Monthly Archives: January 2008

>We Are Israel

>
Food for thought from Rivrdog, who reminds us that other freedom-loving people have found themselves in the same sinking boat American freedom-lovers occupy today:

***
…This morning, I thought about the R2KBA, and the Second Amendment, and the upcoming Heller trial in the Supreme Court. I thought about my novel, which centers on the R2KBA and the armed defense of that Right. I thought about the growing attitude of persecution of those who dare to think of using arms to hold on to the Founders’ Dream, as stated in our Constitution. I thought about fighting for that Dream. I felt dread.

Then it hit me. All these thoughts and feelings aren’t new. They have been felt before, by two groups of people we know of, and know of well, if we studied our history at all.

The first is our Revolutionary forebears, but more recently than them, the Israelis…
***

Read the whole thing, please.

Tempus fugit.

>The Jefferson of Our Time

>An article worth your time, especially now that Congressman Paul has said that he is in the race until his volunteers stop coming and the money stops flowing.

Key grafs:

***
… American politicians understand that there are – and always have been – a great many Americans who believe in the Jeffersonian philosophy that “that government is best which governs least.” They may want minimal government, as called for by the Constitution, but by and large they want to be left alone to live their own lives within the rule of law and the norms of civilized society. They distrust centralized political power and hold the commonsense view that government is always easier to control the closer it is to the people.


That’s why politicians from Lincoln to Clinton have mouthed Jeffersonian slogans. They want the votes, but have no intention of adopting any of Jefferson’s political beliefs and policies based on them. (For his part, George W. Bush is probably more familiar with “The Jeffersons” television show of the 1970s than the political ideas of our third president.)

In reality, Grover Cleveland was the last American president who actually believed in Jeffersonian principles of government and was even moderately successful in implementing them (he vetoed literally hundreds of pieces of legislation). It’s been almost 120 years since a genuine Jeffersonian has been a major candidate for the highest office in the land, but we finally have in our midst the genuine item – the real deal – in the person of Ron Paul.

Unlike all other candidates for the presidency, Ron Paul does not attempt to dupe the public into believing that he is in favor of fiscal responsibility, limited and decentralized government, and individual liberty. He has spent the past three decades demonstrating that he is single-mindedly devoted to these principles, and sincerely believes that he can succeed in returning them to the American polity…
***

Those of you dismissing Congressman Paul as unelectable? We’ll know that if he drops out or sometime in November. Until then, I challenge you to put his economic plan against that of any other POTUS candidate.

Those of you supporting other candidates? Please think through what they will do to this country and the pitiful remnants of Liberty still struggling.

Please.

>"Unintended Consequences" by John Ross

>

Some read it for its historical aspects, as the first half of this classic novel by John Ross is a meticulously-researched compilation of how, over the past 90 years, the American gun culture has been transformed from the nation’s mainstream to a “dangerous fringe group.”

Others read it for the second half, which tells what happens when prototypical American Henry Bowman reaches his limit.

Once you read this book, you will not forget it.

Enjoy.

UPDATE – 2/10/08: Download link removed as author Ross has indicated that all electronic copies of UC are unauthorized by him.

>IMMEDIATE ACTION: 2nd Amendment Scholars Need $ ASAP for SCOTUS Fight

>
From Codrea:



Academics for the Second Amendment Need Your Support NOW

A WarOnGuns guest editorial by Thaddeus Fendon

To all my friends who are 2nd Amendment Supporters:

Check out this this link.

These are the original scholars who were defending the 2nd amendment many years ago, long before the “individual right” theory became widely known. They created the foundation of scholarship underlying the legal arguments in our favor today.

Unfortunately, as of today, they have raised only $10,529.58!

If this is all the 2nd Amendment is worth to gun owners, then we deserve to and will lose it.

Hope your chains rest lightly …

If there is any good news, it’s that small amounts of money will actually matter to this organization and your contribution is tax deductible. They are continuing on with their effort to file a brief to the Supreme Court regardless of the support they receive.

This is a critical moment in history. The Supreme Court will decide if the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right and whether that right is deserving of the same level of judicial protection afforded to the other rights recognized by the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments).

Are you tired of your Second Amendment rights being a second class citizen? Ignored, inferior and constantly infringed by tens of thousands of municipal, state and federal outrages? A situation the Bush Justice Department legal brief to the Supreme Court has supported. A situation the NRA has tolerated and even been partly responsible for creating. (For example, the machine gun laws from the 1930s and the 1968 Gun Control Act).

This is your one chance to support people who are trying to change history instead of funding the NRA Executive Director’s golden pay package. This chance will probably not come again for a long, long time. Prospects for a pro gun president are nil, and the new President will be appointing more Supreme Court Justices. We cannot afford to put less than a maximum effort into winning this case.

From the founding of our country to today, many have given their lives in defense of our freedoms. I’m just asking you to give money.

Oral arguments begin on March 18. Briefs to overturn the ban are due Feb. 4.

The hard work in preparing briefs is being done right now.

Don’t delay. There are PayPal links at the top of our webpage, and of course we accept both cash, checks, and USPS MOs at:

Academics for the Second Amendment
Post Office Box 131254
St. Paul, Minn. 55113

Thank you for your support of the Second Amendment and freedom.

Thad

>The Revolution Was

>From Mises.org, a wonderful essay, written in 1938 by Garet Garrett, on how America accelerated down the road to socialist serfdom long before many of us were born:

***
There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom.

There are those who have never ceased to say very earnestly, “Something is going to happen to the American form of government if we don’t watch out.” These were the innocent disarmers. Their trust was in words. They had forgotten their Aristotle. More than 2,000 years ago he wrote of what can happen within the form, when “one thing takes the place of another, so that the ancient laws will remain, while the power will be in the hands of those who have brought about revolution in the state.”

Worse outwitted were those who kept trying to make sense of the New Deal from the point of view of all that was implicit in the American scheme, charging it therefore with contradiction, fallacy, economic ignorance, and general incompetence to govern.

But it could not be so embarrassed, and all that line was wasted, because, in the first place, it never intended to make that kind of sense, and secondly, it took off from nothing that was implicit in the American scheme.

It took off from a revolutionary base. The design was European. Regarded from the point of view of revolutionary technique, it made perfect sense. Its meaning was revolutionary and it had no other. For what it meant to do, it was from the beginning consistent in principle, resourceful, intelligent, masterly in workmanship, and it made not one mistake
***

Read the whole thing, and brace for the New New Deal, beginning 1/20/09.

>Living in an Imperial World – Part IV

>Take less than ten minutes and watch this video interview of US Comptroller General David Walker by Glenn Beck.

The issue? The real state of the FedGov’s finances. Mr. Walker should know – he’s the .gov’s top accountant.

The answer? Watch the video and see. Transcript is below.

The request? Pass the video on to others about whom you care. Make them watch it.

After doing so, take a cold-eyed assessment as to whether the American people can be awakened in time to change course from the hyperinflationary spiral looming in the near term.

Then get back to work.

Tools and the ability to use them well are part of the plan. So are resource stores of capital and food.

Plan for the worst – hope for the best.

***
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Well, will early momentum carry John McCain to the White House, or will his true political colors be, I would say exposed, but at least remembered? Can anybody say McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain- Lieberman? We`ll look at the odds of going the distance, coming up in just a second.

But first, welcome to “The Real Story.”

If you name any of the real big threats that our nation faces, you are bound to find a large number of respected people who will argue that it`s really no big deal. There is one exception to this, one scenario that we face as a nation that virtually every expert agrees could bring America to its knees. And it ain`t global warming.

The “Real Story” is this scenario is already playing out. And no one from the political realm wants to address it. Tonight, we`re going to.

One week ago today, the first baby boomers became eligible for early retirement under Social Security. Hang on. Stay with me for just a second.

Over the next 20 years, another 78 million Americans will join them. The result is that every single household in America, your home, now essentially owes our U.S. government over $400,000 each.

That`s just to finance those two programs. What, you don`t have $400,000 in cash sitting around? Yes, me neither. You`re not really alone. And that`s the problem, our country is technically bankrupt.

Politicians try to confuse you with all these sorts of complicated numbers and formulas about our financial future. Hold on. You really don`t have to worry about. But it`s very simple.

The government works like your house works. Our government has promised far more than money it actually has or probably ever will have. “USA Today” has calculated that we would need to stash away $58 trillion — that`s with a “T” — $58 trillion right now in order to generate enough interest to pay for future obligations.

