Practical Self Reliance: 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow

An earlier post on elderflower mentioned its use in combination with yarrow and mint to fight fevers. Yarrow grows prolifically in our garden, filling in the edges and between rows. In damp conditions, it makes for a pretty soft ground cover — enough so that the kids want a yarrow yard. In this post from Practical Self Reliance, Ashley Adamant discusses many more uses for yarrow – 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow.

Yarrow is a common wild herb that’s useful in both the kitchen and medicine cabinet.  This list of yarrow uses covers everything from biscuits and beer to salves, soaps, and tinctures.

Yarrow uses

Yarrow’s always seemed magical to me, and I remember lounging in my room as a teenager, reading through 16th-century herbals and dreaming of the day I’d spot it in real life.  (Yes really, that’s actually how I spent my free time as a teenager.  I know, I’m such a nerd.)

The problem is, while yarrow grows ALMOST everywhere, I happened to grow up in one of the very few places outside of yarrow’s range…the Mojave Desert.  Now on my homestead in Vermont, it grows in every untended nook and cranny.  We’ll see our first yarrow blooms in early summer, and it’ll keep right on producing through fall, meaning I have a virtually unlimited supply of yarrow (even leaving plenty for the bees).

Yarrow Identification

Though yarrow is incredibly common, so are its look-alikes.  Once you’ve actually spotted yarrow, you’ll agree that the look-alikes aren’t really all that close.  There are lots of low growing herbs with white flower clusters, but yarrow really stands out in a crowd.

Start with the flowers.  They’re white, but not really.  If you were looking at paint samples, they’d have the name “Victorian white” or some other fancy title, because in reality, they’re a muted off white color.

Yarrow leaves are also distinctive, and there’s a reason its species name is “millefolium” or thousands of leaves.  The leaves are feathery, as opposed to the more distinct leaves of Queen Anne’s Lace and other white flowering herbs.

Identifying Yarrow by the feathery leaves and distinct white flower clusters

Make sure you’re 100% certain on your identification, as there are white-flowering plants within its range that are deadly toxic (namely, Water Hemlock).  To my eye, they don’t look anything alike, but as an optimistic teenager desperate to find yarrow in some stray ditch…I may well have made that mistake.

Read this guide to Yarrow Identification for more information.

Benefits of Yarrow

So why is yarrow so magical?  Many reasons!

A wide geographic distribution means yarrow made it into the traditional pharmacopeias in Asia, Europe and the new world.  Yarrow is used in everything from food and drink, to salves and tinctures, to ritual divination and ceremony.

This quick list will give you some ideas, but is by no means comprehensive:

  • Stops Bleeding
  • Skin Toner & Astringent
  • Bitter Tonic
  • Treats Cold and Flu
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Circulation
  • Induces Sweating
  • Reduces Fever

Be aware that while it’s generally considered safe, individual reactions are always possible.  It’s also contraindicated for pregnant women, as it can induce menstrual flow and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage.

Recipes for Cooking with Yarrow

While yarrow is perhaps best known for its uses as a medicinal, both internally and externally, it’s also a tasty culinary herb.  It’s not the only one of course, and many culinary herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, and more) are potent medicinals, taken in the right dosage at the right time.

These yarrow recipes incorporate a small amount of yarrow, just enough to flavor the dish without reaching a “medicinal” dosage.

Recipes for Yarrow Beverages

Believe it or not, hops are actually a relatively recent brewing ingredient.  Before hops became common in beer, herbal beers, or gruits, were all the rage.  Yarrow was one of the most common brewing ingredients, and it was known to create an extremely intoxicating brew.

While hops are a sedative, that dulls the senses and slows the sex drive, yarrow based brews do just the opposite.  There’s a reason yarrow beers (and meads) were popular historically because they lifted you up and sent you home ready to put a few buns in the oven (if you catch my drift).

Our own homemade yarrow beer

Our own homemade yarrow beer

If you’re interested in learning to brew with herbs, specifically yarrow, I’d highly recommend the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, which takes you through literally thousands of years of herbal brewing tradition (with recipes for each herb discussed).

The Wildcrafting Brewer likewise includes recipes for yarrow brews and approaches the subject more from a foraging perspective (rather than a historical one).

While the traditions have but been forgotten, a few brewers keep the traditions alive.  Here are a few yarrow beverage recipes to wet your whistle, both alcoholic and non.

Harvesting Flowering Tops for Yarrow Tincture

Harvesting Flowering Tops

Yarrow Uses for First Aid

My most common use of yarrow is as a first-aid treatment for bleeding.  Yarrow tincture in a spray bottle is a powerful astringent, and I’ve watched it pucker closed wounds in seconds.

I always keep a small spray bottle on hand just in case, and it’s worked wonders on all manner of small (but persistent) topical injuries.  It’s also made into styptic powder and DIY quick clot, for similar purposes.

Homemade Yarrow Tincture (Alcohol extract of yarrow)

Over the longer term, something like a yarrow salve is wonderful for treating injuries and promoting healing.  It’s also commonly employed as an itch remedy topically.

Making a yarrow salve is no different than making any herbal healing salve, and it comes together quickly with just a few ingredients.

Yarrow has been used for millenia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it's on hand when needed.

Yarrow has been used for millennia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it’s on hand when needed.

More yarrow uses for first aid:

Yarrow Herbal Remedies

Beyond yarrows use as a topical first aid remedy, it’s also commonly used in preventative remedies and internal medicine…

 

Continue reading at Practical Self Reliance.

CSG: Night Ops/CQB Course, Spokane, July 9-12

Combat Studies Group is holding a Night Ops/CQB course setup in Spokane July 9-12, 2020. Will be one day of live fire and three days of SIMS with CQB and vehicle mobility ops. Cost is $900 or prorated if you just want certain days.

This will be a hybrid course, combining aspects of our Nights Ops course with our CQB Level One and Vehicle/Mobility Ops.

Cost $900

Day one will be live fire, day two, three & four will be SIMS/UTMs.

This course will focus on weapon flows and close quarters drills with carbine/pistol, setting up your NVG/NODs and IR aiming systems, setting up your vehicle for night operations, CQB one & two man drills with force on force excercises, fighting in and around structures, fighting in and around vehicles, TCCC considerations and an FTX.

To register or for any inquiries, contact:
frost@unseen.is     -or-     frost@criptext.com

    Gear Requirements
* Note taking material
* Ballistic goggles & glasses
* Gloves
* IFAK/BOK
* Large cover shirt (should fit over armor or mag pouches)
* AR/M4 style carbine (AK style is okay as well) w/optic and/or iron sights
* Six carbine mags
* Semi-auto pistol (.380cal or larger)
* Three pistol mags (or more)
* Plate carrier w/ at least three mag pouches, or Rhodesian style vest, or carbine mag pouches for belt rig
* Duty belt / holster w/ at least three pistol mag pouches
* Carbine sling (single point or double point)
* Eye and ear protection
* Firearm maintenance gear ( lube, tools, spare parts)
* Comfortable, durable clothing, change of clothes, towel
* Optional gear…..dump pouches, goggles, knee pads, gloves, etc

* Night vision goggles (PVS-14 or similar)
* IR aiming laser for carbine (PEQ-2, PEQ-15, etc)
* IR active or passive markers (IR strobe, IR patches, etc)
* Duct/Rigger’s tape

TMIN: Everyone in America Needs to Be a Prepper in 2020

Michael Snyder at The Most Important News writes Why Every Person In America Needs To Become A Prepper During The Second Half Of 2020, citing what he sees as the events ahead.

It has been on my heart to write this article for a few days, but I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to write.  2020 has already been one of the worst years in modern U.S. history, and it looks like the next six months are going to be extremely challenging as well.  But even though most Americans are expecting that things will return to “normal” in 2021 and beyond, the truth is that the “perfect storm” that we are witnessing is only in the very early stages.  All of the old cycles are ending, all of the bubbles are bursting, and we are starting to experience the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  So even though the remaining months of 2020 will be chaotic, the truth is that things are going to get progressively worse as the years move along.  That means that you should use this period of time to prepare for what is ahead of us, because at some point the window of opportunity to prepare will be closed for good.

COVID-19 should have been a wake up call for all of us.  Lockdowns were implemented very suddenly once the virus started to spread in the U.S., and shortages of key items began to happen.  To this day, many retailers are still limiting the number of items that you can buy in certain categories.  Hopefully this has helped people to understand that if you have not stocked up in advance, you may not be able to go out and get what you need when a major crisis strikes.

During the initial stages of this pandemic, a lot of people ended up being stuck at home without enough supplies.  In the event of a truly historic emergency, you can certainly survive without toilet paper, but if you run out of food you could find yourself in big trouble quite quickly.

The good news is that COVID-19 is not going to kill us all.  About half a million people around the world have died so far, and the final death toll will be a lot lower than the tens of millions that died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920.

But if our society was extremely ill-prepared for a pandemic of this nature, what is going to happen when a pandemic that is much more severe hits us?

Scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a killer plague sweeps across the planet, and the Bible tells us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days.  If you find yourself isolated at home for an extended period of time as millions of others are dying from a virus, will you be able to survive on what you have already stored up?

If not, you need to get to work.

Big economic problems are ahead as well.  So far in 2020, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and it is being projected that U.S. GDP will decline by 46.6 percent on an annualized bases during the second quarter.  Those are absolutely disastrous numbers, but so far trillions of dollars of emergency government spending has helped to ease the pain.

But those emergency measures were only meant to get us through a few months, and it is now becoming clear that this new economic depression will be with us for a very long time to come.

Of course deteriorating economic conditions will fuel even more civil unrest.  We have seen rioting, looting, arson and violence in city after city, and much more civil unrest is on the horizon.

If you live in one of our major urban areas, you may want to move while you still can.  Due to a huge surge in demand, property prices in the most desirable small towns and rural areas are already starting to go through the roof.

On top of everything else, food shortages are starting to occur all over the globe.  According to the head of the UN, we are on the verge of seeing “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world”…

The U.N. chief on Thursday warned the largest gathering of world leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began that it will cause “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world,” with historic levels of hunger and famine and up to 1.6 billion people unable to earn a living unless action is taken now.

Giant swarms of locusts the size of major cities are devouring crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, African Swine Fever has already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world, and crazy weather patterns have been playing havoc with crop production all over the planet.

And now on top of everything else COVID-19 is greatly disrupting food distribution systems all over the world.

We have never seen so many severe threats to global food production occur simultaneously, and the Bible clearly tells us that there will be “famine” in the last days.

Meanwhile, a major war could erupt in the Middle East at any moment.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will begin the process of annexing portions of Judea and Samaria in July, and Israel’s Arab neighbors have promised a very forceful response if that actually happens.

The region has constantly been on the precipice of war for years, and this could potentially be the trigger that finally causes it to happen.

If everything that I have discussed so far wasn’t enough, the planet that we all live on is becoming increasingly unstable.  We have witnessed a number of very alarming earthquakes this week, and a truly catastrophic event could literally happen at any moment.

As my regular readers already know, I am particularly concerned about seismic activity on the west coast and about the potential for a historic earthquake along the New Madrid fault zone.

But even considering everything that I just shared with you, there is no other time in human history that I would have rather been alive than right now.

All of human history has been building up to this point, and we are so fortunate to be living during this moment.

However, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to thrive during the historic events that are ahead if you have not made any preparations for what is coming.

I realize that things may seem very chaotic now, but the truth is that this is your window of opportunity to prepare.

I would take full advantage of that opportunity, because the clock is ticking.

Gardener’s Path: Elderflowers for Food and Medicine

It’s 93 degrees F and rising. Summer is here. Luckily we’ve been enjoying refreshing elderflower spritzers in the evening heat. When we started expanding our vegetable garden to various berries, elderberry was one of the first on my mind. One reason was for medicinal purposes. Hippocrates was writing about medicinal elderberry as the medicine chest hundreds of years B.C. Second was ornamental. And third because of a delicious elderflower spritzer we had shared with a friend in Oregon. We first started making cordial using the River Cottage Preserves Handbook recipe which can be found at their website. The article below, however, comes from Gardener’s Path and describes not only cordial making but several other elderflower uses – How to Use Elderflowers for Food and Medicine.

You may have heard talk about the benefits of elderberries, or even come across elderberry syrup on the shelf of your local health food store. But you likely never heard anything about the flowers.

Often overlooked, the lovely little white or yellow blossoms of the magical elder shrub are also edible and medicinal, with some very special benefits of their own. 

What You Will Learn

These enchanting little white or yellow clusters of flowers emit a summery sweet fragrance. The flower essence is said to instill a sense of youthfulness, vigor, and restore inner strength.

These delightful blossoms have a long history of medicinal use and are often used to flavor food and drinks. Read on to learn about their miraculous properties and some of the many ways you can use elderflower.

Medicinal Benefits

Both the berries and the flowers of the elder plant have been used for medicine for thousands of years. While both have similar affinities for boosting the immune system and fighting off infection, elderflowers have some additional unique uses.

Oblique view of a wooden mortar and pestle with freshly harvested edlerflowers preparing to make a tincture.

As an immune stimulator, elderflower tea can provide soothing relief for acute cold systems. The booms are a key component of a traditional tea blend taken to reduce flavor. A concoction of elderflower, yarrow, and mint is a great fever fighter, and was often used historically for measles and chickenpox.

Blooms can also be used to treat conjunctivitis and soothe red itchy eyes, reduce pain and swelling in acute joint inflammation, and relieve toothaches. They are natural antihistamines, and when taken prior to the appearance of pollen, can ease symptoms of seasonal allergies.

As a nervous system support, it is said they have the capacity to heal deep grief, helping to open people’s eyes to the magic of the world.

Clinical studies are even starting to show that these flowers can reduce blood sugar, potentially useful for addressing type 2 diabetes.

Harvesting and Preparing for Use

Depending on your climate, elder shrubs may bloom at various times over the summer between June and August. To harvest, pick a warm dry day when the plant is in full bloom. Harvest during the morning or evening to keep the picked flowers from wilting in the sun or try to find a shady place to set them while you work.

Pluck off entire clusters of blossoms at the base, shake gently to dislodge any hidden insects, and place each bundle into your basket or bag.

If you don’t have any elder plants in your yard don’t worry! Just look for wild ones on the edges of streams, ponds, or along other disturbed edges such as fences or roads.

If you also plan to harvest the berries later in the season, pick flowers selectively, leaving some clusters intact here and there. I would recommend taking no more than a third on each plant. This is good practice anyway, as it is best to always leave some behind for the birds and the bees!

Once harvested, you can preserve for later use by drying and storing in tightly lidded jars in a dark place.

To dry, lay flowers on trays or mesh screen and leave in a dark, dry place for about a week. When fully dry, make sure they are still a similar yellow or white color to when they were fresh. Browning can be prevented by avoiding light during the drying process.

Fresh and dried elderflowers. Top down view.

If you prefer, you can also leave flowers attached to the stem while drying and hang in bunches in a cool, dark location. I often dry herbs in a back closet.

Caution

Before using for food or medicine, it is important to separate the flowers from the stems. Leaves, stalks, and roots of these plants are toxic and should not be consumed.

