Wartime – Peacetime

By Nathan Barton

More and more of the world has fallen into a state which can be considered either wartime or peacetime, depending on your view, your opinions, and a lot of other factors.

We see it now in Canaan, on both the Gaza and Israeli sides of the line. We find it in Venezuela, especially in recent weeks.  It is the typical state of affairs in the United Mexican States, Iraq, Libya, Sri Lanka, and many other places.  At times it can even be said to be the condition in places like France and Turkey and Zimbabwe. And then of course we have Ukraine, and some of the Russian republics.

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The growing horror of “public schools”

By Nathan Barton

In Sweden, according to the Daily Mail, a new apocalyptic cult has taken over public schools, promoting groupthink and bullying.  It is very reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984 in many ways, with its Daily Hate and regimented life. One bullied student, refusing to go along with the rest of her class, has made international news.

You may have heard of Greta Thunberg, the 15-year-old Swedish prophet of global warning catastrophe, kind of a junior version of New York’s beloved Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is described by the Mail:

Greta Thunberg is a climate activist with Asperger syndrome who rose to international fame for her weekly ‘school strikes’ outside of the Swedish parliament house. Hundreds of thousands of students in over a hundred countries across the globe have followed the young girl’s example.

This teenager’s followers in a Swedish public (government-run, tax-funded) school derided the “climate denier” for refusing to participate in their school strike. This is very similar to the sort of cultism we find in middle and high school students right here in the Fifty States.  And a mild version of what we find on college campuses today.  It is not just global warming (aka climate change) that triggers such fanaticism in the schools.

We see the same groupthink and forced participation when it comes to promoting socialism, fighting fascism, demanding gun control, fighting racism, combating sexism, demanding abortion, pushing for trans-sexual rights, and more.  “Progressive” causes all.

The students do more than just conduct strikes that have nothing at all to do with legitimate grievances about living or working conditions in the schools, or even about the school curriculum or abusive teachers.  In addition to the protests and strikes, they attack (sometimes physically) students, teachers or professors, and guest speakers who do not slavishly agree with their current cause. They use these things to make demands of the community, their society, or their governments.  Or even other societies and governments.

And it is not just the students.  The situation in Sweden was triggered and made worse by the behavior of the bullied student’s teacher, and defended by the school administrator. What we find is that the school faculty and administration – at least as a whole – actually support and encourage the strikes, the protests, and the attacks.  Even against their own members and their own institution.

Stateside, the Evergreen State University in Washington State is a well-known example of how education at any level is damaged and even thwarted.  The priority is not teaching but activism; turning students into mobs that turn on their fellows and seek to pull down not just their fellow students, not just their institutions, but society.  And especially liberty and the rule of law.

Why is this happening? Clearly, the three-generation-long effort on the part of the radical statists (the national, international, and transnational socialists, in particular) – the so-called leftists – to fully control the Fifty States’ education system is bearing fruit.  Ripe and indeed overripe. The statists, whatever they call themselves, dominate the education system completely.  Not just the public schools (those that are government-run, tax-funded), but the private schools as well.

How did they do this? By working through government.  As far as I know, there are only one or two private colleges or universities which do not accept (directly or indirectly) government funds. Federal, state, local, tribal. (One of those is Hillsdale, or so it claims. College of the Ozarks may be another.) They accept government funds by way of student loans and grants and scholarships, and directly through research grants and food programs and other education financing.  And with the money comes the strings. Lots of them: Title IX and and every other sort of rule and regulation to prohibit any form of discrimination – both of students and staff.  Every sort of restriction on what can (or even must) be taught.

Another way is the “academic community” – the “scholars” that consider themselves the elite of both nation and planet. The academic community has always been “progressive” and “liberal” and “skeptics” and in search of power, directly and indirectly. Both in public PS-12 education and the university system as developed in Europe in the Middle Ages. This means that each generation of faculty is a bit more (or a lot more) “liberal” (and “liberated”) than the last.  Those who do not play the game by the rules are blacklisted, and never rise in the hierarchy.  It is much like we find in the Roman Catholic (and other) Churches. Each generation builds on the power and the “accomplishments” of the last.

For that matter, it is much like government itself: power builds on power.

And in turn, the succeeding generations of graduates are more and more molded into what the faculties and educrats want. Each decade, the student bodies are pushed more in the direction of radicalism, activism, and – inevitably – poorer and poorer education, because real learning is increasingly pushed aside.

Until something happens.  A revolution, or an invasion and conquest, or a collapse.  Not just of the education system, or of the government, but of society.

It seems that we must be nearing that point now, not just in the Fifty States or in the West (Europe, the Commonwealth, and North America, in particular). At a time when we need more and better educated people, the schools are producing people who are increasingly unable to reason, to learn and practice technical skills, and to discipline themselves.  Our technology and opportunities are better than at any other time in human history. But it seems as though the fraction of people able to seize those opportunities is shrinking.

Thanks in large part to schools.

 

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Roman Catholicism and liberty

By Nathan Barton

In the most recent (June 2019) issue of The Atlantic, a former Catholic priest penned the cover story, “Abolish the Priesthood,” arguing that “To save the Church, Catholics must detach themselves from the clerical hierarchy—and take the faith back into their own hands.”

Now, Nathan, you ask, what does this have to do with the price of liberty? Or of a cup of coffee?  Pray, read on.

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Will they never learn? Laws often do not work

By Nathan Barton

I first heard of the so-called TRACED Act co-sponsored by Senators Thune and Markley, a week or so ago. It just passed the US Senate 97-1.

I have studied it and looked at some analysis, and I think it very clear that it will not do anything to stem the tide of spoof, spam, and robo-calls which is wrecking our communications system with billions of calls a month.  And I have a personal and vested interest in these little packets of joy.  We receive one to two DOZEN each day on average, including weekends.  Since we have a business, we don’t have much choice, usually, about answering a call, even from an unlikely location.  We can’t add hundreds of numbers to our “don’t accept” list with our phone providers, and we’ve actually spent hours with our carriers to try and fight it.

Scams, nationwide, account for 49+ percent of robocalls, but the other 50+ percent are legitimate (if sometimes unwelcome): reminding people of appointments, of late payments, and telemarketing. (In my experience, most telemarketing calls are “legit” even if real annoyances. Although too many telemarketing calls are political in nature, which is even more annoying.)

The bill, as usual with government efforts, does not do anything that will truly curb the epidemic, and includes provisions that penalize legitimate businesses who use robocalling for legitimate purposes. It requires that telecom companies verify claimed phone numbers, which requires a lot of equipment and programming, and costs time and money. (And guess who gets hit with the additional costs?)

It requires technology, but everything that is required almost certainly contains ways to work around them, from brute force (buying a lot of phone numbers), to corrupting the very equipment and software developed to make it EASIER to make robocalls and spoof calls. Thus making the plague worse.

It makes various things illegal.  Assuming that the scammers, some of the telemarketers, and of course the politicians really care about obeying the law.

It increases penalties for those convicted of illegal calls.  Assuming of course that you can FIND them and prosecute them – and win.  And of course, assuming the perps to even be located in the Fifty States.

The senators and their staffs also just don’t get it.  Thune, who is almost 60 himself, talks about “seniors” who are not tech savvy – never mind his own skill and age. He and Markley pretend to believe that dishonest people and criminals will voluntarily stop doing something just because it is now illegal.  They also pretend to believe that companies in a crunch, (and frustrated because of the poor service their legitimate customers get due to robocalls) can be conscripted to suddenly come up with solutions just because  there is now a law.

As we are finding out in social media, automatic filtering of calls and messages has some really bad downsides.  And the filters can be coopted by those who do not want us to communicate with people that we WANT to talk with – about religion, politics, or guns, for example. In addition, it backfires.  Some of the spoofing calls I’ve gotten over the years appeared to come from phone numbers of people that I actually know.  Just because I get a call from 605-555-xxxx that is trying to get me to pay a bogus tax bill, does not mean that I don’t need to answer the next call from 605-555-xxxx which is one of my supplier’s phone numbers!

So what can be done?  If the laws don’t work, and we can’t depend on current technology, and the ISPs and telecoms are stymied?  What can we people do? We who are interrupted constantly to hear automated voices tell us about our Google listing or our free vacation from Marriott, or whatever it is that Cardholder Services wants us to do.  And we who are interrupted by people with strong Pakistani or Nigerian-accented English who tell us our computer is compromised, or our Social Security account has been frozen, or the IRS is sending the local police to arrest us?  Or who get calls from people with cultured British voices who want us to invest in fine wines?

First, we can use common sense to evaluate all calls and (a) decide which to answer, and (b) choose which to answer and immediately hang up on.

Then we can warn (again and again) our naive relatives and friends about the latest versions of Nigerian scams and phony IRS calls.  If there were not enough people FALLING for these scam calls that the scammers and spoofers are living well off their “contributions,” the attraction and volume would drop off.

Third, we can look for and find technology under OUR control that can help us filter and deal with these things. So that the systems can’t be used against us. Remember that we already have a great deal of technology help.  In the days before caller ID (especially on cellular phones), we usually couldn’t tell who was calling without answering.

Fourth, we can stop trusting government to solve problems for us.  We waste an enormous amount of our income on paying for government schemes to “help” us, directly (through taxes) and indirectly (through increased regulatory costs that get passed on to us). Bad as the telecoms can be, we at least (mostly) still have the market and competition working FOR us, and we can vote with our dollars.

And most of all, we can refuse to encourage the scumbags that are doing this calling (whether it is political or commercial or regulatory) by NOT buying what they are selling, either at the store, on-line, or at the voting booth.

But at the same time, I ask readers for their ideas. Eventually, in a climate of freedom and liberty, I am confident that some persons will invent many ways to deal with this mess. Let us encourage and reward those who are trying to do so.

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A call to arms – Never Again!

By Nathan Barton

This video by Holocaust Survivor Dev Marhoffer is very worth sharing, and I urge you to do so.

It is sickening, as Mr. Marhoffer points out, that this vital battle cry has been polluted and twisted by those who WANT the government to have all the guns.  Who do not understand what that meant in 1930s and 1940s Europe. Or in Cambodia, or Uganda, or elsewhere.  And worse, who DO understand but want that possibility to happen in today’s world. Beyond Venezuela, where it apparently has already happened again.

I have known a few Holocaust survivors, and those I knew (who settled in the Great Plains and Black Hills) agreed with Mr. Marhoffer.  Many have fought hard to preserve and reestablish the G-d-given right to keep and bare arms in states like South Dakota, Colorado, and elsewhere.  But those who hate guns (hoploclasts) and fear guns (hoplophobes) (at least in other than “government hands”) are strong and really pushing hard right now.

Today’s JFPO is a far cry from Aaron Zelman’s organization, but still does play a useful role in producing information like this.  However,  The Zelman Partisans seek to and do carry on his uncompromising work.  Check them out. Although their orientation is Jewish, they welcome others to join with them.

Please feel free to share this video link and information!

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Rites of passage

By Nathan Barton

Almost all organizations have certain rites of initiation, requiring people joining to do certain things.  Sometimes, it is just a membership fee or dues, or even just identifying with the group.  Other times it is an elaborate process of applying, being vetted, being approved, and then formal rituals to become members.

This is especially true of gangs, which virtually always have complex processes. These often involve a great deal of pain (to the initiate and also others), humiliations, and demonstrating agreement with the group’s philosophy and objectives.

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What is freedom? What is liberty?

By Nathan Barton

Many of our readers may be familiar with this statement of John Milton, the English poet of the 1600s, an important influence on our American Founding Fathers:

The whole freedom of man consists either in spiritual or civil liberty.

Actually, I believe that it is necessary for human freedom to have BOTH spiritual and civil liberty. While it may be possible (for a short time) to have one without the other,that is an unstable (and immoral) situation. Whenever one exists, it inevitably leads to a situation where people seek both.

I also think that “civil liberty” does include economic liberty and not just “political” or “social” freedoms.

But let us consider another quote today as well.

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