Dumbass amateurs

Ever seen The Shootist?

There’s always some six-fingered bustard that couldn’t hit a cow in the tit with a tin cup.

Professionals don’t like amateurs, hobbyists or enthusiasts doing for free what they get paid for. A profession has to have entry credentials, some sort of officially recognized certificate of competency to practice, arcane jargon with which to baffle outsiders, and overweening certitude that nobody can do what they do as well as they do.

Yet it was the bar tender that finally killed The Shootist.

A recent post about the Alaska Territorial Guard in WWII got me to thinking about sub-national military and paramilitary capabilities.  Sub-national as in echelons below fedgov.mil.  The ATG had to be recruited because the Alaska National Guard had been mobilized for federal service and sent off to Washington State before the war started.  That could happen again to your state.  The Army National Guard and Air National Guard are Reserve Components of the federal armed forces, paid, equipped, and trained with federal taxpayer money, and if you have a Category 5 hurricane while the best part of your state’s National Guard is in Darfur delivering  pizza, well, DoD regrets the inconvenience, I’m sure.

Every state lost their National Guard during both World Wars.  The States tried to replace them with State Guard units recruited from men exempt from the draft.  They were better than nothing.  A little less than half the states still have State Guards or State Defense Forces.  Most of those are not armed.  My SDF forbids any weapons, especially  personally owned firearms.  When a buddy was trying to recruit me, he told me my main mission would be to prepare to assume responsibility for the armory of a GAARNG Mechanized Infantry Company in a town south of me.  That Company went to Iraq, and the SDF held the fort while they were gone.  Not high speed, low drag, but honorable service.  Better than nothing.

Because of their proximity to the Nation’s Capitol, Maryland State Guard in 1942 had so many missions Governor O’Conor needed yet another force, The Maryland Minute Men.

To these men, many of whom will be veterans of the last war, who incidentally may have “chafed at the bit” when they have observed their sons and younger men marching away recently to the Country’s defense, let me say that here is an opportunity that will make them truly an important part of the public defense forces. Here is a function of military organizations to which they can address themselves with enthusiasm, because it will be of utmost importance and will thereby release a number of regular Army forces for combat service abroad.

How Obsolete Is The Unorganized Militia? (Scroll down when you hit that link.)

The concept is not obsolete, it’s execution at the state level has become problematic, because self-reliance and the people’s confidence in the competence of local yokels are not as common as they used to be. Only professionals will do, you see. The Guild can always find imperfection in the craftsmanship of the hobbyist.

Back before lawyers litigated common sense out of existence, whoever could, did.  Amateurs, hobbyists and enthusiasts with useful skills were officially encouraged to lend a hand, and recognized for their contributions. Certification not required.  Professional perfection not required.  Good enough was acceptable back then.   Not great but Better Than Nothing immediately available was generally accepted as an improvement over Highly Professional Special Response Teams two hours out.   This elementary common sense is no longer generally accepted everywhere.  The idea that it is better the local citizens do it tolerably, now,  than waiting for the Feds or the State to do it perfectly, later, is more credible in Red States, and Red Counties of Blue States, than it is in the rest of the country.  It’s part of the rural vs. urban, renter vs. owner Culture War.

UPDATE: Saturday, 07 March 2009 The Militia: In History and Today



Filed under Idea War, IW

28 responses to “Dumbass amateurs

  1. Heh. As a card-carrying Guild Member… oh, wait, I was a volunteer fireman, too.

    Interestingly enough – when I was a MSCA response planner at 5th Army, the operant assumption at the Federal level was that the State and Local guys would handle things for 72 hours while we staged to get in.

    That worked in Mississippi and Alabama, and, actually, a good chunk of Louisiana.

    I had fights with people during Katrina who wanted to know why we weren’t kicking water out of helos even as the storm cleared the city.


    Somehow, the argument of “If you are in the disaster while it happens you are a *part* of the disaster” didn’t work well for them.

    Nor did – “putting 5,000 people in an area with broken infrastructure without bringing infrastructure with them just makes them part of the infrastructure problem” wasn’t good enough either.

    Apparently, my unicorn is supposed to fart gold.


  2. Gold is a solid. When your unicorn passes something solid, it isn’t farting.

    I’ll bet that the parishes in which the operant assumption was not operant show up well on this map.

    Are you still in that line of work?

    Federalism is history. For the next big natural disaster, The One is going to ram Military Support down the local yokels throats whether the Civil Authorites want it or not, and recruit his civilian national security force from among the refugees who won’t be allowed to go home.

  3. In the blue area of the Red Michigan, honestly we do not want a federal response, perfect or not. The federal government is held with deep distrust, and the changing political climate has enhanced the feeling.

    The unorganized militia here is active and stand ready to join in. I do not think anyone is waiting on orders from the governor, but maybe the county sheriff, county commissioners, or the township police.

    Great post….my CIDG operates with similar criteria that Maryland had in 1942.

  4. County Sheriffs and County Emergency Management could plan, train, and practice with civilian volunteers, if the dominant culture in the community encouraged volunteerism. Counties have power, and I can’t think of many Homeland Defense and Emergency Management missions SG’s and SDF’s can do that similarly prepared posses couldn’t.

    Sponsorship by county law enforcement instead of state military departments might further distance Civilian Irregular Homeland Defense Auxiliaries from the unwelcome “Michigan Militia” stereotype in the public consciousness. Slightly higher speed Law Enforcement Exploring for TBG’s, as far as the public needs to know, until the time comes to perform at a much higher level than anybody expected they could.

  5. I just want to point out that, if you brought all of the heavy weapons qualified fighters in the Society for Creative Anachronism together, they would make up one of the largest standing private armies in the world… The FBI did an investigation into it…

  6. Sergeant B – got a link for that? That sounds like an amusing waste of taxpayer dollars.

    #4 – I love the re-enactor link!

  7. What does the SCA HVY WPNS QUAL patch look like? Perhaps I could interest you in a Chickamauga 1999 patch in trade.

    Been to a couple SCA events. Militant hippies. Trebuchets are cool, but Ye Gret Gonnes are better.

  8. My first battery commander in the Georgia Light Artillery told me about reading that in the Camp Chase Gazette. I joined up about six months after Oklahoma City, and the FBI had developed an interest in Civil War reenacting. A few units were actually doing living history in which they interpreted the material culture of historical Georgia and Alabama militia units, and they got the most attention.

    I have had the honor to serve this piece, John, conducting a demonstration for an Officer Professional Development block of instruction at Fort Benning. The last time I saw the gentleman who owns it, he was working event security with the GSDF. You might want to check out his website.

  9. #4 – Better not let Murray read about you trashing trebuchets…

    I’ll wander through those links later tonight.

  10. cmblake6

    I’ve got to say it. You bloody well KNOW that’s not what the fedgov would stand for! My gosh! Citizens actually able to do for themselves?!?! <sarc off. What this nation needs is a good enema! We definitely need a MUCH redder shade of purple in this country. I will say it here, as I believe I have before, and I damn well know I’ve said in a LOT of other places.
    Remember your oath of enlistment? REMEMBER YOUR OATH OF ENLISTMENT! ALL enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC! That oath is for life, not just term of contract. If you don’t know it, google it. Let me take you to a simple explanation: http://cmblake6.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/this-is-the-oath-many-of-us-have-sworn/

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  12. “I, Nuke M. Tildeglo 696-69-6699, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

    Defend, as in no first strike, no counterattack, and should I get too kinetic in living up to that oath, other guys who took the same oath will be coming after me, because they’ve been told I’m a domestic enemy.

  13. cmblake6

    I still think it may not be too long before that may be exactly what we must do.

  14. cmblake6

    do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
    Remember that part. Speak of it. I do.

  15. hoosierarmymom

    Our founding fathers saw the wisdom in non-professional militias and allowed for it in the Constitution. I have a copy of the paperwork where my great x5 grandfather mustered out of the South Carolina militia after the War of 1812. I guess nobody told him and his brothers at arms that they were too unprofessional to defend the Constitution and the flag against the professional forces of the British, eh? Where would this country have been without the rag tag citizens willing to die to defend it? I’m with CMBlake, the part about swearing to protect America from ALL ENEMIES, foreign and domestic should be tattooed on us at birth!

  16. Who are the domestic enemies?
    Seriously, I have my list. You probably have yours. Who has the official list?
    Having designated the targets, what can defenders of the Constitution actually do to them in this age of lawfare and political correctness?
    There are sheep in this flock that well and truly deserve to be nipped, but obediant sheepdogs must await the command of the shepherd.
    What’s the difference between a rogue sheepdog and a wolf?

  17. “All enemies, foreign and domestic”, cannot really be treated as enemies, no matter how hostile they are. Some enemies are off limits altogether, some have to be treated as potential allies that just haven’t come on board yet, and some just have to be ignored so as not to advertise the inability to deal with them.

    “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.” Harry Reid, John Murtha , Nancy Pelosi, get a pass.

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  19. cmblake6

    When they blatantly prove themselves enemies of the nation, operating in violation of the Constitution, operating openly to destroy said Constitution, they prove themselves traitors and must be removed from the enabling position by whatever means necessary. That last paragraph on your post only applies should the facts not be plain that those individuals are in direct violation. You are not required to obey an unlawful order, and are in fact required to hold accountable that superior officer giving said order.
    re: Sheepdog vs Wolf. So you are suggesting that the shepherd must always stay awake to order the dog to protect the flock? To direct the dog to where it must be? That the sheepdog have no ability to respond to an observed threat? It depends on what the dog bites as to whether it be an active protector of the flock, or it joins in eating the sheep.

  20. cmblake6

    The question there being, who, at what level, may observe treason and file charges? Were you ordered to fire on unarmed American civilians, would you? At what point do you recognize an unlawful order/Constitutional violation? If one of those parties you mentioned above is blatantly violating the law, do you react to said violation in protection of law and order, or do you merely follow the orders of those above you in the chain of command?

  21. cm, have you positively identified traitors? Name them. Then explain to me why these traitors have not been tried in courts of law, found guilty, and executed.

    Does your oath require you to implement vigilante justice when the courts fail?

    If I was ordered to fire on unarmed American civilians, an unlikely event as I am not subject to orders from anybody but Cannonette, whether I actually pulled the trigger, or actually aimed at the civilians, or turned my weapon on whoever issued the command, would all depend on the situation. There are some unarmed American civilians who richly deserve such a fate, and serving on their firing squad would be an honor.

  22. cmblake6

    You will know them by their fruits. Question being, when the fruits come, will we be able to pick them? Or will we be too hobbled to enable it?

  23. cmblake6

    “Then explain to me why these traitors have not been tried in courts of law, found guilty, and executed.”

  24. Treason never prospers. What is the reason? Because if it prospers, none dare call it treason.

    We’re not in a position to wage overt war against our political masters, treasonous as we may consider them.

    What’s important here, is to see the overall context of our struggle. The Insurgency is not a heavyweight boxer. It’s a diminutive aikido master. We will never win a slug-fest because our opponent will always be bigger, stronger, and better supplied. Instead, we’ll use throws and joint locks to turn the enemy’s strength against himself. We want the enemy in positions where he can only hurt himself.

    In our struggle, we can smile, imitate compliance and trip the enemy. Well-timed credible threats and strategic force have their place, but only in balance with intrigue and subtlety. Ideally, the Leviathan never even knows it’s at war with us, thinking only that it’s caught a virus, or a string of bad luck. We want to always use as little force and as few resources as possible. We want to always use a fraction of our strength to make the enemy fall on his own sword and shoot himself in the foot.

    The camps are here. Eventually people will fill them. But we will not go. And eventually the Enemy will regret his greed.¡Ya Basta!

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