The First Ten Years: The Monster Proceeds Apace by Bill Buppert

The United States Constitution provides that Congress “shall have the power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises … but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

The Anti-Federalists were the enemies of the state and the Federalists were the champions of the omnipotent national state. This divide would animate the argument on how to govern North America below the Canadian border after 1783. But why was the war fought?

So, why, pray tell, did the British colonials seek a divorce and violently so after General Gage’s predations on arms and power in 1774-175?

So it begins:

Many causes emerged and these are certainly at the forefront:

 October 7, 1763 King George III proclaims a ban on westward migration in the colonies.

 April 5 and 9, 1763 Parliament passes the Sugar and Currency Acts

 March 22, 1765 Parliament passes the Stamp Act (even playing cards and dice)

 May 15, 1765 Parliament passes the Quartering Act of 1765

 March 18, 1766 Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and passes the Declaratory Act (asserting the authority of Parliament to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”)

 June 29, 1766 Parliament passes the Townshend Acts

 July, 1767 Parliament passes the New York Suspending Act

 April 21, 1768 The British Secretary of State for the colonies responds to the Massachusetts Circular Letter

 June 8, 1769 The British Secretary of State for the colonies orders General Thomas Gage to deploy forces to Boston

 March 5, 1770 The Boston Massacre leads to the death of five colonists

 November 2, 1772 The first Committee of Correspondence is formed in Boston, and produces Samuel Adams’ bold assertion of the “Rights of the Colonists,” and Dr. Joseph Warren’s “List of Infringements and Violations of Rights.”

 January 6, 1773 Massachusetts’ Governor Hutchinson argues the supremacy of Parliament before the General Court

 May 10, 1773 With the passage of the Tea Act, the East India Company is granted a virtual monopoly on the tea trade in the colonies

 March 31-June 2, 1774 The British Parliament passes the five Coercive Acts in order to punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party and regain control of the colony

 September 11, 1774 King George III commits Britain to a policy of intractable opposition to colonial claims.

I would urge everyone interested to read further on these precursors to American Revolution I.

This is not comprehensive by any stretch but space demands brevity for the purpose of showing that the Constitution was simply a redux and improved imitation of Imperial law making from the mother country. This is why the Anti-Federalists were so horrified by the political coup in Philadelphia crafting the monstrous Constitution.

Many Constitutionalists constantly badger everyone around them that the restoration of the document or a return to its origins will create a new yellow brick road where the government acknowledges and protects individual liberty at every turn and the central government in contravention of all human recorded history will remain small and vigilant of every predation on individual liberty.

Ad nauseum, the same parroting of nonsense learned in government obedience classes carefully and artfully disguised as civics class begun by a pledge to the centralizing instrument of mankind on the North American continent.

I have covered various aspects of why the Constitution is a devilishly clever instrument to make a Helot people think they are free. Under Article VIII of the Articles of Confederation, the United States federal government did not have the power to tax. And on reflection, wisely so.

Kenneth Royce does a brilliant book length treatment of why the Constitution is so awful for free men and such a gift for grasping totalitarians.

So I simply want to treat the first ten years of the career of the document to show just how monstrous a predator on liberty it truly was. Many of these champions of the “original” document claim that the later distortions and license used by the executive, legislature and courts were merely deviations.

These are the same folks by the way who take the problematic Second Amendment seriously yet the record of infringement would occupy volumes to document. A brief 20th century tour of “infringement” would be the 1934 National Firearms Act, 1938 Federal Firearms Act, 1939, US v. Miller, 1968 Gun Control Act (egged on by Governor Reagan’s Mulford Act and the RFK assassination), Nixon’s call for a handgun ban in 1972, the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, the Bushevik I import ban in 1989, AWB, Brady Bill, NICS, Bushevik II’s 2007 NICS Improvement Act and all the attendant nonsense in between and since.

The Arkansas high court stars the ball rolling in 1842 in State v. Buzzard for this collectivist nonsense with guns. “That the words ‘a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free State’, and the words ‘common defense’ clearly show the true intent and meaning of these Constitutions [i.e., Arkansas and U.S.] and prove that it is a political and not an individual right, and, of course, that the State, in her legislative capacity, has the right to regulate and control it: This being the case, then the people, neither individually nor collectively, have the right to keep and bear arms.”

Excepting Nixon’s imbecilic proposal, all the law of the land stamped and approved by all branches. All Constitutionally endorsed.

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12 Reasons Libertarian Women Are Not Getting a Good Libertarian Guy

 Publisher’s Note: Virgil Văduva and I met several years ago and maintain the itinerant contact that is my specialty as an Aspie; very sparse and infrequent but he and my wife talk via Facebook all the time. No, I don’t have an account nor will I for a variety of reasons. When I met Virgil he struck me as extraordinarily intelligent and articulate and this essay simply proves the assertion. Enjoy. -BB
The truth is that I have been thinking about writing something along these lines for a while and I just now finally got around to putting the words on paper. Avens O’Brien, who is a wonderful young lady and a writer whom I met at the 2014 Liberty Forum in New Hampshire, wrote a piece titled “12 Reasons You Are Not Getting Laid by a Libertarian Lady.” It is a fun read, but I felt like it lacked the male perspective.

While this was written in jest, I am not holding much back here, so if you are wearing panties, I hope they will not bunch up in an uncomfortable knot. And while I often object to how language is being used (especially pronouns), using “we” or “us” or “you” is certainly not intended to speak on behalf of all libertarian men but it does make the discourse much easier to follow.

So here are my 12 reasons why libertarian women are not getting a good libertarian guy:

1. You are a feminist

Yes, you are a generation or two too late on the women’s rights scene. Just because being a feminist is trendy in libertarian circles, jumping on that bandwagon will not inspire men to invite you into their lives.  In fact, it makes us turn around and run away from you. Modern feminism is a despicable, State-centered philosophy which yet has to gain much support from principled libertarian men. Libertarian men are rugged individualists and show little patience for anyone who wants an easy way into the market of ideas and feminism does little to substantiate your claim of being an independent, strong woman.

Progress of feminism over the year leads to blaming all men for all problems

Progress of feminism over the year leads to blaming all men for all problems

We generally don’t give a shit about “equality” because there is no such thing and there will never be such a thing in a free market where moral authority is not enforced through violence. The free market is rude, it discriminates, it kicks you to the curb and knocks your teeth out. And if you cannot stand up, dust off your clothes and jump back into the middle of life, you will not be successful, no matter what gender you claim.

If you want equality (whatever that means), you have to earn it, whether we are discussing income level or job titles. And if you want equality right now, you can only obtain it by using the violence of the State to coerce others to create it, which means you are not exactly a libertarian woman, but just another boring, bitchy, liberal feminist.

Modern feminism is often being defended by confounding it with the classical feminist movement seeking to liberate women from societal norms where they were clearly being mistreated, marginalized and abused both mentally and physically. We are not going to fall for that argument, and riffing on the issue of “male privilege” will only cause us to roll our eyes and walk away from you.

Claiming you are a feminist will not inspire us to come into your arms and it is a total turnoff. Stop calling yourself a feminist and stick with “Libertarian.” We know what you mean.

