Emerald Gryphon

Ramblings from an ex-squid on politics, religion, current events, and whatever else catches my attention.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Breaking News: Armed Family seen in local Bar!!

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Wednesday, 15 July 2009


So, in celebration of the new Tennessee ‘Guns in Bars’ bill, my wife, my 6 month old daughter, and I went to go have a pleasant dinner at the Ruby Tuesday’s in Smyrna tonight. And yes, two of us were armed. Openly. (bonus points if you can guess which two… heheh)

No PSH, and neither of our firearms leapt out of their holsters and shot the place up. Had a good meal  (have you tried the fruit lemonades they have there? Outstanding!) with great service (thank you, Jenn! Ask for her – she was incredible!), and just spent a pleasant hour and change. I would encourage everyone who is a friend of firearms owners and gun rights to patronize Ruby Tuesday’s. They started here in Nashville, and they came out very early in this whole shouting match by declaring that they weren’t going to post any of their Tennessee restaurants “No Firearms” since they haven’t had a problem in any other state. They, like Walmart, McDonalds, IHOP, etc; will simply follow the laws of the state that they are in regarding arms. They have just become our new favorite restaurant locally, whether we are carrying or not. And, it seems we are not alone:  The Squeaky Wheel goes to RT’s in Memphis (i think) and  Shots Across the Bow details more terrifying incidents involving guns and alcohol in the same building. (h/t) Say Uncle.

To the restaurant owners who don’t want guns carried in their restaurants: Cool. Plainly post that you don’t want our business, and we will leave you alone. Carving the exception for permit holders ( as well as carving the exception out for off duty police) out of the general prohibition on carry in restaurants that serve alcohol only increases liberty for everyone in Tennessee. Permit holders get added liberty to choose different places to eat, and restaurant owners are no longer prevented from allowing carry on their premises, but can prohibit carry of they choose (it is their property, after all) Win all the way around, I say.

To those who are getting their senses all out of whack and claim that they will not eat at any restaurant that allows guns, well, i guess that you wont go to McD’s, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, IHOP, Subway, the food court at most malls, the snack bar at Target or Wal-mart….. There are really too many to list. The only restaurant that I know of in Middle Tennessee that prohibits carry in Waffle House. I guess that they will be packed from now on… heh.





Posted in Food, Guns, Idiots, Politics, Power, Rules | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Getting it backwards, again….

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 4 June 2009

SayUncle has this post about the recent New Hampshire decision to officially recognize and subsidize gay marriage in NH. I agree with the spirit, in that this is a good thing on net. No courts, no lawsuits, this was the legislature acting to enact the will of the people. Republican form of government in action, and all that.

Where Unc gets it wrong, however, is in his statement that

New Hampshire set to become sixth state to butt out of contracts between two people whose genitalia aren’t different.

This isn’t about their freedom to contract. This isn’t about their freedom to marry. These were already freely available, no one was getting jailed for performing a ceremony, and no one was having their legal contracts overridden. This is purely about the taxpayer subsidy for married couples being extended to same-sex couples.

I get disappointed when I see thoughtful, intelligent people apparently completely misunderstanding the actual root issue here. There are no civil rights at stake.  You are free to enter into a same sex marriage, anywhere in the US. There are no contract rights at stake. Your wills, living wills, and powers-of-attorney aren’t being summarily set aside, and if they do, that is an issue where the courts should intervene on a civil rights basis for freedom to contract. You do not get the marriage subsidy extended to you in 44 states currently. That’s the difference. I feel that the taxpayers of a State have the right to decide what actions and behaviors to subsidize and which to tax, and that their legislators should enact the will of their constituents. If you want to be married in a state that does not subsidize your marriage, it takes a couple of grand and an attorney to get about 90% of the benefits of marriage via contract. The rest are state tax savings and whatever state welfare payments are restricted to married couples. (And social security, but I’m dealing with state level here, not federal) That’s far better than if you happen to be involved in a polygynous relationship – your marriage is not only not recognized, you can go to jail for it.

I became ordained years ago specifically to perform a ceremony for a lesbian shipmate of mine and her partner. (Yes, we were active duty at the time). Since then I have performed about a half-dozen marriages or commitment ceremonies for gay or lesbian couples. Big deal. However, I do not support extending the subsidies to same-sex couples on the following basis: I believe that the government should get all the way out of recognizing marriages. There should be a single legal protection package (what to do if the arrangement ends – property protections and all that) for civil unions that covers everyone who live together and have commingled finances, from roommates to siblings to lovers to parents, etc. Everyone. Extending the recognition business is the opposite of what I feel should be the norm in a liberty – focused society.  Yes, I know that this is the real world, not my ideal liberty based society, but I (and other likeminded individuals) am trying to get us closer to it all the time.



Posted in Politics, Power, Rules | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tennessee Restaraunt Carry bill vetoed by Gov Bredesen.

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Friday, 29 May 2009

Wow. Just wow. newsish link here.

I’ll let all the political evaluation be done by those with better insight than me. For example, SayUncle has a good (though short) roundup of reactions, including this little gem:

I guess he really doesn’t have future aspirations for political office in the state.

That really about sums it up. As a gun owner and licensed carrier here in Tennessee, i am particularly upset that our Governor doesn’t believe that our citizens are as mentally competent as those of ALL our neighboring states. yes, thats right, every state that touches Tennessee allows people with a permit to carry in restaurants as long as they are not drinking. Virginia goes as far as requiring that the weapon be carried openly.

Is this so hard? The Governor wants to restrict a fundamental civil right based not on any evidence but on his gut. I’m sorry, that is neither the power nor function of government. Gut feelings (all guns are bad, m’kay? Unless I am the one directing the usage of those guns!) don’t pass constitutional muster as ‘providing a compelling state interest’ to restrict a fundamental civil right.

I don’t need a nanny. I just need to be left alone.

In the immortal wods of Captain Mal Reynolds, “I’m done runnin’. I aim to misbehave”





h/t instapundit

Posted in Guns, Idiots, Politics, Power, Rules, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

New TN Senate Bill Proposes to Ban Pit Bull Terriers

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 17 January 2008

So my wife got an e-mail today from our vet, about Tennessee Senate Bill 2738 (pdf), Sponsored by Sen. Tommy Kilby, (D – Wartburg), that proposes to ban all pit bulls and mix-breeds with 50% or more pit bull bloodlines, and make owning one a Class A misdemeanor, and the dog will be confiscated and destroyed. I sent a letter to my State Senator, Bill Ketron, that read:

Senator Ketron,

My name is ************, and I live on the outskirts of Smyrna. I wanted to contact you regarding the new Bill referenced in the subject line. As a responsible dog owner and citizen, I would request that you attempt to block this bill from reaching the floor for a general vote, or if it does reach the floor, I urge you to vote against it and request that you urge other Senators to vote against it. There is no ‘bad’ breed of dog. There are only bad owners. I would fully support legislation raising the penalties for owners that violate leash / containment laws, and for holding owners responsible if their dogs attack someone unprovoked. However, once the State has decided that it can ban possession of this breed of dog based on the actions of a relatively few bad owners, what breeds are next? Please, vote against this bill.  

This is a dangerous bill, in that it punishes normal, law abiding pet owners for the actions of a few idiots who encourage their dogs to be dangerous. If this passes, whats next? Do I have to get rid of my lab / rott cross, because someone somewhere is scared of Rottweilers? Does my friend have to get rid of her Jack Russell since they attack and put more people in the hospital than any other breed of dog? I call BS. I’ll keep you updated with any response Sen. Ketron has. Also, if you either are a dog person or believe that the gov’t shouldn’t have the power to assume that you are guilty before you have done anything, please find and contact your State Senator here. More Later!



Posted in Dogs, Idiots, Pets, Politics | 1 Comment »

Fred Thompson Blogburst

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 27 December 2007

So, there is a blogburst for Fred! asking people to donate for the last Iowa push. Rick Moran from Right Wing Nuthouse is asking bloggers for Fred! to push the button and support the man. I am a Fred! supporter, as I feel that he is the only real small-gov’t conservative runing in this race. He is a federalist, pure and simple, and believes in the constitutional requirement that the Federal Gov’t only has the powers specifically granted to it in the Constitution. All other powers are reserved to the States, and through them to the People. This is what the Constitution says, and I finally can hear a presidential candidate actually talking about enforcing the constitution. It’s amazing, in this era of bloated government that someone is actually talking about what powers the Feds have that they should not. Listen to some of it here… you won’t be disappointed.



PS, I cant embed the contribute link in the post, it’s just off to the left there.. please hit it if you want to help get the best candidate in the current field into the presidential race.

Posted in Fred!, Politics | 5 Comments »

5th annual International EATAPETA Day!

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 15 March 2007

So, apparently it is the 5th annual “Eat a tasty animal for PETA” day, or EATAPETA. This all began when a blogger named Meryl Yourish objected to PETA conflating KFC killing chickens for food with the Holocaust. I don’t know how I missed this for the last 4 years, but this is a holiday I can really sink my teeth into. (pun fully intended!) And no, I don’t discriminate along species lines when it comes to meat. If it once cast a shadow, I’ll eat it.



Posted in Food, Humor, Idiots, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Text of the new “Ugly Gun Law”

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Friday, 23 February 2007

As I posted earlier, the new “Ugly Gun Law” has been introduced in the house. you can read the text of the bill here. Now, i’m not an attorney or a Constitutional law professor, but I have a really hard time accepting that any part of this bill is constitutional. In particular, i am bothered by Sec. 3.A.30.(L), where it says

“`(L) A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event.'”

In light of the stated purpose of the Second amendment to ensure that the citizens of this country are able to defend themselves from a government gone bad and its Army, this passage seems especially egregious. 

Also, in Sec 6 it states

“`(5) It shall be unlawful for any person to transfer a semiautomatic assault weapon to which paragraph (1) does not apply, except through–

    `(A) a licensed dealer, and for purposes of subsection (t) in the case of such a transfer, the weapon shall be considered to be transferred from the business inventory of the licensed dealer and the dealer shall be considered to be the transferor; or
    `(B) a State or local law enforcement agency if the transfer is made in accordance with the procedures provided for in subsection (t) of this section and section 923(g).”

If I’m reading this right, this says that a private citizen who legally owns one of these will now be prohibited from selling it except to and /or through a dealer. This creates a new record of the transaction and registers the weapon with the new owners fingerprints. At the risk of sounding tinfoil-hattish, the bureaucracy has neither the right nor the need to retain the records of what guns I possess and how I dispose of them.

 I encourage everyone interested in protecting our freedoms in this country to write / email / call your respective congresscritters to decry this law as unconstitutional. You can get your Senators and representatives information here.



Posted in Guns, Idiots, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Alternative Power and distributed power and storage

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Wednesday, 21 February 2007

I’ve been looking into installing a solar electric generation system on my home. With all the talk about funding for alternative power, there are no significant public sources of funds to help defray the costs here in TN. I believe that partly to be due to the amount of federal subsidy to the local power infrastructure. The co-op that is my local electric monopoly gets about 33% of its base load power from TVA hydroelectric plants. These, of course, are significantly supported by federal funds. That makes not only consumer cost for electricity low, but also the power is reasonably clean. So, I’m looking for non-governmental sources of funds to help with becoming a net producer of energy to the grid. If anyone knows of private groups that have grant programs for green power, please let me know. 

 I know, in my previous post I touched on what I consider the fallacy of anthropogenic global warming, and this may seem like I’m saying one thing and doing another. However, there are other reasons than the doom and gloom scenarios to push for distributed, clean power. The first in my mind is security, both for my family and for the country. In event of a grid failure (i.e. power outage) we still would have lights, heat, etc. Also, from a national security standpoint, the more alternative power we generate reduces the amount we are dependant on foreign sources of energy, and the less money we are contributing to both our enemies and to oppressive dictatorships abroad. I don’t know if this correlation has any provable causation, but it seems that the major oil producing nations have an awful human rights record, and I’m a little uncomfortable supporting these regimes with my money. The second national security implication for distributed power generation is that large power plants are a target. You might as well paint a bull’s-eye on them. The potential for producing disruption is huge. Envision: hear a loud series of explosions, the power goes out, no sources of news and information since the vast majority of people rely on electronic devices for their (electrically powered) media.  Emergency responder coordination could be affected by the traffic snarls due to the traffic signals not working.  Panic may not be far behind.

Another reason for self-generated power is of course pollution. While solar isn’t completely clean (once you calculate in the byproducts and waste from construction) it’s definitely preferable to coal for peak load production.   And oil is simply too valuable as a chemical precursor to be burning it for fuel. Think about what wouldn’t be likely without petroleum. Plastic would be unavailable. Think about that for a second… Plastic would be unavailable…. How many things do we rely on plastic for? From keeping our foods safe to eat to making our houses and cars more energy efficient to the clothing we wear and the shoes on our feet, chances are that plastic is as ubiquitous in your life as it is in mine. (If you haven’t made a conscious decision to limit it, that is)

With distributed storage as well as production, a number of residences could easily produce the peak draw needed to supply local businesses during the day, and still have enough stored up to take care of most of the home’s load at night. This would reduce our usage of the dirtiest fuels and plants, as they are only fired up when demand is high.  

I know that one person cannot change the country. I also know that if you don’t lead by example, you will never convince anyone.  



Posted in Global Warming, Politics, Power, Terror | 1 Comment »

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 15 February 2007

So I was thinking about Wytammic’s comment to my post about the return of the ugly gun law, and I was struck by how far from party principles some of the candidates are. For instance, you have Rudy Guiliani running as a republican, but he is an anti-gun, big gov’t, socially liberal, more police power exec. He is basically a tax cutting democrat with the cojones to fight the terrorists overseas. (that still is a big plus, though). On the other hand, you have Bill Richardson running as a democrat. He is pro-gun, tax-cutting, and socially moderate. Unfortunately, he is anti-constitutional like all Dems.  (Federal gov’t health care) and he doesn’t even talk about social security and medicare (also unconstitutional) And then of course he buys into the fallacy of anthropogenic global warming. I can’t in good faith support either of them at this time, but their histories on issues that are traditionally from the other side of the political spectrum give me pause.

I’m pretty moderate on a lot of things, but the one thing I don’t tolerate is a politician that intends to work against the constitution. Thats why I tend to vote R for federal gov’t and D or I for local and state government. Unfortunately the front runners of both major parties do just that. Then you have Ron Paul, and while I agree on his take on most issues, he is too far of an isolationist big-L libertarian for me. Its early yet in this campaign cycle, and a lot of things will shake out as a result of the primary process, but I really wonder if the compromises we will have to make will contribute to the slow degradation of our constitutional republic.



Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »