The terrifying news tonight is one great man died, and what is left of the Republic is in jeopardy. Justice Scalia was everything a SCOTUS justice ought to be. The power usurped by the Supreme Court has been one that fundamentally makes a mockery of having a republic as a form of government. Once the left realized they could use the Supreme Court to bypass public opinion and the constitutional amendment process, they have used it as yet another tool to fulfill their agenda. Since Lochner was overturned in 1937, upholding existing rights for individuals have been the only victories for the right. The left, on the other hand, have seen the invention of rights and powers for the government out of thin air. This mockery must end if we are to ever return to a functioning republic.
Let’s imagine a future where McConnell gives into the Democrats and allows the appointment of another left-wing judge to the Supreme Court bent on destroying our fundamental rights. Let’s imagine this issues in Trump as President. Beleaguered Republicans, still holding onto the Senate, vow to push through any agenda he decides. Trump orders the Senate to kill the fillibuster and to appoint his nominees to the Supreme Court. That’s right, its time to pack the Court in order to kill the Supreme Court’s legitimacy. That will destroy its ability to make these awful decisions by turning the body into a mockery. This is all perfectly constitutional, of course
Chief Justice Ted Cruz
Sorry, John Roberts has screwed things up enough with his awful decisions on Obamacare. There’s nothing saying he can’t be demoted from Chief Justice, so I think Ted Cruz should get the job. Roberts, of course, stays on as an associate Justice. That is only because this plan follows the Constitution, unlike Supreme Courts from the past century.
Justice Ted “The Nuge” Nugent
He’d be the first Supreme Court justice to wear cut sleeves on his robes. Is there a surer vote for the security of our 2nd Amendment rights? I thought not. After the National Review finishing purging him from the NRA board, he’ll need a landing spot.
Justice Ron Paul
A bit long in the tooth, but nevertheless, no one could be better trusted to maintain strict adherence to the Constitution as written. With this course, it will only take a year or two to undo the horrible decisions of the past century. At least you know if he errs, it will be on the side of too much individual liberty, too many rights for states and too few powers for government. That would be a great change of pace.
Justice Tim Tebow
It is important to have people on the Supreme Court with an unshakeable commitment to their faith, and Tebow certainly has that qualification. He’d have decades to establish himself as the utmost defender of religious liberty the nation has ever seen.
If that is not enough to turn the court in a direction which will achieve the kind of change we so desperately need, I have several more candidates to consider: Sarah Palin, Chuck Norris, and Vince McMahon.
Only by appointing a majority justices who will overturn the eight decades of arbitrary and capricious Supreme Court rule over our nation will we be able to return to the constitutional republic we once were. Choose the right men for then job.
When I first conceived this post it was very different from how it turned out. What was originally going to be a reflection on some past events became a look into the thought process that goes into my own process of self-improvement.
I started by looking at a unique experience I had a few years ago. As adults, very few of us have the freedom to do whatever we like whenever we like. We’ve got to make enough money to make ends meet, and for most of us that means having a job. That’s certainly where I am in life. I’m salaried, paid well and charge customers by the hour.
But a few years ago, I had a chance to experience “the dream”. I had just finished grad school, and because I got a research job, I didn’t spend the money I had saved to get me through school. I also had a chance to live in an oceanfront house for a couple of months, rent free, on my own. I had to pay for gas for my car, my cell phone bill and my food, but otherwise I had no expenses for the duration. I moved in a week after I got my masters degree.
I spent the next 10 weeks living exactly how I wanted every moment of every day. After a few weeks, I settled into a routine. I woke up at 7 AM, stretched, did some exercises in the basement, then went for a swim in the ocean while the beach was empty. I ate breakfast, and took a shower at 8. At this point I’d run any errands that needed doing. I’d then settle in to spend the rest of the morning working on some sort of project. When I got hungry, I’d take a break to have lunch. Then I’d go back to working until 4PM. I’d mix myself a cocktail, make a small cheese plate and go out to the deck overlooking the beach and enjoy a solitary cocktail hour with a splendid view. I’d then go for a walk a mile or so along the beach. I’d come back, make myself dinner and relax with a book until 11 or so, then I’d go off to bed to start afresh in the morning.
I underwent a couple of big changes in living exactly as I wanted to, with very few limits. First is diet and exercise, two things that I normally have to expend willpower to maintain, came entirely naturally and without trying. Eventually, I just felt like doing them more than I wanted to sit on my ass eating junk.
I also barely watched TV, surfed the internet, played video games or otherwise “wasted time”. I lost the desire to do any of those when I could be working on a project or reading instead.
I found I had a natural desire to be doing something productive. I had all sorts of projects. I learned programming languages and web design. I practiced writing. I did academic research. I did yard work and fixed things around the house.
Eventually, I got tired with that and I was itching to start my job and work on bigger, tougher problems. So after 10 weeks I went home and got started at the job I had lined up.
I was originally going to write this article about all the benefits I had from living like that, but then the question struck me: why am I not still living like that?
The answer is complicated. For one, once that summer was over, I wasn’t going to be living at the beach for free again. I was going to need a source of income eventually. And, as I said, I had a desire to get back to my career, new degree in hand.
So, rather than try to jump back to that place, I’ve asked myself: “how can I make my life more like that?”
I was struck by my ability to effortlessly live a productive, healthy, happy life. I thought back to that summer at the beach and I realized that while I was being productive, I was choosing where my focus would be. When there was something interesting me, I worked at it. When I needed a break I moved onto something else. That’s not the way things are at my job; I’ve got a piece of a large project to work on over a long period of time that I’m supposed to be focused on for half of my waking hours every day without switching to another task for very long, if at all.
When I hit a plateau, I need to step away from a problem and accomplish something else before I come back to it. If I can’t do that, I spend an equivalent amount of time futilely trying to make progress on the problem while struggling to maintain focus. In an 8 hour workday, I don’t have a chance to step away from a task and do something else long enough to reset. The fact of the matter is, I can’t shift from programming to yard work and back again when I need to switch gears. When I was at the beach, that’s exactly what I would do. Taking time off of project A and focusing on project B makes me more efficient at project A when I return to it.
That gave me a hypothesis for why my life now is not like my life at the beach: trying to maintain focus on a single problem all day causes me to lose energy and willpower. When I can switch focus between many different things, I accomplish more in aggregate. I just finished Scott Adams’ “How to Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big”, and my personal energy levels are something I observe very closely.
Now that I had identified a specific problem, identified a time when I didn’t have that problem, and identified a potential cause of the problem, I was ready to brainstorm solutions. So far, I’ve come up with a pair of items I can use to try and improve things.
First, is, I think the situation I am in at work is reflective of my current position. Looking back, these problems started as I started to rise in my career. I am not so junior that I’m constantly given small bite sized pieces to do. Nor am I managing a big project with several large parallel tasks. I tend to work in a serial manner, doing whatever seems most relevant and important at the time. I need to start setting aside time to become my own manager so that I can create tasks I can perform in parallel. This will give me the opportunity to switch focus when I need to while still working on my project.
Second, is I have realized I use my limited supply of willpower to stay focused on my job while I’m at work, and it leaves me feeling drained when I get home and I am not motivated to work on side projects until late at night. However, I always have lots of ideas and energy to tackle side projects when I first get up in the morning. I normally wake up and drag my heels as I get into work. However, I don’t work in an office with set hours. So if, when I wake up, I feel like working on side projects, I will allow myself to do so before going into work. My hope is this will allow me to spend more and higher quality time working on my various side projects. I believe that this will lead to me spending less time on an unproductive morning routine, and make it easier for me to go to bed earlier since I’ll already have worked on my side projects before coming home.
I still play some video games from time to time to relax, and I’ve been playing Europa Universalis 4 recently. EU4 is a grand strategy game set on a world stage during the Renaissance and Enlightenment (1444-1821). I picked it up recently decided to go for an achievement, Ideas Guy, where you create a custom nation and create a nation with outrageously good bonuses for your country, but only start with one of the worst provinces in the game. My goal is to create a trading empire which would fufill a requirement for overall income. In the end, my income was 80% from tariffs on trade.
I also decided if I was going to be playing games, I might as well turn them into something to write about, hence this after action report. Knowing my audience, I decided to accomplish this achievement while playing the game as politically incorrectly as possible.
I started as: a Western nation; made up of Americans; worshiping Catholicism, ruled by a theocracy, who were avid colonizers and traders, in South Africa. I called my country the “Heavenly Kingdom”.
I started in the northwestern province, and immediately colonized the Cape of Good Hope to start the game. Trade from China, India and Indonesia to Europe has to go through either myself, through Sinai, or across the Silk Road. Ensuring Asian trade flows through my capital will put me at the head of a trading empire.
Expansion is slow at first. But soon I’ve got some provinces which produce gold, so I’ve got money to start expanding quickly. I’ve got the Cape of Good Hope nearly 100% for me already. Madagascar and the surrounding islands are the first step to making sure Indian Ocean trade goes through me and not through Arabia. Kilwa will have to be dealt with.
