Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The First Amendment is Dead - And It's Taking the Second

It's almost a cliche' that freedom of speech is only important when the speech is offensive.  Don't know about you, but leftist loonies have been telling me that every time they dump a crucifix in urine or drop poop on a portrait of the Virgin Mary - roughly once a week - for 40 years now.  The other day, there was a case here in Florida about the free speech rights of a guy publishing an instruction manual for pedophiles.  All the usual left wing-nuts were defending him.   

Be aware that you don't have freedom of speech if you're not a statist.

One of my regular reads is "Dispatches from TJICistan" - but don't bother clicking, it has been taken down.  It seems the town of Arlington, Mass., has shut down his blog, confiscated his weapons, and confiscated his carry permit after they learned of a blog posting of his entitled "1 down, 534 to go" after the Tucson shooting.  They probably seized his computers, although the article doesn't say so.  It concludes:

Corcoran, who has no criminal history, has not been arrested and does not face any charges. Arlington police saying they are working with the Capitol Police in their investigation, and members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have been alerted.
TJC is Travis Corcoran, a guy who has written for Fine Woodworking Magazine, and blogs on a variety of topics including woodworking, mastering the lathe, fine cooking, interesting oddities of the English language, his study of classical guitar, and other things that interest him.  Since I also happen to be interested in all of those things, he's a natural to go read.  He also writes from the same "small 'L' libertarian" perspective that most of my regular reading list does, and that I do. 

When I first read the posting that caused all this, I was a bit taken aback, but in the days that followed he stated clearly where he was coming from, that he does not advocate shooting politicians, he does not think that a civil war or revolution is necessary, but that there are times when this is reasonable.  The founding fathers, after all, were in armed rebellion against the legal government they were living under, right?  They were British citizens shooting British citizens.  Unless you are of the belief that no system of government is ever so oppressive or so tyrannical as to need to be overthrown, you must agree that this is not an unreasonable opinion.  He also said that he had intended that more as a joke, and who among us has never said something stupid that "went over like a lead balloon". 

Borepatch, as usual, brings teh smart to the story (and generated the graphic for free distribution).  
Let's ignore for the moment how many people were investigated for making similar comments about George W. Bush.  Let's look at the "logic" being exercised by the Arlington Po-Po, shall we?

They claim that Corcoran is so dangerous that, while he has done nothing more than put up a blog post, he must be restrained from possessing firearms.  However, it appears that it's not worth it for the police to follow him, or stake out his place, or arrest him.


Look, guys, if you think that his speech rises to the level of an actual threat of specific harm to specific persons, he should be in jail.  If you're not sure, then do the leg work to establish whether it is or not.
Borepatch's piece is worth your time to read.  I don't know how worthwhile it would be for people to write the Arlington police or his representatives.  Given today's climate, it would probably just get the same treatment for you.

As Arctic Patriot says, "Resist".


  1. What the hell are we going to do about this? Just allow it? If we ever needed proof that the right wing is the reasonable wing.. just imagine how many lefties would be out in the streets with signs if the sides were flipped.

  2. Thanks Graybeard.

    ColdFusion, what we do is keep winning. The bun banners are paniced - they see that they're losing, losing, losing. Post Heller/McDonald, this is the next legal frontier.

    I moved away from Massachusetts before their stupid "shall issue" licenses got struck down - hasn't happened yet - but it will be. This sort of thing is what will get it struck down.

    We're seeing most of the country go to Shall Issue, and the rest will be forced there soon. We're seeing more and more states considering legal Open Carry.

    We need to keep them on the run. This is what winning looks like.

  3. Amazing. The Left can talk about killing Bush, raping and killing Palin, but this guy on the Right talks about what has already happened to a politician (even though most of us wish it hadn't to this particular politician) and he loses his guns and gets investigated? How many of us have talked about 535 politicians at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay as being a "good start", about "taking one hundred heads", about what a great book Unintended Consequences is?

    Even if this guy was actually advocating violence, what the HELL do they think Jefferson was talking about when he said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." ?

    We have indeed lost the First Amendment, and it looks like we might soon have to exercise the Second before we lose them all. A lot rides on whether or not this Congress can stop the bleeding - the bleeding of our Constitution - before it dies completely. Because when the Constitution no longer protects us from our government, we will have to start protecting ourselves.

  4. BTW, if you are a member of the gun culture and/or love liberty, read Unintended Consequences. Long, with a fair amount of history on the gun culture, but you'll be glad you hung in there when you get to the last third or so of the book. It is out of print, and the publisher does not respond at all to requests for more copies to purchase, so feel free to download it here. It's legal and cheaper than the $100+ being asked at Amazon and Alibris for existing hardcopies:

  5. Explain to me how when the Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina says "“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.”

    Or when the President says “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."

    I am supposed to know that is hyperbole, and political rhetoric. And not to be taken seriously.

    But when a blogger says the same he is now the subject of an investigation and he has property confiscated without Due Process. Investigated as a "possible threat" or "inciting violence".

    How the F* does that work?

    A blogger with very little readership in the grand scheme of things can mobilize more than the President? Should be taken more seriously than the Deputy Chief of Staff?


  6. Post added at my blog, for what its worth. This makes me angry. Maybe if we can get enough echo through the blogosphere we can make a few more people see where this is headed. As long as the levers of power exist, the statists will always wrest control them. This is the kind of stuff that we're not voting our way out of, I'm afraid.

  7. Reg T brings up a good point about the book "Unintended Consequences" and I recommend anyone who hasn't read it should. In a strange sort of coincidence, thanks to this blog, I've been able to reconnect with a friend of about 20 years. He gave me a copy of the original book some time ago, and I read it on my iPhone. I have to say there were times when I asked myself "where on Earth is he going with this?" as the story developed, but it's a good story.

    My all time favorite quote from the world of science goes, "Prediction is very hard - especially about the future" (Nils Bohr, BTW). Whether the constitution bleeds out first or the economy collapses first, or if they all crash together, I couldn't say. Some unpleasant history is definitely on the way, though.

    Chris K, I think the difference is that the DHS and the DOJ have been beating on the "Right wing extremist" drum so long and so hard that Kim Jung (Mentally) Ill could wander into downtown San Francisco with a nuke under his arm and no one would so much as glance, but let one blogger make an unfortunate joke and it's off to death penalty time.

  8. Reg T said "when the Constitution no longer protects us from our government, we will have to start protecting ourselves."

    When the Constitution no longer protects us from Government, it also no longer protects Government from us.

  9. Newbius,

    Treat me like a criminal, don't be surprised when I start acting like one.

    I agree 100%

    They miss the fundamental point of these statements.

    An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.

    Or the Tree of Liberty quote.

  10. God this is so creepy. I don't even know where to start.

    Maybe with planning the move to Canada.