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The Tree of Liberty's Getting Thirsty

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Chuck Klosterman on revolution :

I've started wondering what would have to happen before the American populace would try to overthrow its own government, and how such a coup would play itself out. My conclusions are that a) nothing could make this happen, and b) no one would know what to do if it somehow did. The country is too large, its social systems are too complex, and its people are too complacent, too reasonable, and too confused. I've decided that the U. S. government is (for lack of a better, preexisting term) "unoverthrowable."

Klosterman's amusing piece dissects the lack of will, interest or practicality of armed revolution. But also, there's this:

But—just for the sake of argument—let's assume this man still wants to push the envelope. Let's assume this patriot is beyond outraged. Maybe he just rented The Bourne Supremacy, and maybe he thinks the time for blogging has passed. Maybe he's ready to make some really bad choices for some really ethical principles. Maybe Neil Young's "Revolution Blues" comes on his iTunes, so he loads the .30-30 he just bought at Wal-Mart and walks into the street. What now? My aforementioned question remains unresolved: Whom, exactly, is this man supposed to shoot? A cop? The mayor of Boise? A FEMA employee? Whom would he be revolting against? Is it even possible for the modern man to know?

NEXT: Selective Outrage

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  1. Whom, exactly, is this man supposed to shoot? A cop? The mayor of Boise? A FEMA employee? Whom would he be revolting against? Is it even possible for the modern man to know?

    Don’t guys like this target presidents, blow up government office buildings or go on shooting rampages that end with their own deaths?

    Anyone with that much rage will find a target. Anyone who wants a revolt can find folks to hang with. Just ask the Montana Freemen.

  2. I’d start with any asshole that has a giant, inflatable Christmas decoration on their front lawn.

    Christ I hate those things.

  3. Strangely enough, I have to agree. Revolution against a modern nation-state is nearly impossible, which is why I think we’re in for another long, dark time for a few hundred years. Lucky for me, I happen to live in a time and place where the Enlightenment hasn’t quite fizzled out yet.

  4. I think the fall of the former Soviet Union is the model. There are undoubtedly more tax accountants than law enforcement employees in the US. Big corporations pay corporate taxes often more than twice a week. A concerted effort to withhold or divert tax payments would suffocate the machine without a rifle shot being fired.

  5. It is sad that the law has developed such that states cannot secede.

    If they could, this would make things better in a way Tommy Jefferson and Pat Henry and them would have liked in so far as some of the issues Klosterman is raising here.

  6. Whom, exactly, is this man supposed to shoot?

    I wonder if that’s a deliberate Steinbeck reference.

  7. I think there’s perhaps a false dilemma here. One might not need to overthrow the entire government to see certain changes implemented. Let’s say, for example, that our hypothetical revolutionary really hated agricultural protectionism. How many of the fairly few politicians responsible for keeping these in place would he and his ‘militia’ have to shoot to get rid of these? Or instead, how many lobbyists would he have to shoot to scare people away from petitioning those politicians for these?

  8. First you have to work yourself into a frenzy of imagined oppression, and then the targets will become clear.

  9. There isn’t going to be a revolution because our government and society adapt to address the concerns of any significant slice of the population that might be motivated to revolt. Sometimes it take a lot of pushing, but look at the civil rights “revolution” from 1950-1970 – and that was against the incredibly entrenched legal and cultural racism of the Old South, at a time that its practitioners were an important segment of the long-dominant Democratic governing coalition.

    AU, the corporations large and prosperous enough to pay income taxes twice per week know where their bread is buttered, and are the last segment of our society that would ever revolt against the government.

  10. Obviously, this man has never read the book nor seen the movie “Fight Club”.

    Seriously though, all you need is a disenchanted middle class and enough motivation to get a revolution going. Fortunately for our system of government, there’s enough give and take in our two party system to keep the middle class from becoming too disgruntled.

  11. Whom, exactly, is this man supposed to shoot?

    I wonder if that’s a deliberate Steinbeck reference.

    Is Klosterman correctly using “whom” here?

