Robinson Responds

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Yesterday, I reported that numerous people believed that they knew the identity of the person who appears in this video, purportedly kicking a restrained protester: They believe the person on the tape is Wharton student Scott Robinson, who interned in Washington, D.C. this summer. At this point eight of them, seven D.C. interns and a University of Pennsylvania political science student who says he lived across the hall from Robinson for a year, have provided comments for attribution, claiming to be certain the person on the convention video is the student and intern they know. (Various others have sent anonymous statements to myself and other bloggers to similar effect.)

On Thursday evening (technically very early Friday), I spoke with Robinson. He conceded that he was in New York at the time, volunteering at the Republican National Convention, but says that he was not at the Andy Card speech where the incident took place around noon that Wednesday. He said he had been out late Tuesday night and didn't wake up before midday, as he was only working evenings. He also gave me the name of the Wharton fraternity brother with whom he stayed that week, with whom he said he'd been at the time of the Card event. That person, whose name I'm omitting at his request, declined to say anything on the record when contacted via email.

Update: The University of Pennsylvania's campus paper has picked up the story, with a comments section where students are discussing it. That piece adds a visual ID from the chair of the UPenn College Republicans, though a more tentative one than other sources have given. No further word from Robinson himself as yet.

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  1. That person, whose name I’m omitting at his request, declined to say anything on the record when contacted via email.

    What exactly can we infer from this?

  2. not very much, really.

    it is odd that no one bothered pursuing criminal charges, though. or at least hunting the kid down for a good old fashioned ass kicking.

    it is fun, however, to hear people i know who are decidedly of the liberal mindset tossing “and he kicked a girl no less!” onto the woodpile. like, fuck guys…the whole point is that he’s kicking someone while they’re down, not that the person in question had boobage.

  3. You know atrios has the uncropped photo on his site. (sorry)

    One of the atriotes made some comment about “What’s with the free market solution to comment posting,” as a jab at Reason, the comments were closed before I could respond that the flood and poor performance was a classic case of the tragedy of the commons.

  4. You know, I’ve actually met two different people in my life who looked just like me… it’s very disconcerting.

  5. ABC,
    One of my friends swore he saw my twin. The wierdest thing is the guy drove the exact same make, model and color car as I did and exited off the same freeway exit as I do to go home. My friend called me about it and I said I was at work at the time, it was spooky.

  6. dhex,

    Well, we can confirm that so far, his main source to corroborate his alibi will not do so (or at least won’t do so “on the record”). Further, we also know that he was at the Convention (which places him at the “scene” of the incident). What we need to find out now is whether his story can be corroborated by someone else – in particular, anyone who witnessed him being “out late” Tuesday night, and anyone who witnessed his tardy exit from his room on Wednesday.

  7. Certainly kicking anyone while they’re down is in poor taste–I in no way mean to defend it.

    But some Bureaucrash protestors had a similar experience in Thailand, involving Act Up Paris. The Act Up group had scheduled a demonstration at which the Bureaucrash gang counter protested. The Act Up folks pushed me, very nearly to the ground, and are caught on video striking another female Bureaucrash member.

    The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience. (And in the RNC case, it isn’t really a free speech issue–the RNC had rented the Garden and therefore had the right to control attendance. The girl who was kicked had no right to free speech, and the RNC had no obligation to provide her with a forum for her views.)

    Is there any moral outrage directed at the Act Up Paris from any of the Democratic Underground folks? Come on! We’re girls!! And they pushed us!

  8. ABC,

    Well it shouldn’t be; our genetics can only create just so many unique faces, etc.

  9. I think we can all agree that kicking someone when they’re down on the ground being subdued by 3 secret service agents is a crappy thing to do, no matter what the political affiliation of those involved.

    And, no, it doesn’t mean all Republicans are thugs. It means this one is.

  10. You know, I’ve actually met two different people in my life who looked just like me… it’s very disconcerting.

    Weird, I’ve met exactly two people that look very much like me. One guy on the Metro was particularly creepy, almost a mirror. Same sunglasses, similar clothes.

  11. gary: i dunno. i’m not one much for internet dickwaving with legions of crazed hordes myself. besides, his alibi could lie, etc.

    besides, he has to live with the knowledge of being a pussbucket wussmaster general. πŸ™‚

    brooke: “The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience.”

    sadly, this is more or less true of every political group. i’m more disturbed, however, at the ridiculous gender bias displayed by people who claim to know better, somehow, somewhere.

    equal work
    equal pay
    equal bruises

    it’s the only way this stuff works.

  12. brooke,

    The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience.

    *rolls eyes* Its only the evil leftists that are this way. πŸ™‚ You see, conservatives are never assholes, and they never think of free speech as something for their own convenience. πŸ™‚

    At Auburn University I had a number of experiences with conservatives over the LGBA group I belonged to, to realize that there is very little that seperates rabid leftist and rightist activists when it comes to bullshit.

    The girl who was kicked had no right to free speech, and the RNC had no obligation to provide her with a forum for her views.

    I don’t think anyone argued that they did. So why exactly are you even bringing the issue up? Probably to deflect from the fact that one of your Republican ilk is an asshole.

  13. I’m always amazed at the way that partisans will defend the indefensible if it comes from their side.

    In that one respect libertarians are in fact superior to other factions: We mercilessly rip on “our own kind” all of the time. OK, it’s not a matter of principle, just that we’re prone to infighting and petty squabbles. Still, at least we can say that we don’t cut any slack for people that we agree with πŸ˜‰

  14. Atrios. Indeed. It is, admittedly, fun to call any Bush supporter who acts like this “kid,” a brownshirt, et al, but you are correct, that it isn’t that he’s a Republican, the issue is that he has so far, escaped indictment and prosecution for feloneous assault. In an alternate universe, were he were a Kerry supporter, kicking a member of the href=”http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132×828458″>Parlock family, one could imagine the difference in media coverage and “outrage.”

  15. Fuck that shit –

    I say just kick the shit out of him BECAUSE he was at the RNC – never mind the fact he kicked someone on the ground?

    I hope this asswipe has this litte incident follow him around the rest of his life.

    Fuck them all!

  16. Why am I not surprised that he tried to use a fraternity brother to fake an alibi?

  17. “And, no, it doesn’t mean all Republicans are thugs. It means this one is.”

    Nope. All Republicans are thugs. That’s been clear for quite some time now.

    Look at the way they got their hired goons to handcuff the grieving mother of a dead National Guardsman because she dared to protest in front of Xanax Queen Laura Bush.

  18. Actually Gary, whether or not Scott kicked the girl or not, I’ve always thought he was pretty much an asshole based on the accounts of people I know who have worked with him. I also came to that conclusion based on the stuff he’s written. He’s not at all of my ilk, thank you very much.

    If you’ll go and read some of the comments on the blog Scott posts on, which has been widely referenced, you’ll see that much of the criticism towards him is indeed about free speech–why attack a harmless girl who just wanted to have her say, they are asking. What about her free speech? Well, she had no right to a say in that particular forum. I am pointing out that the free speech issue is a canard thrown out by the commenters on that blog. I would expect that a right-leaning protestor who snuck into the Dem convention would’ve gotten the exact same treatment and been equally deserving.

    I’m just saying that lefty protestors, in my experience, seem to act as though they have some kind of monopoly on protest. Libertarian protestors realize that without lefty protestors, they’d have very little to counter-protest–so abridging the freedom of speech of lefty protestors is not at all in their interests. Pointing out the absurdity of their arguments is. I by no means intended to let right-wing crazies off the hook.

  19. I’m mystified as to why anyone cares about this. Whoever did it is a grade A jerk, no question, but…so what? Someone somewhere right now is getting kicked while they’re down, why don’t you go find them and start another thread, eh Julian?

  20. Atrios. Indeed. It is, admittedly, fun to call any Bush supporter who acts like this “kid,” a brownshirt, et al, but you are correct, that it isn’t that he’s a Republican, the issue is that he has so far, escaped indictment and prosecution for feloneous assault. In an alternate universe, were he were a Kerry supporter, kicking a member of the Parlock family, one could imagine the difference in media coverage and “outrage.”

  21. Come on! We’re girls!! And they pushed us!

    Sorry, dear. You didn’t get kicked while three people were holding you down. Not good enough.

    Go out and get kicked in the head by a democratic man and then come back and we will all howl at the outrage.

  22. I say.

    Why aren’t the freepers and little green and yellow football cowards clamoring for getting to the bottom of this kicking story, and punishing those responsible? I mean, they’re all about fairness and justice and obedience to the law, and swift punishement for the guilty, aren’t they?

    Aren’t they? Aren’t they?

  23. thoreau-
    I second that. I’d kick any one of you while you were down. Who said “it’s not enough that we succeed, others must fail” ?

  24. Mr Robinson also posted this before the convention. It was on the Koch Fellows website yesterday, but gone today.


    “Sick of Radical Protesters”
    Koch Fellows,
    My good friend from school, Dan Kline has a Protest Warrior Chapter. It is a great organization that opposes left-wing protests and demonstrations, and does a little counter protestation of its own.

    Watching some of the clips and reading a little from the this link (and from elsewhere and my personal visits to some of these demonstrations), many people wouldn’t believe some of the radical tactics that many of these maniacs employ. When the mob mentality sweeps over them, they are so full of hatred and a wreckless disregard for truth, reason, and couth.

    Anyone who wants to is welcome to join our U of Penn chapter for the periodic updates. There are numerous other towns and colleges with chapters. You can browse by state. Just go to this link and click on “register”. There are no obligations and if you decide to, I’m sure that you will be glad that you did. Pass this on the word to fellow anti-protesters…..”
    posted by Scott Robinson at 12:35 PM | 0 comments

  25. ” I by no means intended to let right-wing crazies off the hook.”

    Oh sure you do, Brooke. Do you think we were all born yesterday?

  26. thoreau,

    I agree (somewhat). As a regular reader of Atrios, I have seen them attack one of there own for being wrong, mean, or stupid on occasion. That said, here’s the best slam sent to Mr. Robinson, along the same lines that you describe…

    I seriously don’t know what’s worse — the fact that you’d beat up some girl, or the fact that you “claim” to be part Libertarian/Randian while being an apologist for the GOP.

    Get a clue, son — what do the following things have in common?

    Pre-emptive/interventionist/humanitarian war

    The Police State — laws against consentual crime: prostitution, gambling, euthanasia, drug use

    The Drug War

    Constitutional Amendments banning gay marriage, abortion, flag burning, and forcing mandatory school prayer

    A government-engineered “trickle down” tax system that shifts the tax burden to the middle class.

    Corporate and Farm Subsidy

    No Child Left Behind

    The Expansion of the Welfare State — 1/2 trillion-dollar Prescription Drug Corporation Giveaway

    Threatening to arrest people who buy drugs from Canada

    Stripping the consumer of his or her purchasing power

    The Patriot Act

    Government funding of marriage promotion

    Government funding of private religious charities

    Deficity spending — boosting GDP by funneling taxpayer money into unnecessary war

    Using the military as an arm of multinational corporate interests

    Closing the Borders

    Giving the corporation human status

    ****Give up? Let me tell you. All of these things go against the tenets of classical liberalism, when imposed on a federal scale — which they ARE.

    Libertarianism 101: CEOs running the government, and making laws in favor of corporations is NOT the “free market.” The marriage of corporations and government is fascism.

    Your party, as you envision it, doesn’t even exist. It is run by corrupt extremists who have contempt for the Bill of Rights, hate civil liberties and plan on using the government to funnel money to the ultra-wealthy, and dump the check on our kids. “Trickle Down,” at best, (in conjunction with a war economy) temporarily spikes the GDP numbers — and, at worst, is the finest in big government social engineering — only right-wing style, instead of left-wing style.

    You have the right to think whatever you want, but quit trying to masquerade as the “party of freedom,” when you’re actually populated and run by Christo-Corpo-Fascists.

    You [guys] give the “free market” a bad name.

  27. There is something extra thug-like when a grown man decides to “let loose” and kick a woman. I’ve got two younger sisters, and spent a certain amount of time in high school being “big brother”. So, my own personal sense of outrage has most definitely been stoked. And, Atrios is dead on, one Republican’s bad behavior is not meant to mean all Republican’s are such… important to make that distinction.

    IMO, the harsh reaction to this incident is twofold- 1) the fact that said thug kicked another person when they were down. 2) the fact that he blatantly lied about it mere minutes from the act, on camera. Brutuality plus chickenshit denial and arrogance will not go unchecked.

    That much is clear.

    My take on the “denials” of the alleged perpetrator: it looks bad for him. The wagons are being circled. The clincher: The cropping of the photo at the NTU site… says it all really. If Robinson was NOT the person at the RNC, why crop it? If Robinson wants to clear his name, then speak up. Stand tall.

  28. Now can we track down the middle-aged Republican wussy who was photographed at an event standing behind a protesting woman and yanking her hair?

    It’s on the net. I don’t have a link.

  29. Here is a little intolerance from the left. He made that poor little girl cry.
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/040917/480/wvrs10109170018&e=7

  30. brooke,

    Actually Gary, whether or not Scott kicked the girl or not, I’ve always thought he was pretty much an asshole based on the accounts of people I know who have worked with him.

    Ouch.

    What about her free speech? Well, she had no right to a say in that particular forum.

    I pointed that out yesterday on the original thread below.

    I am pointing out that the free speech issue is a canard thrown out by the commenters on that blog.

    Maybe so, but that hasn’t been a subject of contention here. So I wonder why you bring it up here? Are you assuming that the posters here generally think that she had some free speech rights (as guaranteed by the Constitution) at the Convention? I don’t recall anyone on this forum saying that she did.

    I’m just saying that lefty protestors, in my experience, seem to act as though they have some kind of monopoly on protest.

    Well, my experience with conservative protestors is that they act similarly. I am neither a conservative nor a liberal, but a libertarian.

    I by no means intended to let right-wing crazies off the hook.

    So did you go against Act-Up because you dislike gay people, or because you aren’t in favor of Act-Up’s policies?

    Fair enough.

  31. In this information age, SOMEONE should be able to conclusively say who this person is. He wasn’t wearing a disguise or anything. So, run a blog’s “America’s most wanted” and serve him up!

    If it Is Scott R., there should be some recent pics of him that match better than the ones seen so far.

    To date, I still think the earlier theory (son of a certain Dr.) looks like a better match.

  32. “Here is a little intolerance from the left. He made that poor little girl cry.”

    Except the guy, Mr. Parlock, seems to get in the news all the time being the ‘victim’ of similar incidents.

    It happened in 1996, and 2000, as well.

    So either he’s a particularly abrasive personality… or it’s staged.

    The “union guy” who supposedly tore up the little girl’s poster looks an awful lot like Mr. Parlock.

  33. Todd Fletcher:

    Stories have legs when they speak to larger truths. Nobody would have cared about the stupid Al Gore stories unless they already thought that he was a superior creep. Similarly, people perceive Republicans as significantly closer to violent fascism than Democrats. In part this inevitably follows from the nationalistic/militaristic flag-waving demagoguery that they have adopted as a party platform, and in part from the rhetorical violence and hysteria that typified their response to the Clinton administration. By the time we saw arson, window-smashing, vandalism, hair-pulling and beating of restrained protestors we more or less knew it was going to happen. It’s happened before.

  34. Pigwiggle,

    Too bad he’s a professional victim, or you’d have a point. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are such incidences, I just think its humorous that you picked that one.

    Steve

  35. Simulated dialogue with Scott Robinson:

    Q: What do you think Jesus would do, if standing next to a female protester who’d been wrestled to the ground by the Secret Service?

    Scott Robinson: I think Jesus would have planted a boot in the bitch’s uterus. And again! And again! And again! And again, until she learns her place.

  36. Steve-
    With all the people clamoring to his defense it is hard to tell if the “union stooge” is his son. Easy formula, go to political rally A with sign B. Still, it doesn’t excuse the behavior.

  37. Brooke – speaking as a woman, I don’t ask for better treatment than men. You shouldn’t have been pushed because that’s obnoxious, not because you’re a girl. We point out this Scott Robinson jerk because the right has been pointing out leftie “violence” for decades while pretending that they would never stoop to such. Robinson himself decried the bitterness in politics. So he’s a snotty little hypocrite. And that’s worth pointing out. And he ought to own it, but he’s a liar, too. Like preznit, like acolyte.

  38. I’m always amazed at the way that partisans will defend the indefensible if it comes from their side

    Has anyone actually defended what this guy did?

    On the other hand:

    he has so far, escaped indictment and prosecution for feloneous assault

    I seriously doubt you could get felony charges to stick.

  39. Pigwiggle,

    No it doesn’t and you are right. If I were to go to a Bush rally with a anti-Dubya sign or shirt, I would expect to be harrassed, just like if I wore a Chief’s jersey at a Bronco’s game. Actually, scratch that. Football fans are more reasonable and polite (most of the time, despite alcohol) than political partisans. Especially the uber-fanatical Bush supporters — who ironically enough were all small-government supporters during the Clinton Administration. Funny, that.

    Steve

    :-

  40. Still, it doesn’t excuse the behavior.

    If by that you mean that nothing excuses repeatedly staging attacks so that you can play a victim for partisan benefit, yes.

  41. Tom-
    No, I don’t think this was his son. Lets say it was; why are all of these self proclaimed compasionates sitting there like doorknobs?

  42. The girl who was kicked had no right to free speech, and the RNC had no obligation to provide her with a forum for her views.)

    Gee, when you put it that way, kicking the snot out of her seems like perfectly reasonable response.

  43. Tom – any proof that the attacks were staged? It has happened to this Parlock guy three times, but on the other hand he does have a habit of counterprotesting at Dem events.

    I don’t find it implausible at all that counterprotestors regularly get roughed up, regardless of who they are protesting.

    I will say, from personal experience, that if you are ever at a political event espousing a position opposed by the local labor union, you would be wise to steer clear of beefy men wearing labor colors.

  44. All through college (30K+ student State school) people kept coming up to me and calling me “Jake”, literally maybe twice a month it would happen.

    I started playing along eventually, then started sending the message back by his friends that he was a good looking man.

    As for kicking someone, it’s not that it was a woman, or even that she was on the ground, it’s that other people were forcibly holding her in place while he kicked her, and THAT ain’t fair.

    I think she should press charges, and WE should let the justice system take care of it.

  45. Uh, I’m a libertarian too, Gary. I’m frankly surprised at your defensiveness about what I wrote.

    On libertarian grounds, Bureaucrash opposed Act Up Paris’s protests at the 2004 AIDS Conference–they were demanding that patents be broken and drugs and research provided for free. The particular event we were crashing was a demonstration they held where they demanded of several pharmaceutical execs to agree to not enforce their patents on AIDS drugs in developing countries (where the bulk of the AIDS cases have nothing to do with gay people).

    I agree that when it comes to craziness, both left and right aren’t far apart. But in terms of manistream protestors, I’ve always felt that the lefty ones had a mindest that their demonstrations are superior and more legitimate than those of right wing protestors. Maybe I’m reading that wrong, but as a fairly objective observer, it’s been my experience. Perhaps the true anarchists are one exception to this, but there seem to be very few true anarchists these days, and more kids wearing black and covering their faces with bandanas because it looks cool.

    And I wasn’t bringing up free speech because it was a point of contention here, by the way. I noticed that you had dealt with it yesterday. I brought it up because it is an issue elsewhere in the blogosphere and I thought the Reason blog would get more insightful and balanced commentary on the matter than it received anywhere else. Sorry for trying to discuss something in this forum without running it by you first.

  46. “The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience. (And in the RNC case, it isn’t really a free speech issue–the RNC had rented the Garden and therefore had the right to control attendance. The girl who was kicked had no right to free speech, and the RNC had no obligation to provide her with a forum for her views.” -Brooke

    I respectfully beg to differ.
    Madison Square Garden is located in the United States of America, the Constitution of which, at this date, still does in fact guarantee the Right of Free Speech.

    Furthermore, kicking anyone while they are down is universally regarded as mere cowardice.

    Lastly, if one wishes to control attendance, one can certainly find any number of civilized, humane, and lawful ways to do so, such as politely but firmly escorting the person who’s attendance one wishes to control to the door.

    Let’s talk turkey, shall we? The overwhelming majority of Republicans in the US are fine, law abiding Gentlepeople, and the same goes for the Democrats.

    That being said, for every instance where some form of cheap unamerican thuggery is perpetrated by a private Democratic citizen, there are in actual fact at least 10 committed by their Republican counterparts. This is not exactly what any rational person would call a fair situation.

    What is happening here on a National scale is that the scrappy little Democratic kid, after all this time, has simply had enough, and is finally, in his long-suffering anger, standing up to the chronic schoolyard Bully, and poping him a good one right on the Kisser.

    It is interesting to note the disingenuous Republican “outrage” at this turn of events; the
    “activist” Republicans relish any opportunity to dish it out, but in the very rare instance when the tables are turned on them in their own game, they just can’t take it at all.

    A cheap shot is a cheap shot. It’s wrong, it’s unfair, and it’s Unamerican.

    On another level, this really goes to the heart of much more important issues with extremely serious consequences for all of us regardless of our political orientation.

    Bush, Cheney, Rove, and all the other Republican “leaders” complicit in these tactics, although they promised the exact opposite, have succeeded in 4 years in effectively polarizing the American Citizenry to a degree not seen in this country since the Civil War.

    This last is no coincidence, it is in fact a key element in their ongoing agenda to divide and conquer our Nation, our People, and our vast resources for their own personal gain.

    This is how they do it.

    They care nothing about our actual well-being and real “family values”, what they care about is power and money, in roughly that order.

    As long as they can emotionalize the debate, they can obscure and distort their actual policys; because they have the entire Citizenry wound up in a crippling partisan rage, the People are less likely to think clearly, and in this poisonous atmosphere the human tendency is to focus not on the broader issues, but on narrow, immediate, emotional “fights”.

    When the People take a breath to look around, what do they find?

    Federal agents in their librarys, multi-trillion dollar debt, ever-downward spiralling wars, devastating reductions in healthcare and overall quality of life, and much to their dismay, they find themselves widely disliked and often despised by former friends in the International community who were, only 4 years ago, close and valued associates, staunch allies, and often enthusiastic supporters.

    We get what we vote for. Oh, that’s right, we did not actually vote for all this the last time around.

    This time, we must do better.

  47. Went to a McGovern (yes, I’m that old) rally in LA to annoy the lefties way back when. A McGovern fan yanked my protest sign out of my hands. I belted him very hard and he flew backwards into the crowd. He gave me the sign back.

    Later I was accosted by another gentleman (different issue) and we came to blows (he started it). About 3.3 seconds later several plainclothes secret service agents had us seperated and escorted off the premises. Good thing, too, because I think he coulda taken me.

    At no time while being escorted off the premises by the secret service did anyone kick me.

    Voted for Hospers later that year…

  48. This is bad, but some leftist did it too once! Also, they disagree with me on some other issue! So no big deal! /pro-GOP “libertarian”.

    Christ, grow up. You get caught assaulting someone, you pay the price. Doesn’t matter if you’re leftwit, rightard or anti-gay-marriage-pro-war-on-drugs “libertarian.”

  49. i’m more disturbed, however, at the ridiculous gender bias displayed by people who claim to know better, somehow, somewhere.

    What in the flying f**k does “equal rights” have to do with “equal physical stature”?! Are you trying to argue that women have the right to be kicked, just like men?!

    Unless the protestor happened to be a female bodybuilder, there is a very high probability that the guy that kicked her was considerably larger and more muscular. That it wouldn’t have been a fair fight even if all other things had been equal definitely does make it worse. Or are you really arguing that it’s okay to attack someone that’s much smaller than you, so long as they’re not restrained? Or that it’s just as okay if I attack a slight person that weighs 120 pounds as it would be if I attacked a muscle-bound person weighing 220 pounds?

  50. Helios-
    “That being said, for every instance where some form of cheap unamerican thuggery is perpetrated by a private Democratic citizen, there are in actual fact at least 10 committed by their Republican counterparts. This is not exactly what any rational person would call a fair situation.”

    Are you fucking high? In actual fact you have no idea what the ratio of thuggery by either faction is. Please.

  51. “The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience.”

    I’m not sure that ACT-UP counts as lefties–they’re focused on a single issue, and a particular set of tactics. Rather than being a part of the right or the left, they go their own way. Liberal Democratic politicians have been their targets, too:

    http://www.actupny.org/actions/gorezaps.html

  52. I have no interest in figuring out whether the left or right has more thugs. I’m confident of 4 things:

    1) Most people on either side are decent and non-thuggish. Even most partisans are decent people.
    2) Nonetheless, the partisans on both sides seem to be obsessed with the number of thugs on the other side while sometimes minimizing the number of thugs on their own side.
    3) The actions of thugs on either side have no bearing on the validity of either side’s ideas.
    4) We libertarians are much less likely to turn a blind eye to our own wackos, due to our propensity for infighting and bickering. We’re not any more principled, we’re just ornrier! πŸ˜‰

  53. brooke,

    I guess I didn’t realize I was being defensive; many apologies if I appeared to be acting that way; it was not my intention.

    On libertarian grounds, Bureaucrash opposed Act Up Paris’s protests at the 2004 AIDS Conference–they were demanding that patents be broken and drugs and research provided for free.

    Ok; well, I think some reforms of patent law are required, same with copyright law (especially copyright law).

    The particular event we were crashing was a demonstration they held where they demanded of several pharmaceutical execs to agree to not enforce their patents on AIDS drugs in developing countries (where the bulk of the AIDS cases have nothing to do with gay people).

    Well, see, as long as they don’t ask the government to coerce them to do so, I’ve no problem with them asking them not to enforce their patents.

    Sorry for trying to discuss something in this forum without running it by you first.

    Hey, no problem. πŸ™‚

  54. Well, in terms of right vs. left-wing protests, the left usually has a reason to think theirs are superior…

    First of all, when was the last time you saw a real (as in 10,000 or more people) right-wing protest? Second, the Seattle protests were against a Clinton policy, so, are those protestors right or left wing according to your logic? Third, sounds like you’ve never been to a women’s health clinic. People will literally attack you, scream in your face, spit on you, call you a murderer, harass you nonstop. I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever in my life witnessed such reprehensible behavior from a group of left-wingers as that. Never, anywhere, there is NO COMPARABLE example on the left.

    Now, what were you saying?

  55. rea,

    Well, Act-UP has fairly lefty positions, however, you are right, they are more than willing to go after a Democrat.

  56. “there are in actual fact at least 10 committed by their Republican counterparts”

    Thank God you pointed out that it was an *actual* fact, otherwise people might think you were just making things up.

  57. “Your party, as you envision it, doesn’t even exist.”

    I think that’s true of both major parties. The rank and file of both parties, working people in Main Street America, have pretty much the same populist values, and the same resentment of elites who get a free ride. They want more control over their own lives, instead of having decisions made for them by suits a thousand miles away.

    The Demos use populist rhetoric to appeal to quite justifiable public resentment of corporate welfare and crony capitalism; the GOP, likewise, uses fake populist rhetoric about “Hollywood” and “trial lawyers,” and the increasing tax burden on workers. Both parties, in practice, continue to augment the corporate state and increase the power of Big Government and Big Business establishment over our lives.

  58. I respectfully beg to differ.
    Madison Square Garden is located in the United States of America, the Constitution of which, at this date, still does in fact guarantee the Right of Free Speech.

    So you can just run out on the court and do whatever you want at a Knicks game, too? Your house is located in the United States — can I come into it and do and say whatever I want?

  59. The GOP has decided to coopt nationalism and militarism as its winning strategy. Melding party with state suggests that opposition is treasonous. For christs sake, we already saw naked rhetoric saying precisely that in 2002. By now we take it for granted. When a party decides to adopt that tactic violence always follows.

    In this particular election season, the rightwing owns violence and criminal acts of intimidation. If anybody has an example of similar behavior by Democrats other than that one headlock guy and a Republican with a history of victimizing himself, I’d be more than happy to be wrong.

  60. The frist thing to highlight is tough boy’s words and attempts at projectionism. Very much Goebblesspeak in every since of the word, and upon examination the same behavior and people he villifies he acts out against.

    Go ahead Squat Robinson, kick your oedipal counterpart.

    The scene from animal house, the paddle and the pet goat, and your fearless codpiece leader’s story of legend on his most famous day. You are proof that such conditioning cannot be broken. It simply resurfaces when at underduress or exposed to stress…

    If you’re so damned libertarian donate to Joe Lie-berman. He needs reinforcement somewhere, and most common sense Dems do not claim him.

    Exactly how many McGovern supporters were even allowed to Nixon rallies? Thanks for ignoring the tactics your idols used and thrived upon… those who forget the past are condemned to vote republiclown.

  61. Fuck you, Sanchez, for this cyber-lynching. What the hell business is it of yours? And is this what your platform here is for?

  62. “In this particular election season, the rightwing owns violence and criminal acts of intimidation.”

    You see? You forgot state that they *actually* own violence and criminal acts of intimidation, so people may think you have no rational basis for saying this. Your post may even be mistaken for non-factual ranting.

  63. Tom Frank,
    “Similarly, people perceive Republicans as significantly closer to violent fascism than Democrats.”

    Oh they do? Because I’ve spoken to “people” too and I never got that impression. The nice person:jerk ratio seems pretty much the same on both sides in my experience.

    Is this the kind of garbage that gets posted at liberal sites? What a bore.

  64. the video link does not work

  65. You know, I’ve actually met two different people in my life who looked just like me… it’s very disconcerting.

    i’ve met two people who looked just like you, too.

    weird.

  66. You people are an incredible accumulation of what the late great Bill Hicks would call capitalist scum-fucks. Have fun with your lalafallujah fascist fantasy.
    And, by the way, the neo-con bush bunch did 9/11, you can bet the corporate farm on it.

  67. I guess this is the flip side of the RNC comment board.

    Yikes.

  68. Mo,

    Haven’t you ever read Democratic Underground? It’s a real hoot. Much worse than these Atrios visitors.

    I strongly suspect some of these people write for Mother jones.

  69. Brett,

    I take it that one, you didn’t watch the video, or two, you approved of what that jackass did? And I dare say a “cyber-lynching,” IS NOT THE SAME THING AS A REAL LYNCHING! And you are probably a freaking hypocrite since if the political affiliation were reversed you’d be be tying gas soaked rags around big sticks and going to Home Depot to purchase a pitchfork. There, I feel better.

    Steve

  70. You people are an incredible accumulation of what the late great Bill Hicks would call capitalist scum-fucks. Have fun with your lalafallujah fascist fantasy.Comment by: Jorge W Arbusto at September 17, 2004 07:26 PM

    Wow, we’re getting some Commies here now! This is almost as much fun as a mosh pit at a Pearl Jam concert circa 1992

  71. “On libertarian grounds, Bureaucrash opposed Act Up Paris’s protests at the 2004 AIDS Conference–they were demanding that patents be broken and drugs and research provided for free.”

    How rude! Don’t they know that profits are more important than people?

    ” The particular event we were crashing was a demonstration they held where they demanded of several pharmaceutical execs to agree to not enforce their patents on AIDS drugs in developing countries (where the bulk of the AIDS cases have nothing to do with gay people).”

    I’ll bet you’ve got a personally autographed copy of The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, right Brooke?

  72. kmw,

    Opposing unbridled capitalism (especially corp-welfare) does not automatically make one a communist no more than opposing excessive taxation make you a libertarian. Just saying.

    And Bush ?allowing through neglect,? 9/11 ain?t that far fetched as you think.

    Steve

  73. While it’s true that not all Republicans are thugs, there is a fairly large element within the mainstream conservative community who believe violence in the pursuit of ideology is no vice. Their anger is fueled by Coulter, Malkin, Horowitz and the other stars of the Young Republican speaking circuit.

  74. You know, I’ve actually met two different people in my life who looked just like me… it’s very disconcerting.

    They didn’t happen to also look like memos obtained by CBS, did they? Because that would be just too weird.

  75. Brett-
    Err, what? It’s my business because it was news (I’m not like, the first one to mention this case), because I’m a journalist, and because I happened to get the tip. So, yeah… that’s exactly what my platform is for. As for “lynching”… I’ve reported something I was hearing from a bunch of sources that seemed credible. I reported Scott’s counterclaim too, and my attempt to verify it; I’ll report on further such attempts if he wants to give me any other avenues to try. If he can convince his friend to give me a corroborating quote I can print, I’ll happily print it, either with a name or anonymously. Plenty of people seem to have concluded it’s him and posted some angry comments–but if angry comments on a weblog constitute a lynching, I get “cyberlynched” all the time.

  76. people perceive Republicans as significantly closer to violent fascism than Democrats.

    Those people have presumably never been to a union rally or a “peace” march.

  77. “While it’s true that not all Republicans are thugs”

    “Not all,” eh? Are you sure you aren’t being too generous here?

    “there is a fairly large element within the mainstream conservative community who believe violence in the pursuit of ideology is no vice.”

    Again, is this an *actual* element? Because if not, someone may get the mistaken impression that you are just voicing your prejudices, or paranoid fantasies.

  78. You’re a public figure. You invite criticism. You post here under your real name; you have a public presence on the Web. He doesn’t, or didn’t, until you came along.

    This has nothing to do with what he did or didn’t do. This poor sack now is subject to harassment from Atrios-types, because you felt like you had to use this blog to secure justice for the protester who was allegedly assaulted. It’s not your place; that’s what the police are for. This is vigilante justice, pure and simple. This is a very visible blog, and by posting this guy’s name, you incited people to, at the least, invade his privacy. Hopefully it doesn’t go beyond that.

    You are not the law. There’s nothing illegal in what you did, and there very well might have been something illegal in what he did; but you have no right to conclude that he’s guilty and release the lefty hounds on him.

    This is news? Really? You don’t think this happens every day, on both sides of the equation? What about the little girl whose Bush-Cheney sign was ripped up? I don’t see any posts from you on that one.

    I’m a subscriber; I like your magazine. But this is absolute bullshit.

  79. JDM,
    That’s why I tend to avoid sites like DU and FR. I prefer the more collegial environs of Reason’s boards. Even the rudest posters here don’t hold a candle to the guys that just pop in. True of wingnuts on both sides. Heck, these guys make JB look like Ghandi.

    “Wingnuts: Making the French look polite since 1974”

  80. Those people have presumably never been to a union rally or a “peace” march.

    I’ve been to both, many times. I never saw any violence. In fact, the brotherhood (siblinghood?}I’ve felt rivals, if not surpasses, that of the church services I’ve attended. If it wasn’t for the people driving by yelling threats at us, I’d describe the events as love-ins.

  81. Funny, lots of criticism of paragraph two and not a mention of paragraph one. Here’s a syllogism to make it more digestible:

    * Parties who co-opt nationalism and militarism generally go on to suggest that dissent is treasonous.

    * When members of a party suggest that dissent is treasonous violence usually follows. Plenty of historical precedent.

    * The GOP began its dissent-is-treason-and-Democrats-dissent-therefore-Democrats-are-treasonous campaign in earnest around 2002.

    * Therefore, people quite reasonably expected violent behavior to follow.

    Whether “jerks” exist is irrelevant. I ran an environmentalist group and I can tell you about jerks. Plenty of proto-fascism in the activist fringe, which is why I dropped it. The question is whether one party has put itself in a rhetorical position that inevitably ends in violence.

  82. “On libertarian grounds, Bureaucrash opposed Act Up Paris’s protests at the 2004 AIDS Conference–they were demanding that patents be broken and drugs and research provided for free. The particular event we were crashing was a demonstration they held where they demanded of several pharmaceutical execs to agree to not enforce their patents on AIDS drugs in developing countries (where the bulk of the AIDS cases have nothing to do with gay people).”

    So, you are against a private group that was using protests as a tactic to negotiate favorable terms with another private group? And you have the nerve to insist that your opposition to this negotiation between two private parties is grounded in your libertarian beliefs? LOL!

    Your true intent is revealed by your parenthetical, which is totally beside the point, but for some reason you deem relevent.

    This is precisely why I loathe so-called Libertarians… the vast majority are simply rightwing loons that camoflage their true feelings in libertarian rhet.

    Continuing to roam Reason with my latern in hand….

  83. ripping on people in reverse order:

    JDM wrote: Haven’t you ever read Democratic Underground? It’s a real hoot. Much worse than these Atrios visitors.

    I strongly suspect some of these people write for Mother jones.

    Indeed. Who let all this rifraff into the room! Well, now you’ve told them…

    Brooke wrote: Sorry for trying to discuss something in this forum without running it by you first.

    to which Gary says Hey, no problem. πŸ™‚

    Jesus Gary why’d you cave? Well, let me say it: Brooke: Shut the fuck up. You weren’t getting smacked down for bringing in new points; you were getting smacked down for making no fucking sense:

    you wrote: The lefty activists really are only in favor of free speech at their own convenience. [totally evidence-free, and irrelevant to boot!] (And in the RNC case, it isn’t really a free speech issue–the RNC had rented the Garden and therefore had the right to control attendance. The girl who was kicked had no right to free speech, and the RNC had no obligation to provide her with a forum for her views.”

    a) this is legally true, but of course it’s legalistic crap. The conventions are supposed to be pageants of “democracy”. It’s a Greek word. Look it up.

    b) In any case, it’s beyond irrelevant. Unless of course you believe that renting the hall gives the ruling class party carte blanche for assault. (or to use Phil’s clever analogy, John Starks or whatever stiff the Knicks have now can beat the shit out of Spike Lee whenever he gets too loud)…

    But the real whopper of the evening is on Thoreau’s tangential: We libertarians are much less likely to turn a blind eye to our own wackos, due to our propensity for infighting and bickering. We’re not any more principled, we’re just ornrier! πŸ˜‰

    Yes, Thoreau, because Lord knows the Left, or even liberals (there is a difference you know, people) have no centuries-old history of ripping each other to shreds–often quite literally.

    Man you Randheads can be a sheltered bunch.

    m

  84. Note to self : Do not check back before tuesday. Hit & Run should be disinfected by then.

  85. “What about the little girl whose Bush-Cheney sign was ripped up? I don’t see any posts from you on that one.”

    Again, as already mentioned twice in this thread, with pictures:
    http://rising-hegemon.blogspot.com/2004/09/bogus-assault-father-freeper-of-year.html

  86. Thanks Dan, I posted that as well, but of course, when is trying to make an argument despite evidence, it pays to ignore countervailing argument.

    πŸ™‚

    PS Brett, I can’t believe you actually believe what you wrote. The “kicker,” is clearly deserving some derision, Lord knows, people who have done much less reprehensible things have been “cyber-lynched,” for MUCH LESS.

    Steve

  87. There are a couple of things we should all learn from this.

    1 – If you are going to hit someone, really hit them. I don’t care if it’s a punch or a kick or a swing of a bat, put your body into it and give it some follow through. Don’t “punch like a girl”.
    2 – Don’t hit anyone if you won’t be able to explain it to your dad later.
    3 – Especially at a news event.

    Great work Julian.

  88. Tom Frank, T
    Thanks for the clarification. Let me see if I have this right: one Republican loon kicks some other Democratic loon, and therefore the Republicans are Nazis.

    Republcans can of course resort to dirty tricks. It’s another name for politics. Shocking revelation: Democrats do it too.

    Can someone please fumigate this thread?

  89. It is fun, however, to hear people i know who are decidedly of the liberal mindset tossing “and he kicked a girl no less!” onto the woodpile. like, fuck guys…the whole point is that he’s kicking someone while they’re down, not that the person in question had boobage.

    OTOH, it’s equally fun to hear about XY on XX kicking where the XY is representing the party of “traditional values.”

  90. Todd Fletcher,

    Since this thread has already been hi-jacked…

    Speaking of odd things, Justin Raimondo has an article featured on a racist website:

    http://www.nationalvanguard.org/index.php

  91. The kicker is an asshole and the kickee is a trespasser. He should be prosecuted for assault and she should be prosecuted for trespassing. He’s an asshole and she’s …

    I can’t believe how these threads have generated so many posts. Millions die the world over and people get so worked up about a little conflict between two political opponents. Maybe we can just get rid of war and replace it with sign-tearing and kicking. Face it folks, this is small potatoes. If the Dems and Reps start shooting at each other, then I’ll worry.

    Also, Helios is a fool. He’s just another idiot who doesn’t have a clue about the constitution. He’s probably one of those “living document” assholes. He said:

    “Madison Square Garden is located in the United States of America, the Constitution of which, at this date, still does in fact guarantee the Right of Free Speech.”

    The first amendment does not guarantee free speech. The first amendment prohibits the government from making laws that prevent speech. The prohibition has nothing to do with private parties. For example, if a restaurant owner fires a waiter for calling a customer an asshole, he’s well within his rights. On the other hand, if I want to go outside and yell “Bush is an asshole,” the government has no right to stop me. Get a grip, fuckhead. Learn to read and read the constitution.

  92. So this is the face of the coming Sanchez Police State. Bizarre.

  93. I could have sworn I just felt spittle hitting my face.

    Yes, the disinfectant may take a while. Better come back Wednesday.

  94. “Well, Act-UP has fairly lefty positions”

    Gary Gunnels: in what sense? If they have a position at all on anything other than AIDS-related issues, I can’t think of an example.

  95. The Kicker felt that, in the company he was in, the kicking would be perfectly acceptable, even praiseworthy. That’s the scary part. Think how he’d behave in an alley.

  96. “blah blah blah, Therefore, people quite reasonably expected violent behavior to follow.”

    So your inassailable tower of logic predicted this weiner delivering a sissy kick to a girl knocked to the ground while protesting at the RNC. Congratulations. Maybe after another decade of careful thought and contemplation you’ll be able to forsee a purse snatcher outside a Moonies rally. Let the cops in on it ahead of time next time though, OK? Save Julian the trouble of having to root him out.

    “Indeed. Who let all this rifraff into the room! Well, now you’ve told them…”

    I admit I don’t get why this constitutes “ripping.” I guess you win.

  97. rea,

    Universal health care is one position they take.

  98. ah, gotta love the google cache. here is the kicker’s post on the koch website mentioned waaaay upthread.

    just visiting the links he posts sends shivers down my spine. scary stuff.

  99. Sweet Fancy Moses. I am a long time lurker and often have I rolled my eyes at the angry fuck-headedness of various Reason posters. I retract all said eye-rolls after seeing… well, whatever the hell this thread is.

    Julian, I have to agree with Brett, although less strenously. You’ve got a two pictures which show what may be one person and several people who emailed you *after* you posted the two pics saying it’s him. Dan Rather might have run with it, but I think you didn’t do due diligence here before unleashing *these* people on a potentially innocent man.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, since I believe in individual liberty I’ve got some nuns to beat the shit out of.

  100. the reason so many leftists are on here — and welcome btw — take time to read some of the great articles — is that this has been cross-posted on A LOT of lefty/anarchist blogs and websites, mailing lists, etc.

    There is no reason to prosecute the guy — if he goes to school at UPenn in Philly he’s gonna have some very unpleasant experiences in the next few days and weeks — he should really consider transfering schools.

    On the bureaucrash protest — I mean really — there are a lot of things to protest and counterprotest — but ACT-UP — they may be wrong but it should be way down on the priorities list.

    How about 1,027 dead US military in Iraq. How about 10-30k dead Iraqi civilains in Iraq since the war was deemed over by Bush? 52 more dead today.

    I find it enraging that more people are dying in Iraq on a daily, weekly, monthly basis in Iraq under US oocupation than even Saddam managed to off.

    lefty libertarian who reads counterpunch as often as reason,
    spur

  101. TWC, shoot me an email. I’d like to interview you for a new book I’m doing that involves the 1972 election.

    RP

  102. Like he would say it was him? First, the person on the video immediately tried to deny his actions. Second, if Mr. Robinson was the person admitting to ANYONE that it was him would immediately convict him if legal charges are brought against him. Moreover, this young man has a huge threat to his academic career right now. His behavior at the RNC was illegal and immoral. He could be asked to leave UPenn. Finally, if he admitted he was the person who kicked the protester the social ramifications would be enormous.

    So, I’m sorry.. but if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, sounds like a duck.. it probably is a duck. Mr. Robinson’s denials is his only hope of avoiding total legal, social and academic ruin. I simply cannot take them seriously.

  103. Ellen, if you made me guess yes or no on the guy’s guilt, I’d say yes. But it would still be a guess, just like everyone else’s. There’s nothing approaching proof here and, as you mention, it could seriously damage the guy’s life. Fair enough if you’re certain. This does not constitute certainty.

  104. Brian,

    Physical identification has long been a strong factor in any legal conviction. In addition, we have motive, opportunity and physical identification. Robinson’s own alibi refuses to cooberate his whereabouts. Fianlly, we have photodocumentary of the crime itself. By the standard of just about any court, we have enough for a conviction (but, of course, we also seem to have people who are mounting an OJ defense for this young man – it could be his identical twin seperated at birth!).

  105. It may be a crime to physically assault or rob someone, but when my son (age 14) was assaulted and robbed I found out that the victim (not onlooker or parent) has to come in and make the formal complaint for the police to pursue it.

    That is our system. Otherwise you might just as well have anonymous denunciations.

  106. Actually, there are many states where there are laws on the book that allow the state to prosecute without a complaint from the victim. I have to wonder what state you live in and how they handle domestic violence cases where the victim refuses to cooperate? There are 51 different legal codes in the US (I’m counting the District of Columbia, but you could also add in Puerto Rico and a few other of our protectorates). I don’t think you have all the facts concerning the laws. I don’t precisely know the NY code either, but since I know they prosecute DV without the cooperation of the victim frequently there is a strong possibility that that state’s code would allow the DA to prosecute without a complaint from the victim. In that case the state of NYC would be the victim.

  107. Thanks, Atridiots, for ruining what used to be a civil,interesting comments site.

  108. Who needs courts when the Ellen Lincourt standard of proof is met? Let the lynching commence! (btw Atrios has the picture posted on his website)

  109. Question High Tech Lynching are you perhaps Scott, one of his friends or maybe a frat brother?

    I am applying logic to his denials. They can be entirely dismissed as being self-serving. Any good lawyer would pick them to shreds, especially in light that his “alibi” witness refuses to cooberate his whereabouts. So, we are all supposed to suspend our ability to rationally look at the evidence and dismiss it? I see you too are going to subject us all to an OJ defense. Until he admits his guilt we should all say he’s innocent? You’ve got to be kidding?!

    If I was his lawyer (and by the way, there is a lawyer in Carlisle PA, Scott’s hometown, with the last name Robinson. I wonder if it is his dad?), I would tell him to deny it. Unless he’s under oath it doesn’t legally matter if he denies it was him. So, telling anyone it wasn’t him has the same value as spitting on the ground. Now telling someone it was him, would be extremely dangerous to him. His admission to another would be almost as good as a signed confession. His denial in light of the photographic evidence, the character witnesses, his motive and his opportunity are worthless.

  110. That tee-shirt he was wearing… I’d could swear it was in a proportional font…

  111. By the way, let’s discuss for a moment what the standard for an unbiased jury member is. We do not ask for jury members to be entirely ignorant of the case. In the US, we ask only that our jury members be able to put aside what they have heard outside of the courtroom and to judge based only upon the evidence presented in the court. Therefore, if Mr. Robinson goes to court on this event, I’m sure he will get a fair jury.

    As to the burden of proof, we do not ask that a conviction be made beyond ANY and ALL doubt, but rather for conviction to be only on the basis of being beyond a REASONABLE doubt. In short, sure aliens may have come down and taken control of Scott’s body or his mother may have given birth to two identical twins and one was taken by the government at birth, but those are not REASONABLE doubts. As I’ve stated above, we have physical identification including a video tape of the crime, character witnesses all stating that this is well within Mr. Robinson’s character, we have opportunity and motive and his own witness refuses to cooberate his alibi. The only contrary evidence to date is Mr. Robinson’s denial which is most likely self-serving.

    I think many of you may have been watching too much Perry Mason or some such shows. Rarely do we ever get a confession.

  112. “Thanks, Atridiots, for ruining what used to be a civil,interesting comments site.”

    I think you should thank the Kicker and the actual “values” encouraged by the “Leaders” of his Party for that, don’t you?

    After all, we are in an election cycle, and this thread was originated to discuss that particular topic, no?

    Your complaint strikes me as the Kicker Affair equivalent of the “Democrat lefties are terrorists responsible for 9/11” angle, but that dog just won’t hunt.

    As far as actual “civility”, Sir, may I kindly offer you another tall, invigorating glass of that delicious, crisp, refreshing Kool-Aid from the pitcher sitting on the table in the corner over there?

  113. Oh, and Bill, the ad hominem insult stuff you so fluently apply under the right of Free Speech that you yourself enjoy in our Freedom-loving, tolerant, and fair Republic? Even a lawyer would have to agree it is very uncivil, n’est ce pas?

  114. In short, sure aliens may have come down and taken control of Scott’s body or his mother may have given birth to two identical twins and one was taken by the government at birth, but those are not REASONABLE doubts.

    I disagree completely. After looking at Mr. Robinson, I’m quite sure that that aliens did come down, impregnate his mother leading to her giving birth to identical twins, one of which was taken by the government.

    Paul

  115. Hey Ellen, let’s just kill ’em all and let God sort them out.

  116. The stupidity of some people is truly unparralleled. Dan, do you understand what you are saying when you say your opponents are all fascists?

  117. Here’s an interesting url on the guy who discovered the alleged forged CBS memos.
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

    Pertinent excerpt:

    “But it did not come from an expert in typography or typewriter history as some first thought. Instead, it was the work of Harry W. MacDougald, an Atlanta lawyer with strong ties to conservative Republican causes who helped draft the petition urging the Arkansas Supreme Court to disbar President Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Times has found.”

    “Reached by telephone today, MacDougald, 46, confirmed that he is Buckhead, but declined to answer questions about his political background or how he knew so much about the CBS documents so fast.

    “You can ask the questions but I’m not going to answer them,” he told The Times. “I’m just going to stick to doing no interviews.”

    Hmmm…

  118. Gadfly,

    And Ben Barnes, Bill Burkett, the secretary are all Democratic supporters. I guess that means we can dismiss everything they say as well. The difference is, “buckhead” looked at physical evidence or at least copies of it. The three I mentioned all have no evidence.

  119. First off ….. I had no idea Scott Robinson was related to Dr. Ruth …oops I mean Dr. Laura.
    Second …. Brett and Brian … your mutual br is BS. I say take Scott downtown and throw him in the jailhouse. (Referring to this aggressive out of control coward as a “poor sack” is just plain ignorant) If he and also you were “worried” about his future and the potential of this incident it might do now to denounce vicious violent expression and come clean on a crime that is clearly “owned” by this young man. He’ll heal unless he packs layers of lies over the wound and is afraid to change the bandage.

  120. It’s only illegal to kick a defenseless woman if you’re a Democrat. Republicans get a pass.

  121. Since the woman was already wrestled to the ground and contained by the agents, shouldn’t the guy kicking her be detained for interfering with the arrest?

  122. So, then, applying his own words (not mine), I believe I am entirely within my rights of Free Speech to assert that “….Bill is the fool.
    He’s just another idiot who doesn’t have a clue about the Constitution.

    He’s probably one of those “dead document” assholes. He said:

    The kicker is an asshole and the kickee is a trespasser. He should be prosecuted for assault and she should be prosecuted for trespassing. He’s an asshole and she’s…”

    What she is, Bill, is entirely within her Rights under the Constitution. It took a tremendous degree of Courage for that woman to protest.

    We do not live in a proto-fascist feifdom where we must cringe and tiptoe before our Unelected masters, Bill, as much as you want that to be
    the case.

    This is The United States Of America, Pal, and my Father, Uncle, and Millions of other Brave, Honorable, and Courageous American Men and Women nearly had their asses blown off in WW II when we kicked the living shit out of the Nazi Menace, in order to secure the Rights and Freedoms that all of us enjoy today, you included.

    You especially; right, Bill?

    He should be arrested for kicking, it is true, but what “crime”, exactly, do you propose this woman committed? Offending the dignity of the RNC??? You have got to be joking.

    Once again, in case you did not get it the first time, what should have happened, but did not, is that a trained Security person should have politely escorted her to the door.

    Arrested for “Defiant Trespass”??? Don’t make me laugh. They are literally making this shit up as they go along. Yesterday some complete jackass in “security” tried to make a huge deal over the resemblance of an 8 oz weighted bookmark to a “sap”. They took the poor lady away from the Airport in shackles, then “declined to press charges”.

    This hysterical over-the-top arrest-everyone-at-the-drop-of-a-hat shit started under the Guiliani
    regime in NYC, and is a Disgrace, a Fraud, a Sham, a cynical Abuse Of Power, and is in fact
    an insidious Subtrefuge carefully designed to distract, draw attention away from, and obfuscate the very serious actual theft that is in fact being perpetrated against the American People.

    Our country is literally being stolen from
    us under the rubric of “Patriotism” and “Law
    and Order”. A lapel pin doth not a Patriot
    make, Bill. Often, it is quite the opposite.

    “The Patriot ‘Act’ ” is the most aptly-named piece of flim-flammery ever to be perpetrated in the history of our Nation. Let’s look at who the real criminals actually are, shall we?

    You know Bill, don’t you, that the unelected duo of W and Dick “Lon” Cheney misled this Country into an Illegal war, and have slaughtered over 1000 soldiers so far, and are now trying to suggest that Kerry, of all people, is somehow to
    blame for their utter, miserable failure in the desert?

    Most outrageously, this entire adventure has drained our economy of 3.5 TRILLION
    dollars, and for what? For the purpose of allowing Dick “Lon” Cheney to make even
    more
    money than he already has, while Millions of people have lost their Healthcare.

    Perhaps the most important thing that has been lost under this immoral and unelected regime that cynically cloaks itself in the rhetoric of “Family Values” is our traditional American sense of basic Fairness, Tolerance, and Compassion towards our fellow Citizen.

    “Fuck The Other Guy”, and “I’ve Got Mine” have become the order of the day, and that is EXACTLY what W & Dick “Lon” Cheney want. The average American today is concerned with TV, Sports, SUV’S, Money, and their own personal degree of comfort, roughly in that order.

    Free markets are all very well, Bill, but there is something known as the social contract, and it is being pissed on and ripped in two, just like
    that poor little 4-year old girls Bush Sign.

    Only this isn’t a phony set-up. This is for real.

    The contemptible, entirely Unamerican display of cowardice which a Republican crowd exhibited by chanting “4 more years” as a single poor, brave woman protested her child’s murder by this unelected regime, and was hauled off and arrested by jackbooted police, is a dishonorable, disgraceful, and very serious stain on this entire Nation’s Honor, something straight out
    of Triumph Of The Will; an insult of the most serious nature to all Freedom-Loving people everywhere.

    Take a good, long, close hard look at these people, Bill

    This IS the REAL “Axis of Evil”, these are the men who are destroying OUR country from within, and this is how they are doing it.

    It’s time to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, Bill, and do one thing right on Nov 2, because you are not going to get another chance.

  123. Hell this thread has been all over the place, so I’ll continue the trend.

    Helios:

    “Free markets are all very well, Bill, but there is something known as the social contract, and it is being pissed on and ripped in two, just like
    that poor little 4-year old girls Bush Sign.

    Only this isn’t a phony set-up. This is for real.”

    The “social contract” is a real document? Wow, that’s news to me. Where is it exactly and can you show me where I signed and agreed to it (you know, since it is a “contract” after all)?

