April 25, 2014

Armageddon, or something worse

In 2008 my wife and I made plans to return to the United States. As things turned out, I did relocate while she went to work for yet another big name Tokyo securities firm. Back in the U.S. after a quarter century in Asia, I threw myself into the local political scene. At first, I was shocked and appalled at the outrageous and hyperbolic allegations thrown back and forth between supporters of the Republican and Democratic Parties. I looked into smaller parties, the Constitutionalists, The Reform Party, the Libertarians, everywhere I looked I found suspicion and outright hatred of everyone by everyone. It was like some kind of ancient tribalism writ large. Demographics did not help. Sure, most Democratic Party supporters fall into a few demographic niches like: minority, female, lower economic status, LGBT, etc. There are many fringe groups in the Democratic Party and they make up a very solid base that refuses to vote for anything deemed "mainstream", or, as they like to label it, "fascist". Likewise, "rich, white, older male" does in fact describe a large segment of the Republican Party. Libertarians are often heavy marijuana users, white, disenfranchised youth from middle class families. Those same youth, when Christian and sober, tend to be Constitutionalists. On the surface, all of these generalizations are fairly accurate. However, despite that very well documented fact, in sum total they do not come even close to presenting an accurate picture of the various political tribes battling over control of the American political system.

After five years in Ohio, one of the most heavily contested battleground states in America, I've learned that American political supporters cannot be so cleanly divided as demographers and statisticians everywhere would like us to believe. The Democratic Party, for example, is mostly ruled by "rich, white, older male" career politicians. The net worth of Democrats in the Senate is almost twenty times the next worth of Senate Republicans, yet, it is only the Republicans who are accused of economic bias. In Wayne County, all of the wealthiest and most prominent families have been voting Democrat since the end of the Civil War and probably will continue to do so until the end of time. Looking over the Forbes 500 list shows far more global elites with a lifelong history of support for socialism, utopianism, redistribution of wealth, and expansive government than the few like the Koch brothers who support limited government, low taxes, and letting the people take care of themselves. Almost none of the world's 500 richest men and women are American Republican Party supporters. Yes, that's right, feel free to Google it and look for yourself. That "evil, elitist 1%" that everybody hates is predominately socialist or straight out communist.

Encountering this widespread ignorance throughout the grassroots of American politics was a huge shock for me. I will never again look at the world the same way. For a couple of years I thought perhaps the various conspiracy theorists were right. Perhaps there was a vast, evil conspiracy by the elites to take over the world and kill off anyone deemed too poor, too ugly, or too unpleasant, creating for themselves a utopia of the beautiful, rich and noble. Unfortunately, because my wife has worked in the financial industry her entire adult life, and because we lived in Tokyo one of the most important economic centers in the world, I happened to know quite a few elites and while I cannot call them "friends", we know each other on sight and exchange pleasantries whenever our paths cross. Some of them are in fact, geniuses within their field, others are not. Some of them are, in fact, just as ignorant about the daily life of working class people as the working are of theirs. If anything, reality television has seen to it that the most ignorant of the wealthy get far better press than they deserve while the most ignorant of the working class get far worse press than they deserve, thus reinforcing the prejudices of ignorant people across the economic spectrum while leaving the better informed shaking their heads in disbelief. In short, the world's elite spend far too much time bickering among themselves to form a conspiracy dedicated to wiping out the rest of us.

Therein lies the rub. For some reason I have yet to fathom, the global entertainment industry glorifies ignorance and prejudice. Hollywood, Bollywood, Tokyo, London, Milan and Paris all work diligently to fill the airwaves and the theaters with praise for fools, condemnation for true open-minded thinking, and countless hours of propaganda in support of the idea that 99% of the world's people are complete idiots dependent on the 1% who are educated and enlightened to lead them into utopia. Online games with their princes, kings, thieves and wizards reinforce this further. Somehow every entertainment media in the modern world carries the same theme, "you're an idiot and you need someone wiser to guide you." Naturally, most individuals do not want to think of themselves as idiots, so instead of assuming the worst about themselves, they immediately jump to the unfounded conclusion that they are, in fact, the genius who should be determining how the world reaches utopia while everyone around them (their friends, family, employers, teachers, and community leaders included) are complete idiots who need to be shown the error of their ways.

Realistically, this is impossible. We can't all be geniuses and we can't all be idiots. Assuming we can somehow magically identify the geniuses, there is no reason to assume their "wisdom" will be anything other than self-serving. History is pretty clear on this point. The smartest guys in the room always use their smarts to take advantage of the "fools" around them. Always. Every time. No exceptions. Not in history, not at Enron, not at Worldcom, not at Lehman Brothers, not at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, not anywhere. The smartest people very quickly realize the benefit of being smart and they will use their intelligence to advance their own well-being at any and every opportunity that presents itself because, let's be real here, that is the smart thing to do.

For better or for worse, idiots outnumber geniuses. So, once again, let's be real. Simple math dictates you are probably an idiot and so am I. There is no two ways about it. If genius is to be genius than the rest of us must, by definition, be idiots. However, there is nothing in all the five thousand years of recorded history that indicates the geniuses make the best leaders! Although an idiot in a leadership position can cause huge amounts of damage, history clearly shows that the track record for geniuses is just as bad. Let's assume, for example, that Barack Obama is the genius his most sycophantic and devoted followers believe he is. I'm willing to grant this. It is entirely possible that Barack Obama is a genius. He is the genius responsible for the first dead American Ambassador since World War II, the most divided American nation since the Civil War, the most fragile economy since the Interwar Great Depression, and the most aggressive Russia since the rise of Stalin. This great genius has for the first time in three decades brought the world to the very brink of nuclear war between the United States of America and the Russian Federation. John Kerry's speech some four hours ago disparaging Russia's militant actions in the Ukraine has added fuel to the fire, taking us one step closer to global annihilation.

If Barack Obama is an example of genius then clearly great geniuses do not make great leaders.

Unfortunately, it would seem the lunatics have captured control of the asylum. Between the corruption of Harry Reid, the genius of Barack Obama, the wisdom of John Kerry, and the intuition of Barbara Boxer, we are unlikely to survive as a nation until 2016, the year of the next presidential election. We are unlikely to survive as a nation because our world is unlikely to survive as a civilization. Intended or not, unless I am very much mistaken (and God grant that I am!), the eugenicists of the world will very soon have their global cleansing.

The only glimmer of hope I can see in the immediate future is the possibility that the Return of Christ is upon us, bringing the redemption of the world when it stands at the brink of destruction. If events of the past six months are not a precursor to the Second Coming, then we are truly doomed, because Putin will not back down from his invasion of Ukraine and Barack Obama has spent five years weakening the one military in the world that might be able to stop him. If this is not Armageddon, then it will surely turn into something far worse.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

April 14, 2014

Thoughts on the recent Bundy Ranch Standoff

Those who dream in conspiracies and see politics behind every change in the weather are claiming it all started with a Chinese solar power project in the barren Nevada desert. Once the dust settled, the Washington Times seemed to confirm this suspicion with an article proclaiming the standoff "could leave dirt on Harry Reid's reputation". So maybe it is true. Maybe the next American civil war very nearly started in Nevada last week as the county, state, and federal government laid siege to a cattle rancher who stopped paying his range fees twenty years ago. I could easily list hundreds of militia and patriot sites who are proclaiming the end of the siege as some kind of revolutionary victory, but it seems to me that, as usual, the Sipsey Street Irregulars has the most concise coverage: Threeper Report on Bunkerville Nevada.

There are also dozens of videos posted at YouTube about the incident creating a complete day by day video log filmed by everyday citizens. I have watched a half dozen or so, and among those I watched this one contains the most concrete coverage and the fewest distractions:

(As always, I will list up a few of the "official" news reports from "mainstream" news sites at the end of this article.)

In short, two parallel tracks came to a head last week when forest rangers, state patrol, and county deputies backed by BLM representatives and their private contractors (all in full tactical gear and driving soft-armored SUVs) rounded up "trespassing" cattle owned by the Bundy family that had been allowed to graze on federally owned desert land set aside as a preserve for the Desert Tortoise. In addition to the Desert Tortoise and the Bundy family, it seems a Chinese energy producer (ENN Group) had gained permission from the Clark County Commission to build a solar power plant somewhere nearby:

(As noted above, it appears Sen. Harry Reid, his son, and a former aide, all had roles to play in insuring both the participation of ENN and the cooperation of the County Commission.)

Personally, this entire episode leaves me feeling somewhat perplexed. For at least ten years and possibly twenty a violent confrontation between those who desire to drive the United States into a centralized political system with ample social justice programs and those who believe the United States has always been a place where hard work earned great rewards while the slovenly fell by the wayside. Or, in simpler terms, the collectivists versus the individualists. The problem I have with the entire Bundy episode is that everyone involved has an ulterior motive along with a less than ethical desire to control this contested landscape of rocks, sand, and tumbleweed. The Bundy family, after a century of acknowledging the rights of the Federal government to assess and collect range fees, has suddenly gone off the rails and decided their three generations of existence on the land should be sufficient grounds to grant them total control of the land. This attitude of entitlement is nothing less than good old-fashioned monarchism wrapped in a shiny libertarian package. The Bundy family claiming noble rights to the land on the basis of multi-generational residence is no different than the divine rights born of blood that are still claimed by some kings and princes. If that is to be the grounds of their claim on the land then we might as well take it from the Bundys and pass it back to the native Shoshone who settled there after being driven into the desert by the Comanche, Sioux, and Pawnee, who in turn had been driven into the Great Plains by the arrival of European settlers pushing out from the East Coast into the Ohio River Valley and Great Lakes region. If "original family" is to be the criteria by which land rights are granted, then surely the most ancient verifiable claim belongs to the Shoshone Tribe of Native Americans. Somehow I suspect both the Bundy family and their ardent militia supporters would not be as quick to defend a Shoshone uprising dedicated to reclaiming their rightful lands.

Except of course for the Desert Tortoise. There are individual Desert Tortoise wandering through this stretch of desert and snacking on sagebrush who were here a century or more before the first Shoshone scouts arrived looking for water and food to set up new base camps. So, in truth, if "original settlers" is the claim that proves rightful ownership, then both the Bundy family and Shoshone tribe are interlopers seeking to displace a tribe that has been here since the great inland sea dried up transforming the swamps and forests into arid grasslands which in turn overgrazing by zealous ranchers transformed into the current sandy, rock-strewn desert. If anyone is entitled to feel offended at how badly they have been betrayed it surely must be the Desert Tortoise. I can guarantee without equivocation that there is not an armed patriot militia anywhere in America that would be willing to stand and fight in defense of the ownership rights of the Desert Tortoise!

As for ENN Group, well, I'm sorry, but political corruption is lowest form of interloper acquisition I can imagine. If there is anyone in this entire fiasco who should be seen as having no claim at all on this stretch of desert it is ENN group and their richly rewarded political lapdogs. Not only are they the last to arrive, they got here by breaking down the back door and attempting to rob everyone from the Desert Tortoise to the Shoshone tribe to the Bundy family without a single penny in compensation. Thieves and thugs are not entitled to own the property they steal, especially when they bribe elected officials in order to pull off their theft without penalty.

Unfortunately, whatever the real reasons behind this standoff, one thing is perfectly clear: the patriot militias have overplayed their hand. By jumping to the aid of a tax-evading cattle rancher they have wasted the one genuine strategic advantage they held in the coming face off with those seeking a more centralized federal government dedicated to social justice. The patriot militia willingness to arm themselves and face down federally appointed tactical forces is now clearly visible and undeniable. No longer will the elitists, the collectivists, and the wannabe monarchists be able to dismiss the patriot militia as a ragtag band of blowhards. The next time the government pushes forward into a situation where they know they must use blunt force to achieve their aims they will arrive in massive numbers ready and prepared to face armed resistance. Instead of a few dozen people in lightly armored SUVs carrying paint ball guns and bean bags they will have combat loads, mortars, grenades, medium armor with light cannon, and close air support. The militia has blown their one chance to gain a genuine, lasting victory over the forces of oppression. Next time there will be blood and most of that blood will be the hard working fathers and sons of blue collar families. And not just the menfolk. In the modern patriot militia movement there are countless women who carry just as much in their packs and arm themselves with the same firearms as their menfolk. Men and women and probably some children will become the sacrificial victims of the patriot resistance. Not only will it be Waco all over again, it will be Waco times ten or maybe even times a hundred. Once this sacrifice has been made there is no telling how far and wide it will spread. Instead of a handful of intensely surprising victories by lightly armed patriots there will be either a massive genocide of anyone who dares to oppose the federal government or a prolonged and bloody civil war that will make the last one seem a small riot in comparison.

This standoff ended without bloodshed, but it is not a victory for either side, not even a small one. At best, this is the beginning of a new Cold War only this time instead of the American government versus the Communists, it will be the American government versus the American people. At worst, this is the opening confrontation in what will soon become a nightmare of unimaginable destruction.


News articles about the Bundy Ranch Standoff:
Reuters (Aug. 31, 2012): Sen. Reid & Son Combine for Chinese Solar Project
NPR (April 12, 2014): US Agency Backs Down in Standoff with Cattle Rancher
ABC News (April 12, 2014): Cattle Rancher Wins "Range War" with Feds
Washington Times (April 13, 2014): Bundy Standoff Could Leave Dirt on Sen. Harry Reid's Reputation
Reuters (April 13, 2014): Nevada Ranch Family Claims Victory as Government Releases Cattle
CBS News (April 13, 2014): Cliven Bundy says, "The citizens of America got my cattle back"
Fox News (April 13, 2014): Federal Agency Vows to Continue Legal Action Following Standoff


April 15, 2014:

Today I found a detailed listing of the Federal government's case against the Bundy Family and their cattle ranch. Assuming the allegations are true and accurate, there are some serious charges being leveled against the Bundys, charges that will have to answered for sooner or later.

SGC News: The Bundy Ranch, What You're Not Being Told
Archive Today capture of a page the BLM removed: Cattle Trespass Impacts (This link might be temporary)

Here is an image capture of the Cattle Trespass Impacts page:

There are several allegations here which if they can be proven in a court of law clearly demonstrate that the Bundy family has knowingly and willfully endangered a protected species, innocent members of nearby communities, and innocent travelers on the local highways. As I said in the main body of my post, everyone involved in this incident has a secret agenda that they are trying to achieve. There are no innocents here, except maybe the naive patriot militia members who put their lives on the line in defense of a potential felon. To my way of thinking, this standoff was a complete waste of time for the patriot militias who participated. They have laid down their hand while the rest of the table is still collecting their draw cards. For many of them it probably provided a sense of accomplishment, but that sense of accomplishment is badly misplaced. The government will never again underestimate the potential for armed resistance, which in turn dramatically increases the risk factor in the next standoff.

If you are a member of a patriot militia you had better make damn sure you know who you're putting your life on the line to defend because the next time you don your fatigues and load your firearm it could very well cost you your life.

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
- Benjamin Franklin