Wednesday , 16 April 2014

5 Facts you’ll get put on the No-Fly List for reading

1.) In 1946, there was an American Revolution

In 1946, the people of Athens, Tennessee, overthrew their local sheriff’s department. Many were
World War II veterans freshly returned from fighting the fascists abroad. There was no prison
sentence handed out to any of the parties involved, and there were no deaths, but several were
wounded. The sheriff had been engaging in massive vote fraud. On the night of the election,
people marched down to the sheriff’s office with their weapons and demanded a public counting
of the ballots as was the law.

The sheriff refused, and a shootout ensued. When the sheriff surrendered, the ballots were
counted in public. Everything returned to normal with a new, elected government, without the
federal or state governments intervening in the local conflict. (1)

This revolution is a superb example of why a standing army should be avoided, the right to bear
arms should be respected, and local political units are always preferable to larger ones. In today’s
anti-terror environment, the President would likely send in the National Guard to put down
the “terrorist uprising,” confiscating everyone’s weapons like the National Guard did during
Katrina (2), and the cronyism in that county of Tennessee would continue. This is why it was
said during the floor debate on the Second Amendment:

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane
of liberty. (3)

2.) Wyoming is in a hostile standoff against the Feds

Wyoming has passed a law stating that any federal agent who enforces any federal law on a
Wyoming firearm is subject to a year in prison. (4) What this means is that, were the federal
government to send in federal agents to enforce a federal firearm law, local cops in Wyoming are
now required to arrest them. The federal agents, of course, would likely try and arrest them back,
which would lead to a very bloody situation.

So far, the federal government has not provoked Wyoming police. It would certainly be a
dramatic turn of events if a US president were to order the shooting, bombing, or droning of
Wyoming police officers. Although the current number of Wyoming police could easily be
defeated by the US Military, it is lawful for sheriffs to round-up a posse, and the majority of the
population in Wyoming are armed. (5) The US Military cannot even defeat the Taliban, who are
a small fraction of the Afghan population.

3.) Throwing bricks led to LGBT rights

In June of 1969, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered (LGBT) people were outlawed in
much of America. Of course, they existed, and when they were caught they were often arrested.
In New York City, the police frequently staged raids on LGBT bars. But one night, they staged a
raid on the popular LGBT bar called the Stonewall Inn, and people for the first time fought back.
A larger crowd from outside gathered bricks. They threw bottles, bricks, and fists, cornering the
police for hours until eventually more police showed up with reinforcements.

The next night the situation was the same, and the night after that. Eventually, a group of LGBT
protesters decided to publicly flaunt their lawbreaking by holding a Gay Pride march in broad
daylight. Up to that point, the LGBT community was too intimidated by social norms and police
action to publically protest, and the march was a catalyst for a wave of protests that eventually
led to the legalization of LGBT people. (6)

In 1969, those people throwing bottles, bricks, and fists at the police were treated by the
government as felons (though the police were only able to arrest a small fraction of them). In
2009, New York City erected a statue to the Stonewall rebels.

A fellow in Vermont was recently arrested for cannabis possession, and after he was released
he decided crush half the police cruisers in his town with his tractor. In 40 years, will that
town erect a statue in his honor? Interestingly, the comments on a USA Today article about the
incident are mostly in support of the farmer. (7)

4.) Four towns in Maine have declared they are sovereign nations

The Maine towns of Sedgwick, Trenton, Penobscot, and Blue Hill have declared their
independence from their county, state, and federal government. Although, it is legally more
correct to say the sovereign nations of Sedgwick, Trenton, Penobscot, and Blue Hill are bordered
by the United States, and they have declared their independence from it. Their citizens voted to
declare absolute sovereignty, and they used valid legal arguments from the US Constitution and
the Maine constitution to do so. (8)

So far, these towns have exercised this sovereignty only on matters of food, and, like in
Wyoming, the federal government has not shot, bombed, or droned the local police (and neither
have the state police or the county sheriff’s department). If the federal government were to
invade these nations, the nations obviously would not be able to win by themselves. Of course,
the populace from the surrounding state of Maine might send reinforcements.

