Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mises, Rothbard, Ayn Rand, and Atlas Shrugged: Braingasm and Buzzkill

After spending several hours being productive through doing freelance work online had given me a smug feeling sufficient enough to get me through the lonely night, I decided to reward myself through perusing the Journal of Libertarian Studies (Vol. 21, No. 4).  The gems through which I picked my way were letters from Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard to Ayn Rand complimenting her on writing Atlas Shrugged.  Each economist had different reasons for complimenting her, but both of their letters drew a hell of a reaction from me.

Ludwig von Mises
First reprinted was von Mises’ letter, dated January 1958.  He described the novel as “a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society, a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled “intellectuals” and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties.”  I have to complete agree with him.  After all, when approaching it from a historical context one can appreciate that the novel was completed and published in an era when the FDR administration’s Bismarckian-socialistic New Deal programs were seemingly cemented in modern economic history as the brilliant initiatives that “lifted” America out of the Great Depression.  Furthermore, the fact that FDR—an indisputably popular president—had died in office during a time of war gave his life and the legacy of his administration a decades-long immunity from heavy scrutiny or criticism.  To top it all off, the domestic economic boom of the late 1950s, due largely to the fact America was virtually the only country in the world whose full capability for mass-production wasn’t obliterated in World War II, gave the temporary illusion that the 90% marginal tax rate and subsequent government redistribution were actually working.

Ayn Rand was essentially painting a target on her own back on which the contemporary leftist intelligentsia were to initiate a free-for-all.  No great thinker in America has been so unpopular due to unfortunate timing since Ron Paul explained blowback in the 2007 Republican presidential debates.

The part of Mises’ one-page letter that drew the biggest reaction from me was his complimenting Rand for blatantly telling the masses what they’d never before been told: “you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.”  Ouch!  Unfortunately, that’s true.  Nonetheless, I need some ice for that burn because—despite the dozens of pro-liberty articles I’ve written—I’m one of the masses.  My ideas on theory of political philosophy and political economy don’t amount to a grain of sand compared to the founders of McDonalds, the super chain which has fed billions of on-the-go persons worldwide at bottom-dollar prices.

While Mises’ bold and honest statement certainly is true, and it’s fine and dandy for conservative-libertarians like myself to read in a libertarian journal, it would greatly behoove the liberty movement if we found friendlier ways to communicate that basic economic concept to the statist masses.  Simply put—and many libertarians are guilty of this in the highest, as social media would attest—simply stating that bold economic concept in those bluntly harsh words makes us all look like heartless douche bags who have had one beer too many after a rough day at the office.  If we wanted to find a more eloquent and palatable (and generally less dick-ish) way to communicate that idea, I would recommend Rand’s talking points from John Galt’s radio address which Nathaniel Branden selected for “The Moral Revolution in Atlas Shrugged,” comparing the medieval-era blacksmith to the industrialist Hank Rearden.

“If you worked as a Blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands and days of effort.  How many tons of rail do you produce per day if you work for Hank Rearden?  Would you dare to claim that the size of your pay check was created solely by your physical labor and that those rails were the product of your muscles?  The standard of living of that blacksmith is all that your muscles are worth; the rest is a gift from Hank Rearden.”

There are many conservatives (neoconservatives) and liberals (leftists) who are willing to identify with bits and pieces of libertarian philosophy, which means our movement has a foot in the door of their mind for further conversion, provided we share our ideas with them in a civil and courteous manner rather than the shock/awe/insult tactic of which so many libertarians are guilty.

Murray Rothbard
Rothbard’s letter—lengthy and never straight to the point (very Rothbardesque indeed)—absolutely kisses up to Rand for two pages before moving on to another topic.  While I can generally agree with the spirit of his praises of Rand’s magna opus, I was slightly disappointed to read that Rothbard never particularly liked novels and saw them as “at best… a useful sugar-coated pill to carry on agit-prop work amongst the masses who can’t take ideas straight.”  While it’s certainly a good thing that Rand instilled in Rorhrbard a positive view of novels, I think he may have missed the point.

Most novels, like films, aren’t composed to communicate deep ideas but rather to entertain the masses.  Despite the entertainment factor, the novel has the potential to cleverly and deceptively communicate deep and inspiring ideas to those who would otherwise avoid such ideas in a nonfiction book, essay, or lecture.  Others who are content to stay within their own narrow worldview would avoid a book with a title implicit of opposing viewpoints, but would be very compelled to peruse the scandalous new novel all their friends are talking about.

Atlas Shrugged is by no means the first novel to communicate classical liberal (libertarian) ideas, change people’s worldviews, and inspire some type of action.  Hugo’s Les Misérables compelled French society to take a second look at the flawed and grievously unbalanced system of crime, punishment, and civil rights.  Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin convinced thousands that is was morally unacceptable for a human being to own another human being.  Steinbeck’s The Moon Is Down spurred civilians in Axis-occupied countries to resist the occupiers.  Dickey’s Deliverance inspired grown men everywhere never to go camping again.  Finally, Atlas Shrugged made rugged individualists and free market advocates out of the staunchest socialists and middle-of-the-roaders.  Let everyone be reminded there’s a reason why the Mises Institute keeps novels in its catalogue...

The other bit from Rothbard’s letter that drew a surprised reaction from me—from the second half—I’d simply have to let you read in his own words.

…I owe you an explanation: an explanation of why I have avoided seeing you in person for the many years of our acquaintance. I want you to know that the fault is mine, that the reason is a defect in my own psyche and not a defect that I attribute to you. The fact is that most times when I saw you in person, particularly when we engaged in lengthy discussion or argument, that I found afterwards that I was greatly depressed for days thereafter.
…I can only think of one or both of the following explanations: (1) that my brain became completely exhausted under the intense strain of keeping up with a mind that I unhesitatingly say is the most brilliant of the twentieth century; or (2) that I felt that if I continued to see you, my personality and independence would become overwhelmed by the tremendous power of your own.

Of the two reasons Rothbard lists for his post-Ayn Rand depression, I could take #1 at face value.  This is most likely where Rand and Rothbard would have fallen in the classical trap many libertarians continue to fall in today: they’re already in perfect agreement on over 90% of the philosophy, but being stubborn intellectuals they’re often accustomed to approaching the libertarian ideal as “good” and every contradictory philosophy and system as “evil.”  Hence, their great minds would naturally approach intra-philosophical debates between different sub-topics within libertarianism as an extension of the ideological struggle between good and evil, and each party would argue and debate the merits of his trivial detail to the bitter end.  To witness how intense and exhausting such debates can be, one need only witness a round between a libertarian monarchist and anarcho-capitalist at the YAL National Convention or the ISFLC.

However, I feel that #2, “my personality and independence would be overwhelmed,” comes across to me as diplomatic speak for “you’re a controlling psycho.”  As much respect as I have for Rand as a brilliant novelist and philosopher, I’m fully aware of the personality shortcomings that made her notorious among libertarians of her day.  I’m reminded of the anecdotes offered by JoAnn Rothbard on her husband’s life which provide juicy glimpses into the world of Ayn and her cult.  Two examples I can think of right off the bat: 1) because she was a self-conscious chain smoker, Rand would make everyone who visited her apartment smoke.  No exceptions.  2) When asking her questions about her work, inquirers were only allowed to ask her to explain the meaning behind certain passages from a certain page.  They were never allowed to question her premises, her arguments, or her theories.  I’ll even add a third; in the words of Rothbard’s wife, “Ayn Rand was a very smart woman.  Anyone who could devise a philosophy, one of the main tenets of which she is the most sexually desirable person in the world, has got a lot on the ball.”  You all really ought to listen to JoAnn Rothbard’s reminiscences, since they’re very entertaining and the list of what Rand said and did to Murray (just one among many targets of her scorn) goes on and on.

The conclusion I draw from Rothbard’s letter to Ayn Rand is that Atlas Shrugged is an amazing novel that brings the reader to braingasm (intellectual orgasm), but Rand herself is a total buzzkill who ruins people’s day.  The legacies of General Patton, L. Ron Hubbard, and Alexander the Great all attest that people can be brilliant geniuses and total jerks at the same time.

My advice to libertarians is the following: take the unparalleled excellent work that Rand did to further spread the libertarian philosophy to fresh minds.  Just remember to be polite and respectful.  Not everyone can be blitzkrieged our of their statist/altruistic/socialistic worldviews.  These things take time.  After all, we’re talking about human beings and their very personal minds, not some computer hard-drive that can be programmed and reprogrammed in an hour.

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Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard photos courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and used via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  Atlas statue photo by Michael Greene and used via CC BY 2.0 license.  The above 3 images were obtained from Wikimedia Commons.  Rothbard t-shirt art courtesy of Red Bubble; t-shirt by Liberty Maniacs. Buy the t-shirt here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

YAL and the Lost Book of the Bible

The following is believed by archeologists and theological experts to be a chapter from a lost book in the Hebrew Bible.  It was one of the more than 900 texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden from the world for two millennia by the sands of time.  Because of its shocking prophetic content—prophesying of worldviews and commandments of a modern liberty movement organization in existence today—it was long dismissed by the academic community of Biblical and theological studies.  However, radiocarbon dating and recent archeological excavations in Palestine have made great strides in authenticating this text.

For decades it was locked away deep in the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute until just days ago when a ninja stealthily broke into the vaults and silently made his way out with the ancient scroll containing the text.  The ninja’s master, Walter Block, defended the undefendable and liberated the previously hidden-away text, sending electronic copies to bloggers worldwide with a CC BY 3.0 license.  This is the hidden chapter from the lost text:

1 And Rebekah of Florida came down from the mountain with the stone tablet upon which were inscribed the YAL’s commandments, and she did address the multitudes of libertarians,
2 And she delivered unto them the five commandments of the one true YAL which were the following:
3 Be straightforward and hold no deception against thy fellow man, lest ye be called infiltrator.
4 Be not abrasive, for the reward for those who obey the commandments of the YAL shall be made tenfold in heaven, and the reward for those who cleave to their statist idols shall be like unto coals of a fiery furnace.
5 Be thou a loving and cooperative body, giving thy hand in friendship to all men, for verily the YAL declareth unto you, Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, preaching and baptizing in the name of the Mises, the Rothbard, and the Paul.
6 Turn ye not away from the truth in which you are reborn, for the YAL will not hold him guiltless who forsaketh the truth, but shall reward he who maketh the truth known to all men, both statist and anarchist.
7 And remember, love others as you would love yourselves.  Love each other as you would love thy YAL who delivereth you from the shackles of intellectual darkness.
8 And after Rebekah proclaimeth the five commandments which were sent forth throughout the earth, the people marveled at the revelation delivered unto them by the one true YAL.
9 And the young Americans and all the host of libertarians did abide by the five commandments of the YAL, all except for one Adam called Kokesh, son of Conspiratarian.  Adam did hear the proclamation and waxed sore, saying
10 Nay!  Rebekah of Florida tarryeth with Jack Hunter, who tarryeth with Rand son of Ron, who sold his father to the RNC for thirty pieces of Federal Reserve silver.
11 (Adam knew not of the hidden arrangements between Rand son of Ron and the YAL, for the YAL was with both Ron and Rand and not with Adam).  And Adam said: Clearly only vicious ad hominem attacks will awaken people to our ideas and bring forth our victory in revolution.
12 And so the Conspiratarians did attack, and Adam saw that they were vicious.  And the battle cry of Adam was with them always,
13 And the sheeple waxed sore against the multitudes until social media was no longer fun, and so they did surrender themselves unto these teachings forever and ever.
14 And while no liberty candidate was ever elected ruler and judge over the people, Ron Paul never lost an online poll again.  Amen.

Wow!  What a revelation!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this was pure libertarian-conservative comedy and in no way an actual violation of Revelation 22:18-19.  If you think it was, you’re probably a neocon, most likely voted for Rick Santorum, and at one point probably thought Donald Trump would have made a good presidential candidate.  Please come to grips with the shocking fact that your sh*t actually does stink and then learn to take a joke.

If you’re mad that this rant made fun of Adam Kokesh and conspiratarians, you’re probably Adam Kokesh, a conspiratarian, or both.  Please see the advice I gave to the neocons.

“Why all the audacious rants?” you might as.  Simply put, I once planned to run for office.  Unfortunately my district was ridiculously gerrymandered to the point that the new lines gerrymurdererd my chances of ever being elected.  At this point, I may as well be blatantly honest while I educate others and entertain myself in the process.

You might now be inclined to ask the follow-up question, “How the hell was this rant educational?!”  Elementary, my dear hater: it was a preparatory exercise.  If you were able to read and comprehend the archaic English, you might be ready to begin reading Human Action.  Enjoy the inevitable reshaping of your worldview, and you’re welcome.

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Photo is of a page from Textus Vaticanus B. It's in the public domain and was obtained via Wikimedia Commons.  You wanna know what's amazing?  I haven't watched the Big Bang Theory in almost a month.  I'm also still stuck on an army base in the boondocks.  Both of these are a bad combination for an eccentric writer in the middle of a quarter-life crisis...

They're coming to take me away, hee hee!  They're coming to take me away, ha ha!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton Walk Into a Hearing...

Your typical Foreign Relations Committee hearing when chaired by Rand Paul

So two people who want to be President of the United States walk into a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing; one is a Democrat and the other a Republican.  One plans to be heard while the other plans to do the hearing.  However, it turns out that rather than the Democrat be heard while the Republican does the hearing, the current Senator from Kentucky delivered an exceptional rhetorical falcon punch to the Democrat until-recently-Secretary of State regarding her questionable leadership over the embassy in Benghazi.  Realistically, it was more of a Dragon Ball Z-style mega punch by Senator Paul through the body of ex-Secretary Clinton.

“Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.”

Ouch!  The standard operating procedure is to offer one some ice for that burn.  However, ex-Secretary Clinton should be content with procuring some ice either through her health care benefits as a federal employee or she could even settle for ObamaCare as tirelessly campaigned for by her former boss’ administration.

At this moment in time I feel it quite appropriate to make the case that a Paul presidency would take great strides in divorcing the ill-begotten marriage between government dollars and private sector health care which is responsible for driving the prices of health insurance and health care sky high.  Dr. Paul was even instrumental in establishing eye clinics in Kentucky that catered to patients without medical insurance.  Furthermore, Dr. Paul subscribes to Austrian economic theory, a school of economics whose leading thinkers have been providing ideas for privatizing health care completely and in a way that makes care and insurance easily affordable.  (See and search “health care” because I’m too lazy to explain myself when others have already done it so well for me.)

Returning to the wrestling-style smack down of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, it’s beyond redundant to state that Senator Paul thought Secretary Clinton handled the Libya situation poorly.  Defenders of Secretary Clinton may criticize Senator Paul for being overly critical or even for being partisan.  However, there is nothing partisan about Senator Paul’s views on foreign policy, including Libya.  Let’s flash back to the filibuster speech he delivered on the Senate floor on September 21, 2012.

“We gave money [to] dictators, from Saddam Hussein—who was once our ally receiving billions of dollars—to the Mujahedeen who were radical jihadists, but at the time we didn’t mind if you were a radical jihadist if you were our radical jihadist, because they were opposing the Soviet Union.  But the Mujahedeen eventually became the Taliban who are now our enemies.

“According to [scholars] Corey and Ryan, the world’s worst dictators have received $105 billion under the guise of official developmental assistance.  Instead of helping the poor, the assistance is aiding the ability of the dictators to remain in power.  In fact, it keeps them in power long enough that it enflames the populace that we end up having to... [go back] because of war.

“Why is there such a widespread anti-Americanism?  Because we propped up and gave money to so many despots, to so many dictators…  Why are we seeing people burning the American flag?  Why are we seeing such great unrest in 30 different countries?  Because our foreign aid and our military aid has propped up dictators who become over decades despotic, autocratic, who torture their people, prevent freedom from occurring, and then there’s a backlash [against us].

The particular context of this speech was cutting foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt, and LibyaLike his father, retired Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Paul is ideologically opposed to foreign aid just as the founding fathers were.  His use of these three unstable countries as a gateway to cutting foreign aid is particularly clever, in my opinion at least.  The reasons he gave for cutting foreign aid to these countries essentially boils down to the following: the government of Pakistan has only made half-assed efforts to a half-assed approach in fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan, extremism and civil strife are rampant in Egypt, extremists in post-war Libya killed American diplomats without ever being held to account for it, and American intervention in foreign affairs—especially in middle eastern countries torn by civil war and civil strife—only breeds hatred and ill will against America and Americans (hence the angry mob murdering the diplomats in Libya).

Had Senator Paul (or his father) been President, not a dime of American government money would have gone to the extremists infiltrating these governments, there would have been no Americans killed in Libya because there would have been no American presence there, and there would have been no incident over which to relieve Secretary Clinton.  The sad irony is that leftists are going to dislike Senator Paul even more now that “he was mean” to Hillary Clinton, even though Paul’s view that America shouldn’t police the world or tell other countries what to do is sharply in contrast to Clinton’s view yet very much in line with the left’s views of a humble foreign policy.  Oh well, the left’s hypocrisy doesn’t make Rand any less cool.

