If you have not yet read “Whither the Revolution?” & “What Has Been Achieved?”, please do so now before continuing, otherwise this article will probably not make any sense to you, because its developing stream of thought immediately picks up from my earlier Independence Day articles.
Having ruled out measuring the numbers of security teams, agorists, and state citizens as useful metrics, I’ve decided to examine more closely at the rate of electoral participation in two Texan counties, as well as the growth of local Committees of Safety across the country. In addition, I’ve found it imperative to cursorily examine other avenues of inquiry that may become fruitful; among them, some sound money alternatives, a few high-tech breakthroughs, and what can be learned from the infamous Bundy affair in Nevada last April.
Suffrage is constitutionally enumerated in Texas. According to Art. VI §§ 1, 2, & 3 of the Texas Constitution:
“Every person subject to none of the disqualifications provided by Section 1 of this article or by a law enacted under that section who is a citizen of the United States and who is a resident of this State shall be deemed a qualified voter…”
Disqualifications under § 1 are being either under eighteen years of age, mentally incompetent, a convicted felon, or otherwise convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes. A qualified voter, therefore, could be defined as United States citizens “residing” in Texas who are at least 18 years old, mentally competent, and are neither felonious nor have otherwise been convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or high crimes.
I am investigating further the practice of suffrage in central Texas as a follow-up to what I discovered last year, which might reveal something useful. As I’ve previously said:
“Fortunately, there are some things that can be measured. For instance, the number of registered voters who fail to [cast] ballots could provide some initial clues as to the [faith] the people in their own local areas place in the Establishment. I know for a fact that in both Travis and Williamson Counties right here in Texas, 243,592 and 89,582 voters in 2012 (respectively) were interested enough in politics to register to vote, yet for whatever reasons ultimately choose not to. While it is fair to say there may very well be innocuous factors at play (such as hectic work schedules, family demands, or just plain apathy), I would be willing to bet there are substantial pools of those people who are still concerned about various political problems, but they realized at some point that elections are not a reliable method for resolving them. These folks, I believe, would be more amenable, in all probability, to the message of Liberty than just some random bloke who never even bothered to register to vote (much as I abhor the practice now).”
Because voters and their votes can be counted, I figured this was worth exploring in order to get a better idea of whom it would be best to focus outreach efforts towards (amateur market research, if you will). As I’ve suggested:
“There are quite a bit of registered voters in two Texas counties who failed to [cast] ballots, but this avenue of inquiry requires more information in order to compile a time-series data set, or alternatively, from a greater swath of counties within one electoral cycle so as to compile a spatially centric data set; possibly combining both could better gauge whether Texans over time are losing confidence in popular electoral voting as a method for securing their Liberties.”
Obviously, a 12-year time span is much easier to compile than the electoral data for all 254 Texan counties; yet, it only applies to the trends around the Greater Austin metropolitan area, which is usually considered more of the “progressive” statist flavor of the month than not (besides also being very ecofascist, especially considering last year’s plastic bag ban by the Austin City Council, which is also the very same governmental entity that blatantly violated the Texas Bill of Rights two years ago).
When examining the popular electoral voting in Travis & Williamson counties, I will be focusing more on the General Election Cumulative Results as part of the foundation for a time-series data set between 2000 – 2012. The measurable variables are each county’s general population, the eligible voters within that population (which are the more liberal estimates since I only counted those who were > 18 yrs, as opposed to the more conservative qualified voter figures), the number of registered voters, and the number of ballots cast (which is also known as voter turnout). Sources used to compile this data set come from the United States Census Bureau, the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Division, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Travis County Clerk, and the Williamson County Elections Department. Whenever there is a disparity in the figures, I have provided the number given by the governmental entity that is more local.
Results from the voter data sets for Travis & Williamson counties in Texas between 2000 – 2012 contain some useful findings. Electoral patterns in both counties demonstrate that the populations are steadily growing, as are the eligible voter pools. Last year’s observation that voter turnout is always less than half the total county population still holds true, simply because not everyone in the population is eligible to vote, not everyone who is eligible to vote is registered, and not every registered voter actually bothers to cast a ballot; therefore, democratic “majority rule” is a cruel farce.
