The Organic Prepper: Eye-Witness Account Kenosha Riots

The Organic Prepper has posted an Eye-Witness Account of the Kenosha Riots which was originally posted to Facebook by the witness. People knew that no one would be there to help them. “Everyone in the city was getting ready for a war.”

…And now, a woman has shared on Facebook what her family recently experienced in the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots. In her post, the thing that stands out in my mind the most is that help was not on the way. The residents of Kenosha who stood their ground were completely on their own against the mobs rampaging through their neighborhoods. I’ve redacted some identifying information from her post – otherwise, the public post is exactly as she shared it on the social media outlet. All emphasis is mine.

The day of the worst destruction, fires, looting, assaults… all of us in Kenosha were able to watch live -via independent media. The entire start to finish. The worst of it happened on 22nd & 60th, and I live on [redacted], so to tell you I was terrified is an understatement. The majority of Kenosha was watching our two [redacted] live footage well until 3am… police scanners on… bracing for the worst. It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None. Structures burned to the ground, people hurt and attacked were loaded into cars and raced to any hospital they could get to, rioters just broke into businesses and took what they wanted.

And we all watched it happen. There was nothing we could do.

A sleepless night, we faced the next day with more fear. A massive clean up effort, we helped as many homes and buisnesses as we could, brace for the night, we started to get inundated with messages from individuals and groups … targeting violence to specific neighborhoods, schools, libraries.. with fires and destruction… lots of messages. Most specifically targeting LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS… families!!!

Cars and buses were coming in to the city with no plates… caravans of groups. Again, no extra police or national guard.

But the rioters came to Kenosha that night again.

Our PD and any help it had was standing ground at the PD building and courthouse… and many rioters did not know… our PD was trying to keep them from burning these down, not only because it was our infrastructure but because right between those buildings were A LOT of local inmates that were currently there due to Covid closing our jail (HUBER).

Again live, we watched hundreds of rioters throwing Molotov cocktails at these buildings and burning our city garbage trucks and dump trucks to the ground that we were using to protect these buildings.

I was afraid for the small line of policemen there that night.

Everyone was urging me and Jim to take all of my animals and to leave the city… and let my house burn. To run far away from Kenosha. I love my home. Those who know me, know the pride we have taken in buying an (as-is) house and turning it into a home. And my business! Could I let it be destroyed?? Absolutely NOT!

We have dear friends with a popular business just 4 houses away… we spend at least once a week there… they packed up boarded up and closed.. terrified … it’s on the main road.

All of us were now under now a state of emergency curfew. Get home and off the streets! gas stations ordered to close and turn OFF all gas pumps..
the sirens and alerts on all of our phones coming in non- stop.

So we pulled out every firearm we owned. Loaded them up. And started to get ready… We were not leaving… Jim’s job told him to stay home and protect his family and home. Everyone in the city was getting ready for a war.

Are you starting to feel anxiety reading this?

Getting a grasp of how desperate we all were?

Knowing no law enforcement was helping? And I’m telling you… NO ONE was there.

I have a dear friend who lives in Gurnee. Has a home and a buisness there, and if she called me and Jim and told me her city was under attack, she was afraid for her LIFE and her store … I would help her. We would go to Gurnee and help her. Armed.

And that’s simply what happened. The residents started to realize this was on us. And we organized. Groups and individuals-On rooftop businesses -in the neighborhoods. I felt a little safer that night knowing we had some help.

So we watched again that night …live. Beginning to end.

At the lakefront… there was a small police presence again, where our courthouse and Pd is…. but the PD was nowhere else in the city. It was just us left to fend for ourselves, watching live feed again, Listening to the scanners … lights off, house alarm armed. Curtains drawn – guns ready as we listened to where the rioters were, which way they were headed. Despite the state of emergency curfew the city was flooded with cars driving around with no plates on, groups of people destroying our city. Not enough police to arrest or stop not ONE SINGLE PERSON.

Until the guard came to help… the entire city was left to its own defenses.

Hell… we ran out of plywood to board up!!!

I had the crates ready to throw the animals in and run… guns at every window and door. Constantly texting neighbors and friends around the city for updates.

When we say, if you don’t live here, you could not possibly know what was going on.. do you now understand? How afraid the whole city was?

The national guard FINALLY was called out – and did not mess around. The people who terrorized and destroyed Kenosha were not from Kenosha. Of all the arrests… most were from 44 other city’s. After our IDIOT governor finally asked, we got the help we should have had from DAY ONE. We had FBI and all the surrounding PD’s come to our aid.

If…you don’t live here… you could not possibly understand what we went thru. People should wait before they jump to conclusions. I just am disgusted beyond words at the judgement that’s happening. DISGUSTED

For those of you with children to protect, a business you put your heart and soul in… a home you struggled to own and pay for.. you have got to understand what we all went thru. The fear and the instinct to protect what you love, and what you worked so hard for is strong. I hope no one ever has to go thru anything like this. (source)

The damage in Kenosha is astounding.

Kenosha isn’t a huge city. It has a population of about 100,000 people. Until these riots, it was not considered a dangerous city. But things changed fast.

Here are some photos of the aftermath of the riots. Minus the damage from shells and sniper rifles, looks like a warzone to rival things I saw in Bosnia when I met with Selco and took one of his survival courses.

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638834

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638841

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638827

Is this the new America? If it’s this bad now, what’s going to happen after the election, particularly if the results are contested?

This is spreading across the country.

So many people are convinced this can never happen where they live. I see the denial all the time in the comments on my articles about this subject. And while it’s true that some parts of the country are more resistant to the riots and arson than others, it needs to be clearly understood that these are not locals perpetrating the damage. These are people being bussed in from other places. Time and time again, we see articles with local authorities claiming most of the arrests made were people from out of town.

This isn’t something you see coming a week ahead, like a hurricane on the horizon. One injustice, perceived or real, is all it takes to throw gasoline on a fire that is blazing across the country. It CAN happen to you, too.

A number of people in Minneapolis armed themselves to protect their families, businesses, and properties because they knew they were on their own. The story above only underlines that point. Literal battle zones are erupting across the nation. Armed conflict is already occurring and the writing is on the wall.

Be prepared for civil unrest and riots because you won’t have much warning should violence mobs deploy near you. Have a plan to leave if possible. And if that’s not possible, it cannot be more clear that you must be personally prepared to defend your home, your family, and your business because the police won’t be able to do it for you.

ARRL: Hurricane Watch Net Active for Paulette and Sally

Update 9/16: Hurricane Sally came ashore near Gulf Shores, AL at 0445hrs Central time as a category 2 hurricane with 105 mph wind. It is only moving at three miles per hour so much rainfall is forecast. From ARRL:

Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin, K4HBN, is requesting that stations not directly involved in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) response to Hurricane Sally please avoid 3.950 MHz (primary) and 7.242 MHz (backup). ARES has activated in four Northern Florida counties. Shelters are open, and power and telecommunications outages are widespread, Martin reports.

From the ARRL:

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) said this morning that it will continue to gather any reports from Bermuda in the wake of Hurricane Paulette, which made landfall on the resort island today (Monday, September 14). Paulette is slowly moving away from Bermuda, a British overseas territory. The HWN is currently active on 14.325 MHz, seeking damage and storm surge reports.

“The Atlantic Basin is very busy today,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. “This morning, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on five tropical cyclones located over the Atlantic Basin. This ties a record set in September 1971.”

Sally now is a category 1 hurricane. Graves said the HWN switched its focus to Sally at 1600 UTC. “We will work to line up report stations along the eastern coast of Louisiana and the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama,” Graves said.

In its 1800 UTC update, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Sally was “meandering over the north-central Gulf of Mexico, expected to resume a slow west-northwestward motion.” Hurricane warnings have already been issued for the coast of Alabama. As of 1800 UTC, Sally was some 125 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 160 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi. With maximum sustained winds of nearly 90 MPH, Sally was expected to resume its west-northwest motion at about 7 MPH.

“It’s really hard to know when and where Sally will make landfall as the forecast track keeps shifting left and right,” Graves said. “As of this morning, Sally is forecast to make landfall somewhere between Port Sulfur, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. People in these areas need to follow the directions of local emergency management.” Graves said the HWN would appreciate any weather data, damage reports, and storm surge.

ARRL: 5 MHz (60 m) Interoperability Channels Designated for Wildfires and Hurricane Sally Response

The ARRL has a story about FEMA setting aside two of the 60-meter channels for emergency communication interoperability.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that two 60-meter channels have been made available, as necessary, for interoperability between US Government stations and US amateur radio stations involved in emergency communications related to the wildland firefighting response in California, Oregon, and Washington, and to Hurricane Sally. These interoperability channels will remain active until the need for these channels no longer exists:

  • Channel 1 — primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5 kHz USB voice
  • Channel 2 — digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHz USB with 1.5-kHz offset to center of digital waveform.

Frequencies may be modified or added to by FEMA Region 10 for their area or operations due to existing 5-MHz/60-meter interoperability plans for their region.

Amateur radio is secondary on the 5-MHz band and should yield to operational traffic related to wildland firefighting and hurricane response. Although the intended use for these channels is interoperability between federal government stations and licensed US amateur radio stations, federal government stations are primary users and amateurs are secondary users.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is following FEMA’s lead on the interoperability channel designations for the wildfire and hurricane response. Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, says he has alerted all MARS members of the FEMA channel designations and MARS members are prepared to support response efforts as needed.

Of Two Minds: Isn’t It Obvious We Need a New System?

From Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds, Isn’t It Obvious We Need a New System?

Why do we tolerate such a corrupt, undemocratic, exploitive, elite-dominated system? Because we have no other choice? No, we do have a choice.

Isn’t it obvious that we need an alternative economic system that isn’t controlled by corporations, the government and the central bank for the exclusive benefit of insiders and elites? Isn’t it obvious that the current system has failed the majority of participants, and hence the ubiquitous sensations of:

1) being ignored by the insiders / elites who run the current system to their own benefit

2) being trapped in an economy that’s been stripped of social / upward mobility

3) being stripmined / exploited by domestic and globalized elites

4) disgust / frustration with the self-enriching political class that serves corporate/elite/insider interests above all else.

My 50 years of work have given me a ringside seat in how the economy has changed from inclusive to extractive. My jobs have ranged from agricultural field worker to running my own yard service to hospitality to construction to print media (free-lancer) to financial services (quant shop) to non-profit education to political rabble-rousing (unpaid) and my current profession as marginalized, misfit author-blogger (my specialty appears to be getting shadow-banned by Big Tech monopolist extractors).

My colleague Mark Jeftovic explains how systems can be inclusive or extractive. Systems that automatically bail out the greediest, wealthiest socially-useless speculators via the Federal Reserve are not just extractive, they’re exploitive and predatory. The Reversion Will be Mean.

Extractive systems are also intrinsically fragile in crises as the trapped / exploited behind the oars tend to abandon ship at the first chance, and the real-world sinews of the economy have been weakened by the bailouts and financial engineering. In effect, the fragile, brittle shell doesn’t need much of a shock to implode. (If you want to see this process in real time, look around you.)

Yes, finance was extractive in 1970, but it was a much smaller part of the economy. Back then, finance was less than 5% of the economy. Now, by some measures, it’s a third of the economy.

Yes, corporations bought political influence and exploited everything within reach but their reach wasn’t as global and their rapacity not quite as refined. Sociopathic exploitation such as stock buybacks and Big Pharma advertising directly to consumers were illegal.

The economy was not dependent on endless asset bubbles and bailouts of the most venal speculators. The Federal Reserve whines that it has to bail out the greediest scum of the nation again and again and inflate one asset bubble after another because otherwise this sucker’s going down.

Over the past 50 years, the ladders of upward mobility have splintered. Now making all the sacrifices to follow the conventional script (get a college diploma, etc.) don’t lead to secure employment. The fundamental backdrop of the economy is that labor’s share of the economy is in permanent decline: the value of labor has been in a freefall, a freefall masked by bogus “low inflation” and other trickery. (See chart below)

In 1970, costs for essentials were low and regulatory burdens on small business were modest. You could rent an apartment for a week’s pay or less. (Even in expensive Honolulu I could rent a studio apartment for half a week’s pay.)

Even in the mid-1980s, I could get a building permit for an entire house in one day; now the process takes weeks or even months.

Now costs and regulatory burdens have soared to crushing levels. This plays perfectly to government bureaucracies, which have monopolies on the power to raise junk fees, penalties, etc. at will, and Corporate America, whose core drive is eliminate any and all competition so profits can soar on the basis of monopoly, not on superior products or services.

People feel ignored because they are ignored. People feel trapped because they are trapped. People feel stripmined because they are being stripmined. People feel angry at the political Establishment because they no longer live in a democracy.

Can we be honest for a change and admit that ours is an extractive system in which anything goes for the wealthy and powerful and winners take most?

The few pockets of the economy not under the thumb of corporations, government or the central bank– for example, the cash / informal economy–are still dependent on corporations, government and the Fed for their currency, government subsidies and products/services.

Isn’t it obvious that we need an alternative system that isn’t run for the benefit of elites and insiders? What would such a system look like?

One, it would be voluntary / opt-in. Nobody would be forced to participate. All anyone would need to bring is a willingness to be useful and belong to something doing good work on behalf of the community rather than a bunch of parasitic, predatory billionaires.

Two, it would be self-organizing, meaning there is no ruling body that can be corrupted. Bitcoin is a real-world example of a self-organizing system. There is no cabal at the top who can be corrupted; bitcoin is distributed and decentralized. It is self-organizing, as is Nature.

Three, the operations of the system would be automated so human bias would have few opportunities to carve out unearned privileges. Note that most of the systems you interact with are fully automated. (Try reaching a human being in customer service.) The only difference is these systems are secret “black boxes” designed to maximize the profits of cartel-monopoly corporations, not serve the nation or its communities. They only serve the owners, 2/3rds of whom just so happen to be the top 0.1%.

Open-source software runs a great many enterprises and systems and does so without secret “black box” algorithms known only to the exploiters.

Four, it would have its own money, a cryptocurrency that comes into being in only one way: as payment for useful, purposeful labor that benefits the community in some way. All the technology for such a labor-backed cryptocurrency is already in hand.

My 50 years of work in a variety of sectors and jobs has made such a system “obvious” to me, and so I’ve written a book ( A Hacker’s Teleology) to explain how such a system would work and why it’s “obvious.” You can read excerpts of the book in this free PDF and read the story behind the book and the Introduction.

Why do we tolerate such a corrupt, undemocratic, exploitive, elite-dominated system? Because we have no other choice? No, we do have a choice. The first step to outline the values, processes and goals of an alternative system that actually works for everyone and our planet.

I’ve taken a stab at outlining such a system, so why not check it out? If you can come up with a better one, then get it out there for the rest of us to study.

We do have a choice. But we have to take it. If we’re unwilling to make any systemic changes, then we truly are trapped–not by them (whomever they might be) but by our own unwillingness to accept that systemic change is now necessary if we’re to have a future that’s beneficial to all.

 

Gatestone Institute: How to Steal an Election – Part 2

Here is the second part of Chris Farrell’s How to Steal an Election at the Gatestone Insitute. Click here for part one.

…Having established the Left’s documented plan to disrupt the 2020 presidential election, let’s examine further some of the information operations techniques now being deployed against the American public to persuade and influence the election “season” ahead.

The very publication of the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) report and the subsequent news media reporting about it are components of psychological warfare within the broader information warfare campaign aimed at spreading demoralizing rumors to Trump supporters. The goal is to break down and weaken support before, during and after election day. Demoralized and unmotivated supporters do not make their support for their candidate public. They do not campaign in neighborhoods or post yard signs. They do not vote. They do not volunteer at polling places. They become convinced their hopes are a lost, and highly controversial cause. They do not wish to be called a racist, or a hater, or identified with other fringe elements. They stay at home and watch TV.

Having been psychologically conditioned (through the COVID-19 pandemic) to withdraw, isolate, and lock-down — on largely fiat orders of various government officials — many Americans will react to the “irregular” and extra-legal tactics of the Left. The Left relies on this reaction to suppress voter turnout and use varying forms of terror, such as reprisals and the threats of reprisals, against those who do not cooperate or who challenge the projected accusations detailed in the TIP report.

The TIP report is careful not to engage in sedition. They are a whisper away from advocating violence — but these are very sharp political operatives that are all lawyered-up, so they speak in code. Here are some examples for you to read between the lines:

  • “If there is a crisis, events will unfold quickly, and sleep-deprived leaders will be asked to make consequential decisions quickly. Thinking through options now will help to ensure better decisions”
  • “Planners need to take seriously the notion that this may well be a street fight, not a legal battle; technocratic solutions, courts, and a reliance on elites observing norms are not the answer here.”
  • “Groups, coalitions, and networks should be preparing now to establish the necessary communications and organizing infrastructure to support mass mobilization.”
  • “Military and law enforcement leaders need to be particularly attuned to the possibility that partisan actors will seek to manipulate or misuse their coercive powers for inappropriate political ends.”

No single statement or particular recommendation is completely outrageous, except that, in the context of the report, they support and amplify dubious premises: Leftist protestors are non-violent while Trump supporters are agents provocateurs; Trump will misuse the military and law enforcement to hold on to power; universal mail-in voting poses no risk of fraud; finding new ballots weeks after the election is completely normal; news critical of Biden is misinformation; a Trump victory will be evidence of foreign interference, etc.

The voter psychological conditioning campaign, wherein suppression and reprisal become a self-fulfilling prophesy, will not receive news media or social media scrutiny. Those who raise the threats of violence and reprisals will be termed conspiracy theorists, marginalized and dismissed. Once again, who wants to be called a racist, a hater, or identified with some other fringe elements?

Through the release of the TIP report, the American Left has established itself and its dishonest storyline as the official narrative of the 2020 presidential election. They have alerted the militant wing of their movement to seize control of the lead-up to election day, to election day itself, and all the way out past inauguration day. This is a campaign unto itself — not an event. Now you understand how the Left intends to disrupt and steal the 2020 presidential election. You understand the psychological warfare techniques being used right now to convince you (wrongly) of being demoralized and weakened. You have been warned. The question for you and others in opposition to the TIP plan is: What are you going to do?

Forward Observer: Why the U.S. Dollar is at risk in 2021

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer answers Why the US Dollar Is at Risk in 2021

I’m starting to see a lot of conservative media activity regarding “the coming coup,” expected to take place between November and January.

As I warned Early Warning subscribers earlier this year, the Left — liberals and Leftists, alike — are planning sustained, mass mobilization protests in the vein of Tahrir Square or the Euromaidan.

Protests at Cairo’s Tahrir Square turned into an Egyptian revolution that toppled Mubarak in 2011. In Kyiv, Ukraine, months-long protests and violence led to the ouster of Yanukovich in 2013.

Meanwhile, mass protests in Belarus are aimed at removing Lukashenko from office right now.

This whole idea of an American Spring or Lafayette Square began back during the Impeachment process, where left wing activists hoped to organize mass mobilization protests that would eventually lead to the toppling of the Trump “regime”.

New York Times columnists Michelle Goldberg and Jamelle Bouie gave the idea widespread coverage, imploring the Left to mobilize. They tried to convince the country that turning out was an imperative to combat fascism and to demand the Senate convict President Trump. Those efforts fizzled, likely because an American Spring was better suited as a course of action saved until the election.

And here we are with just 49 days to go. The current protests, riots, and unrest could well serve as a warm-up for November.

Any illusion of unity in this country is gone. Society is increasingly tribal, most presidential polls are split within five or ten points, the economy is separated between the haves and have-nots. One thing most in the mainstream can agree on is ‘free and fair elections’ that decide the country’s political future.

If we can’t agree on free and fair elections after 2020, then societal, political, and economic conditions are likely to deteriorate, maybe rapidly.

One of the most overlooked threats to a failed or contested election is the value of the dollar.

During ramp up to the COVID crisis, international investors sought refuge in the dollar because that was the safest and highest liquidity place to store their value.

We’ve enjoyed some incredible benefits of having a society and political system that supported a relatively stable dollar. Even with massive devaluation and theft from inflation, the dollar has historically been a refuge during times of international crisis. That won’t always be the case, though.

In a previous email I sent to you, I cited a JP Morgan study that found world reserve currency status lasts between 80-100 years; meaning that the U.S. Dollar is approaching its historical expiration date somewhere between 2024-2054, if the past 400 years of monetary history holds up. A failed or contested election will likely accelerate this timeline.

I received a response to that email, from a dismissive accountant who condescendingly asked where would international investors seek refuge. The same place they always do, and even more so with the dollar under duress: GOLD. We’ve also seen a lot of diversification into cryptocurrency. Globalists have wanted a global currency for decades — this likely becomes their opportunity for the IMF to issue a stable global reserve currency. Even if there’s not a viable alternative right now, the world’s a big place — given weeks or months, international investors can find places to put money. But maybe there’s no good solution and no where to hide. The real risk in that case is that international investors are stuck because no one wants to accept the USD in these trades. What happens to the value of a currency no one wants?

So, it’s serious question time.

If international demand for the dollar does begin to erode as a result of political, social, and economic instability, are the string pullers on the Left and Right willing to risk monetary collapse over election results?

If U.S. markets crash and the dollar does start to lose value rapidly, how much longer will the Left push the unrest? How long would the Right be willing hang on?

This may be considered an outlier scenario, but it’s certainly one risk we’ll face over the next three to six months.

The Organic Prepper: Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about how Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes.

Back in January, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to catch globe attention, Selco wrote an article stating, “It’s not the virus you need to worry about. It’s the system.”

Virus or illness on itself might not be a problem in its essence, but the impact that it brings to the system and people might be so huge through the media that it causes the system to stop working in the normal way. So you could find yourself in a collapse not necessarily because of a huge pandemic, but because of the reaction to it.

Another case might be the simple unwillingness from the system to admit how bad the situation is in order to stop the panic when folks realized the truth.

So, what might bring the system to collapse might be a real pandemic or a reaction to the pandemic (which might or might not be controllable) or simply the government’s poor or late response to the pandemic. (source)

As things were just beginning to unfold, the article took a lot of heat on social media, with people saying Selco didn’t understand how things would go because he is not American and doesn’t know how things work here. Whoops. I guess that’s rather embarrassing in retrospect.

Because here we are, seven months after Selco wrote his warning, and our system is indeed falling apart.

Our system is failing in many ways.

It’s indisputable that our system is now failing in numerous ways. Some of these things directly relate to the virus and the subsequent lockdown, while others are tied to the nonstop riots that have been going on in some areas for more than 100 days. The riots began after the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck until he suffocated.

From the economy to the justice system to the infrastructure, our system is grinding to a halt in a variety of manners that stand to completely change the American way of life. Let’s take a look.

The economy

As predicted, our economy took a massive hit when government-mandated lockdowns closed the doors to many businesses. Despite billions of dollars in relief (much of which went to large businesses in an act of crony capitalism), the new economy has been nothing short of disastrous.

Millions of jobs are gone and are never coming back. Millions of small businesses have fallen. Corporate landlords aren’t getting paid rent and mom and pop landlords are being forced by the CDC (that’s right – the Center for Disease Control) to house people who can’t pay their rent, while still maintaining their mortgages.

Obviously, this trickles down to the average American who just wants to go to work and pay his or her bills. If you’ve lost your job, you are now in a heated competition for the few jobs remaining. The effect on the economy was “swift and severe” according to a paper published by the Brookings Institute. Now that the CARES Act financial assistance has run out, more and more families are being pushed into desperate levels of poverty. (If this is happening to you, please check out this article for essential advice on surviving this situation.)

But it goes even further than that – in a puzzling turn of events, our country is running out of coins. Many stores no longer give out change that is less than a dollar. You can choose to donate your change digitally to the charity of the store’s choice or get it back on a store loyalty card. Many people are concerned that this is a push toward a cashless society, something that would cause even more day to day financial problems for people who are already struggling. (And this is not as far-fetched as it might seem – it’s happened in Venezuela, too.)

Consumer inventory

And what about the folks who do have money? Well, spending it might be harder than it used to be.

Remember when the first hints of a looming lockdown occurred and store shelves across the country were emptied? And remember when all the shortages were blamed on those selfish hoarder preppers? And remember when they said if you would just buy for the next few days or for the week all the inventory would quickly be replenished because the supply chain was A-OK?

Yeah. I remember that too. And guess what?

Store shelves are still pretty spotty in many parts of the country. Some places still have limits on how much meat or toilet paper you can buy. If you go to your local Target, it’s difficult to find things like bedding and certain cleaning supplies.

Food plants continue to close due to outbreaks. Canned goods are still in high demand. (source) And what is affecting us even more is that we still aren’t getting the shipments from China that we used to receive.  When all of this began, I posted a list of essentials that we were getting from China which might affect our supplies, and unsurprisingly, many of these items remain difficult to find.

When you can find supplies in your local stores, you may find that the selection of options is far more limited than before. This is pretty startling, but something that I noticed when I spent several months abroad was that most other countries don’t have chicken cut in 12 different ways or 47 different brands of laundry detergent. What feels like a “shortage” to us is somewhat normal elsewhere and this is something you can adapt to fairly well.

At the same time, limits on purchases make it incredibly difficult to stock up for the future, and you can also expect to see fewer and fewer choices in the months ahead unless something happens to change the situation dramatically.

Education

One of the first casualties of the lockdown was the education system. Most schools simply gave up and didn’t continue the school year after the March lockdown. Colleges and universities turned to distance learning. Graduations were held virtually, if at all.

The new school year looks a lot different too. The schools that have reopened for in-person learning have stringent – and somewhat unsettling – social distancing policies. Many schools are only open for distance learning via Zoom or other online portals. (And don’t even get my started on the privacy issues this has unlocked – not to mention the overreaction of at least one school so shocked at the sight of a Nerf gun in a boy’s room that they called the cops and suspended him.)

Some schools reopened only to close again within a week when a new outbreak erupted. Huge outbreaks are occurring at universities as (big surprise) students party without a lot of regard for social distancing. Many colleges are fighting this by offering as many classes as possible in an online format. This is causing many families to question why they’re still paying the same exceptionally high prices for the education as they did when everyone spent time in the classroom, used campus facilities, and had the benefit of an active social life.

The postal service

The US Postal Service has been losing money hand over fist for years. After the COVID pandemic, it lost a whopping 2.2 billion dollars in the second quarter. In a recent Senate hearing, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified that they could not guarantee the ability to deliver mail-in ballots for the November election in a timely manner.

And it isn’t just the mail-in ballots that are a problem. There have recently been massive delays with the mail. These delays have led to mailed prescription drugs arriving late to patients who depend on them, thousands of dead baby chicks, and shipping delays that are causing unprecedented issues for small businesses that mail products to customers – and 70% of small businesses use the USPS regularly.

Many have blamed changes made by Postmaster General DeJoy, who donated to President Trump’s campaign, for the crisis.

The new leadership of the U.S. postal service has come under fire from lawmakers and advocates who worry that a slower mail system will affect the presidential election in November. But the impacts could disrupt everyday life for Americans in many other ways.

The U.S. postal service, which has suffered from financial troubles for years, has lost billions of dollars amid the coronavirus pandemic. But last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a number of orders aimed at cutting costs within the agency. Those changes include eliminating employees’ ability to log overtime and barring workers from making extra trips to deliver late-arriving mail. DeJoy’s changes have been blamed for reported widespread mail delays.

“Let me be clear about the reasons behind our restructuring and the need for our plan. Our financial condition is dire,” DeJoy said in a memo sent to USPS staff on Thursday, NBC reported. “Our critics are quick to point to our finances, yet they offer no solution.” (source)

Regardless of the specific cause, it appears a reliable postal service has been yet another systemic casualty. One recent video even came to light of massive bags of mail simply being dumped in a parking lot.

The legal and criminal justice system

After the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the country erupted. Protests were widespread. The organization Black Lives Matter reached peak popularity. The movement was quickly co-opted and groups like Antifa and the Occupy movement took over. Protests soon turned into violent riots that saw cities across the country turn into battle zones.

The unrest has lasted for more than three months and shows no signs of slowing down soon. Armed conflict has broken out in numerous cities. In fact, a demonstration promising to “lay siege” to the White House is planned for later this month through the election.

This goes hand in hand with calls to defund the police in many of the cities where the protests/riots are taking place. Massive budget cuts have already occurred in Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Portland, Philadelphia, Hartford, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, just to name a few cities. (source) It’s important to note that some of these cities have been the sites of extreme upticks in violence, looting, destruction, and arson.

And it isn’t just the criminal justice system breaking down. The court system in general has been on hiatus. Family court closures have halted divorce and custody hearings. Civil suits are at a standstill. Once the courts reopen, the massive backlog will mean even further delays.

The wheels have simply stopped turning.

The election

The upcoming election is the next broken element of the system. This year hardly feels like an election year in the first place.

Many people are hesitant to vote in person due to the virus. The postal service has said they may not be able to get ballots to people on time. Big rallies are a thing of elections past. We have yet to see a presidential debate between the candidates. We probably won’t know who won on election night. In fact, it could be weeks before a winner is announced, and even then, it looks as though Biden and Trump are both intent on questioning the outcome if it isn’t in their favor.

In short, it’s going to be a huge bone of contention that is likely to escalate the violence discussed above for weeks, if not months. We could have the fifth contested presidential election in American history. (And I’d say that isn’t just a possibility, but a likelihood.)

If an already divided country can’t agree on who won the election, would that be the final nail in the coffin of our system?

What can we do?

A lot of these are “big circle” things that are out of our personal realm of control. We can’t do anything about imports from China, we can’t stop the riots in Seattle, we can’t fix the postal service.

But we can focus our energy on getting as prepared as possible for what promises to be a bumpy road ahead. And we must also stop focusing on a system that is broken to solve our problems. Selco wrote:

Do not forget one basic fact: you as a prepper/survivalist, at your core, most probably do not trust the system.

I am not saying you hate it, but you just do not trust it completely.

So, watch the news and announcements. Help if possible, obey if possible (and if it makes sense) but always keep in mind that the system at its core has a very basic obligation: to keep that system running. If that means the system has to lie to you or let’s say, bend the truth, it will do it, because to the system you are an individual, and the system is machinery that needs to run.

So, keep some common sense, and trust your gut instinct. (source)

Pieces of the system are tumbling over like one domino after another. Every stressor added is knocking out more of the system as time goes on.

Do you think the system is fixable or do you believe it is broken beyond repair? What do you foresee for the rest of the year?

Wall Builders: An Appeal to Heaven Flag

Some US flag history from Wall Builders, An Appeal to Heaven Flag.

During the early days of the War for Independence—while the gun smoke still covered the fields at Lexington and Concord, and the cannons still echoed at Bunker Hill—America faced innumerable difficulties and a host of hard decisions. Unsurprisingly, the choice of a national flag remained unanswered for many months due to more pressing issues such as arranging a defense and forming the government.

However, a flag was still needed by the military in order to differentiate the newly forged American forces from those of the oncoming British. Several temporary flags were swiftly employed in order to satisfy the want. One of the most famous and widespread standards rushed up flagpoles on both land and sea was the “Pinetree Flag,” or sometimes called “An Appeal to Heaven” flag.

As the name suggests, this flag was characterized by having both a tree (most commonly thought to be a pine or a cypress) and the motto reading “an appeal to Heaven.” Typically, these were displayed on a white field, and often were used by troops, especially in New England, as the liberty tree was a prominent northern symbol for the independence movement.[i]

In fact, prior to the Declaration of Independence but after the opening of hostilities, the Pinetree Flag was one of the most popular flags for American troops. Indeed, “there are recorded in the history of those days many instances of the use of the pine-tree flag between October, 1775, and July, 1776.”[ii]

Some of America’s earliest battles and victories were fought under a banner declaring “an appeal to Heaven.” Some historians document that General Israel Putnam’s troops at Bunker Hill used a flag with the motto on it, and during the Battle of Boston the floating batteries (floating barges armed with artillery) proudly flew the famous white Pinetree Flag.[iii] In January of 1776, Commodore Samuel Tucker flew the flag while successfully capturing a British troop transport which was attempting to relieve the besieged British forces in Boston.[iv]

The Pinetree Flag was commonly used by the Colonial Navy during this period of the War. When George Washington commissioned the first-ever officially sanctioned military ships for America in 1775, Colonel Joseph Reed wrote the captains asking them to:

Please to fix upon some particular color for a flag, and a signal by which our vessels may know one another. What do you think of a flag with a white ground, a tree in the middle, the motto ‘Appeal to Heaven’? This is the flag of our floating batteries.[v]

In the following months news spread even to England that the Americans were employing this flag on their naval vessels. A report of a captured ship revealed that, “the flag taken from a provincial [American] privateer is now deposited in the admiralty; the field is a white bunting, with a spreading green tree; the motto, ‘Appeal to Heaven.’”[vi]

As the skirmishes unfolded into all out warfare between the colonists and England, the Pinetree Flag with its prayer to God became synonymous with the American struggle for liberty. An early map of Boston reflected this by showing a side image of a British redcoat trying to rip this flag out of the hands of a colonist (see image on right).[vii] The main motto, “An Appeal to Heaven,” inspired other similar flags with mottos such as “An Appeal to God,” which also often appeared on early American flags.

For many modern Americans it might be surprising to learn that one of the first national mottos and flags was “an appeal to Heaven.” Where did this phrase originate, and why did the Americans identify themselves with it?

To understand the meaning behind the Pinetree Flag we must go back to John Locke’s influential Second Treatise of Government (1690). In this book, the famed philosopher explains that when a government becomes so oppressive and tyrannical that there no longer remains any legal remedy for citizens, they can appeal to Heaven and then resist that tyrannical government through a revolution. Locke turned to the Bible to explain his argument:

To avoid this state of war (wherein there is no appeal but to Heaven, and wherein every the least difference is apt to end, where there is no authority to decide between the contenders) is one great reason of men’s putting themselves into society and quitting [leaving] the state of nature, for where there is an authority—a power on earth—from which relief can be had by appeal, there the continuance of the state of war is excluded and the controversy is decided by that power. Had there been any such court—any superior jurisdiction on earth—to determine the right between Jephthah and the Ammonites, they had never come to a state of war, but we see he was forced to appeal to Heaven. The Lord the Judge (says he) he judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon, Judg. xi. 27.[viii]

Locke affirms that when societies are formed and systems and methods of mediation can be instituted, armed conflict to settle disputes is a last resort. When there no longer remains any higher earthly authority to which two contending parties (such as sovereign nations) can appeal, the only option remaining is to declare war in assertion of certain rights. This is what Locke calls an appeal to Heaven because, as in the case of Jephthah and the Ammonites, it is God in Heaven Who ultimately decides who the victors will be.

Locke goes on to explain that when the people of a country “have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to Heaven whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment [importance].”[ix] However, Locke cautions that appeals to Heaven through open war must be seriously and somberly considered beforehand since God is perfectly just and will punish those who take up arms in an unjust cause. The English statesman writes that:

he that appeals to Heaven must be sure he has right on his side; and a right to that is worth the trouble and cost of the appeal as he will answer at a tribunal that cannot be deceived [God’s throne] and will be sure to retribute to everyone according to the mischiefs he hath created to his fellow subjects; that is, any part of mankind.[x]

The fact that Locke writes extensively concerning the right to a just revolution as an appeal to Heaven becomes massively important to the American colonists as England begins to strip away their rights. The influence of his Second Treatise of Government (which contains his explanation of an appeal to Heaven) on early America is well documented. During the 1760s and 1770s, the Founding Fathers quoted Locke more than any other political author, amounting to a total of 11% and 7% respectively of all total citations during those formative decades.[xi] Indeed, signer of the Declaration of Independence Richard Henry Lee once quipped that the Declaration had been largely“copied from Locke’s Treatise on Government.”[xii]

Therefore, when the time came to separate from Great Britain and the regime of King George III, the leaders and citizens of America well understood what they were called upon to do. By entering into war with their mother country, which was one of the leading global powers at the time, the colonists understood that only by appealing to Heaven could they hope to succeed.

For example, Patrick Henry closes his infamous “give me liberty” speech by declaring that:

If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon—we must fight!—I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us![xiii]

Furthermore, Jonathan Trumbull, who as governor of Connecticut was the only royal governor to retain his position after the Declaration, explained that the Revolution began only after repeated entreaties to the King and Parliament were rebuffed and ignored. In writing to a foreign leader, Trumbull clarified that:

On the 19th day of April, 1775, the scene of blood was opened by the British troops, by the unprovoked slaughter of the Provincial troops at Lexington and Concord. The adjacent Colonies took up arms in their own defense; and the Congress again met, again petitioned the Throne [the English king] for peace and settlement; and again their petitions were contemptuously disregarded. When every glimpse of hope failed not only of justice but of safety, we were compelled, by the last necessity, to appeal to Heaven and rest the defense of our liberties and privileges upon the favor and protection of Divine Providence; and the resistance we could make by opposing force to force.[xiv]

John Locke’s explanation of the right to just revolution permeated American political discourse and influenced the direction the young country took when finally being forced to appeal to Heaven in order to reclaim their unalienable rights. The church pulpits likewise thundered with further Biblical exegesis on the importance of appealing to God for an ultimate redress of grievances, and pastors for decades after the War continued to teach on the subject. For example, an 1808 sermon explained:

War has been called an appeal to Heaven. And when we can, with full confidence, make the appeal, like David, and ask to be prospered according to our righteousness, and the cleanness of our hands, what strength and animation it gives us! When the illustrious Washington, at an early stage of our revolutionary contest, committed the cause in that solemn manner. “May that God whom you have invoked, judge between us and you,” how our hearts glowed that we had such a cause to commit![xv]

Thus, when the early militiamen and naval officers flew the Pinetree Flag emblazoned with its motto “An Appeal for Heaven,” it was not some random act with little significance or meaning. Instead, they sought to march into battle with a recognition of God’s Providence and their reliance on the King of Kings to right the wrongs which they had suffered. The Pinetree Flag represents a vital part of America’s history and an important step on the journey to reaching a national flag during the early days of the War for Independence.

Furthermore, the Pinetree Flag was far from being the only national symbol recognizing America’s reliance on the protection and Providence of God. During the War for Independence other mottos and rallying cries included similar sentiments. For example, the flag pictured on the right bore the phrase “Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” which came from an earlier 1750 sermon by the influential Rev. Jonathan Mayhew.[xvi]  In 1776 Benjamin Franklin even suggested that this phrase be part of the nation’s Great Seal.[xvii] The Americans’ thinking and philosophy was so grounded on a Biblical perspective that even a British parliamentary report in 1774 acknowledged that, “If you ask an American, ‘Who is his master?’ He will tell you he has none—nor any governor but Jesus Christ.”[xviii]

This God-centered focus continued throughout our history after the Revolutionary War. For example, in the War of 1812 against Britain, during the Defense of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key penned what would become our National Anthem, encapsulating this perspective by writing that:

Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”[xix]

In the Civil War, Union Forces sang this song when marching into battle. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was inspired to put “In God we Trust” on coins, which was one of his last official acts before his untimely death.[xx] And after World War II, President Eisenhower led Congress in making “In God We Trust” the official National Motto,[xxi] also adding “under God” to the pledge in 1954.[xxii]

Throughout the centuries America has continually and repeatedly acknowledged the need to look to God and appeal to Heaven. This was certainly evident in the earliest days of the War for Independence with the Pinetree Flag and its powerful inscription: “An Appeal to Heaven.”


[i] “Flag, The,” Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, ed. John Lalor (Chicago: Melbert B. Cary & Company, 1883), 2.232, here.

[ii] Report of the Proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee at the Thirtieth Meeting, Held at Toledo, Ohio, October 26-17, 1898 (Cincinnati: F. W. Freeman, 1899), 80, here.

[iii] Schuyler Hamilton, Our National Flag; The Stars and Stripes; Its History in a Century (New York: George R. Lockwood, 1877), 16-17, here

[iv] Report of the Proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee at the Thirtieth Meeting, Held at Toledo, Ohio, October 26-17, 1898 (Cincinnati: F. W. Freeman, 1899), 80, here.

[v] Richard Frothingham, History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Buner Hill (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1849), 261, here.

[vi] Richard Frothingham, History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Buner Hill (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1849), 262, here.

[vii] Richard Frothingham, History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Buner Hill (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1849), 262, here.

[viii] John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (London: A. Millar, et al., 1794), 211, here.

[ix] John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (London: A. Millar, et al., 1794), 346-347, here

[x] John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (London: A. Millar, et al., 1794), 354-355, here.

[xi] Donald Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1988), 143.

[xii] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew A. Lipscomb, editor (Washington, D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XV, p. 462, to James Madison on August 30, 1823.

[xiii] William Wirt, The Life of Patrick Henry (New York: McElrath & Bangs, 1831), 140, here

[xiv] Jonathan Trumbull quoted in James Longacre, The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans (Philadelphia: James B. Longacre, 1839), 4.5, here.

[xv] The Question of War with Great Britain, Examined upon Moral and Christian Principles (Boston: Snelling and Simons, 1808), 13, here.

[xvi] Jonathan Mayhew, A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers (Boston: D. Fowle, 1750) [Evans # 6549]; see also, John Adams, Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife, ed. Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1841), 1:152, to Abigail Adams on August 14, 1776.

[xvii] “Benjamin Franklin’s Great Seal Design,” The Great Seal (accessed September 2, 2020), here.

[xviii] Hezekiah Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America (Baltimore: William Ogden Niles, 1822), 198.

[xix] Francis Scott Key, “The Defence of Fort M’Henry,” The Analectic Magazine (Philadelphia: Moses Thomas, 1814) 4.433-444.

[xx] B. F. Morris, Memorial Record of the Nation’s Tribute to Abraham Lincoln (Washington, DC: W. H. & O. H. Morrison, 1866), 216, here.

[xxi] D. Jason Berggan, “In God We Trust,” The First Amendment Encyclopedia (2017), here.

[xxii] Rachel Siegel, “The Gripping Sermon that Got ‘Under God’ Added to the Pledge of Allegiance on Flag Day,” The Washington Post (June 14, 2018), here.

The American Mind: The Resurrection of Freedom

A longer piece from Justin Lee at The American Mind, The Resurrection of Freedom.

America must be refounded—again and again.

“The art of subversion, of revolution, is to dislodge established customs by probing down to their origins in order to show how they lack authority and justice.”—Blaise Pascal, Pensées

On May 4 of this year, Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary for her introductory essay to the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project. The purpose of the project, as conceived by Hannah-Jones, is “to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” The Pulitzer Center has reinvented itself as an explicitly identitarian institution and sponsored a 1619-inspired curriculum of agitprop. But one could certainly imagine a version of the project—had it been pursued with intellectual integrity—that might have had some validity. Even if you think Nikole Hannah-Jones is writing in good faith and making good points, however, her project is tragically self-defeating.

The title of Hannah-Jones’s essay is her thesis: “Our founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.” That thesis is played out in a sweeping overview of American history, beginning in 1619 with the first arrival of African slaves to Virginia, and culminating in the Civil Rights Era.

The second part of this thesis is simply true: black Americans have fought to make our nation’s ideals into reality. Hannah-Jones is at her most compelling when describing the abuse heaped on black veterans of WWII as they returned home from combat. One feels her deep personal connection to these stories, her empathy for these scorned men mediated by love for her veteran father. Likewise, her wistful description of Reconstruction, and its defeat by racial ressentiment, should make any person of goodwill pine for what might have been, what should have been.

But her first claim, that our founding ideals were never intended to be realized, is supported in many places by intentionally misleading or simply false history. Her charge that the American Revolution was fought in order to preserve the institution of slavery has been justly eviscerated by the ablest scholars of that era. The Times issued a (still misleading) correction, but only after historian Leslie M. Harris of Northwestern University revealed that she had pointed out the error during a pre-publication fact-check and was ignored by Hannah-Jones.

Their perseverance in this error is telling. The 1619 Project, for all its merits, is committed to a Manichaean vision of reality: everything base in American history originates with white people, while everything virtuous can be attributed to black people. This is a mimetic inversion of the noxious belief “that black people are the obstacle to national unity,” which Hannah-Jones takes pains to attribute even to Abraham Lincoln.

Hannah-Jones paints an uncharitable portrait in which Lincoln is just another racist—perhaps less so than many others, but still undeserving of sympathy, no matter his achievements, which in any case weren’t pursued with the proper motivations.

Here, the historiography is as tragically ironic as it is bankrupt. The 1619 Project is intended not just to “reframe” American history, but to refound the nation. Hannah-Jones writes that “black Americans, as much as those men cast in alabaster in the nation’s capital, are this nation’s true “founding fathers.”’

This desire to honor the achievements of black Americans cannot be fulfilled by refounding the nation in 1619. To do so would be to negate her true refounding, which occurred in 1863.

Bloodshed and a New Birth

President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 at the consecration ceremony for the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, nearly five months after the bloodiest episode of the Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg had halted General Lee’s second and final push into the North—at the cost of as many as 51,000 casualties, roughly 8,000 of which were deaths.

The war was not yet won, but General Lee’s army was scattered and demoralized, and the Union’s victory seemed imminent. Already Lincoln was looking ahead to the impossible task of knitting together the nation’s wounds. The war—and the barbaric institution of chattel slavery that necessitated it—had called into question the very possibility of republican government.

Lincoln was convinced that the future of popular sovereignty the world over rested on not just the outcome of the war, but on what must follow it: the repair of those “mystic chords of memory,” and the restoration of faith in the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln knew he must refound the republic.

Blaise Pascal understood that all regimes are founded on violence: the strong establish themselves over the weak, and in time the usurpation is forgotten. “The truth about the usurpation must not be made apparent,” wrote Pascal: “it came about organically without reason and has become reasonable.” What was arbitrary in origin may be developed along rational lines—just as monarchic Rome matured into a republic.

Harry V. Jaffa, riffing on Pascal in A New Birth of Freedom (2000), observes that Lincoln refused to arrogate to himself unconstitutional power during the war because doing so would undermine his authority to refound the nation. This is why Lincoln delayed so long in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves and allowed them to fight in the Union army.

“Military necessity had enabled the federal government to do lawfully what the Constitution hitherto had prevented it from doing,” writes Jaffa. “For that government to have acted against slavery in the states except under the exigencies of the war would … have meant usurping powers to which the people of the United States had not given their consent. It would thus, [Lincoln] thought, have defeated the very ends of human freedom.” The Gettysburg Address served as an apologia for the Proclamation and paved the way for the Thirteenth Amendment by recalling the nation to its founding ideals in the only context in which such a refounding was possible.

In his remarkable study The Dominion of the Dead (2003), Robert Pogue Harrison argues that all human habitation and culture—the home, the city, even the nation—are founded upon the marked grave. “It is not for nothing that the Greek word for ‘sign,’ sema, is also the word for ‘grave,” writes Harrison: the memorial to the dead is the wellspring and focal point of all meaning. Lincoln’s genius at Gettysburg was his recognition that the living are incapable of founding anything on their own. “We cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground,” he proclaimed. “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

According to Harrison, “Lincoln’s address is the sema, or grave marker. Its speech act makes of that ground a place or the place where the nation finds itself, on which it must found, or refound, its republic.”

The South’s secession was more than an insurrection. It was an apostasy from the founding faith of the Republic. The doctrine that “all men are created equal” had been ratified not by any legislative body but by the blood spilled in the Revolution. Lincoln understood that the nation could not experience a “new birth of freedom” without regrounding that doctrine in a new sacrifice.

Lincoln himself, at his assassination, would provide a seal for that sacrifice and become the last martyr of his own cause. The legacy of those martyred for cleaving to the idea that every human bears an irreducible divine dignity encompasses the entire history of man. The martyrdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. is in this sense no less salient than that of Lincoln.

It is fitting that Lincoln structured the logic and language of his address on the King James Bible. Scripture supplied not only the shared idiom of the nation, but the originary source—and final justification—of the idea that “all men are created equal.” The doctrine of the Imago Dei, unique to the Jewish and Christian faiths, provides the only coherent ground for the idea of human rights. Only if we are made in the image of God does our humanity make us inherently deserving of life and liberty.

In its trinitarian rendering, the Imago Dei means that no human is complete unto him- or herself. As God exists in tripartite self-relation, so we are human by virtue of our relationship with the other—other humans as well as God, who is wholly other. St. Paul wrote in Ephesians that Christ, by his blood, had made Jews and Gentiles into one people, and again in Galatians that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

The deaths of America’s soldiers, as well as Lincoln’s own death not long afterward, provided the Christlike sacrifice needed to break down our national barriers and sustain Lincoln’s refounding. It was not mere coincidence that Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday.

The Game Plan

Any effort to “reframe” American history motivated by a genuine desire for equality and historical fidelity must take into account Lincoln’s “new birth of freedom,” even if only to judge it, at the last, stillborn. Of course, while de jure racism has been defeated, Americans disagree on the extent it should be blamed for lasting effects upon those living today. Clearly it is plausible to many that its legacy of traumas—shattered families, dysfunctional communities, brutalized bodies—might be experienced by some as “systemic.” Still, even if one deems this country to have failed utterly to honor the divine dignity of its black citizens, that very judgment entails an affirmation of the Imago and the Declaration of Independence. Why, then, does Nikole Hannah-Jones take such pains to discount it by speciously disparaging Lincoln?

The answer is that Hannah-Jones is interested not in securing equality, but in enforcing equity of outcome—an idea utterly foreign to the American project. Her claim that black Americans have fought to make our founding ideals true, while indisputable, is meant to provide false assurance that she believes those ideals are worth fighting for. But the ultimate effect of her work is to discredit those ideals by eroding their foundation.

Under the logic of the Declaration, enforced equity would constitute a form of tyranny and an abrogation of equal dignity. Equity can only be achieved by enforcing a uniformity of opinions, passions, and interests among a populace. But “the diversity in the faculties of men,” as Madison wrote in Federalist #10, is “an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests.” Any effort to replace equality with equity as the nation’s tēlos requires denying the Declaration, and by extension natural law.

Lincoln’s refounding of America, then, must be discredited, a task Hannah-Jones can only accomplish by convincing her readers that Lincoln did not really believe in the full humanity of black people. To this end she cites his repeated assurance to white voters that he would not countenance black people becoming “politically and socially our equals,” along with his support for the proposal that freed slaves be shipped as colonists to another country.

Naturally, she ignores the mountain of evidence that Lincoln was employing a double-script, telling whites what he believed they needed to hear in the present in order for full equality to be achieved in the future (he even called the colonization proposal a “barbarous humbug”). Nor does she acknowledge the inconvenient fact that Lincoln was assassinated by a white supremacist because he sought full citizenship, including voting rights, for black Americans.

Hannah-Jones has honed her craft and public ethos as a writer and intellectual since her college days, but she has maintained her Manichaean worldview, so much so that she considered it “an honor” when Charles Kesler suggested that the recent “uprisings” be called the “1619 riots” for their destruction of historical memory. She has even justified the violence and wanton destruction of those riots as a necessary tool to make white people pay attention to black suffering.

Contemporary progressives are historicists: they understand history as a moral trajectory toward justice in which essentialized ethnic and sexual minorities struggle against white, heterosexual bearers of privilege. And indeed, conditions are presently favorable for those who desire, as one regional leader of BLM put it, to “burn down this system and replace it.”

But a full measure of revolutionary violence may be unnecessary to achieve the ends Hannah-Jones and BLM have in mind.

If “equality” loses its meaning as traditionally understood according to the Declaration, then the word can be made to mean anything those with institutional power choose, including “equity.” Because even the conservative legal establishment largely rejects the Declaration’s authority, revolution is likely overkill. “Substantive” due process, untethered to natural law, has thus far proved an effective device for contorting the Constitution to advance our elites’ will to power. Perhaps in time it will be used to enforce the uniformity of thought necessary to bring about equity.

The cruel irony is that Hannah-Jones and her allies are in fact advancing the same “ingenious sophism” John C. Calhoun employed to defend the institution of slavery and pave the way for secession. The protection of absolute state rights, and thus of slavery, from a hostile legislative majority required severing those rights from natural law.

As Jaffa summarizes, nature for Calhoun was only “a record of cause and effect” and not “a source of moral principles.” Only in the domain of pure immanence could the mere fact of slavery’s existence suffice to justify its continuance; nothing must be allowed to threaten the identification of “is” with “ought.” Underlying Calhoun’s thought “are the premises of historicism, positivism, relativism, and nihilism—premises that have become the conventional wisdom of our time.”

These are also the premises of Hegel’s “cunning of history” and Marx’s dialectic, Hitler’s National Socialism and Stalin’s purges, as well as Taney’s jurisprudence in Dred Scott and Blackmun’s in Roe v. Wade. When such premises lead to just outcomes, it is merely an accident of arbitrary human will.

Hannah-Jones sees clearly the injustice wrought by the belief that “might makes right,” and yet she is unable to recognize that so much of the movement to which she belongs has embraced the nihilistic historicism on which that ideology depends. She is not truly anti-Calhoun, but merely Calhoun turned upside-down. This blindness, if it persists, will ensure that whatever is gained in this current season of activism will be secured on unstable ground, and thus easily lost or subverted when history changes sides.

An inevitable consequence of Hannah-Jones’s Manichaean worldview is her own cooptation by the system she decries. If all of America’s institutions are irredeemably corrupted by the legacy of slavery, then what of the New York Times and the Pulitzer Center? At the very least, the “anti-racist” efforts of legacy institutions must be considered suspect.

And in fact, from its inception, the 1619 Project has served the interests of the predominately white professional-managerial class. Despite the prominence of black activists like Hannah-Jones, white people are significantly more “woke” on race than non-white people. White elites drive the discourse and promote an endlessly broadening definition of racism, which requires education and training to understand, thereby distinguishing themselves from the white working class.

Mainstream anti-racist discourse, for which the 1619 Project is meant to provide an intellectual framework, is thus a technology of social control that sustains and reproduces the managerial class. Even the social chaos caused by the discourse redounds to the benefit of the managerial elite. The police may very well be abolished, but only to be replaced by battalions of social workers, administrators, and “community police”—that is, ideological adepts with truncheons and firearms.

This was inevitable. Lacking a stable grounding in natural law, Marxism (and let us not pretend that critical race theory isn’t of Marxist vintage) could not prevent devolving into its opposite. One nihilism opened the way for another, more persuasive, nihilism. Because the 1619 Project implicitly rejects natural law, it will only ever be a servant of power, and not necessarily the power of its authors. Its refounding of America in 1619 is nothing other than a refounding in neoliberalism.

The Hope of all Nations

This is a tragedy. An honest reckoning with our nation’s past is necessary if the best in that past is to be handed down to future generations. And what is that best if not the recognition that humans are created equal, “stamped with the Divine image and likeness,” in Lincoln’s words, and thus the bearers of intrinsic, rational dignity, of natural rights and responsibilities? And whose legacy is more deserving of honor and preservation than those who, like Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., gave the full measure of sacrifice in defense of that truth? As Christ said, “True love has no one greater than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The most heartbreaking of Hannah-Jones’s failures is that her assault on the Declaration of Independence required her to elide entirely the role black Christians have played in shaping what is most beautiful about America. The closest she comes to discussing black faith is in dismissing it as imposed by slaveowners in place of their ancestral faiths.

This both denies black agency in matters of faith and ignores the profound creative legacy of black spirituality on the Christian world more broadly. Black Christians have been instrumental in raising the social consciousness of American Christianity and in catalyzing its eschatological longing. For example, the final verse of “Amazing Grace”—

when we’ve been there ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we’d first begun

—was written by black slaves. Hannah-Jones ignores an entire world of beauty because giving that world its due would undermine her goal of marginalizing the Declaration in America’s historical consciousness.

Moreover, it is Christianity itself—which transcends race and makes one brotherhood of all men—that gave Americans of every generation reason to believe in the equality of all. Were we to identify a seventeenth-century origin point for America, it would be not 1619 but 1620, when the Puritans of the Mayflower dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod. To erase those Christian origins is to destroy the basis for anti-racism of all kinds, in America and beyond her borders.

Of course, if America is ever to realize the Puritan John Winthrop’s vision of a “city on a hill”—a true sema that reorients the wider world to a recognition of the Imago Dei—her Christians must learn from the long-suffering Christlikeness of their brothers and sisters, including those who have suffered racial injustice. For Christians, our work is not done unless each of us is able to see the image of God in every American, and every human face. This is the true underpinning—human beings, created equal—of the American notion of equality under the law.

As terrible as our current national crises are, they also offer another opportunity for refounding. Carolyn Marvin and David Ingle write that “what constitutes the nation in any moment is the memory of the last successful blood sacrifice that counts for living group members. In the United States this is World War II, fast receding in its effect as a national unifier…. Lacking that memory, we must search for new sacrifices.” A refounding consonant with Lincoln’s is now necessary if America is to have a recognizable future.

I’ll conclude with a quote from an 1831 statement issued by black leaders in New York who were opposed to that “barbarous humbug” of colonization. Hannah-Jones quotes from the same document in her 1619 introduction as part of her attempt to discredit Lincoln. Unsurprisingly, she whittles away the leaders’ references to God and the Declaration and their fathers’ willingness to die for its ideals. But in full it is more fitting a conclusion to this essay than anything I could write myself:

We do not believe that things will always continue the same. The time must come when the Declaration of Independence will be felt in the heart as well as uttered from the mouth, and when the rights of all shall be properly acknowledged and appreciated. God hasten that time. This is our home, and this is our country. Beneath its sod lie the bones of our fathers; for it, some of them fought, bled and died. Here we were born, and here we will die.

Sovereign Man: The New Puritans Are on the Prowl

Simon Black of Sovereign Man has a few words to say about Woke-ists in The New Puritans Are on the Prowl.

In the spring of 1692, Giles Corey was 80 years old when his wife was accused of witchcraft.

The entire town was in such a frenzy that even Giles started to believe that his wife might be a witch.

Soon after, another person in the town was accused of witchcraft. Then another. And another. And another.

It wasn’t until Giles Corey himself was accused of being a wizard that he realized the whole thing was a scam.

But it didn’t matter. The Puritan preachers in this small New England town (Salem, Massachusetts) took every accusation seriously.

They felt it was their duty to protect the townsfolk from the systemic witchcraft that was so pervasive in Salem. So everyone who was accused of witchcraft was quickly punished.

That included Giles Gorey, who, at the age of 81, was tortured for three days in September of 1692, in an attempt to extract a plea.

He had been accused, therefore he must be guilty. And Corey was laid in a field with boards placed on top of him, and large rocks piled on top of the boards to slowly crush him to death.

Rumour has it the only words he spoke during the torture were, “More weight.”

These days we have a new breed of Puritans. Their religion is wokeness, and they too see witches everywhere.

What’s really incredible is that these Puritan witch hunters are really just a small percentage of the population.

Most people are completely sane and normal. But this tiny group happens to be the loudest.

And because of that,  they’ve completely upended everything– culture, business, politics, and even science.

They tell us what words we can/cannot use. Some of the largest corporations in the world have already bent the knee, cancelling movies, music, and even food, because it offends the mob.

Disney cancelled the song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” because it’s offensive. Yet they graciously thanked the Chinese Communist Party in their recent release of Mulan!

And the same doctors and public health officials who tell us that we have to wear masks tell us that it’s OK to not wear a mask when rioting, because hate is a much bigger public health crisis.

Wokeness is such bizarre logic. But it never stops.

Just this morning I saw articles lamenting the lack of diversity in the wine industry; and another claiming that National Parks aren’t welcoming enough to certain minorities.

Even 2+2=4 is now a controversial statement to some mathematics educators, who find the expression grounded in imperialistic, heteronormative toxic masculinity.

But it’s not enough to simply bow out and avoid their intolerance. That makes YOU a target.

You have to denounce family members, grovel to the Twitter mob, raise a fist in solidarity, participate in the chants and rituals… otherwise you put yourself and your family at risk.

They’ll come for your job, your business, and your dignity.

I have no idea how far this will go, or how much more ridiculous it will become.

This is clearly not the first time in history that a small number of crazy people end up causing havoc and devastation to an entire society.

Now, I still believe that, even in the midst of such mindless chaos, the world is still abundant with opportunity.

I’ve just always felt that it’s best to tackle those opportunities… and face obvious risks… from a position of strength.

This is the core idea behind having a ‘Plan B’– to put yourself in a position of strength, regardless of whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) next.

This includes things like expanding your network and meeting like-minded people– which is more important than ever.

It means taking care of your finances– protecting your assets, avoiding roller coaster rides in markets and currency devaluations, legally cutting your taxes, and expanding your income.

It also means having a place to go, just in case you might ever need to hit the eject button.

This doesn’t mean having a doom-and-gloom mentality. It’s a sensible, rational precaution in light of such clear risk.

And it’s not a decision you’ll be in the mental state to think through when the mob is at your doorstep.

This is really the most important part of a Plan B: thinking through what’s important to you, and what you *might* need to do… now– while you’re in a rational state.

Waiting until panic sets in means making emotional decisions later… and emotional decisions tend to be very bad decisions.

So take advantage of the relative calm, and make some key decisions now….

Practical Self Reliance: 50+ Green Tomato Recipes

Green Tomato Cake

Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance has compiled a list of 50+ Green Tomato Recipes with links. A few years ago we had few of our tomatoes ripen. I don’t remember if we planted late or had an early frost, but we were left with plants full of green tomatoes. We ended up canning many different green tomato products like the mentioned green tomato mincemeat, green tomato salsa, green tomato chutney, and more. We also met green tomato spice cake for the first time, which was a delicious surprise. We use a nearly identical recipe to the Paula Deen recipe below, but with a cream cheese frosting (like for carrot cake) instead of the brown butter icing. So don’t despair if you find yourself with a surfeit of green tomatoes.

Green tomato recipes are an old fashioned tradition meant to ensure every last bit of the harvest is put to good use.  Don’t let those underripe tomatoes go to waste, there are so many creative ways to use green tomatoes (besides the ever-popular fried green tomatoes).

Green Tomato Recipes<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-14082″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Green-Tomato-Recipes-12.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1″ alt=”Green Tomato Recipes” width=”600″ height=”400″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

 

Every year my tomato plants set fruit well into the fall months…only to be killed by early frosts in our short 100 day Vermont growing season.  We’ll top the plants with spare bedsheets to protect them from light frosts, but when temps well below freezing those tomato plants are done for.

With a killing frost on the way, it’s time to strip the plants bare before nightfall.  That often means buckets, baskets, and totes filled to the brim with green tomatoes.

With patience and good airflow, many of those underripe beauties will still ripen on the counter over the next few weeks.  Many though, will spoil in buckets long before they ripen.

This isn’t exactly a new problem, and resourceful gardeners have been cooking up green tomato recipes for generations.

Green Tomato Canning Recipes

Since green tomato harvests usually come by the bucketful in the fall, it’s no surprise that there are literally dozens of ways to preserve green tomatoes.  You can’t fry them all, but it’s easy enough to preserve green tomatoes with enough creative green tomato canning recipes.

Green tomatoes are actually more acidic than fully ripe tomatoes, and their texture holds up better to prolonged cooking.  Add in a flavor that works equally well in savory and sweet recipes, and you’ve got the perfect vegetable for everything from pickles to pie filling.  (Yes, really…home canned green tomato pie filling…)

There are so many green tomato canning recipes, I’ve separated them into savory and sweet.

Pickled Green Tomatoes<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-14093″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Pickled-Green-Tomatoes-2.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1″ alt=”Pickled Green Tomatoes” width=”600″ height=”400″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Savory Green Tomato Canning Recipes

Green tomatoes maintain their crunch better than cucumbers for pickling, but they also make excellent salsa, ketchup, and chutney.

All of these recipes are perfect for water bath canning, but they also make great refrigerator or freezer preserves as well (no canner required).

Canning green tomato slices means you can make fried green tomatoes mid winter! (Image Courtesy of A Farm Girl in the Making)<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-14094″ class=”size-full wp-image-14094″ src=”https://i2.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Canning-Green-Tomato-Slices.jpg?resize=1536%2C1152&ssl=1″ alt=”Canning green tomato slices means you can make fried green tomatoes mid winter! (Image Courtesy of A Farm Girl in the Making)” width=”1536″ height=”1152″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Canning green tomato slices means you can make fried green tomatoes mid-winter! (Image Courtesy of A Farm Girl in the Making)

Green Tomato Chutney from Lovely Greens<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-14080″ class=”size-full wp-image-14080″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Green-Tomato-Chutney-from-Lovely-Greens.jpg?resize=750%2C440&ssl=1″ alt=”Green Tomato Chutney from Lovely Greens” width=”750″ height=”440″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Green Tomato Chutney (Image Courtesy of Lovely Greens)

Sweet Green Tomato Canning Recipes

I know, it sounds strange, but green tomatoes are actually amazing in sweet preserves.  I was really skeptical, but I absolutely loved old fashioned green tomato jam.

