Thursday, September 18, 2014

Latest Holder court maneuver continues DOJ Fast and Furious stonewalling

An important analysis piece from David Codrea.

Where to draw the line? Part Two. "When someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly."

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “Oh my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping G-d.
“Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory.
“Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning.”
As I reposted last night, I asked this question six and a half years ago: "Where to draw the line?" This repost was motivated by some recent headlines and some from the distant past that I ran across in the past couple of days. If I could sum up the lessons of these disparate stories, it would be with a line that I have used many times over the years: "When someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, your property and your life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly."
That sentiment distills down into one sentence my essay from way back in 1999, What I Have Learned From the Twentieth Century.
I was reminded of that when David Codrea shared this link from the Rabbinical Council of America with me, entitled "2014 Resolution: Gun Violence in America," which declares that "the RCA favors restricting Americans’ easy access to weapons and ammunition and encourages all to desist from recreational activities that desensitize participants to killing, weaponry, and violence."
One wonders what Judah Maccabee would say to this resolution. Or this mother:
In a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and European Jews are removing the Mezuzahs from their doors so that they can't be so easily identified by the new combination of Jihadi beheaders and Hitler's great grandchildren who want them dead, such disarmament advocacy is plainly suicidal. Again, I say, when someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly.
A faithful reader recently drew my attention to a New York Times article from the 21 March 1933 edition. Unfortunately the NYT charges for access to its archives on-line and frankly I don't have the money to subscribe, so I put off reading it until I could get down to the Birmingham Public Library and view it on microfilm. In this case, though, my poverty paid off. For if I merely got the article alone, I would not have read the news of the day that accompanied it. And therein was the most important lesson.
The initial article of interest can be found on Page Ten of that day's NYT and it is entitled "Nazis Hunt Arms In Einstein Home."
Albert Einstein in 1933.
Berlin, March 20 -- Charging that Professor Albert Einstein had a huge quantity of arms and ammunition stored in his secluded home in Caputh, the National Socialists sent Brown Shirt men and policemen to search it today, but the nearest thing to arms they found was a bread knife.
Professor Einstein's home, which for the present is empty, the professor being on his way back to Europe from the United States, was surrounded on all sides and one of the most perfect raids of recent German history was carried out. The outcome was a disappointment to those who have always regarded Professor Einstein's pacificst utterances as a mere pose.
The elimination of Jews from responsible positions goes on . . .
Einstein's summer home in Caputh, circa 1929. The Nazis raided it for arms and found a bread knife.
Now this is a fascinating anecdote, to be sure. But to get to page ten, you have to scroll past the first nine pages of that day's edition and it was on the front page above the fold that other stories provided the background and the context of the smaller story -- and demonstrated the larger lesson.
The lead story was provided by the Times' Berlin correspondent, Guido Enderis. (Enderis, it should be noted, has been criticized by historians as being excessively pro-Nazi.)
Berlin, March 20 -- It was announced tonight, on the eve of the convocation of the new Reichstag, that the Hitler government would ask it for dictatorial powers lasting until April 1, 1937, or until the replacement of the present Legislature by another.
By the terms of the draft of an empowering act sent to the Reichstag tonight, that body is to be excluded from legislation unless the Cabinet invites its cooperation and the government is to have the right to promulgate laws and decrees outside the channels prescribed by the Constitution even if they conflict with its provisions. . .
The Reichstag Fire had happened on the night of the 27th of February and the regime made maximum use of the panic occasioned by it.
What this meant in practical terms was made plain by an accompanying story, also on Page One:
Munich, March 20 -- Chief of Police Himmler of Munich today informed newspaper men here that the first of several concentration camps will be established near this city soon for the detention of thousands of Communists, Marxists and leaders of the Reichbanner organization.
He explained that in the long run it would be impossible to hold in jail those who would be arrested and to release them would only mean renewed agitation. Such measures as were planned, he added, must be carried out without any petty scruples.
He also announced that the Socialist press in Bavaria would remain suppressed until April 4.
