All posts by LawDog

Meditations on Reading

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That one sentence, more than any other these days, illustrates perfectly the ability of emotion to over-ride logic.

It is a perfectly adequate, and quite understandable, sentence; yet is the subject of more obfuscation, more nit-pickery, more mental gymnastics, and flat out more chicanery than any other sentence in recent history.

If you doubt this, take the sentence and perform a simple substitution: swap out some words, but leave the sentence grammatically identical — and watch people tie their brains into knots trying to explain why two grammatically identical sentences wind up meaning two different things.

In this case, let us take the classic 2nd Amendment substitution from Dr. Nelson Lund, of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy:

“A well educated Electorate, being necessary to self-governance in a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.”

I can hear them whinging now: “But, LawDog, ‘Militia’ instead of ‘Electorate’ makes it a whole different thing!”

No, Zippy, it doesn’t. The classic definition of ‘militia’ is “Every free man capable of bearing arms”, or “All able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service”, and the current definition in Federal law is:

“The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

The argument can be made that the Electorate is the Militia, but machts nichts.

So. Two grammatically identical sentences:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“A well educated Electorate, being necessary to self-governance in a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.”

If you believe that one of these — again, grammatically identical sentences — means that the people have the right to keep and read books, but the other means that only the State-maintained National Guard can have guns …

… You might want to have your headspace and timing recalibrated. 

Nothing but love,

LawDog

All right, then

On June 13th, I had Facebook called up on my work computer when I got a Messenger ping from Jack Wylder asking why I used an “… unnecessarily long and complex URL” for my blog.

I shrugged — because as long-time Gentle Readers know, my interactions with the Elf of the Magic Box begin and end with placing a bucket of KFC in front of it and intoning, “Work!”

Jack responded by suggesting that I buy the domain name “The LawDog Files”, then came back a little later saying that I couldn’t because he and another friend had already done it for me.

I have to admit to being fairly gobsmacked by this time, which only got worse when he went and looked at my blog … and had some fairly trenchant opinions as to Blogger, Google, and the horse they rode in on.

I kind of shrugged … as mentioned above, computers aren’t my thing, and there are far more important things going on right now that require my attention.

Next day, I get another ping from Jack: “Hey, you should be seeing some activity in your PayPal account.”

Holy Mary, Mother of God. At about 0900 hours on June 14, we had enough money for the blog to be switched to a saner host, paid for in perpetuity, and all associated costs covered, forever.

Thank you, guys. You have no idea how much that meant to me.

So, here we are.

It wasn’t the easiest move — my Blogger theme was from 2006, and probably a bucket of spaghetti code — and we’ve got some housekeeping and tweaking to do, but I like it.

Welcome to the new blog. I hope you enjoy it.

LawDog

Gun Rights Cake poster

Various and sundry folks have been assuring me that there will be a shop attached to this blog where the Gentle Reader may purchase various items.

Until then, the latest iteration of my Gun Rights Cake — beautifully rendered by Jack Wylder — is available at Jonna Hayden’s on-line shop.

(If you have a Wendell of your very own, you can also purchase a jaunty shirt for him there. Wendell recommended!)

If you haven’t seen the new poster yet, here it is:

I’m rather pleased by them.

LawDog

Meditations on Independence

My father was an American, born in the United States; my mother, likewise, is an American citizen by birth.
 
I was born on the island of Malta, by jus sanguinis I am an American citizen by birth, like my parents.
 
I didn’t set foot on American soil until I was three, and for the next 13 years I only saw America one month out of every twelve, when the company my father worked for made him take his annual four weeks vacation.
 
My siblings and I grew up in Africa, and the Middle East. We have seen poverty — the poverty where mothers make cold-blooded decisions about which child to sell so that she can feed the rest of her children.
 
America’s poor enjoy a level of comfort that is the envy of the well-off in Africa.
 
My brother and sister an I have seen repression — we have seen the crushing of the Ibo people (and we saw how the Ibo people treated their own ohu and osu); the ‘Years Of Lead’ in Morocco aren’t a mystery to us; we weren’t there when the Gukurahundi swept through Matabeleland, but we knew some who disappeared; we saw the comfortable contempt of the Emiratis for the Filipino and Baluchi; and we have close personal experience with the casual repressive brutality of those cultures and many others.
 
America’s people enjoy a freedom from brutality and repression that is unimaginable for most of the rest of the planet.
 
Is America perfect? Of course not, but it is the closest thing to it that we will find this side of the grave.
 
We have a media designed to amplify the worst things that happen in our society — today we should ignore them.
 
We have a social media that brings out the worst aspects of us — today we should ignore it.
 
We have professional agitators who stir up strife for political gain, or social status — today we should ignore them.
 
Today is the day to remember that we are the heirs of a glorious experiment; today is the day to hold our heads high, and to offer a burger, soda and a handshake to our neighbors whom we may not see eye-to-eye with, but who are still Americans.
 
Today is the day to set all else aside and just … be American.
 
Happy Independence Day.

LawDog

Now hear this

Due entirely to Jack Wylder — and y’all — we have crowdfunded a move from Blogger to a safe hosting site.

Jack is going to be negotiating the nightmare of spaghetti code that is Blogger, and will be moving the entirety of this blog … sometime along in here.

When it gets moved, we’ll leave a re-direct here, and I’ll make a wide announcement on my social media and on the North Texas Troublemakers site. Probably make a couple of announcements on the Livestream, too.

LawDog