The Race War That Isn't

Media anxieties over "lynch mobs" and "brownshirts" demonstrate a telling lack of faith in contemporary America

I remember very well the last time America was gripped with panic over impending racial violence. It was in the fall of 2001, after 19 Middle Eastern hijackers, mostly from Saudi Arabia, pulverized the World Trade Center and ripped a gash into the Pentagon, murdering nearly 3,000 people while trying to massacre several times more.

There were hundreds of news articles that autumn warning of a potential domestic backlash against suspected Muslims. President George W. Bush, his anxiety palpable, went out of his way to pay visits to Mohammadan places of worship, and praise Islam as a "religion of peace." The lefter regions of the political spectrum produced serial expressions of preemptive dread, such as Barbara Kingsolver's Sept. 25 pronouncement that American patriotism "despises people of foreign birth" and "threatens free speech with death." Many of us with memories stretching back to the Iran hostage crisis braced ourselves for a long and unhappy season of rag-head jokes, open vandalism, and worse.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Arab-American lynching: not bloody much. A Sikh gas station owner was murdered in Mesa, Arizona. A Hindu temple was firebombed in Matawan, New Jersey. Reports of harassment and non-deadly violence briefly spiked up. Each was awful enough, but as a tapestry of violence it fell far short of the widely predicted wave of hate crime. Americans, derided as "hateful" bigots by the likes of Kingsolver, and revenge-minded rubes by those with better manners, were not only opting out of vigilante violence, they were cramming bestseller lists with musty old books about Afghanistan and the Middle East.

As the religion reporter Gustav Niebuhr later observed, after having spent several months on the post-Sept. 11 hate-crimes beat, "In the very week when the nation suffered a grievous injury from a stateless criminal gang that identified itself by its members' religion—as Muslims–some Americans chose to express concern and friendship toward their Muslim neighbors....It makes a far more interesting story about contemporary America than I had imagined."

That is the American story to keep in mind when reading, every day for the rest of this summer at least, about the "incendiary mix of political passion, weird thinking and weaponry" that "is likely to explode" in Obama's America. Under direct, terrorizing attack from a stateless band of brown-skinned terrorists representing apocalyptic Islam, Americans as individuals largely turned the other cheek, even seeking interfaith understanding with their attackers' co-religionists. Yet faced eight years later with a vague, non-life-threatening "new era of cultural and demographic change" (which, according to New York Times columnist Frank Rich, is "the biggest contributor to this resurgence of radicalism"), the rednecks are allegedly on the verge of a rampage.

"Violence" is "in the air," warned Woodrow Wilson International Center scholar Jamie Stiehm, in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed that revisited the 1830s torching of an abolitionist-built hall in the City of Brotherly Love. "If it could happen there and then, it could happen here and now." The American right's "recurrent" and "deep-seated problem with political violence," warned popular liberal blogger Josh Marshall, "endangers the country." The "election of Barack Obama," wrote Mother Jones' James Ridgeway, "adds even more fuel to nativist rage." Lefty historian-of-the-right Rick Perlstein, in a Washington Post chat to discuss his theory that "the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy," analogized anti-Obama protesters to "brownshirts" and "Nazi street thugs" in Weimar Germany, warning that "authoritarian takeovers of nations happen, they happen slowly, and it's a process." Washington Post columnist and regular public broadcast commentator E.J. Dionne went even further with the Nazi comparisons, describing this summer's town hall disputes as "the politics of the jackboot." Dionne added:

[V]iolence and the threat of violence have always been used by those who wanted to bypass democratic procedures and the rule of law. Lynching was the act of those who refused to let the legal system do its work. Guns were used on election days in the Deep South during and after Reconstruction to intimidate black voters and take control of state governments.

Yes, I have raised the racial issue, and it is profoundly troubling that firearms should begin to appear with some frequency at a president's public events only now, when the president is black. [...]

[I]f we can't draw the line at the threat of violence, democracy begins to disintegrate. Power, not reason, becomes the stuff of political life.

These are indeed "profoundly troubling" charges, which makes one wonder why they're being bandied about with such flippant regard for historical plausibility.

The "jackboot" analogy, for starters, breaks down at the ankle: The footwear was favored by enforcers for totalitarian governments, not random Ron Paul supporters flashing Thomas Jefferson quotes outside political events. Weimar-era brownshirts were an organized Nazi paramilitary group perpetrating calculated violence against political opponents in a hyperinflationary, recently humiliated country that had never enjoyed liberal democracy; not a dozen-plus scattered gun nuts in one of the world's oldest democracies peacably (if jarringly) exercising their Second Amendment rights by keeping their guns holstered (not "brandishing" them, as Rich and countless others have claimed). The last actual lynching in America, depending on who you ask, took place in 1981; the atrocious practice had been all but dead since the 1960s.

To fear the Weimarization of America, or the return of lynching, is to fundamentally lack confidence in the very real progress the United States has made over the past several decades. Conditions have improved exponentially even since the post-lynching 1980s, when I was coming of voting age. Back then there was still a politics to be had in bashing Martin Luther King, supporting apartheid South Africa, whipping up fears of black ultra-violence, and otherwise appealing openly to white resentment against blacks. It was gross, it was reckless, it led to terrible policies, and it was the reason I permanently swore off joining the Republican Party. It's also largely an artifact of the past.

The last white-resentment candidate to win a Republican presidential primary was Pat Buchanan in 1996. George W. Bush first rose to national prominence as the immigration-embracing, border-state anti-Pete Wilson, and as president he never did have a Caucasian secretary of state. The party's most popular politician in the 1990s was arguably Colin Powell. John McCain in his many books has repeatedly singled out the heroism of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge back in 1965, and such is his distaste for racially coded politics that he slammed one of his own supporters just for repeating Barack Obama's middle name three times in a warmup speech. When Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2002 expressed retroactive support for Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat campaign for president, he was pressured by other Republicans to resign his leadership, and eventually (though not soon enough) limped out of the Senate. The GOP chairman these days may be a dolt, but he's probably not a racist.

The political market on race-baiting politics has spoken, and resoundingly. We have, not irrelevantly, elected a black president with a weird, foreign-sounding name. Anti-immigration politics, certainly fueled in part by paranoid xenophobia, are persistently unpopular. Republican attempts to make a big deal out of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark failed to resonate with the public, and she sailed on through the confirmation process. Affirmative action just isn't much of a hot political topic anymore, even though its impact is still real and widespread.

Worrying about the latent potential for widespread, race-based violence requires thinking either that the American public conceals its racism from its electoral preferences, or that the fringe holds disproportionate, menacing power. As Jesse Walker has frequently noted in these pages, such centrist paranoia inevitably tells us more about the attitudes of those expressing the fear than it does about contemporary America. It's a timely reminder that near the foundation of both major political tendencies in this country lies a disturbing lack of faith in the country they take turns misgoverning.

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  • ||

    That article is racist, (im)pure and simple.

  • *||

    It's hardly 1968 out there. Not that certain lefty pundits wouldn't cream their jeans if one of those scary, gun-toting protesters accidently discharged his weapon in a crowd.

    "it...reflects a telling, bipartisan lack of faith in America"

    Bipartisan? Most of the fear-mongering is coming from the left, and last time I looked, the left meant "Democrat."

  • Mike in PA||

    Charlie Manson must be dreaming of a come-back.

  • T||

    Maybe this is just the goofy idealist in me, but I have plenty of faith in America and Americans. The American government? Nothing I've seen lately gives me any faith or confidence in that collection of morans.

  • ||

    "Cobbled together from old parts (fundamentalism, gun rights, excessive reverence for capitalism and The Founders, paranoid talking points from the good old liberal-hating John Birch Society), this new decidedly American religion has finally achieved critical mass under the pressure of a president whome its most extreme adherents call - by no accident - the Antichrist."


    excessive reverence for capitalism and The Founders

    Umm, shut the fuck up, Stupid.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    According to what I've observed, fully half of the population is racist, gun-toting, and hate-filled.

    It's horseshit, of course, as nowhere near that percentage fits the above parameters.

    But you won't convince Olbermann of that.

  • ||

    I don't know about "faith" in anything anymore. I certainly can't have too much faith in the American people if the same (or same kind of) morons are getting elected time and again.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I really wonder if the left see that massive clusterfuck they're getting themselves in to by spewing this shit? Day by day, they increase the chances of a historical bitchslapping coming their way via the American people.

    Now, I'm cynical to the point that I don't think this will happen but, I have to admit that I never thought the genuine, non crazy, anti-Obama sentiment would be this high, this quickly so perhaps I'm wrong.

  • AA||

    After eight years of Bush and the Republicans screwing everything up, I hoped that this Congress and administration would quickly remind people that the Democrats screw things up just as badly. Hope fulfilled! Now I hope that the next election will bring real change.

    Call me a dreamer.

  • ||

    Meanwhile Democratic activists actually are planting bombs against one another

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/politics/story/9550E4A006F3C0608625761D0013B653?OpenDocument

    and last year's RNC in Minniapolis.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/08/24/0824kibby.html

  • ||

    One big problem if the Democrats go off the rails on a crazy train is that the GOP may go right back to its quasi-socialist and government-expanding ways (when it returns to power), without even a brief respite of talking about paring things back.

    Not that even a contrite and rhetorically sound GOP can be trusted upon a return to power.

  • ||

    Now, I'm cynical to the point that I don't think this will happen but, I have to admit that I never thought the genuine, non crazy, anti-Obama sentiment would be this high, this quickly so perhaps I'm wrong.

    I wish someone would ask a high ranking Democrat "If we can cut 30% of Medicare/Medicaid w/o hurting those on the program, why not do it immediately, given our current budget situation, instead of making that part of 'reform'?" and post the results on YouTube. :-)

    (Actually, in fairness to LW, that question in a press conference would decide the 2010 election right then and there).

  • ||

    "One big problem if the Democrats go off the rails on a crazy train is that the GOP may go right back to its quasi-socialist and government-expanding ways (when it returns to power), without even a brief respite of talking about paring things back."


    That is a real problem. The Republicans were just stupid and corrupt. The Democrats seem certifiably insane at this point. After Obama is done, no one will ever beleive that a Democrat is anything but a crypto marxist again. Obama is pissing away all of the credibility Clinton spent 8 years getting the Dems. Once the Republicans come back in, what motivation do they have to be anything but the crooks they were before? They will have at least 8 years of "Jesus anything is better than it was under Obama" as an excuse.

  • ||

    Not that even a contrite and rhetorically sound GOP can be trusted upon a return to power.

    If it took 40 years in the wilderness to get us 4-5 good years out of the Republicans, 2 years will buy us about 40 minutes of good behavior from the Fat, Drunk & Stupid Party.

  • ||

    There is one upside JW. If Bush didn't break the bank, Obama is certainly smashing it to pieces. It is getting to a point where no one from either side can steal anymore than what is already being stolen. Given that fact, it will be difficult for either party to make things any worse in 2012.

  • ||

    Given that fact, it will be difficult for either party to make things any worse in 2012.

    Oh, ye of little faith....

  • JB||

    It's the socialist war with those who want more socialism vs those who want less.

    Those that want more should leave for places where there is more socialism. If they stay here and keep pushing, violence is almost certain.

  • ||

    Does this mean I can come out of the underground bunker now?

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong* but I believe the last case of a whites attacking blacks riot was in Detroit in 1943.

    * Like I need to ask here.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Can I inquire into something?

    Does anyone else find it really, really weird that the President's approval ratings are tanking so fast?

    Look at this chart!.

    I mean, honestly, isn't it really too early to be disapproving already?

    What's the deal?

  • Rich||

    Does anyone else find it really, really weird that the President's approval ratings are tanking so fast?

    When all else fails, look at the exact wording of the poll questions.

  • ||

    AO,

    He is the political equivelent of a teen idol. His support was wide but not very deep. Also, I think people supported him because they thought he was reasonable and would be a return to the the Clinton era of Dem centrism. Two things are happening. First, as the shine comes off his teen idol status the shallowness of his support is starting to show. Second, I think people are starting to feel they were lied to in the election and are starting to get pretty angry about it.

  • ||

    Early on, his approval was probably the result of "Better than Bush did"-ism. At some point, he began to be judged on his own.

  • ||

    "Early on, his approval was probably the result of "Better than Bush did"-ism. At some point, he began to be judged on his own."

    That and early on people wanted him to succeed. They wanted a break from the parisian wars of the Bush era. They wanted to believe that he really was something different. It has become pretty apparent, however, he is just a nasty Chicago leftist.

  • ||

    Does anyone else find it really, really weird that the President's approval ratings are tanking so fast?

    Bush I had 90%-something approval ratings after the Gulf War in 1990. 2 years later it had vanished.

    Easy come. Easy go.

  • ||

    It seems like many on the left are actually nostalgic for a time when they had a scarier bogeyman to point to. Even among some people I know, one gets the impression that they're barely concealing their delight at the prospect of a resurgence of real, right-wing racists(!). Pretty fucking pathetic.

  • ||

    Dagny,

    It reenforces their smug sense of superiority. If you have to admit that the people on the other side are thoughtful people who just disagree with you, what fun is that? Much better to think of them as snarling racist and you and those like you the only thing standing between America and a return to 1954 Mississippi.

  • MNG||

    "Not that certain lefty pundits wouldn't cream their jeans if one of those scary, gun-toting protesters accidently discharged his weapon in a crowd."

    You know, worrying about something doesn't mean being overjoyed when it happens. I mean, libertarians worry about things, but I doubt they'd cream their jeans if these things happened just because it might solidify their world view. Liberals don't want to see violence erupt just to prove that their worries have a foundation. The foundation for those worries are easily understandable, angry people often erupt into violence.

    Don't get me wrong, the media is hyping this up. "Angry people could possibly engage in violence" is not as sexy as "Race War Coming Soon." Both really have no place in the news, they should report what DOES happen, not what they speculate MIGHT happen.

  • AA||

    RealClearPolitics has a typo in their numbers. The Gallup poll should show a Disapproval of 42 not 52.

    Wondered how they got to 103%....

  • MNG||

    Dagny

    Maybe they are worried about modern boogeymen? I mean, I hope most of my fellow liberals would agree that whatever boogeymen we have today they are not as bad as those in 1968. But that doesn't mean there are no boogeymen.

    I mean, get a grip. The opponents of Obama are invoking Hitler and Stalin. Talk about boogeyman nostalgia!

  • MNG||

    I think early on his approval rating involved this totally correct "wow look how far we've come in electing this black man with a funny name." But now Obama has to deal with what he benefited from, that is that most people are willing to have a black man with a funny name as President, and the President has to propose policies which can be disliked and disfavored.

  • MNG||

    There have been some high publicity cases recently of very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views shooting up places and people. Then these very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views start showing up places and acting all angry. While the conclusion that all angry white men motivated by strong right wing views are going to erupt in violence is faulty logic, you can certainly see where it's coming from, can't you?

  • ||

    "I mean, get a grip. The opponents of Obama are invoking Hitler and Stalin. Talk about boogeyman nostalgia!"

    We had 8 years of the President Bush's opponents screaming that the dark night of fascism is falling on America, including people as prominent as former Senator John Glenn who said that Bush was engaging in the old Hitler business, and that seemed to work out okay.

    So I guess MNG you think Conservatives would have been justified to be suspect of liberals during the Bush years?

  • ||

    I think early on his approval rating involved this totally correct "wow look how far we've come in electing this black man with a funny name."

    In other words, since he is us and we are him, if we approve of ourselves, we approve of him.

  • ||

    "There have been some high publicity cases recently of very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views shooting up places and people. Then these very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views start showing up places and acting all angry. While the conclusion that all angry white men motivated by strong right wing views are going to erupt in violence is faulty logic, you can certainly see where it's coming from, can't you?"

    What cases? What the hell are you talking about? There are a hell of a lot more cases of angry young black men killing each other. That happens every day. Does that mean that it is okay to be suspect everytime you see a young black man?

    Do you realize what you are saying? You seem to be saying that we need to keep an eye on all of these white guys because you know inside the heart of every white man is an angry terrorist lurking to get out. Gee, profile much?

  • PR||

    Whenever someone comments about how racist America is, I ask which country is less racist?

  • MNG||

    John
    There's a difference in my mind in understanding where someone is coming from and "justifying" their view.

    Were there these high publicity cases of anti-Bush angry liberals shooting up people and places then? I mean, this is where it is coming from. Well, that and in a lot of America's mind the bitter violence of the resisters of the Civil Rights Movement is associated with our right wing and still fresh in many people's minds.

    I sympathize. America seems to not be as aware of the wicked violence perpetrated by left wing radicals in somewhat recent history...

  • ||

    MNG,

    One of the links above is to an actual no shit plot to throw molotov cocktails at people during last year's RNC. Are you prepared to say that angry liberals can't be trusted now?

  • MNG||

    John
    There was the guy who walked into the Unitarian Church and shot it up because he hated liberals. The guy who called the police out to his house in PA and killed some of them who was seen by many as motivated by right wing views. The guy who killed the abortion doctor. And the aerobics class shooter is seen by many as having strong right wing views...

    There was a lot of press about this frankly.

  • ||

    I mean, get a grip. The opponents of Obama are invoking Hitler and Stalin. Talk about boogeyman nostalgia!

    Not the same thing, dude. Talking crazy shit about pols does not equal establishment MSM talking crazy shit about private citizens who haven't hurt anyone.

  • ||

    "Well, that and in a lot of America's mind the bitter violence of the resisters of the Civil Rights Movement is associated with our right wing and still fresh in many people's minds."

    No more fresh in the minds than the violence of the anti-war movement of the late 1960s. In fact not as fresh. I don't think any of the perpretriators of the anti-civil rights movement violence are allowed in polite company. Yet, Bill Ayers is a respected professor of education and a friend of the President. Also, see the link to the plot to bomb the RNC last year. Where was the corresponding right wing plot?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The guy who called the police out to his house in PA and killed some of them who was seen by many as motivated by right wing views



    These are what we call "weasel words" in the industry. No too long ago, I believe YOU did "justify" non-existent "fears" about guns at rallies based on this case.

    Why all the backsliding now? You know what you believed then.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    This from Joan Walsh's Salon article Matt linked to.

    "There's no overt reason to conclude from his Web presence that Kostric is violent, although on the Web site of Reason, the libertarian magazine, someone posting under his name defends drug dealers who kill police officers who enter their homes to arrest them:

    "If people can't wake up and see why it's immoral to trespass and destroy someones property, kidnap and lock them in a cage for growing a plant in their backyard then perhaps a body count is what's required for change.

    "I personally feel zero sympathy for those cops. I reserve my sympathy for the victims of the nonsense they initiate."

    If Kostric really believes "perhaps a body count is what's required for change" in the case of cops moving against drug dealers, it would be interesting to know what other causes he thinks a "body count" might hasten along."

  • ||

    The areobics class shooter shot women because he couldn't get a date. That is not rightwing violence.

    "The guy who called the police out to his house in PA and killed some of them who was seen by many as motivated by right wing views"

    Seen by many? WTF? Either he was making a political statment through violence or he wasn't. Sorry but seen by many doesn't cut it.

    And the guy who killed the abortion doctor was totally condemed by the entire pro-life movement. He won't some day be holding court with the President the way Bill Ayers does.

  • MNG||

    Context matters John. It would be crazy to think a white man on the street is going to erupt in violence any time. But given these high publicity cases of white men, who seemed very angry OVER POLITICS, in a right wing fashion, doing wacked shit, you can see why people might get nervous when white men, who seem angry over politics show up at public events.

    Sure, it's not the best logic, but it's understandable.

    And, yes, I can totally understand, for example, people getting nervous on a plane with a man in Arabic dress, or taxi-drivers being nervous to pick up young black men in certain parts of town too...

  • ||

    What cases? What the hell are you talking about? There are a hell of a lot more cases of angry young black men killing each other. That happens every day. Does that mean that it is okay to be suspect everytime you see a young black man?

    If you're another young black man, absolutely.

  • Timmy||

    We'll take the niggers and chinks, but we don't want any Irish.

  • ||

    MNG,

    Was it right wing thugs who tried to burn down Seattle during the 199 G8 summit? What about that violence? That is a lot more recent than the civil rights movement.

  • ||

    Mr. Nice Guy, meete Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers, meet Mr. Nice Guy. You both know Mr. Obama.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ayers

  • MNG||

    TAO
    I said that I could see why they guy showing up with the gun in NH would make people nervous. I thought I've been defending that position here, not backpedaling from it.

    Given that one could reasonably see many of these events s motivated by extreme right wing anger, I can understand how people might be nervous about, well, displays of extreme right wing anger right now.

    You can see that too, you're just being difficult.

  • ||

    "Context matters John. It would be crazy to think a white man on the street is going to erupt in violence any time. But given these high publicity cases of white men, who seemed very angry OVER POLITICS, in a right wing fashion, doing wacked shit, you can see why people might get nervous when white men, who seem angry over politics show up at public events."

    So what? So that gives you a right to slander ordinary people exercising their 1st Amendment Rights? That makes it okay to call people Nazis? That makes it okay to completely marginalize their legitimate political concerns? What is your point here?

  • MNG||

    Johny Long
    I think I acknowledged your point @ 1:25, right?

  • ||

    http://www.openmarket.org/2009/06/02/obama-justice-department-protects-racist-anti-semitic-hate-group-and-anti-white-voting-rights-violators/

    Members of the New Black Panther Party, one of whom was an Obama campaign poll watcher and local democratic official, used nightsticks and racial epithets captured on videotape to drive voters away from the polls in a Philadelphia precinct. But the Obama Administration killed a successful lawsuit against these criminals, dismissing it after career Justice Department lawyers had already obtained victory in the case, as a former Justice Department lawyer, the Philadelphia Bulletin, and a newspaper editorial note. (The New Black Panther Party, which attacks what it refers to as "bloodsucking Jews," is recognized as a racist, antisemitic hate group even by liberal civil-rights groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center). ...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    See, here's the thing - I can understand and immediately castigate irrational people and/or opinions. "Understanding" is not the soft-pedaling that you're selling, MNG.

  • ||

    MNG,

    So I guess people also have a right to be nervous when a group of Arabs protest in front of the Israeli embassy? Arabs do commit a lot of political violence.

  • ||

    I think I acknowledged your point @ 1:25, right?

    Sorry - I thought that was sarcasm. If you actually meant it as written, I apologize for the tone of my response.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Given that one could reasonably see many of these events s motivated by extreme right wing anger, I can understand how people might be nervous about, well, displays of extreme right wing anger right now.



    And...

    Sure, it's not the best logic, but it's understandable.



    Which is it, MNG? Is it faulty logic, or totally "reasonable" to be a pants-wetting little girl?

  • MNG||

    John

    No, it's as irresponsible to declare that all the protestors are right wing thugs or Nazis (and it's irresponsible to refer to health care reformers as Nazis and Stalinists btw) as it is to declare that taxi drivers should not pick up young black men. However, I can understand both feelings. We often have irrational feelings and conclusions that we act on. That's part of being human.

  • oh no not this again||

    To prove Matt wrong, I remind readers to review most of the comments posted by jb these last few months. It's funny, people who spent years demonizing unions, socialists, other lefties, and bill Clinton are crying now that the shoe is on the other foot.

  • MNG||

    TAO

    You are going to make for a very poor lawyer one day.

    You will be called upon to note when someone could "reasonably" believe this or that, though they would be stone cold wrong.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I't kind of funny to see the latest iteration of leftist hysterics about all these mythical right wing, racist groups who are supposed to be on a rampage.

    It's just a replay of the same hysterics about "militias" after McVeigh blew up the federal bldg.

    Meanwhile we have had racially organized groups who are (and have been for a long time) committing plenty of actual violence. They are called the Crips, Bloods, MS-13, etc. etc.

    Not a peep out of the libs about them, becuase their squawking has nothing to do with any actual "concern" about violence and everything to do with ginning up something to bash their political opponents.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    However, I can understand both feelings. We often have irrational feelings and conclusions that we act on.



    Feelings which are, apparently, simultaneously "totally irrational" and "reasonable".

  • MNG||

    There are even unreasonable beliefs that one can totally understand how people come about obtaining them. I mean, do you live in a Turner Classic Movie? I guess it's easier to shop for clothes in a black and white world TAO...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You are going to make for a very poor lawyer one day.



    Aww, widdle baby got his fweewings hurt!

    go cry yourself to sleep at all those white folks with holstered 9mms.

  • MNG||

    As I said TAO, I feel sorry for you if you cannot distinguish the two concepts of "reasonable" and "correct." You really do believe in Natural Law!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    MNG - you have said that it is "reasonable" to interpret certain events as 'right-wing violence', while simultaneously saying that interpreting those events as right-wing violence and acting on them is wholly irrational.

    you have devolved into nonsense land.

  • MNG||

    And as I said long ago, I own guns and was raised around them. People carrying guns cause me to lose very little sleep. However, I understand that there are groups of people for whom guns are scary. They are not necessarily insane or pussies. I understand where they are coming from, I just think they are ultimately wrong (and not crazy).

  • Paul||

    analogized anti-Obama protesters to "brownshirts" and "Nazi street thugs" in Weimar Germany, warning that "authoritarian takeovers of nations happen, they happen slowly, and it's a process."



    This is just fucking annoying. When a person who speaks out against armed, uniformed agents of the government is accused of being a Nazi, right-wing crazy... I weep for my country.

  • ||

    which country is less racist?

    Iceland, but then they don't anyone live there that doesn't have a 1000 year link to the vikings.

  • slutmonkey||

    This race stuff is BS. It's summed up pretty well with the MtG parody card (see my URL link)...

    The Race Card:
    When The Race Card comes into play all arguments are destroyed. New arguments cannot be created until The Race Card leaves play.

    When The Race Card leaves play, remove it from the game.

  • MNG||

    Well, it's certainly reasonable to see most, well actually all, of the shooters as being "angry white men with extreme right wing views." They all left evidence that could cause reasonable person to think that.

    SO then, when "angry white men with extreme right wing views" show up at public events, ACT ANGRY and SPORT GUNS it's probably not completely nuts for someone to be worried.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    However, I understand that there are groups of people for whom guns are scary. They are not necessarily insane or pussies. I understand where they are coming from, I just think they are ultimately wrong (and not crazy).



    And therefore reasonable, eh?

    "Guns are scary"
    "No you're wrong, but that's a reasoanble opinion to hold"

    um, thinking an object is scary, in and of itself, is irrational emotionalism and not reasonable.

  • Ziskey Rates People For Whom G||

    They're Pussies!

  • MNG||

    I will say, where did the race card come in? That is the part that confuses me so. Yes, most opponents of this reform are white, but that's true of most Americans. I geuss like I said it's some extrapolation from the 1950's and 1960's of the idea that when right wing people take to the streets violence and racism follow. It's quite a stretch imo.

  • Paul||

    Nicole Brodeur in the Seattle Times referred to someone who arrived at a townhall meeting armed as "The 2nd amendment run amok". Here was my response on her column:

    At a rally where the first amendment was running "amok". Next thing you know, we'll have people charging through the streets, demanding all their constitutional rights back. Where does it end?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    MNG,

    RE: The Race Card

    How many times have you said "angry white men"?

    And then you wonder...

  • MNG||

    It is reasonable to suggest that guns are scary. They are made to propel bits of metal through things and have historically been used to kill people.

    I mean, I think its reasonable for people to find cars scary (they are heavy, hard objects that travel at great speeds and have been known to hit humans shattering their bodies).

  • ||

    The proponents of Obama are invoking Hitler and Stalin non-reality-based slurs.

    FTFY

  • ||

    As was well documented on another thread, the idiots who are making this claims don't even know anything about the "right wing" groups they claim to be so concerned about. The John Birthers started in 1958 and hated Eisenhower as much as anyone. The militia movement really got started under Bush I. They claimed that GHW Bush in trying to create a "new world order" was trying to create a world government.

    This idea that these groups only exist or pick up support under Democratic administrations is idiotic. It would be nice if people actually knew what they were talking about before they slandered people.

  • Paul||

    um, thinking an object is scary, in and of itself, is irrational emotionalism and not reasonable.

    I kind of disagree, TAO. I mean, I would be scared at small jar of liquid nitroglycerine. However, a gun isn't unstable and explosive. It takes a whole series of aggressive, purposeful actions for the weapon to become scary.

  • ||

    make that Bircher not birthers. Although John Birthers is kind of funny.

  • MNG||

    All of those shooters were characterized as "angry white men." If you want to understand why people are nervous, you have to look at how they are seeing things.

    As I said, I don't think race is much of a motivation for any of these people (the protestors and seemingly most of the shooters even).

  • oh no not this again||

    Damn, this thead is filled with hypocrisy, and is proving my point. John is the child who cries, but they did it too why am I in trouble. He uses this to dodge every point you make no mattry how old his sources. Did you pass your English class?

  • ||

    "All of those shooters were characterized as "angry white men." If you want to understand why people are nervous, you have to look at how they are seeing things."

    No, what they see is a way to slander and marginalize their political opponents. This has nothing to do with any geniune concern about anything except getting their way.

  • MNG||

    "the idiots who are making this claims don't even know anything about the "right wing" groups they claim to be so concerned about"

    I actually agree with this to a large degree. Just hanging out here let's me know how little, for example, my liberal friends know about libertarians. They have a pretty nutty view.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    alright, Paul, I will take limited exceptions to that statement.

    It is reasonable to suggest that guns are scary. They are made to propel bits of metal through things and have historically been used to kill people.



    See, you need a user to point a weapon at someone.

    Oh, but you know, that lump of metal strapped to that guy's leg, in full view of the Presidential security detail...ZOMG GUNS ARE TEH SCARY!

    i forgot, that's totally "reasonable".

  • ||

    "my point. John is the child who cries, but they did it too why am I in trouble. He uses this to dodge every point you make no mattry how old his sources. Did you pass your English class?"

    Do you know how to read? Because that is not the point. I am sorry you are too stupid to join the argument.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    OK, MNG, so according to you, it would be unreasonable for these pantwetters to be afraid of the black libertarian who brought that rifle?

    After all, he isn't white.

  • MNG||

    Not everyone who is nervous about this is trying to make political hay John, Those are the people whose motivations I am trying to help you to understand (not accept as correct, since I don't myself).

  • ||

    MNG,

    If you are saying liberals have a bizzare view of people who don't live like them and disagree with them, then I guess we really don't have much of a disagreement.

  • MNG||

    TAO
    Dude, the guy with the gun strapped to his leg was yelling and holding a sign that said "it's time for people to start dying." That makes the fear a bit more reasonable imo.

  • Harpoon||

    "I said that I could see why they guy showing up with the gun in NH would make people nervous."

    Only people who have problems with rational thought. Think about it; people intending violence do not show up openly carrying guns, they keep them hidden until they are ready to use them.

  • Warning: This is Racist and In||

    Hip-hop Republican Michael Steele has a big piece out today outlining why Republicans should love and protect Medicare, at least for now. And while I guess it's pretty gangster to get your op-ed in the Washington Post, I can't say I admire this guy's flow.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Dude, the guy with the gun strapped to his leg was yelling and holding a sign that said "it's time for people to start dying." That makes the fear a bit more reasonable imo.



    "A bit more reasonable" =/= reasonable. Maybe it moves from "pantswetting whimpering" to "butthurt little pussy"

  • MNG||

    TAO
    As I said, context matters. When people stereotype, as everyone does in life, the stereotype becomes less and less nutty the more areas can be generalized. For example, fewer cabbies would be afraid to pick up a black man in a suit than one in gang apparel.

    Likewise, it's the combination of white+angry+extreme right wing views+carrying a gun at a Presidential appearance+ carrying sign talking about killing people that moves this into the realm of less and less crazy and more and more reasonable....You're being daft.

  • ||

    I really wonder if the left see that massive clusterfuck they're getting themselves in to by spewing this shit? Day by day, they increase the chances of a historical bitchslapping coming their way via the American people.

    This sadly is a self fulfilling prophecy.
    Imagine that you are a left wing nut job who sees everything against the president as racist....now imagine your president is marginalized with loss of congress and very low approval numbers.

    Will your view, as a left wing nut, be that the president lost his power because of his support of unpopular policy and the fact that his supporters called every one who opposed them a racist? or will you come to the conclusion that "America is racist"?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "more and more reasonable" =/= threshold for reasonable.

  • MNG||

    Really. Certainly you people have been in a gathering of people from different backgrounds than yourself. If you were to bring a gun to one of these gatherings, and someone were to be declare it made them nervous, you would declare the person insane or a bedwetting pussy?