In the process of putting Bavaria under the control of the government at Berlin there has been a sweeping campaign against all the leaders of the Left parties and reports have indicated that the arrests have run into thousands. In particular the new authorities undertook to break up the Reichsbanner, the army formed by the republican elements as an offset to the monarchists and the Nazi brown shirts. This organization has been ordered dissolved throughout Germany.
The problem of keeping the vast number of political prisoners led Dr. Wilhelm Frick, Minister of the Interior, to announce recently that they would be put in concentration camps and kept at hard labor.
Heinrich Himmler in 1933.
In the same issue was a first-person account of the atrocities being carried out by the Nazis against Jews by the novelist Lion Feuchtwanger.
Author Believes World Will Never Know How Many Jews and Others Have Been Slain
Red Cross Workers Are Prevented, He Declares, From Aiding Those Injured In Attacks.
Bern, Switzerland, March 20 -- Immediately before I left America, and shortly before the German elections, I told my anxious friends abroad that any idea of pogroms in Germany was unthinkable. President Von Hindenburg's name and the solid foundations of German culture were pledges against such occurrences.
During my journey across the Atlantic we received disturbing wireless reports regarding acts of violence against the Jews. These seemed incomprehensible, but in Paris I met the first refugees from Germany. The stories they related were dreadful. The told of some things compared to which the reports of the atrocities during the war paled.
I found it hard to believe these accounts, although I knew that the people who told them were trustworthy in every respect. In no way were they radical. They were democrats and members of the Catholic Centre parties -- pacifists who all their lives had worked in favor of political mediation and negotiation and men who hated all forms of exaggeration.
However, they declared they had seen, with their own eyes, how attempts had been made to throw people out of underground trains in motion simply because they looked like Jews. They had seen people pulled from motor cars and beaten -- women and young folk too -- because they were thought to be Jewish.
These refugees had also heard despairing stories of women whose husbands and sons had been dragged out of bed and inhumanly beaten and about whom nothing more had been heard or seen. . .
Lion Feuchtwanger, 1933.
Feuchtwanger's account is long and filled with the very real atrocities which were happening at the time, but it was these concluding paragraphs that struck me most forcefully:
I assume that the storm troopers alone are responsible for all they have done -- that must surely be so. It is certain that President von Hindenburg has no idea of the outrages. Probably Chancellor Hitler, too, has had nothing to do with these things personally. And Minister Goering can scarcely be suspected of complicity.
The gravity of the situation lies in the fact that the government clearly no longer possesses any authority over its so-called police organization.
The unfortunate thing is that these people have taken the former wild speeches of Hitler too literally. They were promised that when the revolution began the golden age would set in at once. Now they want the heads which they had been promised they would see rolling on the ground. They want lampposts decorated with dead bodies. The reult is pogroms such as Germany as not seen since the Jewish persecutions of the fourteenth century.
I greatly pray that the government may succeed in calling a halt before the ill treatment, the torture, the slaughter of the thousands of Socialists, Catholics and Jews lead to a civil war such as the world has never seen.
I had to read that over three times before I was fully convinced that Feuchtwanger wasn't writing it tongue in cheek. No, he really believed that these atrocities represented a government out of control rather than one fully in control of what its minions were doing. I suppose he was trying to convince himself more than the audience he was writing for. Yet the "civil war" that Feuchtwanger prophesied was made impossible because by the time he wrote this for the Times, the Reichsbanner, the militia formations pledged to defend the Weimar Constitution, were already in jail and headed for concentration camps, dead or in hiding.
Of course we now know that von Hindenburg, in whom Feuchtwanger put so much confidence, knew exactly what was going on. Although ailing, von Hindenburg wouldn't die until August of 1934. Yet the novelist certainly shouldn't have had any illusions about Hitler's intentions after reading Main Kampf. And as we see from the article quoting Himmler above, one had only to read the newspapers of the day to see which way the wind was blowing. Yet Feuchtwanger clung to his illusions because he desperately needed to. Such thoroughgoing evil was frankly beyond his knowledge and experience. And the Nazis had just begun. It would take twelve years and tens of millions of dead before they danced the executioner's jig themselves.
No, we don't have the excuse of Feuchtwanger's wishful thinking. And so, we must ask ourselves the same question that the Reichsbanner men waited too long to answer -- Where do we draw the line? I'll try to answer that in Part Three. But remember, when someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly.

Praxis: AK in Emergency Mode.

Broken bolt carrier? No recoil Spring? No dust cover? No problem! Dima demonstrates abilities of AK rifle and how to continue to fight with "broken equipment".

Praxis: Poor Man's Drone

Flying 3D X8 6 Axis 2.4G 8CH GPS FPV RC Quadcopter RTF
See also here.

Brady Campaign lawsuits against online ammo dealers aim to cripple 2nd Amendment

At the very least, this suit is intended to lay the groundwork for making it impossible to buy ammunition online. Shoot any "oddball" calibers, that are unlikely to be found at any local shops? You're out of luck . . . and out of ammo. And that is the whole idea.

Hardly surprising.

Department Of Justice, Media Matters Coordinate To Attack Reporter

Action hero’ Neeson proves to be typical Hollywood hoplophobe

“I am totally for gun control in the U.S.,” the actor, who became a citizen five years ago declared, decrying the number of guns owned in the country that took him in and rewarded him with fame and fortune. “I’ll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun.”

"Fake Warsaw Pact Soldier?"

BOLO: Fake Warsaw Pact Soldier With A Mohawk Ambushed PA State Police

Hickenlooper fading?

GOP Candidate Takes 10-Point Lead in Colorado Governor’s Race

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where to draw the line?

Over six and a half years ago, I wrote this piece drawing on the German experience and asking the question "Where to draw the line?" I subtitled it, "More along the line of grim thinking inspired by government misconduct in the Olofson case." I present it here because the question is still pointedly relevant, as another post that I plan for tomorrow will further demonstrate.

When the 23rd Regiment was finally back in Boston after the ordeal of April 19, adjutant Frederick Mackenzie wrote in his diary, "I believe the fact is, that General Gage was not only much deceived with respect to the quantity of military stores said to be collected at Concord, but had no conception the rebels would have opposed the King's troops in the manner they did." -- General John Galvin, The Minutemen, Pergamon-Brasseys, 1989, page 244.

Where to draw the line?

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

Libertarian Wolfe made her famous observation above in the mid-nineties. Now here we are more than ten years later, even more isolated and politically disenfranchised, and we must ask the question: how far do we have to go to get past "awkward?"

History never exactly repeats itself and thus is an imperfect guide. Studying history "we see through a glass, darkly." Still, there are patterns in history that deserve our close attention, so we may better understand how to act in the present and to enable us to better predict the future. Through history, we understand that no idea, bad or good, ever truly dies. We are also shown that people, being human, repeat the mistakes of their ancestors, over and over again. Indeed, there is no one blinder than a historical amnesiac.

Flag of the Reichsbanner, the German military organization sworn to defend the Weimar Republic.

So when we consider the question suggested by Claire Wolfe, that is, when are we past the awkward stage and into the day of "shooting the bastards," we must consult history for examples to guide us. I offer firstly a lesson in waiting too long from William Sheridan Allen's outstanding study, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town (Franklin Watts/Grolier, 1984):

And yet, one has to ask the question, what happened to those who had sworn resistance? What happened to the Reichsbanner, which had repeatedly asserted, in the years before Hitler came to power, that when the expected Nazi coup came they would be able to defend the Republic? In Northeim, at least, the Republic was destroyed without a single blow struck in its defense. The Reichsbanner, with all its plans for instant mobilization, had its members struck down one by one, its leaders imprisoned, beaten, hounded from their jobs and their homes without any resistance from the organization as a whole.

Perhaps the basic reason for this was that there was no Nazi coup d'etat. Instead there was a series of quasi-legal actions over a period of at least six months, no one of which by itself constituted a revolution, but the sum of which transformed Germany from a republic to a dictatorship. The problem was where to draw the line. But by the time that line could be clearly drawn, the revolution was a fait accompli, the potential organs of resistance had been individually smashed, and organized resistance was no longer possible. In short, the splendid organization was to no avail; in the actual course of events it was every man for himself. (Allen, p. 191)
The Reichsbanner parades past the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, 1929.

Even after reading Allen's work, I have often wondered why the German opposition just laid down without a fight. Back in the nineties, I was talking to Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and one of us (I recall it was him, he thinks it was me) made this observation: "If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had possessed a Mauser rifle, 20 rounds of 7.92mm ball and the will to use it, Adolf Hitler would have been an obscure footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic."

True enough, whoever said it. But as Grant Hammond observed about Colonel John Boyd's seminal theories of warfare:

"There is another trinity in Boyd’s strategic catechism as well. It is a concern for what he lumps together as moral-mental-physical aspects of opponents. Most definitions of war define them as contests in physical violence. Boyd sees them mainly as moral struggles won as much by mental as physical prowess. But he sees the complex—moral-mental-physical—as a single entity, a synthesis that can be broken down analytically but must be understood as a composite whole. It matches another Trinitarian composite, that of people first, ideas second and things third. This happens to be the opposite of the way most militaries approach problem solving by focusing on technology, platforms and weaponry first, ideas about their employment second and people—who are largely interchangeable and ultimately, are expendable—third. This way of thinking has little utility in Boyd’s Way and in fact, may be the seed of many a defeat." (Source: Grant T. Hammond, The Essential Boyd).

