Monthly Archives: December 2007

>Another Milestone on the Road to Serfdom

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Thanks to the good folks over at A Well-Regulated Militia (now added to “Practical Resources” in our left margin) comes this article from Harper’s Magazine on the incestuous relationship between Government and the nation’s telecom carriers.

Take the time to read the embedded article from the NY Times, as well.

As we have noted on several occasions in the past – you MUST assume that every single email, internet forum post, and telephone conversation has been intercepted by the national security apparatus for later analysis.

This is no longer the America of the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, and even Eighties.

Loose lips (and typing fingers) will sink more than ships.

No kidding.

And a brief postscript – what is the position of each Presidential and Congressional candidate on this utterly un-American nonsense?

You’d better ask, and insist upon an answer.

While you still can, citizen.

Tempus fugit.

>And on Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men

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Merry Christmas to all, and may this time be one of both seeking – and finding.

Enjoy the holidays, and see you soon.

>Tyranny, Mortality, and Resistance

>And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst; the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

The Gulag Archipelago
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The following excerpt from “Archipelago” comes from Solzhenitsyn’s discussion of various interrogation techniques used by the state apparatchiks:

***
7. Intimidation was very widely used and very varied. It was often accompanied by enticement and by promises which were, of course, false. In 1924: “If you don’t confess, you’ll go to the Solovetsky Islands. Anybody who confesses is turned loose.” In 1944: “Which camp you’ll be sent to depends on us. Camps are different. We’ve got hard-labor camps now. If you confess, you’ll go to an easy camp. If you’re stubborn, you’ll get twenty-five years in handcuffs in the mines!” Another form of intimidation was threatening a prisoner with a prison worse than the one he was in. “If you keep on being stubborn, we’ll send you to Lefortovo” (if you are in the Lubyanka), “to Sukhanovka” (if you are at Lefortovo). “They’ll find another way to talk to you there.” You have already gotten used to things where you are; the regimen seems to be not so bad; and what kind of torments await you elsewhere? Yes, and you also have to be transported there. . . . Should you give in?

Intimidation worked beautifully on those who had not yet been arrested but had simply received an official summons to the Bolshoi Dom-the Big House. He (or she) still had a lot to lose. He (or she) was frightened of everything-that they wouldn’t let him (or her) out today, that they would confiscate his (or her) belongings or apartment. He would be ready to give all kinds of testimony and make all kinds of concessions in order to avoid these dangers. She, of course, would be ignorant of the Criminal Code, and, at the very least, at the start of the questioning they would push a sheet of paper in front of her with a fake citation from the Code: “I have been warned that for giving false testimony – five years of imprisonment.” (In actual fact, under Article 95, it is two years.) “For refusal to give testimony-five years . . .” (In actual fact, under Article 92, it is up to three months.) Here, then, one more of the interrogator’s basic methods has entered the picture and will continue to re-enter it.

8. The lie. We lambs were forbidden to lie, but the interrogator could tell all the lies he felt like. Those articles of the law did not apply to him. We had even lost the yardstick with which to gauge: what does he get for lying? He could confront us with as many documents as he chose, bearing the forged signatures of our kinfolk and friends-and it would be just a skillful interrogation technique.

Intimidation through enticement and lies was the fundamental method for bringing pressure on the relatives of the arrested person when they were called in to give testimony. “If you don’t tell us such and such” (whatever was being asked), “it’s going to be the worse for him_. You’ll be destroying him completely.” (How hard for a mother to hear that!) “Signing this paper” (pushed in front of the relatives) “is the only way you can save him” (destroy him).

9. Playing on one’s affection for those one loved was a game that worked beautifully on the accused as well. It was the most effective of all methods of intimidation. One could break even a totally fearless person through his concern for those he loved. (Oh, how foresighted was the saying: “A man’s family are his enemies.”) Remember the Tatar who bore his sufferings-his own and those of his wife-but could not endure his daughter’s! In 1930, Rimalis, a woman interrogator, used to threaten: “We’ll arrest your daughter and lock her in a cell with syphilitics!” And that was a woman!

They would threaten to arrest everyone you loved. Sometimes this would be done with sound effects: Your wife has already been arrested, but her further fate depends on you. They are questioning her in the next room just listen! And through the wall you can actually hear a woman weeping and screaming. (After all, they all sound alike; you’re hearing it through a wall; and you’re under terrific strain and not in a state to play the expert on voice identification. Sometimes they simply play a recording of the voice of a “typical wife”-soprano or contralto -a labor-saving device suggested by some inventive genius.) And then, without fakery, they actually show her to you through a glass door, as she walks along in silence, her head bent in grief. Yes! Your own wife in the corridors of State Security! You have destroyed her by your stubbornness! She has already been arrested! (In actual fact, she has simply been summoned in connection with some insignificant procedural question and sent into the corridor at just the right moment, after being told: “Don’t raise your head, or you’ll be kept here!”) Or they give you a letter to read, and the handwriting is exactly like hers: “I renounce you! After the filth they have told me about you, I don’t need you any more!” (And since such wives do exist in our country, and such letters as well, you are left to ponder in your heart: Is that the kind of wife she really is?)
***

“Relevance?”, I hear someone asking.

Quite simple, actually. Freedom-loving Americans and others had damned well skippy better educate themselves on the workings of various soul-crushing totalitarian regimes while there is still time to learn and practice various resistance methods. The torrent of recent stories such as this one suggest that the hour is growing very late:

***
The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world’s largest computer database of peoples’ physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad.

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law.

“Bigger. Faster. Better. That’s the bottom line,” said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which operates the database from its headquarters in the Appalachian foothills.

The increasing use of biometrics for identification is raising questions about the ability of Americans to avoid unwanted scrutiny. It is drawing criticism from those who worry that people’s bodies will become de facto national identification cards. Critics say that such government initiatives should not proceed without proof that the technology really can pick a criminal out of a crowd.

The use of biometric data is increasing throughout the government. For the past two years, the Defense Department has been storing in a database images of fingerprints, irises and faces of more than 1.5 million Iraqi and Afghan detainees, Iraqi citizens and foreigners who need access to U.S. military bases. The Pentagon also collects DNA samples from some Iraqi detainees, which are stored separately.

The Department of Homeland Security has been using iris scans at some airports to verify the identity of travelers who have passed background checks and who want to move through lines quickly. The department is also looking to apply iris- and face-recognition techniques to other programs. The DHS already has a database of millions of sets of fingerprints, which includes records collected from U.S. and foreign travelers stopped at borders for criminal violations, from U.S. citizens adopting children overseas, and from visa applicants abroad. There could be multiple records of one person’s prints…
***

As the Book says in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Tempus fugit.

>Betrayal and Defeat

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For the procedural skulduggery behind the passage of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s HR 2640, see this excerpt from a forum post on the WarRifles forum:

***
…I just got off the phone with Congressman Paul’s office in DC and according to Adam Dick, who is on Dr. Paul’s staff, here are the answers:

1: No, Dr, Paul DID NOT AGREE to pass the McCarthy bill. In fact, he wasn’t even in the House when it was passed at midnight on Tuesday. When H.R. 2640 was initially presented in the House, Dr. Paul stood up and spoke against it. Regarding H.R. 2640, Ron Paul’s hands are clean – period.

2: How did McCarthy and her maggots get around his opposition? Here’s how: The House had adjourned for the year. There were approximately ten House members in the house chamber – special order speeches were being given. Over in the Senate, Coburn finally caved and agreed to pass the McCarthy bill at a little before midnight, giving the Senate its unanimous consent.

At that point, McCarthy hauled a*s from the Senate to the House chamber, broke in on the special order speeches and put H.R. 2640 up for a vote. They had waited and watched until no opposing House members were present to do this.

This way, they would get a unanimous consent vote by voice – “unanimous consent” means unanimous consent of the members present at that instant, not unanimous consent of each and every one of the 435 members of the House.

On the Democrat side, McCarthy controlled their 5 minutes that are allowed for each special order speech. On the Republican side, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia controlled the 5 minutes allowed for their rebuttal. Price is a McCarthy bill supporter, so there was no rebuttal, no debate, no recorded vote. This is how McCarthy and Price circumvented debate on the bill and got a unanimous vote.

According to Adam Dick of Dr. Paul’s staff, it was a done deal in a minute and a half. He said even if those who opposed the bill were in their offices monitoring the proceedings on closed circuit TV (which they do), thanks to the tag team of McCarthy and Price, an opposing Congressman would have never made it to the House chamber in time to oppose the vote and stop H.R. 2640′s passage.

You want to know who stabbed us in the back? “Republican” Representative Price of Georgia – there’s your traitor (along with the entire U.S. Senate, the Brady maggots, VPC scumbags, the NRA and the proverbial “cast of thousands” who helped out).

So there you go: The House was adjourned for the year, ten antigun bigots were present at midnight, no debate, no opposition, no recorded vote, H.R. 2640 is rammed through in ninety seconds. This is how the Political Class operates.

They will stop at nothing to destroy our right to arms.

Was it technically lawful and Constitutional? According to Adam Dick, it was. HOWEVER: He also said that a unanimous consent with no recorded vote is and has always been intended for use regarding bills where the House is in full agreement on passage BEFORE a vote is called for.

Using this procedure to pass a bill that has known opposition from other House members is a cheap shot. It is dirty pool. It is stabbing your peers in the back and McCarthy and Price know it and they don’t care. They got what they wanted, and that’s all that matters.

The problem with H.R. 2640 is that, in the words of Adam Dick, “It will establish a government-controlled national database of EVERYBODY.” Not just gun owners – but EVERYBODY. This database will include criminal history records and ALL medical records that can and will be used by “The Government” for THEM to decide whether or not you are “fit” to purchase a gun.

The McCarthy bill is BAD news – period.

What’s even worse though, is the doors it will open for the antigun bigots of the Political Class.

Think about the ramifications of this: Antidepressant medications are the number one most prescribed class of med in the United States. If you have ever been on any of these meds, “The Government” could look at its database and decide that as a result, you are not “fit” to purchase a gun. In one fell swoop, “The Government” can declare a vast segment – likely 100 million or so – of the American people “unfit” to purchase a gun.

Undoubtedly, the tens of millions of children who were forced to take Ritalin or similar psychotropic drugs for a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD would also be “unfit” to ever purchase a gun – all before they are even old enough to legally do so!!

The same applies to any form of care by a psychiatrist. The same applies to any counseling you may have undergone with a psychologist, marriage counselor, LCSW, or family counselor for any reason.

Did your father suddenly drop dead from a heart attack? Did it traumatize you, depress you and cause you grief for which you sought counseling? “The Government” could use that information from its database to declare you “unfit” to purchase a gun.

Of course, keeping as many people as possible from purchasing any new guns is just the first step. If a person is “unfit” to purchase a new gun, aren’t they also “unfit” to possess the firearms they already own? That “loophole” ™ will have to be closed. There’s only one way to achieve that.

You can see where this is going. All it will take to make it a reality is to put someone like Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney, McCain or Thompson in the White House in 2008 and get control of the Senate and the House in the hands of the antigun/antifreedom bigots.

Once that’s accomplished, GUN CONFISCATIONS will follow – and soon.

We all can now see how the antigun Political Class operates. They completely and totally reject the restraints placed upon them by the Constitution. They don’t give a rat’s a*s about the rights of the people or the will of the people.

Their outlook is “We’ll do whatever the “F” we want and you’ll like it.
***

JPFO’s take is here.

Here’s GOA’s assessment of the situation.

My two cents?

It’s the camel’s nose under the tent, folks. Gradualism is the bad guys’ MO, and they are good at it.

Next steps will be to

1) expand the disqualifying conditions

2) use data mining to link “public statements” (read “gun board posts”) with particular gun owners

3) employ .gov pshrinks to “assess” those gun owners on a preliminary basis (think “psychological profiling” a la serial killers – the Feebs will love this stuff)

4) bring civil actions to require the gun owners to either relinquish their weapons or “permit” a full-scale psychological “assessment”

5) Upon completion of the assessment, bring or threaten to bring a “weapons decertification” proceeding, which will remove the gun owner’s weapons and bar him from future acquisitions

6) Concurrently with steps 2-5 above, socialist states (Neu Jersey, Illinois, Neu York, Kalifornia, People’s Republic of Massachusetts, etc.) will enact “firearm safety certification” requirements, which will feature a mental health evaluation by an “impartial” .gov pshrink. This certification will be required to purchase any firearm in that state, and must be renewed every two years.

“If it saves one life” and “it’s for the children”, indeed…..

Tempus fugit.

>Something to Ponder

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We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

Ayn Rand

Are you and your family ready to live and prevail in such a world?

If not, why not?

Quote stolen with gratitude from today’s edition of Maggie’s Farm.

>Video Interviews with Congressman Ron Paul

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Please take the time to watch these videos with Congressman Paul, as conducted over the last few weeks by CNN’s Glenn Beck and ABC’s John Stossel.

Beck Interview:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

The Stossel interview is here; just scroll down to the section labelled “Ron Paul on” and click on the videos in sequence.

Please watch the videos.

Think about the positions taken by Congressman Paul.

Do more research on his views at his website.

Consider making a donation to Congressman Paul’s campaign fund.

But most importantly of all, please pass these links to others and ask them to watch, just as we are asking you.

We can stop the American train before it plunges off the cliff, but only with a Constitution-obeying President.

Tempus fugit.

>Hard to Win the "Soft War" With This Kind of Nonsense

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Thanks to a patriot who brought this article to our attention re electronic voting machines and their susceptibility to hacking/manipulation. Read the whole thing, but here’s a taste:

***
…What the researchers discovered is pretty significant.

They found that the ES&S tabulation system and the voting machine firmware were rife with basic buffer overflow vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to easily take control of the systems and “exercise complete control over the results reported by the entire county election system.”

They also found serious security vulnerabilities involving the magnetically switched bidirectional infrared (IrDA) port on the front of the machines and the memory devices that are used to communicate with the machine through the port. With nothing more than a magnet and an infrared-enabled Palm Pilot or cell phone they could easily read and alter a memory device that is used to perform important functions on the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine — such as loading the ballot definition file and programming the machine to allow a voter to cast a ballot. They could also use a Palm Pilot to emulate the memory device and hack a voting machine through the infrared port (see the picture above right).

They found that a voter or poll worker with a Palm Pilot and no more than a minute’s access to a voting machine could surreptitiously re-calibrate the touch-screen so that it would prevent voters from voting for specific candidates or cause the machine to secretly record a voter’s vote for a different candidate than the one the voter chose. Access to the screen calibration function requires no password, and the attacker’s actions, the researchers say, would be indistinguishable from the normal behavior of a voter in front of a machine or of a pollworker starting up a machine in the morning.

The attack they describe is significant because the researchers’ description of how an intentionally miscalibrated machine would function — that is, prevent a voter from voting for a certain candidate — is precisely how some voters described the ES&S machines were acting in a controversial Florida election last year…
***

Please read the full article and its enclosed hyperlinks. That’s re voting machines in Ohio.

