Peter Quinones

A Lost Year – Where Do You Go From Here?

A Lost Year – Where Do You Go From Here?

The point of no return may have been reached. The effects of the government-mandated shutdowns due to Covid-19 on businesses—especially small businesses—may not be known for months, even decades, but anyone who is paying attention is beginning to realize we are somewhere new. A place no one could’ve predicted at the beginning of 2020 when onlookers were just anticipating an ugly election year. They got more, much more.  

Leaving aside an economy that is at best questionable: the culture, interactions amongst family members and strangers, have been negatively affected in an already insane age where one’s character is judged by whether they believe Donald Trump is “literally Hitler,” an amusing deviation, or the Messiah who has come to deliver us from the Left.” This cultural phenomenon was already in full swing before the war between the “masked” and “unmasked,” or those who believed CV-19 will “have people dying in hospital parking lots,” and those who look upon it as just a “spicy cold” started. 

As if all of this wasn’t enough, in May a video was released of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee forced onto the neck of a prone George Floyd who died during the 8 minute and 46 second assault. Protests, rioting and looting immediately sprung up in Minneapolis which spread all over the country and continue to the day this is being written. Calls for various sorts of police reform have largely gone ignored by those with the power of change. 

Some students of history may look at the past several months and see a government that is out of control. A few may see one that is at the top of their game, especially at the state and local level. Others might see a dying wild animal, losing power and lashing out; a sort of death throes. No matter how it is being interpreted by the onlooker, something big has to happen next. Solutions have to be presented.  

Shortages of certain items have already occurred but they are finding their way back onto shelves. But what if another lockdown is ordered? Production precedes demand and if production is further hindered, those shortages that were warned of could become a reality.  

It would not be unfair to ask if civility is dead. If people are willing to threaten each other’s livelihoods and, in many cases, yell at strangers in public for everything from politics to how to handle the CV-19 crisis, how does one cope? 

If there are dangerous, violent mobs in the streets, how is one to feel safe? If those mobs include the police, is there any reason to be optimistic about the future? 

Counter-Economics and Networking 

Samuel Edward Konkin III developed the idea of agorism. Many people now call themselves “Agorists” but agorism is something you do. The idea of counter-economics, doing business outside of the government approved market is nothing new. Sam was just the first to give it a name and develop it as a strategy. 

Sam’s vision was that if enough people can start to operate outside of the “white market,” interactions where taxes aren’t collected and delivered to the overlords, eventually the State could be starved, and subsequently toppled and replaced by a truly free market. As economist Per Bylund once put it, “agorism in action creates its own institutions and builds the institutions of a free society within the shell of the old. When people start offering services, they create markets and prices. When they have conflicts, they find means to arbitration and protection. That’s what’s so beautiful with counter-economics: by withdrawing your support (stop feeding the beast) and start acting economically in freedom, you bring about the market institutions we will need (and must rely on) when the state fails.” 

In the age of forced government lockdowns and potential shortages of bare necessities, the “black” and “gray” markets may become essential for survival. Constantly communicating with your local stores is a good idea. If a store owner feels like a shortage is coming, they may hold back supply for themselves so starting a relationship with them in which they may allow you to buy some of that supply for yourself is smart. For those who can access private farms the same kind of friendship would be prudent for in the experience of this author farmers are more apt to participate in such activities. 

Preparation is key and can in many cases save you in a time of hardship. 

Counter-Economics and Income 

At this point it is no longer just people who are “extremely-online” who are familiar with the putrid phrase “cancel culture.” A few short years (months?) ago it presented itself mostly in the online arena where someone who was making their living in the media or arts said or wrote something that a certain group found so offensive that they made it their goal to get that person fired and to make sure they were not re-hirable anywhere in their industry. A popular example is former Google engineer James Damore who wrote an internal memo where one of the things he suggested was ways tech could appeal to a more diverse demographic, especially women. More recently numerous employees of Cisco were fired for posting “All Lives Matter” on internal message boards. 

At a time when even private companies are bending the knee to the mob and destroying people’s livelihoods for having an opinion contrary to an incredibly small minority, it has never been more important to start a side-hustle outside of your day job. Quality 3D-printers can be had for under $300. There are free files all over the web that allow you to make wallets, statues and trinkets that can be sold on eBay, Poshmark, Etsy and other sites that will allow you to bring in tax-free income. People who live in apartments can grow potatoes in 55-gallon drums on their porch and sell them to friends or at the local farmer’s market. Again, untaxed income.  

Whatever you come up with just start doing it. Get moving. Protect yourself and your family in these extremely uncertain times. 

Counter-Economics and Safety 

Contrary to popular opinion the police are not there to protect you. If you are in the process of suffering a home invasion and the closest officer is five minutes away, that can be the longest five minutes of your life. Or it could be the end for you. The protests that have turned into riots and lootings clearly show the police are not only not willing to protect private citizens but, in many cases, they are abandoning their own precincts and allowing the mob to take them over.  

If you own firearms get training. In the experience of this author, most firearm instructors work counter-economically. Meaning, they will accept cash in exchange for their services. Many will even teach you how to buy a weapon privately and off the books (no taxes collected) if that is legal in your area. 3D-printers must be mentioned along with CNC machines as they will allow you to manufacture a quality weapon in the privacy of your own home. 

That there are still people out there who have experienced the last four months and are relying on the government for necessities, security and safety is a testament to how well the State has convinced us that they are mommy and daddy. The time for begging for scraps and calling for them to act is over. If we are to survive this chaotic epoch, it is incumbent upon the individual to act, that he or she takes matters into their own hands and becomes as independent from the system as they can. Many lives have already been lost or irreparably damaged due to either the action, or inaction of the State. Make a decision to cast them aside and live free. Death is on the table. 

Anatomy Of A Monopoly

Anatomy Of A Monopoly

Anyone who has ever tried to start a business knows the difficulty in just getting it off the ground. Ignoring licensing, etc., consider that most potential entrepreneurs start off in a financial hole. If you have to hire employees this will be your biggest expense. The necessity of a brick and mortar location adds another hurdle to success. Then, most importantly, what are you offering? Most will have to provide a good or service that the public wants or needs to stay in business and climb out of the “red.” This can take months but in many cases the timeline is longer. Much longer. 

But what if there were another way. What if one had the power to force people to consume their good or service. And not only that, but could dictate whether competition could rise up to challenge them. Imagine that they held a monopoly on the biggest guns so that anyone who would question their authority would be crushed under their feet. That might be obvious to people though. The subjects may question whether they were living under tyranny. What if some of the brightest minds in the “agency” came up with a plan to educate their “customers” from the time they begin to speak that without their services there are people who want to kill them and that their organization would be the only one capable of protecting them from the “barbarians at the gate.” 

Of course, these services will not be free so the “agency” will require payment. But don’t worry about having to come out of pocket for it, you won’t even notice because before you get paid by your employer, they will extract just the right amount they need to “service” you. They will allow you some control over the amount extracted per pay period but you will have to offer an accounting at the end of the year. If you miscalculate you will have to write them a check for the amount you tried to hold back or face consequences. And since they have the “big guns” you will comply.  

There may come a time when this “agency” decides that they cannot provide these “services” properly; that they need more help. So, they may go on a hiring spree. These are new workers that will have to be paid. Since these new employees are working for your “benefit,” the amount the agency requires from you will have to be increased. Do you have a say in this? Well, you can say something, but ultimately this is a required service and their people need to be compensated. 

The “agency” allows for businesses to register with them so that these businesses can provide services that they don’t (in some cases they may even allow competition, but on their terms). By doing so, these “non-agency” businesses submit to certain guidelines that must be followed or they suffer the wrath of the “agency.” If one of these “approved” businesses becomes successful they too will have to pay the “protection service” fees. In many cases at a greater rate than an individual.  

The smart, approved business will realize that one of the most important things it can do is get on the “agency’s” good side. So, they will send their representative to members of the “agency” and offer them additional (private) fees in exchange for special “privileges.” What kind of “privilege” would an approved business want? Since the “agency” decides who can do business and not, they may make it so that the approved business can operate with no competition. The “agency” may pass laws that say that only “approved company A” can operate within a certain land mass. In addition, the “agency” may grant members of “approved company A” certain immunities if their business were to harm one of their customers. “Approved company A” may be held liable but the person or persons within who made the ultimate decision that resulted in damages are not.  

In some special cases, especially if “approved company A” is doing business on behalf of the “agency,” the “agency” may make it so that “approved company A” cannot be held liable at all. The “agency” may decide to take on the burden of the liabilities for “approved company A.” Of course, this expense will have to be funded from somewhere so the agency will probably increase the fees charged to individuals. Again, do you have a say in this? Not likely. 

To go back to where we started, what choices does the enterprising individual have within such a system? The “agency” has obviously placed obstacles in their way that can be overcome (but in many cases such as “approved agency A,” the individual may not be able to even open a business in his location). What if the individual’s business were to interfere with “services” offered by the “agency?” They will either be denied access or forced into “going into business” with said “agency.” 

In the worst-case scenario, if the individual has a breakthrough product, one that could change the world, but the “agency” denies “permission” for it to be produced, what can the entrepreneur do? 

When faced with such obstacles that need to be overcome, is it any wonder that so few even bother trying? In the scenario of facing down a monopoly, especially one with the license to end your life, one may ask how innovation happens at all. 

Why Did The Police Abandon Their Posts?

Why Did The Police Abandon Their Posts?

The riots and looting that have taken place in the aftermath of a Minneapolis law enforcement officer suffocating a man to death — which was caught on video by a bystander — has people questioning the idea of policing and how it is done. Should police be taught de-escalation tactics? Would it be prudent for them to live in the area they patrol? Why is law enforcement still performing “broken window policing?” In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin these are all things to ponder. 

Taking all of this into consideration, people aren’t asking why it is that police are abandoning their precincts, leaving them to the mob, and suffering no consequences for this action. A few have asked why the police aren’t protecting the public and its property but one would think that in the least the cops would protect “their own house,” right? It is apparent that people learned nothing from the Parkland school shooting when it comes to “law enforcement” being the “security force” of the people. Even after it was determined that the officers who cowered outside had “no duty to protect,” the public still didn’t grasp the message the courts were sending. 

The idea that law enforcement is there “to serve and protect” individual members of the public has been ruled against over and over again, and the facts surrounding some of the most famous cases are particularly heinous. 

Warren v. District of Columbia (1981) 

Warren v D.C. is probably the most cited case when it comes to the fact that police aren’t mandated to protect the individual. 

The details of the case are terrifying: 

In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 16, 1975, Carolyn Warren and Joan Taliaferro, who shared a room on the third floor of their rooming house at 1112 Lamont Street Northwest in the District of Columbia, and Miriam Douglas, who shared a room on the second floor with her four-year-old daughter, were asleep. The women were awakened by the sound of the back door being broken down by two men later identified as Marvin Kent and James Morse. The men entered Douglas’ second floor room, where Kent forced Douglas to perform oral sex on him and Morse raped her.  

Warren and Taliaferro heard Douglas’ screams from the floor below. Warren called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that the house was being burglarized, and requested immediate assistance. The department employee told her to remain quiet and assured her that police assistance would be dispatched promptly.  

Warren’s call was received at Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters at 0623 hours, and was recorded as a burglary-in-progress. At 0626, a call was dispatched to officers on the street as a “Code 2” assignment, although calls of a crime in progress should be given priority and designated as “Code 1.” Four police cruisers responded to the broadcast; three to the Lamont Street address and one to another address to investigate a possible suspect.  

Meanwhile, Warren and Taliaferro crawled from their window onto an adjoining roof and waited for the police to arrive. While there, they observed one policeman drive through the alley behind their house and proceed to the front of the residence without stopping, leaning out the window, or getting out of the car to check the back entrance of the house. A second officer apparently knocked on the door in front of the residence, but left when he received no answer. The three officers departed the scene at 0633, five minutes after they arrived.  

Warren and Taliaferro crawled back inside their room. They again heard Douglas’ continuing screams; again called the police; told the officer that the intruders had entered the home, and requested immediate assistance. Once again, a police officer assured them that help was on the way. This second call was received at 0642 and recorded merely as “investigate the trouble;” it was never dispatched to any police officers.  

Believing the police might be in the house, Warren and Taliaferro called down to Douglas, thereby alerting Kent to their presence. At knife point, Kent and Morse then forced all three women to accompany them to Kent’s apartment. For the next fourteen hours the captive women were raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon one another, and made to submit to the sexual demands of Kent and Morse.  

Warren, Taliaferro, and Douglas brought the following claims of negligence against the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department: the dispatcher’s failure to forward the 6:23 a. m. call with the proper degree of urgency; the responding officers’ failure to follow standard police investigative procedures, specifically their failure to check the rear entrance and position themselves properly near the doors and windows to ascertain whether there was any activity inside; and the dispatcher’s failure to dispatch the 6:42 a. m. call. 

The women sought to sue the District of Columbia and several individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department on two different occasions. The results were: 

“In a 4–3 decision, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts’ dismissal of the complaints against the District of Columbia and individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department based on the public duty doctrine ruling that the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists. The Court thus adopted the trial court’s determination that no special relationship existed between the police and appellants, and therefore no specific legal duty existed between the police and the appellants.” 

Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales 

The importance of Castle Rock v Gonzales cannot be overstated since, unlike Warren, this case was taken to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. for its ruling.  

The events that precipitated the ruling are tragic to say the least: 

During divorce proceedings, Jessica Lenahan-Gonzales, a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado, obtained a permanent restraining order against her husband Simon, who had been stalking her, on June 4, 1999, requiring him to remain at least 100 yards (91 m) from her and her four children (son Jesse, who is not Simon’s  biological child, and daughters Rebecca, Katherine, and Leslie) except during specified visitation time. On June 22, at approximately 5:15 pm, Simon took possession of his three daughters in violation of the order. Jessica called the police at approximately 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:10 pm on June 22, and 12:15 am on June 23, and visited the police station in person at 12:40 am on June 23. However, since she from time to time had allowed Simon to take the children at various hours, the police took no action, despite Simon having called Jessica prior to her second police call and informing her that he had the daughters with him at an amusement park in Denver, Colorado. At approximately 3:20 am on June 23, Simon appeared at the Castle Rock police station and was killed in a shoot-out with the officers. A search of his vehicle revealed the corpses of the three daughters, whom it has been assumed he killed prior to his arrival. 

Gonzales filed suit against the Castle Rock police department and three of their officers in the U.S. District Court of Colorado claiming they didn’t protect her even though she had a restraining order against her husband. The officers were declared to have “qualified immunity” and thus, couldn’t be sued. But, “a panel of that court… found a procedural due process claim; an en banc rehearing reached the same conclusion.” 

In this case, the government of the town of Castle Rock took the decision against it to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. and got the procedural due process claim reversed, finding 

The Court’s majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia held that enforcement of the restraining order was not mandatory under Colorado law; were a mandate for enforcement to exist, it would not create an individual right to enforcement that could be considered a protected entitlement under the precedent of Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth; and even if there were a protected individual entitlement to enforcement of a restraining order, such entitlement would have no monetary value and hence would not count as property for the Due Process Clause.  

Justice David Souter wrote a concurring opinion, using the reasoning that enforcement of a restraining order is a process, not the interest protected by the process, and that there is not due process protection for processes. 

Lozito v. New York City 

This one was saved until the end because, unlike the previous cases, the officer in this one admitted under grand jury testimony that the reason he didn’t come to the aid of Joseph Lozito is because he was scared that Lozito’s attacker had a gun. 

On February 11thMaksim Gelman, started a “spree-killing” by stabbing his stepfather, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, as many as 55 times because he refused to allow Gelman to use his wife’s (Gelman’s mother’s) car. Gelman would end up killing 3 more while injuring 5, the last injured person being Joe Lozito on a northbound 3-train while on his way to work.  

The facts of the Lozito attack are startling: 

“Joseph Lozito, who was brutally stabbed and “grievously wounded, deeply slashed around the head and neck”, sued police for negligence in failing to render assistance to him as he was being attacked by Gelman. Lozito told reporters that he decided to file the lawsuit after allegedly learning from “a grand-jury member” that NYPD officer Terrance Howell testified that he hid from Gelman before and while Lozito was being attacked because Howell thought Gelman had a gun. In response to the suit, attorneys for the City of New York argued that police had no duty to protect Lozito or any other person from Gelman.” 

Lozito had heard of the previous cases stating that the police had “not duty to protect” but decided to go to court representing himself.  

The court would have none of it: 

“On July 25, 2013, Judge Margaret Chan dismissed Lozito’s suit, stating that while Lozito’s account of the attack rang true and appeared “highly credible”, Chan agreed that police had “no special duty” to protect Lozito.” 

As segments of the country continue protesting, rioting and looting as a “response” to the George Floyd killing, and local governments are questioning funding their enforcement agencies, people should retreat a few steps and take a macro view of their “protection services.” While some are rightly railing against police brutality and aggressive policing, they should go back to the beginning and ask whether any of these “fixes” are going to work if the most basic assumption when it comes to “serving and protecting” is a farce.  

If the police are just there as a clean-up crew, or historians after the fact, why not designate them as such. If in the overwhelming amount of cases they get there after a crime has been committed, it’s time to take that 2nd Amendment seriously and remove the barriers that keep many people, especially those in high crime areas, from protecting themselves. “Armed” with the knowledge that those you have falsely believed were there to protect you are in fact serving another purpose, rational individuals should be looking for realistic options when it comes to protecting yourself from any threat that may come your way; public or private. 

How Members Of ‘Gun Culture’ View The Ahmaud Arbery Killing

How Members Of ‘Gun Culture’ View The Ahmaud Arbery Killing

There has been another controversial shooting of an unarmed man. The Ahmaud Arbery case is currently being litigated on social media by the usual suspects who plan on using this to further their “pet” agenda. Whether it be the “law and order” crowd who have their statistics at the ready to copy and paste, or the “race-baiters” who make their living off incidents like this, they are both champing at the bit to make their point. 

At this point, many libertarian/voluntaryists/anarchists may be confused as how to interpret the incident. Some may have already sided with Arbery, and some may be on “Team McMichael.” When you are trying to interpret an incident that happened within a statist framework, it is easy to get your thinking clouded.  

With all of that being said, the libertarian/anarchist/voluntaryist crowd looks to a future where there is no monopoly on force and violence, one where property rights backed by the non-aggression principle are legitimate as opposed to statutory mandates made by elected officials who suffer no consequences for their actions and mistakes; one where customs and cultural norms would be the status quo rather than diktats handed down from above. 

In the case of people grabbing their guns and hunting down someone they suspect of committing a crime, there already exists a subculture in the United States that has unwritten rules when it comes to such incidences which they follow to the letter. This author’s home state of Georgia has one of the largest gun forums on the internet that includes well over 40,000 members. The members overwhelmingly lean conservative and pro-Trump. Some members would call themselves libertarian. There are even a few who fly the democrat banner proudly, yet are adamantly pro-gun rights (yes, weird).  

Before we get into what this author has witnessed as to gun culture’s take on this situation, it is important to point out that the overwhelming majority of these same people took George Zimmerman’s side in the Trayvon Martin case before, during and after. That is good context for what is mentioned going forward. 

‘An Unwritten Rule’ 

“Don’t pull your gun unless you absolutely have to and only to defend life.”  

The “gun culture” in Georgia is strict about this. A man on the forum mentioned above once bragged that he was in downtown Atlanta when a homeless man approached him to beg for change. He crowed that he pulled his gun and waved it at the homeless man causing him to run off. The braggard was subjected to an onslaught of insults. The majority of them mentioned that he was not in fear for his life and that a gun should never be used to intimidate.  

It’s true that just pulling a gun can make a mugger run away. But in the case of serious gun owners we only pull our gun to protect life. If you pull it because of a robbery, you should be justified in pulling the trigger. Choosing to not pull the trigger is fine, your prerogative, but make sure the event justifies deadly force. 

This rule should be important to people who center their thinking and worldview on the non-aggression principle. Threatening and coercing is what the State does. If it’s not appropriate for a State actor, why is it for the individual? 

What Are These People Saying? 

It’s important here to give examples of how most in this subculture are commenting. This first quote is from a former police officer this author has known for years. Mind you, he left the job because he realized he was doing more harm than good. He explains: 

If there is no more to the story then the two should be prosecuted and jailed for life. The guy was clearly not trying to confront them. He runs miles and miles every day and lived nearby. However, one thing gives me pause is that even The NY Times is hedging somewhat. They stated that the man was seen running from inside a home under partial construction, the home owner called 911. BUT even that wouldn’t constitute the use of deadly force in this case. If this was a LEO shoot, he would have been charged.  

Another commenter: 

The kid wasn’t carrying anything. Those two confronted and went looking for a fight. Definitely not justified in my meaningless opinion. Real sad. 

Again: 

Based on that video, the shooters ought not stand in the sunshine anytime soon. But we know what ‘should’ happen and what does happen aren’t always related. 

Encore:  

Maybe he was takin a leak…? I dunno, this d-bag PI wannabe and his kid sound like some straight up cowbois ta me… “citizens arrest”, and armed pursuit lol… I wouldnta stopped either. 

They keep coming: 

I saw zero justification for use of force in that situation regardless of the jogger’s previous actions. This looks to be some straight up redneck justice profiling bull****. One has to wonder if they’d just shot him in the back had he tried to keep running. 

More: 

I don’t give a damn what the circumstance was. Based on the video those scumbags murdered that young man. 

One last comment: 

I prefer to let relevant and current facts determine the circumstance rather than digging up old articles to try and sling mud to make my predilections justified. The fact he was a high school athlete or attended college or what his specific career aspirations were, are irrelevant to the FACT he was unarmed and shot dead by two redneck wanna be cowboys who thought they had an in on the cover up with one of their former bosses the DA. Their plan sucked, now they get to win stupid prizes. Won’t bring him back but he died pretty quickly. They get to sleep with one eye open for a long, long, time… I’m sure they’ll be well received in a south Georgia prison. 

If you happen to be making excuses for the father and son, and the arguments above are being thrown in your direction, you are probably dealing with someone in a subculture with rules that obviously value safety and justice. As a reminder, these aren’t even big “L” Libertarians for the most part, but run of the mill conservatives and constitutionalists. They just have a set of guidelines that they live by and consider those to be more important that what the actual law is, while at the same time, abiding by it. 

Why is this something that libertarians/anarchists/voluntaryists should care about? Those groups seek a society without a central power. Under this structure customs and unwritten rules backed by the non-aggression principle will be the norm. It is beneficial to look at how subcultures, especially ones that are enforcing the NAP without realizing it, now operate. 

It is readily apparent that while many liberty lovers proclaim their support for gun rights, they are ignorant of what the culture is. A lot of people I know don’t own firearms and It is incumbent upon those of us educated on these customs to communicate them properly. They are not vigilantes who if they believe a thief is in our neighborhood will grab their weapons and go on the hunt. No, that is not how it’s done. The idea that you don’t pull your weapon until you absolutely have to exists for the reasons stated above. They are logical, and NAP consistent. People should look at what the McMichaels did, and ask if it would be acceptable to them in a libertarian social order. The ideas behind NAP-based self-defense already exist and are practiced. It would do many who think they know what those in gun culture are all about to spend some time learning from those living it. Your life and freedom in the current society may depend upon it. 

This Market Never Closes

This Market Never Closes

It is perfectly fine to be afraid that you or a loved one will catch a potentially life-threatening virus, and at the same time deride the government’s reaction, especially when it comes to shutting down a significant portion of the economy. That section consists of mostly the service sector, but even then, the government has chosen which services are “essential” and which are not. The consumer has been given no say in this, and in many cases, has been barred from purchasing certain items from stores the state has deemed worthy of continuing to operate.  

As of this date, the states have been inundated with 22 million new unemployment claims due to government mandates upon said businesses. The lasting impact of preventing millions of people from generating income may not be realized for months, even years, but for right now we see politicians scrambling to find a way to placate the masses that they are responsible for putting out of work, and almost certainly, destroying any savings they may have accumulated. The $1,200 “hush money” hasn’t hit many bank accounts yet and there is already talk of turning this into a $2,000-a-month “stimulus check” for the unforeseeable future.  

The question has been asked many times in the last month as to whether this reaction is worth it. Many have queried as to whether the resulting economic devastation would be warranted if Covid-19 could potentially end 250,000 lives. How about a million? Or two million? These questions will continue to be asked, and those who are adamantly in favor of locking everything down will persist in accusing those who don’t of wanting to kill grandma.  

Many have argued, especially since the election of Donald Trump, that there are two Americas warring against each other and that only a great threat could bring people together. Those people were dead wrong. In the face of people suffering from a Novel Coronavirus it is business-as-usual for the left/right paradigm warriors.   

But some people have no time for that. Many have entered the only truly “free market” to serve, or continue serving, their fellow men and women. The Agora stands up against these intrusions into the market and provides for those needs that State interference has caused a shortage in. Whether it be the “gray market,” which straddles the line between “legal” and “illegal,” or the “black market,” which provides those things governments strictly forbid, there is no stopping the entrepreneur who sees a societal want or need, and rushes to meet it. 

A Shortage of Masks 

When it became apparent that masks were going to be useful, if not mandated, to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, many rushed to Amazon or their local medical supply store and drained their inventory, which, if we’re being honest, are not normally an item in high demand outside of certain professions.  

By the time the “experts” in government finally admitted that masks would help prevent the spread of the virus — after saying for weeks they would not — they were all but gone from most inventories. The Agora would not allow that to stand. Etsy.com became one of the main outlets for many home designers and seamstresses to meet a market demand while replacing the income the government has prevented them from earning.  

The 3D-printing crowd even joined in with their own do-it-yourself designs, and have impressed the State’s monopoly so much that the FDA has taken to approving their first reusable 3D-designed PPE.   

Protecting and Feeding Yourself in a Pandemic 

Former White House chief-of-staff to Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, was famously quoted as saying, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Many politicians have taken that advice to heart in the era of Covid-19.  

When Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, handed down his dictates for how his state was going to be dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, he originally mandated that gun stores would be considered “essential” businesses. On April 1st he reversed that ruling effectively leaving citizens devoid of their 2nd Amendment rights.  

Given that we now live in a world where 3D printers can be ordered off of Amazon and delivered to your doorstep in a matter of days, and the files to print everything from AR-15 lower receivers and various Glock frames are free for download on many sites including torrents, one may ask why the State even bothers anymore. The “gun control debate” has ended. The ruling class either hasn’t figured it out yet, or they’re keeping up appearances for “anti-gun Karen.” 

One silent war that has played out, most famously in Michigan, is the banning of seeds being sold even in stores that remain open. There are many theories as to why people would be prevented from gardening on their property in a global pandemic but that is a discussion for another time.  

But, once again, the market provides as sellers on eBay are happy to pick up that business and most aren’t even selling them at a premium. 

Entertainment 

This one took several texts and direct messages to get a grasp on but it seems the “black market” in areas where certain substances people like to put into their bodies are “illegal” has not slowed down one bit. Cannabis, for example, is readily available in most areas that were surveyed and a few people mentioned that cannabis, and other drugs such as MDMA, have helped them get through the boredom the lockdown has wrought upon so many.  

No one in Appalachia was asked but this author assumes that his mom’s family has not abandoned their stills and are providing clear liquor to their town as they have done for over 100 years. Yes, the market provides even when the state forbids it. 

The states have done something unprecedented in the last month that has caused not only material loss for countless millions, but potential psychological damage that has led to self-harm and abuse of family members. Shortages of many staple items has been rampant and have led people to improvise or go without. But the true market, the “gray and black,” have been there for people’s needs. They are always there when government interferes in the lives of the people and they are ever present, and contributing, when those empires fall. The person who looks upon these heroes with scorn and derision has made a choice to champion monopoly over innovation. Please remember these entrepreneurs the next time the state deprives you of wants and needs. 

An Unspoken Fear of the Coronavirus

An Unspoken Fear of the Coronavirus

You’d think people would be used to it by now. Every couple of years the world is thrust into hysteria by the latest virus that is threatening to wipe out a significant portion of the population. Whether it’s SARS, Dengue, Ebola, Swine Flu or the Coronavirus, fear becomes the default emotion while States and their confederate agencies appear do everything they can to stoke them. The press appears to almost celebrate such panics because the population flocks to their reports in anticipation they will deliver them the information they need to survive. One wonders why people still trust the media with their history of getting stories wrong. 

It is common among individuals to see the reports of a “super-flu” spreading and default to the most debilitating of emotions — especially when it comes to liberty — that being fear. But most people don’t go further and ask the question; “What exactly are people afraid of?” Is it death? Of course, that Is mankind’s greatest anxiety, especially for those who have children. Is it civil unrest? Could the threat of mass illnesses shutting down industries, thereby making certain items of necessity scarce, cause people to loot not only stores, but their neighbor? Or could it be another fear? 

Most Americans feel the dread in knowing that getting sick and not being able to work for an extended period of time can put them out on the street. There are a couple stats that should be looked at, as well as a factor that some people don’t know about, and one most don’t want to hear. 

The Ratio of Work to ‘Thriving’ 

A formula often overlooked when examing your personal economy is the ratio of “work to thriving.” How many weeks of the year do you need to work to pay for the basics? In a February 27, 2020 CBS article, Aimee Picchi writes, “The typical male worker must now work 53 weeks — or more than a year — to make enough to cover what American Compass Executive Director Oren Cass calls the annual “cost of thriving,” the earnings required to pay of a basket of essentials such as health care and housing. By comparison, in 1985 that same typical employee needed to work 30 weeks to cover those same costs, found a recent analysis from American Compass, a newly formed conservative economic think tank.” 

When it comes to female workers the number is even more alarming, “Women these days need about 66 weeks — or 13 more weeks than men — to afford the same basket of basics, given that they on average earn less than men. But like the typical male worker, they’ve also lost ground since 1985, when the average female employee could cover her basics after 45 weeks of income.” 

Many people are familiar with the term “cost of living,” but the “cost of thriving” would be a better gauge to follow considering American culture. Cass explains,” “The cost of living is the standard measure that gets talked about a lot, but there is a difference between living and thriving… thriving implies a richer conception of what we believe we are achieving, rather than just living.”  

Picchi notes, “The Consumer Price Index — a standard measure of inflation — focuses on the cost of food, clothing, housing and other basics that families require. But that doesn’t necessarily reflect the challenges of paying for things you need to flourish in American society today, such as the ever-rising cost of keeping a roof over your head or going to college.” Picchi explains the criteria for the cost of thriving index, “Instead of using a broad range of basics, the Cost of Thriving Index focuses on four components: the cost of a three-bedroom house, health insurance for a family, one semester at a public college and the expense of operating a car.” 

“Those costs have become “difficult for a household budget to accommodate,” Cass said.” 

One Paycheck Away 

When you take into consideration that most people are one paycheck away from homelessness, it’s easy to understand why many Americans have taken to advocating for an expansive Scandinavian-style welfare State. In January of 2019, Forbes writer Zack Friedman wrote, “according to a 2017 survey, CareerBuilder, a leading job site, found some startling statistics related to debt, budgeting and making ends meet; 

  • Nearly one in 10 workers making $100,000+ live paycheck to paycheck 
  • More than 1 in 4 workers do not set aside any savings each month 
  • Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt – and more than half think they always will be 
  • More than half of minimum wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet 
  • 28% of workers making $50,000-$99,999 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck, and 70% are in debt 

The survey also found that 32% of the nearly 3,500 full-time workers surveyed use a budget and only 56% save $100 or less a month.

At this point some may assume that this article is only about looking to external factors to find fault with. Yes, they exist, but this is specifically about two factors: one that the individual has control of, and another that no president or politician has been able to solve in the last century even if they wanted to. 

The Dreaded Federal Reserve System 

The negative implications of having a government controlled central bank are too numerous to list in an article, but one of them is that your spending power is diminished. As Henry Hazlitt explained in his 1951 Newsweek column (reprinted at Mises.org), Inflation for Beginners

“When the supply of money is increased, people have more money to offer for goods. If the supply of goods does not increase—or does not increase as much as the supply of money—then the prices of goods will go up. Each individual dollar becomes less valuable because there are more dollars. Therefore, more of them will be offered against, say, a pair of shoes or a hundred bushels of wheat than before. A “price” is an exchange ratio between a dollar and a unit of goods. When people have more dollars, they value each dollar less. Goods then rise in price, not because goods are scarcer than before, but because dollars are more abundant.” 

Since 1991 the supply of U.S. dollars has grown beyond what most people realize. According to the Federal Reserve bank of St. Louis, in January of 1991 there were approximately 283 billion dollars in circulation. As the 90s progressed and the government instituted the blockade in Iraq, the Kosovo conflicts and various skirmishes, by November 2000, that number climbs to 576 billion, more than doubling.  

Now we come to post 9/11. On September 12, 2001, the money supply was at 613 billion. On March 19th, 2003, dollars in circulation were at 683 billion. Jumping to the start of the Iraqi surge in January 2007, we are now at 801 billion. 

Fast forward to soon after the 2008 financial crisis and the picture gets bleaker. What has come to be known as QE1 was started on 11/26/08. It began with the Federal Reserve (FED) buying 600 billion in mortgage backed securities. By its end in June of 2010, the FED raised the money supply from just under a trillion dollars to 2.1 trillion. QE2 lasted seven months between November 2010 and June 2011. Starting with 2 trillion in circulation, it was raised to 2.6 trillion. Less than QE1, but still a bigger jump than was seen all through the 1990s and most of the way through the 2000s. QE3 was implemented in September of 2012. By the end of 2013 the money supply had been increased to 3.6 trillion dollars. On 9/11/01 the money supply was at 613 billion dollars. Twelve years later, because of preemptive wars and government interference in the market, the money supply was increased by 250%. 

What does this look like in the real-world using home prices as an example? In 2017, CNBC reported, “If you want to buy a house this year, you may well be paying around $199,200, the median price for a home in the U.S., according to Zillow.” Compare that coming forward from the start of World War 2, “In 1940, the median home value in the U.S. was just $2,938. In 1980, it was $47,200, and by 2000, it had risen to $119,600. Even adjusted for inflation, the median home price in 1940 would only have been $30,600 in 2000 dollars, according to data from the U.S. Census.” 

No one would argue that homes have in fact increased in value. Atlanta added 75,000 to their population in 2018 alone. If the supply of housing stays static, or doesn’t keep up with the added numbers, prices will increase. This is common in most major metro areas. But the increase in the money supply has caused prices to skyrocket beyond what the law of “supply and demand” would dictate. 

Take Some Responsibility 

When it comes to this part of the discussion the reader may start to bristle. Setting aside for a moment the facts laid out about the Federal Reserve System, everyone knows someone who is more prepared than most. Many people know the “prepper” who has 6-months’ worth of food stashed. How many people know the person who has 6-months’ worth of income put aside to cover their bills in case of emergency? 

Sure, the Federal Reserve can be blamed for causing the increase in prices in essentials due to their policies, but is that really an excuse? In 2016, the average American was carrying $16,061 in credit card debt alone. Assuming an 18.9% interest rate, paying $640 per month, it would take 15 years and 4 months to pay off that debt. And that’s taking into account no further charges being made. 

The simple fact is that most people, even libertarians who know the system is rigged, live beyond their means. When you add up a mortgage or rental payment, a couple car payments, money shelled out for the 2.4 kids and the aforementioned credit card payments and even smart people are a couple paychecks from disaster. 

Using the scare of the Coronavirus an example, it is easy to see that not only is the fear of death a motivating factor when it comes to the inevitable panic associated with a potential “pandemic,” but even the fear of losing a few weeks at work can have people on edge. As discussed, there are barriers to keep one from being secure in their possessions that are beyond their control, but there are also common-sense ways to combat obstacles even as great as a government-rigged money system. Hopefully people will see fit to prepare for such setbacks in the future as history has shown that this will not be the last impending “catastrophe” to derail us from our lives. 

‘I Was Just Following Orders’

‘I Was Just Following Orders’

“I was just following orders” is the mantra of everyone who has found themselves on the wrong side of history – who is called into account for their actions as an order taker. How is it possible that everyone from corrupt mayors, to murderous tyrants have been able to get so many people to obey them and march in lockstep? When you take into account there are people who are willing to defend them, it’s easy to understand how these organs of the State are allowed to get away with everything from ticketing people for non-violent crimes, to the worst atrocities one could ever imagine. When you have cheerleaders, as athletes do, you are often looked at as a hero. Why else would other people be championing you and your profession? 

From the day they’re born, the overwhelming majority of people are raised in environments that teach them to obey “authority” and never question it.  

A perfect example is unquestioning nationalism. A quote on nationalism by Albert Einstein which he spoke before the rise of Hitler was, “nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind.” That makes sense especially when you consider that people who are unquestioning nationalists are generally taught it from a young age.  

Nationalism doesn’t have to be a negative. To the contrary, many people who identify as such can articulate the difference between having an affection for the people and the society into which they were born, or chose, and their radical distrust of the government they live under. But those who can’t (or won’t) separate the State from their neighbor, have been shown in history to be the ones who either become the order-follower, or blindly worship and make excuses for them. 

The much rarer trait is to see someone raised as a radical individualist. Homeschooling numbers from 1990- 2019 have grown from 275,000 to 2,300,000. Reasons for wanting to keep your children out of government schools can vary. Some of the earliest started out for religious reasons. Today, many people who call themselves libertarians/anarchist/voluntaryists do it because they don’t want their children to grow up in an environment which fosters and actively promotes obedience to the State apparatus.  

Law Enforcement Worship 

From a young age, many parents teach their kids that law enforcement are the good guys and if they ask you a question, you better answer and be respectful. You can be respectful and still understand the nature of the job of the police in this country. They are evidence gatherers. That is their main task since they rarely show up in time to stop a crime. They have rightfully been referred to as “historians.” If a statute has been broken, it is their job to figure out who did it and they do this by detaining or arresting people and asking them questions. 

Any lawyer worth their salt will tell you to never answer questions unless they, or another attorney is present, even if you know you are not guilty. In the must-read book, “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” James Duane details by citing case upon case how innocent people have talked their way into losing decades of their lives even though they didn’t commit the crime of which they were convicted. He explains how police can ask you 100 questions, and while you may have answered 98 of them correctly, even proving your innocence, the 2 that you answer in a wishy-washy way can be used to convict you while the other 98 (ones that prove your innocence) will be thrown away and declared inadmissible in court. 

This continues to be a blight on the criminal “justice” system and police officers are aware that this happens. Yet they continue to do their job as they always have with no regard for whether they are contributing to the jailing of an innocent person. They, and their defenders, will often blame it on the prosecutors. Yes, they will pass the buck so to speak. And what is their excuse? It’s just part of the job and we are “just following orders.” “We’re just doing our jobs!” 

Military Members are Beyond Reproach 

At this point in the “War on Terror” it’s impossible to argue that those fighting it are expected to be held up as heroes by the government and general public, even to the point of excusing the worst atrocities and war crimes imaginable. 

Recently, president Trump granted clemency to war criminal, special operations chief Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher, a Navy Seal and platoon leader, is described as, “a “toxic” character who was “OK with killing anything that moved”, according to fellow Iraq veterans who reported his conduct to military investigators.” “In the interviews, conducted by navy investigators looking into Gallagher’s conduct during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2017, fellow platoon members told of a ruthless leader who stabbed a captive to death for no reason then forced his troops to pose for a photograph with the corpse.”  

At his court martial Gallagher was acquitted of murder but lost rank because of the pictures posing with the dead body. “In a lengthy criminal investigation report, the navy detectives laid out other allegations against Gallagher, including shooting a schoolgirl and elderly man from a sniper’s roost. Members of Alpha Platoon’s Seal Team 7 alarmed by their leader’s conduct said they were initially shut down by military chiefs when they first spoke up, and told their own careers would suffer if they continued to talk about it” 

“The guy is freaking evil,” special operator first class Craig Miller, one of the platoon’s most experienced members, told investigators in sometimes tearful testimony. “I think Eddie was proud of it, and that was, like, part of it for him.” 

This is the man Trump gave clemency from any future charges to. And when he did, Gallagher’s defenders came out of the woodwork to defend him from anyone who dared make the claim that this man not only deserves to be locked up, but that his sanity should be called into question. Trump went so far as to hint that he would take Gallagher out on the campaign trail with him. 

Eddie Gallagher was the platoon leader, the one who gave the orders. But he also took them. Testimony shows that these military chiefs did everything they could to protect Gallagher. Even threatening those under his command if they spoke of this. It’s hard to judge from afar whether those men who posed with the dead body wanted to, or they were just following orders and feared retribution. When you see that Gallagher’s bosses actively sought to protect him, is it unreasonable to ask whether Gallagher was “just following orders” when he committed these atrocities? 

As was stated at the start, “order-followers” have found themselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to decency, not to mention liberty. Their defenders are vocal and can rarely be reasoned with. They see people in these positions as heroes and will make any excuse for actions that could be stood right next to the worst atrocities committed by Pol Pot. As we progress into a future where it is clear that the overwhelming majority of people intend to grow the size and scope of government, those who value individual liberty and justice may have to decide whether they will stick it out and attempt to change this culture, or look for alternate solutions lest they wake up in a State in which their every deed and word is under the purview of the unthinking automaton. 

The Louisville Metro Police Department Child Sex Scandal

The Louisville Metro Police Department Child Sex Scandal

Civil libertarians and police corruption watchdogs have much to celebrate these days. The fact that most people are walking around with high definition video cameras in their pockets has done much to shine a light on what these groups have been talking about for decades; that the “occupation” of law enforcement in the United States ceased being about protecting and serving, and has morphed into intimidating and subjugating.  

Whether it be turning a traffic stop for a burned-out brake light into a drug search, or it actually becoming a “head stomping” opportunity for a Gwinnett County sheriff, even people who formerly considered police to be heroes, are starting to question why as individual violent crime is decreasing, police violence is increasing.  Of course, many have become accustomed to these stories as sites such as The Free Thought Project chronicle them daily, but the scandal that has come out of Louisville, Kentucky involving two police officers’ sexual abuse of children in their Explorer Program should sound alarms and question whether policing in its modern form is an anachronism. 

Allegations of Sexually Abusing Children  

Former Louisville Metro Police officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood were accused of criminal charges “in Jefferson Circuit Court stemming from their alleged sexual abuse of teens under their supervision as part of a program for young people interested in law enforcement careers.” The allegations against Betts stretched from his first year in the department, 2006, through 2016. Federally, he was charged with sending pictures of his penis to someone under the age of 16 and attempting to have sex with males and females who were not yet 18. 

In U.S. District Court in Louisville on December 6, 2018, Betts pleaded “guilty to charges of knowingly distributing child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, enticement and attempted enticement, among other charges.” 

In addition, the State of Kentucky charged Betts with two counts of sodomy involving two alleged victims. The indictment in state court alleged Betts engaged in “deviant sexual intercourse” with one of the victims through the use of “forcible compulsion” over a five-month period in 2007. Betts was also accused of committing sodomy on July 26, 2013 with a minor “he came into contact with as a result” of his position as a police officer. Betts pleaded guilty to these charges on July 8, 2019 and received “five years for two counts of sodomy in the third degree. That sentence is on top of the 16 years he was handed down by a federal judge. The five-year sentences will run concurrent to the time he’ll serve in his federal sentence.” 

Officer Brandon Wood was charged, and pleaded guilty to attempted enticement, United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman said on January 28, 2019. “According to a plea agreement, between 2011 and 2012, Wood attempted to entice John Doe 1, who had not reached 18 years of age, to engage in sexual activity. Wood met Doe through the LMPD Explorer Program during a camp held in Bullitt County – where Wood was a counselor and sworn LMPD officer.” 

“A federal judge sentenced Brandon Wood, 33, to 70 months in prison on a felony attempted enticement charge on May 28, 2019.” 

“When he pleaded guilty in January, Wood reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for a 60-month sentence, but U.S. District Judge David Hale rejected that agreement Tuesday morning saying it was too lenient.” He was sentenced to 70 months in jail.  

Civil suits against the two officers are ongoing. 

The ‘Bombshell’ 

In the case of Kenneth Betts, as if his actions against minors wasn’t enough, in November of 2019, a fellow officer identifying himself as “Darryl,” came forward on a FOX-WDRB podcast to make the claim that he had been raped by Betts.  

“It was almost like a super power came over (Betts),” an accuser, identified only as Darryl in the podcast, told FOX News Reporter Andrew Keiper. “He had a hold of my ear, and he was still exposed in the front of his pants. We’ll just say he, yeah, he forced me, yeah.” 

Darryl describes himself as older and bigger than Betts but he has decided to not pursue a lawsuit. He hopes that by coming forward it will help others to do so. 

The interview took place in the first of a four-part podcast called “Derby City Betrayal.” The series details the investigation into the sexual abuse case against Betts and former LMPD officer Brandon Wood, as well as their subsequent arrests. 

In the same podcast series, one of the victims from the Explorers identified as C.F., now an adult, went into detail about what he experienced: 

“It was on a regular basis. (Betts) would ask for nude photos, ask for me to come over, all sorts of things,” C.F. said. “Some messed up things happened.” 

Considering the depravity involved in this story it’s easy to write it off as an anomaly but that doesn’t answer the question that if these two “bad apples” can find themselves in the same department (and a third officer to help them cover it up as well as a fourth accused of sexual abuse), how rampant is this activity amongst those that are seen as authority figures and our “protectors?” And how many of these go unreported due to fear of reprisal by “good guys” with guns? 

The argument has been made that to hand mortal men the kind of power that comes along with the profession of law enforcement officer will certainly attract those with evil intent. What better way for a sociopath or deviant to hide his crimes than behind a badge? As long as the government holds a monopoly on violence and force expect this to become more rampant, but as the information age progresses, anticipate that these malefactors will be exposed for who they really are. Looking at the damage being currently done by this vocation, we can only hope that people awaken to the realization that they are a danger to us all. 

‘The Person Advocating Violence Is The Fed!’

‘The Person Advocating Violence Is The Fed!’

A lot of people have heard my “liberty story.” It’s the common, “I saw Ron Paul confront Rudy Giuliani on the debate stage in 2007” narrative. Then the reading started; pretty much every “libertarian” book I could get my hand on. For two years all I did was read. Attending a Campaign for Liberty event in Atlanta in 2010 or 2011 sealed the deal and I was all in. 

What most people don’t know is that soon thereafter I became interested in what many refer to as the “Sovereign Citizens.” I came across a few online that invited me to Skype chats to discuss the illegitimacy of the government. One of the main issues people have with those referring to themselves as “Sovereign Citizens” is that a few advocated violence and straight up theft from individuals. This was not the group that I talked to. These were people who came up with scripts of what to say to a judge in a courtroom to get the case dismissed. They advocated peaceful resistance based on education, not belligerence. They always said that if it gets to the point where you’re getting emotional, they’ve won, that they thrive on you being combative.  

It was in one of these groups that I heard a phrase that I’ve heard many times since; “If someone in these groups starts advocating the use of violence, they’re a Fed.” That stuck to me like glue and it’s an alarm that has been ringing in my head a lot lately. 

The Virginia Lobby Day Gun Rally 

Most of the people I follow and interact with on social media would consider themselves to be for personal liberty. Or at least that’s their message. My Facebook and Twitter accounts are purposely set up to not interact with family or friends. The overwhelming majority of them are still stuck in the two-party system and I don’t want to interact with them especially when other people can see the posts and start a dog-pile. I consider family important and am not going to abandon them because they’re where I was 13 years ago.  

All of that being said, the amount of people that I witnessed not only advocating for violent uprising against the State, but calling the Virginia rally a LARP because no shots were fired honestly shocked me. The only reason I’m either “friends” with them on Facebook, or interact with them on Twitter, is because I assumed, they were logical, liberty-minded thinkers.  

 Some of the sentiment I witnessed goes like this: 

 Tyrants only understand you’re serious if you’re pointing guns at them! (this one was “liked” by a “liberty-minded” person whose show I have appeared on) 

 Commenting on the guillotine that was wheeled into downtown Richmond, someone said:  

 The fact that it was dismantled before it was dripping with blood proves this was all a LARP! 

Other comments lamented the lack of violence, especially since the Virginia Senate voted to send the House a bill instituting a Red Flag law the next day. Bill SB 16 which would have been an assault weapons ban that hinted at confiscation has been rescinded but that doesn’t mean that that part of the fight is over. 

Is Violent Revolution the Answer? 

Many are frustrated that a state as “red” as Virginia has been taken over by the “blue” team. Making the joke that you all need to “vote harder” probably isn’t helpful but it makes me chuckle. But seriously, there may come a time that they become tyrannical and all peaceful options have been exhausted. That’s not right now. As I warned in an article prior to the rally, the powers that be control the narrative, but the country saw the white supremacist portrayal debunked when people across the racial and political spectrum came together to celebrate their love of guns. That was a win for everyone except the coastal elites. You have a country on your side. A few randos firing off shots would have destroyed that.  

Which brings me back to the title of this piece. People have heard that the FBI infiltrates peaceful groups who gather to celebrate liberty and to talk about how they can peacefully remove themselves from the power of the government. The FBI radicalizes otherwise peaceful Muslims to continue “The War on Terror.” When I see people who on one hand promote liberty, but on the other advocate for violent, disorganized revolution, I have to wonder whether they’re ignorant, or there to promote an agenda advantageous to the State. It certainly is something to consider. 

Law Enforcement Respects The Constitution?

Law Enforcement Respects The Constitution?

With the 2nd Amendment rally scheduled for Richmond, Virginia’s “Lobby Day” now completed, those who warned against “agent provocateurs,” and other possible hazards, get to breathe a sigh of relief and be thankful for being wrong. The narrative that this was going to be an event dominated by “white supremacists” was proven empirically false by photos that came out showing a racially and politically diverse crowd of people who showed up to communicate to the world that they have one thing in common; their belief that the right to own firearms to protect themselves is a universal idea that only seems to be bemoaned by the most loud and obnoxious “coastal elites” on Twitter, as well as those who believe they are the rulers of the people because they won a popularity contest.  

Among the photos that have been circulated from the event is one that shows unidentified law enforcement officers carrying a banner with the American flag on it that includes the words, “We Support the Second Amendment.” To those who closely monitor the State’s enforcement arm, this is a confusing message. The question needs to be asked; do you? 

Virginia’s New Gun Laws 

As was discussed in a previous article, the Virginia senate has passed three gun bills that are now being sent to the house for consideration that would see it become one of the most restrictive states in America when it comes to firearms ownership. 

Bill SB35, which would “allow localities to ban guns from public events, would actually repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.”  

Bill SB69 “amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.”  

Bill SB70 “requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.” 

If these bills pass the house, and the governor signs them into law (as he has promised he will), will Virginia law enforcement do as their sign claims and support the Second Amendment over their boss’ own mandate? Will they enforce these three bills, the worst of which amounts to a gun registry? 

Why is the Second Amendment a Bridge Too Far? 

Anyone who has spent any time around groups that promote the “American Gun Culture” has heard the claims from not only law enforcement (they are represented mightily), but from their acolytes that police are defenders of the Constitution and would never enforce gun control laws. “They would quit before they took an American citizen’s God-given right to own firearms!” When you point out occasions where law enforcement has not only shown up to take someone’s guns, but killed them in the process, you’re met with everything from excuses about how that was done in a liberal area, to the inevitable back pedaling about how maybe some people shouldn’t be trusted with guns.  

When one points out that they already violate the Constitution by not only trampling over the First Amendment, but especially the Fourth, that’s when the dancing really begins. 

The First Amendment 

The First Amendment to the United States says: 

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. 

Article 1, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution states:  

That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances. 

Both the US and Virginia Constitutions give people the right to “peaceably assemble.” Is that in fact true? According to the ACLU there are conditions upon which one may have to acquire a permit to do just that in Virginia.  

Do we need to get a permit? The need for a permit depends on the type and size of event, as well as the locality in which it will be held. Generally, events requiring a permit include: 1) A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk and other events that require blocking traffic or street closure; 2) A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or 3) A rally at certain designated parks or plazas. 

Properly understood, a permit is when the State takes a guaranteed “right” away, and sells it back to you by either requiring a fee, or for you to ask permission from them. At this point your “right” has been transformed into a privilege, something you must ask permission for.  

And if you did decide to bypass the “permit” process and declare your rights, who is going to be there to enforce these statutes? No, not the people at the window who take the fee and paperwork you have so dutifully filled out; it will be the law enforcement officer. You will be confronted by a man/woman with a gun and they will stop you from exercising your “rights.” 

Privacy? 

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution reads: 

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. 

One need only to go to YouTube and search “traffic stop” videos to know that the Fourth Amendment’s right to be secure in your person and possessions is a thing of the past. An individual’s vehicle, which many states have extended “Castle Doctrine” to, can be rifled through after the officer utters the phrase, “I smell marijuana.” It doesn’t matter if they actually do or not, the courts have interpreted privacy out of existence and local and state law enforcement happily use these phrases to gain access to your private spaces. 

The most egregious of these laws is “Civil Asset Forfeiture” in which you do not have to be convicted of a crime, only suspected, and local law enforcement can seize your bank account, home, anything they deem to be part of a criminal “conspiracy” or “drug nexus.” In the event you are found innocent you do not automatically have your property returned to you; you must petition to get it back. 

It was determined that in 2014 that the property taken from individuals by law enforcement was greater than all burglaries by criminals combined that year. And law enforcement uses the seized belongings for their benefit 

 

Many will no doubt applaud Virginia law enforcement for showing up to the January 20th rally to proclaim that they support the Second Amendment. It has been proven that State policy enforcers will enforce gun laws and already do when it comes to the National Firearms Act of 1934, et al. Yet, most fail to consider how they so easily enforce other laws that blatantly violate protected Constitutional rights such as assembly and privacy. One should afford people respect and consideration when it comes to their word but prior action is always a better gauge when taking into account people’s future behavior. 

Virginia Second Amendment Advocates Beware!

Virginia Second Amendment Advocates Beware!

The Virginia senate has passed three gun bills that are now being sent to the house for consideration that would see it become one of the most restrictive states in America when it comes to firearms ownership. A reading of the laws would put Virginia close to New Jersey from a legal standpoint when it comes to the ease at which one will be able to procure property guaranteed by its own state constitution. 

Bill SB35 which would “allow localities to ban guns from public events, actually would repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.” 

Bill SB69 “amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.” 

Bill SB70 “requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.” 

In response to the three bills that went to the house, the NRA (who has grown out of favor with many pro-2A people in recent years over their non-response to the Philando Castile shooting, but mostly due to their willingness to cave to lawmakers) issued the following statement: 

“Regrettably, Virginia lawmakers approved a series of measures today that will make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to protect themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals. We are pleased one of the most egregious gun confiscation bills was pulled from consideration. The NRA will continue our work with lawmakers to find solutions that address the root cause of violent crime, rather than punishing honest, hardworking Virginians.” 

The “Boogaloo” Bill Has Been Canceled 

The most controversial of the proposed bills, SB16 “was struck from the record, which included the ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.”  

This is the bill that was seen by most pro-2A activists as an act of aggression by the Governor Northam led, Democratically-controlled, Virginia legislature. In no uncertain terms, Northam let it be known that this bill meant that anyone in possession of any weapon/accessory under the statute’s purview (inevitably the lawmakers could make any weapon/accessory fall under the jurisdiction of this law), would be confiscated by state agents.  

As one might imagine, Virginia gun owners immediately started planning what they would be willing to do to stop this tyranny from happening. Terms such as the “boogaloo” started to be seen everywhere on social media. The term has been taken to mean a second Civil War or another American Revolution. In this context it specifically references gun-grabbers but can easily be tied to either of the previous descriptions. 

With this one bill being eliminated the fight against what essentially creates a gun registry in Virginia continues. 

A Planned Rally and the Governor’s Response 

The Virginia Citizens Defense League is planning a lobbying day and rally for Monday January 20th at the state capitol grounds in Richmond. Gun rights supporters will meet to protest the new laws. 

In response, Governor Northam has declared a “State of Emergency” claiming that “officials” have heard reports of “out-of-state militia groups and hate groups planning to travel from across the country to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence.” He continued saying, they “are coming to intimidate and to cause harm.” 

“Northam is raising concerns about a reprise of the deadly violence surrounding the white supremacist march in Charlottesville in August 2017. He said state intelligence analysts have identified threats and rhetoric online that mirror the chatter they were picking up around that time.” 

The New York Times reported on Thursday, January 16th, that the FBI arrested three suspected neo-Nazis of purchasing guns with the intention of attending the Richmond rally 

Taking all of this into consideration, Governor Northam banned the carrying of any weapons at the rally. That decision was contested but upheld by a judge. 

This “racist” narrative is to be expected and one that protesters must take into consideration; almost accept as a given. 

White Supremacists, Racists and Radicals 

This is how the protesters will be painted in the press. It won’t matter if half of the activists there are black and Hispanic; the corporate press has reported before on someone carrying an “assault weapon” at an Obama appearance but conveniently omitted a picture revealing that he was African-American.  

No, this will be about “white nationalists” “clinging to their guns and religion,” and that “outdated” Constitution.  

Agent Provocateurs 

Anyone considering going to a rally in which it has already been expressly declared by the state that they are expecting violence has to watch out for the agent provocateur. One need look no further than the Oakland, California protest against police violence where it was revealed that California Highway Patrol had undercover officers amongst the protesters for weeks before their cover was blown. When their ruse was discovered, one of the officers pulled a gun on his “fellow protesters.” 

Another tactic that must be brought up is federal law enforcement’s history of infiltrating  groups and pushing them towards violence. Since 9/11/01 this has been a recurring narrative that has been uncovered yet largely ignored by the corporate press. 

All it will take at the Richmond rally is for one “provocateur” to fire off a couple of rounds and the story concocted by Northam and his friends in the media will take hold and mainstream public support will jump right to the state (which is where their sentiments already lean). 

It cannot be argued that the laws going through the legislature in Virginia are not only against the US Constitution, but against that state’s very own. The impulse to fight back against this tyranny is strong and has garnered support throughout the country. The most noxious bill, SB16, (the one that would have the state trying to confiscate AR-15s), has been trashed due to the public’s outcry, showing the power masses of people speaking out and protesting can still have. In 2016 a bill was getting pushed through the Virginia legislature to remove the religious exemption from vaccines but a vocal group protested and it was scrapped.  

Contrary to popular belief, letting the powers that be know that this isn’t going to work and you have something to say about it often makes them stop in their tracks. Protest at the state capital, do it peacefully. Violence should be the last resort, the one you never want to go to except when nothing else can be done. But remember, a rally like the one planned is a powder-keg, and the powers that be hold all of the cards to paint the people as the villains were something to break out. In the struggle against tyrants be careful that they don’t turn the tables and have the public screaming for your heads as they have done so many times before.  

The 21st Century of War

The 21st Century of War

As the second decade of the 21st Century comes to a close, and the corporate press is doing everything in its vast power to keep people’s attention on impeachment, it is easy to overlook that the last 20 years should only be defined by one subject; war. Since shortly after the September 11th 2001 attacks, the United States government has set out to prosecute a “War on Terror” that, since the beginning, they have stated may be without an end. Afghanistan is the longest war in American history and the fallout from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 continues to be felt not only in that country, but in neighboring nations such as Syria. Cut off the head of one snake and another grows in its place. This may seem logical to the clear-thinking individual, but government is a collective that only exists to propagate itself. Conflict is a natural multiplier, and fear is its fertilizer. 

The aforementioned clear-thinking individual would be justified in wondering what it will take to end these wars. It has come to light that those involved in prosecuting the war in Afghanistan saw no path to victory. Are people willing to accept this because the Afghan war, unlike those of the past, has yielded a relatively low body count for America’s side? If the average American does take that attitude, what hope is there that enough pressure can be put on their “representative” to get them to pull the plug on these continuing atrocities.  

What will it take for people to demand an end to this mania? 

The Worst of All Scenarios 

If the 9/11 attacks revealed anything it is that a frightened mass of people are willing to go along with anything their representatives propose as long as it gives them a feeling of security. It is of no consequence that it cannot be proven that the Patriot Act, NSA warrant-less spying or even the “brave heroes” of the TSA are doing anything to keep Americans safe from people who would seek to do them harm. The victims of this loss of freedom appear to accept this theater as a warm blanket on a cold night. 

Make the situation even more dire than the 9/11 attacks on American soil and ponder how things would be different. Would a threat of global annihilation put an end to this madness? To borrow a plot out of Hollywood, what if it were determined that a meteor was headed for earth whose impact would be a threat to a considerable percentage of the world’s population? Would that be a reason to stop these wars? Would the insidious nature of government and the contractors with whom they have a symbiotic relationship suddenly change or be paused?  

When you take into consideration that it is certain peoples within the government’s job to do only threat assessments of other nations or groups it would be folly to believe that even a global threat would stop them in their tracks. One could imagine that it would be in their minds that if this were a false alarm, or turn out to be not as serious as previously believed, someone would be out there waiting to take advantage of the situation thereby increasing their power, and consequently decreasing the might of the American government over a particular area or issue.  

Proof Positive 

Something that is unknown to most Americans is that even in the case of nuclear war, an event that would push people beyond the realm of fear and straight into despair and nihilism, the one and only IRS has a plan in place to tax you. Yes, you read that right. The Leviathan has already figured out how it will survive and even though you may be suffering radiation sickness, starvation or drought you are still going to pay up. The realization of this fact should be a slap across the face of anyone who has a grasp on the nature of the State. Yet, many will read this, shrug their shoulders and even make excuses for why it’s an important plan.  

Many questions should come to mind once the knowledge of the intent to continue the practice of taxation is realized. Would there even be a currency? If not, what will they be collecting? Possibly what little possessions you have managed to hold onto after such a catastrophic event? Libertarians, who often hear that in our ideal society “warlords would take over,” would at least get the satisfaction of once and for all proving that those warlords already exist and they’re residing comfortably in the 202-area code. Yes, they will proceed in their plans and will figure out a way to make you pay for it. Even if what they could collect didn’t cover their expenses, in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, they would still be exercising dominion over the masses.  

On Christmas day of 1914, soldiers on opposing sides of a war, most of whom probably had no clue as to why they were fighting, put down their arms and came together in fellowship. They decided that for one day they wouldn’t be the pawns of those who sent them there and proceeded to sup with those they were told were rabid dogs and wished them dead. That this unofficial armistice only lasted for a day, and didn’t continue to the present, is lamentable. May all who have breath in their lungs examine the costs of war, the moral, as well as the financial, and demand a halt to this anachronistic system of “conflict resolution.” 

Free Speech is Non-Negotiable

Free Speech is Non-Negotiable

Anyone trying to shut down free speech knows that their ideology is a lie so they must prevent you from exposing that fact. I have no problem listening to someone else’s opinion, especially if I know it’s dead wrong. Knowing that my ideology is moral and non-coercive helps immensely. Free speech has been under attack since the beginning of time by people in power, those who seek it, or by those who just want to control you and your thoughts. It has nothing to do with words on a piece of paper; you are born with the ability to say what you want. The only time an argument could be made that your speech is “damaging” is if you are directing an individual, or group of individuals, to do harm against another’s person or property. Even then the argument could be made that if the people choosing to follow the orders are doing so voluntarily you still could be without blame. When you’re having a conversation with someone about free speech and they say, for example, “hate speech has no right to be spoken and is not free speech,” what do you say? How much do your opinions and beliefs mean to you? If someone says punch all Nazis AND anyone who promotes free speech, how do you address that?  

An argument that eventually comes up is the collective stupidity of masses of people. That, if we allow those who are good communicators free reign to preach “wrong think” to multiples of malleable idiots, we could have another Mao, Stalin or Hitler pop up. How is that any different than the system now? Politicians have traded the wacky uniforms of the aforementioned dictators for “respectable” suits and a language of inclusivity. While that may appear to be only fair, it in fact riles up a small minority against the rest who are going about their lives. Where in the past rulers sought to mobilize the larger segment of the population against a minority who they made out to be villains (Jews in Germany, gypsies anywhere in Europe, Native Americans), they now give political power to an alleged oppressed few to demonize huge swaths of the population (“anyone who supports Trump is a white supremacist,” or a “Russian-sympathizer,” effectively putting half of the country in their cross-hairs). And their parrots in the corporate press play cheerleader.  

A Smaller Example 

One place the mass of wannabe dictators tries to shut down libertarians is when it comes to “private business.” So, how do they employ this tactic? 

Libertarians believe in unfettered markets which means they don’t want a government or any authority with a monopoly on force and law to be able to make rules or regulations that they get to dictate and change at will. The market will always come up with its own rules that will undoubtedly pave the way for progress and innovation. But that doesn’t mean that liberty-motivated people won’t be able to look at the way a company is doing business and criticize them or flat out call them a fraud. That’s just free speech which also has its own checks and balances in a free market. When someone engages in the argument that because Company A is private, therefore you can’t criticize them for, say, firing an employee because they wrote a memo a minority of people found offensive, they are purposefully being dishonest or just plain stupid. A little prodding and it should be evident which.  

Imagine this argument in practice. Someone of the libertarian persuasion shops at Auto Shop A and is sold a defective tire that has a blowout after 50 miles. It happened on the highway while travelling at 75 MPH causing their vehicle to veer left sharply almost taking out 2 other cars in the process. Say the consumer goes back to business, informs them of the incident, and the shop-owner says, “Sorry, all sales are final. Neither we, nor the manufacturer are liable to replace or refund tires once they leave the shop.” Granted, the business has every right to have this policy. But if that person took to social media to warn people against shopping at this business citing his experience, some who would wish to play “gotcha” on free speech might inevitably say, “You support unfettered free markets bro, you can’t criticize them for the way they run a private business.” All the while knowing that if it happened to them, they would have a conniption and be spewing venom about how “the free market has failed them.” Of course the libertarian is warranted in warning other people of what he’s experienced. But there are still wannabe-dictators out there who would rather see people crash and die than admit their desire to limit speech is lunacy. 

Speech is all about ideas and anyone seeking to limit them is in a very real sense seeking to control your mind. If you’ve ever had the thought, “I can’t say that out of fear of how it will be perceived and the consequences I might face,” it is a prime example of this technique. We’ve even seen people flying the “Libertarian” banner employing these tactics; especially in the “Age of Trump.” It’s sad that many are compelled to not speak their minds or share ideas that may benefit others out of fear that a minority may demonize them. It’s even sadder to see people “promoting” an ideology of liberty joining forces with them. 

Eliminating the Horror of Modern Policing

Eliminating the Horror of Modern Policing

If people properly understood the role of police in the American system, they would probably trust anyone standing next to them in the grocery store to have their best interests at heart more than a law enforcement” officer. Theres an important reason for this. According to a Cato study, if you are an American, you are 8X more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist. According to a Reason article, by Dec 9th 2014, police had killed 1,000 people that year. A search couldn’t find stats on unarmed people that police have killed outside of African American groups who keep track of it. The epidemic has reached the point that better data collecting is needed. But, if you just look at the number of unarmed black men (no weapon at all) killed by police in 2015, 104, and compare it to the amount of Americans worldwide in 2014 (including the US)  whose deaths were attributed to terrorism, 32, American police killed over 3X as many unarmed black men in the US as terrorists killed Americans worldwide. Even if you want to say half of them were out of their minds on bath salts thats almost 2X as many unarmed black men killed by police as Americans killed by terrorism all over the globe. 

It is clear why many, including former law enforcement, believe this is such a huge issue. Trillions are being spent to combat terrorism worldwide, yet millions are being funneled to support the bigger threat to us, the imminent one in which uttering the wrong phrase at a traffic stop can change your life forever… and even end it without consequence to the one who steals your most precious possession. Your life, your very existence. 

Those who have had a chance to consume, cover to cover, James Duanes book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” share the same sentiments, mostly anger and despair. The amount of cases he discusses where innocent people lost decades of their lives because they decided to answer a police officers questions is infuriating and sad at the same time. They have a job to do and its not to protect you, it is to gather evidence against you if they suspect youve done something wrong. And the amount of innocent people that gave them just enough information in what they believed was an informal discussion that allowed a flawed and corrupt system to frame a narrative to get their man/woman,” that a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty, or ones that know nothing of jury nullification, convicted them on is heartbreaking.  

And then there is the epidemic we’ve seen pop up that really came to the forefront at Waco. The first thing the Federal police did was shoot the dogs. They weren’t guard dogs, they were pets. They were in a pen. Recently a police officer, who was eventually fired even though his police chief said he did “nothing against procedure,” shot a 9-pound dog in the face because his owner wouldn’t come to the road to talk to him. Officer Keenan Wallace, formerly of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office in Conway Arkansas, did it out of spite.  On July 5th, 2016, The Nation published an article reporting that police nationwide are killing 25 dogs a day. That’s over 9,000 a year. And the courts have ruled they have the right to do this. Why? The system is not your friend and the front-line soldiers are police. 

People who believe this is a grave issue have the ability to fight back against this tyranny by gathering concerned neighbors and implementing a strategy that has proven to drastically reduce the footprint of law enforcement” in their neighborhoods. Some of these youve probably heard of, but a few in particular many have no idea exist, or have existed. 

 Before solutions are presented, history can provide a good deal of context.  

 Colonial Times 

 State law enforcement was not the norm in the original thirteen colonies. Early colonial governments played no active role in apprehending and prosecuting lawbreakers and police departments and prosecutors did not exist as they are known today. Therefore, a crime victim had to serve as policeman and prosecutor who, if he chose to apprehend an offender and initiate prosecution, did so directly and at his own expense. He did not have to rely on government agencies. On the contrary, he could not rely on them even if he wanted to because they either did not exist, or did not perform the function he sought. By the same token, he was obviously not constrained by such agencies to proceed with a prosecution if he chose to withdraw. 

 Public courts were available in most colonial capitals, but distance and poor roads made use of them for many colonists expensive. Thus, government trials could be, and frequently were, simply bypassed in favor of direct bargaining or third-party arbitration or mediation, with restitution to the victim from the offender being the dominant sanction. Again, early Americans held a restitutive theory of justice whereby forced reparations by the criminal to the victim were ordered, but punitive measures taken against the offender to the benefit of the victim were also demanded. 

What would be the benefits of this? One, if you have to take money out of your own pocket to catch someone who has transgressed against you, and there are no police, false allegations would seem to all but disappear except in the case of someone who just has it out for someone; and even in that case, they are probably looking to do violence to the person other than seeking restitution. 

Notice, this isnt about some abstract concept called justice that is carried out by a State” in which they dont care if you are made whole or not. 

Something else to take from this: would neighbors at the time have a stake in making sure this person was caught? Absolutely. The concept of a public protector doesnt exist, so if there is someone going around stealing or damaging property it makes sense that one would want someone caught who had the potential to do the same to them. So, just by putting the word out it would make sense that you would have volunteers joining you in your search.  

Going back to the rank psychopath who may just be seeking vengeance against someone he views as a foe, do you think people who are hearing the story of whatever the accused may or may not have done have a stake in making sure the accusations are accurate? Yes, or they could be the next victim of a false complaint. 

All of this points to something that always makes a community, and especially a tight knit one, open to the ideas of self-policing; and thats self-interest.  

Before real solutions are presented, dont discount the lesson of the previous. With everything mentioned about the colonies, one can see the importance of central power was not deemed important, so how much money could public officials demand. It is clear why they needed to expand their power. Any fines levied would find their way into public coffers and not back to the damaged party. Power as such generates income and one could argue a good free-market security force could demand a high price but that would be voluntary on the consumers part and that should be the goal.  

The ‘Wild, Wild West’ 

What of the widely held perception that the eighteenth-century West was a lawless society dominated by violence, where the strongest and most ruthless ruled by force? It is true that miners, farmers, ranchers, and many other individuals moved westward much more rapidly than government entities could expand the state’s law enforcement system, particularly from 1830 to 1900. But this does not mean that the frontier was lawless. 

Remember who writes the history books. That the West was a wild, violent, and lawless place is not just something that is popularly believed but rejected by researchers. Many simply assume (or assert) that violence was prevalent and then proceed to explain why that should be the case. Is there any real evidence of relatively violent behavior in the West?  

Some historical accounts focus on a particularly notorious event or individual, and these certainly existed. But there appears to be a serious selection bias problem when the entire West is characterized on the basis of the conclusions of such studies. Interestingly, even those studies discover a good deal of social order. When you examine the Texas frontier from 1875–90, for instance, one finds that many kinds of criminal offenses common today were nonexistent. Burglaries and robberies of homes and businesses (except for banks) simply did not occur. Doors were not locked, and hospitality was widespread, indicating that citizens had relatively little fear of invasive violent or property offenses. Shootings did occur, but they typically involved what the citizenry considered to be “fair fights.” Stage and train robberies occurred, but these incidents were isolated from most citizens and caused them little to no concern. 

So again, one must ask whether government, the monopoly on violence, should be in charge of policing. If at a time where the closest “government protector” could be hours away, the crime rate was low. Why is it so high now? Because so much of what is considered a crime is something where there is no injured party. When you see on a charging document, “THE STATE OF….” Vs “so and so”, the damaged party isn’t present. No victim, no crime. Violations of person and property are the only crimes.

 

One would do well to argue that you would want people you are either paying voluntarily to protect you, or people you trust. So, what are a few ways in which that can be done absent government actors. 

To spend time on the concept of the “neighborhood watch” isn’t warranted. Most people are familiar with the concept.  

The Entrepreneur 

There is an example of a good “free market” approach that has been seen in recent decades. Dale Brown, the founder of Detroit Threat Management, started out with the idea that people had to be responsible for their own security. He figured out that policing is not based on protection, but on prosecution. So, if police show up on average less than 5% of the time to stop a crime, what are you to do? Police are historians, they do not work in current events. They are evidence gatherers, and the sooner the masses come to that realization, the better. 

When you start speaking out against modern police techniques, the first response you get, without fail, is, “Well if you get in trouble, call a crackhead!” This is common. And before we proceed further, one thing Dale says that should stick with you is that law enforcement is for people who have broken the law, or CHOSEN to have laws enforced against them. He is saying YOU CHOOSE THIS. 

Dale designed a system in which he was training people, families and groups how to protect themselves from violence. He was doing this in parks, pretty much anywhere he could. An owner of an apartment building let him use an empty space. 

The turn for him was the realization that teaching people to protect themselves was not going to be enough. There were people who just couldn’t do it. He taught pre-emptive techniques like securing your dwelling which is absolutely essential. Something he says which should be considered but most people don’t is that if someone breaks into your home, and you defend it by killing or hurting that person, you’ll probably want to move immediately. People have family and friends, and having them know exactly where you are puts a target on your back. Revenge is very real. So, making sure you secure yourself and your dwelling isn’t an option, it’s essential. Another point he makes is, just because you have a gun, and know how to use it, doesn’t mean anything. Every dead cop had a gun. So, prevention is where you start. Understanding human behavior is more important. Think about the name of his company, Threat Management. It’s about preparation. Getting to the point where you actually have to fight, should be a major outlier. 

It’s easy to see that even though this is about the entrepreneur, or entrepreneurs who may wish to begin an endeavor as such, there is also a lot of info for the individual. In his realization that many people couldn’t protect themselves he decided his strategy needed to evolve. In 1995 he approached, and was hired by building owners to be their security. This was in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Detroit that was rife with rapes, assaults and murders. His goal was easy. If he could make rich people richer (building and land owners having a safer environment to thrive in), he would be paid for his efforts. 

In the beginning he, and those who worked for him, would get part of their pay with “free” housing. As it progressed, he could charge for his service. He now has a huge company, with contracts to privately protect some of the wealthiest and best neighborhoods out there. Mind you, many were not safe to start with, they are ones he cleaned up by letting people know that he was going to make sure they were safe by using all the techniques he found would prevent violence in the first place. 

The Shomrim 

The most realistic example for pushing the government monopoly on violence and force out of the communities’ people live in is the Shomrim society? Shomrim is the Hebrew word for “watcher’ or “guard.” These are probably most famous in NYC although they have groups scattered through America and Britain. Shomrim will “work” with the police, but honestly, it is only because the cops have a monopoly on force. They would prefer to take care of their own, and should be applauded for it because in a truly libertarian society, that is who you’d want looking out for you even more so than any security you may hire.  

The mission statement/message people get when they go to the “Shomrim Crown Heights” webpage: 

Crown Heights Shomrim is a neighborhood patrol organization made up entirely of volunteers whose mission is to help protect the streets of Crown Heights and to give aid to victims of crime. Crown Heights Shomrim is based in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, a neighborhood comprised of ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jews of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement alongside a large West Indian and African American population. Founded in the 1960’s Crown Heights Shomrim is the evolution of the Maccabees – a first of its kind volunteer patrol – which was founded by residents of the neighborhood who were frustrated with an understaffed and ineffective police department which allowed residents to fall victims to violent crimes. 

During the infamous anti-Semitic riots in 1991, Shomrim expanded its operations and today is the most veteran, respected and responsible organizations charged with providing residents with a reinforced sense of security. Shomrim works closely with members of the New York City Police Department and other branches of law enforcement as well as emergency rescue personal and many of our volunteers have received training by the NYPD, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeland Security. 

If you start to run searches on Showrim groups you will find articles on blogs about how they may push people around and a couple of “mainstream” articles on abuses but that is not what should be focused on. Sure, these kinds of things will happen. But they’re not libertarians. What do they know about the non-aggression principle? Of course, you would want to tailor any group formed to the non-aggression principle. 

Each Shomrim group maintains its own dispatcher and 24-hour hotline, whose number is known throughout the Orthodox Jewish community. Shomrim responds to a wide variety of crimes and cases, including reports of purse snatching, vandalism, car and bicycle thefts, and missing persons. Volunteers patrol the city streets in the wee hours of the morning as a deterrent presence. When they are not on duty, they remain on call, and are often summoned to help other Shomrim groups or other Jewish community rescue organizations such as Hatzalah and Chaverim during large-scale search and rescue operations. 

Shomrim has been effective in apprehending suspects of burglaries, robberies, assault, car thefts, vandalism, domestic violence, nuisance crimes, and antisemitic attacks. In an incident in 2010, four Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteers gave chase to a suspected child predator who drew a gun and shot each of them after they had tackled him to the ground. The shooter was later acquitted of all charges except possessing a gun. Following that incident, the Brooklyn South Shomrim were issued bullet-proof vests by the New York State Senate. 

Shomrim volunteers have occasionally been criticized for using excessive force with suspects, particularly non-Jews. In 1996, a Crown Heights Shomrim volunteer was convicted of assault charges after repeatedly hitting a suspect on the head with a walkie-talkie after the man had been subdued. In 2010 a Baltimore Shomrim volunteer was arrested for allegedly striking a black teenager. He was suspended pending internal investigation, with Shomrim confident that he would be vindicated in court, and was sentenced to three years of probation in 2012. In 2011, two Monsey Shomrim volunteers were charged with misdemeanors in a fracas that erupted after a girl hit a passing van with a water balloon. 

Shomrim volunteers, who are unpaid, are mostly members of the Haredi Jewish communities that they serve; however, around 70 percent of the victims they help are not from the Orthodox Jewish community, usually just local residents from any race or religion. In Brooklyn, Shomrim members, according to their coordinator, are fingerprinted and checked for a criminal record before being allowed to join the patrol.  

Shomrim volunteers – who range from a few dozen to over 100, depending on the group – work on foot or in cars. Generally, members work two to a vehicle that is equipped with a radio and a siren. However, the UK divisions of Shomrim do not have audible or visual warning equipment (blues-and-twos) fitted in their vehicles. Some Brooklyn patrols have marked cars which resemble New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicles, but most use their own unmarked cars. The patrols may also carry walkie-talkies. They wear identifying jackets and yarmulkes on the job. 

The volunteers, says a coordinator, do not carry guns, batons, pepper spray, or handcuffs, and do not have the authority to make arrests. However, they are trained in how to safely track and detain suspects until police arrive, otherwise known as citizen’s arrest. They have been known to quickly mobilize area residents to block off streets in order to stop suspects. 

Their funding comes from donations mostly, although some have been able to get tax-payer money as, especially in their local communities, they are a large voting bloc. A libertarian-type order would, of course, reject this. 

These groups are known to prevent crime and actually solve a few, including missing persons cases. 

Two examples have been presented to show how to drastically reduce the footprint of government police in any neighborhood. When thinking about publicly-funded law enforcement, it is important to remember a few points: 

 1. They are not protectors; they are there to record history and help prosecutors punish “criminals.”  James Duane’s book, “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” is required reading.

2. They are hammers and all they see is a nail. Between shooting unarmed people and executing animals, wouldn’t you rather trust someone you know or are paying directly?

3. In the case of Detroit Threat Management, think of it as a business opportunity. Of course, as in all “free market” endeavors, you will only succeed if you do the job.

Governments, and members of their citizenry who were “just following orders,” killed more than 200 million people last century. It’s time for a better way, a more direct way, a way that if people see it working will seek to choose it over the status quo. It’s time to cast away monopolies who don’t care if the job is done well or efficiently. They certainly don’t care about you or your loved ones. 

The Power of the Meme – My Journey

The Power of the Meme – My Journey

I’m fairly certain the first memes I experienced were on the once famous website Ebaum’s World. I probably didn’t know what to make of them at the time but they were usually funny and I would check back to the site often. After a while I started to see that even though the people who were making them were trying to get a laugh, many were pointing people to the ridiculousness of Iraq War 2 and the prolonged Afghanistan fiasco. A few even caused me to question what I believed at the time but I didn’t consciously realize the effect memes were having on my thought process. It would take a few more years before I realized their power to inject quick blasts of truth into people’s minds.  

When I came to libertarian thought through the Ron Paul/Rudy Giuliani “moment” in 2007, I started to spend a great deal more time online. There they were again, the memes. Ones with Dr Paul’s face and a quick quote of his were probably the most attractive to me. I was especially drawn to the ones that exposed the lunacy of the U.S. government’s foreign policy. I didn’t stop at the memes though. I got Dr. Paul’s collection of House floor speeches, “A Foreign Policy of Freedom” and can point to that book as my true start down the path to becoming a non-interventionist. Unfortunately, people weren’t ready to embrace Ron’s message and he had no chance of getting elected. Yet, he changed the minds of a mass of people who went on to read the works put out by the Mises Institute and the ideas of true liberty started to spread. 

With the election of Obama, and talk that he was “coming for your guns,” I became more active in the online firearms community. By 2010 my Facebook wall was a collage of pro-2A/gun ownership memes due to most of my “friends” being either gun owners or libertarians. Those two groups were hosting the 2A meme party since both are constantly defending their individual rights on the subject. In the following years, especially after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I am confident in saying that pro-firearm memes helped to not only win converts, but stabilize those who were already pro-2A but were succumbing to the emotional arguments being bandied about by people who were either genuinely concerned, or not going to let “a serious crisis go to waste.” 

Having no confidence in the electoral process, especially given the choices between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in mid-2016 I felt the need to get the message of liberty out there in my own way. I logged into a Twitter account I rarely used it, and started posting “anti-state” memes that I either made myself (a minority of them) or procured from other sources. Many of you reading this came along for the ride and I am grateful (I just wish I had time to post more). When I started posting in 2016, I had a total of 43 followers. In a few months I was over 1,000. Over the next couple of years that multiplied.  

The amount of people who have contacted me to confess that memes I posted caused them to become voluntaryist/anarchist, anti-war or that they changed their mind on gun ownership floors me. When someone told me that the podcast I started in 2017 had changed their mind on who the aggressor was in the Israel/Palestine “conflict,” I was almost brought to tears. Especially when he informed me that he used to live in Israel and was now a former hardcore Zionist. 

My podcast, “Free Man Beyond the Wall,” is at the time of this writing on its 344th episode. I have interviewed all of my heroes including the man who inspired my thinking, Dr. Ron Paul, 4 times now. All of this started because I decided to join in the “meme war.” 

Again, in 2017 (A busy year indeed) I decided to write a book/study guide. Years ago, I did accounting for a Christian book store and noticed that one of their top-selling genre of books were called “Daily Devotionals.” They are laid out over a specific time period (usually a month) and each day would normally have a bible verse plus a short commentary for you to contemplate. My assumption was that these were to be used in the morning.  

My work, “Freedom Through Memedon – The 31-day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty,” uses the same premise but replaces a bible verse with a meme and the inspirational commentary with cold water to your face. In my mind, the guide is perfect for any novice liberty seeker, that (L)ibertarian who needs to take the next step in abandoning faith in the State, or any voluntaryist/anarcho-capitalist/agorist that loves memes and frank commentary.  

People immediately asked me how they should read it. My response was, if it were me, it would be on the back of the toilet ready for that morning visit. Many civilized people chose to keep it on their coffee table to read with their morning java/tea/beverage of choice. I added that I would read the days “lesson” in the morning and start my day with a good “wake up call.” I chose to repeat some of the themes on different days. These are the subjects I find most vital to understanding the power the State has over us. Using a 31-day period, I believe I have laid out a concrete argument for the abolition of the State, using memes and only a few paragraphs. 

At this point in time, to argue that well-crafted memes have no power to plant seeds into the minds of people who are ready to receive their message is ignorant. We are in an age where the corporate press puts out articles where the headline states one thing, and the body contradicts it. People read headlines and that’s it. I can’t tell you how often this happens even in libertarian circles. A meme accomplishes the same purpose that our “betters” do when they release their “banner ad” articles. Our goal is to deal in facts and facts alone. If it causes someone to start asking questions and demanding more information, we’ve won. 

The ‘Landlord’ is MY Employee

The ‘Landlord’ is MY Employee

Imagine having an employee whose job was to make sure you are safe from the elements and if anything stopped working in your dwelling, they had to fix it on what YOU paid them. What if you had a contract that stated if they didn’t provide these services in a set amount of time you could either, file a tort claim against them, or walk away with no repercussions and contract with someone else, or both. Would you consider it unfathomable if you were informed that some people were paying this person as little as $800 a month, even less? Some might call that near slave wages! 

For well over a century now, people referring to themselves as socialists and communists, have sought to demonize the “landlord.” These evil imbeciles have gone so far as to murder them en masse. A quick search of social media will find college students and their professors cheering on the ending of the lives of people who provide more service to humanity than they and their Gender Studies degree ever will. Even the term is meant to invoke a caricature of someone who controls your life and who you are enslaved to. This is of course nonsense. That any person with an IQ over 60 takes this term, and its cartoonish interpretation seriously, is a testament to the success of government schools and their indoctrination program which starts in the formative years.  

A quick breakdown as to the services provided by the one who is at your beck and call 24 hours a day, proves the cretin who vilifies them is an enemy of the survival of the species. 

Shelter 

“Mother Nature is trying to kill you.” That phrase is taken from the title of a Dan Riskin book  but I’m sure its origins are apocryphal by now. There was a reason our ancestors lived in caves, then huts, so on and so on. The natural elements of this planet could end their existence. Whether they lived close to the Arctic or on the equator, weather was the main threat to their lives. To have to bring up the last Ice Age to make the point is foolish.  

Not only climate but animals were also a threat to life and limb. The “landlord” provides safety to all who either cannot own their own land, or doesn’t want to. 

Food Storage 

One of the greatest dilemmas in history has been the preservation of our nutritional sustenance. A quick glance back gives you examples of people salting meats, placing their stock in cold streams and various other methods. They had to constantly innovate in a time of prehistoric and medieval technologies or else one of the main things they needed to stay alive could kill them.  

With the advent of modern refrigeration, this problem that lasted for millennia is all but solved. Almost all landlords provide one of these life saving devices with the property you lease from them. 

Safety from Predators 

When a libertarian is asked to give the elevator pitch for what they believe, many will say “don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff.” No libertarian is deluded enough to believe that everyone will follow that standard so having a safe place for one’s person and property is essential.  

As has been discussed about our ancestors, a dwelling that protects both is vital for survival.  The service that the landlord provides, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is adequate for anyone’s needs. 

Luxury   

Having items in your home that simply make you happy is a relatively new idea for the masses. When the modern nation state was formed, only a small minority could have what are termed “luxury goods.” Usually, only the kings and their most trusted advisors could acquire these. In the last 100 or so years that has changed. Televisions, computers and the internet are common-place even in homes that many of the enemies of the “landlord” would consider low-income. These “treacherous” property owners will often provide these amenities in your contract along with marble floors, walk-in closets and even bidets. 

If one wished to be sarcastic, they may ask, “HOW DARE THEY?!” 

 

What is the alternative to this beneficial arrangement for all, central planning? Having the State build cookie-cutter dwellings for the masses? History has shown that “public housing” becomes run down and dilapidated in the absence of someone with a financial interest in keeping the property up to a certain standard. Mention the concept of “resale value” to a commie/socialist and I’m sure their wiring would malfunction as quickly as that of a New York City housing project’s. 

Private ownership providing a service, even in this system of crony-capitalism, is preferable to that of government control. The question must be asked to those who wish to see government, or centrally planned housing, whether they believe food should be provided in the same way. That should be a yes or no answer. If it is no, then why would they trust central planners with sheltering the masses? If the answer is yes, those who disagree would do well to separate themselves from these sociopaths sooner rather than later. 

Blaming Libertarianism for Every ‘Societal Woe’

Blaming Libertarianism for Every ‘Societal Woe’

Normally, a random post on Twitter doesn’t deserve an answer in the form of an article, but in an era where the libertarian ideology (that of non-aggression and strict property rights), which is much closer to the ideas of liberty expounded by the founders of America than modern “Conservatism” could ever hope to be, it is probably warranted. Whether it be Tucker Carlson blaming Austrian Economics and libertarianism for betraying the “American worker” on his highly rated nightly entertainment program, or a Tweet from a “free-speech-maximalist” social media platform attempting to hold libertarianism liable for “drag queen story hour,” the opioid epidemic or mass migration, it’s about time to point out that there are a couple huge elephants in the room these people seem to be ignoring. 

Mind you, one should not be shocked by their ignorance. These parties have obviously bought into the hysteria that those in power always use as a rudder to guide the gullible and emotional to and fro. Most people nowadays are like modern doctors when they come across something they can’t quite diagnose; they concentrate on the symptoms rather than the root cause. Examining the Tweet at hand, we see not only this issue, but just plain ignorance. 

The Purple, Blinking Elephant in the Room 

Normally, an article such as this one should proceed in tearing apart the subject of its irritation by starting at the beginning, but since the author’s main vexations are held until the end we shall proceed there. 

Whether you’re talking about big “L,” or small ‘l’ libertarianism, they both can agree that the smaller the government is, the more liberty the individual has. The author seems to be working under the assumption that small, or no government, would cause young kids to be flashed at “drag queen story hour,” heroin overdoses and mass migration.  

The United States currently has the largest, most powerful government in the history of mankind. They are 23 trillion dollars in debt not counting unfunded liabilities. They have military bases in over 80 countries. They lead all nations in incarcerating their citizens which has been fueled by an almost 50-year, immoral “War on Drugs.” They extort upward of 50% of their citizens incomes when you take into consideration all taxes and fees.  

If the United States was ever inspired by libertarian ideals, those days were gone over 100 years ago. The author’s main criticisms; young kids being flashed at “drag queen story hour,” heroin overdoses and mass migration, are all occurring under a government that you would be hard-pressed to find a shred of libertarian ideology in. “Drag Queen Story Hour” is happening in government schools and libraries. Libertarians would have public schools and libraries abolished in favor of private alternatives. The opioid epidemic has been proven by libertarian academics to be a direct result of government regulation. Dr Mark Thornton has done the best work on this and has appeared on this author’s podcast driving that point home. Mass migration is being caused by foreign policy, interventionism, and if it is some grand conspiracy, it is being orchestrated by politicians and people of influence using the monopolistic power of government to accomplish their goals. Most libertarians would see government abolished and free market solutions put in place such as making all property private thus solving the “migration” issue and turning it into a matter of trespassing.  

The inevitable objections now will start. The most obvious being that these problems would become more rampant in a society without a central power (having already proven that all of this is occurring with, either the seal of approval of the biggest government in history, or with their apathetic attitude towards it, this forces the author to argue for what, even more government?). Sure, that argument can be made but it is all based on conjecture as Robert Higgs likes to point out. It’s all theoretical. What can be proven empirically, is all of the horrors that the author is bemoaning are happening under the most powerful State on the planet contradicting any point trying to be made in the Tweet regarding libertarianism. 

Maybe the author believes that if only they were in charge, they would have all the answers. Many socialists like to point at certain countries and say, “that wasn’t real socialism,” which translated usually means they believe themselves to be smarter, and more “moral” than those who’ve gone before, and if only they had been the shot-caller, utopia would’ve been achieved. Those who deny horseshoe theory deny reality. 

Now we can go back to the start. 

Conservative Values 

Starting off your criticism of libertarianism by invoking “Conservative values” without explaining exactly what they are is sophistry. The claim is made that these values are non-existent without Christianity but there the writer falls on their face again. What are Christian values? One could go to ten different denominational churches of Christianity and get different answers to the question of what their cultural values are. The author has in their mind what Conservatism and Christianity must be, and to separate the two is anathema. “To hell with the Conservative atheist! He is no ally of mine!”  

They proceed with the statement that “libertarianism is inherently not conservative.” Since they don’t define their terms; how can one even begin to take this statement apart? Anyone who would make an attempt would be working under assumptions to which the author can simply retort, “that’s not what I meant!” 

I do champion the statement though. Libertarianism is not Conservative. Murray Rothbard makes that abundantly clear: 

Conservatism is a dying remnant of the ancien régime of the preindustrial era, and, as such, it has no future. In its contemporary American form, the recent Conservative Revival embodied the death throes of an ineluctably moribund, Fundamentalist, rural, small-town, white Anglo-Saxon America. 

Conservatism is another form of collectivism that cannot find solutions outside of it. In other words, the individual may be spoken of, and even championed, but to stray from the thought process contained within puts you outside of it. It has no room for individualism as can clearly be seen in the Tweet this article references (leaving aside the three topics the author highlights as they can be considered legitimate concerns to individuals as well). 

Addressing their finale of “live and let live bro” is tiresome. I don’t know any libertarian who would echo that statement unless it was qualified with “as long as you aren’t damaging someone else’s person or property.” It is actually a perfect example of a “straw man fallacy” and warrants no further discussion. 

Anyone who spends considerable time on the “political” side of social media should be able to recognize that most statements like the one in the referenced Tweet are being posted by persons who are either ignorant, or dishonest. Recently, it appears that more people are intent on putting out false narratives about people or ideologies they disagree with in the moment. It is a fact that there have been a number of attacks recently on the libertarian ideology by those who will say in one breath that it is useless and outdated, while in the next blame it for the cause celebre. One may be inclined to believe they’re feeling threatened and lashing out. This should be seen as inspiration moving forward. 

Fear is the Liberty Killer

Fear is the Liberty Killer

An overused term that is invoked to describe the United States, the largest government in the history of mankind, is “free country.” Does anyone actually believe that, or is it something to use as a bludgeon against those who seek to change particulars about said leviathan that they deem to be essential; their pet issue? Whether it is the right to own guns with “conservatives” (allegedly protected by a piece of paper), or abortion with the left (same, the Supreme Court decision invoked the 4th Amendment), that phrase, “free country,” is a dagger thrown at anyone who would seek to restrict either. This raises a question; how free are you if you have to point to a document that has been twisted and manipulated into meaning just about anything by 9 priests with lifetime appointments? Many in history have disagreed with the meaning of the 1st Amendment which is written in such a way that a 5-year-old clearly understands it. That is, until they get into a government school that teaches them that what they saw as logical as a youngster, is much more complicated. Especially when you take people’s “safety” into account. 

It is clear to anyone who examines it, that when a new law is passed, government agency created, or there is just an expansion of local, state or federal law enforcement, the reasons given to the public to justify this are ones that are meant to induce only one emotion; fear. Fear is the great liberty killer and a society that has been taught that the government is here to be their protector and provider in all things, allows its unlimited expansion when that emotion is created by those who seek to rule them. This is clear when you break down certain issues. 

Foreign Policy and the ‘War on Terror’ 

When you bring up 9/11 to people you get varied reactions. Emotions such as sadness and rage are most common in this author’s experience. Many times, both are present. The one response you rarely hear is fear. Why? People see that as an emotion to be embarrassed about. When you’re mourning a loss or fuming with anger, everyone sees those as justifiable. No one want to been seen as scared. Especially in a “free country.” 

Don’t be fooled, fear was the reason people accepted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It directly led to people’s support for the TSA and the “PATRIOT Act.” Fear is how people justify their elderly parents and grandparents, and young children, being groped and probed by publicly-funded deviants in every airport in the land. It’s all to keep us safe from those terrorists who “hate us for our freedoms.” If that were true, considering how much liberty has been lost, shouldn’t that be a mild dislike by now? Who are you trying to fool? This is about seeing a terrorist at every gate in every airport, and God forbid someone wearing a hijab gets on your plane! 

The ‘War on Drugs’ 

Let’s congratulate “drugs” for winning the “War on Drugs.” And, if we’re honest, the majority of this “war” is about a plant that grows in nature and doesn’t need to be processed to be used. Referring to cannabis as a “drug” is one of the greatest propaganda achievements in the history of tyrannies. Yet, it was sold as an “evil weed” through fear, full stop.  

Harry Anslinger, the father of cannabis prohibition (the term cannabis is being used because “marijuana” was a word invented to sound ethnic, another fear tactic), knew how to manipulate “good Christians,” and the public in general, into being frightened of that “evil weed” that caused people to participate in the most “depraved” of actions. Here are some examples of Anslinger’s work: 

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer… 

Traffic in marijuana is increasing to such an extent that it has come to the be cause for the greatest national concern. This drug is as old as civilization itself. Homer wrote about, as a drug that made men forget their homes, and that turned them into swine. In Persia, a thousand years before Christ, there was a religious and military order founded which was called the Assassins and they derived their name from the drug called hashish which is now known in this country as marijuana. They were noted for their acts of cruelty, and the word “assassin” very aptly describes the drug. 

 This quote may be apocryphal, but is widely credited to him: 

Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. 

It’s all about fear. Tyrannies have counted on the easily manipulated masses to believe whatever embellishments of the truth, or outright lies, they peddle. From the beginning of the smallest clans to the birth of the modern nation-state, fear of the other, or the unknown, has been used to get individuals to collectivize allowing a small minority to dictate what is in their best interests when it comes to safety. It happened after 9/11 (and it’s only gotten worse), and it continues in the insane “War on Drugs” that is responsible for the “freest country in world” having the most people incarcerated per capita with the next closest country far off in the distance.  

If individuals fail to examine themselves when it comes to the level of fear they’re living with, and how this directly correlates to how much tyranny they’re willing to abide, the term “free country” will become even more of a punchline than it is at the present moment. Unless they are prepared to investigate from where, and how, these feelings of trepidation have come into their lives, they should count on the chains getting tighter, and the leash shortening. The ideas of true liberty can be foreign, even frightening, to those who have never considered them, who’ve been taught that the status quo is the best that can be expected. Doing everything to help the scales to fall from their eyes should be a priority to those who have already enjoyed the experience. 

Let’s Stop with this ‘Culture of Liberty’ Nonsense

Let’s Stop with this ‘Culture of Liberty’ Nonsense

Imagine if someone you didn’t know, who lived 3,000 miles away, had a say in who you could or couldn’t marry. Would you think that was crazy? What if that person could dictate what you were allowed to put into your body? Since that is a reality why isn’t it just as insane? Why do so many not question it? Using alcohol and cannabis as an example; do you think the people who founded this country, many of whom used and grew cannabis and distilled their own liquor, would want to ask why you believe laws making it illegal to either grow, or distill and sell these substances, are legitimate? 

What about the time of “prohibition?” Have you ever asked someone you know to be for the “War on Drugs” whether they believe the Volstead Act, and the resulting violence surrounding the black market it initiated, was successful? What would they say? If they said no would you bring up the “war on drugs” and ask them how that’s going?  

Do most people know about the temperance societies that existed since 1826 who pushed for the passage of Volstead? A group of people, just like your neighbors or best friends, decided they knew what was better for individuals and groups, and got an amendment added to the Constitution that ushered in an era of violence, chaos and death. And they weren’t even a majority of the country. 

Since November of 2016, the clear divide between certain political groups in this country has shone like a beacon to all those who have been paying attention. The loudest faction on the “Left,” with a huge assist from their friends in the “corporate media,” have informed anyone who will listen that Donald Trump is a Russian asset, that the Russians stole the election, that the U.S. is not only being run by white-supremacists, but that anyone who voted for, or supports the president, is one also, and that the Kurds in Syria are the United States greatest ally and if you don’t agree you are an agent of Putin. I could go on but it is an exhaustive list of mental machinations that would have you believe that the guy who runs a country whose economy is smaller than that of New York State’s is pulling the world’s strings.  

And they are seething about it whether they actually believe any of it or not. So much so that they have taken to comparing a loose-knit group of miscreants and malefactors who call themselves ANTIFA, whose main gripe seems to be that they actually have to work to survive in this world, to the soldiers who stormed the beaches at Normandy to fight Hitler. This is barely an exaggeration.  

Did you think this was only going to be a criticism of those on the “Left?” There is a faction on the “Right” that believes the election of Donald Trump is a signal that the culture, which is always dominated by the “Left” in this country, is somehow swinging to the “Right.” They believed that once Trump was inaugurated, he was going to take down the “corporate media” and their allies in the universities. Many just knew that Trump was going to bring home those precious factory jobs that so many Americans are itching to work at for the next 30-40 years of their lives. Imagine what it takes to believe that Trump would “lock her up” and “build that wall?” 

The War 

Make no mistake, these two factions are at war with each other. A small minority is taking to the streets to commit violence against one another (small groups on the Right do demonstrations knowing ANTIFA will show up which has a habit of ending in violence). But no, this “war” will be fought at the ballot box and the winner will not be individual liberty. These two groups have one aim in casting their ballots; to seize the reins of power and use it to crush the other. The “Left” wants to use it to institute every big government program the Right has prevented them from passing including everything from universal healthcare to college-for-all. The Right desires to “build that wall” (that the next democrat president will make a national holiday of tearing down) believing the democrats are using illegal immigration to expand their voter base and the Kochs are utilizing for cheap labor which takes away their “jerbs”  (apparently a lot of people on the right wish to pick fruit and be maids in motels). Or, it’s the boring “they’re just coming here to mooch off the welfare state argument (which none of them want to build a wall around in case they need to sponge off it in the future). 

It should be repeated, these people are not voting to reduce government, or to even keep the status quo (however unsustainable it is), they are voting so that the government will do something about their “mortal enemy.” This should raise the question as to why you would still want to associate in ANY way with those you view as your ultimate foe. It doesn’t seem to bother them that the vote of someone 3,000 miles away can radically change their way of life. They don’t see the absurdity in it in the same way, I’m sure many didn’t recognize what temperance societies were going to do to their safe neighborhoods in Chicago and New York. 

This country has bought into the lie that the Constitution, and the founding of this country, is the best system of governance that will ever exist. No, it was the best for that time, for an era when the options were a return to monarchy or church-rule. Federalism over 327 million people has proven to devolve into oligarchy and a growing police state. As the United States drops lower on several indexes, especially economic freedom, maybe we should look at the populations of the countries that are topping it and make some decisions about whether these warring factions should be left to their own insanity, allowing others of us the pursuit of happiness we were promised. 

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

Anyone who pays attention to cases involving police shootings, especially those that result in a fatality, has noticed that the narrative we first hear coming from the press soon changes. It is no different in the case of Atatiana Jefferson, who was gunned down through a closed window in her home on October 12, after a neighbor called police to report that her front door was ajar at 2AM. Fort Worth police showed up for a “wellness check.” They didn’t bother knocking, instead deciding to pull their guns and lurk around the outside of the house with high-lumen flashlights. Officer Aaron Dean and his partner opened a gate to the backyard, entered, and noticed a silhouette in the window that turned out to be Jefferson. He never identified himself as a police officer, yelled “show me your hands,” and a split second later fired the fatal shot. 

On Monday, 10/14/19, the Fort Worth PD announced that Dean had resigned from the police force before they could terminate his employment. The same day the report came that FWPD had filed murder charges against Dean. He was arrested, and soon after made the $200,000 bond. 

When the arrest warrant affidavit was released to the public, it was alleged that Jefferson’s un-named 8-year-old nephew, who was playing video games with her, claimed that Atatiana had noticed people lurking outside, picked up her gun and pointed it at the window. Granted, until an investigation is done, facts such as these are not expected to come out (not that it exonerates the officer). On Thursday, the 17th, the narrative surrounding the initial call to police was changed from that of a “wellness check,” to one of a “potential burglary.” Once again, anyone who has examined cases as such recognizes that this is often done in officer-involved shootings.  

The subject here should not be what the original intent of the call to law enforcement was made for, but whether a “mundane” has a right to protect their home from a “protected class member,” especially one who failed to identify himself as such. That there are people willing to defend the actions of officer Dean should come as no surprise. But is there a precedent for defending your home from officers who do not announce themselves? 

Ray Rosas 

On February 19, 2015, a Corpus Christi SWAT team led a “no-knock warrant” assault on the home of Ray Rosas. They had a search warrant and were looking to arrest his nephew, Santiago Garcia, who they suspected of selling drugs. Garcia was not in the home at the time. One would think that simple surveillance of the property could’ve informed police of this. Or they could’ve knocked and asked if he was in the dwelling. But no, Rosas suffered the typical, cowboy-type SWAT raid that police, on average do 50,000 times a year. When you compare that to 800 per annum in the 1980s, one should ask, why?  

The team threw a flash-bang grenade into the bedroom of the Rosas home, which was followed by three cops entering without announcing that they were, in fact, law enforcement.  

Rosas, whose home had been shot at in the past during drive-by shootings, believed he was being robbed, so he pulled out his gun and fired 15 times, striking three officers, all of whom survived the shooting. 

Rosas was arrested on attempted capital murder which, if convicted, carried a sentence of life in prison. During the trial, those charges were reduced to three counts of aggravated assault on a “public official.” Prosecutors argued that he should’ve known they were police because he had a surveillance camera outside his home.  

But Rosas had always maintained he did not know they were cops, telling cops as he was being arrested that he did not know they were cops. He also told jailers the same thing that night as they were booking him. 

After almost two years in jail, awaiting, and during his trial, the jury deliberated for only two hours and found him not guilty 

The surveillance camera footage that allegedly captured the raid, was never released to the public. 

How the case of Ray Rosas relates to the shooting death by law enforcement of Atatiana Jefferson should be clear. In Rosas’ case, the police never announced who they were, threw an explosive device into his bedroom, and trespassed into his home. A Texas jury decided that the testimony of police was contradictory, and that Ray was defending his castle from what he thought were criminals.  

In Ft. Worth, the police officers never announced who they were and prowled around the outside of Jefferson’s home with flashlights, entering her fenced-in backyard. At 2 AM, it is not unreasonable to believe that anyone who owns a firearm would’ve done the same. Many on social media have proclaimed they would have done the exact thing that Atatiana did. Yet, there are those who seek to make the inane argument that if Dean is held responsible for this murder, “Who Would Ever be a Cop?” That is a great question ignoring the shooting. 

Using the precedent of the Rosas case, the conviction of Aaron Dean looks to be a slam dunk, although they differ in that the aggressor was unharmed and the peaceful inhabitant was slaughtered. The defense will no doubt rely on the Graham vs. Connor decision. Taking that into consideration, the prosecutor is now the one looking down the barrel.  

The Ft. Worth Killer Cop Will Probably Get Away With It

The Ft. Worth Killer Cop Will Probably Get Away With It

Those who take police accountability seriously had reason to celebrate this month when Amber Guyger, the police officer who walked into 26-year-old Botham Jean’s apartment, mistook it for her own, and fired a fatal shot into him, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10-years in prison. Many saw it as a penetration of the “Thin Blue Line” with the cop responsible for Jean’s death heading to prison (with numerous appeals waiting in the wings).

At 2 AM on October 12th, Ft Worth resident Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death through a screened, closed window in her home by Ft. Worth Police Department officer Aaron Dean. Dean, 35, was hired by the department in 2017, and started in the field in 2018. Jefferson’s neighbor, James Smith, was concerned when he noticed the front door of her home was ajar. He called the police on a non-emergency number at which time the FWPD dispatched officers on a welfare check. Instead of knocking on the door, they walked around the house in the dark with flashlights which led to the shooting.

On Monday, the Fort Worth PD said that before they could terminate the employment of Aaron Dean, he resigned. A few hours later they announced that Dean was being charged with murder. The next day Dean made bond and was released from custody.

There is a specific reason for beginning this article with a discussion of the Guyger verdict, and those who view the Jefferson shooting by Dean as one worthy of a long jail sentence aren’t going to like it. The fact is that Guyger was not performing her duties as a police officer when she fired that fatal shot into Botham Jean. Aaron Dean was. And, if the history of police shootings of “mundanes” teaches us anything, it’s that they are rarely found guilty, even in a jury trial.

Who Decides What a ‘Reasonable’ Shooting is?

If a plea deal in the murder charge of Aaron Dean is not made, the defense will undoubtedly make the argument that Dean’s shooting of Jefferson was “reasonable,” and that he feared for his life. The charges that Dean is facing for a shooting on duty are rare. “Between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers had been arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings. During that 12-year span, 35% were convicted, while the rest were pending or not convicted,” according to work by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.” That is 80 officers arrested in a 12-year span. Numbers show that police shootings resulting in the death of a citizen average about 1,000 per year. Judging by those percentages, the likelihood of an officer being punished for a shoot are miniscule. Why?

As defense-attorney Scott H. Greenfield points out in his article, “Tamir Rice’s Basically Reasonable Murder,” about the 2014 police shooting of a 12-year-old boy playing with a toy gun at a park in Cleveland, Ohio, an accused officer’s actions are to be judged on “objective reasonableness” following the Graham Vs. Conner decision. He notes that that may sound good until you realize how that is defined when the defendant is a cop:

The practical effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in Graham v. Connor and other federal court cases, is that those sitting in judgment of an officer’s use of force must view the relevant facts from the perspective of the law enforcement officer on the scene. Accordingly, the relevant facts are those facts, and only those facts, that were available to the officer at the time the decision to use force was made. After acquired information cannot be used to determine the validity of an officer’s actions. Moreover, because the perspective must be that of the law enforcement officer on the scene, it is extremely important to look at those relevant facts through the eyes of an officer trained to recognize and react to a threat.[Emphasis added.]

Greenfield continues, “This is where “objectivity” gets twisted, as it’s not the reasonable person’s idea of objectivity, but the reasonable cop’s. And yet, not even the reasonable cop, but the reasonable cop as seen through the eyes of the shooter. And so the word “objectivity” may be in there, but it’s as subjective as it gets.”

Furthermore, the Court concluded that the issue must be viewed “from the perspective of a reasonable officer at the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight…”

Using the Tamir Rice investigation as an example, Greenfield exposes who the “experts” were who were brought in to decide the “objective reasonableness” of the shooting, “The county prosecutor hired two “outsiders,” meaning they weren’t connected to the Cleveland Police Department. But as outsiders go, they were as inside as it gets. There was a report by retired FBI agent Kimberly A. Crawford and one by S. Lamar Sims, a Colorado prosecutor. Both arrived at the only conclusion they could, given their mandate.”

“Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat.”

Greenfield explains: “The only constitutional provision at issue when law enforcement officers seize an individual by using deadly force is the first clause of the Fourth Amendment that provides:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated…”

Greenfield continues:

“It is significant that the Fourth Amendment does not require a law enforcement officer to be right when conducting a seizure. Rather, the standard is one of objective reasonableness. In Graham v. Connor, 490 S.Ct. 386 (1989), the Supreme Court of the United States held that the determination of the reasonableness of an officer’s decision to use force must be made from the perspective of an officer on the scene. The Court noted that “officers are often forced to make split-second judgements-in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving-about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.”

Those who are holding out hope that former officer Aaron Dean will be punished for an act that would have the average person, not protected by the system, staring at the walls of a prison cell for a number of years, may have only one hook to hang that on.

Recent incidents such as the Eric Garner murder at the hands of NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, show the full spectrum of what Greenfield discusses. Six months after the incident, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo. Protests nationwide broke out and the NYPD made a settlement with the Garner family. “In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to bring criminal charges against Pantaleo under federal civil rights laws. A New York Police Department disciplinary hearing regarding Pantaleo’s treatment of Garner was held in the summer of 2019; on August 2, 2019, an administrative judge recommended that Pantaleo’s employment be terminated.”

In the case of Pantaleo, after years of trying to get him brought up on charges, the inevitable “political” pressure managed to remove him from his job without his pension. Was justice served for a senseless murder caught on video? Hardly. But it does point out the one way those who wish to see Dean punished for his crime may get their wish. Intense, political pressure must be applied. Then, and only then, do we see examples of the system “sacrificing” one of their own.

A Redcoat Murders a Colonist in Her Home

A Redcoat Murders a Colonist in Her Home

If the people heeded the words of certain founders, had an unquenchable thirst for liberty and were not lost in their comfort and seeming security, the headlines in regard to the shooting by a local tax-feeding-jackboot of a 28-year-old woman through the window of her home, would be the same as above. That individuals have not recognized they are hostages in a free-range prison can only be credited to tradition, and a 15,000-hour education by the same people who distribute the salaries to said hostage takers. 

Ft. Worth Texas resident, Atatiana Jefferson, was home on 10/12/19 at 2am, when a friend noticed that her front door was slightly open. The neighbor decided to call local police for what is called a “wellness check.” This is normally reserved for a relative to request if they know their family member is in-firmed or mentally unstable. The police are supposed to show up to check on the person but it often turns into a situation where the respondents “fear for their lives” and put down those they are there to check on. Ms. Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew at the time of the non-emergency call to the police (Yes, she had an 8-year-old up at 2AM. Does that somehow excuse the death sentence?).  

Police officers arrived, and instead of knocking on the door and asking the resident if she was OK, walked the perimeter of the house at which time one noticed someone inside standing near a window. One officer shouted for Atatiana to put her hands up and immediately opened fire through the screened window striking Ms. Jefferson. She died at the scene. The police officer never identified himself as such, for all Ms. Jefferson knew, he was a trespasser, and she would’ve had every right to shoot him. 

Rules of Engagement 

Ask any American soldier who has been deployed to a war zone what the rules of engagement they have to follow are, and you will understand how “off the rails” domestic law enforcement is. If they are in a foreign land and see someone with a rifle, they are not allowed to open fire, or engage, unless that weapon’s muzzle is pointed at them. Contrast that with this story and what do you see? What about the Botham Jean shooting? A cop trespasses into a man’s apartment and kills him and police say to hold her responsible is a “war on cops?”  

Does it need to be repeated? If you are doing a job where you are so scared of people who aren’t wearing the same uniform as you, go flip burgers. Even better, go work in a warehouse where you don’t have to be triggered by interactions with the general public. It’s a lot to ask those living off of other people’s labor to try their hand at the free market but hey, you have to stop living off other people some time, right? Isn’t that what your parents said when they kicked you out of the house? 

Property Rights 

Face it, they don’t exist. These officers didn’t have to receive a call to trespass upon “private property.” If they were driving by and noticed the door open, they could’ve taken it upon themselves to encroach upon someone else’s land. People who believe in strict property rights like to bring up that if someone is in their home, or on their property, who they wanted out of there, it’s their decision. No arguments. But if that person is wearing a uniform and a badge, many believe by default, they have a right to enter any dwelling. It’s almost guaranteed they’re fans of the Bill of Rights but are blind to the contradiction of having an expectation of privacy. 

“Patriots” who defend murders like this one as a mistake, are almost always cheerleaders of the American Revolution, when the colonists got sick of police being quartered in their homes and harassing them on the streets. But even mention police reform and the “war on cops” trope is hurled at you. Talk about major changes, and you see how far the American spirit has strayed from its radical roots. 

There Was a Gun in the House 

When you can’t find the evil marijuana, you have to rely on something to get the copsuckers on your side. As was seen in the case of Philando Castile, a lot of them are all for gun ownership as long as it’s the “right people” owning guns. The NRA went silent on Castile and it is yet to be seen what their take on this one will be.  

The police are saying that the officers didn’t know there was a firearm in the home until after the shooting. Then why mention it other than to try to paint the victim in a poor light? 

Many pro-gun advocates have pointed out that it has been the State’s intention for some time, with help from their allies on the Left, to demonize any gun ownership. Some have commented that an outright ban, or “buy back,” isn’t necessary with the number of states who have decided to enact “Red Flag” laws. This allows them to confiscate guns from one person at a time. In the past week, a Washington state man had his guns confiscated under these laws because he posted a picture on Twitter holding two rifles which he captioned, “One ticket for The Joker, please!” Is this provocative? Yes. Did it warrant confiscation of property under an “Extreme Protection Order?” Only if you believe he’d be stupid enough to announce to the world his intentions. Or, if you are overreaching hoodlums looking to expand State power over the populace. 

To sum this up, a 28-year-old woman, “safe” in her own home, playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, was gunned down by State representatives who trespassed onto her property, “feared for their lives,” and executed her when they shot at a figure through a closed, screened window. To say that could be any one of us is a common refrain, but not hyperbolic in this case. The problem appears to be that very few believe it could be them. 

The Real Meaning of ‘Fake News’

The Real Meaning of ‘Fake News’

That there are still people among the general public that take everything they hear and see on cable and broadcast news programs as gospel, is a testament to the “success” of government schools. 15,000 hours of indoctrination doesn’t help with discernment, but surely assists in making sure the powers that be have a grip on how you perceive and process what is being fed to you. Fake news, fake news, fake news! In my opinion that phrase will remain part of the zeitgeist forever. For our purposes we are not talking about “fake news” (maybe a little) but selective information meant to steer your thinking in a certain direction.  

Starting in the early 1950s, probably due to the rapidly expanding war state, and the “Red Scare,” the CIA instituted Operation Mockingbird. Mockingbird sought to influence the reporting done by the mainstream news while infiltrating and funding student groups as well as magazines. Remember, this was all happening at a time when there was no internet. Many were still consuming their news from radio and there were three television stations spoon-feeding the mass of people who just lived through a “world war’ and were reveling in the victory their government gave them. These were uber-patriotic times. People were willing to give their government the benefit of the doubt. 

Anyone who has spent time in one of those government schools (the overwhelming majority of the population) wasn’t taught about Operation Mockingbird. It should be obvious as to why. Now that the public is aware (assuming any have taken the time to investigate and ponder its importance), how should they view the information that comes flowing out of the mouths of perfectly quaffed models and actors hired to read off a teleprompter? Do they question the words gliding off their tongues? That can be answered with an emphatic, NO! 

When you are parroting information slipped to you by covert operatives, how do you fact check it? Is it paranoid to ask about the legitimacy of this reporting? MSNBC does not hide the fact that their reporting leans “Left” with the majority of their opinion pieces being “Progressive.” What they may not want you to remember is that they were cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The network had never shown a background with the American flag on screen, yet when the war become demanded by the State, they did just that. They added patriotic programming that had never appeared on the network. Executives went so far as to fire Phil Donohue one month before the Iraq War started because he was “too anti-Bush” in his rhetoric. They turned on a dime and promoted a lie. Why? 

Do a quick internet search and you will find that even the most liberal of newspapers such as the New York Times has been guilty of publishing data that turned out to be false but eventually led the U.S. into conflict in the Middle East. The term “war hawk” could rightly be applied to their promoting of these offensivesWhy were they so quick to encourage American intervention in Iraq? Never forget that when it comes to the reporting of these news agencies there is always contrary data that they choose to ignore in favor of information that more often than not, leads to hostilities.  

Most recently we have seen the Russia-Gate debacle. For close to two years, CNNMSNBC and every major newspaper in the country ran with a story that had its origins in a dossier that turned out to be put together by an MI6 spy who, from what evidence can be gathered, was paid to do so by the Hillary Clinton campaign. They not only covered it, they made it the center of their reporting. If it was a print publication; it was on their front-page daily. Cable news made it the overwhelming majority of their reporting. Apocryphally, the claim was made that in 2018, MSNBC said the name Russia up to one million times but never once Yemen. Even if this were exaggerated, those who were paying attention wouldn’t find it hard to believe. 

Connecting intelligence agencies to the phony Russia-Gate narrative isn’t hard to do as they admit the source originated from an intelligence organization, although one from another country that works closely with the CIA. What is the thinking person to make of all of this information? 

The amount of people who are now calling into question anything they see or read in the mainstream press is growing. Unfortunately, many of them are still stuck in binary-brain thinking where one side believes MSNBC and CNN are the “real news,” and FOX are the liars. Vice versa for the other group. Only when a small, vocal, thinking minority decides that they’ve had enough, and decides to abandon their team in favor of individualism can it be expected that any real change will be seen. Until then, those who have reached that point should do their best to guide others to where they are. The Right/Left, collectivist divide may be the greatest scheme those who benefit from it have ever devised. 

The Amber Guyger Trial Showcases a Special Class of Citizen

The Amber Guyger Trial Showcases a Special Class of Citizen

Unless you’ve experienced a phone call informing you that a dear relative has been shot and killed (this author has unfortunately received such a call) you have no idea what Botham Jean’s mother and brother have gone through. When it is communicated to you that it was a hardened criminal who pulled the trigger, one that may have been there to rob them, that makes sense even though you are still distraught and in pain. If that call informed you that a police officer walked into your loved-one’s home, mistook it for theirs, and shot your son or brother, it would be understandable that confusion, and possibly rage, may be added to your sorrow. 

The incident in which off-duty but uniformed Amber Guyger, walked into her immediate upstairs neighbor’s apartment, mistook him for a burglar, and fired a shot ending his life, will be discussed for years to come. How could she be on the wrong floor? Didn’t she recognize different door mats as she walked? Wouldn’t she immediately realize that it wasn’t her unit, apologize and leave? Was she impaired and what was she on (the results of her blood panel were finally released at trial, but those who are critical of the thin blue line wonder if she had help)? Why didn’t she try to provide life-saving aid? Why did the first press release about Jean mention there was cannabis in his apartment? From the start this appeared to be the “thin blue line” going to work to protect one of their own.  

Those of us who monitor police abuse closely know that the system is going to do everything to protect their own. A quick scan of websites such as The Free Thought Project will highlight case after case of this phenomenon, one story after another of police murdering unarmed civilians and either being cleared by their departments, or found innocent when they request a trial-by-judge in jurisdictions where that can be asked for instead of a jury trial. Even in instances where a state agent is brought before a jury, the system usually does a good job of “teaching” the jury how police are trained to act exactly as the officer did, and those juries usually find the cop not guilty 

When you examine the Amber Guyger prosecution, you can see instances of this in play.  

Castle Doctrine 

In the trial of Amber Guyger, Judge Tammy Kemp made the invocation of Castle Doctrine available for Guyger to use in her defense. So, what’s the issue with that? The very definition of Castle Doctrine has nothing to do with this shooting: 

“A castle doctrine, also known as a castle law or a defense of habitation law, is a legal doctrine that designates a person’s abode or any legally occupied place (for example, a vehicle or home) as a place in which that person has protections and immunities permitting one, in certain circumstances, to use force (up to and including deadly force) to defend oneself against an intruder, free from legal prosecution for the consequences of the force used.” 

This whole case revolves around the fact that Guyger was not in her apartment. If anyone could declare “Castle” it would’ve been Botham Jean. Why would the judge allow this as a possible defense? That question may be answered with further information. 

Sudden Passion 

Judge Kemp, in this case, appeared to do everything within her power to help her colleague. Before the jury went in to deliberate the sentence, the judge informed them of the “Sudden Passion” legal defense. What is this tool? 

Sudden Passion” describes a violent act that is committed without any premeditation but in a circumstance of great emotional disturbance. 

Again, if one examines the crime, you will see that Guyger was on the wrong floor of her apartment building, and trespassed upon another unit. If anyone should’ve been impassioned, it would’ve been Botham Jean. Guyger testified that she “was scared he was gonna kill me.” Considering she was in Jean’s apartment, what kind of fear do you think went through him? Maybe none. Possibly he felt safe. Botham witnessed a female in uniform waking through his front door. Society trains us that they’re our security force. He may have thought there was an emergency. One wonders what thoughts were going through his head as he lay bleeding out and contemplating being gunned down in his home by someone our neighbors tell us is a hero.  

The 911 Call 

At trial the details of Guyger’s 911 call were made public. When the jury heard it, did they hear the same things others did? Jurors listened to her frantic call to 911 following the shooting. Guyger says “I thought it was my apartment” nearly 20 times. She also says: “I’m gonna lose my job” and “I am going to need a supervisor.” Notice, nowhere does she express concern for the well-being of the man she just shot. Many commentators pointed to her emotion at the trial and stressed exactly what we see in the 911 call; that she was worried about the likelihood of incarceration, not sorrow over ending a life. 

The Verdict and Sentencing 

Those who follow closely the incidences of police getting off “Scot-Free” for murder were shocked that she was found guilty on the charge, and that if she were going to be convicted, it would probably be manslaughter. 

When the jury finally handed down the sentence, Guyger was given 10 years. Pundits were quick to point out that in 2016, a man who shot and killed a police dog was given 45 years in prison in Ohio. Social media blew up over what many perceived as a “lite” sentence. 

Back to the Judge 

After sentencing, Judge Tammy Kemp came down off her throne and hugged Guyger, handing her a Bible. The question was asked almost immediately: When has a judge ever hugged a convicted murderer after sentencing?  

In another display unseen, a female police officer stood beside Amber during sentencing stroking her hair. These two displays of affection should set off alarms in any honest onlooker’s mind. If it was Botham Jean who had walked into police officer Amber Guyger’s apartment “accidentally,” and murdered her, would these same displays of affection and consolation be shown to Botham by the judge and law enforcement? 

 

The fact that there were people who celebrated this conviction and lite sentence as a win only goes to prove that Americans live in a police state in which they expect their captors to be exonerated for actions that would put them in prison for life, or get them the death penalty. That there were people who called this conviction a travesty, that she should be allowed to make “mistakes” that ends the life of a peaceful person, further highlights that the system is allowed to proceed in a grossly criminal manner because useful idiots refuse to open their eyes to the fact that Americans in 2019 have less personal freedom than the average Bostonian in 1770. 

News Roundup

News Roundup 8/10/20

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https://youtu.be/obPbgtdqTDI Businesses are always eager for consumers to buy their product or service. On the free market, the consumer is king or queen and the “providers” are always trying to make profits and gain customers by serving them well. But when government...

Year Zero

Markets Not Capitalism w/ Sheldon Richman

Tommy is joined by Sheldon Richman, Executive Editor and Co-Founder at The Libertarian Institute. They discuss Sheldon's newest book, What Social Animals Owe To Each Other, as well as why libertarians should abandon the term Capitalism for Freed Markets....

124: Just A Different Authoritarian

Tommy gives his opinion on the Portland incident before diving into the differences between Fascism, Socialism, and Progressivism. Though America displays many tenets of Fascism and Socialism it is neither. But there are those actively trying to change that....

123: QAnon

What is QAnon? Who is Q? Tommy spent this last week stuck in a Q-hole attempting to gain insight on the phenomenon that is Q. What he discovered entertained, surprised, and intrigued him. There's no way to discover every angle of Q in a week, but Tommy wanted to avoid...

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