Day 331: ‘To alter or to abolish’

It’s Day 331 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve.

Deb and I are fine. Before I get into pithy commentary today, a few personal notes.

I mentioned the other day that we planned to come back to Squeek’s Bar & Grill Monday evening “to celebrate a special occasion” with a friend. The weather, along with the roads, had gone straight to hell by the time we left the house — what had been predicted to be significant snow turned to ice balls, and our world was a skating rink.

We called our friend, who was marking her 21st birthday, and encouraged her to stay put on the other side of town. She agreed it was the right thing to do. We’ll see that First Legal Beer in the very near future.

Since we were almost to the bar as the phone call ended, we continued on for dinner — a chicken wrap for Deb and one of those incomparable Squeek’s Burgers.(pictured in today’s header) for me. We’ll be there again this Friday for… wait for it… live music.

My friends, you need a bar like this in your life.

Some of you have asked about our little Dipstick (hey, now), who recently was diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome. He’s been on daily medication for almost two weeks now to treat his symptoms, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.

The meds started having a visible effect on our ‘Stick within 24 hours of his first dose. His potbelly, caused by the Cushing’s, had shrunk to less than half its previous size. His eyes brightened and his trademark energy began to return. Deb and I are no strangers to treating furry family members for various maladies, but we’re both shocked to see how quickly he’s rebounding.

We’re mindful, of course, that nothing cures Cushing’s, that we’re only managing symptoms and secondary conditions here. Seeing Dipstick’s unique personality emerge again, however, is heartwarming. The fact that he’s keeping a little bit of the needy sweetness he acquired while he was really sick is just a bonus.

Deb lost her favorite winter hat last week. She looked everywhere, and so did I, but it was nowhere to be found. She mentioned her hat situation in a Facebook post later that day, one of those little life details so many of us share these days, because we can.

Rather like I’m doing now.

We rolled down the Second Chance Ranch driveway the next afternoon, heading out to run some errands, and a couple of our friends drove up. After I brought the truck to a stop, hatless Deb got out and went over to chat — well, they’d brought her a brand-new stocking cap, hand-knit especially for her. I got one, too, warm and wonderful.

After returning home from Squeek’s Monday night, well after dark and with ice balls still pelting down, the dogs started alarm-barking like someone was outside. I looked out the window to see that The Best Neighbor Ever was back again with his quad, plowing our driveway.

No doubt about it, we have some incredible people in our American Life. Good friends are riches, and we’re millionaires.


Monday’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times carried an editorial which I found both infuriating and illuminating. In “More than ever, assault weapons are an undeniable threat to representative government,” the paper’s editorial board displayed ignorance of Founding Principles as well as detachment from what’s happening in their own city. The screed led with this gem:

“The political give-and-take at the heart of a democracy can’t function under a threat of armed violence.”

That rhetorical flash-bang begs to be translated into plain, intellectually honest English:

“Our leftist agenda and quest for absolute power aren’t going anywhere as long as Liberty-loving Americans are able to exercise their birthright to keep and bear arms.”

The editorial, which traffics in stereotypes and the typical ad hominem nonsense, doesn’t reflect even a rudimentary understanding of the purpose of the Second Amendment. (Hint: It’s not hunting, and fundamentally it’s not personal defense.) To enlighten those Chicago elites, along with anyone else who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, let’s start with the text of the amendment itself:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That’s unequivocal. The Founders understood the right to be natural and individual, not State-granted and collective, clearly characterizing what we know today as “gun control,” in any form, as illegal and unconstitutional.

Now let’s shine a little light from the Declaration of Independence:

“…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

Destructive of what ends?

“…to secure these rights…”

Secure what rights?

“…inalienable Rights…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Put it all together — when a government fails to execute its prime directive to secure citizens’ inalienable rights, the People have the moral legitimacy for altering or abolishing that government. Pretty simple.

We’re there now, by the way.

It’s beyond credible dispute that our government, this government, has become destructive, exercising powers not derived “from the consent of the governed.” But what does that have to do with the Second Amendment? Am I saying it’s time for armed resistance? Do I endorse what took place in Washington on January 6th?

Allow me to be crystal-clear: What happened on January 6th was anathema to lovers of Liberty. Running around the capitol taking selfies, stealing random fixtures and furniture, screaming idle threats and generally busting shit up was not a rebellion. It was undisciplined and unprincipled, a made-for-Democrats clusterfuck, registering on the righteousness scale somewhere between a Ritalin crisis and your average prison riot.

All it accomplished was to supply fuel to the enemies of Liberty.

(No, Democrats, it wasn’t an “armed insurrection.” It wasn’t even an insurrection. Get over that alarmist bullshit.)

Irrelevant to this conversation, incidentally, is any suggestion that our elected officials shouldn’t feel vulnerable, or intimidated, or afraid. To the contrary — those in government would do well to re-acquaint themselves with the source of “their just powers.” This country could only benefit from them harboring a proper fear of the People.

So does that purpose — inspiring a healthy apprehension, that is — justify an armed uprising? Or, at the very least, an armed populace?

Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said (1787) about what ideally should be a tense relationship between State and citizens:

“What country before ever existed a century and [a] half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

(That same Thomas Jefferson, in 1824, said, “All power is inherent in the people,” and “It is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” Just so you know.)

The People must retain the spirit of resistance. In this representative constitutional republic, the People have many ways to resist, to assert our right to alter or to abolish government, without taking up arms — elections, certainly, and the range of opportunities accorded by free expression.

But rebellion, in Jefferson’s view, with corresponding loss of life, is to be expected periodically. He’d probably look at today’s America and say we’re long overdue.

For the record, I’m neither affiliated with nor involved in any armed-resistance group or movement. I’m not in the business of encouraging my fellow Patriots to engage in or threaten armed resistance against government. That said, and unlike leftist hand-wringers like those editors in Chicago, I believe that the role of an armed citizenry — and the pressure its presence exerts on those in power — is not, by any means, un-American.

In fact, it’s essential.

Seriously, how can we talk about “checks and balances” between and among executive, legislative and judicial but ignore the right of the People to alter or to abolish a government that’s abandoned the very reason it exists in the first place? The consent of the governed, and all that represents, is the ultimate check.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath