February 13, 2003

silhouette3.JPG From the desk of Jane Galt:

Bring it On

Diane E. has a link seeming to indicate that the scruffier element of Saturday's peace rally is planning on demonstrating for peace by, er, wreaking mayhem. Nothing says "Stop the Madness of Western Imperialism" like a white college student from Winnetka opening a can of whup-ass on some Korean vegetable stand!

So I was chatting about this with a friend of mine, a propos of the fact that everyone I know in New York is a) more frightened than they've been since mid-September 2001 and b) madly working on keeping up the who-the-hell-cares-if-I-get-hit-by-a-truck? insouciance that New Yorkers feel is their sole civic obligation. Said friend was, two short years ago, an avowed pacifist and also a little bit to the left of Ho Chi Minh. And do you know what he said? "Bring it on."

I can't be mad at these little dweebs. I'm too busy laughing. And I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it's applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.

Posted by Jane Galt at February 13, 2003 11:51 PM | TrackBack
Comments

If any of the morons in question comes to an untimely end at the hands of an irritated citizen, I feel sorry for the assistant D.A. who ends up with the case. It's not exactly in their job description to let people get away with pounding obnoxious lefty street vandals into pudding, but they'll likely become less popular than Jacques Chirac in NYC if they choose to prosecute, and a conviction seems rather unlikely even if the citizen in question is smiling for the camera in the midst of said pulverizing. Not a fun situation, no indeed.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 13, 2003 11:57 PM

They're planning a big-ass anti-America (oops, sorry, anti-war) rally in Seattle. I think I'm going to go just to watch the dopes make asses of themselves. I hope there'll be lots of big paper machie'(sp) heads and all that grovvy jazz.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph on February 14, 2003 12:24 AM

They're planning a big-ass anti-America (oops, sorry, anti-war) rally in Seattle. I think I'm going to go just to watch the dopes make asses of themselves. I hope there'll be lots of big paper machie'(sp) heads and all that grovvy jazz.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph on February 14, 2003 12:25 AM

Y'all have 2x4s laying around? For just anybody to pick up?

Is this clambake gonna be televised?

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on February 14, 2003 12:42 AM

What happened to civil disobedience that was, well, civil? I think the demonstrations are a nice idea, but there are too many groups with self-centred goals to ever make it a good thing.

Posted by: andrea on February 14, 2003 02:14 AM

"I'm going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it's applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner."

Jane, this not the first time you have advocated physical violence against those who happen to disagree with you politically.

Posted by: Orbitron on February 14, 2003 02:15 AM

"Jane, this not the first time you have advocated physical violence against those who happen to disagree with you politically."

Breaking windows and otherwise engaging in destruction of property is physical violence, too. It wasn't that long ago that looters were fair game to be shot in the act, and after seeing any number of displays of mindless destruction of the livelihoods of honest businesspeople going up in smoke or being kicked to pieces by maladjusted thugs, I've come to the conclusion that a few pictures on CNN of looters shot through the forehead would be one hell of an object lesson. If you want to peacefully protest, I'm all for protecting your right to do so, as long as you don't block traffic or otherwise interfere with lawful activities. If you raise a club, a rock, or other implement to endanger the productive activities of civilized human beings, you become fair game as long as I'm concerned.


Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 03:32 AM

The "mayhem" referred to appears to refer to such actions as "walking down the street" when told not to by the police, by the way.

Posted by: dsquared on February 14, 2003 08:01 AM

D^2 -- have you ever been to a rally? Do you know what happens when you try to push past the police barriers? You get into a brawl with the cops, is what. Announcing that you're going to walk on the street where the police tell you not to is announcing that you're going to start a melee. There have always been jerks who went to these things spoiling for a fight, and I imagine these ones are going to get a little more than they bargained for. New York is not Seattle.

Orbitron, this is not "violence against people who disagree wtih me". This is "violence against vandals", and I'm afraid I have a small-town, hell-yes-I-shot-the-burglar attitude about things like that. The fact that the left often can't distinguish between people who are marching for a cause and people who are terrorizing the city for it is part of the problem. No, I am not going to feel the least little bit sorry if some suburban animal decides to break up the place and gets pounded. Nor is anyone else in New York who kinda got the idea that war is serious a year and a half ago.

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 08:16 AM

I'd like to leave a comment RE all this talk of violence.

A riot is violent, even if the only thing that get's hurt is property. Dispersing he rioters is lawful. If they happen to get a snoot full of tear gas or a thwack on the noggin....well, what the heck are they rioting for in the first place?

If they want to be safe they can go home when things start to get ugly. Or, better yet, never go to a rally where some elements are advocating violence in the first place.

James

Posted by: James R. Rummel on February 14, 2003 08:40 AM

If any one of those punks so much as looks cross-eyed at my grandfather's Village meat market, I'll make a road trip and be waiting for them when they leave NYC to their affluent, suburban homes. Which may be unnecessary, since I can only assume one or more of the boys have made special "arrangements" for these sorts of "contingencies."

Posted by: Michael Ubaldi on February 14, 2003 08:47 AM

In Switzerland recently, anti-Globalists rallied against the Davos conference. They have a tradition of going on a rampage and breaking windows in shops everywhere they can reach.

Some of the shops in that city ended up putting posters in their windows ostensibly supporting the anti-globo position. The posters appeared just before the rampage was scheduled, and came down shortly afterwards, and show every indication of not really being political expressions so much as "glass breakage insurance". Probably worked, too. But it's kind of cynical.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste on February 14, 2003 08:58 AM

Megan: I'm glad someone's getting a laugh out of this. But I am infuriated about the fact that people lied about the basic issues involved. The protesters were never denied a rally permit.

End of story.

Well not quite. It's quite obvious that yes, mayhem was on their minds from the get-go.

End of story.

Well not quite. From Andrea Harris I learn that the protesters plan a mass die-in.

Best idea they've had all year. Die awready! I'll happily pay for the garbage pickup.

End of story.

Really.

Posted by: Di on February 14, 2003 10:00 AM

>>Do you know what happens when you try to push past the police barriers? You get into a brawl with the cops, is what. Announcing that you're going to walk on the street where the police tell you not to is announcing that you're going to start a melee<<

What a fine old time you would have had with Mahatma Gandhi, let alone the founding fathers of your country. A curious kind of libertarianism, that disobeying the order of a cop counts as "initiating force". The people want to march. The city, for whatever reason, doesn't want them to. It is the cops' job to deal with this conflict in a sensible, sensitive way. If they decide instead that they want to enforce a local ordnance in a draconian manner and break the head of anyone who crosses a line, then that's their fault.

In any case, are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who attempts to leave the cordoned rally area, perhaps to take a leak, ought to be pre-emptively bludgeoned with a piece of wood, by any passing citizen who doesn't like them? There's a word for that, but it's been rather overused of late.

I might also suggest that some of the people on the march in New York, might be from New York themselves. Just a thought.

Posted by: dsquared on February 14, 2003 10:33 AM

While ol' squareD is in our face making his oh-so-innocent and righteous postures, I'll be cheering the blokes inside the stores with baseball bats repelling his 'activist' friends and their oh-so-righteous vandalism.

Posted by: Insufficiently Sensitive on February 14, 2003 11:29 AM

dsquared (how ee cummings) has to be a troll suitable only for ignoring. Nobody could be that obtuse unless it's on purpose.

Posted by: Veeshir on February 14, 2003 11:47 AM

You've answered my question -- clearly you've never attended a rally.

The police will be forming a wall around the protesters. Breaching the barrier will require knocking over police, at which time, said knockers will get hit. Their friends will jump in, and it's "Pound the Police for Peace!" The police will win. The events are entirely predictable, and no, I don't approve.

This is also more than a little different from Mahatma Gandhi in so many ways that I can't even be bothered to argue it.

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 11:49 AM

dsquared (how ee cummings) has to be a troll suitable only for ignoring. Nobody could be that obtuse unless it's on purpose.

Posted by: Veeshir on February 14, 2003 11:52 AM

dsquared (how ee cummings) has to be a troll suitable only for ignoring. Nobody could be that obtuse unless it's on purpose.

Posted by: Veeshir on February 14, 2003 11:53 AM

Perhaps d2 has a point.

Rather than advocating bystanders beating the crap out of people who step out of line, I would hereby suggest that New Yorkers undertake citizens' arrests against those who step out of line, and more importantly, press charges.

I also hope the cops not only arrest anyone who tries to cross a barrier, but also that the judges have the gumption to sentence each and every perp to the maximum amount of jail time.

Oh, and especially for any younglings out there, to charge them w/ a crime that will make sure that they never can, for example, pass the bar (a felony trespass, I think, would do that).

