Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dumb and Dangerous

Here is a story of a woman - bullied as a girl - that spent her adult life working toward getting a law passed to outlaw bullying in schools -

Called the "Safe School Climate Act," it was signed by the governor over the summer and school districts must implement it by next month.

"This law is a big step for South Carolina, and it creates more awareness for staff and teachers to identify bullying and tell students that it's wrong," Reese said.

Here is yet another example of a "feel good" law with good intentions that is unnecessary and damaging to society as a whole. Here we see the notion that there is a problem and only government can solve it.

After all, has bullying ever been ok really? If teachers, principals and school districts were allowed to take real action this would not be an issue for the state to resolve. When I was a child you were punished at school for bad behavior (paddling) then something much worse occurred - they sent a note home and your could be certain the punishment there would be worse.

Why not pass a law that says something to the effect that the public does not have to educate our children - if parents want to send their children to public schools they better know the rules. Some of those rules should include the ability to paddle and expulsion for particularly bad children.

This Safe School Climate Act nonsense will lead to ridiculous situations like this scenario - one little girl calls another little girl "stupid", what are the teachers to do? Call the police? How ridiculous. Punish the name-caller and get over it. You do not need a state law to correct that.

This is indicative of an attitude that the government has all of the answers and can correct all problems - that is a dangerous attitude.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tort Reform

(Post and Courier) Hampton County has been a place where the big jury verdicts grow.

For years this rural farmscape of 21,000 people 75 miles west of Charleston was a favorite for lawyers who wanted to make corporations pay.

A combination of low-income jurors and South Carolina's old-time laws that favored plaintiffs seemed to encourage it, some said.

I was a fan of tort reform for 37 of my 39 years (well that is an exageration - I suppose in the early years I did not have a clue what tort reform meant, but you get the idea). Now I am reconsidering my position. I am not sold on opening the barn door to outrageous verdicts - but there is some beauty in sticking it to the faceless man.

Afterall, a small business man knows full well the danger of providing a dangerous or flawed service. He may be sued and everything he owns (up to and including his home) may be taken. Mega-corporations can afford to be a bit more careless, they can absorb a few bumps in the road (caused entirely by their own carelessness.)

I am still undecided on the absolute right answer, I only know that we have traveled a bit too far toward an economic sytem driven by corporatism.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thanks But No Thanks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Two senators have filed a bill calling for South Carolina to have a minimum wage of $6.15, a dollar more than the current federal minimum.

The minimum wage makes no sense to me at all - the market ought to dictate what a person makes for a job. Of course that assumes that artificial entities with person rights (i.e. corporations) were not able to achieve undue advantages in the market. In a true distributivist economy and culture things would work themselves out - men would work for fair wages or simply work for themselves. Everything that could be produced and sold locally would be.

Of course we have confused the notion of free-market capitalism with the concept that bigger is better and cheaper is always better. Cheaper and bigger comes at a tremendous price - just ask small family farmers or mom and pop store owners. When a piece of the culture dies because of bigger and cheaper the price is greater than the savings.

The only bright spot of raising the minimum wage in SC is that perhaps - just maybe - it would slow down some of the unchecked growth. If large corporations no longer viewed our state as fertile ground for cheap labor, maybe they would stop moving in. Maybe a few less subdivisions would be built.

That is probably too much to hope and in the end raising the minimum wage would have the same effect every other government intrusion into private sector affairs has - negative results.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I like the Way This Guy Thinks

My dream is that all persons living in Anderson County, South Carolina will one day be entirely debt-free - Joseph Sangl

I like this sort of thinking - being debt free would allow folks to live decent lives and focus on what is important. Money will not buy happiness but debt certainly buys a lot of unhappiness and slavery.

Monday, December 04, 2006

South Carolina 1788 Constitution Preamble

We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution. (Via Yankee Doodle)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Real Southern Men Ought to Know Better

While I neither agree with the premise of this article nor the silly nod to racism at the conclusion (obviously a feeble attempt to take the "moral high-ground" in the essay).

I do agree that trespassing hunters are a problem.

A Hartsville resident that owns 378 acres that he purchased for his family's hunting pleasure describes it thusly -

"I don't feel that any landowner should have to turn over use of his property to any group simply to provide them a place to hunt," said Moyd. "It seems a crime that a man can buy land, develop it for wildlife enhancement, and then have hunters who use dogs to track wildlife take over."

"We have put up 'No Trespassing' signs and hunters continue to commit acts of violence; local law enforcement is helping them.

He is absolutely correct - if you do not know where you are in the woods or if you are incapable of reading a "No Trespassing" sign you have no business hunting at all.

As a child and young man I spent most of the year (when I was not living in some foreign land with my daddy thanks to Uncle Sam) tromping across the depth and breadth of my family farm - always with my trusty .22 and one or two of my dogs. This was boys' fun - it was my family's land. During deer season, my fun and frolic always came to an end. You simply never knew who might be out there.

When I became a teenager I took much of my childhood frustration out on these trespassers - I did things that were downright un-Christian and I suppose I ought to be sorry for that. I am not, though. More than one repeat offender came back from hunting on our land to find the truck he had parked on our land "tampered with", and one particularly mean and nasty SOB will never forget the day my cousins and I ambushed him (he had actually drew down on me the week prior after being warned numerous times not to come back).

That is and was my land - these interlopers did not and do not belong there. Few things make me angrier than another man invading my world - be he someone from the government or a law-breaking "neighbor".

The way I figure it, dogs on my land come there at my pleasure - if they are unruly I will shoot them. My place is large enough and far enough away from other folks to prevent pets from coming over. In actuality the same goes for men (any man) walking around on my property with a gun - hunting season or not.

I have spent over 20 years of my life in uniform in service to this nation supposedly defending our rights and freedoms. I have no intention of giving up any of those rights on my own land.

Hunters, if you are real men and follow in the truest of Southern traditions you should consider the egregious error of disrespecting another man's property. If you willfully violate such you are no better than criminal scum - and should be treated as such.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Department of Homeland Insecurity Visits Anderson

(Anderson Independent) Area officials learned about responding to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction incidents this week during a class put on by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with Federal folks coming into our county to do, well anything?

Last time I dusted off my copy of The Constitution I failed to find any authority for the Federal Government to run anything called the Department of Homeland Security. I guess that authority must me listed on the secret copy kept by the Federal Government that also authorizes them to do things like spy on regular folks.

I do not buy the flawed argument that this sort of thing helps our poor local guys better prepare for major incidents. Again, last time I checked the folks of Anderson County have not invaded anyone or did anything else to threaten any terrorist - that is the Federal government, it is their problem. If that bunch wants to make enemies and fight wars, let them. Anderson and South Carolina need have no part of all that nor should we live in fear of the Federal Government's enemies.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What it Means to be Occupied

by Jim Hanks Jr.

On 13 January, 2000, 139 years to the day after South Carolinians opened fire on Fort Sumter, State Senators Arthur Ravenel and Glen McConnell, both of whom had staunchly supported the flag, led the vote to take it down. Just five days before, Senator Ravenel had attended a flag rally, where he had encouraged them to continue their fight. Later, Senator Andre Bauer observed that,, "once McConnell and Ravenel signed up for it, the fight was over." Why did they do it?

Some say that, in McConnell's case, a deal was struck concerning the preservation of the Hunley in Charleston. At the time McConnell reflected that, "the hour has come as it came with General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia." They claimed to be acting as statesmen, compromising for the good of all. They claimed that they were laying the flag issue to rest. South Carolina would be respected and left alone to honour its past as its citizens chose without interference from outside. This was an end run around the flag haters, they boasted. The flag had to come down, but only so far and, through compromise, the stature of the Confederate heritage movement had taken a step forward.

On May 11, 2000, the South Carolina House of Representatives, led by David Wilkins, gave final approval to the bill removing the Confederate flag from the Capitol dome. In preparation for the compromise he had attended a secret meeting with black leaders - held, appropriately enough, at a funeral home. "I didn't tell anybody that I was going," Wilkins said later.

Why did he attend a secret meeting while planning to betray those he was sworn faithfully to serve? Here is what David Wilkins said about his reasoning: “With the Republicans hosting a high-profile presidential primary in 2000, the national media glommed onto the flag as a hot story. The state's reputation took a national beating. Network TV crews set up at the State House, the flag on the dome in their backdrops. The more we hesitated to do something about it, the more we allowed people outside our state to define who we were."

Those are David Wilkins' own words. He did it to impress the Yankee news media. And he did it for the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln. No army was threatening us this time, just the Yankee news media's biased, bigoted, pompous, and self-serving opinion. Do you think it mattered to David Wilkins what people in our sister Southern states thought of us?

I am proud of Mississippians for their flag, and congratulate them when I meet one. Did David Wilkins honourably represent the millions of us who love, honour, and support the flag. No. It was the news media people from California and New York he was concerned about. And George Bush, too—he wanted most of all to impress George Bush. How the Yankee news media defined us and what George Bush thought of him mattered more to David Wilkins than how we define ourselves.

What did David Wilkins accomplish? On 9 June, 2005, David Wilkins became the U.S.
Ambassador to Canada after resigning from the South Carolina House of Representatives where he served for 25 years-11 as speaker of the House.

What are we left with? Of the flag "compromise" South Carolina historian, Walter Edgar, opined that, "The legislation passed and South Carolina was able to put behind it a divisive period in its history."

How so? The NAACP continues its boycott of South Carolina, and the NCAA continues its ban on post-season events in South Carolina, a ban that was put into effect after the flag came down. Moreover, in 2004 the NCAA voted to continue the ban, stating that "significant change
had not taken place in South Carolina." On 4 August, 2006, www.blackamericaweb.com reported that, 'the NCAA will consider expanding its ban of championship events in South Carolina, possibly disallowing baseball and football teams from hosting post-season games, because the Confederate flag is displayed on Statehouse grounds."

That's what we got. Now we know what David Wilkins got. Business as usual in the Empire.

Civil Disobedience

The man's motives may or may not have been pure but things like this put a thumb in the eye of Leviathan.

A federal judge in Greenville, S.C., has permanently barred John Howard Alexander of Greenville from promoting several tax-fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, to which Alexander consented, bars him from promoting schemes that promise tax benefits based on statements to customers that U.S. citizens are not subject to tax, that residents of South Carolina are not required to file federal tax returns while working in the United States, and that customers can escape tax by revoking or rescinding their Social Security numbers. District Judge Henry F. Floyd of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina signed the order. Read More

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tax and Spend Progressives

It seems the new Anderson County Economic Development Director Heather Simmons Jones has been on the job for a mere few days but has already warmed up to the idea of adding another tax to the good citizens of the county.

Among the various projects she is batting around in bringing sewer service to the S.C. 24 exit 11 area. Of course to actually make this work the road and bridge must first be widened - to the tune of $130 million.

Lee Luff (Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce) and Holt Hopkins(Transportation Director) are all for this notion and will push again for a 1 cent sales tax in 2008.

Mrs. Jones said of her new job and the possibilities in Anderson - "It's like an economic developer's dream."

That maybe true Mrs. Jones but the short-sighted vision you and other progressives in the county are holding out as a dream is to many decent folks little more than a nightmare come home to roost.

The Greenville urban outgrowth that the progressives see as opportunity many see as blight and the visible represetation of cullture dying.

James Howard Kunstler describes this blight thusly -

Just returned from a road trip to a couple of small towns in Minnesota. The spectacle of chain store sprawl along Interstate 94 from Minneapolis to St. Cloud is an amazing and appalling sight, a late-stage cancer of the landscape. It isn't any different or necessarily worse than thousands of other sprawl corridors around the nation, but it portends a destiny just as dark. On the whole, the public does not apprehend the danger it represents to our future.

He uses another term to describe this - it begins with cluster.... I will not complete the rest but it is an accurate, if profane, description.

This nonesense is occuring all over America - why must we encourage it here? Back in the 1970's when Harold Smith, Jim Beson and Cecil Bracken worked to bring water services to the Powedersville area did it occur with county funds? Was there a sales tax to encourage the project? NO. In fact the project only worked because enough existing citizens joined together to incorporate the water company. This was "Just-in-time" growth.

The idea of "building it and they will come" looks good on paper - the result is however something much less appealing.

Anderson will, and should grow. It is the nature of things. However, we have a real chance to shape the nature of that growth. Reacting to percieved immediate needs while fundementally ignoring that which is important and permemant is wrong - it is the product of a failed ideology. Progressivism has and will never produce anythg of great or lasting worth.

If Anderson County is to have a sales tax let it serve the purpose of reducing another tax - not as a means to expand governemnt. Reduce or eliminate property taxes and let the citizens of Anderson be truly free to own their own homes. A sales tax for any other reason than the reduction of a current tax would simply be wrong.

Perhaps Joshua is correct and folks like this ought to read a little Wendell Berry before attempting to fundementally change the nature of a place and the people that call that place home.

It is Our Flag

The Confederate Battle Flag is not the sum and total of everything the South or South Carolina was or will be. The period between 1861-1865 is not the only period of note in our history. The plain fact is WE KNOW THAT. Some folks fail to understand that we know that.

(Washington Post)A Confederate heritage group plans to challenge the NCAA's ban on championship events in South Carolina as long as the Confederate flag flies on the grounds of the state capitol.

In 2001, the NCAA barred any of its predetermined postseason tournaments from South Carolina. The organization is considering a request from the Black Coaches Association to extend the ban to sports where teams earn a chance to host playoff games, such as baseball or football.

It is nice to see that the SCV still has some fight in it -

The NCAA has "no business getting involved in the politics of this or any other state," Randy Burbage, commander of the South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said yesterday. "The NCAA should stick to sports -- something they should know something about -- and stay out of politics in South Carolina."

South Carolina has a history stretching back over 400 years. Our history is part of the larger story of Southern history but more importantly it is our story - it belongs to each South Carolinian, the good and the bad of it all is our story - we are good Sandlappers.

Folks from parts elsewhere just don't get it - that flag would have long ago been placed in museums, on grave stones and flown at reenactments if it were not for the constant meddling from outsiders - government and otherwise. Each time somebody from the outside tries to tell South Carolina or South Carolinians what to do the flag assumes a current significance. It has come to symbolize a current fight to preserve what is ours - our rights, our culture and our freedom. The Battle Flag has significance today as a symbol of all that we were and will be simply because folks that have no business telling us what to do keep trying.

You keep pushing and we will keep pushing back! It is our flag and it is our right to do with it as we please.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blue Laws in Anderson

First reading of an ordinance to permanently suspend the Blue Laws was approved Tuesday night by the Anderson County Council. Blue Laws prohibit residents from buying anything other than groceries or medicine before 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. (Anderson Independent)

I cannot imagine why such a proposal came up in the first place. Even if you were to theoretically remove the notion that the Sabbath should be respected, not working on Sundays is a cultural thing. It is a time to spend time with that which is really important. Working and making money are means to an end; in the culture I grew up with family were infinitely more important - even to all of my unchurched neighbors. From the story above we find the answer.

"I'm a Yankee," said David Allan, a Liberty resident. "You can get rid of all the Blue Laws you want to. If a business wants to be open, they should be able to stay open. If they want to be closed, they should be able to stay closed."

I am generally in agreement that government ought not attempt to legislate morality - at least not on small things. I am for individual freedom and responsibility - however as a paleoconservative I am fully willing to accept local government encroachment on individual rights if that encroachment protects longstanding community traditions and the local culture. In reality this "encroachment" does not in any way offend individual rights. In the current example a fellow like David Allan never has to live or work in Anderson County - he does not have to even visit. It was his option to come to Anderson. When you move to a place you should be willing to accept and attempt to integrate into the local culture - in this case family and faith have traditionally been more important than profit. Mr. Allan you might have done well to figure that out before you came down our way.

The fact is it is ok to slow down the pace of life a little - take time out to focus on what is really important. These are the traits that have made our culture so great - it is a shame to sell all of that for a few extra hours at the Wal-Mart!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Anderson Sells Out To Fear

In a letter dated October 30, the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) informed the County of the successful results of its annual review of Anderson County’s Homeland Security funds. Read more...
Well the discerning among us have to ask the question...why on God's green Earth does Anderson County need any funding from the Department of Homeland Insecurity? Make no mistake these are Federal dollars with Federal strings attached--
Anderson County has received $1,137,587 in Homeland Security Grant funds since 2003.
All FEMA and Homeland Security grant monies are also included as part of the County's annual external audit. In particular, the amounts are included in the Schedule of Expenditure of Federal Awards. The County's commitment to following General Accounting Practices and Procedures also includes employing a CPA within the Emergency Services division.
The requirement to hire a CPA is but one of the more obvious "strings". What is not so obvious is the control and infringement upon our good county and her duly elected officials; most notably the office of high sheriff.

Does Anderson County really need Federal dollars to secure the "homeland", our homeland. You must remember the Department of Homeland Insecurity is the exact same bunch that believes they need the power to spy on ordinary citizens, feel up grandmas at airports and turn a blind eye to border incursions. Are these the fellows that should come down from their headquarters far away and tell Anderson County how to keep our home secure?

I think not. Take a stroll over to Clemson and visit the home of John C. Calhoun - go over to Williamston and take a gander at the monument to the Citadel Cadets that fired the last shot of The War west of the Mississippi, go sit down with some good ole boys at one of our local volunteer fire departments. We know how to defend our homes with words and actions.

Sheriff David Crenshaw is the highest lawman in the county, is he not? Common law, tradition and our own State Constitution would say so. If need be he can call out every man of good conscience and character to assist him; we don't need your Federal dollars, rules or meddling Mr. Department of Homeland Insecurity - go peddle your fear and bureaucracy elsewhere. You and your money have no place in Anderson County.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts of C.S. Lewis

My father was a digital man - he was an engineer by education and a career infantry officer by profession. His mind's eye functioned all of his life in terms of black and white. He was a good man and open-minded in terms of new ideas related to his profession but he had his limits.

In his waning years he has opened his mind to other possibilities - I am glad to have the fleeting moments I am allowed to see this side of him.

When I was around 9 or 10 I was reading for the first time Tolkien's Lord of The Rings. I had previously read The Lion The Witch and the Wardobe but I had no idea that Tolkien and Lewis had any relationship with each other.

My father came to me one afternoon and asked me why I was reading stuff about magic and the like. We talked, he would have preferred I read one of the "classics" in his mind (Mark Twain), a book of military history or better yet spend more time on mathematics. In the end he allowed me some leeway - I am glad of it.

In time I came to find and love all of c.s. Lewis' works. I simply cannot overstate the simplicity combined with profoundness that I still find to this day contained in Mere Christianity.

One must consider that Lewis was likely the most dedicated atheist in England in the early 20th Century. One evening In October 1931, J.R.R Tolkien and Hugo Dyson showed Lewis the errors of his dismissal of Christianity as a mere myth. He came to see that myth is but what has survived of the real truth.

Most folks from where I am from would openly write off the simple message Lewis explains so eloquently as watered down theology or ecumenical gobbledygook. But it is not.

One can ague, probably successfully that there is much more to the Christian faith than the simple tenets Lewis articulated. He himself did not deny this. He described this as nothing more than a hallway with doors. The hallway itself consisted of "mere Christianity", it is possible and acceptable to have doors going off the hallway so long as the baseline requirements of faith remain intact.

More on C.S. Lewis here

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korean Nuclear Test

Nuclear Test in North Korea that I predicted would occur (the opinions of the talking heads notwithstanding)

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Me Beating the Dead Horse

Vermont wants to secede from the Union - or at least some are embracing this movement. According to an article in the New York Sun, the First North American Secessionist Convention in Burlington, VT, organized by the pro-secession think tank, the Middlebury Institute is making plans for a November meeting.

It simply cannot hurt to keep mentioning this fact and this event and of course asking fellow bloggers to join the States' Rights Bloggers' Alliance AND asking all right minded folks to sign the Declaration of States' Rights. The American Secession Project will present the petition to our brothers-in-arms (the Middlebury Institute) in November - it is the least we can do to support their grand effort in putting this convention together.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Last Post

My last post was incomplete. I shall do all of my blogging at the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel for the foreseeable future. I am joined there by two old friends and one new. In the words of Gomer Pyle "SURPRISE, SURPRISE". I shall not tell who they really are behind the mask and if you figure it out from times past you best not let on either.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Declaration of States' Rights Petition

101 signatures to date. Have you signed the petition?

Just Walk Away

I jacked this entire thing from rense.com. This is not good blogging but this article has much merit.
Just Walk Away
By Reuven Schossen Former Captain, IDF9-3-6

The idea is frightening at a very basic level. We are taught that we need a lot of things to live. We seek material comfort instead of a clear conscience. Material comfort is perceived as physical security, which we want to insure. We even want insurance against insurance companies who won't pay; like a job that will provide a safe pension. Any elder could tell you a thing or two about that illusion. We need a mortgage, and better if it is refinanced from time to time. We need usurious credit cards to allow comfortable payments for the latest hyper-gadget. We need the twenty-ton refrigerator to keep the ten gallon bottle of milk fresh. We need health insurance against a possible accident on the way to the shopping mall; but when it comes time to get coverage, some survivors will tell you a tearful story of broken promises.

The development of such a system was gradual. I don't think the first bankers could imagine credit cards and frequent flier miles earned while buying bubble gum. But it happened. We let it happen. However, it has become a system designed to make us more dependent; comfortably numb waiting for our next Coca-Coma. It transforms us into collaborators.

In a certain sense, there is nothing wrong with this. In a democratic regime, all citizens share responsibility. They have elected the government and thus they are responsible - to a certain extent - for its actions. But to what extent? Many people in my country believe their responsibility ends at the exact moment they drop their vote into a ballot box every few years. I don't think in such a way. In the same country - Israel - I was taught that all Germans shared responsibility for the Nazi atrocities.

We are daily responsible for monitoring the actions of our government, and, at the exact moment they violate their mandate, we should say so loud and clear. Otherwise we share responsibility for the crimes committed in our name. We begin buying insurance, but we end up criminals.

Sometimes even speaking out is not enough. An immoral government may decide to bomb children across the border to hide its inability to solve internal social problems. It may violate basic Human Rights in such a way that normal life is no longer possible. The government strategy to avoid a revolt under such conditions is to play upon citizens' basic fear of losing imaginary benefits. The fear of losing luxury privileges or not getting any buys complacence. "With every bottle of milk you buy for your children you are committing a crime" I told several Israeli friends, and lost them. The price of milk includes a tax that empowers a criminal government.

There are no excuses. If one pays taxes, it implies acceptance of the government's behavior and you share in its responsibilities. We were instructed by the Teacher to give Caesar that which belongs to him. But sometimes, to pay taxes means to collaborate with hideous crimes. Not paying taxes would mean to break the law. Transforming ourselves into criminals while trying to fight a criminal government is a moral error. In the long run, no matter how small the transgression, it would corrupt us. Instead, we must make every legal effort to avoid paying taxes or otherwise empowering criminality.

Am I moving in logical circles? No. We have the right and the responsibility to choose morally. We can always say "No!" and just walk away. Does this sound strange, frightening? I did that more than four years ago, and you can too. I left the borders of my ghetto-wall country; without thinking about pensions, insurance, mortgages or ultra-gadgets. Although there are of course grey areas on this subject, if each of us would take care of our own garden, we would live in a better world.

As a former captain in the Israeli Defense Forces I am also calling on all Israeli soldiers to drop their weapons wherever they are, to take off their uniform and just walk away. Don't worry, no one will harm you for acting decently.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld's Dance With the Nazis

With the Neoconservatives it is a dangerous thing to let them call you 'friend'
Read the entire article here.
"What made Mr. Rumsfeld's speech noteworthy wasn't its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent
on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That's old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld's performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America's fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.
Here's how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler's appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain's hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?"

Steve Irwin: 1962-2006

May we all die doing what we love.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Kurdistan president replaces Iraqi flag

"SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq - Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani has ordered the Iraqi national flag to be replaced with the Kurdish one in his northern autonomous region in what appeared to be another move toward more self-rule in the north, local officials said Friday." Read More...

ARBIL, Iraq, Sept 3 (Reuters) - "The leader of Iraq's ethnic Kurds brandished the threat of secession on Sunday as a row with the Baghdad government over the flying of the Iraqi national flag exposed an increasingly bitter rift." Read More...

It is my hope and prayer that the Kurds achieve their goal of self-rule. I made very good friends with many Kurds while serving in Iraq. I lost two very fine men from my team, both Kurds, to horrific deaths.

During quiet times I enjoyed deep and meaningful conversations with several of my Kurdish friends. They want nothing more than what any man wants; peace, good government that represents and respects them, their values and traditions.

My desire to see the Kurds achieve that which they deserve has nothing at all to do with my desire to see the pernicious objectives of the neoconservatives flounder. This is personal; this is the hopes and dreams of one man transposed upon the aspirations of another.

Free Kurdistan from the shackles of the false nation of Iraq (not a nation at all but rather a remnant of British imperialism), let liberty live. If our fight in Iraq, the sacrifice of brothers, the blood, the horror, the nightmares are to mean anything let it be the freedom of the Kurds. Let the Sunnis and Shittes in the south find their own way.

Here are some facts (just the struggles of the Kurds in Iraq): There are 30 million Kurds but no Kurdish homeland with Kurdish self-rule. The Kurds fought a 15 year struggle against Iraq for their independence from 1960-1975. From 1960-1990 the Kurds suffered numerous episodes of ethnic cleansing. The Kurds rose up on 1991 (with encouragement from Bush I) and were gassed, machine-gunned and forced to relocate while the US stood by and watched. In 2003 the Kurds again rose up (with encouragement from Bush II) and ensured that Northern Iraq was tranquil and peacable. In fact the only major airborne operation conducted by US forces since WWII was conducted in Kurdish territory, primarily because US war planners knew the Kurds had the area secured. The Kurds have been a friend to the US, the US has done little or nothing for the Kurds.

To my fine brothers in arms from the 1st IIF and the 3rd Brigade and all the other fine Kurdish warriors I have been privileged to know my prayers are with you, my hope for the independence and liberty of my people is no more intense than my hope for you and your cause.

Deo Vindice (God is Our Defender or God will vindicate) and Imshallah (God willing)

; ;

Sun Tzu for Secessionist

Here is something inflammatory and dangerous, the most dangerous thing I have ever written. Now do not take me wrong, I am not advocating violence as the solution to achieve political freedom. My point here is to dispel a constant argument I hear articulated in opposition to secession or for that matter any real discussion of taking back liberties and freedoms that are rightfully ours.

The counter-argument goes something like this. 'Ok so let's say you secede, then what? The Federal government would never allow it and it would only result in another Civil War that you would lose'.

The counter-counter argument that the secessionist provides to this generally ignores the point and states something to the effect of: 'Wow, do you really think the Federal government would actually use force again against a group of Americans exercising their democratic will?'

Good counter argument but it ignores the detractors point, they leave the discussion with a sense of victory and the pro-secessionist is left with a sense of inferiority. After all what if they are right and it is impossible to secede without the permission and consent of the federal government? What if freedom depends entirely upon the Federal government using restraint and refraining from violence? History as well as current trends makes this a pretty dubious hope to hang one's dreams upon.

Fourth Generation warfare(4GW) has changed all of that. The age of the state having the exclusive right to the use of violence has passed. Asynchronous warfare enables a numerically inferior, technologically disadvantaged antagonist to best a well-equipped, well-trained superior force. There is nothing really new about this type of warfare, it has always existed. The Huns used it to successfully, a portion of the American Revolution included this type of warefare. It has had many names but the current incarnation is a direct adaptation to the prevalence of 3GW (i.e. maneuver warfare).

Total war reentered the Western mind in the 1860's with Lincoln, Sherman and Grant. As much as Southerners loathe those despicable creatures the fact is total war, the idea of fighting not just the armies of your enemy but his capacity to wage war also, was something bound to find its way into the thought processes of western leaders. I suppose the fact that the US government is the only modern government to ever successfully wage total war (against the South, Germany and Japan) is something that future historians will certainly comment upon.

In the early 20th Century German military thinkers developed real maneuver warfare (3GW). The French in 1939 were a technologically superior Army but they were based on 2GW tactics and strategies. The Germans sliced through the numerically and technologically superior French forces in mere weeks. Of course today all nation-states maintain 3GW armies to one degree or another. Some maintain 4GW capability but most lack the ability to successfully engage in sustained 4GW and win.

4GW is total war, fought on the ground and in the hearts and minds of the people. The very notion of Jus ad bellum (Just War) in terms of rules and laws simply does not apply in 4GW. The rules that nation states apply are relics that maintain their legitimacy and claim to exclusive use of violence in the furtherance of their aims. The only rules that apply in 4GW are the rules that bind the participates to their own sense of morality and decency, everything beyond that is fair game and must be included if a disadvantaged foe hopes to prevail.

By any assessment Israel took a good hiding in Lebanon. The US experience in Iraq has proven that 4GW is more than a match for the best equipped Army in the world. Sure the US pacified Afghanistan for the most part, but this was largely due to the fact that the population (or at least a large enough portion of the population) was willing to cooperate. Do not forget the Soviet experience in that country when the population was not so supportive. Also recall the Russian experience in Chechnya. (and yes the Soviets/Russians were at best second string in the big picture but their doctrine was 3GW vs 4GW and they were hammered).

The point being that if a people are truly dedicated to their cause they ought not fear large, technologically superior militaries of nation-states. Neither should secessionist fear answering the straw-man counter argument presented above. If freedom is worth having and a people seek it then the decision to seek it ought not depend on the charity and restraint of the government that holds them hostage. Neither should it depend upon the potential costs and sacrifice. A people dedicated to their freedom can win it if they persevere and stand fast on their convictions.

I hate to use a line that has become cliche but one particular scene in Braveheart pretty much sums it it (I paraphase as I have not exactly memorized the line):

"Fight and you may die, run and you will live. But someday as you lay frail and weak in your bed, dying, you will willingly trade each day from today to then for the chance of freedom."

There is truth in that line. Nobody, especially those that have seen first hand the horrors of war, seeks violence. There are however greater tragedies than death. Sitting idly by while our republican form of government is taken away, day by day, and liberty vanishes from the earth; that is a tragedy worth fighting to stop.

; ;

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Security and Prosperity Partnership

"The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.....

Looking forward, President Bush, Prime Minister Harper and President Fox have identified emergency management; influenza pandemics, including avian influenza; energy security; and safe and secure gateways (border security and facilitation) as key priorities for the SPP. The Leaders also announced the creation of North American Competitiveness Council to fully incorporate the private sector into the SPP process."

I could not even make this up. Check out the site, it is operated by the Department of Commerce.

With ideas such as this soon follow "standards" which in turn lead to regulation and then legislation and finally taxation. The end result is more government, government further removed from the people and ultimately less liberty.

I could write an entire piece debunking the lies contained on the "myths and facts" section of the spp.gov site. Here is a snippet of testimony given before the Senate in 2005 by one of the chief supporters of this SPP idea.

"The U.S., Mexican, and Canadian governments remain zealous defenders of an outdated conception of sovereignty even though their citizens are ready for a new approach."

Read the entire thing here. Big and nasty things are afoot. While we sleep men are plotting a radical change in the world and passing it off as for the common good.

; ;

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lou Dobbs on 9/11

I may someday owe a large apology to Keith, a compatriot of mine. I am always hesitant to buy into conspiracy theories, even though I disbelieve most of what the government says.

Watch this piece and keep an open mind as more of this sort of stuff surfaces. I may indeed have to tell Keith that he was right and I was all wrong someday.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Problem of Centralization

Max Boot - Los Angeles Times: "Among the more surrealistic moments of my travels was pausing at a base near Baqubah - a far-from-pacified Iraqi city that was Abu Musab Zarqawi's last base of operations - to enjoy a fresh-brewed iced latte at a Green Beans coffee shop. It hit the spot, but when I later told a Marine captain about the experience, he took away some of my enjoyment by asking, 'I wonder how many men had to die to get those coffee beans to Baqubah?'.... Most of our resources aren't going to fight terrorists but to maintain a smattering of mini-Americas in the Middle East. As one Special Forces officer pungently put it to me: "The only function that thousands of people are performing out here is to turn food into [excrement]."

I have never read anything by Max Boot before. I read the article above because it was included as part of the opinion section of the Army's Early Bird news. Sometimes I am amazed when the Army includes some of the truth in the news it provides in that service. Whatever may or may not be wrong with Boot and his neoconservatism he was right on the mark with this article.

Now his purpose in making these observations is vastly different than the conclusions I will draw from them. I will merely use the facts he presents to highlight a larger problem. The picture that Boot paints is of a military machine that is centralized, non-adaptive and heavily reliant on doing what it is good at. In this case that is building a large organizational structure with enormous logistical trains and well organized bases. Essentially the military is doing nothing more in Iraq than painting rocks.

During my last tour in Iraq I became convinced that that the last sentence quoted above was aboslutley correct. My team would roll into various FOB's and see all sorts of silly nonsense and people that served no purpose but to just breathe air. Of the 130 thousand or so coalition troops (mostly American) 70-90% of them did (and do) nothing to actually take the fight to the enemy. The differential in the 70-90% mark depends upon just how much weight and utility one attaches to staff sections at the division level and below. There is a lot of duplicitous effort there, personally I would place the effective number at 20%; that being nothing more than 26,000 troops actually outside the wire really making a difference.

Now, if the cause was just, the political will in place and if the military was really capable of transformation I am convinced that if I were in charge I could win the fight in Iraq. Heck, I would not even need anything more than the 130 thousand troops already on the ground. Of course there are two caveats to that. First, of those 130 thousand troops very few of them would be drinking lattes or eating Burger King inside concetina wired FOB's, they would be trigger pullers, engineers and civil affairs types out working in the country - outside the wire. Second, if I were to win that fight the outcome would look very different than what the neoconservatives have in mind as the ideal victory. But enough of that, my point is something different entirely.

What I took from Boot's observation is a microcosmic statement of all that is really wrong with centralization in the first place. Centralization breeds inefficiency, the greater the centralization the greater the inefficiency. Centralizers simply refuse to admit this. Sure it is easier to buy in bulk if you standardize your supply chain. It is easier to move equipment that is standardized. Reports make more sense at higher levels when the data collected is exactly the same and conceivably it is possible to standardize training across an organization to develop like individuals across the spectrum of a large organization.

The problem with all of this centralization is that is it truly is the antithesis of the natural human state. Sure we are social creatures; we enjoy belonging to a group. When that group becomes to large the constraints on individuality become too great.

In the case of the Army as a microcosm of what is wrong with centralization and standardization the Army's own Strategic Studies Institute published a study by Dr. Leonard Wong in 2000 that highlighted several critical data points. For all of the investment in time and resources devoted to scientific management systems and information technology the Army has lost something significant, that being primarily the capacity to develop innovative leaders. Many of the young captains serving today will advance in rank to become highly ineffective generals. In 2004 Wong published another article that dealt with the dilemma that the Army faces with many of these captains that have gone to war, operated independently to a large degree and exercises innovation because they had to and then return to an Army that stifles them and shuts them down.

There are two things relevant I think to take from Wong's 2000 article. First, his discussion of the Millennial generation is telling. He describes them as a generation that has been raised to do what they are told and accept authority. He uses the example of school uniforms and other changes in the public education system as causes of this. I accept his observation of the generation of youngsters that have and will come of age on or around the turn of the century. I am also very concerned that possibly their acceptance to authority and love of state is not accidental. The government has very possibly grew a generation of drones, incapable and unwilling to resist the final assault on liberty here at home.

Second, Wong reinforces my position that centralization is simply bad when taken too far. Standardization in many areas is ok, it is efficient. Standardization and centralization across the board is inefficient and ineffective. Wong makes as strong case for that equation in his disection of the Army.

This also applies to everything the Federal government does; education, law enforcement, social systems, disaster relief etc, etc. This is why it is important to allow for things like states' rights. This is why the North American Union is a bad idea; it is why the UN is worthless. Consolidation and centralization lead to mediocrity. In Iraq the legions of the empire busy themselves 'painting rocks' because that is what they are good at, that is what centralization has reduced them too. Do we really need any more centralization in the rest of our lives?

; ;

Friday, August 11, 2006

Our Friend Israel

Here is an post I saved as a draft over a year ago. I found this when doing a little blog clean-up.

Reuters" Israel publicly apologized to the United States on Sunday over arms exports to China that have drawn criticism from Washington and strained U.S.-Israeli security ties."


The neo-conservatives support the fundamentalist belief that the United States MUST support the man-made nation of Israel because they are convinced this must be the chosen people of God. This is a symbiotic relationship. The neoconservatives need Israel for their foreign policy, the evangelical fundamentalist need a political ally to ensure the support of Israel and Israel needs the US to run interference in the UN and elsewhere for their domestic and foreign policies.

At the same time the neo-conservatives fear the growing power of China and have engaged in a policy of containment that has only served to force the Chinese into a more hostile and threatening stance.

And now it seems that our dedication and encouragement of the one (Israel) has back fired as they have greedily engaged in dangerous trade relations with the other (China).

How foolish this all is, there is simply a better way and honest thinking men know it. All of these entangling foreign alliances and relationships combined with meddling and subtly veiled belligerence will not make for a happy future for anyone (other than the nation of Israel - not the Israeli people - and the globe trotting neo-conservatives).

I am no hater of Jews, do not take my words wrong. I simply do not believe that the Bible states that Christians must blindly support everything the man-made state of Israel does. The neo-conservatives know what they are doing; the evangelicals are just providing the votes and support to allow it, without really understanding the magnitude of their mistake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Galloway Video

I will not comment on this video. I ask only that you watch it and ponder the possibility that some of what this guy has to say is correct.

This is exactly why Washington warned of taking sides in foreign conflicts.
Watch the video here.


States vs. Feds

Fredericksburg.com: "THINK THE BATTLE OVER states' rights is over? Not so: At the National Governors Association summer meeting in Charleston, S.C., Democrats and Republicans alike are lashing out at the federal government for its intrusion into issues formerly within the purview of the states and its incompetence in dealing with national problems. Somewhere, John C. Calhoun is grinning. "

We will see if all the talk turns into any action...but at least they are saying the right things. And imagine, this meeting was held in the city of my birth. The winds of change are blowing but the people have yet to get on board. The time is now for us to stand up in our states and tell the Federal government that it has gone too far for too long.

Calhoun, of course, was the U.S. senator from South Carolina who, in the 1830s, engaged in fiery debates with fellow solon Daniel Webster over states rights. Calhoun devised the theory (earlier held by Thomas Jefferson) that a state could declare null and void any federal law it deemed unconstitutional. Given the chance, today's governors would feast on that

From deregulation of cable-TV programming to deployment of the National Guard, governors are ticked off. Washington, they say, is usurping state laws. For example, the House recently passed a defense-spending authorization bill that contains a provision allowing the president to mobilize the National Guard without so much as a by-your-leave to governors. The Guard has provided almost half the troops deployed in Iraq; increasing the president's ability to tap the Guard for overseas operations leaves states more vulnerable in case of natural disasters, governors assert.

And what about drivers licenses? The 2005 REAL ID act gives the federal government the right to tell states how to issue drivers licenses and requires states to check for valid citizenship of applicants. But while the feds are laying this burden on states, Congress is abdicating its larger duty to control the influx of illegal aliens over the borders. Immigration bills passed by each house are languishing because congressional leaders refuse to call a conference committee to resolve their differences.

Health care. Gasoline prices. Medicaid costs. The list of federal failures and deferments goes on. "Whatever problem you're concerned about, all you see in Washington is gridlock," says outgoing NGA president, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican. "They're just not getting it done," adds incoming president, Democrat Janet Napolitano of Arizona. It's of some consolation that, at least on the issue of congressional malpractice, Democrats and Republicans are in accord. The question remains, will their cry resonate with voters in the upcoming elections?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Of Paleoconservatism and Libertarianism

Murray rejected what Mises called the cultural destructionism of the left because he saw it as a back-door to state building. If you attack the family by impinging on its autonomy, the family can no longer serve as a bulwark against state power. So it is with leftist rhetoric that ridicules the habits, prejudices, traditions, and institutions that form the basis of settled, middle-class community life. He saw the relentless attacks on these as paving the way for government managers to claim more territory as their own.

Moreover, it was Murray's conviction that government power was the greatest enemy that a rich cultural heritage has. It is not capitalism that wrecks the foundations of civilized life but the state. In this, he was in full agreement with Mises, Hayek, and Schumpeter. And incidentally, this line of argument, which Murray had long used, has been picked up by other libertarians in the meantime.

But the real bond between Tom and Murray was their shared hatred of the statism, centralism, and global warfarism of the conservative movement. They were both fed up with a Buckleyized conservatism, and now, at last, here was a chance to do something about it. Together Murray and I watched as the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union dissolved, and we were intensely curious as to how the conservatives would respond. Would they return to their pre-war, anti-war roots? Or would they continue to push for the American empire? Well, we got our answer in 1990 with the beginnings of the Gulf War. It seemed obvious that this was Bush's attempt to keep the warfare state fat and thriving.

The U.S. gave permission to Iraq to annex Kuwait, and then suddenly reversed positions. The U.S. paid off countries around the world to be part of its "coalition" and waged a bloody war on Iraq, burying innocents in the sand and proclaiming victory over the aggressor.We waited for the conservatives to denounce the war, but of course it didn't happen, although I'll always treasure Kirk's last letter to me, in which he called for hanging the "war criminal Bush" on the White House lawn. Too bad he never wrote like that in public. But the neocons were entirely in control of the right and cheered Bush to the Heavens.

These were disgusting days. Bush dragged out all his tax-funded missiles and other weapons of mass destruction and put them on the Washington, D.C., mall for the boobsoisie to admire. Yellow ribbons were everywhere. But the paleos were a different matter. Paul Gottfried, Allan Carlson, Clyde Wilson, Fleming, and others associated with the Rockford Institute blasted the war without qualification. They openly called the U.S. an imperial power and made the argument that we had always made: that the greatest threat to our liberties was not overseas but in the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, we were alarmed that not even the libertarians seemed prepared to go this far. Reason magazine and the Republican Liberty Caucus were for the Gulf War, and Liberty magazine, for whom Murray had written, was ambivalent on the question. In general, there was silence from the people who should have been our natural allies. To us, that merely underscored a more deeply rooted problem in libertarian circles: the strange combination of cultural alienation and political conventionality.

We began to write about the errors of the "modal" libertarians. They were soft on war, sanguine about centralization of power, and friendly towards the rise of the social-therapeutic aspects of the state inherent in civil-rights egalitarianism. They were uninterested in scholarship and unschooled in history. They were culturally fringy and politically mainstream, which is precisely the opposite of what Murray and Mises were. I couldn't imagine the old libertarian school of Nock, Chodorov, Garrett, Flynn, and Mencken at home with this. The best of the paleoconservatives, in contrast, were old-fashioned constitutionalists who took libertarian positions on a range of issues. They wanted the troops home and the government out of people's lives. They wanted to abolish the welfare state, and had a very telling critique of it. Their critique was not based on rights, but it was serious and sophisticated.

The above is from an interview with Lew Rockwell discussing his history with libertarian thought and his encounters with paleoconservatives. Read the entire thing here.

Using a little Technorati magic I have discovered that a lot of folks do not even know what a paleoconservative is. One liberal blog I visited suggested that since the neoconservatives have essentially cooked their own goose the liberal moonbats of the world ought to unite in terming the rest of us conservatives as paleo's...just to show how primitive our ideas really are. How foolish in that Old Right conservatives were calling themselves paleoconservatives as soon as pro-war, pro-big government, pro-tyranny Democrats started calling themselves Republicans.

Most Old Right conservatives within the Republican Party do not even know they are paleo's. They believe that the Republican Party is for individual and states' rights, that it is the protector of their homes, liberties and the Constitution. They foolishly believe it is the party of life, God, family and the American way.

Why is this? Slick marketing and a flock of sheep ready to believe are two good reasons. In the case of evangelicals the fact that they have been and are led by men of dubious character and intent is another reason. Their leaders have crawled into the bed of the neoconservative agenda in the hope of advancing their cause. All they have done is provide the votes and support the neocons needed and could not get if the ran on their true agenda.

Another problem that Paleoconservatism faces is a lack of an easily articulated philosophy. Any true paleo knows that polite dinner conversation revolving around their beliefs is fairly difficult. Our ideas may indeed be the ideas of Jefferson but it is hard to find mainstream sheeple that understand them. Pat Buchanan speaks paleoconservative at times but from a populist standpoint. He is habitually labeled paleo but that is probably a misnomer (slight, still glad to have Pat in the Paleo camp).

Our ideas are very similar to the pure libertarian point of view but that too gets confusing to the uninitiated (we come from different traditions - one from the Enlightenment the other from tradition). The Libertarian Party, as Lew Rockwell alludes to in the article referenced above, is not true to pure libertarian ideology. There is also a stigma among conservative folks against anything with the letters "lib". Many look at the libertarian stance on social issues and see liberal and dismiss the entire theory. That is not the right way to see the difference.

In my mind what we have currently is two parties with the same ideology. Both are for bigger government, more control and less freedom. They only differ on how to spend your money, who to give it to and where government ought to expand.

I would love to have two parties representing the paleoconservative viewpoint and the libertarian viewpoint. Each would offer candidates seeking smaller government, more freedom, and less control. They would only differ on where to cut back taxes, where to allow more freedom and how much government ought to shrink. Under a two party system comprised of these two ideological sides of the same coin we would win either way.

Here is a good definition of Paleoconservatism from Old Right:

The term "paleoconservative" (sometimes shortened to paleo when the context is clear) refers to an American branch of conservative thought that stands against both the mainstream tradition of the National Review magazine and the neoconservatives. They trace themselves to the Old Right Republicans of the interwar period who successfully kept America out of the League of Nations and cut down non-European immigration in 1924, and opposed the New Deal. Paleos tend to be more critical of federal power over state and local authority, more willing to question free trade, harshly critical of further immigration and to follow an isolationist foreign policy. They are also more critical of the welfare state than the neoconservatives tend to be.

The name 'paleoconservative' differentiates itself from 'neoconservatism'. Where the neos were (Latin for) new the paleos were old. The paleoconservatives view the neoconservatives as interlopers. They furthermore tend to see the methods of the neo-conservatives as simply those of right wing Trotskyites as opposed to traditional conservatives. Paleo's view the mainstream conservatives, and especailly the neoconservative faction, as a betrayal of sacred principles and a denial of human nature.

Bushie singing Bloody Sunday

HT to OrthoCelt. This is pretty funny

Feds Want to Take Power Over National Guard Away From the States.

From Proud Liberal "Sure this is coming from the House of Representatives, but no matter how you dress it up it's still another power grab by this power hungry administration. Do we really need to give the president the power to take control of the National Guard? The House seems to think so.

'The measure would remove the currently required consent of governors for the federalization of the Guard, which is shared between the individual states and the federal government.'"

So you ask, why on earth am I reading a blog called the 'Proud Liberal'? Have I gone pinko commie?

No, the sad fact is that in this world turned upside down the liberals at times seem to be the only folks capable of seeing what is wrong. Now don't loose your hat, I still do not believe that liberals have any answers. It is merely that they are able to talk honestly about the excesses, wrongs and usurpations perpetrated by the neo-conservatives. So called 'conservatives' never mention these issues.

This idea of completely federalizing the National Guard is one that has been a long time coming in the mind of the centrist; many in the military foam at the mouth for the opportunity to once and for all eradicate any of the uniqueness of the Guard. It is difficult to wage imperial wars without ready legions. The policies of the neo-cons have made the homeland so insecure that it is a logical step for them to seek more legions. I can tell you they are having no joy recruiting the average Joe to go off and fight their ill-conceived and illegal war. The answer, press-gang the Guard into Federal service under the direct authority of the chief neo-con.

This is yet another slap in the face of states' rights and an affront to the history of organized state militias.

Update and response to A. Nonymous (see comments below)

First let us dissect

"To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;" Key words there being 'To Provide' as in to fund and resource. The Constitution does not say that Congress may actually call the militia to duty. In your own words; Is that clear enough for you?

Second, I never said that the Constitution granted the right to anyone specifically to call forth the militia. However, history speaks for itself. From 1636 until 1916 the Guard was summoned exclusively by the Governors. When Lincoln wanted to make war on the South in 1861 he called on the states to muster a 75,000 of their militia. Obviously at this time it WAS a states' rights issue. When the Constitution is silent on a right then the right remains with the States and the people (10th Amendment)

Third, during the Spanish American War it was determined that the President did not have the authority to send militia units outside of the United States and individual militia members had to individually volunteer. So obviously the President has not always had the power to use the National Guard/militia as auxiliary legionaries in foreign wars.

Fourth, the National Guard Act of 1916 was only a law, not a Constitutional principle. This law was contrary to almost 300 years of previous history, it was an affront to states' rights just as the proposed legislation mentioned above is.

So NO, the entire concept of a governor's authority over the militia of his state is not based solely on the law from the 1950's you reference, that law merely supported what was already the de facto standard based upon three centuries of history.

Finally, don't be so rude. If you want to comment on someone's blog and be condescending when you do it at least have the nerve to leave your web address.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Confederate flag defence

It has be quite some time since I debated seriously with anyone why the Confederate Battle Flag ought not offend people so and why Southerners have not only a right but a duty to display the flag at least once a year (Confederate Memorial Day).

I began commenting on a guy named Dave Trotter's blog (Democratic Hotspot) reference to a question he presented, 'What does the flag represent'. His response to me was reasoned and polite. Any of my old buddies from RA that wish to attempt to answer the question better than I feel free if you have time. Just be polite and respectful (as we always are). This fellow has not been overtly rude or intransient in his responses.
I must write something on the flag soon.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Quick, Quick, Where's My Blindfold?

"The NCAA may ban postseason games in South Carolina because the secession flag flies on the statehouse grounds."

Folks just need to back off us in SC. We took the flag off the statehouse dome and moved it to a memorial. I am personally ok with that. I have friends that swore that was just the first move. They were right.

So do other people believe that an entire period of state history should be put in the closet. Many South Carolinians fought and died for their home and the cause this flag was raised over. Should all be forgotten. Obviously so to the PC crowd.

This sort of thing is just wrong on so many levels that it is pointless to discuss it. Just back off and leave us alone. Keep pushing and the day will come when good folks will eventually say "no more". Mark it down there is change in the wind. The flag and where it flies is but a small issue compared to the intolerable usurpations of power exercised daily by the federal government. Those excesses added to the fire with nonsense like other people telling us which portions of our history are acceptable to them will one day result in a real conflict.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Just Say No

"But there is another group of Christians in the military that there is hope for. This group recognizes that the Iraq war is not a good idea. Some of them would go further and say that it is unconstitutional. Others would even say that the war is unjust. But still, they choose to fight. Why? There are, of course, a variety of reasons for this behavior. " Read More...

Much of the year I spent on "hiatus" was in fact spent dealing with the "demons" that haunt me so fiercely. My various deployments to Iraq have indeed scarred me in deeper and more profound ways that that I can possible understand or explain. I cannot put out of my mind that I have killed, with my own hands and by my own actions in an unjust war.

I remember the Vietnam war only vaguely. When the last plane with American Soldiers left that country I was but seven years old. When I grew older I came to view those that protested the war as something worse than the scum that grows on the bottom of a tarp one might use to cover a swimming pool during winter.

I remember when the American Embassy in Tehran was taken and the "Desert One" mission failed. I wanted to go even though I was still a boy.

In 1979 I asked my mother to let me stay out of school so that I could go and hear a speech by Ronald Reagan. I actually got close enough to shake his hand. I was completely sold on the idea of standing against the "Evil Empire" In 1985, while still a junior in High School, I joined the Army National Guard and went that summer before my senior year to basic training. The Marines would not let me join at that young age so I took what I could get. I graduated and headed off the The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. After that it was into the Marine Corps, a visit to Iraq, then Haiti.

In order for any of these excuses to soothe the conscience of the Christian
soldier, he must subscribe to what I have expressed elsewhere as state-sanctified
. This is the ghastly belief that the commandment "Thou shalt not
kill" (Exodus 20:13) does not apply to killing anyone in any war as long as the
U.S. government says that he should be killed. With his conscience thus
assuaged, the Christian soldier thinks that he will not have to answer to God at
the judgment as to why he killed some nameless raghead who did not want him
occupying his country.

Interesting point, I do not believe that God will judge a man too harshly for making the mistake of going to an unjust war and doing what must be done to survive, at least not if the mistake is only made once. I do wonder what sort of answer is required of someone that makes the mistake more than once.

I cannot say what I want to say better than Vance:

I appeal now to all Christians in the military: Just say "no" when it comes to
killing for the state. To all parents: Just say "no" when it comes to
encouraging your children to join the military. To all pastors: Just say "no" to
glorifying the military in your sermon illustrations. To all church youth
directors: Just say "no" when your young people seek guidance regarding joining
the military. To all school counselors: Just say "no" when it comes to the
military option. To all young people: Just say "no" to the recruiters who entice
you with cash bonuses. To all veterans: Just say "no" when it comes to
recommending a career in the military. And to all voters: Just say "no" to
politicians who start wars.

Wars fought in defence of one's home or in the justifiable defence of an innocent are one thing. Wars of aggression based upon lies and deception; there is no justice, honor or morality in that.

; ;

Saturday, July 22, 2006

War of Secession in Iraq

"In Iraq, the Iraqis fighting against us in Baghdad used to be insurgents, fighting an army of occupation. More and more, it looks like they're fighting in a civil war, faction against internal faction. This is not an improvement, particularly when your troops are caught in the middle. It's distinctly possible that we'll eventually see a war of secession, as Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis draw borders in the sand and ethnically cleanse their respective bailiwicks." Read More...

Not anything different than I talked about so forcefully two years ago.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Hampshire Too

"This is to inform you of the launch of our website representing the New Hampshire Independence Movement. Click here for Republic of New Hampshire. We look forward to working with our neighbors in Vermont to establish true freedom in our lifetime"

Wake up Southerners!!!

SVR Launches The "Vermont Sovereignty Declaration" Ad Campaign! | Second Vermont Republic

"SVR Launches The 'Vermont Sovereignty Declaration' Ad Campaign!"

Why is Vermont leading the way while Southern States sit on their lazy behinds as the leviathan grows in power each day? Shame on us all!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

States' Rights Bloggers Alliance

I encourage all bloggers to read The Declaration of States' Rights and if you agree join the States' Rights Bloggers' Alliance. Political affiliation does not matter, you must simply agree on the principle of states' rights.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Reading list

Here is a Partial List of Recommended Books that I would recommend to anyone in the Cause or interested in freedom and self determination.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Two Updates and some help please

I spent the weekend updating the code on Shouting From the Mountaintop. During my Hiatus things got a little messy.

I have also been busy reconstructing the American Secession Project. Arkie I am calling you out in public buddy. When you get back in the fight I need your help.

Matt, Lee, Larry, Joseph and any of you other good fellow out there I am calling you out too. Back in 2004 when The American Secession Project began NOBODY was talking about a collaboration of all the independence and secession groups in North America. Now the Middlebuy Institute is hosting the first National Conference this November that will bring together folks from Hawaii, Alaska, California, South Carolina, states from all over New England (to include Vermont of course), Christian Exodus and the League of the South. Major kudos to the Middlebury Institute for making this dream a reality.

There is still a work for the American Secession Project to complete. We must engage in the battle to make States' Rights, self-determination, and secession topics of polite conversation. These issues must enter the mainstream of political thought if we ever truly hope for freedom. Y'all give us some help with ASP!!

Dum Spiro Spero
El Cid

Thursday, July 06, 2006

America: Freedom to Fascism

Take a gander at this trailer. This very well may be the most important film of our time.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The United States, America and The People revisted

It is again time for Americans of all ilks to place meat on grills celebrate the essence of being Americans. All patriotic occasions dedicated to the symbols of the United States cause me much anguish, it has been ever increasingly so for the last ten years.

I am not un-American, I am certainly not un-patriotic. I love my country, its people and the principles upon which it was built. I loathe the federal government and all that the United States has become. It is entirely possible to have it both ways. The United States government is merely the current executive agent exercising central power. My country and my countrymen are merely subjects to that entity. The flag in the past was meant to represent us, it is now used by them. Many of my countrymen fail to see any difference at all.

Liberty and freedom will not be restored on the North American continent by the under the three national governments. Mexico is a complete failure; Canada has progressed far down the road toward socialism and decay. The United States government long ago abandoned its principles, true direction, republican form of government and Constitution. It is now leading the way toward leviathan.

Being an American and celebrating the 4th of July ought to mean remembering those 13 colonies that each individually declared their independence from the crown and asserted their status as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES. It is the spirit of those colonies and their people that we ought to celebrate. True nationhood and sovereignty cannot long live in large collectives. Union and collectivism is beneficial for trade and unity of effort toward common goals but such efforts ought never be confused with nationhood. We should look to our proper countries for a true restoration of liberty.

Citizens of Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Alaska, all of the Southland, Native American tribes and anyone else that desires to establish liberty in our time in their home take note. Celebrate the spirit of those brave citizens of thirteen free and independent states. Reflect on what they gained and what has been lost under the umbrella of Union. Liberty in our time will only come from the local level. Be a citizen of your home first, an American second and refuse to be a subject to the American Empire.

Two years ago on the occasion of the 4th of July I wrote a piece entitled The United States, America and The People. I believe those words still have relevance and have included parts here for this 4th of July.

First of all what is America? In terms of the common usage it is really a confused concept. It is in reality the embodiment of nation-groups of people with a shared history and a shared culture. To be certain within the American cultural group there are many very well defined subcultures; some of these are differentiated enough to qualify as full-blown cultures and people groups on their own. Within what we call Americans exist several bona fide countries. Some have existed in the community of nations as free and independent states. All retain their sovereignty no matter their current condition.

America is not a nation in terms of existing in one particular form of government. Many countries, even most countries, presuppose the current national government that represents them. As one example Russia, as a country, was represented by the Czar. During the revolution of 1917 Russians did not cease to be Russians and take on the mantle of Soviets. Russia was merely submerged for a time under the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell, Russians remained Russia; the notion of a country of Russian had never ceased to exist.

The people groups that comprise America have had many governments represent them. We were represented at the signing of the Declaration of Independence by thirteen sovereign and newly independent States. We were represented by a Confederated central government from 1781 until 1791. We did away with that government and created a new central government under the Constitution. No matter what form or name the central government has taken the underlying fact that America still exists, as a nation-group of people, has remained unchanged.

The notion of America predates that of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In fact we began as a people soon after colonization. Shared values, a common sense of purpose, the belief that man ought to be able to determine his own destiny with his own hands and the aid of God, these things bound us together early.What then of the People? We, those fortunate enough to have inherited the birthright that is the American ideal, comprise The People. In 1776, we acted through our sovereign states to demand independence for us and all of our off-spring. This was not the birth of the United States; it was simply the birth of freedom. It was the assertion of the inalienable rights of The People to establish for themselves the forms of government that best suited their needs and values.Americans, i.e. The People, enjoyed for almost eighty years the right and privilege under the Constitution the right to self-government on most matters through their State government. Prior to that, The People enjoyed this privilege to a great degree under the Articles of Confederation and earlier still to a surprising degree of profoundness under the Royal Charters proceeding independence. During the majority of over four-hundred years of American history The People have exercised and enjoyed great latitude in matters at the State level.

The United States is but the executive agent of the will of the people and the formal representation of America. It is neither The People nor America. It is a separate entity that was created to serve the needs of these two other entities. If the United States as a government were to be replaced by a different central government we would remain Americans. If the various States were to reassert their sovereignty and elect to discontinue their participation in the union we would remain Americans in much the same way that Europeans remain European no matter the form of various national governments or unions of states (i.e. European Union).The notion that The United States as an entity is irrevocably meshed with that of America or The People is a dangerous one and acceptance of this idea can and will invariably lead to tyranny. If The People cease to hold dear their right to establish their own form of government and if patriotism to America is so interwoven into patriotism to a government we have no hope of recourse.

Americans of all our various sub cultural groupings must come to agree that it is more important to be an American than it is a citizen of the United States. Better said, it is more important to be a citizen of your state than an citizen of the United States. Being Americans guarantees us the right to self-determination and perpetual freedom. It gaurantees us the right to retain our countries even if we choose to allow our free countried to enter into compacts with others (i.e. united states) Being Citizens of the United States guarantees us only preeminence in the world (for a time) while our true values and principles are eroded and stolen at home.

As you ponder the aftermath of this weekend's celebrations also consider the bold statement of freedom by The People and their States way back in 1776. Try to remember what being American really means. When you feel a surge of patriotism at the waving of the flag remember where that emotion and loyalty truly belongs.Our allegiance is to God, our families, our home, our country and then the government that represents us. So long as that government represents us well it is fit to stand. Whenever it may cease to serve its intended purpose it deserves neither our respect nor our loyalty. That is a very American point of view.

BTW, my old buddy IKANTSPEL recently wrote an excellent piece that drives home the point that the only way to fix what is wrong is the change the system entirely.

Douglas Wilson wrote a pretty amazing piece describing why and how things will fall for the United States government, reemphasising why it is important to place our loyalties with our true various countries.

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