Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On Ammon Bundy and the Events in Oregon

The occupation started over the Hammonds. You remember the Hammonds, don't you? Dwight Hammond, Jr., and Steve Hammond are two ranchers from Oregon who, in 2006, were charged under the 1996 Antiterrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act (!) for accidentally burning 140 acres of BLM land adjacent to their own. They served a year in prison and paid $400,000 in fines. The federal government thought that this wasn’t sufficient, so in October 2015 the Hammonds were re-arrested and resentenced to the full 5-year prison terms.

Can you say “double jeopardy”?

The resentencing of the Hammonds was the primary reason for Ammon Bundy and others to occupy a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Ammon Bundy was under the influence of some thugs, or agent provocateurs, when he decided to be a part of this. They did this with no predefined means of communication with the outside world, no clearly defined goals, no exit strategy. It might has well have been done on a whim, as though it were a sit-in by narcissistic 60s-era campus radicals.

Notice that Bundy and the agent provocateurs became the focus of attention, by both mainstream and alternative medias. The Hammonds' plight was forgotten in all this, as were the concerns of other ranchers, as was the fact that the federal government owns most of the land in the western US.

What's the connection between the occupation of the wildlife refuge and the Hammonds, or the occupation and other ranchers, or the occupation and the BLM? There is none, and that's the problem. The occupation was all about grandstanding, and nothing about getting results.

If they had attempted to free the Hammonds, or gone after the judge or prosecutors who resentenced the Hammonds, or took substantive action directly against the BLM, that would have been different. Instead, Ammon Bundy is in custody, one of the agent provocateurs is dead, and an opportunity has been lost.

There are three lessons to be learned here:

1. Never, ever, trust a man who is willing to die in glory but is unable to live with pride. Ammon Bundy's first mistake was trusting in such men.

2. We must remember our place: we are the flea, and we had better start using that to our advantage. Forget about strut and swagger, this is about taking effective action to regain our rights. Forget any visions of a surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri, it isn't that kind of war. We are surrounded on all sides, politically, economically, and culturally. The situation is dire, and we must give no quarter and take no captives. This doesn't mean that our situation is hopeless: do not forget what Chesty Puller said about similar circumstances.

3. No revolution, no political change, is ever born from immaculate conception. We idolize the Founding Fathers as much as the Left idolizes Che Guevara and Chairman Mao, but those idolizations are possible only because they are historical figures. The events in Oregon are here in the present, and we must act in the present, and we don't have the comfort of hindsight.

We still have time to make a difference, but not much time. We must act with resolution, not react in haste. We can make a difference, individual actions still matter in this time before the storm, but know this: once the thunderstorm starts, raindrops can no longer vote.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quotes for 2015

"USA! USA!" - NASA engineers cheering when the New Horizons probe flew past Pluto.

*****

"We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that" - Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, giving license to those rioting over the death of Freddie Gray. The rioting will cost the city $20 million, not counting damages to private businesses. Rawlings-Blake is seeking FEMA reimbursement.

"You could have Mother Theresa running a police department and you’re still going to have lawyers out there saying she’s not to be trusted and we’re going to sue" - William Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, upon learning that Freddie Gray's family will get a $6.4 million settlement from the city.

"I was following developments with a 5-year-old little girl sitting on her dad’s lap who just got shot in the head by a drive-by shooting. And if some of the people here gave a good goddamn about the victimization of the people in this community by crime, I’d take some of their invective more seriously... The greatest racial disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting shot and killed. Hello! Eighty percent of my homicide victims every year are African-American. Eighty percent of our aggravated assault victims are African-American. Eighty percent of our shooting victims, who survive their shooting are African-American." - Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn on the priorities of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

"What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?" - Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

"Google Photos, y’all f***ed up. My friend’s not a gorilla." - Upset user reacting to Google Photos for classifying black people as gorillas. Gorillas were upset, too.

*****

"Grow the economy, not facial hair. Cut taxes, as well as whiskers." - National Review on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's new beard; he's already the GOP's beard.

"I never thought I would work in the phone sex industry. All those years doing customer service, my customers would comment on my sexy voice. I thought I was being professional, not sexy. This work is customer service. It’s just your customers leave with more than a smile." - A worker trying to grow... the economy.

*****

Aunt who sued nephew on why she was forced to go to trial: "I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate."

Dysfunctional Parrot on how to deal with hipsters and their fedoras: "The logistics problem of dispensing enough hot lattes won’t be that big of an issue once we lock the doors and burn the building to the ground."

"Accidental fur" - the politically correct term for roadkill which is made into neck muffs, leg warmers, etc. Yes, roadkill.

"I didn’t know that the fumes were so ignitable. Had I known that, I would not have doused myself before going into the apartment." - Sherry Young. She attempted to fight bedbugs by turning-on her apartment's stove and oven, then went to Walmart to purchase 20 bottles of rubbing alcohol. She sprayed herself with the alcohol, then poured alcohol on the floor. The Detroit Fire Department is calling the result an "accidental fire."

*****

"It is possible that this is terrorist-related, but we don’t know; it is also possible this was workplace-related" - Obama on the San Bernardino massacre. The one thing he is certain of is that increased gun control is the cure.

"Understandable" - John Kerry excusing the Charlie Hebdo attack.

"Every now and then, someone's going to get through. We don't like that, but that's the reality." - State Department spokesman John Kirby on how successful vetting really is.

"Does this go back to our revolution? We’re revolutionary people, we really don’t believe in government?" - Chris Matthews, asking obvious questions.

"Can we bring the cat?" - sister of Italian "Lady Jihad" Fatima Az Zahra asking about life in the Islamic State. The sister, along with Lady Jihad's mother and father were arrested just before leaving for Syria. What happened to the cat?

"Use smoke signals" - NSA Whistleblower William Binney response when asked what can be done to counter the government's mass surveillance operations.

*****

"In Manhattan, my partners included lawyers, CEOs, investment bankers or owners of start-ups. In London, the men — women were very few and far between — were universally creepy." - User of the 3ndr app, which is used to arrange for three-ways.

"I’ve been talking about negatives, and you’re up on him!" - Republican media consultant and CBS News contributor Frank Luntz, astonished that voters like Trump as much as they do.

*****

"You feel the intimacy of both man and beast, you feel the sweat and the heat coming off of the animal. It's almost like he awakens other senses within you as an audience member and you feel like you're some voyeuristic animal watching something that you shouldn't be watching." - Leonardo DiCaprio discussing the rape mauling scene in the upcoming movie "The Revenant".

"The bear flips Glass over on his belly and molests him – dry humps him actually – as he nearly devours him...the Wolf of Wall Street met the Grizzly of Yellowstone...We just need Trump to say the raping bear was Mexican and we'll be done." - Quotes from a LA Times article about the same movie.

"The Revenant" is promising more hot bear action than even the Duluth Trading Company!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

After the November 13th terrorist attacks on Paris, many Facebook users added a French flag to their profile picture. The reason I didn't was simple: in January of this year the Islamic terrorists attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, and the French learned nothing from it. The French continued to follow the European Union's open border policy, they continued to allow "refugees" in to their country, and they allowed the Muslims already in their country to remain. As the old saying goes: "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Je ne suis pas Charlie.

President Obama wants to resettle 10000 "refugees" over the next year into our country. Most governors have stated that they would not accept Syrian "refugees", but a few, like Pennsylvania's Tom Wolf, welcome them with open arms. Well, that's not quite true: Wolf will not allow the "refugees" to live in his house or in the Governor's Mansion. He will not be paying for their expenses out of his own pocket. It will therefore be more accurate to say that Wolf is welcoming the "refugees" with other people's open arms and open pocketbooks.

This is the first of many problems with "refugee" resettlement: proponents have no "skin in the game". They play fast and loose with other people's safety, lives, and money.

Those in favor of admitting "refugees" could (if they had a sense of history) point to the 1939 voyage of the MS St. Louis, an ocean liner whose captain attempted to smuggle 900 Jews out of Nazi Germany only to be turned away by the United States. The Jews were returned to European countries that were soon conquered by the Nazis. Those who use this argument conveniently ignore the fact that Jews are not known for practicing Sharia law, nor beheading people, nor hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings.

Proponents of resettlement further claim that those "refugees" would be vetted - something that FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said would be "challenging".

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders simply continue to wear their rose-colored blindfolds, refusing to name the problem, or claiming that global warming is the cause of Islamic terrorism. Republican presidential candidates aren't doing much better - Ted Cruz is proposing a religious test, as if that would be any more reliable than the background checks that Comey and Clapper discredit. Most damning of all is the answer given by Donald Trump and Ben Carson: monitor the Muslims and their mosques. I'll get to them in a second.

Even if there were some way of determining that a "refugee" was never, is not now, and will never become a terrorist, this is not enough. The reason why it is not sufficient is that it is simply impossible for said "refugees" to check their Islamism at the door.

Religious faith is by nature the most fundamental set of beliefs that one can have. It is how a believer views the world, and is how the believer judges himself as well as the other people, things, and events in that world. It colors everything about them. It is for this reason that people who adopt a faith out of convenience appear so phony, and why it is simply not possible for an individual to have a "religion d'jour."

At this point, some people might start swapping verses from the Koran or the Hadith, but those quotes are just the trees getting in the way of the forest. The faith is the cause, and it is the consequences of that faith that are at issue.

What are the consequences for changing faiths in an Islamic country? What is the punishment for being gay or lesbian in an Islamic country? When a man rapes an Islamic woman, which one is held responsible? This is what Obama, Wolf, and the various aid agencies are bringing into our country. They're not just admitting "refugees", they are admitting the rationalizations for savagery that come along with them, rationalizations that made them "refugees" in the first place.

When you have a population of savages, you need a police state to keep them in check. This is why the "Arab Spring" was and is so disastrous. This is why Trump's and Carson's proposals to monitor Muslims and their mosques are so disappointing: they are following the usual politician's line of having the government solve a problem that was itself created by the government. The only reason Trump and Carson are as popular as they are is their "anti-politician" positions.

The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens. Our government is not the world's policeman, or the world’s babysitter, or the world's protector of savages. By allowing the "refugees" in, Obama and Wolf are defaulting on their jobs as head of their respective governments.

If they were indeed doing their job, they would understand the following: a potential immigrant to this country should only be granted admittance if it is in our best interest, and sowing the ideological seeds of barbarism in our own land is certainly not in our best interest. Continuation of the surveillance state is not in our best interest, either. Having savages in our country pits our freedom against our safety from them. Whether the immigrant is a "refugee" is irrelevant. What is relevant is this: you can take the Muslim out of the Caliphate, but you can't take the Caliphate out of the Muslim.


NOTE: as I was finishing this essay, Muslims were in the process of killing people in San Bernardino. Does it matter whether the perpetrators were "refugees"?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Words Unsaid

In October 2014, I asked for command of the PA LF 77th BN in Lehigh County; I went up to the regiment commander and said: "I want Lehigh County", simple as that. The appointment came through a few weeks later.

A few days after that, I got a call from the state commander. After some pleasantries, he said: "So, you refused to register with Selective Service."

"Yes", I said. I make no secret of it. I've had this conversation before, and I knew where it was going.

Several people within LF, upon hearing that I now had responsibility for the 77th, had approached state command about this, believing that it would be inappropriate for me to hold that position. They feared I would be "hating on the military", as they put it.

The state commander told them that he has known me for several years, that he has complete confidence in me, that the last thing I would do is "hate on the military", and that the subject was closed.

About an hour later I realized that this was the first time in my life when I had a conversation that started with "So, you refused to register with Selective Service" and did NOT end in "you're fired", or "you cannot go to school", or "we cannot hire you", or "you cannot get a drivers license", or "you cannot get a court date".

Decency is such a rare thing in this world, and it can only be repaid with loyalty, something that doesn't come easy to people like me. I've always had tremendous respect for the state commander, but on that day he earned my loyalty.

The next day, I told this story to Chris Smith, my ex.

Chris: "Well I fired you."
Me: "No, I fired you."
Chris: "I think it was a mutual agreement."

Whenever I'm fed-up with my job, or with events in the world, or with my own shortcomings, I think of all this, and realize that I'm the luckiest man alive.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Patriots and Active Patriots

Had an interesting conversation tonight with a retired U.S. Army Ranger. He was uncertain about the fate of our nation, and wasn't hopeful that anything can be done to save her. Here's my response...

You ask "What can I do to save America?" and "What can I do to save her people?"

Those are the wrong questions to ask!

Saving America and its people are laudable goals, but they are outside of any single person's ability. No one person can do it, not you, not me, nobody.

Some people take that fact (that no one person can save the country) as indication that all is lost, that you can't do anything.

Nothing is further from the truth!

The first thing is to ensure the immediate security and well-being of yourself and your loved ones. Don't worry about "keyboard warriors" or naysayers. Don't wait for some sort of "mass action" - indeed, waiting for the crowd to turn is unethical. Don't worry that people aren't doing what they "need to do" - really, the only thing people "need" to do is to die. Don't make that into an excuse for inaction. Understand that there's nothing wrong with "looking out for number one". You're a free man, act like it. That's the first step.

Second step is to seek out similar people. The important part is to seek them out, not try to make people into something they are not. It is much easier to make an Active Patriot into a friend rather than the other way around. Find these people, and earn each other's respect and loyalty.

Third step is to take honest assessment of your skills, and get training - good training - to fix deficiencies, and to improve. Always improve. Good training costs, but it is well worth every penny. Practice that training with your fellow Active Patriots.

Actions undertaken by a militia are last resorts. Fourth step is to realize that fact. If we let the immediate vicinity deteriorate to the point that militia action becomes necessary, then we as Patriots aren't doing our jobs. Abandoning civil society will leave the enemy in control, not by victory but by default.

Fifth step is to stop enabling the people who are ruining our country. Do not give them any monetary support. Do not give them the benefit of the doubt. Do not let them say that fundamental rights are up for debate. Do not negotiate. Do not compromise. When food and poison are mixed, only death can result.

This step is the hardest to do. You've been taught to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's". Unlearn that lesson. Free men would not permit Caesar to exist.

Sixth and last step is to broaden your abilities beyond survival. Focus on survival AND growth. Growth without survival is impossible, and survival without growth is like living in a wax museum. If you don't understand this, Google the hell out of the word "eudaimonia", which means "human flourishing".

There it is.

Notice the theme: you start with the immediate survival of your loved ones. You end with the long term survival and growth of a network of Active Patriots. You start with something you can control and leverage that to extend your grasp.

So, the real question to ask is this: "What can I do to ensure the survival and growth of myself, my loved ones, and fellow Active Patriots who have earned my loyalty?"

The above is my answer.

Is it a plan for saving our country? No. It is a plan for saving your corner of it.

Is it the best all of us can do, working together? No, but it is the best that each one of us individually can do.

Is the result attainable and worthwhile? Yes.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fading to Black

Since the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which nationally legalized gay marriage, various media outlets have been comparing the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement. Here's my analysis.

Until recently, the progress on gay rights has been slow and steady, but it allowed everybody to observe and to make judgments based upon those observations. This was a good thing, for it gave people the chance to see the world not through religion, not through tradition, but through their own eyes. Notice that this is a very different thing from a "national dialog", for the acts of observing and judging are necessarily solitary acts.

The effects were palpable: 30 years ago it was common for gay children to be kicked out of their homes after having an arm broken; 20 years ago the evictions were still happening but the broken arms were less common, "he’s a good kid, but he’s queer", parents would say; ten years ago, parents reactions were essentially: "he’s gay, but he’s a good kid"; now, parents stop at "he’s a good kid". The exact same story was replayed in the workplace, in social organizations, and (to a lesser extent) in the military.

Progress was slow, but the changes that constituted this progress were deeper and more permanent than with any other social movement in the United States, due to the fact that people had the time, and the evidence, to decide on their own.

When people come to a conclusion that is contrary to popular opinion, there’s a calm resolution to them, for they are experiencing a short burst of pride. They have just captured an intellectual territory, and they will hold that territory.

The net result is that non-gays began treating gays as individuals, as family members, as coworkers, as friends. Being gay was rapidly becoming a non-issue, not for the sake of "tolerance" or "diversity", but because hating a person for being gay implied hating a family member, a coworker, a friend.