  124. Hey, Helios, just write a book next time… And make sure everything’s in super-annoying bolded CAPS.

    Thanks for performing a nice fanatical liftoff for all of us here to witness. Hey, if you can’t argue your point well enough, drown them out with your long, boring posts crammed full of hackneyed cliches. You forgot to include “NO BLOOD FOR OIL!”.

  125. dhex sez: “the whole point is that he’s kicking someone while they’re down, not that the person in question had boobage.”

    The whole point is that he’s kicking someone smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable than himself.

    “equal work
    equal pay
    equal bruises

    it’s the only way this stuff works.”

    A 170 pound man kicking a 105 pound woman. A 105 pound woman kicking a 170 pound man. That’s not equal, dhex.

  126. “Ideas have consequences.”

    Let me ask you people something: would you kick somebody who you believed was helping terrorists kill Americans? I sure as hell would. If I saw three cops drag someone who was helping terrorists kill my neighbors, I’d try to land as good a blow as I could on the bastard, if I got the opportunity. Wouldn’t you?

    The Republicans have spent the last four years equating opposition to their policies to support for terrorism. They morph Democrats’ faces into Osama and Saddam in their ads. The Attorney General has said that people who complain about the Patriot Act “are giving aid and comfort to the enemy,” an offense defined as Capital Treason During Time of War. The President said that elected representatives who disagreed with him about the workplace rights of federal bureaucrats don’t care about stopping terrorism against the American people. The Vice President recently said that voting Democratic would lead to catastrophic terrorist attacks on American soil.

    It’s been almost 3+ years of this shit, culminating in the Cheney n Zell show in Madison Square Garden.

    Republicans aren’t thugs because they believe in flat taxes, high military spending, and eliminating Medicare. They’re thugs because of how they fight.

    I don’t buy this “one bad apple” bullshit.

    Ideas have consequences.

  127. joe,

    Does the comparable size between kicker and kickee really even matter when the kickee is being held down by others who are in the midst of arresting him or her? Face it, on top of all the obvious reasons this was a scummy thing to do, the fact that it was a guy doing gratuitous violence to a woman tweaks the inner White Knight in us all. There’s nothing inherently wrong in that, as long as we recognize with our conscious and rational minds that what he did was no worse than if he’d been kicking someone male and bigger than himself (well, except maybe the bigger person would feel less pain from a comparable kick, but then we don’t know exactly how hard the kicks were, so that point’s fairly moot). Anyway, seems like it was mean, gratuitous, unprovoked and criminal violence from where I sit, though I’d rather leave it to a jury to determine this Robinson guy’s guilt. And hopefully I’ll resist all temptation to say anything more on this thread…

  128. I affirm Mo on this: **That’s why I tend to avoid sites like DU and FR. I prefer the more collegial environs of Reason’s boards. Even the rudest posters here don’t hold a candle to the guys that just pop in. True of wingnuts on both sides. Heck, these guys make JB look like Ghandi.

    “Wingnuts: Making the French look polite since 1974″**

    When I’m in the mood to directly enter the fray, the Reason board is my primary playground. Why, only a few days ago our own resident lefty, joe, told me, a post-9/11 Bush supporter, that my take on a certain matter related to Rathergate was “reasonable.”

    And, I’ve not ever seen sheer moonbat insanity from joe; leftwing blogs all over the ‘net are now hosting serious arguments that Karl Rove forged the CBS memos. The theories put forward as to how and why Rove did this are…well, the stuff of psychiatric assessments. In my view joe strained too long and too hard to believe the CBS memos might be real, but he did not lose all contact with Terra.

    In the main, we tend to remain civil here. And, notwithstanding that we ‘tarians have a reputation for being nutballs, there just isn’t that much crazy shit posted on this board, from either side of the political spectrum. Not as compared with much of the rest of the blogosphere, whether DU or FR.

    As one who largely supports the Swift vets in their position re: Kerry, I’ve spent quite a bit of time at their message board. Since partisans from the right inundated that board in mid-August, it has seen a growth of the same denranged thinking you find from some (certainly not all) Freepers. The admins there intially tried to keep the nuttier stuff off the board, or they would send the post to their purgatory board. But they don’t seem to be doing that as mauch lately, prolly cuz of the volume.

    In any event, this board, when it isn’t being inundated by wackos from elsewhere, is a stimulating and civil environment. I would hope any newcomers arriving here would perhaps try to fit into the aesthetic the regulars have established.

    –Mona–

  129. joe declares: “It’s been almost 3+ years of this shit, culminating in the Cheney n Zell show in Madison Square Garden.

    Republicans aren’t thugs because they believe in flat taxes, high military spending, and eliminating Medicare. They’re thugs because of how they fight.

    I don’t buy this “one bad apple” bullshit.

    Ideas have consequences.”

    Puh-leeze, joe. Ever seen Carville on a roll with spit flying out of his mouth? What he and the Clinton cabal did to every female who had the temerity to complain about Bill’s sexual advances was sheerly repugnant.

    Contemporary American politics is vicious across the spectrum.

    –Mona–

  130. Wow, this is some nuttiness. I’m a Libertarian, but I read Atrios because that’s the best place to go for anti-Bush material. What’s up with liberals calling us Libertarians fascists? You guys do know what facism means, right? How about some solidarity here? We’re all against the drug war, we’re all against corporate/government tie-ins, and many of us libertarians dislike Bush just as much as you do. Hell, I’m going to vote for Kerry this year. I wish the Democrats nothing but luck.
    As for the Republicans… well, there’s something kind of off about flying halfway around the world to square off against AIDS activists.

  131. Wow, this is some nuttiness. I’m a Libertarian, but I read Atrios because that’s the best place to go for anti-Bush material. What’s up with liberals calling us Libertarians fascists? You guys do know what facism means, right? How about some solidarity here? We’re all against the drug war, we’re all against corporate/government tie-ins, and many of us libertarians dislike Bush just as much as you do. Hell, I’m going to vote for Kerry this year. I wish the Democrats nothing but luck.
    As for the Republicans… well, there’s something kind of off about flying halfway around the world to square off against AIDS activists.

  132. Helios, you nailed it. The Republican party, the party of Watergate, Irangate and now Iraqgate, is evil incarnate.

  133. Oh. My. God.

    What I’ve learned after reading through these comments is that the gene pool needs a lot more chlorine.

  134. Actually, to be fair to the Republicans at the Laura Bush rally, I doubt much of the crowd knew that her son had died in Iraq recently. They probably started chanting as soon as she started heckling, and didn’t hear what she was saying. On the other hand, I didn’t see it, so I don’t know for sure.

  135. Congratulations Matt, I thought you’d never ask.

    Here is a small excerpt from book 5 of “The Social Contract, Or Principles Of Political Right”
    by Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1762.

    Rousseau was a Frenchman who’s ideas had a
    profound influence on the Framers of our own Constitution, and to whom, along with the great General Lafayette, all Americans owe a great debt of gratitude; for without Rousseau’s ideas, and without LaFayettes timely and cunnning military assistance, it is questionable whether you and I,
    Matt, would even have the priviledge to conduct this excellent discourse.

    It is true that we did somewhat repay that debt by Liberating the French when they got into that nasty scrape with the Nazi scumbags in WWII, but that is what friends do, you see, they help each other out in a jam.

    ….”AS long as several men in assembly regard themselves as a single body, they have only a single will which is concerned with their common preservation and general well-being. In this case, all the springs of the State are vigorous and simple and its rules clear and luminous; there are no embroilments or conflicts of interests; the common good is everywhere clearly apparent, and only good sense is needed to perceive it. Peace, unity and equality are the enemies of political subtleties. Men who are upright and simple are difficult to deceive because of their simplicity; lures and ingenious pretexts fail to impose upon them, and they are not even subtle enough to be dupes. When, among the happiest people in the world, bands of peasants are seen regulating affairs of State under an oak, and always acting wisely, can we help scorning the ingenious methods of other nations, which make themselves illustrious and wretched with so much art and mystery?”

    ….So, Matt, to answer your excellent question, you had already in effect “signed” the Social Contract when you were born as a US citizen. We all did, and it’s a darned good thing, too. Isn’t it?

    Speaking of being born as a US citizen, I’d like to digress here, for a moment, to address the issue of Arnold Schwartzeneggers recent “request” that we yet again assent to change our Constitution, poor gal, who has seen so much action of late in this rather dubious regard.

    I think the “Fair and Balanced” course would be to table this matter entirely, at least until certain rather more pressing issues facing OUR Nation have been satisfactorily resolved.

    After all, he has just won the Govenorship of the largest state in OUR Nation, and I think it is fair to say that the American People are entitled to observe his performance for a while in that post, to see whether it really merits making highly irregular and unprecedented changes to that document, for the benefit, essentialy, of Arnolds political ambitions.

    Should Arnold absolutely require a Presidency immediately, I believe Austria has an opening available on a fairly regular basis.

    As far as “No Blood For Oil”, Mr. Z, or whatever you are calling yourself today, your filter, it would seem, is permanently clogged, and must be thrown out, but also the .30 wt which flows through your veins has lost all it’s viscosity, and this is why you make that godawful, horrid, wailing crunching sound, and why everyone now clearly sees that your wheels are, in fact, falling off.

    It’s ok, though. On Nov 3 we’ll get scrap value out of you, and apply it towards the purchase of a far superior machine, one that runs clean, has no filter to clog up, and hence does not create the horrid stench we have become so accustomed to
    in your lamentable presence.

    As for your own personal opinions regarding my style and content, the honest reply is that I sincerely couldn’t give a flying fuck what you think.

  136. Mona, Michael-

    While you are indeed correct that the left is very good at forming circular firing squards, keep in mind that I wasn’t trying to undertake a detailed analysis of the history of left-wing activism. I was mostly trying to have a joke at the expense of my own kind. “Those other guys may have partisan blinders, but we’re too busy berating one another to ever cut one another any slack!” πŸ˜‰

    The Libertarian Party: Making radical leftists look disciplined and unified since 1971! πŸ˜‰

    And I am most definitely NOT a Randroid. I read _The Fountainhead_ in high school because I heard you could win a scholarship from some group I’d never heard of if you wrote a really good essay on it. But by the time I was done reading it I was kind of bored and realized I’d be better off competing for other scholarships. Especially since the deadline was drawing near and I had an after school job, really hard classes, and a girlfriend. Several years ago I tried reading _Atlas Shrugged_. About half-way through I said to myself “OK, I get her point. I even sympathize with a lot of it. But the story is getting dull.”

  137. ***….So, Matt, to answer your excellent question, you had already in effect “signed” the Social Contract when you were born as a US citizen. We all did, and it’s a darned good thing, too. Isn’t it?***

    Gee, it sure is nifty how a single French philosopher was able to trap all future generations who are born into a particular territory into signing the “social contract” simply by writing that book.

  138. And Gadfly, my position is not that Republican
    citizens themselves are evil, but that their once-honorable party has been hijacked since Nixon by a band of unprincipled, unamerican, lying, cheating scoundrels, theives, and criminals.

    Republicans of conscience would do well to purge their party of this element in order to regain any claim to legitimacy with Americans of all political orientations.

    And mona, honey? I say what I think, just like you. mmmk?

  139. Helios: Like many libertarians, I do not accept the social contract theory, and I specifically reject most of Rousseau. Read Simon Schama’s excellent rendering of the French Revolution, the book “Citizens,” in which Schama lays the carnage and totalitarianism of that bloody debacle directly at the feet of Jean Jacques.

    Voltaire was pretty cool, tho.

    –Mona–

  140. Hi Barrett.

    No one was “trapped”, Rousseau’s ideas regarding
    some degree of mutual social obligation had, as I pointed out, a profound and formative influence on the Founding Fathers, and they incorporated these concepts into our Declaration, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights, all of which do in fact govern the law of our land to this very day, despite efforts by not a few elements in the present unelected administration to obscure these ideas, which distinguish our Democracy from say, Nazi Germany.

    Without these very important ideas, our country would long ago have dissolved into anarchy, dictatorship, or worse. At this date it remains to be seen exactly what kind of a system we are living under, but I am hopeful it will prove, on November 2nd, to bear a striking likeness to the system we are all so fond of, have grown so accustomed to, and so often take for granted.

  141. Helios offers: “And mona, honey? I say what I think, just like you. mmmk?”

    Please do say what you think, but is there some reason you must be nasty about it? I would not use condescending and inappropiately intimate endearments to address you, and do not see why you should do so with me.

    –Mona–

  142. Thanks, Mona, I’ve heard of Schama and his book,
    although I haven’t read it yet. I will try to do so soon.

    However, we are talking about the American Revolution, and what, specifically, has become of America at this late date.

    The mere proximity of Rousseau’s ideas to the French Revolution does not prove, in itself,
    that his ideas were the cause of it, but I am no scholar, and I have not, as I said, read Schamas book.

    It may be that France did not actually adopt American notions of equality as early as we ourselves did, that France really hang onto her old class structure, and therefore Rousseau’s ideas did not have the soil in which to take root in his own country, the people had enough, and then all hell broke loose. I do not know.

    What I do know is that we as Americans do have certain fundamental obligations towards each other, and that when these obligations are not
    observed, our entire society suffers the consequences.

  143. Hey Mona

    Here’s your Objectivist poster.

    Kill the Murray Rothbard myth. It’s been demonstrated by this site

    http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/essays/obj_cult2.html

    that the whole “Rothbard-Christian thing” is a complete lie.

    Furthermore, Objectivists from the Objectivist Center do NOT eschew the label of libertarianism, so pull your head out of your ass and read something before you attack an entire philosophy that could be your best ally.

  144. It was the bit about “fitting in”, mona.
    After being slammed about by some other
    participants here, I thought the whole
    “civility” angle rather disingenuous.

  145. Helios, that’s completely stupid. While some of the founding fathers obviously read Rosseau, I don’t think there’s a single one who agreed with the general thrust of his political ideas. In any case, his repugnant ideas are nowhere to be found in the Constitution. And a good thing for that.

    It may be true that we owe Rosseau some debt for American prosperity. Without Rosseau, there would have been less chaos in France, and therefore perhaps their imperial strength would have lasted longer in the new world. The young America had a hell of a time dealing with three huge imperial powers in its backyard. It was a stroke of luck that two of them decayed from within.

  146. Oh yeah, and Helios, I am not obligated to anybody except for myself and those I value, and, not to sound like a fourth grader, but without a powerful, all-invasive state, you can’t make me be obligated, either.

    And here’s some advice, the following phrases have been so overwrought that they make me just skip your comments, because they are red flags that indicate “sycophant”:

    “illegal presidency”
    “misled (why not just say lied? Don’t you have the nuts?) to war”
    “blood for oil”
    ad nauseam

    And from the right:
    “Christian values are our bedrock”
    “There’s no such thing as separation of church and state”
    “Vince Foster”

  147. Not too surprised to find Helios still here. Another left wing nut with no job sucking of the tax teat.

  148. My shot at civility.

  149. Helios:

    If you are under the impression that Rousseau’s version of social-contract theory, rather than John Locke’s very different notion, was the basis of and inspiration for the American Revolution, you are in serious need of remediation.

    But first, you might consider a vocabulary-building exercise so you can converse with others above the level of an 8th-grade locker room.

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I SHOULD REPEAT THIS POST IN ALL CAPS SO YOU WILL COMPREHEND IT.

  150. Helios-
    Pardon me for the curt putdown, if I may refine my point. While you were composing a tedious and longwinded treatise on the social contract I was working. What was I doing? Fundamental research on an electrolytic polymer with the trade name Nafion. Nafion is an integral component in direct methanol fuel cells. Why was I doing this? I get paid well, which is good because I am greedy and like to have expensive things. Why is DuPont interested in Nafion. Because they will make a boatload of cash from it. Why should you be interested in any of this? Nafion will most likely be key in producing cheap efficient fuel cells that will replace many internal combustion engines. I win because I get nice things, DuPont employees and shareholders win because now they get nice things, everyone (including you) wins because the air is cleaner and fuel will be cheaper and homegrown. All due to greedy DuPont (and me). Who is better of for your last couple of days lecturing hit and run readers?

  151. Helios, people aren’t being civil to you because you identified yourself as a flaming nutball immediately upon entrance to this thread with this completely unsupported and unsubstantiated comment:

    “That being said, for every instance where some form of cheap unamerican thuggery is perpetrated by a private Democratic citizen, there are in actual fact at least 10 committed by their Republican counterparts. This is not exactly what any rational person would call a fair situation.”

    Since your post contained not a hint of irony (nor any indication that you even understood said concept), people have pointed out that you are obviously borderline psychotic. I would regard this as a service and check yourself into the nearest asylum.

  152. for some reason this thread doesn’t seem dead, though it’s definitely jumped the topical shark…

    so:
    Gary & rea: I think we can agree health insurance is an AIDS-related issue. But I also think you both conflate “left” with “liberal/Democrat” and they just ain’t the same thing.

    Thoreau: sorry you got overflow snark from Brooke et al, but that idea was funny. I think among the isms conservatives hang together better–it’s about who’s in power and who has spoils to divvy up.

    Mona: ok, the Rand label was overbroad, though any idea of “libertarianism” that doesn’t see that Bushco are the sworn enemies of liberty (free mindsand free markets) doesn’t strike me as much better. In any case, you lose lots of respect here when you claim proven liers and slanderers as buddies. Andyhoo, I’ll note that although the Randroid did claim the libertarian moniker, it didn’t bother refuting the cult stuff.

    Sorry this is so long, but once again I gotta congratulate Reason-ites for your truly superior civility, erudition and overall hep-ness:

    Not too surprised to find Helios still here. Another left wing nut with no job sucking of the tax teat.

    …the gene pool needs a lot more chlorine.

    Note to self : Do not check back before tuesday. Hit & Run should be disinfected by then.

    Thanks, Atridiots, for ruining what used to be a civil,interesting comments site.

    Ah yes…this used to be a nice, tolerant, diverse neighborhood before all the darkies and wetbacks moved in…

    Yes I know there have been some guests bearing little but insults, but blatant hypocricy coupled with snottiness always annoys me. It’s a bit rich to trumpet your civility if it goes out the window the minute someone posts who doesn’t know the handshake.

    And just to show I’m semi-evenhanded: Helios: just cut it out. I have no idea who’s more right about Rousseau, but at a certain point one is just typing to hear the keys click. I’d say get yer own blog but you already have one. Effective blogwhoring leaves ’em wanting more. And really, the caps are hella-annoying.

    m

  153. Yes yes yes, all you fine upstanding young fellows, if you say it it must be so, by George, and all these rational, independent, non ad-hominem attacks show just exactly how wonderfully “objective” and “civil” you really are, why our country is in such a wonderful cashflow position with 3.5 trillion gone in 4 years, why we are doing so wonderfully in Iraq, why a Million+ people have lost Healthcare (ah, what’s a million here or there), why Halliburton, Enron etc are wearing such nice rosy halos, why 75+ % of the International community has such a wonderful opinion of us, why your sickening Wurlitzer has to do the dirty work of lying on a constant basis to keep the truth from coming out, and why, let’s face it, this guy that the whole thread was initiated to discuss really is, in the end (so to speak) quite representative of the actual principles and so-called morality that created this massive shitpile in the first place.

    And as long as you are ok personally hey, that’s all that counts, right? Riiiight.

    It really is amusing how insecure closet
    elitists are just beneath the shiny surface.

    But I have to hand it to this current crop of
    tyro tyrants, some of them have dropped the pesky pretense of any moral obligation at all. I guess that is “progress”, just like enriching Dupont.
    Poor old DuPont, they really do need more money.
    Funny you should mention them, I recall not too long ago they had sharp guys just like you cooking up Napalm in there.

    Lots of “nice things” came from that work too.

    And I’m psychotic and sick??? I think you need to pluck the beam, pally.

    When you get that big old log out of yer eye, check out Guy Negre’s Air Car over on my blog. It’s way cooler than those nasty batteries. And the individual factories actually concentrate capital in the local communities – what a novel concept.

    As far as my mental state is concerned, well, you just keep serving each other the Kool-Aid there, Skipper.

    Yawn. I gotta go now, but it was fun. Predictable to the last arrogant, self-righteous, willfully ignorant syllable, but fun.

    Golly gee, it’s amazing how that massive lead evaporated to a dead heat in one week.

    We’ll see you at the polls, and then at the trials. You can all play lawyer there.
    Sooner or later you’ll get it.
    You always do.

    Toodles! πŸ™‚

  154. I just read the (helios’) blog. He has a picture of a car that runs on compressed air. I’m glad someone finally figured out how to get air to compress itself without coal, oil, hydroelectric, ect. The world must be rosy when you have little to no idea how it work.

  155. Steve at CO (the Ohion?) is right– “Libertarianism 101” is diametrically opposed to almost every policy George Bush has touched. Republicans and classical liberals have absolutely NOTHING in common right now. I wish people would stop conflating the two.

  156. I don’t think we should let these people in anymore. It’s too uncomfortable, and frankly
    they are just wrong.

  157. John Hood,

    James Harrington (see his Oceana) and Montesquieu (see his Spirit of the Laws) had more influence on the minds of men like Madison than Locke did. You will find that Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, etc. in their writings constantly refer to and approve of both Harrington and Montesquieu. Indeed, the notion of a government divided into three parts comes from Montesquieu, since Locke contemplated having the judiciary be an adjunct of the executive branch. Baron de Montesquieu was also so influential during the time because his work was more contemporary than Locke’s (or Samuel Harrington’s for that matter). Accordingly, there is quite a lot of myth-making when it comes to the influence of Locke on the minds of the founders. Its quite unfortunate that so many people are simply ignorant of the influence of men like Harrington and Montesquieu.

    Now, the influence of Rosseau was more subtle, but it does exist; particularly in his notions of man as corrupted by human society; the Founders picked up on this theme and used it as a means to attack the “corrupt” metropole. Much of the ideological inspiration for dividing from Britain reads like Rousseau’s thoughts on the corrupt nature of European society, and the relative purity of the Americas (we can think of it as an early form of anti-Europeanism). You will see his influence most starkly in the opinions of Jefferson, who stated once that America should “keep its cities in Europe.” See his Notes on Virginia for more examples of such.

  158. Also, we should not discount the influence of Bernard Mandeville on the thoughts of 18th century Americans; see his Fable of the Bees.

  159. Helios:

    If you wanna read something interesting I suggest No Treason by Lysander Spooner. It pretty much demolishes any form of “social contract” theory as well as the Constitution itself.

    Last time I checked, a contract is an agreement between two or more parties. So how does an act that I have absolutely no control over, like when or where I was born for example, count as agreement to said contract on my part?

    If you’re interested here’s a cut and paste link to No Treason:

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/NoTreason/NoTreason.html

  160. pigwiggle,

    thanks for your research work at/for DuPont, buddy! but you must realize that in fact you are really doing all that cool stuff to hold up your end of the bargain under “the social contract”!

    if you think otherwise, you are not enlightened. Anyways, when the revolution comes you will be spared:-)

  161. Accordingly, there is quite a lot of myth-making when it comes to the influence of Locke on the minds of the founders. Its quite unfortunate that so many people are simply ignorant of the influence of men like Harrington and Montesquieu. I must confess to being entirely ignorant of Harrinton’s life and works but I think that Montesquieu is at least as well known as Locke among people who actually do know something at all about the intellectual history of the founding of our besieged little republic. And as for Locke, since much of the preamble to the DofI is plagiarized nearly word for word from the (2nd?) Treatise, I’d say it’s safe to say T.J. was familiar with his work and there hasn’t been a lot of mythmaking involved there. (Do remember also that Montesqueiu’s influence was felt in the Constitutional, not revolutionary, period, a dozen years later). Anyway, the most famous idea of the Spirit of the Laws — mixed government — was cribbed from Aristotle; Locke was more original.

  162. I just read the (helios’) blog. He has a picture of a car that runs on compressed air. I’m glad someone finally figured out how to get air to compress itself without coal, oil, hydroelectric, ect. The world must be rosy when you have little to no idea how it work.

    Hahaha! Seriously. Anyone interested in doing the calculations, it must take a LOT more energy to compress enough air to propel a car + cargo and passengers any significant distance at any significant speed on a regular basis then it does to just put gasoline in a damned combustion engine.

  163. The compressed air car was never meant to replace commuter vehicles. There are specialty applications where the emissions from internal combustion engines (including natural gas) are a problem. Large greenhouses, warehouse grocers, certain manufacturing facilities, and so on. I can?t understand why this French guy is trying to market this as a commuter. Maybe the idea is to have the air compressed in say China in order to concentrate all the subsequent pollution outside France. The compressed gas is shipped to France where they affectively shift their commuter pollution to China.

  164. “I sure as hell would. If I saw three cops drag someone who was helping terrorists kill my neighbors, I’d try to land as good a blow as I could on the bastard, if I got the opportunity. Wouldn’t you?”

    I wouldn’t. You’re one mean cuss, joe. With all the time you’ve spent hectoring people here about their political views being rooted in the fact that they don’t have enough love for their fellow man, it’s a little surprising. Maybe you claiming the above now has something to do with gaining sympathy for the bizarre argument you’re making.

    “Republicans aren’t thugs because they believe in flat taxes, high military spending, and eliminating Medicare. They’re thugs because of how they fight.”

    I could swear I’ve seen Democrats claiming that Bush’s policies are making us less safe. They must just be bad apples.

    [Note to imbeciles: I’m not calling the Dems thugs, just calling joe on his bizarre evidence that Republicans are. Policy disagreements about how best to stop terrorism imply that different policies will make you less safe.]

    [Note to other set of imbeciles: Yes the differences in policy could be about other extraneous factors, such as cost, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.]

    Also, joe, my criticism of the argument that this one moron is evidence of anything other than the fact that there are morons, some of whom are Repubican’s, applies to you as well. Even if you don’t add random caps to your posts.

    It would be a special genius indeed that could ananlyze these vast upwelling political trends, the dark heart of fascism in the Republican party, and determine that it would, or did, *explode* into – one little weasel zealot kicking a girl who happened to fall in front of him.

    What if he’d gone outside for a hotdog right before the protest had started? There would have been no violence at all. Did these great and obvious lessons from the past account for his eating patterns as well?

    [Note to imbeciles: Even if he wouldn’t have gone outside for a hotdog, since Republicans only eat raw kittens, you can replace “hotdog” with “cigarette,” and “eating patterns” with “addictions.”]

  165. I must confess to being entirely ignorant of Harrinton’s life and works…

    Then you should pick up his Oceana.

    And as for Locke, since much of the preamble to the DofI is plagiarized nearly word for word from the (2nd?) Treatise…

    That’s not true. Only portions of the Declaration of Independence were plagiarized; for example the statement “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were taken almost directly from the writings of John Locke. However, the work itself is largely Jefferson’s; this should be readily obvious since the document speaks with particularity to the American situation.

    Anyway, the most famous idea of the Spirit of the Laws – mixed government – was cribbed from Aristotle; Locke was more original.

    I think that you are slightly confused here about what Aristotle meant by “mixed government”:

    Many classical political philosophers from Aristotle onward favored a “mixed government” combining the elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy (note that this does mean that Aristotle contemplated a government seperated along the lines of executive, legislative and judicial branches per se). The English theorist James Harrington in his Oceana (1656) derived a theory akin to separation of powers from the old idea of mixed government. Montesquieu, in his Spirit of the Laws (1748), formalized this seperation of powers into three distinct branches of government, and the modern expression of separation of powers came into being. So you are wrong to state that Montesquieu was cribbing his ideas from Aristotle; if he was cribbing from anyone it was Harrington (as was Locke).

    Now, regarding Montesquieu on Aristotle generally, the differences are stark; for example:

    (1) Unlike, Aristotle, Montesquieu does not distinguish forms of government on the basis of the virtue of the sovereign.

    (2) Montesquieu, unlike Aristotle, opposed slavery (indeed Montesquieu was the first major philosophical figure to openly oppose slavery, which contrasts him with figures like Locke); as is well known, Aristotle argued a form of biological determinism when it came to concepts like slavery, gender, etc.; Montesquieu rejected these notions (he in fact argued that nothing barred women from becoming adept and wise rulers, a radical notion in the 18th century).

  166. michael writes: “Mona: ok, the Rand label was overbroad, though any idea of “libertarianism” that doesn’t see that Bushco are the sworn enemies of liberty (free mindsand free markets) doesn’t strike me as much better.”

    I see both parties as sworn enemies of liberty. I’m sure you disagree, but I have become a single issue voter since 9/11, and my motivation for voting for Bush is that I WANT a guy in the White House whom jihadists and their supporting nation-states fear is a “cowboy.” Gaddhafi’s recent willingness to be reasonable has everything to do with what Bush has wrought.

    You add: “In any case, you lose lots of respect here when you claim proven liers and slanderers as buddies.”

    This I assume is an allusion to the Swift Boat vets. Well, initially I was horrified at their existence since I assumed it would backfire badly against Bush — I assumed they were liars. Then I watched the C-Span video of their May 4 press conference, and then I read Unfit for Command. At the same time I was doing all that, the Xmas in Cambodia lie they debunded proved to hold up, i.e., as a debunking.

    C-Span has a recent video available of John O’Neill addressing a literary crowd in San Francisco. He details the points on which the SBVTs have been proven to be correct, and it exceeds simply Xmas in Cambodia. (If I can find the link to that video I’ll post it, but I doubt most would actually sit through it.)

    Anyway, I began as an alarmed skeptic, but became a convert as their charges largely turned out to hold merit.

    Michael also observes:

    “Andyhoo, I’ll note that although the Randroid did claim the libertarian moniker, it didn’t bother refuting the cult stuff.”

    Objectivists teach that believing in any sort of deity is irrational and therefore *immoral.* Further, Rand practiced excommunication, and the schisms within the Objectivist movement parallel Xian splits into dissenting sects and denominations. Rand rejected the “libertarian” label and so do many of her contemporary acolytes, even if Ayn Randian does not.

    Objectivists, in my substantial experience of them, regard “mere” libertarians as inadequate for not adhering to Rand’s all-embracing worldview. Hers is not merely a political philosophy, but a faith to live by. Libertarians may believe in a deity, and/or may reject her claim that she found THE path to “objective” truth. Both positions are heresy to Objectivists.

    The University of Virginia web page on new relgious movements includes Objectivism as a “cult,” using the term in the non-pejorative, sociolgocial sense. They are correct to do so.

    –Mona–

  167. Mona,

    …and my motivation for voting for Bush is that I WANT a guy in the White House whom jihadists and their supporting nation-states fear is a “cowboy.”

    They don’t fear him. They certainly do not fear him in Iraq or Afghanistan. And Iran has given every indication that they do not fear the United States either.

    Gaddhafi’s recent willingness to be reasonable has everything to do with what Bush has wrought.

    That’s an arguable claim.

    He details the points on which the SBVTs have been proven to be correct, and it exceeds simply Xmas in Cambodia.

    That’s really not enough; because someone claims that they have proven something doesn’t mean that they have.

    Further, Rand practiced excommunication…

    Yes, she kicked out people who stopped fucking her. πŸ™‚

  168. Helios writes: “The mere proximity of Rousseau’s ideas to the French Revolution does not prove, in itself,
    that his ideas were the cause of it, but I am no scholar, and I have not, as I said, read Schamas book.”

    I’m literally feversih right now, down with a bad stomach flu, or I’d try to set forth my understanding of Schama’s treatment of Rousseau re: the French Revolution in compelling detail. My neurons just are not quite connecting, and I don’t feel like digging through my basement to find the box containing that book.

    But (and I assume this might matter to you) I believe Schama is a liberal Democrat, notwithstanding that the right strongly embraced this particualr book of his. It is a masterful intellectual history, and as best I recall Schama argues that it was Rousseau’s promotion of “nature” and his peculiar take on how reason ought to be applied that caught fire in France, and created the milieu in which the carnage would proceed. Also, his egalitarianism was so extreme and unchecked that, as I recall, Schama felt his ideas were inherently totalitarian. But if others who have read the book can refine my comments, please, please do.

    –Mona–

  169. Jason Bourne writes: “They don’t fear him. They certainly do not fear him in Iraq or Afghanistan. And Iran has given every indication that they do not fear the United States either.”

    I think we should take on Iran next, and I hope Bush does so if he is re-elected. As the election draws near I have no doubt some of the jihadists are emboldened and holding out hope that Bush will be defeated, and that we will then go back to passing toothelss UN resolutions.

    I do not think it is “arguable” that Gaddafi simmered down on Bush’s watch. If Bush is re-elected, I believe we will see more reasonable behavior from murderous, anti-Western Islamic zealots. The last, very last thing I want, is anti-war activist John Kerry to be the guy these jihadists are dealing with.

    Had Lieberman gotten the Dem’s nomination, I may well have voted for him. But he didn’t, so I’m all the way for Bush.

    –Mona–

  170. Mona,

    I think we should take on Iran next, and I hope Bush does so if he is re-elected.

    Unsubstantiated hopes were not exactly what I expected as a response from you.

    As the election draws near I have no doubt some of the jihadists are emboldened and holding out hope that Bush will be defeated, and that we will then go back to passing toothelss UN resolutions.

    Which of course explains why they were just sitting on their butts in Iraq and Afghanistan until now? πŸ™‚ They do not fear Bush; they didn’t six months ago, and they do not now.

    I do not think it is “arguable” that Gaddafi simmered down on Bush’s watch.

    Whether you think it is arguable or not isn’t the point; it is arguable. The Libyan regime had been seeking normalization long before 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, etc.; thus it is as arguable that what has occurred in Libya is much less of a sharp break than you argue, and more of an evolutionary process.

    If Bush is re-elected, I believe we will see more reasonable behavior from murderous, anti-Western Islamic zealots.

    I don’t think you will see any change in behavior; Bush has even admitted this by stating that the “war on terror” cannot be won. Bush is circumspect about your sort of claims, so I wonder why you are not.

    I’m literally feversih right now, down with a bad stomach flu, or I’d try to set forth my understanding of Schama’s treatment of Rousseau re: the French Revolution in compelling detail.

    Simon Schama’s notions are competently and grightly contested in this field, and you should know about this if you are going to comment on his work.

    It is a masterful intellectual history, and as best I recall Schama argues that it was Rousseau’s promotion of “nature” and his peculiar take on how reason ought to be applied that caught fire in France, and created the milieu in which the carnage would proceed.

    Actually, at best, a gutted version of Rousseau’s notions was used as an inspiration for the French Revolution, and this was contested throughout the Revolution by the adherents of other Enlightenment thinkers.

    Further, though Rousseau’s ideas were influential at the time of the French Revolution, popular sovereignty was never excercised directly, and thus Rousseau’s ideas were never actually implemented. Indeed, Schama draws upon a long line of individuals (like Hegel) who have sought to blame “The Terror” (both red and white) on Rousseau, but this claim ultimately lacks credibility for the aforementioned reason.

    Now, regarding the American Revolution, one of the most important principles in Rousseau’s political philosophy for contestants in favor of that cause is that politics and morality should not be separated. Thus, when Rousseau stated that when a government fails to act in a moral fashion, it ceases to excercise any legitimate control over individuals, the American revolutionaries took it to heart.

  171. Jason Bourne writes: “(quoting me):I do not think it is “arguable” that Gaddafi simmered down on Bush’s watch.

    (Jason): Whether you think it is arguable or not isn’t the point; it is arguable. The Libyan regime had been seeking normalization long before 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, etc.; thus it is as arguable that what has occurred in Libya is much less of a sharp break than you argue, and more of an evolutionary process.”

    Again, it is not arguable that this “evolutionary process” occurred on Bush’s watch. You may deny any causation; I think it very likely. My statement remains beyond any reasonable dispute, namely, what I say happened on Bush’s watch, did.

    As to Schama and his book, no doubt some scholars responded critically to it; he upset some applecarts, and said he knew he was doing so. But it nevertheless remains a highly regarded piece of work.

    –Mona–

  172. And P.S. Jason about this: “I don’t think you will see any change in behavior; Bush has even admitted this by stating that the “war on terror” cannot be won. Bush is circumspect about your sort of claims, so I wonder why you are not.”

    Bush clarified that he meant there was no nation-state, like Japan in WWII, to definitvely send up the white flag. The war on terror can be won only when we see terrorists acts diminish to a significant degree, and even then, there may remain pockets of hold-outs. So yes, we won’t see an Emperor signing a treaty in defeat, but we can make it too costly for terrorists to receive support from various nations, and thereby “win.”

    It is not the same kind of war that we have usually fought before, and that is what Bush meant. I support his efforts against this “asymmetrical warfare.” Certainly I oppose doing nothing militarily against the jihadists who want us all dead.

    –Mona–

  173. The notion that any set of “ideas” dictated a particular historical outcome, while dear to the hearts of academics and other layers of the intelligencia, doesn’t withstand even cursory scrutiny. If, as Mona states, Schama lays the entirety of the French Revolution at Rousseau’s door, he would be arguing that the mobs that stormed the Bastille were animated by readings from “The Social Contract”. This is no more credible than insisting that the Sons of Liberty, who tossed the tea of British Merchants into Boston harbor, were devotees of Locke.

    Perhaps Schama doesn’t venture so far?

    Whatever the relative power of ideas in human affairs, whatever machinations such ideas may put into play, it appears that a far more definitive role is played by events. Are we really to believe that the ruminations of pamphleteers, however glib or profound, had more to do with the actions of a ‘rebellious, semi-literate rabble’ than the events of their own lives?

    It’s pleasant to think that the written word has such power. Especially if one writes well.

  174. Mona,

    Again, it is not arguable that this “evolutionary process” occurred on Bush’s watch.

    And again you are wrong; this evolutionary process was set in motion long before Bush came to office. That you ignore these pre-Bush actions doesn’t add credibility to your statement, it in fact undermines it. You appear to lack the critical ability to assess facts which go againgst your biases.

    As to Schama and his book, no doubt some scholars responded critically to it; he upset some applecarts, and said he knew he was doing so.

    No, he reiterated a lot of fairly old arguments (going back to Burke, Hegel, etc.) in new form. And simply because he “upset some applecarts” doesn’t make him right. A lot of holocaust deniers upset applecarts too, but I don’t put much credibility in their work. In other words, if your sole defense is that he bothered some people, then I am afraid that I find said defense lacking. And again, let me re-iterate my earlier point; if your sole source of knowledge of the French Revolution is Simon Schama’s work, then you are doing yourself a serious disservice.

    Let me suggest the following:

    The French Revolution in Social and Political Perspective, Peter Jones, ed. Its an excellent anthology which gives you a nice overview of the most important historians in this field: Robert Darnton, Francois Furet, Colin Jones, etc.

    Bush clarified…

    He talked out of both sides of his mouth; he flip-flopped in other words.

    It is not the same kind of war that we have usually fought before, and that is what Bush meant.

    Bush flip-flopped; this is evidenced by his prior, unequivocal statements on the “war on terror.” Strike it up to muddle-headedness, a change in perspective, etc., he still flip-flopped.

    Finally, your comment ignores (purposefully?) the point of my statement. Instead of addressing it, you opt for a stance of pedantry.

  175. Jason Bourne hedges with: “And again you are wrong; this evolutionary process was set in motion long before Bush came to office. That you ignore these pre-Bush actions doesn’t add credibility to your statement, it in fact undermines it. You appear to lack the critical ability to assess facts which go againgst your biases.”

    You simply allege an “evolutionary process,”which is why I put scare quotes around the phrase. The FACT IS, Gaddhafi backed off on Bush’s watch.

    As for Schama, I reread his book some two yrs ago, and do recall that he credits and discussed Hegel et al. Nevertheless, in terms of modern scholarship, his approach was as new in Ivy League circles as it was disagreeable to those issuing conventional, *contemporay renderings of the French Revolution.

    Look, if this thread or one like it is alive later this week, I’ll quote from his book. I’m just not feeling well now and cannot readily locate “Citizens” in my zillion boxes of books.

    –Mona–

  176. W.B.Reeves writes: “The notion that any set of “ideas” dictated a particular historical outcome, while dear to the hearts of academics and other layers of the intelligencia, doesn’t withstand even cursory scrutiny. If, as Mona states, Schama lays the entirety of the French Revolution at Rousseau’s door, he would be arguing that the mobs that stormed the Bastille were animated by readings from “The Social Contract”. This is no more credible than insisting that the Sons of Liberty, who tossed the tea of British Merchants into Boston harbor, were devotees of Locke.

    Perhaps Schama doesn’t venture so far?”

    Schama argues that Rousseau was beloved and widely accepted among the French leading up to their revolution. He essays an intellectual history showing how Rousseau’s ideas took grip among the masses AND intellegentsia, and fed murderous irrationality. (Schama thinks the intelligentsia drove the revolution.) Obviously, no one factor in history is usually sufficient(but it may be necessary) explantion of a large event, and Schama does not argue otherwise.

    He simply shows that in the “ideas have consequences” dept., Rousseau’s contributed to some very bad ones.

    –Mona–

  177. W. B. Reaves,

    Those who adopt uncritically the work of Schama in this area tend (as Mona has done) tend to be rather unschooled in the field of French Revolitionary studies. Schama’s work on the French Revolution borders on “junk history” in fact (his other works are far better efforts however – particularly Landscape and Memory – but his history of Britain is fairly boring for anyone with much knowledge of the field).

    Let me detail some of the problems of Schama’s work on the French Revolution:

    (a) Schama tells us that the aristocracy in ancien regime of France was progressive, even capitalist, in nature. However, this strange reversion to the Marxist school’s (which Schama formally rejects) notion of a capitalist aristocracy simply will not hold up to cliometrics; such a group of individuals simply did not exist no matter how much Schama might want to invent them. In other words, the Marxist school is dead (see Gwynne Lewis for more on the actual nature of the Aristocracy).

    (b) The book’s finale comes with the demise of the Jacobins, where Schama hints that this was the fate of any society where aristocrats do not have a significant role; however, by ending the narrative here, Schama fails to note the failure of the aristocracy under the Directory to control France any better than the Jacobins did.

    (c) The importance placed on ideology is wholly problematic; especially since the American revolution shared much if all the same ideological influences.

  178. Come visit Atlanta. You will see oodles of people who all look alike.

  179. Mona,

    You simply allege an “evolutionary process,”which is why I put scare quotes around the phrase. The FACT IS, Gaddhafi backed off on Bush’s watch.

    Actually, he was backing off before and during his watch. Sorry, but those are the facts. From the 1990s he was entreating Western governments; this did not start with Bush in other words. This makes it arguable as to whether Bush’s actions created the situation we see in Libya today or not.

    As for Schama, I reread his book some two yrs ago, and do recall that he credits and discussed Hegel et al.

    This of course means that I am right.

    Nevertheless, in terms of modern scholarship, his approach was as new in Ivy League circles as it was disagreeable to those issuing conventional, *contemporay renderings of the French Revolution.

    Well, first of all, it wasn’t new (as many historians pointed to at the time of its publication in 1989); and second, the conventional (Marxist) school was killed in the 1970s; so you’ve got some issues with chronology here. Furthermore, if you had actually read Citizens you would know that Schama relies heavily on the contemporary authors you so sneeringly malign.

    Look, if this thread or one like it is alive later this week, I’ll quote from his book. I’m just not feeling well now and cannot readily locate “Citizens” in my zillion boxes of books.

    Again, your reliance on one text does you a complete disservice.

    Schama argues that Rousseau was beloved and widely accepted among the French leading up to their revolution.

    And he’s wrong. Timothy Tackett has elegantly demonstrated that the deputies were often wholly ignorant of abstract ideology and had at best the barest knowledge of Rousseau or any other thinker. Schama argues that there was deep and intimate knowledge of Rousseau by many of these deputies, but this simply is not the case.

    He simply shows that in the “ideas have consequences” dept., Rousseau’s contributed to some very bad ones.

    If that’s the case, then its hard to imagine why Rousseau’s ideas (one which I detailed above) were so positive in the American revolution.

  180. Mona,

    I think you have failed to grasp the full schope of Schama’s argument, which is that France would have better off without a revolution; that the France of the 1770s and 1780s did not need one. However, despite Schama’s best efforts, he cannot explain away the fundamental fiscal crisis France was undergoing during this period, the violent counter-revolutionary plots hatched against what was in 1790-91 a moderate regime, nor the increase in life expectancy in France during the years of the Revolution, which was not shared by the rest of Europe. The latter is of course easily explained; the disbursement of land led to better nutrition, which in turn led to longer life spans. Indeed, one of the reasons why French population growth decrases so rapidly during and after the Revolution was because the population of France was fed so much better than their counterparts in Britain or Germany – this also explains why it was so uncommon for Frenchmen to immigrate. They were far more secure economically, nutritionally, etc. than their German, etc. cousins.

  181. Jean-Gary Bourne, this is getting quite lame.

  182. Eric II,

    What is getting quite lame? Can you point to some error in my analysis that makes my arguments lame?

  183. You know damn well I wasn’t talking about your analysis. I’m not sure why you need to move in and out of alter egos with the changing of the seasons, but the habit can’t be healthy.

    Anyway, I thought the following book provided a good analysis of the economic factors and policies that helped bring about the Revolution, and helped it take a turn for the disastrous that its American counterpart escaped. In terms of social strife, there might be some parallels for the US in 15-20 years, as the Baby Boomers retire and the country’s public and private debts catch up to it, particularly if the situation is accompanied by an end to the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency.

    http://www.knowledgerush.com/paginated_txt/etext04/fiatm10/fiatm10_txttoc.html

  184. Eric II,

    You know damn well I wasn’t talking about your analysis. I’m not sure why you need to move in and out of alter egos with the changing of the seasons, but the habit can’t be healthy.

    Who I am is no concern of yours; if it was, I wouldn’t remain anonymous. Further, unless you are my lover, priest or mother, I really don’t now why my health should concern you, or why you should even comment on it. And many apologies, I mis-read your original comment; it now confuses me.

    Thankyou for your link; I’ve spent large portions of my life studying the French Revolution and the Enlightenment generally; Schama’s neo-Burkean analysis was interesting when it first came out, partly because it was a pop culture favorite (its been read by many with no other knowledge of the field, who in turn take it as gospel); but its proven to have too many analytical and factual holes to be taken as a useful work (at least beyond being a first reader on the subject). I always steer people toward the Oxford History of the French Revolution; it is as readable as Schama’s work, and is far more comprehensive chronologically, topically, and from the standpoint of viewpoint.

  185. Eric II,

    Another monograph that can be critized similarly is Albion’s Seed. Both are taken as gospel by the novices and ideologues who read them.

  186. I once had a person walk up to me out of a crwod of about 50,000 people at the Wichita River Festival and ask what my last name was. Turns out he knew my brother. Plus, I have a girl at work who tells me I look like her dad.

  187. I hope this kid gets the book thrown at him. It’s no big surprise he’s a Wharton clown. The B school at my university was the same way. A bunch of over privileged, underachieving rich kids who went to B-school because the other colleges in the university wouldn’t let them in. They crack open beers and not books, disgracing the small minority of B school kids who were diligent scholars who deserve better peers. Kicking someone because you disagree with them: how much more clearly can you illustrate the Republican ideal? From Kent State to RNC-NYC, they respond to speech with violence and suppression, instead of more speech and reason. Of course, reason always opposes the indefensible, so all the Republicans have is violence.

  188. Mona, you got my opinions on the Rather documents exactly backwards. I NEVER ventured an opinion on whether or not they were genuine. And I DO believe that, if they are fakes, they could have been planted by Republicans, in an effort to discredit the entire AWOL story.

    JDM (Why do I bother?), you really are a dishonest person, aren’t you? I’ve read your posts, and you can’t possibly be this stupid:

    “With all the time you’ve spent hectoring people here about their political views being rooted in the fact that they don’t have enough love for their fellow man, it’s a little surprising (that you’d want to use violence against terrorists).”

    I’m just going to assume that the idiocy of this sentiment is obvious to all, and move on.

    “I could swear I’ve seen Democrats claiming that Bush’s policies are making us less safe.” “Policy disagreements about how best to stop terrorism imply that different policies will make you less safe.” I’m not criticizing Republicans for claiming that their opponents would make us less safe. I’m criticizing HOW they make this argument, and just about every other argument – by using language that lumps dissent from their views in with a desire to harm Americans, sympathy for those who would kill Americans, and other techniques for blurring what, in a functional democracy, must remain a very bright line.

    That “one little weasel” is not the only one, btw, just the only one who got caught.

  189. So you put in the parenthetical “(that you’d want to use violence against terrorists)” and then call me dishonest or stupid. Real nice.

    How about inserting “(that’d you’d kick a terrorist already in custody)?” Which is obviously what I meant, and obviously different from “(that’d I’d want to use violence against terrorists.)” I won’t bother explaining why.

    “I’m criticizing HOW they make this argument, and just about every other argument – by using language that lumps dissent from their views in with a desire to harm Americans”

    For one thing, the Cheney quote you’re talking about (the only one I can source) in no way implies that. I suppose by the time your mind gets done inserting parenthetical information into it, it does however. By then it’s probably stupid and dishonest too.

    Any number of Democrats use language that implies that Republicans have no interest in average Americans. I understand that Bush is only interested in the benefit of powerful corporations, who are destroying the earth, enslaving the third world, and getting rich on the backs of average Americans. What an awful man. I’d like to kick him, maybe. I predict – based on this trend in the Dems language and vast historical precedent that I won’t get into – Armageddon. It will begin when a hippy slaps a evangelical preacher in the face at a Vote for Change concert.

    And finally, we get to the crux of the matter:

    “That ‘one little weasel’ is not the only one, btw, just the only one who got caught.”

    So the larger wave of violence is known only to you, sans any evidence except your conviction that it must be so. And it is this wave of violence, hidden to all but you and our new friend Helios, which is the only proof that your insightful reading of the socio-political tea leaves is accurate. Maybe, but you’re going to have a hell of a time convincing anyone who doesn’t also already believe it for no reason outside of the ones they’ve constructed in their own minds.

  190. At the center of your argument is the idea that “not caring about average Americans” is equivalent to “helping terrorists stage mass murder on American soil.” This mental lapse would be bad enough during normal times, but to claim to see the two as equal, with the deaths of September 11 looming in people’s minds…

    You really are a dishonest person.

  191. At the center of your argument is the unsupported claim that anyone has ever said that Democrats are trying to stage terrorist attacks on Americans, which is obviously dishonest.

    The argument you are making is that you know that these non-existant claims resulted in a single particular instance of violence at the RNC. When I point that out you start making up things I never said by inserting parenthetical phrases into my arguments. Then you call me dishonest because you (not I) think that one of my counter arguments requires that:

    “‘not caring about average Americans’ is equivalent to ‘helping terrorists stage mass murder on American soil.'”

    Then you go on to say that I’ve actually “claimed” that the two are equivalent. Which I did not. You see, joe, that particular counter argument is that just because someone uses language that makes you want to kick someone else (I don’t, again, accept that they are using that kind of language) does not mean that you know that some girl got kicked because of it.

    I mean, some fat old white guy who got rich off of warmongering and raping the environment takes money that could have been used to provide health care for a dying poor 3 year old, and you wouldn’t want to give him just a little kick? Where are all the Dems beating men in suits? I’ll just find one, and claim I’m right. That’ll make me feel better.

    The second part is that even if you could say violence was going to come out of it, this is a pretty thin reed to hang your vindication on. One guy, and a couple of weak kicks.

    But what’s the point? You get in trouble in an argument and you just start claiming your opponent is evil for one reason or another – dishonest, brainwashed, selfish, whatever.

    Your kung-fu is particularly weak today. Take a breath and pull yourself togehter.

  192. Ellen said:
    “””
    Mr. Robinson’s denials is his only hope of avoiding total legal, social and academic ruin.
    “””

    But I think that’s wrong. He ought to apologize. Play his cards right, and he could get his own talk show.

  193. JohnL,

    Legally an apology is the same as a confession, so if he’s worried about either a criminal or civil case against him, Robinson’s going to go on denying. However, it is notable that so many of the Republican illuminaries have criminal convictions or charges in their pasts. I’m am absolutely agog at how many of those who played fast and loose with laws are now pontificating about how American’s should think. Basically, the right expects Americans to take advice from criminals. So, I think your right, Mr. Robinson has a future career in talk radio.

  194. hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Maybey there’s hope for this current crop after all.

    YOU ARE DRUNK ON KOOL-AID: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

    THE TRUTH YOUR LEADERS & MEDIA DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW.

    How They Lie To You: Rove’s Media Machine.

    Bush & Bin Laden Make Billions in the “War on Terror”.

    Bush, 9/11, and Deep Threat; The Patriot “Act”.

    Enron-Cheney-Taliban-Who They Really Are.

    The Plan: Bush-Rove-Schwarzenegger Nazi Nexus.

    How Kerry/Edwards Will End The Real Terrorist Threat.

    Mad Yet? : Holding Them Accountable.

    Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Air can be compressed by an electric motor, which can in turn be powered by any number of 99.9 to 100% clean sources of electricity, such as photovoltaiac cells, windmills, watermills, tidal-generators, piezio-electric arrays, focused-solar steam engines, what have you.

    It is the concept of the compression engine that is so appealing in a time when the importance of preserving and nurturing our environment has become a pressing issue of global concern.

    I think it’s important to use our imaginations if the species is going to survive another 25 years, let alone into the next millenium.

    Lastly, “taking on” any nation, especially Iran or any other country in the already seething middle-east is really a very shortsighted and counterproductive category of strategy that is bound to create many more problems than it could ever hope to “fix”.

    Although it may be quite true in the current transitional stages to more advanced and enlightened modes of self-governance that the maintenance of strong defenses, primarily as deterrent measures, is arguably desirable and neccessary, successful new paradigms for active participants in a sustainable global future will include negotiations that take all parties interests into account, mutual cooperation and respect, initiatives to offer various incentives and rewards for constructive participation by and between parties, the opening of meaningful international dialog, trade, travel, cultural exchange, and myriad other alternatives to the outmoded power-struggles that have so disasterously marked, and for the most part ruined, the history of our planet thus far.

    I think it is fair to say that the idea of a social contract was actually quite prescient and remains most relevant in this regard.

    Peace.

  195. I still don’t belive you answered my question Helios.

  196. “Certainly kicking anyone while they’re down is in poor taste..”

    There’s a reason that “Don’t kick someone when they’re down” has become a popular proverb. Kicking people in the head can kill them. And if they’re down, you can hardly claim self-defence unless they’re armed. So it’s murder. Or it was, when the phrase was coined. A guy named C H Rolph expounded on this, many years ago.

  197. Hi Matt,

    Sorry it’s been a while, kinda busy what with this seasons Evisceration of Everything and all.

    Well, I thought I did answer that the idea of a social contract actually did influence and contribute to the ideas set forth in our Declaration and Constitution, and therefore by participating in our system instead of moving to a totalitarian dictatorship, you are tacitly accepting, or at least assenting to live under a system directly influenced by those quaint notions.

    Although, I will grant you that point may soon be moot:


    “Representative Porter Goss (Republican-Florida) also has legislation in the hopper. His bill, H.R. 4584, would significantly empower the director of central intelligence, but, in doing so, would also strip away the historic prohibition on domestic activities by the CIA. With a few words, the bill would allow a president, by public or secret Executive Order, to exercise police, subpoena and law enforcement powers inside the United States. Reminiscent of totalitarian and authoritarian states of old, the war on terrorism does not require that we dispense with our tested principles of limited and separated governmental powers.”

    And that aint no lefty jive, that’s a 30 year g-man talkin there.

    Peace, Brother.

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