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Riots and revolution

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It is evidently the age of electronics and the neat little devices certainly are making an impact on our lives. For father's day, my baby daughter sent me an Amazon Kindle on which one can download and read books. It is small and light, just ideal to carry with me to indulge in a favorite pastime of reading whenever I have a few unstructured moments while waiting for passengers that sort of thing. Handy is the word.

The first book that I read on my wondrous little device was Ann Coulter's latest, "Demonic, How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America." I found it a good read even though Ann perhaps goes a little overboard in her criticism of the Democrat Party. Ann posts a thoughtful and well documented parallel of how France formed a government during the French Revolution in contrast to how our country put a government together following our own American Revolution. Understanding how elected representatives sat down and hammered out the American Constitution gives one a greater appreciation of the wisdom of our founding fathers. That kind of proud history should be taught in our schools today. Intrigued with Ann's references to the French Revolution I then purchased a book, this one a real book printed on paper, by Christopher Hibbert titled "The Days of the French Revolution." It is a subject that I don't remember studying in school and is a real eye-opener. Here we see what can only be described as a French mob in action. Similar mob demonstrations are just what is going on in the world today.

I was reminded of an event that sticks vividly in my mind from my days as an Air Force Cadet. The occasion was a football pep rally when I was a sophomore. One of our ATOs (Airforcese for Air Training Officer) mounted the balcony on one of our barracks surrounding the quadrangle, the open space where the wing formed up to march to meals and other formations. Lt Yeager managed to whip the gathered cadets into frenzy much like a mob. He shouted and the cadets responded even louder! It was almost like the mob lost control yelling and screaming about what our football team backed up by the entire student body was going to do to the enemy. I was appalled the scene was similar to Hitler performing in front of the German masses. I just stood back marveling at the dynamics of a fervent leader whipping a mob into a fury just bordering on the edge of control. Of course the next day at the actual football game the hateful fury evaporated and the cadet wing acted like the gentlemen that we were. As an aside, several years later that same Lt. Yeager came back to talk again to us cadets a much more chastened man after he had been the sole survivor bailing out of a B-47 that had exploded in flight.

The French Revolution was a study in mob dynamics. The ordinary French people evidently had a beef, probably deservedly so, with their King, Louis the XVI and the hierarchy of France's Catholic Church. Their solution was to execute the priests, King, Queen and nearly all the aristocracy that was the government of that time. In cold blood they murdered anybody that was intelligent enough to be in a leadership role and eventually evolved execution to a science with the guillotine. Blood literally ran in the streets while thousands upon thousands were killed in cold blood. Surprisingly things didn't get better until Napoleon declared himself dictator and created some semblance of order. The French had a king, then mob rule which was replaced by a dictator whom they really didn't want. Their whole exercise in selecting government turned out not too good for their country.

We have had instances of mob rule in this country all too often. The "demonstrations" led by charismatic (I hesitate to think of Senator John Kerry as somehow charismatic) leaders that at times whipped them into a frenzy in protest to the Vietnam War come to mind. Those demonstrations were largely responsible for our nation losing a war that our military had actually won. You will note that those promoting the Viet Nam War "demonstrations" are now strangely quiet when it is pointed out that millions of innocent South Vietnamese were systematically murdered as a direct result of their mob actions. Interestingly the anti-war demonstrations came to a halt when, at Kent State some demonstrators were killed by military personnel defending their ROTC building. Evidently going along with the mob becomes not too popular when one's personal safety is threatened.

I look at the Arab uprisings going on in the Mid-East today and note that in only one country, Syria, their dictator is taking the only action that will stop a mob and that is to shoot the demonstrators. Now the Syrian people have plenty of reason to hate their government and definitely need change but they are learning that mob action is not the way to get that change accomplished.

We watched in Egypt when the demonstrating mobs managed to get their dictator Mubarak to go. It is not hard to predict that the dictator that they are going to end up with will be even worse than Mubarak.

Our head Democrat, President Obama, has decided that Kaddafi also has to go. Who does President Obama think will replace him? Will the new dictator be better than Kaddafi? I suspect that the results there will not be good either.

Ann Coulter states that mobs and demonstrations are a favored tool of the Democrat Party in forcing their goals on a reluctant majority. Note the actions of the teacher's unions in "peacefully" demonstrating against the state government of Wisconsin, day after day ad nauseam. I think that action has come to a halt now that the Supreme Court has ruled against the union and in favor of the state's democratically elected representatives. Had the union won there we would have seen many more instances of mob style "demonstrations" spreading to Ohio and other state governments attempting to bring some semblance of sanity to their financial future.

It is important that we pay attention to the disruptions happening in our world today and in our own country. We vote and our future depends on each of us making an informed decision at the ballot box.

That is the way I saw it.

Dick Trail

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I worked in Corrections for the State for ten years in the 1990s. I joined NAPE/AFSCME, the union representing us at the time. I became disillusioned with the union when I saw my dues money going to elect politicians that had an agenda totally different than everything I believe in. The union leaders did not want to listen to what their members had to say; just keep paying your dues and TRUST us.

-- Posted by Big Chief on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 4:59 PM

Well said, Dick. When mob's are the leaders, all reason seems to vanish, and everyone ends up in a worse situation than when events started.

Sadly, I believe, by the time elections come around the damage may well be beyond repair. The lifestyle, we defended may well be sliding into the History Books, where folk like Michael will have their say as to who was right and who was wrong. When the Historian begins to lay out the facts, all that was, and could be, may well be history, and, unlike Israel, irrevocably lost.

We live in a 'time,' where we are history, playing out, and must keep the mob from destroying everything good, left worth saving.

May we still be worth God's rescuing.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 7:40 PM

I think mob rule was also addressed in the book "Lord of the Flies". It is amazing what history can teach us, eh? Thank you for your thoughts.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 12:13 PM

If Mr. Trail believes our military actually "won" the Vietnam war perhaps that's more an indication of the perspective he had than anything else.Maybe he needs to speak with more veterans who spent their time carrying a rifle and pack through the paddies and in under the triple canopy rather than flying over it. I think he'd find a lot of agreement that the only real"winners" were those people like myself fortunate enough to come home alive-in one piece- and as relatively sane as such an experience will leave you. I'd also recommend that in addition to Hibbert's book he read Simon Schama's Citizens. I've read both and Schama's work portrays the actions of the populace much better than Hibbert's

-- Posted by davis_x_machina on Fri, Jul 8, 2011, at 7:57 AM

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Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It