Sep 30, 2010

American War Lords

Time magazine is out this morning with one of its regularly scheduled Oh-My-God!  pieces on warlordism in America, the militias.  The goal seems to be to move us to drop everything else we've been worrying about and panic over the  backwoods lads  who like to don camo and play soldier with their guns that look like assault rifles.

I have trouble thinking of any circumstances that would entice me to join a so-called militia. Personal survival? Sure. Associating with a troop looking for an excuse to start shooting? Hardly.

I understand the generality of their fears, but the "militia movement"  -- if there really is such a thing -- strikes me as a few hundred to a few  thousand fellows suffering from arrested development and over-exposure  to action comics.

As to an actual  militia threat to our polity, such as it is, Time creates its own refutation by embedding a link to another Time story on the Top 10 Crimes  of 2009. The number of cited crimes committed by "militias," or gun collectors, or shooting enthusiasts, or any of us running around with a CCW, equals zero.


To my mind,  the crime going on in a Senate hearing room today would be a better focus for Time's perennial need to soil its shorts. That's  where Chris Dodd is chairing a meeting  on how Ben Bernanke and all his pals intend to fix the financial system.

Sep 28, 2010

True laws are real(1)

In my town, you commit a criminal act by pitching a tent in your back yard and letting your  grandkids or friends' kids sleep overnight in it. The stated reason is to prevent thugs like me from "operating a resort without a license."

(The lads and their pup tent remain welcome; in the immortal pre-pardon words of Richard M.Nixon, "There's been a lot of good writing done in prison.)

Rendering unto Caesar

Off to town for a visit to our new Tax Majal, sometimes known as the county court house. The occasion is an approaching  deadline for forking over a four-figure sum for the privilege of continuing to live on my modest little spread.  I could pay on line, but I prefer to walk up to the  counter and write the check. It gives me a chance to glare at one or two of the Regulators, and that seems to do something for my glands.  You just know that some of these hacks wish for a law requiring us to tug our  forelocks as we submit to the  extortion.

The property tax bite this year is up 13 per cent, and that's under local governments  whose commissars are something like 80 per cent Republican.