Freedom Wins with Scalia

Interesting dissenting comment by Stevens.

The majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian use of weapons.”

Ok. One question: WTF?

210 years ago, the founders were businessmen and farmers (mostly) who were tired of being oppressed by a tyrannous government. At that time, the most popular method of feeding a family was through the use of a plow and a gun.

When the Founding Fathers initially stood up against the King of England, they were empowered to do such with the use of firearms and weapons. If the oppressing government of the time had a restriction on firearms (as England has, now), we may STILL be a colony. As a collection of colonies there was no centralized militia that belonged to the colonies. Any military present was owned and operated by the King and his representatives. Washington and the boys had to form companies of men from volunteers. These groups of volunteers became the militia for that colony and later that state, but very few of these militia men were full time soldiers.

Approximately one quarter of these militia men were the famed Minutement. Members of teams of men from the colonial militia vowed to be ready for battle within one minute of notice. These men were the ones that responded to Paul Revere’s warning that “the British are coming” as the British marched towards the arsenals in Lexington and Concord. Their goal was the collection of the colonists weapons.
The founders remembered this fact as they wrote and ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Rather than keeping weapons under the control of a government where corruption was going to be rife (eventually and now), the people should be allowed to keep and maintain ownership of a means to defend themselves, not only against the unlawful, but also against the potential tyranny of the fledgling republic being born.

Most Colonial militia were provided neither arms nor uniforms. They were required to equip themselves. Most wore their regular farming or work clothes. Their weaponry consisted of hunting rifles. As the Continental Army regulars received European style military training, the Militia received very little. While their rifles were accurate at long range (as hunting rifles would be), they were not equipped for bayonets. Rather than fight in the traditional dense lines and columns, the militia men were used as irregulars. Irregulars are primarily skirmishers and sharpshooters. It is from these men that snipers became a valued military tool.

THIS is the growth of our nation with the private ownership of firearms. In the ten score years since, our nation has grown and changed from a nation of the people to a nation of corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups, liberal/conservative clashes and big business/big government. History shows that the big government of that day did not have the best interest of the majority of it’s people at heart (does this sound familiar to today?).

A desire to be free, access to weapons and a willingness to kill other humans to gain that freedom are the only reasons we are here, today. Take any one of those away, and we would not have had a chance. Without personal ownership and access to weapons and ammunition our current populace will be easy targets (VATech?) unable to defend themselves against those willing to break the law.


I'm an ELF?

Funny little quiz. I don't go for these, often, but the Middle Earth thing hit my geeky streak! Enjoy!

Your result for The What Middle Earth race do you belong to Test ...

You scored 0% Size & Strength, 59% Morality, 59% Aggression, and 88% Intelligence.

To This Test

To Your Result
http://www.helloquizzy.com/results/the-what-middle-earth-race-do-you-belong-to-test/?fromCGI=1&var_Size & Strength=0&var_Morality=10&var_Aggression=10&var_Intelligence=15


Spiritual Epiphany

Magickal Epiphany

I must admit that I have had a bit of an epiphany regarding TheWitchDiaries.com website.

I recently made the mistake of forwarding an email to my father with my TWD e-mail address as the reply to. I'm not sure if he noticed, but it got me to thinking. My father is considerably more conservative than I am. In a conversation a few years ago, my father described Magick as a tool of Satanic interests. (Ok, that may not have been his exact words, but the sentiment is close.) At that point, I dropped the topic, as I knew I did not wish to face that argument.

Since realizing the e-mail snafu (he has not mentioned it, yet, so I do not know if he noticed). I started thinking how I could 'defend' the ideals I have learned and accepted since I started reading about Magick. That is when the epiphany hit me, like a 2x4 across the forehead. Arguments I have received about the posted intent of TWD fell into crystal clarity.

TWD should NOT be a source of spells but, instead should be a resource to identify the components of a good spell, based upon the experiences of others. The spells that work best and most assuredly are the ones that come from the heart. The spellcraft or ritual is a means of focusing the practitioners intent to achieve a desired effect. For example, I lay a dollar bill on the surface, and set a green candle atop it. From there, I light the candle, focus and state my intent or desire. This simple spell/ritual helps keep me focused and open to opportunities to receive or earn more money. It also helps keep me focused on NOT spending money of frivolous items. The statement of my intent/desire is often a small rhyme or limerick. The rhythm and the rhyme helps to keep the spell in the mind all the day long.

To me that is Magick. A tool with which I focus my mind and my heart to achieve a desired goal. This is, in my opinion, not very different at all from the idea of a Christian prayer. The prayer is a request to a higher power to grant a boon or to assist with a desire or need. Other times it is a means of 'giving up' the troubling or stressful events of life. Either way, the process of a Christian prayer and the process of spells are very much the same. To create an environment to succeed, one must clear their mind (meditate), state their desire (pray or cast), and remain receptive of the opportunities (believe).

I thank my father for the way he raised me. At times I was less than stellar as a son, and there have been many times I have failed to meet his expectations. But still, my father taught me to be ME, and to live MY life. To do as I wish, so long as I think it through. And there is no wrong decision, if one considers all the available information and makes a choice from there. Later it may prove to be a less than optimal choice, but that is usually when an additional information enters into the equation. As a teen (and for several years after) I did not know who I was. I had a name and I had a history but I did not know me. And at 40, I'm starting to know who I am, and to actually like myself. This would not be possible without my father's teachings or my research into Magick, on a whim. I am no high priest, nor do I wish to be one. For me, Magick is and always will be a solitary path with a destination for me alone.

For the solitary practitioner, the path is one best walked alone. That need not mean one should be lonely in the journey. Our path is one of the heart, and the heart must go as it is in the body. Solitary, but in working with others. I am hoping (praying and casting) that TWD will make it possible for the solitary to find others on a path similar to or parallel with theirs in this skein of string of paths. To find support and information that otherwise may not be found.

I do not wish the previous statements to deter others who follow specific traditions to turn away. Please, stay, contribute and share. There will always be people who desire a more structured belief system, one that has boundaries and rules. Or a system that supports a specific need in their life, at that time. Please help those find their way, share your ideals and beliefs. It is only through the sharing can we have understanding.

So, in closing of this first, of (hopefully) many articles of my personal journey, I thank you for reading it. And I thank my father for being him and for teaching me to be me.

The beginning was there, the here is now and the end is yet to be.



why aren’t our prisons the safest places in the country?

Socialist Society and Personal Safety

Interesting read over on Marko's blog. The Munchkin Wrangler almost always has something interesting to write about. I have found inspiration there, more than once. Much like today, so first go read his post. I hope you like it. I'll wait for your return.

Ahhh, good. You have made it back.

Did you notice the last line of his post? I sure did. And it lit up my muse. So, without any further ado, I present to you: If more government control and less civil liberties mean increased safety, why aren’t our prisons the safest places in the country?

I have been to prison. Here, in the U.S. of A. In the early '90's. I was still in the U.S. Army, when I did a stupid thing. I took something that did not belong to me. And when the booze wore off, the next morning, I paniced. My first thought was to return it. I didn't. Instead, I tried to hide that it was someone else's. Found a like vehicle at the mall, and changed out the tags, etc. Stupid, stupid kid stuff. And then, when I DID get caught (as inevitable as falling when the floor drops away), I .... lied. pure plain and simple. I fabricated up all sorts of BS, trying to find a way clear of CF (army lingo spoken as Charlie-Fox, I'll let you figure out what they stand for) I had just turned my life into. No one was to blame, but myself. But of course at the mature physical age of 21, and the emotional age of, like 12, I would not admit I was to blame. I just would not see it.

So, when the charges came down, I thought they were too severe and demanded a trial. Which I got. A fair one, I must say, despite being an idiot about the entire thing. (And if anyone who reads this was in that jury, my sincerest apologies.) I was found guilty of.... Unauthorized Use And Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 2.5 years was the sentence. My attorney offered to help me with an appeal. I just needed to get some cash together to pay him to do it.

I started the process of growing up, right there and then. At least a microscopic bit. In a little room in the Commanche County lock-up. The uncomfortable metal chairs, the metal table, large mirror on the wall. All of it very "Law & Order". Before L&O was on television to start with. Instead, I signed the papers terminating our agreement. He was nice enough, though to put $100.00 into my commisary account.

Next, I sat in that county hole for 3 weeks, as I was processed and 'waited for a bed' at Lexington. Lexington is Oklahoma's processing center for the State Department of Corruption Corrections. Once in Lexington, my head was shaven, again. I was de-loused for the first time in my life. And I was able to actually get a shower. Although, I learned I was no longer human.

At Lexington, my three day stay was highlighted by very small cells with two beds, and a mat on the floor, and the combination sink/toilet. The meals were taken in a central area and there was not much of anything to break the monotony of the walls about me. I stayed in that cell and went out only for meals and to shower, on alternating days.

I was the one on the mat. On the floor. At 5'9" 130 pounds dripping wet and fully dressed, I was an easy target to push around. The guy on the lower bunk, Gary, took great pains to insure he steped on me, at least once a night while he emptied his 'tiny bladder, sorry...NOT!'. He had been convicted of rape. Well rape of other men. It seems he had been targeting a certain segment of Oklahoma City for his 'releases'. He told me that women just did not put up enough of a fight. The thought of this man still makes me ill, nearly 20 years later.

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty and presecut the innocent.)

Joe was the guy on the top bunk. Involuntary man-slaughter. 45 years. Nice guy, really. Large dark and mean looking. He and the other guy had an understanding, I was on the floor, only becuase I chose not to fight for the bunk. Joe would drop a shoe on me, from his bunk, to let me know he was comming down. It was actually his way of trying to be nice. Joe also stayed in the cell, most of the time. You see, Joe had been here, before. He knew what the drill was.

Joe told me I was too small, too thin and too polite. I needed to toughen up and to accept the inevitable, I was to be a prison bitch. On my last day in Lexington, Gary woke about 4:AM, he had decided he was 'to be my first'. Gary went about his usuall crap of steeping on me and pissing on my mat. Next he turned around and fell on me. He clamped his hand over my mouth and started fighting me trying to get me roll over onto my stomach. The next thing I remember, I was standing, crouched on the toilet seat, Gary was a bleeding mess from his face and head. And Joe? Well, he was laughing while still in his bunk. The guards came, drug us out into the central area and started to question us. They started with Joe, as he was the largest. He just pointed to me and kept his mouth shut. Gary was just gibbering as he was being checked over by medics. I shrugged and explained that Gray had tripped over me and smacked his face on the cell door. Repeatedly. He must have been stunned from the first fall.

Joe and I were sent back to our cell. He laughed and laughed. Later in the day Joe confided in me that I would be just fine, so long as I did not give in to anyone, continued to fight only for myself and to not turn anyone in.

Two hours later, I was on a bus, headed for McAlester. The State Penitentiary. The Big House. Maximum security. Evidently the State of Oklahoma is not without a bit of irony. A soldier, convicted of non-violent crime was being sent to maximum security. Want to make a life long criminal? Put an otherwise impressionable and innocent (no, I was guilty, the OTHER innocent) person in with hardened criminals, lifers and such. Persons who had nothing left to lose.

My first few weeks at Big Mac were filled with psych evals, and terror. I did not eat for the first four days. I refused to leave my cell, if it was not necessary. Terry, my new cellmate, told me if I did not shower the next day, he woudl have me showered and I would not like it. Terry was and had been someone else's bitch for a long time. Being smaller and newer and terrorized, the pecking order was simple. I was on the bottom. Fortunately, Terry did not try anything. I got to where I started to like the pig.

Terry and another guy worked things out with a guard for me to get to the shower, almost last. I was in the shower, alone. Until two hispanic 'gentlemen' entered. They obviously were not there for showers. They were not carrying towels or any of the other items of personal hygeine one would use in a shower.

