The Riot Act

The media demonizes the Tea Party while making excuses for the British rioters.

"This is the uprising of the working class," said a London anarchist taking a momentary break from smashing things last Monday. "We're redistributing the wealth." Said another, "[We're showing] the rich we can do what we want."

If you have been keeping up with the news from Britain, then you know who bears the blame for this: conservatives!

The "deep cutbacks in social programs" made by the government of Prime Minister David Cameron "have hit the country's poor especially hard," reported a major U.S. newspaper, "including large numbers of the minority youths who have been at the forefront of the unrest."

The "unrest." Nice touch.

This line has been trotted out by others—most notoriously "Red Ken" Livingstone, the former mayor of London. As well as a London MP who cited "disillusionment." And an analysis on Salon that blamed "youth unemployment." And NPR ("The unrest has spread, apparently spurred by anger over the high cost of living" as well as economic "disparity"). And The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy (the rioters are "striking out in anger over the theft of their futures").

A scholar at Johns Hopkins blames "austerity cuts." So does The New York Times: "Economic malaise and cuts in spending and services instituted by the Conservative-led government have been recurring flashpoints for months." Reuters says a "sense of disenchantment" is shared by a "generation of young people with opportunities that fall well short of their aspirations." And—

Well, you get the point: Yes, the hooligans have destroyed family businesses, trashed London institutions, sent millions of real and sweat equity up in flames, inflicted misery on thousands of innocent people. But one mustn't judge too harshly. One must try to understand. And to mollify.

You hear that sort of flummery a lot.

Or at least you hear it when the perpetrators of mayhem are objects of liberal approval. Labor unions, demonstrators against global free-trade agreements, environmentalist activists—they have legitimate grievances that must be addressed. The blind rage of young people in working-class neighborhoods is the product of socioeconomic conditions. They should not be held responsible for their actions—the people who created the conditions should be held responsible. (David Cameron, this means you.)

Funny thing, though: You didn't hear that sort of guff in 2009, when middle-class conservatives turned up at town halls across the country to vent about health-care reform. Back then, the town-hall events were filled with "angry, sign-carrying mobs," wrote Politico, which lamented the way constituents were "shouting criticism" at members of Congress. Signs and criticism: Oh my!

"Angry mobs" were trying to "destroy president Obama," fumed Democratic Party leaders back then. "This is something new and ugly," seethed Paul Krugman of The New York Times, which described the town hall events as "brutal." No one seemed interested in the root causes of the sign-wavers' agitation then. You didn't hear much about the "disillusionment" and "disenchantment" of Tea Party protesters who marched on Washington in September 2009, and again the following March.

To be fair, after the Taxpayer March on Washington on 9/12, Reuters did pause to wonder what the source of public anger was: "Protests Against Obama: Race or Policy?" it asked, noting how "former President Jimmy Carter said out loud what Democrats had been whispering for a while, that the protests against the country's first black president are tinged with racism."

When conservatives wave signs, it's not "unrest" caused by a "sense of disenchantment." It's because they're bigots. Society as a whole is not to blame; they are, individually. They need an attitude adjustment. When violent mobs of young people burn down a city, though, they are not individually responsible—society as a whole is (or at least that part of society that ostensibly ticked them off). They don't need an attitude adjustment: conservatives do.

Memo to Britain's ruling party: Look what you made those poor kids do!

This neat bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu ensures that, no matter what happens, one side is always to blame.

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  • Suki||

    You mean those violent, racist tea party types did not steal tellies and torch businesses? I could have sworn that they were the most violent threat to America from all the press they have been getting, especially after seeing how they were all armed and RACIST! The UK protesters only want what is best for the masses. FREE AIR JORDANS FOR ALL!

  • ||

    Exappropriation of I-pads, High def TV's, I-pods, and high end sports wear is done merely to free the masses from the commercial messages that enslave the masses.
    The altruism of these young looters...er, I mean freedom fighters against consumerish slavery, who have to endure wearing the high end sports wear, watching the high def TV's, and listing to Winehouse on the I-pods only show their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the masses.
    I salute you London revolutionaries!

  • Yeah||

    What could possibly explain the difference?

    Britain is not the U.S.?

  • Jim Treacher||

    So it's not that violence is okay when it serves goals you agree with: it's okay when it happens in Britain.

    If you say so!

  • Yeah||

    Huh?

    British "conservatives" are not the same as American "conservatives." British looters are not the same as American Tea Partiers. Hope this helps.

  • Jim Treacher||

    It doesn't.

  • Yeah||

    Ask mommy to explain it to you.

  • Yeah.....||

    ...I'm a dumbass.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Come on, we both know you have no idea who your real mommy is.

  • King Ludd||

    A poorly researched article. It would be nice to believe that the baggers were some form of grass roots organization but when you follow the finances you find mostly corporate interests. I can't recall any other politician ever being asked about their citizenship status but we had a movement of mostly white middle class people who were absolutely convinced and probably still are that our President is a muslim/Kenyan. So what to these people do? They pool together every working braincell in their small heads and decide that this black man like any other black man is unfit to run anything so he MUST be unqualified to hold the presidential seat. Meanwhile the Taxed Enough Already Party is playing historically low taxes. In contrast the England riots did seem to have a racial component at first but by the end the only thing these rioters had in common was that they were young and underemployed as a group. So no it is not a leap of logic to assume class discontent as a key factor though many could probably not articulate it I'm sure it played a part in addition to the synergy usually associated with riots.

  • Pudgeboy||

    'when you follow the finances you find mostly corporate interests'... proof?

  • King Ludd||

  • Jim Treacher||

    Ah, but there's one vital piece of information you failed to consider: http://bit.ly/qK87wc

  • Counselor||

    Wow. A news article put out by a far-left leaning newspaper that got their information from greenpeace, a far-left leaning organization, that said that the Koch brothers gave $5 million to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and that some members of AFP are involved in the Tea Party movement. And the Koch brothers were present at an event in which Tea Party organizers spoke saying they have started rallying people and the Koch brothers nodded. I mean if that info isn't a smoking gun right there, I don't know what is. We may as well skip the trial by jury and hang these guys tonight.

    Hey King Dudd, that was sarcasm in case you thought I was agreeing with you.

  • King Ludd||

    Well fuck facts then. Who cares if it's far left?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well fuck facts then.

    I guess Seven Degrees of the Koch Brothers is technically factual.

  • DLM||

    Well fuck facts then.

    Yes, you seem quite adroit at that.

  • King Ludd||

    So the alternative explanation is that the bagger movement had absolutely no influence from the Cock brothers.

  • Jim Treacher||

    All the signs of a piercing intellect.

  • Kung Pud||

    Fuck facts. I do!

  • Kung Pud||

    ... and by "facts," I mean my hand.

    Okay, okay: my grandmother's hand. Whatever.

  • ||

    -- and they LOVE it!

  • King Ludd||

    Fucking conservatives...

  • Emperor Tech||

    Yes, this is how we get more conservatives.

  • ||

    It always amuses me when people whose opinions are bought and paid for by shadowy billionaire George Soros boldly claim that the Tea Party's opinions are bought and paid for by shadowy billionaires the Koch Brothers. What was that old adage about people who live in glass houses?

  • King Ludd||

    I'm a post-structuralist. That is the basis of my critique.

  • ||

    When you follow the finances of the Left you find mostly George Soros and his cronies. Even when the Left pools together every working braincell in their small heads, they still fail to see that they are really stooges and puppets of the super rich.

  • Derivative||

    Yup, at the top the Left is about the destruction of the middle class

  • ||

    Luddite, you really need to learn to make a distinction between the predigested pap that the media feeds you in the hope that you will regurgitate it all over the place, and the actual facts that they're hoping you'll ignore. None of your "facts" about the tea party supporters are true, and have been disproven so many times that there's really no way that you can possibly still believe them without evading reality on a grand scale.

  • DLM||

    ... evading reality on a grand scale

    Bingo! It seems contagious, too.

  • Suki||

    Hillary Clinton is a corporate interest? Her campaign started the entire birth proof issue about the Kenyan/Hawaiian.

  • Slurpin' the bag||

    Hey! I been to those rallies! Where's my fucking money!

  • ||

    I can tell right away from your comments that you have never attended a tea Party event;
    - There's no real leaders. It's as American grass roots as any movement I have ever witnessed.
    - We are a collection of people tired of the crazy spending from the government class. It has to stop, irrespective of if the president is white (George Bush, level 2.5 spendaholic) or black (Barack Obama, level 5 spendaholic).

    Historically low taxes? I want to see proof of that too. That really isn't the issue. The issue is the unfunded liabilities of our entitlement programs (Social security, Medicare, Medicaid). The debt burden is unsustainable, and will crush the next generation under a mountain of debt that can and will never be paid. So says even that non-Tea Partier, Tim Geithner;
    http://www.businessweek.com/ne.....nable.html

    Why do you need to imply we are stupid ("They pool together every working braincell in their small heads...")? I believe there are good, intelligent people scattered throughout the political spectrum. It doesn't speak well for you to impugn the intelligence of those you haven't met. Try attending a rally. You will find some of the friendliest, caring, compassionate, passionate, and responsible people in these United States.

  • DLM||

    There's no real leaders

    There are certainly those who would like to exploit the energy, though. There always it.

  • ||

    So true; the rot of Christianity started in 380 CE when it became the state religion of the Roman Empire.

  • Sarah, Newt, and Rick||

    We saw a parade and thought we should jump out in front and lead it!

  • ||

    The questions would have dissipated in days if Obama had simply produced proof of his citizenship. Instead, he chose to use every available mechanism to avoid disclosure for as long as possible. Doing so simply fanned the flames -- as any experienced politician would have anticipated.

  • ||

    The minute he produced the birth certificate, the issue was over. I still can't figure out why he didn't right away.

    Saying that people only asked him because he was black is not true. People asked him because largely he didn't grow up in the US.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Team Blue does that too, Ludd.

  • ||

    A poorly researched article blah blah blah blah blah

    Let's see, we have COROPORASHUNZ and RACIST TEA BAGGERS and a bunch of other shit that somehow has nothing to do with the actual article.

    But, uh, CORPORASHUNZ AND TEA BAGGERS!!11!1!!!!!ONEONE

  • JB||

    There are two types of people in the world: tea baggers and tea baggees.

    We know exactly what type you are.

  • MDC||

    Where's my check?! I want me some of that Koch Brother Stash money! If I simply want a smaller government for its own sake, I'm apparently just a chump...

  • ||

    The Tea Party protestors breaks nothing. The looters in London is only interested in loot and burning down things they cannot carry away. So, it's really simple. Civic minded protestor is evil. Looter is caused by the civic minded protestors.

  • sarcasmic||

    A variant of "heads I win; tails you lose"

  • Rich||

  • A Serious Man||

    But think of the all the jobs created by the destruction of these businesses! These kids are really sitmulating the British economy.

  • fish||

    As a result I've invested in sand futures. Just look at all that broken glass!

  • jtuf||

    Yeah, but most of the sand is in unstable dictatorships!

  • Krugabe||

    Now you're getting it

  • Tony||

    I hope you tax his earnings at a 104% rate. It his fair share.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Gotta be a Spoof Tony... the real(ish) Tony would not stop at 104%.

  • ||

    No the real tony would have just taken all the money in the bank too.

  • ||

    This is more logical than hiring people and giving them pensions that no one can afford to pay.

    At least the London way you get new stores!

  • British Protester||

    I want the government to do more things!! Because I am an anarchist!!! Yea!!! I see no contradiction between these two statements!!

    [Hits the window of a small business with a baseball bat.]

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    I want the government to do more things!! Because I am an anarchist!!! Yea!!! I see no contradiction between these two statements!!

    Neither does this guy …

  • ­­||

    Shouldn't it be a cricket bat?

  • Suki||

    Baseball bats have been foisted upon British youth in a transparent attempt to brainwash them through marketing.

  • ||

    It is a baseball bat because that represents domination by America. Open your eyes.

  • cynical||

    You know who else went around breaking windows and wanted more government?

  • ||

    The Tea Party is making my hair fall out.

  • ||

    You might want to re-read that article or see a doctor.

    The Tea Party had nothing to do with Britain's riots. The stringent unmentioned British gun-control laws did.

    Although when we originally had the tea party I'm sure King George thought we were rioting as well, even though there is a vast difference between the two events since we didn't take the merchandise.

  • ||

    "You might want to re-read that article or see a doctor."

    And you, Justin, need to re-read that comment and/or get a sense of humor and/or an abillity to detect sarcasm.

  • Yeah||

    When we make a serious analytical blunder, we're just kidding.
    Get a sense of humor!

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Huh???

  • Yeah....||

    ...I'm still a douche!

  • Derivative||

    You are correct about the gun laws. This riot would have lasted 3 minutes in my town.

  • ||

    The Tea Party turned me into a newt!

  • DJF||

    The tea party talks about reducing government so its is evil

    Rioters give a good excuse to increase government from police to taxpayer paid for midnight basketball games so they are good

  • Krugabe||

    Now you're getting it!

  • Alien Invasion Task Force||

    Human Krugabe, we would like to talk at you for making plans of taking over you planet.

    Also, plus subscribe to news letter.

  • ||

    Very interesting. I heard a story on NPR last week in which the reporter noted there was no particular race component (i.e. there weren't more Black youths than white youths). He also said the rioters were more interested in stealing stuff than protesting any policy. There was a sound byte from a self-described "liberal activist" imploring the youth to stop rioting, organize themselves, and re-focus their energies because there were "real" problems to solve.

    In other words, this was not about "disenfranchisement" etc. etc.

    This tells me that some media outlets are not REPORTING (actually ASKING kids why they are rioting); instead they are spinning the story and seeing their ever-present monster under the bed--the conservative.

  • Zeb||

    Exactly. All of the little shits who I have seen interviewed have pretty much said that they are doing it because they think they can get away with it or because it made them feel "powerful".

  • progressive counselor||

    Jack, could you please explain to Ralph that when you talk about the "Beast", it is a metaphor for the excesses of capitalism?

  • DLM||

    ... there were "real" problems to solve

    Yes. The problem was they needed a new television.

  • Pudgeboy||

    Knee-jerk liberal jackassery... Giffords shooting, Tea Party, etc. Pathetic, if it wasn't so destructive.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • ||

    Cry havoc, and release the narrative!

  • ||

    Cry hovoc, and break the window of a pet shop and grab a Samoyed (awwww)
    http://gomestic.com/pets/luxur.....og-breeds/

  • ||

    I've now capitulated, Obama was right in trying to give away so much. If we don't, mobs are going to take it anyway.

  • Internal Revenue Service||

    "If we don't, mobs are going to take it anyway."

    Damn right we will!!

  • ||

    Like flash mobs, rarely seen in right to carry states.

  • Koan||

    The London rioters and the black flash-mobs that have taken hold this summer in the U.S. have made me think some rather nasty, un-libertarian thoughts. You know, like bodies crushed beneath tanks, public floggings, etc.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know what is un-libertarian about that.
    I think most libertarians would agree that one of the legitimate functions of government is the collective enforcement of property rights when it becomes beyond the ability of the individual to do it himself.
    This is most definitely a case where government violence is warranted.

  • Koan||

    That's precisely what is so infuriating. One of the few instances in which massive, blood spilling force by the government is justified is passed up, and the decent citizens pay the price - literally with their own money and blood.

  • sarcasmic||

    You sometimes see people argue that there is no reason citizens should be allowed to own military style hardware.

    Here is an example where some machine guns in the hands of citizens could come in real handy.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "some machine guns in the hands of citizens"

    I wish! Stop those anti-property rioters in their tracks.

  • sarcasmic||

    Which Death Wish movie had the 1919?

  • ||

    another good example was the mardi gras riots in seattle where the watch commander ORDERED all spd cops NOT to engage the crowd at all, but to stand on street corners and let them riot

    kris kime was killed and scores were injured because the cops didn't want to look like meanies using sticks and stuff to hit people of color.

    that shit doesn't play well on CNN

    better if innocent people die, according to the cop-o-crats.

  • GSL||

    Of course, more anarchy-inclined libertarians would point to this as an example of why government shouldn't be trusted with this responsibility: the right of the individual to be secure in his/her property shouldn't be subject to political considerations.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wouldn't say this is an example of why government shouldn't be trusted with this responsibility, it's more of an example of why individuals shouldn't be prohibited from doing it themselves (gun control, etc).

  • GSL||

    Po-tay-to po-tah-to.

  • ||

    I agree about gun control. When there was rioting in LA after the Rodney King incident the only places not looted or destroyed were the the ones where the owners stood on their roofs with guns and those were mostly Asian busineses because the white people were to PC to stand there with their guns.

  • ||

    Post Office wasn't looted either - for obvious reasons.

  • ##||

    Can't get your welfare check if the Post Office is closed?

  • ||

    And what would the reason be?

  • Kristen||

    It's too dangerous for the delicate, fragile po-pos. they only bring the toughguy (or, "hardman" in Britspeak) when the situation is clearly non-threatening.

  • ||

    more like too controversial for the cop-o-crats who hate to see vids of their forces hitting people with sticks on CNN so would prefer to let the riots happen vs. quelling them w/force

    see: Seattle cop-o-crats and the mardi gras riots.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Suppress that urge, Koan... the Teams are just itchin' for an excuse to impose martial law.

  • Jennifer||

    It's the same old story, those looking for a government handout become agitated when it's no longer available. Knowing Britain, half of these goons were probably working part time cash in hand then collecting benefits to equal a full time income. Now the benefits have been pulled away because they haven't been looking for proper work. It's been going on for years, and I'm glad to see the tax payer is not on the hook for it as much anymore.

  • ||

    and I'm glad to see the tax payer is not on the hook for it as much anymore

    Aside from any property damage from the looting obviously.

  • OO||

    they are no victims od property theft

    thats a mith

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tell us where you live, OO, and we'll come over and take your stuff and shit in your hat.

    THEN, you can tell us what you think of property rights.

    You and Edwin are two of a kind on that issue.

  • ||

    a "generation of young people with opportunities that fall well short of their aspirations."

    Wait- I cannot glide directly from college, clutching my degree in Twentieth Century Transgender Social Justice Poetry in my sweaty little hand, to cushy a V P of Operations job at Apple?

    WTF SMASHSMASHSMASH

  • ||

    Has there ever been a generation whose aspirations did not exceed their opportunities?

  • BakedPenguin||

    East Germans born from 1968-1978?

  • Ska||

    If only there was some hybrid sport involving shotguns and surfing, that might improve things.

  • Skeet Surfin||

    Agreed.

  • Abdul||

    Only the realistic ones. The other 95% were pretty disappointed.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Obama probably wept like a child when the Berlin Wall came down.

  • NoVAHockey||

    This attitude infuriates me. Mainly because I'm not even 35 and I'm already saying things like "kids today ..."

  • ||

    I'm 26 and find myself saying that shit all the time..then I find out they're normally my age or older.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I say that about people my age.

  • Random Dude||

    I'm young as well, and I find myself strafing between two poles:

    (1) anger at conservatives for acting as if all criticism of society is somehow unwarranted

    and

    (2) anger at progressives because of my belief that a sense of personal responsibility is not antiquated.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • A Serious Man||

    You know, if you're a member of a minority (I am), shouldn't you be insulted by the basic implication being made here, namely that if you don't give these animals their welfare and handouts they'll riot because that's just the way they are?

  • sarcasmic||

    That would depend on which you value more - your self respect or the handout.

  • ||

    You should, but that's not part of the narrative, dude.

  • Koan||

    Yes, you should absolutely be offended. You should also call out those in the minority community who act like rampaging animals when they don't get their handouts, or are just acting out of a sense of criminal entitlement.

  • Pudgeboy||

    Unfortunatly, the question itself is racist.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Questioning whether ANYONE should get free cheese is racist.

  • IceTrey||

    Every human being is a minority of one.

  • Zeb||

    Well, most of the rioting doesn't seem to involve any minorities in particular (unless you consider chavs a minority).

  • Big Jim||

  • ||

    Are you proposing an alternate narrative?

    CB

  • ||

    The implication might be true. That doesn't say it has anything to do with their skin colour, just their self-centeredness.

  • Monk||

    You know what I hate more then left-wing bias, fucking right wing bias. At least left-wingers dont have a persecution complex.
    Besides, the tea-party is shit, as it is filled with religious assholes, welfare queens and war mongering fucktards. Sure they may not want to riot and burn their neighborhood, but they are willing to burn businesses in other countries to spread democracy.

  • ||

    concern troll is concerned.

  • ||

    And of course it is a good thing we threw those Tea Party fucktards out of power in 2008 and ended all those wars.

  • ||

    C+. A good try, but too obvious. Refine it a bit.

  • Abner||

    Turd gargle much?

  • Mike M.||

    but they are willing to burn businesses in other countries to spread democracy

    What's your evidence to support this claim?

  • GSL||

    I half-agree with you about the Tea Party, but "left-wingers don't have a persecution complex"??? Give me a f***ing break. Have you forgotten about how Karl Rove stole two presidential elections, and how evil racists committed themselves to destroying the Obama presidency?

  • Koan||

    +1

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    No shit. Anyone who argues that "left-wingers don't have a persecution complex" with a straight face has no sense of self-awareness.

  • ||

    Tea Partyers are called terrorists and suicide bombers and deranged maniaces.

    The London rioters's violence is excused. Root causes and all that.

    If I were a Tea Partyer I'd damned sure as hell have a persecution complex.

    As the saying goes, even paranoids have enemies.

  • ||

    Which side was pushing the Fairness Doctrine again?

    I equivalize it to 16th century English religion. On one side you have Reformers, who disagreed with the Catholic Church and wanted to have their own church. On the other side you had the Catholic Church, who wanted to literally (Merriam-Webster, not Wasserman-Schultz, definition) burn alive the Reformers.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not only the Fairness Doctrine... those fuckers want control of the internet, too.

    Team Blue can't stand freedom anymore than Team Red can.

  • Random Dude||

    Indeed GSL.

    Every 4 years I am treated to the Persecution Olympics, otherwise known as the Democratic National Convention.

    There I am uplifted by which demo can claim the mantle of most persecuted. Will it be the Gays!?. Latino maids named Maria?. Inner city Blacks!? The "Working Class" union members? Environmentalists?. Underpaid college professors!?. The suspense is just fucking riveting.

    I wholeheartedly wait for the day when we can see a homeless, half black, half hispanic illegal immigrant union-member college professor of climatology win center stage at one of their conventions. Then, and only then, the One True Oppression will have been reached.

  • Apple||

    "At least left-wingers dont have a persecution complex."

    Funniest shit I've read all day.

  • Matrix||

    I guess he was living under a rock during the 8 years of the Bush Administration.

  • Bombed Libyan Babies||

    but they are willing to burn businesses in other countries to spread democracy.

    Assmunch.

  • ||

    All I've heard of tea party spokespersons is economic stuff. The social conservative thing is a small point in their platform. I think? Anyway, the social conservative stuff is a ship that has sailed. I think it is more important to pay attention to what is said, than what is waved on a placard at the back of a meeting. I suspect most of the stupider signs are planted by Dems, or perhaps Republican non Tea baggers.

  • ||

    At least left-wingers dont have a persecution complex.

    That's what we want you to think.

  • ||

    Once upon a time, "aspirations" were long term goals, requiring hard work and sacrifice; apparently, they are now more like an XMAS list, and if Santa doesn't cough up the loot, he'll be sorry.

  • ||

  • Luna||

    What do you expect? At least half the people in this world are so deep into ideology they will never see the surface again. They are effectively brain dead.

  • ||

    Am I the only one who thinks Mr Hinkleheimer-Schmidt is really coming onto his own lately?

  • BakedPenguin||

    No. He's been consistently good.

  • Koan||

    @Monk - Besides, the tea-party Democrat Party is shit, as it is filled with religious assholes, welfare queens and war mongering fucktards. There, fify

  • ||

    The other side of the equation--of course--is that the right will use things like this to justify whatever prescription it is they're selling too...

    I'm hearing people argue for what people used to call the "broken windows" theory in reference to Giuliani in New York...

    The argument goes that things like fist fights and petty larceny aren't treated so seriously in the U.K., and familiarity with the lenient justice system there breeds contempt among the thugs for the law.

    I don't know that the U.K.'s recent emphasis on austerity provoked the riots, but I'm sympathetic to the suggestion that keeping people on welfare for long periods of time gives engenders a sense of entitlement...which in turn leads to all manner of evil.

    What really stands out to me though is the difference in how marginal immigrant communities reacted when targeted by the thugs in the U.K. as compared to what I saw happen in LA during the riots.

    I've never seen a better argument for the free availability of firearms than the way the Korean community in Koreatown reacted to being under siege by thuggish rioters and arsonists in LA during the riots. When Darryl Gates' police threw up their hands and abandoned trying to stop the rioters--who were targeting Korean businesses specifically--the Korean small business community reacted by arming themselves and organizing themselves and defending themselves, their businesses and their livelihoods.

    The Muslim community in the U.K., which the thugs and arsonists likewise targeted--had no such ability to arm themselves.

    What a shame that when an ethnic community was swarmed by thugs, thieves and arsonists like that, all they had to defend themselves with was their fists.

  • ||

    Unfortunately a couple of those defenders were killed. A fist is of little use against a car a guns would have stopped them.

  • ||

    "Unfortunately a couple of those defenders were killed. A fist is of little use against a car a guns would have stopped them."

    In LA, I saw more than one occasion where a couple people with shotguns held off a crowd.

    In the case of the Koreatown businessmen, there were dozens of them on the rooftops, and they would just point their shotguns, etc. at the crowd and move wherever the crowd moved...

    When there's ample opportunity to go elsewhere, a crowd will choose some other location, rather than rob, loot and burn the stores with the dozens of business owners tracking them with shotguns.

    There's also a deterrent factor. In LA, if you rob a Korean business, there's a good chance the cashier will produce a gun and fire.

    In the U.K., I don't think there's much risk of that. Personally, I doubt the guy that ran those Muslims over with the car would have driven into a crowd of armed men holding guns.

    He might have, but I doubt it.

  • BigT||

    He might have driven in...he would not have driven out.

  • rts||

    A great photo of Sikhs defending their temple with their kirpans:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....oters.html

  • PIRS||

    This almost makes me want to become a Sikh. I am glad there are still people in the world willing to stand up for their rights.

  • ||

    Notice how they call those who try to protect their properties "Vigilanties" I call it self preservation.

  • ||

    and i really hate it when people misuse the term vigilante. we all know vigilantes are not people defending themselves or other next to them from immediate threats. that's a right of any free man. (well, except in england)

  • Matrix||

    Vigilantes dress up in tights and masks and run around beating up common criminals.

  • Apple||

    Holy shit. Dude right in front holding the axe is my new hero.

  • cynical||

    Before they try the whole "broken windows" thing, maybe they should work on actually punishing people who victimize others in a proportionate way. Public humiliation and flogging might do the little shits some good. Public execution for those that kill. It would be a little harsh in a healthy society, but Britain's underclass has lost its fear of civilization.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    So, liberals are hypocritical, lying sacks of shit?

    That's not exactly breaking news.

    That's what they've ALWAYS been.

  • OO||

    thatz funny from a teabagers

  • DLM||

    thatz funny from a teabagers

    Open wide.

  • Barack Obama||

    Wait a sec. Let me pull out first, so you'll have enough room to take my place.

  • Paul||

    And The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy (the rioters are "striking out in anger over the theft of their futures

    Fuck you. When I grouse that Mike McGinn is "robbing my future" by slamming an $80 license fee on me for "improved bicyle paths" in the city, I'm called greedy.

  • Pudgeboy||

    What does that nonsense, 'theft of their futures,' even mean? Does he mean that their life-long goal is to remain on the dole?

  • ||

    Yet when a Tea party member says their "robbing our childrens future" their call terrorist.

  • ||

    seattle gets the mayors it fucking deserves. whether it's paul "i am not a wuss, schell", norm "i'll ban guns in city parks by EXECUTIVE ORDER " stamper, or the current asshole McGinn... plus ca fucking change

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I call the taxes needed to pay for welfare a theft of future. Cutting that welfare, is a restoration of future.

  • Paul||

    The blind rage of young people in working-class neighborhoods is the product of socioeconomic conditions.

    I also notice they get a pass if they user twitter and other forms of social networking.

  • ||

    Do you know how much it cost to use social networking services. Where does that money come from. I work every day and I can't afford that.

  • ||

    I've tried a flash mob with two cans and a string. Doesn't work.

  • ||

    Do you know how tired your hands can get doing all that texting and typing?

    Show some compassion you bastard.

  • ||

    Fun article.

    It's depressing to be continually reminded of the gross irrationality and dishonesty out and about, but if you do it in a jaunty way, the bad news goes down easier.

  • ||

    Ha ha.

    Look at all the glibertarians tut-tutting the inevitable result of ratcheting up the distribution of wealth away from the bottom. Look at these bong-addled, gun-cuddling civic illiterates interpret riots as if they couldn't possibly have anything to do with austerity, sharp declines in social spending, disenfranchisement and racial profiling. Watch them, as they always will, boo hoo about looting done one widescreen TV at a time while simultaneously endorsing Wall Street's looting the western world a trillion at a time.

    Ha ha.

  • ­­||

    Ha ha

  • You should consider suicide||

    ratcheting up the distribution of wealth away from the bottom.

    How dare you curtail my ability to take your hard earned money! How dare you refuse to support me with your tax money!

  • ||

    Why is it your moneyz?

  • ||

    Itz the peeple's moneyz, teebaggers!

  • BigT||

    Come up out of your mother's basement so I can introduce you to a concept called work...

  • Barack Obama||

    Watch them, as they always will, boo hoo about looting done one widescreen TV at a time while simultaneously endorsing Wall Street's looting the western world a trillion at a time.

    I was the getaway driver.

  • ||

    He was forced to give that money to Wall St by the republicans.

  • BigT||

    BHO: "Yeah, it's not like I voted for TARP or anything. I was 'present', as usual."

    Carney: "Psssst. You voted for it"

    BHO: "I prevented another Depression by giving money to poor, destitute bankers"

  • some guy||

    Libertarians don't support anyone's looting, be it a London thug or a Wall Street suit. You need to read more about Libertarians if you think we're ok with the way Wall St. manipulates government in its favor.

  • Paul||

    [Congress invites and is receptive to] Wall St. manipulat[ing] government in its favor.

    Fixed.

  • some guy||

    You didn't "fix" it. I guess you could say you "completed" it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He won't. Orel is a lost cause Kos kid.

  • Liberalism||

    A lost Kos!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    If you're going to troll this site, you need to step up your game quite a bit.

    As is, you get a D-

  • Mike M.||

    I, and I'm pretty sure almost everyone else here, were fully opposed to the TARP bailout and all the other bailouts from day one.

    So you can just go fuck yourself in your earhole.

  • citation needed||

    citations needed.

  • erm||

    Unless you can prove that every single piece of damaged property, broken window, stolen TV, etc... belongs to a wall street millionaire, shut the fuck up.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck you, Orel.

    Call your Congressman and demand a 100% tax on whatever income level pisses you off, and demand further that 100% of that largesse be given in cash to the poor.

    Then... watch nothing change.

    Nice of you to defend shop-owners getting looted just to make you feel better, BTW. Real class act, you.

  • Shorter Orel Hazard||

    "... no, but seriously, Lord Obama: SWEETEST. MOST TASTIEST. MAN-KNOB. EVAAAAAAAHHHHH -- !!!"

  • some guy||

    When violent mobs of young people burn down a city, though, they are not individually responsible—society as a whole is...

    This is absolutely correct, just not in the way the rioters' apologists mean. The root of the problem isn't that handouts are now being taken away. It's that handouts were being given in the first place.

  • ||

    Duke: The lights are growing dim Otto. I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.
    Otto: That's bullshit. You're a white suburban punk just like me.
    Duke: Yeah, but it still hurts.

  • wulfy||

    Votem them out. Vote them and their ideas out to the ash-heap of history. Why?
    - Their arguments lack logic, their policies not only lack effectiveness, they are destructive of the economy and of personal responsibility,
    - their culture lacks moral integrity, and
    - their social imperative is parasitism and coercive redistribution rather than trade and agreed cooperation.

  • ­­||

    Who, the rioters?

  • ||

    And to think, they spent billions on an Orwellian surveilence system.

  • ||

    Actually, the CCTV network appears to have been useful in rounding up some of the looters.

  • DLM||

    Actually, the CCTV network appears to have been useful in rounding up some of the looters.

    I'm waiting for the new reality TV show.

  • ||

    That was to stop CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN and AZORIAN BLUE HADES, dude. Just ask The Laundry.

  • Trespassers W||

    I forget, is AZORIAN BLUE HADES something to do with the Deep Ones? I thought they were sort of a neutral party.

  • New York Cynic||

    A couple of things Ive noticed

    1. Callings these thugs, Anarchists is a lie. These people are either punk basement dweller kids who needed an excuse to break things or pissant socialists and communists attempting another "revolution"

    2. Buchanan and his ilk have predictably started up their racial bs machine in blaming immigration for said riots.

    3. Granted Im no fan of the Neocon Tea Party (as opposed to the Ron Paul Tea Party) but for the left to blame them is retarded but not surprising.

  • Trespassers W||

    Buchanan and his ilk have predictably started up their racial bs machine in blaming immigration for said riots.

    Weren't immigrants largely the victims (if they allowed themselves to be victimized at all) of the looting?

  • ||

    The immigrants who were victims are mostly those who have arrived since the 1970s.

    To the extent that there were "minorities" doing any of the rioting they are mostly the descendants of immigrants who came as British subjects from the colonies in India and Pakistan, Africa and the West Indies.

    Those immigrants arrived at a time when the welfare state was in it's heyday of experimentation. It was also a time of racial prejudice and many of those immigrants were unable to find work due to discrimination and were shunted into welfare dependency to "help" them assimilate.

    The modern welfare state may be generous in England compared to here but benefits are not a generous nor as automatic as they were in the sixties and seventies.

    These descendants of immigrants are trapped in the same cycle of welfare dependency as the white yobs that took to the street with them.

    The immigrants who arrived since the seventies were better educated and arrived in time to see a growing economy that for the most part welcomed their entrepreneurial effort.

    The welfare dependant yobs of all races hate them for the wealth and property they have aquired and the white yobs add the additional dimension of racial bigotry.

  • ||

    Also, the immigrants who are arriving today, including bunches of illegals, are coming to take the jobs that these poor deprived youths think are beneath their dignity. The fact is, the native born youth can't even do those minimally skilled jobs. Most of them are barely literate.

  • ||

    they took our jerbs!

  • ||

    The Washington Post said, "the rioters are striking out in anger over the theft of their futures".

    What futures? What theft? Who is the thief?

  • Destrudo||

    Booting a yobbo off the dole is what passes for stealing his future over there I guess. If somebody busted into MY business, my CZ 75 just might ACTUALLY take away their entire future.

  • Tony||

    However illegitimate and opportunistic the England riots are, what makes the Tea Party ridiculous is that it is a protest movement in support of further redistributing wealth upwards. Has the world ever seen such a thing?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    "it is a protest movement in support of further redistributing wealth upwards"

    So, you're saying you're against the income tax?

  • Rahm Emanuel||

    You're fucking retarded.

  • Trespassers W||

    Is it Thursday yet?

  • Pudgeboy||

    How is allowing me to keep my money redistributing anything? Clearly it isnt'. You are a douche.

  • ||

    It' ain't your money! It's these poor destitute kids that are forced to play yesterday's game on their older model PlayStation3/X-Box machines, and then on a crappy 42 inch TV instead of a 50 inch or bigger one, because government isn't taking enough of their money back from you! Anyone that works and believes they deserved whatever they got paid is an evil rich bastage! Down with them.

  • Tony||

    It's only your money because the system has been gamed to funnel more and more money to you. Assuming you're wealthy, which you're not.

    Convincing middle-income tea partiers that Obama wants to tax them specifically is just one in a very long line of lies the GOP has foisted upon us.

    That's the problem. Somehow tea partiers have been convinced that doing the slavish bidding of the ultrarich is somehow doing themselves a favor.

    Whatever the wealth distribution, it's either the product of a free and fair market, or it's not. How come you guys always assume the former for the money in the pockets of the wealthy, but always the latter if it's money in the pockets of the poor?

    Sounds like a sloppy attempt at justifying the current distribution to me. Why not call it freedom? Couldn't hurt.

  • ||

    Right. Because reversing Bush tax cuts on the rich is worth less than $100 billion a year and that solves the trillion dollar deficits that Obama's 10 year budget envisions.

    THAT'S why the middle class is worried. They don't understand the Democrats math.

  • jacob||

    Newsflash, the Democrats don't understand the Democrats math. Shit, Spoke can't figure it out either

  • Shorter Tony||

    "Look! Over there! THIEVES -- !!!"

    [::Thrusts hand into listener's pants pocket, grabs wallet. Scuttles away::]

  • some guy||

    Good job, Fake Tony. You almost had me this time. In a few more weeks you might be indistinguishable from Real Tony.

    Why would you want to be indistinguishable from Real Tony?!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Why would you want to escape the laws of supply and demand? I once asked.

    There's no rational explanation, but people do. Same thing with imitating Tony.

  • Fake Tony||

    69

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Still on that broken record, eh, Tony.

    Like I told OO - or was it Orel - either way, they suck:

    Demand that your elected officials impose a 100% tax on whatever income level most pisses you off, then further demand that every dollar of that is given in cash to the poor.

    Nothing good will happen.

    But it'll make you *feel* better.

  • Tony||

    So you buy the GOP line that the problem with the country is that the rich don't have enough money?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not a Republican, Tony.

    But you know that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Way to avoid the question, btw.

    But that's how you roll.

  • jacob||

    No asshole, I buy the line that I want to keep more of _my_ _own_ money

  • Tony||

    Since you're probably not wealthy, you must love Obama for giving you more tax breaks than under any other president.

  • DLM||

    At most, you mean lessening the redistribution of wealth...if your were honest or knew what you were taking about.

  • Tony||

    That doesn't even make sense. There's a certain distribution, it's a product of government policy. Period.

  • ||

    And that is the problem tony!.....Even the fake that you are....

  • ||

    Daniel Hannan has an interesting take on the causes of the London riots and solution

    Ed Miliband wants an inquiry into the causes of the riots – let me save him the trouble

    For someone without educational qualifications, crime can be a logical career choice. The chances of detection are meagre, the chances of conviction nugatory, and the chances of incarceration virtually non-existent. This is especially true of those legally classed as juveniles, which explains why so many youngsters were among the malefactors.

    What we saw, in other words, was not some howl of protest against the system, still less a reaction against the “cuts” – which, as this blog never tires of pointing out, have not yet taken effect. As the excellent Zoe Williams put it yesterday:

    I think it’s just about possible that you could see your actions refashioned into a noble cause if you were stealing the staples: bread, milk. But it can’t be done while you’re nicking trainers.

    To infer broad conclusions about social security or family breakdown or public spending from the riots is silly. The one obvious lesson to draw is that there was a very serious initial failure of policing. Only when the police stopped treating the riots like a community relations role-playing exercise at Bramshill did the hoodies’ cost-benefit analysis change.

    I’m not being wise after the event. The monumental incompetence of the Met has been one of this blog’s longest-running themes. While individual officers behave bravely – in some cases heroically – under very difficult circumstances, their leadership is often woeful.

    Fortunately, a solution is on its way; the requisite legislation is even now clanking through the tubes and chambers of our government machine. Yup: it’s time for elected sheriffs.

    comp article here

    http://tgr.ph/n9QeSW

  • ||

    i made this point in another thread about stuff "protesters" were saying during the WTO riots. some were there to actually protest the WTO

    many others were there because it was fun, offered a way to almost certainly get away with crime (breaking shit, stealing shit, assaulting people, etc.)

  • BigT||

    This is true of almost all riots. There is a core group who have a cause and a much larger group of opportunistic thugs.

  • vector1369||

    The solution prevent future riots is even stricter policing?

    Are you serious?

    The riots started over the strictest policing possible: the police killed a man.

    Are you suggesting they should kill even more people? Or should the police just beat the crap out of people like in Selma during the civil rights marches?

    You want your government to rule through fear and intimidation? Well, I hope you get it. And I hope I don't live anywhere near you.

  • ||

    the issue wasn't "did they kill a man?"

    there's nothing strict about it, as long as its JUSTIFIED.

  • vector1369||

    Ask the protesters. The issue was most certainly the fact that the police killed a man.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Give a man a fish, and he'll riot for free fish.

  • Christopher Zimny||

    LOL. That was great, and so true.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Oh, I am SO stealing this! +1,000,000,000.

  • ||

    All kinds of progressives

    -my facebook friends who have become far left radicals

    -Penny etc at the guardian

    Are very open with no minced words are big fans of violence and mayhem against all sorts of things from opening walmarts/tescos to just general mob aggression to intimidate.

  • Tony||

    The right takes a Democrat getting elected POTUS as a sufficiently motivating event for protests.

    But the fact is, what the right and their corporate/financial elite allies have done to the world's economies is and should be a radicalizing thing. Heads were removed from the bodies of the rich for much less.

  • ||

    It's racist to call for Obama's head, Tony. Take it back.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There's a difference between a protest, and looting and burning and destroying.

  • DLM||

    There's a difference between a protest, and looting and burning and destroying.

    Not to a lefty.

  • Tony||

    There's a difference between a left-wing protest movement and a right-wing one. One can lead to good, the other is always bad.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Pathetic that you believe that.

  • jacob||

    I think the pathetic asshole just summed himself up. Left GOOD. Right BAD.

  • Tony||

    Name a right-wing protest movement that ever achieved anything good.

  • Jim Treacher||

    "It's okay to destroy things and hurt people, as long as you don't disagree with me politically." That's Tony, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Christopher Zimny||

    I just got done reading an article from The Onion before reading this, I scarcely noticed the difference.

  • vector1369||

    In one sense, and one sense only, there is some similarity between the two. Both see their sense of autonomy and standard of living being damaged by government action.

    Tea Party activists in the US want to address the threat by rolling back the intrusiveness of government. They have not yet fallen prey to the "learned helplessness" which Marxist/Fascist/Communist governments require of their subjects. Tea Party Americans still believe we can take care of ourselves.

    Conversely, the London rioters have succumbed to learned helplessness. A cradle-to-grave welfare system like that of the UK requires such a population in order to maintain power. The London rioters are convinced that they cannot possibly care for themselves without government assistance. Sadly, with the regulatory regime in the UK being so biased against the small entrepreneur, they may very well be correct in their belief.

    But what would that matter now? They have already been turned into adult infants, molded that way by the very government they now violently turn upon.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Most annoying of all, the disenchanted British youth brought this to the world - pronouncing the letters "th" as "f". It's spread to the "disaffected" in the USA. Fucking baby talk.

  • Trespassers W||

    It's nuffink.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

  • ||

    Uprising of the WORKING class? I thought it was the multi-generation dole dependents, attacking the property of small shop owners (who actually are working).

    -jcr

  • mash||

    It was brilliant that the only shop not looted in one area was a bookshop

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Intellectuals don't start riots. They start revolutions--that actually happen. Or they stay home and write philosophy and readably literature.

  • DLM||

    And rationalize why the revolution failed.

  • ||

    Intellectuals don't start riots. They start revolutions

    I can't decide if it would be better or worse if they actually finished them.

  • jtuf||

    A revolution is a riot that keeps going until the government changes. "Intellectuals" are the elites with enough power to pull this off.

  • Shake||

    I love how Reason condemns liberals for rationalizing the London riots with no mention of the fact that so many libertarians (e.g.: Ron Paul) are guilty of rationalizing terrorism in the exact same way.

  • ||

    Vile troll.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not even a *good* troll. I'd bet he posts on MediaMatters.

  • jtuf||

    Well put, Hinkle.

  • ||

    I think we are going to end up seeing a reprise of the French Revolution on a world-wide scale. It was the result of poor spending judgment and subsequent insolvency as well, but in this case the role of the three estates (royalty/nobility, clergy, and the third estate/bourgeoise) are not quite the same. The clergy is now the priestly class of tenured college professors. Royalty/nobility is the politically connected classes: the businessmen/bureaucrats that rotate in and out of government, and their children who follow in the footsteps of their parents. The bourgeoise are the public servants with the guaranteed pensions. When the poor and working poor realize that these former patrons are no longer able to keep them in soda-pop, beer and pretzels, they won't be going after the tea-party types who have been warning us all. Heads will be on pikes, but it won't be ours.

  • Derivative||

    So, you say we are headed to a worldwide Statist Regime? How fun.

  • JB||

    Fuck the Left.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • Idiot Savant||

    Riots are Punk rock

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • ||

    I didn't know you could eat cell phones and ManU training kits.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • yelly||

    Intellectuals don't start riots. They start revolutions--that actually happen. Or they stay home and write philosophy and readably literature.
    2011 New Arrival Nike Free 3.0 V3 Womens Running Shoes - Blue/White/Red Nike Logo
    Nike Dynamo Free(PS) Womens Running shoes - Sky-Blue/Pink/White

  • ||

    Only minor difference is that the Tea Party was created by lobbyist dollars set up to use USA racism against Obama in unnatural gatherings.

    Britain Flash Mobs are a natural display of the gap between the wealthy and lower class.

  • ||

    "The Media" strikes again! That same "Media" that Fox always complains about. The same "Media" that Sarah Palin turned into millions of dollars. That damn MEDIA! ARGGG!

  • Derivative||

    Right, bust on Palin. She's helping move the goalposts for us. You know about the Dialectic don't you?

  • ||

    Dialectic...you mean what babies use to learn. Also, everyone knows you NEVER depend on your kicker to win you the game - fuck the goal posts.

  • Derivative||

    Reason may have cherry picked this one a little bit. All the Brits I know are very angry at the "urchans." They say things like "This is what happens when you have an entitlement society."

  • yelly||

    The Media" strikes again! That same "Media" that Fox always complains about. The same "Media" that Sarah Palin turned into millions of dollars.
    Nike Air Free Run + couple Running Shoes - White/Red
    Nike Air Free Run + couple Running Shoes - White/Black

  • Houston Texans||

    very nice

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