Free Society

“Not my party”

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

The “teaser” on the Ron Paul’s response to Romney’s speech said, “It’s not my party.” Further, the Washington Post portrayed Ron’s supporters who walked out as spoiled brats who had never won a caucus or primary. Scratch WaPo as a reliable source.

The demonization and marginalization of Ron Paul has begun. This is a bad move by a political party that has a shrinking share of the electorate and only through good fortune is facing an incumbent whose record and negatives outweigh his positives. But this good fortune can be tossed aside by the actions of the Party and a pro-Obama mainstream media.

What Dr Paul said was not a repudiation of the Party but a statement that no one person owns the Republican Party. What he was saying is that the party is not owned by any person or faction. While the ham-handed tactics of the Romney faction prevailed at this convention, they are not etched in stone, but rather reflect a neo-conservative philosophy that may disappear as the ex-Trotskyites progress into senility and beyond. Youth, Hispanic voters and the disaffected are not jumping on the bandwagon in large numbers. And neither the “Romney vision” nor the Ryan budget are going to address the fiscal and social breakdown that is coming.

The glimmer of hope for the Party lies in the platform. If enough of the Congressional Candidates take it seriously, it could make a difference. Time will tell.

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Compleat Idler, Preparedness

Idler’s tools — cutlery

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

I have more knives than I really need. But it is better to have it than to need it. I could get by with a paring or utility knife, an eight inch chef’s knife and a boning knife. Also in the block are a couple of bread knives, spare eight inch chef and utility, an Ontario scalper, a six inch chef’s knife, a ten inch butcher, a small oriental cleaver, my grandfather’s butchering cleaver and some steak knives. I have a fine steel. The pairing knife gets quit a bit of use for odd jobs. When I am doing serious cutting I use the chef’s knife and when I do cuts on chicken the boner works. For a good discussion get The Supper of the Lamb(http://www.amazon.com/The-Supper-Lamb-Reflection-Paperbacks/dp/0375760563). I disagree with Fr Capon in Swiss Army knives but I had been looking at a Huntsman for belt carry.

This afternoon I was downstairs and need a knife—if there is anything in surplus downstairs besides multi-bit screwdrivers it is knives. I can wear a fifty year scout pin—I have knives, axes, saws. I trained leaders in woods tools. So I was in the one room where nothing is accessible and will not be until we relocate the shelving temporarily stored there. I reached into a box in the cupboard and snagged the handle of a Russell Green River skinning knife. Have I used it in the past year? No. Am I going to remainder it? No. Am I planning a hunting trip? No.

A knife is a tool and it may also hold memories. When my mother died I got all the cutlery that was left from my grandparents and my aunt. There is a ten inch butcher knife whose blade would not survive a coat of naval jelly and the handle has been cut down to fit my grandmother’s hands—not exactly a professional job. But with the rest it will go on to my son when I s0ould hold out one or two big roasts and have a feast of the three households on the property. And that knife would be out and doing most of the work. I vaguely remember my grandfather butchering a sheep or goat in the kitchen, but I was under five. We did butcher chickens up until 1954 when the City annexed the property and we had to give them up.

In 1954 my grandfather gave me a Plumb hand-axe. I was 10 and my kit now included a two-blade pen knife, a three blade Case stockman, a KampKing scout type knife and a Plumb hand-axe. The other term commonly used is hatchet which has bad connotations from the 19th Century tong wars in New York and San Francisco which are, according to Carl Glick in Shake Hands with the Dragon, based on occidental stereotypes rather than fact. The Norse referred to it as a hawk and that word entered and apparently left the English language with persons making handsaw into heron-shaw. The traders of Hudson’s Bay Company and similar trading companies used metal axes as trade goods. There were fancy ones which featured a smoking pipe opposite the cutting blade. It is known that the Tomahawk was carried by trappers and soldiers as well as native peoples. Somewhere downstairs I have what is called a Hudson Bay Axe with a head shaped more like a tomahawk blade than a Michigan blade which is standard for camp axes. As I have gotten older I have gotten away from the idea of a hand axe as that essential item in my woods tool box. I discovered the ¾ size axe seems to fit my arms and give me greater control over the tasks I am dealing with. I also tend to use a saw when dealing with limbs. And a ¾ size steel Estwing rides in my truck box.

