15 May 2008

Do It Yourself

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A good story from Tom Wolfe:

My brother-in-law happened to be present in 1943 in a general store, and here were three good old boys who were too old to go into the armed forces, talking about the war.

And one of them says, “You know, this whole war — the whole problem here is this man called Hitler. I don’t know why we just don’t go over there and shoot him.”

And his friend says, “Well, I’m sure it’s not that easy. I don’t know how you can just go over there and shoot him.”

And the first says, “Look, you get me over there in a boat, I’ll shoot him.”

“How are you going to do that?”

He says, “Well, I’ll go to the front door and I’ll ring the bell.”

His friend says, “Are you crazy? He’s not going to come to the front door. The whole place has probably got a big wall around.”

He said, “Okay I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll wait until its dark, I’ll go around to the wall and back, I’ll climb over it and I’ll hide behind a tree with my rifle. And in the morning when he comes out in the yard to pee, I’m going to shoot him.”

These were Scotch-Irish people. They loved guns and guns mean a lot to them. And they hated officials and they hated all the layers of bureaucracy. They believed the government can’t get anything done right. It’s all so simple. You just have to go over there and do it yourself.

H/t to Frank Dobbs.


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