There, all nice and legal.

No whinging, I hope, d2, about these perfectly reasonable responses, none of which entail violence?

Posted by: Dean on February 14, 2003 11:56 AM

It all depends on how they leave the designated rally area - if they rush the cops with bottles and bricks etc they will find the average new yorker sitting behind the cops ready to mete out a little street justice. And you know what this is a good thing. If some little piss ant middle class disaffected youth wants to burn some things down to show his rage against the man, all well and good when he gets his ass whooped by the man who owns the store (or his/her friends who buy the things from the store) These people are not for anything, (except poverty and not bathing but I digress). If people who actually work for a living open a can of Whoop ass who cares

Posted by: Kevin on February 14, 2003 12:32 PM

I'm also a New Yorker who used to swing to the left until reality kicked me in the head.

I plan on hitting the LIRR stations tomorrow (there is a "peace train" heading into the city) where I'll be handing out my "no oil for pacifists" flyers.

If any one of those peaceful protesters wants to mess with me or my SUV they are going to come in contact with broad end of my son's hockey stick.

Posted by: michele on February 14, 2003 12:33 PM

Is a libertarian defense of Kent State next?

Posted by: theCoach on February 14, 2003 12:35 PM

The idea that the protesters are all scrawny granola-eating liberal white college kids is self-serving and just plain untrue. Why don't you attend and see how many real conservatives are there?

Posted by: Eric M on February 14, 2003 12:42 PM

> Oh, and especially for any younglings out there, to charge them w/ a crime that will make sure that they never can, for example, pass the bar (a felony trespass, I think, would do that).

A felony conviction does not stop one from becoming a lawyer in the US, or at least not in California.

If a lawyer-grub has a felony conviction, they do have an additional hurdle, but the relevant authorities have been quite willing to forgive "at a protest" convictions.

The only long term consequence of a felony conviction is a prohibition on gun ownership, and there's no appeal/review to get around that. (I don't know if a pardon undoes that prohibition.)

Posted by: Andy Freeman on February 14, 2003 12:43 PM

Also the idea that only privileged white people oppose the war is bunk. African-Americans oppose a war by 80/20.

Posted by: Eric M on February 14, 2003 12:45 PM

Dsquared is deliberately misrepresenting what these anti-globalists anarchists are planning to do. What they refer to as 'splinter' actions are small groups breaking off of the protest, infiltrating past police and vandalising corporate offices, government buildings etc.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on February 14, 2003 12:48 PM

Y'all are confusing the peace protesters, who I support, with the adolescent thugs planning to start a riot and break things, who I do not. Sympathetic as I am with people who want to get their message out, if you attack the police, their job is not to stand there and take it. This is a big city, libertarians. There are a lot of people here, and you can't march because it's highly disruptive and you didn't allow enough time to set up security. That's the reality of living with, y'know, other people on the planet. No one's trying to silence you, just keep you from disrupting the city. I thought respecting other peoples' rights was part of the libertarian ethos.

Before anyone else tries to dazzle me with their riot street cred, I have been at rallies that turned into riots. I have narrowly escaped getting pummeled by the police in a Philly ACT-UP march that got out of hand when a coffin accidentally tipped on the police. I have died in, sat in, and marched for any number of causes, including against Gulf I. So spare me the superior tones. I know too well that the police can get out of hand and I also know that there has always been an element at events like this that enjoys it when things get violent. They are universally, in my experience, young, white, and affluent male radicals, with a couple of radical women who have always dreamed of someone they know dying gloriously cheering them on. I'm not saying that New Yorkers are going to attack people for breaching the police line, nor should they. It's the job of the police to control things. But if they start a riot a la Seattle, or start destroying property, they're going to get their ass kicked, and my sympathy is reserved for the peaceful protesters who will get slammed in the maelstrom, not for the jerks trying to make sure that things get out of hand.

All this presumes that they're dedicated enough to brave the weather, which has not been New York's experience in the past. When I was their age, I didn't let a little snow stop me. . .

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 12:59 PM

Perhaps someone could explain to me just how millions of people can go about voicing their dissenting opinion in a country where violence aginst them has already been declared legitimate? This is a disgusting post and a disgusting thread that is nothing more than fomenting violent groupthink upon those with whom you disagree.

I am sure you are just fine with the "1st amendment" zones that keep any who disagree with our benevolent leader out of public view. That way the police can make sure that only the so called majority opinion is heard. Make sure the contstaints are so tight that any real protest is a violation of something and if anyone deviates from that position arrest them or, well, HIT THEM OVER THE HEAD WITH A 2X4!!!! Yes, let's all revel in our newfound police state backed up by so called libertarians. Now you will say you mean only those that break the law, yet you give individual citizens the authority to decide who that is. Pretty selective here...isn't vigilantyism illigal?

One paradox I would like someone here to clear up for men: your view is that these are people who are against war because they are wimps. How does this reconcile with the reality of people willing to stand up to a beating by thugs like those here in order to fight for what they believe is right?

Posted by: TonyB on February 14, 2003 01:02 PM

I was driving down the street the other day and there was a funeral procession going the other direction. I wanted to turn left, like any peaceful man opposed to the Bush junta's war might, but the fuckin' pigs wouldn't let me! I would have probably been beat at their fascist hands had I used the street as is my human right! Ghandi, were he driving a Honda in Minneapolis, would have had the silent bravery to defy authority and turn left.

Posted by: Dylan on February 14, 2003 01:03 PM

"Also the idea that only privileged white people oppose the war is bunk. African-Americans oppose a war by 80/20."

"Everyone knows you can use statistics to prove anything. 14% of all people know that!" - H. J. Simpson

Posted by: mikeski on February 14, 2003 01:23 PM

...fomenting violent groupthink...

Aaaah! It's the Orwell device! We have been undone! Run away! Run away!

Posted by: Angie Schultz on February 14, 2003 01:29 PM

I hope these folks who favor using two-by-fours against protestors, even though only a tiny minority of the protestors plan mischieve, remember this principled position next time there's a Superbowl riot or a NCAA basketball riot on a college campus. At least we know now that Jane Galt and some of her readers favor storeowners, passers-by, and police using deadly force against these drunken kids. If they're stupid enough to tear down a lightpost, then they're too stupid to be allowed to survive the evening.

Indeed, I think the GOP-rioters, banging on the doors of the Florida recount, should have been struck by two-by-fours. Nothing like a little head trauma to teach them, eh?

I guess war does bring out the worst in us.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 01:41 PM

"One paradox I would like someone here to clear up for men: your view is that these are people who are against war because they are wimps. How does this reconcile with the reality of people willing to stand up to a beating by thugs like those here in order to fight for what they believe is right?"

Actually, that isn't what we think about all of the protestors. Some of them are just ill-informed. Others would protest against the cure for cancer if the discoverer was a conservative Republican. Some of them are totalitarian thugs who enjoy wreaking as much havoc on the society they despise by destroying the property of law abiding citizens (remember Seattle, et al?). The first two categories are welcome to protest peacefully (along with anyone else who chooses to do so), within the boundaries of the law (which does include reasonable time, place, and manner limitations, whether you like it or not). If they violate lawful orders to disperse, but aren't violent about it, then they should be arrested with the minimum necessary force. If the latter gang of thugs decides that peaceful protests aren't their cup of tea, then they get put down. Hard. If you find that objectionable, that says more about the insincerity of your position than about alleged fascism of the posters here.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 01:41 PM

I said nothing about deadly force. And 2x4 was, for those not paying attention, hyperbole -- they don't litter the streets here, and most people couldn't swing one with any accuracy if it did.

Should frat kids trying to destroy someone's property deserve to get pasted for it? Hell yes. Do you know any frat boys? The ones I dated needed a healthy does of fear to keep them in line.

And while civil disobedience is sometimes justified, this isn't Bull Connor here -- it's the police telling protesters to stay out of the street and not rip things up. The reason no one listens to the left any more is that every five-person protest is supposed to be Selma, 1964.

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 01:54 PM

I believe the violence has only been advocated against those little thugs who think nothing of throwing rocks through windows or setting fires etc to prove thier street cred. Protesters singing peace songs and waving insipid posters have nothing to fear (except ridicule of thier nonsensical blatherings. But when a certain element decides that breaking things is the way to get thier point across and the police can not handle it, or people have slipped through or whatever, then ordinary citizens whose property is threatened have the right to defend that property. We are not shutting down the debate, we are protecting ourselves from little freaks who don't even begin to understand how society works.

