Robert Baden-Powell, Scouting and the Siege of Mafeking

An NRA firearms instructor was visiting our Federal Way Noon Kiwanis Club and I found out he goes all over the Northwest instructing Boy Scouts in firearms safety and marksmanship skills. I also found out that Major General Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, was a hero during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) due to his central role in holding a railroad town called Mafeking on the edge of the Transvaal and the Kalahari Desert.

As related by Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame) in The Great Boer War, Baden-Powell was a skilled hunter who had out-scouted Zulu trackers, often alone and at night. He was a combination of a precocious but mischievous school boy, resolute warrior and commander with administrative abilities that shone well during the 217 day siege of Mafeking.

Prior to Mafeking, he had performed service with the 13th Hussars in India, held special service in Africa and then returned to India to take command of 5th Dragoon Guards in 1897. He even performed some secret service activities in Africa disguised as a butterfly collector!

During the time right before commencement of the Boer War in 1899, he wrote a manual summarizing his training lectures to recruits on military scouting. He was organizing frontier militias to aid the regular British Army against the Boers when he was trapped in Mafeking. An 8,000 man Boer Army surrounded Mafeking which the South African Government had left totally unprepared for an attack.

A Boer raiding party captured an armored train along with two7-pound cannon. Colonel Baden-Powell led about nine hundred defenders (including shopkeepers and other local residents of Mafeking), including the garrison that consisted primarily of irregular troops, volunteers and police. The circumference of the town was five or six miles so Baden-Powell supervised construction of numerous small forts manned by ten to forty riflemen.

The Boers deployed two 12-pounders and a huge gun brought from Pretoria that lobbed a 96 pound shell. About one hundred of Mafeking’s defenders launched a successful sortie with bayonet only. Men on both sides died in the Boer trenches. After a few more sorties, it became obvious that the defenders could not afford to waste lives by launching attacks against such a large force. Nevertheless, Baden-Powell taunted the Boers by sending messages telling them they could not take the town by looking at it!

Both sides had excellent marksmen. The Dutch deliberately targeted women and children, according to Sir Arthur.

Baden-Powell maintained morale with comic shows, cricket matches and other sports and concerts. An ordnance factory was started in the railway workshops and kept busy manufacturing fuses, powder and shells. Eventually the factory produced a 5.5 inch smooth-bore gun that performed at good ranges with great accuracy. A force sent from Rhodesia was delayed by difficulties:

The force was originally raised for the purpose of defending Rhodesia, and it consisted of fine material pioneers, farmers, and miners from the great new land which had been added through the energy of Mr. Rhodes to the British Empire. Many of the men were veterans of the native wars, and all were imbued with a hardy and adventurous spirit. On the other hand, the men of the northern and western Transvaal, whom they were called upon to face, the burghers of Watersberg and Zoutpansberg, were tough frontiersmen living in a land where a dinner was shot, not bought. Shaggy, hairy, half-savage men, handling a rifle as a medieval Englishman handled a bow, and skilled in every wile of veldt craft, they were as formidable opponents as the world could show.

The big Boer gun repeatedly had to be moved farther from the English sharpshooters. But six months of resistance under great hardship and constant shelling drained Baden-Powell’s resources. As the inhabitants of the town ate locusts and the world looked on, the besiegers increased in number. Three hundred Boers entered the city at one point only to become pinned down by merciless rifle fire- with 117 Hollanders, Germans and Frenchmen taken prisoner within the city. The failed Boer attack was the last such attempt to be made and the siege was soon lifted. Baden-Powell became a hero and his manual, entitled “Aids to Scouting”, became so popular that in 1908 he rewrote it for young men and boys.

His manual became a best-seller and all over the world scouting groups were formed on an ad hoc basis. WW I started and Lord Kitchener averred that Baden-Powell was more valuable to the war effort leading the Boy Scouts. By 1922 there were at least a million scouts in 32 countries; 3.3 million in 1939. We should all thank men that lead the Boy Scouts and for countless NRA instructors that devote major portions of their lives to make it possible for marksmanship to continue as part of the Boy Scout heritage.

My Days in the Underground, Sixties Militants & How to Foment Anarchy

On April 8th, the Tacoma News Tribune published an editorial about alleged death threats against Sen. Patty Murray. The editors stated, “In the furious arguments over health care reform, legitimate conservatives have sometimes been accused of fomenting violence with bitter and angry rhetoric”.

The next day in Olympia, almost three-dozen leftists dressed in black, wearing masks and calling themselves anarchists chanted obscenities at law enforcement officers. The anarchists attacked a newspaper photographer, spray-painted buildings, broke windows and threw newspaper boxes into the street. Police arrested 29 leftists. Two officers were hit – one in the head and one in the groin.

In February, 2008, an antiwar concert at Evergreen State College resulted in severe damage when a deputy’s car was overturned and looted. The name of the hip-hop group- Dead Prez- conveys something of what the anarchists were fomenting at the gathering.

No guns were involved in recent local anarchist attacks. Nor were guns used in 1999 when anti-globalist anarchists went berserk and smashed up the streets of Seattle. A bullet shot through the window of Republican Eric Cantor’s office in Virginia is one recent example of gun violence related to Health Care. Where are the other examples?

Alleged threats by anyone connected with Tea Parties or patriotism are amplified in a virtual reverberating echo chamber. “Wackos on the right have guns,” according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

To put things in historical perspective, however, on August 7, 1970, 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson, armed with an automatic weapon took Judge Harold Haley out of a Marin County courtroom. The left-wing militants took the Judge, Deputy District Attorney and three jurors hostage to demand freedom for the “Soledad Brothers”. Subsequently, a raft of music, heroic literature and popular culture has evolved around the Soledad Brothers who killed prison guards to retaliate for the killing of three black prisoners during a prison fight.

Judge Haley, Jonathan Jackson, and two prisoners were killed as they attempted to drive away from the courthouse. The judge was killed with a sawed-off shotgun fastened to his neck with adhesive tape. The anarchist-socialist left (paradoxically such fish swim in the same schools) conducts terrorist operations against police and government on a regular basis in other countries like Greece- Europe’s current symbol of big government’s fiscal insanity.

Angela Davis purchased the guns. At that time an acting assistant professor in the philosophy department at the UCLA and member of the Communist Party USA, Davis is now a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Syracuse University and a frequent speaker on subjects like racial and gender justice. The list of hardcore Sixties radicals that are now esconced within the ivied halls of academia is a fascinating historical pecularity that is quite extraordinary!

When I was 16 years old, I spent a summer exploring radicalism on the streets of Chicago. I slept in a crumbling Anarchist Bookstore and spent time perusing source documents from the earliest socialist internationales, International Workers of the World and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. I studied antiquated handbooks on how to barricade the streets, deploy Molotov cocktails and foment disturbances designed to raise the consciousness of the proletariat.

The following summer saw the Black Panthers, SDS and Yippies (Youth International Party) succeed in villifying the Chicago Police during the 1968 Democratic Convention. A coalition of various leftwing and counter-cultural groups catalyzed a new perception of the Vietnam War when mainstream news journalists, many of whom were already alienated from U.S. policy in Vietnam, were caught up in the reaction to a well-planned maelstrom of leftist provocation against the police in Lincoln Park. The provocations included throwing bricks and feces at the police and taunting the police officers by calling them pigs.

After I received Christ and repented of my former spiritual ties to such mischief, I felt nothing but remorse for even contemplating such things. But I never dreamt that acting out violence against police and other innocent people might lead one to become a law professor at Northwestern University!

Did Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, formerly radical bombers within Weatherman faction of the SDS ever suspect that they would rise to the top of the academic elite? The couple are friendly with President Obama and have written and spoken at length about their pasts. Today Ayers is an advocate for progressive education and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; she’s an associate professor of law at Northwestern University. They left behind a trail of murderous violence that would make Bonnie and Clyde proud- and never repented. Dr. Ayers never even served any time in prison!

