Saturday, August 30, 2003

Blood Lottery

Sometime early in my life I had a very odd and ugly thought (vision?), which seemed to have occurred to me rather randomly and for which I had no apparent use whatsoever at the time. The thought was of a mass of people, perhaps a civilization, all standing shoulder-to-shoulder, gathered in a field. An archer fired an arrow almost straight up and it came down into the people, randomly striking one of them dead. (Technically, the fatality seems unlikely; more probably a non-fatal wound would occur, but that's not important for allegorical purposes.) The rest of the people, upon the death of the unfortunate one, divided up the belongings of the deceased and then their lives went on as usual.

Obviously, I had never actually witnessed such an occurrence. (I remember an episode of Star Trek where virtual wars were fought and the victims were selected by lot from amongst the populace; maybe that influenced my imagination.) Now, though, I'm starting to see a grim similarity between this ugly vision and our reality, especially as regards our "justice" system. A victim is selected, for a reason or just because revenue is desired. Charges are drawn up -- or sometimes not -- and the victim's home is raided/stolen. Whatever property the victim had often becomes the spoils of the predatory agency/agencies. The enforcement of laws and regulations is arbitrary, and those who are spared as their neighbors are destroyed simply move on, glad that it wasn't them (and making a mental note to take extra care to keep their insurance premiums paid, get their taxes done on time and apply for all the appropriate licenses they'll need for that weekend outing coming up).

If this were acknowledged openly, it would be an affront to conscience, and so rationalization has practically become a national pastime. "Oh, he's one of those __________s; they deserve whatever they get." "You know, I heard something about him and that extremist group, you know, the ___________s, like he spoke at one of their conventions a couple years ago. I even saw him reading a book about that stuff. Serves him right!" "I'd been thinking for a long time that she wasn't treating her kids right. Now they've got her on charges of __________. I guess it's no real surprise." And off we all go, back to our happy lives, having found a fashionably distasteful demographic receptacle into which to toss the loser-du-jour in relative confidence that we'll never cross that line.

To understand what I mean, investigate any of the following recent victims: Thurston Bell, Irwin Schiff, Larken Rose, Will Gaston and family, Marcel Bendshadler and family, Roger Weidner, Gordon Kahl and family, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, Randy Weaver and family, Terry Yeakey, or any one of the dozens of victims on the "Clinton body count" lists. I could add hundreds more names of our fellow Americans to this list! None were terrorists and none posed any threat to you. Yet you stood by and allowed the legal fictions of our governmental entities to run roughshod over their rights -- in YOUR (collective) NAME, and then LIE to you about it. Not even one of these stories should ever have happened, yet many of you who read this will have never even heard of many, or perhaps most, of these government victims.

This is self-destructive behavior. The beast which eats your neighbor today will be back for you tomorrow. To ignore that is to condemn yourself. I can't see any reason not to conclude that this is truly insanity, and it has become the norm.

Denial is healthy. Questioning is slander. War is peace(keeping). History is malleable. Ignorance is bliss. These are the beliefs of the misled and miseducated, and chief among them is the first, because it allows you to hide all of them from yourself.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Read the following article, and then I have a few comments to make about it -- actually, about just one paragraph, but you'll see there's plenty to be said about it.

Rice Says Hussein Had Terror Ties
By Jeff Gannon

Talon News

August 26, 2003

(Talon News) -- National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice addressed
the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday and
received the organization's Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award. The
enthusiastic crowd that filled the San Antonio, Texas convention center
heard Dr. Rice praise them for their "important work of helping to ensure
that our veterans and our active-duty soldiers receive the respect and the
benefits they deserve."

Rice pointed out that it's been almost two years since the September 11
attacks and said, "It is worth taking a moment to reflect and report on the
strategy that America has pursued in responding to that awful day."

Rice drew a comparison with the attack on Pearl Harbor, saying, "No less
than December 7, 1941, September 11, 2001 forever changed the lives of
every American and the strategic perspective of the United States." Rice
noted that the attacks in Washington and New York produced an acute sense
of vulnerability to attacks "hatched in distant lands, that come without
warning, bringing tragedy to our shores."

The national security advisor declared that real progress has been made
against terrorism in the past two years, but in a reference to last week's
bombings in Baghdad and Jerusalem that killed dozens of children and United
Nations workers including Special Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, Dr. Rice
admitted, "We get regular reminders that the world continues to be an
unsafe place."