When I left I suggested to the guard that there were a couple of guys in there that had been fighting each other and it did not look good. Word got around that I was not goign to go easily. After that, I had a bit of self respect and started leaving the cell. I went to the one place in that hell-hole that represented any kind of escape. I went to the library. And I read. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I started taking books back to my cell. I started reading to Terry, as he could not read well.

Another altercation with persons of ill-intent got me tossed into a smaller cell, alone. Solitary confinement. One of the guards suggested it was for my own safety. I was in that lonely little room for a week, with no books. Nothing to do, but start going insane. I started feeling what I though as myself starting to slide away. I started to adopt the ways of the place I was in. Three days later I was released back into general population. After looking for Terry, I went looking for Terry's 'owner'. I found him, using Terry. And I broke his nose. I continued just beating on him, as hard and as fast as I could. The whole time, I was yelling to leave my property alone. When he was down, I was standing on his throat, holding him down. I threatened to kill or anyone else that touched MY cell bitch, again. With that, Terry and I returned to our cell.

Terry and I shared a cell for three more months. During that time, Terry was not bothered, nor was I. It became known that I had nothing to lose and was 'flat out crazee, maaaan'. I also started tutoring in the library. There were volunteers that came in to help tutor, but most of the inmates/cons/convicts/detainees/(and my personal favorite) Residents would not go to them, because of all the preaching. It was pretty simple to some of us, God may have been there, in the prison with us, but we got there on our own, and we would survive it on our own. Then we would make ammends with the Almighty.

From here, I went to a type of half-way prison/community shelter in downtown Tulsa. The place was an old school and had no bars not gates.

Here was a place to get a job and return to normalcy. And I had to start seeing a shrink, again. It seems I had developed a bit of a problem with anger management.

I spent 9 months here. And a total of 4 months in BigMac. And I almost was not allowed to stay there. The DOC had an agreement with the City of Tulsa. No Violent convictees becuase of the proximity to the local community college (two blocks).

Now this has been a bit of a long story to get to the salient point I wanted to make in responce to Marko's query. Anarchy is an antitheses available to us.

Prisons are not the safest place on earth not because the people there are violent (and mostly unarmed), but because of human nature. Humans are animals, still. We fight for a pecking order. We fight for ourselves. And sometimes we fight for others. We fight and we argue and we get heated, angry and agitated. Any man (or woman) is capable of this show of beastial temporance. Some people with less stimuli than others require.

We are but beasts on the loose. And the worst of us are locked up only because some of us are afraid of them.

Society is about an order of rules and mutual agreements. Members of that society are selected to enforce the agreement of the many against a few. Others are now selected to defend the rest of society against those who would change us to their beliefs and non-tolerance.

But in general we are in a mutual and semi silent contract with the rest of society about us. Unfortunately, our society is devolving into a more chaotic mess. The Powers are keeping the Masses appeased with bribes. The Bribed are no longer responsible for thier own existance, as the Powers are providing all they need. If the Bribed want more, they just scream and let loose some of their own unto the Workers. The Workers are the ones that actually produce something, anything that is productive to the whole of society. The Workers are taxed so that the Powers may continue to buy off the Bribed.

When the Bribed do not get what they want, the Powers get replaced, but only by someone who promises even more than what is being demanded. And again, the Workers get squeezed to pay for it. The Powers see an opportunity to redirect the anger of the Bribed. The Powers restrict the Workers not from self preservation, but instead from the most effective tools.

In prison (albeit a thankfully short career) I learned more about human kind in it's most basic balance. Anarchy within a small tightly structured and controlled environment. I learned how to survive it with some degree of sanity, only by becomming one with the beast within. OK, that was a bit dramatic, but the point still stands. As beasts we force an order. As Humans we adapt to that order, accepting 'rule' by another. Over the years, as Americans, we have continually lowered the requirements of those we would have rule us, as more of us continued to lower ourselves.