophy. What that may mean is that I will be at odds with those in power—and I have been a Republican longer than many of them have been alive.

The problem I see is that some of the Republicans calling others RINO are basically Populists in the guise of conservatives. Those who know history know that the Populists, with the aid of the Secretary of State, took control of the legislature until the Kansas Supreme Court certified the results of the County Clerks (whose authority is not subordinate to that of the Secretary of State) and the Republicans, aided by Winchester Arms, took the Statehouse back.

Now that Romney has been nominated he has become the “conservative” answer to Obama. That is not what the “conservatives” were saying at the time of the primaries and the caucuses. So what we have is a “center left” Romney as opposed to a “hard left” Obama, both of whom would have fewer problems with a Democratic Congress than a Republican one.

To find a conservative candidate we need to go back to 1964. No, Ronald Reagan was not a conservative, he was a Teddy Roosevelt progressive with conservative—even some libertarian—tendencies. Look at the record. Call him RINO. No, nor would anyone call Teddy Roosevelt who had plans to amend the Constitution to centralize power in the executive a RINO. They are part of the Pantheon.

And the question is: what happened to the “big tent” after it let in southern populists? And are Republicans going to get elected by trashing other Republicans?


Free Society

When will they ever learn?

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Bill Press, California Democratic hack and commentator is embarrassed by the National Anthem because of its “military jargon” and the fact that it spans two octaves. He has no clue as to the origin of the anthem or the significance of that origin. He obviously does not follow and has not read my post Flag of Defiance from 25 April.

Let me put it bluntly. Had not Admiral Cochrane decided to break contact, the King’s forces would have swarmed the States with enough troops and enough glory hunting generals like Robert Ross that the lamp of freedom would be extinguished.

The Star Spangled Banner is not about war and armies. It is a tribute to militia standing up to invasion and prevailing against the major power in the world. This embarrasses those who believe in an all powerful central government because it strikes at the premise of the national army. It talks about free men, not mercenaries or conscripts. And it is not limited to this nation but to the free standing against empire—how subversive.

Mr Press is certainly entitled to his opinion, as flawed by illogic and ignorance as it is.

Compleat Idler, Free Society

What a difference fifty years makes

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Fifty or so years ago in a high school parking lot, the place does not matter but we can call it Littleton (in those days they rode horses in the downtown and had one zip-code) or Scottsbluff or any of a number of towns in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, about five guys were standing around the open car trunk admiring Fred’s new Remington with the Weaver 6 power scope. The principal, the coach and a couple teachers came out to see what was going on.

“Well,” said the principal, “it looks like somebody else is going to be gone opening day.” There was laughter as well as a suggestion by the Latin teacher that they just close school that day.

In those days you could walk the a school parking lot and pop trunk lids and find a rifle or shotgun in most cars. It was not a big deal.  When you got something new the coach had to see it.

Today, such scenes are viewed through the filter of “zero tolerance” and handled by the “school resource officer” with backup from BDU clad SORT members who look like storm troopers out of Star Wars. There would follow a suspension for at least the remainder of the school year regardless of state attendance requirements, not to mention referral to the juvenile or adult justice system. Academic work completed during that time could not be counted.

Compleat Idler, Free Society

Memorial Day

(c) 2012  Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.


Memorial day is usually less obtrusive on my mind. This year the flags were flying at half staff beginning Friday. It is not that I have an objection to the flag at half staff, but the symbolism is that the flag is hung at half staff on Memorial Day until noon in honor of the dead, and at full mast until dark to recognize that the Republic lives. As my flags have no means for half staff, they go up at noon.

The early morning included, as usual, a visit to the Vietnam War Memorial at the University. There are the names of the dead and missing—my classmates, a couple of whom I knew. And then I dropped by to a local McDonalds where I get the senior coffee and see friends. I am in a generation that is dying faster than the previous, so every year there are fewer to remember.

I did not go to Vietnam and so I feel a twinge of guilt; yet there is nothing I could have done then or now to change that—the military said, we do not want you. And I know that had I gone I would likely have gotten some of my fellows killed through my inability to perform at standard. So there is nothing to do but remember.

And now this could be our last time to remember. In the midst of our remembrance, we hear from the Secretary of Defense that the United States is capable of and ready for an attack on Iran to prevent them from obtaining a “nuclear device.” At the present time, the military and naval forces of the United States are stalemated in various military adventures—the intelligence community is working with “our NATO allies” to destabilize and overthrow the government of Syria to the point of a manufactured atrocity similar to the one that justified the bombing to overthrow the Milosevic regime in Serbia. Troops that are rotating home are exhausted and have low morale. And yet the United States is ready to go to war.

Discounting the fact that the evidence of Iran’s nuclear military intent and capability is unclear to anyone not of neo-conservative or AIPAC orientation, what does readiness to attack entail. Yes, we could dispatch a B-2 flight out of Whiteman AFB, MO, refuel in mid-air and drop a whole lot of tonnage on Iranian facilities before going on to Diego Garcia, we would have committed acts of war on Iran as well as those countries whose air space has been violated. Further, Iran, having been attacked could ask for assistance from its allies, among whom are Russia and China. China, in the not too distant past, held as doctrine that it could, because of its size and population, prevail in a nuclear exchange.

The magic mushroom cloud is not an option I would consider, but then I do not speak for Messrs Panetta and Obama. The problem is that once the genie is out of the bottle it has no retreat. The victory will go to Chaos—that god of destruction lurking beneath our veneer of civilization and waiting his time to burn our world–or to the eternal winter in the Ragnarok..

On a Memorial Day long ago I recall watching an interview with General of the Army Omar Bradley who was asked about the irrelevance of infantry now that we have “air power.” The answer was that you have not accomplished victory without infantry in place. In a war with Chaos or Loki even infantry is not enough.

Education, Free Society

Flag of Defiance

(c) Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

I just made an order for a new flag—I like to fly two on my front porch on important holidays. We celebrate Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Defenders’ Day, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving. I suppose I could get some foreign flags and also celebrate the Battle of Puebla, Bastille Day and Guy Fawkes Day, but it’s safer in my neighborhood to stick with US flags. Especially on 5 May when the Mexican flag would attract neighbors wanting beer.

I also ran across a video urging the replacement of the National Anthem with America the Beautiful for the following reasons. America the Beautiful is recommended because it is easier to sing, has several stanzas, was written in Colorado and is less jingoistic. I first heard these arguments from Miz Kirk which is what we called our fourth grade teacher at a time when Miz was short for Mrs and Kirkpatrick was difficult to pronounce. And I may have at the time signed the schoolchildren’s petition, but now I look on it from close to sixty more years of experience.

The flag I ordered to replace the Gadsden flag is what I call the Flag of Defiance. It is a replica of the flag I saw as I entered the History Museum of the Smithsonian in 1969. As I remember it, the flag was hung on a wall and we saw it behind a seated sculpture of George Washington in a toga with his hands gesturing as if he were saying, “My body lies at Mount Vernon, my clothes are in the Smithsonian.”1 As we got past General Washington, we noticed that it was bigger than the post flag at NTC San Diego and Fort Ord, CA. And the colors were dull and dark, because it had come through the darkest hours of the Republic.

In a sense our flags up to that time had been flags of defiance from the Cromwell flag of the Sons of Liberty right up to the flag sewn by the gentle Quaker upholsterer2 who lived next to what Amos the Mouse calls “the old Church on Second Street.”3

It was in Baltimore, Maryland, in mid-September 1814. While Jefferson had embargoed British trade in retaliation for the Royal Navy using American merchant vessels as a source of impressed seamen, his successor James Madison had made the misstep of getting into war. The New England states had held aloof from this war which had given the King and Regent the excuse needed to subjugate and recolonize the breakaway lands. And General Robert Ross had just changed the game by capturing the Capital. The National Army was dead, captive or in hiding in the hinterlands, the Marines were dead or in British Custody, the legislators had gone home as had the Court Justices, and the President was in flight and hiding. A missive to this effect had been sent home.

This capture of the seat of government was a stunning blow and in any country in Europe it would have meant conquest. But what Ross knew was that the seat of the United States was the seat of a confederation and some of the states would still hold out. In 1814 the term state and nation were roughly synonymous. It was not until after the unpleasantries of the 1860s that states were considered as subordinate units rather than sovereign entities. There he decided on Baltimore as the first target for pacification,

Baltimore was known in London as a “nest of pirates.”  There were small fast sloops  that smuggled goods past the blockade and captured supply ships that were then taken to France where the goods were sold and they were refitted as naval vessels. This would be a piece of cake after taking out the national army. The problem was what George Mason had referred to as a “well regulated” militia. And they were waiting on the morning of 13 September. Ross was killed while on reconnaissance and his second made two attempts to dislodge the defenders before advising the Navy it was their baby.

So Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane advised his luncheon companion, Francis Scott Key, that he would be released upon the conclusion of the imminent bombardment of Fort McHenry. He then moved his squadrons out of the range of the Fort’s guns. About 4 pm the bombardment began—General Smith’s defenders initially returned fire, but ceased when they realized the targets were out of range. So it was a night of hammering the fort with the big guns and a few Congreve rockets which provided a light show, but not much more.

The flag flying over the fort took some damage, About ten minutes before dawn it went down. The protocol for situations like this was to draw down your battle flag and raise the white one. Cochrane, and Key as well, had been watching all night. And then in the first light, the flag came up. I call this the flag of defiance rather than the Star Spangled Banner but I was trained as a soldier before I was trained as a lawyer. (Neither profession came to much.) The colors were brighter then in the breeze of the morning—brighter than the faded banner in the Smithsonian which is in fact the same banner. And there was no mistaking the message, a hand made flag, 30′ x 42′, red and white and dark blue. This was a more genteel version of the Abby Hoffman salute.

Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane made a couple diversionary attempts, but he had few marines and Ross’s force was much diminished. And so he dispatched his message to his superiors—knowing that King and Regent would not be happy. And then, picking up the remnant of the infantry, he proceeded to join Lord Packingham at the Port of New Orleans.

The flag of defiance told Britain and the world we were free. By the time the siege of New Orleans erupted into battle, the parties at Ghent knew about Washington and knew about Baltimore. And this is why on September 14, 2012, the first flag up and the one on the right will have fifteen stars and fifteen stripes.4


1. A guidebook to Washington, DC, I seem to have lost over the years.
2. Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypool. She was read out of Philadelphia Meeting because she married an Anglican but later joined the Free Quaker Meeting founded by Samuel Wetherill and Timothy Matlack (who drafted the Declaration of Independence but probably did not put invisible clues to the treasure on the back).
3. “Ben and Me” Disney, 1953. A cartoon every third grader should see.
4. The next flag had twenty stars and they went back to thirteen stripes. I was just trying to imagine fifty pinstripes.


People’s Rights (?) Amendment

(c) Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Imagine waking up and dealing with the fact that your email account has been used as a conduit of really insipid spam. And then you decide to do a run through of the morning’s news. The usual inching toward an unjustified and stupid war on Iran because the current occupant of the White House does not understand history or geopolitics well enough to evaluate what his venal advisers tell him. Either that or he is with the Wilsonian program of military adventurism to spread “democracy” throughout the world. Then, on you pick up Nancy Pelosi nattering about amending the constitution to “undo” the damage the Supreme Court did in Citizens United.

If you want to read their story here is the link.

So the basic idea is that the “founders” intended this to be a democracy and the Supreme Court had thwarted that dream by allowing the “slime” of big money to control our elections.

Let’s get rid of some assumptions.

Let’s talk about how democratic our Constitution really is.

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,)…” The words in parentheses were unfortunately removed by the Seventeenth Amendment, thereby making Senators the least accountable public servants outside TSA. Federal Judges serve during good behavior and Congress has power to impeach. Prior to 1913, a Senator could be removed by a legislative resolution—no signature by the governor needed. This is not Democracy, but rather a shield against democracy.

And as to whether the “Founders” intended a democracy, I will quote one of my two favorite members of the Convention, Benjamin Franklin. A woman approach Dr Franklin and said something to the effect of, “So what have you given us, Dr Franklin, a democracy or a monarchy?” Dr Franklin answered, “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.”

Ms Pelosi wants to convince Americans that this is a democracy subject to the will and tyranny of the majority rather than a constitutional republic where there are restrictions upon governmental powers.  She fails in this.

My other favorite member of the Convention is George Mason who walked out without signing the document because it did not include rights. His actions galvanized the anti-federalist movement to demand a Bill of Rights. No, the first amendment was not the idea of the founders, but of the anti-federalist faction.

Hamilton, Jay, Madison, Washington, John Adams were opposed to the Bill of Rights. The first four believed it to be unnecessary although Madison “came around” after time “in the woodshed” with Jefferson and Mason. Adams was a reluctant Patriot—he believed that the President should have absolute power in emergencies and that the country needed an army rather than a militia (except for the armed thugs he sent out to deal with his enemies in the press). In Massachusetts it fell to others, primarily Sam Adams, Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren to fight for ratification of the Bill of Rights.

New York, where Governor George Clinton prevailed over Hamilton, and Virginia, led by Patrick Henry, insisted on the amendments we now call the Bill of Rights as condition precedent to remaining in the compact—these were the days before Daniel Webster claimed the Union was indissoluble. Without New York and Virginia, the United States would have foundered.

Ms Pelosi is a hack politician, who like so many on both ends of that road from the Capitol to the Executive Mansion, lacks a grounding in history and the Constitution. The “Peoples’ Rights Amendment” reads as follows:

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

This reads like a high-school debate topic. What this lacks is the prohibitory nature of the First Amendment which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

To be absolutely honest, the Democrats who are responsible for this do not realize that:

1. Congress will no longer be prohibited from establishing a religion, as long as it permits free exercise. In other words, the establishment of secularism like France with the universal ban on public display becomes possible. Rights provided by the government may also be regulated by the government.
2. The people’s rights presumes a collective, rather than an individual right. Such rights, if spelled out, become rights granted rather than rights recognized. There is difference. This basically allows the regulation of rights in which they become privileges.
3. If a corporate entity is no longer recognized as a legal person, then it can neither sue nor be sued because it does not exist. It could not be held liable in tort nor could it be liable to pay fines or taxes. Nor for that matter could it be outlawed. The non-profits that both sides of the spectrum use to run surveys and disseminate both information and disinformation would have no corporate being to receive funds.

There are probably, among the sponsors, some who understand the consequences fully and would merely assume all corporate powers into agencies of the government—the United States could have as efficient an economy as the Soviet Union.


Having read George Will I see the author of this travesty is Rep Jim McGovern (D-Mass). That the author is from Massachusetts should really surprise no one. Massachusetts is home to John Adams, Second President of the United states and reluctant member of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence. It is not that John (unlike his smarter Cousin Sam) was happy with the King but rather that he would have preferred a Cromwell type rebellion. John Adams, while President, ignored the Bill of Rights and sent thugs to punish his enemies in the press. B.F. Bache, publisher of the Philadelphia Aurora and grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was beaten severely and his press significantly damaged. He was unable to return to publishing.

Mr McGovern would do well to emulate John’s smarter cousin Sam and his anti-federalist colleagues Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren who pushed the limitations on government which protect us from the “tyranny of the majority,”


Feral Swine Trois

The state of Michigan has declared war on feral swine. I agree that feral swine are a serious problem unless one gets in my cross hairs in Missouri and I don’t flinch. (Then it becomes a problem of freezer space.) In Kansas they have to be attacking or on your own property. In Michigan, they can also be in Farmer Fred’s hog pens because the DNR has declared all heritage breeds of swine to be invasive species. Evidently there are some hybrids on corporate farms that do not have the “characteristics” of feral swine.

I live in Kansas were the former Secretary of Wildlife and Parks once said that lions do not exist in Kansas and it is illegal to hunt them. The legislature, at the behest of KDWP decided that the feral among the swine can only be hunted by government employees—sort of like humans. If they enter upon your property and present a danger you can add them to the freezer. In Missouri it is incumbent on hunters to take them out. In both of these states, the difference between feral and domestic stock is simple—the domestic stock are penned.

The Michigan solution is to eradicate the breeds which are invasive. So they are going onto farms and ordering the destruction of entire herds. They also have some criminal penalties for harboring invasive species. Exempted from the destruction order are some “hybrid” stock on corporate farms. In my world of behavior rather than appearance as the definition of feral, I would guess that the hybrids, if turned loose, would be as destructive as the members of heritage breeds wandering around there.

My guess is that there are several consequences not thought of:

  • The destruction of livestock in a situation other than a contagious disease is a Fifth Amendment taking. Where is the compensation? This is the destruction of livelihood of small farmers. The state will ultimately pick up the costs of the federal lawsuits against the director.
  • The advantages of lean pork will disappear as the hybrids will suffer the same fate as factory farm turkeys (the legs are white meat) and cattle (more marbling than meat).
  • Barbecue will become expensive. This is my bias from living close to five decades in the Kansas City area.
  • The problem will not be solved.

 Back in my grandfather’s day in Mountain Time Nebraska the Patrons of Husbandry would have objected both vocally and with their double barreled smooth bores. We live in a more civilized world now, but civilization is only a veneer.

The policy can come back to haunt the urban folks. Carried to its logical conclusion a feral canine problem could lead to the destruction of Fluffy because of her resemblance to the feral pack in the next town.