Ayers has spent a great deal of time sitting on boards in Chicago that disperse tax-exempt foundation money primarily for education purposes. Ayers prefers educational programs that promote his radical Marxist-Leninist agenda. In fact, even though Pres. Obama denies a close friendship with Ayers, they have worked together at the foundations.

In fact, Dr. Ayers only regrets that he did not actually kill any U.S. personnel with his bombs. Despite claims in the news media that he never killed anyone, however, there is a great deal of evidence that he was accomplice to the murder of a police officer in San Francisco.

In a 1969 speech to the SDS Weathermen in Flint, Michigan, Dohrn said of the murder of eight month pregnant Sharon Tate, “Dig it! First they killed those pigs and then they put a fork in pig Tate’s belly. Wild!” She said of the LaBiancas- also victims of the Manson family- “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson!”

Leftists often assert that violence is necessary in order to advance the cause of social justice. The mainstream politicians and media focus on isolated examples of violence perpetrated by misguided groups or individuals like Timothy McVeigh that act under color of patriotism. The news media collude with the Democratic attack machine to ignore leftist violence and threats of violence and smear Tea Party folks that peacefully protest and actually love their country too much to even consider acting violently.

President Clinton came out on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and renewed claims that talk radio and the internet enable violence by creating a climate of hate. That was how he regained his grip on the levers of presidential power in 1995. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City provided the turning point that Clinton needed after the 1994 gully wash against Democrats in Washington, DC. History does not repeat itself but it certainly does seem to rhyme at times.

The concerted refrain is that rightwingers have guns and we are trumpeting an anti-government call to arms. To listen to the squads of Democratic operatives that have taken to the airwaves, those of us that criticize deficit spending want to eliminate police protection and other core government services.

Most of us appreciate our police protection and that is why we exercise our duty to speak out peacefully on behalf of fiscal responsibility. There is a great deal of history to demonstrate the social disorder that occurs when government strips away wealth by increasing the money supply and devaluing currency. Good law enforcement officers cannot afford to serve and protect when tomorrow’s paycheck may barely buy enough to buy the family a loaf of bread!

Legitimate gun owners are as likely to be union members, Democrats, gay activists, liberals, leftists or people of color as “Tea Party” activists. Some of us talk a lot about the Constitution because we have this old fashioned idea that it is the bedrock of the American legal system. On the other hand, left-wing groups like the New Black Panther Party have received favorable treatment from the Obama administration despite a recent record of intimidating voters at polling places and violent, racist rhetoric. How long before the American left repeats the historical and deadly pattern of violence that continues to rage worldwide?

DC vs. Heller

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed DC v Heller in a five to four landmark decision last year. Justice Scalia firmly placed the Court’s decision, which knocks down Washington DC’s ban on firearms within the bedrock of the Founding Fathers’ original intentions; i.e., the decision sets forth a principle scorned by tyrants over the centuries. It is in the people that the power of governmental force resides. The government’s use of deadly force ultimately derives from an individual’s duty to protect herself or himself, one’s family and neighbors.

The fact that the discussion of self-defense is usually framed in terms of rights is, perhaps, unfortunate in that Americans can easily become exhausted by the perpetual yapping about “rights”. We have welfare rights, immigration rights, First Amendment right to purvey obscenity. The “right” to keep and bear arms is first of all a duty. Many states, especially in the Eastern U.S., still have laws on the books requiring men of certain ages to have a military weapon and suitable ammunition in specific quantities in order to be ready to perform militia service:

That is what Congress did in the first militia Act, which specified that “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.” Act of May 8, 1792, 1 Stat. 271.

Ironically, many of the states that still have such laws on the books will see state and local restrictions on gun ownership challenged as a result of Justice Scalia’s bold enunciations. The Court has recognized an ancient truth that the ancient commonwealths of Israel, Athens, Rome and England (to name a few) took for granted. Free men should own weapons. Those that refuse will not remain free for long. As late as WW II, the authorities called out armed civilians to patrol the East Coast to prevent possible invasions.

The habits of training and handling personal firearms breed a culture of respect for life, habits of steady minded courage, craftsmanship, patience and skill along with appreciation for history and the role of the individual and families in shaping history.

With the Founders’ values and principles in mind, it is worth reflecting on the context of the decision. Yesterday, the Court in another five to four decision, Kennedy v Louisiana, referenced evolving standards to institutionalize a “consensus” that capital punishment for violent child rapists offends decency. In both cases, there were four solid justices lined up in favor of looking to the Founders’ intentions against four justices that regularly look to vague extra-Constitutional concepts such as international norms, foreign precedent and “consensus”. These paradigm shifts in the court evolve in synchronicity with the evolution of elitist morality that has so often been legislated upon those of us that are not law professors or enablers of the American mandarin class.

Judges like Justice Ginsburg, a former ACLU counsel, will normally confront the violent rape of a child with a certain amount of equanimity. After all, in her world, shaping public policy is a priest-like and arcane activity, requiring esoteric power to construe the direction of evolving standards and articulate a mysterious consensus about which mere mortals are unaware.

Rather than attempt to amend the Constitution from the bench as the dissenters would, Justice Scalia’ majority opinion in the Heller case began squarely with the plain meaning of the terms employed by the framers of the Bill of Rights:

“Keep and bear Arms.” We move now from the holder of the right—“the people”—to the substance of the right: “to keep and bear Arms.” Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary(1771); see also N. Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).”

Justice Scalia went on to define what it means to keep and bear arms:

We turn to the phrases “keep arms” and “bear arms.” Johnson defined “keep” as, most relevantly, “[t]o retain; not to lose,” and “[t]o have in custody.” Johnson 1095. Webster defined it as “[t]o hold; to retain in one’s power or possession.” No party has apprised us of an idiomatic meaning of “keep Arms.” Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”

Thus, when the Constitution was drafted, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Scalia quotes Blackstone, the great expounder of the common laws of England. Blackstone’s Commentaries “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation….” The English Bill of Rights inspired, to a large degree, the U.S. Bill of Rights and, according to Blackstone, self defense and the right to be armed was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen”. See 1 Blackstone 136, 139–140 (1765). Contemporary authorities concurred.

The Heller decision also presents incisive history lessons related to the nature of the organized & unorganized militia, concepts that were familiar to many at the time that the Federalists were trying to win over anti-Federalists who feared standing armies and the despotism that was associated with strong central government:

There are many reasons why the militia was thought to be “necessary to the security of a free state.” See 3 Story §1890. First, of course, it is useful in repelling invasions and suppressing insurrections. Second, it renders large standing armies unnecessary—an argument that Alexander Hamilton made in favor of federal control over the militia. The Federalist No. 29, pp. 226, 227 (B. Wright ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton). Third, when the able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny.

Thus, Justice Scalia states, “It was understood across the political spectrum that the (Second Amendment) right helped to secure the ideal of a citizen militia, which might be necessary to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down.”

Many of the state constitutions at the time of the Founders used Second Amendment keep and bear arms language in a manner that clearly demonstrated an intent to recognize that individual ownership and use of firearms was encompassed by the term. Scalia cites Pennsylvania’s Declaration of Rights of 1776:

“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the state . . . .” §XIII, in 5 Thorpe 3082, 3083 (emphasis added).

The majority opinion goes on to point out that many colonial statutes required individual arms-bearing for public-safety reasons— such as the 1770 Georgia law that “for the security and defence of this province from internal dangers and insurrections” required those men who qualified for militia duty individually “to carry fire arms” “to places of public worship.”

The Court cites St. George Tucker’s version of Blackstone’s Commentaries for the proposition that:

The right to self-defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine the right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” He believed that the English game laws had abridged the right by prohibiting “keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game.”

Another famous Constitutional scholar wrote:

One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular army in the stead of a resort to the militia.” A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States §450 (Story).

The Court cites one of my favorite authors, firearms lawyer Stephen Halbrook, to illustrate that “in the aftermath of the Civil War, there was an outpouring of discussion of the Second Amendment in Congress and in public discourse, as people debated whether and how to secure constitutional rights for newly free slaves. See generally S. Halbrook, Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866–1876 (1998):

Yet those born and educated in the early 19th century faced a widespread effort to limit arms ownership by a large number of citizens; their understanding of the origins and continuing significance of the Amendment is instructive. Blacks were routinely disarmed by Southern States after the Civil War. Those who opposed these injustices frequently stated that they infringed blacks’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Needless to say, the claim was not that blacks were being prohibited from carrying arms in an organized state militia.”

The majority opinion discussing the legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment quotes a joint Congressional Report that described how after the Civil War “in some parts of [South Carolina], armed parties… without proper authority, engaged in seizing all firearms found in the hands of the freemen. Such conduct is in clear and direct violation of their personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which declares that ‘the right of the people to freedmen of South Carolina have shown by their peaceful and orderly conduct that they can safely be trusted with fire-arms, and they need them to kill game for subsistence, and to protect their crops from destruction by birds and animals.”

The view was common right after the Civil War that newly freed black citizens held a constitutional right to bear arms. The viewpoint expressed in these statements “was widely reported and was apparently widely held.”

For example, “an editorial in The Loyal Georgian (Augusta) on February 3, 1866, assured blacks that “[a]ll men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep and bear arms to defend their homes, families or themselves.”

“It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”

Justice Stevens’ dissent strains to reach new apogees of linguistic sophistry. It is like listening to President Clinton split hairs about what the meaning of “is” is:

“[K]eep and bear arms” thus perfectly describes the responsibilities of a framing-era militia member. This reading is confirmed by the fact that the clause protects only one right, rather than two. It does not describe a right “to keep arms” and a separate right “to bear arms.” Rather, the single right that it does describe is both a duty and a right to have arms available and ready for military service, and to use them for military purposes when necessary. Different language surely would have been used to protect nonmilitary use and possession of weapons from regulation if such an intent….”

The dissent lectures the majority on the principle of stare decisis; i.e., the principle that a court should not lightly set aside prior precedent. Citing Miller, Justice Stevens argues that the holding relates the right to keep and bear arms to military matters.

Belying the dissent’s reliance on Miller, there was no party briefing the case for the other side in Miller. The Miller Court ruled that the distinction between the sawed-off shotgun possessed unlawfully by the defendant in that case and a militarily useful weapon should be the basis for upholding the National Firearms Act that outlawed certain kinds of weapons. That is as far as the Miller court went. Nevertheless, from 1939 until now the Miller case has been cited to deny individuals any standing to enter the courthouse door and seek redress state, local or federal policy render us defenseless. See United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 (1939).

In 2003, the usual Supreme Court suspects cried, “Stare decisis be damned and full speed ahead with the global social agenda!” All in the name of melding our institutions with the evolving international consensus. That was the case where the Court overturned its own seventeen year old precedent, negating its previous opinion upholding states that outlaw sodomy between adults.

Think of all the cities like Chicago and Washington, DC that have disarmed their citizens, a citizenry that has seen children raped, the streets held by thugs and armies of drug dealers. Citizens fear what used to be called “hue and cry”. Well, now the mayors, like Seattle’s Mayor Nickels and the Mayor of the other Washington, are making the hue and cry.

See full text of Heller decision.

What Would John Adams Do?

I cut my teeth as a Structural Ironworker but I love literature and philosophy. Standing on a steel I-beam forty stories above the streets of San Francisco with a load of iron swinging over my head taught me about what was important.

When I was ironworking, I read a book by a “LONGSHOREMAN PHILOSOPHER” that worked on the docks of the nearby Embarcadero until he was sixty-five years old!

The February 24th issue of the Federal Way Mirror contained an article by our Federal Way school superintendant entitled “AN ARGUMENT OVER WHAT J.D. SALINGER MEANT”. Tom Murphy’s article is quite literary and philosophical, replete with a reference to recently deceased Salinger’s novellas. Most baby-boomers remember Salinger for “CATCHER IN THE RYE”- required reading when we were coming of age.

I also appreciate literature and I cannot resist commenting on the passing of an important literary figure like J.D. Salinger. As a youth with a penchant for Aldous Huxley novels and Eric Hoffer, I pondered the existential significance of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of Salinger’s 1951 tour de force. I identified with Caulfield’s angst, learned to despise my betters (and any kind of worthwhile accomplishment) and habitually used the “F” word at least once in most of my sentences.

Now don’t jump to the conclusion that I am about to accuse Salinger of corrupting American youth! Modernistic mayhem was being perpetrated on American culture long before and after Salinger’s callow anti-hero slouched around the American literary scene looking for an identity. The New York-Parisian literary mafia regaled us with perversion, blasphemous Gonzo-journalistic drug trips and suicidal ideations unknown to all but the most pagan of ancient mystery-cults. Such authors were not regular reading in the schools prior to CATCHER IN THE RYE but, nevertheless….

In 1780, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, stating that:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

Imagine Holden Caulfield disarming a crazed gunman. Remember the 52 year old teacher that stopped a school shooting near Columbine, Colorado earlier this year? Discussing whether that teacher should have been trained and armed makes more sense than studying Shakespeare (or rap lyrics) when you have jihad chat rooms abuzz with strategies for invading schools.

Isn’t it about time to start discussing how to protect the kids in our schools? Right now all that stands between the kids and mayhem are good intentions. John Adams’ reference to “politics” wasn’t in reference to the mud-wrestling for power that characterizes today’s political spectacle. He meant the art of getting people to work towards mutual self-interest.

Let’s study politics and war again! True believers will sanctimoniously sneer at proposals to arm volunteers. Maybe they had Holden Caulfield as their role model.

Deacons for Defense and Justice

The Deacons for Defense and Justice formed in the Deep South during the 1960s.The Deacons exercised armed self-defense and often operated in conjunction with other civil rights organizations. Local law enforcement, state authorities and the Ku Klux Klan often enforced Jim Crow laws with impunity in places where the federal government was ineffective or unable to intervene.

Larry Pratt points out that, although Hill does not deal with the lack of Scriptural support for segregation, Jim Crow laws and segregation were very clearly a set of laws in conflict with Scripture. Exodus 12:49 requires that the same law apply to everybody alike. The black self-defense group did not engage in any theological debates over whether the use of lethal force in self-defense is Biblical. (See Larry Pratt: What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control? The Deacons’ practical self-defense approach did not square with national leadership’s stated views on the direction to be taken by the Civil Rights Movement but nevertheless contributed immeasurably to the ultimate success of the larger civil rights effort.

“The goal of black self-determination and black self-identity—Black Power—is full participation in the decision-making processes affecting the lives of black people, and recognition of the virtues in themselves as black people.”

Stokely Carmichael wrote of the Deacons:

“Here is a group which realized that the ‘law’ and law enforcement agencies would not protect people, so they had to do it themselves…The Deacons and all other blacks who resort to self-defense represent a simple answer to a simple question: what man would not defend his family and home from attack?”

Proponents of non-violence had previously protected themselves with guns. Fannie Lou Hammer confessed that she kept several loaded guns under her bed. Robert F. Williams armed his local NAACP branch. The NAACP and the federal government were not happy with Williams’ stance but Martin Luther King Jr. also employed armed bodyguards and had guns in his house during the early stages of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956.

The Klan strategy to intimidate African Americans included burning five churches, destroying a Masonic hall, a Baptist center, and murdering innocent victims- often women and children. Jonesboro, Louisiana was the scene of much of the violence in 1964.

Because of state and federal governments’ failure to protect African-Americans, men in Jonesboro, Louisiana, led by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, founded the Deacons to protect civil rights workers, their communities and their families, against the Klan violence. The Jonesboro chapter later organized a Deacons chapter in Bogalusa, Louisiana.

The Jonesboro chapter initiated a regional organizing campaign and eventually formed 21 chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The militant Deacons’ confronted the Klan in Bogalusa and forced the federal government to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Many of the original Deacons were war veterans with combat experience and the Deacons galvanized federal law enforcement by the very real threat that the Deacons would kill Klansmen in self-defense.

