Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pragmatism is as Pragmatism Does.


The "brillianter" Mostly Genius has responded to my reply here. I, being a gentleman, have responded to his response. You will find below his missive, dissected with my rejoinders ad seriatim. To paraphrase Mrs. Gump, pragmatism is as pragmatism does. Enjoy.

Ad seriatim, Mr. Prag:

Allow me to proceed directly to the first stated aims above: “to defend ourselves and our liberty and property at our front door steps.” This is sophistry. If these ‘front door steps’ were an actual physical threshold then all of the talk about organizing into fire teams and the like becomes nonsensical.

MBV: The only sophistry going on here is in the attribution of it to me. My front door step is an "actual physical threshold" to me. So is my neighbor's. So are those of all my friends. So, indeed, is yours. The regime that passes more citizen disarmament laws will move beyond that threshold, that tripwire, to enforce its diktat. Yet the threat is both personal and universal. The jack booted thugs who kick in my door, and then my friend's door, and so on seek to impose their will upon ALL of us, to take the traditional liberty and property of ALL of us. The only "nonsensical" business here is that the federal government, having declared war on its own people, should expect that after the first house, or ten or twenty, that others will sit meeking waiting for their personal Alamo moment. (And indeed the only people summoning this chimera for the sole purpose of, well, sophistry.) The fact that a man prepares for conflict does not mean he wants it, or that he seeks it. It means he wishes to be ready for it. What do you think the Second Amendment means? And if the threat is, at the point of his doorstep, numerically superior -- as it would be if he waited alone -- then he seeks like-minded friends and neighbors to be ready collectively for what is a collective threat. To do otherwise would be, might I say, "nonsensical."

The lone householder against the government doesn’t generate much news or political change as is evidenced by the gangsters who shoot the police in the course of their drug raids.

MBV: "The lone householder." Why do you prags conjur this silly vision? In the present case, there ARE no "lone" householders. The entire point of the concept of the Three Percent is that we are not only NOT alone, but that we will resist together to attacks of a predatory regime. You are correct that today individuals who are victimized in ATF abuses (for just one example) do not excite the interest of the media or even of a blogosphere whose participants are self-alleged to be supporters of the Second Amendment. Witness the savaging of David Olofson. But when they come for me, or any other Three Percenter, simply because they have moved the line of the "law" behind us and we refuse to move, THAT becomes a political conflict. By declaring ourselves Three Percenters we make that certain and unambiguous.

Rather these “front door steps” actually represent some ever changing line in the sand. There is some set of criteria that means it’s time to load your rifles and take to the streets, but Vanderboegh doesn’t want to get into details about that.

MBV: Au contraire my synapse-over-burdened blogger. I have been as plain as day, within the boundaries of the sedition laws, about the details insofar as they can be anticipated without the details of the threat scenario. The truth is that that we are working out the "resistance canon," as my friend Pete at Western Rifle Shooters Association calls it, on the Internet and in conversations and meetings between like-minded Three Percenters. In the largest sense, we are attempting the restoration of a republic, something that as far as I know has never been successfully done in the history of the world. That includes much more beyond the mere rattles of "Don't Tread on Me," but the political and cultural portion of that dream has no hope of success without the shield of the armed citizenry. You want details? Read our blogs. We have not been shy. If we are to prevent conflict the other side must understand the details as we see them.

The Vanderboegh and his ilk stood idle during the last wave of gun control laws and the major government over-reaches of Waco and Ruby Ridge.

MBV: No we did not "stand idle" in the 90s. Indeed, we fought a cold war with the feds and their racist terrorist catspaws. There is a book soon to be released by University of Michigan Press by Professor Robert Churchill called Shake Their Guns In the Tyrant's Face. Some of what we did is in there. You are without a clue of what the men and women of the constitutional militia movement accomplished in the 90s or you woulod not make that statement. It is true that Ruby Ridge and Waco caught all of us by surprise. But we reacted. Unlike you we did not "stand idle."

Now apparently they have had enough and are going to do something next time, or maybe the time after that.

MBV: No. Not the time after that. Next time. Now, if they wish. That's up to them. We're not done talking, but we are done moving back. How can our statements be interpreted otherwise? The funny thing is that but for a minority whose jobs would be threatened by public identification, most of us post under our real names. We have taken a stand. Everyone can see that. We have been plain and unambiguous about our intentions to defend our liberty and our property from further depredation. WE USE OUR REAL NAMES. Do you understand the significance of that? I mean really? Our critics, Fudds, Prags and Wolves, hide behind pseudonyms. We do not. You ought to try taking a stand on something once in your life, BigBrain. You'll find that it's liberating. Just be sure you do it with your real name.

The deterrent value of this action (mentioned in item B) is pretty low since there is no action.

MBV: Let us remind you, gentle readers, of the passage BigBrain here is referring to:

"b. to warn anyone who desires further encroachments upon our liberty and property that there will be consequences for their actions, thus, hopefully, to reduce the threat becoming reality."

"No action," eh. We managed to get YOUR attention, now didn't we? There is also a growing understanding in the gun confiscation community that the Three Percenters exist. Oh, they call us "nut obs" and "tin foil hat" folks, but they at least concede our existence. As far as our mental state, as I've said repeatedly over the past decade or so, even if we ARE crazy that just complicates their problem, doesn't it?

Credible deterrence comes from a variety of sources, among them the announced intentions of your selected enemy. If he says, "Now I've got this big stick, and you've been pushing me around for a while and if you push me one more time, I might use it," that's not very credible, is it? But, if he says, "You see this stick? You've finally pissed me off and I'm going to bash your head in with it in self defense if you don't cease and desist." Deterrence is only accomplished by unambiguous language expressing unalterable will. After that, they might still decide they can kill you. But they also know that you will be doing your dead level best to kill them too. Note that if you don't even make the statement, you certainly won't achieve a change in your opponent's behavior.

As to it being the point of decision (mentioned in item C): one could certainly argue that the time of decision is long past, but Vanderboegh’s short list of courses of action are not all that is available.

MBV: Again, let's recall the item referred to:

c. to make it plain to every one, prags included, that the time is fast approaching — thanks to the “authorities” — when they will have to choose, so they’d better get ready to shoot, shit, or hit the fence.

To which he replies in part:

"(O)ne could certainly argue that the time of decision is long past."

Huh? Is BigBrain saying that we missed the tyranny resistance train in the 90s and there won't be another one along, ever? In the context of his argument it is at the least a puzzlement. But then he concludes:

"but Vanderboegh’s short list of courses of action are not all that is available."

Sorry, but not even Vanderboegh believes that there aren't other COA's available. I'm just pointing out the most critical and salient ones to my mind. Remember, all I'm saying is that we must announce our intentions unambiguously, prepare, and then await further developments. Obama, God love him, may be content (as was Bill Clinton) with the adulation that the office brings his needy, narcissistic personality (although unlike Hillary, I believe BHO's wife would cut his testicles off if she caught him with a Monica). It could well be that he has said what he had to to get to this place and he will not wish to risk a 1994 moment by tackling gun control, at least not yet. Maybe. But if not, we cannot remain silent lest they mistake our intentions..

Olofson, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and countless other encroachments and atrocities that the government is responsible for is certainly cause for alarm. We can agree that this represents unchecked government tyranny. We differ as to what is the course of action to reverse this encroachment.

MBV: Again, I ask, what will the prags like BigBrain do when the administration moves the line of the "law" behind where we stand now? Our opponents have swept the political field. Shall we trust the courts like poor Olofson? The treatment of David Olofson proves that no one -- NO ONE -- indicted on a federal gun charge can expect a fair trial. Again, I ask, I demand, what will you DO? The truth is that absent any other expressed sentiment, we must conclude that they will back up, again. Go back to failed politics, again. All the while expecting a different result -- but too timid to do anything else..

True to form, Vanderboegh appeals to the founding fathers, ignoring that the founding fathers resisted a government that they had no voice in, and that they created a system that doesn’t require bloodshed to affect change.

MBV: I'm sorry, I must have missed something. What place and time is BigBrain living in? Look around and smell the excrement. A President with unchallengeable majority in both houses of Congress, willing allies in the media, proposing among other things, a new "civilian security force" that for all we know could look like the Ton-Ton Macoutes as much as the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Founders wouldn't have any problem with the Three Percent. The Founders, being better, more courageous men, wouldn't have waited this long. I cringe when I think about the conversations I'm going to have with Sam Adams and Patrick Henry in Heaven. They will not be happy with how we waited so long to redress greivances so acute and so far from what they intended for our Republic..

As I have said before I think we are largely in agreement on what we would like to see as “change” but I certainly disagree with how he thinks it can be achieved.

MBV: Fair enough. But instead of calling us names and denying our authenticity, if you wish the political solution to work, you should exbrace our reality and run to the public saying, "You really need to stop what you're doing or else you'll have to deal with these crazies. That's how politics works. And if you don't believe it does, you haven't studied the Civil Rights Movement..

And finally the cheap rhetorical trick that is his hallmark: the out of context, ‘bad ass’ military quote. The subtext is that he and his supporters are just like these bloody heroes, and anyone who disagrees is a rifle-dropper. I find it highly presumptuous to compare a icy foxhole on foreign soil with your own hearth and home (assuming it was under assault) and say they are the same position. Today they are like paratroopers, they have already been Spartans and minutemen.

MBV: Anyone who was not grasping for straws in a losing argument would have left this alone. The fact is that I have had emails from veterans of the 82nd Airborne thanking me for reminding folks of what American courage looks like. If I reach back to other times in American history for examples of courageous defiance it is because we find so few examples of it in our own time. Let's repeat what I wrote:

"We Three Percenters are merely in the position of the 82nd Airborne trooper up on the Elsenborn Ridge in December, 1944. As he dug his fighting position, some refugees from the 106th Infantry Division were streaming past him and his buddies, fleeing the destruction of their division at the hands of the Germans. One of them, overcome by curiousity at the sight of somebody who wasn’t running, called out, 'Who are you guys?' The paratrooper answered, 'I’m 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are getting.'”

Note, I did not say we were as valorous as the 82nd Airborne in 1944. I can tell you we are not. Not yet, anyway. I only said we are in the same position as the Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge. A powerful enemy comes. People to our left and right are backing up, indeed fleeing before, that enemy's power. We need, now, today, that glider infantryman's guts. If we are to defend our liberty, we must have that kind of unconquerable will and determination. And we need it, I might add, because the prags, our supposed self-declared allies, are already looking to the rear, spying out an escape route, unwilling to confront the Leviathan that approaches. It is as if the tank destroyer crew of the 106th said to the Airborne enlisted man: "I think we are largely in agreement that we would like to stop those Panzers across the valley that are headed this way, but we certainly disagree with how you think that can be achieved."

In the real event, the TD fell into position behind the 82nd man, and gradually as other refugees regained their courage from the 82nd's example, a formidable road block developed. Other units tied into the flanks, and a line was formed. In the end, the 82nd enlisted man was right. It was as far as the Germans got on his part of the front.

As for us Three Percenters, this is as far as we're backing up. If they draw the line behind us, we will stand where we are. After they come to compel the first few in our homes and succeed in killing us, in effect declaring war upon the lives, liberties and property of the entire American people, the rest of us Three Percenters will defend ourselves by a war of manuever that will make them wish they'd never thought of it. What you think about us is immaterial. We will do what our principles call us to do. Is that "detailed" enough for you, MostlyGenius?.


GunRights4US said...

So far, Mostly-NonGenius fails to impress me.

Peter said...

This is currently 'awaiting moderation'. We'll see if it sees the light of day.

"I'm so glad that criticizing us has made you feel better about yourself.

Happy to be of service.

We're well aware that the Brady Bunch visits the various websites, as do the Feds. As much as that might have been an unintended consequence, it's now part of the plan, just as the current wide-spread gun purchases are. An unfired shot across the bow is nonetheless a shot. If the mere prospect of armed resistance stays the FedGov's hand, we still have made our point.

Next time, please don't forget to speculate about our compensating for small penises, OK? Every belittlement will help to make the onset of shooting that much more remarkable and noteworthy, and hopefully reduce the overall number of incidents. I'm not the only one who is planning for After The Gunfire, and having some Gummint spokesman trying to explain that they thought we were all just a bunch of Internet Tough Guys will help out in the long run. It's not often pointed out, but President Clinton and Attorney General Reno basically saying 'oops' after Waco had a definite effect on the 1994 mid-term elections.

Keep up the good work. I believe you're one of those Useful Idiots that the Marxist-Leninists were fond of citing. It's nice to know that we have our own."

Qi Ji Guang said...

Maybe Mr. Smartypants would like to spend a decade or two in Germany in 1923, right after the First War and before that big ol' dirty bar brawl called the Beer Hall Putsch.

After that, he might realize just how easy it is for a "democratic" government to transform into a tyrannical jauggernaut.

After all, something happened after the Elections of 1932. It was KOLIBRI. HUMMINGBIRD. Mr. Smartypants should google OPERATION HUMMINGBIRD or NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES. And start first with the Reichstag.

Ah. The glorious old Reichstag. Where water-spewing bronze centaurs deck the square permeated by the strains of Bach and Beethoven. Just who would imagine something so weird to happen over there on a certain night after the Elections.

REICHSTAG is exactly what is going to happen with our gun rights in the hands of the elitist administration. They will try to use a coincidental event , a gun related crime perhaps, and spin it up to the most horrendous details. After that, they will use their own made-up stories to justify taking Americans' guns, and perhaps taking some lives in the process too. After all, having political opponents is kind of dangerous on the long run. So some of us might end up dead too. Just like the people unfortunate enough to be caught up in the REICHSTAG madness, in that case, a "communist" and the Social Democrats.

Did it happen again? I think it did. The second time, it was called Ruby Ridge. Ooh...the rails underneath my feet are vibrating. Is that a train coming?

mostlygenius said...

My response is here:
The Latest Round of the 3 percenter nonsense

Vanderboegh said...

Mike Vanderboegh
December 2nd, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“Keep up the good work. I believe you’re one of those Useful Idiots that the Marxist-Leninists were fond of citing. It’s nice to know that we have our own.”

Pete, Pete. Give the guy some credit.

Lenin said the capitalists would sell the rope the Bolshies used to hang them.

These guys will buy it for them.

Credit where credit is due, OK?

Peter said...


I didn't call him a 'counter-revolutionary Trotskyite' did I?


j3maccabee said...

Well... I recall a T-shirt with an image of a farmer looking down at a pig... the caption was, "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig." So... maybe that is equal to trying to disabuse certain self-absorbed persons of their fallacious estimation of their intellects.

Qi Ji Guang said...

Re: Mostly (self acclaimed) Genius

3 percenter "nonsense"???

Wait. WTF? What "nonsense" are we talking about here? And I could see that you haven't read my response regarding how easily "democratic" governments can turn into tyrannical ones overnight.

Guess what? Mike Vanderboegh has completely PWNED you with his essay and his explanation. If you want to form a reply to his logic without me and the others laughing at you, you better include references to Kolibri and the Night of the Long Knives, and the Cultural Revolution too, in your next "reply". Wanna talk politics and history? Well, thats what we are here for.

45superman said...

If he's "Mostly Genius," I am forced to assume that we have so far heard only the minority opinion.

45superman said...

Mike, I'm sure you've been heartbroken over Mostly's criticism, but if it makes you feel better, he doesn't seem to like me, either (more here, here, and here).