Solid Advice from @ApexOliver

Today, @ApexOliver dropped some solid advice. I say it’s solid because I already enjoy the benefits this approach to life. But it’s his advice and I recommend it to you.

You can find the unrolled thread here.

_ _ _

Serving 3 years in the army has taught me a lot.

I hereby present you 20 lessons I learned in the army that you can apply to your lives today!

1-Have a routine, wake up the same time and sleep the same time, that’s how you create an effective schedule.

2-Always know what you have to do next. Work with a To-Do list.

3- Work on your discipline, it can save your life.

4-More sweat in the training grounds equals less blood in the battlefield.

5-Disregard advice from people without skin in the game.

6-Always look Fresh&Clean, respect yourself and others will respect you.

7-When you enter a situation, always know your exit.

8-Always have a clear well-defined plan of action (Masterplan).

9-Expect plan A to fuck, have plan B.

10-The higher ups don’t give a fuck about you, only about their career.

11-Choose your team wisely, your life may depend on it.

12-Respect your word, a man without a word is not a man.

13-Bold moves surprise the enemy and create momentum, be Bold.

14-Take care of your tools and treat them with respect.

15-Don’t chase your enemy, let him come to you. Use baits if you can.

16-Fear and Anxiety before action are natural, embrace it and let it sharpen your senses and instincts.

17-You may start off with a team, but sometimes you’ll have to carry on alone all by yourself.

18-Keep your eyes on the ball, it’s easy to get distracted in the battlefield (and the digital world).

19-When in doubt, err on the side of action.

20-Focus on one big mission at a time. 1 big bird in the hands is better than 2 on the tree.

Ordinary Links: Thursday, May 31, 2018

Every Gun Law is Tyranny

There is no such thing as a moral, sensible, or logical gun law any more than there is a moral sensible or logical rope law; or hammer law; or bleach law.

Every gun law is unconstitutional. Every gun law is tyranny.

Ordinary Links: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

O.C. Profile: Skip @thefreerifleman

This week’s ordinary citizen profile is with Skip (@thefreerifleman on Twitter).


Skip, I know you like to keep many specifics private, but what can you tell us about yourself.

I spent a year as a cop before going into the Army I served 15 years in the Army I have a Bachelor’s Degree in History. I’ve spent over 8 years working through a study with Ludwig Von Mises Austrian School of Economics. I’m married, have three children, have worked as a gunsmith, firearms trainer, I build kydex holsters and sheaths and live in Southern Arizona.

I have transitioned philosophically from Republican, to libertarian, to Voluntaryist, with a dash of Collapsitarian, a term I’ve coined on Twitter as a solution to what I believe the polarity of politics is unsolvable without a collapse.

Why are you a gun owner?

I am a gun owner because it is sociopathic to outsource one’s self-defense, which includes Life, Liberty, and Property. The non-aggression principle and malum in se law are self-sustaining if people took their responsibilities seriously. The only rights that exist are when someone is willing to die defending them, otherwise, they are punchlines told by quisling politicians during their fundraiser dinners they invite the banksters and pedophile globalists to attend the $10,000 a plate wholesaling of America’s future.

Someday I will die, but I prefer it to be on my feet, facing tyranny, and defending what I believe in, over dying a 1000 times each day in human slavery, knowing I could have passed onto my future generations the freedom I owed them but rather chose temporary safety and convenience over their liberty.

So do you believe that defending liberty is going to come down to armed domestic confrontation in your lifetime?

This depends solely on the determination of the freedom prohibitionists set to destroy it. When you have or are in the act of defending freedom, you have two choices, defend your rights from any and all attackers, or allow it to be whittled away for convenience. At this very moment in America, defending liberty is nearing the cartridge box and voting from the roof tops, any attempt to avoid that level of responsibility is capitulation.

Do you carry daily?

Yes, I carry daily. Sometimes several, depending on where, when, and why.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

What got you into expanding your collection beyond one rifle and one pistol?

My gun collection expanded with my family, requiring a pistol and a rifle in the hands of every family member, plus a few other specialized capabilities. Anyone who is serious in defending freedom realizes this is a multi-generational fight Americans are losing to Communists thanks to their compulsory and continuing collegiate indoctrination they like to call “education.”

So your other family members are involved with your approach to ordinary citizenship?

Most, everyone is at different times in their lives at any given point, but I’ve seen families just like communities come together at times of dire need and emergencies, which is why I tell people they need to form friendships and bonds with their neighbors so as to prepare them for the coming endarkenment.

What’s your fave rifle and/or fave pistol?