I’ve now seized the largest gold mines in Africa. At this point, they are about half of my income, by the time I finish, they will be about 5%. I’ve managed to expand eastware to Diego Garcia at this point, half way across the Indian Ocean.
After some more colonization and conquests, I am the undisputed ruler of southern Africa and am dominating Indian ocean trade, outside of India and Arabia. This cannot stand for long. I need to control the Horn of Africa in order to ensure all Indian Ocean trade goes through me. Then I need to dominate Indian trade to ensure all Asian trade belongs to me.
My expansion continues from Sumatra into Borneo and the Moluccas as I snake up the east coast of Africa. Spreading American Culture and Catholic religion as I go.
The Yellow areas are ones which have been converted (or colonized) as Catholic Regions. I’ve begun colonizing the Philippines and Australia. Trade is really picking up for me now, and I’m starting to have more money that I know what to do with.
A few tribes in Indonesia were happy to be my subjects, and Australia became big enough to split off on it’s own. Conquests have given my control of the Horn of Africa and Sri Lanka, with a little bit of land on mainland India. I now dominate Indian Ocean trade routes. I need to continue ramping up production in Indonesia, and I need to take more control of the Arabian Sea, Bengal Sea and South China Sea.
Things start clicking faster as my advantage of Western technology over other nations makes me virtually invincible in battle. I’ve started conquering Indochina via Malaysia, and I’ve taken vital coastal provinces on the Arabian peninsula. I am at this point the second most powerful country in the world, behind France and nearly tied with the Ottoman Empire, though my far flung nature prevents me from doing much force projection.
It is hard to see in the last screenshot, but I took Mecca, which, being off of the Indian Ocean is worthless to me. However, there are some good bonuses for conquering it as a Catholic state.
Now I’ve converted the inhabitants of Mecca to Catholicism. I’m now “Emperor”, because as I grew into a larger and more advanced nation, an hereditary Empire was better than a theocracy.
I now really control Indian Ocean trade, and as I move into powerful positions in China, I’m able to control 75% of trade going from Asia to Europe. I’m nearing my income goals for the achievement.
At this point, I’m by far the most powerful and prestigious nation in the world. And I’m quickly closing in on my goals. More expansion is always needed.
At this point, I just expanded as fast as I could to increase my trade power in India so that I could get the achievement. After taking more of the Bengal region, I reached my objective. I decided to spend a little bit of time expanding before ending the play through.
I decided to take more control over India and Arabia. At this stage in the game, I can conquer land and give the provinces to a relative to rule until they’ve stabalized. Hence the Kingdom of Kebab which will be ruling over parts of the Arabian peninsula until I reassert control.
After come more conquests, I decided to call the game off. I am Master of East Africa, Arabia, India, Indo-China, Southern China, and the whole of Oceania. Opportunities for growth in the 50 years remaining would be few and far between. Most land has been grabbed my major powers, and any significant additions to my empire would require a long drawn out war against multiple major European powers. While my navies are second to none, the far flung nature of my empire means that it would be difficult to fight a concentrated force from a European power that managed to land a large army somewhere in my empire.
My lands have all been converted to Catholicism, and almost all are dominated by American culture. Money pours into state coffers faster than it can be spent. All in all a very successful campaign.
I don’t think many people would deny that the hard right around the world is growing in numbers and in impact. I’ve decided to write this piece for two reasons. First, many people find this trend troubling and are quick to project what they hope our stories and backgrounds are to resolve their cognitive dissonance. The second, those of us who hold views outside the mainstream of American politics tend to rightfully shroud our backgrounds in mystery in a way to stay pseudonymous, but I always appreciate learning about others and finding shared experiences.
I also want to make this point clear: when I use the phrase “hard right”, I mean that if I was honest about my views, I could not win elected office. That said, there’s nothing I’m not perfectly comfortable expressing to my friends and family. Feel free to examine my other posts or talk to me on Twitter to discern my views; that’s not what this article is about. This is an article on how I found myself a political nomad.
There are many people going around in the Republican party today saying they’ll vote for Hillary, form a third party, stay home or otherwise not support the winner of the Republican primary this year if it doesn’t go their way. Robert Heinlein, in his work on grassroots politics, “Take Back Your Government” has a few choice words for you:
It is not legitimate to vote in the Republican primary in the summer, turn around and vote for the Democratic ticket in the fall.
When you accepted a voice in the selection of a particular party’s candidates you contracted with the other members of that party to abide by the outcome.
The principle is formalized in a caucus. The caucus is a device used to bind a group to unanimous action and is used both for programs for the selection of candidates. If works like this: A group of people with something in common get together for the purpose of a political action. Some member moves to caucus. This is a motion of procedure; no issue of candidate is as yet before the group. If the motion carries the group as a whole is bound to act unanimously to carry out the will of the majority.