2. You claim to love children but in reality you hate them

For the last few decades the age of couples having children has been going up, but the desire for children has not disappeared. The reality is that many libertarian guys would love to have children and have a successful family and home where they can live, grow and expand the sound principles of libertarian philosophy.

While the decision to have children is a very personal one, most men can handle a truthful statement along the lines of “I cannot stand children and I will never have any.” There is no need to play games or pretend you think children are wonderful when in reality you have no intention to like them, love them or have them.

Openness is one of the most basic foundations of a sound relationship and by not being honest with your feelings about children, you are only creating a revolving door for men in your life who want to have children but may walk away disappointed when they find out how you truly feel about them.

If you do not want children that is fine and a wonderful personal choice to make, but do not mislead your male partner on this issue at it is very important to many libertarian men. Be clear and be brutally honest about children so that the men who want children can walk away from you and find someone who is more compatible on this issue.

3. You assume that every man you meet wants to sleep with you

Just look at Avens’ article title: she implies that all libertarian men want is to get laid, when of course, that is simply not true.

Nope. Funny, but not true.

Nope. Very funny, but not exactly true.

Just because you have a vagina, it does not mean that every man (or woman for that matter) you meet wants to sleep with you. Some may, but treating them all as if they want to get in your pants is both immature and arrogant. Some of my best friends have been females over the year, but that doesn’t mean I slept with all of them.

Being sexually intimate with another human being is a deeply personal decision, and not all men treat sex casually. Most of us respect our partners enough to discuss sexuality openly, so arrogantly assuming that all males drop their trousers down at the sight of a naked female body is not only a mistake, but it is an assumption that flows from the modern feminist idea that all men are sexual predators ready and willing to take a woman’s body as his own.

By respecting men in the same manner as you expect to be respected, you will create a foundation of trust in a relationship, regardless of what kind of relationship you are involved in. Whether you are male, female, single, straight, poly-amorous, gay or otherwise, all partners deserve to be treated with the underlying respect and assumption that there are no ulterior motives involved. So unless you are willing to ask all men you meet in clear terms “Do you want to fuck me,” I suggest that the expectation that all men you meet want your vagina, is wrong.

4. You do hurtful things

I guess this is not exactly a “libertarian thing” but it is possible that it happens in libertarian circles more often, mostly because women can outwardly have an attitude of independence, but manifest that independence in ways that are hurtful to her libertarian partner.

Assumptions can be made about employment, friendships with other men, relocation for a job, etc. An independent libertarian woman would consider all these factors but discuss them with her partner and ask for input instead of bulldozing through life without any care for others.

Do not hide your hurtful actions behind the curtain of making independent decisions as a strong woman. We are not falling for that either.

5. You are hearing men but not listening to them

Libertarians often like to discuss deep, important intellectual issues. Especially with other libertarians. But if we cannot find an audience we can become frustrated and seek out other outlets, such as passive-aggressive Facebook status updates or tweets.

The truth is that many libertarian men feel like women “do not get them.” This covers many areas and it has nothing to do with some perceived patriarchal superiority or privilege. Take the Bitcoin world for example. Virtually all Bitcoin developers, movers and shakers are men. This is not because libertarian women do not care about financial freedom or do not have the ability to participate in the discource, but they do not seem to care about participating in discussions related to the technical intricacies of the Bitcoin network. Of course there are exceptions, but it would be wonderful to see libertarian women actually listening to these issues and actively participating in the debate and taking an active role in solving problems.

Many libertarian men also like to discuss deep and emotional problems but are hesitant to open up to their partners about these issues, mostly out of fear of being ridiculed and being at conflict with the expected rugged individualism and independence.

If you do not want to push away your good libertarian men, do not just pretend to hear to them. Pay attention and listen to them just as you wish to be listened to as a female. We can be just as emotionally involved in a specific issue as you. Emotions and feelings transcend gender and by assuming that men should be tough-going and emotionless, you are just contributing to the established patriarchal establishment that you are criticizing.

6. You are a bitch

Being a bitch is not the same as being assertive or independent. Somehow these two characteristics have been conflated to have roughly the same meaning, but libertarian men can see through it and they don’t like it. Being kind, gentle and feminine is a value that many men adore and appreciate. Yes, it may be a violation of some unwritten principle of modern feminism, but as we established earlier, we do not care much about modern feminists.

skylerwhitebitchBe kind and respectful to libertarian men, assuming they are kind and respectful to you. If we wanted to date and marry bitchy women, we could easily find them all around us. Instead we are looking for women who are willing to be both transformative but also transformed by a meaningful and deeply touching relationship. Yes, we realize that everyone has a bad day here and there but a constant attitude of being rude, obnoxious and nasty is not something anyone wants.

Libertarian men appreciate and value assertive women that have strong personalities. Learn to differentiate between these two characteristics and you will discover respect and acceptance for what you have to offer, not just based on gender alone. A good relationship is a two-way street where both partners grow and help each other become better human beings, better libertarians or better parents.

7. You think men should care about all your opinions

Here is a world-shattering thought: not all your opinions matter to us and they are not all important! Some matter, but many do not. Life and relationships are largely based on the compatibility of opinions, ideas, paradigms and thought patterns, but that is not always the only way to approach relationships.

Now you know

Now you know

What if you just look for a libertarian man that makes you happy instead of looking for a libertarian man that will just agree with everything that is coming out of your mouth? If receiving nods for verbalizing opinions is your goal, you will easily get that from men wanting to just take your clothes off. But libertarian men are more principled than that. We care about making you happy as much as we care about being happy ourselves.

As a libertarian woman, you should stop looking for men to validate all your opinions or thoughts. We honestly don’t really care about everything you have to say. We care about some of the things you have to say but we care even more about being happy and treated respectfully, and that will materialize in us treating you the same way.

8. You are too much into how you look

Libertarian men tend to not really care about how much effort women put into their looks. As I’ve said before, we care about your minds and souls more than we care about the amount of make up you put on or the brand of shoes and purses you are wearing. Yes, those things are nice add-ons in life and they contribute to bettering ourselves but they are not what our lives revolve around.

Rather than spending an hour every day putting on makeup to impress libertarian men that may not care about it, an hour-long conversation over tea or coffee discussing Rothbard’s take on decentralized free-market solutions to arbitration sounds a lot more sexy.

Julie Borowski is making some excellent points below. If you disagree with her I really do not care.

9. You may just not be smart enough

A majority of libertarian guys are intelligent, well-educated, have a high income and are well-read. We like to meet and hang out with smart women. Being well-read and having the ability to discuss current issues in depth is a huge turn-on for many of us. The topic could be anything from thermodynamics to cryptography or crypto-currency, but we love discussing these issues. Especially with women.

Rather than complaining about how men own the technology sector, it would be much more enticing to become well acquainted with these topics and be smart about them. If you already are, that’s wonderful. Offer solutions to the issue of the SHA algorithm being a potential threat to the long term viability of current crypto currencies. Or perhaps talk about the ratio of helium to hydrogen that is being created in some stars. Or the anthropological effect that Austrian economics would have on our society during an economic collapse.

Smart geek talk is a huge turn on for many libertarian men, mostly because a majority of us work in technical fields and is what we could be doing for a living.

