Monthly Archives: May 2009

>What’s That Burning Smell?

>That would be the US dollar, as more and more governments and investors around the world realize that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are in the process of destroying the world’s reserve currency.

The Other McCain lays out his perspective here; sample quote:

***
…We are so f****d now that the only question is what kind of financial rubble we will find most useful in rebuilding the shattered wreck of an economy that will be left desolated by the remorselessly descending spiral of inflation/stagnation that now begins in earnest…
***

Denninger, of course, has an equally piquant take; here’s a taste:

***
Were I China, sitting on some trillion dollars plus of Treasury bonds, I’d be nervous too. In fact, I’d be shortening duration like a madman, laying off anything but the shortest end of the T-bill curve and hedging like crazy, all the while doing my damnedest not to get caught so as to not ignite a stampede and risk getting trampled.

Oh wait: They are.

Hmmm…
***

Read both articles and the embedded links.

By the way, anyone have a spare English-Mandarin phrasebook?

Alea iacta est.

>We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Rule of Law

>Courtesy of Balko’s The Agitator comes this piece explaining why the consequences of Obama’s cramdown of Chrysler’s secured creditors go far beyond the auto industry.

Read it all and then pass it on, please.

Only a fool would think that Chrysler’s creditors will be the last to be looted.

>New Justice?

>Read David Kopel’s take on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, as well as this piece from Balko’s The Agitator.

Then get back to PT, preventative/periodic maintenance, and skill set development.

You’re gonna need ‘em.

Tempus fugit.

>Day by Day

>From Chris Muir’s Day by Day, proof why his graphic political commentary should be on everyone’s bookmark list.

>Quote of the Week

>The more we study it, the more it appears that people do not usually miss because they are bad shots, they miss because they are not paying attention. Concentration is what puts hits on the target. Distraction is what causes misses. The effective marksman learns to blot out all aspects of the situation but his sight picture and his trigger press. He must wear “psychological blinders” until after his target is down. This should be obvious, but apparently it is not.

– LTC John Dean “Jeff” Cooper, USMC (retired)
10 May 1920 – 25 September 2006

>The "Water Cure" for "Mancow Disease"

>Please go and read Will Grigg’s latest.

Key quote:

…What the government is permitted to do to suspected terrorists and insurgents abroad, it will eventually inflict on civilian criminal suspects here at home…

Alea iacta est.

>Thoughts on a Holiday

>An alternative take on Memorial Day, focusing on why so many brave men were put in a position to make the ultimate sacrifice, from Jim Bovard via Bill St. Clair:
***
I stopped by the Visitors Center at Manassas Battlefield Park last month and was struck by a quote capturing Georgia private B. M. Zettler’s reaction to being enmeshed in the battle of Bull Run:

“I felt that I was in the presence of death. My first thought was, ‘This is unfair – someone is to blame for getting us all killed. I didn’t come here to fight this way…’

An excellent sentiment – one that should not be forgotten on Memorial Day. It would have been fairer if the politicians had been in the front lines on both sides at Manassas.

Sheldon Richman, the editor of The Freeman, proposes renaming Memorial Day as Revisionist History Day. General Patton said that an ounce of sweat can save a pint of blood. Similarly, a little reading and thinking this time of year can save a heap of grave digging in the future.

Sacralizing the war dead usually results in exonerating the politicians. Rather than parades, it would be better to celebrate this holiday like the British used to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day – by burning politicians in effigy, or a reasonable facsimile…
***
I spent my thinking time this Memorial Day wondering if the American military men and women who have died in combat for this country sacrificed themselves for:

- A Congress that routinely violates its enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution;

- An Executive Branch whose occupants, from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama, have also routinely violated the constitutional limitations on Presidential power found in Article II, Section 2;

- A morass of regulatory agencies whose self-promulgated regulations at the Federal level alone runs, as of the 2006 edition, at a mere 69,428 pages (and yes, Virginia, there are also separate regulatory agencies in every state and in many local governments); or

- The creation of an American national surveillance state, whereby information regarding millions of Americans’ everyday activities is collected, sorted, and analyzed for a myriad of purposes, each of which is not authorized by either Article I or Article II of the Constitution?

I think not.

Based on the historical record of the past 220 years, I believe that the Constitution has failed utterly in its sole purpose — to protect individual freedom and political liberty by restraining the powers of the central Federal government. As Judge Andrew Napolitano noted in his recent book The Constitution in Exile and Thomas DiLorenzo reiterated in this article:

“Between 1937 and 1995, not a single federal law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Not one piece of legislation was seen as exceeding the scope of Congress’s commerce power.”

Does that sound like an effective check on government’s natural tendency to expand ever more voraciously?

To those who believe that today’s problems stem from failing to regard the Founders’ original document, I would remind them that that the scope of the original document far exceeded the authority of the convention that drafted it. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was convened “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”, not to create a whole new government of the United States. For more info on that point, see generally this record of the proceedings of the Continental Congress.

In other words, the Constitution itself, by the very circumstances of its birth, is an example of how government and the ambitious folks who populate such bodies have an insatiable desire for ever more power.

The original document also had no list of guarantees of individual rights; only when such a list was proposed for addition via amendment was the Founding Generation willing to ratify the Constitution. Even more tellingly, the original document, even when expanded by its first ten amendments, still allowed for chattel slavery and prohibitions on female suffrage. It took twelve more decades to rectify those fundamental errors, by which time other metastases had occurred, both within the Constitution and by legislative action.

To those who assert that we, the American people, have failed, rather than the document itself, I would partly agree, while noting that only an ineptly-drafted agreement would have breach and penalty provisions so flaccid as those found in Article II, section 4.

To give just one example, let’s assume that a group of Senators exceeded their powers under Article I. Is it rational that the only remedy for that breach is the election jeopardy that each Senator might face in his or her own state? What if the Article I breach actually benefited the home states of the offending Senators, say by the award of contracts, military bases, or other kickbacks? Doesn’t the Constitution and its absence of effective enforcement mechanisms, especially in the wake of the 17th Amendment, actually encourage enumerated-powers violations?

Is such an impotent document truly the device by which the American people were to be protected from tyranny?

Does anyone really believe that any piece of paper can actually thwart the tendency of many humans towards plunder and other forms of evil?

To David’s evisceration last week of a law prof’s foolish idea about a new constitutional convention, I posted the following comment:

To quote Ms. Rand, “Check your premises.”

To wit, we have a statist/Marxist constitutional law professor in the White House. He is violating the enumerated powers of the President listed in Article II, section 2 of the Constitution by his and his subordinates’ actions in the Chrysler secured debt cramdown and other aspects of the so-called “economic stimulus program.”

