“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.” -Statement to John Leyburn (1 May 1870), as quoted in R. E. Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman.On this day, 9 April in 1865, the Lincolnian project to enslave the entire nation under the yoke of Union supremacy, central planning and a country administered by national political fiat and the naked fist of government aggression prevailed. The South and the Confederacy for all it flaws died at Appomattox. Lee is often erroneously quoted as saying the following:
“Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand. Supposed made to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (September 1870), as quoted in The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, pp. 497-500.”No lesser literary luminaries and historians have said this is false than Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. and Bruce Catton. This appears to be historical myth-making by Mr. Dabney. My casual research and interest in Lee find this simply does not fit in his character; now there were certainly Confederate worthies who professed such sympathies.
"In order to cut through the Gordian definitional knot, terrorism expert A. Schmid suggested in 1992 in a report for the then UN Crime Branch that it might be a good idea to take the existing consensus on what constitutes a "war crime" as a point of departure. If the core of war crimes - deliberate attacks on civilians, hostage taking and the killing of prisoners - is extended to peacetime, we could simply define acts of terrorism as "peacetime equivalents of war crimes."
“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.” ― Ronald ReaganTaxation is theft and the acquisition of other people’s resources with a velvet glove backed by a mailed fist. It is simply one of the many ways in which the state brutalizes and impoverishes its tax cattle on a daily basis. Despite the government-media complex insistence that the tax rate in America is tolerable if not fair, anything above zero is morally wrong if the robbed don’t agree implicitly and consensually to the mugging for whatever fantastic services the state proclaims it provides. The French aren't the only ones to achieve a 100 percent tax rate, they're just more blunt about it. So I want to destroy a myth, I want to show you through sheer numbers and data that the state in America has a tax rate that exceeds 100% to which the normal American having had a proper government education will insist that is impossible. I’d like to excise some of the population that is obviously at this point. Now the tax rate for incarcerated Americans is exactly 100% since their lives have been stolen in total. The tax rate on certain targeted marijuana businesses in the US under IRS code 280E are taxed in excess of 80% (some approaching 100%).
“I believe that the feds extend the drug war through 280E,” said Cornelius. “If (the federal government) can’t put them out of business legally when voters are mandating these businesses to move forward, it’s very easy to put them out of business financially. A lot of times, instead of paying a tax rate that should be 30 to 40 [percent], they are paying rates between 80 or 90 percent. I even have a client right now that is paying more than 100 [percent] effective tax rate.”Apart from the sheer moral hazard and absolute immorality of the aforementioned cases, I would suggest that all Americans pay an effective tax rate that exceeds 100% even though that beggar’s belief and rational thought but we are talking about the government.
"A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of inhabiting the world: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part. So perhaps the time is ripe for reconsideration of an ideal that has fallen out of favor: manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world. Neither as workers nor as consumers are we much called upon to exercise such competence, most of us anyway, and merely to recommend its cultivation is to risk the scorn of those who take themselves to be the most hard-headed: the hard-headed economist will point out the opportunity costs of making what can be bought, and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past. But we might pause to consider just how hard-headed these presumptions are, and whether they don’t, on the contrary, issue from a peculiar sort of idealism, one that insistently steers young people toward the most ghostly kinds of work."
“The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: He has to drag out the war in order to win it, and does not possess, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long, drawn-out war.” - Robert Taber, The War of the FleaThe DoD and the Army have now inaugurated yet another iteration of the constant doctrinal battle to balance irregular warfare and conventional warfare. Since the beginning, the US armed forces have struggled to deliver on a force concept that could do either or both well. As William Lind has pointed out eloquently, the US and western powers have enunciated the generations of warfare, but failed to deliver on advancing through the sequence or even gleaning the wisdom they hold. There are four generally accepted generations of warfare, and the succeeding generations that provide grist for the mill among the defense intellectuals and military-industrial illiterarti who constantly tilt at the next big thing. For the purposes of this introduction, we will stick to the four generations commonly accepted. First Generation Warfare began at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 where a convention of European armies and heads of state decided a civilizing residual of warfare should formally prohibit the engagement of non-combatants in warfare throughout the continent. This, of course, did not obtain in the planetary battlefields these European powers would fight on in pursuit of broader imperial colonial portfolios for their respective empires. The implication was to conventionally engage armies force on force with limitations and prohibitions on the destruction of civilian persons and property where possible. The armies of Lincoln would abandon this concept wholesale in 1863, and the two hundred years preceding would be filled with identifiable ignorance or willful neglect of the concept. Second Generation Warfare would see the paradigm of fixed attrition conflicts come to the fore, with the mightiest stalemates occurring on the European continent during WWI, but with hints of the mode of conflict evident during the American Civil War in the first three years of the conflict. Third Generation Warfare would see the maneuver conflict in both the direct and indirect application start to appear with greater frequency, starting with the nineteenth century. The German combined arms blitzkrieg concept borrowed heavily from a variety of previous influences. The German General Staff even studied the cavalry maneuver practices of Jeb Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest in the American Civil War to operationalize speedy applications of the direct and indirect approach. The direct approach would usually entail the probing of weaknesses on a broad front and capitalizing on these for thrusts through the unitary body of an enemy. Liddell-Hart’s indirect approach would leverage flank and rear attacks in rapid exploitation. Erwin Rommel would go on to use both to devastating effect in the early African campaigns of the Wehrmacht in WWII or, more accurately, the War to Save Josef Stalin.. This is not to say that these Third Generation events did not take place in ancient times. One can suppose that all amphibious operations, whether successful or not, are by nature Third Generation. The twentieth century saw force multipliers in two aspects for maneuver warfare that former commanders of the ages did not have to the degree the world beheld in this last century. Man portable communications, training and rehearsal for the combination of various military disciplines into a cohesive and adaptive whole, revolutionized the operational and strategic aspects of war in the second half of the twentieth century. The Germans showed hints of this in 1918 but operationalized maneuver doctrine at the theater level to an extent no Allied forces matched until 1944. Fourth Generation Warfare, for the purposes of this discussion, has two primary elements that may or may not attend each other. This is the irregular fight on the other side of the conventional spectrum, and the role of the non-state actor in warfare.
“It is the greatest truth of our age: information is not knowledge.” - Caleb CarrBarack Obama is a facile and Machiavellian intriguer of the highest order. I will leave to others in the commentariat to discuss his bona fides for President, his abhorrent collectivist notions of governing and all the other platitudes that point to a creature that has provided the planetary if not historical model for the dangers of the Peter Principle. He is a man out of his depth, which may be anything beyond a minor city council position, and even that would be a stretch. His keen narcissism keeps him wandering through ironic swamps without realizing he is soaked through. Recently, his teleprompters gave yet another interminable and meandering speech on “violent extremism,” rich in historical ignorance and laced with rhetorical nonsense befitting a man who can speak for hours and not say a word of any consequence. The National Socialist and Communist bloviators of old don’t hold a candle to the verbal hypocrisy and magniloquence this man spews without communicating anything but the status quo. I have insisted this is Bush’s fourth term and this latest milquetoast broadside does nothing more than confirm that. I suffer through these speeches and, thanks the Gods, I never had such a feckless and talent-less professor chain me to a classroom to listen to such drivel for a semester much less four years. If Obama does anything morally right, it will usually be by mistake and not design. In his usual doublespeak, he continuously weaves over the line but never reaches the target.
“By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people. We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists --the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence. We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized. Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths -- which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It's not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.”His protestations ring hollow; fine words and empty promises. The faiths are irrelevant and the modes of operation are the key. Ask any aboriginal American. This is much like Hitler criticizing the brutality of the communist regime in the USSR or vice versa. This is the same administration that complains about the incineration of a Jordanian pilot and then glibly justifies the drone attacks and indiscriminate bombings that have characterized aspects of the robot war in the conflicts in the Middle East. Apparently, the drones are equipped with water balloons and party hats that they drop as a deadly payload instead of incendiary devices. The international community and the West has wrestled with the definition of terrorism for decades because it just tread a very delicate path. Simply, terrorism is politically motivated violence against innocents and combatants. The US Department of Defense (an ironic sobriquet in itself) defines it as "the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political." You’ll note the graybeards in the DoD are very specific in the use of the term lawful because government is the self-satisfied arbiter of lawful terrorism. Absent the terrorist methodology, no government on earth or in history would last a day. Governments and the state invest themselves with right to initiate, threaten and commit violence against the entire populace in their respective tax jurisdictions. Let’s conduct a thought experiment: if IS (or ISIS or whatever today’s new version is) wore US police uniforms and conducted their daily savagery in that mufti, would they be the subject of the White House broadsides and misdirection? If the IS wore Western style military uniforms and gave lip service to the laws of land warfare and international codes of conduct yet proceeded apace with this barbarism, would the Offal Office be up in arms, as it were?
Publisher's Note: Max V over at his site published this broadside this morning against his tactical competitors in the training industry. He kindly asked that I make mention of his post over there. Along the way he assumes I write to him in this post. He is mistaken. My site has the curious sobriquet of ZeroGov for a reason. I take no sides in the competency debate and hear nothing but great things about his training. He and I have a gentleman's disagreement on what should transpire after the SLAVFOR are defeated.
What's curious is that no matter what minimalist or nil approach one takes to the state in mindset, it will have little bearing on the coalitions formed to dispose of the Main Enemy which is central government. Neither Constitutionalists nor abolitionists make better guerrillas. If abolitionists are wrong and all the ideas are rubbish, one shouldn't concern oneself with their notions. A close reading of the Anti-Federalists will show the growing alarms and skepticism at the embryonic forms of the Constitutional national government even before it flowered into the totalitarian orchid it grew into after the Second American Revolution in 1861.
Brutus: "History furnishes no example of a free republic, anything like the extent of the United States. The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world."
I am simply hoping this is not a redux of the Irish Rebellion in 1922 where socialist fought socialist to defeat the other side and install socialism. In the end, quite literally, I simply want no part of anyone's government. I wish Max nothing but peace and prosperity. -BB
Why am I in the Brotherhood Without Banners? Why does this site exist, and what will you get out of it? Every blog is something of a vanity project and a catharsis for thinking out loud, and this satisfies both for me. Aside from writing a book, a blog is a legacy that may last far longer than the author. Nothing really disappears from the Internet and I am certain there are folks in the government who are always interested in maintaining a watchful eye on blogs such as mine, because they represent the most direct philosophical threat to their very existence. In an earlier phase of my intellectual development, I had been seduced by the heady siren song of limited government, which sounds like the most viable solution, but on closer examination is the most silly of chimeras. There is no historical precedent in the Western world, throughout its entire history, of a government calving off another or rising out of the ashes of extinction of the previous regime, containing themselves within the confines of power originally set forth at their germination. None. There are plenty of empty promises and proclamations of purity, but the usual suspects will be self-selected, seeking to rule others; most of whom are socio- or psycho-pathic. Politics is nothing more than the nationalization of human transactions, where the converse is the complete privatization of the planet. The latter is the charter of this blog. Nationalization is the government seizure (there is no polite term) of a product, service or behavior. This can happen with something as mundane as the circumference of grapefruit, to something as epic in scope as the forfeiture of health care or the use of the innumerable malum prohibitum laws on the books. For those who take a longer view of history, it becomes abundantly clear that governments in their life stages, until their eventual and inevitable deaths, rarely seem to calculate second- and third-order effects of their meta-behaviors. I always presume that, while good intentions may be the standard apologia for the lion’s share of government, action and behavior, this is simply an intellectual smokescreen with the same vapidity of hate crimes; hiding the nature of government which is the threat or use of violence against anyone or anything which either refuses to comply or pay the assessed tribute. One should never measure a government’s behavior by its intent, but the fruits of its actions. And that is bitter fruit indeed for the totality of human history. It is almost as if we have been in a fever-dream, surrounded by inmates in a vast prison state which has effectively indoctrinated people to consciously think that harming others through fining, jailing, maiming and killing is the only possible blueprint for society. Somewhat like the bird who has lived in a cage all its life and still hasn't figured out what wings are used for. Think of that, a near consensus among thinking human beings that the only way to organize a just society is through terror. Terrorism is the use of politically motivated violence against non-combatants or innocents. Absent the very existence of terrorism, bullying and a daily violation of the Ten Commandments, no government can exist. One might say that the Global War on Terror, or whatever words the Western military-industrial complex has used to re-flag it, has exponentially increased the size of government and has been pointed in the wrong direction. We have friends and relations who enjoy boasting of law and order. The tough guys who pronounce that the latest police beating was warranted, and the prison rape the men will endure while caged for their sentence is perfectly justified for their crimes, even if the offense were as banal as a paperwork violation, avoidance of taxes or an infraction against the tens of thousands of laws of which no normal human could know or comprehend. Remember that it is all about the law and not the human context, because context is totally absent from government calculus. It is part of its power. I have mentioned before that every American is subject to indefinite detention in the alleged justice system the Federal government and its subsidiary political elements, known as states, have erected. It is another tool in the arsenal of democracy that is the fancy name for mob rule, subject to the kakocrats at the top of the system. The government has been successful beyond their wildest expectations in creating a captive and occupied population from which they derive both their material succor and the sophisticated means to bully and control tens of millions of humans. The government must erect these officious and brutal means of suppression, otherwise the small percentage of liberty minded folks who chafe at living on a feedlot, and having their lives micromanaged, would set a very bad example for the rest who would take notice of the people who elected not to abide by the system. As with the likelihood of secession looming ever brighter, once the first person is allowed to opt out of the government confines, a stampede will commence that will be unstoppable. This is why the IRS is invested with such formidable power to fine and cage recalcitrant taxpayers. America has conducted a brilliant government campaign to put the state at the top tier of idolatry, with family and individual volition at the bottom. This has been a two-tiered assault. The government makes it very inconvenient for individuals to fight its depredations and ensures that the education system is kept in a tight orbit around government supremacy. Most of my readers have attended some college and have seen first-hand the absolute monopoly of the government supremacist mindset among faculty, administration and students alike. When one suggests that non-violence may be a preferable foundation for a peaceful society, instead of the enslavement of government, one is almost universally scorned. Is it not interesting that all the fevered anti-war rhetoric from the “left” has disappeared since the election of the latest scoundrel to the Presidency? Collectivism permeates the American academy with very little exception, and this from doyens in the humanities and social “sciences” whose jobs may belabor 8-12 hours per week, unless they have paid teaching assistants available. The rest of the time is certainly not used to practice critical thinking, but to sharpen the same weak-minded rationalizations of the academy to justify the ultimate goal of extinguishing every private aspect of human life. They prettily dress the rhetoric in high-minded humanitarian goals, but in the end they are the intellectual equivalents of prison guards in their moral imaginations.
“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” Mahatma GandhiI have spent many years writing and railing against the police state with far more competent observers like William Grigg providing a veritable cornucopia of evidence showing why police and American policing is an existential threat to any individual liberty it gets near. Here and now, the police authorities in the US pose a similar threat to individual liberty that the British military regulars did in North America before 1775. The "redcoats" are now bluecoats.They mean to force all societal change at the point of a gun, no less than the Marxist thuggery that authored planet-wide hell-holes in the 20th century. These are the Jacobin vanguard and the Communard revolutionaries in new garb. When some of the National Socialists held their heads in shame at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin to proclaim that "orders were orders" did not necessarily absolve the dishonor of what they had visited on their countrymen; this same notion is the instant response by any serving cop in America. We don't make the law we enforce it. These are the same men that would have gone after runaway slaves, maimed and killed illegal alcohol distillers and simply done what they are told. That they are held as heroes by the government-media complex tells you exactly the moral compass of the news parrots and the state they fellate on a daily basis. Cops will do what they are told and they will kidnap, cage, maim and kill you depending on the level of resistance of the Helot assaulted. Police in America are the revolutionary vanguard of a violent state power emanating from DC that will stop at nothing to rob, regulate and, if necessary, murder anyone who defies the law. Anyone. They murder men, women, children and animals with alarming frequency and get away with it. Few face the music as a mundane would if charged with a similar crime. In essence, it is a Federalized police force to the lowest level granted special immunities and protections for doing the state's dirty work. While there is a secret police functionality in America with the intelligence community providing data it instructs to be laundered for pursuing arrests and convictions, the not-so-secret police continues to behave as a paramilitary occupation force across the fetid plain. The trifecta of officer safety, qualified immunity and police unions have combined to create the toxic environment every American suffers in now. The Nuremberg Defense has become the primary reason for all American policing; while Germans hung by the neck until dead for this absurd moral agnosticism, the police are lauded as heroes and sage protectors by the American media that fellates them on a daily basis and provides excuses for the barbaric behavior that they practice daily. The American concept of policing has become perhaps the purest representation of Marxism in the West with the attendant virulent Leninist attitudes that adorn the armed government employees’ sense of self. The Russian and Chinese concepts of Marxism created some of the largest corpse-piles in recent history. These government supremacist bastions relied on might is right and the “rule of law” in a fashion that brought both to their logical conclusion. I have always been amused by the likes of the diminishing but overfed hordes of autoworkers and teachers and other union employees who did everything in their power to prevent capital from doing its best and always running to the government’s skirts for protection. These unions have done enough harm by contributing to the decades long mediocrity of automotive manufacturing in the US and the enstupidation of entire generations of young minds respectively. What would happen if they had been armed and given a hunting license by the government to quite literally get away with mayhem? Enter the police union. Cops are state thuggery in the flesh and the pointy messy end of all government regulations and programs. Immoral means can never yield moral ends yet this is the daily modus operandi of the government. This is the precise calculus that informs one of the most inflated and over-rated notions in western history, the rule of law. The rule of law within government confines only applies to non-government employees since the praetorians and imperial bureaucrats are immune to this rule. If you doubt that, take a look at the emerging surveillance and national security state. But one does not have to look that far. Look at your local “law enforcement’ entities preening and waddling around your local burg. These normally obese uniformed thugs literally have a license to maim and kill. They are always held to a different standard in case after case and even in the prison system if they find themselves on the other side of the cage bars are usually granted separate privileges. They investigate themselves.