My primary carbine is a (both modified, refinished, and built by me) BCM AR-15 in .223 and a Glock 19. Much of this is based on availability of ammunition, magazines, and parts, given that I chose to carry the calibers of my occupier.

[We have since learned that these and any other firearms he and his family may have possessed were recently lost in a tragic boating accident.

What worries you most about American culture today?

The extinction of individual rights and liberty, as designed by the communist social engineering plot that has taken generations to dull the senses of most Americans into rethinking what their moral compasses told them. The “Greatest Generation” should have fought the communist coups here, rather than flouncing off to save Joseph Stalin in Europe.

What do you think it’s going to take to preserve liberty here in the U.S.?

Anyone that is serious about preserving their rights is the resistance to the Communist Coups that has been underway for a very long time here in the US. If you look at every civilization that didn’t stand up to its advance has had some very mixed results, most involve mass graves, but if you look at Europe today, it’s going to experience a special kind of philosophical cuckoldry.

If people aren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to preserve it, it’s lost forever.

Thanks, Skip. I sincerely hope that enough of us are up to the task, should the need arise.

A Disarmed Society is a Violent Society

When you outlaw ordinary citizens’ natural right to arms, several things happen. Among them, the criminal element is rightly emboldened and crime—especially violent crime—skyrockets. It works every time it’s tried. Just one of the many prime examples of this fact is the city of Chicago.

In the gun-free Utopia of Chicago, so far this year*…

Shot & Killed: 160
Shot & Wounded: 824
Total Shot: 984
Total Homicides: 193

Good thing guns aren’t allowed. Common-sense gun laws are amazing.

Why Everything Sucks Politically: It’s You

Professional quibbler @ThomasHCrown laid down a savage education for We The People on Twitter today. I’ve captured it here, thanks to Thread Reader App.

From @ThomasHCrown:

At the risk of Eric Garlanding this, I’m going to share my Theory of Why Everything Sucks Politically at the National and Therefore Because They’re Only Subdivisions of the National Government the State Levels.

If you haven’t already, you’ll likely want to mute.

The basic problem is we, the people. But it’s not the way a lot of people now tend to think of that statement.

A Republic, being somewhat-but-not-entirely democratic in nature, relies on the people making the first decision — whom to elect — also being the people who make the intermediate decision — to pay attention, and the final decision — to re-elect or not.

To have a functioning republic means something that a lot of the folks criticizing nation-building in Iraq conveniently remembered at the time and forgot as soon as Bush left office: You must have a civil society as the bedrock and the buttresses.

Civil society is how a free people organize themselves outside of government. Government is not what we do together; civil society is what we do together. It is churches and volunteer organizations and families and clubs and sports leagues and neighborhoods that communicate.

When people gather together this way, they build up shared affection and bonds, and they talk, and they come to conclusions together or — having heard from someone outside their own skulls — individually.

When we do this, we are stronger for it. We are not forced to join these things, but Man, being a social animal (yes, animal, sorry, it’s an actual term) tends to crave these things and learn and grow from them.

We reinforce and expand upon shared notions of decency and morality, wisdom and cleverness, good and evil, and so on; and we are better-equipped to deal with the complexities of life and each other.

One of my great complaints about the immigration debates is that we tend to see everything through sepia-colored lenses, with happy scoundrels playing baseball in city streets while hardworking men and women eked out a cheery but hard existence in love with America.

This overlooks the ethnic riots, the assassinations, the love of socialism (then charmingly called anarchy), the masses of people who came for work and went back, the masses of people kidnapped and basically stuck here, etc.

Similarly, our view of the Founders’ time is one where a bunch of dudes in powdered wigs and tights all pointed melodramatically and had intense debates and life was solidly middle class except for the curious absence of cell phones and tablets.

In fact, the middle class was reasonably educated, and everything below was not. This is why the franchise was restricted: The people who founded this Nation believed that if you weren’t educated and had a stake in society (and male and white and…), your vote was dangerous.

The male and white parts are silly, the age restrictions up for debate, but the points about education and a stake in society have merit. This is because people with education and a stake in society tend to work and play and speak together.

People with these characteristics — educated, literate, with a vested interest, and in touch with their fellow humans — make for good small-r republican citizens precisely because they care about governance and tend to act that way.

This combination of socially-constructed and grafted-on virtues means that even when bad men are elected to office, they are constrained by the attention of the men who put them there; if they collude to oppress the voters, the voters will see it coming and rise up.

This is fairly elementary. It’s also more or less completely lost on our day-to-day lives now.

How you got Trump is how you got Obama is how you got Bush is how you got Clinton. Policy has become less important, and the President’s roles as Champion and King have grown, as the populace has become worse at being republican citizens.

‘With whom would you like to have a beer” and “cares about people like me” are absolutely awful bases for deciding who one’s elected representatives should be, but they have been increasingly important criteria.

It reduces the complex concerns of governance — are the rights of the majority or minority being trampled? at what cost? will this improve the economy and therefore the rest of our financial lives or make it worse? is this enrichment at public expense? etc. — to snapshots.
A similar but not identical concern avails at the Congressional and Senate levels, where it’s either about Who Will Fight the Enemy’s Champion or Who Will Send Federal Funds Our Way?
The problems this kind of thinking creates are not trivial and not few. The biggest is the detachment of governance from the governed and the elected governors.

It’s going to look like I’m shifting (or losing) focus, but bear with me, again assuming you haven’t muted.

I would argue that the biggest problem is our day-to-day governance is ultimately a complete abdication of responsibility by the elected branches. This is one of my hobbyhorses, so you may want to skip ahead of this part, too.

On paper, here is our system of governance:
Congress is elected, at the popular district level, by an enormous number of people in theoretically but not really geographically compact areas; and then by popular vote in irregular shaped states.

Congress is Article I of the Constitution because it is the most important. It controls the gathering and outlay of funds (the be-all and end-all of any government); it writes the laws and may even override the Executive to do so; and may remove anyone from any other Branch.

Any war or treaty — the biggest foreign policy commitments possible — must be approved by Congress. Trade between and through the several states (one short of the be-all and end-all) is governed entirely by Congress. It is the biggest of big dogs.

The President is elected by the Electoral College, who are in turn elected by the people of the several states. He oversees the Executive Branch, and is directly responsible for seeing the laws executed, which often involves prosecution.

All Executive power vests in him. His Vice-President is a backup/understudy/insurance policy (looking at you, Joey Biden!). He directs the foreign policy of the United States and is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

The Supreme Court, and the lower courts Congress created to make life easier, adjudicate disputes between parties in interest subject to certain jurisdictional limitations; and because it grabbed the power and the People acquiesced, it rewrites the Constitution from time to time.

Its ability to do so is limited by popular will; stray too far and Article I will impeach. In theory, though, most of its work is adjudication of disputes that have no Constitutional significance.

In practice, here is what we have:
Congress is a bicameral ATM that dispenses money created by the Federal Reserve, a quasi-governmental organization of private banks that everyone agrees must never be the subject of direct government intervention.

Congress also holds hearings, which are not really about finding out anything so much as creating campaign footage. Sometimes they pass a law, which is really a lot of laws tucked into a single law, sometimes to alter other webs of laws, sometimes to create a web, sometimes both.

Congress also delegated a great deal of its law-making authority to the Executive because golly that’s a lot of work and the guys enforcing the law should get to decide what it means just as if they’re the ones making the law and this makes sense right?

When Congress does pass a law, it doesn’t have to care about what the laws passed by the Executive say except it does and can’t repeal those laws made by the Executive except with Executive approval or by a two-thirds override.

This is on balance probably a good thing because a lot, and I mean a lot, of laws are passed without being read by the Congresscritters voting for and against them.

Under the rarest of circumstances will Congress impeach and convict some low-ranking dude from Article III, and in the rarest-to-unimaginable circumstances will it impeach Article I, because two of the three times it tried it on a President, hoo Nellie, it didn’t go well.

This is ultimately relatively unimportant because the President is the Head of State and sort of the Head of Government, and has a Cabinet of Ministers with whom he isn’t supposed to talk too much for fear of having some influence on their behavior.

Those Ministers, whom he appoints with Congressional approval, go on to make the laws described above, and to enforce the laws, and sometimes not, and sometimes run roughshod over the people because they can.

This is only the President’s fault if he belongs to a party or belief unpopular with the aristocracy, more on this below, and is otherwise beyond his control because he’s not supposed to politicize his own Branch and anyway the thing’s too big.

Because of some fairly creative legal work by Article III, even if he wanted to fire anyone below the Cabinet level, he can’t because government jobs are property that cannot be seized except through due process, which means oh so many levels of checks and balances.

The President can only fire the Attorney General, or anyone in the Justice Department, if what the Justice Department is investigating is not important to the aristocracy.

The President can go to war without Congress agreeing, or make treaties-that-last-as-long-as-his-Presidency without Congress agreeing, or refuse to enforce laws, or create whole new legal programs, and Congress cannot refuse to fund any of it because reasons.

Additionally, the President cannot cancel any of the laws his Branch makes, even if directly in violation of the Constitution, unless Article III signs off or Article I signs off (and Article III signs off).

Article III writes amendments to the Constitution, beginning with the one allowing them to write Amendments ex nihilo and on their own, and decides national policy on issues of incredible importance under the guise of resolving cases and controversies.

The Judiciary also decides on the relative balance of power of the federal and state governments, the limits of the other branches’ power, and whether actions undertaken by the other branches are acceptable enough to stand.

Thus, the only unelected branch, other than apparently Article IIA, has the most direct and only unchecked decision on national lawmaking of all.

Hovering through all of this, and gauzily made up at times of future, current, and past members of some of those branches, is a self-appointed aristocracy that helps guide Article III in its decision making, and sets the acceptable parameters for the others.

Now back to the people.
This is a pretty stupid benchmark but we’ll use it for right now as a cheap proxy.

The Presidency is our only more-or-less national election, and it has for a very long time been the high-water mark of voter participation.

The dramatic spikes come as the franchise is extended (legally and sometimes after a tragic delay, effectively) to the population until it rests where it does now: A legal adult, without an active felony conviction, more or less the end.

You will note that we never hit 50%.

The term economists use for this is “rational apathy.” A voter who does not believe his life impacted by politics will tend to find more enjoyable uses of his time like toenail clipping on airplanes, dynamite fishing, etc.

That’s of course part of the problem: Voters who don’t have a stake in society the way, say, a married landowner with kids does, are less likely — but not completely unlikely — to vote.

But because the guy or gal with the stake in society feels that his or her vote is less valuable because it is diluted by the people with no stake, that increases the entirely rational feeling that the vote is less valuable relative to other pursuits.

In other words, as the franchise has expanded, the value of the franchise for each individual voter has fallen. But! Humans are political, even moreso than economic, animals.

Yes, I called them animals again.
This doesn’t mean that the humans like politics. It means they are social animals who order their lives around each other and in specific ways, and work together to achieve ends.

Aside from insanely making it legal for 18-24 year-olds to vote, the franchise has (legally, but not always effectively) been at more or less the same point for nearly a century.

Yet it is in this time that our system of governance has gone off the rails.

My wife blames women’s suffrage and the Seventeenth Amendment. Some blame one or the other, some have other causes — intellectual trends from Europe, a completely new set of incentives to politicians we never expected, etc.

I think the Seventeenth Amendment, intellectual trends from Europe, skewed incentives, etc., miss the cause for either the symptoms or for unrelated but concurrent conditions.

The greater problem is that we, the People, acquiesced in the quiet, slow-motion demolition of our Constitutional order and continue to do so to this day.
We do not vote the bums out when they do wrong. We do not demand that Congress act like it should, greedily guarding its first-among-equals status, or else they’ll lose their jobs and therefore the sinecures that follow. We don’t even treat it as first-among-equals.

Congress is the only national governing force in which we actually have a direct say, and we — in a fit of self-harming honesty — hate it more than the Presidency or Supreme Court, the two less-directly and un-elected Branches.

Congressmen therefore found they could more or less do this and leave on their own terms to get rich later.

Article IIA, with happy help from Article II, and Article III, arrogated more and more power to themselves. Article I loves this because it means that Article I cannot thunder about the awful awfulness of the rules Article IIA makes, not do anything, and stay in their seats.

Article III’s power grab is even better because they enjoy a lot of popular love and so when they make policy instead of Article I, Article I can perpetually stay in power by railing against Article III with no danger of exhausting that well.

Our system of governance is now predicated entirely on skewed lines of authority and responsibility, and we not only tolerate it, we reward it.

As a People, we are uninterested in the hard work of self-governance, which requires a constant check on our governors and constant vigilance for their next wander into the realm of depravity.

As a People, we are bemused and indifferent to the fact that our elected representatives have so re-allocated power that we don’t meaningfully have elected governance any more, but man do we have exciting elections.

As a People, we have proven ourselves unworthy of self-governance, and the men and women who would be our governors have taken notice. As a People, we suck, and we’ve brought all of this on ourselves.

Well said. Sadly.

We Are in a Civil War

Back on March 20, Bonnie Parsley published a fantastic, plain-spoken piece at Political Pistachio, entitled “How do civil wars happen?

“There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

“This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

“Your very own dictatorship.

“The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.


“Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist Democrat professional government.”

Yes, it is clear that we are in a civil war. There has already been some shooting, but the real hot war is yet to start. I’m beginning to lose doubt that the hot war is forthcoming. It doesn’t have to be this way, but the totalitarian left is every day requiring it. They want a destructive revolution more than they want anything. And I fear they’re going to get it.