“The Spook Who Sat By The Door” – TTG

Earlier today one of our fellow correspondents, longarch, offered a link to an article on theorganicprepper.com that contends the current unrest is unfolding, step by step, in accordance with a playbook… the US Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual. This article by the organic prepper herself, Daisy Luther, asks the question, “who is behind this?” That’s a question deserving a whole discussion by itself. I offer only one comment about that right now. If you think all that’s going on right now requires massive funding and coordination, you’re out of your freakin’ mind.     

That article did remind me of a long ago incident. Back when SWMBO and I were young college students, one of the first movies I took her to see was “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” in late 1973 at a theater in downtown Troy, NY. By that time I had my airborne wings, having attended jump school at Fort Benning the previous Summer, and I began developing a friendship with Master Sergeant Albert H. Rivers, a Green Beret with three tours in Viet Nam and Thailand newly assigned to our ROTC element. I chose this movie because of my growing interest in guerilla warfare. Obviously, I was and remain romantically challenged. SWMBO remembers it as the time we were the only two white people in the theater. 

This movie freaked out the FBI. Theater owners who showed the film were visited by local FBI agents. The film’s distributors were visited by the FBI. Copies of the film were confiscated. It was disappeared. Bootleg copies were still available, but it wasn’t until Tim Reid (yes, WKRP in Cincinnati’s own Venus Flytrap) discovered a negative copy of the film in 2004 that it became widely available again. The FBI missed that one. The film has the feel of those blaxploitation films of the 70s, but it’s much more than that. I implore everyone watch the trailer of “The Spook” and imagine if Spike Lee did a remake of this today. The full film is also available on YouTube if you’re interested. If nothing else, you can see what a failure I was as a suave romantic.

IMO Sam Greenlee, the film’s writer and co-producer, and Ivan Dixon, the director, created a thought provoking masterpiece. The very making of the film was an act of guerilla warfare. Scenes shot in Chicago were done surreptitiously over Mayor Daly's objections. In fact, Sam Greenlee, the film’s writer and co-producer, and Ivan Dixon, the director, used the veneer of blaxploitation to get their creation through the Hollywood studios. True guerilla warfare. The FBI certainly thought so. They collectively pissed their pants. Whites were collectively pissing their pants a lot during those years. A few years before the film’s premier, the NRA, Ronald Reagan and the California State Legislature were all for banning open carry of loaded weapons when members of the Black Panther Party showed up at the California state house carrying shotguns and carbines demanding their Second Amendment rights. The Oakland-based Black Panther Party included this point in their platform.

“We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives us the right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.”


I guess that’s one solution. Imagine if all those witnesses with smart phones when George Floyd was being murdered also carried weapons. Maybe the cops would have backed down. Most likely there would have been a lot of dead cops and civilians and we would still be in the middle of a nationwide uprising. Americans have not demonstrated the self-discipline or fire discipline to have everyone packing a roscoe. It’s a bad idea, especially now that so many of our cops have their asses pumped up with the “warrior ethic.” We may need cops to be those rough men to allow us sleep at night, but if they can’t turn off that rough man, they should not be cop or we will end up in a widespread guerrilla war.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw0TEAadKu0  (the trailer)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s59OaRxN_40  (a decent copy of the film preceded by a half hour of commentary)

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/the-troubling-fate-of-a-1973-film-about-the-first-black-man-in-the-cia (a fairly recent commentary)

UPDATE: Here's a version of the film with a better audio track. Thanks to Enrico Malatesta for providing this version.


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45 Responses to “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” – TTG

  1. jerseycityjoan says:

    You bring up the interesting idea of what would happen in America if everybody had guns? Many people advocate that all law abiding people get themselves a gun for protection. [For the sake of argument I will assume the criminals all have guns.]
    But what would happen if they did? People seem to assume that a lot more “criminals” would get what they have coming and that might be true. But I would think that many other people would get a surprise bullet that they never thought they’d get too. Many shooters would also surprise themselves by going after family members during arguments and more depressed people would kill themselves.
    Personally I would agree with you that “Americans have not demonstrated the self-discipline or fire discipline to have everyone packing a roscoe.”
    But many people with guns want a lot more guns out here. I wonder if they want all the black and brown people in America today without a criminal record to buy one. They certainly are targets of crime, on average, a lot more than most of the rest of the population. They could use it for self-defense.
    On the separate issue of cops, I think the issue of their fear must be addressed. I think a lot of their mistakes come from the constant fear that is a part of their job. I never see this discussed. It is not easy for them to discuss. I think there are probably a lot of cops whose nerves are shot or who end up overly suspicious or hostile to suspects and should leave the job. Unfortunately, for a lot of cops that would involve a pay and pension decrease that they don’t want to contemplate so they stay on the job. This is unfortunate.

  2. walrus says:

    I had something like a discussion of Police violence with Policeman son a few days ago.
    I was asked “what do you expect us to do?” “take off our belts and fight Marquess of Queensberry rules?”. When Police arrest someone violent it’s not supposed to be a fair fight because the Police MUST win because they are by definition the last line between the public and somebody who hates the public enough to resist or do worse.
    Furthermore, the Police are armed. Losing a fight means that the winner now has a police gun. You saw that in Atlanta with the perp and the Taser.
    The Police everywhere are taught that in any confrontation, they must win. The alternative will eventually lead to even more community outrage when an escaped suspect kills someone.

    We had this crap happen over here four or more years ago:
    The Public:. “No high speed police chases because bystanders get killed”.
    Police: “OK, so we knock it off at 70 mph”.
    Public(some months later): “But now the bad guys get away all the time!”.
    Police: “OK , can we do high speed chases again?”
    Public: “yes”.
    Something similar will happen if the police are asked to always be gentle and sensitive. They are most of the time like that anyway, less paperwork.

  3. Fred says:

    “… we would still be in the middle of a nationwide uprising.
    So is that what BLM and the left are doing, engaging in an uprising?
    “Americans have not demonstrated the self-discipline or fire discipline to have everyone packing a roscoe.”
    I don’t think the data bears this our; just the reverse seems to be the case. Just take a look at the violence in gun free zones and heavily regulatate cities and those with less restrictions on rights. An armed civilian society cuts down on quite a lot of crime.

  4. Laura Wilson says:

    To a man (person) with a hammer, every problem is a nail. To a person (woman) with a gun, every problem requires a bullet. We all use the tools we have—that is why training for critical thinking and verbal de-escalation is so important. Smart, prepared, ready to “protect and serve” the public. We know the direction … time to start moving our feet.
    With all of the guns out there, cops do have legitimate fears…we know the direction to move on that as well.

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    Black urban neighborhoods are already rife with guns. The weekly death statistics bear toothy witness to what would happen…I mean what is happening. They shoot cops and each other now, over nothing, and they will continue to shoot cops and each other.
    Meanwhile, civilized people also own all kinds of guns – and don’t shoot each other. The geographies with the most scary high capacity weapons are also the lowest murder rates because the inhabitants of those regions are reasonable law abiding citizens that largely adhere to the ethics and values of western civilization.
    If police are removed, savages will become even more savage, the final restraint on their behavior, tenuous as that restraint may be, having been removed. If by some magic you could take away all guns, they just start stabbing each other more often. BTW, no one witnessing the Floyd incident had a gun or knife? Where was Raychard when you need him. He boldly fights cops with his bare hands and arms himself with weapons that he takes off cops.
    Your piece assumes, without examination, that there is a problem with racist police randomly killing blacks. Well, ten unarmed blacks killed last year, within millions of police/black interactions, with like half by black police officers in cities with black mayors and police chiefs, hardly supports your position; which I recognize is the leftist position heard and seen everywhere and taken as gospel on fear of being unpersoned or perhaps doxxed and killed.
    The ultimate irony is that it was blacks who called for more policing in their neighborhoods. I don’t think the lefties are speaking for the majority.

  6. Eric Newhill says:

    It sounds like a move to turn the inner cities into reservations like the native Americans have; also autonomous zones. This won’t be popular, but it looks to me like they want the welfare benefits of living in the US, but they don’t want to follow the rules and play the game right. Somehow, despite all the oppression, some blacks manage to become doctors, lawyers, generals, mayors, police chiefs and even presidents. Yet a certain percent claim it’s impossible and they are listened to. While the Native Americans have a beautiful cultural tradition (yes there are warts like all cultures have) inner city black culture is pretty much equal to prison culture. It’s not worthy of a reservation where it can be preserved.

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    Glad to see your recognition that guerrilla warfare is not the usual chick flick material TTG. I’m also pleased your SWMBO saw past your lousy movie date choices.
    From the trailer I can certainly see why the feds were freaking out about it in 1973. A Spike Lee remake would be quite something. He’d obviously be able to replicate all the special ops and rioting stuff, that’s no challenge for the censors. But he’d have to contextualize the “for 5 years he was their [CIA] token negro” line. Can’t have an audience thinking affirmative action hiring practices may lead to bad outcomes.
    The concept of organic prepping made me smile too. Even a descent into anarchy and civilizational collapse is no excuse to not be kind to the earth. Should I use lead-free bullets to shoot marauders, to avoid polluting the environment? I imagine the blog has a good many followers among the LARPers in the CHAZ.

  8. Fred says:

    I wonder what training in K-12 all those police in Minneapolis had, followed with the academy training post DOJ consent decree, followed by a couple years on duty. Perhaps the political leadership, with that Harvard Law School trained lawyer, is the problem and not the cops on the beat. Then there’s the training of the Mr. Floyd; who taught him speedballing drugs was a good idea? I can’t imagine he learned that at home.
    “time to start moving our feet”
    Given the record gun sales in May the defenseless gun-free citizens of America agree, they’re just moving in a different direction.

  9. longarch says:

    If you think all that’s going on right now requires massive funding and coordination, you’re out of your freakin’ mind.
    I am not an expert. I come here to learn. Thank you for this lesson, and I hope you will give a full lecture on the topic at your convenience.
    I watched the trailer and the scene with the crosshairs of a sniper’s scope reminded me of the Beltway Sniper incident; two men, only one of the perps had serious training if I recall correctly. I suppose just a few coordinators could have coordinated these riots.
    It seems to me that the present riots are more coordinated than the Beltway Sniper and his friend. Exactly how did so many rioters find pallets of bricks? Exactly how much training did antifa get in using radios? (I think Project Veritas infiltrated antifa, and they reported training for streetfighting.)
    I don’t know that the evidence of Soros giving funding is strong enough to hold up in court.
    As for viewing the movie, it’s on my to-watch list, but I also note that a PDF file of the book is floating around scholarly websites that regard most copyright infringement as fair use.

    Americans have not demonstrated the self-discipline or fire discipline to have everyone packing a roscoe. It’s a bad idea

    Sir, you know a great deal about practical reality, and I know very little. I am a foolish idealist who dreams of a society in which (as Henry Lawson wrote) every tradesman, clerk, and peasant could be trusted to own a rifle and a box of cartridges.
    Walrus wrote:

    The Police everywhere are taught that in any confrontation, they must win. The alternative will eventually lead to even more community outrage when an escaped suspect kills someone.

    I am traditional and culturally reactionary; I do not approve of large government; I advocate for small government and a minimal standing army. The last few decades have led to massive militarization of the police. Thus I advocate for extreme changes in how police are trained. At minimum, I suggest that Israel should not be allowed to train any police outside of Israel.
    I read with sad nostalgia how Tocqueville describes the old days of the USA, during which the police chased thieves, and nearly every citizen aided the police because nearly every citizen agreed that a threat to one was a threat to all.
    I suspect that the USA can only restore its old freedom from government repression by instituting voluntary self-repression through voluntary practice of old-fashioned religion. If the USA of 2020 were as religious as the USA of 1950, there would be harsh punishment of cultural subversives who weaken the USA with decadence, hedonism, and nihilism.
    Fred wrote:

    Just take a look at the violence in gun free zones and heavily regulat[ed] cities and those with less restrictions on rights. An armed civilian society cuts down on quite a lot of crime.

    I suspect that rural Americans gain some spiritual benefits from hard work, proximity to nature, and distance from urban decadence. In the past I have prayed that rural spirituality heal the wounds inflicted by urban depravity; now I think I ought to pray even more.

  10. Upstater says:

    Walrus, my daughter was killed by someone like Rayshard Brooks 7 years ago. The killer was a drunk and drugged Native American in South Dakota. He spent the 4th of July weekend partying with meth. Sober neighbors called tribal police, whom ignored the complaints of high speed driving in the native community. The following Monday well hung over, my daughter and her boss were run down in a parking lot during daylight by this monster. They were on duty federal employees.
    I think the Atlanta cops were doing their job when they tried to arrest Brooks. Reports state he was intoxicated and fought off 2 cops and got a taser. What if it had been a gun? Brooks was so intoxicated, he might’ve got on I-75 the wrong way any killed innocent people. I can understand how Brooks was shot, it is far different than Floyd.
    But our story continued. We saw some of the best of law enforcement and prosecution and some of the worst. State troopers lied to us about the circumstances. The judge’s son (a white boy reputed drug dealer) lived with a clan member of the killer. He got off relatively lightly. Had tribal police not been tolerant of lawlessness on the Rez, maybe my daughter would be alive today. The feds could have prosecuted, but refused to do so because they plea bargain Indians killing other Indians and wouldn’t like the optics of prosecuting a drunk and drugged Native killing white federal employees. Justice was not served.
    Being the father of a victim, I recognize the need for cops. There is a thin blue line. But some cops are as bad, if not worse, than the public they are supposed to protect and serve. We should not give a carte blanche to cops. Change is necessary, now.

  11. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    I remember reading this book a long time ago, in early 70s. Just a few impressions remain-the depiction of a buck-naked, stoned white girl being offered to a “brother”, probably the protagonist, who declined; a black prostitute called “Dahomey Queen” who spied on one white general who supposedly had something for “black meat”…
    Turkey was undergoing a low grade civil war at the time with quite a bit of urban guerilla activity. I remember thinking that the kinetic action in the book seemed contrived and unrealistic when compared w/ the issues we had to deal with in real time.
    I wonder if your blacks are better motivated, armed and advised than our secessionists. Even at the height of their urban terror not many in Turkey were pissing in their pants.
    If you could explain how the American Whites were doing so, I might learn something.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  12. Eric Newhill says:

    TTG will probably have a totally different outlook, but as many of us see it, the blacks are controlled by the democrat/media complex and their leaders who seek power and use the induced paranoia and lack of education of the black masses to obtain it. Those people are behind this. They have gotten the black population and white college kids to believe a myth. Then at first opportunity, they show footage of what is actually an extremely rare event and distort the facts, to confirm the myth they planted in the peoples’ heads. The blacks on the street are not well organized, but these insurgency leaders are because they have the media and the democrat party.
    This is easily solved by having the police go on strike and let chaos rule. The college kids and the media will be begging for the police to come back and there will be a general abhorrence of criminals running wild. Yes, there will be casualties and property loss, but the alternative, surrendering and bowing before the democrat/media conspiracy and its mob are unacceptable and will end up in worse damage in the long run, to include losing the country forever.
    Urban whites are just lost souls. Rural whites know what time it is. They are not well organized yet and have trouble organizing because the FBI works against them and mostly because they are decent people that are reticent to break laws. And they don’t have media support and only a waning Trump in government. However, a ten million man, reasonably well armed, largely white, army with the support of 40 million more + the food production territory of the country and key essential skills (urban people are utterly dependent on them for life itself) will eventually rise up and crush any goofy; albeit violent, guerrilla actions from the blacks – and take over swaths of the country and maybe washington dc itself. Probably two years away.

  13. IZ,
    There seems to be some kind of generalized fear of blacks among our majority white population. Maybe it stems from a vestigial fear of slave rebellions. That was a genuine fear at one time. As long as blacks “knew their place,” our society saw no need to give into this fear. Those black who made it economically, and there are plenty of examples, don’t trigger this fear. Emancipation led to Jim Crow laws, segregation and “separate, but equal” laws to ensure blacks continued to know their place. All this was upset by the civil rights era. The 60s and the 70s saw blacks challenging what was left of the “knowing your place” social contract. The current protests against real and perceived racism among police and in our judicial system is just part of that challenge to the social contract.
    A while back, Colonel Lang reminded us of our Civil War being a continuation of the English Civil War between the Cavaliers and the Parliamentarians or Roundheads. I can’t remember the historian who first laid out this premise. I think this civil war is still with us. The Cavaliers or Royalists generally felt that all members of a society should know their place. That one tenet serves as a thread running through the English Civil War, our Revolutionary War, our Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow and segregation eras, the civil rights era and our current divided condition.

  14. blue peacock says:

    Having read extensively about the politics and cultural cross-currents of the 60s, my opinion is that everything that we see today is a tempest in a teapot.
    Both parties have used identity politics to divide and fire up their “base”. The Democrats have used race and sexual-orientation based identification along with political correctness to draw sharp divisions and fire up their largely urban & affluent voter. The Republicans have used “Guns, God & Gays” to divide and fire up their largely evangelical and rural base.
    An underlying problem that continues to get exacerbated transcends identity. That is the shrinking of the middle class as wealth inequality grows on the back of financialization and growth in market power of a few across many segments from tech to media, ag and healthcare. The blue collar middle class is on extinction watch as they are racked with depression & opioids.
    Both parties have supported this concentration in wealth and the concomitant uniformity in the policies that support this concentration. From the repeal of Glass-Steagall to the Wall St bailouts to the enactment of mass surveillance and the non-enforcement of Robinson-Patman, have all been bi-partisan affairs.
    In the riots that we saw recently, neighborhood stores and businesses were destroyed and looted. Mostly small businesses and big box retail. None of the media nor the protestors or looters addressed the looting at scale that takes place by government fiat – the looting enabled by the Fed & Treasury that has concentrated so much wealth in the hands of Wall St financiers. These financiers acquired, leveraged and “restructured” corporate America by shutting down manufacturing and moving production overseas through the use of credit.
    Take for example the looting that has taken place with the lockdown, where the Fed has handed out trillions to investors in corporate debt and other financial assets. There was no Congressional appropriation. The Treasury handed out $500 billion to corporations. Steve Mnuchin does not want anyone to know who got that money. He says it is confidential. The average guy got a measly $1,200. If all that money handed out was instead handed out to American citizens, these same financiers and their partners in both parties would have been screaming socialism. Socialism and the transfer of money by government to these financiers and corporate honchos is considered necessary for the trickle down.
    These riots, protests and the hyper-partisanship are all designed to divide & distract from the real looting that is taking place. It is a myth that we have a market economy. Financial markets are all administered. In Japan & Europe the government bond market has been cornered by their central banks who own 80% of the outstanding securities. There is no free float in any sense. Powell last week said there is no limit to the Fed’s balance sheet in “stabilizing” financial markets. As of today they will buy any dodgy debt issued by corporations. From online commerce to social media & traditional media, a few companies dominate. Between Google & Facebook they own 80% of all digital media.
    IMO, we cannot expect any change any time soon. The American people are divided & distracted.

  15. longarch,
    Please don’t assume I consider you to be out of your freakin’ mind… at least not yet. I remember the Beltway Sniper very well. The highways were as easy to drive as during the height of the pandemic lockdown. When I would stop at a store or gas station, I would scout the terrain for possible sniper hides, use the gas pump and pillars as cover and keep moving while filling up. Yes, that only two people and it paralyzed the region.
    The current nationwide protests require only local coordination, usually just a social media announcement of when and where. Using social media and smart phone apps is common knowledge among all but the oldest protesters. All those brick piles were found to predate any of the protests for construction or, in the case of rocks around a Jewish center, for protection against attacks by right-wing nut jobs. Local Antifa groups do train in fighting or trashing as it was called in the 60’s. There are at least two left-wing and black gun clubs in Seattle. Those were the armed protesters you saw in CHAZ. There are certainly more of those throughout the country. There’s probably some crossover in membership with local Antifa chapters as well. Again, local. None of this calls for national coordination or funding.
    Walrus and Fred are right. We need police and we need them capable of dealing out violence to the truly dangerous and violent. We don’t need them to be dealing out violence to those passing counterfeit 20 dollar bills, running down the street of a white neighborhood or sleeping in their own bed. Drunk drivers need to be taken off the street and prosecuted, not shot. Most of the police violence against blacks is far from lethal. It’s day to day intimidation rather than lethal violence. And it’s against whites and others as well. It’s more than just a few bad apples, but it doesn’t require literally defunding all police departments or eliminating them altogether. That would be insane.

  16. blue peacock,
    You’re absolutely right. What’s going on today is nothing compared to the late 60s. Now that was civil unrest. Your also right about big finance and big business being the root of our problems. Now there’s a formidable and dangerous enemy. Reining them in would be a real feat.

  17. TV says:

    Defund the police?
    Why not.
    The places most affected by this stupidity have been voting for left wingers for decades – Minneapolis, Baltimore, NYC, Wash. DC, LA, Chicongo, ad nauseum
    People get the government they deserve.

  18. mcohen says:

    Police attendibg riots South Africa.take note of white officer next to car door leaning away.

  19. jonst says:

    TTG wrote: “A while back, Colonel Lang reminded us of our Civil War being a continuation of the English Civil War between the Cavaliers and the Parliamentarians or Roundheads. I can’t remember the historian who first laid out this premise.”
    I don’t know if he was the “first” who laid out this premise…but Kevin Phillips, in The Cousins’ Wars laid it out well.
    As to your main premise, or what I take to be your premise, anyway, I doubt we are dealing primarily with a racial issue. Although that is of course a significant component of it. We are dealing with an incipient French Revolution like uprising. It is not ‘full blown’. Yet. And it may never come to it. But this a movement headed up by Left Wing Whites. A lot of over credentialed types with loads of debt from useless degrees, big egos, and few actual job prospects. So they will turn to centralized govt to provide the jobs. But first they have to capture said govt. The present right wing leadership is brain dead. A whole new cadre of leaders, thought leaders, and battle leaders will have to be groomed. In the French Revolution example it took about 10 years for a Napoleon type to come to fruition. It was a bumpy 10 years, I grant you. People will always prefer order over chaos. It just takes a lot of chaos to sell them on order.

  20. Barbara Ann says:

    blue peacock
    An excellent comment. Asymmetry of risk is the issue; bankruptcy is for the little people. The big boys, who are deemed systemically important or who simply have the best lobbyists, get bailouts. This is a grotesque parody of capitalism permitted under a democratic system closer to a plutocracy. Un-manipulated market economics is a quaint concept consigned to the history books – at least for now.
    The multiple trillion dollar question is where this looting & covert nationalization ends. And yes, the fake race war is a useful distraction from the real plundering happening on an unimaginable scale.
    One day another Andrew Jackson will come along to ‘kill the bank’ (the Fed) whose private shareholders’ interests are so far out of alignment with those of the nation. But it does not look likely that this can happen under a bipartisan system which agrees to deliberately conceal the beneficiaries of (ultimately taxpayer funded programs) from the public.
    Can the corporate pillaging of the public purse be stopped before a revolution? I don’t know, but the investment bankers and hedge fund managers would be wise to ponder what may happen to them if not.

  21. Terence Gore says:

    Had my old bike stolen yesterday. A trifle in the scheme of things. I had removed the seat and front wheel but used a cheap lock and cable. Could not keep an eye on it because of the boarded up windows at work from the non violent protests in San Jose. No use reporting it. Under $1000 property crime is now a misdemeanor in California. Cops won’t investigate and bike crime is pretty rampant.

  22. Dan says:

    Terence Gore
    Interesting timing on your comment. I’m in the Bay Area, a half hour ago I drove by a spot where homeless have started to gather over the past few weeks and they had what seemed to be an oversupply of decent looking bikes. Just flagrant.

  23. Jack says:

    Barbara Ann,
    I would recommend this discussion of “The End Game”.
    blue peacock is spot on IMO. The objective to “divide & distract” continues to be a roaring success. The manipulators can’t be faulted. They’re taking care of themselves. The blame should be accepted by the manipulated.

    Productivity growth is the single greatest driver of everyones improving standard of living and income growth. Companies no longer have to invest in the business and into productivity growth because the Fed will backstop their entire balance sheet. So why not focus on share price

    The systemic incentives are to further wealth inequality not to grow productivity and the median household income. Yet the citizens are more focused on the faux battle between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  24. David Habakkuk says:

    jonst and TTG,
    Re the suggestion:
    ‘I think this civil war is still with us. The Cavaliers or Royalists generally felt that all members of a society should know their place. That one tenet serves as a thread running through the English Civil War, our Revolutionary War, our Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow and segregation eras, the civil rights era and our current divided condition.’
    This does make me think that a better sense of some of the complexities of the British seventeenth century might be of value to Americans.
    A useful starting point might be the complex career of Sir Thomas Fairfax, who led the ‘New Model Army’ to victory over Charles I at the decisive battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645.
    A decade and a half later, after the death of his key subordinate in that battle, Oliver Cromwell, who had in the meantime become ‘Lord Protector’, Fairfax would be instrumental in securing the (essentially peaceful) accession of the son of the man he had defeated.
    As a young man, Fairfax had learnt his soldiering in the wars of religion on the Continent, under the tutelage of Horace Vere, a leading commander of English volunteers in these, and a highly capable soldier, whose daughter Anne he married.
    In January 1649, after Cromwell and his associates had decided to try the ‘Charles Stuart, that man of blood’, Fairfax was placed at the head of the list of judges. He stayed away, but his wife turned up in the gallery. From her ‘Wikipedia’ entry:
    ‘When the court called the name of Fairfax, it is said that his wife, Anne Fairfax, said “he had more wit than to be there”. Later when the court said that they were acting for “all the good people of England”, she shouted “No, nor the hundredth part of them!”’
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Fairfax )
    Doubtless she overstated her case on the numbers. But Anne Fairfax was not wrong in pointing to the fact that the kind of Puritan zealots who had risen to prominence in the ‘New Model’ combined an absolute conviction that they represented ‘the People’, with a belief that those of their fellow-countrymen who did not agree with them should ‘know their place.’
    This meant recognising that their were utterly and totally wrong, and so could not really be considered as belonging to the ‘good people of England.’ (How can you be ‘people’ if you are not ‘good’?)
    And then, of course, there was the question of the proper ‘place’ of Ireland, where the ‘Reformation’ had never taken hold.
    Not long after the execution of Charles, Fairfax having, once again, decided he did not want to be involved, Cromwell took over the task of suppressing the rebellion in that country, and made quite clear his view of the proper ‘place’ of towns who did not accept his suggestion they surrender.
    He justified his treatment of them, well remembered in Ireland to this day, as ‘a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches.’
    (For an interesting recent discussion, presenting both sides of the argument, see
    http://www.olivercromwell.org/wordpress/?page_id=1837 .)
    Also of interest, I think, are reflections on the heritage of another civil war, even more cataclysmic than the English and the American, and how it should be handled. Prior to his return to the Presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin published a series of articles, in one of which, actually entitled ‘The Ethnicity Issue’, his argument led him to the following conclusion:
    ‘So subtle cultural therapy is what is recommended for Russia, a country where, for many, the civil war never really ended and where the past is highly politicised and seen as a collection of ideological quotes (often interpreted by different people in opposite ways). We need a cultural policy – pursued at every level from school teaching to historical documentation – to shape an understanding of history in which representatives from each ethnic group, as well as the descendants of the “Red Commissars” and “White Officers”, can be seen to have a place. They must see where they belong in that process and see themselves as heirs to the great Russian history – tragic and controversial as it is, but still “one for all.”’
    (See http://archive.premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/17831/ )
    Both by inheritance, and also out observing the way politics have unfolded in my lifetime, I have come to think that, when people portray the conflicts which shaped the modern world as simple stories of struggles between the forces of ‘progress’ and those of ‘reaction’, the appropriate reaction is ‘caveat emptor.’
    One of the central things animating the ‘revolt of the deplorables’, on both sides of the Atlantic, is in my view the quite correct perception that people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, or indeed Tony Blair, do not see them as having a ‘place.’
    Precisely because of this, such people are actually making it more, rather than less, difficult to find ways of accommodating genuine, and inevitable, forms of ‘diversity’, without conflict.
    And also, as people with this mentality have often done before, they have already radically miscalculated the relative strength of the rival forces in the conflicts they are helping precipitate.
    And they show absolutely no sign of any willingness whatsoever to learn from their mistakes.

  25. Enrico Malatesta says:

    Your link to “The Spook who sat by the Door” has a lousy clipped audio track, this version seems to be better –

  26. David Habakkuk,
    Thanks for the info on the English Civil War. I share your view that reducing conflicts to a simplistic binary struggle between progress and reaction do not come close to telling the whole story. In that light, I would like to hear your thoughts on the Levellers, a short lived movement that I think still resonates today. They were Puritans who supported Cromwell to a point, but seemed to lack the worst aspects of the Puritans and Cromwell. They didn’t support Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland and sought reconciliation with the Royalists. In my experience, their ideas reappeared in the New England Congregationalists. In my hometown the Congregationalist, direct descendants of the Puritan town fathers, welcomed and happily assisted the arrival of us non-Anglo Saxon Catholics.
    I’ll cross post this comment in Colonel Lang’s post on the Civil War as you have done. I think it fits well there.

  27. Jonst,
    Thanks for the tip on “The Cousins’ War.” I have not read it, but will when our library opens. I see Phillips drew on David Fisher’s Albion’s seed which made some of the same points. I think that’s the book mentioned by Colonel Lang. I did find a lecture given by Kevin Phillips which I intend on watching tonight.

  28. Fred says:

    “The current nationwide protests require only local coordination, ” Locally coordinated, in more than 100 cities simultaneously? Clap on, clap off was the old ad to help out granny in the dark. It works on riots too. What happened to that trade deal with China? A viral attack and economy destroying lockdown orders worked wonders, eh. A city that has been a democratic stronghold for decades has a police officer kill a black man and planetary wide protests and riots ensue? Let’s community organize and fire the mayor and reign in the police?Oh no!, not that. “Systemic violence” did it. That system is the constitutional Republic. That is what has to go in order to get the Change you can believe in that has been pushed from the left for generations.
    “big finance and big business being the root of our problems. ” Who is the “our” that you refer too? Trump’s economic policies were damaging China’s rise, they were also damaging the Democratic Pary’s stranglehold on the black vote. Financial independence, however tenuous, eliminates the hold government has over people. That is the last thing the left wants.
    Does anyone think that 400,000 Chinese nationals here on student visas are loyal to the US or were not having a disparate impact on opportunites for American students? Who is getting the job after graduation, the visa holder with the stem degree or the graduate with the gender/race studies/poli-sci degree? How many of those foreign students will be getting visas next year if Trump is re-elected? Russian collusion, remember that? Larry wrote up a post on yet another Constitution strangling judge(Sullivan) dragging out a case because letting that truth come to light will destroy many a politician’s career, on the left and right.
    As to big business, judging by the rainbow flag banners, black banners and $1 billion plus pledged to BLM by corporations the left has won over a great deal of the leadership of those companies. Given “diversity is our strength” the HR departments have been intellectually cleansed cleaner than a university faculty lounge.
    Violence from the left works, their demands are met, they control the narrative. If you are a protected class individual you are above reproach, if you are not you are a target. The social media stasi are going to keep you in line. The mask police will have you put on your little yellow star, now, or else.
    I believe jonst is right when he says “We are dealing with an incipient French Revolution like uprising.” We don’t hear much about the thousands killed in the Vendée, it’s bad for the tourist industry and the consciences of our alleged intellectual elites.
    These are not locally organized protests, this is a well planned and coordinated left-wing insurgency. What we are seeing is covert and overt pressure against the government, strikes, riots and the initial phases of sabotage being used to demonstrate the weakness of government. This is after 3 years of “resistance” that sabotaged the Trump administration, a special proscecutor’s investigation and a congressional investigation and impeachment trial – one in which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refused to allow a US Senator to question or even mention the name of the “whistle blower”. Stand by for more social justice activism from the 3-4% of the population driving this; To borrow a phrase from Naseem Taleb : The Most Intolerant Win. Looks like that is exactly what is happening now. The most intolerant are winning.

  29. English Outsider says:

    David Habbakuk – a great essay on the crucible period of English Constitutional development. Wish you were still putting out programmes.
    Relates to American constitutional development also – AG Barr reaches back to those times when discussing the attempts we have seen in the States recently to impede Trump’s use of Executive power, attempts that mirror the constitutional anomalies we saw in the UK Parliament after the Brexit vote.
    Those seventeenth century disputants themselves reached back further in time. Some took their stand on custom and prescription they asserted had been established from before the Norman Conquest, seeing that Conquest as a disruptive break with traditional English governance.
    Which perhaps illustrates how risky the use of constitutional history is. There’s always something in the past we can appeal to in order to back up our assertions of today. Just so did we see Burke, that constitutional scamp, being quoted recently by MP’s wanting to claim that they were not acting improperly in ignoring the mandate they were sent to Parliament with.
    I think therefore we can take past constitutional disputes as giving us a framework, a framework that is familiar to all, in which to discuss today’s disputes. I’d be very reluctant to go further and see them used as in some sense guiding precedent. The historian may investigate those now distant times, as do you most interestingly above, but the politician would do better to cast today’s disputes in today’s terms and not seek to lock us into his own necessarily partisan interpretation of history.
    We must learn from history, take it as a guide and as a means of establishing a common understanding, but we should not lock ourselves into it. If we do that, if we seek to lock ourselves into the past, then we are seeking to lock all into rooms of our own choosing.
    Posted by: English Outsider |

  30. Barbara Ann says:

    David Habakkuk has, as so often, hit the nail on the head. For those who view history as a series of struggles between progressive and reactionary forces, there can be only one significant categorization of its participants: Progressives are the good guys and reactionaries bad guys who impede Mankind’s journey of emancipation towards our ultimate enlightened destiny.
    In such a world view, words like ‘diversity’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘tolerance’ are redefined. A diversity of viewpoints is permitted, but only inasmuch as they can be considered ‘progressive’. All must be included, except reactionaries – those evolutionary dead ends; throwbacks who have no place in the brave new world of tomorrow. And ‘tolerance’ of course simply becomes its antithesis. Re-education or much worse is the usual fate of reactionaries when progressive extremists come to power. And the American Left right now is chock full of extremists of this kind.
    The Putin quote is right on point, “subtle cultural therapy” is the route towards reconciliation and cultural harmony. Real inclusion – and toleration – of all viewpoints is what is needed, including those who venerate the culture of the South and its war heroes. The cultural revolution sweeping America will lead to the opposite.
    What is the cure for this intellectual infantilism; the progressive disease? It seems to me the most pressing question of our time.

  31. Terence Gore says:

    I have noticed that also.
    I was thinking of buying a battery assisted bike but now having 2nd thoughts. I will probably wind up buying a used bike that I can afford to lose. Our Pharmacy business has had three Prius catalytic thefts in the past 6 months plus a break in and theft during the protests. Our clients are mostly low income and many in care homes. At some point there are secondary ramifications from theft. It may be easier to look the other way but harder on the most in need in the long run

  32. optimax says:

    Terence Gore
    On my walk I frequently go past one of Portland’s many homeless camps and see dozens of bikes next to the tent. The frames are painted over, usually black, dismantled and it doesn’t take a detective to know the pieces are parted out for cash. I’ve seen the transactions and not on tv. Stolen bicycles are are a common complaint on the local social media site Next Door, which I quit due to the high number of White women confessing their White privilege and White fragility– initially misread as White frigidity.I’ve seen many at the camp shoot up or nod off or passed out next to their needles. A local samaritan every day picks up the carelessly and dangerously discarded used needles. A nonprofit hands out free clean needles but won’t Sharps Containers because they say it would be humiliating for the junkies to carry the containers in public. We must think of their pride. It’s estimated a junky needs $1800 a month to support his habit. Since they don’t have jobs, you can guess how they earn their living.

  33. Kilo 4/11 says:

    The Spook Who Sat By The Door is a “thought provoking masterpiece”.
    Only to those who believe in the big lie pushed by the black grievance industry. Like the Panthers’ false raison d’etre, to combat “police brutality against blacks and the suppression of the black community”, the film starts from the false premise that blacks have it so bad in America that they are justified in going on a murderous rampage against Whites. By 1973, I didn’t need a film to tell me about the already ongoing black guerilla war against Whites, I’d been seeing it on my Chicago streets since the early ‘60s.
    Since the great war hero Eisenhower sicced the 101st Airborne on the terrified White parents of the South in 1957, who only wanted to protect their precious children from what they knew all too well would result from race-mixing, blacks had sensed they had been given the license they had always craved, and the first people they tried it out on were people like my family and friends in inner cities across the land. They invaded our White neighborhoods, shooting at and threatening us from the beginning.
    Discussion of past Civil Wars, Revolutions, Constitutional crises, the Progressive versus Reactionary tension, etc. is a waste of time. It is wasted on the typical black, who can’t follow a sentence of more than five words, and anyway has contempt for reading and those who read.
    No, what we have now is a race war. Blacks hate Whites, want to kill Whites and take their property, and they’re doing it with impunity everywhere. They sense White weakness and it is exciting a blood lust in them. They are casting off – have almost finished casting off – the “American” part of “African-American”. The African is coming out from under his veneer of White civilization before our eyes, and he sees his chance to turn America into South Africa. And we have the same kind of elites in charge of us now as those who handed South Africa over to black destruction.
    I think of those bold armed White protesters, screaming in the faces of those nearing retirement-aged Michigan Capitol police about the unfairness of the Covid lockdown. So brave of them, and so misplaced. That rage needs to be turned against the black guerilla. For the remaining Whites on our police forces are leaving. And the hooded one who said to the network reporter during the height of the American Kristallnacht “We coming to get y’all! We coming out to the suburbs!” wasn’t making an idle threat.
    “Americans have not demonstrated the self-discipline or fire discipline to have everyone packing a roscoe.” worries TTG. This is the opposite of the problem Whites face. What Whites need desperately now is to lose some of that “self-discipline”. I want to see blacks running from us, from my kind of people, the Chicagoans of 1919, the last Chicagoans I am proud of.

  34. CK says:

    “One of the central things animating the ‘revolt of the deplorables’, on both sides of the Atlantic, is in my view the quite correct perception that people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, or indeed Tony Blair, do not see them as having a ‘place.’”
    How insulting is it to be deemed non-essential? To whom? Not to my family nor my friend nor my neighbours. Yet for the last 6 months it seems that I am deemed non-essential by the newsmakers and the newstalkers and the newsfakers. I suppose I could apply for a job as a bed pan washer or a shelf stocker at one of the local food emporia then I would no longer be non-essential.
    Mr. Habakkuk you are so very correct. And there are now so many more who have discovered just how non-essential they are.

  35. Eric Newhill says:

    “There seems to be some kind of generalized fear of blacks among our majority white population. Maybe it stems from a vestigial fear of slave rebellions”
    13% of the population and 50%+ of the violent crime is a consistent FBI statistic that cannot be ignored.
    Actually, since it’s younger males that commit most of the violent crime, it’s more like 5% of the 330 million population committing the majority of the violent crime in the country. Anyone who doesn’t apply a special focus to that 5% is not smart. Pattern recognition is a basic intelligence and species survival mechanism.

  36. Fred says:

    Most of the crime is also occurring in metropolitan areas led by the left and many if not most of the victims are also black.

  37. doug says:

    >> “When I would stop at a store or gas station, I would scout the terrain for possible sniper hides, use the gas pump and pillars as cover and keep moving while filling up. Yes, that only two people and it paralyzed the region.”
    After 9/11 that captured my attention. My concern was that there were significant numbers of jihadists willing to sacrifice themselves for asymmetric effect like the hijackers. I’m an EE with a strong signal processing background and was somewhat familiar with the interesting acoustics of faster than sound bullet wavefronts. So I kicked around designing a distributed acoustic data collection device that could use GPS for time stamping. The little devices could be rapidly deployed in cities. They would then allow near realtime identification of such activity including rough trajectory and origin. Something specific for this sort of urban terrorism. A bit of research indicated this was likely already being pursued. Since I have never worked in the govt. sector or for their contractors I went on to other things.
    After the shooters were identified and their technique disclosed I was concerned about copycats. But that didn’t materialize. I considered that great news as it indicated insufficient density and number of radicalized Muslims resident here.

  38. JJackson says:

    TTG thanks for the film link, it was new to me. As I watched I was strongly reminded of a post a while back in which there was an account of a US SF trainer tasked with training Division 30, or similar, ‘moderates’ for insertion into Idlib. While they could not refuse to train them they were not overly zealous about it as they expected everything learnt would soon be used against them.

  39. turcopolier says:

    During the Washington sniper epic I carried a mouse gun in a pocket holster, a .32 automatic (Keltec P-32). I can hit you at 50 yards with that. I have had a permit to carry a concealed handgun for many years. I am an excellent shot. I have been asked to teach police pistol shooting several times based on my range scores with everything from that to .45 ACP. I remember the media hysteria about “two angry white men in white van.” All BS. Two angry white men in a white van. Amazing.

  40. doug,
    Washington DC has a shot spotter system in use like you described. I’m sure they’re in a lot of other cities as well. Too bad you weren’t a little faster with your technology.
    Once those two were captured, I was impressed with the ingenuity of using a car as a mobile sniper hide. Too bad that good idea occurred to those sorry two sad sacks. Usually these sniper incidents involve shooting at random cars on a highway from a spot overlooking the highway. I went through a USMC sniper course in Hawaii so I used that knowledge to search for sniper hides during that time.

  41. Richard Ong says:

    “Warrior ethic”?

  42. Richard Ong,
    When police see themselves as warriors, they set themselves apart from the community as a privileged class whose primary duty is to each other rather than those who they should “serve and protect.” I don’t like the military’s reliance on warrior ethos, either. I am a soldier, not a mere warrior. Being a soldier encompasses far more than shooting the bad guys.

  43. Fred says:

    “They set themselves apart from the community as a priveliged class whose primary duty is to each other ”
    A very apt description of the Social Justice Warrior ethos.

  44. D.J. Fuller Jr. says:

    This is in response to…The Twisted Genius | 15 June 2020 at 11:35 PM…”There seems to be some kind of generalized fear of blacks among our majority white population. Maybe it stems from a vestigial fear of slave rebellions. That was a genuine fear at one time.”
    Or maybe from the fear of the legal consequences of having your fate determined by 12 africans in america that make up the jury “of your peers” and the same sitting on the bench, while the jew lawyer that the court appointed you, gives you the “best defense possible”.
    that is the way it is in atlanta, ga, or even 50 miles in any direction from atlanta, ga.

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