Forbes Says Self-Reliant Homesteaders Are “Delusional” And “Mooching” Off “Civil Society”

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

It’s always interesting reading when someone smug and sanctimonious writes a clueless diatribe about another group of people being smug and sanctimonious. So when I saw that an economist for Moody’s and Forbes had written an op-ed calling self-reliant homesteaders “delusional,” I knew I’d be in for some misinformed hilarity.

The article, entitled, “Dear Homesteaders, Self-Reliance Is a Delusion” was published a couple of days ago on the Forbes website. You’ll be forewarned that the article won’t be deep in the first paragraph, when the author presents his claim to knowledge about self-reliant living comes from the fact that he is “a big fan of shows about doomsday preppers, homesteaders, survivalists, generally people who live off the grid.”

And the well-informed opinion of this arbiter of self-reliance?

…there’s a central delusion in these shows that is never far from my mind when I’m watching these shows: off the grid people are not self-reliant, but instead are mooching off of the civil society, government, and safety net the rest of us contribute to…

 

The people in these shows often describe a very romantic vision of the lives they have chosen the ethos underlying it. They describe themselves as fully self-reliant, and criticize the rest of society as being dependent and lacking in this self-reliance. It is morally superior, the story goes, to provide for yourself, take care of your own needs, and often, be prepared to survive if society collapses.

First, let me segue a little bit and tell you about the author. According to his bio on Economy.com:

Adam Ozimek is an associate director and senior economist in the West Chester office of Moody’s Analytics. Adam covers state and regional economies, as well U.S. labor markets and demographics. Prior to joining Moody’s Analytics, Adam was Senior Economist and Director of Research for Econsult Solutions, an economics consulting company. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Temple University and his bachelor’s degree in economics from West Chester University.

So based on this, I’m going to guess that homesteading and off-grid living aren’t his jam. I mean, he might head down to the Westtown Amish Market there in Pennsylvania, but I’d be willing to place money on that being his closest brush with any real, live, self-reliant homesteaders.

His ill-conceived argument seems to be mostly focused on health care. He is baffled about what will happen if a homesteader becomes ill or gets injured.

” On Live Free Or Die, a man in his mid sixties named Colbert lives in the Georgia swamps alone….I always wonder what will happen if he slips and falls, and can no longer provide for himself. He’ll likely end up receiving hospital treatment paid for with Medicare, and perhaps end up in an assisted living center paid for by Medicare as well.”

Or…

“Another example from Live Free or Die is Tony and Amelia,  a couple who live on a simple, off-the-grid homestead in North Carolina. When I watch them I wonder what would happen if one became extremely sick, and simple, off-the-grid home medicine couldn’t treat them. Would they say “we’ve chosen our fate, and now we die by it”, or would they seek treatment in a hospital they couldn’t afford which would be covered by the hospital’s charity care or perhaps Medicaid?”

One thing that Dr. Ozimek is missing is the fact that most homesteaders are tax-paying citizens. Does he think that living on a homestead exempts one from property taxes? Does he suppose that their vehicles don’t have license plates or that their fuel is purchased without the requisite state gasoline tax? Or that maybe they have some special card that lets them buy things like feed without paying sales tax? Perhaps homesteading equipment like tractors and tools and off-grid appliances are likewise purchased without any gain to “society.”

As well, he’s under the assumption, based on his vast body of knowledge gleaned from watching TV, that self-reliant homesteaders don’t make any money or have any insurance. I know homesteaders who are retirees from other jobs who have a fine pension and excellent health insurance. I know others who make a good living with their homesteading endeavors. And there are still others who live simply after working for years to pay cash for their homestead, or families in which one spouse works a full-time job to support the homestead.

But, Ozimek, whose informed point of view comes from only the most extreme of the group featured on for-profit-and-ratings television shows, doesn’t understand that. He continues to espouse the superiority of the non-agrarian lifestyle:

If we all lived “self-reliant” lives like Tony often implores us, spending most of our time on basic agricultural subsistence, then modern hospitals couldn’t exist. It’s only because most of us choose to not live agrarian “self-reliant” lifestyles that this care would be available to Tony, Amelia, and perhaps someday, their children. And what if both of them become too injured to work the land anymore? Would they starve to death, or would they survive off of the social safety net our government provides, like food stamps?