The date 1954 in the above paragraph is important. I had turned 10 in 1953. I was trusted by my grandfather to use all the woods tools that now require certification in the scouting movement to even carry. One of the more insidious tendencies in our society is the infantilization of youth. Think about it.

As to safety, another matter comes up. The Scout Movement, at least in my own council, came up with a rule that prohibits the carry of fixed blade knives—for reasons of safety. A non-lockback folding knife will, unless properly used, close the sharp side of the blade on the hand of the user. So we recommend the lockback configuration. I have had lockbacks fail. I have had non-lockback folders fail in the spine. I’ll be specific on this latter point. One was a USGI Camillus. One was a Victorinox red scale. There were others, but they were cheap. The only fixed blade knife I had break on me was a “survival” knife with a hollow handle that had everything Rambo needed but his crossbow and blowdrier. The only problem was no tang.

So whether you are in the kitchen or the field, you may need cutlery. Treat tools as tools.

I would have loved a bayonet when I was digging cattail roots.

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Education, Free Society

“But they are just children.”

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

“We must protect the children.” The abusers of that phrase are legion among the political class. The UN decries “child,” social workers break up families at will, progressive politicians brag about protecting children in the workplace.

“Who are the leaders in this troop?” I asked the assembled scouts who had removed their covers after I had pointed out that they were indoors, in formation and not under arms. And those who identified the scoutmaster and myself had not been paying attention during the time they had been in the troop. They elected their leaders and we adults have a function of supporting and training the leadership (as well as assuring that the coffee in the pot does not go to waste).

“But we’re just kids.”

“Cub scouts are children, Webelos scouts are in transition and Boy Scouts are what they called boys in the 19th Century.” The lecture poured out. In the Pony Express, the business plan was to hire orphans between 12 and 15. David Glasgow Farragut entered the Navy at 12. Guilbert du Motier aka the Marquis de Lafayette was commissioned a lieutenant at age 16. Audie Murphy was the most highly decorated American soldier in WWII—he was just shy of his eighteenth birthday when he was taken out of battle not to return. At Chapultapec 200 cadets with ages down to 13 engaged with the US Army.

Thomas Edison was publishing his own newspaper at age 13 and Ben Franklin ended his first attempt at a column at age 16 when his brother was jailed and he took the transfer of the printing company to him as a release from indenture—heading off for Philadelphia. In 1861 Col PGT Beauregard remembered los heroes ninos when he had his cadets from The Citadel man the artillery to force withdrawal from Fort Sumter.

My own great-grandfather, John William Ken(d)rick, entered the Navy at age 12 as an apprentice. It was not uncommon in the early 19th Century. During the Second Boer war, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell noted that the Boers used 11 to 16 year-old boys as scouts.

Under the old common law, those age 14-20 could contract and be emancipated from their parents. They were old enough to form criminal intent.

Modern child labor laws were created like retirement laws to remove individuals from the workforce. Compulsory education laws served the same purpose—the current graduation requirements from high school are similar to the rigor of eighth grade in the 1890s. In other words it is easier to foster dependency than to free up industry to create jobs.

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Compleat Idler, Education

U.S. Marshals – real versus reel

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

In a world of semi reality, I like to retreat to what Fran Striker called the days of yesteryear. when the action was on the silver screen.  And between the real and the movies is the U.S. Marshal.

Question 1: What famous Western lawman was killed in 1924 during an altercation with a Federal Agent.

Question 2: Name three Deputy U.S. Marshals who were present in Coffeyville, KS, the day the Daltons came to town.

Question 3: Besides Tilghman and Earp what member of Wyatt Earp’s Dodge City Police Department later became a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

Most of America’s consciousness of the U.S. Marshal has come from novels, movies and television where they swept into the small towns to fight corrupt local sheriff. And we know Matt Dillon who loomed ominous in the voice of William Conrad on radio and larger than life in the frame of James Arness on television. For those unacquainted there are episodes of Gunsmoke on the internet.

The vision is almost always positive—an affirmation that our federal government will protect us. The character of Rooster Gogburn, who played whichever side of the law was convenient, may be a little more accurate.

William Matthew Tilghman may be the straightest of the old west lawmen. As far as I can tell he did spend a night in jail, having been caught taking county records to the true county seat from the other true county seat back during the County Seat Wars in Kansas. He was the main inspiration for the character of Matt Dillon. At age 70 he was hired as marshal by the city of Cromwell, Oklahoma. He immediately offended Prohibition Bureau Agent Wiley Lynn who asked the sheriff not to sign Tilghman’s commission. Tilghman responded by getting his commission directly from the Governor. On the night of November 1, 1924, Tilghman was having coffee with some businessmen downtown when he heard shots being fired outside. Tilghman then went outside where Wiley was firing his weapon and staggering. Tilghman disarmed Wiley and was attempting to subdue the agent when Wiley put two bullets in Tilghman, Wiley was acquitted because he intimidated witnesses but lost his commission. He was killed in 1930 in an altercation with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

When riders were seen coming up from South Coffeyville it was assumed that it was just another Marshal’s posse up from the Indian Territory. As they rode into town and parked their horses people were uneasy. When it started things got confused. Charles Connelly, the Town Marshal, was shot early on—reports are mixed as to whether he was even armed or returned fire. Most of the shooting was done by immigrant blacksmith John Kloehr with a rifle borrowed from the hardware store. When it was done four of the five robbers lay dead and the fifth lay seriously wounded. Connelly was not a deputy US Marshal—he was town marshal, high school teacher and truant officer. He seldom carried his breaktop, five-shot .32 revolver. The three Deputy US Marshals for the Indian Territory were Grat, Bob and Emmett Dalton—the District Judge in Wichita had not bothered to revoke their commissions.

William Barclay Masterson was called “Bat” because he had to use a cane because of a damaged pelvis from the Battle of Adobe Walls. A Canadian, with no documentation of naturalization that I have been able to find, Masterson moved from the Dodge City Police Department to the office of Sheriff of Ford County in November 1877. After a career as a lawman, he was a gambler, a hired gun for the Santa Fe in the Raton Pass dispute, a fight promoter, a sports writer and editor. In 1903 he was appointed Deputy US Marshal for the Southern District of New York (New York City). The Sullivan Law in New York cut into his practice of buying old guns in pawn shops, carving a few notches and then selling them as the gun he carried in his lawman career, His pal Damon Runyan used him as the model for Obadiah “The Sky” Masterson in The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown which was the basis for Guys and Dolls.

The United States Marshals have served the Federal Courts and the other branches of the Federal Government since 1789. But they were not the “saviors” the movies showed. In the area of general law enforcement, the states handled that before the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Up until 1896 the Marshals were paid fees by the courts for serving warrants and process and guarding prisoners. They also served process for banks with their fees set by courts.

But if you like B-westerns—I grew up going to the Gothic with my big sister on Saturday afternoon—you know about U.S. Marshals. They come into town, order sarsparilla, get into a fight with the town bully and get arrested. In the sheriff’s office, they identify themselves and talk about the rustlers—they always shoot for the gun hand which would make a low energy video game. And despite the wiles of the schoolmarm, they head for the next town when the banker is packed off to the state prison for running the rustling ring so he can foreclose on all the ranches (who does he think he is–FmHA).

“Out in the territories it was a U.S. Marshal and the smell of Gunsmoke.” Never mind that Dodge City was in the state of Kansas and the gambler named Holliday who built the rail head was called Colonel, not Doc. Never mind that from 1876 to 1882 the homicide rate (including police shootings) was 1.5 a year. Never mind that Dodge had a police department. And never mind that the cattle drives ended in 1882 when a standard gauge railroad provided a direct line to Kansas City from Fort Worth. Okay, for twenty years Matt Dillon was America’s marshal and averaged 13 lethal force incidents a year.

And Abilene had no shootings until they got proactive and hired a marshal. When the marshal was killed they recruited a gunfighter named JB Hickock. Hickock liked killing but was beginning to show signs of macular degeneration—he was fired after killing his own deputy. But then we remember Wild Bill Hickock and his sidekick Jingles riding around in buckskins as a US Marshal cum Knight Errant—sort of your freelance after school lawman. Of course JB Hickock wore a buckskin jacket over a fancy silk vest with a waist sash into which he stashed a brace of 1851 Colts in .36 caliber. (Take that, you cowboy action folk who insist on .44s and .45s.)

So the Marshal is in our psyche, along with the Texas Ranger and the Lone Ranger. And what the Marshals are doing now is the day-to-day court security, contracting transportation and confinement and cleaning up after other federal law enforcement agencies. Not real exciting stuff. I’ll probably get the new True Grit. I’m really behind though with a bunch of martial arts flix I have yet to see and I haven’t seen 3:10 to Yuma.

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Free Society

After November–or Now

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

This is titled After November What?! The problem is that after the election lethargy sets in and everyone starts talking like the fan who calls into sportstalk radio after the BCS championship game to state that no wimpy SEC team that never played in Lincoln can call itself the National Champion. Everyone who has ever listened to sports talk radio understands this point. And there are thousands of fans that realize that bad calls happen and there is nothing that can take them back. They quietly wonder about next year and realize that there are five or six seniors for whom there will be no next year.

So every election night is like Super Sunday to the faithful—it just drags on like a game between two teams that have decent defense and no offense. And that is what makes it a spectator sport. Every election night, the losing side talks big about the next election. And a few make good on threats to move out of (city, county, state, country). And there will be a few for whom there will be no next time.

The reality of 2012 is that there are two major party candidates who are not defenders of the Republic. Romney does not understand and Obama is openly hostile. They believe in a system where they divide the spoils and they increase the influence of their respective parties. And they have a public that demands entitlements—yes, subsidies on agriculture, protective tariffs, and bailouts are all entitlements.

So I was writing this to talk about after November. What is going to happen? The party pros are going to be working on the next election, it’s the people who will be overjoyed or distraught. The pros are talking about marketing. What message needs to get out to win the election? How do they sideline the nuisances like Paul or Kucinich?

People are not going to be involved until they are needed—the strategy is to formulate the program and get people involved when there is work to be done. This is not a strategy—it is a habit. The establishment goes into sleep mode for three years, then expects to energize like Popeye slamming a spinach flavored AMP and take on the big boys.

Let’s look at it. The Democrats have been at this since Andrew Jackson lost the Presidency in the House of Representatives in 1824. Did he make a concession speech and go into Ostrich mode until September of 1828? No. He got off his duff and formed alliances. He wrote letters and met with leaders including Martin Van Buren who had organized Tammany Hall. 1828 was the year John Quincy Adams and the National Republicans went down in defeat. The main goals of Democrats are winning elections and governing. Since 1913 they have espoused a cogent progressive stance, and while out of power they still actively push their philosophy and agenda with a major consistency and do not sleep. In other words, campaign mode never ceases. And while they have been out of the White House more than in it since 1950 they have kept Congress with few exceptions.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have been in business since 1858 and, despite a run from 1861 to 1909 with two breaks for Grover Cleveland and one for Andrew Johnson, have been the minority party. If you look at American history, it is a hodge podge of defunct political parties—Federalist, National Republican, Populist, Progressive. The Republican Party may follow suit. The reason is that the Republicans eschew full-time politicians as a necessary evil. So the dilettante of the season with the program of the season is nominated—and surprise, it’s the nominee that the establishment wants except when there is a massive movement like Goldwater.

So how does the Liberty Movement take over a party. First, whether Obama or Romney wins in November the Republican establishment can best be described as moribund. It can hang on for one or two more elections, but it is looking back to the glory of Reagan without a sense of what Reagan was about. The Reagan years were not a significant dint in the march of Progressivism. What youth wants is a march to Freedom. And if they cannot get it, they will not put up with the Party.

FORGET NOVEMBER, START NOW.

I am of two minds on Romney. He is a dilettante who has a feeling of entitlement because his father was denied the nomination. His idea of foreign policy is the PAX AMERICANA. He supports the policies of Bush and Obama regarding “the war on terror.” His campaign has resorted to dirty politics for the purpose of making the Convention in Tampa a coronation that will lead to the conquest of Obama. The only reasons I can cast a vote for Romney are: 1) He would appoint some fairly vanilla justices to the Supreme Court whereas without a Republican majority in the Senate and even then a lot of them roll with “history.” 2) He would wake up a substantial segment of the anti-war movement that sleeps while “the chosen one” occupies the house at the juncture of New York and Pennsylvania Avenues.

