Author Topic: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.  (Read 53885 times)

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #105 on: March 24, 2010, 10:33:36 am »
Advocacy of tax increases is usually typified by the attitude of "let the other guy pay."  "Let the 'rich' pay."  With the further subtext, "Maybe I'll benefit from the wealth transfers."  Today that passes for compassionate, charitable sentiment.


Well, if one considers the whole of government intake and spending as a function, I think it pretty clearly transfers wealth toward the already rich overall. The notion of a progressive income tax system is as old as Adam Smith:
Quote
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

The notion of one's fair share is, of course, subjective and debatable. I think Mr. Smith's point is valid.

Also, the notion that the current Administration is not interested in significantly expanding the scope and size of Government ... does not comport with reality.

I have not seen "expansion of the scope and size of the federal government" listed as an objective. Do you have a reference?

The author you cite, Bob Herbert, with his heart-wrenching anecdotal stories, snippits of quotes probably taken out of context, and purveying old stuff from the early 1960’s to bash Republicans and Conservatives a half-century later is … well, lame.  It serves nothing but a rhetorical purpose.  Though, no doubt, it is well received by its audience, to reinforce their hatred today of Republicans and Conservatives.  And to distract people from the real economic and geopoltical issues that face us. Which, very clearly, was the objective of the author.  He had his effect on you.


I thought Mr. Herbert was situating the current behavior of some of the Tea Party activists and the Republicans courting the movement in historical context. Michael, to your credit, you have been consistent in denouncing hateful behavior on the part of these activists. That many conservative politicians and activists have not been as scrupulous is a cause for concern, at least it is for me. It makes me wary as to what degree sinister elements are behind the Tea Party movement or are using the movement as camouflage.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
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Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #106 on: March 24, 2010, 10:41:11 am »
We always seem to find the money to be able to blow the hell out of Brown folks.

Offline Lion

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #107 on: March 24, 2010, 04:44:59 pm »
Estimated cost of Afghanistan and Iraq War: 3 Trillion Dollars over 10 years as of 2008

Estimated cost of health care: .94 Trillion.

I don't want to hear it.

Offline Tanksleyd

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #108 on: March 24, 2010, 08:14:56 pm »
We always seem to find the money to be able to blow the hell out of Brown folks.

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #109 on: March 25, 2010, 09:02:22 pm »
The "nondiscretionary" entitlement programs are a major problem facing our nation, and it is only going to get worse as my generation ages.

My view of rights is different than what has been expressed above. I believe a person has the right to what he earns, through his labor and his capital. Period. Anything beyond that, that he receives from his fellows, is charity.

A person has the right to do as he pleases with his property.  But he does have moral responsibilities.

I believe that many people confuse the two concepts ... of "rights" vs. "responsibilities"

Those who are able do have a moral responsibility to help those most in need, to feed the poor (etc). By giving charity. This has nothing to do with the recipient's "right" to take your property for his own use, but rather pertains to the moral obligation of the donor.

Similarly, there is a moral obligation for children to care for their parents, and more broadly, for people to care for their extended family.

As to whether taxation should be progressive or not, I've no problem with progressive taxation, so long as the Government that is being supported is providing only the basic essentials that a national government must provide, such as providing for the common defense, dealing with foreign powers, (together with the States) maintaining infrastructure that (because of the free-rider problem) cannot be privately funded, enforcing reasonable regulation for public health and safety, requiring full disclosure of information (by, for example, requiring accurate and honest disclosure of business information and product information), and enforcement of laws prohibiting racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. Other matters can be handled by state and local governments.

It is where the role of Government morphs into an agency for income redistribution that I have a problem, because by doing so it is forcibly imposing the giving of charity, and by so doing, takes it out of the realm of charity altogether. Undermining every person's individual sense of personal responsibility to give charity, and thus reducing the moral impulses of the population. The focus instead becomes "what I can get" and "what I can take" and "what I must pay."  Through coercion. That is when it becomes too easy for a democracy to slide into a tyranny by the majority, where the property rights of the Individual are no longer respected.

Strong social pressure should be brought to bear on those not fulfilling their moral obligations. Stigmatizing those who do not. Positive recognition should be accorded those who do, to encourage more people to give and to give more generously.

What I describe reinforces the work ethic, the family, and the charitable instinct, and more broadly, the sense of personal moral responsibility one has for one's fellows. Enhancing these would reduce a host of other problems that our culture currently suffers from.

Guys, I believe you understand where I'm coming from on the issue of Big Government, Taxation, and the like, and also on the issue of Personal Responsibility.  I believe I understand where you are coming from as well (collectively)(... no pun intended).  Which explains why we come out differently on domestic political issues.

This does not mean that I'm a devil, or that those who agree with me are devils, nor does it mean that those who disagree with me are devils.  But the blogs, articles, emails, and so on, just keep on flowing, from the Left and the Right, conveying such sentiments (like the article cited by Reginald, above).

That our nation is polarized is an understatement.

On the positive side, I guess that is part of the vigorous political dynamic. And it is nothing new. The vitriol expressed after the founding of our nation was no less severe.

So there we have it.

I would just ask that when we read our articles, those that we agree with, that we have the self-possession to step back from our biases and realize that the vitriol is just a rhetorical tool.  In other words, don't allow ourselves to be totally sucked into it.  Even where we agree with the objectives of those who express such sentiments.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #110 on: March 26, 2010, 11:45:46 pm »
from the website FIELD NEGRO:

The truth about Harry. And maybe George.


I won't lie, I hate bumper stickers. A car should be for driving, not telling us about what religion you belong to, how smart your kids are, or who you vote for. Sometimes I see bumper stickers on very nice new cars and I just have to shake my head. I just don't get it.


Still, as much as I despise bumper stickers, I don't think I would do what this guy did. What the hell is A-merry-ca coming to when just having a bumper sticker declaring your love for his O ness can cost you a trip to the body shop? Oh lawd! These wingnuts are off the chain. I bet the guy was listening to Beck or one of those right wing talk show nut jobs and just got fired up. The poor guy just took out all his pent up rage on the first thing he saw with his O ness on it.


"After picking up his 10-year old daughter from school yesterday afternoon, Nashville resident Mark Duren was driving home when he was suddenly and intentionally rammed from behind by Harry Weisiger. Enraged at the sight of Duren’s Obama bumper sticker, Weisiger gave Duren “the bird” and then hit him from behind, leading to a violent series of events. Nashville’s WKRN report"


The guy didn't even care that there was a 10 year old child in the car. No sir, all he had to see was the face of the beige man in the people's house to go all Toyota on poor Mr. Duren.


“He pointed at the back of my car,” Duren said, “the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute.”
But it didn’t end there. Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign. Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, “I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me.”


Obama supporters, I think you are all going to have to start driving bigger cars. Or, just leave your bumper stickers at home. This is crazy. It's not worth losing your lives over this love you have for his O ness.


Finally, I am going to shock some of you tonight. I am going to defend the frat boy. Yes, defend him.


You all know about the video making the rounds on the Internet of the frat boy doing a quick wipe after playing touch with some Haitians. He has been getting killed for it in some circles. Hey George, this is what happens when you diss an entire city of poor suffering black folks by doing a fly over. These kinds of things tend to stay with you. Let's face it; you Bush folks tend to be Crips when it comes to your blood. So for many people it was easy to believe this story.


But don't worry George, even though I am no fan. I am going to lean to The Guardian story on this one and say that the whole thing just seemed a lot worse than it really was. And, that looks, in this case, was deceiving. Besides, the frat boy, like his daddy, has an issue with touching strangers, period. So I don't think it was a Haitian thing.....I don't think.


How is that? Field taking the high road. It must be the weekend.






Posted by field negro at 10:17 PM 24 comments   Links to this post
Labels: George Bush, Harry Weisger
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Living in right wing bloggerland: Those threats against the democratic lawmakers weren't real.


I would like to thank my man Greg Fuller for sending me the following article from Media Matters. It kind of sums up how right wing blogs have been reacting to the anarchistic and hooligan style tactics of their wingnut friends.


