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Ghostly Echoes Of History From 1774 - 1775 To 2014 - 2015

Discussion in 'Library and Editorials' started by searcher, Jan 3, 2015.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Sunday, December 28, 2014


    Unum Necessarium. "Now was the time to squirrel away as much powder as possible." Ghostly echoes of history from 1774-1775 to 2014-2015, Part One.


    "A rebellion must have arms." -- Jeffery Record, Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win.


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    Fort William and Mary in 1705.


    On the 19th of October, in the year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Four, George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith (and so forth and so on) issued a confidential Order in Council forbidding the export of arms and powder to America. Like most royal secrets at the time, this one quickly leaked to operatives of Sam Adams and the Boston Sons of Liberty. (Funny how tyrants always think in similar terms and use identical actions. Indeed, it is their actions that make them as tyrants -- then and now. As I have written before, history rarely exactly repeats itself but it often echoes.)



    The King was reacting to his understandable fright caused by the Powder Alarm, when in the immediate aftermath of the 1 September seizure by General Gage of the gunpowder at Charlestown, thousands of Massachusetts militiamen had marched on Boston and Cambridge, and mob action forced Loyalists and some government officials to flee to the protection of the British Army. The run-up to the Powder Alarm is described by Robert P. Richmond in his book Powder Alarm, 1774:




    As the colonists' defiance grew, it became evident that it would be only a matter of time before the British Government prohibited the exportation of gunpowder and military stores to America. Now was the time to squirrel away as much powder as possible. The colonists were within their legal rights in withdrawing, town by town, the powder that had been allotted to each town according to population. The system of storing powder necessary for local self-defense in centrally located powderhouses throughout the province had been a safeguard against the French and Indians. Now, however, Gage realized that this powder intended for defense would quite likely be used against his troops. . .




    For their part, the colonists knew that there was virtually no indigenous powder production, and the lack of gunpowder could cripple their resistance if the issue came to shots, as it did the following year at Lexington and Concord. The colonists turned to smuggling, of course, but their powder purchases in Europe and elsewhere could not make up the difference, especially in the short run. Indeed, when Washington arrived to take control of the militia army in front of Boston and learned how little powder was actually on hand, he was quite speechless for a considerable period of time.



    What was terrifying (in 1775) was the picture of an America fighting with no weapons . . . the country was as naked and defenseless as a shucked oyster. The colonies were in the nightmare situation of trying to fight the strongest nation in Europe almost barehanded. . . The crying need was for gunpowder. There had been a few powder mills in the country, but they were long out of use. -- Helen Augur, The Secret War for Independence, 1955.




    I am currently reading Kevin Phillips' book, 1775: A Good Year for Revolution. In his chapter on "The Global Munitions Struggle, 1774-1776," he writes:



    Although both sides made many mistakes during 1774 and 1775, neither underestimated the central role of ammunition. Adapting a term from Christian theology, Samuel Adams candidly proclaimed gunpowder as the "unum necessarium" -- the one thing needful.




    If powder importation was to be prohibited, then, the powder existing in the magazines of the two sides became the critical item of contention in the run-up to war. When the Boston Sons of Liberty learned of the Order in Council, they feared that the Regulars would make another attempt to seize colonial stores. Wikipedia reports:


    Patriots in Rhode Island moved munitions from the fort at Newport inland for safe keeping without incident. In Massachusetts, rumors flew that troops from Boston were headed to reinforce Fort William and Mary and seize its powder and arms. On December 13, 1774, four months before his more famous ride in Massachusetts, Paul Revere rode to Portsmouth to sound the alarm.




    So, 240 years ago this month, the colonists in New Hampshire seized the powder at Fort William and Mary.




    On the morning of December 14, Patriots from the town of New Castle unsuccessfully attempted to take the gunpowder at Fort William and Mary by trickery. Meanwhile, John Langdon made his way through Portsmouth with a drummer, collecting a crowd to descend on the fort. Several hundred men responded to his call, setting out for the Castle by way of the Piscataqua River. Only one provincial officer, Captain John Cochran, and five provincial soldiers were stationed at Fort William and Mary. Despite the odds against them, they refused to capitulate to Patriot demands. When Langdon's men rushed the fort, the defenders opened fire with three cannon and a volley of musket shot. Patriots stormed the walls and Cochran's men engaged in hand-to-hand fighting before being subdued by an overwhelming number of raiders. Langdon's volunteers not only broke open the powder house and absconded with about 100 barrels of gunpowder but, to three cheers, hauled down the fort's huge British flag. Several injuries but no deaths occurred in the engagement, and Cochran and his men were released after about an hour and a half of confinement.


    The next day, additional rebel forces arrived in Portsmouth from across the colony, as well as from Maine. Led by John Sullivan, the rebels returned to the fort late on the night of December 15, overran the post without gunfire and removed muskets, military supplies and 16 cannon marked as the property of the King. British authorities declared the raids - for which Sullivan later received a stipend from the Continental Congress - high treason.




    Unfortunately, the colonists didn't have the foresight, or the means, to remove all the heavy artillery and military stores at the fort, and these were later recovered by the British navy. Too bad, they would have come in handy at the siege of Boston. Grandpa Vanderboegh's Rule No. 32 applies here: "If God gives you a cake, take the whole damn thing. You might get hungry later."



    Note that this took place a full FOUR MONTHS before the General Gage's ill-considered gun raid of 19 April 1775. This was not merely armed civil disobedience, but high treason -- theft of Royal property and an attack on the King's lackeys. This is in part what I meant during my speech on the steps of Connecticut state capitol in April of last year when I said that the Founding Fathers "did what was required."



    But this post started out with the promise in the header to find parallels between 1774-1775 and 2014-2015. Why, you might ask, do I begin with the one certain contradiction to what the Founders faced and the situation as we find it today? For it is an absolute given that we, today, live in the most highly armed society in history -- ever. We have no lack of arms, no lack of powder and shot, no lack of ammunition, nor do we have at the moment any impediment to obtaining more. (Although we should always remember Kipling's dictum that you can NEVER have TOO MUCH ammunition.)



    I begin with the one major difference between then and now because I apparently need to remind those of us who are timid and fearful, those of us who exaggerate the power of the federal government and minimize our own innate power, those of us who immediately crouch in the submissive position of compromise, THAT WE HAVE THIS ONE HUGE ADVANTAGE OVER THE FOUNDERS. All other comparisons between the two periods must take this fact into account up front. Whatever the other parallels that I will discuss in further installments of this series, remember that THIS is our reality, not the poverty of means faced by the Founding generation. How, then, can we do less than they? Only by means of failures of our own will, failures of our own imagination, failures of our own courage. We have the means to secure our own liberty and property and lives. We have but to recognize it.



    I also begin this series with the indisputable fact of the greatest armed society in history as a warning to the analysts of the federal three-letter paramilitary police organizations and to the so-called "fusion centers" and their state-paid but federal-directed lickspittles -- in the hope that they communicate it to the various tyrant-wannabes that they serve. Clausewitz, I would remind them them, offered this truth among many: "In military affairs, quantity has a quality all its own." Try to keep that in mind, you insignificant tax-fed carbuncles. Try not to piss off the largest, most heavily armed and accoutered, armed citizenry in the history of the planet. Take my advice in the loving admonition with which it is offered. You'll live longer.





    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2014/12/unum-necessarium-now-was-time-to.html
     
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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Saturday, January 3, 2015



    The long game & the struggle for liberty. Ghostly echoes of history from 1774-1775 to 2014-2015, Part Two.




    [​IMG]


    I learned a long time ago that it is one thing to see a ghost. It is yet another when a ghost sees you. But you don't truly understand a thing until a ghost reaches out and taps you on the shoulder.




    As I noted in Part One of this series, "Unum Necessarium," there are decided differences between the situation the Founders faced in the years 1774-1775 and that which we face as 2014 gives way to 2015. There are also striking similarities.



    I have been in this fight against the growing collectivist tyranny in this country for more than 20 years now. So, too, have some of my oldest surviving friends -- men like Bob Wright and Cope Reynolds. One thing that longevity gives us old farts is some perspective of history, that the struggle for liberty is a long game, and only successfully played by the those with resolute patience. Nothing demonstrates this so clearly as the timeline of the American Revolution.



    The seminal event that educated, instructed and matured the Founding generation and ultimately produced the Revolution was the French and Indian War that raged from 1754 to 1763. In it, the colonists got an up-close look at the British Empire, at the follies and corruptions of an arbitrary government and an arrogant military that had prior to that event been distant and seemed not so important to the New World. Colonists who had been reared in the moral revival of the Great Awakening, who had learned to appreciate the British Constitution as practiced after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, colonists who had imbibed the lessons of the English Civil War and the philosophy of John Locke, were shocked at the contrasts between what they had been raised to appreciate as ostensibly freemen of Britain and the harsh reality.



    Used to governing themselves and making provisions for their own security through their militias, the war which brought imperial excesses and abuses right in front of their noses was shocking to the colonists. It also had the effect of training an entire generation of colonial yeoman farmers and tradesmen to the art and practice of war and illustrated to them the strengths, and more importantly, the weaknesses, of the greatest army on the planet. Men who lost friends and loved ones to British military arrogance were not likely to come out the other side of that experience with increased love for the distant monarchy and the military that seemed heedless of the reality of their world.




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    When the British tied Daniel Morgan to a wagon wheel and lashed him, by Morgan's own count, 499 times (a sentence that killed many lesser men), they made a permanent enemy who paid them back many times over during the Revolution. One wonders today what unintended lessons our own veterans of the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have learned from their politician-squandered bloody sacrifices. In this alone, those wars and the French and Indian War are eerily parallel, having both created generations of demobilized soldiers, but now members of the armed citizenry, who are well familiar with the two-way shooting range.



    The French and Indian War also darn near bankrupted the British Empire and lead first to the taxes and then to the repressive measures to enforce those taxes that laid the groundwork for the Revolution. These in turn led to a political movement that eventually morphed into a fully-developed armed civil disobedience and then, to war.



    It is not necessary to dwell on the details here. The timeline alone tells all. From the Stamp Act to Lexington and Concord, this was a long game, this fight for liberty, and the Founders understood that intimately. They played it with skill and with patience, but also with determination. At each step they out-thought their royal oppressors, out maneuvered them, goaded them into stupidities which brought even more support to the side of revolution. They did this long before they out-fought them and they did it by patience and forbearance -- the essence of holding the moral high ground. Yet with each incident they pushed the liberty cause a little further down the field, learning as they went.



    They were capable of quite sophisticated gambits as well. When the Boston Massacre happened (probably at the instigation of Samuel Adams) in 1770, it was his patriot cousin John Adams who DEFENDED the British soldiers in court. And got most of them off. Paul Revere's timely propaganda made the case of royal tyranny and John Adams proved colonial rectitude and "fair mindedness." It was a huge win-win for the patriot cause.




    [​IMG]





    But what of our own "long game"? What parallels, if any, are there to the Founding generation's learning experiences with resistance to tyranny? More, I think, than many appreciate.



    For most of us, this part of our lives began with Waco, Ruby Ridge and the constitutional militia movement. For those of you who have no memory of that period, I would refer you to Professor Robert Churchill's work To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face.



    We learned a lot back then, but most of the wisdom is distilled in an anecdote of the period around the time of the Freeman standoff. My friend Bob Wright, leader of the 1st Brigade New Mexico Militia, had this to say when the FBI SAC in Albuquerque NM asked Bob if he would take his men out of state to the site of another potential Waco: "Why would I want to do that? There's plenty of you federal sonsabitches around here."



    This encapsulates what we learned: that an attack on one was an attack on all, even if we didn't sympathize or agree with the target of militarized federal police action, and -- most importantly -- that the response would be general, not local. Another way of putting it was our battle cry No more free Wacos! This then was the ultimate expression of our cold war with the militarized federal police of the Clinton era. And we later had evidence to confirm the fact that we scared them as much as they scared us. Based upon events, it was a credible deterrent.



    And then we crossed the timeline into the 21st Century. Clinton left the stage, Bush entered. Not that we trusted Bush any more than we had Clinton, but it seemed that the pressure was off for a bit. The movement reflected this. Fewer people showed up for meetings and FTXs. But then came 11 September 2001, and shortly after the misbegotten and misnamed PATRIOT Act. To a man and woman, all of us old guys in the constitutional militia movement opposed it because we understood from our study of the Founders, especially the Alien and Sedition Acts, that you should never pass a law that you weren't willing to see enforced upon you by your own worst enemy.



    Then in 2005 came the border crisis (again, without end, amen) Bush's drive for amnesty and the popular response of the armed citizenry, the Minutemen. As I wrote at the time, they were "the magnificent Minutemen."



    But then it began to dawn on some of us: we few dozen volunteers were forcing the governments of two nations (as well as the minions of the largest economic enterprise on the planet) to dance to OUR tune. With this knowledge, we began to tailor our operations to take advantage of that fact. And while I am back in Alabama, the Minutemen volunteers are still interdicting that part of the border, mindful of their new power to call the tune.



    History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. Never was that truer than among that small band of New Mexico Minutemen. They were dirty, unshaven and exhausted on their best day. They didn't look like much more than a small convention of the homeless. But by their presence and their gritty determination they were calling the shots on the border. They were pitiful, they were magnificent. I am proud to have known them and to have served with them.




    [​IMG]



    4 April 2005, Palominas AZ - New Mexico militiaman Bob Wright outside the Palominas Trading Post and Cafe, just before the first Minuteman Project patrol departed for the border.





    This was no small accomplishment and it was no accident that seasoned veterans of the constitutional militia movement like Bob Wright were major leaders in that struggle. With each border interdiction we learned more about planning, logistics, rules of engagement and dealing successfully with the federal bureaucracy while maintaining our own principles and ability to carry out the mission. Being armed, we were condemned as "vigilantes." But no incidence of violence was ever traced to the Minutemen. It was empowering for us, and we relearned a simple truth that some of us had forgotten from the 90s -- bureaucrats, even armed bureaucrats, are not interested in messing with the armed citizenry when in sufficient numbers and displaying martial competence and intimate knowledge of what they are about. It was heady stuff, which is why we were denounced so fiercely by the SPLC and others, including the GOP elites. The issues today are the same, but we stopped the drive for amnesty in 2005. We bought time. A decade's worth of time -- until a lame-duck president empowered by nothing left to lose is going to go all dictatorial on us to achieve it.




    And as the 21st Century progressed we began to understand also that if the standard political means of defending ourselves and our liberty could not be trusted to the jellied-backbones of politicians such as the GOP that an acceptable, functional substitute could be crafted as a local expedient as well as a national one. Some anecdotes:



    August 2011, Quartzsite, AZ. Oath Keepers, led by Stewart Rhodes, sponsors “The Quartzsite Liberty Festival," which supported "the concerned citizenry of Quartzsite, local activists such as grass-roots journalist Jennifer ‘Jade’ Jones, and the town Mayor, the Honorable Ed Foster (a Marine veteran), who have stood up for the free speech rights of the citizens” against a tyrannical police chief. Although forbidden to do so and threatened with deadly force, several hundred armed citizens, including Bob Wright, Cope Reynolds and others, marched through town. One recalled, "Our actions along with a diligent local citizenry there ultimately resulted in the formal dismissal of the Police Chief Jeff Gilbert.



    September 2011, Ruidoso NM. The Alamagordo News reported it under the headline, "Protesters livid over gun ban." Bob Wright recalls,



    We arrived at the village hall about an hour before the scheduled council meeting. On the front door of the village hall was a sign declaring the carrying of firearms was forbidden by mayoral decree. We mingled around the crowd and observed there was a police presence in the area of ten or so people in uniform. We visited with the Lieutenant for a bit and laughed at one young officer who was incredibly nervous. They even had the dog catcher there with a taser strapped on. As we neared time for the meeting top start we moved to the door. I put my hand on the door handle and in a loud and clear voice read the sign with the Mayors proclamation. I then turned while keeping my hand on the handle and looked the cops in the eye and said, "Well… What's it going to be?” My recollection is that the Police chief with a chagrined look and a go ahead gesture said “Go on in, Sir.” We entered the chambers and along with about a hundred other armed men we took seats and waited for the meeting to begin. We sat through the regular business of the meeting and when public comment began the freemen of New Mexico, with pistols on hips and ARs slung over shoulders laid out the case of freedom and adherence to the New Mexico constitution in Language both plain and eloquent.




    [​IMG]



    Congressman Steve Pearce gets set to defy US Forest Service at armed civil disobedience rally in Cloudcroft NM



    September 2011, Cloudcroft, NM. The same month, just after Ruidoso and also in New Mexico, came the Otero County "Chainsaw Rebellion.



    Arizona firearms instructor and militiaman Cope Reynolds recalls:



    Less than a month later (after the Quartzite confrontation), many of the same patriots including myself and Bob Wright found ourselves in Otero County, NM standing up to the tyrant again. This time, it was the feds in the form of the U.S. Forest service. About 400 or so armed patriots rallied for emergency logging operations that would help protect the scenic town of Cloudcroft. The USFS said "No" to logging so we, with the blessing of a constitutional sheriff, departed the rally and headed for the woods. NM 2nd District Congressman (R) Steve Pearce cut down the first tree after which many more were felled while the USFS stood helplessly by and watched.



    Cope reminisces:



    My political attitude and activity took a bit of turn in 2009. I started being much more vocal and attending quite a few rallies that I thought were worthy spending the time and money on. It really began with the Tea Parties that year and grew from there. My travels were getting longer and more frequent so I began to be a little more picky about my causes. . .




    [​IMG]





    April of 2014 found us at Bundy Ranch in Nevada shoulder to shoulder with thousands of armed militia and supporters facing a militarized Bureau of Land Management SWAT team among others. The BLM wisely decided to back away from that confrontation.


    Fast forward past several other armed rallies to 13 December 2014 and Olympia, WA. A large rally with some 2000-2500 armed attendees stood up against the tyrant once again in opposition of draconian gun legislation which was Initiative 594. i594 made virtually all private firearms transfers illegal without a background check. The rally was organized in record time by Gavin Seim and a handful of die-hard, tireless patriots. We effectively nullified I594 by committing several thousand felony transfers during the rally. What a stunning and brilliant success this rally was! The following weekend saw a similar armed rally in Spokane.




    (NOTE: It is significant that both Gavin Seim and Anthony Bosworth, two of the driving members of the I Will Not Comply Rally in Olympia, were also at Bundy Ranch. My intention starting out was to do a complete timeline of the armed civil disobedience actions during the recent past and I find that I don't really have enough space. There was the San Antonio rally at the Alamo on 19 October 2013 as well as the Temple, Texas march in defiance of very nervous local "authorities" in June of that year. There are others. Each time we do these actions, local leaders learn lessons that are applied in other places and at future times. This is something the Founders learned as well. It is a process that cannot be precisely taught in a classroom, nor can it be rushed, it must be learned by experience.)



    The evening after the Olympia rally, as we were traveling in several cars headed to Yakima for a defensive handgun class that Cope was conducting the next day, we stopped and had dinner. Cope recalls, "I was suddenly struck with a thought that concerned me just a tad. I posed this question to Mike: 'We have been very successful in rubbing the nose of the tyrant in his piddle puddle time after time. Do you think its possible or even likely that they will tire of this and be waiting and ready to go to guns on unsuspecting patriots at one of these rallies?'"



    I smiled, and said, "Good question." For the truth is that no infringement of liberty, which comes with its own implicit and explicit threat of state violence, is ever checked or rolled back except by a countervailing threat of defensive violence on the part of the armed citizenry. Ask the surviving veterans of of "the Battle of Athens" in 1946. Ask the Deacons for Defense and Justice. Indeed, ask the ghosts of the Founders.



    This is a long game, this struggle for liberty. To avoid rash decisions and failure of means and ends you must have the patience of the Founders. I've been at this fight now for two decades. Others like Bob Wright have been longer in these trenches than I have. The parallels between the learning curve of the Founding generation and today are inexact, but they are there.



    In part Three of this series, I will deal with two more.




    Posted by Dutchman6 at 10:47 AM




    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-long-game-struggle-for-liberty.html
     
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  3. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I've said many times, it's a foolish gov't that tries to ban guns. They're too easy to make for a ban to be effective. But even reloaders are helpless if they can't find powder ... or primers. Modern primers being simply too dangerous for any but the most skilled to reproduce outside of an industrial environment.
     
  4. Ebie

    Ebie Midas Member Midas Member

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    What good are rifles against tanks?
     
  5. chris_is_here

    chris_is_here Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    the old ruski veterans of the 'great patriotic war' and the NLF guerillas of the vietnam war could give answer to this. even at the end of wwII, the hitler jugend took a heavy toll on the tanks of the ruski guards armies with nothing more than a panzerfaust, a crude, disposable, single-shot bazooka - a perfect weapon for hit-and-run tactics..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4a6lauRPH8
     
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  6. Ebie

    Ebie Midas Member Midas Member

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    Citizens cannot have Panzerfausts.

     
  7. pitw

    pitw Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Kinda/sorta like gold.
     
  8. Thecrensh

    Thecrensh Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    If the British had deployed unmanned drones with hellfire capability, the Revolutionary war would have ended much differently. Just saying.
     
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  9. Eyebone

    Eyebone Midas Member Midas Member

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    Maybe the answer is to not fight the military.

    Chop off the heads of the beast so to speak.
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Sunday, January 4, 2015



    Faith in God and Fidelity to the Constitution versus the Rule of Men. Ghostly echoes of history from 1774-1775 to 2014-2015, Part Three.




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    “I am a Clergyman it is true, but I am a member of the Society as well as the poorest Layman, and my Liberty is as dear to me as any man, shall I then sit still and enjoy myself at Home when the best Blood of the Continent is spilling?...so far am I from thinking that I act wrong, I am convinced it is my duty to do so and duty I owe to God and my country.” -- Peter Muhlenberg, Pastor, Colonel of Virginia militia, 1775 and later Major General, Continental Army.




    As I noted in Part One of this series, "Unum Necessarium," there are decided differences between the situation the Founders faced in the years 1774-1775 and that which we face as 2014 gives way to 2015. As I noted in Part Two, "The long game & the struggle for liberty," there are also striking similarities.



    Early in Part Two, I made this observation:



    In (the French and Indian War), the colonists got an up-close look at the British Empire, at the follies and corruptions of an arbitrary government and an arrogant military that had prior to that event been distant and seemed not so important to the New World. Colonists who had been reared in the moral revival of the Great Awakening, who had learned to appreciate the British Constitution as practiced after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, colonists who had imbibed the lessons of the English Civil War and the philosophy of John Locke, were shocked at the contrasts between what they had been raised to appreciate as ostensibly freemen of Britain and the harsh reality.



    This background cannot be overemphasized. As Gordon S. Wood wrote in The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787:



    The general principles of politics that the colonists sought to discover and apply were not merely abstractions that had to be created anew out of nature and reason. They were in fact already embodied in the historic English constitution which was esteemed by the enlightened of the world precisely because of its "agreeableness to the laws of nature." The colonists stood to the very end of their debate with England and even after on these natural and scientific principles of the English constitution. And ultimately such a stand was what made their Revolution seem so unusual, for they revolted not against the English constitution but on behalf of it.




    Of course they came to understand that the English Constitution had deep flaws -- just as we today understand only too well the flaws in the document with which the Founders replaced it -- but they proceeded from a fidelity that they viewed as older, more true to who they were as freeborn Englishmen than the corrupt tyranny that the English monarchy under George III was saddling them with. In this view, THEY were the true, the faithful, Englishmen, not the hated ministers and corrupt mercantilists who profited off THEIR sweat and blood.



    In this, we are today a precise mirror of the Founders -- we view ourselves as the only true, freeborn Americans who show deeply-held fidelity to OUR Constitution. In our view, as I said in Olympia WA last month, the elites who are currently in charge of our country are indeed "domestic enemies of the Constitution," just as the Founders believed that their English "betters" were enemies of their own constitution and the liberty that it was supposed to secure.



    This is why the enemies of liberty and property speak of this country as a "democracy" whereas we swear allegiance to the Constitution and the Republic. They understand that the Founders were as averse to unrestrained democracy as they were to monarchical tyranny. They seek to win the argument by corrupting the terms. In this they have been, unfortunately, remarkably successful. At the same time these same enemies of liberty and the Founders' Republic accuse us of being "paranoid gun nuts" for suspecting their motives, even when they boldly call for the abolition of the Second Amendment and the confiscation of civilian firearms of military utility (the so-called "assault rifles" -- another cynical use of deliberately-corrupted language to win the argument). Just because we aren't being shunted off into re-education camps for firearm owners right now, they argue, means we don't have a point. "How can you not trust the system?" they ask. Perhaps because like the Founders we too have read history.



    For in this also we are just like the Founding generation. Again from Gordon S. Wood:



    As early as 1775 Edmund Burke had noted in the House of Commons that the colonists' intensive study of law and politics had made them acutely inquisitive and sensitive about their liberties. Where the people of other countries had invoked principles only after they had endured "an actual grievance," the Americans, said Burke, were anticipating their grievances and resorting to principles even before they actually suffered. "They augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze." The crucial question in the colonists' minds, wrote John Dickinson in 1768, was "not, what evil has actually attended particular measures--but, what evil, in the nature of things, is likely to attend them." Because "nations, in general, are not apt to think until they feel, . . . therefore nations in general have lost their liberty." But not the Americans, as the Abbe Raynal observed. They were an "enlightened people" who knew their rights and the limits of power and who, unlike any people before them, aimed to think before they felt.



    Yet now, with the success of various state's Intolerable Acts" in the wake of Sandy Hook, the citizens of those states ARE feeling. They don't NEED to think, to be "paranoid" in their enemies' parlance. They don't need to think beyond how best to resist. For if they are "paranoid" they still have real enemies -- and those enemies are on the march. The monster has finally let the mask slip and he really resents that they have noticed. Yet, Bloomberg and his band of liberty-thieving, property-plundering billionaires ought not be surprised with the reactions that I-594 and the rest of these unconstitutional diktats have sparked. Not if they have read their history as we have.



    As John Locke wrote in 1689:



    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.



    "Which God hath provided for all men." God. And there, too, today, is a reflection of one of the central causes of the Revolution and another parallel between then and now. Kevin Phillips writes in 1775: A Good Year for Revolution --



    Edmund Burke, the late-eighteenth-century British statesman with a great gift for illuminating the American condition, pointed out to an inattentive Parliament in early 1775 the central part that religion played: a "fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth." Much of this, Burke said, flowed from their heavy settlement by Protestant refugees and dissenters. "Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or impaired . . . The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is more adverse to all implicit submission of mind or opinion. (Worship in) our Northern colonies is a refinement on the principal of resistance."



    Pastor John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (pictured and quoted above) was a perfect example of this dynamic.



    It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastics 3 where it explains, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted….”



    Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, “In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.” As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, “There is a time to fight, and that time has now come!”



    Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.



    Marching to the back of the church he declared, “Who among you is with me?” On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg. They eventually became the 8th Virginia (Regiment) fighting for liberty.




    The British bitterly denounced pastors such as Muhlenberg as the "Black Robed Regiment."


    In truth, the American colonists of the day were largely a deeply religious people. Oh they had their dissenters, their deists, agnostics and atheists in the ranks of the revolutionary forces, much as we do in today's liberty movement. But the bulk of the Founders were Christians of various denominations, including Catholics (although there plenty of practicing Jews in the ranks of liberty -- one of the principal Sons of Liberty in the South was denounced by his colonial governor as a "dirty Jew").



    And as I go around the country today, visiting the various places where armed civil disobedience is being practiced, I find most of those practitioners doing so on bended knee. It is a non-denominational and non-sectarian foxhole religion of the general Judeo-Christian sort, but it is undeniable. This was most evident at the Bundy Ranch, where Jerry Delemus ran the security operation and was a deeply religious man who provided testaments to his volunteer troops and always, it seemed to me, sought God's guidance in prayer.



    There is, I think, less worry about sectarian and denominational issues these days (as opposed to the Revolution where the Protestant/Anglican divide was often pretty sharp) because the domestic enemies of the Constitution themselves seem to attack all Judeo-Christian religion (they make exception for those brands who incorporate state worship into their doxologies). They also tend to worship their leaders as demigods, with a divine right to rule the rest of us -- not with the Founders' rule of law, but with the rule of men (called "democracy"), which is to say the law of the jungle. There is, therefore, a much greater sense of us versus them, good versus evil. And, of course, they demonize us in turn in their world view. They attack us for our faith as much (or more) than anything, thereby unintentionally slandering the atheists and pagans among us. Remember this one from their current demigod?:



    "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."




    If I may paraphrase the ancient Roman maxim about wine, "In pecuniae veritas." Or, "In money there is truth." To expand on the bare phrase, when you're speaking to donors at a fundraiser consisting of godless Hollywood heathens, you tell them what they want to hear, especially if it tracks with your own beliefs and there's money on the line. Presumably Obama wasn't "clinging to religion" himself all those years he allegedly sat in the Reverend Wright's pews. Of course being from Hollywood, all of the donor audience certainly understood the practicalities of a good, fictional script.





    [​IMG]
    A French cartoon portraying King George the Third as a devil.





    In any case, for those of us who are Christians, the behavior of these empowered domestic enemies of the Constitution tracks with our own suspicion that this is indeed a battle between good and evil, a spiritual war, with the other side plentifully stocked with very real demons. This is parallel to the Founders' own suspicions about King George the Third. (See this marvelous satire from 1782: A Dialogue Between The Devil, And George III, Tyrant of Britain, by Anonymous



    So, having described faith in God and fidelity to the Constitution, as well as a determination to think and act before feeling the whip of tyranny, that makes three parallels between 1774-75 and 2014-15 instead of the previously promised two. In Part Four I will have others.




    Posted by Dutchman6 at 11:43 AM




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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Corruption as tyranny. "Similar causes must ever produce similar effects." Ghostly echoes of history from 1774-1775 to 2014-2015, Part Four.

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. -- John Adams

    [​IMG]



    This is Part Four of my series on the differences and parallels between the Founders' struggle for liberty and our own struggle to retrieve and preserve their Republic which increasingly seems to be in its death throes. Part One, "Unum Necessarium," on one critical advantage we have is here. Part Two, "The long game & the struggle for liberty," is here. Part Three, "Faith in God and Fidelity to the Constitution versus the Rule of Men," is here.



    In Part Three, I covered, in brief, the parallels between the Founders' faith in God and free men and our own. The founding of the American Republic was first and foremost a moral act, taken as hoped-for remedy against the corruption of their age. As Gordon S. Woods wrote in his classic, Creation of the American Republic:




    Borrowing pointedly from relevant writings of history, especially from classical antiquity, eighteenth century intellectuals . . . had worked out the ambiguous but necessary and mutual relation they believed existed between the moral spirit of a society and its political constitution. . . "Empires," declared one orator lecturing "On the Fall of Empires," "carry in them their own bane, and proceed in fatal round, from virtuous industry and valour, to wealth and conquest, next to luxury, then to foul corruption and bloated morals, and, last of all, to sloth, anarchy, slavery and political death."


    History . . . only too grimly showed the fate of empires grown too fat with riches. While the Romans, for example, maintained their love of virtue, their simplicity of manners, their recognition of true merit, they raised their state to the heights of glory. But they stretched their conquests too far and their Asiatic wars brought them luxuries they had never before known. "From that moment virtue and public spirit sunk apace: dissipation vanished temperance and independence." "From a People accustomed to the Toils of War, and Agriculture, they became a People who no longer piqued themselves on any other Merit than a pretended fine Taste for all the Refinements of a voluptuous Life." They became obsessed with the "Grandeur and Magnificence in Buildings, of Sumptuousness and Delicacy in their Tables, of Richness and Pomp in their Dress, of Variety and Singularity in their Furniture." That corruption "which always begins amongst the Rich and the Great" soon descended to the common people, leaving them "enfeebled and their souls depraved." The gap between rich and poor widened and the society was torn by extortion and violence. "It was no longer virtue that raised men up to the first employments of the state, but the chance of birth, and the caprice of fortune." With the character of the Roman people so corrupted, dissolution had to follow. "The empire tottered on its foundation, and the mighty fabric sunk beneath its own weight."



    Woods concludes, speaking of the Founding generation,



    The analogy with the (18th Century) present was truly frightening. "Those very symptoms which preceded the fall of Rome, appear but too evidently in the British constitution." And as everyone in the eighteenth century knew, "Similar causes must ever produce similar effects." . . . All the signs of England's economic and social development in the eighteenth century -- the increasing capitalization of land and industry, the growing debt, the rising prices and taxes, the intensifying search for distinctions by more and more people -- were counted as evidence of "its present degeneracy, and its impending destruction." A "long succession of abused prosperity" drawn into "ruinous operation by the Riches and Luxuries of the East" -- England's very greatness as an empire -- had created a poison which was softening the once hardy character of the English people, sapping their time-honored will to fight for their liberties, leaving them, as never before in their history, weakened prey to the designs of the Crown. . . The English people had at last become too corrupted, too enfeebled, to restore their constitution to its first principles and rejuvenate their country. "The whole fabric," warned James Burgh, was "ready to come down in ruins upon our heads."



    Re-read that, making adjustments of language and usage, and substitute the word "American" for "British." Is this not the situation we face today? It is indeed uncanny.



    Consider: "It was no longer virtue that raised men up to the first employments of the state, but the chance of birth, and the caprice of fortune." Now, fast forward to today and read "Are Two Dynasties Our Destiny?" about the elites offering another choice between their two accepted ruling families, the Clintons and the Bushes. How would the Founders react to that? How should we?



    The Founders saw that personal and societal corruption was indeed the predicate to tyranny, that it made it inevitable. And who among us, regardless of his or her religious beliefs or moral compass can deny that our society, today, in the 21st Century, is perhaps the ultimate expression of corruption, venality and moral decay?



    We read headlines like these and don't bat an eyelid, so inured we are to the filth around us: "Bill Clinton identified in lawsuit against his former friend and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had 'regular' orgies at his Caribbean compound that the former president visited multiple times." And that is hardly the worst of the daily, the hourly, lot.



    The Founders themselves doubted if they could, by their own exertions, retrieve the situation they found themselves in. But being the men and women that they were, they knew they had to try. So, too, do we. In Part Five, I'll discuss more parallels (and one big advantageous difference) between then and now.





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