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Ruby Ridge Retrospective
March 16, 2007 11:43 PM   Subscribe

Legend of Ruby Ridge British documentary (55min) explores the aftermath of the federal siege of the Weaver family.
posted by hortense (116 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It probably also took them a while to come to grips with the idea that government agencies could so blatantly engage in entrapment, lying, cover-ups, and the killing of innocent people

The fact that it is surprising speaks to a great problem. One doesn't need a weatherman to know it's always cold somewhere else.

Good link. I shall watch the vid. (By the way, Reason.com is a wonderful site)
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:51 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is this connected to the black helicopter phenomenon of the early 90's. And didn't the Idaho rancher extremists have some sort of name?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:57 PM on March 16, 2007


Yeah, GN. I don't always agree with them, but Reason's always interesting.
posted by brundlefly at 12:07 AM on March 17, 2007


By Jon Ronson - his book on the same theme, Them: Adventures with Extremists, is a worth a read.
posted by greycap at 2:45 AM on March 17, 2007


.
posted by edverb at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2007


thank fucking god that all the "conservatives" who back in the 1990s skinned Clinton alive for his administration's authoritarianism against innocent lambs such as those Waco pacifists and Ruby Ridge Franciscan Friars have been also blasting the Bush administration 24/7 for its authoritarian excesses such as the Padilla case and the intrusions into citizen's privacy such as the PATRIOT act and the NSA wiretap thing.

24/7, really.
posted by matteo at 7:29 AM on March 17, 2007 [6 favorites]


The real tragedy concerning Ruby Ridge is that Randy Weaver didn't get shot in his Nazi head. Along with the rest of his disgusting Nazi family. Just his wife wasn't enough.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:33 AM on March 17, 2007


yes kokuryu, the idaho rancher family had a name...
"weaver"
thank you, mayor curley, for your mature, reasoned contribution.
posted by bruce at 7:35 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Curley, goverment repression and murder is bad, unless it's against people you don't like.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


thank you, mayor curley, for your mature, reasoned contribution.

Oh, christ. Fine. Here is my reasoned contribution, based on how I might have debated this topic in Lincoln-Douglas debate in high school:

Nazis are vile. When a Nazi is killed, that means there is one fewer Nazi in the world. If all the Nazis in the world were dead, it means that temporarily there would be no Nazis anywhere, and we can agree that No Nazis is good because we value racial and social harmony.

Some people would disagree and state that they value all human life, but they are stupid or posturing in attempt to bang hippie girls. What is the point of valuing the life of a Randy Weaver? He is against our value of racial harmony, so he is a better person dead because good people might be able to use his organs.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:48 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Curley, goverment repression and murder is bad, unless it's against people you don't like.

"Oh! Oh, the poor Nazis! Please save them so they can do their best to overthrow the Zionist Occupied Government, exterminate jews and put black people back into chains! Remember their rights!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:53 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying he's a swell guy, Curley. But I don't recall handing you a judge, jury and executioner badge. But if you want to continue playing armchair revolutionary, you go right ahead.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean seriously, you're advocating killing women and children in the name of harmony. Do you actually believe your own bullshit, sir?
posted by jonmc at 7:59 AM on March 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


first they came for the nazis, and because i wasn't a nazi, i didn't object...
posted by bruce at 8:03 AM on March 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


Jon Ronson has written some on the matter.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 8:06 AM on March 17, 2007


And Ronson is the Narrator here.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 8:07 AM on March 17, 2007


crap.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 8:13 AM on March 17, 2007


If only the Weavers had been incredibly heavily armed, they might have been able to defend themselves against the abuses of government.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:16 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


The thing that bothers me the most about Mayor Curly is that is seems like he's against banging hippie girls.
posted by sexymofo at 8:20 AM on March 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


first they came for the nazis

actually, they came on the nazis. I remember this hilarious story in Richardson magazine a while ago where skinhead models in Nazi costumes were happily fucking each other in the ass, the ultimate commentary on the "gay agenda", really
posted by matteo at 8:25 AM on March 17, 2007


(and frankly, it's bad enough to suffer organ failure, but having to owe one's life to a transplanted-from-Randy-Weaver organ is probably even worse)
posted by matteo at 8:27 AM on March 17, 2007


I'm not saying he's a swell guy, Curley.

You're worried about his civil rights. Do you feel bad for Eichmann, too?

But I don't recall handing you a judge, jury and executioner badge.

I know that the facts of the case can be hard to keep straight, but I have never killed anyone. I just like the world a little better when the far right is thinned out a bit. As Malcom X said, "by any means necessary."

But if you want to continue playing armchair revolutionary, you go right ahead.

Good. Because I used to actually go to demonstrations and it was a waste of time except to meet girls. Sitting at home imagining big piles of dead Nazis is more satisfying.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:29 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Curley, your views are every bit as toxic as the supremacists you despise.
posted by edverb at 8:37 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're worried about his civil rights. Do you feel bad for Eichmann, too?

No, Eichmann got a trial. And Eichmann actually helped engineer a genocide.
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Until Ruby Ridge I never knew that the regressive Christian identity movement was centrally based on resisting women's progress and forcing "their" women to sit in shacks during menstruation. Their dogma went far beyond fundamentalism about race, tax cheating, and overthrowing the government. They were mentally struggling for the true way to become little kings out in their log cabins while preaching about poaching on government land. I later figured out that most people who are motivated to do this with families have disturbing habits with children and seek isolation for strategic reasons.
posted by Brian B. at 8:56 AM on March 17, 2007


I was thinking of the Montana Freemen (Wikipedia link). Hardly American heroes.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:00 AM on March 17, 2007


Isn't Ruby Ridge one of those things that conspiracy whackjobs like to bring up when talking about how Teh Evil Government has already started a police state, or somesuch?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:02 AM on March 17, 2007


Just his wife wasn't enough.
posted by Mayor Curley


They got his daughter, too. His wife was holding her at the time. Two nazis with one bullet.

Do you feel better now?
posted by Balisong at 9:07 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.- Noam Chomsky

Guess some folks around here don't believe in freedom of expression at all.

From the article:
"All these federal agencies–IRS, DEA, BATF, FBI, FDA–have too many agents trained in paramilitary tatics. They get itchy to see if the training really works, so every so often they have to target some poor sap."

This is a pretty astute summation of the core problem. When every two-bit burg in the country has black-clad ninja cops itching to try out their high tech gear, the real wonder is that the alphabet soup corps don't screw the pooch more often.

Oh wait... they do.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 9:20 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


It seems to have been deleted, which is a shame. It's worth seeking out. The Secret Rulers of the World, the series from which this comes (along with Tottenham Ayatollah and a piece he did for the Guardian about Ian Paisley) forms the basis of Them, but it's valuable to see the interview with Rachel Weaver as well as reading about it, as there are some differences between the two (for one thing, in the book you don't really get a sense that he has a camera crew with him at all times).

His interest generally is with people who have been marginalised or who have chosen lives that will marginalise them, and who are further demonised. Ronson is Jewish, so it's interesting to see that often the groups he chooses to investigate are openly anti-semetic, apparantly so or have been identified as such by their critics (it's very funny watching him try to convince a member of the Anti-Defamation League that when David Icke says he believes the world is run by giant lizards, he means lizards. It's not a codeword for Jew). The coalition who believe that Icke is anti-semitic (as opposed to simply quite mad), convincingly manage to demonstrate that it's possible to suppress people you dislike as long as you can associate them with "unacceptable" viewpoints.

He manages to show (or at least make the space for us to consider for a moment) that people who we'd quite happily dismiss as flakes, freaks and "dangerous extremists" are actually, when it comes down to it, essentially just people who are probably only as fucked up as we are, but in an unusual way. There's hope in that.

At his best he suggests that the world as we understand it is wholly different to the world as we think it is (which is also why I like Adam Curtis so much).

I would encourage looking for the series as well as the follow-up The Crazy Rulers of the World (the basis for The Men Who Stare at Goats).

