For Whom the Liberty Bell Tolls (or: Brief Thoughts on Crossing the Border on a Motorcycle)

I am an American, and this means certain things.

As an American, I will say what I want, when I want, to whom I want. If you find my speech upsetting or disgusting, dangerous or irresponsible or even un-American, that’s your problem.  I’m an American.  I say what I want.

I have the right to make full use of the roads for which my taxes paid. This is not a privilege granted by government entities, but a citizens’ right extending back to Roman times. Within reasonable rules, I will use the roads, trails and public lands of my country as I see fit.

As a military veteran, I have the contracted right to every last benefit, retirement annuity and disability payment promised by my government, without dilution and without equivocation. I swore to uphold my end of the deal, and did. I demand that my government hold up its end now. You break it, you buy it.

What I put into, or take out of, my American body is not the business of the body politic. This is my temple. You may pray for it, but you don’t pray in it. If you cherish a fervent belief that marijuana will kill you or make you stupid, don’t smoke it. If you live in fear of unpasteurized cheese, don’t eat it. If you think condoms are more sinful than overloading the planet with more people to look after, don’t employ birth control. As for me, my body is my workplace, my playground, my temple, my trial, my refuge and my responsibility.  I may rent it to you for wages, but unless you’re paying me right now, Physician, heal thyself (and mind thine own).

Any government that insists on regulating its citizens’ use of their own bodies will be obliged to care for those same bodies from cradle to grave. You can’t have it both ways. You own it, you maintain it.

My government has no business attempting to defend my country from me.  I have the right to travel to any nation that will accept me, and to return peacefully to my home without more than a perfunctory confirmation of my identity as a United States citizen. Short of a search warrant granted for just cause, my government has no grace-given right to examine me without my consent, and surely no right to publicly obliterate my personal dignity. The desire to travel is not consent to be searched.

I have the right to live peacefully in the country of my birth, secure in my home and person against no-knock warrants executed by armored tactical teams. I have the right to deny any official who doesn’t present a search warrant entry to my home – whether that home is a house, an apartment, a recreational vehicle or a recycled shipping carton. Just as the tie goes to the runner, the rights default to individual liberties.

Under the category of things one should never have to clarify, I assert my complete immunity against being killed by my government at any time, either abroad or at home, for any reason whatsoever. You don’t own it. You can’t break it. Citizens of all countries possess the right to terminate their government, but no government has ever possessed the right to kill its citizens.

Our government, acting for its people, does possess the power to terminate corporations. “Corporate citizenship” is a noxious term. No corporation’s charter has ever contained an oath of allegiance to anyone but its shareholders, nor has any company ever had a meaningful homeland. The meanest and lowest American contains more merit and offers more meaningful fealty to his country than the grandest corporation. Mineral rights, airwaves, timber rights and corporate charters are vested in the people, not in the corporations given conditional leave to exercise them.

My government has no power to grant liberties to human beings. It has no sanction to take liberties. All rights reside with the people, and powers arising from those rights are lent to government on the condition of its good behavior. Americans may strip our government of its power at any time. Those holding power should in wisdom remember this.

“Sedition” is not only impossible for an American, it may in times of burgeoning state power become the very opposite of treason. We are not subjects. We are citizens. We say what we want, when we want.

Listen, or don’t.

Flag over a log house deck, at sunset in Montana


  1. I just woke up, rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and left my breakfast to chill while finishing the rest of this piece. Yes, Dad. Yes.

  2. If this be sedition, then let us make the most of it! This is beyond Shot Expert, I don’t think you got any outside the X ring.

  3. yep, you’d have to mic’ that one to find the spread. Dead on, dead on…fire for effect.

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