 

In fairness to Tony, Amelia, and Colbert, perhaps they would refuse the modern medical care and modest safety net in the case of an accident or illness, and would simply choose to die. I don’t think most homesteaders would, but we don’t know.

Yeah, because homesteaders can’t do anything but homestead.

Some people are producers and other people are consumers.

Ozimek thinks that someone with the extensive skills required to live off the grid would be completely unable to find employment and would have no option but to become a welfare recipient should their homesteading endeavor fall apart.

What he’s missing is that his cushy “civilized” lifestyle is completely reliant on the type of people he scorns. He forgets that someone, somewhere is growing his food. Someone, somewhere, is assuring that his energy reaches his home. Someone is ensuring that his plumbing works, someone is repairing his furnace if it breaks, and someone is transporting the goods he purchases to the store, where someone will sell him those goods.

But, that’s what happens when someone is only a consumer and not a producer. They think that producers are somehow less worthy, and that if they couldn’t produce what the consumers consume, they’d be totally out of options.

The cool thing about self-reliant homesteaders is that we aren’t one-trick ponies. We can produce all sorts of things and provide all kinds of services. It’s called “having skills.”

Most self-reliant homesteaders aren’t reality TV stars.

Since his entire argument is based on the tv programs he watches, the author doesn’t understand what self-reliance means to those of us who aren’t reality television stars.

It means:

  • We provide a lot of our own food because we prefer to know where it comes from.
  • We raise our own meat because we object to the way factory-farmed animals are treated.
  • We use our own sources of power because maybe we’re green at heart or maybe we just prefer not to be tied into the “smart” grid.
  • We learn to make our own products for cleaning, bathing, and making life pleasant because we don’t want to bring chemical toxins into our homes.
  • We’d rather skip the middle man and spend our time actually making the things that most people work for hours to purchase from someone else who made them.
  • We are far less likely to spend time at the doctor’s office because a) we aren’t huge fans of pharmaceuticals, b) we can take care of small things ourselves, and c) our healthier lifestyle means we tend to be less likely to be ill. (Although this isn’t always the case – even self-reliant homesteaders can get sick. And when we do, we use our insurance or we pay for it with savings. Just like everyone else.)
  • We don’t need as much money because we just don’t need as much stuff.

But to someone who buys all of their food and other goods from the store and gets all of their medicine from the pharmacy, it can be difficult to understand the satisfaction that comes from evading those places.

But, safety…

Of course, if self-reliant homesteaders pass all of the Forbes columnist’s other tests, he can still dismiss their achievements by going full-blown statist.

Yet even if one refuses help and care, however, they still benefit from the modern civil society thanks to the private property protections, rule of law, and military that provide them with safety and security.

 

Many off-the-grid folks like to fantasize that their personal fire arms collection and self-defense skills are actually why they are safe. But how far would this take them in a society without the rule of law, an effective government, and law enforcement? The homesteader who is confident their security is in their own hands should go live off-the-grid in Syria and find out how far self-protection takes them.

 

And it’s not just police and a military that keep homesteaders safe. It’s also widespread prosperity. In the developed world, a basic education is available to all, and most people who want a job can find one. Living in a prosperous, modern economy means that homesteaders can take a good bit of their own safety from violence for granted and roving bandits are not likely to take their homes from them.

So, by the mere fact of our existence in this country, according to Ozimek, none of us are self-reliant. It boggles the mind that this fellow successfully wrote and defended a doctoral thesis.

This is how reliant people justify their reliance.

I guess what it boils down to is that this is what helps Ozimek and people like him justify living their lives without any practical skills. If things did go sideways in a long-term kind of way, who is going to be better off: a person who can claim a Ph.D. in economics or someone who can actually produce food?

The fact is, the less we require from society, the less power that society has over us. Our lifestyles give us some distance from the hustle and the bustle. We don’t have to make as much money because we don’t live in the consumer matrix that engulfs so much of society. We are content to live simply instead of hustling from one non-productive activity to another.

