Liberty is Not an Ultimatum: Bundy and Waco

 

Tuesday evening, January 26th, east Oregon, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, and four other members of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers were driving to a local landowners meeting when they were stopped on the highway by law enforcement officials (LE agencies yet unidentified, justification for traffic stop yet unknown).  Four of the six were taken into custody by the FBI, Ryan Bundy was shot and wounded by LE, and Bundy spokesman LaVoy Finicum was shot dead by LE. Details of the shooting and the condition of the Ryan Bundy’s wounds are unknown.

LaVoy Finicum

LaVoy Finicum, age 55. (photo Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Word is leaking out from the arrested occupy members claiming none of the members in the car drew weapons on law enforcement officials. Presumably they were traveling in one car. Unknown if members were armed.

Media coverage has been light to moderate thus far.  Coverage of this tragic and unnecessary incident can be found here:

http://www.infowars.com/eyewitness-oregon-militiaman-murdered-by-cops-he-had-his-hands-in-the-air/

https://www.oathkeepers.org/breaking-ammon-bundy-taken-into-fbi-custody/

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/27/arrests-death-brings-new-leadership-for-militia-group-in-oregon-standoff.html?intcmp=hpbt1

 

Occupiers of the Refuge remain hunkered down in the Refuge.  Unknown if there are still children in the Refuge building.

Two weeks ago the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN seeks to coordinate patriot groups and Three Percenters in Oregon, Washington, Idaho) and Oath Keepers agreed to provide a security buffer zone between the Wildlife Refuge occupiers and law enforcement during the standoff.  Additionally, they were providing a means of communication between occupiers and LE. PPN claims federal LE officials had made little attempt to provide a means of communication to avert a tragic misunderstanding.

Pacific Patriots Network issued a press release this morning: http://www.pacificpatriotsnetwork.com/

God bless LaVoy Finicum and his family who survives him.  God’s speed to Ryan Bundy’s recovery.

 

I am not a news guy. Reporting sequences and details of events bores me to death. I’m not a reporter; I’m a news/political commentator.  I’m all about informing readers about our Founding principles while playing my small part in galvanizing the American patriot movement to restore those principles.

There is much to learn yet about the details of this tragic incident. It is breaking news at the moment.  Yet, many thoughts come to mind.

First of all, do we not afford EVERYONE including law enforcement officials the benefit of the doubt? Of course. They too are American citizens under the protection of “innocent before proven guilty.” Despite the FBI’s many horrific blunders, let’s not jump to conclusions. We constitutional conservatives are not a lynch mob like the Leftist race-baiters in Ferguson.

Next. Never never never trust the government.  Expect to be lied to, tricked, and double-crossed.  Expect snipers at checkpoints.

Why was Bundy traveling without a security detail? Why wasn’t his travel route recon’d prior to travelling from the Refuge to the neighboring town?  Why wasn’t there a lead vehicle to provide cover in the event Bundy needed to quickly turn his vehicle around?  Was Bundy’s vehicle in communication with the Refuge at the time?  Providing his base of operations real-time info? Why was Ammon and his “second in command” traveling in the same vehicle?

I don’t expect Ammon Bundy or the other ranchers to be savvy about operational security, BUT I have to wonder if PPN and Oath Keepers advised Ammon about travelling.  No one wants anyone to get hurt or killed on either side; everyone on both sides wants to go home to their family happy, healthy, and free.  This is a protest, not a war.  Operational security not only provides tactical preparedness for quick response, it also prevents loss of life!  Isn’t that what we’re trying to do here, if and as long as we can?

Were cell phone video cameras ON and rolling inside Bundy’s vehicle when Bundy saw a road stop ahead?

Where was the discipline in Bundy’s vehicle?  There should be ONE leader in that car, and everyone else should have the discipline to follow. If the leader, presumably Ammon, ordered a stand down in the car, did members of his group have the discipline to comply? It doesn’t sound like it, based on early reports.

 

Now I want to address a related issue. That of issuing ultimatums—patriots issuing threats against the government if/when the government oversteps its authority, particularly in incidents like these where patriots are taking a highly provocative stand.  Here’s a popular one among my patriot brothers: No more free Wacos.

Now, what’s wrong with that?  I’ll tell you.  Patriots don’t issue ultimatums. Ultimatums are for sissies. Ultimatums are for cowards and hostage takers. Ultimatums and threats are issued by people frightened by authority. Issuing an ultimatum is how a weak man tries coercing a stronger man. Issuing an ultimatum is a coward’s way of avoiding resolution—preferring an easy quick way out.

Simply issuing an ultimatum is admission of weakness.  And the thing is, America’s patriots, Tea Party, Constitutional conservatives, III%, and Oath Keepers are 10 MILLION strong! And I mean STRONG—the best armed, best trained, most informed, motivated cusses on the planet. And we’re giving ultimatums??? The government should be giving US ultimatums! The power of the American government rests in us, WE THE PEOPLE!

Furthermore, ultimatums are easy targets.  It’s easy to call a bluff when the dealer is stacking the deck.  In cases when the weaker one is not bluffing, and is willing to stand their ground, it’s very difficult to get supporters onboard at the same time on the same day for the same reason in the same location—it’s very difficult to organize an ultimatum. The very nature of ultimatums work against itself because one is acting from a position of weakness. Ultimatums sound tough, but are ultimately a losing strategy—if you dare do “this” then we will do “this.”

No.  Our Founders didn’t issue ultimatums to Britain.

What we take from the heritage of our Founding is that we issue “redress of grievances,” not ultimatums. What’s that mean? What’s the difference? That means we respond now—act NOW. When the crown or parliament of Britain worked against the liberties of the colonists we immediately took action.  With each escalating violation we escalated our reaction—immediately, peaceably, forcefully, without compromise, while organizing along the way. First we reacted with economic sanctions against Britain, then later in direct defense against Britain’s violent offenses. By the time it came to blows we were well organized across the states.

Our only weakness today is organization and leadership. I am encouraged though by the coalescing of Tea Party groups, Oath Keepers, and state-specific III% groups. Now we need to put faces of LEADERS on these groups and their state chapters.  Not one national face, but 50 state faces.

It took time for our Founders to organize.  We can credit Samuel Adams for his many years laying the ground work uniting state leaders and arousing public opinion to redress grievances against Britain.

So, I hope I don’t see any more ultimatums coming out of the patriot movement.  If we’re going to win this thing, ultimatums ain’t gonna cut it.  It’s time to get organized. The Left is not playing around; they mean business.  They mean to take the rest of our liberties and they are willing to kill to do it. Whether last night’s tragic incident serves as another example remains to be seen.

eStamp

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2nd Amendment is a Criminal’s Right Also

 

The Constitution’s 2nd Amendment protects a criminal’s right to bear arms. Period. Not a popular notion, but true nonetheless.12059512824_bd41066546_n

Presently, federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from buying or possessing a firearm. Sounds reasonable at first glance, but this so-called reasoned compromise is in fact another Leftist program designed to sidestep the Constitution and gradually and methodically disarm Americans.

Federal gun control laws began with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s National Firearms Act of 1934 and Federal Firearms Act of 1938. The 1934 Act was the first to prohibit felons of violent crimes from owning guns. The third federal gun control laws came in 1968 under Lyndon B. Johnson which expanded FDR’s Acts.  No surprise these broad and sweeping federal infringements of our 2nd Amendment rights came under the stewardship of far-Left presidents.

Under the current system the question is: “What constitutes a felony, and who decides?” In criminal law, a crime is classified as either a misdemeanor (minor, low-dollar, or non-violent crime) or a felony (serious, high-dollar, or violent crime.) Felonies carry a wide range of punishment. Generally, a felony carrying a prison sentence of one year or more qualifies as a felony for which a person then loses their right to buy or own firearms, i.e. the felon loses their 2nd Amendment right.

Receiving a misdemeanor verses a felony conviction depends on many factors beyond the severity of the crime including:  prior convictions, state and federal law, plea bargaining, motive, evidence, temperament of the judge, effectiveness of the lawyers, etc.  Fortunately, if a suspect’s actions violate state statutes rather than federal law, the state has the say-so in deciding if the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.

What happens AFTER the felon serves his or her time in prison is what ought to concern all liberty-loving Constitutionalists. After a felon serves his or her time in prison, it is the federal government who has the say-so whether an ex-con can buy or own guns.  Again: federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from buying or possessing a firearm. If you have committed a felony, served your time and completed probation, you cannot buy or own a gun. Any gun. Ever.

There are exceptions. One’s 2nd Amendment rights may be restored or reinstated by the state or federal court if the felony conviction is expunged, set aside, vacated, or pardoned. (See Alana Marie Burke’s article in Newsmax 11-17-2014.)

Who wants ex-cons to have guns anyway, right? You do!  Believe me.

The 2nd Amendment protects a God-given right. An unalienable right—a right that cannot be removed by man, by government, by a court of law, statute, or executive order. A person cannot even remove an unalienable right from themselves by willful 5345113276_d1dcda76b3_naction, decision, or misconduct. Only God can put asunder what He hath joined.

Our God-given rights are an honored and holy privilege, not to be taken lightly, abused, or handled irresponsibly. When would-be criminals use a firearm to commit a crime they break a sacred trust with our Creator and soil the rights our Founding documents codify. The punishment for this type of crime should carry the harshest punishment. (No surprise our Leftist courts do not punish accordingly.) Therefore, when the punishment is meted out, served in full with good behavior, government cannot thereafter take away the ex-con’s God-given rights.