You may or may not have heard that our current investments total approximately zero dollars, because unlike Al Gore`s stump speech a few years ago, there is no lock box. There`s no dollars hid away anywhere.

Now, I am probably a lot like when you comes to this stuff. I mean, it puts me to sleep like that. But what woke me up was in a book that I was reading, I found something called “The Menu of Delayed Pain.” I want to show it to you.

This basically shows the options that we have to pay for our future debts. For example, if we acted back in 2003, we could fixed everything by raising payroll taxes by 95 percent. Sure, not pretty, right?

But now in 2008, because of compounding interest on money we already owe, we have to raise them by 103 percent. And the other options you see there in the right-hand column aren`t much better, unless you happen to be — you know, enjoying paying 74 percent more in federal income tax.

Unfortunately, the American people never got to see those numbers because they were pulled out of the 2004 budget, just a few days after then- Treasury Secretary Paul O`Neill, who had ordered the analysis, was fired. And why were they pulled?

To me, it`s simple. Because our leaders in both parties believe we can`t handle the truth. Well, you know what? They`re wrong. What we can`t handle and must demand stop are the leaders who refuse to tell us the truth.

So, tonight, I want to introduce you to somebody who`s completely different. Somebody who has no political stake in this game. He is not about left or right. He is not about anything, you know, Democrat or Republican. He is about right or wrong.

He is the head of the Government Accountability Office, the GAO, which makes him our nation`s top accountant. And while it is very atypical for someone in his position to speak out on stuff like this, he has finally come to the place where he says enough is enough, and he is bringing his wake-up call directly to you.

Comptroller General David Walker, welcome to the program, sir. It is really truly an honor to have you on, because you are one of the few brave people that will tell the American people the truth.

First of all, I want to make it clear, you were nominated to your position. You were put into your position by Bill Clinton. It`s a 15-year term, so you`re almost a Supreme Court justice in that way. You have got nothing to lose here.

DAVID WALKER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Glenn, I`m in a professional position, not a political position.

BECK: Got it.

WALKER: I`m a Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton presidential appointee, each time confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

BECK: OK. Let`s just give a quick thumbnail of what is coming our way. You say by 2040, what`s going to happen?

WALKER: Well, by 2040, based on historical levels of federal revenue, we may just have enough money to be able to pay Social Security and Medicare and that`s it. Nothing else.

We face a tsunami of spending due to the retirement of the baby boomers that could swamp this ship estate (ph). Every year we don`t act the number goes up $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

BECK: OK.

WALKER: That`s twelve zeroes to the right of that 2.

BECK: David, we have a deficit now of $53 trillion. But, when you say a number like that and you don`t hear any politician really talking about it — they`re all like, oh, well, it won`t make any difference — put this into perspective for the average American. Wake the average American up on what that mean to us.

WALKER: That means that every American has an mortgage of over $175,000 each. Each household has an additional implicit mortgage of over $400,000 each. But unlike a typical mortgage, there`s no house to back this. And therefore, what we`re doing is we`re mortgaging the future of our country, our children and grandchildren at unacceptable rates.

BECK: OK. If we were a company and you were the comptroller of that company, we would be bankrupt now, right?

WALKER: We`d be out of business.

BECK: We`d be out of…

WALKER: But keep in mind — keep in mind, the federal government has powers that the private sector doesn`t. It has the power to tax. But what`s going on is, basically by making — by delaying tough choices, the default is much, much higher taxes than this country has ever afforded before and ever will…

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: And David, it is my understanding that if this isn`t taken care of quickly, there isn`t enough tax to be able to get — you could take all of the stuff from all the rich, all of it, and there still wouldn`t be enough to cover our debt and our interest.

WALKER: The bottom line is, we cannot solve this problem through tax increases, we can`t solve it solely through restructuring entitlements or restraining spending. We`re going to have to do a combination, and the sooner we get on with it, the better, because as Albert Einstein said, the most powerful force in the world is compounding, and when you`re a debtor, it works against you.

BECK: OK.

Ron Paul is probably the only politician who is out there now saying stop all of this spending. All of this spending. Is there any reason that any of these politicians could believe that they can now go into the territory of universal health care and we can afford this?

WALKER: We have already promised $34 trillion more in Medicare alone than we have in revenues to deliver on. Some people say, gee, let`s offer more health care and we`ll pay for it by not continuing the Bush tax cuts. Look, that`s — that won`t dial with our problem. Even if we balance the budget tomorrow, we still have this $53 trillion hold that grows $2 trillion to $3 trillion a year by doing nothing.

BECK: OK. David, what`s happening to our country right now in Washington is criminal. First of all, they keep three books, if I`m not mistaken.

You keep the regular budget, then you keep the Social Security and Medicare books. And then, isn`t the emergency spending also off the books? So, when they say we`re — you know, we have a deficit of $9 trillion, or whatever it is now, the debt ceiling, that`s bogus in and of itself as well.

WALKER: Well, let me give you an example. For the year ended September 39, 2007, we had a cash-based budge deficit of $163 billion, which is what you hear coming out of Washington. But we spent every dime of the Social Security surplus. By that, I mean the government did.

So, the real operating deficit was $344 billion. By the way, these trust funds, they`re not real trust funds. They`re the trust the government funds.

BECK: Yes.

WALKER: If the private sector had trust funds like the federal government, somebody would be going to jail.

BECK: David, I would love to spend more time with you. Hopefully, we can do this on the radio, because there`s so much — there`s so much more here. And if I`m not mistaken, if we were a company, our stock would be our dollar, and that`s why our dollar is falling.

WALKER: It`s in the tank.

BECK: OK. David, thanks a lot.

WALKER: Thank you.

BECK: And that, unfortunately, America, is the “Real Story” tonight.

Next, John McCain trying to be the least unacceptable Republican candidate? Is that the strategy and will it work?

(NEWSBREAK)
***

>A Modest Political Proposal

> From Rivrdog, who sees in the withdrawal of Fred Thompson both the need and the opportunity for a real third party run in 2008.

I agree, given the equivocation to date by nominal Republican and ardent constitutionalist Ron Paul.

Key grafs:

***
…Nope, it’s Third Party Time, folks. Problem, both the Thirds that might apply, the Libertarian and the Constitution Party(ies) have a bad case of the moonbats. The Libertarians are mostly anarchist, national defense (but from within a Fortress America) being their only palatable long suit, and the Constitution party just keeps putting up religious whackos (so do the Big Ls).

If you’re going to live by the whacko, let’s die by the whacko.

Here is my idea for a Third Party:

The Revolution Party. Motto: “Revolution, It’s our Future”. Party Logo, same as the header on this blog, the Stars and Stripes, but with two arms crossed holding up firearms (let the arguments commence as to which two). The arms will be one female arm and one male arm because, Ladies, we can’t do this without you.

The party’s stated purpose: Change the Government. Change ALL the Government. Restore the rule of Constitutional law and the culture that went with it. Project that culture as far as it can be projected. Defeat other cultures (in battle as necessary) that conflict with ours. Re-educate the nation in the culture until it is the predominant culture. Tolerate other cultures, but only as they admit that here, within our borders, they are secondary to our Constitutional culture. Take pro-active steps to promote our culture (such as by de-funding ALL attempts to weaken it).

Realistically, the Revolution Party will have to be up and running in just a few years, and ready for conflict within four to six. The reason is that its tough core (corps?) will be people over 50 years of age, and we can’t be expected to fight forever…
***

Read the whole thing, and heed well Rivrdog’s admonition:

***
…There are steps to take to get ready for a conflict of this magnitude. If you’ve begun to take them, good for you. If you haven’t taken any steps, it’s time for you to decide if you are actually in favor of restoring a Constitutional culture, or if you are in favor of completing its downfall.
***

Tempus fugit.

>Living in an Imperial World – Part III

>

Thought you had enough to think about?

Think again.

Got some info last week from a reliable source that UAVs are currently in use over US border areas.

What really chaps me is when the local “Only Ones” are getting in the act in both Houston and Miami.

Of course, “it’s only part of an FAA test.”

And Officer Friendly says, “It will only be used as part of the Special Response Team deployments…”

That makes it all OK.

After all, if you’re a nice little sheep, why are you worried?

Calling John Connor…..

>Living in an Imperial World – Part II

> Food for thought, from Major General Smedley Butler, USMC on the nature of war:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Read more in General Butler‘s book, War Is A Racket, available online.

Relevance, you ask?

With the American and global economies teetering on the brink of what some folks term “the Greater Depression”, the powers-that-be might want a little distraction from their own culpability in the mess that is developing. “Nothing like another foreign adventure to distract the masses” is a time-honored creed for the ruling class, for good reason.