No small consequence of this bottom-up approach is that the changes were not very traumatic for this nation, compared to the civil rights movement. As long as gay rights are won in this manner, you could safely predict that there would never be a Civil War over gay rights, nor any large and violent protests.

This allowed gays to partially participate in professional and civil society, and gays and lesbians have made serious contributions in every profession. As an example, email was invented by Eric Allman, who once said:

"There is some sort of perverse pleasure in knowing that it's basically impossible to send a piece of hate mail through the Internet without its being touched by a gay program. That's kind of funny."

Most people don't know who Eric Allman is, or that he is gay, nor do they care. What people do care about is that email works - and that's all that matters.

America has, for the most part, recognized these contributions: for example, every 4th of July, we hear Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. We hear that piece of music not because it was written by a gay composer, but it is a great piece of music which matches the spirit of the occasion. That's the way it should be.

These contributions were positive to American culture - they made America a better country not by lowering standards in the quest for "equality", but by opening new possibilities, new ways of communicating, new intellectual territories.

Gays and lesbians indeed saw themselves as adding to American society and culture, not replacing them. In this era of "hyphenated Americans", you rarely hear the label "gay-American", and we consider that label offensive. There is no other minority in this country that see things this way.

Compare this with the civil rights movement, where all "progress" was made in a top-down manner. This movement, the surrounding culture, and the way it accomplished its goals, have created a group of individuals about which every individual achievement is questioned and doubted; it elevates the lowest criminal to the status of hero or martyr; it encourages not just bad parenting but a lack of parents; it creates dependency, an enormous sense of entitlement, and a corresponding "grievance industry"; it has produced an artificial middle class; it has made being thin-skinned acceptable by making everything other than glowing praise into a "microagression"; it has done nothing but Balkanize our country.

These "achievements" are so pervasive that it is reasonable to doubt that they are nothing but unintended consequences. Unintended or not, the result hasn't been a raising of our standards, but a razing of our culture.

The salt in the wound is the horrible irony that blacks so often subscribe to socialism - a philosophy guaranteed to make them not free. They've traded one plantation for another, by believing that slavery to government is somehow better than private slavery.

Now along comes the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Instead of people coming to their own conclusions about gays and lesbians, conclusions are being forced upon them in a top-down manner. The out-and-out homophobes clearly lost, but so did everyone who "captured their own territory".

So, for whom was this a victory?

For gays and lesbians who wish to marry, it is a Pyrrhic victory, for the reasons outlined above.

For everybody else, it is a loss. One of the many things that contemporary Liberals do not understand is that it is at least as important how people come to decisions as what decisions are actually made. Being dictated to - having decisions made for you - never, ever, works. That's exactly what Obergefell v. Hodges accomplished.

We should consider ourselves lucky that gay rights got as far as they did in a bottom-up manner. My only fear is that the gay rights movement will go the route of the civil rights movement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tinfoil Hats Not Required

A certain portion of the Patriot movement is powered by conspiracy theories, but this isn't unique to the Tea Partiers and III%ers: theories about the assassinations of JFK and MLK were staples of the Left, as global warming is now; Bigfoot aficionados come from all over the political landscape; the Heaven's Gate people were just criminally stupid.

The problem is not the particular subjects of conspiracy theories (Bigfoot, UFOs, chemtrails, etc.) but the conspiracy theorists' methods by which they gain "knowledge" of those subjects (non-observational, non-causal, crowd-sourced, etc.) as well as the consequences of using such magical thinking (division, paralysis, false targets). These will be discussed below.

For any reputable person or organization to be successful, that person's or organization's actions must be based on solid information, not conspiracy theories, not hearsay, not rumors, and certainly not fear mongering. The ultimate standard for solid information is this: is something true or false, and how do you know?

Here's the answer: you have five senses, use them. You have logic and common sense, use them. You feel that that those standards don't leave you too much? Welcome to the real world. That's where training and experience comes in: training and experience are nothing but logic and common sense in action.

Only by these methods do you have knowledge, and along with it that feeling called "certainty". People too often tolerate uncertainty prior to taking action; worse, some people believe that omniscience or infallibility are prerequisites for being certain, so they conclude that certainty (and therefore knowledge) is never possible.

