"Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction." ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Be happy that the US is spending itself into oblivion on military hardware.  The American military is a colossus in presence, spending and technology and they lack one vital feature, they cannot fight a sustained conflict anywhere. The spending numbers are deceptive because like all the traditional US budget legerdemain, there are plenty of ways to hide military spending such as the black budgets in the intelligence community, the Department of Energy nuclear programs and the ever burgeoning budget for veterans both retired and medically enfeebled who are starting to take a greater toll on government expenditures.  This would include the aging military retiree population in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the care necessary for all the maimed and crippled soldiers returning from the failed attempt to install an American Caliphate on the Middle Eastern peoples.  When it is all added up, it appears to exceed one trillion dollars which is merely 25 percent of the total budget for the US. As William Lind and other keen observers of the military industrial complex have observed, the US simply cannot prosecute an effective long term military conflict anywhere on Earth despite the vast resources and hundreds of military bases peppering the globe.  There are a number of explanations for this. First, the US military is ill-suited to fight the cost effective and localist nature of most conflicts.  There are currently hundreds of small-scale insurgencies and dozens of large-scale insurgencies and revolutionary movements around the globe.  It is a large and cumbersome Second Generation warfare model although the USMC is showing signs of evolving into a genuine Third Generation warfare military engine. Excepting some special operations forces, the US is hopelessly mired in a stalled and ultimately futile effort to master Fourth Generation Warfare.  There are some who claim that if we simply unleashed the forces to maximize their homicidal urges on both combatants and civilians alike, winning in Iraq and Afghanistan could be achieved.  I would suggest that historically more restrictions on targets and surgical means to achieve military goals in these irregular warfare conflicts always give the greatest yield if victory is desired but then again victory has a different flavor in these conflicts as opposed to the WWII model that still permeates the thinking in the Pentagon and the modern US military machine.

  Manners are the lubricant of civilization and so are incentives.  Incentives, whether good or bad, make the world go ‘round. When drugs are illegal such as the wide variety of illicit hallucinogens proscribed by the rulers in America, they don’t go away.  Prices rise in the black market attracting guerrilla entrepreneurs who emulate government in their use of violence to deliver goods and services.  After all, the government delivers its goods and service at the point of a gun.  Behind the smiling and beneficent face of Uncle Sam is a violent psychopath who will stop at nothing, even your death, to enlist your compliance and obedience.  He cannot brook opting out or refusing because most sane human beings would do the cost-benefit analysis and discover that the goods and services offered by the government are shabby, ineffective or just plain bad for their health. So the state puts the economic and behavioral permutations of incentives on their head.  If one is a small firm owner, you go out of your way to develop customer relationships that speak to repeat business and a growing clientele of loyal customers.  One tries not to treat family members poorly as an incentive to continue to receive their love and comfort. Incentives are a means to predict how folks will respond.  A positive incentive would be hotel loyalty programs and great customer service.  A negative incentive would be the likelihood of a burglar surviving a shopping spree on private property in my old haunts in rural northern Idaho. ...

