Since Feb 15, 1999
"A Man Is Never Dead Until He Is Forgotten"
Vietnam Advisory 1962-1965
Vietnam Defense 1965
Vietnam Counteroffensive 1965-1966
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Special Operations COMmand
" It wasn't me. I wasn't there. I didn't do that."
ICORPS, Phu Bai/Hue, SVN '65-'66
". . . to defend the Constitution of The United States of America against All Enemies, Both Foreign and Domestic.
So long as Americans can be convinced that they need to apply for a privilege to exercise a right they can expect to be denied their rights.
"Find out just what the people will submit to and you will have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
- Frederick Douglass
No constitutional right exists under the Ninth Amendment, or to any other provision of the Constitution of the United States, 'to trust the Federal Government and to rely on the integrity of its pronouncements.'"
- MAPCO, Inc. v Carter (1978, Em Ct App) 573 F2d 1268, cert den 437 us 904, 57 L Ed 2d 1134, 98 S Ct 3090.<p
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Henry Louis Mencken
It (the State) has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
Henry L. Mencken, 1926
"... the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. For the conclusion of this war (for Independence) we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."
Thomas Jefferson "Notes on Virginia,1791 "
Of Government Officials-
These men, in point of fact, are seldom if ever moved by anything rationally describable as public spirit; there is actually no more public spirit among them than among so many burglars or street-walkers. Their purpose, first, last and all the time, is to promote their private advantage, and to that end, and that end alone, they exercise all the vast powers that are in their hands.... Whatever it is they seek, whether security, greater ease, more money or more power, it has to come out of the common stock, and so it diminishes the shares of all other men. Putting a new job-holder to work decreases the wages of every wage-earner in the land... Giving a job-holder more power takes something away from the liberty of all of us....
We ought to have realized that the income tax is utterly incompatible with liberty it is actually a form of slavery. A slave is not someone with nothing, but someone denied control over the fruit of his labor. A slave is someone who has only what the master lets him have.
Under the income tax, the government takes whatever percentage of the earner's income it wants. The income tax therefore represents national surrender to the government of control over all the money we earn. There are, in principle, no restrictions to the preemptive claim of government upon our income.
There's an ancient idea that when a man travels, he doesn't go anywhere. Instead, he performs a series of actions that, if done in the proper sequence, will bring his destination to him.
I'm walking a path in the woods where I live. I concentrate on the act of walking while keeping in mind that I am stationary, that it is the world that is moving. After several tries, it works. I move my body in precise ways and watch the ground pass beneath me and trees and bushes move by me until the steps of my cabin come to me and touch my feet. Doing this can make you dizzy, but once this perspective is accepted, you are in the center of it, focused on what you are doing, now. Walking is no longer the same. Neither is life. You walk, wriggle, love, and cry, and the path moves by bringing your destination to you-if you make the right moves.
I must have made the right moves: I'm alive. I moved the controls of my helicopter in Vietnam in just the right ways. Missed thousands of bullets because I did something right, instinctively, at just the right moments. Made impossible unlighted landings into deep midnight jungles to rescue soldiers, succeeding, perhaps, because we-me, my crew, even my helicopter-were the results of another soldier's right moves to make the jungle go away, to survive. I have memories of others who made wrong moves, who were battered, burned, eviscerated in the war machine.
The war still rages on the far side of the planet.
I'm back in the world.
If I can just keep making the right moves
Chickenhawk: Back In The World -- Life After Vietnam
"Whenever legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience."
John Locke, 1690
Life is hard, its harder when your stupid
Is government sometimes useful?
So is a doctor. But suppose the dear fellow claimed the right, every time he was called in to prescribe for a bellyache or a ringing in the ears, to raid the family silver, use the family tooth-brushes, and execute the droit de seigneur upon the housemaid?
H. L. Mencken
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)
It is, perhaps, a fact provocative of sour mirth that the Bill of Rights was designed trustfully to prohibit forever two of the favorite crimes of all known governments: the seizure of private property without adequate compensation and the invasion of the citizen's liberty without justifiable cause.... It is a fact provocative of mirth yet more sour that the execution of these prohibitions was put into the hands of courts, which is to say, into the hands of lawyers, which is to say, into the hands of men specifically educated to discover legal excuses for dishonest, dishonorable and anti-social acts.
America, as those of us old enough to remember it, with true freedom and justice, no longer exists. What does exist is a fervent prayer that Red Nation and Blue Nation can separate peacefully. Peaceful separation will allow those who cherish freedom to live free, and those who desire government intervention from cradle to grave to perish in their self induced slavery.
While I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only are essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Lord Acton - 1866
In a piece written in 1924, before, as he put it, "the New Deal afflicted the country with a great mass of new administrative law and extra-tyrannical jobholders," Mencken proposed a searching reform in our system of administrative law. He begins by saying that "in the immoral monarchies of the continent of Europe, now happily abolished by God's will, there was, in the old days of sin, an intelligent and effective way of dealing with delinquent officials." Not only, he adds, were they subjects to ordinary criminal law but also to special courts for "offenses peculiar to their offices." Prussia maintained a court where any citizen was free to lodge a complaint against an official, and a guilty official could be punished in many ways forced to pay damages against a victimized citizen, removed from office, and/or sent to jail. "Had a Prussian judge in those far-off days of despotism, overcome by a brainstorm of kaiserliche passion, done any of the high-handed and irrational things that our own judges, Federal and State, do almost every day, an aggrieved citizen might have hailed him before the administrative court and recovered heavy damages from him...." Furthermore, the law "specifically provided that responsible officials should be punished, not more leniently than subordinate or ordinary offenders, but more severely. If a corrupt policeman got six months a corrupt chief of police got two years. More, these statutes were enforced with Prussian barbarity; and the jails were constantly full of errant officials."
"If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: . . . But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; . . . I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it."
(Leviticus 25: 3-16)
"The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen....At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties."
New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, 1922
That constitution of ours is so daggoned complicated that only a simple citizen can understand it judges and lawyers remain absolutely mystified while government merely ignores it as if it didnt exist at all.
Michael Peirce - January 10, 2003
Daniel Webster's warning:
"Miracles do not cluster. Hold on to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands-- what has happened once in six thousand years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution, for if the American Constitution shall fail there will be anarchy throughout the world."
With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work to pin some offense on him. . . . It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to, or in the way of, the prosecutor himself.
U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson, later to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, wrote: