How Obama Made Me an Anarchist – By Winter Trabex

“I followed the story of the (indefinite detention clause in the) NDAA with great interest through December of 2011. This was Obama’s defining moment. Perhaps he had given in to political expediency at times. Perhaps he had been an imperfect man for the first three years of his presidency. This was not outside the realm of expectation. He was, and is, an imperfect human being. To expect perfect governance for an imperfect man is to engage in fantasy. But here, with the NDAA on his desk, he had a chance to emphatically say no to the same methods that FDR had used against Japanese American citizens during World War II, and which had been used by Joseph McCarthy camp during the so-called ‘red scare.’ He had a chance to say, you know what, we don’t always do everything right, but this one time I’m going to stand on principle. He had a chance to say that locking people up without due process was not okay.

He signed the bill.”

(Via.) LibertyMe – Stuff, Things, and Unspecified Unmentionables

Underdogs and Overlords

A little less than a year ago, Michael Vickers shot and seriously wounded a 10-year-old boy in Broxton, Georgia under circumstances that remain unclear. The victim, Dakota Corbitt, suffered serious and potentially permanent injury to his leg.

Despite the fact that this was an act of firearms-related violence involving a child, no charges were filed against Vickers. Although the public record is barren of a comment from Coffee County Sheriff Doyle Wooten expressing sympathy for Dakota and his mother, Amy, the sheriff pointedly commiserated with the shooter, telling a local NBC affiliate that Vickers is the father of three young children and that the shooting ‘is really preying on his mind.

Many people bearing such burdens would make a point of meeting with the injured child and expressing contrition in person. Vickers didn’t have time for such a gesture, however, because immediately after the shooting he went on what was described as a “pre-approved vacation” from his job…’”

(Via.) Pro Libertate

We were wrong to try to ban racism out of existence, says former equality chief | Daily Mail Online

A former equality chief has branded his years working to stamp out racial discrimination as ‘utterly wrong’.

Writer and broadcaster Trevor Phillips said efforts made under the Blair government turned anti-racism into an ‘ugly new doctrine’.

Mr Phillips is the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and has waged a 30-year campaign to tackle issues around discrimination and equality.

In an upcoming Channel 4 documentary, called Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True, he says attempts to stop prejudice instead encouraged abuse and endangered lives as well as contributed to the rise of parties like Ukip.

via We were wrong to try to ban racism out of existence, says former equality chief | Daily Mail Online.

If you think we’ve got it bad

The linked article in National Review presents the take of Stratfor’s George Friedman on the rapidly worsening situation in Europe; and no, he’s not talking about the Euro and the Grexit.

Understanding Vladimir Putin’s motivations, and predicting what’s next in simmering Central Europe, is attracting a lot of attention, at least among folks that are able to look over their own barricades into the middle distance. Friedman says it’s all about Germany:

“The fighting in Ukraine is thus part of the process of drawing the line between Russia and Germany on the west of the continent, the line that Hitler and Stalin so disastrously failed to draw. Poland and the Baltic republics are likely to be tested next.”

Friedman can be unsettling, and although he makes his share of bad calls, he certainly is refreshing and (sadly) unique in his ability to step out of the news cycle and provide analysis with a historical perspective.

Germany and Russia. Germany – the elephant in the European living room that no European, including practically no German, wants to talk about.

Russia is a dangerous combination of boldness, paranoia, and underlying weakness. Can’t they just accept the demographic inevitable, lay themselves down and die? They were “Godless communists” for so long that they seem unwilling to accept that there is any fate but what we make; and maybe they’re right.

The way the European Union is going, Germany will have a large, hungry, unemployed subject population to conscript soldiers from, since young Germans can’t be bothered. And they have a tradition of alliance with the Turks against Russia. It looks more like a game of Diplomacy all the time. A game which, as I recall, did not include the USA at all.

It’s another bad century to be a Pole. When was the last good one?

