Archive for the ‘window-war’ Category

In response to the ghouls who are trying to exploit the mass murder at the political gathering in AZ, blaming the politicians and pundits for the tone of their rhetoric being too combative:

Yes, the quality of political debate is abysmally bad. That is a direct result of how the exercise of political power has more intensely affected the lives of citizens. Voters recognize how all the government programs, laws, regulations, taxes, etc. are dominating their lives and threatening their futures more and more each day, so they are understandably alarmed and getting more desperate to stop the “other side” from taking advantage of them.

“All of this is the predictable result of putting moral questions up to a vote, of rulers making election contests into mock battles, pitting one “side” against another. (Warren mentions the “Coke vs. Pepsi” mentality, which is spot on.)

“Around the 2010 election, I read somewhere [added: here via Beck] that an election is nothing more than two or more armies getting dressed up, marching to the battle field, then counting which side has the most soldiers and awarding the spoils of victory to that side without actually drawing blood. And, as Billy Beck has pointed out for many years: “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”

“My solution? Stop voting. Stop giving your permission to politicians to wield power over your neighbors. Work with your neighbors to solve problems via reason and persuasion, instead of resorting to force. Government, by definition, is the use of force.

(My comment here and here.)

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When I first read the “hatriot” section of Bill Clinton’s speech, I told my wife that he was quoting Billy Beck (well, almost). Apparently, Billy didn’t miss that, nor did the many people who sent him e-mail about it.

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A comment at the Walls of the City blog:

I, too have been following Vanderboegh in real time, before his Sipsey Street Irregulars website came into existence, via David Codrea’s War on Guns website (which chronicles daily a dozen or more stories of police corruption, particularly with regards to gun laws–the sheer number of articles itself is a very bad reflection on the state of law enforcement) and the Western Rifle Shooters blog.

Vanderboegh wrote about a fictional Window War a decade or so ago, by his reckoning. It was a cautionary tale about gun control in the twilight of the Clinton administration. His repost occurred Feb 2009, just after Obama’s inauguration, during the uncertainty of a gang of top administration officials who were far more leftist than anyone before in such high office, who brought with them the brazenly corrupt Chicago-style political thuggery. Couple that with the rotten, power-drunk federal law enforcement agencies, who even during the Bush years were already running amok, and anyone paying attention quickly saw the potential for more Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents (which occurred or started during Bush 41, before Clinton upped the stakes with the scary-looking gun ban).

The Window War has been in the works for a long time. Personally, I believe Vanderboegh is a principled man who is not itching for a fight.

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At Walls of the City I comment on this post, which is a roundup of criticisms of Vanderboegh’s Window War:

I wrote a couple posts here and here about your article The Substance of Things, an objectivist critique of Vanderboegh’s Window War. I personally think that such tactics are a miscalculation, which run the risk of “copy cats” escalating the subversive acts to things like cutting propane lines to a house (wrong address, actually) or making death threats. As Vanderboegh himself put it (in reference to a different matter), that’s the Law of Unintended Consequence–you lose control over how things play out. Innocents get hurt. Bad people exploit the chaos to grab power.

My read of history is that civil disobedience–not just waving signs, but actual non-violent lawbreaking–gets much better results. It puts those in power in the position of showing who they really are, highlighting for the “fence sitters” and unaware just what is wrong with forcing people to buy health insurance, for example.

On the other hand, Roberta X’s call “to regroup and plan for elections…for the states to take the matter to court” doesn’t strike me as any more productive than the Window War. You can’t vote yourself into freedom. Elected officials, by their very nature, will never relinquish power once attained, even if it is at the price of your rights. Trying to win a majority is a losing proposition.

Which lead me directly to your claim that “the government has never been the problem with our country.” I could not disagree with you more.

Government was the problem when it ensconced slavery into the Constitution, when it interfered with the free market by imposing a government monopoly on mail delivery (something affecting us this very day), when it made Jim Crow laws, when it engaged in colonialism and foreign interventions (something affecting us this very day), when it imposed one collectivist “reform” or market “regulation” after another. No corporation or non-governmental group has the power of government to trample our rights and to behave unethically (harming the rights of others) purportedly in our name.

Spooner, Garrison, and Thoreau explicated the reasons why the government was wrong, why “its very Constitution is the evil.” Government is aggressive force instead of persuasive reason, which by its very nature is immoral.

Now, while I assert that non-violent civil disobedience will likely get better results now than the Window War, the cartridge box or the ballot box…I do not agree with the notion that violence is never the answer. See this post at The Smallest Minority, or the Solzhenitsyn quote Vanderboegh cites here.

I’ve been reading Vanderboegh for years and I know he has not “been wishing for our backs to be against the wall” nor is he an “extremist… who pleasure[s] [himself] at the thought of another civil war.” I may disagree with him about the usefulness of the Window War (and about God and the Constitution at root), but I do have respect for him as a principled individual, unlike those who cut propane lines, make death threats against legislators’ family members, etc..

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Jacob Sullum at Reason gives us the bad news: Social Security will go negative this year, six years earlier than predicted.

Meanwhile, we start to see the really bad news regarding the consequences of Health Care Deform:

Deere & Co and Caterpillar Inc said they are expecting a combined $250 million in charges this year as a result of changes to the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system that President Barack Obama signed into law this week.

Why do these Democrats act so surprised when the victims start reacting in anger, either symbolically or worse? And, is it any more surprising that the vandalism is directed at both parties?

Now, they’re getting warmed up over Cap-and-Trade (i.e., Kneecap Business and Undermine Free Trade). While they’re scaling back the House version, they’re getting the camel’s nose under the tent. In order to force Americans to limit carbon emissions, it has to hurt, and hurt bad, or people will keep doing what they’re doing. All of this, of course, is based upon bad science. (If James Cameron wants to call anyone “out into the street at high noon and shoot it out”, I’d suggest the weapon to be used be the scientific method of inquiry, which for centuries has necessarily included healthy skepticism in order to move beyond the flat-earth stagnation of “settled” diktats. Mr. Cameron, without any Hollywood glitz, explain feedback and runaway processes in the context of historical data.)

My daughter rolls her eyes when I say, “Want to hear something really scary?” and then proceed to tell her how Social Security will be gone when she retires. She’s not interested now, but this fiscal house of cards that’s starting to teeter is worse than any R-rated slasher movie I won’t let her get at the video store.

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Go listen.

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From Fox News:

Republican Rep. Eric Cantor’s Richmond campaign office was shot at Wednesday night, Fox News has learned, the latest in a rash of apparent threats and acts of intimidation against members of Congress.

Which brings to mind:

“Hold onto your butts!” — Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) in Jurassic Park (1993)

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Every time I hit the web, I find more angry fallout from the Democrats’ Health Care Deform atrocity–reactions which exceed the relatively weak Tea Party protests. I don’t recommend doing these sorts of things–at this point I think peaceful civil disobedience would be the most effective means of getting people to face these issues rationally, with the advantage of being solidly ethical. But it’s important to draw distinctions between the incidents, as the media tends to conflate them all together into one big sticky ball of racist, Timothy McVeigh scariness, which they’d like to attach to Tea Party protesters and Republicans in general.

The most prominent of late is the Window War,
of which Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars
takes credit
for instigating, or at least inspiring .

There have also been some death threats mentioned in the news–even some cowardly threats against children of lawmakers, for example. So far, these incidents are few in number. Most, if not all, are likely hollow threats, but they do give Democrats lots of sympathy points. Committing a felony like that is just plain stupid, considering how easy it is to trace most of them.

On the Alan Colmes radio show Wednesday evening, I heard Alan speaking with Mike Troxel, who tried to weasel his way out of being held accountable for his actions. Colmes took full advantage of the situation, pressing Troxel to the point that he just sounded stupid. On
Colmes’ Liberaland

On my radio show Tuesday night, Mike Troxel (pictured) of the Lynchburg, VA Tea Party defended posting what he thought was the home address of Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello. However, it was the address of Periello’s brother, Bo, that wound up on Troxel’s website. Opponents of health care reform were asked to drop by and “express their thanks” for Periello’s vote. Troxel’s defense was that the Congressman was unreachable at his office, not responding to phone calls, and refusing to explain his pro-heath care reform vote to his electorate. Now, the FBI is investigating the severing of a gas line at the home of Bo Droxel.

More about the incident here. Troxel, if you’re going to be putting up addresses, not only should you make sure you’ve got the one you intend, but you should be man enough to take responsibility for it, instead of offering pathetic explanations like a child who gets caught with cookie crumbs all over his face.

Whoever cut the gas line at that house took it to another level. That could have easily ended up causing casualties. As with McVeigh and Andrew Stack (who flew the plane into the IRS building in Austin), such a blind act makes no effort to avoid harming innocents. I find it utterly despicable.

So, while some people like the window warriors may be trying to act ethically, with measured restraint, they’re going to need to work very hard to distinguish themselves from the cowardly idiots. As I a commented at SSI:

Window warriors need to keep in mind a few things: When you’re on someone else’s property with a brick, you are putting yourself in danger of retaliation to your person (arrest, assault, deadly force). If you’re not prepared for such an eventuality, don’t pick up the brick in the first place. And, now that the “Window War” has started, don’t whine that “…[a]nything they can think of to say is OK. But if you disagree with them you are the scum of the earth.” (emphasis mine) Vandalism is not mere words of disagreement. Telling people to commit vandalism is not just words, but a call to action.

I think I get why Vanderboegh is citing the threats here, and I don’t see him acting like a victim here. I don’t think it serves him for anyone else to pretend this is just about words of disagreement at this point.

Vanderboegh has repeatedly stated that he wants the window war to be enough of a warning to stave off a shooting war, like a rattlesnake shaking its tail wants to save its venom and avoid being hurt. I have my doubts, and I think that Billy Beck may very well be right when he wrote, “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.” I think it either comes to that or the once free American individualist becomes an endangered species as this country devolves into just another European-style socialist mess.

P.S.: When reading the comment sections at SSI and elsewhere, be wary of the presence of agents provocateurs, who could be working for law enforcement, Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, etc.. I’ve seen plenty of remarks purportedly posted by those sympathetic to the window warriors or Tea Party “movement”, yammering about courage and whatnot–often from anonymous comments, hilariously enough–that I’ve no doubt some of them want to see someone else escalate. Vanderboegh has written at length about handling plants in his former militia group, such as those who pretended to have a racist agenda. He reported them forthwith to the authorities whom he suspected of sending the plant in the first place.

Remember, the Democrats just grabbed immense power and they’re going to be ruthless about keeping it and shutting down anyone who would dare threaten them. The usual warnings about The Reichstag Fire and Ft. Sumter apply.

“This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.” — Admiral Josh Painter (Fred Thompson) in The Hunt for Red October (1990)

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In the comments section of
Vanderboegh’s reaction
to an objectivist’s objections to his “Window War”,
a few commenters made an obvious point which I wish I’d seen in my previous post:

B Woodman
, “He forgets … who started stealing from whom first.”

An anonymous commenter

Had they applied the same logic to my own property rights (including the money I work so hard to earn) I would not have to resort to using a louder form of persuasion to get their attention. Hello?! Anyone out there? If you take something that belongs to me without my consent then I will do the same to you. Get it yet?

Roger wrote:

…the feral government has taken my personal property by force with the threat of violence for three decades of my life. My hard earned money represents my direct time, my blood, sweat and tears. It is stolen, never to be reclaimed, never to be recovered, and something I can never replace.

Unfortunately, Roger, like many others in the comments, goes on to repeat the bullshit Broken Window Fallacy when he says, “At least with a broken window, it creates jobs. Jobs that are needed.” With that sort of inane thinking, we could evacuate a few towns and carpet bomb them to cure unemployment. Destruction of value is destruction of value. It is always a net loss to the owners. The benefit to others (new jobs) comes at a cost to the owners. (Which, in the case of the “Window War” is the point.)

Another anonymous commenter writes:

So by that logic, when the government begins to wage war on our property, they are waging war on our person. I’ll accept his premise which would conclude with John Locke’s premise on the rights of the people over the government.

Among the rest of the comments, there are the lame attacks on the objectivist author, concocting all sorts of fantasies and straw man arguments. A few collectivist interlopers come in to share their stupidity. But, curiously, a comment I posted early Tuesday never seemed to make it into the bunch. [Update: I resubmitted and it's there now, slightly edited.] See my previous post for the full text.

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I felt hung over on Monday because I was foolish enough to watch the news all Sunday, holding out hope that the Health Care Deform would be voted down. It’s about like watching a train wreck about to happen, holding out hope that the school bus will somehow go 0-80 in 5 seconds to clear the tracks. Or, like watching election returns in 2008, just in case the tracking polls were way off. I at least saved myself some stress by changing the channels whenever a Democrat started spewing ridiculous horse shit. When Pelosi got up, I had to switch over to a Kung Fu movie for awhile, just to clear my brain of that ghoul’s smiling visage and grating voice.

Over a decade ago, when I read others predicting impending tyrannies like this, I paid attention, though the vast majority dismissed them in Cassandra-like fashion. I took occasional opportunities here and elsewhere to echo such sentiments.

A few people recognize (for different reasons) that it is useless to hold out hope for a GOP majority in November 2010 and 2012 as a means to reverse this atrocity. For all the clamoring of Tea Partiers, media pundits, and innumerable bloggers, you can’t vote your way to freedom. By the nature of democracy, that strategy is ultimately doomed to failure, but if ever there was a chance to put off this disaster for a generation or two, it’s long since passed.

Many pragmatists recoil in horror at my decision not to vote. I read babbling about coming up with a better system, the ever-inane “love it or leave it”, and, of course, charges that I don’t really believe in the principles I espouse because I’m not shooting it out over every violation of my rights.

While I reserve the right to protect my rights and the rights of my family (and perhaps those of my neighbors), I see no value in getting myself or others destroyed for no real gain. Frankly, I would prefer civil disobedience on a massive scale to any sort of violence. As history shows, most civil wars or rebellions come at a heavy cost to innocents, and are almost always exploited by the less principled. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Starving the beast is the best option–if you can avoid its fangs.

At Sipsey Street Irregulars, Mike Vanderboegh is calling for a “Window War” in response to the audacious power grab by the Democrats. It’s certainly more provocative than the mostly weak Tea Party demonstrations, though I’ve yet to see it gathering momentum. Without that momentum, it’s a dud, which puts Mike and others in danger of losing their freedom (or worse), for what I consider to be insufficient gain. I recognize that it’s their choices to make and I don’t expect them to take council from someone like me, who prefers non-violent civil disobedience (whether en masse or on an individual, under-the-radar level).

In response to a post at “Walls of the City”, Vanderboegh and a fellow irregular take exception to this so-called pragmatist, whose article contains the very opposite of pragmatism. A response from me:

I didn’t see the word “sacred” in his remarks. That seems to be your word, not his. I would use a more common phrase: property rights are inalienable, like the rights to life and liberty.

But inalienable doesn’t mean “in all circumstances” nor do I glean from his words that he makes such an argument. Again, those appear to be your words alone.

In addition, I don’t see the objectivist argument as “pragmat[ic]” at all. It’s the opposite: taking principles to their logical conclusion, instead of abandoning them when convenient (the hallmark of the pragmatist). Don’t misconstrue what I just said. I’m not accusing you or brick throwers of abandoning principles, per se. I’d need more information to make such a judgment. The same applies to the objectivist author who, from what I’m seeing, has made some assumptions about intent.

Furthermore, unless the objectivist author has elsewhere expressed a desire “to shoot people for resisting in a way with which he disagrees,” it’s dishonest to put those words in his mouth.

I want to address some particulars, like the difference between “inalienable” and “in all circumstances.”

If some crack head breaks into my house, he is violating my rights, thus his rights are superseded. That’s one “circumstance” in which that man’s rights don’t apply–as a direct consequence of his choice.

It’s all about context.

As for violence against property and violence against a person, I think he is correct that it is wrong to draw a moral distinction between the two. Suppose some arsonist burns down the house of an old lady. Take insurance and charity away. The consequence of violence on mere property is that she will die of starvation or exposure. That is effectively violence against her.

If you assert your moral right to do violence against the property of others, you thus assert the right to do violence against their person. For one obvious reason, the property owner may use deadly force against you if he sees you on his property with a brick. By your choice to do violence against his property, you have opened the door to the possibility that you will need to do violence to his person as a consequence of your choice.

Thus I would argue that you don’t have cause to do harm to someone’s property unless you have cause to do harm to him. That you draw a distinction between the two and decide that you’ll do one and not the other, is a tactical decision, a personal value judgment. In effect, you decide to risk your life or liberty to inflict property damage, because you calculate that escalating would do harm to the message you want to send.

In other words, if you assert the right to do harm to the people who have done harm to you and your neighbors (via intolerable acts), but choose to limit your response to property as a tactic and a personal value judgment, you have not abandoned the principle of private property, assuming that your assertion is well-founded. If you consider what the Dems have done to be an initiation of force (by threat and by proxy), then your window breaking would be a reaction, not the initiation of force.

My ancestors fought in the American Revolution, with far less provocation. Personally, I think the Rubicon was crossed long ago and that only the strength of American individualism has proverbially kept Caesar’s army from taking Rome until recent years.

is my take on the time of death.

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