Government complexity and failure – illustrated in blood

By Nathan Barton

On Saturday the 10th, tragedy struck Moab, Utah.

Intrepid PotashAt the Intrepid Potash Mine (seen above, from Google Maps), down the Colorado River from the popular tourist town, three men were removing a pump. The equipment touched a sagging overhead live powerline.  Instantly, two men died, electrocuted.  The third jumped out of the equipment he was operating, to try to assist them.  His legs and an arm were blown off by the electrical current jumping through his body.  He died in a Salt Lake City Hospital two days later.  (If he had stayed in the vehicle, he would have lived.)

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kristallnacht 80 years later

By Nathan Barton

My apologies to readers and friends, that I overlooked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Pogromnacht of 09 November 1938, just two days shy of 20 years after the end of the Great War, and one of the incidents in Germany leading up to the Second World War.

See the source imageThe Night of the Broken Glass, 09 November 1938.

The shock of this event is remembered to this day.  Back in the 1980s, and still today, streets that had been the scene of vandalism and looting (seen above in an unknown city) were still recognizable, though no longer housing shops owned and operated by Jews, who are virtually nonexistent in Germany today.

Image result for rheinberg
GelderStrasse im Rheinberg, site of formerly Jewish businesses

According to Hitler’s regime, the attacks were not official or organized or supported by government – but government just “stood aside” from the righteous anger of the German folk. The excuse for what was probably a long-planned nationwide assault was the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a Jewish teenager from Poland!

(This sounds very much like the excuse claimed for the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, which was blamed on some strange little movie.)

However, the importance of the events and actions of Kristallnacht for us today (and especially as lovers of liberty), cannot be denied.  We can and should learn from them.

What can we learn?  Some are obvious, but some may not be so clear.

  1. Do not trust government to do what it claims to do: including keeping the peace and preventing, stopping, or punishing criminal activity.
  2. Do expect that even your good neighbors and customers and business associates can be turned against you with enough government (or other) propaganda.
  3. Be prepared to defend yourself, your family, your property – even from those within your community.
  4. When conditions are ripe, any excuse can be used as a trigger for attacks and violence.
  5. Government does not need to take direct action against those it considers enemies of the state; it can and does work through proxies.

Less obvious?

  1. Look for the signs of approaching trouble, as happened with the new gun laws in Germany.
  2. Government seldom obeys its own laws, even as it seeks to push and punish you into obeying those laws.
  3. Government lies as much to those who support it (and whom it supports) as to those it seeks to attack and destroy.
  4. Plan and prepare for government and neighbors to turn against you.
  5. Have at least a Plan B and Plan C for when they turn against you. And especially when your primary plan depends on someone else – even family and close friends.
  6. Remember that those who turn against you – even attack you verbally or physically – may not be doing so of their own volition. They may be forced to do so.

I am sure our readers can add many more, but think a bit about these.

The entire 1930s era is now 80 years behind us, but we can all find similarities.  I think that most people (at least in the Fifty States and much of Europe and the Commonwealth) think that such behavior is long behind us and only a matter of historical interest. But as events in the Balkans in the 1990s and in Libya and Syria in the last decade should remind us, people are people.

It CAN happen here.  Are you prepared?

 

 

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Veterans (Armistice) Day thoughts

By Nathan Barton

20181111 100-yrs

A century ago, a small space in time, the guns fell silent on the Western Front: The Reich had agreed to a ceasefire which amounted to abject surrender with occupation of much of the nation, loss of many lands which had been German in society and customs for centuries, and a prelude to more and more conflict and violence.
Continue reading

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Really? What moves where?

By Nathan Barton

Following the 2018 general elections, the LP headquarters sent out this missive:

Libertarian candidates move Republicans and Democrats in a Libertarian direction

“Opposition in an election affects far more than just vote totals. Candidates react to each other and their messaging changes to capture voter interest. Over and over, electoral races that include a strong Libertarian campaign have proven to move the rhetoric of both Democratic and Republican candidates in a more Libertarian direction. As Republicans worry that a Libertarian candidate will siphon away fiscally responsible votes, Democrats also worry that a Libertarian candidate will attract socially tolerant and accepting votes. Both sides tend to claim that Libertarians are ‘spoilers,’ especially when their vote total exceeds the margin of difference between the others. ‘Do I intend to spoil the election for them?’ asked Lucy Brenton, the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Indiana. ‘Absolutely, and here’s why: something doesn’t spoil unless it’s rotten.’”

While I certain agree with Lucy, can I agree with the LP “staff” on this?

Definitely not.  Certainly not the headline, for the press release itself explains the reason.

The presence of a “strong Libertarian campaign” “move[s] the rehetoric of both Dem.. and Rep… candidates in a more Libertarian direction.”

The candidates play lip service to libertarian principles IN THEIR CAMPAIGN.  They don’t actually DO anything to address issues in a way that promotes freedom, except by accident. And I have no doubt that this year will be no different than past years.  The winning candidates that take office will NOT in any meaningful way take principled positions and actions which support restoration of liberty, and more freedom.

Indeed, those who came closest to losing because a Libertarian candidate “spoiled” the election will double down on ways to neuter the LP (and any other parties except the two old ones).

In other words, the more effect a Libertarian or Constitutional or Natural Law candidate has on an election race, the greater the negative impact on the potential to actually elect such a candidate to office in the future.  Especially in today’s climate.  When the two old parties are constantly ramping up their rhetoric against each other, becoming less civil by the day, they want to clear the potential battlefield of anyone they can.  And if you are not with them, then you are against them. Whatever the issue, whomever the candidate.

Does this mean we lovers of liberty need to get out of electoral politics?  It is a difficult decision, but I am more and more convinced.  The answer is yes.  We need to stop squandering precious hours and dollars on running races that cannot be won and which actually harm the cause of liberty more.

We need to put that time and effort into reaching people one on one and teaching them, and learning with them, to be free.  To isolate NOT lovers of liberty, but lovers of government and control.

Hearts and minds, souls and bodies, are not won by laboriously gathering petition signatures and then fighting to get into debates and fori to advocate libertarian positions. They are won by discussing, with both reason AND emotion, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness one on one and in small groups around a living room or a McDonalds’ table.

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Election day blues, redux

By Nathan Barton

It’s only been three days, so we are all still digesting the election results.

But it is clear, whomever and whatever measures DID win. In the 2018 national and local elections, generally, liberty lost.

I understand that the LP and others are spinning otherwise, but…

There were a few contrary-wise results.  I know cannabis won in three states, including (somewhat to the surprise of many) Utah.  But in everyone of those, the way it “won” was by giving government MORE control, and more money. But the most libertarian measure, in North Dakota, would have made cannabis about as government free as soda or coffee.  And it went down.

In South Dakota, a really nasty “anti-corruption” bill that would have established an awful control regime for citizen lobbyists and another politically-appointed board with super-powers to find and punish “corruption” was killed by citizen votes.  As was a tax increase on tobacco.  And a political ally of Bernie Sanders and the Minnesota accused woman-abusing Muslim Keith Ellison was kept out of Pierre. (Because he is handicapped physically as well as mentally, no doubt there is mourning of his defeat by some.)

Again, we are blessed (as a nation and many individually) that the effective outlawing of oil and gas drilling also was defeated in Colorado. Ending oilfield development in Colorado would have been bad for the economy and for tens of thousands of people: those working in the industry and those buying its products. And Coloradoans defeated tax increases and more debt. But the election still leaves a now-progressive-dominated State government in Denver to come up with more ways to “protect the environment” and crippling the industry – just not as baldly. Colorado is increasingly becoming another California.

Perhaps the best news from Tuesday is that we may “enjoy” two years of gridlock in Congress. Without having to have our stolen money used to finance a reality show called “Impeach the President.”  There will no doubt be a lot of nasty legislation that does NOT get passed because of the intense hatred and loathing so many Democrats (and not a few Republicans) have for Trump.  (And Trump’s disgust for the new Speaker of the House, the wicked witch of the west coast, Pelosi, will no doubt also be a factor.

There is a downside to gridlock, of course. First off, there is (now and then) some legislation that is useful – especially legislation to roll back government mandates and cut spending.  I know, it is a forlorn hope, but you can be sure that the House under Demo domination, will keep it from happening.  Second, the gridlock will be a major issue to whip up the fervor of their partisans for the 2020 elections.  (Which campaign, I suppose, started on Wednesday.)

But those are barely the glimmer of a half-dozen fireflies in a 40-acre field.

Scant consolation for all the states that continue to elect people that want to steal more money and more liberty, and want to get more and more power as they do so.

But that is the way of elections.

The cynic remembers a quote that supposedly came from Mark Twain:

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

(Snopes, by the way, for what IT is worth, claims he didn’t write it. Or say it.)

But the real danger of “democracy” is that people can vote themselves “security.” No, not physical security, although too many of us trust in government forces to protect us, our families, and our property from “bad people.” Even though bad people include many law enforcement types and even more bureaucrats.

I’m referring to financial security: individual welfare benefits, government contracts which are corporate welfare, massive government spending that amounts to subsidizing companies and workers, professional monopolies and restraint on trade by government licensing and more mandates by government.  And more: government-mandated (and funded) insurance for banking institutions, government-controlled interest rates for savings and much, much more. Voting their pocketbooks NOT to keep from being taxed, but to keep the “free government goodies” coming.

People can vote themselves big bucks from government, which either steals money from taxpayers today, or from future taxpayers (by borrowing). It is voting in your own “self-interest” but it is a very unenlightened self-interest.  Call it the grasshopper mentality: everything now.

It is the alliance of the parasites with the controllers.  Again (as expected) to dominate our land for the next two years.

To finish, let me quote Mark Twain a couple more times.  Think about this, next time you talk to someone religious, whether they are a conservative or a liberal:

If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. They would elect every clean candidate in the United States, and defeat every soiled one. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease.

Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Election day blues

By Nathan Barton

As this commentary is posted, “election day” is just hours away.  That is increasingly meaningless, as more and more people use early and absentee voting procedures to cast their vote.  And as hacking methods improve to “massage the vote” as those in power (whichever the wing of the “boot on your neck” party) want.

Still here are a few things to think about as we get ready to pay attention to see who is going to be the shills for Massa and the ruling class from 2019-2021.

Continue reading

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War

By Nathan Barton

In just a few days, on 11 November 2018, we will observe the 100th anniversary of the armistice taking affect at 1100 hours (Central European War Time) of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, which “ended” the hostilities of the Great War. Which we now call the First World War.

Or did it?  The wholesale slaughter of soldiers and civilians along the Western Front pretty much stopped: although there are records of attacks and deaths occurring just minutes before the official end of hostilities, on the Western Front: that horrific area of destruction stretching from the Swiss Frontier all the way to the North Sea.  But fighting, wounding, and deaths continued for weeks and months, around the world.  In a bitter and terrible withdrawal, German Imperial troops pulled back, from those portions of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg which had been occupied during the war.  Dogged by vengeful French, British, and American troops.  And still further back, to east of the Rhein, giving up (at least temporarily) vast lands and vast numbers of people and resources.

The fighting and wounding and killing would continue around the world, but especially in Europe, for years and decades. Some historians simply call the Great War the First Phase of the Global War of the 20th Century. It ended with the collapse of three major empires (German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman (Turkish), the transformation of one (Russian into Soviet), and the expansion of three: French, British, Japanese, and foundation of a fourth (American).

The Second Phase of the Global War included:

  • the Russian Civil War (which would last until 1923 or so) including the fighting in the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine, and Poland
  • the Greco-Turkish and other wars in Anatolia and the lower Balkan Peninsula, including the Armenian genocide, mass resettlements, and more
  • the wars and revolts and occupation of the rest of the Ottoman Empire, involving various Arab, British, and French forces
  • the first wars for control of Canaan (“Palestine”), which would continue into the Fourth and Fifth Phases
  • the wars of Japan for expanding control into the periphery of China
  • the reestablishment of the German Empire (Dritte Reich) with annexation of Austria, and various other expansions

These in turn led to the Third Phase, which included:

  • the Great Asian War between Japan and various warlords in China
  • the Second European War, between Germany and Italy and six nations of western Europe and ultimately the United States and most of the Western Hemisphere
  • the Great Patriotic War between Soviet Russia, Germany, and various allies on both sides
  • the Great Pacific War between Japan and a coalition of the US, UK, and various other allies

This phase ended the German Empire and the Japanese Empire, weakened the British and French, and again killed millions. The conquest of Germany and “liberation” of Italy (conquest), and their eastern European allies, and the surrender of Japan, in turn led to the Fourth Phase, between the winners of the various fronts of the previous Phase:

  • the subjugation of eastern Europe into satellites of the Soviet Union
  • the Arab wars, both internal and against Israel and various Western powers, in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and since
  • the winning of the Chinese Civil War by the Mao-led Communists
  • the Korean Conflict and its half-century-plus ceasefire
  • the failure to expand Communism into Greece, Turkey, Persia, etc.
  • the expansion of Communist China into Tibet
  • the collapse of the British Empire
  • the transformation (considered a collapse) of the French Empire, including its loss of Indochina. (The entire series of Southeast Asian wars from 1948 to 1979 being a result)
  • the collapse of the Dutch, Portuguese, and Belgian Empires
  • the wars between various former parts of the British and other empires, including the Pakistani/Indian wars

However, the Fourth Phase ended with the collapse of the bi-polar world balance, because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and therefore of the Russian Empire, or at least its transformation.  The Fifth Phase, beginning in 1991, is often considered to extend into at least the first decade of the 21st Century, and included:

  • the internal wars (and external meddling) of the Balkans
  • the new independence of the Baltic and eastern European states
  • the overthrow of the Republic of South Africa and its possessions and allies
  • the renewed Islamic offensive war against the rest of the world, coupled with the usual internal Arab and other dar-al-Islam (lands of submission) wars

It is not a pretty sequence of events.

Many historians like to trace it back to the assassination of an Austrian Royal in Serbia. They place the blame (as did the propagandists of 1914 and since) on Imperial Germany. But, some do point out that it was really the intervention of the United States in a primarily European conflict that really produced the worst results. The 1918 Armistice was just a pause and rearranging the props.

So, can we really celebrate what  quickly led to more, massive war that killed even more millions? For most of a century?  That led to exponentially increasing the power of government – not just in the so-called totalitarian governments of national and international socialism, but in the entire world?

Not unless we learn and apply the lessons we can learn from that eleventh hour… in defense of liberty.

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment