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Paul Revere`s Midnight Ride

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I found this on U.S.History.com.

In the spring of 1775, most of the Massachusetts Patriot leaders had taken refuge in outlying communities, fearing arrest by British officials. Remaining in Boston were two physicians, Benjamin Church and Joseph Warren, the latter serving as the group’s leader in Samuel Adams‘ absence. Paul Revere, a trusted messenger, also stayed in the city, tended his business interests and as unobtrusively as possible, kept an eye on the soldiers stationed in the city.

Revere became suspicious in mid-April when he noticed that British landing craft were being drawn out of the water for repairs — a clear indication that something was afoot. On the 16th he made a trip to Concord, a key community because it was the temporary home of the Provincial Congress and also a storehouse for militia guns, powder, and shot. He warned the residents there that redcoats were likely to be dispatched in the near future to seize the town’s arms supply. Revere’s warning was taken to heart and the townspeople began to hide arms and valuables in barns, wells, and the neighboring swamps.

On his return home, Paul Revere met with Patriot leaders in Charlestown and agreed on a plan to provide notice about the route the British would take to reach Concord. This was a necessary precaution because there was considerable doubt that Revere or others would be able to get out of Boston at the crucial time.

Revere agreed to arrange for the placement of signal lanterns in the belfry of Old North Church where they could have been easily seen across the Charles River. If one lantern were displayed, the British would be advancing by land over the Boston Neck, then north and west to Concord. If two lanterns were hung, the redcoats would have chosen to cross the Charles by boat to Cambridge, then west to their target.

The former route was unlikely because the soldiers would be clearly visible marching down the Neck, eliminating any element of surprise. The latter plan offered opportunities for concealing movement under cover of darkness and was five miles shorter than the alternative.

Revere resumed his activities in Boston, but in the early evening of April 18, he received word from a stable boy that the British were preparing boats for crossing the Charles. In short order, two other sources confirmed the initial report.

Revere Ride MapAt about 10 p.m., Warren decided that warning had to be given to Sam Adams and John Hancock, who were wanted by British authorities and were likely candidates for the gallows. A young shoemaker, William Dawes, was sent by the land route through Roxbury, Brookline, and Cambridge.

As insurance against Dawes’ capture or detention, Revere took the water route out of Boston, but his effort almost failed at its inception. Revere had forgotten cloth rags to muffle the sound of the oars for the passage across the Charles. Any noise created the risk of alerting the crew of the Somerset, a man-of-war at anchor on the river. Legend says the crossing was accomplished when a resourceful boatman acquired a petticoat from his girlfriend and used that garment to wrap the oars.

On arriving in Charlestown and gaining his mount, Revere narrowly escaped capture by two British soldiers and had to alter his route to the north. He pressed on to Lexington where he found Hancock and Adams at the home of Jonas Clark. Paul Revere was joined by Dawes, who had successfully slipped past the guards on Boston Neck, and a third man, Dr. Samuel Prescott, a resident of Concord.

Before the trio could cover the five miles between Lexington and Concord, they encountered a roadblock manned by British redcoats. Responding to the urgency of the moment, they proceeded to break through. Prescott used his intimate knowledge of the countryside to his advantage and successfully eluded capture – he was the only one of the three to complete the journey and deliver the alarm to Concord.

Dawes initially appeared to have escaped his pursuers, but was thrown from his horse and captured. Paul Revere was taken prisoner and during his interrogation deliberately provided greatly inflated numbers of militiamen awaiting the British at Concord.

During the ride back to Lexington, Revere and his captors heard shots fire and church bells ring throughout the area — events that gave some credence to Revere’s report of colonial preparations. Fearing for their safety, the British released Revere, but took the precaution of giving him a tired horse to slow his return to Lexington.

Paul Revere later joined Hancock and Adams on their retreat into the countryside, but made a frantic return to a Lexington tavern where Hancock had inadvertently left some valuable papers. As dawn broke, Revere departed from the town with the valuable documents in hand and rode past militiamen in the process of assembling. A short time later he could hear shots and see smoke in the distance, the opening round in the struggle for independence.

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How the British Gun Control Program Precipitated the American Revolution

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This is from The Tenth Amendment Center.

 

When people think of the causes of the American War for Independence, they think of slogans like “no taxation without representation” or cause célèbre like the Boston Tea Party.

In reality, however, what finally forced the colonials into a shooting war with the British Army in April 1775 was not taxes or even warrant-less searches of homes and their occupation by soldiers, but one of many attempts by the British to disarm Americans as part of an overall gun control program, according to David B. Kopel.

Furthermore, had the American colonies lost their war for independence, the British government intended to strip them of all their guns and place them under the thumb of a permanent standing army.

