I find these two stories (here; here), read one after another, pretty damn frightening.
A new Tea Party group, Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots, has grown quickly since being launched last month by an active duty Marine Corps sergeant. The group, which vows to “stand up on the very soil we defended to preserve common sense conservatism and defend our Constitution that is threatened by a tyrannical government,” currently has over 400 members, who have signed up through its Facebook page, though many are not active duty military. And it has close ties to the broader Tea Party movement.[….]
Stein’s political activism seems to have raised some concern among his superiors. Late last month, he wrote online: “Was just told by a Marine Corps Officer to watch what I say about Obama… I think not…” And later that same day: “I was just told to keep my opinons (sic) to myself about Obama, by my Officer-in-Charge (OIC).”
Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.
Tea party movement leaders say they’ve discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.
I realize of course that my being scared by this is no different than white, northeastern moderates being scared by civil rights demonstrations and that by even suggesting that this is how coups start I am impugning the integrity of the brave patriots who seek to overthrow our democratically elected government.
Update. This proves that McArdle and the Reasonoids are right, and that I am wrong again:
Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots in no way supports a military uprising or anything to that subject
Not only that, but you’re smearing a concerned group of citizens who simply have legitimate complaints about tax rates, spending and the size of government.
If the Sgt thinks the government is tyrannical he really shouldn’t be drawing a paycheck from it.
Uh, isn’t it an actual rule in the armed forces that you’re not supposed to engage in party politics while you’re in uniform? I think that being at work as a Marine would count as being in uniform, unless the Marines have instituted a business casual dress code.
But it’s the usual teabagger bullshit that most of us grew out of at about age 13 — not being allowed to make up their own rules as they go along is totally oppressing them.
A volunteer militia to help defend against improper federal encroachment on state sovereignty, huh?
So basically, militarisation of the citizenry is okay, as long as it’s not Obama doing it.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
I won’t become all that concerned until political leaders in these states start going galt on following federal mandates, that will empower these morons with guns to maybe start using them.
Otherwise, I am already sick of this shit, and part of me says just bring it on already, if that is your wont.
BTW. We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969/
TPM now has a new statement up from Stein.
This, of course. It’s the same old tired bullshit they roll out whenever there’s a Democrat as president. Think the urban legend about Marines not saluting when Clinton was President or the veteran going up to the White House to hear that Clinton was no longer President every day.
HAHAHAHAH, shoe’s on the other foot asshole!!! Makes me happy. So sorry your CO told you to STFU. Try being a liberal in the military during this shit. FU monkey nuts.
@Menzies: We had one of these once, it was fucking called the Confederate Army. Full. Epistemic. Circle.
The following charges are possible:
ART 90, Willful disobedience of or disrespect to a Commissioned Officer
Any member of the service my commit this offense. The ‘victim’ must outrank and be in the line of command for the chargee. This can be a capital offense in wartime.
ART 91, Willful disobedience of or disrespect to a warrant, non-commissioned, or petty officer
Any member of the service who is a warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or enlisted member may commit this offense, and the ‘victim’ need only be a warrant officer or nco. Command relationship is not necessary, neither is knowledge of the chargee an element of the offense.
ART 92, Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation
Any member of the service may commit this offense. Having knowledge of a lawful order or regulation, and failing to obey this order, or having a superior issue an order and a reasonable person could be expected to know of such an order, failing to obey that order. Dereliction of duty is included in this definition.
ART 94, Mutiny and Sedition
Any member that essentially conspires with another member to disobey an order or provoke others to disobey orders or regulations, is guilty under this article. In wartime it is a capital offense.
ART 117, Provoking Speeches or Gestures
Any member who makes provoking speeches or gestures at any other member is guilty of this offense.
Depending on the rank, either:
ART 88, Contempt Towards Officials
You can’t talk shit about the President, Vice President, Congressmembers, the SECDEF or one’s Service Secretary or the governor of the state in which one resides.
ART 133, Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman
Any behavior which tends to discredit or dishonor the officer corps. This charge can be used to ‘pile on’ as ANY misbehavior by a commissioned officer cann be considered conduct unbecomming.
or for Other Ranks,
ART 134, Conduct Predudicial to Good Order and Discipline
This charge make illegal any behavior that is not already specifically illegal and not constitutionally protected. In short, if the CO is pissed at you for something you did, you can expect to see this one, particularly if it can be shown that your behavior made it harder for the leadership to do their jobs.
This is going to be a group of gun enthusiasts who “drill as a non-partisan activity for the good of the community”, but seem to do nothing but open-carry at political events.
The main problem is that higly charged exciable groups like this are big juicey targets of opportunity for scam artists and other opportunists.
It’s like those guys with the wheeled carts of crap merchandise that show up in the partking lots of Hanna Montanna concerts.
Which infringements? What’s going to happen when a sitting governor actually signs up for this?
JUST A NORMAL GUY (THE ORIGINAL)
WELL THEIR’S NOTHING TO BE AFRAIDE OF BECASUE WE TEA PARTYER’S HAVE A BRIGADE OF MAY BE 400 SOLDEIR’S, BUT MEAN WHILE YOU LIB’S HAVE 1.5 BILLION MEMBER’S OF THE MUSLIM’S RACE ON YOU’RE SIDE. WELL 400 VS 1.5 BILLION, HMMM, WHOSE GOING TO WIN. …
YOU WELL FIND THE ANSWER WHEN YOU LOOK THROUGH THE OVERTOWN WINDOW
I don’t know if there’s a formal rule about that, but I do know you can get in huge trouble for insubordination for undermining your superiors. That includes the CinC, so comments suggesting, for example, that he’s a Kenyan usurper and patriotic Marines should refuse to obey his orders would be looked on very dimly by the chain of command.
A Mom Anon
Do these douchebags not remember Timothy McVeigh at ALL? Fuck these treasonous asshats. Do they really think that most of the country is going to welcome being seen as the enemy? They’ve declared war on anyone not just like them,when does it stop with these fuckers?
As long as no Liberals get in the way of their bullets, everything will be fine. If they do get in the way, well, stupid liberals, rite?
Or even more compariable..
The guys who stir up righeous anger about taxes, then turn around and seel pamphlets on “Secrets of the Tax Code” that convince people that if they declare themselves a coroporation they don’t have to pay anything. (Or, if the flag in the courtroom has a fringe, that makes it a military tribunal and is therefore unconstitutional).
It’s entirely possible that 10-25% of such a group could be normal earnest people that just want to do something good. But the loud @$$holes will drive away a majority of the sane people and then you are just left with the dumb and angry who can be led to believe anything.
I am actually glad to read they are “frustrated by recent political setbacks.” Sore Losermans.
DoD Instruction 1344.10 is the relevant order, and it has the force of law, with respect to members of the armed forces. The specific passage on point:
4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
188.8.131.52. Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in subparagraph 184.108.40.206.), rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement. Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. (See subparagraph 220.127.116.11.)
18.104.22.168. Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or require or solicit political contributions from others.
22.214.171.124. Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles, letters, or endorsements signed or written by the member that solicits votes for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. This is distinguished from a letter to the editor as permitted under the conditions noted in subparagraph 126.96.36.199.
188.8.131.52. Serve in any official capacity with or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.
184.108.40.206. Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.
Blockquote Fail! FYWP!
@A Mom Anon:
Actually, I think you’ve just answered your own question – no, they don’t, or they’d have more shame. I don’t think they endorse McVeigh’s actions or even suggest we should do the same (that is, unless you mean Andrew Stack) but I also doubt that they remember why he did it.
Davis X. Machina
Ausgezeichnet. Wir haben endlich unsere eigenen Freikorps.
Party like it’s 1921, people.
The Oklahoma militia will be named the Timothy McVeigh brigade.
Don’t worry; it will all be resolved with a swordfight on the roof of Federal Hall in New York.
@Bulworth: Yeah, “setbacks”. I know the first thing I think of when Health Care reform is passed in a manner I don’t at all understand yet am completely opposed to: Armed uprising.
It follows logically.
Chad N Freude
DougJ , if you find these articles frightening, I would recommend reading a history of the Spanish Civil War. You would then find them absolutely terrifying. Disaffecterd military, wide disparity among economic and social groups, and apparently a great desire not to learn anything from history.
Sgt Stein is “threatened by a tyrannical government?”
I think we need to liberate this kind soul from his military paycheck and benefits.
He should have the courage of his convictions and leave his government job.
Thank you for your service in Iraq, sir. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
@Chad N Freude:
Yes, I spent a fair amount of time reading about this a few week ago. And I try to listen to the song “Spanish Bombs” at least once a week.
I never thought I would miss the days of “Thou shalt not question thy CinC”…
@Chad N Freude: I think Doug’s hinting at that based on the title of his post. From a Clash song about the Spanish Civil War.
My favorite Clash song.
There is another birther soldier who has refused to deploy as ordered. LTC Terrence Lakin, DO, has refused to deploy to SW Asia on the grounds that he doesn’t believe the President Obama is the lawful Commander in Chief and therefore cannot order him to go to war.
This will be the third such incident. The first one, also an Army doctor, collapsed when the doctor got on the plane. The second one is in Iraq right now. Orly Taitz, the cereal box-top lawyer/dentist/realtor was or is involved with those cases. She has no connection to LTC Lakin that anyone knows about.
This morning, LTC Lakin reported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, instead of Fort Campbell, KY, his deployment site by orders.
Here’s the good news part:
LTC Lakin’s CO, the Commander of the Walter Reed Brigade, COL Gordon Roberts read LTC Lakin his Article 31(b) rights today, and confiscated his Pentagon pass (Lakin was the commander of the Pentagon health clinic, under Roberts’ command) and his government issued laptop and blackberry.
COL Roberts is the only currently serving recipient of the Medal of Honor. That’s one badass Social Worker.
The fact that a true warrior like COL Roberts is pushing this must be making the wingers’ heads explode.
Who knew that Confederate History Month would be so illuminating?
BTW, Franco is still dead, isn’t he?
Yet another “conservative” who thinks that the military is financed using the pixie dust extracted in unicorn piss refineries… Which incidentally is the same place Social Security and Medicare checks come from.
Here’s an idea, whackjob: If you don’t like socia1ism, stop eating the government cheese.
God, I hope there’s another Smedley Butler out there somewhere…
“When I said defend my country against a tyrranical government, I meant mispelling signs (wink).”
With trenches full of poets,
The ragged army, fixing bayonets to fight the other line
Hmmm, is there a message that can be taken from this group calling themselves AFT-PP? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
Chad N Freude
@Crashman, @DougJ: Indeed. I read the post, skipped the title. (Hangs head in embarrassment).
I like the TPM article linked.
Who knew that Confederate History Month would be so illuminating?
I sure ain’t looking forward to April 19th and 20th.
I’m fucking sick of these assholes who can’t win elections, while drawing a fucking paycheck from the government they hate so much, telling me that they are standing up for the intent of the founding fathers by standing in the way of tyranny. When what they are is sore losers throwing a temper tantrum ’cause the black fella rolled them in 2008. On the other hand, I love my president more and more every day, and thank the deity of your choice that America collectively had the sense to elect him. I have no doubt that the vast majority of military leadership are honorable people who take their service seriously and can get beyond partisan blithering for long enough to do their fucking jobs.
Fuck this loser and all the traitorous whiners like him.
For years we’ve been reading of wingers’ indoctrination of the military, perhaps most notable in wingnut nirvana–Colorado Springs. Are there similar encampments surrounding Parris Island?
@Davis X. Machina: it looses something when translated from the original German, doesn’t it?
Since I’m a young-un, can some of the more venerated older chaps clue me in on something?
Has this kind of crazy always been around? I mean, I can draw on historical instances, but I can’t really tell if the stupidity or the raw emotional nincompoopery has been around like this.
If anyone feels like wandering over to Memeorandum, the rightbloggies are fussing over a couple Jindal workers who go beat up pretty badly last Friday when the unionobamathugs went after them for wearing Palin pins. Except they were not wearing Palin pins, and it is entirely unclear if it was local hoods, anarchists, Democrats or Andy Stein himself who up and broke their legs for the sin of being conservatives in Obamaland.
The freepers are getting quite juiced up about it.
J. Michael Neal
@JUST A NORMAL GUY (THE ORIGINAL): Jack Keefe? Is that you?
Why is Glenn Beck (and the rest of foxnews) still being broadcast on Armed Forces Radio/teevee?
@Josh: Read Nixonland by Perlstein. Eye opening.
In retrospect, I’m breathing a sigh of relief that the Hutaree were taken down quickly, relatively quietly, and most importantly without a shoot-out. If we have a Waco or Ruby Ridge situation develop in this atmosphere, one where some reel’merkians get shot and the armed wingnuts decide it’s on, all hell is going to break loose.
My fingers are tapping on the keys in frustration reading about another service member upset about his current leadership. I want to vomit.
I’ve been deployed under the umbrella of Bush and Obama. ITS NOT YOUR CHOICE. Again, ITS NOT YOUR CHOICE. I have as much disrespect for people who would not deploy under W as this retard. My politics and my views are not pertinent to a deployment. If you sign the papers, you commit to that. If you are not willing to do what the ELECTED leaders of your country decide, don’t fucking join.
My list of people to punch in the face starts with Bin Laden, followed by W and any any Auburn football player. I am so GD tired of this kind of thing. “Hippies” who want to disband the military completely and those who would release themselves from an obligation they freely chose are equally stupid.
I have a metal rod, plate, and 6 screws in my leg as well as permanent nerve damage in my back because of my service. But i certainly don’t hold it against Republicans.
State Government officials supporting a paramilitary force with insurrectionist aims against the Federal Government.
I believe that’s called Sedition.
Hahaha. Raiden FTW! Solidus was no Teabagger!
Josh…Ditto for Nixonland, but if in the meantime you want a brief, unscholarly, yet satisfying “Yes” to your question, try this e-mail someone sent to Sully during the Town Hall madness.
LOL, so it was considered treason to question the last Commander in Chief but when those that whined about dissent during the Bush years are told this applies to a Prez they dislike, oh God forbid their precious free speech rights are impaled.
Guess what idiot teabaggers? If you serve in the military you should not be taking political stands. You can VOTE your beliefs but in the end, you swear to defend the constitution regardless of your feelings of the President at the moment.
Hate on Obama’s policies if you are no longer active duty or even never served BUT tone down this rhetoric that he is some dictator. I will ask yet again…where were you dumbfucks when the Patriot Act was voted in, when Ari Fleischer told Americans on NATIONAL TV to watch what they say and where the FUCK were you when Bush wanted to spy on Americans which is clearly unconstitutional?
I’m sorry to hear that. And I hope you know everyone here respects your sacrifice.
The Moar You Know
Stein has just had his ass handed to him by his CO:
But it looks like Sergeant Sedition is going to need at least one more trip to the woodshed:
Wrong again. You most explicitly do NOT have that right, publicly, so long as you are enlisted.
Someone’s going to need to give him a hand with the last nail in the cross he’s put himself on:
That last line must have been about as much for him to post as shitting out ground glass. I have no doubt he was ordered to use that specific language.
Not 1939. 1889 is more like it.
This is just part of the glibertarian movement to go back to the golden days of the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, the last era when the Freedom the Founders founded rang.
As Brooks will tell you that back then the US was full of self reliant individualists who did not whine about anything at all, especially about the harder working rich.
This golden age is illustrated by the Great Railroad Strike, Pullman Strike, West Virginia Mine Wars, Haymarket Bombing, May Day riots, Homestead Strike, and a number of labor ‘massacres’.
And if any troublemaking parasites disturb the new old idyllic paradise, we need a military and well armed and regulated militias willing to go out and crack heads and shoot.
Has this kind of crazy always been around?
Yes, and it surfaces whenever the pace of change makes rigid personalities fear that Things Are Getting Out Of Control.
In the sixties, there were hardhat demonstrations with the sole purpose of hating on dirty fucking hippies. And in its early days, the Moral Majority organization was just as whacked as the Tea Party.
And prior to that, of course, you had the Klan.
You should watch some reruns of All In The Family, and realize that a large percentage of the country was cheering every blinkered, bigoted statement that Archie made. (Pay attention to Edith. Jean Stapleton should have won every award Hollywood has to offer for her superb performance in that role.)
Thanks, I do understand that, which is why this site is the first and last thing I read during the day. I’m too young, smart and merry to be bitter and angry. I guess this Sgt. does not share my feelings.
Nah. A sufficiently committed ideologue is impervious to outside ideas. They’ll either ignore this case or come up with some reason that Col. Roberts is just a tool of the evil oppressor.
@Josh: Been around. Yes. For a long time.
But you have a point about there being a lot of it today. I don’t remember so much open hostility since Brown v Board of Education.
I am not actually saying there is a connection here. [Maybe there is, but maybe there is not.] I am saying that was the last time I saw so many people foaming at the mouth with so much anger at the government.
Boston school integration, which happened a bit later, was mentioned by one of the commenters a few days ago. He [the commenter] said that was the last team he had seen people as hysterically angry as some of them are today.
There was that little police action in Southeast Asia a few years back … Chicago riots, weathermen, Watts, Kent State, MLK, JFK, RFK. Most of the violence actually occurred in the other direction, but from what I’ve read (wasn’t there), there was a metric shitload of hostility in the 60s.
@joel hanes: Caroll O’Connor as well, since he thought, as he said many times, that Archie Bunker was a real jackass.
@Roger Moore: I had to run an errand but just got back. I’ll bet they rationalize it by saying “well, he’s a social worker now, after all.”
From the Medal of Honor citation:
It used to be borderline amusing but I’m starting to get actively offended by the way these clowns throw around the word “fascism.” The degree of freedom and access they have to petition for redress – no matter how retarded their complaints – would make the people actually suffering under real fascism to spontaneously die from joy.
@arguingwithsignposts: There was a lot of hostility around in the 60s. I personally was cussed at, threatened, and spat upon for my very peaceful and relatively insignificant anti-war activism.
But that still was not as white-hot as the anger associated with the Civil Rights Movement.
By the way, in the 60s we just assumed that the cussers, threateners, and spitters weren’t getting any. So we just moved on and lived life.
[I know – every generation thinks it invented sex.]
The Moar You Know
@soonergrunt: Jesus. Col. Roberts has some balls.
I am not ashamed to say that in the same situation I would be screaming in pure terror, while trying to dig a hole in the ground with my bare hands and simultaneously peeing my pants.
@Linda Featheringill: The Boston busing case is an interesting comparison. You get a socially isolated and fairly homogeneous population that feels it is especially authentic yet held in disdain by the powers that be. Then force change on them in a way that affects their daily life, and makes them feel politically powerless, and watch them lash out.
Has this kind of crazy always been around?
Yes. Check out The Politics of Unreason, for example. Some names: The Know-Nothings, Father Coughlin, Joe McCarthy, George Wallace, the John Birch Society, the militia movement, Alien and Sedition Acts, and the KKK.
The Grand Panjandrum
Oh, the irony of Oklahoma lawmakers looking to a militia to protect it from the Feds. When the next McVeigh kills a bunch of Oklahomans these guys should be marched through the streets in leg irons and jail striped jumpsuits with placards around each of their necks inscribed with, “I iz stoopid”
Has this kind of crazy always been around?
Here’s a sample of a handbill with a photo of JFK that was widely distributed hear in Dallas on Nov. 22 1963.
“This man is wanted for treasonous activities against the United States:
1. Betraying the Constitution (which he is sworn to uphold):
He is turning the sovereignty of the U.S. over to the communist controlled United Nations.
He is betraying our friends (Cuba, Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland).
2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the U.S. (United Nations-Berlin wall-Missile removal-Cuba-Wheat deals-Test Ban Treaty, etc.).
here in Dallas. I guess there’s no seconds on the edits.
@The Moar You Know:
Why is it that the guys who are 8,000 miles away from the action are always the ones who beat their chests the hardest and insist that they’re way more patriotic than someone who actually does risk getting his ass shot off every day?
It’s not a new phenomenon, either — any WWII vet can tell you that the guys who talk biggest about the glories of war at the VFW are the least likely to have seen any kind of combat at all.
@The Moar You Know:
Nothing to be ashamed. That’s the NORMAL response to such stimuli.
disobey the CiC, get thee to the brig.
I think what makes the current crop of crazies seem worse is that these older groups are by definition part of the past – we know what they were capable of, and somehow no matter how bad it was we (or our parents and grandparents) managed to survive the worst they could dish out – again by definition, or else we wouldn’t be here now having this conversation. In contrast the current crazies worry us with their future potential – what we imagine they might be able to do. To paraphrase FDR, when we worry about them, we are fearing fear itself. Time to stop doing that, it only gives them more power.
Because people who’ve ‘been there’ don’t
A: question their own masculinity (It’s almost always men who do this behavior)
B: associate either that behavior or combat with masculinity.
That may be why it doesn’t seem to overlap. MLK’s assassination was from the civil rights era. Much of that continued well into the 60s. Wallace wasn’t even Governor until 1963. I think there might not have been as much hostility to the DFH’s because so much of it was centered on those uppity dark-colored folk.
Sargent Stein is what happens when you lower recruiting standards.
They say that Obama is wrenching the country suddenly to the left, but I laid that scenario on a sand table and the country doesn’t have a sufficient turn radius for what they’re describing.
DAMN YOU, SCOTT BEAUCHAMP!
Ask any Tea Partier; ask Glenn Beck; ask Sean Hannity; ask Rush Limbaugh…
At what point during the eight years of GWB, when Democrats and serious progressives – suffering, Krauthammer reminded us, from Bush Derangement Syndrome – ever held rallies and gave press conferences saying that we should arm ourselves and form militias to protect ourselves from the over-reaching efforts of Bush/Cheney to take away our rights?
And the reality is that Bush/Cheny were actually doing that. Only in the wingnuts’ feeble imaginations is Obama doing any such thing.
Somebody is itching for a fight. And I am afraid it is going to get ugly.
@cleek: Small nit…
As LTC Lakin is an Army officer, he would be confined in a Stockade, not a Brig, which is a Naval facility.
A stockade is so named because a small, unheated room without running water or light, a storeroom essentially built up against the outside wall of the fort was used for confinement. The wall was called a stockade as was the rooms built up against it.
A brig is so named because a small ship called a Brigandine, or Brig for short, would be assigned the task of holding and confining sailors from the ships of the line in the British Royal Navy. The vessel selected was usually one known for leaking, rat infestation, poor sea-keeping, and other attributes that made it a lousy place to be chained up in the dark.
@Josh Huaco: Josh’s find re Andrew Sullivan’s reader post is excellent. Pertinent parts, although whole thing is not that long and worth a read:
To Andrew Sullivan’s reader: if you are a Balloon Juice commenter or lurker, please claim your respect. You’re a terrific writer and have called it on this one.
Can you imagine if the KKK had its own cable network though, which was top-rated and imitated?
The reader’s list proves America has overcome much in her past, and there’s always hope for progress, but I worry about what some of these “patriots” might do in the meantime
Imagine Reconstruction had Abraham Lincoln been alive for his second term, as a moral force.
Did anybody bother to go to the group’s website or Facebook page. I did earlier this afternoon. This group seems to have zero following. Liberal blog posts on the group have generated more commentary in a couple of hours than this guy has generated in a month. The website had 3 comments since April 1, two from retired guys (one with cancer) and one from a hostile liberal. Of seven seven or so contacts, five could not be reached. One of the other two was retired and was working on understanding aliens using mterial from Roswell. The Facebook page became inaccessible in late afternoon. Of 487 “fans” many did not appear from photos to be military. All of the linked pages were empty except the one with three press releases.
Seven Days in May will not be coming from this group of clowns.
Isn’t anybody else struck by the difference between this and Teh Grate Beauchamp Boogaloo?
Stein: mans a desk
Beauchamp: serving in a combat zone
Stein: starts a directly political organization challenging the legitimacy of the duly elected Commander In Chief
Beauchamp: writes slice of military life pieces, sometimes touching on the dehumanizing effects of war, none of which reveal anything that wasn’t already covered in either Catch-22 or All Quiet on the Western Front, which make frequent appearances on high school summer reading lists. Wrote absolutely nothing directly political.
Stein: Receives an affront to his First Amendment Rights when his commanding officer tells him to get a grip and stop ranting about politics during working hours
Beauchamp: Threatened with prison or fragging by his CO, who had just in the previous month (and I am not making this up) murdered unarmed, bound civilians, execution-style, and dumped their bodies in a canal, for having made the military look bad when he (SCOTT BEAUCHAMP!) wrote about how he himself had made fun of a burn victim but totally felt sorry about it afterwards.
They keep using that word “treason.” I do not think it means what they think it means.
Sgt. Stein sounds like the kind of NCO who eventually meets Private Pyle.
Instead of getting hyperagitated and turning him into a wingnut hero, I hope the brass simply transfer him from Camp Pendleton to Camp Pendejo. Then let his enlistment run out.
The crazy has always been around. There have always been bigoted douchebags who think liberals are going to destroy the country with all their talk about rights. It has always been risky to leave your doors unlocked or for your kid to walk to school alone, and there has always been violence in schools.
There is no golden age, and things were not better in the old days.
The difference today is the degree to which we are all interconnected. The Internet has given blogs and web forums to the antisocial crazies, where they can find validation for their insanity with other crazy people. The 24-hour news cycle and the rise of news as infotainment means that if a kid brings a Nerf gun to school, millions of people know about it within a few days.
So no, the country isn’t any crazier or more dangerous than it was at any particular point in history. We’re just so plugged in and interconnected that the insanity and dangers that have always existed are more visible. In addition, an increasing population means that–all else being equal–the frequency of a given per capita event can remain the same while the number of events appears to increase.
@Crashman: But Thanatos’ cover is better.
Mike in NC
Yes, it’s called SOUTH CAROLINA.
Everyone else and their mum has already answered this one, but again, yes. John Birch Society, anti-communists, Segregationists, anti-hippie forces, moral majority, Reagan Democrats, militia men, Rapturists, hippie-bashers the Bush Years Version, teabaggers. And that’s just an incomplete history of the versions within living memory
They’ve always been a part of the landscape and they’ve always been crazy. Listen to the conspiracies they spun about fluoride, OWG, Bohemian Grove. Look at the eyes filled with hate of the hardhats in the 60s, the protest crowds for integration, in the anti-gay protest rallies.
Hell, for a glimpse, visit your local Planned Parenthood and look into the cold eyes of the local protestors and how spittle flecked they become if they spot a young woman daring to get medical treatment or hell, go to a small town in the South while black or with a black friend and look at the sudden facial shift.
But that’s been well-trod.
The important takeaway is that these people are losing. Hard. The slow creep of progressive victories, the hard tireless work of civil rights activists, feminists, gay-rights activists, peaceniks have been slowly undoing the advantages these people have consistently held.
Demographics are shifting and their kids and grandkids have grown up in societies where things these people once took for granted seem horrifying to these kids.
Slowly, achingly slow at times, they have been growing smaller and increasingly irrelevant. As such they are getting louder, trying to use force to keep their ill-earned privileges as long as they can and prevent the slow march of history from taking its fair spoils.
And to that end, they have a captive media willing to play the fool and pimp this outdated sputter.
The teabaggers have yet to manage a better attendance at a rally than a mid-sized anime convention, despite being organized by an entire media organization and well-funded. They are nothing, a sliver of the eternal 28% of deeply delusional crazies.
It will be ugly, because we’ve glued a camera to the dining rooms of Rapturist Fundies and KKK racists across America and really let them fly their freak flag and present the dark underbelly of American society.
But the important lesson is that they are not nor have they ever been all we are. They like to claim universality. That being the dominant culture meant being ubiquitous. They are not.
Wait, there’s 1.5 million active duty and 1.5 million reserve soldiers and we’re worried about 400 of them? Fuck, more than 400 of them will be sociopaths. Probably more than 400 of them have committed a felony but haven’t been caught. Probably more than 400 are intersex.
We need better litmus tests for nutpicking. Sorry, don’t mean to be harsh.
I remember reading conservatives on Captain Ed’s blog expounding on how people like me were traitors who deserved to be hanged, just because we were of the opinion invading Iraq was a bad idea and we’d be better off cutting our losses and withdrawing–Just for having and expressing the opinion. And now they pull something like this. I don’t have words to describe what hypocrites they can be.
Martin touched on something I wanted to go more deeply into. There is a big difference between this angry, well-armed, racist and anti-government movement and previous ones. This one seems to be dominated by out of shape elderly people.
I say that to make it funny, but I’m kind of serious. This guy’s military tea bagger group has… 400 members. Despite having a demographic notorious for its political activism and its ability to pick up and go anywhere at any time, tea bag rallies are tiny. Absurdly, absurdly tiny. Instead of uniting and coordinating nationally, the various Tea Party political parties spend most of their time splintering and bitching at each other, and the best organized ones undercut the Republican party.
There could be some violence, and I’m most worried about a bombing or an assassination, because that’s something one lucky crazy person can pull off. But, basically, we’re being deceived by the MSM. These guys really are just a noisy fringe. Widespread violence is pretty much impossible, and they can’t even seem to organize decent protests.
April 19th will be interesting. If they just end up looking stupid and pathetic there… I think it was the best shot they had to causing real trouble.
Oh terrific. Now I have to cross Oklahoma off the summer vacation list.
One of those things is not like the others.
Stein is not a commissioned officer, but for those like our LTC and Doctor friend, article 88 of the UCMJ applies:
“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
Article 134 as charge called “Disloyal Statements,” and does covers NCOs like Stein. Forming a little groups like this within the military is generally considered counter-productive of morale and good order (wonder how Black, Hispanic, and (believe it or not there are some) white liberal marines or just people who are apolitical react) since it affects unit cohesion (which is what keeps you together when the terrifying stuff happens). Also, all the services have regulations on Command Policy, that covers membership in extremists groups and using one’s military position to promote political activities. The courts had to deal a lot with this the other way back in Vietnam and the draft. Being in the military (or even working for the Federal Government) does mean giving up some of your 1st Amendment rights.
One of these things…
… is not like the other.
What, do you need an armed militia to make angry phone calls? How exactly does one fight the feds with an army without supporting a military uprising?
Paul in KY
Riffing off one of Soonergrunt’s previous posts, for years in the 18th Century, many prisioners were confined to ‘The Hulks’. These were decommisioned ships of the line which were transformed into prisons (with all the amenities of obsolete 18th Century warships). Imagine being on one of them for 10 or more years.