A Pack of Sheep, Not a Herd of Sheep: Vigilant Citizens Beat Back Incursion of Anti-Bush License Plates; Proud Informer Boasts, "I Have No Life and I Must Scream"

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A couple months ago I posted a story about a fellow in Iowa whose vanity plates said ITMFA, an obscure abridgement of either Impeach The Mother Fucker Already or, in environments were expurgation is advisable, Impeach The Miserable Failure Already. The state Department of Transportation received two complaints about his five-letter statement, and the subversive tags were recalled.

At the time I wrote:

[T]hat's the part of this story that bothers me. Not the fact that the state wants to squash the plate. That's annoying, and I suppose I'm against it, but it doesn't speak to any larger issue. It's the fact that there are people trolling through the highways, looking for messages that show insufficient respect for the president, and squealing to the authorities. Doesn't matter if the word "motherfucker" doesn't actually appear on the plates. Doesn't matter if it's an obscure abbreviation that will be impenetrable to anyone not already in on the joke. Do your part, Citizen! Make that call!

This morning I got an email from someone claiming to be one of the Red-State Guards who informed on the driver—and, apparently, on many other drivers as well. The message pointed me to a blog post he'd written about his little crusade. I suppose it might be an elaborate fake, but I suspect it's real; judge for yourself, and enjoy this peek into the hard-core Bush loyalist's mind.

His email also said that he is "now getting threats from the loons." That's the beauty of a conflict like this: Everyone gets to feed everyone else's persecution complexes.

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  1. I find it fascinating that people of this mind-set label anyone who does not approve of Bush as a “liberal” or a “democrat.” No nuances in their thought processes.

  2. I bet he would have really flipped if he’d been able to figure out the Flying Spaghetti Monster decal on the car in the second pic. That, and the Washington D.C. plate he shows is one of those novelty plates that you can get in a souvenir shop. That is, unless D.C. has changed the motto to “Taxation without Representation”.

  3. I hope this site’s a joke. Downright scary, the way this guy’s mind works. Has anybody ever read Vonnegut’s book “Mother Night?” That blog post is reminiscent of the “cuckoo clock in hell” description.

  4. Did the Red State Guards miss their calling in life to be meter-maids? What a bunch of Bitches.

  5. and enjoy this peek into the hard-core Bush loyalist’s mind.

    I can contemplate the void on my own, thanks.

  6. It’s just a shame that they don’t go to some REAL Red States. Then instead of having license plates revoked, they could actually have people jailed or killed, which is of course WAY more fun and gives authoritarians a much bigger hard-on.

  7. I find it amusing, in a throwing-rocks-at-cripples sort of way, that he describes his blog as a political correctness -free zone. Quite the free thinker, he is.

  8. Reminds me of a (much) more light hearted plate that a PHD candidate friend had in the City of Evil:

    IDSFA

    Translation in reverse below

    gnihtynA roF dnatS t’nseoD tI

    Amazing the difference two little letters can make.

  9. Red Guard, huh? During the Russian Civil War, the one which produced the Soviet Union, that was the name of the most devoted, most dedicated Communists-Bolsheviks. Now it is adopted by the extreme right-wingers. Interesting.

  10. David, the DC license plate is for real. FWIW, we’ve had these for a few years now:

    Taxation Without Representation

  11. Has anybody sent the H&R link to this guy yet? I, for one, would be fascinated to hear his analysis of such topics as immigration and national security…

  12. Yuri: “Red-State Guards” is my phrase, not theirs. I actually had China’s Cultural Revolution in mind when I wrote it, not the Russian Civil War.

  13. As I remember, from when the office had a subscription to _Sheep!_ magazine as a joke, the saying is “Three sheep equals one sheep.” (Maybe you need one more, I don’t remember.)

    Anyway the point was that sheep are difficult to control unless you have three or whatever the magic number was, and then they all move together pretty much.

    Three seems reasonable. Each sheep thinks to himself, “Hey, I’ll go with the bunch. Why stand out.”

    One sheep can be pretty formidable, if you’ve ever run into one in your back yard.

  14. thank you, mr. walker, for my “dear god what the fuck are they putting in the water” link of the day.

  15. D.C.’s plates now read “Taxation Without Representation”? I love it!

    …and this guy’s worried about ITMFA? Persecution complex indeed.

  16. Has anybody sent the H&R link to this guy yet? I, for one, would be fascinated to hear his analysis of such topics as immigration and national security…

    Dear, sweet Lord, no. Please tell me your comment was a joke. I like the low signal-to-noise ratio here. Let’s keep it that way, plz. From “that guy”‘s blog:

    It is also child abuse to subject your kids to this message. But they don’t even have the guts to admit to their kids what they are saying as they drive to Starbucks in their sandals and unwashed hair.

    Because only dirty hippies drink Starbucks…(?)…

    It’s been an early day for me. I need some coffeah >_

  17. It always amazesme how unconstitutional these self-proclaimed constitutional die-hards can be.

    My favorite bit…right at the end of his subhead:

    CEPAN@aol.com if you need a writer-talk radio host.

    Somebody needs to buzz him pretending to be a Michael Savage staffer and jerk his chain a little.

  18. Don’t sweat it smacky…a guy like that wouldn’t find a place like this very interesting. Too many actual nuerons firing.

    Although he doesn’t seem stupid. Just crazy.

    One errant post on the same thread as joe and he’s toast. randian would make objectivist mince meat out of him. jennifer would leave him quivering and sobbing into his NASCAR trucker’s cap.

  19. Although he doesn’t seem stupid.

    I beg to differ. Are we reading the same blog? I will concede “crazy”, though.

  20. certainly, smacky, one could question the intellectual power behind his rationale. But he seems to use complete sentences, appropriate grammar and punctuation and appears to possess the ability to handle publishing a blog.

    I think (perhaps erroneously) that he’s doing this himself. I assume that because his demeanor and level of civility suggest he does a lot of things by himself.

  21. “Let me out of here!

    I was JOKING!

    Don’t you people know a JOKE when you hear one?”

  22. P Brooks…relax man…we’re just funnin’ on it too.

  23. having worked in politics, PR, Nascar and Hollywood

    Lots of real-world experience there.

    Realize that this person has a website and a nationwide search going to block less than fifty license plates?

  24. But they don’t even have the guts to admit to their kids what they are saying as they drive to Starbucks in their sandals and unwashed hair.

    Unwashed hair? My God, they don’t even wash their hair?

  25. “Has anybody sent the H&R link to this guy yet?”

    From the post
    “This morning I got an email from someone claiming to be one of the Red-State Guards who informed on the driver — and, apparently, on many other drivers as well. The message pointed me to a blog post he’d written about his little crusade.”

    I think he knows about it already… I think he is a regular poster here…(Now, as in the classic movie, THE THING, everyone can suspect the poster next to him/her… how will you tell…how will you tell…)

  26. having worked in politics, PR, Nascar and Hollywood

    Lots of real-world experience there.

    Larry A,

    Sadly, I think that does pass for real-world experience these days throughout swaths of America. Not the most favorable swaths, of course…

    P Brooks,

    Just checking. My humor gauge (along with most other high-level thinking functions) doesn’t work well when I start my day too early.

  27. Madpad-
    pop culture reference:

    clue #1

    “Don’t you people know a joke when you hear one?”

    clue #2

    “My grandfather’s verk vas DOODOO!”

    clue #3

    “It’s FRONK-on-steen.”

    But thanks for the reassuring words. I promise, if our censorious pal finds his way to H&R, it won’t be because I sent him the map.

  28. Somebody get this man a prostitute. For the good of the nation. Or at the very least an enema.

  29. Or at the very least an enema.

    If the guys a total ass, how do you tell where to put the tube?

  30. Well, well, well… What will they think of next? Why aren’t there more links on Reason to people who are up in arms about contrails and refer to them as “chemtrails”?

    I’m not sure who is loonier – people who pay extra for vanity license plates or people who monitor them…

  31. That guy’s site has to be a joke. It just has to be.

  32. I’m not sure who is loonier – people who pay extra for vanity license plates or people who monitor them…

    I’m pretty sure it’s the people who monitor them. Of course I’ve only got this guy as a point of reference.

  33. The ITFMA guy is stupid, but pretty harmless.

    The guy who actually wastes his time to report these license plates, though, is not only fucking stupid, but his sense of what is important is completely out of whack.

  34. Let’s just say that the ITMFA movement got what it wanted. Wouldn’t Dead-Eye Dick be the President? Do the ITMFA people really want that? And, wouldn’t the anti-ITMFA crowd most likely be OK with DED running things for the next two years?
    I think the battery got hooked up backwards on this one.

  35. The whole site is a desperate cry for help.

    They are ALL lying to get the plates made and the DMV offices are becoming aware of it. I know this because I went on ALL 50 State DMV Web sites and looked up the ITMFA plate to see if it had been issued. I then called a few that issued the plates but that I had no picture of it. I was told numerous times that the DMV office would never have issued the plate if they had known what it meant. One office told me they were going to inform other State DMV departments about the plate. I had to tell her I beat them to it.

    Way to go buddy.

    I’m so glad this guy spends his time on the internet, emailing DMV’s, rather than going to his militia meetings.

  36. Violent K:

    “Let’s just say that the ITMFA movement got what it wanted. Wouldn’t Dead-Eye Dick be the President?”

    Don’t worry. With Cheney’s bum ticker, he probably wouldn’t get through the swearing in.

    I can see the book now “Thirty Seconds of Glory: The Dick Cheney Presidency.”

  37. But they don’t even have the guts to admit to their kids what they are saying as they drive to Starbucks in their sandals and unwashed hair.
    What a load of crap!! True leftists wouldn’t be caught dead at that capitalistic shithole named Starbucks. Only 100% free trade, organic, in house roasted coffee by Mom&Pop is good enough for real hippies dammit!

  38. They are ALL lying to get the plates made and the DMV offices are becoming aware of it. I know this because I went on ALL 50 State DMV Web sites and looked up the ITMFA plate to see if it had been issued.

    It just hit me, there are almost 200 million licensed drivers in in US at any given time. This guy is worried that 50 disapprove of George W. Bush. I wonder if he looked up ITCSA or other variations of the same thought.

  39. He’s also trying to stop Sesame Street from being brought to you by the letter F.

  40. kwix…it’s a good thing you’re not getting sucked in by massive sterotyping

  41. I wouldn’t be caught dead in Starbucks either, but only because I’m too cheap to pay $4 for a beverage.

    If you’re buying, though…

  42. Late to the thread, but here’s a plate I’m getting in my state, and may you get one too:

    B6U6S6H

    Enjoy!

  43. I don’t remember it on vanity plates. But I do seem to recall the ITMFA acronym was first applied to Bill Clinton.

    I wonder what the Matworld view of that would be?

  44. I’m almost certain it wasn’t. It was inspired by Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” column, and his tendency to tell people in bad relationships “DTMFA” (Dump The Motherfucker Already). One day somebody said, hey, Impeach the Motherfucker Already, and history was made.

  45. “I’m pretty sure it’s the people who monitor them. Of course I’ve only got this guy as a point of reference.” – madpad

    Yeah, but it doesn’t cost the guy anything other than wasting time (something he’s obviously got plenty of) to whine about this. Everyone has a hobby I suppose, and this one seems less harmless than say, working part-time for a political action committee (PAC).

    Then again, madpad and I are actually wasting our time discussing the comparative stupidity of people who track vanity license plates vs. those who pay for a vanity plate… Yawn…

    Aresen wins the funnies post award, tho:

    “Don’t worry. With Cheney’s bum ticker, he probably wouldn’t get through the swearing in.

    I can see the book now ‘Thirty Seconds of Glory: The Dick Cheney Presidency.'”

    Spewed water out of my nose when I read that!

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