I don't like his column in the Saturday Guardian anywhere near as much, but that's OK.

The only person who comes out of his work really badly is the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley, quite possibly because he's simply a collossal cunt.
posted by Grangousier at 9:21 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


They got his daughter, too. His wife was holding her at the time. Two nazis with one bullet.

No, the daughter was unharmed even though she was being held by the wife. Federal agents did manage to kill his son the previous day, though. So that's one less there.

Curley, your views are every bit as toxic as the supremacists you despise.

No, yours are. Weak-left hippy bullshit. Tolerate fascists and then when they seize power, get together with your Amnesty International group to write strongly worded letters! That's bullshit. We're better off when all the right-wingers are fertilizer whether that sits well with your Food Not Bombs buddies or not. The left is always going to fail as long as it's giving out hugs instead of beatings. When a nazi dies, you should be saying "good, that's one less fascist!" instead of "oh, the poor, poor nazi."
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:29 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


They got his daughter, too. His wife was holding her at the time. Two nazis with one bullet.

Do you feel better now?


I have never heard this one.

Sam, according to Harris, then yelled "You shot Striker, you son of a bitch!", and fired twice at Marshal Roderick, the leader of the Special Operations Group. One or more Marshals returned fire, shooting Sam in the arm and then in the back, killing him, as he ran back up the hill. Harris then shot and killed Marshal William Degan, and retreated up the hill himself where he found Sam.

The next day, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot and wounded Weaver in the right arm, while he had been lifting the latch on the shed to visit the dead body of Sam Weaver with others. Then as Randy, Sara and Harris ran back to the house, Horiuchi fired again, hitting Vicki Weaver in the head while she was inside the house holding the door open. The bullet which killed Vicki, continued on to hit Harris in the left arm/chest. Vicki Weaver was holding her 10 month old baby Elishiba in her arms when she was killed. The next day, an armored personnel carrier came to the cabin and announced the presence of law enforcement. According to the Weavers, this was the first formal announcement of the presence of law enforcement.


Regardless, I'll never get over how the Ruby Ridge ranters want to organize hate militias and target civil rights leaders, but are really whiners underneath it all and are more prepared to propagandize their gang losses as victims. They can sure dish it out though.
posted by Brian B. at 9:32 AM on March 17, 2007


thank fucking god that all the "conservatives" who back in the 1990s skinned Clinton alive for his administration's authoritarianism against innocent lambs such as those Waco pacifists and Ruby Ridge Franciscan Friars

Even better.

Randy Weaver's death occurred in August, 1992.

Bill Clinton was elected president in November, 1992.

So, who was trampling the rights of average Americans at Ruby Ridge?

George. Fucking. Bush.

Of course. How does this make sense. The one rule of the neoconservative movement is "Win." It is correct to protect the rights of Americans, so long as you win. It is correct to suppress the rights of Americans, so long as you win.
posted by eriko at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2007


When a nazi dies, you should be saying "good, that's one less fascist!" instead of "oh, the poor, poor nazi."

Some of us can actually hold two thoughts in our heads. We can despise this man's vile politics and the equally vile police tactics that killed his wife.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:50 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, am I gonna get it for that "equally." Better make it "also vile" — closer to what I meant, but dammit it doesn't sound as good.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:51 AM on March 17, 2007


Randy Weaver's death occurred in August, 1992.

It did? Someone should tell him that, seeing as how he's still alive and all.
posted by biscotti at 9:59 AM on March 17, 2007


No, yours are. Weak-left hippy bullshit.

Don't presume to know a thing about me. You do not.

Tolerate fascists and then when they seize power, get together with your Amnesty International group to write strongly worded letters! That's bullshit. We're better off when all the right-wingers are fertilizer whether that sits well with your Food Not Bombs buddies or not. The left is always going to fail as long as it's giving out hugs instead of beatings. When a nazi dies, you should be saying "good, that's one less fascist!" instead of "oh, the poor, poor nazi."

In this thread, you've advocated wholesale slaughter without the benefit of due process, the killing of women and children, street beatings and the like.

You sound like a garden variety extremist.

Substitute radical Islam/Militia/rightwing movement and their respective enemies, and you sound just like them, full of eliminationist hatred and violent rhetoric.

Oh, and as for "we're better off when..."? There's no "we" here, certainly not between you and I. That is another thing you may not presume...don't presume you speak for anyone but yourself. People who use extremist, eliminationist rhetoric are not my kind, whether they call themselves leftists, patriots, militiamen, Nazis or Ann Coulter.

And if you truly believe these things you're saying? Don't say you "desire social harmony" because you don't. What you want is ideological cleansing.
posted by edverb at 10:03 AM on March 17, 2007 [12 favorites]


No, yours are. Weak-left hippy bullshit. Tolerate fascists and then when they seize power, get together with your Amnesty International group to write strongly worded letters! That's bullshit.

But not you. You're hardcore when it comes to running your mouth, Keyboard Kommissar.
posted by jonmc at 10:06 AM on March 17, 2007


Don't say you "desire social harmony"

I gues he means 'harmony' as in everybody singing his tune.
posted by jonmc at 10:07 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I gues he means 'harmony' as in everybody singing his tune.

Bingo.
posted by edverb at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2007


biscotti is correct. Randy Weaver was not killed at Ruby Ridge, however it shouldn't diminish eriko's greater point:

Randy Weaver's death the Ruby Ridge incident occurred in August, 1992.

Bill Clinton was elected president in November, 1992.

So, who was trampling the rights of average Americans at Ruby Ridge?

George. Fucking. Bush.


Events like Ruby Ridge are often pointed to in an attempt to show the failings of the Clinton administration, despite the fact that he was not the President at the time.
posted by quin at 10:16 AM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus, you guys, quit arguing with Mayor Curley. He'll kill your punk asses. He's hardcore.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:23 AM on March 17, 2007


After watching the video, I think that the views expressed by Mr. Weaver are less extreme than the views expressed by the President. I felt very sorry for Rachel as she sat and listened to the wingnut songwriter.
posted by hortense at 10:31 AM on March 17, 2007


MC: What is the point of valuing the life of a Randy Weaver?

Well, what's the point of valuing yours? It's clear that you disagree with me on the fundamentals. Why shouldn't I have the power to off you?

Alles klar?
posted by kid ichorous at 10:32 AM on March 17, 2007


I gues he means 'harmony' as in everybody singing his tune.

Well no shit. If I ran things we'd all be a lot better off. Especially me.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2007


President Curley.
posted by matteo at 11:16 AM on March 17, 2007


Well, since I deviate several iotas from your ideological standards, I'd probably wind up in the gallows, so I'll pass.
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on March 17, 2007


If you're not careful, jonmc, you're gonna find yourself airbrushed out of meetup photos.

"jonmc? Who's that?"
posted by brundlefly at 11:33 AM on March 17, 2007



"Well no shit. If I ran things we'd all be a lot better off. Especially me."

Isn't this written on the resume of every would-be dictator throughout history?
posted by stenseng at 11:38 AM on March 17, 2007


It's disturbing that in the 21st century people are still indifferent to the wholesale slaughter of political opponents on one hand, and speak as if they are advocates of a greater society on the other. I believe the 20th century showed the inherent problems with that. Once the outside enemies are taken care of then the inside ones are next and there is a precedent for it.

I sort of like the fact that many racial separatists built there own communities up in the Northwest. Those that disagree aren't put into too many situations with them, and they get to live out their community values in peace. For all there rhetoric they are not a violent bunch.

An amazing thing about America, for all the faults of the Founding Fathers, I doubt there are many citizens who could craft anything close to the constitution these days. "Freedom to all*"

*excluding those that are currently unpopular or hold views that are pernicious to our view of the nature of society.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:49 AM on March 17, 2007


Oh Curley, c'mon. I don't like it when the Government murders the wives and children of people I do like, agree with and approve of, and because I stand on principle I must extend that disapprobation to Government murders of the wives and children of those I dislike, disagree with and disapprove of. Such standing on principle is good because you get to stand FOR something besides being Just Another Selfish Bastard, and that's good because it's easier to accomplish something big when you have help from other people, and it's easier to get other people to help you achieve something you both agree is for the common good (or at least the good of both parties) than it is to get people to do what YOU want solely because it's good for YOU (whether it benefits them at all or not). This is so elementary that I'm having a hard time accepting the need to spell it out to YOU.

