Kroger promotes LGBT tyranny over religious liberty
I thought this story about how the federal government is suing Kroger, a far-left grocery store chain, was interesting. You would never see a story like this happening in a Democrat administration. But in a Republican administration, religious liberty is still more important than the feelings of “being offended” of people on the left. Let’s see the story, then I’ll tell a personal story about this topic.
A major supermarket chain is facing a lawsuit after firing two employees over their refusal to wear a rainbow emblem that violates their religious beliefs as part of their work uniform.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the Kroger Company Monday in response to action taken by Kroger Store No. 625 in Conway, Arkansas, against two employees. The employees were terminated after they refused to abide by the new…
I really looked all over the Internet this morning for several hours and found a large list of groups calling to “burn down” the system (including Congress) if the current administration tries to replace RGB.
And, not so strangely, there is a long and growing list of celebrities calling for the same thing.
For this to gain so much traction so quickly is worrisome to say the least. The next “dot” to watch for are actual protests or demonstrations that would support the “burn it down” advocacy and how quickly they show up.
Even Pelosi is talking about another impeachment attempt before the election or if Trump is defeated, during his lame-duck period.
While I am glad to see one less radical leftist member of the Supreme Court gone, I have to extend my condolences to Ginsburg’s family for their loss. But, this creates a potential powder keg situation for the country.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him. Republican leadership, they controlled the Senate, said that the vacancy should not be filled until after the Presidential election in 2016, and the new President was sworn in.
Now, McConnell is saying something entirely different. He has stated multiple times in the last 5 months that he would allow Trump to nominate and a vote would be taken on any Court vacancy.
Ouch, obviously a double standard as well as hypocrisy at its worse. But there is a potentially much larger problem…violence. Or, I should say much more violence.
A few weekends ago, my good friend and fellow American Partisan Writer JohnyMac swung by my house for a night to help me get up my Multiband G5RV amateur radio antenna as well as my VHF Yagi antenna. I documented the process, including the supplies, so that you could follow along. This article will deal with the HF antenna, with a follow-up article showcasing the Yagi VHF antenna.
After a great Friday night meal consisting of a plate of brochette with mozzarella and pesto, steak with lump crab meat, asparagus and a few bottles of wine, we hit the sack.
A delicious meal thanks to the XYL! I always get spoiled at Johny’s so we had to return the favor.
Early on Saturday, we set out to get the G5RV up and running. We originally were aiming for a horizontal dipole antenna, but given the number of tree branches in the backyard, we settled on an inverted ‘V’ antenna setup.
The rationale behind this is that the G5RV that I had purchased comes with non-insulated wires. If a tree branch touches it, the signal could be affected. You could, in theory, shrink wrap tube the entire length of the antenna to protect against that. We did not, but I added the shrink wrap and a heat gun to the supply list as optional purchases. In the near future, Johny is going to help me build my own multiband antenna using insulated wire. He wrote about one, titled Building an Affordable, High-Quality, Multi-Band Antenna, back in December that I would like to try. Tree branches and or leaves will not be an issue then, because the wires would be insulated.
We first unpacked the antenna and laid it out. It has the insulated antenna coming out of either side and a ladder line coming down from the center. This is where the RG8u coax connects to the antenna, which then runs to the radio. We then chose the tree best suited for the “apex” of the inverted ‘V’ antenna, being careful to choose the path that had the lower amount of foliage. Using the PAAL, Johny launched the fishing line and attached “mortar shell” over the tree branch at about 40-feet. While I held the launcher, he attached the braided utility rope to the bitter end of the fishing line and I reeled the fishing line then rope over the branch. Once that accomplished the braided utility rope was attached to the center of the antenna and hoisted part way up. At that point the coax was attached to the end of the ladder line and the connection was sealed with self adhesive silicon tape.
Once the connection made between the coax and antenna the antenna was hoisted the rest of the way to about one foot under the antenna supporting branch. The bitter end was then secured to a near-by tree.
From there, we attached the paracord to the insulators at the end of the antenna and tied them off. The key here is to make sure the end of the antenna where the insulators are located, are approximately 10 to 12 feet off the ground. On one end, we tied the paracord off to a nearby tree. The other side had no real suitable trees, however, so we tied it to a Shepard’s Hook and then took the excess and staked it into the ground. We then ran the coax into the Ham Shack.
Tuning and Testing the Antenna
After getting the antenna hoisted, we retreated into the Ham Shack to tune the radio, which is an ICOM 735. While you can do this using the tuner itself (mine is a MFJ Versa Tuner II), Johny had brought his MJF-antenna analyzer to use instead. We then tuned the antenna on the 20 meter, 40 meter, and 80 meter bands. The goal is to get an SWR of 1.0 and get as close as possible to an R (Resistive) = 50 and an X (Reactive) = 0 on each band. To do so using the Versa Tuner II, you first adjust the Inductor dial. Then, you use the Transmitter and Antenna dials, respectively, to fine tune the numbers.
We did this for several different frequencies through each band because we were building an Antenna DOPE book. Basically, it would contain the settings for a variety of frequencies on each band so that I could quickly move between bands or frequencies within a band and know what I had to “DOPE” my tuner to (much like with a DOPE book for shooting). In this case, we managed to get all three numbers perfectly throughout all of the frequencies.
Because I do not have my license yet (queue JohnyMac giving me a hard time about that), Johny jumped on and was able to make contacts in Florida, New Jersey, and Kansas. Success! About a week or so later, I hopped on the radio to monitor a net that Johny also monitors. The goal was to see if I could hear him and hear the net. Sure enough, he came through as if he was sitting next to me, and the Net Control operator came through clear as well (along with other check-ins).
Now, I have the bug to get my ‘ticket’ so I can jump in and continue my education on amateur radio; Hopefully, I can get my Technicians and then quickly followed to get my General ticket as Johny is making noises of starting up the ERIN (Eastern Region Information Network) net once again.
Look for Part Two of this article on the VHF antenna!
This is the first time in many years that I have put pen to paper for a lengthy letter, so please forgive my misspellings, poor handwriting or any other errors. I will probably do this in one go and be finished with it. I won’t need much of this new notebook. It’s a nice room, desk and chair, but really, no computer? I just wish they would stop the hammering outside. I need to focus in order to write well.
No one person could possibly expect to know the full truth about such a complex history, so near to its time. But I know what I know, saw what I saw, and heard what I heard. And now it’s time to set the record straight, at least about what transpired between some of the key players in the lead up to the recent events.
What I have heard called “the plan” began as idle office chat, nothing more. (Of course, not much chat is ever truly idle at the very highest levels of power, between senior presidential advisors.) The first time I heard it mentioned was over lunch with Dennis in the White House Mess, down in the basement next to the situation room. We were at a quiet corner table of the wood-paneled dining room, tossing ideas for the next talking points back and forth. Routine.
One of right-wing hate radio’s loudest and most poisonous voices was conducting an embarrassing public feud with our press secretary. The President had trapped himself in a seeming contradiction. The viral videos were both damning, and, one must admit, very funny—if one’s goal was to make the President look and sound like a liar and a fool. The YouTube videos were getting millions of hits; the TV comics were not letting it go. We had been knocked completely off message, the optics were horrible, and our favorability ratings were collapsing at a crucial moment. (It seems like an ice age ago when such trivialities actually mattered to me.)
I said something offhandedly to Dennis. “I just wish we could get rid of those bastards, once and for all.”
He stared at me for a long time, chewing on his second BLT sandwich until the Navy steward retreated from range, and then he said, “Actually, Jacinda, there is sort of a plan for that.”
“What do you mean, ‘a plan for that’?”
He explained that it was nothing formal, and there was nothing in writing. Nor would there ever be. It was just a concept he had come up with, along with a few other trusted colleagues and advisors. An idea. They had gamed out various scenarios. We could solve our problems with molding public opinion if we removed just a few dozen key right-wing opinion makers. That was the exact word he used, “removed.” That was last spring, and I put it off as a harmless thought experiment. I didn’t hear anything more about it for several months.
Then one day after another media-talking-points session in the White House Mess, Dennis said, “Remember the plan we were talking about? You know, we really could do it.”
“Are you serious?”
“The timing would have to be just right. Mainly, it would depend on external events.”
Remembering the numbers from our earlier conversation, I told him that removing a few dozen of the worst reactionaries wouldn’t change anything. Other fast-talking right wingers would just take their places. Except they would be angrier than ever.
“Not dozens.” He paused. “Around two thousand, actually.”
The new number shocked me. “That’s not possible.”
“No, it’s very possible. We’ve studied it from every angle.”
Clearly, he knew more about a plan than he was letting on. Nobody was closer to the President than the two of us and his wife, and I had heard nothing from the boss, not even a hint. “You’re making this up. You’re not serious. Is it a joke, or a test? I wasn’t born yesterday.” I had to be careful. This was dangerous territory, when any spoken word could be recorded almost anywhere. Trust in a man like Dennis was a very slender reed upon which to cling.
“No, I’m very serious,” he said. “Here’s how we came up with two thousand. I was given a copy of a new law enforcement software program, one that Justice had for testing and evaluation. A refinement of the social networking analysis stuff. Data-mining, all of that. We put it on a clean computer, adjusted it for our own parameters, and made the list. We tried it at different levels from ten up to ten thousand. The optimal number for the greatest effect with the least initial disruption came in at about two thousand.”
I shook my head and said, “Dennis, Dennis…it’s crazy to even talk about it.”
He continued with what, I saw later, was a canned pitch. “Do you want everything we’ve worked for to be lost? What if it came to striking boldly, or losing all of the progress we’ve made over the last fifty or a hundred years?”
I sidestepped. “You know as well as I do that boldness isn’t the President’s forte.”
“Well, you could help stiffen his backbone.”
“We could both be facing prison time just for talking like this.”
“Not as long as we’re in power. You know how I know? It was Operation Fast and Furious. At least four hundred dead and there was no blow-back that we couldn’t handle. Our media stuck right with us all the way through. For me, that was the final test. We can do almost anything, if we get the timing right, and most of the media stays with us.”
I replied, “But those were Mexicans. And not two thousand.”
“It doesn’t matter. I have the majority leader on a leash. I could drag him around the White House on all-fours if I wanted to. We have nothing to fear coming out of the House. Without the majority leader, Congress can’t do anything but hold hearings that the media won’t cover.”
“But he hammers us every day in the press…”
“Of course he does, he has to maintain credibility with his base. But it’s pure bluster. Trust me—I own him when it counts.”
In the right company (particularly mine, since we go back so far), Dennis liked to brag about the political enemies he held under the control of blackmail. It was a measure of his power, and whom else could he tell? You could count the people he trusted on one hand, perhaps two. One way or the other, all the dirtiest secrets wound up in his hands. Some said it was a mafia thing. Or the unions. Or the red net that had helped us at critical junctures most of our lives. There were advantages to growing up in the second or third generation of the movement. Certain doors opened before us at critical junctures.
Dennis’s knack for finding the hidden scandals almost seemed occult-like. After the big national health care decision, he showed me compromising “men’s health club” photos of the younger chief justice and his pals. Dennis just couldn’t resist the irony and had to share it with me, but that was a rare case of candor about his methods.
So I wondered what he had on the majority leader, that holier-than-thou redneck prick. Was he kinky, greedy, or both? Had Dennis’s minions discovered ancient history long buried, or had they lured him into some new honey trap? It didn’t matter, and I didn’t really care. But it did explain why the Congress could never seem to move past first base on Fast and Furious, even with so many dead.
But I still wasn’t ready to believe he was serious. I said, “Four hundred dead Mexicans are not the same as two thousand dead Americans.”
“It depends on what’s going on at the time. We would need a thick smokescreen, that’s for sure. Lots of background noise. The right emergency.” He lowered his voice and said, “And anyway, they wouldn’t necessarily be ‘dead.’ They’d just be ‘missing’.”
We held long eye contact across the table. He needed to clean his eyeglasses, but didn’t seem to mind the smudges. I said, “The Iran thing could blow sky-high any day. And Egypt, and Syria…”
“Exactly. And that kind of an emergency might lead to all sorts of opportunities.” He smiled, and gazed at me.
After another long silence I asked, “Does this plan have a name?”
“There’s no name.”
I asked him, “How many people know about this … idea?”
“Just a few, but that doesn’t matter. It’s all designed to be self-reinforcing, once it gets kicked off. A positive feedback loop. Completely unstoppable.”
The smile again. A cocked eyebrow. Dennis was as slippery as an eel. A charming eel, when he wanted to be. “He knows that bold action might be called for. We’ve spoken about it for years, in a hypothetical sense, using historical precedents. But I know from those discussions that he’ll back the plan, once the parts fall into place.”
I said, “The military wouldn’t stand for it, not two thousand.”
“The military won’t be in the loop—this will all be handled at the federal agency level. The AG is fully aboard, and so are his directors. They’re facing federal prison time if the majority leader is replaced. Once he’s gone, we’ll be totally exposed on that end. So it’ll happen soon, or never. Let’s just say that forces are in motion and leave it at that.”
“So … what do you want from me?”
“I just want you to influence the President and his wife favorably when the time comes. You know what to say to them. ‘Sometimes in the life of a revolution, hard decisions must be taken. We must cross the Rubicon and cement the gains of history, or get washed out to sea and be forgotten.’ You know what to tell them. But what about you? Jacinda, when the time comes, can we count on you?”
My mind was in turmoil. I was being asked to engage in a conspiracy. Perhaps this was a setup, and my answers were being recorded for another piece of Dennis’s trademark blackmail. Yet to refuse Dennis could also be dangerous. I decided to sound favorable yet remain noncommittal. “I understand history as well as you do. Sometimes dreadful actions are called for during a revolution, I know that. But I won’t support a fool’s crusade that goes off half-cocked and damns us all as traitors.”
He nodded, and smiled again. “That’s good enough.”
The war broke out a few weeks later.
I am referring to the cruel and insane but necessary war with Iran.
As necessary for them, as for us. The Iranian missile strikes were followed by the Israeli bombing raids. Or perhaps it was the other way around, the timeline depending on which news network you believe. When is a preemptive strike self defense, and when is it aggression? I will leave it for future historians. The simple fact is that within a few days cities were burning from Cairo to Islamabad, while at home we were struggling against Iranian terror cells and cyber sabotage, and an anthrax attack that had crippled our mail and package services. The dirty bombs in Houston and Long Beach were overrated initially, but they stopped port operations around the country for weeks. It all added up to a lot of hurt on the home front.
Basic electrical service, phone service, the internet, and our entire digitally managed infrastructure went haywire while the stuxnet-like viruses were continuously fed into our own digital bloodstream. Trains derailed and all of the planes had to be grounded; everybody knows what happened. Many thought the Russians and Chinese were using the opportunity to add to our misery. In any event, Dennis was right: there was plenty of smoke and noise available to conceal the arrests of two thousand reactionary opinion makers. Men, most of them, men who spent nearly every waking moment busily stamping out every little spark of popular democracy, social justice, or true human progress.
The internet was shut down for a week, and was erratic and unreliable after that. Most of the arrests happened during that early period of maximum confusion and fear. Those on the secret arrest list were isolated from communication by the total sabotage of their digital lives. They could not make cell phone calls or send texts, or use the internet in any fashion. They could not find one effective portal to untangle their wrecked virtual lives. Pay phones and land lines were all they had left, when they were working. In the total confusion and disorder of that week, it was understandable that many people might have suffered complete digital blackouts. We were all on uncharted ground, so almost anything was possible. Like the genuine beginning of the Iran war, it could never exactly be sorted out until long after it mattered. Dennis was a genius about that part of the plan.
Down in the secret federal law enforcement fusion centers, our thousands of social network warriors swung into action as the internet was brought back on line—but this time on our own timing, and on our own terms. Questions about missing right-wingers were deflected by our internet imposters with rumors about embezzled funds, foreign girlfriends, car accidents, distant vacations, nonexistent medical emergencies and other stalling tactics. It would take a long while for a true count of the missing to be made, and by then it wouldn’t matter.
Like I said, Dennis was a genius. At first he gave me a daily update, in private. Later, more of us met in the situation room. If Dennis wasn’t the leader, I wouldn’t know who was. I never met a new member of the circle unless Dennis was there to make the connection. What I mean is that I already knew them; I just didn’t know that they were in on the plan, until Dennis brought us together. And I never spoke to any of them about it when Dennis wasn’t there with us. Naturally, not a word about the plan was ever written down.
Most of the original two thousand on the arrest list were picked up in the first week. In fact, in their desperation to reconnect, they sent out their precise locations with every attempted cell phone call, text, tweet, email or credit card use, making them easy to find. The FBI and other federal agencies were already on a war-footing tracking down the Iranian and other foreign terror cells, and they didn’t question the odd Americans arrested among the rest.
Anyway, ninety-five percent of the people on the list were basically nobodies, and they were rarely missed. It’s funny how social network analysis works—it’s not the famous people, it’s the important people. People behind the famous names. The critical nodes. Bloggers in the basement that nobody had heard of. SNA found them all, and plucked them from obscurity.
Only proven-loyal teams of agents were used to arrest the handful of well-known people on the list. The warrants were prepared by tried-and-true federal attorneys, and signed off by trusted judges. Dennis did not only make a secret list of enemies to arrest—he also prepared a list of key personnel we could depend on to run the dodgy paperwork through the federal law enforcement system with no hassles. In most cases they used “National Security Letters” instead of regular warrants, because then no questions were asked. Dennis and his little circle had mastered the architecture. It was seamless, and for the most part it went like clockwork, especially at the beginning.
Once each of the arrested was “tagged and bagged,” the normal federal prison bureaucracy handled them like so many UPS or Fed-Ex packages. After the domestic terrorism label was slapped onto their files, special prisoner handling rules applied, mandating their seclusion. Gagged and hooded, if need be. Unlawful enemy combatants, foreign or domestic, could be held incommunicado. It was already in the law. The legal machinery existed; it just needed to be switched on. I must give Dennis all the credit for grasping the enormous potential.
In the confusion during the Middle East war and the domestic terror attacks, including the cyber attacks, it took several weeks for reports about the missing Americans to grow into rumors of a possible purge of political enemies. Our own thousands of internet cyber warriors tamped down the rumors with continuing obfuscations. Many of these keyboard commandos had been burrowing into the virtual world for years under multiple false screen names, building trust and credibility to expend during just such an emergency.
The most effective of the right-wing muckrakers chatting about purges and political arrests were digitally sabotaged and lined up for the next wave of arrests. Once they were isolated they could get in a car and drive, but only as far as the cash in their wallets would carry them. None of their credit cards, phones or other wireless devices worked. This kept them close to home, and made them easy to arrest.
For the first few weeks, the internal war conducted by our security services was going as well for us as the external war was going badly for our armed forces. The President had to struggle to keep his facial expressions under control in his rare on-camera appearances: I knew that secretly, he was as pleased as any of us that so many American warships, fighter planes and bombers would no longer be available to menace the globe. So in truth, at about one month into it, we were actually winning on both fronts, from our own special point of view.
For the most part, our friendly media outlets continued to use our talking points, staying on board with all aspects of the gloriously jingoistic war effort—including the war against all forms of domestic terrorism. Even the right-wing talk radio hosts were cautious about making wild accusations against the government while our heroic armed forces were busy being decimated thousands of miles away.
Crazy black-helicopter talk about a secret political purge was kept beyond the acceptable fringe of polite news network mention during the first month of patriotic fervor that surrounded the war. Our army of social network warriors did a masterful job of remessaging any mention of a “purge” as delusional. No respectable news network or reputable website would touch such rumors. (Some of the most rabid of the purportedly right-wing bloggers promoting the purge rumors were, in fact, our own cyber warriors, working to discredit truthful reports through their bizarre and outrageous exaggerations.)
After a month, though, the missiles and planes had seemingly run out on all sides, and a new stalemate was reached across the Middle East. The fog of war began to lift, and a new, clearer picture began to emerge that we could no longer keep completely hidden from sight. It was not plausible that so many right-wing opinion makers were suddenly unavailable for comment. They could not have all had heart attacks, or fled to Panama, or gone on vacation in New Zealand, or into hiding.
Some of the hate radio hosts began to fan the flames with crazy rumors that really weren’t so crazy, not to us. When they were taken off the air through a variety of means (but mainly for violating the “fomenting domestic terrorism” laws), the right wing nut jobs went absolutely mad with fury. The accusations about a secret purge continued. The plan was being laid out for all to see, even while it was being officially denied at every level, and was never reported on at all by our cooperating media networks and other friendly outlets.
And then the shooting started.
At a month and a half or so, it sometimes seemed that the plan was in danger of falling apart. I asked Dennis about it in private, but he appeared unworried. “It’s all part of the action-reaction calculus. It was all taken into account. We needed them to react. We’re in the second phase. We smoked them out into the open with phase one, and now we can go get them. Why do you think we bought billions of bullets for the DHS? Why do you think we paid for SWAT teams and armored cars in every Podunk town in America? We’ve been getting ready for this moment for years.”
“You knew that this would happen? A civil war?”
He said, “It’s not a civil war—it’s just a police action against criminals and domestic terrorists. But don’t worry: we’re ready. Now that they’re shooting at us, we can take the gloves off. The first two thousand arrests were just priming the pump. This phase will let us finish the job once and for all. Think about it: even now, nobody knows what happened to the first two thousand, or even that there were two thousand. In a month, nobody will remember if they were arrested before the shooting started, or after.”
“So, what did happen to the first two thousand? Can you at least tell me that?”
He shook his head, slowly. “Jacinda, you don’t need to know. But they won’t be coming back. They won’t be seen again. At least that much, I know for sure.”
So they were dead. That didn’t upset me. Hundreds of thousands had died since the missiles had flown, most of them in the Middle East. For some reason I was thinking of the Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. Twenty-thousand military officers and many other members of the Polish intelligentsia had been killed in 1940 after the Red Army invaded Eastern Poland. The Soviets had blamed the mass-killings on the Nazis for decades, until the fall of the USSR in 1990 when the truth was finally admitted. So, naturally, I had a question. “Will they ever be found?”
“No, this time it’s sealed airtight. They’ll never be found.”
I heard later, from Larry, that the first two thousand were taken in unmarked vans to a brand-new “bureau of prisons transfer site” in Kansas or Oklahoma, or somewhere else out in flyover country. The site consisted of some fenced-in buildings near an old airstrip. Vans and small airplanes arrived one at a time. As each van or plane arrived, the prisoners were signed over by the US Marshals or other federal agents to a small waiting detachment that, on paper, was from the TSA.
It was an ad hoc special unit made up of men preselected for their violent proclivities. One of the benefits of SNA is that it permits you to find and bring together any personality types that you need for special missions—even unquestioning executioners. According to Larry it was staffed entirely by criminal street gang members with a promise of parole, pardons, and citizenship—but he has been known to embellish a story with his own lurid details.
After the U.S. Marshals departed, instead of being transferred elsewhere, the manacled arrestees were marched around a corner, stood against a wall, and shot. Their bodies were then burned in an on-site incinerator. According to Larry, one van load at a time is how you get rid of two thousand diehard reactionaries. The “transfer facility” was then bulldozed, and each person with knowledge of the site was himself transferred to distant and remote federal installations, where their single voices in the wilderness would never be heard, or believed. Then a rapid process of attrition would begin, with the individuals comprising the former group of executioners suffering a statistically improbable number of heart attacks, fast-acting cancer, accidents and other plausible reasons for their rapid demise.
I have heard other rumors about the final disposition of the two thousand, and I’m not sure which one is true, but that was the version told to me by Larry. I was never really a part of his circle with Dennis. I only sat in on a few meetings. If there is any truth to his story, it will probably come out eventually. But if I know Dennis, unlike the Katyn Forest, not even the bones of the missing two thousand will ever be found.
Toward the end of the second month, against all odds, it seemed like his plan was working. Our federal agents were making record numbers of arrests for new acts of bona-fide domestic terrorism, and of course, for “fomenting domestic terrorism” in the media and on the internet. We still had most of the friendly media on our side lamenting the outbreak of right-wing terror against the government. As long as most of the media continued reporting our version of reality, we could keep pushing the right-wing extremists to exhaustion and eventual submission.
Ah, silence. The hammering and sawing outside has stopped. I flex and shake my hands, limbering up my sore wrist and fingers. Flipping back through this spiral notebook, I count a dozen freshly-filled pages. I have not done so much handwriting in one go since taking blue-book exams at the university, and that was decades ago.
Back to my story. The first real jolt indicating a serious problem with the plan came when television reporter Cathy Carlsen was killed in Norfolk, shot dead while covering the commissioning of the Harvey Milk, the Navy’s newest destroyer. That she was killed was bad enough. That it happened on a “secure” naval base—a federal installation—made it much worse. Her blood splattered across the white uniforms of the gathered admirals made quite a picture.
We were two women born in the same year, with similar academic backgrounds. We had known each other for decades, and her untimely death hit me hard. Cathy Carlsen had been a reliable voice on the progressive side of a supposedly impartial television news network. That a respected member of the media would be assassinated was big surprise, at least to me. Up to that point, only a few federal officials and high-ranking agents had been targeted.
Then a new photo was released on the internet. I had always thought the NSA could trace those things back to their origins, but evidently not. The photo was taken through the Norfolk sniper’s rifle scope just a few moments before the murder. It showed thin black crosshairs and other reference marks across Cathy’s smiling face. And it showed some text added just above her head:
If the media lies, the media dies.
You take a side, you’re along for the ride.
A traitor in front of a camera is still just a traitor.
This single act of domestic terrorism immediately dampened the enthusiasm of most of our formerly reliable reporters to continue carrying our water. More such photographs of other media figures appeared on the internet with cross-hairs over their faces. Most of the pictures were bogus, just photoshop pranks, but they had a similar effect: our dependably cooperative reporters suddenly lost their nerve. The comments following the photos on the remaining right-wing web forums were perhaps the most frightening aspect. It was obvious that plenty of Americans were willing to voice their support for the assassinations of their political enemies in both the media and the government. It became a game for them to walk right up to the “fomenting domestic terrorism” line with carefully parsed and coded words, and this choked our fusion centers with background noise.
For another week or two it seemed that we were playing catch-up with new bloggers who appeared each morning like overnight mushrooms. In spite of all of the new restrictions and tracking tools, every day anonymously sourced articles concerning the purge were posted on what remained of the internet. It was obvious that some of the stories were coming from federal law enforcement whistle-blowers. Dennis said that if the internet rumor-mongers and the last of the hate radio hosts could be silenced, the plan could still be fought to a win. But the leaks were not plugged. Instead, they worsened.
The final outcome hinged on a simple equation that was based on the availability or nonavailability of enough federal agents to make fresh rounds of arrests each day, crushing domestic terrorists and their internet supporters faster than they could proliferate. New arrests were being made, but still the assassinations of government officials and media figures continued to escalate. One a day. Five a day. Ten. Twenty. Some officials were killed by their very own bodyguards or aides, who then disappeared. The words “civil war” were being tossed around on both sides.
Even though the total number of murdered government officials was insignificant as a percentage of their total numbers, far too many of them reacted hysterically out of personal fear. Practically the entire Senior Executive Service demanded protection teams of federal agents to bodyguard them twenty-four hours a day. Soon there were no agents available to stamp out the internet insurrection with new arrests, much less somehow interdict a single domestic terrorist on a private sniper mission. Instead, all of the armed federal agents were kept occupied guarding terrified government leaders.
And that was the downfall of the plan: it just plain came down to numbers, manpower, and, perhaps, agent morale. I’ve seen reports that at least a third of our federal agents went on sick leave vacation, after word of the original two thousand political arrests began to spread within their ranks.
The ferocity of the counterattack took us all by surprise.
Even Dennis. His original arrest list, derived from cutting-edge social network analysis, was a great success as far as it went, especially in spurring the rest of his “action-reaction calculations.” It sure provoked a fierce reaction, anyway. But at a level that none of us ever anticipated or even dreamed possible.
Dennis had always assumed that the combined might of our armed federal agents and their SWAT Teams, reinforced with local police and, if necessary, the National Guard or even the Army, could crush any conceivable right-wing reaction to his plan. But social network analysis couldn’t find snipers who were not part of any network. That’s when we began to hear of “The Militia of One.” In the end there were too many rifles, and too many willing shooters. A number that was constantly heard was twenty million. That was the number of Americans who supposedly went deer hunting every year, against less than 200,000 armed federal agents.
Local police evaporated from the equation once the going got tough. The most common sentiment heard expressed was, “You feds made your bed, so now sleep on it.” The National Guard, those units not already deployed overseas, proved hopelessly slow and cumbersome. That is, the few who reported for duty when called up.
While top federal officials hid inside buildings, a new and unanticipated escalation of the sniper war emerged. When no one of high rank was available to shoot, their outermost rings of security were targeted, even down to GS-5s standing perimeter duty. Suddenly, competent and trustworthy guards were very hard to find.
On the remaining internet the threats multiplied as pictures and videos were shared and commented upon by millions. “Remember your oath” was a common theme. That whole tired shtick about “defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic,” with a heavy emphasis on domestic. All of that reactionary claptrap. Who knew that so many of them took that oath so damned seriously? Who knew? Mere words on paper, and yet, so many Americans were willing to kill and to die for them. Who knew?
The snipers grew ever more brazen and their numbers multiplied daily. They were emboldened by accounts of the murders of federal officials that were splashed across what was left of the internet, no matter how we tried to control and contain it. They posted comments such as, “You can take away our rights, but we still get to vote under Rule 308,” (which I have since learned refers to a popular rifle caliber). The shooters understood the critical manpower equation as well as we did. We were outgunned a hundred to one by snipers we could neither see nor find, and they knew it.
Right-wing media dutifully passed along all of the latest terrorist manifestos.
“Anonymous sources within the so-called ‘liberty movement’ are now demanding that highway checkpoints searching for weapons be disbanded immediately. These sources state that any federal agents, military or police stopping vehicles and searching them for firearms will be considered traitors and could be shot.”
Our jaws dropped down in the situation room when we heard that demand relayed on FOX. There was talk in the room of arresting the entire management and all of the remaining on-air personalities and so-called reporters at that rogue news network. Actually, it became a screaming match. The final decision was up to the President. He needed time to think it over, and went upstairs.
Thereafter, FOX led each fresh report with a graphic announcing the discovery of a “Communist putsch against the Constitution.” Oh, how I hate that ugly German word. Not revolution, not even coup d’etat, but putsch! What an unfair description of a sincere attempt to solidify the forward march of history, right in the heart of capitalist imperialism. In time, “the putsch” became the name that stuck to Dennis’s original plan. Even on MSNBC, where they at least called it “the so-called Communist putsch.”
I knew it was finished when I was driving up I-95 from Virginia into the city at dawn. From a long way off I saw two bodies hanging from the overpass. Northbound rush-hour traffic was crawling, so I had a long time to look. I was driving my mother’s Acura, wearing a blond wig and big sunglasses. There was no security in recognizable security anymore. A convoy of black full-size SUVs was liable to become a bullet magnet on any highway around DC. I was safer in the white Acura, but feeling very, very alone.
Their ropes were tied to the guard rail above their heads. They were clothed, thankfully, and hooded. Black military-style fatigue uniforms, and bare feet. Their swollen hands were bound behind their backs. The two bodies were slowly twisting without any visible actions being taken to recover them. This told me the bridge might be under a sniper’s observation, holding the police at bay while keeping the corpses in view of thousands of Washington’s morning commuters, half of them federal employees. I had a chill feeling, being in range of a right-wing sniper. A white bed sheet hanging between the two bodies was marked with black spray-painted lettering.
Every fed must decide:
Liberty, or Tyranny?
Death to all traitors!
I got off at the Quantico exit, looped back and went home. Never returned to my office in the West Wing, never saw the White House again. I was picked up three weeks later by a team from the FBI, while I was staying at my mother’s place outside of Charlottesville. Since then I’ve been under house arrest, and lately held in a series of rooms and cells. The rules seem to change daily, but at least I have not been physically brutalized. Instead, my guards seem to revel in reactionary notions of chivalry, pointedly calling me “ma’am,” and asking about my comfort. Pen and paper and a better pillow they are happy to provide. I hate them all the more for their sexist bourgeois manners.
As would be fully expected following such calamitous events, the political world has turned quite upside-down. When it reconvened in emergency session, Congress was a different animal, and in a mood for bloody revenge. Somehow, the greater war deaths and the deaths from the secret purge and the counter-revolution were blended together, and we were blamed for all of them.
The backlash to our efforts saw many of our progressive friends in the Congress retire immediately, and their replacements, mostly appointed by governors, were uniformly reactionaries. The opposition party majority leader that Dennis had formerly dangled on a string was one of the many who swiftly departed the scene. More than half of the Supreme Court disappeared for reasons of age or health. Two had died suddenly, some said of “Breitbart’s Syndrome.” Our old protections were swept away.
And now America has slid back into worshiping the dusty old parchment. In their reading of the Holy Constitution, the Senate and Supreme Court made the rules and conducted the trials, and swift trials they were. Guilty of high treason, conspiracy to commit genocide, and a dozen other charges. Guilty on all counts. What else could we expect? We took the bold action, grabbed for the brass ring of history, and we missed it. Where no mercy is given, none should be expected.
I’ve seen Dennis but have not been able to speak to him in private. Once we were left alone in a small conference room, but both of us were convinced the room was bugged and under video observation, so we just talked about the food and our involuntary accommodations and such.
While being escorted in the hallway I have heard Larry talking in his cell to somebody, a priest or a lawyer perhaps. He always seems to speak in a snivel. But he’s not the worst of them. Many of my former colleagues have clearly been eager to spill their pitiful guts and minimize their participation in the plan, hoping that Dennis will take the brunt of the lynch mob’s fury. But I knew that was a foolish hope: there was fury enough for all of us. So I kept my silence, until now, when it can no longer affect my own outcome.
Now I write for posterity alone.
I rise from the table and stretch. To see out through the high window in my room, I must climb up on the desk. If anybody is watching me on hidden cameras, they don’t seem to care that I am sneaking looks out through the narrow window. I am on the second floor of whatever building I am in, so I must look down a bit to get a view of the source of the hammering and sawing in the paved courtyard where they used to take me for exercise.
The gallows structure seems to be complete. There are four square holes under a single beam. Workers are screwing down some hardware for traps not yet installed. The grim work of execution will be done in two shifts, on consecutive mornings. I shall outlive Dennis by twenty-four hours. At times like this, I almost wish I believed in an afterlife, like those fools deluded by the opiate of religion. The only afterlife I shall achieve is what I am writing on the pages of this spiral notebook, and they will be cold comfort in the ground. To come so far, to get so close, and then to be consigned to oblivion—it just seems so damned unfair after three generations of dedicated struggle.
(To be tried, convicted, hanged and buried as a traitor concerns me not at all, considering the illegitimate, even farcical nature of the kangaroo court that condemned us.)
I was scarcely involved in the plan, and then only passively. I gave no orders; I conducted no illegal arrests or executions. In truth, I did little or nothing to influence the President one way or the other before the fact. But I knew of the plan, and for that, I will be hanged in two days time as one of the secondary conspirators. There will be no clemency coming from the “Acting President,” or the new “Provisional Supreme Court.”
A few days ago Dennis smiled at me when we passed in a corridor in our matching gray jumpsuits. He was wearing leg and waist shackles, in addition to handcuffs like mine. He must have been giving them hell to merit the chains, and I felt a little ashamed of my meekness in captivity. Despite all that has happened, I am proud of him for that smile and his thrown-back shoulders, a warrior for the cause to the very last. He was, in the end, the single man who was bold enough to initiate decisive action. The failure was not his.
No, it was the President, the man in whom we invested our very lives, the ultimate standard-bearer of the global forces of progress; it was he alone who let us down at the crucial moment. He vetoed the last plan to arrest the remaining right-wing media voices and shut down their vile hate networks. He failed us when we needed him the most.
Air Force One landed in South America while I was being arrested. As the world has seen, the blue and white 747 now sits empty on a tarmac at a remote Argentinean air base near the Andes, disabled and unflyable. The President has gone with the wind, and he is still a relatively young man, nearly a decade younger than me.
I have no doubt that he will eventually turn up somewhere in the developing world, someplace tropical and near the ocean, a land where the call of the muezzin is heard at sunset. A place where he will be admired for striking many hard blows at the Great Satan.
Coming home, the almost-conquering hero, while we face the hangman. It’s just so unfair that the fascist reactionaries will inherit America, and undo the work of generations to advance the human condition.
Other than the final outcome, I would not change a single thing that we have done.
If you could go back to 1950, would you do it? There would be no Internet, no cellphones and you would only be able to watch television in black and white. But even though they lacked many of our modern conveniences, people genuinely seemed to be much happier back then. Families actually ate dinner together, neighbors knew and cared about one another, and being an “American” truly meant something. Today, we like to think that we are so much more “advanced” than they were back then, but the truth is that our society is in the process of falling apart all around us. Could it be possible that we could learn some important lessons by looking back at how Americans lived 70 years ago?
Of course there has never been any era in our history when everything has been perfect. But without a doubt, things are vastly different today than they were back in 1950…
In 1950, Texaco Star Theatre, The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy were some of the most popular shows that Americans watched on television.
In 2020, a Netflix film entitled “Cuties” is so trashy and so disgusting that four states have sent a letter to Netflix asking for it to be removed because it is “fodder for those with criminal imaginations, serving to normalize the view that children are sexual beings.”
In 1950, television networks would not even show husbands and wives in bed together.
In 2020, “adult websites” get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.
In 1950, people would greet one another as they walked down the street.
In 2020, Americans are too enamored with their cellphones to be bothered with actual human contact.
In 1950, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.
In 2020, kids are literally gunning down police officers in the streets.
In 1950, people would make an effort to dress up and look nice when they would go out in public.
In 2020, most of the population has become utter slobs and “People of Walmart” has become one of our most popular memes.
In 1950, the typical woman got married for the first time at age 20 and the typical man got married for the first time at age 22.
In 2020, the typical woman gets married for the first time at age 27 and the typical man gets married for the first time at age 29.
In 1950, a lot of people would leave their homes and their vehicles unlocked because crime rates were so low.
In 1950, we actually had high standards for our elected officials, and people actually did research on the candidates before they cast their votes.
In 2020, more than 4,000 people in one county in New Hampshire voted for a “transsexual Satanic anarchist” in the Republican primary, and she is now the Republican nominee for sheriff in Cheshire County.
In 1950, children would go outside and play when they got home from school.
In 2020, our parks and our playgrounds are virtually empty and we have the highest childhood obesity rate in the industrialized world.
In 1950, front porches were community gathering areas, and people would regularly have their neighbors over for dinner.
In 2020, many of us don’t know our neighbors at all, and the average American watches more than five hours of television a day.
In 1950, Americans used words such as “knucklehead”, “moxie” and “jalopy”.
In 2020, new terms such as “nomophobia”, “peoplekind” and “social distancing” have been introduced into the English language.
In 1950, the very first credit card was issued in the United States.
In 1950, one income could support an entire middle class household.
In 2020, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment, and more than half of all households in some of our largest cities are currently facing “serious financial problems”.
In 1950, the American people believed that the free market should govern the economy.
In 2020, most Americans seem to believe that the government in Washington and the Federal Reserve must endlessly “manage” the economy.
In 1950, “socialists” and “communists” were considered to be our greatest national enemies.
In 2020, most of our politicians in Washington have eagerly embraced socialist and communist policy goals.
In 1950, the U.S. Constitution was deeply loved and highly revered.
In 2020, anyone that actually admits to being a “constitutionalist” is considered to be a potential domestic terrorist.
In 1950, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.
In 2020, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.
In 1950, the total U.S. national debt reached the 257 billion dollar mark for the first time in our history.
In 2020, we added 864 billion dollars to the national debt in the month of June alone. In other words, we added over three times more to the national debt in that one month than the total amount of debt that had been accumulated from the founding of our nation all the way to 1950.
In 1950, most Americans were generally happy with their lives.
In 2020, the suicide rate is at an all-time record high, and it has been rising every single year since 2007.
There have been rumblings of a new civil war for several years now, as the political divide in this country has broadened.
Many on the right consider it a bit of a joke, as there are more gun owners on the left than there are on the right. However, there are actually more gun owners on the political left than most of us realize. According to information from statistia.com, 16% of Democrats claim to own guns. While that is considerably lower than the 45% of Republicans who own them, it’s not something that can just be ignored.
We’re all aware that Democrats have refused to accept President Trump’s victory in 2016, with those in the Congress and the press working overtime to find some ways to get rid of him. That’s what Mueller’s Russian investigation was about and that’s what impeaching the president was all about, their two most blatant attempts.
But Democrat’s refusal to accept the results of elections is nothing new. They have a long history of contesting election results, including the infamous “dimpled chad” debate in Florida, during the 2000 presidential elections. Al Gore lost that election but didn’t want to accept the loss, so tried to get the results overturned on a technicality.
Democrats used every trick in the book to win the last elections, even resorting to illegal activity if the information I’ve seen is true. There was a considerable amount of violence, as paid “activists” tried to affect the election. But even with all that, Democrats didn’t succeed in changing the vote and getting what they wanted. They’re still denying that Donald Trump won the election fairly and legally.
I’m sure that the Republicans’ hands aren’t totally clean when it comes to the election process, but for some reason, pretty much every case of voter fraud I hear of works in favor of the Democrats. That’s highly suspicious and makes me think that they are clearly the less ethical of our political parties.
Now, before Election Day has even gotten here, organizations tied to the Democrat Party are already talking about what they’ll do, if Joe Biden doesn’t win by a landslide. Put simply, the violence from the death of George Floyd is nothing compared to what they are planning on doing.
Will it be War?
Whether things get bad enough to turn into a war is yet to be seen. Up till now, the mobs of rioters have basically limited themselves to mostly unsophisticated weapons like bricks and Molotov cocktails. That’s probably not because they don’t want to hurt anyone, but rather, because they don’t want to end up in jail. Even so, more and more seem to be carrying firearms.
Just the other day there was a face-off between the rioters and armed conservatives in Nashville. The fact that such a face-off happened isn’t all that surprising, as we’ve seen other such occurrences over the last several years when rioters clashed with counter-protesters. But what made this different was that it was hard to tell which side people were on. From the video, it looks like there were just about as many armed protesters, as there were armed citizens who were there to protect their city.
The amazing thing was that no shots were fired in that confrontation, although there were plenty of angry words spoken… or shouted. Even so, it appears that nobody pulled the trigger. If they had, it would have probably been a bloodbath.
It’s doubtful that we can have many of these confrontations, without them turning violent. There are plenty on both sides who are stoking the fires. But perhaps the most dangerous fire stoking going on is that there are those on the left who are telling their people that Republicans just can’t wait to kill them.
Can you imagine going into a hostile situation with the understanding that the other side just can’t wait for a chance to kill you? How would that affect your thinking? How would it affect your actions? It seems to me, that it would put my nerves on edge, where almost anything could be misunderstood to be a threat. Unless I was highly trained and disciplined (I am), it would be easy to respond to that potential threat by pulling the trigger. Once I did it, others would follow.
For that matter, it doesn’t even take someone pulling the trigger to turn that situation deadly. All it would take is someone setting off a fire cracker. I’m sure there are enough people in that crowd who don’t know the difference and who would react to the noise as if it were a gunshot.
The problem is, there are those who would consider the loss of life in that situation just “the cost of doing business.” They don’t care about the loss of life if it serves their political needs. While they might not light that firecracker themselves, for fear of getting caught, they would probably have no compulsion against ordering it lit.
The opening shot for the Battle of Concord, which stated the Revolutionary War, is known as “the shot heard round the world.” But it is not the only such shot. The Civil War was likewise started from a single shot, this time at Fort Sumter. World War I was started by the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The point is, all it takes is one shot to start a war. If both sides don’t take a big step back after that first shot, the war quickly escalates.
What’s the War About?
There are those who are billing this next civil war as a “racial war;” but that’s not true. All we need to do to see the fallacy in that statement is to look at the riots that have been happening. There have been as many whites involved in those riots, as blacks; and the whites are more likely to be the ones to start any real battles.
The riots we have seen and any further violence is nothing more than a collective temper tantrum. Rioters are making demands of people, businesses, and governments, attempting to force them to bow their knee to the rioters’ demands. Like the demonstrations which have happened on various college campuses, they think that their demanding something should be enough to force everyone to go along and give them what they want.
This is, by definition, terrorism, using violence to cause political change. While the president has declared that ANTIFA is a terrorist organization, he hasn’t done so for BLM. That one is a bit more difficult because it is hard to separate the BLM organization from the movement in most people’s minds. For that reason, any attempt to label the BLM organization a terrorist organization will be met with a lot of backlashes.
While the riots we are seeing in this country have been birthed out of the Black Lives Matter movement, they have nothing to do with saving black lives. Rather, it is a Marxist revolution, intended to bring down the current order of things and replace it with socialism/communism. We can see this from the types of things that the left is demanding, such as defunding the police, tearing down monuments, changing names to just about anything that connects us with our past, and demanding redistribution of wealth.
Quite literally, this war will be about keeping America or losing it. If it is won by the revolutionaries, it will no longer be the land of the free and home of the brave. It will be a socialist or communist country, descending into poverty. We will not only have failed ourselves, in losing this war but the world as well, as the next two strongest countries in the country are China and Russia. Neither of which will be spreading democracy across the globe.
The Horrors of this next War
Compared to the last Civil War, this one would be much more horrible. A total of 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South. That’s more than have died in any war our country has fought, before or since. Yet I fear that this next civil war will far outstrip that number, and that’s something I just don’t want to see.
In most cases, you can’t tell a person’s political affiliation by their clothing, and in Louisville, they were mostly in tactical clothing. So that eliminates the visible affiliation shown by printing on T-shirts and MAGA hats.
Nor will there be any clear geographic boundaries in this coming war. About the closest we could say is the coastal liberal enclaves, versus the rest of the country. But even that is a false boundary, as there are many conservatives living in those coastal areas, just like there are many liberal cities in the rest of the country, even in conservative bastions like Texas.
Without any obvious uniform differences or geographic boundaries, it’s hard to tell how this war will go. Most likely it will be a war limited to urban areas, especially the larger cities. Since it will grow out of the current riots, it will probably start in the same places, mostly inner-city areas, largely inhabited by the very same people who the revolution claims they want to help.
What we’re looking at is long-term battles for the streets of our cities. Without clearly defined armies and boundaries, it will be hard to win any battle. Rather, there will just be ongoing battles every night, which could go on for years.
This is the future I see, one in which constant battles are being fought across our land. It will be urban guerilla warfare of the worst kind. Perhaps the only saving grace will be the lack of large weapons. But having seen how creative people can be in devising improvised weapons, I doubt it will stay that way.
Many innocent lives will be lost, perhaps more than of the combatants. Both sides will break the law, one in trying to bring about change through revolution, while the other is trying to protect the country. But to succeed in protecting the country from lawlessness and revolution, those fighting will have to become lawless themselves. Otherwise, they will be limited to fighting a purely defensive war.
That’s the only way the right can remain righteous in all this, fighting a purely defensive war. Using deadly force is still legal in all 50 states, although there are some which are limiting what you sort of firearms you can use. Even then, we’ve already seen examples of how left-wing prosecutors are going to try and villainize those who defend themselves, stretching credibility in an effort to charge them with crimes, while allowing those on the left to get off scot-free.
Avoiding the War
I have no desire to fight in this war, although that may not be possible. It is my hope that I can limit my involvement in protecting my home and family. But I swore an oath once when I received my commission in the Army and that oath doesn’t have an expiration date.
The best way to avoid the coming war, assuming it does come, is to not be where the fighting is happening. That may seem a bit simplistic, but it has been what civilians have tried to do in past wars, through the centuries.
Considering that the war will most likely be fought in the large urban centers, the best thing we can do is to move out of them. Even moving to suburbia would be advantageous, although I’d avoid areas inhabited by the wealthy. It seems those are beginning to be targeted, and with all the efforts from politicians on the left to villainize the wealthy, I’d say that the war will probably target them as well.
If you can move to a rural area, that will probably be best. Not only are there not enough people in rural areas to attract the troublemakers who are doing all the rioting and who will probably be pushing for war, but most of the people in those communities are also conservative, so they’ll band together to protect their homes and their community.
A Political Option
Of course, the other possibility is to allow the nation to go back to being what it was when it was founded. As the country was settled, states were different. Our founding documents recognize this and created the dual-sovereignty system, recognizing the sovereignty of both states and the nation. This allowed states to be different, except in a few well-defined areas.
Through the two-plus centuries of our country’s existence, the federal government has encroached more and more on state’s rights, primarily thorough their right to regulate interstate commerce. Since just about everything affects commerce and is affected by commerce, that has given federal lawmakers the opening they have needed, to be able to force the states into conformity and submission.
If we were to go back to the original plan, allowing states more autonomy and individuality, that would allow states which want to embrace left-wing ideas to do so, while states which wanted to keep what they have, remaining conservative, could do that too. It would allow us to remain united as a nation, even while permitting our differences to peacefully coexist.
But without that, I really don’t see any way to avoid this coming war. It’s just a matter of who fires that first shot.
I am stoked to share an opinion piece from a good friend, ‘Silicon Valley Sniper’. Enjoy – JMc
Join or Die
I watched a neighbor take down his ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag the other day, which was unusual. He decided to fly the stars and stripes at half-mast in honor of 9/11. The ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag went back up the next day, per usual, and it got me thinking about the importance of symbols.
The ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ slogan has survived hundreds of years because it’s tied to the American spirit, and the rattlesnake image is a uniquely American symbol. The rattlesnake is unique for two reasons: it only exists in America and it warns with a rattle before striking. The timber rattler was well respected by American colonists. At one-point Benjamin Franklin suggested shipping some of them to Britain in response to the convicts that were being exported by the British. He viewed it as generous since at least the rattlesnakes gave a warning before striking. (Sound like a far fetched problem? Here’s your modern day reference point: https://nypost.com/2018/03/08/town-says-nyc-is-illegally-shipping-homeless-families-upstate/.)
We live and let live, but we also do not bow to a king. So when tyrannical forces try to impose their will on us, it might not go well for them. Was true in the 1700s and it’s true today. Back then, Ben Franklin also knew that during spicy times we couldn’t just keep to ourselves. As the French and Indian War ramped up, there was a very real threat of bad guys busting into people’s homes intent on scalping and killing. So, Franklin put out a more urgent slogan: ‘Join or Die’. It had the image a rattlesnake laid out in pieces. The potential power of the whole was there to see.
Consensus seems to be that an organized and well-trained group has the best odds for success.
We talk a lot about certain gear being a ‘force multiplier’, and I’m all for it. We’ve seen recently where one man can mount a successful defense against mob attackers because of better gear and training. But that’s a tough road by yourself. I’d rather have more forces on my side, the ultimate ‘force multiplier’.
Going back to my neighbor, I’ve been meaning to strike up a conversation with him about that flag and what it means to him. I’ll do that the next time I see him. And it feels about time to start flying ‘Join or Die’. PDF Button