My Photo

« your recently experienced blip open Saturday thread | Main | your golden week and other strange holidays Sat open thread »

April 27, 2014

Comments

help...unable to post.

Money is speech.

Corporations are spiritual beings with religious druthers.

Small businesses are endangered species.

Tigers are rugs, wallhangings, mascots, and spokescartooncats for frosted flakes and any attempt to regulate this use kills free enterprise and the American can-kill spirit.

Fetuses are political props until born, then once born, parasites if on Medicaid.

Rape is God gettin a little on the side.

Nine million folks having health insurance, including most, if they wish, now having affordable access to birth control, is a ruination.

The Negro is better off picking cotton than watching themselves play basketball for the big bucks.

A gun in a church is worth two in a bar.

This land is Cliven Bundy's land, this land is not my land.


... just keeping track of the platform.

senator cruz is just working cleek's law.

it doesn't matter if he bought the tiger skin or not. it pisses liberals off. mission accomplished.

Endangered species are like global warming: just another scientific attempt to restrict Real Americans.

See, once you accept the assumptions, everything becomes clear as day!

Since Cruz, being a lawyer, would know this so it is unlikely that he would pose next to an illegal rug.

This bit doesn't make much sense. Lawyers specialize and I imagine that a great many lawyers, especially long after they passed the bar, wouldn't necessarily recall that the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is a thing or that tigers are endangered and thus fall under its protection. Just because you're a lawyer does not mean that you know and remember all laws at all times.

Other formulations that make more sense:

Since Cruz, being a hyena, would know this so it is unlikely that he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since Cruz, being a jackal, would know this so it is unlikely that he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since Cruz, being a poacher, would know this so it is unlikely that he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since the tiger, having been butchered and made into a rug, would know this so it is unlikely that he would pose between two attorneys for the poaching industry.

Perhaps it's just a trick of the perspective, but doesn't that tiger look a bit *small*?

Other formulations that make more sense:

Since Cruz, being a hyena, would know this so it is unlikely he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since Cruz, being a jackal, would know this so it is unlikely he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since Cruz, being a poacher, would know this so it is unlikely he would pose next to an illegal rug.

Since the tiger, having been butchered and made into a rug, would know this, so it is unlikely it would pose between two attorneys representing the poaching lobby.

Since Cruz, having been stuffed with nonsense by his father, would know this, so it is unlikely, albeit highly desirable, that he would pose between two live, ravenous tigers.

Yeah, the picture is seriously warped.

Kind of amusing that a Senator might get caught in the same trap that can nail some dweeb selling an old piano on Craig's list: That these natural materials have been outlawed, with the old grandfathered in, but who would have certificates of origin for things that didn't require such when they were made? There are old ivory items all over the place, like unexploded legal ordinance. Every once in a while somebody gets taken down for buying one.

Noticed how cows are being driven to extinction? It's amazing how stupid regulators can get, prohibiting farming of endangered species.

some dweeb selling an old piano on Craig's list

this appears to be your latest pet peeve.

as i understand the law:

if you're selling the piano within the US, you're good. prohibition on sale of ivory as a component of a musical instrument applies to international sales, not domestic.

even then it's fine if you have the CITES docs. it would be dead normal for someone selling a piano that was valuable enough to ship internationally to have paperwork demonstrating who made it, when, and where, sufficient to satisfy CITES.

uncle joe selling grandma's pianner that's been gathering dust in the sitting room for seventy years is probably not going to have a problem.

just saying.

Who is the Craig person and how do I sign up for his list?

Noticed how cows are being driven to extinction?

the average African bush elephant is almost 10x the weight of the average steer, much smarter, much more dangerous, and needs many many more times the amount of food per day. they have a gestation of two years and are nursed for another two years after that - then their tusks start to grow.

sounds like a great business to get into.

There appear to be other odd things about this photo besides Snarki's observation about perspective.

Am I mistaken that there is a ravenous tiger and two jackasses posing together even though they are natural enemies in the wild, the latter being a food source for the former?

http://www2.gol.com/users/quakers/Hicks_Peaceable_Kingdom.htm

Also, the jackass on the right seems to be of the sawed-off, legless variety made famous by Tim Conway in his Dorf series of
Scandinavian docudramas.

Did Conway make one called "Dorf Goes Poaching"?

the guardian has some interesting things to say.

although i'm somewhat taken aback by the author's statement about elephants causing their own demise by using up their increasingly limited habitat. um, how did the habitat become limited?

and, for every point, a counter-point.

Forbes magazine, unsurprisingly, advocates farming based on the economics.

and, another counter-point.

i'm curious to know if there is actually any kind of law against farming elephants commercially. people farm all kinds of critters, including some protected and endangered species.

maybe as cleek notes they are just not an animal that are good candidates for livestock.

Not so much a law against farming them, as a law against selling the product of farming them. No legal market for new ivory, even if you can prove it's not a product of poaching.

Maybe Cliven Bundy could bioengineer cattle with ivory tusks, run 'em on BLM land for free, and then Asian ivory poachers with the big bucks would enter the mix out there Nevada-way.

I'd like to see those armed libertarian pussies mixing it up with AK-47 carrying poachers, who wouldn't back down the easy way, like the BLM did.

I don't think putting the womenfolk out front would be a deterrent.

Your average farmed elephant, when fattened for market over a five-week period in those tiny cages like we do chickens and pigs, tend to grow listless from overdosing on antibiotics and lying in their own tons of feces.

Kind of takes the fun out of being an elephant. Somehow, "the elephant in the room" would lose its meaning.

Maybe if corporations could be legally categorized as elephants (a writ of elephantus corpus) instead of people by the Supreme Court, the species would suddenly get the protection they require.

If elephants had their own money, it could talk to conservatives in their language and Republicans would start an adopt-an-elephant drive.

Maybe we could reverse the order of things, since elephants do seem superior and less of a rogue killer than humans, and teach elephants to farm and sell people in tiny cages, lying in their own b*llsh*t, which would be a disposal problem, but it doesn't seem to bother the poor sods who have to clean up after Roger Ailes.

people would still poach elephants even if they were farmed. unlike cattle, there would still be wild elephants running around with free ivory sticking out of their faces. initially, anyway.

but farming would give governments an excuse to relax their expensive and resource-heavy controls on wild elephants. why pay to protect wild elephants if there's a 'farm' just down the road ? and in no time at all, the only place you could find any kind of elephant would be on a farm. aka "extinct outside of captivity".

a glorious victory for the free market. all so a bunch of rich assholes could stroke their pretty carvings.

elephants are actually a somewhat common domestic (but not really domesticated) animal in Asia. here are some interesting observations and facts about that 4,000 year old practice.