Remember that our goal is not putting Romney in the White House. He would continue on the path to implosion at a slightly smaller pace—it is even likely that he will serve only one term, leaving Obama out there plotting to pull a Grover Cleveland. The more likely scenario is that a popular Democratic Governor will emerge. Both parties look for the (con)man on the white horse. Our goal instead is to advance the cause of the liberty movement, to bring down the Imperial Presidency and to restore the Republic with its limits on power and its individual rights against the tyranny of the majority.

There is the alternative of a “third” party which has been defined as any party not Republican or Democrat. American history is littered with third parties. The key is to capture the Party without getting sucked in. This means going precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state. It is better done outside of an election year, but you need to start where you are. Remember, the socialists never sleep, the establishment never sleeps. Unless we can take back the Republic we might as well sleep through it and line up for goodies.

THE REPUBLIC IS WHY REPUBLICANS EXIST.

This will not be an easy battle. No political battle is. But what is the alternative?

  • The alternative is an evergrowing government surrendering the sovereignty of the American people to the a world government under the United Nations. And it has been politicians who have given over the sovereignty that is not theirs to give.
  • The alternative is a copy of an East Bloc “Peoples Democracy” where your papers are being asked for.
  • The alternative is a national police force where the crimes are interpretations of vague concepts.
  • The alternative is an isolated Presidency, unfettered by the law and advised by commissars.
  • The alternative is an education system where the learning and literature of the past is thrown in the fire.
  • The alternative is the next generation (yet unborn) will have no knowledge of our history.
  • The alternative is a catastrophic failure of all the systems of government with no clue what to do other than beg from the Chinese.

Do we want these alternatives. Or do we want to spread the word, work for the future. Socialists believe in the inevitablity of their cause, that the end of history is the dictatorship of the proletariat. Long ago they abandoned the withering of the state—Marx was a crackpot; it was Lenin and Stalin who determined the course of history.

Are we ready to say no to that dialectic? Are we ready to say “YES” to the struggle for Liberty.

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Compleat Idler

The Compleat Idler

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

This is about the art of idling, a nasty habit affecting young men aged 10-17 and older. I do not know whether young women engage in this as there were none in any of my circle of idlers. It is something adults discourage and they may occasionally be right. However, I am going to tell a few stories in what may be called an apologia. And be aware that in these articles there may be words or tags that you do not recognize. That is the signal to crank up Startpage.com.  I took the title for this category from Isaak Walton whose book The Compleat Angler is a discourse on society from a Royalist Anglican point of view in the seventeenth century,

What you may discover are hobbies, sources of information, games, activities and books. The one element I will not discuss is smoking because it is not necessary to the culture and may have helped me to cardiac rehab.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” It’s one of those quotations that has many variants—an idle mind, idle hands the devil’s tools. In New England Puritan society, idleness was frowned upon, especially among apprentices who were supposed to be learning trades. Idling was not condoned on the Sabbath as that was allowing the Devil in. New England Puritan society affected the whole of New England because the Puritans were the dominant culture—and this culture moved on as the great American migrations mixed people up.

My mother’s culture was Yankee on both sides. They settled in Nebraska and brought their culture with them. My father’s German Protestant culture had similar attitudes regarding work. A point of clarification must be made. Idlers are not lazy—they are just energetic about different things.

At age eight I began going out to my grandfather’s shop or picking up a Red Ryder and walking the dry irrigation ditch after school instead of digging into the insipid story in the reader I was talked to. I loved working with tools and I had built a lego fortress and put a couple new tubes in an old radio so I could listen to shortwave while I did homework. So it was in Spanish—so I did not understand it—it was relief.

When we were in San Diego I managed on two consecutive evenings to pick up KOA-Denver on the AM band by attaching a wire hanger to the loopstick. I should have been doing my book report. The purpose of a book report, according to the curriculum manual I glommed onto in Methods/Language Arts is to encourage students (they may have said “pupils”) to read works that are not in the curriculum. My experience had been the opposite. I read a lot of books from the library—it was Great Expectations and Silas Marner that I suffered through, waiting for Saturday when I slipped on my brown hiking boots, jeans and hooded sweatshirt to go wandering down to the cliffs. It was Saturday that I could go to the library, or my friend Mike and I would hop the bus for San Diego (we lived in Point Loma) to haunt bookstalls and discuss philosophy with a couple old guys in a coffee shop. This had little to do with the business at hand, but we learned about Spinoza and Pascal.

THERE IS MORE TO COME

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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.

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