    What kind of assholes are you people? Seriously.

  • ||

    Here is my wholly unprovable alternate universe assertion:

    Even if no one had brought a gun to any rally, the Democrats would be exhibiting the exact same amount of fearmongering about the possibility of violence based on the fury of the protests alone.

    There is too much political hay to be made otherwise.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't let Welch lull you into a false sense of security. RACISTS ARE EVERYWHERE AROUND US EVEN AS I TYPE THIS!!!

  • oh no not this again||

    I'm not wrong though, I don't have the inclination to engage in mind numbing repetitive labor arguing the same partison point with you because you can't look beyond team republican.

  • MNG||

    1. There have been highly publicized shootings by a. men who were b. white c. angry d. possessing political views that could reasonably classified as right wing and d. in at least some cases the shooters were plainly motivated in large part by d.

    That after this people are nervous about a. men who are b. white c. angry d. possessing political views that could reasonably classified as right wing and e. carrying a firearm at a public event is really hardly remarkable. And for TAO's pedantic ass, by that I mean "understandble and reasonable." There is some rational basis for the feeling of nervousness, it's not like being made nervous by men, or by whites, or even actually by a gun by itself.

  • Meta4||

    John,

    Kibby was a Zombie Dancer:

    A former Minneapolis woman once arrested as part of a "Zombie Dance Party" faces trial this month after allegedly threatening to kill a government informant.

    Katyanne Marie Kibby, 25, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Austin, Texas, in June on suspicion of retaliating against Brandon Darby, the community activist-turned-informant who helped federal prosecutors win convictions against two Texas men who planned to bomb the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last year.

    The alleged e-mail threat was made Jan. 10. That was two days after one of the men, Bradley Neal Crowder, reached a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in Minneapolis for his role in the plot to build Molotov cocktails and attack the GOP convention in September 2008.

    Crowder, 24, and David Guy McKay, 23, were part of an Austin-based group of activists who came to the Twin Cities to take part in street demonstrations. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the FBI had infiltrated the group with Darby, nationally known for his community activism.

    Crowder and McKay built eight Molotov cocktails but didn't use them, a fact law enforcement officials credited to Darby. However, members of the Austin protest community heaped scorn on Darby, claiming he had betrayed longtime friends and colleagues

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_13148370?IADID=Search-www.twincities.com-www.twincities.com

  • oh no not this again||

    It's been a nice little visit but I think you all are engaging in selfabuse by fighting this battle for the trillionth time. Laters, and smooches to my hick friend.

  • Meta4||

    "Whenever someone comments about how racist America is, I ask which country is less racist?"

    Israel

  • Joe M||

    MNG, we've all heard your talking points about a million times in the last two weeks. This article is pointing out that the facts don't bear out your beliefs.

  • oh no not this again||

    I take credit for chasing John off.

  • ||

    1. There have been highly publicized shootings by a. men who were b. white c. angry d. possessing political views that could reasonably classified as right wing and d. in at least some cases the shooters were plainly motivated in large part by d.

    White men running around killing black people is a pretty rare thing.

    To exaggerate the possibility or to perceive the likelihood as more then the facts show regardless of ones "background" is unreasonable.

    I remember like 2-3 years ago there was a freak out about shark attacks because of a few highly publicized attacks. It was a media fad for some odd reason. to consider yourself at risk for shark attacks is unreasonable. I think you are conflating unreasonable with understandable.

    It is understandable that there are stupid people who will see those media reports and get bat shit scared, but it is not reasonable for them to get scared.

    Being reasonable is not a cultural phenomena or a popularity contest. The majority public view is not the reasonable stance.

  • PR||

    Being reasonable is not a cultural phenomena or a popularity contest. The majority public view is not the reasonable stance.

    close enough. I'm drinking.

  • ||

    I'm not wrong though, I don't have the inclination to engage in mind numbing repetitive labor arguing the same partison point with you because you can't look beyond team republican.

    The fact that you are on a libertarian board, arguing with everyone here as if they were rooting for "team republican" (and mainly by way of snark rather than serious commentary) merely shows that your are a "team democrat" partisan hack.

  • ||

    I think you are conflating unreasonable with understandable.

    I think you are conflating reasonable with understandable.

  • ||

    close enough. I'm drinking.

    No....my statement did not contain "for a magazine called Reason.."!!!

    you lose all your cows!

  • Meta4||

    "What kind of assholes are you people? Seriously."

    Well armed, Second Ammendment, Freedom loving people. Or in MNGspeak, assholes.

  • Meta4||

    "I'm not wrong though, I don't have the inclination to engage in mind numbing repetitive labor arguing the same partison point with you because you can't look beyond team republican."

    Shut the Fuck Up, Tony!

  • Enyap||

    "And the aerobics class shooter is seen by many as having strong right wing views..."

    Because right wing extremist are known for their strong anti aerobics views. I thought I already called you out on this bullshit a awhile back, learn the differences between views and motives.

  • T||

    Well armed, Second Ammendment, Freedom loving people. Or in MNGspeak, assholes.

    Wait, don't we have to bring up the "deserving poor" before we can be declared asshole?

  • oh no not this again||

    Poor silly hazel, I was merely talking about John. Snark is all I have for obtuse angry people who like their two party cousins, nurse their beliefs to punish those they don't like. I don't expect you to understand that, and after seeing many of your replies over my reason reading lifetime, I'm not surprised.

  • Meta4||

    "oh no not this again"

    My, my, my. What a self-fulfilling handle.

  • ||

    Hazel,

    Don't engage the troll.

  • ||

    Poor silly hazel, I was merely talking about John. Snark is all I have for obtuse angry people who like their two party cousins, nurse their beliefs to punish those they don't like. I don't expect you to understand that, and after seeing many of your replies over my reason reading lifetime, I'm not surprised.

    Tony i think you would be hard pressed to find a self identified libertarian here who agrees with you about John hackness.

    Or sees you as nothing more then a hack.

    Your brilliance you bestow on yourself is unseen by the rest of us.

  • ||

    Or sees you as nothing more then a hack.

    Crap!!

    having trouble today with negatives and positives.

    Or sees you as anything other then a hack

  • ||

    People like oh no not this again make me wonder what it really is like on the liberal sites. Do they really just sit around and smell their own farts?

  • oh no not this again||

    You would know John since you're such an expert on them

  • ||

    The difference between reasonable and understandable, and between views and motives don't mean a damn thing to the mouth breathers that get their govt info from the MSM. If you believe this Even if no one had brought a gun to any rally, the Democrats would be exhibiting the exact same amount of fearmongering about the possibility of violence based on the fury of the protests alone. to be true, you have to be able to comprehend that if you show up at a rally with a gun, the MSM is gonna paint you as a dangerous loon.
    At some point you have to use your huge intellect to arrive at a reasonable understanding that your actions in a public venue, even though within your rights and protected by law, will have an almost immediate affect on politics. Is it right? nope. Will the MSM make it appear however they see fit? Every fucking time.

  • oh no not this again ||

    Blackadder you spineless rightwing goon

  • Sean W. Malone||

    MNG... Why do you keep hammering on your completely silly point that the scary people have the common threads:

    A. Men
    B. White
    C. Angry
    D. Right-Wing

    ?

    It's clearly a low risk, if a risk at all, and it's strange since people continually point out the much more egregious acts of violence by people of any gender (though still mostly men, let's be honest, men are more violent than women overall... whoops), any race (as TAO pointed out, you're much more statistically likely to be killed by a black gang member than a New Hampshire protester with a holstered pistol out in the open anyway...), and quite often on the "left"!

    Do we just write off Greenpeace, Black Panthers, Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, Weather Underground... G8 protesters, World Bank protesters...?


    I don't get it... How can you blatantly ignore all of these things and keep trying to defend the unwarranted fear of people like William Kostric who's neither "right wing" or enraged?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "People like oh no not this again make me wonder what it really is like on the liberal sites. Do they really just sit around and smell their own farts?"



    From every experience I've ever had with them... Yes they do.

  • Mike M.||

    Second, I think people are starting to feel they were lied to in the election and are starting to get pretty angry about it.

    This alone is the single biggest reason why here in Virginia, which has been clearly trending more democratic in the last few years, McDonnell is going to obliterate Deeds this November for the governorship.

    The large independent presence in this state made the mistake of believing the propaganda campaign put out by Obama and his worshippers in the dominant media, and now they're pissed off.

    People will tend forgive a lot of things, but everyone detests being played for a sucker.

  • ||

    bb,

    I'm fine with suggesting that they don't show up with a gun; I'd 86 the Hitler/Nazi/Stalin posters and comparisons as well. But I don't run the protests. (No one does, despite the massively hypocritical astroturf bullshit coming from the left.)

    That the MSM is going to be a jackass to "right-wing" protesters doesn't excuse them every time they are, in fact, being jackasses. All I was saying is that the guns are red herring. Remove the guns from the equations and the objections would be just as hyperbolic and disingenuous.

    Hyperbole feeds on itself. Once it is consistently deployed on both sides, actual debate is impossible. That's I'm a staunch poxer.

  • !</ </a>||

    "It's hardly 1968 out there. Not that certain lefty pundits wouldn't cream their jeans if one of those scary, gun-toting protesters accidently discharged his weapon in a crowd."

    Quit picking on the Black Panthers! They were community organizers.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Wait... is Oh No Not This Again officially Tony?

  • ||

    "That's why I'm a staunch poxer."

    Stupid work distractions.

  • ||

    Here Suge, lemme loan you a "why."

  • ||

    People like oh no not this again make me wonder what it really is like on the liberal sites. Do they really just sit around and smell their own farts?


    Kind of. It's usually one huge circle-jerk, if that's what you're saying. Slight discussions arise between liberals who are absolutely batshit insane, and liberals who are just a little crazy... that's about it, though. And that's excluding Huffington Post, which is basically the Fox News of liberal media. Talk about a giant piss-fest.

  • J B Babscock||

    MNG... Why do you keep hammering on your completely silly point that the scary people have the common threads:

    After seeing American History X twenty some times the idea has become stuck in his head.

    Poor fella, next time you think of Edward Norton, flash a pin light into your eyes off and on several times. Over time that burn those associations out of your brain.

    Have some faith, you will get better.

  • Xeones||

    I'm surprised the question on everybody's mind has not been asked yet:

    Would you rather live in Gaza, or at a town hall meeting?

  • ||

    the MSM is gonna paint you as a dangerous loon.

    I don't think there really is an MSM anymore...Fox consistently kicks the shit out of other networks cable or otherwise.

    What is MSM anymore? CNN NYT and NPR?

    Can they really be called main stream now?

    The left have retreated to their blogs and conservatives have gone on to fox news and Rush....the growing independent center watches it all and in the case of Racism/healthcare they are choosing the Fox/Rush line of thinking.

    I mean do you honestly think your average American is not apprehensive about health care today? and do you not think them hearing that they are racists for not being 100% is not seen as the snow job that it is?

  • ||

    "Kind of. It's usually one huge circle-jerk, if that's what you're saying. Slight discussions arise between liberals who are absolutely batshit insane, and liberals who are just a little crazy... that's about it, though. And that's excluding Huffington Post, which is basically the Fox News of liberal media. Talk about a giant piss-fest."

    That is why I like Hit and Run. People on here don't always agree. And they generally make arguments. Outside of the Radley Balko dog shooting cop posts where everyone just howls in outrage, there is almost always legitimate disagreement on every thread.

  • J B Babscock||

    Mr. Ben,

    Can you lend me a 'will'?

  • ||

    HE SAID WILL! HE SAID WILL. I NEED AN ADULT I NEED AN ADULT!

  • ||

    I mean do you honestly think your average American is not apprehensive about health care today? and do you not think them hearing that they are racists for not being 100% is not seen as the snow job that it is?


    Actually, when Americans are asked if they'll accept higher taxes for universal coverage, it's more or less a 50-50 split. I don't have the poll data, but I think Greg Mankiw posted it on his blog a while ago.

  • ||

    It says plenty about the dominant political party's sore-winner instincts

    Busted out laughing when I read this ...

  • ||

    Would you rather live in Gaza, or at a town hall meeting?

    Gaza, please.

  • oh no not this again||

    Daniel, I think you are making the same mistake as John and confusing circle jerk leftists with feminists. Sean, seen any dropping productivity lately.

  • J B Babscock ||

    Why are all those kids running away, yelling
    STRANGER! DANGER! ??

    Oh, my fly is open. Barbra forgot to close up shop after our quickie this morning.

  • ||

    Would you rather live in Gaza, or at a town hall meeting?

    Neither, please. Both are full of self-pitying entitlement addicts.

  • ||

    My apologies Babs, I thought you were part of death panel.

  • ||

    "People like oh no not this again make me wonder what it really is like on the liberal sites. Do they really just sit around and smell their own farts?"

    Liberal sites exist so that people like Tony and "oh no not this again" can sit around congratulating eachother on their moral rectitude.

    So yeah, they pretty much smell their own farts, and comment on their respective rosiness.

  • Meta4||

    "Wait... is Oh No Not This Again officially Tony?"

    Seems so.

  • Meta4||

    "What is MSM anymore? CNN NYT and NPR?"

    MSNBC

  • ||

    Wait, don't we have to bring up the "deserving poor" before we can be declared asshole?

    Well, we really should spend some of that stimulus money on building new bridges.

    Poor people deserve a place where they can sleep out of the rain.


    *goes back to work*

  • Oh No NotThisAgainofficiallyTo||

    Doubtful. Tony has a plodding writing style. Neither the skill nor talent to change it to the drastic extent to suit oh no not this again's more meandering approach.

  • ||

    Actually, when Americans are asked if they'll accept higher taxes for universal coverage, it's more or less a 50-50 split. I don't have the poll data, but I think Greg Mankiw posted it on his blog a while ago.

    what do you mean by awhile ago? Cuz the last 1-3 weeks has seen a sea change and the racist claims are less then a 2 weeks old.

    and a 50-50 split for universal health care question is different then other polls that ask questions about single payer and public option and support for the current plan....getting into the grit of this current proposal the split is not 50-50

  • J B Babscock ||

    My apologies Babs, I thought you were part of death panel.

    S'alright. Palin ain't anything that I would want to be nailin'.

  • ||

    P Brooks, with the exception of the bridge that the child molesters live under of course.

  • ||

    Pretty good till you mentioned the Sotomoyor thing. Her comments were clearly racist, and she never should have been approved. But, the typical liberal double standard was applied.

  • Xeones||

    Outside of the Radley Balko dog shooting cop posts where everyone just howls in outrage, there is almost always legitimate disagreement on every thread.

    No there's not. Shut the fuck up, John.

    (kidding)

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "Sean, seen any dropping productivity lately."

    Sure have... The fact that you don't in the midst of a global recession is surprising. As is your obvious lack of having ever heard (or understood) the term "Inflation".

  • ||

    I have suspicions about "oh no not this again"'s identity. And it isn't Tony. It's a woman, I think. Only a woman or a gay man would enjoy being bitchiness for it's own sake to this extent.

  • Xeones||

    On the other hand, Hazel, Tony IS a bitchy gay man.

  • ||

    Hazel, tony is a gay man.

    Sean W. Malone, my son was layed off, along with a couple dozen others, from the local Wal-Mart distribution center. Tha, to me, is a huge indicator.

  • J B Babscock ||

    I mean have you seen Palin in a pair of jeans? Skinny thing is like a pair of toothpicks. Not like my Barbra with her hour glass figure and cute rump.

  • ||

    T T T T T , crap.

  • Xeones||

    I don't think Tony is oh no not this again, though. oh no's writing style (or lack thereof) has a lot more in common with the likes of concerned observer, though that's not a perfect match either.

  • Meta4||

    "Doubtful. Tony has a plodding writing style. Neither the skill nor talent to change it to the drastic extent to suit oh no not this again's more meandering approach."

    STFU, Tony!

  • ||

    If anyone is keeping score, the only town hall violence or real in-your-face intimidation thus far is from union thugs being astroturfed to town halls by the Left.

  • ||

    Wow. I didn't realize he's come out of the closet, but it does kinda fit.
    Still don't think he's "oh no" though.
    "Oh no" is much too content free and frivilous.

  • T||

    Sean W. Malone, my son was layed off, along with a couple dozen others, from the local Wal-Mart distribution center. Tha, to me, is a huge indicator.

