Robert’s Rules in Plain English

 

I was pleasantly surprised how intriguing this book was to me. The contents are common sense, but as I’ve seen elsewhere, common sense is not so common anymore. Finally, a piece of literature that instructs its readers how to increase efficiency and productivity at meetings. Who knew such a thing was possible?

I previously had no idea how parliamentary procedure works; it was even better than I had originally anticipated. I was particularly intrigued by both chapter 17 (An Introduction to Electronic Parliamentary Procedure) and chapter 19 (The Conference Call). For instance, Zimmerman says that a detailed agenda should be sent to all members ahead of time. The meeting should be opened with a roll call (by having each member answer, thereby proving that they are all connected), respect given for time limits on debate, and that the call itself needs to be taken in a quiet location.

I can’t say how many times on a VoIP conference call people would talk over each other, fail to correct feedback being reverberated through their speakers when someone else was talking, or worse, the fact that there was no structure to the meeting at all. In such a chaotic environment, only a few people dominate the meeting (with the more timid being completely silent and just listening). Having attended as well as having run conference call meetings, I can completely empathize with General Robert when he was asked to preside at a meeting that he didn’t know how to run, saying, “My embarrassment is supreme. I plunged in, trusting that the Assembly would behave itself. But with the plunge went the determination that I would never attend another meeting until I knew something of …… parliamentary law.”

It really does illustrate just how paltry most activist group “meetings” are run (that is, when they rarely get away from playing keyboard warriors on the Internet and hold local meetings in person). I’ve seen the Boy Scouts conduct actual meetings; while it is true they do it sans parliamentary procedure, they always had a written agenda and there was always structure at their weekly troop meetings, which proceeded fairly smoothly (unless the occasional new guy just started learning the basics of leadership). If a bunch of adolescents can perform an action fairly well, then the adults should be able to do at least as much, if not more so (preferably with some level of finesse).

My only real point of consternation with parliamentary procedure is that you can get easily mired in the 20,000 overly detailed minutiae of how to do one thing. That is, of course, if you go by Robert’s Rules of Order – Newly Revised, which is invaluable provided there was ever a technical question that couldn’t be answered by Zimmerman’s work. I recommend both, since they each serve a different purpose; the vernacular version is the “carry in your pocket, bring it with you to meetings” guide, while the other serves as a reference to answer more procedurally specific inquiries.

What I really appreciate about parliamentary procedure is that it was also specifically designed to mitigate infighting. What a concept for activists! It really does put Occupy Wall Street’s finger wagging thing in its place, and rightly so.

Ron Paul Action Figures?

Now, you too can buy either the “Commander-in-Chief” or “Superman” Ron Paul action figures for the low, low price of $94.95! (Of course, factor in $7.50 for S+H; proceeds will go to the RevolutionPAC).

 

 

On Ron Paul Action Figures, the talking Ron Paul “action figure” possesses the following features:

– Full 12″ tall
– Speaks a message with button push
– Movable head, arms, hands, legs & feet
– Equipped with mini US Constitution
– Comes fully clothed
– Limited supply, instant collector’s item

I must say, what is supposed to be the Almighty Federal Constitution looks more like a school nun’s ruler; it’s almost like something out of a bad BDSM porno where he’s about to whack you over the head with it at any second. Add leather so he can beat you while you call him master!

I also have a problem with the “Superman” Ron Paul doll. It implies that he has magical powers to transform into America’s savior, which is blatantly impossible. If I dress up as Supergirl for Halloween, it doesn’t mean I can save the world, or by the same token, become a female (at least, physiologically speaking).

What Twilight Barbie dolls are to their crazed fans, these Ron Paul “action figures” are to the Paulbots (despite my affection for the poor devils). It really does remind me of those semi-popular Barack Obama dolls back in 2008. Maybe someone resembling an actual memory should mention this to the adherents of the Ron Paul Re-LOVE-ution?

The truth is, it’s just theater. Just look at the Ron Paul 2012 campaign adverts (heeeeere’s JESUS!). The only thing missing at this point is the halo for his head (as was done with Obummer). Then compare that with his performance in the Republicrat primaries. Unless Dr. Paul gets his party’s nomination, all of this effort to get him elected Prez will only amount to a total repeat of 2008. Even if he does beat Barry Obama (which shouldn’t be that hard), almost NOBODY has seriously evaluated whether the good doctor’s “Plan to Restore America” will actually work in securing our Liberties.

Unless you are planning to financially profit from buying these Ron Paul dolls now and re-selling them later at a substantial markup, I would humbly submit for your consideration the idea that perhaps it would be better to “vote with your wallet” with whatever funds you still have left and invest in precious metals. As of today, the spot price for gold is $1,786.62/oz and silver is at $37.05/oz; the so-called American dollar is rapidly being devalued and the Federal Reserve’s behavior isn’t going to change anytime soon, if ever.

The Last Bastille Podcast #43 – Philosophy

 

This week’s episode we will explore philosophy. The live stream will begin on Saturday, March 3rd @ 8pm EST (7pm CST). You are welcome to call-in. If you prefer to listen to it after the live broadcast, BTR will render it into a free downloadable podcast. (Backup podcast)

 

Episode Description

Philosophy is unfortunately ignored almost out of existence to the point where it is considered somehow irrelevant to the end that people want to manifest. In order to go forward, it is essential to understand why events have happened the way they have, and why real change is absolutely imperative to improving the human condition.

Our guest tonight is an anarcho-capitalist who’s here to talk about applying the principles of individual liberty in day to day life.

Audio clips courtesy of Wahnsin’s “Millenia,” LiberationAnimation‘s “Non-Aggression Principle” cartoon, & Ritz190′s “That Which Speaks Victory;” all of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported.

 

http://tindeck.com/player/v1/player.swf?trackid=khiw
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Leaderless Resistance – An Overview

It is often said that you must work with the men you have, not the men you want. Understood also is the notion that there are certain creatures of necessity when dealing with difficult circumstances. Often it is the case that when governments become insanely oppressive, the need for effective action becomes paramount. One organizing principle useful for rallying the necessary personnel and putting them into the field, which is misunderstood by the majority of people, is known as Leaderless Resistance.

 

 

Pyramidal structures are the typical hierarchical organizing principle that everyone is familiar with to some degree. The cell system of leaderless resistance (LR) is completely different in that the cells (composed of either individuals or small isolated teams) do not possess the external leadership that comprises the usual chain of command (keep in mind though that a small team cell does possess internal leadership). A unity of common purpose is valued over the unity of a large organization.

Proponents of LR heavily emphasize its advantages when attempting to appeal to potential recruits. Possibly its best characteristic lies in its utter secrecy. As long as discretion and prudence are considered the better part of valor, sufficient privacy can be maintained for the safety of all personnel. Insulation from other cells is a valuable trait, in that if one (or more) cells were taken out by the enemy, or otherwise compromised, all the others would still be operationally capable, thus rendering them difficult targets. Flexibility is another significant aspect, since without the accompanying bureaucratic procedures (which has always been the bane of formal organizations), the LR cells can adapt to rapidly altering circumstances in the field. Another major advantage of LR lies in its simplicity; even the most civilian of political dissidents can understand LR and apply it towards creating and sustaining cells very quickly.

There are some potential user errors that can emerge whenever anyone attempts to use the LR cell concept that bears critical examination.  Outside of an operation, the standard operating procedure (SOP) is that all members are equal; however, during an operation, there is a single leader whom all the other members voluntarily obey. Pursuant to their SOP, cell members must make decisions through consensus (generally, without the utility of parliamentary procedure). Problems with cell formation and sustainment fundamentally stem from those individuals with Type A personalities who compete with each other for permanent leadership of the cell; it cannot be stressed enough that the fault here lies with the personnel’s failure in application, not the concept itself. This, more than any other phenomenon, is what leads to both a notorious lack of discipline as well as cell members infighting, instead of collaborating with each other in a constructive manner against the enemy; lacking a third-party arbiter to settle such matters renders any effective remedy extremely difficult.

Considering all this, leaderless resistances have worked during even the most contentious periods of history. The Sons of Liberty were highly active in the late 18th century against the British Crown, provoking and engaging in ever increasing acts of aggravation against the empire. The Committees of Safety (the formal organizing structures) were kept apart from the Sons as their perceived complicity in covert actions would hurt the cause for American independence. The French Maquis of World War II were initially composed of those fleeing the Vichy French draft that provided forced labor for Germany; literally, they were a rag tag band. Of course, they were eventually integrated into the Conseil National de la Résistance (National Counsel of the Resistance) since they had been aggregated into the Free French Forces already.

It would behoove the political novice to realize that establishing and running any form of a leaderless resistance is much easier said than done. An extremely high level of trust between good quality personnel in an isolated team is necessarily vital for even marginally effective operations. The lone cell must be disciplined enough to seek appropriate training and accomplish his objectives punctually. It can’t be emphasized enough that leaderless resistance is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.  Even for those desirous of formal leadership and organization, LR is a necessary precursor to that, for without the ability of previously isolated cells to cooperate with each other on larger operations, there can be no realistic expectation than a formal external chain of command would be any more effective in attaining much of anything.

