Tuesday, November 6, 2012


by Connie Chastain Ward

Timothy Manning has posted on his Facebook page an essay titled, ARGUMENTUM AD ABSURDUM: BEING A FB FRIEND.  It can be read at this link: http://www.facebook.com/notes/tim-manning/argumentum-ad-absurdum-being-a-fb-friend/537140616299750

In the first paragraph, Mr. Manning wrote this remarkable sentence: "Below is a casual observation I wrote about a 'discussion' on my page today that I hope some may find helpful with some quotes from distinguished FB friends who refused to descend to the lower regions of the person who was attacking and insulting them."

"The person" who was "attacking and insulting" them, presumably, is moi. Both Mr. Manning's essay and the Facebook discussion that inspired it are begging for commentary, by moi. They're long and somewhat varied, so my commentary will best be presented in multiple posts.

And while I firmly make my lower regions off-limits, I invite all those who wish to comment to please do so -- especially folks who corresponded privately to Tim Manning about moi.  Say it to my face, folks....

Here is the link to the original Facebook thread. Not every post in the thread is relevant to my purpose, so only those I'm dealing with will be reproduced in this commentary.

Mr. Manning began the thread by posting a cartoon, and his observation about it:

It was originally posted on the Facebook page, "A Sheep No More," who had noted, "Because it's easier this way!"

Mr. Manning's commentary on the cartoon was, "This is not a line honourable people support, yet most probably will tomorrow. Romney is not the solution to anything. . . .secession would help."

Among the comments on the resulting thread, the following are relevent to my discussion here (timestamps and other Facebook notations have been removed for easier reading):

Pat Hines Secession is the only answer. Those thinking that Romney will give "us" a reprieve while we prepare for secession are penny wise and pound foolish.


Betty Holsen What does it take to secede? Sorry I'm dumb on this


Pat Hines It takes joining a secession organization and putting in plenty of work, Betty. It takes a mind set that you want to be free and you want full access to your liberty.

In the south, the largest such organization is the League of the South.

DixieNet.Org: Official Website of the League of the South!


Dennis Durham Why do people say one is the lesser of two evils? That makes no Damn sense. There is no difference between the two.


Connie Ward
  There will be no secession. It's ludicrous to imagine there will be. At this point, it's a pipe dream.

Connie Ward There are several very important differences between Obama and Romney; these are highly illustrative of the differences.

(1) Romney will not give over a billion dollars, no strings attached, to the Muslim Brotherhood via Egypt's new government. There are conditions on that money; Hillary Clinton waived them. Romney won't. Moreover, he will not sprinkle his administration with Islamics.

(2) Romney will open up the oil, natural gas and coal reserves on federal land. He will let the states permit and regulate their development. This will put a lot of people back to work; and it will create a ripple throughout the economy. Enormous varied industries and jobs are necessary to service oil, gas and coal production -- everything from companies that make drill bits, to gloves for the workers -- to restaurants and grocery stores to feed them. Thus, jobs will open up across the board. That won't happen with Obama, who is getting ready to basically shut down coal production in this country, and who has given millions, perhaps billions, of taxpayer dollars to "green energy" companies -- at least fifty of which have gone belly up, or are about to go belly up. Anybody who says there's no difference between these guys isn't paying attention.

Remember, Romney hasn't said, "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction, " or "The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."


Connie Ward The League of the South appears to be turning into a radical organization advocating racial oppression and attracting those who advocate violence against the US government (i.e., guerilla war or armed revolution). Alas.


Connie Ward For example, one League member posting in this very thread has written...