Of course, as part of that adventure, certain domestic security measures will have to be taken, to preserve safety and order.

BOHICA, folks….

>Living in an Imperial World – Part I

>
Hat-tip to CB for the link to a terrific essay.

Key grafs:

***
To live in an imperial world, we must first, as survivors, recognize that it is an imperial world. History is filled with imperial/totalitarian states, as global graveyards are filled with those who were too late in recognizing what had already happened.

It’s over. The faithful and the hopeful may carry the corpse of the American republic, hoping that it can be brought back into normality, into life, and into power. I am afraid these nurturers will not survive the present reality of imperialism.

But some of us will look directly at the ugly, dangerous and very real empire. We will stare – with little hope but also with little fear – into the face of the FUBAR nation, and then roll up our sleeves and get started on the only life we may honestly live, as internal dissidents. We will no longer pledge allegiance, we will not obey old rules, we will make do and make it up as we go along. Our minds focused on surviving the empire, our talents and creativity unleashed against the state and its fantasist faithful, we will live as if we are free.

This simple prescription will not only make us survivors, but it will gradually cultivate a political landscape for a future of free republics where today we see nascent totalitarianism and bankrupt empire. This prescription was written for us in 1809 by revolutionary war general John Stark. He advised, “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.”
***

Too many folks (including this writer) spend 80% of their preparation time on the material aspects, when it is the spiritual and psychological edges that will, if honed properly, deliver the bearer from impossible odds.

Please read the whole thing.

>Even A Blue Pill Won’t Help

>
Thanks to Dirt Rhodes Scholar, now added to our blogroll, here are two articles on what “constitutionalists” and other problem children will likely be facing in the next decade.

In the first article, the author explains why dissident Americans ought to be very concerned with the legal framework brought about by the current Administration re the various “enemy combatants” captured in the “Global War On A Tactic.” A sample:

***
No greater threat to our Constitution and our Bill of Rights has ever existed than the current doctrine of “Enemy Combatant Status” (also known as
“unlawful combatant” status). This doctrine is like a toxic, poisonous weed that, if not pulled out by the roots, will grow to choke and kill the tree of liberty. It threatens to wipe out our Bill of Rights and plunge us into a nightmare of military supremacy over the civilian power and unchecked executive rule by decree, where the courts, rather than serving as defenders of liberty, are mere willing administrators of a new Kafkaesque system of indefinite military detention and trial. We must fight this doctrine or see our freedoms perish, and with them, the last restraints on the U.S. war machine. To fight it, we must know the facts of its illegitimate birth and silent nurturing at the hands of politicians, generals, government lawyers and complicit judges. We must be willing to acknowledge that Lincoln, FDR, the New Deal Court, and now even the liberals on the current Court have all been willing midwives to this monstrosity. As Patrick Henry said, “Whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, [we must be] willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
***

Please read the whole thing, as well as Mr. Stewart’s research paper on the same topic.

Add this FBI classic, throw in a little Bovard, and to paraphrase Tom Lehrer’s Cold War classic We Will All Go Together When We Go:

We will all gulag together when we go

But remember – it was me who told you so

Lock ‘em up

Reeducate ‘em

Don’t forget to beat and hate ‘em

For their lawyers cannot save them where they’ll go…

Tempus fugit.

>May I Have a Blue Pill, Please?

>

Maybe it’s just the winter blahs.

Maybe it’s the approach of a milestone birthday.

Maybe it’s just a desire to be free from the knowledge of what lies ahead, both individually and for Western Civilization (such as it is at present).

Whatever it is, I find myself reduced to shaking my head over stories like this one, in which Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell says:

***
… in order to accomplish his plan, the government must have the ability to read all the information crossing the Internet in the United States in order to protect it from abuse. Congressional aides tell The Journal that they, too, are also anticipating a fight over civil liberties that will rival the battles over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
***

Thinking that this excerpt had to be a misquote, tonight I read the article about McConnell in the current New Yorker (note: link is to interview with article’s author; article itself not available online).

It wasn’t a misquote.

Then, as I was drafting this post, Drudge had this linked story posted:

Senior British police officials are talking to the FBI about an international database to hunt for major criminals and terrorists.

The US-initiated programme, “Server in the Sky”, would take cooperation between the police forces way beyond the current faxing of fingerprints across the Atlantic. Allies in the “war against terror” – the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – have formed a working group, the International Information Consortium, to plan their strategy.

Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints, and other personal information are likely to be exchanged across the network. One section will feature the world’s most wanted suspects. The database could hold details of millions of criminals and suspects.

The FBI is keen for the police forces of American allies to sign up to improve international security. The Home Office yesterday confirmed it was aware of Server in the Sky, as did the Metropolitan police…
***

Of course, last Friday, the US Department of Justice filed this amicus brief in the Heller case, leading noted Second Amendment lawyer David Hardy to remark on the Republicans’ long-time political tendency to “screw your friends and appease your enemies.” The brief, with its plea to remand the DC gun law at issue to the lower court for further proceedings and retain the remainder of Federal gun laws, is disturbing enough:

***
…the Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms, must be interpreted in light of context and history, and is subject to important exceptions, such as the rule that convicted felons may be denied firearms because those persons have never been understood to be within the Amendment’s protections. Nothing in the Second Amendment properly understood – and certainly no principle necessary to decide this case – calls for the invalidation of the numerous federal laws regulating firearms…
(at page 8, Summary of Argument paragraph B)
***

But what is truly appalling is the number of attorneys, other auditioning Quislings, and assorted fools who continue to insist that the Heller case will yield a result that will be anything other than disastrous for freedom. Read the comments on the DOJ brief around the blogosphere and gun fora – if you can stand it.

Forgive the vernacular, but we are so totally hosed.

Doesn’t anyone else see that by legitimizing the overwhelming majority of plainly unconstitutional Federal, state, and local gun laws (“shall not be infringed” simply does not leave much wiggle room for “valid” gun laws), the Heller decision will permit every damned Federally-funded jack-booted thug to claim “the Supreme Court said this was OK”?

Has anyone else consdered the timing here? Consider the following realities:

1) widespread financial meltdown, including rampant inflation, dollar devalution, and a likely major stock market “correction”;

2) ever-tightening visual/telephonic/internet surveillance conducted by government;

3) a full Presidential candidate field consisting entirely of socialists (with one notable, although nonviable, exception;

and

4) an upcoming SCOTUS majority holding that the 2A’s “shall not be infringed” language actually means that the RKBA is “subject to reasonable regulation in furtherance of important governmental objectives”.

I keep trying to wake up from the coming nightmare.

I keep trying to find the blue pill that will allow me to forget all that is happening.

I cannot do either.

Damn it all.

>What’s It Gonna Take? Part III

>
The third of three parts from L. Neil Smith and JPFO:





But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism …
– Thomas Jefferson, “Declaration of Independence”

It’s very important to understand three things when discussing the political philosophy that’s supposed to govern the United States of America. These are things that, for some reason, never seem to get mentioned in public schools or ever appear in politically correct textbooks.

First, the Bill of Rights is not a list of the things that you’re allowed to do, but of things the government is strictly forbidden to do. I strongly urge you to read it for yourself, if you don’t believe me.

Second, the Bill of Rights doesn’t create rights, itself, it only recognizes certain of them and promises to guarantee and protect them. The Founders were believers in natural rights, which they said were G-d given, and which others see as inherent in our existence as human beings.

Third, the provisions of the Bill of Rights — the heart and soul of American political philosophy and the key to our survival as a civilization — are not negotiable, they are absolute. Nor are they properly subject to any limitation or regulation by the government they were intended to protect us from. If they were, then the Founding Fathers would never have bothered writing them down in the first place.

Let me say that again, rephrasing it slightly, to make sure that everybody understands what may be the most important political concept I’ll be discussing here. Rights enumerated in the first ten amendments to the Constitution are not properly subject to any form of limitation or regulation by the very government they were intended to protect us from.

Take, for example, the First Amendment. No country with something like it in its Constitution has a place for a “Federal Communications Commission” to limit or regulate free speech, simply because it is broadcast, rather than shouted across a public square or printed in a newspaper. The FCC is a creature of early 20th century Progressivism, using the First World War as an excuse to make sure nobody questioned authority.

Similarly, the Second Amendment acknowledges a pre-existing individual right to own and carry weapons. The Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Monroe, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams believed (and wrote in various letters to one another and to others) that the fullest exercise of this right is essential to the continued existence of the free society that they had created.

See here.

They also believed that government is the natural enemy of such a free society. They wanted the individual to be just as well armed as the authorities. (For that reason, they would never have countenanced the 1934 ban on fully automatic weapons.) For them to have written the Second Amendment simply to protect some “right” of the government to own weapons would have been an exercise in surrealism vastly more bizarre and contradictory than anything Picasso or Dali ever thought of.

Of course that never stopped a politician in pursuit of money or power.

Somebody once observed that when a mugger accosts a politician, the politician will not only give the mugger his money, but he’ll take off his pants and hand them over, too, because it never occurs to him that some thieves recognize limits of decency that he, himself, does not.

Today’s politicians seem to think that the Founders were just as cynical and dishonest as they themselves are. The idea that Federalist James Madison might have written the Bill of Rights in an honest, good faith attempt to win the Anti-Federalists’ trust must seem like bad science fiction to them. Projecting their own moral shortcomings onto their betters, they’d much rather believe that as soon as they got their Constitution and its strong central government approved by the voters, the deal was over with, and the Bill of Rights became a dead letter.

That’s the way they’d do it, themselves.

I began this exercise by asking what’s it gonna take to get folks interested in solving America’s problems. Along the way, I protested that they’re not asleep, as some advocates claim they are, just busy keeping the wheels of civilization turning by concentrating on their jobs, and trying to make a better life for themselves and for their families.

And that’s where we find the vital clue. The mess that America presently finds itself in — two undeclared foreign wars, an oncoming financial crisis of enormous magnitude, and a Bill of Rights that’s been used rudely, wadded up, and thrown in the garbage can — severely threatens everybody’s prospects for a better life.

We must concentrate on communicating that threat above all to our fellow Americans, without employing hysterical scare tactics (which will only make them stop listening) and always offering hope. If they feel that their jobs, their homes, and their families are in danger, we won’t have to urge them to act, we’ll have trouble holding them back.

True, there are people out there who simply don’t want to know what’s going on around them. Others won’t listen for reasons of what they imagine are patriotism. But I suspect that a substantial number of Americans actually know the score and aren’t doing anything because they don’t have any idea of what to do. And, of course, their long, sad experience is that, at least politically, there’s never any good news.

The fact that one remote, tiny spark of hope on the horizon (a spark I can’t discuss further here, for reasons I explain below) seems to be attracting their attention — along with their campaign dollars in record amounts — is an indication that some Americans have already stood up for individual liberty and a truly free country, ready to be counted.

The important thing is to keep that spark glowing no matter what happens in the short run politically. I could suggest a couple of experiments. Nothing grandiose to begin with, just simple little exercises.

In my writings elsewhere, I have demonstrated that the current outrageous price of gasoline has absolutely nothing to do with the free market system, and that — for various, mostly scientific reasons, such as its abiotic origins deep in the Earth’s crust, and our ability to manufacture it cheaply out of garbage we’re otherwise having a tough time figuring out what to do with — there is no justification whatever for the stuff costing more than a dollar a gallon.

I have suggested (and even designed) a bumper sticker that simply says, “ONE DOLLAR GAS” and provides the name of a place people might go to learn more and make their opinions heard. Once again, I can’t mention that place specifically. However if stickers like that started showing up all over the place, politicians and the stuffed suits who run fuel corporations might get an inkling that their game is almost up.

Go here.

Another idea: I have long believed that, once we’ve finally gotten through this nightmarish mess we currently find ourselves in, there will need to be criminal trials — after the model of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals following World War II — for the politicians and bureaucrats who created it, partly to make sure that it never happens again.

In fact, the mere prospect of such trials — this time they will be for crimes against the Constitution — might even help get us through the mess. I’ve also pointed out that there’s a sleepy hamlet in east central Pennsylvania called Nuremberg, a fitting place to hold these Constitutional tribunals, which we could refer to as “Nuremberg II”. Imagine thousands of bumperstickers out on the road that simply say “Nuremberg II” and offer a web address that explains what that means.

See here.

“Nuremberg II” and “One Dollar Gas”, both short, pithy, and to the point, as is “$20 AK-47s” or “$50 M-16s” (reflecting the likely price of these commodities in a truly free market). All of these slogans are carefully calculated to rattle the establishment and promote genuine, positive change. Add another — “Celebrate Bill of Rights Day” — and place them in classifieds ads, tack them to the bulletin boards at the grocery. Post them where folks have no choice but to sit and read them.

Check back here frequently for new ideas as they occur to us, or just think up your own. You can also contact us at 1 (800) 869-1884 or write to P.O. Box 270143, Hartford, Wisconsin 53027.

Beyond that, because of idiotic — and probably unconstitutional — laws governing tax-exempt organizations, we can’t suggest that you vote for this candidate or that candidate. But, as Nero Wolfe advised Archie Goodwin, you can always use your intelligence, guided by your experience.

See here.

I recently saw some early, very hard-hitting anti-war campaign spots for a Congressional candidate in my state (let’s call him “Joe Blow”), and wondered where the guy stands on other issues. As has become my habit, I checked him out on Wikipedia.com and learned that he’s a millionaire ten times over and has some intriguing business interests.

Clicking on over to his official website, most of what the guy wants to talk about there is the war — I agree with him about that — and the environment. He’s a greenie — no particular surprise there — with serious delusions of Global Warming. Although he’s a successful businessman, he demonstrates shockingly little understanding of economics.

On Google, I typed in “joe blow”+”gun control” to discover that he’s just another creepy leftist born with too much money, a guy who’s never had to live in the real world, and, most likely for reasons of unexamined ideology — would far rather see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand.

Joe Blow is not in my district, so I couldn’t vote for him next November even if I were inclined to, but I know plenty of the people he wants to represent, and I’ll be giving them a heads-up all about him.

Intelligence guided by experience.

With a little help from the Internet.

>What’s It Gonna Take? Part II

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Part 2 of the series by L. Neil Smith, courtesy of JPFO:

… all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. – Thomas Jefferson, “Declaration of Independence”

What has to happen before the average Productive Class American fights back against the police state being erected all around him at his own involuntary expense? How bad does it really have to get before he decides to react? What’s it gonna take to motivate him to reclaim everything that is his by birthright? What kind of Orwellian nightmare has to come true before he begins to stand up and oppose the New World Order?

Most of all, is this the world he wants to leave his children and grandchildren?

Is this the world that you want to leave to your children and grandchildren?

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take daily blood and urine testing on the job, at school, in your home, to ensure that you, your spouse, and your kids comply with drug laws there was never any Constitutional excuse for in the first place? (When did you get a chance to vote on it, or even sign a consent form?) Some politicians have suggested permanently installing devices in cars that won’t let them start unless your breath passes muster.

Will it take mandatory sedation for all convicted dissenters and agitators? We’re already a prescription drug-soaked nation, consuming “lifestyle drugs” and “mood-brighteners” — meaning antidepressants and antipsychotics — by the ton every year, just so we can endure what has become of America. Will we eventually reach the point predicted in George Lucas’ first film, THX-1138, where “Failure to be properly sedated may result in prosecution for criminal drug avoidance”?

Go here.

Will it take Soviet-style forcible commitment of people like that (possibly even people like you) to insane asylums that specialize in drugging patients and subjecting them to psychosurgery and electric shock?

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take deliberate destruction of world-famous art objects, ancient artifacts, and books that tend to “destabilize the regime”, or simply offend some ignorant bureaucrat or politician’s sensibilities? That’s the sort of thing that happens in countries ruled by Muslim fundamentalists, and other religious fanatics are notorious for burning records, tapes, and music CDs that fail to meet with their approval.

Will it take sophisticated face-recognition software that will eventually be able to infer what you’re thinking — at least that’s what the authorities will claim when they haul you off to Guantanamo — from your expressions and body language? All of this surveillance and intrusion started at the nation’s airports, but, as I warned my readers it would, as early as the 1970s, it has spread from there, like some virulent fascist disease. Count the surveillance cameras that surround all of us today. 1984’s Big Brother never had it so good.

Will it take American dollars that — thanks to inflation, the government’s version of counterfeiting — are only worth what French francs, Italian lira, and Hungarian pengos were worth (eventually it took trillions of pengos just to buy a loaf for bread) after World War II? Will we have to resort to crude barter because businesses will no longer accept the worthless paper or electronic credit the government issues, and precious metals have been outlawed again as gold was in 1933?

