The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Former Militiaman in Alabama Called for Breaking Dems’ Windows

By Mark Potok on March 23, 2010 - 2:34 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

It wasn’t quite the shot heard around the world, but the sound of glass shattering at Democratic Party offices around the country has put the spotlight on former militiaman Mike Vanderboegh, who furiously called on followers last Friday to protest health care reform by breaking Democratic windows.

Vanderboegh posted his message on his blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, calling for “all modern Sons of Liberty” to break the windows of local Democratic Party offices. Since that time, Democratic offices across the country have reported windows smashed in an apparent response to health care reform. Vanderboegh called health care reform backers “collectivists” and added that they “certainly do not hear the soft ‘snik-snik’ of cleaning rods being used on millions of rifle barrels in this country by people who have decided their backs are to the wall.”

“[I]f you wish to send a message that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows,” the Pinson, Ala., blogger wrote. “Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK them.”

Vanderboegh seemed to take credit for instigating at least some of the attacks in interviews. He told the Kansas City Star that his call was meant “to get everyone’s attention.” To the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle, he said: “If it takes a few bricks and broken windows for people to understand how close we are to widespread violence in this country then the bricks in the windows will have been worth it.”

Vanderboegh’s blog has been used to promote the Three Percenters, an antigovernment “Patriot” group that claims to represent 3% of U.S. gun owners. The name is inspired by the 3% of American colonists believed to have actively opposed England. Vanderboegh describes himself as “the alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.” In the 1990s, he was associated with radical groups including the Alabama Constitutional Militia, the Tri-States Militia and the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Constitutional Militia.

Vanderboegh has been keeping tabs on the “Window War” by posting news reports of the incidents on his blog. And there’s been a fair amount to keep track of.

Windows have been smashed at Democratic Party headquarters in Monroe County, N.Y., and Sedgwick County, Kan. The brick hurled at the New York headquarters had a note attached that said, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” according to a news report. The quote comes from Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate and conservative champion. The brick thrown in Kansas had anti-Obama and anti-healthcare messages, CNN reported.

A window also was broken at the Niagara Falls office of Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York. (Vanderboegh told a reporter that incident occurred before he posted his message Friday.) Slaughter was an outspoken proponent of health care reform. A glass panel was shattered at the Tucson, Ariz., office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. But Vanderboegh told CNN he’s only encouraged acts at Democratic Party offices, not congressional offices because he “didn’t want to be responsible for anybody breaking a federal law.”

Vanderboegh’s post describes health care reform as “Nancy Pelosi’s Intolerable Act.” Proponents have touted the legislation as covering tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans. As for Vanderboegh, his health care is already covered. He’s got private health insurance through his wife’s employer and he’s also receiving Social Security disability payments from the federal government, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

  • GrannyofWhites

    What about all the people who are part Native American – which includes many who are “white” in appearance?

    Are they considered a hate group if they object to illegal immigration?

  • GrannyofWhites

    I thought Obama was a Christian?

  • GrannyofWhites

    So, it is okay to categorize Republicans, but you don’t like being categorized?
    I think I know Democrats who claim to be Christians, as well.

  • Esther

    This is especially irritating because Republicans claim to be Christians and yet think they are better than others. If they read the bible it says something totally different!!!

    Romans 12:3 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

  • http://none Marcia Larimore

    The rocks & bricks are just a warning of what is to come. The right wingers are incited to do violence, & GOP leaders are not trying to stop them.

    By the sound of (taped) phone calls made to Dem Congressmen, the TeaBag Party is mostly the lowest IQ you could imagine. It is almost “hilarious” if not so full of venom. Maybe we should post a few addresses of GOP guys & say it is the “bad” guys & let them blow themselves up.

    Just kidding. But in times of War, “All is Fair” (they used to say) & this looks like War.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Why, my posts seem to disappear? So, this is the America of freedom my relatives fought for – or not?

    No wonder the SPL Center is no longer viewed with the respect it once was.

  • Tezuka fan

    I, for one, think that if we are going to listen to a demographic because they’ve been her longer (“legals” vs. “illegals”) we should probably listen to the Aboriginal Americans (since I have a feeling someone would have a problem with calling them “Native Americans”) since they’ve been here for, at least, 10,000 years (I don’t have my World Prehistory book with me, so I’m guessing).
    10,000 years>400 years. OR we could just follow the values of some French monstrosity:
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  • Mitch Beales

    Granny I’m not sure why you believe that most Americans agree with you that immigrants are coming here commit crimes or to take advantage of our social safety net (do we even have one?) rather than to secure a better life for their children. If I were going to risk death from thirst while crossing the desert or abuse from the coyotes who profit from US immigration enforcement I believe I would continue on to Canada where they actually have a social safety net. Actually most Americans voted for Barack Obama who promised, among other things, immigration reform. If I’m not mistaken most Hispanic voters also voted for him so It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone expected immigration reforms of the type you are espousing, “more troops and drug-sniffing dogs.”

    I’m sure the reports from your local “immigration watchdogs” are as fair and balanced as Fox News but apparently they don’t offer any evidence that crime is more prevalent among immigrants than it is in the general population, only that there are criminals among the immigrants as there are among Congressman and Priests. I certainly applaud the altruism of anyone who practiced birth control primarily out of concern for the environment. I suspect that most practiced it for the same reason folks from around the world come to America, to make a better life for their children.

    The world has become very small. I’m not sure how much difference it makes whether an exploding population produces food, energy, and goods (not to mention pollution) for US consumption across the border in Mexico or around the world in China. I think I’d just as soon have them doing it here where there are some regulations a few of which are actually enforced (in a sort of half-a—- way). I do know that population grows more slowly in developed countries. I’m pretty sure that, while birth rates among some immigrant groups may be higher than the US birth rate, second and subsequent generations will strive to be more like Americans than Americans themselves in birth rate as in everything else. I’m pretty sure of this only because no mention of second generation birth rates was made on the numerous fear-mongering websites that attempt to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment with forecasts of environmental disaster. Thanks for inspiring me to do a bit of research on this.

    Of course the other side of the coin is that Americans consume more per capita than anyone else in the world. I’m afraid immigrants are likely to prove more American than Americans in this respect too. So perhaps you are correct that we should keep them on their side of the border, slaving away for a pittance, so that we can continue to eat, drink, and drive ourselves to death and the rest of the world to environmental disaster.

  • PunkyAmerica

    So typical of the Tea-Bigots’ “Do as we say, not as we do” crowd: “As for Vanderboegh, his health care is already covered. He’s got private health insurance through his wife’s employer and he’s also receiving Social Security disability payments from the federal government.”

    Another parasite railing about parasites…

    @grannyofwhites: Using your logic, I guess the million or so native Americans should get first pick of everything; some of THEM have stuck around here for millenia!! What you’re really saying is white Americans should have preferential treatment because we STOLE this country first.

  • Mitch Beales

    ARM may not condone it but the forum on their website is loaded with all kinds of “childish crap” and since ARM is “an non-hierarchical, distributed (leaderless) movement” I’m not sure who decides what they condone and what they condon’t! It would be a lot scarier if the folks spewing the crap could write proper English. Considering the sorry state of public education in many parts of the country I’m sure that is also the fault of the government.

    I sympathize with the frustration AR expresses with bought and paid for public officials. There was a time in my life when I too thought that armed resistance was the only solution. It seems to me that, even if it was possible to defeat a nuclear armed government with the six-shooters we are grudgingly permitted to “keep and bear,” one would still be faced with a populace that willingly surrenders its liberty in exchange for full bellies and security from “terrorism.”

    “We who prayed and wept
    for liberty from kings
    and the yoke of liberty
    accept the tyranny of things
    we do not need.”

