The TEA Party Movement and Race

I would like to open up a discussion on the TEA Party Movement (hereinafter “TPM”) and race.  Before we get started, let me first say that discussing race in the context of the TPM is not, in any way saying that the TPM is racist.  Every time that the questions regarding race and the TPM are asked, the answers in defense of the TPM are, almost unfailingly, that (1) there is no proof of racism and/or (2) the asker is racist for simply asking the question. Please note that neither of these responses are actual answers to the questions that I am about to ask. I also don’t really want to hear about other movements or administrations – I am looking ONLY at the TPM.  I simply want to discuss race and whether or not it matters in the context of the TPM.

In order to get a discourse going, let’s lay out a few basic parameters and assume the following to be true:

(A).  The TPM is disproportionately made up of non-Hispanic whites.  I understand some people will disagree with this; however all polls that I have looked at estimate the non-Hispanic white demographics in the TPM  to be anywhere from 79% to 89%.  The corresponding numbers for non-Hispanic white US citizens in general is 75%.

(B).  There have been some incidents of racism in connection with the TPM.  This means ONLY that there have been specific examples of either overt racism or racial insensitivity either at TPM events or voiced by TPM-identified people. “Some” is intentionally vague. But there have been “some.”

(C).  There is a perception that the TPM has a problem with race.

(D).  The TPM as repeatedly stated that it is a diverse group and that all people are welcome.

Bearing in mind (A) through (D), I would like to pose some initial questions.

(1).  Do you think that it is appropriate to even discuss race in the context of the TPM? Why or why not?

(2).  Why do you think that there are not more non-whites in the TPM?

(3).  What do you think about MSM coverage of the TPM?

(4).  How do you think the TPM should handle allegations of racial insensitivity?

(5).  How do issues of race affect how you feel about the TPM?

(6).  Do you think that the TPM would have gotten so much support if McCain had been elected president? Why or why not?

(7).  Please share any *actual* personal experiences that you have had with the TPM.

So let’s discuss.  Please keep it respectful.  Cookies for all…

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360 Comments

  1. southern female lawyer said,

    April 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    OT – I want to thank all of you for the kind thoughts and comments regarding the RF situation. For those of you who have inquired, I still have not heard back on the results of the echo; I am assuming that if they found something dire, they would have contacted me by now. My cardio follow-up is next week, so I should know more then. For now, I have been asymptomatic for over a month. While I still have a bit of migratory arthralgia, much of the other stuff has eased up and I am able to exercise and go about my normal crazy routine with much less difficulty. Thanks again…SFL

  2. Sevesteen said,

    April 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I’m not a tea party member, but I’m generally sympathetic. I’ll give my answers, for what it is worth

    1. I think it would be surprising if a group of people as large as the TPM were completely devoid of racism. The question shouldn’t be is there any racism, but rather is the TPM *disproportionately* racist.

    2. I would not expect the core ideas of the TPM to appeal to all equally, regardless of racism. That doesn’t make the ideas wrong, or racist. (There may be some wrong ideas in the TPM that I am not aware of)

    3. I see almost no MSM, so don’t have an answer.

    4. Have you stopped beating your wife? I think they should stick to their core principles, and minimize apology for isolated or manufactured incidents. Constant apologies are more likely to damage than help a cause.

    5. Little to no impact. I think it is mostly stereotyping, with the idea that non-liberals must be racist, almost by definition.

    6. Depends on how he actually governed,but probably not. However, if he were to win the next election, I don’t think it likely that they would disband.

  3. Bob S. said,

    April 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

    SFL,

    I’ve been to 1 Tea Party Event – last year – but I’ll take a crack at answering the questions.

    I always think it is appropriate to race — IF there are reasons to. The fact is that there are very few racist issues with the TPM.
    Could the same statement be true of other movements, say at a La Raza Rally or a Black Pride?
    There are more documented racist statements at those events then there are at the Tea Parties.

    The evidence does not support the accusations and that gets to the core of the issue.

    What is being thrown out is the charge of racism instead of the main stream media documenting issues of racism. It is one side trying to smear the other.

    The normal charge is something like “Where were you guys when Bush was trashing the Constitution. You only protested after Obama was elected, therefore you are racist.”

    Well, the answer is that people were getting ticked off and fed up under Bush, he lit the fire of the movement in my opinion. The blatant disregard for the will of the people for decades — under previous presidents set the stage — not the election of a “black” president.
    The fact that Obama freely admits his agenda and has aggressively pushed that agenda is what finally tipped people into the streets.

    And yes, I think that if McCain had been elected — and followed — the same basic agenda that Obama has, there would be just as much protest.
    Look at how little difference there is/was between the McCain Platform and what Obama is implementing.

    As far the main stream media, their bias has been proven. Look at the way that MSNBC edited the footage of the protester carrying an AR-15 at Obama’s VFW event in Phoenix.

    They accused/implied/questioned/ if the protesters were racist, but edited the video to hide the fact the man carrying the AR-15 was African-American.
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/08/18/msnbc-no-mention-black-gun-owner-among-racist-protesters

    The real discussion point here should be something that really matters — walnuts or not in the chocolate chip cookies?

  4. JJ said,

    April 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Bob S.isn’t much of a parameter observer; he just did most of what SFL explicitly ruled out of bounds –denying her stipulations were factual, pointing fingers at other groups to justify the TPM in comparison, and of course claiming it’s the charge of racism that is racist rather than actual racism:

    “Every time that the questions regarding race and the TPM are asked, the answers in defense of the TPM are, almost unfailingly, that (1) there is no proof of racism and/or (2) the asker is racist for simply asking the question. Please note that neither of these responses are actual answers to the questions that I am about to ask.”

    So I’ll wait and see whether this becomes an actual discussion or just another discouraging “bully” pulpit (pun intended.)

  5. Andrew C said,

    April 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I’m also not a Tea Party member, but support some of their goals. The movement is becoming more and more socially conservative, so I am less and less supportive of them.

    I think it is unsurprising that an organization aligned closely with the Republican party is also composed primarily of whites. I don’t think the TPM (or the Republican party) is racist, but that the Democrats do a much better job of attracting minorities. The Democratic party sells itself as wanting to specifically help minorities, so it is unsurprising minorities would tend to be Democrats. A platform of a smaller government and less government involvement in everyone’s life doesn’t fit very well with expanded social assistance programs, which a higher percentage of minorities use.

    Let’s face it, most news companies lean Democrat. I think most of them honestly strive to report interesting news, but if they lean one direction, they’ll find different stories interesting than someone who leans the other direction. I do think they tend to downplay right-leaning movements, and emphasize the strengths of left-leaning movements. It’s inevitable, it doesn’t make the companies evil, but it does lead to a distorted perspective in much of the coverage.

    I don’t think the TPM can do much to openly contest charges of racism. The more they say “We’re not racist!” the more their supposed racism will be in the media, and the more they’ll be perceived as really being racist. The best thing they can do is stay on-message and emphasize how a smaller, more efficient and less intrusive government is better for everyone.

    The accusation of racism doesn’t matter to me without persuasive evidence to back it up. The Democrats seem to use it the same way as the Republicans use Socialist. It’s become completely meaningless.

    Honestly, I doubt the TPM would have taken off with a Republican in office. My understanding is there was a small movement going prior to Obama taking office, and I suspect it would have stayed small. I think any of the Democrat candidates would have been sufficient to trigger the explosive growth of the movement.

    It’s good to hear you’re feeling better, and I hope you continue to improve!

  6. JJ said,

    April 26, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I read this by Chris Hedges just before seeing SFL’s civil inquiries here. It addresses the TPM to the extent it embraces secessionists of various stripes (left or right, racist or not, armed and dangerous or not, southern or not.) I live in the South and these are the TPM folks I meet, angry, white and fundamentalist. They are the ones I see on tv, and to whom I am even related by blood in a couple of cases:

    The most pressing problem is that the movement harbors within its ranks Southern secessionists who wrap themselves in the Confederate flag, begin their meetings singing Dixie and celebrate the slave culture of the antebellum South. Secessionist groups such as the Southern National Congress and the more radical League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a “racist hate group,” openly embrace a return to uncontested white, male power. And this aspect of the movement deeply disturbs leaders such as Naylor, Sale and Miller.

    What all these movements grasp, however, is that the American empire is over. It cannot be sustained. They understand that we must disengage peacefully, learn to speak with a new humility and live with a new simplicity, or see an economic collapse that could trigger a perverted Christian fascism, a ruthless police state and internecine violence.

  7. Bob S. said,

    April 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

    JJ,

    Just what stipulations did I deny? Other then to mention other parties — trying to provide context which seems to be lacking about the number of racist statements.

    A. Didn’t deny the majority of the TPM consists of Whites — Although, I prefer Caucasian.

    B. Didn’t admit there were “some” problems with racism but didn’t deny the possibility either. Trying to determine if the problems are actual or not is a major portion of discussion whether or not there is a ‘racism’ problem with the TPM.

    In my mind the big question is this “Is there a racism problem with the people who make up the TPM or the people who view the TPM as racist?”

    Out of the people I’ve talked to about the issue; not a single one had been to a TPM event. NOT ONE person.

    So, should people who haven’t even been to an event be making accusation of racism? If they are making the accusations, can they back them up with evidence?

    The perception is being shaped by the media and those who attend the events.

    So, what actual events are the cause of the racism charge?

  8. JJ said,

    April 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    No opinion is informed until one aprticipates in person? I might buy it if the same standard is applied neutrally to the TPM folks. How many of them have worked legitimately in public policy before declaring the sorts of things they broadcast as fact and act upon, about socialism, citizenship and such?

  9. Bob S. said,

    April 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

    JJ,

    Sorry, but isn’t what I said. I didn’t say Opinion, I said Accusation.

    Is the TPM racist? That is an opinion. The media on the other hand is enabling the accusations of racism with their reporting, bias and allowing the comments to articles to go unchallenged by the reporters or the media.

    SFL wanted to know if it was appropriate to discuss race in relation to the TPM. I said yes, IF there were reasons to but so far I have seen very few confirmed reports of racist events.

    Is opposing the increase of government reach and control racist? If so, what makes it racist?

    Is opposing the increasingly disparate tax burden racist? If so what makes it racist?

    Those are two of the primary drivers of the TPM, so what makes those Ideas racist?

  10. Celeste Peck said,

    April 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

    1. Yes, because of A,B, and C
    2. Because what they stand for (from their own mouths in comments I’ve read and just from what I’ve heard) is small government, a free market, taxes-not wealth- distributed evenly, and theocratic ideals. Anyone who has ever been poor (and I’m talking standing in cheese lines or wearing flip-flops in the winter b/c they cost $1 at the dollar store but tennis shoes cost $15) knows that this ideaology will screw them over while helping the upper-middle to upper class. My question here really is how small do they want the government to get? 50 people to rule and govern the masses, 10 people? And who will this “small government” consist of?
    3. They get too much coverage. Like when my children throw temper tantrums, ignoring them usually makes it go away quicker. Indulging in tantrums and theatrics only encourages it.
    4. They should have a spokesperson that can relate to diverse groups speak up and apologize. Their approach has seemed to be, deny!deny!deny! This denial scares away man who may otherwise sympathize with their position. There seems to be a disrespect (I’m forming this opinion from their signage and lack of humility) or just dismissal of anyone who doesn’t agree with their standpoint.
    5. It doesn’t really. It simply reinforces my first impression of them: Social Darwinists all of them – Sarah Palin followers who have no clue, none what-so-ever!, of what world many of their fellow country men live in. If we do not earn enough money to get by then it must naturally be because we don’t work hard enough or we don’t try hard enough. They have what they need b/c they are just naturally superior beings.
    6. No they wouldn’t have. Because they would be less afraid of the wealth redistribution. They seem to get their momentum from the fear that they will be forced to contribute to welfare and so many of them (being clueless like I mentioned earlier) think that welfare is solely for non-caucasion, drug dealers or pimps or vagabonds or just generally lazy people who do not contribute in any way to society. I believe they really think that is what people on welfare are like. MSM seems to feed that ignorance. They’re socially illiterate to anyone but their own class.
    7. A few people who comment on KTN are TPM’s. Via their comments on KTN, I have deduced that many seem to have no notion of how today’s vile form of capitalism actually creates poverty. Many support the “free”-market but do not understand that today’s market is anything but free and turns us (even TPM’s) into cheap, slave-labor. Many are small business owners who have *a little* knowledge about economics but consider themselves experts, which is dangerous.
    *I feel we currently live in a state of corporate feudalism that is getting worse and some of Obama’s policies are helping along. I agree with them only in that the people still need to control the government and not the other way around. We need to get rid of the Patriot Act. That’s probably the only thing I could agree with them on. Another thing we need, and I’m not sure of the TP stance on this, is to make a public example of that 31 year old goldman sachs guy that came up with the scheme to rob our country blind, and it needs to be a strong example.

  11. more cowbell said,

    April 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Glad to have you back!
    I don’t know what the TPM is – for real. They have yet to articulate a comprehensible platform on anything. And until they do, they will continue to be defined by the most radical of the group with their guns, confederate flags and misspelled signs with anarchistic slogans. In fact, maybe that’s what they are, anarchist libertarians. No political system works in its purest form whether it be capitalism or socialism, and that’s why all industrialized countries have a combination of both of these. Mostly the TPM seem to pine for a time and government that probably never existed, when they felt like the people had more control, but they really didn’t.

  12. Chugwater said,

    April 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    On a broad scale, I am somewhat sympathetic to the TPM. The debt bomb that lies ahead and becomes accute in the next ten years requires us to address entitlement reform, and not kick the can down the road like we have for the past several decades. Although I think most people who attend these rallies don’t have a firm grasp of the details [See link below to Bruce Bartlett’s blog], their focus on the issue of government’s proper role will only serve as a catalyst for politicians and policy makers to act sooner rather than later. Hence, if they aren’t protesting, then we won’t be talking about it.

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/18/tea-party-ignorant-taxes-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett_2.html

    As for the race aspect of this, my armchair experience (through media, not having attended a rally in person) leads me to believe it exists on the margins and short of any systemic overt racist sentiment, it’s fairly benign. There’s probably a regional aspect to this is as well. The participants in the South skirt closer to the line than their co-protesters to the north. Overall, I’m convinced the movement is true to its reduce-government core than any supposed nefarious hatred toward minorities.

    And so, no, I don’t think they have to put out a statement regarding race. [As an aside, I’m not sure who would be the spokesperson. As a group they are fragmented and have no formal central leadership…at least not at this point.]

    As for question (6), asking about support for the TPM against a theoretical McCain presidential backdrop is not dispositive of race because it doesn’t control for partisanship. The question that should be asked is ‘do you think that the TPM would have gotten so much support if Hillary Clinton or John Kerry had been elected president?’ To that I say, yes, because I think the movement is partisan to a significant degree.

  13. Salvador Dalai Llama said,

    April 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    @Celeste: About #5, I think that they don’t necessarily see themselves as superior, since many of them rely on the governmental safety net themselves–they tend, as a group, to be on the older side, including many retired, unemployed, or disabled members.

    My responses to the questions du jour:

    1 and 2) It is appropriate to discuss race, because the racial demographics are distinct from those of the general population. The question first should by, “Why doesn’t their message resonate with conservatives of minority groups?” In a sense, I think we’re seeing a legacy of the success of the Southern Strategy: as the Republican party whitened, the offshoots of the party, like the TPM, would inevitably be more Anglo than a random distribution. (The TPM isn’t made up of independents or liberals, after all; they identify as “conservative” or “lean conservative”.)

    The other question worth asking would be “Would the policies espoused by this movement disproportionately harm non-Anglos?”

    Finally, I can’t completely factor out the “dog-whistle” elements here, but I would have to pay closer attention before I could opine specifically about that.

    3) Main stream media’s coverage of anything is sensationalized and stupid. Thus, while it may be true that it may lean more Dem than not, you won’t ever find coverage of feminism, labor, etc. that really reflects a strong left position. It’s also because they lean heavily corporate. But seriously: we have a “business” section of the paper, or broadcast news, but no “labor” section? What’s up with that? When was socialism even on the table, media-wise?

    4) I’m not sure that denial is the way to go. The way to go is to say, “We are a little paler-than-average, frankly, but we don’t think we should be. Here are our principles that anyone can endorse.” Or even further, “Here’s specifically why non-Anglos should believe in our principles.” If they *can’t* do that, then there’s a problem.

    7) No personal experiences here with actual TPM. There was an article in the Blount county paper about the new TP group that was forming, and they went out of their way to say they were inclusive, and would even have liberal speakers at their meetings on occasion. Whether it actually works out that way in practice, I have no way of knowing yet.

    Gotta go make supper for the family– perhaps more later–

  14. jake said,

    April 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    (7)
    I live in South Texas and am a minority as an Anglo as we are called here so my experience is based on that background. The two most serious tea-par-tiers (don’t know why my spell checker insists on 2 dashes) I know are married to Mexican Americans. I do not see illegal immigration as a central issue based on my conversations with these people. In fact, most of the immigrants I know come with a very strong work ethic and very strong family values. Both oppose the border wall. I know Mexican American tea-par-tiers here but again, our population is 55% Hispanic in Corpus, 95+% Hispanic in the Valley. I would suspect our local party is enriched with Anglos but am not involved enough to have specifics.

    The tea-par-tiers I know are strongly against taxation and I agree with them. I identify this is a central theme of the party, hence the “Tea Party” in remembrance of the birth of the American concept of liberty in opposition to taxation. Both are strongly against the current Federal spending culture from TARP, to the Auto Bailout and Cash for Clunkers, to Health Care Reform with its incipient taxes and federal mandate to purchase health insurance (which they rightfully call a tax). By in large I agree. I can’t understand why people of all races would not look at their paycheck and say “gee, I’d like to keep more of that for myself thanks.” I cannot understand why people of all races would not join a movement that is opposed the federal government bailout culture, which began under President Bush and props up of million dollar a year executives. The Tea-Par-tiers have no love for Republicans or Democrats and in my experience is an anti-incumbent rebel movement.

    However what concerns me about the Tea-Par-tiers is there willingness to embrace a kook like Sarah Palin. All I can say is I am glad women do not have so much solidarity that they all voted for her because IMO she is unqualified to lead. Furthermore, I have too much personally at stake to support a complete overhaul of the Federal Government. I would like to see progressive change toward a more fiscally conservative but socially liberal and most of all smaller Federal government. To that end, I agree with some Tea-Party ideals, just as I agree with some Republican and Democratic ideals.

    (6)
    The Tea-Par-tiers here DESPISE McCain and it appears the noise they are making may cost him his senate seat in Arizona. FWIW McCain would have earned my vote had he picked a qualified running mate or appeared healthy enough that Palin would never have her finger near the big red button. (FYI I do not agree with McCain on many points and the same is true for Obama)

    (5)
    I couldn’t care less and I believe the core TPM message is race and gender neutral.

    (4)
    I believe the Tea Party would be wise to distance themselves from blatant racists and anti-semites if they want to succeed in their mission. I think the same can be said for Obama wanting to distance himself from Reverend Wright. And I believe the Tea Party movement would be stronger by reaching out to more people.

    (3)
    I believe the MSM is owned by very financially powerful people and I believe those Power Elite have the most to lose through the rise of the Tea Party. I believe they are very concerned and are willing to do anything they can to discredit the Tea Party movement. I do believe strongly that the MSM is manipulating content in attempt label the Tea-Party as racist. And I have seen the MSM do the exact same thing at the end of the health care reform battle by labeling opponents to the current model for reform as racist. I find that approach to be intellectually and morally void, and deeply offensive both to the participants of the debate and to White people in general. While I cannot speak to the Tea Party, I can tell you every African American, Hindu, Asian and Muslum friend I have is opposed to the current model of health care reform (hint: they are all doctors) and many of them voted for Obama. Opposition to the current agenda of the Democratic party is not a fundamentally racist proposition, and in the case of the TPM, they are out for Republican blood too! The MSM has been busted editing out the minority presence of the TPM in order to support these racism allegations, and it because they have an agenda.

    (2)
    I believe the majority of Tea -Par-tiers come from disillusioned members of the Republican party who in particular feel that the GOP failed them under GWB’s leadership and that the GOP has strayed too far from their fiscally conservative small government ideal. The GOP being predominantly Anglo, populates the Tea Party, so predominantly Anglo. I also believe people vote first for the issue that is closest to their heart. People who are most interested in advancing the interest of their own race, or people who feel strongly about homosexuality, abortion, the environment, or evolution will not gravitate to the TPM because it does not speak to them. Finally, I find it sad that when people like David Duke attach themselves to a movement they will ultimately drive more normal and moderate people away.

    (1)
    I guess the cat is out of the bag. I hope the end result is a stronger more sensible Tea Party I could support, and ultimately lower taxes and overall less burden in the name of the Federal government.

  15. southern female lawyer said,

    April 27, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Welcome aboard Jake! And thanks to everyone for the discussion.

    I will write on *my* thoughts tomorrow. For now, though, I wanted to throw one more question out there – this one regarding Libertarian ideals and the majority concerns of the TPM. The CBS poll I linked shows that 48% of those polled believe that the TPM’s main goal is to reduce the size of the federal government. And yet the numbers show that TPM people are WAY more likely to want abortion bans, prayer in school, and oppose gay marriage – all things that would have to be done by the federal government. I know that there are some libertarians that believe these things can be incorporated into the libertarian viewpoint; the majority viewpoint of Libertarians disagrees. Regardless, these goals all require *more* federal government, not less.

    So, my question then is IF the main goal of TPM is less federal government, isn’t there a major disconnect when it comes to social constitutional concerns? Because, as I have written before, this is where they lose a lot of people. Well, that and David Duke.* Or could it just be that people don’t understand that these matters would *have* to be addressed by the Fed gov. People talk a lot about the 10th Am, but it only goes so far; once we have an established federal right, all the reserved powers in the world won’t get the state around the supremacy clause. Powers and rights are distinct things – I think a lot of people don’t grasp this.

    *NB – I don’t think Duke represents the TPM in any sense – but boy does he want to…

  16. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

    SFL,

    I think there is a disconnect in the thinking about government.

    I see there are two separate issues — governmental control and governmental size. They are closely related but separate.

    Yes, some people in the TPM want an abortion ban — most simple disapprove of abortions but don’t think there should be a law against them. The difference is one of morality — we need to change the values and principles back to the point where abortions were rare because the behaviors leading to abortions were not condoned.

    But that doesn’t mean a larger government, does it?
    Even if you stipulate an abortion ban, that doesn’t grow the government. Same with Prayer in School, gay marriage ban, etc. Governmental control versus size.

    I personally oppose abortion but won’t deny any woman her right to one.
    I think the government should be out of the marriage business all together – gay or straight. Let your religious beliefs (or lack of ) decide if it is a marriage.

    The problem many in the TPM sees is that for those on the other side ; the answer to just about every problem is to let the government take charge of it.

    Poor people in America — grow a government agency in size and power to take money from the “rich” and give to the poor.

    People not eating right in America — start an agency that will tell people not only what they should be eating but limit what they can eat. Make that agency get bigger and bigger each year, give them more and more reach.

    Why should the government be allowed to ban transfat or limit the amount of salt a restaurant uses?

    The government not only grows in control but also in size because then you need people to check to see if people are following the law.

    Powers and rights are distinct things – I think a lot of people don’t grasp this.

    I absolutely agree with you on this — but I wonder how much understanding there is even with you when you write this:
    but it only goes so far; once we have an established federal right,

    There are no federal rights — if you mean a right held by the federal government. There are federally protected individual rights and federal powers.

    Regardless, these goals all require *more* federal government, not less.

    I don’t see how allowing Prayer in school, an abortion ban or gay marriage ban would require more government, could you explain?

    By the way, I think there is a distinct difference in conservative (those preferring those items) and libertarian — the majority of the TPM.

  17. Gillian said,

    April 27, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I will say just this. My family member is a TPM, and posted on facebook the other day that the federal government was wrong to fight the Civil War, because the individual liberties of slaves was not worth the decimation to states’ rights. The Southern states should have been allowed to keep slaves without the fed govt swanning in to tell them what to do. Her tea party friends all unanimously agreed, and talked about how disgustingly pro-Union/anti-Confederacy the American school systems are. (These people don’t live in the South, FYI. All fr/ the northeast.)

    So. They don’t chant slurs at the DC events to which they flock, I’m positive, because these are polite people, and they are desperate to lose that racist gloss that they claim the MSM is making up about them. But . . . well, let me say that they are all pro the federal government protecting individual GUN rights against state intrusion, a la McDonald v. City of Chicago. They were all pro the Iraq war, and protecting foreigners’ freedom in the name of ending terror. But southern black people’s freedom, not worth it. It gave me pause, let’s say.

  18. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

    The “smaller government” side as analyzed from the recent NYT poll:
    Yet while the Tea Party supporters are more conservative than Republicans on some social issues, they do not want to focus on those issues: about 8 in 10 say that they are more concerned with economic issues, as is the general public.

    When talking about the Tea Party movement, the largest number of respondents said that the movement’s goal should be reducing the size of government. . . even if it meant spending on domestic programs would be cut.

    But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

    Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

    Others could not explain the contradiction.

    “That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.”

  19. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    The TPM sympathizer I know best is a family member I’ve been legally responsible for guiding through major life problems over the years, from divorce to estate settlements, trust administration conflicts, etc. This is a white babyboomer of privilege (wealthier and better educated than the average, just as the NYT poll found of the TPM) who’s a convert to the religion of resentment. She believes everything FOX tells her about how her country is being taken from her by the liberals and socialists, lawyers and the IRS, in service of the underclass invading “her” America.

    It is nbot racist in overt intent, only in effect. And it is tragically just WRONG, as in not in tocuh with reality.

  20. southern female lawyer said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Bob – when I write “right,” I always mean individual right; when I write, “power,” I always mean Government/State/police power. Citizens have no individual powers. Government has no rights. In this case, I was trying to be clear that I was talking about federally bestowed and/or federally protected rights v. state power in the context of the Supremacy Clause – i.e., both US Constitutional rights and rights/remedies bestowed by Congress trump state attempts at restriction. Sorry for the confusion.

  21. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:12 am

    SFL,

    Thanks for the clarification. I’ve just ran into too many people who are confused as you said between the two.

    As the country being taken away from her by the liberals and the socialists in JJ’s comments; I would counter with it doesn’t matter who is restricting our rights – conservative or liberal — it is seldom a good thing.

    I personally believe that people should wear seat belts – have felt that way for decades since seeing a woman become a quadriplegic because she didn’t wear her seat belt — but isn’t it a right that has been taken away from the individual when the government mandates seat belt use?

    How about helmets for motorcycle riders? If you want to be an organ donor, go ahead- be my guest but explain to me how it isn’t creeping statism JJ for the government to require it?

    I’m an advocate of our 2nd Amendment rights yet in order to exercise those rights in public, the State of Texas requires I submit to a background check, a finger printing, having my picture taken and filed away, an 8 to 10 hour class and a proficiency test using a firearm.

    How is that not a restriction on my rights?
    Yet at the same time, there are those that strongly oppose any effort to require people to present picture identification in order to vote.

    To participate in a right that only exists because of our form of government requires less restriction of my inherent rights — how isn’t that an over reach of governmental power?

    For decades, the government has been intruding in more and more aspects of an individuals life — growing in size and control.

    Where does it stop and what limits do we place on the federal government in particular?

    (Not trying to turn this into a gun-rights discussion — just pointing out how if we don’t stop and reverse governmental power all of our rights will become privileges to be revoked at the whim of a bureaucrat.)

  22. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Tyranny of the minority via filibuster is neither right nor power spelled out in the constitution, and it’s proving more damaging to our representative form of government (at any size) than say, helmet laws or universal health care reform or even regulating assault weapons. Yet objections to the filibuster as unAmerican is no TPM talking point or sign fodder.

  23. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:56 am

    JJ,

    Why shouldn’t the filibuster be acceptable?

    If the powers that be can not convince — not over power or through changing the rules — but actually convince the elected representatives something is a good thing – why should it be implemented?

    The power doesn’t lie with the minority in Congress – it lies in the people. If the citizens represented by the hold outs want something done, they can make their voices heard.

    But at the same time, the tyranny of the majority shouldn’t be allowed to trample the rights of the minority. The federal government was conceived and designed to be limited in nature — why is that a bad thing?

    What items have been filibustered that you object to by the way?

  24. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for underlining the point, that TPM thinkers do think the filibuster is, while not contemplated in the Constitution, just dandy if it works to magnify their minority representation without explicit Constitutional authority to do so.

  25. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    JJ,

    The rules for governing Congress are authorized in the Constitution.
    The rules for governing Congress were approved and implemented within the frame work provided by the Constitution.

    Isn’t the more important question — why is a party (and both parties are guilty of using the filibuster) considering it necessary to stop proposed legislation?

    Where is the bi-partisanship promised by the House and Senate Leaders?
    Where is the concern for the rights of the individual in the process?
    Can you truly say that it is acceptable to force an individual to purchase insurance, that it is truly Constitutional?

    Amendment IX
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    How about my right not to have to buy health insurance?

    Shouldn’t the people who oppose the intrusion of government into people’s lives use ever legal, constitutional method available?

    Senate Democrats say they will filibuster the extension of the USA Patriot Act, which passed the House yesterday on a bipartisan vote, despite some concerns that provisions of the bill trample civil liberties by giving law enforcement too much power.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/dec/15/20051215-122111-5238r/

    Please explain exactly how the Filibuster isn’t Constitutionally authorized and does it help or hurt the expansion of governmental powers?

    Do you feel the government should continue to grow in power and scope as it has been doing?

  26. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I feel Bob S. and I need a break from each other, and I expect anyone who’s read this far would agree. I tend to see theTPM and secessionists the same way, that they are exhausting and can’t be reasoned with, thus this union may not long endure, that it may in fact be hopeless.

  27. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    JJ,

    I don’t understand why you feel the need for a break.

    You claim, without evidence or support, that the Filibuster is unconstitutional.

    So, can you support your view or not?

    Isn’t it possible that your view or the way you “tend to see the TPM and secessionists” part of the problem?

    That you and those who agree with you are reading too much into the TPM? Projecting what isn’t there?

    How much of the reaction to the TPM is based on not what is said but the perception of those reading media stories?

    Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective people states that “Seek to Understand, then Be Understood”. That is what I’m trying to do by asking about the Filibuster.
    That is what I’m trying to do by trying to find out why it is wrong for a minority to stand against the majority?

  28. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Highly effective? Not working.

  29. JJ said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    >a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-neumanlee/fighting-for-peace-in-the_b_549605.html”>Fighting for Peace in the Current American Civil War

  30. Bob S. said,

    April 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    JJ,

    How does that answer the question “how is the filibuster not Constitutionally authorized”?

  31. April 28, 2010 at 8:46 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Billy McKee. Billy McKee said: The TEA Party Movement and Race « SouthernFemaleLawyer http://bit.ly/aCGIA6 […]

  32. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

    One difference in perspective that I am seeing is what constitutes big vs. small government. Here’s how I see it:

    Powerful citizenry = expansion of government programs (education, healthcare, fire dept., police dept., environmental programs, community strengthening programs, etc.), which means more government employees, less power of government over people (because power is being dispersed TO the people).

    Powerful government = fewer government programs (education, healthcare, etc. to only a select few), which means fewer government employees, more centralized power of government to dominate (executively) over the people. The more selective, private, and exclusive the programs, then the more concentrated the power.

    So when the TPM advocates smaller, but less powerful government, to me that is contradictory and what I really hear- the message my brain receives – is that they want to take power from the people and concentrate it down to just a select few via the privatization of everything.

    The seat belt and helmet thing, yes it is our right to choose safety or recklessness. But it’s not like we get put in prison if we do not comply. We get a small fine. Perhaps it would be better to let the reckless bits of our citizenry kill themselves off, but I don’t think so. I am glad that when my teenager begins driving, she will have this law to support her requirement that every passenger buckle up before the car pulls out. If it weren’t a law, rebellious teens might not buckle up or wear helmets just to impress each other. Since it is a law, it gives them an excuse to do the safe thing. I have used the law as an excuse to make my mother buckle up. “I’m not leaving ’til you fasten your seatbelt, Mom – don’t want to get a ticket.” Telling her she might die if she doesn’t just leads to an argument. Telling her she could cause me to get a ticket works every time. If the penalty for lack of compliance were prison time or something major, then I would be against it. Currently I see it more as motivation/reinforcement/encouragement to do the smart thing.

  33. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Celeste,

    I’m not sure if I agree with your scenarios.

    Could you explain how a powerful citizenry is equal to expansion of government programs.

    If the people are the ones setting the requirements, the expectations, the measures of success for education — why do we need more government employees?

    Let’s look at the police and the 2nd Amendment. If restrictions are removed so more law abiding people can own and carry firearms – that either reduces crime or does not increase crime. So, why would we need more law enforcement?
    It appears we would need less because the people’s rights have been enlarged. Only win people’s rights are abridged and the government takes over that responsibility does government grow, right?
    You aren’t allowed to protect yourself, so the city/state/nation hires more cops to try to protect you.

    is that they want to take power from the people and concentrate it down to just a select few via the privatization of everything.

    First, I know of no one in the TPM calling for the privatization of everything. The call is to let business run business and government be government. Should the Government own Stock in G.M. banks, etc? Should they run banks, GM? NO.

    Second, should the Federal Government be in charge of everything?
    Let’s take education and the debacle known as No Child Left Behind. Why should the federal government be given power of setting the educational standards when that is clearly not a mandated power in the Constitution?

    Next, your example of the — in my opinion poor parenting regarding seat belt laws. A parent shouldn’t have and shouldn’t fall back on something being done because it is the law.

    My family and friends wore seat belts in my cars long before it become the law. Period. My car, my rules.
    Especially my kids followed it – not because it was the law – but because I was the parent and I said to do it.
    I did explain the reason why I wanted it done – safety — but that was only to educate, not motivate.

    Want to make it a motivation, educational, encouragement to do the right thing, then change the law.
    Currently, everyone has to wear the helmets, buckle up. Why not change the law to say something like — it is a crime to be in an accident, to injury someone else and not be wearing a helmet./be buckled up?

  34. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Let’s work from the bottom up. I didn’t say I used the law to motivate my children to buckle up. I said I used it to get my mother to buckle up. You can re-read that bit before accusing me of poor parenting. I’m talking about unsuperviised, new drivers who still place the utmost importance on being, “cool”. My daughter may not feel powerful enough to tell her friends, “My mom says you have to buckle up for safetly and I agree.” If it is the law, then they will do it and lives can be saved. To create a law that affects someone AFTER harm has been done seems very illogical to me and defeats the purpose. Perhaps I didn’t understand your proposal: you did mean ticket the driver of a vehicle for not wearing his/her seatbelt only after they’ve wrecked and injured someone else? What if they’re dead themselves?

    Congratulations on your regal enforcement of your vehicle, your laws. In this, I see in you an appreciation for those things militant and an expectation of obedience. An insecure teenager may not feel as aloof. Or a daughter may feel uncomfortable giving her proud, but elderly mother such a haughty, parental, potentially humiliating command.

    Your claim that looser gun control laws could “reduce crime or not increase crime” is based on what? I’m not sure I agree. Law abiding citizens do not intentionally commit crimes- I get that. But, perhaps they don’t commit crimes but accidents or stupid mistakes caused by faulty judgement? Should guns be permitted at sporting events- there’d be many a murder there I’d bet. Some ball games are more rowdy that a Marilyn Manson concert. So, you claim crimes would not increase, but I’d argue that unnecessary deaths would certainly increase.

    I am more concerned about business regulating the government than I am about government regulating business. To a certain point, I agree they should stay away from each other. When the business grows to an international level, where humanity seems absent from their decisions, and they have the potential to do expansive harm (as in pharmaceutical and food industries) then I want the people’s interest looked after. The people’s voice gets collectively heard through their government (only if we keep lobbyists out of it).

    I would like to see more public schools (not less), well staffed, well equipped, serving healthy free food to every student (regardless of income). This would require more employees. I don’t know that I would make it mandatory for every student to attend. That’s something I’ve been contemplating lately. Education is a privledge and too many take it for granted. Public access to education is what matters. Forcing everyone to attend, well if we didn’t make those who took it for granted and were indifferent go, then we may not have as many disruptions to deal with. Only those who actually want to learn, and whose parents want and expect them to learn, with respect, in attendance could make for a strong education.

    Gotta go. If I didn’t address something, clear it up for me and I’ll get back.

  35. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Celeste,

    I apologize for misreading that section on your mom but the same argument still applies.

    You are saying that your daughter wont’ be able to enforce the rules, mentioning your requirement won’t be able to enforce the rule but the remote possibility they might get stopped and get a ticket is enough to enforce the rules.

    Sounds a little far fetched.
    My daughter was in the same boat as far as some friends not wanting to buckle up. She simply stopped the car and didn’t drive until they buckled up. No law forces compliance — it only proscribes the punishment IF caught.

    Can you name a single law that has stopped the behavior it prohibits or a single law that has shown 100% compliance with the behavior mandated?

    Any single law that says “You must buckle up” or “You must not kill people”?

    Passing these types of laws is attempting to mandate morality and makes things wrong just because there is suddenly a law against it.

    Why should the government get to decide if I wear a seat belt or not?
    What moral authority does it have to intrude into my life that far?

    Isn’t it amazing that some many people who say that the government shouldn’t tell people they can’t do with their bodies what they want (abortions – drugs- gay sex) are so willing to let the government tell people what to do with their bodies (wear seat belts, wear helmets, buy insurance)?

    You can try to attack my statements if you wish but the tone in which I and my children execute them is one of love and caring. That makes a difference.

    The TPM recognizes that the government has grown too large, too controlling and want to shrink it back down to a manageable size.
    It isn’t that we don’t won’t wear seat belts, just that it is our decision.
    It isn’t that we don’t have insurance, just that the government doesn’t have the authority to tell us to carry it.

    Your claim that looser gun control laws could “reduce crime or not increase crime” is based on what?

    Based on the scientific studies, surveys and the history of the country!
    Here is one piece of evidence – http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgcon.html

    How about the trends for crime rates across America
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=31

    Notice that I didn’t say that firearms and removing restrictions were the only reason for the decline but the evidence shows that as more and more states enacted concealed carry laws ; crime either dropped or didn’t increase.

    . So, you claim crimes would not increase, but I’d argue that unnecessary deaths would certainly increase.

    So, would you being able to support that belief?

    According to the CDC’s WISQARs database here are the fatal unintentional firearm fatality rates for years from 1999 to 2006
    1999 Rate 0.30
    2000 Rate 0.28
    2001 Rate 0.28
    2002 Rate 0.26
    2003 Rate 0.25
    2004 RAte 0.22
    2005 Rate 0.27
    2006 Rate 0.22

    A declining trend.

    From CDC WISQAR also — nonfatal firearm injury rates from 2001 to 2008
    2001 Rate 6.21
    2002 Rate 6.11
    2003 Rate 6.53
    2004 Rate 5.65
    2005 Rate 5.21
    2006 Rate 4.92
    2007 Rate 5.21
    2008 Rate 5.66

    Small increases in 2003 and 2008 but the raw numbers for 2002 and 2003 show only 1,362 more injuries. While more and more people are getting their concealed carry licenses, while more and more states are removing restrictions — the death and injury rates continue to decline.

    The predictions of blood in the streets, massive problems, etc just never seem to materialize.

    People exercising their rights and the government control shrinking — how is that not a good thing?

    I am more concerned about business regulating the government than I am about government regulating business.

    I agree with you here, but is the answer more government?
    Where do the people regulating businesses come from?
    From the business they regulate — because they are the experts or knowledgeable people, of course.

    The people’s voice gets collectively heard through their government (only if we keep lobbyists out of it).

    I’ll agree and disagree with this.

    Certainly the legislative branch of government provides a way for people’s voices to be heard — just as the judicial branch of the government does.
    But notice they are both branches of the government.

    Why not change the laws concerning law suits, proof of burden etc, instead of publishing 10,000 of thousands of pages of regulations that make it difficult for even lawyers to figure out if the businesses are complying?

    The other aspect is that I disagree because ownership in corporations is another way to make voices heard.

    It only takes a single share of stock for a person to be a share holder and eligible to attend meetings.
    It only takes a few voices raised within a corporation to affect change.

    Many corporations have and are adopting social justice philosophies, green philosophies, etc based on the input of their shareholders.

    Why not use that method instead of more regulations to make change?

    That is the philosophy behind the Tea Party — make it your responsibility to make change — not some faceless overworked — over paid bureaucrat.

    How is that a bad thing?

  36. mike w. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    The MSM wanted to brand the TPM as “racist” so they’ve done all they possibly could to paint the movement as such from the beginning.

    It doesn’t matter what reality is, that’s what the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) do when confronted with those who disagree with them.

  37. mike w. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Should guns be permitted at sporting events- there’d be many a murder there I’d bet. Some ball games are more rowdy that a Marilyn Manson concert. So, you claim crimes would not increase, but I’d argue that unnecessary deaths would certainly increase.

    Please present evidence that loosening gun laws would increase murder or unneccesary death. Reality proves otherwise.

    BTW – Guns already are permitted at many sporting events, yet amazingly we haven’t had a nationwide epidemic of CCW holders murdering folks at sporting events. Imagine that!

  38. JJ said,

    April 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    “I see in you an appreciation for those things militant and an expectation of obedience.”

    No kidding. Speaking of commanding obedience, here’s one enlightened dad’s perspective about any man in any culture demanding we stay out of his business on pain of death, and why there’s nothing particularly “American” about it:

    it’s the expression of those fundamental human hatreds, fears, and prejudices, the place we put them for safekeeping against the sniffing nose of inquiry. And since the story includes three things powerfully reviled by most religious traditions (curiosity, disobedience, and women), it’s not surprising to find them conveniently bundled into a single high-speed cable running straight to our cultural hearts.

  39. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    JJ,

    Please tell me how a federal law will instill the desired behavior when obedience to a parent does not?

    Please tell me why a government should be telling a person whether they should be eating transfat or not, adding salt, drinking sugary drinks or not?

    I notice that you spend time attacking me instead of discussing the issue of government size and scope. Why?

    I do require my kids to wear seat belts in my cars – militant or not, I don’t care how you perceive it. I do it out of love for my children, My children have learned that is the expectation for them and their friends. They do it out of love, respect and because it is the right thing to do, not because it is the law.
    Why is that hard to understand?

    Have you murdered anyone today? Why not? Because it is against the law or because it is the right thing to do – not murdering people?

    Allow the government to become the parent or the nanny is wrong, it means that we are dependent upon the government instead of the other way around.
    What happens if the government changes, are you going to abide by the rules of a government you disagree ?
    There are governments that mandate certain religious beliefs be observed….if we can dictate what you eat, why can’t the government dictate what you think?

  40. Salvador Dalai Llama said,

    April 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Okay, so maybe I’ll revise my earlier comments. This picture was taken at an anti-gun control rally in Maine:

    And that’s a big ol’ Confederate flag. What cultural heritage are they celebrating in Portland?

    Granted, it wasn’t a TPM rally. But here’s what one of the attendees said:

    The open carry protesters, on the other hand, said their fears stemmed from rampant government growth. Dave Nelson, of Gorham, one of the open carry protesters, told The Associated Press he doesn’t like what’s happening in the country regarding work ethic and government intrusion into people’s lives.

    “Things are changing drastically,” said Nelson, who wore a 9 mm handgun in a holster. “The government owns too many things. It’s trying to control people.”

    There’s no necessary connection between racism and gun rights. Far from it. But they do seem to occur in close proximity in actual practice, I’ve noticed. Not evidence that the TPM is racist, but does make it legitimate to ask the question.

  41. Salvador Dalai Llama said,

    April 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    In response to the discussion about government size/reach, and the example of transfats:

    The federal government currently does not regulate transfats. Some local jurisdictions do, like Boston and New York City. Is it okay for state or local governments to regulate it but not the federal government? Why? Is tranfat okay for people who live outside these cities?

    What the federal government does require is that companies label the transfat content of food accurately. If they didn’t, consumers would have no capability of knowing what their food contained. Are companies willing to divulge this kind of information voluntarily? History says “no.” And if people don’t have information, how can they exercise their rights?

    And what about that pesky government nannying of poor Massey Coal? I saw an article today opining that every Tea Party supporter should write a letter of apology to each grieving widow from the Upper Big Branch mine. If only that mean ol’ federal government would go away, those men would be alive today, right?

    Or rather, they’d be joined in heaven by thousands of their co-workers…

  42. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Let’s play spot the racism game

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/mexicoflag.asp
    Mexican Flag raised over upside down American Flag — racist or not?

    Is being proud of one’s heritage racist?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100426/us_nm/us_usa_politics_immigration

    How about this protester carrying a Mexican flag or can only portly white men and women be racist?

    I didn’t hear the far left bemoaning racism when the immigration protests were going on, why?

    Why is it limited to just a few pale people?

    Because some people dare question the agenda of a huge federal government?
    Because some people dare question the authority in which they are told to purchase a commercial product or service?

    If the government can tell you to buy insurance for your own good, it is not that far of a stretch they can tell you what time to go to bed is it?

    Sleep deprivation has become one for the most pervasive health problems facing the United States. It is estimated that people on average now sleep one and a half hours less than people did a century ago.
    http://www.sleepdex.org/deficit.htm

    Where does the power of the Federal government end?

  43. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    1st – please forgive the gazillion typos of my previous comment. I was rushing, but I always am.

    Mike W. – which specific gun control laws would you like to see loosened? I agree that law-abiding citizens should be able to own and carry their weapons. I believe there needs to be restrictions on *where* they can carry them. Even if there has not been an epidemic, even one unnecessary death is one too many. Accidental shootings have been all over our news lately, I think in part it has to do with people thinking that just anyone can have a gun anywhere they want to have it – just a confusion over transitioning gun laws.

    Bob S.
    Just wanted to make sure you know that I DO understand what you’re saying about children and seatbelts. My children wear them because I tell them to also. It’s not negotiable with them. I was only saying it helps in situations where you want to leave a peer, colleague, or parent’s pride intact that there is a law to support your requirement to buckle up. Not just tell another adult whom you respect, “because I said so”.

    Believe it or not, there are those who have been drinking soda pop from the time they were infants. Many still do not know the harm that this can do to them. Corporations should be forced to provide honest information. An informed consent type of thing. Commercials and other media tell men (via dazzling images) if they drink certain drinks they will be gorgeous, successful, men that women fall all over. This is a lie. I think commercials should be forced to be honest. Instead of showing the guy with the softdrink looking like Brad Pitt with women all over him, show the guy looking like Newman from Seinfeld. Corporations should not prey on the people. If they do, an advocate for our rights should stop them. I see this as exactly what our government is *supposed* to be doing.

    It may be productive to find out what you think the government *is* for? What do you believe is the purpose of even having a government?

  44. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Salavador,

    Your examples fall a little short because I don’t consider it okay for the local or state governments to ban transfat or limit salt.

    The labeling requirements are also, in my opinion, an example of the abuse under the commerce clause. The government could have spend money educating people to the dangers instead of passing a law, right?

    Then the people could decide — all on their own — if they want to purchase products that contain certain ingredients and in what portion.

    The people could also decide — all on their own — if they want to buy from a company that doesn’t put the information on every can.
    Maybe I want to buy from a company that puts the information online so I can use it before I get to the store to decide but save printing costs on each label.

    Which allows greater personal freedom is the question.

    And if people don’t have information, how can they exercise their rights?

    UHHHM, they can educate themselves, perhaps?

    How do you know about your rights, did the government force you to register to vote?

    Did the government require a label on every newspaper saying you also have the right of freedom of speech?

    Please tell me you aren’t suggesting it is the governments job to tell people what their rights are, what they should know about nutrition — because without the government mandated labels people would starve to death.

    If only that mean ol’ federal government would go away, those men would be alive today, right?

    Talk about dancing in the blood of the dead.

    Guess history is not taught as well as it used to be — because I thought that UNIONS were a major factor in the improvement of mine safety.

    Mining is a dangerous job, no amount of laws -state or federal – are going to make it safe.

    Making it safer yes, but not safe. Also, notice that despite the vast number of laws, the vast number of governmental employees — the company still violated the laws.

    Maybe if we take some of those federal Department of Education employees or the people who monitor food labels and put them to inspecting mines those lives might not have been lost.

    The TPM is not against government – just out of control government increase and scope. Which do you consider more important — federally mandated education laws or mine safety?

    It is about spending our tax dollars wisely — not on letters telling us they are going to send us a census form but on mine safety inspection.

  45. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Celeste,

    Thanks for replying and understanding.

    I believe there needs to be restrictions on *where* they can carry them

    I’m Mike but I’ll answer your question with a question — where should the restrictions be on carrying firearms?

    How about the Post Office? Currently it is a Federal Offense to have a firearm on the property of a Federal Post Office.
    Why there?

    Those are the laws we need to loosen, not tighten. There are very few places that should be off limits — notice that not a single one of those laws stop criminals from carrying in those places — just the law abiding.

    Even if there has not been an epidemic, even one unnecessary death is one too many.

    How about one rape because the person was not able to carry effective defense on a college campus — currently against the law in most states — is that one rape too many?

    How about one murder — Chicago has a handgun ban in place — shouldn’t we count the people murdered without a chance to effectively defend themselves as one too many?

    When we accept that “even one is too many” mentality, we end liberty.
    We can not stop people from driving badly – deliberately driving recklessly. Using the “even one” philosophy would mean that we effectively ban automobiles as a mode of transportation because even one accidental death is too many.

    Is that what you want? I don’t.

    I was only saying it helps in situations where you want to leave a peer, colleague, or parent’s pride intact that there is a law to support your requirement to buckle up.

    I may be off base here but if the choice is between my parents pride and risking their life, there goes their pride. Sorry, love too much to do otherwise.

    Believe it or not, there are those who have been drinking soda pop from the time they were infants. Many still do not know the harm that this can do to them.

    Okay, I’ll ask – mandatory labeling has been around for decades – Has it solved the problem?

    Nope, it hasn’t solved the problem. So the “big government philosophy” says to pass another law that isn’t going to solve the problem either.

    How does that help?

    Corporations should not prey on the people.

    So is your belief that people are too dumb or too uneducated or too simply to see through advertising?

    Why not give the people a little more credit and not treat them like children?

    Seriously, that is the intent I see behind making corporations be honest.

    Hey, people lie on their first dates — should we pass a law that all first dates must be done while hooked up to a polygraph machine?

    People lie about their job abilities — should the federal government pass laws about what skills a person must have to get a job, then implement testing to be sure that person has the claimed abilities?

    See how ridiculous of a length the big government philosophy can lead to.

    Who’s responsibility is it to figure out that eating 5,000 calories a day might make a person fat — the federal government or the individual?

    That is the message of the Tea Party – take responsibility for your own life, don’t pawn it off on Washington.

  46. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Here is a Great example of exactly what I’m talking about

    (CNN) — A California county on Tuesday became the first in the nation to ban toys from fast food kids’ meals high in calories, fat, salt and sugar.

    Santa Clara County supervisors voted 3-2 to ban the plastic goodies as promotions in meals with more than 485 calories.

    County supervisor Ken Yeager said Tuesday that the ordinance “prevents restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys to peddle high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium kids’ meals,” and would help fight childhood obesity.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/28/fast.food.toys.california/index.html?hpt=C1

    Instead of allowing parents to decide, allowing adults to be responsible; the county says that they know what is right for everyone and makes it illegal to offer a toy.

    Don’t they have more important things to be doing — like catching criminals, paving roads, building bridges?

  47. southern female lawyer said,

    April 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Some posts were late in going up – if you post more than 1 link, they get caught as spam. Will read all these and catch up tonight…..SFL

  48. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    SFL,

    Thanks for pulling the comments out of the spam filter.

    What is your preference – multiple links in a single comment or post separate comments for each link?

  49. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Bob S., or Mike,

    There is so much that you are blind to, and I don’t know how to open your eyes. I see your frustration in the way you explain things to me because you think I don’t get your point. I get what you are saying – I do. I just don’t know how to make you see my perspective. There are people who need help understanding how to (and even that they can) help themselves. You would see those people as weaklings or deserving their fate; I don’t.
    Social Darwinism I mentioned earlier – sorry but you reak of it.

    Genetically modified food needs to be labeled. I understand there has been some miniscule progress in this area lately. Other countries it is most definitely labeled. Some countries don’t even allow the import of American food because of this scientific manipulation of its genes. Dennis Kucinich is one who has been fighting to get the FDA to require labeling here also, but he was met with much resistance b/c there are powerful, corporate interests represented in the FDA.

  50. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Celeste,

    Nice of you to be condescending to us and just about everyone else who “doesn’t get it”.

    here are people who need help understanding how to (and even that they can) help themselves.

    So instead of educating people, spending time providing that understanding your response is to take away the decision making process from them?

    Is that what you are saying?

    Because people don’t know how to purchase insurance or if they need to — that we should make it a federal law for everyone to have insurance.

    How does that help them become better people? It doesn’t it continues to treat them as children instead of adults.

    Why can’t you see that the philosophy you advocate doesn’t increase personal ability.

    Why can’t you see that the philosophy you advocate doesn’t increase knowledge, it substitutes laws.

    Let’s take poverty for an example — has the decades long effort taken people out of poverty?
    Has it taught people to make better decisions or has it just made them more dependent on other people’s tax dollars doled out by the government?

  51. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Did I even mention insurance? Please take the time and read what I say before you start ranting. Or calling someone a poor parent for that matter.

    Do you have any idea how powerful advertisements are? I don’t think most people are stupid. Those were your words, not mine. Please understand the philosophy I advocate before telling me everything it is or isn’t. I think most people are good and trusting to a fault. As I understand it your philosophy is that there is no such thing as a victim, except in cases of physical assault. That about right?

    Please answer some questions:
    Why do you suppose poor people are the most affected by the obesity epidemic?

    Again, what *do* you think is the purpose of having a government?

    What do you think should happen to the head honchos of goldman sachs?

    Do you think corporations should be given human rights? If so, what about mother nature – should she be given human rights as well?

    And seriously man, you said “I may be off base here but if the choice is between my parents pride and risking their life, there goes their pride. Sorry, love too much to do otherwise.”
    See here is a lack of understanding between us. It’s not a choice between their life OR their pride. They can have both. In dominating your father or your mother with the law, as opposed to “because it’s my car and I said so”, you save their pride at the expense of your own. You aren’t willing to do that? I totally am.

  52. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Celeste,

    The TPM grew in part due to the Health Care Reform — mandatory insurance.
    Just because you didn’t mention it specifically doesn’t mean it isn’t part of the problem. I’ve referenced Health Insurance many times during this discussion.

    Maybe taking your own advice and reading before you start ranging might make sense, eh?

    Do you have any idea how powerful advertisements are?

    yes I do, but let me ask a simple question — if advertising is so effective – why do companies have to spend so much time and money on it?

    Wouldn’t a single viewing be sufficient?

    Again this goes back to the victimhood mentality that seems to be a specialty of the left.

    People are nearly helpless against the effects of advertising; not being able to evaluate the cost, health benefits, the risks, etc…..nope advertising convinces them to do things they wouldn’t do without it.

    like eating at Fast Food restaurants, or buying insurance. Good Grief how many ads on TV, radio and the Internet, in Print media do we see?
    Yet curiously enough, those ads aren’t sufficient to have people buy insurance so the government has to mandate it.

    Isn’t that counter to your argument?

    Those were your words, not mine.

    Those things at the end of a sentence –? <– that one. It indicates a question mark — meaning I'm asking if I understand your philosophy correctly.

    Let's look at your words “There are people who need help understanding how to (and even that they can) help themselves.”

    Your words seems to indicate the those “people” lack the needed skills, or ability or intelligence to make their own decisions. So which is it?

    Despite decades of increasing governmental control over education, over advertising – people still lack the ability to help themselves according to you.

    Despite decades of teaching, despite hundreds of thousands of publications,agents and agencies — people still lack the ability to help themselves according to you

    Despite decades of increasing governmental regulation, mandated communication and disclosures — people still lack the ability to help themselves according to you.

    So the answer being advocated here and elsewhere is — more government?
    How does that make sense?

    Why do you suppose poor people are the most affected by the obesity epidemic?

    I would say that you see the poor people as victims — but victims of what?
    Poor Education?
    Poor labeling?
    Poor regulations on food contents?

    What are the people victims of?

    People get laid off – those are victims of a lay off. But most people don’t stay victims.

    People suffer the effects of extreme weather – Like Katrina or Tornados — but most people don’t stay victims.

    I see people as victims when they are victims. I also see that people have a choice and each day they can make a different choice.

    The purpose of government? Simple

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Promote the General Welfare does not mean provide welfare for life — and you can’t no deny there are people who are on welfare their entire life.

    Notice that those words don’t promise equality of outcome — but together promise equality of opportunity.

    If in your view, there are so many people that need help to know how to help themselves — why do so many people in the same situation not stay in the same situation?

    They can have both. In dominating your father or your mother with the law, as opposed to “because it’s my car and I said so”, you save their pride at the expense of your own.

    I’ll humble myself, I’ll empty myself of all my pride and ego if it convinces my parent to do the right thing instead of “dominating ” with the law.

    I don’t need the crutch of an outside agency to convince people to do the right thing….do you?

  53. JJ said,

    April 28, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    So Bob S. and Mike are the same person and “he” got confused above in #47 , about which name he was using for which posts? If so, it’s sock puppetry and might make a good example here in the context of obnoxious antisocial behavior not technically against the law yet damaging to real community engagement.

  54. Celeste Peck said,

    April 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    You missed most of my points and ignored others. The people you see as beneath you know much more about your values and beliefs than you know about theirs. Go ahead and believe everyone that lives in poverty is there because they are inferior to you somehow. Give yourself a nice pat on the back for whatever successes you’ve had in life so far. You earned it I’m sure. Just like they earned their place in life. Congratulate yourself and your buddies on being enititled to things that the poor are not entitled to.
    I will butt my head against the wall no more with you, Bob.

  55. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    JJ,

    I mistyped, that should have been I”m not Mike. I know Mike W. he blogs at http://www.anothergunblog-dot-com.

    I blog at 3boxesofbs-dot-com.

    Celeste,

    Which points did I miss and which did I ignore?

    I addressed insurance.
    i addressed advertising.

    I addressed obesity.
    I addressed victimhood.

    Go ahead and believe everyone that lives in poverty is there because they are inferior to you somehow.

    That is the most backward load of crap written here.

    You seem to think that people are inferior to you. Since you know what to do and they need help figuring it out — YOUR words not mine.

    I consider myself to be equal to them or them equal to me — how ever you want to look at it.
    I’m not the one saying that people are trapped by advertising into do things they don’t want to.
    I’m not the one saying that people need the government to spell out nutritional information because they don’t know how to help themselves.

    Let me ask you a question — if you are so concerned about obesity and nutrition among the poor, how many hours do you spend helping to resolve the problem?
    how many hours do you think others who believe the same way spend trying to solve the problem?

    People cry and moan that something should be done….but most of the time it comes down to hiring other people to do it or passing yet another law.

    Why do we still have obesity despite decades of governmental regulation and efforts?

    Why do we still have poverty despite decades of governmental regulation, efforts and billions of dollars spent?

    Congratulate yourself and your buddies on being enititled to things that the poor are not entitled to.

    Stop projecting all over me. Show me where I’ve said I’m entitled to things that the poor aren’t — the only thing I’ll say that I’m entitled to that the poor aren’t is my money.

    Note that is “entitled”! you know nothing about me, the time and money I donate to cause I support.

    So before you start throwing stones about entitlement and places in life, consider your own words.

  56. JJ said,

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I will butt my head against the wall no more with you, Bob.

    Think that would fit on a t-shirt? I’d buy one. SFL could sell ’em through the blog and donate the proceeds.

  57. Bob S. said,

    April 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    JJ,

    So instead of answering how the filibuster is unconstitutional, you make jokes.

    Yep. let’s stay focused on the issue, eh.

  58. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 7:34 am

    When this:
    Tyranny of the minority via filibuster is neither right nor power spelled out in the constitution

    can be unabashedly conflated to:
    the filibuster is unconstitutional

    it’s time for the t-shirt that says, “I toured the TPM and all I got was an indictment of our education system.”

    They can’t even read the full phrasing of the one sentence comprising their own favorite constitutional amendment in context, to see and understand the word REGULATED right there staring back at them big as life, no matter how much they demand the unregulated individual freedom to buy deadly weapons and shoot to kill, at anything including other humans that moves without their permission, in the name of — what was it again? — oh yeah, life and liberty and domestic tranquility that promotes the general welfare, to the end of a more perfect union. Ri-ight..

    By willfullly or stupidly ignoring context, they agitate and bully only for their own individual life and liberty, not the life and liberty of their fellow citizens generally and certainly not for security of “the People” rather than themselves as persons preferring not to be governed at all. They intentionally sabotage domestic tranquility as a couple of self-aggrandized “gun nuts” are doing right here; they intend justice only for themselves and their kin, not the union. In fact, they mean to threaten the union itself, not to make ir more perfect. Talk about unconstitutional.

  59. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I’m in Florida where we’re in the final few days of the legislative session. TPM-intoxicated conservatives and libertarians here just simultaneously passed contradictory provisions that: 1)support the State officially challenging the federal government over requiring citizens to purchase health insurance (on pain of — no penalty at all), and
    2) require every woman seeking to end a pregnancy even in the first trimester, to purchase a $400 medically useless ultrasound against her will, and pay for it out of pocket, on pain of — FORCED PARENTHOOD!

  60. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:10 am

    And due to disproportionate impact, both are racist in effect if not intent.

  61. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:18 am

    JJ,

    Don’t forget this quote:
    Thanks for underlining the point, that TPM thinkers do think the filibuster is, while not contemplated in the Constitution,

    I’ve asked several different ways, several different times for your explanation — I figured you were just having difficulty with understanding.

    Let’s see I asked:
    Why shouldn’t the filibuster be acceptable?
    and
    How does that answer the question “how is the filibuster not Constitutionally authorized”?
    and
    That is what I’m trying to do by asking about the Filibuster.
    That is what I’m trying to do by trying to find out why it is wrong for a minority to stand against the majority?

    and
    Please explain exactly how the Filibuster isn’t Constitutionally authorized and does it help or hurt the expansion of governmental powers?

    So perhaps you woudn’t mind answering some of the questions that you’ve refused to ask.
    I just try to rephrase it to get through to you…perhaps that was my mistake in thinking that I could.

    to see and understand the word REGULATED right there staring back at them big as life,

    First, do you know how REGULATED as you put it was used historically, how it was used at the time when the Bill of Rights was written?

    Here is a little primer for you
    We can begin to deduce what well-regulated meant from Alexander Hamilton’s words in Federalist Paper No. 29:

    The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
    — The Federalist Papers, No. 29.

    Hamilton indicates a well-regulated militia is a state of preparedness obtained after rigorous and persistent training. Note the use of ‘disciplining’ which indicates discipline could be synonymous with well-trained.
    – guncite-dot-com/gc2ndmea-dot-html

    Means well trained…are you willing to have the government – city county state and federal government provide training to insure the militia is well regulated?

    Besides, can you show that gun owners aren’t well trained?

    o matter how much they demand the unregulated individual freedom to buy deadly weapons and shoot to kill, at anything including other humans that moves without their permission

    What a CROCK of Bovine Excrement !!!!

    Regulated freedom to buy deadly weapons? Show me which gun rights advocates have demanded the removal of all firearm related laws.

    shoot to kill, at anything including other humans that moves without their permission BUNK. show me the evidence to support your contention here Bub, because I’m calling BS on you.

    Do we want to be able to protect ourselves yes. Do we want the repeal of the laws against murder, absolutely not and you can not support that statement I bet.

    Dishing out adhominem personal attacks like this is a sign of desperation and lack of intelligent argument.

    And you continue in the same vein — instead of discussing the issue as SFL wants — what is the goal of the TPM, are those goals racists, etc; you delve into mouth foaming hysteria.

  62. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

    By the way JJ — I don’t agree with the requirement to make viewing an ultrasound before an abortion.

    I think that is a travesty and an infringement of governmental control that is particularly heinous.

  63. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:28 am

    That TPM sympathizers in my state, restricting my freedoms as they protect only their own against spending for the general welfare, is the subject at hand. Not some guy named Bob or Mike fixated on guns and women as sex objects (yeah, I checked out your boy blogs.)

  64. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Regulated freedom to buy deadly weapons? Show me which gun rights advocates have demanded the removal of all firearm related laws.

    Again, I’m from Florida. Marion Hammer was our famous (notorious) NRA lobbyist who through the 1980s I watched in person in our state Capitol as I advocated for public education and she for unregulated guns, before she went on to national NRA leadership:

    On police-maintained databases of gun buyers:
    “We don’t want government to know who has the guns. If the government knows
    who has guns and where to find them, they can ban them and then confiscate
    them.”
    –Miami Herald

    On privacy rights of gun owners:
    “Owning a gun is not a crime. Pawning a gun is not a crime. The Constitution is not for the convenience of law enforcement. It’s about protecting the rights of private people�. This is not about law enforcement. This is about profiling innocent citizens.”
    –Miami Herald

    Btw, the meaning of “general welfare” was mischaracterized above as public assistance payments to the poor; here’s the definition from USConstitution dot net’s basic glossary:

    Welfare
    welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] Source: AHD

    Welfare in today's context also means organized efforts on the part of public or private organizations to benefit the poor, or simply public assistance. This is not the meaning of the word as used in the Constitution.

  65. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Putting on my t-shirts and off to find Celeste for coffee and cookies, til SFL gets back . . .

  66. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

    JJ,

    Sorry but I don’t see in your quote the removal of all firearm related law.

    Registration of firearms has, historically lead to confiscation. Why do you conflate the intrusive governmental regulation with the advocacy of removing all firearm related laws?

    Do you advocate the same restrictions on all of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights?

    Are you for One Church/Religious meeting a month?
    Background checks of before each blog post?
    A database of all the comments you make?

    Where does the governmental intrusion into our lives end?
    There are laws against murder — doesn’t stop murder.
    There are laws against assault — doesn’t stop assault.
    And most violent crimes are not even accomplished with a weapon, much less a firearm.

    After 1996, less than 10% of nonfatal violent crimes involved firearm.
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/percentfirearm.cfm

    The CDC evaluated gun control laws and found no evidence of them being effective.

    During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.

    So, just what laws do you advocate?

  67. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Go ahead and believe everyone that lives in poverty is there because they are inferior to you somehow.

    Bob, she’s exhibiting classic projection here. This is how SHE views others, therefore she projects it onto us.

    Gotta love the condescending attitude as well, that people are just to damn stupid to make their own personal choices.

  68. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

    to see and understand the word REGULATED right there staring back at them big as life, no matter how much they demand the unregulated individual freedom to buy deadly weapons and shoot to kill, at anything including other humans that moves without their permission.

    Apparently it is you who cannot understand plain english. (And has no understanding of 18th century word usage) Hint – The word “regulate” has an entirely different meaning in today’s common usage than it did in the 18th century. If you read the ENTIRE 2nd Amendment and have a basic understanding of 18th century english perhaps you’d understand what it means.

    Also, I don’t see where any american who respects the Constitution is claiming a right to “shoot to kill at anything that moves.” Making such statements just makes you look ignorant.

  69. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:47 am

    LOL to “people are to damn stupid” . . .

  70. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Mike fixated on guns and women as sex objects (yeah, I checked out your boy blogs.)

    Hmm, my post on penis envy was making fun of a common anti-gun theme equating gun as sex objects (i.e. phallic symbols)

    The most recent post was in reference to Boobquake, not a “fixation on women as sex objects.”

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Boobquake/115608248460905?ref=ts

    Perhaps you should try educating yourself before commenting.

  71. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

    LOL to someone being so immature she has to make fun of a typo rather than engage in a intelligent discussion.

  72. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    So JJ, any intelligent, rational counterpoints to offer?

  73. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

    BTW – What exactly were you objecting to that Marion Hammer said?

  74. Sevesteen said,

    April 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

    If you want to require women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion, you are not a libertarian–that would be like calling yourself a liberal while advocating a return to segregation.

    If “well regulated” means what you say it does and applies to ownership rather than smooth operation of the militia, what does “shall not be infringed” mean, and what rights are protected by the second amendment?

    Should the government be allowed to require registration of printing presses and other journalist’s tools, because they might also be used for sedition or pornography?

    Do the 9th and 10th amendments mean anything?

  75. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Do the 9th and 10th amendments mean anything?

    I was going to ask that, but they’re so often ignored these days by both parties I figured why bother. Besides, she can’t even read the 2nd Amendment.

    I’m glad to see the states finally pushing back against the Feds, but I fear it’ll be largely in vain.

    The individual mandate is pretty clearly unconstitutional as well. I can’t recall any time in modern American history where people have been forced, under penalty of law, to purchase a product on the private market whether they want to or not. Sure sounds like freedom to me!….

  76. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    The comments here sent me back into my blog for a sampling of how we’re learning that political speech doesn’t and basically can’t capture truth even when we believe it does and not even in our own minds, much less the other guy’s:

    Brain Frames in the Political Mind:

    . . . [Listen to] linguist George Lakoff on what recent brain research demonstrates about the power of language to shape unconscious thought… and why he believes anti-democratic forces in this country will prevail unless progressives start using language that can change brains.

    I just heard him respond to a caller that, “MERE EDUCATION WON”T HELP. . . Unless you learn how thinking really works, from grade school on, you’re gonna be susceptible . . . you teach people about training and metaphors, that the Father of the Country isn’t “Daddy”, as a normal way of thinking . . .

    **********

    Power of Political Story in Educating Our Old Brains

    . . .Refuting political attacks, rumors and even outright lies would logically seem to be a matter of substantive evidence, yet cognitive scientists are proving it’s really not. It’s power of story. And even as I say this and you might believe me, we both will continue to rationalize our own beliefs as strongly evidence-based even when they’re not. There IS substantive evidence for that as the way our minds really work — and that we won’t actually accept that evidence even as we think we do.

    I’m one of the biggest champs of thinking and reason and research around, but I’m learning that my own brain doesn’t always tell me what it’s thinking. 🙂

    Even as we research the facts to repeatedly reject an untrue rumor or “story” we are embedding it in our brains’ data bank about “reality.” These mechanisms are in FACT mostly unconscious and that’s the substantive evidence I find most enlightening to my own politics, both educational and presidential. 🙂

    Language whether from blogs, ads, speeches or polls isn’t ever just what it seems. . .

  77. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Some things are a matter of objective truth JJ. They can be denied steadfastly because they dont’ fit with one’s worldview, but that doesn’t make them any less true. (See meaning of the word “regulated” as an example)

    I guess now we know the answer to whether or not you’d offer any rational, intelligent counterpoints to anything said in this comment thread.

  78. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    RE: the deadly intellectual sin of confirmation bias (believing with confidence first, then seeking only evidence to bolster that beliefand twisting the rest to fit)

    We ALL do it. The trick isn’t to lead our children into a magical life free of confirmation bias, but to get them to fall so deeply in love with reality that they work hard to fight this tendency in themselves and others — precisely because it deludes us and blinds us to reality more than any other error.

  79. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    JJ,

    Then provide the evidence, statistics, supporting documentation to prove what I’ve said isn’t what it seems.

    Has gun ownership gone up at the same time that crime has been trending down?
    Has there been an increase in the number of people carrying concealed while the crime rates, fatality and injury rates been trending down?

    That should show whether or not there be more accidents – accidental shootings and problems.

    Has the government grown larger at the expense of our freedoms or not?

    Provide the evidence to show that it hasn’t.

    Present the information in such a compelling way that you change our minds — use the advertising that Celeste finds so compelling to present your information in such a way we will believe — if it can be done.

    How about presenting the data, the evidence the statistics showing the TPM is racist, eh?

  80. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    One of the foremost cognition and education experts in the world is Dr. Howard Gardner; his evidence-based book Changing Minds should be of great self-interest to any mind not stubbornly stuck in an uneducable rut. There are seven powerful “levers” suggested, the new “Rs” if you will, easy to list but not so easy to deeply understand and marshal*:

    Gardner’s Seven Levers of Mind Change:

    1. Reason

    2. Research

    3. Resonance

    4. Representational Redescriptions

    5. Resources and Rewards

    6. Real World Events

    7. Resistances

    *marshal used here as a transitive verb to mean “1: to place in proper rank or position [and]
    2 : to bring together and order in an appropriate or effective way

  81. southern female lawyer said,

    April 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Okay…don’t make me pull the minivan over (and yes, I am currently driving a minivan – some asshat plowed his pickup into my jeep and it was either some ridiculous sedan or the minivan at the rental place. So, minivan).

    So, I am going to address the “smaller” government issue. Bear in mind that I am considering federally-protected individual rights, specifically ALL 1st am rights (including abortion and marriage) and Equal Protection, in light of the statistics that show high TPM opposition to abortion, gay marriage, civil rights, EEO, etc.

    Again, maybe you all are seeing different people in your local TPM, but mine is overwhelming and explicitly uber conservative christian and the most common things you will hear discussed are abortion, gay marriage, and being forced to “accept” X.

    The problem with saying the TPM is X, or the TPM stands for Y is that there is no unified TPM platform. And the little bits that DO seem to define all or most of the TPM are in conflict with what large chunks of the TPM want. My belief is that this is because the rallying cry that connects most of the TPM groups, smaller federal government in the libertarian sense, doesn’t jive with the actually desires of most of the TPM people.

    I don’t buy the argument that a what the TPM really means is a literal smaller federal government so much as they want the federal government to rewrite the Constitution to remove the Supremacy Clause and then effectively go away. TPM appears to want to keep the individual rights of which it approves, but wants to be able to abolish individual rights for others. And I am sorry, but you can’t pick and choose. We either have a fed BOR that protects the rights of the minority from the beliefs of the majority, or we don’t.

    If one of the unifying concepts amongst the TPM is “liberty,” then shouldn’t the TPM look *more* like libertarians and *less* like conservative christian republicans? Why is it a violation of one’s liberty to pass HCR on a federal level, but it *isn’t* a violation of one’s liberty to “define marriage”? How can the TPM say that our 2nd Am rights are threatened and must be protected, and in the next breath, call for prayer in schools? And I would think that actual libertarians would find this picking and choosing offensive to libertarian ideals.

    In my opinion, the reason that the TPM looks pretty homogenous is because it is a group of people who want the same things – specifically, rights for themselves – AND, more importantly, also agree that they want certain things taken away from others. In other words, if the TPM were JUST about protecting rights, more people would be hopping on that train. The problem is, that they seem to be equally vocal about taking things from other people.

    And while there are most certainly people in the TPM that don’t really want to infringe upon the rights of others, or take from them, they are *more* concerned with protecting their own rights, to the point that they see the taking from others as simply collateral damage. Because no matter what people say *here* – i.e., the AZ immigration law is unconstitutional, the FL ultrasound law is unconstitutional – IF you are on board with the TPM, you are necessarily supporting those kinds of laws, as they are what the majority of TPM folk really really want.

    And today’s cookies are the chocolate-dipped peanut butter drops.

  82. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    SFL,

    It seems a little contradictory to say that statistically the TPM Supports X then turn around and say that the TPM has no unified platform, doesn’t it?

    Do some of the people want abortion bans, etc yes. Does that mean that defines the movement — NO.

    The other aspect is that wording is crucial – opposition to abortion is not the same thing as seeking to restrict other people’s rights.

    I am opposed to abortion – but I will not support anything that restricts someone’s rights to one. There is no contradiction in that.

    I want my liberty and I support your liberty.

    Why is it a violation of one’s liberty to pass HCR on a federal level, but it *isn’t* a violation of one’s liberty to “define marriage”?

    The simple answer is because one requires me to purchase a product and service and the other codifies a long standing definition of a rite that has been in existence as long as the country.

    I personally think the government should but out of the marriage business completely and register unions. That is it — let your religion or lack of religion decide what is a marriage . the government has no business deciding.

    How can the TPM say that our 2nd Am rights are threatened and must be protected, and in the next breath, call for prayer in schools?

    This is one of the most inaccurate rendering of the “prayer in school” views. People don’t want “prayer in schools” they want the government to stop telling people they can’t pray in school. There is a big difference.

    An atheist can get up an give a presentation on evolution for a speech class, right? But many schools prohibit a Christian from giving a speech on Easter, or Baptism, etc. That is blatant discrimination.

    A level playing field is what is being asked, not people being forced to join in a prayer but if a student wants to lead a prayer — why can’t they?
    If a student wanted to lead a budhist chant or native american dance — those tend to get approved.

    And I would think that actual libertarians would find this picking and choosing offensive to libertarian ideals.

    Consider that your perception is being filtered by what the media — lots of left leaning media — is saying about the TPM.

    Have you actually been to a Tea Party? Have you actually talked/discussed the issue with more then the folks who responded here?

    The picking and choosing is often an effect of the slanted reporting.

    they are *more* concerned with protecting their own rights,

    Aren’t you more concerned about protecting your rights then you are about protecting my rights?

    How are they any different?

    to the point that they see the taking from others as simply collateral damage.

    What exactly rights are they trying to “take” from others?
    Gay Marriage rights — they don’t have those “rights” currently so no one is taking them from them. Resisting a redefinition of marriage yes – see earlier comments.

    IF you are on board with the TPM, you are necessarily supporting those kinds of laws, as they are what the majority of TPM folk really really want.

    I disagree with this completely.

    If you are a liberal, are you on board with citizen disarmament and restrictive gun control laws?

    Because if you are on board with some of the liberal views, then you are on board with all of them. That doesn’t track with what I know about you. Not at all.

    I find it amazing that you see the ultrasound law as unconstitutional but don’t see the health care insurance mandate as unconstitutional.

    The Ultrasound law states that before this operation is performed a woman must purchase a product or service.

    The Insurance mandate does the same thing.

    If one is unconstitutional, then the other is.
    (By the way, I’ll again state my opposition to the ultrasound law — it is wrong).

  83. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    TPM appears to want to keep the individual rights of which it approves, but wants to be able to abolish individual rights for others. And I am sorry, but you can’t pick and choose.

    And the Democratic party doesn’t do this?

    I find JJ funny in that she avoids discussion almost completely and then posts comments that aren’t germane to anything being discussed. It’s actually quite sad.

  84. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I personally think the government should but out of the marriage business completely and register unions. That is it — let your religion or lack of religion decide what is a marriage . the government has no business deciding.

    Thank you Bob for describing my position on marriage to a T.

    The whole “Sanctity of Marriage” BS that some members of the GOP tout is BS. Who a person chooses to marry is none of the states business, be they straight, gay, black, white or purple.

  85. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Funny AND sad?? That’s a start at least, toward acknonwledging complexity..

  86. southern female lawyer said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Bob S – majority rules. If the majority of the TPM want bans on abortion, then the candidates that they endorse will necessarily support bans on abortion. If you can find me any TPM backed candidate, speaker, etc who is adamantly pro-choice, please do. Ditto gay marriage.

    As for “prayer in schools,” I strongly disagree, both in your assertion of what people want and your description of the status quo. The common misperception of the two religion clauses is that not allowing state-sanctioned religious activity is a violation of one’s free exercise. No one is telling anyone they can’t pray in schools. Your examples are also inaccurate. Of course a student can give a speech about Easter in a speech class. A student cannot, however, lead a prayer at a school assembly where attendance is mandatory.

    It’s context. And believe me, I *know* what people mean when they say they want prayer in schools. And when they say specifically they want the ACLU banned and that separation of church and state is wrong, I think the message is pretty clear.

    Not to mention, when I hear speaker after speaker say that “we are a Christian nation” and that our laws should reflect that, I see a clear desire to erode the ‘establishment of religion’ prohibition.

    As for my activity, I have been to events, talked to people, joined local on-line discussions, and fielded their questions as a panel member. I think I can pretty safely say that I know what the TPM issues and concerns are, at least locally.

