There are times when, given the relentless and unabashed contempt for real freedom and liberty of the leftists in our midst, I despair for the future of liberty in the world. I read the scrawling of scribes, see the posturing of potentates and hear the odium of orators who’ve naught better to say about liberty than there’s just too damned much of it and it should be taxed, regulated or legislated out of existence.

This weekend I was reminded that all is far from lost in this great nation. That liberty and the freedom to enjoy it is, while fervently sought by those in parts of the world that are far from free, still exercised here by people with a joy for life.

I&I - 05

The Ink and Iron Festival is a celebration that merges what some would call Body Art (Tattooing, Piercing, etc) with displays of colorful custom and great classic cars and motorcycles along with musical performances and fantastic food was held at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

The variety of people who were there to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and general camaraderie often found when people gather to share an experience was a pleasant escape from daily life. I saw booths and tables where people displayed their skills and plied their trades. I saw a carnival for people to experience thrills and joy. I heard musicians exhibit their talents (or the lack thereof) to the applause or disdain of the assemblage.

I saw people of all types show off the cars, bikes and/or bodies that they had put so much time and expense into. There were Bikers and Punks, Goths and “Gangstas”, Cowboys and Metalheads and much variety in between.

I saw sellers hawking leather goods, vehicle parts, videos, bikinis, retro memorabilia, automotive tools, vacations, tattoo/body piercing paraphernalia, jewelry, food, and clothing. I saw booths full of merchandise extolling uniqueness and beauty. I saw rebellion and individuality packaged and marketed for mass consumption and I gloried in the irony of it.

And it all reminded me that, as President Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1st inaugural address, “this great nation will endure as it has endured”.

While the fight goes on to preserve and advance liberty here and elsewhere, we as a nation still have very far to fall before finding ourselves in the pits of fascism and living in the statist utopia (there’s a contradiction in terms for you) that is so ardently striven for by those most rabidly on the left.