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Freedom From Fear—and the Second Amendment

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Posted on Aug 21, 2009

By David Sirota

Those of us living in the Rocky Mountains are steeped in America’s famous gun culture—and we therefore know well the binary debates surrounding the Second Amendment. Firearm enthusiasts—the vast majority of whom use weapons responsibly—believe the Constitution protects their right to bear arms. Gun control advocates counter that the Constitution doesn’t give anyone the inalienable right to wield automatic weapons that can kill scores of people in seconds.

This is the stultified freedom-versus-safety quarrel that seemed to forever define gun politics—that is, until anti-government activists started bringing firearms to public political meetings.

In early August, a protester came to a raucous Tennessee congressional forum packing heat. Days later, President Obama’s health care event in New Hampshire was marred by a protester posing for cameras with a pistol and sign reading, “It is time to water the tree of liberty”—a reference to a Thomas Jefferson quote promising violence. And this past week, 12 armed men—including one with an assault rifle—not only showed off their firearms at Obama’s Arizona speech, but broadcast a YouTube video threatening to “forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority.”

These and other similar examples are accurately summarized with the same language federal law employs to describe domestic terrorism. Generating maximum media attention, the weapons-brandishing displays are “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” Yes, the gun has been transformed from a sport and self-defense device into a tool of mass bullying. Like the noose in the Jim Crow South, its symbolic message is clear: If you dare engage in the democratic process, you risk bodily harm.

With that implicit threat, the incessant arguments about gun ownership have been supplanted by a more significant debate over which should take precedence: the Constitution’s First or Second Amendment?

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Based on America’s history, the Founders’ answer to that question clearly lies in the Bill of Rights’ deliberate sequencing.

The First Amendment ethos guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution. It is the primary amendment because America was first and foremost created not as a gun-owners’ haven, but as a place to shelter citizens from oppression.

Over two centuries, we have taken this tradition seriously, enacting statutes reinforcing freedoms of speech, creating the secret ballot, and outlawing harassment at Election Day polling stations. This is why, whether tracing roots to colonial England, Nazi Germany or any other tyranny, so many Americans say they came here specifically looking for protection from political persecution.

While the First Amendment doesn’t ensure credibility or significance, it is supposed to guarantee freedom from fear—a freedom that is now under siege. Citing the Second Amendment and the increasingly maniacal rhetoric of conservative media firebrands, a small handful of violence-threatening protesters aims to make the rest of us—whether pro- or anti-health reform—afraid to speak out.

And so we face a choice that has nothing to do with health care, gun ownership or any other hot-button issue that protesters of both parties are fighting over. It is a choice about democracy itself—a choice that comes down to the two axioms best articulated by, of all people, Mao Zedong.

One option is willful ignorance: We can pretend the ferment is unimportant, continue allowing the intimidation and ultimately usher in a dark future where “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

Better, though, is simply making public political events firearm-free zones, just like schools and stadiums. That way forward honors our democratic ideals by declaring that politics may be war, but in America it is “war without bloodshed”—and without the threat of bloodshed.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com.

© 2009 Creators.com


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By ardee, September 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

I will try to answer your main point(never mind that you have forgotten mine) about billionaires and talk radio. I understand now that the main significance of your point is that Limbaugh’s audience is smaller than before. Its probably true. You then infer from ‘smaller audience’ that his audience is small, and limbaugh now needs billions to stay afloat. I do not consider this line of reasoning to be valid, and that is why i didnt realize that you were making a point out of it. I would be happy to explain why it is invalid if you need me to do so.

There you go with that disingenuous thingie, Ozark I said that his audience has shrunk and his airtime not at all, that is not the way of commercial radio thus what Limbaugh represents is not commercial radio but propaganda radio, financed , not to make a profit, but to hammer away at an ideology.

The onus of proof is usually on the person who wants to change things. You might be right but you arent proving it yet.

What you do have, ardee, is a sense that something isnt fair about conservative talk radio. Other people have the same opinion. Much frustration exists and proposals to curtail conservative talk are right around the corner.

I believe that conservative talk radio has as much right to exist as does progressive talk radio…yet there is a marked discrepancy in the amount of one vs. the other. Fairness Doctrine anyone? The news, the TV and the radio are filled to overflowing ( like a stuffed up crapper in fact..thats for your premise about zappy one liners Michael) with right wing propaganda….and the left gets a crumb here and there, and even that is under attack, as was NPR during the Bush years.

I do not question your sense of fairness, nor that you are frustrated, nor your integrity. However, I am not here merely to validate you feelings. We are having an American political argument in the finest tradition.

Yeah, well, not so much I think, what with your constant insertions of opinion as fact.More like propaganda , hey are YOU on right wing radio? wink

Nor do i consider you disingenuous. I can tell that you believe what you are saying. You accuse me of disingenuousness, but it isnt true. Really that is a form of dismissal.

No, dismissal is dismissal, I openly and frequently note your subtleties in distortion…but Im OK with that, you do it well at least. There are those on this and every forum who do it poorly, from both sides too.

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By Anarcissie, September 2, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

mtnman28778:
’... I am much more threatened by the current administration’s squelching of my free speech than by some enthusiastic good ‘ol boy wearing a gun at a rally.

Yes, but you agree with the good ol’ boys, so that doesn’t count.

I haven’t heard of anyone in the current administration squelching anyone’s free speech in any way not already practiced by previous administrations.  I’m not counting Blackwater allegedly popping off dissident former employees, since they are a private outfit employed, but not directly operated, by the government.  If you know of any incidents where free speech is being suppressed I’d like to hear about them.

I have suggested that the routine practice of having large numbers of police and special agents armed to the teeth surrounding politicians may be just as intimidating as individuals carrying weapons, but intimidation is not the same as suppression and the solution is in mutual disarmament, not the brandishing of weapons at one another.

By the way, before throwing the term socialism around you should look up its meaning.  Mr. O is no more a socialist than J. P. Morgan.

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By Jim Lunsford, September 2, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, let’s see if the censors let this one fly on by. A cenor who reminds me of the very government that has been ignoring the voices of the people for a very long time now. Which is why the people are carrying guns to these events. They are telling the government they are tired of being ignored. It is not about health care, it is about an unhearing, and uncring, governmnt. A government which refuses to listen to the people. An amazing percentage of this population despise both Bush and Obama and refuse to see any discernabl difference between the two. I wonder how many who sit back and feign horror at the public’s reaction to Obama were protesting Bush’s policies. We are still in Iraq, and Afghanistan. We are moving into Pakistan. We still have Gitmo. We still authorize toruture via rendition to countries that torture. We still have the NSA listening to our email. We still have the patriot Acts (1 and 2), the Military Commission Act of 2006, and we are now considering imprisonment for possible future crimes. The goverment figures on unemployment are so laughable that no one uses them anymore. The same corporations are still in the high positions of government. Those appointed. Like Monsanto, Goldman-Sachs, Chiquita Banana, etc. The only difference is that now, those who opposed Bush are embracing his policies becaue Obama is using them. And you wonder why people are showing up with guns? I wonder how most of you are able to walk across the street without assistance.

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By mtnman28778, September 1, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

The 2nd ammendment in no way encroaches on the 1st. The 2nd ammendment guarantees every individual citizen the right to own a firearm, not just for arming the militia, but for any lawful purpose the individual desires. It is actually intended as a safeguard against tyrannical government as it enables the citizens to replace the government with a new body of legislators if that body is no longer representing the people, by force if necessary. While that is an absolute last resort, it is a viable option if all other means have failed to protect the citizens. The protestors with firearms that are posing and showing off represent a minority of the entire body of protestors, most of whom are just common citizens exercising their right to assemble and to seek a redress of greivances against their ever-increasingly Socialist government. I doubt very seriously if they intend to actually threaten anyone and if they do then they should of course be punished. They are no more a threat to peaceful citizens with a different opinion than the Black Panthers were that came out to polling places during the election to make sure things went their way. I am much more threatened by the current administration’s squelching of my free speech than by some enthusiastic good ‘ol boy wearing a gun at a rally.

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By OzarkMichael, September 1, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Perhaps we can converse once more after this disingenuous spell passes…..if indeed it ever does.

Now ardee, you arent exactly taking my points head on either.

Also, when you add an extra jab at the end of a post, like you did with limbaugh and drugs, or i did with Leftists being ‘more evolved’... you have to expect that the opponent is going to respond to that.

I will try to answer your main point(never mind that you have forgotten mine) about billionaires and talk radio. I understand now that the main significance of your point is that Limbaugh’s audience is smaller than before. Its probably true. You then infer from ‘smaller audience’ that his audience is small, and limbaugh now needs billions to stay afloat. I do not consider this line of reasoning to be valid, and that is why i didnt realize that you were making a point out of it. I would be happy to explain why it is invalid if you need me to do so.

The onus of proof is usually on the person who wants to change things. You might be right but you arent proving it yet.

What you do have, ardee, is a sense that something isnt fair about conservative talk radio. Other people have the same opinion. Much frustration exists and proposals to curtail conservative talk are right around the corner.

I do not question your sense of fairness, nor that you are frustrated, nor your integrity. However, I am not here merely to validate you feelings. We are having an American political argument in the finest tradition. 

Nor do i consider you disingenuous. I can tell that you believe what you are saying. You accuse me of disingenuousness, but it isnt true. Really that is a form of dismissal.

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By ardee, September 1, 2009 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, September 1 at 12:22 am #

Speaking of irrelevant…...

I noted that the listening audience for Limbaugh has declined, and dramatically so, these last several years. Yet he continues to occupy a large amount of radio time.

I noted that I mentioned only a couple of the zillionares that buy up our news media for political purpose and you note I mention only two…errr yeah.

You use a debating trick, one which brings you no credit, in diminishing my words without grappling with the ideas presented. I might note that , if I respected you any less I could offer that you got nothing, but I wont.

Perhaps we can converse once more after this disingenuous spell passes…..if indeed it ever does.

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By OzarkMichael, August 31, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

I said: “Now, I wonder if you think that sort of treatment would ever be given to a conservative President, for a conservative cause.”

ardee responds Of course I think the President of the USA can get air time at a moments notice. How silly.

That was a good response. But you are the one who is being silly, or I should say clever.


Limbaugh,.... is given great sums of money to buy air time, and it aint from the Wobblies.

The money he gets is basically from the fact that he has listeners. Lots of listeners means that the airtime is highly valued for its commercials. Thats where the big money comes from. Enormous insane amounts of money.

It comes from Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch and others.

Every radio show is valued by radio stations only for the listenership. You are listing two or three people. Radio shows that only two or three people like will go off the air. It is too expensive to pay for them out of pocket.

At this time the liberal shows just arent that popular. Someone backs them to get them off the ground but that is a temporary fix which is unsustainable. Big money backing, such as from Soros, cant be permanent.

I hope liberals learn how to be funny and entertaining and competitive. There are some who show some promise, and someday there might even be a liberal who gets the best ratings in radio. (yipes, i wont not hope for that!)

Until then, liberal radio requires ‘rule fixing’ and government welfare in order to pay the bills and be broadcast. Which is what you are angling for.

Surely a smart guy like yourself must be uncomfortable with a spokesperson who is a known drug addict?

I have no spokeperson. And although it was entertaining, it is irrelevant to your point.

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By ardee, August 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

First, I dont agree that the Insurance Industry is right wing. Yes they are putting money against the reforms. Meanwhile, the big Pharma is putting even more money behind the reforms. You already knew that, but my question… does that make Pharma left wing?

The Insurance companies , in seeking to deprive the public of inclusive and inexpensive health care, operate on the right wing principles that worship the maximization of profit over the welfare of the majority and thus I define them as right wing.

The Pharmaceutical industry struck a deal early on to exclude competitive bidding on prescription drugs by Medicare, thus , having secured their profit margins, seem to support a sort of reform. But to answer your question, of course they are not altruistically motivated thus are righties to the bone.wink

‘All day’ was an exaggeration. It was only a few hours long. On the other hand, it was in prime time! (I will try to find a link for you tonite) Now, I wonder if you think that sort of treatment would ever be given to a conservative President, for a conservative cause.

Of course I think the President of the USA can get air time at a moments notice. How silly.

Good question. In the free market, people can choose. And for some reason they choose right wing voices for their entertainment and op/ed artists.

There is i think a hidden premise for you, which is that there is some right wing money machine which created and sustains limbaugh and o’reilly. Is that what you think? what exactly is your complaint? i have a strong opinion about this but I want to understand exactly what your complaint is before i go on.

Errr yes of course. Limbaugh, who once commanded a much larger audience is given great sums of money to buy air time, and it aint from the Wobblies. It comes from Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch and others . The panoply of demagogic voices like Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Smerconish, the immigrant bashing of Dobbs and the blatant racism of Beck are all both products of extreme right wing billionaires supporting economically infeasable programming and pure unadulterated propaganda.

Surely a smart guy like yourself must be uncomfortable with a spokesperson who is a known drug addict? Where ,I wonder, do you find parity on the left side of political argument insofar as the media is concerned?

Here’s a link you’ll just love:

http://socialistworker.org/2009/08/17/right-wing-thugs-and-corporate-reforms

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By OzarkMichael, August 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

The Insurance Industry is estimated to be spending four million/week to defeat the reforms. No left wing groups can possibly match that figure and the proof is the way the distortions of the proposed bills goes unchallenged.

First, I dont agree that the Insurance Industry is right wing. Yes they are putting money against the reforms. Meanwhile, the big Pharma is putting even more money behind the reforms. You already knew that, but my question… oes that make Pharma left wing?

No. in both cases they are protecting their business interests. they arent fixed on any wing, beyond their interests.

Also, in both cases, the money cant substitute for worldview, nor can it substitute for events. It can only prey on the fears and prejudices within worldviews. It can only exaggerate the meaning of events.

We are the ones who have to sort it out.

I asked: “....What makes you so sure that you arent effected by Left wing propaganda? Do you believe that Leftists are more highly evolved or something?”

ardee responds: I believe you are gradually moving to an unreality I find unpleasant if not downright scary. The “well funded left wing propaganda machine” is a fig newton of your imagination sir, and nothing more or less than that.

First, my statement about Leftists evolving beyond the rest of us was a joke about something i hear some atheists say. Of course there is no way you would know that. The flurry of questions i asked was for rhetorical effect, with a joke at the end. So dont be scared. You find it unpleasant? Then remember that the truth does not promise to please us.

I consider myself a news junkie but this is the first Ive heard of this ‘all day’ event.

‘All day’ was an exaggeration. It was only a few hours long. On the other hand, it was in prime time! (I will try to find a link for you tonite) Now, I wonder if you think that sort of treatment would ever be given to a conservative President, for a conservative cause.
 
I note the words of Limbaugh and O’Reilly as pertinent examples. What left wing voice is there and how many audience members do they have when compared to those two bombasts?

Good question. In the free market, people can choose. And for some reason they choose right wing voices for their entertainment and op/ed artists.

There is i think a hidden premise for you, which is that there is some right wing money machine which created and sustains limbaugh and o’reilly. Is that what you think? what exactly is your complaint? i have a strong opinion about this but I want to understand exactly what your complaint is before i go on.

If I may display a bit of partisanship for the moment…

I am not against partisanship at all. Pure objectivity never accomplishes anything. Now and then we need to step back and be objective, but we should never apologize for rolling up our sleeves and taking a side. Be yourself!

the differences between left and right lie in the inclusiveness of the left as opposed to the exclusionary visions of the right, not a complete defining of the two camps to be sure but one significant difference.

Well, inclusiveness is good. Especially when it extends to the downtrodden. Inclusiveness is also important in the American political cycle, where after a victory there is a reconciliation. Inclusiveness is what unites and moves things forward. But it isnt everything, as you know. And sometimes it is impractical, unwise, and wrong to be inclusive.

I am sorry for the direction this debate has taken but I simply am flabbergasted by your view of the realities of American politics.

I am not sorry. You havent said anything hateful, neither have I.

I am not flabbergasted. Are you really? Havent you ever discussed things with a fundamentalist Christian before?  You do a fine job of representing the Left so i assumed you are old like me.

I appreciate that you mean everything you say, and that you arent crazy.

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By ardee, August 31, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Posted elsewhere earlier, but I finally found the right thread:

I post this here as I am unable to find the thread in which OzarkMichael and I discussed the question of which side distorts the health care reform issue the most, left or right.

In that debate I stated that the right was spending more, much more , money than was the left. As I try to do with every issue I continued to dig at it, unsatisfied with my knowledge on the subject.

If one links to this article it implies that the left has, indeed, spent a bit more than has the right. In the interest of fairness ( an all too lacking trait here and elsewhere), I post this article. Of course it also upholds several other of my points…“Men are no Angels, after all”.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/31/MNFT19FC7K.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1

(08-30) 18:42 PDT—People relying on TV advertising or partisan sources for information about health care legislation in Congress have heard that it will “ration” care to the nation’s oldest citizens and hike premiums “95 percent.”

or that Republican voters “might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system.” President Obama, meanwhile, has said don’t worry, the plan “will be paid for.”

Such statements, made in what analysts say is likely to be one of the most expensive issue-oriented campaigns ever, are misleading - if not flat-out wrong.

More than $67 million has been spent on TV advertising on the health care debate so far this year, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, which analyzes TV political advertising, and more misinformation and nastiness is expected when Congress returns next week.

“Definitely, the debate is going to ratchet up,” said Keith Appell, a spokesman for the group Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, which plans to spend $20 million against the Democrats’ health care plans.

Appell works at the public relations agency that represented Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Navy veterans whose attacks on the war record of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., helped doom his campaign.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/31/MNFT19FC7K.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1#ixzz0PlKRYdHv

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By OzarkMichael, August 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: Ozark Michael—the chief argument against the effectiveness of some “Left” spin machine, as you like to call it, is—its lack of effectiveness as such.

It isnt for lack of trying.

I believe most Americans, presented with facts on a level playing field of discourse, would prefer a medical care and insurance system something like those of Canada and Germany.

Maybe so, but the devil is in the details.

Interesting times may be at hand, however.  While they probably were nothing like a majority, a substantial number of people who voted for Obama did so because they thought he was some kind of leftist.  (Contrary to all evidence, but nevertheless.)

Yes, the evidence during the campaign was that Obama thought the only way to get to single payer was incremental, ie to create the conditions which would make Single Payer inevitable in ten years. Maybe he knew something about the politics that you dont. Or maybe he thought he knew somehting but you are right.

If they get nothing, they might go off the plantation, and who knows what may happen then?  The ruling class cannot look with equanimity on the movement of any substantial number of Americans into real left-wing politics.

Hmm. I am sure it would be noticed. But I think that Obama is about as far Left as a person can be and still get elected.

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By ardee, August 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

You are free to keep your bias about money as the driver of opinions. In that case you are in grave danger… if money is creating false impressions, remember that far more has been spent on your side of this argument. There are many Left wing people being paid to put the spin out.

It boggles the mind that you can make this statement, more so that I think you actually believe it to be the truth. The media , especially the right wing radio and TV has been nonstop in criticisms of health care reform, and distortions thereof aplenty. The Insurance Industry is estimated to be spending four million/week to defeat the reforms. No left wing groups can possibly match that figure and the proof is the way the distortions of the proposed bills goes unchallenged.

I note the words of Limbaugh and O’Reilly as pertinent examples. What left wing voice is there and how many audience members do they have when compared to those two bombasts?

Plus, Left wing spin is often done for free, such as ABCs June 24th day long ‘special’ on healthcare reform that was done from the White House. It was a day long organized infomercial done to look like ‘news’ and ‘reporting’.

I consider myself a news junkie but this is the first Ive heard of this ‘all day’ event. I do not watch a lot of TV I add…

What makes you so sure that the very highly funded Left wing spin machine is holier than the Right wing? What makes you so sure that the Left wing spin machine isnt creating false impressions of its own? What makes you so sure that you arent effected by Left wing propaganda? Do you believe that Leftists are more highly evolved or something?

I believe you are gradually moving to an unreality I find unpleasant if not downright scary. The “well funded left wing propaganda machine” is a fig newton of your imagination sir, and nothing more or less than that. If I may display a bit of partisanship for the moment grin the differences between left and right lie in the inclusiveness of the left as opposed to the exclusionary visions of the right, not a complete defining of the two camps to be sure but one significant difference.

I am sorry for the direction this debate has taken but I simply am flabbergasted by your view of the realities of American politics.

Perhaps we may meet on a more level playing field but it seems pretty doubtful given the oceans of difference between what we see.

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By Anarcissie, August 30, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—the chief argument against the effectiveness of some “Left” spin machine, as you like to call it, is—its lack of effectiveness as such.  I believe most Americans, presented with facts on a level playing field of discourse, would prefer a medical care and insurance system something like those of Canada and Germany.  I am not saying that it is the best of all possible systems; I am saying that that is what they seem to want, if you ask them, going by what I read and hear.  An effective “Left” spin machine, then, would have made Single Payer the dominant option in the present debates, not something taken off the table at the outset.  Of course, there is no “Left” spin machine; the spin machines are clearly in the hands of those who can afford them, and they aren’t leftists of any stripe.

Interesting times may be at hand, however.  While they probably were nothing like a majority, a substantial number of people who voted for Obama did so because they thought he was some kind of leftist.  (Contrary to all evidence, but nevertheless.)  They have now been burned on the economy, the financial industry, the war, and here comes the burn on medical care and insurance.  If they get nothing, they might go off the plantation, and who knows what may happen then?  The ruling class cannot look with equanimity on the movement of any substantial number of Americans into real left-wing politics.

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By OzarkMichael, August 30, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

I said: “May i point out that there are millions who believe BS stories about Bush? Many of them post here at Truthdig. Does that fact make all opposition to Bush illegitimate? Of course not. Why then do you try to make all opposition to Obama or healthcare illegitimate?”

ardee objects: Do you see no difference between the criticisms of George W. Bush, involving loss of civil rights, illegal invasions of sovereign nations, torture and war profiteering and those of a proposed health care reform that espouse an imaginary scenario involving euthanasia of seniors, forcing doctors upon people and mandatory enlistment against ones will?

The first task is to level the playing field. We were talking about whacky conspiracy theories on both sides. I see no difference in conspiracy theories. They are made by people who dont want to reason, who cant deal with a complicated reality. If you want to argue for the conspiracy theories such as “9/11 was an inside job”, feel free.

If you want to talk about the quality of criticism from both sides that is a broader and different topic, but the playing field has to be leveled out first.

But at the same time the great majority of people favor health care reform.

Thats true.


I concur with this assessment, but with the proviso that the opposition is largely based upon propaganda by the industries that stand to lose billions in revenue, abetted by the GOP far right wing both of which which creates false impressions of the proposals.

You are free to keep your bias about money as the driver of opinions. In that case you are in grave danger… if money is creating false impressions, remember that far more has been spent on your side of this argument. There are many Left wing people being paid to put the spin out.

Plus, Left wing spin is often done for free, such as ABCs June 24th day long ‘special’ on healthcare reform that was done from the White House. It was a day long organized infomercial done to look like ‘news’ and ‘reporting’. 

What makes you so sure that the very highly funded Left wing spin machine is holier than the Right wing? What makes you so sure that the Left wing spin machine isnt creating false impressions of its own? What makes you so sure that you arent effected by Left wing propaganda? Do you believe that Leftists are more highly evolved or something?

True, i am not answering your questions much. My first task as a conservative Christian is always rather mundane and rarely accomplished: I must establish a level playing field so our ideas can compete fairly.

We will meet on a level playing field, and you will not have special rules that you can apply me and not yourself. Either we are both hostage to big money propaganda or we both have honest opinions.

Your choice, ardee.

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By Anarcissie, August 30, 2009 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

ardee: ’... I agree that the Centrist Democrats who run that Party display a mediocrity and incompetence both mind boggling and dooming a much needed health care reform from the start.’

I wonder.  Let’s remember that we have a small number of people controlling one-seventh of the American economy.  Obviously, in a polity where money talks, they are going to be served.  The people and some of the remainder of the ruling class are restless, however; the price and position of medical care and those who provide it have become grotesque.  So some sort of act has to be put on which looks like an attempt to change things, without actually changing much of anything.  To actually accomplish this act with apparent success on all sides would be very difficult, and even the attempt is impressive.  We do not observe mediocrity and incompetence but a very ambitious con game being carried forward with a lot of skill and resolution, although perhaps not enough to go over with complete success.  Given the results of the last election, however, it must be attempted; and we may be assured that those who own and rule will continue to own and rule, which is the most important thing to the important people.

My guess about the gun-nuttery and other strange behaviors of Republicans (birthers, for example, and the wild cries that Obama is a socialist) is a sense that the political congregation to which they belong has become marginalized.  The present debate about the provision of medical services, for instance, is in fact being carried on almost entirely within the Democratic Party.  A few cases of people hysterically displaying guns has predictably brought forth more hysteria.  It’s one of our national pastimes.

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By ardee, August 30, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, August 29 at 10:29 pm

If I may interject myself into a conversation between others…..........

May i point out that there are millions who believe BS stories about Bush? Many of them post here at Truthdig. Does that fact make all opposition to Bush illegitimate? Of course not. Why then do you try to make all opposition to Obama or healthcare illegitimate?

Do you see no difference between the criticisms of George W. Bush, involving loss of civil rights, illegal invasions of sovereign nations, torture and war profiteering and those of a proposed health care reform that espouse an imaginary scenario involving euthanasia of seniors, forcing doctors upon people and mandatory enlistment against ones will?

99% of the people against the Healthcare legislation dont carry guns around. 95% of the people against healthcare legislation dont interrupt or yell at meetings. 90% are not obnoxious at all.

I concur with this assessment, but with the proviso that the opposition is largely based upon propaganda by the industries that stand to lose billions in revenue, abetted by the GOP far right wing both of which which creates false impressions of the proposals.

Everything the Left has done to create and promote this project has backfired. The Left ought to take responsibility for that. Just one or two less mistakes and the bill would have been law already. Think of that.

Unfortunately the good things in the project went down with the bad. Thats sad. So lets all ask the Democrats to take the bad things out or start the process over.

The people against this particular legislation outnumber the people who are for it. If anyone is a minority it is the people who support the legislation. Being in the minority doesnt prove you are wrong, but at least recognize where you stand. 

The left has nothing to do with this, the left is not even represented in govt. except by a tiny handful of rather isolated figures who usually just go along to get along.

I agree that the Centrist Democrats who run that Party display a mediocrity and incompetence both mind boggling and dooming a much needed health care reform from the start.

As to public opinion, yes the people react to the avalanche of outcries against reform as they perceive it to be not as it truly would be, and to the inability of the reformers to make a coherent case certainly. But at the same time the great majority of people favor health care reform.

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By Leefeller, August 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

During the campaign, bigotry and racism was slightly hidden under the disguise of opinion, now racism is most apparent, heaven forbid we have this black president be successful and do something for the people. Obama is like the black Sheriff in Blazing Saddles in a town of morons.

