“Under a Communist Party Government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey.”   -Nelson Mandela
What is a private business? It is a method of trading products and services for wealth to generate profits to enrich the owners and workers in the enterprise and additionally seed the investment, growth and expansion of the business. What is the business of government and politicians? To earn wealth and establish punitive control over individual transactions with no merit whatsoever; in other words, to employ the monopoly powers of violence to enrich the few at the expense of the many.   Bastiat said it more eloquently but there it is. Politicians love to project an image of stately dignity and honorifics for the terrific and self-sacrificing service they do. The deception is blatant and they are no more than thieves wrapped in expensive state regalia with armed guards to protect them from their victims. Those victims they have not mentally turned to eunuchs already through the insidious ministrations of television, government education and the soothing bastardization of the language to manipulate the sheeple, are waking up to the sheer audacity of the heist that has been called the state. Turning the Bolshevik idyll on its head, it speaks to the true nature of government and governance. Hence some examples of the government “business model”: What is American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) return on its investment of approximately 15 million per annum in memberships and grants? About 2.77 billion taxpayer dollars plus the special dispensation granted by the DoD and other government agencies for grants and giveaways (30% of the acknowledged US foreign aid budget). Of course, we all know that per Federal Election Commission (FEC) v. Akins, et al., AIPAC is not a political organization so it is not required to file the onerous minutiae required for political lobbying even though they have five or six registered lobbyists and a host of espionage allegations. What is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? Both of these fetid organizations would have no reason to exist if the Federal Government weren’t there to provide the backdoor trough from which they rob the taxpayer. Unsurprisingly, a tremendous amount of socialist and communist influence permeates both ACORN and SEIU. Along with the radical Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation, they helped craft the monstrous stimulus bill which further bankrupted what is increasingly a zombie economy in these united States. What do the aforementioned organizations have in common? As with countless other entities in America and around the world, they would not be here except for the existence of the state. The government is the parasite and these are the looters and tax-eaters that live upon other’s production and sweat equity. These are the government analogs of organized crime, muggers and other miscreants whose sole purpose is to thrive off of other members of the community at the point of a gun. Politicians are very well-heeled and equipped highwaymen who are a menace to peace and prosperity throughout the world as history has ably demonstrated. These are simply the latest group of sociopaths and their enablers who maintain that man should not be free but under harness and micromanaged for their own good. They have even developed a sophisticated academic rationale and industry to provide the apparent intellectual rigor to justify the rapine and murderous behavior that government creates and endorses as it merrily destroys all that is good in the world and replaces it with the hordes of shambling and compliant shells of humanity that shuffle off to work every day to pay their taxes so they feed the Machine. When you consider the tax burden just in America, it almost rivals Denmark and France. I think the graphs and charts once finds on the internet are deceptive because they don’t address the aggregate tax burden (federal, state, local, excise, corporate, etc). As I have pointed out before, when all is said and done, Americans pay nearly 60% of their income in taxes once all Federal, state and lower echelonment taxes are accounted for not to mention the impossible task of putting a dollar figure on the mountains of regulation that impede and strangle business every day. Far greater than the estimated 10% of labor the medieval serfs were yoked with. The universities and major news organs are choked with vine-ripened apologists for statist excess and murder. Whether it is the “right-wing” talk radio celebrities popping the bubbly for more strangers killed overseas or the massive “left-wing” herd of apparatchiks on the news media mewling benignly about the efficacy of more laws and restrictions on human behavior, the message is the same: more government power moves us ever closer to perfection of humanity in this mortal coil. They seek the same enigmatic creature: Homo Sovieticus. You have to hand it to the self-described socialists and communists like Bernie Sanders, at least he is honest (even though I think all collectivist thought is a form of intellectual drunkenness) in who he is instead of mouthing platitudes about safety, the children and national security to disguise their unbridled lust for power and control over others. At least he has the fortitude to precisely describe his albeit child-like reverence for the state without resorting to the intellectual gymnastics of the usual suspects in the media.
“Life is slavery if the courage to die is absent.” - Seneca
Fear is the mind killer. I just finished a multi-part series on Stoicism with Brett Veinotte at the School Sucks Project. We covered plenty of ground but I wanted to tease out what I think is something rarely if ever discussed. The Stoic values inform a mindset that is distinctly libertarian. One might even say the state of mind shares a deep kinship with abolitionism. In fact, some of the Stoic philosophers were slaves themselves. The Stoics paint a broad and useful road-map to live a good life and joyous existence on their own terms. Stoicism is not as popular today as then because it takes work to be a virtuous Stoic and the foregoing of present consumption for future return is not exactly a hipster vision of living in society today. These hard decisions tend to militate against affluence and find happiness and tranquility in less material well-being than more. The exploration of Stoicism takes a lifetime to contemplate and master. I‘d like to visit a narrow aspect of it and the concomitant relationship to ultimate freedom. This is the Stoic view of death and the advancing of individual refusal and the withdrawal of consent. If fear is the mortar of all statist government then compliance and obedience is the brick. These two components strip the statist conceit to its essence: the employment of immoral means to achieve moral ends, an impossible calculus but the simple equation that all government lives and dies by. The state threatens and employs violence to build society; absent these means it would be out of business in an hour. At its core, the state must practice slavery to get the tax cattle to do as they are told. It is the antithesis of civilization and the highest form of mob rule. It is, in the end, a death cult. So if that were the case, how would the government handle tens of thousands of subjects who simply refused? I am not referring to homicide or suicide bombers. They willingly employ violence to bring yet another murderous framework into being. How would they respond to a 21st century satyagraha campaign that did not seek to replace the government but dispose of it and stay rid of it? How would they cajole the unwilling to participate in any of their murderous schemes? The government would kill them, of course. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn tells us that “[a]ny man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle. These are the twin pillars of the state to guarantee its existence. And what of it, what would happen then? The state would expect the smoking corpses left behind would serve as object lessons to the rest of the tax cattle and instill a level of fear that would force compliance. This is the single historical knot that binds all collectivist governments from communism to socialism to the sclerotic soft fascist entities throughout the West. Every statist conceit is based on the simple notion that you force humans through ultimate threat of death to comply with the legion of schemes that give government power. How do you cut the knot? The Stoics have some answers whether the abolition of slavery was their object or not. One of the greatest strategic minds to grace the geo-strategic stage after the War to Save Josef Stalin concluded was USAF Col. John Boyd. He had many interesting things to say and discovered the OODA loop among other things. He distilled strategy to an elegant yin-yang that simplifies library shelves of overwrought and wrong-headed strategic thinking: strategy is all about alliance and isolation to be effective. The Stoics riff off this elegant construction very simply. Epictetus tells us: “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.” You either submit or defy. The middle course will always benefit the former and the acceptance of death as a certitude will inform the latter.
John penned this a couple years ago and the spirit of Popcorn deserves a mention today in these tumultuous times.He represented a more authentic America where he feared for nothing and made his own way without harming another human being. Neal Hutcheson at Sucker Punch Pictures released his splendid documentary on Sutton. I urge all of you to watch this movie if you get a chance. This is a new age of documentary film-making that is taking it to the next level. This documentary is a sample of this golden age. You can see the trailer here. -BB
“Jesus turned water into wine, I turned it into damn likker” – Popcorn Sutton
Appalachia’s history is largely comprised of tales of resistance of one form or another.  The poster child of Appalachia’s rebellion against unjust authority has always been the Moonshiner, the maker of non-government approved distilled spirits. These spirits were commonly referred to in the southern lexicon as moonshine, mountain dew, white lightning, “painter piss,” or perhaps more simply “likker.” There is no moonshiner more infamous than the Smoky Mountain’s own, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. He was not only one of the most famous makers of illicit liquor, but he also led his entire life in defiance of government authority and was quite a character to boot. Sutton was born in Haywood County, North Carolina, a rural mountainous county on the Tennessee border. At an early age he learned whiskey making from his family and local whiskey makers a like in Haywood and neighboring Cocke County, Tennessee. In due time, he became a well-known whiskey maker in the region. Taking full advantage of the legal jurisdictional confusion between the two states, he plied his trade to the fullest. This was a very common practice employed by bootleggers and moonshiners in years past, when one sheriff would get on your trail you hopped across the state or county line and continued your business. The tradition of whiskey making as employed by mountain folk originates further back than many people realize. It comes from the Poitín tradition popular in the peat bogs and mountain regions of Scotland and Ireland where most of the ancestors of the southern mountain people originated. While the mountain region of the Southern states lacked wheat, rye or barley for malt historically, residents of the region adapted using Indian corn and malted corn for the fermenting agent. Whiskey making is considered as sacred a right as bearing military style and cosmetically offensive “assault weapons” or keeping livestock. Moonshining in the southern mountains is not only justified on the grounds of natural rights, but also on even simpler grounds. Many makers of illicit whiskey, when asked why they do it have the simple answer of “… my daddy made whiskey, and his daddy made whiskey, and his daddy before him made whiskey, so I’m just gonna keep makin’ it to.” Popcorn was a dyed in the wool capitalist and largely libertarian in his dealings and belief system. What set him apart from the rest was his unique marketing strategy. He boasts in his book “Me and My Likker,” that him and his father were not political beings, but instead sold moonshine to folks at the polling place on Election Day. This is a much more effective use of time than trying to vote yourself free. He was fiercely independent even to the extent of purchasing his own casket, flowers and the shovels needed to bury him before he died. He is on record of stating that even though he was extremely sick late in life and had amassed a pile of medical bills, “the government nor the county doesn’t pay my bills, I do.” Popcorn’s first run in with the law was in 1974. He was arrested and later convicted on illegal production of untaxed whiskey, among other charges. In typical mountain fashion, the day after he was released on bond after his arrest, he went right back to the same spot where he was arrested and set his still back up. He figured that was the safest place to be back in business.  When speaking of his arrests he was fond of saying “I didn’t steal anything here… I paid for the copper, the sugar, the corn…so I don’t see where I broke the law anywhere.” Over the years he built up quite a reputation. From selling jars of likker directly out of his junk shop in Maggie Valley, NC to even being close friends with a Federal Judge. He had a unique marketing strategy of writing books about himself and even appearing in documentary films. Many stores in Maggie Valley, North Carolina carried his books and movies and for 50$ each they could be yours. Many still do to this day, years after his death. When confronted about why it might be a bad idea to appear in a movie that depicts him breaking the law, his response was, “You cant sell it if nobody knows you got it.”  He would charge $3 to have your picture made “with a real mountain moonshiner” at his store.
Publisher's Note: My wife home-educated all of our children and the last remaining child we have at home. We have two graduated from college now. As part of her networking, she has hosted a six part practicum for fellow home-educators on Manners and Etiquette in the past. I remembered that George Washington had devised a rather comprehensive list and tried to find it. Well, I found it and I rather liked the list even though some are rather dated. Manners are the lubricant of civilization and as the always handsomely turned out Fred Astaire said: "The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”  For the men in the readership, please get a copy of Brad Miner's book, "The Compleat Gentleman", for a wonderful treatment on why being kind and mannerly is not emasculating.  -BB I hold George Washington in rather low esteem for being one of the most over-rated “Great Captains of History” and a revered father of the maximum state with his championing of the poisonous Constitution. He was a military amateur at best and a horrific despot who held the first political office under the aegis of that fetid documents and proudly led an army against tax evaders a mere three years after being in office. So I offer these in no way as an endorsement of Washington whom I consider an extraordinarily destructive force in American freedom and liberty. Manners are indeed critical to an armed and polite society. This may be the sole contribution that GW ever made toward liberty and freedom. By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington's schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and is ascribed to Francis Hawkins the twelve-year-old son of a doctor. Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a sentiment that is increasingly difficult to find. They all have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow concentration of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together. I suppose it may be the sole contribution to civilization I am proud of George Washington for apart from his vast laundry list of crimes against liberty and freedom. Even for this, he was a mere scribe. These rules proclaim our respect for others and in turn give us the gift of self-respect and heightened self-esteem. They can all be summed up in the Golden Rule. For me, it is summed up in one of the most elegant words in the Italian tongue - sprezzatura. Richard Brookhiser, in his book on Washington wrote: "[A]ll modern manners in the western world were originally aristocratic. Courtesy meant behavior appropriate to a court; chivalry comes from chevalier – a knight. Yet Washington was to dedicate himself to freeing America from a court's control. Could manners survive the operation? Without realizing it, the Jesuits who wrote them, and the young man who copied them, were outlining and absorbing a system of courtesy appropriate to equals and near-equals. When the company for whom the decent behavior was to be performed expanded to the nation, Washington was ready. Parson Weems got this right, when he wrote that it was 'no wonder every body honoured him who honoured every body." The Rules: 1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. 2nd When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered. 3rd Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him. 4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet. 5th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside. 6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop. 7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed. 8th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary. 9th Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it. 10th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them. 11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails. 12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak. 13th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off. 14th Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one. 15th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them. 16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close. 17th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play'd Withal. 18th Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter. 19th Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave. 20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.
“In war, truth is the first casualty.” - Aeschylus “War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties; the minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them.” -Randolph Bourne
War is the health of the state.  Randolph Bourne arrived at this conclusion near the beginning of the 20th century.  Smedley Butler later wrote in War is a Racket about the baleful special interest vectors that drive us to war.  We hear again and again that we owe our freedoms to the conduct of overseas adventures in other countries whether the wresting of Spanish colonies into our possession or the invasion of Europe during the War to Save Joseph Stalin (1939-45) to the modern era of American armed dominion over the planet.  I would suggest these are poor assumptions.  The next time someone makes one of these specious claims, simply ask them how the defeat of one totalitarian regime while aiding and abetting another noxious regime made America free?  Is the Cold War representative of the halcyon days of American individualism? Most libertarians agree that the American government is colossal, oppressive and a slayer of freedom and liberty.  There are certainly domestic influences and causes for the enormous growth in the statist tilt of American governance and concentration of power.  The metamorphosis of an agrarian republic birthed in the violent dismissal of British rule to the Sovietized monstrosity we labor under today is the result of both domestic dynamics and the creation of the national security/garrison state to project power and influence overseas.  I would submit that war is the unacknowledged silent partner of the leviathan state. How does a militarized foreign policy create a less free nation at home?  Let’s begin with a conflict most Americans can name but few can even place a date to:  World War One.  I would recommend Niall Ferguson’s book Pity of War as a signal starting point to rip asunder the veil of historical illiteracy and propaganda that has surrounded that sordid conflict.  Woodrow Wilson, one of the worst and most evil Presidents to grace that august den of thieves in the White House, promised in 1916 to never enter the European conflict and promptly started the machinations to steer us into the conflagration and militarize American society.  The more you learn about Wilson, the more you see he is the point of origin for so much of our national grief.  I have previously mentioned the American Protective League and its un-American activities in stifling, fining and jailing dissidents against Wilson’s war. Wilson also inaugurated the Committee on Public Information, which even gave instructions for cartoonists and signed into law the Espionage and Sedition Acts. In France by 1918, half of all men between 20-32 were dead. Serbia suffered a death toll that closed on one in four of the entire population in corpse piles. Among the many notorious achievements Wilson managed was the Americanization of a fairly decentralized and devolved society.  This was the perennial missing link in formalizing the ultimate project of the Hamiltonian ambition:  the establishment of a permanent central government for whom the individual states were mere agents and bureaucratic subsidiaries.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters continue to cling to life despite the occupant of the Offal Office doing everything in its power to see their twisted Soviet vision of humanity wrested from imagination into life. The OWS economic illiterates and Marxoid drones are products of the statist school system who can't get enough big government. Their pet 1% is simply slightly off-target. There is no doubt that the richest in America have the path to wealth wired for sound and these top earners exist in every country and region. Even the beloved Soviet nomenklatura of the OWS intelligentsia found a way to make money off the backs of workers but they used a political spoils system instead of the active provisioning of goods and services. The total Federal "workforce" (I use the term charitably since they produce nothing and command everything) has hovered around 4.3-5.3 million drones since 1962 including the military. State and local government numbers are approximately 15 million so the total DIRECT employment by government for SLAVFOR is approximately 20 million. This does not include the contractor population retained and employed by various government entities. One could then posit that about 10 percent works directly for the government and that the remainder are indirect employees. If you don’t believe you are a Federal employee, stop paying your income tax, your “real” employers will make your life miserable if not worse. Add another million and a half for the 19,000 LEO departments polluting the fetid plain (I did not make up...

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

Publisher’s Note: For those who bother to watch the news, all the usual suspects are aflutter at the latest nonsense issued by the First Flatulence in the Offal Office concerning the false premise of illegal immigration. Much ado about nothing and I want to offer advance condolences to every illegal who becomes an authentic branded tax cattle of the US when they get their citizenship and legal status. Just spent a delightful weekend with Ernie Hancock and great evening with Boston T. Party at Ernie's villa in Arizona. I spent the morning with Ernie and we recorded five hours of conversation. I have had a great time in the media lately having been a guest on the Feens, Marc Stevens show, Ernie Hancock’s show and Brett V at School Sucks Project just in the last month. I have uploaded all of these to the Media and Interviews tab. -BB I have zero respect for the president but not simply because it is Obama, who may be history’s greatest example of the Peter Principle but he simply follows in a long train of liberty destroyers and freedom usurpers who have worked in the Offal Office tirelessly since the political coup in 1787. This is Bush’s fourth term after all. The latest nonsense issuing forth from the presumed imperial residence in Mordor on the Potomac grants temporary legal status and work permits to nearly five million illegal immigrants. The number is irrelevant because the Federal government can’t possibly know the precise number of “illegals” in the country...

Publisher's Note: Chris wrote this a while ago but I think it bears repeating. Chris makes the important distinction between pacifism and the act of self-defense. Murder begins where self-defense ends which means that every time the state initiates or condones or subsidizes the murder of human being whether in war, abortion, the statist death penalty or the sadistic and rampant maiming and killing conduct by government police daily. How many times in your travels do you run into the unthinking reactionaries who condemn a religion planet-wide or think taxation is virtuous even though it is based on the creed of the criminal highwayman? How many of your friends and family think voting is fine and the tens of thousands of fellow tax cattle buried deep in the gulag system is a sure sign of law and order? Everyone I just mentioned is an entrenched and committed enemy of freedom and liberty whose collaboration runs in their DNA. Chris rocks the proposition. Resist. -BB How does a person come to hold the belief of absolute nonviolence? What about this belief draws people to it? Is nonviolence the logical conclusion of non-aggression? These are the question that I have been asking myself as of late, because there is a growing number of people within the liberty movement who are latching onto the belief of absolute nonviolence. I’d like to explore this idea, and try to lay out an argument as to why I think it is not only wrong, but also dangerous to adopt this belief. One who believes in, and adheres to, the non-aggression principle makes a fundamental moral distinction between aggressive violence, and retaliatory violence. One who adheres to a principle of nonviolence does not make the same distinction. Or, perhaps they do, but they see retaliatory violence as violence nonetheless, and therefore wrong, or immoral, or “against God” or something else. It is important to note here that I will not be discussing  non-aggression and nonviolence from a pragmatic point of view, rather I will be discussing these things from a position of principle. The absolute pacifist paints themselves into a tough philosophical corner. In order to remain consistent they necessarily have to abandon other positions they hold in order to avoid contradictions. For instance, any concept of justice that involves any level of violence must be rejected by one who adopts this belief. It would be a contradiction to advocate for any form of justice that involves capturing and punishing a criminal; any concept of justice that condones the use of physical force to apprehend and contain a criminal must be abandoned. Likewise, any form of government that was not wholly voluntary would also have to be discarded. It may be the case that the entire concept of government will have to be abandoned if it’s not absolutely nonviolent. The only form of government that would be possible if the nonviolent position is adopted is autarchy–absolute self government. I think it is a non-sequitur to make the jump from non-aggression to the position of absolute nonviolence. I am of the opinion that these beliefs are spawned from two completely different principles. Non-aggression does not presuppose nonviolence, as the person who holds the belief in non-aggression will violently defend the self, while the person who adheres to the belief in nonviolence will not. A person who has chosen to defend themselves using retaliatory violence necessarily believes that their own life is of higher value than a belief in nonviolence. The belief in absolute nonviolence presupposes that the concept of nonviolence is greater than the value of one’s own life. Non-aggresssion is a belief that is founded in the self, and absolute nonviolence is altruistic. This is why I claim it is illogical to jump from one belief to the other, because they are based upon two principles that could not be farther apart from each other. Any person who makes the illogical jump from non-aggression to nonviolence demonstrates a  profound misunderstanding of the principles involved. I believe that even the doubt of self defense would exhibit that same misunderstanding. Yet, I claim this is exactly the jump that some are making. I think the focus is being placed on the wrong thing. It is true, that, in some cases, nonviolence is a perfectly reasonable tool, and I believe that these particular instances are being mistaken as nonviolence being the correct principle in all cases, but that is a clear error in reasoning. It is important to remember that one who adheres to the non-aggression principle will defend themselves because their ultimate goal is self-preservation. As I mentioned before, non-aggression is premised on the self, and if there is an instance where utilizing retaliatory violence will endanger the self, then, rationally, it ought to be abandoned in that case. One of my favorite parts in the movie, Rob Roy is the scene where the MacGregor Clan is contemplating on what to do about the feudal landlord thugs who destroyed their home and property. Rob Roy comes to the conclusion that it is more reasonable to not retaliate, because he fears the retribution from the retaliation will be swift and ruthless. He understands that everyone is still breathing in and out, and that property that is lost can be regained except for the self, once that is lost, it’s lost forever. I would like to expand further on this point, because I think it cuts right to the heart of the matter. In this movie scene, Rob Roy demonstrates that even the concept of personal property is not of higher value than one’s own life. One cannot recreate and rebuild if one is not alive.
Publisher’s Note: Another year rolls by and the gory parade begins of all the maimed and murdered young men and woman who fought overseas to prove empire and sustain the military-industrial money-laundering complex emanating for the corridors of coercive power in DC. I served most of my adult life in the Legions and like Smedley Butler left an unbeliever and disgusted with the whole wretched enterprise. Stand by for all the bad music, war fetishism, and convoluted apologia for bringing most of the troops back. I say most because no serving human in the military machine ever makes it back completely alive. Some return near whole but many return the worst for wear and haunted by the things they’ve done and witnessed in obeisance to political directives. Want to support the troops? Bring them soonest. It appears USSOCOM has approximately 7000 soldiers deployed to 84 countries (probably more if the rulers were more transparent in their machination) and active conflicts engaged and emerging in a dozen hotspots around the globe as the American empire takes its intensely violent brand of world policing to different parts of the globe. And please spare me the pathetic mewling of a lack of patriotism for failing to get excited about maiming and killing men, women and children planet-wide so the mandarins in Mordor can play macabre chess with flesh and blood human pawns. The USSA has been at active war with the world since 1893 after the extermination campaign against American aboriginals was close to its bloody conclusion in the USA. Please read this brilliant conversation with a Canadian veteran. Chris Sullins wrote a very touching essay in 2009 on this subject as a fellow vet. And, yes, Jack Spirko, still hates my guts. Any assignations of sadism on the part of some soldiers is not isolated to the US, warfare through the ages both East and West has been a stage for the psychopaths of every nation to ply their twisted trade. Read it and weep and realize that your entire government education was a lie. -BB “Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service” or “thanks for protecting our freedom.” What!  I hear this familiar refrain again and again every November.  I am appalled whenever this unthinking salutation is proffered. I am a retired career Army officer and like USMC General Smedley Butler before me, I find these sentiments to be hogwash. The only service rendered was to the American political power structure in the dishonorable hands of the Democrats or Republicans; the former, despite their protestations to peace, have gotten America involved in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Starting with the shameful expropriation of the Mexican territory from 1846-48 to the War of Northern Aggression from 1860-65; the United States went into hyper-colonial overdrive in 1893 in the Hawaiian Islands and has not stopped since. The entire history of American arms on Earth has been a shameful and expansionist enterprise culminating in the first ever post-WWII (the Japanese attack on American territories in the Aleutians during the War to Save Josef Stalin and the minor coastal skirmishes in Oregon) attack on American state soil in 2001 .  I am frankly astonished at the length of time it took for a substantive attack of any kind to be initiated on American soil with the breadth, ferocity and long sordid history of American mischief and mayhem abroad. The sheer number of military expeditions the US has embarked on over time is breathtaking.  One worthy notes there have been 234 military expeditions from 1798-1993.  Another posits 159 instances of the use of United States armed forces abroad from October 1945 through December 2006. “This list does not include covert actions and numerous instances of US forces stationed abroad since World War II, in occupation forces, or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, and routine military assistance or training operations.” Good God, if I were a Martian who landed on Earth ten years ago and found myself attending government schools, to include college, and watching television for any additional cultural education,  I would not be aware of any of this.  The constant drumbeat emanating from the State is the Orwellian chorus about America making the world safe for freedom and liberty and never using force abroad except in self-defense.  The history proves otherwise. America, next to Rome in the Western world, ranks as one of the world’s most aggressive nation states when one examines the evidence.  A country sheltered from the tempestuous and constant warring on the European continent by one ocean and the turbulence in Asia by another ocean yet it simply cannot mind its own business nor resist the temptation to maim and murder abroad for expansion of political power and control whether for mercantilist or colonial aspirations. One can even see that the brutality practiced by American soldiers abroad is not recent but a long-standing tradition. Afghanistan, now: All told, five soldiers were charged with killing civilians in three separate episodes early last year. Soldiers repeatedly described Sergeant Gibbs as devising “scenarios” in which the unit would fake combat situations by detonating grenades or planting weapons near their victims. They said he even supplied “drop weapons” and grenades to make the victims appear armed. Some soldiers took pictures posing with the dead and took body parts as trophies. Sergeant Gibbs is accused of snipping fingers from victims and later using them to intimidate another soldier. He also pulled a tooth from one man, saying in court that he had “disassociated” the bodies from being human, that taking the fingers and tooth was like removing antlers from a deer. Sergeant Gibbs said he that was ashamed of taking the body parts, that he was “trying to be hard, a hard individual.” But he insisted that the people he took them from had posed genuine threats to him and his unit.” Philippines, then: “Like many of their officers, American troops also showed incredible callousness toward the Philippine civilian population.  A man named Clarence Clowe described the situation as follows in a letter he wrote to Senator Hoar.  The methods employed by American troops against civilians in an effort to find insurgent “arms and ammunition” include torture, beating, and outright killing. At any time I am liable to be called upon to go out and bind and gag helpless prisoners, to strike them in the face, to knock them down when so bound, to bear them away from wife and children, at their very door, who are shrieking pitifully the while, or kneeling and kissing the hands of our officers, imploring mercy from those who seem not to know what it is, and then, with a crowd of soldiers, hold our helpless victim head downward in a tub of water in his own yard, or bind him hand and foot, attaching ropes to head and feet, and then lowering him into the depths of a well of water till life is well-nigh choked out, and the bitterness of a death is tasted, and our poor, gasping victims ask us for the poor boon of being finished off, in mercy to themselves. All these things have been done at one time or another by our men, generally in cases of trying to obtain information as to the location of arms and ammunition.