    (Sincere question)

  12. Violent revolution is not the answer.

    But nonviolent revolution just might be.

  13. Today a man would be labeled a terrorist and then covertly shipped off to some country where the local authorities can beat the right answers into his head… I mean, “ask” him a few questions. No revolution for you.

    I don’t even know if it could be done with dollars because they would just seize whatever they wanted. Heck, just the magic “T” word around enough and it would be stunning how easily the banks will comply. Homeboy Security would simply say “we suspect [corporation] of aiding terrorists, freeze their accounts.” How long does a corporation run with no dollars? I’ll wager less time than the man taking the money.

  14. If violence is your preferred flavor, you blow up the IRS.

    If non-violence, you convince the rest of the country to join you in not paying the Danegeld.

    “With no money, the government could do nothing but talk.”

  15. “I’ve decided that the U. S. government is (for lack of a better, preexisting term) “unoverthrowable.”

    Considering that fact that coups and revolutions in democratic countries almost always result in dictatorships or worse, isn’t that a good thing? Only a real moron who has no idea how the world actually works could sit around this country and think “gee isn’t it too bad we can’t have a coup or a revolution?”

  16. In Unintended Consequences, John Ross^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ Henry Bowman walks across water to save us all.

    Everybody in the movement was supposed to shoot one, and only one, government official — usually a BATF or FBI agent.

    Because 1/4 to 1/3 of murders don’t even result in a suspect, much less an arrest, the individual risk was small; especially if the killer was careful.

    Given the large number of gun owners in this country, that’s a lot of dead government officials; even when only a tiny fraction participate.

    Of course, in this fantasy world, average people are so outraged by what happened at Waco that they refuse to cooperate when the children of a BATF agent are murdered:

    August 2

    “They’re getting grim. San Antonio, Texas. Somebody set fire to an ATF agent’s house at 2:00 this morning. Obvious arson job. Accelerants all over the front of the house, especially the front door. When the firemen got there, they find the whole family in their pajamas, in the back yard. The agent, his wife, and three kids. All dead. Each one shot at least three times, and all of them once behind the right ear.”

    “Yeah.” The agent looked away from Alex for an instant, then turned back to face him. “Guys from the San Antone office questioned four sets of neighbors.”

    “And?”

    “And nobody knows nothin’ about nothin’. One old guy with a walker came to the door, told the San Antonio SAC he wasn’t about to talk to him, and to get a warrant if he wanted to come inside. The wife’s behind the old guy, and she’s sitting in a wheelchair, so the SAC asks her for a statement. Did she hear anything, see anything out the window? She says, ‘You want a statement? Okay, Mister FBI man. People who play with fire sometimes get burned.’ Then she laughs and shuts the door in his face.” The agent took a deep breath. “Sir, cooperation was low before that tape got aired, but now it’s nonexistent.”

    Right. This explains why Timothy McVeigh is a pop-culture hero today. Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

    For a more plausible take on how the media would be manipulated, read Matt Bracken’s Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

    As for revolution in this country: The Romans had bread-and-circuses to keep the population distracted. We have beer-and-football.

    “Yeah, what the government did to Richard Paey was pretty bad. Ooh look, the Cowboys game is starting.”

  17. I am not sure what exactly is supposed to set of the desire in enough people for a revolution … is there anything that could? I rather doubt it.

    But assuming that enough people felt as I do that the government was something to be opposed in a general sense … rather than taking up arms is it not more likely that we would simply disengage? Move to the hills, stop paying taxes, filling out forms, carrying ID and simply live life outside of the construct within which the gov’t has a say? If enough people decided to do so, then we could create our own anarchic society and if ENOUGH decided to do so, the gov’t would simply wither away from irrelevance.

    Of course that ain’t gonna happen. I bet I couldn’t even get 10% of posters here to join me.

  18. I suppose that large groups of people refusing to pay taxes could work to starve the beast and force change nonviolently. The trouble is when the government comes to foreclose and seize your property, you have to hope that the police or army views you as a fellow citizen and human being rather than as an enemy or traitor. Good luck with that.

  19. By the by, that McVeigh quote above wasn’t me. Guh. I can guess who it probably was, though, given his history of terrorist quoting on other libertarian websites.

  20. Michael: Burning the UN Flag: Now there is a flag even TWC could smile while torching.

    No Revolution? And all this time I was pretty sure that I’d be on the wrong side of the barricades when the Night of the Long Knives comes.

  21. If there was a revolution I can assure you that when it was done things would be worse, not better. For the very reasons Klosterman cites.

  22. Most people are happy and generally are not bothered by the government. As long as the government only picks on small outcast minorities, people are not going to lay down their lives to overthrow. Futher, most people are patriotic, a very foreign concept to a lot of our urban elite. The people in this country who actually own guns and have the balls to really start a revolution are the patriotic ones. I am sorry but the pencil knecked dweeps and dirty hippies hanging out in coffee shops “talking about a revolution man” are not exactly the stuff that a real revolution is made of. The day the government does something to piss off the great masses in middle America like seriously banning religion or confiscating guns or having a real confiscitory form of socialism, is the day there will be a revolution. A pretty unlikly scenerio.

  23. …If you think about it for a second, the ‘who do you shoot first’ thing is probably the biggest speedbump to the whole thing. It’s tough to start leading people you know to the guillotine/gallows/portable adobe wall, and we ‘know’ – in the sense that we have more access to our government’s leaders than any other people in history – just about everybody we’d need to take out.
    Let me try to explain. In Revolutionary France, MAYBE ten percent of the population had ever even seen the King, much less heard his voice. In the pre-Revolution America, the number of people who had ever seen the King could probably be numbered in the few hundreds out of about 2.5 million. On the other hand, you or I probably know at LEAST one person who’s seen POTUS In Person (or as in my case, met him – Bush 41). You can write a letter or email to the President and you’re likely to get an answer, albeit a canned reply – and as you go down the chain to the state, county, and local governments, the liklihood grows considerably that you know, have met with, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with somebody in that chain. And human nature being what it is, you know that the other guys in the Department of Redundancy Department might be real a*sholes, but Fred next door who works for them is a pretty decent guy.
    The bottom line is that you put a population of 300 million people together and between them, they’re going to have that attitude about enough of the Government that killing somebody isn’t going to be much of an option.
    Hoping all that came out more or less coherently.

  24. Joe makes a valid point that big corporations are not likely to be a party to the revolution. But I suggested tax accountants, not their employer corporations. Suppose for the plot in this novel, a bunch of tax accountants, agree on a specific date to divert tax payments to themselves, and then hide out long enough for LEOs not to get paid.

    I also agree with Marty Stu that television, not religion, is the opiate of the masses. I suspect that the government has a never-been-aired Jerry Seinfeld that will be put on the airwaves at the start of any proposed revolution.

    Garth, what you propose is named Galt’s Gulch.

  25. By the by, that McVeigh quote above wasn’t me. Guh. I can guess who it probably was, though, given his history of terrorist quoting on other libertarian websites.

    wasn’t me, timbo. That little dust up was nice proof of some of the things Klosterman is arguing here, tho: don’t you think?

  26. Well if my city was flooded,and I was trying to cross the bridge on a public highway to a neighboring dry city-say Gretna LA, and the local gendarmes threatened to kill me if I tried and did not return immediately,I know exactly who I would shoot.

  27. I’m probably butchering this quote and I don’t whom to attribute it to.

    “Every form of government works on a full stomach.”

    Meaning people will put up with even the most oppressive regimes as long as the majority of the population’s basic needs are fulfilled. So, as long as we have our PS3s and overstocked megamarts the assault rifles will stay stashed in the closet.

  28. Futher, most people are patriotic, a very foreign concept to a lot of our urban elite.

    Seriously, John, have you ever even been to a city? Quotes like this make me suspect not, or at least suspect you didn’t actually talk to anybody there.

