SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By David G. Hanger


May 19, 2009
Tuesday PM

Mr. Bylund, I don't need you to tell me the U.S. military is an equal opportunity employer; I have three honorable discharges. Nor do I mind being called a liberal, but to an extent that may be faulty labeling. Certainly in this instance I am definitely taking the conservative point of view. I am standing in defense of flag and country against boneheads who want to secede, have a civil war, and kill all those disagree with them. Folks apparently like you, Mr. Bylund.

You expose yourselves wonderfully. While I do not adhere to any form of political religion, Mr. Bylund, I am affected, as are you, as are we all, by what is known and studied as "secular" or "civic" religion. (It got that name, by the way, not because of some liberal conspiracy, but because the early scholars were ministers of the gospel). This in fact is a complex subject, for it not merely addresses the simple attributes of flag-waving patriotism and why we like firecrackers on the fourth of July, but also studies the elements involved in how some right wing redneck and some left wing lunatic will combine and shoot full of holes any external force that interferes with their ongoing, if not perpetual, bickering.

When you call for secession, Mr. Bylund, you have stepped beyond those boundaries, and trying to wrap yourself in the flag while you are doing it is as bogus as it gets. Nor pretend for a moment that opposition to yours or any secession movement is some kind of liberal conspiracy; such opposition is the mark of the patriot, whatever the politics otherwise.

I asked in the first instance some time back what you tea baggers really stood for. No tax increases are currently being proposed except the sun-setting of certain low rates associated with very high earners. So I asked for whom are you shilling, since your taxes are not being raised. No answer. In effect the tax nonsense is window dressing, for there are no extant tax increases that affect people who run around with tea bags in their hair. Some have gone so far as to claim they are protesting tax increases that might occur in the future, certainly a very strange form of shadow boxing.

All that is left, Mr. Bylund, is secession, and that is about all I have heard from you people for the past six to eight weeks. Less than four months out in a new administration, less than four months out in the administration of the first black President, and you freaks are calling for secession.

How do you plan on going about that, Mr. Bylund? Let's start there. Let's clarify for all concerned what you are proposing.

Between 1860 and 1890 the grimmest militarists in our history first fought and won the American Civil War; then enforced the Monroe Doctrine by sending 40,000 combat veterans under Phil Sheridan to demonstrate along the Rio Grande. Maximilian's reign in Mexico City ended within months, and no European army has since encroached on either North or South America. Thereafter, the Indian wars, the so-called Wars of the Plains, consolidated power in this country across the continent, and since 1890 north of the Rio Grande there has been no war here. There have been events, acts of terror, Pancho Villa's New Mexico incursion, but north of the Rio Grande there have been no armies tramping for almost 120 years.

That is a singular achievement in human history, and perhaps the most exceptional thing we have accomplished.

And you bunch of nitwits want to screw that up. You want to secede and have a civil war because your guy didn't get elected and a black man did. You want to wave an American flag with that attitude? Go get yourself a white sheet and poke a couple holes in it, that's the only flag that you are flying.

Currently, Mr. Bylund, participating in your tea bag secession movement, by your own numbers, are approximately three one-hundredths of one percent of the U.S. population. So the 1860-1861 model for secession does not seem quite appropriate. That movement was a sectional movement based on perceived economic and cultural commonalities, and each state seceded by referendum, a majority of voters approving secession in all of the seceding states. Time was allowed thereafter for all those adamantly opposed to relocate.

There is not a particularly sectional aspect to your secession movement so far as I can see. There are a handful of you everywhere. So how do you plan on winning a secession referendum in any state if you represent only three one-hundredths of one percent of the population? The 1860-1861 model does not really seem applicable, does it?

I do not want to secede, and I don't know anyone else who does either. I like the conveniences of modern living, grocery stores, video stores, movie theaters and restaurants, airports, hospitals, cop shops, and at least semi-decent roads. I like watching the babies grow. How do you secede without forcing me and everyone else to secede, too?

How is secession going to make this country stronger or safer? As such a trivial minority your only possible model is some variant of the El Salvadorean model, death squads and assassinations, maybe sprinkled with suicide bombings and IEDs. Simple murder. Homegrown terrorism. How far do you think you would get in this country with those tactics, Mr. Bylund? You are a bunch of right wing ideologues a bit short on IQ points, not criminal masterminds. If the bodies of your hogtied victims started showing up, for example, up and down Tongass Highway, how long do you think it would take before several some ones figured out who was doing it? At that point, Mr. Bylund, you had better hope the cops get there first. Last time I looked even the so-called liberals around here are armed to the teeth.

I don't see you effectively deploying the Rwanda model either. Difficult to separate into tribes that do not exist, and I do not at this time believe that Republicans vs. Democrats or right wing Christian fundamentalists vs. the rest of us are combinations you can contrive to send through the neighborhoods with machetes and hatchets to murder everyone who disagrees with you.

There is only one form of non-violent secession, Mr. Bylund, and that is, if you are so disgruntled, get yourself a passport and find some right wing hovel overseas. My guess is anyone who does will come crawling back in a short period of time. Check it out if you think you really need to. Threatening violence toward the rest of us is not just unpatriotic; ultimately, it is criminal. Threatening violence to change the will of the people as expressed by their votes is as un-American as you can get. Secession is inevitably a violent act, Mr. Bylund, because not everyone wants to secede, and you are going to have to try to impose your will. In turn that will be resisted. There is no way for you to avoid extreme violence if you elect such a course.

You want to wreck it all because a black man has been elected President of the United States?

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, AK

Received May 19, 2008 - Published May 19, 2009


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letter ANOTHER CLIFF HANGER by Ken Bylund


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