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/415016/experts-agree-europe-doomed-david-pryce-jones

The Worldwide War Against Free Speech

We’re facing an assault not on offices or institutions but on the last space that separates the West from its discontents: the freedom of expression. For the past ten years I have lived under police protection because of threats from the Neapolitan Mafia, and there are countless others like me throughout the world. Echoes of the indifference to these risks can be heard in any political meeting I attend. Whoever is reading this right now can make a difference by understanding and giving voice to all those who are condemned to death for a word: those like María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio and the many brave students who followed her to the grave. Governments should establish freedom of expression as a requirement for commercial exchanges, but Saudi Arabian oil and the low cost of Chinese labor will prevent this from ever happening. Where governments fail, civil society can do a lot: open up news programs to keep these stories in circulation, dedicating to them the space and time they deserve. My own story shows just how important the response of readers and the public is. I would have been forgotten completely if it hadn’t been for the public attention given to me. The compromised, deeply corrupt Italian state would have never defended me without pressure from the outside.

via The Worldwide War Against Free Speech | VICE | United States.

From Mosul to Motor City | Foreign Policy

Chaldeans and Assyrian Christians began trickling into Detroit after 1900, but the major migration began in the late 1960s as Saddam Hussein rose to power in Iraq. Most Chaldeans sought work in Detroit’s automotive factories, but the city’s 1967 riots, during which worsening black-white relations boiled over into violence, proved to be another turning point for the growing community, as Chaldeans took up operating grocery stores abandoned by white business owners during the city’s infamous “white flight.” Today, there are hundreds of grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets nationwide owned and operated by Chaldeans. The Chaldean Community Foundation estimates that 90 percent of convenience stores in the Detroit area are Chaldean-owned. Chaldeans now own a number of businesses and operate in a wide variety of industries in the region beyond supermarkets, from car-repair shops to engineering firms. And as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq, the population is increasing faster than ever before.

Sterling Heights, a Detroit suburb, is home to an independent welcoming center for Chaldean and Assyrian refugees, as well as other new arrivals who might be slightly more established but still need assistance. Lately, the center has seen up to 150 walk-in cases daily, according to Manna. Community leaders estimate that as many as 400 refugees arrive in metro Detroit each month, seeking U.S. citizenship and taking shelter with friends, relatives, and anyone else able to offer a room.

via From Mosul to Motor City | Foreign Policy.

Texas Town Experiences 61% Drop in Crime After Firing Their Police Department | The Free Thought Project

Another aspect, and possibly the most important, that sets privatized police apart from agents of the state, is that they have a negative incentive to initiate force. Force and violence are vastly more expensive than today’s police lead us to believe.

Causing injury or death, or wrongfully depriving someone of their rights is very expensive if these costs are realized for the ones who cause them. The state does not care, however. They can and will defer their liability to the tax farm.

The act of deferment of liability is a function solely reserved for the state, and it creates an incentive to act in an unethical manner. In the case of SEAL Security, each of their officers, as well as their entire operation, can be held liable, both criminally and financially. This is something about which the state knows nothing.

As guns.com points out, over 70 communities in Harris County and most of the major management districts have contracted with SEAL. They’re less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.

It’s time Americans start seriously considering this option.

Law enforcement is a product that we are forced to buy. When any product is not subject to the forces of consumer demand, there is no way of changing it. It is time we applied the fundamental lesson of competition to our supposed protectors.

via The Free Thought Project

Instapundit » Blog Archive » TWO THINGS PEOPLE ARE MISSING ABOUT NETANYAHU’S SPEECH: (1) He didn’t just make a case for why the…

TWO THINGS PEOPLE ARE MISSING ABOUT NETANYAHU’S SPEECH: (1) He didn’t just make a case for why the U.S. should be harder on Iran. He made the case for unilateral Israeli military intervention too, sub silentio. (2) The most damaging thing to Obama here isn’t even the substance, but the contrast in style. Netanyahu, as someone said on Twitter, was better in his second language than Obama is in his first. And he presented himself as a leader who cares about his country, rather than one, like Obama, who makes excuses for its enemies.

via Instapundit » Blog Archive » TWO THINGS PEOPLE ARE MISSING ABOUT NETANYAHU’S SPEECH: (1) He didn’t just make a case for why the….

Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling – The Washington Post

Michael Youlen stopped a driver in a Manassas apartment complex on a recent night and wrote the man a ticket for driving on a suspended license. With a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, Youlen gave the driver a stern warning to stay off the road.The stop was routine police work, except for one fact: Youlen is not a Manassas officer. The citation came courtesy of the private force he created that, until recently, he called the “Manassas Junction Police Department.”He is its chief and sole officer.He is a force of one.And he is not alone. Like more and more Virginians, Youlen gained his police powers using a little-known provision of state law that allows private citizens to petition the courts for the authority to carry a gun, display a badge and make arrests. The number of “special conservators of the peace” — or SCOPs, as they are known — has doubled in Virginia over the past decade to roughly 750, according to state records.

via Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling – The Washington Post.

Edward Snowden Documentary Citizenfour Wins Oscar – Liberty Crier

CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ riveting documentary about Edward Snowden’s efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Does last night’s Oscar win signify a shifting paradigm or is it just the seasons fashionable bandwagon?

Via Liberty Crier.

An American Renaissance

In the Obama years, disseminating either disinformation or no information, a devoted media helped create the intellectual darkness and vacant servitude required to carry out the strategy of their leftist Messiah;  a country without any sense of its own history and traditions, where the low-information voter would slouch towards Obama’s imaginary utopia through a combination of governmental coercion and the hedonist nihilism of a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free America managed by a nanny-state.

via An American Renaissance.

American Malls Are Threatened by Somalian Terrorists — and the DHS Secretary Is Warning Shoppers of the Danger | TheBlaze.com

After Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab released a video calling for attacks on shopping malls throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Johnson took to CNN Sunday morning to advise caution.

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson told CNN’s Gloria Borger. ”There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.”

via American Malls Are Threatened by Somalian Terrorists — and the DHS Secretary Is Warning Shoppers of the Danger | TheBlaze.com.

What Admiral Nelson Would Have Said About Obama’s ISIS Strategy

Nelson Linkedin

I have spent most of my career working with strategy.

In almost 40 years of dealing with the sharp end of strategy there is one prevailing lesson: the trickier the strategy – the riskier the strategy.

What is trick strategy? Trick strategy is like a trick pool shot where several actions need to occur perfectly in order to sink the shot.

The more actions placed between you and your desired result – the trickier the strategy.

I’m not saying that trick strategy doesn’t work, it does in certain cases.

But at some point the effectiveness of your strategy is influenced more by luck than execution skill. And that’s not good strategy.

So I was thinking about this yesterday as I read some of the briefings describing Obama’s latest attempt at “fighting” violent extremism. This from the New York Times:

If we’re going to prevent people from being susceptible to the false promises of extremism, then the international community has to offer something better,” Mr. Obama said, adding that the United States would “do its part” by promoting economic growth and development, fighting corruption and encouraging other countries to devote more resources to education, including for girls and women.

See the commander in chief of community organizing seems to believe that the best strategy for dealing with murderous Muslim zealots is giving them jobs and money. (Which has worked out so well in places like Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, etc.)

In other words a trick strategy. Rather than just exterminating them, Obama is introducing several layers of complex actions that must work in order for his strategy to succeed. (I’m assuming success for this administration is defined as eliminating the threat. On the other I am also laying even odds that the Obama administration is doing this intentionally in order to increase the threat and further enable violent Muslim extremists.)

What the Obama administration is suggesting, is giving jobs and money to murderous Muslim zealots will cause them to forget a 1,500 year religious struggle, lay down their weapons and take a job at WalMart.

See in building an “effective” strategy to combat murderous Muslim zealots you need to accept a basic set of facts:

1. This is a continuation of a 1,500 year war.
2. It is a religious war fought between Christians and Muslims.
3. Muslims won’t stop until they’ve eliminated or converted Christians.
4. We have irreconcilable differences with ideology, morals and ethics.
5. Muslims will not fight “fair” as defined by convention like the Geneva Convention.
6. The majority of moderate Muslims will do nothing to fight this battle.

These facts seem to leave only one viable strategy for eliminating the threat from murdering Muslim zealots:

Become more murderous and bigger zealots than they are.

But the problem with Americans and most western men is that we are civilized.

We are not murders. Nor are we zealots.

But what if the battle calls for murderers and zealots?

Do we play the old saw of “the end NOT justifying the means”?

Or do we channel our inner Patton and get to work?

Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson famously said the best strategy is the simplest and the boldest:

No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.

I know that most Americans who accept the facts outlined above will still resist the notion of becoming “more murderous and bigger zealots” than our enemy.

But this is one strategist who see’s no other way. If you do see another way please tell me your strategy for defeating murdering Muslim zealots.

Simply. In ten words or less.

Marie Harf and Those She Represents are Damn Naive Fools | RedState

In the history of all the world, there has never been a war that could not be won by killing more bad guys than they kill of the good guys. But Marie Harf, the State Department spokeswoman making international headlines for being a damn naive fool, claims we cannot win this war by killing the bad guys. According to Harf, we need to root out “underlying causes” and create jobs. So a Presidency that rejects nation building thinks we must, essentially, nation build to win the war.

via Marie Harf and Those She Represents are Damn Naive Fools | RedState.

Valkyries, Valhalla, and The Way of the Samurai (“Soft” Standards, and the Philosophy of Stoicism) – By John Mosby

valkyrieContrary to popular current mythology (and the History Channel’s Vikings television show), dying in battle was not a ticket to sex with Valkyries, getting drunk on mead, and partying with Odin in Valhalla, in pre-Christian Germanic belief. The most commonly accepted view of the mythos—amongst those scholars that accept that the belief system actually encompassed Valhalla as an afterlife destination, which is far from universal amongst historians and archeologists—is that the Valkyries, the “Choosers of the Slain,” would scour the battlefield dead, and select half of them to bring to Odin’s Hall. The other half went elsewhere (Freyja’s Hall, but that’s not actually germane to the conversation here).

Thus, in the ancient Germanic warrior culture, regardless of how brave you were, how hard you fought, and how well-trained you were, there was only a 50/50 chance that you would get to go to Valhalla. Ultimately, the choice was outside of your control. So, why would a warrior train for war, venture forth gladly to the battlefield, and then perform valorous acts that almost guaranteed death in the long run, if there was only a 50% chance of getting what you wanted?

In his classic treatise on the philosophy behind the Samurai code of “Bushido,” entitled Hagakure, and often billed as “The Book of the Samurai,” retired Samurai-turned-monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote that “the way of the samurai is found in death.” He admonished young warriors to calmly accept that death would occur on the battlefield, regardless of the efforts of the individual. Despite this, the samurai trained in earnest for battlefield effectiveness from youth onward. It didn’t matter that you calmly accepted that you were going to die, you still trained hard to be as lethal as humanly possible.

There is a school of philosophy that was originated in ancient Greece, and codified by Roman philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca. That school was called “Stoicism.” It was probably not what you think.

In modern colloquialism, “stoic” has a meaning that is not congruent with the origins of the word within that school of philosophy. In our use, stoic is defined as enduring pain or hardship without showing emotions or complaining. When we read the ancient philosophers like Aurelius though, we see that he—by many considered the definitive writer of the school of Stoicism—greatly mourned the deaths of his sons. He grew angry with poor performance by his subordinate military commanders. Bereavement and anger are contrary to the modern use of the word stoic, but the greatest writer on the school of philosophy that gave us that word was more than willing to admit that he felt both emotions. How does that work?

More importantly, what do northern European tribal warriors, Japanese samurai, and ancient Roman philosophers, have to do with modern survivalism, preparedness, and training? Pretty much everything.

Whether we use the Roman term “stoicism,” or we discuss Germanic warlords, or Japanese samurai, we’re talking about the same thing. Stoicism is the calm acceptance of responsibility. It is the acceptance that I am responsible for what I am capable of controlling. I cannot control what anyone else does or does not do. I cannot control the outcome of events.

Retired Delta Sergeant-Major Pat McNamara writes about this when he recommends performance-based training, rather than outcome-based training. We don’t worry about the outcome. We focus our efforts on what we are responsible for. It doesn’t matter if I hit a Master classification on the IDPA Classifier. What matters is whether I take responsibility for the actions—the training—that will allow me to achieve that. It doesn’t matter if I hit a sub-1:00 second draw to first shot break with my Glock. I cannot control that.

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

It makes sense though, when you stop trying to control anything except yourself. Rather than trying to hit a 1:00 second draw to first shot, focus on executing the draw, sight alignment, and trigger press as fast as you are capable of, while still performing each step of the process as correctly as you are capable of. If you get a 1:00 second draw to first shot, great. If you don’t, but you did everything as fast as you were capable of, and still did it as perfect as you are capable of, great.

When the bell tolls for you, and you are in a gunfight, you have exactly zero control of the outcome. You have zero control over who you will be fighting. You have zero control over what training he has had. You have zero control over his speed and accuracy. You have zero control over whether he moves at the moment you break your shot, causing you to miss. You are not in control over anything that you are not in control of. Accept it. Embrace it. Accept responsibility for what you are responsible for.

So, what are you responsible for, that will make a difference? Why bother training, if we don’t have control anyway?

You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your actions. You do have control over who your enemy will be fighting. You have control over the training you will have had. You have control over what speed and accuracy you will be able to achieve. You have control over whether you are fit enough and fast enough to move. You are in control of everything that you are in control of. Accept that responsibility.

The Germanic warrior trained hard, to be better than his foe, so that he could perform valorous acts on the battlefield, and hoped that the Valkyries noticed, and took him, if it turned out that his foe was better than him. The Samurai trained hard so that he could perform well, so that hopefully his ancestors would recognize his honor in the afterlife.

We can set performance standards. “You need to be able to achieve X in XX:XX seconds, and then you are qualified.” That’s fine. If you’re willing to accept that, then fine. Accept responsibility for it. Perhaps it will be enough.

The better way; the Stoic way accepted by warrior cultures throughout history, and throughout the world though, is to take responsibility for yourself. Accept that you have absolute control over what you have control over, and don’t worry about the rest of it. If you take the responsibility you need to take, then you will perform. If you don’t, you will fail.

You cannot control whether you achieve X in XX:XX. What you can control is, “I will do XYZ every day. I will try to perform better and faster, every time I perform XYZ. If I do this, eventually, I will achieve X in XX:XX, then I will continue to improve.”

“Hard” standards of performance are, by definition, minimal standards. “Soft” standards are superior to hard standards. They require stoic acceptance of the struggle. They require you to continue trying to improve. “Hard” standards are about “stay safe.” “Soft” standards are about “screw safe, stay dangerous.”

I taught a TC3 class in Idaho this weekend past. After the training one night, at supper with some of the students, we were discussing PT. You can follow any number of PT programs out there. I describe a program in Volume One of The Reluctant Partisan. Rob Shaul of Mountain Athlete, located in Jackson, Wyoming has “tactical athlete” specific training programs. Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, UT provides training for tactical athletes. Crossfit is—of course—popular with many tactical athletes.

Ultimately, if you want to do PT to improve yourself, it’s not particularly difficult. Lift more today than you lifted yesterday, and lift more tomorrow than you can lift today. Run or ruck further and faster today than you did yesterday, and run or ruck further and faster tomorrow than you do today. Any strength and conditioning specialist or personal trainer will, of course, tell you that this is a gross oversimplification. You have to factor in all the variables: nutrition, rest and recovery, etc.

Not true. If you walked out in your front yard right now, and picked up a 45-lb Olympic barbell off the ground and pressed it all the way over your head, and did that five times, then repeated that—and nothing else—every single day, rain, shine, sleet, or snow, adding five pounds every day, in a month, you would be fitter than you are today. If you walk outside tomorrow, and you walk two miles, as fast as you can walk that two miles, and tomorrow, you repeated it, but threw ten pounds into a backpack while you did it, and repeated that every day for a month; you would be fitter—faster and stronger—than you are today.

People complain and whine all the time in the comments on this blog about my exhortations to do PT, shoot, and train. “It’s too hard!” “I’m too crippled.” “I’m too old.” “It’s cold outside.” “It’s too hot.”

That’s fine. Blame it on the environment. I don’t care.

You can’t control whether it will be hard or easy. You cannot control your past injuries. You cannot control your age. You cannot control the weather. You can control your reactions to those things. If you choose to let them stop you, fine. Just accept responsibility for it. The difficulty of exercise and training, your old injuries, your age, the weather; none of those things are in your control. They cannot control you either. You, and you alone, are responsible for your actions. It’s not your age or the weather that’s stopping you from being dangerous. It’s wanting to blame someone else for your failings that stops you from being dangerous.

Via Forward Observer Magazine

Quote of the day: COIN worked in Afghanistan — at least tactically | Foreign Policy

“To say that counterinsurgency didn’t work is not a fair assessment. If you look at a variety of places in Iraq and Afghanistan you can see that counterinsurgency tactics — particularly the ones related to the use of military force, patrolling, advising, and small projects — worked in pushing insurgents out of a specific area. From a tactical perspective, counterinsurgency worked.

“The argument that counterinsurgency didn’t work has more weight from a strategic perspective. The Afghan surge ended with the government in control of more territory than any time since 2005 and in possession of large and competent security forces. As a result, the government may yet succeed. Nevertheless, the Afghan surge did not end with Afghanistan stabilized or the government ready to stand on its own. On top of that, counterinsurgency was expensive and demanded thousands for troops, facts that will always darken its story in Afghanistan.”

via Quote of the day: COIN worked in Afghanistan — at least tactically | Foreign Policy.

State Department’s @marieharf: we can’t beat ISIS with bombs, let’s send money | RedState

This is dumb on so many levels that one hardly knows where to start. First and foremost, Harf simply does not understand what she is fighting. The impetus behind ISIS is not poverty. It is a religious movement that rejects modernity. The same stupid stuff was said by the same stupid people after 9-11 when the upper reaches of al Qaeda are the educated and the privileged. All of the 9-11 hijackers were at least middle class. So long as she, and presumably the administration,  see the problem as one of economic opportunity and screwing American taxpayers to provide a nice life style for radical Islamists then we are spinning our wheels.

via State Department’s @marieharf: we can’t beat ISIS with bombs, let’s send money | RedState.

Obama, ISIS, and the Reckoning | Works and Days

For bewildered and increasingly quietist Americans, the center holds mostly in family, religion, a few friends, the avoidance of the cinema and nightly news, the rote of navigating to work and coming home, trying to stay off the dole and taking responsibility for one’s own disasters — as the world grows ever more chaotic in our midst.

All sorts of escapism from the madness is now epidemic. Home-schooling. Gun ownership. A second home in the mountains. A trunk of freeze-dried food. Kids living in the basement. A generator. Some gold coins. A move to Wyoming. An avoidance of the old big cities. A tough choice between death and going to the nearby emergency room (at least your relatives are safe as you pass away at home). A careful and narrow selection of channels on cable TV. A safe room or escape plan. And on and on.

There is a strange new and dangerous sentiment brooding below the spoken surface that whatever is going on in the world and in America today cannot go on much longer — although as the sages say, there is a lot of rot in the West to enjoy for some time yet.

The postmodern world of our new aristocracy and the premodern world of those they both avoid and romanticize won’t hold. The old caricatured middle shrinks and turns inward. Even if the doomsday mood is a mere construct of the new instantaneous media, it is a dangerous mood nonetheless.

We all know what follows from this — either the chaos grows and civilization wanes and tribalism follows, or the iron hand of the radical authoritarian Left or Right correction is just as scary, or a few good people in democratic fashion convince the mob to let them stop the madness and rebuild civilization.

I hope for option three. I fear option one is more likely at home. And I assume that option two will be, as it always is, the choice abroad.

via Obama, ISIS, and the Reckoning | Works and Days.

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