NYT Libertarian News

System Operator system at decode.com
Wed Oct 5 09:52:00 PDT 1994

merriman at metronet.com (David K. Merriman) writes:

> >Mike McNally says:
> >> John Young writes:
> >>  > . . . now comes retired Lieut. Col. James (Bo) Gritz
> >> 
> >> Mr. Gritz has been usenet flame fodder for quite some time.  He's
> >> either a crypto-fascist (no, not that kind of crypto) or a saviour of
> >> the American Way, depending on your personal leanings.
> >
> >The word "nut" comes to mind...
> >
> I hate to correct you, but that's "nut^3"  :-)

However you may feel personally about Mr. Gritz (and his connection
to Ross Perot, etc), I think he serves at least three useful purposes
for other members of society who might be labelled "loose cannons",
to wit:

1)  When the Sierra Club was working for their particular agenda in the
    early seventies, many in the "mainstream" dismissed them as whackos
    on the extreme edge.  Later, when Earth First came along and
    redefined what the environmental movement could become, suddenly
    the Sierra Club was a reasonable, legitimate voice with which those
    in authority could reason.  Mr. Gritz, IMHO, is in part helping to
    redefine the "envelope" of so-called patriotism.  His extreme measures
    may serve to help legitimize less unusual actions which are now
    considered "out there."

2)  He serves as a lightning rod for government enforcement.  It is often
    in the best interests of those in power not to drawn the line of
    acceptable/not acceptable behavior (keep 'em guessing).  His actions
    (and those of Randy Weaver, David Koresh, etc) all drawn attention
    to the willingness of the government to "do something."  It then
    becomes more possible to predict the actions of certain government

3)  It keeps said agencies busy.  Contrary to popular opinion, the
    resources of the government are not infinite (it only seems that
    way).  The government is more like a few dozen lumbering Goliaths,
    each stumbling after whichever David is most irritating at the moment.
    Mr. Gritz serves as the decoy to lure certain giants away from
    other activites.  Federal agents and other resources devoted to
    gathering intelligence on Mr. Gritz are no longer available to
    gather intelligence on others.  [This resource allocation problem,
    IMHO, is one the main reasons for the FBI's insistence on the
    Digital Telephony Bill -- it allows a far greater degree of
    "intelligence" gathered per expenditure of resource.]

Nutty or not, I'll be happy to cheer on Mr. Gritz.

> Dave Merriman


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