Lock and load

It should be wild time in Greensboro on August 14, when teh crazies will gather in an armed demonstration to "restore the constitution" ... whatever that means. If I get back from a business trip in time, I'll be there, armed and dangerous as usual.

The participants in the Restore The Constitution event are patriotic, everyday Americans who simply insist that their government respect the rights guaranteed by and obey the limitations imposed by the supreme law of the land – the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Insist? How so?

From where I sit, the participants in the Restore The Constitution event are whining titty babies who can't stand having a black guy in the White House unless he's a janitor. They ought to be thrilled then, because Barack Obama will spend his entire presidency cleaning up eight years of mess made by George Bush.

Comments

"Sticks and stones will break [someone's] bones . . . "

Insist? How so?

What are you asking, or implying?

From where I sit, the participants in the Restore The Constitution event are whining titty babies who can't stand having a black guy in the White House unless he's a janitor.

I must have missed something in the article that mentions Obama being black, so please, if there is something, point it out to me. And if you do take a look, I also missed the part where the demonstrators are whining. Or, are all people demonstrating or voicing a dissent now considered de facto whiners? I could understand that viewpoint, even if I don't agree with it.

They ought to be thrilled then, because Barack Obama will spend his entire presidency cleaning up eight years of mess made by George Bush.

This is cute, given the earlier janitor quip. But, if the demonstrators are whining about the growth of the federal government, how is this not whining about Bush?

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Timing

I've looked and looked and looked and looked for armed demonstrations to express concern about personal freedoms and the Constitution between 2000 and 2008 ... and I keep coming up short.

exactly right

Yeah, what happened to the demonstrations by these so-called "Patriots" when the Bushies were caught spying on American citizens with illegal wiretaps? What happened to the demonstrations when Bush suspended habeus corpus and started imprisoning people (including American citizens) with no charge and with no access to a court system, as proscribed by the Constitution?

It's fascinating to me that these yahoos feel the need to stroke their guns in public and rally against a president who has NEVER made a single move to limit gun rights.....AND EVEN MORESO....do these dolts even realize the only reason they can stroke their guns in public in a National Park is because Obama signed that into law?

Unbelievable. I hope 50 Black Muslims show up packing heat as well. I'd love to see the look on the old white people's faces.

Syd

You say "tomato," I say "circumstantial at best."

Does timing necessarily imply anything about Barack Obama's skin color? Or could there be another connection between his administration and a sense, on the part of these protesters, that the federal government may be becoming too powerful? Or, to focus the question, could there be another link between Obama and a concern over stricter gun regulation?

Just some thoughts:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/15/politics/politico/main4018750.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;8

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/19/politics/politico/main4029176.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;5

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/19/politics/politico/main4029271.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;3

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/06/politics/uwire/main4651816.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;2

I am providing these links only to demonstrate the possibility that there is some factor, other than his race, that might concern people who support gun ownership.

In addition, from reading the article from Randy's Right, it seems to me that these people may be concerned about more than gun regulation. It may just be a single issue that they've rallied under, representative of other issues.

Yeah, what happened to the demonstrations by these so-called "Patriots" when the Bushies were caught spying on American citizens with illegal wiretaps? What happened to the demonstrations when Bush suspended habeus corpus and started imprisoning people (including American citizens) with no charge and with no access to a court system, as proscribed by the Constitution?

Is there a reasonable answer to this question? One that does not rely upon accusing these people of being racist, or stupid, or evil?

I hope 50 Black Muslims show up packing heat as well. I'd love to see the look on the old white people's faces.

And what positive effect would this accomplish?

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

The hysteria about gun rights

The hysteria about gun rights a right wing issue manufactured from nothing of substance. Even your own links support that truth. The debate is over. Done. No one is taking away anyone's guns, and only delusional paranoids think otherwise. The left has lost that battle. It is finished.

This armed movement is nothing more than a new faction of the lunatic fringe of survivalists and revolutionaries, represented best by cowards like Rick Perry of Texas, and the new lemmings in Tennessee who express patriotism with threats of secession. I personally would love for Tennessee and Texas to secede, but it ain't going to happen.

Whether the majority of teabaggers are fundamentally racist or not is a question that can be debated, but not conclusively proven one way or the other. You say they're not, I say they are ... and worse. They are greedy opportunists and they are ignorant of history. They may want "their" country back, but I know an army of Native Americans who strongly object to their claim of ownership.

Insist

I'm asking. How does one group "insist" that a government conform to its minority opinions?

Randy's Right

We hear you loud and clear

I wondered if you'd show up

You probably will see me there, Randy, but I'll be the guy with a camera on his hip instead of a gun.