Most of us don’t eschew all the benefits of living in a modern society. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Having a corporate job doesn’t preclude growing your own tomatoes any more than having a herd of goats precludes having health insurance.

There is a joy in making a meal that came entirely from your own backyard that these people will never get to experience, and having spent many years in the corporate world, I can tell you which provides the most satisfaction for me.

In this society where nearly everyone is digitally connected 24 hours a day, it’s nice to step away from all that and break the addiction to constant stimulation. It’s nice to not always be trading the hours in your day for the things that someone else made while you were working on something that, if we’re being honest, is kind of pointless in the grand scheme of survival.

If Dr. Ozimek wants to talk about delusions and superiority, he could find all the inspiration he needs by taking a look in the mirror.

Russia TV Reporter Sucker Punched During Live Broadcast

A video of a drunk man punching a Russian TV journalist in the face during a segment on Paratroopers’ Day celebrations is going viral.

Nikita Razvozzhayev, a correspondent with Russian news channel NTV, was confronted Wednesday by the intoxicated man in Gorky Park, Moscow's most popular recreational area, according to a report in the Telegraph.

In the video, the attacker can be seen interrupting Razvozzhayev's live report by walking into the camera frame and shouting (in Russian) "This is our country! We will conquer Ukraine!"

Razvozzhayev can be heard politely asking the man to be quiet; instead, the man decked him in the face.

The broadcast then switched back to the studio, where the anchor told viewers that there were “problems” on the ground, before saying she hoped her colleague was ok.  

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed a bill expanding US sanctions on Russia. The bill prevents him from acting unilaterally to remove certain sanctions on Russia and adds sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The bill passed both chambers of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, increasing the probability that Congress would vote to override should Trump veto the bill.

However, in a signing statement attached to the bill, Trump criticized the legislation as “flawed,” saying he would sign it "with reservations" about its impact and the constitutionality of some provisions.

Back in February, during her first appearance as UN Ambassador, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, slammed Russia’s backing of rebels in Eastern Ukraine, saying that while the US would like to improve relations with Russia, “the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions." Russia has blamed the escalation on the Ukrainians.

The controversial sanctions bill is already straining the relationship between the US and one of its staunchest allies, the European Union.

Germany and Austria, two of Russia's biggest energy clients in Europe, criticized the bill shortly after it passed the Senate in a 98-2 vote, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that the EU is ready to retaliate should the sanctions against Russia affect European companies, according to Bloomberg.

Circling back to the assault, the Telegraph reported that it wasn't immediately clear whether the reporter’s injury was serious. The attacker, whose name wasn’t released, has been arrested. Police are investigating the incident. Paratroopers Day is meant to celebrate veterans and active duty airborne servicemen.

Judging by the footage, the reporter maintained his poise while absorbing the blow, which was remarkable.

We wonder: Do Russian journalism schools teach students how to take a sucker punch?

Or maybe this drunk buffoon just doesn’t know how to throw one.
 

It’s Been Exactly 80 Years Since The US Declared War On Weed – And Weed Is Still Winning

Authored by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

The government fought cannabis – and cannabis won.

This Wednesday is the eightieth anniversary of the first major action the federal government took against cannabis in the United States, and eight decades later, that same federal government has still failed to reduce Americans’ consumption of the plant. In fact, it’s on the rise.

Long before the era of prohibition, druggists used cannabis as a medicine. According to Origins, a joint publication by the Ohio State University and Miami University history departments:

Cannabis, like opiates and cocaine, was freely available at drug stores in liquid form and as a refined product, hashish. Cannabis was also a common ingredient in turn-of-the-century patent medicines, over-the-counter concoctions brewed to proprietary formulas.

Then, like today, it helped people relax:

“The hashish candy advertised in an 1862 issue of Vanity Fair as a treatment for nervousness and melancholy, for example, was also ‘a pleasurable and harmless stimulant.’ ‘Under its influence all classes seem to gather new inspiration and energy,’ the advertisement explained.”

