Category Archives: 074 Politics and Culture

The Sheriff Revolt on New Gun Laws Shows Why America Needs More Decentralization – Foundation for Economic Education

People would have far fewer political grievances in a decentralized system.

Recently, a dozen sheriffs in Washington state announced that they would refuse to enforce the newly passed Initiative 1639, which raised the legal age of purchasing a firearm of any sort to 21, expanded background check requirements, increased the waiting period, and mandated weapon storage when not in active use. Predictably, political proponents immediately threatened these sheriffs, who were hired to enforce county, not state, laws, with legal action. Of course, when I say passed, what I really mean is that 14 of 39 counties in Washington decided the referendum was a good idea.

Based on actual voting patterns, the victory of this particular bill can be almost entirely explained by the margin of victory in King County (506k), where Seattle is located, which accounted for 87 percent the margin of victory of the statewide referendum (580k). This is a common phenomenon in many states that have a large single urban population. Another classic example is New York and the political dominance of the city in state-wide politics.

The Problem with Centralized Authority

What the refusal of the 12 county law enforcement officials is doing is voicing displeasure with what amounts to a distant population dictating how they’ll operate in their own homes. Why are people in Seattle, who may never even set foot on the eastern side of the Cascades, let alone actually make that region their permanent home, imposing law on residents of Omak?

A nearly identical result of the above picture was experienced in Legislative Initiative 940, which mandated law enforcement personnel behave like good citizens, such as mandating de-escalation as first response and legally mandating police provide first aid to wounded individuals, including suspects who have been shot.

Though, to be fair to residents of King County, this reliance on statewide referendums for local issues can backfire. Initiative 1634, which banned taxation of sodas and other items politicians in Seattle find in vogue to tax, also passed, essentially with only King, San Juan, and Jefferson disagreeing with it.

An identical result to the above picture was experienced, though with colors flipped since it failed, for Initiative 1631, which would have imposed CO2 taxes on Washington residents. If we take all four referendums in bulk, only six counties in Washington can be considered 100 percent happy about the results. Everyone else basically only got some of the policies they wanted. This means that only the majorities of 15 percent of the counties in the state could be classified as satisfied with the results of the election cycle, leaving the other 85 percent stewing like those dozen sheriffs.

This is a terrible way to run a society, where only a small fraction of the people are happy with political and social decisions, and the vast majority always have to eat “compromise” imposed upon them by outsiders.

Radical Decentralization

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Residents of Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City shouldn’t have to believe that they can’t live their chosen lifestyle without this strange belief that those same policies and decisions must radiate out hundreds of miles from their borders. Nor do residents who aren’t part of large urban centers need to feel like they have to strategically handcuff urban dwellers to avoid getting swept up in their preferences.

The solution to these issues is radical decentralization. There is no logical reason why Washington state must continue to exist and can’t be split up into 39 new states. Just like there is very little that is done in D.C. that can’t be done just as well, or better, in Olympia, there’s very little that is done in Olympia that can’t be done just as well, or better, in Ephrata, Washington. This way, the people of the new state of King can have gun laws, soda taxes, a kinder police force, and CO2 taxes without stepping on the toes of people in the new state of Yakima. The only real objections would come from politicians, both in D.C. and in Washington state, who are only concerned with maintaining personal power—if Washington state decentralizes into 39 independent entities, all that would happen is a layer of state politicians and bureaucrats would be laid off, and US senators would find their vote is no longer worth 1 percent of the Senate but 0.6 percent.

It’s much easier for someone unhappy with policies of the hypothetical state of King to move to the hypothetical state of Kittitas than it is to relocate to Idaho.

In reality, the US should be made up of, at minimum, 3,142 states (the number of counties and census areas), though certain areas, like Los Angeles County, can be split into at least 17 distinct states itself, and NYC can be cut into 73 around police districts, each of which are large cities in their own right. Again, the only real objection to this would be the middlemen state-level politicians who would no longer have a job and congressmen who would see their voting power radically diluted. Which, to say, is not a legitimate reason to oppose splitting the US up into smaller political jurisdictions.

Under such a system, people will have far fewer political grievances since they’ll be unlikely to have to live under a regime that’s unfavorable to them. It’s much easier for someone unhappy with policies of the hypothetical state of King to move to the hypothetical state of Kittitas than it is to relocate to Idaho, similar to how it’s easier for a resident of New Mexico to relocate to Texas than it is to New Zealand. Similar to the setup in Luxemburg, or even how Clark County residents have employment in Portland, dividing up political jurisdictions into small pieces allows for people to work and live in preferred jurisdictions without the significant inconvenience of a long-distance move. It’s much easier to find a county with a preferred lifestyle than trying to get an entire state to fit your preferences. This would radically reduce the desire of local sheriffs to rebel against imposed laws, and people would be far happier with the expanded political choices—finding common political and social ground with 50 thousand is far easier than 7.5 million.

This article was reprinted from the Mises Institute.

New Zealand Mosque Shootings – Defend Your Church From Violent Threat

New Zealand Police Say Multiple Deaths in 2 Mosque Shootings in Christchurch

CHURCH LEADERS AND SECURITY TEAMS

As a church leader, are you responsible for the safety of your congregation, volunteers, and staff? Churches are the last place we’d like to think of violence happening. But it’s a possibility we can no longer ignore. You don’t want to have to say, “We didn’t think it would happen here.” So, in the event of a violent threat, are you prepared to defend and protect?

DSI is at the forefront of creating solutions and training for places of worship anxious to move from defenseless to defended

Regardless of if you have 10 or 10,000 people to protect, we have a plan for you. 

While we understand that you have a unique budget, there are ways you can start to train your security team within that budget…at your own location.

You can determine how far you want your training to progress. Regardless of the level you choose to build toward, they will all provide better options than doing nothing.

STEP ONE
We recommend signing up for the Team Level Membership. You can put 6 team members into our online Team Defense Academy for $89/month. As your staff or volunteers change, it’s easy to swap team members in or out of the membership.

STEP TWO
Next, we’d suggest you find a competent, local instructor so your team can take some basic NRA-type courses if they are not already at that skill level. Those classes are generally inexpensive and will ensure basic firearms handling in a hands-on environment.

STEP THREE
Train the trainer. Consider sending a key team member to our Instructor course. This will allow that team member to come back and train other team members at no cost to you. If new people enter your security team, they can be trained by your own instructor.

The Team Level Membership – You and 5 others for $89 per month.

THE HUB FOR ALL DISTRIBUTED SECURITY, INC TRAINING RESOURCES is our online Defense Academy. Inside you will find content, instructional courses, lectures, training plans, and other resources designed to help you achieve your training objectives.

The TEAM membership for the Defense Academy is designed for church staff or security teams who face a common security challenge – in the event of a violent confrontation, how do you defend your congregation, volunteers, and staff until the arrival of law enforcement? Our Team membership is intended to provide the content, instruction, plans, and resources for small teams to learn how to defend life and property.

Our Team Level training expands the area of operation from an individual in their home or on the street, to a team working to secure your house of worship. We build our team plans around 6-member cadres and utilize our 12-month Advance training plan to train them to Advance level competencies. Training of the individuals to work as a team is only part of the process. Because they are working to secure a physical location, it is necessary to add to the plan, various analytical and organizational steps. The Team Plan details the following steps necessary to secure building and property including:

  • Conducting a security analysis.
  • Forming your security team.
  • Provisioning the team.
  • Operational planning.
  • Training the team.
  • Validating your training.
  • Mobilizing the team.

DSI has been at the forefront of creating programs and strategies that train individuals in organizations to defend their life and property. Our Team membership to the online defense academy is designed to provide the content, instruction, plans and resources for small teams to learn how to defend and protect lives. The cost for a Team membership to the online defense academy is $89 per month for a team of 6 individuals.

Teams get their own online Private Training Group (PTG). 

Consider the Private Training Group as your virtual ready room where you store your important information – photos, videos, files, announcements related to the organization, training and operation of your security team.

Team PTG Graphic

Each Team gets a customized interactive training plan and supervising instructor.

Anchored by participation in DSI’s on-range training courses, this plan defines pre-requisites for each progressively more challenging level of training, and specifies the readings, videos, and practice drills that must be addressed before course attendance at each level. The plan is not overly prescriptive – there remains considerable flexibility for the student to control his own pace and adapt the program to his individual schedule and circumstances, while still focusing on the end goal of proficiency in two weapon systems and in the tactics and cognitive knowledge that will allow the sober, lawful, and deliberate application of those skills as an individual, and as a member of a team or larger articulated unit in defense of home, business, church, school or community against evolving threats.

Team PLAN Graphic

In broad outline, this program ensures competency in the combative use of handgun and rifle; in the principles of individual tactics that will make you hard to kill and allow you to apply those skills successfully in a fight for your life; and in the cognitive infrastructure of intelligence, communications, planning, collective training, and organization that will provide you the enormous leverage of working with like-minded and similarly trained people to secure your business, school, church,or community in that critical gap between the sudden appearance of a violent threat and the decisive intervention of law enforcement – a gap that is steadily widening in much of America as the social contract frays and resources contract.

Click on the Team membership option to get started. The Team membership is $89 a month for six team members. Of course you can cancel at anytime.

Gunmen kill at least 8 in Brazil school shooting

Tactical Firearms Training For Schools

At least eight people were killed in Brazil on Wednesday after two young men opened fire at a school near the southeastern city of Sao Paulo.

The Associated Press reported that Joao Doria, governor of Sao Paulo state, said the gunmen were thought to be in their early 20s.

Police said in a statement that the shooters later killed themselves, Reuters reported. Police said that five of the victims were children and that the other victims included an adult working at the school and a bystander.

Police said the shooters later killed themselves.

Source: Gunmen kill at least 8 in Brazil school shooting

Exclusive: DOD Investigating General Retaliating Against Green Berets

Sounds like somebody forgot the definition of “special”. I recall reading something in recent days from a jumped-up, over-educated, (un)experienced civilian playing war games, that future wars will be won by a greatly expanded special forces. Which begs the question “at what point does special cease being special and simply become better than average?” Is Army Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag lowering the bar to meet a quota? Or is there more to the story?

The Pentagon inspector general is investigating allegations that a two-star Army general is retaliating against Green Berets.

Source: Exclusive: DOD Investigating General Retaliating Against Green Berets

How do you create the defended enterprise?


In the event of a violent threat, how do you defend your enterprise?

How do you move from defenseless to defended?

DSI is at the forefront of creating solutions and packages for enterprises anxious to move from defenseless to defended. Whether you’re a Brooklyn bodega, a Detroit manufacturer, a Chicago professional services firm or a suburban mixed-use development we have the resources you need to become the defended enterprise.

Learn more here: www.distributedsecurity.com

Koch Brothers Announce Plans to Intervene in GOP Primaries in Support of RINO, Open Border, “Free Trade” Republicans

The Koch Brothers network announced they will intervene in GOP primaries in support of RINO hacks and open borders Republicans. The Kochs are not happy with the direction of the country under President Trump. They want Paul Ryan-like Republicans who can push trade policies that wipe out the US middle class. The Washington Examiner reported: […]

Source: Koch Brothers Announce Plans to Intervene in GOP Primaries in Support of RINO, Open Border, “Free Trade” Republicans

I’m a gender traitor and proud of it

Handmaidens

Today was the last day to register to vote in many states. I know this because my Facebook feed is full of women telling me how to vote. And how to not be a gender traitor.

Here’s what I have to say: 

I don’t care how you vote.

And many of you don’t care how I vote.

But before I get demonized and belittled for being a conservative woman, let me explain how I arrived at being a conservative, despite the constant bullying pleas from the Democrats.

Philosophically:

I believe that you know how to spend your money better than the government does.

I believe that crippling regulations stifle innovation and lead to complacency.

I believe in American exceptionalism, and hope that Americans will reclaim their integrity, intelligence, and grit.

I believe a person is a person, no matter how small.

I believe in personal responsibility. Yes, that includes not getting black-out drunk and expecting the rest of humanity to take care of you. It also includes dressing respectably.

I believe in freedom. Freedom from the tyranny that dictates the social superiority complex.

I believe in equality. Do not diminish me to my gender and call me a traitor for logically disagreeing with liberal women.

Practically: 

The Affordable Care Act is not affordable. It reduces choice and competition, which leads to unaffordable care and premiums.

We need to do better by women who are struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion is not the only option, and to disguise the killing of a child as “women’s health” is not only deceptive, it is morally corrupt.

I believe in my ability to compete sans affirmative action. The perpetuation of female victimhood is exhausting and insulting.

The roads should be the first thing to be funded. Collectively, this country spends billions on Medicaid but can’t fill our potholes. Money does not grow on trees.

I believe in private property and the right to defend your property by any means accessible to you. Gun control is a farce as debunked by the cities with the strictest gun control laws and highest murder rates.

Republicans, more often than not, cannot be blamed for irresponsible financial management at any level. Look at Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore…

I don’t play the game of identity politics. Neighbors will solve cruel behavior, not politicians.

I don’t believe the government should parent our children, manage my finances, or control education.

I’m a conservative because I have thought about it. I’m a conservative because I refuse to be a pawn. I’m a conservative because I believe the future is brighter when we trust our citizens to lead independent lives.

Vote how you want. Stop complaining about the way I vote.

 

Another Perspective on “Arming Teachers”

Jon Alexander has raised some serious challenges to the concept of “arming teachers” to strengthen security in our schools. Allow me to shift the debate somewhat by adjusting its fundamental assumptions.