All our welcome

All our welcome

Oh great,

armed demonstrations in Greensboro, yeah, that's gone off swimmingly in the past.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Hysteria

With the actions taken in recent years by power-hungry Republican and Democratic politicians (examples include the bank bailouts in TARP, the automobile manufacturers’ bailout, and the recent healthcare mandate) and activist Federal judges (example: the Kelo decision), more and more Americans have had enough.

From what I see, this rally is not solely about guns. It seems to be about the general perception that government has grown larger and more powerful than some (at least these) people are comfortable with. The open-carry/gun aspect seems to be a thematic element that the organizers have settled upon.

No one is taking away anyone's guns, and only delusional paranoids think otherwise.

Calling people names and marginalizing them is easy. Taking the time to understand their motivations and contemplate their perspective on an issue . . . that is difficult. Talking to, instead of ridiculing them, even more so.

I agree, no one is taking their guns away any time soon. But the civil war was started because of paranoia and fear. I doubt that these people are afraid or delusional regarding gun regulation (because I don't think that their principle reason for demonstrating is limited to gun rights). But even if they are, however delusional or misguided fear and paranoia may be, these emotions must be taken seriously. Condescension and abject ridicule only intensifies them. Respectful discussion may actually alleviate them.

Whether the majority of teabaggers are fundamentally racist or not is a question that can be debated, but not conclusively proven one way or the other. You say they're not, I say they are ... and worse. They are greedy opportunists and they are ignorant of history. They may want "their" country back, but I know an army of Native Americans who strongly object to their claim of ownership.

A factual statement that cannot be conclusively proven is a statement that should not be conclusively made. I never asserted Tea Party members are not fundamentally racist. I cannot prove that one way, or the other. I haven't spoken to many ardent Tea Party supporters, and I've only attended one rally out of idle curiosity. Can you provide evidence to suggest that they are categorically greedy opportunists who have a less-developed grasp of history than you do, James?

I'm asking. How does one group "insist" that a government conform to its minority opinions?

The same way a group insists that abortion be made legal, that black people and women be given the right to vote, that marijuana be legalized, that same-sex marriages be recognized legally, that taxes be increased or decreased. Everyone's a minority at some point, and we're a republic, so everyone's got the right to ask for what they want in a peaceable manner. "Insist" is a strong rhetorical term, commonly used for effect even when the person doing the insisting has no actual power to do so.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Insist

You seem happy to defend a "strong rhetorical term" when the people using it are packing heat ... backed up by a plea to spend time with teh baggers so I can more fully understand them.

So why all the criticism of my strong rhetorical terms? Why not spend your time over on the dark side encouraging them to try to understand the progressive mind? Maybe you're already doing that ... in which case I would welcome the chance to hear what you've learned.

You're new around here, but just to say it one more time, much of my extended family and most of my college classmates fall squarely into the bagger camp. I talk to them often, and still have scars as a result of their defending Bush's misguided War in Iraq and assaults on the middle class. Along the way I collected more evidence than I would like to have that racial prejudice and white privilege are woven throughout their world view.

Speaking of,

did you notice the very bottom of the list of invited speakers?

15. Dr Ada Fisher National Conservative Republican Spokeswoman and black
conservative

16. Vernon Robertson, Winston Salem 9/12 Group

We've got black people, too!

I did notice

It's good they have a place for blacks on their If they had rounded up Michael Steele, they could have cornered all three of them.

"No, no! I insist!"

You seem happy to defend a "strong rhetorical term" when the people using it are packing heat ... backed up by a plea to spend time with teh baggers so I can more fully understand them.

I never asked you to spend time with the "teabaggers." I only suggested that, if you actually want to make progress in the world, calling them, or anyone, names (like "teabaggers") probably won't help much. But if you just want to rant, then rant away. I know that's all I want to do sometimes.

As for my defense of a rhetorical term, they are exercising their legal rights to carry openly and have professed a desire to demonstrate peacefully. They won't be anywhere near a government building, as far as I know, so I don't think they're planning to launch an insurrection in the middle of their rally.

So why all the criticism of my strong rhetorical terms? Why not spend your time over on the dark side encouraging them to try to understand the progressive mind? Maybe you're already doing that ... in which case I would welcome the chance to hear what you've learned.

I have. I must assure you, I am an equal opportunity nuisance. And unfortunately, the hard right is often just as close-minded and uses just as much abusive language, condescension, and dodgy rhetoric as the hard left (I'm ranting a bit and speaking generally here, these descriptors are not directed at you personally, James). What I have come to learn is that everyone is human.

You're new around here, but just to say it one more time, much of my extended family and most of my college classmates fall squarely into the bagger camp. I talk to them often, and still have scars as a result of their defending Bush's misguided War in Iraq and assaults on the middle class. Along the way I collected more evidence than I would like to have that racial prejudice and white privilege are woven throughout their world view.

I have no doubt that what you say is motivated by some experience or evidence. To believe that you are only here blindly spouting off the paradigms foisted upon you by a college professor would be presumptuous of me, not to mention counter-productive. And if you'd just as soon drop the discussion, I can certainly respect that. But to continue, evidence beyond "I've spoken to racist Tea Party supporters" is necessary for obvious reasons. Without particular examples, the other side (me, in this instance) cannot evaluate the veracity of your position. I don't know whether the people you have spoken to are truly racially prejudiced (as in, "black people are genetically inferior") or something else (resentment at affirmative action, for example).

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

We understand them well enough

They live in fear of things that (for the most part) exist only in their minds, like a conspiracy of government officials that want to take away all their freedoms and institute some sort of totalitarian regime. And that fear manifests itself in bravado: the display of implied violence associated with going out in public with a gun on the hip.

When someone reaches that level of paranoid, anti-social thought, there is not much to be gained (by either side) in an exchange of information. If it sounds like I'm "giving up" on them, so be it. I'd rather dedicate my time demonstrating the faults of extremism to others, so that they will be less likely to follow that path, than trying to bring back those who have tumbled over the edge already.

Sometimes they call themselves that

I met an old family friend recently and rode in his car. He had to move a small sign out of the seat and said he'd been at a rally and was a "teabagger, or whatever it's called." He went on to rant about the government for a few minutes. He also told me he picked the place where he lived because it was more sustainable for when society collapses and because there "aren't many blacks around."

I am a member of no party, tea or otherwise, and I get where the tea partiers are coming from on a number of issues. Unfortunately for the movement, its decentralization and the piling on from some fringe factions of existing movements has allowed the original message to be watered down and/or polluted.

I am guessing the Democrats AND the Republicans are happy that the Tea Partiers, rightly or wrongly, tend to be considered nuttier than extremists from either of the two traditional parties.

Let's drop it

After 60 years of living with my extended family ... and 40 years arguing with my ex-friends from Annapolis ... I have tales of prejudice and ignorance that cover every dimension of bigotry you can imagine. Race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, you name it. Choosing one example to showcase so you can evaluate the veracity of my position is to put all of Zeno's paradoxes to the test ... with no practical end to be found.

Thanks for the thoughtful discussion.

James

PS I try to use inflammatory language purposefully, and not very often, despite my recent spate of upset. Some like you might argue that the proper response to extremism (e.g., "insisting" that the government embrace demands from a fringe minority group) is to listen and try to understand. Others say that extremism should be met with equal and opposite extremism, which fits my view more closely. In either case, attempts at ridicule can sometimes be effective for galvanizing opposition action or, at the very least, venting frustration.

I've often said that one of my missions in life is to make other people seem reasonable by comparison. If that's all I accomplish here, I'll be satisfied. The center has slid too far to the right, in my view. I'm happy to hold down the radical left extreme if it gives breathing room and encouragement to center-left policy makers. If it doesn't accomplish that goal, well, I'll go to my grave wondering what might have worked better. Because after a lifetime of listening to crazy people trying to explain their craziness, I can't say it's made much difference at all.

Greedy and Ill-informed

Can you provide evidence to suggest that they are categorically greedy opportunists who have a less-developed grasp of history than you do, James?

Two words: Sarah Palin.

Syd

I second this!

If ever there was a poster child for all the things wrong in this nation, SFB's Palin is it.

Stan Bozarth

Consider it Dropped

With 60 years of experience, James, I'm sure you do have many perfectly valid stories of bigotry. I'll respectfully drop the issue with you. It seems our goals are the same (reasonableness), even if our methods differ. I think fighting fire with fire works, in the short term, but eventually, I fear all we'll see is one great inferno.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

What are they protesting?

The SCOTUS just ruled in their favor in the most significant guns rights case in history.

They have concealed carry.

They can now bring their guns into the national parks, thanks to a bill signed into law by Obama.

No one in Congress or in this state appear to be making ANY serious effort to restrict their gun rights.

Looks to me like rank paranoia.

Selective Perception

Everyone sees what they want to see. No more. No less.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

The Proof Is in the Posting

I want to see rational people, so I look for rational explanations for their behavior. So far, I haven't usually had a very hard time finding those explanations when I look. When I can't find those explanations, that's when I assume people are behaving irrationally.

You want to see irrational people on the other side because they're easier to deal with. All you have to do is call them crazy, ignorant, or racist, and that effectively shuts down any further productive discourse. The other side is forced to either spend their time denying your allegations, which is impossible because you've already decided you want to see crazy people, or just ignore you. No need for real thought or counterargument on your part. I can see how that makes debate easier for you.