5.) In certain situations, it is legal to kill a police officer

In the case of John Bad Elk v. the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that:

“Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an
attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction,
when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no such
right. What might be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the
other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.” (9)

In John Bad Elk’s case the facts did show that no offense had been committed: He was declared
innocent of the murder of the police officer who was attempting to arrest him, because the
Supreme Court ruled that the officer had no right to arrest him and Elk was acting in self-
defense. Of course, if you feel like you are being wrongfully arrested, and you use lethal force
on a cop, you most certainly will get tried for murder, or at least manslaughter, and you will
likely get convicted. But in certain extreme cases, such as when a woman is being raped by a
cop, a jury would likely be sympathetic if she killed him in self-defense, and the Supreme
Court’s case law sides with her, so she would likely win on appeal even if the jury didn’t side
with her.

The American tradition holds fast to rebelling against authority, but in recent years any physical
rebellion against the state has been demonized to such a degree that those who engage in it
no longer even have the liberty of a guaranteed trial, thanks to the most recent National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA). (10) Any one of the examples above could be labeled “domestic
terrorism,” but conventional history looks kindly upon these rebels. One man’s terrorist is another
man’s freedom fighter, and this is why it is especially important that everyone, no matter the crime,
be afforded a jury trial.

In this chilling era we live in, a young adult who lives a few towns over from me recently went to
prison for decades for translating a video on explosives and posting it on YouTube, an activity
that is legal under the 1st Amendment. (11) This whole ordeal happened before the NDAA
was passed, and if it had happened after, he likely wouldn’t have even gotten a trial before being
hauled off into the night. And who knows, just for writing this article, I might not get a trial either.

(1) http://constitution.org/mil/tn/batathen.htm

(2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf8trl69kzo

(3) http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

(4) http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_c7812604-274d-11df-
bc95-001cc4c03286.html

(5) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/interactives/guns/ownership.html

(6) http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/stonewall_rebellion/index.html
ml

(7) http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-03/vermont-farmer-destroys-sheriffs-
cars/56727814/1

(8) http://maine.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2011/05/trenton-becomes-fourth-town-to-declare-
food-sovereignty/

(9) http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/177/529

(10) http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinunderhill/2011/12/07/you-say-indefinite-military-detention-of-citizens-like-its-a-bad-thing/

(11) http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/the_real_criminals_in_the_tarek_mehanna_case/

Comments

comments

About Andrew C

Andrew C
Andrew Criscione is an economics enthusiast: He is constantly trying to figure out why people perform the economic actions they do and what the seen and unseen consequences of those actions are. In addition to writing for "Speak Liberty Now," he produces content for the Facebook pages "I bet Ludwig von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes," "Laissez-Faire Capitalism," "TRUTHgasm," "The Right to Secede," and "Liberty.me" on facebook and has contributed to the Capitalism Institute, CopBlock, the Bastiat Institute, Portal Libertarianismo, and the Mises Institute's blog "The Circle Bastiat." Andrew is President and Protest Organizer of Antiwar New England, as well as founder of the Manchester Austrian Economics Group. He works for money in his spare time at a communications and marketing day job.
  • http://twitter.com/entropos entropos

    You know that’s also a great “further reading” list. Thanks! I’m off to read up on all the cites. Thanks for including them.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/creditcoach Lucy Brenton

    What an informative article. I pride myself on being well informed, but must admit I had heard only about one of these items….the Maine sovereignty issue. Thank you for your perspective as an Economist. As a lay Economist, I also try to figure out why people do the things they do…and Economics has some very handy tools for measuring behavior relative to choices. Thanks for a great read!

  • Ted

    Great article! Revolution was once this country’s greatest pride, but now it is seen as a danger. People have come to fear acts of violence in any form. Even if it is to protect the rights of the weak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vince.daliessio Vince Daliessio

    Terriffic Article, well-done.

  • http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com Global Political Awakening

    Excellent Article, Andrew! Please consider submitting an article for publication at the Global Political Awakening. You may submit your via the Contact Us link or send it to globalpoliticalawakening@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. mark

  • 1notch

    Does this mean I can’t fly now? Oh well it was worth it, good stuff.

  • loweryaustin

    Number 4 is straight misinformation! The town of Sedgwick did NOT claim to be a sovereign country. They claim the right to govern their own local food production. So no, it would not be legally correct say the sovereign nation of Sedgwick. Why are you trying to confuse people? I would assume that you are smart enough to look something up before you publish it, so you must have known this was bad information.

