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Eagle 3

Frontiersman, October 2008
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Ol' Toothless
Reprinted from Front Sight, http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/essay-contest-finalists/essayseven/
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageRecently, I went to my local sheriff's department to get myself a free speech license.  I am fortunate enough to live in a state that has a First Amendment "Shall Issue" policy for open free speech and peaceable assembly.  They offer permits, fees and tax forms for religion, the press and petition, too, which is also neat. 
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThere are some states, though, that have criminalized any and all First Amendment activity.  Our great nation's capital and some of the more progressive states have banned free speech entirely.  I don't know how it could have happened.  An old timer around town said it was because Americans had lost their teeth.  Only later did I understand that he wasn't talking about dentures.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThey used to say about the First Amendment "use it or lose it."  So, I decided to use it.  All I had to do was walk in and ask and the permit was mine.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWell, almost.  Apparently, there are some First Amendment preliminaries that I was unaware of.  The permit was mine if I was a law abiding citizen, could provide good character references, showed the authorities proper and safe use of my ideas and opinions, proved responsible during the initial probation period, and met the approval of my local sheriff.  Then I would have permission to speak and think freely in nearly forty of the fifty-one states across this great land.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageAnd for a little extra cash I could also assemble myself freely and peaceably with the same permit anywhere, at any time of my choosing, in one of those special zones devoted wholly to free speech and nothing else.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSome of the First Amendment lobby groups are trying to pass a free speech uniformity law, which makes sense to me.  It means that when you cross state lines, those bookmarks, diaries, pencils and other First Amendment "paraphernalia" you have tossed on the back seat won't get you accidentally locked up.  It also covers trans-state line telephonic conversation, electronic mail and snail mail.  You're also protected if you stand on one side of the state line and call out across it.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageA man was thrown in jail the other day merely for having a blank journal in his vehicle's glove box.  "But there's nothing written on the pages," he complained.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe arresting officer let him know that in his particular jurisdiction, the journal's page capacity was illegal, whether it was written upon or empty.  When I travel, I always keep my cell phone, notebooks, recordings, photographs, book lights, memories and daydreams locked in a box in the trunk of my car.  You really have to be very organized to follow the First Amendment rules correctly.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageIn my town, the free speech fee is quite manageable.  In fact, it isn't much of a fee at all.  It's just a small tax on my thoughts, similar to what you might find on stamps or tea.  Heck, it's pretty much the same as the tax they put on my labor;  nothing new, something we are all accustomed to in the pursuit of liberty.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSo I opened up my wallet and had my application and free speech tax forms already filled out.  I told the young deputy at the bulletproof window that I would like a free speech license, please.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe young deputy eyed me suspiciously.  "What do you want it for?" he asked.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageExcuse me?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMy stunned expression prompted my deputy to repeat his question.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"What-Do-You-Want-A-Free-Speech-Permit-For-Sirrrrr?"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI could feel my eyes glazing over.  Was it

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October 2008 Frontiersman, c/o 4984 Peach Mountain Drive, Gainesville, Georgia  30507      Page 1
 

 
 
 
the simplicity of the question that momentarily numbed me?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWhile I gazed at my upside down reflection in his badge, a distant voice echoed in the recesses of my mind...  Congress shall make no law, shall make no law, shall make no...  but it was gone.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWhat did I want a free speech permit for, indeed?  Even my own eyebrow went up at the thought.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI would have to answer carefully or he'd no doubt paint me as a First Amendment kook, one of those "book nuts," as the Book Burners like to call them, that tend to meet in libraries, assemble at rallies and go to, you know, "book shows."
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageNow there's an exhilarating example of exercising our First Amendment permission.  A book show, hundreds of books lain out on tables as far as the eye can see.  Not even undercover agents from the BATFE (the Books And Talking Freely Enforcers) and their tempting illegal post-ban first editions fully autographed by the author can dampen the electric atmosphere.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI don't actually own a book, but I have read one, and I've been to plenty of libraries and bookstores.  I wonder if the Book Burners would think I was a kook?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThey probably would.  It seems they won't rest until every citizen in this country has thrown his books, pictures and doodles into the fire.  They argue that only the police, government personnel and the military should have the right to carry books and express their ideas.  Now isn't that a recipe for disaster?  (You'll need a permit for the recipe, by the way.)
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageAnd has everyone completely forgotten about the criminal element of our society?  It seems so simple.  Forbid law-abiding citizens from owning books and expressing themselves freely and they will comply.  They will abide.  But the law-breakers will be grabbing up those books and expressing themselves like it's going out of style.  The good citizen will surely be left at a great and some say dangerous disadvantage.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI'm thankful that we still have a First Amendment so that we can freely read, write, diagram and express how we really feel about the way our freedoms are being threatened.  Statistics clearly show that book control has never created safe and happy societies, quite the opposite in fact.  That is why the First Amendment has always been my favorite over all the other Amendments.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSo, there I was at the sheriff's office exercising my First Amendment permit request.  I had to remember not to mention the Constitution.  That would just rile my deputy and send up a red flag.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Just in case," was all I said, to be on the safe side.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Just in case of what?" my deputy replied, obviously noting the perspiration forming on my upper lip.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMy eyes averted from his, to the pen on the chain, to the wanted poster, to the thumbtack on the face of the man in the wanted poster, to the fire extinguisher on the wall.  Anywhere but his sullen yet expectant, half-lidded eyes.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Um, in case of emergency?" was all I could manage, thanks to the extinguisher.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI just wanted my free speech permit.  I didn't expect to be bombarded with all these confusing questions.  (Can I say bombarded?)
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI should have said my First Amendment interest was purely historical, that I was a collector merely interested in antique opinions and rare but harmless ideas.  Maybe that would have called off the dogs.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageGosh, it's not like I planned to spout off from the nearest campus clock tower as soon as I got my permit.  I'm a law-abiding citizen.  Why would that suddenly change?  People think that you put a book in someone's hand and they suddenly turn into a drooling anti social zombie.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Are you a member of any First Amendment organizations?"
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"I'm a member of Book Owners of America and the NRA," I proudly offered.  Maybe now he'd hand over the permit, no more questions asked.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"The National Readers Association, huh?"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWell that did it.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Jethro!"  My deputy beckoned his supervisor.  "We got the NRA!"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageJethro, probably not a fan of books, or writing, or even thought by the looks of him, sauntered across the room and gave me the once over with his myopic eyes.
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Page 2 Frontiersman, c/o 4984 Peach Mountain Drive, Gainesville, Georgia  30507  October 2008
 

 
 
 
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"We don't want any trouble, Mr. Jones..."
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageIt was an open-ended statement that just lingered in the air between the five inch thick glass and my reddening face.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWho's causing any trouble?  I just want your permission to speak freely and assemble peaceably in nearly forty of the fifty-one states.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageHe asked his colleague, "What does he want it for?"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageNot that again.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Self defense," my deputy replied, remembering my fire extinguisher comment.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageHe must have been "old skool."  Self defense has all but disappeared.  What we have now is "acceptance."
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Look, all I want is to be able to freely assemble or speak in the unlikely event of an emergency, to protect myself and my family, and even my country for that matter, and I want to be able to do so without getting into any trouble.  That's what exercising my state-given First Amendment permit means."
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Calm down, Mr. Jones.  You do realize there's a five day cooling off period before we can issue you a free speech license, provided you pass the requirements?"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI knew I had to wait the five days.  And I was prepared to.  I just hoped there wasn't any kind of emergency on the horizon.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThe First Amendment waiting period is in accordance with the newly adopted Grady Bill passed specifically to fight terrorism.  It's named after Alberta Grady, the author of "Kafka's Goat," the children's book the President wanted to finish reading during the recent terrorist attacks.
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"Mr. Jones, what exactly are you planning to say if you get your permit?"
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageIf?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWait a minute.  If I get my permit?  If I am given permission?
15x5 Page Background GIF Image"What do other people answer when they get their permit?" I replied, hoping to walk in the successful footprints of previous applicants.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMy question was funny.  Suddenly I was the world's funniest man.  Both my deputies were flailing about in the thralls of hysterical laughter.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageJethro managed to straighten himself, wipe his spittle off the window and look me in the eye.  "What other people?" he managed to blurt.  Then the laughter continued and lasted until the door closed behind me and I left empty handed.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageWhat do you do when you can't get your First Amendment permission?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageThen it dawned on me.  This was the same bureaucratic rigmarole that they used to suffocate the Second Amendment.  Use it or lose it, indeed.  Those Book Burners were the same people as the Gun Grabbers.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI might have seen all this coming, and done something about it, if I had paid more attention to the "Sporting Amendment."  I am beginning to wish there were still some of those Second Amendment kooks running around.  Now I'm the kook for requesting a permit to speak freely.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI remembered what the old geezer said about Americans losing their teeth.  George Washington referred to the Second Amendment as the teeth of liberty.  I finally realized what he meant.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSo, what can I say?
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageFirst they came for our privacy, and since I had nothing to hide, I said nothing.  Then they came for our guns, and because I had no gun, I said nothing.  And then they came for our voices...10x5 Page Background GIF ImageInfinity Symbol
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15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSee my article Dead Right on page 1 of the June 1995 issue of this newsletter.
editor


Letter to the Editor
Sam,
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageI've been reading some of your back issues and I rank you favorably with Frederic Bastiat, Mark Twain and Will Rogers.  I am currently engaged in a local word war against the Awhahnee Principles and Smart Growth, stupid fads that are infecting politics everywhere.  Your ideas are helpful and instructive, so I will be quoting some of your work.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMany thanks,
Boblink
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A White Man's Notes
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Status and Consequences It's better for a man to remain wrong than to allow himself to be corrected by a woman because, once she establishes the precedent of correcting him, it will never again matter if he's right.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageMale Symbol
Please use the enclosed envelope to send a contribution.  I prefer cash.  For checks or money orders, please inquire.
For PayPal payments, use editor@frontiersman.my3website.net.

October 2008 Frontiersman, c/o 4984 Peach Mountain Drive, Gainesville, Georgia  30507      Page 3
 

 
 
 
Frontiersman 
c/o 4984 Peach Mountain Drive
Gainesville, Georgia  30507 
 
 
The only difference between taxation and extortion is the excuse for doing it.
September 22, 1975
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Acknowledgments
15x5 Page Background GIF ImageMy thanks to the following:  SantaClara Bob;  Lady Jan the Voluptuous;  my mother;  Dewey and Betty;  and Boblink.
editor
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From the Advice Columns
Original Source Unknown.  Forwarded by Don G.
Q What's the worst thing that a wife can get on her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary?
A Morning Sickness.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageInfinity Symbol
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Definitions
Original Source Unknown.  Forwarded by Don G.
adult a person who's stopped growing at both ends and started growing in the middle.
dust mud with the juice squeezed out.10x5 Page Background GIF ImageInfinity Symbol
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Court Quotes
From Humor in the Court and More Humor in the Court,
by Mary Louise Gilman, editor of the National Shorthand Reporter.  Forwarded by Don G.
Q What is your brother-in-law's name?
A Borofkin.
Q What's his first name?
A I can't remember.
Q He's been your brother-in-law for years, and you can't remember his first name?
A No.  I tell you I'm too excited.  (Rising from the witness chair and pointing to Mr. Borofkin.)  Nathan, for God's sake, tell them your first name!10x5 Page Background GIF ImageInfinity Symbol

Frontiersman
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15x5 Page Background GIF ImageSubmissions I solicit letters, articles, and cartoons for the newsletter, but I don't pay for them.  Short items are more likely to be printed.  I suggest that letters and articles be shorter than 500 words but that's flexible depending on space available and the content of the piece.  I give credit for all items printed unless the author specifies otherwise.
15x5 Page Background GIF ImagePayment This newsletter isn't for sale.  If you care to make a voluntary contribution, then I prefer cash, prepaid telephone cards, or U.S. postage stamps.  For checks or money orders please inquire.  For PayPal payments, use editor@frontiersman.my3website.net.  The continued existence of the newsletter will depend, in part, on such contributions.  I don't accept anything that requires me to provide ID to receive it.  In case anybody's curious, I also accept gold, silver, platinum, etc. 
Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor
Please use the enclosed envelope to send a contribution.  I prefer cash.  For checks or money orders, please inquire.
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