"These bombings confirm that our enemies are engaged in a war on freedom,
and they will target all people living in freedom -- including women,
children, or relief workers," Rice said.

Rice said that the ultimate goal of terrorists is to impose a system based
on "tyranny and oppression."

"They terrorize free people to break our spirit and our resolve. But we
cannot and will not shrink from this fight," Dr. Rice said.

Rice spoke of President Bush's approach to terrorism, saying, "From the
very beginning of this war on terror, President Bush has delivered a clear
and consistent message to the terrorists."

"The President has backed up these words with action. We have taken the
fight to the terrorists themselves -- using all instruments of our national
power to root out terror networks and hold accountable states that harbor
terrorists," Rice said.

Rice recounted that rooting the Taliban out of Afghanistan was the "first
battle because they had provided the home base and primary sanctuary for al
Qaeda." Rice noted that "unparalleled law enforcement and intelligence
cooperation efforts" have successfully broken up and disrupted terrorist

The national security advisor declared, "Confronting Saddam Hussein was
also essential. His regime posed a threat to the security of the United
States and the world."

Rice maintained that the Iraqi regime pursued, used, and possessed weapons
of mass destruction. Rice also said that Hussein had links to terror and
that the threat he posed could not be allowed to remain and to grow.

"Now that Saddam's regime is gone, the people of Iraq are more free and
seeing real progress. Step by step, normal life in Iraq is being reborn as
basic services are restored -- in some cases beyond pre-war levels --
transportation networks are rebuilt and the economy is revived," Rice said.

She commented on the recent rise in terror strikes, saying, "Let me be very
clear, the terrorists know that a free Iraq can change the face of the
Middle East. That is why they, together with the remnants of the old
regime, are fighting as if this is a life and death struggle. It is - and
the terrorists will lose."

Rice emphasized the importance of the transformation in the Middle East,
calling it "the only guarantee that it will no longer produce ideologies of
hatred that lead men to fly airplanes into buildings in New York or

"When Americans begin a noble cause, we finish it. We are 117 days from the
end of major combat operations in Iraq. That is not very long," Rice said.
She reminded those in attendance of the struggles in the post-World War II
period. Rice said, "As some of you here today surely remember, the road we
traveled was very difficult. ... Germany was not immediately stable or
prosperous. SS officers -- called "werewolves" -- engaged in sabotage and
attacked both coalition forces and those locals cooperating with them --
much like today's Ba'athist and Fedayeen remnants."

Rice expressed confidence the U.S. will meet the challenges faced in
Afghanistan and Iraq, "because the central players will include America's
men and women in uniform." She praised those who made "priceless
contributions to the security of Europe following World War II, and then to
the security and prosperity of Asia in the next decade."

The national security advisor's speech came on the same day as Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld also spoke before the VFW. He later conducted a
town-hall meeting at Lackland Air Force Base in which he defended the
administration's decisions regarding troop strength. President Bush will
address the national convention of the American Legion in St. Louis on
Tuesday to deliver what is expected to be a national policy speech on Iraq.

Copyright © 2003 Talon News -- All rights reserved.

Alright; time for a wake-up call. Those of you who are flag-waving Republicans and consider Bush to be the next best thing to the actual Second Coming, you're hereby warned that you aren't going to like what you're about to read -- which is all the more reason you should read it.

> Rice drew a comparison with the attack on Pearl Harbor,
> saying, "No less than December 7, 1941, September 11,
> 2001 forever changed the lives of every American and the
> strategic perspective of the United States." Rice noted that
> the attacks in Washington and New York produced an
> acute sense of vulnerability to attacks "hatched in distant
> lands, that come without warning, bringing tragedy to our
> shores."

This is a fascinating paragraph, for several reasons.

1. The President -- FDR, in this case -- basically engineered the Pearl Harbor attack by forcing Japan into that course of action and preventing our forces at Pearl Harbor from learning about it beforehand. Afterward, the powers-that-be in Washington blamed the victims for negligence while insisting that they themselves were innocent of any malfeasance. Over the shrieks of protest from FDR Kool-Aid drinkers, the truth has gradually emerged. Given the high profile of many solid reasons to be skeptical of the government-media complex's story of 9/11 (for example,, combined with the Northwoods memo ( as well as quotes such as those below, and the fact that Rice, as well-educated as she is, is presumably well aware of these things, I find it noteworthy that Rice would choose to deliberately stress this comparison.

The following quotes make clear that disasters can be useful to those who seek to implement unpopular policies in government.

"At one time conspiracy theorists may have been viewed as eccentrics far out on the fringe, but then Timothy McVeigh drove a truck full of explosives to Oklahoma City and we all discovered just how dangerous it can be when people stop trusting the government."
--Mark Potok, of the "Southern Poverty Law Center" (I could do a dissertation on this quote alone)

"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."
--Zbigniew Brzezinski, in "THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives", 1997, pp. 24-5

"Unfortunately, oftentimes it takes tragic events to catalyse work here in Washington. I think the country is focused on this problem now, and we should move quickly to do the best that we can, knowing that we can't solve all problems here in Washington."
--Joe Lockhart, on the Clinton administration plan to push more "gun control" laws after the Columbine massacre, 4/26/99

"Cultures are hard to change."
--Bill Clinton, after the Columbine massacre

"You change the culture, we'll change the laws."
--Bill Clinton, pushing for more restrictive "gun control" laws, 4/27/99

"The White House has expressed hope that shock over the 15 deaths last week . . . will help fuel support for the [anti-gun crime] bill."
--Reuters, 4/29/99

"Every day we get some new converts and terrible massacres like Littleton increase the chance that we can pass legislation."
--Sen. Charles Schumer, New York, 4/30/99

"The level of public focus and outrage is unprecedented."
--Adam Eisgrau, public policy director for Handgun Control Incorporated, after the Columbine massacre

2. Rice said "September 11, 2001 forever changed the lives of every American and the strategic perspective of the United States." How does she know that? Is she a prophet? Perhaps this is psychological warfare. Allow me to fight back:

I don't see any reason for me to "forever change my life" because of 9/11, but apparently she does. I think it is globalist interventionists like Rice whose "lives and strategic perspectives" should change, not mine. They are wrong. I am right. They are the ones meddling in foreign countries, not me. For a long time I've wanted them to stop meddling. Now this happens and _they_ tell _me_ that _my_ life should change? No.

3. "Rice noted that the attacks in Washington and New York produced an acute sense of vulnerability..." Note well the words here: an acute "sense" of vulnerability. Controlling the masses means controlling the perceptions of the masses (which is why control of the mass media is so important).

"Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency'. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains."
--Herbert Hoover

4. Rice said we had a sense of vulnerability to attacks "hatched in distant lands, that come without warning, bringing tragedy to our shores." There are two things I want to point out about this rhetoric. First, if there is no warning (and, as Rice knows, there certainly were many warnings about the 9/11 attacks, although it is debatable whether the warnings were specific enough to actually prevent them), then there is no limit to the amount of power the government may demand to prepare for and/or react to such attacks. No amount of power will suffice to protect us from an attack without warning, therefore no amount of power will ever be "enough". By ignoring the slippery-slope aspect of this concept (and, by extension, the lesson it _should_ teach us), the power-drunk -- of whatever party or faction -- are given license to always seek more power.

Second, by casting this as a battle between nations (requiring, of course, lots of expensive -- read: profitable! -- equipment, training, etc.) rather than a battle for freedom versus powermongers (and their profiteering sponsors) of _every_ government and would-be government, Rice makes inevitable the invocation of such pearls as this:

"That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable."
--Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man", circa 1792

Nothing has changed about that since 1792, folks. Don't be fooled by a party label or a civilized demeanor. Don't yield your principles or your judgment to anyone!

I will close with a lesson from history to which I believe all jingoistic partisans and dupes of the Establishment should force themselves to harken.