Connie Chastain -- The Beslan School Massacre -- Eight years ago this month. September 1, 2006 Chechen Muslim terrorists lay seige to a school in Russia, rape and kill children, hold them hostage in a non-ventilated gymnasium, without food or water. ...338 people were murdered, 172 of them were children. Rehearsal for an assault on schools in the US? ... floor plans for half a dozen schools in Virginia, Texas and New Jersey have been recovered from terrorist hands in Iraq.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-8th-anniversary-of-the-rape-jihad -- The 8th anniversary of 'The Rape Jihad' -- Is the Beslan Massacre a practice-run against Western schools? Eight years ago today, Chechen Muslim terrorists launched an attack on a school in Beslan, Russia
Pat Hines -- The Beslan event was part of the war to rid Chechnya of the Russian hegemony. We Southrons will adopt exactly the same methods if the Untied States does not withdrawn from our lands. It is harsh, but will be done.
Pat Hines -- ... we'll simply destroy a Yankee school and all that are in it. The Chechens didn't kill Chechen children, those were Russian children and teachers. Really, you're not cut out for this kind of subject, why do you bring it up?
Pat Hines -- When you're occupied, you take the war to the occupier, period.



Pat Hines September 12 at 2:26pm -- The neocons are already dancing in the blood of the US government thug who got his butt waxed in Libya. Just like the Gun Confiscation Lobby, they'll try to milk this for all it's worth in support of their Zionist friends. I propose that we not let them do that. We Southrons lost no one in Libya, the Yankee Empire did. Rejoice!



James Calvin Hanks Jr --. ... I loved the thread that you initiated. It brought out what I consider the seamy underside of the organization. I was South Carolina director and then Chairman of the LoS and I never allowed talk like HWs in our meetings. The first event I organized as Chairman was a counter demonstration against the Neo-Nazis when they came to Columbia. We still don't countenance race hatred here.
Connie Chastain -- Mr. Hanks, I'm glad to hear that. I have been curious, based on some of the things posted about South Carolina by Pat Hines.
James Calvin Hanks Jr. -- I know Pat. He is a friend of mine. He is very smart, with a lot of facts ready to hand. I am really glad to be on the same team with Pat. I don't know what things he has written that distress you but I can say that he is nothing if not outspoken. I also know and admire Palmetto Patriot. He is learning fast, teaching himself what he needs to know to further our efforts to be free. Just now he is taken HW so he could go down that path. If he does than we will no longer be on the same team. The one I would not allow a public voice is HW. It was fun for a while reading his repetitive assertions and accusations but I found it not only eventually boring and ugly but destructive to our organization. Let him work out his private demons in private, I say.
Connie Chastain -- Pat's provocative online and when you ask him about he, he clams up... Here's an example: About Muslims in South Carolina he says, "We've got them identified and targeted here in South Carolina for moving out." I asked him, "Pat? We who? How is the targeting done? How will the moving out be accomplished?" He said, "Connie, you simply have no need to know that." So I replied, "Then why are you posting it on Facebook?"
http://www.facebook.com/dinohio/posts/261136143991659?notif_t=share_reply (Note; this post has been removed and the link no longer works)
He advocates violence, too, but won't elaborate when asked....
James Calvin Hanks Jr. -- Oh, yes, I did see that and wondered about it. I don't know what he means. If I had to guess I would guess that it was an empty boast. None of the groups with which I am associated have ever discussed moving anyone out of South Carolina or targeting individuals or groups for anything, except politicians for removal through the political process. And we have had some success with that.