We care a lot less about the brand of eye-liner you are using than you being interested in good writing, reading or participating in fascinating discussions. The eye-liner gets washed away every night while conversations that help us expand our minds do not fade away easily.

10. You are hitting on married men

The libertarian movement is made up a wide-range of people, including many married libertarian men. Flirting with them is not exactly the best way to bridge whatever gap there is in you life. Yes, in life we all participate in an innocent flirt here and there but once it is becoming inappropriate, perhaps the honest thing to say to him is, “I want you to sleep with me!

If you cannot come out and outright verbalize what your goals are to a libertarian man, then you are doing it wrong. We are not stupid. We get all the sexual innuendos, the jokes, and implications following. I believe that none of this is helpful or healthy to your own life and relationships. Why not come out and speak your mind about what you want from another person?

While their lives are far from perfect, married libertarian men are very dedicated to their family life. Unless there is some other voluntary agreement in place that may allowed for other sexual partners to partake, flirting with them is very inappropriate and does little to help you find a partner that works for you.

Be honest about your goals. There is nothing wrong with approaching strangers for discussions just because they are physically attractive, but be aware of where that line is and when you are about to cross it because when it is crossed you become just another horny woman looking for an easy fling.

11. You are too clingy

Yes, many libertarian women love to throw the “I am independent” claim in people’s faces but in reality they are just as clingy if not worse than most women out there. If you are dating a good libertarian guy, outline your expectations from the beginning and leave it at that.  Draft a contract if you have to but be very clear in your expectations, regardless of what they are.

872Calling him or texting him every 30 minutes to check out on him, reading his e-mails or demanding an explanation of all his female Facebook friends is not a way to keep him around. Libertarian men value their own privacy as much as they value your privacy and there is the right way and the wrong way to promote trust in a relationship.

If you are too clingy, maybe a libertarian man who expects to have multiple partners in the relationship is not your best choice. Obviously the same goes for you. If you expect to have a sexual-only relationship or have multiple partners, perhaps clearly explaining that to your libertarian man would be a good idea. Explain it early, not after you violate his trust.

12. You cannot cook

Oh wow, Virgil, how dare you even touch on the issue of women in the kitchen, you say?

images.duckduckgo.comWhat is the problem with a partner’s expectation to have the basic ability to cook a decent meal? The modern libertarian man does not expect his partner to be in the kitchen all day, every day, and most libertarian men I’ve met are excellent cooks. In fact a vast majority of the best chefs in the world are men.

I love cooking for my family. It’s a sign of sacrifice, appreciation, love and a great opportunity to bring everyone together. I find it to be  privilege. I have never seen it as a chore. Rather than seeing cooking as a demeaning activity (as it has been portrayed by the modern feminist movement), you should see it as an opportunity to hang out with your partner or family and have a blast doing it while feeding everyone a quality meal (hopefully).

If you cannot cook and see cooking as some conspiratorial agenda for men to keep women down and oppressed, do not be surprised when libertarian men will eventually get tired of eating microwaved meals and frozen dinners. Yes, it is not hard today for couples to eat all meals out in a restaurant all day, every day, but there is something very special about cooking and eating at home. It is an opportunity to show your independence and also teach it to the rest of you family or children.

A libertarian man will appreciate your quality cooking, not because he wants to put you down and chain you to the stove, but because he loves your independence and hopefully, creativity. And he will likely roll up his sleeves and cook with you because cooking can be a lot of fun.

I am certain that someone will find a way to misinterpret or take something I wrote the wrong way, but that is on you as a reader.  If you can, take the positives and use them to improve your own lives. If you cannot, I still wish you the best and hope you will not learn the lessons of life by taking the wrong path too many times.


Virgil Vaduva is a Libertarian security professional, journalist, photographer and overall liberty freak.  He spent most of his life in Communist Romania and participated in the 1989 street protests which led to the collapse of the Ceausescu regime. He can be reached at vvaduva at truthvoice.com.

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Lexington and Concord: The Unfulfilled Promise of Freedom by Bill Buppert

19 April is the 240th anniversary of the “shot heard ‘round the world” at Lexington and Concord. The British regulars who started the fracas were following an age-old government tradition of seizing powder, munitions and property for a pretentious King who had assumed such wide distribution of the tools of resistance should be available only to the government-approved groups such as soldiers despite the danger on the frontier. We celebrate that time of defiance against tyranny when for sixteen years (1775-1791), all thirteen colonial provinces and the thousands of rural polities that existed outside or alongside the framework enjoyed a freedom they had not previously had; unfortunately after 1791 they would become enslaved once again under the totalitarian doomsday machine known as the Constitution. The lobster-backs and British taxing regime would be replaced by a domestic variety of even more extreme virulence whose sole safety mechanism was a constant western diaspora trying to escape the clutches of the “Republic”. By the middle of the 19th century, all the pieces were in play to seal the deal and Lincolnian project buried the Second American Revolution under hundreds of thousands of corpses to let freedom ring.

The whitewashed history since then has lionized the inauguration of the divorce from the United Kingdom on this day and mistakenly links these events to all the “freedom” enjoyed under the Constitution. The Federalist coup in 1787 that re-established an English-style yoke of central planning, national taxation and slight tinkering with indentured servitude to a kinder and gentler tax and regulatory apparatus did no more grant individual freedom than the Romans gave to conquered lands.

I won’t belabor the point here as I have done this in previous essays and the resistance commentariat has taken up the cudgel with aplomb and covered it adroitly.

The Declaration of Independence, whether penned by Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, is as elegant a jeremiad against tyranny as has been written. The relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution is the same as the one between the crucifix and the vampire. One cannot be consonant with the other because their aspirations are antithetical to the opposing aspirant. As the brilliant Lysander Spooner would opine: “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

Captain Parker commanded the militia this day for an idea that was smothered and crushed by the Federalist coup in 1787.

When you look around on this day in this time at the minimum security (for now) Club Fed that is America, ask yourself what Parker would think. Everything you see (and don’t see in the surveillance state that surrounds you) is a product of the glorious Constitutional Republic that Spooner described so splendidly.

As an Appleseed Instructor and Shoot Boss on extended sabbatical, part of the instruction in this extraordinary marksmanship program was a gripping retelling of the Three Strikes of the Match that led to the divorce proceedings with George III and started the First American Revolution. While I don’t share all the goals of the program hence the extended leave of absence, the telling of this ripping yarn has no match. I regret you can’t hear this from a seasoned instructor but the reading can be compelling.

For those who wish further elucidation, I recommend Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty and Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride. The two books will lead to many more books to better understand the hoodwinking you have suffered through government schooling and the attendant media apparatchiks who reinforce the mewlings of the mind laundries. These books will lead to better understanding the modest but brilliant interregnum when the North American Confederation was free excepting the large number of indentured servants and chattel slaves. But the Constitution would remedy this by nationalizing the former and codifying the latter. The destruction of individual liberty would begin apace.

You can make sure Parker’s sacrifice, he would die in September of that year, was not in vain.

Reflect and remember this day should force you to think on the state of your chains, whether you acknowledge them or not.

See you at the Green Dragon Tavern.