Among the highlights:

The first concomitant of keeping elephants is that human deaths are unavoidable.

and:

Far quicker than its bulk would seem to allow, the elephant can kill with its tusks, its forehead, its trunk (either by striking or lifting and throwing), its mouth (by biting, a favorite of cows), its legs (by stomping or kicking), or any combination thereof. Kicks come in astonishing variety with both the front and back legs able to kick away from or into the body, the latter a perfect prelude for yet more kicking under the belly. A killing attack often comes as a combination of charging, kicking, and head-butting so fast and so coordinated that the three components are inseparable to the eye. The domesticated elephant, thoroughly accustomed to man’s presence, is particularly adept.

So, not really so much like a cow. Or, maybe a giant cow, a ten-times-normal-size cow, with a prehensile snout, a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and the temperament of Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.

Apparently, one in three have the temperament to kill.

The biggest market for ivory is apparently China. Why don't they just farm their own, for domestic consumption? How would they feel if everybody in (for example) Brazil decided that the hippest thing to have was a panda rug, and began funding illegal poaching of all of China's pandas?

Why are things so bad in Africa that the best option available to folks there is killing elephants and selling their tusks on the illegal market?

There are more sides to this than REGULATION BAD!!!!

Apparently, in an unregulated environment, China would absorb the global supply of ivory in about a minute. Every single elephant on the planet.

Probably rhinos too, their horns will put the lead back in your pencil, apparently.

How many multiples of "every living elephant" do we need to raise via farming to satisfy the global desire for pretty carved objects?

Maybe people should just leave the elephants the hell alone. Why is that not an acceptable approach?

Can you make an incandescent light bulb out of ivory? That would be totally cool.

Cliven Bundy could bioengineer cattle with ivory tusks and raise them for free on BLM land out Nevada way.

I'd like to see the armed Libertarian pussies reactions when the killer poachers with AK-47s show up to rustle his new breed for the boner producing properties.

Somehow I doubt putting the women out front would serve as deterrence.

Your average farmed elephant tends to become listless and non-responsive when put on the same five-week fattening course in tiny cages we offer to chickens and pigs. Once you've shot them up with, tranqilizers and antibiotics and let them lay there in their own daily one ton crap production, it kind of takes the fun out of being an elephant, for everyone.

No one likes to talk about the "elephant in the tiny cage". It's just not the same elephant.

Now, your free-range elephant tastes better and is more nutritious, but once they've run rogue through some suburban backyards, the zoning regulators show up and we know the armed militia can't be far behind (their women).

Maybe the Supreme Court will screw up the language some more and decide corporations are elephants, as well as people with religious convictions, and the species will finally get the protection they deserve.

If elephants were each permitted to start political action committees with unlimited funding levels, all they would have to do to produce the speech that might save them is hand over the money to the usual suspects, so-called conservatives who know speech when they spend it, as long as you shout it out in $1000 bills.

Anything less of course and it's "I can't HEAR you."

The NSA could be put to some good use by letting them track the merchants and the end-users of the ivory the world over, then send in Navy Seals to capture them, let Sarah Death Palin kind of work them over in the bathtub down in the sub-basement of her Cabinet Department, the Bureau of National Stupidity Standards, and then bioengineer THEM to grow ivory tusks.

Off to the African savanna and veldt they go to wander fully tusked and naked and we record what their fellow poachers do to them.

I suspect the elephants would enjoy that sort of regulatory overkill.

Ya ever notice how free market economists and poachers seem to work together hand in glove.

Hey, either do it our way and raise more elephants for us to kill, or the remaining elephants get it.

Every particle in the universe must be fully commercialized or we're just going to have to kill it all.

Please pay us and we'll stop.

Give an elephant a fish and you've irritated him for a day. Teach him how to make nuclear weapons and he'll be set for life.

(The Capcha is acting pretty funky.)

Funny thing about human beings and their attitude about the worth of other human beings.

If you had a person with a set of ivory tusks wandering around, they would be worth more than your average human and so they wouldn't last very long, given the bounty on their tusks.

They'd be killed because they were worth so much.

Or at least placed in a cage for circus barkers to make some money from.

Because of the rules of economics.

On the other hand, your average tuskless human with some trivial pre-existing medical condition in the United States, under pre-Obamacare accounting, would be deemed not worth insuring, unless you had some substantial ivory to hand over, by the back-office types in the health insurance companies and the medical industry and you'd be left to die or squeezed ivory-less by the bill collectors, whichever came first.

You'd be killed because you weren't worth it.

Because of the rules of economics.

By the way, my cattle with tusks scenario for Cliven Bundy could be enriched if he figured out a way to get his new-fangled elephant cattle to sit on his eggs in a nest high in a tree. Like Horton.

Why are things so bad in Africa that the best option available to folks there is killing elephants and selling their tusks on the illegal market?

How 'bout we put a big tariff on all Chinese imports and send to funds to Africa to hire all the folks at/near elephant habitats to be armed guards?

Benefits...
1. Stimulates African prosperity.
2. Reduces poaching to near zero.
3. Flat screen TV production moves to Bangladesh.

Win-win.

It's all about the incentives, people.

ooops... for "send to funds" insert "send the tax funds collected" above.

Itchy "post" finger syndrome.

senator cruz is just working cleek's law. I'm still laughing!

And references to abortion in the post itself? I thought that was reserved for the comments . ..

Why are things so bad in Africa that the best option available to folks there is killing elephants and selling their tusks on the illegal market?

Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that elephants destroy crops, so African farmers are not fans, with all that that implies.

I don't know enough to know how to solve that. I am a fan, an enthusiastic one in fact, but I have to admit I see those guys' point.

I'm heading for Nevada to graze my elephants on my land, and claim my rightful water rights.

I wonder if my murder weapons are bigger than the ones the dipshits are carrying, and who are going to stop me at the checkpoints, on my f*cking roads.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2014/04/29/send-in-the-rangers/

The gun loving Republican cocksuckers gave us the weapons and big clips and then they block the roads and they want to question me?

What are they, nuts?

How about a bullet in the f*cking mouth.

Have your women duck, assholes.

Judge Thomas may want to save them for later so he can put a pubic hair on their Coke cans and curtail their college admissions, not that these white trash are up to it.

No one's mentioned paper tiger yet?

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

Debbie,

News like the link about militias in Nevada are extremely unhappy. They bring to the mind the dissolution of Soviet Union. Also then, distant areas experienced such formation of independent paramilitary forces which usurped the police power. It is quite clear that we are witnessing a similar event. The federal government is not, de facto, exercising the ultimate power in the area concerned, and state is also not in control of the militias which have now the actual power in the area.

If I were the governer of the state, I would summon the National Guard to disband the militia. Were I Obama, I would send in the 101st Airborne to counter the terrorist threat. (An exception to Posse Comitatus Act made during Bush years.) I would not be facing re-election anyway, right?

If this sore is left to fester, new areas with similar lawlessness will pop up throughout bible belt.

The federal government is not, de facto, exercising the ultimate power in the area concerned, and state is also not in control of the militias which have now the actual power in the area.

IMO the feds and the state are, wisely, standing down from what would otherwise spiral into unnecessary violence. They have other means available to settle their issues with Bundy, and will no doubt do so.

In the meantime the militia boyos (and girlos, no doubt) are showing themselves to be annoying obnoxious knuckleheads and a general PITA. Also, a non-stop source for point-and-laugh humor. Advantage, feds.

If the roadblock thing doesn't go away pretty soon, I suspect the hands-off approach will end. You gotta know when to fold 'em, kids.

Likewise, if anyone ends up dead or hurt.

No soldiers like toy soldiers. Or, in the amazingly always-appropriate words of good old Diogenes:

Real men, nowhere. But in Sparta, real boys!

If the roadblock thing doesn't go away pretty soon, I suspect the hands-off approach will end. You gotta know when to fold 'em, kids.

Of course, the least possible amount of force should be used. However, temporary situations have a tendency to become permanent. If the roadblocks, and the militias keeping them, don't go away within a month, they are the status quo. Each day that goes on without overwhelming federal response is a day towards a permanent right-wing enclave in Nevada.

And tactically, the proper response is "overwhelming". You should show the militia that they will not stand a chance. That way, bloodshed can be avoided.

The militia consists of about 1000 persons. The proper counterforce should be about a brigade reinforced with combat helicopters and a fighter wing. As a plus, you would see which officers will fail to comply with orders, which makes it possible to dismiss them afterwards.

being Nevada, maybe the NV Natl Guard has access to some of the alien tech @ Area 51. they could fly some saucers over the Bundys and beam them up for some good old fashioned probing.

Cliven Bundy is just like Rosa Parks...
If Rosa Parks had tried to ride the bus without paying and then pulled a gun when questioned.

On the topic of affirmative action I think it is extremely valuable for universities to be a place where the young have their minds opened to a diversity of people and ideas. When I was at Cal Poly there were a fair amount of foreign exchange student from Latin America and the Middle East. There were almost no African American students. I am of the opinion that there were so few not because of inability to academically qualify but more the financial cost of going to college. Personally I would like to see more scholarships for African Americans, call it restitution for slavery if you like.

I do have a problem with preferential treatment for getting work. First it was Black and then Hispanic and Asian and also Women owned businesses. It did seam bit like only 'White Men' were discriminated against.

However, temporary situations have a tendency to become permanent.

When the cameras go away, the militias will go home.

Each day that goes on without overwhelming federal response is a day towards a permanent right-wing enclave in Nevada.

The people-who-are-not-Cliven-Bundy who actually live in NV don't appear to be intereted in that happening, so I don't think it will happen.

And tactically, the proper response is "overwhelming". You should show the militia that they will not stand a chance. That way, bloodshed can be avoided.

You're talking about people whose "tactical response" is "put the women in the front". I'm not sure an overwhelming response from the feds would result in no bloodshed.

It seems like bloodshed is the point, from their perspective.

The feds don't seem to be interested in playing that game, and IMO that's wise.

Long story short, I think you give the militia folks here too much credit. They have no plan for setting up a rogue polity, they just want to play army and be seen as standing up against the feds. Or, the feds in their mind.

They wanna be Wolverines, just like in the movie. Or William Wallace, or Benjamin Martin, or some other Mel Gibson movie role, preferably with cool costumes.

Other than Bundy, nobody in NV seems to want them around. When the cameras go away and Hannity finds another shiny chew toy, they'll pack up and go home.

That's how it looks to me.

In the meantime, the fewer people who get shot, the better.

In the meantime, the fewer people who get shot, the better.

What? No leftist soft-spot for genocide? No blood-lust? What kind of liberal are you?

"What? No leftist soft-spot for genocide? No blood-lust? What kind of liberal are you?"

IMNSHO, one of the more rational ones. :)

"You're talking about people whose "tactical response" is "put the women in the front"."

OTOH, you're talking about a government whose "tactical response" has involved burning people alive, and shooting those women, a government whose every agency has paramilitary forced better armed than the guys who took Normandy beach. So I think advising overwhelming force is kind of redundant.

Quite glad they drew back from killing a bunch of people, and sated their blood lust on the cattle.

I do have a problem with preferential treatment for getting work.

When preferential treatment in the labor market against racial minorities and women ceases then come to me and we shall discuss the preferential treatment you have alleged.

Otherwise, there is nothing we have to discuss.

Thanks.

I was only referring to state and federal work and special loans. It sure is hard to control the free market. I have been blessed and have no personal reason to complain. What bothered me is how the system was being gamed by people who did not need help. Many of the contractors In worked with made there wives owners of their business to get preferential treatment and my boss had no need to get preferential low interest loans for his business. I guess I need to be content with how things ave5rage out.

I suspect more than a few businessmen regretted making their wives 51% owners of their businesses.

OTOH, you're talking about a government whose "tactical response" has involved burning people alive, and shooting those women

Yup. Waco sucked.

Anyone disagree?

So did OK City. Lots of dead women and children that day, too. Remember?

Anyone disagree?

So maybe everybody should chill the f***k out. Right?

Quite glad they drew back from killing a bunch of people

Likewise. It would seem that some people and organizations learn from their mistakes.

"It would seem that some people and organizations learn from their mistakes."

Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Waco, for instance, was a result of the feds learning from their mistakes at Ruby Ridge; Weaver had gotten off because they left enough of the 'crime scene' intact to contradict their version of events. The media got in, and took photos, which were used at the trial to prove the government had rearanged the 'crime scene' to match their account, before taking the forensic photos. In fact, the Davidians were aware of this, and one of their repeated demands before they'd surrender was that the media be permitted in, to document conditions, before the feds could have access to the compound. The feds flatly refused to accomidate this demand.

You've got to admit, they sure didn't leave anything to contradict the official story at Waco. Even made things that survived the fire vanish, according to the Texas rangers.

If you're looking for an argument from me that Waco was anything but a disastrous, tragic, clusterFUBAR, you will not get one.

There were only about a million ways the feds could have gone about things differently there. Nobody needed to die.

I wasn't asking for any such argument. Rather, I was simply pointing out that, while organizations learn from experience, sometimes they learn the "right" lesson, and sometimes they learn the "wrong" one.

For instance, what would you say the lesson of Watergate was? Don't abuse your position, or some such. Nah, the lessons of Watergate, so far as politicians have been concerned, are:

1. Records you don't keep can't come back and bite you.

2. Don't hire people whose consciences may be stronger than their loyalty.

3. Never stop stonewalling.

Not the best lessons to have learned.

The feds learned two lessons from Waco, IMO. The first was a good lesson: Don't be quick on the trigger finger, don't kill a bunch of people, no matter how outraged you are that they don't do what you say.

The second, not so good: If you can smear somebody, you'll get away with things you'd never get away with doing to somebody who still had a good reputation.

Cliven Bundy is still alive, for the moment, thanks to the first lesson. But the second lesson is at work, too, as you demonstrate.

Whoa, Brett! Who are you accusing of "smearing" whom - among the denizens of ObWi, since you use the term "you" - in this case? Coming from someone whose opinion was worth anything, that would be a smear itself. Coming from you - ludicrous!

