We Don’t Actually Want Another Civil War

A rare political post that I’m throwing up because it touches upon an area I just finished writing about.

Larry Correia takes the world’s dumbest tweet by a Congressman, and drops a hydrogen bomb of truth on it, and makes the rubble bounce.

Last week a congressman embarrassed himself on Twitter. He got into a debate about gun control, suggested a mandatory buyback—which is basically confiscation with a happy face sticker on it—and when someone told him that they would resist, he said resistance was futile because the government has nukes.

And everybody was like, wait, what?

Not a new statement. Whenever this comes up, proggies love to retort that the armed populace of the US could not possibly resist the U.S. Military. This is, sadly, a meme among them.

It’s dumb for a number of reasons, most obviously the fact that a high school senior today has never known a time when the U.S. Military has not been actively engaged against insurgents in Afghanistan, and by all accounts, we are not getting anywhere. Afghanistan is Vietnam with a lower body count (and according to some authors, we actually made some progress in Vietnam after Westmoreland left in ’68. But whatever):

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama launched over five hundred drone strikes during his eight years in office. We’ve used Apaches (that’s the scary looking helicopter in the picture for my peacenik liberal friends), smart bombs, tanks, I don’t know how many thousand s of raids on houses and compounds, all the stuff that the lefty memes say they’re willing to do to crush the gun nut right, and we’ve spent something like 6 trillion dollars on the global war on terror so far.

And yet they’re still fighting.

Extrapolate that to the resources necessary for the U.S. Military to conquer North America, and some 20-30 million (if we go with the low estimates) of gun owners. Keep in mind that it took the better part of a century – from Fallen Timbers to Wounded Knee, for the U.S. Military to take North America from a variety of Indian nations, all of whom stepped out of the Stone Age no sooner than their first encounter with Europeans. I recently went horseback riding with some Blackfeet in Montana, and they told me that until the early 18th century, no Blackfeet had ever seen a horse. The Indians fought back with every weapon they had at their disposal, at a massive disadvantage in population and firepower, and it still took decades to defeat them. And they weren’t even unified. The Apache, Comanche, Iriquois, Dakota, etc., each fought their own individual war against the invader. And they each went down hard.

Oh, but that was when we had an emaciated army, underfunded and undermanned? Sure. But Correia reminds us not to be to sure of that high-tech, all volunteer military, to say nothing of the cops:

The problem with all those advanced weapons systems you don’t understand, but keep sticking onto memes, is guess who builds them, maintains them, and drives them?… Those drones you guys like to go on about, and barely understand? One of the contracts I worked on was maintaining the servers for them. Guess which way most military contractors vote? Duh. Though honestly, if I was still in my Evil Military Industrial Complex job when this went down, I’d just quietly embezzle and funnel millions of DOD dollars to the rebels.

This is what prompted me to come into this, as someone who just finished writing a novel that takes place in the Civil War, especially Sherman’s March: in 1861, the U.S. Military had about 16,000 men and 1,100 commissioned officers. Of those, about 20% defected and joined the Confederacy. Of the 200 West Point graduates who came out of retirement, nearly half joined the Confederacy.

How long did it take to defeat the South again? 4 years. Despite the fact that the North had over double the population, five times the railroads, and virtually all the industrial capacity. Despite the fact that of the southern population, one-third were slaves who were by definition (until the very end) banned from military service. Despite all of that, it took the advanced, industrialized, highly populated section of the country 4 years of bloody conflict to crush the agrarian, thinly populated half. And that was only because at the end those West-Point-trained Southerners honored their commitments to peace. That’s right, that was after four years of conventional warfare. The Confederates didn’t even try a guerrilla insurgency.

So how many current members of the U.S. Military are right-wing enough to have a real problem with firing on civilians in support of the abrogation of the 2nd Amendment? Wanna bet it’s higher than 20%? How many Robert E. Lees join the rebellion this time? How many Apache attack helicopters do they take with them? How many Abrams tanks?

Hell, how many nukes? Do you know where we keep all of our land-based missiles? That’s right: out in flyover country. When I was a kid, the running gag held that if Montana and the Dakotas seceded from the Union, they would instantly be the third-largest nuclear power on earth. I don’t think they have as many missiles now as they did in the 80’s. But they still have some.

How hard would it be for the governors of those states to order their respective National Guards to take over the missile silos? How many guys inside the missile silos would help them do it? And how many cities would they need to wipe out to win the war?

Two. New York and Washington. Game over.

Now, of course, it might not break down like that. War is never as clear in reality as it seems at the outset. But that’s my point. The scenario in which the 1.3 million members of the U.S. Military are going to be able to contain a guerrilla revolt by a group an order of magnitude larger than them, and within the country they draw their logistical support from?

That’s not gonna be over by Christmas.

A Short List of Things I Do Not Care About

smokin' JayWilliam Burroughs used to write, back in the jet-age 60’s, about starting a riot with a tape recorder. You ask some people their opinion of a different group, and record their responses, then take them to members of that group, and ask what they think of it, and record their responses, then take them back to the first group, etc., etc.

Social Media is that tape recorder. It’s also the riot.

So here’s a list of things going on in the Riot, that I am shrugging my shoulders on:

  1. John McCain. I voted for McCain in the primaries against George W. Bush in 2000. I voted for him against Obama in 2008. He was good enough for my approval then, and I’m not suddenly going to decide that he’s the Enemy because he didn’t like Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump, so I’m not going to do that.

    But I also don’t care that he’s dead. He was old, and sick. That happens. He lived a full life. His family can mourn him. He wasn’t a hero to me; he was just a politician. I have nothing to say about that political circus that was his funeral other than “McCain finally became the Media’s favorite kind of Republican: Dead.”

    I expect we’ll get the same when George H.W. Bush finally dies, a lamentation for the Old Good Kind of Republicans, who are totes magotes different from the New Evil Scary Kind (never mind that Bush was the New Evil Scary Kind back when he was actually President. We have always been at war with Eastasia). But George W. probably won’t, because he’ll live too long to be useful against Trump. They’ll probably feel authorized to give him Hunter Thompson’s Nixon sendoff.

    Or not. I don’t care. Here’s the only sensible thing I’ve read about John McCain in the last week.

  2. Anything pertaining to the NFL. The NFL lost me permanently last year when it decided to become a political organization, in which one kind of Cheap Political Theater was acceptable and one kind not. Overpaid Jockulas braining each other for millions acting like Bold Martyrs of Truth? Whatever. But allowing that and fining a guy for wearing 9/11 memorial socks? That means you’re a political organization, and not my kind. So I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl, and I don’t care what teams do what. None of them are my heroes, and if the sport dies tomorrow and everyone plays soccer instead, I will nod bemusedly and then go back to playing Crusader Kings 2.

    By the same token, I don’t care about Colin Kaepernick. I don’t hate the guy. I don’t know if he really means what he’s said, if it was all an act for attention, or if he just zoned out on mushrooms and then felt like he had to commit to the bit. I don’t care that Nike made him their poster boy, and I don’t care that people have decided to burn perfectly good shoes in protest of this. Everything is political now, so this is the sort of thing that’s going to happen. Your shoes are political. Your car is political. Your fast food is political, as are farm-to-table restaurants in Lexington, VA (and the smoking holes left of them). Ill-thought actions, meet foreseeable results. Have fun yelling at each other over it.

  3. Whatever Stupid Movie They’re Rebooting Now. You know, that one? The one that comes from the pre-internet age, the last era with shared cultural touchstones? The one that’s going to be ruined by adding/removing X? I don’t care. It’s going to be boring, I’m not going to see it. I would say Hollywood hit Peak Cultural Ouroboros with Ready Player One, but that would imply that I didn’t think they could crawl up their own rear ends any further, and I’m not prepared to make that claim. It would also imply that I cared enough to actually watch it. And I do not.

    All of which means, the only way I’d probably end up watching an episode of Jack Ryan is if I fall asleep binging The Man in the High Castle. The only really good Jack Ryan movie was Hunt for Red October.

  4. Whatever Celebrity X is Doing. Pick one. Taylor Swift. Brad Paisley. That Guy who was in That Thing. Sarah “I Slummed America So You Don’t Have To” Silverman. Whatever Late-Night Mouth of Sauron who said That Thing that people are all OH NO YOU DIDN’T and I CANNOT EVEN about. Or whatever YouTube personality fell afoul of MiniTruth and got unpersoned (I might care about that last one slightly, because it’s creepy).
  5. Brett Kavanaugh. Dude is going to get confirmed. It’s going to happen. And then he’s going to reduce everyone to Handmaids and eat babies. Just like immediately happened when Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas were confirmed. Because it’s not like Roe vs. Wade has been UNDER THREAT for the last 30 years, and is somehow still on the books, or anything. You know, kind of how Donald Trump can’t throw all the Muslims out of America, because George W. Bush already did that, and anyway we all died in the atomic wars that Reagan started.

    Enjoy the Kabuki.

Woodie Guthrie was a Showboating Commie Stooge, and He Never Killed a Single Fascist

220px-woody_guthrie_nywtsI don’t blog about politics anymore. Politics is a numb suckhole of fools and swine stabbing at each other with bent knives. This is not about that.

This is about taking down a liar.

I could give a tinker’s damn about the policies of the Old Left, because the Old Left hasn’t been relevant for two generations. But I tire of the shallow iconography of ersatz revolutionaries.

Really what set me off was reading a Neil Hilborn poem about Ol’ Woodie, rhapsodizing that today he’d be a crust punk spraying his famous catchphrase on walls like Bastiat or some nonsense. I rather think that if Guthrie were alive today, he’d be shaming people for appropriating blues music and telling people on Twitter which of their opinions are Hate Speech. Party Men are like that.

Woody personified what Orwell wrote about the Socialists of England.

Many intellectuals of the Left were flabbily pacifist up to 1935, shrieked for war against Germany in the years 1935-9, and then promptly cooled off when the war started.

When the Nazi-Soviet pact was a thing, Woody Guthrie followed Pete Seeger’s lead with the rest of the Almanac Singers, and wrote songs about how war was bad and a phony capitalist lie:

Franklin D, listen to me,
You ain’t a-gonna send me ‘cross the sea.
You may say it’s for defense
That kinda talk ain’t got no sense.

Only after Operation Barbarossa was it time to kill Fascists. Which he did not do. He instead did everything he could to avoid Army service, eventually enlisting the U.S. Merchant Marine. Now, the Merchant Marine was hardly a safe service in WW2, and he was on a ship that took a few torpedoes off of Utah Beach in 1944. But the Sea Porpoise didn’t sink, and he was fine. A lot of guys on Utah Beach were not so lucky.

And yes, I get the idea that by rallying the people at home, by raising the spirits, he was doing his bit. It’s not wrong exactly, but there’s something slimy about that particular martial self-congratulation regarding it. Bob Hope did at least as much to keep the troops happy, but he never claimed to be winning the war himself.

So to that aesthetic bit of self-importance, no, that “machine” does not kill fascists. M-1 Garlands and Browning Automatic Rifles kill fascists. Sherman tanks kill fascists. And yes, Russian burp guns and T-34s kill fascists (when they aren’t helping them invade Poland). Your guitar just sings your self-conception disguised as communal spirit, helping to birth the culture of overgrown children who had the temerity to be angry when Bob Dylan picked up a Stratocaster. The guitar does nothing without the hand that plays it. And I know whose hand was playing yours.

A Glorious Fisking of the New Yorker’s Chik-Fil-A Snit

Supplied by no other than Larry Correia.

He’s in rare form, beyond calling out the puritanical screeching that has become so obligatory on the Left, he makes this salient point:

I often see people describe rags like the New Yorker as “intellectual”, and then they lament how America is “anti-intellectual.” No. America isn’t anti-intellectual. The problem fucking halfwits assigning themselves a title they don’t deserve. There was nothing intellectual about this. There was no deep thinking. This was some dude having a public hate boner against a chicken restaurant in proxy for his unresolved issues.

The New Yorker is about as intellectual as the Chess Club table in the school cafeteria. It’s all a bunch off dully, snarky whining, a vain attempt to out-do each other shoehorning as many SAT-vocab words into your conversation as you can before the bell rings to send you to gym.

On Publishing and Platforms in the Age of Trump

Basically, this whole post by Peter Grant at Mad Genius Club:

First, the publishing world, like the rest of the ruling class, just can’t even with the last election, and by golly, they’re going to react to it. And after noting how they think “Trump voters have created space in the political conversation for heretical ways of discussing class, gender and race” (by which they of course mean not the ways Trump voters want to discuss those things, but the way voices they like want to discuss them, because that’s what “heretical” means or something), Peter suggests:

If you ask me, I don’t think President Trump has so much “shaken up the book industry” as exposed the fact that it appears to have fundamentally departed from the essential foundation of commercial business – namely, to make a profit. If businesses don’t make a profit, they fail. Period. If we, as authors, write to make a living (as I do), and we don’t make a profit, we fail. Where do you see that realization in the views cited in that article? I don’t . . . and I suspect that’s the reality behind the publishing and book-selling industry’s (and many authors’) woes. Both appear to have lost sight of the reality that, first, last and always, publishing is a business. That’s why so many parts of it are failing.

Art is commerce.

Art Is Commerce.

ART IS COMMERCE.

Second, Affiliate Marketing is Going to Run Into Regulatory Problems. I don’t care, because I don’t have enough blog traffic to even get on Amazon Affiliates anymore. This is of a piece with Google and Facebook getting Big Enough to provoke grumbling about it being Standard Oiled. We love success stories in America. We also love watching them fall.

Third, Big Tech is taking a political side. As if I needed another reason to contemplate deleting my Facebook. Honestly, the only reason I’m ever on there is to post picture of my children and catch up with the occasional college pal.

If our perspective as authors, and/or the subject matter of our books, and/or how we cover other opinions, clashes with the point of view espoused by social media outlets or vendors, we may find ourselves censored, and/or our books “muted” in terms of public visibility. To name just a few examples:

  • What would happen if our blog platform (e.g. Blogger, WordPress, even many you may never have heard about) decided to “de-platform” (i.e. shut down) bloggers with whose views it/they disagreed?
  • What if book review sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, etc. decided to ignore our books, or remove reviews of them posted by readers?
  • What would happen to our sales if a dominant vendor like Amazon.com decided to omit our books from the “Customers who bought this item also bought” lists that are included on the page of every article for sale on its Web site?

Those are some of our most important avenues to reach potential readers. They may become restricted, even closed to us, if their owners and operators decide to promote only (or mostly) products – including books – that meet their definition of “politically correct”.

The question isn’t “Will this happen?” If they’re that shaken up by The Trumpening, they’re going to pull out all the stops to keep us peasants in line. The question is, “What do we do about it?”

Anyway, Read the Whole Thing.

Music Modernization Bill Sounds Good.

I am generally distrustful of bipartisan legislation, especially when the CEO of RIAA is this enthusiastic, but this doesn’t look too bad on its face:

A key provision of the bill is for Congress to establish the equivalent of a SoundExchange for songwriters to track credits and distribute royalties when digital services use their work. The switch to a market-based rate standard for artists and writers, closing the pre-1972 loophole that denied digital compensation to legacy artists and the addition of copyright royalties for producers and engineers are other changes widely hailed as improvements by a wide range of industry organizations, from the Recording Academy and the RIAA to ASCAP, BMI, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians.

Sounds like a good compromise on the needs of artists and distributors. Establishing the means to accurately enforce contracts is what we have a govenrment for.

via Music Modernization Act Approved by House Judiciary Committee — Variety