The proof of this behavior is in this post. My response, that I want to see rational people, wasn't very difficult to predict on your part. It's the obvious and reasonable answer to your accusation that I'm so hypocritical that I think I'm beyond seeing what I want to see. And had you taken a few minutes to ponder what my rational position on the matter might be, before assuming that I was simply a hypocrite, I imagine you would have figured out the answer yourself.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

You're the second person in as many weeks

who assumes that responding to your agenda should be a priority for me.

Unless you are one of my close friends hiding behind a screen name, you have no idea what I want to see or don't want to see, nor do you have any idea what else I do with my time beyond what I write here at BlueNC. As I responded to a previous armchair psychiatrist who assumed she knew more about my motivations than I do, I took as much time as I deemed worthwhile thinking through your "rational" position ... and then I moved on.

If you believe trying to understand and reason with right wing extremists is a productive path forward, go for it. Let me know how that works out.

Agenda?

I think what Black Sheep was assuming, incorrectly, as it turns out, was that you would eventually be rational instead of emotional in your response. I'm mystified by what Black Sheep's "agenda" is supposed to be. It seems to me that s/he was trying to engage in meaningful discussion.

What I made the mistake of assuming a while back was that the issue of whether the machinery of state government is being abused to benefit the party in power was of interest to anyone who calls him or herself progressive. Your stance, if I understood it correctly, was that all you cared about was saying that a conflict of interest must be assumed under certain circumstances and that no evidence beyond the assumption itself was necessary.

I do believe that had the issue revolved around a Republican governor and a Republican appointee possibly interfering with an investigation into possible wrongdoing by that governor, you'd be very interested, and not so quick to dismiss the issue as my "agenda." You might, in that case, be at least as interested in what the investigator found as you were concerned about to whom the investigator was married. I strongly suspect that you'd be among those wondering whether the assumption of conflict of interest should substitute for evidence of conflict of interest.

Respond to what agenda?

My agenda here is only to challenge the validity of your original post. My agenda is to point out an invalid, categorical statement based on selective perception that all participants in the Restore the Constitution demonstration are racists, a blanket accusation for which I can find no real evidence or support in either the article you linked to, or any of the comments posted in reply.

I assume nothing about your priorities in life. You, a blogger, posted a story on the internet and provided your own commentary on it. I responded, and you responded to me. You've continued to respond. I even offered to drop it with you, above, and you then responded to the comment I posted in response to another commentator (Paul Falduto). I don't know anything about your priorities in life, but you're the one who chooses to respond to my comments.

And I assume nothing about your motivations. You told me:

I try to use inflammatory language purposefully, and not very often, despite my recent spate of upset. Some like you might argue that the proper response to extremism (e.g., "insisting" that the government embrace demands from a fringe minority group) is to listen and try to understand. Others say that extremism should be met with equal and opposite extremism, which fits my view more closely. In either case, attempts at ridicule can sometimes be effective for galvanizing opposition action or, at the very least, venting frustration.

I've often said that one of my missions in life is to make other people seem reasonable by comparison. If that's all I accomplish here, I'll be satisfied. The center has slid too far to the right, in my view. I'm happy to hold down the radical left extreme if it gives breathing room and encouragement to center-left policy makers. If it doesn't accomplish that goal, well, I'll go to my grave wondering what might have worked better. Because after a lifetime of listening to crazy people trying to explain their craziness, I can't say it's made much difference at all.

You called yourself an extremist. With no real evidence provided, you accused the participants in the Restore the Constitution rally and at least the majority of Tea Party supporters of racism. It seems no great logical leap to deduce that you are not interested in any real political dialogue, but are instead happy to make wild and baseless accusations against entire groups of people on the other end of the political spectrum.

Apparently, you do this in the name of restoring some political balance. I personally think such behavior causes more harm than good, but that's just my opinion. It's certainly something that I cannot prove and will not even try to, and I will do nothing but voice it. What you do with my opinion is certainly up to you.

If you care to prove me wrong by showing me any evidence that participants in the Restore the Constitution rally and the majority of Tea Party supporters across the country are racist, then I would happily consider any evidence that you can provide. But, if you have greater priorities than responding to commentators on your blog asking for evidence, then by all means, stop responding.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Open Carry

We also have Bill Randall black conervative and Dr BJ Lawson both running for Congress as speakers. Before anyone on this board starts throwing any rheteric, I ask you to attend and listen. After you do that, then come back to this thread and report what you hear. Open and carry is voluntary. We invite eveyone to come. Security and NationalPark Police will be present and working with us to assure safety and the event runs smoothly. Hope to see y'all there and come up and say hi to me and my family.

Randy's Right aka
Randy Dye