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26 May 2011

Comments

John S

Very good George.
It would be interesting to know who would actually be repulsed by watching this short video "The rights of man".

Mike Thornton

It certainly isn't the "best shot".
How about the fact that President Obama, his wife and even his children have received more death threats, than any President and his family in history. How about cops getting into a shootout with someone who was on their way to kill people at the Tides Foundation, because he was egged on by Glenn Beck. Dr. Tiller, murdered in front of his wife and church delegation, by a killer egged on by Bill O'Reilly. Cops killed by an assassin laying in wait convinced by right wing media that "Obama was coming to take his guns". How about a foiled bomb plot at a Martin Luther King day rally.
C'mon George, if you're going to try and play this game at least play it honestly.

Todd Juvinall

Thorton spewing his leftwingnut talking points again. I guess we could say Osama was influence by George Soros and Arrianna Huffington and be just as believable. What a hoot!

Mike Thornton

Facts vs. Ignorance
What a "hoot"....and hopelessly pitiful

Todd Juvinall

Your self description is spot on.

Paul Emery

If you're looking at hate talk How about Beck "And now we'd like to beat to death with a shovel-Charlie Rangel" You guys never talk about him.
http://www.dailykos.com/tv/w/002095/

Larry Wirth

Unlike Dubya, the death threats against Obamao are at least made in private...

George Rebane

MikeT, your connecting those individual attempts to conservative ideologues is beyond tenuous but very revealing of liberal logic. BTW, you did forget to include the attack on Congresswoman Gifford.

Thanks for illustrative response.

George Rebane

Great flashback Paul. Beck's early (2001) 'humor' is clearly still lost on many. And that realization ten years ago made him stop those over-the-top outbursts. But I'm sure that this vignette remains on top of the relevant response pile for all progressives seeking to demonstrate symmetry.

Todd Juvinall

George, you are absolutely correct. No one could have said it better. BTW, I don't watch Beck so sis he say that on FOX? Or was it when he was doing a radio show? He was on CNN for a while too I think. Paul and the left would drege up a comment from Plato if they could blame conservatives.

Mike Thornton

No George, you put up a single video and use it as a vehicle to say that claims of right wing extremism and violence are overblown.
I turned around and gave you several examples of actual events that prove there is a lot of right wing extremism, threats of violence, violence and actual murder taking place.
You can deny it all you want too, but the facts are the facts.
The guy who attacked Gifford has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial with a preliminary diagnosis of schizophrenia. In short, he's nuts!
So we don't really know why he did what he did, yet.
But lets say that it turns out he was sitting at home all day watching FOX and/or listening to eight wing radio and then came to believe that he needed to take it upon himself to "Save America" from the socialist, communist, stalinist, statist, manchurian muslim FEMA, death panel, satanist takeover. Do the rodeo clown and his friends share any responsibility for what happened?

Terry Velt

I couldn't imagine the hate that would spew from Thornton's mouth if he had to fill 3 hours/day talking about politics. LOL

Greg Goodknight

Thornton, you've really had a schizophrenic break today. There's been no evidence whatsoever that Laughner had any right wing leanings whatsoever. What evidence that has come out is that he had been decidedly liberal in the opinion of one classmate, and that he's certifiably mentally ill.

You really should get over this FOX obsession of yours.

Mike Thornton

But we don't have to imagine what Savage, Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh would do, do we?

Todd Juvinall

The shooter in Phoenix was an avowed liberal Thornton. He watched Olbermann. BTW, what was it that happened in Seattle and who did it a few years back? Was that the left? Yep, and I guess you just kinda forgot right? Wow.

We have said 'liberalism is a mental disorder" and I guess your ilk proves it perfectly every time.

Todd Juvinall

BTW Thornton. Could you list all the conservative riots since say, the left's Chicago 68' here in America? Please list them by date.

Mike Thornton

The shooter in Phoenix is mentally ill and we don't really know why he did what he did.
At some point I'm sure we'll find out and when that happens we'll have to deal with whatever it is. What we know is that he certainly didn't go and attack anyone that was the focus of so-called "liberal" programs. he did however, shoot someone who had a "bulls eye" placed on her, by Sarah Palin.
I've already given you several documented cases of right wing violence, up to an including murder. Why don't you explain those!

Paul Emery

George
Can you or anyone else enlighten me on the "humor" of Becks piece that I seem to be missing out on ?

George Rebane

"... several documented cases of right wing violence ..." Well, at least now we understand the liberal rules of evidence.

PaulE, maybe others can dissect it for you, but I am not up to the task of explaining the hyperbole and humor in young Beck's 2001 remarks. Different people see differently such notions as beauty, humor, irony, compassion, ... . Most certainly all such notions are culture specific, and now we are getting hints that they may also have a physiological correlation to ideologies that people embrace as shown by some recent science. http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2011/04/hardwiring-the-right-and-left.html

Paul Emery

Here's more humor from Glen Beck

"I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong?"

Paul Emery

And more "Liberal Hunting Permit"
http://www.cafepress.com/rightwingstuff/291484

Dixon Cruickshank

That didn't look anything like Madison WI.

I will say the libs can sure try and even turn satire into serious, maybe they don't understand it??

Thornton your so far out there I won't even go there, its a total waste of time - gotta go wash the boat for Happy Hour - see ya

Paul Emery

Reading the fine print on the Liberal Hunting Permit it reads "Valid at School Board Meetings, Polling Places and City Council Meetings" Lots of laughs from the Righties.

wmartin

Speaking in the most gross generalities, it really is kind of interesting how people on the US Left are so prone to violent and semi-violent group demonstration, and the modern Right is not. There's batches of examples of this, so it really is a pretty obvious split in behavior.

If you think of the 'Right' in historical terms, they were just as likely to smash windows as their counterparts in days of yore. European fascists (some even with fasces!), militant whites in the old South, the Cherry Blossom Society, could all swing a club with the best of them.

There's still bits of militant nationalism in the New Right, some parts of it are fairly authoritarian, so what in the heck happened?

Maybe it's a demographic difference. Political culture is split among age boundaries perhaps. Grumpy old men want to keep what they have and grumpy young men want some of it, and for the older guys, it's just more difficult to keep your mob groove going when all you want is a cup of tea and your comfy chair.

Maybe it's the split in urban v. everyone else. It's just flat harder for farmers and suburbanites to drive the F-150 down to the Starbucks for a bit of that anti-globalization pro-organic war kind of sign waving action.

Say, there's a video game idea in all of this. We'll soon become so lazy that we can loot the local liquor store during a bit of outdoor politickin', all in the middle of an Xbox session. A kind of Grand Theft Auto VII, Power to the People(tm).

Todd Juvinall

Thorton brings up the "bullseye" but fails to mention his buds did it first. That was all discussed at the time in January and when we exposed the democrats use of a bullseye, it all went away. Hmmm.

He also says a FOX News stint causes violence but not MSNBC. Hmmm. Kinda blows up his childish thought process. LOL.

Todd Juvinall

Hey Paul check this out. Remember the Sacramento couple who hung our soldiers in effigy?

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42838

Here is a link to coffee mugs from liberals. Just a bunch of haters Paul. tit for tat.

http://www.zazzle.co.uk/i+hate+republicans+mugs

Paul Emery

Yeah Todd. I think they are all disgusting. It's just that some find commercial viability on Fox news as highly paid teary eyed yappers.

George Rebane

Is it also part of progressive logic to describe conservatives as tending both toward fascism (national collectivism) and robber baron capitalism? Should they not pick one of the two opposites and then excoriate. Continuing to ascribe the right as fascist exhibits an infantile understanding of the spectrum of labeled ideologies. I have not identified any fascists or such tendencies in the readership of RR, or for that matter, in the tea party membership (all flavors). What am I missing?

Mike Thornton

George writes:

"Well, at least now we understand the liberal rules of evidence."

From the Pittsburg Post Gazette, April 2009

"all three officers were fatally shot by the subject of the domestic call, later identified as Richard "Pop" Poplawski, 22. A discharged Marine, he adhered to a number of right-wing conspiracy theories and expressed fears of a "Zionist nation" revoking his right to own guns."

Police said Mr. Poplawski knew his mother had called 911, knew officers would come to his house. He apparently lay in wait, armed with an AK-47 assault-style rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a revolver and wearing a bulletproof vest.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09095/960749-53.stm#ixzz1Nb00kiNW

Now you prove this isn't what happened!

MSNBC suspended TV host Ed Schultz for calling right wing radio host Laura Ingram a "Talk Slut" When has any right wing talk show host been suspended for anything?

Mike Thornton

It's really interesting that right wingers would rather spend their time trying to defend acts of right wing violence, than simply condemn them.
What does this tell us?
It tells us that they see violence and murder as acceptable tactics when it comes to achieving their political aims.

stevenfrisch

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

stevenfrisch

Ooops, I forgot that links out of context are inappropriate. That last link was in response to Todd's questions about right wing riots since 1968.

stevenfrisch

More right wing extremism in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV07Z5C2kHg

Mike Thornton

http://www.newser.com/story/113774/white-supremacist-arrested-in-mlk-parade-bomb-attempt.html

Mike Thornton

And my last was another example of right wing violence

Todd Juvinall

Thornton and Frisch have totally missed the point. I said "conservative". and they bring up skinheads. Yeah those skinheads, they are rioting all over the place. I asked about riots, not murders. Give us some links to riots as I asked not some nutcases who murdered. Besides, aren't you two lovelies part of the nbandwagon after the Phoenix shooting who were claiming the shooter was a rightwinger? Yeah, you were and the press was parroting the lie and we on these blogs defeated your lies. Oh and BTW, the KKK was formed and manned by democrats. Read your history. Someone said Richard Speck was a democrat, is that true?

stevenfrisch

I could take that video apart frame by frame, and illustrate how the video is being used as a propaganda tool (for example the music, the use of the term collectivist, the intentional heightening of tension to manipulate emotions, blending Ayn Rand with founders statements, that allegation that we are 'at war', the allegation that in modern American society the individual has been subordinated to the state). But really, what would be the point. Any grown person, or any educated person, who watches that clip and does not identify it as exactly what it is, manipulative propaganda, is an certifiable moron.

The idea that this bull hockey is played at the Nevada County Contractors Association under some form of official sanction is laughable.

By the way, is the NCCA a tax exempt organization? Oh...I see they are!

Paul Emery

I might as well join in the food fight. Timothy McVeigh was a Republican NRA guy. Todd, can you match that and raise the bet?

Todd Juvinall

That McVeigh, yep, he was always the dedicated door knocker during elections. Someone told me he was on the grassy knoll when he was a democrat.

stevenfrisch

Just for the record, I do not think that skinheads, klansman, and aryan nation members represent a wide range of conservative thought, but they would classify themselves as conservative. Nor do I think that avowed Marxists marching on May Day with banners from the Communist Party of the USA represent the wide range of 'progressive' thought, but I did not see Todd objecting to that characterization under the May Day thread.

Todd Juvinall

Oops, almost forgot, Ratko Mladic was a registered green when he lived in Hoboken.

George Rebane

Many thanks for the back-up and counter examples from the left. Most will say these individuals were/are deranged nut cases. Can we say that for the crowds who march down streets in organized cadres calling for the destruction of America (or its "fundamental transformation")?

I suppose it's futile expect acknowledgment that the totalitarians and national socialists have nothing to do with conservative/libertarians who advocate small government, free enterprise, and individual liberties. This part is always ignored in any such counters from the progressive left.

bill Tozer

No doubt the Tea Party has been a perceived threat from the Left since day one. Same with Fox News Network, the number one watched cable network in the United States of America. The Left's problem and obsession in actuality is not with The Tea Party nor Beck nor O'Reilly nor Rush. They are just messengers. The Left's bizarre knee jerk reactions to Fox and Tea Party is totally misdirected. The Left's real problem is with the majority of the American people. The majority of the people of The United States of America agree with sentiments and logic put forth by The Tea Party Patriots and The Fox News Network. Proof of this is the magic disappearing act of Air America, the Peace Movement, and most spokespersons for the minority of citizens of The United States of America.

Paul Emery

Bill

I have no problem with the Tea Party Patriots. I believe they generally are advocates for the greater good as they see it. I do have problems with exploiters such as the Tea Party Express or other germinations that are self serving Republican operatives. This does not necessarily mean I agree with their vision of America or the world but I still respect their posture. As an observer I feel they put the Republican party in an impossible situation and are settling into 25-30% support which is enough to make noise but not enough to really make a difference. Sure they tilted elections last year but they were also aided by a strangely impotent Obama administration that was overwhelmed by the same special interests that polluted the Bushters.

I don't know where you get the opinion that the majority of people agree with the sentiment and logic of the TP's Polls show quite the opposite. It sounds good till you get into details, like Medicare vouchers and they pull back hard.
http://www.pollingreport.com/politics.htm

The Republicans are planning a retreat from the Ryan budget that doesn't make them look too bad probably by leaving the ball in the Democratic court. Right now they just don't have the votes or public support and are overreaching. Historically, Americans don't like rapid change.

Whatever the Peace Movement is they represent the majority of Americans at least when it comes to pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq supporting withdrawal by a 60-40 % margin.

Dixon Cruickshank

All the progressives want to jump on a couple deranged individuals to try and portray their point - I only want to point as I did in an early post - the worest death threats - signs and total disreagrd for America was in plain view in - Madison by the teachers of our children for gods sake, plus all other agencies that nobody knows what they are or what they do types. These are our employee's, they work FOR the taxpayer's I thought - you haven't heard squat about the teacher they arrested have you - after they discovered she also may have been involved in her brother's murder the media shut that down quick - she is teaching kids for pity sake - wonder how many potenial murders are in Nevada Counties teachers union? I know your much more selective

Todd Juvinall

Paul, what about your opinion, in depth of course as you have given us with the Tea Party and its affiliates, regarding the public employee unions and specifically the protestors in Wisconsin? I would like to see your true analysis from a lefty POV of those folks.

Mike Thornton

It's unfortunate but telling that, rather then simply denounce extremism and violence perpetrated by rightwing individuals and organizations, regressives spend their time trying to deny. rationalize, justify, excuse or as a final tactic to change the subject. The "occam's razor" theory has been used here on a few occasions and perhaps we should use it again. So, what is the simplest explanation for the position(s) that regressives take, when it comes to rightwing violence? Clearly it's because they support this type of violence. There's no doubt that rehressives live by the premise that "the ends justify the means".
This explains all manner of regressive behavior and tactics.
Once again let's remember that their heroine Ayn Rand, modeled her ultimate man off of a brutal sociopathic murderer and that the hero of her novel was a violent rapist.
As they say: "The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree."

wmartin

" So, what is the simplest explanation for the position(s) that regressives take, when it comes to rightwing violence?"

I suppose that it's a) rare and b) usually done by a lone gunman rather than an angry mob. It's a difference in approach it's seems to me.

Probably the canonical version of 'rightwing violence' is in the fuss surrounding abortion clinics. Sometimes a lone gunman, sometimes a bunch of church goers (complete with their poor daughters in homely turn-of-the-century dresses) waving signs.

A problem arises in that quite a few 'regressives' are neither Christians or especially pro-life. There's probably a taxonomy here of slang terms (like 'regressives', Repukes, and the ever popular Nazi allusions) where the group could be subdivided. I'd be happy to lend a hand.

I mostly just view the tug o' war as being about money. You can rest assured that whoever is in office is all about building a more bullet-proof surveillance society, I give that up as a lost cause. What's mostly left is my own feeble attempt to keep what wealth I have. Our society is crammed full with those who consider the commons to include the fruits of my labor. The Little Red Hen Society is reality.

Todd Juvinall

I guess Thornton is right about the "rightwing" violence across America. Here is a example. I guess I was wrong. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

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

I would suggest we all watch this in its entirety so we better understand our conservative violent tendencies.

Greg Goodknight

who else, Thornton, writes, "There's no doubt that rehressives [sic] live by the premise that "the ends justify the means". This explains all manner of regressive behavior and tactics."

Amazing that a five century old bad translation still gets repeated. Not amazing the amount of hate Thornton has for folks who don't share his world view.

Machiavelli never wrote "the ends justify the means". He did write that, when there are no disinterested observers, people will take the results into account when judging their Prince. The best (or at least effective) most modern application of this is the "politics of personal destruction" used by the Clintons with such effectiveness. Anyone who arose with valid challenges, whether regarding sexual harassments or political challenges, were reamed from one side and out the other, destroying their credibility as a fair and honest observer.

Paul Emery

Todd

I have no problem with public employee Unions. They largely came about in the 70's and 80's when there was general concern that the public sector was not attracting a quality work force because of lower wages and benefits. In my opinion they are a manifestation of free speech and association that the TP's bugle as essential rights in a free society. Now that that it's the opposite situation 9wages and benefits) the public unions are under attack. Note that all contracts are approved by elected representatives after negotiations with the unions. Locally we have seen that Unions and County management have successfully renegotiated contracts to reflect the current economic situation. This is an ongoing process. It's easy to demonstrate examples of abuse but generally union contracts provide reasonable salaries and benefits and public tasks are undertaken by dedicated and qualified workers.

As for the demonstrations in Wisconsin sure there are examples of bad behavior, there always is but generally, the demonstrations were passionate but peaceful. Just a reminder that during the Viet Nam War and even more recently during protests against the war in Iraq the FBI would provide undercover demonstrators to instigate violent action to discredit the efforts of peaceful demonstrators. That's a pretty common tactic from opposing factions of both sides.

George Rebane

Paul, reading your measured response to Todd still brings up widely acknowledged truths about public service unions that are at variance with your assertions.

The summary points are that since their inception such union contracts have been anything but "reasonable" as confirmed by governors of both parties. The compensation (pay, benefits) for equivalent work are outlandish for these folks when compared to the private sector. I have cited numerous supporting studies in these pages.

But, perhaps, the most egregious aspect of public service employee unions (as forseen by FDR and private sector union leaders in the 1930s) is that the taxpayer, as a party to the negotiations and an agent affected by their outcome, is not represented at the table. And less so with the passing of the years. The electeds and their staffs who sit opposite union bosses are simply playing nice with OPM. The result is what we have today at the state level (ask Moonbeam and others who recognize the budget busting bombs that unions have emplaced over the years), and at the county level where Local 39 is the only cohort of workers that has refused to take a pay cut in order to save fellow workers' jobs.

Steven Frisch

I guess I just don't understand why everyone has such a difficult time saying, "all political violence is wrong". I would be the first to state that 'left' wing political violence is wrong. I roundly condemn it.

Why does the right have such a difficult time recognizing and condemning the violence within their ranks? And why does the right have such a hard time recognizing that at times the violence is from the very entities that are supposed to protect the public from acts of violence?

Since Todd brought up the "lefts Chicago '68", and at the risk of violating Dixon's cartoon posting rule, I will tell a little story.

When I was 10 years old my parents allowed me to accompany a friend of ours, who was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, to the second day of the 1968 Democratic Convention, taking place right downtown from where we lived in Chicago. My job was to schlep his camera bags. There had been some minor protesting at the Convention, but no real violence, and our friend’s job was to get pictures of the protesters, particularly the figure of 'Pigasus', the Yippie nominee for President.
To get the pictures we needed to go to Grant Park, after taking pictures outside the amphitheater in the morning. When we arrived around noon it was instantly clear that the situation was not ideal. There were thousands of demonstrators, mostly singing songs and chanting. I have since become a decent judge of crowds, and I would estimate no more than 5000 people in Grant Park.

We stayed, largely because our friend was reticent to put me on the El without supervision.

In the early afternoon things started getting very tense. There were thousands of police and National Guardsmen along the outsides of the park, in full riot gear and carrying clubs and barbed wire flails. We needed to cross over regularly to get the shots the photographer needed and his press pass was working. I later learned there were more than 10,000 police and national guardsmen lining the outside of the park.

About 4 pm police began rushing into the park. We could not figure out what had happened because we did not witness any violence yet. People began rushing out of the center of the park. There was some sort of fight going on in the center and everyone was trying to get away. Our friend started getting nervous and we started for Michigan Avenue. As we were moving toward the street people bleeding profusely from the head began passing us. We took some photos, but mostly we were looking for somewhere to hide. People were scrambling to get under park benches as a phalanx of baton wielding police in full riot gear approached. I saw a woman with two children throw them in a fountain and go to the center between the water and the statue. I saw a grey haired man stop at the fountain and try to wash his eyes, when a policemen came up from behind and hit him over the head.

We started to run.

We ended up at the barrier between Michigan Avenue and the park, where I witness Chicago police officers beating people as they tried to leave. I saw on young woman weeping that she 'just wanted to go home' beaten by two cops with billy clubs, who then ripped most of her clothes off and left her bleeding and naked on the street. I saw a young man whipped with a barbed wire flail across his back and head. I saw a teenager kicked repeatedly by 3 policemen until he was unconscious. I saw a young man hit a policeman so hard with a slat from a park bench that his helmet cracked open and he fell to the ground like dead weight. No one could get out of the park. The line of cops was solid and people were too afraid to try. We drifted back to the center, trying to get away from the now overwhelming tear gas. My friends press credential was no good to us anymore, the one time we approached the police with his press badge we were profanely screamed at.

There was an organized effort from a group of Vietnam Vets starting from the center of the park to create a 'flying column' to break through the line so people could get out. A young man in uniform was trying to explain to the participants that if they broke the line they had to hold it open for at least 30 minutes for everyone to get out. People were tearing up the pavement to create missiles, breaking up park benches and tearing down trees to arm themselves with clubs. They never made it, they were met with National Guard jeeps with barbed wire cages attached to front, designed to herd the crowd, and the effort fizzled. What had been a chant earlier in the day for peace was now a chant to kill the pigs.

Finally, well after dark, a fresh unit of national guardsmen from Rockford Ill. came into the park and started separating the police from the demonstrators. They arranged groups of people in blocks of 25 and marched them out of the park past the police, who were still beating anyone who tried to leave unaccompanied.

We made it back to my parents house at 11 pm. It took two days to see clearly again. Needless to say there was no day 3 at the convention for me.

This was the famous Chicago police riot.

Several years later I witnessed a large group of local youths attack a group of neo-Nazi skinheads. It was a totally unprovoked attack, the 'heads' were on their way to an underground club on the near north side, and were lost. They got out of their cars in the wrong neighborhood and paid a heavy price.

There is no excuse for, and should be no acceptance of, political violence, from the left, the right, the center, the disgruntled, the confused, anyone.

Mohandas Gandhi developed a philosophy known as 'satyagraha', which means 'truth force' or 'holding firmly to the truth'. Satyagraha is a form of civil disobedience and protest that specifically denounces all forms of violence.

In Gandhi's words: "Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance”, in connection with it, so much so that even in English writing we often avoided it and used instead the word “satyagraha” itself or some other equivalent English phrase."

If one thinks of the symbol of the Indian Independence movement, Gandhi's spinning wheel, it speaks directly to this concept of truth and love. The economy of India was based on the export of unfinished products, like raw cotton, and the import of finished products, like cloth, so the British could extract profit at the expense of native populations on both ends of the value chain and reserve the skilled manufacturing jobs in the middle of the value chain for the English working class. The spinning wheel represents the other way to gain independence--make the value chain work for the whole by spinning your own cloth and deny the colonizer the profit from occupying your country-- the way to independence, or the prevailing of your views, that rejects violence and uses truth and love. This concept can be translated to almost any social movement, and is the change model I wholeheartedly endorse. When we lose this rejection of violence we will no longer be Americans, exceptionalism will be dead, and the nation will crumble.

The problem I have with the proponents or apologists for violent rhetoric, or those unable to denounce violence even from their peers, or those who use the threat of violence and anger to meet their ends, or the State engaged in violence to protect the status quo, is that they are embracing fear over love. It does not matter if they are right-wingers, left-wingers, fascists or anarchists, they are all wrong. And, ultimately, they are the ones who suffer the most, because they are forced by their own actions to live their lives filled with fear, resentment and feelings of insecurity, rather than knowing the peace that comes from truth and love.

This whole conversation reminds me that being here is kind of an exercise in truth. I am here because I despise fear. I think that Mike and Paul are kind of here for the same reason. So remember Guys, while you may choose to vilify, attack, twist and condemn; we are here because we love you, and we know that the only thing that can conquer fear is love.

Paul Emery

George

Just because 39 hasn't doesn't mean the won't. (negotiate) Besides it takes two to sit at the table so who's to say what's going on. You cite the extremes which are outrageous but how about the average. Do you believe our police are overpaid? How about our teachers. What do you think should be a fair wage for them. How about our public health workers and public works people. George, If you think they are overpaid put it out there. These are our neighbors and friends. Look them in the eye and say it to them."You're an overpaid government worker and if I had my way I'd slash your salary and benefits." Who specifically are you referring to? Let's keep it local for now. These folks are all part of public workers unions that you cite.

George Rebane

Paul, all we can say to date that others in the county have (including the sheriff's department), Local 39 has refused, and the best you can say is that "Just because 39 hasn't doesn't mean the won't." Now who in hell can argue with such a powerful counter?

Yes, the extremes are horrific, but what takes down the country's fisc is the aggregates which is where the focus should be and is.

Paul, I have already "put it out there" on KVMR, The Union, and here. Your seeking exception from 'local folks' is what gave rise to the systemic problem countrywide. And your asking me as an individual to start specifying individual public employee salaries is just blowing smoke on the argument.

The fact that, as a progressive, you don't even acknowledge the inequity of public employee benefit packages signals another facet of what indelibly divides us. There is no shortage of government workers that demand their higher pay; place an add for three fire fighters and a thousand will apply - the rewards are so sweet. And all this went on way before unemployment became an issue.

A more productive conversation would entail finding a way to bring private industry type competition into public service labor markets. But that remains impossible as long as government mandated unions can pay their way to sustain those mandates.

George Rebane

SteveF, from your pen to God's ear.

Paul Emery

George
You can say the same thing about the billion $ per year that comes from the health care industry in the form of special interest dollars that prevent meaningful health care but you call that freedom of speech or something like that.

This is what happens in so many of these conversations. When it gets to specifics the dialogue ends. Again, I don't believe our local teachers, police and public workers are overpaid or over compensated with benefits. Do you or anyone else who chooses to engage agree or disagree with me?

Mike Thornton

Well said (as usual) Steve.
The truth of that matter is that Rightwing rhetoric is full violent and apocalyptic imagery and threats. Perhaps some of the folks who agree with the regressive agenda simply can't see it and hear it for what it is. that's possible....., but highly unlikely. What's much more plausible is that they believe in the product, And why not! As I posted previously Dr. Sara Diamonds examination of Rightwing movements (Roads to Dominion) shows that this type of rhetoric has been used repeatedly and often with great success
Once again, I think it's incredibly telling that rather than simply condemn this type of behavior all the effort seems to go into making excuses for it or trying to deny that it exists. This is particularly difficult to do, when all you have to do is to tune into any and/or all of the top Rightwing media programs, where you can here hour after hour of it, each and every day.
At the same time that the regressives want to dismiss Rightwing violence as simply being the work of a series of lone nuts. They will spend months talking about the "violent" actions of two men outside a polling booth. Claiming that the so-called "New Black Panthers" a miniscule organization (using the word loosely) which has been totally discredited and condemned by the "left", represents "widespread Black racism" and "an effort to intimidate White people" that was "covered up" by a "racist" President of the United States and the US Justice Department. All of which has been completely and totally debunked!
The regressive Rightwing uses fear and hate as its primary source of fuel That's why the regressives never repudiated their use of violent rhetoric, threats and actions, while constantly claiming that they are the victims of that which they perpetuate.
While I agree with what you've said, Steve, I'd also add that part of "conquering fear" is refusing to be bullied by fearful people who use anger and hate as weapons to control others. The reason that regressives do what they do is because it has worked for them in the past and they haven't had to change. I think the time has come for progressives to say enough is enough. I mean on some level it's kind of like dealing with kids who throw temper tantrums. If you keep caving in, they keep doing it. When you stop caving in, the first thing they do is to throw bigger tantrums. Eventually when they learn that the tantrums won't work anymore, they start learning to do something else that will work better for them in the long run. That's also a form of "love" and it's called "tough" love!

Greg Goodknight

"I guess I just don't understand why everyone has such a difficult time saying, "all political violence is wrong". I would be the first to state that 'left' wing political violence is wrong. I roundly condemn it.

Why does the right have such a difficult time recognizing and condemning the violence within their ranks? And why does the right have such a hard time recognizing that at times the violence is from the very entities that are supposed to protect the public from acts of violence?"

Frisch, I don't see the right wing doing anything but denounce violence from the right. Perhaps you can identify that violence you're talking about. Maybe you see the Chicago police riot as 'right wing violence', but those were union thugs doing what they thought "Boss Daley" wanted them to do in a firmly Democratic city in a firmly Democratic state that, just eight years earlier, had stolen enough votes away from Nixon to elect JFK in a squeaker.


To the left, as far as I can tell most everyone on the right don't hate you, they just think you're full of it.

Todd Juvinall

I think SteveF is confused. I do not recall any conservative poster here ever saying violence was OK. What I really think he means is "you conservatives don't cry a river like I do and so you are meanies". Why is it the leftists like SteveF never admit their words and tactics spawn violence? When his ilk drives people to insanity and desperation by destroying their jobs and whole industries, denying them justice, confiscate their money through terrible tax and fee policies and making slaves out of them (like communists policy of the past and some present) they are surprised some folks get upset. But in America, the right is usually the voice of reason and calm. The left as represented by environmental extremists, animal rights extremists, public employee unions (as represented by Trumka) and many non-profit extremist corporations jin up hate. I think Gandhi was very brave, I agree with a lot of the things he said but look at the total issue. Many extremists caused the British to shot them. That was of course terrible but when you tease a rattlesnake, sometimes it will bite.

The public employee unions have something the private unions don't have. Civil Service protection. I have never supported the Public employee Unions because they should be denied the right to strike and that is the main tool of a Union. As it is, Civil Service protects even the worst and useless employee and who pays? No, the unions have become rogue and violent and like Indiana and Walker in Wisconsin, the unions need to be defanged. America will not make it unless they are disbanded.

Steven Frisch

I'm sorry Greg, but usually when a case of use of violent language, imagery, or action comes up here, it is either ignored or subtly defended. I could fill the pages here with examples of right wing violence, from anti-abortion demonstrations, counter demonstrations at housing rallies, bussing demonstrations, fights over integration or even some of the events around the passage of the Health Care bill.

But I think the point I am making is that all political violence is abhorrent. A laundry list of events is not necessary.

I will gladly denounce the violence in the demonstrations against the WTO, the actions of ALF and ELF, even union demonstrations that resort to violence. The actions of the students who fought against the police in Grant Park should
even be condemned.

I was not defining the Chicago police riot as an example of 'right wing' violence, although as a native Chicagoan I can tell you, that unionized or not, and Democratic Party affiliated or not, the typical Chicago police officer in 1968 was pretty conservative. The Democratic Party at the time had a fair share of right wingers in it.

Todd Juvinall

Greg, I admire your logical efforts here but the responses from the Thorntons Frisch's are always the same. They are simply unmoved by their own violent tendencies of their ilk. When Frisch says anti abortion folks are violent yet has no thought of the violence of ripping a baby from the womb, then it is obvious the left are from a different planet.

Steven Frisch

Mike, when I said I despise fear, I was speaking of the fear that is used as a tool of reactionary forces.

Steven Frisch

Todd, you must be confusing me with someone else. Clearly you have not read any of my proposed economic solutions, my support for real estate development, my proposed solutions on public pension reform, and governance reform. In short, nothing gets through that thick, argumentative, befuddled noggin of yours.

Todd Juvinall

No, I have read your screeds for a long time now and my conclusion is you are simply a confused person. That's OK, we all get a bit disoriented at times.

Greg Goodknight

Thorton, writes "The truth of that matter is that Rightwing rhetoric is full violent and apocalyptic imagery and threats. Perhaps some of the folks who agree with the regressive agenda simply can't see it and hear it for what it is. that's possible....., but highly unlikely."

Quotes, please. I think these are just voices in your head similar to those in the heads of the McCarthyites who saw a commie behind every beatnik in 1960.

More Thortonisms... "The regressive Rightwing uses fear and hate as its primary source of fuel That's why the regressives never repudiated their use of violent rhetoric, threats and actions, while constantly claiming that they are the victims of that which they perpetuate."

Golly, Thornton, that's what I see from you in most every communique, in each and every sentence I've quoted here. Stop demonizing your neighbors who don't agree with you. They aren't demons.


Mike Thornton

I understand, Steve.

I know that this will be dismissed by the majority of posters here and labeled as being "liberal" but the Southern Poverty Law Center has quite a detailed lit of hate groups, how they are, what they do and where they are located.
Notice that they also included the Nation of Islam as being a hate group because of the NOI bigotry against White people.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology

The unfortunate truth here is however that the overwhelming number of hate groups operation in the USA are racist, rightwing organizations.
If you want to dispute this, fine, but please do it with facts.

Paul Emery

Gret

One thing for sure. There's plenty of "it" to go around.

Greg Goodknight

"Mike, when I said I despise fear, I was speaking of the fear that is used as a tool of reactionary forces."

But not apocalyptic fears used against the forces of Big Oil megalomaniacs trying to destroy the world, or exhortations against Right Wing hatemongers inciting violence (no need for any in-context quotes, everybody just knows it's true)?

George Rebane

What I believe is missed here in my argument for asymmetric violence is that the collectivists teach and practice it in their literature - Bolsheviks, Nazis, Black Panthers, globalists, ... . Both sides have their individual nutcase outliers, but what I seem to have missed is the teaching of wholesale violence.

I don't accept the assertions here that demonstrations per se are violent - even the so-called historical demonstrations against civil rights which did not involve the application of force. I'm not saying that this never happened, only that it is not taught in the conservative/libertarian literature as it is in the leftist literature. Non-violent, law abiding demonstrations are truly the expression of free speech.

This debate will never end if we allow interpretations and opinions what one party thinks was in the other party's mind to take the place of observable violent behavior. 'Yes, but I know what you were thinking ...' is not a reasonable argument.

Paul, the healthcare industry is highly fragmented and competitive. To the extent that they pay for and practice free speech, they never threaten to shut down the production of medical devices, supply of medicines, or the delivery of healthcare services. The public service unions do that regularly. There is a difference.

And yes, with a little research I can go into our local high school and identify specific teachers in my fields of expertise who don't belong in classrooms at any price. For example, NUHS is scraping the bottom in its math education. I know what their best students are taught, and what they are not taught. So yes, I do disagree with you vehemtly.

The next step here is for you or someone from your cohort to now suggest that I do just that, step out as an individual critic and name some teachers. That is a ridiculous demand - 'let's you and him fight'. But if there were some educational profit in it, I would gladly form a citizens oversight group that monitors the performance of local science and math teachers. Now what kind of legs would that proposal have politically? The status quo collectivists bearing torches and pitchforks would fill the town square - reread your own words.

Steven Frisch

I completely agree that non-violent demonstrations are an legitimate expression of free speech.

Todd Juvinall

As I do. That is why the Tea Party Patriots are so effective.

Paul Emery

No George, I wouldn't ask you to do that. I think you misunderstood what I said. I was trying to arouse an opinion about whether teachers and local County and City workers are generally overpaid and compensated. this has nothing to do with an evaluation of an individual teacher. My question extended to local workers in general who negotiate through public worker unions.

The comparison of the political influence of Public Worker Unions and the Healthcare industry is similar in that they both toss around money and influence to lobby for favorable legislation or contracts. They both have different tactics for pressing their influence.

Isn't the existence of Public Service Unions and the freedom to bargain collectively an expression of free speech? Ultimately it needs the support of elected officials through legislative processes.

wmartin

"Isn't the existence of Public Service Unions and the freedom to bargain collectively an expression of free speech?"

Exactly. Precisely to the degree that Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company was exercising it's own freedom.

Monopoly always seems to be one of those areas that the US economic system has dealt poorly with. The incredible amount of political power that can be brought to bear by these self-interested groups is a wonder to behold.

George Rebane

Paul, since you didn't address the asymmetry of the dimensions of corporate influence vs union influence on politicians, it seems we have hit a brick wall here. I thought that I made a clear distinction between the two showing that they are not "similar" because of the sanctions, beyond cash contributions, they can impose.

Paul Emery

George

I understand what you said that quite well. What that boils down to then is, in your opinion, the right of free speech and association is ok for the Health Industry when they chose to influence legislation through special interest cash but not for Public Employees who wish to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

George Rebane

Not at all Paul. If it were only matter of 'naked' free speech, then industry and unions would have equal influence. Since it isn't, they don't.

I don't know why you are ignoring all the literature, starting with FDR's letter, which has for decades identified, discussed, and recorded the effects of allowing the existence of public employee unions. You just continue talking past that.

I do believe that our readers are fully aware that free speech per se has never been denied a union. It is 1) their very existence, and 2) their avenues of recourse that should be the concern of all taxpayers. This has been covered ad nauseum on RR, and with equal energy been studiously ignored by the left.

Steven Frisch

It is not the 1940's nor is America in a total war with the Axis.

Todd Juvinall

The Axis of evil is now public employee unions, global warming hoaxers and liberals.

Paul Emery

So then let's pass a law outlawing Public Workers Unions less they spring up unannounced or at least a set of regulations rendering them impotent. Sounds like big government to me.

Greg Goodknight

There were public employee unions in FDR's time, and FDR was adamant about it:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.

By the way, those 'conservatives' Chicago police rioting were mostly New Deal FDR Democrats, not 'conservative' or Republicans.

Steven Frisch

With all due respect Greg, and having a family that lived for a few generations in Chicago, and a family with more than one police officer in the last generation, I think I know a bit more about the Chicago police than you do. Many new deal democrats were pretty conservative my friend. Modern definitions of terms are often inadequate to apply to the past.

Greg Goodknight

"new deal democrats were pretty conservative"

I think Conservatives would disagree.

Todd Juvinall

Greg don't you know we know nothing compared to SteveF. He even was at the riots! Probably had relatives on the Pinta too. LOL

Greg Goodknight

Todd, do you know any New Deal Democrats who you'd consider to be a Conservative? Assuming it takes one to know one...

My grandfather Joe, the union secretary and organizer, was a New Deal democrat. Considered Republicans to be management, thought his members who turned Republican to be deluded by their good fortune and high pay. Didn't have much good to say about hippies or the commies running the longshoreman's union. Didn't have much good to say about what he saw as the mob infiltration of the Central and Eastern Teamsters due to the then self administration of the union pensions. Frisch would probably consider him a conservative, but grandpa Joe would have punched him out for thinking it.


wmartin

..."So then let's pass a law outlawing Public Workers Unions less they spring up unannounced or at least a set of regulations rendering them impotent."....

There's no need for that, it seems fine to me for co-workers to hang out together in a rec room somewhere and shout slogans, although it's a bit creepy. If, through good PR, they somehow convince a part of the public that their interests are the same as yours, there's nothing to be done about it.

But, there's absolutely no reason why government management has to pay a lick of attention to them. State/county/local .gov could adopt the same sort of HR rule set as any other large company and deal with employees directly. Normally, when you've got the money, you make the rules.

The real lesson in all of this is what can be accomplished by a smaller, highly focused group when it wants to pick the pocket of a much larger lump of people. Public safety positions are the gold standard for this and really, the marginal cost of a fireman's total renumeration doesn't effect the taxpayer much, it's just that there's so darned many of them.

It's a broken marketplace, and it turned out that for the boomers, public 'service' was the smart move. The tyranny of making the books balance will deal with the problem in some way, but it's going to be ugly.

Normally, you'd see some sort of new equilibrium reached when enough voters discovered just how much a pension annuity is really worth and a few salaries were published. The outrage would push down pay until they had trouble filling the slots and, voila', a labor market is born.

But what makes this a really fun argument is the substantial number of people who have an emotional dog in this fight on the side of the unions. The CTA could give a rip about them, but somehow they view the unionistas as flag bearers against large corporations, globalization, The Man, and the common cold. It's for the children after all.

George Rebane

"It is not the 1940's nor is America in a total war with the Axis." Lest readers be misled, FDR wrote that famous letter on 16 Aug 1937 to Luther C. Steward, President of the National Federation of Federal Employees. Conditions then in the Great Depression were also bad. And we would not be at war with the Axis until 8 Dec 1941.

Mike Thornton

So, let me see, this thread started out on the topic of rightwing violence and now they've turned it to a discussion about the legitimacy of public sector unions.
Maybe it's because it's early and/or I'm just getting tired of all the BS, but while it doesn't surprise me that the regressives are doing this because they know they were on a topic that they couldn't win, what does surprise me is that Paul and Steve are letting themselves be led down the primrose path on this.
I'm sorry guys, but don't you get that this is what they always do!
Whatever.....

Steven Frisch

Greg, you are missing the core point, and quoting me out of context by dropping the 'many' that proceeded the words you chose to quote, and clearly you just want to FIGHT. You have a tumescent protuberance for going after me so I should expect it, but here it is again, in a nutshell, for the intellectually challenged:

Many new deal era Democrats were social conservatives in that they opposed the civil rights movement, women's rights, gay rights, Roe v. Wade, the Great Society expansions etc. They were attracted to early New Deal policies because they created a sense of security in face of the chaotic economy they experienced as children or young adults in the 1930's, but they were NOT DOWN WITH the expansion of liberal social policy. In short, they were voting their self-interst. These are the people who later became the much vaunted Reagan Democrats. (think the classic Peter Boyle and really young Susan Sarandon movie JOE)

But clearly all you want to do is disagree--there is nuance and grey area in politics that you chose to ignore.

wmartin

"So, let me see, this thread started out on the topic of rightwing violence and now they've turned it to a discussion about the legitimacy of public sector unions."....

It's the nature of conversations, they tend to wander in free form. I suppose if a person is convinced of the superiority of rule sets applied from on high, thus keeping everything on track, I can see where the muddle of everyday people doing their thing might be an uncomfortable place.

OK, here's the short form. To the extent that there's such a thing as Right and Left (and both have the appearance of religion to me), you gotcher:

. Lone wolf people on the Right who blow up things and shoot people.
. Lone wolf people on the Left who blow up things and shoot people.
. Large groups of people on the Left who break windows and light cars on fire.

Which reminds me of a story I'll simply quote from the Internet Movie Data Base, talking about the movie Kelly's Heroes:

"It was during shooting in Yugoslavia 1969, that Donald Sutherland received word, via co-star Clint Eastwood, that his then-wife Shirley Douglas was arrested for trying to buy hand-grenades for the Black Panthers with a personal cheque from an undercover FBI agent. Sutherland recounts this story often, mentioning that when Eastwood got to the part about the personal cheque, he laughed so hard, he fell to his knees, and Sutherland had to help him up."

The lesson, I suppose, is that radical beliefs don't imply common sense.

Steven Frisch

Todd it really is as though there is no connection between your mouth and your brain isn't it? (or perhaps there is, and you really are that dim) Don't you have any pride man?

Mike, I am still on the logical fallacy of George pointing out 'left-wing' violence in his May day post and the lack of 'right wing' violence in this post.

How hard is it really----I still don't understand, why can't you guys just all agree that political violence occurs for all sides, and is to be condemned from all sides?

But I agree Mike, the practice of the regulars is clear; facts don't matter, discussion is combat, grudges are celebrated, ignorance is rewarded, compromise is a crime, and shifting the topic to gain advantage is standard.

I have yet to here one of the regulars here say, "Hey, I have reconsidered based on the new information brought to the table, and I have changed my mind".

George Rebane

The natural segue to 'unions', and specifically public sector unions, occurred early in this comment stream. We recall that unions have historically been a seminal part of civic violence (overwhelmingly representing the collectivist persuasions). So expanding the discussion to include that organized source of ideology-based violence and coercion, along with the role of unions in the public sector, was neither a distraction or diversion from the general discussion.

Steven Frisch

Yes George, it is also not 1937 and the midst of the Great Depression. The idea that a position taken in 1937 can be immediately transferred to 2011 and not be considered in the context of the times is another logical fallacy popular with the right--kind of like quoting Jefferson, Hamilton or Madison selectively.

But, lest I set a bad example, you are right, and I was wrong. The quote is from 1937 not the 1940's, and thank you for the correction. Mea culpa..mea culpa.

Todd Juvinall

Greg, the anecdotal information by the left always trumps the facts of the right. When the country was voting a super majority of democrats at all levels of government during the depression, then of course all the things wrong were caused by the wascally republicans. My grandfather hated republicans and especially those that were the businessmen. He was a democrat until he died at 84 and never changed his view. He loved FDR. When FDR writes that unions are not good for the country, Frisch says FDR was simply uninformed. What a hoot.

Steven Frisch

Todd, stop misquoting me, I never said FDR was uninformed. Facts and you are total strangers.

George Rebane

SteveF, not to aggravate MikeT further, but your allegation that mis/quoting historical precedence is typical a right-wing ploy is a bit of a stretch. Both sides do it with gay abandon, with the inevitable counter that things were different then when the thing in question was done or occurred. These pages are full of such argumentation. However, if it gives you comfort ... .

Todd Juvinall

BTW, Frisch complains that we must put things in perspective regarding their time in the history of happenings. It would appear to me the best example is his particular political bent which is socialism. Started during the French Revolution then modified by Marx and Engels, it has been proven a failure every time. Capitalism has survived and is practiced even by the Red Chinese now because it works. Frisch is simply wrongheaded but what's new? The left has murdered millions if not hundreds of millions through violence since the French Revolution and in the USA the unions were usually run by socialists and commies in the early part of the 20th century.

Paul Emery


So which one of you are going to tell our local school teachers, police and city workers that they are overpaid and are going to lose benefits and their unions are defunct. Talk is cheap, the price of action is colossal. If you have your way someone is going to have to do it. Oh, you better tell the mortgage companies as well to look for a new round of foreclosures. Also, less sales tax revenue and car sales. Todd, why not run for supes again on that platform.

Steven Frisch

George, I would readily grant that all people selectively quote history. That's why it kind of galls me when people are historically inaccurate. Its just currently the right seems to be predominant doing it, through the Tea Party and other venues. As a true centrist, I will grant I will be equally uncomfortable with it if the left is ever predominant again. In short, 'purple case' on a local level or not, America is a center-right country, not a center-left one.

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