In the second-to-last episode of "Band of Brothers," an HBO miniseries that documented Easy Company's wartime exploits, Powers spoke on camera about the soldiers he fought and also hinted at the intrinsic tragedy of combat.
"We might have had a lot in common. He might've liked to fish, you know, he might've liked to hunt," Powers said. "Of course, they were doing what they were supposed to do, and I was doing what I was supposed to do.
"But under different circumstances, we might have been good friends."
Vernon Hunter, Vietnam veteran and devout Christian.
I want y'all to read this and I'll have comments on the other side.
Family, friends gather at home of missing man
Vernon Hunter was devout Christian, gave to others, friends say.
By Jeremy Schwartz and Melissa B. Taboada
Published: 10:57 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, 2010
Neighbors say Vernon Hunter was the kind of guy who offered trash collectors Gatorade on hot summer days.
"He was a very spiritual man, kind of the life of the neighborhood," said Darren McDaniel, who has lived two houses away since their homes were built in 1996. "We were all sort of like his kids."
Hunter, who public records show is 68, is believed to have been killed in Thursday's attack on a Northwest Austin building that housed Internal Revenue Service offices. Andrew Joseph Stack III is suspected of flying his single-engine plane into the building.
On Friday , Hunter's neighbors and co-workers expressed their grief and shock, remembering him as an exceptionally kind man who was the glue both in his neighborhood and at work.
"He always put his people first," said co-worker Chris Matz of Hunter, a collection manager at the IRS. "Most of the people in our group are very affected, very traumatized. It's a close-knit group. We are a family."
Michiko Robinson called Hunter an excellent supervisor. "He was a very genuine human being," she said.
Loved ones gathered at the Hunter home in Cedar Park Friday morning as a steady stream of neighbors, family and friends brought food and drinks and offered comfort.
A family representative said the family has not heard from the medical examiner's office and was advised by authorities not to comment until a confirmation has been made. Some relatives had not yet been notified of the tragedy, he added.
Meanwhile on Friday, the most seriously injured victim of the crash continued to recuperate at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was listed in stable condition. Shane Hill, an investigator with the criminal investigation division of the Texas comptroller's office, received second-degree burns to his back.
Comptroller officials said Hill was in good spirits Friday. "He told me he is anxious to get back to work," his supervisor Max Westbrook said.
Throughout the day Friday, television news trucks parked along the quiet street of the Hunters' two-story, red-brick home. At one point, H-E-B employees went to the home to donate a couple of boxes of food.
"We were shocked and saddened to hear of the unnecessary loss of Vernon Hunter," said company spokeswoman Leslie Lockett. "We want to help the Hunter family in any way we can, and sending food to the family and relatives today was our first step in helping them through this tragedy."
Earlier, police delivered Hunter's Chevy Silverado truck, emblazoned with Vietnam Veteran and POW MIA emblems, to the home. Hunter served in Vietnam and often spoke of his time during the war, neighbors said.
Robert Foster, who has lived near Hunter for about 10 years, said that he knew Hunter was a veteran and wanted to honor him with his American flag. "Out of respect to him, when I came out this morning, I put my flag out," Foster said. "You could talk to him about anything. He always had a smile."
He was known to friends, co-workers and relatives as the one who gave. Hunter is also described as a devout Christian and father of six grown children who loved his white cowboy hat. At Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church in East Austin, where Hunter served as a lead usher, news of the tragedy weighed heavily.
"We're devastated," said Brian Balque, facilities manager at the church.
Balque said that Hunter had set up the church's tax ministry, helping members and local residents with their taxes. "He had a servant's heart," Balque said. "He represented what we stand for as a church, a kind word and a warm spirit."
Balque said Hunter's wife, who also works at the same IRS building and was there when the plane struck, called the church in the minutes afterward asking for prayers for her husband.
McDaniel said their street won't be the same with Hunter gone.
"Everybody loved him in the neighborhood," McDaniel said. "He's in a better place, but the neighborhood is going to seem a little empty without him."
People tend to think of other people with whom they disagree in terms of cartoon characters. This dehumanizes them and makes them easier to hate. The other side in our struggle to restore the Founders' Republic is especially guilty of this. But we do it too. It is a thing humans do naturally. As previously stable societies polarize and fragment toward civil war, such a process is a necessary predicate to the the commencement of the killing.
