Note: Rough sentiments and some rough language in this piece.
There ought to be a Home For The Clueless, where victims of terminal naivete could play checkers while enjoying The Partridge Family's Greatest Hits for the rest of their unnatural lives.
This week an anonymous message showed up on the ICE Internet list. "Thoughts from a Family Man" was about a brother being abused by the IRS and FBI. Familiar story. No charges filed, just three years of threats, innuendo and harassment, intended to shut up a tax resister.
The writer quoted his brother, "Give [the public] their Suburbans and Sports and they just don't care. Tell them what's going on and they become more afraid of you than the government." You got that part right.
I was just getting to admire these men when the writer concluded: "The very thought of seeing my sons only through bullet proof glass on visitor's day sent shivers down my spine. I hunched my shoulders and wrote this year's check to the IRS. My brother was right. We're falling from within."
No, buddy. Maybe YOU'RE falling from within, but WE aren't. Some of us think there are smarter ways to deal with thugs than to cut them a check.
Have you been living in an episode Leave it to Beaver for the last 40 years, that you didn't know the Gestapo is full of mean sons of bitches? For anybody else who just skipped out of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, let me tell you:
When they decide to get you, government agents will spread rumors that you're a drug dealer. They'll plant evidence you're a drug dealer. They'll stomp your kittens and shoot your dogs. They'll make up stories that you're a child molester. They'll cost you your job, your bank account and your reputation. They'll take everything you own without even bothering to charge you with a crime.
They'll charge you with crimes that aren't on the books. They'll kill your wife and kid. They'll set your house on fire and say you did it. They'll beat you to death in jail and say you crushed your own skull. They'll do anything they f*****g well want.
And THEY'LL GET AWAY WITH IT because the judges, porkers, politicians and lawyers always stroke each other real nice, but give you the shaft right where it hurts the most, and without Vaseline.
Now, if that scares you so much you piss your pants, fine. IT SCARES ME, TOO. I've seen government thugs up close and the memory gives me sweats.
But you think it's scary now? Wait until after enough excuse-making cowards have bent over and taken it. You don't know what scary is. But you WILL know if you give in. You'll LIVE scary, every jackboot-stomped day of your life.
Boo hoo, you don't want to see your kids through bulletproof glass? Okay, so what kind of life are your kids going to have in a police state? Is that going to be better? What about the kids of other fathers who'll go to prison because you and your Suburban sucking kind are too chickenshit to defend THEIR freedom? I suppose they don't count in your little world, huh? Hell, you'll probably sell a few of them to the feds yourself, to make sure the pressure stays off of you.
Kids. You use your kids for an excuse, and it's the worst damn excuse I ever heard of for acting like a coward. Kids should be your inspiration for bravery. They need freedom, hope and GUTS more than they need the phony, temporary security of cowardice. And they need guts a HELL of a lot more than they need to watch America turned into some sort of Stalinist Utopia because YOU didn't do anything to stop it.
Look, it's just too bad you got in over your head -- or, excuse me, that you got pants-pissing scared standing around watching your brother get in over HIS head. But that's reality. That's America 1998.
Yeah, it's different just READING about it and actually SEEING it up close. I KNOW. But shitfire, man, seeing the Gestapo in action ought to OPEN your eyes, not CLOSE them! The Gestapo came to your neighborhood and you just squeezed your eyes shut tight and said, "If I don't see the boogie man, he won't see me." Real sensible.
Look, if that's the way you think the world works, then you, and the rest of us, would be better off if you just took yourself away to that quiet little Home in the country, away from all the good people you've decided to betray. You can weave baskets and listen to David Casady while everything you pretend you care about goes under the bootheel.
Sorry to disappoint you, but some of us aren't going to fall as easy as you do. Some of us are going to stand. And, damn you, you coward, we might even end up saving your own cheap hide someday.
Mike Constantine is a Vietnam vet and self-employed welder who lives in Kentucky. A few years ago he was staying with friends when their house was invaded by a multi-jurisdictional task force.
"They're Thugs: So What?" is copyright 1998 by Mike C., but may be distributed for non-commercial purposes if unaltered and fully credited. (Note from the web weaver: Mike says it's okay to replace the swear words with asterisks if they're too strong for your list or publication, but no other editing allowed.)