Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Real Story of the Tea Party

Since we are into the connection between the British East India Company and the US Government.

This should get your amygdalas screaming!

While I don't agree with the opinions and conclusions of some of this material, it is true that the Grand Union Flag and Flag of The British East India Company were the same:

See also:
Have fun!

Joseph Chalmers On Switzerland

Thomas Paine's Common Sense did not go without criticism; however, Joseph Chalmers', a Maryland Tory, response has been neglected with the passage of time.

Thomas Paine, in Common Sense says:
Where there are no distinctions there can be no superiority, perfect equality affords no temptation. The republics of Europe are all (and we may say always) in peace. Holland and Switzerland are without wars, foreign or domestic; monarchical governments, it is true, are never long at rest: the crown itself is a temptation to enterprising ruffians at home; and that degree of pride and insolence ever attendant on regal authority swells into a rupture with foreign powers, in instances where a republican government, by being formed on more natural principles, would negotiate the mistake.
Interesting that Switzerland is seen as a Shangri-la without war and that modern minds have taken that belief and attributed it to them being an armed nation.

Chalmer's response:
the rugged and incult deserts of Switzerland preclude not ambition, sedition, and anarchy. Her bleak and barren mountains do not so effectually secure precarious liberty, as daily vending her sons to the adjoining nations, particularly to France, by whom the Thirteen Cantons could be subjected in as many days, did that court meditate so senseless and delusive an object. Nugatory indeed, if we confider, that France derives more substantial advantage from the present state of Switzerland, than if she exhausted herself to maintain numerous battalions to bridle the Can tons. ' A moment, let us suppose, that our author's asserverations of Holland and Switzerland are as real as delusive: his inferences do not flow from his premises; for their superior advantages do not arise from their popular government, but from circumstances of peculiar local felicity, obliging the princes of Europe to defend them from the omnipotent land force, if I may so speak, of France. After impotently attacking our sovereign and the Constitution, he contradicts the voice of all mankind, by declaring, that America " would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her."
Likewise, it was most likely that the advantage of having a neutral Switzerland was far more beneficial to German interests than any actual attempt at unification.

Could the "Cheese eating" French ever conquer Switzerland? Stay tuned for the next exciting post on this topic.

Where There's Smoke, There's Gun Fire: Target Shooters Start Fire , Causing Evacuation of Thousands, Threatens Power Grid

Progunners want to make it legal to go hunting and target shooting in our state and national parks. 

Our parks are rich resources that belong to all of us, both the flora and fauna.  Both would be put at risk, along with diminishing the enjoyment of many park users if we allow this kind of shooting in our parks.

Some of the pro-gunners insiste we should trust them, trust their judgement, trust them to be law abiding.  That is not credible with Ted Nugent, who has a bad track record for being law abiding, especially on state and federal land, serving on the board of the NRA.  Having him serve on the board proves how little regard for law of state and federal lands the gun zombies have.

Here is just one good reason hunting and target shooting in our parks should not happen.  Note, this is the 20th Target Shooting fire THIS YEAR IN JUST UTAH, marking 19 other good reasons.
From the STrib and the AP: (Emphasis added is mine-DG)

Winds fan flames of Utah fire sparked by target shooting as residents evacuate homes
  • Article by: LYNN DeBRUIN , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 23, 2012 - 5:42 AM
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah - Thousands of residents whose homes were in danger of being threatened by a Utah wildfire have had to find shelter elsewhere as strong winds fueled a blaze that officials believe was started by target shooters.
Residents of at least 2,300 homes in northern Utah were evacuated Friday, a day after the more than 6-square-mile fire started near the Saratoga Springs landfill, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. High winds then helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.
Authorities were initially worried as flames moved toward property owned by an explosives company, but the focus turned to saving homes as winds kicked up and the fire moved toward Saratoga Springs.
Forecasters expect strong winds to persist through the weekend.
On Friday, fire officials were calling in additional aircraft and extra ground crews.
Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said he feared the fire could take down the area's power grid, shutting off electricity to up to 7,000 homes.
"Several power poles and transformers ... up and down the fire lines have burned," Tracy said Friday evening. "If the fire gets a couple more critical poles and drops that grid, wires down on the ground, it will black out this entire area."
Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby said the 2,300 houses evacuated include residents who voluntarily left, along with those ordered to leave.
BLM officials say they believe the blaze was caused when a bullet hit a rock and sparked the fire. This is the 20th target-shooting related fire this year in Utah, they said.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Greetings from Gunchester

somebody had to use the term "Gunchester" to try and imply that gun crime in the UK was out of control.

I'll use Wikipedia for a brief explanation of the term for that fair city further up the Mersey:
Analysts trace the high rates of gun crime in south Manchester, England, to acute social deprivation in an inner city area south of Manchester city centre stretching from Hulme through Moss Side to Longsight.[1] Whilst by the 1990s, the trade in illegal narcotics and firearms had given rise to Manchester's nickname of "Gunchester", by the late 2000s levels of gang related gun crime had greatly reduced in the area as a whole ".[1][2] The reasons for this transformation are not entirely clear but the heavy sentencing of main offenders and finding new ways of police, agency and community working and co-operation in tackling this kind of crime may have played a key role.
and grab this table as well from the same article:

Gun crime fatalities by area: 1999–2009

Area Year
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 TOTAL
Ardwick - 2 - - - - - - - - - 2
Beswick 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1
Chorlton-cum-Hardy 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1
Chorlton-on-Medlock - - - - - - - - 2 - - 2
Fallowfield - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1
Gorton - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1
Hulme 1 - - - - - 1 - - - - 2
Levenshulme - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1
Longsight 1 2 5 1 - - - - - - 1 10
Moss Side 1 - - - 1 1 - 2 - - - 5
Old Trafford 1 - - - - - 2 - - - - 3
Stretford - - - - - 1 - - - 1 1 3
Whalley Range - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1
Withington 1 - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
TOTAL 7 6 5 1 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 35

Source: Manchester Evening News: "How Many More? Shot dead in Greater Manchester: Accessed 12.12.09".

Wow, 35 dead in a 10 year period! Isn't that what most US cities gun violence rate is in a weekend? Maybe even a bad day?

Well, Gun violence may be out of control by UK standards, but it's incredibly tame by US ones.

Maybe strong gun regulation does work to keep guns out of the hands of the disqualified.

Turkish Gun Control caused the Armenian Genocide???

Now, the great Scholar Joe the Plumber has decided to parrot the nonsense about "Gun Control caused Genocide", but Matthew White doesn't get into the topic in his debunking of the nonsense. He does cover the topic, but doesn't mention how many people were killed by gun control

Matthew does say that the big massacres occurred in 1915, but there were rumblings before and after...with the period of 1915-18 generally included in the Death Tolls for World War One.

I am going to toss in that this one not only works on US historical ignorance, but also its ignorance of other countries. Armenia was in the South Caucasus region between Turkey and The Russian empire. When World War I broke out, the confrontation of the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire in the Caucasus and Persian Campaigns let to the Turkish government fearing the Armenians and viewing them with suspicion: especially since the Russian army contained a contingent of Armenian volunteers.

So, I get the feeling that gun control once again had little to do with the death toll in this genocide since the picture to this post is captioned:

Armenians defending the walls of Van in the spring of 1915. Scanned from the Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia Article on the Defense of Van (vol. 11, p. 273)
Somebody needs to tell those Armenians that they shouldn't have guns!

In fact, the defenders of Van were able to resist the Turks for over a month.

Also, it appears that the bulk of this genocide happened during the period of World War One. So, while the Armenians were being persecuted by the Turks and Kurds, they were allied with the Russians. In fact, it was the allegation of an alliance with the Russians which was used as a justification for the genocide.

This is what says about the Genocide:
On April 24, 1915, the Armenian genocide began. That day, the Turkish government arrested and executed several hundred Armenian intellectuals. After that, ordinary Armenians were turned out of their homes and sent on death marches through the Mesopotamian desert without food or water. Frequently, the marchers were stripped naked and forced to walk under the scorching sun until they dropped dead. People who stopped to rest were shot.

At the same time, the Young Turks created a “Special Organization,” which in turn organized “killing squads” or “butcher battalions” to carry out, as one officer put it, “the liquidation of the Christian elements.” These killing squads were often made up of murderers and other ex-convicts. They drowned people in rivers, threw them off cliffs, crucified them and burned them alive. In short order, the Turkish countryside was littered with Armenian corpses.

Records show that during this “Turkification”campaign government squads also kidnapped children, converted them to Islam and gave them to Turkish families. In some places, they raped women and forced them to join Turkish “harems” or serve as slaves. Muslim families moved into the homes of deported Armenians and seized their property.

In 1922, when the genocide was over, there were just 388,000 Armenians remaining in the Ottoman Empire.
There are quite a few problems with alleging that "gun control causes genocides" especially if the genocide occurs in war time. In this case, while the Armenians were being attacked by the Turks and Kurds, we don't know how much support they received from the Russians. Secondly, the argument presupposes that firearms are commonly owned items, we don't know how many Armenians actually owned firearms prior to the genocide and "gun control".

Of course, it garners sympathy to say that the Armenians were defenceless. They lose sympathy if it comes out that they actually were well armed and resisted the Turks.

But, like most of these genocides, it seems that any evidence either way is hard to find. Although, it seems that, like the Holocaust, there was resistance. It wasn't "gun control" that provided the potential for the Armenian genocide as much as the fact that it was an ethnic population caught between two warring empires.

This is not to say the genocide didn't happen or justify it, but that the claim that "gun control cause the Armenian Genocide" is yet another attempt to use one people's suffering for political gain at the cost of history.

Fast and furiously Funny

Swiss Nazi Sympathies

What if the real reason Hitler didn't invade Switzerland wasn't that it was well armed, but that he really didn't have any need to invade?

I tried to get Dog Gone to address the issue of Nazi symapthisers in Switzerland, but she didn't think they were that important. Unfortunately, like most of Europe, Switzerland had its fascist movement, in this case the Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband (Swiss Patriotic Federation or SVV, French: Fédération patriotique suisse, Italian: Federazione patriottica svizzera) was a right wing organisation influential in Swiss politics before World War II.

Wikipedia discussess the SVV:
The SVV was set up in 1918 by Dr. Eugen Bircher to oppose 'international emigration', which in effect became anti-Semitism, with the group holding The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as fact, alongside a similar work Aufklärung zur Flüchtlingsfrage (Shedding Light on the Refugee Question).[2] Bircher's position as a colonel in the Swiss Army was such that he was able to bring many high ranking officers in to the SVV, with Henri Guisan amongst those to join up.[2] Although not specifically Nazi in its outlook it did nonetheless seek to maintain cordial relations with Nazi Germany.[2]

Effectively open in its existence its membership was largely a closely guarded secret and as such the group became influential in driving government policy.[2] Its influence was such that it was the only organisation with Nazi sympathies that was not closed down by the Swiss Federal Council in 1945.[2] It was not dissolved until after it got caught up in a bribery scandal in 1948.

High-ranking officers within the Swiss Army had pro-Nazi sympathies: Such as General Henri Guisan, Colonel Arthur Fonjallaz and Colonel Eugen Bircher. General Guisan being the commander of the Swiss military.

There was a Swiss Nazi movement which was quite small, numbering only a few thousand. The party was temporarily banned in 1936 to prevent disturbances after the assassination of Landesgruppenleiter Wilhelm Gustloff of the Swiss Nazi Party by a Jewish student. Many Swiss were quite sympathetic to the racial agenda of the National Socialists. There were a variety of indigenous fascist parties in Switzerland, such as the Nationale Front and the Eidgenössische Soziale Arbeiter-Partei. Additionally, the Auslandsorganisation der NSDAP (Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party) was active in Switzerland, exploiting attitudes that were "anti-Jewish, anti-Free Mason, anti-Marxist, anti-pacifist, anti-democratic, and anti-liberal." And despite the paucity of support for the idea of joining Hitler's Reich, there were many Swiss who envisioned some kind of role for Switzerland in the Nazi New Order.

Also, Attempts by SVV to affect an Anschluss with Germany failed miserably, largely as a result of Switzerland's multicultural heritage, strong sense of national identity, and long tradition of direct democracy and civil liberties.

But, that didn't mean the Swiss were totally neutral, Donald Waters wrote a book on Swiss neutrality called "Hitler's Secret Ally". The Swiss bolstered the Nazi regime in many ways, ways that can be summarized by the following categories: border policies, opportunities for trade, and financial transactions. Behavior in all of these categories was either immoral or amoral, but Switzerland's closing of escape routes over its border is probably the most troubling. Because the Swiss feared that the appearance of "softness" with respect to its borders adjoining Nazi Germany would be an incentive for Hitler to attack (to undertake "Operation Tannenbaum"), they were highly vigilant in guarding against those attempting to cross those borders into Switzerland without the appropriate visas--in particular Jews.