Pat Hines -- I was forced to jack slap Corey on his own blog this morning. Here's my post, in case he boots it. "The Yankee has attempted over 150 years of cultural genocide against the south and the Southron man. Still, you’ve failed, not only that, but the Yankee has become effete, effeminate, or in the vernacular, a limp-wristed girly man. You have only yourself to blame, but we’re loving the ongoing self destruction of your society. All wrought by the Lincoln treason of 1861."
Pat Hines -- What they need to think about is they run a very serious risk of fresh blood of their "kindred" being spilled if they don't leave our land. They don't seem to realize just how easy it would be to begin to terminate Yankee Empire swine in our states.
Connie Chastain -- Pat, if by "terminate" you mean killing, it wouldn't be easy and it wouldn't be right, unless we did it like our ancestor -- secede and then defend against the people wrongly sent to subjugate us. It is folly to imagine that, in our current state, the South could fight the U.S. military. In any case, we ain't gonna. Our whole region suffers from cultural Stockholm Syndrome.
Pat Hines -- It is technically easy, Connie. I know you're not as far along the secession continuum as I am, but let me state this. We are at war with the Yankee Empire. In truth, we've been at war with them for over 150 years, but most of us, including me, didn't realize that. I do now. Killing the enemy is something that must be done if need be. Eventually, the Yankee Empire will affect you enough that you'll not blink an eye in doing that, it's only a matter of time. We all must.
Connie Chastain -- We'll be blown to a red dust if we try that Pat. Too many of them, not enough of us, they have unimaginable technology....
Pat Hines -- That's the common "knowledge", but in fact it's not true. In fact, there aren't enough of them at all. I could go into the numbers, if you want, but for now, I'll just tell you that in order to defeat the south, the US military would have to be approximately twenty times larger than it is now. That's not doable under any known circumstances.


Pat Hines -- If I catch one of these at any polling location, they won't be monitoring long.

 Pat Hines Rainbow Chastain, who screeches above, is one of my acolytes. She follows me all over Facebook, she obviously has a lot of love for me.


Connie Ward Screeching? Just re-posting what YOU have written and posted, Pat. Deny it, why don't you?


Connie Ward You still planning to murder a bunch of yankee school kids and teachers, a la Beslan?


Dennis Durham Both parties work tirelessly to take away more freedoms and rights with every bill they create.


Connie Ward So what's your solution, Durham? Not voting? Secession (smirk)?


Pat Hines I rest my case.


Connie Ward What case, Pat? The murdering school children case?


Dennis Durham That's the million dollar question. Not 100% sure. I know it can't be fixed every four years.


Pat Hines Everything you write, Rainbow, pays homage to me.


Connie Ward You don't know what "homage" means, do ya, Pat?


Connie Ward  "The Beslan event was part of the war to rid Chechnya of the Russian hegemony. We Southrons will adopt exactly the same methods if the Untied States does not withdrawn from our lands. It is harsh, but will be done.... we'll simply destroy a Yankee school and all that are in it. The Chechens didn't kill Chechen children, those were Russian children and teachers. Really, you're not cut out for this kind of subject, why do you bring it up? When you're occupied, you take the war to the occupier, period." ~ Pat Hines


Connie Ward The "methods" of the "Beslan event" that Pat says "Southrons" will "adopt" --
The 8th anniversary of 'The Rape Jihad' http://www.examiner.com/article/the-8th-anniversary-of-the-rape-jihad


Connie Ward Homage -- respect or reverence paid or rendered. I don't respect you, Pat. You're either an agent provocateur or a lunatic. Either way, I'd love to see you drummed out of the Southern movement.


Dennis Durham Romney will give money to Israel instead of the Muslim brotherhood. Which is the lesser of the two evils?