Speculation isn’t necessary

In the U.S. today, at least fourteen states have laws on the books which allow school boards to authorize concealed carry of firearms by school staff, under various conditions, while ten more states do not restrict concealed carry to school staff members only, although most of them still require specific, individual permission of the governing school board. The number is growing every year: last year, Wyoming joined; this year bills are pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Meantime, in Ohio alone, over 1,000 trained school staff members are carrying concealed handguns in more than one-quarter of the school districts in that state. In South Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other states, significant and growing numbers of school staff members are already legally carrying concealed firearms – while Utah has allowed anyone with a state concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property for going on 19 years.

So, this is not a new idea; quite the contrary. We have a considerable amount of experience with it, and because of the decentralized approach, wherein state laws and school board policies differ, we have quite a variety of experiments underway.

How is it working out? Famously. While mass shooters have not been particularly deterred by the presence of uniformed School Resource Officers (Columbine High School and Parkland, Florida being particular examples), there is no evidence of a single school shooting taking place in any district across the country where trained, non-law enforcement school staff members are carrying concealed weapons. Correlation is not causation, but that fact cannot be easily dismissed.

There are also zero examples of injuries resulting from the kind of mishaps commonly predicted by the skeptics: no accidental shootings, no rowdy students shot by frustrated teachers, no gun take-aways by students. They’re just not happening.

Read More

DETERRENCE = Unidentified Armed Defenders, In Unknown Locations.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 7.35.03 AM

Concealed carry of firearms by school staff – or church cadres, or businesses, or even just broadening the right to legal concealed carry by civilians – provides the ability to defend innocent lives in the first seconds that they come under attack, when police are minutes away at best. While some in our society have difficulty grasping that simple concept, even more push back against the assertion that this capability actually deters attack, and that the deterrence is far more powerful when it is in fact concealed carry by unidentified persons, whose presence, location, numbers, and response cannot be predicted by a would-be offender.  Some people understand this concept implicitly, while others do not. We are asked, “Where’s your data?” We point to the absence of mass shootings where people are known or likely to be armed, and especially to public schools in districts across 24 states that allow concealed carry by non-law enforcement (under a variety of conditions and requirements, but the skeptics ask, “How can you prove that the absence of shootings there has anything to do with concealed carry by permittees in their schools?” Well, here’s the answer: there’s no definitive data. There’s no proof. This is not something that can be established statistically. It requires critical thinking, common sense, and some experience-based understanding of how humans think, plan, and act in the arena of violence.

In 2015, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Craig Broyles submitted his Master’s thesis at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Titled Military Maneuver Terrorism, it addresses the threat against the U.S. and the West of terrorist attacks involving multiple attackers using small arms, explosives, and other low tech, like those that occurred in Mumbai, India (2008), at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (2011), and at the Beslan school in the Russian republic of North Ossetia (2004). He cites, among many other sources, a piece that I wrote as a research paper at the Naval War College in 2007 and published in Homeland Security Affairs in 2008: Paramilitary Terrorism – A Neglected Threat, which made several of the same points. We both applied similar concepts that are familiar to people schooled in risk management, threat assessment, intelligence, and the operational and strategic arts.

LTC Broyles recommends several potential remedies to this threat but points out that deterrence is the most important strategy against the threat of a large, organized armed group of terrorists attempting a mass casualty attack. If such an attack is executed, regardless of how well we respond, the consequences will be terrible. Better to keep it from happening at all.

One thing that terrorist organizations have in common with most of the apolitical psychopaths who perpetrate mass shootings is a penchant for planning, and especially a desire for their action to go off according to plan, without a hitch. They study their target, and if they don’t select a target because it is undefended, they have carefully prepared plans on how to circumvent or defeat whatever defensive element is there. Unpredictability is their worst enemy. They have one shot at it, either because it’s an individual who plans to die on site when he is done, or an organization that risks irreplaceable resources by coming out of the shadows to execute an attack.

The presence of an unknown number of unidentified armed defenders, in unknown locations, with response plans and specific training and rehearsals that the attacker cannot find out, is precisely the kind of thing that discourages or deters them from ever acting. “Beginnings are delicate times” as some sage said, and the chance of having your grand one-off final curtain event come apart in its first minutes, because of stout resistance you were unable to predict, is literally a show-stopper.

LTC Broyles points out the obvious – that, because of the unpredictability it creates, concealed carry of firearms by American citizens, everywhere they can (and therefore presumably do) carry, deters terrorists and other bad actors. The jihadist killing spree on the streets of Paris in November, 2015 has not occurred on the streets of any American city, and I can think of one primary reason why. We should be working to extend the distributed security provided by discreetly armed citizens into more locales, rather than fewer. Arm school staff, arm church security teams, arm business associates in the workplace. The police cannot be in these places to protect us – though we welcome and rely on their assistance – but we can.

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Bill Tallen is Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations of Distributed Security, Inc. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE’s Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

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