Ernest “Chilly Willy” Thomas understood that things were secured by force rather than moral appeal. According to Lance Hill, “Thomas was eager to work with CORE, but he had reservations about the nonviolent terms imposed by the young activists.” Thomas and others would guard the Jonesboro community in the day with their guns concealed and carried their guns openly during the cover of night to discouraged any type of Klan activity.

The Deacons became involved with the wider Civil Rights Movement during the 1966 March Against Fear. Stokely Carmichael urged that the Deacons be used as security for the march. Akinyele O. Umoja states, “Finally, though expressing reservations, King conceded to Carmichael’s proposals to maintain unity in the march and the movement. The involvement and association of the Deacons with the march signified a shift in the Civil Rights Movement, which had been popularly projected as a ‘nonviolent movement.”’

Akinyele O. Umoja suggests that ideological shifts in the movement were becoming apparent even before the March Against Fear. An alliance between CORE and the Deacons around 1965 and the support of armed self-defense by many southern-born Black people is a significant aspect of the civil rights movement that has been ignored by white and black historians. Additionally, a significant portion of SNCC supported armed self-defense. Local Southern blacks knew violence that was up close and personal. The national leadership, on the other hand, steered a wider agenda that included gaining support from Northern white liberals and mainstream media outlets.

The Deacons worked with other groups that practiced nonviolence and provided armed guards so that the NAACP and other groups could maintain their nonviolent stance. According to Lance Hill, author of The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement:

“The hard truth is that these organizations (i.e., SNCC, CORE, and SCLC) produced few victories in their local projects in the Deep South— if success is measured by the ability to force changes in local government policy and create self-governing and sustainable local organizations that could survive when the national organizations departed…The Deacons’ campaigns frequently resulted in substantial and unprecedented victories at the local level, producing real power and self-sustaining organizations.”

According to Hill, the Deacons were the true resistance that enforced civil rights in areas of the Deep South. Many times it was locally armed communities that laid the foundation of equal opportunity for African-Americans. National organizations played their role by exposing problems; local organizations and individuals implemented change and were not intimidated by whites who wanted to enforce and perpetuate segregation. Without these local organizations employing armed self-defense not much would have changed, according to Hill.

An example of how armed force changed the civil rights equation took place in early 1965. Black students picketed the local high school. They were confronted by hostile police and fire trucks with hoses. A car of four Deacons emerged and in view of the police calmly loaded their shotguns. The police ordered the fire truck to withdraw. Lance Hill observes that this was the first time in the Twentieth century “an armed black organization had successfully used weapons to defend a lawful protest against an attack by law enforcement.”

Another example from Hill:

“In Jonesboro, the Deacons made history when they compelled Louisiana governor John McKeithen to intervene in the city’s civil rights crisis and require a compromise with city leaders—the first capitulation to the civil rights movement by a Deep South governor.”

The Deacons kept their membership secret to avoid terrorist attacks on their supporters. The tactics of the Deacons attracted the attention and concern of the FBI which produced more than 1,500 pages of relatively accurate records on the Deacon’s activities, largely through numerous informants close to or even inside the organization.

The information herein is a summary of an article about the Deacons at Wikipedia.

Guns, Civil Rights & Black Americans

Sometimes I hear people say that the Civil War was not really about slavery. I find that difficult to believe. Nevertheless, the fight for African-American freedom began in earnest after the Civil War ended. The U.S. Supreme Court cited firearms lawyer Stephen Halbrook in the landmark DC vs. Heller decision:

“Blacks were routinely disarmed by Southern States after the Civil War. Those who opposed these injustices frequently stated that they infringed blacks’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Needless to say, the claim was not that blacks were being prohibited from carrying arms in an organized state militia.”

The legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment includes a joint Congressional Report that described how after the Civil War “in some parts of (South Carolina), armed parties… without proper authority, engaged in seizing all firearms found in the hands of the freemen. Such conduct is in clear and direct violation of their personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States….”

After the Civil War, Northerners recognized that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the right to keep and bear arms to newly freed black citizens. Southerners also knew that Constitutional rights for blacks also meant extending gun rights and defiantly enacted laws prohibiting blacks from possessing guns.

An editorial in The Loyal Georgian (Augusta) on Feb. 3, 1866, assured blacks that all “men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep and bear arms to defend their homes, families or themselves.”

Black and white Southerners who expressed such opinions often found themselves defending their homes and families. Some black Civil War veterans were lynched for refusing to surrender service weapons to white militias that rode about enforcing laws prohibiting blacks from possessing firearms.

Martin Luther King knew that reason, not force of arms, was the only method of overcoming ignorance and hatred. But King’s strategies could only work in a nation where citizens love justice and compassion. Crusades against slavery could only be effective in nations like England and the U.S. where the people participate in representative government and are animated by mercy and the love of justice.

Leaders in nations like North Korea, Iran or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq can be less concerned about voter sensibilities. Despots have few qualms when it comes to killing and torturing demonstrators. The men and women that followed Rev. King proved that a people’s need for dignity triumphs over intimidation and violence. Dialogue alone did not stop the violence, however. In order to advance the struggle for black equality, the federal government deployed armed troops to defend black and white citizens that stood up for justice.

Prior to the Civil War, British warships and their big guns abolished the slave trade by controlling the high seas. Even as freedom marchers risked their lives in the Deep South and Northern cities like Chicago, there were armed black men like the Deacons for the Defense that made the nightriders want to stay a little closer to home. The Founders anticipated that the Republic would occasionally face such dangerous times.

Reprinted with permission of Federal Way Mirror.

Prohibition Spawned Al Capone & Modern Gun Control

Seattle is known as a congenial, outdoorsy city. When I was coming of age in Chicagoland, Eliott Ness still symbolized the forces of reform standing in the gap against 1930’s gangsters like Al Capone. The story that was often missed by television viewers was that gangsters in Chicago joined forces with corrupt public officials during Prohibition. They even bought and paid for the police! Prohibition spawned vicious killers like Al Capone. The banning of alcohol also spawned early attempts at gun control:

The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 ended most of the gang violence. But without waiting to evaluate the effects of the repeal of the alcohol ban, Congress passed the National Firearms Act of 1934.

As introduced, the National Firearms Act requirement would have strictly regulated not only machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, but also pistols and revolvers. Attorney General Homer Cummings conceded that the Second Amendment precluded an outright ban on possession and instead sought registration of these firearms under the guise of a tax measure, in a ploy similar to the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act, which mandated doctors’ prescriptions and justified that by saying it was the only way the government could keep track of narcotics sales for tax purposes.

It is not like that in Seattle but we do have corrupt groups like ACORN that are still making inroads in Washington state and Washington, DC! Despite a consent decree that keeps ACORN operatives from being involved in most election activities, a representative of King County Elections told me that ACORN is nevertheless being allowed to engage in some local election activities.

As a kid in Chicago, I read the true story of “The Untouchables”. I wondered why honest merchants and others cowed by murder and mayhem did not join together and stand against corruption. Many merchants and working people enjoyed Al Capone’s products, services and largesse. Some honest folks were too terrified to speak out or busy trying to hold onto jobs controlled by the Chicago machine, just like some more or less honest politicians that were forced to make compromises. It almost sounds like modern times!

Pervasive corruption exists today in the modern Windy City. In fact, the more “progressive” a city’s politics become, the more corrupt the politicians seem to get! I think of Mayor Daley’s father standing on the steps and giving the finger to Martin Luther King when the Freedom Marchers passed City Hall. Well-connected contractors got rich while poor black people lived in mile after mile of rat-infested high-rises without elevators that worked. Many of the projects were made out of substandard concrete.

