It's been a week since I came back from Connecticut. The trip was a lesson in humility and resistance. I was convinced on Friday evening that it was a disaster all of my own making. By Saturday night, I had been humbled and inspired -- by my own mistakes and the stout determination of those I met to resist tyranny. Here's what I wrote in my journal notes of Friday afternoon. I headed it: "A Cluster Coital Trip So Far."
Schedules off by a mile, computer failures, screw-ups in communication, all can be laid directly or indirectly at my door. That said, there are a number of people here on our own side who don't want me here (and yes they are on our side).I am viewed as too radioactive, controversial, whatever. I am loathe to criticize them for I have the luxury of speaking my mind and leaving, whereas they are stuck facing the beast long after I will be more or less safe in free Alabama.The ad hoc way this was organized (or I should say disorganized) may make the entire exercise a waste of time. For that I have only myself to blame although at each turn I made B.A.D. decisions -- "Best Available Data." The failure to issue the press release in a timely fashion was forced by the uncertainties of travel, venues and timing which in turn were dictated by the uncertainties of funding. Even when things came together it was evident that I was two steps behind. Still I remain convinced that I need to be here even if the failures of planning and execution are all my own.In retrospect, I will be hesitant to risk the waste of volunteer resources without a willing host on the ground. Lesson learned, but again the fault is mine and not theirs. Perhaps I'm being prematurely pessimistic and tomorrow will prove the opposite. We'll see.
I wrote that while sitting in Panera Bread after talking with Professor Robert Churchill for a few hours. We exchanged books. He gave me a signed copy of his To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face, and gave him a copy of Sharyl Attkisson's Stonewalled, with the notation "I didn't write this, but I AM in it." He also brought me some leftover paperwork to sign from when he interviewed me and obtained copies of some of my militia files, which he will be donating to an archive.
We talked about current events and he spoke of the clash between the "urban class" and the "country class." Connecticut, he believed was irretrievably "urban class." I commented that if this clash of world views was carried to its logical conclusion, that states such as Connection would see something that could be described as, if not ethnic cleansing, then certainly political cleansing.
After he left, it occurred to me that what Malloy, Commissar Lawlor and their ilk were doing was forcing folks to choose sides. I was reminded of the old truism in Southern politics that when you endeavor to shove somebody off the fence, you should know in advance what side they will land on. I reflected grimly that the proto-tyrants of Connecticut were trying to do just that -- to shove their opponents behind prison wire. But then, it occurred to me, wire -- and fire -- works both ways.
I jotted those notes above after Professor Churchill left, and read them to Rosey as we waited for folks who didn't show up. She asked me, "Are you going to post that?" I said that I might. She counseled me not to, saying that I should await Saturday's events. "Folks have a right to know how I screwed this up," I countered. Still, she insisted, I should wait to see what the morrow would bring. A wise lady.
We spent the night at the home of a great couple who had invited us when they knew we would be coming to Connecticut. That alone takes a certain amount of courage in today's oppressive environment in their state, and we were thankful and grateful for the support.
My host and I left early the next morning to attend the Ye Connecticut Gun Guild's show in Middletown. I felt better after some sleep, but still convicted that I had wasted a lot of folk's money on the exercise.
I needn't have worried. The folks I met at the gun show not only restored my faith in their determination to engage in -- and capacity for -- resistance, they also convinced me that the trip had NOT been a waste, press coverage or not, speech venue or not. Indeed, I may have accomplished more by the private conversations I had than if my initial plan had played out the way I had hoped.
Talking with folks on the ground behind enemy lines convinced me of a couple of things. Frist and foremost is that Malloy and his minions in state government (although perhaps not Commissar Lawlor) are still being restrained by their fear of what will happen if they try to enforce the law (despite what they are telling Pinciaro and the other confiscationists who want raids right now. The CSP leadership apparently conducted a private little poll of potential storm troopers to see how many would be willing to follow orders to enforce the law and came up woefully short on their hopes and expectations.
I'll also tell you this. If they do get stupid and issue such orders, there are enough Three Percenters on the ground who will resist such a force of arms with their own defensive violence. Of this, the leadership of the Connecticut State Police is convinced. Based on my own experiences on Saturday, that is certainly the case.
But in the wake of the reelection of Malloy, our side is not merely reduced to that zero sum game. The men and women of Connecticut's resistance movement are coming up with all manner of perfectly legal but out-of-the-box thinking to resist without violence and some of this I offered to help them with. If I were the principals on the other side of this, knowing that I had participated all my life in the corrupt politics of one of the most corrupt states in the country, I would start getting nervous when I noticed that some folks were asking pointed questions about certain deals. I would also be on the lookout for private investigators building files. There is more than one way for the mice to deter the predatory cats, and that's one feline at a time. Perfectly legal. Perfectly frightening to the crooked politician.
I also ran into some folks who have known Commissar Lawlor all his life. Get that? ALL his life. For example, I picked up the report that even when he was young, Lawlor displayed -- for years -- the crossed flags of the United States and the Soviet Union on his wall, much like this US/USSR Friendship Flag lapel pin first made popular in Communist Party of the USA circles in the run-up to American entry into World War II.
No wonder the CIA didn't want Lawlor to go to work for them and kept a close eye on him after he returned from behind the Iron Curtain during the height of the Cold War.
Oh, yes, this trip was VERY useful and illuminating and not nearly the wasteful fiasco I had feared. Certainly the men and women of Connecticut Carry and Ye Connecticut Gun Guild gladdened my heart with their own determination to resist Malloy's Intolerable Act by every legal means. If I lived in Connecticut I would belong to both of those organizations.
More importantly, it also demonstrated the timidity of the Connecticut state authorities. I was reminded of a line from The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Gale Stokes about the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. Stokes in this passage is talking about the oppressive regime of the Ceausescus in Romania: "It has been said that a good political machine thrives on the visibility of its rewards and the certainty of its punishments." When the "benefits" became obvious lies and even the security apparatus tasked with oppressing the regime's enemies turned reluctant, the Ceausescus were dragged out and summarily shot on Christmas Day, 1989, twenty five years ago this 25 December.
Nicolae Ceausescu's merry Christmas, 1989. A cautionary tale for the Malloys and Lawlors of this world to ponder.
The fact that despite every thing I have done to provoke Malloy's bully boys in the CSP -- the smuggling, the public defiance, the posting of names, addresses and phone numbers of their tyrannical masters, the fact that I DARED come back into their state publicly despite their open criminal investigation of me and their crude attempts to use my own local Sheriff to pressure me -- merely demonstrates their indecision, their lack of will, their impotence in the face of defiance of their "laws" and their "legitimacy." Indeed, it reinforces the perception of their illegitimacy.
The "great and powerful" Wizard of Oz.
Lawlor is reported to have called me, among other things, a "son of bitch." You know, the fictional Toto as written by L. Frank Baum was a "son of a bitch." (Although in an unkind cut, a female dog was used in the 1939 movie.) Like the Wizard of Oz, Commissar Lawlor and his toadies demand that we pay no attention to the little, timorous men behind the curtain. Yet by the defiance of their own citizens and certain visiting unpleasant sons of bitches like me (to use Lawlor's characterization) who don't mind drawing back that curtain, the curtain is indeed drawn back for all to see. The Wizard, it seems, is not so scary and has fears of his own.
Beware the little SOBs of this world -- especially if you hide behind curtains of alleged legitimacy and invincibility.
You know, I think I'll be going back to Connecticut early next year. Maybe I can throw a bucket of the cold water of truth on Commissar Lawlor and we'll see if he melts.