Don’t knock it until you try it…(continues)

 

Here’s the Green Tomato Cake recipe that my family uses:

Green Tomato Cake

4 cups chopped green tomato

1 T salt

————-

1/2 cup soft butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t ginger

1/4 t ground clove

1 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts

Mix the chopped tomato in a bowl with the 1 T salt and let  stand for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain the tomatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, clove, baking soda, and 1/4 t salt. Add raisins and nuts, mix and then added the creamed mixture. Mix all together then add tomatoes and mix well. Pour mixture into greased baking pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese icing.

WA Policy Center: WA State L&I Thinks Lockdowns Will Extend to June 30, 2021

From the Washington Policy Center, Washington State Labor & Industries thinks the COVID-19 lockdowns will last until June 30, 2021

In a recent request for proposal (login required), Washington State Labor & Industries (L&I) has asked for companies to submit bids for an new L&I Education and Communication Outreach program. The plan is to educate and make sure Washington employers remain in compliance for the continuing COVID-19 business restrictions. All bids are due September 21, 2020 and L&I plans on spending $250,000 on the effort.

The end date of the contract is June 30, 2021, 10 months from now.

Apparently, L&I is planning for an extended COVID-19 lockdown and believes that it will be continuing well into 2021. For many small businesses, being locked down that long will put them out of business.

Some of the compliance program goals include:

  • Increase knowledge of, and compliance with, L&I’s COVID-19 related requirements, particularly among small businesses and nonprofits.
  • Develop new partnerships statewide among organizations serving the employer community and increase the capacity of such organizations to serve as ongoing resources for information and compliance assistance.
  • Foster increased collaboration between L&I, employer-trusted groups, and business and nonprofit communities, and with other public agencies and organizations with regard to pandemic recovery.
  • Strengthen trust between employers and L&I and increase use of L&I’s many tools, resources and services, which can help employers meet their obligations effectively and efficiently.
  • Positively impact the health and well-being of business customers, nonprofit constituents, and others who come into contact with employers and employees.

The justification for the program is that not all businesses know what L&I requires of them, including compliance assistance, during COVID-19. It is yet another example of government overreach.

Washington Policy Center believes the correct course of action is not to require a business to be the enforcement arm of any government agency. The business, may of course, at their own discretion, refuse service to those who don’t follow the rules.

The safety of Washington residents is, of course, important but both residents and businesses have been sensible in their approach to the COVID-19 crisis and can self-regulate themselves to keep our communities safe. The vast majority of business owners will continue doing everything they can do to keep their customers safe.

CSG: Foundational Civics Class, Sept. 14, 2020 – Online

The Center for Self Governance is holding an online Foundational Civics class on Sunday, Sept. 14th, 2020 from 6 pm -10 pm.

Foundational Civics

Theory of Human Government
In the first half of class, the student compares and contrasts the theoretical concepts of power, government, and control. The student will learn different systems of government based on those concepts. The control concepts of Self Governance and Centralized Governance introduces the student to the experimental role of the governed within the U.S. mixed republican system of government.

Structure of Human Government
In the second half of class, the student is introduced to the design elements of the U.S. mixed republican form of government. They will learn the logic behind and current structure of separation of governments (i.e. Federal v. State), the separation of powers (i.e. executive v. legislative), and the separation of controls (i.e. Sheriff v. Coroner). They will explore the inter-relationship between a selection of elected, appointed, and employed governors and influencing (controlling) those governors. The student completes all training exercises before entering the Applied Civics program. This level and associated exercises establish the student’s basis of authority from which they will put self-governance into practice in the remaining training levels.

This is an interactive class and we look forward to hearing from you. You must attend the full 4-5 hours to complete the course, as well as associated training exercises, to graduate Foundational Civics.  Training cannot be taken out of sequence. Students will need to complete all training exercises (#1-#7) prior to scheduling the Level 3.

Class link.

9/11 Remembrance

May all of us remember with love and compassion this day.

May we grieve with those who still mourn,

And share memories with those who cannot forget.

May we draw strength from those who bravely responded,

And gave their lives to save others.

May we stand with strangers who became neighbors that day,

And remember their generosity and hospitality.

Above all God may we remember your faithfulness

And learn to trust in your unfailing love.

American Partisan: Armed Citizens Must Defend Their Communities

Former Navy Seal Matt Bracken at American Partisan writes Armed Citizens Must Defend Their Communities from Rioting Mobs If the Politicized Police Will Not.

In societies living under the Rule of Law, sworn Law Enforcement (LE) officers have always been considered fully justified in applying lethal force against violent mobs during arson riots, such as those which have been occurring with regularity in American cities during the terrible summer of 2020. This was the intent and meaning of police officials publicly “Reading the Riot Act,” announcing over a loudspeaker that a violent mob had been declared to be an unlawful assembly, that is to say, a riot. Rioters who lingered on the street after that final warning could be engaged by LE at any level up to and including the use of deadly force, with no further announcement.

This was, in prior more civilized times, a basic understanding of all citizens living under the Rule of Law. This is why a police officer’s standard-issue pump shotgun was traditionally referred to as a “riot gun” long before the development of modern less-than-lethal munitions. This is also why arson riots were uncommon and short-lived. Everyone understood the ground rules. There was no right to burn, loot or murder.

Thomas Sowell put it this way: “If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.” Note that he did not say “the government” or “the police department.” He said YOU.

ABR, my own acronym for the current working coalition of Antifa, BLM and the Revolutionary Communist Party of the U.S.,  are now routinely using Molotov cocktails (gasoline bombs) and other incendiary/explosive devices as offensive weapons in both an anti-personnel and anti-property (arson) role. As far as the BATFE is concerned, a Molotov cocktail is an illegal explosive device, and so are powerful high-altitude fireworks, when they are deployed at ground level as anti-personnel and anti-property explosive/incendiary grenades.

ABR deliberately uses the anonymity of their black-clad and face-masked mobs to conceal the identity of their individual bomb throwers, in exactly the same way that 19th Century Ku Klux Klan night riders carrying torches on arson missions concealed their identities with white robes and hoods. There is no moral or ethical requirement for either police or ordinary citizens protecting their communities from violent mobs to identify and ferret out the individual bomb throwers, when the rest of the mob is intentionally surrounding them in order to shield them from that identification. Because of the deliberately created synergy of bomb throwers utilizing the anonymity of the mob, the entire ABR mob becomes a legitimate target for police arrest or armed community self-defense.

Furthermore, at this writing in September of 2020, there is no moral or ethical requirement for a law-abiding American citizen to wait for a lit Molotov cocktail or any other incendiary or explosive device to crash through the window of their home or business, while ABR mobs are rampaging through the streets conducting arson attacks. Once the fires begin, morally and ethically, the same Rules for the Use of Force (RUF) should apply that would attach to a lynch mob, or to Ku Klux Klan night riders on their way to burn homes or businesses. Both KKK night riders bearing torches in olden times, and violent mobs of ABR terrorists with Molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices today, can and should be engaged by armed citizens with any necessary level of force required to halt their terroristic depredations.

In numerous recent cases, law enforcement under Leftist political control has repeatedly abdicated its traditional and expected role in breaking up violent riots and preventing arson and other terror attacks. Week by week, the level of ABR violence has been steadily escalating, and it’s logical to assume that it will only worsen as the hotly-contested presidential election draws near.

So let me be very clear: if Democrat Party governors, mayors and DAs have hamstrung their police for political reasons, and won’t allow them to protect the lives and property of their local citizens using all required force, abandoning their primary mission in order to bow to the ABR mob, then it is time for their undefended citizens to apply the clear intent of the Second Amendment. There should be deep regret about the abandonment of the Rule of Law by the Democrat Party political ruling class, but there should be no moral quibbles or hesitation by American citizens concerning the legitimacy of armed community self defense, in the absence of expected law enforcement protection.

Therefore, it is my carefully considered opinion that black-clad and masked ABR mobs, rampaging and terrorizing innocent citizens under the cover of darkness in the style of the KKK of old, may morally and ethically be taken under preemptive fire by armed citizens at any level necessary to drive them out of their peaceful neighborhoods and away from their businesses, before the terrorists can reach their targets and throw their Molotov cocktails and other explosive and incendiary devices.

As an historical note, it should be understood that the National Rifle Association was founded after the last American Civil War by former Union Army officers, (and Republicans at that), in order to empower freed African-American former slaves to defend themselves with firearms against KKK night raids. In the 19th Century, the Democrat Party, then allied with the Klan, (as the Democrats of today are aligned with Antifa and BLM), had favored strict gun control, in the form of narrowly written laws restricting the legal ownership of firearms by free black citizens.

The more things change…the more they stay the same.

The Captain’s Journal has a few comments on Matt’s article.

…You cannot entrust your safety to an assumption.  You do not know the intent of the invaders, and maybe they don’t even know their intent.

Third, even if the rioters don’t intend to douse you with gasoline and set you on fire, there can be unintended consequences and collateral damage.  It’s extremely dangerous to have rioters and looters rampaging through neighborhoods.

Regardless of intent (which can’t be known anyway), women and children can perish.  Men cannot allow that to happen.  Men cannot allow increased danger to come to their loved ones if they can stop it.

Having said all of that, be careful.  Your enemy isn’t just Antifa/BLM.  Your enemy is the state as well, who will prosecute you for self defense.  They did with Kyle Rittenhouse, and they did with the McCloskeys.  They’ll do it to you too.

Grey Man at American Partisan adds his comments on the above two posts.

…NEVER go anywhere alone. Kyle Rittenhouse defended himself masterfully for his situation, but to my knowledge, he started out with a group of people. He found himself alone at some point. Do not find yourself alone. Don’t leave your group. AntiFa isn’t going to, so you don’t either.