The Dangers of Illegitimacy

A more proper title for this article would have been “The Dangers of Perceived Illegitimacy” as often it’s the perception that matters even more than the reality of legitimacy.  An illegitimate government that is perceived as legitimate will wield power as peacefully if not as effectively as a government that is truly legitimate and perceived as such.  Conversely a legitimate government that is perceived as illegitimate will create an atmosphere of civil discord and strife.

legitimate: adjective le·git·i·mate \li-ˈji-tə-mət\ : allowed according to rules or laws : real, accepted, or official : fair or reasonable per merriam-webster.com

Today in much of the U.S. we find ourselves in a position where there is a camp that increasingly believes our federal government is exercising unconstitutional powers through a variety of mechanisms including executive orders, legislative shenanigans (like the White House failing to submit the Iran Nuclear capitulation ‘Deal’ to the Senate for approval as the Constitution requires for treaties), an activist judiciary, kill lists that include the names of U.S. citizens…likely bad people yet still U.S. Citizens who are assassinated without ‘due process.’  There’s even a subset of this camp that believes that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and is therefore not eligible to lead the nation.  As to that latter allegation that same camp never alleges that the President’s mother wasn’t a U.S. Citizen which would make him eligible in any case.  Not hearing the same outcry against Senator Ted Cruse who was born in Canada to U.S. Citizens either.

As if the perception of federal illegitimacy wasn’t bad enough there’s a different, sizable camp that believes that their state and local governments are illegitimate due to racism, the legacy of slavery or because minority interests are merely protected and not promoted at the expense of other minorities and the majority populace.  In fact as George Will so eloquently puts it there are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each.  The dangers of illegitimacy were put brutally on display recently when a uniformed official of the high school football variety was brazenly attacked on the field by two high school students who perceived him as racist.

The dangers of illegitimacy, perceived or correct do have the power to destroy our nation.  I’d argue that the various perceptions of illegitimacy have already greatly weakened us.  When a first lady of the United States says that ‘for the first time in my adult life I’m proud of my country‘ because it elected her husband she was expressing her perception of our entire nation being illegitimate.  When a leading presidential candidate states that our country was founded on ‘racist principals‘ instead of properly stating that our great nation was founded on the concept that all men are created equal in spite of the human failings of some of our founders he’s questioning our legitimacy.  When the race baiters and extremists highlights our differences instead of our commonalities then we enter dangerous territory where those with communications platforms or even just a social media account begin calling for the execution of police officers for the ‘crime’ of keeping the peace or for outright class war or ‘race war‘  When our unelected two party officials craft debate participation rules so as to assure their desired range of outcomes they add to this perception of illegitimacy.  When congress passes tax laws so Byzantine and clearly targeted at the producers and entrepreneurs that the IRS becomes a symbol of oppression and illegitimacy we are in danger of inciting a tax revolt.

To make matters worse our federal government now regularly sues our State and local governments to force the States to stop enforcing the very laws that the federal government itself is sworn to uphold while our States regularly, in turn sue our federal government for abridging the rights of the States and her citizens.

Only by once again embracing the principals of transparency, fair play and rule of law can we hope to recapture the perception of legitimacy at the State and federal level.  Those willing to commit government overreach on the left and the right would do well to remember both the words of President Jefferson and the legend of Robin Hood that so many generations were raised on.  Even if we do everything right…perceptions are fickle things and people will believe what they want in spite of the facts but if we don’t try then the dangers of illegitimacy may prove fatal to our Republic and many of our fellow citizens.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure. Thomas Jefferson writing to William Stephens Smith from Paris. Aug. 30. 1787.