Resist. –BB

The First Strike of the Match

It’s 19 April, 1775. In Massachusetts Colony, the times were hard. The Colonial government had been abolished, and a military governor, General Thomas Gage, controlled Boston under martial law. Boston was practically a ghost town. The Port Act had seen to that, as the port had been closed to all traffic for months. The town slowly died without commerce, and many of those remaining in town relied on the kindness of outsiders to acquire food and necessities. Troops destroyed buildings and their contents for fire wood. Disease was rampant. The King was bent on breaking the radicals and bringing the colonies back in line, where they would pay dearly in taxes and subjugation to the motherland, and he was close to doing it.

The precedent had been set. In order to subjugate the colonies, England would have to disarm them. The colonies had a long standing custom for militia, and the militia was armed. The most expedient method of disarmament was to take their ammunition. Gunpowder was typically stored in a specially built powder house for safety and security and drawn for the militia when needed.

It was a simple matter to march in and take the colonists powder supply, and they had indeed done it before. In September of 1774, they had marched swiftly into Cambridge and carted off 250 half barrels of powder, hauling them back triumphantly to Boston.

This had so alarmed the colonist that with 24 hours there were nearly 30,000 men on the march to Boston, hearing rumors that the Brits intended to burn and shell the town. The incident ended without bloodshed, but General Gage, penned up in Boston with barely 3,000 troops had been so frightened that he asked the crown for an additional 20,000 men.

Paul Revere swore that this would never happen again, that they would not be taken by surprise, and instituted the Committee of Observation, an elaborate spy network throughout the colony. Then they began to smuggle arms and powder and hide them in various remote locations. They had even stolen four brass cannon right out from under Gage’s nose, a theft not taken lightly by General Gage.

Then in December, Paul Revere had ridden more than 20 hours straight, through a blinding blizzard, to warn the colonists in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that a British patrol was on the way by ship to confiscate their powder and ball. The Redcoats were met by a band of militia who raised the drawbridge across the river and simply taunted them. After a short skirmish, the Brits marched back to their ships empty handed this time. But the failure stung the pride of the British Army, and they yearned for revenge.

Now the stage was set for another such raid. This time to Concord where they would have the added honor of capturing not only the provincial government, which had been meeting there, illegally, but also perhaps the traitorous Sam Adams and John Hancock, who were destined, they thought, to swing from the gallows in England. There was also rumored to be quite a stockpile of war materiel stored there. Continue reading

Cake Rape by Paul Stevens

Publisher’s Note: Paul is a personal friend and wrote this splendid riposte to yet another state-created crisis in freedom of association that is the latest tempest in a teapot for the usual suspects in the government supremacist commentariat. -BB

Much has been made as of late, about the awful crime of discrimination in regards to one baker refusing to sell a cake to a gay couple.

The left bemoans the situation as the horrid “crime” of discrimination, while the right claims it is within the purview of their “constitutional right” to religious freedom.

I personally think that both sides, yet again, miss the forest for the trees. As a libertarian, I view the ensuing argument as a means of private property and will pose it to both sides as such.

First of all, it is not a crime at all as no one is hurt. Sure those that get denied service might have their feelings hurt, but they are no worse off after this denial then they were before it. No one has been victimized, thus no crime has occurred.

Forcing one to trade their property, without their consent, actually victimizes the one in which forced was used to remove their property. If anything, the forceful overseeing of an involuntary trade deal is the crime.

While I think it a bad economic decision to turn away customers, in a consumer based business, I cannot even imagine thinking about legislating people against making bad decisions that harm no one other than themselves. After all, in a free society, people should be free to make what others may view as a bad decision. Nor can I see why anyone would want to force others to sell them, their property if someone else doesn’t like them, for whatever reason. Not only does it seem awkward, but nonsensical to force someone to make you food. I wonder what kind of “frosting” is going to go onto that cake.

If you truly feel wronged by this, then use the market to rectify it. I personally think the refusing baker, just gave the gay couple a winning niche in the market place, as I am willing to bet, that per capita, gay couples would spend more money on cakes than straight couples.

But let us take this argument one step further. Dating and sexual relationships take place on this planet by the 100s of billions every day. Let us now carry out “discrimination” and forced association into this realm. Should one not be able to turn down a potential suitor for any reason they choose? If let’s say, I find a black woman attractive and she doesn’t find white men attractive, and turns me down based up this notion, whether real or perceived, should I then sue to force her to date me? What if I find a lesbian attractive and she wished not to exchange her time or her body with me because of my alternate (to hers) sexual orientation? Should I be allowed to appeal to the baton of the state to force her to do so?

Now let’s carry this one step further into the realm of sexual relationships. Should I be allowed to force the lesbian to have sex with me? Should I be forced to have sex with a homosexual male? How is it that a child cannot be forced to have sex with me? After all having sex is the act of sharing the time and body parts of another. Isn’t this exactly what constitutes trade?

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The Fall of the South: A Sesquicentennial Wake By Bill Buppert

“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.”

-Statement to John Leyburn (1 May 1870), as quoted in R. E. Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman.

On this day, 9 April in 1865, the Lincolnian project to enslave the entire nation under the yoke of Union supremacy, central planning and a country administered by national political fiat and the naked fist of government aggression prevailed. The South and the Confederacy for all it flaws died at Appomattox.

Lee is often erroneously quoted as saying the following:

“Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand. Supposed made to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (September 1870), as quoted in The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, pp. 497-500.”

No lesser literary luminaries and historians have said this is false than Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. and Bruce Catton. This appears to be historical myth-making by Mr. Dabney. My casual research and interest in Lee find this simply does not fit in his character; now there were certainly Confederate worthies who professed such sympathies.

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The Devil’s Dictionary: The Neocon Edition by Bill Buppert

I wrote this on 13 October 2003 as a date-time stamped prediction of the coming fracturing and civil war that the West initiated with its invasion and sundering of Iraq on 19 May 2003. Lew Rockwell was kind enough to make this my debut post as a columnist when I wrote there. I take no pride in accurately predicting the insurgencies that would come into full bloom throughout Iraq in the spring in 2004. All the usual suspects in the Washington political clown posse assured the taxpayers of the West that things would be smooth as glass.

“Months before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq… In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said ‘he would fire the next person’ who talked about the need for a post-war plan…

‘I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that,’ Scheid said. ‘We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.’

‘[Rumsfeld] said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war.’”

Here is where some of those brilliant media presstitutes are today who championed the invasion of Iraq.

“Gen. John Keane, the vice chief of the Army staff during the war, said some defense officials believed the exiles’ promises.

“We did not see it [the insurgency] coming. And we were not properly prepared and organized to deal with it. . . . Many of us got seduced by the Iraqi exiles in terms of what the outcome would be,” Keane told a House committee in July.”

The lack of post-war planning was pathetic and tragic in the implications for the Western powers’ Treasuries hemorrhaging and the real blood spilled by troops in the ill-advised occupation.

This goes a long way in explaining the blood-madness and sheer idiocy of American war aims and conduct in Afghanistan Syria, Libya, Yemen and the Horn of Africa

How do you know an American politician or his medium in the government-media complex is lying? Their mandibles are moving.

I hate to say I told you so but I just did. -BB

The US armed forces cannot win in Iraq under any circumstances. The connection between Saddam’s regime and 9/11 has vaporized. All the rumored weapons of mass destruction have failed to turn up. The hopes of an incipient Arab democracy will go the same way of the sham imperialist puppets in the Balkans or the US will inadvertently midwife yet another fundamentalist Islamic nation in the Middle East. Now the government/media complex is searching for a new reason to be in Iraq: terrorism with a twist. Ambrose Bierce would be proud.

We are hearing increasing media attention to “terrorist” actions against US troops. It appears to be a last ditch effort by the usual suspects in the DC/NYC Axis to scare the American people into supporting a conflict they are quickly growing disillusioned with. Follow the yellow brick road of the neoconservative mind: Our troops may be in the wrong place at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons, but we will keep them there because they are getting killed and injured. Our troops in Kosovo hunkered down in base camps rarely venturing outside the wire for fear of harm; in essence, staying hermetically sealed to protect themselves e.g., force protection. The fearful and timid desk warriors in the Pentagon have made force protection the end-state of every occupation we engage in. So we embark on sexy imperialist adventures with young men as bait, plenty are maimed and some get killed, and we remain in spite of this in order for politicians to prove their bravado at others’ expense; a subtle variation on Bastiat’s famous axiom. I am not making this up. We’re now replicating that failure in Iraq. Let’s examine the United Nations definition of terrorism from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime:

“In order to cut through the Gordian definitional knot, terrorism expert A. Schmid suggested in 1992 in a report for the then UN Crime Branch that it might be a good idea to take the existing consensus on what constitutes a “war crime” as a point of departure. If the core of war crimes – deliberate attacks on civilians, hostage taking and the killing of prisoners – is extended to peacetime, we could simply define acts of terrorism as “peacetime equivalents of war crimes.”

I’m amused by the idea of a UN Crime Branch since I thought that was the entire purpose of the United Nations: making the world safe for larger and more lethal statist enterprises. Readers of LRC are well aware of the elasticity of war crimes since the bank-rollers of the Criminal Tribunal in The Hague appear to have a structural immunity to any of these charges for US/NATO actions. Note the overarching inference to noncombatant victims and the distinction of states of war and peace. The numerous incidents since our “victory” was consolidated in Iraq on 1 May 2003 of US troops “accidentally ” maiming or killing civilians remains perfectly excusable but when Iraqi resistance and guerrilla actions kill US occupying troops, it is “terrorism.” Mind you, the Zionist guerrilla actions against sleeping British military garrisons in Palestine by Hagunah and Irgun during the struggle to establish a Jewish state in the aftermath of WWII can yield a fuzzy application of the terrorist definition. I’m certain that if American forces received intelligence on a guerrilla base or movement and conducted a raid or ambush it would not be labeled a terrorist action. The anti-terrorism industry for the longest time made a distinction about politically motivated violence against noncombatants as the prime directive of terrorist behavior. Now we see the trial balloon floated by the neoconservative brain trust to see if the US military can cry foul when they’re fired upon. Can this definition now be expanded to mean that any resistance or response to American combat action will be unfair and terroristic? This is not as outrageous as it appears to the new warriors in the Pentagon and may be a direct result of the new feminized, antiseptic, and technocratic paradigm that is permeating the US armed forces from the top. The “old school” muddy boots warriors are now anachronisms.

The dirty little secret that is a universal trait among all these conflicts throughout millennia is that resistance to uninvited invaders by disparate and spontaneous groups or individuals will flourish as long as foreign troops and the apparatchiks they protect remain in-country. Just revisit Roman troubles in England and British difficulties in India and Afghanistan. I suspect there may be pockets of influence by Saddam loyalists, al-Qaeda operatives or vacationing mujahidin but the lion’s share of resistance which is stiffening and expanding in Iraq is just plain-vanilla Iraqi men who have had their fill of being fodder for yet another experiment in “Statists-R-Us” (patent pending by the USA). I would suggest another distinct possibility: during our incessant bombing in the pregame festivities to the ground invasion, how many women and children were maimed or killed and their men left alive? If there was even one and I suspect there were many more, these men would certainly have the motive, opportunity and intent to harm the occupying forces in any way possible once the foreign invaders made landfall.

Bush the Younger and his coterie of chicken-hawks are reaching a point of no return in Iraq. All the administration pretenses and lies are falling like a house of cards. If they choose to remain, they must convince the American people that the bloodshed is nothing more than a continuation of the War on Terror and Iraq is a stepping stone to finally eliminate the threat altogether. If they choose to cut and run, it will be the greatest recruiting tool Muslim Murder, Incorporated will need. Al-Qaeda and every other terrorist faction will be emboldened like never before. (Memo to the world: If you are a nation-state and you don’t have WMD, get them yesterday. The Stalinist hive-state of North Korea is a shining example.) They will choose the former until the flow of maimed and killed US soldiers forces the latter. All the usual suspects in the media will simply follow the latest Orwellian twist to the English language and we will continue to rush blindly into the future dustbin of fallen imperial powers. After all, if we’re not an empire, why didn’t we hand Iraq to the Iraqis on May 2nd, 2003?

Worse Than Zero: The American Tax Burden Exceeds One Hundred Percent By Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: Just a note that I quote Reagan for one of his few sober thoughts on economics because while he talked a good game, he was no more fiscally conservative than any of the Presidents following Eisenhower and succeeding him in office in 1989. I will give Reagan his due for reducing income tax rates from a high of 70% to 28% but no closer to zero than my comfort zone for taxation. Eisenhower managed to reduce government spending per GDP by two percentage points, not Reagan who spent absurd amounts of other people’s money and popularized deficit spending for the voter mobs. I highly recommend The Great Deformation by former Reagan advisor David Stockman for a fairly thorough analysis of the fiat currency and bankster chaos that has consumed the American economy for the better part of a century. I don’t agree with all of Stockman’s conclusions and his continuing faith in the “right” regulatory regime is quaint but illusory in application. -BB

“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”
― Ronald Reagan

Taxation is theft and the acquisition of other people’s resources with a velvet glove backed by a mailed fist. It is simply one of the many ways in which the state brutalizes and impoverishes its tax cattle on a daily basis. Despite the government-media complex insistence that the tax rate in America is tolerable if not fair, anything above zero is morally wrong if the robbed don’t agree implicitly and consensually to the mugging for whatever fantastic services the state proclaims it provides.

The French aren’t the only ones to achieve a 100 percent tax rate, they’re just more blunt about it.

So I want to destroy a myth, I want to show you through sheer numbers and data that the state in America has a tax rate that exceeds 100% to which the normal American having had a proper government education will insist that is impossible.

I’d like to excise some of the population that is obviously at this point. Now the tax rate for incarcerated Americans is exactly 100% since their lives have been stolen in total. The tax rate on certain targeted marijuana businesses in the US under IRS code 280E are taxed in excess of 80% (some approaching 100%).

“I believe that the feds extend the drug war through 280E,” said Cornelius. “If (the federal government) can’t put them out of business legally when voters are mandating these businesses to move forward, it’s very easy to put them out of business financially. A lot of times, instead of paying a tax rate that should be 30 to 40 [percent], they are paying rates between 80 or 90 percent. I even have a client right now that is paying more than 100 [percent] effective tax rate.”

Apart from the sheer moral hazard and absolute immorality of the aforementioned cases, I would suggest that all Americans pay an effective tax rate that exceeds 100% even though that beggar’s belief and rational thought but we are talking about the government.

Direct taxation in America on the Helots residing within and without the US and its territories is enormous and takes on many tangential impacts. “The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad.”

An ordinary US subject will pay Federal, state (43) and/or city income taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, sin taxes, sales taxes, Socialist Security, Medicare, unemployment and corporate income taxes. I have given a brief overview of most progressive taxes and there are regressive taxes like the gasoline tax that the Feds are gnashing their fangs over since prices have gone down and they were foolish enough to assign a percentage of price instead of flat fixed levy.

Then there are the death taxes to pay a gratuity to the state(s) per the required death levy once the owner has assumed room temperature and you are taxed once again on monies that have already had taxes stolen from the whole. This tax is 18-40% on previously taxed assets.

Of course, there are the beloved sales taxes. “As of January 1st, 2014, 5 states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) do not levy a sales tax, while California has the highest state tax rate at 7.5%.” Now, the New York City local sales and use tax rate is 4.5 percent. City and state sales tax combined is 8.875 percent, so your mileage may vary. The five states with the highest average combined state-local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.19 percent), Louisiana (8.89 percent), Washington (8.88 percent), and Oklahoma (8.72 percent). These do not include the additional imposts added on by municipal and county predators, which make the total approach 10%.

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Shop Class as Soulcraft: A Review by Bill Buppert

 I previously highlighted the importance of a survival library and plenty of readers chimed in on the need for real hands-on experience and training as a necessity to having the knowledge to set the flame to the candle as it were. Matthew Crawford gave us a glimpse of the importance of that. -BB

It seems that during every shift in the fundamentals of industry, there has been an intrinsic reaction on the part of man to protect the older forms of production as a means to alleviate the perceived threat of the looming change. One example would be the original saboteurs, who were so named by throwing their wooden clogs, or sabots, into the gears of automated looms. Another example would be the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sought to provide the newly minted white-collar industrial manager with a weekend outlet via the manual arts.

There is a familiar sneer and condescending attitude of white-collar workers on blue-collar “hands-on” professions that don’t demand formal engineering credentials. The office and knowledge workers have the mistaken impression that no problem solving nor cognition are necessary to achieve these “dirty-hands” task yet these very men are the ones who will not only survive and persevere but may possess the heterodox knowledge necessary to muscle through difficult times whether mundane or apocalyptic.

Much like thrift stores are capitalism’s savvy answer to rational recycling, blue-collar workers may be the ultimate conservationists and environmentalists in a way no current envirus can even envision in their beggared imaginations freighted with collectivist fantasies of government supremacism.

The latest entry into this tradition is Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work.  Crawford’s work is a serious philosophic examination of the value of the manual trades, specifically those who build and repair material things. Crawford has serious credibility both as an academic, with a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and as a mechanic since he owns and operates Reclaimed Vehicle Fabrication Laboratory in Richmond, Virginia. Crawford’s theses is that as the American economy rapidly shifted from manufacturing to nebulous “knowledge work”, we began a sort of cultural schizophrenia, where consumption and the management consultant’s definition of “creativity” replaced skill with tools and a certain level of mechanical competence and experiential knowledge about how things worked.

He is publishing a new book this year called The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction available on 1 April 2015.

Crawford’s work first appeared in an essay in The New Atlantis Magazine. Since Mr. Crawford can summarize his points better than I could, here is a brief excerpt:

“A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of inhabiting the world: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part.

So perhaps the time is ripe for reconsideration of an ideal that has fallen out of favor: manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world. Neither as workers nor as consumers are we much called upon to exercise such competence, most of us anyway, and merely to recommend its cultivation is to risk the scorn of those who take themselves to be the most hard-headed: the hard-headed economist will point out the opportunity costs of making what can be bought, and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past. But we might pause to consider just how hard-headed these presumptions are, and whether they don’t, on the contrary, issue from a peculiar sort of idealism, one that insistently steers young people toward the most ghostly kinds of work.”

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Rekindling the Flame After the Collapse by Bill Buppert

I am an incurable bibliophile who has a substantial library holding. I even had a library annex in my former house at the Circle A Ranch.  Once we acquire new digs here in Arizona I will be making a more portable solution by building an outbuilding with floor to ceiling bookshelves that is air-conditioned. The coming Endarkenment is surely a signal to start accumulating a non-electronic portfolio of texts and tomes that sustain you and yours in the approaching of Ragnarok. 

As a nod to my acceptance of the electronic publishing revolution in book availability (my own book is Kindle only on Amazon), I have a rather large portable library that goes everywhere with me on my wonderful Kindle DX; I have entertained getting a new Kindle Paperwhite and loading it with survival and self-sufficiency tomes and tucking it into a Maxpedition admin pouch with a solar battery charger.

Nonetheless in a grid-up or grid-down scenario, this may be useful but will be a worthless paperweight in an EMP event.

I started this journey in my techno-hippie days with the Whole Earth Catalog. That project still resonates with me. I wish some ambitious entrepreneur would revise and update that project. I also wish the entire CoEvolution Quarterly/ Whole Earth Review were available on digits.

Jerry Pournelle wrote Lucifer’s Hammer in 1984 and many significant books have been published since then that may be added to the list. I welcome reader’s comments and suggestions for additions to the list.

I would add the revised 54 volume Great Books of the Western World, not the horrific 60 volume successor, the Harvard Five Shelf of Books and the innumerable military manuals that have become available digitally over the last decade like the Engineering Data books, Ranger Handbooks and FM 7-8 (Light Infantry Platoon and Squad). The first two sets can found dirt-cheap on the used market.

Some other resources can found in this post at the Long Now Foundation.

One of my readers has alerted me to the utter uselessness of post 1940s Merck manuals that are simply drug dispensation instructions. If you are trying to complete this “bucket list”, be cautious what you purchase. More to follow on a proper medical library for FREEFOR.

The list is long and encyclopedic but it speaks to the innumerable invisible infrastructures that make our lives rather effortless…for now. It literally echoes in eternity -BB

Bucket # 1

Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers, Frederick S. Merritt, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill 1976

Tubular Steel Structures: Theory & Design, M.S. Troitsky, Arc Welding Foundation, 1982

Design of Welded Structures, O.W. Blodgett, Arc Welding Foundation, 1966

The Engineer’s Handbook Illustrated, Arthur Liebers, Key Publishing, NY, 1968

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual, EPA, 2002

Smoley’s Parallel Tables of Logarithms & Squares for Engineers, Architects and Students, C.P. Smoley, 1965

Bucket # 2

Gear Cutting Practice: Methods of Producing Gears for Commercial Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Punches and Dies: Layout, Construction and Use Including Wartime Data Supplement, Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Turning and Boring Practice, Modern Machine Tools and Methods Used in Representative Plants, Fred Colvin & Frank Stanley, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Jigs and Fixtures, Fred Colvin & Lucius Haas, McGraw-Hill, 1943

Steam Power Plants, Philip J. Potter, Ronald Press, 1949

The Home Mechanic’s Handbook: Encyclopedia of Tools, Materials, Methods and Directions, Various Authors, D. Van Nostrand, 1945