The Last Bastille Podcast #42 – The Voice of Truth

 

This week’s episode we will explore the awakening. The live stream will begin on Saturday, February 25th @ 8pm EST (7pm CST). You are all welcome to call-in. If you prefer to listen to it after the live broadcast, BTR will render it into a free downloadable podcast. (Backup podcast)

 

Episode Description

Recruitment and retention of potential personnel for any real effective effort needs to be pragmatically sound in order to be realistic. Unfortunately, there are some common misconceptions concerning what needs to be done.

Our guest tonight is TVOT. He is a blogger, videographer, and all-around InfoWarrior. We will be discussing his awakening, his experiences in the Truth Movement, and how to make dissension a whole lot more fun.

Audio clips courtesy of Wahnsin’s “Millenia,” TVOT’s “Strawmen v. Obama + Bush & Cheney” parody, & Ritz190′s “That Which Speaks Victory;” all of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

 

http://tindeck.com/player/v1/player.swf?trackid=sisk
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The Last Bastille Podcast #41 – Political Dissent

 

This week’s episode will be about political dissent. The live stream will begin on Saturday, February 18th @ 8pm EST (7pm CST). You are all welcome to call-in. If you prefer to listen to it after the live broadcast, BTR will render it into a free downloadable podcast. (Backup podcast)

 

Episode Description

Political dissent is an often common phenomenon when governments begin overtly oppressing their populations. The first expressions of this are usually speaking out against the Establishment’s abuses, typically through the alternative media. Our guest tonight is TheStanglx, who is a blogger, survivalist, and graphic designer. He has been active for about a year both prepping as well as assisting others in their alternative media outreach. He is acutely aware of the nature of the situation we are all suffering under and steadily helping others prepare for what’s ahead by developing stronger communities.

Music courtesy of Wahnsin’s “Millenia,” sbeast64’s “Dragonborn” & Ritz190′s “That Which Speaks Victory;” all of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

 

http://tindeck.com/player/v1/player.swf?trackid=ylxw
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The Survival Rule of 3

The following is a general rule of thumb for prioritizing what’s important for survival. It is an amalgamation of various different lists.

 

You can survive 3 seconds without thinking.

You can survive 3 minutes without air.

You can survive 3 hours without warmth and/or shelter.

You can survive 3 days without water.

You can survive 3 weeks without food.

You can survive 3 months without hope.

 

The Revolution: A Manifesto

Good political treaties are very hard to come by. Most of them are sordid tales of self-aggrandizement coupled with mythological goings-on. Finding a needle in a haystack is infinitely easier than trying to find a politician behaving as a statesman instead of as a boot-licker. Well, found it I did, and it is Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto.

 

 

There are many positive aspects to Dr. Paul’s first political treatise. A non-interventionist foreign policy where diplomacy and actual trade occurs between nation-states takes the place of the never-ending imperialistic wars of aggression. An end to all supposed “foreign aid.” Tackling the surveillance police state apparatus (such as executive orders, signing statements, “roving” wire tapping, extraordinary rendition and torture, etc). Condemning those who regard the Constitution as some sort of archaic relic that added no value whatsoever to the development of human liberty. Most importantly, addressing the imperative for drastic monetary reform.

It is intriguing to note Ron Paul’s perspective about the federal Constitution. It is true that, “[o]ur Constitution was written to restrain government, not the people. Government is always tempted to turn that maxim upside down.” Accurate also is the contemporary notion that, “…those who would give us a ‘living’ Constitution are actually giving us a dead Constitution, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us against the encroachments of government power.” On monetary policy, the good doctor’s position is quite clear when he states:

 

“The Constitution is clear about the monetary powers of the federal government. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to maintain the value of the dollar by making only gold and silver legal tender and not to ‘emit bills of credit.’ The records from the Founders make perfectly clear that that was their intention. The power to regulate the value of money does not mean the federal government can debase the currency; the Framers would never have given the federal government such a power.”

 

However, his more libertarian attitude bubbles to the surface when he states that, “[g]overnments, by their very nature, notoriously compete with liberty – even when the stated purpose for establishing a particular government is to protect liberty. The restraints placed on our government in the Constitution by the Founders did not work.” [emphasis added] This would seem to suggest that while Dr. Paul’s understanding of the Constitution is very nuanced and accurate to the Framers, he (like me) noticed that there are some very serious internal consistency problems that have emerged from the Great American Experiment (which was the practice of minimal statism), whereby the Constitution was supposed to be a chain around the neck of the State, limiting coercive force in its destructiveness while simultaneously using that very same force to protect the liberty and property of the population.

