Quote of the day–David Crockett

As related here.  Attributed to The Life Of Colonel David Crockett, by Edward S. Ellis, published by Porter & Coates in 1884.

“Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.

“The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business, and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a Praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

“The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.

“So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddle-bags, and put out. I had been out about a week, and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow, when I asked him if he could give me a chew of tobacco.

“‘Yes,’ said he,’such as we make and use in this part of the country; but it may not suit your taste, as you are probably in the habit of using better.’

“With that he pulled out of his pocket part of a twist in its natural state, and handed it to me. I took a chew, and handed it back to him. He turned to his plow, and was about to start off. I said to him:’Don’t be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted,’ He replied:

“‘I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say.’

“I began: ‘Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and—‘

“‘Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’

“This was a sockdologer. I had been making up my mind that he was one of those churlish fellows who care for nobody but themselves, and take bluntness for independence. I had seen enough of them to know there is a way to reach them, and was satisfied that if I could get him to talk to me I would soon have him straight. But this was entirely a different bundle of sticks. He knew me, had voted for me before, and did not intend to do it again. Something must be the matter; I could not imagine what it was. I had heard of no complaints against me, except that some of the dandies about the village ridiculed some of the wild and foolish things that I too often say and do, and said that I was not enough of a gentleman to go to Congress. I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

“‘Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.’

“‘Thank you for that, but you find fault with only one vote. You know the story of Henry Clay, the old huntsman and the rifle; you wouldn’t break your gun for one snap.’

“‘No, nor for a dozen. As the story goes, that tack served Mr. Clay’s purpose admirably, though it really had nothing to do with the case. I would not break the gun, nor would I discard an honest representative for a mistake in judgment as a mere matter of policy. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.’

“‘I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.’

“‘No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true!’

“‘Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote for which anybody in the world would have found fault with.’

“‘Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity!’

“Here was another sockdologer; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

“‘Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.’

“‘It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the Government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the Government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right: to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive, what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.’

“I have given you,” continued Crockett, “an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

“‘So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'”

“I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

“‘Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it, than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote, and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.’

David Crockett

My Austin pipe bomb ‘friend’

Despite several emails to the teenager wanting information on building a pipe bomb for his mom to call me I have not received any phone calls.  So… it was time to contact the police and the ATFE.

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 9:22 AM
To: ‘apd3@ci.austin.tx.us’
Cc: ATF Intelligence Division
Subject: Some kid is looking for information on building a pipe bomb.

I am the web master for this web site: http://www.boomershoot.org

Recently I received some email from a teenager:

[snip–lots of details on the message and information I have on him]

No response yet. If anything interesting happens I’ll let you know.

Quote of the day–Henry David Thoreau

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.  I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few went to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men.  A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.

Henry David Thoreau
(1817-62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
Closing lines of On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).
The passage relates to Thoreau’s refusal to pay a poll tax, for which he went to jail for one night in July 1846. This essay was often quoted by Gandhi in his campaign of passive resistance.

Kim is home sick

Kim (our oldest daughter, age 18) came home a few hours ago. I didn’t even know she was home until Barb came and got me. I went upstairs to see her and talk to her. She was very sick. She was having trouble breathing. Her asthma was acting up and her inhaler wasn’t helping. Barb wanted to take her to the hospital but Kim was refusing and getting more upset by the minute. I talked to her for a bit (Kim and Barb sometimes have ‘difficulities’ with each other when one or both are under stress) and convinced her it was time to see a doctor. It was after hours for everyone except the emergency room so we visited there. Tests, meds, more tests, more meds, more tests, and they sent her home with still more meds. She is breathing so much better. Barb and I are “breathing easier” too. The doctor really got on her case about smoking. Something Barb and I can’t even hint at without her storming out of the house. On the way home from the hospital, when she couldn’t bail out, I brought it up as gently as I could. She actually talked to me about it. She said that since Karen died (same age as Barb and I and a heavy smoker) she has cut way back. She said she wouldn’t have a problem stopping completely until she had recovered from this episode. I didn’t push it to make it permanent. This was a huge improvement from earlier attempts to encourage her to stop. One step at a time.

Quote of the day–St. George Tucker

The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits…and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.

