90% of America Dead After One Year

I read OSA in December of last year and it left quite an impression on me.  I considered myself well-versed in the potential of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) but had not thought though the implications for the new America.  An America in which the work ethic has perished and people have no idea where their food comes from.  I would suggest you pick this book up and read it.  It is a rather fast read and entertaining. Again, get your preps in order because there is nothing in the future of America that portends a land of milk and honey. -BB

Letter Re: “One Second After” — A Book Review with Some Advice

I have been reading the novel One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I just finished it. Whew, what a heavy book. I decided to write it up as a “lessons learned” book review. A couple of you may be wondering why I sent this to you. Well, I just thought of you and know you to be like-minded … I think. That is, concerned about what the future holds for us as a nation, as crazy and uncertain as things are getting in the world. I’ve been following the elctromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat for a couple of years now and regrettably, just now made myself purchase my own copy of this novel and read it.

My initial reaction, to get to the point, is that it is my hope is that each of you will buy a copy of this novel for your own personal libraries. It should go on the “Mandatory Reading” list, right next to “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” , by James Rawles.

EMP is a very real threat, as is the threat of a major economic collapse, as addressed in Rawles’ novel, “Patriots”.

Since I expect most all of you will acquire your own copy, I’ll spare the commentary of the characters’ specific experiences, and get to what I gleaned as “lessons learned.” I’d love to hear feedback from each of you and know your thoughts.

This is an insightful, well-thought-out and researched novel. Dr. Forstchen is extremely knowledgeable and is a respected subject-matter expert on the topic of EMP and has a web site dedicated to his research.

Also, consider checking out this video. There are lots of videos of interviews with Dr. Forstchen

Also, separate from the book and author, this piece on future weapons.

In my opinion, this author has a keen sense of human behavior, especially in stressful and traumatic situations; an acute sense of the sociological implications of an event such as an EMP attack. I think that he is extremely accurate in his assessment of what our culture could be reduced to in the event of this type of catastrophic event. The novel gives one a lot of food for thought regarding steps that could be taken to lessen the blow of such an event … at least, on a personal/family level.

Lesson 1: Never, ever, ever, if you have any choice at all become a refugee. Do everything within your power not to let your family become refugees. Remember the television series, Jericho? But we’ve seen it real world, in Sudan, Haiti, Chile, Mexico, Hurricane Katrina, and as far back as WWII, through Korea, Vietnam, and on and on. If you think you’ve got it bad in your hometown or neighborhood, you should count yourself lucky to have one (home or neighborhood).

Lesson 2: Have enough supplies stored up to last you and your family one year. That means food, water treatment capability, first-aid/medical supplies, toilet paper, .22 ammo, etc. Do not depend upon wild game (deer, elk, grouse, squirrel, etc.) in your survival plan. In a serious situation, such as described in this novel, 30,000 other people are going to have the same secret idea, and there will be no wild game to be had, and in short order.

Lesson 3: Be able to produce your own food when your food stores run out. Seeds, saws and knives for dressing game, chickens, rabbits, etc. The supplies are there to last until you can start producing your own. Be able to preserve it, as well. Learn about canning and preserving and stock up on the supplies.

Lesson 4: Security: Be able to defend your family if you have to. The ol’ lever action .30-30 is great for knocking down a deer. But have something serious on hand. Perhaps one of those kinds of firearms that make the uninitiated ask, “why would a civilian ever have a use for something like that?” Because when you do need something like that, there is no substitute. And then pray you never have use for it.

Lesson 5: Security 2: If you think you can make it on your own in a TEOTWAWKI situation, you and your family will die. That simple. The exception is some family living remotely in a valley in Alaska somewhere. Otherwise, better start figuring out now who you might want to band together with … friends, family, etc.

Lesson 6: Keep a survival kit in your vehicle. If for some reason you have to abandon your vehicle to get home, have the supplies to get there fast. Don’t forget loose, non-descript clothing and comfortable shoes. Food, water, shelter, tools, and a weapon of some sort. You can go to YouTube and look up keywords such as G.O.O.D. Bag, Bugout Kit, Urban Survival Kit, etc.

Lesson 7: As with many natural disasters in the past, and a worst-case scenario such as an EMP attack, computer banking systems go down and cash transactions will be the only transactions. Have cash on you at all times. At least $100 in small bills. ($1′s, $5′s, $10′s, and a $20 bill or two.) Never bring it all out at once. Make it appear that it’s the last of your money. If you know something bad went down, and you are safely able to, make a B-line for the store and stock up on perishable items that you couldn’t stock up on much, such as cooking oil, brown sugar, batteries, gasoline, medications, etc. Make a list of “grab from the store” items now. Purchase those items in the first minutes or hours while everyone else is still dumbfounded and trying to figure out what just happened.

Lesson 8: Try to protect electronic equipment now. Even if you purchase a couple of FRS radios just to stash away. A short-wave radio, a ham radio transceiver, or a scanner, etc. There is a ton of information out there about EMP hardening, such as Faraday cages to protect electronics from EMP. Those with communications will have huge advantages over those who do not. Do you have an old ([early] 1970s or earlier) car, motorcycle, mo-ped, etc. that does not have electronics built into it? Hang on to it, or get it running and stash it away. Mobility would be a valuable resource.

Lesson 9: Have a safe place to go to. If you have family or friends with property, or know someone who lives a self-reliant lifestyle, develop that relationship and learn from them. More importantly, it would be better if they would allow you to come there and use it as a sanctuary location if things got that bad. But be prepared to take care of yourself and them as well. In other words, bring something of value to the table. Don’t be a leech. The best bet is to have a huge store of supplies already there, just in case. Rawles’ novel “Patriots”, covers that in great detail.

Lesson 10: Learn! We all agree that things are getting volatile; in the world, in our country, economically, strategically, politically, socially. Get rid of distractions, such as television, sports, entertainment, and self-indulgence. At least for a season, prepare to be self-sufficient. Then, go back to all your “fun” stuff. Learn how to take care of yourself and your family if (when) things get worse.

See the rest and visit Jim Rawles’ blog often:

http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/05/letter_re_one_second_after_–.html

To Reduce Them Under Absolute Despotism by L. Neil Smith

Neil is one of my favorite writers.  If you have not read “The Probability Broach” or “Pallas”, you are in for a treat.  He penned this essay and I found it quite appropriate for the times we live in.  You need to clear your head of all the fantasies you digest on a daily basis from the government media complex and the usual suspects around and realize that ALL politicians and their Vichy collaborators in every walk of life are waging a war on your liberty and freedom. Everyday. Certain people will heroically say these are the last days and we need to elect new critters to go to Congress and clean house.  They are delusional because the same system we have today was designed to behave in this fashion since its creation in 1787.  We have exactly the Constitutional republic we deserve because the whole bloody enterprise was designed to do this from the start. -BB

The smirky caller asked, “You really believe Barack Obama is a socialist?” He went on to assert that the President is pro-business, a capitalist.

The show’s host—amazingly, one of talk radio’s Big Three—stuttered and stammered inarticulately, never really answering the caller’s question, until he was finally rescued by the next commercial break. The fact is, even if he’d known exactly what socialism is, and how to spot it in the people all around you, he wouldn’t have dared to say so, because Republicans, conservatives, have a dirty little secret.

Just like Barack Obama, they are socialists, too.

I don’t know whether anybody tries, these days, to teach school kids about such things. I was in grade school at the beginning of the Cold War, and I was the son of an officer in Strategic Air Command. Herbert Philbrick (look him up) was very big back then, as was a little book called What We Must Know About Communism, by Harry A. Overstreet and Bonaro Wilkins Overstreet. You can still find it at Amazon.com.

Despite several years spent reading extensively about communism, for school and on my own, and studying the lives and works of self- described socialists like H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, I remained as ignorant as that radio talk show host, and for a very good reason: not one of the “experts” I was reading had any clearer an idea what socialism is than I had. Most of them still don’t, to this very day.

Once you get past all the mystical gobbledegook of the Hegelian Dialectic—inserted as a smokescreen, to elevate common thievery, rape, and murder to a level of nobility—what you saw then, what you still see even now, is a boring and inaccurate economic definition, of socialism, all about who gets to own and control “the means of production”.

Economics is, at best, a secondary or tertiary concern to folks who think about such matters. It is necessarily a product, in the proper order of things, of a whole lot of thinking that has to come before it. You must begin with metaphysics—which tries to answer the question, “What is the nature of reality?”—or better yet, you can start with epistemology, which asks us, “How do I know what I know?”

Between epistemology and economics, there’s ethics, which asks the question, “What is the good?” or, more pertinently, “What should I do?” The order in which you approach this is critical. If you try to base your ethics on your economics, you’ll end up organizing Death Panels.

It is the ethical definition of socialism that’s critical here—and dangerous to conservatives. Socialists believe that the needs and wants of society are more important than the rights of the individual. (Individualists will argue that there is no such thing as “society” in an ethical sense, since it consists of nothing more than individuals.)

“Society” can also be defined as “the group” or “the collective”, manifesting itself in various different ways, as your community, your race, your school, your fraternity, your military unit or the military in general, your corporation, your union, your party, your government, your nation, your family, your lodge, or your church, each claiming to be, in some sense, larger than the individual and for that reason more important.

To socialists, who are inclined to perceive other people as bees or ants, eternally and unquestioningly loyal to hive or hill, size matters. And yet when you examine all of these august entities closely, and observe that they are comprised of nothing more than the individuals who make them up, such a point of view becomes absurd and pathetic.

A word about family. Of all the groups that sometimes claim to own your life, family is the hardest to defend your individual sovereignty from. For the most part, we love our families. Although there are occasional exceptions, not everyone experienced a terrible childhood or suffered nightmarish parents, the way it’s often portrayed on television.

Our first job in life is to grow up, achieve autonomy, make our own decisions without regard to whether our parents may approve or not. If we have the right parents, they’ll want us to do exactly that. At the other end, as parents, we owe it to our kids to help them along the same path to independence, even if it’s sometimes difficult or painful.

As a husband and father, what I do with my life remains my choice. While I would willingly give my life to protect my wife and daughter, this doesn’t mean that they own me or that they have more rights—as a group—than I do. It simply reflects their inexpressibly high value to me. Among billions of husbands and fathers, I am obviously far from alone in this outlook. And in the natural world, where the operating system is evolution by natural selection, it makes good sense.

Individual family members share with one another freely, without regard to the ability of any one of them to pull his own weight. (For a surprisingly long period after she was born, my daughter was unable to deliver newspapers.) That’s just the way it is, and the way it has to be. I believe it was Ludwig von Mises who pointed out that socialism is a misguided attempt to apply what happens in the family to society at large, an attempt that usually ends in privation and violence.

But I have digressed.

Go back and look over that list of things that you’re expected to give your loyalty to and even sacrifice your life for. Over the centuries, they’ve learned to make it all sound wonderful and noble. However when you begin to see these institutions as nothing more than bunches of individuals, each with no more rights in the natural world than you have (and no extra, or bonus rights miraculously obtained by claiming to be something other than what they are, nothing more than a bunch of individuals), they start to look like tribes of cannibals or vampires, eagerly anticipating the tasty sacrifice of another deluded victim.

And when you suddenly notice that, of all these institutions—community, race, school, fraternity, military, corporation, union, party, government, nation, family, lodge, church—more than half are treasured by conservatives, their dirty little secret is exposed by the hot, bright light of the truth: your rights, provided they exist at all, come in a distant second to the needs and wants of these aggregations.

Conservatives—Republicans—are socialists.

True, they may desire to hold you down atop the stone altar and cut your still-beating heart out with an obsidian knife for a set of entirely different reasons—national security, Judaeo-Christian traditions, “common” decency—than the liberals or “progressives” or Democrats do, but to you, the important part is cutting your heart out with an obsidian knife, not whatever excuse they may offer for doing it.

This is why, no matter which political party happens to be in power, ordinary people—whose thinking and hard work maintain this civilization each and every day—never seem to get an even break with regard to their individual liberty or holding onto the fruits of their labor. It’s why the late philosopher Robert LeFevre referred to Democrats and Republicans as “Socialist Party A” and “Socialist Party B”.

Never forget that it was a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, who freed not a single, solitary slave, but merely nationalized slavery in the form of income taxation and conscription, who presided over the violent deaths of 620,000 Americans to preserve a political abstract, to retain his political and military power, to enrich his mercantilist friends, and to suppress the basic human right of an entire region of the country to associate—or disassociate—with whomever they wished.

Never forget that it was a Republican, Richard Nixon, who imposed wage/price controls on what had been a relatively free economy, kept an enemies list, and quit when his minions were caught in a criminal act.

Never forget that it was a Republican, George W. Bush, who created the massively unconstitutional Department of Homeland Security, the no-fly lists, pushed through and signed the Constitution-shredding USA Patriot Act, plunged the country into two unnecessary wars, and created trillion-dollar deficits surpassed only by those of Barack H. Obama.

When we are forced to obtain and carry national identification, it will be Republicans who did it, in the name of eliminating illegal immigration.

Vote for the socialist of your choice.

As with any other socialist culture, “some animals are more equal than others” in Sovietized America. Its elected nomenklatura in the House and Senate are paid between $165,200 and $212,100 every year, can look forward to pensions considerably larger than most of their constituents’ salaries, and enjoy endless additional privileges and benefits.

Socialists, every one of them.

Let’s talk about fascism. When it became obvious as early as the 1920s that socialism doesn’t work—the instant it’s adopted, the economy heads for the toilet, people begin starving, and leaders, self-convinced that their failures are caused by stiff-necked, selfish bastards who refuse to become New Soviet Man, start putting people up against a wall and shooting them—a modified system was devised under which, instead of owning the means of production, government allows the productive class to believe they own them, while it controls them through regulations and siphons off the profits as taxes.

Other common names for fascism are “crony capitalism”, “state capitalism”, “corporate socialism” and “mercantilism”. Sometimes members of the mercantile class become partners with the state and, in certain circumstances, even end up controlling it. The whole thing looks like a different system than ordinary socialism until you apply the ethical definition. What’s more important in a fascist society, the needs and wants of the group, or the rights of the individual? As Mr. Spock once famously observed (in the original James Blish novel Spock Must Die), “a difference that makes no difference is no difference.”

Or was it the other way around?

Fascism, then, is a variety of socialism, nothing more, nothing less. The genuine opposite of fascism is a completely voluntary society.

Completely.

Voluntary.

That means no coercion of any kind is tolerable. No censorship. No zoning. No conscription. No taxation. Government deserves no more money than it can raise with bake sales. Anything else involves setting the value of the individual’s rights at something less than the needs or wants of the group. Or as Robert LeFevre put it, “To any extent that you have a ‘public sector’, to that extent, you have socialism.”

See:

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle568-20100502-02.html

The Rifle in War: A Firsthand Look at Firefights in Marja, AF-PAK

This happens to be that rare event at the New York Times – pungent and accurate reporting that brings the issues alive.  This is one of a series.  Be sure to watch the accompanying video in this article.  It is a sign of the times when an Infantry organization has to use smoke to mark the marksman’s house for air support instead of the elegance of maneuver and fire to neutralize the threat.  I am looking FM 3-21.8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad at almost an inch thick on my library shelf.  The Bible for light infantry in the American armed forces.  It replaced FM 7-8 which I used to be able to put in thigh pocket on my uniform.  No longer, I could use this latest edition to augment my body armor.  While comprehensive, it could be distilled down to one page which reads “Call for Fire”. I grew up in the Army with John English’s book “On Infantry” and poring over the accounts of close combat in WWI and WWII, particularly the German lessons in Russia.

This fight will get worse if the Afghan resisters start to see that a 500m war is to their advantage and start employing the real cartridges like .308 and .303 instead of the 7.62×39 weapons they favor.  What is worse for the occupation forces is if the Afghans manage to get their hands on both the weapons and training in Western sniper technology like the .338 Lapua Magnum.

We should, of course, leave immediately and send Bush and Obama on a real apology tour all over the Afghan hinterland for the wrecking we have visited on the country.

Take notes because everything you see in these articles and video is going to be the same future footage in America in the recalcitrant and rebellious provinces that will break away from Mordor on the Potomac in the next ten years. -BB

The Rifles

rifles in marjaC.J. Chivers/The New York Times

Second, how are they equipped? Kilo Company’s battlefield collections, along with reviews of recent photographs of armed Taliban fighters and information shared by an officer who gathered data from across Helmand Province, offer insights. Among the captured rifles were two variants of the Lee-Enfield rifle line. These are bolt-action rifles with design roots reaching to the late 19th century, when conventional armies favored heavier, long-barreled rifles that fired more powerful ammunition than what is predominant in military use today.

C.J. Chivers/The New York Times

One of the rifles had been manufactured at the Long Branch arsenal in Toronto in 1942. The other was manufactured at the Government Rifle Factory in Ishapore, India; its date was not clear. Photographs of the Taliban have also shown a few of their gunmen carrying old Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles. These were a similar czarist (then Soviet) arm of the same era.

These rifles belong to class of weapon often referred to as “battle rifles” and differ markedly from the assault rifles in widespread circulation today. They have longer effective ranges, are less concealable and fire heavier bullets than assault rifles. The shooter loads them manually, by manipulating a bolt that ejects the spent cartridge and then slides the next cartridge into place; they have no automatic or semiautomatic features.

Battle rifles have had their champions for decades, in part because their slower rate of fire keeps ammunition consumption low and encourages disciplined aiming, but also because they were manufactured for much of the 20th century in large quantities in several countries. Their abundance meant that after the shift by most conventional forces to assault rifles — which began on a small scale in Hitler’s army and by the 1960s and 1970s was spreading through conventional armies most everywhere — the old battle rifles, which gradually fell from service, became available in huge surpluses and at inexpensive prices. They are also well suited to desert fighting or any other shooting involving open vistas, because of their longer effective ranges. Not surprisingly, Lee-Enfields were distributed to the Afghan anti-Soviet resistance by the C.I.A., via the Pakistani intelligence service, in the early 1980s. They also can still be found on arms markets. In the opening of the Marja assault, it was clear on many days as bullets passed by that these kinds of weapons, or similar ones, were in use by the Taliban. The round makes a distinctly different sound. The battlefield collections then confirmed the hunch.

The Ammunition and the Shooting

Third, the ammunition. Caches in Marja turned up ammunition – dated Mark 7 British .303 cartridges from several different factories — that matched Lee-Enfield rifles. In two caches captured by Kilo Company, some of the British .303 cartridges dated to 1941.

ammunition captured from talibanC.J. Chivers/The New York Times

Many held bullets that were jacketed in steel – which marked them as original British World War II-production ammunition from Churchill’s time. (The British used steel for bullet jackets to save copper and zinc for other wartime uses.) A small portion of the ammunition in the sample appeared to have been older still — a few cartridges were round-nosed Mark 6 rounds, which British forces were phasing out before the First World War.

ammunition captured from TalibanC.J. Chivers/The New York Times

Last, several rounds were 7.62×54R cartridges, which match Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles or the SVD line, the Soviet-designed semiautomatic sniper rifles of the former Eastern bloc that were often used by insurgent snipers in Iraq. (Curiously, there are very few recent reports or images of SVD rifles in Afghanistan. They are not absent from the war. But they seem not to be widely used. This is in some ways surprising, considering the expansive distribution in Afghanistan of the standard arms of the former Eastern bloc – the AK, PK, DshK and Makarov lines, as well as 82-millimeter mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and F1 pineapple-style hand grenades.)

Fourth, the shooting itself. Often the Taliban’s snipers fired near misses, one after another, separated by 30 seconds or more. Mixed with the incoming automatic fire, the firefights in Marja would be punctuated by the occasional single round that would pass by just overheard, or thump into the soil or at a door frame or the surface of a wall beside a Marine. These rounds were attention-getting, to say the least. At times, and the video captures some of this, it appeared that more than one Taliban fighter with battle rifle was firing, which may have signaled not so much the presence of a single “true” sniper, but that some of these Taliban units had multiple fighters who preferred to carry Lee-Enfields. This might make them no different from the American grunts who prefer to carry M-14s, arguing that their larger cartridges have greater range and stopping power than the rounds fired by the M-4 and M-16 line, and thus have a real value in Afghan fighting.

But among whoever was firing on the Marines, there were several instances of skilled and accurate shooting. The officer who gathered data (and asked not to be named here) said there were times during the operation when a Taliban sniper killed a Marine, as well as instances in which Marines survived after being hit on their bullet-proof plates or, once, after a glancing shot that hit a helmet. In Kilo Company, the Marines present in several engagements also felt that at least one of the Taliban gunmen shooting at them in this particular area might have had a telescopic sight. Their feeling was that the distances were long enough that it would be hard to make shots like this with the naked eye. Moreover, the day after I recorded the video footage above, an Afghan National Army soldier was killed while walking in the open during a lull in fighting. He was felled by a single shot, at a range the Marines estimated at 500 to 700 meters, and the bullet struck his neck. Whoever made that shot was, absent extraordinary good luck, not the run-of-the-mill Taliban fighter.

What does it all mean? To gain some distance on this, broader casualty numbers are again helpful. But we’re out of space for today. Tomorrow we’ll publish data that put the snipers of Helmand Province in a fuller context. We’ll for now hint at what the statistics seem to show: Taliban fighters with traditional battle rifles have made Helmand Province more dangerous. They present an interesting phenomenon, and bear close watching. On the national level, they do not appear to mark a profound shift in the war.

That’s not to say that they do not create harrowing moments. As the video shows, Lance Cpl. Travis Vuocolo was a very lucky man.

See:

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/a-firsthand-look-at-firefights-in-marja/?hp

Hidden History of Evil: The Soviet Communist Autopsy

CLAIRE BERLINSKI writes a fascinating essay asking the epochal question:  why is not the entire world population interested in finding out why the intellectual pathogen known as communism is not dead and buried?  What made it tick and what are the details of how it sustained itself in spite of the enormous death toll and deadening and zombification of hundreds of millions of the living?  Those of us on the individualist antiwar right loathe the National Socialists who are always fashionable villains but speak ill of the Commies and plenty of folks in the American intelligentsia will get misty or even hostile at the notion that Communism is one of the worst plagues in humanity’s history.  I never thought I would have to say this but they are back and communism is gaining steam again in the near future in America and we have a President who has been reared, mentored and influenced by Communism and its offshoots.  His ambitions to be a Red Czar are only tempered by his apparent appreciation that the platform will succeed in a program of gradualism versus the instant boil of a sharp-edged coup and institution of Marxist-Leninist principles immediately.  The slow boil continues. -BB


In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.

Then there’s Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who once spent 12 years in the USSR’s prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas—political psychiatric hospitals—after being convicted of copying anti-Soviet literature. He, too, possesses a massive collection of stolen and smuggled papers from the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, which, as he writes, “contain the beginnings and the ends of all the tragedies of our bloodstained century.” These documents are available online at bukovsky-archives.net, but most are not translated. They are unorganized; there are no summaries; there is no search or index function. “I offer them free of charge to the most influential newspapers and journals in the world, but nobody wants to print them,” Bukovsky writes. “Editors shrug indifferently: So what? Who cares?”

The originals of most of Stroilov’s documents remain in the Kremlin archives, where, like most of the Soviet Union’s top-secret documents from the post-Stalin era, they remain classified. They include, Stroilov says, transcripts of nearly every conversation between Gorbachev and his foreign counterparts—hundreds of them, a near-complete diplomatic record of the era, available nowhere else. There are notes from the Politburo taken by Georgy Shakhnazarov, an aide of Gorbachev’s, and by Politburo member Vadim Medvedev. There is the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev—Gorbachev’s principal aide and deputy chief of the body formerly known as the Comintern—which dates from 1972 to the collapse of the regime. There are reports, dating from the 1960s, by Vadim Zagladin, deputy chief of the Central Committee’s International Department until 1987 and then Gorbachev’s advisor until 1991. Zagladin was both envoy and spy, charged with gathering secrets, spreading disinformation, and advancing Soviet influence.

When Gorbachev and his aides were ousted from the Kremlin, they took unauthorized copies of these documents with them. The documents were scanned and stored in the archives of the Gorbachev Foundation, one of the first independent think tanks in modern Russia, where a handful of friendly and vetted researchers were given limited access to them. Then, in 1999, the foundation opened a small part of the archive to independent researchers, including Stroilov. The key parts of the collection remained restricted; documents could be copied only with the written permission of the author, and Gorbachev refused to authorize any copies whatsoever. But there was a flaw in the foundation’s security, Stroilov explained to me. When things went wrong with the computers, as often they did, he was able to watch the network administrator typing the password that gave access to the foundation’s network. Slowly and secretly, Stroilov copied the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.

When I first heard about Stroilov’s documents, I wondered if they were forgeries. But in 2006, having assessed the documents with the cooperation of prominent Soviet dissidents and Cold War spies, British judges concluded that Stroilov was credible and granted his asylum request. The Gorbachev Foundation itself has since acknowledged the documents’ authenticity.

Bukovsky’s story is similar. In 1992, President Boris Yeltsin’s government invited him to testify at the Constitutional Court of Russia in a case concerning the constitutionality of the Communist Party. The Russian State Archives granted Bukovsky access to its documents to prepare his testimony. Using a handheld scanner, he copied thousands of documents and smuggled them to the West.

The Russian state cannot sue Stroilov or Bukovsky for breach of copyright, since the material was created by the Communist Party and the Soviet Union, neither of which now exists. Had he remained in Russia, however, Stroilov believes that he could have been prosecuted for disclosure of state secrets or treason. The military historian Igor Sutyagin is now serving 15 years in a hard-labor camp for the crime of collecting newspaper clippings and other open-source materials and sending them to a British consulting firm. The danger that Stroilov and Bukovsky faced was real and grave; they both assumed, one imagines, that the world would take notice of what they had risked so much to acquire.

Read the rest:

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_2_soviet-archives.html

The Death of the Republic Revisited by Gary Rea

Gary Rea makes another compelling case for why the Constitution is such a flawed document and how the entire nation has been hoodwinked from the beginning into thinking this was a sacred and unique document.  Not only was the creation of the Constitution a coup but it violated the very standing documents which it sought to amend through abolishing them.  The received wisdom is that it was a document of singular brilliance and blessed by supernatural imprimaturs.  Whether we see the tax protesters hunted and mauled by Federal forces a mere four years after ratification or the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, within less than a decade, the Constitution was showing its true colors as a mechanism for expanding government’s purview in people’s lives and eradicating the sovereignty of the states.  This all culminated in the Second American Revolution from 1860-1877 (the conflict and its rapacious aftermath).  Once the Lincolnian interpretation of Constitutional prerogative was established, the road to serfdom was well trod.

The Articles of Confederation have been dismissed after a brilliant public relations campaign to convince Americans that the Constitution was far superior because it concentrated power at the Federal level so the states were no longer the subsidiary barrier between citizens and the central government; the Constitution removed that essential protection and put all the inhabitants of America on the plantation.  Remember that there is no mention of slavery in the AoC but the Constitution codified the practice. The Constitution also removed the previous fetters from the formerly toothless Federal government to build the embryonic structure that has become the Lamprey Nation we labor under today.

The secession movements that are gaining steam would be wise to invest some intellectual capital in exploring how this AoC construct may be a better template for the post-Federalist America than the constant cry of “getting back to the Constitution”.

I will be debating Dr. Daniel Walker Howe (Pulitzer-prize winning historian at UCLA) on the Articles versus the Constitution at Freedom Fest 2010 in July in Las Vegas and would love to see you there. -BB

In my article, How the American Republic Died at Philadelphia in 1787 I showed, with quotes from the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, alike, how our original constitution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (1781) was illegally scrapped and replaced with a new Constitution (1787), which formed a wholly new government – one which was deliberately designed to grow into the fascistic behemoth we see today. Here, I will go into the various ingenious ways in which the Federalists designed the Constitution to achieve that end, all while making it appear as though our liberties were safeguarded.

First, though, I think it is necessary to point out exactly how and why this subterfuge was illegal, in the first place. The best way of doing so is to simply examine the wording of Article VIII, Section 1 of the Articles of Confederation, which says:

“And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.”

What this makes abundantly clear is that none of the provisions for legally revising the Articles were followed, in the first place, let alone any provisions for replacement of our founding document with a wholly new government. In fact, the Philadelphia convention of 1787 was convened in violation of Article VIII, Section 1?s requirement that the revision process begin with Congress  - the unicameral Congress created by the Articles. But, to add to that violation, there was also no unanimous consent of the state legislatures, as was also required for revision of the Articles. Thus the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and all the state ratifying conventions that followed from it, as well as the document and the government created by them (i.e., the Federalists’ Constitution) were completely illegal and should not be considered valid or binding as a result.

Most critics of our government, as it exists today, focus upon the Executive and Legislative branches, as this is where the most activity lies, however, the fact is that the Supreme Court’s role is often overlooked and this could not have been foreseen by the Anti-Federalists of 1787 because the Supreme Court’s powers had not yet been defined and would not be until 1790, with the Judiciary Act.

In fact, it was the Supreme Court – which hadn’t existed at all under the Articles of Confederation – which enabled the beginnings of tyranny and has seen to it that it continues unabated to this day. With its justices appointed by the President and approved by the Senate (but not the House of Representatives) for life terms and the Supreme Court’s sole ability to interpret the very document that created and supposedly binds it, the stage was set for capricious subterfuge.

It was this, as well as other loopholes in the Constitution, that defeated the so-called “checks and balances” the Federalists slickly tauted as the reason for trusting this new government. While it was said that each of the three branches of government would act as checks against each other’s actions, the truth was ignored that all three branches constituted one entity, the federal government, and that these branches were each provided – by the Constitution – with several means of collusion that combine to thwart any perceived checks and balances.

As Kenneth W. Royce says in his book, Hologram of Liberty: The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance with Big Government, “For many years, the Supreme Court went practically unnoticed in its cramped, cold basement room of the Capitol. Unnoticed and uncontrolled. That was the idea.

To quote Archibald Cox, from his book, The Court and the Constitution (1987), p. 45:

“No other country has given its courts such extraordinary power. Not Britain, where an act of Parliament binds the courts. Not India, where there is a written constitution and a Supreme Court but where constitutional rights can be suspended by the government’s declaration of an emergency. Not even West Germany Or Ireland, where the power of judicial review is established but exercised on a narrower scale.

The President is elected. The Congress is elected. State legislators and Governors are elected. Supreme Court justices are not elected; they are appointed for life. So are other federal judges. Yet we give unelected justices and judges a power – called judicial review – under which they may nullify some acts of an elected President and the elected representatives of the people assembled in Congress or the legislatures of the states. In exercising the power of judicial review the Court answers, case by case, the great questions left [purposely] open by the framers concerning both their ingenious plan of government and the guarantees of  individual liberty.”

Back to Royce, who says, “One particularly alarming area of the Constitution had been the ominously incomplete Article III regarding the judiciary. In one brief sentence, Section 1 gave Congress a virtual blank slate to create any system of federal courts they chose.”

Indeed, Article III, Section 1 reads:

“The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

This leaves the number of justices unspecified and Congress toyed with this for years, going from six to five to seven to nine to ten to seven again and back to nine justices, for one thing.

In a letter, dated January 17, 1788, Anti-Federalist Melancton Smith expressed his fears about the Supreme Court:

“It appears to me [the judiciary] is so framed as to clinch all the other powers, and to extend them in a silent and imperceptible manner to any thing and everything, while the Court who are vested with these powers are totally independent, uncontrollable and not amenable to any other power in any decisions they may make.” My emphasis.

In other words, even in 1788 (two years before the Supreme Court’s powers were established by Congress), the year after the Constitution was ratified, the Anti-Federalists had realized that there were no checks on the Supreme Court’s powers whatsoever. Once appointed, the justices could, basically, do anything they want to, overriding the decisions made by the President, the Congress, the States and the people. With this power established in their hands, they can make decisions that protect the excesses of not only themselves, but the President and the Congress, as well – and they have often done so.

All of these excessive Supreme Court powers were the creation of the new bi-cameral Congress, in the Judiciary Act of 1789, which shows us the lack of any real checks on the powers of Congress in the early days of the federal government. With the Supreme Court thus set up by Congress, it was – and is – possible to make an end run around any other checks and balances by collusion between the Court and the Congress or the Court and the President.

Furthermore, the Judiciary Act of 1789 wasn’t even legitimate, to begin with. As Royce points out, “…all legislative acts in the eleven months before a functioning Supreme Court were automatically invalid, because there was no judicial body to check Congress until 3 February 1790. This would make the Judiciary Act of 1789, its courts, and all their decisions void.”

In other words, prior to February 3, 1789, when Congress created the Supreme Court and the system of federal courts, there was no Judicial Branch in existence, except as vaguely prescribed by the Constitution, thus an unrestrained Presidency and Congress existed. It was this complete lack of any checks on Congress that enabled it to get away with creating a federal court system, appointed – not elected – for life and with powers that only it could exercise and which could never be overridden, repealed or restrained in any way. Thus, it is not the Presidency or the Congress that is the most fearful and uncontrollable despotic element within the federal government, but the Supreme Court.

See:

http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/the-death-of-the-republic-revisited/

The Constitution as a Counter-Revolutionary Act

I am starting to see an awakening among my colleagues and neighbors who pay attention and think through their suppositions that the Constitution may not be the ultimate panacea that the idolaters and hagiographers make it out to be.  I used to be a Constitutionalist and mouth the platitudes of getting back to the original intent and returning to our roots.  No more.  Thanks to my own research and the work of others such as Royce, Spooner and DiLorenzo, the curtain has been drawn back and we find the usual suspects – an enabling document not only for big government but the tools of repression granted.  The Constitution is a centralizing document.  This is why we almost had another war on American soil after 1783.

The Anti-Federalists were sounding the alarm against the imposition of a “gun in the hands of the national state” and the abilities of moneyed interest to purchase the barriers to competition they needed to legislative fiat.  READ the Anti-Federalist Papers soonest! The Constitution is a Hamiltonian monstrosity which was designed from the beginning as a mechanism to destroy the sovereignty of political subdivisions and subsume them to central planning whims of the Federal government.  Lincoln simply codified in blood and coda what Hamilton could not quite see through in his time.  From that point forward, the rest is the wretched history of the tentacle and grasping Leviathan that is these united States laboring under the Sovietized creature in DC.

Face it, if you are a Constitutional stalwart (whether an adherent of the original intent or the living document schools), you are a willing accomplice to the maintenance and expansion of big government.

See my essay on why the Articles of Confederation were superior:  http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert29.1.html

I will be debating this very topic at Freedom Fest 2010 in Las Vegas in July. -BB

Venlet: On the Constitution as a “Counter-Revolutionary” Act — Parts I &II

Please read John Venlet’s essay here, to which I will refer as ‘Counter-Revolutionary — Part I’.

In a comment to John’s piece, I said that I would write up some thoughts on why I use the “Constitutional Restoration” as an organizing concept. As did John, I offer the same caveat — I speak only for me in what follows. Moreover, nothing below should be construed in any way by anyone as the giving of “legal advice”.

To begin, as a refresher, take a quick glance through each of these foundational American documents:

Declaration of Independence

Articles of Confederation

USC

BoR

Pretty rapid conceptual evolution, across less than twenty years of admittedly-tumultuous British and American history, wouldn’t you say?

I will leave it to others to recount the details of that evolution. Suffice it to say that the trend to centralized, national government has its roots in the very founding of the Republic.

And as we sit here, nearly 234 years after the signing of the Declaration, it is apparent to a growing plurality that the objective of the USC/BoR drafters — to cage the embryonic national government from all but a few limited, enumerated functions — has not been met.

For that plurality, the question arises as to remedies for this situation — discussions about which must be conducted within the context of Chapter 155 of Title 18 of the US Code:

  • § 2381. Treason
  • § 2382. Misprision of treason
  • § 2383. Rebellion or insurrection
  • § 2384. Seditious conspiracy
  • § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government
  • § 2386. Registration of certain organizations
  • § 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally
  • § 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war
  • § 2389. Recruiting for service against United States
  • § 2390. Enlistment to serve against United States
I commend a slow, careful read of those statutes and the cases decided thereunder to any freedom-minded activist, coupled with a cold-blooded assessment of the Mighty Kenyan’s moral and legal compass, along with those of his state security toadies Holder and Napolitano. The material and sources cited here may be helpful in that assessment, as will Will Grigg’s recent thoughts on the subject.

But in risk, there is also opportunity. Read the full text of 18 USC 2385:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

But what if the agitator in question

…knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of restoring the government of the United States and the government of every State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, and the government of any political subdivision therein, to its Constitutionally-stated limits?

Aren’t the forces of tyranny potentially present in any centralized human endeavor thwarted — at least prior to the State’s inevitable use of force decision — by those who simply insist that Leviathan live within the constitutional cage designed for it more than 200 years before?

Make no mistake — this matter is NOT going to be settled by word games. The stakes are simply too high for all parties.

Leviathan will respond to the constitutionalists’ insistence with the only tools at its disposal — tooth and claw.

And when they do, the pragmatic constitutionalist will understand, once and for all, what Spooner meant.

In a few days, I’ll have the second half of my response to John’s article thought through and written.

Until then, think about these issues.

Your life, and those of your tribe, may depend on the correct answers.

See:

http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/

The Man Behind the Image: Winston Churchill as Tyrant, War Lover and Friend of Stalin

I love a good turn of phrase and the proper elocution of the English language.  I find Winston Churchill to be one of the most eloquent and well versed humans in rhetoric and literature.  I found myself in thrall of his ideas for awhile enchanted by his articulation and my then-perceived notion that a well-spoken man was logical and possibly virtuous.  Speeches that rivaled the eloquence and power of the ancients in Greece and Rome (yes, I am an avid admirer of Cicero, et al). Then I discover his blood-lust for war and sheer statist proclivities through the good offices of Professor Raico.  As an avid consumer of military history, I had always been tangentially interested in Churchill in the war years and discovered over time he was a menace to humanity from his enthusiastic military disasters in WWI (Wilson’s War) to his shameful advocacy of mass murder from the air in strategic bombing to his group hugs with Stalin at Yalta and the final disgraces of madness like Operation Keelhaul to appease his fellow-travelers in the USSR.  A record of active complicity in evil that was only rivaled by our execrable and viscous  FDR (RedDR in more accurate parlance).

I  stumbled on Raico’s analysis in the audio collection of the book mentioned below and my opinion changed forever. Take the time to read the entire essay and the footnotes.  What you discover is that the tissue of lies and power aggrandizement that has been celebrated by the court historians has created this Sovietized nation we live in today.

I pursued other lines of inquiry concerning the frenzied and plentiful deception and propaganda operations performed by the British prior to the War to Save Joseph Stalin (others call it WWII):

http://www.amazon.com/Desperate-Deception-British-Operations-1939-44/dp/1574882236/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274215749&sr=1-1

The massive fabrications and exaggerations in Churchill’s six volume treatment of the aforementioned conflict:

http://www.amazon.com/Command-History-Churchill-Fighting-Writing/dp/0465003303/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274215499&sr=8-1

This may have been the embryonic moment when I started to question every notion I had of American and European history.  I have always been something of a skeptic but the essays of James J. Martin and Harry Elmer Barnes started to remove the scales from my eyes.  I started devouring more of the “other” historians whom the court historians sniff at in disdain.  The libertarian view of history makes the lens and filter even more clear.  We tend not to get caught up in party affiliations or preemptive judgments because we know the history of the growth of the state is all about power and control and the wrestling of one faction or another through force of arms or chicanery to get the farmed animals (the people) to yield to the farmers (the state).  The history of the US as of the rest of the world is basically one long sordid story of statist farmers and ranchers purchasing or bickering over the cattle or chattel rights, to use a more quaint but appropriate term.  Whether the economically illiterate Marxoid variants of yokedom or the more sophisticated farming operations of so-called “free market” states, the modus operandi is to either force or convince the producers to subsidize the looters and parasites (taxing authorities and their clients).  It is so simple it almost seems elegant. -BB

The Triumph of the Welfare State

In 1945, general elections were held in Britain, and the Labour Party won a landslide victory. Clement Attlee, and his colleagues took power and created the socialist welfare state. But the socializing of Britain was probably inevitable, given the war. It was a natural outgrowth of the wartime sense of solidarity and collectivist emotion, of the feeling that the experience of war had somehow rendered class structure and hierarchy — normal features of any advanced society — obsolete and indecent. And there was a second factor — British society had already been to a large extent socialized in the war years, under Churchill himself. As Ludwig von Mises wrote:

Marching ever further on the way of interventionism, first Germany, then Great Britain and many other European countries have adopted central planning, the Hindenburg pattern of socialism. It is noteworthy that in Germany the deciding measures were not resorted to by the Nazis, but some time before Hitler seized power by Bruning … and in Great Britain not by the Labour Party but by the Tory Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill.[160]

While Churchill waged war, he allowed Attlee to head various Cabinet committees on domestic policy and devise proposals on health, unemployment, education, etc.[161] Churchill himself had already accepted the master-blueprint for the welfare state, the Beveridge Report. As he put it in a radio speech:

You must rank me and my colleagues as strong partisans of national compulsory insurance for all classes for all purposes from the cradle to the grave.[162]

That Mises was correct in his judgment on Churchill’s role is indicated by the conclusion of W. H. Greenleaf, in his monumental study of individualism and collectivism in modern Britain. Greenleaf states that it was Churchill who

during the war years, instructed R. A. Butler to improve the education of the people and who accepted and sponsored the idea of a four-year plan for national development and the commitment to sustain full employment in the post-war period. As well he approved proposals to establish a national insurance scheme, services for housing and health, and was prepared to accept a broadening field of state enterprises. It was because of this coalition policy that Enoch Powell referred to the veritable social revolution which occurred in the years 1942–44. Aims of this kind were embodied in the Conservative declaration of policy issued by the Premier before the 1945 election.[163]

When the Tories returned to power in 1951, “Churchill chose a Government which was the least recognizably Conservative in history.”[164] There was no attempt to roll back the welfare state, and the only industry that was really reprivatized was road haulage.[165] Churchill “left the core of its [the Labour government's] work inviolate.”[166] The “Conservative” victory functioned like Republican victories in the United States, from Eisenhower on — to consolidate socialism. Churchill even undertook to make up for “deficiencies” in the welfare programs of the previous Labour government, in housing and public works.[167] Most insidiously of all, he directed his leftist Labour Minister, Walter Monckton, to appease the unions at all costs. Churchill’s surrender to the unions, “dictated by sheer political expediency,” set the stage for the quagmire in labor relations that prevailed in Britain for the next two decades.[168]

Yet, in truth, Churchill never cared a great deal about domestic affairs, even welfarism, except as a means of attaining and keeping office. What he loved was power, and the opportunities power provided to live a life of drama and struggle and endless war.

There is a way of looking at Winston Churchill that is very tempting: that he was a deeply flawed creature, who was summoned at a critical moment to do battle with a uniquely appalling evil, and whose very flaws contributed to a glorious victory — in a way, like Merlin, in C.S. Lewis’s great Christian novel, That Hideous Strength.[169] Such a judgment would, I believe, be superficial. A candid examination of his career, I suggest, yields a different conclusion: that, when all is said and done, Winston Churchill was a Man of Blood and a politico without principle, whose apotheosis serves to corrupt every standard of honesty and morality in politics and history.

Ralph Raico is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute. He is professor of European history at Buffalo State College and a specialist on the history of liberty, the liberal tradition in Europe, and the relationship between war and the rise of the state. You can study the history of civilization under his guidance here: MP3-CD and Audio Tape. Comment on the blog.

This essay, which originally appears in The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Henry Regnery, who was, of course, not responsible for its content.

See:  http://mises.org/daily/2973

Another Undiscovered Country: It is Becoming More Realistic to Contemplate Renouncing US Citizenship

The anonymous author of this guide did a brilliant job in summarizing the paths and pitfalls of not simply expatriating but full divorce from the Leviathan.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  We just returned from a recce trip to Central America for future expat options.  I am not impressed so we will be going further south.  We are on the brink of 1917 in Russia and Mexico and 1931 in Germany now in America.  The relinquishment and devolution of power is the ONLY means to save what America once had that is quickly fading and that will not happen.  It is time to examine every option.  if you even visualize a door to escape through right now, you are ahead of 90 percent of all Americans because they don’t even know the door exists.  Look at it as an act of preparation and prudence in the same light as one would see the large orange lifeboats on the blue water merchant fleet and cruise ships. -BB

A reader and former US citizen provides this extensive guide for American expatriation. As noted, “For Americans, reliable information about how to exercise the right of expatriation is very difficult to find without incurring substantial costs.  Many high net worth individuals never consider it simply because the subject seems so mysterious and intimidating. Yet freeing yourself from the global U.S. tax net provides the highest guaranteed return on capital that any American will ever know. The purpose of this guide is to demystify expatriation, highlight its many benefits, and provide a roadmap to follow should Americans choose to exercise the right.  I hope it will be an invaluable resource to your readers. I am the sole author of the guide, and it is my desire to remain anonymous.  As I note in the document, I give unrestricted, royalty- free permission to any and all parties to reproduce, publish and distribute this guide, in whole or in part, on any form of media in all territories throughout the world.”

See:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/american-expatriation-guide

Village Praxis Series: Get Moving

If you, like me, have been following recent events around the web, the return of the citizen militia could not have escaped your noticed. If you, like me, also pass a critical eye over everything on the net, then one cannot escape the fact that most “militiamen” are in shape, if you count “round” as a shape. I find it laughable that these couch commandos believe that they can load up with 70 pounds of kit and an MBR and move at speed for more than a few hundred meters. Like marksmanship, physical fitness is often not a natural condition (although some people, through genetic chance, maintain a better baseline than others), but must be trained. Speaking as a former fatboy, let me bequest upon you the secrets to both weight loss and physical fitness:

Calories in must be less than calories out: Eat a well balanced diet of moderate proportions, combine that with moderate exercise and one should lose weight. Most “diets” are fads and most often useless for long term fitness (which is the goal, correct?). You’re not trying to lose weight to fit in a wedding dress, you are looking to improve your health and fitness levels. Most Americans overeat severely and our typical “American” portion size is something on the order of 20% larger than even those lusty eaters, the French. Examine what you eat (Remember our series of Capabilities Assessments), look at portion size (recommended vs what you actually stuff down your gullet) and composition (how many calories from fat, fiber percentage, salt/sodium content) and decide what shall be cut and what shall remain. A good general rule of thumb is that if it comes directly from a plant, it is good to go (fruits, vegetables, nuts, greens, legumes, oats), and that if it is made in a plant (processed foods) then it should be reduced.