Strength of Materials, Alfred Pourman, McGraw-Hill, 1937

Home Plumber’s Bible, Ramesh Singhai, McGraw-Hill, 1978

Electric Motor Repair, Robert Rosenberg, 1946

Interior Electric Wiring and Estimating, Albert Uhl, Arthur Nelson and Carl Dunlap, American Technical Society, 1947

Electrical Wiring: Residential, William J. Whitney, Wiley and Sons, 1979

Practical Electrical Wiring: Residential, Farm and Industrial, H.P. Richter, McGraw-Hill, 1947

Bucket # 3

The Backyard Builder, Edited by John Warde, Rodale, 1985

Residential Carpentry, Mortimer P. Reed, Wiley & Sons, 1980

Essential of Drafting, James D. Bethune, Prentice Hall, 1977

The Homeowner’s Book of Plumbing and Repair, K.W. Sessions, Wiley & Sons, 1978

Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery, Mildred Graves Ryan, Doubleday, 1979

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (3 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 4

The Timber Framing Book, Elliott and Wallas, Housesmith, 1977

Book of Bikes and Bicycling, Dick Teresi, Popular Mechanics, 1975

Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, 1976

Readers Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills, 1981

Readers Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, 1973

Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver, 1992

Earl Proux’s Yankee Home Hints, Yankee Books, 1993

Yankee Magazine’s Make It Last by Earl Proux, Yankee Books, 1996

Whittlin’, Whistles and Thingamajigs, Harlan G. Metcalfe, Castle, 1974

Bucket # 5

Basic Construction Techniques for Houses and Small Buildings Simply Explained, United States Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Dover Press, 1972

Tools and How To Use Them, Jackson and Day, Wings Books, 1992

The Homestead Builder, CP Dwyer, Lyons Press, 1872/1998

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Millwork, Power Tools and Painting, John E. Ball, Audells, 1976

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library: Tools, Steel Square, and Joinery, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

Carpenter’s and Builder’s Library:Builder’s Math, Plans and Specifications, John E. Ball, Audells, 1978

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (10 volumes of 22 total)

Bucket # 6

The Practical Handyman’s Encyclopedia (9 volumes of 22 total)

Architectural Drawings and Light Construction, Second Edition, Edward J. Muller, Prentice Hall, 1976

Freshwater Fishes, Lawrence Page and Brooks Burr, Peterson, 1991

Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs, George Petrides, Peterson, 1972

Bucket # 7

Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, Charles F. Chapman, Hearst Press, 1966

McClane’s Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide, Editied by A.J. McClane, Holt-Rinehart, 1965

The Complete Book of Canoeing and Kayaking, Paul Fillingham, Drake, 1976

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, John Rousmaniere, Simon & Shuster, 1989

Heat Engines: Steam, Gas, Steam Turbines and their Auxiliaries, J.R. Allen and J.A. Bursley, McGraw-Hill, 1910.

Architectural Graphic Standards, G.G. Ramsey and H.R. Sleeper, Wiley & Sons, 1962

The Metal Trades Handbook, R.G. Garby and B.J. Ashton, Jasper, 1985

Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians, J.L. Behler and F.W. King, Knopf, 1979

Bucket # 8

The Way Things Work, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Technology, Volume One, Simon & Schuster, 1967

The Way Things Work, Volume Two, Simon & Schuster, 1971

The New Way Things Work, David Macaulay, Houghton-Mifflin, 1998.

Logan’s Medical and Scientific Abbreviations, Carolynn Logan & M. Katherine Price, Lippincott, 1987

Complete Book of Athletic Taping Techniques, J.V. Cerney, Parker, 1972

Basic Carpentry, John Capotosto, Reston, 1975

The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding, 12th Edition, Lincoln Electric Company, 1973

The Encyclopedia of Common Diseases, Prevention Magazine, 1976

What Herbs are all About: A Basic Primer Outlining the Practical Uses of Medicinal Plants, J.J. Challem & Renate Levin-Challem, Keats, 1980

Bucket # 9

English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, Biscuit Books, 1977

The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Editors of Prevention Magazine, Rodale, 1990

Gardening for Food and Fun, USDA Yearbook, 1977

Grass, USDA Yearbook, 1948

Crockett’s Victory Garden, James Crockett, Little-Brown, 1977

Complete Guide to Sewing, Reader’s Digest, 1976

Advanced Home Gardening, Miranda Smith, Creative Homeowner Press, no date

Pastures for the South, George H. King, Creative, 1954

Fruits for the Home Garden, Ken & Pat Kraft, Morrow, 1968

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1974

The Best Gardening Ideas I Know, Robert Rodale, Rodale Press, 1978

Bucket # 10

The Wise Garden Encyclopedia: A Practical and Convenient Guide to Every Detail of Gardening Written for All Climates, Soils, Seasons and Methods, Ed. by E.L.D. Seymour, Grossett & Dunlap, 1970

Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens, Mary Mason Campbell, Scribners, 1971

Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, D.C. Jarvis, M.D., Henry Holt, 1958

10,000 Garden Questions, Volume One, Ed. by F.F. Rockwell, Doubleday, 1959

How to Treat Yourself with Chinese Herbs, Dr. Hong-Yen Hsu, Keats, 1980

Ferns of Alabama by Blanche E. Dean, Southern University Press, 1969

Today’s Herbal Health, Louise Tenney, Woodland, 1983

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Organic Gardening Magazine, Rodale Press, 1978

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control, Ed. by B.W. Ellis & F.M. Bradley, Rodale, 1992

An American Herbal: Using Plants for Healing, Nelson Coon, Rodale, 1979

Stalking the Good Life, Euell Gibbons, McKay, 1971

Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, E. Mindell, Fireside, 1992

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Generations of War in the New Century by Bill Buppert

 

“The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: He has to drag out the war in order to win it, and does not possess, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long, drawn-out war.”

– Robert Taber, The War of the Flea

The DoD and the Army have now inaugurated yet another iteration of the constant doctrinal battle to balance irregular warfare and conventional warfare. Since the beginning, the US armed forces have struggled to deliver on a force concept that could do either or both well. As William Lind has pointed out eloquently, the US and western powers have enunciated the generations of warfare, but failed to deliver on advancing through the sequence or even gleaning the wisdom they hold.

There are four generally accepted generations of warfare, and the succeeding generations that provide grist for the mill among the defense intellectuals and military-industrial illiterarti who constantly tilt at the next big thing. For the purposes of this introduction, we will stick to the four generations commonly accepted.

First Generation Warfare began at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 where a convention of European armies and heads of state decided a civilizing residual of warfare should formally prohibit the engagement of non-combatants in warfare throughout the continent. This, of course, did not obtain in the planetary battlefields these European powers would fight on in pursuit of broader imperial colonial portfolios for their respective empires. The implication was to conventionally engage armies force on force with limitations and prohibitions on the destruction of civilian persons and property where possible. The armies of Lincoln would abandon this concept wholesale in 1863, and the two hundred years preceding would be filled with identifiable ignorance or willful neglect of the concept.

Second Generation Warfare would see the paradigm of fixed attrition conflicts come to the fore, with the mightiest stalemates occurring on the European continent during WWI, but with hints of the mode of conflict evident during the American Civil War in the first three years of the conflict.

Third Generation Warfare would see the maneuver conflict in both the direct and indirect application start to appear with greater frequency, starting with the nineteenth century. The German combined arms blitzkrieg concept borrowed heavily from a variety of previous influences. The German General Staff even studied the cavalry maneuver practices of Jeb Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest in the American Civil War to operationalize speedy applications of the direct and indirect approach. The direct approach would usually entail the probing of weaknesses on a broad front and capitalizing on these for thrusts through the unitary body of an enemy. Liddell-Hart’s indirect approach would leverage flank and rear attacks in rapid exploitation. Erwin Rommel would go on to use both to devastating effect in the early African campaigns of the Wehrmacht in WWII or, more accurately, the War to Save Josef Stalin..

This is not to say that these Third Generation events did not take place in ancient times. One can suppose that all amphibious operations, whether successful or not, are by nature Third Generation.

The twentieth century saw force multipliers in two aspects for maneuver warfare that former commanders of the ages did not have to the degree the world beheld in this last century. Man portable communications, training and rehearsal for the combination of various military disciplines into a cohesive and adaptive whole, revolutionized the operational and strategic aspects of war in the second half of the twentieth century. The Germans showed hints of this in 1918 but operationalized maneuver doctrine at the theater level to an extent no Allied forces matched until 1944.

Fourth Generation Warfare, for the purposes of this discussion, has two primary elements that may or may not attend each other. This is the irregular fight on the other side of the conventional spectrum, and the role of the non-state actor in warfare.

This last is the fight that has occupied the Western military mind for the past quarter century and caused the extraordinary investment in experiments in unconventional conflict and counterinsurgency. All of which have failed as the US and the West expended trillions of dollars in the SW Asian theater in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya, without quite Grokking the importance of indigenous rebellion and how it becomes a perpetual motion machine for maintain seditious momentum, the critical importance of the mass base as a fulcrum, and the unsurprising lack of adaptation on the part of the West when faced with multiple fronts of threats and enemies who seem to subside and resist in a continual wave that confounds the best minds in the American military.

Robert Taber explains this brillaintly from the vantage point of 1965. Not much has changed:

“Whether the primary cause of revolution is nationalism, or social justice, or the anticipation of material progress, the decision to fight and to sacrifice is a social and a moral decision. Insurgency is thus a matter not of manipulation but of inspiration.
 
I am aware that such conclusions are not compatible with the pictures of guerrilla operations and guerrilla motivations drawn by the counterinsurgency theorists who are so much in vogue today. But the counterinsurgency experts have yet to win a war. At this writing, they are certainly losing one.
 
Their picture is distorted because their premises are false and their observation faulty. They assume–perhaps their commitments require them to assume–that politics is mainly a manipulative science and insurgency mainly a politico-military technique to be countered by some other technique; whereas both are forms of social behavior, the latter being the mode of popular resistance to unpopular governments.”

These are the generations in a nutshell, and library shelves of neglected and unread articles and weighty tomes on these subjects have (had) shelves groaning under the weight or in more modern times, tens of millions of digits in the blogosphere devoted to it.
Part of this miasma is the strategic deficit disorder that has stymied American and Western supremacy since the collapse of the bipolar world meme in 1991. This, of course, is shifting again as an eerily familiar bloc of antagonist nations is forming around a renewed Sino-Russian rapprochement and other countries uneasy with the military bullying and blustering of the American state. COL John Boyd, the discoverer of the OODA Loop and one of the most brilliant minds in Western strategic thought, distilled strategy down to two distinct arenas from whence everything else portends: alliance and isolation. The US, and to a lesser extent NATO nations, has used a keen technological edge as a substitute for martial mindfulness and elegance of craft in both conventional and irregular encounters.
Though most suffer from institutional amnesia and historical bureaucratic inertia, some defense observers are calling the ball and proclaiming that the resistance forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq have achieved a strategic stalemate if not victory over the latest Western military interloper. And the response from the more benighted intellectuals is a call for a return to American conventional savvy in the scheme of arms.

What has been called AirLand Battle and then Full Spectrum Operations has become Unified Land Operations (ULO) to better prepare the American forces that have allegedly been mired in unconventional operations for so long they have lost their conventional edge. From a Third Generation perspective, this is true. Both Bill Lind and I agree that excepting naval operations in WWII, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, no maneuver concept at the strategic level occurred despite protestation to the contrary. During the entirety of the conflict in WWII, four-fifths of all German Order of Battle was oriented against the main enemy in the East, the USSR.

The American armed forces have been a Second Generation conceptual war machine since the American Civil War, and not much has changed. I was raised on the FM 7-8 Infantry Squad and Platoon, which was replaced by an even bigger manual in the 21st century. A casual observer of the fight in the Middle East in this century by American arms would suggest that the printing presses should stop publishing such nonsense and simply issue a laminated 3×5 card to every infantryman that reads simply Call for Fire.

There is very little grasp or leveraging of light infantry maneuver and the application of the indirect approach except for the ubiquitous applications of thousands of rounds of munitions to eliminate one human threat. The Taliban and the Haqqani Network and hundreds of resistance organizations scattered throughout Afghanistan have thrived and multiplied under the debt carpet-bombing of trillions by the Western military industrial complex to crush a rebellion that is still alive and well. Exhibit A is the evaporation of the very expensive post Hussein Iraqi army at the hands of the road-borne light infantry threat of the IS or ISIL. In itself, an unexpected send order effect of arming and training guerrillas to harry the Syrian dictator. A dozen years and trillions of dollars in American mentorship, and the vaunted Iraqi army folds under the slightest pressure as it is hollowed out by irregular Fourth Generation forces.

As an aside, it would be wrong to assume that these generations of conflict have a sequence of evolution. Can different generations be contemporaneous or occur independent of one another? Of course they can. The historical examples abound. One can surmise that Napoleon was not defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1814 in a Second Generation fight without considering the importance of the French and Spanish harrying and raids on Napoleon’s lines of communication throughout the conflict, which significantly weakened what Napoleon could bring to bear in the end at Waterloo. This was most certainly the confluence of Second and Fourth Generation methods that led to wholly unexpected consequences. One can look at the littoral conflict at Bletchley Park trying to break the German Enigma code celebrated in the recent movie on Turing, The Imitation Game.

American arms and the military machine emanating out of DC have a curious reputation. Vaunted as the most powerful and technologically sophisticated military on Earth, yet consistently bested by irregular forces in all but the instance of the brief and strategically limited Gulf War in 1991. Yet even that war was simply a harbinger, like WWI of WWII, of worse things to come.

This provides a framework for the intellectual deep dive in future essays on the implications of Fourth Generation Warfare.

Think American arms are the historical equivalent of the Terminator? Think again.

“Yet the hokum of enlightened counterinsurgency generals who turn failed wars around by making their armies fight them better simply won’t go away.  The hokum helps to prolong the fantasy that American wars in foreign lands can always be made to work as long as the “professors of war” at the graduate level are put in charge.  Sadly this is a recipe for perpetual conflict.”

– COL Gian Gentile, author of Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency.