Publisher’s Note: I have a tremendous debt of gratitude to the works of both John Hasnas and Lysander Spooner for inspiring the essay you’re about to read. I wanted to thank my friend, DH, for alerting me to Hasnas. For the longest time I have had a cognitive indifference, which turned to curiosity over time when I hear from so many quarters that we are under the rule of law and not men, and that makes everything better. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Incredible, a mere few days after this published, Supreme(s) Leader Roberts issues this ruling on National Socialists Healthcare in King v. Burwell:

“In this instance, the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase . . . Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

You simply can’t make this up, even the Soviets would not use such tortured language and logic.

Please take a listen to Tom Woods’ interview with John Hasnas.

Read “The Myth of the Rule of Law,” “The Depoliticization of Law,” and “The Obviousness of Anarchy” by Professor Hasnas.

Edit: An attentive reader who happens to be an attorney pointed out the errors of my 1937-95 quote from Judge Napolitano; it should read under the Commerce Clause. My error and it has been corrected in the text. Napolitano: “Not one piece of legislation was seen as exceeding the scope of Congress’s commerce power.” –BB

“VICES are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting.

It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practises his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.”

– Lysander Spooner

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?”

– Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

America is not a free country. Its government labors under the illusion that the more laws that exist, the more secure and hence the more free a people. At least that’s the party line from the regime apparatchiks. What intellectual rubbish. This is nothing but a shabby justification for a state that grasps power at every turn and applies a tired Marxoid notion of Sovietizing every human transaction to make it transparent to the government (the reverse transparency is nowhere to be found) and use its ample resources of initiated violence to cajole, fine, kidnap, cage, maim or kill the alleged malefactors depending on their level of resistance to perceived state authority.

As Lysander Spooner observes:

If two individuals enter into a contract to commit trespass, theft, robbery or murder upon a third, the contract is unlawful and void, simply because it is a contract to violate natural justice, or men’s natural rights.” Unless you are the government.

Most of this rests on the iconic notion of the rule of law. Like the Constitution and limited government, the idea is assumed a priori to be correct for one reason or another. But like the two items I just mentioned, it does not stand any man’s scrutiny when examined.

So what is the rule of law?

John Hasnas:

[T]he law as a body of definite, politically neutral rules amenable to an impartial application which all citizens have a moral obligation to obey.”

Hasnas does a brilliant job of unpacking this nonsense and I urge my readers to read the full text of his 1995 examination of the rule of law in which he destroys the notion in detail. I wanted to add two observations to his magisterial essay.

First, there is no such thing as objectivity despite the mewlings of both presstitutes and attorneys. Even those of us who consciously practice critical thinking, bias is absolutely unavoidable in the human condition. We are all discriminatory in the rhetorical sense. We all have limited time and resources that inform our worldviews and perspectives; we all have lower evidentiary bars for information favoring our belief systems. This is confirmation bias. One can see it in any controversy. Whether a religionist or an atheist, both sides will debate their respective views from the bias filters they consciously and unconsciously employ for apprehending the world. This applies to practically any great controversy that happens to entertain people at the moment.

Per politics, the myth of the rule of law is ideal for creating, maintaining and expanding societal controls at the point of a gun. All politics is based on the use of violence. If we were honest, we’d call all politicians violence brokers. That is all they are, they dispense the rules for threatening and ultimately killing people by approved government agents. In America, the legislative branch of thuggery formulates the sparse guidelines for the latest variation in the application of the stick to a targeted victim group and then the executive agencies and the armies of bureaucrats crank out tens of thousands of pages of regulations that become the enforcement edict of the hundreds of thousands of badged and armed government bureaucrats who are the pointy end of all politics.

Many in my readership have had the misfortune of going to college (including myself) and suffering through the usual suspects in the political science department listening to over-educated half-wits drone on about the advantages of their favored system of institutional violence. The political science professorate is the intellectual soothsayer caste of the coercionists. Thought experiment: with extraordinarily few exceptions, what would the professor say to a class if he could not discuss the initiation or use of violence to keep government afloat? The class would go home early.


“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

– William Boetcker

“Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.”

– John Marshall

I issue a standard challenge to everyone within earshot:  show me one government or nation state which became smaller and smaller over time and increasingly less injurious to the freedom and liberty of individuals.  Again, I hear the bleating of the usual suspects on the alleged Right who claim that new-found respect for the Constitution will set everything right and we will all skip down the yellow brick road of the small government paradise known as America.  You are either a coercionist or a individualist, there is no middle ground.statist I will not belabor the details here for I have covered the Constitution abundantly in both essays and speaking engagements to show it for what it is:  a doomsday machine designed to bring maximum government to bear against a helpless citizenry reduced to bondage to the same document.  It is the great centralizer and grants unlimited power of taxation to the overlords in DC at Mordor on the Potomac.

I have championed the Articles of Confederation in the past but even those documents were flawed but certainly gave smaller government a chance.  In the end, limited government and small government never exist for long before metastasizing into enormous machines built for one purpose:  to extract unlimited obedience on pain of caging, maiming and/or death of all persons living within the acknowledged confines of the taxing jurisdiction known as nation-states.  Nothing less, nothing more.  Politicians are neither statesman nor public persons of noble intent; they are simply a self-selected class of psycho-/socio-paths whose only agenda is the monopoly of the power to enforce what I just described.  Despite all the court historians, collectivist apologists and contemporary mouthpieces who sing paeans to government and the denizens who run it, the agenda remains the same: the destruction of individual direction and volition and the harnessing of the captured citizenry to the whims and will of the rulers.  You have been lied to and civics class in the government education system then and now has been a descriptive mechanism to rationalize yoking individuals into the collective hive of the state. Civics class is nothing more than obedience training make sure your leash remains fastened even when the government isn’t snooping.

You cannot have a government without willing or unwilling submission of the subjects to the will of the rulers.  There is no historical antecedent or precedent for a government ever staying within the confines of its originating power.  None.  This speaks to my interpretation of the Western exodus in America in the 18th and 19th century.  The court historians talk about the wide-open spaces and the frontier mentality.  This was certainly a component but the main reason was a desire on the part of those sickened by the liberty-crushing Atlantic Constitutionalists to flee from that document and its strangulation of their freedom bit by bit. I can just imagine the two Celt brothers coming to a screaming halt at the beaches of California, looking over their shoulders and shouting: “Swim, Seamus! The Constitution is right behind us!”  Limited government is a legal fiction, a chimera and a cruel and tempting illusion.  It is the same as a belief in unicorns.  Unless I fasten a narwhal tusk to a most displeased horse’s forehead, they have never existed nor ever will (barring genetic engineering advances).  Judging from the behavior of the elected Grand Old Politburo in the recent “landslide” in 2014 in the unholy corridors of power of DC, they should ditch the Gadsden and hoist a unicorn bedecked flag. Political action will never reduce the size of government.  The incentives are so perverse to do otherwise that Buchanan’s Public Choice theories come to the fore with a vengeance.  Buppert’s Corollary to Acton’s Axiom is that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse.


“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

-H.L. Mencken

Publisher’s Note: I’m currently updating and revising my compilation of essays to which I will add an additional 300 pages (approximately) to the current book on Amazon and it will still be available at the very cool low price of $2.99. It is currently only available as an eBook. Amazon has revolutionized the world in more ways than one by circumventing the government supremacist gatekeepers in the big publishing houses. Once my esteemed editor is finished, I will plug it into Scrivener and compile it properly. I also maintain a Twitter presence at @Zero_Gov and you’re welcome to follow.

I have become an “occasional regular” (is there such a thing?) with my abolitionist friends at the Freedom Feens. Michael Dean is Feen6 and he runs a “teaching hospital” for high quality audio podcasting. I recommend listening. -BB

Zero Gov has a forum.  The blog is a terrific vehicle for…a one way conversation.  Mind you, I love the replies and welcome them but the forum allows readers and editors to be much more expansive and interactive. Unlike the brevity haiku of Twitter or the seemingly one-way scribblings on a blog, it allows much more Socratic drilling and deep philosophical exchange. There are 31 sub-forums once you become a member not the two that appear for guests.

I am hoping that most everyone will channel Socrates and discover that, at times, the questions are more informative than the answers.  We have a variety of boards created and posted now and hope this provides the impetus for the creation (or potential elimination) of boards and other areas of interest as traffic and discussions merit.

This is the abolitionist project and we are on the cusp of shifting the paradigm and convincing our fellow humans that ownership of another against their consent is wrong any way you shake it.  Our modest mission is to philosophically terraform the planet one disobedient serf at a time. As I have mentioned before, William Wilberforce started this fight and we will continue the battle against initiated violence and its largest protagonist, government. Government being monopolistic, individually non-consensual entities that need host populations to sustain themselves and harvest the host to benefit looters and parasites. All the noise about alien invasions is silly compared to the psychopaths among us who have convinced their fellow humans to don the chains and manacles and dance merrily to their tune.

I would ask that we conduct ourselves with gentlemanly comportment and keep the insults instead of arguments to a minimum.  We invite every creed and philosophical touchstone into the conversation.

Our tendency is to be non-interventionist freed [sic] market individualists whose influences tend to be Rothbard, von Mises and Spooner so that will most likely be the characteristic meme on the board but I invite the “other” anarchists, minarchists and even government supremacists to come and test your rhetorical mettle. I am hoping this enterprise creates new friends and goes even further to test veracity and philosophical depth of the abolitionist dao and possibilities for a stateless society.

Please visit the forum and see if it suits your fancy.  Be sure to advise us on any recommended changes.

You can access the forum here.

Or you can hit the Forum tab at the upper margin of the blog homepage.

“People crushed by law have no hope but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous…”

– Edmund Burke

“But for Joseph Stalin, it was also a good war. From his pact with Adolf Hitler he annexed parts of Finland and Romania, and three Baltic republics. His armies stood in Berlin, Prague and Vienna; his agents were vying for power in Rome and Paris; his ally was installed in North Korea; his protege, Mao, was about to bring China into his empire. But it was not so good a war for the inmates of Kolyma or the Russian POWs returned to Stalin in Truman’s Operation Keelhaul.”

– Patrick J. Buchanan

Today is the 71st anniversary of D-Day. My father soldiered in WWII toward the end of the conflict and with the advent of VE Day in April 1945, was getting ready to ship to the Pacific to invade mainland Japan. Fortunately, that got turned off and he instead exercised Patton’s horses in Germany and returned to the states in one piece. Almost. The experience rippled through his life until he died in 2013.

On reflection, despite the nonsense about the Greatest Generation and other such self-congratulatory back slapping, the end of the war quickly devolved into a bipolar world which would eventually find hundreds of millions living in slave states in the East and slave state aspirants in the West vying to see who could outdo the USSR in economic illiteracy and the adoption of socialism as the formative building block of government and society. WWII supported the grand illusion that immoral means could yield moral ends, an impossible moral equation.

It is the greatest generation in one dismal sense; it may be one of the greatest spontaneous generations of maximum states planet-wide.

Like all wars, the US government used this as an opportunity to pile on confiscatory tax measures and other population control measures that far outlasted the actual hot war. This would include Milton Friedman’s income tax withholding.

“However, both sides agreed on the need for high taxes (along with heavy borrowing) to pay for the war: top marginal tax rates ranged from 81%-94% for the duration of the war, and the income level subject to the highest rate was lowered from $5,000,000 to $200,000. Roosevelt tried unsuccessfully, by executive order 9250, to impose a 100% surtax on after-tax incomes over $25,000 (equal to roughly $340,721 today). However, Roosevelt did manage to impose this cap on executive pay in corporations with government contracts. Congress also enlarged the tax base by lowering the minimum income to pay taxes, and by reducing personal exemptions and deductions. By 1944 nearly every employed person was paying federal income taxes (compared to 10% in 1940).”

The American political world after WWII or the War to Save Josef Stalin to more accurately identify why the conflict took place, used the “Communist menace” to buttress the incredible growth of the American and Western European state; ironically emulating many of the worst aspects of central planning and citizen control. At least the French, British and Italians were honest enough to have significant voting blocs of self-avowed communists in their countries while the same were hounded in America despite the child-like reverence for the power of the state demonstrated by both major parties in America. Ironic that the Soviets had penetrated the Roosevelt White House so thoroughly in WWII. As the Democrat party started to evolve into the Socialist International after 1968 and the Grand Old Politburo stumbled behind with its incoherent statist/progressive agenda, the US became the Olympic Gold winner in the new era after the USSR simply just fell apart in 1989-91 getting the Silver Medal to build the bigger state.

The US was a hairs-breadth away from staying out of what was essentially the next phase of WWI if Lindbergh had defeated the odious and bloody-minded FDR in 1940. The America First Committee boasted almost a million members and wielded considerable influence on the dissenting voices. After eight years of clownish performance and a slobbering devotion to socialist and fascist ideas, FDR still secured the majority of the vote from the American booboisee and quickly set the groundwork to get the US involved in the European war and the Pacific war in the larger sense.

One can see that if WWI had not been entered by the US, the whole sordid chain of events that led to the advent of WWII may have been avoided. The sealed train to Russia to inaugurate the conflicts of the Red and White armies that would fight until 1923 would not have transpired and the ambitions of Hitler would have been crushed before they even started by the limited victories of the Central Powers and the absence of a Versailles Treaty that cruelly set the conditions for future slaughter and mayhem.

The subsequent seizure of the White House by avowed socialist revolutionaries in 1933 would march hand in hand with the rise of Hitler and Mussolini learning at the knee of Josef Stalin and his more murderous but frankly more honest campaign to enslave his nation and others.

The entry of America in WWII in concert with the Communist menace in the USSR, married at the hip, to make the world safe for the savage collectivism that was the joint vision of the Allies to include Churchill and De Gaulle was a prophecy fulfilled. At the time of the landings at Normandy celebrated on this day, it was a mere sideshow compared to the gargantuan land-borne fights that had savaged the Germans and Soviets alike since the launch of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. While the Allies diddled in the Kasserine Pass being schooled in failure and loss and mounted glacially-paced campaigns on the Italian peninsula, the Germans and Russians schooled each other in the crushing of armies of men, hundreds of thousands of soldiers locked in mortal combat that would see plenty killed and millions injured and wounded away from the small sideshow at Normandy.

Not one American should have ever stepped foot on the European continent unless on a tourist passport. The rippling effects of the foothold and the eventual “liberation” of Europe from the National Socialists would merely usher in Hitler’s vision absent the liquidation of certain undesirable groups such as Jews, gays and Slavs. That liquidation would continue apace in the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. One would be hard pressed to look at the NSDAP platform of the Third Reich and not find most of its ambitions accomplished in the European states after the war and then rocketing to prominence in the modern socialist entity of the European Union.


nraPublisher’s Note:  I am a resigned life member of the NRA. I am a non-voter. I think the Constitution is a diabolically clever instrument to make a slave people think they are free. I am in favor to the total decriminalization and deregulation of all weapons systems across the Fetid Plain. There is not a weapons law on the books at any level of government in America I support. The only disarmament program I can get behind is all statist badged armed employees should be totally ungunned of all lethal and non-lethal systems until all government police forces are disbanded nation-wide. Things would be sporty, for about an hour.

I have confined this analysis to Republican mischief at the Federal level and not the dishonorable disarmament efforts at the state level which deserves their own examination. I also explicitly say private weapons because Republicans have a child-like reverence for the power of the state and provision an unlimited number of arms to government agents of every stripe at the drop of a hat and using someone else’s money. Their undeniable love affair with the warfare state has metastasized into an orgiastic passion for all things badged government agent domestically.  -BB

“Black men with rifles marched into the state capitol building in Sacramento. In response to that, a bill was passed which became California’s first gun control law and eventually became the model for a national gun control law. So the (Black) Panthers were really the first gun rights movement. And the response to them — which was, by the way, a Republican response, authored by a Republican Congressman and Ronald Regan who was governor at the time…”

– Historian Thaddeus Russell

[ Editor’s Note: The first weapons prohibition law in California would be in 1854: “On March 21, 1854, Assembly Bill 80 was passed, making the sale of firearms and ammunition to “Indians” a misdemeanor.”]

Philosophically, your stance on gun ownership tells me a lot of what your position is on freedom. If you’re a weapons prohibitionist, you tend to be a coercionist and government supremacist.

I dedicate this essay to the fruitless enterprise of voting and hope to show the Republicans or friends who are that the Grand Old Politburo is just as anxious as the Democrats to disarm you. Of course, the post-Second American Revolution Democrats have become a party of weapons prohibition but like all apparatchiks they consistently play philosophical whack-a-mole to plug new holes emerging in the totalitarian dike that separates Helots from their freedom. Two left wings of the same predatory bird.

At least the Democrats are honest enough about their economically illiterate Orwellian love affair with the Leviathan state since the 1930s.

I would suggest that the only difference between the parties is the spelling and nothing else. Both parties are death cults intent on piling on more and more freedom destroying regulations, laws and edicts that smother every ember of freedom that pokes out of the long-dead scorched earth of liberty that the government has firebombed since 1791.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the limited government apologists mewling about the GOP protection of gun rights and I wish to put that fabrication to rest. The Republicans hate atomistic ownership of weapons as much as the Democrats. Just their consistent hero worship of the cop class and constant fellating of the police state should be enough but it is not. I will destroy the perception in detail.

Let’s establish something. You can’t own a thing unless you control it. You don’t own your house even once you pay the mortgage because unless you pay your tribute to local taxing authority, your home will be seized. In America you lease everything from the government and in the case of guns from the Federal government. Unless you managed to be smart and get all your guns off paper and never used a 4473 to buy them, you are on a list. A confiscation list because that is what all registration does. registration just makes the follow-on seizure more bureaucratically efficient. Ask both the holders of gold and German Jews in the 1930s. They were both victims of government seizure via registration.

Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) are simply extensions of the BATFE; gun stores are non-funded field offices of the ATF much like banks are non-funded informant networks that report to the IRS. Interesting that the 4473 is a violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment being used to deny the alleged Second Amendment protection. But then again, the Constitution was built to be a predatory doomsday machine to create the largest government the planet has seen in recorded history.

The whole notion of the Second Amendment is a sham and a chimera. I’ve spoken on this at length before and won’t bore you with the details here. A conditional right subject to voiding by the mob and their executors in the government is no right at all in any sense. The endless carping and mewling by gun owners and organizations may give the illusion of controlling the debate but the fat lady has already sung. In the sense that a bird doesn’t know what its wings are for since it spent its life in a cage, my notion that I should have free and unrestricted commerce in all weapons to include fully automatic weapons, suppressors, grenades and anything found on the arms market today is received by the Elmer Fudd gun owners as sheer lunacy. Cash and carry, no registration or licensing. None. But…but…but…what about the children as they run screaming to the nearest coproach to inform on their fellow Helot. Again, registration is simply a necessary precondition to confiscation and seizure.



I have written about the cop plague in America for years and a number of readers have asked to see all the essays compiled in one place. Alas, I have written so many I can’t keep track of them but if an enterprising reader were to take the time to catalog them, I’d be happy to put them in one place along with the media appearances where this grisly subject is entertained. You’ll find a brief summary of some of them at the end of this essay.

I’d like to make several new observations.

It bears repeating: immoral means do not yield moral ends and don’t hit and don’t steal is a maxim that benefits everyone except the badged thug-scrum class in the US. Terrorism is the use of threatened or actual violence against innocents to achieve political ends. If that ain’t policing in America, I don’t know what is.  Absent violation of the Ten Commandments daily, the practice of terrorism and the liberal application of wood shampoos on the slightest pretense, what would cops do? The government will never stop creating malum prohibitum crime; it is its bread and butter in power accrual and revenue aggrandizement.

The apparent revelation that cops are more savage and murderous today than past eras is patently false. The primary difference today is the sheer abundance of video and audio footage that consistently demonstrates not only the barbaric behavior of cops but the national sub-culture of lying, document fabrication and collusion with other government elements in the massive American penal complex for whom cops are the primary entry agent for screening potential inmates or corpses. I find the tactic innovative and revealing of releasing the video footage after the official reports are filed by the cops. How do you know a coproach is lying? His mandibles are moving. A two for one in that you prove both the deceit and the malice in one fell swoop.

Since 1972 and the coincident increase in the size and reach of the Federal government in concert with the Drug War, the police state started to metastasize into the cancer it is today. The increasingly militant foreign policy planet-wide after the fall of the USSR in 1989-1991 started to transition the American policing institutions from the petty savagery of localized thuggery to the more sophisticated militarization that has permeated copdom since then. This has been enhanced by Pentagon “leasing” arrangements of military equipment to unleash on the tax Helots, much of it unaccounted for.

The emergence of the Malum Prohibitum State married the coercive monopoly of the Federal government to all its satraps in the 19,000 government-policing jurisdictions throughout the United States. Some worthies of late have expressed fear at the emerging calls for a federalization of all police forces in America. Too little and too late, they are de facto and de jure Federalized since that Drug War inauguration in 1972 but I would date the beginning of this Federal takeover of law enforcement to the adoption of the Volstead Act in 1919. When this is combined with the absurd Palmer Raids and vicious Wilsonian American Protective League, you have the recipe for the unlimited functionality and bleating of every state – national security apparatchik for more laws and powers confined to the Only Ones. This hue and cry gives carte blanche to any government to crush every aspect of individual liberty for the protection of the herd. Thus the new charter of the FBI has become just that.


Publisher’s Note: I’d like to thank my former student, Douglas Bryant, for the ideas that inspired this essay. -BB

“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”

– Richard W. Paul

“Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.”

– Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

War and conflict are about angles both kinetically and philosophically.

Parallax is the change or movement in the appearance of an object that occurs when viewing it from different perspectives. The parallax gap exists where the differences between two points of view cannot be bridged: where no coherent whole can make sense of both perspectives. Below, I extend the metaphor of the parallax gap to elucidate two failures in contemporary counterinsurgency warfare and in the larger framework, the neo-imperialist project of the West.

The first is a gap between the ethical norms of the citizens of the United States and the types of conflicts they believe they can solve with military power. The second gap is that between the counterinsurgency goal of gaining the support of the population with a better narrative than that offered by the insurgency, and the religious mind of the true believer and circumstances of average civilians for whom that narrative is not a live option.

The First Gap

Why is it that Saddam Hussein was able to prevent civil war in Iraq while the US could not do so before the surge and may not be able to now that Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended and Operation New Dawn has begun? The short answer is that Saddam Hussein was willing to do things that the United States is not—things the US considers to be unethical and therefore unacceptable. Yet. The US limits its military options by its ethical norms, and it is not unique in doing so. However, it may be the case that there are certain conflicts in certain areas that the US cannot win with these limitations, and this possibility remains largely unacknowledged in the US. This should inform the nomenklatura in the US foreign policy and offense establishment on the ultimate feasibility of many of the conflicts it engages in and fights it picks. On the contrary, American faith in the military to win all conflicts is entrenched.

This, in spite of a track record of dismal failure in all its overseas adventures since the end of The War to Save Josef Stalin. One might also note that the Allied victory in WWII was a result of the wholesale commitment of Roosevelt’s precious Communist state in defeating the Axis powers. If you doubt the Soviet contribution to Japanese defeat apart from the Western sideshow starting in June 1944 on the Continent, take a look at the astonishing calculus of forces arrayed in August 1945 in the Russo-Japanese War II commencing on 9 August 1945 and culminating in a devastating defeat of Japanese forces. One wonders at the astonishing coincidence of these army operations within days of the dropping of the American atomic bombs. But a look at the deep penetration of the American executive decision complex established by both active Soviet agents and useful idiots in the foul and corrupt Roosevelt administration may offer some insight into how that could happen. I would also suggest that the nuclear decimation of the two Japanese cities was a signal to the Soviets about a new boss in town by Truman more so than a bargaining mechanism to get the Japanese to surrender. The Japanese had been seeking a conditional surrender since January 1945.


Publisher’s Notes: John and I have been friends for several years and I highly prize his counsel in history and weapons lore. He and I have a propensity for indulging in the arcana of tactical details and interesting TTP of bygone eras.Please enjoy his great reading of the rebellious life of MAJ Redmond. This appeared in Forward Observer magazine for which he and I are both writers. -BB

One participant in the Southern Mountains’ Revenue Wars’ of the late 19th and early 20th centuries stands out. He has been described as the most famous man of whom you’ve never heard. He epitomizes Appalachia’s resistance to unjust authority. Not only did he essentially lead a war of evasion of which the likes of John Rambo would be proud, he lived to tell about it. Redmond is a shining example of the state-repellant qualities of the southern mountains.

The man who came to be known as “King of the Moonshiners” life is partially shrouded in myth. Accounts of his life vary greatly, largely because he was a leading cause du jour of fictitious dime novels of the 1870’s and 80’s, but the basic facts of his exploits remain true.

Lewis Redmond was most likely born in the northern corner of Georgia where it meets Western North Carolina on the eve of the War of Northern Aggression in the 1850’s, although some sources claim he was born in Swain County, NC. By 1856 the Lewis family had relocated to what is now Transylvania County, North Carolina. Lewis was obviously too young to join the war effort in defense of his southern homeland but his brothers reportedly served in the Confederate Army under Col. William Holland Thomas in his Legion of Highlanders and Cherokee. Lewis Redmond wasn’t actually a Major, but he did get that nickname while hanging around Confederate camps as a teenager.

Redmond was a product of the times. A time of guerrilla insurgency and resistance of an occupying army, with lines blurred between combatants and non-combatants. Mixed loyalties further fueled the fires, and ultimately Reconstruction was more than many people could take. Also thrown into the mix was a newly enacted federal tax on distilled spirits instituted to help pay federal war debt. A tax that criminalized a practice that mountaineers considered a sacred birthright that was handed down from generation to generation. The market rate for a gallon of corn whiskey in this period was around 1.10$ a gallon. The federal government’s excise tax on this product was $.90. (Raised to 1.10$ in 1894) Farmers in the mountains had the choice of either selling a bushel of corn for 50 cents, or turning that bushel of corn into 3 gallons of whiskey, which was easier to transport. It cost a farmer 10$ to haul 20 bushels of corn to town that sold for around 8$. The tax was more than people could take. It was a complete assault not only on their natural liberty, but their livelihood. And this all came at a time of military rule and the tax was viewed as nothing more than a tool of domination by the Northern State to further deny Home Rule to the besieged mountain dwellers. Mountain people slowly declared an all out declaration of refusal and used violence in defense of their lives, liberty and sacred honor against an all out federal assault.

The federal response was further escalation. The Bureau of Internal Revenue soon was granted authority under the Force Act of 1871 to call federal military to their aid in enforcing their will on the southern mountain population. President Grant responded in kind by sending in the 7th Cavalry and men from the 2nd and 8th Infantry regiments to aid the federal tax collection effort. Bayonet rule of a conquered people vying for the last vestiges of freedom was in full swing. Soon the people had a figure to rally behind.

In the 1870’s Lewis Redmond labored on his families farm by day and ran illicit liquor at night. The federal liquor law enforcement arm soon caught wind of this and warrants were issued for the arrest members of the Redmond clan. Lewis’s recalled that his father was then arrested and carried to Asheville to stand trial. He claimed his mother died a few days after from fright and shock, and his father died on the trip to Asheville from exposure.

The event that happened next threw the story into over drive. Later on a mountain road in the East Fork Section of Transylvania County, NC, the Revenue men caught up with Lewis Redmond and his colleague Amos Ladd. (Brother of Redmond’s future wife) Deputy Marshal Alfred Duckworth stopped Redmond and attempted to arrest him for the ‘crime’ of making and trafficking illegal and untaxed distilled spirits. There is speculation surrounding the event. The most likely story is that the agent did not have the arrest warrant in his possession at the time and when Duckworth attempted to apprehend Redmond, he defended himself, ultimately shooting Duckworth in the throat. Redmond and Ladd escaped, Duckworth fell dead shortly after, during the chase. Even though the mountain people viewed ridding the world of a revenue agent to be akin to killing a copperhead, federal authorities saw it differently.


“God knows I detest slavery but it is an existing evil, and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution.”

– Millard Fillmore

In this day and age when human beings have access to an unlimited fountain of human knowledge vertically and horizontally, one would think that slave people who are told they are free would know the difference. Not so, the government academic complex has been incredibly adept informing legions of both useful idiots and spirited scribblers and talking heads that are happy to massage the message. If one were a bird in a cage since birth, how in the world would you know what your wings are for? Much has been written on the terror of overtly totalitarian societies and various observers from across the accepted political spectrum have thrown barbs at one another over who lords over the worst measure of society.

The worthies in command would have you believe in the nonsense of Left and Right and everything in between, the apocryphal battle between fascism and communism in the twentieth century culminating in the West ironically winning the second half of WWI, the War to Save Josef Stalin, and making the planet safe for communism and the concomitant reaction of Western elites to build garrison states of their own to protect their subject populations from something…

There is no Left and Right but there are coercionists and individualist of which the former must intervene in every human transaction to exist and be made whole and visible.

So let’s make clear what our definitional constructs are before we begin the examination. The Cambridge English Dictionary has the following quaint definition of slavery.

…the condition of being legally owned by someone else, or the system in which some people are owned by others.

What is this notion of ownership?

Ownership is a condition of possession. If one lives in a nation state, you can be abducted at any time by the police authorities who are the pointy end of all political policies. There is a reason modern policing in America is originally a 19th century artifact of slave patrols powered by the Federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. You will note that this Act was merely an updated treatment of the same act from 1793 (I will note this is a mere two years after the ink is dry on the wretched Constitution).

Yet another reminder that the Constitution not only codified slavery but used government money to equip the patrols to repatriate the “human property”. Read Section 3 and 4 of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 to really get your government muscle on. This was approved on 12February 1793 with 48 votes in favor and 7 against and 14 abstaining.


Passive protection. The ability to use non-violent means to defend yourself, much like the use of seatbelts or the active use of fire suppression devices. Objects in and of themselves that cannot harm others without a devilishly clever manipulation of the device(s). Imagine a country or class of people who finds these items not only offensive but threatening in and of themselves.

Hence the latest round of outrageously silly notions to outlaw the use of body armor by normal citizens and mundanes in America. Anyone not in the elect tribe of police or military or other accredited government groups who need the means to defend themselves from harm.

HR 378 seeks to ban possession of body armor for civilians in America. Yet another malum prohibitum law that is a solution in search of a problem. More cynical observers see it as a means for the government to make it even easier for modern American police to continue their killing spree they have been on for decades. The body of the bill makes no hint whatsoever of why this is such an important item to consider but knowing how the mandarins in DC works, this is something to be dusted off if the proper response to rampant police brutality ever emerges and yet another menu selection for the US legal prosecutoriat to use to throw people in dungeons for daring to resist the cascading predations on liberty by the central government.

Jay Syrmopoulos has done a nice job of pointing out the lethal silliness of the entire notion.

“The armor is purely defensive in nature, and people should always have the ability and right to defend themselves against attack.

The right to self-defense is the right from which all other rights are derived. As John Locke stated, self-defense is the first law of nature. Each person owns his or her own life and no other person has a right to take that life, or hinder the preservation thereof.

The Supreme Court has held that the police have no duty to protect citizens, so that responsibility now falls squarely on the shoulders of individuals themselves.

To take away people’s ability to access defensive armor, after telling them that they are on their own and are owed no protection by law enforcement, almost seems like a cruel joke.

Why should a law-abiding American, that takes steps to defend themselves passively, be criminalized?

Interestingly, government employees and personnel who work for the various government agencies, departments, or “political subdivisions” are exempted in the bill.”

You’ll even note in this FBI study that less than five percent of active shooters employ body armor and the storied incident in LA was more a function of extraordinarily poor police marksmanship than total protection of the perpetrators. Please note that the FBI has taken such a credibility hit in the last decade that one should examine the data and come to your own conclusions considering that the FBI will analyze the evidence to skew it in the government’s best interest which is always the people’s worst. They have re-flagged their mission to national security and become a US variation of the Soviet Cheka in all but name now. This simply means the mask has dropped and one can see the true nature of the organization. This may explain its tendency to bait and switch homegrown terrorist incidents. The antics have certainly tarnished the reputation of the agency but like all government bureaucracies they begin to believe their own fairly tales that their lives are sacrosanct and more important than the citizens in the feedlot they lord over. They begin to look at themselves as zookeepers.