    And actually, as a legal matter, the right to marry is federally protected via precedent – otherwise people wouldn’t be calling for a Fed Am. In theory, this right extends to ALL legally competent citizens. States’ power to refuse FFC and deny EP to their citizens is the question. Attys and activists know this, and that is why the current fed case is the one that will likely head to SCOTUS.

    Part of denying a right to another citizen is redefining the facts so that you can find a way to say there is no right. Kind of like you did on all these points. And you really kind of proved my point in doing so. No one is going to say “I’m going to take away your right!” – they’re just going to say you didn’t have it in the first place.

    You know my opinion on guns. But we ALL prioritize our issues. I wasn’t saying that we don’t – just explaining why I would never get on board with the TPM.

    Absolute liberty and protection of ALL civil rights for ALL people is important to me. So yes, if I have a choice btw a candidate who is pro 2nd am and anti-gay marriage and one who wants more gun control and is pro-gay marriage, I am obviously going to vote for the latter. My whole point with the TPM thing is that there was a chance for actual libertarians and far left people to come together; TPM went with the christian conservatives instead.

    I think the insurance mandate is utterly ridiculous. I don’t like insurance in general. I wanted single payer. Is it unconstitutional? No. It really isn’t. Because (1) it’s done via tax code and (2) there is a quid pro quo and a compelling gov int. Are these things subjective? Of course they are – that is how the law works and I could probably give an argument to the contrary but I have about 2 minutes before the baby wakes up.

    Is the mandate a bad idea? I would say it is the natural result of a series of bad ideas. It was put in place to ameliorate the insurance companies in light of the no preexisting reqs. (otherwise no one would buy health ins until they were ill or hurt). It is an objectionable patch on a poor solution to a problem we should never have had. The problem is health insurance. Single payer was the far better solution.

  87. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    SFL – something Celeste mentioned earlier is the biggest “choice” contradiction to me, cutting from left to right and back again.

    When and how and with whom to become a parent (or not) and then when and how and with whom to school that child (or not.)

    The Hard Left dogma is, wide-open choice before birth but when school age rolls around, the State dictates everything from vaccinations to shcool zone to which subjects to take and what grades to make.

    The Hard Right dogma is, no choice before a child is born (even of contraception) until after that child comes into the world (with or without health insurance) but after that it’s all you, baby! Parental rights then becomes the be-all and end-all mantra. Nobody else can make you do anything to, or for, or with, that child. Treat it as you please, beat it, dominate it, enslave it morally and/or economically, marry it off at 13 or whenever and claim god told you to — it’s YOUR business. Including — quite strangely — if that child gets pregnant. Then it’s still more about you as prospective grandparent than the prospective parent!

  88. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Given that some of us are engaging in intelligent, adult discussion and you are choosing not to I don’t think we can consider what you’re bringing to this thread “complex”

    Now, if you’d like to offer any cogent counterpoints to anything said in this thread please be my guest. If not I suggest you leave the discussion to us adults.

    IF you are on board with the TPM, you are necessarily supporting those kinds of laws, as they are what the majority of TPM folk really really want.

    SFL, That’s like saying all Democrats support gun bans in DC and Chicago, or all Republicans supported the Patriot Act.

    Also, where’s your evidence that the majority of those in the TPM movement support AZ’s new immigration law?

  89. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    SFL, if there’s a federally protected right to marry, is there an equally recognized and protected right NOT to marry, even for minor children of parents who claim first amendment dominion over those children? (And if so, how would you say we’re doing at enforcing it? Any better than the immigration laws?)

  90. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    . . .please be my guest. If not I suggest you leave the discussion to us adults.

    Time out shirts.
    Are we not all SFL’s guests rather than “Mike’s”? Also I’d be surprised if I’m not not older, more experienced in public policy and extremely better educated than the poster of this disrespectful and content-less comment.

  91. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    So yes, if I have a choice btw a candidate who is pro 2nd am and anti-gay marriage and one who wants more gun control and is pro-gay marriage, I am obviously going to vote for the latter.

    So you would, if given the choice, choose the candidate who openly states his intent to infringe upon a specifically enumerated Constitutional right?

    Part of denying a right to another citizen is redefining the facts so that you can find a way to say there is no right. No one is going to say “I’m going to take away your right!” – they’re just going to say you didn’t have it in the first place.

    This is one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever heard you say SFL, and I agree 100%. One only need to look at gun control supporters (Folks like Gun Guys, or MikeB whom you link to in your blogroll) Anti-gun folks are excellent at not just redefining the facts in order to deny rights, but also outright denying factual evidence. (also just changing definitions as they see fit, as JJ did in this thread)

  92. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I’m not not older
    🙂
    And I’d be shocked if I ever were to think, much less use, a double negative — I cut and pasted in haste. (Is that what happened to Mike with the “to stupid” comment? If he asserts that is so, I withdraw the grammar joke at his expense. It’s only fair to treat others as you want to be treated, right?)

  93. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Also I’d be surprised if I’m not not older, more experienced in public policy and extremely better educated than the poster of this disrespectful and content-less comment.

    It’s hard to tell from your lack of intelligent discussion and counterpoints thusfar. As for content-less. More projection from you I see. If we aim to have a discussion that would require that you, as one of the parties, actually start answering questions and making intelligent, reasoned counterpoints. Feel free to start at anytime. If you need some guidance perhaps you can start by telling me what the word “regulate” means in the context of the 2nd Amendment

  94. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    There is arising a “biocomplexity” world view in which the life of a community has its own value apart from the hyper-focus on individual rights within that community. Sort of “greater than the sum of the parts.” This is where arguments for wild west gun-packing rights, for example, can be seen more clearly as detrimental to “we the People” even when demanded in the sovereign name of “a person.”

    Also I admire Dietrich Dorner’s computer models proving that complex social problems overwhelm individual human abilities and leave us falling back on “the Logic of Failure” because we can’t handle the real big picture. I see the Logic of Failure all around me these days.

  95. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    You don’t see me pointing out your spelling and grammatical errors JJ. You’ve made a few but I figure they’re typos. You of course feel the need to attack me for mine. I consider it silly and trivial to engage in such antics I can so easily address your positions and false statements instead.

    Also, your statement about your own education, age, experience etc. is a standard fallacious argument in which you attack me to mask your own inability to form logical, factual comments & counterpoints. It’s a “look at me, I’m smarter than him” designed to try and get people to see that rather than look at what you’re actually saying as a whole, which is woefully ignorant and factually inaccurate.

  96. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I see the Logic of Failure all around me these days.
    Yup, see gun control as a perfect example of such.

  97. Sevesteen said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Hard left vs. hard right dogma is all hard statist. One of the things tha I like about proper libertariansim is that as you move towards libertarian, left vs. right matters less–I dislike abortion, but it doesn’t matter because it shouldn’t be controlled by the government. I think gays should have the same marriage rights as straights, but it doesn’t matter, because the government shouldn’t be involved in either case.

    There isn’t much point for the Tea Party to ally with the Democrats–we are already making progress in the places where libertarians and liberals agree. We are going in a non-libertarian direction in the Tea Partys pet issues, it makes pragmatic sense to ally with whoever agrees on these particular areas.

    The pragmatic argument for gun control takes the view that restrictions on guns will result in less crime and violence. In the first place, that’s not necessarily the primary argument for gun rights. Secondly, there really isn’t supporting evidence. We have tried a variety of gun laws in different times and places. If restrictions worked well enough to justifying infringements on the second amendment, there should be plenty of supporting evidence available despite excuses like “they just get their guns from low-crime states that respect gun rights”. Instead we see studies ranging from “vast increases in crime correlated with gun control” to “almost no difference in crime when guns are allowed”. I suspect the truth is between those extremes–but note that ‘more guns equals more crime’ isn’t even validated by pro-control studies.

  98. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    JJ,

    his is where arguments for wild west gun-packing rights, for example, can be seen more clearly as detrimental to “we the People” even when demanded in the sovereign name of “a person.”

    But that supposes that the “gun rights” the individual negatively impact the greater hole — yet despite repeated request you have not presented any evidence to support that theory.

    I have shown statistics, I have shown studies and surveys that support the rights of the individual either reduce crime or does not increase it.

    So, using your argument, does that mean if we can show a link between the individual right to say abortion and harm to society that we could abridge a person’s right to abortion?

    Or how about the right of a person not to be religious, eh? If we could show a benefit to society as a whole does that mean we could force everyone to wear a burka or become a Christian?

    No! because some rights — even if they contradict the greater good – are protected from interference.

    Also I admire Dietrich Dorner’s computer models proving that complex social problems overwhelm individual human abilities

    So again, it appears that you view every person as a victim that needs help from the government and those special few, eh?

    Perhaps you consider yourself one of special few that gets to help others — even if they don’t know they need help.

    We can not have unlimited government size and scope. There have to be limits on it or else we loose all individuality and freedom. That is the crux of issue.

  99. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    The Logic of Failure isn’t attempts to regulate deadly weapons in public places as part of practical self-governance by a People. It’s more like an individual seeing all the challenges and dangers of modern life and being unable to come up with anything better than packing heat in the first place, something that just makes things worse rather than addressing anything important, with any hope of improving rather than exacerbating the complex problems and human conditions confronting that population. I

  100. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    There ought to be little pictures of these two gun nuts next to the phrase “confirmation bias” in the dictionary.

  101. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Typo?
    “impact the greater hole”

    Or is there really a giant crater somewhere in America (Alaska perhaps?) where Logic plunges to its death? 😉

  102. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    It’s more like an individual seeing all the challenges and dangers of modern life and being unable to come up with anything better than packing heat in the first place, something that just makes things worse rather than addressing anything important

    Boy, I must be using my gun all wrong then! I had NO IDEA it was meant to address “all the challenges and dangers of modern life.” Funny, mine are meant as tools for sport and, if need be, the most effective personal tool currently avaliable with which to defend my own life and the lives of loved ones.

    I’m not even going to get into the inaccuracies in the rest of your comment…..

  103. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Again JJ, care to address anything said or answer any questions, or would you rather pick up on spelling and or grammatical errors and ignore all else?

  104. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    As for confirmation bias, you may want to look at your own glaringly incorrect comments in this thread before you go throwing that term around.

    You can start with your incorrect reading of the 2nd Amendment. Not only is it wrong, but it SCREAMS “confirmation bias”

  105. mike w. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Bob – I doubt JJ will answer any of your questions. Based on what I’ve seen thusfar I don’t think she’s capable of doing so. It’s quite typical of anti-gun folks when their beliefs (or should I call it religion?) is challenged.

  106. Bob S. said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    JJ,

    People can reinforce their existing attitudes by selectively collecting new evidence, by interpreting evidence in a biased way or by selectively recalling information from memory

    Now, given that I’ve asked you — repeatedly to present evidence — and you haven’t — HOW am I selectively collecting new evidence?

    You keep skirting the issue — which are as Sevesteen said
    1. Impact on Society safety is not the primary issue concerning 2 Amendment rights.
    2. The EVIDENCE — collected by anyone – pro or con – does not support your conclusions.

    So, if you have greater evidence, different evidence to support your contention – I’ll be happy to consider it.

    You’ve not presented one shred of evidence — how am I the one suffering from ‘confirmation bias’, eh?

    Gee, Wikipedia is fun —
    Confirmation biases can be used to explain why some beliefs remain when the initial evidence for them is removed/i>

    The initial evidence (if there ever was any) for gun control is gone — yet belief in it remains.

    Who is suffering from Confirmation Bias?

    Should the government be able to tell people they can not or must practice a religion?

    Can the government dictate that people under go background checks before posting on blogs?

    Can the government dictate that only 1 peaceful assembly a month?

  107. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Guns are not the question, not the answer and no real help with any of the complex challenges we face as a nation and world today, much less tomorrow.

    And ignoring interrogatories (without accompanying subpoena) is surely a cherished American freedom not mitigated by firepower.

  108. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    The intersection of the TPM and race formed SFL’s original questions, to which my blog partner Nance just posted a tasty snack in case the cookies are long gone:
    What If the Tea Party Were Black?
    Imagine that hundreds of black protesters descended on DC armed with AK-47s. Would they be defended as patriotic Americans?

  109. Celeste Peck said,

    April 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Mike,
    Every comment JJ has made is relevant to the discussion, it’s just too abstract for you to grasp apparently. It’s typical of those who see themselves as dominant to come to someone else’s blog, appoint himself top dog, feel entitled to dictate who gets to participate in the discussion and who doesn’t, and decide that the 2nd amendment is *the* topic that must be adhered to. I happen to enjoy JJ’s posts immensely.

    Bob, use the advertising that Celeste finds so compelling to present your information in such a way we will believe — if it can be done.
    This shows that absolutely you have no idea of the magnitude of the problem I was trying to describe. Corporations spend ~ $180 billion/year to make us believe things that often defy all logic, yet you expect her to craft a few words together in five minutes and accomplish an equally effective ad? Your comment about – if advertisements are so effective why do they need to be repeated – shows the same lack of comprehension of the problem. It relates back to something JJ said about language and cognition. Even a thought or idea that you know is wrong, if repeated (even repeated in the context of explaining its wrongness), the idea gets planted, reinforced and eventually accepted subconsciously even though we know logically that it is wrong.

    And there I have to stop.

    SFL, I so admire your ability to put your thoughts into words so eloquently. You say things that are in my head and heart, but I haven’t the patience or ability to get them out as articulately as you do. When my point is misinterpreted, the frustration of trying to figure out how to say it better overwhelms me. Props to you.

  110. southern female lawyer said,

    April 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    mike w said: So you would, if given the choice, choose the candidate who openly states his intent to infringe upon a specifically enumerated Constitutional right?

    No. The point was that if I *had* to choose between the two candidates, as we always do, I’m going with the one who supports gay marriage. See, that’s the problem. In a two-party system, with no better choice, I am a Democrat. Or, at least I vote dem, am registered dem so I can vote in the primaries, and associate with dem groups. I’m not a Democrat because I am on board with everything they stand for; but I am sure as shit not a Republican.

    Which is, when able to completely define their own political platform, it chaps my ass that the libertarians who associate themselves with the TPM are effectively endorsing the Republican platform – and the far far right one at that. Why not go out and create something NEW?

    In my perfect world, there would be a candidate who thought like me – non-interventionalist, anti-corporate dominance/pro-individual liberty, and probably about 50% libertarian, 50% socialist. No government in our houses, bed, bodies, or spirituality. Keep the people safe, healthy, and educated, put people and land before corporations, and keep out of other countries’ shit. Lobbies can meet and talk but CANNOT give politicians anything of value. None of the bullshit “corporate personhood” save for legal standing and jurisdictional issues. All media is required to give the same amount of free airtime/print space to each candidate, no PACs, severe campaign fund limits, and none of the 2 year campaign bullshit. If it’s a right, it’s a right and leave it the fuck alone.

  111. Mike said,

    April 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Celeste- I get that you & JJ are friends, but perhaps you should have actually read her comments prior to posting yours…..

  112. southern female lawyer said,

    April 29, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    …Don’t try to take away someone else’s rights (or say they didn’t have them in the first place). If you don’t like what they are doing, then either quit watching or, in the case of guns/abortion, do something to combat what you see as the actual problem.

    Against abortion? Work to educate people and make every baby wanted. Volunteer at daycare so people can afford to have the baby. Fuck, I don’t know – just do *something* besides taking away what is necessary AND legal AND a constitutionally protected right. No one thinks abortions are awesome, any more than someone thinks child abuse or FAS is awesome. You can’t fix the problem by taking away a needed solution.

    As for gun violence, I strongly believe that investing in people and communities and education is the number one way to lower the crime rate (I’ve posted elsewhere about training and community involvement, so I won’t rehash it here). If you don’t like gun violence, then fight against poverty and child abuse and drug addiction. Because, like it or not, the right to keep and bear arms is right there in the Constitution, too. How I personally feel about it really doesn’t matter – what is there is there.

    So, I suppose this is where my libertarian half meets my socialist half.

  113. southern female lawyer said,

    April 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    And, quickly back to the original topic – race and the TPM – I just want to say that while I am only familiar with my area, I think it is undeniable that there is a problem with racism and the TPM. Of course, around here there is a problem with racism and the Republican party. And in the Democratic party. And most of you know by now I have actually made these observations myself, so really – I am not making this shit up. It’s there. And it’s ugly.

    I should also point out that some of the local TPM people that were Ron Paul people in 08 (and still are, really) are NOT racist, not promoting racism, and are pretty calm and rational in addressing it. Unfortunately, they are being pushed to the side while the crazies take over and the uber christian conservatives start running the TPM stuff. In other words, the screaming nutjob republicans I had to deal with in 08 are now TEA people, while the calmer Ron Paul dudes have been lost in the crowd.

    And so now, the racism associated with the TPM here seems much more open and unapologetic. Nationwide? Of course there is a general public perception that there is a problem with race and/or racism in the TPM. Blame whomever you want, that doesn’t make the problem go away.

    By NOT taking greater pains to distance themselves from it, I think the TPM as a whole has suffered and will suffer – both because they are alienating people AND because sometimes you have to sack up and talk about the elephant in the room.

  114. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Mike said:
    Celeste- I get that you & JJ are friends

    In truth we met only today. YOU brought us together! [dimpling]

  115. JJ said,

    April 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    SFL said:
    … If you don’t like what they are doing, then either quit watching or, in the case of guns/abortion, do something to combat what you see as the actual problem.

    Yes. Exactly. That’s ethical action in a nutshell.

  116. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:19 am

    SFL

    Not meaning to be offensive but seems you already had your mind made up before you asked the questions about the TPM and race
    think it is undeniable that there is a problem with racism and the TPM.

    Maybe confirmation bias is at work here, eh?

    Of course, around here there is a problem with racism and the Republican party. And in the Democratic party.

    Maybe the issue isn’t race and the TPM, but race and the people who live in that area. I am glad you recognize that even that both sides of the political spectrum can be and are racist.

    Nationwide? Of course there is a general public perception that there is a problem with race and/or racism in the TPM.

    Here is the problem that I have with what has been said here — you are dealing with your perception and the perception of the “general public” but I haven’t seen any evidence presented to show that the general public thinks the TPM is racist.
    Is the perception limited or focused on the political left?
    We know that the main stream media is fueling that perception — but most of the media are self-identified as politically left of center. But how much does the average person really think that race and the TPM is an issue.

    By NOT taking greater pains to distance themselves from it, I think the TPM as a whole has suffered and will suffer

    Then you say that because you and others like you feel the TPM is racist that it should do something to correct your perception of the TPM or it will suffer.

    Is there anything that the TPM can to remove that perception from those looking at everything it does through the lens of racism — I doubt it.

    See confirmation bias from above.

    If you don’t like gun violence, then fight against poverty and child abuse and drug addiction.

    Great advice and some of us are doing just that. But I’ll turn it back around on those who are advocating bigger government, increased governmental control.

    What are you and those like you doing about the problem — besides encouraging the government to take away our rights, our liberty?

    I see that mentality “There ought to be a law” quite often from people who are not investing in the community, who are not volunteering. Yet because they want something done about it, they vote it to be done with other people’s money.

  117. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 7:17 am

    SFL,

    By the way, could you explain why the Ultrasound mandate is unconstitutional but the individual insurance mandate isn’t?

    Please use simple terms — after all I’m an uneducated, redneck Tea Partier Don’t ya Know.

    Please explain why it is unconstitutional to have a woman purchase a product or service — an ultrasound — but it isn’t unconstitutional to have everyone purchase a product or service — health insurance.

    Thanks

  118. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 7:53 am

    TPM talking points underline that they are not partisan, will not form a party. I’m not persuaded that’s true, but at least they’re cannily making the claim and maybe that’s something, that they see not-partisan as a plus? Again, I’m in Florida where our popular GOP governor is suddenly also not partisan, as the GOP howls about party loyalty and power and money, rather than doing for the People what needs to be done. I’ve been fiercely non-partisan most of my voting life, “post-partisan” I like to say. Before I got to know candidate Barack Obama — his brilliant, empathetic post-racial race speech did it for me — I was on board with Unity08 and Sam Waterston, in hope of creating some punctuated equilibrium that might force evolution of a party primary system perfectly designed to give us sorry, self-serving candidates everywhere all the time, so that the general ballot is irrelevant to reform. Too late.

    So I can persuade myself (almost) to see that aspect of the TPM as some kind of hope for actual political progress eventually emerging from this foreign war and domestic unrest, some shaking and breaking of the now-strangling party bonds (manipulated by corrupt corporate puppeteers behind the curtain in both parties) to tie America down tight like Gulliver, unable to wiggle a pinkie. (Citizens United looks to me as if corporations are now legally supercitizens who already own SCOTUS, so it might be too late for any of this to save us but I’m not ready to give up quite yet.)

    As a baby boomer my own civil unrest power of story is naturally the 60s, when it seemed to me war and race met in the streets and formed race war. At the time as a southern child shellshocked by race riots at school sparked by Confederate flags and racial epithets on public walls, etc, I privately assumed my world was ending, that if Cuban missles and communist hordes finally came for us through Florida, there wouldn’t be much left of me for them to conquer. Poor comfort but it was something. 😉

  119. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Without the wingnut/racist/extreme right contingent, though, what does the TPM have to distinguish itself from garden variety/small government/low taxes Republicanism? Not much, that I have noticed. And tolerating these asshats gets them in the news and has made some straight Rs mouth the right words. So it’s just the cost of doing business?

    Nance

  120. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Yes. Exactly. That’s ethical action in a nutshell.

    And peaceful protest is unethical action? Funny, because during the Bush years I was told “Dissent is Patriotic,” even when that meant uncivil, unruly, and actually violent dissent. Burning caricatures of Bush, throwing bottles at police, throwing molotov cocktails at buildings, hanging a lifesized Sarah Palin doll by a noose. These are all actions of the protsts on the left. The TPM protests are astoundingly civil and non-violent by comparison.

    Yet somehow the left and folks like yourself get in a tissy when people protest peacefully, or when a protester lawfully carries an AR-15 and does so peacefully without threatening a single person.

    Let me ask you JJ, do you know what the term “threat” means? (or regulate?) Would you consider it a threat if someone open carrying happened to stop and ask you for the time? A threat would require intent and action, and it would be unlawful.

    Just a hint. Just because you happen to be in close proximity to someone carrying an object you find scary/threatening does not mean the person carrying it is threatening you or anyone else present.

    You might be irrationally afraid of blacks, but that doesnt’ mean that a large black man is threatening you just because he happens to be standing near you. Someone open carrying, absent other aggravating behavior, is no different.

  121. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Obama is “post-racial?” Thanks for the laugh JJ.

    No, I don’t think the TPM will ultimately form a party. I think it was a reaction to two things. Obama and out of control congressional Dems (specifically spending and healthcare) and Republicans who acted like Democrats on all but a handful of social issues. (See Bush, McCain, etc.) I think what they really want is to get liberals dems out of power AND change the Republican party.

    I have my doubts that the latter will actually happen. They don’t call the GOP “The Stupid Party” for nothing.

  122. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

    And tolerating these asshats gets them in the news.

    Why is it that half the country tolerated leftist protestors for 8 years of Bush, but now that a Liberal is in power you folks (and the liberal MSM) can’t handle political dissent? (JJ – This question applies at both a macro and micro level BTW)

  123. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Nance, look, a new mash-up meaning for our collection of words that inadvertently combine to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts, remember, like “laxadaisical” and “mute point” — “tissy” mashes up tizzy and hissy. Love it!

  124. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:27 am

    SFL – when we publish our collection, we will cite your blog as the first-ever discovered use of tissy, and you’ll be famous among wordlovers everywhere! 🙂

  125. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Hey, wait, maybe pissy too — is it a three-fer?!? Get me Geoff Nunberg!!

  126. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:31 am

    And missy, as in “you watch your mouth, missy!” The mind boggles . . .

  127. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I usually choose my words consciously to say what I mean to say, and in this case the adjectival “post-racial” is clearly and intentionally used to modify “race speech” and only “race speech”, not the proper noun that is the man in full (apologies to Tom Wolfe) but specifically this one speech he gave.

    his brilliant, empathetic post-racial race speech

  128. Sevesteen said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Guns are not the question, not the answer and no real help with any of the complex challenges we face as a nation and world today, much less tomorrow.

    I hope you’re right, and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way.

    I get hung up on guns as an issue for a couple reasons. The second, ninth and tenth amendments are routinely loopholed–basically “we’re going against the clear intent, but it is technically constitutional if we stretch the meaning of the Commerce Clause”. The 9th and 10th are pretty much dead, there is some hope left for the second.
    The other reason is that a candidate who is pro-gun and pro-gay rights is very likely to match me on other issues.

    what does the TPM have to distinguish itself from garden variety/small government/low taxes Republicanism?

    If small government/low taxes Republicans were garden variety (I’m talking about how they vote, not the lies they tell while campaigning), we probably wouldn’t need the TPM. Republicans aren’t enough better on spending, they just want to spend stupidly on different things than the Democrats.

  129. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Y’know, it’s almost as if JJ is in her own little world. Banging away at her keyboard without actually engaging in anything remotely resembling discussion. It’s quite odd.

    It’s as if most of us are talking about horses and she jumps in every now and then and says “I had a dog once.” Bizarre.

  130. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:59 am

    And really JJ, are you so intellectually deficient that you’re still getting hung up on spelling and grammar? (especially when yours is by no means great) Is that just your way of commenting without adding anything substantive to the discussion?

    I have also never seen someone ban a commenter after 2 on-topic & respectful comments. It appears as though you simply cannot handle dissent or someone correcting the erroneous statements in your posts.

    Is someone who is doing nothing more than carrying a firearm in public threatening your or are they not? Please look up the term “threat” in the dictionary before responding.

  131. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Oh dear, you shouldn’t have asked for it.

    I doubt anyone reading this whole thread will mistake little rhetorical eddies of argument for legal definitions, but just in case, simple assault as I understand it is based upon a reasonable person feeling threatened by intent to harm in the given context — so even if a gunman doesn’t mean to make me fear he’s about to shoot me, I may feel it and it can be found reasonable to perceive he’s signaling such intent, which may be sufficient for a finding against him for civil and/or criminal assault. The reasonable fear itself is the harm, the perceived threat the illegal “act” (with or without being aggravated, or including related charges for subsequent harm beyond the mental distress of creating my fear such as battery, etc.)

  132. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Respectful? Lol, reminds me of a political joke that might be on your level:

    I knew Jack, Jack was a friend of mine, I respected Jack.

    You don’t know Jack.

  133. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Flag on the play for comment #123. Out of bounds for this playing field.

    Funny, because during the Bush years I was told “Dissent is Patriotic,” even when that meant uncivil, unruly, and actually violent dissent. Burning caricatures of Bush, throwing bottles at police, throwing molotov cocktails at buildings, hanging a lifesized Sarah Palin doll by a noose. These are all actions of the protsts on the left.

    Blog owner terms of discussion:
    “I also don’t really want to hear about other movements or administrations – I am looking ONLY at the TPM. “

  134. southern female lawyer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Bob S:

    Ins mandate is neutral in application (i.e., applies to everyone); ultrasound law applies to women only (protected class).

    fed has a ‘compelling gov interest’ to enact the mandate, proven connection to better health via health ins blah blah blah; ultrasound law serves no articulable government interest.

    Fed taxpayers have to have health insurance and the fed gov has enacted laws to see that everyone can get it. the clear intent of the ultrasound law, as it serves no purpose, is to unduly burden access to abortion and to unduly harass and intimidate women seeking abortion.

    Again, bearing in mind I think the mandate is bullshit – but this is more or less what the argument looks like. Not to mention, the ultrasound law violates an articulated constitutional right, whereas the insurance mandate, if unconstitutional, is not a violation of a right, but an ultra vires action. beyond the scope of congressional power, that is. but combine the tax power with the gen welfare clause and you pretty much have your path.

  135. Sevesteen said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

    simple assault as I understand it is based upon a reasonable person feeling threatened by intent to harm in the given context — so even if a gunman doesn’t mean to make me fear he’s about to shoot me, I may feel it and it can be found reasonable to perceive he’s signaling such intent, which may be sufficient for a finding against him for civil and/or criminal assault.

    In several states that I am aware of including my own, there is established precedent that open carry is by itself not grounds to charge someone with assault, inducing panic, disorderly conduct or other catch-all charges–there has to be an actual threat, or some other actual crime. If I’m carrying a gun when the argument starts, there’s no crime, but if I go get one to continue the argument, there could be.

  136. southern female lawyer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

    JJ – thanks for ref’ing that. I find it hard to not respond, given that I don’t remember any major Dem presidential contenders encouraging violent behavior. AND that during the Bush admin WE were told that it was either his way or the highway and that anyone who disagreed hated America and soldiers’ babies – and anti-Bush protesters were effectively corralled away from the “good” people, and you could get “detained” for wearing the wrong t-shirt. Just saying.

    I don’t want to hear the ‘but you did X’ bullshit. Welcome to the world of political activism, TPM people. If you think past behavior by “lefties” justifies whatever extreme crap you might get up to, I would suggest you quit focusing on what *protestors* did and look instead to what the *government* did. You know – that big, out-of-control thing you are supposedly protesting?

    And seriously people – don’t accuse your rhetorical opponents of relying on MSM, or making shit up, or making something out of nothing and then turn around and do the same damn thing. If I hear about AR Dude one more time, I am going to lawyer up on his behalf. If he is going to be dragged out in every discussion as the sole delegate for the entirety of blacks/minorities/polite gun owners/non-crazies, then he really should be getting some sort of royalty.

    If you have *personal* experience with the TPM, tell us about it. Or, tell us about what you see locally (like Jake, waaaay above). If you would like to talk about why you think race does or doesn’t matter, please do so. I would also like to hear if anyone else thinks that focusing on race is distracting from the “real” issues. I have heard this argument from both sides and am coming around to agree that looking only/mostly at race in the TPM is keeping us from looking at other problems.

  137. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:03 am

    SFL,

    Look at the discussion you are having here to see how focusing on race is keeping us from looking at other problems.

    I’ve repeatedly tried to discuss the ideals and goals of the TPM as I see them, as I have experienced them and the main topic you talk about is how the TPM is racist.

    Little talk about how the goals of Obama — Mandatory Health Insurance is constitutional, little talk about how throwing more money and increasing government size is going to solve problems the government has been throwing money at for decades.

    Little talk about how increasing the governmental control of education is going to solve the problems — when no body I’ve talked to (either side of the spectrum) likes No Child Left Behind. Yet the call for greater federal control of education is a talking point of the left — not the tea party.

    I’ve asked, and I’ll ask again — please describe for me how the Ultrasound mandate is unconstitutional but the individual insurance mandate is constitutional.

  138. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

    JJ – Good lord. I don’t have the time ATM to tear apart comment # 134 and all that is wrong with it.

    SFL – Perhaps you can set her straight as far as what constitutes assault. She seems very confused and clearly has little or no understanding of the law. Her current explanation of simple assault in the context of open carry is laughable (and would be laughed out of any courtroom in America)

    As for respect. The 3 comments i made at your blog JJ were in direct response to your own post. They were on topic and did not discuss you personally. It would appear you cannot differentiate between someone taking issue with your positions and correcting the factual & logical deficiencies inherent in them, and someone attacking you personally, which I did not do in any of those couple comments.

  139. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

    SFL – yes, now that you make it explicit like that, I agree too. Race (and guns apparently) as troublesome within the TPM, does seem to be keeping us from looking at other problems.

    Are you thinking then of moving to the next problem, either in this discussion or perhaps a fresh one?

  140. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Re: simple assault as reasonable fear

    SFL surely needn’t give free legal counsel on demand at her own blog. Any of us non-lawyers can find resources on any subject to keep from embarrassing ourselves in discussion; for example here’s one quick (and free!) layman’s overview of civil and criminal assault in different contexts and venues:

  141. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Sevesteen – According to the SCOTUS the carrying of a firearm does not, on it’s own, justify a “stop & frisk” under Terry

    Despite JJ’s wildly irrational claims, it is not an “assault” anywhere in America. And Jesus, imagine it it were. People like JJ could claim “assault” because a large man walked by them in the supermarket and they felt threatened.

    The reasonable fear itself is the harm, the perceived threat the illegal “act” (with or without being aggravated, or including related charges for subsequent harm beyond the mental distress of creating my fear.

    Reasonable being the key word. The fact that you hold an irrational fear of an inanimate object hanging holstered on my belt and perceive a “threat” from the mere sight of said object does not equate to my causing you harm or threatening you in any legal sense. There is no illegal act.

    If what you said were the case you could claim to be “assaulted” by a man who walked past you with a baseball bat in his hands on the way to the batting cages. He did nothing more than be in your proximity with a tool you find inherently threatening. There was no intent nor aggravating factors He did not stop and verbally threaten to harm you with it. He did not face you and raise it as if to hit you, and he did not actually hit you with it.

    The fact that YOU are afraid of an inanimate object being carried in a lawful manner does not mean the person engaging in that behavior committed a crime against you.

  142. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

    JJ,

    You said earlier:
    simple assault as I understand it is based upon a reasonable person feeling threatened by intent to harm in the given context — so even if a gunman doesn’t mean to make me fear he’s about to shoot me,

    But your own reference says:

    The act required for an assault must be overt. Although words alone are insufficient, they might create an assault when coupled with some action that indicates the ability to carry out the threat. A mere threat to harm is not an assault; however, a threat combined with a raised fist might be sufficient if it causes a reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim.

    Intent is an essential element of assault. In tort law, it can be specific intent—if the assailant intends to cause the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact in the victim—or general intent—if he or she intends to do the act that causes such apprehension.

    Sorry but your own source shows there most be an intent by the gun owner before the definition of intent can be met. Simple presence of a firearm alone does not meet that requirement.

  143. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

    And then it goes on:
    “There can be no assault if the act does not produce a true apprehension of harm in the victim. There must be a reasonable fear of injury. The usual test applied is whether the act would induce such apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person. The status of the victim is taken into account. A threat made to a child might be sufficient to constitute an assault, while an identical threat made to an adult might not.

  144. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Reasonable being the key word.

    Yes! Good reading, you got some sense from it, that’s the spirit!

  145. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Sevesteen – According to the SCOTUS the carrying of a firearm does not, on it’s own, justify a “stop & frisk” under Terry

    Despite JJ’s wildly irrational claims, it is not an “assault” anywhere in America. And Jesus, imagine it it were. People like JJ could claim “assault” because a large man walked by them in the supermarket and they felt threatened.

    The reasonable fear itself is the harm, the perceived threat the illegal “act” (with or without being aggravated, or including related charges for subsequent harm beyond the mental distress of creating my fear.

    Reasonable being the key word. The fact that you hold an irrational fear of an inanimate object hanging holstered on my belt and perceive a “threat” from the mere sight of said object does not equate to my causing you harm or threatening you in any legal sense. There is no illegal act.

    If what you said were the case you could claim to be “assaulted” by a man who walked past you with a baseball bat in his hands on the way to the batting cages. He did nothing more than be in your proximity with a tool you find inherently threatening. There was no intent nor aggravating factors He did not stop and verbally threaten to harm you with it. He did not face you and raise it as if to hit you, and he did not actually hit you with it.

    The fact that YOU are afraid of an inanimate object being carried in a lawful manner does not mean the person engaging in that behavior committed a crime against you.

    My standing next to you in a supermarket with a holstered gun is simply not assault. Not anywhere in America, regardless of how extreme your irrational fear of weapons is.

  146. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I have to laugh at this. JJ is telling us that the mere presence of a holstered firearm near her constitutes an “assault.”

    I think that stands on it’s own as one of the most moronic and flatly illogical claims I have EVER heard uttered from someone who’s anti-gun.

  147. southern female lawyer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Bob S – see comment #137.

  148. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

    JJ – You do realize that using your “logic” anyone, anywhere who caused you to fear for your safety would be committing “assault” regardless of their intent or their actions.

    SFL – I don’t know whether to laugh a JJ or feel bad for her.

  149. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Since a complaint of being treated unfairly has bled from our blog back again after one aggressive commenter followed us home, here is our blog’s very plain comment policy as it appears on Snook’s home page, an original work authored by two middle-aged moms unwilling to live with squabbling siblings online or at home:

    Comment Policy
    Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. We do not suffer trolls, fools, and spam gladly. You are always responsible for your own comments but we don’t promise to publish anything and everything that comes in. For anyone we’d welcome to the conversation here, that should be nuff said.

    If SFL ever wants a new comment policy, we hereby give blanket permission to take this one. 😉

  150. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    JJ, do you think we have to stop people from peacefully and lawfully exercising their rights?

    Why? Because that exercise offends you and / or produces an emotional reaction based upon an irrational fear of inanimate objects?

  151. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

    RE 152 – Bob, did you make the mistake of trying to comment at JJ”s, hence her post?

    Don’t bother. It would appear she considers any comment espousing an opinion different than hers to be personally threatening

    It’s sad but predictable.

    http://anothergunblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/sad-but-predictable.html

  152. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Does anyone know if sexism, homophobia, or other group pathology has been looked at within the TPM, in anything like comparable measure to racism? I haven’t seen it done or really thought about it, but now I find myself wondering if the discussion wouldn’t be pretty much identical to what we’ve just been through on race?

  153. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Not sure JJ, but I would suspect that their are elements of all of those pathologies. (including racism) Just as their are in any large group, including the GOP and Democratic Party.

  154. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Mike W.

    Nope, I looked at the commenting policy there and knew Reasoned Discourse would be invoked at the first comment so I didn’t bother.

    JJ,

    To continue with your source:

    There can be no assault if the act does not produce a true apprehension of harm in the victim. There must be a reasonable fear of injury.

    Are you claiming the mere presence of a firearm produces apprehension in you?

    Guess this goes along with the “everyone is a victim” mentality that seems so predominate on the left, eh?

    If so, then does the presence of a firearm – in the holster of a law enforcement officer produce apprehension?

    Could you charge Gander Mountain, Academy Sports, or any other sporting goods store with assault because they display firearms on the wall?

  155. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Gun nuts really are, aren’t they?

  156. Andrew C said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

    SFL,

    To backtrack a few (dozen) comments, you asked if the TPM endorsed any pro-choice candidates. I know of one endorsed by the Tea Party Express Rep. Walt Minnick, in Idaho. Project Vote Smart lists his stance on abortion as “Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of pregnancy.” That would meet my definition of pro-choice.

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the TPM could say to deflect the accusations of racism. Lots of individual Tea Partiers have said “not racist,” and the leaders of the movement have said the same thing. I only drove by the last rally, but didn’t see any racist signs (and this is in Idaho!). What, to you, would be a sufficient signal from the TPM to address the charge of racism?

  157. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:45 am

    JJ – Only one of us is claiming that the mere presence of a firearm constitutes simple assasult.

    Any rational person would conclude that the person making said claim is the one who is “nuts.”

    BTW – I guess that means you’ve been “assaulted” by police officers an unbelievably high number of times then huh JJ?

  158. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Andrew – It would appear that those accusing the TPM of being “racist” are using the “one bad apple” argument. They try to find one example of racism and then attempt to do all they can to smear the whole movement as a result.

  159. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I didn’t want this to get lost from #139 because it’s key imo:

    I would suggest you quit focusing on what *protestors* did and look instead to what the *government* did. You know – that big, out-of-control thing you are supposedly protesting?

    Thinking out loud so you’ll know where I’m coming from (nothing to do with guns, I promise!)
    We have homeschooled our children for a couple of decades, and the anti-government zeitgeist in the stereotypically conservative Christian homeschooling community is similarly strange: focused on not giving an inch to government, demanding individual rights to decide the smallest matter with no oversight even if it leads to manifest harm for both individual children and the community’s causes generally. And at the same time exerting enormous pressure within that community to — CONFORM!

    Church governance substitutes for secular governance and is imo usually much closer to tyranny than any secular administration left or right in American experience. So it’s not really individual freedom at issue, only which set of regulations has dominion.

    Child abuse and social service regulation or oversight to prevent or correct it, is the biggest sisngle category of push back against government, I’d say, but everything from the evils of the UN to vaccinating children and teaching them to sing certain songs or comport with certain behavior rules becomes a freedom dispute. The media and the general culture also come in for major scoldings, agitation and pushback from blogswarms to boycotts, as interfering with a parent’s right to — well, make each family a little anarchist island with no obligation to society or the nation whatsoever.

    Except that they’ve sworn allegiance to theocracy instead. Many — most? — of these people are TPM or at least John Galt libertarian Objectivist types btw.

    About vaccines, nutrition, etc, the authority being resisted is more the universal scientific advancement and modern knowledge than any actual government intervention and enforcement (maybe more like the climate change pseudoscience political fights?)

  160. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Mike W.

    Step #4 for JJ

    4 . Respond with insults, deflections, and childish antics as everything said in your original post is calmly and logically refuted.

  161. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    To draw one ultimate lesson from our homeschool community experience with the TPM anti-government mentality, I think it would be focusing on real education, instead of mere schooling for standardized testing (as government has defaulted to under political pressures from TPM types)

  162. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Christian homeschooling community is similarly strange: focused on not giving an inch to government, demanding individual rights to decide the smallest matter with no oversight even if it leads to manifest harm for both individual children and the community’s causes generally.

    Luckily this country was founded under the principle that the rights of the individual are sacroscant, inviolate and inherent in their very being. The fact that some of those individual rights cause manifest harm to the “community” is the price we pay for our freedoms. Liberty involves risk, and freedom of choice involves making the wrong choices. Liberty doesn’t mean those choices are without consequence, only that we remain free to make them.

    BTW – What’s so wrong with being an Objectivist Libertarian?

    JJ – The government has a hell of a lot more power over the lives of ordinary citizens than the church does. So much more that it’s not even really comparable.

  163. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    JJ,

    Why won’t you answer the questions we’ve asked about your fear of firearms?

  164. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    You may not realize what “government” authority religion holds over the families I’ve encountered in this community, and let’s remember, at issue are American citizens who are impressionable children being taught upside-down ideas about everything including the freedom that is rightfully theirs as individuals, not necessarily their parents’ to dole out only if they please.

    Some of them are whipped mercilessly with plumbing supplies, by rote as prescribed by a governing leader who calls himself a minister, and affection withheld from them for the smallest act of personal assertion or individual choice. It is called “training” and it’s inflicted even on babies too young to sit up yet! Some die; all are enslaved and ruined as free citizens.

    This is no sparring match on a blog. These are real, serious, enormous things, not merely what church to be raised in but real intellectual and academic freedom issues, privacy, reproductive freedom, the freedom to marry or not, leave home or not, become a parent or not.

  165. Sevesteen said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hardly any politician admits to not supporting the second amendment–but the anti-gun ones will add “but we need common-sense restrictions”.

    Hardly anyone not wearing a sheet and hood will admit to being a racist. Where is the line here? Is advocating ending a policy perceived as disproportionately affecting blacks racist, if your claimed reasons are fiscal rather than racial? I think affirmative action was beneficial through the 60’s, and possibly through part of the 70’s but now it harms more than it helps–Is that racist?

  166. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Sevesteen – Agreed. I think that AA currently perpetuates racism, since it judges people on skin color rather than character and merit, the entire system is inherently racist.

    Of course if you’re white and say such a thing you’re automatically considered the racist one.

  167. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Bob – Yup. Step #4 for JJ. It’s one of those things where I really hate being right.

  168. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Children born unable to fear strangers can’t discriminate by race:

    the amygdala . . . is involved in responding to social threats and triggering unconscious negative emotional reactions to other races. Racial bias has been tied to fear: adults are more likely to associate negative objects and events, such as electric shocks, with people of other ethnic groups compared with those of their own group4. But according to Meyer-Lindenberg, his latest study offers the strongest evidence so far that social fear leads to racial stereotyping.

    This reminded me of the Greg Bear books, Darwin’s Radio and Darwin’s Children, which homeschooling dad Chris O’Donnell recommended.
    Except this isn’t science fiction, just science.

    What if the next human generation suddenly all were born better than we are, unable to be racist or even to understand it, pitying those of us hardwired for it even against our will? Would we old folks start to fear THEM, because they were leaving us in the evolutionary dust? Or could we rise above our own shortcomings?

    I’m guessing this isn’t much of a topic among the TPM but don’t know for sure, wish we could get them thinking about it . . .

  169. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Link for above Nature article

  170. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    JJ,

    Maybe we and those in the Tea Party don’t have to worry about our kids having a difference in the amygdala — because we aren’t raising our kids to be racist.

    Of course, your bias shows in the fact that you mention only the TPM when even SFL admits that there is racist in the Democrat party also.

    Why do you continue to duck the questions about Openly Carried firearms ?

  171. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Okay, tell you what, you and your meat puppets put your however-many heads together, talk amongst yourselves and pick the ONE gun question from the multitude tossed out here, that you collectively most want my answer to. Ask and ye shall receive. ONCE.

  172. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    [last lines]
    Michael: All right. This one time I’ll let you ask me about my affairs.
    Kay Adams: Is it true? Is it?
    Michael: No.
    [Kay smiles and walks into his arms]
    Kay Adams: I guess we both need a drink, huh?
    [Kay goes to the kitchen to fix a drink, but sees Peter Clemenza, Rocco Lampone and Al Neri enter Michael’s office]
    Clemenza: Don Corleone.
    [Clemenza kisses Michael’s hand, and Neri shuts the door in her face… ]

  173. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    There you go JJ,

    Ask and ye shall receive. ONCE

    That is really encouraging open discussion and communication.

    you and your meat puppets

    There is the famed tolerance — or supposed tolerance of the left.

    Really starting to think that Mike W. nailed it with his post from over a year ago.

    Respond with insults, deflections, and childish antics

  174. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    If this were a gun discussion, you’d have my support for that stance. But no.

  175. Bob S. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    JJ,

    See that is where you seem to misunderstand. We are talking about our rights.

    Our right to keep and bear arms in public — without people like you claiming you were assaulted by the mere presence of a firearm.

    Isn’t that what you claimed?

    We are talking about our rights to have the freedom to choose instead of having the government mandate we go defenseless or purchase insurance or view an ultrasound or any of the other pipe dreams that the leftists seem to want to foist off on us.

    We are talking about people making claims and not backing them up with evidence.

    Of course, it seems from most of your recent comments you are talking to hear yourself speak.

  176. Chugwater said,

    April 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    SFL,

    Looking at the last paragraph of Comment 139, the biggest issue we have facing us is the looming deficit that will explode by the end of the decade. The TPM, for all its warts and clunky rhetoric, will be a net positive for the country if they can keep the government size/spending issue front and center, and force us to slowly unpack this mess that is the federal budget. This includes addressing Medicare, Social Security, the military, the wars, farm subsidies, and all the rest.

    Demographics used to be on our side where we could afford to support our current level of spending. The retiring Boomers are about to obliterate that paradigm. Now, I suspect that most of the older TPM protesters would tell you they’re taxed too much, the government spends too much, and yet they want you to keep your hands off their Medicare. The public in general has a disconnect between what they want goverment to do and how much they want to pay for it.

    I would love to ask every TPM attendee how much in future taxes (in the form of interest on the debt) they expect their grandchildren to pay as a result of the current deficits caused by the entitlement programs they will be consuming. I suspect I’d get some funny looks, but it doesn’t remove the existential challenge that will handcuff us near the end of this decade.

    I’m also curious to see if the TPM movement will fracture along generational lines. AARP vs college students/people in their 20’s and 30’s. This is where the real rift will be over the next ten years.

  177. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Bob – JJ just doesn’t want to defend her statements. As ugly, irrational, and just plain ignorant as they are can you really blame her for ducking discussion and failing to defend what she’s said.

  178. mike w. said,

    April 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Bob – I’m not even one of those “in” the TPM. Sadly my views as a libertarian are probably even more threatening and offensive to liberals like JJ.

  179. Andrew C said,

    April 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Chugwater,

    I think taxes need to be increased across the board. Our national debt and deficit scare me quite a bit. The current increase in debt is insane, and obviously unsustainable, but I don’t think there is the political will from either party or from the average citizen to address the issue. Another decade of fiscal policies like Bush and Obama, and then we’re really screwed.

    Our government spends most of its money on military, social security, medicare and medicaid. Neither party is willing to even talk about cutting any of those, and until they are any spending cuts are going to be a drop in the bucket. If we don’t get things turned around fast, our current recession is going to look like nothing compared to the storm coming our way.

    I’m in my 20’s now, and the future for the country is looking bleak. Starting to feel like time to stock up on canned food and seeds!

  180. Chugwater said,

    April 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    AC,

    The final solution will combine tax increases and spending cuts. Relying solely on the former would be too economically damaging, and employing only the latter is politically infeasible.

    I will tip my hat to Paul Ryan (R-WI). He outlines the conservative path out of this mess in his Roadmap for America’s Future. Now we just need the Left to come up with their plan, and they can negotiate after that. It just needs to happen now. Delaying the inevitable will only make it more painful later on.

    I do not envy my kids. By the time they (presumably) graduate from college their payrol taxes will be much higher than when we began our careers. Paying for Grandma and Grandpa will hinder their start in life, and make it harder to save for cars, a home, their kids, and their own retirement.

  181. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Ah, so that’s your Question?

    We are talking about our rights. Our right to keep and bear arms in public — without people like you claiming you were assaulted by the mere presence of a firearm.

    Isn’t that what you claimed?

    Here’ my Answer:
    No.

  182. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    mike — “I have also never seen someone ban a commenter after 2 on-topic & respectful comments.”

    That was me banning you, mike.

    JJ pushed the button but I asked her to do it. I was tired of your spew winding up in my email. JJ and I co-own the cockingasnook blog.

    Not that it matters which one of us pulled the trigger. Get it? Gun humor. I bet you are LYAO. . . no?? oh well.

    Now back to reading here — most of the comments are really worthwhile. Thanks SFL! 🙂

    Nance

  183. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Moving on – I understand that TEA supposedly means Taxed Enough Already, so I’m wondering if Andrew and Chugwater see the TPM as more helpful or harmful to their main political goal of fiscal sanity through higher taxes?

  184. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    SFL: “I would also like to hear if anyone else thinks that focusing on race is distracting from the “real” issues. I have heard this argument from both sides and am coming around to agree that looking only/mostly at race in the TPM is keeping us from looking at other problems.”

    Other problems the TPM would like to address? Like what? Taxes? Deficits? Some other problem?

    Yes, the craziness and racism are distractions from addressing these issues in any sort of sensible way. The noise drowns out any sane input the group might have to offer.

    Nance

  185. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Bob — “Little talk about how increasing the governmental control of education is going to solve the problems — when no body I’ve talked to (either side of the spectrum) likes No Child Left Behind. Yet the call for greater federal control of education is a talking point of the left — not the tea party.”

    What is the TPM stand on education?

    Nance

  186. Andrew C said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I see the TPM as mostly a wash. I agree with them on some things, disagree with them on others. I agree that we need to reduce the influence of the government on individual’s lives and that we need to drastically reduce government spending.

    I disagree with the concept that we can balance the budget by only cutting spending. Short-term, we can’t cut spending enough to avoid economic disaster without also raising taxes. Raising taxes will slow economic growth, but a slower-growing economy is much better than complete insolvency for our federal government.

    I see the rise of the TPM itself as an overall good thing. I disagree with the Tea Partiers on some issues, but at least they’re thinking and talking about the issues! I’m very torn personally about whether to participate in the TPM myself. So far, I’ve opted to stay out of it since I have some serious reservations with the socially conservative direction of the movement. On the other hand, if I want to shift the movement to something closer to my ideology, I’d need to participate in the movement first!

  187. Andrew C said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Nice, I contradicted myself between paragraphs 1 and 3 of my last post. I mean that their ideology is a wash. I agree on some things, disagree on others.

    That the movement happened is a good thing, because whether I agree with them on a given issue or not, at least they’re thinking about the issues!

    I don’t know if that’s actually any clearer than the last post, but oh well!

  188. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Most of that makes sense to me too, thanks AC. I can’t share your belief that they are “thinking” though, not about policy, rather than mainly emoting and expressing. That’s what is so maddening about Sarah Palin to me; she has every opportunity to meet with some great minds and spend millions learning and thinking and then solving some important problem, and she seems reasonably competent, but she settles for gibberish that pays great and further drives the system down in the depths instead.

    What I’d expect to hear from a grassroots movement of thinking citizens would be some offbeat (maybe off the wall!) ideas and suggestions and direction Ross Perot like, say — with not so darn much crabby neighbor loop growling “get off my grass” OVER and OVER, though it isn’t helping anything and never will. And why aren’t they screaming about individual liberty being affronted in Arizona? Maybe it isn’t racist but it doesn’t look good when they ignore it after all the “town halls” over health insurance.

  189. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Don’t you figure the TPM will turn (if not take out a fatwah!) on anyone who dares take a stand for higher taxes? Particularly if you had become part of their TEA group and then seemed to betray that eponymous raison d’etre?

  190. Andrew C said,

    April 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I’m sure if I say the tax increases are a temporary necessity to dig us out of the hole Obama’s socialist agenda got us into, they’ll accept me! 😉

  191. southern female lawyer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Andrew C – I, too, have noticed a marked improvement in the TPM sign content. I know that many local people have specifically urged participants to keep it polite – that is helping. As for how to distance themselves as a whole? I don’t really have the answer to that.

    One of the problems is that much of what the TPM talks about would have a disparate impact on the poor and minorities. Abolition of AA, when called for by whites, doesn’t exactly say ‘come on over.’ Likewise, the general TPM mentality as to social assistance, tax breaks for the poor, etc. sends a message that the group is primarily concerned with taking care of themselves – which, at the end of the day, is a group of mostly older, mostly white, mostly better educated than the average, mostly middle class people. Or so the polls tell me.

    And while it is only natural to be concerned about one’s own interests, I don’t particularly like people claiming that they are just trying to save “America.” Poor Americans are Americans, too. They aren’t any less “American” simply because they can’t work. And if you want to cut off their benefits, you’d better be willing to cut off your own, as well. This idea of differentiating between “earned” benefits and “freeloaders” is deceitful and classist. You can’t get unemployment unless you were employed.

    As for medicare/aid, food stamps, etc., primarily these programs aim at protecting children. Say what you will, but I don’t particularly want to see America decide that it is okay for its children to starve or go without healthcare. If it means higher taxes, fine with me.

    Myself? When I look at the TPM, I see a group of people that is NOT interested in making America better for everyone so much as they want America “back” – back to what, I really don’t get. While I agree that we have worked ourselves into quite the financial hole, I have a hard time agreeing with people who want to slam the door after they have gotten in. And my worries don’t start with my kids – how many people in my generation actually thing they are going to get to retire in the traditional sense of the word? I sure as hell don’t.

    Chugwater – thanks for the insight. I haven’t even thought about the generational issues, but you are spot on in identifying this as a big problem – at least as big as class and race. Boomers are retiring and living off whatever we Gen Xers and our younger generations are bringing in tax-wise. Sure, they want what they paid in – so do I. I suppose the difference is that I don’t think for a second that I will ever get “mine.”

    I think we need a combination of things – tax increases, reduce spending on programs that do NOT have any return for the American citizens, and more regulation on industry. If we are going to say we have a free market, then quit giving tax payer money to businesses that caused our current situation.

    You know, what is *really* too big to fail is the citizenry. I for one do not think that ANY of the bailouts were just or necessary.

  192. Sevesteen said,

    April 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I want smaller government more than I want lower taxes. Budgets managed by responsible people still expand to match the funds available, budgets managed by irresponsible people expand to match the available credit. Government needs to be constrained somehow. There are trickle-down effects involved–College budgets have expanded to match the money provided by student aid, so now it is difficult to afford college without aid.

    But I don’t really know what to do about social security and medicare, and how to fairly deal with the people who have ‘paid in’ all their lives. I’m 45, I think I would rather abandon my past contributions, but someone closer to retirement?

  193. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Would we agree we’d also better somehow rein in or break up or at least break the hold over government of, the biggest corporations? — they’re now what seems to really control “government” while cashing in on our health care and housing and credit industry, military, schools and even student loans for Sevesteen — are America’s riches in “the People’s” control at all?

  194. Celeste Peck said,

    April 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    “You know, what is *really* too big to fail is the citizenry.” SFL
    – Bingo!

    If I had to sum up what maddens me the most about the TPM, it would be that they fail to see that it isn’t just *their* country. No one seems to have let them know that there are other people who matter just as much as they do. They are an EXclusive rather than an INclusive bunch.

    I think it is almost criminal that there are those in this country who absolutely wallow in wealth while other citizens die of starvation, hypothermia, street violence, abuse, addiction, etc. Basically all those things that abject poverty usually results in. -I don’t even want to hear about how they are the cause of their own poverty: a few cases, yes but otherwise that is denial of huge social problems and utter bull shit.

    I feel that many in the TPM do not even see those people, don’t even acknowledge they exist! and if they do, they turn their head in disgust rather than extend a hand in fellowship.

    I once thought that perhaps I have things in common with the tea party, but no. The more I hear from them, the more I see how they look at the people I love and that matter to me (with either disgust or dismissal). So, I just want them to go away if they can’t, or won’t see the good in my kind of people. I am used to people with love in their heart and compassion for their neighbors. These self-centered MY country, MY taxes, MY government TPM seem wicked and a little scary to me.

  195. JJ said,

    April 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Celeste sounds to me like Nance has all these years. (That’s a good thing)

    She’s been bringing me along gently and I think I’m mostly there. 🙂

  196. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    JJ — “And why aren’t they screaming about individual liberty being affronted in Arizona? Maybe it isn’t racist . . .”

    LOL — no, it’s racist.

    Nance

  197. Nance Confer said,

    April 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I think, Celeste, you will get your wish. The TPM will go away. They haven’t, that I have seen, brought anything new to the table.

    Nance

  198. JJ said,

    May 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

    So the ultrasound requirement did pass and has gone to Gov Crist, the newest independent politician (they’ve put his portrait from GOP headquarters up on eBay, btw, to be sure he feels their wrath.) Next choice will be for him to sign it or veto it, and what he does should give us all a signal as to where the lines between moderate and wingnuts will be contested this cycle.

    Meanwhile TPM conservatives in Arizona are intruding into my specialty now, education policy:

    As ThinkProgress notes, the Tucson Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department is the target here. The state superintendent charges that the program exhibits “ethnic chauvinism.”

    Meanwhile, in a move that was more covert until the Wall Street Journal uncovered it, the Arizona Department of Education has told schools that teachers with “heavy” or “ungrammatical” accents are no longer allowed to teach English classes.Arizona’s recent pattern of discriminatory education policies is ironic . . . given that the state spent a decade recruiting teachers for whom English was a second language.

  199. JJ said,

    May 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Re: government, from President Obama’s graduation address today:

    One of my favorite signs from the health care debate was one that read “Keep Government Out Of My Medicare,” which is essentially like saying “Keep Government Out Of My Government-Run Health Care.”

    For when our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it conveniently ignores the fact in our democracy, government is us. We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.

    Government is the police officers who are here protecting us and the service men and women who are defending us abroad. Government is the roads you drove in on and the speed limits that kept you safe. Government is what ensures that mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them. Government is this extraordinary public university – a place that is doing life-saving research, catalyzing economic growth, and graduating students who will change the world around them in ways big and small.

    The truth is, the debate we’ve had for decades between more government and less government doesn’t really fit the times in which we live.

    We know that too much government can stifle competition, deprive us of choice, and burden us with debt. But we’ve also seen clearly the dangers of too little government – like when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy.

    So what we should be asking is not whether we need a “big government” or a “small government,” but how we can create a smarter, better government. I

  200. mike w. said,

    May 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Nance – baseless accusations of racism are sad. They’re proof that you’re incapable of engaging in intellectually honest discussion.

    Andrew C. – “temporary” tax increases have a nasty habit of becoming permanent.

    JJ – Your answer was NO. Unfortunately that is a lie. You clearly said that open carry constituted simple assault, as completely moronic as that is.

  201. JJ said,

    May 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    You didn’t see the Godfather then — or get it?

  202. Kristina said,

    May 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Okay, I’ll bite. I’ve attended a few TPM rallies. I did not hear/see any racism. I think that no matter what group of people you get together, you will find racism, so long as it is a large enough group. However, when you dismiss the the whole because of a few people, you are just looking for a reason to dismiss something you don’t like, but can’t logically disagree with.

    This, in my opinion, especially applies to something that doesn’t actually have anything to do with race. The idea of the TPM is not an idea about race. It’s not an idea about abortion. It’s not an idea about gay marriage. It’s an idea about economics. This country has a horrible economy currently, and I believe, a horrible economic future. Honestly, I believe that our country NEEDS to go through a recession in order to get back on track economically. Does that mean I want people to suffer? Of course not. It does mean that I have studied economic history, and I know that any time there is inflation, recession is going to follow. If we don’t allow the natural turn of events to happen, when they do happen, it will be even worse.

    Bush helped prevent total economic meltdown when the stock bubble burst by cutting taxes. But, our economy was still overinflated. Eventually, it has to fall. If you study the history of our economy, you’ll find that it has all happened before, in much the same way.

    My problem with the way we are governing (which, by the way has nothing to do with our current president-be he black, white, man, woman, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Atheist) is that I see Rome all over again. If you study Roman history, you can see that they started seeing most of their problems with the rise of social programs.

    Also, while I always considered myself a conservative, I have recently come to realize that I am mostly an ECONOMIC conservative. After much research, I would say that I am most closely aligned with libertarians, although we do part ways when it comes to war.

    In my town, the TPM is supporting Rand Paul who, like his father, is a Libertarian masquerading as a Republican. He is running against a big spending Republican in the primaries for the seat being vacated by Bunning. Mitch McConnell is also very unpopular among the local TPM due to his big spending tendencies. Unfortunately, we are stuck with him for another 4 years. Since Rand Paul is very much a libertarian, he is really neither pro-life, nor pro-choice- in his governing ideas.

    Finally, I want to comment on the whole “children who are not racist” concept. The other day, something was said about people not liking someone because they were black. All three of my children were baffled by this concept. They are 12, 9, and 6. My children have been homeschooled for 3 years. While they have been taught American history, including slavery, segregation, etc, it has all be taught in the context of history. So, to them, racism is a thing of the past. They cannot understand that someone actually would not like someone based on the color of their skin. “Why would this make sense,” they ask. So, I wonder if the current problem we have with racism is manufactured by parents and teachers who are looking to mitigate racism, because they were exposed to racism as children. OF COURSE there is still racism, but I truly believe that it is not as prevalent as many people seem to think. It is CERTAINLY not the basis for most opposition to our president’s policies.

  203. Nance Confer said,

    May 2, 2010 at 8:26 am

    This columnist sees a connection between the Tea Party and AZ’s new law — and not in a good way:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/opinion/02rich.html

    (Mike W., you are just adorable.)

    Nance

  204. JJ said,

    May 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I wanted to hear a little more about this belief, if Kristina wouldn’t mind?

    “I know that any time there is inflation, recession is going to follow. If we don’t allow the natural turn of events to happen, when they do happen, it will be even worse.

    Bush helped prevent total economic meltdown . . .”

    What interests me is juxtaposing “the natural turn of events” one reads in economic history, with the belief that President Bush might have done or not done things to alter that natural cycle, presumably for good OR ill?

  205. JJ said,

    May 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    And something Kristina writes about “governing ideas” brought to mind the current TIME story about the governing ideas of Charlie Crist versus Jeb Bush in our state. See the price of not toeing the line, and how long that line can get:

    “Most of us have two or three principles we stand behind, no matter what, but Jeb has about 50 of them,” a Florida Republican leader once observed. And to Jeb-ites, who, like their hero, often bristle at dissent, Crist has too often betrayed those principles, even if he does call Bush “Florida’s greatest governor.” /blockquote>

  206. Mike said,

    May 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Like I said JJ, you’re either afraid or incapable of defending your own words & positions. It’s quite sad.

  207. JJ said,

    May 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Your psych cert is from where again?

  208. mike w. said,

    May 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

    It’s merely an objective observation based upon your own conduct in this thread JJ. You have consistently failed to defend your own words and positions. It doesn’t take a professional certification to be able to see that.

    Frankly, given some of the things you’ve said here I can’t blame you for acting as you have. People who make the kinds of statements you have here tend to immediately obfuscate, deflect, and generally run away from what they’re spewed rather than attempt to logically & rationally defend it.

  209. JJ said,

    May 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Logical, rational, objective observation? — oh, like SCIENCE then, hmmm.

    Someone logically qualified for that:

    [I]t’s clear there are different degrees of self-awareness. . .
    . . . Everything you see and experience — your body, the trees and sky — are part of an active process occurring in your mind. You are this process, not just that tiny part you control with motor neurons.

    You’re not an object — you are your consciousness.

    . . .As the great physicist John Wheeler said, “No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” That’s why in real experiments, not just the properties of matter — but space and time themselves — depend on the observer.

  210. JJ said,

    May 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    The reverse twist in Sunday’s NYT Mag cover story:

    “Ubiquitous self-tracking is a dream of engineers. For all their expertise at figuring out how things work, technical people are often painfully aware how much of human behavior is a mystery. People do things for unfathomable reasons. They are opaque even to themselves. . . .

    Trackers are exploring an alternate route. Instead of interrogating their inner worlds through talking and writing, they are using numbers. They are constructing a quantified self.

  211. mike w. said,

    May 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    And yet you continue to do exactly what I’ve stated……..

  212. mike w. said,

    May 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    See Comments # 148 & 149 if you’re confused again JJ.

    Or you can go way back in this thread and see if you can wrap your head around the definition of “threatening” or the 18th century usage of the world “regulate.”

  213. JJ said,

    May 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    SFL and Kristina – when libertarian Ron Paul and progressive Alan Grayson back the same finance reform amendment to push back against plutocracy, maybe it’s not too late yet, for the real real America. :).

  214. Celeste Peck said,

    May 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I will respond to some of Kristina’s points:

    “Honestly, I believe that our country NEEDS to go through a recession in order to get back on track economically.”
    I agree, but I would LOVE to see those powerful gazillionaires who caused the crisis pitch in to ease the suffering of those who will be hardest hit. Every CEO on Wall Street should have their wages and assets seized and distributed among those who are now homeless as a result of the mere existence of Wall Street.

    “If you study Roman history, you can see that they started seeing most of their problems with the rise of social programs.”
    Blaming the fall of the Roman empire on the rise of social programs is like saying it was the smoke, not the fire, that burned the house down. Look deeper. What caused the need for the social programs in the first place? Greed. Those in power take, take, taking until those they took from were dying off. Then there was a need for social programs to keep the slave labor alive and able to work. Then the empire started to fall, and it was all because of the social programs, not the behavior that led to the necessity of the programs??!? This is like the Romans in that greed is what has landed us here. We need to downsize, and I mean from the top down, so that the American life is simpler again and not so narcissitic and shallow a culture. The majority of our citizens (that I feel the TPM is handicapped in that they simply cannot identify with) don’t want an empire. Your strength is economics? That’s good because I can pick your brain. If you are in a generous mood, could you explain exactly why we need Wall Street? What does Wall Street do for us? I’m talking big picture.

    “It is CERTAINLY not the basis for most opposition to our president’s policies.”
    I would disagree most heartily with your claim that race is not the basis for most opposition. My children have the same innocence about race as yours, but it isn’t children who are opposing him. It is old white men and boy their generation sure is different.

  215. Chugwater said,

    May 4, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Celeste,

    We need Wall Street (or the financial industry in general) as a means to efficiently distribute capital in a free market society. Obviously it isn’t perfect, but if you think it’s unnecessary then just refer back to the old Soviet Five Year Plans to see what life would be like under a government command and control system.

    There needs to be some regulatory framework, but thowing the baby out with the bathwater is not the answer. What is your solution for allocating financial resources in the absence of Wall Street? Who would make the decisions? Who would watch those making the decisions?

  216. southern female lawyer said,

    May 4, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hey y’all – I like the financial reform direction part of this comment thread is taking, so I am going to put up a new post and direct all finance/banking/economic comments there so we can have a clean discussion on those issues.

  217. southern female lawyer said,

    May 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

    New economic post is up here: https://southernfemalelawyer.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/wall-street-v-main-street/

  218. mike w. said,

    May 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

    agree, but I would LOVE to see those powerful gazillionaires who caused the crisis pitch in to ease the suffering of those who will be hardest hit. Every CEO on Wall Street should have their wages and assets seized and distributed among those who are now homeless as a result of the mere existence of Wall Street.

    Are you SURE you want a government who has the power to do that?

    Private property rights are the very basis of a free, civilized society.

  219. Kristina said,

    May 4, 2010 at 10:59 am

    JJ & Celeste- I’ll get with you on the economics related questions on the new post.

    I have only a minute, so can’t provide the research for the economics questions at this time. Had to comment on this, though.

    Celeste said:

    “It is CERTAINLY not the basis for most opposition to our president’s policies.”
    I would disagree most heartily with your claim that race is not the basis for most opposition. My children have the same innocence about race as yours, but it isn’t children who are opposing him. It is old white men and boy their generation sure is different.

    If you do not see the ageism, racism, and sexism inherent in your comment, then our discussion of race is not practical. You have basically said that old, white men are unable to differentiate between a man’s color and his policies.

  220. Nance Confer said,

    May 4, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Certain old — and not so old — white men are.

    Nance

  221. Kristina said,

    May 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Well, of course they are. So are white and black women, black men, Asian men and women, South Pacific men and women, Native American men and women, young, old, middle aged… Everyone everywhere can have prejudices, whether the prejudices be FOR or AGAINST.

    However, making an assumption that a group of people is racist just because it is mostly made up of a certain race and age is, in itself, racist.

  222. JJ said,

    May 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Observing it and its effects, though, is not just “an assumption.” And assuming it is would be — well, wrong no matter what we call it. Right?

  223. Kristina said,

    May 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    So, you’ve personally been to tea party rallies? You’ve observed these old, white men (of whom I did not see a disproportionate amount), and heard racist comments from their mouths? And, what effects are we discussing? I really don’t want to make an assumption about it.

  224. Celeste Peck said,

    May 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Obama has made attempts to strengthen the oppressed – minorities/poor working class/women. That translates to the powerful (oppressors) as: We are about to lose our power and control over others; we should be very afraid and do anything it takes to stop him. That’s just how I see it, and to me it seems obvious in their shenanigans.

    I fear that there is an economically powerful force that has engineered the TPM to maintain that status quo, and that worries me.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/146504/the_roots_of_stalin_in_the_tea_party_movement

    I won’t post anymore on this thread.

  225. mike w. said,

    May 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Kristina – thank you for pointing out that Celeste and Nance are in fact exhibiting the very same attitudes they claim are rampant among the TPM.

    It’s not surprising. In my experience anti-gun folks like themselves consistently engage in projection.

  226. southern female lawyer said,

    May 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    First – Kristina and Nance – welcome aboard! I am usually better at playing hostess on these open salon forums, but I have been swamped with work and the whatnots. But thank you for your insight and I hope you stick around and maybe contribute to the new discussion on economics.

    Second – I am currently in the middle of watching the Battlestar Gallactica dvds, so every time mike w mentions “projection,” I feel compelled to shriek “CYLONS!!!”

    Yes, I know this is flip and utterly non-substantive, but I am giddy with sleep-deprivation and over-caffeinated, so cut me a little slack. I promise I will make some substantive contributions when I get caught up with work…

  227. JJ said,

    May 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Since it’s come yup several times I reject the assumption that TPM equals its “rallies” and “events” because those are not the only or even the main way in which to observe, understand and critique the TPM. Political movements with tangential, diversionary, misrepresentational or no rallies or events at all are possible.

  228. Nance Confer said,

    May 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    No, Kristina, but that’s not the question.My only contact with a real-life tea rally was on one of our corners here in Podunkville. It was white. Really white. Even though it was within walking distance (a feat in FL) of a black neighborhood. And it was littered with confederate flags and the snake flag. But that is irrelevant. Podunkville, FL, may not actually be representative of much. But when these same images are in the paper and on the news we can begin to get a clue about the character of many members of this group. And then we can read their signs and listen to their rhetoric and see who they target with their policies and which President they decided to protest against, etc. And I think we can safely say that a lot of these folks — perhaps none in your area — are old, white, guvment-hating guys who lost the last election.

    And as my aging white DH is happy to remind them, they have seven more years to stew in it.

    Didn’t it just warm the cockles of everyone’s heart to see Jindal cozying up to Obama now that his state needs federal help? Oh, you WOULD like some help from the federal government? Hmmmm… 🙂

    Nance

  229. JJ said,

    May 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I haven’t been to any of the war zones either, or been alone with a Catholic priest.

  230. JJ said,

    May 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    And men who haven’t ever given birth or had an abortion (much less been sated raped or told they were “too purty to be a lobbyist” and given a fanny pat, sure do think they know a lot about the women’s movement!

  231. JJ said,

    May 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    sorry for typo – much less been date raped

  232. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Free Speech is SUPPOSED to make the Government uncomfortable (Just a note- hers is not a political blog, so be nice!)

    I would add that when a person is afraid to speak against the government for fear of being labeled racist, their free speech rights are also being taken away.

  233. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Yet, many feminists would be upset by my take on the women’s movement, even though I have given birth, been date raped, been dismissed because I have breasts, and been sexually harassed at work.

    Oddly, I still believe that I can do and accomplish whatever I want. I still believe that the men in my life cannot hold me back, even if that means I have to bowl them down to get what I want. I still believe that my sons should not pay for what other men have done. And, I still believe that someone else should not be torn down in order to build someone else up.

    In my opinion, I AM a feminist. I believe that women are just as good as men. I believe that women can and should do whatever they want. I believe that women are just as intelligent as men. But, I also believe that abortion is wrong (and yes, I was concerned about pregnancy after that date rape- waiting to find out if I was pregnant was torture. I got lucky, but I would not have had an abortion, even at the young age of just turned 18. That baby would have been put up for adoption). I believe that anyone should be able to marry. I believe that people should not have their money taken from them by the government and given to someone else. I believe that children should have stay at home parents, be they fathers or mothers.

    See, I think for myself. That, to me, is the epitome of a feminist.

  234. southern female lawyer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I would add that when a person is afraid to speak against the government for fear of being labeled racist, their free speech rights are also being taken away.

    By whom? I am under no obligation to respect anyone else’ right to free speech. I, as an individual, can restrict it, censor it, ignore it, or criticize it. If you are talking about media criticism, the same rules apply. So long as the media does not engage in libel or slander, they are pretty much ok.

    This is probably one of my sorest issues – the frequent cry that one’s free speech rights are being trampled. One has the right to say whatever they want – however, nothing in the First Am says that I have to listen, agree, or refrain from criticism.

    And I might also add to all TPM people, potential and active, welcome to the club. The most fundamental side effect of activism is having your sanity, patriotism, intelligence, morality, and desires mocked, questioned, and derided. Hell – you can skim through my blog and see me taking it on all of these issues.

  235. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Mmm, I was actually talking about being labeled a racist by the government, because racism is grounds for hate crimes. I actually agree with all your points.

  236. southern female lawyer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Kristina – I applaud your ability to think for yourself. I don’t question whether anyone is feminist and I agree that women can have different beliefs and still both be feminists. I don’t know you or your political stance.

    I am assuming that since you value the ability to think for one’s self (as do I, BTW) that you also respect the choice and ability of other to think for themselves. In other words, ‘I believe X and would never do Y, but I am not going to demand the gov mandate X and make Y illegal.’

    I think we part ways, though, at government involvement, which is fine. The older I have gotten and the more I have been outside of school and the more I have seen professionally, the more firmly convinced I am that simply calling it equal doesn’t make it equal.

    And as far as taxes are concerned, I believe that IF we are being taxed, then that money should go to the betterment of the citizenry. And yes, I believe that corps/biz should be taxed more heavily. If we are afraid about them leaving for less regulated countries, then don’t allow them to peddle in the US. I am very very big on buying US. Look at the import to export ratio in the most financially secure countries and you will see *why* buying ‘local’ is better.

  237. JJ said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Wealthy, powerful, public use of the racist label in an attempt to affect laws and stifle free speech in the marketplace of ideas? That’s talk radio you’ve confused with government. 😉

    Oh, unless you count individual elected officials and former officials (Bachmann and Palin come to mind) as “the government”?

  238. southern female lawyer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Kristina – But – unless you are engaging in a serious crime AND there is an aggravating factor involving racially motivated animus, then there is no danger of ‘being labeled a racist by the government.’ And really? The burden of proof in criminal actions is pretty darn high, so chances are, if you are convicted of a crime plus the hate crime enhancer, you probably have done something pretty grave.

    So I don’t understand this as a fear that is chilling the 1st am rights of potential TPM people. Unless I am sorely mistaken in the conduct of TPM events.

  239. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

    JJ- I’ve heard politicians use the racism label in an attempt to affect laws- outside of Bachmann and Palin (actually never heard Palin use race, but I don’t listen to all her speeches, either).

    I don’t fear it, but it is something that can happen.

    SFL- LOL You are sorely mistaken. There are high crimes being done there. 😉 No, you are not mistaken in that. However, this is what bothers me. There has been a lot of speculation about the TPM causing homegrown terror, yet there has not been any proof of this. On the other hand, terrorism does not equal racism… so, my premise is totally off base. 🙂

  240. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Yes, I do value that, which is why, although I disagree with abortion, I do not support making it illegal.

    And as far as taxes are concerned, I believe that IF we are being taxed, then that money should go to the betterment of the citizenry. And yes, I believe that corps/biz should be taxed more heavily. If we are afraid about them leaving for less regulated countries, then don’t allow them to peddle in the US. I am very very big on buying US. Look at the import to export ratio in the most financially secure countries and you will see *why* buying ‘local’ is better.

    I agree that the money should go to the betterment of the citizenry. We just probably differ on what the betterment of the citizenry means. I don’t agree that corps/biz should be taxed more heavily, especially if we have income taxes (a totally different discussion!). And, if it is at all possible, I agree that buying local is better. There are very few things that, with the willingness to pay more for quality/local, you can’t get local. And, to be honest, I would rather support a local mom/dad/struggling student/retiree… than a company that makes millions, while their employees make diddly-squat.

  241. Kristina said,

    May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

    But, that has to be something that is a personal option, as well. While I don’t support the big box stores, I understand that there are people who believe that the cheaper product is what they need in order to get by. For the most part, I believe that you should get by on less, with a better quality, so that things don’t have to be replaced as often, but, again, that is a personal choice and attitude.

    See, I believe that abortion needs to be stopped through cultural change, not laws. I truly believe that unless a person’s heart is in the process of saving that child’s life, then the abortion won’t be stopped. Also, I think that the morning after pill is not abortion, so… It all comes down to opinion, conjecture, religion, and money.

  242. mike w. said,

    May 5, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Free Speech is SUPPOSED to make the Government uncomfortable.

    This is something liberals have forgotten. We’ve gone from “Dissent is Patriotic” During Bush to “Dissent is dangerous” now that it’s not the liberal bloc doing the protesting.

    Interestingly enough, they deride “hate speech” and claim it shouldn’t be protected, yet “hate speech” in leftist talk can be translated as “speech we don’t like.” Notice that they apply this to their political opponents, but never to themselves. (See liberals during Bush vs. Liberals now)

    You can’t claim to be a supporter of the 1st Amendment or civil liberties while saying that “Right-Wing Hate Speech” should be curtailed by the government.

    Kristina – You just had Bloomberg and others publicly speculating that the attempted NY bombing was a crazy right-winger. Oops it was a muslim terrorist! They want to badly to smear their political opposition that they will do everything possible to conflate them with criminals, terrorists, racists, or any other “boogeyman” group, facts be damned.

    Hell, take Joseph Stack as an example. The left (including one of SFL’s buddies) claimed that he was a right-wing terrorist fomented by “right-wing hate speech.” Oops, he quoted “The Communist Manifesto” which obviously means he’s a right-winger…..

    Or John Patrick Bedell, the “right-wing,” anti-Bush, 9/11 Truther from California. Or Amy Bishop, a liberal who was obsessed with President Obama, also clearly a right-wing tea partier.

    The left desparately wants the TPM to be racist, violent etc. etc. and since they’re not fitting that narrative, the MSM and liberal bloggers make crap up. Apparently those on the left think everyone else behaves the way they do at protests.

  243. southern female lawyer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Shorter mike w: I will now conflate, exaggerate, generalize, and assume when criticizing/invalidating the other side because it conflates, exaggerates, generalizes, and assumes.

  244. Nance Confer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Kristina: See, I believe that abortion needs to be stopped through cultural change, not laws.

    Which is fine. That’s what the law actually says. Nobody is forcing anyone to have an abortion. It’s a legal choice.

    With more and more restrictions but it is still legal and a choice.

    And I’m sure any pro-choice person you ask will say that there should be fewer abortions — through education and easy and affordable access to birth control, along with your adoption suggestion and anything else that is humane and workable.

    As long as it’s by choice.

    Nance

  245. mike w. said,

    May 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    So you deny that folks like Southern Beale have flat out made crap up in order to further the “evil right wing terrorist” label that the left so badly wants to disaprage their political opposition with?

    That woman has flat out lied on numerous occasions.

    Also,

    Shorter SFL. I couldn’t think of any intelligent counterpoints or in any way further the discussion, so I tried to make a witty comment and failed miserably.

  246. southern female lawyer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Shorter shorter mike w: What is irony?

    *yawn*

    I am not “denying” anything. If you want to discuss media portrayal of the TPM (which is actually one of the original discussion questions on this post), I am all up for it. However, your hysterical argument style of generalize, dodge, accuse is, as I have told you on numerous other occasions, counter-productive.

    Such may be fine when you are making a commentary to an open audience; however, here it serves no purpose AND is irrelevant. This is an open discussion on the TPM and race; I didn’t post anything objectionable and thus have nothing to defend here. I am not responsible for what other females/liberals/Tennesseans write or claim. We have no secret agency agreement. We are allowed to express our own ideas and opinions.

    Not to mention, neither SoBe or myself are MSM; the sub-discussion you posted on was about hate crime enhancers not hate speech, “liberals did it, too” is a non-response to my questions, and your conclusory statements are opinion, not fact.

    However, because I am nice and interested in this discussion, I will fix your argument for you and pose the following question:

    Specifically considering the TPM, do people think that there are factors of the TPM and/or people/groups associated with the TPM that give rise to a reasonable concern for potential acts of violence?

    If you think so, on what grounds do you base your concern?

    If you think such a concern is unreasonable, do you think the MSM has fanned/overinflated/created the issue?

  247. Nance Confer said,

    May 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Yes. A mixed bag of militias and rebel flags and calls to “reload”, etc., make me think that. It’s a brew that could encourage a certain loosely-anchored type and it’s being encouraged by politicians and angry Rs.

    And, yes, I think the media overinflates any interesting story.

    Nance

  248. Mike said,

    May 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    And nance answers yes despite all evidence to the contrary, thus proving me right

  249. JJ said,

    May 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Are we including in MSM, the most watched news media shows, on that very traditionally corporate media-mogul cable channel, with all its tied-in daily radio, national book tours and show host family members managing TPM politicians as Van Susteren’s husband does for Palin? Seems to me that’s been the primary source of overhyping TPM stories.

  250. Mike said,

    May 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    No we are not, since fox is the only non-liberal network in a sea of leftists.

    Nance. Thanks for displaying your racism for everyone. Also, Get back to me when you learn what the term “threat” means.

  251. JJ said,

    May 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    MSM has always included the Wall Street Journal . . .

  252. mike w. said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

    And now you’ve jumped from TV & radio to print media. If you were attempting to refute the comment above by mentioning the WSJ you failed miserably.

  253. southern female lawyer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Fox News most certainly IS included.

  254. southern female lawyer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

    …as are ALL nationwide popular “news” sources, be they print, radio, or tv. MSM does not equal liberal only.

  255. mike w. said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

    We are allowed to express our own ideas and opinions.

    And those opinions will be called out and ridiculed, particularly when they are laughable, ignorant, and in JJ & Nance’s cases just unbelievably stupid and devoid of all reason and factual basis.

    Some levels of idiocy are simply astounding. Like say claiming that open carry of a firearm equates to making a threat (Nance’s claim) or even more idiotic, claiming that the mere act of lawfully carrying a holstered firearm constitutes simple assault. (JJ’s claim)

    I’ve heard many mindnumbingly stupid claims from anti-gunners before and I must say JJ’s claim (and her hysterical attempt to defend it) is damn near the most laughable.

  256. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I hereby nominate “hysterical” be added to this conversations’s running list of definitions at issue —

  257. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

    SFL – Good, I concur with that meaning of MSM and how as an institution they’ve covered the TPM, and why. Much less so than the immigration civil rights protests e.g., although the numbers at those rallies and events were objectively greater and the “threat” to American freedoms being protested much more urgent and specific than the TPM self-defined causes

    Along with our consideration of whether there’s a threat of violence in racist anger, consider NPR’s report (yes,from the ground, Kristina) about how the meant-as-peaceful protests in Greece turned deadly despite that culture’s generally peaceful tradition of people protesting:

    POGGIOLI: The demonstrations really started quite peacefully. There were a lot of people on the street, perhaps as many as 100,000. They marched. They were quite angry.

    But the first part of the rally was really, really quite peaceful. And then some people dispersed, and then a group of young people – we don’t know if they were organized anarchists, but they certainly were organized, ready for violence. They came prepared. They had facemasks. They had bars with which to pry paving and stone(ph) from the streets. They taunted the police. And after a while, the police responded with tear gas, stun grenades. And from what we understand, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the – at a branch bank nearby, was set on fire. Three people died, two women and a man. And four people, who were seriously injured, have been hospitalized.

    MONTAGNE: Now, how representative are these demonstrators, would you say, of Greeks as a whole? Because, of course, many Greeks have been out in the street demonstrating over these last weeks.

    POGGIOLI: I do not think that they are representative of the majority of Greeks. . .

    Point being, the TPM needn’t be racist or slyly feeding racism to the point of violence, and it might merely represent general anger of the majority of Americans over the current economic crisis. Nevertheless, the threat of violence is presented to some degree by any movement of angry citizens. Thus some concern that violence can be thus sparked despite the lawful intent of the majority of TPM folks and their sympathizers, is reasonable and even prudent. We should address it, not ignore or actively deny it.

    When people’s protest violence does occur, both innocent citizens and law enforcement (government employees serving the people) get injured. Sometimes they die.

    This isn’t shocking or unforseeable; it’s a known threat. (Kent State’s anniversary was this week too.)

  258. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    This is how SFL described the topic:
    “. . .also don’t really want to hear about other movements or administrations – I am looking ONLY at the TPM. I simply want to discuss race and whether or not it matters in the context of the TPM.”

    I can only see the relationship in the third link, the conservative authoritarism of Dennis Prager. It is belief and opinion the poster presumably shares, that liberals and “Leftists” ARE racist but TPM folks are not. Again, see SFL’s parameters because by definition this doesn’t answer her questions:

    “Every time that the questions regarding race and the TPM are asked, the answers in defense of the TPM are, almost unfailingly, that (1) there is no proof of racism and/or (2) the asker is racist for simply asking the question. Please note that neither of these responses are actual answers to the questions that I am about to ask.”

    But what of the first opinion piece and the news article about an elementary school field trip? The obvious connection to the TPM I saw in Thomas Sowell’s screed, was that whipping up race/class resentment DOES breed violence!

  259. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Broken hypertext, it should be easier to read corrected
    ____________________

    262.

    This is how SFL described the topic:
    “. . .also don’t really want to hear about other movements or administrations – I am looking ONLY at the TPM. I simply want to discuss race and whether or not it matters in the context of the TPM.”

    I can only see the relationship in the third link, the conservative authoritarism of Dennis Prager. It is belief and opinion the poster presumably shares, that liberals and “Leftists” ARE racist but TPM folks are not. Again, see SFL’s parameters because by definition this doesn’t answer her questions:

    “Every time that the questions regarding race and the TPM are asked, the answers in defense of the TPM are, almost unfailingly, that (1) there is no proof of racism and/or (2) the asker is racist for simply asking the question. Please note that neither of these responses are actual answers to the questions that I am about to ask.”

    But what of the first opinion piece and the news article about an elementary school field trip? The obvious connection to the TPM I saw in Thomas Sowell’s screed, was that whipping up race/class resentment DOES breed violence!

  260. mike w. said,

    May 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Oh wow! Since the actuality of the TPM doesn’t fit her narrative JJ has to bring up how some protests in GREECE turned violent.

    I also notice she’s continuing to avoid discussing and backing up her claims. I wonder why that is?

  261. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Something else to think about is how even a weak mind, much less such a big, strong, well-armed and insistently right real American, could miss the self-evident contradiction in his own monologue:

    JJ’s claim (and her hysterical attempt to defend it)

    versus

    I also notice she’s continuing to avoid discussing and backing up her claims.

  262. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    An MSM review of the race-in-tea-partying issue yesterday:

    Tea party groups battling perceptions of racism

    Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, said that at the heart of the effort to counter racism accusations is dissociating from protesters who cross the line.. . .

    At a protest in Nashville, Phillips said, there were “a couple of signs — which I’m not convinced weren’t plants from the other side — that were really tasteless and inappropriate.”

    The people who carried them “were told to put their signs down and leave. . . . They were literally thrown out of the event,” he said.

    Throwing out other free citizens for exercising free speech? Well, maybe my understanding of the practical balance of First Amendment rights between opposed citizens isn’t so far off from the TPM’s after all. 🙂

  263. Chugwater said,

    May 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Below is a much more damning indictment of the TPM because it gets to the heart of their stated movement goals, as opposed to some inferred group violence or bigotry. (Short of any actual violence or systemic pervasive bigotry demonstrated throughout the group, these two topics will continue to exist only on the margins.)

    I agree with Mr Sullivan that most members of the TPM do not have a firm grasp of federal budget details and suffer from monetary cognitive dissonance (“Get the government out of my Medicare’). However, I still prefer they take up some of the media oxygen. The impending budget disaster is only a few Boomer retirements away.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/05/the-contemptible-small-government-fraud-of-the-tea-party.html

  264. Nance Confer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    JJ, “hysterical” obviously describes any statement made by a woman disagreeing with what’s-his-name. Silly! 🙂

    Nance

  265. southern female lawyer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Chugwater – thanks for posting the Atlantic article – I was about to link to it.

    Washington, D.C.: Judson — Are you willing to admit that taxes have actually gone down for the vast majority of Americans under President Obama?

    Judson Phillips: No

    People that back down, admit when they are wrong, own up to their mistakes, and/or apologize get pretty far with me. On the other hand, people that absolutely refuse to acknowledge the truth or concede any point contrary to their agenda bug the shit out of me.

  266. Chugwater said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    The sad part about it is taxes really haven’t gone down. They’ve only been deferred to later in our working lives, and to our kids and grandkids. The long term tax rate is ALWAYS equal to the level of government spending. I understand the point the administration and it’s supporters are making, but it’s kind of a mute point. We’ll be paying those taxes, just not this year. There’s still no such thing as a free lunch.

    That’s the problem I had with Obamacare. It wasn’t so much the cuts in Medicare, or even taxes on so-called ‘Cadillac’ health plans. It was the creation of a whole new entitlement at a time when we need to be reducing spending everywhere we can. Now we’ve still got this huge debt, and all of the easiest low hanging fruit has been picked off the tax revenue tree. What will the public say when the federal government goes back to them for Round II?

    [Must…put…soapbox…back…in…closet]

  267. southern female lawyer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    No – ALWAYS keep the soapbox out. You might need it to reach the cookies you hid in the top cupboard so your kids wouldn’t find them. No wait – that’s me.

    See, I agree with what you say (umm, facts are facts), but I think I see it a bit differently. I think the the middle class is being killed to death – by health insurance, capitalism, credit, costly education, lingering Boomers in the workplace, whatever. I think that the only way to “save America” is to keep more of it from sliding into poverty.

    No, we don’t have a shit-ton of money and yes, we have a shit-ton of debt. Let’s take what we have and put it back into the middle/lower classes before they all slide into bankruptcy. And really? Health insurance is (in my opinion) is a major make-or-break expense for people on the lower/middle class cusp. And while I obviously am not thrilled with what got passed (I am pro single payer/public option/medicare for all), it’s a start.

    So, quit spending so much on foreign military quagmires. Quit allowing Big Biz to weasel out of their fair share of taxes. Sigh.

  268. southern female lawyer said,

    May 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I should also clarify for those who have not heard/read my rants on this subject before, that my thoughts on these issues are based on my firmly-held belief that capitalism leads inexorably to the utter destruction of the middle class and an extreme two-tier society.

    Simply put, it takes money to make money. When we ran out of savings, we turned to credit. Now that credit has exploded in our faces, where do we turn? Those without money will remain without, rich get richer, and the middle class slumps into the lower.

  269. JJ said,

    May 6, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I never thought about whether it was inexorable, interesting — but it surely leading there for us.

  270. Chugwater said,

    May 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    “Let’s take what we have…”

    We have…what? Nothing. The cupboard is bare (except for a few cookie crumbs). Our kids and grandkids (KGK) presumably have resources but pretty soon we’ll have sucked the monetary resources out of their lives too.

    Ponder this for a moment, if we’re racking up an unseemly amount of debt that our KGK have to pay for, then what resources will they have to deal with the challenges of their time? Over the past year I kept hearing it’s a moral issue to provide universal health care. Okay, then will it necessarily be immoral when our KGK have to take it away or drastically scale it back because their three-generation tax burden is untenable? All you’re doing is robbing tomorrow’s Peter to benefit today’s Paul.

    Progressives in the election cycles of 2006 and 2008 had a very good argument for the Right when they said we as a society should pay for the Iraq War. If it’s that important to our national existence, let’s pass a war tax and share the burden across all socio-economic groups, and not place it totally on our soldiers and our KGK. That’s sound logic. But doesn’t the same go for Medicare and Social Security? If these lower- and middle-class programs are so essential to our elderly staying out of poverty, shouldn’t we be paying for those programs too?

    Where does it end? At what point do we stop saying ‘I will start my diet tomorrow.’

    We can talk tax hikes too, but you can’t raise them high enough to cover the deficits. Wealth is too fungible and it will go overseas if you test its elasticity too much.

  271. Nance Confer said,

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Chugwater: But doesn’t the same go for Medicare and Social Security? If these lower- and middle-class programs are so essential to our elderly staying out of poverty, shouldn’t we be paying for those programs too?

    Yes. And we do, So you are suggesting we should have a bit more withheld from our paychecks? A few years back I read an article explaining that it wouldn’t really take much of an increase in SS withholding to keep it solvent for decades.

    Nance

  272. JJ said,

    May 7, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Chugwater said:
    “We have…what? Nothing. The cupboard is bare (except for a few cookie crumbs). ”

    It struck me that this is quite true or really absurd, all depending on who “we” is.

  273. mike w. said,

    May 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

    could miss the self-evident contradiction in his own monologue

    Nope, no contradiction. I was using the term hysterical to mean “funny / hilarious” specifically because your “attempts” to defend your statements were pitiful.

    So, how exactly is open carry simple assault? How is it a threat? What does the word “regulate” mean in an 18th century context? All very simple concepts that you steadfastly fail to grasp.

  274. mike w. said,

    May 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

    A few years back I read an article explaining that it wouldn’t really take much of an increase in SS withholding to keep it solvent for decades.

    This assumes politicians can keep their hands out of the cookie jar…..

  275. JJ said,

    May 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    In this power of story, if the richest nation on earth has only cookie crumbs left, where did the wealth go? Not to the poor folks, unless they’ve stashed it all offshore and are ostentatiously pretending to still be poor until they can cleverly finish cleaning “us” out . . .

  276. mike w. said,

    May 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Where did the wealth go?

    One word. Government.

  277. JJ said,

    May 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Then government should have it. If government doesn’t have it, then where is it?

  278. mike w. said,

    May 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Please tell me that’s not a serious question? …..

    And we can’t blame that massive transfer of wealth from the private to public sector solely on Obama either. Bush got the train running, Obama is intent on chugging along at full-speed…….right over a cliff.

    As for Social Security, keep in mind that it is nothing more than a government-run ponzi scheme, except that unlike when Madoff did it, the government actually compels “investors” against their will.

  279. JJ said,

    May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Fortune cookie regurgitation aside, the wealth is in the private sector, not transferred to the public sector. You and I and most of the rest of us real Americans, just don’t have it.

  280. mike w. said,

    May 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Are you implying that those Americans who have wealth are not “real Americans?”

    And are you denying that we are seeing a massive amount of wealth entering the public sector that once belonged to the private sector? What else would you call the nationalization that’s occurred under Bush & Obama?

  281. JJ said,

    May 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    No, and yes. In that order.

  282. Chugwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Nance,

    You’re right that the finacials for Social Security are much better than Medicare. All that’s needed is an increase in the retirement age to 70 and a hike in FICA taxes to match. Medicare is an entirely different animal. It will bankrupt our children on it’s current course of not overhauled. Tweaking will not suffice.

    JJ,

    ‘We’ are the USA and its government that is bleeding red ink as far as the eye can see. Which side of the absurd/quite true line would you say my statements fall on?

  283. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Chugwater, do you mean only public resources within the US then, and do you think it’s still clear which are public and which are owned by individuals or private corporations as persons? Or do you mean “we” as all-inclusive, counting each citizen and whatever resources we control privately too, all our enterprises and corporations?

  284. Nance Confer said,

    May 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I don’t think it is reasonable to ask the average person to work to age 70.

    And I agree Medicare costs can remain out of control. Or we could begin to look at the reasons things cost so darned much and try to bring those costs into line with a more rational, less insurance company driven approach. Accepting that the underlying costs will continue to rise in the way they have and can never be reduced would mean we can never really solve the problem. We need to do better than that.

    Nance

  285. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I’m wondering about for example, Harvard’s endowments totaled up with all the universities including the large state publics (mine also controls vast “private” wealth.) And the Berkshire Hathaway fund and Halliburton, of course Goldman Sachs et al — are we counting all the wealthy “us” as part of poor “we” when we say the U S of A?

  286. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    “We” make the rules and “we” change them as needed, and then gain or lose relative to each other within that “we” each time we do, right?

  287. Chugwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    JJ,

    I mean ‘we’ as in the USA GDP and the amount the government will need to acquire to support its entitlement programs. It will crowd out all of the other things we consider critical in our society both public and private.

    If you’re alluding to ‘tax the rich’ to pay for our spending, it won’t solve the problem. Do you really think the Oracle of Omaha would continue to invest just so the government could swoop in and take its earnings? Like I said before, wealth is fungible in a global economy. Capital markets can set up just as easily in London and Shanghai as they can in the New York business district.

    It takes a lot of money to reach $34 trillion dollars (the cost of Medicare alone over the next 75 years). I’m not saying you can’t increase taxes on those who have more. You can to a degree, but it won’t nearly be enough to close the gap between revenues and spending.

  288. Chugwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    A Friday column in the Washington Post the echoes my statements Thursday.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/05/AR2010050502429.html

  289. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Chugwater, I don’t get the “swoop in and take.” If we’re all us and all part of the USA, both publiuc and private sector, then the only way the Oracle of Omaha got to be one of the richest individuals is because it came from our system — yes? So how is being part of this system not “taking” when it flows one way but is IS talking when it flows the other? This is key [point I’m seeing as the sticking point between the TPM and the not-TPOM Americans.

  290. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Hope meaning is clear, sorry for typos on this tiny keyboard . . .

  291. Chugwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Nance: And I agree Medicare costs can remain out of control. Or we could begin to look at the reasons things cost so darned much and try to bring those costs into line with a more rational, less insurance company driven approach.

    Agreed. Although I bet our opinion on how to go about this is pretty different.

    The reason Big Insurance is such a large player in the health care industry is government. The tax deductability of employer health care benefits skews the entire market. When an employer can deduct X% for every dollar in health benefts, but has to pay Y% more for every dollar in salary (SS, Medicare), it’s easy to see the employer will favor more health care spending whether the employees *need* the services or not. And yet we have some politicians who bemoan the ethics and influence of Big Insurance. Frauds. You really want to neuter BI? Cut off their government subsidies, make it a true market where people can compare prices and services.

    That was an additional reason why I wasn’t so hot on Obamacare. Yet another layer of regulations lamenated onto an already Byzantine system of rules and regulations.

    If home insurance operated this way we’d make co-payments to All State and then load up the cart at Lowes and Home Depot. No one would know what the price of a hammer would be, and the costs of owning a home would sky rocket.

  292. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Home insurance isn’t a good example to use with those of us in Florida. It rakes it in but doesn’t deliver when it’s time. Actually there’s no form of insurance left that has much credibility left with me. Of course you can’t live with it and can’t die without it . . .

  293. Chugwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    JJ,

    Nothing is a good example right after an economic bubble collapses. The analogy holds over the long term.

    “If we’re all us and all part of the USA, both publiuc and private sector, then the only way the Oracle of Omaha got to be one of the richest individuals is because it came from our system — yes? So how is being part of this system not “taking” when it flows one way but is IS talking when it flows the other? ”

    Way oversimplified explanation of our economy. You make it sound like we 300+ million Americans all have one big giant bank account we’re sharing.

  294. JJ said,

    May 8, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Except that one big giant bank account ISN’T being shared with most of us.

    Seriously, the individualistic ideal is way out of whack.

  295. Nance Confer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

    It takes a lot of money to reach $34 trillion dollars (the cost of Medicare alone over the next 75 years). I’m not saying you can’t increase taxes on those who have more. You can to a degree, but it won’t nearly be enough to close the gap between revenues and spending.

    *********

    What kind of statistic is that? The cost of anything over the next 75 years could be a large number.

    But rather than stating that this won’t cover that, what would cover some reasonable cost?

    Nance

  296. Nance Confer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I just got my renewal of our homeowners insurance. $1640 this year on a house that we paid $75,000 for 15 year ago. It’s a really standard 3/2 in a modest suburb in Podunkville.

    This includes a 2% hurricane deductible (based on their valuation of the house) of $2670. All other perils, the deductible is $2500.

    So for the one big threat to my home, hurricanes, I am basically not covered except for catastrophic damage. But I have to have insurance for the mortgage company and this, the state pool, is the cheapest deal around.

    And what I really believe is that, if we ever have to collect, the money won’t be there.

    We used to have State Farm but they tripled their premium to about $6000 a year.

    So, no, homeowners insurance is not a good example of anything rational or helpful to consumers. Not here in FL. Not now.

    All managed, btw, by a highly-political state insurance board.

    *********

    And why would employers favor giving me more health insurance just because they can deduct part of it? That sounds like me buying more because I’m getting 20% off — I’m still paying more. Wouldn’t they still try to give me as little as they can — as markets would dictate — in order to get the best employee for the least cost? Wouldn’t I still consider all the forms of compensation when accepting a job?

    How about the requirement that insurance companies spend X on actual patients instead of taking larger salaries? That sounds like an attempt to balance greed and service to me. It’s not as if healthcare is as expendable as other services. After all, we can do without owning a home.

    ****************

    None of this — Obama’s attempt or the right’s objections to everything that starts with an O — sounds perfect to me. But don’t we have to start honestly dealing with the imbalances in the current system and set aside the flailing?

    Nance

  297. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Maybe we can get SFL to start another discussion on the movie Minbdwalk. Systems thinking and biocomplexity. The discrete individual out for itself in competition to the death against all other life, isn’t even scientific anymore, much less moral, if it ever was.

    An example that might help illuminate our differences — Nance and I have homeschooled our own kids and freely helped others homeschool (not as a business) WHILE we also pay our full share of taxes to school other people’s kids — about double what I pay for homeowner’s insurance .I don’t think it’s a very good system so I work (free) to make it better. I haven’t succeeded yet so I don’t send my own, but I don’t begrudge it my taxes or talents, absent any profit motive or personal benefit. We openly support quality public education being there for all who need it; that’s who we think we are, the kind of community we want to live in!

    That’s how I feel about public health care. So far I still can (barely) manage to pay for our private care and insurance in a system badly needing reform, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also want to help pay as a citizen for public health care for anyone who needs it. That is who I am as an individual, also who I am as part of “us.”

    Come to think of it, homeschooling actually went through a similarly fraught identity crisis during the past decade, with angry, self-righteous leaders painting worst case scenarios to sell in turn their own pre-ordained necessary salvation: throw the weak links off the bus to save the rest of us “real” homeschoolers.

    Kristen Chenoweth btw, just chewed Newsweek a new orifice after a thoughtlessly homophobic musical review, writing that she was offended “because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian.”

    She forgot American.

  298. Chugwater said,

    May 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Nance,

    You didn’t disprove my analogy. You just pointed out faults, perceived or real, in the current home insurance market. How do you think it would be different if premiums were tax deductable?

    “And why would employers favor giving me more health insurance just because they can deduct part of it.” Because it allows them to provide more benefits to employees at a cost that’s cheaper relative to salary increases.

    “Wouldn’t they still try to give me as little as they can — as markets would dictate — in order to get the best employee for the least cost? Wouldn’t I still consider all the forms of compensation when accepting a job?” Sure, but the mix of salary and benefits is skewed to heavier benefits than it otherwise would be abesent the tax deduction.

    There is no reason at all why the middle class can’t pay directly for their routine health services (a cavity, a routine physical exam, the sniffles), and rely on insurance for the chronic ailments, and catastrophic accidents. We just ask for trouble having a third party in the middle who’s there because the tax code largely subsidizes their leverage in the market.

    If not for the tax code, how else do you explain why insurance companies pay for nearly EVERYTHING unlike every other market in the country?

    “How about the requirement that insurance companies spend X on actual patients instead of taking larger salaries?” How about taking insurance companies out of the equation…period.

  299. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    How about taking insurance companies out of the equation…period.

    Well, sure. Other than the government single payer, what plan is there to do that?

  300. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I hate insurance companies and the monster that has become The Health Care Industry. We can ONLY take out insurance companies if there is a single-payer system and if gov comes in and regulates the crap out of pricing.

    I hear a lot of people advocate for HSAs – I don’t think they have a clear idea of what actual medical costs are. Sure, if you are a single guy and remain relatively healthy and accident free, enjoy your tax shelter. But if you are a family of four – even a healthy family of four – good luck with that.

    I got talked into an HSA/high deductible plan. We were healthy; I figured what the hell. We both got *very* sick in the fall; remained sick and in need of treatment through spring. In six months, I racked up $20,000.00 of deductibles owed on top of the couple thousand I paid in premiums. The best part? Of that 22K, only about 4K was tax deductible because we racked up owed fees way faster than I could contribute to the HSA. It took me four years to pay off the hospital – none of those payments were tax deductible.

