Tuesday, March 08, 2016

France Clears Bill That Could Force Apple to Unlock Terror Data

French lawmakers backed a plan to impose penalties including jail time on technology executives who deny access to encrypted data during a terrorist investigation, giving security services and prosecutors the power to force companies such as Apple Inc. to cooperate.
An amendment providing the new power was submitted by the opposition party The Republicans and, while the government hasn’t officially supported the measure, it was included in Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas’s bill to overhaul legal procedures and fight organized crime in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. (via Bloomberg)
My suggestion - which will not happen - is that Apple should say "fine we will stop doing business in any and all piss ant countries that want to dictate the quality of our product by forcing us to install vulnerabilities in said products".   
Let the French people go without the new Iphone 7 or 8 *whatever they are up to now, and you would then see a slew of lawmakers looking for new jobs.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Pursuing drugs and guns on scant evidence, D.C. police sometimes raid wrong homes — terrifying the innocent

"Sallie Taylor was sitting in her apartment in Northeast Washington one evening in January 2015 watching “Bible Talk” when her clock fell off the wall and broke. She turned and looked up. Nine D.C. police officers smashed through her door, a shotgun was pointed at her face and she was ordered to the floor." (via WP)

A few years ago a chaplain friend of mine was stationed in the DC area with his very large family and this exact same thing happened to him in the middle of the night.

Of course the only illegal thing happening in his house was the dozen or so clowns wearing badges that broke in and held he and his family hostage.

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Dead at 94

There has been a bit of reconstructionism related to Ronald Reagan as of late.  But it cannot be argued, honestly, that his first lady did not exude class and style.

RIP Ms. Nancy.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Secessionist Papers

Secessionist Papers - Book 109 pages

Why is it important to talk about secession? Few people that believe secession is a legitimate political theory, right and recourse also believe that in a practical sense it is achievable, reasonable or even preferable. Devolution is a complicated matter and requires a more or less united political will among a people within a region or area – within the confines of modern America it seems unlikely any such will of a sufficient majority will soon emerge, anywhere. The question thus remains, why even discuss the subject? 

It is important to honestly discuss the matter because it goes to the very heart of how the Union of States was formed, what the Constitution was to mean and what relation the central government was to have to the people. Many of our contemporary political problems stem directly from a failure to understand foundational principles. Perhaps in engendering more honest discussions about foundational principles we might actually see contemporary problems more correctly.

  • secession
Publication Date
February 20, 2016
Barry Lee Clark
Publisher Statement
Secessionist Papers (February 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2735290
Published by The Calhoun Review, 2016
First Edition
Citation Information
Clark, Barry Lee, et. al., Secessionist Papers (February 20, 2016). Available at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=2735290

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Obama Accused By Congressman Of Illegal Action At Bundy Ranch

From Western Journalism:
In response, Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman sent a letter to Barack Obama, Department of the Interior Sec. Sally Jewell, and BLM Director Neil Kornze, laying out his position that any such action by the agency would violate the U.S. Constitution. 
“Because of this standoff,” he wrote, “I have looked into BLM’s authority to conduct such paramilitary raids against American citizens, and it appears that BLM is acting in a lawless manner in Nevada.”
It seems to me one would not have to look "too far" into the specified authority bit to know all of this was wrong - very wrong. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Sums it Up

No further comment required at this time

Be A Real Man

In a comment over at The Old Republic Robert M. Peters writes:
Among may of my fellow Southerners, there are far too many who have bought into Rousseau’s notion of the autonomous individual with his abstract rights. This has led many to the delusion that “my gun and I” can stand against the Leviathan in “that day.” Unless there is a polity, a commonwealth, a republic, a state such as South Carolina or Arizona to provide the moral, social, legal and practical framework, such statements of “courage” will be meaningless in “that day.” Even with that support, as our own Southern experience has taught us, the task will be daunting.
My commitment is to continue to be the best son which I can be to my aged mother, to be the best husband which I can be to my wife of nearly forty years, to be the best father and grandfather I can be to my children and grandchild, to love and support my kith and kin, to live Christianly as a member of the Body of Christ, to be a good citizen in my local community, to keep a small garden and to keep the guns clean and ready, all of this based on the Revelation which I have been given with such understanding as Providence has deemed fit to give me.
No words which I could utter, no lines which I could write and no actions which I could take, even the most radically executed actions, could check the globalist elites, could thwart to goals of the Washington establishment or halt the march of the ideological fanatics. [emphasis added]
Could there be more truth apparent in simple words?  The last sentence is summation of a realization that many right thinking men come upon, much like a fork in the road.  This realization forces two choices, either give up and play along (as most do) or square your shoulders and Soldier on doing the things you ought to do despite what the world has to say about it.
Resolving to be a good and Godly man, fulfilling your responsibilities to your family, living as an example within your community (being the salt and the light) and ultimately "keeping the guns clean" is it seems the best we can hope for in this world now.  That is the definition of a successful man, no matter what the rest of the world may define to the contrary.
Ah, how easy it has been for so many of us to become enamored with the idea of the rights of man that we have so easily forgotten the duties of man - to his God, family and fellow man.
We need a polity, a commonwealth of such men to stand on the soil of their families and demand that their voices be heard.  We need community and communities of such men that elect statesmen to local and state positions.  Until we have such men such as Mr. Peters will be an endangered species, an enigma destined to be ignored and eventually forgotten. 
It is time that men across the land fell to their knees, begged for forgiveness for abandoning our responsibilities.  We have an obligation to our families and our community.  Stop spending yourselves into slavery (debt) to buy new toys and new entertainment experiences.  Stop wasting time watching professional teams play sports you should be out playing with your sons. Stop accepting the destruction of your culture. Love and honor your wife and your mother. Get out of that touchy feel good church that ran God out of the building long ago.  Stop accepting politicians running for political office and demand that statesmen take their place. Read your Bible and the Constitution and demand that your community and country look a little bit more like what the words there talk about. Find and stand up with other Real Men.
Be a real man - be a leader in the the necessary fight to preserve what was once good and noble in this land.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This You Hear About Too Often

Woman allows police to search her house so long as they don't kill her dog -- Police proceed to kill her dog

You might recall the story of the mayor of some town in the Northeast who was visited one night by a SWAT team from the county looking for drugs.   They had the wrong house but before sorting all of that out they killed two of the mayor's dogs. Perhaps that was a better example than this but I seem to find many, too many of cases like this in my random searching of the net.

I recently watched a video where the police were in the process of making an arrest of some guy in his home, his family was there (read that to mean children), there was no fighting or threat but the family dog was barking.  The dog was shot. by the police. 

These are but  some examples, I find these saddening and maddening so watch only if you must see.
(here, here, here, here and here)

I think this callous disregard for common-human decency speaks volumes about where we are as a society and how far our police forces have drifted from peace officers to minions of tyrants. Yes I know that these people are human and there are good folks among them and my generalizations are directed toward the system that has allowed this to become common operating procedure.  I cannot, however, help but ask - why do the good one's not take their clubs and beat the bad ones silly once they get back to the station after something like this occurs?

I spent countless hours in the desert one day searching for one of our dogs.  I see them as my responsibility, one of God's creatures that I am supposed to care for.  I have no doubt that my dog would willingly die defending me or my family - it is inconceivable that a family should have to watch a member of their pack killed by government agents.

If you think this is all sad but ultimately silly, consider this.  The way we treat animals, particularly animals entrusted to us as pets is a direct reflection of our humanity.  If shooting on site a dog in the name of "officer safety" is what we have been reduced to I can guarantee that in time our safety will be further imperiled with each encounter we as citizens have with the police.    

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Answer is Always Clear

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

"God of this World" in Corinthians "ruler of this world" in John 12:31 - those are pretty impressive titles and if you did not know these verses refer to Satan.

I wonder, well actually I do not wonder much, how much of the world we see is directly influenced by Satan and his minions. 

I would assume that Satan's most powerful weapon is deception followed closely by fear.  I think C.S. Lewis demonstrated his view of this rather well "The Screwtape Letters"

Consider the universe.  Who among us has not gazed at the night sky and pondered the possibilities.  Surely God had a plan for the rest of it - and perhaps that plan included populating distant plants.

However, what reasonable person can postulate that those possible "people" make frequent tourist trips to Earth.  If they had the technology to make the trip "routine" one would assume they could also be completely invisible.  If, on the other hand the trip is a real challenge for them technologically speaking then why come so often without making a "bigger" impact.

One could perform that internal thought experiment all day but at the I think that there is no other conclusion than it is practically impossible that all of the "sightings" reported since the 1940's are of little green men.  It is highly unlikely from a logical perspective that any have been of little green men.  The distances are too great, the technological differences required too vast to account for the sloppiness of being caught.

It does all seem a wonderful tool of deception.  If man, even a small percentage of them focus on extra-humans it makes the secular human all the more important. It takes the mind from God.

I think the same could be said of the focus on 2012 among a particular segment of the population.  I find it difficult to do an ordinary search of the Internet for the realistic things I believe we should be concerned about without running into all of this talk.  

It is the perfect storm of deception and fear.  Why, one must ask, is so much of this belief system tied to paganism.  Folks that claim they can remotely sense this approaching Planet X, others that place value in a calendar written by heathens that practiced human sacrifice mixed in with others that scurry at scrapes of science fact.  I do know that even the Devil knows some of the truth and twists that to his own purposes.

I know that the very best lies contain an element of truth so I have often wondered how much truth there is in demonic lies.

Consider this truth - human freedom coupled with morality and responsibility is a good thing.   Consider the demonic perversion of that truth - human freedom is a good thing.   The Enlightenment seemed a really good thing until you fast forward a few hundred years and see that human freedom without morality and responsibility has spawned - only perversion and an actual loss of freedom. 

If we can witness and measure the impact of that demonic lie what of the others.  I wonder how much of the future the "God of this world" knew 5,000 years ago?  I would assume that he had at least the blueprint if not the timeline. We are told only the true God knows the timeline.  The tiny bits of truth related to future prediction is just enough to make the lie palatable to many. Perhaps Satan did impart some knowledge to the Mayans.  

But that is no reason for us to be deceived and certainly nothing for us to be afraid of.  As I tell my son, fear nothing and be prepared for anything.

Now, do I think that some of the stuff some of the demonically inspired folks believe is true - yes I do.  Particularly some of the stuff they believe that the government believes.  

I thought it best to lay those thoughts out there in the event someone mistakes me for a pagan.

Some Light Reading on Father's Day

I sat down to do a bit of light reading and a Google search took me to these words from Sheriff Jim R. Schwiesow, Ret.:
From this time forward the people of this nation will not know a day of peace, there will be no good news, each bad day will fade into another equally bad day, and the black and ghostly apparitions of the former will blend with the grim and ghastly tidings of the new. The Lord has departed from a people that have departed from Him and prostituted themselves before heathen gods, a people who will in the coming days loathe themselves for the evils that they have committed in all of their abominations. They will surely know that He is the Sovereign God who will carry out His word to do evil unto them that defy His word and deny His Lordship over all of creation.
The great spiritual sickness that has settled across this land has progressed beyond the limits of a cure; a pagan people have spurned the divine corrective persuasions visited upon a sinful nation, and the loving God who sent them has been disdained and blasphemed. The day of reckoning is at hand.
I do not know the sheriff and the site that he posted these words is new to me....but I can say that my daddy would have agreed and I have come to believe that my father was right about most things. 

Happy Father's day to all that have been blessed with the greatest responsibility God can bestow upon a man.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

God will not allow it....

Update April 2014 -

The post below was written in a half-joking tone but with the intent of presenting facts about the coming solar storms predicted for 2012.  At the time this was written all major news outlets ignored the potential of a massive disruption of our electric and electronic's grid as just more of the junk pandered about by the Mayan calendar folks. 

We never adhered to the Mayan stuff, but saw clearly there there were other events that were of possible significance.  The solar storms predicted long before 2012 were one such event.

As scientist have now had time to look at the data from those storms their conclusion are much in line with what some of the "nuts" were saying as far back as 2006.

According to the UC Berkeley NewsCenter:

According to researchers from UC Berkeley and China, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.

RT summed it up best

Citizens of Earth had no idea how close the planet was to getting slammed with a devastating solar flare back in July 2012, but scientists claim we only missed the damaging event by nine days. 
As noted by Reuters, scientists found that a series of coronal mass ejections – powerful eruptions on the sun’s surface that send waves of magnetized plasma through the solar system – occurred last year sometime between July 22 and 23. The blasts traveled through Earth’ orbit, but narrowly missed colliding with the planet.
Nine days - none of the major news outlets covered this, no respected scientist at the time could say with certainty that the two events required to create the perfect storm would occur 12 months or 12 minutes apart - but the data and facts were there to show that the two events would occur ad would occur near each other AND if they coincided it would be devastating.

Does anyone really use the term "conspiracy theorist" anymore as if it is a negative term?

____________original post below

The title of this post are five words I wrote in a recent post and I have been wondering...
 (and as a caveat I am not a die-hard advocate of the 2012 scare. I think there is plenty on the world to be afraid of without relying on an old Mayan calendar...)

Joshua reminded me of something I think often about.  Specifically what is the real deal with all this sun talk I read about on "wacky" websites and where are these people getting their ideas...and what does it mean?

March 10, 2006 via NASA
It's official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.
Like the quiet before a storm.
This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

09 Jan 2009 via WMD

The sun is currently near minimum on its 11-year activity cycle, the report explains, but is expected to produce solar storms that will increase in intensity and frequency as it approaches peak activity levels in 2012.
The NASA report warns that if the sun's activity over the next few years flares to the level of the May 1921 "superstorm" or the so-called Carrington event of 1859, a "perfect storm" that Space.com called "the most powerful onslaught of solar energy in recorded history," the U.S. may not be equipped to handle the damages.
"The impacts of severe space weather events," the report states, "can go beyond disruption of existing technical systems and lead to short-term, as well as to long-term collateral socioeconomic disruptions."

17 Apr 2009 via Wired

For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that’s exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.
Entitled "Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts," it describes the consequences of solar flares unleashing waves of energy that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents and short-circuiting energy grids. Such a catastrophe would cost the United States "$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year," concluded the panel, and "full recovery could take 4 to 10 years." That would, of course, be just a fraction of global damages. 
Good-bye, civilization.
Worse yet, the next period of intense solar activity is expected in 2012, and coincides with the presence of an unusually large hole in Earth’s geomagnetic shield. But the report received relatively little attention, perhaps because of 2012’s supernatural connotations. Mayan astronomers supposedly predicted that 2012 would mark the calamitous "birth of a new era."

17 Jun 2010 via Findtut 

The Perfect Solar storm, a scary one

"A grim possibility awaits, in the near future.  A huge monster in the form of the perfect solar storm may be stirring and it is imperative people all over wake up and take notice."

There are more, many many more of course but this presents the idea. Of course Earth and the Sun have experienced all of this before, through the same cycles that are now being observed.  The difference is the amount of and our reliance upon technology.  Perhaps this will end up to be all about nothing. After all the large coronal hole that appeared on the sun with those fantastic pictures posted on Space Weather.com did not produce the solar wind effects that some scientist predicted. This occurred on or about 6 Jun 2010.  I expected, at the least, to see some mention of massive auroras, perhaps seen in some southern latitudes.  But I have found no such mention of even that effect.

There are some that see real effects happening.  I intentionally did not include the items I have recently read that attempt to show cause and effect because I question the reliability of the observer. 

However even as late as early Jun 2010 it seems NASA is still interested in discussing this openly:

June 4, 2010: Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that's new to human history. To make preparations, authorities in Washington DC are holding a meeting: The Space Weather Enterprise Forum at the National Press Club on June 8th
Richard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division, explains what it's all about:
"The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we're getting together to discuss."
The National Academy of Sciences framed the problem two years ago in a landmark report entitled "Severe Space Weather Events—Societal and Economic Impacts." It noted how people of the 21st-century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. Smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity. A century-class solar storm, the Academy warned, could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.

What is this all about?  Is this NASA's version of "never let a crisis go without taking advantage of it".  Could this just be hyper-scare tactics to secure funding.  I would not put such past any government official.  Perhaps this is just nothing more than hot air and those that want to believe in the 2012 predictions are too willing to swallow it.

Then again...maybe not.  I think it is worthwhile to keep an eye on, to see what stories make it in circulation and what facts add up.  

I am reminded of  The Road - a chilling novel by Cormac McCarthy (2006) and an equally chilling movie released in 2009.  My assumption, because you are never told what happened to the Earth, is that something akin to massive solar flares were to blame.

If there is any truth to what the Mayans believed, then I think were ought to see more signs of it before then - if that is in any way related to solar activity. If is is all bunk, well I think we will figure that out too in short order.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Wondering

What will become of us....

  • What will life really be like at some point in the future when our population reaches say 9 billion (up from our currently overcrowded 6.6 billion? 
  • What will silly things like individuality, humanity and individual rights mean in a world so densely populated by humans?
  • What will "nature" mean in such a world and what of real nature will remain?
  • Just how big and all encompassing can government really become?  
  • Is the notion of "peace and tranquility" through international organizations and perhaps even a pan-world government as opposed to the wars and rumors of wars resultant from centuries of sectional, regional and national loyalty really a better way?
  • What if our best rational progressive minds ultimately discover that man cannot master all the he survey's, what if we discover that nature ultimately has a say?
  •  How far can the perversion of values continue?  What will pass for pornography and vulgarity in 100 years?
  • What will your children have to shield their children from on TV and worse yet...what will be commonplace?
  • When man lives in a space no larger than an apartment, surrounded by thousands of other such habitats, all in climate controlled environs removed entirely from  nature and monitored, controlled and guided each day by an omnipresent government - can we say that humanity remains?
One cannot but believe that in the progressive mind there is the hope that whatever the future holds man will simply invent new technology to deal with the event.  Just as pioneers looked west, first across the Atlantic and then across the Great Plains, there are those that believe that when the time comes man will journey to the stars and continue manifest destiny.  Perhaps they are correct, but I suspect that if mankind gets that far, if nature does not have a say before hand -there will come a time when we realize that ultimately we are finite and our reason cannot conquer all.

I shudder to think what will become of us if we do not find out limits sooner rather than later.   Each year, with each new television season it seems we as a society downgrade our values a bit more.  Perversions that scream against nature's laws are protected rights.  God forbid that I live long enough to witness the definition of perversion in my children's lifetime - I am simply incapable of imagining what the definition may be in their children's future. 

The slow progression of omnipresent government -tyranny by any reasonable definition - is likely an unfortunate necessity.  It is necessary because only a moral people can live free and we have long ago ceased being a moral people.  That is a painful admission, but alas, most humans deserve no better than to be told what to do as most demonstrate little self-control or responsibility.  Unfortunately the humans that control governments demonstrate just as little or even less responsibility.  Mankind is becoming a slave to its own weaknesses and immorality. 

I do not believe that man in his finite wisdom will be able to solve the problems that our wicked and greedy ways will visit upon us.  I do not think God will allow it. We have squandered the resources of this world, polluted it, defaced it and perverted it for our silly purposes.  Our overpopulation is a direct result of our economic system of consumer greed.  If we lived sustainable lives it would be nearly impossible to overpopulate.  

I think that just as a deer herd in a liberal state (with restrictive hunting laws) can occasionally overpopulate and become disease-ridden and weak there is a culling of sorts coming for mankind - one all of our science and technology will not prevent.  Infinite growth cannot occur in a finite system.

We need a cultural, political and most importantly a spiritual revival. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where are the Principles

During the Bush years there was no shortage of folks willing to scream that the policies of war without justification, torture, detainment without charge and domestic spying were tyranny in the making.  And the simple fact is these charges were true.  Unfortunately the only people that voiced these opinions were some liberals, libertarians and paleoconservatives.

Case is point is Keith Olbermann. In what is now called his "Beginning of the End of America" monologue he tackled the the subject of the Military Commissions Act correctly.  That act combined with the Patriot Act before and a slew of enactments for 140 years previous indeed gave our government unprecedented power, a power to be feared.  Olbermann spoke truth, the sort of truth that is born of commonsense. (it is apparent that since commonsense is indeed common groups from all sides of the political divide can occasionally use it to make their points)

One must ask however...where are these voices of reason from the left now?

  • Where were they when Obama signed an extension of the Patriot Act without any of the reforms true Patriots believed were required? (the best reform being not extending the nefarious law at all)
  • Where are the liberals that protested what they believed to be Bush's private torture camp at Guantanamo?  Has Obama closed the operations there?
  • And what of the "Anti-War" crowd that seems to be so silent now?  It seems the only voices that remain are the libertarians and paleoconservatives.  Perhaps all those liberal "anti-war" types were not protesting based upon principle but rather politics.
  • Where is the protest from "civil-libertarians" over the intrusive and oppressive health care agenda?
There is but silence from the left because their attacks on Bush were never based upon a principled position.

I suppose that a president that received the Nobel Peace Prize ought to be given a bit of slack.  Never mind that he was just a few months into his term, had done nothing  "visionary" yet and was prosecuting the same wars that that "evil Bush" started - in the liberal mind I guess none of that matters, "he means well". He deserved that award and how dare anyone even question his motives - or so we are told.