Many Americans, especially us small "r" republicans, take heart when we recall that the American citizenry possesses more small arms than most of the world's armies put together. And as Clausewitz observed, in military affairs quantity DOES have a quality all its own (just ask any Korean War veteran about his first experience with a Chinese human wave assault).

Still, as Napoleon insisted, "The moral is to the physical as three is to one." We cannot be protected by our possession of a hundred million rifles if we lack the will use them. Iraq was an armed society, yet the Saddam dictatorship had little trouble tyrannizing that country for decades. And it cannot be doubted that there are many American gunowners who would, at the first command of an American tyranny, turn in their weapons simply because they are "law-abiding" people who "don't want any trouble" -- simply because, in fact, they have forgotten what it is to be free. They have grown used to doing what the government tells them to do. And perhaps that was the problem with the Weimar republicans:
The Northeimer Reichsbanner itself was ready to fight in 1933. All it needed was an order from Berlin. Had it been given, Northeimer's Reichsbanner members would have carried out the tested plan they had worked on so long -- to obtain and distribute weapons and to crush the Nazis. But (the local Reichsbanner) would not act on its own. The leaders felt that single acts would come to grief, would possibly compromise the chance when it finally did come, and would, in any event, be a betrayal of discipline. They felt that their only hope was in common action, all together, all over the Reich. Hadn't (their national leaders) said that only a counterattack should be made? So they waited and prayed for the order to come, but it never did. And while they waited the Nazis began tracking them down, one by one. (Allen, p. 191)

The Germans, wholly indoctrinated in obeying orders, were incapable of acting without them. Because their would-be tyrants represented "the government" and cloaked their wolfish actions in "legal" sheepskin, because their own "leaders" could not or would not give the order, they all ended up in a concentration camp -- leaders and followers -- without ever having struck a blow. I am again reminded of Boyd's "moral-mental-physical" dynamic by this observation of Allen's:
"This situation, where even heroism was denied the men of the democratic Left, came about in no small measure because of the failure of the Social Democrats to understand the nature of Nazism. Just as their basic premise in the years before Hitler came to power was the erroneous assumption that the Nazis were essentially Putschists who could not possibly attract a mass following, so their basic premise after Hitler came to power was the equally erroneous assumption that his would be a government similar to the others of the Weimar period." (Ibid, p. 192)

Because of their inability to see the enemy for what he really was (and if ever there was an enemy who delighted in shouting his intentions to the rafters it was Hitler) they went straight from the "awkward stage" to the concentration camps without ever firing a shot.
Die Garde der Republik marching song of the Reichsbanner.

Thinking and Acting before Feeling

Now, contrast the behavior of the Germans to that of our Founding Fathers. This is best illustrated by reading Gordon S. Wood's The Creation of the American Republic, 1776 - 1787:

In the American Revolution, Wood wrote, "there was none of the legendary tyranny of history that had so often driven desperate people into rebellion. The Americans were not an oppressed people; they had no crushing imperial shackles to throw off. In fact, the Americans knew they were probably freer and less burdened with cumbersome feudal and hierarchical restraints than any part of mankind in the eighteenth century. To its victims, the Tories, the Revolution was truly incomprehensible. Never in history, said Daniel Leonard, had there been so much rebellion with so 'little real cause.' . . . The objective social reality scarcely seemed capable of explaining a revolution . . .

As early as 1775 Edmund Burke had noted in the House of Commons that the colonists' intensive study of law and politics had made them acutely inquisitive and sensitive about their liberties. Where the people of other countries had invoked principles only after they had endured 'an actual grievance,' the Americans, said Burke, were anticipating their grievances and resorting to principles even before they actually suffered. 'They augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.' The crucial question in the colonists' minds, wrote John Dickerson in 1768, was 'not, what evil HAS ACTUALLY ATTENDED particular measures -- but what evil, in the nature of things, IS LIKELY TO ATTEND them.' Because 'nations, in general, are not apt to THINK until they FEEL, . . .therefore nations in general have lost their liberty.' But not the Americans, as the Abbe Raynal observed. They were "an 'enlightened people' who knew their rights and the limits of power and who, unlike any people before them, aimed to think before they felt."

(Source: Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, UNC Press, 1969, pp. 3-5)

The Founders were people who believed in "preserving the spirit of resistance." To take Abbe Raynal's words to their conclusion, the Founders aimed to think AND act before they felt. Unlike the Germans, their "awkward stage" ended at Lexington green, and ultimately led to liberty.

In the light of recent events such as the Olofson case, it seems plain that our own "awkward stage" may be perilously close to drawing to an end. There are those who still insist that such unconstitutional outrages perpetrated under color of law deserve nothing more than verbal condemnation or further attempts at legal redress in a "justice" system rigged against us (as if these thugs pay attention to the law anyway). Used to inaction and afraid of even voicing the threat of justifiable self-defense, these timid souls, these "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots," would have us wait for true tyranny before acting.

This was not the way of the Founders. They understood that tyranny is best strangled in its unholy infancy, before it becomes a raging beast. They understood the threat, they prepared to meet it and, in the end, they defeated it. The Germans of the 1930s did not, and they were devoured.

I say we would do well to emulate the Founders rather than the Germans, to think and ACT before we feel, when it will be too late. This is important not only for those Americans who wish to remain free, but for those on the other side who unthinkingly seek to rob us of our freedoms and for those in the middle who (ignoring the Law of Unintended Consequences) sit idly by, content to watch the destruction of the American republic on television while thinking it has nothing to do with, and can have no effect upon, them.

If we small "r" republicans do nothing else, we should let the rogue elements of our own government know that in addition to outnumbering them, we still preserve the spirit of resistance, despite have been marginalized politically by the two major parties. Perhaps, if everyone understands that, the Redcoats (now wearing black raid gear) will not once again blunder and unknowingly march out from Boston into an unexpected but perfectly predictable butchery contest.

By our words, our preparations, our training and our actions we, the armed citizenry of the Republic of the United States of America, still have the opportunity to convince them of our unyielding determination to remain free. It may be our last best hope to preserve uninterrupted both our God-given liberties and the domestic peace we have come to love too much. While it is better to be "awkward" than to be dead, it is better still to die fighting than to be enslaved without a fight.

Just ask the Germans of the Weimar Republic.

So THINK and ACT before you FEEL. The Founders did.

Taking this morning to reassess.

Folks, I'll be honest. It's been a struggle lately. I am faced with some tough resource choices in my plans for Colorado and Connecticut, the black dog has returned and is perched upon my chest and I continue to struggle with my health. I'm taking the morning off (at least) to do some serious thinking about my responsibilities -- and my duties -- to you, my family and the larger struggle. Keep me in your prayers.

Obama's Self-Defeating Fight

The presence of Westerners in IS, indeed, IS’s aggressive efforts to recruit Westerners wouldn’t pose much of a problem for the US if it were willing to secure its borders and recognize the root of the problem. But as US President Barack Obama made clear over the summer, and indeed since he first took office six years ago, he opposes any effort to secure the US border with Mexico. If these jihadists can get to Mexico, they will, in all likelihood, have no problem coming to America.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Judge rebukes ATF over treatment of agent who infiltrated Hells Angels

The ATF managers involved in the case happen to be the same senior officials in Arizona who mishandled the Operation Fast and Furious case -- the botched anti-gunrunning sting -- including Agent in Charge Bill Newell and his assistant George Gillett.

New Anti-Gun Strategies

“Assault weapon” bans have proved very unpopular — but the anti-gun lobbies aren’t giving up entirely.

Another coup for Sharyl Attkisson.

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

Anti-gun ‘Tampon Run’ game puts messy spin on blood dancing

“New York City high school students Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser met at coding camp and recently completed their project Tampon Run -- a video game to point out that menstrual cycles are normal... and guns are bad.”

Big surprise.

Holder presses delay on Fast and Furious documents

‘No Angel’ Dobyns wins “David and Goliath’ challenge against ATF

Jay Dobyns claimed victory Tuesday following an order in his favor by the United States Court of Federal Claims, the retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent announced in a news release on his website. The decision marks a legal resolution for a bizarre and outrageous personal nightmare that included death threats against the agent and his family and the arson of his home, and resulted in his having to take the government on in court.

Things fall apart.

The Great Unraveling

Rabbis reject calls for ‘gun control’ by Jewish religious groups

Rejecting calls for more federal gun laws by the Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union, a dozen rabbis have issued a joint statement rebuking the position of those groups, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership announced Monday in a member alert and press release.