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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Live Free or Die?

Live Free or Die is the official motto of New Hampshire. Has been since 1945.

Jesus Emo Diva Christ, this is the most overused and abused slogan EVAH! I get that it’s origins are real and honest as opposed to the way Tea Party R Us types use it now.
The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark, New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, on July 31, 1809. Poor health forced Stark to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington. Instead, he sent his toast by letter:
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.

Stark may not have been the original author of the phrase. Vivre Libre ou Mourir ("Live free or die") was a popular motto of the French Revolution, which the politician Antoine Barnave had engraved on his buttons.
 Huh, originally French, you say. Gosh, wonder if all those France hating, freedom fries snarfing, Tea Bagging, Braveheart wannabes know this.
**an aside. Check out the definition of Freedom Fries in the Urban Dictionary. Yeah, just click on the old linky for a grin.
In any case, what does live free mean, particularly in this Land of the Free and the Brave? Naturally, I stopped by for an assist.
adjective, freer, freest.
1. enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery:
Samuel L. Jackson is a free man but his ancestors were not — they were slaves.
2. enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
As in "England’s not the boss of us and hasn’t been since 1776!"
3. able to do something at will; at liberty:
I can either go for a hike in the Blue Hills today OR a nice ride on my NEW trike. I'm free to choose.
4. clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor:
The hallway is now free of stacked books and old paintings. //snort—yeah, that'll happen//
5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted. 
By this last definition, are any of us ever really free?

If we want to live amongst our fellow humans, and most of us do, we’ve responsibilities to the general society. At least we do if we want to kick chaos to the curb and enjoy a few conveniences. Such as, ya know, the option of tuition-free education for our children (until they’re 17 anyway), paved, plowed roads for our cars to motor down, street lights, police, military, fire departments, etc.

So then, we all have to pay into a fund (*shock, horror* taxes!) to make sure we can keep the wheels of society’s 18 wheeler lubed. That and follow some handy dandy rules which help us be sorta/kinda civilized. You know, like don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t be a dick. Oopsie, I guess that last one’s a bit difficult for some folk.

From Gawker:
The video comes from Mark Follman at Mother Jones, who's lately documented the antics of Texas Open Carry activists who think they're a bunch of nice guys who just happen to carry assault rifles around town because they can, and it's not their fault if the bitchy moms they shoot in effigy or sit next to in these restaurants feel bullied or intimidated, because freedom, goddamnit.
Maybe the open carry asswipes could walk their talk and really live free or die like the five individuals profiled in this National Geographic show.
Live Free or Die explores one of America’s most remote subcultures, following five people who have left the modern world behind to live in backwoods and swamps where they hunt their own food, build their own shelters, and survive only on what they can produce with their own two hands and sharp intuition. 
Hmmm, bet there aren’t any fast food joints or department stores out there in the wood and swamplands though.

Irony Alert!
Prisoners in the New Hampshire state prison in Concord, New Hampshire, stamp license plates with the state's motto: "Live Free or Die."

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