Posted by: Kevin on February 14, 2003 01:54 PM

"Indeed, I think the GOP-rioters, banging on the doors of the Florida recount, should have been struck by two-by-fours. Nothing like a little head trauma to teach them, eh?"

Ah, the sweet sounds of the "Sore Loser Chorus." *sniff* Sorry, I get so nostalgic.

Funny though, I don't remember those mean, awful "rioters" destroying anything other than an attempt to steal votes. . .perhaps my memory is failing, or perhaps we're back in the land of silly analogies. Are you an actor, by any chance?

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 01:56 PM

Jane Galt, let me respond to this - as there is no reason to worry about what happens this weekend. I have entitled my little skippy piece:
"New York is not Seattle."

Damn straight - we have RIKERS ISLAND - where we put people while they are awaiting their bail hearings.

Warning to anyone out there who decides to vandalize in MY city - the cops will put you in Rikers for the next few hours to the next few days - you will never be the same again. After you are in a holding facility that is as tough as some federal prisons in other parts of the country parts of your property violating body will hurt and you will get a dose of reality.

Word to the wise - dont vandalize.

Posted by: Bender on February 14, 2003 02:06 PM

Funny though, I don't remember those mean, awful "rioters" destroying anything other than an attempt to steal votes. . .perhaps my memory is failing, or perhaps we're back in the land of silly analogies.

I'm sorry, you are correct. The bourgois rioters didn't actually break anything. But we only know that in retrospect don't we? So it would have been completely legitimate to have some large-ish longshoreman with two-by-fours, perhaps with some nails in them, surrounding the GOP hillrats just in case they were to break something. Then it would be legitimate to spill their brains on the carpet.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 02:18 PM

>>The police will be forming a wall around the protesters<<

Really? Would someone mind telling me how 40,000 police form a wall around 500,000 protestors?

Posted by: dsquared on February 14, 2003 02:21 PM

"The long arm of the law", I suppose :-)

Posted by: dsquared on February 14, 2003 02:27 PM

There are these things -- rectangles, we call them -- where you surround a large number of protesters with a smaller number of police. No, they won't be forming a phalanx, but since the protesters are unlikely to be using spears, that's probably okay. Nonetheless, to move any significant number of protesters beyond the boundary will require running over the police. And 500,000 is a fantasy, even if we weren't going to get a load of snow dumped on us tomorrow. Washington protests are always larger -- more space, better amenities, warmer -- and they didn't get anything like that number. Maybe 1/10th of that figure.

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 02:30 PM

Amitava Mazumdar:

You wrote: " Then it would be legitimate to spill their brains on the carpet."

I sorta agree. Especially if I just had the carpet cleaned.

Tell you what: leave an extra twenty in your wallet. Then when I get to spill your brains on the carpet I'm not out a cleaning bill.

Thank you for your cooperation, Amitava. Be assured I only have authentic Middle Eastern Orientals, made by your ancestors.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 02:31 PM

The irony is that the anti-globalist twerps chose to protest in NYC for many of the same reasons that Osama bin Laden decided to terrorize the city.

Pretty pathetic lot of punks, when you really think about it. I hope they get out of line, but I doubt any amount of beatings to the head will help them.

Posted by: John Cole on February 14, 2003 02:32 PM

>>The police will be forming a wall around the protesters<<

"Really? Would someone mind telling me how 40,000 police form a wall around 500,000 protestors?"


It's really not wise to advertise in a public forum the fact that you failed high school geometry, dsquared.

(Hint: The area of a circle is equal to pi times the square of the radius of the circle, whereas the circumference of a circle is equal to pi times the diameter of the circle).

Extra credit: Does the existence of buildings (which will be locked, mostly) make the containment process easier or more difficult? Show your math.


Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 02:38 PM

Thank you for your cooperation, Amitava. Be assured I only have authentic Middle Eastern Orientals, made by your ancestors.

Deal. As long as there wasn't any child-labor involved.

See? It wasn't so difficult to reach a concensus on how barbarous the warrior class can be.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 02:41 PM

I don't understand why this is a political issue at all. If you go berserk in a city and start smashing things, you should expect to be forcibly subdued by the cops or nearby citizens regardless of why you are doing it. It makes no difference whether you're getting violent because you're protesting something, or because you're on spring break and drunk, or because your team just won (or lost) the Super Bowl. I see no reason why anyone should care what your reason is. Vandalism is not acceptable behavior in civilized societies, and if you engage in it, you should expect a violent response. Really, what is so hard to understand about this?

Posted by: Pat Berry on February 14, 2003 02:47 PM

Curse you, M. Scott Eiland:

Your bourgoise phallic thinking said: C = 2 * pi * r -and - A = pi * r * r. In your right wing way, you - filthy mathematician - observed that C/A = 2/r.

And you tool of the infidel, showed that the area expands faster than the circumference...lackey of western imperialists! So the facist police will have the upper hand. They can cover faster than the demonstrators can gather...

Allah blast you, M. Scott Eiland!! You used your intelligence*@#%@#

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 02:47 PM

Amitava:

Just remeber the twenty pal...

You and your ilk are causing no end of amusement to my high school math class this afternoon.

We await your next comments with keen anticipation.

Love and Kisses from the gals...

Charles

PS: Emily wants to know if your beard really smells bad. Now, now, Em....

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 02:50 PM

Really, what is so hard to understand about this?

Pat --

The problem is that riot police never limit their actions to rioters. At the anti-globo protests here in Washington, cops were stopping bikers on their way to work and hauling them into vans, merely because some anarchist jerks were known to be travelling by bike. You can be sure that if cops start shooting, their aim won't be any more accurate. For Jane Galt to be justifying in advance violence against rioters, few though they may be, she is also justifying the inevitable injury done to innocent bystanders.

How about instead of calling for and celebrating violence, we just ask the police to use sound police tactics that minimize injury to people?

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 02:54 PM

"Allah blast you, M. Scott Eiland!! You used your intelligence*@#%@#"

Yes, it is rather unsporting to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. :-)

Oh, more of that pesky math. 40,000 police can make a square two cops deep and large enough to contain approximately 25,000,000 protestors, assuming the protestors are at the same crowd density as the police. Better start making some calls if you want a crowd that big, dsquared.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 02:54 PM

All you in blogland:

I'm not making this up. Here we sit in AP Calculus II while the computer screen is projected on the wall.

I've had to hold down some of the comments [no, Derek, I know you can spell, but some poor souls can't].

Some of our group have family members in The Services. The protest is none too popular: Tony and Mikie are whittling 2 x 4s and looking at road maps to NYC.

Stay tooned...

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 02:55 PM

Amitava:

Emily has to go to her dentist.

Please: the data on your beard.

Thank you.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 02:57 PM

Amitava:

Please...for the sake of Allah the All-Mericiful, the What-Ever-Else-He-Is.

THE DATA!!

Please. For the sake of peace...

Thank you, effendi...

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:01 PM

Emily wants to know if your beard really smells bad. Now, now, Em....

Funny! I get it! I'm opposed to gratuitous violence, therefore I must have a beard like Osama!

Man, you guys kill me (or would like to) -- and my "ilk."

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 03:04 PM

Amitava:

We're getting restless here.

Emily is about to depart in tears. All because of you, you fascist-loving male beast.

Another male chauvinist pig, says Grace.

She's also fascinated by your beard. How do you do it?

THE DATA!!

Jelousily - Derek says THAT'S WRONG - shut up Derek...

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:05 PM

"How about instead of calling for and celebrating violence, we just ask the police to use sound police tactics that minimize injury to people?"

How about we ask the organizers of the antiwar demonstrations to make the effort to actively discoursge the participation of groups and individuals who are known not to be too picky about destroying property and attacking cops? I hate to bring up the ANSWER idiots again, but a great many in the antiwar movement are on record as being willing to accept a bunch of Stalinist thugs as comrades-in-arms because they're really good at organizing--this is a different manifestation of the same problem. You're basically saying that the authorities shouldn't be able to react to violent thugs in an appropriate way because other protestors might get hurt. Well, if you're worried about that, don't associate with the thugs in the first place. In effect, the supposedly non-violent protestors are being held hostage by the violent ones as a check on the authorities' ability to stop them from destroying property. Problem is, they're assuming the role of hostages of their own free will, which makes them complicit in the destruction, IMO. If you don't want to get hurt, get the hell out of the way and let the cops do their jobs.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 03:05 PM

While I think your numbers are ridiculous, the math of the problem is fairly straightforward.

Let's assume each protester takes up 3 square feet of space, more if you count the hot air they bring with them, but we'll confine ourselves to their patchouli(sp?)-stink corporeal selves.

That means the protesters take up a minimum of 1.5 million square feet of valuable New York real estate.