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By OzarkMichael, August 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

ITW, you have been a gentleman towards me so I will try to be direct:

Get away from TD and you’ll find millions who believe every BS story about the Clintons

May i point out that there are millions who believe BS stories about Bush? Many of them post here at Truthdig. Does that fact make all opposition to Bush illegitimate? Of course not. Why then do you try to make all opposition to Obama or healthcare illegitimate?

Because now they fear that they’ll have to enforce their “opinions” with lead.

I dont like that prospect either. Even if we were in the majority, and even if we were in the right, force is the wrong way to make the right thing happen. Ugh, it would be the end of the USA. I dont like to think of it.

We keep failing as a society out of fear of this loud, obnoxious minority that is disrupting public meetings and making excuses for shooters of abortion-performing doctors.

99% of the people against the Healthcare legislation dont carry guns around. 95% of the people against healthcare legislation dont interrupt or yell at meetings. 90% are not obnoxious at all.

Even now this minority has stalled the most important health care bill

The drumbeat by Pelosi and the MSM of ‘racist unAmerican astroturf minority with swastikas’ was meant to make us back down and shut up. I think it only made people more determined. One lady at a town hall meeting said, “I am tired of being lied about, and I am tired of being lied to.”

Everything the Left has done to create and promote this project has backfired. The Left ought to take responsibility for that. Just one or two less mistakes and the bill would have been law already. Think of that. 

Unfortunately the good things in the project went down with the bad. Thats sad. So lets all ask the Democrats to take the bad things out or start the process over.

The people against this particular legislation outnumber the people who are for it. If anyone is a minority it is the people who support the legislation. Being in the minority doesnt prove you are wrong, but at least recognize where you stand. 

It’s all the same people fighting against us.

If by that you mean we all have guns and we all run around screaming, you are wrong. Maybe you mean something else?

If someone’s going to use his gun to intimidate me into accepting his position, then I DAMN sure don’t want him holding a gun.  I don’t see any problem with that.


I agree 100%. I dont want anyone hurt or intimidated.

Furthermore, I dont want to be intimidated into accepting your position because some rightwing nutcase hurts somebody, or because Ted Kennedy died, or for any circumstancial reason outside the fact of the healthcare legislation itself.

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By Anarcissie, August 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... If someone’s going to use his gun to intimidate me into accepting his position, then I DAMN sure don’t want him holding a gun.  I don’t see any problem with that.’

The question remains, then, why you aren’t primarily concerned with disarming the State; they have the most weapons, and they certainly practice intimidation.  But maybe you are; I just haven’t seen anything from you about it.

In regard to this issue, this story from Mother Jones may be of interest: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/08/secret-history-hurricane-katrina
Notice that the first thing the State’s thugs, in this case Blackwater and the police, made sure to do was confiscate the (legal!) weapons of ordinary people, or at least of ordinary Black people; apparently some gangs of White men were allowed to roam and shoot at will, and of course those with badges and other direct State authorization could do anything they wanted.  What they didn’t do was help people—in the first hours and days after the disaster, most of the help that came in was provided by private parties, not any level of the government.  But that’s a side issue here: I just want you all to notice the role guns played in the scene.  Maybe someone will actually start to think about some of these issues instead of reacting emotionally to stock images, although I don’t hope for that from the columnists.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

What can I say, RD?  My rhetoric is slipping.  My problem is I KNOW this guy, “Tom”, is not from a tiny minority but from a fairly large minority. Get away from TD and you’ll find millions who believe every BS story about the Clintons, just like they believe that Obama is a) Not American-born, b) Not even a US citizen (they seem to get a) and b) confused) and c) that he’s a total Socialist who wants to create a new USSR here.

Yeah, I think a society where everyone feels they need to run around with a concealed handgun IS a sick society, a society where the people have lost faith in their own contract with each other.  Because now they fear that they’ll have to enforce their “opinions” with lead.

We keep failing as a society out of fear of this loud, obnoxious minority that is disrupting public meetings and making excuses for shooters of abortion-performing doctors.  Even now this minority has stalled the most important health care bill, one badly needed in the nation with a system ranked….40th in the world.
WE’RE NUMBER 40!
WE’RE NUMBER 40!
WE’RE TIED WITH CUBA!

It’s all the same people fighting against us.

If someone’s going to use his gun to intimidate me into accepting his position, then I DAMN sure don’t want him holding a gun.  I don’t see any problem with that.

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By TheOroboro, August 28, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

“Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.” - Sallust

Sorry for the cliche quote-intro, but i think this encapsulates the issue at hand nicely. On one hand you have a group of people wishing only to be their own master and wards of their own future. These people decry a monopoly of force by one entity and seek only to equip themselves with the means to defend themselves against those who would willfully violate their rights. (an over-used liberal buzz word)

On the other you have a group that feels a just master is the only responsible use of force and willingly give their liberty away in hopes that their chosen master will smile favorably upon them.

David, your fear is justified. Your world context is rooted in a distrust of your fellow man and a desire to be told what to do. Not everyone in American culture can accept this, so the debate goes on.

Under normal circumstances, such differences in personality are completely fine since no one party is forcing the other to bend to their will.

Forcing another to do your will against theirs is slavery. No, seriously. It is.

As far as I’ve heard, no gun carrying citizen is calling for a forceful arming of this nation’s citizens against their will, only to protect their right to make that choice. The role is quite reversed in this case, however. Now it appears the fearful-minded are attempting to enslave the free-minded.

Worse, your invented paradoxical premise reveals a much greater problem when allowed to fully bloom - that all Constitutional Amendments are in violation of the First. Using your logic, a truly free people are incapable of living peacefully and therefore, only an enslaved and controlled people can civilly exist.

The good news for you, is that your view point, despite the continued obscuring of its logical premise, is winning. I think you’ll have your just master soon enough for there are always men willing to rule others.

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By Leefeller, August 26, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

The Mass Media asked the guy who carried the hand gun on his ankle if it was loaded, he replied “what kind of silly person would carry an unloaded gun?” 

When I was in Vietnam I always got stuck being back up machine gunner and carried the bi-pod and a third guy carried the ammo.  If people should be allowd to express their rights at political events, it would take three persons to bring a loaded m60 machine gun, which means when my M60 comes in the mail, I can ask most any one of you clowns on TD to help me carry it to the next political rally.

Anyone know where I can get a M70 grenade launcher, one person can carry an M70, but the ammo gets heavy so I guess one could fire off a bunch of grenades to lighten the load.

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By ardee, August 26, 2009 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

So the same people who think the Clintons are Satan’s spawn and that Obama is a Socialist who isn’t even an American are the same folks who want to have a personal arsenal that would rival some 3rd world nations…and you don’t see a problem?????

Yes by all means let us restrict gun ownership to those who hold political beliefs comparable to those of ITW. Better still, lets make a political litmus test for access to driver’s licensing, or the right to vote.

Using the example of some guy you met quite “accidentally” or use as literary license, one who holds a view in common with an unknown but rather small minority of all who own guns, is artifice and clumsily done.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Just met a guy from the LA area. He’s an ardent gun nut, loves guns, has assault weapons—you name it.  He also believes that the any enemies of “The Clintons” end up dead—saying that “all 12 people involved in Whitewater are dead…” to which I mildly pointed out that Susan McDougall is NOT dead…

So the same people who think the Clintons are Satan’s spawn and that Obama is a Socialist who isn’t even an American are the same folks who want to have a personal arsenal that would rival some 3rd world nations…and you don’t see a problem?????

There are hunting guns and there are guns designed to kill people.  People who collect guns designed to kill people do so because they are just ITCHING for a chance to drop that trigger on someone—and I’ve been at the wrong end of one of those guns.

Statistically: More guns acquired for “home protection” get used in crimes or accidents than get used to protect the homes.

If you get attacked on the street and the “perp” has a gun, I don’t care if you HAVE a CCP and are carrying—he has the drop on you and all that gun will do is fool you into doing something stupid.  MAYBE if he comes at you with a knife you MIGHT be able to get to the gun—but you are better off with good MMA training—you always have your hands and feet with you and available.

It’s all egotistical paranoia to think you need to walk around with a concealed handgun to feel secure.

“I said if security’s what you need I’ll find a couch for you.
A headshrinker is cheaper and quicker and a damn sight safer too!” —“Andorra”, sung by Pete Seeger.

Otherwise, unless you are planning an armed rebellion or are mounting a team of defenders against, say, the KKK, must guns-as-defense arguments are really excuses.

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By ardee, August 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

It is a choice that the secret service has made to let people retain their arms within a presidential security perimeter.  I do not believe that claims that it is legal to carry a gun to a presidential public appearance are well founded.”

The defense of the POTUS when making a public appearance comes in the form of perimeters. There are wider and wider circles, and those who demonstrated with weapons were kept at the extreme most outer circle. Not a single gun toter even saw the President, not even as a small and distant figure.

The laws of that location make legal the actions of the “toters”. We all honor the law, even when ,as Dickens would note, “it is an ass”. If we fail to honor it we should really be engaged in changing it.

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By Leefeller, August 25, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Cops are thugs mentality must depend on where you live or possibly ones attitude. My stereotype of police in New York or Los Angles may be accurate.

When I was in the service I was a security guard at a dance hall, (did not get to shoot at real people during the day)  and carried a gun, Yeah, I was really itching to use the gun because me the thug, when the bikers came to the dance hall, they knew my nick name was itchy and they had better dance or else there would more holes in the floor.

Makes sense to me if thugs did not have guns then nice people would have guns things and everything would be different, just like how great it is in England. Call Bobby for the drive by!

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By ardee, August 25, 2009 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

mike112769, August 24 at 11:58 pm #

ARDEE: Why in the world wold you use a site like this to try and reason with someone? Most people already know the answers and can’t be reasoned with. So, here’s what I know:

Without reason you have nothing. Admittedly there are more than a few, here and everywhere, so wedded to their belief system as to be infuriated and infuriating when that system is challenged. As a born and bred New Yorker I have no problem responding in kind.

I believe the police SHOULD BE disarmed. It may get us a better class of person as a police officer candidate. Most cops are bullies. Period. Been there, done that, seen it first hand (I know this, so don’t try to “reason” with me on this subject). I would have WAY more respect for an unarmed officer who believes in the rightness of CONSTITUTIONAL law than I do for one who is just itchin’ for an excuse to shoot someone for a crime against our religion-based add-on laws.

I note that the British seem to function just fine with unarmed police officers on the streets. I think it quite a sea change to expect this to happen here. I am quite aware of the brutality of some officers and the all too frequent instances of such actions but I will not tar all police everywhere with such a broad brush. I do agree that our training of said officers, as well as our screening process leaves much to be desired.

As far as bringing guns to these rallies: It may have been ill-advised, but it’s not illegal. PERIOD. We may not pick and choose which laws to enforce. That way lies anarchy. As an aside, how about Israel? Damn near EVERYONE walks around armed there. Other than what they are doing to the Palestinians, their murder rate is lower than ours. Don’t hear much about little ol’ ladies getting mugged in daylight in front of THEIR Capitol building, do you?

I agree with your assessment of those who displayed weapons at that rally and the legality of their actions. I am, however ,unaware of the stats of Israeli street crimes or the numbers who carry guns there as well. This link seesm to indicate that they ar erather concerned with their performance and that seems good:

http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=49171

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By ChaoticGood, August 25, 2009 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Dear TryReading
Your Comment….
There are plenty of reasons to be against government run health care.  Plenty of logical, rational, economic reasons.  (Lack of the pricing mechanism to determine consumer preferences, what you subsidize you get more of, goods are finite and must be rationed, etc.)

I just don’t understand your argument. 

You mean I should have a preference as to what medical treatment I should choose.  Perhaps I would like a little surgery, and a bit more anti-biotic, with a large biopsy included or maybe I would my hospital gown in green rather than grey.

There is no pricing mechanism in healthcare to defend with a private economic model.  In an expert system, results-based medicine is the only rule.  It is only a matter of who pays and what is the most efficient means of delivering the treatment.  Your argument only works in a consumer choice market structure.  Expert systems do not respond to market forces, nor should they.

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By Anarcissie, August 24, 2009 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Hapsburg—“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” seems like a strong, unequivocal statement to me.  We know from such examples as the Fourth Amendment that the use of people does not necessarily denote some kind of collective right, and the meaning of the other words is pretty obvious.  I realize, though, that one can not see something by shutting one’s eyes tightly.

Laws often contain reasons for themselves.  The Constitution as a whole, for instance, has a preamble which states the purpose of the Constitution as a whole. 

I have to disappoint you about gun love.  I do not own any guns at the moment and don’t feel any need to.  I don’t think they are very effective for self-defense under most circumstances and I doubt their value as a political tool, except to get Republicans elected.  What interests me about the gun nut - gun control nut controversy is the appearance of authoritarianism and worship of the State on the Left.  Now, being a Hapsburg, you may be a classical conservative or reactionary from from 19th-century Vienna, in which case your apparent views on guns are not contradictory to your general principles.  Otherwise, if we are done picking nits out of the Second Amendment, you may wish to speak to that issue.

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By mike112769, August 24, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

ARDEE: Why in the world wold you use a site like this to try and reason with someone? Most people already know the answers and can’t be reasoned with. So, here’s what I know:

I believe the police SHOULD BE disarmed. It may get us a better class of person as a police officer candidate. Most cops are bullies. Period. Been there, done that, seen it first hand (I know this, so don’t try to “reason” with me on this subject). I would have WAY more respect for an unarmed officer who believes in the rightness of CONSTITUTIONAL law than I do for one who is just itchin’ for an excuse to shoot someone for a crime against our religion-based add-on laws.

As far as bringing guns to these rallies: It may have been ill-advised, but it’s not illegal. PERIOD. We may not pick and choose which laws to enforce. That way lies anarchy. As an aside, how about Israel? Damn near EVERYONE walks around armed there. Other than what they are doing to the Palestinians, their murder rate is lower than ours. Don’t hear much about little ol’ ladies getting mugged in daylight in front of THEIR Capitol building, do you?

Why the hell the same people continue to argue with each other about the same damn things on this site is a mystery to me. Arguing with each other just takes your mind away from who the REAL enemy is. I have NEVER considered this as a site for discourse, as much as a place to publically say what’s on your mind regarding the articles TD writes. You don’t get much of this stuff in the MSM, and it’s very refreshing to read a lot of what’s on here. Of course, my ideas differ so much from those normally found on here, Cyrena once called me a domestic terrorist for daring to disagree with her. You know what they say opinions are like. There’s mine. smile Have a nice day.

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By Leefeller, August 24, 2009 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

As we stumble through our daily lives, “we do not have rights, but what we have are privileges.” George Carlin, RIP

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By Anarcissie, August 24, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Somalia is not an anarchy.  It is mostly a collection of feudal states.

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By Anarcissie, August 24, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

mxyzptlk:

’... It’s one thing to defend one’s right to own an assault weapon, but it’s another entirely to defend stupid, bullying, irresponsible display of such a weapon in the midst of unarmed political opponents at a public meeting. ‘

The second defense would be much more interesting since it raises questions about the power and goodness of the State which the first doesn’t.  That is, if the display of a weapon in the midst of unarmed political opponents is “bullying”, doesn’t that mean the police are “bullying” the people?  If not, why not?

Hapsburg—the two clauses of the Second Amendment are independent.  The first gives a reason for the second but it does not limit it.  If the second clause was bound to the first as a necessary condition, the authors would have written something about the right of the people to maintain armed militias.  However, it would probably have occurred to them that, if the people could not keep weapons, they could not form the militias in the first place.  I believe the authors put in the clause about militias to emphasize their belief in the right of ordinary people to keep weapons.  Having read history, as people did in those days, they would have known that disarming a class of people was often the prologue to tyrannizing them.

In any case, I am glad to see that you appear to have decided that rights assigned to “the people” apply to individuals after all.

frank1569:

‘First, to Anarcissie and his ilk: you’re wrong. The ‘left’ has been railing against the continued up-arming of law enforcement for decades….’

Radical leftists have been doing that.  Don’t confuse them with the general run of columnists and commenters on Truthdig.  These folks, who often designate themselves as “progressives” or “liberals”—do they form an “ilk”?—are generally overt fans of big government and State power.  They want to send men with guns to take away guns from other men with guns by force and call it peace and freedom.  My task, or amusement, is to explore the contradiction in that view of things.

Someone ought to go into how damaging anti-gun politics has been to the Democratic Party in practical terms, but the care and maintenance of bourgeois institutions is not my shtick so I’m leaving it alone.

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By Leefeller, August 24, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Us and them, right and left, Liberal and conservative,  differences maintained, cultivated with deliberate divisive care.

I got mine, you want mine, I work hard you don’t, me, myself and I, opportunism is most apparent when greed supersedes reason, logic and wisdom, common sense out the door, because I have a gun, a club and knife a bigger stick. 

Society has come a short way from caveman days it so seems.

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By Leefeller, August 24, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Gun savvy means knowing about guns, dildo savvy means knowing about dildos, any savvy and so on.  Just because someone is savvy about something does not mean they carry it around displayed with them all the time.  I buck hay with a pitch fork, so I am savvy about pitch forks, does that mean I should carry a pitch fork to a political or any another event. Maybe if there is a contest of some sort, baseball players don’t carry baseball bats with them everywhere, do they? 

If weapons as I prefer to call them are needed to be used in defense, maybe everyone should carry them, like we see in anarchists Somalia. Right to have weapons does not mean to have them with you everyplace, unless we are going back to Hollywood’s old west, their seems a fine line between defense and offense, this usually depends on the mental makeup of individuals.

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By OzarkMichael, August 24, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Thats a good song. Lots of conservatives like it, believe it or not. We know we arent perfect so we can laugh at ourselves.

Here you can listen to him sing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMN7fGZW_BY

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By ardee, August 24, 2009 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Outraged, August 23 at 7:09 pm #

Do you not see how silly you are calling me a propagandist for the right. You link yourself with our resident psychopath who believes ,as apparently do you, that all disagreement is a sign of some plot or other?

You refuse to see the obvious, and that is not uncommon in this world of ours, but to use such a childish stratagem as accusing all who disagree with being in league with the GOP or Richard Mellon Scaife is very, very stupid.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Post 2.

(I figured you’d want to know how it ends)

...well they all started laughin’ and I felt kinda sick
and I knew I’d better think of somethin’ pretty quick
so I jes’ reached out an’ kicked ol’ green-teeth right in the knee

he let out a yell that’d curl your hair
but before he could move I grabbed me a chair
and said watch him folks ‘cause he’s a thouroughly dangerous man

well you may not know it but this man’s a spy
he’s an undercover agent for the FBI
and he’s been sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan

he was still bent over holdin’ on to his knee
but everyone else was lookin’ and listenin’ to me
and I layed it on thicker and heavier as I went

I said would you beleive this man has gone as far
as tearin’ Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars
and he voted for George McGoveren for president

well he’s a friend of them long-haired hippie type pinko fags
I betcha he’s even got a Commie flag
Tacked up on the wall inside of his garage

he’s a snake in the grass I tell ya guys
he may look dumb but that’s jus a disguise
he’s a mastermind in the ways of espionage

they all started lookin’ real suspicious at him
and he jumped up an’ said jes’ wait a minute jim
you know he’s lyin’ I’ve been livin’ here all of my life

I’m a faithfull follower of Brother John Burch
and I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church
and I ain’t even got a garage you can call home and ask my wife

then he started sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout the way I was dressed
but I didn’t wait around to hear the rest
I was too busy movin’ and hopin’ I didn’t run outta luck

and when I hit the ground I was makin’ tracks
and they were jes’ takin’ my car down off the jacks
so I threw the man a twenty an’ jumped in an’ fired that mother up

Mario Andretti woulda sure been proud
of the way I was movin’ when I passed that crowd
comin’ out the door and headin’ toward me in a trot

an’ I guess I shoulda gone ahead an’ run
but somehow I couldn’t resist the fun
of chasin’ them jes’ once around the parkin’ lot

well they’re headin’ for their car but I hit the gas
and spun around and headed them off at the pass
well I was slingin’ gravel and puttin’ a ton of dust in the air

well I had them all out there steppin’ an’ a fetchin’
like their heads were on fire and their asses was catchin’
but I figured I oughta go ahead an split before the cops got there

when I hit the road I was really wheelin’
had gravel flyin’ and rubber squeelin’
an’ I didn’t slow down ‘til I was almost to Arkansas

I think I’m gonna re-route my trip
I wonder if anybody’d think I’d flipped
if I went to LA via Omaha!”

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

This one’s for you OzarkMichael, The Charlie Daniels Band, Uneasy Rider:

...I was takin’ a trip out to LA,
toolin’ along in my Chevrolet,
tokin’ on a number and diggin’ on the radio

jes’ as I cross the Mississippi line
I heard that highway start to whine
and I knew that left rear tire was about to go

well the spare was flat and I got uptight
‘cause there wasn’t a fillin’ station in sight
so I jes’ limped down the shoulder on the rim

I went as far as I could and when I stopped the car
it was right in front of this little bar
a kind of a redneck lookin’ joint called the Dew Drop Inn

well I stuffed my hair up under my hat
and told the bartender that I had a flat
and would he be kind enough to give me change for a one

there was one thing I was sure proud to see
there wasn’t a soul in the place ‘cept for him an’ me
and he just looked disgusted an’ pointed toward the telephone

I called up the station down the road a ways
and he said he wasn’t very busy t’day
and he could have somebody there in jest ‘bout ten minutes or so

he said now you jes’ stay right where yer at and I didn’t bother
tellin’
the durn fool I sure as hell didn’t have anyplace else to go

I jes ordered up a beer and sat down at the bar
when some guy walked in an’ said who owns this car
with the peace sign the mag wheels and four on the floor

well he looked at me and I damn near died
and I decided that I’d jus wait outside
so I layed a dollar on the bar and headed for the door

jes’ when I thought I’d get outta there with my skin
these five big dude come strollin’ in
with this one old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth

an’ I was almost to the door when the biggest one
said you tip your hat to this lady son
an’ when I did all that hair fell out from underneath

now the last thing I wanted was to get into a fight
in Jackson Mississippi on a Saturday night
‘specially when there was three of them and only one of me

cont.

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By mxyzptlk, August 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@stop assault weapons:

I can’t tell whether you’re lawyerly comment on the definition of “assault weapon” is meant to excuse those who show up with semi-auto AR15s at non-gun-related political events, or instead is meant as a picayune critique of blog comments or worse, a defense of the idiots who bring these weapons to public town hall events.

Let’s be clear - and HONEST - that there are significant differences in capability and perceived intent between a hunting rifle with a 4-round clip and a semi-auto assault rifle with a 30-round magazine, which, incidentally, can be converted (legally or not) to full-auto.

It’s one thing to defend one’s right to own an assault weapon, but it’s another entirely to defend stupid, bullying, irresponsible display of such a weapon in the midst of unarmed political opponents at a public meeting.

Think about it.

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By OzarkMichael, August 23, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Outraged smells the hated odor of a person who might be reading a non-Leftist website: The whole premise of your argument centers on “right-wing mailing list”.  What type of “right-wing” mailing list are you referring to?  Which group, what are their propositions, are they spewing lies and disinformation or is there validity to the claim, what are the facts….etc.

Outraged was frisking you, Anarcissie. I mean, he wasnt asking because he is an intellectual with curiosity. His demeanor is more like a prosecuting attorney when he asks a question like that. Or like the back woods sheriff who is palsy walsey with his intended victim when he is trying to get into their house.

Maybe you felt how demeaning it is to submit to his frisking. Yet you did anyway, because you are nice. But after you have gone through this a few more times you will realize it was a mistake. You are establishing his right to frisk you.

Fortunately your answer might be acceptable to him, but there are some parts where you seem to enjoy reading other points of view just a little too much. That will sound very fishy to him.

My prediction is Outraged will quietly keep an eye on you. Continued suspicion is his most relaxed view towards dissent, but once he ‘knows’ that you are part of the paid right wing conspiracy, he is going to go ‘Outraged’ on you. He will then post someone elses comments as an accusation at you not once or twice, but three or four times. Chock full of malicious crap. And since you submitted to his frisking the first time, in his mind if you dont answer every charge, it proves you are a bad guy.

One more word out of line from you might be all it takes. So tread carefully.

Welcome to my world, btw.

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By Anarcissie, August 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Outraged—the mailing list is “Newsmax”.  They’re pretty crazy, but the story seemed likely to be veracious to me because I’ve observed the same sort of thing myself.  The heavy artillery seems like idle theater, but then one may wonder what it means. 

I started getting Newsmax inadvertently because of signing on to some site about financial matters which are irrelevant to the present discussion.  I could shut it off but it’s interesting, it’s often like news from another planet.

In any case, the story and the gun issue in general provide a vehicle for me to question the (to me) curious, contradictory attitudes of soi-disants leftists about the State, which appears in some other areas as well, but with the contradictions less sharply contrasted.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee

Your comment: “I put them in perspective. These people violated no law, they were exercising their rights under the laws of the local, state and federal govts. It isnt just the political actions of which you personally approve that have a right to exist.

That you refuse to believe these weapons were not loaded is silly, as you have no way of knowing either way. It just serves your point to believe they were.

In the end all you and the other liberals do is give much fuel to the denigration of progressives as ‘tree hugging, take our guns away commies’ at least in the eyes of much of the heartland where guns are a fact of life, always have been and always will be. That belief is certainly silly but you and others here give it life.”

Real cute Clarabell.

As I’ve said, ”(do not speak for me, I can do this for myself just fine,..... a common propagandist tactic btw.)”

From the Wi. DNR Firearm Safety:

“Never handle or show guns without first carefully checking to be sure they are unloaded. Open the action and keep it open until the gun is again ready for storage. Never assume that a firearm is unloaded, even if it was checked only a few minutes earlier. And don’t trust the safety to compensate for unsafe gun handling—like all mechanical devices, safeties can malfunction, and in any case, they are only intended to supplement human care and intelligence.

Among experienced gun handlers there is a kind of ritual that is repeated whenever a firearm is shown or examined. The person picking up the gun opens the action and checks to make sure it is not loaded. When the gun is handed over to the second person, he goes through the entire procedure again. This is not an insult to the original handler. In fact, most shooting veterans take it as a sign of gun-savvy and competence, because there is just no way to be overcautious about firearms safety.”
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/enforcement/safety/firearm.htm

“In the end noone armed got anywhere near the president or anyone else who might be a target. It remains a silly piece of street theater and nothing more or less. Those who wore their guns to that demonstration looked pretty silly to me, just about as silly as those who express astonishment and outrage that they did.”

Bring in the clowns.

“It illuminates how irresponsible and reprehensible these types are.  They are just like their culpable and dangerous counterparts, the right wing paid propagandists.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Post 2.

Re: Anarcissie

Your assertion that “in fact it has become a common practice to surround public officials and events with lots of gunmen, and if you all feel threatened by lone gunslingers, it seems reasonable to expect other people might feel threatened by teams of official gunslingers.”

This is mixing too separate conditions.  Because we have had death threats AND assassinations by radical right-wing groups and “lone gunslingers” historically, in this country by those who interpret the rhetoric of radical groups as “a call to action” it is completely legitimate to protect political figures.

We also have and do have radicals in our government.  Bush/Cheney is an example of that, although there are others.  Again, during the Bush/Cheney years, they and their cohorts never tired of denouncing government.  Yet there they were….... in that GOVERNMENT that they so roundly eschewed as “not to be trusted”.

They then proceeded to corrupt and supercede almost every aspect of our representative democracy calling The Constitution, “just a goddamn piece of paper”.  They ignored procedure, including, and at times especially “checks and balances”.  These same ideologues then claimed, outrageously that government was corrupt!

The argument of armed police is another matter entirely and needs to be addressed in its rightful context.  It is also a complex issue and not one of simply disarming police.  It is a political, as well as societal issue and encompasses many varying conditions, premises and mindsets.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Post 1.

Re: Anarcissie

Your comment:  “I don’t know about any of the individual cases so excitedly being noised about here, but a few months ago I read, on a right-wing mailing list, of someone who went to some sort of town hall meeting or other public event involving the president or some other high officials, and complained that there were “truckloads” of police and other men “bristling” with armament.  He mentioned shotguns and machines guns, and said they were pointing them at the people.  He felt that they were trying to intimidate those who opposed the policies of the government.  I thought it was just a little extra paranoia and skipped over it, or I could give more detail, but in fact it has become a common practice to surround public officials and events with lots of gunmen, and if you all feel threatened by lone gunslingers, it seems reasonable to expect other people might feel threatened by teams of official gunslingers.”

The whole premise of your argument centers on “right-wing mailing list”.  What type of “right-wing” mailing list are you referring to?  Which group, what are their propositions, are they spewing lies and disinformation or is there validity to the claim, what are the facts….etc.

cont.

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By ardee, August 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, August 23 at 5:47 pm

Everyone has opinions, you are one who simply loves your own,denigrates others and stretches truth, common sense and courtesy in defending such. You and Martha are quite similar in this in fact.

I do not express approval of these displays, but I put them in perspective. These people violated no law, they were exercising their rights under the laws of the local, state and federal govts. It isnt just the political actions of which you personally approve that have a right to exist.

That you refuse to believe these weapons were not loaded is silly, as you have no way of knowing either way. It just serves your point to believe they were.

In the end all you and the other liberals do is give much fuel to the denigration of progressives as ‘tree hugging, take our guns away commies’ at least in the eyes of much of the heartland where guns are a fact of life, always have been and always will be. That belief is certainly silly but you and others here give it life.

I continue to try and debate with you in polite fashion, you just make it so freaking hard to do. You should really get used to the multiplicity of opinions one finds in this world. Disagreement, expressed in literate and polite fashion deserves similar response. Those who reply otherwise get otherwise.

In the end noone armed got anywhere near the president or anyone else who might be a target. It remains a silly piece of street theater and nothing more or less. Those who wore their guns to that demonstration looked pretty silly to me, just about as silly as those who express astonishment and outrage that they did.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee

“I know this, and you do to, excepting that the knowledge interferes with your point, pity that. Shortly after that bit of street theater the Daily Show had a former Secret Service fellow on explaining the way the President is guarded at such events.”

One, I do not “know this”(do not speak for me, can do this for myself just fine,..... a common propagandist tactic btw.), and two there were others to consider outside of the president himself.  You admit that “shortly after” the Daily Show had a guest from the Secret Service…. but that was after. 

“To stretch your point thus might be seen as the weakness in it.”

Good advice, you should try it.

“I believe that street theater is a terrific political stratagem and have engaged in such myself some decades earlier. I further believe that this bit of such made the gun wearers look more than a bit foolish in fact. But to deny them the right to act legally under the laws of their state would have been far more serious an action that a few clowns toting a few guns.”

This “street theater” as you so lamely call it, were people carrying (it can only assumed, LOADED guns) since there is no reason to carry unloaded guns.  In fact, a gun should be treated as loaded always, even when one “knows” it is not loaded.

It was not “theater” when it transpired, it was real to everyone in that vicinity and to the rest of the nation until it was exposed as the incredibly ignorant “stunt” it was.  I suppose you think that the “photo op” over NYC, was not threatening to New Yorkers because there was no danger.  This “theater” sent several messages, and it is the interpretation, by various factions, which makes it dangerous and threatening.

Your black and white reasoning is as ignorant as black and white reasoning can get.  It is indicative of Bush/Cheney logic which claims that if something isn’t SPECIFICALLY deemed illegal, then it’s a free for all.  Stupid.  It is this very premise which creates Nanny-State type laws.  Bush/Cheney instituted a carte blanc condition in the government, THEN claimed the government was corrupt and we shouldn’t support it.  It appears you use the same logic.

“myxzptlk” sums it up well with this analogy:

“It’s hard to find any proper analogy to illustrate the point, because, as others have noted, guns are designed to kill - period.  But would anyone defend the actions of someone using an automobile to intimidate protesters, for example, repeatedly driving up to protesters crossing the street, coming to a screeching halt, and blaring the horn?  There’s nothing illegal about doing that, either, but it’s behavior clearly intended to intimidate, scare people off, and shut down debate.”

Folktruther is equally correct, “I strongly disagree…..that bringing guns to a public meeting should be permitted.  that’s crazy.  IF one side brings guns, the other side will be forced to, and inevitably over time, they will be used.”

As to your point:  Speaking of clowns, calling another persons opinion “disinformation” for the crime of its disagreement with your own views, and then decrying such as illegal may be viewed as a bit of “forum theater” or a sign of something worse in the one who posts such absurdities.”

Get a load of “Clarabell” folks, really…...

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By TryReading, August 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your article shows your lack of understanding of the Constitution, though you are hardly alone.

The First Amendment (and all amendments) is a limit on GOVERNMENT action.  The Second Amendment is there to ensure that the First Amendment can be enforced.  After all, if the people don’t have the right to bear arms, what will prevent the Government from trampling on their right to speak out against that government?

This is not to say that is wise to bring a loaded gun to a rally.  I think it is stupid and makes those engaged in such activities look like they have no rational arguments and thus must resort to scare tactics. 

There are plenty of reasons to be against government run health care.  Plenty of logical, rational, economic reasons.  (Lack of the pricing mechanism to determine consumer preferences, what you subsidize you get more of, goods are finite and must be rationed, etc.)  Pathetically, these gun toters are so lacking in basic reasoning skills that they must resort to scare tactics rather than have real debate.

Both sides of this debate have resorted to hyperbole and thus sound like utter liars.  I guess it nicely takes the emphasis off of the real issue:  The government wants more power over your life and people are rolling over to give it to them. 

The liberals are like chickens asking for more foxes to guard the hen house and the conservatives are like armed ranchers who are terrified of chickens.

I wish both sides would learn a little about economics.  May I suggest Economics in One Lesson?  It is simple, easy to read and explains why a concept like government interference in health care leads to problems.  (That includes government interference to support health insurers.  I am certainly no fan of the health insurance industry!)

Let’s get back to the real issues…ok?

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By ardee, August 23, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Rodger Lemonde, August 23 at 11:53 am #

Were not the signs these demonstrators carried indicator enough of their points and positions?

They seek, as Poco so aptly shows, to stem the spectre of dreaded Socialism from overtaking our “free” nation. They seek to prevent an imaginary effort to take away their lethal toys. In other words the usual right wing rant.

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By Anarcissie, August 23, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Rodger Lemonde:
‘Does any one recall hearing the political position on
the issue under debate these gunslingers came to
support? ...’

I don’t know about any of the individual cases so excitedly being noised about here, but a few months ago I read, on a right-wing mailing list, of someone who went to some sort of town hall meeting or other public event involving the president or some other high officials, and complained that there were “truckloads” of police and other men “bristling” with armament.  He mentioned shotguns and machines guns, and said they were pointing them at the people.  He felt that they were trying to intimidate those who opposed the policies of the government.  I thought it was just a little extra paranoia and skipped over it, or I could give more detail, but in fact it has become a common practice to surround public officials and events with lots of gunmen, and if you all feel threatened by lone gunslingers, it seems reasonable to expect other people might feel threatened by teams of official gunslingers.

In short, I’m applying the same logic to the cops, etc., as you all are applying to gun nuts, and so far only poor old ITW has confronted the issue—by flying off to another subject, as is his habit.

I’m genuinely interested in this issue as regards the attitude of the Left—or the “Left” in quotes, because many of you don’t seem very leftish to me, actually.  Why does the question of weapons possession turn you all into seeming worshipers of the State?  I don’t get it.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 23, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Does any one recall hearing the political position on
the issue under debate these gunslingers came to
support?
Could they possibly have only been interested in
bringing up the second amendment? Another question do
they wear arms to PTA meetings and local zoning
hearings? Lastly, not having experience of this, do NRA
events allow weapons in the meeting?

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By herewegoagain, August 23, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pocowrites: ” The libs, starting with Lyndon Johnson (the great society?), have had access to my paycheck, confiscating part of my labor to fund ‘citizens’ who, because of certain decisions they have made, do not work, are not capable of holding a job or ever care to work. (Under the libs certain classes of people were encouraged, using my wallet, to have as many children as possible all the while excluding the father from the raising of those children.) While I call that theft they prefer to refer to it as my social responsibility. Whatever the case, they back up this confiscation by the threat of force.

It now seems the lefties also want to control my access to health care. They want even more of what I and my children produce to fund this latest health care scheme and control even more of our lives. At a time like this, wearing a gun doesn’t seem all that irrational to me.”

Poor Poco, carrying the burden for everyone else all on his own.

Get over your grand delusions of persecution. By and large, the historical rate of unemployment in this country has been very low, and under a so-called “leftist” president, the welfare rolls dropped like a stone. Most people in this country do work. Further, progressive taxation is not some leftist device to steal your money. In fact, progressive taxation has been around for thousands of years, even during the Roman empire, where they were shrewd enough to realize a regressive tax would be an instant recipe for true class war.

As for health care, every working person younger than you is chipping in so YOU can have access to it during your golden years. But, you probably loathe Medicare, too. I suppose you think it would be much easier for you to pay $15,000 (at a minimum) a year for private health insurance when you’re a senior? That is, if you could even find an insurance company who would dare to fully insure you. Friend, I can guarantee that you would never be able to save up enough money for that, on top of saving for retirement - no, not even if you didn’t have to pay FICA taxes. Unless you only lived a year or two after you retired.

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By Anarcissie, August 23, 2009 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... For once FT hits the ball right on the sweet spot for a grand slam.  He’s 100% correct: Guns are being brought to public meetings by private citizens SOLELY to insure the other side is intimidated. ...’

Anarcissie:
‘Then why is it all right for the police and other government agents to bring and display them?’

Inherit The Wind:
‘Sometimes you ask the most inane questions.

Imagine you are President Obama.  Would you prefer to be guarded by Secret Service agents or volunteer gun-toting yahoos?’

Me, I’d prefer the Secret Service to the yahoos.  Isn’t it obvious why that is?’

There you go again, wandering off the subject.  If you look up above, you’ll see assertions, made by yourself, that guns are brought to public meetings to intimidate “the other side”, whatever that is.  (A gun does not have a side, but never mind.)  If we apply this rule to the police and so forth, then we arrive at the conclusion that it is bad for the police, etc., to bring guns to public meetings because they do so only to “intimidate the other side”.  Since you favor the police, etc., carrying and brandishing weapons, you need to rewrite your rule, something like, “People should not carry weapons to public meetings, because they can be doing so only to intimidate “the other side”, except for agents of the government, because it is all right for the government to intimidate the people.”  Or something like that—whatever you believe in.  I hope that’s not too complicated.  I’m just trying to get you to make your beliefs and reasoning explicit.

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By ardee, August 23, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Outraged, August 22 at 5:31 pm #

Re: ardee

Your comment: “The President was in no danger”

How is it you KNOW this?  How could you know this?  Disinformation is a form of propaganda, we have laws against that.
................................

I know this, and you do to, excepting that the knowledge interferes with your point, pity that. Shortly after that bit of street theater the Daily Show had a former Secret Service fellow on explaining the way the President is guarded at such events. He spoke to “rings of security” and explained that these gun toting demonstrators were kept at the furthest ring, never got even a glimpse of the President, and were not a threat. To stretch your point thus might be seen as the weakness in it.

I believe that street theater is a terrific political stratagem and have engaged in such myself some decades earlier. I further believe that this bit of such made the gun wearers look more than a bit foolish in fact. But to deny them the right to act legally under the laws of their state would have been far more serious an action that a few clowns toting a few guns.

Speaking of clowns, calling another persons opinion “disinformation” for the crime of its disagreement with your own views, and then decrying such as illegal may be viewed as a bit of “forum theater” or a sign of something worse in the one who posts such absurdities.

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By Outraged, August 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

Does this help you to understand?  Is it because I’m an atheist, or because I disagree with you that you continue your trial by implication, slippery slope arguments? 

The Christian Science Monitor:
“The war on terrorism is conflicting for antigovernment radicals in the United States. Paradoxically, it has the potential for both dampening their sentiments and making them more dangerous – rhetorically, if nothing else.

Extreme militia and “patriot” types (especially white supremacists of the Christian Identity movement) are likely to want to defend against attack by non-European foreigners – and in fact see this as justification for their existence as independent militias…..

“.....Internet discussion sites frequented by conspiracy promoters and far-right adherents are boiling with alarm. “Isn’t it time to take the republic back?” asks one e-mailer.

To some antigovernment and millennialist types, the Pentagon’s new “Northern Command” covering the US, along with the FBI’s expanded powers to spy on Americans, is highly suspicious.

It’s a move they see as a precursor to the dreaded “black helicopters” and “jack booted” agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – those blamed for the attacks at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas.

And the most passionate opponents are already voicing this view faster than you can say “New World Order” or “Trilateral Commission…..”

“.....“Take a look at apocalyptic Christians ..., patriots such as the John Birch Society, anti-Semitic conspiracists blaming it all on Mossad [Israel’s intelligence agency] and the Jews, neo-Nazis who combine anti-Semitism with revolutionary-right goals,” says Berlet.

Extreme anti-Semitism – along with the view that people of color are “subhuman” or “mud people” – is the ideological basis of such groups as the Aryan Nations and other adherents of Christian Identity. But it’s not just extremist militias, hate groups, and neo-Nazi skinheads who are influenced by such prejudice.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0618/p02s01-ussc.html

Btw, are you going to answer my question or simply rant at me?

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By ChaoticGood, August 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Liberals are very intolerant of a certain type of right winger.  These are the ones that wrap themselves in the flag, hoist a cross above their heads and lead us into the eighth or ninth Crusade in the Holy Land (not sure how many now).
The left is totally intolerant of the “One man, One vote, One time” philosophy of the autocratic right.
Anyone who doesn’t see through this sham is blinded by the right.
The display of firearms at political functions is plain and simple intimidation.  I cannot believe that this is not completely clear to everyone.  When the right wing gunners defend this, they are simply saying that their opinion is more important than mine and they will try to intimidate me with their open display of force.
Totally infantile, playground bully tactics. 
When somebody gets hurt, then it will be the argument that “people kill people, not guns”.  The cowards on the right would never dare use swords or knives, that’s too dangerous and they might get hurt. What a bunch of cowards.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, August 22 at 7:57 pm #

  Inherit The Wind:
  ’... For once FT hits the ball right on the sweet spot for a grand slam.  He’s 100% correct: Guns are being brought to public meetings by private citizens SOLELY to insure the other side is intimidated. ...’

Then why is it all right for the police and other government agents to bring and display them?
***************************************

Sometimes you ask the most inane questions. 

Imagine you are President Obama.  Would you prefer to be guarded by Secret Service agents or volunteer gun-toting yahoos?

Me, I’d prefer the Secret Service to the yahoos.  Isn’t it obvious why that is?

(In case you haven’t figured it out, remember when the Rolling Stones hired the Hell’s Angels to provide security at the 1969 Altamont concert—and they killed a guy.)

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By OzarkMichael, August 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, could you post all those obnoxious and prejudiced things you are asking me just one more time? Because I dont think four times was enough.

People really like to read the same thing over and over, and they respect you for reprinting someone else’s post every time instead of trying to express a thought of your own. Four repeats of someone elses post in this thread shows how original and creative you are.

Everyone is holding their breath, because they are all hoping that you might take that next step. They know that posting the same thing one more time will put you over the top!  Yes. If you repeat your post one more time you will force me to answer all your accusations.

Add more bold print to give it even more zest and dont forget more CAPITAL LETTERS. Better yet, do both at the same time, like this:

Repeating SOMEONE ELSE’S TALKING POINTS FIVE TIMES in one thread will show everyone what a serious intellectual Outraged is.

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By Anarcissie, August 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... For once FT hits the ball right on the sweet spot for a grand slam.  He’s 100% correct: Guns are being brought to public meetings by private citizens SOLELY to insure the other side is intimidated. ...’

Then why is it all right for the police and other government agents to bring and display them?

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By Inherit The Wind, August 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 21 at 11:51 am #

I strongly disagree with Anarcissie and Ardee that bringing guns to a public meeting should be permitted.  that’s crazy.  IF one side brings guns, the other side will be forced to, and inevitably over time, they will be used.  they should be checked at the door, as they were, say, in San Salvador during the civil war there in their Congress.

The purpose of a public meeting is to say what you wish politically without fear.  Certainly without fear of setting off a holocaust.  Yelling and screaming and jumping up and down should be encouraged, since the fundamental purpose is to change the emotional truth of people.  BUT NO VIOLENCE OR THREAT OF VIOLENCE!

The US has been so homicidal historically that this distinction must be newly ingrained in the American people, it alrready being held by less barbarous polities.  NO GUNS, KNIVES, BOMBS, ETC IN PUBLIC MEETINGS.  It is indicative of how far we must go politically when two of the best TD commenters imply the opposite.
*****************************************

For once FT hits the ball right on the sweet spot for a grand slam.  He’s 100% correct: Guns are being brought to public meetings by private citizens SOLELY to insure the other side is intimidated.  One @$$#ole brought a concealed gun to a PRESIDENTIAL rally.  Now I despise George W. Bush and think he’s the worst President ever, but if this same yahoo brought a gun to a Bush rally I’d want his sorry ass locked up for just as long as I do for bringing it to an Obama rally—30 years or more.

Between the birthers and the town-meeting disrupters we are seeing ther first true Black Shirt attempt at intimidating their way to power since the Klan paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in the 30’s.  They want to SEIZE power back from the Dems and Obama (whom they call “that socialist n****r”.

The BEST response would be for the Dims in Congress to grow some balls, some spines and end the circular firing squad and GET SOMETHING DONE!

On vacation—not on-line too much for another week.

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By Poco, August 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Seems only the lefties are concerned about the wearing of guns. Suppose that says something about their argument? Also seems to me, the only people that get edgy when other people are armed are the ones that want something that doesn’t belong to them.

The libs, starting with Lyndon Johnson (the great society?), have had access to my paycheck, confiscating part of my labor to fund ‘citizens’ who, because of certain decisions they have made, do not work, are not capable of holding a job or ever care to work. (Under the libs certain classes of people were encouraged, using my wallet, to have as many children as possible all the while excluding the father from the raising of those children.) While I call that theft they prefer to refer to it as my social responsibility. Whatever the case, they back up this confiscation by the threat of force.

It now seems the lefties also want to control my access to health care. They want even more of what I and my children produce to fund this latest health care scheme and control even more of our lives. At a time like this, wearing a gun doesn’t seem all that irrational to me.

The author states: “The First Amendment ethos guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution.”
My experience tells me that, even more than do conservatives, the lefties want to control debate and take away a citizens right to speak if they do not agree with the message (witness what happens on college campuses when a conservative is invited to express his or her opinion and the assaults with pies and fists). Maybe the wearing of guns is a healthy thing in that repugnant behavior is deterred.

I did not see anyone carrying a gun at any of the rallies using it to try to control the tone or tenor of the debate he or she attended. I also did not see others being assaulted because their opinion differs from that of the liberals as often happens when a conservative tries to speak as above.

I believe that, given our history and the history of other nations, only fools trust in the wisdom and faithfulness of politicians and government to protect our rights. You can debate to your hearts content but if the government makes a choice and has the force to back it up your debate is lost in the wind. Wise men in government, of which there seems to be few, know this fact and only nibble at your rights and slowly erode your earnings for fear of those with the arms. That is a good thing.

As I said in the beginning, those that want what is not theirs were the only ones raising a fuss.

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By Outraged, August 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee

Your comment: “The President was in no danger”

How is it you KNOW this?  How could you know this?  Disinformation is a form of propaganda, we have laws against that.
***********

Re: OzarkMichael

Again, you haven’t answered my question:

“Some have been scared out of their wits by lying corporate interests via the use of paid propagandists.  Funny how so many of the “talking points” covered in this article from Alternet are routinely asserted here at TD.  Stranger yet the fact that OzarkMichael repeats them verbatim and then claims to have been harassed.  Hmmmm….. I’m curious, who do you think is harassing you, OzarkMichael?
Check out this story Adele M Stan, Alternet:

“Phillips opened the program suggesting that a White House request for Americans to submit, through an e-mail address, questionable claims made about the health-care legislation in media or elsewhere was a Nixonian “enemies list” operation, “asking Americans to turn in other Americans for fishy e-mails …”

“Yet, the exposure by progressive journalists of the right’s astroturfing seemed to have movement leaders on the defensive, assuring their troops that they were indeed real people.

And they are. They’re frightened, misinformed real people who have been organized by corporate interests.

The night before the general session, at the RightOnline dinner (which featured Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Pat Toomey as its speaker), I sat next to a lovely woman from Pittsburgh named Linda. She had never before been involved in politics, but the Obama plan, she said, had moved her. She was almost as distrustful of the GOP as she was of the Democrats, she said, on account of George H.W. Bush’s embrace of, “what was that world government thing?”
http://www.alternet.org/politics/142068/utilizing_public_airwaves,_media_mogul_murdoch_is_big_muscle_behind_fraudulent_astro_turfers/?

Again, I invoke puplewolf’s excerpt: “Let’s hope no one gets shot by these out of control, insecure, ignorant and gullible,teabaggers, birthers, deathers, right wing radical fundie fringe, whack jobs sheeple, doing the dirty work for the elite ober-rich corps and oligarchy who use these pathetic morons as pawns.”

And again, I’ll add; “It illuminates how irresponsible and reprehensible these types are.  They are just like their culpable and dangerous counterparts, the right wing paid propagandists.

One more thing from MoJo: “Particularly unscrupulous operators might mobilize a narrow constituency—like conservative Christians—on behalf of their corporate clients. The idea is to create the impression of grassroots activism, but rarely to seriously attempt to influence broader public opinion. Michael Scanlon, a colleague of disgraced uberlobbyist Jack Abramoff, once captured the logic succinctly: “Simply put we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.”
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/08/astroturf-20

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By stop assault weapons, August 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whenever a poster here claims “assault rifles” are being carried, the poster is admitting defeat. NO functioning assault-rifle is permissible to even OWN, let alone carry, in any State. A machine-gun license is required, and almost impossible to obtain. Spend $2000 for an illegal auto-fire rig and find yourself in Federal Prison for 15-20 years. Disabled military or look-scary rifles ARE available. They are only capable of the same, pedestrian auto-LOADING function as any hunting rifle, shotgun or simpe handgun. Please stop using the term “assault rifle;” it makes you sound dimwitted.

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By ardee, August 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, August 22 at 2:55 pm #

The American Political Left offers an important and needed perspective.

However, in spite of the liberal virtue of tolerance, there is a deep intolerance on the Left for other points of view. Certainly not among all, or even most, but enough that it is a problem.

..............................

Surely you didnt post this with a straight face, ‘fess up now. Intolerance is not limited to either left or right, as you well know, and certainly demonstrate on occasion, as do I myself.

  Perhaps holding office would be a life altering experience for the poster you belittle….who knows, not you , not I.

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By Michelle's Dad, August 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sirota characterizes gunowners as “anti-government activists” and “gun-nuts.” This is the sort of cowardly Democratic-Party drivel Truthdig has been pumping out for years. It is also the reason independents, libertarians and non-hysterical liberals (many of them women determined to defend themselves)will largely reject Democrats in 2010. This reliance on shrieking of slogans must offend any thinking person and is a slap in the face to millions of Americans who, along with protecting their families, are determined to protect what is left, after Bush, of the US Contitution.

And while Sirota is railing about matters he has not bothered to investigate, he and Cocco and co ignore real large-scale threats to our freedom: the Schumer (D-NY) push to sneak through legislation whill require all, including all Progressives, to provide their biometric bodily data to the government as part of Senator Schumer’s un-American attempt to impose a national identification Certificate Card.

Get your priorities straight, Sirota, and for Christ’s sake, learn something, anything, about guns and honest gun-owners. Learn the histories of weak-willed citizens who let slip away their ability to defend themselves just before the trucks arrived. The world has not changed over the millenia. Human nature has not changed. America is no different than any other center of power which has ever existed. Be strong, Sirota. Protect your family. Be a man.

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By OzarkMichael, August 22, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

The American Political Left offers an important and needed perspective.

However, in spite of the liberal virtue of tolerance, there is a deep intolerance on the Left for other points of view. Certainly not among all, or even most, but enough that it is a problem.

Imagine if you would a Leftist person like Outraged in a position of authority. It would be difficult to be a conservative there. But to be a Christian, especially one who pointed out the intolerance of an Outraged, would be a bit hazardous.

Look at yourself Outraged. You are my proof, if i needed any(which i dont) that such people exist. Is that really the type of person you want to be? You are just as bad as the people you are afraid of. Even people who agree with you politically can see what i am saying.

Your constant barrage of accusations will not be dealt with anymore. To do so only validates that the charges were made. It never stems the flow of accusations anyway.

Barney Frank was asked “Why are you a Nazi?” and his answer was perfect and i use it now to answer Outraged:

“What planet are you living on? Trying to have an intelligent conversation with you would be like talking with a dining room table.”

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By myxzptlk, August 22, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Defending gun-toters at the kind of political events that have PROVEN to generate heated arguments is rank stupidity, and obtuse, at a minimum.

It’s hard to find any proper analogy to illustrate the point, because, as others have noted, guns are designed to kill - period.  But would anyone defend the actions of someone using an automobile to intimidate protesters, for example, repeatedly driving up to protesters crossing the street, coming to a screeching halt, and blaring the horn?  There’s nothing illegal about doing that, either, but it’s behavior clearly intended to intimidate, scare people off, and shut down debate.

Gun owners who argue that showing up at a political event with assault rifles - or any other kind of firearm - are either simpletons or are in league with the political opposition who are trying to bait Democrats into saying or doing something that is “anti-gun”.  And the fools who cheer the latter are simply bringing forward the day that they claim to dread, when the government comes to “take away our guns”.

Using our 2nd amendment to defend the idiocy and conniving of gun-carrying protesters is disgusting, and should be called out as such by every thinking American.

BTW, I’m a gun owner.

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By Anarcissie, August 22, 2009 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

I don’t know about anybody else, but fulmination doesn’t impress me.

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By ardee, August 22, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Outraged

These people were making a personal statement, and were “attacked” as you call it, for SPECIFICALLY that.  That’s perfectly legit.  Additionally, armed right wingers, showing up with assault rifles to a Presidential “townhall” is DANGEROUS.

They were making a political statement at a political gathering, you may take it personally if you wish but you cannot turn water into wine.

The President was in no danger, noone outside even got a glimpse of him, as I am sure you know already, but testosterone induced ranting feels so good , I know full well.

I do not express approval of these displays, but I put them in perspective. These people violated no law, they were exercising their rights under the laws of the local, state and federal govts. It isnt just the political actions of which you personally approve that have a right to exist.

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By Outraged, August 22, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Post 2.

Comment excerpt by purplewolf from a recent “Ear to the Ground” article entitled, “The Right’s Trouble With Violence”:

“purplewolf:
As a licensed CCW holder, the state I live in recently has allowed us the right to carry our weapons in more places than before. But still, most people I know would never go to a town hall meeting or public rallies or protests packing heat. Most are responsible gun owners,something those who carry to these events seem not to be.

No, anyone who so openly displays their guns, along with their ignorance at these town hall meetings should be detained and kept away from the public for everyone else’s safety. These people have shown they had no control over their behavior and actions and have already injured people they feel are “the enemy” with their brutish actions. If this type of stunt had occurred at a Bush meeting, those who had the guns would never be heard or seen again, and their families and most of their contacts, as per Bush laws written down that you can be permanently detained with no rights to anything if a friend of a friend of a friend who heard someone say something bad about the Bushco, you were equally guilty, even if you never know or heard of them,as well-it is written into law July 2006-or 2007 by Bush. It went into law about the time Bush made it against the law to protest against his war and him and anything else he did. Childish attitude and behavior from a grown man who abused power.

Let’s hope no one gets shot by these out of control, insecure, ignorant and gullible,teabaggers, birthers, deathers, right wing radical fundie fringe, whack jobs sheeple, doing the dirty work for the elite ober-rich corps and oligarchy who use these pathetic morons as pawns.”

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20090819_the_rights_trouble_with_violence/

I agree.  Thank you purplewolf, I hope you don’t mind the repost.

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By Outraged, August 22, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Post 1.

Re: OzarkMichael

Your comment: “Realizing the Outraged was a real human being,”

Personally, I don’t feel you “recognize” anything of the kind.  But that’s okay, It can be our little secret.  Regarding your other comment though (the one you quoted), you hadn’t answered my question…... inadvertantly I’m sure.

“Some have been scared out of their wits by lying corporate interests via the use of paid propagandists.  Funny how so many of the “talking points” covered in this article from Alternet are routinely asserted here at TD.  Stranger yet the fact that OzarkMichael repeats them verbatim and then claims to have been harassed.  Hmmmm….. I’m curious, who do you think is harassing you, OzarkMichael?  Check out this story Adele M Stan, Alternet:

“Phillips opened the program suggesting that a White House request for Americans to submit, through an e-mail address, questionable claims made about the health-care legislation in media or elsewhere was a Nixonian “enemies list” operation, “asking Americans to turn in other Americans for fishy e-mails …”

“Yet, the exposure by progressive journalists of the right’s astroturfing seemed to have movement leaders on the defensive, assuring their troops that they were indeed real people.

And they are. They’re frightened, misinformed real people who have been organized by corporate interests.

The night before the general session, at the RightOnline dinner (which featured Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Pat Toomey as its speaker), I sat next to a lovely woman from Pittsburgh named Linda. She had never before been involved in politics, but the Obama plan, she said, had moved her. She was almost as distrustful of the GOP as she was of the Democrats, she said, on account of George H.W. Bush’s embrace of, “what was that world government thing?”
http://www.alternet.org/politics/142068/utilizing_public_airwaves,_media_mogul_murdoch_is_big_muscle_behind_fraudulent_astro_turfers/?

Did you have a chance to read the article, it really is very good.  It covers just about every talking point I’ve heard hear lately.  Uncanny.

Re: ardee

Your comment: “The brouhaha over this event certainly was the intent of those who displayed weapons as an act of street theater, and it seems to have worked to perfection. There are extremists of every persuasion in this nation of ours, the left has its share as well. For example the negative characterization of those who wore their weapons, not political comment but personal attacks….”,

These people were making a personal statement, and were “attacked” as you call it, for SPECIFICALLY that.  That’s perfectly legit.  Additionally, armed right wingers, showing up with assault rifles to a Presidential “townhall” is DANGEROUS.  It is dangerous to the President and the crowds, the fact that now this has been shown to have been staged doesn’t make it less dangerous, IT MAKES IT MORE DANGEROUS.

It illuminates how irresponsible and reprehensible these types are.  They are just like their culpable and dangerous counterparts, the right wing paid propagandists.

cont.

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By Anarcissie, August 22, 2009 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Habsberg—So you would say the Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments don’t apply to individuals?  That’s an odd view, which I find difficult to understand at all, much less be convinced of.  It looks to me as if the writers of the Bill of Rights were using the term people as, in effect, a plural of person, just as we do.

In any case the two clauses of the Second Amendment are, as I said, grammatically separate.  As it is written, the text is unequivocal.

RAE—You are correct; bear and arms are left to be interpreted.  On the other hand, shall not be infringed is very strong.  It looks to me like the intent of the writers was to ensure that the people (in general, as individuals) would have the right to sufficient armament to form militias in order to balance the power of government as well as to resist foreign invasion.

I’m just saying that’s what they wrote.  The proper route to changing it, if you think it should be changed, is by amending the Second Amendment, not by twisting the words into some kind of logical pretzel.

I don’t see any point to changing it, but it’s obvious that a lot of people feel very, very strongly that the state should have more power and individuals less.  The other day a man was arrested in New York City for merely taking a picture of a public building—a perfectly legal act—and held for six hours.  This is what we’re coming to; it’s the kind of thing anti-gun nuts are pushing by implication.

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By Paolo, August 22, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Wow, I’ve heard some inane arguments from Sirota over the years, but this one is near the top.

So, the ORDER of the first ten amendments has something to do with HOW SERIOUSLY WE SHOULD TAKE THEM?

So, the eighth amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment, should not be taken seriously at all, right? After all, its way, way, way down there, far behind the first amendment.

The framers of the Constitution could not POSSIBLY have known about modern torture techniques, could they? They didn’t have electricity, so they couldn’t attach electrodes to the genitals. Therefore, the eighth amendment is invalid!

I defy anyone to search the founder’s documents, and find a statement saying the first amendment “takes precedence” (Sirota’s words) over the second. Or for that matter, that ANY amendment takes precedence over any other. Have fun.

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By ardee, August 22, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 21 at 11:51 am #

I strongly disagree with Anarcissie and Ardee that bringing guns to a public meeting should be permitted.  that’s crazy.  IF one side brings guns, the other side will be forced to, and inevitably over time, they will be used.  they should be checked at the door, as they were, say, in San Salvador during the civil war there in their Congress.

Except that those bearing firearms were not INSIDE, they were kept rather distant in fact. Let us debate with accuracy, shall we?

The brouhaha over this event certainly was the intent of those who displayed weapons as an act of street theater, and it seems to have worked to perfection. There are extremists of every persuasion in this nation of ours, the left has its share as well. For example the negative characterization of those who wore their weapons, not political comment but personal attacks….

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By OzarkMichael, August 22, 2009 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Outraged said: Yet, from personal experience I can tell you this is not the case, at least not where I live, in America today.  I have been physically threatened, physically intimidated, harrassed, followed and watched incessantly for well over a year.  Not because I broke any LAW, but because I spoke out POLITICALLY.

Realizing the Outraged was a real human being, I responded: “Directly and sincerely i want you to know that I am sorry for the crap you have to put up with. I also want you to know that it is human nature, that it happens wherever a local majority can get away with it.”

I then commissurated with him because I have been where he is, and I even gave him some advice. Which was met with this response from Outraged:
Some have been scared out of their wits by lying corporate interests via the use of paid propagandists.  Funny how so many of the “talking points” covered in this article from Alternet are routinely asserted here at TD.  Stranger yet the fact that OzarkMichael repeats them verbatim and then claims to have been harassed.

Followed by a 2 page screed of the usual jumble of meaningless and dehumanizing accusations. Which only goes to show that the prejudice of a Leftist is thicker than concrete. Certainly thicker than any worthwhile ideas that might be hidden in their heads, and thicker than any humanity that might be hidden in their hearts.

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By mike112769, August 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

Dan: I respect that position. I must ask you though, doesn’t it seem that the only ones left who adhere to the Constitution are the Public? Lord knows our politicians don’t respect it. I can empathize with those who are feeling ignored and disenfranchised by their “elected” government. Our melting pot is rapidly coming to a boil.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Post 2.

What a tangled web they weave.  Check this out:
“On December 8, 2007, Randy Forbes introduced a House resolution, H. Res. 888, that purported to promote “education on America’s history of religious faith.” In fact, the resolution was packed with 75 assertions, most of which amounted to lies and distortions of the American historical record.

Enter historian Chris Rodda, author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History and also head researcher for The Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In January 2008, Rodda began an ongoing series, at the website Talk To Action (disclosure: this author is co-founder of Talk To Action), which disproved House Resolution 888’s numerous historical fallacies….”

“.....Over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, an entire parallel historiography, based on fabricated historical details, falsified founding father quotes, quotes taken out of context, deceptive textual ellipsis, and a host of other methods, has arisen and been incorporated not only into books but also textbooks and curriculum, including that taught in the national Junior ROTC program.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/7/23/95914/7729/Front_Page/_quot_C_Street_House_quot_Backs_Christian_Nationalist_H_Res_397

Well…that explains my son’s World History book “issues”, doesn’t it.  A repost:
“Glencoe/McGrawHill
Journeys Across Time copyright 2008
Hardcover. Pg.95

“What is in the Hebrew Bible?  The Hebrew Bible is really a series of books collected together. The Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings that were added later make up the Hebrew Bible.  Some of these books describe events in history.  Others are books of law, prophecy, poetry, and proverbs.

For example Genesis, the first book of the Torah, begins with an account of creation and continues with a story of the first human beings.  It describes how God told Noah to build an ark, a large boat, to carry his family and two of every animal on Earth.  Then a great flood covered the land, and only those on the ark escaped drowning.  After the flood, God created a rainbow as a symbol of his promise to never again destroy the world with a flood.

Genesis also explains why the world has languages.  It tells how the people of Babel tried to build a tower to heaven.  God disapproved and made the people speak in different languages, then scattered them across the earth.”

Is it plausible that a sixth-grader could tell this from fiction if someone hadn’t already explained the true nature of the bible as a holy book. It isn’t presented as beliefs.  And how would a child whose head has been filled with this fiction internalize it.  Obviously, it would serve only to qualify what they had already been told.

Very sparingly is the term belief used at this point in the text (pg.95)  This same text does not explain or address the meaning of the word myth until pg.155 when it addresses Greek culture.

Compare that to this same book’s very concrete portrayal regarding beliefs of the Shang Dynasty, on pg.227.

“People in Shang China worshiped gods and spirits.  Spirits were believed to live in mountains, rivers, and seas.  The people believed that they had to keep the gods and spirits happy by making offerings of food and other goods.  They believed that the gods and spirits would be angry if they were not treated well.  Angry gods and spirits might cause farmers to have a poor harvest or armies to lose a battle.”

Even though the second excerpt is half that of the first, the term belief is used three times, but in the first…. NOT AT ALL.

This is WHY it (the bible) should not be taught in public schools.”

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By Outraged, August 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Post 1.

Some have been scared out of their wits by lying corporate interests via the use of paid propagandists.  Funny how so many of the “talking points” covered in this article from Alternet are routinely asserted here at TD.  Stranger yet the fact that OzarkMichael repeats them verbatim and then claims to have been harassed.  Hmmmm….. I’m curious, who do you think is harassing you, OzarkMichael?  Check out this story Adele M Stan, Alternet:

“Phillips opened the program suggesting that a White House request for Americans to submit, through an e-mail address, questionable claims made about the health-care legislation in media or elsewhere was a Nixonian “enemies list” operation, “asking Americans to turn in other Americans for fishy e-mails …”

“Yet, the exposure by progressive journalists of the right’s astroturfing seemed to have movement leaders on the defensive, assuring their troops that they were indeed real people.

And they are. They’re frightened, misinformed real people who have been organized by corporate interests.

The night before the general session, at the RightOnline dinner (which featured Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Pat Toomey as its speaker), I sat next to a lovely woman from Pittsburgh named Linda. She had never before been involved in politics, but the Obama plan, she said, had moved her. She was almost as distrustful of the GOP as she was of the Democrats, she said, on account of George H.W. Bush’s embrace of, “what was that world government thing?”
http://www.alternet.org/politics/142068/utilizing_public_airwaves,_media_mogul_murdoch_is_big_muscle_behind_fraudulent_astro_turfers/?page=4

But this is not all that’s going on, also from Alternet:

“Revelations concerning The Family and other fundamentalist groups it works with, such as Campus Crusade For Christ and Youth With a Mission, will no doubt continue to break throughout the rest of August and into Fall 2009. Other angles to The Family story include its proclivity for promoting falsified American history and The Family’s relationship with the global behemoth missionary group Youth With a Mission, which owns the “C Street House”.”
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/142047/msnbc’s_maddow_show_propels_growing_scandal_over_washington’s_"christian_mafia”/

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By DanMorgan06, August 21, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

My fear does not come from people owning guns or even toting them in public. I grew up in a community where it was common to own a gun; people even had their gun cabinets in their living rooms as decoration. No big deal. The fear comes from it becoming common place for people to show up at political rallies armed to the point where the only people that bother to show up are those that carry guns.

Another fear is having these same people, all right wingers, all juiced up on talk radio rhetoric, used by those who want certain policies promoted and other policies defeated. As the United States faces more challenges such as military defeat in the Middle East or widespread bankruptcy of the economy and an ensuing depression, these groups could be used by our elites to spread fear and intimidation to maintain their status.

In the Roman Republic it was the introduction of violence into the political system that really began the downward spiral into revolution that resulted in monarchy. The Gracchi brothers, who tried to introduce reform, were murdered because they threatened political and class power of the Optimates. In the US it is corporate power that is threatened with the kind of reforms that the majority of citizens wish to have enacted. If these groups are used to intimidate reformers into acquiescence, I fear that it will inaugurate a trend of circumventing the constitution and the Democratic process with violence.

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By RAE, August 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

Ok. Ok. Let’s say Americans do have the “right to bear arms.”

But the Constitution doesn’t say anything about HOW or WHEN a citizen can bear those “arms.” This leaves it wide open to construct “regulations.”

How about a federal law stating that if you choose to “bear an arm” - it MUST BE HOLSTERED AND CLEARLY VISIBLE to all those around you. No more “concealed” weapons except as authorized in very special cases under the law.

There… you’ve got the “right” to bear your arm. If a sidearm, it must be in its holster at all times and carried in full view of all around you, and if a rifle or shotgun, it must be in a carry case, also in full view. Additional ammunition may NOT be carried on your person.

My law continues… it would be an indictable offense to draw that weapon in a public place unless it can be clearly shown that your life is in immediate danger, for example, someone (other than a peace officer) is pointing a lethal weapon at you with the clear, demonstrable intention of doing you harm.

So… bear your arm if you must, but it would be illegal to use it in any offensive manner whatsoever, including to threaten, intimidate or even to get attention or make a point. It would be legal to actually draw the weapon ONLY in a CLEAR situation of self-defense.

The penalty for breaking this law would be severe. Immediate arrest and upon conviction, fines and imprisonment, as well as confiscation of all weapons in your possession and a lifetime ban on owning or carrying.

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By mike112769, August 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

I have yet to hear of a single instance of a person with a gun threatening anyone at these rallies. I am tired of gun owners being called nuts. A lot of people seem to think that if you own a gun, you must be a homicidal maniac. Not true. As far as calling these gun-toters racist, that’s pretty funny since some of them are black. Who, exactly, are they being racist against? I am deeply disappointed that this little photo-op by the gun owners has scared the living shit out of a bunch of so-called adults. Why do you people let fear rule your lives? I do not endorse carrying firearms to a rally, but I won’t piss myself in terror if I see one. I see police with guns all the time, and most of them are more socially maladjusted than the criminals they catch. Should we disarm them too? (Well, we probably should disarm American police.) Man up America, and grow a pair.

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Everyone has a right to bare arms, but not wear shorts, also I like bare babes. I suppose this may be just me?

Last time I attended a gun show at the local fair grounds, I have a clear memory of the assault rifle section, it was surround by a mass of the most imbecilic group of people I have ever seen, no they were not Republicans, most of them seemed like 15 year old nitwits. They should have an age limit at those things, or even better an IQ test, please at least make sure their is something at home up stairs and they have more than one oar in the water.

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By SteveL, August 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

First these few nuts carrying guns speak for no one but themselves.  The
mainstream media cannot seen to get enough of these idiots.

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By OzarkMichael, August 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

i read this blog with interest. Hopefully having established the right to bear arms, certainly we can all agree it isnt conducive to open debate.

Furthermore if some nutcase shoots somebody, all the people who performed the gun theatre are going to look like they were encouraging the violence. It doesnt help their cause. So I am against it for that reason also.

I would not attend an emotional debate where some people showed off that they were bringing guns. Even if those people were arguing on the same side as me, I just wouldnt want to be there. I dont want to be part of any intimidation.

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By Clash, August 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

While understanding Mr. Sirota’s fears, a fundamental disagreement arises; this disagreement would in fact be that the first amendment of the constitution would not exist without the second amendment.  It is the right of firearm ownership that keeps governance from becoming over bearing, and as this police state enforces the rights of the kleptocrats with the barrel of the gun, the obvious self defense is to be armed accordingly.

That said it seems that those persons who attended political meetings armed with various types of weapons are truly most ignorant of the historical propensity of the government police state to retaliate against those who might stand against them. Violence always moves downward in the social structure.

The use of Nazi Germany as an example definitely shows us that, Mr. Sirota should probably return to his history book and take a look at the gun control stance taken by the Nazi regime proceeding the final solution, and the political persecution suffered by millions after the confiscation of fire arms in Germany. This would most likely give him a much better prospective on why the right can whip emotional retards into such frenzy.

While fifty thousand people die each year in highway related accidents how many have died due to exercising their first amendment rights last year. A little fear is a good thing, it is that which keeps us alive in situations out of our control, and nothing in this world is under our control. It is easy to overcome fear of what you can see, but not so easy to overcome the things you can’t.

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By Anarcissie, August 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Habsberg:
‘The second amendment is not about individual gun rights.  It is about militias, well regulated militias.  The founding fathers knew how to write a law about individual gun rights, they did not.  The NRA campaign to misinterpret the second amendment has made too much progress.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I’m always glad to contribute a little grammatical knowledge to this discussion, no matter how many times I have to do it.  The assertion above, that the Constitution makes gun possession dependent on a militia, is often made, but is incorrect.

The construction we observe above is called, in English, the “nominative absolute”.  It was copied from a Latin construction called the “ablative absolute”.  English doesn’t have an ablative case, so the nominative case was made to serve.  The construction is called an “absolute” because it is not linked directly to the main clause—it describes an independent condition or event.  For instance, “Jim having left, the party continued.”  In the 18th century, anyone who wanted to be educated learned Latin, so they knew all about this construction and how to use it.

In the case in point, the gist of the Second Amendment is the unequivocal second phrase:  “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  In case you don’t understand why this right needs to be mentioned, the authors of the Amendment have been kind enough to supply you with their reasoning—that the people must at least be able to form militias to defend themselves.  But the second clause does not depend on the first, nor does the Amendment say that the people have a right to keep arms if they form well-regulated militias.  It just flatly says their right shall not be infringed, which is a very strong statement.

If, in pursuit of the total state, you want to eliminate this right, you’ll have to change the Constitution, or at least find some way of overriding its plain meaning.  Once again, I have to say I cannot understand this as a project of the Left.  If there is any Left left.

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By Anarcissie, August 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

jjohnjj:
’... At first, the guys who brought their guns to health-care debates reminded me of the Black Panthers.

But the Panthers didn’t take their guns to townhall meetings. They just posed with them for photographs - to send a warning to a majority that really was oppressing them. ...’

As I pointed out recently in one of these non-discussions, probably the most famous incident involving the Black Panthers and a public display of guns was the day when they visited the California state legislature and sat in the visitors’ gallery fully armed.

The Black Panthers evidently had a serious belief in equality.  You show me yours, they said, and I’ll show you mine.

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By jjohnjj, August 21, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Consider this: The Second Amendment is the ONLY amendment that came with a preamble - a statement of it’s purpose.

Why didn’t the Framers just say, “Congress shall make no law abridging the people’s right to keep and bear arms”? Why?

Back on topic…

I don’t recall seeing guns at any speech given by Martin Luther King. Those who demonstrated - unarmed - while being attacked by dogs and fire hoses, possessed real courage.

It stands stands in stark contrast to the cowardice of those who don’t feel safe without their sidearm in a crowd of middle-age white people who just want a fair deal from their private health insurance company.

At first, the guys who brought their guns to health-care debates reminded me of the Black Panthers.

But the Panthers didn’t take their guns to townhall meetings. They just posed with them for photographs - to send a warning to a majority that really was oppressing them.

No. The gunmen at the health care rallies remind me more of the Klu Klux Klan… Driving around outside southern churches, waving their guns out the windows of their beat-up old cars.

The Dustbin of History awaits them all.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 21, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If these gun slingers are serious they should fly to
events all over the country proudly wearing their arms.
They may even get special extra treatment at the
airport.

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By dihey, August 21, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

It is truly unfortunate that it is impossible to bring back to life Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and other luminaries from that age. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they would all say: “What you see now is absolute proof that we never intended that the rabble would be allowed to ‘bear arms’. We wanted them to fight for us against the Brits in ‘well regulated militias’ but hand in their arms afterward”.

It is my hunch that they would have made exceptions for settlers living on the frontier with Indians/French camping/trapping just over the nearest hill or creek.

Comparisons with Europe on gun laws are misleading because ever since feudalism it was the obligation of the local lord there to protect his/her subjects against terrorism. Armed conflicts involving ‘the rabble’ occurred when that protection broke down which happened with retching frequency when another lord claimed the land you were living on.

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By tropicgirl, August 21, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

I don’t think anyone was scared about the guns. Most places you go now people
are carrying guns. Some people even feel better about it.

Mostly people are feeling their rights being taken away from them, I think, mostly
because of the bailouts and the porkulus and the crooked politics (not socialism).
They know people will never be able to take away their rights to carry guns and
they are just flexing their rights.

Relax.

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By Big B, August 21, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Glider

I read your post and just wondered what sort of debaucherous acts the Steeler fans could exacerbate when drunkenly aided by a few armed Pittsburgh hunkeys?

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By Big B, August 21, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

All I want to know is, how come the NRA has not come to the defense of Plaxico Burris?

Oh, that’s right, the NRA only defends the rights of white people to be irresponsible with firearms.

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By glider, August 21, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Well I am happy firearms are not allowed at sporting events.  However, it might be interesting to watch on TV.  We really could have a hell of killer SuperBowl!

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By David, August 21, 2009 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Maybe it’s because guns are the only thing these politicians will listen to.”

Maybe the real fear of a representative not being re-elected is the message you should be sending. If you are the true majority—that shouldn’t be a problem. That’s how it is done in a Democratic state. Using guns as a threat is typically a Fascist or Dictatorial method. It is no surprise to witness who is resorting to these tactics. A minority who is trying to inflict its will on the majority. This all boils down to a segment of America that can’t deal with the last election loss, a black president with a “furrin’” name and accepting that the policies of the past 8 years were a disaster.

If we are to believe the gun people, they use their precious weapons for hunting or target shooting. They have no place a a rally and especially at an event featuring the president—any president be that person be Democrat or Republican.

I expect a tragedy soon and who is to blame will be quite evident.

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By Folktruther, August 21, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I strongly disagree with Anarcissie and Ardee that bringing guns to a public meeting should be permitted.  that’s crazy.  IF one side brings guns, the other side will be forced to, and inevitably over time, they will be used.  they should be checked at the door, as they were, say, in San Salvador during the civil war there in their Congress.

The purpose of a public meeting is to say what you wish politically without fear.  Certainly without fear of setting off a holocaust.  Yelling and screaming and jumping up and down should be encouraged, since the fundamental purpose is to change the emotional truth of people.  BUT NO VIOLENCE OR THREAT OF VIOLENCE!

The US has been so homicidal historically that this distinction must be newly ingrained in the American people, it alrready being held by less barbarous polities.  NO GUNS, KNIVES, BOMBS, ETC IN PUBLIC MEETINGS.  It is indicative of how far we must go politically when two of the best TD commenters imply the opposite.

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By OzarkMichael, August 21, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Outraged said: Yet, from personal experience I can tell you this is not the case, at least not where I live, in America today.  I have been physically threatened, physically intimidated, harrassed, followed and watched incessantly for well over a year.  Not because I broke any LAW, but because I spoke out POLITICALLY.

Directly and sincerely i want you to know that I am sorry for the crap you have to put up with. I also want you to know that it is human nature, that it happens wherever a local majority can get away with it. It is not merely a tactic of American society or the American political Left or Right or whoever is doing this to you.

I will not do to you what others have done to me, that is to try to reconcile you to the crap that others push at you. Nor would I ask you to understand the ‘valid reasons’ why people treat you like crap. There are none. PERIOD.

The crap is inexcuseable, and you should not compromise with that, ever. My advice to you is to move away if possible, or use irony as a covert way to break through their pig headedness.  Direct confrontations are not going to help and could get you hurt.

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By frank1569, August 21, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First, to Anarcissie and his ilk: you’re wrong. The ‘left’ has been railing against the continued up-arming of law enforcement for decades, and continues to be the leaders against the rampant use of Tazers by cops, not to mention fighting for complete nuke disarmament, bans on land mines and cluster munitions and chemical weapons, etc.

Second: Wonder what would happen if a few First+Second Amendment-loving Muslim-Americans showed up at a Sen. Grassley townhall meeting with their trusty Bushmasters slung…?

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By Anarcissie, August 21, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

Allan Krueger:
‘This is the best idea I have heard yet! During the Bush years, “FREE SPEECH” zones were created many areas, without notice - firearms should definitely by outlawed at political events!!! And bringing them should be a felony! Are we waiting for a tragedy in order to do this?’

Are you going to take them away from the cops, too?

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

The right to bare arms should mean wearing a t-shirt.

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