The fact that no one (well, hardly anyone) ever wants a war is immaterial. Wars usually happen because people do not believe they will happen, or that if they do happen ("the other side will HAVE to back down because we say so") they will turn out to be without too much cost to them. The pay-off of war is always viewed by the men who start them as worth the risk, but it hardly ever is.
The problem is that such folks DO NOT THINK. This is what Hannah Arendt was getting at with her description of Adolf Eichmann as representing "the banality of evil."
Otto Adolf Eichmann, March 19, 1906 – May 31, 1962, sometimes referred to as "the architect of the Holocaust", was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel). Because of his organizational talents and ideological reliability, he was charged by Obergruppenführer (General) Reinhard Heydrich with the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe. -- Wikipedia.
Arendt's first reaction to Eichmann, "the man in the glass booth," was — nicht einmal unheimlich — not even sinister." She argues that "The deeds were monstrous, but the doer ... was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous." Arendt's perception that Eichmann seemed to be a common man, evidenced in his transparent superficiality and mediocrity left her astonished in measuring the unaccounted evil committed by him, that is, organizing the deportation of millions of Jews to the concentration camps. Actually, what Arendt had detected in Eichmann was not even stupidity, in her words, he portrayed something entirely negative, it was thoughtlessness. Eichmann's ordinariness implied in an incapacity for independent critical thought: "... the only specific characteristic one could detect in his past as well as in his behavior during the trial and the preceding police examination was something entirely negative: it was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think." (emphasis added) Eichmann became the protagonist of a kind of experience apparently so quotidian, the absence of the critical thought. Arendt says: "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."
Eichmann had always acted according to the strict limits allowed by the laws and ordinances. Those attitudes resulted in the clouding between virtues and vices of a blind obedience. In fact, it was not only Eichmann, as an isolated person, who was normal, whereas all other bureaucrats were sadist monsters. One was before a bureaucratic compact mass of men who were perfectly normal, but whose acts were monstrous. Behind such terrible normality of the bureaucratic mass, who was able to commit the greatest atrocities that the world has even seen, Arendt addressed the question of the banality of evil. This normality opened up the precedent regarding the possibility that some attitudes commonly repudiated by a society — in this case the Nazi German attitudes — find as a locus of manifestation the common citizen, who has not reflected on the content of the rules.Richard Bernstein highlights this "normal and ordinary behavior" of the bureaucratic mass in not thinking about the real meaning of the rules themselves, in the sense that they would behave in the same manner in the manufacturing of either food or corpses. "We may find it almost impossible to image how someone could 'think'(or rather, not think) in this manner, whereby manufacturing food, bombs, or corpses are 'in essence the same' and where this can become 'normal', 'ordinary' behavior. This is the mentality that Arendt believed she was facing in Eichmann... ." Eichmann has brought up the radical danger of "such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness." -- Eichmann, the Banality of Evil, and Thinking in Arendt's Thought by Bethania Assy.
"The Man in the Glass Booth," Adolf Eichmann on trial.
Don't get me wrong. Vernon Hunter was no Adolf Eichmann. I rather suspect that if the country were to move into a shooting war with itself, between the people and the government, that Vernon Hunter, had he been given the chance, would have sided with the people.
Yet, in his way, Vernon Hunter (on an admittedly very small scale and in different circumstances) is representative of the same sort of "thoughtlessness" Arendt assigns to Eichmann.
Tell me the functional difference between this:
The massacre of Lidice by Nazi troops in retribution for the assassination of SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich
The massacre of the Davidians at Waco in retribution for killing 4 raiding ATF agents in what a Texas jury later ruled was lawful self-defense.
And what is the difference between this:
German killers posing in front of the ruins of Lidice.
FBI killer posing in front of Waco.
You want to know the difference? One happened in war and the perpetrators were later punished. The other happened in peacetime and the perpetrators were later promoted. Those are the only functional differences.
So I say to you that at least since 1993, every employee of the federal government should know that this is a government estranged from its people, acting at odds with the Founders' rules set down for it. Indeed, every Federal employee and most state employees either know or have every reason to know that their government employer idly and unthinkingly wages a low-intensity war with its own people. Thus, these government employees today cannot deny two essential facts:
1) The murderous nature of the Leviathan master they serve every day, and
2) That these are not ordinary, peaceful times when such service -- and such thoughtlessness -- has no larger consequence, either to the nation or themselves.
Many of these employees today, including Vernon Hunter, took an oath at some point in their lives to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. It was an oath they took before God.
The German policemen who hated Hitler but dutifully arrested his opponents and sent them to Dachau or worse were "law enforcement officers." They were, in every sense "obeying the law." This was later an insufficient defense from a charge of war crimes. Most, of course, ultimately faced no punishment. However, they did -- all of them, I will guarantee you -- have to face their Maker on the same charges.
Vernon Hunter was by all accounts a good man, a Christian man, a patriot who had risked his life for his country and dutifully served it. There is no evidence that he ever did anything to harm another person. His death typifies the infinite tragedy of all wars throughout history -- otherwise good men are killed in bad causes.
But do you know who I blame? The dirty, stinking, power-grasping bastards who lay the groundwork for the killing. Today, these are the politicians who give a wink and a nod to murderous FBI agents, rogue ATF gun cops or oppressive IRS tax enforcers. For they took an oath too, these politicians. It was an oath that they forgot even in the utterance.
But there is such a thing as karma and there certainly is a Law of Unintended Consequences, and there is also an Almighty God who will judge them, if not in this world, then in the next.
The fact that murderous federal government misconduct has motivated a whole bunch of otherwise law-abiding people who are now willing, if given sufficient additional motivation, to make the introduction between these unthinking, banally evil politicians and God should not be surprising.
May God take Vernon Hunter into His arms and console his family. And may God damn the arrogant, power-hungry men and women who set up the predicate for his death. I am afraid there will be a lot more unnecessary, tragic deaths before this is over.
Totally unfair to this man. You should be ashamed. This was just BS
"...it was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think."
"Eichmann had always acted according to the strict limits allowed by the laws and ordinances."
"Richard Bernstein highlights this "normal and ordinary behavior" of the bureaucratic mass in not thinking about the real meaning of the rules themselves, in the sense that they would behave in the same manner in the manufacturing of either food or corpses."
another tower of babel; more evidence of why men need god.
vernon may very well have been putting every penny he earned towards good. after all, it's just the dollar. it's not really money.
the young vernons in government employment will need a wake-up call, lest they react blindly to the superficial circumstances which leviathan works even now to establish as a new caricature of "the enemy," because that enemy is free minds and free souls.
those in the know will thereafter need a sign that it is time to empty their desk and trade security for the uncomfortable prospect of unemployment amidst chaos, which they are not honestly preparing for.
god help us, it can all be done nonviolently.
As usual, a lucid and balanced article giving the overall, clear perspective. When I've mentioned that deeds of various BATFU and Feebie persons as painting bulls-eyes on ALL employees of those wretched domestic terr operations, this is the effect to which I refer.
There can be no doubt at all that in any such situation of combat, many or most people in the camp of the enemy combatants - anywhere in the world - are human beings who love their spouse and children, stare at the beauty of a sunset or marvel at the sweetness of birdsong. One of the bloodiest of Japanese warlords in the bygone centuries, composed incredible haiku. Rudolf Hess, it is said, suffered punishment for decades for having tried to broker a peace between Germany and England. And probably, some of those MP-5 brandishing federal bastards who terrorized the family of Elian Gonzales on an Easter Sunday, were kind to their dogs or cats and took their kids to the park on summer days.
One of my few heroes, Carlos Hathcock, was once asked if he felt emotion or regret when he squeezed the trigger and saw an enemy fall.
He replied to the effect that he tried not to think about anything except the fact that if he did not do his job, then some of his boys would die and leave their wives and kids back in the States as widows and orphans.
Sherman, the bastard, said that war was Hell; but the IDF simply say, war is war.
Excellent analogy. But the MSM will only show what a great guy Hunter was, and how evil Stack was for killing him. All the underlying causes you mentioned will be completely ignored, or most likely, not even realized...
But........but.....but....I WAS ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS!
If the mere "inability to think" is enough to create an Eichmann, we are well and thoroughly screwed, because our tax-funded school system turns out exactly the right kind of raw material.
If you choose to accept a paycheck from the federal government (both Vernon and his wife) you become complicit in the actions taken by the government. That said, condolences to the family are in order. Consider the results of all government employees refusingto work or taxpayer money for just 1 week in protest. Since that will never happen, when individuals reach their own "Point of no Return" I fear that violent incidents against available targets Will continue.We Must Think, prepare, train, and involve our various communities, or accept the consequences of our inaction
It's most definitely a tragedy.
If the mere "inability to think" is enough to create an Eichmann, we are well and thoroughly screwed, because our tax-funded school system turns out exactly the right kind of raw material. -- February 21, 2010 10:32 AM
Ding! We ***ALMOST*** have a WINNER!
Unfortunately this ain't horseshoes or hand-grenades, so ...
Do you not think this fact - that our schools crank out kids who aren't prepared to THINK - is an accident?
All part of the plan, my friend. All part of the plan.
SOME of us had no real choice but to send our kids to those schools, but still made damn sure they got a REAL education at home. My kids learned early in Elementary school that they were being taught things that are not true - because their teachers don't know and only follow and teach the materials handed to them by the actual evil ones above.
The subject that opened that door was the Civil War - of which they were taught "Abraham Lincoln wanted to free the slaves, but the southern-people wouldn't let them go - so they started a war."
After she saw for herself the truth - that
(1) Lincoln - in his own words - cared nothing for freeing the slaves
(2) Lincoln was a riotous bigot who planned to ship them all back to Africa
(3) The "emancipation proclamation" wasn't signed until 2 years into the war, and
(4) didn't free a single slave because it didn't apply to the slaves in the North and had no force in the seceded states
... She then understood she was being lied to.
She also learned very quickly to "play the game" with teachers, because they had power to make life unpleasant, but NEVER to let them have her mind - the one gift G*d gave her that noone could take away.
In college she immediately joined the "Young Conservatives" club and regularly calls or writes to tell me of the latest example of liberal idiocy she had to endure.
You **CAN** use the public schools as a baseline on which to build the REAL teachings which are ultimately a G*D-given responsibility anyway.
As to the OP, I think you (as usual) did a stellar job of not demonizing the man while pointing out the evil in his workplace and command-structure.
Personally, I don't see how ANY thinking, decent, Conservative person could work for the IRS/FBI/ATF/etc - unless their real mission was to keep track of them and inform the world as to the real evil they embody.
At best they're less "eichman" than the camp guards or train-personnel - they had to have an idea of the truth but continued to do their job and tell themselves THEY weren't the ones responsible for the horror on the street or down the railroad.
This - IMHO - summs up what little I know about Mr. Vernon. He did his job and tried to assuage his conscience in some way by arranging help for poor people to get their "return" forms filled out, telling himself that he wasn't responsible for the behavior of the jackbooted field-agents or the despots above him.
The TRUTH is that neither the ivory tower nor the jackboots on the street can function without their hordes of bureaucratic "middle-men."
The touching eulogy of Mr. Hunter should be realized for what it is: Opposition perception management.
By creating this gentle picture of Mr. Hunter--devout Christian and veteran---the audience is being shaped to reject any notion the airplane attack was a patriotic act and to accept the act as a purely criminal one.
Examine the how he is described. Christian and veteran appeal to both groups simultaneously and with the wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter resonates particularly well---”here is a true warrior”, “this is the outcome of attack on the System”, “this is the face of violence” are all operational themes to prevent inertia from being developed.
The FBI knows this: revolution is a competition for legitimacy and they cannot have revolutionary acts be allowed to pass without shaping perception of that, otherwise inertia from the deed will spur others to definite action. This eulogy is tactic. It is different from the kinetic tactics of the squad or cell, but with the same goal—to defeat the enemy.
We are in a war of minds. They know this. Any counter-attack should include means to deny, degrade, disrupt and defeat these perception management efforts.
Vernon Hunter did not deserve to die. At most, he deserved, and needed, to have somebody trusted discuss his choices with him and let him sort matters out with his own conscience.
Hunter's murder was not a patriotic act. It was an irrational acting-out by a weak man driven mad by the confluence of oppression and his own failings.
Tragedy in war we can rationalize as serving a better end. This was just unnecessary and wrong.
My father was a simple man of little formal education, but he was wise beyond the comprehension of what he called "educated fools", and he understood that sometimes, things could not be sufficiently explained except by Scripture. At such times as these he would shrug and paraphrase Matthew 5:45 thus - "it rains on the just and the unjust".
The average American who even remembers Waco has no clue what happened there. The .gov has done an excellent job of demonizing Koresh, and I think that your average citizen could really care less about the massacre in Waco. Most people I speak with think the Davidians started it, or at least they deserved it.
The .gov will, as usual, spin this incident in their favor with the help of the American media and the average citizen will move on without really looking at it in the depth that Mike has. Too bad Mike couldn't do an interview with that gutless, Obama fawning Chris Matthews. I'd love to see that verbal vivisection televised.
It'll take several more tragic events such as this, which I believe may be forthcoming, to wake up .gov enablers. Even then, that steady paycheck and retirement may be too much to give up for something as "silly" as principles and liberty.
Every single one of the "redcoats" who died attempting to quash the American Revolution was someone's son, someone's brother, maybe someone's father, someone's husband, someone's lover, someone's friend.
A whole lot of those "redcoats" were probably fine chaps, with whom many of us would have enjoyed sharing a pint of ale in a tavern, and talking to about all sorts of subjects.
That is the real tragedy of all wars.
Real people with real families and real human connections really get killed.
That's a reality that I think lots of folks clamoring for "American Revolution II" never think about at all.
I think an even bigger number of folks who howl "Oh yeah, but the gubmint will just drop a missile on your house!" also fail to realize this truth.
If it comes, the real cost will be enormous and mind-boggling.
And it will touch every single person inside the US. None will escape without some sort of personal loss.
No, not even one.
God gave us free will, the ability to know good from evil and choose between them. We may be able to avoid accountability for those choices here on earth, but none will avoid it when they stand before the Throne of God.
May God have mercy on Mr. Hunter... and all of us.
Kansas Scout said: Hyperbole personified. Totally unfair to this man...This was just BS.
Justin C. said..."Too bad Mike couldn't do an interview with that gutless, Obama fawning Chris Matthews. I'd love to see that verbal vivisection televised."
Not really. You don't get into a shit slinging contest with a deranged monkey; and arguing with a socio-path like Matthews is an absolute waste of time and energy. He doesn't care what you say, he isn't listening, he isn't arguing, he is too busy spewing his venom all over the place. When you meet a blow hard like this you either smile, buy him a beer, ignore him and go about your business, or, you deliver the beer still in the unopened bottle to a convenient place on his skull, toss him out the back door, and drink the beer yourself. There are no half way measures worth bothering with.
Regarding the mind set of bureaucrats, while Mike is correct about the inability to think critically he is somewhat wrong to emphasize that over the other aspect which he points out (the moron FBI agent posing for his pic at the aftermath of Waco) but doesn't get into so much here although I think he does in Absolved: the puffed up sense of importance many derive from being 'government' officials and therefore, in their pathetic minds, somewhat untouchable.
This happens everywhere; an excellent example is the Alaska Fish and Game Department, talk about a bunch of gutless little Nazis. Absolutely undisciplined, they lie, threaten, fake evidence, intimidate, bring false charges, do what ever they want, and hide behind the stone wall of government invulnerability and never, ever accept personal accountability for anything. This is a human thing, it is no different for the military or law enforcement except in the military the guy on the front line will at times be personally held accountable for someone's decisions.
Accountability is everything. No change will be complete until the rules of accountability are changed and rigorously adhered to. If you are not willing to do that, then don't waste your time fighting because in the long run you will be right back where you are in the shit again.
btw: Col. West is back at it. He gave a good speech at the CPAC the other day (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4878967) and the folks over at American Grand Jury posted a good letter of his. He is a great American and fully understands what is going on, you guys really need to check him out: firstname.lastname@example.org
'12 year old girl arrested and taken out in handcuffs for drawing on a school desk'
Sorry about the double posting but I just came across this and it is such a clear example of how outrageous the situation is in our country today in regards to brainless bureaucrats and ignorant brain dead cops that I thought I would post it here. This crap has to be stopped, these people, school officials, cops, judges, politicians, anyone with this mind set, have got to be eliminated and the means matters not.
JPFO linked a vid with your letter.
It should be required viewing for all Americans.
It ain't easy, but you really do need to watch it all - right to the end - then get everyone you know to do the same.
All I kept asking - throughout - was "What (expletive-deleted) country *IS* this??!!"