The constitutional law professor in the White House is committing these unconstitutional acts with the aid and comfort of both houses of the Congress, who are:

a) also violating the enumerated powers of the Congress pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the Constitution by their ongoing passage of numerous unconstitutional laws, as well as

b) failing to commence impeachment proceedings, pursuant to Article II, section 4, against the President for violations of the Article II, section 2 limitations on his power.

You now have center-right law professors such as Barnett and Glenn Reynolds [see, e.g., this entry and this entry] supporting a de facto rewrite of the Constitution via a constitutional convention, which, as Stewart points out above, will quickly turn into a rout, in whole and in part, of all freedom-oriented points of view.

Don’t think so? Then you should read Matthew Bracken’s account of a (fictional, for now) con-con held in America’s near future:

Excerpt from 3rd Bracken Novel – “Foreign Enemies”:

… Tell me something Doug. You’re obviously a smart guy. I’ve been out of the country for seven years. What the hell happened to America? I always thought Americans would fight to keep their freedom. What happened? How could Americans just roll over and give up? What happened? How could we give up our rights without a fight?”

“Well, we didn’t just ‘give up’ our rights. It wasn’t like that. Not at all. It’s more like they were stolen in broad daylight, at the constitutional convention…”

Before you go and read the rest of the excerpt, consider these facts:

1) Statist/Marxist con-law professor in White House and his co-conspirators in Congress running amok in violation of the Constitution [thesis];

2) Center-right con-law professors calling for a con-con ostensibly to restrict the powers of the President and the Congress [antithesis]; and

3) Article V procedures that allow any subject matter — or even a completely new Constitution to be considered and adopted at a con-con [synthesis]

One thing is for sure: Barnett’s proposal — and the mental gymnastics of constitutional law professors in general — are not going to be the mechanisms whereby individual freedom is restored in North America.

That job is going to be, shall we say, less cerebral and much more action-oriented.

“Action-oriented”, in this context, means that when the rule of law fails (and it has), the rule of men begins (and it has). The “rule of men” is a civilized term for armed conflict, whereby each side kills, injures, steals from, and starves the other side until one side submits. The submitting side is usually enslaved and/or slaughtered immediately thereafter.

The sides in this conflict are clear: those who would control every aspect of Americans’ behavior, and those who refuse to be controlled.

The central issue is individual freedom. Nothing more and nothing less.

To the extent that certain documents from our country’s history help in that struggle for individual freedom, then use them in whatever manner possible.

But I will not conflate the goal of individual freedom with heedless allegiance to some flawed document which has failed, definitively, in its stated objective.

When I fight, I will be fighting for the same reasons as those Americans who are honored each year on Memorial Day:

To help my friends, and to stop the bastards who would take my freedom — whichever uniform they happen to be wearing.

Let’s win.

PS: Lest anyone think my recent postings on anarchy and related issues mean that I have flipped over into the la-la land where “peaceful behavior begets more peaceful behavior”, let me clarify. The only thing that begets peaceful behavior in most humans is the prospect of an immediate and life-threatening beating for contrary behavior.

Ergo, the only power that I would entrust to the post-conflict Federal government is the development and sustainment of absolute military superiority on land, sea, sky, and space. Domestically, I’ll trust that a thoroughly armed-and-trained citizenry, augmented with a minimal number of limited-jurisdiction, locally-controlled peace officers, would be sufficient to deliver the requisite amount of violence unto any miscreants, including any public servants who have slipped their leash.

Happy now?
;-)

>The Next Wave

>Few people have been paying enough attention to the growing gap between the obligations owed by various private and public pension plans and the amount of money held by those plans’ trustees.

This story, from earlier this year, will give you a flavor of the issue, as does this recent piece re British Telecom’s pension funding issues.

Mish Shedlock is one of the very few reporters attempting to get this story into the minds of everyday folks, as shown by this piece from last October.

Two other key resources: Pension Tsunami and Jim Sinclair’s Mineset.

Why does any of this matter, especially to a freedom/RKBA blogging audience?

Four questions:

1) If you are a pension plan participant, do you know how much your future preps/ammo/food/guns budget will need to be reduced per month if your pension plan goes belly-up?

2) Do you really think the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has enough money to make up for all of the shortfalls discussed by the sources above? (Here’s a hint re the correct answer)

3) Do you really think the FedGov can borrow enough money to bail out the PBGC, given its current and anticipated other debts?

4) Do you really expect millions of Americans, who will wake up some morning soon to learn that the bulk of their retirement nest egg has vanished, are just say “Oh, well” and go back to their morning chit-chat television program?

Make ready….

>Illustration

>From CalGuns.Net.

Any questions?

>III Patches – Reminder

>As of today, we still have both Woodland and 3 Color Desert available.

$4/patch, post paid; for ordering information, email ravenswoodent@sbcglobal.net.

As a reminder, USPS money orders, certified or cashier’s checks process immediately; orders with personal or company checks are held until cleared.

Raven’s Wood Enteprises, LLC
http://www.ravenswoodenterprises.com
ravenswoodent@sbcglobal.net

>Reading for the Weekend (And Beyond)

>Am headed for the woods, so bookmark this edition of The Art of War, then read it a section at a time.

The introduction:

Sun-tzu ping-fa (Sun Tzu The Art of War) is one of those rare texts that transcends time. Though it was written more than 2,000 years ago, it is arguably still the most important work on the subject of strategy today.

Written by a brilliant and experienced Chinese general named Sun Wu, The Art of War was intended only for the military elite of his time period. However, this treatise would later be absorbed by others of influence — from the fearless samurai in feudal Japan to the shrewd business leaders of the 21st century.

The book is even more fascinating than its background. Only reading it will one see the principles are timeless and true, the words pragmatic and universally applicable to any situation that requires absolute victory. Equally important, a person can learn to avoid disasters.

Thus enter Sonshi.com’s Sun Tzu “The Art of War.” Get ready to experience the most accurate and complete Sun Tzu ever presented to the public. Each sentence is to be read slowly, lest one misses its full meaning.

We hope you enjoy our translation as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Sonshi.com
Atlanta, Georgia

There is much wisdom there, both in understanding what the OpFor is doing and what American freedom fighters must do.

See you later.

>Compare and Contrast

>Compare and contrast this essay from the American Thinker, describing today’s Obama Revolution, with this essay by Garet Garrett, describing the Roosevelt Revolution seventy-five years earlier.

Opening grafs in the AmThinker piece:

During the last 30 years we Americans have been so politically divided that some of us have called this left-right, liberal-conservative split a “culture war” or even a “second Civil War.” These descriptions are no longer accurate. The precise, technical word for what is happening in the United States today is revolution.