Now, lets suppose each NYPD police office measures an average of 2 feet across from shoulder to shoulder. 40,000 police, each 2 feet across, standing shoulder to shoulder, adds up to a line of cops 80,000 feet long. Fold that line 90 degrees 4 times and you get a square 20,000 feet to a side. Elementary geometry then tells us that 40,000 of New York's finest can easily wall in an area of 400 million square feet.

In other words, each of our protesters could occupy a space equivelent to a small apartment (800 square feet)and still be completely surrounded.

Next question?

Garrett

Posted by: Garrett on February 14, 2003 03:06 PM

Amitava:

A groan went up in the class...two perfectly good partial differential equations went down.

No Beard???!!!

Amitava: this is serious. Our fair maidens are in bitter salt tears, you chauvinist.

Grow one...

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:07 PM

TO: M. Scott Eiland
RE: Containment Theory of Riot Control

"Extra credit: Does the existence of buildings (which will be locked, mostly) make the containment process easier or more difficult? Show your math." -- M. Scott Eiland

In a word..."Yes". Buildings, especially those in major built-up areas are considered 'force multipliers' in riot situations. This is because they channel the 'subjects', just as obstacles on a modern battlefield do 'enemy forces'.

Buildings in such allow law-enforcement forces to channel their 'subjects' into areas where they can be properly 'engaged'. Corraling them. All that is necessary is either the requisite man-power or vehicles with which to 'engage' the 'subjects'.

Admittedly some of the 'subjects' may attempt and even succeed in gaining access to some of the buildings, but by doing so they become detached from the 'mob' and therefore reduce the overall effectiveness thereof. This means that the law-enforcement agencies have fewer 'organized', if you can call a 'mob' that, 'subjects' to 'service'.

Math factors may vary depending upon such issues as width of streets, availability of alleys, use of obstacles to prevent the 'subjects' from entering buildings, e.g., metal doors and shutters, availability of vehicles, equipment the law-enforcement personnel are carrying, e.g., shields and batons vs. M16s w/baynets with the odd M21 sniper rifle and M60 machine gun [Note: Aaaahhh May Day '71. The silence that fell over the 'subjects' as they caught glimpse of 'Mad Dog' Larson festooned with crossed belts of 7.62mm disintigrating belt-linked ammunition and his happy lear carrying the 'gun' into the precinct station.] etc., etc.

[Note: I'd show the math but it's packed away with my Command and General Staff College books.]

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Tanks are for crowd control. APERS rounds are for crowd dispersal. -- US Army Master Gunner]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto on February 14, 2003 03:11 PM

BTW, we were discussion equations for rates of growth in up to three dimensions. Using polar coordinates simplifies things. {See I told you so. SHUT UP, Derek. I know I can't spell gud}

Us white bread, bourgoise-to-the-core, potential scientist and engineers can only stand in awe of the sensitive, peace loving idiotarians like you, dearest Amitava.

AP Calculus II send you our very best peace and love, Amitava. As our older and cleverer brothers and sisters' ordinance explodes around you, please remember: grow that beard.

The Peace of What's-His-Name be on you, O son of the prophet.

Sincerely

The Guys and Gals of America

PS: We now return you to your regular blogging. But remember, Amitava, we are watching your every pathetic move.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:16 PM

"All you in blogland:

I'm not making this up. Here we sit in AP Calculus II while the computer screen is projected on the wall.

I've had to hold down some of the comments [no, Derek, I know you can spell, but some poor souls can't].

Some of our group have family members in The Services. The protest is none too popular: Tony and Mikie are whittling 2 x 4s and looking at road maps to NYC.

Stay tooned..."

*Scott waves to the smart kids*

Hey, all. Never made it past pre-calculus myself, but I got all of the horror stories from my high school classmates. Good luck. :-)

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 03:16 PM

"Orbitron, this is not "violence against people who disagree wtih me". This is "violence against vandals", and I'm afraid I have a small-town, hell-yes-I-shot-the-burglar attitude about things like that. The fact that the left often can't distinguish between people who are marching for a cause and people who are terrorizing the city for it is part of the problem. No, I am not going to feel the least little bit sorry if some suburban animal decides to break up the place and gets pounded. Nor is anyone else in New York who kinda got the idea that war is serious a year and a half ago."

Jane, I would like to draw your attention to your use of the word "pre-emptive". You advocated attacking the protestors before they do anything.

Posted by: Orbitron on February 14, 2003 03:18 PM

"Jane, I would like to draw your attention to your use of the word "pre-emptive". You advocated attacking the protestors before they do anything."

If someone, say, picks up a trash receptacle and raises it with the apparent intention of putting it through a plate glass window, preventing the person from doing so is "pre-emptive." Would you find the prevention of such an action objectionable?

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 03:28 PM

>>Maybe 1/10th of that figure<<

Care to bet?

Actually, I selected the numbers carefully because I was working on the rule of thumb that says 10 of you per cop is good odds, and because 500,000 are expected at the London demo and New York is about the same size of city. O-level maths has very little to do with it.

Posted by: dsquared on February 14, 2003 03:30 PM

TO: M. Scott Eiland
RE: Pre-Emption

"If someone, say, picks up a trash receptacle and raises it with the apparent intention of putting it through a plate glass window, preventing the person from doing so is "pre-emptive." Would you find the prevention of such an action objectionable?" -- M. Scott Eiland

As long as the force is not excessive to the nature of the attack that is being 'pre-empted'.

If, instead of a trash can, the 'subject' were about to lob a lit molotov cocktail into the building....the law-enforcement agent could, legally, use a .357 mag round instead of a 'stick'. Use of deadly force is permitted when the 'officer' does not know whether or not the action on the part of the 'subject' could result in the loss of life of individuals who MAY or even MAY NOT be in the building about to be 'attacked'.

Hope that helps...

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Gun Control: To control a hand gun with sufficient ability to hit a target.]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto on February 14, 2003 03:33 PM

Charles --

I noticed your last name is Goebel. Apt, no?

By the way, I'm not Muslim. But I don't imagine that will make your Calc class any less hateful toward me.

Funny, I remember Calc class. I don't recall, though, doing so much racebaiting (or creed baiting, I guess).

Here's hoping you get an education in the real world.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 03:35 PM

TO: Amitava
RE: Calc Class

Life is a bowl of shit and calculas is the spoon.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

Posted by: Chuck Pelto on February 14, 2003 03:38 PM

Pre-emptive means, once you've perceived your thug heading for Starbucks with a newspaper box to cave in its front window a la Seattle, to deter and repel said thug by any means necessary.

Posted by: Insufficiently Sensitive on February 14, 2003 03:38 PM

Chuck(le) --

Thanks, I think. Or perhaps I should be outraged. Haven't figured it out yet.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 14, 2003 03:41 PM

D^2 -- you'd have done better to apply a little geometry, and a little history -- New York crowds just don't get that large, with the possible exception of Times Sqare on New Years and sporting parades. If it got that big in the space available, the crowd would kill people from compression. We're not the only major city in a largish nation, we're not four hours from everywhere in teh country, it's expensive as hell to stay here, and no one has extra rooms.

Posted by: Jane Galt on February 14, 2003 03:43 PM

Amitava:

As it happens, my title is Dr. Goebel (PhD).

You can spell it anyway you want, Ami. I have been introduced at seminars in Germany as 'Dr. Goebbels'.

My, my...you should have seen the heads turn. If I had only thought to issue guns, the US wouldn't have all this gumph from the Fatherland now...

Yours for bigger and better dictatorships, especially mine.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:44 PM

"As long as the force is not excessive to the nature of the attack that is being 'pre-empted'."

Which I agree with, more or less. I'm not advocating shooting someone for breaking a window, but I have no problem with smacking them with a nightstick and dragging them off in handcuffs for trying. Looting is a particularly despicable activity (I have several friends who lost everything in the 1992 Rodney King riots), and is often accompanied by violence to persons--I have no problem with lethal force being used to stop it, particularly if fair warning is given first.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 03:47 PM

Amitava:

Sorry, almost forgot. Now you can check out the preceeding thread, too. We're there also.

If you pass Thumper in the hall heading your way, do say hello.

Be Loving and Friendly, Sez Grace.

Derek says you can't spell either.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:48 PM

TO:
RE: Classey Remarks

"Thanks, I think. Or perhaps I should be outraged. Haven't figured it out yet." -- Amitava Mazumdar

Nothing personal was intended. I was just reminded of how much I loathed calc.

Chuck(le)
[An experience is not a total lose as long as you learn something from it.]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto on February 14, 2003 03:54 PM

Amitava:

To a chorus of boos, groans, and laughs, we read that you wrote; "Here's hoping you get an education in the real world."

After the gals and guys stopped laughing, they were of the opinion that - when you show up their office holding your associate's degree in folk dancing - they might give you an assistant janitor's job just for old time's sake.

But Grace says: "Only if he's grown that beard by then."

Must be some sort of turn-on, you lucky dog.

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 03:56 PM

Amitava:

Sorry about that. Derek has pointed out that it should have been "when you show up AT their office". Derek is making himself obnoxious: are you sure you're not marching today, Derek?

BTW, did you pass Thumper in the hall? TIA

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 04:03 PM

I HATE war.
I would be out there protesting in a second if they were asking Saddam to disarm and comply with the 16 UN resolutions. That would be a serious war protest. But asking the civilised world to look the other way, yet again, while a mad ( not crazy ) dictator seeks the means to impose his will ( and revenge ) on us is worse than useless.

Read this And why I will not in the UK Guardian and then look around to see how many Iraqis are protesting the coming war.
What I hear is fear and anti-Americanisim speaking, not a reasoned disagreement.

Posted by: Hal9000 on February 14, 2003 04:06 PM

To all:

There goes the bell.

Bye, all. Thanks for the fun.

The Little Green Persons.

PS: If you find Thumper, send him to the assistant principal. TIA

Posted by: Charles on February 14, 2003 04:11 PM

any riotous behaviour exponentially increases the risk of death in surrounding populations, as a group mentality takes over (see psych 101 or an ob class, it's peer reviewed and approved)

as such, anyone engaging in a riot should be shot (provided they're given notice to disperse) anyone looting should be shot on sight (you know not to break into a store)

kent state was completely fine, the injustice was that the hippie freaks didn't go to jail for burning down the building (which is attemtped murder, since you have to assume that someone's in the building)

as for the complaints... don't be a party to violence. GHANDI DIDN'T PUSH POLICE he just sat there. non-violent protest means NONVIOLENT PROTEST

the idea is that you don't do anything violent, even in retaliation. no pushing, shoving, punching, looting, whatever. you just sit down or stand there...

as soon as you contact a police officer without their permission, you've committed battery (people have been convicted and jailed for kisses that were battery)

at that point you've committed a crime and used violence against the police. at that point, all bets are off. this can sometimes be necessary, but anyone going to a protest should be well awar of what constitutes violence, and what may result. if you're willing to die for your cause, well bully for you, but don't think you're engaging in nonviolent protest...

as for cali bar.. well of course cause otherwise you'd lose almost all the lawyers. no one should be able to be a lawyer after a felony of any kind, ever.

Posted by: libertarian uber alles on February 14, 2003 05:07 PM

dsquared:

"500,000 are expected at the London demo and New York is about the same size of city"

Care to think of a reason why a much lower percentage of *New Yorkers* would support a rally that was:

1) anti-American
2) anti-NYPD
3) pro-guy-who's-building-WMD's-and-wants-to-use-them-on-us

?

Snow or no snow, I bet the "rally" gets 10,000 people *maximum*. To co-opt an old anti-war slogan, what if they gave a protest and nobody came?

Posted by: Asparagirl on February 14, 2003 05:38 PM

Perhaps someone could explain to me just how millions of people can go about voicing their dissenting opinion in a country where violence aginst them has already been declared legitimate?

Not "legitimate". Violence is legitimated after the fact, if at all. I think the word you are looking for is "probable".

And the answer to your question is, peacefully and respectfully to the community whose progress they are inevitably impeding (no matter how lawfully they try to manage it).

Note we haven't assigned targets: "John Doe is spoiling for a riot, so he's fair game! Knock him on the head!" We're assuming that the targets will legitimize themselves by acting out.

Posted by: Ewin on February 14, 2003 05:44 PM

A-Girl-?????

'Care to think of a reason why a much lower percentage of *New Yorkers* would support a rally that was:

1) anti-American
2) anti-NYPD
3) pro-guy-who's-building-WMD's-and-wants-to-use-them-on-us

?

Snow or no snow, I bet the "rally" gets 10,000 people *maximum*. To co-opt an old anti-war slogan, what if they gave a protest and nobody came?'

That's news to this New Yorker. Just about everyone I know who lives in the city is going to the rally. None of us think that it is anti-NYPD (not even the cops I know who are going!). None of the folks who work w/ me in lower Manhattan (even the ones who fled for their lives on 9/11) think that this protest is anti-American. On the contrary, we will all be waving and wearing our USA flags and raising our voices because we have every right as citizens to do so. Most of my neighbours are making signs and planning to bring our children to the protest, because we think it is the right thing to do right now. I think the rally will be large, smart and peaceful. What part of NYC do you live in? Didn’t I hear that you are moving to LA? So please, don’t try and feed us the line that real * New Yorkers* won’t be there--because they will. In very large numbers! Especially those of us who lived through 9/11 *up close and personal*.


Posted by: O'McSomething on February 14, 2003 06:55 PM

Hmmm....Any objective research into the 'behind-the-scenes' people who are pushing the current peace movement are anti-capitalists, not people who are preaching peace. Look at their websites, who they link up to.

I have no problem with people of conscience, nor doI have problems with people and their right to free speech and assembly. However, the rights to those things have limits under the rule of law, remember? And, the protest permits are official articles agreed to under the existing local law.

The reason many people are cynical of the peace movement is because they degrade into hysterical, illogical, violent protests having NOTHING to do with the subject at hand. Rational defense of the Iraqi government is absurd and intellectually bankrupt. Favoring that murderer over our present administration is idiocy, and a plain decision to ignore reality.

Anyone who has looked long and hard at history, and at terrorism, knows that states that sponsor it, or harbor terrorists, must be defeated. When Italy used poison gas against the Ethiopians in the 30's, the League of Nations tried sanctions. Mussolini, like Saddam, found other sources for income, and they protected him, even unto the collapse of the League of Nations.

Before you go out and blindly call for peace, think of the history, think about the precedent. Then, if your conscience dictates that you must protest, do so, but do so with the clarity of your convictions, not the anti-capitalism/anti-Americanism that the peace movement wishes you to have.

Posted by: John Cross on February 14, 2003 07:35 PM

I'm pretty vehemently against the impending war, which I regard as a disastrous distraction from the nations and organizations which are in fact at war with the US (and would have been called so by an administration whose leaders weren't so chummy with many of the principals). But damn is it hard to find any anti-war organization I'd care to support.

I agree very strongly indeed with Jane that it would be great to see anyone attempting vandalism get smacked up by their intended victims. As I look at the history of successful protest, what I see is that the groups that make a difference are the ones which...well, there are two ways to go about it.

You can try to subvert the whole democratic-process thing and get a few key legislators and executives persuaded to do it your way, and then rely on the police power to keep down anyone who objects. Lobbying sometimes works, but it always breeds opposition, because you're just forcing down a change that's not supported out in the world at large. You feed the alienation of citizens and governors.

Or you can work to persuade the masses. This is entirely doable, but it requires giving up a lot of one's precious "self-expression" to do it. In their quite different cultures, King and Gandhi accomplished the same thing: they appealed to their neighbors' existing standards of decorum and virtue, using a combination of shame (at having failed to live up to their own professed standards) and exhortation (to understand previously unrecognized implications of those standards). If the current anti-war movement could field folks who were clean, groomed, dressed in well-fitting suits, and effective public speakers, reviewing the evidence and laying out their thoughts clearly, they'd really get somewhere. They should look like authority figures, speak in friendly and clear manner, and avoid all temptation to digress from a handful of key topics.

I am not, alas, expecting that to happen.

Posted by: Bruce Baugh on February 14, 2003 07:46 PM

Jane: Enjoyed your post. Great blog.

Charles: Not much could have made me sympathize with Amitava here, but you have. Get off my side, please.

O'McSomething: Ever hear of selection bias? "Nixon couldn't have won! No one I know voted for him!" I think Asparagirl is a lot closer in her crowd estimates than D-squared.

Posted by: JPS on February 14, 2003 07:50 PM

"Rather than advocating bystanders beating the crap out of people who step out of line, I would hereby suggest that New Yorkers undertake citizens' arrests against those who step out of line, and more importantly, press charges."

Most states won't allow a "citizen's arrest" unless the crime is a felony. By "Most states" I mean "I can't think of any at all that will allow misdeamenor citizen's arrest".

"The only long term consequence of a felony conviction is a prohibition on gun ownership,..."

Completely wrong, I'm afraid. The felon also can't vote in a national election, and many states and local jusrisdictions prohibit a felon from voting as well. And we'll just let pass the restrictions against a convicted felon holding many elected offices or having many government jobs.

James

Posted by: James R. Rummel on February 14, 2003 08:07 PM

"Most states won't allow a "citizen's arrest" unless the crime is a felony. By "Most states" I mean "I can't think of any at all that will allow misdeamenor citizen's arrest"."

That's not how I learned it. A cop can't arrest someone for a misdemeannor that they don't personally witness, unless someone else who did witness it agrees to swear out a complaint against the defendant; thus, the "citizen's arrest." There was a common law right for a citizen to use lethal force to apprehend someone in the process of committing or fleeing after committing a felony, but U.S. Supreme Court decisions have pretty much rendered that non-operative except in cases where it is justified to use lethal force in defense of self or others (IOW, you can't shoot a fleeing burglary suspect to keep him from escaping and claim justification, unless you can reasonably argue you feared for your life or the lives of others).

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 14, 2003 08:17 PM

"A cop can't arrest someone for a misdemeannor that they don't personally witness, unless someone else who did witness it agrees to swear out a complaint against the defendant; thus, the "citizen's arrest." "

An arrest is where the suspect is taken into custody. What you're describing is simply paperwork.

The rest of your post, Mr. Eiland, concerns lethal force. Last time I checked that isn't an arrest.

James

Posted by: James R. Rummel on February 14, 2003 10:47 PM

I was visiting this blog hoping to learn something, as it seemed (at first glance) that the posters here had intelligent and thoughtfully considered positions with which I just happened to disagree. I thank the hostess, Jane Galt, and M. Scott Eiland for the clarity of their writing, although I disagree (especially) with their tendancy to condescend to and marginalize the anti-war position. Perhaps you should consider your own selection biases?

Unfortunately, Charles has reminded me of just how ugly some right-wingers can be. The brand of racism he displayed is exactly one of the reasons why many oppose the war. Many of us on the left suspect that part of this administration's decision process involves a moral calculus that says several hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives are totally meaningless. Racism in America is real, and bombing Iraq back to the stone age will only prove it to muslims and prove that we are incapable of dialogue. Rushing to war is the best way to ensure permanent enmity between the US and the muslim world for the rest of eternity.

I grant you that Saddam is dangerous and needs to be stopped. And war may be the only way to do it. But surely acting like vigilantes and ignoring the processes set up in the UN for this kind of thing isn't the best way to go about achieving our long term goals?

Posted by: Andres on February 15, 2003 01:07 AM

"Many of us on the left suspect that part of this administration's decision process involves a moral calculus that says several hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives are totally meaningless."

I think it's pretty obvious that Islamic extremists have proven that they feel the same way about our lives. The coming invasion of Iraq is to save innocent lives, starting with our own people.

And by the way, when talking about casualties in Iraq your figure of "hundreds of thousands" is very suspect and almost certainly wrong.

i>"Racism in America is real, and bombing Iraq back to the stone age will only prove it to muslims and prove that we are incapable of dialogue."

This isn't about racism but self defense. This is indescribably obvious, since I don't happen to see rotten Islamic corpses hanging from flagpoles on my daily drive to work.

So far as proving that we're incapable of dialogue, hasn't Iraq had ten years to comply with U.N. resolutions? And now he's gotten another chance he's still refusing to cooperate?

"I grant you that Saddam is dangerous and needs to be stopped. And war may be the only way to do it. But surely acting like vigilantes and ignoring the processes set up in the UN for this kind of thing isn't the best way to go about achieving our long term goals?"

See the previous point I made about Iraq ignoring U.N. resolutions for ten years. It isn't the U.S. who's dropped the ball on this one, it's the U.N. for refusing to back up their own mandates with anything.

If (when) the U.S. invades we'll simply be doing the job the U.N. should have done years ago.

"I thank the hostess, Jane Galt, and M. Scott Eiland for the clarity of their writing, although I disagree (especially) with their tendancy to condescend to and marginalize the anti-war position."

I actually think that Megan and Mr. eiland have been very polite to anyone from the left who posts a comment. The problem is that no one who thinks as you do has been able to come up with a single credible, rational reason why anyone should think as you do.

James

Posted by: James R. Rummel on February 15, 2003 01:34 AM

> Completely wrong, I'm afraid.

Not at all.

> The felon also can't vote in a national election, and many states and local jusrisdictions prohibit a felon from voting as well.

False. It depends on the state. (This surprised me, but it's true.) I think that the majority of the population is now in states that allow voting by felons. (The precise conditions vary. Few allow them to vote from prison while some don't allow those on probation to vote.)

AFAIK, no state lets felons vote locally but stops them from voting federally. I've seen a few voter applications and I've never seen one that made the local/federal distinction. Maybe there are some that do, but they aren't typical.

> And we'll just let pass the restrictions against a convicted felon holding many elected offices or having many government jobs.

Again, it depends.

It probably wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that a strong majority of a past slate of the SF board of supervisors (mid 90s) happened to be convicted felons.

Posted by: Andy Freeman on February 15, 2003 02:07 AM

"False. It depends on the state."

I said that, Mr. Freeman. That's what "most states" means.

"AFAIK"

What does that stand for? Can't say that I've ever come across it before.

i>"AFAIK, no state lets felons vote locally but stops them from voting federally."


Never said that the individual states had any say in federal elections. I stated that being convicted of a felony prevents someone from voting in federal elections, and that many states also barred felons from voting in their elections.

I'm having trouble understanding what you're claiming I said. It looks like you're attempting to construct a straw man to me, but it could very well be that you just didn't pay much attention to my previous comment.

James

Posted by: James R. Rummel on February 15, 2003 03:59 AM

I'll be the nice guy and implement de-italicization.

Posted by: Michael Ubaldi on February 15, 2003 06:33 AM

The issue as I see it breaks down like so:

Protest organizers wait too long to file for permits for the march, and thus have to protest in a square near the UN building.

Anti-globo/anti-American punks claim this as justifcation for skipping out of singing Kumbaya in the square and do the rioting that they do at every protest they attend.

Ms. Galt states that it's would be sweet if these punks get smacked down before they cause any damage.I fail to see what's wrong with this. Given that the Black Block and similar groups are little more than incompetent terrorists trying to re-enact the late 60's and early 70's, they should be treated as such.

Before you blow a gasket and start spewing Orwell out of context, you should note that I didn't say that folks peacefully assembling against the war should have anything done to them. There's no law against stupidity. Vandalism, looting, assaulting folks... those are against the law.

Posted by: Cybrludite on February 15, 2003 06:36 AM

I went to college from '65 to '69 and was, thus, caught in the middle of the insanity of those times. Few people seem to remember that the protests began, not with protesting the war, but with the demand for "Free Speech." Of course, they already had the right to free expression. What they actually meant, however, was that speech ought to be free, i.e., paid for by someone else, whether they agreed with their positions or not. They commandeered any microphone they could find, cutting off any one who was freely expressing a divergent view.

And what was their position? It wasn't a demand to express a particular idea. It was a demand to be able to cuss up a storm and spit on any semblance of manners. By manners, I mean those polite rituals that allow people to live together, with respect given to other human beings. These were considered phony. Manners were tossed out, and were replaced with a sneering, self-absorbed cynicism which precluded rational debate on any subject. To have a rational debate, one must own a fundamental respect for humans qua humans.

The right to curse was really just a trial balloon, of course. It was something that ignorant, immature children away from home for the first time could really get into. It didn't take much to spread the form to other, more serious, areas. All one had to do was denigrate the values of these kids' parents and they had it made. Then they called it "The Establishment"; today, this has morphed into an out and out anti-Americanism. It helped, of course, that they were backed by their professors. They eventually took over the schools, upping the ante with every act of appeasement by the administration. (Demands have a way of expanding with every concession.) A campus life that was condusive to actual learning became impossible. I held down a full-time job and carried 16 hours a term. I paid for my own education. I resented the hell out of those who blocked that education. They were not - contrary to popular belief and flawed memory (remember, they were almost all stoned at the time) - great ideologues. It was a great place to score drugs and sex. They took their ignorance and stoned-out, muddled minds and elevated it all to high ideals. They actually had no ideas until they were told what to think by their Marxist teachers - bright young thinkers like Marshal McCluhan (72 years old at the time, if memory serves). Sloganeering was popular then, as well. It's a great substitute for actual critical thought for those too lazy to put in the required work.

One thing my contemporaries who wax nostalgic about this time seem to forget: The louder the mob screamed "brotherhood" and "love", the brighter our cities burned. We were very close in this country to out and out anarchy.

Today's protests are run by the same bunch, for the same reason. Those who are actually against the war for reasons other than the thoughtless jingoism displayed so far would be best advised to organize their own protests, as opposed to acting as the puppets and useful idiots of those who spit on the form of government that recognizes your absolute right to freely disagree with it.

Posted by: Dee Bates on February 15, 2003 08:29 AM

The last Parthian shot:

Racism? Pfui. One of the Little Green Persons is, in fact, black.

HOWEVER, we're middle class America. And as such, we do middle American things. Like heckle the speaker: it, too, is protected speech.

AS it happens, I'm a registered Democrat (SURPRISE!!). I plan voting in my party's primary whenever it is.

I also sorta resent being compared to a infamous person with a similar name. But, if I can't take the heat, I'll get the hell out of the kitchen.

Cheers from under the snows

Posted by: Charles on February 15, 2003 09:13 AM

The hyperprogressives of this thread seem to have forgotten why ML King has a national holiday in his memory. If he had been just a racial leader, in the manner of Al Sharpton, this would not have been the case. But in reality his embrace of non violent social and political change represented a watershed in American history, if not world history. As Krauthammer pointed out in the Wapo:
"Perhaps even more important than the civil rights movement's ends, however, were its means. That was its other great gift to America. The civil rights movement transformed nonviolence from a notion into a norm -- an act of astonishing political creativity whose legacy has been so thoroughly assimilated into contemporary American life that today we hardly appreciate it.
"
It appears as if many of the proponents of mayhem and melee in this thread have forgotten that means matter as much as ends.

Posted by: Tom Roberts on February 15, 2003 10:32 AM

To oppose the impending war for defensible reasons (see Leonard's contribution in the more recent thread above) is a valuable contribution; Leonard just might be right (no one has perfect foresight, and the road ahead is perilous), and even if he isn't, such an opposing view helps sharpen the thinking of those proposing war, which increases the chance for the successful implementation of strategy. To oppose this war, however, for poorly formed reasons, however, adds nothing. Those that believe that the forcible removal of Saddam Hussein would be a disaster for the Iraqi population really have massively underestimated what a disaster it is to be ruled by a tyrannical Stalinist/fascist like Hussein. Short of a campaign that involved the massive, deliberate carpet-bombing of civilian populations, such as what occurred in Tokyo or Dresden in WWII, or a complete abandonment of Iraq post-Hussein (which would negate the whole point of his removal), it is impossible for the forcible removal of Hussein to be a net negative for the typical Iraqi.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 15, 2003 10:53 AM

Dear James:

"I think it's pretty obvious that Islamic extremists have proven that they feel the same way about our lives. The coming invasion of Iraq is to save innocent lives, starting with our own people." I agree that Islamic extremists place little value on American lives. But the link between Iraq and terrorism remains unproven, unless you believe the flimsy "evidence" presented by Powell. Leaders of many other countries (e.g. France and Germany) do not, and I would wager that they're privy to a larger sample of unedited evidence than the American public is. If we're so concerned about terrorism, why aren't we going after the Saudis or the Pakistanis? The links between Al Qaeda and S.A. and Pakistan are proven. Alas, the answer to the question underlies the complexity of the whole middle east issue: it's not politically expedient to put pressure on the Saudis or Pakistanis.

"This isn't about racism but self defense." Our enemies perceive it as racism, and it behooves us to understand our enemy. The more we appear to dismiss the suffering of muslims, especially the suffering that we have had a hand in creating, the more power we give to Al Qaeda recruitment, and the more probable it becomes that a truly devastating act of terror will occur on our soil.

"So far as proving that we're incapable of dialogue, hasn't Iraq had ten years to comply with U.N. resolutions? And now he's gotten another chance he's still refusing to cooperate?" I don't know, it sounds to me like he is cooperating.

The pride and hubris with which America decides unilaterally that the "U.N. [is] refusing to back up their own mandates with anything" is what so many other countries dislike about us. We demand that others play by the rules yet we refuse to do so. (Interesting that in so many of the posts above there were comments about lefties refusing to obey the law.) I'm not so naive as to be aware that what enables us behave this way is our superior military power. But it doesn't make it right.

By rushing to war without consensus, we expend all of the political capital we gained after 9/11. Remember Afghanistan? The world supported us then. Why do so many refuse to support us now? Perhaps there are very good reasons. We need to listen to them. I was pretty clear in my previous post that I was not absolutely against war. Just ill-considered war. And many of the left, whom are characterized in the comments above as "fratboy" anarchist/socialists, actually have the same opinion I just articulated: we are opposed to war in Iraq without UN backing. We wish our country would play by the rules others are expected to obey.

Finally, I don't think it's impossible for the left and right to have a dialogue about this here in the U.S. (otherwise it would be pointless for me to post here). But the tendency for each side to pretend the other doesn't exist or to claim that the other side is filled with idiots or traitors doesn't help the dialogue. And attempting to silence the debate only erodes the freedoms that we are ostensibly trying to protect.

Posted by: Andres on February 15, 2003 10:56 AM

Andres: good post until the last sentence. When Jane or Mindles deletes your posts, then you can start worrying about being silenced in this forum. Then you can start your own weblog, and to the best of what I've discerned, nobody is closing such venues down as seditious.

Posted by: Tom Roberts on February 15, 2003 11:23 AM

Tom: I wasn't suggesting that Jane or Mindles was trying to silence the debate. In fact, that's one reason why I like Jane's blog, in spite of my ideological differences with her. But some on your side (as well as mine) *are* trying to silence debate.

Marginalizing anti-war protesters doesn't help, though. I'm happy to see CNN and others reporting the protests without suggesting that we're all a bunch of anarchist loonies. It restores my faith in America's ability to have a rational debate about this subject.

Posted by: Andres on February 15, 2003 02:01 PM

Perhaps the "protest = violence" crowd can provide numbers for all the rampages that took place today amongst the 1 million+ protesters in London today. Come on, we're waiting...

BTW, I always get a kick out of the big talk regarding "kicking ass" that continually spews from the keyboards of wingnut bloggers, none of whom have yet bothered to sign to fight in Tipsy's War for Poppy's bankbook in Iraq.

Posted by: dave on February 15, 2003 02:14 PM

> I'm having trouble understanding what you're claiming I said.

Let's start with what Rummel has written TWICE.

> I stated that being convicted of a felony prevents someone from voting in federal elections

And that's false. It does in some states, as part of a general prohibition on voting, but it doesn't in other states. CA, for example, lets felons vote in the presidential election and for both reps and senators. There is no "felon ballot" that has state/local issues but not federal ones.

I'd be interested in documentation for states that stop felons from voting on federal issues but allow them to vote on state/local ones. As far as I know (AFAIK), none do.

Posted by: Andy Freeman on February 15, 2003 03:44 PM

dave: Your last post was a gross oversimplification of most of the posts above. If someone actually tries to answer it, they deserve to be logically scorned as perpetrating your illogical equation.

Posted by: Tom Roberts on February 15, 2003 04:23 PM

So, any money have to change hands yet over the size of the NYC demonstration? I think those that predicted 10K will probably have to pony up first

Posted by: Norbizness on February 15, 2003 04:29 PM

> I just articulated: we are opposed to war in Iraq without UN backing.

Why? What does UN backing mean? If a war us a good idea if the UN backs it, is it a bad idea if the UN doesn't?

FWIW, the UN has a habit of ignoring genocide.

>We wish our country would play by the rules others are expected to obey.

Others are expected to get UN backing? By whom, since when, and what are the consequences?

Huh?

Posted by: Andy Freeman on February 15, 2003 04:42 PM

Heck, for many, the requirement of UN backing hinges upon which party holds the White House. UN backing is not required when a Democrat bombs Serbia, but is absolutely needed now. To be honest, I was mildly in opposition to the Serbian bombing at the time, but only because I doubted it's efficacy. Happily, my knowledge of military tactics, and their likely success, was proven lacking. I did not care a fig about the U.N.'s approval of the tactic. The U.N. can still have some utility from time to time as a channel of communication, but otherwise it is irrelevant. France, Russia, Germany, China, etc. will pursue their interests as they see fit. China ruthlessly murders internal dissenters. Russia leveled an entire city, Grozny, with the attendent civilian deaths, when it saw fit. France actively aids another mass murderer, Mugabe, when they believe that doing so serves France's narrow self interest. Germany's foreign minister is a common thug, with no inhibition against personally assaulting innocents in the most violent manner. There is nothing these entities can say that has the least bit of moral import. The U.S. should pursue it's self interest. If that means leaving Hussein in power, and the fascist status quo of the Middle East intact, so be it; I believe this thinking wrong, but a cogent argument can be made. If removing Hussein, and destroying the status quo of the Middel East, is what best serves the interests of the United States, however, the United Sates should do so regrdless of any action, or non-action, of the United Nations.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 15, 2003 05:06 PM

"...actually have the same opinion I just articulated: we are opposed to war in Iraq without UN backing."

The United Nations has not earned this sort of respect. At best, it is an organization that might someday become a viable structure to ensure peace in the word. The present reality, however, is that the UN is mostly an anti-Semitic contemptible lackey of authoritarian countries. It perceives Israel to be a far greater violator of human rights than Cuba or Libya. In other words, there are too many UN leaders who have their heads up their rear ends.

Posted by: David Thomson on February 15, 2003 05:07 PM

The war opposition focuses on "UN backing" too much. It may be technically required by international law, but we all know how squishy international law tends to be.

But sovereign rights are still important to the international system. And violating them, absend a threat of attack, requires international legitimacy, which is also a squishy concept, but can come about when the world's democracies are in agreement -- as in Kosovo.

This is what I would require before backing this war. Otherwise, the US would be the only country free to assassinate and stage coups without consultations with others. This is bad for American prestige and its bad for international stability.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 15, 2003 05:11 PM

If I see somebody with a two-by-four looking crosseyed I'll cap your wingnut ass.

Posted by: robbiey on February 15, 2003 05:25 PM

"But sovereign rights are still important to the international system. And violating them, absend a threat of attack, requires international legitimacy, which is also a squishy concept, but can come about when the world's democracies are in agreement -- as in Kosovo."

Amitava - Aren't the world's democracies basically in agreement that military action in Iraq is necessary? By far, the governments representing the vast majority of Europe's population support the US position -- not the position of the French and Germans. Or are you suggesting there should be a requirement of a unanimous agreement among the world's democracies before military action can be taken (absent UN approval)? I don't think we had all the world's democracies on board for Kosovo (but I could be wrong). Even so, wouldn't the action taken in Kosovo have been justified even if, say, Japan had been against it?

Posted by: David Walser on February 15, 2003 05:40 PM

Andres-

You propose understanding our enemy. I think many people know and understand Islamic Terrorists well enough. They simply wish to see the end of Israel as well as the United STates. If we wish to understand the enemy completely, which I wouldn't advocate, would have us all in our graves or worshiping the almighty Allah

Posted by: Jacob LaRow on February 15, 2003 05:52 PM

Andres-

You propose understanding our enemy. I think many people know and understand Islamic Terrorists well enough. They simply wish to see the end of Israel as well as the United STates. If we wish to understand the enemy completely, which I wouldn't advocate, would have us all in our graves or worshiping the almighty Allah

Posted by: Jacob LaRow on February 15, 2003 05:52 PM

sorry about the double post. This is the first time I have posted :-)

Posted by: Jacob LaRow on February 15, 2003 05:53 PM

Or Russia (and they were manifestly against Kosovo)? Or are we finely sifting who is a democracy and not?

Posted by: Tom Roberts on February 15, 2003 05:54 PM

Aren't the world's democracies basically in agreement that military action in Iraq is necessary?

David (and others) --

Determining whether you not have international legitimacy for an action doesn't really lend itself to being reduced to a forumula. It depends obviously on the nature of the actions and which are the most affected nations. I guess I'm essentially talking about critical mass, in a sense. Intervention didn't engender lasting anti-American hatred, as we're seeing now, because we essentially reached that critical mass. Anyway, Europe -- shown to be utterly impotent in the face of Milosevice for ten years -- practically begged Clinton to intervene. Someone mensioned Russia, which vetoed a UNSC resolution. But remember, even after that, Russia essentially cooperated. There was a nervous moment when Russian troops raced Nato troops to an airport, but things have gone smoothly since. It sort of proves my point about the unnecessariness of a UNSC resolution.

It is true that the vast majority of the European governments seem to have backed the US. (They never actually explicitly supported war in their collective statements, as I recall, but I guess that's a distinction without a difference.) The problem is that the Bush administration began this debate making clear to the world that we didn't care whether or not anyone came along. We went to the UN, and got 1441, be repeatedly stated that lack of a UN resolution wouldn't stop us. As a result, it angered 90 percent of Europe's population, and those 18 European governments that back us are doing so in open defiance of their constituents. That might be good enough for us now, but the anti-Americanism common among those populations will certainly affect the quality of our relations in the future.

The bottom line is that if the Bush administration actually attempted to gain legitimacy for an internvention by consulting in good faith two years ago (or whenever this debate began) then it is likely that Europe's population would be more amenable to US policy. As a result, France (which would probably still be obstinate) would be isolated from both other governments and European popular sentiment.

This is, of course, conjecture. But it might have prevented the development of an anti-American coalition or containment. To me, a cost too great for eliminating the least threatening of all the world's proliferators.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 15, 2003 08:45 PM

Intervention didn't engender lasting anti-American hatred, as we're seeing now, because we essentially reached that critical mass.

I meant:

Intervention in Kosovo didn't engender lasting anti-American hatred, as we're seeing now, because we essentially reached that critical mass.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on February 15, 2003 08:47 PM

Your friend Diane had it entirely wrong, you know. Maybe you'd like to tell her. There were pens, and there was no vandalism.

I'm sure you're very glad to be proven wrong about the need the pre-emptively attack peaceful protesters.

Posted by: Jill on February 15, 2003 11:01 PM

So where was the violence that all you neo-fascists were so gleefully anticipating?

Posted by: Barry Freed on February 16, 2003 01:26 AM

Ooh! "neo fascists"! Godwin's Law prevails as usual in someone's dive for the logical trashcan.

Posted by: Tom Roberts on February 16, 2003 01:35 AM

You ARE going to tell your friend Diane, who has no comments, how WRONG she was about vandalism and putting people in pens, aren't you?

Of COURSE you are. You'd be morally bankrupt if you did not.

Posted by: Jill on February 16, 2003 03:07 AM

"You ARE going to tell your friend Diane, who has no comments, how WRONG she was about vandalism and putting people in pens, aren't you?"

Read the linked comments again. Diane was quoting direct threats made by an individual, and stated that police barriers don't constitute "pens" as the little thug she was quoting implied. Corrals don't have a way out. It's not too clever to make accusations that make it clear you couldn't be bothered to read the original material, or that show that you just don't care what the truth was.


"Of COURSE you are. You'd be morally bankrupt if you did not."

Nice try. Move along and try your game on people who can't read or comprehend a simple argument. I'm sure there are plenty to choose from in the crowds from Saturday.

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland on February 16, 2003 04:08 AM

TO: robbiey
RE: Cap Jobs

"If I see somebody with a two-by-four looking crosseyed I'll cap your wingnut ass." -- robbiey

You got a permit to carry that piece in public?

Regards,

Chuck(le)

Posted by: Chuck Pelto on February 16, 2003 12:17 PM

neo-fascists indeed. If the shoe fits....

BTW, Godwins law is only invoked by the mentioning of Nazis or Hitler neither of which were mentioned.

Posted by: Barry Freed on February 17, 2003 03:55 AM

"Diane was quoting direct threats made by an individual, and stated that police barriers don't constitute "pens" as the little thug she was quoting implied. Corrals don't have a way out. It's not too clever to make accusations that make it clear you couldn't be bothered to read the original material, or that show that you just don't care what the truth was."

Wrong. Diane was deliberately misinterpreting a protest organizer who was deploring the possibility of protesters getting violent under duress. She chose, and Jane chose too, to misconstrue his words and then to advocate "pre-emptive" violence. There was no violence on the part of the protesters, although there was duress and violence on the part of the cops. That's the truth, and you can't handle it.

There were pens. People were herded into them and not allowed out because there was nowhere to go. It is a fact. Jimmy Breslin has a good column about it here.

Posted by: jill on February 18, 2003 02:20 PM

I finally read through this thing.

1) I like the expression "Get Off My Side" (thank you "JPS"). That could come in handy

2) Perhaps you will allow me to coin a new "law", call it "Dreck's Law" that anyone who high-mindedly deplores condescension and belittlement from the opposite side of the political spectrum immediately goes out and condescends and belittles. Or something like that... Honestly, hearing that from known characters in this and other threads has made me laugh out loud.

Fact is, most people find it fun to employ sarcasm and condescension in argument. I, for one, rather enjoy it - even receiving it, if it is especially creative.

Posted by: "Mindles H. Dreck" on February 18, 2003 05:42 PM

Wow, when even the *Texans* think the cops are out of control...

...you know you've got a problem.

http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2003/02/7585.php

Posted by: Ryan on February 19, 2003 12:56 AM
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