Wyoming still lets “law enforcement” steal from travelers

By Nathan Barton

In the old days in England, people had to put up with “highwaymen” – armed robbers who would come upon unsuspecting travelers (on foot, horseback, in carts or stages) and order them to “stand and deliver.” Often these were ex-soldiers (or even officers or nobles) on the wrong side of the latest civil war or out of favor in court.

In medieval Europe,  you had “robber barons” who had castles that controlled key transportation chokepoints (bottlenecks).  Gorges on rivers, fords across rivers, good landings, mountain passes, or even gates in walls. Holding their lands in fief from higher nobles or the local king (or emperor), these nobles would charge “tolls” or “import and export duties.”  And often with suitable pretext (wrong religion, wrong loyalties (and gang colors), wrong expression on the travelers’ face) just steal everything the traveler had.  Sometimes including their lives.

In the 1870s, there were robbers along the trails connecting the Black Hills of Dakota and Wyoming with the UP Railroad in Nebraska and Wyoming.  The robbers are best known for holding up stages, especially those carrying mined gold from the camps in the Black Hills.  But they also held up individual travelers, wagon trains, and other groups.  There were both white criminals and Amerind raiders. Anything carried was fair game, as was the livestock.  The Army, local Sheriffs, and town/city Marshals all worked together to prevent and track down robbers.

This evil tradition continues today – in Wyoming itself.  (And other states.) Continue reading

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1984 Redux?

By Nathan Barton

The United Kingdom, once a land of far more liberty than 95% of the world, has become the poster child for the new “democratic despotism” which (like all forms of involuntary government) seeks to control not just the lives but the thoughts of those under its rule.

“Hate crimes” are defined by the Royal government as: A crime that the victim or any other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity. Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland annually monitor five strands of Hate Crime:

  • Disability
  • Gender Identity
  • Race, Ethnicity or Nationality
  • Religion, Faith or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

“Hate incidents” are “Any incident, which may or may not be a crime, that the victim or any other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.”

Her Majesty’s civil servants (including the police) tell those “victims: “If you think it is, it is. Whatever they call you, call us.

How very “newspeak” this is. Not just the “victim,” but ANY OTHER PERSON can “perceive” any action “to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.” The aspects are NOT limited to just those five categories. Nor is it limited to some criminal activity: some crime or act of aggression against the person. Continue reading

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A baker’s dozen ™ dealing with school murders

By Nathan Barton

A Baker’s Dozen ™ Actions to Prevent, Mitigate, and Prevent Armed Attacks on Schools in The Fifty States

There are constant screams about “banning guns” and raising the age, increasing screening of gun-buyers, and many other measures to “prevent” armed attacks (or at least attacks using guns) in schools. Most of us (and anyone able to reason moderately well without excessive emotion) knows that these will not work. These “solutions” have risen to a crescendo since the Valentine’s Day killing spree in Florida, punctuated by the March 14th nationwide children’s crusade.

However, there are some things which could reduce the threat of armed attacks on and murder in the public schools. Some of these have been discussed and even proposed on a limited basis, others apparently not even touched on: Continue reading

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Should libertarians support “New California?”

By Nathan Barton

Eagle Rising, a conservative website, has an article discussing and applauded efforts of “rural” California attempting to secede from the core urban areas of the Golden State.

A lessening in the size and power of the People’s Republic of California and its irrational government and people is a good thing, right?  My wife has relatives in true Northern California (NOT the Bay Area) who for years have endured the tyranny of Sacramento and its supreme soviet controlled by the progressives of the Bay Area, Ellay, and other hotspots of liberalism.  The Western States – and even liberal Oregon and Washington – are filled with refuges from the galloping socialism, political correctness, and irrationality of California.

But not so fast, folks.  Read the article and the extracts of New California’s “Declaration of Independence.” Although it looks good: less government, less taxes, less bullying, less social engineering. When you start going through the articles and the press releases, and the pamphlets, it appears that “less government” is at the bottom of the list. One of their grievances seems to be that in some things, there is “not enough” government.  And that the current California government is not keeping enough control of some people – and not just those who commit crimes by aggressing against others. Continue reading

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Are we all nuts?

By Nathan Barton

Recently, a popular conservative political website interpreted a recent article published by the American Psychiatric Association to say that one in four – 25% – of Americans are mentally ill.  Although not explicit, I can see why they would take the statement that a quarter of all primary care patients have mental illnesses (conditions) even though only a third of those are actually diagnosed.  Since (theoretically and officially) virtually all of us are “primary care patients” (we see a doctor, PA, or nurse about something now or then, even if just a check-up or a flu shot), the one-in-four number rings true.

And consider: unlike real medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists do not have the entire human race as their potential source of patients. (That is, people who they are paid to serve.) It is only people who have mental (including emotional) problems that are their natural prey (excuse me, natural supporting population).  And even then, they have to compete with religious guides: preachers and rabbis and imams and “pastors” and others.  Much more serious competition than chiropractors and herbalists and holistic practitioners. Continue reading

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The power of words

By Nathan Barton

An acquaintance, “JA” responded recently to a commentary appearing at TheFreeThoughtProject posted by “Matt Agorist,” (clearly a nom de plume), headlined “State Congress Passes Bill to Confiscate Legal Guns from All 18-20-year olds.”

JA wrote:

Matt, while I agree with the content of your recent article on “TheFreeThoughtProject” regarding the Illinois legislature, you destroy about 95% of your credibility by using (or allowing to be used) the headline “State Congress Passes Bill…”

The Constitution of Illinois refers to the legislative branch of their government as “The Legislature” (Article 4) and specifically as the “General Assembly” referring to both their Senate and House of Representatives. To my knowledge, the Illinois General Assembly is NEVER referred to as a “Congress” in any legal document nor in general conversation or writing.

To do so, even just in a headline, makes you seem to be several things which you ARE NOT: you are not ignorant, you are not careless with words, and you are not careless about researching what you write about.

I cannot share your otherwise good commentary with anyone who is politically astute, as it would present you in a bad light and negate, even if subconsciously, your reporting and logic. Please change it. Continue reading

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Redefining the media (Part 2)

By Nathan Barton

I have generally distinguished between media differently. (Part 1) First, there is the mainstream media (MSM), with such things as the WaPo, USA Today, New York Times and other major dailies, the “networks” of radio and TV (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and NPR/CPB), and the traditional magazines (Newsweek, US News, Time/Life, National Geographic, etc).  Then there is the alternative media: the blogs and webzines and news websites not associated with the MSM: the Breitbarts WND, and InfoWars and even TheBlaze and such.  Sometimes the lines are hard to draw: Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest are on MSM radio and sometimes even TV, and publish magazines.

But I’ve left out, due to personal distaste in part, such things as Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, and even Pinterest and Picasa and other visually-oriented sites.  Yet I am told that more and more of the people in this nation get their news through these sources. As well as the 60-second (if that) bursts of news and weather and sports from their local AM and FM music radio stations – pop, “country-western,” rock and even (for the right set) classical music stations (usually NPR/CPB affiliated). These are more and more prominent in people’s lives, and more influential. Continue reading

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