I know, I know. Given all that I have read, seen, and heard in just the past week, how can I continue to claim astonishment? I don't know, but it is the truth.
I am profoundly shocked, surprised, and appalled -- yes, again!
The Washington Post reported on the angry, and sometimes violent, reactions of those whose universe was apparently rocked by the signing of the health reform bill on Tuesday. As previously noted, bigoted speech and threats of physical harm began to percolate, then boil.
A good part of my day was spent making composed salads, boiling and poaching anything I could get my swollen and fumbling hands on. Faced with the remains of such an effort, I always try to make stock, something that cooks everywhere value as gold. I visualize all this hatred as that nasty, speckled foam that sometimes forms a head on a pot of bubbling chicken stock -- you know, the stuff that begs to be skimmed away.
Yes, I would much rather think about cooking. Have any of you used the much-touted-by-Alton-Brown Grains of Paradise, in lieu of pepper?
Who would knowingly or willingly incite people to such offensive extremes?
Meet imminent blogger and budding brain trust Mike Vanderboegh.
Some of the vandalism appears to have been instigated by an Alabama blogger, Mike Vanderboegh, who encouraged his readers to throw bricks at the windows of Democratic headquarters across the country. Vanderboegh, a former leader of the Alabama Constitutional Militia who is headlining an open-carry gun rally in Northern Virginia next month, issued a call to the modern "Sons of Liberty" on his libertarian political blog to break windows nationwide to display opposition to health-care reform.
A vandal threw a brick into the glass doors at the Monroe County Democratic Committee's headquarters in Rochester overnight Saturday, attaching a note that quoted Barry Goldwater: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice."
Vanderboegh did not respond to questions Wednesday from The Washington Post, but he took credit for the incident in an interview earlier this week with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "I guess that guy's one of ours," he told the newspaper. "Glad to know people read my blog."
Vanderboegh is a member of an Alabama militia, once worked as a warehouse manager but is now disabled by diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure, for which he receives a disability check from the government to the tune of $1300/month. Someone in TwitterLand says that he doesn't use Medicare, to which he'd be entitled virtue of being a gimp, but instead enjoys excellent coverage from his wife's work benefits. More power to him.
His Blog, the Sipsey Street Irregulars, flies under the waving rubrique of The Doctrine of the Three Percent:
The Three Percent are the folks the Founders counted on to save the Republic when everyone else abandoned it.
And we will.
There will be no more free Wacos and no more free Katrinas.
For we are the Three Percent.
We will not disarm.
You cannot convince us.
You cannot intimidate us.
You can try to kill us, if you think you can.
But remember, we’ll shoot back .
We are not going away.
We are not backing up another inch.
And there are THREE MILLION OF US.
Your move, Mr. Wannabe Tyrant....
What is a "Three Percenter"?
During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.
Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders' Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.
The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any futher circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders' Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.
We are the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption. We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril. To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone. Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
Again: I know, I know. I copied and pasted Vanderboegh's brilliance above just before passing out from exhaustion in the wee hours -- I thought that, like my many bowls of composed, succulent, and enticingly fragrant composed salads, it would improve for having sat unmolested overnight.
I am, as you and I share this convivial moment, munching on one of the chicken salads. It is close to sublime, the sweetness of some of the ingredients set off by the bite of quickly sautéed mustard greens: Not your average chicken salad. Very little mayonnaise, yet enough. I am most pleased that the bowl is now almost empty as the Minions of Marlinspike Hall have apparently been scavenging while I slept, confident that upon awaking, The Doctrine of Three Percent would have homogenized enough to make palatable sense.
My un- and sub- consciouses rival such rabid gun-owners' intent by making plans to feed the world on composed salads (chicken, potato, cole slaw, salmon, shrimp, taco) until we are all so sated that the notion of hurting, killing, or humiliating one another smothers under the weight of gustatory contentment.
Sometimes I feel sorry for God, and render unto Him fervent apologies. More often, though, I cook.
So Vanderboegh took for the title of his blog the story of one Phillip Sheats Gordon, an "ATF target" who booby-traps his home with all sorts of exciting little technologies and weapons before facing off with government-type intruders. As he is, sniff, riddled with cancer, what does he have to lose, holed up as he is in his -- you guessed it -- Sipsey Street home?
Philip Sheats Gordon figures in what is described as "Vanderboegh's upcoming novel, Absolved."
My forthcoming novels all disappeared a few years back, sunk by the embarrassment of their many announced yet never-accomplished arrivals. I decided that kitchen duties were more my thing. Anyway, as best I can figure, Vanderboegh has written five chapters, neatly, correctly, and duly numbered and then he has, in apparent frustration, jumped to Chapter 31. Wannabe writers everywhere understand that impulse!
Over at Think Progress blog, I discovered that Vanderboegh is currently driven to "protect" the lives of the Democratic leadership. (Well, that's how *he* put it. Were I listed among his protectees, I'd be in full-fledged flight away from his sort of defense.)
VANDERBOEGH: I am telling you we are motivated to break windows, we feel a deadly threat from the Federal government and the orders that the Democrat party has given us. [...]
COLMES: You’re telling people to break the windows of Democratic headquarters. You’re telling people to commit acts of vandalism. You’re supporting breaking the law.
VANDERBOEGH: May I tell you my personal motive for doing this? I’m trying to save the lives of Nancy Pelosi, and every one of these people who do not understand the unintended consequences of their actions. [...] Because they are not paying attention to the million of people across this deepening divide that politics no longer avails them. [...] We refuse to participate in the system, and we refuse to pay the fines, and we refuse arrest. Now where do you suppose that’s going but a thousand little Wacos.
Excuse me while I go whip up something for the populace -- something filling, warm, comforting.
I am thinking apples and cabbage, followed by an insulin-challenging dessert. I might even fall head-over-heals into my own pitiful stereotype and brew a pot of Earl Grey. Ah, but that means making scones...
A thousand little Wacos. Sweet Jesus.
***** ** ***** ** ***** ** *****
Red Cabbage and Apple Salad With Ginger Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups packed shredded red cabbage
2 cups packed shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped in hot water
1/4 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
Media Matters for America has tackled a summation of the right-wing media's history of violent rhetoric. Serve yourself a heaping bowl of this delicious and detoxifying cabbage salad and ponder the map Sarah Palin has made, marking the locations of legislators who voted for the health care reform initiatve -- marking the locations with cute little crosshairs. I think a nice loaf of crusty bread would go well with this vegetable dish, as it soaks up irritating stomach acid.