In The Shadow of John Brown

John Brown mural in Kansas state capitol

I have been warning you about this. And now here it is:

Leader of Army Plot to Assassinate Obama Apparently Attended the 2008 Republican Convention as a Page
John Cook / Gawker:

Isaac Aguigui, the Army private and alleged ringleader of a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and “take over” Ft. Stewart in Georgia, apparently served as a page at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota.

I am going to reprint this, because I have already said it, and you will still find it germane. Perhaps even more so.

The Little Blogger Who Cried “Terrorist!” and other Modern Fables
May 23, 2012

Leo the Thirteenth, the “Cocaine Pope”

I wish to ghod that this WAS a fable. But it’s not:

I know what it’s like to find out that you’ve been targeted for violence — realviolence, as in being targeted for death by an extremist who has picked out his target based on nothing more than writing about politics.  My situation got resolved, fortunately, but my life has not been quite the same since.  I had the good fortune of having friends who quietly made sure that my family had the security we needed for me to continue my work in American politics.

Looks like that time has come around for some of our friends in the blogosphere. Aaron Walker, Patterico, Liberty Chick, and Stacy McCain have written extensively about a man named Brett Kimberlin and connections to violent political action.

And then this triumphal cry from the terrified blogger (who has removed his family from Cape Fear for their safety):

Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain: ‘He Has No F-king Soul’  —  Today there is a massive Memeorandum aggregation about convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including one on an article by my filmmaker buddy Ladd Ehlinger Jr.:  —  What Did Barbara Streisand Know …  And When Did She Know It?


For the past six daze, the Rightie Snarkophere has kicked into massive overdrive. I have never witnessed anything like it in American politics, or, perhaps, in American  history, save once. If an infinite number of angry crazy monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards typed for an infinite number of Saturdays, they could not have come up with a six-day tsunami like this.

I. Non-Geographic Secession

Now, is it “true”? How the hell should I know? Nothing they’ve said in the past year or ten has turned out to be true, so it’s idiotic to believe it at face value, but many will. This election cycle is not about truth and falsity. It’s about who can dump how much raw mental sewage into the minds of undecided voters and the usually suspect gullible rubes. But in this case, “Wolf!” has been cried so much and so often that I am inclined to ignore it and then weep, if by some awful chance or coincidence there actually WAS a wolf, and it eats the dissimulating shepherd boy of Aesopian Fable.

And I do not know how it has come to this. I have fought this increasingly inevitable conflict of utterly divorced realities, and, therefore, bloodshed in final arbitrage of two American matter-antimatter worldviews.  All of human history tells us that when fundamental “identities” are in opposition, tragedy ensues. The Hutu-Tutsi mass slaughter of a hundred thousand human beings over tribal identity — mostly by machete — happened between two ethnic, racial, cultural groups that nearly anyone anywhere in Africa would have had a hard time differentiating at a glance.

And I do not know how this happened.

If America were a family, we would currently be in the position of the angry husband coming home and beating his wife (within nonfatal, non-scarring bounds) and the wife debating for far too long whether to call the police, or, having called them, repents, feeling at some deep level she is to blame for the violence.

There is no right and wrong here; only right and left.

All are enraged beyond civil discourse, or, increasingly and in a long-term timeline, only civil discourse within the uncivil side in this civil Cold War.

Nobody’s shooting, but how long does that last?

Nobody in that house knows what the insanity is about: the wife’s castrating language or the husband’s increasingly brutal physical episodes.

a metaphorical abuse victim

But the kids cower in their rooms, understanding that in such an atmosphere they will invariably become targets. Will inevitably bear the scars.

And WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with that husband and wife that they can’t learn to get along, at least? Are their shadows so overwhelming that the smiling public facade is only the most transparent of masks?

WHY do we hate one another? HOW do we stop? WHAT is the purpose of destroying our Union? WHEN is cooperation going to begin, or, conversely, WHEN will the next John Brown show up to spark a bonfire that we’d been preparing the kindling for with years and years of increasing divorcement of “partisans”?

No, my friends, democracy demanded that we cooperate and share in the benefits, one and all. And now there is no cooperation, except, as in the instance above of a coordinated and publicly discussed blogswarm to “destroy” the unheard from target of concentrated public libel. Among themselves, they’re doing yoga contortions to bend over and kiss one another’s blogbutts.

And, in the midst of this coordinate mass delusion, this, my favorite paranoid interpretation of standard reporting, ever:

ZIP / Weasel Zippers: NY Times Reporter Goes To Romney’s Church, Seeks Dirt From Worshipers…
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit: Sick… Lib NY Times Reporter Goes to Romney’s Church to Dig Up Dirt on Mitt
Bryan Preston / The PJ Tatler: WaPo, NYT Now Going After the Mormons

I guess it’s what preconceptions (biases, pre-judgments, prejudices) you view simple reality with that determines your interpretation of it. But … good lord.

Why? How are AMERICANS deserving of your contempt just because we don’t agree with you?

It’s abuse, pure and simpleton. And it’s propaganda, simony-pure.

II. One Notion Under Cod

Mitt Romney is a member of a religious sect that virtually all of the fanatical “Rapture” crowd happily decry as a Satanic anti-church with even MORE vehemence than they used to claim that the Pope was the Anti-christ and not a “Christian” at all. Just sayin.

And, the Catholic Church (and if you believe that Rome didn’t OK the move) just launched a massive lawsuit to claim that being “forced” (in, at best a metaphoric sense) to provide health insurance that includes contraception is a repression as brutal as any Outlawing of Catholicism in any socialist state. This is unprecedented attempt to meddle in American politics that hasn’t been seen since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Nary a peep from the press and the media.

When Ulysses  S. Grant was president, he rightly refused to have an embassy at the Vatican, or vice-versa, saying rightly that the Constitutional United States of America had no business doing business with a church as it would with a great nation like, say, France or Russia.

And that remained official policy until Ronnie Ray-Gun, when all that changed. Now, they have their Bishops and Universities and hospitals sue the Federal Government for “religious oppression” by not allowing them to not allow women to access birth control (which, note, 99% of American Catholic women have used at some point).

Over medieval barbarism? Or, rather, a modern version of a barbarism wrongly attributed to the Middle Ages.

Note that Pope Leo XIII, the cocaine pope, changed over a millennia of Catholic practice, which very closely parallels the decision in Roe v. Wade. Before 1886, going back to St. Augustine, Roe v. Wade was the usual Catholic Law of the Lands. If sudden infallable reversals are possible while drinking cocaine-laced wine — a brand of which he endorsed — then perhaps the present Pope might be induced to start drinking it. Think of how much human suffering would be instantly allieved in a billion-person denomination.

The “tonic” was cocaine mixed with wine

This is a naked political power-play, which is all the more suspect since someone in the Church surely knew that there was a good possibility of the Catholic majority, the Alter Boys, overturning the law within weeks. Rendering the lawsuit moot and only costing the filing fees for a couple million dollars of free political advertising? Scary stuff.

But Catholic doctrine also states clearly and unambiguously that Mormons are not Christians, but more closely related to Muslims.

III. Of Thee: Icing

But there is an entire wing of American politics that has been heading into bat shit crazy land for a long time now, but the descent seems asymptotic.

animation by Hart Williams 2010

draw your own conclusion,
preferably not in crayon 

And I see the dead and the ruined and maimed. And I ask myself, “for what?” Imaginary babies? “States’ Rights?” John Galt?

There is no rational reason for our society to be tearing itself apart, and yet every indication says that it is. And that leads inevitably to extremely ugly and brutal stuff. BAD IDEA. Do not go there. WARNING: Do not back up, severe tire damage.

But emotional inertia is a tough load to damp. And the juggernaut of karazzee worldview has casually tossed fact and observable reality aside like a kid tosses away the candy wrapper to get to the creamy nougat. Why this is, I do not know. I do remember Lincoln’s paraphrase of the Bible, however: A house divided against itself cannot stand. And, while we’re still standing (kind of) we are just as surely divided against ourselves.

But, for some reason, the last six days and the past month sound like every ward nurse in every lunatic asylum in the land has inadvertently left internet access wide open in the criminally insane ward.

That’s a simile.

I simile when I say that, pard’ner.

Put the gun away.

BACK TO THE PRESENT DAY (August 27, 2012):

But the guns aren’t being put away. The rhetoric gets ever more vicious and toxic. And, there is no way back. We are a house divided.

And, while I pray that the first shot never comes, I  refuse to fire the first shot. But I guarantee that I, or someone like me, will fire the last one.

This is really our last chance to stop the slide to Civil War. I pray ghod we wake up, but I fear that we will not.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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