Publisher’s Note:  I took a stab at modifying the 1776 American Declaration of Independence to present standards of governance and cowardice and discovered that  much would be left out on the cutting floor and severe alterations to verbiage would be necessary to keep the homo sovieticus booboisie in America from filling their pants and gibbering in abject fear at the prospect of freedom with risks and costs not underwritten by their neighbors. I had to erase over half of it and wipe out any reference to any behavior absent government permission.  The DI continues to be a masterwork of brevity and directness in its promise to sever ties and formalize a divorce.  There is no sizable sector of America today that would even have the temerity to sign it much less live up to it. So I scrapped that project and found a document more in keeping with the modern 21st century American mood. Now the Soviet Constitution is something that most Americans can cotton to with the slightest modification in verbiage.  I chose the latest of three variants from 1977.  I have included a link to the original text at the bottom.  All I changed were the descriptors and none of the prospective language. On another note, in a nation that has institutionalized theft and torture and turned it into rule and color of law, I figured the Supremes would get around to the codification of taxing inactivity which is the secret sauce in the recent ruling.  On page 193 of the infamous recent decsion, Thomas says the most important observation in all the pages of painful and obtuse totalitarian apologia for ObamugabeCare: "As I have explained, the Court’s continued use of that test “has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.” Morrison, supra, at 627. The Government’s unprecedented claim in this suit that it may regulate not only economic activity but also inactivity that substantially affects interstate commerce is a case in point." The majority in that decision would applaud the Soviet Constitution not that the earlier American version was any shakes when it came to liberty. Happy Dependence Day, comrades. -BB     PREAMBLE to the 1977 Soviet Constitution slightly modified to American standards The Great November Democratic Revolution, made by the workers and peasants of United States under the leadership of the US Government headed by its Presidents, overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, established the dictatorship of the voter, and created the American state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building government intervention and democracy. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to government intervention. After achieving victory in the elections and repulsing free market intervention, the American government carried through far-reaching social and economic transformations, and put an end once and for all to exploitation of man by man, antagonisms between classes, and strive between nationalities. The unification of the American Republics in the Union of American Democratic Republics multiplied the forces and opportunities of the peoples of the country in the building of government intervention. Social ownership of the means of production and genuine democracy for the working masses were established. For the first time in the history of mankind a democratic society was created.
"What to the slave is the 4th of July?" -Frederick Douglass
I slammed the hood shut on a car I was working on the other day, and something caught my eye. There was a sticker on the windshield that struck me as odd, and immediately I couldn't help but notice the irony. It was a picture of the Culpeper Minutemen, and the sticker happened to be a county tax sticker. For those who don't know what these stickers are, they represent that you have paid the yearly tax on your private property--your vehicle. The sticker is placed on the windshield so that the King's Men know to back off as you drive on the King's roads-all licensed, registered, and subjugated. A sticker that is up-to-date will help to ward off unwanted attention from armed tax collectors. As one who thinks it is absurd to have to place a sticker on my vehicle to prove that I'm being an obedient subject, I couldn't help but laugh out loud a bit when I first saw this stupid sticker. Any Riflemen in this area knows The Culpeper Minutemen were a group of men who were formed under the same oak tree--not once, but twice to fight off centralized tyranny--and now they are immortalized on a tax stamp. Fitting for the times we find ourselves in. Last year I wrote an essay just before Independence Day, and I started the essay out with this quote from Frederick Douglass. "My subject, then, fellow citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine. I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July!” This Douglass quote rings just as true today as it did for him back then.

Having homeschooled for the better part of 17 years now, I have an abounding amount of thoughts on the subject. Pros, cons, do’s and don’ts, successes and failures. There is a lot to know and many philosophical decisions to be made, not only initially, but continually as my family’s goals and beliefs are honed and sharpened. But there is one thing I know with certainty and never have to question. Homeschooling is the only choice for my children and our family because it has given all of us the tools to think for ourselves, to stand up to an ever increasing totalitarian government with the ammo only a free mind can possess, and to be the champions of the individual against the collective that one day may provide future generations with a hope of true liberty and freedom that we are so greatly lacking today. This is why we homeschool, and if you believe in a free society, you should too.

Think about this for a moment. From kindergarten, even pre-school, all the way through and including college, you and/or your children are controlled at every possible angle. Children are told when to go to the bathroom, forced to read and study subjects they will never use and certainly do not enjoy, forced to accept politically correct agendas such as everyone is equal, (and I mean equal as in everyone learns, and is equipped with the same gifts and synchronized intellectual developments), put in artificial environments and told they are being prepared for life, etc., etc., etc. Do you ever raise your hand to go to the bathroom at your job? Anyone beat you up for your lunch money at the office? Do you only work with your own age or gender segregated in separate office spaces? Usually not. You, as a parent, are forced to accept all kinds of mind laundering that is fed to your kids against your very own principals and ideals. And worst of all, who do you think your children’s role models and examples are? I love kids, but when you put 35 fifteen year olds in a room and stir, it comes out looking like Lord of the Flies. And we think this is a good way to model and mold future citizens? So where do we as a society think that sequestering our children in public daytime education camps prepares them for anything other than a life of conformity. Yes. You can see it now, can’t you? Our government has a plan for our kids, and I for one, don’t approve. Our government does not want a populace that questions its authority. Free thinkers are dangerous. Homeschoolers are a threat to the Borg and believe me, I want to be that threat. But do you? If we want a society built on freedom, how does locking them up all day long and chastising them for being individualists encourage their own gifts and talents? Our brightest and best entrepreneurs have been allowed to follow their passions to almost the exclusion of anything else. Edison being one of them. I encourage you to think outside the box and decide if you want your child to be whoever they were meant to be, or part of the hive. I know what you are thinking. But, but, I went to public school and my education was OK. Or, how am I going to homeschool? I don’t know how to do algebra or advanced sciences. How is little Johnny going to get into college? Don’t you have to have a license or a degree to homeschool? Will my kid have any friends? My wife has to work to support our fancy house and two cars; we can’t make those kinds of sacrifices. None of these questions have pat answers. There are so many different ways to homeschool. I could write a book on the how to homeschool my way, and just touch the tip of the iceberg of all the ways to go about it. But the best thing I can tell you is every one of these questions has been asked a million times by over one million homeschoolers in this country, and every single one has figured out not one, but thousands of ways to accomplish an excellent education for their children. You can do it as well. So if you are still unconvinced, let me inform you with some staggering statistics. Please take note that none of these points are the reason we homeschooled our four children, but I find that for people new to the idea, it gives them great food for thought and can serve as some great ammo for the doubting spouses, family and nosy neighbors. -Homeschool students who voluntarily, (I love this word voluntarily when it comes to testing), participate in scholastic achievement tests score, on average, 40 points higher than their public school student peers. -The homeschool students that participate in these tests that live in the states with the LEAST governmental oversight score the highest! -Homeschoolers do not use public taxes stolen from you to educate their children and give them an exemplary education for a tenth of the cost of public or private school. On average, 500 dollars for a homeschooling kid, and anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 per public schooler depending on the state. Do you think you are getting your money’s worth?

After a seemingly interminable flight from Arizona on Wednesday, we arrived around midnight and crashed in Manchester, NH.  After getting our car in the morning, we drove the 2.5 hours to get to the Roger’s Campground in Lancaster in the fabled North Country in New Hampshire. We arrived at the campground after checking in to our hotel.

Libertarian Woodstock lay before me.  They estimate that nearly 1000 folks attended the festival this year. I got to meet old friends and made new friends.  Boston T. Party and I hung together most of the weekend.  We have been to several events together and use these interregnums to catch up on what has transpired since we last saw each other.  Boston has just published a 15 year revision to Hologram of Liberty (1997) and I urge everyone to get a copy if you are still drinking the Constitutional Kool-Aid or merely wanted to peruse the revised and updated book. In the morning I had a long interview with Ernie Hancock and the usual crossing of rhetorical swords he so enjoys.  I then introduced Angela Keaton for her Talking to Normals about War speech.  She is such a stud and antiwar.com is the first page on the ‘net I visit every morning. I chaired the Resistance and Rebellion panel on Friday afternoon with Adam Kokesh, F. Paul Wilson, Boston T. Party and Pete Kofod (an SF alumnus I dragooned onto the panel).  We had a terrific discussion of peaceful and violent means in historical revolution and what the future may hold.  Wilson wrote the seminal science fiction novel Enemy of the State about the non-violent destruction of an empire at the hands of the fictional LaNague Federation. All videos for these events will be available soon on the internet.
I inaugurated the first of several conversations about secession several years ago.  The first essay is published below and the accompanying essays are linked below that.  Mordor on the Potomac can NEVER be reformed.  You can send good people but they will be sucked into a system of corruption and servitude that is unrivaled in the last thousand years in the magnitude of treasure and blood expended outside of large conflicts.  Buppert's Corollary to Acton's Axiom is that "Power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts even worse".   Rare is the ruler in any annal of history whose psyche is not possessed of a severe psychopathy or sociopathy; they rule and seek to do so because they wish to control others ultimately through any means necessary.  Five millennia of chronicled history is unimpeachable - government, whether secular or religious, is the source of ALL slavery and the fount of most violence leading to the abattoirs like Nazi Germany or the USSR.  We are on the road ourselves. The wars we now engage in AfPak, Yemen and Iraq are simply more expenditures of blood and treasure on top of the War on Drugs, Poverty, etc.  The Soviet Union was quite vicious but at least they were honest about their form of government.  We are bombarded by the government/media complex on the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  What?  The attack on 9/11 and our war on Islam is not a response to their antipathy toward the aforementioned freedoms and liberties.  They have simply reacted to decades of war on the Middle East.  We were told they hate us for our freedoms but that charge is more fairly leveled at our own government. The final deSovietization of these united States will only occur when the American fractures, dissolves, devolves and calves off into the inevitable regional enclaves which have been created already through spontaneous order.  Remember that all the analysts were caught flat-footed when the USSR collapsed in 1989.  It can happen here so you had better prepare for the worst because it is coming.  That is not one Black Swan approaching, it is a flock. The America in the Inland West is significantly different in culture and temperament from the Soviet-lite states of the Northeast.  This country was born in a divorce from the United Kingdom and a secondary revolution in 1860-65 to right fissures that had long been festering and it is time for the country to file for divorce again – from Washington. I spoke on this very topic at the Porcupine Festival for the Free State Project in Lancaster, New Hampshire on Friday, 22 June 2012 as Keynote Speaker.  See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O28aiatbmuM -BB   "Good Morning, Governor, how might we…" "Mr. President, I realize you are a busy man so let’s get down to brass tacks…we are calling the ball and withdrawing our support of your Administration and the Federal government in DC. Effective immediately, we have coordinated to place all outgoing receipts to the IRS in a caged account here in Boise…" "Governor, you can’t do that…" "Please don’t interrupt while I am speaking as we are from this point onward peers in the family of nations. I hope you have reviewed the diplomatic instruments we sent by courier last night to Department of State which delineates the terms of our divorce." "I did receive those and you have no earthly idea the can of whoop-…" "Please, sir, maintain the decorum of these proceedings so we can move forward to an amicable separation. I give you my personal assurance on the safety and well-being of all Federal personnel we have detained for immediate repatriation to the remainder of these United States. Any non-law enforcement Federal personnel who wish to remain behind will be permitted to do so." "I hope you have thought through the consequences of what you are embarking on." "Mr. President, we have had over two hundred years to give the rulers on the Potomac a chance but that time has expired. Effective immediately, all so-called Federal lands now belong to the nation of Idaho and we will dispose of these lands at our leisure. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we will not seek compensation for the seizure, abuse and tenure of Federal practices on the aforementioned land and call the balance even." "Those are my lands, Governor…"

  ZeroGov: Limited Government, Unicorns and other Mythological Creatures is published and live this morning on Amazon.  It will be available only as an eBook and therein lies a revolution in writing.  No longer stymied and stove piped through the traditional publishing houses, books are taking a plunge into a new frontier that has been maturing since the beginning of the new century.  This is both good news and bad. The good news is that authors will now take home much more than they would over the long term with traditional publishing royalties.  We will also see an exponential increase in the number of books available.  This speaks to the bad news.  There will be an ocean of bad writing, dross and poor thinking on display that has probably not occurred in the millenium that preceded us in the publishing world. It also means that the number of “real” books will diminish as the electronic variant starts to gain supremacy. Mind you, it pains me a bit to see the transition.  I have a library annex on my house filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of books.  I take great comfort to go in there and simply sit with them.  Or I may be writing a new blog posting and reach for a text for an arcane reference I cannot find on the web.  I love the oft-mentioned tactile feel of a real book; the scent of the pages can even bring back memories to the first time I read it.  I have a...

“Yes, you are right -- I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.” - Mark Twain
I majored in Political Science as a youth when I attended college and was completely immune and unaware at the time of just what I was studying and undertaking as a collegial vocation.  I had not even the vaguest notion that when all the familiar layers are peeled back and the countless variations of sub-disciplines are explored, it all comes down to one central principle and no other no matter how hard you rationalize it:  all political systems rely on violence to work, nothing less and nothing more.  Worse yet, they rely on initiated violence and all its subtle and savage applications.  Once you discover that police are the center of gravity and schwerpunkt for the lion’s share of political heavy-lifting, you wonder why an academic shotgun wedding between “criminal justice” and political science has not appeared yet. No other academic discipline has done more to put the gun in the hands of government. And justify it. What inspired this was a conversation one of my readers had with me about his relative who is a Political Science professor at a university (we know they aren’t heteroversities because only one brand of government supremacism is permitted).  His professorial relation was having a tough time getting his mind wrapped around a stateless society and claimed something that stopped me in my tracks.  I am paraphrasing but the claim was that he simply was not interested in the moral and ethical implications of his work.  These notions are anachronistic, bourgeois or intolerable in polite discussion in the faculty lounge unless…it was used as a lever to increase the power of the state.  Then the graybeards in the lounge would nod approvingly as the latest idiotic gibbering from an Occupy Wall Street waif were commented upon or some worthy would talk about the virtue of the people in seeking to have the government step in and regulate the size of fruit or the pressure applied to a man’s groin to search him at an airport. Let’s face it, all universities are public schools in the sense that they are largely subsidized by the state in funding, research, subsidy of student loans and all the other regulatory baggage that makes these schools into the institutions of advanced shambling and idiocy they are today.  Plenty of other observers such as Sowell, O’Rourke and Bovard have penned wonderful bromides about the inadequacy, inefficiency and sheer lunacy of American academia today but few seem to have noticed that for the most part, the political science departments have one charter:  to rationalize violence against their fellow planet dwellers whether the domestic machinations of making governments bigger and better or the more exotic foreign policy shenanigans of making excuses for the global war against brown people and folks who don’t share the “democratic ideal” (Gods help us).

 

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

-  George Bernard Shaw

It’s funny how the official message of the land of the free and home of the brave is the bigger the government the better.  How many times do the bipedal human parakeets on television news squawk about the need for a more stable central government to make all the bugbears go away? How often does this meme haunt any conversation about bringing stability to the Middle East and especially in the countries that the American military is currently occupying and trashing?  Official Washington on both sides of the aisle are always cheerleading the latest government expansion and increase. They don’t know anything else.  Freedom of action without government permission simply does not compute for them.  The bubble of insulating propaganda and self-congratulation puts virtual cotton in their ears.  They are deaf to any concept of a non-police state social arrangement.  Scratch a Republican or Democrat or Green or even a beltway Libertarian and they are either tone-deaf to freedom and liberty at the atomistic level or terrified of the implications for their power. Afghanistan as a very anarchic country really short-circuits the Beltway meme that ALL humans wish to be corralled into tax jurisdictions and looked after by benevolent police states that will fine, kidnap, cage, maim or kill any cattle that don’t comply with the program.  We discovered the same thing in trying to tame Somalia militarily that it was simply impossible to conduct a capitol thrust with overwhelming military power and sue for peace and the Somalis simply are not interested in centralized authority.  The Afghan conflict is the same, unless the US slaughters every man, women and child within its borders and creates an American suburban dystopia with imported humans, no Afghan central government will control anything outside of Kabul.  Instead of wringing our hands over how to solve that problem, why don’t we simply look at what has created such a decentralized and distributed society.  Even when the Taliban were in power, there were sectors of the country no Afghan nationalist could safely go much like the Appalachian mountains or wilder grow areas in the inland mountain West in the US where even today Federal government officials fear to tread. Mountainous terrain and liberty seem to have a moderately causal relationship when we look at the Basques in Spain, Kurds, Chechens and other mountain communities that seem to be able to magically evade central control.