Western Rifle Shooters Association
Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Living in an Imperial World: USMC Uses Indianapolis for Urban "Training Exercise"
I have suspected for some time that the real motivation behind the sham "security theatre" foisted on Americans by the TSA and other .gov types since 9/11 is to foster compliance behavior and to desensitize folks to the presence of an overt police state.
That suspicion was heightened when a friend sent this story from Indianapolis:
...U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week.
About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis.
Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency.
“We don’t want anyone thinking that there’s an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that,” Fletcher said.
The Marines have been cleared by state, federal and local authorities, Fletcher said. The unit’s commander promised to try to keep noise to a minimum and give neighbors plenty of warning.
“Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community, thereby increasing their proficiency in built-up areas,” Col. Mark J. Desens, commander of the 26th MEU, said in a statement. “While some of the activity will take place around Camp Atterbury, residents in many areas can expect to see helicopters flying overhead, military vehicles on the roads and Marines patrolling on foot,” Desens said...
Read the comments to the original story, and think about the non-existent similarities between Indianapolis and any other place our troops are currently fighting anywhere else in the world.
After that, refresh your memory of the infamous 29 Palms questionnaire - directing your attention especially to the final question.
Next: review the true story of a young American soldier who had the courage to place his loyalty to the Constitution above his obediance to his superiors' orders.
Then think long and hard about the implications and the real objectives of this "training exercise".
This fellow certainly has.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Welcome to Police Executive Development
Radley Balko has one of the untold stories of the Kathryn Johnston killing during a no-knock raid here in Atlanta:
If you’ll remember, shortly after the Kathryn Johnston raid, Assistant Atlanta Police Chief Alan Dreher sprang into action to defend the actions of the police officers. Less than 24 hours after the raid, Dreher assured us that there was nothing to see, here. The police had made a controlled buy at Johnston’s home. They arrived at her house in a marked car, and came in in marked uniforms. Johnston shot at the officers, Dreher said. He later added that Johnston “should have recognized” the men breaking into her home as police officers. The cops returned fire only in self-defense, he said. Dreher even suggested that it was a police officer, not an informant, who bought the drugs from Johnston (as it turns out, no one did - the "controlled buy" was a lie).
Police defenders and critics of mine were quick to jump on Dreher’s statements to show that I and others were “jumping the gun” in questioning the raid. After all, if the police said they did a buy, they did a buy. If the police say they announced, then they announced. If the police infer that this 92-year-old woman was a dope dealing criminal who got what she deserved, well, then she sure as hell got what she deserved.
Well, we all now know that just about everything Dreher said was wrong. Dreher was presiding over a corrupt narcotics unit that routinely lied on search warrant affidavits, harassed and intimidated informants, covered up mistakes, and was subject to damaging arrest and raid quotas that encouraged shortcuts and circumventing the checks in place to ensure the protection of civil rights. It was Dreher who spoke too soon, propagating the lie told to him by his officers that Johnston was some sort of dope-slinging, gun-toting granny...
Read the rest of Radley's piece to learn what happened to Deputy Chief Dreher and what he's doing now.
And remember - the hope of most American gun owners is that, come Confiscation Day, the police will think of the Constitution, rather than their pensions.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Vanderboegh: Now That's A Letter to the Editor
In response to this column on the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader's website praising the Quisling AHSA organization and calling for "some intelligent compromises to protect responsible gun ownership and make communities safer," Mike Vanderboegh replies:
TO: Tom Eblen, a Kentuckian who ought to know better.
Let me introduce you to the Law of Unintended Consequences.
"If Second Amendment absolutists keep standing up and daring others to pry their guns from their "cold, dead fingers," eventually somebody's going to do it."
Ah, the big, bad gun "confiscation" boogeyman.
It may scare you. It may scare certain weak-kneed "sportsmen" willing to compromise our rights for theirs. And, perhaps, it may scare some poorly educated children under the age of twelve.
It does NOT scare us, the intended target of your editorial missive. The way we see it, "eventually somebody's going to TRY to do it." Liberals' biggest problem (and perhaps yours as well) is that they're always extrapolating from their own cowardice. They think that if the government told them to do something, they would do it, so everybody else will too.
Let's boil down the threat of gun confiscation to its mathematical essence:
1. There are as many guns in this country as there are people, something close to 300 million.
2. No matter what law you pass, some percentage of American gun owners will refuse to give theirs up, even if the penalty for doing so is death. Shall we say 3 percent of 100 million gun owners? That's the same percentage as active combatants in our first Revolution, so let's say that's 3 million "pry it from my cold dead hands" types.
3. Now, I'm sure you will agree (intellectually at least) that a man who is willing to die for his beliefs is most often somebody who is willing to kill for them too. This being the case . . .
4. When the government comes to take these citizens' guns, the citizens -- these 3 percenters -- will do their dead level best to kill the thugs sent to do so. Some of them will realize that killing the bureaucrats who sent the thugs is probably a good idea too, so a number of bureaucrats will die. Some of these citizens will also realize the justice of killing the tyrant politicians who told the bureaucrats to send the thugs, and that's even more dead added to the butcher's bill.
On a more personal note, an even smaller (yet still significant) percentage of these citizens will remember that Bill Clinton expanded the laws of warfare in the 90's to include the news media of your enemy as a legitimate target of war, so a number of reporters, editorial writers (uh, what did you say you do for a living?), anti-gun bloggers, and perceived "traitors to the Republic" will die as well, even if (as I'm sure it is in your case) they don't deserve it. I mean, I'd never shoot an editorial writer myself, I have too much love for the 1st Amendment. However, there are others out there who doubtless lack my scruples, especially when they're being shot at themselves. And since Bubba Bill already said it was OK, they'll think, "Hey, why not?"
All told, gunnies and gun grabbers, the casualties will be at least in the low millions making it the worst war America has ever fought -- indeed, the dead would total more than all of America's wars combined. This is especially true since we "cold dead hands types" intend to make it more than a one-to-one ratio. And, you may remember, we're the ones with the firearms already at hand and the ones more likely to know how to use them effectively.
5. Given that, and we understand it even if you don't, please refrain from trying to scare us "bitter enders" into compromising our God given rights. It can't be done. You can't convince us, you can't intimidate us and we're not going away. You can kill us, but you can't change our minds. Thus, stacking up millions of dead bodies in your proposed civil war seems an odd way to ensure "public safety," especially if one of those bodies is unintentionally yours. Is this really what you had in mind?
Welcome to the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Sometimes, my young editorialist, there IS no principled middle ground and to stand there is to invite being shot at by both sides with equal gusto -- and I don't mean by mere words and phrases.
Thus endeth the lesson. I hope now that I've explained things in the light of day that you'll recover soon from your silly fright at the big, bad, bogus boogeyman of gun confiscation.
Because it ain't happenin' - not without the worst bloody fight you can possibly imagine.
Have a nice day. ;-)
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126
American Gun Owners and the "Battered Women's Syndrome"
Why does the woman return, time and again, to the same brutal thug who has beaten her - not just this time, but on numerous occasions in the past?
Can't she see that by returning to him, she virtually guarantees that more abuse will follow?
What is wrong with her?
According to the pshrink crowd, there are four generally recognized phases in the relationship between an abuser and his victim:
Stage one of battered women's syndrome occurs when the battered woman denies to others, and to herself, that there is a problem. Most battered women will make up excuses for why their partners have an abusive incident. Battered women will generally believe that the abuse will never happen again.
Stage two of battered women's syndrome occurs when a battered woman truly recognizes or acknowledges that there is a problem in her relationship. She recognizes she has been the victim of abuse and that she may be beaten again. During this stage, most battered women will take on the blame or responsibility of any beatings they may receive. Battered women will begin to question their own characters and try harder to live up their partners “expectations.”
Stage three of battered women's syndrome occurs when a battered woman starts to understand that no one deserves to be beaten. A battered woman comes to see that the beatings she receives from her partner are not justified. She also recognizes that her partner has a serious problem. However, she stays with her abuser in an attempt to keep the relationship in tact with hopes of future change.
Stage four of battered women's syndrome occurs when a battered woman recognizes that her abuser has a problem that only he can fix. Battered women in this stage come to understand that nothing they can do or say can help their abusers. Battered women in this stage choose to take the necessary steps to leave their abusers and begin to start new lives...
Although controversial in both legal and medical/psychiatric circles, "battered women's syndrome" or "BWS" is widely recognized as at least part of the explanation why these abusive relationships often last for years, despite frequent violence.
One of the underpinnings of BWS is the concept of "learned helplessness", which can be defined simply as "an apathetic attitude stemming from the conviction that one's actions do not have the power to affect one's situation."
Any bells going off yet, Mr. and Mrs. American Gun Owner, about your relationship with your governments at the local, state, and Federal level?
Let's run the traps, substituting the words "gun owner" for "battered woman":
Stage one of gun owner's syndrome occurs when the gun owner denies to others, and to herself, that there is a problem. Most gun owners will make up excuses for why their governments have abusive incidents, time and time again. Gun owners will generally believe that the abuse will never happen again.
Stage two of gun owner's syndrome occurs when gun owners truly recognize or acknowledge that there is a problem in their relationship with government. Gun owners recognize that they have been the victim of abuse and that they may be abused again. During this stage, most gun owners will take on the blame or responsibility of any abuse they may receive from their governments. Gun owners will begin to question their own characters and try harder to live up their governments' “expectations.”
Stage three of gun owner's syndrome occurs when a gun owner starts to understand that no one deserves to be abused. A gun owner comes to see that the abuse she receives from her governments is not justified. She also recognizes that those governments have a serious problem. However, the gun owner "stays" with her abusers in an attempt to keep the relationship intact with hopes of future change.
Stage four of gun owner's syndrome occurs when a gun owner recognizes that the governments have problems that only they can fix. Gun owners in this stage come to understand that nothing they can do or say can help their abusive governments. Gun owners in this stage also choose to take the necessary steps to leave their abusers and begin to start new lives.
A Message From Bob Barr
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Chris has the latest over at Mindful Musings. Hie thee hence, and consider how little modern Americans (and their government servants) know of war's realities.
They Have A Little List...
[The] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. [T]he technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny. . . . Such is the capability of this technology. . . . I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.
Senator Frank Church,
August 17, 1975
Meet the Press
National Broadcasting Corporation
as cited in "ECHELON and the Legal Restraints on Signals Intelligence: A Need for Reevaluation", 50 Duke L.J. 1467
From Pro Libertate:
The business end of government - it always comes down to the barrel of a gun or the edge of an Executioner's blade.
"As some day it may happen that a victim must be found, I've got a little list -- I've got a little list, of society offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed -- who never would be missed!...
There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs [or, as we call them now, blogs]; all people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs....
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this, and every country but his own...the Judicial humorist--I've got him on the list!
All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life-- they'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed..... The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you. But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list, for they'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed!"
- "I've Got A Little List", sung by the Lord High Executioner, from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado
For a long time, filed in the category of "Things We Always Knew But Couldn't Prove" we could find the assumption that the Regime has a Little List -- a database of people who would be subject to questioning, detention, or worse, in the event of a "national emergency."
We now can file that assumption in the category of "Awful Things We Know For Sure."
According to "The Last Roundup", a diligently researched and carefully written investigative piece in Radar magazine, The List is not an artifact of overheated imagination, but rather a tangible and portentious reality...
Read all three articles.
And then act accordingly.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day: You Won the Battle But Lost the War
An Open Letter to Our Fathers and Grandfathers
You Won the Battle But Lost the War
Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Fleet Marine Force Medic, Third Marine Air Wing, Vietnam Veteran
America owes everything to you. You sacrificed your youth, you saw your buddies die before your eyes, you gave up life and family and love as you fought in Europe or the Pacific -- all to save the world from fascism.
We can't even measure how much we owe you -- you, and the staunch women who stood with you -- the WACs, the Waves, the nurses who treated the wounded under unthinkable conditions, and the Rosie-the-Riveters who kept the country going back home. Yet, in the decades since the end of the war, your victory has been stolen. From you, from your children, your grandchildren, and from all of us.
You won a long, hard, painful battle. But when you came home, you lost the war. You lost the Bill of Rights and freedom. And so we all lost.
America is becoming a lot like the countries you fought against.
The country you fought for was a land of self-reliant people, people proud to stand on their own two feet. It was a country of decency, of neighbors and neighborhoods, where people took care of each other, their families and themselves. It was a country where citizens had a say in what their government did, a country where the government respected private property, family life, the right to worship, the right to express opinions without fear, the right to own firearms, and the whole way of life those freedoms stood for.
It wasn't perfect, but it was America.
The countries you fought against were rule-ridden bureaucracies where citizens did what they were told -- or else. They were countries where people were supposed to hate whomever the government wanted them to hate, and to love and trust the government more than they loved and trusted themselves. In these countries, children belonged more to the rulers than to their mothers and fathers, and private property was subject to control by bureaucrats. In these countries people didn't dare do or say anything the politicians didn't approve of.
Today in the United States there are people who spit on the memory of your sacrifices -- people like Sen. Charles Schumer, who successfully pushes "gun control" laws that trash the Second Amendment, and Sen. John McCain, whose infamous "campaign finance" law made free speech a federal crime for independent advocacy groups. We shrink before officials who decree that unpopular opinions are "hate speech." We endure leaders who tell us that it's wrong to hate certain groups of people, but perfectly okay for those groups to hate and malign others. Today much of America is controlled by people who'll fine us or even put us in prison for doing perfectly harmless things to our own land and homes.
Free speech. The right to keep and bear arms. Property rights. The right to live your daily life free of interference from people who want to push you around. Weren't these rights the very things you were fighting for?
The steady downhill slide
This process of destruction isn't new. You no sooner came home than the government you fought for started handing over power to the governments you defeated -- and even worse governments. They did it by handing authority to the United Nations, an organization dominated by unfree countries who don't share, or even have minimal respect for, the values that gave us the Bill of Rights. All they want is to take what they can get from us.
The U.N. quickly dragged us into another war in Korea - where many of you also suffered and died. Since then its powers have expanded so much that the U.N. has gained control over some U.S. lands (in the name of "biosphere sites," "world heritage protection," and "anti-desertification" treaties). Now they've even got a world court -- run from our own New York City, even though the impotent U.S. voted against it. This court can try American citizens and soldiers without giving them any of the constitutional protections you fought so hard for.
And next they're talking about imposing global taxes. On you. On what Tom Brokaw rightly called The Greatest Generation. And on us, your sometimes-less courageous successors.
The downhill slide has been steady: inflationary spending, debasement of the currency, punitive taxes, propagandizing of schoolchildren so they can't think for themselves, restrictions on property rights. Politicians have maneuvered to prop up the dangerously broken Social Security system, which Ronald Reagan rightly called an "intergenerational Ponzi scheme." They've created giveaway programs that let everyone from drug addicts to billionaire businessmen live off the sweat of ordinary working people. The regulations of this Nanny State have us so wrapped in bureaucratic red tape we can hardly move. And often we dare not express our honest opinions for fear of being labeled -- sometimes even punished -- for being a "hater," a "gun nut," or an "extremist" (which sometimes means nothing more than being an independent thinker).
Your federal government even passed a "gun-control" law (the Gun Control Act of 1968) based directly on the Nazi law that Sen. Thomas Dodd had the Library of Congress translate for him. This Nazi law was then signed by "Mr. Great Society," President Lyndon Johnson.