Because of our country’s history, we tend to think of revolutions as military conflicts, and of the revolutionaries as the good guys; the image of Minutemen fighting valiantly against the British forces at Lexington and Concord lies deep within our DNA. But sometimes — quite often, actually — revolutions aren’t military conflicts, and the good guys are the ones trying to keep the revolution from happening. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by its elected president; he would spend the next two years consolidating his power with the legislative connivance of his political allies in the Reichstag. In October 1917, Lenin and his Bolsheviks took control of Russia from Kerensky and his Social Democrats — who had overthrown the Czar earlier that year — entirely through parliamentary maneuvering in Russia’s fledgling Duma.

What defines a revolution — and this is the crucial point to grasp — is that when it’s over, a country has changed not merely its leaders and its laws, but its operating system…

Opening grafs from the Garrett piece:

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…

Take the time, please, to read both articles in full.

To use Billy Beck’s phrase:

…We are now in the fait accompli of American socialist revolution. Most peoples’ ignorance of history doesn’t allow them to really grasp how rapidly this is happening now, but this wheel is turning like never before…

What remains to be seen is the nature and extent of the reaction, if any, to the Obamites’ top-to-bottom reorganization of American society.

But know this: this country is on a path which leads, inevitably, to gulags, resistance movements, and brutal crackdowns by the regime.

Bet on it.

>Spengler: "Dolphinplasty" as a Principle of Governance

>From the Asia Times:

Dolphinplasty as a principle of governance
By Spengler

You can define a mythical creature with precision, observed St Thomas Aquinas, but that doesn’t make a phoenix exist. To be there, things actually have to have the property of existence. St Thomas would be a party-pooper in today’s politics, where “yes, we can” means that we can do whatever we want, even if it violates custom, the constitution or the laws of nature.

The television cartoon South Park offers a useful allegory for the administration’s flight from realism. In one episode the children’s teacher, Mr Garrison, gets a sex change, little Kyle gets negroplasty (to turn him into a tall black basketball star), while Kyle’s father undergoes dolphinplasty, that is, surgery to make him look like a dolphin.

Looking like a dolphin, of course, doesn’t make you one. Sadly, the Barack Obama administration hasn’t figured this out. Out of the confusion of its first 100 days, we can glimpse a unifying principle, and that principle looks remarkably like the sort of plastic surgery practiced in South Park.

Like dolphinplasty and negroplasty, it has given us cosmetic solutions that we might call civitaplasty, turning a terrorist gang into a state; fiducioplasty, making a bunch of bankrupt institutions look like functioning banks; creditoplasty, making government seizure of private property look like a corporate reorganization; matrimonioplasty, making same-sex cohabitation look like a marriage; and interfecioplasty, making murder look like a surgical procedure.

There is a consistent theme to the administration’s major policy initiatives: Obama and his advisors start from the way they think things ought to be and work backwards to the uncooperative real world. If reality bars the way, it had better watch out. In the South Park episode, the plastic surgery underwent catastrophic failures too disgusting to recount here. Obama’s attempt to carve reality into the way things ought to be will also undergo catastrophic failure, perhaps in even more disgusting ways.

Consider the reorganization of Chrysler, perhaps the most traumatic event to afflict the credit market in living memory. In 2007, Chrysler borrowed US$10 billion secured by its assets – real estate, brand names and other collateral. According to the US Bankruptcy Code, senior creditors have first claim on assets in the event of failure. The Obama administration, though, offered the senior creditors just 33 cents on the dollar, but gave a group of junior creditors, the United Auto Workers Union, 55 cents on the dollar. Most of the senior creditors are banks receiving federal assistance, and they of course did not object. Some creditors did object, and Obama denounced them on the airwaves as “speculators”. Some of the creditors received death threats, and other creditors report that the White House threatened to destroy their reputations.

This is not a credit market, but creditoplasty. What is it that gives existence to a credit market? “Credit” derives from the Latin verb credere, to believe. We trust other people with our money because we believe that they will repay it with interest, and because we believe that the courts will uphold our contractual rights in the event of a dispute. Credit markets do not exist in most of the world’s countries because faith is absent in the good will of counterparties and the impartiality of the law. In most countries, might makes right: the ruling clique takes what it wants, as King Ahab took Naboth’s vineyard. There is no rule of law. No one invests except through a corrupt deal with the ruling clique. No firm grows beyond what the members of a family can manage, and no excess capital remains in the country. Labor languishes for lack of capital.

A few countries, notably those blessed with a heritage of English common law, have credit markets. Savings turn seamlessly into investment, prospective retirees lend their savings with confidence to young people building families, homes and businesses, and tomorrow’s prospective income is transformed into today’s wealth through the power of faith in the future.

Obama’s handling of the Chrysler bankruptcy has destroyed this faith. No investor remains in the Chrysler deal out of belief in the company’s future, or out of faith in the legal system to uphold contractual rights. The big banks are there because Obama has them on life support. The smaller creditors are there because Obama has threatened them with reputational ruin, and persons unnamed have threatened them with violence. The UAW is here because it has a political deal with the White House. Violence, fraud and corruption hold together Chrysler Motors, in the sad template of Third World finance – not faith or belief. Force and fraud destroy faith, in fact, erase the possibility of faith for a very long time to come.

Apart from Chrysler, no investor trusts America’s largest banks. They can borrow money in the markets because the federal government guarantees it – nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars of bank bonds guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have come to market this year. They can make profits if and when the government says they can, for the government tells each bank how much capital it must raise and by how much it must dilute its shareholders’ equity.

The banks depend on Treasury funding to securitize assets, and on the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve to provide a bid for their assets. They are not fiduciaries, but the product of fiducioplasty, the mere cosmetic appearance of banking. Cynical calculation about the administration’s political goals replaces assessment of bank business models, as I have chronicled at my finance blog, “Inner Workings”….

Read the rest.

Do you understand Gangster Government yet?

Do you comprehend yet what it is going to take to stop this insanity?

Do you grok, at long last, that voting, elections, and the necessary consequences thereof are precisely and exactly what got us to this point of history, and thus cannot, by definition, be the means by which this madness gets cured?

Study period is almost over, ladies and gentlemen.

The upcoming exam is going to be a son-of-a-b*%!h.

>Beck: Government ID Finally Comes To The Point

>In the U.K.:

“HM Revenue and Customs staff will be able to examine people’s financial transactions on the scheme’s database and search for evidence of undeclared earnings or bank accounts.

The disclosure will likely to provoke further concern over the £5.5 billion project, which has been condemned as a waste of money and an invasion of privacy.

Campaigners have already raised fears the Home Office, police, and security officials would have access to the scheme’s database.

The scheme’s log records each time an ID card is used to verify a person’s identity when they make a high value purchase, open a bank account or take out a mortgage.

Tax officials could use the system to look for cases where large numbers of high value purchases have been recorded, which might indicate that a person earns more than they declare.”

As the socialist state progresses, it becomes essential to control all productivity. The initial impulse is the same as any other robber’s: to find out what to steal. Productivity is a curious thing, however, in how thoroughly pervasive it is in human affairs. If two kids trade marbles on the school playground, they both come away richer. Politically, it is quite a different matter in grown-up affairs, however, and all trade that takes place beyond the purview of the state must be found for purposes of control.

All other rationales for this are so much transparent bullshit. This is what it’s about.

Watch this, and you’ll see what Amsoc will finally bring to you by necessity.

>Cox and Forkum: Stalled

>From RealClearPolitics: The Lawless State Comes to America by Robert Tracinski.

America’s traditional legal system is all about laws and rights and contracts-a fine web of protections for the rights of the individual-and that tends to get in the way of vast schemes for government disposal of our lives and wealth.
So President Obama has decided to throw out that existing legal system and knock down the protections for individual rights.

Our first major warning of this is the deal being forced on Chrysler’s “secured creditors.” These are institutions that loaned money to Chrysler when it was in trouble; they were willing to take the risk because they were relying on a legal principle which gives them first claim on the company’s assets in case of bankruptcy. Thus, in the worst case scenario, they expected to reclaim as much as 80 cents on each dollar of their investment, limiting their losses.

But the Obama administration wants them to accept only 29 cents on the dollar, in the name of “sacrifice.” The beneficiary of this sacrifice is the United Auto Workers, a Democratic pressure group which is being shoved to the front of the line and favored above the secured creditors.

How did Obama get these creditors to relinquish their rights? Major banks who have taken TARP money caved in first. When they were dragooned into taking government money last fall, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson swore that the government would not interfere in their operations or dictate their decisions-except, apparently, for dictating how much they lend, how much they pay their executives, how much they accept as a buyout in major bankruptcy cases, and so on.

As for the non-TARP lenders, Obama has publicly singled them out as villains to be punished-and one prominent bankruptcy lawyer says that Obama’s minions have been making direct threats to ruin firms who don’t accept the sacrifice of their rights. Tom Lauria of White & Case, which represents several of the secured creditors, explains in a radio interview that “One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight.”

Venture capitalist Bill Frezza succinctly sums up the meaning of the Chrysler deal: “There’s no law to protect the politically unfavored in this country…”(emphasis added – WRSA editor)

Read the rest.

And ask yourself: is there a group less favored in Obamite society than the evil capitalist hedge fund operators?

Yes, Virginia, there most certainly is.

That would be all y’all, dear readers.

Tempus fugit.

>Vanderboegh: "OK, pal, try that again WITHOUT your teeth."‏

>Read Mike’s latest on why media reports on the Democrats’ alleged abandonment of gun control goals should not cause any Threepers to stand down.

>Building Your Distance Capability

>Having spent some time recently with a combat veteran and recent graduate of the air assault school, I had the need for ongoing aerobic conditioning driven home.

One of the tests needed to complete air assault school is for each soldier, burdened with a 45-pound pack, body armor and helmet, and weapon, to finish a 12 mile course in 3 hours or less.

Meet the time, and you advance.

Fail to meet the time, and you fail the course.

Makes the following programs seem a bit more palatable, doesn’t it?

Fitness walking programs for 5K/10K/half-marathon distances

5 kilometer (3.1 mile) training program

10 kilometer (6.2 mile) training program

Half-marathon (13.1 mile) training program

See you on the road.

>Quote of the Week

>Most importantly, when the name of the game is deterrence, you always want the enemy to be unsure what action will provoke which reaction, especially if the reaction choices include devastating responses.

– An anonymous student of General LeMay

>Vanderboegh: 60 Votes Can’t Buy Gun Control Love

>Read Mike’s latest.

And I’d go one step further re contact with any law enforcement officer:

DON’T DO IT.

You have nothing to gain and everything to lose, as the following two videos make clear:

Never Ever Talk to the Police – Part I

Never Ever Talk to the Police – Part II

>June 13 DC Oathkeepers Rally Cancelled

>From Oath Keepers:

JUNE 13 RALLY IN WASHINGTON DC HAS BEEN CANCELED

SOME BAD NEWS:

I just got off the phone with Navy Seal Capt. Larry Bailey (Ret.) of Gathering of Eagles, and he told me that Gathering of Eagles and ProTroopEvents.com, regretfully, have no choice but to cancel the rally scheduled for June 13 on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Capt. Bailey said that the reason he had to cancel the rally is because the wealthy individuals who had promised considerable funding failed to come through with the necessary funds – in other words, they turned out to be “all hat, no cattle.”

This was very frustrating for him because if he had not relied on their word, which he thought was good, he could have tried to raise the needed funds another way – he has done two other rallies on the Mall and it takes a minimum of $75,000.00 to do it right, with a big stage, sound system, and all that goes with it.

We here at Oath Keepers regret that we will not be able to attend that rally as part of our outreach to spread the Oath Keepers message, and this also means we Oath keepers will not be meeting on June 14 (we had planned on an additional meeting the next day).

We hope that not too many of you had already scheduled transportation and rooms. Please pass on this information to anyone you know who had planned on attending.

SOME GOOD NEWS:

Oath Keepers is getting invitations from all over the country to speak at July 4 Tea Parties, and to hold oath ceremonies like we held at the Knoxville Tea Party on April 15 and at Lexington on April 19.

We will post announcements about those Oath Keepers speeches and oath ceremonies at July 4 Tea Parties just as soon as they are 100% confirmed (and once we are absolutely positive they are going forward).

Stewart Rhodes

>Anarchism and American Traditions

>This essay was suggested by a commenter:

Anarchism and American Traditions (1908)
by Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912)

AAT.1 American traditions, begotten of religious rebellion, small self-sustaining communities, isolated conditions, and hard pioneer life, grew during the colonization period of one hundred and seventy years from the settling of Jamestown to the outburst of the Revolution. This was in fact the great constitution-making epoch, the period of charters guaranteeing more or less of liberty, the general tendency of which is well described by Wm. Penn in speaking of the charter for Pennsylvania: “I want to put it out of my power, or that of my successors, to do mischief.”

AAT.2 The revolution is the sudden and unified consciousness of these traditions, their loud assertion, the blow dealt by their indomitable will against the counter force of tyranny, which has never entirely recovered from the blow, but which from then till now has gone on remolding and regrappling the instruments of governmental power, that the Revolution sought to shape and hold as defenses of liberty.

AAT.3 To the average American of today, the Revolution means the series of battles fought by the patriot army with the armies of England. The millions of school children who attend our public schools are taught to draw maps of the siege of Boston and the siege of Yorktown, to know the general plan of the several campaigns, to quote the number of prisoners of war surrendered with Burgoyne; they are required to remember the date when Washington crossed the Delaware on the ice; they are told to “Remember Paoli,” to repeat “Molly Stark’s a widow,” to call General Wayne “Mad Anthony Wayne,” and to execrate Benedict Arnold; they know that the Declaration of Independence was signed on the Fourth of July, 1776, and the Treaty of Paris in 1783; and then they think they have learned the Revolution – blessed be George Washington! They have no idea why it should have been called a “revolution” instead of the “English War,” or any similar title: it’s the name of it, that’s all. And name-worship, both in child and man, has acquired such mastery of them, that the name “American Revolution” is held sacred, though it means to them nothing more than successful force, while the name “Revolution” applied to a further possibility, is a spectre detested and abhorred. In neither case have they any idea of the content of the word, save that of armed force. That has already happened, and long happened, which Jefferson foresaw when he wrote:

“The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may become persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right, on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest, ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”

AAT.4 To the men of that time, who voiced the spirit of that time, the battles that they fought were the least of the Revolution; they were the incidents of the hour, the things they met and faced as part of the game they were playing; but the stake they had in view, before, during, and after the war, the real Revolution, was a change in political institutions which should make of government not a thing apart, a superior power to stand over the people with a whip, but a serviceable agent, responsible, economical, and trustworthy (but never so much trusted as not to be continually watched), for the transaction of such business as was the common concern and to set the limits of the common concern at the line of where one man’s liberty would encroach upon another’s.

AAT.5 They thus took their starting point for deriving a minimum of government upon the same sociological ground that the modern Anarchist derives the no-government theory; viz., that equal liberty is the political ideal. The difference lies in the belief, on the one hand, that the closest approximation to equal liberty might be best secured by the rule of the majority in those matters involving united action of any kind (which rule of the majority they thought it possible to secure by a few simple arrangements for election), and, on the other hand, the belief that majority rule is both impossible and undesirable; that any government, no matter what its forms, will be manipulated by a very small minority, as the development of the States and United States governments has strikingly proved; that candidates will loudly profess allegiance to platforms before elections, which as officials in power they will openly disregard, to do as they please; and that even if the majority will could be imposed, it would also be subversive of equal liberty, which may be best secured by leaving to the voluntary association of those interested in the management of matters of common concern, without coercion of the uninterested or the opposed.

AAT.6 Among the fundamental likeness between the Revolutionary Republicans and the Anarchists is the recognition that the little must precede the great; that the local must be the basis of the general; that there can be a free federation only when there are free communities to federate; that the spirit of the latter is carried into the councils of the former, and a local tyranny may thus become an instrument for general enslavement. Convinced of the supreme importance of ridding the municipalities of the institutions of tyranny, the most strenuous advocates of independence, instead of spending their efforts mainly in the general Congress, devoted themselves to their home localities, endeavoring to work out of the minds of their neighbors and fellow-colonists the institutions of entailed property, of a State-Church, of a class-divided people, even the institution of African slavery itself. Though largely unsuccessful, it is to the measure of success they did achieve that we are indebted for such liberties as we do retain, and not to the general government. They tried to inculcate local initiative and independent action. The author of the Declaration of Independence, who in the fall of ’76 declined a re-election to Congress in order to return to Virginia and do his work in his own local assembly, in arranging there for public education which he justly considered a matter of “common concern,” said his advocacy of public schools was not with any “view to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better the concerns to which it is equal”; and in endeavoring to make clear the restrictions of the Constitution upon the functions of the general government, he likewise said:

“Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage for themselves, and the general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants.”

AAT.7 This then was the American tradition, that private enterprise manages better all that to which it IS equal. Anarchism declares that private enterprise, whether individual or cooperative, is equal to all the undertakings of society. And it quotes the particular two instances, Education and Commerce, which the governments of the States and of the United States have undertaken to manage and regulate, as the very two which in operation have done more to destroy American freedom and equality, to warp and distort American tradition, to make of government a mighty engine of tyranny, than any other cause, save the unforeseen developments of Manufacture.

AAT.8 It was the intention of the Revolutionists to establish a system of common education, which should make the teaching of history one of its principal branches; not with the intent of burdening the memories of our youth with the dates of battles or the speeches of generals, nor to make the Boston Tea Party Indians the one sacrosanct mob in all history, to be revered but never on any account to be imitated, but with the intent that every American should know to what conditions the masses of people had been brought by the operation of certain institutions, by what means they had wrung out their liberties, and how those liberties had again and again been filched from them by the use of governmental force, fraud, and privilege. Not to breed security, laudation, complacent indolence, passive acquiescence in the acts of a government protected by the label “home-made,” but to beget a wakeful jealousy, a never-ending watchfulness of rulers, a determination to squelch every attempt of those entrusted with power to encroach upon the sphere of individual action – this was the prime motive of the revolutionists in endeavoring to provide for common education.

AAT.9 “Confidence,” said the revolutionists who adopted the Kentucky Resolutions, “is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, not in confidence; it is jealousy, not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go… In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

AAT.10 These resolutions were especially applied to the passage of the Alien laws by the monarchist party during John Adams’ administration, and were an indignant call from the State of Kentucky to repudiate the right of the general government to assume undelegated powers, for said they, to accept these laws would be “to be bound by laws made, not with our consent, but by others against our consent – that is, to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and to live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority.” Resolutions identical in spirit were also passed by Virginia, the following month; in those days the States still considered themselves supreme, the general government subordinate.

AAT.11 To inculcate this proud spirit of the supremacy of the people over their governors was to be the purpose of public education! Pick up today any common school history, and see how much of this spirit you will find therein. On the contrary, from cover to cover you will find nothing but the cheapest sort of patriotism, the inculcation of the most unquestioning acquiescence in the deeds of government, a lullaby of rest, security, confidence – the doctrine that the Law can do no wrong, a Te Deum in praise of the continuous encroachments of the powers of the general government upon the reserved rights of the States, shameless falsification of all acts of rebellion, to put the government in the right and the rebels in the wrong, pyrotechnic glorifications of union, power, and force, and a complete ignoring of the essential liberties to maintain which was the purpose of the revolutionists. The anti-Anarchist law of post-McKinley passage, a much worse law than the Alien and Sedition acts which roused the wrath of Kentucky and Virginia to the point of threatened rebellion, is exalted as a wise provision of our All-Seeing Father in Washington.

AAT.12 Such is the spirit of government-provided schools. Ask any child what he knows about Shays’ rebellion, and he will answer, “Oh, some of the farmers couldn’t pay their taxes, and Shays led a rebellion against the court-house at Worcester, so they could burn up the deeds; and when Washington heard of it he sent over an army quick and taught ’em a good lesson” – “And what was the result of it?” “The result? Why – why – the result was – Oh yes, I remember – the result was they saw the need of a strong federal government to collect the taxes and pay the debts.” Ask if he knows what was said on the other side of the story, ask if he knows that the men who had given their goods and their health and their strength for the freeing of the country now found themselves cast into prison for debt, sick, disabled, and poor, facing a new tyranny for the old; that their demand was that the land should become the free communal possession of those who wished to work it, not subject to tribute, and the child will answer “No.” Ask him if he ever read Jefferson’s letter to Madison about it, in which he says:

“Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under government wherein the will of every one has a just influence; as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our States in a great one. 3. Under government of force, as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence in these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem not clear in my mind that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it … It has its evils too, the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. … But even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to public affairs. I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

AAT.13 Or to another correspondent:

“God forbid that we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion! …What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that the people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take up arms … The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

AAT.14 Ask any school child if he was ever taught that the author of the Declaration of Independence, one of the great founders of the common school, said these things, and he will look at you with open mouth and unbelieving eyes. Ask him if he ever heard that the man [Thomas Paine] who sounded the bugle note in the darkest hour of the Crisis, who roused the courage of the soldiers when Washington saw only mutiny and despair ahead, ask him if he knows that this man also wrote, “Government at best is a necessary evil, at worst an intolerable one,” and if he is a little better informed than the average he will answer, “Oh well, he was an infidel!” Catechize him about the merits of the Constitution which he has learned to repeat like a poll-parrot, and you will find his chief conception is not of the powers withheld from Congress, but of the powers granted.

AAT.15 Such are the fruits of government schools. We, the Anarchists, point to them and say: If the believers in liberty wish the principles of liberty taught, let them never entrust that instruction to any government; for the nature of government is to become a thing apart, an institution existing for its own sake, preying upon the people, and teaching whatever will tend to keep it secure in its seat. As the fathers said of the governments of Europe, so say we of this government also after a century and a quarter of independence: “The blood of the people has become its inheritance, and those who fatten on it will not relinquish it easily.”

AAT.16 Public education, having to do with the intellect and spirit of a people, is probably the most subtle and far-reaching engine for molding the course of a nation; but commerce, dealing as it does with material things and producing immediate effects, was the force that bore down soonest upon the paper barriers of constitutional restriction, and shaped the government to its requirements. Here, indeed, we arrive at the point where we, looking over the hundred and twenty five years of independence, can see that the simple government conceived by the revolutionary republicans was a foredoomed failure. It was so because of: 1) the essence of government itself; 2) the essence of human nature; 3) the essence of Commerce and Manufacture.

AAT.17 Of the essence of government, I have already said, it is a thing apart, developing its own interests at the expense of what opposes it; all attempts to make it anything else fail. In this Anarchists agree with the traditional enemies of the Revolution, the monarchists, federalists, strong government believers, the Roosevelts of today, the Jays, Marshalls, and Hamiltons of then – that Hamilton, who, as Secretary of the Treasury, devised a financial system of which we are the unlucky heritors, and whose objects were twofold: To puzzle the people and make public finance obscure to those that paid for it; to serve as a machine for corrupting the legislatures; “for he avowed the opinion that man could be governed by two motives only, force or interest”; force being then out of the question, he laid hold of interest, the greed of the legislators, to set going an association of persons having an entirely separate welfare from the welfare of their electors, bound together by mutual corruption and mutual desire for plunder. The Anarchist agrees that Hamilton was logical, and understood the core of government; the difference is, that while strong govermnentalists believe this is necessary and desirable, we choose the opposite conclusion, No Government Whatsoever.

AAT.18 As to the essence of human nature, what our national experience has made plain is this, that to remain in a continually exalted moral condition is not human nature. That has happened which was prophesied: we have gone down hill from the Revolution until now; we are absorbed in “mere money-getting.” The desire for material ease long ago vanquished the spirit of ’76. What was that spirit? The spirit that animated the people of Virginia, of the Carolinas, of Massachusetts, of New York, when they refused to import goods from England; when they preferred (and stood by it) to wear coarse, homespun cloth, to drink the brew of their own growths, to fit their appetites to the home supply, rather than submit to the taxation of the imperial ministry. Even within the lifetime of the revolutionists, the spirit decayed. The love of material ease has been, in the mass of men and permanently speaking, always greater than the love of liberty. Nine hundred and ninety nine women out of a thousand are more interested in the cut of a dress than in the independence of their sex; nine hundred and ninety nine men out of a thousand are more interested in drinking a glass of beer than in questioning the tax that is laid on it; how many children are not willing to trade the liberty to play for the promise of a new cap or a new dress? That it is which begets the complicated mechanism of society; that it is which, by multiplying the concerns of government, multiplies the strength of government and the corresponding weakness of the people; this it is which begets indifference to public concern, thus making the corruption of government easy.

AAT.19 As to the essence of Commerce and Manufacture, it is this: to establish bonds between every corner of the earth’s surface and every other corner, to multiply the needs of mankind, and the desire for material possession and enjoyment.

AAT.20 The American tradition was the isolation of the States as far as possible. Said they: We have won our liberties by hard sacrifice and struggle unto death. We wish now to be let alone and to let others alone, that our principles may have time for trial; that we may become accustomed to the exercise of our rights; that we may be kept free from the contaminating influence of European gauds, pageants, distinctions. So richly did they esteem the absence of these that they could in all fervor write: “We shall see multiplied instances of Europeans coming to America, but no man living will ever seen an instance of an American removing to settle in Europe, and continuing there.” Alas! In less than a hundred years the highest aim of a “Daughter of the Revolution” was, and is, to buy a castle, a title, and rotten lord, with the money wrung from American servitude! And the commercial interests of America are seeking a world empire!

AAT.21 In the earlier days of the revolt and subsequent independence, it appeared that the “manifest destiny” of America was to be an agricultural people, exchanging food stuffs and raw materials for manufactured articles. And in those days it was written: “We shall be virtuous as long as agriculture is our principal object, which will be the case as long as there remain vacant lands in any part of America. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating one another as they do there.” Which we are doing, because of the inevitable development of Commerce and Manufacture, and the concomitant development of strong government. And the parallel prophecy is likewise fulfilled: “If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption, indifferent and incapable of a wholesome care over so wide a spread of surface.” There is not upon the face of the earth today a government so utterly and shamelessly corrupt as that of the United States of America. There are others more cruel, more tyrannical, more devastating; there is none so utterly venal.

AAT.22 And yet even in the very days of the prophets, even with their own consent, the first concession to this later tyranny was made. It was made when the Constitution was made; and the Constitution was made chiefly because of the demands of Commerce. Thus it was at the outset a merchant’s machine, which the other interests of the country, the land and labor interests, even then foreboded would destroy their liberties. In vain their jealousy of its central power made enact the first twelve amendments. In vain they endeavored to set bounds over which the federal power dare not trench. In vain they enacted into general law the freedom of speech, of the press, of assemblage and petition. All of these things we see ridden roughshod upon every day, and have so seen with more or less intermission since the beginning of the nineteenth century. At this day, every police lieutenant considers himself, and rightly so, as more powerful than the General Law of the Union; and that one who told Robert Hunter that he held in his fist something stronger than the Constitution, was perfectly correct. The right of assemblage is an American tradition which has gone out of fashion; the police club is now the mode. And it is so in virtue of the people’s indifference to liberty, and the steady progress of constitutional interpretation towards the substance of imperial government.

AAT.23 It is an American tradition that a standing army is a standing menace to liberty; in Jefferson’s presidency the army was reduced to 3,000 men. It is American tradition that we keep out of the affairs of other nations. It is American practice that we meddle with the affairs of everybody else from the West to the East Indies, from Russia to Japan; and to do it we have a standing army of 83,251 men.

AAT.24 It is American tradition that the financial affairs of a nation should be transacted on the same principles of simple honesty that an individual conducts his own business; viz., that debt is a bad thing, and a man’s first surplus earning should be applied to his debts; that offices and office holders should be few. It is American practice that the general government should always have millions of debt, even if a panic or a war has to be forced to prevent its being paid off; and as to the application of its income office holders come first. And within the last administration it is reported that 99,000 offices have been created at an annual expense of 1663,000,000. Shades of Jefferson! “How are vacancies to be obtained? Those by deaths are few; by resignation none.” Roosevelt cuts the knot by making 99,000 new ones! And few will die – and none resign. They will beget sons and daughters, and Taft will have to create 99,000 more! Verily a simple and a serviceable thing is our general government.

AAT.25 It is American tradition that the Judiciary shall act as a check upon the impetuosity of Legislatures, should these attempt to pass the bounds of constitutional limitation. It is American practice that the Judiciary justifies every law which trenches on the liberties of the people and nullifies every act of the Legislature by which the people seek to regain some measure of their freedom. Again, in the words of Jefferson: “The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape in any form they please.” Truly, if the men who fought the good fight for the triumph of simple, honest, free life in that day, were now to look upon the scene of their labors, they would cry out together with him who said:

“I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifices of themselves by the generation of ’76 to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be that I shall not live to see it.”

AAT.26 And now, what has Anarchism to say to all this, this bankruptcy of republicanism, this modern empire that has grown up on the ruins of our early freedom? We say this, that the sin our fathers sinned was that they did not trust liberty wholly. They thought it possible to compromise between liberty and government, believing the latter to be “a necessary evil,” and the moment the compromise was made, the whole misbegotten monster of our present tyranny began to grow. Instruments which are set up to safeguard rights become the very whip with which the free are struck.

AAT.27 Anarchism says, Make no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that “freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license”; and they will define and define freedom out of existence. Let the guarantee of free speech be in every man’s determination to use it, and we shall have no need of paper declarations. On the other hand, so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

AAT.28 The problem then becomes, Is it possible to stir men from their indifference? We have said that the spirit of liberty was nurtured by colonial life; that the elements of colonial life were the desire for sectarian independence, and the jealous watchfulness incident thereto; the isolation of pioneer communities which threw each individual strongly on his own resources, and thus developed all-around men, yet at the same time made very strong such social bonds as did exist; and, lastly, the comparative simplicity of small communities.

AAT.29 All this has disappeared. As to sectarianism, it is only by dint of an occasional idiotic persecution that a sect becomes interesting; in the absence of this, outlandish sects play the fool’s role, are anything but heroic, and have little to do with either the name or the substance of liberty. The old colonial religious parties have gradually become the “pillars of society,” their animosities have died out, their offensive peculiarities have been effaced, they are as like one another as beans in a pod, they build churches – and sleep in them.

AAT.30 As to our communities, they are hopelessly and helplessly interdependent, as we ourselves are, save that continuously diminishing proportion engaged in all around farming; and even these are slaves to mortgages. For our cities, probably there is not one that is provisioned to last a week, and certainly there is none which would not be bankrupt with despair at the proposition that it produce its own food. In response to this condition and its correlative political tyranny, Anarchism affirms the economy of self-sustenance, the disintegration of the great communities, the use of the earth.

AAT.31 I am not ready to say that I see clearly that this will take place; but I see clearly that this must take place if ever again men are to be free. I am so well satisfied that the mass of mankind prefer material possessions to liberty, that I have no hope that they will ever, by means of intellectual or moral stirrings merely, throw off the yoke of oppression fastened on them by the present economic system, to institute free societies. My only hope is in the blind development of the economic system and political oppression itself. The great characteristic looming factor in this gigantic power is Manufacture. The tendency of each nation is to become more and more a manufacturing one, an exporter of fabrics, not an importer. If this tendency follows its own logic, it must eventually circle round to each community producing for itself. What then will become of the surplus product when the manufacturer shall have no foreign market? Why, then mankind must face the dilemma of sitting down and dying in the midst of it, or confiscating the goods.

AAT.32 Indeed, we are partially facing this problem even now; and-so far we are sitting down and dying. I opine, however, that men will not do it forever, and when once by an act of general expropriation they have overcome the reverence and fear of property, and their awe of government, they may waken to the consciousness that things are to be used, and therefore men are greater than things. This may rouse the spirit of liberty.

AAT.33 If, on the other hand, the tendency of invention to simplify, enabling the advantages of machinery to be combined with smaller aggregations of workers, shall also follow its own logic, the great manufacturing plants will break up, population will go after the fragments, and there will be seen not indeed the hard, self-sustaining, isolated pioneer communities of early America, but thousands of small communities stretching along the lines of transportation, each producing very largely for its own needs, able to rely upon itself, and therefore able to be independent. For the same rule holds good for societies as for individuals–those may be free who are able to make their own living.

AAT.34 In regard to the breaking up of that vilest creation of tyranny, the standing army and navy, it is clear that so long as men desire to fight, they will have armed force in one form or another. Our fathers thought they had guarded against a standing army by providing for the voluntary militia. In our day we have lived to see this militia declared part of the regular military force of the United States, and subject to the same demands as the regulars. Within another generation we shall probably see its members in the regular pay of the general government. Since any embodiment of the fighting spirit, any military organization, inevitably follows the same line of centralization, the logic of Anarchism is that the least objectionable form of armed force is that which springs up voluntarily, like the minute men of Massachusetts, and disbands as soon as the occasion which called it into existence is past: that the really desirable thing is that all men – not Americans only – should be at peace; and that to reach this, all peaceful persons should withdraw their support from the army, and require that all who make war shall do so at their own cost and risk; that neither pay nor pensions are to be provided for those who choose to make man-killing a trade.

AAT.35 As to the American tradition of non-meddling, Anarchism asks that it be carried down to the individual himself. It demands no jealous barrier of isolation; it knows that such isolation is undesirable and impossible; but it teaches that by all men’s strictly minding their own business, a fluid society, freely adapting itself to mutual needs, wherein all the world shall belong to all men, as much as each has need or desire, will result.

AAT.36 And when Modern Revolution has thus been carried to the heart of the whole world – if it ever shall be, as I hope it will – then may we hope to see a resurrection of that proud spirit of our fathers which put the simple dignity of Man above the gauds of wealth and class, and held that to, be an American was greater than to be a king.

AAT.37 In that day there shall be neither kings nor Americans – only Men; over the whole earth, MEN.

Mother Earth 3, nos. 10-11, December 1908-January 1909

>Denninger: Thuggery and Mob Action, Government Style

>
Read Karl Denninger’s column in full, along with the embedded links.

Then re-read it.

Do you understand yet?

Your government is nothing more and nothing less than a racketeering organization.

And otherwise-savvy folks, such as Denninger, expect the Department of Justice to be effective in cleaning up the mess.

Beck called it the other day:

I don’t know how much more clearly to put it: they will steal anything they think that they have to in order to grease this thing along. That has been the way of it all the way so far and there is nothing to change it now.

Make ready to repel boarders.

>Codrea: Inspector X

>Go and read David’s Examiner column today for his interview with a former ATF inspector.

Tactical question for your consideration: Assuming that there are a significant number of “reluctant” officers/agents/enforcers amongst the OpFor, what are the most efficient ways to convert those folks into informants/operatives for freedom?

Or is such a question hopelessly naive?

>Speaks For Itself

>
From Theo.

>Steyn: Live Free or Die

>From Mark Steyn, from Hillsdale College via Maggie:

***
My remarks are titled tonight after the words of General Stark, New Hampshire’s great hero of the Revolutionary War: “Live free or die!” When I first moved to New Hampshire, where this appears on our license plates, I assumed General Stark had said it before some battle or other—a bit of red meat to rally the boys for the charge; a touch of the old Henry V-at-Agincourt routine. But I soon discovered that the general had made his famous statement decades after the war, in a letter regretting that he would be unable to attend a dinner. And in a curious way I found that even more impressive. In extreme circumstances, many people can rouse themselves to rediscover the primal impulses: The brave men on Flight 93 did. They took off on what they thought was a routine business trip, and, when they realized it wasn’t, they went into General Stark mode and cried “Let’s roll!” But it’s harder to maintain the “Live free or die!” spirit when you’re facing not an immediate crisis but just a slow, remorseless, incremental, unceasing ratchet effect. “Live free or die!” sounds like a battle cry: We’ll win this thing or die trying, die an honorable death. But in fact it’s something far less dramatic: It’s a bald statement of the reality of our lives in the prosperous West.


You can live as free men, but, if you choose not to, your society will die.

My book America Alone is often assumed to be about radical Islam, firebreathing imams, the excitable young men jumping up and down in the street doing the old “Death to the Great Satan” dance. It’s not. It’s about us. It’s about a possibly terminal manifestation of an old civilizational temptation: Indolence, as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a republic. When I ran into trouble with the so-called “human rights” commissions up in Canada, it seemed bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of the alliance profess to be pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists; the other half are homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Even as the cheap bus ‘n’ truck road-tour version of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, it made no sense. But in fact what they have in common overrides their superficially more obvious incompatibilities: Both the secular Big Government progressives and political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential.

In most of the developed world, the state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood—health care, child care, care of the elderly—to the point where it’s effectively severed its citizens from humanity’s primal instincts, not least the survival instinct. Hillary Rodham Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child. It’s supposedly an African proverb—there is no record of anyone in Africa ever using this proverb, but let that pass. P.J. O’Rourke summed up that book superbly: It takes a village to raise a child. The government is the village, and you’re the child. Oh, and by the way, even if it did take a village to raise a child, I wouldn’t want it to be an African village. If you fly over West Africa at night, the lights form one giant coastal megalopolis: Not even Africans regard the African village as a useful societal model. But nor is the European village. Europe’s addiction to big government, unaffordable entitlements, cradle-to-grave welfare, and a dependence on mass immigration needed to sustain it has become an existential threat to some of the oldest nation-states in the world.

And now the last holdout, the United States, is embarking on the same grim path: After the President unveiled his budget, I heard Americans complain, oh, it’s another Jimmy Carter, or LBJ’s Great Society, or the new New Deal.

You should be so lucky.

Those nickel-and-dime comparisons barely begin to encompass the wholesale Europeanization that’s underway. The 44th president’s multi-trillion-dollar budget, the first of many, adds more to the national debt than all the previous 43 presidents combined, from George Washington to George Dubya. The President wants Europeanized health care, Europeanized daycare, Europeanized education, and, as the Europeans have discovered, even with Europeanized tax rates you can’t make that math add up. In Sweden, state spending accounts for 54% of GDP. In America, it was 34%—ten years ago. Today, it’s about 40%. In four years’ time, that number will be trending very Swede-like.

But forget the money, the deficit, the debt, the big numbers with the 12 zeroes on the end of them. So-called fiscal conservatives often miss the point. The problem isn’t the cost. These programs would still be wrong even if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover them each month. They’re wrong because they deform the relationship between the citizen and the state. Even if there were no financial consequences, the moral and even spiritual consequences would still be fatal. That’s the stage where Europe is.

America is just beginning this process. I looked at the rankings in Freedom in the 50States published by George Mason University last month. New Hampshire came in Number One, the Freest State in the Nation, which all but certainly makes it the freest jurisdiction in the Western world. Which kind of depressed me. Because the Granite State feels less free to me than it did when I moved there, and you always hope there’s somewhere else out there just in case things go belly up and you have to hit the road…
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Read the rest.

Then ask yourself the question: what exactly is the duty of an honorable citizen when his government and many of his countrymen are thugs, leeches, and other assorted vermin?