But white contractors, white trade-unionists and white bag-men got rich along with an assortment of Mayor Daley’s other cronies. All the graft ensured that garbage was collected in some neighborhoods in Chicago’s black Southside- the precincts where certain preachers returned the vote to Daley’s Machine. Northern industrial cities like Chicago, with a history of segregation, also seem to be the cities that enact aggressive gun control laws and maintain the highest murder rates.

The picture above is Cabrini Green on the Chicago’s North Side. I often walked past it when I was a kid:

Cabrini-Green was so feared by the Chicago Police during the 1990s that many refused to enter the complex for fear of their lives. Several officers reported that once inside the complex they had been verbally abused and spat upon, and had rocks smashed through their patrol car windows. Many others had been shot.

An unanticipated result of the steel fencing installed to secure the previously open gangways was that it became difficult for police to see through the steel mesh from outside; in 1970, two policemen were killed by snipers.

Anti-gun cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco also have a shameful history of crimes against minorities resembling the pattern of racism in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other big cities. Some of the earliest widespread efforts at gun control were Jim Crow laws enacted in the Deep South to disarm black people. Meanwhile, whites continued to exercise the constitutional right to own guns.

Many governments are working under the auspices of UN programs to disarm citizens. Even some Western Washington politicians seem to look to a nebulous UN agenda in their attempts to violate state gun laws, ban assault weapons and create sanctuaries for illegal aliens.

In some under-developed countries, governments have virtually declared war on their own people in efforts to ban guns. Uganda is one example of extreme violence perpetrated by the Ugandan government against selected tribes that hold onto their guns as protection in the midst of appalling ethnic conflict that is all too often enmeshed with governmental policies.

Many of the worst human rights violators around the world sit on UN committees that condone violence against Israelis or those of other ethnic and national origins. You could almost say that the world has become a mirror image of Chicago in the days of Al Capone- or today for that matter! The dictators around the globe are like the aldermen that receive favors for keeping their neighborhoods in line. Every now and then, we hear about genocides (sometimes after the UN disarms the victims as it did in Rwanda) that remind us of the Valentine’s Day massacre, when gangsters dressed like cops gunned down Capone’s Irish rivals on the North Side.

In November, over 57 people campaigning against an incumbent were shot, raped and hacked to death- see Massacre in Philippines- including at least 30 journalists. Although there is no evidence of UN involvement, the alleged perpetrators are the incumbent’s family, friends and local police that supported President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. See also how the UN aids and abets atrocities in East Congo.

The mob or your friendly UN representative may one day come to your town to persuade you that they just want to “make your place safe from unfortunate accidents.” Do you believe them as they give your child a stick of gum and assure you, “It sure would be a shame if anything happened to such a cute kid?”

Do you trust politicians in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the UN to make decisions about your ability to defend your family? For that matter, how many of the politicians in King County would you trust with your life?

Thanksgiving & Roots of the U.S. Constitutional Order…ages%3Fq%3Dpilg

Where are your loyalties- to the UN? To the religion of humanism? Or are you looking toward traditional values of individual freedom, U.S. sovereignty and inalienable rights that are founded on Biblical principles? The Scripture speaks of covenant responsibilities that God requires of people that would be free (like the duty to defend life, liberty and property as set forth in the U.S. Constitution)- not “rights” bestowed by the State!

Do you know that the concept of a written Constitution itself was a development that grew out of the practices of the early American religious colonies? The Pilgrim fathers (and mothers) consciously entered into covenants (compacts, mutual promises or contracts) that imitated the Old and New Covenants (i.e., Old and New Testaments). The Old Testament abounds in examples of covenants between God and man and between people within the ancient social framework of Israel. The fact remains that a people that are covenant keepers will be strong and prosperous.

The Pilgrims were dissenting religious believers that were originally from England. These Separatists first attempted to create a community of believers in Nottinghamshire village of Scrooby around 1606.

The west side of St. Wilfrid’s Church in Scrooby showing the spire at the north end. This is the parish church where William Brewster attended services until he separated from the Church of England. Photo by Alice C. Teal.

Their objective was to practice their faith without being contaminated by the elitist and worldly culture that surrounded them in England. In order to avoid the reality of being imprisoned for worshipping in their homes, the Scrooby Separatists fled to Amsterdam.

The Netherlands was a Calvinistic stronghold that had struggled for years against Spanish invasions launched on behalf of the Catholic Church. Amsterdam was very tolerant toward various religious groups. In fact, Amsterdam had already become very commercialized and prostitution, alcoholism and other vices were on display as much as the religious freedom that the Pilgrims sought. The Ancient Brethren, another group of English Separatists that had immigrated to Amsterdam earlier, lost many of their children to the worldly atmosphere of Amsterdam.

The realization that Amsterdam could easily corrupt their own community, the Pilgrims moved to Leiden:

After a brief stay in Amsterdam, where they were dismayed by the discord within other immigrant English congregations, the Pilgrims were granted permission to settle in the cloth manufacturing city of Leiden. They lived there under the religious leadership of Pastor John Robinson for twelve years gathered openly as a church. However, life in a foreign country was not without problems. The only occupations open to most immigrants were poorly paid, and they found themselves growing old in poverty. The twelve-year truce between Holland and Spain was to end in 1621, threatening a resumption of hostilities. Also troublesome to the Separatists were the hardships endured by their young people, who were forced by circumstance to work at exceptionally hard jobs. Others were assimilated into the Dutch culture, leaving their parents and their community profoundly disturbed.

The impovershed community began looking to Virginia (the whole Eastern seaboard of the North American continent) as a place of refuge where they could carve out a Scriptural way of life free of the commercial culture and vice with which they struggled in Holland and England. They approached the Virginia Company that had funded Jamestown.

They informed prospective investors that they hwere industrious, frugal and “knit otogether in a sacred bond’ by their hardships in Amsterdam. Apparently the investors agreed that the Pilgrim experience inured to thir “mutual good” and funds were provided for the tiny band to set sail for what became the Plymouth Colony:

A group of English investors known as the “merchant adventurers” financed the voyage and settlement. They formed a joint-stock company with the colonists in which the merchants agreed to “adventure” (risk) their money, and the settlers to invest their personal labor, for a period of seven years. During that time, all land and livestock were to be owned in partnership; afterwards the company would be dissolved and the assets divided.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the first major case involving the important issue of whether the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. The landmark case originated in Washington, DC where, like Chicago and other cities, law abiding citizens were not allowed to defend themselves against lawless criminals! Since Heller v DC was decided, cities all over the land are changing their laws ro conform to the Second Amendment.

The Washington, DC case has provided the legal basis for a series of cases to percolate through the courts. The United Nations and domestic gun ban advocates will be seeking a worldwide treaty banning small arms (firearms are already prohibited to private citizens in all but a few nations). Will the U.S. join the consensus of dictators all over the world by bending our Constitution to “international norms”?

The roots of our American Constitutional order are buried in ancient Israel’s covenant with Yahweh! We need to be careful today what kind of laws, covenants and treaties we make as a people.

A people that recognize their heritage in God and that are grateful for blessings every day (not just on Thanksgiving) will prosper and remain free.

Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Proverbs 22:28 (King James Version)

Julian Huxley, Second Amendment & UN Suzerainty

Suzerain- Main Entry: su·zer·ain
Pronunciation: ˈsü-zə-rən, -ˌrân; ˈsüz-rən

Function: noun

1 : a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due: overlord;

2 : a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs.

Jeremy Rabkin, a professor of law at George Mason University School of Law, recently authored an article published in Imprimis called “The Constitution and American Sovereignty”. In the article, Rabkin explains how the concept of national sovereignty, as we understand it today, developed during the Seventeenth century along with nationalism.

Abraham Lincoln defined sovereignty as “a political community without a political superior”. Thus, sovereignty isn’t so much about power as it is about authority and legitimacy. Rabkin notes that:

“… in medieval Europe… the defining character of that period was overlapping authority and a lot of confusion about which authority had primary claims. No one had to think about defining national boundaries. This became an issue only in the modern era, when interaction between different peoples increased.”

