Mr. Beck, I’ve been both astonished and amused at your success. I think you have taken some courageous steps as a media personality, such as leaving the cesspool of the American northeast to strike your own media brand in Texas. You’ve established your own independent media outlet. You have plumbed history in a way for most folks that they weren’t accustomed to in school. This, in spite of your recent admiration for the historical quack and Evanjellyfish, David Barton who makes Michael Bellesiles look like a model historian. You didn’t always arrive at the right conclusions, but asked important questions. But now I suspect you have made a faux pas that puts any of your good works in the hazard. You’ve become the police apologist that every lover of freedom and liberty in America dreads. Frankly, this is morally monstrous on your part because you're rationalizing the very worst aspect of any government on Earth throughout history; the notion that you must take a bat or worse to anyone who dares to defy or disobey the state and its armed functionaries in ensuring all statist edicts are obeyed no matter how asinine, immoral or ineffective. You endorse the initiation of force against innocents. It's much like cheer-leading the Cheka in the USSR. "We need to address a few bad apples on both sides of the line." The kind of person who buys the dissembling narrative of the thin black and blue line. You’ve gone so far as to call for a national day of prayer to stand up for the “besieged” police forces nationwide. All 19,000 departments, chock-full of unionized armed Leninists whose only loyalty is to the rulers, and whose only task is to be the pointy and bloody end of all laws across the fetid plain. Apparently, they’re a bloated and self-serving government union you can get behind. Next, you will be a champion for the NEA and AFT. Cops hit, steal and kidnap for a living, by statist fiat. They employ the impossible moral calculus that immoral means will yield moral ends. They advance the absurd notion that the Nuremberg defense will cover everything they do. The police are the standing army the Anti-Federalists warned us about. Some cops get killed, everyone loses their minds and the police fill their pants in fear and fury. Yet for every cop killed in the US, thirty civilians perish at their hands. Thirty to one. Forty one have died from "non-lethal" tasers alone this year. Forty one, almost twice the number of police dead so far in "criminal" encounters on the job. This nearly twice the number of cops fallen at the hands of "criminals". Because the cops have stacked up 787 corpses this year alone, as of now; mostly on pretenses that would put normal mundanes in the hazard in the judicial system. Their special status gives them a license to murder at will. Mind you, I don’t trust the number and think it is low due to non-, under- and mis-reporting by the legal apparatchiks and their cheerleaders in the media. After all, the Feds don’t maintain a database of civilians killed by police. No, that task falls on a British newspaper and a few dedicated individuals nation-wide who try to track this. This certainly doesn’t include the vast  gulag (largest per capita on Earth) the US maintains in its many cage systems for human livestock, from the local to the Federal level. Robert Higgs make the cogent case why good cops are merely a chimera and a mirage. “The whole Good Cop / Bad Cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) A cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) Therefore every cop has to agree to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.” All laws. All malum prohibitum laws that have no victim but the state, and no beneficiary except the government.
Publisher's Note: Please read Paul's brilliant post on Peak Obedience at his site. It dovetails nicely with the screed below. You can buy both of my books at Amazon. Just published the second volume on 24 August, the anniversary of the British burning down of the Offal Office, an appropriate date to launch on. -BB
"But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. "The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful." - Lysander Spooner
Don’t hit and don’t steal. Absent these two things, no government on Earth could exist for an hour much less centuries. Once the state has secured the means to threaten or initiate violence, this prerogative becomes the exclusive preserve of the monopolistic state. Political science is not about elegant ways for humanity to co-exist an·ar·chy ˈanərkē/ noun noun: anarchy absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal. The definition means that rulers don’t exist but rules do. This is not paradoxical but makes perfect sense. I am the first to admit I embrace a dystopic vision in which human society will be rife with failures, mistakes and foibles, we're only human after all. And freedom will yield results not endorsed by everyone. But this barking mad idea of taking the worst of humanity and giving them the reigns of power over millions when they can't even govern their own misbehavior. Th is is insanity. But the notion of anarchy scares the shit out of Americans across the fetid plain. The notion of not having legions of armed busybodies ready with the bat to apply the wood shampoo or worse at the behest of the ruler de jure makes most American men shiver in terror. I know the A-word makes most humans quiver in fear and loathing so I employ a less charged word – abolition. I am an abolitionist and opposed to all forms of human slavery whether it be chattel, bondage, indentured, taxation or regulatory. All of it. It’s a bit disconcerting to think that one would have to defend the notion of abolition in polite conversation but that is the American salon today. Quivering women of both sexes shaking in trepidation at the thought of not having a master across the political spectrum. Fortunately, I have no place on that spectrum since politician is a nice colloquialism for violence broker and I will not participate in selecting the latest psychotic kakocrat to parade into the Offal Office or its subsidiary satraps. Think about that.

Publisher’s Note: Greyman and I have known each other for years and he has some words of wisdom to impart. A few thoughts from my perspective. Gardening of any food is hard, just tough work. If this is something you are considering, you need to start tomorrow morning. My wife is a master gardener and we have had food gardens as large as 2500 square feet in the inland west from the Idaho cold to the arid desert of southeastern Arizona. Every climate zone has its own eccentricities and tailoring farming that needs to take place. In one instance, we put 16 tons of sand in the soil to increase porosity in the desert soil. Your mileage may vary in your location. There should be a network of master gardeners in your area who will talk for hours on how to do this if you ask. But gardens take years to mature and your first few years will full of legions of mistakes from “volunteer” genetic cantamelons because of proximity planting to acidic soil conditions to learning how to tame tomato plants (20 foot cattle panels bent into an arch solve the problem nicely). The Internet ‘verse is a huge wealth of information for gardening in your local area. The amount of learning is intimidating for the novice gardener but the satisfaction of delivering your own food is worth it. By the way, there is nothing cheap about gardening. Learn to can. -BB As the stock market burns today an oft-predicted day of reckoning...

Today, I've released the new book I just published. The new book is ZeroGov: A Vision for an Unshackled Humanity. On this day, 24 August, in 1759, William Wilberforce was born; the British abolitionist who put his shoulder to the wheel to derail and destroy the English sponsorship of chattel slavery. He is one of the patron saints of this site. On this day in 1814, the British burned the Offal Office and White House to the ground. Nearly a quarter century after the ghastly Constitution cast its eye of Mordor over the fruited plain while settlers fled and raced west to escape its grasp. Little did we know the portent the British offered for the sheer loathing the White House would inspire planet-wide in the intervening years. I can’t think of a more auspicious day to unveil the debut of my new book. The second volume of essays covers the following years of 2012-2015 accompanying the first volume. I had originally planned to simply expand and revise the first volume but at nearly a thousand pages, even in an electric medium. Please be sure to pick up the book at 3.99 on Amazon and take the time to leave a review if you see fit. The first volume is here. The abolitionist project is picking up steam and people are waking up and seeing that the chains are real and the shackles need to be sundered. I hope this book puts steel into the movement and provides a minor intellectual boost to feed the gathering...

Publisher's Note: Just discovered a curious cat named Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke who lived alone in the Alaskan wilderness for 35 years. I'd requested a data cache from friends sent to me of documentaries while I am OCONUS and happened on these. Several documentaries by Bob Swerer were made based on Proenneke's diaries and homemade film records of his exploits. The journals are a wonderful testament to his skills as a a writer and naturalist if not world-class builder and expedient materials fabricator. Many brag on their wilderness skills but Dick shows how it's done. Take a look for yourself. -BB
"They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.” - Gandhi “Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” -Edward Abbey
I am opposed to the government death penalty; I am also pro-life which makes me blessedly consistent.  I don’t trust the government to be able to have the responsibility to mete out the severest penalty and to do it either professionally or with no ill intent.  In the smaller sense, the evidence is massive of the queue of innocents who have been shot, hanged and poisoned for crimes they did not commit.  In the larger sense, government puts us all on death row and it is just a matter of time before the statist cops kill you in your home or vehicle or we suffer a massive die-off in America from an EMP burst that takes us from now to 1850 in one second. I use this preamble to frame my severe skepticism of the state doing the right thing…ever. I am not opposed to the death penalty in my house if an intruder comes in to do harm to me or mine.  I am a Flinter in temperament and predisposition.  Most of the laws on the books are noxious, useless and liberty-draining in their essence.  Malum prohibitum is the state saying don’t do that because I told you not to.  A monstrous fallacy whose logic only serves to reduce subject populations to assessed rentals on their freedom that can be wrested away at the drop of the constabulary’s hat.  I daresay that one could throw every statute book into the bonfires across the nation when Americans finally wake up and throw off their shackles of serfdom from the local to the national level and folks would not find themselves in danger but would stumble into prosperity. As a matter of fact: “If US federal regulation–and all the money it receives, generates and spends–were evaluated as a standalone economy, it would be the 10th largest in the world, behind Russia and before India. That’s right, our federal regulations outrank, in terms of overall output, the economy of the second-most populous country on Earth.” This is simply astonishing. The brakes on civilizational advance imposed by government are incalculable. Will commerce and everyday living really come to a screeching halt because the cops don’t show up to work or the sloth-like city landscaping crews refuse to shamble from their abodes to dawdle at make-work throughout the burgs of America?  All of a sudden, the economic illiterates peopling the municipalities across the nation go on strike for higher wages and more vacation time for weeks, nay months; will the country stagnate and fold onto itself? Things would be difficult for about 24 hours and then voluntarism, persuasion and cooperation would emerge as the factors that make life worth living.  No utopia this and there would be scores settled and inevitable failures but only the individuals would be responsible and not the nameless strangers who lord over every facet of our lives like pawns on a macabre chessboard.  The heavy hand of the state and its shambling yoke-tenders would be out of work and the country would revitalize itself.  Tens of thousands of Americans would wake up the next morning and look to the east and exclaim:  “You can go away now; we have awakened from our prison slumber.” Ed Abbey made me say this. I found Edward Abbey’s 1959 thesis on “Anarchy and the Morality of Violence” over the weekend while reading a small tome entitled “Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist” by James Bishop, Jr.  I have been an Abbey reader most of my adult life and found his books amusing and penetrating.  He held a lifelong distrust of all authority, especially the state and the thesis provides an insight into the flame that burned in him at a rather tender age. In reading the thesis, I am astonished that nearly sixty years ago in an America long gone, he faced the same fears of overweening government and the creeping police state emerging into monstrous being.

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn't believe in that. Tomorrow wasn't getting ready for them. It didn't even know they were there.” - Cormac McCarthy, The Road Publisher's Note: Skip, the Village Armorer and Praxis Editor just put together a major project on the EDC bag. He and I are both Maxpedition fanboys and love the slingbag concept. Can't be beat. We have an entire discussion board devoted to both EDC and Village Praxis at the forum if you want to pursue detailed discussion. After a number of attempts to import his huge project, I decided to put it at the link below. Please be sure to provide comments for addition, deletion or expansion. All these bags have one thing in common: don't even start until you've clarified your mission profile and statement of purpose. -BB EDC Bag PDF ...

Death by cop is at a high tide this year. It even takes a British newspaper instead of the American central government to track the numbers. We all know the Federal government simply couldn't afford to track such numbers with their police satraps. Remember the meme several years ago where the claim was made that more Americans die at the hands of badged thugs than terrorists to the tune of about 400 per annum? All the savvy observers knew these numbers were wrong. The police are the pointy end of all politics planet-wide and it just so happens that some of the worst abuse on the globe occurs in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Let’s examine the number of cops that die year after year to demonstrate the interesting imbalance and how the police pad their own figures of line of duty deaths to exaggerate actual deaths on the job. How many cops died during this same year, compared to 680 mundane corpses stacked like cord-wood in police engagements so far? 22 to include 3 by "vehicular assault." 22 as opposed to 680. (Thanks, Pete) The clever lads at the site consider K9s to be the equivalent of humans. I'm OK with that if the cops afforded the same courtesy to the thousands of dogs they murder every year. These are their own figures. Incidentally, gunfire deaths are down a third this year for the esteemed police officers.
Publisher’s Note: 29 July was the death day for one of the inspirations for this site, William Wilberforce, who graces the masthead of this blog for many reasons. A tireless abolitionist and moral man of the highest water, he is the kind of spiritual apex I seek to emulate; absolutely relentless in his pursuit of freedom for the chattel slave and the termination of that horrific institution. Unfortunately, whether lack of moral imagination or the temporal constraint of the time he lived in, he suffered the same limitations of all 19th century abolitionists save one. He asked the right questions but failed to address the self-ownership issue to the man behind the curtain in the first place, the state. Wilberforce and I propitiously share the same birthday, which happily coincides with the British burning of the Offal Office in 1814. That single abolitionist who asked the questions to my satisfaction mining the very legitimacy of the state in a moral universe was Lysander Spooner. I also suggest you listen to Prof CJ's Dangerous History podcast on Spooner. Outstanding explication on the man. You can find all his works in PDF here. I happen to be a lucky soul who owns the entire corpus of his works in a six-volume hardback collection. -BB
“The "National" system so called, is in reality no national system at all; except in the mere fact that it is called the national system and was established by the national government. It is, in truth, only a private system; a mere privilege conferred upon a few, to enable them to control prices, property, and labor, and thus swindle, plunder and oppress all the rest of the people.” -Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner is the patron saint of this site. Months ago, I was amused to be with friends and at one point one of the fellows was haranguing us about “getting back to the Constitution”.  As if we ever left that wretched compact with leviathan government.  At one point, another worthy said that maybe we should pay more attention to Lysander Spooner.  Indeed.  For plenty of freedom advocates, it begins with Rand or von Mises or Rothbard and a host of other luminaries who saw through the collectivist sham. For me, Spooner was a primary gateway to abolitionism. He proves your mind is the primary weapon against the state. For others, Lysander Spooner is the strike of the match.  I was introduced to Spooner through a great book by the magnificent James J. Martin in Men Against the State. Among the several forgotten heroes from the 19th century, Spooner stands as a titan.  He made a rather interesting point concerning the Constitution in that he claimed that no document could bind a man if he is not an active signatory.  You can see where this would be rather problematic for a government and why the concept is roundly condemned in a court system staffed by robed government employees for whom honor and fidelity for justice will be observed as long as their masters approve. Spooner is the gateway drug for maximum liberty and freedom.  If you pay close enough attention to his arguments and patterns of thinking, you come away thinking that the entire rotten collectivist project is not only desperately lacking in intellectual rigor but is founded first and foremost in an evil premise.  The premise of all collectivist and statist projects is initiated violence against ALL humans.  For the system would collapse if the fear of the monopoly of force were not the schwerpunkt of all actions from the enforcement of tax collection and aggression to the most banal of offenses, if one citizen not a member of the nomenklatura got away with it, revolution would follow shortly.
"Amateurs train until they get it right. Pros train until they can't get it wrong." - variously attributed to Pelé, Stephen Hillier, and others "The amateur seeks excellence. The professional seeks adequacy." - Jeff Cooper
Bring back dueling. Yesterday. As most know who visit this blog, I am not asking for a law or permission but the decriminalization of the affaire d'honneur; the gaining of satisfaction by challenging dishonorable scalawags to put their money where their myths are.
“While dueling may seem barbaric to modern men, it was a ritual that made sense in a society in which the preservation of male honor was absolutely paramount. A man’s honor was the most central aspect of his identity, and thus its reputation had to be kept untarnished by any means necessary. Duels, which were sometimes attended by hundreds of people, were a way for men to publicly prove their courage and manliness. In such a society, the courts could offer a gentleman no real justice; the matter had to be resolved with the shedding of blood.”
So as then and now, single combat was a primal answer to wringing justice from bad situations.
"The first rule of dueling was that a challenge to duel between two gentleman could not generally be refused without the loss of face and honor. If a gentleman invited a man to duel and he refused, he might place a notice in the paper denouncing the man as a poltroon for refusing to give satisfaction in the dispute. But one could honorably refuse a duel if challenged by a man he did not consider a true gentleman. This rejection was the ultimate insult to the challenger."
The modern twist would be more accurate weapons but the dishonored party could have the ability to choose more intimate  and close-quarters weapons if he chose. The defendant in the challenge could always shirk his honor and insist he will not rise to the challenge. That in itself would address some satisfaction to the aggrieved and dishonored party. The market will provide some unique solutions from training salons to escrowed and refereed single combat to weapons specifically tailored to the duel. I have often thought that not only is dueling an unfairly maligned tradition but one whose application today could stiffen the spine of estrogen nation and put more of a "point" to affairs of honor.  The increasing feminization of society and the rampant overpopulation of metrosexual males blanch at the prospect but it puts the edge to the question. The Germans even practiced a form that rarely led to death or serious injury in Academic fencing. I can think of several instances in my own life where this would have resolved a difficulty.  Manners are the lubricant of civilization and alas, they are quickly perishing in America with the resultant coarseness, rudeness and cultural illiteracy that pervades the country today.  Part of this is a result of the loss of classical education, a complete lack of historical knowledge and the increasing prevalence of women of both sexes held high as the enviable male paradigm.  We are a nation with a surfeit of males but fewer men.  Men should know what they are about and have an idea of their measure under arduous or dangerous circumstances. Some have served in the military; some participate in adventure sports and some in dangerous professions (like firefighters not cops).  Being a cop is one of the safest occupations in America outside of the self-induced pathologies of over-eating, alcoholism and suicide. Imagine, if one would, that the tens of thousands assaulted and hundreds murdered by the state-sponsored police hordes infesting America were subject to be “called out” by surviving friends and family members. Since the state refuses to sunder the evil trifecta of officer safety, qualified immunity and police unions that make them Murder Inc. across the country, think of the braking mechanism on poor police behavior a potential meeting to seek satisfaction would render over time. I’ve always wondered where are the husbands and male relatives of all these women raped, assaulted, maimed and killed by the statist police in America? The concept of honor is a dying creed so I expect very few adherents will step forward to advocate for the renewal of dueling as a dispute resolution mechanism. One may even see the emergence of "catch and release" duels in which the object is less than lethal but painful nonetheless.  The Southron will surprise everyone, as they are the first to step in the breech.