Police state? Irma and the Virgin Islands

By Nathan Barton

The first screaming news stories appeared yesterday.  The governor of the US Virgin Islands was sending out the National Guard to grab all the weapons and ammo that his Islands’ residents have, as part of the preparations for Cat 5+ Hurricane Irma. Even the mainstream media was reporting this confiscation, although no doubt with glee.

This morning, thanks to Tom Knapp, there is a  lot more light on the subject, and it might not be quite what the conservative (NOT libertarian) alternative media is screaming.  Tom, in Freedom Net Daily, posted the story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has ordered the territory’s national guard to begin seizing guns and ammunition from citizens in preparation for Hurricane Irma’s landfall. In an executive order signed Monday, Gov. Kenneth Mapp instructed Adjutant General Deborah Howell ‘to take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned mission’ of maintaining and restoring public order. The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission,’ the governor said in the order. The order went into effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.”

Mama’s Note: The “bold” section above is mine. The idea of government enforcers going around confiscating ANYTHING is abhorrent. For any reason. I don’t believe for a moment this would be voluntary, or even friendly. That’s stretching credibility much too far. The word in that order to SEIZE things seems to back that up. Continue reading

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Your friendly local weapons shop?

By Nathan Barton

Trump has announced that his administration is removing the restrictions imposed by the former squatter at 1600 PA transferring military equipment to “civilian” police departments across the nation.

As any of us would expect, the Fifty States are divided in response to this, just as they were in the original restrictions to the 1033 program.  On the one hand, we have civil libertarians and libertarians (such as the Free Thought Project) screaming about the militarization of police and its impact on civil society.  Among other things, there is a list on-line that provides hundreds or thousands of pages of data about what has already been handed out as “welfare” to the nation’s cities and counties.  (See my footnote below for some ideas on that.)

And of course, there were the “law-and-order” and similar groups singing hosannas of praise for “being tough on crime.”  And asking for more.

Fully recognizing that I am going to tread on toes (“Again, Nathan?  You and your rabble rousing!”), I am going to be a contrary liberty lover, and explain why this transfer of military equipment is a good idea. Or at least not the horrific idea so many people condemn it as. Continue reading

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Media and Muslims – whom do we believe?

By Nathan Barton

(Thanks to Marsh for this.)

The Geller Report accuses, with good documentation and justification, the Mainstream Media with spreading a false narrative about how Muslims are THE heroes of the Houston-Harvey cataclysm. Apparently ignoring the “usual” heroes and such politically-incorrect groups as the Cajun Navy and the large number of christian relief groups and volunteers (and huge numbers of private businesses) helping the many victims of the natural disaster, they are pushing the idea that Muslims are demonstrating the love of Allah for others. Even while their photos and interviews and data prove that it is business as usual for the Islamic Society of North America, the US franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I just saw an example of this today on an NBC website with all kinds of pictures of hardworking Muslim volunteers – all sitting around and praying in the middle of the street (I guess to prove that they were Muslims). Just as the pictures in the Geller Report (from Mainstream Media sources) showed a few people being helped in Islamic cultural centers – but oddly enough, all appearing to be Muslims. I have no problem with people prioritizing aid to go to their fellow believers. I do have a problem with the MSM lying about it to paint an erroneous picture to sway public opinion. Continue reading

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The Collective Fallacy & Hurricane Harvey

by L. Reichard White

Which of the following politicians was right about Hurricane Harvey?
I think it would be a good idea to take a few days off, get out of the Houston area.
—Texas Governor Abbott
Getting a bit more serious — so your body can be identified if you don’t evacuate
We’re suggesting if people are going to stay here, mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number …We hate to talk about things like that … It’s not something we like to do but it’s the reality, people don’t listen.
—Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios
On the other hand,
Please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse. No evacuation orders have been issued for the city.
—Houston mayor Sylvester Turner

ANSWER: None of them were.
Do you know why?
If so, you’re well ahead of the pack!
Here’s the first clue — Continue reading

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Your right? Or you’re wrong? Part 2

By Nathan Barton

(See part 1) Sometimes, maybe the standards can change. Often that is because technology and tactics change.  Being allergic to horses used to be a serious problem and would get you down-checked.  Not so much a problem anymore. Once upon a time a soldier had to have near perfect teeth (to tear open the little packages of gunpowder to pour into your musket.  Today you can have a few fillings and maybe even a missing tooth, because you don’t have to load muskets anymore.

There are some things that can be accommodated, and there are some jobs that can accept people with certain problems – but less than you might think.  A military force exists for just one thing, to wage war.  It should be limited to defensive war, but such war is no less physically, emotionally, and morally demanding than offensive war and worldwide interventions.

Robert Heinlein pointed this out in Starship Troopers. Yes, anyone, even a quadriplegic, could volunteer for public service and win citizenship.  But there was no place for being in military uniform that did not come with very stringent requirements that had to be met – and then was tested in training in which many (even most) were washed out. Continue reading

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Your right?  Or you’re wrong? Part 1

By Nathan Barton

Recently, the establishment is resisting the recent announcement by the current Commander-in-Chief that “transgendered” people will NOT be allowed to serve in the military.  This came up the end of August as it became clear that bureaucrats (and bureaucrats pretending to be soldiers) have “suspended” the executive order to discharge currently-serving transgenders and stop enlisting them.

As a lover of liberty, an anarcho-capitalist (who more and more infrequently refer to myself as a Libertarian), who am also serving and have served in the military, I am going to step on a whole lot of toes with this commentary.

The purpose – the legitimate purpose – of the military is to defend the liberties, lives, and property of the community.  Whether that community is a rural district, a town, a city, a state, or a nation (a confederation or union).  Nothing should distract from, or damage the ability to carry out, that mission.

That is why we must discriminate in the military.  That is why the uniformed services, whether they are volunteer “unorganized” militia or paid, professional part-time (Reserve or National Guard) or full-time (Regular) forces – or even privpol (private police) or security or peace officers, are not “equal opportunity employers.”  We cannot afford them to be. Continue reading

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Suppressing our liberties

By Nathan Barton

In These Times (which I believe is a leftist webzine) has an exultant article by Peter Cole about how wonderful the most Tranzi of unions, the Dockworkers et al, just shut down “fascists” in California and were therefore going to teach the entire “labor movement” (itself just a subsidiary of the transnational progressive movement) how to do it.

Let me quote part (thanks to the folks at Freedom Net Daily): “What role should the labor movement play in beating back the resurgence of fascism? Resistance, while a powerful concept, is far too vague. Local 10, the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU, perhaps the most radical union in the United States) demonstrates what can be done. This past week, the San Francisco Bay Area–long a center of unionism, social justice movements and radicalism–took center stage. Patriot Prayer is a right-wing organization with a demonstrated history of inciting racist violence, most obviously in Portland, Ore., while ironically asserting peaceful intentions. The far-right group declared it would rally in San Francisco on Saturday. Local 10 took a lead role in organizing counter-protests that contributed to the San Francisco event being canceled the day ahead of its scheduled event. The union’s role in this wave of popular mobilizations demands consideration.”

Where to begin? Continue reading

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