Ridiculous? Think of it like this. When an ex-con walks out of prison a freeman, does the government thereafter remove his right to free speech? No, of course not. Does the court thereafter prohibit the ex-con’s free exercise of religion? No. Do we strip them of right to privacy thereafter?  May we now quarter National Guard soldiers in their home?  Do ex-cons forfeit their right to a jury of their peers ever after? Can other citizens now buy ex-cons and own them as slaves because their felony conviction makes void the 13th and 14th Amendments? Of course not. So too, the government may not infringe the right of free men and women to buy and own firearms.

Furthermore, is not the definition of “felony” flexible? The Leftist courts are always moving the goal post further away from our Constitution. Perhaps tomorrow felonies may include non-violent crimes. Perhaps some day violations of political correctness will carry a felony indictment. What about “hate speech?” Or climate change carbon polluters or deniers? And when that happens and you are convicted of a felony, will you not wish ex-cons could have guns?

eStamp

photo credit: Shotguns via photopin (license)

photo credit: flintlock muskets via photopin (license)

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What is Bernie’s Democratic Socialism?

 

Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders claimsBernie Sanders he is not a socialist, but is a “democratic socialist.” Hillary Clinton identifies herself as a “progressive.” What’s the difference? And what is liberalism? What is communism? Marxism? What is National Socialism, i.e. Nazism?  Answer: they are all sterile blossoms of the same fruitless tree—Leftists. In fact, many of the labels mean exactly the same thing; so, as Hillary likes to say, what difference does it make anyway!

Every nation has a GOVERNING system and an ECONOMIC system. Governing systems determine who has the rightful authority to make decisions affecting all citizens. Economic systems determine who has the rightful authority how goods and services are produced and traded among all citizens.

America’s GOVERNING system was Founded as a “constitutional federal republic.” Our ECONOMIC system was Founded as a “free-enterprise capitalist” system. Tragically, our governing and economic systems barely resemble the sparkling jewel cut 239 years ago, thanks to 100 years of pernicious efforts by the Left. What we have today in America is a governing system more akin to a corrupted non-constitutional national oligarchy. And our economic system is semi-socialist. If you like the governing and economic systems we have today, you are a NOT constitutional conservative.

A political science professor will tell you democratic socialism is a country whose governing system is vaguely democratic in nature and the economic system is socialistic in nature. Decisions are rendered by majority vote of the voters, and decisions in the market place are rendered largely by the government, i.e. elected officials and bureaucrats.

Examining the various nuances between liberalism, progressivism, communism, Marxism, and Nazism will have to wait for another day. Let’s stay focused on Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism.

A nation’s GOVERNING and ECONOMIC systems are intimately tied together. The important thing is HOW the two systems are tied together. In America, our governing and economic systems are tied by a common bond: individual liberty, in which God is the author and authority. Individual liberty binds our governing and economic systems together inextricably.

America’s two systems cannot exist without each other. Our constitutional federal republic cannot live without free-enterprise capitalism; and free-enterprise capitalism cannot live outside a constitutional federal republic. In other words, America dies if it changes to a socialist economic system. A slow painful death.

The economic system of socialism, however, can link itself to nearly every other possible governing system known to man. Like a leach, it attaches itself indiscriminately to and sucks the life out of any living organism. It’s pernicious. Individual liberty, God-given rights, unalienable rights, property rights, free speech, right to bear arms, privacy, habeas corpus, independent and honest money system, etc., have no place in a socialist system—they stand as obstacles to the success of socialist economies.

A socialist economic system and governing system are inextricably linked by governing authority, i.e. man’s authority. Whereby, men of authority calculate, direct, predict, and enforce all aspects how goods and services are produced and how they are traded among all citizens. For “your own good” of course.

Here is the NON-egg-headed-professor explanation of the difference between socialism and democratic socialism:  There is no difference.  They are one in the same. Bernie Sanders is using the term “democratic socialism” instead of “socialism” because it sounds better to American ears. How bad can it be? It sounds reasonable and acceptable to Americans after 100 years of Leftist indoctrination in media, schools, and Hollywood. America is a democracy anyway, right?

Wrong. Let me be the first to give you the bad news: America is NOT a democracy. Never was. Never has been. Our Founders detested and feared democracies. For good reasons.

Bernie Sanders is taking a bold chance Americans—especially the younger—are interested in trying this “modern, evolutionary, and fair” democratic socialism. Let me also be the first to give you more bad news: America is one President away from socialism.

And if you don’t like socialism now, wait, it gets worse. Just ask Europe.
photo credit: Bernie Sanders in Blue via photopin (license)

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