Category Archives: resistance

An Early Warning Resource

Wild Canary

A few days ago one of our valued readers recommended we check out a new group and their website, called Canary Mission.

In the event you had not been aware, many on the political Left have undertaken a Boycott-Divest-Sanction (hereinafter, BDS) movement against the modern State of Israel, its supporters, businesses, citizens, etc.

Modeled upon similar efforts undertaken against pre-Mandela/pre-ANC South Africa, they wish to pressure individuals, commercial enterprises, associations of every stripe, and governments themselves to boycott, divest from, and sanction any and all activities with Israel, Israelis, their businesses, associations, academia, government, etc.

This movement is intended make them a pariah, and thus to submit to the will of the BDS proponents, conforming everything about their lives, their land, and their society to these peoples’ dictates.

Even a brief review of various BDS proponents, organizers, and activists readily reveal, beyond their dripping self-righteousness, is that they 1) seethe with hatred for Israel and anything remotely like an observant Jew or patriotic Israeli, and 2) they vociferously hide and deny it whenever before an English-speaking, outside-the movement, audience.

Enter Canary Mission. Using the very methods of the BDS’ers themselves, they provide profiles on people and organizations active in the BDS movement. Further, they seem to have done their research and provide it for the reader.

At this point you might be asking “Is it not possible to criticize Israel, especially the actions of its government, without being a Jew Hater?”

Of course you can. In fact, the most harsh and unrelenting critics of Israel are Israeli Jews, followed closely behind (although, admittedly… for reasons that may become obvious, among fellow Jews) by Jews outside of Israel.

But is that not what the BDS movement is doing. Not at all.
I would urge our readers to visit Canary Mission and draw their own conclusions.

For myself, the shrill, spitting, outrage with which the BDS’ers are reacting to the appearance of this new voice is very heartwarming. I think they hit a vital organ in a very dangerous, and previously successful beast.

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Assassinating evil

This week marks the 73rd anniversary of the death of one of the most evil men who ever lived. He was also the only high Nazi official ever assassinated.

He was Reinhard Heydrich. Hitler called him the man with the iron heart.

He had an iron fist, too. Immediately after being installed as “protector” of two eastern European regions, he ordered 400 people slaughtered just so he could enjoy some quiet space. Four hundred was nothing to him, though. “Disappearing” political opponents was one of his jobs. He was the architect of Krystallnacht and a planner of the Holocaust. He chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference.

British-trained Czech and Slovak assassins hit him on May 27, 1942. It took him eight well-deserved days of misery to die.

Of course, the Nazis retaliated. First there was Lidice. Then Operation Reinhard, the code name for the truly final part of the Final Solution. (That would have happened anyhow; but it was named in grotesque “honor” of Heydrich.)

One of the favorite libertarian mental games is “would you go back in time and assassinate Hitler if you knew it would save millions of lives and prevent a war?” Of course even if you could travel backwards, you couldn’t know what the outcome would be. With Heydrich, we do know the outcome. At least we know the outcome of assassinating him after he had grown to full monsterhood and woven himself deep within the deadly fabric of Nazi officialdom.

There’s a man who should have been strangled in his cradle. Or if not that, been given the death penalty by his first intended victim.

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ETA: Be sure to watch the video Y.B. posted below! It brings the brave story of the resisters to life.

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Capturing Eichmann

This week is the 55th anniversary of the capture of Adolf Eichmann. It’s a story worthy of a Hollywood thriller.

Many people know its outlines. But did you know that after the war but before the Mossad decided to capture Eichmann alive and put him up for trial, there was an armed Jewish group called The Avengers that handled Nazis more directily?

At first they handed over the SS men to the Allied authorities, but many of the SS men “escaped in the chaos that followed the war or were released.” At one point the Russians released two Nazi Germans who had been turned over to them by the Jews. The Germans walked out into the street, laughing at their release. But not for long. The Avengers “cut the men down with a burst of sub-machine gunfire.”

From then on the Avengers simply tracked down and killed former Nazis. Perhaps 1000 Nazis were tracked down in this way after the war.

It seems that, following the war, allies had a habit of letting Nazis escape — not surprising when you consider how much some high-ups among the allies despised Jews.

It was also revealed a few years back that the West German government knew where Eichmann was hiding nearly a decade before the Israelis dragged him from Argentina.

Did the Israelis violate international law in conducting their unauthorized arrest of Eichmann? No doubt they violated many laws. But the keepers of the laws were busy either protecting or ignoring Eichmann — who (after the Nuremburg trials) was the only still-living senior official responsible for the Holocaust.

Eichmann was hardly the bland, colorless bureaucrat some have portrayed him as being. He was the chief administrator of genocide and a dedicated Nazi who continued to dream of setting up a new Third Reich in South America. His bureaucratic apparatus made mass murder possible. His lies persuaded hopeful Jews to believe they were merely being “relocated to the east” instead of being relocated to misery and death. His methods made mass murder go smoothly, with least resistance from the victims.

Before his trial, a lot of politicians and thinkers believed the best course was just to forget the Holocaust. Stop talking about it. Let it fade into history as quickly as possible. The trial of Adolf Eichmann ended all that and started an examination of the process of state-perpetrated evil that continues to this day — more than half a century after his capture.

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Operation Nemesis: A tale of assassination and vengeance

Because 2015 is its 100th anniversary, the Armenian genocide is finally getting some overdue attention.

When Aaron Zelman was alive, his JPFO made a point of calling attention to all the major 20th-century mass murders-by-government, including the death of well over a million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Aaron knew that it’s a mistake to focus solely on Hitler’s genocide. Because of course the more you view the Holocaust as unique, the easier it is to fool yourself that it was some one-off quirk of history, that no such thing will ever happen again, especially that “it can’t happen here.”

When we scripted Innocents Betrayed we covered eight major genocides and several smaller ones (there is no such thing as a “minor” genocide; the most obscure genocide is a major tragedy).

Every genocide is the same — and every genocide is different. The mass murder of the Armenians may not have been as systematic as Hitler’s slaughter of the Jews and other “undesirables.” But both were linked to a world war and perpetrated in a nation that was already under extreme stress. Both victimized a despised, disarmed, but relatively prosperous and influential minority. Both even have their deniers and excuse-makers. To this day the Turks claim that no genocide happened; the deaths were merely a natural offshoot of WWI and internal agitation by the Armenians themselves. (Just as other genocides in other places have been the work of “tribal rivalries” or “overacting local officials” or unintended consequences of government policies.)

The Armenian genocide has something most others don’t: a story of street vengeance carried out by the most ordinary of men. It was called Operation Nemesis.

Wikipedia’s account is rather dry, but the real events are as amazing as any Hollywood thriller.

Between 1920 and 1922, a handful of otherwise unremarkable expat Armenian men hunted down and assassinated six masterminds of the genocide. They were well-funded and working as part of an organization. But they were chosen largely for their experience with firearms. They had been smugglers, gun runners, soldiers, and (already) assassins.

They were crafty enough to insinuate themselves with their enemies. One of the assassins even acted as a pallbearer to the group’s first target. They were bold enough to stand face-to-face and shoot an enemy on a public street. One assassin was ordered, “You blow up the skull of the Number One nation-murderer and you don’t try to flee. You stand there, your foot on the corpse and surrender to the police, who will come and handcuff you.” (This because the organizers wanted a trial, which they assumed would be more of a trial of the genocide and those who perpetrated it than of the assassination.)

The men targeted for assassination weren’t innocent by any definition. They were officials who had already been condemned to death by an Ottoman Turkish military tribunal. Then when those death sentences proved unpopular with other Turks, the condemned men were allowed to escape to live their lives.

Until the avenging teams tracked them down.

Remarkably, most of the assassins walked away from their crimes of vengeance unscathed and unpunished.