"...You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? Well, you aren't in the habit of doing that. And it's not just fear of standing alone that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty. Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, 'everyone is happy.' One hears no protests, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences. In Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly think as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad.' or 'You're seeing things!' or 'You're an alarmist!' And you are an alarmist! You're saying this must lead to this, which will lead to this but you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. Conversely, your colleagues dismiss you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends and maybe family, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have. ...Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven't done, for what was required of most of us was only that we do nothing. You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that one, and you hired this one rather than that one. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. It's too late. You're compromised beyond repair."
--Milton Mayer, in "They Thought They Were Free--The Germans, 1933-45", 1955
Jamie W. "visualize honest media" Jackson

"Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go."
--Shakepeare, "Hamlet"

Monday, August 25, 2003


There's plenty of talk about rights lately. Usually, it seems, the word "human" precedes them; if not, then some other specifier such as "civil" or "consumer" or "taxpayer", etc.. The notion that certain "rights" may attach to an individual by reason of their inclusion within some demographic group is not a novel one, and I take no exception to it in the abstract, provided that the word "rights" is accurately understood. In some cases, the correct word to use would instead be "privileges" and you are encouraged to look up both words and compare for yourselves. What does bother me is when God-given rights -- which, in my view, are the most important ones -- are treated as alienable. That is, rights which are gifts from God are considered instead as though they were the gifts of man -- or, worse yet, as though, despite having been granted by God, man has the authority to revoke them. Nothing could be more absurd.

Man cannot revoke God's grants of rights to man. The only thing man can do is to violate those rights, or, perhaps even worse, establish or allow to be established systemic violations of them. Violation of a right, even systemic, is not the same thing as revocation of that right. The right continues unaffected despite any violation. In fact, if anything, it might be considered that the right stands out in particular strength when it is violated; that it is in being violated that a right becomes most recognizable and perhaps best appreciated, both by whomever is suffering the violation and by observers; everyone can recognize injustice, and what is injustice but the violation of someone's rights? When a right is violated, people recognize this, and judge it as unjust. We see this in many famous trials such as those of John Peter Zenger, William Penn, and now Vernice Kuglin.

Never forget that the same God who granted every one of us a set of rights which attach to us by our very being remains very much in control, and that the more someone violates your rights, the more unjust they reveal their own desires to be. It is their own destruction they wreak, not yours. Even if they should succeed in taking everything from you in this life, what have they accomplished? They will find out soon enough. You should already know (Mark 8:36).

Nonetheless, it is appropriate to work to establish systemic respect for the rights of all. This is a logical outworking of the commandment Jesus proclaimed to be the second greatest of all: to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). After all, if your rights can be violated with impunity, then your neighbor's can as well. (This works both ways, of course; never deceive yourself that you can turn aside as your neighbor's rights are violated without endangering your own! His case today will be used as precedent against you tomorrow.) So it is right and just for you to seek protection of both your rights and those of others, lest you allow a systemic injustice to take hold. This same logic applies to your children's rights; see for example 1 Chronicles 28:8 and Ephesians 6:4.

Do not suppose that there will be no dire consequences if we allow the term "God-given rights" to be replaced by "human rights". While, semantically, "human rights" could certainly be construed to include "God-given rights", there is a loss of information in discarding "God-given rights" in favor of "human rights" -- and that information is vital! If we forget where our rights come from, we disarm ourselves in the battle against humanism.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Many things these days remind me of a roomful of people watching -- and a few of them playing -- a game laid out on a table. Most of the people -- not too surprisingly -- are watching the top of the table, where the board and pieces are. They all have various views of the game; they may differ on which player is more skilled, or which one has the advantage at any given time, etc., but they all have more or less the same field of vision, albeit differing sight lines within it.

Then there are the relatively few people who -- for whatever reason -- decide to bend down and look at the underside of the table. "Why would anybody do that??" you may chuckle. "The game is happening on the top of the table, not the bottom!" Ah, but is that where the game is being decided?

Those who look at the bottom of the table see something the rest don't: the hands on the magnets on the underside of the tabletop, invisibly -- to anyone looking only at the top of the table -- influencing the position of the pieces above. Whoever knows about the magnets understands that the game has an additional layer of activity which is indispensable to understanding what is happening within the game. Whoever doesn't know about the magnets may think he is watching the whole game, but he isn't.

Any time you watch a game, watch the underside of the table too. You might be surprised how much more sense the moves on the top suddenly make.
(You may repost this wherever you like as long as you keep it intact, including all of my sig at the end. I'm leaving the URLs expanded in case anyone wants to post this in a text-only form w/o HTML codes.)

George W. Bush gave a speech yesterday in my hometown. Here's my response.

This probably differs from most other Republican reactions to Bush's speech (, but you should be used to that from me by now. ;-) If not, and you're startled by anything you read, understand I'm comparing this speech (at least the last 9 minutes of it, which is all I got) to the law and the naked facts, not to current political rhetoric or the well-managed conventional "wisdom" you get in the mass media (including FNC).

The following questions are _not_ rhetorical.

He says "medical liability reform is a national issue that requires a national solution" ("because frivolous lawsuits... affect the federal budget"). Where is the constitutional authority for such a "national solution"? How has it been determined that anything affecting the federal budget is, by law, automatically within federal jurisdiction?

He says "I have a responsibility as your president to make sure the judicial system runs well, and I have met that duty." What about Irwin Schiff being forbidden by a court to sell his book ( Is that "the judicial system running well"? People are still being prosecuted under 26 USC §7203 (, which is literally impossible for anyone to ever violate (thanks to Vernice Kuglin for challenging the feds on this one and winning -- -- not that that will likely stop them from further criminal behavior). Is that "the judicial system running well"? We still have asset forfeiture "laws" being upheld by the courts under which the government can charge a citizen's property (inanimate objects!) with crimes, confiscate it, and only return it if their owners can prove that their property is not guilty ( (large amounts of cash are seized this way in blatantly illegal acts of pure, naked theft). Is that "the judicial system running well"? I guess it is, depending on what the definition of "well" is.

He wants an "energy bill" to implement his "energy plan". Where is that in the Constitution? (Interstate commerce??) And is this really something the private sector couldn't or wouldn't handle on its own?

He says "In this new responsibility society, each of us is responsible for loving our neighbor just like we'd like to be loved ourself." Hmmm. I think that's true, but is it the President's concern? He says "Shortly after September 11, I formed what's called the USA Freedom Corps" ( which seems totally illegal too; that page mentions "At the same time, we are working to expand and strengthen federal service programs like the Peace Corps, Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps, and to raise awareness of and break down barriers to service opportunities with all federal government agencies." National service programs sprouting like weeds? Increasing involvement of citizens with national government? This is republican?? It's not even _fiscally_ conservative!

He says "Abroad, we seek to lift whole nations by spreading freedom." A much earlier second-generation President, John Quincy Adams, once said "[America]...has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings.... She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force."

Now you all stand and cheer as JQA's ugly prophecy is fulfilled in every detail. There are many excuses; none are valid. The plain truth is that you are enabling the power-mad among us to centralize political power ever further; under Clinton it was in "liberal" ways, and now it's in "conservative" ways... but notice, none of the "liberal" centralizations of power have gone anywhere. Nor will these [neo-]"conservative" ones disappear, either. Watch. "There's nothing so permanent as a temporary government program." --Ronald Reagan

Lots and lots of things he says he wants. Most of them actually sound pretty good to me (aside from the criminal nature of using the federal government to achieve them, that is), but... he's the _executive_. Instead of focusing on policy, he should be focusing on doing his actual JOB: taking care that the laws of the United States (which are made by Congress, not him) are faithfully executed. He is living out, as so many presidents before him have done, precisely what Carroll Quigley discussed:

"[T]he two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can 'throw the rascals out' at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.... But either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will have none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
--Carroll Quigley, in "Tragedy and Hope", 1966

Emphasis on the word "basic" there. Despite differences on some things, both Bush and Clinton have furthered the "basic" shift in power away from Congress and to the President, as well as the "basic" shift in emphasis away from states and to the feds. This is a very dangerous trend!!! That Bush is "conservative" (presuming he is) will be no comfort when the next would-be tyrant takes his place, inheriting all the same powers of policy-setting and agenda-pushing -- and, doubtless, seeking to expand them even further.

Instead of being made giddy by the cult of personality (not to mention the embarrassingly cliched speechifying) surrounding "W", Republicans should be pressing him to reverse this collectivist trend. I feel quite safe in telling you not to expect his pals in the CFR and the other globalist groups to do it; they have big plans for the world under their control (, so they want more collectivism, not less. How about you?
Jamie W. "visualize honest media" Jackson

"Power is of a grasping, encroaching nature... (it) aims at extending itself and operating according to mere will, whenever it meets with no balance, check, constraint, or opposition of any kind."
--Jonathan Mayhew

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

A. Conan Doyle reportedly said: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Herbert Spencer said: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation." I've also heard it said that "logic is the art of going wrong with confidence." Then there's the now-famous "garbage in, garbage out" (I think this arose out of the usage of computers, but perhaps it predates them; the inexorable logicality of computers certainly accentuates the principle even if it didn't spawn the maxim). Putting all these together I think there's still another proverb to be derived... how about "truth spurned will have its revenge"? Email me your alternate suggestions.

Thanks to the "tax honesty movement" for the inspiration.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

One of the most obvious and most common English errors is trying to express apathy by use of the phrase "I could care less." The correct phrase is "I couldn't care less." If you say "I could care less" you are actually stating that you do care, not that you don't.

If you have to ponder this longer than 3 seconds, you probably need to sign up for lessons in remedial English and/or basic logic.
Isn't it good that we get a little bit of warning before a sneeze happens?

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Drugs kill. Vitamins build. Violence kills. It takes hard work, patience, cooperation, planning, perseverance, and wisdom to build. If you don't like the way things are going, violence may put a temporary stop to some of it, but it won't bring true change. It takes constructive effort to truly bring a change.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Evolutionists believe nothing + time = everything. If we subtract nothing from each side, we end up with time = everything. Something must be missing.... -- the first ad which appeared as I began this blog. Talk about serendipity...!

OK, let's do something useful. I want to establish conclusively that the correct spelling of the word "y'all" is, in fact, "y'all", and not "ya'll". My little sister says y'all don't get this yet, so apparently some ejoomakayshun is in order here. Strap on your thinking tuque and cram this into your brain.

In English, when an apostrophe is used within a word, it generally denotes the excision (that's "removal", if you are dumb) of one or more letters. For example, "don't" is a contraction of "do not", with the "o" having been excised ("removed") from the word "not" and replaced with an apostrophe, and the two words shoved together. Similarly, "he'll" is short for "he will", with the "wi" having been excised, along with the space. "They've" is, of course, short for "they have", with the space and the "ha" having been excised. In no case of which I can think offhand is the apostrophe ever placed anywhere other than where the excised letters and/or spaces were. If we want to contract "you all" into "y'all", then, the obvious way to do it is to replace the "ou" and the space with an apostrophe, leaving us with "y[ou ]'all".

Now comes my little sister claiming that it is generally accepted in "the south" -- wherever that is; evidently someplace lacking in linguistic rigor -- to put the apostrophe in "y'all" between the a and the first l. This would make sense only if we'd begun with the word "ya", which we obviously didn't. (Also note that, even in this hypothetical scenario, it would be no less proper to contract "ya all" into "y'all" than it would be to contract it into "ya'll". Arguably it would even be clearer -- that is, cause less informational loss from the original wording to the resulting contraction -- since "ya'll" could be short for "ya shall" or "ya will", but "y'all" has no other obvious potential expansions -- none, that is, besides "you all", which means the same thing anyway.) So, while her assertion may be correct, it is (presuming that it is indeed correct) only evidence of ignorance.

When confronted with the above logic, she raises the further protest that, even though the logic is flawless, it is immaterial; that English is a language where accuracy is determined by acclamation of general usage rather than any transcendent rules which must be obeyed (my paraphrase of her comments). Far be it from me to deny that languages, our own included, do change over time, or to attempt to idolize any given language at any given time (though I do reserve the right to enjoy/prefer, and expound upon my enjoyment of and/or preference for, a given language at a given time for a given purpose), or even to claim that one linguistic rule must be found right and another conflicting rule wrong. We are free to choose our linguistic rules, and the process will necessarily involve, it seems to me, some chaos from time to time. However, I do insist that there are correct and incorrect deployments of the rules, and there are correct and incorrect spellings of words (some words have multiple spellings which are accepted as correct; these are the unavoidable semantic doings of the swirls of chaos, and, provided neither is in outright violation of any rule, I do not protest their existence, though, again, I do reserve the right to express and defend a personal preference).

"Y'all" is a correct deployment of the rules of English, while "ya'll" is not. There is no advantage to "ya'll" vs. "y'all", while there is a disadvantage. Therefore, "y'all" -- not "ya'll" -- is the correct spelling. Q.E.D.
The strange thing is that I still don't get what all the excitement is about "blogs". They don't seem particularly innovative to me. Nonetheless, it's appealing to have somewhere to post my occasional thoughts -- of which I have many -- so here we go. My hope is that this blog will improve your thought processes as well as add to your knowledge. With that, let's see what sort of ramblings emerge from my gray matter on their way to yours....