Get Moving: Once you have your diet squared away, then it is time to develop a fitness program. Of course you should consult your doctor before beginning one and if you smoke, QUIT. Now that those provisions are out of the way, let’s move onto getting fit. If you are truly among the couch bound who wish to get better, my best advice is to start slow. This will prevent one from overexerting and potential injury. Starting slow allows formerly dormant tendons and ligaments to gradually strengthen. The best beginning exercise is walking. Not walking and jaw jacking, but briskly walking at a 15 minute / mile pace. Start easy, just a mile or two, then gradually increase the mileage until you are able to knock out 5 miles or so in an hour and fifteen minutes. Add in hills if you can. If you wish to start running after that, the strategy I used is to begin with 1/2 mile intervals of running and walking, then gradually, about every two weeks, increase the “run” portion, while either keeping the “walk” portion the same, or reducing it.  Mix in some hiking to get used to carrying a load and moving cross country and you are on your way.

You can go to Western Rifle Shooters for more information on this topic.

Starting Out

The Basics

Building your distance capability

Road Marching Tips (Also applies to distance hiking, which is the same thing)

Village Praxis Series: Required Capabilities Assessment Part III/ Gaps and Mitigation Strategy

It’s been a while, so please refresh on Part 1 and Part 2 of this series if you must.

So in the previous posts in this series we have learned how to analyze our environment and risks, inventory our skills, mental and physical readiness and our equipment. Now we come to the hard part- identifying gaps and shortfalls and determining how to address them.

We’ll begin by laying out our risk assessment (what scenarios are the most likely and what impact they will have if they occur), with our environmental conditions (how does the natural and man-made environment contribute to our our risks and scenarios) then cross reference our skills and equipment capabilities against those scenarios and conditions. This process is comparing what you can do right now with the conditions and scenarios created by a certain risk occurring. Ideally you would lay this out as a matrix- scenarios down the left hand column, skills and kit across the top, and 1′s or 0′s at the intersection wherein a 1 means that the particular capability meets the needs of the scenario and a 0 means it does not, or you have zero capabilities to address this particular condition or hazard.

Now we’ll move on to the second part of this exercise- determining gaps in your capabilities. Examine your matrix and find where you have a preponderance of 0′s- is it in food stocks, water supply or purification, self defense, first aid training, map reading, etc? These places where you have a 0 are where you gaps reside and this matrix gives you the start of a good road map to filling in those gaps.

So, we are at the point where we have gaps identified and hopefully you can prioritize them according to your needs (here’s a hint- prioritize them by the impact of the associated risk and it’s likelihood of occurrence). Before you go out a drop a bunch of cash (which for most of us is in short supply) determine whether the gap can be mitigated with a skill or a materiel. In general, skills and knowledge are cheaper to come by than equipment. If you have a gap that can be filled with training or with a materiel item, focus on the skill first. This can accomplish two things- you could mitigate the gap with knowledge alone, or if you must buy a piece of equipment, you now have the mental tools to evaluate the available options and determine which piece of equipment best fits your needs and your present skills. If this was my gap matrix, I would group my gaps into “like” categories and from there develop mitigation strategies that would address large groups of gaps simultaneously. This approach helps leverage limited resources.

In summation of the series- identify conditions, assess risks and scenarios, identify your capabilities, determine gaps and outline a mitigation strategy that focuses on skills rather than equipment.

The Constitution as a Weapon of Mass Government

What a brilliant riposte to the usual suspects we know as friends and colleagues who tell us that if we would just get back to our Constitutional roots, all would be well.  A national myth that has set aside common sense and logic and still haunts the debate today.  In an elegant and simple case, Mr. Davies takes them to the woodshed and provides the layman with many talking talking points and the cognitive tools to dismantle this myth which has destroyed our “free” country.  I will be speaking on the banality and evils of the Constitution at the Freedom Fest 2010 in Las Vegas in July and Mr. Davies has provided me additional arrows for the quiver for which he will receive credit.   If you have not read the Anti-Federalist papers, make it a priority; it will be a welcome addition to your personal library of liberty.  Bravo, Mr. Davies. -BB

It’s often said that America was once a free country, but that its freedom has been heavily damaged by a relentless growth in government. Some (like Aaron Russo in his documentary America: from Freedom to Fascism) date the decline from 1913, when the Federal Reserve was chartered and the Income Tax enacted; but I no longer think it began that late. The “Pristine State” advocates suppose that there was once in our history a kind of Eden from which we have fallen, and so that all we need now is somehow to get back there – to “constitutional rule.” There wasn’t, and we don’t. I think our troubles began no later than 1789.

The drafting was done in 1787, and the needed nine States had ratified it by June 21st, 1788, so the Constitution became supreme law on that day. Then on March 3rd 1789 Congress opened its doors and the following month George Washington presided. It’s very interesting to notice what the new Congress did, in its first session, from March through September of that year.

It committed six acts, before going home for the winter in September. See if any of them give you warm, fuzzy feelings; and in a moment I’ll focus on the sixth, because of its huge importance.

First came some administration; deciding on how oaths of office were to be taken. Not too much there to bother us.

Second was the “Hamilton Tariff,” under which revenue was to be raised. So the second-ever Act of the US Congress was to arrange for the confiscation of property. Sure, it was Constitutional – it was a set of tariffs, imposed on certain imports; some must have recalled that it was a tariff on tea that had sparked the Revolution in the first place, so may have wondered whether anything had changed except the geographic location of the thieves. The import duties favored Northern manufacturers by making foreign goods seem more expensive – it was protectionist – and hurt Southerners by making them pay more. From Day One, a division was being fashioned that led after seventy years to open warfare. So the first substantive thing Congress did was to start to set the scene for internal conflict.

Third came an establishment of “Foreign Affairs” – now the Department of State – by which the new government was to execute “policies” towards other nations. If the intention was to have a perfectly uniform policy towards all, that would not have been needed. By establishing one, it was clear there were to be some nations more favored, others less favored. That’s what a “foreign policy” means, and it is ultimately the cause of war and, in our own era, of the unconventional war called “terrorism”; for had there been no foreign policy favoring Israel (recall Biden’s call in March for “no space” between the policies of the US and Israel?) there would have been no 9/11, or if there had been one favoring Palestinians there would have been a “9/11″ much sooner and much more devastating, executed by Mossad. So the third Act in the history of the new government was to set the scene for all future external conflict.

Read the rest:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/davies2.1.1.html

Super Sniper Kills Afghan Resister 1.5 Miles Away

Our Village Armorer alerted us to this story.  This is pretty astonishing work and demonstrates the skills needed to achieve such a miraculous shot.  I am a bit nonplussed that the Canadians and British seem to have the knack for these long-distance records when their home countries are consistently antigun and hoplophobic in the extreme.  It is also refreshing to see a 35 year old Corporal, a system we should mimic here in the States.  Obviously a man happy with being the “operator”.  The .338 Lapua Magnum is a tremendous bundle of metrics that makes it the ideal round for sub .50 (12.7mm) work in the field.  The only deterrent for those of us who enjoy long-range shooting is the cost.  His AI platform probably fetches 4k for the action and chassis and 1.5+ for the glass.  The kit associated for use and maintenance will run 2k+ and ammunition runs around 3 FRN per round even if reloading.  If you have a training load of 1k rounds to get “cozy” with the weapon and its capabilities, you are entering the territory of “African Double Guns” in costs.  We have decided to adopt the .338 Edge which is a necked up .300 RUM at half the ammunition cost.  Get a copy of Boston’s Gun Bible and read his treatise on the 1500m Level IV/V shooters.  There are simply not that many humans equipped both naturally and afforded the day job of mastering a fine craft like sniping at long distances. -BB

A British army sniper helped save his commander and set a new sharpshooting record after killing two Taliban machine gunners in Afghanistan from a mile-and-a-half away.

Sniper- Craig Harrison

Cpl of Horse Harrison sealed his place in military history

Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison fired his consecutive shots from such a long distance that they took almost three seconds to reach their targets.

