L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 216, March 24, 2003
Shucks and Aw!
The Tractor You've Probably Not Heard About
by Keith S. Shugarts
Special to TLE
There is a man in Washington, DC who has closed down Constitution - and I am not talking about King George - and you may not have even heard of him.
Sitting in the middle of a 3' deep pond, emblazoned with American Flags and "I support the troops", is a John Deere Front End Loader. Inside the JD is a 50 year old tobacco farmer, Viet Nam vet, 82nd Airborne member named Dwight Watson. He waves flags from the cab of the tractor wearing an Army Helmet emblazoned with a medics cross. Occassionally he moved the tractor, or flashes the lights on and off. The flag that is flying off the tractor is upside down - a symbol of distress.
The pond is near the Washington Monument. His occupation of the pond has brough nearly 100 members of various protective agencies to gather round, close down roads, and collect overtime. Constitution Ave is shut down between 17th and 23rd.
He came from North Carolina, the tractor towed behind a Jeep - that also sits in the middle of the pond - to protest what was happening to the tobacco farmer in America. Essentially, the tobacco farmer is being regulated and priced out of the market by the US gov't.
He's had run ins with the gov't before and lost. His farm is going under and more than likely he's reached the end of his rope. Maybe he realized that the gov't isn't really of, for, and by the people, and that the liberty it protects can be easily snatched away.
"I don't give a damn no more," Watson said. "If this is the way America will be run, the hell with it. I'm out of here. I will not surrender. They can blow my ass out of the water. I'm ready to go to heaven."
Mr. Watson has something that causes all the armed men around him to hold their fire - he has a bomb. An ammonium nitrate bomb that causes those in their marble halls to shudder with memories of the Murrow Building. It isn't a weapon of mass destruction but it does allow Mr. Watson to exercise some "freedom".
However, Mr. Watson did not intend to use his bomb to injure or harm. He used it to get the government to listen, otherwise, he'd have been shot off that tractor by snipers. The government would have happily and easily silenced him - now the media, for the most part, is doing that for them.
In past decades this stunt against the government would have been lauded and saluted, a tribute to the great heritage of those who tossed tea into Boston Harbor. a big old middle finger to the pricks in Washington. As Robert Heinlein once wrote, "anarchy is the birthright of Americans".
Now, in these recent years, questioning the government is not only frowned upon, but those who do so are risking a visit from the FBI. Americans for the most part do not fear their government, they embrace it - they believe it brought them through the depression (rather than bringing the depression to them), World War II, and now the post-9/11 eara. The government now coddles them and promises them protection and security.
He is gone now, taken away by BATF agents after being led into a nice white van. Wave good bye to Dwight Watson.
Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.
Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government permanently and irrevocably out of control?
The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first, it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"
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