In the course of arguing that the King of France did not owe allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire, Jean Bodin, a French jurist of the late 16th century, also advocated religious toleration, protection for personal property, rule of law and representative government. According to Rabkin, Bodin was in favor of free trade and his natural law theories recognized God as the source of legal authority.

Not coincidentally, the law of nations (i.e., international law) also began to develop at this time as a result of expanded commercial activities, maritime pursuits and the pursuit of war by European monarchs and princes.

Rabkin discusses how the U.S. Constitution provides that treaties will be “the supreme Law of the Land”. Treaties are binding on the states; nevertheless, to be valid, a treaty must be consistent with the Constitution. Thus, the Constitution preempts and supersedes treaties. As Alexander Hamilton explained, “A treaty cannot change the frame of the government” because it is the Constitution that authorizes the government to make treaties in the first place. The historical consensus, now under attack, has been that a treaty violating the Constitution violates the authority which provides legitimacy for the treaty in the first place:

Today there is no longer a consensus regarding the principle that legislative and legal authority cannot be delegated to international tribunals or commissions and this has become a contentious issue. There is strong legal precedent, however, prohibiting Congress from delegating its power to legislate to an international body.

Delegation of judicial power is also a point of contention. Can the rights of American citizens in the U.S. be determined by foreign courts? Such delegation of the judicial power violates Article 3 of the Constitution. Judicial power “shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

In the case of Medellin v. Texas, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court considered an International Court of Justice ruling. A Mexican national that violently raped and murdered two girls in Texas had the right to receive counsel from the Mexican consulate under the 1963 Vienna Convention. Despite a ruling that Texas could not execute a convicted murderer, the U.S. Supreme Court held that treaty provisions were diplomatic in nature and did not bind the sovereign State of Texas.

Rabkin points to the European Union and its European Court of Justice, originally established to interpret disputes about treaty provisions between sovereign European nations, in order to illustrate how rapidly loyalties can shift to supra-national bodies. Wasn’t the dissension about the war in Iraq largely a national schism over whether the Bush Administration or the United Nations was to decide international policy relating to Iraq? In the 1970s, the Court of Justice held that conflicts between treaty provisions and national constitutions would be resolved in favor of the treaty provisions and EU members accepted the idea that a treaty takes precedence over national constitutions.

A proposed UN Climate Change Treaty waiting in Copenhagen for the President to sign in December may soon test whether the Court will hold to its previous ruling in favor of non-delegation of legislative power.

This week the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation and others filed suit against the City of Seattle for violating the Washington state firearms preemption law. Dave Workman describes how this local gun battle is a part of a larger war looming, as the campaign to subject the American people to a UN gun treaty gets under way:

“As former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr writes today on his blog, there is an international battle over gun rights unfolding in the United Nations, and one in Seattle that has been well-covered….

International gun prohibitionists have been pushing the United States to sign an arms trade agreement for several years. With Barack Obama in the White House and Hilary Clinton at State, this could happen. Barr’s column is a “must read” for anyone interested in that controversy. He calls it the “Perfect Storm” for the UN gun control agenda.”

Rabkin asks whether being an American will mean just being part of some abstract humanity. Should we put our faith in words? “What about the idea that as long as we say nice things about humanity, everyone will feel better and we’ll all be safe?” Many states, anticipating the UN push to ban our guns, are already enacting firearms sovereignty provisions in order to erect a fence between a new federal-internationalist tyranny and the people’s right to keep and bear firepower. Meanwhile, Mayor Nickels defies state law and acts like a soon to be deposed satrap in his own feudal principality of Seattle.

In February, 2007, before most of us thought candidate Obama would be the next President, J.R. Dunn suggested in an American Thinker article that a global religious creed may be the only chance for world governance to overcome U.S. resistance to any variety of global suzerainty. The key to promoting such schemes (floating around since before the founding of the ill-fated League of Nations) is a messianic figure that can usher such a secular religious crusade into institutional existence:

In the Fifties and Sixties, Huxley and the CIA were experimenting with LSD, while Aldous’ uncle, Julian Huxley, was busy promulgating a social agenda that sounded vaguely like the utopian, mushroom-eating societies favored by his nephew, Aldous. Julian’s counter-intelligence, propaganda apparatus was headquartered at UNESCO, where he was head of the UN religious mission. In “Religion Without Revelation”, Julian Huxley identified the sense of the numinous (feelings of awe and religiosity) and announced that a universal world religion was needed in order to incorporate such profound feelings….

He advocated enlistment of the media outlets as the best method for converting masses of humanity in every nation to the new secular religion. Thus, by making spiritual feelings (i.e., numinosity) available to everyone without the need to look to higher authority (i.e., Biblical revelation) the world can dispense with feelings of guilt or other negative reactions resulting from moral degradation, loss of human life and diminished expectations of human dignity that have been washing to shore since Huxley began his mission in the 1940s. Now we see all this along with an evangelical-style face in a neo-Progressive wave being financed by George Soros, a billionaire intelligence operative who works at levels that are apparently deeper than most folks realize.

According to one description of Rudolf Otto’s thinking (the German scholar who popularized the concept of numinosity):

Otto describes the numinous as an awe-filled encounter with ultimate reality (UR). UR is designated by Otto as a mysterium tremendum and a majestus as it is experienced as a powerful sentient force, worthy of utmost respect. It inspires not only awe, but also fear. While the subject is urgently attracted to this ineffable source of creation, it may in some instances frighten, humble and ‘purify.’ Otto also notes subjects may perceive some sense of creaturely wretchedness and unworthiness, standing naked, as it were, in the face of a great and powerful, “wholly other”(16) UR-Creator-God.

See C. G. Jung and Numinosity

This definition of numinosity is fairly close to the way in which C. G. Jung defined it and the context in which Julian Huxley used the term in “Religion Without Revelation”. Huxley, the founder of UNESCO, envisioned a future synthesis of Communism with Capitalism.

Finally, notwithstanding our digressions into the semantics of numinosity we are back to Rabkin’s most startling thesis:

Where does this trend away from the sovereignty of national constitutions lead? I do not think the danger is a world tyranny. I think that idea is fantastical. Rather what it will lead to, I think, is an undermining of the idea that national governments can protect people, with the result that people will start looking for defense elsewhere. We saw this in an extreme way in Iraq when it collapsed into chaos before the surge, and people looked for protection to various ethnic or sectarian militias. A similar phenomenon can be seen today in Europe with the formation of various separatist movements. We’re even hearing loud claims for Scottish independence. And it’s not surprising, because to the extent that Britain has surrendered its sovereignty, Britain doesn’t count for as much as it used to. So why not have your own Scotland? Why not have your own Wales? Why not have your own Catalonia in Spain? And of course the greatest example of this devolution in Europe is the movement toward Muslim separatism. While this is certainly driven to a large extent by trends in Islam, it also reflects the fact that it doesn’t mean as much to be British or to be French any more. These governments are cheerfully giving away their authority to the EU. So why should immigrants or children of immigrants take them seriously?

If the world ever looks to supra-national insitutions for protection, I am convinced there will be a recognizable world religious movement with new religious symbolism representing the power and authority of the new “majestus”. Some Bible teachers have predicted a synthesis of Catholicism and Islam may occur. As events in the religious world shift before your eyes, ask yourself- in what will your grandchildren grow up believing and whom will they serve?

Terrorism Awareness in Federal Way

The concept of situational awareness is critical when preparing to confront an enemy or a potential disaster of any kind. The first step in developing such awareness is to know that an enemy exists and to identify from where the enemy threat may develop. These issues were the thrust of the November 29th, 2007, Terrorism Awareness Presentation. Ray Gross, Federal Way’s Emergency Preparedness Manager, presided over the presentation and facilitated some helpful discussion with a good cross-section of the Federal Way community.

Ray Gross, spent eight years in the Marines, obtained a degree in accounting and started out in the field of emergency management in Southern California. Ray will tell you that the Northwest has environmental extremists, professional anarchists and assorted other home grown extremists that are escalating toward more violent exploits. They cannot operate without a social groundwork to provide camouflage and support.