Did you risk your life fighting Hitler so that American politicians - some of whom you voted for and contributed money to -- could impose Hitler's very own laws on you? But that's exactly what happened -- and that was only the camel's nose under the tent when it came to "gun control."
Who's to blame?
Good Americans were once spirited, individualistic, independent, and skeptical of government power. Now, good Americans are a lot like the stereotypical "good Germans" of Hitler's day, compliant, docile, and worshipful of government.
This is largely our fault -- we of the Baby Boom and Generation X. We let you down. We, who in many cases knew nothing but comfort and security, weren't willing to sacrifice for freedom, as you did. Fat, happy, and lazy, we believed our government when it said it would take care of us, so we could remain children forever. We believed the slickly smiling politicians when they told us that if we just handed them enough power and money, they would eliminate every danger and make us as eternally content as sleeping babies in a nursery.
We chose to ignore the fact that this is the path to an all-powerful police state. We chose not to remember the historic truth that Ronald Reagan and many others have expressed: A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away. Already we see the government rationing heath care -- rationing care to the very people it falsely and grandly promised to protect! How long before the old, the chronically ill, the "unfit" are decreed to be, as the Nazis put it, "useless eaters"?
Maybe you won't live to see the all-powerful state at its most cold and brutal. Will your children or your grandchildren be the ones to suffer?
It's a crime and a shame. It's un-American in the truest sense.
But when you cry, "Why are they doing this to my country?" at least part of the answer also has to be, "Well, where have you been all this time?"
Look in the mirror.
Your early life was tough, scarred by the hunger, insecurity, and national self-doubt of the Depression. You did your duty in a war that was longer and more brutal than anybody bargained for. When you came home, you were tired and just wanted -- perhaps for the first time since your childhood -- to live normally. And you deserved your peace.
But as Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
The dirty little secret is that freedom wasn't stolen from us entirely by other people. We lost freedom ourselves because we weren't vigilant. We didn't exercise our rights or responsibilities as citizens -- we of the Baby Boom and Gen X, but also you, our fathers and grandfathers of World War II..
We went on voting for politicians who lied to us. We obeyed -- or maybe even enforced -- unconstitutional regulations. We had our hands out when politicians bought our freedom in exchange for subsidies, grants, and "entitlements." We tolerated, sometimes even cheered, violations of the Bill of Rights, as long as they were committed against people or groups we didn't like, not realizing the Bill protected our rights, too.
When every president since Richard Nixon told us we had to fight another war, a War on Drugs, we paid our taxes and cheered as millions of our fellow Americans went to prison, as no-knock midnight raids became an American institution, and as police forces were corrupted by the lure of illegal drugs and black-market money, just as they had earlier been corrupted during Prohibition. None of this has saved our children from drugs or made American streets safe. On the contrary, it's been one of the biggest destroyers of the Bill of Rights, and one of the biggest factors in increasing violence and police-state power in the U.S.
Even those of us who called ourselves conservative or libertarian often demanded that "there ought to be a law" against every activity we disliked. We forgot the very essence of freedom: The essence of freedom is leaving our fellow citizens, and the citizens of other countries, alone as long as they're not using force or fraud against others.
It's a fact -- though sometimes not a simple one to live with: If you want freedom you have to accept that, every day, millions of people might be doing things you don't personally approve of. You have to recognize that it isn't your right to stop them. That was what people came to America for. We hate it when others try to keep us from living our lives as we wish. But how often have we demanded laws to keep others from going about their own peaceable business?
Look in the mirror. We have met the enemy. And as Pogo said, "He is us."
It's time now for True Americans to act.
You World War II veterans, you World War II nurses, and you Korean War veterans ... you all have one last job to do in the fight for freedom. My fellow Vietnam veterans, this goes for you, too -- and for the young soldiers who fought in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Somalia. It goes for you, also, Rosie the Riveter.
You must teach the coming generations about what freedom really means. You must teach them it's not just having a lot of consumer goodies and fancy electronic toys. You must remind them that those pleasures are the product, not the heart, of free individual choices - and that those choices are protected by the Bill of Rights. You must remind them of the real meaning of the things you fought for -- the freedom of peaceful individuals to speak, believe, and live as they wish, unfettered by government dictates and punishments -- and to respect the right of others to do the same.
In fact, each and every one of us must do this if we want to restore and maintain freedom.
We must all live our personal lives like free men and women while we fight to restore the values of freedom to our country and our culture.
We must fight ALL enemies, foreign and domestic -- as you pledged to do when you signed on to serve your country. We must recognize that some of our most ruthless, implacable enemies ARE domestic -- men and women who look like us and talk like us but whose values are as foreign to America as those of any Hitler, Mussolini, or Hirohito. We must not allow ourselves also to become domestic enemies of freedom by supporting their policies.
America today seems a fallen land -- politically and economically powerful, but empty inside. A land that has lost its heart, its passion for freedom.
But freedom doesn't have to be gone forever. Many times in the past enemies made the mistake of thinking that America was lazy and complacent, too well-fed and self-satisfied to put up a good fight. The Japanese believed it before World War II. The terrorists believed it before September 11.
Our enemies have always been wrong.
You can never underestimate the fighting spirit of the American people, once they know that a fight is necessary to preserve their own future and their children's. An awakened America is a powerful thing, and dangerous to all opponents. We put aside our petty political differences, our daily pleasures, and our selfishness and we fight like wildcats.
There's hope for freedom -- if we can unite behind the Bill of Rights, unite behind freedom and individual rights. We must remember what the Bill of Rights is. It is a list of things an honest government -- a government that is truly of, by, and for the people -- is forever forbidden to do. And we must never ask our government to do these forbidden things, or stand by silently when it tries to.
To unite behind the Bill of Rights is to unite against crushing, bloated, grasping government power. This time our fight may not have to be with guns and cartridges. This time our weapons can be ideas and ideals. This time our job is to fight against the apathy and ignorance of our own culture. This time our aim is to arouse other Americans so they'll neither want nor tolerate an un-American government whose false promises of security are used to enslave them
Let us make forever sure that our American dead have not died in vain, that they have truly died for freedom. Let us live -- and cherish -- that freedom every day of our lives.
Take a trip back to brave days. Click here to see posters of World War II.
Ways you can use this article to help restore freedom:
1. Read it yourself and discuss it with others.
2. Download copies from the JPFO Web site.
3. Share the article with everyone you know who was in the armed forces, is thinking about enlisting, or has children who may enlist.
4. Reprint it in your organization's newsletter; encourage veterans magazines to reprint it. (It's free of charge; all we ask is that publications include our full copyright, contact information, and credits)
5. Reread, reprint, or re-circulate it on Patriots' Day (April 19), VE Day (May 8), Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May), Memorial Day (May 30 or the last weekend in May), D-Day (June 6), Flag Day (June 14), Bunker Hill Day (June 17), Independence Day (July 4), the anniversary of the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (September 14), Citizenship Day (September 17), the anniversary of the end of the Revolutionary War (October 19), Veterans Day (November 11), Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), or Bill of Rights Day (December 15). Or re-circulate it on a date that's as important as any of these -- August 1, the anniversary of the day in 1946 when newly returned veterans had to take up arms once again to rid themselves of corrupt politicians at the Battle of Athens, Tennessee.
6. If you belong to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion or any veterans group, circulate this article at meetings and social events.
7. Take copies of the article to the Rolling Thunder veterans rally on Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC.
8. Leave copies at your local barber shop, gun store, book store, or other business that will welcome them.
9. Encourage others to download additional copies from the JPFO Web site.
The Bill of Rights
With modern language explanations of each article
Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Government can neither impose a state religion upon you nor punish you for exercising the religion of your choice. You may express your opinions, write and publish what you wish, gather peacefully with others, and formally ask government to correct injustices.
Amendment II - A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Individuals (the people) have the right to own and use weapons without interference from the government.
Amendment III - No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The government cannot force you to house its agents.
Amendment IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
You may not be arrested or detained arbitrarily. No agency of government may inspect or seize your property or possessions without first obtaining a warrant. To obtain a warrant, they must show specific cause for the search or seizure and swear under oath that they are telling the truth about these reasons. Furthermore, the warrant itself must state specifically and in detail the place, things, or people it covers. Warrants that are too general of vague are not valid; searches or seizures that exceed the terms of the warrant are not valid.
Amendment V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
No one outside the military may be tried for a serious crime without first being indicted by a grand jury (of citizens). Once found not guilty, a person may not be tried again for the same deed. You can't be forced to be a witness or provide evidence against yourself in a criminal case. You can't be sent to prison or have your assets seized without due process. The government can't take your property for public use without paying market value for it.
Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Trials cannot be unreasonably postponed or held in secret. In any criminal case against you, you have a right to public trial by a jury of unbiased citizens (thus ensuring that the state can't use a "party-line" judge to railroad you). The trial must be held in the state or region where the crime was committed. You cannot be held without charges. You cannot be held on charges that are kept secret from you. You have a right to know who is making accusations against you and to confront those witnesses in court. You have the right to subpoena witnesses to testify in your favor and a right to the services of an attorney.
Amendment VII - In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
The right to trial by jury extends to civil, as well as criminal, cases. Once a jury has made its decision, no court can overturn or otherwise change that decision except via accepted legal processes (for instance, granting of a new trial when an appeals court determines that your rights were violated in the original proceeding).
Amendment VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Bail, fines, and punishments must all fit the crime and punishments must not be designed for cruelty.
Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
You have more rights than are specifically listed in the Bill of Rights.
Amendment X - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The U.S. federal government has only those specific powers granted to it by the Constitution. All other powers belong either to the states or to individuals.
The Ninth and Tenth Amendments, taken together, mean that the federal government has only the authority granted to it, while the people are presumed to have any right or power not specifically forbidden to them. The Bill of Rights as a whole is dedicated to describing certain key rights of the people that the government is categorically forbidden to remove, abridge, or infringe. The Bill of Rights clearly places the people in charge of their own lives, and places the government within strict limits -the very opposite of the situation we have allowed to develop today.
For an even more thorough, but extremely friendly explanation of the Bill of Rights, order and read copies of the booklet, "It's Common Sense to Use Our Bill of Rights" (Gran'pa Jack #3), by attorney Richard W. Stevens.
While everyone's busy fighting little skirmishes, the armored column of the police state is rolling down the middle of the highway, almost unnoticed. If you want to see the big picture of why America and other English-speaking countries are losing freedom, read The State vs. the People: The Rise of the American Police State, by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman. Order The State vs the People for just $19.95 (shipping and handling included -- 10% more in Canada) and receive three "Gran'pa Jack" educational booklets: Gran'pa Jack #2: "Can you get a Fair Trial in America?," Gran'pa Jack #3: "It's Common Sense to Use Our Bill of Rights," and Gran'pa Jack #5: "The United Nations is Killing Your Freedoms!" (a total $10.00 value, free when you order The State vs the People today.
If you want to understand the ultimate progression of "gun control," read Death by "Gun Control": The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament by Aaron Zelman and Richard W. Stevens. It begins with "reasonable measures" to control the unruly; it ends in the death of a thousand cuts - and millions of disarmed citizens. Order Death by "Gun Control" for just $16.95 (shipping and handling included -- 10% more in Canada) and receive Gran'pa Jack #6: "Will 'Gun Control' Make You Safer," and Gran'pa Jack #7:"Do Gun Prohibitionists Have a Mental Problem?" (a total $6.00 value, free when you order Death by "Gun Control" today.
© 2002 Aaron Zelman. Permission is granted to distribute this article in its entirety, so long as full copyright information and full contact information is given for JPFO. You may edit this article for publication as long as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is given approval of the final edited version and you provide full credit.
Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax: (262) 673-9746
Tell Bolingbroke--for yond methinks he stands--
That every stride he makes upon my land
Is dangerous treason: he is come to open
The purple testament of bleeding war;
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation and bedew
Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.
-- Shakespeare, Richard the Second, Act III, Scene 3
Sunday Shoes, Cap and Gown
The whole town’s gathered ‘round
Waited 18 years now it’s all coming down to this.
I scanned the crowd and it fills my soul
My best friends all here in rows
No turning back, Now its time to walk that line
This tassel is gonna turn
And when the moment passes by
We’ll just walk away
And slowly grow apart
But I’m not gonna cry, no
Not one sad or happy tear
I’ve been waiting my whole life
Now I’m gonna fly right outta here
It’s a bittersweet goodbye, but I’m not gonna cry
My oldest daughter Hannah graduated from high school Thursday. It was a grand and happy occasion. Yet midway through, as a three-piece student band performed Corey Smith's "I'm Not Going to Cry," I had, well, I don't know quite how to describe it.
Friday night, football games,
First loves and first heartbreaks,
It didn't matter who won or lost,
Only how we played.
Memories as good as gold
Tearin' up those mountain roads,
Racin' out 53 to old Georgetown,
Sure we made a little trouble,
But learned from every mistake,
So there's no regret,
We've done the best we could.
So I’m not gonna cry, no
Not one sad or happy tear
I’ve been waiting my whole life
Now I’m gonna fly right outta here
These have been the best years of my life
So I’m not gonna cry.
It was like cold, deep in the marrow, an icy wind blowing through my guts like gauze in winter. It was, perhaps, a premonition. I have had a few, just a few, of them in my life -- times when it was as if someone was tapping me on the shoulder trying to get my attention only for me to turn around, no one there. The times I paid attention to this little quirk saved my butt. The times I didn't, well, more about that another day. But something passed over this bunch of kids, passed between them and my eyes, a flicker, a shadow, I couldn't really tell you, something different. Maybe it was just light refracted through the mists in a sentimental, fuzzy-visioned old diabetic's tired eyes. Maybe. But it came to me unbidden, yet with cold certainty-- some of these kids are going to die, and not by accident. They are going to be killed in armed conflict, I thought. It seemed, though I didn't know it until later, a purple testament.
"The Purple Testament"
William Reynolds as Lt. Fitzgerald in "The Purple Testament"
"Infantry platoon, U.S. Army, Philippine Islands, 1945. These are the faces of the young men who fight. As if some omniscient painter had mixed a tube of oils that were at one time earth brown, dust gray, blood red, beard black, and fear - yellow white, and these men were the s. For this is the province of combat and these are the faces of war."
-- Rod Serling, narrator of The Twilight Zone, Episode 19, First Season, Original air date February 12, 1960, "The Purple Testament."
It wasn't until I got home that my memory made connection with my imagination. Or was it the other way around? I went to Google, punched in "premonition of death in combat" and came up with "The Purple Testament." Weirdly, once prompted I remembered this episode vividly. I had seen it when it first aired in 1960, and probably later in reruns. For those of you who don't recall it, the scene is the Philippines, 1945. Rod Serling served in the campaign to liberate the Philippines, fighting in the 11th Airborne Division and was wounded in the battle for Manila. Like a Sam Fuller war movie, the authenticity of a battle-hardened veteran permeates the script. A Wikipedia synopsis:
Lt. Fitzgerald, played by William Reynolds, suddenly gains the mysterious ability to discover who is about to die via a strange flash of light across their face. After correctly predicting several deaths, he tells his friend Captain Riker (played by Dick York) what he is able to see, but the Captain doesn't know whether to believe him or not. Riker consults with a doctor, Captain Gunther, who thinks it may be fatigue and suggests that the lieutenant should take a leave of rest. . . Fitz reveals to Riker he has seen the light on his face. Though he tells Fitz to forget it and get ready for battle, the Captain sets out some of his personal possessions—a few photographs and his wedding ring—before he goes into combat. In the camp, the men argue about the rumors of the lieutenant's predictions, but Riker tells all the soldiers there that there are no "fortune tellers" in the camp. Fitz, seeing the men's faces and realizing he could cause mutiny, agrees with the captain. In the ensuing battle, all return except for Riker, who is killed by a sniper. Captain Gunther brings news to Fitzgerald that he is being sent back to division headquarters for some much needed rest, but as the lieutenant gathers his gear, he sees the light flash across his own face in a mirror. A jeep driver comes to pick Fitzgerald up for the ride to HQ, but the lieutenant seems distant, as if resigned to fate. The Sergeant sends the two off, telling the driver to be careful as they go; they haven't completely checked the area for land mines on the road ahead. As the soldiers are gathered around the camp at dusk, the sound of an explosion is heard in the distance.
Narrator: From William Shakespeare, Richard the Third, a small excerpt. The line reads, 'He has come to open the purple testament of bleeding war.' And for Lieutenant William Fitzgerald, A Company, First Platoon, the testament is closed. Lieutenant Fitzgerald has found the Twilight Zone.
Serling got it wrong, of course. It was Richard the Second, not Richard the Third. It was a small error in a masterful short story. But what was it, I wondered that night after my daughter's graduation, that I had just experienced? A figment of my imagination from a vague childhood memory? An extrapolation of my own sense of impending civil war? It was unsettling, to say the least.
And where did Serling get his idea?
In truth? Imagination? Both?
Premonition of Civil War: "We . . . are about to have our fuse lit."
"I listened to Sen. McCain address the NRA Friday night with my 1st grandson asleep in my arms. As I listened to the diluted mumbo jumbo from him, I thought about what my grandson will probably face. I did not like it one bit. I think we, the folks in America that just want to be left alone to live a peaceful life without the gov't intervention in every facet of our life, are about to have our fuse lit. I just know it's coming." - Email to Mike Vanderboegh from his friend John in Florida, 19 May 2008.
Premonitions, however, need not come from some special cursed gift in "The Twilight Zone," but simply by rational deduction of what a Marxist might call "objective conditions." Anyone familiar with the stresses tearing at Spanish society in the 1930's might have foretold the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), but Salvador Dali put it on canvas uniquely:
In the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art hangs a 1936 work by Salvador Dali, titled "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)". I have never been a fan of Dali's, but I must say that I have recently been drawn to this work of his as symbolic of more than the Spanish Civil War. The grimacing dismembered figure, alternately grasping up at itself while holding itself down under foot demonstrates that war, especially civil war, is both self-fulfilling and self-mutilating at the same time. The "boiled beans" of the title, they say, likely refers to the ancient Catalan offering to the gods. Stare at the painting long enough and you will be repulsed to your very core. At least I was. Even so, it speaks the truth. And truth, I have come to understand, is hard to find in this day and age. It is almost as hard to find as principled men.
Picasso's "Guernica" too captures the horrors of war, something Spanish painters have shown a facility for since Goya's awful "The Horrors of War" sketches. But where Goya's charcoal sketches are clinical in their bestial description of the details of war crimes; where his "Third of May 1808" painting is almost redemptive in its portrayal of defiant courage in front of the firing squad; where Picasso's Guernica illustrates the horrors of anonymous death from the skies -- all are merely reportage.
Goya - "Third of May 1808"
Dali's "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans" was not only descriptive but predictive. He did it before the horrors of the siege of Madrid, before German bombs at Guernica, before Spaniards were executed in windrows, not by foreigners as Goya recorded, but by other Spaniards.
It is "The Purple Testament" writ large.
The Celts -- the Scots and the Irish -- are great believers in premonitions and omens. So, too, are the Native American peoples. It is perhaps no small coincidence that both traditions share a freedom fighter's fatalism. Both cultures have their war songs. The dead Ghost Shirts at Wounded Knee, the slaughtered Highlanders at Culloden and the "gallant boyos" of 1798 would understand each other. The Lakota Sioux phrase "Hoka hey! It is a good day to die!" is not so different from the spirit embodied in the words of "The Rising of the Moon," or those of "The Minstrel Boy."
The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of Death you will find him.
His father's sword he has girded on
And his wild harp slung behind him
Land of song, said the Warrior Bard,
Tho' all the world betrays thee.
One sword at least thy right shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee.
They played "Pomp and Circumstance" the afternoon of my daughter's graduation, too, of course. The old "Land of Hope and Glory" tune by Elgar is the standard marching music of American graduations. As originally written, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Opus 39 are a series of five marches for orchestra composed by Sir Edward Elgar. We so associate this tune with the hopeful promise of young lives, I doubt there is one out of a thousand people who know as their children -- the sum of all their hopes and dreams -- march past in ill-fitting gowns and caps askew, just exactly where the name of the tune comes from.
The title is taken from Act III of Shakespeare's Othello:"Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!"
"Pomp and circumstance of glorious war."
There is nothing glorious about war - especially civil war. Dali got that right, as did Goya and Picasso. Still, just because it is so horrible, few in the peaceful prelude to every war believe that it is possible.
And that is what makes it inevitable.
"Sooner or later somebody's going to trade shots."
My friend John's prediction, his premonition, "we . . . are about to have our fuse lit," came to him because he understands where we find ourselves in the first decade of the 21st Century. His is an intellectual premonition, as was mine before Thursday afternoon. It takes no seer, no crystal ball, no weird purple light from the Twilight Zone to anticipate the coming confrontation between those who revere the Founders' constitutional republic and the God-given liberty it codifies and the gathering dark forces of "enlightened" collectivism. And like most wars, this one will need to be fought precisely because most of us think it is impossible.
This was brought home to me this week in a blogosphere exchange I participated in about the Olofson case. Peter, a typical self-described "gun rights activist" of a certain sort, and his intellectual compadres on the blog, were clucking their tongues about how Olofson had "ruined it for the rest of us," if I might paraphrase. They also did not approve or appreciate my observations that the Law of Unintended Consequences not only might, but likely would, exact a far greater price of everyone than had been dreamt of by the antagonists.
Quoth Peter: "The proper way to promote gun rights is through the courts, and political process, not armed resistance at this point."
And I replied to his post ad seriatim, "And how's that working out, exactly? What does Olofson's case demonstrate? For 70 plus years we have allowed ourselves to be pushed back from the free exercise of our rights, each time whispering our resentment but refusing to DO anything about it."
Peter: "There may be a time when that becomes appropriate, this is not that time."
Vanderboegh: "My point about Olofson is that if this is NOT the time, right now, today, then it ain't far in the future."
Peter: "In many, maybe even most, regards BATFE is overstepping it’s bounds, and needs to be reigned in, but to think that the threat of whatever arsenal you possess is stopping the government from coming to get you if they wanted to is laughable, at best. Let’s face it, the government has the power to remove any lone person, or even a group any time they want. They have the guns, body armor, tear gas, flash grenades, and worse to come and get you. The preventative power of the Second Amendment is in the possibility of a mass uprising, not one person shooting it out with the feds."
Vanderboegh: "Again, how is that 'reigning in' to be accomplished, exactly? They paid no price for their deadly activities in the 90's. As the result of the 'war on terror' the agency has grown like Topsy, filled with new, eager ignorant and arrogant thugs who have no idea of constitutional restrictions. They are a law unto themselves, cf Olofson. Heck, the Founders would have rejected the entire agency as unconstitutional. I possess no 'arsenal' save that of my own mind. I have a couple of pistols, a few rifles and a shotgun. What I have is the determination to live, or die, as God wills, as a free man. As a Christian I am unafraid of what the thugs of the imperial federal regime can do to me, for they cannot harm my inextinguishable soul. That said, I have no illusions about my INDIVIDUAL ability to resist their raid party. But I do understand how a tripwire works. Consider me as voluntary bait, without illusions of what that entails. And despite my unpopularity on this blog, where I am considered with all the fear and loathing of a skunk discovered under the front pew at church, I have thousands of friends all across the country."
Peter: "Furthermore, in your one man uprising, you will not die a martyr to more than a select group of people that are probably already on your side. While the Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver have those who support them, and are appalled by the actions of the government, neither of those incidents started an uprising, or even any widespread public outcry."
Vanderboegh: "Now you have arrived at the precise point. As a friend wrote of Waco in an email just this morning: 'Don't get me started on that. I knew from day one what was afoot. Murder in the making. I even predicted within a day of when it would end. I hoped I was paranoid, I wasn't. Now I am ashamed because I listened to hope, instead......' To which I replied: 'Yes, exactly. But NOW we have no excuse. We said then, when we finally knew how wrong we were, "No More Wacos." So now we must have no illusions. This is why I get so angry with the cheesers who refuse to get excited about Olofson. The devil is on the march again. It is late August 1939. We must have no illusions.' It could well be that when it comes time for me and my friends to kick in like free men that no one will choose to support us. Likely in fact. Witness this board. That does not relieve us of the responsibility to resist tyranny. What we do is between us, our consciences and our God. What you do is between yours."
Peter: "If anything you will more likely be used as an example of why we need more gun control. And all those writings that will be released on the world? They will more likely than not be used to paint you as a paranoid nut, looking to shoot it out with the black helicopters."
Vanderboegh: "And you will be the one making those examples and excuses, rather than be forced into the dangerous ground of being a free citizen. Hide and watch."
Peter: "You can call us what you will, but legal activism, through the courts and through the political process, is still the best way to maintain and expand our rights."
Vanderboegh: "Again, how's that working out, exactly? Ask David Olofson, who presumed his right to a fair trial. Let me give you a pertinent example from the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. The federal government (especially J. Edgar Hoover's FBI) was happy to ignore the murders of civil rights workers in the south until blacks, like the Deacons for Defense and Justice, began arming and threatening retaliatory violence against the Klan and the local governments they controlled. Only with the credible threat of violence were the authorities motivated to break their century of indifference to how black folks were treated in the south and DO something. If the game is rigged, threaten to overturn the table. And a pistol aimed unerringly at the cardshark helps."
Peter: "The day may come when we need to take up arms against a tyrannical government, but the fact that you can 'tell them in advance, in public, what MY “rules of engagement” were.' is proof that this is not the time. So please stop giving the anti-gun nuts more ammo, and trying to bait the government to come after you. This is only hurting our cause."
Vanderboegh: "Well, if that's the case, our 'causes' are not the same. My cause is that of the constitutional republic of the Founders and a United States of America that my children and grandchildren can live in as free citizens, not frightened serfs. Here's the thing: with the ATF on the prod, and cantankerous people like me refusing to be pushed, sooner or later somebody's going to trade shots. WE, my friends and me, are going to give the cheesers on this board and in the larger country a choice: are you going to make the same excuses you made before in 1993 when you watched government murder on television and did nothing? And if they kill someone like me, someone who's not a religious cultist (unless you count the Baptists as cultists), someone who doesn't mess with explosives or automatic weapons, someone who's a father and a grandfather, a guy who's on disability for congestive heart failure and can't attack anybody, a guy whose only real sin in their eyes is to despise them publicly -- if they kill me and you do nothing AGAIN, hiding behind excuses AGAIN, well I don't know how you look yourself in the mirror."
And I concluded:
"And understand this, in a country that allows the David Olofsons to be victimized without correction, sooner or later people like me are going to force people like you to look in that mirror. And I suppose that's what really scares y'all. But whether you like it or not, whether you join us or not, we will force you to make the choice because we DO NOT consent to be victimized by some thug simply because he possesses a federal badge that is unconstitutional in the first place. We are free men and women, and will live or die as free men and women. You are free to choose, but you should understand that the choice is not far away. The imperial feds have apparently decided that by their egregious misconduct in the Olofson case."
No, it does not require a crystal ball to see civil war around the corner if events do not change their course. It requires no Twilight Zone moment, though I was apparently granted one of those this week free of charge anyway. Perhaps it was the Scotch-Irish in me, from the Reynolds side of the family. If I hear a banshee, I'll let you know. ;-) But you don't need a banshee to be convinced of an omen of impending disaster. That portent was provided by the ATF's conduct in the Olofson case.
Whether you pay attention to the premonition is up to you.
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126
Sunday, May 25, 2008
The latest from Rivrdog, who gives the courageous a glimpse into a mass panic:
...This subject really goes in the middle of any presentation on End Times, but I had a specific request to do it now, and I see no reason not to grant that request.
Exodus. A mass movement out of somewhere. Imagine what were to happen if the collapse had come, quite suddenly as it probably will, and the reaction in the cities is horrible disorder, the kind that shakes you to your very roots to just watch it on TV (and the newsies WILL be there at the start). There are rumors of all kinds going around, certain stores are mobbed (gun stores and food stores, for obvious reasons), the police have NO idea of what to do, and the Governor is hesitant to call out the National Guard. Riots ensue.
Within a day or two, emergency planning has some effect, and maximum police patrols PLUS the National Guard have cleared the streets and put out the fires. City dwellers are confined to their houses. Some, those who have preplanned, have Pushed The Button and are bugging out, but those are few in number. At least 90% of the city dwellers just sit in their homes, overload the telephone circuits, watch 3 TVs at once, jam the Internet, and just gossip over the back fence (well, some of the OLD folks will gossip over the back fence).
A psychological tension will start to rise, in EVERYONE. It will get VERY high, and the only thing that could ease it is information, from the government, assuring AND demonstrating that the crisis will be weathered.
Then, in a moment of clarity that is instinctive, not learned (it would have been programmed out of the last generation completely by the educational system), people begin to think of the future. Their unanimous conclusion is that THERE IS NO FUTURE! The educational system DID preprogram the next reaction in, however: WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!
THIS TIME, THEY ARE CORRECT, THEY ARE ALL GONNA DIE.
Back to instinctive thinking. WHAT WILL WE DO? They should have been reading this and other ET blogs, but they didn't, so they have to start from scratch. Many will think WHAT WOULD DADDY (Granddaddy) HAVE DONE? They think, IF DADDY COULDN'T GO TO THE STORE, AND THE GOV'T DIDN'T SET UP A SHELTER, WHAT WOULD HE HAVE DONE?
Many will come to the same conclusion at the same time, and HEAD FOR THE HILLS!
That, folks, is called an Exodus. When it starts, it will feed on itself. Rumor will feed it, lack of planning will feed it, DESPERATION will feed it. Some, the ones who are wealthy, will head for their summer homes, most of which aren't set up for subsistence living. Some of these might survive. A few will have good friends in the countryside, friends who will accept them, and they will head there. They will survive. Most will just head out, planning to do it like they've occasionally done on weekends: throw the camping gear in the car, or hook up the RV and head out. They will take their guns if they have any, but the herd instinct has taken over, and for a while, the roads will be clogged with them.
Just like Opening Day of the deer season...
Read the rest, as well as new entries in ths continuing series, if you know what's coming and are interesting in improving your odds.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Living in an Imperial World: Bloomberg's Eye-in-the-Sky
Coming soon to a town near you (if it isn't already there) - manned orbiting surveillance platforms:
NEW YORK (AP) - On a cloudless spring day, the NYPD helicopter soars over the city, its sights set on the Statue of Liberty.
A dramatic close-up of Lady Liberty's frozen gaze fills one of three flat-screen computer monitors mounted on a console. Hundreds of sightseers below are oblivious to the fact that a helicopter is peering down on them from a mile and a half away.
"They don't even know we're here," said crew chief John Diaz, speaking into a headset over the din of the aircraft's engine.
The helicopter's unmarked paint job belies what's inside: an arsenal of sophisticated surveillance and tracking equipment powerful enough to read license plates—or scan pedestrians' faces—from high above the nation's largest metropolis.
Police say the chopper's sweeps of landmarks and other potential targets are invaluable in helping guard against another terrorist attack, providing a see-but-avoid-being-seen advantage against bad guys.
"It looks like just another helicopter in the sky," said Assistant Police Chief Charles Kammerdener, who oversees the department's aviation unit.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said that no other U.S. law enforcement agency "has anything that comes close" to the surveillance chopper, which was designed by engineers at Bell Helicopter and computer technicians based on NYPD specifications.
The chopper is named simply "23"—for the number of police officers killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The $10 million helicopter is just part of the department's efforts to adopt cutting-edge technology for its counterterrorism operations.
The NYPD also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars strengthening security in the lower Manhattan business district with a network of closed-circuit television cameras and license-plate readers posted at bridges, tunnels and other entry points.
Police have also deployed hundreds of radiation monitors—some worn on belts like pagers, others mounted on cars and in helicopters—to detect dirty bombs.
Kelly even envisions someday using futuristic "stationary airborne devices" similar to blimps to conduct reconnaissance and guard against chemical, biological and radiological threats.
Civil rights advocates are skeptical about the push for more surveillance, arguing it reflects the NYPD's evolution into ad hoc spy agency.
Read the whole thing, especially this "we would never do such a thing/look at the cool stuff we can do" dichotomy:
...From a privacy perspective, there's always a concern that 'New York's Finest' are spending millions of dollars to engage in peeping tom activities," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Police insist that law-abiding New Yorkers have nothing to fear.
"Obviously, we're not looking into apartments," Diaz said during a recent flight. "We don't invade the privacy of individuals. We only want to observe anything that's going on in public"...
...The chopper has helped track down fleeing suspects, including a recent case of a gunman who had shot his wife in Queens. As officers on the ground worried about how to approach the suspect's car, the camera in the sky hovered overhead, peeked inside the vehicle and found that he had already shot and killed himself...
So we are supposed to believe the people who brought you Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell that although they can "scan pedestrians' faces" and see inside vehicles from their airborne surveillance aircraft, such technological tools would never be used to "invade the privacy of individuals"?
It sure is a good thing that none of that Orwellian silliness - be it omnipresent government surveillance or the use of doublespeak - could ever happen here in America, home of the (not very) brave and the land of the (increasingly less) free.
Any patriot who isn't teaching herself to think about OPSEC in terms of the sky doesn't understand how late the hour is.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Memorial Day: Rogers' Rangers
Among the military units to be remembered on Memorial Day should be Rogers' Rangers and their commander, Major Robert Rogers.
While their commander died an ignominious death due to alcoholism, his unit can be considered to be one of the ancestors to today's Special Forces. In honor of the Rangers, we offer the reader your choice of three versions of the famous "standing orders" of Rogers' Rangers:
The true Plan of Discipline, extracted from Major Rogers's journal and intended for his Rogers' Rangers in 1759, follow:
1. All Rangers are to be subject to the rules and articles of war; to appear at roll-call every evening, on their own parade, equipped, each with a Firelock, sixty rounds of powder and ball, and a hatchet, at which time an officer from each company is to inspect the same, to see they are in order, so as to be ready on any emergency to march at a minute's warning; and before they are dismissed, the necessary guards are to be draughted, and scouts for the next day appointed.
2. Whenever you are ordered out to the enemies forts or frontiers for discoveries, if your number be small, march in a single file, keeping at such a distance from each other as to prevent one shot from killing two men, sending one man, or more, forward, and the like on each side, at the distance of twenty yards from the main body, if the ground you march over will admit of it, to give the signal to the officer of the approach of an enemy, and of their number, &c.
3. If you march over marshes or soft ground, change your position, and march abreast of each other to prevent the enemy from tracking you (as they would do if you marched in a single file) till you get over such ground, and then resume your former order, and march till it is quite dark before you encamp, which do, if possible, on a piece of ground which that may afford your sentries the advantage of seeing or hearing the enemy some considerable distance, keeping one half of your whole party awake alternately through the night.
4. Some time before you come to the place you would reconnoitre, make a stand, and send one or two men in whom you can confide, to look out the best ground for making your observations.
5. If you have the good fortune to take any prisoners, keep them separate, till they are examined, and in your return take a different route from that in which you went out, that you may the better discover any party in your rear, and have an opportunity, if their strength be superior to yours, to alter your course, or disperse, as circumstances may require.
6. If you march in a large body of three or four hundred, with a design to attack the enemy, divide your party into three columns, each headed by a proper officer, and let those columns march in single files, the columns to the right and left keeping at twenty yards distance or more from that of the center, if the ground will admit, and let proper guards be kept in the front and rear, and suitable flanking parties at a due distance as before directed, with orders to halt on all eminences, to take a view of the surrounding ground, to prevent your being ambuscaded, and to notify the approach or retreat of the enemy, that proper dispositions may be made for attacking, defending, &c. And if the enemy approach in your front on level ground, form a front of your three columns or main body with the advanced guard, keeping out your flanking parties, as if you were marching under the command of trusty officers, to prevent the enemy from pressing hard on either of your wings, or surrounding you, which is the usual method of the savages, if their number will admit of it, and be careful likewise to support and strengthen your rear-guard.
7. If you are obliged to receive the enemy's fire, fall, or squat down, till it is over; then rise and discharge at them. If their main body is equal to yours, extend yourselves occasionally; but if superior, be careful to support and strengthen your flanking parties, to make them equal to theirs, that if possible you may repulse them to their main body, in which case push upon them with the greatest resolution with equal force in each flank and in the center, observing to keep at a due distance from each other, and advance from tree to tree, with one half of the party before the other ten or twelve yards. If the enemy push upon you, let your front fire and fall down, and then let your rear advance thro' them and do the like, by which time those who before were in front will be ready to discharge again, and repeat the same alternately, as occasion shall require; by this means you will keep up such a constant fire, that the enemy will not be able easily to break your order, or gain your ground.
8. If you oblige the enemy to retreat, be careful, in your pursuit of them, to keep out your flanking parties, and prevent them from gaining eminences, or rising grounds, in which case they would perhaps be able to rally and repulse you in their turn.
9. If you are obliged to retreat, let the front of your whole party fire and fall back, till the rear hath done the same, making for the best ground you can; by this means you will oblige the enemy to pursue you, if they do it at all, in the face of a constant fire.
10. If the enemy is so superior that you are in danger of being surrounded by them, let the whole body disperse, and every one take a different road to the place of rendezvous appointed for that evening, which must every morning be altered and fixed for the evening ensuing, in order to bring the whole party, or as many of them as possible, together, after any separation that may happen in the day; but if you should happen to be actually surrounded, form yourselves into a square, or if in the woods, a circle is best, and, if possible, make a stand till the darkness of the night favours your escape.
11. If your rear is attacked, the main body and flankers must face about to the right or left, as occasion shall require, and form themselves to oppose the enemy, as before directed; and the same method must be observed, if attacked in either of your flanks, by which means you will always make a rear of one of your flank-guards.
12. If you determine to rally after a retreat, in order to make a fresh stand against the enemy, by all means endeavour to do it on the most rising ground you come at, which will give you greatly the advantage in point of situation, and enable you to repulse superior numbers.
13. In general, when pushed upon by the enemy, reserve your fire till they approach very near, which will then put them into the greatest surprise and consternation, and give you an opportunity of rushing upon them with your hatchets and cutlasses to the better advantage.
14. When you encamp at night, fix your sentries in such a manner as not to be relieved from the main body till morning, profound secrecy and silence being often of the last importance in these cases. Each sentry therefore should consist of six men, two of whom must be constantly alert, and when relieved by their fellows, it should be done without noise; and in case those on duty see or hear any thing, which alarms them, they are not to speak, but one of them is silently to retreat, and acquaint the commanding officer thereof, that proper dispositions may be made; and all occasional sentries should be fixed in like manner.
15. At the first dawn of day, awake your whole detachment; that being the time when the savages choose to fall upon their enemies, you should by all means be in readiness to receive them.
16. If the enemy should be discovered by your detachments in the morning, and their numbers are superior to yours, and a victory doubtful, you should not attack them till the evening, as then they will not know your numbers, and if you are repulsed, your retreat will be favoured by the darkness of the night.
17. Before you leave your encampment, send out small parties to scout round it, to see if there be any appearance or track of an enemy that might have been near you during the night.
18. When you stop for refreshment, choose some spring or rivulet if you can, and dispose your party so as not to be surprised, posting proper guards and sentries at a due distance, and let a small party waylay the path you came in, lest the enemy should be pursuing.
19. If, in your return, you have to cross rivers, avoid the usual fords as much as possible, lest the enemy should have discovered, and be there expecting you.
20. If you have to pass by lakes, keep at some distance from the edge of the water, lest, in case of an ambuscade or an attack from the enemy, when in that situation, your retreat should be cut off.
21. If the enemy pursue your rear, take a circle till you come to your own tracks, and there form an ambush to receive them, and give them the first fire.
22. When you return from a scout, and come near our forts, avoid the usual roads, and avenues thereto, lest the enemy should have headed you, and lay in ambush to receive you, when almost exhausted with fatigues.
23. When you pursue any party that has been near our forts or encampments, follow not directly in their tracks, lest they should be discovered by their rear guards, who, at such a time, would be most alert; but endeavour, by a different route, to head and meet them in some narrow pass, or lay in ambush to receive them when and where they least expect it.
24. If you are to embark in canoes, battoes, or otherwise, by water, choose the evening for the time of your embarkation, as you will then have the whole night before you, to pass undiscovered by any parties of the enemy, on hills, or other places, which command a prospect of the lake or river you are upon.
25. In paddling or rowing, give orders that the boat or canoe next the sternmost, wait for her, and the third for the second, and the fourth for the third, and so on, to prevent separation, and that you may be ready to assist each other on any emergency.
26. Appoint one man in each boat to look out for fires, on the adjacent shores, from the numbers and size of which you may form some judgment of the number that kindled them, and whether you are able to attack them or not.
27. If you find the enemy encamped near the banks of a river or lake, which you imagine they will attempt to cross for their security upon being attacked, leave a detachment of your party on the opposite shore to receive them, while, with the remainder, you surprise them, having them between you and the lake or river.
28. If you cannot satisfy yourself as to the enemy's number and strength, from their fire, &c. conceal your boats at some distance, and ascertain their number by a reconnoitering party, when they embark, or march, in the morning, marking the course they steer, &c. when you may pursue, ambush, and attack them, or let them pass, as prudence shall direct you. In general, however, that you may not be discovered by the enemy upon the lakes and rivers at a great distance, it is safest to lay by, with your boats and party concealed all day, without noise or shew; and to pursue your intended route by night; and whether you go by land or water, give out parole and countersigns, in order to know one another in the dark, and likewise appoint a station every man to repair to, in case of any accident that may separate you.
The simplified version:
1. All Rangers are subject to the rules of war.
2. In a small group, march in single file with enough space between so that one shot can't pass through one man and kill a second.
3. Marching over soft ground should be done abreast, making tracking difficult. At night, keep half your force awake while half sleeps.
4. Before reaching your destination, send one or two men forward to scout the area and avoid traps.
5. If prisoners are taken, keep them separate and question them individually.
6. Marching in groups of three or four hundred should be done in three separate columns, within support distance, with a point and rear guard.
7. When attacked, fall or squat down to receive fire and rise to deliver. Keep your flanks as strong as the enemy's flanking force, and if retreat is necessary, maintain the retreat fire drill.
8. When chasing an enemy, keep your flanks strong, and prevent them from gaining high ground where they could turn and fight.
9. When retreating, the rank facing the enemy must fire and retreat through the second rank, thus causing the enemy to advance into constant fire.
10. If the enemy is far superior, the whole squad must disperse and meet again at a designated location. This scatters the pursuit and allows for organized resistance.
11. If attacked from the rear, the ranks reverse order, so the rear rank now becomes the front. If attacked from the flank, the opposite flank now serves as the rear rank.
12. If a rally is used after a retreat, make it on the high ground to slow the enemy advance.
13. When laying in ambuscade, wait for the enemy to get close enough that your fire will be doubly frightening, and after firing, the enemy can be rushed with hatchets.
14. At a campsite, the sentries should be posted at a distance to protect the camp without revealing its location. Each sentry will consist of 6 men with two constantly awake at a time.
15. The entire detachment should be awake before dawn each morning as this is the usual time of enemy attack.
16. Upon discovering a superior enemy in the morning, you should wait until dark to attack, thus hiding your lack of numbers and using the night to aid your retreat.
17. Before leaving a camp, send out small parties to see if you have been observed during the night.
18. When stopping for water, place proper guards around the spot making sure the pathway you used is covered to avoid surprise from a following party.
19. Avoid using regular river fords as these are often watched by the enemy.
20. Avoid passing lakes too close to the edge, as the enemy could trap you against the water's edge.
21. If an enemy is following your rear, circle back and attack him along the same path.
22. When returning from a scout, use a different path as the enemy may have seen you leave and will wait for your return to attack when you're tired.
23. When following an enemy force, try not to use their path, but rather plan to cut them off and ambush them at a narrow place or when they least expect it.
24. When traveling by water, leave at night to avoid detection.
25. In rowing in a chain of boats, the one in front should keep contact with the one directly astern of it. This way they can help each other and the boats will not become lost in the night.
26. One man in each boat will be assigned to watch the shore for fires or movement.
27. If you are preparing an ambuscade near a river or lake, leave a force on the opposite side of the water so the enemy's flight will lead them into your detachment.
28. When locating an enemy party of undetermined strength, send out a small scouting party to watch them. It may take all day to decide on your attack or withdrawal, so signs and countersigns should be established to determine your friends in the dark.
29. If you are attacked in rough or flat ground, it is best to scatter as if in rout. At a pre-picked place you can turn, allowing the enemy to close. Fire closely, then counterattack with hatchets. Flankers could then attack the enemy and rout him in return.
Finally, the fictional (but far more colorful) version:
1. Don't forget nothing.
2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.
3. When you're on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer. See the enemy first.
4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer.
5. Don't never take a chance you don't have to.
6. When we're on the march we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can't go through two men.
7. If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast, so it's hard to track us.
8. When we march, we keep moving till dark, so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.
9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.
10. If we take prisoners, we keep 'em separate till we have had time to examine them, so they can't cook up a story between 'em.
11. Don't ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won't be ambushed.
12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout 20 yards ahead, 20 yards on each flank, and 20 yards in the rear so the main body can't be surprised and wiped out.
13. Every night you'll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.
14. Don't sit down to eat without posting sentries.
15. Don't sleep beyond dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians attack.
16. Don't cross a river by a regular ford.
17. If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.
18. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down, lie down, hide behind a tree.
19. Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch, then let him have it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet.
I know which one I prefer.
Now go and enjoy your holiday weekend.