God Save Our Republic!!
This was so spot on. You take care of your health, we can’t lose you in such a critical time in the history of the world. You take on current events and keeping us awakened to our awful situation should be required reading at every school in America right after the pledge of Allegiance!
My best friend from High School is a Public School Teacher. He is even conservative in his beliefs, and routinely gets shouted down in the teachers lounge for his views. But even this situation is hard for our friendship, and this might sound ridiculous to many, but his employer (leviathan) and I are so at odds with each other that it affects our relationship, mildly, but affects it negatively nonetheless.
Now, if he worked in the IRS, the BATFE, the EPA, or FDA or whatever, I don’t think our friendship would last. But I want to say, even he wouldn’t work for these branches of the Leviathon. He just couldn’t do it. If any patriot works for the IRS I would honestly be surprised, but if they are out there, like Mr. Hunter perhaps, what are they thinking? Seriously, why would a patriot go down to job service and apply for an IRS job? I don’t think they would…they were there before the economy got bad…no excuses.
Hunter's murder was not a patriotic act. It was an irrational acting-out by a weak man driven mad by the confluence of oppression and his own failings.
I agree with this. I read Joseph Stack's suicide diatribe, and it was clear that he had assisted in his own destruction at every turn. He had a legitimate beef with the IRS, but who doesn't?
Vernon Hunter did not deserve to die. At most, he deserved, and needed, to have somebody trusted discuss his choices with him and let him sort matters out with his own conscience.
I'm deeply ambivalent. Certainly he was no Adolph Eichmann; that parallel was poorly chosen. Unlike Hunter, Eichmann directly and with full knowledge did horrific things under his own name. As another commenter already said, Hunter could more accurately be paralleled with an otherwise-honorable soldier who "obeys orders" - and finds himself loading civilians into cattle cars to go ... he doesn't want to know where.
It is impossible for me to believe that anyone intelligent enough to function in society at all could remain unaware that the IRS is a justly hated government agency. Oh, I'm certain that Hunter ingested with his mother's milk every homily about "fair share," and doing your part to serve the greater good, and he probably would have been shocked at the suggestion that anyone paying less taxes than he could was anything but a "cheater." I'm certain he believed it all firmly. But he still had to know the IRS is hated.
Still, he probably didn't even own a pair of jackboots. I don't accept that he was a legitimate target. But does that make him an innocent victim? I'm terribly ambivalent.
One thing's for sure. When somebody snaps and decides to go "lone nut," unless he's been done to personally by someone identifiable he's unlikely to be discriminating in his choice of targets. It's something every secretary in every government bureau should think about, every single day.
Funny you mention the ADFG. I live in AK and know several who have fallen prey to them.
I also agree that speaking with Matthews would probably be a waste of time. It would be neat to watch Matthews get knocked on the floor though.
Your point about the arrogance of .gov employees is well taken, and in many cases you are right. Many times arrogance trumps ignorance, but many times it is the other way as well.
Anon-2-21 @ 2:08-
The human and other costs of a revolution would be enormous, unpredictable and unknowable as it is in all wars.
That is why it is so imperative that we exhaust all peaceful means to preserve our liberties before any two way live fire ranges are conducted. It surely doesn't help when we are demonized and ridiculed by the ruling class (both parties) and their media minions. They don't get it. We are NOT a free society. More free than most, but we've lost much in the past century.
There is a line government must not cross, there are certain liberties we can no longer afford to compromise. The human cost of tyrannical governments in the 20th century outweighed ALL of the wars conducted. THAT is a VERIFIABLE FACT. I want to live in peace with the .gov, but I will not submit to everything for the sake of it. My descendants will not bear the cost of my idleness, whether action is defined as polite emails to my representatives or otherwise.
I love my country, I love it infinitely more than I love my government. We all have choices to make, I guess.
No Fort Sumters, but no Wacos either.
Ok, here's the thing. You don't shoot the other guy because he's a bad guy who kicks his dog and molests his children. He may be a wonderful fellow, you shoot him because he wears the uniform of your enemy. you may have enjoyed his company if his commanders hadn't tasked him with destroying your life. But they did, and he accepted those orders. So you kill him. You don't rejoice in it. But you realize that all your hopes for your family depend on his death and the death of others tasked with destroying your liberties and life.
It's ugly, it's inhumane, it's survival.
George Washington died due to harmful medical treatment, suffering from the combination of bloodletting of five pints of blood, dehydration, suffocation, and an enema of a Mercury compound. One of the doctors who treated him was his personal physician and close friend. These doctors were not Evil, thoughtless, or order-following robots; they were simply Mistaken about how the body worked.
"Vernon Hunter, Vietnam veteran and devout Christian."
Suppose this tax collector believed that taxes should be collected in accordance with the 16th amendment, accurately and without drama. Imagine also that he believed in high tariffs and immigration barriers to protect American workers and industries. Perhaps he believed that security should be collectively provisioned, including a strong military. This man could have been a Constitutionalist!
The Constitutionalists who hang out here are not Evil; they simply have Mistaken beliefs about economics and politics. These mistaken beliefs have misled them into creating and serving a monster. This monster can survive without any individual participant having to be a cartoon-character black hat. When enough Constitutionalists turn libertarian, stop voting, and stop expecting a government to do something for them, this nightmare will be over. Remove your consent, and the tyrant will topple from lack of support.
Hey has Bill Moron Ah I mean Maher gone on T.V. to tell us how brave Joe Stack was yet?
I'm deeply ambivalent.
Let's examine that for a moment. Understand that I am not ascribing to you any of the more unpleasant ideas I will mention, I'm merely inspired to rant and those are part of it.
I think it's fair to say that most people who post comments here acknowledge the nonzero probability that violent action may be required against the forces of oppression in America, in defense of our lives, property, and liberty. It's critical that we understand clearly what our victory conditions are, and the steps required to achieve them.
My take on the matter is that victory, for American patriots, is the reestablishment of a culture of maximum individual liberty consistent with the need to live together in society, and the requirement of a minimal, carefully-delimited national administrative organization to handle some defined tasks. We get from where we are to there by constitutional means if possible, but if not, by the minimum commitment of extraconstitutional force needed to accomplish the goal. Either path must be backed by an ongoing education effort to help our countrymen learn the benefits of real liberty and how to meet the challenge of being free.
If we follow the path of force, it's incumbent on us to use it in the most sparing, efficient manner possible. We could, granted, just kill everyone who ever served leviathan in any capacity, and that would accomplish the goal, but in the most horribly wasteful manner possible, and at a cost to our souls and the legacy we'd leave America that I shudder to contemplate.
What we can do, and I think ought to do, if that day comes, is take several handsful of pages from John Robb's book, and like-minded others, and exploit the vulnerabilities of the infrastructure of tyranny to impair or eliminate the national government's ability to enforce its will on us. We look for single points of failure, for critical resources like communications networks, data storage facilities, command-and-control centers, and enforcement mechanisms. We render the country ungovernable from DC.
Viewed in that light, what did Joe Stack accomplish? Zip. Zero. Nada. Tactically and strategically, it was a complete washout. No irreplaceable assets were destroyed. Other than the time lost to repairing the building, replacing the office furniture and equipment, and training Mr. Hunter's successor, there will be no interruption in IRS operations in that service area. Any records lost to the attack are almost certainly backed up somewhere. Stack failed to achieve any positive result and handed the opposition a propaganda victory.
Was Vernon Hunter's death desirable, within the framework I've described? No. He was an apparatchik, a cog in the machine. Yes, he was driving his own small nail into our liberties and should have known that his actions were wrong, but what harm could he have done, if his databases were destroyed or corrupted, his phone didn't work, and his collection cases told him to pound sand and there was nobody he could send to punish them? He would be neutralized as an agent of oppression, and would still get to go home in the evening.
Good, bad, or just misguided, the other team are Americans, too, and I believe we owe it to them to refrain from using a sword where the cluebat might suffice.
OK Patrick Henry, I watched it ALL the way through and I'm still shaking...
Anybody else thinking they'll "think twice" about calling 9-1-1 now?
I wish people would carefully re-read the Stack "manifesto" and realized that he was not in favor of individual liberty, that his only problem with the Government was that it didn't help him, and that he'd have sent everyone on this board to the gas chambers if the State had in return given him a few extra tax breaks.
Vernon Hunter did not deserve to die. Okay.
Now - Tell me that Andrew Joseph Stack III DID deserve to die.
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