The purpose of this report is to apply theoretical knowledge from a variety of sources to tactical issues in Federal Way. Think about scenarios that could develop locally in the same way that the military creates opposing teams that work up plans, with one team pretending to be the Taliban, insurrectionists or homegrown organizations bent on attacking military installations, pipelines, nuclear facilities, etc. In case you are not reading the newspapers, several actual plans have been discovered; e.g., the young men of Middle-Eastern descent that were trying to acquire assault weapons from “Al Qaeda” (actually a federal agent) for the purpose of attacking Fort Dix.

In another well reported case, convicts hatched a plan that they actually began to execute after they were released from prison. The plan was to rob businesses in order to acquire funds to finance larger attacks against Jewish facilities in the U.S., U.S. military installations and “valuable” civilian targets.

“Target Value” to a terrorist indicates a potential to create overwhelming bewilderment that causes the population to lose confidence in the ability of the government to protect us.

While some of the material herein was presented on November 29th, the conclusions are solely based on the author’s interpretation of situational dynamics gleaned from a variety of sources that may need to be identified as time goes on.

One intriguing aspect of the blog format is the ability to throw out some raw material and then draw on the comments and other feedback. Since our format is always a continuing work in progress, statements and suggestions can be adjusted, revised and tested by the unfolding impact of subsequent events. As they say in warfare, the only thing that is for sure is that the plan will be changed as things go wrong on the battlefield and unanticipated circumstances materialize. In other words, we welcome your comments and analyses. There are no real experts in this area, just people that are willing to pay attention and people that blithely sail on ignoring the brewing storm.

The first point then is to make clear that we are in a war. The numbers of groups that pose threats of violence are legion. These groups may link up on an operational level even when they oppose each other ideologically; e.g., Al Qaeda (a Sunni extremist base of operations conducts operations in conjunction with Iran, governed by a regime that is Shiite and diametrically opposed to the Sunni sect).

Think about white supremacists like Timothy McVeigh and the potential for homegrown brands of extremism to operate in tandem with any number of groups that hate Israel and the U.S. Government.

One important concept to Islamicists, according to intelligence generated from interrogation rooms and jihadist internet training sites is that of “the perfect day”. This would be like a perfect storm where many apparently unrelated forces and individuals come together via certain triggering events.

By way of explanation: there have been at least two instances where men of the Islamic persuasion have attacked offices of the Jewish Federation, once here in Seattle and once in San Francisco. In each case there was no evidence reported by the media that these men were affiliated with any organized extremist groups so the stories were not reported by the media as terrorist incidents:

The idea that a lone individual will appear seemingly out of nowhere to launch a horrific terrorist attack sends shivers down the spines of public security planners and law enforcement officers — not to mention average citizens. Because of their unique traits, “lone wolves” present very real challenges to the law enforcement and security professionals charged with guarding against such threats.

See Jihad & Lone Wolf terrorists.

When we look at the larger pattern, however, it becomes apparent that many other such individuals may actually be programmed by their belief system to act (apparently spontaneously) and certain events may trigger such apparently spontaneous terrorist activities in the future.

The man in San Francisco (who started his homicidal drive through the City by assaulting Jews near the Jewish Federation in San Francisco) and another man at a university in the Southeastern United States used vehicles to assault and murder numerous pedestrians.

At least one of these murderers demonstrated perfect rationality (within the premises of his own belief system). He planned the attacks for days, going through all the rituals required by his faith prior to a jihad attack. The man has all the earmarks of a Takfiri, a loose knit group of extremists from North Africa that are more deadly and insidious than Al Qaeda.

A Takfiri (from the Arabic word ÊßÝíÑí) accuses other Muslims of apostasy. Takfiris are not bound by the usual religious constraints regarding wearing a beard, drinking alcohol, or eating pork when such restrictions would interfere with waging effective jihad. To Takfiris, strict adherence to those laws interferes with the covert action necessary to “defend” Islam. Because Takfiris “blend in,” they can organize, plan, and take action necessitated by the overriding duty of jihad with less risk of identification, interference, or interception.

The Northwest has had a tradition of aiding and abetting anarchy that goes back at least to the days when Eugene Debbs organized the Industrial Workers of the World.

“Big Bill” Haywood, and two other WFM leaders, Mssrs. Pettibone and Moyer, were prosecuted for the murder of Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg after the Governor was assassinated for keeping order in North Idaho. His home was blown up by Harry Orchard, a professional bomber for the Western Federation of Miners. It was the trial of the century and many famous personalities, including Clarence Darrow for the defense, played starring roles.

The Wobblies clashed with the U.S. Government and local governments, especially after the WW I began. By advocating that WW I was a war of the capitalist class and the international bankers, the Wobblies who were loggers, unemployed bindlestiffs and members of other crafts were violating the Espionage Act and other laws by interfering with the U.S. Government’s ability to fight the Great War. The IWW and its enemies also participated in armed violence and bombings that killed many people.

Distinguished members of the bar around the United States, including Clarence Darrow, and local lawyers like Seattle’s own George Francis Vanderveer (See The Counsel for the Damned, by Lowell S. Hawley and Ralph Bushnell Potts), came to the Wobblies’ defense and aggressively represented the “Wobblies”, as they came to be known. The IWW’s support resided in a network of mining camps, radical trade unionists like the Western Federation of Miners and a far flung criminal underground that included professional assassins, saboteurs and organizers. See also “Cabal of Death: Harry Orchard and His Associates in Murder in the Western Mining Wars” (Gem Book)by Robert Grimmett. The IWW was philosophically not far removed from the professional Anarchists that terrorized Seattle during the WTO riots several years ago.

It is a sure bet that, the next time the WTO comes to town, Anarchists will progress beyond just vandalizing the storefronts of such symbols of corporate abuse as Starbucks Coffee. The same kind of people went beyond breaking windows to assaulting delegates at the Republican Convention in Twin Cities this summer. The fact that such groups exist and may have a propensity for violence (think about environmental terrorists and so-called animal rights activists- ELF and ALF respectively) raises the issue of whether these groups represent the same degree of imminent danger as jihadists who have sworn to destroy the U.S. and Israel in order to establish a worldwide Caliphate under Shariah law.

The main reason for discussing these organizations in so much detail is to show that Washington State and the whole West Coast is an environment in which violence prone “activists” may be able to find a refuge. We live in a social sea that provides habitat for radical schools of fish to swim, with food, cover and places to blend in with their surroundings.

This brings us to the first target in Federal Way that satisfies all the criteria for likely target selection- Weyerhauser Corporation. Located on its semi-wooded campus in Federal Way, Weyerhauser has visibility and value as a symbol of corporate interests that are antithetical to many in the environmental movement (think Enviromental Liberation Movement- they already have graduated beyond arson to more serious crimes).

People arrive at Weyerhauser at predictable times via predictable routes and it is relatively accessible. Nevertheless, Weyerhauser lacks one key criterion as a probable target, the management is aware of the threat, not unaware. The employees on their way to work, though, are another story.

Does anyone remember the Pakistani jihadist that appeared outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, killed two employees waiting to turn into the parking lot and then disappeared into Pakistan for almost five years? That was in the early 1990’s. The FBI finally got their man but they had to go to Pakistan and actually abduct him (with some help from the nice government over there).

We have a major pipeline for natural gas transmission that runs right through the boundary between our city and neighboring Auburn. It is relatively close to residential areas and Weyerhauser. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently featured an article about Communist terrorists in Mexico. They blew up pipelines that caused billions of dollars in damage and great loss of life. An ocean going ship carrying liquefied natural gas and putting into the Port of Tacoma can be used in such a way as to create an explosion that will physically impact areas as far away as Federal Way.