St. George Tucker
Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and U.S. District Court of Virginia in I Blackstone COMMENTARIES Sir George Tucker Ed., 1803, pg. 300 (App.)

Fish Or Man pulls the plug

As reported by The Smallest Minority and by visiting FishOrMan’s blog it’s apparent that he has gutted his posts regarding his ‘adventures’ open carry in Washington State.  I’m not surprised.  If I were his lawyer I would have him keep things much “closer to his chest”.  The less your opponent knows about you the better.  The exception would be if, in general the prosecuting attorney isn’t really your opponent.  Such as in the case of an affirmative defense of some sort like “Yes, I threw a brick into the neighbor’s window then fired my gun through the broken window killing eight occupants–who just happened to be gang raping the neighbor’s 12-year old girl and their cat.”  In that case your winning trophies at “combat shooting“ at the local IPSC matches, collection of full-capacity magazines, and your books on the “stopping power” of various bullet types is just fine for the prosecuting attorney to read up on.

So… It appears to me that we won’t have much more news from FishOrMan on what is going on.  If I can manage it I’ll show up in court to take notes and report back.

Here are direct links to track his cases in Spokane:

He supposedly has a court date in Ellensburg on January 3rd (IIRC).  But that is a bit farther than I want to drive and besides I can’t find it on the court system web site.

Take down my small city (but don’t worry)

I get ‘interesting’ email sometimes.  I’ve posted about it before but this one is a bit more amusing (to me anyway) than most.  As usual I put the entire thread (minus a few details that make it impractical anyone to track this guy down) on the Bomb Help webpage on boomershoot.org but I’m duplicating it here too:

Take Down My Small City (but don’t worry)

From: Graham
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 3:22 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: guess

Hey im 15, texas. Im not going to make any bombs but knowing how to take down my small city isn’t bad. When u take apart a shotgun shell. could u fix it to explode on impact of whatever target. Dont worry i wont go blow my self and gun up really. but just wondering.

I just ‘love’ it when people tell me “don’t worry”.  I put extra work into my efforts when someone tells me that.  This guy not only does that but he writes about taking down “my small city”. 

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 4:03 PM
To: Graham
Subject: Re: guess

1) You say you are 15 yet your Yahoo profile (http://profiles.yahoo.com/ [snip]) says you are 17 as of 02/24/2004.

‘Wrong answer’ but you are still ‘in the game’ for now.

2) The number of instances where a small city is taken down and it’s not bad are practically nonexistent. And Austin (according to your profile) is not small. I’ll give you a provisional ‘pass’ on that blunder because you didn’t say you wanted to ‘take down’ the city, only know how to do it.

3) Because the primer in a shotgun shell is impact sensitive I’m sure it could be made to detonate some higher order explosive on impact.

Relatively benign question. You either didn’t want to know HOW to do this or were too stupid to ask the right question. ‘Pass’.

4) The way you found my website was via a google search for “building a pipe bomb”. In addition to looking at the first page you found, “BombHelp”, you looked at “BombHelp2002” and “chemistry” as well. The web page viewing by itself would warrant watching you closer and would give you a provisional ‘pass’. But your google search text was a really, really ‘wrong answer’. Your provisional ‘pass’ results are now ‘wrong’ and you fail the test.

Would you like to turn yourself in to your parents? Or should I just send the ATF SWAT team to your house at 3:00 AM some morning? I’m sure your ISP (Road Runner) knows where you live.


 As usual, I sent the email exchange to my Bomb Help Fan Club.  I got the following responses:

From: Lyle Keeney
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 6:05 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: RE: guess

Yikes. Kids do bear watching, don’t they?

“Hey im 15, texas.”
I wonder why he thought your name was “texas”.

Lyle Keeney

From: Stephanie
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 6:07 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: RE: guess

LOL – I am always entertained by these.

I like your response…

From: Barbara
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 7:35 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: RE: guess

LOL. SWAT Team at 3:00 AM.

What is even better is the response I got back from the kid.

From: Graham
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 10:26 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: Re: guess

man u sure did shoot that down. Ok dumb question

From: Graham
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 10:38 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: Re: guess

You scare me with how you do that. Im sorry for my dumb question. please dont look up my adress or anything. I wont bother again. ps. ur a pretty smart fellow.