Ways to Use for Food and Medicine

There are so many great ways to use this enchanting herb. The following are a few ideas on ways to utilize them in food, medicine, and even cosmetics. Try out a few of these suggestions or concoct your own recipes!

1. Tea

For relief from colds or flu, pour boiling water over fresh or dried flowers and steep in a covered container for 10 minutes. Mix in a spoonful of local honey and feel those pesky symptoms ease as you breathe in this steamy sweet beverage.

The cool tea can also be used as a mouthwash. Gargle and rinse to combat sore throats, toothaches, and abscesses.

2. Tincture

The flowers can be tinctured in alcohol for use as an herbal remedy for various ailments. Just place crushed dried flowers in a jar, cover with 60% alcohol, and let sit in a cool dark place for 3 to 4 weeks, shaking daily.

Homemade tincture of elderberry flowers in a glass jar.

Consult with a clinical herbalist and your doctor before starting any herbal medicine.

3. Salve for Inflammation Relief

Use a salve or lotion made from the blossoms to reduce inflammation and pain from sprains and strains.

You can incorporate other healing herbs such as calendula, comfrey, or st. John’s wort for additional support.

4. Soothing Eye Wash

Make an eye wash for relief from itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, or hay fever. Just make a batch of elderflower tea, let cool, and rinse! You can also try soaking a washcloth in the cool tea and use as an eye compress.

5. Syrup

A syrup for fighting off colds, flus, and winter blues can be made with flowers of the elder tree as well as the berries. Or combine them for maximum benefit and flavor!

A glass filled full of liquid and dried elderflowers to make syrup.

This article on elderberries includes an easy recipe for syrup (see unpublished elderberry harvest article) Just incorporate or substitute in the blossoms.

6. Cosmetics

Back in the Victorian era, elderflower water was often used as a skin cleansing lotion, believed to keep the skin young and free of blemishes. Use of elder blossoms in cosmetics is beginning to make a comeback, and can often be found in lotions, oils, and body butters that claim to reduce wrinkles, soften skin, and slow aging.

7. Cordial

A cordial is a type of sweet soft drink that is historically popular in Western Europe and has been brewed since the Roman era.

Delightfully fragrant and sweet, this concentrated syrup can be added to drinks or even mixed into recipes such as cakes and pancakes.

Elderflower cordial steeping in a large pickle jar.

To make a cordial, boil the flowers for at least minutes, strain, and add in equal parts sugar to the remaining volume of water. Including a splash of lemon juice and citric acid will help preserve the cordial and add a pleasant tartness.

To use in drinks, pour 1 to 3 tablespoons into a glass and add water, seltzer, tonic water, sparking wine, vodka, or gin.

Tip: Make a large batch all at once and freeze the extra for later use…(continues)

Doom and Bloom: Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic: Needles

Continuing their earlier article on suturing, the Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical followup with an article devoted to suture needles in Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic: Needles.

Basic diagram of a suture (by medscape.com)

In my recent article “Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic “,  I gave some thoughts on suture materials, especially as they apply to closing skin lacerations. Your skin is your armor, and anything that breaches it can cause a life-threatening infection.

Although the decision to close a wound should never be automatic, simple skin lacerations can often be cleaned and closed successfully by the off-grid medic. Sutures are just one of a number of ways to accomplish this goal and allow acceleration of the healing process. Today, we’ll discuss the qualities of suture needles.

(Note: This article is for educational purposes only. If the medical system in your area is intact, seek it out to treat lacerations or other medical issues!)

Suture needles are made of a corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloy that is sometimes coated with silicone to permit easier tissue penetration.

Basic diagram of a suture (medscape.com )

A suture needle has three sections: the point, the midportion or body, and the swage. The swage is the “end” of the needle and is where the thread is attached. The midportion is usually curved at an arc, and the point is, well, pointy.

SWAGING

Before about 1920, suture needles had “eyes” and string was separate; the surgeon had to thread the eye of the needle. Since then, sutures became a single continuous unit. This process of connecting suture needle and string is called “swaging”.

Swaging dealt with a number of disadvantages associated with using separate needles and thread. In the old method, two lengths of string were formed on either side of the eye. Passage of a double strand of suture through tissue led to more tissue trauma and, perhaps, a higher risk of infection. Also, the suture string was more likely to become unthreaded or frayed.

THE IDEAL SUTURE NEEDLE

Suture needles perform based on a number of qualities, including strength and sharpness. The strength of a needle refers to its resistance to deformation during use, limiting the amount of trauma to tissue. Sharpness measures the ease of penetration into tissue and is dependent on factors involving not only the point, but the shape of the body of the needle.

Just as suture thread has ideal characteristics, the effective suture needle would be:

  • Made of high-quality stainless steel
  • The smallest diameter possible
  • Stable in the grasp of the needle holder
  • Capable of running suture material through tissue with minimal trauma
  • Sharp enough to penetrate tissue with minimal resistance
  • Sterile and corrosion-resistant to prevent introduction of microorganisms or foreign materials into the wound
  • Rigid enough to go through tissue, but flexible enough to bend before breaking

Not all suture needles meet the above criteria, but will suffice for the basic needs of the medic.

NEEDLE TYPES

There are a number of different needle types variations at the point, body, and swaged end:

Common needle types with cross sections at midportion and point (ethicon.com)

Cutting Needles: The shape of the suture needle on cross-section may vary dependent on the particular need. The point of this shape to have more cutting edges. On cross section, it appears triangular. These needles are effective in penetrating thick, firm tissue, like skin.

There are two common types of cutting needles. “conventional” and “reverse”. Conventional cutting needles have the third edge of the “triangle” on the inner surface of the needle. Reverse cutting needles have the third edge of the triangle on the outer surface of the needle’s arc. The reverse edge is even stronger and able to penetrate tendons and other tough tissues, while decreasing the amount of trauma during the procedure.

Tapered Needles: These needles are round on cross-section and can pass through tissue by stretching more than cutting. A sharp tip at the point becomes round, oval, or square shape as you approach the swage. The taper-point needle minimizes trauma in delicate and easily-penetrated tissues such as organs or intestinal lining.

Blunt Needles: These don’t come to a sharp point, but are rounded at the end. These are best used for suturing liver, kidney, and other delicate organ tissue without causing excessive bleeding.

BODY SHAPES

Suture comes in many shapes, but 3/8 circle and 1/2 circle are most commonly used for learning

The body of a needle is important for interaction with the needle holder instrument and the ability to easily transfer penetrating force to the skin. A needle must be stable in the jaws of the needle holder to give maximum control and prevent bending.

The midportion comprises most of the needle’s length and is commonly curved into a 3/8 circle arc for skin or 1/2 circle for close spaces. Of course, other curvatures are available. Straight needles may be used if dealing with easy-to-reach tissues such as certain types of skin closures.

Next time, we’ll discuss the instruments you’ll use when closing a laceration with sutures.

Law Enforcement Today: John Kerry Suggests Revolution Possible if Trump Elected Again

Ukraine revolution, 2014

Law Enforcement Today reports that Former Senator John Kerry suggests there will be a revolution if Trump gets elected again in a statement made at the Alliance of Democracies.

“If people don’t have adequate access to the ballot, I mean that’s the stuff on which revolutions are built. If you begin to deny people the capacity of your democracy to work, even the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, we have an inherent right to challenge that. And I’m worried that increasingly, people are disaffected.”

John Kerry also suggested that America would be in terrible shape globally if Trump were to lead America in a second term as President, according to Politics.

Kerry added while at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020, that America can only become a world leader again if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in the November election.

PJ Media sheds some light on this rhetoric by Democrats due to some relation between the U.S. State Department and their associated NGOs such as USAID, Freedom house, and NED of which they gave significant amounts of money to George Soros funded businesses in Ukraine.

The plan by the U.S. State Department was to develop a program named Tech Camps where people in other nations would be taught on how to use technology, tools, and media to form movements of protestors. All of these movements received money from Soros related NGOs and U. S. agencies.

Such movements helped overthrow Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. The movement was known as the Maidan protestors and known as the Maidan Revolution.

This revolution caused U.S. diplomats to ensure they governed who would be in office after Yanukovych. The Maidan Revolution is not the only movement where our U.S. State Department has participated in such behavior…(continues)

Intelligence Analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer adds:

One factor that led to regime change in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution was the ability of political opposition to quickly establish popular belief that elections were rigged or ballots were falsified. Kerry is painting a soft justification for domestic revolution upon claims of voter disenfranchisement in a Trump electoral victory. While a left wing revolution will include violence, we’re more likely to see the development of a Maidan or Tahrir Square type of mass protest scenario, than a traditional armed revolution. Throughout the past year, left wing influencers have encouraged mass mobilization protests where millions of Americans would fill the streets and become disruptive enough to force President Trump to resign. Those efforts have so far fizzled. Taking into consideration some recent predictions that President Trump will not willingly depart the White House if defeated, it’s clear that certain elements are priming widespread activism going into November.

Mises Institute: The State – The Deadliest Virus

Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto, a Spanish economist, writes this piece for the Mises Institute about government tyrannies in Spain, but most of them could just as easily be applied to the US government — The State: The Deadliest Virus.

The deadliest virus is the institutionalized coercion which lies in the very DNA of the state and may even initially permit a government to deny the outbreak of a pandemic. Evidence has been suppressed, and heroic scientists and doctors have been harassed and silenced simply because they were the first to realize and expose the gravity of the problem. As a result, weeks and months have been lost, at an enormous cost: hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the worldwide spread of an epidemic which, in the beginning, the shamefully manipulated official statistics made appear less dangerous than it actually was.

The deadliest virus is the existence of cumbersome bureaucracies and supranational organizations, which did not manage or wish to monitor in situ the reality of the situation, but instead endorsed the information received, while offering constant support and even praising—and thus becoming accessories to—all the coercive policies and measures adopted.

The deadliest virus is the notion that the state can guarantee our public health and universal welfare, when economic science has demonstrated the theoretical impossibility of the central planner’s giving a coherent and coordinating quality to the coercive commands it issues in its attempt to achieve its pompous objectives. This impossibility is due to the huge volume of information and knowledge which such a task would require and which the planning agency lacks. It is also, and primarily, due to the fact that the institutional coercion typical of the agency impacts the social body of human beings, who alone are capable of coordinating themselves (and do so spontaneously) and creating wealth. Such coercion prevents the emergence of precisely the firsthand knowledge the state needs to bring about coordination with its commands. This theorem is known as the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. Mises and Hayek discovered the theorem in the 1920s, and the events of world history cannot be understood without it.

The deadliest virus is the dependency and complicity shown toward the state by countless scientists, experts, and intellectuals. When authorities are drunk with power, this symbiosis leaves a manipulated civil society unarmed and defenseless. For instance, the Spanish government itself urged citizens to take part in mass demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people while the virus was already spreading exponentially. Then, just four days later, the decision was announced to declare a state of alarm and coercively confine the entire population to their homes.

The deadliest virus is the demonization of private initiative and of the agile and efficient self-regulation characteristic of it, combined with the deification of the public sector in every area: the family, education, pensions, employment, the financial sector, and the healthcare system (a particularly relevant point at present). Over 12 million Spanish people, including—quite significantly—almost 90 percent of the more than 2 million government employees (and among them a vice president of the Spanish government), have freely chosen private healthcare over public healthcare. The doctors and nurses of the public healthcare system work hard and selflessly, and their heroic efforts are never sufficiently recognized. However, the system cannot possibly do away with its internal contradictions, its waiting lists, or its proven incompetence in the matters of universal prevention and the protection of its own workers. But, by a double standard, any minor defect in the private sector is always immediately condemned, while far more serious and flagrant defects in the public sector are viewed as definitive proof of a need to spend more money and increase the size of the public sector even further.

The deadliest virus is the political propaganda channeled through state-owned media and also through private media outlets which, nonetheless, are dependent on the state as if it were a drug. As Goebbels taught, lies repeated often enough to the population can be turned into official truths. Here are a few: that the Spanish public healthcare system is the best in the world; that public spending has continued to decrease since the last crisis; that taxes are to be paid by “the rich” and they are not paying their fair share; that the minimum wage is not detrimental to employment; that maximum prices do not cause shortages; that a universal minimum income is the panacea of well-being; that the northern European countries are selfish and unsupportive, because they do not wish to mutualize the debt; that the number of deaths officially reported reflects the actual number of deaths; that only a few hundred thousand people have been infected; that we are performing more than enough tests; that face masks are unnecessary, etc. Any moderately diligent citizen can easily verify that these are all lies.

The deadliest virus is the corrupt use of political terminology involving misleading metaphors to mesmerize the population and make people even more submissive and dependent on the state. We are told that we are fighting a “war,” and that once we win, we will need to begin the “reconstruction.” But we are not at war, nor is it necessary to reconstruct anything. Fortunately, all of our capital equipment, factories, and facilities are intact. They are there, waiting for us to devote all of our effort and entrepreneurial spirit to getting back to work, and when that happens, we will very quickly recover from this standstill. However, for this to occur, we must have an economic policy that favors less government and more entrepreneurial freedom, reduces taxes and regulations, balances public accounts and puts them on a sound footing, liberalizes the labor market, and provides legal certainty and bolsters confidence. While such a free market policy enabled the Germany of Adenauer and Erhard to recover from a far graver situation following World War II, Spain will be impoverished and doomed to move at idling speed if we insist on taking the opposite path of socialism.

The deadliest virus consists of the deification of human reason and the systematic use of coercion, which the state embodies. It appears before us in sheep’s clothing as the quintessence of a certain “do-goodism” that tempts us with the possibility of reaching nirvana here and now and of achieving “social justice” and ending inequality. However, it conceals the fact that the Leviathan thrives on envy and thus fuels hatred and social resentment. Hence, the future of humanity depends on our ability to immunize ourselves against the most deadly virus: the socialism which infects the human soul and has spread to all of us.

The Medic Shack: Less Than Lethal Rounds. Are They?

Chuck at The Medic Shack has an article about Less Than Lethal Rounds, what damage they do and how to treat the wounds in the field. If you’re particularly squeamish to wound pictures, there are a couple of photos in the article which may disturb you.

Last time we were here, we talked about Chemical Defense. The week we move to things that can make a hole in you. This week its all about Less than lethal rounds.

What is the Rubber Bullet

The so called rubber bullet is not non lethal. It is a less lethal bullet. It has and will cause death if not used correctly or with malice.

A rubber bullet (LL round) is normally blunt to a flat tip. When it hits think of getting hit with a golf ball at close range. It will hurt like hell. Also it will cause massive bruising around the area of impact.

 

 

If fired at close range it will penetrate and act like a low velocity pistol bullet. It’s wound channel is wide and can cause severe damage to tissue, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.

If a person is taking blood thinners rubber bullets can cause severe bleeding under the skin which can be dangerous.

In 2016 a study was performed on the damage caused by rubber bullets. The results were eye opening to say the least. All images in this section are taken from the study

Pattern of rubber bullet injuries in the lower limbs: A report from Kashmir 

One thing noticed was when a LL round was fired at close range its wound channel was much larger than the bullet diameter. It was found that on impact a large portion of these rounds skewed sideways and a few tumbled a few times after impact…

As seen in the above image the wound is oblong, not round as one would expect. This tissue damage is seen though the wound channel.

Should You Remove a Rubber Bullet? Disclaimer

Before we go any further…

Use of the information on this site is AT YOUR OWN RISK, intended solely for self-help, in times of emergency, when medical help is not available, and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. We here can not diagnose, prescribe medication or treatments. We are not doctors, NP’s or PA’s

The information on this site is meant to be used only during times when improvisational, last-ditch efforts are all that is possible. When writing posts, the author often assumes that if anyone uses the advice, the person will have no access to regular medical equipment or supplies. This author always assumes that the person will not have access to professional medical care. DO NOT USE THIS INFORMATION WHEN YOU CAN GET MORE TRADITIONAL OR PROFESSIONAL CARE.

First off, see the disclaimer above. /\

Problems with Removing a Rubber Bullet

With that out of the way, the big question is, “Do I or Do I NOT remove the rubber bullet?”

Blindly probing around in a wound is dangerous. You can cause extreme bleeding by dissecting and/or damaging a blood vessel, such as an artery or a large vein. This can cause your patient to bleed out. It doesn’t take long.

You can also cause permanent and crippling damage to the person.

In the modern world when a bullet is removed, we take X-rays and CT scans. Ultrasound is also used to guide the surgeon to the object. It is NOT the toss the Bowie Knife on the fire and take a slug of whiskey and start digging.

Even in the worst of times I would usually clean the wound and then pack and dress it and let the docs with a MD degree or who came out of Ft. Sam Houston take out the bullet.

BUT…….

An old friend and mentor of mine who passed away about 15 years ago from pancreatic cancer taught me a lot about surgery. He told me that the best surgical instrument ever made was the index finger. He also said that the sharpest object one should ever put in the human body is, you guessed it, your index finger.

There were (and will be) times when a DUSTOFF was unable to come, or it was not in our best interests to go to a civilian hospital. If it was not in a dangerous area, I would remove one. Notice, I said I would remove one. I was trained in the best facility on the planet for combat medicine. The United States Army Medical Department and School, Fort Sam Houston Texas. as a 91B40.

However that is something that is too involved to cover safely and responsibly in a blog post. You really want to learn? Let’s get a class together and I’ll do a live, in person one. It is dangerous to do. And, without the proper training, you’d be a menace to your patient.

What we will go over is the first aid needed to treat these in the field and let the professionals do the fixing.

Treating a Rubber Round Injury In the Field

In a SHTF situation, the treatment of this is flushing the wound with copious amounts of saline. Water can be used, but an isotonic saline solutionis much more effectiveand a bit less painful than water. As a combat medic, I would flush a wound like this with a mixture of 500cc ( ½ quart) of saline and 30 cc ( 1 ounce) of Betadine. Using a 60 cc syringe or a turkey baster style bulb syringe

This is from a advanced class I taught on gunshot wounds, showing how I flushed the wound track in the tissue, (pork shoulder).

 

Let’s look at some real life wounds from the Kashmir report, linked to above…

LL rounds are NASTY. They HURT, and a lot of people after being shot with one refuse advanced medical care.

So lets talk about GSW care, MINUS the removal.

First you will need a REAL first aid kit. No not the 5.99 one from Walmart. A true blow out kit. These are a 1 time use kit that has only the items you need to stop the bleeding of a GSW (Gun Shot Wound).

This Kit, Everlit Emergency Trauma Kit is a decent kit.  It has everything you need to treat a variety of traumas. This stuff is not cheap. The trauma kit with chest seal will set you back  70 bucks or so. And, it is a one time use.

Yes, there are cheaper. And, there are much more expensive. This set up is a mid-range kit that fills your needs. You will see kits with many different style of tourniquets. This one comes with the industry standard. the Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT). In my opinion there is none better.

Train with Your Kit

So you have this kit. Pop Quiz Medic. What do you do with it?

Grab the Israeli bandage from the kit, or this 6 inch Israeli compression bandage. Open it and practice putting it on.

The kits come with a CAT tourniquet, and it is reusable. But, having 2 is better (remember, 2 is 1 and 1 is none). Here’s an extra CAT Tourniquet.  Practice putting one on…

 

Alt-Market: The Insanity Of The Political Left And The Balkanization Of The US

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market writes more about US political polarization, division, violence, and breakup in The Insanity Of The Political Left And The Balkanization Of The US.

Can leftists and conservatives of our modern era peacefully coexist within the same society?  If someone asked me this question only ten years ago I would have said “Sure, it’s possible”.  Today, the answer is a resounding “No way”.  The political divide has become so vast that there is simply no chance for the two sides to reconcile or come to reasonable terms, and make no mistake, this is not a two-sided disaster; the majority of the damage is being done by one side of this equation.

Back in 2016 I wrote numerous articles discussing the issues and dangers of the political divide that was developing within the US, and many of these articles focused on who actually benefits. In my article ‘Order Out Of Chaos: The Defeat Of The Left Comes With A Cost’ I stated:

When I mentioned in my last article the crippling of social justice, I did not mention that this could have some negative reverberations. With Trump and conservatives taking near-total power after the Left had assumed they would never lose again, their reaction has been to transform. They are stepping away from the normal activities and mindset of cultural Marxism and evolving into full blown communists. Instead of admitting that their ideology is a failure in every respect, they are doubling down.

When this evolution is complete, the Left WILL resort to direct violent action on a larger scale, and they will do so with a clear conscience because, in their minds, they are fighting fascism. Ironically, it will be this behavior by leftists that may actually push conservatives towards a fascist model. Conservatives might decide to fight crazy with more crazy.”

The transformation I described in 2016 is now happening in 2020.  The left is going full communist, with a little help of course.  Currently, the Cultural Marxists are seeking to clean house within their own ranks.  They are terrorizing long time Democrats and “allies” of the movement into subscribing to ALL the tenets of the new social justice religion.  No deviation is allowed; all progressives must declare fealty and signal their virtue and submission or they are systematically targeted and destroyed.  It is essentially coercion by cancel culture.

After this phase is over and they have organized the political left into an army of mindless drones, they will fully turn their attention to conservatives.

To be clear, social justice movements are not the primary threat, they are merely a symptom of the disease – A cancer called “globalism”. These people are being used as a weapon of expediency, nothing more. There is an open and admitted organized effort on the part of a tiny minority of power brokers and money elites in our society that seek to manipulate the public into accepting the notion of total centralization and the end of personal liberty and national sovereignty in the name of an arbitrary “greater good”. This is not “conspiracy theory”, this is conspiracy fact.

As Richard N. Gardner, former deputy assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under Kennedy and Johnson, and a member of the Trilateral Commission, wrote in the April, 1974 issue of the Council on Foreign Relation’s (CFR) journal Foreign Affairs (pg. 558) in an article titled ‘Hard Road To World Order’:

In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

It is my view, according to the evidence, that the social justice left is a cultivated threat, a product of the gatekeepers of Cultural Marxism that has been gestated over decades to the stage we now see today – a mass movement of useful idiots, insane narcissists and sociopaths obsessed with identity politics and the destruction of the “old world”.

It was globalist institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation that funded different elements of the feminist movement and “gender studies” movements from the late 1960’s onward. This included the Rockefeller Foundation’s large donations to ‘The Feminist Press’ and the Ford Foundation’s programs to indoctrinate teachers into injecting social justice talking points into their curriculum. This is openly admitted in Alison R. Bernstein’s book ‘Funding The Future: Philanthropy’s Influence On America’s Higher Education’. Bernstein is the vice president of Education at the Ford Foundation and the former Associate Dean of Faculty at Princeton.

That’s right folks, social justice activism was paid for and encouraged by the so-called “patriarchy”. This is the reality, and it never stopped. Even today SJW groups are funded by globalists.

For example, as the mainstream media often tries to dismiss or ignore, Black Lives Matter was initially funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros and his Open Society Foundation. BLM coffers were flooded with over $100 million from uber rich white elites. Again, this is a FACT that even the dishonest spin doctors at Snopes were not able to deny. Instead, they attempt to use strawman arguments and sophistry to distract from the implication of extreme-left mobs receiving seed money from elitist billionaires.

As noted, the political left is being weaponized, but to what end?  To understand the end game we have to understand the concept of the Hegelian Dialectic and “problem – reaction – solution”.

If there is one behavior that stands out above all others as a defining trait of the social justice left, in my opinion it is their obsession with exploiting tragedy and crisis for their own personal and political gain. The George Floyd incident, a terrible event to be sure, should have been held up as a prime example of police abuse, yet it was immediately twisted by BLM into an issue of “systemic racism”. There is no proof of systemic racism. There’s not even any proof that George Floyd was killed because he was black.

Police abuse is something which concerns every American equally, not just black Americans.  But the BLM has obscured the real issue of police accountability and made it about the delusion of “white supremacy” and an attack on basically every element of American heritage and tradition.  This will alienate millions of Americans who would have otherwise agreed to certain points and arguments. The narrative was hijacked by the political left and they reveled in the death of George Floyd as a means to push numerous unrelated agendas forward as quickly as possible.

These agendas include a vast array of censorship in social media and the firestorm of cancel culture, threatening anyone who does not agree with the prevailing leftist narrative. People are losing their platforms, their jobs, and their reputations are being dragged through the mud, and the mainstream media is helping to make this happen.

Now, as a true conservative, I respect the boundaries of private property, and to be sure, a website is indeed private property. A social media company has the right to remove people and content they don’t like, just as any person has the right to remove someone they don’t like from their home. That said, there are some exceptions to this.

For example, when a company has a monopoly over a certain means of communication, then censorship becomes a legal and moral problem and that company must be either limited or broken up. Monopolies are not natural functions of a free market, they are attempts by elites to subvert free markets. Corporations in general receive their charters from government, along with the protections of limited liability and corporate personhood. They are not a natural part of the economy, they are aberrations created by government. They are children of socialism, not “capitalism”.

If we are to solve the current problem in the long term, corporations must either be regulated or abolished and replaced with classical limited partnerships.  Joint stock companies, as corporation used to be called, were never intended to become permanent power structures within free market societies, and now we are witnessing why.

That said, the danger of monopolies does not only extend to corporations. There can also be such a thing as a political or ideological monopoly as well. When a particular minority of ideologues take over a vast majority of mass communication outlets and actively seeks to squeeze out any dissenting voices so that only one point of view is presented to the public, what else do we call this but a monopoly?

I see where the cancel culture is going and it is quickly going to a very ugly place. While google’s removal of ad revenue from conservative websites like Zero Hedge is a legal grey area, the attacks will eventually go far beyond monetization. One day soon, I predict there will be an attempt to influence website host providers to remove “offending” sites altogether. One might argue that handing government the power to nationalize the internet would help to protect free speech, but I doubt that. Government is run by the same ghouls that are funding the social justice cult. Why should we trust them to police the web fairly?

The political left is not only asserting control over speech on the web, but also pushing restrictions in major population centers (to be fair, Trump and his cabinet of elites including Anthony Fauci are also culpable in encouraging medical tyranny). If you lived in a major US city during the first pandemic lockdowns, then you have seen the extreme lengths politicians, mostly on the left, will go to to assert dominance…

The global elites have a different scenario in mind, I think. They certainly want a civil war, but one that they can mold and control on both sides. They are using the left to strike fear into the minds of conservatives and they want us to demand government action as the solution. They want us to push the button on the Insurrection Act and to demand martial law. If we separate and establish conservative strongholds then the temptation to beg for government help will be diminished.

There will be numerous arguments made against this strategy – They will say the cities and high population states are economically essential and leaving will be financially disastrous for individuals. But, if producers are leaving in droves, then they can build an economy anywhere they please. It’s the leftists that need conservatives to feed off of their labor and production; conservatives don’t need leftists for anything. There will be others that claim that when we leave blue states and counties we are abandoning the fight and leaving those places to be completely taken over. I disagree with this mentality. By leaving and forming conservative communities and economies and businesses we are changing the landscape of the conflict. Instead of constantly contending with political obstruction we will be free to actually build something lasting.

This is what the establishment is afraid of; they do not want conservatives to become proactive. They want us to hide in our homes in fear and apathy waiting for someone else to save the day…

Read the entire article at Alt-Market by clicking here.

FEE: 5 Things I Learned Debating the Prof Calling for Ban on Homeschooling

Kerry McDonald of the Future of Economic Education recently debated (video through link) Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet who had called for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. In 5 Things I Learned Debating the Harvard Prof Who Called for a “Presumptive Ban” on Homeschooling she discusses her takeaways from the debate.

On Monday, I debated the Harvard professor who proposes a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. Thousands of viewers tuned in to watch the live, online discussion hosted by the Cato Institute. With 1,000 submitted audience questions, the 90-minute webinar only scratched the surface of the issue about who is presumed to know what is best for children: parents or the state. Here is the replay link in case you missed it.

Last week, I outlined much of my argument against Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet that I incorporated into our debate, but here are five takeaways from Monday’s discussion:

While this event was framed as a discussion about homeschooling, including whether and how to regulate the practice, it is clear that homeschooling is just a strawman. The real issue focuses on the role of government in people’s lives, and in particular in the lives of families and children. In her 80-page Arizona Law Review article that sparked this controversy, Professor Bartholet makes it clear that she is seeking a reinterpretation of the US Constitution, which she calls “outdated and inadequate,” to move from its existing focus on negative rights, or individuals being free from state intervention, to positive rights where the state takes a much more active role in citizens’ lives.

During Monday’s discussion, Professor Bartholet explained that “some parents can’t be trusted to not abuse and neglect their children,” and that is why “kids are going to be way better off if both parent and state are involved.” She said her argument focuses on “the state having the right to assert the rights of the child to both education and protection.” Finally, Professor Bartholet said that it’s important to “have the state have some say in protecting children and in trying to raise them so that the children have a decent chance at a future and also are likely to participate in some positive, meaningful ways in the larger society.”

It’s true that the state has a role in protecting children from harm, but does it really have a role in “trying to raise them”? And if the state does have a role in raising children to be competent adults, then the fact that two-thirds of US schoolchildren are not reading proficiently, and more than three-quarters are not proficient in civics, should cause us to be skeptical about the state’s ability to ensure competence.

I made the point on Monday that we already have an established government system to protect children from abuse and neglect. The mission of Child Protective Services (CPS) is to investigate suspected child abuse and punish perpetrators. CPS is plagued with problems and must be dramatically reformed, but the key is to improve the current government system meant to protect children rather than singling out homeschoolers for additional regulation and government oversight. This is particularly true when there is no compelling evidence that homeschooling parents are more likely to abuse their children than non-homeschooling parents, and some research to suggest that homeschooling parents are actually less likely to abuse their children.

Additionally, and perhaps most disturbingly, this argument for more state involvement in the lives of homeschoolers ignores the fact that children are routinely abused in government schools by government educators, as well as by school peers. If the government can’t even protect children enrolled in its own heavily regulated and surveilled schools, then how can it possibly argue for the right to regulate and monitor those families who opt out?

Of all the recommendations included in the Harvard professor’s proposed presumptive ban on homeschooling, the one that caused the most uproar among both homeschoolers and libertarians was the call for regular home visits of homeschooling families, with no evidence of wrongdoing.

In my remarks during Monday’s debate, I included a quote from a Hispanic homeschooling mother in Connecticut who was particularly angry and concerned about imposing home visits on homeschooling families. (According to federal data, Hispanics make up about one-quarter of the overall US homeschooling population, mirroring their representation in the general US K-12 school-age population.) She made the important point that minority families are increasingly choosing homeschooling to escape discrimination and an inadequate academic environment in local schools. She also pointed out that, tragically, it is often minorities who are most seriously impacted by these seemingly well-meaning government regulations. Writing to me about Professor Bartholet’s recommendation, she said:

“To state that they want to have surveillance into our homes by having government officials visit, and have parents show proof of their qualified experience to be a parent to their own child is yet another way for local and federal government to do what they have done to native Americans, blacks, the Japanese, Hispanics, etc in the past. Her proposal would once again interfere and hinder a certain population from progressing forward.”

Anyone who cares about liberty and a restrained government should be deeply troubled by the idea of periodic home visits by government agents on law-abiding citizens.

Despite the landmark 1925 US Supreme Court decision that ruled it unconstitutional to ban private schools, there remains lingering support for limiting or abolishing private education and forcing all children to attend government schools. Homeschooling is just one form of private education.

In her law review article, Professor Bartholet recommends “private school reform,” suggesting that private schools may have similar issues to homeschooling but saying that this topic is “beyond the scope” of her article. Still, she concludes her article by stating that “to the degree public schools are seriously deficient, our society should work on improving them, rather than simply allowing some parents to escape.”

The government should work to improve its own schools, where academic deficiencies and abuse are pervasive. But it should have no role in deciding whether or not parents are allowed to escape…(continues)

Forward Observer: Expanding the Socialist Insurgency

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer discusses socialist split within the Democratic party in 2021: Expanding the Socialist Insurgency.

One of the more interesting trends we’re watching is the bifurcation of the Democratic Party.

In structure, it’s slightly reminiscent of how the Republican Party broke along the Conservative Inc. establishment and the Tea Party starting in 2009.

Progressive political action committees like Justice Democrats and Courage to Change — the political action committee of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — are running primary candidates against incumbent liberals in a bid not just to unseat the moderates, but to change the political makeup of Congress. There’s a political insurgency being waged within the Democratic Party, pitting establishment moderates against their socialist challengers.

In last week’s livestream, I provided an update on the progress of the Far Left. Justice Democrats candidates, for instance, have won three primaries, lost three, and still have three in upcoming primaries. Jamaal Bowman, endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, is one to watch — an AOC clone from New York trying to unseat Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY).

The failed Bernie Sanders campaign squashed any hope of putting a socialist in the White House next year, and the reaction to Joe Biden has been downright cold. While Sanders has been busy campaigning for socialists in primaries and down ballot elections, Democrats have criticized Sanders for not doing enough to support Biden. Similarly, instead of expending resources to help Biden, socialist outlets have promoted winning locally, too.

By gaining more power at the local and state levels — electing lower court judges and district attorneys, for instance — socialists can do more to form a judicial blockade against what they describe as neo-liberal and fascist policies at the national level.

The argument has proven accurate with regard to the political power exercised by the courts and city councils during the COVID-19 shutdowns and, more recently, the riots and civil unrest. Local politicians can also provide cover for socialist disruption and facilitate the socialist insurgency.

Earlier this month, Kshama Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative political party and Seattle city council member, unlocked the doors of City Hall to allow hundreds of protestors inside.

More recently, professor Frances Fox Piven encouraged the socialist movement to not shy away from violence in local activism. Calling for “a revolutionary transformation,” Piven warned socialists not to “fall on this very narrow path of nonviolence,” and argued that “the violent capacity of the crowd is an important way of defending its ability to exercise disruptive power.”

You may have heard the name Piven before. In the 1990s, Piven and another socialist professor, Richard Cloward, pushed a plan to continually expand entitlement benefits and the welfare system until spending morphed into a guaranteed basic income. It’s well-known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, and has been a moderately successful one, given the growing popularity of a universal basic income.

While the socialist movement builds counter-institutions, militant trade unions, local economies, and autonomous zones — and turns grassroots organizing into social power — its political organizations are expanding representation in Congress and injecting socialists into state and local political positions.

This is yet another sign of how the United States is changing, and is another indicator that socialist success has staying power. As they rack up political and social victories, the country’s low intensity conflict will worsen.

 

Mises Institute: COVID Lockdowns Crippled the Division of Labor, Setting the Stage for Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Associated Press

Associate Professor Jonathan Newman of Bryan College writes for the Mises Institute about how the breakdown of voluntary participation in the economy created fuel for social disturbance in COVID Lockdowns Crippled the Division of Labor, Setting the Stage for Civil Unrest.

In his podcast, Dave Smith has likened the lockdowns to gasoline and the murder of George Floyd to a spark.

But why were the lockdowns fuel for social unrest? One of the reasons the lockdowns paved the way for social unrest is that they led to a widespread breakdown in the division of labor. This could only result in more conflict and social unrest.

Economist Ludwig von Mises has explained why this is so. In Human Action, Mises presents the division of labor as more than a purely economic concept. Although he certainly expounds the increased productivity attributable to the division of labor, he also heralds it as civilization itself. It is social cooperation and mutuality. He presents it in opposition to conflict and violence. The division of labor is predicated on and also results in peaceful relations between individuals.

Here, I want to discuss the gasoline, and not the spark. Mises.org writers have discussed the spark and the related issues of institutional problems with police departments, police brutality, a breakdown in trust in the police, and police militarization.

What Is the Division of Labor?

The division of labor is just what it sounds like: one person does one job while another person does a different job. In a market economy, these jobs are not assigned randomly, but are purposefully chosen by each individual according to his or her own skills and values. Instead of trying to produce everything we want to consume on our own, we produce one good and offer it in exchange for a variety of goods we prefer.

The ability to consume a larger variety of goods is not the only benefit of the division of labor. Total production increases enormously, such that each individual who participates in the division of labor enjoys a massive increase in his standard of living. The division of labor allows us to emerge from bare subsistence and flourish as a civilization, producing art, writing philosophy, celebrating holidays, and exploring space. These things are impossible for man in economic isolation.

One of the greatest laws of economics is the law of association, which Mises proves mathematically (uncharacteristically) in Human Action. The law of association shows that everyone who participates in the division of labor gains as a result. No one is excluded from this opportunity. Thus,

The law of association makes us comprehend the tendencies which resulted in the progressive intensification of human cooperation. We conceive what incentive induced people not to consider themselves simply as rivals in a struggle for the appropriation of the limited supply of means of subsistence made available by nature. We realize what has impelled them and permanently impels them to consort with one another for the sake of cooperation. Every step forward on the way to a more developed mode of the division of labor serves the interests of all participants. (p. 159)

Unraveling the Division of Labor

The undoing of the division of labor and the social cooperation that it both requires and entails is social conflict.

The market economy involves peaceful cooperation. It bursts asunder when the citizens turn into warriors and, instead of exchanging commodities and services, fight one another. (p. 817)

During the months of government-imposed lockdowns, everybody was prevented from participating in the division of labor as they were accustomed to. Even those who kept their jobs could not exchange goods with those who did not keep their jobs. The entire social nexus was reduced to a small list of government-defined “essential” services. The increase in unemployment is really only a part of the picture of the economic harm caused by the lockdowns. Everybody who relied on the goods and services produced by the so-called nonessential businesses was harmed: consumers, employees, and proximate businesses in the structure of production alike.

Man shall not live by government-defined essential services alone, however. For a short time, and where possible, citizens resorted to black markets and self-sufficiency (which, as we have seen, is hardly sufficient). But a spark and the cover of protests in the streets gave some a chance to acquire goods by theft. These opportunists are aided by additional mayhem like vandalism, violent assault, and arson. Unfortunately, both insufficient and over-the-top responses by police also add to the mayhem, giving violent rioters more opportunity and also poorly reasoned, two-wrongs-make-a-right self-justification for their aggression.

We only have three options for getting what we want: we can produce it, we can take from somebody who has produced it, or we can exchange peacefully with somebody who has produced it. The third option is the division of labor, and it is the only one that involves peaceful cooperation with others. It is also the only option that sustains civilization. Looting, vandalism, assault, and arson are regressive—they are not a means to advance society. They are the unraveling of society and the social harmony brought about by the division of labor…

Peace can only resume when entrepreneurs find it profitable to reopen their businesses. Government lockdowns and violent mobs are data for the entrepreneur’s decision-making process. Mises warns that it can get so bad that civilization crumbles…(continues)

Cato Institute: ‘Defund the Police’ Is a Bad Slogan, but Some Aspects Are Worth Considering

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Michael Tanner at the Cato Institute has an article on how it may be better for different agencies to respond to certain non-violent incidents in ‘Defund the Police’ Is a Bad Slogan, but Some Aspects Are Worth Considering.

As a branding idea, “Defund the Police” may be the worst slogan since New Coke, but as a policy matter, it is something most California communities should consider.

California spends more than $41 billion on law enforcement at the state, county and municipal levels. This at a time when rates of violent crime are at historic lows. Even property crime, which has edged up in some jurisdictions such as San Francisco, remains extremely low.

Of course, no one is suggesting these communities zero out their policing entirely, but it raises questions about local priorities and how police are best deployed.

Law enforcement dispatching records show police being assigned tasks they are not equipped for – wellness checks, mental illness, drug overdoses, dealing with the homeless – on top of traffic accidents and citations. The Los Angeles Police Department’s dispatches throughout 2018 show that only 12% of dispatches were for violent crimes, compared to almost 40% for nonviolent complaints and 38% for property crimes.

Los Angeles’ police dispatches also reveal that, although only a small fraction of the total, almost 10,000 dispatches involved juveniles. Rather than sending police, it seems social workers or others with appropriate training should respond.

Ultimately, police are not equipped to deal with most non‐​criminal issues. Too often, police involvement turns otherwise non‐​violent situations deadly, as in the case of Stephon Clark, whose killing by Sacramento police spurred reforms to California’s police use of force law.

The officers who killed Clark were using a helicopter to track a suspect accused of breaking car windows. While theft and vandalism are obviously wrong, using deadly force and a helicopter to track low‐​level crime suspects can hardly be considered fiscally sound, let alone justice.

This is especially salient when new technologies give police myriad non‐​lethal options – why, then, does California’s default response to so many crimes involve lethal weapons?

Moreover, police response to non‐​criminal calls are more likely to occur in low‐​income or communities of color, which often aren’t equipped to deal with these problems through other mechanisms. This causes ongoing friction between the community and a police force that often resembles an occupying army.

When people talk about defunding the police, they are suggesting that not every domestic disturbance, traffic mishap or truant youth needs to be confronted by someone resembling RoboCop. Mental health professionals and social service personnel – without guns – may well be better suited to dealing with non‐​violent, non‐​criminal situations.

Therefore, what “defund the police” really means is reducing police budgets, while transferring funds, where appropriate, to alternative programs and responses. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for police reform is perhaps closer to the slogan, with funding for health, jobs and other programs paid for by cuts to LAPD’s budget. While the $150 million from police budgets is more than half of the $250 million he is proposing for new programs, it constitutes less than a tenth of the city’s $1.7 billion fiscal year 2019 appropriation for policing.

In recent years, California has made tremendous strides toward criminal justice reform. The state has shifted away from incarceration, and crime remains low. Propositions 47 and 57 seem to be working. And, by legalizing recreational marijuana, California removed one source of over‐​criminalization. The state’s 2019 law reforming police standards for using deadly force is already a nationwide model, although it did not go as far as some reformers hoped. In some ways, California is a model for criminal justice reform nationwide.

Still, the state started with such a severely flawed system that reform is not done. Recent demonstrations are not just a reaction to events in Minneapolis, but to ongoing injustices and disparate treatment across California.

Clearly the police are not going away. Nor should we simply throw money at mental health, education and other social welfare programs without taking a hard look at their effectiveness. But a little police defunding might not be the craziest thing California communities can do.

See also, Intelligencer: Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics

KIMA: Yakima Hospitals Overwhelmed with Covid Cases

From KIMA TV:

The Yakima Health District says Yakima County Hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID-19, and the district is pleading with local people to take the steps necessary to stop the spread.

The release from the Yakima County Health District is below:

As of last night Virginia Mason Memorial had no intensive care or non-intensive care beds available.

There were multiple patients waiting for hospital bed space overnight.

This was after at least 17 patients had already been transferred out of the county.

Several individuals are still currently waiting for available bed space.

Across Yakima County, there were 61 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized, the highest we have seen to date.

Over the past week, all hospitals have reported critical staffing shortages. Many of these shortages are due to staff being out for either having COVID-19, demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms or because they are a close contact to a COVID-19 individual and are now under quarantine.

Not only do we have the highest rate of COVID-19 infections, but as of last night, Yakima County represented 22% (61 of 242) of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Washington State. This was more than King County, the most populous county in Washington State. Yakima County COVID-19 patients also represented 24% (11 of 46) of all ventilated COVID-19 patients in the State, which is the same as King County.

Nearby, the Benton and Franklin Counties health care system is also reaching capacity. “Benton and Franklin Counties are seeing a steady, rapid increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with the number of patients nearly doubling the past two weeks. While hospitals are not overwhelmed yet, if the rate continues, we will exceed capacity quickly.” Said Malvina Goodwin, Benton-Franklin Health District.

Yakima County cannot continue to rely on other counties to absorb patients that need additional intensive care. As our case counts continue to spike after large celebratory weekends, we are seeing hospitalizations also sharply increase shortly after. The entire health care system in Yakima County is exceeding capacity.

Today, as of 3PM we have already seen an increase of 180, one of the largest single day increases of COVID-19 positive cases to date. These numbers will likely be higher when we finish reporting later this evening.

PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

Stay at home as much as possible

Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household

If you must go out, ensure at least 6 feet of distance from others and wear a mask

Wash hands frequently and sanitize common surfaces frequently

If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, get tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours. For testing locations, call 2-1-1.

If you have any symptoms of illness, stay at home and isolate except to get tested. Make sure those you have been in close contact with know they need to quarantine.

Yakima Health District:

“This is the day we have been fighting to avoid for months, when our hospitals can no longer provide their highest level of care because they are overwhelmed caring for patients with severe COVID-19 infection. We have a choice to make today- whether we continue to do what we have been for the last three months and keep watching our neighbors get sick and our local healthcare system break down; or whether we commit to keeping each other safe and healing our healthcare system by avoiding close contact with those outside of our households and masking when we do need to be out. We need to stop having in-person parties, barbecues, large family gatherings, celebrations, and happy hours and figure out how to connect with each other virtually. These adjustments have been made all over the world and have been proven to work to slow the spread of COVID-19. We need to do the same in Yakima and we need to do it now, to ensure the safety of our families. As a community, we have no choice but to come together to protect Yakima County. We must take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that we can provide complex medical care needs to our sick community members. Not just those with COVID-19, but those needing care for any severe illness or injury. We cannot allow our friends and neighbors to die waiting for space at the hospital or waiting to be transferred to another hospital” said Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer of the Yakima Health District.