We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our citizens and take from them what the Bill of rights — in particular Amendment II — has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”

- The Utah Sheriff’s Association

(H/T, Unforseen Contingencies blog)

46 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • They are not the first – it is spreading. Good.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    This is why I love America. As a country it still has some balls.

    I’m working on a job application for a position in Tennessee right now.

  • kentuckyliz

    This sheriff is not alone. Many sheriffs have said the same thing.

    Tennessee is awesome. No state income tax! And it has Nashville, Hollywood’s fat sister. And it has the beauty of Eastern Tennessee and the Smokies. I heart Oak Ridge (the Secret City of WWII Manhattan Project and still a major nuclear research place).

  • I’m sure one can do better than Tennessee (cue in Paul Marks with his upsetting facts), but I’m sure one can do much worse as well. Good luck, JV.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Would that we had a few such clear thinkers and clear speakers in the Old Country.

    We might not now be enmeshed in the ghastliness of the EU.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    For everyone’s information, the Utah Sheriff’s Association is apparently a real group which has been around since at least 1997, with 29 Sheriffs in it. Since there are only 29 counties in Utah, it’s coverage is 100%.

    In other words, it’s not somebody in his mom’s cellar issuing a press release.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    One quibble: the Bill of Rights doesn’t ‘give’ rights (“…what the Bill of rights — in particular Amendment II — has given them.“), it guarantees natural (AKA ‘God given’) rights against government infringement.

  • Paul Marks

    Alisa – I do not have later figures than 2010 (see the Tax Foundation), but I think that Tennessee is 46 or 47 highest taxed State (so even lower taxed than Texas).

    It is a Right To Work State (so people are not forced to join unions if they do not want to) And is generally fine (outside the big cities of course – if you want a State that is all fine, you have to head to a place without big cities).

    Of course it is in the United States – and is dragged down by the vast weight of the unconstitutionally bloated Federal government.

    Athens Tennessee has a remarkable recent history – hat tip to Julie-near-Chicago.

    “But without the Feds there would be no TVA”.

    Oh fiddlesticks – only government can build dams and build power stations?

    If daddy does not buy you a hat, you let your ears freeze – is that it?

  • Thanks, Paul – so it’s even better than I imagined. It is quite beautiful, too.

  • Paul Marks

    Just stay away from major cities – and all will be well.

  • Steven

    “But without the Feds there would be no TVA”.

    Oh fiddlesticks – only government can build dams and build power stations?

    If daddy does not buy you a hat, you let your ears freeze – is that it?

    Is this case, yes. Before FDR and the Alphabet Agencies went to work, there was no infrastructure in rural TN to put in all those wonderful powerplant and dams. It’s kind of hard to put up a dam and where there are no roads to get to the dam site. It wasn’t like the power companies did not see dollar signs in rural TN, but the cost to get the infrastructure in place just to begin the dam and powerplants was too much to move the project foward. Some rural areas might still be in the dark if the private market was left to do everything.

    Say what you want about how horrible and evil FDR was, but the Alphabet Agencies laid a lot of the groundwork that the country needed and that Big Business just had no interest in doing.

  • Laird

    Steven, that may all be so, but it is beside the point. If parts of TN were still without electricity today, people simply wouldn’t live there (or would be living there by choice, with full knowledge that they’d have produce their own power or do without). If “the cost to get the infrastructure in place just to begin the dam and powerplants was too much to move the project foward”, that’s just the market’s way of telling you that the project shouldn’t be undertaken. Taxing the vast majority of people merely to provide benefits to a tiny minority is simply wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    Never heard of “micro generation” Steven?

    And Laird is right – it is not the job of taxpayers to put every isolated rural community on a massive “grid” – even if this is automatically a good thing (which it is not).

    As for roads – no I do not believe in the corporate welfare of “free” government roads.

    If Ford and General Motors wanted “free” roads – they should have paid for them themselves.

    Otherwise – tolls.

    “The country needed” – so the country needed to be KEPT IN DEPRESSION by all the wild government spending.

  • Steven

    The country was kept in depression by FDR’s meddling in business and economic regulation, not by infrastructure improvements, which put millions of people back to work around the nation.

    We’re not talking about a few people who are living in a shack in the middle of Idaho. THere were millions of Americans in something like seven states that were directly impacted by the TVA, which was more than simply dams and energy. Roads, schools, hospitals, navigable waterways improvements, were all pieces of that whole program. Big Business had no interest in rural America, which was in third world conditions. If the market won’t, don’t complain when the government will.

  • If the market won’t, don’t complain when the government will.

    Yep. My way and the highway.

  • Mr Ecks

    Steven: When the govt does its “miracles”with its own money, not money stolen from us (by taxation/borrowing/currency debasement)then you can run your salute up the flagpole.

  • Steven

    Laird wrote:

    Steven, that may all be so, but it is beside the point. If parts of TN were still without electricity today, people simply wouldn’t live there (or would be living there by choice, with full knowledge that they’d have produce their own power or do without). If “the cost to get the infrastructure in place just to begin the dam and powerplants was too much to move the project foward”, that’s just the market’s way of telling you that the project shouldn’t be undertaken. Taxing the vast majority of people merely to provide benefits to a tiny minority is simply wrong.

    That’s a fine philosophical position, but it doesn’t hold up in reality.

    Let’s pretend there is no government assistance coming. The people can either do without power and plumbing or move to where those things exist, namely cities. So we have a major influx of mostly unskilled labor moving into places like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Los Angeles, and so on. It’s still the Depression years, so jobs are already scarce. Our influx of massive amounts of people A) drives down the pervailing wages because now there are more workers for fewer jobs. That whole supply and demand thing at work. B) the new people tax existing resources driving up prices. Again S&D. That might be made up for with things like more clothing and food to supply the demand and ultimately drive down prices, but housing will still be elevated for a long time. So for the people who are already making less money because of the flooded job market, we now have higher prices for everything to boot.

    Then there are the increased usage of city resources. Roads, buses, police, fire, parks, etc. now have more users. Since we can’t increase local taxes, namely because taxes are evil plus the unemployed can’t pay anyhow, these services just keep having less and less ability to keep up with the demand for those services. Crime goes up, parks fall into disrepair, buses get more crowded, it takes longer for the fire department to show up, you get the picture. So we have less money locally because of the falling wages and higher costs and now we have city services in jeopardy of falling apart. And then there are the charities that are even more pressed due to larger numbers of the unemployed and underpaid.Soup kitchens and churches can only do so much in the first place and now there is even more demand for their limited resources.

    This isn’t some hypothetical either. With the Dust Bowl years, the midwest emptied out for the cities and all those conditions existed. The same thing happened with the Black Migration from places like Alabama to places like Detroit and Pittsburgh that were factory and foundery towns. Go back and look at the economic data from major cities during the 1930s. Prices skyrocketed, What employment there was plummeted. Screw over the urban areas or improve the rural areas. Which is the lesser of two evils?

    Let’s not overlook the fact that people turned to the goverment to do these things because the private sector either could not or would not do them. The Panic of 1908 was only 21 years earlier, the economic downturn around WW1, the numerous labor strikes (there were reasons for the strikes and unions after all and not all of them were over money), all of these things were recent. The private sector was forced into things like the Federal Reserve, the FDA, OSHA, and the Labor Act because they had done nothing to fix the problems themselves. It’s not like the establishment of government agencies to clean up the messes of the market that the market ignores is a totally unforeseen outcome. Bank fails and some normal persons’ life savings are wiped out? Shrug your shoulders. More banks fail, more people lose their savings? Eh, do nothing. Still more banks fail and more total loses? What do you mean there’s a Federal Reserve and FDIC? That’s unfair! Hoover and Wall Street had three years to try to do something to get the market going again. They couldn’t pull it off, so is it any real surprise FDR beat Hoover? Saying there shouldn’t be taxes to pay for rural improvements (that means employment and needed income) for some nebulous philosophical reasons or that the market will eventually get around to fixing the problems it created is of cold comfort to someone who lost his job months ago and can’t find one and is watching his children be evicted. People’s lives are more than just an entry on a spreadsheet, regardless of what some economist might think.

    I don’t think government should be involved in most of what it is involved in, but I also don’t think that the free market is the end all be all of solutions. The free market has made some very real mistakes and been involved in some very shady business over the years that disasterously affected the lives of a whole lot of normal folks. It is very shortsighted to think that the government is evil but the organs of the free market will somehow be pure as the driven snow. History proves otherwise. I’m not calling for Communism or anything of the sort, but kind of a market that has zero government involvement is no different than any other kind of a market; it looks great on paper but when put to the real world test it fails to work. If the free market can’t or won’t then the people will push for government.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    a market that has zero government involvement is no different than any other kind of a market

    Steven there has never been such a market, so how could we know?

    Throughout all of the modern era governments have brutally restricted markets making them by definition unfree.

    The closest that we have come to a truly free market was Hong Kong from the 1950′s through to the handover to the Chinese.

    And their economy was just a total disaster eh?

  • Steven

    Somalia has zero government intervention in its market, given the near lack of government. I wouldn’t exactly call it thriving. Neither Yemen nor the Dem. Rep Congo have much government intervention. How are their economies?

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    They all have governments. They just don’t have successful government monopolies.

    There are several competing “governments” vying to be the ones who get to screw the population whenever they feel like it.

    Oddly enough though, in the areas where the various warlords do no have control you do get to see the benefits of an unencumbered market. Somalia for example has the best telecommunications infrastructure in Africa.

  • I see the classic Samizdatian tangential discussion here. A note about police refusing to enforce un-Constitutional federal laws in their respective states has devolved into hair-splitting discussions of angelic pin-head populations, as is so often the case.

    On the original topic: Sheriff Terry Box of Collin County, Texas has stated in the plainest possible terms that neither he nor his deputies will do anything to help the execrable federal gun-grab, whether registration, notification or confiscation of any kind of firearm. Yes, he’s my paisan (Plano is in Collin County) and yes, I did vote for him last November. Collin County is populous (Plano alone has over a quarter of a million residents), wealthy (EDS, JC Penney and Frito-Lay all have their respective headquarters here) and VERY conservative, as well as being very ethnically diverse. At a recent block party, a random poll showed that there might be only one household which doesn’t contain at least one gun, and Ann (my next-door neighbor) is a very old lady in any case, and we have all promised to “look after” her, as it were.

    It is, as they say, to laugh.

    Oh, and I seem to own several guns which would become illegal under Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed gun control bill.

    Molon labe, bitch. You’d have to get through our local police before you even got to me, and then…

  • Thomas

    Compare this with the ‘Obama Truth Squads’ of 2008, where district attorneys, Democratic sheriffs etc from Missouri and whereever else used their law enforcement offices to warn the hoi polloi not to make any false statements about their little tin god.

  • Richard Thomas

    Nashville Is Nowville…And Has Been For A While.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2013/01/23/nashville-is-nowville-and-has-been-for-a-while/

    Come on in, I’d say the water’s lovely but we’re landlocked. There are rivers and lakes though I guess. Just watch out for the allergies. Give me a shout when you know where you’re landing. Spring Hill is the current in-place if you like the suburbs but there’s a lot going on in Nashville if you’re more of an urbanite. If you’re more a compound-in-the-hills type, you can do that too. Personally, I like that the landscape is a lot like England with the green and the hills..

  • Paul Marks

    Steven – Somalia has a vast amount of government intervention, indeed there are several governments.

    This “Somalia is an example of anarchocapitalism” stuff is false.

  • Paul Marks

    Sorry – JV had already replied to Steven.

  • Paul Marks

    Steven – you appear to be unaware that Herbert Hoover was a wild spending (and wild regulating and taxing) Progressive.

    Read Bob Higgs (and many others) on the real story of the 1930s.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Richard,
    In the unlikely event I got the job it would be the Greeneville area. I’d say I fit the “compound in the hills” type, and Greene County looks like a good place for that.

    Even after getting a job there would be a long struggle involved to get a greencard. But even just being on a work visa, the US can be a good place to live.

    I may even be able to buy that gun I’ve wanted for so long, although as a legal alien I think I’d have to enroll in a hunter safety course before buying one. Unless Obama has closed this loophole since I last looked into it, that is. It’s weird – they don’t expect you to actually go hunting, just to go on the course and get the certificate. Then (after 90 days residency) you could walk into a gun shop and buy an AR15, a Glock .45 or a tactical 12 gauge.

    There’s only one creature you hunt with guns like that….

  • bloke in spain

    “I see the classic Samizdatian tangential discussion here. A note about police refusing to enforce un-Constitutional federal laws in their respective states has devolved into hair-splitting discussions of angelic pin-head populations, as is so often the case.”
    Academic libertarianism at it’s finest. Heaven forbid a comparison with the craven way government strictures are forced down throats, without resistance, this side of the pond. The difference between walking the libertarian walk & talking the libertarian talk.

  • Paul Marks

    bloke in spain

    What would you have me do – talk about people in Northamptonshire with undocumented firearms?

    I think the police might ask me a few questions (once I returned from Israel) if I did that.

    “Paul you are as weak as water”.

    Guilty as charged. I hide in holes like a hobbit.

  • jerry

    ‘There’s only one creature you hunt with guns like that…….’

    It’s late, I’m old and mentally slow at times but PLEASE tell me this is sarcasm….
    otherwise
    If you mean humans, you’re so far wrong, it laughable !!

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    It’s late, I’m old and mentally slow at times but PLEASE tell me this is sarcasm….
    otherwise
    If you mean humans, you’re so far wrong, it laughable !!

    Tounge in cheek perhaps. Not sarcasm.

    I’m well aware that many people hunt with AR15s. I suppose there’s no reason you couldn’t hunt with an 18″ 12 gauge although it is far from optimal. I also know some people favour .45 ACP was a hiking pistol, although I’ve not personally heard of someone actually intending to hunt with one.

    The point I was making is that these guns are designed primarily to deal with human threats, and I found it interesting that after giving you a hunting permit, the government made no effort to prevent you from purchasing weapons whose primary purpose was most definitely not hunting.

    Now you could argue that yes, they could indeed be used for hunting but that’s not what I was alluding to. What amazed me was that insofar as I could tell law enforcement in several states was quite happy for legal aliens to obey the letter of the law, and either turned a blind eye to or was completely indifferent to them not obeying the spirit of the law.

    Coming from where I do this attitude astonishes me.

  • mose jefferson

    My big move from Wretched Portland to Douglas County, Oregon last month was validated when my new sheriff issued a similar proclamation. At last I am home.

    Steven, you are very right that neither government nor the market can produce perfect and universal satisfaction of want. Such is life and scarcity. One of the two, however, does allow you to be free.

  • Paul Marks

    The problem with an AR15 (like most modern rifles) is small caliber bullets.

    If you are not going to be marching all day with it what does it matter if the civilian (semi automatic) versions of the FN FAL and G3 are heavy?

    The same with pistols.

    Does it really matter that a colt semiautomatic pistol (Colt 45 1911 – in production for over a hundred years) weighs a bit more than modern 9mm pistols?

    It will make a bigger holes in someone who has broken into your home.

  • Paul, I agree with you on rifles, but not on handguns – the former are not for carrying around in a civilian setting, the latter are.

  • Paul Marks

    True.

    After all – otherwise Mr Glock would not have made his fortune.

    Of course there are also some pretty automatic shotguns (for example the Korean one) – but we had better not “go there”.

  • Laird

    JV, it’s clear from your comment that you understand neither hunting nor gun ownership. The two are only distantly related. One gets a hunting license for a specific type of game: different ones for different seasons. And the purpose is both game management (ensuring that not too many deer, say, are killed in one year) and, of course, government revenue.

    As to gun ownership per se, there are many reasons for it and hunting is onely one. The purpose of the second amendment is not to protect our right to kill deer, but rather our right to kill politicians who become tyrants. An armed citizenry is the reason this country exists in the first place. And if it’s to remain free (or, rather, to regain the freedom we once enjoyed) it’s the only means of achieving that.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Laird I think you’ve rather missed the point I was making.

    Several states will allow legal resident non citizens to purchase firearms if they can produce a valid hunting permit (and sometimes a hunter safety certificate).

    Insofar as I can tell they are quite happy if these people then immediately go out and buy a shotgun/AR15/whatever for home defence and then never go hunting with it. Evidently the law as it stands is designed to prevent non citizens purchasing arms for any purpose other than “sporting”, and yet the authorities seem quite happy to allow people to tick some boxes to sidestep this.

    Now I’m not saying legal aliens should not be allowed guns for home defence. Indeed, if I do come across I fully intend to take advantage of this particular loophole in the law.

    What I find odd is taking legal steps to achieve a particular end, then expressing total indifference to its subversion. Why bother with the pretence in the first place?

  • bloke in spain

    JV
    Go back through your argument. The authorities have established the individual is a fit & proper person to possess a firearm. That is what the law requires. The law does not require the licensed person to either own a firearm or hunt. But whether he owns or not, hunts or not, he’s exactly the same person as if he did. A person adjudged to be fit & proper to possess a firearm to so if he wishes.
    Or are you suggesting the authorities should have the power to compel the person to hunt? By extension, possessing a driving license would oblige one to drive.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Or are you suggesting the authorities should have the power to compel the person to hunt?

    No.

    But what I’m suggesting is that presumably as a result of some wrangling on Capitol Hill they’ve passed a law than on the face of it prevents non-citizens from owning firearms for everything except hunting, and then they turn a blind eye while applications for a hunting permit become a defacto gun-fitness test for non citizens.

    It seems rather cumbersome and disingenuous. It seems bizarre for example that a person who is worried about a crack head kicking down his door has to go on a course that is going to teach him about how to use a tree stand safely, or the ethics of hunting deer humanely.

    It just seems that we have a law which is doing one thing, but has been designed to look as though it is doing something else entirely for the sake of political expediency.

    Although I wouldn’t complain about it too much personally. It’s a loophole that’s likely to be closed if too much attention is drawn to it, rather than a more honest and transparent mechanism being put in its place.

    And that would leave a great many residents of the US with no legal defence at all.

  • Richard Thomas

    I’m not aware of any requirement to take a hunting course here. Of course, I am a permanent resident which places me in a different category. I was just filling out the form for the background check today though and it did have a section for those who are here on non-immigrant visas. Presumably mostly aimed at those popping down from Canada for a bit of hunting.

    Then again, there’s always the so called “gun show loophole” which just means that the background check is not required for private sales. I have seen guns for sale at flea markets and there are websites that pick up the slack where Craigslist falls down.

  • Richard Thomas

    FWIW, I do know someone who hunts with a pistol. Though he’s actually an Australian.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    It varies from state to state, Richard.

    Those on work visas without greencards can normally only obtain guns by either

    1, Being a diplomat
    2, Being an invited foreign law enforcement officer
    3, Being in the country for a sporting event.

    It is the last category those on work visas frequently use to obtain guns. If you can show you have an invitation to a shooting competition, or a valid hunting permit, then you are allowed to purchase guns as long as you have been resident in your state for the required time. Some states also require you to take a hunter safety course (and some states require these anyway before issuing a permit).

    I believe some states don’t allow non greencarded immigrants to buy guns at all.

  • Paul Marks

    Richard – as you may well know…

    The S&W 50 cal revolver is actually more powerful than an Israeli Desert Eagle (although unlike the semiautomatic Desert Eagle, it only has a five bullets).

    One could blow a polar bear’s head off with it. So, yes, it is perfectly possible to hunt with a pistol – although the range is short.

  • Laird

    JV, not being an alien I’m unfamiliar with the rules you cite, so I’ll withdraw my objection to your observation. You could be right that it is an irrational subversion of the law. Or it could be an instance of local officials recognizing that the law is an ass (which it frequently is) and going through the legal motions while effectively (but passively) thwarting them. It would be nice to think that the latter is the case. There actually are a few bureaucrats who are good guys.

    Paul, I know people who hunt with pistols (as well as muzzle-loaders, AR15s, longbows and crossbows). I also know a fellow who hunts wild boars with only a large knife. He carries a pistol for snakes. And he is insane, but that’s beside the point.

  • bloke in spain

    JV
    Does it not occur, the law may have been specifically written like that? It’s not the UK*. A total ban is simply not viable. You only have to read some of the stuff from the pro-gun lobby. Making possession illegal would just mean firearms would be possessed illegally. So they’ve drafted a law favours those considered ‘fit & proper persons’ to deter those individuals from joining the illegal gun owners.

    *Down here in Spain I’m looking at the catalog from a company would sell me a 9mm Browning auto or a Ceska CZ858 Tactical. What some would describe as an assault rifle. Both available with possession of a hunting license. But the Spanish aren’t Brits. They seem to regard themselves as ‘fit & proper’ rather than dangerously unstable. Or, at least, those they elect do.