I’m not particularly charitable with people wanting to build pipe bombs these days.  Especially someone stupid enough to write me about “taking down a small city”.

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:01 AM
To: Graham
Subject: RE: guess

I’ve got it narrowed down to two:

Austin, TX 78741-2603
(512) 444-[snip]

Austin, TX 78702-2610
(512) 469-[snip]

Have your mom call me in the next 24 hours and I won’t send the information to the ATFE (http://www.atf.gov) and the local police.



From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:12 AM
To: Graham
Subject: RE: guess

Also of potential interest to you is this:



Blogs mentioning Boomershoot

Recently there have been numerous bloggers making some mention of the Boomershoot I put on each year.  Here is a list of all of them I have noticed in the last month and could still find, in reverse chronological order:

Hell In A Handbasket
Random Nuclear Strikes
Kim du Toit (nearly 4800 hits on boomershoot.org this year from Kim!)
Johnny Knuckles
Mrs. du Toit

And of course Mindless Bit Spew who has a link, banner, and just in general talks up Boomershoot whereever he is–like AR15.com which gave boomershoot.org over 2100 hits so far this year.

And despite Boomershoot being called “Wacko” in one case all the postings were either neutral (in two cases) or favorable (in all others).  Thanks everyone.  And to show I really mean it I’m extending the offer I made to James at Hell In A Handbasket to everyone.  If I get 100 or more hits (from different IP addresses) on boomershoot.org from your blog I’ll give you free entry into Boomershoot 2005.  If you think maybe you qualify and I haven’t noticed you send me an email. I’ll check it out and get back to you.

Quote of the day–Theodore Hass

Anti-gun-ownership politicians are very dangerous to a free society.  Liberty and freedom can only be preserved by an armed citizenry.  I see creeping fascism in America, just as in Germany, a drip at a time; a law here, a law there, all supposedly passed to protect the public.  Soon you have total enslavement.  Too many Americans have forgotten that tyranny often masquerades as doing good.

Theodore Hass
Former prisoner of the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp

Great write up on al-Qaeda training tapes

As I have mentioned before I attended John Holschen’s class on the al-Qaeda training tapes.  Other than actually taking the class this news report gives the best detail on the contents of the class I have seen.  A sample:

The training video shows al-Qaida operatives practicing the following kinds of assaults:

  • using pickup trucks with shooters concealed in the bed of the trucks;
  • using motorcycles as a shooting platform for drive-bys and assassinations;
  • execution of prisoners;
  • ambushes of law-enforcement officers;
  • residential assassinations;
  • assassination on a golf course using a rocket-propelled grenade and rifle fire;
  • drive-up kidnapping of target walking on a street;
  • use of tunnels, storm drains and sewers for infiltration during urban raids;
  • rappelling from rooftops of buildings to make entry on upper floors;
  • use of motorcycles for grenade attacks; and
  • raids on buildings with large numbers of occupants – perhaps schools or office buildings.

Analysts point out that all scenarios involving prisoners and hostages ended in execution. None included plans for negotiated settlements for escape by terrorists.

“They plan to kill the prisoners and die in place,” wrote Holschen.

There is no point in complying with orders, they say. Those who do not resist ultimately will be rewarded with ritual execution in front of television cameras, according to the tactics and techniques captured on this video.

 When asked if these techniques are intended for use in the U.S., one military intelligence operative said without hesitation, “Yes.”

Read it all.  This is WW III and whether you realize it or not if you are not a Muslim you are considered a combatant.

bin Laden calls it WW III

And I thought I was the only one opening calling this World War III.  The recently released audio tape of Osama bin Laden has him calling it that also:

The statement, peppered with Islamic verses and poems as is customary of bin Laden messages, urged Muslims around the world to take note that the most “pressing issue” of the day is the “third world war” waged by the “Crusader Zionist alliance” against Muslims.

Emphasis added.

Insufficient lack of ethics

Democrat Christine Gregoire will be certified as the winner over Republican Dino Rossi in the Washington State governor’s on Thursday.  The Republicans are considering a challenge:

Republicans are demanding a list of voters in Washington’s most populous county as the party considers a court challenge of Democrat Christine Gregoire’s razor-thin victory in the governor’s race, officials said Monday.

Chris Vance, state Republican party chairman, said officials would decide whether to challenge the recount results after studying the voter rolls from King County, a Democrat stronghold that includes Seattle.

“We’re mostly posing questions,” he said. “King County is where we saw the votes changing. King County is the one county that was allowed to take ballots that were declared dead in November and bring them back to life in December.”

I don’t think Rossi has a chance.  They are far too timid.  I think the root problem is they have an insufficient lack of ethics to do battle with the Democrats in such a close race and win.

TSA gives tips for smuggling explosives

It’s not the intent to give people tips on smuggling things past the screeners but that is the effect as reported by NewsMax:

…the government has ordered airport security personnel to avoid touching female passengers between their breasts when performing patdowns.

Security screeners now will keep their hands to the “chest perimeter” of women unless detection equipment picks up the possibility that they are hiding explosives between their breasts.

The new method takes into consideration passenger discomfort while remaining steadfast in mitigating risks, said Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mark Hatfield.

The nation’s 45,000 screeners are being told to pat down the perimeter of the chest, backsides and abdomen, effective Thursday.

I suppose it makes as much sense as anything they are doing now.  Unless they are doing body cavity searches and completely disassemble all carry-on materials people will get things through anyway so I can’t see that it matters if they give terrorists a few “search free” zones on the outside of the body.

It’s all a waste of time and money.  It’s time to implement option 8 and use the saved resources for something more productive.

Quote of the day–James Bovard

The more difficult the government makes it for law-abiding citizen to get guns, the more power criminals who do have guns will have.  Gun bans destroy the possibility of a balance of power of fire-power between law-abiding citizens and violent criminals.

James Bovard
Lost Rights
ISBN 0-312-12333-7
Copyright 1994, 1995

Quote of the day–Daniel Webster

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.  It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.  There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern.  They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

Daniel Webster

Visit with Barb’s sister

We drove a few miles up the road to Potlatch to visit Barb’s sister today.  We ate snacks, opened some more presents, played cards, the kids played video games, some worked on a jigsaw puzzle, and generally just hung out.  Pictures are here.  Kim made it back from Spokane safely and stopped in for a while.  She laid down on me in the chair and we both went to sleep. 

Joseph Kim and Kimberly Joe

John Holschen family tragedy

I’ve taken a number of classes from Insights Training and some of them were from John Holschen.  John taught my entire family Defensive Folding Knife.  I took the class twice, the first time without the rest of my family and at that class John’s wife Martha was there to help teach the class.  John also taught Al Qaeda: Training and Tactics for Intl Terrorism which I took as well.

Recently John has been in Iraq as a security contractor.  While he was over there he got a call on December 15th.  His family had been in an auto accident.  One of his 18 year-old daughters (a twin stayed at home that day) was killed, his 15 year old daughter was seriously injured and is still in a coma.  His wife and and sons, ages 9 and 12, were also injured.

It’s really broke me up to read about this.  I have an 18 year-old daughter that isn’t the most safety minded person and I keep thinking of her.  She drove to Spokane yesterday and is supposed to be back today.

Thanks to Ry for giving me a pointer to this blog site which supplied me with the info on John and his family.

Bomb building in Belgium

Today I was doing my usual review of the logs for www.boomershoot.org and saw a hit from someone trying to get information on building a specific type of bomb in Belgium.    That area of the world is increasing getting the attention of terrorists and I’m not surprised I’m getting hits.  I found an email address on this site: http://www.polfed.be/ which appears (I don’t read or speak the language) to be the police and sent them the information I have.

I also sent them links to these images:


It would appear to me that the frequency of people searching for bomb building information might be useful from an intelligence standpoint.  When put in the context of other intelligence sources.  I’m hoping the Belgium police will take a look at the information.  The email I sent to the ATFE Inteligence Division had links to those same images and the images were never looked at (the only log hits on those images were mine).  I’ve decided to make the images more widely available in the hopes that someone will take notice and get the informaton to the right people.

A minor note on the September 2004 data–it is missing about 10 days of information and my ISP says he will reconstruct that month for me soon and when I have it I’ll update that image.

Update: The September 2004 data is now included in the 2004 image.