The best part for me in witnessing all of this is knowing that Senator Rand Paul will run for President in 2016.  This is especially sweet because Hillary wants to run as well—it’s no secret she’s wanted to be President for a long time—and the combined embarrassment from the leadership failure in the “Benghazigate” scandal with Senator Paul’s grilling only serves to shatter Clinton’s dreams of being POTUS while solidifying Paul’s foundation.  Because I’m currently killing downtime on a military base in the middle of nowhere, I will now entertain myself by applying Senator Paul’s awesome burn to the following film scenarios:

Star Wars: Had I been king of Alderaan and found out you ignored the beacon signals about the Death Star, I would have relieved you of your post.

The Lord of the Rings: Had I been Lord Elrond and found out you ignored the mystical signs that the Nazgul were hunting Frodo, I would have relieved you of your post.

Star Wars again: Had I been a general and found out you ignored the message signals informing us that the Empire was going to attack the rebel base on Hoth, I would have relieved you of your post.

Harry Potter: Had I been head of the Order of the Phoenix and found out you, as headmistress of Hogwarts, ignored the owl letters regarding death eaters onto the castle grounds, I would have relieved you of your post.

Star Wars yet again: Had I been Admiral Ackbar and found out it was a trap, I would have relieved you of your post.

Full Metal Jacket: had I found out you were not under sniper fire in Vietnam nor in Bosnia/Kosovo, I would have relieved you of your post.

Star Trek the Next Generation: Had I been head of the galactic federation and found out you ignored that giant Borg cube that flew by the Enterprise, kidnapped Captain Picard and turned him into a cyborg, I would have relieved you of your post as Number One.

The Sandlot: Had I been your father and found out you lost the Babe Ruth autograph ball in the Beast’s yard, I would have relieved you of your post.

Star Wars in real life: Had I been Steven Spielberg or Francis Ford Coppola and found out you were going to make prequels to the Star Wars Trilogy, I would have relieved you of your post.

Perhaps the only thing sweeter than seeing Senator Paul destroying Democrats would be witnessing him spearheading the effort to purge the neocons from Republican Party leadership.  Honestly, with friends like the “conservatives” who went out of their way to bring down Ron Paul’s candidacy, who needs enemies?

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USMC photo 090214-M-4150N-112 is in the public domain. Rand Paul photo by Gage Skidmore and used via CC BY-SA 2.0 license.  Both images obtained from Wikimedia Commons.  If FUNimation wouldn't be inclined to sue my pants off for using Dragon Ball Z fight stills, I would have used them in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Opposing Gun Control Because We Want People to Be Shot

When leftists and others who support gun control criticize libertarians and conservatives for their opposition to gun control, they often make it sound as if we want innocent people to be shot.  What a spiteful accusation!  We who have friends and families we hold dear want people around our beloved country to be shot!  Who came up with this malarkey?!  (Although I must say, for an ideological direction of the political spectrum that goes out of its way to sell Darwin’s theory, gun control certainly seems to contradict survival-of-the-fittest…)

Honestly though, ridiculous episodes like the emotionally charged gun control debate currently happening in America remind me of why I grow increasingly weary of politics (and increasingly in opposition to direct democracy).  In this episode the leftists are spouting most of the ridiculous rhetoric, though neoconservatives have thrown in a few eyebrow-raisers of their own.  I was glad Ron Paul spoke out against the NRA’s proposal for police officers on every school campus in America.  Can anyone say police state???  Yet this very paradox—the desire for fewer guns in the hands of citizens as well as the desire for freedom from government encroachment in daily life—comes at a price: risk.

I won’t dare make any ridiculous claim about the left wanting people to be shot , regardless of their use of such baseless propaganda against conservatives and libertarians like myself.  The left is currently hailing an assault weapons ban recently made into law in the state of New York.  I understand that the left pursues gun control because they want citizens everywhere to be safer.  The problem is that there is overwhelming statistical evidence (and gut-wrenching anecdotal evidence) that testifies to the contrary.

I’ve found that leftists, like neoconservatives, tend to base their agenda and ideology on emotions rather than cold, unbiased logic.  While I can certainly appreciate the emotional appeal for gun control, I’m glad I took a step back and clearly thought it through based on the evidence.  Here are several points to honestly consider, as well as cited sources for follow-up investigation by my readers.  Please approach them with an open mind and ponder them, taking your time to chew them over.

The vast and overwhelming majority of gun crimes in New York (and the rest of America) are committed with illegally obtained weapons, most of them obtained via the UNREGULATED black market.[1] [2]

Chicago—the city with the most gun restrictions in America—is the city that experiences the most violent gun crimes per capita.[3] [4]

9 of the 10 most-used guns used in violent crimes are handguns—revolvers and 9mm semi-autos—not assault weapons (the top ten’s odd gun out is a shotgun).[5]

Sandy Hook Elementary, the movie theater in Aurora, and Columbine High School were each already designated gun-free zones.  This may come as a shock to some people, but CRIMINALS tend not to obey laws; any criminal willing to harm another human being usually won't be deterred by the mere illegality of automatic weapon.

I can account for at least four instances from the last 30 days (Dec 15-Jan 15) where shooters in public places were stopped by someone nearby who was carrying a gun.  One was in San Diego[6], another in Clackamas[7], the third in San Antonio[8], and the fourth happened in Sacramento.[9]

A recent study from Harvard shows gun control to be counter-productive.[10]

Data Masher offers a fantastic presentation with pure state-by-state statistical data on violent crime versus households with loaded firearms.  Violent crime and gun ownership have a direct inverse relationship (the less violent crime, the more households with guns).[11]

We don't yet know what drives people to commit massacres and other grievous atrocities.  It's not a problem we can solve overnight.  But in the end gun control laws do more to prevent law-abiding citizens from self-defense in life-or-death situations than they do to stop criminals from preying on people.  In the meantime, I support the idea of allowing teachers and administrators to carry their guns with them as long as they pass an annual gun safety course.  I’m also in favor of allowing concealed-carry permits to more citizens as long as they have a clean criminal record and pass an annual safety course.

I think we’d be much better off imitating what Switzerland does.  They have a higher per-individual gun ownership rate than the U.S. does.  However, the Swiss approach gun ownership with a completely different culture.  Though Switzerland has no standing army, it does have a mandatory national militia.  The vast majority of able-bodies men are issued rifles by the government and made to undergo annual militia refresher training.  Rather than being a sign of pissing-contest masculinity the way it is in our country, gun ownership is considered a patriotic and respectable duty in Switzerland.  For this reason it’s a common and benign sight to see Swiss men on sidewalks, in buses, and other public places with rifles slung over their shoulders.[12]  Perhaps America’s problem lies not with guns, but with people and decrepit culture.
And one last thing: the wise people who brought you the freedom of speech/expression, freedom from unlawful searches and seizures, the right to a speedy trial, and freedom from self-incrimination (as well as the other peachy items from the BILL OF RIGHTS) are the same folks who brought you the Second Amendment.  Just something to think about…

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State." --Heinrich Himmler

[1] Seifman, David. “NY thugs’ guns flood in from all over US.” New York Post. July 31, 2012.  <>
[2] Noyes, Dan. “Hot Guns: how criminals get guns.” PBS Frontline. <>
[3] Slevin, Peter. “Chicago grapples with gun violence; death toll soars.” The Washington Post. December 21, 2012. <>
[4] Hawkins, Awr. “Obama’s Gun Control Not Working in Chicago.” Breitbart. October 28, 2012. <>
[5] Shannon, Elaine. “America’s Most Wanted Guns.” Time Magazine. July 12, 2002. <,8599,320383,00.html>
[6] “Officer shot armed suspect in San Diego movie theater.” WEAR TV. January 13, 2013.
[7] Benner, Mike. “Clackamas man, armed, confronts mall shooter.” NWCN News. December 14, 2012. <>
[8] “San Antonio theater patron, gunman wounded.” UPI. December 17, 2012. <>
[9] Munoz, Luana. “Old Sacramento Security Guard Describes New Year’s Eve Shooting.” Fox 40. January 2, 2013. <>
[10] “Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive.” The American Civil Rights Union. <>
[11] “Crime vs Gun Ownership.” Data Masher. <>
[12] Bachmann, Helena. “The Swiss Difference: A Gun Culture That Works.” Time Magazine. December 20, 2012. <>

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Handguns photo by Joshua Shearn and used via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  Albert Riedeler photo of Himmler is in the public domain.  The creep smiling at the far right is Reinhard HeydrichHarry Turtledove wrote an alternate-history novel in which Heydrich is the protagonist.  The novel is called The Man With the Iron Heart.  It's a fantastic read.  Get it!  You're welcome...