This was despite the 8.59mm bullets leaving the barrel of his rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

The distance to his two targets was 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles – according to a GPS system – and about 3,000ft beyond the weapon’s effective range.

The 35-year-old beat the previous sniper kill record of 7,972ft, set by a Canadian soldier who shot dead an al Qaeda gunman in March 2002.

Speaking about the incident, Cpl of Horse Harrison said: “The first round hit a machine gunner in the stomach and killed him outright. He went straight down and didn’t move.

“The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.”

The serviceman then fired a third and final round to ensure the machine gun was out of action.

Sniper- Craig Harrison

The sniper being treated after a later attack

He said: “Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility. I rested the bipod of my weapon on a compound wall and aimed for the gunner firing the machine gun.”

He killed the two insurgents as he protected his troop commander, whose vehicle became trapped in a field in Helmand Province and started coming under fire.

Cpl of Horse Harrison, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was using the British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle, the army’s most powerful sniper weapon.

It is only designed to be effective at up to 4,921ft – just less than a mile – and capable of only ‘harassing fire’ beyond that range.

To compensate for the spin and drift of the bullets as they flew the length of 25 football pitches, Cpl of Horse Harrison reportedly had to aim 6ft high and 20ins to the left.

In a remarkable tour of duty, he cheated death a few weeks later when a Taliban bullet pierced his helmet but was deflected away from his skull.

soldier400

British snipers are continuing to fight in Afghanistan

During the Taliban ambush, his patrol vehicle was hit 36 times. He said: “One round hit my helmet behind the right ear and came out of the top.

“Two more rounds went through the strap across my chest. We were all very, very lucky not to get hurt.”

He later broke both arms when his army vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

Cpl of Horse Harrison was sent back to the UK for treatment, but insisted on returning to the front line after making a full recovery.

He said: “I was lucky that my physical fitness levels were very high before my arms were fractured and after six weeks in plaster I was still in pretty good shape. It hasn’t affected my ability as a sniper.”

See:

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Afghanistan-Sniper-Corporal-Of-Horse-Craig-Harrison-Sets-Record-After-Killing-Taliban/Article/201005115624184?f=rss

Interview with Robert Higgs

I wanted to share this interview because if you have not read Higgs, you are the lesser for it.  He is almost in the same orbit as Rothbard when it comes to the intellectual foundations for pressing for liberty and freedom.  I especially appreciate the way he capitalizes on the singular advantage that libertarians tend to have when viewing history:  we know that power is the primary function regardless of alleged party affiliation which animates all lust for power.  Politicians, with rare exceptions, are sociopaths and psychopaths who are in the rarefied legal vocation of achieving wealth and prestige with no merit whatsoever.  The Republicans provide a great demonstration project for the alleged “small government” perspective in our electoral system: a clear explication for why the Grand Old Politburo behaved in such a Soviet fashion from 2000-2006 when they had all the power.  History is so much clearer when you realize it is the continuous and briefly punctuated march to total control of the populations the bureaucrats farm and the variations thereof.  The collectivists are murderously efficient when it comes to grabbing the levers of power and bulldozing all notions of decency and liberty in their path.  You will note that, excepting Ron Paul, not one GOP member stood up and asked that the Government got out of health care altogether much like our desires to get the government out of the classroom.  Period.  The powers that be are more concerned with the aggregation of the powers of arrest and confinement (and death in cases of resistance) to their ever expanding agenda of total control.  Those who think the election of new serial killers and gaolors in 2012 will turn this rusted hulk around will be sorely disappointed.  Continue to prepare for the worst. -BB

Robert Higgs

Daily Bell: What is going on now? How do the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fit into the larger goals of the nation’s military industrial complex?

Robert Higgs: These wars have an overarching geopolitical goal, which is to make the United States the dominant power in the Great Game region, ensuring the exclusion of competing powers China and Russia and intimidating uncooperative regional powers, especially Iran. Underlying this goal is the U.S. power elite’s belief that they must control access to the vast energy resources of the Caspian Sea region and, not coincidentally, reap great profits for U.S. energy and energy-facility-construction companies in the process. The wars themselves, which have cost more than a trillion dollars so far, have been a godsend for the military leadership and for the tens of thousands of contractors and their employees who have been able to plunder the Treasury, owing in part to the loose or nonexistent accounting associated with doing business in the war zones. Of course, the war in Iraq has also been aimed at weakening or destroying Israel’s enemies.

Daily Bell: Will the West be going to war against Iran?

Robert Higgs: I hope not, but I do not know. I am certain, however, that if the U.S. military or its Israeli counterpart launches at attack against Iran, the result will be catastrophic in every regard and that the only possible gainers will comprise no one except the political leadership of Israel and a handful of political figures and their “intellectual” shills in the United States. War against Iran is simply another scheme to satisfy the neo-cons’ bloodlust and fulfill their ideological fantasies – nothing more and nothing less.

Daily Bell: What is the meaning of these serial modern wars? What is the West, particularly the Anglo-American axis, trying to accomplish?

Robert Higgs: Different persons and groups with influence on this war-making have different goals. The political leaders understand that war is the health of the state, and as the state’s kingpins they stand to benefit politically (and in many cases materially, in due course) from U.S. aggression against weak countries in the Third World. An array of economic interests – the so-called military-industrial complex – stands to gain profits, as do other parties, such as some of the big financial institutions. Influential political groups, such as the U.S. evangelical denominations, have become iron-clad supporters of militarism and of pro-Israel actions of all sorts. The military itself seeks to get or to maintain a gigantic flow of money and the power and positions associated with maintenance of a globe-girdling empire of bases. Overarching all of these particular interests is the shared ambition many members of the U.S. power elite have in maintaining U.S. global hegemony, and in using the leverage such hegemony provides to serve a variety of subsidiary interests, ambitions, and fantasies.

Daily Bell: Are you optimistic about freedom going forward? Has the Internet had a positive impact?

Robert Higgs: In the United States and other advanced Western countries, freedom continues to shrink. The wars in the Middle East and the current economic crisis have accelerated the movement toward totalitarianism. Meanwhile, however, in other parts of the world, most importantly in China and India, economic freedom continues to increase, with magnificent consequences for the economic well-being of hundreds of millions of people long trapped in poverty.

On balance, the Internet seems to have had a positive effect in strengthening the position of people who are resisting the ongoing growth of government. It has not been sufficient to stop that growth, but matters might have been even worse had the Internet not been available to permit the rapid, inexpensive transmission of counterarguments and counterevidence to the government’s unceasing lies and propaganda.

Daily Bell: What is the future for America? Is it in inevitable decline or will the Internet, like the Gutenberg press that came before, change the course of history for America, Britain and the West and help reverse the decline and usher in a modern Renaissance, etc.?

Robert Higgs: I foresee no new Renaissance. People in the West today are more inclined to believe economic, social, and political nonsense than their nineteenth-century ancestors were. Statism is rampant in many forms and many areas of social and economic life. People are ideologically brainwashed by the government schools and the mass media. The intellectuals are overwhelmingly opposed to economic freedom and inclined toward various more-or-less totalitarian schemes. Fears about a looming global-warming catastrophe and other ill-founded scenarios generate widespread delusions, receive constant stoking by the media, and keep the academics and the crony capitalists well served with grants, contracts, and consulting fees, among other things.

Daily Bell: What is the Independent Institute doing to arrest the authoritarian decline of the West and America in particular? Is it speaking out or is it involved in any particular educational endeavors?

Robert Higgs: The Independent Institute sponsors a wide variety of studies, conferences, and public programs to spread more reliable information about sounder analyses of economic, political, scientific, and related developments. Its fellows and affiliated scholars write and speak actively in diverse venues, on television, on the radio, and in personal appearances before many different groups in academia and among the general public. The Institute also operates a scholarship program to allow young people to attend private schools and a summer program for high-school and college students that focuses on instruction in the basics of philosophical, economic, and political understanding.

See the rest:

http://thedailybell.com/1017/Robert-Higgs-Independent-Institute-Free-Market-Thinking.html