Not that the United States Empire bears great resemblance to America but, hey, it’s a metric.
Based on a study of “citizen” results on the citizenship test: only a third pass.
Just a third of Americans can pass a multiple choice “U.S. Citizenship Test,” fumbling over such simple questions as the cause of the Cold War or naming just one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for.
And of Americans 45 and younger, the passing rate is a tiny 19 percent, according to a survey done for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Worse: The actual test only requires that 60 percent of the answers be correct. In the survey, just 36 percent passed.
Magic dirt, LOL.
Telling, with the poorer than the already horrendous norm scores from the young people, given the late demographic shift. And, as to the norm, given a Constitutional Posterity definition of “citizens, the third statistic may actually be about right.
For reasons all my own, I have devised a beta-version test of what I call “basic” American civic knowledge. It needs work; initial norming indicates that most US law school professors could not pass it. We’ll see how the Posterity performs sooner or later.
Paul Rosenberg has penned an excellent article corolating the end times of the Roman Empire with those times upon us current Americans. He starts off with commentary on the coming federal election next year. I have friends already excited about the prospects thereof. Most are gleefully supporting Donald Trump. Others are leaning intrepidly towards Rand Paul or even Bernie Sanders.
Were a gun to my head and I was forced to participate, I would support Dr. Paul, the younger. However, I still stand by my mantra from 2007-2008: Dr. Paul, Sr. was the final hope (in 2008) to reverse course and “save” the Republic. That chance we missed. It is done. Over. The Donald can’t save us. Bernie can’t do it. Hillary can’t. Certainly none of the other has-beens trotted out for our inspection can.
Another American election cycle is upon us, and large numbers of people are lining up to pour their time and money into the sewer of politics, to be lost forever.
This system will not be fixed. Period. This is Rome in 460 AD. The rulers, as in Rome, are liars, mad, or drunk (these days, drugged)… or all three.
Those living few who have consumed Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire understand, in depth, what Rosenberg alludes to here.
Do we really believe that central bankers will just lay down their monopolies?
Can we seriously expect a hundred trillion dollars of debt to be liquidated without any consequences?
Do we actually believe that politicians will walk away from their power and apologize for abusing us?
Do we really think that the corporations who own Congress will just give up the game that is enriching them?
Does anyone seriously believe that the NSA is going to say, “Gee, that Fourth Amendment really is kind of clear, and everything we do violates it… so, everyone here is fired and the last person out will please turn off the lights”?
And does anyone believe that the military-industrial complex will stop encouraging war, or that corporate media will stop worshiping the state, or that your local sheriff will apologize for training his cops to be vicious beasts?
Do we really believe that public school systems will ever stop lauding the state that pays all its bills?
I could go on, but I think my point is made: This system will never allow itself to be seriously reformed. Trying to fix this is like trying to revive a long-dead corpse.
The answers to these questions are all “no.” Interestingly, what we Americans have witnessed in the past few decades is more akin to the combined collapse of the Roman Empire and Republic than the Empire alone. What took the Romans 500 years we have accomplished in about 100. Technology? American exceptionalism?
The good news is vast. After the fall of Rome the world did not end. Ours will not either. By the time the Collapse was realized it had no effect on the average Roman citizen. Odd as it may seem, this will be our experience. The most damaging effects of the next turn will mostly be felt by banks, insurance companies, arms manufacturers and other mega-corpotations – hardly a pitiable crowd. For most people the change will go largely unnoticed. No more D.C.? Well then, just pay taxes to Atlanta or Boston or not at all.
For those who love State control, some government(s) will invariably crawl from the ruins of post modern Amerika. For those like me the lack of overwhelming regulation from Washington will be a much appreciated reprieve. The future holds something for everyone in the short term. Over the long run bigger and better societies will emerge just as Rome was eventually replaced by the likes of Charlemagne, England and, in turn, us.
As for now, go ahead and vote as you like. It won’t change anything but it also cannot hurt. As a bonus elections always provide comic (albeit criminal) relief.
St. Benedict approves this message.
Caballes, citizens, Constitution, Courts, crime, de minimis, detention, drugs, Eighth Circuit, Fourth Amendment, freedom, government, guns, libertarian, Liberty, Nebraska, police, probable cause, Rodriguez v. U.S., Supreme Court, Terry v. Ohio, The Nine, traffic, United States, War
Usually my legal and political writings center on the wrongs of government … and rightly so. My assessment of court rulings, of the Supreme Court in particular, are often negative: The Affordable Care [SIC] Act; the end of the Fourth Amendment; etc.
Yesterday, however, a gleam of sunlight emanated from the High Court.
From coast to coast the police are profiling drivers in an attempt to find any reason to arrest otherwise free citizens in the ongoing War on Freedom. A simply traffic stop, for something as innocuous as driving on the shoulder of the road, is used to extend the parameters of the stop to facilitate a deeper investigation. This investigation is aimed at discovering illegal drugs, guns, or cash. The initial routine stop is a pretext for a subsequent felony search, in the absence of probable cause to suspect any felony has been committed. In plain words, the stop is a fishing expedition.
In Rodriguez vs. United States, 575 U.S. __, Slip Opinion No. 13–9972 (April 21, 2015), the Court declared these after-the-fact exploratory searches illegal.
Denny Rodriguez was stopped by a Nebraska law enforcement officer for temporarily driving his SUV on the shoulder of a road. The officer checked Rodriguez’s license and issued a warning regarding his road departure. Things then got out of hand and out of Constitutional bounds:
Officer Struble, a K–9 officer, stopped petitioner Rodriguez for driving
on a highway shoulder, a violation of Nebraska law. After Struble attended
to everything relating to the stop, including, inter alia, checking
the driver’s licenses of Rodriguez and his passenger and issuing a
warning for the traffic offense, he asked Rodriguez for permission to
walk his dog around the vehicle. When Rodriguez refused, Struble
detained him until a second officer arrived. Struble then retrieved
his dog, who alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. The ensuing
search revealed methamphetamine. Seven or eight minutes
elapsed from the time Struble issued the written warning until the
Rodriguez was indicted on federal drug charges. He moved to suppress
the evidence seized from the vehicle on the ground, among others,
that Struble had prolonged the traffic stop without reasonable
suspicion in order to conduct the dog sniff. The Magistrate Judge
recommended denial of the motion. He found no reasonable suspicion
supporting detention once Struble issued the written warning. Under
Eighth Circuit precedent, however, he concluded that prolonging
the stop by “seven to eight minutes” for the dog sniff was only a de
minimis intrusion on Rodriguez’s Fourth Amendment rights and was
for that reason permissible. The District Court then denied the motion
to suppress. Rodriguez entered a conditional guilty plea and was
sentenced to five years in prison. The Eighth Circuit affirmed. Noting
that the seven or eight minute delay was an acceptable “de minimis
intrusion on Rodriguez’s personal liberty,” the court declined to
reach the question whether Struble had reasonable suspicion to continue
Rodriguez’s detention after issuing the written warning.
Courts have, for eons it seems, held “de minimis” or short deprivations of liberty acceptable in the War on Freedom. I and a minority of libertarian legal scholars hold that any deprivation without cause (and the War itself) is illegal. In an amazing turn of events the Court has agreed – in part.
“In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U. S. 405 (2005), this Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s proscription of
unreasonable seizures. This case presents the question whether the Fourth Amendment tolerates a dog sniff conducted after completion of a traffic stop.” Rodriguez, Slip Op. at 1.
I do not agree with Caballes but I am more than willing to take what the Court offers with Rodriguez:
“We hold that a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures. A seizure justified only by a police-observed traffic violation, therefore, “become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission” of issuing a ticket for the violation.” Id.
“A seizure for a traffic violation justifies a police investigation of that violation. ‘[A] relatively brief encounter,’ a routine traffic stop is ‘more analogous to a so-called Terry
stop . . . than to a formal arrest.’” Id, at 5. This is true so long as the stop is for a violation of a valid law (few and far between).
However, “[t]he scope of the detention must be carefully tailored to its underlying justification.” Id. Such justification goes only with the underlying traffic stop. “A dog sniff, by contrast, is a measure aimed at detecting evidence of ordinary [non-traffic related] criminal wrongdoing.” Id, at 6.
The presence of overt indications of attendant criminal activity – the smell of marijuana, contraband plainly visible to an officer, etc. – may give rise to a further search, investigation or detention. Concerns for “officer safety,” as nebulous a concept as may be imagined, may also justify a stop beyond what would ordinarily be necessary. Absent these factors further detention is untenable. Id, at 9.
Thus, the next time you are stopped for a simply traffic violation and you receive either a warning or a ticket, you are free to go at the conclusion of the incident. You may deny an officer’s request for additional harassment citing Rodriguez. Mind you, the police are as likely to comply with this ruling as they currently comply with the Constitution itself.
(Nothing to worry about. Google.)
Should you be foolish to argue the old “ain’t doing nothing wrong, ain’t got nothing to worry about,” then, please, don’t be troubled when you find yourself surrounded one night by gun-wielding officers with attack dogs. Even if trouble arises, and you live through it, maybe The Nine will eventually smile on you. Then I can happily write here about your case.
Should you have the honor of attending this years Masters Tournament you may breathe easy – no pesky drones will disturb your golf gazing. I doubt you were concerned to begin with. You probably hadn’t even considered the idea.
Never apt to miss out on a non-issue the idiots of the Augusta City Commission has outlawed the (private) use of unmanned aircraft during this year’s tournament. “Hoping to prevent a drone disruption at this year’s Masters Tournament, Augusta commissioners approved a county-wide ban on launching or operating the remote-controlled aircraft between April 2 and April 13.” Susan McCord, Drone ban in effect April 2-13, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, March 18, 2015.
The reasoning behind the ban is as solid as the air above the Augusta National: “Drones ‘have gotten very sophisticated,’ and Augusta has a ‘very big, international event’ coming up, said sheriff’s Col. Robert Partain.” This is as logically connected as saying there are a lot of people in India and pillows are very soft, thus we must own lawnmowers…
(Bad drone. Google Images.)
I was not present for the drafting, discussion or voting on this ordinance. I really don’t think that matters. The thing smells funny. The Chronicle mentions a single incident whereby an event was disrupted by a drone – one event in Europe. I have heard of no threat posed by non-government drones in America. Government drones are another story; see: Don’t Drone Me, Bro! and Droning On and On.
(Good drone. Google.)
Other American cities (Charlottesville, VA, Syracuse, NY, etc.) have previously banned drones. However, their bans are directed towards drones nefariously used by government agents in an effort to defend civil liberties. Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson’s home and University, has a “long tradition of promoting civil liberties.” Augusta has a long tradition of the opposite kind.
Here follows the pertinent and sensible resolutions of Syracuse’s ordinance:
BE IT RESOLVED, that this Resolution declares that no agency of the City of Syracuse, nor any agents under contract with the City, will operate Drones in the airspace over the City of Syracuse until federal and state laws, rules and regulations regarding the use of Drones are adopted that adequately protects the privacy of the population as guaranteed by the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Syracuse Common Council urges our Federal and State officials to create and adopt such laws, rules and regulations regarding the use of Drones which ensures Constitutional protections of individuals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, to the extent permitted by law, it is the policy of this Common Council that no Drones will be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise utilized by the City of Syracuse or its agencies, directly or through contract, until such Constitutional safeguards are in place, the appropriate personnel are trained and fully authorized by the FAA to safely operate Drones and that the Corporation Counsel of the City of Syracuse certifies that all City of Syracuse personnel engaged in the use of Drones have been trained in federal, state and local privacy laws, regulations, and enforcement mechanisms affecting drone operations and any data collected by drone operations…
Note that this ordinance is aimed at ensuring “Constitutional protections of individuals.” The Georgia version ensures a media monopoly for a single sporting event at the expense of the liberty of hundreds of thousands of individuals in the surrounding area. It is as stupid and illegal as it is unnecessary.
The National naturally desires to keep the most prestigious sporting event in the world private. That is understandable; they have a right to privacy. Happily, their rights and the rights of their patrons and golfers are protected by existing laws. Flying a drone over the property without permission already would constitute a trespass and a nuisance – prohibited by both existing criminal and civil tort law.
Now, should you, as a news reporter, wish to film from the air the crowd entering the National patron gate, you are out of luck. If you’re the President needing to remotely bomb demonstrators (terrorists), no problem. A real estate broker surveying land, not this week. A cop spying on a gardener, sure, why not. Concerned citizen keeping an eye on one of the cops’ illegal roadblocks, you are a criminal. See where this is going?
Something tells me that, if challenged, the Augusta ordinance will fall in Court – after the tournament is over, of course. I have already heard of plans to defy the law. One aviator proposes to use a balloon or kite to launch a camera skyward. Whether the city defines these devices as drones or not they will likely prosecute this man. They will lose. They will face a lawsuit. Those hundreds of thousands of citizens whose liberties have been infringed will be forced to pay damages. Sadly, those citizens will continue to re-elect the Commission. The beat goes on.
If you come to Augusta for the tournament, enjoy it. You’ll have a great, drone free experience. If you live in the Garden City, consider moving somewhere else where your rights are valued.
As you know I played a pivotal role in helping defeat the anti-freedom gun vote in the Senate a week or so back. My letters to Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss convinced them to vote in favor of the Second Amendment.
Johnny’s office sent me a “thanks” email for my efforts. Saxby replied with a more substantial, if generic reading, response. I have included it for you:
“Dear Honorable Lovett:
Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Your taking time to contact me is appreciated.
I have always been and remain a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and it is Congress’ responsibility to make sure that Americans’ constitutional rights are protected. We must make certain that the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens are not unfairly impeded. I believe that the ability of sportsmen, hunters, gun enthusiasts and citizens concerned with their personal safety to own a gun, whether for sport or protection, is clearly defined in the Constitution and must not be compromised.
In response to recent tragic and high-profile acts of violence, there has been a renewed focus on government regulation of guns. Congress has had an extensive and detailed debate about the potential causes of these crimes, including mental health issues, depictions of violence in television, movies, and video games, and firearms.
It is my belief that implementing improved background checks could significantly impact the ability of individuals who are a danger to themselves and to others from obtaining guns. For this reason, I voted in favor of the Grassley/Graham/Cruz amendment # 725 to S. 649, the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013,” to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and to address mental illness in the justice system. Ultimately, this amendment failed on April 17, 2013 by a 52-48 vote margin.
Additionally, Senators Manchin, Toomey, and Schumer offered amendment # 715, which in certain instances would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by law-abiding citizens. Specifically, this amendment would require individuals who sell their firearms to lifelong friends, neighbors, and even family members to obtain the federal government’s permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. I voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment #715, which failed passage by a 54-46 vote margin.
The dialogue regarding acts of violence will likely continue with additional legislative proposals seeking to address the underlying causes. As Congress continues this conversation, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance to you in the future. In the meantime, if you would like to receive timely e-mail alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov.”
Yes, I’m sure the above response was canned and ready in an intern’s computer, but it was nice to hear back. Click on that last link if you live in Georgia and want to add anything to our dialogue. Together we can make a difference!
1993, AR-15, army, ATF, Bill Clinton, children, church, citizens, Congress, Constitution, CS gas, David Koresh, due process, FBI, felony, FLIR, Fort Hood, freedom, George Roden, government, grenades, guns, JAG, Janet Reno, John Danforth, law, lies, media, methamphetamines, military, murder, Posse Comitatus, Seventh Day Adventists, sheriff, snipers, tanks, Texas, thugs, UPS, Waco, War, warrant
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fiery end of the federal government’s siege on the Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventist Church in Waco, Texas. April 19, 1993 was the end of a month and a half ordeal probably unlawfully initiated against a peaceful, if weird, group of Christians by the tyrannical Imperial federal government. In addition to being a serious injustice in and of itself, it also stands as a critical warning to all of us free citizens currently enduring the 21st Century.
(Separation of Church and State? Google Images.)
I recall the media’s treatment of the story during the winter and spring of 1993. Essentially, they reported the feds’ words verbatim and, in keeping with modern journalistic tact, did so with no critical analysis whatsoever. The Clinton administration and their lamestream puppets said that David Koresh was a deranged and dangerous man who had brainwashed a large group of followers Jim Jones style and who had engaged in several serious criminal offenses. All of this was based on lies. Seventhy-six innocent civilians and four stormtroopers lost their lives because of these lies. Numerous others, on both sides, were scarred, physically and mentally, as a result of the battle.
Twenty years later, there has never been an honest official review of the crimes committed by the government between February 28th and April 19th that fateful year. Laws have been rendered obsolete, innocents have been imprisoned, criminals have been promoted and lionized, and the truth might have just as well burned in the terrible conflagration.
The Branch Davidians separated from the mainline Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1955. Essentially, they believed they were living in the “end times” and ordered their lives accordingly. There developed a power struggle within the group between David Koresh and George Roden. During the 1980’s there was a violent confrontation between the factions which resulted in several prosecutions; there were no convictions and the matter faded away. Following his conviction for a 1989 axe murder, Roden was imprisoned in a mental facility. Koresh took command of the church.
Koresh believed himself the final prophet of the church and the man who would guide the group through the end of days, the rapture, or whatever. His methods were odd to say the least. His followers moved into his compound in Waco where Koresh lead a polygamist prophetly existence. I have never understood why people ever allow themselves to come under the sway of such men. At any rate, Koresh and his followers were largely isolated from the rest of the world, engaged in their final preparations.
(David Koresh, born Vernon Wayne Howell. Google.)
Those preparations, in part, lead to the government’s investigation and subsequent charges. The charges were as follows: manufacture and possession of illegal weapons (machine guns), the manufacture of methamphetamines, and child abuse and statutory rape of young girls. I seem to recall tax evasion charges as well but cannot locate definitive documentation. The IRS can always bring tax charges or administrative actions against anyone due to the impossible nature of the tax code.
There was no evidence to support the meth charges. Roden had allegedly run a meth lab at the church during the 80s. However, the operation had ceased years before Koresh took over the group. Not approving a drugs, Koresh dutifully turned over to local authorities the remains of lab. That was the extent of the evidence – none. Some FBI and ATF agents acknowledged the lack of evidence on these counts.
The allegations of child abuse, etc. came from Koresh’s critics, both before and after the 1993 ordeal. Such crimes, even when real, are not federal matters. They are within the jurisdiction of the state. Nevertheless, the accusations were included against Koresh and Co. in order to make them look as bad as possible to the grand jury and judge. The government never lets the truth interfere with a case.
Reports indicate that Texas child-protective authorities had previously visited the church and talked extensively with Koresh. No charges resulted. Koresh was also on relatively friendly speaking terms with the local Sheriff, who later expressed concern over federal actions.
As for the “machine guns,” the charges stemmed from a report by a UPS delivery driver of weapons components being shipped to the group in Waco. The driver relayed his information to the Sheriff’s Office. A deputy then informed the BATF (BATFE or ATF). Another Koresh detractor and former member provided hearsay of the illegal conversion of AR-15 rifles into automatic M-16s. The Davidians ran a legitimate weapons business, the Mag Bag, in order to raise funds for their operation. None of their wares and weapons were illegally obtained. However, the ATF (again not concerned with the truth) mislead a federal judge by speculating that the mere existence of the legal weapons might suggest a crime.
The ATF also informed the judge that a neighbor had previously reported the sound of automatic gun fire emanating from the church. They failed to leave out the fact that, as with the child abuse charges, this sound was also reported to the Sheriff, who had investigated the matter and concluded there was no criminal activity.
You may recall that during the siege and its aftermath, the media parrotted reports of a certain number of machine guns at the church. The number continued to decline oddly as time passed until it reached th true number – zero.
As part of their speculative fishing trip the ATF set up surveillance from a nearby house and sent an unconvincing infiltrator to join the group. Koresh became aware of both but said nothing. Once their lies were neatly typed out, the ATF obtained search and arrest warrants and prepared to descend on the church on February 28, 1993.
A reported was tipped off about the impending raid and asked for directions to the church from a postman, who happened to be Koresh’s brother-in-law. Thus was Koresh tipped off. He then dismissed the ATF’s informant from the group. The informant reported that, when he departed the church, the members were praying.
Having come to belive their own lies, the ATF geared for battle against the church members. They illegally assembled at Fort Hood, a nearby Army installation (remember the Posse Comitatus Act, anyone?). They were well armed and well armoured though their other preparations were unbelievably incompetent. Rather than arriving in marked vehicles so as to identify themselves as lawmen, the agents rode up in cattle trailers pulled by several pick-up trucks (private models belonging to various agents). They also neglected to carry communications equipment. The first reports of a gun fight at the church came from the church itself; the members called 911 to report they were being attacked by a gang of heavily armed thugs.
Those thugs, once they disembarked their trailers, immediately opened fire on the church – in order to kill and silence the canine residents. Normally, approaching officers identify themselves as such and attempt to serve their warrants peacefully.
Thus, with no indication of the agent’s legal intentions (if any), the Davidians responded as Americans typically do to violent intruders. They shot back. A lethal gun battle raged from around 45 minutes. The local Sheriff, who said he was not apprised of the raid and knew nothing of it until the Davidians called for help, was unable to communicate with the ATF (dead radios don’t receive calls). The Sheriff’s Office eventually negotiated a cease-fire. Five Davidains and four agents were dead. At this point, Koresh’s and his followers’ fates were sealed. The government does not tolerate the killing of their own, even in cases of self-defense.
(“No-Knock” warrant entry. Fox 4 Dallas.)
Following the ceasefire, one of the most infamous sieges in American history commenced. The government dispensed with all vestiges of common sense and gradually increased tensions at the church. Eventually, all the communications and utilities of the Davidians were cut off. This left the members without running water and electricity. The government apparently had lost interest in those abused children.
The FBI took over the operation. Some within the agency favored negotiating a peaceful end to the ordeal. Others, who views won out in the end, favored aggressive military action. Koresh allowed eleven of his followers to depart – they were immediately arrested and some were prosecuted. At least they survived. As April passed the government prepared to end the confrontation violently. As part of their campaign, the FBI mobilized military assets including, helicopters, light armoured vehicles, main battle tanks, and tactical advice from the military.
You may recall from my column, Posse Comitatus, that using the force of the military in domestic law enforcement is a felony. Remember, no-one has ever been prosecuted under the Act. However, some within the government remained honest and faithful to the law. Before rendering illegal assistance to the FBI, the Army attempted to procedurally clear the matter internally. The case was given to a JAG Attorney for analysis, particularly as to the FBI’s request for assistance. The JAG Officer promptly reported the scheme was a Posse Comitatus violation. He was told to stick his opinion in his ear.
The FBI, now armed for battle in an actual war, began to harass the Davidians intensely. In addition to cutting off their utilities and treating those afore-mentioned children to high-decibel AC/DC music around the clock, the government constantly circled the church with their tanks. They flattened everything outside, including the Davidians automobiles. They also intentionally ran over grave sites repeatedly (a crime).
(We don’t need no stinking Posse Comitatus! Google.)
At last, on April 19th, the government made its move. President Clinton still desired a peaceful, negotiated end but was convinced by his chief-Nazi, Attorney General Janet Reno, to use violent force. Reno’s justification for the use of overwhelming force varied and changed as time passed and the number of machine guns declined.
The FBI used their tanks to smash holes through the walls of the church. Into these they pumped CS gas, which as a chemistry major like Reno (“consulted” by the military) should have known, is delivered via a highly flammable powder. The FBI also launched numerous flash-bang grenades into the building. As normally happens when extreme heat and sparks are applied to a flammable substance, a fire erupted. Of course, the government blamed the fire on the Davidians – why stop the lies, at this point. You will surely recall the fire, it is engrained in my memory forever. See the picture above.
They government continued to ram the building with tanks. They drove one into the building at a point where they knew the children were likely gathered. I have seen video of a Davidian crushed and shredded beneath the tracks of one of the 70-ton vehicles.
The fire killed the Davidians. Some attempted to escape only to be shot to death by FBI (or military) snipers. I watched a video of a subsequent Congressional investigation of the event. The Congressmen watched a video of the assault unfold that was filmed used FLIR (forward-looking infrared). An expert identified various flashes as muzzle blasts directed toward fleeing, unarmed Davidians. A member, indignant that anyone would question or accuse the government of murder, demanded to know what the expert’s expertise with FLIR. The expert’s assertion he had invented the technology was insufficient for the panel.
All ensuing investigations, including that of Former Senator and Special Counsel John Danforth, exonerated the government. We call this a whitewashing. Following a criminal trial, eight Davidains were convicted of firearms charges. Four were acquitted outright and all were cleared of murder charges. Following numerous appeals the Davidans received much lighter sentences and all were freed from custody by 2007. No criminal investigation or prosecution of the federal agents was ever conducted. In another whitewashing, the survivors and the families of the deceased lost a civil lawsuit in the case of Andrade v. Chojnacki, 338 F.3d 448 (5th Cir. 2003).
This story is one of massive and complete injustice. It should also serve as a dire warning to all Americans of the government’s boundless power and ability to get away with any crime, no matter the circumstances. Remember Waco whenever you see or hear accusations from the government. Remember who really abused children. Remember who lied to initiate and to justify their actions. Remember and do all you ever can to combat injustice. We owe that much, at least, to our deceased citizens and to the Natural order of the law.
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Guns have been in the news again and again lately. The guns I am writing about are the privately owned guns of our citizens. Sadly, these patriotic men and women have not glorified for the millions of lives they save every year, usually without firing a shot. Rather, the entire institution of gun-ownership has been demonized by the media and the lowlifes of the political class based on a tiny number of sensationalized murder cases. This phenomenon happens from time to time and is always accompanied by a call for more gun control.
Before I get to control and its history, I want to address the most dangerous guns in America and elsewhere – publically owned or government guns. These weapons pose a true threat to the health and security of our citizens and potentially pose a dire threat to our civil liberties and freedom. Governments throughout history have proven themselves to be the least trustworthy possessors of weaponry. In the 20th century alone governments murdered more than 200 million innocent victims with their military weapons. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but in America we need to seriously confront this lethal problem.
The Founder’s were naturally distrustful of an armed government, particularly a standing government army. That is why they placed stringent restrictions on the army and, at the same time, embedded the right of the people to possess arms as a check against government tyranny. I am working on a series of columns along these lines which will compliment my previous article Posse Comitatus, https://perrinlovett.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/posse-comitatus/.
Ultimately, I will reach the conclusions that we need to abolish all control laws which are directed against private citizens, we need to return to the militia model of defense, we should abolish our standing armies (this is a rather unpopular idea, for all the wrong reasons), and we need to disband or disarm the most of the police forces in America. Those remaining law enforcement officers which might survive should return to their Natural Law function – protecting the rights of the people, as opposed to carrying out the edicts of the state. For now, I will concern myself with giving you a brief education about gun control in the United States.
Where did the idea of gun control come from? I’m not sure when and where it first originated, though I have an idea the concept has been around longer than firearms themselves. A few gun control advocates are earnestly interested in stopping crime and helping people. Most are not. Essentially, the majority of gun controllers are the same breed of would-be tyrants who have plagued mankind for eons. First I imagine they demanded rock control, then sword control and now, gun control. It is really all a scheme to deprive people of their natural rights of self-defense and self-preservation. Tyrants do not like armed people. Armed people are dangerous to tyrants. Personally, I like the idea of endangered tyrants. Perhaps we could, in the near future, save a couple and place them on display at zoos. To hell with the rest. “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson.
Gun control was present during the colonial period of American history. White Europeans attempted to limit the availability of firearms to groups like slaves and native American indians. Just before and during the Revolutionary War, the British attempted to disarm the entire rebellious population. Their theory was that unarmed people would have a much harder time ousting the red-coat armies.
Independent American gun control first began after the nation was freed of King George. In early America gun control was first initiated in against blacks, both slaves and free men. Racist tyrannical whites did not want the downtrodden slaves or free blacks to defend themselves. Armed slaves might just free themselves, after all. This process derived from various State laws which outright forbid blacks from owning guns. The KKK was an early gun-control advocacy organization (a fomer-day Brady campaign, if you will). The injustice was nominally cured by the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868). I say nominally, because the States found clever ways to circumvent the new Acts. The favored trick was to tax gun sales so as to price the poor (which usually included blacks) out of the gun market. As I will demonstrate shortly, rather than stamp out this hideous policy, the feds later adopted it.
So far in our history gun control has only affected “undesirable” populations – slaves, blacks, and the poor. In the late 19th Century New York City enacted a ban on the concealed carry of firearms by just about everyone. This new law was designed to protect pick-pockets and thieves, key constituents of Tammany Hall and the Democrats of the city (birds of a feather…). It seems Boss Tweed’s cronies got too many complaints from their thieving electorate about people with concealed weapons thwarting robberies. As far as I know, this was the first color-blind ban on concealed weapons. New York has ever been a nest of nobility.
In the early 20th Century most Americans (except blacks and the poor here and there) were free to own whatever type of weapons they both desired and could afford to purchase. I have read the true statement that any child who wanted one and had the money to pay for it, could mail-order a Browning .50-caliber machine gun and have it delivered to their home. Yet, mysteriously, there was little crime in this far away “wild west” America. Crime seemed to come along later with heavy federal regulation of firearms. Numerous studies have definitively linked the two.
As I noted earlier, the federal government enacted legislation which imposed a tax and registration on the ownership of certain types of firearms. This first occurred with the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, 26 U.S.C. 53. This law was part of the overall scheme to deprive Americans of fundamental civil liberties. I have previously noted the dread year of 1913, with the creation of the Federal Reserve and the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments. Like plantation slaves, tax slaves with weapons pose a risk to their masters. Americans may have seen a rise in violent crime through the 20th Century because their “leaders” emulated the gun laws of well-known criminals.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.” – Adolph Hitler.
(Adolph Hitler, gun control proponent. Google Images.)
On November 11, 1938 Hitler and his government enacted sweeping gun-control legislation, the Weapons Act of 1938. This Act was aimed at a particular subject “race” – jews. “Jews … are prohibited from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority.” 1938 Nazi Act, Section One. The rest of the Act made possession of weapons by jews criminal, with proscribed punishments.
On October 22, 1968 President Lyndon “Bane of Freedom” Johnson signed into law the National Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. 44. This Act imposed additional infringements on the ownership of guns. It was allegedly imposed as a crime-fighting measure however, it was obviously intended to further limit the availability of weapons to the law-abiding members of society. Crime exploded in tis aftermath. Many scholars have properly analogized the GCA to the Nazi Act of 1938, with “Jews” being removed. The GCA was also pushed into law by racists who wanted to further discriminate against blacks. By this time, the bigots knew better than to simply switch the word “black” in place of “jew.” The result was the same – more disarmed Americans.
Both the NFA and the GCA are policed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (the AFT). Both are blatant violations of the Second Amendment. Every year, when not supplying military weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, the ATF wasted millions or billions of taxpayer dollars setting up sting operations in order to oppress otherwise innocent Americans through enforcement of these illegal laws. I have represented several of these poor persons in court.
Of course, gun control has grown by leaps and bounds in and out of the federal government in the ensuing decades. There has been a great deal of push-back against these laws, but the main pillars of disarmament still stand. Things keep getting worse. In 1986, arch-“conservative” Ronald Reagan signed into law a tax reform bill which, among other things, capped the supply of “class III” firearms. Class III weapons are those such as fully automatic guns and destructive devises (military-grade weapons). This, again, has had the effect of pricing these weapons beyond the means of most people. It also deprives us access to modern weaponry. It is virtually impossible to obtain a post-1986 weapon without spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars (one must become a dealer or a manufacturer to do so).
Thus, Americans are denied access to the very weapons we need the most, those which can be effectively used to thwart government aggression, including mis-use of the standing army. The Founders were on to something.
(The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting. Google Images.)
I could run on for another 1500 words or more with this subject. Instead I will stop here and provide more information in my upcoming columns on the Second Amendment and related articles. In the meantime, do not heed the siren’s call for more gun controll, we need a good deal less. Guns Up!