    Read about Sedgewick’s claim to govern their own food here: http://www.sedgwickmaine.org/content/view/634/41/

    • The Libertarian Dude

      The author cited exactly what it is you are talking about. Funny though, your link has zero to do with the passing of the local ordinance that declared its sovereignty.

      • loweryaustin

        No the author claims that they have declared themselves to be a SOVEREIGN NATION and then says that they have only exercised their sovereign powers to govern their own food. The reality is that they did NOT declare that they were a sovereign nation and simply created an ORDINANCE (A piece of legislation enacted by a MUNICIPAL authority, not a sovereign nation) that says that they can do with their food what they want. How many people will be walking around now foolishly claiming that we have sovereign nations “bordering” our own country that used to be cities within our country? I guess if you’re dumb enough to believe everything you read without questioning it you deserve to look like a fool.

        And actually if you would click on the blue link on the page that my link brings you to, you can read the ordinance in question in its entirety directly from the city’s website.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=842943 Andrew Criscione

          Have you ever heard of the concept of a city state? Municipalities can declare sovereignty/independence, just like larger political units like America can.

    • jackass detector

      The author cited exactly what you are saying.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=842943 Andrew Criscione

      Look up the definition of sovereignty: When a group of people claim food sovereignty, or any other type of sovereignty, they are claiming independence. The American Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a declaration of sovereignty.
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignty

  • Guest

    oops sorry missed something

  • http://twitter.com/nza1 Steve

    Armed insurrection is what you do when your existing institutions don’t work.

    Institutions typically don’t work because they are not open and transparent enough for accountability to be exercised by non-violent means. They are, in effect, dysfunctional.

    It is absolutely possible to NOT have dysfunctional institutions and to have them operate on an open, democratic and transparent basis.

    But if they aren’t, why aren’t they?

    Here we get to the nub of the issue. The US Constitution – regarded as perfect Holy Writ by many, is actually a seriously flawed document that requires reform and a re-design. Along side it the electoral laws federally and at state level are also deeply dysfunctional. The winner take all voting system used to guaranteed to frustrate accountability and to allow capture of the (usually two) major parties by vested interests. It does not allow or enable an open, democratic and transparent government to arise and operate. There is little or no accountability. We can see this clearly every two years when 98% (read that again *98%*) of House incumbents are re-elected thanks to systemic gerrymandering of federal district boundaries by partisan state legislatures…thanks to the US Constitution. You haven’t got a functioning democracy when 98% of the people already in office can get re-elected if they stand again.

    The winner take all voting system used results in a two party system where the vast majority aren’t happy with either party but can’t elect anyone else.

    Solution? Simple. Use a proportional voting system to elect House representatives instead. (www.fairvote.org) Almost 90% of the world’s democracies use proportional voting systems where parties win seats in proportion to their share of the vote. Countries that use it have many parties in their legislatures….because voters put them there. Voters have REAL choice. They also have other options when a party behaves badly. It’s democracy that actually works.

    NO ONE copies the American system. It clearly does not work.

    I’d suggest before you all reach for your guns and start shooting people (they can and will shoot back)…that you think deeply and hard about WHY the system you’re told is perfect actually is so FAR from perfect you’re thinking about killing people.

    America is fixable….but most people have so little understanding of how everything works, they’re driven half insane by the frustration of so many things being wrong and feeling powerless to fix any of it.

    I’d suggest thinking is preferable to shooting. Unfortunately, far too many people would rather shoot than think. That’s probably America’s biggest problem right there. G W Bush clearly suffered from it. Look how well that worked out for him…and everyone else.

    It’s possible to have the revolution America needs without doing it at the point of a gun. You just have to learn what’s wrong, how to fix it……and think.

    It’s worth a try.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=842943 Andrew Criscione

      I’m not to keen on trying to recreate the systems of government that are used across the world in places besides America: We are the only country with free speech and arms rights after all. England is a close second, but it still has huge free speech problems: “It has resulted in a
      string of controversial arrests. They include a 16-year-old boy being held for peacefully holding a placard
      reading ‘Scientology is a dangerous cult’, and gay rights
      campaigners from the group Outrage! detained when they protested against
      Islamic fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir over its stance on gays, Jews
      and women.”
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9616750/Rowan-Atkinson-we-must-be-allowed-to-insult-each-other.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/meenainc Chris Lusk

    THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE AN ARTICLE! You state facts, give an objective opinion, and cite references.