In his paper titled “How the British Gun Control Program Precipitated the American Revolution,” Kopel claims that various gun control policies by the British following the Boston Tea Party, including a ban on firearm and gunpowder importation, tells us not only the purpose of the Second Amendment, but its relevance within the context of today’s gun control debate.

“The ideology underlying all forms of American resistance to British usurpations and infringements was explicitly premised on the right of self-defense of all inalienable rights,” Kopel writes. “From the self-defense foundation was constructed a political theory in which the people were the masters and government the servant, so that the people have the right to remove a disobedient servant. The philosophy was not novel, but was directly derived from political and legal philosophers such as John Locke, Hugo Grotius, and Edward Coke.”

Kopel writes that two important things underlined the American response to the British policies. One was the practical concept of self-defense, which British disarmament measures was making more difficult. The other, and more relevant concept, was that “Americans made no distinction between self-defense against a lone criminal or against a criminal government.”

Following the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, in which the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships carrying East India Company cargo and dumped forty-six tons of tea ships of tea to prevent its landing, the British government introduced a series of retaliatory measures known as the Intolerable Acts. Among the actions was the closure of Boston’s port, effectively cutting off all trade.

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However, Kopel writes, “it was the possibility that the British might deploy the army to enforce them (the Intolerable Acts) that primed many colonists for armed resistance.”

An example of this is a South Carolina newspaper essay, reprinted in Virginia, that urged that any law that had to be enforced by the military was necessarily illegitimate (bold emphasis added).

When an Army is sent to enforce Laws, it is always an Evidence that either the Law makers are conscious that they had no clear and indisputable right to make those Laws, or that they are bad [and] oppressive. Wherever the People themselves have had a hand in making Laws, according to the first principles of our Constitution there is no danger of Nonsubmission, Nor can there be need of an Army to enforce them.”

The British Army had already been occupying American cities like Boston since 1768, where the notorious Boston Massacre took place in 1770. Following the passage of the intolerable Acts, the Massachusetts Government Act dissolved the provincial government in the state, and General Thomas Gage was appointed royal governor, all which inflamed tensions and prompted backlash from Americans who saw it as the Crown attempted to force their colonies into submission.

Tensions were so great, in fact, that the shooting might have started much earlier than Lexington and Concord. In one incident, General Gage sent Redcoats to squash an “illegal” town meeting in Salem, only to retreat when, according to one of Gage’s aides, three thousand armed Americans arrived.

It was clear to the British that gun control measures would be necessary if they were to maintain their rule. Gage had only 2,000 troops in Boston, while there were thousands of armed men in Boston and more in the surrounding area.

One solution, Kopel writes, was to deprive the Americans of gunpowder. In September 1774, several hundred Redcoats raided a Charlestown powder house – where militias and merchants stored their gunpowder due to its volatile nature – and seized all but the powder belonging to the colonial government.

“Gage was within his legal rights to seize it,” Kopel concludes. “But the seizure still incensed the public.”

Known as the Powder Alarm, this also nearly started the Revolution when rumors spread wildly that the Redcoats had started shooting. In response, 20,000 militiamen were mobilized that same day and marched on Boston – they later turned around once they learned the truth.

The Powder House ("Magazine") is near the northern edge of this detail from a 1775 map of the Siege of Boston.

Still, Kopel writes, the message was clear:

“If the British used violence to seize arms or powder, the Americans would treat that seizure as an act of war, and the militia would fight,” he writes. “And that is exactly what happened several months later, on April 19, 1775.”

Following the Powder Alarm, the militia of the towns of Worcester County assembled at the Worcester Common, where the Worcester Convention ordered the resignations of all militia officers who had received their commissions from the royal governor. The officers promptly resigned, and then received new commissions from the Worcester Convention, independent of the British administration.

Governor Gage then tried another approach – warrantless searches of people for arms and ammunition without any provocation. The policy drew fierce criticism from the colonists. In fact, the Boston Gazette wrote that of all General Gage‘s offenses, it was this one that outraged people the most.

In October 1774 the Provincial Congress convened, with John Hancock acting as its president. The Congress adopted a resolution that condemned the military occupation of Boston and called on private citizens to arm themselves and engage in military drills. The Provincial Congress also appointed a Committee of Safety, giving it the power to call up the militia. This meant that the militia of Massachusetts “no longer answered to the British government,” Kopel writes. “It was now the instrument of what was becoming an independent government of Massachusetts.”

Not surprisingly, British officials in England were eager to see outright gun confiscation in order to effectively suppress any resistance to their rule. Lord Dartmouth, the royal Secretary of State for America, articulated this sentiment in a letter to Governor Gage.

“Amongst other things which have occurred on the present occasion as likely to prevent the fatal consequence of having recourse to the sword, that of disarming the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut and Rhode Island, has been suggested. Whether such a Measure was ever practicable, or whether it can be attempted in the present state of things you must be the best judge; but it certainly is a Measure of such a nature as ought not to be adopted without almost a certainty of success, and therefore I only throw it out for your consideration.”

Gage warned that the only way to carry it out would be to use violence (bold emphasis added):

“Your Lordship‘s Idea of disarming certain Provinces would doubtless be consistent with Prudence and Safety, but it neither is nor has been practicable without having Recourse to Force, and being Masters of the Country.”

The gun confiscation proposal didn’t remain secret for long, as Gage‘s letter read in the British House of Commons and then publicized in America. Two days after Dartmouth’s letter was sent, King George III ordered the blocked importation of arms and ammunition to America, save those with governments permits. No permit, Kopel writes, was ever granted, and the ban would remain in effect until after the War of Independence ended and the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

Having banned the import on all guns and ammunition, the British moved next to seize that which remained in colonial hands. In anticipation of such a seizure at Fort William and Mary in December 1774, four hundred New Hampshire patriots preemptively captured all the material at the fort.

Eventually, Kopel writes “Americans no longer recognized the royal governors as the legitimate commanders-in-chief of the militia. So without formal legal authorization, Americans began to form independent militia, outside the traditional chain of command of the royal governors.”

It was such a militia that assembled at the Lexington Green and the Concord against Gage’s Redcoats in April 1775. Following the battle, the colonials lay siege to Boston. The British response in other colonies was a swift move to confiscate or destroy firearms. In Virginia, they seized twenty barrels of gunpowder from the public magazine in Williamsburg and removed the firing mechanisms in the guns, making them impossible to shoot.

800px-Battle_of_Lexington,_1775

Meanwhile, in Boston, General Gage carried out his own gun confiscation policy against the remaining Bostonians, but having learned his lesson from Lexington and Concord, he tried a more furtive approach by offering them the opportunity to leave town if they gave up their arms. Within days, Kopel writes, 2,674 guns were handed over to the British. Gage then promptly turned back on his promise and initially refused to allow anyone to leave. Only food shortages led him to permit more emigration from the city.

Although there is room for speculation as to what would have happened had the American colonies lost the War of Independence, historical documents make some things very clear. When a British victory seemed likely in 1777, Colonial Undersecretary William Knox drafted a plan titled “What Is Fit to Be Done with America?” Intended to prevent any further rebellions in America, the plan called on the establishment of the Church of England in all the colonies, along with a hereditary aristocracy.

But the most ominous measure it would have enacted would have been a permanent standing army, along with the following (emphasis added):

The Militia Laws should be repealed and none suffered to be re-enacted, [and] the Arms of all the People should be taken away . . . nor should any Foundery or manufactuary of Arms, Gunpowder, or Warlike Stores, be ever suffered in America, nor should any Gunpowder, Lead, Arms or Ordnance be imported into it without Licence . . .”

Many gun control policies in America today follow the British blueprint. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968, for example, prohibits the import of any firearm which is not deemed suitable for “sporting” purposes by federal regulators. Certain cities openly declare their gun fees are intended not to prevent the wrong people from owning guns, but to discourage all private citizens from owning them.

“To the Americans of the Revolution and the Founding Era,” Kopel writes, “the late twentieth century claim that the Second Amendment is a collective right and not an individual right might have seemed incomprehensible. The Americans owned guns individually, in their homes. They owned guns collectively, in their town armories and powder houses. They would not allow the British to confiscate their individual arms, or their collective arms; and when the British tried to do both, the Revolution began.”

Yet, Kopel believes “the most important lesson for today from the Revolution is about militaristic or violent search and seizure in the name of disarmament,” something that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Local law enforcement confiscated firearms, many times at gunpoint. A federal district judge properly issued an order finding the gun confiscation to be illegal.

“Gun ownership simpliciter ought never be a pretext for government violence,” Kopel concludes. “The Americans in 1775 fought a war because the king did not agree. Americans of the twenty-first century should not squander the heritage of constitutional liberty bequeathed by the Patriots.”

It is easy to see, then, why modern gun control advocates are the spiritual successors of the British government our forefathers opposed, for while gun grabbers call for restrictions on the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms, they are all but silent on the dangers of having standing army in America or the blatant militarization of police departments.

Their reason for disarming American citizens today is the same as that of the British in the 1770s.

Paul Revere`s Midnight Ride

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I found this on U.S.History.com.

In the spring of 1775, most of the Massachusetts Patriot leaders had taken refuge in outlying communities, fearing arrest by British officials. Remaining in Boston were two physicians, Benjamin Church and Joseph Warren, the latter serving as the group’s leader in Samuel Adams‘ absence. Paul Revere, a trusted messenger, also stayed in the city, tended his business interests and as unobtrusively as possible, kept an eye on the soldiers stationed in the city.

Revere became suspicious in mid-April when he noticed that British landing craft were being drawn out of the water for repairs — a clear indication that something was afoot. On the 16th he made a trip to Concord, a key community because it was the temporary home of the Provincial Congress and also a storehouse for militia guns, powder, and shot. He warned the residents there that redcoats were likely to be dispatched in the near future to seize the town’s arms supply. Revere’s warning was taken to heart and the townspeople began to hide arms and valuables in barns, wells, and the neighboring swamps.

On his return home, Paul Revere met with Patriot leaders in Charlestown and agreed on a plan to provide notice about the route the British would take to reach Concord. This was a necessary precaution because there was considerable doubt that Revere or others would be able to get out of Boston at the crucial time.

Revere agreed to arrange for the placement of signal lanterns in the belfry of Old North Church where they could have been easily seen across the Charles River. If one lantern were displayed, the British would be advancing by land over the Boston Neck, then north and west to Concord. If two lanterns were hung, the redcoats would have chosen to cross the Charles by boat to Cambridge, then west to their target.

The former route was unlikely because the soldiers would be clearly visible marching down the Neck, eliminating any element of surprise. The latter plan offered opportunities for concealing movement under cover of darkness and was five miles shorter than the alternative.

Revere resumed his activities in Boston, but in the early evening of April 18, he received word from a stable boy that the British were preparing boats for crossing the Charles. In short order, two other sources confirmed the initial report.

Revere Ride MapAt about 10 p.m., Warren decided that warning had to be given to Sam Adams and John Hancock, who were wanted by British authorities and were likely candidates for the gallows. A young shoemaker, William Dawes, was sent by the land route through Roxbury, Brookline, and Cambridge.

As insurance against Dawes’ capture or detention, Revere took the water route out of Boston, but his effort almost failed at its inception. Revere had forgotten cloth rags to muffle the sound of the oars for the passage across the Charles. Any noise created the risk of alerting the crew of the Somerset, a man-of-war at anchor on the river. Legend says the crossing was accomplished when a resourceful boatman acquired a petticoat from his girlfriend and used that garment to wrap the oars.

On arriving in Charlestown and gaining his mount, Revere narrowly escaped capture by two British soldiers and had to alter his route to the north. He pressed on to Lexington where he found Hancock and Adams at the home of Jonas Clark. Paul Revere was joined by Dawes, who had successfully slipped past the guards on Boston Neck, and a third man, Dr. Samuel Prescott, a resident of Concord.

Before the trio could cover the five miles between Lexington and Concord, they encountered a roadblock manned by British redcoats. Responding to the urgency of the moment, they proceeded to break through. Prescott used his intimate knowledge of the countryside to his advantage and successfully eluded capture – he was the only one of the three to complete the journey and deliver the alarm to Concord.

Dawes initially appeared to have escaped his pursuers, but was thrown from his horse and captured. Paul Revere was taken prisoner and during his interrogation deliberately provided greatly inflated numbers of militiamen awaiting the British at Concord.

During the ride back to Lexington, Revere and his captors heard shots fire and church bells ring throughout the area — events that gave some credence to Revere’s report of colonial preparations. Fearing for their safety, the British released Revere, but took the precaution of giving him a tired horse to slow his return to Lexington.

Paul Revere later joined Hancock and Adams on their retreat into the countryside, but made a frantic return to a Lexington tavern where Hancock had inadvertently left some valuable papers. As dawn broke, Revere departed from the town with the valuable documents in hand and rode past militiamen in the process of assembling. A short time later he could hear shots and see smoke in the distance, the opening round in the struggle for independence.

WILLIE NELSON – FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

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Obama blames ‘bad apple insurers’ for canceled insurance plans

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This is from The Washington Post Politics.

Everyone is to blame except Obama.

The insurance companies are evil according to Obama.

The true evil is Obamacare and Obama.

 

President Obama tried a new tack Wednesday as he fought back against criticism of his Obamacare claims.

Fact-checkers and journalists have ruled that Obama wasn’t being truthful when he claimed that people who liked their insurance could keep it. Obama during a speech in Boston sought to cast the issue Wednesday as trying to weed out “bad apple insurers” who don’t provide enough coverage.

“One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured but also the under-insured,” Obama said. “And there are a number of Americans, fewer than 5 percent of Americans, who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.

“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy.”

Obama also said that he is responsible for fixing the HealthCare.gov Web site — even as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said earlier in the day that Obama isn’t responsible for the botched Obamacare exchanges rollout.

“Right now, the Web site is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck, and I am not happy about it,” Obama said at a speech in Boston promoting the similar Massachusetts health-care law.

Obama added: “So there’s no excuse for it, and I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.”

The administration has set a late November deadline for fixing the Web site.

At a hearing earlier Wednesday, Sebelius said she and her department were responsible for the rollout’s failings, not Obama.

“No, sir,” Sebelius said when asked directly whether Obama is responsible. “We are responsible for the rollout.”

 

VIDEO: Robert Spencer at Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley on how political correctness about the jihad threat costs lives

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This is from Jihad Watch.

Myself and many others have made the same point about Muslims Jihad.

 

 

Tuesday evening I spoke to a packed house at the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley. My topic was “Political Correctness About the Jihad Threat: It Gets People Killed.”

Many thanks to the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley for a great evening.

 

 

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

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This is a speech given by Patrick Henry on March 23,1775.

 

 

 

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate.

It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.

Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land.

Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir.

These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it?

Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other.

They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject?

Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on.

We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger?

Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?

Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.

The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest.

There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish?

What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Paul Revere`s Midnight Ride

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I found this on U.S.History.com.

In the spring of 1775, most of the Massachusetts Patriot leaders had taken refuge in outlying communities, fearing arrest by British officials. Remaining in Boston were two physicians, Benjamin Church and Joseph Warren, the latter serving as the group’s leader in Samuel Adams‘ absence. Paul Revere, a trusted messenger, also stayed in the city, tended his business interests and as unobtrusively as possible, kept an eye on the soldiers stationed in the city.

Revere became suspicious in mid-April when he noticed that British landing craft were being drawn out of the water for repairs — a clear indication that something was afoot. On the 16th he made a trip to Concord, a key community because it was the temporary home of the Provincial Congress and also a storehouse for militia guns, powder, and shot. He warned the residents there that redcoats were likely to be dispatched in the near future to seize the town’s arms supply. Revere’s warning was taken to heart and the townspeople began to hide arms and valuables in barns, wells, and the neighboring swamps.

On his return home, Paul Revere met with Patriot leaders in Charlestown and agreed on a plan to provide notice about the route the British would take to reach Concord. This was a necessary precaution because there was considerable doubt that Revere or others would be able to get out of Boston at the crucial time.

Revere agreed to arrange for the placement of signal lanterns in the belfry of Old North Church where they could have been easily seen across the Charles River. If one lantern were displayed, the British would be advancing by land over the Boston Neck, then north and west to Concord. If two lanterns were hung, the redcoats would have chosen to cross the Charles by boat to Cambridge, then west to their target.

The former route was unlikely because the soldiers would be clearly visible marching down the Neck, eliminating any element of surprise. The latter plan offered opportunities for concealing movement under cover of darkness and was five miles shorter than the alternative.

Revere resumed his activities in Boston, but in the early evening of April 18, he received word from a stable boy that the British were preparing boats for crossing the Charles. In short order, two other sources confirmed the initial report.

Revere Ride MapAt about 10 p.m., Warren decided that warning had to be given to Sam Adams and John Hancock, who were wanted by British authorities and were likely candidates for the gallows. A young shoemaker, William Dawes, was sent by the land route through Roxbury, Brookline, and Cambridge.

As insurance against Dawes’ capture or detention, Revere took the water route out of Boston, but his effort almost failed at its inception. Revere had forgotten cloth rags to muffle the sound of the oars for the passage across the Charles. Any noise created the risk of alerting the crew of the Somerset, a man-of-war at anchor on the river. Legend says the crossing was accomplished when a resourceful boatman acquired a petticoat from his girlfriend and used that garment to wrap the oars.

On arriving in Charlestown and gaining his mount, Revere narrowly escaped capture by two British soldiers and had to alter his route to the north. He pressed on to Lexington where he found Hancock and Adams at the home of Jonas Clark. Paul Revere was joined by Dawes, who had successfully slipped past the guards on Boston Neck, and a third man, Dr. Samuel Prescott, a resident of Concord.

Before the trio could cover the five miles between Lexington and Concord, they encountered a roadblock manned by British redcoats. Responding to the urgency of the moment, they proceeded to break through. Prescott used his intimate knowledge of the countryside to his advantage and successfully eluded capture – he was the only one of the three to complete the journey and deliver the alarm to Concord.

Dawes initially appeared to have escaped his pursuers, but was thrown from his horse and captured. Paul Revere was taken prisoner and during his interrogation deliberately provided greatly inflated numbers of militiamen awaiting the British at Concord.

During the ride back to Lexington, Revere and his captors heard shots fire and church bells ring throughout the area — events that gave some credence to Revere’s report of colonial preparations. Fearing for their safety, the British released Revere, but took the precaution of giving him a tired horse to slow his return to Lexington.

Paul Revere later joined Hancock and Adams on their retreat into the countryside, but made a frantic return to a Lexington tavern where Hancock had inadvertently left some valuable papers. As dawn broke, Revere departed from the town with the valuable documents in hand and rode past militiamen in the process of assembling. A short time later he could hear shots and see smoke in the distance, the opening

 

Crisis, Policing And Militarism After Boston: Why We Need To Establish Fire Lines

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This is from Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

I was having flash backs to the 1938  Germany and

Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.

Only without the burning synagogue’s .

 

 

 

 

Follow: Boston Marathon BombingPolice MilitarizationRaid Of The Day.

(This is part four in a series of posts on the Boston Marathon bombings, the government response, and Boston unique historical perspective on militarism and civil liberties. You can read the introduction here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.)

By April 19th, about 9,000 cops, SWAT teams and National Guardsmen had descended on Boston to find the remaining suspect in the marathon bombing. In the Watertown neighborhood, they went door to door, in some cases forcing innocent people out of their homes at gunpoint. In at least one instance documented in a photo posted online, they pointed their guns at someone for merely looking out of a window while standing in his own home. And all of this was an effort to find Dhokar Tsarnaev, a single 19-year-old man who was unarmed when he was finally apprehended.

Tsarnaev wasn’t found during one of those door-to-door searches, or even during the “stay-in” order. Rather, he was found after the order was lifted and after a homeowner noticed something suspicious in his own yard and called the police to investigate. For all the extraordinary measures taken in Boston that week, the crisis was resolved after a fairly ordinary series of events.

There isn’t much of the Second Amendment left in Massachusetts, and the actions of local, state and federal authorities almost certainly violated the spirit and sentiment of the Third. In entering homes without permission, they essentially suspended the Fourth. But they did find their man. And he was arrested without any further loss of life. Bostonians cheered police after the arrest, and the city still overwhelmingly supports the police response. One poll showed 86 percent of the city in support of how police handled the incident, and journalist Garrett Quinn recently reported that he couldn’t find a single person in the city who believed the police overreacted.

But of course there are some rights that can’t be voted away. If tomorrow 86 percent of Boston voted to permanently suspend the Fourth Amendment for the other 14 percent of the city’s residents, few serious people would argue that those poll results are an argument for doing so. (The hypothetical isn’t all that farfetched. A number of polls over the years have shown that the much of the Bill of Rights would lose if put to a popular vote.)

Police actions like those in Boston also tend to have a self-reinforcing effect on public opinion. A heavy police presence to many implies a serious threat, whether or not such a threat actually exists. That tends to sow fear, which in turn makes the public grateful for the police presence. None of which speaks to the legitimacy of the police action itself. That Tsarnaev was arrested in Boston with no further loss of life is certainly a mark in favor of the police and public officials. But it says little about the legitimacy of the police actions leading up to his arrest. It tells us only that the local, state and federal governments used enough force to apprehend him. It doesn’t speak to whether they used too much.

This debate matters because, as the historian Robert Higgs hasfastidiously documented over the years, in times of crisis the government tends to cite the urgency of the situation and the need to preserve public safety to justify the suspension and erosion of civil liberties, the ever-increasing use of more and more force, and the need to shield itself from transparency and accountability. The problem is that when the crisis is over, things rarely go back to the way they were before it began. If we don’t ask questions, demand accountability and require public officials to explain their actions, this “ratchet effect” will continue to expand the scope and reach of the use of force, with an ever-increasing suppression of civil liberties.

There’s also a strong argument to be made that if the aim of the Tsarnaev brothers was to propagate terror, shutting down the city of Boston and subjecting portions of the city to what was effectively martial law played right into their hands. At the very least, it showed a potential future terrorist that with a few pressure cookers and some gunpowder, he can shut down an entire city and inflict an aggregate loss of of hundreds of millions of dollars.

As others have pointed out, numerous western cities have dealt with situations in recent history that were similar to those in Boston without shutting down the city or bringing in small armies to patrol the streets. The Washington, D.C. area continued to function for weeks during the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002. London continued to operate after the 2005 subway attacks. Dozens of cities have waited out suspected serial killers. Atlanta didn’t go into lockdown after the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. San Diego didn’t overreact after a series of pipe bombs went off in a federal courthouse in 2008. In fact, The Atlantic reports that Boston represents the largest lockdown of an urban area in America since the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles.

The Watts riots also provide a good example of how an extraordinary crisis can inspire an extraordinary government reaction that eventually becomes routine. The LAPD official in charge of the city’s response to the riots was a young inspector named Daryl Gates. The experience so rattled him that he came up with an idea of assembling an elite, paramilitary police team for the sole purpose of reacting to and putting down such uprising. The concept behind Gates’ “SWAT team” was that the best way to defuse a riot, active shooter or other violent incident was to deploy precise, specialized and overwhelming force.

In fact, the first nationally-televised SWAT raid — on the Symbionese Liberation Army holdout in 1973 — bore quite a bit of resemblance to the situation last month in Boston. The SLA was a domestic terror group. They had already shot up a sporting goods store, robbed a few banks, killed a high school principal and had plans for more shootings, bombings and general mayhem. They were also on the run in Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until the FBI and LAPD could pinpoint the SLA members in a single home that police then evacuated the block, set up a perimeter and eventually deployed the SWAT team.

But that raid also popularized the SWAT team. The idea quickly proliferated, and by the end of the 1970s, nearly every city in the country had at least one. But by the mid-1980s, these teams were used much more frequently. Driven by political rhetoric that described the threat posed by illicit drugs as everything from a plague to a threat to national security, the violent tactics once reserved for hostage-takers and domestic terrorists were being used to break into the homes of suspected drug offenders. Today, SWAT teams are deployed 100-150 times per day in America, and the overwhelming majority of those raids are to serve search warrants on people suspected of consensual drug crimes. (They’re also used to raid poker games and medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as for regulatory inspections.)

Imagine you’re a public official reacting to what happened in Boston. The marathon bombing has been all over the news. The city is terrified. Everyone is watching. At one time, waiting until you could isolate your suspect to a single house, or even a few blocks, before sending in a paramilitary police team was seen as an appropriate way to handle this sort of situation — a way of using enough force to confront the threat while doing the minimum amount of damage to civil liberties. But that sort of force is now used routinely and against people who commit unspectacular, not-at-all unusual crimes. It may be effective. It may be proven. But it’s a now-unspectacular response to an unquestionably spectacular event, and thus risks appearing inadequate. For a politician, there’s no worse popular perception of a crisis-performance than one that is seen as inadequate. Sending nine thousand law enforcement officers and National Guardsmen in pursuit of a single suspect — no would would dare call that inadequate.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that there was nothing untoward, unconstitutional or heavy-handed about the police response in Boston, or in Watertown specifically. Perhaps this was an exceptional event, one worthy of one of the largest police responses in American history. If that is indeed the case, we need to establish some fire lines, or else risk allowing the exceptional to become routine. If Boston is going to become a precedent, it needs to be a precedent for future Bostons and only for future Bostons, so we aren’t locking down entire towns or cities every time a high school kid uses a glass jar and some Draino to blow up a few mailboxes. (For an example of how the “shut it down” reaction is catching on, see New York City this week, where city officials shut down the subway for an hour to catch a man suspected of stealing necklaces.)

So what exactly made Boston different from the D.C. sniper attacks or the bombing in Olympic Park? It wasn’t the body count. It wasn’t that the suspects were especially well-armed. They appear to have had one gun between them and made bombs from supplies that can all be obtained legally. It doesn’t appear that they were any more vicious, indiscriminate or bloodthirsty than prior fugitive bombers or mass shooters. (Which isn’t to say they weren’t all of those things — only that there’s little evidence they were worse than killers other cities have dealt with differently.)

Were the heavy-handed door-to-door searches and lockdown in Watertown justified by the belief that Tsarnaev was holed up in that particular neighborhood? Are we okay with the tactics because they were geographically limited and only lasted for about a day? What if Tsanaev hadn’t been found for another week? How large a section of a city are we comfortable locking down in such a manner, and for how long a period of time?

It seems that the primary reason for the heavy-handed response was heightened fear and outrage, much of which was driven by the high-profile nature of the attacks. We’re of course more likely than ever to be carrying portable cameras and video recorders on our cell phones, but the bombing was staged at a time when bystanders were particularly likely to have those cameras running — as friends and relatives were crossing the finishing line of the country’s most prestigious marathon. That means the entire country saw photos of the bombs going off seconds after their detonation. Within minutes we had video. Within hours we saw images of limbless bodies, blood-soaked sidewalks and heroic cops, firemen and bystanders. We were angry and heart-broken, and I’d imagine for those living in Boston, wary and fearful of what could be coming next.

If the lockdown and police presence was a reaction to the high-profile nature of the attacks and nationwide revulsion, it means the police response was the product of fear — fear from the attacks and fear of the unknown. We can then draw two conclusions here. First, it means the police response was not the result of a careful evaluation of the threat, balanced with a healthy respect for civil liberties. Second, it’s now a road map for would-be terrorists: If you want to instill the maximum amount of fear and terror, if you want to attack the heart of what makes a free society free, stage your attacks on high-profile events and at a time and place when people are most likely to be filming one another.

The common response to critics of the response in Boston is that it’s all hindsight — Monday morning quarterbacking that fails to take into consideration the difficult position police and public officials faced in the hours and days after the bombing. On the first point they’re right — of course it’s hindsight. That’s really the only way we can evaluate any response to an event like this one.

There are a couple ways to address the second point. First, if a law enforcement officer or public official egregiously violated someone’s civil rights, they should be held accountable. The volatile circumstances at the time can perhaps, in some cases, be an ameliorating factor, but it can’t be an excuse for recklessness or extreme negligence. Because, again, if it’s allowed as an excuse, we risk it becoming a precedent. It’s unfathomable, for example, that there has been no real discipline for the police officers in Los Angeles who shot up a newspaper delivery truck — and the two women inside — because they mistook it for the truck alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner was reported to have been driving.

The volatility and danger of a fugitive on the loose doesn’t excuse spraying bullets at a truck occupied by two innocent women (and, apparently, at the houses, trees and neighborhood around them). In Boston, Dhokar Tsarnaev was initially reported to have fired at police officers from inside the boat where he had taken refuge. That brought a barrage of gunfire from police in response. But we now know that Tsarnaev was unarmed. You needn’t have any sympathy for Tsarnaev to be concerned and to want answers for why the police mistakenly opened fire an unarmed man. What if it hadn’t been Tsarnaev?

But it’s also worth noting that a more general critique of the police and political reaction to Boston isn’t necessarily a condemnation of the people in charge, even if we conclude that they made some mistakes. The public officials in Boston were operating under unimaginably stressful conditions. To revisit those decisions after the fact isn’t a judgment on any particular official’s character, it’s an attempt to learn from the experience. We could, for example, determine that the “stay-in” order was an overreaction to be avoided in the future while still understanding the thinking behind the decision to issue it.

But that those decisions made in Boston were made under duress is precisely why we need to revisit them. To say the decisions made in Boston should be off-limits for criticism because of the urgency and fear of the moment is to let urgency and fear drive our reaction to these events — and therefore drive our policy going forward. If Boston should be a precedent, it should be a narrowly-defined precedent that addresses what made Boston an exceptional situation. But it seems probable that not every decision made that awful week in April was the correct one — that from the executive level down to the cops going door to door, at least a few decisions made by some people amount to an excessive or unnecessary use of force. It’s important that those decisions be identified, too, so that cops and political leaders in the future have better guidelines as to what is and isn’t appropriate.

When terrorists attack free societies in an effort to destroy them, the very freedom and openness those societies afford — and that the terrorists are trying to destroy — can often be an ally in their efforts. That’s certainly what happened here. This was a soft target. It’s of course important that we apprehend and punish such people. But in our efforts to prevent them from destroying our freedom and openness, we need to be just as vigilant in making sure we aren’t doing their work for them.

Radley Balko is author of the forthcoming book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Departments.

 

 

 

 

Boston Bomber to be buried at Arlington

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This is from Joe For America.

If she was dishonorably discharged doesn’t that she is

not eligible for Arlington burial.

This woman is bat s**t crazy.

I have an idea shoot her and feed them both to the hogs.

On the other hand it would be cruelty to animals.

 

If Julie Frein has anything to say about it…

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, aka: The Islamic jihadist scumbag, aka: the dead Boston Bomber will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery if one US Air Force Veteran has her way.

Yes, you heard that right. The murdering, older brother who killed three and maimed hundreds more innocent people at the Boston Marathon, including an eight-year-old blown to bits has been offered a National Cemetery burial plot by a USAF veteran named Julie Frein. What?

You heard right – Julie Frein served two years of a four-year commitment some time ago and was discharged honorably. Well, something went very, very wrong because this biat-shiite crazy woman has made a teary-eyed request to give her burial plot bequeathed to her by America to her fellow biat-shiite crazy traveler Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Sure, he’s an extremist killer, but that’s cool with Julie Frein, I guess. She just “wants the hate to stop…” I also guess she wasn’t paying attention when it was reported that this little fartknocker from Chechnya would have continued killing in Times Square and anywhere else he could, had he not been thwarted by Boston Authorities and subsequently ran over by his little brother accomplis.

We have a military which is Constitutionally compelled for one reason – to protect our country from foreigners who want us gone. I know there’s securing energy supplies, trade routes and keeping the free market rocking for all of us, but the bottom line is our military is for blowing up stuff and killing people.

So what was Julie Fein doing in the military in the first place? I’ll tell you: It’s because of the social experiment the Armed Forces has had to endure. I for one am glad she’s no longer in the Armed Forces, but this is proof she should be put in a rubber room.

I can understand, back in the day honoring a worthy opponent. What I don’t understand and will never understand is honoring a scumbag Islamic Terrorist. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is hated and reviled by all Americans – especially this American – and just the suggestion that he receive an honorable burial plot anywhere is complete lunacy. Unless you’re a leftist or Chris Matthews. But I repeat myself.

Let’s be honest, this is a Barack Obama wet dream. There must be a chill going up the leg of The President at the prospect that this Muslim extremist, this Islamic Terrorist, this Jihadist women and children killer in the name of Allah could be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

For a man who cannot even say the words in public, an America-hating terrorist buried at the most hallowed ground in our country must be the things that Hope & Change are made of.

 

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