Switzerland's pretend neutrality was useful to the Third Reich in that it could be used for trade and as a route for off loading its booty onto the world market. Because of the Germans' need for foreign currency and their hostility toward modern art, they were eager to dispatch impressionist and expressionist paintings to Switzerland. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of German-Swiss art trafficking involved works looted from French Jews by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (this was a plundering unit, under the leadership of the Nazi "philosopher" Alfred Rosenberg, that stole cultural property from "enemies" of National Socialism throughout occupied Europe.

But, it was far more important that Switzerland was also Germany's banker for its stolen gold. a December 10, 1941 report from the British embassy in Washington to the U.S. Treasury Department noted that "every leading member of the governing groups in all the Axis countries have funds in Switzerland. Some have fortunes." A Nazi official responsible for foreign exchanges estimated after the war that German assets worth 15 billion Reichsmarks entered Switzerland.

So, why did Germany need to invade Switzerland when it was pretty much on the side of the Germans?

See also:

Fast, and Furiously Funny

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Unraveling the "Fast & Furious" Scandal
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Of course, Fake news omits to mention that this was a Dubya scheme, that it involved 2,000 guns in the larger traffic of tens of thousands across the border FROM the U.S. TO Mexico.

Yeah, THAT is not creating a fake crisis. It is gross misrepresentation of the problem. Why does the right support these lies? Where are their values?

But it gets better, when Colbert goes after Joe-the-Candidate-for-Plumber.

Btw, if you watch the Dos Equs ad that precedes it, there is a very nice, very representative example of my dog breed of choice lying in the "trophy wife" beer ad. Home invaders are more afraid of encountering that in the dark than they are of guns; it operates around corners and you don't have to be able to see your bad guy to get him, especially when there is more than one, and they know how to work cooperatively on their prey.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Controversial Gun Control Ad from Ohio Congressional Candidate
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Robbie Burns on the War for American Independence

I was listening to the complete ballads of Robert Burns on Linn records when I heard the lyrics to "When Guilford good our pilot stood". This was Burns' take on the War for American Independence and was probably written in 1784.

Fast and Frivolous

Gunloons are fond of mouthing the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Yet, when gunloons talk about "Fast and Furious"--guns apparently kill people.

But, hey, what do you expect when the NRA's leading intellects are Ted Nugent and Mike Vanderboegh?

William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 125--26 1829 (2d ed.)

From The Founder's Constitution

Short and sweet.

Note the linkage between the militia duty and arms
In the second article, it is declared, that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state; a proposition from which few will dissent. Although in actual war, the services of regular troops are confessedly more valuable; yet, while peace prevails, and in the commencement of a war before a regular force can be raised, the militia form the palladium of the country. They are ready to repel invasion, to suppress insurrection, and preserve the good order and peace of government. That they should be well regulated, is judiciously added. A disorderly militia is disgraceful to itself, and dangerous not to the enemy, but to its own country. The duty of the state government is, to adopt such regulations as will tend to make good soldiers with the least interruptions of the ordinary and useful occupations of civil life. In this all the Union has a strong and visible interest.

The corollary, from the first position, is, that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution (e.g., Article I, Section 8, Clause 16) could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.

In most of the countries of Europe, this right does not seem to be denied, although it is allowed more or less sparingly, according to circumstances. In England, a country which boasts so much of its freedom, the right was secured to protestant subjects only, on the revolution of 1688; and it is cautiously described to be that of bearing arms for their defence, "suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law." An arbitrary code for the preservation of game in that country has long disgraced them. A very small proportion of the people being permitted to kill it, though for their own subsistence; a gun or other instrument, used for that purpose by an unqualified person, may be seized and forfeited. Blackstone, in whom we regret that we cannot always trace the expanded principles of rational liberty, observes however, on this subject, that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistance to government by disarming the people, is oftener meant than avowed, by the makers of forest and game laws.

This right ought not, however, in any government, to be abused to the disturbance of the public peace.

An assemblage of persons with arms, for an unlawful purpose, is an indictable offence, and even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual, attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them, would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace. If he refused he would be liable to imprisonment.

First Chicken Tikka Masala–Now Balti!

Just in case you didn’t know it, Chicken Tikka Masala is actually British. There is some debate as to where it originated, but it’s British! In fact, it is so British that it has probably knocked Fish and Chips and a few other stereotypical dishes off the scene.

O! the Roast Beef of Old England!
And O!” for old England’s Roast Beef!

Now, Birmingham’s Balti Association have applied for the EU Protected Food Names scheme which would make Birmingham Balti dishes a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed Product. For those not in the know, the Balti Cuisine comes from the Balti Triangle, the name given to the areas of Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath, Sparkhill and part of Moseley in Birmingham.

To repeat myself about all this EU food protection schemes:

European Union law uses various designations to protect the names of regional foods. There are three distinct regimes of geographical indications according to the law: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). The law which is enforced within the EU and being gradually expanded internationally via bilateral agreements between the EU and non-EU countries was designed to ensure that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed in commerce identified by that name. This law came into force in 1992 with the purpose of the protecting the reputation of regional foods, promoting rural and agricultural activity, helping producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminating the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour. These laws protect the names of wines, cheeses, hams, sausages, seafood, olives, beers, Balsamic vinegar and even regional breads, fruits, raw meats and vegetables.

So, Arbroath Smokies need to be made in Arbroath Scotland. For example, Roquefort cheese must be made from milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in the natural caves near the town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the Aveyron region of France, where it is infected with the spores of a fungus (Penicillium roqueforti) that grows in these caves. In the case of the Cumberland sausage they now need to be made in what was the county of Cumberland, England, now part of Cumbria with lots of pepper and sage. They are traditionally very long (up to 50 cm), and sold rolled in a flat, circular coil but within western Cumbria they are more often served in long curved lengths.

The Protected Geographical Indication system is similar to Appellation systems throughout the world, such as the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) used in France, the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) used in Italy, the Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) used in Portugal, and the Denominación de Origen (DO) system used in Spain. In many cases, the EU PDO/PGI system works parallel with the system used in the specified country, and in some cases is subordinated to the appellation system that was already instituted, particularly with wine, for example, and in France (in particular) with cheese, for example Maroilles (as most others) has both PDO (AOP in French) and AOC classifications, but generally only the AOC classification will be shown.

So, what makes Balti Cuisine Special?

Mohammed Arif, owner of Adil Balti and Tandoori Restaurant, claims to be first man to introduce the Balti to Britain – after bringing the idea from Kashmir – when he opened his restaurant in 1977.

The Balti style of cooking is not only quicker, but also a lighter and healthier version of a traditional curry.A true Birmingham Balti must be served in the same thin steel bowl it is cooked in over a hot flame, as it is this “Balti” bowl (a proper balti looks like a small wok, it can also be called a karahi) that gives the dish its name. The Balti pioneers of the 70s and 80s also switched from using traditional ghee, which is high in saturated fat, to using vegetable oil.

While ghee is the traditional cooking ingredient used on the south Asian sub-continent, the use of vegetable oil in Birmingham Baltis is stipulated as a key unique feature in the Birmingham Balti Association’s (BBA) application to EU.

It requires that all Birmingham Baltis must use vegetable oil instead of ghee.

Another requirement is for all meat to be “off-the-bone” to allow it to be cooked quickly over the hot flame.

This off-the-bone preparation of meat sets the Balti apart from the more traditional “on-the-bone” meat used in the “one-pot” style of cooking from the Indian subcontinent.

For a traditional Balti, all meat needs to be “off-the-bone” to allow it to be cooked quickly

While “one-pot” curries might take hours to cook all the ingredients, Balti chefs add meat and vegetables to the dish one ingredient at a time.

And freshness of ingredients is crucial to real Balti connoisseurs.

“Pre-prepared generic commercial curry pastes and powders are not used and not permitted” in any true Birmingham Balti, according to the BBA.

Baltis can vary from restaurant to restaurant as each Balti house prepares its own “restaurant sauce” to use as a base.

Should the Balti dish get protected name status, the dish would join Cumberland Sausages, Arbroath Smokies, Cornish Pasties, Stilton Cheese,among other foods.

So, although this protects the proprietors of the Balti Triangle restaurants, it does stop people in other parts of the world from enjoying balti dishes–short of a visit to Birmingham.

But will this mean that the Ali-Baba Balti House in Leamington Spa isn’t a proper Balti Restaurant? Somehow, I think it does.

See also:

It's the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812

Test your knowledge of this event here

I'm not sure if it is getting much attention in the US, but loads of it where I get my news:

Still more on the Unorganised Militia

The fact that this is a subject for discussion demonstrates how obsolete and irrelevant the Second Amendment is to modern US society.-

First off, the term unorganised means not organised, which should clue in someone with half a brain that it might be a ridiculous proposition to say it confers any rights and privileges--even without a knowledge of military history (in particular that relating to the National Guard/Militia) or law.

Let's take Joseph Story comment about the dislike for militia discipline in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution (3:§ 1890) :
And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
While I sometime think that a trained chimp could practise law, it becomes quite obvious that it does require some skill. In the same way you couldn't pick up the great highland bagpipe and start playing "Scotland the Brave" or some reel, you cannot just pick up a legal document and understand what is going on.

In this case, people glom on to 10 USC 311 (2) about the "unorganised militia", but that is sometimes glossed with this statement: "that is, anyone who would be eligible for a draft"

The next course in legal research is to see how the topic is addressed in other law if there isn't an explanatory notation.

Ala. Code § 31-2-5:
The unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied male resident citizens of the state and all able-bodied resident males who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, between the ages of 17 and 45, and of such other persons, male and female, as may, upon their own application, be enlisted or commissioned therein, subject to any existing law, who are not serving in any force of the organized militia and who are not on the state retired list.
(Acts 1957, No. 592, p. 829, §3; Acts 1973, No. 1038, p. 1572, §5.)

Ala. Code § 31-2-48: Manner of Ordering out Unorganized Militia; Organization; Appointment of Officers.
The Governor shall, when ordering out the unorganized militia, designate the number. He may order them out either by call for volunteers or draft. The unorganized militia may be attached to the several organizations of the National Guard or Naval Militia, or organized into separate divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, companies or detachments as the Governor may deem best for service. He shall appoint the commissioned officers and warrant officers in the same manner as provided in this chapter for the appointment of officers and warrant officers of the National Guard and Naval Militia.
Ala. Code § 31-2-49: Draft of Unorganized Militia.
If the unorganized militia is ordered out by draft, the Governor shall designate the persons in each county or city who are to make the draft and prescribe rules and regulations for conducting the same, which shall conform as nearly as possible to the selective service machinery that is now or may hereafter be provided for by the government of the United States in a national crisis.

N.Y. MIL. LAW § 7 : NY Code - Section 7: Draft of unorganized militia
1. Whenever it shall be necessary

in case of invasion, disaster, insurrection, riot, breach of the peace
or imminent danger thereof or to maintain the organized militia or any force thereof at the number required for public safety or prescribed by the laws of the United States, the governor may call for and accept from the unorganized militia as many volunteers as are required for service in the organized militia or he may direct the members of the unorganized militia or such of them as may be necessary to be drafted into the organized militia or any force thereof.
2. Whenever it shall be necessary in case of invasion, disaster, insurrection, riot, breach of the peace, or imminent danger thereof, the governor many direct the members of the unorganized militia or such of them as may be necessary to be drafted under such regulations as he may prescribe into the active service of the state, to serve as directed by
Indiana: IC 10-16-6-2
Classes of militia
Sec. 2. The militia shall be divided into two (2) classes, the sedentary militia and the national guard, as follows:
(1) The sedentary militia consists of all persons subject to bear arms under the Constitution of the State of Indiana who do not belong to the national guard.
(2) The national guard consists of those able-bodied citizens between the proper ages as established by this article who may be enrolled, organized, and mustered into the service of the state as provided in this article. The organized militia of the state constitutes and shall be known as the Indiana national guard.
As added by P.L.2-2003, SEC.7.
Ma.Gen.Laws § 33-3 Organized and Unorganized Militia
Section 3. The militia shall consist of two classes, namely, the organized militia, composed and organized as provided in this chapter, and the remainder, to be known as the unorganized militia. The unorganized militia shall not be subject to duty except in case of war, actual or threatened, invasion, the prevention of invasion, the suppression of riots, and the assisting of civil officers in the execution of the laws.
Ma.Gen.Laws § 33-55 Unorganized Militia; Method of Impressing into Service
When necessary to call out any part of the unorganized militia for duty, the commander-in-chief shall issue a proclamation directed to the mayors or city managers and selectmen, who shall forthwith, by written order or oral notice to each individual, or by proclamation on their part, appoint a time and place for the assembling of the unorganized militia in their respective cities and towns, and shall then and there draft as many thereof, or accept as many volunteers, as are required by the order of the commander-in-chief, and shall forthwith forward to him a list of the persons so drafted or accepted as volunteers.
Unorganized Militia; Power of the Governor - Mich. Comp. Laws Section 32.555
32.555 Unorganized militia; power of the governor.
Sec. 155.

The governor may order into the defense force any members of the unorganized militia in case of riot, tumult, breach of the peace, resistance of process, or for service in aid of civil authority, whether state or federal, or in time of public danger, disaster, crisis, catastrophe or other public emergency within this state.

History: 1967, Act 150, Imd. Eff. June 30, 1967
Section: Previous 32.523 32.525 32.527 32.529 32.531 32.533 32.551 32.555 32.559 32.563 32.567 32.571 32.575 32.579 32.581 Next
Last modified: February 20, 2012
For a survey of this topic see:

But, the state laws show that the Sedentary, reserve, inactive, unorganised, general (or other term indicating INACTIVITY) Militia is exactly what I say it is--a draft pool used to supplement the organised militia.

We can then go to case law to see how the courts have addressed this concept:

U.S. v. Warin, 530 F.2d 103 (6th Cir.)
The fact that the defendant Warin, in common with all adult residents and citizens of Ohio, is subject to enrollment in the militia of the State confers upon him no right to possess the submachine gun in question. By statute the State of Ohio exempts "members of ... the organized militia of this or any other state, ..." (emphasis added) from the provision, "No person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any dangerous ordnance." Ohio Revised Code § 2923.17. "Dangerous ordnance" is defined to include any automatic firearm. O.R.C. § 2923.11. There is no such exemption for members of the "sedentary militia." Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence that a submachine gun in the hands of an individual "sedentary militia" member would have any, much less a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." Miller, supra, 307 U.S. at 178, 59 S.Ct. at 818. Thus we conclude that the defendant has no private right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment which would (p.107)bar his prosecution and conviction for violating 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).

United States v. Oakes, 564 F.2d 384, 387 (10th Cir.1977)
7...However, as in his search and seizure argument, appellant attempts to avoid the seemingly dispositive nature of the case law by arguing a factual distinction. He contends that, even if the second amendment is construed to guarantee the right to bear arms only to an organized militia, he comes within the scope of the amendment. He points out that under Kans.Const. art. VIII, § 1, the state militia includes all "able-bodied male citizens between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five years . . . ." He further points out that he is a member of "Posse Comitatus, a militia-type organization registered with the state of Kansas."

8. The purpose of the second amendment as stated by the Supreme Court in United States v. Miller, supra at 178, 59 S.Ct. 816, was to preserve the effectiveness and assure the continuation of the state militia. The Court stated that the amendment must be interpreted and applied with that purpose in view. Id. To apply the amendment so as to guarantee appellant's right to keep an unregistered firearm which has not been shown to have any connection to the militia, merely because he is technically a member of the Kansas militia, would be unjustifiable in terms of either logic or policy. This lack of justification is even more apparent when applied to appellant's membership in "Posse Comitatus," an apparently nongovernmental organization. We conclude, therefore, that this prosecution did not violate the second amendment.
US v. Rybar, 103 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 1996),
Rybar's invocation of this statute does nothing to establish that his firearm possession bears a reasonable relationship to "the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia," as required in Miller, 307 U.S. at 178, 59 S.Ct. at 818. Nor can claimed membership in a hypothetical or "sedentary" militia suffice. See United States v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016, 1020 (8th Cir.1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 997, 113 S.Ct. 1614, 123 L.Ed.2d 174 (1993); United States v. Oakes, 564 F.2d 384, 387 (10th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 1493, 55 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978); United States v. Warin, 530 F.2d 103, 106 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 948, 96 S.Ct. 3168, 49 L.Ed.2d 1185 (1976).
United States v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016, 1020 (8th Cir.1992)
Since the Miller decision, no federal court has found any individual's possession of a military weapon to be "reasonably related to a well regulated militia." "Technical" membership in a state militia (e.g., membership in an "unorganized" state militia) or membership in a non-governmental military organization is not sufficient to satisfy the "reasonable relationship" test. Oakes, 564 F.2d at 387. Membership in a hypothetical or "sedentary" militia is likewise insufficient. See Warin, 530 F.2d 103.
I repeat, legally, the fact that one is a member of the Sedentary, reserve, inactive, unorganised, general (or other term indicating INACTIVITY) Militia confers no rights or privileges.
This is why revisionist Second Amendment jurisprudence tries to remove the language:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,
from the process.

The Second Amendment is irrelevant to modern society ff one sees that the right to keep and bear arms is related to service in a well-regulated militia (that is the body established under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, and no other purpose, since no other purpose is explicitly mentioned in that text. Unless, it can be shown that there is "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia", the Second Amendment is irrelevant to the issue.

Swiss Myths continued - part deux (or for the gun zombies, part DUH!)

Swiss Myths: European History of WW II 101 - for the gullible, ignorant, fact-averse gun zombies

It is appalling that the gun lunatics are so very illiterate in history, but more pathetic is that they are willing to believe any tripe put in front of them that promotes their gun fantasy, their obsession with "must have guns" to the exclusion of all pertinent facts and critical thinking.

I have used the term fetish object - which refers to an object where the fetishist attributes powers and capabilities to objects that are unrealistic and unreasonable, even delusional, that exceed objective reality parameters, and that reflect an obsession. 

That fetish relationship obstructs rational thought, and apparently obstructs the ability of the gun loon/ gun zombie from accessing any facts which contradict the compulsive and irrational belief in what guns can do in real world situations.

So in confronting the idiocy of notions like the Japanese didn't plan to invade the mainland United States because of civilian guns, or the notion that Hitler and Mussolini weren't planning to invade Switzerland because they were afraid of the Swiss being armed, let me provide a much needed reality check -- and some WW II era European history.

I can rattle off, from my very excellent high school world history classes, a raft of reasons why Hitler didn't get around to finishing off the Swiss.  Fear of Swiss shooters was not on that list, because it doesn't belong there. 

As of 1943, as evidenced in primary source historic military memos, while it was thought in Nazi Germany that there would be losses involved, there was no FEAR of the Swiss military OR armed Swiss citizenry.  There WAS a fear of sabotage -- blowing up expensive and important infrastructure.
The Nazis in fact generated a plan back in the late 1930s for invading Switzerland, and as late in the war as 1943 the Nazis were making lists of who they would execute WHEN they got around to inading Switzerland.  And they had drawn up plans of partition with the Italians for who would get what parts of the country WHEN, NOT IF, that happened.

What stopped Germany from invading Switzerland was that they were losing the war on two fronts, and they no longer had the resources to do so -- but they still had the desire and intent to invade. 

What stopped Germany from invading Switzerland EARLIER, when they were still winning, was primarily money.  Because they were going to have Switzerland surrounded on all sides, early in the war, the Nazis were convinced they could easily invade and conquer Switzerland later, using a combination of invasion and seige warfare - starving them out over time, not only in the sense of food, but of other important resources in which the Swiss were not self-sufficient.

Wars are not won only by the kind of guns one can keep in private homes or carry.  Wars are won by the possession of war materials -- Switzerland lacked any petroleum industry, Switzerland lacked any rubber source - the Alps are not noted for their rubber plantations, and Switzerland lacked any substantial steel industry.

From the New York Times:
"In the whole of Switzerland there is only one workable deposit of iron ore, which supplies the material for a single blast furnace whose daily capacity is a couple of hundred tons."
Ground wars are all well and good, but a significant part of WW II was the air war.  Switzerland airspace was violated, per Wikipedia, 197 times by the Germans, and numerous times by the U.S. and allies.  The Swiss air force was small, and their planes were bought from Germany, not made in Switzerland. any resistance by the Swiss Air Force took place, WHERE do you think their replacement parts were coming from?  WHERE do you think they were planning on getting their replacement aircraft?  And given the small size and difficult terrain, where do you think their replacement pilots were going to be trained?

Even if you posit that the Swiss could reverse engineer their own manufacture of replacement parts, or entire replacement planes (you have to construct what the pilots know how to fly) - what do you gun zombies think they would make those parts or planes out of -- swiss cheese instead of steel or aluminum? 

Aluminum is made of Bauxite, and in case your education did not include basic geography - note, Switzerland is conspicuously NOT on this list:
Resources of bauxites, the raw material for aluminium, are not widespread throughout the world. There are only seven bauxite-rich areas: Western and Central Africa (mostly, Guinea), South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname), the Caribbean (Jamaica), Oceania and Southern Asia (Australia, India), China, the Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey) and the Urals (Russia).
The glimmer of understanding should be flickering about now -- Swizterland did not have the resources or the manpower to repel a German invasion, their guns and military not withstanding.  To believe that the posseession of firearms intimidated the Germans not to invade is incredibly stupid and ignorant.

But lets look at the assumptions about Germany invading Switzerland a little closer, courtesy of the web site History of Switzerland, Switzerland's Role in WW II:

Economic dependency

A small but industrialized country with virtually no raw materials

Switzerland's industry always depended to an extraordinary extent on exporting machinery, watches, chemicals and pharmaceutics. The high population density, hard conditions for agriculture especially in the alpine region and a scarcity on raw materials are responsible for a notorious deficit in food production and a notorious trade deficit. During the 20th century tourism, transport services andfinancial services (banking and insurance) had to provide for a favourable balance of payments. During World War II imports fell from 30 % of the net national product (average value at the end of the 1920's and again during the 1950's) to 9 %, exports from 25% to 9% and tourism to almost zero.(Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland - World War II, final report, p. 55-58)

In real estate, and in world geography

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hypocrisy and Lies of the Right on Obama and Immigration- Jon Stewart Shoots the Fox
(the media vermin kind, not the cute puppet or wildlife varety)

Did you happen to notice how the right edits things on a regular basis so as to misrepresent the content?

Seriously, it has become their standard operating procedure, even before it was notorious by sleazy weasel James O'Keefe. 

Did anyone else happen to notice that when the opposition has to LIE like this, they clearly must be losing, must be utterly without a valid point or facts supporting their side? 

If the right didn't have racism and bigotry working for them, if they gave up deception like what is spotlighted here, it is hard to know what else they WOULD have.

Joe the Plumber Proves He's Dumber --- and Ill Educated besides

Joe the Plumber is trying to get attention for his blatant stupidity - AGAIN.

The man is an embarassment to this nation, to our values, to our education system, and to our politics.  The right should kick his sorry media-whoring ass to the curb.

But they won't.  Sam Wurzlebach, the not Joe-not-a-plumber, is repeating that lie that the right likes to promote, regardless of the apparent stupidity and  obvious falsehood on the face of it.  This can only appeal to the ignorant, and those who are incapable of rational thought.  This personifies the most stupid of revisionst history attempts.

Dumbass Joe/ Sam wants us to believe, wants to pander to, those who think that owning hand guns and hunting rifles and shotguns could have stopped the Nazis. 

The Nazis prevailed because they garnered the same kinds of support as our modern tea party, the support of an angry, and not paticularly involved or educated society that played to emotions like anti-semitism and other racism.

If you really are foolish enough to believe that the presence of civilian guns would have been sufficient, given the early successes of the Nazi military, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with some of their victories over entire armies of people who were younger, more fit, better armed and better trained and more experienced that did not prevail over the Nazis.  This is an excellent site for outlining that REAL history of events:

World War Two - German/Axis Successes and Failures

Britain?s policy of appeasement had failed to stop Hitler. Hitler invaded Poland on 1st September 1939 and Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. However, there was little fighting for the first six months of the war and this period is known as 'the phoney war'.

There were two sides in World War Two
Axis Powers - Germany, Italy, Japan
Allied Powers - Britain, France, Soviet Union
The years 1939-1942 saw a string of victories for the Axis powers:
  1. September 1939 - Germany invaded and occupied Poland.
  2. April/May 1940 - Germany invaded and occupied Denmark and Norway.
  3. 10th May 1940 - Hitler launched a Blitzkrieg against Holland and Belgium. Both countries were occupied.
  4. 19th May 1940 - British troops were pushed back to the beach at Dunkirk and had to be rescued by British boats.
  5. 22nd June 1940 - France was occupied by Germany.
  6. Early 1941 - Germany and Italy attacked and had successes in Yugoslavia, Greece and North Africa.
  7. 22nd June 1941 - Germany attacked Russia (Operation Barbarossa) and had made some gains.
The notion of a false, pseudo-history of cherry picked information and tacky and belligerant right wing mythology appeals to those who have delusions about firearms generally, and their abilities with them specifically. 

I have yet to see any modern example where a disorganized bunch of civilians, or a militia, armed with handguns and hunting equipment, were effective in preventing a genocide, or the seizing of power by a dictator, who are usually supported by a military coup.

Not Joe Not a real Plumber is appealing to the idiots on the right who suffer from delusions of the gun zombies and the ignorant right wing nuts silly fantasies.

Were you asleep Alito????

Or do I need to go back to why I started blogging as my dog??? Reminding you of what went on in US v. Rybar, 103 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 1996)???:

Rybar's reliance on Miller is misplaced. The language Rybar cites is taken from the following passage:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.
307 U.S. at 178, 59 S.Ct. at 818.
We note first that however clear the Court's suggestion that the firearm before it lacked the necessary military character, it did not state that such character alone would be sufficient to secure Second Amendment protection. In fact, the Miller Court assigned no special importance to the character of the weapon itself, but instead demanded a reasonable relationship between its "possession or use" and militia-related activity. Id.; see Cases v. United States, 131 F.2d 916, 922 (1st Cir.1942) (susceptibility of firearm to military application not determinative), cert. denied, 319 U.S. 770, 63 S.Ct. 1431, 87 L.Ed. 1718 (1943). Rybar has not demonstrated that his possession of the machine guns had any connection with militia-related activity. Indeed, as noted above, Rybar was a firearms dealer and the transactions in question appear to have been consistent with that business activity.
So, Sammy, what changed the law allowing for a reinterpretation of Miller?

Even more ridiculous, how can something which refers to Congress's power under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 apply to the states?

How could you attach your name to such pieces of bullshit as the Heller-McDonald decisions?

Syria's victims

I'm sure that my comment that untrained civvies with guns make up the bulk of the body count in Syria will generate some comments.

I defer to this article: Syria crisis: Counting the victims:
The movement of foreign media and independent human rights organisations has been severely curtailed within the country, making the verification of casualty figures almost impossible.

Recently, the presence of UN monitors has provided another source of information - as with the massacre in the village of Taldou near Houla - but for the most part, the outside world has been reliant on casualty figures supplied by opposition activists.

Syrian government sources and the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency Agency (Sana) have been issuing casualty figures for specific events, but official estimates of the overall death toll have been more sporadic.

Pet Foxes

I have this thing for canids. And with there being a load of wild foxes running about these parts...

A theory

I have this theory which I can't really prove, but I would like to throw out for someone to look into:

The rise of the lunatic right in the US and the deinstutionalisation of the mentally ill.

First off, the world view of the lunatic right doesn't coincide with the rest of thee world's conservatives: e.g., UK tories have no problem with climate change, gun control, and quite a few other issues which are spanners in the political works in the US (wedge issues? political footballs?).

I find people like Michael Portillo and Ken Clarke can be quite lucid most of the time, but they can come up with some real zingers (e.g., Ken Clarke making a comment about how much we earn with Legal Aid).

And I make no bones about it that Margaret Thacher was an effective PM.

Disclaimer--most of the traffic on my blog comes from Michael Portillo's personal website. Portillo Served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet as well as John Major's.

More on hoplophobia

It was made up by Jeff Cooper who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the combat mindset. So, is he saying that we shouldn't be concerned if we see someone carrying a firearm? I think this goes to point of VPC's study Unintended Consequences where Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-defence. In other words, the candid voices of pro-handgun experts and exposes through expert opinion the gun industry's lies about the illusory benefits of handguns for self-defence.

First off, this “condition is not recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (AKA DSM). It is probably unlikely to be recognised as a condition as well, despite the efforts of the people who like to use this terms efforts to get it in there. This would be due to the fact that most of the medical community is aware that the risk of harm from pistols and revolvers that is demonstrated year after year in America's unparalleled handgun death and injury rates.

Irrational Fear? This term came from Jeff Cooper the person who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the colour coded combat mindset. The first two rules of gun safety are:
  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
Rule number 2 is the most important for this critique since it concedes that guns are destructive devices. Unfortunately, the fact that guns when used properly can cause serious injury or death is one of the things the folk who tend to use this term would prefer to neglect—in particular, the person who created the term.

Is he saying that we see someone we don't know carrying a firearm and not see the possibility of a threat? Is he saying that guns don't deserve at least a shred of respect for their capacity to cause injury or death?

Spot the inconsistency!

Before I leave this, I should say that no one has addressed Cooper's inconsistencies in that he has his little colour coded combat mindset and points out that guns are indeed lethal, or at least destructive with his four rules of gun safety.


He would call people who are concerned about those who would carry firearm in a civilian setting hoplophobes.

Instead he wants people to walk around in condition white about someone carrying a deadly weapon:

"Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."

But the ultimate absurdity is that Cooper taught COMBAT firearms use. In fact, the colour coded mindset was expounded upon in a book called Principles of Personal Defense and refers to the states of awareness in combat, or the combat mindset

People who have served in the military, especially in combat arms and are quite used to the presence of weapons know the difference between war zones and civilian life. Being in the military is different from being in a civilian population. And that is a rational consideration, not mental illness. The civilian environment does not have life threatening danger around every corner. It is not a combat zone.

Civilian life is not combat. You would have thought a battle hardened marine like Cooper would have caught on to that fact. One usually does not encounter weapons in a Civil Society which is at peace.

So,which is it, are you tryiing to create a society where it is considered normal to be in a combat state of awareness?

Or do you live in a society where there is peace and laws?

Seriously--how stupid are gun loons?

Definition of UNORGANIZED : not organized : lacking order or coherence
The free dictionary:
Adj. 1. unorganised - not having or belonging to a structured wholeunorganised - not having or belonging to a structured whole; "unorganized territories lack a formal government"
unstructured - lacking definite structure or organization; "an unstructured situation with no one in authority"; "a neighborhood gang with a relatively unstructured system"; "children in an unstructured environment often feel insecure"; "unstructured inkblots"
2. unorganised - not affiliated in a trade union; "the workers in the plant were unorganized"
nonunionised, nonunionized, unorganized
nonunion - not belonging to or not allowing affiliation with a trade union; "nonunion carpenters"; "a nonunion contractor"
Seriously, how can something without structure be useful?

REPEAT: "The Sedentary, reserve, inactive, unorganised, general (or other term indicating INACTIVITY) Militia"

It is precisely that.

The concept is to show that this body is not active.

Being a part of it grants you no rights or privileges.
Active Militias, that is THE organised, enrolled, embodied, active (or other term signifying active) Militia, can be supplemented if necessary by the ballot (selection by lot)--in other words drafted from the Unorganised militia draft pool.

The term "unorganized" did not begin to emerge until the 1830s and 1840s, when a massive wave of opposition destroyed the compulsory militia system. Nobody wanted to serve in the militia. State governors and legislators wanted to be able to accommodate this desire, but they were bound by the 1792 Uniform Militia Act, which stated that every white male aged 18-45 would be in the militia.

Militia service was so unpopular that Delaware abolished its militia system altogether in 1831. Massachusetts eliminated compulsory service in 1840, followed by Maine, Ohio, Vermont in 1844, Connecticut and New York in 1846, Missouri in 1847, and New Hampshire in 1851. Indiana classified its militia according to age in 1840, and exempted all but the young men from service. New Jersey withdrew the right to imprison a man for failure to pay a militia fine in 1844; Iowa did the same in 1846, Michigan in 1850, and California in 1856." - Mahon, John K, The History of the Militia and the National Guard, p. 83

Not a good situation if you were a supporter of the militia system (as opposed to a professional military).

However, the 1792 Uniform Militia Act explicitly allowed the states to determine who was exempt from militia service. So states divided their militias into two sections, the "organized" militia and the "unorganized" militia. In this way, the letter, though not the spirit, of the 1792 law could be complied with. However, only the "organized" militia would have responsibilities. These people would be volunteers, people who actually wanted to perform militia service; they gradually evolved into the National Guard. These people would have uniforms, guns, and would drill, review and encamp.

The other people were the people who did NOT want to be in the militia. Accordingly, members of the "unorganized" militia were NOT supposed to perform any duty or carry any weapons or have any responsibilities. All that would remain was the nominal authority of the state over them for military manpower purposes. This group of people had no militia responsibilities at all (in some areas they had to register, like for the draft today). In this way states could flaunt the spirit of the 1792 Uniform Militia Act, while nominally keeping to the letter of it.

The term "unorganized militia" was kept in use in subsequent decades as a statutory "reminder" that the state could still obligate its citizens to perform military duty, should it ever want them to. Eventually, U.S. law in the early twentieth century picked up this same usage for the same reason: by creating the "unorganized militia," the United States could guarantee usage of this manpower for military purposes, should the (remote) need ever arise.

Joseph Story noted the dislike for militia discipline in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution (3:§ 1890) :
And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
REPEAT TO REINFORCE THE MESSAGE: a category was created to keep the letter of the law, but not its spirit--The Unorganised, Sedentary, reserve, etcetera militia.

So, being in the "unorganized militia" conveys to you no rights, only the possibility of responsibilities. All it means is that you belong to that class of the militia which has no responsibilities. Being in the unorganized militia allows you to do not a single thing, because only the state and federal governments can create (working together) active militia systems. To date, their interest in doing so has largely concentrated on the National Guard.

Again, let me emphasize that there is not a single right guaranteed to you by virtue of your being in the unorganized militia.

The militia system intended by the framers is utterly defunct nowadays, the Pseudo Second Amendment "militia" advocates have seized upon the phrase "unorganized militia" in the US regulations. The subtle rhetoric trick here is to claim the "unorganized militia", (a term simply meaning eligible citizens) is the same as the "organized militia" (a term meaning amateur army) - EXCEPT when it comes to any State and Federal controls. They thus try to have it both ways, all the good things about the term (military connotations), without any of the restraints implied (government authority). However, it's very much an invention without any basis in fact. They just hope no-one in the audience knows enough history to call them on it, and they're often right.

But the propaganda here has it exactly backwards. The whole "unorganized militia" aspect was a much later legislative maneuver for people to GET OUT of the real (i.e. "organized") militia, akin to say getting out of the draft by being shuffled into a "reserve draft" category. It was for people to escape the conscription-like service requirements, not a license for private paramilitary groups. The structural details of the militia system were concerned with the extremely difficult task of funding and running an effective military without having a large standing army, and had nothing to do with individual gun rights. "Unorganized militia" in modern terms was more a draft-dodging loophole, not a Rambo clause.

It's something like if during the Vietnam War, people could get out of the draft by merely going into the "unorganized draft", which was supposed to come forth if the US was invaded by Vietnam. Formally, if you read that many decades later, you might naively think it actually implied some military service, whereas knowing the historical background gives it a very different aspect.

This whole "unorganized militia" banner is a bit like people calling themselves "draft dodgers", and then claiming veteran's preference because they've been part of a "dodged draft". The word simply means the opposite of what they think it means.

The whole point of creating an unorganized militia was so that the majority of citizens would have no militia responsibilities at all. This is not a big secret that I somehow uncovered; it has been well known among military historians for ages.

For a good reference see: MILITIA - HISTORY AND LAW FAQ

Some standard works on the militia and the American military are:

  • Cress, Lawrence Delbert Cress. Citizens in Arms: The Army and the Militia in American Society to the War of 1812
  • Cunliffe, Marcus, Soldiers and Civilians: The Martial Spirit in America, 1775-1865
  • Mahon, John K, The History of the Militia and the National Guard
  • Millett, Allan R. & Maslowski, Peter, For The Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of American: Revised Edition
  • Riker, William H, Soldiers of the States
  • One of the few Law Review articles discussing the historical militia is "The Militia Clause of the Constitution" by Frederick Wiener 54 Harvard Law Review 181(1940).
  • See also Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter I (Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth), PART I: 16-27 (Of the Expence of Defence) for a critique of the miltia system from 1775.
  • Also, David Chandler & Ian Beckett, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (ISBN: 978-0198691785) has a section on the Amateur Military Tradition (I.E., the Militia).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is this the militia?

Joe Blogs, a dual US-UK citizen is a member of the Rifles, which is a direct descendant of the Royal American Regiment, which was created in 1756 as the 62nd (Royal American) Regiment to defend the thirteen colonies against attack by the French and their native American allies.

This predates the constitution. It also fought on the Loyalist side during the War for Independence.

Does he count as being a member of the Militia for Second Amendment purposes? Seriously, wouldn't this regiment count as being the militia?

Likewise, does a member of the crips or other street gang count as the militia for Second Amendment purposes?

What makes one a militia under the Constitution? Wouldn't it require being formed under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Bad Habit - Offspring

Hey man you know I'm really okay
The gun in my hand will tell you the same
But when I'm in my car
Don't give me no crap
Cause the slightest thing and I just might snap
When I go driving I stay in my lane
But getting cut off makes me insane
I open the glove box
Reach inside
I'm gonna wreck this fucker's ride
I guess I got a bad habit
Of blowin' away
Yeah I got a bad habit
And it ain't goin' away Yeah
Well they say the road's a dangerous place
If you flip me off I'm the danfer you'll face
You drive on my ass
Your foot's on the gas
And your next breath is your last
Drivers are rude
Such attitudes
But when I show my piece
Complaints cease
Something's odd
I feel like I'm God
You stupid dumb shit goddamn motherfucker
I open the glove box
Reach inside
I'm gonna wreck this fucker's ride

An interesting observation

Since I don't make my internet searches from the US, I've found that I get more balanced results and more factually accurate information when I look up topics relating to firearms issues.

US searches tend to repeat the same misinformation bouncing around in the internet echo chamber.

For people who criticise about posting other people material, I find US gun bloggers do that quite a bit.

Why do you have to leave the US to see a proper debate about gun control in the US?

UK media have better debate on the topic (although still misinformed about what the Second Amendment is really about. Hint: it has nothing to do with gun rights)



Russell Brand and the Dalai Lama at the Manchester Arena last weekend:

The Dalai Lama, on a ten-day tour of Britain to share his Buddhist message of peace and understanding, told the audience of under-25s "The 21st century belongs to you... You are the main people who really create the better shape of the world so therefore I think quite certain this century can be more pleasant, more peaceful and more equal."