Ron Holland and I met at Freedom Fest 2010.  He was the moderator in the debate I had with Dr. Daniel Walker Howe. He and I got on famously and found that we had a lot in common as far as our perspectives on liberty and freedom and notably both the First and Second American Revolutions. He penned an interesting and well-crafted essay on LewRockwell today called Back to the Articles! Here is an excerpt: Finally, two key points about this proposal need to be discussed. First, it isn’t necessary for all 50 states to go through the state convention process and obtain the necessary majority support to secede from the federal government and then join a restored Articles of Confederation. In fact, it may not be necessary for even one state to actually secede from the current Washington-led forced political union. Just the birth of a strong "Back to the Articles" movement and the creation of state independence groups with the avowed intention of repudiating the massive national debts placed on this and future generations by political and monetary elites against the will of the people could solve the coming debt and dollar problems. The threat of state independence and debt repudiation together with a new debt-free Articles of Confederation national government could be enough to force Washington and Congress to control the debt and dramatically cut spending themselves.

For those interested, the debate has disappeared from the internet. I just returned from Freedom Fest 2010 in Las Vegas from 8-10 July.  Well over 2000 attendees were there and I debated Dr. Daniel Walker Howe on the Articles of Confederation versus the Constitution on FRI afternoon.  The debate was quite cordial and I do not think that Dr. Howe had a good weather gauge of the audience or the focus of the entire conference.  He is an erudite and gentle man but he clearly thought that a conventional rendering of the benefits of Constitutional government and the usual bigger is better pep speech on the joys of Federal living would suffice.  Au contraire.  I get the sense now that libertarians and liberty-loving conservatives (what few there are) are losing patience with the usual arguments and rationales for better living through bigger government. There were about two hundred folks in the audience and my arguments seemed to be well received.  I was asking for a complete change of perspective.  Not only was I actively criticizing a document that has an almost mythical reverence rendered to it across the political spectrum but I was plumbing parts of our history that have been willfully and actively been ignored and distorted.  Not only was I questioning the very legitimacy of THE Founding Document but asking people to examine its real effects over the span of time since its ignoble creation and adoption.  The Founding myth has so permeated our consciousness that it has created a...

My Editor-at-Large brought this to my attention and I would like to cover two issues.  He is dead-on with his assessment of the intelligence debacle we have from soup to nuts under the auspices of all the intelligence dynasties competing for monies at the trough. There are several notions Steele advanced that made me pause and say BS but overall a sound synopsis of why intelligence is broken in the US and around the world in our alleged fealties.  I still don’t understand his admonition about Lincoln and Kennedy printing money and dying for it.  I wanted to briefly discuss why this is a major concern and something my readers have to get their head around. The four reserve banks in America’s history were engineered from the beginning to finance a warfare/welfare state on the basis of interest payment service with no fiscal intention of paying on the balance – ever.  This is the grand strategic modus operandi of the Constitution and why despite the protestations of the usual suspects and the Tea Party movement, we cannot go back to our roots because WE NEVER LEFT THEM.  This bankrupt self-destructive system in place today is the continuing design artifact of the original authors tuned over time.  The year 1835 is the ONLY year in American history we have not had a national debt and you know how Andrew Jackson is treated by the court historians. "I sincerely believe...

I have a confession.  I am a geardo.  I love kit in all its varieties from camo to bags to clothing to slings and everything in between.  I just upgraded my Level III EDC mag to a new Maxpedition Versipak EDC in Khaki.  I rely on two sites primarily as a community of interest to feed this addiction and they are linked on this site: EDC Forums and Military Morons Doug Ritter’s site at Equipped to Survive is also outstanding but not quite as comprehensive or exhaustive in the breadth of reviews and TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures). You never leave your house anticipating a head-on collision or an untoward event of any kind but you will discover that if you prepare ahead both mentally and materially, your chances of coming out ahead will increase exponentially.  It takes approx three thousand repetitions of a process to make it a battle drill which you don’t “think” through such as drawing and firing a handgun.  BUT…it takes approx ten thousands repetition to unscrew a bad habit of doing business.  Gear helps but don’t fall into the trap of thinking the gear will suffice without associated training and familiarity with equipment. In the shooting community, a man’s ability to field a very expensive rifle in the field is inversely proportional to his ability to employ it with skill.  My lightly modified Glocks consistently outperform two to five thousand dollar 1911 pistols because I have invested the time in training and at the range to ratchet up my...

I have often thought that not only is dueling an unfairly maligned tradition but one whose application today could stiffen the spine of an estrogen-laden society and put more of a "point" to affairs of honor.  I can think of several instances in my own life where this would have resolved a difficulty.  Manners are the lubricant of civilization and alas, they are quickly perishing in America with the resultant coarseness, rudeness and cultural illiteracy that pervades the country today.  Part of this is a result of the loss of classical education, a complete lack of historical knowledge and the increasing prevalence of women of both sexes held high as the enviable male paradigm.  We are a nation with a surfeit of males but fewer men.  Men know what they are about and have an idea of their measure under arduous or dangerous circumstances. Some have served in the military, some participate in adventure sports and some in dangerous professions (like firefighters not cops).  Being a cop is one of the safest occupations in America outside of the self-induced pathologies of over-eating, alcoholism and suicide.  Check the FBI statistics. The concept of honor is a dying creed so I expect very few adherents will step forward to advocate for the renewal of dueling as a dispute resolution mechanism.  Honor would be a necessary preamble to even champion dueling.  Guns or swords?  Let's make both available as a choice for consenting combatants.  I would again commend your attention to the excellent...

I read OSA in December of last year and it left quite an impression on me.  I considered myself well-versed in the potential of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) but had not thought though the implications for the new America.  An America in which the work ethic has perished and people have no idea where their food comes from.  I would suggest you pick this book up and read it.  It is a rather fast read and entertaining. Again, get your preps in order because there is nothing in the future of America that portends a land of milk and honey. -BB Letter Re: "One Second After" -- A Book Review with Some Advice I have been reading the novel One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I just finished it. Whew, what a heavy book. I decided to write it up as a "lessons learned" book review. A couple of you may be wondering why I sent this to you. Well, I just thought of you and know you to be like-minded ...

This happens to be that rare event at the New York Times – pungent and accurate reporting that brings the issues alive.  This is one of a series.  Be sure to watch the accompanying video in this article.  It is a sign of the times when an Infantry organization has to use smoke to mark the marksman’s house for air support instead of the elegance of maneuver and fire to neutralize the threat.  I am looking FM 3-21.8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad at almost an inch thick on my library shelf.  The Bible for light infantry in the American armed forces.  It replaced FM 7-8 which I used to be able to put in thigh pocket on my uniform.  No longer, I could use this latest edition to augment my body armor.  While comprehensive, it could be distilled down to one page which reads “Call for Fire”. I grew up in the Army with John English’s book “On Infantry” and poring over the accounts of close combat in WWI and WWII, particularly the German lessons in Russia. This fight will get worse if the Afghan resisters start to see that a 500m war is to their advantage and start employing the real cartridges like .308 and .303 instead of the 7.62x39 weapons they favor.  What is worse for the occupation forces is if the Afghans manage to get their hands on both the weapons and training in Western sniper technology like the .338 Lapua Magnum. We should, of course, leave immediately...

CLAIRE BERLINSKI writes a fascinating essay asking the epochal question:  why is not the entire world population interested in finding out why the intellectual pathogen known as communism is not dead and buried?  What made it tick and what are the details of how it sustained itself in spite of the enormous death toll and deadening and zombification of hundreds of millions of the living?  Those of us on the individualist antiwar right loathe the National Socialists who are always fashionable villains but speak ill of the Commies and plenty of folks in the American intelligentsia will get misty or even hostile at the notion that Communism is one of the worst plagues in humanity's history.  I never thought I would have to say this but they are back and communism is gaining steam again in the near future in America and we have a President who has been reared, mentored and influenced by Communism and its offshoots.  His ambitions to be a Red Czar are only tempered by his apparent appreciation that the platform will succeed in a program of gradualism versus the instant boil of a sharp-edged coup and institution of Marxist-Leninist principles immediately.  The slow boil continues. -BB In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on...

I am starting to see an awakening among my colleagues and neighbors who pay attention and think through their suppositions that the Constitution may not be the ultimate panacea that the idolaters and hagiographers make it out to be.  I used to be a Constitutionalist and mouth the platitudes of getting back to the original intent and returning to our roots.  No more.  Thanks to my own research and the work of others such as Royce, Spooner and DiLorenzo, the curtain has been drawn back and we find the usual suspects – an enabling document not only for big government but the tools of repression granted.  The Constitution is a centralizing document.  This is why we almost had another war on American soil after 1783. The Anti-Federalists were sounding the alarm against the imposition of a “gun in the hands of the national state” and the abilities of moneyed interest to purchase the barriers to competition they needed to legislative fiat.  READ the Anti-Federalist Papers soonest! The Constitution is a Hamiltonian monstrosity which was designed from the beginning as a mechanism to destroy the sovereignty of political subdivisions and subsume them to central planning whims of the Federal government.  Lincoln simply codified in blood and coda what Hamilton could not quite see through in his time.  From that point forward, the rest is the wretched history of the tentacle and grasping Leviathan that is these united States laboring under the Sovietized creature in DC. Face it, if you are a...

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 awhile 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 viscous  FDR (RedDR in more accurate parlance). 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 the court historians has created this Sovietized nation we live in today. I pursued other lines of inquiry concerning the frenzied and plentiful deception and propaganda operations performed by the British prior to the War to Save Joseph Stalin (others call it WWII). The massive fabrications and exaggerations in Churchill's six volume treatment of the aforementioned conflict: This may have been the embryonic moment when I started to question every notion I had of American and European history.  I have always been something of a skeptic but the essays of James J. Martin and Harry Elmer Barnes started to remove the scales from my eyes.  I started devouring more of the "other" historians whom the court historians sniff at in disdain.  The libertarian view of history makes the lens and filter even more clear.  We tend not to get caught up in party affiliations or preemptive judgments because we know the history of the growth of the state is all about power and control and the wrestling of one faction or another through force of arms or chicanery to get the farmed animals (the people) to yield to the farmers (the state).  The history of the US as of the rest of the world is basically one long sordid story of statist farmers and ranchers purchasing or bickering over the cattle or chattel rights, to use a more quaint but appropriate term.  Whether the economically illiterate Marxoid variants of yokedom or the more sophisticated farming operations of so-called "free market" states, the modus operandi is to either force or convince the producers to subsidize the looters and parasites (taxing authorities and their clients).  It is so simple it almost seems elegant. -BB

The Triumph of the Welfare State

In 1945, general elections were held in Britain, and the Labour Party won a landslide victory. Clement Attlee, and his colleagues took power and created the socialist welfare state. But the socializing of Britain was probably inevitable, given the war. It was a natural outgrowth of the wartime sense of solidarity and collectivist emotion, of the feeling that the experience of war had somehow rendered class structure and hierarchy — normal features of any advanced society — obsolete and indecent. And there was a second factor — British society had already been to a large extent socialized in the war years, under Churchill himself. As Ludwig von Mises wrote:
Marching ever further on the way of interventionism, first Germany, then Great Britain and many other European countries have adopted central planning, the Hindenburg pattern of socialism. It is noteworthy that in Germany the deciding measures were not resorted to by the Nazis, but some time before Hitler seized power by Bruning … and in Great Britain not by the Labour Party but by the Tory Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill.[160]
While Churchill waged war, he allowed Attlee to head various Cabinet committees on domestic policy and devise proposals on health, unemployment, education, etc.[161] Churchill himself had already accepted the master-blueprint for the welfare state, the Beveridge Report. As he put it in a radio speech:
You must rank me and my colleagues as strong partisans of national compulsory insurance for all classes for all purposes from the cradle to the grave.[162]
That Mises was correct in his judgment on Churchill's role is indicated by the conclusion of W. H. Greenleaf, in his monumental study of individualism and collectivism in modern Britain. Greenleaf states that it was Churchill who
during the war years, instructed R. A. Butler to improve the education of the people and who accepted and sponsored the idea of a four-year plan for national development and the commitment to sustain full employment in the post-war period. As well he approved proposals to establish a national insurance scheme, services for housing and health, and was prepared to accept a broadening field of state enterprises. It was because of this coalition policy that Enoch Powell referred to the veritable social revolution which occurred in the years 1942–44. Aims of this kind were embodied in the Conservative declaration of policy issued by the Premier before the 1945 election.[163]
When the Tories returned to power in 1951, "Churchill chose a Government which was the least recognizably Conservative in history."[164] There was no attempt to roll back the welfare state, and the only industry that was really reprivatized was road haulage.[165] Churchill "left the core of its [the Labour government's] work inviolate."[166] The "Conservative" victory functioned like Republican victories in the United States, from Eisenhower on — to consolidate socialism. Churchill even undertook to make up for "deficiencies" in the welfare programs of the previous Labour government, in housing and public works.[167] Most insidiously of all, he directed his leftist Labour Minister, Walter Monckton, to appease the unions at all costs. Churchill's surrender to the unions, "dictated by sheer political expediency," set the stage for the quagmire in labor relations that prevailed in Britain for the next two decades.[168]