The Middle East (ME)  is on fire with revolution and rebellion against the powers that be.  There is no government in the entire area which has not abused, maimed and murdered thousands if not tens of thousands of its own subjects.  Pardon me, if I refrain from ever using the word citizens since those don’t exist on Earth.  It is simply what governments were built to do no matter how we dress them up in fancy and adoring histories.  The usual suspects in the government-media complex are coming out of the woodwork as the neoconservative-left liberal alliance blossoms to its fullest potential.  Everyone from Faux New to National Pinko Radio to the Collectivist News Network are swooning and throwing rice at the wedding.  The love letters to the Pentagon from the Obama administration could not be more fawning and flirtatious.   Through wars, bombings and the eradication of uncooperative brown people around the globe, the Child President will make the world safe for his own house brand of militant collectivism.  Amid the wreckage of the former mighty American economic engine is strewn old rusted manufacturing sectors, all home-grown means of financial power since the emergence of debt as the ONLY engine of business start-up and prosperity, and the enormous Soviet-style regulatory apparatus that has done its signal best to strangle and emasculate any innovation in the private sector.  Remember that both parties are sworn enemies of small business but maintain cozy relationships with big business.  America excels in one area and one area only, killing.  The national security state that has emerged since the end of the War to Save Josef Stalin has been the only burgeoning sector of employment since the end of the Cold War in 1989.  The Pentagon and the apparatchiks who serve it in the federal government were desperate to find a means to preserve the hyper-power military complex since its usefulness had dwindled to zero when the other Soviet state fell.   After decades of post WWII fiddling, dawdling and plotting to interfere in the domestic self-determination of hundreds of nation-states around the globe, the US had poked one too many Arab nations and earned the blowback it so richly deserved.  On 9/11 in 2001, the blow to the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York brought American foreign policy home and gladdened the hearts of legions of government employees and hundreds of military contractors.  A new war was on and the American national security state could now move front and center once again. Fast forward to the present state of affairs in the ME, the hot and cold wars that the US has continued to wage in the Arab nations along with the support of dozens of brutal and corrupt regimes has metastasized into the massive web of rolling unrest, protests and rebellions.  Some are concerned with the planning involved in the protests and how many of these are simply synchronized to occur in all these nations.  Others, such as the US State Department and the endlessly creepy Hillary Clinton are more concerned with ensuring not that justice or honor is served but simply preserving the ability of the American client states and satraps to keep their people fettered and tame while we drain the Middle east of oil and keep the Israelis please with the direction of American foreign policy.  American policy in the region has been nothing more than a long and bloody trail of tears for all the people trapped in the confines of what is essentially convenient US political subsidiaries to make the West safe in their oil consumption so that the Western countries can remain virginal in exploiting their own oil reserves and reducing any free market economic incentives to find new sources of energy.

Publisher’s Note:  As promised, the Village Armorer is continuing his series of evaluation of rescue tools and today we discuss our Village standard for sidearms, the Glock.  We have been carrying and shooting these for nearly two decades and have achieved what is essentially a holy grail in the firearms community:  there is no better solution for a sidearm than the Glock.  Aside from the minor modifications we make, it comes out of the box ready to conduct social work.  I have no desire to get involved in a handbag fight such as the 1911 versus the Glock and any other variations on that eternal dispute.  If you have a High Point or a three thousand dollar 1911, great;  if it serves as your sidearm and satisfies your needs, wonderful and all is well with the world.  There are far more important things to waste electrons on than that particular argument.  For us, the issue is settled. -BB Again, let’s look at manipulation, simplicity, reliability and affordability. The law enforcement community has. About 60% of all law enforcement issues the Glock pistol. It is simple: it has a trigger, slide release (slide stop in Glock vernacular), and magazine release. All firearm safety is internal to the weapon, or the trigger you should not touch until prepared to fire. Torture tests show you will be hard-pressed to find a more durable or reliable gun for the money, that is light to carry, and two spare mags should get you back to your...

Publisher’s Note: Chris has provided us with an insightful original essay on the thorny abortion problem in a voluntary society.  The introduction is heart-wrenching but poignant. I am opposed to all abortions except when the life of the mother is threatened because for a variety of reasons I believe it to be cold-blooded murder of the most innocent among us.  I also come to this conclusion in what I have discovered is an unusual tangent.  I am not a religionist of any stripe and most of my friends and acquaintances that are pro-life draw a Scriptural basis for their belief.  I would add that shunning and shaming of the practitioner and the users of the services of a baby abattoir are useful social prohibitions. -BB
"All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them."
~ H.L. Mencken In my last post I talked about how the free market would be superior to the coercive system we have now. I would like to get a little more specific with how we could apply this to the controversial issue of abortion, but first I would like to tell you a very personal story. A little over 5 years ago I received a call at work. I picked up the phone; it was my son’s babysitter. She was frantic, she informed me my son had stopped breathing, and the paramedics were on the way. I remember the time on the clock was 5:07; I was working late that day. I ran and grabbed the keys off of my toolbox, and drove as fast as I could. The babysitter was a healthy 20 minute drive away. Me being the gearhead that I am, my little four banger was up to the challenge. I don't remember too much of the drive, but I do recall exceeding speeds of 125mph. Here in Virginia farm country, I could drive these back roads blind-folded. I made it there at 5:20. I was informed the paramedics arrived at 5:10. I could see my son in the ambulance. It was crowded in there, but I could see my son’s little arm hanging off of the stretcher, it looked lifeless. Refusing to believe the worst, I was pacing, and praying. A paramedic stepped out of the ambulance with tears in his eyes. He said "I am so sorry, sir, we tried to revive him for 30 minutes". At that moment, it was like someone had just removed my legs. I was on the ground faster than if I would have slipped on ice. I was speechless; I then looked to my right and saw my oldest son, Christopher. His babysitter, Dorothy, was holding him by the shoulders. She was like a second grandmother to my boys, and she loved them both very much. Still unable to use my legs, I waved him over. I held that boy as tight as I could, he asked in his three year old voice: "what happened to David, Daddy?" My son, David Ford, was pronounced dead at 5:39PM Oct 26th, 2005. He was six months old. He passed away quietly in his sleep. The doctors say the cause was SIDS. I am not a woman, so I will never pretend to know what a woman goes through when she has an abortion, but I have buried a child. Very needless to say I am pro-life. I am in favor of all human life in all forms. Whenever I hear about children being harmed, or abortions being performed, it quite literally hurts my heart. I am also a firm believer in the non-aggression principle. I do not believe in the initiation of force, even to stop a woman from aborting her child. In a free and voluntary society, how could these two beliefs be rectified? Government only makes this issue worse by passing laws to regulate it. Not to mention, it uses this very controversial issue to divide us. Have any of you ever noticed how these issues are brought off of the shelf around election time? It seems to me it would be a good way to fund campaigns. The politicians need only to mention this issue, and the money starts rolling in. The pro-choice left and the pro-life right shovel money at these politicians who probably don't give a damn about abortion. As soon as the elections are over, the issue goes back on the shelf. If the government makes abortion illegal, or regulates it heavily, it does not take away the market demand for it. This only pushes women to find "illegal" ways to get abortions performed. These women now risk life, safety, and freedom. Since these abortions will be performed by "criminals" there is no telling how sanitary or safe the procedure will be. Making something illegal does not take away market demand; it only makes it more dangerous. This is why the black market exists. I believe the government is not interested in trying to solve the problem of abortion. Besides, once one has a firm understanding that the government has a monopoly on the use of violence; one quickly comes to the conclusion that the government cannot solve any problem. How could the free market ever respond to such a dilemma? In a society where coercion is not a factor and reaching for the guns of government is not a choice, what can be done? I believe that in an environment where individuals were 100% responsible for their choices, more rational decisions would be made. Without Uncle Sugar around to subsidize pretty much everything, consequences will have to be suffered. Maybe we will once again learn that actions have equal and opposite reactions. Without government around, natural law and the natural application of that law will come back. Perhaps parents will spend more time developing certain underlying principles their children should adhere to. Teaching them that all human life is sacred in all forms. Abortion can't happen if there is no conception. We need to strike at the root of the problem. In order to change society, we need to change minds.
“Never initiate force against another. That should be the underlying principle of your life. But should someone do violence to you, retaliate without hesitation, without reservation, without quarter, until you are sure that he will never wish to harm - or never be capable of harming - you or yours again.” - One of the tenets of the Western KYFHO Sect
F. Paul Wilson wrote a wonderful science fiction series called the LaNague Federation which posited a future in which a number of planets manage to break away from imperial bondage only to fall into the totalitarian habit themselves causing yet another plot to emerge to break apart that political jail sentence on the inhabitants of the various worlds.  Two planets ion the system manage to remain neutral and not be a part of the imperial system which emerged after the first secession – Tolive and Flint.  The former planet is peopled by a voluntaryist society adopting a more passive version of the KYFHO (Keep Your Fucking Hands Off) Sect while the planet Flint is manned by a more…aggressive village model.  They are what are referred to as the more violence-prone sect of KYFHO with one exception – they never initiate violence but their response to first aggression against them is swift and destructive.  This is not to say the Tolive inhabitants are more pacifist, they simply don’t train to the deadly standards of the Flinters.  When the Flinters are off-world, they are given a wide berth. There is also an interesting vignette from one of the earlier LaNague novels.  There is a food riot in a city on Earth, government caused, of course.  As the thousands of rioters near the Tolive neighborhood, they don’t step in any of the established boundaries and give it a wide berth because even the crowds sense and know from past history that trespass in those Tolive neighborhoods means certain death for all who entered uninvited so the entire mass of rioting humanity flows around the beleaguered neighborhood to prey on a more vulnerable part of the city. We just got finished over the weekend attending a four day tactical handgun course to improve our martial skills.  Grueling and intense, the training showed both strength and weaknesses; we took the appropriate notes and are working to address any shortfalls and adopt and adapt our new skills to improve pre-existing.  The relatively soft existence of modern America makes it easy to fall into the somnambulant trap of acquiescing to the easy flow of modernity and become the shackled and groomed subjects of the state we are today.
Publisher's Note: The staff of Zero Gov is taking tactical training this weekend and Chris has helped us fill the gap to provide some terrific ruminations on freedom and liberty in our absence.  Enjoy! -BB
"There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root" -Henry David Thoreau
There are two ways to motivate humans, or any animal for that matter. The carrot or the stick. It's that simple, reward, or pain. Profit or violence. Religion can even be broken down in a similar fashion, heaven or hell, salvation or doom. Providing you believe in hell. I do not personally believe in hell, because I do not believe in using the stick. I have a five month old German Shepherd that I train using reward based training. Now, I am no professional dog trainer, but she has responded very well to this training. She listens very intently to me, because there might be a piece of chicken breast in it for her. Is this wrong? Or, is my dog greedy? Of course not; not only is she not greedy, she does not recoil in fear when a human reaches down to pet her. One has to ask then, why are we still using violence to motivate people, if rewards work so much better? Why is every government on this planet still using force, or the threat of force to provide services? Wouldn't a system based on rewards work better to provide people services? I have had many conversations with statists who get disgusted with me when I even mention market, or reward based solutions to solve problems. I'm always perplexed by this, because wouldn't they be, by default, supporters of violence? I just don't get why people are so afraid of free market based solutions. If you claim to be peaceful, and non-violent, which I'm sure most folk claim, and then you contradict yourself by supporting the current system. I have had people say they can't support the system I propose for many various reasons. Sometimes many are very righteous in their responses. I always ask them, "If my system was based on the violence or the threat of violence would you support it"? The answer has always been no. Of course the follow-up question is "then why do you support this system"?
"If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." - Henry David Thoreau
One Friday summer evening about 5 years ago I arrived home from work to find an arrest warrant in my mailbox. Puzzled as to what this could be, I got pretty worried. I was dirty, and tired from work. I remember it being around dusk, or later which would have put me at work for about 14 hours that day. My wife and I talked about it, and decided since it was Friday, we would wait until Monday morning to figure this out. No sense in sitting in the pokey all weekend. Besides, if it was that important, they know where I live. Monday morning I called my job to tell them I would be late, that there is some kind of misunderstanding down at the sheriff’s office I needed to straighten out. I arrived at the sheriff’s office, warrant in hand. I handed it to the deputy, he checked it out and told me I was in violation of a new county "code" I had an unregistered truck in my driveway that was not covered by a vehicle cover. Speechless, I just stood there as he continued to tell me that since it was such a new "code" it has not received classification on exactly what kind of crime it should be. He informed me it was an automatic class 4 misdemeanor. He said that it wasn't that bad. Yeah, that made me feel better. I was just stunned; the state was trying to turn me into a criminal! He then told me if it was covered by the court date the charges will be dropped. I had a feeling he had said this schtick before. I asked him what would happen if I didn't show up. He told me there would be a warrant for my arrest. Wow! I had to pinch myself! This all started because my buddies truck blew an engine, and I was trying to source him  one to install in my driveway. This particular make and model makes it hard to find a motor. So it sat for a couple of months. The tags died on it and some bureaucrat just happen to be spying on the good people of my neighborhood and happened to see the dead tags. Me being me, I did not want to comply with this madness! But, my wife told me to just do it, so we can get this out of the way. So I covered the truck the day before court, cussing the entire time. And yes I took pictures.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin I used to think that quote was true. I was not willing to give up anymore of the very few liberties I have left. I would rather take my chances and live in the woods than graze in the pasture. In order to believe that quote, you have to assume that liberty means you are unsafe, and that the state can provide safety. Well, I just don't believe that at all anymore. I believe there is a better way, I believe that free market solutions to safety, and security could be superior to the "safety" the state claims to provide. In the system we have now all kinds of taxes are paid to provide you with so-called security. Taxes, that if left unpaid, could result with armed thugs showing up at your door, and taking you to a cage(or maybe worse). Let us start with law enforcement. First, you have to understand the police have no duty to protect you. They can forcibly extract their salaries, pensions, and benefits from you, in the form of "law" or "code" infractions, but they have no duty to protect. Why would we even look to these thugs for security? They are the ones holding us at gunpoint! Those that don't think there is a better way are hopelessly lost. So, what would happen in a voluntary society? Who or what could provide security in this arena? Well,...

Publisher's Note: We launched the Zero Gov Forum less than a week ago and the response has been overwhelming.  I wanted to thank everyone for the honor bestowed upon us.  On another note, most of the Zero Gov staff will be on the range for four days for a shooting class so posting will be scarce until Monday. -BB  

I would like to dedicate this essay to my wife, Lilo, who has home-schooled four children and inspired the homeschooling of countless others.

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” - Bertrand de Jouvenel
There are many reasons people choose to home-school that run the gamut of the political spectrum from the Left to Right.  I would daresay that most homeschoolers are Christian.  I suspect that far more people homeschool and hail from a right leaning perspective.   We are in the minority as secular homeschoolers who teach from a curriculum of traditional canons in whole texts and mastery of Latin.  We are in an even smaller minority in that we are not neoconservative Republicans cheering on the crusade to make war on the world to make it safe for whatever we have in store for it as a country. As a family, we don’t seek to replicate government school at home but use the advantage of one on one tutorship to advance learning and make the children more self taught and able to master their own compass in where they want to be in their school career.  While we are sympathetic to certain aspects of unschooling, we remain completely unconvinced that children are competent and capable to know what life skills and learning they require to become free moral agents in adulthood able to captain their own destinies.

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” -H.L. Mencken Zero Gov now has a forum.  By popular demand and reader emails, we have developed a forum and will be unveiling it today.  The blog has been a terrific vehicle for…a one way conversation.  Mind you, I love the replies and welcome them but the forum will allow readers and editors to be much more interactive. It will allow much more drilling and deep philosophical exchange. I am hoping that most everyone will channel Socrates and discover that, at times, the questions are more informative than the answers.  We have a variety of boards created and posted now and hope that this will provide the impetus for the creation (or potential elimination) of boards and other areas of interest as traffic and discussions merit. This is the abolitionist project and we are on the cusp of shifting the paradigm and convincing our fellow humans that ownership of another against their consent is wrong any way you shake it.  As I have mentioned before, Wilberforce started this fight and we will continue the battle against initiated violence and its largest protagonist, government. I would ask that we conduct ourselves with gentlemanly comportment and keep the insults instead of arguments to a minimum.  We invite every creed and philosophical touchstone into the conversation. Our tendency is to be non-interventionist freed [sic] market individualists whose influences tend to be Hoppe, Rothbard, von Mises and Spooner so that will...

Publisher’s Note: The following essay was published two years ago on www.lewrockwell.com and still bears examination today.  I sometimes wonder why Spooner and Tucker, et al, are so unnoticed or purposefully ignored by mainstream historians but their message is clearly not in league with what the court historians wish to transmit as a lesson to the population at large. In the end, if enough recognize that ONLY individuals can possess virtue and groups cannot, it may hasten the end of the violent fiction known as government. Be sure to watch Stefan Molyneux's brilliant video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVHpOr5H1PA On another note, we are getting ready to unveil a forum for Zero Gov where the preternaturally brilliant readership of the blog can cross rhetorical swords with me or any other member of this happy band of brothers.  I am hoping that it becomes a meeting place to challenge and advance the ideas of freedom and liberty in a post-government world.  We will make the formal announcement in the next week when the forum is officially launched. -BB  
"Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery they may indeed wait for ever." ~ Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800—1859)
We live in tumultuous times that demand close attention to the yokes being placed on us. The US government is seemingly in the throes of a coup that is exponentially creeping and expanding into what was formerly a fairly autonomous province. Every sector and branch of human transactions that are palpable in this mortal coil is now being subject to regulation, taxation or both. With no authority whatsoever, entire swaths of American society are being subsumed under Leviathan state. What is the authority or color thereof that these alien entities are gobbling up entire patterns of human existence? I have hinted before that the denizens of Mordor on the Potomac act as if their authority is unlimited and their ultimate reach is anything they please. We are witnessing a vicious brew of Sovietization and Mussolini-style state corporatism that will take a revolution to undo. The annals of Western history are full of this kind of grand hubris enabled by consent both willing and silent on the part of the populace. Humans tend to submit to a yoke or collar when invested with fear and anxiety about futures worse than now. The corpse-count in the twentieth century topped 165 million [this number has been revised by Rummel to 262 million]outside of warfare through democide. These morbid thoughts seem intemperate measured against the apparently "peaceful" measures of Mordor to instill Keynesian stability and save the banksters from themselves with nary a peep of protest from the appropriately red-colored Grand Old Politburo. If you ever had the notion the parties were different, just look at the seamless transition between Bush II and Obama. The only difference between these monsters is skin color because collectivism is thicker than water. Look at the temptation — you step into the cockpit of the Offal (Oval) Office and decades of creeping totalitarian weeds have strangled and mastered practically every facet of American behavior and life. A simple touch of the controls and hundreds of thousands of subsidiary bureaucrats in the Executive agencies somewhat smoothly respond to the yoke to amp up taxation here and increase regulation there and the heady brew of total power starts to go to the President's head. One can count on a single hand the number of Presidents who took the limitations on their power seriously (Van Buren, Cleveland and Coolidge among the all-stars). As Royce pointed out in his brilliant but underappreciated book — The Hologram of Liberty — that the Constitution was doomed at the beginning by Hamilton's curse (Burr did not get to him soon enough) and the temptations of George Washington to start the executive imperial ball rolling (witness the Shay's and Whiskey Rebellions) against state sovereignty. The most basic building block for compliance to illegitimate authority is fear. Drivers speed but always take caution if a hint of police presence or the increasingly ubiquitous camera systems are in place. Rare is the libertarian who wants to pay taxes of any stripe but compliance is heeded to avoid fines and imprisonment, or worse. We do not obey because it is the core right thing to do when it comes to most government edicts. I don't harm my neighbor nor do I steal his property because it is against the law but my inner moral compass best exemplified by the Ten Commandments or the Categorical Imperative provides my azimuth for behavior. I want to eliminate the perennial bugbear that the MSM and government schools drill into the populace — righteous and correct behavior only emanates from government coercion to make you do the right thing. Step back and examine that proposition. Can you think of any government initiatives or programs that not only supported perverse incentives but made you much worse off? I will let you ponder your own answers but they are legion. Just think — the entire Federal Register provides the enterprising social science researcher with a gargantuan solution set to the second- and third-order effects of perverse incentives and iatrogenic effect that animates the entire sordid history of government intervention.