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take people being forced by the tens of millions to move into apartments (all the better to watch and eavesdrop on you, too, my dear) to avoid what the government will call the “waste of energy and grave danger to the global climate” involved in freestanding homes, which are being rendered increasingly valueless anyway by currency manipulation? (The government has devices right now that can see through the walls of your home to pinpoint heat sources — people — and concentrations of mass — their weapons — without a search warrant.)

Go here.

On a related theme — microwave pain-inflicting devices for crowd control — see this article.

Will it take an automated refusal at your grocery store’s checkout stand to accept the purchases you’ve made, because the government’s computer records show that you have exceeded recommended limits on sugar, salt, alcohol, or fat for the week? Will you have to turn to “lipidleggers” (thank you, F. Paul Wilson) to get all the butter you want?

Will it take an internal passport system and special government permission to travel from city to city or from state to state — all in the name of “national security” or from the “dire necessity” to reduce our national “carbon footprint”? And what, precisely, is a driver’s license, but an internal passport with training wheels? As of December 31, 2009, a national ID system — based on a uniform federal standard for state-issued drivers’ licenses — becomes mandatory. You will be denied government services, airline travel, and possibly even access to your own bank account if you fail to possess the proper identification.

See here.

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take the assignment of all jobs by the government — since we must be “democratic” and “inclusive”, intelligence, training, and prior experience won’t count in the selection process — with special permission required before you can change jobs or do any other kind of work?

Will it take the confiscation of every tool in your workshop, shed, or garage because building or repairing things costs people jobs, is a potentially dangerous task that should be left to government-licensed professionals, and besides, you might build a gun?

Will it take mandatory government boarding schools — a fervent dream of socialists since before the turn of the 20th century — for children? Especially your children who will be “educated” to despise you?

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take a new law that people must get a license to have a child? They’ll want to check your genes — and your political opinions — first.

Will it take knowing that every Internet message you send to or receive from anybody must first pass through understaffed, overworked, illiterate and ignorant censors before it can be sent onward to its intended recipient, slowing communication once again to a pre-Internet crawl?

Will it take shipment of our excess population — or of various nonproductive undesirables — to southern Mexico or northern Canada? Historically, socialist regimes have trouble feeding the masses, so you may see your exiled friends and relatives come back as “Soylent Green”.

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take private possession of copies of the Declaration of Independence, or of the Constitution, or of the Bill of Rights being considered seditious — and probably subversive — by the media and the government? Naturally, the original founding documents, now considered obsolete historical curiosities, and safely stored in a steel-lined, helium-filled vault, will only be viewable by responsible adults.

Will it take the conversion of any written, verbal, or electronic criticism of the United States government, the North American Union, or the United Nations into a offense punishable by imprisonment and torture?

Will it take the compulsory registration, licensure, and eventual forcible shutdown of all privately-owned websites. They’ll say it’s for the sake of “national security” or protecting the poor little kiddies from nasty things they — or even their parents — shouldn’t see.

What’s it gonna take?

Will it take the unlicensed possession of any computer, handheld electronic device, or even a smart telephone becoming a federal-level felony?

Will it take the refusal of medical assistance (and later on, of food, clothing, or shelter) to anybody over 65 — unless, of course, they have a long record of “distinguished government service” — or to certain individuals suspected of dangerous “antisocial” or “reclusive” tendencies?

Will it take a law — or perhaps just an Executive Decree — that requires you to register all of your guns with the local, state, or federal government? Will it take a $200 tax on each of your firearms — or a $2000 tax? Will it take not being allowed to buy — or even reload — “military” caliber ammunition? Will it take an order to turn all of your guns in — “voluntarily” — before the BATFE and Homeland Security arrive at your home and forcibly confiscate them, possibly injuring or killing you or some member of your family in the process? Will it take the act of self-defense itself being ruled an antisocial crime?

What’s it gonna take?

Enough. I understand perfectly if you don’t like reading this kind of stuff. It’s scary and depressing. Just imagine what it was like to have to write it! But most of it is a whole lot closer than you may realize.

Most people are unaware that churches, for example, are already required to comply with government specifications as a price they pay for their tax-exempt status. Turns out there are government-approved religions and government-unapproved religions. My guess would be that the Branch Davidian flavor of Seventh Day Adventism was one of the latter.

Equally, there are government-approved religious practices and practices — “snake-handling”, for example, or the polygyny of the original Mormons, or religious drug-use by those who mistakenly believe that they have the same civil rights as Indians do — that are strictly forbidden despite the unmistakable language of the First Amendment.

On the basis of past performance — the Mormons at Nauvoo, the Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel — the mostly self-appointed thugs who run this civilization are more than happy to massacre members of any religious groups it doesn’t like. Which means that the First Amendment separation of church and state (which many neoconservatives today have taken to claiming never existed) must be strengthened, not weakened.

See here.

Likewise, despite the clear language of the First Amendment, there is also forbidden speech. Wilhelm Reich was a doctor in the 1950s who came to teach and practice theories of medicine and health that were in sharp conflict with those of the conventionally established medical industry. (Note that it doesn’t matter, for our purposes here, whether Reich’s theories were scientifically valid or not; the man had what was supposed to have been an unquestionable right to think them up and pass them along.) The FDA’s goons eventually broke his lectures up forcibly, smashed his apparatus, burned his books — all of this in the shadow of World War II — and threw him into prison, where he died.

Go here.

“The right of the people peaceably to assemble” is a joke, where “parade permits” may be required for gatherings of over a certain number of individuals, and police must be present, at the expense of the gatherers. And to petition the government for a redress of grievances these days is to invite armed thugs into your home and business.

Today, judges — whom we have mistakenly permitted to become a law unto themselves — have forbidden the merest mention of the Bill of Rights, or of the thousand-year-old right of juries to judge the law itself in their courts, citing violators of this edict for contempt. Judges often order individuals being persecuted by the government not to talk about it in public, clearly violating the intention of the Framers.

And of course all bets are off if the government decides that you are a terrorist. You will disappear — as many have already — your family and lawyers may never hear from you again. Sadists will abuse you while denying that what they’re doing to you is torture — just as Bill Clinton denied that what Monica Lewinski was doing to him was sex.

It all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.

By permitting censorship of any kind — of sexual material deemed to be “obscene”, for example — we have not only infantilized our civilization, we have opened a dangerous door to charges of “political obscenity” being used to stifle the right to object to government practices.

We have come close to this already over the phony issue of “global warming”, where scientists are being fired from government jobs, and where college professors are being denied tenure, for disagreeing with the “current consensus”. Some have even suggested suppressing media coverage of such dissenters and outlawing their speeches, books, and articles.

Wilhelm Reich could tell you what that’s like, if he weren’t dead at the hands of a government that supposedly had just defeated fascism.

So the questions remain:

What will it take to get people to resist these usurpations?

What will they be willing to do to put an end to them?

What are you prepared to do?

[TO BE CONTINUED]

>What’s It Gonna Take? Part I

>
The first in a three-part series by L. Neil Smith, as originally posted by JPFO:



Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … — Thomas Jefferson, “Declaration of Independence”

Right, left, and center, activists and ideologues of various stripes often complain that Americans are asleep, even comatose, and in any case, blissfully unaware of the real world around them, where (depending on one’s outlook) all manner of terrible things are going on.

A police officer once informed me loftily that civilization has to be maintained by authoritarian managers because individuals in general are selfishly uninterested in doing the hard work of maintaining it themselves.

Unsurprisingly, after I pointed out that when individuals become interested in maintaining civilization — by voting down bond issues, treating teachers and administrators like the hired hands they are, or carrying self-defense weapons that demonstrably make society safer — they’re either told, not so very politely, to go away, or they get arrested, he didn’t have a whole lot to say, because he knew that it’s true.

It didn’t help at all that he was my brother.

Even libertarians are sometimes guilty of this pathetic sort of psychopolitical elitism, and can be caught referring to their fellow human beings — whose freedom they’re supposed to be advocating — as “sheeple”.

I know for a fact that none of these assertions is true, and I can prove it — to your satisfaction — in a just couple of sentences. To begin with, there’s snow on the ground outside this morning, and it’s horribly cold, but I’m sitting here in my warm, dry house under the pleasant glow of my desk lamp, writing these words on my trusty laptop computer. After a while, I’ll send them via Internet, to my editor at JPFO.

Breakfast foods have never thrilled me, so I’m having a great big steaming bowl of beef stew that my wife made last night, with nice potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions, in a rich, tasty broth. Later on today, she’ll make Bisquik dumplings and we’ll have stew again for lunch.

This is not a complaint, mind you – it’s anticipation.