Though in 1906 the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act required patent medicine companies to list cannabis as an ingredient in products where it was present – and between 1914 and 1925 26 states passed laws prohibiting it — it wasn’t until 1937 federal authorities took substantial action.

On August 2, 1937, Congress passed the “Marihuana Tax Act,” which was largely the result of anti-narcotic crusader Henry Anslinger’s mission to ban the plant. As Time has explained, creating a “tax” on the substance effectively outlawed it:

As with the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914, Congress deemed an act taxing and regulating drugs, rather than prohibiting them, less susceptible to legal challenge. As a result, the 1937 legislation was ostensibly a revenue measure. Just as the Harrison Act used taxation and regulation to, in effect, prohibit morphine, heroin and other drugs, the Marijuana Tax Act essentially outlawed the possession or sale of marijuana.”

There are a variety of documented reasons for this ban. For one, Henry Anslinger was hysterically opposed to drugs. According to Origins, Anslinger,  a “former assistant commissioner of the Prohibition Bureau who headed the U.S. Treasury Department’s Narcotics Bureau from 1930 to 1962,” had previously advocated against a ban on cannabis because he believed it would be difficult to enforce (you don’t say!).

Origins explained:

However, Anslinger began to capitalize on fears about marijuana while pressing a public relations campaign to encourage the passage of uniform anti-narcotics legislation in all 48 states. He later lobbied in favor of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

Many of these fears were the result of calculated campaigns in the 1920s by prohibition activists, who were inspired by their “success” in banning alcohol. Further, William Randolph Hearst, the infamous publishing magnate, launched a campaign to associate cannabis with violence and the degradation of society.

The association of murder, torture, and mindless violence with marijuana was not borne out by evidence or actual events but blossomed thanks to the vivid imaginations of the journalists charged with sensationalizing the tired story of drug use and addiction,” Origins noted.

Similarly, Anslinger sounded the alarm on the alleged murders and rapes people committed while under the influence of the devil’s lettuce. In 1936, the film Reefer Madness, which now plays like a comedy, warned of the psychosis, violence, and dangers cannabis could bring about. The film warned of “marijuana, the burning weed with its roots in hell.” Much of the testimony advocating the 1937 tax act focused on these unfounded fears, and Anslinger led the way.

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year can only be conjectured,” he wrote in a 1937 article titled “Marijuana, Assassin of Youth.” (Today, some research suggests cannabis is not linked to increases in violent crime).

The only witness who testified against the proposed ban was a representative from the American Medical Association, who congressmen dismissed (Anslinger also made an effort throughout his career to discredit research suggesting cannabis was not dangerous). The bill easily passed, undermining legal cannabis and also outlawed the production of hemp. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law.

Another related driver behind the ban stemmed from racism within American society. Though cannabis had been used in medicines and hemp was used in industry to produce materials like rope (in the 1600s, colonists were actually required to grow it), Mexican immigrants introduced the practice of smoking the plant, which, “in turn, generated a reaction in the U.S., tinged perhaps with anti-Mexican xenophobia.” This fear spurred the 1906 regulation in the Pure Food and Drug Act and persisted into the 1930s.

As Rolling Stone noted, there had been conversations in the United States not just about cannabis use, but other drugs, since the late 19th century.

“But in the next 50 years, concerns about inebriation only translated into law if the substance wasn’t already controlled by a powerful industry, and if there was a perception, accurate or not, that a given drug was being used by poor people, immigrants, and people of color.

As fears surrounding substance use grew, Rolling Stone observed, they dovetailed with racist stereotypes about the poor and minorities that assumed these groups were more likely to commit crimes, be lazy, and lack self-control when it came to “sex, violence, and intoxication.

By 1952, Congress had passed the Boggs Act, which imposed strict mandatory sentences for various drugs, including cannabis. In the 1970s, the Controlled Substances Act was passed, placing drugs into “schedules” as we know them today.

Though Nixon touted the war on drugs as an effort to save society, one of his advisers, John Ehrlichman, reportedly claimed in the 1990s that they pursued cannabis as an effort to criminalize black and anti-war activist. Other former advisers then claimed Ehrlichman was either joking or mistaken, but a cursory examination of arrests for cannabis shows the war on weed has disproportionately affected African-Americans though they use the substance at roughly the same rate as white Americans.

Overall, according to the ACLU, cannabis arrests accounted for over half of all drug arrests between 2000 and 2010, and 88% of those were for possession.

Though states across the country have begun to legalize cannabis both for medicinal and recreational use, the federal government continues to dig its heels in. The DEA recently insisted that even cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, falls into the ominous Schedule I category, which also includes MDMA, LSD, and mushrooms but fails to cover highly dangerous and toxic legal drugs like alcohol and opioids.

Many industries also continue to oppose cannabis legalization. The alcohol industry, the private prison industry, and prison guard and police unions all lobby against legalization.  Most notably, pharmaceutical companies fight to keep cannabis illegal, all while at least one opioid producer concocts its own synthetic cannabis with the approval of the same FDA and DEA that opted to keep cannabis a Schedule I drug.

But against all these odds, cannabis continues to beat the government and establishment’s decades-long fight against it.

Many Americans have outgrown the fears instilled in them through films like Reefer Madness and are beginning to accept a live-and-let-live mentality. Though more research on the plant is undoubtedly needed (and limited due to federal restrictions), preliminary scientific studies and anecdotal evidence suggest the plant has the potential to treat a variety of ailments, from epilepsy to nausea to Parkinson’s disease. Veterans are increasingly using it to treat PTSD.

The United States’ relationship with cannabis is coming full circle, returning to times when it was a common ingredient in everyday medications. Many Americans are opting to substitute opioids with cannabis for pain, and opioid overdose deaths are lower in states with legal medical cannabis. Cannabis also poses a threat to profits from other pharmaceuticals.

Beer company profits have fallen in states where cannabis is legal, and some states are even moving to legalize hemp.

Meanwhile, cannabis industry is expected to generate $20 billion annually by 2020, and police are frequently trolled for attempting to enforce cannabis laws that Americans increasingly perceive as petty and unproductive.

All the while, federal bureaucracies continue to lag behind, clinging to outdated myths and prohibitions that — over the course of the better half of a century — have been debunked and proven ineffective, which is unsurprising considering humans have been consuming the plant for well over 2,000 years.

YouTube Takes Steps To Censor “Controversial” (a.k.a. “Conservative”) Content

Last night YouTube took to its ‘Official Blog’ to more or less announce that they would be taking steps to censor content they found to be “controversial” even if it didn’t break any laws or violate the site’s user agreement.  And while the message vowed to be part of an effort to “fight terror content online,” the move was met wth widespread skepticism among YouTuber’s as nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to censor conservative speech.

Tougher standards: We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism. If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state. The videos will remain on YouTube behind an interstitial, won’t be recommended, won’t be monetized, and won’t have key features including comments, suggested videos, and likes. We’ll begin to roll this new treatment out to videos on desktop versions of YouTube in the coming weeks, and will bring it to mobile experiences soon thereafter. These new approaches entail significant new internal tools and processes, and will take time to fully implement.

But it’s not just content creators that will be impacted as anyone who merely searches for keywords that YouTube deems ‘questionable’, for whatever reason, will be promptly redirected to propaganda videos intended to “directly confront and debunk” whatever ‘questionable’ content that user was looking for.

Early intervention and expanding counter-extremism work: We’ve started rolling out features from Jigsaw’s Redirect Method to YouTube. When people search for sensitive keywords on YouTube, they will be redirected towards a playlist of curated YouTube videos that directly confront and debunk violent extremist messages. We also continue to amplify YouTube voices speaking out against hate and radicalization through our YouTube Creators for Change program. Just last week, the U.K. chapter of Creators for Change, Internet Citizens, hosted a two-day workshop for 13-18 year-olds to help them find a positive sense of belonging online and learn skills on how to participate safely and responsibly on the internet. We also pledged to expand the program’s reach to 20,000 more teens across the U.K.

YouTube

 

So who will be responsible for choosing which content qualifies as “controversial” and/or “questionable?”  Well, as the Daily Caller points out, that responsibility will fall upon ‘impartial’ groups like the Anti-Defamation League that recently published a list of “alt-right” and “alt-lite” YouTubers yet failed to highlight extreme leftist organizations like Antifa…must have just been an oversight.

According to YouTube, the system, while largely automated, will mix in human reviews in the form of its already established “Trusted Flagger” volunteer program that works with over 15 institutions to deal with extremist content, including the Anti-Defamation League.

 

The ADL recently released a list naming members of the “alt-right” and the “alt-lite,” the latter of which included controversial YouTube personalities like Gavin McInnes, Mike Cernovich, and Brittany Pettibone. Curiously, the ADL is selective in what it chooses to label as “extremism.” It does not have violent far-left ideologies like Antifa and militant leftist organizations like Redneck Revolt on its radar.

 

It’s worth noting that the “Trusted Flagger” system was later transformed into the much maligned “YouTube Heroes” program, which invited the public to help moderate content. It was heavily criticized for giving social justice activists the power to manipulate the platform.

 

Despite the apparent focus on targeting extremism, YouTube’s announcement includes the company’s efforts to artificially promote videos through its “Creators for Change” program, which in YouTube’s own words pushes creators who are “using their voices to speak out against hate speech, xenophobia, and extremism.”

Not surprisingly, these moves to censor content creators while shoving propaganda videos down the throats of users, has been blasted by conservatives online who feel like they’ve been targeted.

“If a video doesn’t break YouTube’s terms of services then they absolutely SHOULD NOT be attempting to dampen the reach of the video any further,” said YouTuber Annand “Bunty King” Virk, who raised his concerns with The Daily Caller. “Who determines what’s passable and what isn’t? At what point do we finally realize that saying the right thing isn’t always about saying what people want to hear?”

 

“By these standards, if YouTube existed previous to the Emancipation Act, they’d be censoring videos criticizing slave owners, since being anti-slavery wasn’t popular… at all,” he added. “The popular opinion isn’t always the right opinion.”

 

“No one can really say who’s going to be impacted by this new road map, and that’s the point isn’t it? If their policies and terms of service aren’t there to help guide creators anymore, then why even have them? So really, anyone could be at risk without even knowing it,” he said.

 

“I have no problem with YouTube cracking down on terrorist recruitment videos and the likes,” clarified Undoomed. “What I don’t understand is how such videos could’ve possibly been considered acceptable under the extant TOS and policies.”

 

“I think there is a high probably for collateral damage with this new attitude,” he said. “Some people could conceivably consider skeptics and anti-SJWs ‘extremists,’ while all we are doing is arguing for a little common sense, and of course for freedom of speech as demanded by the Constitution.”

 

“My suspicion is that ‘trusted flaggers’ is just a code word for the ‘usual suspects’. i.e. the same type of radical left-wing reactionaries that have reshaped Twitter into an Orwellian nightmare,” he concluded.

The ‘Russians’ won’t stand a chance in 2020….

This New Piece Of Legislation Could Demolish State Gun Control Laws Across The Country

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Over the past century there has been one undeniable trend working against gun rights. Put simply, as time goes on, it’s harder for a law abiding citizen to own and use a firearm, largely due to the proliferation of state and federal gun laws. A hundred years ago, one could own pretty much any firearm without restriction, and buy a firearm without even a background check (though of course one argue could that a few of these laws are a good idea). Now it’s a heavily regulated industry.

And sure, there have been some victories for the Second Amendment. A few decades ago there were only a handful of states where it was fairly easy to attain a concealed carry permit, and even many deeply conservative states didn’t issue these permits at all. Now that situation has completely reversed, and continues to improve. However, when you look at gun rights on a long enough timeline, it’s obvious that the Second Amendment has lost more than it has won, as state and federal laws have chipped away at our rights little by little.

Fortunately there is a new piece of legislation that could significantly roll back the worst of these laws on the state level, in particular the laws that were put in place under the Obama administration. The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which was recently proposed by New York Congressman Chris Collins, could prove to be the most significant attack on gun control laws that we’ve seen in generations. According to a press release issued by Collins’ office:

“This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo,” said Collins.

 

 “I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and have fought against all efforts to condemn these rights. I stand with the law-abiding citizens of this state that have been outraged by the SAFE Act and voice my commitment to roll back these regulations.

SAGA would provide an intimidating bulwark against gun control advocates in blue states. In a nutshell, it would prevent these states from passing restrictive laws that exceed the scope of federal gun laws.

In the Collins’ bill, States or local governments would not be able to regulate, prohibit, or require registration and licensing (that are any more restrictive under Federal law) for the sale, manufacturing, importation, transfer, possession, or marketing of a rifle or shotgun. Additionally, “rifle or shotgun” includes any part of the weapon including any detachable magazine or ammunition feeding devise and any type of pistol grip or stock design.

 

Under this legislation, any current or future laws enacted by a state or political subdivision that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be void. Should a state violate this law, and a plaintiff goes to court, the court will award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages.

For decades, gun owners living in certain states have had their rights slowly stripped away by legislative bodies that repeatedly passed laws which are in violation of the Second Amendment, and they’ve done so almost completely unopposed. It’s the perfect example of what the Founders hoped to prevent in our society. They feared that the rights of the minority could be taken away by the majority, which is exactly what gun owners in leftists states have had to contend with.

But if SAGA passes, state governments will no longer be able to bully gun owners with their onerous and unconstitutional laws. Gun owners will finally have the same right to bear arms in every state of the union.

China Threatens India Over Border: “Leave Chinese Land Or Face War”

While the world's eyes are focused on Syria, Russia, Ukraine, and North Korea; there is another – much more tense – fight between two nuclear powers that is getting far too little attention. The world's two most populous nations, China and India, have been engaged in a border dispute for decades but in recent months it has flared once again with a Chinese Ministry of Defense official now warning explicitly that Indian troops must leave the contested Doklam area if they do not want war.

The latest standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan.  Indian troops countered by moving to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and calling for their immediate withdrawal.

China then added a large number of troops to the region:

"The crossing of the mutually recognised national borders on the part of India… is a serious violation of China's territory and runs against the international law," Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a press conference quoted by AFP, adding that "the determination and the willingness and the resolve of China to defend its sovereignty is indomitable, and it will safeguard its sovereignty and security interests at whatever cost."

 

He also said that "border troops have taken emergency response measures in the area and will further step up deployment and trainings in response to the situation," without giving any details about the deployment.

And now, as RT reports, during a heated TV debate between a retired Indian Army major general and now defense commentator, Ashok Mehta, and the director of the Chinese Defense Ministry’s Center for International Security Cooperation, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo; tempers frayed.

Speaking first, Mehta fired off a lengthy yet passionate tirade, accusing the Chinese of fanning anti-Indian sentiments in an overly aggressive way.

“Chinese media, think tanks, Xinhua, Global Times, PLA Daily have written the most aggressive and most belligerent stories about threatening India, taking India to war, opening a two-front conflict, teaching India a lesson,” the former general complained.

 

“I mean, that kind of language is not being used in India!” Mehta added.

Asked by the news anchor if he could provide any proof and name specific Chinese articles featuring warmongering rhetoric, the Indian expert failed to cite any, but instead recalled his professional background.

Zhao interrupted…

General, you have been talking too much! This is not the right way of having this conversation,”

 

“Let me just use a few seconds – you [Indian troops] are on Chinese territory, so if you do not want a war, you’ve got to go away from Chinese territory,” the senior colonel remarked.

In a statement on Wednesday, Beijing said Indian troops were still present on Chinese territory, and that China had acted cautiously, demanding that Delhi pull out its forces.

"But the Indian side not only has not taken any actual steps to correct its mistake, it has concocted all sorts of reasons that don't have a leg to stand on, to make up excuses for the Indian military's illegal crossing of the border,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, as cited by Reuters.

As we noted previously, this isn’t the first time that these two nations have been at each other’s throats over their borders. In 1962 their armies clashed, leading to defeat of the Indian army, and thousands of casualties on both sides. Based on the rhetoric coming out of Beijing’s state sponsored media, it appears that China is willing to replicate that conflict.