Publisher’s Note:  I am a college graduate but I think the present course of higher education and the hundred years leading up to it has done nothing more than be a mass processing plant to produce specious justifications for government supremacism and churn out legions of shambling and unreflective automatons programmed for submission and obedience to government coercion.  Most folks in college today should not be there and only two colleges in America are not extensions of the Federal government:  Hillsdale (although the vicious brew of neoconservatism and military jingoism has blinded its adherents to freedom) and Grove City College.  Neither accepts any Federal aid.  All the rest are satellite campuses of Mordor on the Potomac.  The Ludwig von Mises Institute has been the closest thing to a liberty campus out there but no formal nor accredited curricula exists.  Now ISU is attempting to establish a virtual and real campus to plant the seedbed of liberty and build a sophisticated intellectual framework to ensure freedom is not extinguished in the 21st century despite the best efforts of the “best and the brightest”.  A difficult task indeed. -BB Individual Sovereign University is not part of any one movement, or any one group of people. It is the ultimate open-source educational tool where you determine what you want to learn or teach and we will find you teachers, students, and as needed, sponsors. We see to pioneer networking being used not only as a social tool, an activist's tool, but also as a way to connect learners with those that have knowledge they are seeking. Where appropriate, we also connect teachers and students with sources of funding, including businesses that want trained individuals for future jobs. We also engage our scholars in original research which we publish. What are the goals of the Individual Sovereign University, and why is a "university" the correct structure for achieving them? 1. The primary goal is to show people how to teach and how to learn without intrusion from any organization, or group of people. All peoples from the youngest to the more aged adult learners and teachers can create the opportunity to use our de-centralized and global platform to share their knowledge. Through the great many mean that the technology available today allows. 2. A secondary goal is to provide authors with opportunities to give away their written works while continuing to be paid for, e.g., teaching classes. We know that the structure of the publishing industry is changing, and that the cost of reproduction has fallen to essentially zero. Authors are beginning to wonder if they can personally survive the transition from the old style of publishing to the new. By providing a publishing service, Individual Sovereign University expects to show new business models to authors, and thus to the industry.
“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder." ~ Frederic Bastiat
I had business to attend to all week in Richmond, VA. I live west of Fredericksburg, just past the Wilderness Battlefield. Ironically, I live off of the Constitution Highway. Those who read my work might find that a bit funny. I take mostly back roads that wind me through the Old Dominion, until I eventually get dumped out on to I95. Any Virginian knows in the morning, I95 is jammed packed from DC to Richmond, there is just no way around it. While sitting in traffic just outside of the old Confederate Capitol I saw something very disturbing. A Virginia State trooper had backed his vehicle out of the way of an on-ramp where commuters were trying to merge onto the busy Interstate. The going was slow on the merge, and cars were at a complete stand still. There, this Trooper was standing at the end of the on-ramp checking license plate registration, Virginia State safety inspection, and personal property tax stickers. The congestion on I95 was quite heavy this particular morning so I had the opportunity to witness this fascist spectacle for probably five minutes. Virginia State requires that the safety inspection sticker, and the county tax sticker be installed in the lower middle section of the windshield, and the vehicle registration stickers are attached to the license plates. As vehicles were trying to merge, this Trooper would inspect the license plate and then snap his head up to look at the windshield. The whole situation was surreal; he seemed to be more machine than man. His movements seemed robotic, the movement of his head seemed almost hydraulic; up, down, up, down; compliant, non-compliant. I think that is probably what he was "thinking". The only thing missing here was robo-cop. His face was emotionless; when a vehicle approached that was not in compliance, he would snap his arm out to his side and point the vehicle over. His motions were crisp, almost like they were programmed into him.
"Fortunately," he said, "that's hardly a representative sample of American Law Enforcement, thank God." "How many bad apples does it take to spoil a bunch?" I asked. From there, the conversation turned to the philosophical; absent our present justice and law enforcement system, how would we guarantee our safety from the evils of the world? This was as non-productive as may be imagined, and because my friend is a reasonable man, we agreed once again to disagree. So I ask you, dear reader. How many bad apples does it take to spoil a bunch? How much infringement upon our rights, how much overstepping constitutional authority, how much outright brutality are we willing to tolerate from our designated protectors before it's just not worth it any more? In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, firearms were confiscated by the New Orleans Police Department. This was an isolated incident, and the New Orleans PD does not represent American Law Enforcement in general. Most city police are dedicated and noble and would fight to protect the rights and lives of citizens. During the Virginia Tech massacre, the equipped and trained officers did not enter Norris Hall until Cho had killed himself, frustrated by a barricade that students erected to keep him at bay. Officer safety is paramount, and it would have been dangerous for any one officer to enter the building in the presence of an active shooter without backup. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, tasked with preventing federal offenses related to firearms, encouraged firearms to be illegally sold and distributed to known criminals, resulting in the death of at least one Border Patrol agent and countless other human beings. But the present ATF is not representative of federal Law Enforcement agencies in general, and these abuses will die with that bureau.

Publisher's Note: I want something a bit more definitive than independence.  I grew up associating the 4th of July with freedom and liberty and then I grew up.  Not only was this the day in 1863 when the Confederacy lost both Gettysburg and Vicksburg and therefore the war but it is now associated with the celebration more so of the wretched and liberty-wrecking Constitution than the brilliant Declaration of Independence.  The DI was drafted a full generation before the political coup known as the Constitution cemented and wedded all our fates to big government.  The Fourth is certainly a day to celebrate the DI but the flag waving and celebration of patriotic gore both here and abroad is, in truth, a macabre glorification and salute to the Gulag State.  America is no longer the land of the free and home of the brave, it is instead the land of the caged and home of the collaborator.  Most Americans not only are scared witless of liberty and freedom but endlessly cheer-lead the depredations of the state on their neighbors through taxation, regulation and the maintenance of a ferocious police state. Michael Collins had it right. Truth be told, the Fourth of July has become the twisted celebration of the inmates lauding the accomplishments of their jailers.  Please enjoy the Declaration of Separation. Please be sure to look at the great cornucopia of terrific 4th of July ramblings from my brothers at Western Rifle Shooters Association. An excerpt:
On the Fourth, we celebrate open rebellion, high treason, and disobedience.We celebrate men who killed their countrymen for their principles. Men who risked being demonized and executed by their government, for their principles. Don’t you ever, ever forget that. Ever. It’s not about apple pie, baseball, fireworks, and the Declaration of Independence. Expensive, horrible, priceless freedom. Arctic Patriot
--BB [Editor's Note [The Voluntaryist]: The following anonymous piece was received via email on April 7, 2009. It was distributed to our voluntaryist email group, since I am in accord with its sentiments. Its opening claim of a "right to exist" ought more properly be framed as a statement: We exist; we exist at our own expense; and expect no one to support us; and we will defend our existence if it is coercively threatened. I would have liked to have seen it mention that 1) taxes are theft, and that taxes are collected under threat of force; and 2) that although certain goods and services are necessary for our survival, it is not necessary that they be provided by coercive, political governments. Please see that this Declaration gets as wide a distribution as possible.] To The Governments & People of Earth: We claim the right to exist, and we will defend it. We do not seek to overthrow anything. We do not seek to control anything. We merely wish to be left alone. All we ever wanted was to live in peace with our friends and neighbors. For a long, long time we bore insults to our liberty; we took blows, we did what we could to avoid injury and we worked through the system to get the offenses to stop. That has now changed. We no longer see any benefit in working through the world's systems. At some point, working within a system becomes cowardly and immoral; for us, that point has arrived. Regardless of the parties in power, their governments have continued to restrict, restrain and punish us. We hereby reject them all. We hereby withdraw from them all. We hold the ruling states of this world and all that appertains to them to be self-serving and opposed to humanity. We now withdraw our obedience and reclaim the right to strike back when struck. We will not initiate force, but we do reserve the right to answer it. We did not choose this - it was forced upon us. To The Governments of Earth: You are building cages for all that is human. In the name of protection, you have intruded into all areas of human life, far exceeding the reach of any Caesar. You claim ultimate control of our property and our decisions, of our travels and even our identities. You claim ownership of humanity far beyond the dreams of any Emperor of any previous era. Understand clearly: We reject your authority and we reject your legitimacy. We do not believe that you have any right to do the things you do. You have massive power, but no right to impose it upon us and no legitimacy. We have forsaken you. We are no longer your citizens or your subjects. Your systems are inherently anti-human, even if all their operators are not. We are not merely angry young people. We are fathers and mothers; aunts, uncles and grandparents; we are business owners and trusted employees; we are mechanics and engineers and farmers. We are nurses and accountants and students and executives. We are on every continent. This is not a burst of outrage; this is a sober declaration that we no longer accept unearned suffering as our role in life. For long decades we sat quietly, hoping that things would turn around. We took no actions; we suffered along with everyone else. But after having our limits pushed back again and again, we have given up on your systems. If our fellow inhabitants of this planet wish to accept your rule, they are free to do so. We will not try to stop them. We, however, will no longer accept your constraints upon us. - From now on, when you hurt us, we will bite back. If you leave us alone we will leave you alone and you can continue to rule your subjects. We are happy to live quietly. But if you come after us, there will be consequences. You caused this because of your fetish for control and power. The chief men and women among you are pathologically driven to control everyone and everything that moves upon this planet. You have made yourselves the judge of every human activity. No god-king of the ancient world ever had the power that your systems do. You have created a world where only the neutered are safe and where only outlaws are free.
Just one exercise in packing your suitcase when the water is up to your chest, but I’m certain our readers can come up with dozens more. There are two schools of thought I generally agree solves this dead argument. For the sake of this exercise I will label the first, the Minarchist approach to Zionism, and the second, the Anarchist approach to Zionism. Both will be attacked because they lack the neo-conservative philosophy of "might makes right".  Ironically, neo-conservative ideals imitate National Socialism, despite their quoting of Genesis:12 at you when they hear you criticize Zionism. I'll address the Minarchist approach, which is purely libertarian in nature, first. The US foreign policy was intended by Jefferson to be "humble" and was one of non-interventionism but don't confuse it with isolationism, most neo-conservatives make that false claim towards Ron Paul and they are often philosophically the most ignorant of Jefferson’s approach to foreign policy in the first place since they reside ideologically much closer to Alexander Hamilton (spit) and the Federalists. A non-interventionist approach would dissolve the US of all foreign entanglements including Treaties, which would include the creation of Israel. If Jefferson were even capable of living in these days and spent a glistening day studying how we bastardized his experiment, he would take the US to task on this very issue. The fact is, the US foreign policy is an embarrassing mess by Anti-Federalist standards, but possibly on-par with a Federalist’s vision. Following this Minarchist approach, the US would have to un-do the lingering mistakes throughout history and make apology where needed. When you realize you made a decision, whether it was based on bad information, you still make amends. This isn't about appearing weak; as a man, you know that when you are wrong, you want to take responsibility for it. The argument posed that the US would somehow appear weak for assuming that responsibility is a unique Federalist slant, anyway. Our country is faced with a great many mistakes so that process would need to begin yesterday. In the conclusion of the Minarchist/libertarian approach, the answer is to un-do anything that was a mistake including entangling alliances and a meddling foreign policy, chiefly, that is the entire Middle East, but certainly not limited to the it. If this was the best that could happen, I would be pleased, but you know there is no way in hell neo-conservatives would allow the mere contemplation. Even the liberals famously imitating International Socialists would see their special interest clients breaking down their doors. This is what I will call this the moderate or middle of the road approach. It has a logical reason and is based on the principles of non-interventionism as defined by Jefferson himself. It would shrink government in very large proportions which is exactly why it will NEVER happen. the middle of the road approach... it has a logical reason and basis based on non-interventionism as defined by Jefferson himself, it would shrink government in very large proportions which is exactly why it will NEVER happen.
  Chris was kind enough to answer some questions from the ZeroGov staff about himself, his books and his prognostications for the future.  Enjoy.  I highly recommend them.  Chris' responses are in italics. You can buy it here. Be sure to look for the second volume if you are interested. -BB
  • What motivated you to write Operation SERF?
I started writing the first book purely for fun during some of my limited free time on weekends one winter.  It was an exercise in creativity which was encouraged by author/blogger Charles Hugh Smith.  The entire book was originally posted as free weekly installments on his oftwominds.com website.  The idea grew larger than I had initially imagined and the web series became the first book of a trilogy.  My time spent boots on the ground in Iraq and my studies of the collapse of Yugoslavia gave me both the concrete hands-on experience and academic knowledge needed to breathe life into a fictional scenario.  But aside from the creativity associated from doing art for the sake of it, part of my motivation was to warn my fellow Americans about a devastating course should we chose such a path in the future.
  • How close are we to a collapse similar to the book’s portrayal of the slow and grinding fall into the abyss?
Right now we as a nation could go either way.  Keep in mind that I'm thinking about a time-line over the next 10 years.  I'm focused on economics today because that is the main crossroad we're at in 2011.  The question we're faced with now is can we create enough jobs for not only the adults who are currently out of work, but all the new graduates who will be seeking work each year from here on out.  The question tomorrow at the next critical junction will be do we have the natural resources and fuel supply to meet the demands of a growing population.  No matter how I project various scenarios out in my own mind, my intuition tells me we will be forced to change our way of life.  I'd like to think we're capable of decentralizing governance and production to meet regional needs in a sustainable way, but I doubt the people currently in power are capable of relinquishing their grips on the reins.  I see no evidence yet that the flawed personalities of our so-called leaders who've brought us to the brink of collapse will be miraculously healed in time to avert a hard landing.  Therefore as it stands now, their proposed solutions will either still fail or only bring greater strife.
  • Since writing the book, have real time events around the globe caused you to think that it may happen just as you extrapolated?
The word “austerity” had not yet entered the common American vocabulary when I began writing the book in late 2008, but in 2011 we're beginning to understand how it will affect local, state and federal budgets.  It will take a few more years before we see how this plays out on the street in concrete terms.  More people will become unemployed and even if they're able to find work later, it won't be for the same pay they had in the past.  Their standard of living will fall.  When there's no money to fix the infrastructure and the concrete literally begins crumbling under our collective feet, only then will the people who've had continuous employment all along realize that our slow downhill trend had been afoot the entire time.
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” -Winston Churchill (in a brief moment of intellectual sobriety)
I am just finishing Joshua Ramo’s book, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It. A scintillating read but the treatment of the subject in Ramo’s book is superficial at best.  This is a reflection of his journalist pedigree and affiliation with Kissinger Associates.  Kissinger is by far one of the most exaggerated intellects to ghost foreign policy circles since it became its own area of academic inquiry in the twentieth century.  He is emblematic of the journalism profession today.  Ramo said the following in an interview:
“You espouse that average citizens should take control of their lives and live in a "revolutionary" manner. What do you mean? Can established governments and revolutionaries co-exist?” “Sure they can. Google and the US government get along fine (more or less). What matters is that we all do three things: first we have to live lives that are very resilient, which means taking care of ourselves, our savings, our family and our education so we can adjust to a rapidly changing world. Second, we all have to participate in a caring economy, devoting some of our life to helping others instead of relying on the government to help others for us. And finally we have to be innovative in how we live and think. We have to try to think of new ways to make a difference in the world as individuals, to help prepare our children to manage and control their own lives instead of relying on big corporations or the government to do so.”
All of these ideas are excellent but this is the same author who rightfully condemns the blindness and stupidity of government behavior in everything from the fatal Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 2006 and the resulting mauling by Hezbollah to the sclerotic and ineffective regulation of complex financial markets; he then veers into a list of things the government can do right to include total government provision of healthcare.  What?!  Ramo, you miss your own message. Government cannot provide resiliency in the sense you recommend except in the maintenance of its own power by either violently rending its neighbors or cannibalizing its constituent parts to keep it alive.  There is only one imperative ALL governments share and that is self-preservation and opportunistic expansion at every turn.  Ramo treats resiliency as a positive attribute at the individual level but misapprehends its application to gun-run organizations like the state where innovation and effectiveness are always subjugated to the aforementioned imperative.
Publisher’s Note: Skip put together yet another outstanding tool review for the Village.  He is working on his comprehensive Amagi as we speak and we will publish that in the near term.  It is the one-stop shopping for delineating armaments packages for the Village faithful.  I do want to emphasize that it is one thing to have the kit but if you don’t train and prepare ahead of time, the most expensive and high-speed kit available will do you no good whatsoever.  A large part of good luck is meticulous and comprehensive planning and preparation (this applies to all aspects of life).  We have adopted the gas impingement versus gas piston systems for the family of AR platforms we have evolved to for reasons of costs and accuracy.  It has been a bit sad to evolve away from the FN FAL platform but technology marches on.  A preview of the M110A1 Carbine platform we are adopting can be seen in the review photos.   Therefore, this tool is critically important to keep everything in proper working order. Comments and discussion on this review is here: https://zerogov.com/forum/index.php?topic=827.0 -BB A truly functional tool is one that compliments your equipment and other tools in such a way that means less overall equipment while you are on the move. It is for this reason I have evaluated the Combat Application Tool Inc. in the .223 (CAT-M4) and .308 calibers (CAT-762), as well as the new Tactical Tolerance Talon chamber tool. The analysis of capability vs. load definitely favors the CAT M4 over any bolt carrier or bolt cleaning tool with its very capable task of not only cleaning the carbon build-up inside of the bolt carrier of the AR-platform, but the tail of the bolt itself. Many a bore brush has lost its life, unknowingly damaged bores, and ended up discarded prematurely by the misapplication of using a bore brush to remove carbon build up on the bolt and bolt carrier.

Any soldier knows that carbon build-up is very difficult to combat in the field, and this tool fits the bill wonderfully. The capability vs. load test method is, quite simply put, “Is the benefit worth the weight?” Look at the discarded gear for miles past any large trail-head and you will understand the essence of this method. I have compiled a few suggestions for Combat Application Tool Inc., and of course, the operator that will deploy in harm’s way with the never ending possibility of a malfunction attributed to weapon maintenance, ammunition quality, and/or operator error.

The purpose of the Talon is to clear the chamber lugs quickly. In the 10-step AR Check by Ned Christiansen, step number 5 states: “Remove bolt and check for presence and condition of gas rings and check barrel for obstructions.”
Tom Ball died on 16 June 2011 by his own hand in front of a courthouse in New Hampshire.  Like the gentleman who crashed a plane into an IRS building last year, his self-immolation was a message to America.  When you take everything from a man, he may become the most dangerous man around because he has nothing to lose.  His travails in the Federal and State child-legal-industrial complex is emblematic of the callous and imperious disregard for liberty exhibited by every agency in existence.  The IRS and Mr. Ball’s particular target of ire are merely examples of a runaway system that treats people like cattle and grinds them into a somnambulant zombie population that shambles to work and surrenders nearly 60% of the proceeds to one government entity or another along with compliance to a mountain of regulations impossible to comprehend.  This is a harbinger of things to come.They have yet to release the video footage of his demise. Tom Ball left the following testimonial after his unseemly death. Notes in the Margin: Posting has been somewhat marginal lately because most of the writers and staff of Zero Gov have been contending with the massive Monument Fire in southern AZ.  None of us have lost homes but we did get the opportunity to practice what we preach and host evacuees in our homes and horses in our paddocks as guests of the spontaneous order of helping neighbors and friends without resorting to violence. That fire appears to be near containment now and we will get back to work. I will be on Adam Versus the Man tonight (1900 EST 6/23/2011) with Adam Kokesh:  https://www.adamvstheman.com/ -BB A man walks up to the main door of the Keene N.H. County Courthouse, douses himself with gasoline and lights a match. And everyone wants to know why. Apparently the old general was right. Death is not the worst of evil. I am due in court the end of the month. The ex-wife lawyer wants me jailed for back child support. The amount ranges from $2,200. to $3,000. depending on who you ask. Not big money after being separated over ten years and unemployed for the last two. But I do owe it. If I show up for court without the money and the lawyer say jail, then the judge will have the bailiff take me into custody. There really are no surprises on how the system works once you know how it actually works. And it does not work anything like they taught you in high school history or civics class.
"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!" -Frederick Douglass
I always hear folks saying, "if we could only get back to the Constitution". Well, in the spirit of the 4th of July coming up in a couple of weeks, I would like to examine the founding documents of this country with the hopes of pinpointing just where we went off track. Did we actually get away from the Constitution? I would like to start with the Declaration of Independence. In my opinion, the Declaration is pure American poetry, and the first couple of paragraphs are beautiful. It's enough to make you proud to be an American again. Here we go- The Declaration of Independence In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. I would like to examine this sentence very closely- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their JUST powers from the consent of the governed. Do you see that word--Just--in there? I would like to define that word, as it was put there for a reason. It does not say "deriving their powers from the consent of the governed".