"Right-wing blogs trivialize threats against Democrats
Right-wing blogs have responded to reported threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill by trivializing the threats or suggesting that the reports are false, condemning the threats but making excuses for them, suggesting that Democrats themselves are to blame for receiving the threats, or suggesting other acts of violence that people could commit against their congressional representative.

Right-wing blogs trivialize threats, make excuses, blame Democrats
Big Government: "We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them." In a March 25 post, the "Editorial Panel" of Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com wrote: "Democrats and the leftist media are all atwitter about alleged threats of violence against Congressmen who voted for ObamaCare. We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them." The post continued: "But, here's a tip: Hey Democrats, if you are worried about an angry public, how about not passing a sweeping government expansion opposed by 70% of the public. Just a thought."


Big Journalism's Walsh: Media "never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying." In a March 24 post on Breitbart's BigJournalism.com about a report noting House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned Democrats about potential violence, Michael Walsh wrote: "Naturally, the media accepts this allegation at face value, and never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying -- as the spiritual mentor of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton taught it to do." Walsh later stated: "So listen up, MSM [mainstream media], and consider this speaking out: God forbid that anything should happen. But if it does happen, try not to leap to pre-planted conclusions that fit the narrative: 'Democrats good/Republicans bad.' "

Gateway Pundit: "Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet." In a March 24 post responding to reports that the FBI is investigating an incident at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother, at which a gas line was allegedly cut, Jim Hoft wrote, "Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet." Hoft further wrote: "This week an angry tea party activist published the address of a Virginia Congressman on his blog and suggested that Tea Party Protesters go visit this socialist at home... The tea party organizer did not direct anyone to harm the Congressman. But, that won't stop the leftist media from going berserk over the incident."

Confederate Yankee: "[H]ave a swing" at "your Congressman" instead. In a March 24 blog post, right-wing blogger Confederate Yankee wrote that it is "totally unacceptable to threaten" Congress members' "relatives or friends and put them in danger." Confederate Yankee added: "Go to your Congressman's office and scream at him in the most colorful language possible. Hang him in effigy at protests. If you're willing to do the time for the crime, have a swing at him."

NewsBusters: "The Media's Myth of Right Wing Violence." In a March 24 NewsBusters post, Mithridate Ombud wrote that while "[t]hose who commit violence in the name of politics deserve political change no more than they deserve leniency in sentencing," President Obama's "desire to continue ramming through the most divisive legislation -- against his own creed -- isn't helping bring calm to even the most peaceful conservatives. And while the evidence of a violent right is scarce, there's no limit to liberals attempting to make conservatives look evil." Ombud further stated, "Whether this is a shortcut to 2nd Amendment action, valid concern, or just a bunch of crybaby progressive politicians over reacting to criticism, it's hard to tell." Ombud concluded: "The media and politicians who are trying to construct a meme of conservative violence as we run up to the 2010 elections should only face the weapon they fear most; the ballot."

Dan Riehl: "Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats." In a March 24 post on his blog titled, "Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats," Dan Riehl wrote: "No one should seriously enjoy seeing this type of thing going on. Though, I'd add, the Netroots crowd would have absolutely no problem with this were the shoe on the other foot. But it's not. It's on theirs." Riehl later wrote of Democrats who received threats: "These malignant little tyrants want to play the victim? After victimizing America with their pathetic antics, their corrupt practices, all to push a destructive ideology America has long rejected? The Democrats are the real criminals here. They have torn the fabric of America with a repulsive world view they now hope to thrust upon the American people, whether we like it, or not."

John Hinderaker: Threats "being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted" over health care reform. In a March 24 Powerline post, John Hinderaker wrote, "We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy." Hinderaker later wrote that "[t]he current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented." From Hinderaker's post:

We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy. Threats of violence, sadly, are not uncommon in politics; let alone "harassment." Even insignificant conservatives like us have been threatened with violence on several occasions, and the linked article notes that Jim Bunning received threats after he temporarily held up the extension of unemployment benefits a few weeks ago.

The current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented. It is important for the Democrats and their press minions to understand that there are many millions of Americans who regard Obamacare not just as misguided public policy, but as an illegitimate usurpation of power. I am one of the many millions who are outraged at the Left's attempt to destroy the private health care system that has served my family so well, and who regard Obamacare as illegitimate.