While Dr. Paul is passionate about not getting involved in foreign entanglements, he could have simply hit on the theme (that he did briefly mention) that, “[n]owhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to conscript citizens. The power to raise armies is not a power to force people into the army.” According to Article 1, Section 8, “The Congress shall have the power…to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.” It should be crystal clear at this point that the American Republic (in name only) turned American Empire (which it actually is in practice) is not only never supposed to have a draft, but even the very existence of the standing US Army is unconstitutional!

I still find it humorous that that the corporate Borg media relatively recently asserted that Ron Paul is somehow a racist, based solely on someone else’s article that was in a Dr. Paul newsletter back in the ‘70s that nobody in their right mind really gives a shit about. Ron Paul makes his own position crystal clear when he repudiates racism in his own manifesto:

 

“Racism is a particularly odious form of collectivism whereby individuals are treated not on their merits but on the basis of group identity. Nothing in my political philosophy, which is the exact opposite of the racial totalitarianism of the twentieth century, gives aid or comfort to such thinking. To the contrary, my philosophy of individualism is the most radical intellectual challenge to racism ever posed.”

 

So much for the “fair and balanced” treatment of the good doctor. How come his own manifesto was never even considered when the newsletter debacle surfaced? Consider who owns the mainstream media; their motives should likewise be crystal clear.

Ron Paul’s manifesto is terrific in terms of analytical ability on a smorgasbord of civic issues, but, as is the case with most of the alternative media, it is disturbingly lacking in proposed solutions. While he does mention that people should educate themselves and support political reform in a number of areas (reinstating the gold standard, bringing the troops home, repealing the PATRIOT Act, etc), the only other implied action that the populace should undertake is, ironically, become more involved in the mainline political process, especially through voting! Sorry to say, but electing Ron Paul into the presidency will NOT secure our Liberties, plain and simple. Again, this is not a disagreement in terms of either philosophy or goals, but only in terms of methodology. You cannot achieve freedom by begging for it, which is what popular elections fundamentally are at their root.

Overall, I would recommend this book as a primer to the nature of the situation we are all suffering under, especially for someone who recently broke out of The Left-Right Paradigm. Unfortunately, for those who have been at this for quite some time and thus know better, the utility of this manifesto is virtually nil and should be subsequently passed to the younger set, if for no other reason than to prepare their psyches for understanding much more deeply the philosophy of Liberty and how to effectively manifest it, for their skills are still needed to eventually free the world.

Fake Awake

The following is a transcript of a Neurotically Yours cartoon, featuring Foamy the Squirrel.  Any & all mistakes in transcription are solely the fault of this humble blogger.

 

 

You ever meet one of those people who claimed they are “enlightened,” or some bullshit? They get all up in your face about being “aware” and “conscious” of what’s going on around them.  They seem to go on and on about they understand and process things differently and are somehow special because they are “awake.” Unfortunately, most of these people are full of shit! If I had a nickel for every cock blaster who came up to me and was like, “Yeah, Foamy, I get what you’re saying, and I hate ignorant people too. They just don’t get it, you know?” Yeah, and apparently, neither do you!

Being awake isn’t just a matter of saying you’re awake, ok? You have to have a deeper conscious awareness of the Self and not just claim to. These self-deluded, weak-minded people who have no idea what the fuck is going on, end up joining movements or some nonsense religions that have a “donate as you go” payment plan, all the while claiming that they are “aware.” Sadly, they have no concept of self and nearly rely on another group of individuals to validate their egos and reaffirm their shaky concept of being “awake.” You’re more asleep than the rest of the world, folks, and frankly, with practices like this, you might as well finish the sleepwalking by placing a pillow firmly over your face.

Organizations and movements that claim to spread enlightenment can have all the gatherings and lectures they want, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they’re too fuckin’ stupid to realize that you can’t make someone “aware.” Awareness is a journey of the Self and when the person is awake they will truly realize it, rather than just claiming to be while handing you a pamphlet of New Age propaganda at the airport! Awareness has become another fashionable marketing ploy to make people feel superior to their peers. You can buy “centering self” soaps, good karma shampoo, vegan sneakers, holistic mudflaps, and “naturally scented strawberry condoms.” Folks, there is nothing natural about wrapping your dick in a strawberry scented balloon (though with the snackiness of the world being the way it is, it is a necessary evil).

So, for all of those people who think they are “awake,” be sure of that. Question yourself. If you know, you’ll know. And God help you if you come up to me with some pseudo-intellectual “fake awake” bullshit; I will mentally take you down like a lion on a gazelle, motherfuckers. No, seriously, I will melt your fucking brain.

 

Fake awake, that’s the state of the world, and you all suck. Listen to the squirrel!