Tim Manning Connie Ward, I have been an LS Institute Staff member for many years and I have never heard from them what you assert they stand for, and I have been privy to many private and confidential conversations amoung LS leaders. "Secession" in LS discussions is about what a political entity can do if a government is legitimate. The government of the USA is not. Secession for the LS is but a popular euphemism often used by Southerners that is familiar to most Southerners. When we use it we most often mean " sovereignty and independence." If you must argue with people on my pages please argue for or against the concepts they support or deny; otherwise, it appears to man LS and non-LS folks that you are just using my pages to construct and deconstruct your own strawmen. Building strawmen is useful and successful when having dialogue with people who are particularly uninformed and/or misinformed. Many of the folks on my pages have Ph.D.'s in a variety of disciplines and others who are but armchair historians yet are better educated than most with Ph.D.'s in History that occupy the classrooms in American universities. I think you are undervaluing the intellect of some folks whose ideas you oppose. Most feel, as one wrote, that "it is unprofitable to argue against Connie's simplistic, ill-defined and unqualified statements." The USA is an empire that is falling . . . going broke. It is destroying itself and there is no need to taunt a dying empire. Dying empires become more dangerous to their own people than to anyone else. Notions of militant military-styled resistance are appeals to emotions more than anything else. LS members have no intention of becoming American home-grown terrorists. To represent them this way is silly and it is an anti-intellectual approach to and about the LS. Typical of private notes my readers have sent to me about your discussions here and on other pages is this one saying, "Tim, I'd suggest you remove Chastain's posts from your thread. She's a relentless attention seeker. I finally had to block her from my FB page, she's fixated on certain things. She's an ardent Romney supporter and opposes secession totally. There are other, more colorful words I could use to describe her, but I'll refrain." Another wrote that "by Connie's mischaracterization's of my comments" that "she is losing what little credibility she once enjoyed from Southern readers." Such comments I almost always leave posted as in time they usually serve to demonstrate the propaganda technique often called "argumentum ad absurdum." People are called "Friends" on facebook because we get to know each other well enough to understand what we mean in our exchange of words and ideas. Often it is more useful to get a person to explain their statement than it is to try and score some cutesy points "against" a friend who is taking their time and sincere effort in an attempt to be your friend and let you know how they think and feel.

Connie Ward Tim, a lot of what you wrote above is just someone's opinion, because they don't like hearing truths I bring up. Of course, you may remove me so that I cannot defend or explain my statements, that's your call. But the Southern movement seems to be doing that a lot -- blocking people, making their groups closed -- a disturbing trend in a movement that used to welcome *open* discussion of issues... I remember hearing Dr. Hill proudly assert that League functions were open to the public, there were no "members only" pages on Dixienet, etc... But now, the League Facebook page has gone closed. It was supposed to be used for recruiting, he told me. How can you recruit when the public can't see your page? The trend to secrecy and hiding does not bode well for the movement, IMO.

I know what secession is. Call it what you will -- sovereignty, independence, I expressed an opinion about the likelihood of it -- that it is extremely unlikely in the South, or anywhere else in the USA right now. To present secession/sovereignty/independence as an alternative NOW -- as if we can vote for Obama, Romney or independence at the polls tomorrow, is not realistic at all. And when Pat touted the League of the South as the route to secession, I simply noted two areas in which it has begun to radicalize lately (race and violence). Are you unaware of this change in the League?

How is pointing this out constructing strawmen? I have made no mention whatever of the educational level of people who read your page -- I made no mention of most of your readers at all. I specifically mentioned one person posting on this thread, who is a League member -- and all I did was RE-POST his comments threating violence. Copy-pastes with links to the original threads where he made them.

You say, "Notions of militant military-styled resistance are appeals to emotions more than anything else." Then how do you know they won't be emotionally carried out? What is the point of appeals to emotion, if not some kind of action or result? You say, "LS members have no intention of becoming American home-grown terrorists." So Pat was lying when he said "Southrons" will destroy a yankee school and everyone it it? Or are "Southrons" different folks from LS members?

As for people you've heard from privately, perhaps they are people who are uncomfortable having certain truths pointed out about what they say. I don't seek attention; I *bring* attention to things I think need to be pointed out -- just like you do in your writings. Among the things I think should be pointed out are things like Pat's repeated (yes, repeated) threats of violence. Incidentally, I'm not an ardent Romney supporter -- I am an ardent Obama opponent; there is certainly a distinction, though people accustomed to creating and dealing in false dichotomies may not be able to conceptualize it. I have not mischaracterized anyone's comments; if I had, they would be correcting me publicly, not sending private messages. If they aren't taking me on, it's because they can't.

People are friends on Facebook because they get to know each other well enough to understand what they mean in their exchange of words and ideas? In that case, please let me appeal to you -- before you block me, tell me, do you think Pat Hines *meant* something *other than* what his words actually *said*, particularly his comments about destroying a Yankee school and all who are in it using Beslan style methods? If he *didn't* mean what he said ... what did he mean? In your opinion?


Tim Manning Connie, your very question I consider an insult and I will not give it legitimacy by a response.