Two new books have just been published on the operation. The one getting the most buzz is Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by actor/playwright Eric Bogosian. The other is a graphic novel by Josh Blaylock, Operation Nemesis: A Story of Genocide & Revenge.

I haven’t read either. But both are now on my reading list.

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A politician speaks a (partial) truth

Remarkable thing. A politician speaks the truth. Not an American pol, unfortunately. This one’s from Poland. And the media reporting the story call him both a “gun lobbyist” (i.e. eeeeeevil villain) and “far-right” (journalist’s code word for “not to be taken seriously”).

In Europe, far-right is usually also a code word for xenophobic and probably Jew-hating. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is running for president of Poland but from a tiny minority party, told a TV interviewer that if every Jew had had a gun before World War II the Holocaust would never have happened. (H/T CB for the heads-up)

Well, we know that already, don’t we? But it’s apparently so startling to the Times of Israel that they have to go out of their way to try to prejudice readers against him and his positions twice in one tiny article.

Korwin-Mikke, despite his minority political status, is a fascinating and influential man. And not “far-right” in any sense. He came from the liberationist underground left, worked with Lech Wałęsa and his famous Solidarność movent (which helped bring down communism), and published translations of the work of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayak.

He courts controversy, uses blunt, colorful language, sometimes says the most un-PC things, and at one time wrote the most popular blog in Poland.

The poor, confused Wikipedia article linked above calls him both a “conservative liberal” and a “libertarian conservative.” He has also been accused of being both an anti-Semite and a “hidden Jew” and a Zionist. (I don’t know his religious history, but he was born in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and his mother died in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.)

An intriguing man, definitely.

He spoke those words, “If every Jew had a gun before the war, there would be no Holocaust,” on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the annual commemoration of Hitler’s genocide. He added that “every young guy has to have a gun.”

And that’s where my headline statement comes in. That’s only a partial truth there, Janusz. Sure every young guy — who has enough responsibility and integrity to use one well — should own a gun and be prepared to use it at need. So should every older, wiser, guy. But don’t forget that when it comes to self-defense and defense of family, home, community, and faith, some of the most determined fighters are most definitely non-guys.

Of the 30,000 Jews who escaped the ghettos and camps and joined the guerrilla battle against the Nazis, a good share were women. And though many cooked, tended wounds, and acted as couriers and spies (something that took great courage), quite a few took up arms. One was even the commander of the partisan group in the woods outside Luckow, Poland.

In modern-day America, it’s wonderful to see that both young guys and young women are increasingly interested in firearms and learning to use them. Many of these young people are (so far) only into the sporting aspects of guns — target shooting, competition, and hunting. But should the day ever come for armed defense against enemies of freedom, foreign or domestic, that’ll be millions more who know what to do and have the tools to do it.

So celebrate the brave men who’ve been freedom’s staunchest defenders over the years, but cheers to the women who’ve joined them — and who will join them in times of future need.

—–

If you want to know more:

Jewish Women in the Partisans

Women in the Italian Resistance

What Can We Learn from Women Partisans? (Click on the links to individual stories.)

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The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising-April 19th

April 19th is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

For those that do not understand what Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising has to do with guns, look at all the hands in the photos. When there are hands in the air reaching skyward, you will see guns in the hands of those surrounding them.  Guns are the defense against tyranny.  For “Never Again” to be more than a slogan you need to be able to ensure that it isn’t by having the means to stop the attack.

At the memorial service I attended today the final speaker talked about something a holocaust survivor had implored him to do. To act, to scream, to talk to people, but no matter what, not to do nothing. To do nothing, to be frozen in inaction was to allow them (nazis) to succeed.

The Warsaw Ghetto Memorial at the JCC.
The Warsaw Ghetto Memorial at the JCC.

For the flame of liberty to continue to burn, there must be those willing to speak out against evil. There must be those willing to give their time, talent and treasure and pledge their sacred honor. Yes, that phrase comes from the American Revolution. The Battle at Lexington and Concord also occurred on April 19th. But if we do not show up and suit up in the battle for freedom, the flame of liberty becomes the Shoah, the holocaust, as well as the flames that devoured the Warsaw Ghetto, the other Ghettos throughout Europe and the death camps.

What do Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto have to do with guns. Everything! The fearful cost of a disarmed people.

What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto. One of our companies held its position for forty minutes, while the other one lasted – upwards of six hours… I cannot describe to you the conditions in which the Jews are living. Only a handful will survive. All the rest will succumb, sooner or later. Their fate has been sealed. In almost all of the bunkers in which our friends are hiding one cannot even light a candle at night, for lack of air. Goodbye my friend. Perhaps we will see each other again. The main thing is this: My life’s dream has become a reality. I have seen the Jewish defense of the ghetto in all its strength and glory.
23 [21] April 1943 Mordechai Anielewicz

There is no need to ask “Why does this happen”. Nor is there a need to ask “How can something like this happen.” It’s a pattern, we know how.

One of our readers gave a link to a documentary, it is excellent and this is the longer version of it.

From Yad Vashem’s website, interviews with Fighters who survived the Warsaw Ghetto. What is the end result of Universal Background Checks and other “common sense” gun control? Listen, the survivors will tell you.

But I will leave you with triumph.

Zog nit kein mol- Jewish partisan song

Zog Nit Kein Mol in Hebrew

 

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Yom HaShoah or יום השואה

Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah. It is the Holocaust Remembrance day. In my area the memorial service will be Sunday. I intend to go. I can do nothing but go. It is my personal feeling, just mine, this is only my opinion, that for me to forget what happened, to allow the memory to become comfortably cushioned in the soft cotton of foggy faded distant memory is folly and disrespectful.

 

Folly because those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. I’ve learned some pretty painful long term physical lessons working with my horses. Weather changes bring about certain reminders, very clearly. Care to place a wager on me forgetting how I got them and what needs to be done to prevent a repeat performance? I don’t forget.

 

Disrespectful because the nazis* goal was to erase Judaism from the earth, to blot out all the names of the victims, to resign them to the faded pages of distant memory. As long as I have breath and am able, I will not be part of that. I will be there, I will pay my respects and I will try to keep their memory and their fate plain. The horrible cost of trusting and disarmed people.

 

No, I do not mean all of them, but too many. hitler* was elected after all. Not all those that died were Jews either. Estimates are six million Jews died, and five million others made up of groups of gypsies, Poles, Political dissenters, mentally and physically disabled, homosexuals and communists. I’m guessing some of those that died and their family members voted for hitler. Someone pointed out to me last year basically, the Holocaust wiped out the population of Israel. Israel’s Jewish population in 2014 was 6,218,000. The total population was 8,296,000.

 

Last year I was in Israel during Yom HaShoah. I went with my girlfriend that I stayed with to Ben Gurion University for the memorial service. Since she worked at BGU (אבג) getting in was not a problem. The courtyard where the ceremony was held was packed and people were standing in the windows of surrounding buildings to see the ceremony. We got there early and so sat in the chairs in the courtyard. One thing we noticed, of all the Arab and muslim students that attend there, none that we could see attended the services. It was a profoundly moving services. I didn’t understand a lot of it, it was all in Hebrew of course, and I would only catch words from time to time. But somethings go beyond words. They are universal. One was a dance that was performed.

 

The dancers were dressed in either white or black, and it was very very clear what the dance was about as the dancers dressed in black appeared to flog, beat and kill the dancers dressed in white. At one point during the dance one of the dancers dressed in white quietly slipped off the stage and disappeared behind a column. When she came back out in a bit it appeared she was being comforted by a staff member. She was unable to finish the dance. The dance finished with the dancers gathered around a pile of their shoes they had all taken off and placed in a corner as they came onto the elevated dance stage. Yeah, like that.

 

Shoes
Shoes

 

It was very emotional. I can speculate on what those around me felt. I know what I felt, and I suspect it might be different than the majority of those around me.

 

Following that was the portion where Holocaust survivors or family members came up and read something. I apologize, but my Hebrew just wasn’t/isn’t good enough to recount the stories. But at the end each of the six people went over and lit a candle. Each candle represented a million people. As they read their speeches you could hear something in the background. At first I thought it was suppose to be the sound of muted rifle fire. But then with each person it seemed to be a bit louder and more clear. Not rifle fire. Trains. The sound of trains on the tracks. Damn.

 

The Train
The Train, display at Yad Vashem

 

I was already angry from my visit to Yad Vashem just a few days before when I had been livid about the miniscule display of “Resistance during the Holocaust”. It was a miniscule display for more than one reason, but what was going through my mind was that the elected nazi government used all branches of government to target a group of people. And then they used already on the books common sense gun laws like universal background checks to more easily eliminate them.

 

Flame at Ben Gurion University
Flame at Ben Gurion University

 

An article recently appeared that brought to light that among those who tried to help rescue the Jews, were other Jews. They feel that the concept of Jews saving themselves has been muted or lost. The article stated

 

Part of the mission of the Jewish Rescuers Citation is to re-instill the idea that Jews are not only capable, but prone to be hardened heroes.

The article raises some very interesting ideas. Even if you don’t read the linked article, you might want to check Yad Vashem for a short list and photos of nine people who served in the Resistance, many of them at the greatest cost to save lives. Their names and their lives deserve to be remembered. Their price was large, perhaps you can spare a couple minutes to meet them?

 

For people to live in freedom, freedom from slavery, from poverty, from annihilation, the first thing we need to do is to quit committing suicide.

 

By that I mean there is ONE JEWISH state, in all of the world, there is ONE. Look at your elected officials attitudes towards that one state and you will have an idea of their attitudes towards your group.

 

Look at remarks made towards your group, are they accurate and fair? I’m thinking of the last two years worth of comments at the annual prayer breakfast here.

 

Are branches of the government targeting certain groups of political dissenters?

 

Do you put money into the pockets of people that urge you to become disarmed and vulnerable to any of the above? Harry Weinstein, Babs Streisand, Tim McGraw or any of the many other anti-gun entertainers that will then use their bully pulpit to disarm you?

 

Saddle pads and skirts folks. Check your patterns

 

There is a stone in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, it is to ALL, not Jewish, or non-Jewish, but ALL.

 

To Those
To Those, located in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem

 

Please G-d, may we need no more of them. The cost is far too dear.

 

 

 

* Some things and some people do not deserve capital letters. Not a typo.

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Purim Reflections

If you are unfamiliar with Purim, why and what is being celebrated, there is a helpful video at the end. The story of Purim comes from the Book of Esther in the Tanakh, or First Testament. The name “Purim” comes from the word “Pur” which means “Lots” as Haman, the villain of the story cast lots to determine which day he would destroy the Jews. Haman became miffed at the Jews because Mordechai, Esther’s Uncle, would not bow down before him. Haman was quite impressed with himself. So this year’s Purim is very interesting to me, being a patterns person and all. So under the “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same” banner let’s have a look.

One of the things one does on Purim is hear the reading of the story of Esther, usually in a Synagogue. Let’s contrast that with the Temple Mount, the one that is the holiest sight in Judaism. For sometime now muslims have been attempting to prevent Jews from going to visit the temple mount. They are already forbidden to pray there. The muslims have rioted near the area where the Jews are allowed to gain entrance to prevent them from entering. When they do enter, they are attacked verbally and lately, physically. Some of the muslims attempting to stop the Jewish visitors from seeing the temple mount are now children who shout “Allahu Akbar” Luckily the police were right there to stop it. Oh, wait, my bad. They were right there, they just didn’t stop it. Nor did they intervene when a member of the waqf guard assaulted a Jewish visitor. Physically, not just verbally. But, hey, good luck, because the Israeli police were right there this time and they sprang into action, and they.. oops, my bad again. They were right there, they just didn’t do anything. Ok, so this year reading the story of Esther on the Temple Mount was not a promising proposition.

Another part of Purim is a lovely meal, traditional food would include Oznei Haman or Hamantaschen filled with poppyseed filling. Although I have now seen a huge variety of filling choices I want to try. So let’s see what is of interest this year in the food category. Ahh, back to the Temple Mount. I see they are having a delightful FREE, yes FREE Al Aqsa Buffet. But wait, that can’t be, because that would be illegal. And calculated to offend, much like their playing football on the Temple Mount. Think of it as carrying on a lively soccer game in the House of Worship of your denomination. Not on the athletic field behind the building. In the sanctuary. To Jews the entire Temple Mount is holy, to muslims, not so much. Just the al aqsa mosque, which is why they have destroyed Jewish artifacts trying to erase the Jewish presence.

So what else for Purim. Ah, costumes. I rethought my first choice, and came up with a better idea. I’m sure that’s common, thinking through the costume and what you want to do with it. Thankfully we’ve come many years from when a madman wanted to wipe every trace of Jews from the earth. Except we haven’t. A mere couple weeks ago a young man named Avraham Goldschmidt was attacked on his way to a wedding by a knife wielding manic. Avraham fought him off with his tefillin bag while shouting if someone had a weapon to “neutalize him”. It was Avraham’s good fortune that Nir Barkat is the mayor of Jerusalem and not someone like Bloomers, DeBlasio (is that still his name this week?) or any of the astroturf group Mayors Against Self-Defense. Nope Nir is cut from a different cloth. His bodyguards drew their guns and Nir rushed the terrorist after he dropped the knife. All this can be viewed on closed circuit TV. Which despite the videocams being right there did actual zip/nada to stop the crime. A thought for those that think those security cams are useful. Along with tefillin, Jews often wear a Kippah. Now that’s not part of a costume per se, but it is something that is part of Jewish dress. Unless you are a Jew in Ramallah Israel. NYC Councilor David Greenfield was asked by U.S. officials on his visit to Israel to remove his Kippah when he left the U.S consulate. To his credit, after first ascertaining he wasn’t placing the other members at risk, he refused to remove it. NYC Councilor David Greenfield is no shrinking violet, no he isn’t. That video is well worth watching too.

So, without giving away the end of the Purim story, let’s just say self-defense was involved. So, what is the application for today? Well, there certainly have been a plethora of attacks on Jews lately and antisemitism is on the rise all over the world. And the response from the leaders of the different countries has been a parade? Well, except from the U.S. In the U.S. the regime harfed that the correct response to terrorism is not to kill the terrorists, but to give them jobs instead. What a load of harf! Things are so bad, that as my colleague Y.B. has pointed out Rabbi Margolin suggested Jews at risk be granted a special permit to be armed. I would suggest that most people without a crystal ball are at risk, but that’s just me.

In the article Is it Just Fashionable to Hate the Jews? Rabbi Joseph Potasnik points out “It’s not a big deal to hate the Jews.” The author concludes “Jews are a nice easy nonviolent target”

But if Bibi Netanyahu is setting the tone for going forward, that could begin to change. From one of his speeches

And as Prime Minister of Israel I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them. For 2000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. We were utterly powerless against our enemies who swore to destroy us. We suffered relentless persecution and horrific attacks. We could never speak in our own behalf, and we could not defend ourselves. Well, no more! No more. The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over.

But hey, it’s not like Iran wants to destroy Israel or America! I don’t know what would ever make you think that! I mean Iranians love Israel and America, just look at this recent domino competition in which they prominently displayed American and Israeli flags. Nope, no hostility here!

 

Is it just me or does anyone else find the timing of Bibi’s speech to congress interesting. Not in terms of Israeli elections as the current regime has harfed, but in terms of Purim, when Ester spoke to the King on behalf of her people.

Purim celebrates the survival of the Jews against one of the attempts to wipe them off the face of the earth. There have already been many, there will be more. The attacks we’re seeing now are against Jews, Christians and other faiths, well, except for one. Wise people will be prepared, if they are someday there may be another holiday similar to Purim, because with Purim, none of the Jews died because Esther rose to the occasion, and so the Jews were allowed to defend themselves when the attackers came.

“They tried to kill us.  We won.  Let’s eat!”

 

Good deal. May we all do our best to rise to meet the occasions that come before us.

 

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On Refreshing The Tree of Liberty

With respect to “If this be cowardice, be glad we’re cowards” by our own Claire Wolfe: Anything that denies that the oppressed have a right to mete justice to the oppressor is bound to crackle with unease, if not contradiction. Being a careful thinker, Claire escapes this predicament, of course, advocating for peaceful change. However, given the size and power of the American State; given that a vast number of people and interests have bought into state propaganda and are vested in it—meaningful change is unlikely and improbable. The idea of change through the ballot box, moreover, is a fantasy.

While it seems obvious that the minority in a democracy is openly thwarted, the question is, do the elected representatives at least carry out the will of the majority?

The answer is no. The People’s representatives have carte blanche to do exactly as they please. As Benjamin Barber has written:

It is hard to find in all the daily activities of bureaucratic administration, judicial legislation, executive leadership, and paltry policy-making anything that resembles citizen engagement in the creation of civic communities and in the forging of public ends. Politics has become what politicians do; what citizens do (when they do anything) is to vote for politicians.

In Restoring the Lost Constitution, Randy E. Barnett further homes in on why the informed voter has little incentive to exercise his “democratic right”:

If we vote for a candidate and she wins, we have consented to the laws she votes for, but we have also consented to the laws she has voted against.
If we vote against the candidate and she wins, we have consented to the laws she votes for or against.
And if we do not vote at all, we have consented to the outcome of the process whatever it may be.

This “rigged contest” Barnett describes as, “‘Heads’ you consent, ‘tails’ you consent, ‘didn’t flip the coin,’ guess what? You consent as well.'”

Democracy is a despotic affair.

Should they occur, and however peaceful—secessionist movements across the country the federal government will greet with brute force. It’ll be 1861 all over again.

Thus the objection I see to the sentiment that prompted Claire’s post—“We ARE a nation of cowards. Proof: Holder is still breathing”—is more utilitarian than principled. In other words, one will not win against the Federales, but only come to grief. Therefore, one should tread with great trepidation. Is prudence tantamount to courage? No. Neither is it cowardice.

Fear is simply a facet of tyranny.

The “long-time, much-respected freedomista” who made the quip about Holder was probably using a bit of hyperbole. Thomas Jefferson, however, was perfectly serious when he said:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

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If this be cowardice, be glad we’re cowards

First, The Talk.

Last week one of TZP’s blog posts drew this response via Twitter: We ARE a nation of cowards. Proof: Holder is still breathing.”

The comment came from a long-time, much-respected freedomista. What follows is not in any way a knock on him. Anybody who’s been around the freedom movement, watching for decades as high-level rights-robbing criminals go unpunished, knows the frustration that drives statements like that.

But I’ve been dispatched by the rest of the TZP crew to say a few words about future comments that may go over the line, over the top, or around the bend.

We let that particular tweet remain in our feed because it stayed on this side of the dangerous line: no threats were made or implied. But the line is there. Any comment on our blog or our social media feeds that crosses that line — that advocates aggressive violence or threatens anybody — may be deleted posthaste or mocked mercilessly and Made An Example Of. The person making it may be blocked, banned, restricted, barred, disbarred, forbidden, kicked out, ejected, evicted, removed from under their troll bridge, defenestrated, given the boot, or given a pair of boots and be told the hit the road. We also generally follow the comment policy outlined by TZPer Nicki Kenyon on her personal blog.

Now, this position will inevitably lead some readers (see “around the bend,” above) to scream “Censorship!” and “You’re violating my First Amendment rights!” Some may call us collaborators and sellouts for refusing to give our online space to the cause of fomenting their revolution or assassinating their least-favorite politician. So be it. To those folks we say: Get your own webspace. It’s cheap (if not free) these days. Then you can have the joy of dealing with the FBI, ATF, DHS, or IRS when your posts come to their attention. We’d prefer to avoid such bad company, thank you.

While you’re explaining yourself in an interrogation cell, we’ll go right on following Aaron Zelman’s original mission of educating, inspiring, and providing a safe place for a lawful conspiracy to restore freedom and gun rights.

You have been warned. Not that most of you need it. But there it is, on behalf of the entire might of TZP officialdom.

Second, The Action. Even when the best action may look like inaction.

Now to the more interesting part.

I suspect there’s not one of us who, in some dark moment, hasn’t wished death (or at least a severe case of genital fungus) upon some haughty villain whose badge or title or office or rank (not to mention the presence of heavily armed bodyguards, iron gates, security systems and suchlike) makes him (or her) untouchable by We the Peasants.

We watch as bureaucrats, elected officials, or puffed-up billionaire cronies rampage over our freedoms. We stand here shouting and waving our arms as our country oozes downhill — and we feel as if we’re doing nothing. Or at least nothing useful.

I grok the feeling.

We fantasize about uprisings. We read novels or watch movies about rebellion. We gaze backward to the days before the American Revolution, looking for similarities, for trigger events, for courage. We cheer for some other mouse to “bell the cat.” Then (oddly enough) when the occasional would-be leader actually does step forward to propose gathering an army to march on Washington, DC, we suddenly find we have something better to do.

But that’s not cowardice on our part. It’s good sense. Because the wanna-be generals are usually either damnfools or agents provocateurs.

The fact is: violence (even in the name of freedom) isn’t the sure sign of courage or principles, and non-violence in the face of oppression isn’t the sure sign of cowardice.

Violence is often just the sign of dangerous idiocy or desperation born of a failure to think creatively. Non-violence (not inaction, mind you, but non-violence) may be not only a sign of wisdom and prudence; it may in the long run be the surest course toward restoring freedom.

Sixteenth-century proto-freedomista Étienne de La Boétie put it well in his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (1548): “I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”

The poet Shelley had a thoughtful take on tyrants, too. He and La Boétie could have had a great conversation over a bottle of wine.

TZP’s own Oleg Volk made an apt comment on the understandable desire to see any specific official “terminated with extreme prejudice”: “While assassinations are cathartic, they are generally counter-productive in a democratic society because the evil is usually a feature of the position held as much as a feature of the specific personality. If Holder dies, his handlers will appoint another of similar moral qualities.”

And ain’t that the truth? Not only will some similar lump of excremental corruption replace anyone who’s assassinated; but we’ll get entire new agencies, directorates, bureaucracies, departments, and dictatorship, all dedicated to combatting the threat to fedgovian power. Government is worse than a Lernaean Hydra when it’s directly attacked.

There may come a time when defensive violence in the cause of American liberty is necessary once again. But that time is not now — and if we commit ourselves to promoting and preparing for freedom in the present, that time may never come. We should hope for that. We should hope — and we have reason to hope — that big, overreaching government will bloat and die from within. We should hope — and we have reason to hope — that dedicated freedomistas, including gun owners, will hasten that death by refusing to yield, refusing to obey, refusing to grant any respect to those who sieze our rights.

Revolutions and assassinations look good in the movies, but in real life they mostly bring crackdowns and other catastrophes. Frustration makes them seem appealing, but the reality is otherwise. If you want a revolution or you want to see some politician dead, you’re entitled to your point of view. But if that’s what you want, you’d better not let your frustration do your thinking and planning for you. And if that’s what you want, don’t bring it here.

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