As for the threats, we will take them more seriously if they result in the cancellation of a public appearance by a liberal due to security concerns. But that never happens to liberals, only to conservatives. It happened again last night. That was in Canada, of course; the home of government medicine and little regard for free speech. No coincidence, that.
Lopez: "Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace." In a post on National Review Online's The Corner blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez quoted from Hinderaker's Powerline post and downplayed the threats against Democrats:

Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace. Take deep breaths and work harder, is my advice to anyone to receives one.

Let's not pretend that Obamacare critics are all violent or otherwise breed violence. And let's not pretend that John Boehner and Eric Cantor, or Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Lopez, haven't been subject to ridiculous -- albeit disconcerting -- threats, too. This is bad news, but it didn't materialize this Saturday or Sunday with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

Fox News figures condemn threats against Democrats -- but then make excuses for them
As Media Matters for America has noted, several Fox News hosts and guests -- including Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade; Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, S.E. Cupp, Charles Krauthammer, and Stephen Hayes -- have been quick to first condemn the threats against Democrats but then immediately make excuses for or dismiss the seriousness of the threats.http://mediamatters.org/items/201003250028"


Don't you just love the "threats are wrong-- but" arguments from these wingnut blogs?


Personally, this sh*t is mild to me. I come from a place where we kill our political enemies. So sticks and stones if you get my drift. Still, this is A-merry-ca, we are supposed to be civil with our politics and in our political discourse. Violence and threats of violence is not the A-merry-can political way. At least not anymore.


Oh well; bring it on wingnuts. We will be right here.

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #111 on: March 28, 2010, 07:03:08 am »
As to your first article, a few years ago some guy almost ran into my truck, threatened to, gave me the finger, was screaming obscenities at me, all prompted by a bumper sticker I had proudly posted, featuring an American and Israeli flag side-by-side with an anti-terrorism message.  I have to assume the fellow was not a Conservative, nor a supporter of Israel or the United States. My story didn't make the newpapers, though. Also heard stories of cars keyed, air let out of tires, etc ... of cars displaying pro-Bush bumper stickers.

As to your second article, Let's see ... Condemnation of those who threaten violence ... I agree with that.  The fact that threats come from the Right and the Left, that's true. Are memories so short, or one's standard so "double," as to forget the hatred spewed from the Left during the Bush Administration?  I don't recall seeing any concerned, much less outraged, posts on the Hudlin Entertainment Forum during those eight years.

Reginald, that this is part of a conscious Democratic Party strategy to try to delegitimize and silence strong critics of the Administration is obvious. That there are a few nutjobs out there is also true, and they are a cause for concern. But to generalize from the latter to the former is both an insult to our intelligence and ... just an insult.  An intentional insult.

I can't help but believe that some on the Left, perhaps many, are just itching for an extreme act of violence by someone on the Right, preferably a Tea Party Activist (or someone who could be so characterized) ... but anyone on the Right would do.  My proof of this.  Just look at the Left and Liberal rush to judgement with regard to the Austin bombing of the IRS Building, where the perpetrator Joe Stack was immediately characterized as a Tea Party Protester.  The disappointment in the air(waves) and on the Internet from the Left was almost palpable when it became increasingly clear that the man was just a nut.

Even "better" from this cynical Leftist partisan perspective would be an unsuccessful attempt to take the life of the President.

Thus, I'm not holding my breath for anyone, including those on the Left, to follow Peggy Noonan's advice to "lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it."

Why lower the temperature when you can make such political hay out of anecdotal incidents? On the contrary, the more dramatic they are, the "better" they are to demonize all of your opponents.  No wonder the polemical gas is burning so hot.

In any event, here is another article to add to your collection, that has some merit (bolding added by me). My only reservation about it is that it might be viewed as an argument to silence strong expressions of legitimate political free speech, protected by the First Amendment, but I don't think that is Peggy Noonan's intention, given that she is really pointing the finger at everyone:

The Heat Is On. We May Get Burned.
Political rage is a national problem, not a partisan one.

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal: March 25, 2010

So where are we? In a dangerous place, actually.

Politics is a rough arena, and understandably so, for our politicians tell us more and more how to order our lives. Naturally there will be resistance, and strong opposition. We have a long history of hurly-burly debate, and we all know examples the past 200 years of terrible things said and done. Capitol tour guides enjoy showing the stain on the marble steps supposedly left by the blood of Sen. Charles Sumner, beaten half to death on the floor of the senate in 1856 by Rep. Preston Brooks, who wielded a thick gold-tipped cane. So we’ve had our moments.

But it’s a mistake not to see something new, something raw and bitter and dangerous, in the particular moment we’re in.

Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, this week announced that 10 congressional Democrats have recently been menaced and threatened with violence, and that they found it necessary to meet with the FBI and Capitol Police. A congressman apparently said a casket had been left near his home; a congresswoman reportedly said she was worried for the safety of her children.

This is all completely believable.

Democratic officials are right to call attention to what they believe is a growing threat. It is a truly terrible thing. But it would be deeply unhelpful for the Democrats to use this story as a mere political opportunity, as a way to undermine opposition to ObamaCare by painting opponents as dangerous and unhinged. That would only inflame the country, and in any case is not true. The truth is this sickness works both ways.

There probably isn’t a Republican leader who has not the past few years been menaced, and in exactly the same ways as the Democrats. Thursday I asked a staffer for a congressman who is a significant and respected opponent of the health-care bill if he had ever been threatened. Yes indeed. “Over the years and as recently as yesterday,” both the congressman and his staff “have received countless threats—both threats of violence and of death. These come in the form of letters, faxes, emails, phone calls, and voice-mail messages. We’ve had the front window smashed in at one of our district offices. Rather than call TV crews or the Washington Post, we report threats to the proper authorities, and move on. We’d take issue with the recent narrative that conservatives are disproportionately hostile, prone to violence or whatever message the left is pushing these days. They have anecdotes, we have anecdotes.”

Even columnists and pundits have anecdotes. Just about everyone in public life on whatever level gets threats now.

Here’s the tenor and tone of the moment:

Under the news story on Mr. Hoyer’s statement on the Yahoo! news site on Thursday, there was a lengthy comment thread, with more than 800 people offering their thoughts. “An American Hitler might be in the making who would purge the leftists,” said one, who of course didn’t use his or her name. “Republicans are criminals and terrorists,” said another. “Republicans . . . are thugs, scoundrels and rascals.” And: “What did they expect when they . . . went against the American people and are FORCING this bill on us.” “It’s what happens before the revolution . . . people are frustrated over not being heard . . . let the battle begin.”

Here, edited for a family newspaper, are some of the recorded telephone messages left on the answering machine of Rep. Bart Stupak. These are messages left by individuals who appear to be pro-life activists—that is, people who have put themselves on the line to support generous and compassionate treatment of the unborn.

“I hope you bleed out your ___, get cancer and die.” “You will rue the day. . . . I hope you’re haunted the rest of your living day. . . . We think you’re a devil. . . . The country loathes you.” “You are one big piece of human ____. There are people across the country who wish you ill, and all of those thoughts projected on you will materialize into something that’s not very good for you. Go to hell, you piece of ____.”

These are people whose professed mission it is to save children. Whatever else these particular individuals are, they are people whose nerves have been rubbed raw.

Responsible leaders on all levels of American life ought to stop, breathe in, and see the level of anger and agitation that’s rippling through the country. Both sides should try to cool it, or something bad is going to happen. In fact I am struck now by how, when I worry aloud about this and say to a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, that I fear something bad is going to happen, no one disagrees. No one says, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” They say—again, left right and center: “I’m afraid of that too.”

What I keep thinking of is a beehive. A modern, high tech, highly politicized democracy is a busy beehive, and sometimes the bees are angry, and sometimes someone comes by and sticks a big sharp stick in the hive. The biggest thing Washington should do right now is stop it, stop poking the stick.

The beehive was already angry about a million things a year ago, and most of those things, obviously, were not the fault of the administration. People are angry at their economic vulnerability. They are angry at the deterioration of our culture, angry at our nation’s deteriorating position in the world, at our debts and deficits, our spending and taxing, our threatened security in a world of weapons of mass destruction. Their anger is stoked by cynical politicians and radio ranters and people who come home at night, have a few drinks, and spew out their rage on the comment thread. It’s a world full of people always cocking the gun and ready to say, if things turn bad, “But I didn’t tell anyone to shoot!”

And yes, this mood, this anger, has only been made worse by this yearlong, enervating, exhausting, enraging fight over health care. The administration is full of people who are so bright, and led by one who is very bright, and yet they have a signal failure: They do not know what time it is. They cannot see how high the temperature is. They cannot for the life of them understand that they raise it.

What we need now in our leaders is the knowledge that there is so much that is tearing us apart as a nation and that the great project now is to keep us together, to hold us together as much as possible, because future trends will be to come apart, and for many reasons. To come apart because we’re no longer held close and firmly by the old glue of appreciation for a common heritage, history and culture; to come apart because we’re a country that increasingly feels there are people in the cart and people pulling the cart, and the latter are increasingly overwhelmed and fearful; coming apart because we’re now in at least our second generation of young, lost, unguided children with no fully functioning parent in their lives, kids being raised by a microwave and a TV set. All of these things weigh and grate.

They are all, of course, too big and complicated to be adequately dealt with in a year or even a decade. But one immediate thing can be done right now, and that is: lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #112 on: March 28, 2010, 12:00:27 pm »
I don't think anybody here condones violence or threats against elected officials of any stripe. Michael, if your goal is to inform us of threats received by Republicans then thank you. If you are implying that there are transgressions on both "sides" so we shouldn't pay this any mind, well, not so fast.

I do agree that data is not the plural of anecdote. If only some entity tracking had been tracking intolerance and racial violence for decades... Somebody like, say, the Southern Poverty Law Center. They recently released an Intelligence Report on the subject:
Rage on the Right. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Quote
The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called "Patriot" groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.

The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as "socialist" or even "fascist" — goes beyond the radical right. The "tea parties" and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.


Also, here is an interview with Mark Potok, the director of publications and information for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The introduction:
Quote
When Right-Wing Extremism Moves Mainstream
Last May, about 30 people gathered at a resort in Jekyll Island, Ga., for a series of discussions about "increasing national instability" and President Obama's "socialized" policies.

The island was chosen for symbolic reasons — the initial discussions about creating a Federal Reserve were held there in 1910 — and the attendees met to formulate a plan for bringing their own radical organizations together.

"One of the interesting things about the meeting is how nondenominational it was," says Mark Potok. "There were Holocaust deniers there. There were anti-Semites. There were also people who have none of those feelings, who are all about the idea that the federal income tax is unconstitutional — people from the old[er] militia movements and so on."

Potok is the director of publications and information for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group's latest Intelligence Report, "Rage on the Right," documents the growth in the number of hate and extremist groups — and how their rhetoric is increasingly entering the mainstream.


So, yeah, I'm concerned.

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #113 on: March 28, 2010, 02:19:05 pm »
Curtis, you wholly missed my point, regarding the conscious strategy of demonizing Conservatives, to stifle dissent. 

Regarding the studies you cite, what percentage of the total American population do the groups that truly advocate violence represent?  How about those that openly advocate racism (or more broadly bigotry -- and not through some Left-wing interpretive spin, but overtly - the neo-Nazis, the skinheads, the KKK, and that ilk)?  Of course extremist groups need to be monitored.  I've said that about 20 times on this thread. 

Though we do have to be careful of the source of any "intelligence reports" and how they are doing their classifying.  For example, if there is a group opposed to illegal immigration, that group might be classified in a negative way in a report when, in truth, it is a wholly legitimate organization that does not pose any threat of violence.  There is ample opportunity for ideological spin.  I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).  Nor do I know if they choose to focus only on Right-wing groups, or whether they also monitor Left-wing and other radical groups (Jihadist, and so forth) that might also engage in acts of violance or terrorism.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of Right-wing extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #114 on: March 28, 2010, 02:19:23 pm »
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?
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michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #115 on: March 28, 2010, 03:21:08 pm »
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

Because they are reasonable questions. Don't like people raising questions?

I didn't make an allegation, I just raised a couple of questions. Which is entirely fair ... and intellectually honest. (Including my honest comment that I'm not sure if the kind of bias we've seen in other publications posted on this forum is shared by the sources you cite). 

However, that said, I'm all for identifying and monitoring actual hate groups.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?

Shockingly contrary to the hateful screeds produced by Leftist websites and editorialists, I know. We've already had this discussion Curtis, and I explained my views fully above. While I don't pretend to read minds, I believe that most folks involved in the Conservative Movement are men and women of principle.  Even if they don't agree with you. Please don't ask me to repeat myself (yet again).

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #116 on: March 28, 2010, 03:36:22 pm »
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

Because they are reasonable questions. Don't like people raising questions?

I didn't make an allegation, I just raised a couple of questions. Which is entirely fair ... and intellectually honest. (Including my honest comment that I'm not sure if the kind of bias we've seen in other publications posted on this forum is shared by the sources you cite). 

However, that said, I'm all for identifying and monitoring actual hate groups.
Fair enough. I withdraw the objection.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?

Shockingly contrary to the hateful screeds produced by Leftist websites and editorialists, I know. We've already had this discussion Curtis, and I explained my views fully above. While I don't pretend to read minds, I believe that most folks involved in the Conservative Movement are men and women of principle.  Even if they don't agree with you. Please don't ask me to repeat myself (yet again).
Please don't. Being men and women of principle does not preclude racial attitudes playing a part in what we are seeing - both in terms of how the current administration and its policies are perceived and the manner in which opposition is expressed. Acknowledging the role of race, both consciously and unconsciously, in the social calculus is just realistic to me. That acknowledgment is not intended to delegitimize or dismiss anyone's position. But it is a factor to consider.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
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michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #117 on: March 28, 2010, 10:28:38 pm »
Curtis, as is the case with those who embrace positions that you agree with, on a variety of issues (in term of the potential for bigotry playing a role, or race playing a role, or ethnicity playing a role, for some people, depending on the issue). However, the more principled people are, the less likely this will be a meaningful factor for most (unless, of course, "in principle" they embrace racism or bigotry, which would be a pretty lame principle).

In any event, this has no bearing on whether, on their own merits, the issues being raised by Conservatives are legitimate or not. If they are, they should be addressed, rather than dismissed.

I do believe what we've seen in many of the articles posted above are indeed efforts to distract people from the importance of the issues being raised, because it is always easier to create and attack a straw man than to refute legitimate fundamental issues raised by one's opponents.  I see this as very much the strategy of the Left here, in an attempt to marginalize the opposition. To try to convince the electorate to ignore the issues raised and just "move on."  I don't think this strategy is going to work. I think, in its transparency and innuendo, it will just piss people off. Because it really is unfair.

I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.

Offline Battle

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #118 on: March 29, 2010, 10:13:19 am »
I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.


Just remember, michaelintp, that party senate majorities come and party senate majorities go...

---but it was Barack H. Obama who changed the game! ;)

Right now, is the best time for anyone in political science to get in the game and follow his lead.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2010, 11:33:06 am »
I do believe what we've seen in many of the articles posted above are indeed efforts to distract people from the importance of the issues being raised, because it is always easier to create and attack a straw man than to refute legitimate fundamental issues raised by one's opponents.  I see this as very much the strategy of the Left here, in an attempt to marginalize the opposition. To try to convince the electorate to ignore the issues raised and just "move on."  I don't think this strategy is going to work. I think, in its transparency and innuendo, it will just piss people off. Because it really is unfair.

I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.

Michael, I take your point that some of this is just politics as usual and that some folks across the political spectrum are doing just what you describe above (although I do think it's coming far more at least as much from the Right although it is possible that I am more sensitive to that variety of it. I imagine the mirror image holds true for you. ;)) I, too, wish it would stop. I don't expect it will.

At the same time, I see something else happening that has to do with race. Not that race is the sole or even primary factor but it is significant. The Rage on the Right Intelligence Report and the interview with Mark Potok from the Southern Law Poverty Center concern me greatly.

As for the substance, I get that you are for a minimalist approach to government. Me, I'm for a safety net. The devil is in the details.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."