The most likely way to prevent explosions, deployment of chemical weapons and biological agents is by interrupting the perpetrators at their most vulnerable point in the cycle of destruction. The vulnerable point is at the point where the terrorist organization surveils its targets far ahead of an actual detonation or other point where the plan is executed. In order to select a target some individuals will begin reconnoitering the area. The enemy needs to plan and deploy and of course companies like Weyerhauser and cities like New York City and Los Angeles employ intelligence professionals to anticipate attacks.

What is the Commons Mall in Federal Way doing to obtain intelligence? Or the City of Federal Way, for that matter? Or your local church or small business? Here I may sound alarmist again but most of us have heard of how Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has attacked shoppers in the market place, public officials and Christian churches in Iraq (many mosques have also seen carnage). And they have been wildly successful at killing Iraqi police recruits, little children and even our own troops while the troops were in highly secured areas. The jihadists often perpetrated such atrocities by dressing like police. So if you feel comfortable- don’t be.

The WSJ had an interesting article on November 30, 2007, explaining the ways in which the conflict with the Taliban in Afghanistan is more a battle of the mind than of the flesh (in a sense, isn’t every war like that?). The goal of the insurrection is to get the U.S. installations “by the belt”. This means to infiltrate closely enough within secured perimeters that the security forces are afraid to shoot for fear of hitting their own men and women.

Remember the Chechens that murdered Russian school children in Beslan? The LAPD and other agencies that have jurisdiction in localities where there are extensive support systems for Chechen minorities, already are monitoring many of these groups, that can be motivated by money and politics at the same time (they send the money home to fund their insurrection against Russia and other republics of the former USSR0. They look just like Ukrainians, Russians, Irishmen or Scandinavians; i.e., white, Anglo and American. And they could be teamed up with the M-13 gang (literally an international army with many thousands of soldiers all over the U.S.) or other mercenary gangs from South of the border. The moral of this story is to know those that labor among you. Talk to your local police and get involved in the CERT program or some of the local volunteer law enforcement assistance programs. Block Watches work.

Ironically, perhaps, it is the secular humanist world-view that provides the best cultural support system for terror networks. There is nothing wrong with diversity but we need to be able to discuss community safety issues without the chilling-effect of having to talk as though pro-life activists pose a threat that is commensurate to Al Qaeda’s activities and goals (some people apparently equate the convicted terrorist, Eric Rudolph, with parents that spank their children or lawfully demonstrate in front of abortion clinics).

If your church, business or police force is not out gathering intelligence, don’t feel too upset. Intelligence gathering is expensive and sophisticated in nature. The federal government itself keeps telling us that its defense system depends on observant people like you and I that listen to our guts and make that phone call when we see suspicious activity at the local mall, freeway viaduct or intersection.

As a lawyer, I have to warn you. If you make a call about an employee, neighbor or some suspicious looking customer or business activity, you may be sued! This may not surprise you but you need to understand that the threat of legal action is a recognized weapon of terrorists. The Council of Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) and other Islamic “civil rights” groups have done a great deal to undermine the ability of government officials and other responsible authorities to take action against determined enemies. There has been at least one RICO suit against CAIR that alleges that they are in a conspiracy orchestrated with known terrorist groups to make America more vulnerable to attacks.

Remember the clerics that boarded an airliner and acted very suspiciously and then sued when they were “discriminated” against?

People that are aware of “diversity” issues are often sensitive to other people’s rights and justifiably concerned about legal liability.

Other people will tell you that fundamentalist Christians are tantamount to jihadists. Many people right here in Federal Way think Bush is the enemy and do not believe we are even at war.

Meanwhile there is viable intelligence indicating that Islamic males have been boarding school buses around the United States, possibly just to see what kind of reaction develops- is the reaction predictable?

Terrorists are known to test their prospective victims the same way a shark bumps a potential victim in the water. So if you see a ladder against your building, check on why it is there. A jihadist scout may be waiting to see how long it takes before someone checks to see whether someone is on the roof.

We need some armed school bus drivers and teachers that are trained volunteers in the battle to protect our children. The voters should be telling elected officials and administrators at every level to start providing training for volunteer school district staff; training now- not after our children are captured, tortured and raped. You may think I am exaggerating. Just remember, while you are getting angry at the messenger, some people are planning to perpetrate atrocities on our little ones and others will react violently against innocent Muslims if atrocities against children actually occur.

Provoking a violent reaction is the end-goal of the jihadist strategy. Their ultimate goal is to recruit soldiers in the war to destroy our way of life but to get there they have to create division within our society (it is working, in case you have not noticed). Do not be so complacent and smug that you believe that destruction of our American way of life is impossible.

If you work at any level of school administration, government or your church, start getting trained by professionals that teach defensive use of deadly force.

At present, you cannot take a weapon into a school or many government buildings legally. Nevertheless, it takes time to become proficient with use of a pistol even if you already have some familiarity. So start learning now.

It is just a matter of time before you will be glad that you heeded the advice herein. Do not discount small-arms as potent weapons in the hands of honest citizens, as well as terrorists. A few teams of jihadist shooters that are prepared to die can go into an intersection or mall and cause pain, death and fear that will shut down the American economy for years.

We need trained people in every walk of life, including teachers and journalists that are willing to protect our children, families and way of life. You do not even need a concealed carry license to protect yourself with a pistol in your home and business. But you still have to travel to your place of business and a permit will usually eliminate the mandatory wait period for purchasing a handgun.

Incidentally, China is the leading country that is quietly testing every vulnerability within cyberspace. Not just military and intelligence data is at risk. Business-to-business linkage is virtually universal and failure in key industries could mean that the whole country is at risk. The way this applies to your business is that you could be doing business with a Boeing vendor or other defense related supplier. That relationship alone makes you a target for worms, robots and Trojan Horses. You, the small business person, become an unwitting host for mole programs that are as dangerous as sleeper cells unless you spend a great deal of time and money overseeing your network.

“A report issued Thursday by security-software firm McAfee said government-affiliated hackers in China are at the forefront of a brewing “cyber Cold War” still in its infancy:

Within two decades, according to McAfee, the scuffle could erupt into a worldwide conflict involving hundreds of countries attacking one another’s online networks with sophisticated software.

“America is under widespread attack in cyberspace,” Gen. James Cartwright, then-commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the military’s computer grid, told Congress in March. “Our freedom to use cyberspace is threatened by the actions of criminals, terrorists and nations alike.”

The department received 37,000 reports of attempted breaches on government and private systems in fiscal 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared with 24,000 the previous year. Assaults on federal agencies increased 152 percent during that period, from 5,143 to 12,986.
A worst-case attack could shut down computer command-and-control systems that run banking, water and sewer systems, traffic lights, oil and gas networks and nearly every other element of the public infrastructure.

The roster of adversaries in cyberspace includes foreign militaries and intelligence services, hackers who could be working in league with foreign governments, and “hacktivists” — hackers with political agendas.

Terrorists, thus far, are considered only a limited threat, but they could become more dangerous as technically proficient younger members join the ranks, the Government Accountability Office said in September, citing the CIA.”

In the years leading up to September 11th, our government was focused on China as the main source of any potential threat to U.S. security. Many officials (and candidates) are now focusing on Islamo-terrorism but China is still a threat.

Remember that, in an environment where terrorism proliferates, the opportunities multiply for covert operational linkage between ideologically opposed groups. Additionally, look at the world map displaying recent terrorist incidents worldwide.

An event does not have to maim or kill. Even the initial apprehension of nuclear radiation may severely disrupt normal life and chill economic activities in a way that hampers security and impacts the way of life in the U.S.

The Posse Comitatus Act, enacted after the Civil War, was intended to prevent the situation in the formerly Confederate South (where federal troops constituted an occupational government perceived to threaten the Southern way of life). U.S. Troops cannot carry their military weapons stateside (outside of military bases and reservations) without potentially running afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The Bush administration provided a new level of protection that did not exist previously with the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act, allowing active and retired police officers to carry their personal weapons anywhere in the United States.

Maybe such a provision for qualified members of the armed forces would help to ensure safety on the streets and in homes, businesses, schools, etc.