    Ahh, the age old difference between a recession
    and a depression.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    If "Oh No" is actually Tony, that totally changes my opinion of Tony. Stupid, sure... Ignorant, definitely. One of the least capable intellects I've encountered, yah.

    But I'd at least assumed that he meant what he said. If he's adopting another handle to troll more obnoxiously that just makes him a coward and an embarrassment.


    Anyway - I only "engaged" said troll for one reason... The other day, I tried to explain how legislation, especially that intended to "help the poor" almost invariably hurts productivity and thus hurts the opportunities for the poor. He then claimed that that had never happened. I thought about slapping my forehead over it, but realized that even that would be too much effort to put into the fool.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "my son was layed off, along with a couple dozen others, from the local Wal-Mart distribution center. Tha, to me, is a huge indicator."

    When Wal-Mart is laying people off due to economic conditions, yah, that is a big indicator. And of course you (and everyone else with half a brain) understands that that is the real-world result of lowered productivity. Fewer goods are being produced & sold per capita... Oh Noez' fantasy world really perplexed me the other day.

    Also - I should say - "Recession" and "Depression" are actually identical things, synonymous also with "Panic". Our government has changed the words used over the years simply to avoid the same fear-inducing connotations. After the Great Depression, we quit calling them depressions and started calling them "recessions".

  • !</ </a>||

    I have suspicions about "oh no not this again"'s identity. And it isn't Tony. It's a woman, I think. Only a woman or a gay man would enjoy being bitchiness for it's own sake to this extent.

    So it's SugarFree?

  • ||

    Where's Reinmoose?!

    (I would get a t-shirt with that on it if anyone would get it. Ah, hell, maybe it's better if no one gets it.)

  • ||

    So it's SugarFree?

    Well, "!" can't be "oh no not again." He or she actually used a punctuation mark.

  • ||

    There have been some high moderate publicity cases recently of very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views union membership shooting beating up places and people. Then these very angry white men motivated by strong right-wing views union membership start showing up places and acting all angry. While the conclusion that all angry white men motivated by strong right wing views union membership are going to erupt in violence is faulty logic, you can certainly see where it's coming from, can't you?

    Can you, MNG?

  • Paul||

    By the way, beautiful Article, Mr. Welch. Just wanted to give my props...

  • !</ </a>||

    By the way, beautiful Article, Mr. Welch. Just wanted to give my props...

    Me too and my blogger buddy Suki already linked to it on http://sukiproject.blogspot.com/

  • Neu Mejican||

    What is MSM anymore? CNN NYT and NPR?

    That would be NPR. Their listenership is around 13 million. Fox gets all excited when the crack 2 million.

    Regarding the "angry white men" meme running through this thread...

    I have been around guns and angry people most of my life (it's a New Mexico thing), and it is not just reasonable, but understandable to be concerned over people who are BOTH armed and angry. It matters not their political views, their gender, or their race. Armed and drunk is another one to watch out for.

    Someone above pointed out that you should be more concerned about those who conceal their weapons. I would like LarryA to respond. I am far less concerned about the guy whose gun I can see than the guy whose gun I can't see, but that is because I have been around guns a lot and know the character of those who open-carry versus those who carry concealed (none with a concealed carry license, which makes a difference). Those who use their weapons offensively rather than defensively are far more likely to conceal their weapons, in my experience.

  • hmm||

    The only violence here was perpetrated by union members supporting the plan. While I think it shows a mentality of the unions, I wouldn't prescribe such actions to everyone who wants the current healthcare plan.

    I can't see the federal abuses occurring in the 90s that spurred a violent reaction by some in the militia movement happening again. I don't trust the assclowns leading, but dare I say I have faith they won't repeat Reno's hideous mistakes. That said if they do I think the public reaction will be worse than the 90s.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The news hour can probably be considered MSM as well. It gets a solid 3 million a night.

  • hmm||

    That would be NPR. Their listenership is around 13 million. Fox gets all excited when the crack 2 million.

    That looks like a weekly listenership compared to daily listenership.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Do we just write off Greenpeace, Black Panthers, Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, Weather Underground... G8 protesters, World Bank protesters...?

    A nitpick here: ALF and ELF both have very clear "policies" that every action they take must include extreme care to avoid direct or indirect injury to any person.

    Their violence is aimed solely at property. Fire, however, is a pretty dangerous toy and they are lucky no one has ever been hurt.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Fine Neu; but it's not like their actions haven't resulted in deaths, and property damage may not be as dramatic, but it ruins a lot of lives... Destroying medical research facilities hurts even more people.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hmmm...

    Unless I am mis-remembering (I could be) that is the daily listenership.

    PBS Newshour gets 8 million unique viewers a week, 3 million a day.

    Just did some quick googling...looks like NPR gets 13 million a day, when you combine Morning Edition and All Things Considered. So they are still in the 6-7 million a day range.

    I guess that means that Rush Limbaugh (13 million) is the MSM.

  • ||

    Wait... is Oh No Not This Again officially Tony?

    Maybe but I doubt it.

    Tony tries to compensate for incoherence with word count.

    ONNTA's incoherence is brief.

  • ||

    I can't see the federal abuses occurring in the 90s that spurred a violent reaction by some in the militia movement happening again.

    I can. The very fact that they are beating the drums about right-wing militia activity itself increases the likelihood that they will happen.

    You can't have your police forces getting all paranoid about militia nuts and not expect them to occasionally overreact.

    What's worse is that this time around, it's linked into political activism. The Clintonites never went around deliberately attemting to smear their opponents as militia nuts. The Obamanoids, on the other hand, seem to believe it is a most useful tactic.

    I wouldn't be surprised if some poor smuck at a townhall meeting ended up getting shot by a secret service agent because someone "informed" on them as a right-wing militia member.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean W. Malone | August 25, 2009, 4:06pm | #
    Fine Neu; but it's not like their actions haven't resulted in deaths,...


    [citation needed]

    I am pretty sure there have been no deaths.
    But maybe I missed something.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    He was saying that destruction of research labs indirectly causes deaths.

  • Neu Mejican||

    TAO,

    Perhaps. Hard to prove that one.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I could be wrong about specifically attributable deaths, but I did discover a disturbing trend of using car bombs and such:

    ALF Revolutionary Cells

    "In September 2003, the RCALB took responsibility for another bombing, this time at the offices of Shaklee Inc. in Pleasanton, California. Shaklee was targeted because its parent company, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical, does business with HLS.[5] The attackers are said to be linked to Daniel San Diego, who was featured on America's Most Wanted and has been placed on the FBI's most wanted.[3][9] A statement was again released from the group to Bite Back this time also including their manifesto.[16][1] It was thought the bomb was this intended to cause harm, as nails flew out "at a speed of 100 miles an hour", although again no one was harmed.[3]"



    "On June 24, 2007, an explosive device was placed under a car belonging to Arthur Rosenbaum, a pediatric ophthalmologist who carries out animal experimentation with cats and rhesus monkeys at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. The device failed to explode because of a faulty fuse, but was still claimed by the Animal Liberation Brigade who called for "an end to systematic violence and oppression"."




    Since the organizations are deliberately "leaderless", it's hard to get a read on who actually has been physically harmed or murdered by these people, but I'd say it's a fair bet that the number is > 0.

    You don't get to be excused for planting a car bomb designed to murder a researcher just cause the bomb failed to detonate.

  • hmm||

    Unless I am mis-remembering (I could be) that is the daily listenership.

    It's also a bit of apples to oranges. Fox radio is a network and NPR is a syndicator like Premiere. If you compare NPR to Fox personalities in syndication it gets slaughtered. Beck pulls 7-8 per show, but is not on Fox's network radio. He is syndicated with Premier along with Hannity and other conservative radio personalities, which are both affiliated with Fox.

    I was just pointing out a false comparison. It would be more appropriate per the discussion to compare Premier, who syndicates a ton of conservative radio and NPR. In which case NPR looks like a gold fish in an ocean. Someone has to set the Faux news crowd straight.

  • hmm||

    *Premiere

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And regardless, the lack of deaths on the myriad counts of Arson with such groups I think are dumb luck more than anything else. Especially considering many of the places they target are research facilities with dangerous and/or pressurized chemicals laying about.

  • hmm||

    Fuckin radio ratings are more confusing than TV.

  • Mike M.||

    That would be NPR. Their listenership is around 13 million. Fox gets all excited when the crack 2 million.

    Yet oddly, you would think that Fox holds sway over the entire country from the way Barack Obama and many liberals talk about them.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "The news hour can probably be considered MSM as well. It gets a solid 3 million a night."

    Deservedly so.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "MSM" I think is just a blanket term for the old dinosaurs that used to completely dominate the media, but who's shitty reporting and obvious (but never admitted) bias has become all too clear in the year of the interwebz.

    I think Rush coined the term, but I mean, that guy's been on the air for 20 years. So when he started, he was truly a lone voice in opposition and it made sense. Now that he's got some 100s of millionz of dollars and a "golden microphone" or whatever, it doesn't make that much sense, but it's the term we're stuck with for now.

  • hmm||

    NPR isn't that high up the ladder. Clear Channel is a beast when it comes to radio.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hmmm...,

    Well, again I would have to confirm this, but the top three radio programs a couple of years ago were, in order...

    1) Rush
    2) Morning Edition
    3) All Things Considered

    Since Rush is not a news program, then we are left with NPR news being the largest news program out there. Beck, if that 7-8 is true has a similarly sized audience, but is clearly, like Rush, not a news program.

  • Neu Mejican||

    If we go with "NPR" programming, it looks like it gets between 20-30 million a WEEK.

    The most current numbers I can find give Morning Edition and All Things Considered 20 Million DAILY, with weekly numbers approaching 30 Million.

  • Neu Mejican||

    So, it sounds like NPR has around 10-20 million faithful news listeners with another 10 million who listen regularly.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Since the organizations are deliberately "leaderless", it's hard to get a read on who actually has been physically harmed or murdered by these people, but I'd say it's a fair bet that the number is > 0.

    You don't get to be excused for planting a car bomb designed to murder a researcher just cause the bomb failed to detonate.


    Indeed. I do note that this is the ALB, not the ALF. They probably changed the name because they were willing to use violence and felt like the ALF were too concerned about the other side.

    Sort of like the IRA and "The REAL IRA."
    Do you get to count REAL IRA violence as IRA violence?

    Point being, of course, that there are thugs on both sides and people are far more willing to attribute thugness to the other side without looking at the details.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed - according to their literature-

    ALB: Avoid harm to "non-targets."

    ALF: Avoid harm to "any animal, human or non-human."

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yeah, I don't know Neu... Just seems like when you have to parse nomenclature like that it gets to the "splitting hairs" level of distinction-making.

    As if the leaders of the IRA or ALF don't know what their more radical counterparts are up to. Sure they can't publicly condone it, but at the risk of making broad assumptions, I have to imagine many of those guys are supporting the more criminal element at least opportunistically.

    I forget who the guy was off the top of my head (was on the "PETA" episode of Bullshit!), but PETA has given large sums of money to known/convicted arsonists... Sure, there's a wink & a nudge that PETA itself doesn't support that kind of thing, but privately they gave like $40,000 to a guy who did what they couldn't be caught doing.

  • ||

    Why does the media portray racial tension as between whites and everyone else. White guilt? Too much gated community living? Are there some crime statistics that support this? During my interactions with various groups, there is one universal and this isn't it.

  • Oh no not this again||

    I must have done something right, cause i got banned. Now who did it? I'm leaning Matt Welch, but my evidence is sketchy. I did point out that Reason seems to serve as his platform to bash newspapers/print more times than is healthy, maybe a bad employment experience? Who knows! This article is also by Mr. Welch, and i wasn't shy about how weak i thought it was. Tacitly defending republican/protester rage at a townhall is weak sauce if you don't want to be considered right wing in that way...lol. If you guys want to defend people who bring guns to political events, so be it, but don't be nonplussed when it gets thrown back in your face. Especially when you're afraid of union thugs going door to door with...OH MY GOD DUCK...cards. You sound ridiculous, sorry if that bugs you to the point of banning, but there it is. As a former customer, an unhappy one at that, i think the direction, or lack of it, of this magazine has been dressed in hysteria and partisan rhetoric, and accomplished nothing. It simply mirrors and provides validation to the lowest of the fellow travelers who come slinking here from Townhall.com and NRO seeking new quasi rightwing talking and nodding buddies. Who are scared because someone else is using all their rhetorical/partisan tricks against them, and all they know how to do is yell socialist, and flee the room. Your magazine Just think, if one black man with dubious left wing origins as president can bring out this much bile from Reason, imagine what several black men of dubious leftist origins can do.

    You've gone from "What Recession," to "it's the fault of the socialist black wizard and his little union henchmen.

    Now sean, the other day you made a general blanket statement, in all caps i think, saying all kinds of lefty shenanigans has caused productivity to be in the shitter. I see that you are qualifying your statement now, but sadly, you're still a punk. Productivity has been anal fucking, while doing a reach around for a number of years now, quite a productive performance. Workers, no matter what there capacity have been working harder. Technology, and what not have also contributed to this. I don't think consumption explicitly has anything to do with increasing productivity, but decreasing consumption has everything to do with walmart laying people off. The longer it takes to rehire only means they still have a shit load of inventory, from what, being overly productive.

    You all enjoy yourselves, i doubt if any of you are going anywhere soon, but let me end with a simple REASON SUCKS, and have a nice day.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yeah, I don't know Neu... Just seems like when you have to parse nomenclature like that it gets to the "splitting hairs" level of distinction-making.

    Well, I don't know that it is splitting hairs to make a distinction between a group that condones violence and one that doesn't. It seems like the point of the discussion above. If everyone who carries a gun and believes in small government is the same, then we should lump the militia nuts in with the libertarians who don't condone coercion in any form.

    Right?

    I was just pointing out that you included in YOUR LIST of violent left-wing groups at least two that are EXPRESSLY NON-VIOLENT.

  • OH no not this again||

    POINT OF INTEREST

    What do these two violent leftwing groups have to do with Obama and healthcare reform.

  • Oh no not this again||

    This is so much easier when not using a blackberry.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Sure looks like you got banned Oh Noez... How does a "banned" person keep posting, I wonder? I guess it's cause Matt Welch changed his mind.

    "Now sean, the other day you made a general blanket statement, in all caps i think, saying all kinds of lefty shenanigans has caused productivity to be in the shitter."

    Because I always type everything in ALL CAPS!!!!ZOMGGGG...

    I also like to only blame "lefty shenanigans" for economic idiocy. Sure sounds like me.


    Neu;

    "Well, I don't know that it is splitting hairs to make a distinction between a group that condones violence and one that doesn't."

    What I'm saying though is that these are organizations which are absolutely violent! They are arsonists, firebombers and vandals at the least. They have repeatedly stolen and destroyed property and been aggressive against people in all sorts of ways from throwing blood and red paint on opera-goers to lighting buildings on fire.

    You can't say that they're non-violent just because one group claims they don't deliberately attack people, all the while bombing laboratories. What I'm saying is, ALF *is* a violent group, ALB takes it one step further. But they're mostly made up of the same people... To pretend that one doesn't have anything to do with the other is just silly.


    Your analogy to libertarianism and some right-wing militia would make sense if libertarians were supporting any aggressive use of force, but we don't - we oppose all forms, including destruction of property & theft.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    I make a distinction between violence against people and violence against property. They are meaningfully different.

    I have already said above that I think the ALF/ELF folks are lucky that they haven't hurt anyone. I do not condone their tactics.

    Your analogy to libertarianism and some right-wing militia would make sense if libertarians were supporting any aggressive use of force, but we don't - we oppose all forms, including destruction of property & theft.

    Libertarianism would support the use of violence to defend others against aggression - and some argue that even property crimes justify a violent response against the aggressor. The militia typically use that type of rhetoric to explain their violence...defense against aggression/theft by the government. I think it is a pretty solid analogy.

    ALF and ELF and even RCALB also believe that they are defending others (sure, sure, you don't recognize the rights of animals, but they do).

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Another way to frame this is in terms of a continuum. Violent libertarians = militia nuts violent animal rights activities = RCALB. The closer you are to the violent pole, the more likely it is that people will confuse you with that pole. So, ALF gets lumped with RCALB, and Greenpeace/PETA gets lumped with ALF, and among sloppy thinkers, the Nature Conservancy is just Sinn Fien to ELF's IRA.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Ok, now you're going off the deep-end. Keep pushing your logic down it's tracks and you wind up defending the actions of arsonists & murderers.

    Not cool.


    If a militia *IS* defending against an aggression of government I do support that, but that's not what we're talking about in all this - we're talking about lynch mobs trolling the streets to find somebody to string up. These are different things. The distinction that always needs to be made here is aggressive use of force vs. defending against force being used against you.

    As far as "defending others" with respect to animals.... C'mon! Are we really going to go down this absurd road?

  • Neu Mejican||

    If a militia *IS* defending against an aggression of government I do support that, but that's not what we're talking about in all this - we're talking about lynch mobs trolling the streets to find somebody to string up.

    Even those mobs typically use the rhetoric of "defense." The question is about when that violence is justified. If the violence is used to "pre-empt" theft or aggression, is it still justified?

    Keep pushing your logic down it's tracks and you wind up defending the actions of arsonists & murderers.

    Slippery Slopes and Plato's Beard...you're smarter than that.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "Violent libertarians = militia nuts violent animal rights activities = RCALB."

    Aggression & defense are not the same thing.

    If you are finding "aggressively violent libertarians", they are negating the non-aggression axiom upon which the entire foundation libertarian philosophy is based. Thus, they cannot properly be considered libertarians, can they?

    They certainly cannot be linked to lynch mobs... These things are antithetical.

    It's not, however, antithetical at all to say that aggressively violent ALF members, destroying property and setting things on fire are on the same continuum as aggressively violent ALB members destroying property, bombing things and murdering people.


    Now... If you can find some libertarian organizations (one lone crazy will not suffice) out there blowing up PETA office buildings out of principle, but expressly stating "we don't condone harm to people". THEN you can put them on a continuum with lynch mobs... Maybe... Assuming said lynch mobs were actually just going after state socialists and government people.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Aggression & defense are not the same thing.


    I believe we will soon be moving into "talking past each other" territory, but I do want to respond to this.

    I think it would be proper to say that defense is a goal, not a means. I am not sure you can so easily encapsulate "aggression." Aggression has a much more instrumental/means sense to it. The best defense is a good offense and all.

    FWIW, the non-aggression principle is held as central to your version of libertarianism, but it is hardly definitional...as I have had many a libertarian explain to me.

  • SIV||

    The last actual lynching in America, depending on who you ask, took place in 1981; the atrocious practice had been all but dead since the 1960s.

    Ask me! The last actual lynching in America was in 1946.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Neu;

    The lynch mob analogy is already breaking down anyway - since we're fundamentally talking about named organizations and not a random quasi-riot of angry people. But beyond that, I find your whole characterization insulting.

    This is absurd:
    violent libertarians ---> violent militias
    violent animal rights activities ---> RCALB


    1: Aggression & Defense are different. Violence is merely a means to one of those two ends.
    2: There is no such thing as an aggressively violent "libertarian", that in and of itself is a contradiction. Thus a whole militia made up of people aggressing against others is non-libertarian at root.

    So in the first pairing, you're talking about 2, possibly 3 different things, one of which can't exist...

    In the second pairing, you're talking about one continuum that does already exist on the same plane.

    It needs to be redone:

    Aggressors who use violence only against property:
    ALF
    Abortion Clinic Bombers (who specifically avoid killing doctors/patients, etc.)

    Aggressors who use violence against both property & people:
    ALB
    Guy who killed George Tiller

    SO:
    ALF --> ALB
    Abortion Bomber --> George Tiller Murderer


    That's a correct analogy... But you first have to recognize that aggression or defense matters. If you don't, then you could wind up with this:

    ALF --> ALB --> Ted Kaczynski
    Mall Cop --> Police Officer --> Military

    Doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And we're working with "my" definition of libertarianism - which is to say, that of Hayek, Friedman, Rothbard, Walter Block, Mises, Nozick, Machan, etc.

  • highnumber||

    The last actual lynching in America was in 1946.



    Of course, we could ask other people...what about this?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Reading about that Byrd case made me rather sick just now... Thanks highnumber. Asshole.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    As long as we are staying some firmly in the semantic realm. We agree that there is a difference between aggression and defense. There is also a difference between violence and aggression. If you want to lump greenpeace and ALF together with RCALB because they are all aggressive, okay, but RCALB is the only violent organization we've talked about so far. And you were very comfortable lumping the non-violent groups in with them.

    AND if you want to you can restrict "libertarian" to "non-aggressive." IF we agree to that definition, you get to pull libertarians off of the continuum I proposed. However, this started off using the terms "right wing" versus "left wing." I used the term "violent libertarian" to indicate "violent advocate of smaller government."

    IF we define the left wing as those that advocate more government, and those on the right as those who advocate less, then libertarians are in the same "small government camp" as the small government militia. They are not, however, on the violent pole because of the non-aggression doctrine. The continuum is defined by "degree of aggression allowed." The problem I have been trying to point out is to conflate the "small government/large government" continuum with the "advocates violence continuum."

    You conflated the two when you listed explicitly non-violent groups along with violent groups just because they were on the left.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Ok, how the hell do you not consider BOMBING buildings and cars non-violent?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Oops, meant to hit preview.

    The problem I have been trying to point out is to you shouldn't conflate the "small government/large government" continuum with the "advocates violence continuum."

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "IF we define the left wing as those that advocate more government, and those on the right as those who advocate less, then libertarians are in the same "small government camp" as the small government militia."

    If we did this, that would be one of the silliest ways to define the political spectrum ever thus devised.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I'm giving you that one as a mulligan, because if you want to define left wing as +government, then Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Franco, Hirohito, etc. wind up all being extreme leftists...

    Alternatively, Marx (in theory anyway) winds up being on the "right" since ultimately he wanted no government.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Again, I think you need to make a distinction between violence against people and violence against property.

    Violent = hurt people
    Destructive = hurt things

    Or something along those lines. I thought we covered this already.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Well, as every 12 year old knows, that continuum is a circle.

    So, then, define "left" for me since you introduced the term.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    (I feel compelled to note that Marx philosophy explicitly wanted a massive state as an "intermediary" to redistribute the balance of power and destroy capitalism and he proposed no meaningful way of reducing the state after that point to get to his "ideal" state of anarchy... But I don't really want to go down the road of the plethora of internal contradictions of Marxism)

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Ok...

    Here.

  • MNG||

    "Why do you keep hammering on your completely silly point that the scary people have the common threads:

    A. Men
    B. White
    C. Angry
    D. Right-Wing"

    Uhh, because those are the characteristics of several high profile people who, when combined with guns, became deadly shooters in the past year? SO when someone with all of those characterstics comes to a public event with a GUN and a sign saying essentially "IT'S TIME FOR FOLKS TO START DYING VIOLENT DEATHS" then yeah, I don't think people are stark raving mad to get nervous.

    I mean, you people kill me. I have to say that ANYONE showing up at a public event like this with a gun and a sign like that is enough to make someone say "Holy shit this guy could be Travis Bickle."

    Everyone who has disgree has conveniently left out some crucial fact, like the gun and the sign! You know, the lil' things...

  • Neu Mejican||

    And Sean,

    Please recognize that I recognize that politics is not a uni-dimensional animal. The left/right terms are most typically used as quick short hand for imprecise terms like "liberal" and "conservative" or what not. Many libertarians get miffed when they are placed with the right do to their small government stance, while getting lumped with the left due to their social tolerance. I recognize that.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You realize you just contradicted yourself, right?

    "Again, I think you need to make a distinction between violence against people and violence against property.

    Violent = hurt people
    Destructive = hurt things"

    Violence against people OR stuff is still violence. You can call it "destruction" if you want, but violence a la dictionary is:

    1 a : exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in warfare effecting illegal entry into a house)

    Violence is physical force, what it's directed at isn't irrelevant, of course, but if you're on the continuum of violent actions you start at people's stuff and move on to the people themselves.

    Is it somehow non-violent of a wife-beater to break plates & throw lamps so long as he's not actually hitting the wife (yet)?


  • MNG||

    "On July 27, 2008, a politically motivated[1][2] fatal shooting took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Motivated by a desire to kill liberals and Democrats, gunman Jim David Adkisson fired a shotgun at members of the congregation during a youth performance of a musical, killing two people and wounding seven others."

    "Adkisson, a former private in the United States Army from 1974 to 1977, says that he was motivated by hatred of liberalism and by extension homosexuality.[7][1][8] According to a sworn affidavit by one of the officers who interviewed Adkisson on July 27, 2008:[2]

    "During the interview Adkisson stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of major media outlets. Adkisson made statements that because he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them into office. Adkisson stated that he had held these beliefs for about the last ten years."

    So yeah, when a guy who hates liberals shows up with a gun and a sign about the need for some folks to start dying violent deaths at a public event featuring a liberal leader, one wonders how anyone could be upset over that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoxville_Unitarian_Universalist_church_shooting

    I can't believe we are even having this conversation. Do you people know people outside of your basement/apartments?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Okay. I think that is a pretty simplistic model. No more accurate than the one I proposed.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    gah... tag fail sorry:

    You realize you just contradicted yourself, right?

    "Again, I think you need to make a distinction between violence against people and violence against property.

    Violent = hurt people
    Destructive = hurt things"



    Violence against people OR stuff is still violence. You can call it "destruction" if you want, but violence a la dictionary is:

    1 a : exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in warfare effecting illegal entry into a house)

    Violence is physical force, what it's directed at isn't irrelevant, of course, but if you're on the continuum of violent actions you start at people's stuff and move on to the people themselves.

    Is it somehow non-violent of a wife-beater to break plates & throw lamps so long as he's not actually hitting the wife (yet)?

  • Craig||

    How can the protesters be brownshirts? I thought the brownshirts were the ones backing the exalted leader, and shouting down or intimidating anyone who dared criticized him. Wouldn't calling anyone with a legitimate complaint against socializing medicine, record overspending, or destroying the currency through inflation a racist nutjob qualify?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    It's a thousand times more accurate than the one you proposed!

    Left = More Statism
    Right = Less Statism

    When has that EVER been true??

    That's just absurd. And I'm being incredibly charitable to the left! Because in your model, you (on the "left") get 100% of the dictators of the world. You get 0% of the private actors who have done their work without the state.

  • hmm||

    It's not the crazy right wingers we need to worry about in these parts. It's the fucking local Democratic strategists.

  • MNG||

    Let's not forget big Alex Jones fan Richard Poplawski, defender of gun rights and opponent of the fed, when not shooting 3 cops!

  • Neu Mejican||

    Violence is physical force, what it's directed at isn't irrelevant, of course, but if you're on the continuum of violent actions you start at people's stuff and move on to the people themselves.

    No. The most relevant factor to consider is what it is directed at. I have been very consistent in claiming that there is a meaningful distinction between violence against people and violence against property. I think you have entered "win the argument mode."

    So, let's back up to the original point, which was a nitpick. I think you were unfair to try and use those who perpetrate violence against property as an example that was somehow equivalent to the violence against people that MNG was citing. They are not equivalent. If you think they are, I find your moral compass seriously off kilter.

    So, yes, the man who throws a plate at the wall is not a "wife beater." The man who beats his wife is. To conflate the two is sloppy thinking.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Would you rather live in Gaza, or at a town hall meeting?"

    That's a choice?

  • Neu Mejican||

    It's a thousand times more accurate than the one you proposed!

    Let see. We've identified 3 dimensions, and your definition uses 2 while mine used 1. Yep, that's A THOUSAND TIMES more accurate.

    For what it is worth, the up-down dimension on your grid is redundant. It is encapsulated in the left right dimension as defined by the descriptions.

  • MNG||

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1902189,00.html

    And good old government hating Scott Roeder!

    "Early reports on Roeder, who was taken into custody shortly after the shooting and is expected to be charged Tuesday, show a history of antiabortion, antigovernment philosophy and protest."

    I mean, why WOULD anyone worry about an angry right wing guy with a gun carrying a sign extolling violent deaths of folks, it's not like such folks have recently been involved in high profile shootings lately!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I don't particularly think that left vs. right is a good dichotomy to begin with, but it makes far more sense if you talk about it in terms of what's community vs. individual focused.

    The "left" in the US anyway, then gets "civil liberties"; free speech, government/society stays out of sex, lifestyle choices, etc. - BUT restricts "economic liberties"

    The community controls "economic" decisions, businesses, etc., the individual controls lifestyle choices.

    The right is the reverse of that.

    In either case - people on the right or left can hold varying degrees of statism - thus both the right & left can advocate more government intrusion into people's lives (and do).

    The reality is the left/right distinction is made more and more awkward by both groups wanting more and more authoritarian control - and as you note with the Nolan Chart, the liberty vs. authoritarian dimension means that the more authoritarian control you take, the fewer economic OR personal liberties people are allowed to maintain.

    In reality of course, economic vs. personal freedom are the same thing and just reverse sides of the same coin.... But ugh... your left vs. right line was just childish.

  • MNG||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh#Political_beliefs

    "McVeigh self-identified as a libertarian in a statement that was reported by MSNBC.com and The Washington Post;[11] and while in federal prison, he voted for Libertarian candidate Harry Browne in the 1996 United States presidential election"

    Oh SNAP!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Is this really the first time you've seen a Nolan Chart, Neu!?


    No, the up-down dimension is NOT redundant at all, in fact it's the more valid of the two distinctions.

    Republicans (rightists?) and Democrats (leftists?) are both incredibly pro-state control in the US, are they not? The D's focus most of their control on businesses (economic liberty) and the right on the private lives of individuals (personal liberty), but BOTH use the state coercisvely.

    Your definition of L vs. R fails miserably from the get go because if it were accurate the Republicans wouldn't do any interfering at all and the Dems wouldn't have their (undeserved) appearance of supporting civil rights.

  • MNG||

    Sean
    Libertarians believe in using the state coercively too.

    I'm betting if someone squatted on my land you'd be all for the police "coercing" his ass off of it.

    Libertarians, liberals and conservatives disagree over what and how much coercion should go on. But this whole idea that you guys are pure of coercion is horseshit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    No. It is not the first time I have seen the Nolan chart. It's been a long time, however, as it is too cartoonish for my tastes.

    You are incorrect. The "statism" thing is redundant to the "community controls" aspect of the left right dimension. You even point that out in your attempt to clarify.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You can "Oh SNAP!" all you want MNG, but if libertarian is defined as adherents of the idea that no human may initiate physical force against any other, Tim McVeigh doesn't qualify even slightly.

  • Neu Mejican||

    libertarian is defined as adherents of the idea that no human may initiate physical force against any other other another's property

    You need to stay consistent.

  • Neu Mejican||

    oops...preview button is elusive today.

    libertarian is defined as adherents of the idea that no human may initiate physical force against any other...or another's property.

  • MNG||

    Break down the sign the guy was carrying. Jefferson's quote essentially says, hey, every now and then partiots need to die fighting and kill tyrants. Even at the time many of the other Founders thought stuff like this from Jefferson to be quite irresponsible talk.

    But the guy at the NH protest had a worse message on his sign: "IT IT TIME..." In other words, hey, that killing people stuff, NOW IS THE TIME.

    And this same guy happened to be carrying an object which is made to propel metal bits at enormous force with a purpose to damage things on the other end and which historically is used to injure and kill other human beings.

    Oh yeah, no cause for alarm there!

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    no human may initiate physical force against any other

    This, btw, is not a workable definition of libertarian. You may consider it necessary, but it is certainly not sufficient.

  • MNG||

    But see Sean, he was using force to fight tyrants, people trying to enslave him and his fellows, so it's all good for Libertopians.

  • MNG||

    That's a definition of pacifism.

    And in Libertopia you can initiate force against another human being, for example one who is engaging in force against a third party.

  • MNG||

    Property is of course maintained in Libertopia via force, usually state force. Just ask any hard core anarchist.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    No sir, Community and State are not the same.....

    This is why I used different words.

    For example, you may be on the "left" and think that the community should have a say in what you buy or what you don't. But you don't necessarily have to use the state to accomplish that end. For example, take tobacco sales. The "rightist" says: You can sell whatever you want, including cigarettes - I won't ban that or try to stop you. The "leftist" says: Cigarettes are harmful, and it's all those evil tobacco companies' fault.

    So to stop the evil tobacco companies from selling their products, the leftist who is more libertarian can do certain things... Eg: organizing strong (but voluntary) consumer protection advocacy groups, running ad campaigns against smoking, establish boycotts against anything made by the tobacco company or its subsidiaries/partners, etc.

    OR, the statist leftist can use government to ban tobacco sales by law.

    They are both positions that are rooted in the idea that the community has some right to decide what you purchase and what transactions you may engage in with other people - but there is a distinction between whether or not you use the power of the state and laws (backed by jail and police) to accomplish that aim, or you operate voluntarily.

  • Neu Mejican||

    No, the up-down dimension is NOT redundant at all, in fact it's the more valid of the two distinctions.

    If we did this, that would be one of the silliest ways to define the political spectrum ever thus devised.

    Both said about the "statism" axis.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    MNG; I can't deal with your idiocy at this time, please come back later. Neu and I are having a real discussion.

    Neu; it is actually a workable definition of libertarian, you just have to note the word "initiate" that I prominently left included.

  • hmm||

    The trolling is thick up in here.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yes Neu! But not about the same labels!

    Libertarianism Statism

    and

    Left Right

    aren't the same thing!


    So duh, 100% of the dictators wind up in the statist camp... Obviously. They don't, however, all wind up in the "left" camp as they would under your definition of left & right.

  • ||

    hmmm, I've been quietly lurking awhile. It's way way over my head. Bravo gentlemen. Carry on.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Sorry. Still sounds redundant to me. "State" and "community" are indeed different terms. But in the context we've embedded them in here, they are synonymous.

  • hmm||

    Did I mention a Democratic strategist blew up an attorney, the wrong one, and two of my state senators here had to resign today? One I can't stand and is a former professor at a local school. He's a complete fucking scumball shitbag.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Oi...

    You're killing me Neu...

    This isn't that challenging stuff. If I were a puritan, and I thought that the "community", by which I mean, for example the church in a given town, has the authority to tell you what to do with your body - there is still a massive distinction between using voluntary means such as banning you from the church if you don't comply with the rules, shunning you, posting a sign denouncing your heathen ways, etc., and involuntary coercion like making what you're doing illegal!


    Say I dislike homosexual behavior.

    IF I've first decided that it's any of my goddamn business what other people do in the bedroom (which it isn't), and you're a gay man, then surely you recognize a great deal of difference between me looking at you sternly, refusing to associate with you and generally being disapproving - and me going to the government, getting laws written which make homosexuality illegal and then throwing you in jail.

    DIFFERENT THINGS.


    This is precisely why Left & Right is a much less meaningful distinction than Libertarian & Statism/Authoritarian.

  • hmm||

    I'm a big fan of Wiley & Roadrunner.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Please let me know if you understand what I'm saying here:

    Your definition of the "left", is anyone who wants more government involvement in people's lives, and the "right" as anyone who wants less.

    By that definition, the hypothetical puritan who gets you thrown in jail for being queer is a LEFTIST.

    Would that make any sense to anyone in 2009? No! Of course not, anyone you'd ask would put the puritan on the "right". But if the puritan was advocating more government (making homosexuality illegal), then that wouldn't qualify.

    Your definition does not jive with reality at all, Neu...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Blew up an attorney in what sense Hmmm?

  • hmm||

    As in oh look a package by the driver door of my Acura, MOTHAFUCKIN BOOM...


    Oops I wanted to blow up the attorney that drives the other Acura. my bad.

  • hmm||

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Again, to refocus this back to where it started.
    You used the term "left" in response to MNG's "right." You conflated violence against property with violence against people when you listed "violent" groups on the "left."

    I pointed out that there is a meaningful distinction between violence against people and violence against property.

    This led to a discussion of whether it was fair to lump together groups with similar beliefs ON DIMENSIONS OTHER THAN VIOLENCE just because they share beliefs on that other dimension. I pointed out that many militia believe in "small goverment." In other words, many militia are "anti-statist." They share this with libertarians. They differ in their views on violence. I also pointed out that views on violence include important distinctions...including those between violence against people versus property.

    Are you defending your choice to conflate groups that are expressly NON-VIOLENT against HUMANS as equivalent to those that MURDER others based on their political views. If so, then I think you need to be prepared for others to lump libertarians in with violent, small government militias. Because you are advocating sloppy thinking of this nature.

    Re: Nolan's chart. Give it up. It is a cartoon not worth defending.

  • hmm||

    I'll take the nuts. Every group has them.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Wow.... You offer a one-dimensional continuum of political thought that ostensibly lumps a dozen variables (environmentalism, corporate welfare, individual welfare, education, religion, liberty vs. forc, etc.) into one line which would put you (as a leftist) into the same category as the worlds worst mass murderers and you call the Nolan Chart a "cartoon"?

    Ballsy.


    From there, you actually said that "violence against property" is non-violent (non-violent violence...?) and you accuse me of sloppy thinking...

    Ugh. So let me try one last time:

    Blowing up buildings IS a violent act.

    Killing people is also violent.

    They are BOTH violent and BOTH aggressive. I am not conflating anything. You are making a strange distinction which I didn't make and won't make.

    They are the SAME fundamental ideas - just at a different level. Blowing up someone's house and murdering them are both violent, aggressive acts - Murdering the person is more aggressive and violent as it is the most final. You can build a new house but not a new "you".


    A libertarian is defined for our purposes as one who does not believe in initiating violence. A militia made up of libertarians is no more an analog to lynch mobs as it is an analog to the Animal Liberation Front.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Please let me know if you understand what I'm saying here:

    Your definition of the "left", is anyone who wants more government involvement in people's lives, and the "right" as anyone who wants less.


    Yes. I understand what you are saying. Please understand that we are past this. I have already said that I was just using shorthand for a more complex concept.

    Just to be clear. If you want to use Nolan, then a libertarian is an "anti-statist." A violent anti-statist is in the "anti-statist" camp as well. They may self-identify as "a libertarian" because they share the "anti-statism" belief (see McV). Non-violent libertarians would not want to include them in their camp. If they don't want others to include them...then it would be important to distance themselves from them.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    This is why wayyyy way wayyy upthread, I gave you a better analogy:


    ALF (who are violent, but stop short of murder) is to Animal Rights Militia (who are violent and have no compunction against murder)

    AS

    Abortion clinic bombers is to George Tiller Murderer, Scott Roeder.


    Those are examples of so-called left & right extremists.

  • Neu Mejican||

    They are BOTH violent and BOTH aggressive. I am not conflating anything. You are making a strange distinction which I didn't make and won't make.

    To conflate means to consider two distinct concepts as being one and the same (they are BOTH = I conflate them). If you are unwilling to consider the distinction I am making, that tells me that you see no distinction between the man who throws the plate and the man who hits his wife.

    They are not acts of the same KIND. One is not the more extreme version of the other. They are act of a different KIND. The person who does one is not of the same character as the person who does the other.

    I mean, come on...you are unwilling to accept that distinction?

    Really?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Point being, a guy open-carrying in New Hampshire, or a militia who do not attack people, do NOT qualify.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Then neither does Greenpeace.

    And, more to the point, as MNG pointed out. Some of the folks with guns were carrying signs advocating violence. Some weren't. Those who are not advocating violence need to be sure they distance themselves from those that were. Otherwise people who are unwilling to make the distinction will considering them of a piece.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Ugh... Neu....


    You are making the wrong distinction!

    The one you're pretending you want me to make now is one I already made. They are distinctions of DEGREE, not of type! This is the point. You keep saying that (in essence) the plate-throwing is not a violent act and hitting the woman is.

    That's horse shit. They're both violent. However, the hitting is worse than the plate showing. This isn't fucking complicated man. Try harder.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Greenpeace counts

    I'm going home now, back in a couple hours.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "plate-throwing"

  • SIV||

    Those who are not advocating violence need to be sure they distance themselves from those that were.

    Aside from the fact that no one was "advocating violence" why should anyone have to "distance themselves" from someone else's opinions?

  • MNG||

    It's not advocating violence to hold up a sign that says "It is time to water the tree of liberty" (with the blood of patriots and tyrants)? Was he going to water that tree with Gatorade?

  • Tony||

    This is precisely why Left & Right is a much less meaningful distinction than Libertarian & Statism/Authoritarian.



    Wait a minute. You want to classify every other political viewpoint beyond what is really a rather fringe set as equivalent to authoritarianism?

  • anonymous||

    I wonder that Missouri bombing story will get any big coverage. I think it should somehow find its way into the comments section of every whiny fearmongering lefty blog post and column.

    Also, this story

  • anonymous||

  • MNG||

    Neu and Sean
    1. It's probably best not to try to define "left/right" philosophically, as it probably won't be consistent with historical and current empirical reality. Best to just acknowledge that we have an empirical and historical reality these two movements who have espoused certain things at various times and situations.

    2. Libertarians like Sean like to start with a game rigged like this: non-libertarians advocate illegitimate coercion, libertarians do not, they think the state=coercion and there you go, there are two kinds of people, those who coerce and those oppose it. Of course this is A. bullshit (libertarians are fine with many examples of coercion that, say a Tolstoyian anarchist, would find abbhorrent) and B. involves a great deal of question begging (the coercion they are ok is the legitimate kind, other kinds are not).

  • SIV||

    MNG,

    Quick, somebody wake up Thomas Jefferson.Neu strongly suggests he should "distance himself" from some guy in NH.

  • Thomas Jefferson||

    "'Scuse me, gotta go water the tree of liberty.
    You can only rent beer"

  • MNG||

    hmmm
    Is this Missouri bombing contended to be ideologically motivated?

    Because I hope you can see the differenct relevance of an ideologically motivated crime like the unitarian church shooting, the tiller killing, Mcveigh bombing, etc., and a killing done by someone with unrelated ideological views.

  • B||

    "There was the guy who walked into the Unitarian Church and shot it up because he hated liberals. The guy who called the police out to his house in PA and killed some of them who was seen by many as motivated by right wing views. The guy who killed the abortion doctor. And the aerobics class shooter is seen by many as having strong right wing views..."

    So naturally 3 or 4 people in a country of 300 million is obviously a trend.

    I don't know who is more gullible and retarded, the media for breathlessly reporting that a Neo-nazi is representative of the mainstream right in this country or fuckheads like you who go on websites and state they have a point.

  • anonymous||

    It was a hate crime against divorce attorneys.

  • B||

    Tea party protesters and townhall attendees no more have to "distance themselves" from the nut job in PA and Scott Roeder than mainstream environmentalists had to "distance themselves" from Ted Kaczynski. Anyone listing a bunch of fucking psychos and then claiming what they did is somehow representative of the left or right in this country is a total fucking idiot and a hyperpartisan dickwad and as this thread proves, there is no fucking shortage of such moronic assholes posting on this fucking site.

  • B||

    "I pointed out that there is a meaningful distinction between violence against people and violence against property."

    Here we go with the "oh, people who commit serial arson and issue death threats to researchers are totally nonviolent" bullshit. It is through sheer fucking luck that these so-called non-violent criminals have not killed anyone. So please, spare us the fucking rationalizations and apologies for terrorists.

  • hmm||

    Is this Missouri bombing contended to be ideologically motivated?

    It was more of him being a nutjob. The attorney he wanted to kill had dealings with him prior to the bombing. He was involved in his divorce and other at least one other case. The same person was involved in an FEC case that is seeing two state senators resign today.

    I never claimed the act was driven by politics.

  • ||

    Chip Berlet is an effet ass****.

    No one seems to mind the violence and threats of violence from the paid roaming Obama thugs:

    Black Panthers wielding billy clubs at polls
    SEIU thugs beating up black men because they didn't like their flag
    And bronwshirted thugs kicking an ARMED MAN in the groin in Portsmouth recently, then spitting in the camera, but the press only goes nuts over Kostric because he was supposedly 'threatening violence' even though he did NOT react!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You didn't see that event? Oh gee, look it up on YouTube.

    The left has brainwashed people via the education system and controlled their thoughts using words.... but it doesn't work anymore. If someone is questioning the system and complaining calling them racist, morons, etc --- well that dog don't hunt anymore my friends!

    Hahaha.

  • ||

    A few things to note: The same leftwing nuts that are always parroting "stay out of my bedroom" now wants the government in your doctor's office.

    I was standing next to Kostric and he did NOT have anything about 'killing people' on his sign.

    No one likes to mention that he was actually attacked by 2 Obama thugs who then continued to spit in the camera even after they saw his gun strapped to his leg.

    I thought bill showed remarkable restraint not to pummel the bastards. If he was violent or threatening, why didn't he draw?

    If you post this fact w/video to liberal blogs, they delete the post. It's the dirty little secret!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUxjahek0f8

  • ||

    The burning of Sarah Palin's church got not much airtime either.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean W. Malone | August 25, 2009, 9:14pm | #
    Greenpeace counts

    I'm going home now, back in a couple hours.


    Wait, fighting back against violent aggressors counts? Did you read the article you linked?

    Let's reframe this. Most communities recognize violent crimes as those against persons and property crimes as those that do not involve a person's body. You really think there is not a meaningful distinction? You're gonna stick with that?

    ALF/ELF should be condemned for their actions.
    Greenpeace, not so much.

  • Why||

    Why is Buchanan being stated as part of the post racial right? His current racial articles are still pretty much collectivist garbage.

  • MNG||

    Do mainstream environmentalists talk like TK?

    I mean, on this very site it is not at all unusual to hear people talk about violently resisting "teh socialists/nazis/etc."

    Also, environmentalists don't tend to have the same love affair with purposefully deadly objects that a large part of the right does. I've owned guns most of my life, but let's be frank: their main purpose is to kill people or animals. I have mine in case I have to kill an aggressor, for example.

    It's this right wing anger+acknowledged affinity for deadly weaponry+ several highly publicized cases of this combination going bad that have people worried.

    As I've said, I think it's ultimately incorrect. Violent leftists don't have the same resonance with the public mind, and that's partly unfair (I said that upthread). And the vast majority of angry right wingers will never cross the line of violence, never. But I still maintain that it is not irrational, given the pervasive media images of right wing violence recently and in this nation's history, for people to be worried about a guy with a gun and that sign.

    Now as to all the simply angry protestors out there at the town halls, simply angrily yelling at their reps, I think for that to make anybody nervous is "uncommonly silly."

  • MNG||

    For example, people were rightly upset when the Black Panthers and like groups showed up at public events toting guns. Does anyone doubt that?

    It's true guns don't kill people, people do. But a lot of those people who do kill people are angry people and a lot of them do it with guns. When people from groups that are very angry show up with guns, people are right to be nervous.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    When people from groups that are very angry show up with guns, people are right to be nervous.



    No, they are not.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    what's funny to me is that you cited like, 10 episodes that supposedly support your thesis, even though they happened over, what 15 or more years? Come on now.

    And then out of that sparse evidence, the nebulous "people" are "reasonably scared"...as if there were mobs of angry white dudes out there with rifles...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Tony;

    "Wait a minute. You want to classify every other political viewpoint beyond what is really a rather fringe set as equivalent to authoritarianism?"

    No, it's a continuum thing you moron. My "fringe" views are on one end, many people are near me, many more are somewhere in the middle, still more are middle-ish but towards the authoritarian end (most people, in fact) and then there's the real serious offenders like the Stalins and Maos of the world.

    "they think the state=coercion and there you go"

    Indeed... So did George Washington, you gonna bust his balls about this?

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. " - GW



    Perhaps more to the point, exactly when did A. Paying for your existence with money taken from people by force, in order to B. write laws controlling what people do with their lives upon threat of jail, all backed by C. Armed men with guns, tasers, billy clubs, handcuffs and other means of restraint, NOT constitute coercion?

    You may argue that there are legitimate causes to initiate coercive force against some people "for their own good", I would likely disagree with that, however - you cannot honestly argue that it's not coercive force that's being used!


    Neu;

    Greenpeace isn't in the same category as ALF or ELF or whoever else like that, but they have often been disruptive and destructive to property. Again... Some of the same underlying ideas, just a difference in "level".

    Greenpeace > ALF > Ted Kaczynski > ARM and so on.


    I don't know why you keep arguing that somehow blowing up a building isn't a violent act. It's idiotic on it's face, Neu, and you surely know it. Your argument is:

    A man who punches his fist through a wall is "non-violent" because he's only destroying an object/property, and a man who punches his fist into his wife's face is violent.

    Pardon me, sir, but if any court considered your definition correct I would fear for women's safety everywhere.

    Your definition is retarded... Both actions are violent. There is no distinction in that sense. The only difference is, for the bazillionth time, the degree to which that violence was harmful.