To any person who proclaims that "you can never be certain of anything", ask them: "are you sure?" and watch what happens.

Believers will sometimes try to undermine a skeptic’s position by appealing to a lack of direct experience, e.g. by asking: “how do you know Bigfoot isn’t hiding around the corner...or somewhere in Oregon?” This is where Bertrand Russell and his famous teapot becomes relevant:

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense."

In other words, it isn’t our responsibility as skeptics to either confirm or refute such claims - the burden of proof (and it is a considerable burden) does not lie with the skeptic. Thus, the proper response to the Bigfoot believer is: “It’s not my job to hunt down Bigfoot.”

But the fact remains that we are neither omniscient nor infallible. Sometimes, we attempt to "fill in the facts" - but until proven, these aren't facts, merely guesses. Problems start when we confuse guesses with facts. The best description of this process comes from Victor Hugo's "The Man Who Laughs":

"At the corners of old maps of the world of the 15th century are great vague spaces without shape or name, on which are written these three words: Hic sunt leones. Such a dark corner is there also in man. Passions grow and growl somewhere within us, and we may say of an obscure portion of our souls: 'there are lions here.'"

It is mildly interesting to wonder what these growing and growling passions are that would cause someone to create such lions, to initiate and propagate rumors and conspiracy theories. Some possibilities include:

  • To add drama to one's life
  • To gain the appearance of experience, without actually having experience
  • To press the limits of gullibility, and laugh at the results
  • To garner attention - would anybody ever go to Roswell, New Mexico, if a UFO wasn't rumored to crash there?
  • To fool the opposition
  • To act as a trigger - to start Revolutionary War II based not on intolerable acts but on fictitious deeds

Whatever. Regardless, the end result of rumors and conspiracy theories is to spread FUD - fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The end result of FUD is to paralyze and to divide.

Why paralysis? Conspiracy theories frequently portray vague and shapeless things or events that cannot be sustained by themselves, that appear to be causeless. By being causeless, they must be sustained by some outside magical power. How can we fight something like that? Monsters that live under children's beds have power only because of the child's ignorance. Thus the nonexistent become efficacious.

Even if paralysis is NOT achieved, there is the problem of “false targets”. Imagine that someone convinced the Library of Congress to release all documents related to the assassination of JFK. Some people would no doubt hail this as a victory for openness, transparency, and the American Way. No, rumors about a grassy knoll are false targets, and any success against a false target is a false victory, and the American Way has not been advanced. The real acts of a real devil you know have been made acceptable by the fictitious actions of a nonexistent devil that you do not know.

If you can see something, and it is wrong, you can fight it with a reasonable chance of success. Fighting the nonexistent is worse than pointless: Don Quixote tilted at windmills, but at least windmills are real.

Why division? If you’ve ever listened to a conspiracy theorist prattle on for more than a minute, you experience a queasiness, a desire to flee from all the unjustified conclusions, all the leaps of faith, all the bullshit being heaped upon you. And, you would be right to flee, to separate yourself from that person, no matter what else you might share in common.

The advantage to fighting the evils that are in plain sight is the fact that it is quite easy to win-over the "opposition".

A prime example of this is NSA spying. Not too long ago, most people thought that the U.S. government was not spying on its own citizens. Then along came Edward Snowden, and we now have an allegiance between the Tea Party and certain members of the Left on this issue.

Another example is police militarization. Before the Ferguson riots, the receipt of military hardware by civilian police was considered a libertarian issue, ignored by everybody else. Photos and news coverage of the Ferguson riots changed that, so that now the administration seems to be taking steps to curtail this hardware transfer.

A third example happened recently over the non-disclosure by the Obama administration about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The administration was keeping the TPP secret...why? A bill was introduced with bipartisan sponsorship that requires the TPP’s text be revealed before vote, but at present it appears that we lost this one.

Those issues - NSA surveillance, police militarization, and TPP secrecy - are now three more things that the left and the right have in common. The only way this happened was because we have the evidence of the senses, something that is available to everybody regardless of their political stripe. As for the evil our government does, tinfoil hats are simply not required, and are indeed a detriment. While such allegiances are fragile and fleeting, they make it clear who the real enemy is, and so make victory possible.