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May 22, 2015

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A companion piece:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/republicans-hate-obamacare-even-if-they-their-own-obamacare-plans

A recent example of deliberately applied FOX ignorance and the malignity it is engendering in this country:

http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2015/05/blind_man_obamacare.html

Other "parties" that have deliberately sewn malign ignorance and rhetoric via media and have followed through with intention:

Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Milosevic, Hutu chieftains, including against their moderate Hutu fellows, which I believe they called HINOs, whatever conservative interests run any number of countries, including Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq (now and before), Saudi Arabia, Israel, racist Southern Democrats and their Ku Klux Clan brethren, and now, the Republican Party on all fronts on every issue across the board.

All of them worked without constraints at what they set out to do.

The Workers' Party of Korea seems to have thrived for quite some time now...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_Party_of_Korea

As the count said, I think a lot of people have gone far with deliberate falsehoods as part of their party platform. It's just human nature to want the world to conform in every respect to one's particular ideology or religion or both. And if there are enough people who feel that way, a political party can thrive.

Fred Clark (who I think is sometimes overly biased himself, but that's another story) had a pretty good piece on how tribalism determines some people's beliefs--

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2015/05/15/we-must-be-careful-about-what-we-pretend-to-be-how-tribal-cheerleading-creates-new-tribal-dogma-and-changes-the-tribe-to-conform-to-it/

More from Bartlett a couple of years ago:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/13336-a-former-republican-insider-begs-for-sanity

More, earlier than that:

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1601/groupthink-right-would-make-stalin-proud

Bartlett may think he is still a Republican, but he's dead meat, like a reasonable, moderate-by-comparison Hutu, in the eyes of this murderous John Birch monstrosity that has body-snatched the Republican Party, which was bad enough before.

Every party in a democracy uses "disinformation" to some extent in its campaigns. But once they are actually trying to govern, they usually keep the misinformation to a few narrow areas. Because otherwise they find it almost impossible to do things which actually work as intended.

Things are, in some respects, easier in an autocracy. Nobody there cares, when making policy decisions, if the masses are mistaken in what they believe or in what respects. At most, you want to make sure that their mistakes will help whatever you are trying to get them to do -- just because it takes fewer of your limited resources to get them going that way.

"But once they are actually trying to govern, they usually keep the misinformation to a few narrow areas. Because otherwise they find it almost impossible to do things which actually work as intended."

I'm not sure that's true. If you want to help the rich, you will tell the average voter that tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone. And you'll keep saying that, whether it's true or not. So it depends on whether the stated goal of a policy is the same as the actual goal of the policy.

Bartlett on Obama:

http://www.salon.com/2014/10/21/reagan_adviser_bruce_bartlett_face_it_obama_is_a_conservative/

I have grudging respect for Bruce Bartlett, but he could have gone to his boss Ronald Reagan and begged him to not announce his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, don't pull bits of paper out of your pockets and lie about fat black welfare mothers, don't fire the air traffic controllers and destroy Archie Bunker conservative labor unions and start the 35 year flattening out of wages for the lower and middle classes, and don't send a cake to the Iranians or arms to the murderous Contras.

Send a cake to Rock Hudson instead.

And whatever you do, quit licking Jerry Falwell's, Rush Limbaugh's and Lee Atwater's faces.

Reagan's strategic winking at the basest elements of the conservative cesspool in this country got this thing going.

All to secure the votes for tax cuts.

Blow it up.

Yeah, everybody does it. Time for the other side to do it bigger, better, and even more devisively to settle the hash once and for all.

On things like the Jade Helm conspiracy theory, I think it probably does hurt the Republican Party as a whole, but that depends on whether such craziness drives away more voters than it energizes. Once in office, it might not hurt to have your voters think the opposition is not only wrong, but willing to seize power if they ever get back in office. I don't think it's good for the country, obviously, to have crazed lunacy as part of the national conversation, but there is something blogger Jon Schwarz called "The Iron Law of Institutions"--people act to preserve their power within the institution, not to help the institution as a whole. The institution in this case could be either the Republican Party or the country as a whole.

Regarding Jade Helm, apparently conservatives are now solid with military manuevers across the West, as long as sage grouse are the only ones placed under martial law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/21/us/politics/management-of-western-bird-becomes-focus-of-house-clash.html?_r=1

Fox isn't in the policy biz. they're in the business of telling viewers that the left is wrong, always. sometimes they have to get on the wrong idea of reality to make that point. they're cheerleaders; they provide some bouncy blonde spectacle and give the fans simpleminded slogans to shout at the opposing team.

the wrong idea = the wrong side

That is, they know a lot of stuff that just is not, objectively, true. Feel free to offer up examples of any party and any ideology -- whether they turned out to work well when tried, and under what constraints (e.g. enforced information isolation).

The People's Temple of the Disciples of Christ?

Ah, the joys of an open thread....

Did everybody notice that Ireland amended their constitution (by nationwide popular vote!) to allow gay marriage? How the world is changing -- the best efforts to stop time in its tracks notwithstanding.

I wonder how Fox News is reporting that.

They're using an AP story. I detect no particular slant.

I guess that means the battle is truly over -- if Fox isn't trying to make something out of it.

We decide - we can't be bothered to report.

Things are, in some respects, easier in an autocracy. Nobody there cares, when making policy decisions, if the masses are mistaken in what they believe or in what respects.

This is, in fact, incorrect. For example, in the former East Germany, the Stasi and the communist party leadership were extremely concerned about the public opinion and devoted considerable resources to learn about it. In a closed society, the leaders cannot know how close the country is to an armed uprising, because censorship keeps the malcontent bottled up. Thus, if you wish to know what the people are thinking, you need to get your secret police to find out.

In extreme cases, this means that the politicians of a democratic society are able to pursue more unpopular policies than dictators. They have a greater understanding on how much margin they have before they risk losing power. In addition, they don't need to be afraid of personal consequences of losing power. They will do fine in any case. This means that they can afford much more risk.

If one actually reads the paper, it becomes clear that the questions were hand picked to give a desired result. Many folks of a leftish bent like to have an easily-digestable headline which gives them permissikn to dismiss the opinions of non-leftists. "Studies" like these provide such headlines .. and little else.

It seems to be a "thing" on teh inturwebz to scream "FOX NEWS DID NOT COVER X!!!" when a simple google search can show otherwise. (An example exists in this very comment section...)

The interesting thing is that it's an expression of the commenter's ideological certitude about "Fox", with no basis in any kind of empirical fact. The person making the claim is simply jerking his knee.

The questions in the paper headline-quoted above are of a similar vein : pick questions that you are likely to get the "wrong" knee jerk response for Fox News viewers and the "right" knee-jerk response for, say, Daily Show viewers.

I coild include the question "Did Fox New cover the Irish vote?" In a survey and "demonstrate" that reading Mother Jones causes "ignorance", thatnks to the biases inherent in the question.

You could say the same thing about "The LIEBRAL MSM didn't cover X!" claims.

Or even "Obama didn't call Benghazi a terrorist attack". That one worked out so very well, didn't it?

"You could say the same thing about "The LIEBRAL MSM didn't cover X!" claims"

So? We have an actual example of a knee-jerk false claim about Fox right here right now. How 'bout folks take responsibilty for what they say... and learn from doing so? Excusing bad behavior because "all the other kids do it" shoild be left on the grade school yard.

'Or even "Obama didn't call Benghazi a terrorist attack".'

Not sure how the Obama admkns Benghazi flubs are relevant here. What difference, at this point, does it make?

This probably happened because the lady in question was suffering from the mid-partum blues, I expect, rather than anything FOX may have covered or not:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/holly-solomon-ran-over-husband

shorter DRH: they cheated because they picked things everyone knows Fox lies about!

Given the entire Universe of things that a news org *could* report on, it seems rather ridiculous to complain that they didn't cover your own pet issue.

In addition, those of X persuasion, that tend to watch "news for Xers", are unlikely to be terribly well informed as to which news items are ignored by "news for anti-Xers".


There are plenty of lies & distortions out there without having to invent reasons to be outraged, unless you really, really want to be outraged, and are just picking a convenient excuse.

There's certainly no point in being upset because a story you care about didn't get covered, or because some set of people are uninformed.

But when people are misinformed, that's a different discussion.

If you don't know that business X is six blocks north of here, that may be inconvenient. (Not to mention bad for business X.) But you can always ask for directions if you decide that you want to go there.

However, if you think you know it is 10 blocks south-east of here? Then you have a problem -- because you aren't likely to ask for information until you have gone out of your way. And even once you get there and don't find it, you can decide that it either went out of business or didn't exist in the first place. So you still don't ask for directions.

Interesting point wj.

Have you ever had someone ask you for directions, and then you see them do almost the exact opposite?

"Which way to the interstate"
"Just go straight to the next light, then turn left; it'll be just a few blocks ahead of you then"

And they turn right at the light. Now, perhaps they just wanted to get their bearings, and they had some other stuff to deal with. Or perhaps they mix up left and right. Who knows?

Or, just perhaps it's a case of "ask a LIEBRAL, and do the OPPOSITE" (as if I was, or that anyone could tell); in which case they're going to drive a long long time before they come to an interstate.

People are weird.

Just testing.

I'm always fascinated by those who say that they just ask someone (liberal, conservative, whatever) for advice/opinion and then do/advocate the opposite.

I keep wondering if any of the folks they know, who are aware of their clever approach, ever try to mousetrap them by suggesting something that they don't want, just to get the "do the opposite" guy to push for what they actually want. Sort of like how you can get an amzing number of Republicans, even when officially conservative, to oppose a conservative proposal just by having Obama come out in favor of it.

We have an actual example of a knee-jerk false claim about Fox right here right now.

Can you quote this claim? All I've seen is someone wondering how they would cover the Irish vote, someone demonstrating an example of how they did cover it, and someone opining on their not "making something out of it."

I'd like to know if THIS is going to interfere with Obama's efforts to impose martial law in Texas?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/26/obama-promises-federal-aid-flood-ravaged-texas/

It says FEMA personnel will be on hand, which can only mean FEMA death camps are right around the corner.

I'm all for executing parasites who make off with my tax money, but I hope they don't hurt the six Texans I happen to think a lot of.

I wonder if the FOX pigs will report this and if Big Hog Ailes is haranguing his troops in the morning briefing to hammer home suspicious goings-on with FEMA and other federal personnel in Texas, like, I don't know, converting deserving conservative Texans into soylent green so at least Obamacare enrollees have something to eat after they are thrown off the insurance rolls and go bankrupt?

Can we expect Alex Jones to feature photographs of jackbooted FEMA thugs ushering elderly Texans away from flood waters into unmarked vans for their appearance before the Death Panels.

One can only hope.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/lindsey-graham-iranians-are-liars

Just wanted to chime in, a la Lindsay Graham, that I've run across plenty of cracker Confederates in seedy South Carolina bars hustling this and that and pound for pound, male and female alike, the only time they don't lie and cheat at cards, darts, and thumb-wrestling is when they recount the last time they accompanied their granddaddies to the lynching tree. Racist jagoffs, even the women, each and every one, despite all the black children they sired via the Strom Thurmond Dating Hotline.

Best to shoot first and ask questions later with these types. You'll never be sorry.

FOX murders, we seek vengeance.

One can only hope for an outbreak of swine flu in this country.

Cool yer jets, Count. You're coming too close to the "no ad hominem, also, don't be an asshole" line.

As for the substance of the actual post:

I don't think Fox News is a tool of the Republican Party, I think the Republican Party is, much of the time, a tool of Fox News.

Look at the upcoming GOP primary season, and remember what it was like in 2012 and 2008, with one candidate after another surging to the front of the pack and then falling back, and the profoundly unserious, sound-bite driven way they campaigned. This doesn't look like politics, it looks like reality TV.

And that's why we get things like voting to repeal Obamacare 56 times. It's a phenomenal waste of time and energy, and makes it impossible for Republicans to actually have *policies* about health care issues -- but it works on Fox News.

[...]
The reliably liberal Frank Rich appreciates better than most Fox’s essential harmlessness. In a piece published last year in
New York, he concluded that aside from infuriating liberals, Fox flexes little political power. The median age of a Fox viewer is 68, eight years older than the MSBNC and CNN median age, and its median age is rising. “Fox is in essence a retirement community,” Rich writes, and a small one at that!...
[...]

What Liberals Still Don’t Understand About Fox News

"and makes it impossible for Republicans to actually have *policies* about health care issues"

If I were a violin player rather than an asshole, I'd play one.

Fox flexes little political power

is an assertion without much evidence to back it up.

Cool yer jets, Count

Yes, seconded.

It's actually against the posting rules to call for the assassination of any person, excluding actual military targets. Repeatedly stating that large groups of folks deserve killing comes too close to that line for comfort, IMO.

So, please, no further calls to shoot first and ask question later, and no further hopes for swine flu epidemics.

I think you see what I'm getting at.

I think we all - or at least most of us - know you have no plans to kill anybody, and are not literally calling for a program of targeted assassinations, but I think it makes it hard for a lot of folks to participate in the conversation.

It's like trying to have a conversation when one of the parties at the table is yelling through a megaphone.

Maybe cleek can cook us up a new pie filter. For "shoot", substitute "cream pie", used as a verb. Then, angry commenters can let their freak flag fly, and the rest of us can have a laugh.

But better still, just dial the harsh-o-meter back from "violent" to something like "polite anger".

Please.

What russell and the Doc said.

That aside:

It's actually against the posting rules to call for the assassination of any person, excluding actual military targets. Repeatedly stating that large groups of folks deserve killing comes too close to that line for comfort, IMO.

Makes me think of: "You have another target in mind? A military target?"

My mind works (or doesn't, sometimes) in mysterious ways.

Maybe cleek can cook us up a new pie filter. For "shoot", substitute "cream pie", used as a verb. Then, angry commenters can let their freak flag fly, and the rest of us can have a laugh.

heh.

reminds me of this classic Seinfeld scene.

I so hope Scott Walker is the GOP's nominee.

During the interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch, Walker defended a bill he’d signed in 2013 that required women get the ultrasounds.

“The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea,” Walker said. “Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons who are 19 and 20, and we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”


Well, I'm not married to it, so OK.

I think we're going to need more cream pies.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/augustus-sealy-pastor-shooting-lgbt

Armed by the conservative junta with both rhetoric and guns.

Fallows on FOX. He takes Doctor Science's view that FOX somehow encumbers and hurts the Republican brand, preventing it from governing, rather than the Republican Party using FOX as its tool.

I think the relationship is much more symbiotic and harmful to the country rather than to just the beleaguered Republican Party, who last I looked, cleaned liberal clock in elections across the board.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/how-fox-news-is-hurting-the-republicans/393485/

OK.

A difference in degree in what follows, but conservatives in other times and places have finagled the media to spread their message of hate for the Other:

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

http://www.rwandanstories.org/origins/cheap_tricks.html

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/radio_nazi_germany.htm

Fallows on FOX. He takes Doctor Science's view that FOX somehow encumbers and hurts the Republican brand, preventing it from governing, rather than the Republican Party using FOX as its tool.

I think the relationship is much more symbiotic and harmful to the country rather than to just the beleaguered Republican Party, who last I looked, cleaned liberal clock in elections across the board.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/how-fox-news-is-hurting-the-republicans/393485/

OK.

A difference in degree in what follows, but conservatives in other times and places have finagled the media to spread their message of hate for the Other:

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

http://www.rwandanstories.org/origins/cheap_tricks.html

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/radio_nazi_germany.htm

Sorry for the double post, among other things.

Maybe this guy should be splattered by the cream pies of liberty:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kory-watkins-arrest-lawmakers-open-carry

The law passed and was signed by the Governor at this guy's behest.

He actually will shoot someone in the head.

In the meantime, he's probably getting Federal flood money too, now that Ted Cruz and company got their feet wet because of a little rain despite voting against Federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

We're in the hands are armed psychopaths..

Can't we at least add a hardening agent to our cream pie fillings to stun them while we run for our lives?

But Count, isn't the whole point of the cream pies to make their hands so slippery that they can't hold on to their guns...?

... from my wet, sticky hand!

Can't we at least add a hardening agent to our cream pie fillings to stun them while we run for our lives?

I say line the streets with banana peels and let them take their chances.

I'm completely unclear on how this guy's comments fall short of felony assault in TX. I'm likewise unclear on why folks there put up with it.

Different strokes, I guess. Stay the hell out of my state, cowboy.

Good questions.

View this video of a confrontation forced on a Texas Democrat last year in his State House Office by the same group. The anti-American c*cksucking conservative pig at the end of the video, off camera, can be heard threatening the lawmaker, edging him to make a move.

http://kxan.com/2015/01/14/panic-buttons-coming-to-texas-house-after-open-carry-confrontation/

He's the prizewinner threatening to hang all lawmakers who voted against the open carry bill just signed by the subhuman filth they elected Governor down there.

Never mind his baby-voiced little twit colleague in the video whining about "tyranny of the Constitution". When he gets done cleaning my toilet with his tongue, try and make a citizen's arrest on me, Gomer.

They had to install "panic buttons" in the State House office to indulge these murderous mofos, so that when they showed up brandishing their weapons, the reps could call the Capital Guard.

What are they gonna do?

Why doesn't Texas just put the Comanche back in control and be done with it.

This is what the NRA and conservatives want for the rest of the country as well.

We have to put up with a8sholes carrying guns openly.

I won't put up with it.

Someone's going to be shot. These weapons are meant to be used.

If it's a Republican, they'll pass more laws to indulge the dicks*cking gun fetishists; maybe you can carry two guns and a bandolero, and a live grenade for good measure.

In the article I cite, the Texas Democrat who was confronted and who is against open carry says he owns more guns than his attackers put together and even has a shooting range on his property.

He was restrained during the confrontation.

I wouldn't have been. I hate conservative bullying pigfilth like that.

By the time I was done with that f*ck, Watkins, the corridors of the State House would have been a hell of a mess. Cream pie filling (mine) and blood (theirs) all over the place.

Mr Watkins would have been rushed to the emergency room with a panic button shoved so far up his fundament, even his mother's Medicaid for shitheads wouldn't have covered it.

And after he was safely in the ambulance, I'd look up his swine mother and his subhuman children too to as a part of my outreach to low IQ constituents.


I do not support the Count's comments when they call for killing people. Even if as a form of humor, however bitter.

I support and share, completely and without reservation, his contempt for punks who think a gun gives them the right to bully other people.

Rep Fischer was, in fact, more than measured in his response to the folks who paid a visit to his office. All parties involved owe him a debt of gratitude.

The Count did not actually "call for" killing people, but let that pass.

Politeness of language is over-rated. People have been known to justify torture in polite and civil tones, for instance. And other people have been known to denounce them with immoderate stridency. It's not a close call which of those kinds of people are more offensive -- or more dangerous.

--TP

I've never once requested endorsement for my views by anyone on these boards in my infinite time at OBWI.

I say what I say. Take it or leave it.

There is no one here I hold in more esteem at OBWI than the true human being, Russell, which is not to say that my esteem for anyone else should be minimized, including the fine remaining conservatives who call this home.

But these, what are they, they call themselves conservatives, who are ascendant, are insane.

Their mistake is arming everyone.

Any of Watkins' or the Governor's armed threats against decent Americans would be responded to in self-defense, and self-defense only, in fine conservative fashion.

We have to live with panic buttons now to humor the armed filth in the Republican and Libertarian Parties?

No.

Never.

Count makes a very good, yet somewhat indirect, point as to why it's such a GOOD idea to hold the Jade Helm exercise in Texas.

They're practicing the re-taking of Fallujah, currently held by heavily armed fundamentalist crazies.

Me, I think that's too much trouble; just bust out a 1Mt warhead and be done with it. But, by all means, practice on Texas first.

BTW, anyone know Dubya's GPS? Asking for a friend.

The Count did not actually "call for" killing people, but let that pass.

Fair enough.

I'm just trying to keep ObWi a place where everybody feels comfortable hanging out.

But these, what are they, they call themselves conservatives, who are ascendant, are insane.

Yes, I agree with this.

To me, personally, when the conversation devolves to threats of violence and mayhem, then the conversation is over.

If your response to the political process yielding results that you don't like is to start waving your guns around, then we have a problem for which the political process is no longer a remedy.

If folks really want a war, then let's have a freaking war. Put up or shut up. And, the folks who really want a war can expect, and will receive, return fire.

Short of that, it's time for the Kory Watkins' of the world to put their toys away and STFU.

They are childish @ssholes, as are the the folks who pander to them for their own gain and advantage.

That's my point of view on the whole thing.

There is no conversation to be had with people whose approach to "dialog" is "do what I say or I'll kill you". There is nothing to discuss with them, there is nothing about them or their point of view that I have any interest in understanding.

When the guns come out, the conversation is over.

What Russell said.

Especially this:

"If your response to the political process yielding results that you don't like is to start waving your guns around, then we have a problem for which the political process is no longer a remedy."

I tried, but failed, to find a video I saw years ago of a two-man panel of Grover Norquist and Tucker Carlson vetting some Republican candidates under bad lighting for the House and nearly the entire thing was taken up by Norquist getting the assembled idiots to prove their gun bonafides, which each of them fell over themselves doing, even the lone woman on the panel who was so eager that she said she owned TWO AR-15s, and a cabinet full of other weapons.

I think one guy shrugged and said he might own a pistol but wasn't sure where it was. He was never heard from again. Any conversation directed his way was over.

The underlying theme of the questioning directed by Norquist (with his bow-tied simp sidekick Carlson giggling like a smitten schoolgirl, not that there's anything wrong with smitten schoolgirls) was NOT self-defense, but readiness for action against the political process not yielding their desired results.

The irony that they want to arm the rest of us too and THEN be IN the government they hate seemed to have escaped them, but such is the fall of civilization in the deadly hands of nincompoops.

About the same time, I saw Norquist interviewed on C-Span regarding some feature of Federal Agricultural policy stop conversation completely by saying IF things did not go his way, well then, we have five million heavily armed ranchers and farmers out there to do the talking.

Do we now? Tell that to the Transcanada Pipeline Company, but of course conservatives are happy to use government force and violence on behalf of their monied constituents, corporations.

Now look, I'm pretty sure Norquist carries. How heated can discourse become when one of the debaters is an armed as*hole? Not very, because there is the implicit statement that the armed one may have to shoot you if you cross a line they don't divulge upfront.

Like money being declared speech, a gun in the public square is an explicit threat that conversation stops when the armed ones, or the rich ones, say it does.

If a guy, a stranger to me, is walking down the sidewalk toward me with a pistol strapped to his belt, my behavior changes. I don't sus his intentions, I don't know who he is, though I'd probably recognize George Zimmerman. Do I have to use an effing panic button. Do I have to cross the street to indulge his implicit threat? Do I need to stow the Skittles and be ready for something? What, I can't shoot him a dirty look now, like Wyatt Earp might, which is a normal everyday bit of free speech discourse, because I need to worry that the poor sensitive armed f&ck might shoot me.

I'm not living like that.

I'm a whackjob, no doubt, for the purposes of the internet, but the pressure to arm society beyond all common sense, especially in public venues, by the NRA and their Republican associates is in fact a highly intentional and organized effort to stop conversation on public policy in its tracks.

We're there now.

LJ kindly unbanned me, as he doubted he'd be available on the 8th. I'll try not to abuse that.

"To me, personally, when the conversation devolves to threats of violence and mayhem, then the conversation is over."

Then it seems to me that political conversations must start out over. Political discussions are, ultimately, (And pretty directly in this specific case.) about what the law shall be. Which is to say, when the government shall invoke threats of violence and mayhem.

Literally, you're discussing under what circumstances the government will threaten to shoot people, and you think threats have no place in such a discussion? "Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!"

Advocating a law is threatening people with violence.

Which is not to say that the dude who stuck his foot in the door shouldn't have been in a world of legal trouble. This was just a general comment about the idea that threats have no place in political discussions.

I'm not sure if there's any value in pursuing this, but I'll give it a try.

If I don't stop for a stop sign, I will pay a fine.

Watkins' rep voted against open carry, and Watkins wants him hung.

I see a distinction there. Perhaps you don't.

In any case, whatever. I don't live in TX, so as a practical matter it's not my problem.

Dudes like Watkins don't get much traction where I live, and I assure you I will do whatever I am able to do to keep it that way.

To each his own. If Watkins' approach suits you, fine with me, just keep it there where you live and stay the hell out of my state.

Thanks.

Welcome back, Brett.

"Advocating a law is threatening people with violence."

Kory Watkins and the Governor of Texas prove your point in the most literal terms by advocating for open carry, making it a law, and then for good measure, threatening to kill those who advocated against making it a law.

Now, I'm done (for now) because I find this dead end of absolute logic to be dimly lit and poorly ventilated.

I'm claustrophobic.

Hey, a link to Juanita Jean:

http://juanitajean.com/annie-get-your-gun/

I haven't heard yet if the Governor of Texas has penned a concern trolling letter to legislators and their families in Texas who Kory Watkins threatened to murder.

Probably ran out of stationary keeping tabs on Jade Helm.

I understand. Watkins isn't a scary black President.

Have a great weekend.

Welcome back, Brett.

Welcome back, Brett.

Literally, you're discussing under what circumstances the government will threaten to shoot people, and you think threats have no place in such a discussion?

This is, I think, a point of disgreement. When dealing with some, extreme, cases it may come to that. But in by far the greatest majority of cases, people believe in living together in peace to the extent that they are willing to obey even laws that they disagree with. Without any consideration that force might be applied if they don't.

Which is to say, some people (actually most people IMHO) have higher values than the freedom to refuse to do things. So they don't need to be threatened in order to get them to follow the law. It definitely appears that libertarians are not among them. But consider that libertarians, specifically those who are not just mildly libertarian, are a rather small subset of the population, and look at the rest of us.

The rule of law itself is a death warrant.

"Watkins' rep voted against open carry, and Watkins wants him hung."

Watkin's rep wants Watkin jailed if he peacefully walks down a street with a gun in plain view. So I see a certain symmetry there. They're both leveling threats, the difference is, one wants to be left alone, and the other wants people punished if they don't do as they're told.

So there's a bit of asymmetry there, and it doesn't cut against Watkin.

Still, it is perfectly possible to be a moron and an *sshole in the defense of a just cause, and that DOES cut against Watkin. He might be on the side of all that's good and right, but he's a jerk on that side.

"Which is to say, some people (actually most people IMHO) have higher values than the freedom to refuse to do things. So they don't need to be threatened in order to get them to follow the law."

This is in large measure because a lot of laws are quite reasonable, and the cost of violating even the unreasonable ones has been set quite high. Nobody wants to oppose the government over minor matters.

But we are still discussing violence when we discuss laws, even if the club is hidden behind the back most of the time.

I'm guessing it could be hidden even more of the time, if the violent nature of law were taken more into consideration when they were made, and so fewer laws were made in the first place, and not for such light reasons.

the difference is, one wants to be left alone, and the other wants people punished if they don't do as they're told.

some people see the roles reversed from how you see them.

some people see a guy with an openly-carried pistol as a threat and would feel coerced during any interaction with a person with a pistol. some would be very reluctant to speak his mind to or vocally disagree with someone with a gun. to such a person, being "left alone" is not having to deal with people who proudly bring deadly weapons to every interaction.

Watkin's rep wants Watkin jailed if he peacefully walks down a street with a gun in plain view.

and so we come to the heart of the error.

if Watkin's rep doesn't want open carry, it's highly likely because a significant number of the folks who live where Watkin lives don't want it either.

otherwise, Watkin's rep's tenure as such will be fairly short. and not because anybody hung him, but because they will vote him out.

it ain't what Watkins wants vs what The Government wants, it's what Watkins wants vs what some signficant number of people who live where Watkins lives want.

apparently, a significant number of people who live where Watkins lives don't want him walking around openly carrying a weapon.

that creates a conflict. some folks who live there want open carry, some don't.

we can either sort stuff like that out via a political process, or we can kill each other and the last man standing wins.

Watkins apparently finds the latter both appealing and justifiable.

That makes him, not an @sshole, but a disruptive threat to public order and representative governance.

It makes him an insurrectionist.

we can kill each other and the last man standing wins.

Watkins apparently finds the latter both appealing and justifiable.

That makes him, not an @sshole, but a disruptive threat to public order and representative governance.

It makes him an insurrectionist.

So, just a quick observation, bearing in mind I know jack all about Watkins other than what was in the TPM link of Counts.

He sounds like a disruptive jerk, and I think he does little to help his cause or civil discourse in general.

And there were several other links, so maybe I missed something, but what he said in the TPM link was:

They should be arrested, charged with treason and should face a punishment that could result in being hung from the tree of liberty.

I disagree with Watkins in that passing the law was treasonous, but calling for someone to be arrested, charged, and punished is hardly a call to a 'last man standing wins' type situation.

And its definitely not insurrection.

I've seen similar things said about Snowden, Greenwald, Assange, Manning. I've seen house R's accused of treason. In none of those situations would I consider it anything more than overheated rhetoric.

Ridiculous? Yes. Disruptive to actual debate? Sure. Generally a bad move? Yep. Insurrection? No.

That being said, I might have missed some stronger, more direct language. From what little I know of Watkins, it wouldn't surprise me to hear it.

Check out the video of Watkins & co's visit to the rep's office.

Or, from the Juanita Jean link, this, from our pal Watkins:

I don’t think they wanna mess with us too much longer. They better start giving us our rights, or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be, uh, gamed up. We’re gonna step it up a notch. I think here in Texas we’re tired of jackin’ around with people in suits who think that they can take away freedoms in the name of safety

Or, pick any random jamoke running off their mouths about "2nd Amendment remedies".

What they are saying is that if they do not prevail through the normal political process, they will take up arms.

You tell me what to call that.

Well, it isn't actually insurrection yet. Just a threat of insurrection....

I'd call that insurrection, and insurrection is sometimes justified, and sometimes not. Often justified, I would say, but rarely prudent. Kind of like the 98 lb weakling might be justified in not giving the football quarterback his lunch money, but should probably hand it over anyway, the government has individuals outmatched, making even justified revolt not a smart move.

But people who are willing to go as far as insurrection should be clear about it. You know, so that people who aren't willing to go as far as provoking insurrection don't do so by accident?

Kind of like the doomsday weapon in Dr. Strangelove, the whole point of drawing a line in the sand is lost, if you don't do so where people can see it.

Watkins is demanding that an explicitly guaranteed constitutional right be respected. That's a pretty strong basis for demanding your rights not be overridden. It's a pretty strong basis even if it happens to be an explicit constitutional right some people don't like.

the Constitution is not explicit about carrying handguns in public.

To the extent that government and law represent a threat of violence, that threat is miniscule in comparison to the threat of violence that exists without them.

"...people in suits who think that they can take away freedoms in the name of safety"

Man, I hate suits, too. That aside, taking away "freedoms" in the name of safety pretty much sums up what the law is about.

This idiotic notion that we're all safer if we're all armed, which I assume follows from the idea that if one person is armed, he is safer - a proposition that, itself, may or may not be true, but let's assume it is - represents a fallacy of composition, similar to the idea that because one person who stands up at a concert gets a better view, it follows that everyone will get a better view by standing. The difference is, people tend to understand that once everyone stands up, the view isn't any better.

(I'd like to head off all the silly extensions of that limited analogy, which is only intended to demonstrate a basic concept rather than parallel in every way people openly carrying pistols in public, if that's at all possible.)

Watkins is demanding that an explicitly guaranteed constitutional right be respected

No, he is not.

Nice try.

Check out the video of Watkins & co's visit to the rep's office.

I did. Linked here, if anyone is interested:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/texas-guns-poncho-nevarez-panic-buttons

And again, the guy is an disruptive blowhard. But that's not insurrection. The JJ link refers to this video:

http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Open-carry-video-seen-as-threat-to-lawmakers-6061969.php

Which, again, is a lot of BS, but I strain to see it as insurrection, or a threat of insurrection, or a call to insurrection.

He's a clown. Don't make him out to be something he isn't.

He's a clown.

Agreed.

Don't make him out to be something he isn't.

I'm just taking the man at his word.

Tell me why I shouldn't.

Just out of curiosity, if one person threatens violence, is that insurrection? Ten people? Ten percent of the population?

In short, how many people do you need to have involved to make the jump from mere nasty violence (whatever the motivation) to an actual insurrection?

I'm just taking the man at his word.

Tell me why I shouldn't.

Because that type of overheated rhetoric with violent imagery is far, far more common than resulting violence.

Not to pick on Count, but accusations of treason and calls for violence and death are rife in his posts. Yet I'm fairly comfortable not calling Count a mass murderer, because I recognize that the overwrought rhetoric and violent imagery is unlikely to have any real-world correlate.

Watkins is a crank and is taking to whatever soapbox offered him to spew hyperbole. He is allowed, and doing so is not insurrection. However, nobody is obligated to listen, and I think he should be ignored.

Just out of curiosity, if one person threatens violence, is that insurrection?

in·sur·rec·tion
ˌinsəˈrekSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: insurrection; plural noun: insurrections

a violent uprising against an authority or government.

I'm going to go with 'no'. One person threatening violence is not an insurrection.

Well, if it's everybody, then there's no insurrection, if it's nobody, there's no insurrection. Between those limits, it's more of a question of odds of success, not whether it's happening.

"No, he is not.

Nice try."

Yes, he is.

And I wouldn't call simple denial much of a try, when the other side has actual constitutional text to point to. He wants to bear his arms. The 2nd amendment says his right to do so shall not be infringed.

You can argue that carrying concealed is enough to validate the right. He thinks not. His position is certainly not unreasonable.

Just out of curiosity, if one person threatens violence, is that insurrection?

The Murrah Building bombing in OK City was two guys.

Most likely, one of them could have done it by himself.

So, yes, one person.

Insurrection is defined by its aims, not the number of participants.

Likelihood of success is more a function of number of participants, but even a loser insurrectionist can do damage.

Because that type of overheated rhetoric with violent imagery is far, far more common than resulting violence.

How common does "resulting violence" have to get before the rest of us get to say enough is enough?

I've had enough. I've had enough of people threatening to commit violence if the normal political process doesn't produce the result they want.

And there are enough folks running around looking for the next opportunity to water the tree of liberty with somebody else's blood that I'm no longer content to just assume somebody's being a stupid belligerent loudmouth.

If you say you're gonna start shooting, I'm going to assume that you just might.

Because people do.

And the Count doesn't even own a freaking gun, so I'm not really worried about him killing anybody.

His position is certainly not unreasonable.

Here is a lesson I learned fairly early in life.

There is no value in trying to have a reasonable discussion with fundamentalists. They are simply going to repeat the same mantra, over and over again, in response to any point you might make, or any question you might ask.

Hence, my simple denial in response to your earlier comment.

It wasn't intended to be an exploration of the substance of the issue. It was intended to be a simple statement that I disagree with you.

Because anything beyond that is just going to an opportunity for your to recite your mantra, and we've already heard it 1,000 times.

Thanks.

I'd suggest you look around at the success of the concealed carry reform movement, and the growing success of the open carry reform movement, and ask yourself:

"Am I a fundamentalist?"

Because you look like one from my perspective.

If the streets had actually flowed with blood as your side claimed they would, when concealed carry reform spread, you might be justified in your views. But they didn't. Over and over they didn't.

And your side is still fighting this fight, with squat in the way of evidence that these reforms will cause any problems. You just don't seem to care that it's been tried in so many states and worked out fine.

Yeah, you just repeat the same mantra, over and over again.

Because you look like one from my perspective.

Reading comprehension is your friend.

Show and tell time. At what point in this thread have I offered any opinion whatsoever about open carry?

If folks in TX want to allow open carry, whether licensed or not, fine with me. Not my problem. I don't care.

I object to people threatening other people when the political process doesn't turn out the way they like.

I've had enough of people threatening to commit violence if the normal political process doesn't produce the result they want.

Great. What do you propose to do about it? Nothing he said is illegal, and no law making it such would pass a constitutional challenge.

I've suggested we ignore him and his ilk. Stop feeding the trolls, in other words.

And the Count doesn't even own a freaking gun, so I'm not really worried about him killing anybody.

Nor am I. Then again, that was my point: rhetoric may be violent, but its not *violence*. The former may be entertaining or not, enlightening or not, disturbing or not, but is almost certainly constitutionally protected. The latter is not.

The law in question does not ban Mr.Watkins from bearing arms (which is a constitutional right) but from carrying it unconcealed (which the constitution says nothing about either in the positive or the negative).

[Cue the slippery slope argument...again]

"Watkins is demanding that an explicitly guaranteed constitutional right be respected

No, he is not."

That's an opinion about whether it's a right, I believe.

But, you're right, you did not express an opinion on the merits of the policy. My mistake.

Generally people don't bother denying the existence of the right, unless they want to violate it. So I just assumed you wanted to violate it.

And to emphasize, I have zero objection to the Count and his style. He's regularly interesting, entertaining, and enlightening.

He is just a ready example of the rhetorical use of violent imagery.

"Show and tell time. At what point in this thread have I offered any opinion whatsoever about open carry?"

Fair enough. As I stated in a vanished comment, you expressed a (negative) opinion about the existence of the right itself, and it has been my experience that nobody bothers to deny a right exists, if they don't want to violate it.

But, true enough, you didn't express an opinion about the policy. My bad.

rhetoric may be violent, but its not *violence*. The former may be entertaining or not, enlightening or not, disturbing or not, but is almost certainly constitutionally protected.

violent rhetoric is protected. but threats are not.

and it's pretty easy to cross from the former to the latter.

Great. What do you propose to do about it?

I think it would be great if, for example, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas would decline to meet with people who threaten violence against legislators, or who call for their arrest and possible execution, as a response to their votes on legislation brought before them.

He might instead meet with any of the thousands of other advocates of open carry in TX who are not belligerent trash-talking loudmouth jerks. Many of those folks, in fact, have been quite vocal about their wish that Mr. Watkins would go back to Florida and stay the hell out of the situation in TX.

It would be really useful if folks like, for example, the TX Lt Governor would make the point that the political process is open to persuasion, but not threats.

As I stated in a vanished comment, you expressed a (negative) opinion about the existence of the right itself

You read me right on that point, I do not see an inalienable right to carry an unconcealed weapon on your person in the language of the 2nd A.

Nor do I see any language prohibiting that.

To my eye, the 2nd A is silent about the visibility of firearms when carried.

it has been my experience that nobody bothers to deny a right exists, if they don't want to violate it.

Your experience appears to be limited in some important ways.

thompson: Nothing he said is illegal, and no law making it such would pass a constitutional challenge.

Actually, if you threaten to use a weapon on someone, that is assault (at least if he is afraid you might actually do so) and is illegal. Indeed, if you threaten any kind of "unwanteded bodily touching" (whether a weapon is involved or not), that is assault. And nobody has successfully argued (I don't know if anybody has even tried) that laws against assault are unconstitutional.

So the only way what he said isn't assault is if you contend that he was not actually threatening to (physically) attack someone who had disagreed with his views on what the law should be. A lawyer might try to make that argument. But if he tried it when the subject of the disagreement was anything unrelated to carrying guns, there is no way he would succeed.

February statement by Watkins, found by a few seconds Googling:

"This morning I removed a video from my Facebook because I thought there were those that would intentionally misinterpret my words. In this video I referred to treason, and the fact that the penalty for treason was death. My intent was to show that our founders took treason very seriously. Our elected officials have taken an oath to defend the constitution. Dereliction of that oath is an equally serious matter. I was certainly not threatening anyone. I love the constitution dearly, and the constitution is very clear on the process for convicting someone for treason, I was obviously not calling for such a process, nor was I threatening anyone. I simply wished to point out the seriousness of the constitution.

Let me make it clear and unequivocal: I was not talking about hurting legislators, or anyone else. I am an advocate of peaceful non-cooperation. When I speak of "stepping it up a notch" mean within the boundaries of "peaceful non-cooperation". Instead of just a foot in the door. perhaps we need "sit ins" chanting "hell no we won't go".

We at Open Carry Tarrant County denounce in the strongest terms harming or threatening to harm persons or property as a strategy to bring about open carry in Texas. Anyone who has done so, has not done so on behalf of our organization. We at Open Carry Tarrant County proudly follow in the tradition of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks in in using peaceful noncooperation as a means to demand our rights."

He had said of elected officials in Texas who opposed open carry, "“They should be arrested, charged with treason and should face a punishment that could result in being hung from the tree of liberty.”"

Is it assault to suggest somebody should be arrested, tried, convicted, and then subjected to the penalty conviction carries? I suspect not.

Is the penalty still hanging these days?

Anyway, I have to wonder why Mr. Watkins felt the need to come out with such a clarification, unless he felt that his words were so ripe for the interpretation as threats of violence.

Once again:

I don’t think they wanna mess with us too much longer. They better start giving us our rights, or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be, uh, gamed up. We’re gonna step it up a notch.

There's nothing there about a legal process.

In short, on occasion Mr Watkins called for legal action. (For all that his claimed legal cause is dubious at best.) But on other occasions, he implicitly called for physical, violent action.

That is, you can find quotes to demonstrate either position. But assault doesn't require consistant threats of physical action. Just once will do it.

The traditions of Gandhi and MLK included being on the receiving end of death by murderous gunfire.

Rosa Parks somehow made it through without having Second Amendment solutions visited upon her, though I'm sure her mail and answering machine were rife with bidders for riddling her body with bullets.

Peaceful non-cooperation while brandishing killing weaponry is not peaceful anymore than Timothy McVeigh's purchase of fertilizer was his way of ensuring a bountiful tomato harvest in the front yard of the Murrah Building.

The English language wants to shoot itself in the head after listening to Watkins' bloviations.

Harsher judgements are made and little surprise expected about what I, the owner of zilch guns, might one day be reported in the papers to have done.

But Watkins himself and now his sympathizers tout him as Martin Luther Lennon making demands through the barrel of a gun.

Just call it what it is.

If you are brave enough to wave a weapon around to get your way, what's the need for the forked tongue, although I'm told the Constitution guarantees the right to bullsh*t yourself and everyone else.

My reading of the Second Amendment includes the absolute right and certainly is silent and does not prohibit or limit the firing of weapons whenever and wherever I want, should I decide to possess them.

That's the next legal nonsense coming. Within five years, Watkins et al will be firing their weapons in the air at will on street corners and claiming it a right provided by God, that noted murderer, which may not be limited in any way by local ordinance.

Soon thereafter, the firing of bullets at will during civil discourse will be construed as free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment by a 5-4 margin in the Supreme Court.

Booth vrs Lincoln, with the gun and bullet lobby financing the plaintiffs case.


James Earle Ray, Gandhi's killer, and Lee Harvey Oswald had to go to some trouble to conceal their weapons before the deed.

It is so nice to know that added inconvenience is now removed for them in Dallas.

Officer in Dealey Plaza in 1963 after the shots rang out: "We think the shots came from either the Book Depository or the grassy knoll. Send some men into both areas and take those into custody who are carrying a weapon for questioning."

Deputy: "Uh, Sir, you mean you want EVERYONE taken into custody? This is Texas for crying out loud."

Officer: "We're going to need bigger paddy wagons."

Actually, if you threaten to use a weapon on someone, that is assault (at least if he is afraid you might actually do so) and is illegal.

Actually, how the victim feels is largely irrelevant, iirc. What matters is either an objective standard (a reasonable person would be threatened), a subjective standard (the person meant it to be threatening), or both.

For a long, disturbing look at an overall terrible human being and a more educated look at whether something was threatening:

http://popehat.com/2013/08/06/true-threats-true-incitement-or-truly-crazy-the-rhetoric-of-deranged-cyberstalker-bill-schmalfeldt/

And a shorter, less terrible human story, that gets to the heart of true threats:

http://popehat.com/2012/12/19/professor-loomis-and-the-nra-a-story-in-which-everyone-annoys-me/

There are even further links in the second one with a bunch of different examples and discussions by Ken White, who seems to know his shit.

Long story short, I'm not really seeing what Watkins did as a 'true threat' and I would be surprised if an assault charge stuck. I'm obviously not an expert, but it doesn't seem to rise to a level beyond examples given by White.

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