Discrepancies between voter behavior are worth pointing out here. In Travis, approximately 60,000 more eligible voters have registered to vote, and ~ 90,000 more registered voters have cast ballots over the past 12 years, albeit with noticeable downswings in the mid-term election years; in Williamson, ~ 90,000 more eligible voters have registered to vote, and ~ 70,000 more registered voters have cast ballots over the past 12 years, albeit with noticeable downswings in the mid-term election years as well. Yet, only ~ 55,000 registered voters on average neglected to cast their ballots in Williamson, as opposed to the ~ 135,000 registered voters on average who neglected to cast their ballots in Travis.
What can we learn from the popular electoral voting habits of the inhabitants within Travis & Williamson counties that span over a decade? Although there are noticeable plunges during mid-term election cycles, voter turnout has increased over the past 12 years in both counties. This could tentatively suggest that anti-electoral canvassing (such as the Vote4Nobody flyer) have either been ineffective or seldom used; however, notice that the average estimate of the non-voting registered voters in Travis outnumber the increased voter turnout, as opposed to Williamson where the average estimate of non-voting registered voters is less than the increased voter turnout over the same length of time.
The average estimates of non-voting registered voters in both counties are the ideal audience for political dissidents within the Greater Austin area to target, because they are the registered voters who failed to cast a ballot, and whom I will refer to as the electoral lurkers; that is, those people who cared about politics enough in order to register to vote, but for whatever reason, ultimately chose not to do so. These electoral lurkers are the people, I would argue, whom patriots and libertarians need to appeal to in order to help them begin moving along the other not so thin line towards a state of nature, and ideally, restoration of constitutional government as well. Presumably, the lurkers are a whole lot easier to appeal to than the mainline voting public on average, especially for the purpose of forming a local Committee of Safety.
I would wholeheartedly suggest that you replicate what I have described here in your own local areas. A key step in the scientific method is the repeatability of experiments, so you should check the population statistics from “your” state government’s secretary of state as well as the voting statistics from “your” county governments. Ideally, you should tabulate the results and publish them on the Internet’s blogosophere for anyone to download and examine, as I have done here.
Speaking of Committees of Safety, I would like to briefly recap what I said last year:
“[W]e can count the number of Committees of Safety (CoS) that have been established… [u]nfortunately, there have only been a handful known to currently exist, and one of them has already completely fallen apart.”
Which specific one doesn’t particularly matter at this juncture, because it’s the lessons learned that are valuable. Interestingly, one of those lessons was that:
“Although the CoS concept is experiencing a revival, there seems to be a reluctance or inability to establish more local CoS-es; it is quite possible that this could be nothing more convoluted than simple inertia.”
Now, what causes that inertia usually tends to be either simple ignorance, or worse, deliberate avoidance, typically because reformism hasn’t been completely ruled out in the minds of those who haven’t moved along the thin line enough. Another lesson learned was the fact that those who were members of the committee had mistakenly believed the lie that any Committee of Safety was seldom more important than a political lobbying organization against the state governments; nothing could be more laughably absurd.
Currently, there are six Committees of Safety that have been listed as being operational. They are the Cherokee County Committee of Safety, the Walton Committee of Safety, the Blue Ridge Mountaineers Committee for Constitutional Restoration, the Eidsness Community of Safety, Benton/Franklin Committee of Safety, and the Arizona Committee of Safety. Whether they are in fact still active would require some follow-up, but that is where it stands to my current knowledge.
Adoption of the Committee of Safety concept has been with some criticism, which I would like to address here. Concerns has been raised about the CoS-es being tabulated in the first place; this is patently ridiculous because CoS-es are deliberately aboveground organizations, which are supposed to make their presence known (as opposed to security teams). Some individuals have recommended that any local Committee of Safety should “team up” with “their” county sheriff; not only is this a terrible idea for the many reasons stated in the False Hopes podcast episode, but doing so would actually make a mockery of the posse comitatus idea itself, simply because it is ubiquitous for county sheriffs to be beholden to the agendas of the state and federal governments, regardless of the public liberty.
Committees of Safety have an indispensably pivotal role in the grand strategy to restore constitutional government. According to Part I of Gary Hunt’s plan, a Committee of Safety could shelter those individuals who are either accused or threatened with warrantless arrests. During Part II, the Committees will begin recruitment for militia units, officers will be commissioned, and bodyguard details will be assigned to the committeemen most at risk of being framed or otherwise harmed by the enemy rebel government. Part III is when things really get exciting, because it is at this point that the committees will approach the municipal and/or county governments in order to cooperatively transition power. In many ways, the Committees of Safety would emulate the Polish Underground State that existed in the early 1940s, as Jan Karski described in his autobiography, Story of a Secret State.
