“By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt.”

– James Madison

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

-Lysander Spooner

Today, 17 September 2009, is Constitution Day. There will be paeans, abundant commentary and church-like observances of the glories of this document in making us the most blessed nation on planet earth.  This essay suggests a contrarian thesis. The Constitution is an enabling document for big government.  Much like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is a fraud.  In this case, for all the sanctimonious handwringing and the obsequious idolatry of the parchment, it sealed the fate of our liberties and freedoms and has operated for more than 200 years as a cover for massive expansion of the tools and infrastructure of statist expansion and oppression.  Among the many intellectual travels I have undertaken, this is one of the most heart-breaking I have ventured on.  I want to acknowledge the compass-bearers who sent me on this journey:  Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party) and his seminal book, The Hologram of Liberty and and Kevin Gutzman’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution.  For most of the political spectrum in America, the document represents their interpretation of how to make the this mortal coil paradise.  Even in libertarian circles, it is taken as an article of faith the Constitution is a brilliant mechanism to enlarge liberty and keep government at bay.  That is a lie.

The document was drafted in the summer of 1787 behind closed doors in tremendous secrecy because if word leaked out of the actual contents and intent, the revolution that had just concluded would have been set ablaze again. They were in a race against time and did everything in their power to ensure that the adoption took place as quickly as possible to avoid reflection and contemplation in the public square that would kill the proposal once the consequences of its agenda became apparent.  They were insisting that the states ratify first and then propose amendments later. It was a political coup d’état.  It was nothing less than an oligarchal coup to ensure that the moneyed interests, banksters and aristocrats could cement their positions and mimic the United Kingdom from which they had been recently divorced.

The original charter of the drafters was to pen improvements to the existing Articles of Confederation.  Instead, they chose to hijack the process and create a document which enslaved the nation.  Federalist in the old parlance meant states rights and subsidiarity but the three authors of the fabled Federalist Papers supported everything but that.  Their intent and commitment was to create a National government with the ability to make war on its constituent parts if these states failed to submit themselves to the central government.

As Austrian economists have discovered, bigger is not necessarily better.  The brilliant and oft-dismissed Articles of Confederation (AoC) and Perpetual Union are a testament to voluntarism and cooperation through persuasion that the Constitution disposed of with its adoption.  Penned in 1776 and ratified in 1781, the spirit and context of the Articles live on in the Swiss canton system and are everywhere evident in the marketplace where confederationist sentiments are practiced daily.  The confederation’s design divines its mechanism from what an unfettered market does everyday:  voluntary cooperation, spontaneous information signals and the parts always being smarter than the sum   A confederation according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:

  1. 1.      The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance; particularly of princes, nations or states.

I would advise the readership to use the 1828 Webster’s dictionary to accompany any primary source research you may undertake to understand American (& British) letters in the eighteenth century.  It is the source for the contemporary lexicon.  It is even available online now.

Here is a simple comparison of the two organizing documents:

Articles of Confederation

Constitution

Levying taxes

Congress could request states to pay taxes

Congress has right to levy taxes on individuals

Federal courts

No system of federal courts

Court system created to deal with issues between citizens, states

Regulation of trade

No provision to regulate interstate trade

Congress has right to regulate trade between states

Executive

No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress

Executive branch headed by President who chooses Cabinet and has checks on power of judiciary and legislature

Amending document

13/13 needed to amend Articles

2/3 of both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of state legislatures or national convention

Representation of states

Each state received 1 vote regardless of size

Upper house (Senate) with 2 votes; lower house (House of Representatives) based on population

Raising an army

Congress could not draft troops, dependent on states to contribute forces

Congress can raise an army to deal with military situations

Interstate commerce

No control of trade between states

Interstate commerce controlled by Congress

Disputes between states

Complicated system of arbitration

Federal court system to handle disputes

Sovereignty

Sovereignty resides in states

Constitution the supreme law of the land

Passing laws

9/13 needed to approve legislation

50%+1 of both houses plus signature of President

Note that the precept of individual taxation was an end-run against state sovereignty from the very beginning.  If the Congress does not wish to violate state sovereignty, then they will simply prey on the individuals in the states.  It should be obvious that the AoC was not a recipe for government employees from top to bottom to use the office to enrich themselves so a scheme was afoot to precipitate and manufacture dissent over the present configuration of the central government apparatus which for all intents and purposes barely existed.  The AoC was intolerable to a narrow panoply of interests and the Federalist Papers appeared between October 1787 and August 1788 to plead the case for a newer form of “Republic” authored by three individuals: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The British had sued for peace in 1783 and the AoC were still in effect until 1790.  Time was ticking to erect the new government apparatus that would strengthen the central government to eventually mimic the very tyranny which caused British North America to put the English Crown in the hazard.  The Anti-Federalists rose up in response and provided what I consider one of the most splendid and eloquent defenses of small government penned in our history.

When the Constitutional Convention convened on 1787, 55 delegates came but 14 later quit as the Convention eventually abused its mandate and scrapped the AoC instead of revising it.  The notes and proceedings of the cloistered meeting were to be secret as long as 53 years later when Madison’s edited notes were published in 1840.

The Anti-Federalist Brutus avers in Essay I in October 1787:

“But what is meant is, that the legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontroulable powers, of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers. And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way.”

The conflict was brewing between the Jeffersonians among the individualists and the Hamiltonian collectivists.  The rhetorical lines were drawn and the fate of the nation eventually slid into the camp of the Nationalists.

George Washington wrote to John Jay on 1 August 1786:

“Many are of opinion that Congress have too frequently made use of the suppliant humble tone of requisition, in applications to the States, when they had a right to assume their imperial dignity and command obedience. Be that as it may, requisitions are a perfect nihility, where thirteen sovereign, independent[,] disunited States are in the habit of discussing & refusing compliance with them at their option. Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and a bye word through out the Land. If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.”

It appears even the much admired Washington was having none of the talk of independence and wanted a firm hand on the yoke of the states to make them obey their masters on high.  Washington’s behavior in the Whiskey Rebellion cast away any doubts of the imperious behavior of the central government a mere four year after the adoption of the Constitution.

Patrick Henry gave the firmest defense of the skeptical posture when he questioned the precarious position the Constitution put to the state’s sovereignty on 5 June 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention (the savvy Founding Lawyers ensured that the process of ratification was sped along by bypassing the bicameral house requirements and simply asking the states to conduct ratifying conventions):

“How were the Congressional rights defined when the people of America united by a confederacy to defend their liberties and rights against the tyrannical attempts of Great-Britain? The States were not then contented with implied reservation. No, Mr. Chairman. It was expressly declared in our Confederation that every right was retained by the States respectively, which was not given up to the Government of the United States. But there is no such thing here. You therefore by a natural and unavoidable implication, give up your rights to the General Government. Your own example furnishes an argument against it. If you give up these powers, without a Bill of Rights, you will exhibit the most absurd thing to mankind that ever the world saw–A Government that has abandoned all its powers–The powers of direct taxation, the sword, and the purse. You have disposed of them to Congress, without a Bill of Rights–without check, limitation, or controul. And still you have checks and guards–still you keep barriers–pointed where? Pointed against your weakened, prostrated, enervated State Government! You have a Bill of Rights to defend you against the State Government, which is bereaved of all power; and yet you have none against Congress, though in full and exclusive possession of all power! You arm youselves against the weak and defenceless, and expose yourselves naked to the armed and powerful. Is not this a conduct of unexampled absurdity? What barriers have you to oppose to this most strong energetic Government? To that Government you have nothing to oppose. All your defence is given up. This is a real actual defect. . . “

The Bill of Rights as we know them today were first introduced by James Madison in 1789 in response to the fears the emerging Constitution caused among the free men in these united States.  They eventually came into effect on December 15, 1791.  The Federalists were desperately opposed to the adoption of the Bill of Rights being insisted upon by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and other skeptics of central governance. As Brutus again so cleverly pointed out in the Anti-Federalist papers #84:

“ This will appear the more necessary, when it is considered, that not only the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof, but alt treaties made, under the authority of the United States, are the supreme law of the land, and supersede the Constitutions of all the States. The power to make treaties, is vested in the president, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate. I do not find any limitation or restriction to the exercise of this power. The most important article in any Constitution may therefore be repealed, even without a legislative act. Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought.

So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage (emphasis mine).”

The Bill of Rights nominations from the respective sovereign states originally numbered near 200 and the Founding Lawyers saw fit to include twelve (the two concerning apportionment and Congressional pay failed to pass) after much bickering especially by the most monstrous worthy of the time, Alexander Hamilton.  A brilliant mind coupled with all the political knife-fighting skills needed to dominate the proceedings, Hamilton made sure that the tools of oppression and a financial yoke would be decorating our necks in perpetuity.  Small solace can be taken in the aftermath of the duel between Hamilton and Burr on 11 July 1804 in that it took him close to a day to die.

Alexander Hamilton tipped his intellectual hand in a speech to the Constitutional Convention concerning the United States Senate, 06/18/1787 (quoted in the notes of Judge Yates):

“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.  Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.”

I am no fan of democracy as I see it as nothing more than a transformational accommodation to tyranny over time but one can infer from this quote that Hamilton fancied a class of people more equal than others who would have a disproportionate access to the levers of power over the great unwashed.  Again, I am suggesting that the Constitution was a document designed from the beginning as a means to rob constituent and subsidiary parts of sovereignty and subject these subordinate elements to a national framework which made their position subservient to the Federal government. The desire of the Federalists was to install a national framework and cement the structure through the machinations of national banking, franking of a currency and debt creation.  Keep in mind that all of the nattering on about the Federal Reserve today is a complaint against a Constitutional Frankenstein monster in its fourth iteration since the other attempts at national banks failed.  You can guess who picked up the tab.

The Bill of Rights was finally passed on 15 December 1791 but it was much diluted and purposefully weaker and more ambiguous about the central government’s implied and explicit powers.

The Constitution took effect on 4 March 1789 with 11 states under it and two states not submitting ratification.  North Carolina did ratify it when a promise of a future Bill of Rights was assured.  Rhode Island refused and was the only state to put the Constitution to a popular vote where it failed on 24 March 1788 by an 11-1 margin.  They eventually ratified it.

Hamilton now had the ways and means to make real his storied dream:  “A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.”  The moneyed interests saw the advantage of monetizing the debt. By assuming the state’s debts at the national government level, a means of controlling commerce and taxation became an implied task of the central government.  This may have been the first incident of the debtors from the Revolutionary War convincing their Hamiltonian allies that if they had the national government bear the debt and relieve them of responsibility, this could be used as the means to establish the coveted national bank to start the issuance of government currency not to mention the driver for increased taxation.

All the puzzle pieces had finally locked into place.  Royce eloquently explains what has transpired in Hologram of Liberty: “To put a “gun” in the hands of the new national government was the primary object, the great sine qua non, of the Constitution.  A comprehensive de jure authority of Congress backed with de facto guns.”  The Confederation is defeated and the long train of usurpation, centralization and tyranny leaves the station for what has become American history.

Hamilton’s machinations and influence probably single-handedly turned the product of this secret confab into one of the most successful instruments of political oppression before even the creation of the USSR.  What makes it even more sublime as a tool of big government is the sophisticated propaganda and hagiographic enterprise which has both spontaneously and through careful planning suborned the public’s skepticism of the nature of the machine erected to control their behavior which has resulted in an almost religious observance of all things Constitutional.  Carefully cultivated over two hundred years, this religious idolatry had certainly fogged the thinking of this writer for most of his adult life.  This sleeper has awakened.

Ask yourself this question:  have the robed government employees who read the Constitutional tea leaves for the most part defended individual liberty or have they rubber-stamped the exponential growth of power and control of the colossus that sits astride the Potomac?

“Our constitutions purport to be established by ‘the people,’ and, in theory, ‘all the people’ consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of ‘the people’ exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality  established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.”

-Lysander Spooner

Former Governor Lutrin was hard to find. Having served out his single term after shepherding Idaho from the corrupt and tyrannical claws of the rulers in DC and their agents throughout the land, he had quietly retired to his ranch near Sandpoint, ID in the northern panhandle in Year One of the Free State Alliance (FSA). The Alliance had expanded to embrace the former states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Washington, Nevada and British Columbia joined two years later by Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. The Alaskan Republic maintained very close ties with the FSA. Utah had gone her own way and established a Mormon theocracy. The West Coast states formed Pacifica but the Green Coalition which maintained tight control on the economy caused a brain-drain and economic collapse that splintered the coalition.

Since the break-up of these united States, all of California south of San Francisco had become part of the pan-Mexican rump state in Atzlan along with most of the American Southwest. Mexico has splintered into approximately ten separate states with alliances between the various 31 states that comprised Mexico ebbing and flowing on a daily basis. The decriminalization of drug laws in Pacifica and the Free State Alliance significantly weakened the strength of the Mexican drug cartels to finance their activities and the pan-Mexican economy started to flourish after nearly a century of economic and monetary penury.

Pacifica remained in force in the major cities like Portland and Seattle but had lost total control of the countryside in what had formerly been Washington and Oregon. The Dakotas finally allied with the Midwestern Alliance.

The American South had settled into an uneasy alliance with the United States Socialist Republic (USSR) which maintained their capital in the District of Columbia. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire eventually broke away from the USSR to establish a system of Swiss-style cantons which the USSR battered for the first two years but eventually exhausted their ability to fight once the USSR economy collapsed into a miserable shambles that made Cuba look like 1990s Hong Kong.

Premiere Obama conceded defeat in an indirect fashion after assumption of his lifelong appointment at the circus-like Constitutional Convention in the USSR in 2012. The massive government intervention and adoption of total central planning had predictable results: the world’s first 100% marginal tax rate on the top fifty percent of earners had only surprised the Premiere’s Economic Council but no one else with the results. Tax receipts were down by 80% in the first year and disappeared in the second. Paul Krugman, the chairman of the council, was quoted as saying “[that] greed would be eliminated and a new man would emerge from the bold experiment.” The only thing that emerged were the tens of miles of refugees attempting to flee the USSR in the first year after which the borders were sealed and all the government’s guns were trained inward to prevent the citizens from escaping the latest economic nostrum – permanent employment in a government job assigned to you whether you liked it or not.

It is difficult to gauge how bad conditions are in the USSR. Like the Soviet Union during the twentieth century and Cuba afterwards, rumors were rampant. Gulags, reeducation camps, mass disappearances, famine and disease outbreaks were apparently the order of the day. Some of the crueler pundits referred to the Premiere as Kim Jong Obama and Barak Mugabe. Like the former northern part of the Koreas, it remains a rather strong military power but an economic basket case.

Fears of meddling on the part of China, Russia and Middle Eastern states proved to be unfounded as those nations grapple with their own economic and social collapse difficulties. While all manner of economic nonsense like Keynes and Marx were the “wave of the future” in the twentieth century, the twenty-first century is seeing a veritable renaissance in the works of Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard and Bastiat.

“It is almost as if the entire human race has finally awakened from the fever dream of the government supremacists who have inoculated them against freedom for five millennia and opened their eyes to the new possibilities” Mr. Lutrin insists as we gaze out over the huge forested valley outside his home near Sandpoint. He is fit and tanned and still participates in what some would term adrenal sports. He remains a devout Senior Instructor on the Appleseed Trail for the Revolutionary War Veterans Association teaching weekend marksmanship clinics throughout the FSA when he is not globetrotting. We are comfortably seated in a veranda near his workshop. Since retirement he has found lucrative work as a consultant around the world “deprogramming and devolving state industries into private hands” with his new venture firm, The Spooner Group. Asked if he misses being the governor of a state, he merely smirks and claims he would rather work for a living.

“Mr. Lutrin (he insists he not be referred to as governor), five years have passed since the first crisis which set the nation asunder and broke up the most powerful nation on the globe. On reflection, would you have done anything different?”

“No, my only regret is that I was left with a task that should have been done ten or a hundred years before me. I was asked recently who my favorite President was during the twentieth century and the only one I could come up with was Coolidge and possibly Harding. No one else even came close. The rest of the rascals were simply well-dressed pirates. Barry, a close economist friend of mine, claimed there was no such thing as governments, only interests…there is plenty of truth to that.”

“…but the bloodshed and misery which followed the wholesale destruction of the former Union when secession spread like wildfire…”

“Hold on, I am not the author of the naked aggression and sheer lunacy that emanated from the Federal government for most of its history after the War Between the States in the 1860s. What happened five years ago was inevitability and just so happened to occur on my watch. I take umbrage at your comparison because you are quite literally insisting that if a man sees a serial killer discharging his duties, I have an obligation to cower instead of cowboy up and stop it. Look, I come from five generations of Westerners who not only earned their living the hard way but tended to be resentful of any authority outside of the family. You could almost surmise that my Celtic blood gave me a predisposition to anti-authoritarianism. There are lines in the sand…”

“So you are justifying the civil war which broke out across the country?”

“I am an old-school libertarian, not a pacifist. I believe in the non-aggression axiom. No man has the right to start a fight but the aggrieved party damn sure has the right to put a stop to any visited upon him. You see, that may be one of the worst pathogens or memes the political class and its apologists has convinced people to believe – that they are utterly incapable of helping themselves unless they surrender their rights to a violent elite. John Wayne said it best if I recall: ‘I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.’”

“That is rather simple…”

“I would like you to consider something. Imagine a society in which everyone took that to be the way proper folks behave. But think that there may be people who would ask themselves how they could take advantage of that. I am not talking about the entrepreneur or small business owner, I’m talking about the natural cross-section of humanity in which you have a certain group of folks for whom criminality and even psychopathy is simply the way they are wired or nurtured. Now some of those men would ask themselves how can I minimize risk and maximize gain? Here’s a pop quiz: what is the only group of criminals who have consistently evaded responsibility for their misbehavior, garnered tremendous rewards in money and prestige and, excepting rare instances like Nicolae Ceausescu, die abed fat and happy?

“I don’t…”

“Politicians. Throughout history with rare exceptions, they have been the decadent and greedy agents of death and destruction on humanity. 262 million corpses outside of warfare alone in the twentieth century stacked up as a paean to the Cult of the Politician. Hundreds of millions of humans hoodwinked into thinking that if only they would remit their fates to enlightened strangers, all the roads would be paved with gold and manna from heaven would provide succor for eternity. I think you would have to be a sociopath in the first place to want to rule over others.”

“But you were a politician. You were the governor of a state. Isn’t that rather hypocritical?”

“To a certain extent you are right. I compromised with the system and thought the only way to change it would be to wreck it from the inside. I did not enter office with the intention of secession and starting the whole ball of wax. Frankly, once I was in office, I could almost feel the sickness creeping over me. The feeling that maybe I could make a positive difference by punishing my fellow citizens to influence their behavior or using carrots and sticks on them as if they lab rats, as if I had the right to do so in the first place. Shame on me.

I had a constituent come to me one day and he and I had coffee together. Old and weather-beaten rancher who had seen the hard side of seventy years who put salt in his coffee. He was quite articulate and related a story to me. He asked me if I had ever had a difficult family member: alcohol or drug abuse, mentally retarded or a Down’s syndrome child. We both agreed we had. He made a very simple point: he said he would move heaven and earth to help his blood kin but even then a solution may not be available. In the end, no cure for Down’s or the son is not willing to give up his drink. No solution. Yet the politician’s siren song is that a group of disinterested strangers in a far-off castle will cure all these ills if the rancher would simply surrender a sizable portion of his wealth at gunpoint and be sanctioned by tens of thousands of laws he would have to obey on pain of death ultimately. Yet in the end, the politicians always make you worse off.”

“Certainly food for thought…”

“Look, we may be entering a new age here hundreds of years before I envisioned it possible. Men and women all over the globe may be waking up to the simple observation that empowering others to engage in violence or the threat of violence over their family and neighbors may be a distinctly unhealthy way to live.”

“Thank you, Governor Lutrin…”

“Please, call me Mr. Lutrin.”

See:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert28.1.html

A rather interesting study that actually underestimates the impact on government bungling and violence in defeating resisters or insurgents. The key point to be divined is that the moment an insurgency gains strength, the government(s) will eventually have to negotiate to totally eradicate the resistance. Witness the Muslim resurgence in the Philippine island of Mindanao after the supposed total eradication the beginning of the twentieth century. Pop quiz: how many Muslim insurgencies have been defeated since the end of WWII (I call it the War to Save Josef Stalin)? Answer: zero. BB

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Insurgent groups like the Taliban can only be effectively engaged with timely and accurate military intelligence, and even good intelligence may only succeed in containing the insurgency, not defeating it, according to a new study.

The study is one of the first to combine military intelligence, attrition and civilian population behavior in a unified model of counterinsurgency dynamics.

The authors stress the role of obtaining intelligence about the insurgency. Absent intelligence, they write, not only can the insurgents escape unharmed and continue their violent attacks; but resultant poor government targeting causes innocent civilian deaths, which increases popular support for the insurgents and thus generates more recruits to the insurgency.

Recent attacks on Taliban strongholds by U.S. drones have shown that deaths among civilians may end up hindering American lead efforts, Kress notes. Ill-targeted actions taken by Israel and Colombia, for example, also have shown that unintended deaths among civilians have led to increased support for insurgents.

In their paper, the authors model the dynamic relations among intelligence, collateral casualties in the population, attrition, recruitment to the insurgency, and reinforcement to the government force.

Even under best-case assumptions regarding the government actions, they show that the government cannot totally eradicate an insurgency by force. The best it can do is containing it at a certain fixed level. The containment or stalemate points may be either fragile or stable. If the violence level is low, the containment point is fragile, in which case the insurgents can “break away” and eventually win. If the government commits large forces and applies a heavy hand (for example, the “surge” of United States forces in Iraq) then the stalemate point is stable.

The model and analysis, they write, represent a best case situation from the government perspective under the parameters put forward where (a) government force is steadily reinforced by new units, (b) it has unlimited endurance (it surrenders to the insurgents only when it is totally annihilated) and (c) the only recruitment to the insurgency is due to collateral casualties in the general population that generate resentment to the government, and therefore more recruits to the insurgency.

“If a government does keep its intelligence gathering capabilities high,” says Szechtman, “it can keep a hold on the insurgency, and after a while, when the insurgents realize they can’t win, a political compromise may be reached.”

That may be the most a government can expect, Kress and Szechtman warn.

——————————————————————————–

Journal references:

Moshe Kress and Roberto Szechtman. Why Defeating Insurgencies is Hard: The Effect of Intelligence in Counterinsurgency Operations — A Best-Case Scenario. Operations Research, (in press)
Jonathan David Farley. Evolutionary Dynamics of the Insurgency in Iraq: A Mathematical Model of the Battle for Hearts and Minds. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 30 (November 2007) , pp. 947 – 962
Adapted from materials provided by Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
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Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (2009, July 17). Mathematical Model Shows Why Defeating Insurgent Groups Like Taliban Is So Difficult. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

https://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/07/090716123316.htm

This is the final installment in my fictional treatment of a state making a break from the union.  I think we are increasingly closer to this becoming a reality.  BB

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.

~ Abraham Lincoln, (speech in Congress January 1848)

Idaho started the ball rolling and seceded from these united States. A total dissolution of America quickly followed as schisms and fissures erupted across North America. The collapse of the Mexican government caused a tidal wave of immigration to wash in to the southwestern portions of the former country. The great financial collapse of the world economy centered on the fiscal and monetary mischief in DC and Wall Street added yet more fuel to the fire. To tarnish the American reputation even more, hundreds of thousands of American troops were left stranded and penniless around the globe as the economic meltdown in America reduced the dollar to Zimbabwean valuations. To make matters worse, the government in DC instituted blanket loyalty oaths as a precursor for repatriation of returning soldiers who had managed to get home. This in turn caused entire National Guard and reserve units to return to their homes and assist in the buildup of forces in those states to fight the various doomed attempts by the central government to bring the rebellious states to heel.

The US followed in the footsteps of every other empire; corruption, decay and imperial overreach both at home and abroad. The District of Columbia still maintains a tenuous rump government known as the United States Socialist Republic (USSR) in control of the New England/Virginia states but power brownouts/blackouts, food shortages and insurgent activity have caused ambitions to whither to reunite the nation. Rumors of gulags, reeducation camps, oppressive domestic population controls and blanket censorship remain a common narrative for refugees escaping from the USSR. Repeated military strikes and adventures to bring the nation back to its original 2009 configuration failed and consequently, managed to cause the divisibility to exponentially expand. Total combat losses for USSR forces are unofficially estimated at 156,000 killed and wounded and a half-million missing in action. Excepting attempts by USSR guerillas to form pockets of resistance and insurrection, the entire effort has failed. There is some speculation FSA and Alaskan acquisition of nuclear devices on former US bases within their respective borders caused the USSR to pause and retreat but this remains unconfirmed.

The country has fractured into both natural and uneasy alliances. The west coast states formed a tight Green Coalition alliance in what is now Pacifica. Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Nevada have formed the Free State Alliance (FSA) confederation with very close relations with the Alaska Republic. An immense brain-drain from Pacifica to the FSA has resulted from the ecotopian experiment. The Dakotas remain on the fence as to whether they will join them or sign on with the Midwestern Alliance. The Lakota Sioux will remain their own nation regardless. The American South and Southwest are still in the throes of a multi-sided civil war. Hawaii has reverted back to its roots with the inauguration of King Kamehameha VI and the annexation of all non-Hawaiian property back to the native islanders.

Quebec has broken away and fighting remains sporadic in the western Canadian provinces as the national government continues to press for its supremacy over the rebel Canadian states in the west. There are reports of insurgent materiel and support from the Free State Alliance to British Columbia but these reports remain unsubstantiated.

Mexico has splintered into approximately ten separate states with alliances between the various 31 states that comprised Mexico ebbing and flowing on a daily basis. While the USSR maintain strict drug prohibition, the decriminalization of drug laws in Pacifica and the Free State Alliance has significantly weakened the strength of the Mexican drug cartels to finance their activities.

Fears of meddling on the part of China, Russia and Middle Eastern states have appeared to be exaggerated as those nations grapple with their own economic and social collapse difficulties.

The rapid expansion of oil drilling unfettered by confiscatory taxation and regulatory nonsense from DC has caused an economic boom that may prove to leave both the Alaska Republic and the FSA as the North American “Tigers” economically.


The following interview was granted by Governor Lutrin of Idaho and broadcast on Voice of Liberty.

“Good morning, Governor.”

“Good morning, John.”

“Ten years ago, I suspect no one would have seen this transpire the way it has. No one would have suspected that the map of America would be this different. Do you think that this has been the outcome the Founders would have wanted?”

“Hamilton would be apoplectic but I suspect that Jefferson would be pleased and, of course, Tom Paine and Sam Adams would see this as inevitable. Why it took so long for the rotten structure to sunder itself, I will never know. Mind you, I did not come into office anticipating this chain of events.”

“Has it been a rough ride for Idaho and the FSA?”

“Quite frankly, we sensed that there was nothing easy about the fateful decision to get DC out of our state and out of our lives. I was embarking on a journey that my great-great-great grandfather witnessed in South Carolina in 1860 and we were praying for better results. To say that we were stepping into a void is an understatement. Not everyone in the state agreed with our course of action but I was convinced the people hired me not only to represent them but to exercise my own moral compass and judgment much like the Founders when they seceded from the United Kingdom.

The death and destruction we suffered was tremendous as a result of both insurgents and US [now USSR] armed forces employed against us. Possibly the only thing that kept us from getting overwhelmed was the disproportionate number of US troops deployed overseas and the concomitant crisis where the currency collapse caused many of them to be stranded in Indian country abroad. That, of course, led to some bitterness. Idaho had a reputation as a rather well-armed bastion but the ensuing guerilla conflict against the Federal forces was far more than they anticipated. There were even several assassination attempts against me…”

“One of which you thwarted by killing the assassin yourself…”

“Well, I have always considered it sociopathic to outsource my self-defense to others so carrying a weapon was a daily routine even before the conflict…

I have to tell you that we would not have prevailed if other states such as Montana and Wyoming among others had not joined the fray. I have to say that the number of murdered civilians by Federal forces tipped the war in our favor. I can never mend those families but the massive indiscriminate firepower and total disregard for civilian casualties turned the tide against the Federal forces. I would think that the failures of military effectiveness in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been a consideration but the war on Americans in their own country became a very bitter contest. Federal units may have owned the roadways but once they started to step into the wilderness or hinterlands even in large formations they were picked apart and annihilated.”

“There are rumors of Federal forces still in Idaho and the FSA…”

“Very true but those incidents are getting more and more scarce as time passes. Ironically, after the major hostilities ceased nearly six months ago, almost half the Federal forces in the region deserted and joined us once we had enjoined a treaty for repatriation of families and guarantees against reprisals with the DC government during secret talks.”

“Why were the talks secret?”

“Six months into the conflict, currency collapses and corruption in DC had so stymied and hampered the war effort both here and abroad, they had no choice but to negotiate but they dare not do so in public or they would have lost electoral support and you know where a politicians’ bread is buttered. We got plenty of concessions and I was able to look the President in the eye and tell him: ‘No, you can’t!’. We could have avoided the bloodshed if we had simply been granted a civil divorce per our request in the first place.”

“How would you characterize life in Idaho and the FSA now?”

“Life is difficult especially for those who have lost family, homes and fortunes. But we are rebuilding and we are free. We now have our own private banking system employing real gold & silver to back the specie. We have shut down and sold all Federal government property and are currently starting the second year cycle to bid out all Federal and State lands to private individuals and investors. There is zero government money going into the education system.