Here’s a similar story re Colorado.

Now consider what these discoveries mean for the value of your vote and the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Paper ballots with a carbon tear-off to be kept by the voter, anyone?

>On the Omaha Shootings

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Clearing some backed-up work while I have been traveling, I see that Gabe Suarez of Suarez International and One Source Tactical was kind enough to grant permission to reprint his essay on the Omaha mall massacre:

Once again…the Law failed…and the first responders were irrelevant. How many more times will things like this happen before we stop relying on feel-good measures to keep us safe?

Right now, the witches and warlocks of government are plotting how to use this. The Kerrys, Kennedys and Pelosis are stirring their cauldrons as the Boxers and Feinsteins of the nation toss in their “eye of newt” to turn this event into a political platform from which to push their agendas.

They will say the 19-year-old Hawkins was a troubled young man. They will want to institute mandatory testing for all kids to determine their “danger quotient” so they can be “diverted” at birth.

They will call for more laws against the civil rights of all Americans in spite of the fact that there were already laws that would have prevented young Hawkins from possessing a firearm…had he obeyed them. Local records show Hawkins had a felony drug conviction on his record as well as several misdemeanor cases filed against him.

The focus of course will be the, “SKS semiautomatic Russian military rifle — the same type used in the shooting” I would not be surprised if they painted the evil “assault rifle” as the main culprit with Hawkins as a poor impressionable American Boy trapped by the evil weapon’s spell.

“But there were laws preventing this”, the pundits of the left wing media will say.
“We need laws to get these guns off the street”, Sarah Brady will shriek from her broom on the way to work this morning.
“We need more police in Omaha”, someone else will say.

We have heard it all before…at Virginia Tech, Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Columbine.

There are in fact laws and rules. But laws and rules are only for the good, as the bad never pay them any mind to begin with. There were laws keeping Hawkins from having a rifle, yet they failed. There were laws keeping Hawkins from killing so many people. But, as in Virginia, Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Columbine, the law failed, as it will always fail.

I am told by one who was there that Nebraska just passed their Concealed Carry Law, joining the rest of America in recognizing the God-given rights of its citizens enumerated in the Constitution. Yet there was one law that seemed to work. It was the one that said – “NO WEAPONS IN THE MALL”.

Indeed! I wonder how many will obey that stupid rule today?

We will hear abut the “evil” assault rifle as well. I suggest that all of you who do not have an AK, or an SKS, or even an AR, that you go into debt today and get one. Get one this week!. If we get the wrong sort into office next year, and it is quite likely we will, you can bet your bayonet that they will seize on events like this to ban even the mere picture of an SKS.

And the first responders…ah yes…the ones that arrive to save the day. Here is what the media said, “By the time police arrived they weren’t sure how many shooters they were dealing with. They surrounded the mall, and once they were set up, shoppers and employees had to come out with their hands raised in the air.”

Very nice. Very nice. Thank you Mr. first responders for saving the day once again. You push for laws to take the guns out of the hands of common people and then arrive late to every single event that may have required their use. Shame on you.

Who is to blame? Well the murderer Hawkins is top of the list of course. But then there are those in power who sought to stall the Concealed Carry Law. They are at fault as well. And then the managers of the mall with the sign, “NO WEAPONS IN THE MALL”. They are equally at fault. I would like to see the survivors sue the state of Nebraska for dragging its feet on CCW and the owners of the Mall for preventing the legal exercise of rights.

In the meantime, buy all the guns and high capacity magazines you can. I think we can expect hard times for the civil rights of all Americans in a short time.

>Tea Party ’07 – Sunday, December 16

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Please take the time to watch this video.

Then pass this link to others, along with the issues link to the Ron Paul campaign.

Then, this Sunday, please go here and give what you can.

There is only one candidate with a ten-term credibility record talking honestly about Constitutional issues in the 2008 Presidential election.

Only Ron Paul understands that if we want more freedom, we must have less Government.

There is only one candidate in this race saying things like this re Second Amendment issues:

***
…The Second Amendment is not about hunting deer or keeping a pistol in your nightstand. It is not about protecting oneself against common criminals. It is about preventing tyranny. The Founders knew that unarmed citizens would never be able to overthrow a tyrannical government as they did. They envisioned government as a servant, not a master, of the American people. The muskets they used against the British Army were the assault rifles of the time. It is practical, rather than alarmist, to understand that unarmed citizens cannot be secure in their freedoms. It’s convenient for gun banners to dismiss this argument by saying “That could never happen here, this is America”- but history shows that only vigilant people can keep government under control. By banning certain weapons today, we may plant the seeds for tyranny to flourish ten, thirty, or fifty years from now…
***

Help him stay in the fight by a donation on Sunday, if you possibly can.

Be a part of American history.

Join us today.

>Europe Falls….

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What could not be done by the Caesars, Napoleon, the Kaisers Wilhelm, Hitler, or Stalin and his successors was achieved yesterday by the loathsome transnational socialists and their traitorous elected official allies from the individual European Union members, formerly known as “nations.”

The sovereignty of each European nation, along with the United Kingdom, ended with the execution of the Lisbon Treaty.

The American Thinker blog has a fine article on this sad day, which begins:

With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty on December 13, 450 million people are now under a new, single government, called the European Union, headquartered in Brussels. Individual countries like Britain and France are yielding their national sovereignty to a new Über-nation. Without ever putting it to a vote of the people, the ruling classes of Europe have pushed through a constitution under the heading of a “treaty,” because it was voted down in the form of a Constitution by the people of France and the Netherlands two years ago.

The new Lisbon Treaty will give EU centralized control over:

* civil and criminal law,
* justice and policing,
* immigration,
* public services,
* energy and transportation,
* tourism, space, sport,
* civil rights,
* public health and
* the EU budget

In addition, a centralized EU foreign ministry and a centralized EU military are already well advanced. Most EU countries already use the single currency, the euro.

According to Prof. Anthony Coughlan,

“This increase in EU powers would simultaneously increase the personal power of the 27 national politicians who make up the Council of Ministers by enabling them to make further laws behind closed doors for 500 million Europeans, while taking power away from the citizens and national parliaments.”

Bigger nations would get more voting power; thus Germany would be the most powerful member of the new Supernation, with 82 million people, compared to about 60 million for France, Britain, and Italy.

Brussels Journal has an entire page devoted to politicians explaining why voters should not be allowed to have a voice in establishing the new supernation. This is an overtly anti-democratic EU, established by an overtly anti-democratic political class…
***

The excellent EU Referendum and Dutch Klein Verzet blogs remind the Eurocrats to heed Rudyard Kipling’s warnings re simple justice in “Norman and Saxon”:

Norman and Saxon
A.D. 1100

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will
be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for
share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little
handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice
right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow–with his sullen set eyes
on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon
alone.

“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your
Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole
brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained
serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise,
you will yield.

“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs
and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale
of their own wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they are saying; let them feel
that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ‘em out if it takes
you all day.

They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour
of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game
in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well
as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man-
at-arms you can find.

“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and
funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish
priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you
fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ‘em
a lie!

The world took another big step towards the Precipice today. Given the EU’s forty-year history of pandering to the petro-Islamists (see Bat Ye-Or’s Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis for details) and the tentacles wrapping around the Continent by both the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon, freedom-lovers in the United States are increasingly isolated in the world.

Prepare to repel boarders, ladies and gentlemen….and ask the ghosts of our brothers, fathers, uncles, and grandfathers who died “over there” fighting for the freedom of Europeans to steady our aim, and to give us strength and courage.

We are going to need it.

>Precision Riflery: You Too Can Do It!

>

Spent the weekend taking an outstanding precision riflery class with Vernon “Flea” Harrison at his Central Virginia Tactical school. What a terrific learning experience!

Based on the recommendations of other students at Sniper’s Paradise, we stayed at Vern’s home, rather than a motel. For a very reasonable $50/night, we were fed, housed, and welcomed into Vern’s family. Just as importantly, by staying there, we were able to immerse ourselves in the learning environment every waking hour of the weekend.

Classroom topics covered included:

- Wind estimation
- Wind effects on projectiles
- Doping wind
- Riflescope recommendations
- Ammo and load recommendations
- Spotting scope recommendations
- Use of the mildot reticle
- Mils vs. MOA
- Use of range cards and ballistic programs
- Proper rifle cleaning techniques and products
- Gear recommendations (sandbags, laser rangefinders, dragbags, knives, tripods, scarves, boots, etc.)

In addition to these topics, we spent several hours in two range sessions at CVT’s magnificent 2000 yard (!) range. Vern’s emphasis is on repeatable accuracy and absolute precision in both the calculation and execution of each shot, so our range work included a test at 100 yards to confirm zero and to assess what each shooter/rifle combo could achieve. I struggled with my Savage, and discovered that even with the buttstock bagged, neither I nor Vern could achieve the minimum 1/2 MOA standard necessary to proceed with the course. I then switched to Vern’s school rifle and its 10X IOR scope, which took the equipment out of the equation and allowed me to meet spec.

Day two at the range consisted largely of ranging practice on a series of 10″ wide by 17″ tall steels, scattered over ranges from 400+ to 900+ yards. Each student was required to use the mildots in his scope, along with the equations from his classroom work, to range each target. Once all students had completed their estimates (and learned the “whys” of their mistakes!), it was time to shoot. With Vern spotting and calling both range and wind adjustments, all students were able to connect and expand their view of the possible.

Simply put, the two-day tuition of $500 (plus $50/day lodging) at CVT with Vern is the best shooting-school value I have found. Vern’s explanation of wind and mildot ranging was simple, practical in the extreme, and repeatable. His advice re what gear works and why, and his emphasis on value for the buck, also allows the student to recoup the cost of tuition immediately by avoiding bad/overpriced gear.

Most importantly, Vern’s friendly teaching style allows students of whatever level to get comfortable and add volumes to their existing skills/knowledge base, whether you are a newbie or salty from years of precision experience. Vern really means it when the CVT motto says:

TRAINING AMERICA, ONE RIFLEMAN AT A TIME….

For those of you who can get there, contact Vern at flea@armygrunt.com. It’s some of the best money you will ever spend. If I can learn this stuff, so can you!

Those of you who can’t get there, go over to Sniper’s Paradise, where Vern is a moderator on the SP forum and which contains piles of practical info. Ditto for this site, which has scads of links to help you improve your precision skills. Both sites have been added to the “Shooting Resources” on the left margin of this blog.

>The Successful Whiskey Rebellion

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A great essay by Murray Rothbard from 1994 explaining why the conventional view of this country’s first post-Constitution revolt was both successful and instructive today:

***
…The Official View of the Whiskey Rebellion is that four counties of western Pennsylvania refused to pay an excise tax on whiskey that had been levied by proposal of the Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton in the Spring of 1791, as part of his excise tax proposal for federal assumption of the public debts of the several states.

Western Pennsylvanians failed to pay the tax, this view says, until protests, demonstrations, and some roughing up of tax collectors in western Pennsylvania caused President Washington to call up a 13,000-man army in the summer and fall of 1794 to suppress the insurrection. A localized but dramatic challenge to federal tax-levying authority had been met and defeated. The forces of federal law and order were safe.

This Official View turns out to be dead wrong. In the first place, we must realize the depth of hatred of Americans for what was called “internal taxation” (in contrast to an “external tax” such as a tariff). Internal taxes meant that the hated tax man would be in your face and on your property, searching, examining your records and your life, and looting and destroying.

The most hated tax imposed by the British had been the Stamp Tax of 1765, on all internal documents and transactions; if the British had kept this detested tax, the American Revolution would have occurred a decade earlier, and enjoyed far greater support than it eventually received.

Americans, furthermore, had inherited hatred of the excise tax from the British opposition; for two centuries, excise taxes in Britain, in particular the hated tax on cider, had provoked riots and demonstrations upholding the slogan, “liberty, property, and no excise!” To the average American, the federal government’s assumption of the power to impose excise taxes did not look very different from the levies of the British crown.

The main distortion of the Official View of the Whiskey Rebellion was its alleged confinement to four counties of western Pennsylvania. From recent research, we now know that no one paid the tax on whiskey throughout the American “back-country”: that is, the frontier areas of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the entire state of Kentucky…
***
Read the whole thing, please, along with the embedded links.

Then ask yourself why modern folks look down on people from Appalachia as “hillbillies”…when the “hillbillies” defeated the nascent Federal government politically via widespread defiance, backed with the threat of applied marksmanship.

>Ron Paul Bears An Empty Pot For Americans

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An excellent essay on why Congressman Paul actually deserves your financial and other campaign support:


Many contend that Ron Paul, although an honest, plain-talking man, comes to the 2008 presidential campaign podium without a lot of achievement. While in office, he hasn’t steer-headed proposed legislation into law, or galvanized broad-based support for this national agenda or that, or even been on board with most post-911 bills and actions. For almost twenty years, he’s been a dedicated representative for his Texas District and has not a potpourri of achievements about which to boast on the presidential campaign trail. Is this exactly true? How could someone serve for so long, and have so little to show for it?

At this time, I should share a story I heard from two entertainers at my son’s grade school. The entertainers were turning books from different parts of the world into short, little plays, in order to spark the children’s interest in reading. The following story took place centuries ago in the Far East.

The wise, old emperor was keenly aware that he was getting along in years, and he worried about finding a suitable replacement to lead the people. One day, he solicited the young people of his kingdom to gather, and he shocked them by telling them that he would be stepping down and that he would choose one of them to be his successor. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today, a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”

One young man named Ling, a son of a farmer, was there that day, and he was certain that he could cultivate that seed better than anyone else. He got a pot, filled it with rich soil and watered it carefully. Day after day, he checked the pot. Weeks passed by, then months, and still nothing had grown. Other youths from the kingdom began to talk about their plants and flowers and trees, but Ling said nothing. He was sure that he somehow had killed the seed.

After a year had passed, all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s first inclination was not to attend, but he showed up that day, sick to his stomach. He was amazed at the plants that the others had brought. They were of all different varieties and all so beautiful. Some of the others made fun of Ling’s empty pot and others felt pity for him. Ling stood toward the back of the crowd.

The emperor looked over the vast array and seemed pleased. Then, he spotted Ling standing at the back of the room with his empty pot, and he ordered his guards to bring the young man to the front. Ling was led grudgingly, fearful that he may be punished for his utter failure. The emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied.

Now, all the youths were laughing and making fun. The emperor then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

The emperor continued:

“One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. The rest of you substituted your own seeds for the one I gave you, but Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be your new emperor!”

Ron Paul, like Ling, is a great truth-teller. His voting record is one of the most consistent this writer has ever seen. No flip-flops are to be found. As well, he is a courageous and wise man, and a heck of an economist. Just ask the Wall Streeters. However, he bears to his fellow countrymen (and countrywomen), an empty pot. He can’t claim to have brought you wars or higher taxes, which we now have. He never brought you an unbalanced budget, which is a perennial joke. He never voted himself a wage increase and, to this day, gives back part of his salary every year. He has always voted to preserve the Constitution, cut government spending, lower healthcare costs, end the war on drugs, secure our borders with immigration reform and protect our civil liberties. Sorrowfully, he was outvoted or shot down on all measures. The Constitution has been chiseled down, government spending is through the roof, healthcare costs are out of control, the war on drugs keeps getting less effective, immigration issues remain unresolved and our civil liberties have been crimped for our own safety.

I’ll just throw in that Ron Paul opposes regulation of the internet, which has been a revolution in the exchange of ideas, this article being a case in point.

The eye-popping reality of the situation is this. No longer can it be said that Ron Paul is running for President. Amazingly enough, his candidacy has been hijacked, and it appears now that the people are running for President. . . through Ron Paul! That’s the true revolution about which your neighbors are speaking.

So, do you want the plants and flowers that your other government representatives have cultivated for you year after year, or do you want an open and honest effort at change, not for the powerful interests, but for you and for members of your family yet to arrive?

If you want to see an unprecedented effort at change – starting with the only man on the campaign trail who is not afraid to tell you the truth – your action must start now.

Get informed.

Get angry.

Get talking to your neighbors.

Then get everybody to the voting booths!

>New Training Videos

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In the left margin, under “Shooting Resources”, you’ll find:

- the USMC M16A2 Intro to Basic Rifle Marksmanship video

- the USMC M16A2 Weapons Handling video

- the US Army M9 service pistol basic operational video

- the US Army M9 service pistol basic training video

and

- the US Navy small arms (shotgun/pistol/revolver) training video.

Not leaving the Zoomies out intentionally. If someone sends me a link to a useful USAF video, I’ll be happy to post. Ditto for USCG and any other open-source material.

Watch ‘em, but make sure also to pass the links on to others.

>Buying Incumbency With Your Tax Dollars

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The graph from this article says it all.

1,176 Federal subsidy programs in 1990.

1,776 such programs in 2007.

All of them funded by tax dollars taken from you at gunpoint by the Internal Revenue System to ensure that the Federal Government apparatus continues to exist and even expand.

Criminy. The Founders must be spinning in their graves…..

Thanks to Billy Beck and the Cato at Liberty blog. Each has been added to our blogroll, and are worth a read as part of your daily round.

>Ron Paul on Guns & the Second Amendment

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I know…I know.

He can’t win.

He’s a “spoiler”, a “truther“, a “fringe candidate”.

He won’t even get the Republican nomination, and everybody knows that third-parties can’t win in modern American politics. And even if he were to win the Presidency in a triumph over impossible odds, he could not govern without a party machine and would therefore face almost immediate impeachment.

Rather than simply swallowing and parroting what the mainstream media feeds us, why don’t we start with the man’s words on various issues? Then try comparing those statements to the positions and prior records of the other “more respectable” candidates for POTUS ’08.

Let’s start with Congressman Paul on guns and the Second Amendment:

April 21, 2003

The Bush administration recently surprised and angered many pro-gun conservatives by announcing its support for an assault weapons ban passed in 1994. The law contained a ten-year sunset provision, and is set to expire in 2004 unless reauthorized by Congress. A spokesman for the administration stated flatly that the President “supports the current law, and he supports reauthorization of the current law.”

Perhaps this should have surprised no one. President Bush already stated his support for the ban during the 2000 campaign. The irony is that he did so even as the Democratic Party was abandoning gun control as a losing issue. In fact, many attribute Gore’s loss to his lack of support among gun owners. The events of September 11th also dealt a serious blow to the gun control movement, as millions of Americans realized they could not rely on government to protect them against terrorism. Gun sales have predictably increased.

Given this trend in the American electorate away from support for gun control, the administration’s position may well cost votes in 2004. The mistaken political premise is that while Republicans generally support gun rights, so-called “assault weapons” are different and must be controlled. The administration clearly believes that moderate voters from both parties support the ban. “Who could possibly need such weapons?” is the standard question posed by gun control advocates.

Few people asking that question, however, know much about the banned weapons or the Second amendment itself. The law in question bans many very ordinary types of rifles and ammunition, while limiting magazine capacity for both rifles and pistols that are still legal. Many of the vilified “assault rifles” outlawed by the ban are in fact sporting rifles that are no longer available to hunters and outdoorsmen. Of course true military-style automatic rifles remain widely available to criminals on the black market. So practically speaking, the assault weapons ban does nothing to make us safer.

More importantly, however, the debate about certain types of weapons ignores the fundamental purpose of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not about hunting deer or keeping a pistol in your nightstand. It is not about protecting oneself against common criminals. It is about preventing tyranny. The Founders knew that unarmed citizens would never be able to overthrow a tyrannical government as they did. They envisioned government as a servant, not a master, of the American people. The muskets they used against the British Army were the assault rifles of the time. It is practical, rather than alarmist, to understand that unarmed citizens cannot be secure in their freedoms. It’s convenient for gun banners to dismiss this argument by saying “That could never happen here, this is America”- but history shows that only vigilant people can keep government under control. By banning certain weapons today, we may plant the seeds for tyranny to flourish ten, thirty, or fifty years from now.

Tortured interpretations of the Second Amendment cannot change the fact that both the letter of the amendment itself and the legislative history conclusively show that the Founders intended ordinary citizens to be armed. The notion that the Second Amendment confers rights only upon organized state-run militias is preposterous; the amendment is meaningless unless it protects the gun rights of individuals. Georgetown University professor Robert Levy recently offered this simple explanation:

“Suppose the Second Amendment said ‘A well-educated electorate being necessary for self-governance in a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.’ Is there anyone who would suggest that means only registered voters have a right to read?”

>This I Believe….

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A wonderful essay from the Munchkin Wrangler:

I believe that profit is not a dirty word, and “making money” is not a low or dishonorable motivation. The desire to make a buck is what has driven progress throughout history. I believe that commerce, the voluntary exchange of goods and values, is the best motivator for peaceful cooperation, and that the restriction of commerce promotes strife and poverty.

I believe that my life is my own. I am no one’s property or sacrificial animal. I have a right to exist for my own sake, and I don’t have to be ashamed of it. I do not exist to be numbered, counted, categorized, stamped, herded, and milked. I am not a cog in a machine, a sheep in a herd, or a number on a census.

I believe that taxation is equal to forced labor. I believe there is no moral or practical difference between taking the wages of a day or a week from a person to pay for a schoolhouse, and ordering them at gunpoint to spend a day or a week building that schoolhouse directly.

I believe that property rights are the basis for all other rights. If I am not free to dispose of the fruits of my labor as I see fit, all other rights are meaningless. Those who deny property rights cannot claim to be defenders of individual rights.

I believe that the term “individual rights” is a tautology. Rights can only ever be individual.

I believe that there is only one proper role for government, and that is the protection of individual rights. I also believe that no government in history has ever limited itself to that role.

I believe that my neighbor has the right to worship God, Allah, Vishnu, Odin, the Great Pumpkin, or any other deity. I have the right to worship all of those gods, or none of them, and neither of us has the right to force our beliefs on the other. That includes trying to make me live by the tenets of your faith under the guise of “majority rights”–one man’s pork dinner, bourbon, or steak is another man’s abomination, sin, or blasphemy. Worry about your own standing with your deity, not mine.

I believe that a crime without a victim is no crime at all. If an action doesn’t violate another’s person or property, no crime has been committed.

I believe that thoughts can never be a crime, nor can they be an excuse for a more severe punishment. I believe that beating a person because you want their wallet is every bit as despicable as beating them because you don’t like the color of their skin.

I believe that no group has rights beyond those of any of its individual members. There is no magic or alchemy that gives a mob special rights that trump the rights of the individual.

I believe that democracy and majority rule are not automatic mandates for anyone. Without a properly constrained government, fifty-one percent of the tribe can vote themselves the right to pee in the cornflakes of the other forty-nine percent. A tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny.

I believe that any economic system that isn’t centered around rational self-interest is fatally flawed. No amount of altruism or appeals to charity will motivate a man like the prospect of making money for himself.

I believe that forced charity is no charity at all, and forced virtue cannot claim credit for itself anymore than a eunuch can claim credit for chastity.

I believe that it is not my right or obligation to raise and educate your children, nor is it your right or obligation to raise and educate mine.

I believe that it is none of my business what goes on in my neighbor’s bedroom, nor is it any of his business what goes on in mine, as long as no one’s right are violated. Bugger a goat for all I care, as long as it is above the age of consent.

I believe that you cannot have a right to anything that necessitates a financial obligation on the part of someone else. You have a right to life, liberty, and honestly acquired property, not to any sort of monetary or material thing. The former merely requires your fellow citizens to leave you alone; the latter requires them to work for you free of charge.

I believe that it is the height of ignorance to judge an individual not by their actions, but by their ancestry, gender, nationality, religion, dietary preferences, or the melanin content of their skin.

I believe that emotions are not substitutes for facts when it comes to describing and understanding reality. Wishing something to be something other than what it is won’t make it so, no matter how many people wish for it.

I believe that the most effective way to ruin something is to put the government in charge of it. I also believe that the most effective way to corrupt a religion is to mix it with government.

I believe that the desire to become President should automatically be a disqualifying factor.

I believe that anyone in favor of “free” government services has no understanding of economics.

I believe that patriotism isn’t measured by flags or bumper stickers, but by your willingness to defend the rights of someone with whom you disagree completely and profoundly.

I believe that freedom of speech especially extends to unpopular or repulsive speech. Popular and uncontroversial speech does not need protection; dissent does.

I believe that the IQ of a crowd is the IQ of its least intelligent member, divided by half. I do not believe in the wisdom of the masses–intelligence is not an additive quality, but force is, and the threat or application of force is the only tool available to any crowd.

I believe that I am the only person qualified to run my life, that I have the absolute right to be my own master, and that no amount of laws and Constitutions ever written can grant me that right or take it away.

This I believe.

As do I, my friends. Enjoy the weekend.