    Wendell Berry

    Perhaps a better solution than armed resistance is to educate Americans about the trade-offs that are required for us to live together in peace. If you vote for a candidate only because she promises lower takes you are likely to be voting for a liar. If you vote for someone only because he opposes reproductive choice you are likely to be voting for a scoundrel. None of us can get everything we want all the time anymore than the government can fool all of the people all of the time.

  • Esther Faith Elias

    i was watching about America’s first years where someone was complianing about the “Indian problem”. The other soldier said it was not worse than the “German and Irish problem”. Back in the day German’s and Irish were PERSONA NON GRATA

  • G.P.

    Alabama Code Section 13A-11-4 – Inciting to riot.

    Charge him Alabama.

  • GrannyofWhites

    Excuse me, Mitch, but I went to college. When I did, the emphasis was on population control — birth control — concern about the environment and other issues which have been swept under the rug. So, in other words, we controlled births – millions of us – so that our country could be swamped by illegals who have less education and don’t care about birth rates or consumption?
    They also could care less about getting on the public dole – which is something my family condemned.
    Don’t give me this “better life” baloney. That is the garbage that most Americans increasingly won’t buy. We’ve been sold that and we’re returning it.
    In my state our immigration watchdogs send out e-mails about once a week on the latest ICE holds and what the criminals have been caught doing. These are criminals – who have been arrested. Crime after crime – some against small children that even judges don’t want to repeat. They are sickened. Wife-beating, girlfriend beating, assault, battery, drug-dealing and every other crime imaginable. And these all are illegals.
    It doesn’t even factor in the legal immigrants who are also committing criminal acts.

  • Mitch Beales

    Granny I’m sorry to hear that you were a victim of gang violence. I’m not sure why you concluded that those who perpetrated the violence were undocumented. It is a shame that your community doesn’t have a program to assist homeowners in cleaning up after activity of this sort. I’m sure the expense was a burden. I doubt that it was as much of a burden as the billions we paid to give bonuses to incompetent bankers. Perhaps we should deport them whether they’ve been here for 400 years or not!

    US drug policy has been a disaster, creating narco states in many parts of the world including Latin America and Central Asia. Had prohibition not been repealed I’m sure Canada would be an “alco state” by now. The free market will assure that drugs continue to be smuggled for unimaginable financial gain unless and until we revise our drug laws. Can you possibly think that, once a conduit for drugs has been established, the same conduit won’t be used to smuggle people?

    Would there be lots of problems associated with decriminalizing drug use or liberalizing immigration policy so that anyone who wants to come here and contribute to our free society is welcomed? You bet there would. There are problems by the hundreds with outlawing drugs and trying to stop people from seeking a better life in America. I for one would like to see us do the right thing for a change and just deal with any problems that arise.

  • GrannyofWhites

    And, I do not need a job or welfare. I am quite content.
    I do need more space on the freeways and cleaner air to breath which our immigrant load does affect.
    Haven’t you taken a class in Population Studies?
    It doesn’t help to import anyone here – since Americans consume the most resources. It’s not like poorly educated immigrants are going to come here with a conservation mindset.
    We need to stop immigration altogether.
    We need more troops and drug-sniffing dogs at the border – and YOU know that illegals are involved in cartel activity?

  • GrannyofWhites

    You know I really do not recall “luring” any immigrants here.
    Did you do this?
    And to completely disregard the US Customs and Border Protection press releases which show the constant barrage of drugs entering across our border is just so immature of YOU as a human, a citizen and an adult who cares about black children. Although I am not black, I see those children as most impacted by the drug trade over the last 40 years.
    What kind of racist are you – not to see that?

  • III

    Last year alone 14,000,000 background checks were run as part of firearms purchases. On a lot of those, more than one gun was bought. You gov’t folks are extremely lucky that Mike didn’t say “Shoot the bastards.”, there would have been a more hearty reply. As it stands, he is untouchable. If something should happen to him his followers, which number in the thousands, would certainly carry out justice as they saw fit. I know several people who cleaned their guns the day the health reform bill passed, so his warning about the “snick-snick” of cleaning rods in rifles is true. I think his vocal warnings have gone unheeded and the brick thing is a last ditch effort to prevent civil war. BTW, the NAZI’s hate his guts for being friends with members of JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership) among other things.

    He really does enjoy all the publicity the SPLC gives him and has for about the last few years.

  • American Resistance

    Hello. This is your local friendly right wing nut job chiming in on this subject. I will be honest with you . I know nothing about this crazy bloger guy telling people to throw stones. He does not show up on our american resistance or 3%er sites. All I can say that what this guy did is just messed up.
    I do not condone this kind of childish crap.

    For what it’s worth, the only reason we at the ARM / 3%ers exist is because we :
    Stand against the unjust wars in iraq
    Stand against the soon to come war with Iran
    Stand against both the democrat and republicans who have been hijacked by the same criminals and bankers who see us as nothing but food for the debt machine.

    I hope some some day you will join us to stop these unjust wars for profit.
    The Democrats and Republicans are all bought and paid for and working with eachother to keep us fellow Americans devided,conqured and distracted in a combined effort to prevent us from seeing the crimes they are commiting against fellow americans.
    I’m not sure were you guys come up with all this hate group stuff. It makes no sense. I don’t care if the founder of The American Resistance Movement is a gay person. He is still a fellow American fighting to restore the American Constitution like the rest of us true Americans.
    This left vs.right crap doesn’t mean crap to us . WE ARE ALL AMERICANS!!!!

  • skinnyminny


    Are you aware that not all immigrants came on their own accord? Are you aware that some have been trafficked here?

    I understand you are angry about the job situation, as well as the economy! Yet, you fail to realize that the businesses/corporations have lured most here.

    You also fail to recognize that regardless if the immigrants go home, that still will not guarantee you, or any other American a job. Hint:Whirlpool is in Mexico. Look at the VIN number of your American made car, if it begins with other than a 1 or 4, it is considered not made in U.S.A. There have been a lot of American farmers who have move to Mexico and Brazil years ago.

    So, to blame the immigrants, it is just plain wrong!

    And again, for these militia groups, anti-government groups, we need to crack down on them now! There is no excuse for this type of behavior. This type of behavior is not protected by the 1st amendment! We need to, if nothing else, charge these groups with RICO!

  • GrannyofWhites

    Our neighborhood was “hit” by the Norteno gang – who did tremendous property damage. These were not tiny, insignificant grafitti markings. They were about 50 feet long and 6 feet high. Homeowners must pay for all damage themselves.
    I think this should be categorized as “hate” activity.

  • Infowarior

    was he arrested

  • GrannyofWhites

    OH, my. My posts are disappearing – and this – a free country and all…..hmmmm.

  • Mitch Beales

    Many immigrants, with or without papers, maintain ties with their families at “home” and share the bounty of their new lives in America with others who have not been fortunate enough to come here. I don’t see this as a bad thing.

    After the second world war my grandparents sent care packages to family members in Germany. I sincerely hope that they will return the favor if nazis like Mike Vanderboegh are ever able to do to this country what they did to Germany.

    Granny I hope that when your great grandchildren arrive you will love them regardless of their shade or how many generations their parents have been in the USA.

  • GrannyofWhites

    I don’t think people whose families have been here for at least 400 years need to think of moving for even a second. In fact, they need to be given preference in hiring. Their ancestors stayed here through the Civil War, through an attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, through the Great Depression. Their views should be listened to. They are the Americans with staying power.
    NOT the illegals who even now are sending money to their “homes” in other countries. That is not loyalty. That is a drain.

  • GrannyofWhites

    No, I am a civil rights advocate. Civil rights for Americans – especially my white grandchildren.
    Have a lovely day. :)

  • GrannyofWhites

    I did not say that immigrants in 2010 are coming here because they are terrorized in their homelands. They are coming here to sell drugs (often) and terrorizing us.
    I see nothing wrong with the “love it or leave it” attitude since those coming here didn’t find satisfaction in their homeland and “left it”. Kind of amazing that they expect us to do for them what their own people couldn’t do, now, isn’t it?
    Love it or leave it – sounds good to me.

  • daemonesslisa

    All granny is doing is blaming the victims. That makes her no better than a terrorist!

  • Mitch Beales

    I’m sure Mark Matheny, as a veteran, has already suffered Big Brother’s intrusion into his life in many ways that I would find unacceptable. I agree that we shouldn’t be required to buy health insurance (or auto insurance for that matter). Frankly I think a much better solution would be a single payer system. I have read that one of the most cost-effective ways to do this might be simply to open the VA medical system to all Americans.

  • Mitch Beales

    Hi Granny

    I’m not quite sure what your point is. Moving would also be a possible response to “government takeover of healthcare,” perhaps a more appropriate response than breaking the windows of those who disagree with you. Personally I would not ask anyone to “love it or leave it.” I believe debating and disagreeing civilly over important issues generally moves us in the direction of better solutions. I hope that my countrymen will participate in this sort of discussion rather than resorting to slinging rocks or mud.

    You seem to suggest that undocumented immigrants are mostly here because they have been terrorized in their homelands. Actually American law generally makes it lawful for those who face persecution in their homelands to immigrate. My family mostly came here (at various times since the first of them arrived in Pennsylvania with the Quakers) because they wanted a better life for their children. That’s why most immigrants still come today. Let’s hope they won’t be driven out by terrorists.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Surprise surprise, right-wingers resort to petty, cowardly attacks when things don’t go their way. Just more proof that conservatism is basically arrested development.

  • Mark Matheny

    While I certainly don’t agree with Mike Vanderboegh’s tactics, or even know him, I certainly am against the health care takeover by the government. I think the actions he called for were wrong however. The fight should be in the courts. I also believe that he is not a part of the true Tea Party movement. I myself am a veteran, and I love this country and want to live free. I don’t want BIG BROTHER intruding into my private life, and I don’t think they should be able to force me to buy insurance. However, once again the fight to repeal health care should be through peaceful protesting and in the court system

  • GrannyofWhites

    You know, one reply to “being terrorized” is to move.
    Heavens, my relatives have been going to other countries for decades – to work, to live (legally).
    In fact, haven’t our illegals gone to other countries to live and isn’t that still an option for them? Of course, it is.
    They can leave here and go to Central American countries, Spain, South America… or to any place on the globe.
    Why would they stay here and “be terrorized”? They have already left their native countries – so that tells us they can do it. They CAN leave and find their happiness at someone else’s expense.

  • IludiumPhosdex

    Quoth Patti Raye:

    While discussing healthcare legislation and Congress, Rush Limbaugh said something to the effect that “They must be wiped out” in the midst of less hostile comments. Was this an advocation of terrorism?

    If such be the case, perhaps the FCC should open enquiries about the licences of stations carrying Rush Limbaugh’s programme in syndication to see if such remarks indeed amount to “advocation [sic] of terrorism”.

    Never mind Limbaugh’s likely meme claiming that his show is “simply entertainment” and shouldn’t be considered as serious news or information.

  • Mitch Beales

    I too thought of Kristallnacht. I think it is important to keep some perspective by noting that Kristallnacht was organized by the group in control of the government and perpetrated primarily on the powerless. I believe one thing the SPLC has done very well over the years is to help the intended victims of terrorists mount a response other than to simply be terrified. In my opinion this is more appropriate than using some loony with a blog or a brick (or even an attack on New York) as a Reichstag Fire to justify draconian measures by government.

  • Cleo

    Gregory echoed my initial thought when reading this post: Kristallnacht. Not as focused, not as organized, but the intent seems to be the same: to terrorize a specific population.

  • vickie morrison

    I respect our military but some of these people seem to have been brainwashed. I just lost a friend because health care reform passed. I guess he wasn’t much of a friend. But what does the military put in their kool-aide?

  • Tezuka fan

    “Willful, principled civil disobedience”!?
    What the…
    Alright, to be fair he was referring to the “await arrest” part, which just happens to follow the terrorizing (hmm) acts. But, with all the running he’s referring to, I think a few people he calls for might get a little confused.
    Example: “Okay, when was I supposed to wait for my arrest or should I keep breaking windows. Because I think that last brick hit someone.”

  • Patti Raye

    While discussing healthcare legislation and Congress, Rush Limbaugh said something to the effect that “They must be wiped out” in the midst of less hostile comments. Was this an advocation of terrorism?

  • kristen

    I fully believe Mike Vanderboegh is a terrorist. He should be put as the number one public enemy. People like him are the reasons abortions need to stay legal-imagine how wonderful things would be if people like him, and he, himself had been aborted!

  • Gregory

    Kristallnacht, anyone? Maybe they use a different word in Alabama.

  • Esther

    So disheartening. It makes me think that no matter what percentage of the world’s population learns to read and write, we will always have morons. Breaking windows, calling names, SPITTING. These things are done by people who belong in a loony bin. Unfortunately Reagen locked them out.

  • ec

    Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Thanks SPLC for staying true to such.

  • Mitch Beales

    Hi Jack. I certainly sympathize with your sentiments. Several years ago my wife and I visited Dachau and I was struck by the analysis posted in the museum there of the political climate in Germany that resulted in the nazi takeover. The argument was that society had become so polarized that folks just shouted at each other instead of attempting to reach some accommodation that would allow them to live together. I’m probably preaching to the choir here but personally I would prefer not to see anyone’s windows broken and would love to see the so-called Patriot Act meet the fate of the administration that spawned it. The terrorist murder of Dr. Tiller was perhaps a more appropriate time to invoke such draconian measures but the people of “Bloody Kansas” seem to have done just fine without it.

  • jomarex

    Oh, that is just rich! Not at all surprising, though, given the very common hypocrisy and just plain ignorance of those people. This guy is so “anti-government” that he’ll take money from the government for his own health problems, but he damn sure doesn’t want anybody else to get any money/help from the government!

  • Jack Reich

    Katja, the guy’s not just a crackpot, but a terrorist! He preached violence to followers he knows will act. It’s not a question of free speech. Didn’t Congress give us the “Patriot Act” for protection in part against just such Jacobins who commit such thuggery against others (genuine patriots!) who happen to hold a differing opinion?!? Who are guilty of what? – passing a law in a body where they held the duly elected majority, OMG!! Where is this pitiful moron from? – Oh, wait – the great equality-loving state of Alabama, thank you, Mitch. The plae where they imprisoned a governor BECAUSE he was a Democrat. This creature SHOULD BE arrested, held without bail, tried and imprisoned for terrorist, treasonous acts! Let’s see if the authorities have the cojones to move against a radical-criminal who happens to be RIGHT-of-center! By the way….i wonder if HIS house has, um,…windows?

  • Mitch Beales

    My guess is that breaking windows is as civil (and as mature) as these folks get! Keep up the good work Mark and SPLC. Forty years ago in Alabama this hate would have been spewed by the governor on television instead of tucked away in an obscure blog somewhere.

  • Katja Edgar

    >>>Break them [windows] and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience.<<<

    I'm pretty sure Gandhi and MLK, Jr., never broke a window while they were practicing civil disobedience. This guy is clearly a crackpot. Unfortunately, he is one of many.

  • Lmaris

    Hmmm. There should be a term for encouraging the use of violence to promote or oppose a political agenda. Oh yeah, “terrorism”.

    Maybe the guy is just imitating his idols, the Nazis, in the broken glass campaign. No matter what, he should be arrested by the feds for inciting terrorism, since his followers have done so across state lines.

  • Janbytheshore

    So… can he be arrested for inciting violence? The hypocrisy (having health insurance through his wife’s job) of the likes of him is always stunning.

  • TexasCowboy

    Mike Vanderboegh sounds like a little ‘girl’, what a sissy and cowardly action by the ‘militias’ Big men, with little brains and yellow stripes running down their backs.