But the second lesson is at work, too, as you demonstrate.

It's unclear to me what your point is here.

Who is being smeared?
Who is doing the smearing?

I'm also curious to see what lessons the militia crowd has learned over the last 20 years or so.

Apparently, distancing themselves from nutjobs is not among them.

The only organization that "smeared" Cliven Bundy was Fox News -- by letting him talk for himself.

--TP

Hey, Bundy was just being descriptive, not prescriptive.

If you can smear somebody, you'll get away with things you'd never get away with doing to somebody who still had a good reputation.

David Koresh was an evil monster. The paranoid militia right has been taken in by this guy, much as some on the left were taken in by Jim Jones.

So tell us all the "good stuff" about deadbeat Bundy. The guy is a thief and a stone cold racist. What's not to like?

Gladwell just had a piece about a memoir about one of the survivors of Waco, Clive Doyle, and it has some interesting stuff. I suppose that since this is bobbyp and me, it will be filed under internecine leftist infighting, but the article suggests a more nuanced view of Koresh.

It is useful to compare the Branch Davidians with the Mormons of the mid-nineteenth century. The Mormons were vilified in those years in large part because Joseph Smith believed in polygamy. But the Cornell historian R. Laurence Moore, in his classic book “Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans,” points out that the moral hysteria over the Mormons was misplaced. The Mormons were quintessential Americans. “Like the Puritans before them, the Mormons linked disciplined labor with religious duty,” Moore writes. “Mormon culture promoted all the virtues usually associated with the formation of middle-class consciousness—thrift, the denial of immediate gratification, and strict control over one’s passions.” Polygamy, the practice that so excited popular passions, was of little importance to the Church: “First, the vast majority of nineteenth century Mormons did not practice polygamy, and many of them found it distasteful, at least as a way of conducting their own lives. Second, those who did practice plural marriage scarcely exhibited the lascivious behavior made familiar in anti-Mormon literature. Plural wives were commonly the widowed or unmarried sisters of the original wife.”

So why were nineteenth-century Americans so upset with the Mormons? Moore’s answer is that Americans thought the Mormons were different from them because the Mormons themselves “said they were different and because their claims, frequently advanced in the most obnoxious way possible, prompted others to agree and to treat them as such.” In order to give his followers a sense of identity and resilience, Joseph Smith “required them to maintain certain fictions of cultural apartness.” Moore describes this as a very American pattern. Countless religious innovators over the years have played the game of establishing an identity for themselves by accentuating their otherness. Koresh faced the same problem, and he, too, made his claims, at least in the eyes of the outside world, “in the most obnoxious way possible.”

The risks of such a strategy are obvious. Mainstream American society finds it easiest to be tolerant when the outsider chooses to minimize the differences that separate him from the majority. The country club opens its doors to Jews. The university welcomes African-Americans. Heterosexuals extend the privilege of marriage to the gay community. Whenever these liberal feats are accomplished, we congratulate ourselves. But it is not exactly a major moral accomplishment for Waspy golfers to accept Jews who have decided that they, too, wish to play golf. It is a much harder form of tolerance to accept an outsider group that chooses to maximize its differences from the broader culture. And the lesson of Clive Doyle’s memoir—and the battle of Mount Carmel—is that Americans aren’t very good at respecting the freedom of others to be so obnoxiously different. Many Mormons, incidentally, would say the same thing. When the Mormons settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, local public opinion turned against them. Joseph Smith was charged with perjury and adultery, then arrested for inciting a riot. While he was in custody awaiting trial, in 1844, an armed mob stormed the prison and shot him dead.

If anyone has read the memoir or the other book that Gladwell tags in the piece, Jayne Docherty's “Learning Lessons from Waco”, consider this an invitation for a front page review. (of the books by you, not of you for reading the books...)

"The only organization that "smeared" Cliven Bundy was Fox News -- by letting him talk for himself."

Letting him talk for himself, and then editing what he said before broadcasting it. The very first question you should ask, when you see somebody shown saying something outrageous on TV, or quoted in a newspaper or magazine, is this: What did he say before and after the part they wanted you to see?

Did you think to ask that?

I'm not saying Cliven Bundy is some kind of plaster saint. No, he's an ornery old man who doesn't care what you think of him, and doesn't conform his language to your preferences.

But he's not what he's being painted as, either. He's something more complicated: A real human being.

But he's not what he's being painted as, either. He's something more complicated: A real human being.

He claims "ancestral grazing rights" on federal land. Where "ancestral" goes back about 140 years. Because his people were there before the feds were. Except they weren't.

He doesn't recognize the federal government as having any authority over federal land. Because...., I'm not sure what.

He's a nutty old coot. And, his charming eccentric nuttiness happens to align perfectly with his interest in not paying for the use of federal land.

Imagine that!

And, he's happy to host a few hundred dudes with guns, who are happy to take up sniper positions on BLM agents. Who gives a shit about them? Just a bunch of government sheeple hacks, right?

And he's happy to indulge in all the face time Hannity and the networks want to offer him.

So yeah, something more complicated.

I hope he enjoys his fifteen minutes, and I hope nobody gets shot.

He doesn't care what I think of him, and I care even less about what he thinks, about much of anything. The sooner he's off the stage, the better for everyone.

Cliven who? Those are the words I'm looking forward to hearing.

Gladwell just had a piece about a memoir about one of the survivors of Waco

That was a very interesting and, I thought, well written piece.

Koresh was basically an apocalyptic weirdo. The woods are full of them. I've numbered some among my close personal friends.

He was also apparently a charismatic guy, and was the focus of a less-than-healthy personality cult among the Branch Davidians. The apocalyptic weirdos of my personal acquaintance are not so charismatic, but again, Koresh was not particularly unusual in that regard.

He may have also been participating in "spiritual marriages" with underage girls. That's not so good.

You don't need to kill a lot of people and burn their homes to the ground to deal with charismatic apocalyptic weirdos who have an unsavory taste for young girls.

I'm still trying to figure out why the ATF continues to exist. Just my two cents.

Brett, your first link is gone:

"VIDEO: Cliven Bund..." This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by jasonturner2

Your second link is mildly interesting: Bundy begins by saying he was "in" the Watts riots, continues with the stuff that makes him an unquestionable racist trying to blame the War on Poverty for reducing black people to a state that justifies his own bigotry, and then -- then he tries to explain that Mexicans are all right: they work hard, they have "better family structures than some of us white people", and (and this cracks me up, coming from Cliven the Freeloader) "don't tell me they don't pay taxes".

So, first thing: an avuncular bigot is still a bigot; when he's a seditious, free-loading bigot to boot, his folksiness is no more than treacle on a turd.

But I'll give you this: Fox News, foster home of the anti-Obama, anti-science, pro-billionaire freedom-lovers who need their anti-librul fix as a between-Limbaugh snack, did indeed do Bundy a disservice. I don't watch Fox (it leaves a stain on my TV) but I don't think they aired him advocating something perilously close to "amnesty".

But HOW did they dis-serve Uncle Cliven? By hiding his positive comments about "Mexicans" from libruls like me, or from the "conservatives" who actually do watch Fox?

--TP

I suppose that since this is bobbyp and me, it will be filed under internecine leftist infighting...

Another infantile revisionist lickspittle lackey of renegade Trotskyite renegadism rears his ugly head and has to be dealt with I see. :)

Gadwell penned a nice easy read. Let's just say, I'm no fan of the guy. I can only say he relies heavily on one witness (who is still a true believer making a living off this--that makes him credible I guess) and does not cite any of those who left the cult, nor their testimony.

I guess that didn't fit his narrative.

Did the ATF bungle this? Well, yeah. Could Koresh simply have surrendered and had his day in court? Well, yeah to that, too.

Gladwell asks us to "understand" where these types are coming from. Well, OK. But I have no illusions as to the type of society we would have if these types obtain any kind of significant power.

And I have no sympathy for child rapists. None.

He could have surrendered. He chose not to.

The feds didn't give Fred Hampton that choice.

Let the Show Trials begin!

Thanks, LJ.

"I'm still trying to figure out why the ATF continues to exist. Just my two cents."

A number of reasons. During the Reagan administration, it actually looked for a little while like the BATF, (They're not the ATF, despite their TLA envy; You can't drink them, you can't smoke them, and apparently can't even fire them.) were going to be abolished, but it developed that none of the other federal law enforcement agencies were willing to absorb their personnel. So they continued as a quarantine camp for the sort of people who want to be BATF agents.

And, of course, while they've done some truly horrific things while not engaging in general harassment of the industries they regulate, it must be remembered that there are a lot of people in D.C. who WANT those industries harassed, and aren't all that offended by horrific things so long as they happen to people they don't like on principle.

One of the reasons why Waco happened, after all, is that the people responsible for Ruby Ridge got promoted. That didn't happen by accident, somebody in power thought Ruby Ridge was good.

Tony: Understand that Fox isn't terrifically conservative. It's been a outlet for the GOP establishment, not conservatives, and while the GOP establishment finds it necessary to pretend to be conservatives, the only mode of resistance to overweening government they approve of is electing establishment Republicans, and then passively waiting for THEM to do something.

What happened in Nevada scares the GOP establishment as much as it does the Democratic, they've got no reason to want people to like Cliven Bundy.

WTF?

The other side explains.

Breaking up is hard to do.

Can't somebody give these guys a reality show or something? Or maybe a paintball club membership?

"Booda Bear"? Sounds kinda "Jersey Shore" to me.

I don't know if these guys are aware of it, but there's a real military they could join if they wanted to get all tactical and everything.

It'd be funny, except these guys are running around Nevada with guns.

bobbyp, thanks. I'm not as nonplussed by Koresh as Gladwell is, but I do think that when there is such a big CF, it is usually cause people can't see where the other is coming from. That doesn't mean I think that Koresh is the person that he is described, but I do think you had a toxic brew of swinging manparts confronting him. Of course, unlike Brett, I don't attribute this to some sort of leftist tendencies in the forces that were arrayed against Koresh.

And I have my questions about Gladwell, so I think that you might enjoy this as much as I did.

In other Second Amendment / Freedom™ related news...


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-27243115
On the night of the shooting, Mr Kaarma and his partner Janelle Pflager left their garage door open, and Ms Pflager left her purse in the garage in order to bait intruders, she told police.

They set up motion sensors and a video monitor, prosecutors said.
When the sensors went off just after midnight and they saw a man on the monitor screen, Mr Kaarma went outside and fired a shotgun into the garage without warning several times.

It is unclear what the teenager was doing inside in the garage.

Mr Kaarma's lawyer said his client planned to plead not guilty...

"Of course, unlike Brett, I don't attribute this to some sort of leftist tendencies in the forces that were arrayed against Koresh."

I don't think of the BATF as a left-wing agency. A fascist goon squad, sure, but they're just doing the bidding of whoever is in power, like a good little goon squad.

The attack on the Davidians, "Operation Showtime", they dubbed it themselves, and surrounded the compound with cameras to capture it in cinematic glory, (Later claimed to have all malfunctioned, if you can believe that.) was a PR stunt. The BATF was in a bit of trouble at the time, they'd been caught running a "Nigger hunting license" stand at a white supremacist get-together. Their funding hearing was coming up, and things weren't looking good.

The Davidians looked like a good set of patsies to take down for the cameras. It wasn't any more ideological than that.

Yes, LJ,there is a lot of "can't see where the other people are coming from" going around.

It's something we can't shake.

I recall when I first started commenting here. Hilzoy had penned a "let's renounce and denounce the infantile New Left and especially the Weathermen" entry, and I entered the fray to defend them, making that very same points that Gladwell made in his essay.

Gary Farber just about lost it.

Win some. Lose some.

But when you ask somebody to "try and understand" a group like the Branch Davidians, can we not turn this around and ask: Can you try to understand the BAFT? They lost four of their own for what? To serve a court order? How insane is that? They undoubtedly have wives and kids, and pet their dogs. They undoubtedly also have a group identity.

Can we not ask then to "understand" a Palestinian youth throwing rocks at Iraeli soldiers? Or a young Al Qaeda recruit? Or even Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Or Mao?

After all, they're humans too.

When does "try to understand?" cross the line to become "whose side are you on"?

And when can we pull out the guns and start firing?

It's not easy, but we have to make it so. There you are.

He could have surrendered. He chose not to.

They had to destroy the village in order to save the village.

Those are the words I'm looking forward to hearing.

I am with you, there.

As much as I think that Cliven Bundy merited some exposure, I think Jon Stewart's ridicule was plenty. Cover the situation, note that he's a guy with peculiar, inconsistent views (which is not that different from a dismayingly large portion of our population, in peculiarity and inconsistency) and then move on.

In short: his fifteen minutes of fame were up a few days' worth of airtime ago. He's not a guy to make a hero of. Or, really an arch-villain.

The comments about the domesticability of elephants are well-taken, and tend to underscore (IMO) Jared Diamond's observations about what cultures had inherent advantages in e.g. the presence of domesticable wildlife.

Even domesticated animals can hurt or kill you. With animals such as elephants, any apex predator feline, canine or ursine, or any of the primates bigger than a spider monkey, the odds go way up. Also: ostriches, emus, and anything that has the word "buffalo" in its name.

Even a deer can mess you up.

I haven't been commenting or even patrolling comments much lately because a) unbelievably busy at work, and b) we've sold the house, are packing up and moving our home to another state. Not sure how the work situation is going to get resolved, but living where we live is killing us. So we're moving to the country, next door to my farmer dad. How we pay the bills is still a question, but one we're negotiating to get answered.

He's not a guy to make a hero of. Or, really an arch-villain.

Quite right. In the grand scheme of things, he's just a mildly extraordinary jackass.

Best of luck to you and your family, Slart.

__________________

I watched the YouTube links Russell provided of the now two "factions" of Bundy paramilitary insurrectionists and, heck, they talk just like my mimic attempt two days ago that Brett fell for, though in my head I gave it more of a Christopher Walken cadence to the thing.

(Brett going to run away and hide. Wait, that's my plan, too! Be funny if we ended up in the same place. I'm heading for someplace more civilized with universal healthcare, so I spose the likelihood of adjacent safe houses is unlikely. Somehow, I imagine Brett in a vaguely tropical, third world setting strolling debonairly and expatriotly down the boulevard, his chapeau set at a jaunty angle as he heads for the market to pick up some fava beans and a nice black market Chianti for dinner, ;) )

Back to the video, I missed some of the flavor of the dreadfully touching (yever notice how sociopaths tend to tear up as they explain what their weapons might have to do to you in case their high principles aren't being met) and earnest self-importance displayed in the two on-camera strategery sessions.

I especially liked the "You've violated my persona crede" speech in the first link directed at the Oath Keepers who decided oathkeeping was slightly safer down at the local Motel 8 with the special cable porn package (marketed during sieges) and wet bar --"you just don't come back in and expect forgiveness; you might get shot in the back cause that's what they do to traitors on the battlefield."

I notice no one chimed in and asked that they dial it back a little from "11" but I guess that's the difference between communing with decent people and shooting your mouth off in the midst of uncivilized, overfed dimwits.

Now, I wish I was there during that first video. There's something about that good-looking guy doing most of the talking; he's a little too charismatic and articulate (the others look like the kind of yahoos Barney Fife would round up to deputize when Aunt Bee's Ladies' Auxiliary was suspected of spiking the lemonade at the town social. They have all of the accoutrements of self-important force attached to their belts -- your compasses, your whistles, your handcuffs, your cell phones, your walkie-talkies, cause who knows when the gummint's black ops is going to take down the nearest cell phone towers, your pistol, your bullet's your clips, all a jangling round your ample spare tires, and your micro-sized condoms for when you might feel like gettin some from the womenfolk who could be used as shields at any moment and there's nothing like a roll in the hay to say "so long, baby."), .... anyway, if I were present, it would have been fun to raise my hand and suggest that guy's goading to violence could be a sign that he's one of them gummint agent-provocateurs working undercover trying to foment some cracks in the ranks, you know, and then sorta step back and kinda watch the others as they get a slightly new angle on this leader-boy in their pea brains, just to see what happens.

Regarding Waco, yeah, a terrible cock-up. Should of left it to the Texas Rangers who could have used their experience from the Comanche Wars to pacify Mt. Carmel. Here's the wikipedia entry on it:

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

Complicated, in my mind, by human beings no doubt but then you bring in the weaponry on both sides and you've got human beings with full Second Amendment Rights and that way lies insanity cause, you know, Guns don't kill people, guns kill people.

I think the Mount Carmel (a history of corpse theft, too, what a bunch if special types they were) thing would have been more manageable if it had been just a knife fight.

or maybe a totally ordinary jackass, getting an extraordinary amount of attention.

When does "try to understand?" cross the line to become "whose side are you on"?

I think the french is tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner. I don't advocate that one always does it, (and there are things that are unpardonable), but trying to understand why things went so wrong makes a lot more sense to me than to try and figure out how the scales read. And while I agree that Gladwell has his problems, I didn't take the article as a please to 'try and understand' Koresh, I took his point to be his subtitle, which was 'how not to negotiate with believers'. As liberals, and as part of a multicultural network of people, the constant challenge is how to negotiate with believer. While Gladwell doesn't tell us how to do that, he suggests out how not to do it, which is valuable in and of itself.

"Can you try to understand the BAFT? They lost four of their own for what? To serve a court order? How insane is that?"

How insane is it that, what, 80 guys donned SWAT gear, drove out in a cattle car, and launched an armed assault against a church, opening fire on the inhabitants thereof, to arrest somebody who went on regular walks, for questioning about a non-violent offense?

I mean, forget the child abuse charges they ginned up after the fact, which weren't even within their jurisdiction. The warrant issued on the basis of a claim the Davidians might not have paid a tax. A BS claim the BATF themselves fabricated.

This whole thing got started when a box of demillled hand grendades broke open at the local post office. The Davidians had a business going, sold these at flea markets.

The BATF launched a paramilitary assault against a church, to investigate somebody making hilarious nicknacks. At some point you have to say, "Sympathy? Maybe you should have tried not being batsh*t crazy in the first place."

"...but trying to understand why things went so wrong makes a lot more sense to me than to try and figure out how the scales read."

Understand and agree.

However, for most, the applicability of this valuable axiom seems somewhat limited at times.

Take 9-12-01 for just one example.

Gladwell has also, as he has stated, returned to his Christian Mennonite roots. Could it be a bit of special pleading going on here? Perhaps his primer should be written for the true believers and how they should negotiate "with outsiders".

Just sayin" rel="nofollow">

One thing I learned from Gladwell's article is tear gas is a powerful fire accelerant. The building was engulfed in flames to fast to be just shoddy construction not up to code. All this time I had believed the Branch Davidians died in a suicide pack like Jonestown.

a non-violent offense?

if you shoot at a federal agent, even if the agent shot first, you have committed a violent offense. and once you start shooting back, things will escalate. and nobody in the US has the firepower to take on the government.

blame the govt for starting it, if you want. but once the Davidians started shooting back, they guaranteed themselves a war.

if, as you assert, they were doing nothing wrong, their best bet would've been to let the agents in, let them find all the nothing you insist was there, and send them home empty-handed.

or maybe a totally ordinary jackass, getting an extraordinary amount of attention.

He's a little too good at it, or at least pursues it too far, to be totally ordinary.

I have a neighbor who's a totally ordinary jackass. The result of that is that almost no one on the street talks to him. That's about it.

Bundy's got a lot more moxie - a completely undesirable kind of moxie, of course, but in a mildly extraordinary amount, none the less.

If Bundy's jackassery were totally ordinary, American's wouldn't use the phrase "THE Civil War." We would have had about five of them by now.

But I want him to go away as much as the next guy. I don't dispute that the attention he's getting is extraordinary. I just think he's in the 98th or so percentile for jackassery.

I don't know if these guys are aware of it, but there's a real military they could join if they wanted to get all tactical and everything.

Nah, it's way better to be in a militia, don'cha see? The "real" military is for suckers - it's too much like a job, if you ask me. But in your own lil' militia, it can be all tacticool, all the time.

I'm thinking, during the next Republican Administration, of letting it out for public consumption that I have a cache of weapons and ammo in my apartment, not to mention some livestock penned in the corner of my living room, which violates the covenants, and then issuing forth with various left-wing hippie religious proclamations, perhaps a plea for foodstamps, and frequenting flea markets selling the spare parts for bongs which could double as rudimentary machine gun clips, and then once the stage is set, I'm going to cease paying my rent, and then I'm gonna wait for the local Sheriff and his armed boys to show up, and then I'll alert FOX News and right-wing militias across the country on FACEBOOK to my plight and see how long it takes them to come to the rescue and maybe I'll let Hannity into the building for a face-to-face interview to expostulate my various theories on economics, race, underaged sex (or any at all), and the lamestream media and we'll see what happens.

Maybe Brett will make a detour from his escape plan to live with Brick Oven Bill in Belize and come help me out in my quest for fully armed freedom?

There will be a white Republican President so I wonder, I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder-er, if the passion will be there on my behalf.

Cleek, the BATF's excuse for their attack on the Davidians was the suspicion that they might have committed a non-violent offense. This is the context you have to place the BATF deciding to launch a paramilitary assault on the Davidians in. It was the BATF that decided there would be violence. The only decision left to the Davidians was whether it would be one-sided.

Would the Davidians have been better off if they hadn't shot back? Quite possibly. But isn't this a rather difficult decision to expect somebody who finds themself on the recieving end of unprovoked gunfire to make? To bet their life on the notion that the people who showed up at your door and began shooting at you would stop before finishing the job?

So, I have sympathy for the Davidians, who were the subject of an unprovoked attack. I have very little for the BATF, who conducted the attack.

Do try to remember who went looking for a fight that day, and who had it brought to them.

Could it be a bit of special pleading going on here?

As I read it, Gladwell is arguing more that BATF made a major mistake in assessing the level of danger that the Branch Davidians posed to themselves and others.

Which is not a special pleading at all. I mean, don't we want to avoid making errors in judgement about groups, particularly where needless violence might result from said errors?

BTW I grew up squarely in Amish and Mennonite country, and have friends who are Mennonite. Being Mennonite, in itself, doesn't encourage one to make excuses for other religious denominations. On the contrary. Mennonites are, in my experience, extremely critical of other religious denominations. Also of themselves.

None of which speaks to what might be motivating Gladwell, but I don't really care about that all that much. If his story is factual, then it's factual irrespective of his motivations. If it's incompletely factual, for whatever reason, there is a way to remedy that.

It involves a bit more effort than simple well-poisoning, though.

Slarti,

As I read it, it struck me as more of how the BATF was totally on the "wrong wavelength" to communicate effectively with the Davidians, and provided some guidelines as to how "those people" think...not their assessment of the danger.

The sect members were heavily armed. How would you have assessed the "level of danger" in their place?

We have been asked to "put yourself in their shoes". OK...and I think the Bureau totally f'd it up.

But some others on the scene were wearing shoes, too. And they were carried out in body bags.

"But in your own lil' militia, it can be all tacticool, all the time."

...and you can drink beer on the job.

"The sect members were heavily armed. How would you have assessed the "level of danger" in their place?"

No different from any rural community in Texas?

Look, the Davidians actually extended an invitation to the BATF to come in and look around. The BATF's response to this was to accerate the schedule for their military assault.

I guess it's a good thing the Davidians didn't offer tea and cookies, too, there might have been high altitude bombing involved.

It involves a bit more effort than simple well-poisoning, though.

Taken as given. And in return, I should think an assessment of the essay would also be a bit more than uncritical acceptance.

I have no more time to dive deeply into the facts surrounding this matter than you do. I can only say that the description of the group's serenely peaceful existence did not include any testimony from those who left, fled, or were forced out.

But I guess that makes me biased.

Good luck with your move.

The sect members were heavily armed. How would you have assessed the "level of danger" in their place?

My dad is heavily armed. How do you assess his level of danger?

I would think that a key factor in assessment of danger would be past episodes of violence. Do you suppose there are any of those on record?

This whole discussion reminds me of a recent one where myself and some others were discussing whether a cop who punched a drunk guy outside a bar (and then arrested the guy, with a little help from 3 or 4 other cops) had done the appropriate thing, or whether he had overreacted to the point where he could be charged with assault. Sure, the perp could have done things differently to avoid the trouble he got in. That, however, is not the point at all.

If law enforcement cannot deal with citizens without assaulting them, shooting their dogs, breaking into the wrong freaking home and killing (or getting killed by) their neighbor, or setting their house on fire, I suggest that perhaps some training on restraint and conflict resolution might be in order.

If the BATF had kept its distance and Korersh survived, what do we imagine would have been the range of possible alternative outcomes.

My favorite would be Koresh declaring victory after the various levels of government stood down to permit him a further amassing of weapons and captive adherents, a spreading of the Davidian Gospel, first in the local Waco community, with even the Bush family being advised by the Secret Service to repair to their home environs in New England for safety's sake, and then eventually opening Mt. Carmel communities in all 50 states and in addition to the militant, quasi-military religious nature of their mission, establishing a political movement which would have thrusted Koresh first into the House of Representatives as a Republican from Texas, the Republican beast knowing a winner when they see it, and then having a run at the Presidency with surprising success because there is nothing the American people like more than a guy who becomes a martyr and defeats the Federal government and then cleans up Dodge.

It would be fun to watch Jon Stewart go after Koresh with useless satire, failing all along the way as darkness descends over the country, and then maybe be treated to the spectacle of Andrew Sullivan first reacting with enthusiasm to Koresh's conservative limited government low-to-no tax policies and eliminating Federal spending and then, Sullivan again, flailing pointlessly in a panic and disillusionment as he's hauled away for imprisonment by Koresh's anti-gay police, his last missive at the DISH being devoted to questioning Koresh's private security detail which has been disappearing former Branch Davidian adherents for exposing his early practices in Texas and now starting in on liberals everywhere.

Sullivan might start his last post this way: "While I have been in full-bore support of my taxes being cut to the bone, there are certain recent moves by the Koresh Administration I find troubling, as an Englishman"

My dad is heavily armed. How do you assess his level of danger?

Is there any reason to think he's a kook of some sort? Do I have any reason to go into his house (for reasons he might not like)? If the answer to both of these questions is "no," then the level of danger he presents is very low.

That's not to say I necessarily agree with how the BATF would have answered those same questions with regard to Koresh and the rest of the Davidians. But that's the context either way.

I can only say that the description of the group's serenely peaceful existence did not include any testimony from those who left, fled, or were forced out.

If you have anything from that cadre that is relevant, please link it.

I don't excuse any wrongs were actually or purportedly committed by the Branch Davidians. I instead say that there less fatal ways to pursue the rectification of these wrongs.

I would think that a key factor in assessment of danger would be past episodes of violence. Do you suppose there are any of those on record?

Well, there is this:

After being exiled to the Palestine, Texas camp, Koresh and his followers eked out a primitive existence. When Lois Roden died in 1986, the exiled Branch Davidians wondered if they would ever be able to return to Mount Carmel Center. But despite the displacement, "Koresh now enjoyed the loyalty of the majority of the [Branch Davidian] community."[6] By late 1987, George Roden's support was in steep decline. To regain it, he challenged Koresh to a contest to raise the dead, going so far as to exhume a corpse to demonstrate his spiritual supremacy. Koresh went to authorities to file charges against Roden for illegally exhuming a corpse, but was told he would have to show proof (such as a photograph of the corpse). Koresh seized the opportunity to seek criminal prosecution of Roden by returning to Mount Carmel Center with seven armed followers attempting to get photographic proof of the crime. Koresh's group was discovered by Roden and a gunfight broke out. When the sheriff arrived, Roden had already suffered a minor gunshot wound and was pinned down behind a tree. As a result of the incident, Koresh and his followers were charged with attempted murder. At the trial, Koresh explained that he went to Mount Carmel Center to uncover evidence of criminal disturbance of a corpse by Roden. Koresh's followers were acquitted, and in Koresh's case a mistrial was declared.

"My Dad is heavily armed. How do you assess his level of danger?"

Depends. Is he in arrears for a long time in paying his property taxes? If he rents or leases, is he behind in his payments? Does he walk to the mailbox wearing nothing but boxer shorts with pictures of the risen Beelzebub embroidered on them, and an AK-47 strapped to his back, while humming the guitar solo to Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever"? Are there teenaged girls coming and going from the premises all hours of the night and day who aren't family members, despite being Ted Nugent's girlfriends?

I'm not heavily armed (for this comment; in others, I'm a regular Joe Pesci), but I'm giving notice soon that I'll be ceasing to pay rent on my apartment, where I plan to remain indefinitely and in the corner of the living room, and against the covenants, in which I'm raising livestock, domesticated and not, in pens, but I've alerted armed freedom lovers around the country of my plight on my Facebook page and expect bout a thousand of them to show up shortly to set up checkpoints around the perimeter; maybe Vlad Putin will parachute some reinforcements in, they'll blend in well, plus, I'm planning on drinking continuously during the siege to fortify the (C)onstitution, so yeah, I expect some restraint from the Sheriff when he and his boys show up to evict me and I'm sure they'll show up unarmed, won't they?

I'm all for disarming the cops, on duty and off.

Then the citizenry can lay down their arms, right?

Forgot to mention the putrifying corpses I keep around for religious laughs.

I've grown used to the smell, but I notice the adjacent apartments haven't been rented out since, well, let me see, it was a Thursday I brought the bodies in here and yeah, it was a Friday a year ago since I had neighbors.

Just trying to provide context so the authorities will be understanding and objective in their deliberations.

But isn't this a rather difficult decision to expect somebody who finds themself on the recieving end of unprovoked gunfire to make?

no. it's the easiest decision in the world.

it takes almost no brain power to figure out that if you see dozens of federal agents with guns and radios in your front yard you are not going to shoot your way out of the situation. you are not going to win a shooting war with the government. you are simply outgunned.

that's life.

an AK-47 and your own interpretation of your pocket constitution will not save you, once you start shooting at law enforcement.

Except, of course, you left out of your description the "shooting at you" part. The "some of you already wounded" part.

I find this is one of those big divisions in politics, whether you have to let police kill you if they're so inclined.

Brett: Understand that Fox isn't terrifically conservative.

I will take your word for it, Brett, because you know what "conservative" means better than I do. What a True Conservative network would look and sound like is unclear to me.

It may also be unclear to you: many self-proclaimed "conservatives" will tell you that you can't be a True Conservative unless you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you don't agree, your argument is with them, not with me.

What I'm fairly sure of is that Fox is resolutely, loudly, dial-it-up-to-11 anti-liberal. "Anti-liberal" may not be the whole recipe for modern American "conservatism", but it's the basic ingredient.

Maybe the TEA Party is conservative in your view, or maybe it's a tool of "the GOP establishment", but Fox promoted the heck out of it for some reason. The TEA Party is nothing if not "anti-liberal".

BTW,on BATF:
If the True Conservative pitch to a librul like me was that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is a bureaucratic monstrosity, we might find common ground. I don't get why alcohol, tobacco, and firearms need to be under the purview of the same "bureau". If the pitch was that BATF is an over-militarized gang of thugs (like the Bundy militias, except on Uncle Sam's payroll) we could definitely find common ground -- at least on the over-militarized part.

Where things fall apart is this: conservatives (True or not) seem to argue that BATF excesses prove that we should privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare because those are parts of The Government, too. "Government is the problem." When your price for fixing a problematic piece of The Government is acceptance of your seamless world view about the whole of government, you overreach -- if you'll pardon the expression.

--TP

But not, I guess I should add, a left-right divide. More of a unrepentent statist vs individualist divide.

I find this is one of those big divisions in politics, whether you have to let police kill you if they're so inclined.

This is nonsensical. What does "have to" mean under such circumstances? "If you don't let me kill you, I'll kill you!"

I think cleek's point isn't about what one "has to" do, but what the best course of action is. It really doesn't matter whether or not you "trust" the people shooting at you. The point is that, if you do shoot back, against overwhelming force, you are virtually guaranteeing that the police (or whoever) are going to kill you.

If you surrender, you at least have a chance, even if not a particularly good one.

Except, of course, you left out of your description the "shooting at you" part.

irrelevant.

when you are faced with an overwhelming force, and you're responsible for the lives of dozens of unarmed innocent people, you don't escalate. unless you're a delusional narcissist who thinks standing up for your pride and your yadayadayada is worth your life and the life of everyone standing around you.

the armed Davidians chose to escalate.

you'd think a 'church' would know all about that 'turn the other cheek' stuff.

turn the other cleek

"I find this is one of those big divisions in politics, whether you have to let police kill you if they're so inclined."

Is that what you find?

I find that "throw your weapons out, let the women and children go, put your hands up, and come on out" takes both the guessing and the work out of the guess work.

Again, the problem is everyone is armed, police and citizens, so the calculations, or rather the miscalculations, get a little hazy in the heat of the moment.

Again: "I find this is one of those big divisions in politics, whether you have to let police kill you if they're so inclined."

Yeah, I think something like this finding was percolating through Trayvon Martin's mind as he was being stalked by an armed para-police force.

Of course, the police hadn't arrived yet.

Usually, in an argument, you can reach for car keys in your pocket and excuse yourself and retreat, to Belize, or where ever, but now that so many are carrying deadly firepower on their persons (or their corporations, who are people too) and if certain types have their way, we'll be required to carry guns at all times in all venues, so that "reach", that false move" of the hand to the car keys in the pocket, now becomes, in the killing game conservatives want to make of life, some high stakes guesswork. Do I shoot now, or wait until he pulls out his car keys, which sometimes reflect the light like some weapons, and then shoot?

My thing, if I carried, would be shoot early, shoot twice, and shoot straight.

I do need to start a militia, because I've got this big swinging dick lingo down perfectly.

In a bar, of course, or in a church, the guesswork is made more complicated on account of either alcohol or religious inebriation.

I instead say that there less fatal ways to pursue the rectification of these wrongs.

"Rectification"....how">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yan'an_Rectification_Movement">"Rectification"....how that word brings back memories! But yes, that is eminently reasonable.

As for links....

There is no vitriol that can match the denunciation of one cult by an associated one.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

July 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast