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on Friday, March 20th, 2009 at 10:42 am by Radley Balko
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The tombstone he pre-selected and kept at the foot of his porch reads only “Popcorn Said Fuck You”. I feel tremendously sad, but in some way lifted by his final act of defiance. At his sentencing he told the court he told the court that he “would like to die at home and not the penitentiary” – I’m glad he got his wish and heartily second the Fuck You.
I am a little confused about the “nanny-state” reference in the original post.
Sutton was convicted of possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony and of selling untaxed alcohol to undercover agents. I guess that you could argue that the alcohol tax is some kind of nanny-state safety regulation (recalling that alcohol taxes go way back, See, e.g., the whiskey rebellion).
So let’s set aside all of the alcohol-related stuff. Recall that one of Sutton’s prior convictions was for assault with a deadly weapon. Possession of a firearm AFCF under 18 U.S.C. 922(g) is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. Given that, the nanny state reference seems incorrect.
The state wants all of us to be victims. Even if they have to make us one themselves.
Here in WV, ‘shiners are pretty much ignored. Unless ofcourse, anything that even resembles cannibis is spotted nearby on a flyover.
May he R.I.P. I sure would have liked a taste.
John Jenkins said, “Possession of a firearm AFCF under 18 U.S.C. 922(g) is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. Given that, the nanny state reference seems incorrect.”
I am unfamiliar with the details of this fellow’s life. Therefore, assuming that the state charged the man with possessing a firearm while otherwise a free man (out and about outside of a jail, not harming anyone else), why in the world would the state have cause to prevent a free man from exercising one of his inalienable rights? Are cops any more apt to leap out of a cell phone should a prior felon, having served his time, come under attack by criminal assailants?
“Felon in possession of a firearm” is one of the most odious breaches of the US’ supreme law.
(Note: An Exciseman was a collector of excise taxes on certain home commodities and licences for certain trades.
They were generally not well liked by the population. )
TUNE: The Hemp-Dresser
Standard English Translation
The Deil’s Awa Wi’ Th’ Exciseman
The Deil’s awa, the Deil’s awa,
The Deil’s awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
He’s danc’d awa, he’s danc’d awa,
He’s danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
The Deil cam fiddlin thro’ the town,
And danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
And ilka wife cries: -‘Auld Mahoun,
I wish ye luck o’ the prize, man!
‘ We’ll mak our maut, and we’ll brew our drink,
We’ll laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
And monie braw thanks to the meikle black Deil,
That danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
‘ There’s threesome reels, there’s foursome reels,
There’s hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
But the ae best dance ere cam to the land
Was The Deil’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!’
The Devil Is Away With The Exciseman
The Devil is away, the Devil is away,
The Devil is away with the Exciseman!
He has danced away, he has danced away,
He has danced away with the Exciseman!
The Devil came fiddling through the town,
And danced away with the Exciseman!
And every wife cries: -‘Old Mahoun (Devil),
I wish you luck of (with) the prize, man!
‘ We will make our malt, and we will brew our drink,
We will laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
And many good thanks to the big black Devil,
That danced away with the Exciseman!
‘ There is threesome reels, there is foursome reels,
There is hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
But the one best dance ever came to the land
Was The Devil Is Away with the Exciseman!’
I have no problem if people want to make shine.If you want to sell it it needs to be taxed and regulated,some of it is pure poison due to poor sanatation and ingredents.That’s one of the problems with the illegal drug supply,I have a friend in Whiteville N.C,who makes shine with his hunting buddies.Flavors it with parsimions.
My family is from the mountains of east Tennessee, not far from where Popcorn lived. Although I never met him, I’ve known a number of men like him, and am descended from quite a few of them.
They’re gentle, except when moved by hot blood or drink, and yes, fiercely independent and almost invariably bizarre in some way. In fact, in the mountains, having a touch of strangeness is respected. Anything that makes you more unique, more individual is a kind of virtue.
I don’t feel sorry for him. It sounds like he lived his life more fully than most of us could hope for. This terror of death is mostly a modern invention, anyway. When my grandfather died, 200 people attended the funeral from four different states. When you’re part of a community that preceded you and outlives you, when you see yourself as part of a seemingly endless chain connecting your ancestors to your descendants, death loses some of its power. My grandmother knew hundreds of members of the family, their names, their relations, their stories. It seems that rootless moderns like myself, who’ve lost a lot of that, are the ones that have more trouble with death. We see ourselves as the universe, and death becomes the unbearable end of everything.