Thursday, April 29, 2010

In reply: "Obama Calls In Riot Cops on Peaceful TEA Party Protest"

In reply to: SharpElbows.Net: Obama Calls In Riot Cops on Peaceful TEA Party Protest

Quincy Herald Whig: About 200 tea party members make their feelings known during president's Quincy visit:
"There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president's motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.
When the crowd didn't move and began singing "God Bless, America" and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.
The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.
There was no physical contact, and the officers did not come close to the crowd, but there were catcalls and more than a few upset tea party members, including a woman who shouted, "This is communism!"
McQueen also assisted in asking people to step back to the north side of York. The crowd moved back, the officers stayed for about 15 minutes and left, and there were no other incidents.
"It's just a communication issue. We were trying to get them to move across the street," Quincy Deputy Police Chief Curt Kelty said. "We were just trying to move them back, they complied, and it was fine."
Several of the Quincy Tea Party members thanked Kelty as they left the area."
I know what I read in the local paper cited above, and I know that some, including Gateway Pundit, dispute the story as written.

It'd be helpful if someone had video of that point in time that's referenced in the newspaper story, to see where folks were, and whether the secret service and local police were having difficulty moving folks off the street, as is claimed.

(I'm trying not to prejudge the situation, but I also remember Mr Hoft's over-the-top reaction to seeing the Secret Service Counter Assault Team (Gateway Pundit: OBAMA SECRET SERVICE Pulls Guns On Conservative Tea Party Protesters In Bristol), who is at every appearance of every president, and does their job without regard to the politics of the person they're protecting, and my reply to it at the time: With All Due Respect: Re: OBAMA SECRET SERVICE Pulls Guns On Conservative Tea Party Protesters In Bristol. Let's just say the readings on my hyperbole/exaggeration detector are pretty high, right now.)

I'm not saying that those in law enforcement/security didn't appear to over-react, judging by what I've seen so far--though as I said, I'd like to see whatever video exists of that period just after the motorcade arrived, and throughout both songs--but I'm inclined to give LE/SS the benefit of the doubt, particularly as regards a political motive.

Revised and extended from a comment posted to Sharp Elbows on/at April 29, 2010, 1:40 PM (SE blog time)

Also blogging and h/t (May be updated, if/when I come across interesting reportage): memeorandum: OBAMA & BIG SIS Call In Riot Police on Quincy Tea Party Patriots (Video) (Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit)
Osborne Ink - Nontroversy Born
Why Some Conservative Bloggers Should Take a Long, Cold Shower | The Moderate Voice
h/t: American Power: Obama Goons Send Illinois SWAT Team to Smash Tea Party Patriots!

In reply: Immigration: Apply the rules of the country of origin...

In reply to the following comment:
There is an easy solution to the problems inherent in immigration. We apply the rules of the country of origin to all immigrants seeking citizenship in this country. Say, whatever Mexico required for one seeking citizenship there it would be applied across the board to Mexicans seeking citizenship in this country.
It would be fair to all involved and would ensure that people in this country would be conversant with how other countries control immigration. Whereas a person seeking work would have a green card or what ever the equivalent paperwork required in other countries. It removes political considerations from the equation.
We could take other actions for those seeking political asylum, et al.
- Dennis - April 28, 2010, 7:26 AM comment at the post "American Power: Illegal Alien Superhighway"
Dennis: It's a neat rhetorical trick--and one with which I'd agree, believe it or don't--except that I wouldn't want American law to be determined by and at the mercy of the whims of the lawmaking of foreign countries.

If we were to get serious about enacting/enforcing laws and penalties against hiring illegal workers--against the people hiring them, along with the workers, themselves--I suspect that a whole lotta people who lack proper documentation would self-deport. (I'm a big fan of the E-Verify system, and would like to see it become mandatory for all US employees, perhaps under the tax code.)

Because I'm a liberal though, I'm opposed to denying health and safety benefits and protections to illegal aliens, or criminalizing the act of being undocumented in the US--the AZ law goes too far, in that regard--and I wouldn't be opposed to helping those countries from which we receive the largest number of illegal immigrants to improve their economies, so that there's less financial impetus for leaving one's family and home country in the first place.
Submitted for moderator approval April 29, 2010 9:58 AM (AmPow blog time)

In reply: Only if you're a tea partier... RE: Did the Tea Party win the debate over the N-word accusations?

Did the Tea Party win the debate over the N-word accusations? - Washington Examiner

No, I don't believe Breitbart and the Tea Party crowd have won much of anything, here. For all his bluster, @andrewbreitbart has no more proof that the incident never happened than the congressmen have that it did.

Sure, it would be nice if there were some kinda audio or video footage conclusively proving the words were or were not spoken, but I'm pretty sure that trees falling in the middle of the forest make noise, even when no one captures the sound on tape. And as the great 'pubbie philosopher once said, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

The eye witness testimony of the congressmen--and the tea party protesters, too--is apparently the only evidence there is, and after that, it all comes down to who we each find more credible. It's not surprising that for activists, anyway, the divide between who folks find more trustworthy falls along partisan lines.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First you build the strawman...

"The current media talking point is that ONLY the Tea Party/the Right/Republicans/Conservatives are making threats, against Democrats." - ONLY the Right huh? - The Daley Gator

I won't go so far as to say that no media personality anywhere has made any such claim, but I submit that there are very few who have, and that they're likely not serving a major market... In short, contrary to the claim of this blogger--as well as others who are spinning the case that liberal violence, vandalism, and bigotry are treated differently than conservative violence, vandalism, and bigotry, background circumstances being equal... or somewhere close to equivalent, anyway--it's far from a media talking point.

I asked the blogger who posted that whether he'd be willing to quote a few of those media talking heads saying that ONLY the right are making threats in a comment early yesterday morning, saying:
I take issue with your premise…

Any chance you might provide a few quotes of individuals in the media saying that ONLY the right engage in this behavior? Because I’ve heard a good bit of “the other side does it, too” from the reportage, even involving instances where the broken glass/nasty phone message/cut gas line about which they’re reporting is only found on one side of the equation…

I submit that, when the terms are the same, anyway, the media reports/doesn’t report pretty much evenly. (By which I mean that no, threatening verbiage against Breitbart won’t get the same coverage as threatening verbiage against an elected official, but when it’s elected official / elected official — say Cantor vs Stupak — the amount/degree of coverage is pretty similar.) - ONLY the Right huh? - The Daley Gator, March 31, 2010 at 5:04 am comment
but so far, there's been no response.
Let's go to the video tape:

A collage of Tea Party activist signage over the past year:

A collection of anti-war protester signage and spoken word collected while Bush was in office:

Anyone see a substantial difference between the extremist nutjobs on the left and the extremist nutjobs on the right? I don't, but some folks on the right sure seem to...

Evan Coyne Maloney, the man who created the latter video, had this to say:
Not too long ago, taking to the streets to protest your government was considered a patriotic act.
What we said, if I'm not mistaken, was that it wasn't an anti-American act, and that this country was founded on dissent. Protest pretty much always has been patriotic, but that doesn't mean protesters are free to say and do anything they wish without facing criticism from the rest of us or legal action when appropriate. The impulse and the act of protesting is patriotic; bigotry, violence, and vandalism however, are not patriotic acts, even when committed at otherwise patriotic, all-American events.
But it seems that publicly airing your grievances stopped being patriotic right around noon on January 20th, 2009.

Once President Obama was sworn in, protesting became incitement to violence.
Of course that's ridiculous... It's not protesting against this or any President or policy that's potentially dangerous, but what some fools say and do at protests and elsewhere that may incite violence and other bad acts...
If you’ve opened up a newspaper or watched a cable news program in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen members of the media painting Tea Party activists as dangerous bigots. That’s because disagreeing with President Obama on issues like government spending and high taxes makes you a racist, you see.
What you've seen for the most part is members of the media highlighting individual Tea Party activist words and deeds that they believe have been dangerous or bigoted, as well as other members of the media ignoring or papering over those "few bad apples" and defending the Tea Party as a whole. Disagreeing with the President on the issues has never made anyone a racist. Expressing disagreement with the President on the issues in racist terms however, has.
What’s interesting about the media’s latest freak-out is that there were radicals a-plenty under President Bush. They protested in the streets. They talked openly about revolution and killing. But oddly, the violent imagery used by people claiming to be advocates for peace never registered with the media. They were too busy fawning over Cindy Sheehan.
More whining victimhood about a media that hates conservatives...
Yes, there were protesters (and radicals, too) under President Bush, just as there are under President Obama. And yes, the Tea Party reactionaries and their bigoted, violent imagery has gotten more attention than the anti-war radicals and their violent imagery. But that's because the Tea Party movement as a whole has gotten more media coverage. (Does anyone remember an hour long CNN special on anti-war protesters, where representatives were able to come in and express their views, unfiltered? Yeah, me neither...)
Why the difference in coverage? Did the media cheerlead the protests against President Bush to hurt him politically? Are they trying to marginalize the increasingly powerful Tea Party movement because they favor President Obama’s agenda?
The difference in coverage of the Tea Parties in general isn't very difficult to explain... (It has to do with the fact that one of the organizers is a lobbyist and former US House Majority leader... Just a guess...) And cheerleading? FoxNews hosts fanned out and became featured speakers at Tea Party events throughout the country, running free advertising for Tea Party events for weeks, as well. (It's one thing to cover the story; it's quite another to be the story...) Show me a mainstream news source that did anything like that for anti-war events.

As for why the bigotry and vandalism is getting more coverage, I think that also has to do with who the victims of the behaviors are... Call a former civil rights leader and current US congressman a nigger, and/or spit on the guy, and it's going to make news... When there's a rightwing nut on the internet who suggests breaking the windows at Democratic congressional district offices to protest the passage of healthcare reform--and then there's a series of broken windows at Democratic congressional district offices--the media is going to notice and report on it. First black President as monkey? As witch doctor? Watermelons growing on the Whitehouse lawn? I'm sorry, man, but that stuff is clearly bigotry, and like it or not, it's going to make a difference to we citizens, both in and out of the media...

Yes, Dubya was portrayed as a smirking chimp too, and yes, it wasn't very nice when individuals on the left did it to him, either--but anyone who doesn't understand the difference between portraying a white man as a monkey and a black man as the very same monkey just doesn't have the intelligence one needs to speak in public... It'll be a great day when protesters can portray anyone of any race as a monkey and have everyone take it as a comment on the person's intelligence or protrusive ears, and not a comment about race, but we just ain't there yet...
One thing’s for sure: If there is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, then the media is at least one president too late in reporting the story.
There is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, and both videos above show some... If it's wrong to demonize the president by comparing him to Hitler, it's wrong to demonize the president by comparing him to Hitler... Two wrongs apparently do make a right to some folks, though... If your first response to seeing bigoted signs being held by your own side is to point to bigoted signs being held by the other side, there's something wrong with you. (Now, if you can show me a guy holding a BusHitler sign in 2004 saying that tea baggers holding Hitlerbama signs are crossing the line, I'll join you in condemning the hypocrisy and double talk bullshit of that asshole...)

Free speech is a wonderful thing; you can learn a lot about your fellow Americans by really listening to what they have to say, good or bad.

Oh look... Donald Douglas at American Power has added his two bits: BUSH = HITLER: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...
[Evan Coyne Maloney] is therefore in a good position to recall the signs and symbols of the left-wing opposition to the Bush administration's post-9/11 national security policies. How do they compare to the Tea Party protesters expressing their opposition to Barack Obama's program of national socialism?

Evan has now produced a timely new video splicing together footage that he calls "A trip down memory lane." He describes it as four minutes of nonstop examples of violent imagery and extremist rhetoric employed by left-wing anti-Bush protesters. He writes: "For some reason, despite it being well documented at the time by me and many others, the media chose to ignore it." Indeed.
Here's another photo of the BUSH = NAZI ideological demonization from March 20, in Hollywood:
"Stop Bussh"s Terrorism" (with nazi SS's, natch) photo cut
Recall that "SS" stands for "Schutzstaffel," Hitler's paramilitary security state within the state.
Plus, posted previously, "BOOSH," the racist Bush slur.:
(This one you had to see...)

Racist Bush slur?

Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand the subtle workings of the neocon mind, but that sure looks like an explosion to me... You know... Boom!!?!

Boosh!! go the bunker-busters!!

(As near as I can figure it, Dr Douglas is trying to say this Boosh! sign has something to do with the internet term "Joooos," which I'm pretty sure is a pronunciation thing--often used by Cons like Donald, very much the same way they've taken to using "raaaaacist" of late--to refer to folks on the left who they claim are anti-semitic -- which begs the question as to why an anti-semite would be making fun of himself by using the term... But I didn't major in neocon logic. (I think I read on a wingnut blog somewhere that the term neocon is itself anti-semitic... Which'll be news to Dr Douglas (Americaneocon), I'm sure... unless it's one of those "it's only ok when WE do it," things... like these Nazi/Hitler references, apparently...) ((Neat how I got back on topic there, eh?))

One more thing you probably ought to know about the picture I posted and the one I didn't... They were back to back, on the same sign. So even assuming Boosh!! is in some way a bigoted thing to say, it only counts as one bad liberal apple, not two...
When it comes to the Democrats, I'm ashamed for my country. But I'm not resigned. The tea parties are the salvation of democracy.

And since I know lefties will say "both sides do it." .... No, sorry, there's nothing -- absolutely nothing -- comparable to the secular demonization and violent rhetoric against the GOP during the Bush years, and it contiues today.
Ashamed of your country, Donald?... I seem to recall you having quite the little hissyfit when the First lady said that... Guess it's ok to say, now that a Republican is no longer President. (Con "rules for thee, but not for me," section 102)

And while I understand that YOU feel that conservative Tea Party Hitler signs are completely different from liberal/anarchist/libertarian anti-War Hitler signs, your feeling that way just doesn't make it so... Unless I miss my guess, most people will think all Hitler signs and other over the top, bigoted, violent exhortations are pretty bad no matter which side is responsible for 'em or what you happen to believe about any of it, but I guess only time will tell...

Also blogging:
Evan Coyne Maloney’s Trip Down Memory Lane : Founding Bloggers
Hate, Violence, and a Short Memory - The Republican Heretic