Cogitation: Casuistry and The Laws of the Land

Recent Supreme Court rulings are what brings this Prepography cogitation on ‘Casuistry’ to you.  Actually, it is the majority opinions reaffirming several decisions that bring us here.  The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of what many see as the federal government’s overreach of power in several cases.  In these cases, instead of reviewing the constitutionality of the law as written the majority decisions have apparently allowed political conscience to shape ‘legal’ judgment.
The Merriam-Webster definition of casuistry: casuistry noun ca·su·ist·ry \ˈkazh-wə-strē, ˈka-zhə-\ plural ca·su·ist·ries.  Definition of CASUISTRY 1: a resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine 2: specious argument : rationalization
A majority of Supreme Court justices have speciously rendered judgment based on the divined or redefined ‘intention’ of the lawmakers vs ruling on the laws as written.  The majority opinion on King v. Bruwell (Affordable Care Act Subsidies Case) doesn’t even try to hide this fact.  The law, as written, has no bearing on how it is interpreted and enforced.  So, now every law written in the US is by precedent prefaced with  the statement “what the law really intended was…”.
This is not a political screed.  This is a word of caution for the readers of Prepography.  Make no mistake about it.  The lifestyle that the type of person who reads Prepography attempts to lead is antithetical to the future that our nation’s leaders (who increasingly look like an oligarchy) are trying to bring about.  Prepography readers seek the freedom to prepare as they see fit.  They also seek self-sufficiency so that they do not have to rely on “the system”.  This freedom and lack of dependency is a threat to those that wish to control every aspect of our daily lives.  Previously, freedom loving people were protected by the law but our nation’s leaders, on the bench and both sides of the aisles no longer seem constrained by the law.  In fact, our three branches of government almost seem to be conspiring to achieve a single desired outcome rather than serving as checks and balances on each other’s power.  Poorly written laws no longer need to be re-written, they can just be ‘interpreted’ by judges and an increasingly powerful Executive branch that is serviced by legions of bureaucrats.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that it won’t take long for the government to use this new precedent to further encroach on the freedoms and rights of people and groups who stand in opposition to the path the country is currently on.  Dr. Thomas Sowell described the resulting situation very succinctly in his recent article Supreme Court Disasters:  “When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, ‘we the people’ are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.”

Cogitation – The Woosification Of American Men

A buddy turned me onto the Creek Stewart survivalist show called Fat Guys In The Woods on the Weather Channel.  It’s not exciting, it’s not fancy, it’s not high drama but it is a great show to learn about bushcraft and the woosification of American men.

Each episode revolves around three couch potatoes who are stuck in a rut of some form and need to make a change in their life.  Creek’s goal is to help his rotund padawans build self confidence to move forward in their lives outside the woods.  Creek’s approach is similar to that used by Outward Bound but revolves primarily around primitive wilderness skills.  The guys enter the woods and Stewart walks them through shelter building, food acquisition as well as water acquisition and purification.  By the end of their week in the woods the fat guys have developed some basic bushcraft skills which they get to put to the test by striking out on their own for the final day and night.

For thousands of years, man lived wild and our triumph over mother nature defined who we were. We were rugged; we were strong and as we evolved our ingenuity led to towering achievements. We secured our place at the top of the food chain and now we have the waistline to prove it… Get off the couch and come out to the woods. Creek Stewart

The show seems to go out of their way to pick guys that haven’t spent a lot of time outside or in primitive environments and most of the fat guys seem to rise to the occasion and learn important life lessons but what amazes me is how many of these grown men fall to pieces when it comes time to kill game to eat.  Whatever happened to Dad and Grandpa taking their young men into the woods and teaching them where their food really comes from?

Before your steak hits the grill it had a face and that’s OK…that’s the way the food chain works, the way God intended it and it is a very good thing to be at the top of the chain.  There’s no reason to be squeamish about taking a more active part in dispatching and butchering game and livestock…in my opinion it’s not just a good set of skills (dispatching & butchering animals) to have but is also is a more honest approach than believing that your protein comes from cellophane and Styrofoam.  Preparedness goals aside…shying away from taking part in the acquisition and preparation of one’s protein is just another symptom of the woosification of American men.

Fat Guys In The WoodsThat said, check out Fat Guys In The Woods, it’s a much better show than the majority of what passes for entertainment these days…oh and check out the incredible bug out vehicle that Creek pulls up in at the beginning of most episodes…a lot of us followed him making this truck on his Willow Haven Outdoor website over the past couple of years.

Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

Cogitation is concerted thought, reflection, meditation, or contemplation. “Cogitation” highlights cognitive ideas that cross our paths. These ideas and thoughts don’t really warrant full articles. They are important enough to be shared as food for thought before forgotten.

Cogitation: Hubris Will Kill You!

hu·bris: noun \ˈhyü-brəs\ : a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence via Merriam-Webster.com

Prepping For EbolaThe death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the foreign national who recently passed away in Dallas, becoming the first US ebola death, is raising alarms. What I find even more alarming is the CDC’s, and US administration’s public response to his death and the subsequent infection of not one, but two of his nurses as well as the general threat that Ebola poses to our nation and the world.  At every turn the CDC and administration’s statements have turned out to be untrue, or patently false.  The most glaring examples of this are the following:

  • The threat of Ebola coming to American shores is small:  Less than two weeks later Thomas Eric Duncan was dead in Dallas and several potential cases are being monitored in Dallas, TX,  Atlanta, GA and Kansas City, KS.
  • The threat of others being infected is small:  One of Thomas Eric Duncan’s nurses has contracted Ebola, and his family and those that are around him are being closely monitored and there is a real threat that they have been infected as well.
  • The chances of health care workers becoming infected with Ebola is almost non-existent:  Two nurses in Dallas have been confirmed to have contracted Ebola, with another 70 possibly exposed.  No one is 100% certain is was human error that caused the nurses to get infected, and there are conflicting reports that the virus may have mutated so as to be airborne.

At every turn officials have had to back pedal, or “clarify” what they previous meant to say. In at least one case Canadian officials actually edited info out of a web page.  This was an apparent attempt to make the info fit the meme, as well as to nip any panic in the bud.

Do I think this is all some sinister plot, or cover up?  No, I do not.  I do think is that it is a shining example of hubris, demonstrated by people who feel they are smarter, more informed, and simply better at doing things than every one else. The way they see the world is the ‘way it is.’ The way they say things should be run is the ‘best way;’ without exception. In their eyes, their systems and plans are infallible, as if believing that will make it so. In the best of circumstances, this is just irratating; maddingly so at times. In dire times and emergencies, say like when facing a potential epidemic/pandemic with a 50%+ death rate, that type of hubris will kill you.

Don’t think that this is soley an indictment of current adminstrations and beauracracies. My comment translates to the individual, as well. More so, in fact.  On a personal level, if you are closed minded and believe that your systems and procedures are infallible, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Do that in the wrong situation and you or others may very well die!

Cogitation: Your Enemy Has A Vote

Cogitation: “Your Enemy Has A Vote”

Cogitation is concerted thought, reflection, meditation, or contemplation.  “Cogitation” highlights cognitive ideas that cross our paths.  These ideas and thoughts don’t really warrant full articles.  They are important enough to be shared as food for thought before forgotten.

Cogitation: Man Made Conflict

Recently, Ed Turzanski, Co-Chairman of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, was on a local morning talk show.  He was discussing the July 17th shoot down of the Malaysian passenger jet over western Ukraine.  The attackers appeared to be the pro-Russian rebels in the area. He was highlighting failures in US foreign policy in regards to the on going conflict.  He framed an idea that I found very simple and profound at the same time.

Paraphrasing, he said, “Your enemy has a vote.  Even if you disengage, your adversary will still be active.  It is better to have some positive control, than to have none at all.”

I can’t help but think that his statement is central to the concept of Full Spectrum Preparedness.  On many different levels it holds true. “Your enemy” doesn’t necessarily have to be a somebody. It can be inaction.  It can be bad government policy. It can even be the entropy created by a SHTF scenario.Cogitation: Natural Disaster

Stay engaged in actively preparing and learning how to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Stay engaged in the political world around you and your community.  Help craft the decisions that frame your world. Create a mind set of staying engaged when confronted with direct conflict.  Even if your strategy is to disengage on different levels, try to maintain some of control over the situation.

In the end, you would be well served to remember; your enemy DOES have a vote.

 

%d bloggers like this: