Sunday, 11 May 2008

Junta 101: Ripley-style

So with so much chatter on Burma (Myanmar) and Juntas....it comes to pass that a fair number of folks don't grasp what a Junta is. So allow me to present an introduction of a Junta, using Bama as an example.

There in the state of Bama, twelve national guard Lt Col's and sixteen sheriff's have this meeting down in Bessemer. Its in the private catering room of the local catfish grill. The twenty-eight fellas sit and chow down on some fine catfish, and then chat on the comings and goings of Bama.

Frankly, they are all unhappy with the Republicans and Democrats in the state. In fact, all of the guys at this meeting are unsatisifed with the lifestyle presented to the state. Folks are heading to hell. Folks aren't acting mature or adult-like. Corruption is rampant.

So out comes national guard general Larry. He is the 29th member of the elite group there at the fish grill. Larry has spent 32 years in the Bama guard and frankly is very dissatisfied with the state political scene. He thinks it ought to be fixed.

So Larry directs up an idea. Toss out the Republicans and Democrats from the state political process. Toss out the Bama constitution. Toss out the remaining sheriffs and military leadership. They, the 29, would run the state. The boys all look at each other....half of them sipping ice tea at the moment....and thinking....man, that Larry is pushing the system.

They eventually all agree and go back to start the plan.

A month goes by and the 29 start their campaign. Using all of the national guard members of Bama, they move in quickly to unseat all local and state government offices. They move to the interstate and major highway system of the state. They cut off all access to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The port at Mobile is put under the control of the 29. The airports in the state are closed off, with only the airport at Montgomery allowed to be operational but under the control of the 29.

Every TV station and cable TV network is cut off. Every radio station and newspaper is terminated. No news....is good news.

The 29 gather up every Baptist minister in the state and lay out the plan....absolutely no alcohol sales whatsoever. No strip joints. No immoral behavior. No internet. Mandatory Sunday attendance at church for every state resident. The ministers are thrilled and believe the hand of God has personally made this event happen.

The universitys are closed. High schools are allowed to remain open but are mandated to graduate kids by age 15. No demanding classes are required and everyone must participate in mandatory physical training. At 16, all kids are required to attend two years of military service, with half required to spend two additional years. They are paid $44 a month for essentials.

Right away, there is trouble. So you bring in the guy, his wife, and both their families. The 29 have the guy beaten severely, and then have the wife whipped in front of her family. Any future trouble from them, and you will have them killed.

Most border states look on and are dismayed but won't do nothing about this. In fact, they are worried that they may have national guard idiots like this, so they fire all of their leadership in the guard.

Without tourism, the state revenue box becomes bare. Without the export of Bama products, there is little to tax. Folks grow enough food for themselves and little more. Electrical power becomes difficult to produce, so they go to eight hours a day of power.

You have some coup-plotters, but then you roust them out and kill half of them to make a point to the public. You make sure the executions are in the city square so everyone can watch.

Without new cars, the public takes to using vehicles as long as possible, and mechanics become the most treasured state asset. Fuel becomes difficult to come by, and the state uses half of its corn supply to brew ethanol which cuts into food production across the state.

You start to allow TV again, but only one channel and one of the 29 personally reviews everything. You get eight hours a day of Hee Haw and the rest filled with state propaganda from the 29.

You allow in some CNN reporters but have them trailed constantly....threatening them and intimating them.

Strangely enough, the 29 all get vast tracks of property, into the tens of thousands of acres. They have private staffs of 100 folks waiting on them. They each have a security detail of 300, who are fully armed and ready to go. Each of the 29 has a area of Bam that is their personal area to manage. All of the 29 have trucks that secretly cross the border into Mississippi each day and bring back vast amounts of booze, clothing, and DVDs. The 29 own or control 95 percent of the state's wealth. No bank operates without the permission of the 29. If you were to deposit $10k in an account, the bank would report it and someone would come to your house to ask how you acquired the $10k.

As each of the 29 comes up and dies....his family is able to appoint the nearest cousin or son to replace the guy on the position chart. Coups come and go....no one is ever able to overthrow the Junta. The Junta survives because they have just enough power to control things but not threaten each other.

Eventually a hurricane arrives in Mobile and destroys all of the city. The US government and the state of Mississippi....would like to come in and offer up equipment and emergency supplies. But the Junta of Bama refuses that. Eventually, they agree but want everything marked as "donated by the Bama Junta". The US government and the Mississippi state folks meet and discuss the situation into the night. The problem is....you don't want to upset the Junta. It just wouldn't be right. So you hold back....waiting....day after day....until 40,000 people in Mobile die from starvation or disease.

So the Junta survived on....never really challenged.