April 12th, 2014 is a day that will be remembered as the first widely successful pushback against the unconstitutional fourth branch of government. A federal Administrative Agency called the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was tasked with rustling a Nevada rancher’s cattle. After videotaping the mercenary rustlers that the BLM hired, Cliven Bundy and his sons were fortunate enough to garner the support of many people who thought the federal government was acting in a very heavy-handed manner against him and his family.
On the day of the 12th, the BLM attempted to carry out the federal court order to forcibly round up the rest of Bundy’s cattle. Due to the sheer presence of a long line of cowboys on horseback, and an unrelenting crowd of people fed up with the BLM, the BLM relented and released the cattle, despite what the court order said. Writing on behalf of the anti-freedom Southern Poverty Law Center later that same day, Ryan Lenz said:
“With those events fueling a growing sense of rage –– and a heavy Patriot presence to ensure it lasted –– Bundy’s family and supporters on Saturday stood at the gates the BLM had constructed to hold his cattle, vowing not to leave despite repeated warnings to disperse through loud speakers by law enforcement in riot gear. The demands only energized the crowd, who inched closer –– some with rifles raised. In the end, it was that audacity, fueled by the presence of angry militias and members of the Patriot movement, that led the BLM to stand down. After a week of trying to enforce a court order to remove the cattle, bureau officials said they would not…. Undoubtedly, the day was a major win for the Patriot movement, which draws animation from such fears that a tyrannical federal government has begun winnowing away the rights guaranteed citizens in the U.S. Constitution. (The BLM taking Bundy’s cattle only enforced those fears).” [emphasis added]
Ironically, BLM’s official reason for not carrying out the court order, as given by its director, Neil Kornze, was due to the worn-out excuse of “officer safety.” Although some have asserted that the entire Bundy affair was some government psychological operation, there is no proof of that at this time. What is obvious is that the patriots totally and completely won the day, and such was conceded by the enemy rebel government and their sycophants, twice.
Just because Bundy himself was not a psy-op does not therefore mean that there wasn’t attempted subterfuge. Towards the end of April, rumours of an imminent drone attack began to circulate amongst the stay-behind contingents who were guarding the Bundy family. Not long afterwards, some oath breakers decided to rationalize their decision to cut and run just to save face. Gary Hunt’s investigative expose on the drone attack gossip revealed that the allegedly reliable “intel” was, for all intents and purposes, a hoax. This comes as no surprise to me, for Adam Kokesh had 10 months earlier condemned these oath breakers as “Redcoat loyalists.” Add to that the unfulfilled promise of financial transparency regarding the $40,000, and there is some serious question as to whether these same oath breakers are running a fundraising scam similar to those that have been peddled towards patriots and libertarians in recent history.
Interestingly enough, a Texan rancher by the name of Tommy Henderson is actually in worse shape. Unlike Cliven Bundy, Henderson actually paid “his” taxes, yet the BLM is still trying to steal over 90,000 of his own acres away from him, despite the fact that the “law” is indisputably on Henderson’s side as well, since the United States Congress did reach a decision about the 1999 Red River Boundary Compact by passing House Joint Resolution 72 in 2000, which established the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas. Only Eric Parker referred to Henderson, but not by name, yet he recommended a “show of force” for Henderson; unfortunately, this “show of force,” despite Parker’s suggestion, did not happen.
Three months following the BLM’s defeat on April 12th, there are people who are still camped out on Bundy’s ranch on the off-chance the federales happen to come back in order to either arrest or murder the Bundy family. Those who are currently present in Bunkerville, Nevada are living off of donations of food and equipment. Although there have been rising concerns about a new Vortex effect, no evidence has yet surfaced validating those fears to my knowledge.
Advocates of sound money have steadily trudged over the years, all the while trying to find alternatives to the fractionally reserved currency of the Federal Reserve Bank. One avenue that still retains some promise are the market-issued coin, metal, and even paper-based currencies. Although the Liberty Dollar was targeted for government prosecution on the grounds of counterfeiting (ironically), and Bernard von NotHaus himself was convicted on “conspiracy” charges, the rest of the alternative currencies have not faced such political persecution. Ithaca Hours, BerkShares, and PLENTYs are still alive and kicking in New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, respectively. Local exchange trading systems facilitate barter; sometimes with money, sometimes not. Probably the best example of self-issued barter credit were the Anarcho-Jesse Labor Notes, which were backed solely by Jesse Maloney’s own skilled labor.
Precious metal bullion is usually used as hedges against inflation; the general idea here is to buy the metals when the spot price is lower and then sell it when it is higher, thus making a profit on the speculation. This Independence Day, gold’s spot price is hovering around $1,320/oz, while silver’s is at $21/oz. As I’ve said before, I think that gold is better for savings and as 100% backing for privately issued local currencies, whereas silver is more useful for common day-to-day trade. Granted, although bars or rounds of silver and gold are indeed constitutional, when was the last time you could buy groceries with specie, even if it was with (the former) Agorist Metals’ Don’t Tread on Anyone silver coins? What I do think has the most practical application in trading specie are the Shire Silver cards, because their genius business model was to place thin strands of precious metals inside of easily tradable plastic cards. You can buy a half-gram silver card for $1, all the way up to a half-gram gold card for $40.
Some libertarians advocate for the wholesale use of various crypto-currencies to side-step the Federal Reserve, especially Bitcoin & Litecoin. I remember when Adam Kokesh used to teach his audience how to buy DMT off Silk Road using Bitcoins; yet, once Silk Road was taken down by the federales and those BTC wallets on the Silk Road website were seized, the faith that true believers had placed in Bitcoin’s value slowly began to lose its charm. More importantly, that secret behind closed doors meeting between the Bitcoin Foundation and various federal “regulators” held last August, coupled with advice columns on how to declare Bitcoin to the IRS for purposes of the federal income tax, really piqued my skepticism more than anything else. Peter Schiff has blatantly described Bitcoin as a highly volatile, speculative investment, whereas Stefan Molyneux has painted Bitcoin as the best way to end the warfare-welfare state.
What you should never forget to keep in mind is that Bitcoin is inherently cashless; for instance, the world’s very first Robocoin BTC ATM opened up for business locally right here in Austin, and the Xapo BTC debit cards have been planned to launch sometime later this month. Although it was originally touted as being anonymous, it wasn’t until much later that it was admitted that Bitcoin is not anonymous, but it has the capability to become pseudonymous if you take the time and effort to configure it that way. So, unless you are going to use multiple BTC wallets to gamble in an assassination market, donate to people online, or practice agorism, I think it would be best for the time being to just sit back and keep an eye on this “magic Internet money” while trying to gauge whether it’s price volatility will ever stabilize to even a quarter that of silver. Then again, perhaps it’s not the fact that Bitcoin is a crypto-currency, but simply a matter of Bitcoin being the first truly workable prototype upon which others have developed their own (such as Litecoin, Namecoin, and Freicoin); only time will tell if my guess here is accurate or not.
Crypto-currencies are not the only high-tech available to aid us in securing our liberties. Smartphone apps, like the Panic Button, have been touted as a digital variation on the cellular voice mail distribution subscription networks, such as New Hampshire Porcupine 411. Decentralized “social networking” websites compete with the monolithic Facebook for market share. A few political dissidents think, despite the continual bad press, that Google Glass could be used as a way to increase government transparency, notwithstanding the methodological critiques involved in doing so. Most impressively, Defense Distributed has taken the lead in the 3-D printing industry by proving that it is possible to print a 3-D single-shot pistol.
Digital privacy has become a renewed concern in light of the Edward Snowden leaks, which led to the development of the PRISM-Break website. While I certainly appreciate more people taking a serious interest in their own personal privacy, why isn’t there a concomitant interest in their physical privacy? Anything you say on a job interview, every form you fill out, what appearance you choose to convey, your behavior out in public, and even your own very biological makeup can be used to circumvent your individual liberty. Whether it is due to a surveillance camera or a nosy neighbor, I think it would be unwise to neglect real world privacy in favor of an illusion of privacy on the Internet.
More dangerous than an overemphasis of tyranny in one aspect of our lives is the outright misinformation and disinformation rampant throughout the alternative media. Reformist fads come in various shades and colors; for patriots, these usually present themselves in the form of “oathkeeping,” “copblocking,” “state nullification,” or (my personal favorite) “constitutional sheriffs.” Libertarians have to deal with the political correctness of statist entryists who try to “add to” or “complete” libertarianism by drawing such phony dichotomies like “thin” or “thick” libertarians (or the similiar “brutalist” versus “humanitarian” libertarians), all the while “checking their privilege at the door.”