Pretty rough on the minority? Wait a moment-anyone who at this point decides that he is not willing to bind himself gets up and walks out. He has been deprived of none of his rights as a free citizen, but he has decided of his own free will not to work with this group.
You may still have misgivings. You may still feel, quite honestly, that you want to be free to pick up your ballot in November with an unlimited choice to split the ticket any way you like for the men you believe to be the most able. Well, no one will stop you. But an adult is never free in that sense. He is bound by his conscience, his sense of responsibility, and his commitments to other people. If you have taken an adult part in the preliminary democratic processes which led up to that ballot in your hand then you already have obligations and are morally bound to carry them out.
If you’re not comfortable giving your vote to the winner of your party’s primary, its time to leave that party. You are a free adult who is capable of making decisions.
The reasoning for this is simple. If you vote in a primary and vote for the opposing party in the general, you’ve proven you’re an untrustworthy ally, not just to people you abandoned, but to all people who see.
An excellent work on grassroots politics that still holds up today, give Robert Heinlein’s work: “Take Back Your Government” a read today.
Last week, the 4th Generation Warfare Handbook was released, written by military historian William S. Lind and current Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Gregory A. Theile.
Instead of a normal book review, I will try to apply the tenets of this handbook and 4th generation warfare in general to our war with ISIS.
A quick overview of the four generations of modern war (those taking place after the conclusion of the 30 years war)is best done with direct historical examples.
Looking at the American Civil War, there’s a clear evolution in tactics between the beginning and end of the war. The difference between Bull Run and Petersburg represents the evolution on both sides from massed manpower to massed firepower.
The culmination of the second generation of warfare was the French army after World War One. They developed the ultimate tactics in firepower warfare. This is the tradition the modern US military has grown from.
However, the implicit problems in top-down, highly coordinated operations met their match in the form of mobile divisions of German troops operating largely independently. Able to react and adapt faster than French troops could coordinated a response, the German army got a nation with a superior army and superior firepower to surrender in six weeks. That’s third generation warfare versus the second.
The best example of fourth generation war defeating a second and sometimes third generation force is the Second Gulf War. Despite winning constantly on the tactical and physical levels; the United States and its allies lost in the mental and moral levels more often than not. Physical, mental and moral levels of war are mentioned extensively in the handbook, and the moral supersedes all others. So by playing the role of David being continually beaten by Goliath (a metaphor Lind invokes repeatedly), and watching the Americans lose the moral level of war, insurgents in Iraq were able to continually stand up to American forces.
The fourth generation of war represents a fight over the loyalties of people and the legitimacy of the state. On the one hand, the nation states of the world need to maintain a monopoly on violence. On the other, there are causes people are willing to fight for that are not nation states. As these two come into conflict, we see more and more 4th Generation warfare.
ISIS is an interesting enemy. By taking the mantle of a state, they have many of the vulnerabilities of a state. They seek 2nd and 3rd generation style victories in the Middle East as a means of legitimately. Over in Europe and America, however, they are keen to fight at a 4th generation level.
The United States and NATO nations have regularly failed in fighting 4th generation forces. Fortunately, the 4th generation part of this war is currently on our best ground, Europe and North America.
ISIS fights us at home with attacks like Paris, but also by triggering the mass of refugees in the first place. Even if the refugees were indistinguishable from the current population, they would present a resource depleting and attention grabbing problem that degrades the legitimacy of the state as it struggles to control the flow.
Attacks like Paris have two big intentions. The first is to take away the state’s monopoly on violence. If actors other than the state can commit violence within a state, that state simply isn’t doing its job. This eats away at the legitimacy of the state.
The second effect is to goad the West into attempting a 2nd generation war in Syria where ISIS hopes to turn a certain loss on the physical level into a victory on the moral level. Standing tall against the imperialist infidel crusaders and all plays well on Al-Jazeera. The ultimate hope is to trigger blundering, decade spanning campaigns like Iraq and Afghanistan.
So the West is faced with two fronts in the war against ISIS. One in the West and one in the Middle East. Let’s talk about what the 4th Generation Handbook says about both.
The 4GW War in the West
However western governments choose to handle migration, the governments need to look like they are in control of the situation. This certainly hasn’t been the case in Europe.
Flat out refusal, and the repatriation and dispersal of potential enemy elements already in country is the simplest and most likely method to succeed, but the political viability of this remains uncertain for now.
Whatever number of refugees Western governments choose to accept, it needs to be in a distributed, non permanent way. Any migrants need to be spread thin throughout the country. And there has to be a plan for sending them home as the conflict ends.
Preventing and breaking up enclaves is key. If you expect any sort of assimilation, it will only happen outside of ethnic and religious conclaves.
In lieu of trying to integrate refugees into the country or to turn them away, they could simply be sent to a third party. Paying countries to take in and support the refugees is one way to handle things and still look good. You reduce the potential for Paris-style attacks in your own country. You also don’t look like a horrible villain to the bleeding hearts. It works on a tactical and moral level. This of course takes lots of money, but as Lind states, money is one of the state’s most powerful 4th generation assets.
Fighting ISIS in the Middle East
While Lind touches on fighting 4th Generation war in western countries, the main focus of the book is on fighting wars in the Middle East, or wherever non-state actors are likely to come into play.
The first question that has to be asked are what are our goals in fighting ISIS in the Middle East. These are the ones I identify:
Elimination of ISIS control over state functions over large parts of the Middle East.
Establishment of peace across the Syria and Iraq
Establishment of stability across Syria and Iraq through state power.
Currently, ISIS wants to operate like a state that uses traditional warfare to accomplish its military goals. When ISIS tries to take an area, it rolls in with force and asserts control. In many ways they function like a 3rd Generation force, because they are highly mobile but lack the communications to have the overarching control of Western army commanders. Of course they lack training and skills to exercise precision and tactical excellence like well-trained Western armies. Their advantage is their adaptability.
Also, make no mistake, ISIS’s plan is likely to fall back into a 4th Generation insurgency model should the West come to occupy the areas now held by ISIS.
The goal in this sort of conflict is to defeat ISIS’s state without allowing them to slip into 4th generation insurgency mode.
This is where Lind’s light infantry discussion in the 4th Generation Warfare Handbook comes in handy. We need to take a few months and train a volunteer battalion, and eventually a division, and then a corps of light infantry. They should take active, reserve and retired soldiers, as well as civilian volunteers. The first people to train should be outdoors-men, hunters, and trackers.
Lind goes into extensive discussion of the training and types of operations light infantry might undertake. Light infantry would: operate without oversight from headquarters, live off the land for extended periods, choose their own missions, and receive a very broad operational objective. These units should be deployed throughout the region to engage in ongoing guerrilla warfare against ISIS.
The orders given to the light infantry will be simple: Disrupt ISIS’s ability to govern its territory and to move freely within it. ISIS will be forced to look like an impotent government, rather than insurgents against an occupying foreign power that a tank column driving through Raqqa would create.
Every 10 days or so, light infantry battalions can cycle in and out of the area via helicopter extraction and rest up and plan their next insertion. The light infantry will have an advantage over ISIS because of better training, coordination, planning and supply. They also have the ability to call airstrikes when strictly necessary. Armed drones on call to assist light infantry would be very useful.
Once the light infantry have degraded ISIS and made their lives difficult, the Baathist Syrian government, the Peshmerga and the Iraqi government will have an edge over ISIS and can make gains against them. By not relying on overwhelming western force, the victories by Middle Eastern governments make them look strong and legitimate which strengthens their position in the eyes of their citizens. This enables the ultimate goal of returning the areas to effective control by states.
Once all of this has been completed, likely taking over a year, we’ll be left with two war-torn countries with nascent governments which are struggling to maintain legitimacy, peace and order in their states.
At this point, refugees can be returned to their home countries, as the threat has passed. If Western governments are unwilling to return refugees once hostilities have ceased; there’s no hope for them.
The nations of Syria and Iraq will need help recovering and rebuilding strong states. At this point, the West can use a little 4th Generation warfare of its own to cement gains.
Willing westerners should be financially backed to emigrate to Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi and Syrian governments would hopefully see this as a way to jump start their renewed countries. Western immigrants could be leaders in establishing better nations than what came before, with a vested, long term interest in their new country.
The benefits for us should be obvious. The kinds of people who do this kind of thing tend to have big families and follow Christianity, so there’s a chance we could add a sizable, enterprising, Christian minority back to the Middle East. It would be one that would keep the rulers of Syria and Iraq from acting out too much, for fear of Western countries protecting their brethren. Once western minorities in the Middle East reach critical levels, they will tend to begin westernization of Syria and Iraq.
If all that could happen, it would certainly be a huge win for the Western world. The most important thing, I believe, about “The 4th Generation Handbook” is it gives us a new language and way of thinking about the kinds of conflicts that are being fought today, mostly incompetently, by the West. With a new way of looking at things, it might allow us to dream of real, meaningful victories for the West in the Middle East.