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December 05, 2016


It is rather notable how the NRA doesn't seem to get particularly worked up when a black man in legal possession of a gun is shot by police. If it happens to a white man, of course, their screams of outrage will shake the rafters of the halls of Congress. But somehow the same happening to a black man doesn't motivate much of a reaction. I wonder how they rationalize that to themselves....

I'm not seeing a nation degenerating into mutually hostile armed camps as a good thing

Good luck to all.

We're going to need it.

For the first time in forty years, I am deeply fearful about the future.

The self-fulfilling prophecy from white supremacists of a race war. WEEEE!!!

If I didn't have kids, I'd be thinking about quitting the species ... somehow.

The disparity in weaponry available to each side guarantees that if the race war becomes an actual shooting war, it will be asymmetrical along the lines of Iraq's insurgency era. Or Syria, as it is today.

Yes! You, too, can live in a virtual Baghdad! Or Aleppo!

I'm not sure the disparity in weaponry is quite as large as you think. A disproportionate number of our military troops are minorities. With all the access to advanced weaponry, and training in using it, that implies.

So yeah, the initial phase might be asymmetrical when it comes to casualties. But after that, we'd be looking at a highly trained and well armed side vs a bunch of ideologues with fervor greater than their training. And both, be it noted, fighting on what is essentially their home turf.

That's a good and interesting point, wj.

It made me think of de-Baathification, when Bremer (or whoever it was) dissolved Saddam's highly-trained and well-equipped military force who knew the territory because it was their home territory. That worked out well, didn't it?

It also made me think about the differences between the US and Iraqi military, in terms of their internal cohesion and oaths of service. There's already been some question as to who the US Armed Forces would be loyal to, if the Trump Administration ordered them to do something illegal and/or morally repugnant. Would they obey their oath, which is to the Constitution and the country? Or would they obey the chain of command?

During W's reign, the USAF was thoroughly infiltrated by Dominionists itching for a religious war. I don't know about the other services, but that was alarming.

One of the parts of training that all members of the military receive is on the subject of illegal orders. What they are, what to do if you get one, etc. Which, to the extent that it works, would deal with that. I confess that the successful implementation of torture, which was unarguably an illegal order, makes me less than totally optimistic.

I hope that the Air Force, at least, has learned from their experience with officers pushing one particular religious view. Whether the Army and Navy have picked up on it, I don't know.

I'm reminded of the Oath Keeper who wanted to arm Black Lives Matter. He tried to persuade Black people that open-carrying guns was their Constitutional right and would keep them safe, and discovered (a) they didn't believe him, (b) other "2A activists" didn't want to see Black people armed.

Apparently non-Native locals are arming in NDAk and intimidating local businesses taht sell supplies to the camps. I wish Obama would just declare the area to be a national monument and hazve done with it.

I hope that the Air Force, at least, has learned from their experience with officers pushing one particular religious view.

Have they gotten better about this? I know there were some public pushes in that regard in the last decade, but I also know a year or two back they tried to nonchalantly interpret an updated DoD directive on enlistment oaths to exclude the possibility of affirmations in lieu of oaths before getting publicly smacked for it.

Whether the Army and Navy have picked up on it, I don't know.

As far as other services go, IDK, but the Army seemed pretty laissez-faire while I was in at the start of the decade. We had chaplains of pretty much every major faith (though e.g. the Buddhists were pretty thin on the ground), open atheists in positions of authority, etc. I'm sure specific commands and branches are worse, but in general the Army seems pretty big-tent.

If I had to pick a service outside the AF to raise a concerned eyebrow at, it'd be the Marines...

What I wonder about is city police forces: we know that some national police organizations endorsed Trump, and there was open insubordination in. e. g., the NYPD over Black Lives Matter, etc. How far would Trump get if he declared the Democratic governments of "sanctuary cities" (and perhaps the associated states) treasonous and illegitimate and ordered their police to overthrow them?

...and, also, what would National Guard units do in the event of open armed confrontation between a modern US state and the Federal government?

sanctuary jurisdictions are a place where the federal vs local tension is likely to come up.

in general, being a "sanctuary city" means your local police will not investigate, arrest, or charge people solely for being in violation of immigration law. as a practical matter, it usually means local cops won't ask people about their legal status.

immigration enforcement is properly a federal job, so this is at least logical. for people whose primary responsibility is public safety, it also encourages openness between law enforcement and the immigrant communities (legal or not). which makes their job a hell of a lot easier.

As for the question of the National Guard, we can look to history for an answer. During the Civil Rights Movement times, there were a couple of instances where the Federal government (i.e. the President) "nationalized" the National Guard in a state. That is, took them into direct Federal command in order to prevent the state government from using them to help suppress civil rights demonstrations, etc. Worked exactly as intended.

You might also consider the case of Arkansas. President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne into Little Rock to enforce the Supreme Court decision on integrating Central High. I remember watching it on the evening news. There were lots of protesters around yelling epithets at the students and at the soldiers. But no sign of anyone going beyond words.

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