None of this could be happening if Americans were actually asleep, comatose, or unaware of the real world around them. There would be no dumplings, no broth, no onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, or beef. All the shelves in the stores would be empty, and there would be no electricity to run the stove, light the kitchen, or power my lamp and computer.

If Americans were asleep.

There would be no Internet if Americans were actually asleep. Most people we see all around us work long, hard hours (in many instances, they work longer and harder than their parents’ generation) simply to get food on their families’ tables, by making sure that it gets to our tables. Oh, yes, and to shell out at least a third of everything they earn to a government that brings them nothing but deceit and treachery.

The shocking and abysmal fact is that the American Productive Class are forced, through the process of taxation, to spend more of their own money destroying their own rights — by involuntarily supporting anti-constitutional government agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security — than saving their rights through voluntary donations to, or volunteer participation in, civil liberties organizations like Gun Owners of America, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, or even the “progressive” American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International.
Americans are not asleep. Like other people, everywhere around the world, they simply have priorities in life that are different from those of activists and ideologues. The painful truth is that the best among our species are not particularly interested in politics, they’re interested in life.


This was an excruciatingly difficult lesson for me to learn, because I’ve been interested in politics for as long as I remember. It never occurred to me that there are some to whom it means nothing.

What most individuals are interested in is themselves — and their families — and that’s entirely as it ought to be. A wise old woman (wise in some things, anyway) once observed that your life is an end, in and of itself. You don’t have to go anywhere searching for external causes in order to justify your existence. Your life is its own justification.

Understand that most activists and ideologues are collectivists — meaning socialists of one variety or another, whether they’re the left wing socialists who call themselves “liberals” or “progressives” or the right wing socialists who call themselves “conservatives”. They uniformly hate, loathe, and despise the idea that your life is yours to command and its own justification. It drives them insane with fury and frustration, because they want to believe, and they want you to believe, that your life belongs to some cause “greater than yourself” — namely, to them — to be disposed of in any manner they desire, in pursuit of whatever they feel is important at the moment, be it war or welfare.

Those among our number who believe otherwise have a harder row to hoe. The overwhelming majority of people are only interested in three things: improving their lot in life; assuring that their children will have better lives than they, themselves, have had; and, in a rather surprising number of instances, fulfilling what they conceive of as their sacred obligations, to themselves and to their fellow human beings.

Not everybody hates his job. Many people — maybe even most — feel they have a calling, no matter how insignificant or ignoble other may feel it is. We’re accustomed to doctors, firefighters, even some policemen feeling this way about what they do. But I’ve met many a grocery store clerk, plumber, electrician, librarian, automobile mechanic, and garbage collector who feels exactly the same way.

It may surprise you to learn that I specifically include sales people in this. No matter how wonderful or technologically advanced our products may be, no matter how skilled or intelligent our effort, nothing can happen unless somebody sells those splendid products and services to somebody else. That’s why writers, for example, need agents.

In any case, a majority of these hardworking individuals are fully aware that they are keeping the wheels of civilization turning — sometimes quite literally — and they’re deservedly proud of what they do.

That’s why I call them all the “Productive Class”.

Because they’re competent and conscientious human beings, they assume that others possess those qualities, as well, and this aura of trust they extend even to those in government. It’s very difficult to get folks like this to look up from their work, or away from their families, and you can’t do it by telling them they’re comatose or stupid. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be necessary. It shouldn’t be necessary. It should be safe for them to go about their business and trust others — including those in government — they way they do. To a very great extent, that’s what America was supposed to have been all about.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite their preoccupation with what’s really important — and as a husband and a father myself, I agree with them — they already understand certain things with greater sophistication than you might expect. They know, for example, that the White House is occupied (and always will be) by someone who sold his soul to entities whose interests do not run at all parallel with the interests of most Americans.

They know perfectly well that elected officials — Congressmen, Senators, state legislators, county commissioners, city councilmen — tend to be lying, greedy, overfed, alcohol-powered, middle-aged shapeshifters in plaid polyester pants and white belts (the upper crust among them prefer thousand dollar Armani suits) whose primary focus, exactly as it has been since the dim beginnings of human history, is extracting every last dime possible from the Productive Class.

And they know that the same is true of most corporate leaders.

Unfortunately, because most Productive Class Americans place a high value on telling the truth (and reliably pass that value on to their children) they expect other individuals to behave similarly. As a consequence, all a politician has to do is pretend to be a political outsider (while pushing the same ancient, weary, discredited socialist agenda), and pretend to be critical of corporations (while continuing to collect campaign contributions from them with both hands) and the average Productive Class American will reward them with his or her vote.
And then he’ll go back to work, never realizing that the new mouth he has to feed will always eat far better — given the salaries and pensions politicians have voted for themselves — than he himself ever will.

The most useful instrument that any politician, bureaucrat, or policeman can have is whatever can be represented publicly as a credible threat to home and family that, to members of the Productive Class, are everything. Such a threat seems to give government license to do all of those things the Constitution ordinarily forbids it to do.

The alleged Spanish sabotage and sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898 was presented as such a threat by the McKinley Administration, when, in fact, it was probably just an accident.

The German torpedo-sinking of RMS Lusitania — a British luxury liner secretly equipped with deck guns and carrying tons of munitions in her hold — was used to stampede Americans into the first World War.

People don’t like to hear it, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor followed months of deliberately provocative behavior by the Franklin Roosevelt Administration — including an illegal petroleum blocade — in an effort to get America involved in the second World War.

A Tonkin Gulf “incident” — that never actually happened — was carefully engineered by one of Roosevelt’s closest proteges, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, in order to widen and escalate a civil war in Vietnam.

When the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was blown up in 1995, murdering 168 people and injuring about 800 more (a crime that was never properly investigated and about which there remain, to this day, many unanswered questions), then-President Bill Clinton’s first, reflexive thought was to use the tragedy to justify denouncing — probably with an eye to suppressing — his critics in right wing talk radio.

And now most recently, the shocking demolition of the World Trade Center — by commercial aircraft hijacked by Muslim terrorists, if you believe the government’s version of the event — has been exploited as an excuse to generate two brutal, unnecessary wars in the Middle East, while suppressing freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights here at home.

All of which adds up to a very disheartening conclusion that if you can frighten Productive Class Americans, afraid of losing whatever they love and have labored so arduously to possess — exactly the way that Adolf Hitler used the Reichstag Fire to frighten Productive Class Germans — they will keep on voting for you until the cows return to Capistrano.

Now despite all of this, the American Productive Class is neither asleep, nor are they particularly naive. They’re just busy and tend to leave politics to those with the interest and motivation. What we non-socialist activists and ideologues need to do is not to wake them up — they’re already bright, alert, and chock full of Starbuck’s — but to persuade them, without resorting to the fraud or terror tactics of our opponents, to take a break and listen to what we have to tell them.

It won’t be easy, but if it were, anybody could do it.

And we wouldn’t be in this mess.

[TO BE CONTINUED] –

>Getting to the Real Problem

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A brief essay from the “Strike the Root” blog, which takes its name from Thoreau’s quote:

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

Key section:

***
…But use of privately owned guns against ordinary (“private”) criminals is just part of the equation. Why is it that throughout the history of the United States, given the availability of guns, the government has not grown smaller and smaller? By now we should be the freest people on the planet!

The answer has to do with ideology. When most of society is composed of people who support state actions, then nothing will change, even if they themselves own firearms (emphasis added). It is not an exaggeration to say that more than 99% of people are socialist. They are socialist to the degree that they implicitly or explicitly support any and all government programs. If you support universal healthcare, you are a medicinal socialist; if you love the government military, you are a defense socialist; and if you want sanctions, tariffs, subsidies, taxes, licenses and regulations, you are a plain old Red…
***

Read the whole thing, please.

>Mencken, the Iowa Caucuses, & the Political Circus

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First, a few aphorisms:

- The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are…..

- The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamourous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

- Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.

- Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

H.L. Mencken

If you’d care for some more Mencken, here’s a quote from an article by Murray Rothbard:

***
All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man; its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives…

The average man, whatever his errors otherwise, at least sees clearly that government is something lying outside him and outside the generality of his fellow-men – that it is a separate, independent and often hostile power, only partly under his control, and capable of doing him great harm. In his romantic moments, he may think of it as a benevolent father or even as a sort of jinn or god, but he never thinks of it as part of himself. In time of trouble he looks to it to perform miracles for his benefit; at other times he sees it as an enemy with which he must do constant battle. Is it a fact of no little significance that robbing the government is everywhere regarded as a crime of less magnitude than robbing an individual?…

What lies behind all this, I believe, is a deep sense of the fundamental antagonism between the government and the people it governs. It is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population for the benefit of its own members. Robbing it is thus an act almost devoid of infamy…. When a private citizen is robbed a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before. The notion that they have earned that money is never entertained; to most sensible men it would seem ludicrous. They are simply rascals who, by accidents of law, have a somewhat dubious right to a share in the earnings of their fellow men. When that share is diminished by private enterprise the business is, on the whole, far more laudable than not.

This gang is well-nigh immune to punishment. Its worst extortions, even when they are baldly for private profit, carry no certain penalties under our laws. Since the first days of the Republic, less than a dozen of its members have been impeached, and only a few obscure understrappers have ever been put into prison. The number of men sitting at Atlanta and Leavenworth for revolting against the extortions of government is always ten times as great as the number of government officials condemned for oppressing the taxpayers to their own gain…. There are no longer any citizens in the world; there are only subjects. They work day in and day out for their masters; they are bound to die for their masters at call…. On some bright tomorrow, a geological epoch or two hence, they will come to the end of their endurance….
***
And finally, a modest proposal for governmental “reform” by Mencken, cited by Rothbard in the same article:

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“What is needed,” concluded Mencken, “is a system (a) that does not depend for its execution upon the good-will of fellow jobholders, and (b) that provides swift, certain and unpedantic punishments, each fitted neatly to its crime.” Mencken’s proposed remedy

provides that any [citizen]…having looked into the acts of a jobholder and found him delinquent, may punish him instantly and on the spot, and in any manner that seems appropriate and convenient – and that, in case this punishment involves physical damage to the jobholder, the ensuing inquiry by the grand jury or coroner shall confine itself strictly to the question whether the jobholder deserved what he got. In other words, I propose that it shall no longer be malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s desserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined…. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that the punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course….

The advantages of this plan, I believe, are too patent to need argument. At one stroke it removes all the legal impediments which now make the punishment of a recreant jobholder so hopeless a process…. Say a citizen today becomes convinced that a certain judge is a jack-ass – that his legal learning is defective, his sense of justice atrophied, and his conduct of cases before him tyrannical and against decency. As things stand, it is impossible to do anything about it…. Nor is anything to be gained by denouncing him publicly and urging all good citizens to vote against him when he comes up for re-election, for his term may run for ten or fifteen years, and even if it expires tomorrow and he is defeated the chances are good that his successor will be quite as bad, and maybe even worse.

But now imagine any citizen free to approach him in open court and pull his nose. Or even, in aggravated cases, to cut off his ears, throw him out of the window, or knock him in the head with an ax. How vastly more attentive he would be to his duties! How diligently he would apply himself to the study of the law! How careful he would be about the rights of litigants before him!
***

>Scoped Hunting Rifles as Long-Range Rifles

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From someone who knows his a** from his elbow, and more:

In case folks haven’t figured it out by now I’m pretty interested in long range shooting. I’m just not all that interested in playing rifle platoon games with active duty rifle platoons. I think it’s something that just kind of happens when you’re a combat veteran and 40 years old. You just want to stay the hell away from all that drama.

Here’s a technique that folks might find of use — nothing I invented but on the other hand something that isn’t taught much anymore. Just the simple use of scope zeroing to get you out past the effective range of the average troops ability to hit well with his rifle. The best part about it is almost any decent hunting rifle/scope combo will have you getting pretty effective hits out to 600 yards.

This technique has it’s roots way back when sniping with optics and smokeless powder cartridges was in it’s infancy, probably sometime during WWI since Herbert McBride mentions long range zeros in “A Rifleman Went To War”. It was allot more important in those days than now though, they didn’t have the very nice LR optics that we are blessed with, sporting repeatable external knobs side focus etc. The scopes were low powered, dark, fragile and lacked any kind of repeatable means for compensating for elevation (some early attempts were fielded but scope technology wasn’t up to the task yet), let alone windage.

Yet even those things being true, the rifleman of the day jumped right on the early optics and did a bang up job. There is probably a lesson here somewhere. It shouldn’t be lost on folks that knowledgeable rifleman, in the days long range iron sight shooting was taught, could see the benefit of optics even when they sucked. Simo Hayha killed over 500 Russians, mostly during the harsh Finnish Winter. Lyudmila Pavlichenko (Russian college chick) killed over 300 Germans with her SVT40. Mathias Hetzenauer was awarded the First Class Iron Cross for his efforts whittling down Russians. These folks averaged several hundred kills each and certainly there was a host of “unknowns” doing the same thing.

While there was an eclectic variety of rifles used everything from sporters to the latest in semi-autos, to include the first forward mounted telescope to see issue, they all had one thing in common. Not many of them had as good an optic or a rifle that was any more accurate that the average off the shelf hunting rifle that we take for granted now. I’ve had opportunity to mess with several vintage sniping rifles, M1D’s, Springfield 1903-A4s, Enfields, Mosin Nagants, Mausers including the Swede and German rifles. None of them had anything over a generic Remington ADL and a Leupold 3X9 VXII. The reason these rifleman (and chicks) did so well in combat had to do with what they had between their ears and not in their hands.

Something else you come to realize when you start studying the subject is that most sniper casualties are inflicted from 300 to 500 yards, shorter distances being the exception in MOUT operations and of course the proverbial 1ooo-yard shots in the desert wars. The fact remains that under practical conditions (that includes current efforts) the shots are in the 300 to 500 yard slot. The reason being is simple – it’s not that the rifles lack precision or the rifleman lack the skill. It’s simply the fact that folks don’t make themselves easy targets in combat theaters.

I could keep going, as this is a pet subject, but I’m going to stop and hope I’ve made a case for the “why”. Now to the meat of things with the “how”. Pretty simple really: just jock the rifle’s zero to take advantage of the distances shot the most With a 500 yard zero you can use simple on target hold offs to compensate for the range and since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have included a picture of a chart from a vintage training manual.

The hardest part about the whole deal is getting the good 500 yard zero. What I do is zero the scope at 500 yards and them mark the adjustment turret under the cap and then return the zero to a more manageable 200 yard zero for hunting. Any decent hunting scope is repeatable enough to make this work, I haven’t had any problems even with “friction” adjustments on an old Leupold. Then of course you need to practice and tune things up for you.

Folks that have followed the “Mil-dots vs. Ballistic-Plex” will recognize right off the bat how useful the bargain priced Ballistic-Plex reticle could be if you needed to draft your hunting rifle into active duty.

Food for thought….

>Put On Your Thinking Caps…re "The Guerrilla Sniper"

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Give a close read to this article, reprinted with his permission from Gabe Suarez’ “Warrior Talk” forum.

Those who wish to contribute their thoughts to the project can and should add to the discussion at Gabe’s place.


The Guerrilla Sniper

It is tempting to only think in terms of what you need…or are likely to need. The liberal uses that argument to in hopes of eliminating certain weapons from the hands of civilians. “No one needs an AK-47” for example is a chant not only of the liberal infesting this nation, but also of certain sporting oriented gun groups. Some of these groups (except maybe the liberal) may admit that you need a CCW pistol, but certainly nothing else. Certainly you don’t need a “battle rifle”, or a “combat shotgun” or a pistol with “15 shots”. And of course, you certainly don’t need anything even remotely resembling a “sniper rifle”. If you are one of those folks, then I challenge you to sell off all of your fighting-type weapons except for a five shot snubby revolver, since statistically, that is all you will likely ever need. No, don’t want to do that? I didn’t think so. So let’s look at this not from a “needs” perspective, but from a “wants” perspective.

America is a free nation (still that way in spite of so much effort devoted to changing that). A free nation is not based on need, but rather want. An outside party, like a government let’s say, establishing what you need is oppression by another name. They have no idea what you need…only of what they want to allow you to have. To recognize that free men can determine their own “wants” and then seek ways to fulfill those wants is what a free capitalist nation is all about.

When this nation was founded, that fact was well known to the founders. They had come from generations of people telling them what they “needed”. So they set up a government to insure that all industrious men could pursue their wants….the “pursuit of happiness” as it were. And they set up a statement of rights to that effect. And knowing that whoever had the most physical power always makes the rules, they made certain that every man had a share in that power vis-à-vis the second point in that statement of rights, the Second Amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In National Treasure, Nicholas Cage correctly points out that “people don’t talk like that anymore”.

Quite correct so –

“A skilled and well trained citizenry is necessary to keep a country free from oppression, so the right of the citizen to own and carry guns shall not be messed with”

Now what on earth would possibly affect the “security of a free State”? These guys had just defeated the greatest army on God’s green earth at the time. Were they worried about the British coming back? Sure, to a degree, but what they were most worried about, and why they took such pains to write everything down, was of the new government becoming the oppressor in lieu of the British king. They wanted to make sure that the militia, which was every living human that could carry and fire a gun, was armed and ready to intervene should things get weird.

The second amendment is definitely not about John Kerry or Mit Romney dressing up in Cabela’s finest duck hunter outfit and posing as “sportsmen” for the cameras. Every time I see such a spectacle it makes me want to vomit. The second amendment is about equipping an indigenous insurgency in the event of an oppressive political force. Its not about shooting ducks, it is about shooting tyrants.

Now that is hardly anything the current “pro-gun” political associations, or sportsmen’s groups will align themselves with, but it is a historical fact, and in such situations, we most certainly NEED as well as want all of the things we are told we do not need. One of these is the sniper rifle.

Now I don’t want to get into definitive discussions about what is a sniper and what is a designated marksman or what is a police sharpshooter. It is a waste of time in my opinion. The kind of sniping we are discussing has little in common with the police sniper/sharpshooter who waits hidden at close range for the incident commander’s “green light”, and who has an entire department’s support structure behind him. Neither does it have much in common with the military trained sniper that not only has the economic support of tax payers to study his craft full time, but has the best gear money can buy. And the Second Amendment Sniper has very little to do as well with the new in vogue term – Designated Marksman. The DM like his counterparts has the full support of his group along with all the assets of a powerful military structure.

The Second Amendment Sniper is a quite different proposition. He has much more in common with a Partisan, or a Guerrilla Fighter, such as have been seen in the occupied/contested territories in the World Wars and in all the subsequent “Conflicts” that followed. Thus if you are a private citizen and want to examine the study of the Sniper, it would be far more useful to learn the ways of a Guerrilla Sniper than of a Police Sharpshooter or a Military Designated Marksman.

The Guerrilla Sniper (GS), like his historical counterparts, has little or no support from any outside force. He carries everything he needs because he will not get it anywhere else. Although he may be a part of a unit, he may just as easily be operating totally alone.

Since the urban setting favors the partisan, his engagement distances will likely be much closer than the sniper “Holy Grail” 1000 yards. As an aside, it is interesting to note that most sniper shots have been taken inside the 500 yard interval. Not to say that there have never been any shots outside of this, but that the majority have been well inside. One of our friends and advisors in this area points out that his unit’s rifles in North Ireland were expected to make 600 yard body shots and 200 yard head shots. This is a good objective SOP for the GS.

The GS has some interesting requirements in terms of physical ability and tactics. He must be able to get into position unseen as well as escape. In an urban setting this would not call for anything like a Ghillie Suit or a drag bag. To the contrary, things like this would get everyone looking at you and bring all manner of unwanted attention. Creativity will be an asset. When I was assigned as sniper to my SWT team, I procured a UPS uniform and delivered the rifle and myself to the firing/observation point. No one notices the UPS delivery guy.

The GS must have a degree of fitness as well. The overweight bench rest shooter may be able to fire a dime-sized group, but what good will he do if he has a heart attack due to climbing several flights of stairs to the firing position, or on the way back from it? The Partisans of WW2 fame often had to literally run for their lives. We would expect nothing less from the GS.

The rifle is an interesting point of discussion for the GS. In truth any rifle will do in this application as long as it is capable of the 200/600 requirement. It should be affordable for the shooter since he will need to shoot it often and in varying conditions. It should be able to use good quality ammo for the required precision as well as any surplus delinked machinegun ammo for closer engagements if that is all you can find. The necessity to penetrate cover, armor and glass, as well as resist wind deviation and any intervening shrubbery, requires the use of a 30 caliber round as minimum. We want this artifact to be as compact as possible without compromising the mission. And since the GS is usually operating alone and will likely use the rifle to fight his way out of a tight spot if necessary, I will add that a semi-auto would be a very nice attribute of such a rifle. A scope is mandatory. I am well aware that there are people who can do wondrous things with iron sights. They can do much better with a scope.

The scope must have magnification and range finding capabilities. Magnification will help do two things; Identify a target and define an aiming point at distance. Yes, you will in fact be scanning with your scope. Today there are plenty of scopes that will give you what you need here. Don’t make the mistake of getting a scope suitable for bench rest target shooting, or for deer hunting, only to find out it will not serve you as well as something less “sporting”.

What the FBI, or SEALs, or local SWAT is using has nothing to do with what we will choose. I know a man who has an extensive collection of “sniper rifles”. They are all the product of the American Sniper-smith’s art. And they are all over-priced, over-weight, and finicky about the ammo they shoot well. He never takes them out to the field since he could not carry one for any longer distance than from the trunk to the shooting bench. And since they must be fed a strict diet of Match ammo, the “dollar per shot” it takes to train with these wonders is prohibitive for anyone except maybe a brain surgeon.
So what is out there – Semi Auto, 30 caliber (minimum), potentially compact, capable of mounting a scope, and affordable. An internet search today revealed these prices.

Springfield M1A Standard, $1,331.99
Springfield M25 308 Tactical, White Feather Edition $4,343.99
DSA STG-58 T1 FAL Rifle 308 $999.99
DSA STG-58 FAL Carbine $1,099.99
DSA .308 FAL CARBINE SA58 $2,455.99
PTR-91F (HK-91 Copy) $1049
PTR MSG91 (HK-91 Copy) $1999
Romanian Dragunov 7.62x54R FPK Open Sights $725.99
Romanian Dragunov 7.62x54R FPKw/Scope $846.99

Affordability is relative to your bank account, but the only rifles available that fit the job description, and are under $1000 are the Basic FAL (barely), and the Romanian PSL (aka Dragunov, FPK).

Another aspect of this is the question “What are you used to?” If you have been running FALs all your life, spend a little more money and get a FAL set up for this type of work. It would make no sense to use a FAL for CQB and an HK-91 or an M1A for Guerrilla Sniping. Having one manual of arms suitable for all your long guns (and conceptually applicable to your pistol as well) is a definite asset. This was first promoted by the Heckler and Koch family of weapons.

I spend a lot of time with the Kalashnikov Platform. I prefer it and reply that those who claim it is inaccurate, un ergonomic, or uncomfortable are either prejudiced against the design, pampered by sporting guns, or ill-trained in how to use an AK weapon in the first place. Having selected the AK platform, an M1A makes little sense. Neither does the FAL nor the HK. These may all be fine and suitable weapons, but what would make most sense for me, if I want to optimize training time and weapons handling consistency, is some sort of Kalashnikov Platform suitable for the GS role.

The only suitable AK weapons in a 30 caliber are either a Saiga 308, or the Romanian PSL (aka Dragunov). The Saiga is extremely affordable and easy to convert back into fighting trim from its obligatory “sporting purpose” import condition. The PSL is also a fine weapon that can easily fit into this role with a few modifications.

Ammo is also an issue. You need to shoot your rifle…a lot. The more you shoot and become comfortable with it, the better you will be. The biggest problem with ammo, and this is a universal point of concern for all small arms students, is cost. Here is what a search on ammo cost revealed today –

In the 7.62×51 “Surplus” category:
Bosnian 7.62X51 M80 $269- 500 rounds
Lithuanian 7.62X51 M80 $275- 500 rounds

In the Commercial US Made Category:
FEDERAL 150GR. $325- 500 rounds
FEDERAL MATCH 168GR. BTHP $499- 500 rounds

In the 7.62x54R “Surplus” category:
7.62x54R 182 GRAIN FMJBT DPS $199- 880 Rounds
7.62x54R 180 GRAIN FMJBT GREEK $129- 400 Rounds
Russian 7N1 Sniper Ammo 7.62x54R, 152gr FMJBT, 20 Rds $5.68

In the Commercial Category:
Wolf Gold 7.62x54R, 150gr FMJBT, 20 rds $12.59
Wolf 7.62x54R 148gr Bi-Metal FMJ, 20 rds $7.95
Wolf 7.62x54R 148gr Copper FMJ, 20 rds $9.95

So choose wisely depending on your perspective of what is affordable.

I expect this write up will be controversial not only because of its weapon discussion, but also because of its tone. Suarez International has brought the art of the fighting pistol and the CQB rifle up from the range-based approach to a much higher level. We are in the process of now examining the sniper science from a clean private citizen perspective uninfluenced by police or military applications and instead focusing on the historical application of the citizen rifleman. Let’s see where this takes us.