History

Remembering Kent State

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Roderick Long with a brief but pointed reminder on the 40th anniversary of government agents shooting on and killing 4 students at Kent State University. "That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

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  1. NEVER FORGET this happened under a Democratically controlled congress.

  2. I am amazed that people who justifiably deplore Kent State are still willing to trust the government and give it yet more power.

    1. just need the right people. . . . . .

  3. “That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

    Kind of a simplistic and overwrought assessment of the situation.

    1. If you really don’t believe that all government authority and power comes from the muzzle of a gun, you are seriously good at deluding yourself.

      1. That makes no sense – the government is not the only ones with guns around here.

        1. Be patient.

        2. Sure it makes sense.

          I do things for two reasons:

          1. Because it is my inclination to do them that way.

          2. Because people scare me with threats of violence.

          But when I obey the law as the result of #1, you can’t really say that anyone has “power” over me – right? “Power” only comes into the equation when we’re talking about #2.

        3. How is the government having all of the guns necessary for government power to exist? They have more and better guns and most people are willing to obey most of the time and that is enough.
          The only reason it doesn’t seem like all government power comes from a gun is that most people won’t keep saying “no” for long enough for that to become apparent.
          Where do you think government power and authority comes from?

        4. Yeah, but they are the only ones with Abrams tanks, nucular warheads and F-22’s.

          1. You guys forget that we are the government. Most people don’t obey the law because they’re afraid of violent retribution – they obey it because they understand that laws are necessary for a functioning society.

            1. The fact that most people are willing to obey the law (for whatever reason) is irrelevant. The ultimate authority is still predicated on the threat of force. And we are not the government (I know I sure as fuck am not). Try maintaining control over your circumstances while saying “no” to a law you don’t think you should obey. If you try hard enough, you are going to get lit up.
              I would also be very surprised if there is anyone for whom there are not at least some laws which are obeyed only because of fear of retribution (backed up by the threat of deadly force).

            2. …we are the government

              Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

              1. The State, that is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly, also, it lies, and the lie that creeps from its mouth is this: “I, the State, am the People.”

                – Friedrich Nietzsche

            3. “We” are the government. How quaint.

              Dan, government is 535 self-important control freaks, 99% of whom deserve to be sent to local malls to work as janitors cleaning up the food courts – and even then, that’s too good for ’em.

            4. I’m sorry, did you just say “…we are the government.”??? Just want to be sure I heard you correctly.

            5. You might be the government, but I’m not. I’m some powerless nobody. But hey, go ahead and sign that and put it on record for when the revolution comes.

    2. But….simplistic and overwrought are the true marks of any widely read blogger. If we’re gonna actually think about these things, it will make it too time consuming to surf Hit & Run. You know, we don’t ALL work for the SEC. Gotta save some time for porn downloading.

    3. Alright Dan, hook me up. NG troops murder and wound unarmed students standing around some 100 yards away. The soldiers are never charged with anything.
      Please explain how the original assessment was simplistic and overwrought. Show your work.

      1. The soliders were brought to a grand jury (of citizens–kind of like Dan T pointed out) and raised a self-defense claim. The grand jury bought it.

        That is the citizenry for you. that’s its justice. that’s its morality.

  4. Students at Kent State are government agents.

  5. This is a great cautionary tales against the use of warning shots.

  6. I hold the cynical position that if National Guardsmen killing four college students isn’t enough to bring the government down, I don’t think anything will.

    We’re stuck with it–at this point just try to go unnoticed.

    1. Yeah, I can’t believe we didn’t totally scrap our society over four dead college students.

      1. Their blood is on your hands, you statist asswipe.

        1. He stated on another thread that Capitalism is the only system that produces losers. I’m sure he thinks these people got what they deserved. Fuck off and die painfully, you statist shit.

        2. Today is Ignore-A-Troll Tuesday.
          Deprive a troll of his sustenance.
          You’ll feel better about yourself!

          1. I know. We have had such a good day. The hammer had to fall sometime.

            1. I have noticed a fall-off. Coincidence, or is Tuesday also Get-Your-Syphilis-Shots Day?

      2. So precisely how high is your death threshold?

    2. The assasinations of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King; race riots; vietnam with napalm-girl and the execution of the viet cong officer; the kent state massacre; all by the time I was 13 . . . things are a few of the things that made me the cynical bastard that I am today.

      1. So speaketh King George.

        1. Dammit, that was aimed at John below.

          1. ? These are a few of my cynical things…?

            1. That was in my head

              1. You know, when you put your list to music, it’s not so bad.

                1. I put history to music and got a really catchy and annoying hit!

      2. I was three months old when JFK was shot – so I have an alibi.

        I told that to someone once… and they got upset. Democrats are still kinda touchy about that, I suppose.

    3. Hold it. First, the Guardsman were wrong. They protesters were throwing rocks at them and they felt threatened but they had no right to kill people. And their leaders were stupid for putting them in that situation. They should have brought out riot police with non lethal weapons. They should never brought out infantry with M1s.

      Heads should have rolled over it. But I don’t think that it quite justifies a violent revolution. And I think the harm of a violent revolution is a lot worse than what happened at Kent State.

      1. A whole bunch of people were pissed, but the vast majority of America looked up from their TV dinners and basically shrugged. That’s the part I’m cynical about. If after the litany of what kinnath pointed out wasn’t enough to explode off of the Ken State spark, I don’t know what will. Certainly not Obama’s redistributionist claptrap.

        1. Most people were pissed about the race riots, but it was at the government for not stopping them. I don’t see how the riots solved anything but bringing misery to millions. Worse still, if anything the government did too little to stop them out of racism rather than too much. I have family that was living out in LA during the 65 Watts riots and they tell me the city government’s response was pretty much to shut Watts off from the white neighborhoods and let them burn their own neighborhood down if they wanted to. That is pretty awful. But not awful in the way most people think the response was awful.

          1. “I don’t see how the riots solved anything but bringing misery to millions.”

            I got me a free TV!

        2. Looking at Life magazine was a form of Russian roulette for an 11-year-old boy. You might get lucky and see a picture of a naked hippy chick. But you were just as likely to see a naked vietnamese girl running down the street screaming in agony.

          1. Younger than you. My first bout of magazine horripilation was Jonestown. Images like this haunted me for a long time.

            1. I can remember watching Walter Cronkite to see how many soldiers died that day in Viet Nam. They usually had a tally for the day.

              I was only 6 when the MLK riots hit. I remember my mom explaining to me what a curfew was, as we drove quickly home.

              1. Choppers and body counts, that’s what made the evening news so special.

      2. Hold it. First, the King’s men were wrong. They protesters were throwing snowballs at them and they felt threatened but they had no right to kill people. And their leaders were stupid for putting them in that situation. They should have brought out riot police with non lethal weapons. They should never brought out regulars with flintlocks.

        Heads should have rolled over it. But I don’t think that it quite justifies a violent revolution. And I think the harm of a violent revolution is a lot worse than what happened at Boston.

        1. If the only thing that would have ever happened to participate the American Revolution was the Boston Massacre as opposed to the Stamp Act, the intolerable acts and so forth, they you guys might have a point.

          Is it really your position that the Boston massacre alone justified the American Revolution? And aren’t you people the same dumb asses who not a few weeks ago praised John Adamas (in the defense of the DOJ Lawyers who defended GUITMO detainees) for defending those very same soldiers whose actions you now are claiming justified violent revolution?

          Jesus you people are stupid. That is F- level trolling.

          1. If Kent St was an isolated incident, you might have a point. Fuck, John, dont your think the current tax situation is many times worse than the Stamp Act or the Tea Act or etc?

            1. Where else did we gun down protesters? Maybe I have forgotten but I thought Kent State was a one off event that shocked the country so much both sides, protesters and government laid off it for a while. They certainly never put the National Guard out with loaded rifles again.

              1. Ummm…did you even read what you posted?

                You pointed out that the Boston Massacre wasnt a one off event because of the Stamp Act and Intolerables Act.

                I pointed out that Kent St wasnt a one off event because of taxes and etc.

                Cant you follow your own fucking analogy, you fucking moron?

                1. But your analogy doesn’t work. The protesters at Kent State weren’t pissed about taxes. In that sense, it was a one off event, since no one but you connects Kent State to taxes or any of the other things that make you angry.

