November 3, 2019

Undead Attackers

A recent opinion piece from retired Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven highlights the threat to liberty posed by a standing army, career general or flag officers, and the other high-level bureaucrats that helm them in service to the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

The framers of the American republic knew that military leaders have always historically been the ones that march their armies home after brutal campaigns to establish dictatorships over their fellow citizens.  For this reason, the US Constitution was specifically drafted to prevent a permanent military bureaucracy with career officers from arising.  

Rather than relying upon notoriously wasteful bureaucracies, the security of a free state requires the whole body of the people be trained to arms, organized, and disciplined to execute the laws, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections.  Yet now, despite draping themselves in flag waiving platitudes, retired and active military flag officers use their status to undermine the foundations of self-government.

Men Of System

Unfortunately, the United States, and most other nations around the world, have gotten accustomed to having their security provided by a bureaucratic class of tax funded, full-time, standing armies even though they go by a variety of different names. 

Whether they are called self-defense forces, militaries, regulatory agencies, homeland security departments, or environmental protection agencies, when you look at it transactionally, as we should as students of political economy, you come to realize that the name really doesn't matter.  It's how they're funded and how they are managed that determines their function.

The founders of the United States understood that standing armies are antithetical to liberty and the security of a free state.  They, therefore, designed a system of government aimed at securing justice without surrendering liberty because, as Benjamin Franklin rightly pointed out, when you surrender liberty in exchange for security you wind up with neither one. 

Nowhere is in this on greater display than in the realm of military generals and flag officers, both active and retired.  Even once they leave active service they are still a part of an elaborate mechanism built entirely by extracting resources from taxpayers.  We can add to this category the civilian equivalents in the Senior Executive Service at the helm of massive federal agencies.

What is worse is that they are truly what Adam Smith called in his seminal The Wealth of Nations a ‘man of system’, conditioned over a career to act in accord with a bureaucratically managed and politically driven institution, to expect resources, privileges, and grandeur to flow to them merely from their status as military officers.  Even more so, they come to expect society to be regulated as though everyone and everything were subject to similar regulation.

Let’s take as a case in point the recent op-ed by retired Adm. William McRaven where he claims the president should be replaced “the sooner, the better”.

Now McRaven at one time was someone I considered a shining star.  I used to think very highly of him.  In 1995 he had his masters thesis from Naval Post Graduate school published as a book on special operations case studies.  Yet now he's writing Op-Eds claiming the president, because of the withdrawal from just a small sliver of America’s ongoing foreign misadventures, somehow threatens the republic. 

McRaven is dead wrong and glossing over reality with appeals to American values, the bravery of service members, or being the global good guys cannot cover up the real threat to the American republic posed by the permanent military establishment of which he is a part of.

A Brief History of Tyrants

It is a dangerous trend to have general officers and admirals that want to topple the existing political order.  That is exactly how Julius Caesar became dictator of Rome.  Caesar was a military general and came home from campaign to bring order to the Roman Republic through the consolidation of power and it was all downhill from there.

We can also see the fomenting of, and then capitalizing upon, crisis to centralize control and establish a permanent military dictatorship several times in the history of the samurai.  In fact, the entire thousand years of samurai history can be characterized as a series of crisis, consolidation, and decay of dictatorial regimes. 

The story of shoguns is a repeatable pattern of leading generals taking control of the political order for themselves to establish a monopoly on the use of force and decision-making.  Even though it may have been done in the name of the Emperor the actual day-to-day affairs and control of resources was handled through the shogunate. 

So, it is all about provoking disputes and then settling them to their own advantage, as professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe rightly points out in “The Paradox of Imperialism”.

The main issue for the new regime, then, becomes one of preventing the rise of any challengers by instituting certain oaths, honor codes, ceremonial obligations, and bureaucratizing society with regulations to ensure that no other competitors would have the financial wherewithal to present challenges to their rule.  In this way the monopoly security provider insulates themselves from competition and, simultaneously, from any discipline imposed by consumers that would otherwise take their business elsewhere.

It’s for this reason that we can use the tools of political economy to diagnose this monopoly status on the use of force as the root of all evil, from the standpoint of the citizenry taxed to pay for it, and, from a security standpoint, it is the beginning of stagnation that leads to both greater injustice and public insecurity.

This is on full display when we look at the era of the Tokugawa shogunate.  To maintain control they closed off the entire country to foreign trade, with a policy of “sakoku”, which literally means a country in chains.  They bound people into a rigid class structure and prevented social mobility, particularly restricting anyone from entering into the business of security production; all in the name of maintaining order and, as the great economist Friedrich Hayek indicated, stabilization is chaos.

When it comes to social and economic matters, as an authority tries to lock people into rigid hierarchies, that don't fit or meet their needs, it sets up a collision course for social strife, conflict, and human immiseration.   

In the Japanese experience, after 250 plus years of uncontested rule, the Tokugawa shogunate crumbled under its own weight as it became inept, debt laden and bankrupt, and no longer able to meet the security challenges of the times, particularly when Commodore Perry showed up in Yokohama Harbor with his black ships to demand that the country open to trade and provide coaling stations for American ships on their way to China.

The shogun was unable to repel that invasion and ultimately had to sign Unequal Treaties with western imperialists that ceded Japan’s sovereignty and, ultimately, ended the Shogunate as a failed protector.

The Liars' Club

In the American case, we have to start looking at general officers and flag officers as a threat to liberty.  The late Col. David H. Hackworth wrote a great book, About Face, detailing his experience with the inept military bureaucracy during the Vietnam War.  Hackworth wrote that any officer above the rank of O-6 is a member of what he called The Liars Club, meaning to make it above Colonel or Navy Captain requires touting the party line no matter how absurd or destructive it may be, no matter how many lives or tax-dollars it may cost.

I think now, after 18 years of constant war following the 9/11 attacks with ill-defined objectives and what amounts to an un-winnable global campaign against a tactic, coupled with the speed of communications technology and social media, that militaries are much more politicized.  What a private or corporal does in Afghanistan or, for example, in a prison for low level captives in Iraq, reaches headline news almost instantly.  Defense Secretaries and even Presidents may be required to answer for these actions in the international spotlight.  

I would suggest that now even not just flag officers and general officers but officers of much lower rank have to join the Liars Club in order to rise in that environment.  Further, to keep the farce that is the Global War Of Terror afloat the lies have to go deeper.  Convincing the world, particularly tax-payers, that entangling alliances and expensive globalist institutions are necessary for “international stability” also requires a thick tapestry of lies.  The web of deceit is much more tangled now, in the post 9/11 era, and needs to be in the internet age where near instantaneous fact checking is possible.

So, officers need to toe the line in order to make rank and elevate their status, however the problems are even more deeply rooted by way of conditioning.  To reach that level in the first place they are institutionalized over a career to look first toward following regulations and complying with directives rather than making logical decisions.  They become, first and foremost, bureaucrats rather than professional warriors.  

Bastions Of Socialism

What gets lost in all that is consumer demand and the actions that are actually good for the people that they are supposedly protecting.  Bureaucracies, by their very nature invariably transform from serving the purpose for which they were created into an organization primarily interest in perpetuating its own institutional imperatives, which always include more financial resources and authority. 

And make no mistake: the Department of Defense and the military services are first and foremost bureaucratic organizations.  Ludwig Von Mises’ outstanding book on bureaucracy provides the right analytical tools to understand the nature of these bastions of socialism and their effects upon society.

The interests of the bureaucracy become more important than the purpose for which they were established because they are not guided by the price mechanism, consumer demand, or disciplined by market forces.  They have to look to artificial signals to guide their actions.  Again, regulations and directives as well as how the political winds are blowing, become more important to military bureaucrats than the actual purpose of providing security and, because tax funding means a steady stream of revenue to sustain their operations, they have no interest in being efficient or directing resources to their highest valued ends.

The money just shows up every two weeks so there's no incentive to condition their behavior, or their expenditures, in a way that will satisfy consumer demand with efficiency. 

Privileges Prone To Abuse

McRaven went to college with the ROTC program and became a Navy SEAL soon after commissioning.  He served with the counterterrorism unit SEAL Team 6 but was driven out by the founding commander, Dick Marcinko, who said although McRaven was bright he was too rigid, conventional, and took the “special” out of special ops.  

Marcinko, of course, wound up having his own problems with abusing the tax dollars entrusted to him.  He would go to prison immediately after retiring for embezzling funds through contract fraud with equipment vendors.  In essence he was getting kickbacks for lucrative contracts channeled toward vendors he had made special arrangements with.  This is just one of many privileges military bureaucrats enjoy while influencing the contracting process. 

I know from my own experience within the military industrial congressional complex how to write a request for proposals in such a way that only a preferred vendor will get the contract despite all the nonsensical bidding regulations made in the name of fairness.  All those regulations should be viewed as an unnecessary deadweight loss to the tax-paying consumer of these national defense services.

Cheerleaders For Tyranny

Still, McRaven’s statements speak for themselves.  He, along with several other retired general officers, have advocated federal gun control measures.  Taking from a February 2018 article on Vox, retired General Martin Dempsey and Adm. McRaven tweeted support for the students agitating for stricter control measures following the attack at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Retired General, and former CIA Director, David Petraeus co-created a gun control advocacy group aligned with former democrat politician Gabbie Giffords called Veterans Coalition for Common Sense in 2016.  Another 20 year Marine Veteran named Joe Plenzler, associated with #VetsForGunReform claimed in the same article that civilians shouldn’t necessarily be entitled to own and operate military-grade weaponry.

This is where we see how an unofficial caste system is being imposed in a society where the rule of law was intended to be universally applied to everyone under a contractual arrangement known as the Constitution.  No one was supposed to be above the law and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Yet here we see an expectation that certain kinds of weaponry are supposedly reserved to the exclusive use of the standing military bureaucracies. 

Securing a Free State

This is not how it was supposed to be, nor does it need to be any longer.  The Constitution clearly states that the militia, composed of the whole body of the people except for a few public officials, with officers chosen from among themselves, are responsible for executing the law, repelling invasions, and suppressing insurrections.  For this reason, Congress has the duty of arming, organizing, and disciplining these necessary civic institutions for service to the union.  This is the real reason the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

What kind of arms?  Those suitable for executing the law, repelling invasions, and suppressing insurrections.  There is no such thing as “military grade” in the Constitution.  Militaries existed at the time the Constitution was being drafted and a permanent military bureaucracy was rightly considered antithetical to liberty at the time, even by those officers enamored with conventional European model military organizations, like George Washington.

Calling For A Coup

Former state department Foreign Service officer Peter Van Buren wrote that McRaven was essentially calling for a coup to take down the elected president of the United States because of the disruptions being caused to the deep state.

Van Buren wrote “Sure.  McRaven is not ordering Seal Team Six into action today.  But go ahead, convince yourself he isn’t laying the groundwork, or at least trying to remind people he could…The frightening thing is McRaven's literal call to arms does not occur in a vacuum…McRaven feels that the nation might need to call on its military to intervene…Don't dismiss his op-ed too quickly.  Consider it instead…timely.”

Timely indeed, considering also how poor the state of Democratic Party contenders are for the 2020 presidential election.  The desperation of the left is thoroughly palpable and the potential for a charismatic, decorated war hero, thoroughly aligned with the deep state and globalist institutions, like the Council on Foreign Relations, to emerge as a dark horse savior is well within the realm of possibility.

McRaven would likely welcome the call to bring order to the weak and chaotic field of challengers to the current administration, harkening back to a retired general George Washington returning to serve as the first President and lend his credibility to the newly formed republic.  These guys live for such occasions to rise to, and it’s their sole claim to fame.

Princes Of Propaganda

Retired General Stanley McChrystal is another career bureaucrat looking to subvert the Constitution.  He penned an editorial for the New York Times in 2016 stating that home should not be a war zone and called for greater gun control, even going so far to implore other veterans to join the Gabbie Giffords Veterans Coalition for Common Sense.  He saw no irony in asking other veterans to join his campaign even while citing the Constitution and the Second Amendment. 

This is why the ability to see through propaganda and deception is so important.  The institutions most looked at to uphold the Constitution are best positioned to undermine it.  McChrystal and McRaven are case in point.  They swore their oaths to uphold the Constitution and despite the plain language of the Second Amendment that the right of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed” here we have them agitating to do exactly that.

They are willing to use whatever gravitas heaped upon them by the unwitting public, propagandized through mass media, public schooling, and official proclamations to believe that they are beyond reproach in order to convince the public that giving up liberty will somehow provide security.

Of course home should not be a war zone, yet subverting the republic (where only a few delegated functions of mutual concern are entrusted to government) for the mob rule of democracy makes ever increasing conflict and de-civilization inevitable.

See Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s outstanding book “Democracy: The God That Failed” for an elucidation of how democracy is but a retarded variant of communism.  The analytical tools of political-economy are the best way to cut through this delusion, the most important of which is to examine incentive structures. 

In a tax funded bureaucracy the incentives to abuse resources are overwhelming.  Sure, civilization and societies need protection, security is the sole purpose for enacting government in the first place.  Yet, absent market competition and the need to satisfy customer demand, bureaucracies notoriously squander whatever is given to them and in the military sense this includes lives as well as equipment and money.

General officers and flag officers are conditioned over their entire adult lives to expect money, status, and resources to just come to them.  It starts when they enter college.  For McRaven he rode the ROTC scholarship through college and into his commission.  For McChrystal and other military academy graduates they start collecting a stipend as soon as they enter university and the paychecks just keep rolling in until they retire, regardless of performance.  By the time they retire they have entire staffs, drivers, cooks, secretaries, schedulers, and note takers, stepping and fetching for them. 

They have private jets at their disposal and are frequently wined and dined by industry, civic groups, and multinational organizations.  They travel in style and get paid extra for it, which carries with it another unique incentive prone to abuse.

Lifestyles Of The Ruling Elite

Take, for instance, Kip Ward, the first commander of US Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, of all places, and established in 2008.  Ward would schedule a meeting at the Pentagon on a Friday afternoon to justify taking the Gulfstream executive jet across the Atlantic just to drive up to New York with his wife over the weekend and enjoy some Broadway shows before flying back Sunday night. 

Ward ultimately got busted for using his position to enjoy a lavish lifestyle and was demoted from four stars down to three and still wound up with a $200K per year pension.  This is just one example yet it illustrates the self-aggrandizing mentality these supposed civil servants wind up with. 

Remember, McChrystal got fired from his job in Afghanistan by speaking ill of then President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden in front reporter Michael Hastings.  This bragging eventually made its way into Hasting’s book The Operators that turned into a movie with Brad Pitt showing the absurdity of the war in Afghanistan.

Having been there and being blown up supporting ground combat operations in Afghanistan, I recommend you watch the Vice documentary (from back when Vice was cutting edge and not the socialist propaganda outlet it is now): This Is What Winning Looks Like.  It shows just how much a waste of time, money, and lives the Afghan Campaign is.  Watch it and you’ll understand how the liar’s club works.

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    Yet these generals and admirals have had to play it straight and pretend like the war on terror was something real and actually in the service to the security of the United States, when in fact, after 18 years, no military objective has been achieved and anyone looking clearly at the issue can see that there is not military solution to the problems there.

    The forever war has only turned into a major cash cow.  This is not only for the military bureaucracy, not only for these admirals and generals that have made their careers saying: if you just give us more money, more manpower, more authority, and more equipment we can keep the fight going.  And, somehow, it's necessary to protect the ‘homeland’ to be deployed overseas, engaged in in a global campaign, trampling every other country’s sovereignty in order to security the sovereignty of the United States.

    Of course there's a major military-industrial congressional complex that wants to keep this thing going and is willing to say whatever is necessary to keep the gravy train rolling.  This harkens back to the original strategy manual, that everyone should consult, which is Sun Tzu's The Art of War (or Sonshi in Japanese) which begins with: all war is based on deception.

    We can couple this with Carl von Clausewitz's book, Vom Krieg (or On War) which clearly indicates that war is politics by other means.  Politics and war are functional equivalents.  Therefore, all politics is based on deception.

    All Politics Is Based On Deception

    Politics, when observed through the lens of political economy, is also a subsistence strategy or a way of making a living through coercion.  Contrast this with economic means, by which we trade with one another produce value an exchange on a voluntary basis creates wealth.  Economic transactions contribute to human flourishing because each party to that trade voluntarily gives what they have to get what they want.  In economic means, people have to find agreement with other human beings.

    Economic means to create wealth or to create a livelihood actually enhances human well-being whereas political means are a zero-sum game.  The winner takes all because there's no voluntary transaction taking place.  It's coerced.  That is the nature of politics.

    Politics is the use of coercion in human relationships.  This is not to say that I’m against politics across the board.  I think politics are inevitable in human relationships.  All human societies need to have some form of coercive function to constrain anti-social behavior and to prevent violations of proper human conduct.  This is in the pursuit of justice.

    Justice can be easily summed up in two statements summarizing natural, or scientifically derived, law: Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other people or their property.  With that we have the basis of contract law and criminal law. 

    So law is very simple when strictly in pursuit of justice.  It's the organization of law as the collective means of self-defense inherent to each individual.  The question then becomes how do people, as a society, come together to nurture and cultivate justice.

    This collective orchestration of law is what traditionally is called government and, again, I believe it is both necessary and inevitable the people living among one another will organize a system of normalize behavior so that they can be secure from external invasion and to have some form of settling disputes.

    While government may be necessary, when we look at things through the lens of political economy we want to find the most efficient means of organizing those political functions and apply resources in this pursuit to their highest valued ends for the consumer (meaning the people themselves). 

    The United States Constitution, flawed or even failed as it might be, in the ultimate sense was designed in pursuit of a more perfect union.  How can free and independent states cooperate with one another to assist in their mutual security?  The founders knew that a permanent bureaucracy, a standing army, was antithetical to human flourishing, to liberty, to free choice.  They also knew that war is the mother of all taxation.

    Taxation is robbery.  It is a forcible taking.  It is the holding of a gun up to the taxpayer and saying pay up or else.  I was a police officer.  I studied law.  I have a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice.  I know what the law says.

    Theft is the taking of another's property without their consent with the intent of denying them the value thereof.  When force or the threat of force is added in the taking or denying it becomes robbery.  Taxation is robbery because there is the threat of, or actual use of, force in the taking. 

    This is one of the major flaws in the US Constitution.  By granting the general government the authority to collect taxes to fund its delegated functions, over time, and with lots of propaganda, everything gets turned into an excuse to further expropriate the property of taxpayers. 

    Some might say that this type of funding mechanism is necessary for times of crisis, or that not enough security would be produced absent the power to tax.  We can examine that at another time. 

    What we do know is that the founders of the United States knew that a permanent war footing would deplete the people of their resources.  Again, war is the mother of all taxation and the executive, as James Madison wrote, is the most inclined toward agitating for war because it tends to centralize power. 

    As good political economists we have to always equate power with the exercise of control over resources, meaning money, equipment, and people.  The President, as Commander In Chief of the armed forces, is the top general, the one most able to exercise power in war.  This is why the authority to declare war was vested in the Congress.

    It is also why the Constitution only allowed for funding an army for two years at a time.  Under such a system there should never be a general with thirty plus years in the same army.  An entrenched military bureaucracy is precisely what the framers of the American republic were seeking to prevent.

    Feeding The Beast

    Yet the military bureaucracy has perpetually grown since 1947.  It has become Leviathan, a giant consumption machine that takes and takes from the United States taxpayer and one has to really ask if they are getting any real return on their investment of security dollars.

    The strategy for the United States’ Global War Of Terror is to fight the terrorists “over there” so we don't have to fight them over here.  Yet, ask yourself if the money being funneled into the Military Industrial Congressional Complex is a choice that you freely made or if your parents, grandparents, uncles and relatives would rather fund this giant bureaucracy, with its expenditures on equipment and programs, even diverting funds to things like monitoring whale migrations like they did with submarines in the 1990s, or would they rather have a higher standard of living for themselves and the things they care about.

    We were supposed to get a peace dividend when the Soviet Union fell.  Instead, like an addict, the money had to keep flowing to the military establishment and for that they had to find a new bad guy.  They had to find some new reason to keep spending on ‘national security’ far outside the jurisdiction of the United States and, remember, all of it is taken from your livelihood, from your sustenance, even if you don’t see it because of automatic payroll tax deduction (thanks a lot Milton Friedman).

    And these generals and admirals, that grow up in the system and have massive power to impose their will on people within the theaters they command, start to look at the homeland, the American people, like cattle even while they pay lip service to the Constitution and protecting American freedoms. 

    More Than Just Rhetoric

    They might know that oath by heart but they have no consideration for how the Constitution was designed and how it was supposed to function as the instrument of justice protecting liberty.  I've been in the room on multiple occasions where general officers have asked what measures of ‘population control’ were being taken while offering training in third world countries the United States had not even declared war on.

    It is truly bone chilling to hear a general or flag officer talk about population controls, even though it may applied to the Third World, because that mentality returns to the United States when these high-level career bureaucrats return to civilian life. 

    Remember it is always high-ranking and well-respected military leaders that establish dictatorships.  

    The Roman Republic, we mentioned earlier, was subjugated when Julius Caesar marched his army home after foreign conquest.

    In England, Oliver Cromwell returned from campaigns in Ireland and Scotland in 1653 to rule with a brutal iron fist as Lord Protector with only a Barebones Parliament to rubber stamp his will until his death in 1858 and the Restoration in 1860.

    In Japan's history, three major dictatorships were set up by power hungry military officers.  Minamoto no Yoritomo established the first shogunate in Kamakura until it collapsed in 1333, followed by Ashikaga Takauji with the Muromachi shogunate—until it collapsed in the mid 1400’s, and Tokugawa Ieyasu locked down the land of the rising sun until the United States sent Commodore Perry’s Black Ships to crack the country open with cannon fire in 1853.  

    Take note that the age of imperialism for the United States began well before the so called Civil War of 1861-1865, where all notions of voluntary union were destroyed, before the 1893 coup d’etat to overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom, and before the Spanish-American War gave the United States its first colonies; those being Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. 

    Consider the common thread in all these historical examples.  It is the return of military leaders from brutal campaigns, having commanded absolute obedience from their troops and committed untold atrocities abroad that leads to the subjugation of their fellow citizens.  

    These people are used to getting what they want and are accustomed to treat people like pawns to be sacrificed.  They must have some degree of psychopathy to, at least temporarily, shut off sympathy for human suffering, or sending their own troops on suicide missions.  

    Defending A Free Society

    The defense of a free society was not supposed to be dependent upon a permanent bureaucracy or a standing army with career officers.  It is very clear when you read the Constitution or the writings of the founders, most especially the ratification debates in the various states, that no other institution is deemed necessary other than the militia.

    We can understand the thinking at the time by reading the Virginia constitution.  This verbiage was modified slightly and adopted as the Second Amendment, yet this is the original meaning:

    “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

    Reading this, you can realize what the people who formed the United States were thinking even after they had just won a war that required them to have an army in order to shrug off the British Empire.  

    Even a conventional officer like George Washington, who did not think highly of militia, (He considering them undisciplined and unreliable in battle.  He wanted to have armies that would stand across open fields shoot at each other in the honorably moronic European fashion after all, meanwhile militia men were fighting for the freedom to live and prosper and, therefore, preferred sniping officers from behind trees or conducting ‘dishonorable’ hit and run ambushes), yet even he endorsed the militia system over a standing army in the Constitution.

    When the functions of government are properly restrained to the simple and scientific rules of universal and natural justice, any law worth executing can be handled by the militia.  

    Universal and Scientific Law is Simple:

    “Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other people or their property.”

    When you have public officials that are equally held to the standard of doing all they have agreed to do and not encroaching upon other people or their property you don't need a large army of bureaucrats.  When you restrain government from engaging in an interventionist foreign policy you do not provoke enmity and blowback, therefore the burden upon the people, as militia, to repel invasions is relatively light.  

    This is why the founders of the United States advocated for peaceful trade with all and entangling alliances with none.  It is preferable to not have to keep looking over your shoulder with a guilty conscience because you are not engaged in nefarious activities.

    Now, as martial artists and political economists we know that one must always have awareness of threats and always be ready to engage in close combat when such action is warranted.  This is why we train everyday.

    The United States are no exception.  This is why Congress was tasked in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 to arm, organize, and discipline the militia for service to the Union.  In other words, rather than restricting the right to keep and bear arms the general government should be pushing more weapons and training into the hands of every able bodied citizen.  

    Rather than distracting people with wasteful sports like baseball, basketball, football, etc (all of which were introduced to the United States after the Civil War when the central government needed to distract the population from their militia duties), the general government should be incentivizing shooting, martial arts, field medicine, and land navigation activities.  

    It is quite telling, then, that the general government neglects the things it is Constitutionally tasked with doing while infringing in those areas that it is specifically prohibited from and oath breakers, such as McChrystal, McRaven, Petraeus, Penzler, and Dempsey are cheerleading the descent into tyranny.

    That is why it is so essential that everyone take their own martial training, including a mindfulness practice, seriously as a way of life.  

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    The Antidote To Gun Grabbers

    A population trained to arms and equipped with whatever arms are suitable for executing the laws, repelling invasions, and suppressing insurrections is necessary to the security of a free state.  This remains the supreme law of the land and this is also the answer to anyone who claims military-style weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians.  

    Nonsense.  This is deliberate deception and it is time to cut through such delusion with the simple truth clearly stated in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15.  

    And to anyone saying that we no longer have well regulated militia, or do not need them because of the permanent military bureaucracy, you can say that it only evidences the need even more.  

    A standing army, and the flag officers that helm them, remain antithetical to the security of a free state.  It is time to stand down the bureaucracy and restore the decentralized Constitutional institutions of local self-government.