    Perhaps you need yet another visual scale:
    Violent Acts:
    Threats of force --> Throwing plates --> Fist through wall --> Fist through face/bodily harm probably = to Arsen/Blowing up buildings & cars, etc. --> Attempted murder --> Murder --> Mass murder


    How is this complicated?

    Every one of those things is a violent act... Some are worse than others. It's not an on or off switch! It's a bunch of actions that all fall into one category but vary by degree of severity. Also, what "B" said at 9:48

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "For example, people were rightly upset when the Black Panthers and like groups showed up at public events toting guns. Does anyone doubt that?"

    Yeah, but they got away with that, because the AG is a candyass.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Wait a minute. You want to classify every other political viewpoint beyond what is really a rather fringe set as equivalent to authoritarianism?"

    Liberals and conservatives both want to be authoritarian. What FEW exist, in either camp, that do not want to swagger with power over the individual, are few and goddamn far between.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    MNG - from now own, when someone on here says "coercion", what they mean is "the initiation of force" - so, do your best to understand the argument rather than be a hypertextualist prick about things, kthxbai.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Why are you so stuck on this. Violence against objects/property/things is a different category of act than violence against people. Yes both are violent (we've been over this), but they are not a smooth continuum. Once you move your target to people you are committing a different class of violence. It is not just the worst end of a continuum.

    In science you might call it a "state change." Sure, ice, water, steam...all the same thing, but then again, not really. They aren't a smooth continuum. There are break points where a meaningful distinction occurs.

    A man who punches his fist through a wall is "non-violent" because he's only destroying an object/property, and a man who punches his fist into his wife's face is violent.


    Here is an example. Man who punches wall does not get to be in the "non-violent" camp, but above you called him a "wife-beater." He ain't a wife beater until he beats his wife. Likewise, above you wanted to put greenpeace into the same camp as RCALB. Unfair. And putting ALF/ELF into the same camp despite their expressed principle that they will never harm an animal whether human or non-human is likewise an error. Sure, ice is closer to water than it is to steam, but you shouldn't confuse the two.

    A vandal is not a killer.
    An arsonist is not a killer (as long as he is careful and lucky).

    Neither should be praised, but they are a different class of schmuck than someone who targets people with their violence.

    And then there's the guy who simply says that it is time to start watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots...while armed. He is also a different class of schmuck, but if he thinks there is a need for violent opposition to effect change in this country in this day and age, he is still a schmuck.

  • Neu Mejican||

    So, threatening violence against people is a different class of act than violence against people, but it may be worse than actual violence against objects.

    I find it unbelievable that your proposed continuum puts actual violence against a person resulting in harm on equal footing with destroying inanimate objects.

    Really?
    Equal footing?
    Really?

  • Neu Mejican||

    To be clear, William Kostric had every right to do what he did, but the degree to which he believes the "it is time" from his sign...will determine the degree to which he is a schmuck.

  • MNG||

    "what's funny to me is that you cited like, 10 episodes that supposedly support your thesis, even though they happened over, what 15 or more years?"

    Actually I mentioned five examples, four of which occurred in the past year (only McVeigh did not), so fail TAO, fail. Do you want the dates?

    "as if there were mobs of angry white dudes out there with rifles..."

    You mean the militia movement or the groups the SPLC monitors regularly? Yeah, no such thing! And of course, it's nice how you consistently ignore the totality of the characterstics that were present in NH: gun+sign extolling that people start dying+public event. You're being retarded to see that as not-threatening. Take away the gun or the sign and you have much to do about nothing.

    "when someone on here says "coercion", what they mean is "the initiation of force""

    No they don't, because if A attacks B and C attacks B then at some point C had to initiate force against that B. You just think that it is right and that what makes it right is that the first guy "initiated force", while other people think that+other things can justify such an initiation of force. I've explained why. It's you that cannot seem to differntiate. You have no first principles.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    What brotherben said. I can no longer follow this thread and it makes me want to do Ecclesiastes-style lamentations.

  • ||

    The maximum utility of any government is the impartial assistance to all individuals in asserting and defending their right of self-ownership.

  • ||

    Another savage anti-Obama attack from a vicious right winger:

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13203950

    Except it was a paid liberal activist. Oops.

  • ||

    Miserable fat fucking Belgian bastards.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    For fucks sake Neu; this ISN'T HARD!

    For the last goddamn time, they are NOT ON EQUAL FOOTING!!

    I have NEVER said they are.

    I have said they are DIFFERENT to the DEGREE of severity, thus: NOT equal. God damn it man, I've said this a billion times and you keep coming back failing to understand such a basic point.

    YOU were the one who said that bombing buildings is a non-violent act. I keep repeating it because you are defending the actions of groups like ALF as "non-violent" multiple times upthread. You are wrong, and that is an incredibly dumb proposition. They ARE violent groups.

    Further, you tried then to analogize the actions of those groups to libertarianism, or worse, analogize them to defensive organizations.

    Your analogy was flawed, you insulted my intelligence, you failed to understand the basic root of libertarian thought in the process and you've defended environmental terrorism in the process.

    What the fuck.

    Don't be a condescending asshole saying things like "Equal footing? Really?" - You dumbass, I've said repeatedly they ARE NOT on equal footing and yet you still fail to understand something as simple as two sentences in a row:

    Blowing up buildings = Violent, Blowing up a person = Violent. Blowing up a person is worse.


    I've said it over and over and over. Is it really that hard? Are you really incapable of realizing that I'm not saying that they are on "equal footing"?

    Is it really that fucking hard to read two sentences??? Jesus. Yes. It's annoying to me. You're either deliberately misreading - for what reason I can't understand (defending firebombers and arsonists is important to you?) - or you're simply that dense. I have a hard time believing the latter, so I have to wonder why you're being so retarded right now.


    And for the record, I think that punching someone in the face - say in a bar fight is arguably on the same plane of violence as maliciously blowing up an office building... But that's probably way to nuanced a position for you to possibly understand at this point.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Don't be a condescending asshole saying things like "Equal footing? Really?" - You dumbass, I've said repeatedly they ARE NOT on equal footing and yet you still fail to understand something as simple as two sentences in a row:


    Why the name calling?
    How is this not putting them on equal footing?

    Perhaps you need yet another visual scale:
    Violent Acts:
    Threats of force --> Throwing plates --> Fist through wall --> Fist through face/bodily harm probably = to Arsen/Blowing up buildings & cars, etc. --> Attempted murder --> Murder --> Mass murder


    And

    I keep repeating it because you are defending the actions of groups like ALF as "non-violent" multiple times upthread.

    I condemned their actions over and over again. WTF?

    And for the record, I think that punching someone in the face - say in a bar fight is arguably on the same plane of violence as maliciously blowing up an office building... But that's probably way to nuanced a position for you to possibly understand at this point.

    One is on the low end of the violence against persons continuum...the other is on the more extreme end of the violence against objects spectrum. Both perpetrators are schmucks, but they are not engaged in the same kind act.

    The kind of punishment that is justifiable is different. Violent against person warrants violence against you, violence against objects warrants confinement and forcing you to replace or repair the damage. There is a reason all criminal codes make a distinction between "violent crimes"(those against persons) and "property crimes."

    BTW, just for fun I took a quick survey yesterday. I asked 10 people to categorize various acts as "violent crime." None, yep NONE, categorized vandalism or arson as a violent crime. You want to nitpick my use of the term "non-violent" and we have already gotten past that issue...(I will agree to call arson violent IF you will agree that there is a distinction between property crimes and violence against people)...but my use of "non-violent" appears to be pretty solidly within the common interpretation of that term.



  • Neu Mejican||

    Further, you tried then to analogize the actions of those groups to libertarianism, or worse, analogize them to defensive organizations.


    I am not sure what you mean here, but let me clarify, again.

    You said:

    Do we just write off Greenpeace, Black Panthers, Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, Weather Underground... G8 protesters, World Bank protesters...?


    I don't get it... How can you blatantly ignore all of these things and keep trying to defend the unwarranted fear of people like William Kostric who's neither "right wing" or enraged?



    I took from this that you find Kostric's advocacy of violence against people (start shooting politicians now is a reasonable paraphrase of his sign) as less worthy of concern than the actions of the groups you list. In that list of groups are Greenpeace, who have a long history of non-violence "turn the other cheek" activism - recently they've said they will defend themselves, but they don't initiate violence - and ALF/ELF who condemn violence against people. You then go on later to treat RCALB as "the same people" as ALF/ELF even though they differ specifically on their willingness to use VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE LIKE KOSTRIC IS ADVOCATING.

    I don't think that is a fair comparison (you've already agreed that Greenpeace isn't in the same class as the others). To illustrate how IT IS NOT FAIR, I pointed out THAT IT WOULD NOT BE FAIR to consider libertarians dangerous just because they agree with SOME GROUPS WHO DO ADVOCATE VIOLENCE on other dimensions of political thought (small government, say).

    You are trying to DEFEND your choice to say that people should fear Greenpeace and ALF/ELF more than an armed man with a sign that advocates violence. ALF/ELF are assholes who should be condemned, arrested, and made to pay for the damage they cause. But it is not unreasonable to worry more about an armed man publicly advocating violence as a response to policy proposals compared to a group that EXPLICITLY works to avoid harming people.

    If all the acts are worthy of condemnation, and it is just a matter of degree, then Kostric needs to be called on his advocacy of violence against people. His ideas are more similar to the Weather Underground or the Black Panthers than they are to ALF/ELF or Greenpeace. If that is too nuanced for you, I am sorry.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I can only repeat myself so many times Neu. You're failure to understand plain English can no longer be my concern for the day.

    Holding a sign at a protest and taking no violent action what-so-ever is now equal to blowing up buildings and we should be afraid? ALF are harmless (non-violent!?) hooligans and vandals who should be made to pay fines.

    Wow... No really... Wow.

    Arson = Non-violent shenanigans
    Sign holding = Run OMG HE'S GOT A SIGN!!! OMG!!

    You live in a strange and bizarre world, sir.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    All I can say is that your phrase "failure to understand plain English" is quite ironic in the context of the way you misconstrue what I just said.

    Do you find the message of Kostric's sign completely irrelevant? Should I note take him at his word?

    Note that above I specifically pointed out that I don't have a problem with guns...and I recognize Kostric's right to do what he did. I don't think he should be arrested or harassed by the police in any way. He, however, deserves the reaction he is getting. His advocacy of political violence deserves to be condemned.

    Do you support his message?
    Do you feel that it is time to start shooting politicians?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Really.
    That is the main point.
    Do you support Kostic's message?
    Are you defending THE IDEAS he is advocating?
    Do you think people are unreasonable to think that his advocacy of political violence is worrisome? Do you really think that people are worried about the act (carrying a sign) rather than the message (it is time to start shooting).

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    And the final point, just so it doesn't get lost. Kostric specifically decided to carry not only a sign advocating violence. He also decided to carry a gun while doing it. The gun is part of the message. It was his intention to to have people associate the quote with the gun.

    As I know you are a big fan of the slippery slope argument...do you not see the slope from advocating violence to committing violence? People are not worried about non-violent protests. They are worried about the idea that someone who is willing to advocate violence, is also willing to come armed to a public rally in order to advocate violence and may IN THE FUTURE actually carry out the violence he is advocating.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Neu;

    The fact that you would defend real life, actual arsonists, and then try to justify fear of a guy holding a sign - a guy, I might note, who got attacked at the NH town hall protests and who did not so much as draw his sidearm while being spit at and pushed around by some thugs, and who went on Chris Matthews and clearly explained his position.

    The full Jefferson quote was not on the sign, so it's not particularly valid to say that the sign was advocating killing people. As Kostric himself says, it was designed to get people look into the quote, learn the historical context and remember our history. It's pretty disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Especially since you're the one not even bothering to figure out what the man's views are before condemning him.

    You are fighting a ridiculous straw man now. I do support Kostric's "message".

    His message is not however, that it's time to shoot politicians.


    Funny how you don't seem to get that. If we're just going to engage in strawmen, this is all getting pretty silly.

    Kostric:

    "Clearly I'm not advocating violence, clearly no violence took place today... I'm advocating an informed society, an armed society, a polite society. That's all there is to it."



    Why don't you learn what the man actually advocated before you run off half-cocked making extreme assumptions and then trying to bait me into supporting the initiation of violence.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Neu; until you actually take the time to learn what the fuck you're talking about, then there's really no point. You're simply making wild assumptions based on nothing that happened, nothing that Kostric said, and taking what Kostric did do wayyyyyyy out of context in about 10 different ways... and now you're just railing against the fabrications of your own mind.

    Seriously bizarre.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Whatever dude.
    I was discussing the interpretations people take from the message he sent. He can say all he wants that his message was non-violent, but the quote by Jefferson IS advocating political violence. The history of the quote is important. Do you understand it? Jefferson essentially says that there are times when the only way to protect liberty is through the use of violence. Kostric's sign says "clearly" that "it is time" to start doing that. He may not have intended it to advocate political violence, but if not, he should have worded it differently than he did.

    People who are "worried" about Kostric are worried about the message he seems to be sending. A message that clearly indicates that we are currently in one of those times in history when violence is needed to water the tree of liberty. Your position seems to be that people should somehow see past his words to some obscure message that is not on the sign before they judge the message he put on the sign.

    Just to illustrate that people will take the words you use differently than they were intended...you have, again, accused me of defending arsonists. Talk about arguing with fabrications in your head.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Since I used to be an editor, here is how I would have edited Kostric's sign.

    "Is it time to start watering the tree of liberty?"

    This provocative, but by phrasing it as a question, he is more "clearly" wants people to consider the answer. In his version, he has given the answer. Why he thinks people won't take him at his word, I don't know.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ummm...as an editor, I always had a copy editor...clearly I need one.

  • Neu Mejican||

    And just to be clear, Sean, I AM MORE SMUG THAN YOU, so you can drop the whole "learn what the fuck you're talking about" routine. It is possible to have a discussion without attempting to "win" it. Our positions differ not because you are more informed. They differ because we have a different perspective on the issue. I think I understand yours now. I am pretty sure you don't understand mine, based on how you misconstrue my points at every attempt to summarize them. So drop the pretense that you are somehow more informed or more sophisticated. You just ain't and as long as you hold onto the idea you are, you aren't going to learn anything from people who disagree with you.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Except that you DID defend arsonists, and compared them to people like Kostric!

    WTF?

    Now you're just moving the goalposts. The point of Kostric using the quote - as he himself said on National goddamn TV - to get people to learn the history and read it for themselves and to understand the context. It is an inflammatory quote, designed to get people to start thinking... And my god, it might have actually worked.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    The "learn what the fuck you're talking about" is in reference to your sheer ignorance on what Kostric himself has actually said - publicly, on national TV - and then your willingness to beat a strawman to death instead.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Go up thread and count the number of times I said ALF/ELF should be condemned.

    In the category of "should be condemned" some should be condemned more strongly. I consider those that advocate and perpetrate violence against people as deserving of stronger condemnation than those that advocate and perpetrate violence against objects.

    As for Kostic's sign. Yes, people thought about the quote. And those that actually consider the implications of the quote and the way he modified it should suspect his claims that he "does not advocate violence."

    "Sure, I said it was time to feed the tree of liberty the blood of the tyrant, but I am not advocating violence."

  • Neu Mejican||

    FYI, Sean.

    I formed my opinion of Kostric based on the interview on Hardball. I saw it when it first aired. The disconnect between his statements and his actions look like so much face saving to me.

    He wanted to be inflammatory by advocating violence. The rest is just face saving back-peddling.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    That said, I'll agree that "Is it time to start watering the tree of liberty?" makes for a much better sign in general... At least, a sign that would have made a clearer distinction for Kostric, but the man was just quoting Jefferson, and clearly did not have a copy-editor. Oh well.

    Regardless, putting him in the same category as the kinds of organizations I mentioned originally like the Black Panthers or Weather Underground - who harmed people, AND in the category of other violent aggressors like ELF or ALF, etc., is ridiculous. And that's the whole point...

    People are freaking out about a non-event (and Kostric was just one of many people carrying guns at that event, btw, none of whom shot anyone) and the "left" is in hysterics about a few isolated cases of right-wing violence to the extent that they'll lump libertarians in as well - and we have the DHS writing memos and shit too, let's not forget, and TSA people detaining Campaign for Liberty people, etc. And at the same time, the left has completely whitewashed or forgotten the massive amounts of organized violence perpetrated by their own ranks.

    This is crazy. Historically speaking, the left is wayyy more dangerous physically, and that's even without factoring in Mao or Stalin.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Neu, have you bothered to look at the video of the actual protest where he and others are attacked by SEIU guys? Did you see him pulling the gun? Did he fire it at anyone? Did he attempt to kill a politician or blow up their car?

    No.

  • Neu Mejican||

    People are freaking out about a non-event (and Kostric was just one of many people carrying guns at that event, btw, none of whom shot anyone)

    True enough. And it was the pairing of his message with the gun that got him on Hardball. There is a reason people focused on him.

    As for Black Panthers, Weather Underground. You understand that "on paper" they are "defensive militia." They "on paper" only advocated the use of violence in reaction to tyranny. I would even guess that both groups pointed to Jefferson's quote at some point to justify their positions.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Your condemnation of ALF/ELF while trying to make the case that somehow they're non-violent organizations simply because they try to avoid hurting people directly is pretty shallow. And ultimately your analogy made it clear that you put people like Kostric in the same category. Not cool.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And now, you are again trying to compare Black Panthers & WU to Kostric... Brilliant.

    I rest my case.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean W. Malone | August 26, 2009, 2:09pm | #
    Neu, have you bothered to look at the video of the actual protest where he and others are attacked by SEIU guys? Did you see him pulling the gun? Did he fire it at anyone? Did he attempt to kill a politician or blow up their car?

    No.


    Yes. I saw those videos. Why do you continue to assume I am uninformed. We've been over this. YOU DON'T KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS. We disagree based on similar information.

  • Neu Mejican ||

    Sean,

    Kostric and WU/BP are in the "advocate violence against people" category.

    Kostric is not in the "perpetrate violence against people camp."

    Kostric is also not in the "perpetrate violence against property camp."

    They are not on equal footing. Compare, sure, equate, no. The whole point of this has been an attempt to get you to recognize finer distinctions.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Pardon me for assuming you are arguing from ignorance when by all appearances that would seem to be the case.

    It seems to me that Kostric himself was pretty damn clear about what he meant and his actions at the even back that up. That we disagree based on similar information is a little shocking in this case, especially as you keep pushing for ever more ridiculous comparisons.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Dude, you are the one who isn't able to understand that violence against property & violence against people are both violent acts, differentiated by degree and not by type. Your condescending to me about "finer distinctions" is idiotic at best. And as you keep lumping people into categories that don't remotely fit them, that statement becomes all the more ridiculous.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    *at the event

  • Neu Mejican||

    Maybe Kostric should have carried a sign that said.

    "The Revolution has come, it's time to pick up the gun."

    ;^) The original Black Panther rallies involved armed men, non-violently displaying arms and chanting phrases like this.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Maybe that's not what Kostric is advocating and you're still resorting to strawmen?


    Oh... Yeah, I think so. See ya later Neu, this has run it's course.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Dude, you are the one who isn't able to understand that violence against property & violence against people are both violent acts, differentiated by degree and not by type.

    Wait, you are pointing to the fact that I am making a finer grained distinction than you as evidence that I am not making the correct distinctions? Is that your point? I have already, multiple times, conceded the point that violence can include violence against property. Why are you unwilling to concede that there is a meaningful distinction between property crimes and violence against people? What do you gain by holding onto that position so tightly?

    Clearly we lump differently. My lumps are smaller...hence the term "finer distinctions."

  • Neu Mejican||

    That we disagree based on similar information is a little shocking in this case, especially as you keep pushing for ever more ridiculous comparisons.

    You find it shocking that others disagree with your interpretation? Odd.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "Why are you unwilling to concede that there is a meaningful distinction between property crimes and violence against people?"



    Are you retarded? No... Really... Are you fucking retarded, Neu? I have said there was a meaningful distinction from the VERY BEGINNING, and about a hundred times since!

    Most of my posts in the last chunk of this have been nothing BUT explaining that there IS a distinction!

    Only, instead of writing off property destruction as something else entirely, I recognize it as violence of a different degree than against people, but not a difference of type. This is my point Neu, that is apparently too "nuanced" and finer detail for you to understand, while you condescendingly pretend I'm the one not able to make those distinctions.

    As a result, I'm not led to the idiotic conclusion that somehow Kostric and other protestors are closer to the ideology of Black Panthers, than terrorist groups who actually blow stuff up. Fuck this is hurting my brain.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Quit arguing with people who aren't there Neu.

  • Sean Scallon||

    Good article. And I hope if Ron Paul runs for President again in 2012 Reason will exercise the same kind of restraint and not go apeshit when some basement dwelling Nazi gives him $100 he never solicited or when a Stormfront blogger just happens to be in the same tent at the Iowa Straw Poll. Fair is fair after all, right?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Most of my posts in the last chunk of this have been nothing BUT explaining that there IS a distinction!

    Only, instead of writing off property destruction as something else entirely, I recognize it as violence of a different degree than against people, but not a difference of type. This is my point Neu, that is apparently too "nuanced" and finer detail for you to understand, while you condescendingly pretend I'm the one not able to make those distinctions.


    Sorry to make your brain hurt. It is not my intention. I did not say you were not able to make the distinction. I said I did not agree with you about the "degree" thing. I make a different kind of distinction.

    If you want to place both types of violence on some scale of "badness" then there will be a certain degree of interleaving between the two types of violence on the badness scale. But that, to my mind, conflates two distinct types of bad behavior that it is important to keep distinct. One is not a more extreme version of the other. They are different classes of bad behavior.

    In other words, I think it is useful to distinguish things on a finer scale that "bad, worse, worst." Violence against people is wrong for a different reason than violence against property is wrong. It is that distinction that you don't seem to be getting. Since you are a natural rights kind of guy, let's say it this way...the most fundamental right is the right to be secure in your person. An attack against your person is, therefore, an attack against that most fundamental right. You also have a right to property. To my mind this right is derived from your right to be secure in your person (your person needs stuff to survive). Attacks on that right are also bad, but are of a different order than attacks on your person. If someone destroys your stuff, your person is still secure. If someone destroys your person, your property right becomes meaningless.

    So, again, when you write things like this..."writing off property destruction" I feel like you don't understand my position. I am not writing it off. I am distinguishing it as an animal of a different stripe. I don't think you can fairly lump the two things. I think you need to make a finer grained distinction. I called that a nitpick in my first post. You are getting heated about my willingness to put advocating violence against people on the same continuum with perpetrating violence, but then don't recognize that you are doing the same type of thing when you conflate the two types of behavior and put them property crimes and violence against people on a single scale of "badness."

  • Neu Mejican||

    And just to be clear about Kostric..."advocating violence" is the message he sent, whether he intended it or not. You believe him when he says that was not his intention. I am more skeptical.

    A story that comes to mind. The anarchist punk band Atari Teenage Riot" were participating in a protest march by playing their songs on a truck that moved with the marchers. When their song "Start the Riot" from the album "Burn Berlin Burn" started, a riot broke out. They later put out a statement explaining that they don't advocate violence and that people misunderstood the meaning of their message. Also on that album "Destroy 2000 years of Culture" - an attempt to get people to examine where their ideals come from? An attempt to get people to examine the historical context of their ideals?

    Gimme a break. Kostric is either advocating violence to too stupid (like ATR) to think through the implications of the message he is sending.

  • NM\'s copy editor||

    umm..."or too stupid"

    Joe'z rule I believe.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Let's say we agree to consider all "violence" on a single scale...with violence against people above violence against property.

    There are some conceptual problems with this, but I'll agree to play by your rules.

    You are placing groups that say...ONLY THIS FAR AND NO FARTHER (and then act according to that principle e.g., ALF/ELF) as being worse than groups that would say I WILL CROSS THAT LINE (as long as they haven't acted). This is one of the reasons I think conflating the "violent" scale with the "badness" scale makes no sense.

    In case you think I am being unfair here, go look at your post regarding RCALB, PETA, and ALF/ELF. You, in that post, the one that started all of this, not only don't make the distinction of kind that I would advocate. You don't even seem willing to recognize the distinction of degree. You dismiss the I WILL NOT CROSS THIS LINE principle and present it a "violent/non-violent" dichotomy (you deny the existence of the line). You then say that the I WILL NOT CROSS THIS LINE group really supports the actions of those that have crossed the line, simply because they share the same motivation.

    Now, Kostric's message was, IT IS TIME TO CROSS THAT LINE. Somehow, I find that worthy of condemnation. And I think he is more closely related to those that have acted and already crossed the line than he is to those that say NEVER CROSS THAT LINE. By failing to make the distinction between property crimes and violence against people, we end up saying that the group who has a principled stance prohibiting violence against people is worse than the group that advocates violence against people because advocating is not as bad as acting.

    That is what I mean when I say you need to treat them as acts of a different kind.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Chances are pretty good that you won't read those last posts.

    Oh well. Writing things down is a good way to get them clear in your head. At least I am pretty clear now why I disagree with you. Maybe you are clearer about why you disagree with me.

    Hard to tell from your posts, but I hope you got more out of this than "NM is retarded because he doesn't see things my way." Don't worry, I've got a thick enough skin to give you a break on that. Because I am more smug than you, I just assume it is your frustration with my more complex world view that causes the emotional outbursts ;^)

    [that was meant as a friendly ribbing, no offense intended].

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "You are placing groups that say...ONLY THIS FAR AND NO FARTHER (and then act according to that principle e.g., ALF/ELF) as being worse than groups that would say I WILL CROSS THAT LINE (as long as they haven't acted)."

    This is not what I was saying though NM.

    You have to start with actions. The scale of badness is one that fundamentally only applies to things that people actually *do*, not what they say. This is why at the weak end of the scale I posed earlier is "threats of violence".

    Ultimately, that should further even just be "credible threats of violence", since I'm not suggesting anybody who says, "I'm gonna kill that guy" is intrinsically on the bad scale. The whole thing has to do with actions. Kostric's actions don't qualify even to be on the continuum.

    ALF's do, NCALB's are even worse.

    Kostric did nothing but hold a hyperbolic sign with a quote of extreme historical & philosophical significance. Otherwise, he mostly just stood around peacefully by all accounts. He did not *act* in so much as a threatening way. If anything, he was the opposite.

    Groups and individuals can "say" whatever they'd like... PETA "says" they don't advocate violence of any kind - and then fund arsonists' criminal defense. The key here is that you have to act - and that's what I think you missed.


    And no, I don't think "NM is retarded because he doesn't see things my way", and honestly - I don't think you're retarded at all, but some of the stuff you've said definitely makes me want to jackhammer my brain. Things I perceive (I still think rightly) as defenses or at least far too weak "condemnations" of violent acts especially.

  • ||

    I find it amusing that the Libs would try to equate the people protesting large oppresive government as "brownshirts" and of course they are trying to pull the race card, thats one of the benifits of having a half black president. The real "brownshirts" are Obamas thugs (union boys etc.) who were beating people up that were against the nationalization of a major industry. And was it not Obama that declared the need for a "civilian national security force, as powerful and welfunded as the US Military"?! That is the definition of "Brownshirts". A tactic of the left is to call the opposition exactly what, they, in fact are. Ex. The Democrats claiming that the people prostesting at the town hall meetings are "astroturf" organized by the pharmacutical companies. That could not be farther from the truth, and not so ironically, it is in fact the Democrats! who are the astroturf, organized protesters if anyone. The socialist are busing people the...bus load! Union trash, ACORN thugs the list goes on. The Liberal will lie and cheat to get what they want, integrity, truth, and logic, are not necessary when it comes to accomplishing the statist- liberal agenda.

  • ||

    Those who disagree need to exchange emails and discuss on that forum, not spam up good ol' Reason with your little tiff.

  • ||

    On another note no one in the media seems to be addressing the need for the "right" to carry firearms to these events. Union thugs have been beating up opponents of the Nationalization/gov.t run healthcare. THEY NEED GUNS FOR PROTECTION! I would like to see some jackass Obama drone union thug try to beatup Joe Bob America when he's packing a .357 magnum on his hip.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sean,

    Groups and individuals can "say" whatever they'd like... PETA "says" they don't advocate violence of any kind - and then fund arsonists' criminal defense. The key here is that you have to act - and that's what I think you missed....Kostric did nothing but hold a hyperbolic sign with a quote of extreme historical & philosophical significance. Otherwise, he mostly just stood around peacefully by all accounts. He did not *act* in so much as a threatening way. If anything, he was the opposite.

    Now we are getting somewhere.
    I come from an expertise in language studies. As such, I see speech acts as acting in very much the same way that other acts are acting. In fact, "acting threatening" is really just another way of saying "I interpret your intentions as violent." Words are the best way to signal your intentions. You do not see his act (i.e., holding a sign advocating violence, while displaying a gun) as threatening, and feel that those who DO see that as a threatening act as over-reacting. I am not so sure he gets off so easily. Speech acts are overt acts because they have real consequences in the world. Saying "it is time to start hurting people" is an act. It is an act that is protected by the 1st, but it is still an act with moral implications.

    As for my condemnation of ALF/ELF being too weak. I don't know what else I've got to say to convince you that I don't condone their actions. If we use the "badness" scale, the stuff they do is pretty high up there. The original nitpick I had was of a similar kind. I don't think it is fair to point to ALF/ELF as examples of left wing violence in a discussion about MURDERERS (MNG's examples were killers). If your point was...don't forget the vandals, well, no one has, but I don't see them as being as bad as the murderers. That was the original nitpick. It was there because it leads quickly to equating groups like RCALB with ALF/ELF...a move you made just a couple of posts later.

    Anyway, I am done. Nice talking to ya.

    Andy Dufrane,

    Blow it out yer arse...=/;^)

  • DragonScorpion||

    While it is true that the media tries daily to capitalize on sensationalism, concerns about racism, xenophobia and violence from right-wing extremists are quite legitimate.

    I'm not sure why Matt Welch and certain others here are so determined to make light of it all. Some, no doubt, are in the same camp, or at the very least sympathizers. Others, like Mr. Welch perhaps, are just a bit overzealous in their application of the Second Amendment. And, of course, they like to think of the nation as being a bit more grown-up than it actually is.

    No, this country isn't like 1968 America. We've moved beyond much of that. But when you consider the sort of blatant racism & xenophobia that surrounded the pre- and post-election of Barack Obama, the United States doesn't seem to have entered the 21st century. Certainly not what I would have hoped for in a new millennium. Oh, I know, I know, it's just another day, just another year. Yep, and that's why it still goes on. Because some people are so eager to explain it away and always look at the "bright side"...

    ~"It's not possible to reason with people peddling grotesque and preposterous lies, bargain with people who are screaming, or negotiate under threats of violence." ~ Gene Lyons

    There really is a lot of truth to this. People can protest, non-violently, as they like. But Congressional meetings and Town Hall gatherings are not protest rallies. These are for the purposes of official business to be carried out, or, in the case of, public forums where citizens can discuss legitimate issues.

    Basically your right to scream and throw paranoid tantrums doesn't trump my right to get answers to express legitimate concerns or get answers to legitimate questions.

    I know that some would interject at this point by begging the question, 'who gets to decide what is legit?' Apply some common sense, folks. Ex: "How will health-care reform not lead to rationing" is a perfectly legitimate question. "WHY ARE YOU GOING TO KILL GRANDMA?!?!?" is not...

    As for carrying guns to protest rallies. I know some like to hide behind the Second-Amendment, and that's fine, I support gun-ownership for people that can use them responsibly, but I think using this tactic is just going to increase a public outcry for more anti-gun restriction.

    More honesty needs to be shown in regards to these incidents, however. Make no mistake, taking a gun to a protest rally isn't about "exercising second amendment rights", it's about intimidation. Think what they will in their nostalgia for the 'glory days' of musket rifles and militias, but this sort of thing is thuggery, and really doesn't have a place in a civilized society.

    ~"Democrats, on the other hand, tend to mistrust what really lies in people's hearts, worrying that malevolent personal and corporate tendencies, if unrestrained by a civilizing government, will ineffably lead to exploitation, fraud, and violence." ~ Matt Welch

    And it is a mistrust that is well-placed. Individuals - citizens - need protection. Corporations, with their amassed influence, affluence, and power over the lives and livelihood of individuals do not. As history has proven time and gain, Laissez-faire permissiveness in regards to business will ultimately lead to corruption, exploitation, fraud and sometimes, yes, even violence.

  • abercrombie milano||

    I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets

  • nike shox||

    is good

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