Each of the Confederation members in the FSA, and Alaska for that matter, are experimenting with different levels of state governance. In Idaho and Montana, for instance, all the timber interests subscribe to a private consortium for firefighting. Would you invest in a timber enterprise that did not seek to protect their own investment? So we think the incentives are more reality-based instead of the perverse and corrupting laws DC forced upon us.

We have left it up to the counties and subsidiary units to figure out what works best. The Federal Register has no weight here and all the courts are being privatized. The only gun law remaining on the books is if the gun is used in the commission of a crime. We have also imposed term limits on all politicians to one term in their lifetime.

Government is a nasty habit and it will take more than a year to kill the addiction but we feel that the competitive laboratories the states are creating will give us a running start to find the best path. This is the greatest failure of DC rule; it allowed no freedom of choice in so many areas of our lives. We are now free to choose, fail and prosper. We don’t have all the answers. For instance, we have eliminated all our drug laws on the books and have decriminalized possession, sale and production. Utah has not, so we will see how that works out.

The remaining part-time politicians in the statehouse are even offered personal bounties for reducing or eliminating budget items. I would much rather give a politician five percent of a one million dollar program than spend the money on the program in to perpetuity. We are also basing their salaries on an inverse ratio. In other words, the more money they vote to spend out of taxpayer’s pockets, the lower their salaries and compensation. Would I like to close the doors to the statehouse permanently? Sure, but we aren’t there yet.”

“Governor, one term means you are out next year. What are your plans?”

“To mind my own business.”

When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

By popular demand, this is Part II of “Good Morning, Mr. President”.  Ten years ago, secession was a four letter word but now more people are giving it serious thought than I ever seen before.  Enjoy. -BB

Mr. President, this is Governor Lutrin and I am calling on behalf of the nation of Idaho and the new Inland Confederation.”

“Good evening, Governor Lutrin, I was hoping we could discuss a resolution to the latest…unpleasantness.”

“Mr. President, I wanted to pass on to you my personal assurance on the territorial integrity of the remaining states in the former union known as these United States. The departure of Utah, Wyoming, Montana and eastern Washington into the newly revived Articles of Confederation was a happenstance our exit did not anticipate. We have no intention whatsoever of seeking additional members although I suspect your behavior has provided a tremendous incentive to cause more states to spin off from the orbit of DC. I would like to recommend the creation of a Summit to establish a peaceful reconciliation between the divorced parties to normalize trade and diplomatic relations.”

“Governor, your actions have caused a cascading effect that has effectively opened national fissures that are difficult to contain.”

“I would also like to offer my concerns on repatriating the surviving members of the 82d Airborne Division and elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Both battalions of the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are remaining in the Confederation of their own accord to husband the creation of our own national militia. The critically wounded soldiers will receive the best care we can offer through their recovery and eventual return to your country. We have already dispatched the surviving 35 paratroopers to the border for return. I am hopeful we can sustain the agreed terms of the ceasefire and avoid any bloodshed in the future.”

“That was the most lopsided defeat of American arms on our soil since…”

“Sir, we initiated no aggression against these United States and simply did what we tend to do best when our backs are against the wall. We are a rural nation with urban pockets and the character of these states tend to be rather impatient with being pushed around and bullied. Consider us as a porcupine that can do you no harm unless you visit violence on it. You can say that the fury your armed forces experienced was a century of pent-up frustration and aggression. Their sacrifice and bravery is acknowledged.”

“The US is the most sophisticated and powerful military power on the face of the planet. If I simply picked up the phone and called for air strikes or military reprisals, we could bring you to your knees.”

“That would be inadvisable to visit that kind of bloodshed on peaceful people. That particular scenario is not working very well for you in the Middle East. I would also hope severe condemnations from civilized nations around the world would grace your desk. I can promise you that we will initiate a number of retaliatory measures which require no military action on our behalf that will cause a modicum of grief to your administration”

“Such as…”

“Inspired by a terrific novel called Enemies Foreign and Domestic, we happen to have a complete database of all current physical addresses of all FLEAs (Federal Law Enforcement Agent) in the US available for broadcast release on the internet when we choose.”

“I have filed a formal complaint with the United Nations Security Council to issue an injunction against your secession.”

“We cannot tell you who to associate with but we are not nor will we be members of the United Nations. We already have formal recognition from 55 nations including Alaska, Switzerland, Russia and France where we are establishing formal consular offices. We have formalized the transfer of all nuclear weapons and military facilities on Confederation soil and will reimburse the US Government for their costs after the auditors have finished calculating the total Confederation tax bill bled to the rulers on the Potomac since 1913. Unfortunately, I suspect the books may not balance in your favor so receipt of the funds in actual remuneration may not materialize.”

“Governor, that is clear and simple theft of US Government property to include the multibillion dollar facilities.”

“Mr. President, taxation is theft and the weight of Federal encroachment on the states has been enormous. Once DC started to behave like an occupation government, all the natural forces seeking remedy and escape started to form the perfect storm of events that liberated the Confederation from the former US configuration. We will conduct a full accounting of the valuation and match it to the previously mentioned audit. We have no Federal Reserve and the Confederation will be relying on free banking to mint a new currency or currencies backed by hard metal. What little government we have will be financed through a one percent tariff at the borders.”

“Governor, how can a government run on a one percent tax?”

“Mr. President, that is the original percentage of the income tax in 1913. We have already cashiered 98% of government workers in most of the states in the last two weeks. This includes the former Federal employees who chose to remain here. Each employee received the equivalent of five years salary in gold drawn from the caged IRS account in Boise. They are among the last people we hope will ever get government aid in the state. We have a unique agenda, we intend to shrink government over time and if the future allows us to zero it completely, so be it.”

“That is impossible, how will people survive without government support and protection?”

“Like free men, Mr. President, like free men.”

Submitted by usarmyretiredguy.

Killing With Kindness:  Affirmative Action and the Destruction of Military Effectiveness

The femanization of the US Army is central to the collectivist agenda in their endeavor to take control of our country.  The Army Equal Opportunity Program (EO) began in the 1970’s is a vital mechanism of this deconstruction.  It may be one of the boldest and least recognized social engineering agendas in recent memory.   Information concerning the EO program is readily available via the internet and from my personal experience as an Army Command EO Advisor.  The object of this essay is not to diminish the contributions of black or other minority Americans but to show they, too, have been done a disservice by abandoning the notion of merit and color-blindness.

The EO program had its beginnings in the early 1970s with the dictate to address racial and ethnic tensions within the ranks. The initial directive for Army leadership was to identify the cause of racial strife permeating the conscript army.  Many studies, reports, and surveys later concluded the underlying reason for the strife was the actual or perceived issue of discrimination.  Amazingly enough, no one thought to consider the conflict in Viet Nam and the majority of soldiers dying were not minorities.  They were poor conscripts, without the influence necessary to avoid enforced servitude in the Army.  The statistics of casualties do not support the conclusion of a racial incongruity as the root cause of the purported discontent in the army.

American Casualties by Race:

Race

Recorded Casualties

Native American

226

Caucasian

50,120

Malayan

252

Mongolian

116

Negro

7,264

Unknown

215

Totals

58,193

The actual casualties indicate minorities were only a small percentage of the overall numbers.  This leads one to conclude another agenda spurred the establishment of the EO program.  Simply, it was a crucial first step in feminizing the army in the pursuit of the collectivist agenda.  The basis for establishing the program is not significant; the implementation is the critical elements we must understand.

I had tours in two unique assignments; they provide me a distinctive background on how the collectivist agenda is breaking down the army’s masculinity.  These two assignments were as an army recruiter, and an Equal Opportunity Advisor at the General Officer level.

It is essential to remember the published purpose of the EO program.  The purported goal is achieving racial equality for all members of the army.  This dovetails with the mission of the US Army Recruiting Command.  Recruiting Command teaches its recruiters the ultimate goal is to make the army look like the civilian population, and the EO program directly supports this mission.  If the stated goal is the genuine mission then the EO program is an abject failure. The racial overtones were soon supplemented by a desire to ensure the Army sought gender equality creating a lethal cocktail that would severely damage combat effectiveness.

How can the vaunted EO program be a failure with its vast oversight and social engineering directives?  Remember when the program started?   What was the makeup of the army in the 1970s and where are we now after nearly four decades in the pursuit of racial/gender harmony and equality.  The earliest substantive data available is from FY 83.  The draft ended in 1973 providing the army 10 years with oversight to attain the EO goals.  I said the EO program failed to achieve its goal of equality and mirroring our society.

Statistically, very little has changed concerning the racial makeup of the army.  We are still within 5 percentage points of Whites and 4% of Blacks after all these years.  The total number of black officers has marginally increased during this time period.  Oddly though, the greatest increase is in the Warrant Officer field, not the commissioned officer field.

According to the US Census Bureau, the Army does not reflect the two largest racial populations in the country.  Whites represent 75.1% and Black or African America represents 12.3% of the population.  These numbers indicate a wide disparity from the population and the active duty army. So then, what is the true purpose of the EO program in the Army if not racial/gender harmony and equality?  I told you in the beginning; the ultimate goal of the program is the feminization of our military making them ineffective to fight the collectivist’s agenda as they attempt to take over our country without firing a single shot.

The collectivists are winning the war of control by making the army ineffective to stop domestic enemies.  I am not saying our army is an ineffective combat force outside of our borders.  They are still the best soldiers in the world when not restrained by the civilians appointed/anointed over them.  The problem is the civilians appointed/anointed are the same political pedigree that initiated the EO program with the singular goal of neutering them.  They must eliminate them as a force capable of protecting the citizenry from an internal enemy.  What tools are the collectivists/social engineers using to take the masculinity from our combat forces and making them no more capable than the sheeple they are sworn to protect against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC?

The Army EO program permeates every layer of the army, from the top to bottom.  Remember the political officers of the old Soviet Union, the zampolits?  Their assignment was to spread the communist dogma, train troops, and report on commanders who were not faithful to party doctrine in the USSR.  Welcome to the Army EO program.  The Army has these social engineering commissars at every level of command.  They go under the name of Equal Opportunity Advisors, Equal Opportunity Representatives, and Program Managers.  The majority of these people do not even realize they are tools of the collectivist agenda.  These individuals provide the oversight, training (indoctrination), and reporting on all aspects of the program.  Their underlying function is the intimidation of all members of the army, ensuring strict adherence to guidance from the collectivist masters.  The bullying of soldiers is possible by making each soldier answerable to the same level of punishment as an alleged perpetrator.  If they fail to report ANY known or suspected violation of policy this is the threat held over them.  How would this play out in the civilian world?  You know or suspect a neighbor is guilty of a crime and fail to report it for whatever reason: fear of reprisal, complacency, or simply unsure of the facts, you would face stiff penalties along with the perpetrator of the crime.  A soldier can be convicted and sent to prison along with the actual perpetrator of the alleged crime.  This is what a soldier faces from the vaunted EO program.  Might this instill a fear of the system and the commissars appointed over them?

How do they inculcate soldiers to continue to support the program and report violators?  One strategic tool available to EO personnel for this noxious social engineering is the Consideration of Others Program.  The Consideration of Others Program is mandatory for all commanders. It should be tailored to the specific needs of local commands. Commanders will implement “Consideration of Others” training down to detachment, platoon, or squad level. The EO program’s execution effectively seeks to indoctrinate soldiers from the highest to the lowest level of the army.  What is the stated goal of the program?  Consideration of Others program is a tool which focuses on the vital linkage between the individual soldier and his or her role as a member of a military team. The capability of each of your soldiers to recognize that their attitudes, actions, and words affect others in the unit; and their willingness to take responsibility for those actions, and words- to the point of changing them when necessary -is what Consideration of Others is all about. A primary result of the EO program is a soldier can no longer simply state something they believe, they must consider the consequences of the statement, right or wrong, on their career.  What if someone does not like what is said?  Will they file a complaint?  Will an investigator judge the soldier fairly?  This makes for combat ineffectiveness instead of the stated goal of unit cohesion and combat effectiveness.  Leaders now have to weigh everything said to ensure it does not violate someone’s sensibilities, extremely dangerous for a force tasked to protect the populace from its enemies.  The program SOUNDS good, which is an underlying trait of a good subversion tactic in pursuit of the goal of minimizing the force’s ability to react to the enemy.  Let’s look at some of the topics of this great program the social engineers deem appropriate in maintaining a combat ready force.

I am going to address the top level of the Consideration of Other’s topics and provide the reader with the link to peruse the manual in detail.  First, let’s look at how the Army describes the program.

“Consideration of Others is those actions that indicate a sensitivity to and regard for the feelings and needs of others and an awareness of the impact of one’s own behavior on them…”

The key here is social engineers desire all soldiers to be sensitive to others.  How can we believe this sensitivity does not affect combat effectiveness or have long-lasting effects on the force?  During past wars, soldier training taught them to hate the enemy to prevent hesitation in combat and possible debilitating grief when faced with taking another human life.  This can be a factor in the difference between the levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of past conflicts compared to the statistics of current combat veterans.  Today’s soldier must feel first and react second.  The enemy is not truly a bad guy, simply misguided.  What teaching tool do EO personnel use to achieve sensitivity to others, enemies included?  A primary tool is the Consideration of Others Program.  The tasks trained include: alcohol and drug abuse, Equal Opportunity complaint procedures and identification of extremism and extremist organizations, among others

On the surface some of these classes may seem acceptable.  This is how the collectivists’ sell a package to the populace in general, and the Army in particular.  If parts of a program seem innocent enough, acceptance is much easier for the whole enterprise, including the aspects to adjust a culture.  Remember the story of the frog.  One can place a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil.  The frog will happily stay in the pot until it boils to death because the change was gradual.  The collectivist engineers are accomplishing the same task with our army.  They are slowly castrating its collective manhood in their pursuit of a feminized force, no longer able to identify the domestic enemy or protect the populace from the creeping transformations of America to a socialist state.

The main problem the EO agenda faces is the simmering resentment of the ranks who are constantly battered with the agenda.  What do they do with these individuals?  The last four decades are replete with soldiers who failed to swallow the collectivist scheme, hook, line, and sinker.

In response to these individuals, the EO program and commanders who have attached themselves to the program actively seek to punish the non-conformists.  One may not agree with the current fight but generally cannot discount their capabilities as a fighting force.  The greatest amongst them are the ones who are not susceptible to collectivist agenda.  These warriors are minimized at best, court-martialed at worst.  Our illustrious government/media complex attacks these warriors relentlessly with a vengeance and the complete backing of spineless members of congress.  Some of these same congresspersons publicly condemn them without a shred of evidence and show no remorse when proved liars.  These warriors are left to defend themselves against an army of lawyers, press, and public opinion with their one court appointed public defender.  If they desire better representation, it is up to their families and friends to bear the cost.  It is a simple collectivist tactic: identify an enemy, marginalize them and then destroy them.  They actually make them the enemy.  So what happens next?

The survival of our country may depend on the Army’s leadership recognizing it has been duped and reversing course.  If they do not realize our country is facing its greatest threat from a collectivist agenda then I fear doom for our future generations.  Our children’s children will fight the next battle for freedom on our soil because we gave it away without a whimper.

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.  Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.  And their grandchildren are once more slaves.”

~D.H. Lawrence 1922

© usarmyguyretired 2009

Isaac Davis (1745 – April 19, 1775) was a militia officer in the American Revolution. Davis led the first attack on the British Regular army during the American revolutionary war, and was the first to die in that battle.

He was captain of the Acton Minutemen, and his men were possibly the best trained and equipped militia in New England. A gunsmith, he provided every man with a cartridge box to aid in rapid fire and a bayonet for hand-to-hand combat. His company assembled twice weekly for drills and marksmanship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Davis

A Note on Selecting Quality Tools

Tools should not be an expendable item. I recommend paying more upfront for a quality item than buying a cheaper tool over and over again due to breakage. That being said, “used” does not always equate to cheap. Due to the current downturn in home construction, many high quality, “name brand” tools are available in pawn shops and second hand through garage sales, craigslist, and the classified section of your newspaper. I highly recommend checking the second hand market first before purchasing new. Some items may be worth the retail price- Used saw blades may be dull, and therefore unsafe, and while one can spend some quality time with a mill file sharpening them, it may be worth it to you to buy new.

As far as selecting hand tools, one can easily tell the difference between a well made tool and its cheaper cousin. For example, hold a Craftsman or Snap-On wrench in one hand and a cheap “Made in China” Wal-Mart wrench in the other. You will notice the difference in weight. Such a difference could be due to the material types (steel vs aluminum) or that the cheaper tool is thinner and made with less material to save costs in manufacturing. Hand tools should fit comfortably in your hand, have a corrosion resistant finish such as chrome, and have a certain heft due to the robustness of their construction.

That being said, imported does not necessarily mean poorly made. See the tool in person; ask your friends and do some research before making an investment. I have had a good experience with the Lowes Kobalt brand, which are made in China and a disappointing experience with a set of “Made in the USA” Stanley screwdrivers.

Tool List- The basics

Safety Equipment

Safety glasses

Leather gloves

Hearing protection

Hand Tools

A set of flat head and Philips head screw drivers

A set of combination (box and open end) wrenches

A set of socket wrenches

A set of hex keys

Mill File

Round file

A 16 ounce claw hammer

Utility knife

Carpenters Pencil- the flat shape keeps it from rolling away.

Vise grips

Handsaw

Hacksaw

Pliers- both fixed joint and needle nose

Awl

Wire strippers

Extra: Tool belt. All of the items above, except the wrench sets, hex keys, saws and files (files should be stored in their packaging in a tool box or drawer), can be comfortably carried in a tool belt. Having these commonly used items in a tool belt means less trips up and down ladders, into the garage or away hunting for a #2 philips screw driver.

Measuring and Layout (You are only as good as your measurements. I would gladly pay more for quality measuring equipment than almost any other tool)

16 or 25ft tape measure

Speed square

Carpenter’s square

Combination square

Spirit level- the longer the level, the more accurate the reading. A 3-4 foot length is probably good for most tasks

Plumb bob

Extras- feeler gauges, dial caliper, 100 ft tape measure, chalk lines,

Power tools (Cordless versions cost more and unless you have a bank of batteries, your battery will run out in the middle of a task)

Power drill and bits

Circular saw with a 7 ¼” blade. Recommend buying both rip and cross cut blades. Smaller blade sizes are available, but are not nearly as efficient.

Jig saw- somewhat optional but cuts curved lines faster than a hand coping saw and is less expensive than a bench top or stand alone band saw

Compound Miter Saw- again an optional purchase, but makes angled cuts and compound angled cuts a breeze. Recommend a 10” or larger blade.

Belt Sander

Random orbital sander

Extras- hammer drill, dremel tool, router

Shop Equipment

Good lighting

A good stable work bench with a vise

A pair of saw horses

A tool box or boxes to protect and organize your tools

C-clamps- 4” and 6”

Extension cords (heavy gage in 25 and 50 ft lengths)

Surge protector/ power strip

Extras- Bench grinder, air compressor, shop vac for dust collection/ clean up

A note on shop set up:

I come from an aerospace and medical device manufacturing background. After working in those environments, I believe that a good workshop is clean, well lit and organized. An unorganized shop is a time vampire as you have to hunt to find where you left a particular tool or part and an unclean or dark workshop is a safety hazard. I find it is not conducive to quality work when you cannot see your measuring equipment or markings. One can get more done in a small basement, garage or outbuilding that is clean, well lit and organized vs a large, dark working area that has tools scattered about. If you are setting up your first shop or wanting to reorganize your current one, take the time to plan. I recommend measuring your working area and use graph paper to plan out how your shop will be set up. You will be surprised of how you can maximize space by planning ahead and minimize time spent looking for stuff by planning where tools, material and equipment will be stored. If you have a large shop with lots of bins, tool chests and racks, a label maker will make your life easier as you can label what is in each drawer, rack and bin. This also helps when you are under the sink keeping the water in the pipes and you’ve sent the youngling to get a 1” wrench; it assists in them coming back with the right item and not a Sawzall.

Miscellaneous

Wood Glue

Loctite

Liquid Wrench

WD-40

Machine oil

Pin punches

Center punch

Nail sets (for driving nails flush without leaving a hammer mark on the wood’s surface)

Acquisition

Now that we’ve outlined a basic list, some of you may be wondering how to acquire these without dropping an absolute ton of money. As we mentioned before, second hand sources definitely help alleviate the cost. I’ve personally acquired much of what I have on a task by task basis. For example, I purchased a compound miter saw when installing crown molding in my house and then used it for wood flooring and back deck projects. I recommend factoring the cost of tools needed into a project’s estimate. Some tools should almost always be rented though- Unless you plan on starting a tile business, it is more cost effective to rent a tile saw rather than buy one. I do recommend buying certain things as sets, such as wrenches, because without a doubt, once you’ve individually bought  1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4” and 1” wrenches, you will need a 7/16″ wrench to repair something critical at 11 o’clock at night.

A parting thought- How many trips to Home Depot does the average project require? Just one more…

 

“When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power”

~ Alston Chase

I am sick to death of the economically illiterate environmental nonsense peddled in the media in an endless parade of bad thinking disguised as scientific discourse. The Green movement is a collectivist enterprise hell-bent on bending every knee in obeisance to a religious orthodoxy that will cripple the advancement of mankind and create third-world nations where first-world countries used to be, exponentially increasing infant mortality rates and reducing standards of living to make all of us look back on envy at the gold-plated living conditions of medieval serfs. The movement is a nasty brew of National Socialist “blood and soil” (see Anna Bramwells’s books), Marxist bromides and a child-like vision of how the universe works.

Central planning does not work. Larger entities that use force and coercion to make others do the right thing lead to national prison camps disguised as nation-states. Here’s a short quiz for you: grab the nearest envirus and ask him how would he suggest we improve the care and feeding of Mother Earth absent government intervention? He will splutter and get a very blank look in his vapid face as the synapses collapse and fail to function properly.

Use this rule of thumb: cost and benefit analysis will usually determine the economic efficacy of a given course of action. Prices are, among many attributes, the keenest indicator of scarcity or abundance of commodities or services. If recycling is such a great idea, why don’t they pay you to do it? If wind and solar energy are such ideal means to deliver power, why do they require massive subsidy and inevitably, the theft from private owners through eminent domain and other tools of economic oppression?

Speak truth to power because the Greens now have the upper hand. The government-media complex is now fully captive to the entire Green orthodoxy. Excepting shows like Bullshit! on Showtime, none questions the prevailing belief system; it is like a form of national psychosis although I feel the same way about the worship of the State. The environmental agenda is nothing less than a total renunciation of Western civilization and the requisite privileges of clean water, electricity, effective farming and a host of other modern conveniences.

The envirus views nature as a snapshot picture of the world frozen in time and unchanging; a static portraiture of life that possesses no adaptation and dynamism. Infantile views of nature which are most likely a result from having never tread upon it or lived in it. Rarely is the hunter or long-time ruralite seduced by the Disney visions of nature that dance in the heads of the Greens. A perspective further informed by the academic and media professionals whose worldview is shaped by a hive-like collectivist vision of human society in which all individuals are to be subordinated to the whims of what’s good for the herd as directed by omniscient strangers whose fatal conceit is that they are smarter than us so they know what is best for you.

Nature is cruel and dynamic. It is a daily massacre for the lame and the newborn. Vicious spasms of violence red in tooth and claw tempered by turns of weather that can kill and nourish in the same pastoral event. Most importantly, nature is capricious in the most practical sense: the complexity is so immense as to be almost incomprehensible to human cognition. Complexity theory has tried to capture the distillate of what appears to be random phenomenon but is actually a spontaneous order much like economic market forces. Which brings us to the cruelest joke of all on the Greens: they can’t possibly know what they are talking about.

Here’s the rub: there is no question of climate change, the riddle is to what extent man is a culprit. Once a given problem set has three or more variables, it becomes impossible to establish with any certitude correlative or causative connections between A and B and C. The global climate is a complex system far too large to isolate variables and know with pinpoint accuracy what makes it tick or respond to human influences. I don’t deny that humans have an impact on the climate but no one can prove to me what the extent is. No evidence emerges that the ice ages in medieval times were anthropogenic, they were simply within the observed cycle of cooling and warming that one would expect of a planetary ecosystem dependent on solar energy as a driver and engine of weather and life. There is a reason increased sunspot activity is coincident with warming trends. Man is not apart from nature, he is a part of nature. We are part of the infrastructure and no one can even address why carbon dioxide, if a pollutant, nourishes all earthly plant life excepting certain anaerobic moss. The government does not even want to have a discussion since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently muzzled one of its in-house climate skeptics.

Stand up to the Greens and call them on their idiocy. Question all their assumptions. Stand athwart their diktats and directives as they attempt to rule you as cattle. They are shutting down coal-fired plants by the dozen and seeking to bankrupt the nation by pursuing green technologies that the market has proven to be a technological & economic dead-end. Curiously, they object strenuously to the purest solar energy of all: nuclear energy which harnesses the power of the sun in a relatively clean fission package. One small ray of hope is the fact that the EPA will strangle and mangle all the emerging green technology. They will get all bureaucratically befuddled as the contesting envirus schisms like bird enthusiasts and wind generator proponents do battle. Pollution activists will discover the immense smog component of mass transit buses and the maintenance infrastructure. Electric car boosters will stand dumb-founded in their garages as the AC outlet fails to deliver power after the coal-fired grid is shut down through rolling brown-outs or blackouts. All done, of course, at taxpayer expense.

Under Obamunism, we have a wild ride ahead of us as the Green Reds at first have a terrific honeymoon with Middle America but soon discover the combination of economic illiteracy, scientific buffoonery and collectivist tyranny make for a lethal cocktail. It would be wonderful if we could just sit on the sidelines and observe the circus but the future of America is in the hazard. Indeed, the collectivists have other plans for us.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

~ Philip K. Dick

Copyright @ 2009 William Buppert

This is a short fictional essay I wrote last year that piqued considerable reader interest. The deeper the Greater Depression (thanks Matt Bracken) becomes, the more evident the absolute lunacy of central planning and the leviathan state. It was followed by a number of other essays exploring secession. All comments are welcome, Bill.

“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…”

“In actuality, they belong to neither of us, sir. On to other business, I have alerted my National Guard forces to establish checkpoints at all the main arterials in and out of Idaho. All National Guard forces deployed overseas will return home in the next 48 hours. I would also caution you on the use of military force to convince Idaho and its citizens to forcibly return to the yoke of the Union. Idaho has a well-deserved reputation as a rather well-equipped state in firearms possession and use. As Yamamoto said, you may find a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

“Are you threatening the president of the United States?”

“No, sir, I am simply making an observation about the hazards of one country invading another.”

“You are land-locked, Governor and wholly dependent on federal subsidy for a great deal of employment and infrastructure in Idaho.”

“No longer, the tremendous tax burden across the spectrum formally imposed in our nation as a subject State in your country is now effectively terminated and we are going to unleash the free market to address all of our former shortcomings as a result of the overarching government supremacism practiced here before. In telephone conversations with my neighboring governors, we are on the verge of Confederation negotiations that will pave the way for Idaho embassies in British Columbia, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. We do intend on opening a consular office in DC as soon as we can ensure the diplomatic baggage containing sufficient weapons assures our safety in the greater DC metropolitan area for our diplomatic personnel.”

“Governor, what Constitutional right do you have to secede from the US?”

“Mr. President, the behavior you have exhibited toward the Constitution has been at best characterized by active neglect and abhorrence for the restraint on governance in the Bill of Rights. I am rather surprised you would resort to assuming the document in any way has weight in Washington, DC. I would suggest my rights extend as far as our ability to throw off what has become a government of occupation instead of cooperation. We resign, sir and wish to go in peace.”

“I will use every measure in my arsenal to force you back into the fold.”

“Mr. President, thank you for the heads-up but we have taken certain precautions to ensure that any rash measures on your part have a disproportionate impact in the DC/Virginia corridor. Please don’t press us on the issue. I would like to offer one more rather moderate important proposal to our future business. These United States as administered by DC are now essentially bankrupt. War on the world, out of control spending and borrowing, debt and deficit, non-funded future liabilities in the tens of trillions and a banking infrastructure rotten at every level has pushed the US to an economic abyss from which it cannot shrink. We will provide you a demonstration project of tiny government, free banking and a formerly enslaved citizenry unleashed to realize their potential with no government interference. We simply wish to go our own way untethered from the Remora Nation DC came to symbolize.”

“Governor, this conversation is over.”

“Good day, Mr. President.”

I am a occasional columnist at LRC and have appeared on a number of media outlets and time and again, folks have contacted me and urged me to start a blog. I have resisted because I was concerned about keeping it fresh and current. So here is my attempt to answer the call and maintain a semblance of interesting material on a weekly basis. I will be penning a fresh essay once or twice a week and making pithy observations as the ship of state sinks and we either break apart or turn in to the totalitarian gulag our rulers have been lusting after since time immemorial. I will be an intellectual gadfly toying with history, liberty, economics, philosophy and politics.

Your comments and support will help me steer the course the readers wish to head to. While I find writing the best way to improve and clarify my own thinking, if no one reads it, why publish?

So there it is, welcome aboard and put your seat harnesses on; we have a very bumpy ride ahead.

This is Bill Buppert and if you are reading this, you are the Resistance.