Friday, April 23, 2010

"Oh, HELL No!" -- My speech at the Restore the Constitution Rally, Fort Hunt Park, Virginia, 19 April 2010.

"NO!" An old fat scribbler who wandered into Fort Hunt Park and somebody gave the microphone to.

To paraphrase George Patton, I thought I'd stand up here and give y'all a chance to see if I'm as big and bad a "mad dog militia terrorist" as Rachel Madcow, Chris Matthews, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Medved and Billy Jeff Clinton say that I am.

You know I'm grateful to them for all the free publicity, especially from ole Billy Jeff. You know, when you're denounced by a serial perjurer that has special meaning, and you know that you have arrived. But there's one thing I want to straighten out right here and now. Billy Jeff says that we are, we Three Percenters, are "unhinged and disgruntled." But that's not true. You see this? (Holds up a small gate hinge) Here's my hinge. All right? So I am not "unhinged." I have my hinge. You notice? There's three holes in each side.

Now as far as being "disgruntled," I am reliably informed that in the Commonwealth of Virginia it is illegal to show your "gruntle" in public. That being the case, and if it's true in Virginia it must be true in Alabama, and I intend to go back to Alabama and live my life in peace for as long as God gives me, you ain't gonna see my "gruntle." That's between me and Rosey, my beautiful wife, so I don't care what Bill Clinton says.

Now as they said, my name is Mike Vanderboegh and I'm a Three Percenter. George Washington was a Three Percenter. Three percent of the population of the American colonies took the field against the King in the American Revolution. They were actively supported by another ten percent of the population with another twenty percent for the Revolution but willing to do no more than just say "rah, rah." Another third of the population supported the King. In fact, by the end of the war there were more American colonists in the forces of the King than there were in the forces of the Revolution. And the other third of the population blew with the wind and took what came. Kind of like today.

As I say, my name is Mike Vanderboegh but lately I could be mistaken for Emmanuel Goldstein of the "Two Minute Hate" in George Orwell's 1984. Everybody I think wants to hate me. I think it's because across the political spectrum I scare them. I don't know why. I mean, I'm just a fat old scribbler who's got congestive heart failure and diabetic feet. Maybe it's the cane.

But, no, seriously I understand why. I understand why I scare them. I understand why YOU scare 'em. And understand that -- YOU. SCARE. THEM. The people who put up the "We Are Everywhere" stickers. The people who threw some Three Percent bricks through some local political party windows. They scare them. They scare the bejeezus out of 'em. And I'll tell you why.

My call to break the windows of local Democrat party headquarters, even though it was answered by just a few people across the country from New York to Alaska, caused the talking heads to begin denouncing me in prime time, and I started receiving death threats by phone and email, and some fellow from Virginia claiming to be Dick Cheney sent me a powdery substance in an Easter card. . . You know there must be a special place in Hell for people who profane Easter cards.

But the fact that I called on folks to start pushing back -- pushing back against the last 75 years where it is WE who have been pushed back from the natural exercise of our liberties -- of our God-given, inalienable, natural liberties. . . It scared these political mandarins. It scared these elitists. They believe that they know what's best for us.

But it is in fact our own fault that we are in this situation. Each time these revolutionists of gradualism cut another piece off of the Founders' Republic, off of the Constitution, each time we backed up, grumbling, but we didn't shove back. We have not shoved back. So, why should we expect that they're going to quit shoving?

By calling for this limited campaign against the windows of local political offices, I hoped to make them understand that this situation was coming to a fundamental break where people -- the guilty and innocent alike -- were going to begin dying for their own stupid failure to comprehend the real situation that we are all in.

For wars are always started by people who think they won't start, that they can't start. They are started, usually by clueless, arrogant, grasping people, people with a hunger for power, no matter how they cloak it in good intentions -- people who believe they have a right to tell other folks how to live, what to buy, where to go, how to act and insist that they pay for the privilege, that WE pay for the privilege, and that WE like it or lump it. They start the wars, these wannabe tyrants, because they think they can get away with it, they think that they will not be opposed, or that the opposition will be minimal. They start them because they think that in starting them there will be no PERSONAL consequences for them for starting it.

This is what i was trying to accomplish with my call to break a few windows. I was trying to get the attention of people -- who are pushing this country toward civil war -- that they should stop before somebody gets hurt.

This is also the theme of my novel, Absolved. It is titled after this quote from John Locke that the Founders embraced:

“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.”

Writing about the fictional run-up to a civil war, I am trying to avoid a real one. I hope people will read Absolved and class it as a "useful dire warning" as David Brin calls the genre. By warning folks of the unintended consequences of their actions, I hope to avoid them myself.

And, oh, by the way, for those of you who have been flogging me about when Absolved will be done -- here it is. (Holds up a thumb drive.) My part is done, and it will be sent off to the editor and publisher next week.

But whatever I have written over the past few years -- including my call to adopt the tactics of the Sons of Liberty of old and break windows -- this is my motive: I want to avoid a civil war -- the worst of all wars -- because I know from history what one looks like and they are the sum of all evils.

For this is what the other side does not understand. This is what the forces of the King of England did not understand on 19th of April 1775.



Not one more inch!

You know, years ago I was a civil war re-enactor and one Sunday coming back from an event, two friends and I stopped at a gas station in a little Mississippi town.

When we pulled up, there was a big guy there, missing a few teeth, who was whipping a dog with a busted fan belt. (And it wasn't even his dog.) All the poor dog could do was cringe and yelp. I was driving and I pulled up to the pump. We didn't know it but someone inside the station -- not wanting to get personally involved -- had called the cops, but it was Sunday and the nearest Sheriff's car was miles away. In fact, they didn't get there while were there. They told us. They thanked us. But they didn't want to get involved.

We hadn't been stopped for more than a few seconds when my buddy Chris, who was about half the size of the dog-whipper, took it all in with a glance and said, to no one in particular, "Oh, HELL NO!"

Any of you from the South, you probably know what that means. "Oh, HELL NO!"

Just three words: "Oh, HELL NO!" It was an observation. It was an announcement. It was a battle cry. And without further ado Chris launched himself across that parking lot -- and he's only about half the size of this toothless fellow -- and he stripped that broken fan belt out of his hand and he commenced to whaling on the guy. Of course, the two of us were looking pretty rough from a weekend and it's Sunday -- all grizzled and dirty and dressed in funny clothes -- and we go to back him up. When this fellow starts to recover -- and he decides, "Hey, I'm bigger than this guy, I'm gonna beat him" -- and then he sees the two of us coming up, he decides that he's had enough and he jumped in his car and drove off.

Now this is a quintessentially Southern thing, this "Oh, HELL NO!" All right? You gotta say it just like that. Let's practice it. "Oh, HELL NO!" The accent's on the "HELL!"

All right?

It is indeed a uniquely AMERICAN thing. When you hear it -- where I come from -- you know that somebody's gonna get beat, stabbed or shot. And the guy who takes the beating, the knife blade or the bullet undoubtedly deserves it.

"Oh, HELL NO!"

For you can push Americans only so far.

There is a great truth in the movie Michael Collins, where the Irish freedom fighter, played by Liam Neeson, is speaking to an election crowd in 1918. He tells them, in part:

"They can jail us. They can shoot us. . . BUT . . . we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire! That weapon is our refusal! Our refusal to bow to any order but our own! Any institution but our own!"

This is a great truth, this is an enduring truth. For no one can be enslaved without giving his permission. Whether out of fear, out of cowardice, out of a desire to not be "confrontational" -- the slave gives his assent to his master.

But we are AMERICANS.

We are the folks who say, "Oh, HELL NO!"

This is something that the enemies of the Founders' Republic do not understand. They extrapolate from their own cowardice and, knowing that they themselves have no principles for which they are willing to die -- life being the most important thing to them -- they cannot fathom that there are other people who are certainly willing to die for a principle. And i think I see some of them here today.

And so, because they cannot understand folks who have an entirely different worldview from them, folks who do not believe that the government should have the supreme power over the people -- folks who believe like the Founders that government should be small, safe and limited -- because they cannot understand us, they call us names, they try to marginalize us, and they think that we are merely posturing, that we will never seriously push back against their infringements of our liberty.

Which brings us to today. What is it about law-abiding American citizens, exercising their God-given and inalienable right to arms, announcing their adherence to the ancient concept of righteous self defense -- folks who believe that a right un-exercised is a right that has been lost -- what is it that so excites our opponents to condemn us, to vilify us, to try to marginalize us, indeed, to seek to disarm us?

It is this. . .

It is only CITIZENS who have arms.

Serfs, indentured servants and slaves do not. Bearing arms is the mark of a citizen, and the elitists who run the various parties, as one corrupt administration follows another, find citizens extremely inconvenient to their plans. You must CONVINCE citizens -- by force of argument, by appeals to reason or fact or even emotion -- but you must CONVINCE them. You cannot order them about as serfs.

For CITIZENS have arms, and citizens can say, and after a long train of abuses and usurpations, "Oh, HELL NO!"


Gentlemen and ladies and Nancy Pelosi too.


The ability to say "No!" is the difference between a free man or free woman and a slave. Slaves cannot say "No!" and remain slaves. Indeed, over the long span of history, this is how slaves ennobled themselves and freed themselves -- by saying "No!" and meaning it -- regardless of all dangers, regardless even if it meant their deaths. They said "No!" and became free, even if for an instant. Finally, throwing off their yokes, they died as Spartacus and his followers, as free men and free women.

It's a funny thing about this word "no." The collectivists have taken to calling the GOP, "the party of no." Probably because they never heard a Southener say, "Oh, HELL NO!"

I don't know where they've been these past fifteen years, but in my experience the GOP is the party of "well, you know, you'd better not do that, but if you insist, then well, okay, we'll just catch up in the next election cycle."

Pat Buchanan had at least this much right: the two dominant political parties have acted as two wings of the same bird of prey.

And so it has fallen to the people, to the Tea Parties, to the Open Carry movement, and all the other manifestations of righteous resistance to cumulative tyranny to say, "Oh, HELL NO!"

You can say that, right? "Oh, HELL NO?"

"Oh, HELL NO!"

That's getting better.

You'll have to work on it, though.

This is as the Founders intended it. It is why they left us the Second Amendment. Not that we derive our natural, God-given rights from a piece of paper, however much revered. That piece of paper merely codifies that which cannot be taken away without our consent. They may change what it says on the piece of paper, but that does not change the eternal truth of liberty.

And it sure doesn't prevent men and women -- free men and free women -- from saying, "Oh, HELL NO!"

And that exclamation point is important. If you say "no" softly, tentatively, apologetically, some people -- obtuse, arrogant, greedy, evil people people -- take it as a "maybe." Some of them take it as a "yes."

You know the anti-rape activists have popularized the saying of "No means no" -- as if chanting it like a mantra somehow provides potential rape victims with magical powers. But I tell you, when someone says "No means no" and says it while packing a firearm to back up the sentiment, the argument is OVER.

So we who intend to remain free must say it -- as I think we are all saying it here today -- Loudly. Proudly. Emphatically.


We must say it as the Spartans did at Thermopylae.


We must say it as did the Jews at Masada.


We must shout it as the Texans did in defiance at the Alamo and in triumph at San Jacinto.


We must scream it as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto did 67 years ago today.


We must say it calmly but forcefully like the veterans of the Deacons for Defense and Justice said it to the Klan when they guarded the advocates of non-violence -- with the muzzles of their MILITARY rifles and their MILITARY pistols that they brought home from their service in America's wars -- and said to the Klan.

"NO! You will not kill today!"

We must shout it as the veterans of McMinn County, Tennessee said it in 1946, as they prevented a corrupt political machine and its bully-boy sheriff from stealing another election in the "Battle of Athens."


We must say it as the Founders did at Lexington and Concord and on the long, bloody road strewn with dead King's men back into Boston.


We must be stubborn if we wish to remain free.

We must emulate the Founders.

We must be resolute.

We must be defiant.

We must be AMERICANS.

We must say, gentlemen and ladies, "NO!"

And not just "NO!" but "HELL NO!"

And I thank you for your time.


Anonymous said...

God Bless!

Old Pablo said...

You have a gift with words, buddy.

HankH said...

I wish I could have been there to hear you speak. Thanks for your patrotism and hard work - it's good to know there are folks like you out there. I'm a naturalized citizen - born in Canada - and I wouldn't trade my American citizenship for all the tea in China. My mother grew up in Nazi occupied Holland, and my grandfather (who I'm named after) was a member of the Dutch resistance/underground that was responsible for saving a number of Jews, disrupting German stuff, etc. Both of my mother's parents said "Hell NO"! Keep up the good work my friend, and may God continue to bless you.


MamaLiberty said...

Bless you, Mike. Wish I could have been there!

And I'm really excited about getting the book at long last. :)

^Hawk^ said...

Awesome Speech Mike!

III- We Are Everywhere!

Anonymous said...


You are a true American Statesman. Your words ring like the Liberty Bell.

To those of us who understand, you are the "one if by land and two if by sea" beacon in these times of extreme danger.

God may have closed a door with your health but be opened a large window for your words to be heard far and wide.

Thanks for all that you do!!

Newark, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Mike you say you are a "mere scribbler".
Modesty, yes, mere no!
An outstanding call to attention.
"Oh, Hell No" could be a rallying cry for this time in our country's history.
Terrific writing. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great speech Mike. That you sir.

Durham, NC

Dan said...

I regret not witnessing that, Dutchman.
Well said.

Anonymous said...

re: speech...oh,hell yes!..outstanding

Anonymous said...

Mr. V:

I have been a fan for quite awhile now but I must say...your talk at the rally which I have seen in video was kick ass. You walk in the light of truth, legitimate law is on your side and you represent the Constitution. It is therefore not a surprise that you speak with authority.

I just wanted to say "Thank you" for being the name, the voice and now the face of right, just and honest America.

dennis308 said...

Thank You for going to the rally,I could not attend I was working and could not afford to lose the time.Thank You for your words of inspiration and Thank You for warning them of the course they are on(the government that is)they really don´t understand the Danger that they are in that WE ALL are in.
I wrote you a couple of months ago an I asked where I could sign up that I would be one of this Merry Band of 3%´ers, and I asked you WHAT do we wait for. And I thank you for explaining to me why and what WE/I wait for. And I thank you for helping me find the patience to wait till THEY commit the next intolerable act because they will and it won´t be to much longer because now they are beginning to RE-ACT out of fear and causing fear to the public in order to justify their plans. The propaganda machine is up and running,just like Larouche blame others for your actions/crimes.
Just the other day when I was traveling,I do that quite a lot,I met a teacher and her husband both liberals.And we had a rather lengthy conversation at one point in the conversation she said something about ¨The Rule of Law¨ I asked her if she meant the same rule of law that was dispensed at Ruby Ridge or the same rule of law that the victims of Waco enjoyed.She and her husband said that people could not negotiate with Guns that they had won the election that this was a Democracy,I Reminded her that this was a Democratic Republic that our fore fathers did all that they could to insure that we would not live in a Democracy and that Greece was a Democracy and was always in war and turmoil.
I also informed these two kind people that I, and that there where many like me would not be
¨TAX SLAVES¨for the social programs for people that have no intention ever doing anything with their lives.And that I would not give up not one more of my freedoms not one more of my Rights. And that I would have control of my life no matter the cost.That I was fed-up and would not take it any more and IF it would mean war then FINE, Let The Fires Burn and Let The Blood Flow and May God have Mercy on Us All. Because if or rather when TSHTF there will be no mercy in the streets.
None of these things do I want to happen but I can see it coming and I see no way to avoid it,they still think that they know what is best for me and for you and for all of us.
I don´t belive the government will change it´s course and the enevenable is soon to happen,you have warned them, we have warned them,and I will not retreat not one more step,come what may,OH HELL NO!!!


Anonymous said...

You are the man! I wish I could form cohesive thoughts into worsd the way you do.

God Bless You Sir.


Dan Galena said...

Mike, I'm not blowing smoke up your ass but you are extremely gifted in putting words to paper.

You express my feelings better than I can.

God Bless You !


Randall said...

Excellent piece!! I'm mostly one of your lurkers, but I read almost everything you've posted in the last 3 years. Don't ALWAYS agree with you, but you are orders of magnitude above your adversaries. This is just about my favorite piece you've ever done. Can't wait to see who's cheerios you piss in next.

CarlS said...

Interesting. The southern states have always provided a majority of military recruits. The South, as defined ( currently ) by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. 35% of active duty personnel are recruited from the South and 51% of the total military is based in southern states. This could get real interesting, real fast, if and when ……..

Anonymous said...

Mike, someone once said that before we can ever restore our constitution ... or even contemplate a revolution to do so ... we need men FIRST that know how to speak of liberty like our founding fathers to instill in the hearts of the people a thirst for that liberty...

You are one of those men.

Carry on.

Anonymous said...


Cut and paste this speech people and send it out in an e-mail to everyone you know and request that they do the same.

aughtsix said...


Oh! HELL! Yes!


Ditto all above kudos.

Thank you for "speaking truth to power." Pay back's a bitch. Hahaha!

If the victor's write history, and if we are successful with The Great Restoration (as we must and will be) your name and your insight, guidance and inspiration will be enshrined in the textbooks of our grandchildren. So I will hope, pray and act.


We Are Everywhere

Anonymous said...

Great speech, as expected.

Anonymous said...

The vitriol of the despicable is every bit as desireable as the praise of the honorable.

Anonymous said...

I heard that speech delivered twice that day on the banks of the Potomac, directly across the water from Mordor. Well done, sir.

Anonymous said...

Well said sir! We stand with you.


Pensacola, FL

Anonymous said...

I am doing the linkage thing to this!!!
Great Article!!

Anonymous said...


You my friend have lit a great
"BRUSH FIRE" and I am thankful for your words.

Keep it true ,Keep it straight
and Keep the faith.


leemcgee said...

Mike, Thank You.
Dennis: I agree with your intent, but ours is a Constitutional Republic, wherein the Constitution is "the supreme law of the land".

skybill said...

Hi Mike,
What anon. (4/23/10 2:45pm) said,["You walk in the "Light of Truth", "Legitimate Law" is on your side and you represent "The Constitution."] (emphasis added) is only the beginning. Our vigilance must be constant as the onslaught of tyranny will prevail if it can corrupt these elements of Freedom!!

Besides the "III" and "We are everywhere!" I feel the "POWER!" of,"Oh 'HELL'NO!!"especially when hurled back at tyranny with the Truth, Legitimate Law and The Constitution!!!


Joel said...

Excellent speech; although I cannot condone the vandalism of property - though I do understand the historical symbolism to the "Sons of Liberty."

Peace, and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Outstanding speech! Let's hope "they" get the message. The rest of us certainly do!

-- A Southern Yankee

(and a descendant of numerous Revolutionary War Soldiers, a descendant of 5 of Sherman's soldiers who rode on the march to the sea, a great nephew of a soldier who died in France in 1918, a son of a sailor of WW II who arrived at Pearl Harbor while the flames of December 7th were still burning, a nephew of a survivor of Korea who was one of only 2 men to survive an attack that overran his entire Company at the Yalou River, and a cousin of several soldiers who survived, if not thrived, in Viet Nam! Southerners truly get the meaning behind "Oh, HELL No!", a standard Southern expression often uttered as an enemy tries to kill them or their freedom, and that is not just uttered when an enemy tries to stomp defenseless people or animals with jackbooted thuggery.)

Anonymous said...

Very good words, my friend.

John in Pensacola, please email me.
I am a like-minded brother in your area.

Charlie said...

If anyone's interested, here's the speech I delivered during the "open mic" time at Gravelly Point:


For the benefit of those members of the media in attendance who might have some misconceptions about the kinds of people who attend Tea Parties or Second Amendment rallies, let me start by telling you all a little bit about myself.

I was born and raised in Connecticut, where my parents scrimped and saved to send their children to private schools. I studied philosophy at Oxford, was a commissioned officer in the Air Force, and am currently working on a PhD in Computer Science. I'm not a religious man, and I drive a Toyota Prius. Not because I give a damn about my "carbon footprint," by the way, but because I'd rather give my money to the Japanese than to Hugo Chavez and the Saudis.

But I'm also passionate about liberty and I'm deeply concerned about the accelerating erosion of individual rights and the growth of governmental power beyond its Constitutional limits. I'm also following the advice of President Obama, who encouraged his followers to 'get in the faces' of those who disagree with them. Many people, like Rachel Maddow, are offended that I choose to exercise my rights, so I'm also here to poke them in the eye, figuratively speaking.

For those who accuse us of hypocrisy or racism for supposedly waiting until now to speak out against government malfeasance, I feel compelled to remind you that many of us made it quite clear that we weren't particularly happy about proposed amnesty for illegal aliens, certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act, or the first round of corporate bail-outs, all of which took place during the Bush administration.

I'd also like to remind my fellow freedom-loving Americans just who the real threats to liberty are. They are not the elected officials across the Potomac, but rather, the voters who sent them there. As long as the voting public continues to elect politicians who trample the Constitution and bankrupt our Republic, that's exactly what we'll get. The Declaration of Independence recognizes that our rights do not come from government, and neither our legislators nor our fellow citizens have the power to vote those unalienable rights away.

Finally, let me say to everyone that a peaceable, law-abiding, armed citizen (such as myself) is not a threat to anyone, unless his life, liberty, or property is threatened.

We are the Three Percent, and we are everywhere.


Anonymous said...


When are you coming out west? There are significant numbers of us 3 percenters out here.

Cowboy in Nevada

Always America First said...

HELL NO gets a HELL YES from this 3%er in NJ. Great fearless speech we need more orators like you.

Shoot the Bullet said...

The order goes 2, 1, 3, for some odd reason.

Someone was recording your excellent speech, glad I could dig it up for all of you. Nothing like the real man on stage, though there's nothing like being there for it.