A relatively newer strain of such sensationalism lies in what I could only call the unholy alliance between the peaceful parenting and so-called “men’s rights advocates.” I don’t understand how proselytizing against what you perceive to be the evils of spanking children has anything at all to do with double-guessing your spouse or inculcating a mean world syndrome against the opposite sex (at least the homosexuals enjoy the “privilege” of dodging that bullet, don’t they?). The remedy to such incessant misinformation and disinformation is skepticism & empiricism; that is, the verification or debunking of allegations and claims of all stripes and colors. If the alternative media refuses to do so much as emulate those Enlightenment values, then you might as well sign up for an implantable brain microchip while you’re at it, because at least then you’d have something to show for your willing subjugation to the Establishment.
Concluding on a more positive note, I would like to offer you suggestions for action, expanding upon the ones I proposed last year that I think are the most critical. They are:
- First, move yourself along the other not so thin line towards a state of nature by studying political philosophy & seriously contemplating the ideas postulated. Read literature such as Death by Government, War is the Health of the State, Man v. the Welfare State, Second Treatise of Government, Bushido, Guerrilla Warfare, To Break a Tyrant’s Chains, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Politics of Obedience, Vices Are Not Crimes, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, The Anti-Federalist Papers, The Production of Security, and The Probability Broach. Become a good role model by practicing the Non-Coercion Principle in your own life, as well as upholding the property rights of everyone. Teach, don’t debate, the sanctity of free will (through free association and ethical self-reflection) and the virtues of the agora (such as voluntary mutual exchange, the benefits of arbitrated dispute resolution, and the emergent society from within the shell of the old).
- Second, alter the nature of your legal relationship with the government. Start out by filing the Under One Banner petition to “your” congrescritters in the District of Criminals, and then file a modified version of the petition, this time addressed to “your” state legislators. Unregister from the voter rolls. Read “your” state constitution and memorize its bill (or declaration) of rights. Research “your” state government’s case law about the legal standing of state citizenship. Consider abstaining from any licensure whatsoever.
- Third, substitute your use of plastic cards for paper financial instruments. Practice using cash and specie for your daily purchases wherever you can. Invest in sound money alternatives. Learn how to get paid without ever having to use a financial institution. Close all of your bank accounts.
- Fourth, discretely assemble your own security team through the judicious use of vetting and ostracism, as applicable. Begin using encrypted communications, both PGP as well as paper-and-pencil cryptograms. Improve your physical fitness daily. Practice both your marksmanship and sparring capabilities.
- Fifth, organize a local Committee of Safety. Pamphleteer your neighborhood. Perform community service as a local Committee of Safety while handing out handbills and other literature. Hold meetings and begin militia recruitment.
Like I said last year, there is nothing separatist or illegal about any of my recommendations; yet, absolutely none of them are reformist. If there were any excuses not to do something constructive to secure your own liberty, there certainly are not anymore. The proverbial list of grievances has already been concisely made, so now is the second best time to practice what has been often preached (the best time to have done so was yesterday). As the old adage goes, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life, so make it count.
What has been achieved since 2013? Electoral lurkers have grown in the Texan counties of Travis and Williamson for over a decade, making them likely primed for the message of liberty. Committees of Safety are experiencing some birth pangs right now, but at least more patriots are beginning to know about this key aspect of their heritage. American patriots forced the BLM to release Cliven Bundy’s cattle in an unprecedented victory that even the Establishment itself acknowledged. Bitcoin is experiencing a serious trial by fire, but at least the other alternative currencies are fairly stable, yet are not widespread. High-tech solutions like the 3-D printed Liberator single-shot pistol truly open up some real options for resisting tyrants. Alternative media outlets have become victims of their own success as evidenced by infiltrators and miscreants who desire to confuse everyone as to why we want to secure our liberties in the first place.
If there isn’t a sincerely genuine effort to reduce the opportunity costs for patriots and libertarians, then I sincerely fear our liberty will become more eroded because of it. Should government apologists and various con men successfully continue to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate American political dissidents from what they need to be doing in order to win their freedom back, then I would remain cynical of our current contest with the enemy rebel government. Perhaps detaching from the rumor mill and focusing instead on getting our own households in order is the best place to start building the civilization of the future.