Connie Ward Tim, how can you possibly be insulted by my question, but not outraged by Pat's threat?


Tim Manning Connie, this seems to be a good example of your manner of communication. Your manner seems to be to avoid a proposed question or issue. The technique of diversion or substitution is anti-intellectual even in debate classes. Why would you be concerned about my take on someone else's post. Most of my communications on FB are done under private messaging. / / / Of course, their messages were their opinions. What else would they be? That is mainly what people relate in their communications. / / / I think my postings are very clear in what I believe are prudent responses to various political issues. I do not advocate the deaths of innocent civilians or genocide. There are many such short responses under my NOTES section. Outrage would surely seem to me to be an unnecessary drama-queen reaction.


Connie Ward Yes, asking direct questions is exactly my manner of communication. Others are the ones avoiding them. I can't have avoided a proposed questions, because nobody has asked me anything.

I keep bringing up and bringing up Pat's threats of violence; you first say people don't *really mean* it, threats of violence are just emotional appeals; then you say my question about it is an insult you won't address. I haven't diverted or substituted anything. I keep and keep and keep asking about Pat's threats of violence, and I keep on getting no answers about that, just comments about other things. So I addressed the other things (the unfortunate turns the League has taken lately, for example), but I keep coming back to Pat's threats. If you do not advocate the deaths of innocent civilians, why on earth would you welcome, or at least allow, the presence of someone on your page who has advocated that very thing -- but then get upset with me for bringing up the threats?


Tim Manning Connie, for all the same reasons that I have not blocked your posts. You are still framing your questions with an "if" as if I am lying to you about my position. I make no efforts to "correct" errant or violent views by most people, but to guide them to what I consider more prudent positions. Pat is responsible for his opinions. I am insulted by your questions because evidently you do not think I believe the thousands of pages of material I have written on my website or the hundreds of pages I have published under NOTES on FB. A careful reader does not have to read very far in my notes to know and understand my positions. You seem busy trying to accuse me of the faults of others. Frankly Connie, I have to agree with the comments several folks have written about you lately that you are "more interested in having an argument rather than dialog or conversation." One said in messaging, "she needs to cool her jets a couple of days and go back and read your post again in a few days. Her manner is making opponents out of people that may well agree with her."


Connie Ward Tim, I haven't "if'd" anything. I haven't accused you of anything. I simply do not understand why people who have gone out of their way to denounce violence would apparently be accepting of those who have threatened violence, at least, insofar as letting them comment on their page. I said apparently. Why would you need to block my posts? I'M not the one who has repeatedly threatened violence -- in violation of what the Southern movement claims about itself. Arguments ARE dialog and conversation; I think it's interesting that the people who are privately messenging you about me are unwilling to do that with me directly.

Since you are expecting what you've already written to distance you from Pat's threats of violence, I question others who are reading this. Is there ANYBODY in the Southern movement who will DIRECTLY take on, refute and condemn Pat's threats?


JW Gooding I will throw in my opinion...anything, anybody,, any group that Pat Hines has any thing at all to do with I want no part of... I have for a right good spell listened to his mouth and I really think he has some issues that go over the top.... I have seen this type of thing in the past and all it was was a road to trouble...


Tim Manning Connie, you are not reading my comments carefully or in context, and you are misrepresenting my statements which cause me to believe that your representations of others may not be accurate or fair.


JW Gooding Tim, I agree with Connie about Pat....


Connie Ward Tim, I could say the same thing about your reading of my comments...


Connie Ward Before I go, or get blocked, all you folks who have messaged Tim to make assessments and accusations about me privately, but are evidently to skeered to say them publicly, I invite you to Backsass, to say it to my face ... so to speak. http://www.facebook.com/groups/272315346193652/ I promise to not slap you around too much; but I will set straight that which I think is mistaken or mendacious.
Incensed about the attacks on the South, its people, heritage and culture? Back...
See More


Connie Ward Mr. Durham, Obama gave 3 billion to Israel. Romney probably will, too. Here are the top ten foreign aid recipients by country under Obama; that isn't likely to change under Romney, or anyone else... (scroll down to see the graphic) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/us-foreign-aid-by-country_n_1837824.html
Which Country Receives The Most U.S. Foreign Aid?
The United States is notorious for having its fingers in many pies. One of the w...See More


Dennis Durham I support neither party nor do I support aid to foreign countries. Militarily or monotarily.