    So, yes, an HSA might be a *great* option for some, just like paying out of pocket might be a great idea for some. But it is utterly unworkable for most and therefore NOT a good ‘across the board’ solution.

  301. Chugwater said,

    May 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Early in the HCR debate, Sens Wyden and Bennett had a bipartisan bill that eliminated the tax shelter. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi largely ignored it. Even still, the final Obamacare package has tax increases on the ‘cadillac’ plans that will go into effect in 2018 provided future politicians don’t amend the law (a politically hard thing to avoid).

    As an aside, what single payer option would you prefer? Vouchers for each American who can shop for their health care, or a system where government pays directly to the providers?

  302. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I don’t get this fixation on the “tax shelter” aspect of what’s wrong with health care economics — for example, Florida offers corporations a tax break when they donate instead to school vouchers helping poor kids who live in horrendous public school zones to afford private school tuition. The vouchers are called “opportunity scholarships.” If someone with serious concerns about the state’s public schools were to limit that concern to this one aspect of the tax code, I would think it myopic and just weird!

  303. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Well, I think there are too many problems coming from too many areas to solve anything simply. Effectively, as I see it, the problems are health insurance, cost of care/product, education costs for providers, med mal insurance costs, overuse/poor consumer habits from hoi polloi, proscription drug overuse/over proscribing and high cost. I may have left out a few things.

    I’ve read a lot of books, articles, etc., sat through a lot of debates/talks/speeches, and have seen a slew of videos on health care and how it is approached here and elsewhere. I think we have to make health care provider education reasonably accessible – loan forgiveness should be available for public interest workers, etc.

    I think we either need to eliminate health insurance altogether or treat it like self-insured pools – i.e., profits margins are kept to a “reasonable” level and you cannot make gross profits off of peddling health insurance.

    I don’t think the free market works in something as fundamentally necessary as health care. I also think it is immoral, but that is just me. I think prices need to be fixed and adjusted as necessary and warranted by nationwide economic trends.

    I think citizens need to get realistic and informed about health care – more efficient use of the system and less “waste” use.

    Generally speaking, single payer is the most efficient economically and bureaucratically speaking. Less hoops, less channels, less waste. More money saved. I don’t know that there is a substantive difference between a voucher system and gov as payor, unless you are thinking of some gov run NIS kind of system. Though I should point out that gov payor does NOT necessarily equal gov run healthcare or gov doctors or Obama signing off on your surgical consult.

    Medicare for all, sliding fee scale, all in.

    I should also point out that as an attorney AND a paranoid conspiracy theorist, I *still* support streamlined electronic medical records. The cost savings alone warrant it; not to mention how many lives would be saved. Our society is becoming electronically available at the stroke of a key, and while I know people don’t like the idea of some nut accessing their colonoscopy results, I think that is simply the way we are going.

  304. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    JJ – in my opinion, HSAs are a handy tax shelter for healthy, wealthy over-insured people. For real – they are sold that way. At least they are so pitched in my field; reps aren’t too good at telling the sickly, underpaid attorneys from the healthy rollers.

  305. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    If not for the tax code, how else do you explain why insurance companies pay for nearly EVERYTHING unlike every other market in the country?

    I want your insurance — mine doesn’t pay for most costs, most of the time.

  306. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    JJ and Nance – I would like to post something and start a discussion about homeschooling, may be a couple of days, but I see it coming…

  307. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Yep. I had one when they first came out in the 80s, along with child care deferred accounts. But it wasn’t in LIEU of good (government-paid as it happens — I was a state ed dept muckety muck) insurance. It was an added shelter just as you say, so that our eyeglasses and OTC drugs, etc could be paid with pre-tax dollars.

    DH has been with a Tampa law firm for almost a decade now and I’ve been home with the kids. So he’s covered “free” and the kids and I have a private-individual plan with the Blues, no group rates and sometimes it goes up two or more times in a calendar year. Right now I’m trying to decide whether to accept a much higher deductible and a drop to only 70% payment after that, in return for keeping the premium from going up another 12% next month. It’s a tough call because I’m in my 50s now and we really can’t afford either option.

  308. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Oh good! (to the future hsing discussion.) Rational open-ended conversations about that from enough different perspectives to be valuable to all, are hard to come by . . .

  309. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Also, people talk about “rationing” like it’s freaking the end of the world. Honestly people? The Health Care System could use a little rationing – more effective and common sense use of resources. I am not talking about killing of the Boomers.

    I mean things like not having to see a doctor for EVERYTHING. Between the PANDAS and rheumatic fever, we probably get 8 or more cultures/titer tests a year. I don’t need to schedule an appointment and pay a copay to go and see a doctor so I can tell her that there is a strep outbreak and I need a titer test. I don’t need a diagnosis, I already have one. I don’t have any symptoms, I just need to go to the damn lab. Ration me, please!

  310. Chugwater said,

    May 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    “I don’t think the free market works in something as fundamentally necessary as health care. I also think it is immoral, but that is just me. I think prices need to be fixed and adjusted as necessary and warranted by nationwide economic trends.”

    Who does the price fixing? Who does the adjusting? What trends are you looking at? How will they be monitored? Sounds good on paper, but there are certainly devils in the details.

    “I think citizens need to get realistic and informed about health care – more efficient use of the system and less “waste” use.”

    I couldn’t have composed a better argument for a free(r) market solution if I had tried. How do you expect citizens to get informed about health care when the majority has no idea what the costs are for any particular treatment? We are so insulated from the cost-benefits of health care no one can reasonably figure out what is waste and what is not. There is no price transparency from which to make educated decisions.

    For the record, I am not for unfettered, laissez faire free market health care. I don’t have a problem with some sort of subsidized spending for the poor, or extremely sick. But to say that what we have now is a true free market would be incorrect. I’d rather we reduce the complexity of the issue, see how things settle out.

    JJ, your education example compares apples with oranges. Health benefits constitute part of the cost of doing business (labor). Companies HAVE to spend that money to keep their doors open. The tax code just distorts how the money is allocated. They don’t have to spend money on education. That’s merely a charitable contribution. They could forego that expenditure and still remain a viable concern.

  311. southern female lawyer said,

    May 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I hear from a lot of people that the problem with The Health Care System is that it isn’t “free” enough – and that the free market will fix all of the ills. Now, granted I am not an economist, but I don’t understand this argument – it simply doesn’t track unless we have completely different ideas as to what the problems are.

    Things are “complex” because people/companies reap huge profits off of the system being needlessly complex. In other words, private companies are setting the parameters to maximize their profits. How is this not a problem *created* by free market? Moreover, how can the free market fix this?

    People act like health insurance is some meddling presence in the free market – health insurance is one of the biggest success stories of free market capitalism. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

  312. JJ said,

    May 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I hope Chugwater will tell the nation’s employers that education is merely an optional contribution they can make or not without changing their profitability, because for my lifetime they’ve been acting as if America runs public schools solely for their benefit! Future employees for international competition doncha know (and lol to telling an educator that a comparison is apples and oranges.)

  313. Chugwater said,

    May 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    SFL,

    Don’t confuse the free market with corporatism. Large companies/industries lobby government to create regulations for the sole purpose of stifling competition or providing some other market advantage. Big Business looks out for itself, not some altrusitic notion of economic purity.

    If by ‘setting parameters’ you mean Big Insurance (and Big Labor too) using their resources to protect the health care exemption through the full force of the federal government, then hell yes it ain’t a free market. It’s one manipulated by certain participants through government fiat.

    Reaping huge profits is not by definition a free enterprise system. Big Insurance is not the biggest success story of free market capitalism. It’s the poster child for corporatism.

  314. JJ said,

    May 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Chugwater, you probably explained earlier and I missed it, but what is your solution again? Single payer (Medicare for all, or something similar) — or else what, if changing the tax code to cost employers more for doing the right thing, wasn’t your whole reform?

    Btw, fruity or not (not apples and oranges, maybe pomegranates!) the parallels of health care to education as a fundamental American 1) right for the individual and 2) social imperative if we hope to remain self-governing, does apply. We education policy types sometimes think about changing the tax code to charge every family receiving it for the free benefit of public schooling, per child using it per tax year, as well as the value of various scholarships.

    So people not taking out value individually from the schools, get a relative federal break; those paying in but then USING the schools are taxed in the year they benefit. Arguably it makes transparent some social tradeoffs long buried in the system and that’s good, but then the implications for both individuals and society are seismic, anything but simple . . .

  315. JJ said,

    May 10, 2010 at 8:16 am

    All this talk of fruit puts me in mind of another close parallel too — food politics. Anybody read much Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle?

  316. southern female lawyer said,

    May 10, 2010 at 9:58 am

    But Chugwater – this is the mutation of free market that the US has chosen. Corporatism *is* our free market capitalism. You cannot remove the corporatism from the US without damaging either our “free market” or our beloved capitalism.

    People want to remove the few things we have in place to protect the individual from corporate profiteering (i.e., labor, regulation) with the argument that we need to liberate our economy because our market really isn’t free, and a truly free market will save us all.

    Well, unless you totally jettison capitalism, too, no – it won’t.

  317. Nance Confer said,

    May 10, 2010 at 9:59 am

    There is no price transparency from which to make educated decisions.

    **********

    Absolutely correct, CW. Aside from why this would be and who would be motivated to make things more obscure, this is key to improving our health care “system.”

    And when all the cards are on the table and I still want the public option, that should be available too.

    Nance

  318. Nance Confer said,

    May 10, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Homeschooling? And you thought things got heated talking about sexism, health insurance and, what was this thread originally about, racism. . . 🙂

    Nance

  319. Nance Confer said,

    May 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Oh, and you may as well know, JJ and I are both unschoolers. Run away now, while you can!

    Nance

  320. JJ said,

    May 10, 2010 at 10:57 am

    It’s true, homeschool politics — especially when it comes to us fringey unschool radicals — will be quite an education for most people. We’ve got it all, the racism and sexism, the tax rebels and anarchists, the dominionists and patriarchs, the grouchy “get off my lawn” neighbors, the curfew and standards types who swear they’re conservative constitutionalists who just want “freedom” . . . .

  321. JJ said,

    May 10, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Oh and don’t forget RELIGION. Homeschooling brings out the worst of Big State, Big Church and Big Business all fighting not just to control our money but our minds, quite literally — somehow insanely passing as “education” vital to preserving American liberties!

  322. Chugwater said,

    May 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    “But Chugwater – this is the mutation of free market that the US has chosen. Corporatism *is* our free market capitalism. You cannot remove the corporatism from the US without damaging either our “free market” or our beloved capitalism.”

    Whole lot to unpack here.

    First, I’m not sure in what context you mean the US has “chosen” corporatism. Corporations manipulate markets by micro-targeting government bodies with monetary resources to do their legislative bidding. These corporate special interests are focused, but our attention as a society is too disfuse to mount an effective defense against crony capitalism even though collectively we, the voters, have the power to foil their plans. That’s more benign neglect than an overt affirmation or conscious choice of what we have now.

    Second, I couldn’t disagree more with your statement that one can’t remove corporatism without damaging the free market. How is eliminating tax subsidies for health insurers, or for that matter price subsidies for agricultural producers, or tariffs on imports damaging the free market when it makes them more free? Do you mean can’t politically or can’t by definition?

    There are textbook definitions of communism, socialism, and capitalism – none of them exist in a pure form. Every society has their variation and our economy is no different. Corporatism is the intersection of crony capitalism with corrupt government. The opposite of the these are free markets and good governance.

  323. southern female lawyer said,

    May 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Chugwater – I have about 30 seconds, so will write more later. For starters, I mean “can’t” politically. At least, not with our current system of lobbies and corporate influence in politics. Money talks.

    And I don’t think we can remove corporatism because most of the US believes that is the heart of capitalism. And with that as the base, our “free market” is therefore grounded in it. Can’t change it without changing the whole thing.

    I want to address the idea that the consumer could have more of a say in what their medical care costs – I will try to put up a new post on this later tonight, as several readers have expressed interest. And this comment section has gotten Texas big.

  324. Chugwater said,

    May 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Hmmmm…interesting but I don’t quite agree (surprises you I’m sure).

    At a very basic fundamental level, Americans nominally prefer free markets over socialism. Now I understand our economy is a hodge-podge inbetween (Wall St, Medicare, Walmart, defense spending, Microsoft, ag subsides), but I’d say it would be politically easier to enact free market reforms than change ‘the whole thing’ to something fundamentally different.

    I don’t think Americans are steadfast to some idealistic notion of what markets should be. If they were to have the wherewithal to ‘change the whole thing’, they could certainly stop short of that and make reforms to the current system instead.

    What wholesale change did you have in mind?

  325. Nance Confer said,

    May 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I didn’t read SFL’s post to say she wanted a wholesale change but that, for instance, doing away with the control large corporations have couldn’t be accomplished without one.

  326. southern female lawyer said,

    May 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Chugwater – you have to deal with the semantics of the situation. Certain terms have been stigmatized or idealized on a superficial level, while the actual meaning of those terms has been completely eroded. When I talk about “free markets,” I am necessarily talking about the capitalistic free market that is integral to our country’s functioning/identity. A theoretical “true” free market isn’t applicable to our situation; anymore than theoretically “true” communism was/is applicable to the USSR or China.

    So when you write that Americans prefer free markets over socialism, I don’t know what you really mean. And I continue to disagree that, in the context of America, you can separate free market from capitalism.

    And of course I disagree that Americans prefer free markets over socialism. Well, I would agree that a large percentage of Americans *think* that they prefer “free markets” to “socialism,” but I don’t think people really realize what they are saying with such a statement.

    To put it an admittedly cherry-picked but nonetheless accurate context, I think most Americans would say that they like Medicare/free public education/roads/national parks more than they like explosions and death at non-union and effectively unregulated coal mines.

    To put it in another context, using examples favorable to your position, I would say that a fair percentage of Americans would say that they would rather have more than 2 choices when shopping for an internet provider than they would having to go to a gov’t run clinic with only one doctor for their healthcare.

    The problem with the second scenario is that (1) we don’t have that kind of a free market because when capitalism seeps into government, money talks and internet providers can control the market while politicians take their money and pretend that 2 sellers constitutes “meaningful” consumer choice. And (2) we don’t have that kind of socialism and NO ONE is proposing such a thing.

    And I am sorry, but fears, conjecture, and speculation that such MIGHT happen if we allow a public option is simply not accurate or reasonable.

  327. JJ said,

    May 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Why protecting corporations as legal “persons” without enforcing commensurate responsibilities is immoral (if not insane) :
    Blackwater, Google and Whales, Oh My!

    (Note this was written before the latest corporate sociopathy from BP and its partners, literally deserving the name “Black Water” and hey, isn’t it available again?)

  328. mike w. said,

    May 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Oh, and you may as well know, JJ and I are both unschoolers. Run away now, while you can!

    Nance

    I guess we should all breathe a sigh of relief that neither of you folks are teaching in public schools.

  329. JJ said,

    May 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Because. . .why? Never mind you can’t know much about us or unschooling yet, but what do you know about any economic, administrative or instructional aspect of public schooling? Still a student yourself, you actually know what? (And not a parent yet either, is that right? Most twenty-somethings still in college are not knowledgeable parents. I guess we all should breathe a sigh of relief for THAT.)

  330. JJ said,

    May 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    The original debate about the TPM and racism has been rendered moot in the past 24 hours, by two words.

    Or linked phrases of two words each.
    Tea Party. Rand Paul. Country Clubs. Lunch Counters.

  331. Nance Confer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 8:51 am

    You mean Not-Really-Ready Rand?

    The astounding thing to me is that his “ideas” were not part of the election debate that got him nominated. Why wasn’t he outed before this?

    OTOH, maybe that’s a huge gift to the Ds.

    Nance

  332. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Was he given his name in honor of Ayn, btw?

  333. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Frank Rich this morning:

    Paul most abundantly embodies the movement’s animus when he plays on classic American-style class resentment. His campaign loved to deploy the full name of his opponent, Charles Merwin Grayson III, a Harvard-educated banker’s son. In his victory speech Tuesday night, Paul said the voters’ message was to “get rid of the power people, the people who run the show, the people who think they’re above everybody else” — or, as he put it on an earlier occasion, the establishment who “from their high-rise penthouse” look down on and laugh at the “American rabble.”

    That Paul gave his victory speech in a “members only” country club is no contradiction to white Tea Partiers.

  334. Nance Confer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 11:06 am

    From Wikipedia —

    Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is an American ophthalmologist and politician who describes himself as a “constitutional conservative”.[2] He is the third child of Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Paul is the chairman and founder of Kentucky Taxpayers United.

    Paul is currently the Republican party candidate for one of Kentucky’s United States Senate seats.

    ********

    So Rand is just a convenient shortening of his name when it is helpful in politics.

    Nance

  335. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I knew several Randalls growing up and they all were “Randy” but I guess that isn’t the image he wanted to project! I also knew the son of doctor Russell Green, whose eponymous son was Rusty, which all puts me in mind of a Limbaugh relative telling childhood stories for Salon or somewhere, calling him Cousin Rusty. 😉

    She didn’t know why or when Russell had morphed from Rusty to Rush but said it was a whole different (and exceedingly unlikeable) persona compared to generous, shy Cousin Rusty who sometimes still has the family over to the estate for holidays.

  336. Kristina said,

    May 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I went and read Rand’s remarks, Ladies, and I’m really not seeing the problem. I said he supports the Civil Rights MOVEMENT, but not the federal government’s involvement. This is seriously not surprising from someone who is, basically, a libertarian. They are pretty hands off when it comes to the government in people’s business (both business and private concerns- consider abortion and gay marriage- even if they don’t agree with them, they don’t think the government should be involved/ban them.) They don’t have a double standard. They just truly believe that the government needs to stick its nose elsewhere. I’m not sure how that makes him racist.

    Also, most people don’t keep their childhood nicknames into adulthood. That is why many people called Nicky during childhood morph into Nick or Nicholas as adults. That’s a pretty specious reason to knock on someone.

  337. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I can assure Kristina his nickname isn’t my knock on either Rand or Rush.

    It’s not even his philosophy. It’s his unwillingness to acknowledge human reality on the ground as shaped for good or ill by public policy. (Perhaps not surprising considering his father hails from TX, home of the unwillingness to acknowledge historical and even scientific reality on the ground.)

  338. Nance Confer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Kristina, you think there is no connection between Ayn Rand and the choice of nickname? You don’t think he’s trying to get that association into his followers’ heads? He’d be an idiot if that were the case.

    And I don’t think he’s an idiot.

    His philosophy, as JJ explains, just isn’t reality based. Even with legal intervention, people who want to discriminate try to and often get away with it. Imagine if there was no legal requirement that we treat each other decently in some of our interactions.

    Or don’t. Just look at our history. (Unless, as JJ further mentions, you live in TX in which case you may not be able to much longer. Not if you are a public school student anyway. But maybe that will be fixed too. One of the other things Rand would like to do away with is the Dept. of Ed. Given TX’s influence, that might not be a bad thing. 🙂 )

    Nance

  339. Kristina said,

    May 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    It’s not even his philosophy. It’s his unwillingness to acknowledge human reality on the ground as shaped for good or ill by public policy. (Perhaps not surprising considering his father hails from TX, home of the unwillingness to acknowledge historical and even scientific reality on the ground.)

    Did he say that good didn’t come from government involvement? If so, then I bow to your statement that he is unwilling to acknowledge human reality on the ground. But, whether good or bad, many people don’t believe in government involvement, and that IS a philosophical stance, which means that it IS his philosophy you have a problem with.

    One of the other things Rand would like to do away with is the Dept. of Ed.

    I’ve been calling for this for years. I don’t think the federal government should be involved in education, so… By the way, I actually agree with Rand Paul on the federal government’s involvement in so many things. I believe that the Civil War was illegal (did the federal government really have the authority to force states to stay part of the Union- no). Am I saying that I don’t like the outcome? Well, no, I’m not. I’m just saying that from a legal standpoint, the Civil War was wrong. Does that make me racist? Some people would believe so, but really it just makes me think about the law, not about race, slavery, or economics, when it comes to the Civil War. And, for the record, I am more than happy with the fact that we are one country, although the vitriol that many people have for the south would argue that they are not.

  340. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Kristina, seriously, what does “being one country” mean to you then? Being one country with no federal laws that apply to the sovereign states or to all citizens?

  341. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I wonder if we as the USA will fall soon, from the same forces that broke up the former USSR and are making the EU so precarious?

  342. JJ said,

    May 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    About whether Rand Paul’s philosophy has a reality connection, his own party’s chairman Michael Steeele says no. On Fox News.

    “I think his philosophy is misplaced in these times,” said Steele during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t think it’s where the country is right now. The country litigated the issue of separate but equal, the country litigated the rights of minority people in this country to access the enterprise, free enterprise system, and accommodation and all of that. And that was crystallized in the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of ’64

    . . . I think in this case, Rand Paul’s philosophy got in the way of reality.”

  343. NanceConfer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    the vitriol that many people have for the south would argue that they are not.
    *******
    Do you think that’s a one-way street?

    At any rate, these are not sensible things that should be part of actual policy discussion. The Dept of Ed isn’t going anywhere. Civil rights are here to stay. The North won. Etc.

    These are settled history. No matter how much some, like the TX school board, would like to rewrite them. Along with settled science. . .

  344. southern female lawyer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    As you can probably guess from the title of this blog, I am a southerner and currently reside in the south. However, I have spent probably half of my life in “northern” areas. I would say you are FAR more likely to see southerners who are disgruntled with the ‘one happy nation’ thing than you are northerners. Current secession threats and all that.

    As for the federal Civil Rights Act and expressions of malcontent with said Act… well, my opinion is that intent only matters to a certain degree – at some point you have to address results. In other words, one can philosophize all day long about the nobles ideas behind one’s opinion, but noble ideas don’t trump results.

    So, if the ‘noble idea’ that you are espousing is no federal governmental intrusion, but a lack/repeal of federal gov’t intrusion would result in some state’s infringing upon the basic federal rights of some of the citizens, you don’t get a pass. This kind of ‘let them eat cake’ mentality simply doesn’t work in reality.

    It’s all well and good to say that people should not shit on each other; but I think we all have to agree (or maybe just those of us in certain areas) that *if* the federal government were not “intruding,” our kind would not be welcome. And by “our kind” I mean whatever particular group/belief/etc that is pilloried for simply trying to exercise the same rights as everyone else.

    And don’t get me wrong – I still hold a serious thing for Libertarianism. We were very close for a long time, and even though we have parted ways, I would like to think that we are still friends. I just realized that it wasn’t me; it was everyone else. As I moved through education and from the service industry to the professional industry, I realized that but for federal protection of federal rights, those rights would be utterly meaningless.

    And if we allowed a “patchwork” approach on nationwide interests like public education, we would only see the poor states get poorer and less educated while the rich got richer. And we would not be a Union in any sense of the word because we would self-segregate faster than you can say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Lastly, as far as the Civil War and whether or not it was legal… The Union is a yoke and one that cannot simply be shrugged off when a State doesn’t get its way. Or at least, that is how we were set up. SCOTUS has since said that unilateral secession is unconstitutional. My personal thoughts are that maybe we would be better off if we split up.

    But then again, I am so disheartened with the crap I see here on a daily basis that I may be a bit pessimistic.

  345. southern female lawyer said,

    May 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Kristina – I should make it clear that I do not think you are a racist; I don’t think your position is racist, and I don’t think your statements can be interpreted as racist.

    I think there is a space between racists and people actively advocating for equality, though. And while I don’t believe in a my way or the highway/you agree with me or you are a racist approach, I *do* believe that people in the middle should be aware that sometimes their stance encourages and supports a status quo that is not equal for all people. Again, this doesn’t mean that they are racist, but it may mean that something they support – for whatever reason – will likely have a disparate/unfair impact on people who are already generally in a weaker bargaining position.

    Oh yeah – and when I said above that “I am so disheartened with the crap I see here on a daily basis” I meant my geographical here. I am actually quite heartened by what I see here on this blog.

    -SFL

  346. mike w. said,

    May 24, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Kristina – I think most of what you wrote went right over nance & JJ’s heads. They’re not exactly the most rational folks around, nor are they too great when it comes to basic comprehension of the written word.

  347. JJ said,

    May 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

    More heartening news: have these guys been reading our minds (or our blogs?) 😉

    The Chronicle of Higher Education
    May 23, 2010
    Academics Take Their Message to the Masses, on the Radio
    By Katherine Mangan

    Lots of scientists complain about a lack of public support for
    biomedical science, but two professors in Galveston, Tex., are doing
    something about it.

    . . .Other academics are also reaching out through radio. While the Galveston
    researchers talk up science, two philosophy professors in California are
    engaging callers in discussions about the meaning of apologies, the
    ethics of torture, mind reading, and nihilism.

    And three historians known as “the American-history guys” have a monthly call-in show, BackStory, on public radio, in which they explore the historical
    underpinnings of topics in the news. It’s the kind of program they hope anyone might listen to in the car.”

  348. JJ said,

    May 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

    discussions about the meaning of apologies, the
    ethics of torture . . .

    Yeah, prospective US Senator, how about that word”‘torture?”

    . . .Friday, Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul did sit down for an interview with a local television station in which he complained about being “tortured” by Rachel Maddow . . .

  349. mike w. said,

    May 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    How about the word militia, or threat, or for that matter simple assault?

    Dictionaries, reading comprehension, and critical thinking are good things folks…..

  350. mike w. said,

    May 25, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I wonder if we as the USA will fall soon, from the same forces that broke up the former USSR and are making the EU so precarious?

    The forces that lead to the fall of the USSR and those we’re seeing in present day Europe aren’t even comparable.

    Although what we’re seeing in the EU should be a warning for us as far as rampant big government liberalism is concerned, but I doubt the President or our idiots in Congres will heed the warning.

  351. JJ said,

    May 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

    What I mean by forces that work against sustained political union are things like ethnic and language diversity; centralized economics and education planning that fails; religious conflicts; border conflict and secessionist pressures; falling life expectancy, health care and general standard of living; arms escalation tending toward military adventurism . . .

  352. JJ said,

    May 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

    And let’s not forget institutionalized corruption!

  353. mike w. said,

    May 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Some of those things aren’t necessarily bad. It’s a shame that Europe hasn’t learned from it’s past history regarding the dissolution of state sovereignty & the creation of multinational coalitions / governments.

  354. JJ said,

    May 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    The issue isn’t “bad” or “good” but how to deal realistically with such forces, which do exist in the USA. Unions change and adapt, or they dissolve. Or blow up.

  355. June 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    […] people a la Palin? Can another Thinking Parent (not another gun nut, please, got my fill of that at Southern Female Lawyer with Bob and Mike) explain it to me? Does it spring from the kind of southern sensibility that sees […]

  356. July 1, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I tried to submit a comment previously, yet it has not shown up. I believe your spam filter may possibly be broken?


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