In that the Tea Party crowd is primarily an anti-Obama movement there should be shame.  A stand on principles tells us there is much rotten with our system with both parties.  One could and should ask the same sort of questions of the Tea Party types in terms of abuses under Bush - and perhaps ask where they will stand on "freedom and small government" once we get rid of Obama.

I agree that individuals should be questioned - the citizenship status of Obama should be clarified now rather than 50 years hence when historians uncover the truth and add it as just a footnote to history.  However these matters seem to miss the bigger picture.

There are principles to be considered and it would be encouraging to see more people live and act according to those principles.  Perhaps then we would get fewer scoundrels in need of investigation and vetting.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Economics that Preserve and Prosper

Thomas E. Woods, a gentleman that I have discoursed with briefly and found to be polite and generous, discussed distributism in 2002 in an essay entitled What's Wrong with "Distributism".  According to the title one might assume that he dismissed the entire notion in preference for the libertarian staple of free-market capitalism.  

True enough his points seems to ring true with a reasonable assessment of distributism.   But whether one accepts his arguments of the value of one system compared to the other one fact is undeniable.

We have a capitalist system and the current system can only be changed via a total collapse of the current paradigm or through massive government intervention to force a change.  Who among us is willing to consider giving more power to the government to implement an new economic system?  To even consider such would be the antithesis of good judgement.  Any power given to the for the purpose of "good" almost always turns to evil eventually.

 However Woods does acknowledge that distributism may have a place:

"Those who care to support locally based and smaller-scale agriculture have already been doing so for two decades now by means of community-supported agriculture, which is booming.  On a purely voluntary basis, people who wish to support local agriculture pay several hundred dollars at the beginning of the year to provide the farmer with the capital he needs; they then receive locally grown produce for the rest of the year. The organizers of this movement, rather than wasting their time and ours complaining about the need for state intervention, actually did something: they put together a voluntary program that has enjoyed considerable success across the country. Perhaps, if distributists feel as strongly about their position as they claim, this example can provide a model of how their time might be better spent."

And it would seem that the very answer to preserving some of what is good while securing a sustainable system. There is but one problem with this notion - the same government power we rightly fear to support distributism is currently used to protect capitalist interest.  

One recent example, and there are others very similar circumstances, involving the Hershberger family shows that the state is not ready to allow the freedom of economic choice and freedom.  

The Hershberger's ran a dairy operation, they leased cows to their customers.  State law allows farmers and farm workers to drink raw milk, one of the products the family sold in their private store open only to lessees.  Those that leased the cows obviously had a stake in the capital of the farm and according to the letter of the law should be entitled to drink raw milk.   Not so in the eyes of the state.

It seems however, that on a microeconomics scale this is exactly the sorts of endeavors we should be undertaking.   As Woods points out in his dissection of distributism not all of us are qualified in temperament, skills or patience to own our own shops, farm our own land or tend our own herds.   However a cooperative arrangement on a small scale seems a marvelous method to provide quality goods locally, preserving community and tradition. 

I think a voluntary community based collective that supports provides stability and therefore protects families and traditions is Biblical. In Acts 4:32 we see an example of such a voluntary communion.  An agrarian cooperative that shared the cost of capital (land or livestock) in order to reap the benefits of the produce of the land would something a Christian could wrap his mind around.

It is time we began acting upon our convictions.  Separation from, secession from, a system that is not designed to respect the family of advance the individual is a good thing, a thing we can do right now in our communities.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tea Party: Populism without Principle

One cannot help but stand and cheer the efforts of the Tea Party crowd.  In fact, the title above is likely wrong, there are principles at work behind the movement.  It is the common sense of "old men and simple preachers" that I recently wrote about. We must however admit that the Tea Party Movement is a populist movement and we must be honest about what they means, in terms of past populist movements and in terms of the potential of such endeavors.

I find it particularly distressing that this movement got off the ground without any apparent philosophical underpinnings.  Without such an anchor what is a movement to stand for and how is it to defend against charlatans and demagogues? 

Having accepted that I am an elitist, meaning I have little faith in the masses to stay the course even when they know the correct general direction, I worry that at the end of the day this will ultimately be much to do about nothing.

And why on earth would three Tea Party candidates stand to run against Ron Paul and the seat he holds.  It seems that an ideal two party system would consist of Tea Party type conservatives on one ticket and Ron Paul type libertarians on another but that would be an idealized line-up for some distant future.  Not now, now seems the time to stand together against something of greater evil.  It seems not the time to split-hairs.

The Tea Party is currently drawing on the mass inertia power of the ordinary man and his keen common-sense.  The regular Americans know something is not right.  I would rather see leaders with a philosophical backing standing before them instead of what I fear in many cases as opportunist politicians.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Goal For 2009

I have decided that I will go an learn a few trade skills - partly for fun and partly because when I retire to my new gentleman's farm I want to be able to do a lot of things for myself. There are several things I have toyed with over the years that I am not particularly good at. My father always seemed to be good and most everything - perhaps this resolution for next year will be dedicated to his memory and they way he always impressed me with "stuff".

What do I plan to learn you might ask?

Well for starters I want to take a course in small engine repair, and one in welding also - I can do a little of both but it has been a long time since I put those skills to work. I also would like to become more proficient at gunsmithing and perhaps even learn to reload my own ammunition - my cousins are good at that. I know guys that can replace and even fabricate broken springs - I would like to be able to do that.

Of course there are many things I need to learn about solar power systems - I do not plan to live off the grid but being a little self-sufficient is in my plans and I would like not to have to pay someone to install it all.

I just subscribed again to Mother Earth News and I am very excited about that. I will probably determine that there are many more things I must add to my list to learn and relearn.

My experience with farming has been limited all these years in the military - consisting of tomato plants in the back yard in the years I was home enough to tend to them. My childhood and teen years were spent under the demanding eye of my father making me work his fields like a slave but I have probably forgotten much of what I once knew. My reading list has slowly gravitated toward the subject and I expect over the coming months that will increase.

It is odd that I always envisioned that I would likely teach after I retired from the military but as the time approaches my desires lean more toward learning traditional tradeskills for my own benefit and hobby. I have been wise and thrifty so needing to work was never in my plans but wanting to be useful is a human requirement.

On a related note, I read a article a few days ago that suggested that young people are duped by the notion that they must go to a four year institution to be successful and perhaps we have a "university bubble". I have always thought as much, standards it seems must diminish with more people accepted and colleges acting essentially like businesses filling up seats.

The article suggested the best thing most young people could do out of high school is learn a trade skill. If the economy tanks more the trend will be to repair instead of replace.

This suggestion makes a great deal of practical sense. I do not believe most college students learn very much anyway - they are not mature enough for higher learning at 18-20. Now if that same kid learned a tradeskill, learned the value of hard work and then later went to a four year college - I suspect they would actually learn something.

Oh yeah - one more goal for 2009 is to mail off for one of those Dr. Div. degrees from the "One Big Church of the Immaculate Prefecture" so y'all have to call me Dr. before I have to call IKANTSPEL "Doctor" (his will be real BTW but it will not matter because mine will arrive in the mail first and as Nathan Bedford Forrest said "firstest with the mostest" is what counts)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ammunition Accountability Act

From Charleston Voice

Well the Liberal Gun Grabbers are at it again. Now they want to fingerprint your bullets. They will charge you more. They will make it a crime to possess bullets that do not bear a serial number. Your name and designated serial number ammo will be stored in a sweet ol' database, of course. Tricky bastards are running this game at the state level, trying to fly under the radar and avoid national outrage. Probably there is legislation pending in your state right now.The 2008 Legislative session has begun, and the Ammunition Accountability Act is being introduced across the country. Below is a summary of legislation that has been introduced throughout the United States. To view the bills' status click on the links to the individual bills. Sample Legislation:

The Ammunition Accountability Act-Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.

I am amazed but not surprised. Contrary to all the debates carried on for years that our gun rights would be stripped Janet Reno style in midnight raids (providing us the opportunity to shoot some of the criminals in the door jam, on the stairs and just outside the bedroom before they kill us) it is all going down by degrees- "sneaky-like". Notice if you will that a vast majority of the states considering this are southern states.....We have lost our minds and our way.

Preamble to Social Mayhem

From a piece by Tim Case

Given also that the society that elected the president-in-waiting is dominated by blind nationalism, trendy savior-worship, an unending ignorance of history, economics and philosophy and devoid of a critical thought process, I fear history will say of this moment, "the civilization of the modern world suffered final collapse."

Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

This is How The World Ends - Part IV

If, as I have contented in the first three parts of this series of post, the following is true -

  1. We Americans are woefully ignorant of our rights, our Constitution and political philosophy in general
  2. Our Constitutional Republic from those nice stories in history books is long dead
  3. Our election process is completely incapable of fixing any of this (or our other massive problems of wars, failed economies etc. etc.)
Then what does the future hold and what are the solutions (or coping mechanisms if no solution is apparent)?

Some talk of a revolution in our future - but revolutions are a complicated business. Middle classes do not start revolutions or even participate or support them until they are well under way and almost over. Sure the middle class often provide the intelligentsia of a revolution but that is a small part of the bigger requirement. The rich do not start violent revolutions - they buy what they want in influence and power. The true foot soldiers of any revolution are the dispossessed, the poor and down-trodden.

Therein lies the fix, the poor and downtrodden in the US are riding pretty fat and happy (by relative standards of poor and downtrodden) on a US government gravy train. There are enough people within government that are capable of reading that understand the key ingredients in civil discontent. So long as a willing and compliant middle-class exists to consume and pay taxes the government will be able to buy the happiness and contentment of the poor. It is as simple as that.

In any event, no sane man looks to revolution with glee. Anyone that believes the War of American Independence was a revolution simply does not understand what the term really means. It was a separatist, nah a secession movement, not a revolution.

The foot soldiers (those poor and down trodden) are apt to follow the banner of any fool with a plan and a promise once the shooting starts. Change for the sake of change is something rationale people fear, particularly considering the history of revolutions.

No, the government will keep the poor placated, and in the event they occasionally rise up in violent riots the government will put them down and the middle class will rejoice that their welfare was protected.

There are probably many in the middle class that would like the idea of change, even if it involved violence. They probably also have a solid idea of what they would do to put everything back the way it was meant to be. But, when the rubber hit the road as they say the mad middle class guy has a house, a mini van and he really does not have time to start a revolution because he has to be at work by 9am in the morning. Middle-classes almost always trade safety and security for rights and freedoms.

Secession then you say. Well as an strong advocate of the legality of secession and a proponent of states' rights you might think I would say this is the solution...I doubt it.

First, if we are honest about it there is but one government now. Our states have lost all of their rights and all of their will to attempt to assert any rights. Government down to the local level is intertwined via federal grants and regulations. In cases where the federal government has not overtly asserted some control or influence many of our state and local government officials deffer to the question of "what is the national standard".

Second, our states no longer have any semblance of a heterogeneous culture or common polity. A woman from Arkansas can be a Senator from New York for goodness sakes. People move, leave familial and cultural bonds in pursuit of paper money and trinkets. A secession movement would have a very hard time in any state with such a mix of people.

Third, the middle class is bought and paid for just as the poor - it is called social security. Until it fails people expect to get what is coming to them - secede and lose that...never. A soul sold for 30 pieces of silver.

Pretty grim stuff and I am simply not wise enough to see a way out of this. Early on in this series of post I used comparisons of the German people from 1933 on to relate to some of our traits. We talked about the coup attempts on Hitler's life and the fact that a real revolution was never a possibility in Germany. Hitler may have died in one of the coups but nothing essential would have changed. The undoing of the Germans had already occurred, they were powerless (I did not say blameless) to alter their fate. I fear we are in the same boat. We cannot vote our way out of this mess now (too may accommodations in the past), revolution is not a realistic possibility and neither is secession.

I like optimist, they inspire people. Doomsayers just scare the heck out of folks. Yet, I find it difficult to muster optimism about our future.

I will now do something I have never done in my life, quote Martin Luther King Jr.

I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God

This was from a speech called "It's A Dark Day In Our Nation" explaining why he opposed the Vietnam War but the words are applicable for any number of events in our recent and not so recent history.

We have done wrong. We have allowed greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride to rule us. We have even turned those vices into virtues of sorts. We have abandoned the wise teachings, learned through history, of our forefathers in preference for our perceived enlightened wisdom of modernity. We have traded liberty and freedom for safety and security.

Commenting on the American experiment Alex de Tocqueville said, "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." and "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Pretty astute for a Frenchman in the mid 19th century but correct nonetheless.

And thus the world we thought we always knew, in the final analysis, ended not with a bang but with a whimper.