Connie Ward There are lots of things the feds do I don't support. That doesn't mean all the candidates are undifferetianted automatons.


Dennis Durham You are more than welcome to your opinion on the subject.


Connie Ward As are you.

The first thing I note about this thread is that, with the possible exception of one person, I have no idea who are the "distinguished Facebook friends" Mr. Manning is referencing, since they contacted him privately by messenger and he did not identify them. Second, I note that I did not attack anyone but Pat Hines. I invite everyone to read through my recap above (it includes all my comments from that thread) or follow the link to the actual thread on Facebook -- and if you see any other attacks by me on any other identified persons, please copy-paste them in the comments of my blog, or on my Facebook wall/newsfeed, and cc: Tim Manning's Facebook page.

Perhaps the people who privately contacted Tim, believing I had "attacked and insulted" them, were referring to encounters we'd had in other Facebook threads, or in other venues altogether. In which case, they need to step forward and identify themselves and link to the "attacks and insults". But I won't hold my breath.

Okay, folks, that's the background.  It will be enough to serve as my intro to this discussion.   More posts about this thread coming up as time permits....

Photo of lower regions: Dreamstime.com

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Update on My Southern Family

In response to my previous blog entry, Corey Meyer left a comment: "So did you find the french nobility?" 

He apparently didn't read past the first sentence. My statement easily makes clear that I found refugees, not nobility. In France, in the late 1600s, Pierre Chastain and his family were Huguenots (Protestants). French Catholics at the time didn't like Protestants, and persecuted them. So Pierre, his wife and five kids escaped from France to Switzerland, eventually made it to England, and sailed from there to Virginia.

 I have never found any reliable historical data indicting that the Chastains in France were nobility. There have been claims of nobility by some folks -- even kinship with royalty -- but in-depth Chastain genealogical research in France and Switzerland by Cameron Allen in 1985, found nary a trace of nobility.

Corey continues, "The 'coat of arms' you posted looks like one of those you can buy for $19.99."

Perhaps it does look like that -- to people whose only knowledge of heraldry comes from the $19.99 websites.

Actually, I painted that coat of arms myself. And I made a slight error. The coronet should be gold.

I found a rendering of this coat of arms (in black and white) in 1970 or so, in a book titled, "A Brief History of the Huguenots and Three Family Trees: Chastain, Lockridge, and Stockton" written by James Garvin Chastain in 1932. I found the book in the Georgia Archives in Atlanta and I photocopied the image of the coat of arms. I still have that photocopy.

(Incidently, that book is the source of some of the spurious claims about Chastain genealogy. http://www.chastaincentral.com/content/spurious.html But I've never heard any indicators that the coat of arms is suspect.)

Though in black and white, the drawing used heraldic symbols to indicate tinctures (colors) -- for example, items filled in with horizontal lines were to be azure (blue). In addition, there was a blazon below the image. A blazon, Corey, is a description in the language of heraldry that informed heraldic artists how a coat of arms should be drawn and colored. Yep, heralds had their own language.

The blazon for the Chastain coat of arms reads, "Azure. On a bend, argent, three tuberoses, gules, barbed verde and seed or. In chief and base, a tower. Of the second, ensigned with a helmet befitting his degree."

 Back home after my visit to the Georgia archives, I borrowed a book from the library on the language of heraldry and translated the blazon. The first element describes the color of the shield, in this case, azure. A "bend" is a diagonal band across the shield. A "bend sinister" goes from upper right to lower left. A "bend dexter" goes from upper left to lower right. If "sinister" or "dexter" are not referenced, it is assumed to be dexter. A bend sinister typically indicated a bastard line.

Argent means silver so the band was to be painted silver. The three tuberoses were red (gules), their barbs green (verde) and their seeds gold (or). "In chief and base" means on the shield above and below the bend. The depiction of many elements was up to the descretion of the heraldic artist -- things like the shape of the shield, types of towers, the degree of shredding of the mantle -- unless specifics were supplied. In the Chastain arms, the tower are depicted differently by different heralds.

An ensign, in heraldry, symbolizes an office. How the helmet (the ensign) was depicted -- full-faced, three quarters, or in profile -- indicated rank: "The helmets of nobles (dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons), were to be composed of silver or polished steel, with five gold bars, and lined with crimson. According to some authorities they should be placed neither affronty nor in profile, but between those positions; but there seem to be conflicting directions, and the practice varied." http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/browse/UH.HTM 

In my photocopy, additional text advises, "The coronet is that of a marquis."

Which brings up an interesting point. If the Chastains were not nobility in France, why these symbols of nobility on the coat of arms? Clues might be found here:

 From http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/REMY/2007-03/1174779898 
In France, coats of arms are unregulated by the authorities: anyone is free to assume arms, and there is no mechanism by which arms can be officially granted or registered. However, coats of arms are considered part of the family name, and enjoy the same legal protection against usurpation."

By contrast, "In England, the use of Coats of Arms is very strictly regulated, and there is no such thing as a 'coat of arms for a surname'. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to completely different coats of arms, and many of that surname will be entitled to no coat of arms. Coats of arms belong to individuals. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past. 
 Perhaps this further explains why France doesn't hold coats of arms to such a position of awe and respect as the UK.

From http://www.heraldica.org/topics/canting.htm 
Pursuant to the edict of 1696, in France, many people were forced to acquire coats of arms whether they wanted them or not, so the king could collect the registration fee. As a result, the heralds allowed themselves to inflict punning arms on many of their hapless victims, especially members of the legal profession. The notary Pierre Pépin in the Nivernais was given Argent three stones of grape sable (= pépin in French). Philippe de La Folie, notary in Burgundy, was given a Harlequin proper. An apothicary in Brittany was given Azure a clyster between three chamber-pots argent. A parish priest near Nevers was named Joseph Bonnamour, and he received Azure a Cupid argent holding in his hand a heart inflamed gules. In Normandy, a fellow named Alexandre Le Marié was given Gules a stag's attires or (horns being the traditional attribute of the cuckold husband!). (These, and other examples, from Rémi Mathieu: Le Système héraldique français, 1946). 
 Would LOVE to see that harlequin, i.e., clown, in the de La Folie coat of arms!

Same info with a little extra info added: 
The only exception to the freedom of assuming arms occurred from 1696 to 1709. An Edict of 1696 declared that, for a coat of arms to be valid, it had to be registered with the King of Arms, for a fee naturally (this was the middle of a European war, and the French government was short of cash). As a consequence, 110 000 coats of arms were registered (80,000 by non-nobles) by d'Hozier, the King of Arms. The registers are still in the National Library. (Click here to see an example of grant of arms under the edict of 1696; see also the confirmation of arms granted to the Royal School of Saint-Cyr in 1697). A number of people who bore arms never registered; conversely, many people were forced to take arms (so they would pay the tax) against their will. The pursuivants often played cruel jokes: unflattering puns, or allusions to the person's trade: a pharmacist was granted "Azure, a syringe and 3 chamber-pots Argent"... By 1709 registration of arms ceased altogether, and the Edict was ignored from then on. France then returned to its traditional regime of free assumption.
 Nobility was abolished in France in 1790. Napoleon reinstated noble titles, but "marquis" was not among them. Several sites in French heraldry indicate these elements of nobility were often added to a coat of arms simply for aesthetic purposes. Here are various renderings of the Chastain arms:




Rather interesting modernistic version: http://chastain.co/home/about  I kinda like it. Looks computer-rendered.