“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.” - Robert A. HeinleinI saw this quote on the back of a guy's t-shirt in the DMV today. It was written over the United States Marine Corp symbol and the shirt was a brilliant blood red. It was strange because I knew the guy. He was in my Calculus class in high school. And here he was ten years later, obvious having joined the Marines and waiting to register his sports car at the local DMV. I studied him for a good 15 minutes. I read his shirt over and over again. I stared at his face, desperately trying to remember his name. Chris? David? Brian? Skip? Something about his shirt infuriated me. It could have been that I was already spitting mad from the previous encounters at the DMV. But I was just really upset about this quote. Violence and naked force. What if I took those words to heart? Would I get better service at the DMV if I forced myself on them? I had just resisted getting in a fist fight in this godforsaken place (thinking it unwise to start throwing punches ten feet from the sheriff on duty). And then I sit down behind my nameless classmate (what the hell is his name?!) and his shirt tells me I am wishful thinking at its worst. Maybe Heinlein was only implying to be prepared. To not rule out the need for naked force in the face of opposition. I suppose I could handle that reasoning a little better. I have found much better results in my life by avoiding simple violence. So I don't think I'll start any time soon.