                  1. Boston Massacre was over whether or not John Goldfinch had paid a bill, not taxes.

              2. What the fuck doe “one off” mean? Is that a brand new phrase of the week or something? One off from WHAT?

                1. “One off” means it only happened once. If you do something as “one off” you do something unusual one time. As in, the Miami Heat winning the 2006 NBA title was a one off accomplishment by an aging team never meant to last.

                2. one-off (wn?f, -f) Chiefly British
                  adj.
                  Happening, done, or made only once.
                  n.
                  Something that is not repeated or reproduced.

                  The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition co

                  1. John is using British terms because he opposes the revolution.

          2. John Adams both defended them and supported the violent revolution. I dont see the contradiction.

    4. Niven’s first law: “Don’t throw shit at men with guns.”

      If you want to fight them, fight them, with guns. Don’t count on the asymmetry of force to protect you. Throwing rocks at armed soldiers is stupid. Provoking an incident and whining about the result is stupid.

      1. I know that now.

      2. I am pretty sure none of the commenters here threw rocks at the NG guys. So we are perfectly justified in whining about it.

      3. Yeah! Fuck proportional response! Shoot jaywalkers in the kneecaps, that’ll teach the bastards to cross illegally!

  7. You guys, i had to take a wicked Dan T. this morning. Must be all the Indian food i’ve been eating lately.

    1. I’m also assuming there was discoloration to your Dan T. Ewwwwwwww.

  8. Stop spoofing me assholes.

    1. They’re spoofing me Lucky Charms!

    2. Stop spoofing pooping me assholes.

      FIFY

    3. Who can really tell the difference between the spoofs and your own posts, Dan?

      1. Well, the posts (spoofs and original) are all thinly veiled assertions that we should be under the bootheel of our overlords. You do have a point.

  9. Tin soldiers and Geithner comin’…

    1. +1

    2. You’re playin’ my song.

  10. 🙂

  11. I don’t want to trivialize those the government killed for protesting at Kent State, but when I think of Kent State, it always makes me think of the importance of that event in the formation of Devo.

    From memory, it was the coincidence of the Kent State massacre, where they were students, and an evolution pamphlet one of them read about De-Evolution that led to the conceptualization of the band. Devolution being the theory that mankind has been devolving since the fall of Adam as a consequence of sin.

    They were casting the events at Kent State in that light–as if those events were convincing proof that humanity was devolving.

    Are we not men?

    Indeed!

    1. I had no idea that the shootings were an inspiration to Devo. Brilliant band.

      1. Their adaptation of “Satisfaction” is one of the best covers, ever.

        1. New Devo album coming soon.

  12. Damn joke names.

    But at any rate, I think Dan T is like the candyman. The more you say his name, the more he leaks out of your asshole.

  13. The people killed at Kent State were at ranges greater that 250 ft, most greater than 300 ft, from the guardsmen who opened up with their 30-06 Garand rifles.

    I seriously doubt there was any specific targeting of rock-throwers in the fusilade from the guardsment; more like “shoot any dirty hippy you see”.

    The real horror of the massacre at Kent State was not the shooting, but the popular acceptance by the electorate of the notion that the dirty hippy protesters deserved to be shot. There was a lot of work put into the marginalization of the counter culture by several administration’s worth of flacks by the time the massacre took place. Consider this next time someone proposes the “tea partier”==”racist redneck bubba” syllogism is presented on your local agitprop TV show.

    1. I think there is some truth to that. But the student protests did a lot to marginalize themselves. Yeah, the actual victims at Kent State were victims. Hell on of them was in ROTC and was just walking to class.

      But the reason why they got painted with the brush of “fucking dirty hippies got what they deserved” is not just because of the PR work of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations. A lot of the student protesters in the 60s were nasty, violent leftists who did a tremendous amount of damage to colleges in this country. The events at Cornell and Columbia were pretty despicable.

      It is not just sad that people were shot. It is also sad that if someone had to be shot, it was some kid going to class at Kent State instead of shitheads like John Jacobs and Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn.

      1. MILLIONS of people protested against the Vietnam War. Including me. And I continued to do so after I went from leftist to libertarian.

        You didn’t have to be a ‘dirty leftist’ to oppose the Vietnam clusterfuck or to protest against it.

        It was the Nixon/Agnew/Hoover and LBJ/McNamara/Humphrey groups that actively promoted the notion that those opposed to the war were “dirty leftists” and “traitors”.

        1. There were millions of people who protested. And none of them did anything to distance themselves from the Dorns and the Ayers. A lot violent horrible stuff went on on college campus’s in the 1960s. If Johnson and Nixon were able to unfairly paint the anti-war protesters are dirty leftists, it is largely because the protesters made the job really easy.

          1. There were millions of people of who protested. And none of them did anything to distance themselves from the Joe Stacks and the racist poster holders.

            1. None of them.

              So… you asked ALL of them, right, 20?

      2. What happened at Kent State was a tragedy. I say “fuck you” to the government and the National Guard in the memory of those who were murdered that day.

        “..[T]he reason why they got painted with the brush of “fucking dirty hippies got what they deserved..” is because John Q. Suburbia is convinced that what he has is worth something. People seem convinced that what matters is their house and car and lawn and job; and if non-threatening 17 year old field rushers get tazed and some college long hair gets popped well those are just the eggs that have to be broken so we can all enjoy the soccer mom omelette. The Cold War world view where in exchange for the illusion of wealth and tranquility the people gave their real freedom to the authorities is a mindset that will not be shattered easily.

        What hapened at KS was a tragedy and there have been countless other tragedies since then and each time some of the crowd replies “they got what they deserved”. Thus there will be no citizen revolt. Our only hope is in the great combined ineptitude of the politicians and the government workers. Slowly they will spend themselves into oblivion. Try to stay out of their way.

  14. The killings at Kent State were hardly a “one-ff” event.

    The Jackson State (MS) killings come first to mind:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_State_killings

    There were some others.

    1. That was shortly after Kent State. Those are the only two I know of. Things did cool down after that.

      1. Yeah, ’cause the fuckin’ hippy punks learned who was in charge.

        1. Either that or the powers that be decided it was a bad idea to put people with loaded weapons in the middle of riots and the protesters decided it was a really bad idea to throw rocks at people with guns.

          You guys act like the National Guard got some kind of kick out of this. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were traumatized to this day. The NG leadership is loath to ever put guardsman on the streets with weapons, which is a good thing.

          1. Yeah, but the fact remains that the US still puts military members on the streets to “protect” citizens from basically harmless protesters, which in turn actually creates conflict, not prevents it.

            1. Yeah, but the fact remains that the US still puts military members on the streets to “protect” citizens from basically harmless protesters

              Citation please.

              1. Kurt, I live in Pittsburgh, and during the recent g-20 meeting the streets were crawling with military personnel.

                Seeing thousands of armed weekend warriors patrolling your city is a creepy thing for an American to see.

              2. citation: any protest since whenever the military started showing up to protests.

  15. I know today is Ignore-A-Troll-Tuesday, but hell! A troll has to eat. I just want to say that those Kent State protesters had it coming. Suck on that, anarchists!

    1. Testing…

      1. We hate to agree with liberals, but this time one has it right. The “innocent” kids at Kent State deserved to be shot.

  16. I know today is Ignore-A-Troll-Tuesday, but hell! A troll has to eat. I just want to say that those Kent State protesters had it coming. Suck on that, anarchists!

  17. Either that or the powers that be decided it was a bad idea to put people with loaded weapons in the middle of riots and the protesters decided it was a really bad idea to throw rocks at people with guns.

  18. You guys act like the National Guard got some kind of kick out of this. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were traumatized to this day. The NG leadership is loath to ever put guardsman on the streets with weapons, which is a good thing.
    reply to this

  19. Either that or the powers that be decided it was a bad idea to put people with loaded weapons in the middle of riots and the protesters decided it was a really bad idea to throw rocks at people with guns.

  20. Kurt, I live in Pittsburgh, and during the recent g-20 meeting the streets were crawling with military personnel.

    Seeing thousands of armed weekend warriors patrolling your city is a creepy thing for an American to see.

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