Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beck: Embers of Honor

Billy Beck updates on his mom's recovery from surgery, then publishes an email from a young American military officer, who was born in the USSR.

Read the whole thing.

Key grafs:

...I think my Russian friend is looking farther than my American friend. Every falling culture has had its embers of honor glowing as the darkness gathered around them, and they weren't enough. In fact, that's why they are remembered. Wherever they are in this country now, they all need the hot fan of history across their faces right instantly, because the Russian is right about this:

"I see my beautiful America becoming a communist shit-hole."
He knows what he's talking about, and so does everyone with whom I've spoken about this. That is an urgent fact, and the young officers' honor won't stop it, or what it will eventually require. Look at it this way: they can be disposed of, too. Don't even think that it couldn't happen here. Lots of things are happening here that untold generations never dreamed for America. That's because principles really matter, and you don't have to be a genius to see the new ones...

Alea iacta est.

Codrea Goes National

From Mindful Musings:

Many in the Gun Rights community already know the name David Codrea. He has been a leading voice in it for quite some time.

From writing columns for GUNS Magazine to his informative War on Guns Blog, his efforts are tireless.

Recently, Codrea took on yet another assignment,writing another column for GunRights Examiner.Com. In the space of a dozen weeks or so, the people there realized just how important his leadership in this community is.

In early January, his GunRights column goes National.

People around the Country are slowly starting to realize the importance such a knowledgeable voice can lend to such an important cause.

I encourage EVERYONE to head on over to his sites every day, read his writings,and congratulate him for this Great News...Great for ALL of us!

This is one Man making a difference. So proof again what we as individuals can still do today.

Thanks, David!

Stopping Holder

Snowflake posted this entry today, indicating that the Republican minority in the US Senate is set to oppose Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder:

Senate Republicans seek to delay hearings on Holder as attorney general

Obama's Justice Department nominee was initially met with bipartisan praise. Now the GOP is raising concerns about pardons and more.

By Josh Meyer
December 13, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., is now coming under fire from Senate Republicans, who have asked to delay what was expected to be a swift and easy confirmation over concerns about his role in some controversial Clinton-era pardons and other matters.

Obama's selection of Holder initially was greeted with near-universal acclaim on Capitol Hill after Obama tapped him Dec. 1.

Prominent Senate Democrats and even some Republicans rushed to voice their support for the 57-year-old former judge, prosecutor and senior Justice Department official. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday scheduled the confirmation hearing to start Jan. 8, saying Holder needed to get to work immediately to restore credibility to a Justice Department tainted by years of scandal and politicization.

But as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001, Holder played a controversial -- some critics say improper -- role in at least three clemency cases, according to congressional records and interviews.

And now at least eight Republican senators say they want to delay the start of the hearings to Jan. 26, or after inauguration week, so their staffs can investigate those controversies. In a series of Senate floor speeches this week, they said Holder's actions in those cases raised questions about whether he could withstand the kind of White House pressure on the Justice Department that undermined the tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales over issues like the firings of U.S. attorneys and warrantless surveillance.

Leading the charge is Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the judiciary committee. Specter met with Holder for more than an hour Monday to discuss his tenure as deputy attorney general, when Holder was the top Justice Department official on pardon issues.

Specter said in a floor speech Thursday that he remained concerned, especially about Holder's key role in the most controversial one of the 177 pardons and commutations that President Clinton issued on his last day in office in January 2001 -- that of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife donated millions to Clinton's campaigns, his library and other Democratic causes.

"I don't think it is useful to get into the specifics as to the precise concerns which I raised and his precise answers," Specter said. "But by analogy to the Gonzales tenure, I think it is imperative we be sure the attorney general of the United States does not bend his views to accommodate his appointer; that the attorney general does not bend his views in any way which is partisan or political, to serve any interest other than the interests of justice."

Holder also took great personal interest in the politically charged clemencies granted in 1999 to 16 convicted members of a Puerto Rican terrorist group known as the FALN. The commutations came over the vehement objections of the FBI, all of the prosecutors who convicted the terrorists, and even one of the Justice Department's two top pardon officials, Margaret Colgate Love.

And Holder played a murky role in Clinton's commutation of the sentence of Los Angeles-based cocaine trafficker Carlos Vignali, whose father was a wealthy supporter of influential Latino lawmakers who lobbied the White House on his behalf.

In recent days, Specter and seven other GOP senators sent letters to the Justice Department and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum requesting an array of documents that they believe could shed light on Holder's role in the pardons and other Clinton-era controversies.

The subjects they are interested in also include the independent counsel's investigation of Clinton and related impeachment proceedings; the controversial Justice Department-approved raid to seize Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez in Miami in 2000; gun rights legislation; death penalty approvals and rejections; corporations under criminal investigation; and any denial of congressional requests for documents from the executive branch.

An exhaustive 2002 investigation by a Republican-led House committee sharply criticized Holder for his role in some of the clemency cases, saying he appeared more intent on supporting the wishes of the White House than in doing the right thing as the nation's second-highest-ranked judge and law enforcement official.

Holder has denied that, and supporters of his in both parties say he is among the most qualified and well- respected nominees ever.

Holder testified numerous times about his role in those cases as part of the House investigation.

Judiciary committee staffers say they are reviewing those statements and finding that Holder was never asked some fundamental questions about why he took certain actions in some cases, and about why he did not play a role in others when Justice Department guidelines and history indicated that he should have.

"There is certainly the concern that we don't have the full grasp of what happened," said one senior GOP judiciary staffer, who noted that Holder at times refused to answer questions, invoking executive privilege because he had been advising the president. "We feel like we've just scratched the service in terms of looking at his record."

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he saw "red flags" not only in Holder's "judgment and independence" in the Rich and FALN cases, but also in the pardons of two women involved in the radical Weather Underground.

On Friday, Leahy said in a statement that the committee was getting just as much time to background Holder as it had with previous attorneys general. He added that Holder was "a prosecutor's prosecutor" and that Holder had "acknowledged that the Rich pardon was a mistake."

In a letter, Leahy urged the Republicans to swiftly approve Holder. He accused the Republicans of playing partisan politics with one of the most important Cabinet-level confirmations at a historically perilous time.

Meanwhile, judiciary committee members were making their way through 145 cartons of documents that pertain to Holder, the senior staff official said.

But Specter said they had not received the detailed questionnaire that Holder must submit or the results of the FBI's background investigation into him.

The staff official also said that investigators would review Holder's public speeches and record as a private attorney in recent years, including his negotiation of a plea deal for Chiquita Brands International to settle a long-running Justice Department investigation into its admission that it paid at least $1.7 million in protection money to terrorist groups in Colombia.

The GOP senators and staff suggested that the hearings themselves would be lengthy, noting that even the confirmation of their former colleague John Ashcroft as attorney general in 2001 came after two days of testimony from him and two days of testimony from 23 others.

Mike Vanderboegh recently provided us with still more background on why Holder's nomination should be defeated, and David Codrea has issued his call to action.

So what's to do now?

1. Go to the Senate website and find the contact info for your two Senators.

2. Note the telephone number, fax number, and mailing address for each Senator.

3. Write a calm but stern letter to each Senator directing him or her, as your elected official, to oppose Holder's confirmation as Attorney General, and cite your reasons.

4. Close your letter by insisting on a written response within five days.

A suggested draft letter; yours can and should vary:

December 30, 2008

Senator Joe Dokes
XXX Russell Senate Office Building
US Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Dokes:

I am writing you today, as one of your constituents from [insert your town], to direct you to oppose the confirmation of Eric Holder as the next Attorney General.

Mr. Holder's prior government service as Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration demonstrated that he has neither the judgment nor the ethical compass to serve as our nation's top law enforcement officer.

His decisions in the Marc Rich pardon, the FALN pardons-for-pay, and the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing are more than enough to disqualify him from any future government service. However, even those egregious lapses in judgment pale in comparison to his removal of U.S. Attorney James W. Blagg in San Antonio and assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston in Waco, Texas during the 1999 re-examination of the Federal slaughter of the Branch Davidians.

Simply put, Mr. Holder is a political lackey and an apologist for executive branch misconduct, rather than the prudent and objective professional prosecutor demanded by the Attorney General's awesome responsibilities.

The Senate must refuse to confirm Mr. Holder, and I expect that your vote will be cast in opposition to his nomination.

Please advise in writing as to your position in this matter within five days of the above date.


Concerned American

5) Fax a copy of your letter to each Senator and mail another copy to each Senator via snail mail. Fax another copy to each member of the Senate Republican Leadership; get that info from the Senate website.

6) Later that same day, call each Senator's office and ask to speak to a staff member. Get the staffer's name, then advise him or her that you have faxed and mailed a letter stating your strong opposition to the Holder nomination, reiterating your objections. Tell the staffer that you expect your position to be communicated to the Senator that day, and that you also expect a letter from the Senator stating his or her position in this matter.

7) Get your friends and family to do the same. Write the damned letter for them, if you must. Fax, mail, and have them make the calls.

8) Ditto for any gun groups to which you belong.

9) Follow up.

10) Spread the word by posting what you have done (and any responses from your Senators) on the various blogs and forums you frequent.

Now -- do I really think we can win?

Probably not.

So why try?

Two main reasons:

a) Once Holder's nomination is conformed by the Senate, the game is well and truly on.

do remember that the AG and his staff will

- help to write the new AWB legislation

- testify before Congress in support of same

- support the media blitz in favor of the "new anti-violence measures"

- defend the constitutionality of same, citing language from Scalia's majority opinion in Heller, and

- be the boss of the ATF and FBI teams that will be enforcing the new AWB and other human rights violations
by coming to kill you, your family, and your fellow defiant friends,

don't you?

b) Scratching out a letter and making the phone calls as described doesn't take a lot of time or effort. If Holder is stopped, it's an immediate defeat for the new Obamite administration. If he does get the job, then anyone who did the Civics 101 drill above will have a new appreciation for just how effective those tactics really are in the waning days of the American Empire.

Tempus fugit.

UPDATE 1010 est 30 Dec 08: Commenter Alan R. has a great idea for drawing non-gunnies into the fight:

Living in California I have extremely liberal senators and even some somewhat liberal friends & family. I've taken a slightly different tack here; I've been able to convince several of them to write letters of opposition to the Holder nomination based on his anti-privacy positions.

Thanks, Alan!

Vanderboegh: 'Defiance' -- "Without a rifle, you are nothing"

From Sipsey Street Irregulars:

Defiance: "Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless; you are waiting for death, any minute, any second."

"That is the first and foremost lesson of the Holocaust to be learned. For all the unanswered moral, philosophical and theological questions-- the bottom line is that millions of Jews were killed, because they could be. The only true defense against a Holocaust is the ability to resist and to survive one."

One of the routine stops I make when I visit my parents in central Ohio is the Village Bookshop in Linworth, a suburb of Columbus. It is a remainder house, selling many obscure but important titles on all manner of subjects. In May of 1995, for the princely sum of $9.98 I picked up a copy of Nechama Tec's "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans -- The Story of the Largest Armed Rescue of Jews by Jews During World War II"

Ten bucks was a lot for me to pay for a book back then, but after reading the book, I didn't regret it. From the dust jacket:

The prevailing image of European Jews during the Holocaust years is one of helpless victims under a death sentence, unable to fight consignment to the ghettos, to the camps, and to the gas chambers. In fact, many Jews struggled alone or with others against the terrors of the Third Reich, risking their lives against overwhelming odds for the slimmest chance of survival or a mere glimpse of freedom. In 'Defiance', Nechama Tec offers a riveting history of one such group, a forest community in western Belorussia that would number 1,200 Jews by 1944 -- the largest armed rescue operation of Jews by Jews in World War II.

Describing the entire partisan movement in the region, Tec shows that while most forest fighters in Belorussia were rifle-carrying young men, the members of this extraordinary community included both men and women, some with weapons but mostly unarmed, ranging from infants to the elderly. She reconstructs for the first time the amazing details of how these partisans and their families -- hungry, exposed to the harsh winter weather, always on the lookout for German patrols -- managed not only to survive, but to offer protection to all Jewish fugitives who could find their way to them. Driven by courage born out of despair, they dug wells, set up workshops to repair guns, make clothes, and resole shoes, supplied services to other guerrilla units, and even established a makeshift hospital and school in the forest. Arguing that this success would have been unthinkable without the vision of one man, Tec offers penetrating insight into the group's commander, Tuvia Bielski, and his journey from his life as the son of the only Jewish peasant family in an isolated rural village to his emergence as a leader possessing the charisma and courage to command under all but impossible circumstances.

Tec brings to light the untold story of Bielski's struggle as a partisan who lost his parents, his wife, and two brothers to the Nazis, yet never wavered in his conviction that it was more important to save one Jew than to kill twenty Germans. She shows how, under Bielski's guidance, the partisans smuggled Jews our of heavily guarded ghettos, sciouted the roads for fugitives, and led retaliatory raids against Belorussian peasants who collaborated with the Nazis against their former Jewish neighbors. Refusing to turn away the weak or the old for the sake of the survival of the larger group, Bielski would warn new arrivals to the forest, "Life is difficult, we are in danger all the time, but if we perish, if we die, we die like human beings."

A scholar, a writer, and herself a Holocaust survivor, author Nechama Tec has devoted the last two decades to studying the fate of European Jewry, recording rare but vital examples of human compassion, resistance, altruism and heroism in the face of overwhelming horror and despair. Drawing on wide-ranging research and never before published interviews with surviving partisans -- including Tuvia Bielski himself two weeks before his death in 1987 -- she reconstructs here the poignant and unforgettable story of those who chose to fight.

See why I bought the book? Although dust jackets are often the best part of some books, this one did not disappoint. So when I heard that they were making a movie about the Bielski Partisans, I was both excited and apprehensive. Hollywood has an almost limitless capacity for screwing up the best books -- David Brin's 'The Postman' comes immediately to mind.

But if you read the review below here it would seem that, much like 'Valkyrie', Hollywood has once again given us Three Percenters a movie that will reinforce our message.

And when Charles Schumer and Diane Feinstein see this movie, will they get the point?

Not bloody likely.

Read the book before seeing the movie, not only to understand where Hollywood screwed up, but to internalize the message that may be glossed over: that the only truly free men and women are those who are armed and thus possess the means of ensuring their own liberty and survival.

Mike Vanderboegh

Here is the review of "Defiance" from the Sultan Knish blog:

Defiance and the Holocaust at the Movies

"Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless, you are waiting for death, any minute, any second." - Aron Bielski

"My father sent my mother a revolver as a gift, which for her was the symbol of what any young girl wants in a marriage, this was for her the means to stay alive, to kill herself or to die fighting." -- Assaela Bielski

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Defiance, based on the Oxford Press book, Defiance, the Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec. For those who have the time, I would recommend the book over the movie, as the former is a real history of events, and the latter is a fictionalized Hollywood adaptation of them.

Nechama Tec's book, Defiance, the Bielski Partisans is a realistic but excellently written retelling of how the Bielski Otriad operated in the real world, its dedication to rescuing Jews, from refugees in hiding, to reaching inside Ghettos themselves, as well as dealing with its controversies.

In contrast to the movie, Nechama Tec's Defiance is a nuts and bolts look at life in the woods from multiple perspectives. It is not an exercise in romanticism, but in realism.

The story of the Bielskis is one of those stories of the Holocaust that is overshadowed by the general narrative of victimization and therefore rarely told, as compared to the depictions of Jews as helpless victims or dependent on non-Jewish saviors, ala Schindler's List. The story of the Bielskis is not a story of the Holocaust, so much as it is the story of how the Bielskis and those who worked with them broke through the helplessness, and took action to save thousands and keep them alive in hostile territory.

In contrast to the movie's portrayal of him, Tuvia Bielski is not a modern morally conflicted hero nor a misguided idealist. The book is less about personalities than it is about what was accomplished in the forest. Yet even the movie provides something deeply valuable in the portrayal of the Holocaust.

Liberal culture has made the Holocaust into a narrative of victimization that can only be undone by tolerance. Defiance, in both book and movie form, turns into a narrative of accomplishment by a few in the face of a seemingly unstoppable enemy. The Jews of Defiance are not victims, they are taught to take responsibility for their survival by the Bielskis. They do not simply wait for the war to be over, but Tec's book documents how they rescue other Jews, and they fight back, blowing up trains, and hitting Nazi targets.

The conventional narrative of the Holocaust, both liberal and religious, is one of learned helplessness, of martyrdom, either in the name of tolerance, or holiness. Defiance instead upends that in favor of competence, of taking responsibility for one's own survival and that of others, and making a difference. It is the conceptual idea behind the State of Israel, and so unsurprisingly one of the forest encampments was called "Jerusalem in the Woods."

The usual liberal narrative teaches that when tolerance fails, a Holocaust happens. But tolerance is relative, while competence is objective. Understanding what the Bielski Otriad accomplished is far more important to understanding how to deal with the persecution of Jews, than all the narratives of atrocities and massacres, which memorialize the dead, but fail to draw any useful lessons from what happened to them. And the only useful lesson that can be drawn from the Holocaust, is how to survive it and defeat it.

Watching Defiance made me think of how fundamentally wrong most other movies have gotten the Holocaust. The poster child of all of them of course was Schindler's List, a grandstanding and hollow project, whose two major stars played Germans on opposite sides of the Holocaust, and whose them was about the importance of doing the right thing. But movie after movie has followed a similar pattern, turning the Holocaust into a vehicle for communicating something uplifting about the human spirit, and the general wonderfulness of humans, when they aren't busy shoving other humans into gas chambers or dark pits. Jakob the Liar, Life is Beautiful, The Pianist all suffer from that same need to turn an atrocity into something meaningful.

Defiance though is one of the few Holocaust movies, that is actually a war movie. It is not about finding meaning, as much as it is about the hard realities of survival, and what must be done to survive. Being a Hollywood movie it still suffers from the need to insert uplifting messages about the human spirit, but these quickly pass. But they quickly pale beside the reality of the choices that the Bielski brothers need to make. As often as the movie attempts to "straighten out" the story by directing it along a politically correct route, the truth of the real story bends it back to where it began.

The Bielski brothers are no saints, but start out as smugglers who end up using their survival skills to gather a large community of survivors under them. At times they're ruthless and like everyone else, they're walking wounded, dealing with the loss of their families, while being expected to make impossible decisions that mean life and death for everyone around them. But there are no therapists in the forest, only life and death decisions.

Much as the score layers on inappropriately uplifting music and the writing summons the occasional inspirational line about hope, faith and humanity-- Defiance's heart is in the forest where the needs are primitive and survival rests on the ability to get food and weapons and to stay ahead of the Germans and their local police collaborators.

And stripped of all the questions and philosophical musings, Defiance is one of the few movies to deal with what the Holocaust was about. Surviving. The Holocaust boils down to the simple fact that many of the groups who hated the Jews got a chance to kill them, under the leadership of German Fascism and administered with ruthless technical precision. Reactions across the Jewish populations covered a wide gamut that history has barely scratched, from apathy to flight, to denial to collaboration, to resistance.

The Bielskis and the fighters, criminals and working class youth, have the survival skills that the Malbushim, the middle and upper class university educated Jews do not. That meant knowing how to use a gun, how to find your way through the woods, how to build working shelters and ultimately how to survive by making ad hoc decisions under pressure. It also meant being able to eat anything and make food out of anything, including a horse and a dog, to rob and to kill. There is nothing "natively" uplifting about any of that. It is simply what it takes to survive.

And that, rather than the uplifting messages, serves as the real lesson of the Holocaust. You either survive, or you don't. The Holocaust is not a call for tolerance or for sanctifying victimization, those are the liberal American Jewish fallacies. The Holocaust was a wake up call, warning that none of the strategies that Jews had used until now, negotiation, waiting, appeasement, all defense reactions had been nullified. You could give up, run if you could, or fight to survive.

Israel was built on the understanding that the time for running was over. It was time to get serious about being a nation, or live as hunted animals the world over. The American liberal Jewish consensus by contrast was built on the belief that the best way to prevent a Holocaust was to teach people to love each other and find something uplifting in it all, thus buying into the culture of victimization. Defiance tries to reach for the latter position, but finds itself stuck in the former camp instead. Because as many noble and uplifting things that Tuvia can say, the Bielskis, both the real and the fictional film versions, were no liberals.

The movie portrays a tug of war between the two older Bielski brothers, over focusing on pure resistance or rescuing people. But that division leads both brothers to disaster, as Tuvia discovers that he needs his sibling's ruthlessness and Zus' participation in a Russian partisan unit leads to the realization that the Communists have just as little use for the Jews as the Nazis do. The balance of Tuvia's idealism and Zus' cynical killing edge defines the conflict, as Tuvia discovers that he must be hard and brutal in order to do good, and Zus discovers that killing without a people of his own to protect is a cold and soulless task.

Though the movie may insert inappropriate comic relief and its versions of the Bielski brothers are at times so incompetent that they would not have survived for a week, let alone for years, it does what Holocaust movies all too often avoid doing, it focuses on the survival. The Germans, when they arrive, are soldiers in gray moving in and out. The locals collaborate or don't, for their own reasons. There is no moral to be learned, except that if you want to live and want others to live, you must be prepared to do what it takes.

That is the first and foremost lesson of the Holocaust to be learned. For all the unanswered moral, philosophical and theological questions-- the bottom line is that millions of Jews were killed, because they could be. The only true defense against a Holocaust is the ability to resist and to survive one.

Before the State of Israel was officially declared, the Bielskis made their own Jewish state in a forest, to live as free men and women mere kilometers from their would be killers, and though like the real state and its real leaders, they may have been flawed, their triumph is not some uplifting moral, but a matter of accomplishment, the 1200 they hid in the forest against all odds, and through determination and hard work, they did not become victims or fatalities, they survived. And through their guidance and efforts so did 1200 others.

No higher praise is needed.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Go read this article from today's WSJ.

Note especially the timing.

Now, to be clear -- I don't see either Mexico or Canada as major influentials.

But what about the folks who pull Mexican and Canadian strings?

Now consider the impact of this data from the US Treasury re foreign holders of FedGov debt.

Then ask yourself -- as to the foreign powers on today's stage:

Who would benefit from a dismembered, humiliated Uncle Sam?

Put another way: which nations, besides Israel, wouldn't want to see such a scenario, at least at first blush?

Happy new year.

Obama's 'Black Widow'

From Wendy McElroy via Billy Beck comes this essential article from the Village Voice's long-time free speech maven Nat Hentoff.

This excerpt will show you why you need to read 'em all:

Barack Obama will be in charge of the biggest domestic and international spying operation in history. Its prime engine is the National Security Agency (NSA)—located and guarded at Fort Meade, Maryland, about 10 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. A brief glimpse of its ever-expanding capacity was provided on October 26 by The Baltimore Sun's national security correspondent, David Wood: "The NSA's colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the 'Black Widow,' scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages."

Consider getting this book as reviewed by Wood as well.

Despite my near-bottomless cynicism, the standard japes about "paranoia" seem a little out of key.

Alea iacta est.

More Musings on Freedom

Or, more likely, its gradual extinction...

Freedom Imperilled

Thank Goodness I Live In A Free Country

2nd Annual 'Worst Prosecutor of the Year' Competition

See also this item.

When you've had enough, would the last American turn off the lights?


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Memorandum on Arms and Freedom

Thanks to DC for pointing out this classic:

Memorandum on Arms and Freedom
By Brian Puckett

It is time to speak plainly for the good citizens and patriots of this nation who believe unbendingly in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Though foreign governments may disarm their subjects, we will not go down that road. We will not disarm and see our freedoms stripped away. The lessons of history are numerous, clear and bloody. A disarmed population inevitably becomes an enslaved population. A disarmed population is without power, reduced to childlike obedience to--and dependence upon--the organs of a parental state. A disarmed population will lose--either piecemeal or in one sweeping act--those basic rights for which the citizens of America risked their lives and fortunes over two hundred years ago.

WE WILL NOT DISARM. The right to self-protection--the internal directive of every living creature, be it mouse or man--is the most fundamental right of all. It is a right that must be exercised against all predators of the streets, against the predators hidden within agencies of law enforcement, and against the most dangerous predators of all--those to be found in government, whose insidious grasping for power is relentless and never-ending.

WE WILL NOT DISARM. Not in the face of robbers, rapists, and murderers who prey upon our families and friends. Nor in the face of police and bureau agents who would turn a blind eye to the Constitution, who would betray the birthright of their countrymen; nor in the face of politicians of the lowest order--those who pander to the ignorant, the weak, the fearful, the naive; those indebted to a virulent strain of the rich who insulate themselves from the dangers imposed upon other Americans and then preach disarmament.

We will not surrender our handguns. We will not surrender our hunting arms. And we will not surrender our firearms of military pattern or military utility, nor their proper furnishings, nor the right to buy, to sell, or to manufacture such items.

Firearms of military utility, which serve well and nobly in times of social disturbance as tools of defense for the law-abiding, serve also in the quiet role of prevention, against both the criminal and the tyrannical. An ARMED CITIZENRY--the well-regulated MILITIA of the Second Amendment, properly armed with military firearms--is a powerful deterrent, on both conscious and subconscious levels, to those inclined toward governmental usurpations. An armed citizenry stands as a constant reminder to those in power that, though they may violate our rights temporarily, they will not do so endlessly and without consequence. And should Americans again be confronted with the necessity of--may God forbid it--throwing off the chains of a tyrannical and suffocating regime, firearms designed to answer the particular demands of warfare will provide the swiftest and most decisive means to this end. Any law which prohibits or limits a citizen's possession of firearms of military utility or their proper furnishings provides an OPEN WINDOW through which a corrupt government will crawl to steal away the remainder of our firearms and our liberties. Any law which prohibits or limits a citizen's possession of firearms of military utility or their proper furnishings, being directly contrary to the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment, is inimical to the Constitution, to the United States of America, and to its citizens.

Now--today--we are witnessing the perilous times foreseen by the architects of the Constitution. These are times when our government is demanding--in the guise of measures for the common good--the relinquishment of several rights guaranteed to Americans in the Constitution, foremost among which is the right to keep and bear arms for our own defense. These are times when our government has abdicated its primary responsibility--to provide for the security of its citizens. Swift and sure punishment of outlaws is absent, and in its place is offered the false remedy of disarming the law-abiding. Where this unconstitutional action has been given the force of law, it has failed to provide relief and has produced greater social discord. This discord in turn now serves as the false basis for the demand that we give up other rights, and for the demand for more police, more agents of bureaucratic control to enforce the revocation of these rights.

Legislators, justices, and law officers must bear in mind that the foundation of their duties is to uphold the fundamental law of the land--the Constitution. They must bear in mind that the unconstitutional act of disarming one's fellow citizens will also disarm one's parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, and children's children. There are good citizens who--taking heed of Benjamin Franklin's admonition that those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety--will surrender not one of their rights.

Those who eat away at our right to own and use firearms are feeding on the roots of a plant over two centuries old, a plant whose blossom is the most free, most powerful nation ever to exist on this planet. The right to keep and bear arms is the taproot of this plant. All other rights were won at the point of a gun and will endure only at the point of a gun. Could they speak, millions upon millions of this world's dead souls would testify to this truth. Millions upon

millions of the living can so testify today.

Now--today--is a critical moment in our history. Will we Americans passively lie down before a government grown disdainful of its best citizens? Or will we again declare: WE are the government, government functions at OUR behest, government MAY NOT rescind our sacred rights. Will we place our faith in public servants who behave as though they are our masters? Or will we place our faith in the words and deeds of the daring, farseeing men and women whose blood, sweat and tears brought forth this great nation?

Will we believe those who assure us that the police officer will shield us from the criminal? Or will we believe our eyes and ears, presented every day with news of our unarmed neighbors falling prey in their homes, on our streets, in our places of work and play?

Will we bow our heads to cowards and fools who will not learn and do not understand the lessons of human history? Or will we stand straight and assume the daily tasks and risks that liberty entails?

Will we ignore even the lessons of this present era--which has seen the cruel oppression of millions on the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America--and believe that the continent of North America is immune to such political disease? Or will we wisely accept the realities of this world, wisely listen to and make use of the precautions provided by our ancestors?

Will we deceived by shameless liars who say that disarmament equals safety, helplessness equals strength, patriotism equals criminality? Or will we mark the word of our forefathers, who wrote in plain language: THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED?

Let us make known: We will choose the latter option in every case.

LEGISLATORS: Do your duty to your country. Uphold the Constitution as you swore to do. Do not shame yourselves by knocking loose the mighty keystone of this great republic--the right to keep and bear arms. Read and study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution you swore to support.

JUSTICES: Do your duty to your country. Examine the origins of our right to weaponry, and uphold the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Read and study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution you swore to support.

LAWMEN: Do your duty to your country. Do not be misguided and misused. Your task is to serve and to protect--not to oppress, disarm, and to make helpless your countrymen.

To the blind, the ignorant, the apathetic, the safe and sheltered, these may seem to be concerns of another age. They are not. They are as vital as they have ever been throughout history. For times may change but human nature does not. And it is to protect forever against the evil in human nature that the Founding Fathers set aside certain rights as inviolable. For these reasons we must now make known: We will not passively take the path that leads to tyranny. We will not go down that road.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas, and may peace fill all hearts in the coming year.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Denninger: To Our Government -- You Must Act Now

Editor's Note: The author of the entry below links, in the course of his discussion, to a rant posted on a well-known racist site. The essay's author and this editor obviously do not endorse those views. However, this editor does believe that as the overall economic conditions in our country deteriorate, many fearful people will drift towards the siren calls of statism, racism, and other madness. Denninger wrote the piece as a warning, and it is included here at WRSA for the same reason.

From Denninger:

Yesterday I wrote a letter to a number of House and Senate Committees, well-aware that the Congress is in recess. The impetus was learning that Congress intends to hold committee hearings on derivatives (gee, nice to have a hearing about closing the door after all the horses are gone!)

One of the key themes of that communication was that The American People are losing faith in government as a protector and arbiter of fair play and enforcement of the law - and that down this road lay severe, perhaps even critical danger for our republic.

I had absolutely no idea at the time I penned and sent that letter that the events I had feared would occur the same day. I thought we had weeks or months before the proverbial dark matter would impact the airmoving device.

But then yesterday afternoon, I read the following:

A senior federal banking regulator has been removed from his job after government investigators concluded that he knowingly permitted IndyMac Bancorp to present a misleading picture of its financial health in a federal filing only months before the California thrift was seized by regulators.

The Office of Thrift Supervision removed Darrel Dochow as director of its western region, where he was responsible for regulating several of the largest banks that failed or were sold in the past year, including Washington Mutual,
Countrywide Financial, IndyMac and Downey Savings and Loan.

Dochow allowed IndyMac to count money it got in May in a report describing its financial condition at the end of March, according to an investigation by the Treasury Department's inspector general, Eric Thorson, which was described in a letter from Thorson.
In the late 1980s, Dochow had been the chief career supervisor of the savings-and-loan industry, and federal investigators later concluded he played a key role in the collapse of Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan by delaying and impeding proper oversight of that thrift's operations.

Dochow was shunted aside in the aftermath and eventually sent to the agency's Seattle office. Several of his former colleagues and superiors have said that he gradually reestablished himself as a credible regulator and again rose in the organization.

Let's be totally clear about what is being alleged.

The allegation is that Mr. Dochow was partially responsible for the collapse of the Lincoln Savings and Loan during the S&L crisis, and not only was he not fired from his position within the government but 20 year later he is alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to falsely state IndyMac's capital position which could reasonably have been expected to have kept the OTS from seizing the thrift at that time.

That is, it is alleged that he got away with an act that, had a private party undertaken it, would have likely been a felony under US law (bank fraud, obstruction, etc) and not only didn't lose his job was then given supervisory authority (20 years later) in a second case where he is alleged to have done essentially the same thing by conspiring (with IndyMac!) to falsify their capital position - that is, falsifying an official document bearing on the condition of a federally-insured bank!

Now of course these are allegations at this point in time - but they are extraordinarily serious allegations. They join the list of dozens of other, similarly-serious allegations that have been raised over the last year and a half - and yet where are the official investigations, grand juries, and indictments?

Then last evening a topic was posted on my forum linking to one Hal Turner's blog, in which he said (this is not my speech - it is on the linked site - and yeah - it's shocking):

WARNING TO BANKING EXECUTIVES: If you do not return the bonuses, stock options and country club memberships bought with taxpayer bailout money, YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS will be made public in a manner designed to "incite" a reaction by the public. (Special emphasis on the word "incite!)You have until Friday, December 26, 2008 to return the money. There will be no negotiating, no obeying of court orders of protection, no way to prevent being dealt with harshly.I don't care about your employment contracts, I don't care about your civil rights and I sure as **** don't care about the law or the courts.You guys have ****ed this country for the last time. It's time for you to be paid back and I intend to see that you receive your payback.

I don't like this one bit, it is way beyond "polite discourse" (and IMHO quite possibly into a realm that one should not cross) but it is entirely predictable, and unfortunately, is unlikely to be an isolated incident.


Because an increasing number of people no longer have any belief that the government exists to prosecute crimes and convict crooks.

In fact, there is a rapidly-growing belief among the population that the government and its agents have turned into the felons.

There is an uneasy "chatter" in this general vein showing up, widely dispersed among the population, but I hear it both in online and offline conversations almost as a "backhanded" comment now - much like occurred when Nixon was caught doctoring the Watergate tapes.

The difference is that this time the people know their wallets are being robbed instead of a political party's documents ensconced in a file cabinet.

This had better not spread into a widely and strongly-held opinion, and there is in fact only one way for the government to stop that from occurring.

We must see indictments of the bankers and government insiders who were involved in creating this mess.

It needs to start happening right now.


We need a dozen Fitzgeralds (the Federal prosecutor going after Illinois' Governor), we need them today, and they must include in their investigations referrals to grand juries and indictments aimed at the people inside these regulatory agencies where appropriate - that is, everyone who was involved in any form of fraud related to this mess.

I don't care if they're a banker, a broker, a Treasury Secretary, an OTS or OCC official, an SEC employee or a Congressperson. Each and every one of the people involved need to be investigated, if appropriate indicted, arrested and see the Rule of Law imposed upon them, right here, right now.


Because if this doesn't start happening very soon there is a very real risk that the meme that is now starting to take hold - that our government is in fact the felon in chief - will spread and reach critical mass within the population.

We cannot - and must not - have that happen, for once it does the societal consequences that flow from that belief cannot be stopped.

There is only one way to stop the progression of this belief through society and that is for the government to prove to the citizenry that it will enforce the law even when the people who have to be arrested, charged and jailed are government employees and "favored" powerful individuals who have been robbing the public for over a decade.

We are running out of time and what I want for Christmas is for our government to show the citizens of this great nation that it is not the felon and the people who are the felons will be indicted, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - no matter who they are.

If our government does not do this, and do it fast, then may God have mercy, because I am absolutely certain we will need it.


Alea iacta est.

Legitimacy Dwindles

James Howard Kunstler, author of the nonfiction work The Long Emergency and the novel World Made by Hand (both recommended), on the outlook for 2009:

Legitimacy Dwindles


Public sentiment toward the accelerating economic fiasco has shifted, seemingly overnight, from a mood of nauseated amazement to one of panicked grievance as the United States moves closer to an apparent comprehensive collapse -- and so ill-timed, wouldn't you know it, to coincide with the annual rigors of Santa Claus. The tipping point seems to be the Bernie Madoff $50 billion Ponzi scandal, which represents the grossest failure of authority and hence legitimacy in finance to date in as much as Mr. Madoff was a former chairman of the NASDAQ, for godsake. It's like discovering that Ben Bernanke is running a meth lab inside the Federal Reserve. And out in the heartland, of course, there is the spectacle of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich trying to desperately dodge a racketeering rap behind an implausible hairdo.

What seems to spook people now is the possibility that everybody in charge of everything is a fraud or a crook. Legitimacy has left the system. Not even the the legions of Obama are immune as his reliance on Wall Street capos Robert Rubin, Tim Geithner, and Larry Summers seem tainted by the same reckless thinking that brought on the fiasco. His pick last week for chief of the SEC, Mary Shapiro, is already being dissed as a shill for the Big Bank status quo. In a few days we'll discover what kind of bonuses are being ladled out by the remaining Wall Street banks with TARP money and a new chorus of howls will ring out.

This is very dangerous territory. In dollar terms, the numbers being applied to the various problems are so colossal -- trillions! -- that the death of our currency seems assured. And in defiance of congress's express intentions, none of the TARP "money" has been applied to its targeted purpose of buying up "toxic" (i.e. fraudulent) securities hidden in the vaults of banks, pension funds, and municipal portfolios.

George W, Bush's personal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler is designed solely to postpone their bankruptcy and mass job layoffs until after the holidays. Otherwise, the $17.4 billion will probably be used by the companies to underwrite the extensive legal work required for the moment they must declare bankruptcy -- when Mr. Obama is in the White House. Meanwhile, the President-elect has ramped up his job-creation target overnight from two to three million, and some observers are catching a whiff of Soviet-style economic engineering ("...we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us....").

The years since Jimmy Carter have produced an astoundingly flaccid public, sunk in various addictions and distractions, but this is about to change. The darkling mood of political protest and violent activism that saturated my own young adult years is scudding up again on the horizon. Mr. Obama's pick for attorney general, the mild-looking Eric Holder, may be the key figure in the early months of the new government. If he doesn't commence some aggressive investigations and prosecutions --beginning with Henry Paulson for insider trading when he was in charge of Goldman Sachs and shorting his own company's mortgage-backed securities -- then the whole Obama enterprise could fall under suspicion of illegitimacy. The bums who ran the US banking sector into a ditch have to account for their turpitudes. They can't be allowed to hide under a TARP.

Unfortunately, the legal system, and probably the legislative system, will be so buried in procedural bullshit from the unwind of countless enterprises and institutions, and the sorting out of the remnants, that it remains to be seen whether this generation of people-in-charge can even embark on a fresh start of anything connected to real everyday life in America. All this is starting to alarm the tattered residue of the middle classes, and from here it's a very short path to them being really pissed off.

When legitimacy erodes, anything goes. Nothing is respected including rules and personalities. The center doesn't hold and the new vacuum there is a tumultuous place. The same crisis of authority and legitimacy is spreading from nation to nation now. Soon, China will contend with a discontented army of the unemployed. Greece has been in an uproar for two weeks. Belgium's government just collapsed. Trade barriers are going up. Exports are falling away. The world's energy markets are not immune to these disorders. I would expect problems with the currently seamless supply lines that bring America two-thirds of the oil we use. Even a mild disruption of oil supplies could attach an anvil to the ankle of an economy already falling off a cliff.

Right now, the overwhelming sentiment is to get this country back to where we were, say, ten years ago, when everything was humming nicely: Clinton nostalgia. We're definitely not gong back there, though. It's an idle wish. And any set of policies designed to lead in that direction will prove very disappointing. Our destination is a land of much smaller-scaled local economies. We could retain our federal ties if the federal government can scale back appropriately from the bloated, feckless enterprise it has become. Otherwise, it might only get in the way and make matters worse, and the public in one region or another of North America might reach a decision that they are better off without it.

That would be what's called a revolution.

And Then...

Chris reminds us of how Horiuchi's endorsees have responded to legitimate outrage.

Read it, and then hammer Remington and other H-S Precision vendors with phone calls, email, and letters.

Vanderboegh: Put A Hold on Holder

Mike's take, with some essential background information:

Monday, December 22, 2008
Personnel IS Policy: Put a Hold on Eric Holder


They say that personnel is policy. If so, and I believe it to be true, then we Three Percenters are really not going to like the Obama administration. Of course this comes as no surprise to anyone, but of all the people BHO seeks to surround himself with in DC, Eric Holder as the nominee for Attorney General has to be the most offensive stench in the nostrils of free men and women.

Now everyone knows about Holder's assistance to Clinton in the pardon of Marc Rich. Likewise they are well aware of his "service" to the Clintonista regime in the Elian Gonzalez federal kidnapping, where he famously denied taking the little boy at the point of a gun. See

We are also well aware of how consistently anti-firearm freedom he's been. Less well known is his work on the post-OKC Counter Terrorism Bill, which strengthened the federal suite of proto-tyranny tools.

But I would like to draw your attention to two other items from Holder's record that cause me more concern than all of the above.

The first dates from September 1999. Read this:

Prosecutor Who Raised Questions About Waco Cover-Up Removed

By Michelle Mittelstadt
September 14, 1999

Associated Press
WASHINGTON--The federal prosecutor who raised questions about a possible Justice Department cover-up in the Waco standoff was abruptly removed from the case along with his boss, according to a court filing made public Tuesday.

Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder recused U.S. Attorney James W. Blagg in San Antonio and assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston in Waco, Texas, from any further dealings in criminal or civil proceedings related to the siege.

Holder appointed the U.S. attorney in a neighboring district as a "special attorney to the U.S. attorney general."

The court filing in Waco provides no explanation for the decision to recuse the U.S. attorneys' office for the Western District of Texas, to which Blagg and Johnston are assigned, but said the action took effect last Friday.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told reporters Tuesday that the Senate investigation should go beyond Waco to the Justice Department's forthrightness on other matters, such as allegations of campaign finance violations by the 1996 Clinton campaign.

"I think it's going to have to be broader than just Waco itself," said Lott, R-Miss. "I think we have a bigger focus here. ... There are a number of investigations that they are basically either not doing or they have stiffed us on. So we need to find out what's going on."

The recusal of the U.S. attorney's office isn't the first in the Waco case. Attorney General Janet Reno last week recused herself, saying she will be a witness in the independent inquiry she ordered into the fiery end of the 1993 siege.

Johnston, in a letter made public Monday, wrote Reno recently warning that aides within her own department were misleading her about federal agents' roles.

"I have formed the belief that facts may have been kept from you and quite possibly are being kept from you even now by components of the department," Johnston wrote in an Aug. 30 letter.

Johnston also has been at odds with Blagg, his superior, and other Justice officials over the investigation of the government's actions during the standoff with the Davidians at their compound outside Waco. It was Johnston who pressed Justice Department officials to allow independent filmmakers to review evidence sifted from the charred ruins of the Davidians' compound--evidence that led to the FBI's recent admission that potentially incendiary tear gas canisters were fired on April 19, 1993.

That disclosure, after six years of denials, sparked a furor on Capitol Hill and has led to congressional inquiries and Reno's appointment of an independent investigator.

Blagg, Johnston and the Justice Department provided no immediate comment. . .

Burton, who chairs the committee, said the Justice Department buried the panel in an avalanche of documents shortly before the 1995 hearings began, and congressional investigators depended on a Justice summary to guide them.

"The Justice Department dumped 100,000 documents on the committee three days before the hearings, knowing that they couldn't possibly go through them," the Indiana Republican said in an interview. Although Burton was on the Government Reform Committee in 1995, he was not on the subcommittee that led the investigation.

Burton also noted that the Justice Department was forced to acknowledge last week that it failed in 1995 to give Congress the key page from a 1993 FBI lab report mentioning the use of military tear gas. The final page of that 49-page report, with the key tear gas mention, was missing, he noted.

"I don't think that's a coincidence," he said.

Almost six out of 10 Americans believe the FBI has been intentionally trying to cover up its actions at Waco, an ABC News poll released Monday indicated. . .

The records Waxman cited, discovered among more than 40 boxes of material compiled during the earlier House hearings, include an FBI pilot's 1993 statement recalling a radio transmission in which agents had a conversation "relative to the utilization of some sort of military round ... on a concrete bunker." And post-raid interview summaries include an unnamed FBI agent's explanation that smoke captured on film "came from (an) attempt to penetrate bunker with one military and two (non-incendiary) rounds."

So Holder helped cover up the details of federal misconduct in the Waco massacre. But a fellow who is good at covering up one federal conspiracy is useful in covering up others.

Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney, has been independently investigating the circumstances of his brother Kenny's strange death while in federal custody at the time of the OKC bombing. Go
here to see some graphic pictures of what Kenny Trentadue looked like after he was received from the tender mercies of the Bureau of Prisons after what the Clintonistas claimed was a suicide hanging.

The particulars of Kenneth Trentadue's murder at the hands of federal authorities are hazy. This is partly because Eric Holder managed to short circuit a Senate investigation.

DOJ memos leaked to Jesse Trentadue by an FBI agent indicate just how important Holder was in the cover-up.

Jesse Trentadue said recently,

“They’re Department of Justice memos, they’re actually e mails, and they’re talking about Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and what he has to do to keep the lid on this story,” said Trentadue, adding that the memos make it clear than an attempt to deflect press attention is the goal, along with claiming that the investigation is ongoing in order to keep everything secret.

“This was a coordinated cover-up run at the highest levels of justice and out of the White House,” said Trentadue, noting that the memos refer to the cover-up as “The Trentadue Mission” and use terms like “The Invasion of Normandy” to illustrate the scale of the operation.

“You have to ask yourself, why would the death of one little person, which they claim was a suicide by hanging, generate this kind of activity at the highest levels of the Clinton/Reno Justice Department, the answer is….they knew this murder, if investigated, would lead to the Oklahoma City Bombing and lead to the fact that the Department of Justice, through the FBI and ATF informants, was involved and this occurred just before the re-election of Bill Clinton in 1996,” said Trentadue.

“Mr. Holder’s job was to cover-up my brother’s murder, basically to stop all inquiry,” said Trentadue, saying the e mails were “inflammatory,” referring as they do to “Trentadue’s and Trentadon’ts”.

“Holder’s job was to stop the Democrats and Republicans from looking into this….you have to ask yourself why the Deputy Attorney General of the United States in involved in covering up the death of an inmate and the answer’s simple, they knew that death if investigated would lead back to the bombing, it would lead back to the government’s knowledge and involvement,” said Trentadue, adding that the release of the information would have been a disaster for the re-election hopes of Bill Clinton in 1996.

The leaked memos themselves are posted

So why do I think these actions are more compelling than the issues currently being discussed? Simple. In all the others you could argue that Holder was merely doing his job, or holding opinions, about firearms for example, that are controversial. Even in the Marc Rich pardon, he was in the grey zone somewhere between impropriety and illegality.

But in the Waco and Trentadue coverups, Holder was slap in the middle of criminal conspiracies to evade prosecution for federal misdeeds.

As Foghorn T. Leghorn would say, the fox has done been appointed to rule the chicken coop.

Now Jeff Knox, writing
here, has called for all gunnies to answer the call to bring pressure on their Senators to stop the Holder nomination. David Codrea, using both his War on Guns and Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner blogs (example here), has seconded this call. Peter at Western Rifle Shooters Association has also.

In fact, Pete says this:

Remember -- this guy is the planned boss of the FBI and BATFE thugs who will be coming to kill you. Get it?


I realize that this may endanger the "pragmatists'" characterization of me as "insane," but I call on all Three Percenters to contact their Senators on this one. We won't be able to win the vote, but using the arcane rules of the Senate, we only need one Senator to put a hold on him to slow this outrage down down, and maybe, stop it.

I have no illusions. Even if we do manage to get him to withdraw his nomination, they'll probably appoint someone equally objectionable. However, this falls under the heading of "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." The one thing we must not allow to happen is to give the impression that we agree by acquiescence.

I'm with Knox on this one. Fight the Holder nomination with everything you've got.

Monday, December 22, 2008

JPFO: What You Absolutely Need to Know About Hanukkah

From JPFO:

December 22nd 2008
What You Absolutely Need to Know About Hanukkah

By Franklin Raff
Producer, The G.Gordon Liddy show (at www.radioamerica.org)

Hanukkah is a time for lighting the menorah, for playing games, giving gifts, and celebrating G-d's trans historical blessings and miracles. But it is also a time for sober remembrance, a holiday whose history calls upon all of us to rededicate ourselves to Him, and to muster and redeploy our prayers, efforts, and assets in the fight against government tyranny, cultural assimilation, and secularization.

At Hanukkah we celebrate the re dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It was desecrated by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was obsessed with de-Judaizing the Land of Israel (then part of his Greco-Syrian empire). Antiochus banned the Jewish religion, forbade circumcision, shabbat observance, and possession of the Torah, disarmed and slaughtered Jews (and children) as a warning to others, and converted their ancient temple for pagan worship. But in a bloody revolt at around 160BCE led by Judah Maccabee ("The Hammer") and his brothers and father, a few remaining un assimilated Jews successfully - some say miraculously - drove Antiochus' forces from Jerusalem, and rescued the temple.

Once the city had been secured, imagine what it would have been like, as a Jew, as a warrior, to finally stand, caked in blood, in the threshhold of the ancient temple. Before you, where the Ark of the Covenant once lay, is now an an altar to Zeus, stained with the smoke and fat from burning pigs. None of the ancient, once familiar sounds, the soft hum of prayer and study, the tender singing of passages from the Five Books of Moses: most of the high priests had been massacred years ago, many cut down by Antiochus' assassins as they sang and prayed in that very spot. Now, only silence, exhaustion, and perhaps, bewilderment.

According to the Bible, the remaining Jews immediately set about cleaning the place up, re-sanctifying and rededicating every inch of the holy temple. It was surely a matter of urgency to rekindle the 'eternal flame' of the seven-branched menorah, symbolizing both the eternality of G-d as well as Moses' encounter with the burning bush, that pivotal moment in Jewish history which catalyzed our exodus from slavery.

But there was a problem: most of the sanctified olive oil used to fuel the menorah had been destroyed or tainted. According to legend, only one cask of oil, sealed by a priest, could be found, and it only contained enough oil for one days' flame. It would take eight days to manufacture, purify, and bless any additional supply of oil.

Trusting in G-d, and with a sense of worshipful urgency, they lit the menorah anyway, and a miracle ensued: the one days' supply of oil kept the menorah alight for the full eight days needed to replenish the supply, and ensure the uninterrupted eternal flame. This is how the festival commemorating the re dedication of the Second Temple came to be known as the "Festival of Lights." A special nine-branched menorah is used on Hanukkah, eight branches to commemorate the eight miraculous days, and a ninth branch, the "shamash" or servant-branch, whose flame is used to light the other branches and symbolically guard against utilitarian, secular use of the lights.

The Hanukkah menorah is also symbolic of a lesser known event: both the Talmud and the Book of Maccabees depict the story of the seven sons of Hannah, who were tortured and executed in that time because of their refusal to renounce their faith, eat pork and bow to pagan statues. Hannah committed suicide after the death of her sons. The eight lights of the Hanukkah menorah bear witness to the fate of Hannah and her family, their steadfast faith in G-d and and their refusal to assimilate.

Hanukkah's observance is linked, inextricably, with a profound reverence for the memory of all those who have fought against impossible odds for the freedom to worship G-d and to preserve the religious traditions which enable us to follow His commandments. It is a time to re-tell the story of the siege of Masada, to remember the Bar Kochba and Great Revolts against Rome, to revere the memory of generations upon generations of martyrs and warriors since who have fought and died in the name of Abraham's legacy - individual liberty, (indeed the notion of "individualism" under G-d), self-determination, and freedom of worship.

If you love your G-d but fear your government, tell others about the destruction of the Second Temple by the hitlerian Antiochus Epiphanes, and help your children internalize these lessons of Hanukkah.

If you would be reminded of the importance of preserving second-amendment freedoms, recall this chapter in the long story of the disarmament of the Jews. Honor the memory of Hannah and her sons by kindling the lights of Hanukkah with firm resolve.

If you should ever doubt that righteousness will always prevail so long as we love G-d and fight for his spiritual and physical territory, let your heart be filled with the spirit of Judah and his Maccabees. Put on their armor, symbolically, and celebrate the victory which Hanukkah commemorates.

If you believe in individual and religious freedom, if you believe in self-determination, and if you believe in miracles; if you truly have faith in G-d, light the Hanukkah menorah this year, and thank G-d for His enduring faith in us.

Hanukkah is a time in which all of G-d's warriors - ideological, cultural, and otherwise - are spiritually united. This, in itself, is cause for contemplation, fraternization, and celebration.

Happy Hanukkah!

Franklin Raff

Thinking About Schwerpunkts

Folks thinking about the coming struggle should ask whether and/or how earlier strategic concepts will apply to the 21st-century domestic American context.

This essay is a good introduction to the Prussian concept of "schwerpunkt".

John Robb of Global Guerillas has refined the concept into the 4GW space with his term "systempunkt".

Food for thought and further reflection.

Alea iacta est.

Block Holder

David's Examiner column today has a useful piece from an Ohio RKBA group, written by Jeff Knox, on why and how to block the Obamessiah's nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder.




Remember -- this guy is the planned boss of the FBI and BATFE thugs who will be coming to kill you.

Get it?

Tempus fugit.

President-Elect Obamessiah on Guns

The Liberty Sphere brings us up to date, including this article from The American Thinker.

My fave? Obama's take on Heller and the "individual right" concept:

At a debate, when asked about case, Obama said he believes "that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right."

And don't forget this piece from the Illinois State Rifle Association on Obama's record in Illinois.

Alea iacta est.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

.22 Long Rifle: Penetration At Distance

A friend send this field test summary on the potential utility of the ubiquitous .22LR on soft targets at distance.

Read it, then think about potential applications in your AO.

Tempus fugit.

The Good Samaritan and Guard Duty

One each from David and Mike:

Codrea: The Good Samaritan

Vanderboegh: Guard Duty

Both entries are worth your time.

My rule, however, comes from the tagline of a post forwarded recently by a friend:

- For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

- For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Those who come to deprive me and mine of our basic human rights are of the same substance as their apologists, facilitators, and collaborators.

They will meet the same fate.

Alea iacta est.

Running What Ya Brung

Spartacus sends this article from The Survival Podcast Forum on what happens to 22 students and a bunch of ARs, AKs and various pistols when you subject them to 12 very intense days and nearly a quarter million rounds of ammunition.

Read and learn.

Tempus fugit.

Vanderboegh: Praxis -- Packaging is Everything

Mike lays out the basics re ammunition for non-target-range uses.

Go read, then do.

Alea iacta est.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Question 46, Revisted

Will Grigg gives some background on the infamous "Question 46" re civilian disarmament by the US military, then takes us through events over the past 15 years since the question was asked, including this recent US military essay.

As Will reminds us:

...As the [economic] depression deepens into the economic equivalent of a quantum singularity, and fear is finally transmuted into public outrage over the redistribution of wealth to protect the Swindler Class, a spark will be struck somewhere, and a population center of some size is going to go up in flames. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the Regime's huge population of informants and provocateurs include people eagerly spraying accelerant of some kind wherever promising examples of social friction can be found.

When the fire erupts – whether through spontaneous combustion or through the ministrations of the Regime's paid incendiaries – the script will call for the government to deploy occupation troops, on the assumption that the best way to battle a social conflagration would be to suffocate liberty, rather than extinguishing the source of the fire...

Alea iacta est.

Make a Daily Stop at 'The Liberty Sphere'

Every reader of this blog should make a daily stop at The Liberty Sphere, whose editor sees the world clearly and helps others who do the same.

Here's an example of what you'll find.


Quote of the Week

Sent by Spartacus:

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."

Daniel Webster, 1782-1852, U.S. Senator

From Meccania to Atlantis

From Brussels Journal, a five-part extended essay on the Obama election, culture, race, and what must be done if Western Civilization is to be preserved for future generations:

Part 1 -- The March of the Body Snatchers

Part 2 -- From the Clenched Fist to the Raised Middle Finger

Part 3 -- From Encirclement to Breakout

Part 4 -- Tribe

Part 4.5 -- Darkness in the Cranium

Read it all over the weekend, and consider the likelihood of success if, through the continued embrace of socialism and central planning, the former USA becomes far-Western Europe.

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.

Williams: Counterfeiting vs. Monetary Policy

From Walter E. Williams:

Congress is on a spending binge. With all the calls for bailouts, economic stimulus and other assorted handouts, there is a real risk of inflation in our future. If we do have a rapid inflation, it's likely that members of Congress, as they did in the financial meltdown, will blame it on everybody except themselves. Before Congress begins to shirk their responsibility, let's understand what an inflation is and is not.

Several prices rising are not inflation. Only when prices across the board rise is there inflation. But just as in the case of diseases, describing a symptom does not necessarily tell us the cause. That is the same with inflation; it is a symptom of something else. Nobel Laureate and noted monetary theorist Milton Friedman explained, "[I]nflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, in the sense that it cannot occur without a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output." Put another way, inflation results from an increase in the supply of money relative to the demand for money.

That being the case, who is responsible for inflation? It's not you or I because if we privately increased the supply of money to finance profligate spending, we would be charged with counterfeiting and go to prison. The Federal Reserve Bank, our central bank, is the only entity legally permitted to increase the supply of money, to finance Congress' profligate spending. The Federal Reserve Bank is supposed to be independent but it typically accommodates the wishes of Congress and the White House.

Central banks are villains in most countries; ours is just not as bad as others. In 1946, Hungary's central bank gave it the world's highest inflation rate. Prices doubled every 16 hours creating an annual inflation rate of 13 quadrillion percent. Last October, Zimbabwe's central bank produced history's second highest rate of inflation. Prices doubled every 25 hours, giving it an annual inflation rate of 80 billion percent. By comparison, Germany's inflation rate, which brought about the social disruption responsible for Hitler's rise to power, was a mere 30,000 percent that saw prices doubling every four days. You say, "Williams, that couldn't happen here." Except during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1861, our inflation has never exceeded 20 percent, but keep in mind that any hyperinflation was once 20 percent.

Knowing the dangers posed by central banks, we might ask whether our country needs the Federal Reserve Bank. Whenever I'm told that we need this or that government program, I always ask what we did before. It turns out that we did without a central bank from 1836, when President Andrew Jackson closed the Second Bank of the United States, to 1913 when Federal Reserve Act was written. During that interval, we prospered and became one of the world's major economic powers.

The justifications for Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was to prevent bank failure and maintain price stability. Simple before and after analysis demonstrates that the Federal Reserve Bank has been a failure. In the century before the Federal Reserve Act, wholesale prices fell by 6 percent; in the century after they rose by 1,300 percent. Maximum bank failures in one year before 1913 were 496 and afterward, 4,400. During the 1930s, inept money supply management by the Federal Reserve Bank was partially responsible for both the depth and duration of the Great Depression.

It is not wise for us to permit a few people on the Federal Reserve Board to have life and death power over our economy. My recommendation for reducing some of that power is to repeal legal tender laws and eliminate all taxes on gold, silver and platinum transactions. That way there would be money substitutes and the government money monopoly would be reduced and hence the ability to tax - some people would say steal from - us through inflation.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?