  29. “Seriously, John, have you ever even been to a city? Quotes like this make me suspect not, or at least suspect you didn’t actually talk to anybody there.”

    Brian. I was being flipant and I have lived most of my life in cities in most parts of the country. Frankly, I think that open patriotism is much more accepted outside of the coasts than it is in the big coastal cities, at least among the well off.

  30. AU,

    Tax accountants aren’t aggreived by tax laws. They are is business because of tax laws.

  31. But assuming that enough people felt as I do that the government was something to be opposed in a general sense … rather than taking up arms is it not more likely that we would simply disengage? Move to the hills, stop paying taxes, filling out forms, carrying ID and simply live life outside of the construct within which the gov’t has a say? If enough people decided to do so, then we could create our own anarchic society and if ENOUGH decided to do so, the gov’t would simply wither away from irrelevance.
    Of course that ain’t gonna happen. I bet I couldn’t even get 10% of posters here to join me.

    Do you have a hidden valley in Colorado?

  32. Sam Franklin,

    Is Klosterman correctly using “whom” here?

    I believe so, because, changing it to a declarative sentence from of an interrogative one, yields,

    “This man is supposed to shoot who(m).”

    Then it’s obviously the object form (whom) that’s required.

  33. John: Open patriotism, if by that you mean flag-flying and talking about how much you love the USA.

    But loving the USA quietly, that’s a different story. I’ll admit the coasts have a lot of the wacky America-hating left. However, NYC at least is full of immigrants and the children of immigrants, who love the USA as much as anyone from the Heartland, because it’s worlds better than what they or their parents left and always will be, if we keep it that way. Damn straight my family (liberals all, except for me) loves the USA, even if we’ve got maybe one American flag among us, it’s more than 47 years old (48 stars), and we never fly it.

  34. The American Revolution would have been impossible if the colonists had access to high-speed internet and web pronography in the home.

  35. Matt J had it right. Revolutions don’t start until people are desperate.

    It will take more than a depression to bring about revolution in the US. Even then, I think it would be socialist or fundamentalist, not libertarian, in nature.

    A slow slide into stagnation leading to a prolonged dark age, with progressively tighter government restrictions is a more realistic scenario.

  36. “There isn’t going to be a revolution because our government and society adapt to address the concerns of any significant slice of the population that might be motivated to revolt.”

    I believe this is referred to as “buying them off.”

    Imagine this: hundreds of thousands of Americans surround the White House, beating pots and pans (like the Argentines).

    Stop laughing.

  37. The problem with most revolutions is that the idiots that kill the jackasses in power don’t usually think beyond that point.

  38. Apparently I’m the only one here to disagree with Klosterman. The US Gov’t is a construct of men, run by men, and thus all too fragile and easy to tip over.

    I think modern communications technology and the availibility of volitile chemicals makes the revolution more feasible than ever. For all its technological and strategic might, the US military can’t even subdue a tiny desert shithole. Imagine the logistics of trying to subdue an organized resistance over as broad an area as the US. The more they clamped down to keep the resistance from getting together, the more desparate and agitated the average citizery would become.

    As for after the revolution, it depends on what kind of system they set up, and what kind of boundaries they set for themselves. It worked right at least once in history, why not again?

    Having posted that, I’d like to say “hi” to all my new friends at the FBI monitoring center.

  39. I would have to agree with Guy. I live in Florida, and you’d be surprised how quickly law and order can break down. After something as simple as a natural disaster, like a hurricane, the police are nowhere to be found. You have to literally protect your own lives and property with arms. In 2004, after hurricane Jeanne, my wife and I had to stand guard over our home because roving gangs were targeting evacuated areas for looting and burning.

  40. I think a more interesting question would be how people would react if they somehow found out the government knew about, or even helped with, 9/11. I am not saying that happened, but imagine for a second that it did. As a US citizen, how would you react? How would your neighbors?

  41. Joe is exactly right– so long as we remain a constitutional republic, those in power will selfishly avoid pissing off too large a portion of their constituency.

    The only scenario I can imagine that would provoke a violent uprising of the masses would actually be a counter revolution (or more accurately, a counter-coup); say, if someone in government managed to cancel an election and somehow remain in power. People will revolt to achieve a representative government– once that government is in place, they will necessarily have other avenues for redressing greivances.

    The author of the Esquire piece imagines people revolting if they learned Bush was behind 9/11. But that’s ridiculous– if such indisputable evidence existed, Bush wouldn’t remain a free man long enough to spark a revolution. Representatives would be climbing over each other to declare to their constituents that they voted to impeach and imprison the bastard.

    Now if Bush refused to go quietly, that’d be another story. But he’d have to have enough of the executive branch on his side in order to pull it off– something which in my mind is at least as unlikely as the popular uprising that would surely follow. (Also, in such a case, there would be no question of whom to shoot).

  42. Hey,

    Where’s Terry? This thread is right up his alley.

    Nick

  43. “Having posted that, I’d like to say “hi” to all my new friends at the FBI monitoring center.”

    I now have an image of gun-toting, badge-waving, server squirrels burned into my brain.

  44. Back atcha, brianchurch. The breakdown of the constitutional order, at a high level of magnitude, could bring Americand out into the streets.

    And no, the “Constitution in Exile” argument isn’t what I’m tallking about.

  45. I don’t think this guy has any idea what he’s talking about. Brianchurch has it exactly right. A revolution would probably start as a coup attempt followed by a civil war (revolution/counter revolution). It has happened in a lot of countries. It almost happened here when Nixon debated rolling the tanks to prevent his impeachment (apocryphal?). Revolutions rarely (if ever) start with the man on the street.

  46. The Chevy heartland may CLAIM to be more patriotic. You might believe them if you think patriotism is flag waving and talk about how much you love the country.
    But run these words by the heartland stalwarts; We are all created equal, and all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    Watch them blanch. They know what these words mean, an end to the stupid drug war and the hateful instituionalized bigotry against gays.
    I’ll take the true Yankee patriot any day over the benighted narrow vision of our great country that passes for “patriotism” in the heartland.

  47. I have to go with Joe, here, as well as ask a general “WTF?”

    Revolutions don’t happen at the whims of a few cranks against a population that’s largely OK with the general status quo, which is exactly what we have in this country. People may bitch about the government when it comes up, but there’s no significant number of them burning in anger about anything fundamental that it does – just policies. They may think their taxes are too high, but they don’t mind taxation, even directly from the federal government. They may feel like some people get a raw deal with drug sentences, but they don’t mind prohibition. They might have soured on the Iraq war, but they don’t mind intervention.

    The would-be revolutionary might as well start gunning for registered voters as follow any of the master plans here.

  48. “”The American Revolution would have been impossible if the colonists had access to high-speed internet and web pronography in the home.””

    That is funny.

    The American Revolution would have been impossible if the best weapon they had was a gun and the best weapon the British had was F-16s with GPS guided bombs.

    With todays weapons gap between government and citizen, our attempt would be as successful as the Warsaw Getto was against the Nazis.

    If this government goes sour, your best option is to run. That’s what the Jews that survived the Nazis did.

    That’s one of the reasons I’m against the border fence. The fence to keep others out eventually becomes the fence to keep you in.

    Hole up in your house and fight the government, you will never hear the jet that drops the bomb.

  49. man, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: chuck klosterman is a bottle of puke.

  50. TrickyVic,

    There was a weapons gaps between the maquis and the Nazis occupying France, but the former managed to keep the latter off balance until the liberation.

    The problem with all that technology is the upkeep. Planes need towers, fuel, pilots, ammo, etc. Even satellites need ground-based transcievers.

    All a citizen-sniper needs is a clean rifle and a little patience.

  51. Hole up in your house and fight the government, you will never hear the jet that drops the bomb.

    The government simply couldn’t employ aerial bombing against a domestic rebellion, at least not in urban areas. It would be self-defeating. Collateral damage just recruits more guerrillas, as we see on a daily basis in Iraq and Palestine. This is aside from the question of whether you could get an American pilot to drop that JDAM on Greenbow, Alabama in the first place. I suppose they could bring in foreign fighter-bomber pilots on work visas, to take those “jobs Americans refuse to do”. 😉

    And as for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, keep in mind that a handful of half-starved, untrained civillians with a few stolen small arms made complete asses out of the Nazis, and held out longer than the entire French army.

  52. Is Klosterman correctly using “whom” here?

    No, because “whom” isn’t a real word.

    In all seriousness, every construction with “whom” in that piece seems jarringly out of place to me.

  53. Luke,

    “handful of half-starved, untrained civillians with a few stolen small arms made complete asses out of the Nazis”

    Pardon me, but Hogan’s Heroes were hardly ‘untrained civilians’.

  54. “This is aside from the question of whether you could get an American pilot to drop that JDAM on Greenbow, Alabama in the first place.”

    Good point. A big part of it would be whether or not that pilot considers himself an “American” or not. If regional identities or movements spring up that sap the idea of a unified America (and we’re seeing the beginnings of quite a few of them, I fear), then someone who feels as though the residents of Alabama are members of another country- or even another species- would probably have no problems dropping that JDAM. I know plenty of people who already think the former (typical coastal socialists)- and a few who seem headed for the latter (neo-nazis).

    Anyway, I don’t think a citizens vs. the government rebellion would ever happen in the U.S. A secessionist movement, with portions of the millitary defecting, on the other hand, could, if things became sufficiently grim (i.e., an economic collapse on the level of the 1930’s depression, combined with a large disgruntled population that wants self-governance- Mexicans in Azatlan, a Northwestern Secessionist alliance, Southerners sick of immigrants and northerners telling them what to do- etc.)

    If things really go south here, it could certainly happen.

  55. Rather, I should say, every “whom” in the piece is correct according to pseudo-Latin textbook grammar, but each example sounds ridiculous in the informal style the piece uses.

  56. maybe he thinks the time for blogging has passed. Maybe he’s ready to make some really bad choices for some really ethical principles.

    There is only one option for such a man, as told in a tale from long ago…

    Think the time is right for palace revolution
    But where I live the game to play is compromise solution

    Now what can a poor boy do,
    Except to sing for a rock-n-roll band?
    ‘Cause in sleepy [DC] town
    There’s just no place for a street fighting man

  57. BladeDoc-

    The part about Nixon wanting to roll out the tanks is kind of semi-apocryphal: then SecDef James Sleschinger(sp?)did quietly use a backchannel to the JCS to let them know that not a single deployment order from the White House of any kind anywhere was to be obeyed unless it had the SecDef’s signature on it as well. The JCS all went along with it , so no problems. But OTOH, Sleschinger has been known as a very cool and calm sort – so there’s at least the possibility that he knew something nobody else did.

  58. “Mexicans in Azatlan, a Northwestern Secessionist alliance, Southerners sick of immigrants and northerners telling them what to do- etc.”

    So we’d end up with the revolutionary equivalent of the end of Reservoir Dogs.

  59. But it’s hard to imagine these weapons employed in any kind of popular uprising, even if a majority of American adults unilaterally agreed that such an event was necessary.

    I’m confused. Can a majority be unilateral? (Even if it can, the use of “unilateral” here is at least redundant.)

  60. Guy, your comment is true, and those are the places the rebellion would have to apply pressure. But that does not mean a rebellion will win. It just means life is miserable for everyone. The worlds greatest military has not beat the insurgency in Iraq nor has the insurgency defeated our military. In general, insurgencies don’t beat invaders, they play an endurance game until the invaders decide to leave.

    Our best hopes would be on, as Luke points out, Americans refusing to fire on Americans. But hey that happens to a lesser degree with a frequeny that has kept Radley busy. SWAT teams. If a SWAT team is so willing to kill a fellow American when they feel its right, don’t be so sure a fighter pilot wouldn’t do it either. Should I mention our own civil war? Americans were killing large amounts of Americans, destroying cities, and burning down houses. I believe, simply being an American will be irrelevent.

    Look at how nasty the red vs. blue ideology has become. O’reilly is calling for a “culture war”. I know that falls very short of this topic. But Americans can and will go against other Americans they don’t like.

    I wonder if Ann Coulter would gladly drop a bomb on Al Franken’s house?

    Man’s inhumainity against man has no boundries.

    Luke, I do remember hearing about new troops being asked about if they could fire on Americans. I think this was back in the ’90s. I can say for certain I was never asked that specific question but that was the early 80’s for me. But I was in a position a couple of times were firing on American’s protesting was a real possibility, we were ordered to if they crossed the line, or fence in this case.
    Thank god no one did.

  61. were?? ouch, sorry

  62. If the Tree of Liberty is getting thirsty, the question is, what to feed it? We’re kind of short on patriots these days, as so many of them have been killed in Iraq and Afganistan. We definitely have some spare tyrants, though.

  63. The science fiction writer Orson Scott Card just wrote a book called “Empire” that deals with a revolution in the US. I have only read the couple of sample chapters on his website.

  64. TrickyVic,

    Reminds me of an old underground political joke (was there any other kind?) from the Soviet Union:

    Q: What’s the definition of ‘Soviet ethnic unity’?

    A: When a Georgian, a Ukrainian and a Great Russian march off arm in arm, laughing and singing, on their way to beat the s–t out of Azerbaijan.

    Maybe sending the New Jersey Air National Guard to fly close air support against rebels in Alabama (and loyal pilots from Louisiana to rain down hell on troublemakers in Hoboken) would work. But I have my doubts.

    And as for the technology gap, I notice that our vast technical superiority, bombers, artillery, attack helicopters and AC-130 gunships hasn’t allowed the US armed forces to pacify Baghdad, so how would they do it in Boise?

    Also, for all the challenges they face, our forces over there don’t have to worry about blond-haired, blue eyed Iraqi insurgents, speaking perfect American English, donning US fatigues and infiltrating behind the lines…

  65. I wonder if Ann Coulter would gladly drop a bomb on Al Franken’s house?

    Only if Henry Rollins tells her to (link not safe for work).

    And would Michael Moore be willing to bomb a district that did vote for Bush?

  66. That’s a good one.

    “””Maybe sending the New Jersey Air National Guard to fly close air support against rebels in Alabama (and loyal pilots from Louisiana to rain down hell on troublemakers in Hoboken) would work. But I have my doubts. “””

    It’s happend before with lesser technology. But I have my doubts too. However, I can’t deny that it could happen again. The word “again” is the operative word.

    The tech gap is not just weapons. I live in NYC, cameras are going up everywhere. I’m guessing that if we continue our current efforts of citizen surveillance, the ability to track an individual from the time they leave home till they return is coming. A record of your entire movements will be stored, and reviewed by computer to detect movement patterns that match their terrorist profiles. It’s not here yet, and maybe the government will lose its will for Total Information Awareness.

    Who knows what will be? My guess is that government will always use technology we’ve never heard of to keep tabs on as many of us as they can. After all, the tech we use is almost always trickle down tech from the Department of Defense. What can I say, the founding fathers told me to be suspicious of the government.

  67. Kolsterman never read Lenin appparently. Any revolutionary knows that an uprising only requires a handful of pipe-smoking intellectuals with a warped will i.e., the Bolsheviks. Finding a dozen men with balls these days may be tricky, of course…Maybe between commercial breaks???

  68. “Luke, I do remember hearing about new troops being asked about if they could fire on Americans. I think this was back in the ’90s.”

    You’re talking about the Twenty-Nine Palms Combat Arms Survey. 1993.

  69. whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. – Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the administration of George W. Bush is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  70. I hope its a little upsetting to the people in charge that Klosterman brought up the subject in the first place, and that this item generated so many comments.

  71. cbs | December 14, 2006, 3:46pm
    whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Why do you hate America?

  72. Mike,

    Thanks for the info. Good stuff.

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