Two, the principle is "Murder is bad regardless of who gets murdered." If you and I agree to accept this then if your Loved Ones get murdered you won't see me dancing on their graves just because you pissed me off once or twice on Metafilter; if you fail to join me in this shared principle then I still get to be a Good Person by refraining from dancing on your Loved Ones' graves because doing so is a Bad Thing even when I do it. Again, this is something I'd've liked to take for granted that you knew already.

And no, my stand has nothing to do with some hypothetical Value of All Human Life, nor with any judgment on whether anybody who voluntarily hung out with Randy Weaver deserved to live or not. It's simply that I've decided that I don't like it when the FBI murders anybody.

Do you want to live in a world where it's perfectly okay for somebody to bump off your Loved Ones just because they disagree with your politics? If so I hope you tell people this up front before they get all attached to you.

Maybe it would help if I pointed you to a few Wikipedia articles? Or maybe there's a Professional Philosopher around here somewhere who can explain these points better than I have?

(On preview, I'm pleased to see that even Gnostic Novelist sorta gets it.)
posted by davy at 11:52 AM on March 17, 2007


I don't know, davy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:28 PM on March 17, 2007


Note that this does NOT mean I'm obliged to side with somebody just because the FBI is against them.
posted by davy at 12:36 PM on March 17, 2007


The Mafia will be brokenhearted, davy,
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on March 17, 2007


Do you want to live in a world where it's perfectly okay for somebody to bump off your Loved Ones just because they disagree with your politics?

Like the Taliban-like Christian Identity movement?

I want to live in a world where armed terrorists on native soil, who run training camps in order to establish a fundamentalist theocracy, are aggressively confronted and arrested by the BATF, one after another, or die resisting in bloody shootouts. Duh!
posted by Brian B. at 12:43 PM on March 17, 2007


Yes Brian B., I want to live in a world where Big brother does not gun YOU down for being a bloody idiot. Duh!
posted by davy at 12:45 PM on March 17, 2007


So Brian B., since it's all so monochrome and binary, do you prefer Hitler or Stalin? Bloods or Crips?

Or maybe you'd rather see it as intelligent, moral, worthwhile human beings like Gnostic Novelist and me against unprincipled cowardly scum like Osama bin Laden and you? (I'd rather not, but if you insist...)
posted by davy at 1:05 PM on March 17, 2007


davy, the long odds of me being gunned are that it will be by a common petty criminal, which to me is synonymous with a poor and uneducated libertarian.
posted by Brian B. at 1:11 PM on March 17, 2007


Or maybe you'd rather see it as intelligent, moral, worthwhile human beings like Gnostic Novelist and me against unprincipled cowardly scum like Osama bin Laden and you? (I'd rather not, but if you insist...)

Before you call yourself too intelligent, try examining the above sentence for internal contradictions. By the way, davy, I don't see you as principled or moral either. I see libertarians as just a bunch of tweaked out pedophile supporters and I don't understand their anti-ethics at all.
posted by Brian B. at 1:17 PM on March 17, 2007


There you go again, labelling somebody a "Libertarian", i.e. Other, instead of bothering to listen to me. So how is your brand of dehumanization any better than Randy Weaver's or that of some "common petty criminal"?

For the record, my position is political insofar as all moral issues have political implications and vice versa. That is, I think of Free Speech as a human right rather than a civil one.

And by the way, if you want somebody hunted down and killed, why not a be something besides an unprincipled coward and do the hunting down and killing yourself instead of subverting the U.S. Government to your private agenda?
posted by davy at 1:29 PM on March 17, 2007


Brian B, you turn into the Timecube Guy every time the word "Libertarian" is uttered. Is that your superpower?
posted by kid ichorous at 1:39 PM on March 17, 2007


Gah, the simultaneous 4-Day linky.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:41 PM on March 17, 2007


...instead of bothering to listen to me.


That sense of entitlement is what amuses me most, the true believer syndrome.

And by the way, if you want somebody hunted down and killed, why not a be something besides an unprincipled coward and do the hunting down and killing yourself instead of subverting the U.S. Government to your private agenda?


Isn't that the same thing? Oh well. Slumlords beware!
posted by Brian B. at 1:44 PM on March 17, 2007


kid ichorous, you remind of the clown bartender at a trekkie wedding. So?
posted by Brian B. at 1:47 PM on March 17, 2007



Before you call yourself too intelligent, try examining the above sentence for internal contradictions. By the way, davy, I don't see you as principled or moral either. I see libertarians as just a bunch of tweaked out pedophile supporters and I don't understand their anti-ethics at all.


Can you actually name a few? If you are going to bash a philosophy with millions of supporters, it would help to point to some sort of common theme within it.

I know I shouldn't bother, but it is pretty easy to toss around labels instead of actually discussing an issue. At least be original with ad hominem attacks (nazi/pedophile/drug addict/mentally ill) is pretty common, not to mention it shows what one thinks of the 2 latter ones, both in need of compassion moreso than becoming partisan totems.

We can make a short cut.

Everyone who disagrees with me beyond a superficial level = (insert negative), (insert negative), (insert negative), (insert qualification about how some people who disagree with me are understandable in order to make target X appear weaker), (insert accusation that sky will fall), (insert belief that might makes right and target X lacks might) and so forth. I just don't see the point.

It's a profoundly moral issue, as executions/killings always are. I don't accept that any belief should get a person killed. Some people just want to be left alone, he was one of them. It isn't as if he was in Manhattan.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:48 PM on March 17, 2007


To add to the above, I mean the separatists in general. A violent man is a violent man no matter what their beliefs/ends are.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:51 PM on March 17, 2007


Can you actually name a few?

Yes, I can. I respect their privacy however.
posted by Brian B. at 1:52 PM on March 17, 2007


kid ichorous, you remind of the clown bartender at a trekkie wedding.

Wait, you're that Brian B?! Middle-aged chap with the vodka-stained Spock costume?

Yeah... you need to pay your tab.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:03 PM on March 17, 2007


If you are going to bash a philosophy with millions of supporters, it would help to point to some sort of common theme within it.

Waterfall!
posted by Brian B. at 2:24 PM on March 17, 2007


Waterfall!

Not sure what that is supposed to show, other that the criticism that I put forth in the other thread about American voters and the herd mentality. I'm not a libertarian so I can't (and wouldn't want to) speak of "correct libertarians." It's nothing new. Socialists/Greens will go for the Dems in most elections and Libertarians/Conservatives will go the Republicans. And the Democrats/Republicans will ignore them both.

To bring the topic back to Ruby Ridge, I don't see what is purely libertarian. With the exception of Anarcho-Capitalism, law enforcement /defense is a legitimate function of the legitimate government and that isn't the issue, something my fellow conservatives would also most likely agree with. The issue is how law enforcement is being or was used. It is easy to create a criminal, simply pass a law. This doesn't mean the my 25 year old neighbor who likes to smoke pot is a threat like a rapist is. Same goes for radical racists.

The world is not black and white (something many ideologues across the political spectrum should realize). Every ideology, every political position, has its weaknesses, its extremists, its converts, and its strengths. It's all a battle of ideas.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:49 PM on March 17, 2007


If you are going to bash a philosophy with millions of supporters, it would help to point to some sort of common theme within it.

On second thought...

Not sure what that is supposed to show, other that the criticism that I put forth in the other thread about American voters and the herd mentality.
posted by Brian B. at 2:53 PM on March 17, 2007


Maybe it would help if I pointed you to a few Wikipedia articles? Or maybe there's a Professional Philosopher around here somewhere who can explain these points better than I have?

The issue in question is refered to as the paradox of tolerance by Karl Popper in his book The Open Society and Its Enemies:
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movmeent preaching intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
posted by euphorb at 2:57 PM on March 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


On second thought...

You have me confused. You simply linked to the thread, and based on your comments I take it you somehow think the voting habits of people in recent who label themselves libertarian somehow evinces a common theme within the philosophy?

A common theme (in extremely general terms):

Marxism:
Evaluations of capitalism, oppositions to capitalism as a permanent system, seeing society through an economic lens

American Liberalism:
Economic regulations, usually less regulation of social interactions

American Conservatism:
More prone to involve faith in politics, faith based funding, smaller government.

Libertarianism:
Privatization of most industries, opposition to income taxation, Indivdiualism.

Racial Nationalism
Kin and kilt, a belief in the family, racial solidarity

And so forth. Now those are some common themes, but within each ideology there are huge differences as they are big tents and such. It wouldn't be apropos to use Stalin as an example of communism, or those who want mandatory homosexuality as indicative of liberalism. And so forth.

I still don't see how criticism of Ruby Ridge = libertarianism.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 3:05 PM on March 17, 2007


We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movmeent preaching intolerance and persecution as criminal,

Party A: Proclaims tolerance
Party B: Proclaims intolerance
Party A: Imprisons Party B for his intolerant views
Party C: Imprisons Party A for his intolerance of Party B
Party D: Imprisons Party C
???
Party P: Profit!!!!
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 3:09 PM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


"innocent lambs such as those Waco pacifists"

Nice matteo. You get stupider every thread.

At least 12 children under the age of 5 were killed at Waco. Burned alive. By our government and your beloved Clinton. I would say that they deserve the title "innocent lambs".
posted by vronsky at 3:45 PM on March 17, 2007


Kin and kilt
I think that's the Scottish nationalist Party
posted by Abiezer at 3:52 PM on March 17, 2007


But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may [...] answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.

So, we're willing to draw pistols first, on the supposition that the other side may not argue rationally? Doesn't this sound just a little wrongheaded, preemptive, and fatalistic?

There is a narrow and well-defined class of speech that directly incites an act of violence. It's called "fighting words," and there's an enormous amount of legal precedence behind it. Broadly denouncing any speech that you deem "intolerant" is an unsuitable measure.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:55 PM on March 17, 2007


Ruby Ridge was an interesting moment for me, politically. Yes he was a white supremacist, a "vile" person, etc., but how the hell does that justify the Fed basically murdering him and some of his family? It doesn't. Combined with Waco, it's clear that the FBI and its proxies in the ATF felt like it could do anything during the 1990's.

What's even more insane, as matteo points out, is that the loudest cries against this stuff came from Republicans. Until a Republican took the White House. Now, to question authoritarianism is to ask "Why do you hate America?" according to these same people. It's strange to say the least.

Then again, "nation building" was another huge Republican bugaboo when Clinton supposedly tried to do it. Now, it's called "advancing democracy."

(Mayor Curley's going to get a time out, right? Or a qualude?)
posted by bardic at 5:06 PM on March 17, 2007


vronsky : At least 12 children under the age of 5 were killed at Waco. Burned alive. By our government and your beloved Clinton. I would say that they deserve the title "innocent lambs".

I don't know if this is supposed to be sarcastic, but we already covered this:

The Ruby Ridge incident occurred in August, 1992.

Bill Clinton was elected president in November, 1992.


Clinton had nothing to do with Ruby Ridge. Bush senior was still in office.
posted by quin at 5:07 PM on March 17, 2007


Clinton had nothing to do with Ruby Ridge. Bush senior was still in office.

Tell that to a Republican.

More to the point, it was a watershed moment for libertarians on both the left and the right. Throughout Clinton's administration, Ruby Ridge was touted, along with Waco, as a symbol of a Democratic administration turning our government into big brother (remember all that talk about Black Helicopters and the UN as a front for a future "One World Government"?).

But the facts are important. Maybe not as important as they should be. Bill Clinton is blamed by many for 9/11.
posted by bardic at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2007


What's even more insane, as matteo points out, is that the loudest cries against this stuff came from Republicans. Until a Republican took the White House. Now, to question authoritarianism is to ask "Why do you hate America?" according to these same people. It's strange to say the least.

We are in a post 9/11 world now. Don't get me wrong, I think it is BS, but back then Republicans were talking from a minority position, and 9/11.WOT offers a lot of political capital (sadly). Power often corrupts. This has been a problem for a long time, yet those who talk about reducing government size to limit the influence of corruption are seen as cranks.

If Democrats get the White House in 2008 and can increase seats in Congress, get used to Republicans being the party of "Civil Rights" again. It's going to take so many years to get rid of this mess, and it won't take much to make it look like Democrats are the ones that are responsible for it.

It's a sick cycle.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:21 PM on March 17, 2007


Agreed. The only person who gained from 9/11 was George Bush.
posted by bardic at 5:24 PM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I cannot favorite this comment enough times.

If at any point we start to persecute people for crimes of thought and speech, even if they are advocates of genocide, we have become repressive and intolerant ourselves.

This means that we have to allow people like that Nazi guy (and Mayor Curley) to say whatever the hell they want. Unless you want thoughtcrime laws, we can't touch them until they actually start killing each other.
posted by tehloki at 5:29 PM on March 17, 2007


Uh, thanks quin. But if you don't know the difference between waco and ruby ridge, then I guess it is no wonder you can't see matteo for the stupid partisan pedant that he is. 79 people dead. 25 children. 12 children under the age of 5.
posted by vronsky at 5:36 PM on March 17, 2007


Ah crap. Mea Culpa vronsky, I do most definitely know the difference, but I totally misread your statement. (I could have sworn I saw 'Ruby Ridge' and not 'Waco'.)

You are correct, and I am wrong. Sorry about that.
posted by quin at 6:03 PM on March 17, 2007


cool quin.
posted by vronsky at 6:08 PM on March 17, 2007


We don't know who set the fire at Waco. We do know that Koresh was a child molester however, and maybe wanted the children dead so that people other than libertarians would positively regard his legacy.

If at any point we start to persecute people for crimes of thought and speech, even if they are advocates of genocide, we have become repressive and intolerant ourselves.

Which is an example of the double bind, whether or not it actually causes schizophrenia.
posted by Brian B. at 7:03 PM on March 17, 2007


"We do know that Koresh was a child molester"

No we don't know that. We only heard that allegation from the FBI. There was never any real evidence such as would come out in a court trial or any "proof" such as a verdict decided by a jury in a court trial, because rather than wait him out another few days they attacked with military equipment and killed everybody inside.

Another problem with you, Brian ., besides not listening to me OR ANYONE ELSE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU, is that you stop thinking once some authority figure calls someone a "child molester" (if indeed you ever bother to think at all) and grab your metaphorical torch and pitchfork. So riddle me this: were the 25 children who died at Waco also worthy of being burned to death? Maybe they were child molesters too, eh? Can a child under the age of 5, like the 12 who the FBI killed at Waco, even be a child molester?

So however reprehensible Randy Weaver's views are to me, neither he, his wife nor his baby ever did anything to me, and the same for David Koresh and those people who died along with him. You and your kind, on the other hand, whose views I find even more odious than Weaver's and Koresh's, DO harm me every election with your massed stupidity and crowd-reinforced cowardice. But even so, I still don't favor using the FBI to hunt down and kill you or anyone you might hold dear.

And by the way, you know who was NOT a child molester? Hitler! Are you proud to be in such wonderful company?
posted by davy at 8:31 PM on March 17, 2007


I said: "And by the way, you know who was NOT a child molester? Hitler! Are you proud to be in such wonderful company?

Yes euphorb, I know that's a "fallacy."
posted by davy at 8:37 PM on March 17, 2007


i just want to thank euphorb, above, for his quote from karl popper, which just gave me the license to kill anybody i want in the name of tolerance.
posted by bruce at 9:15 PM on March 17, 2007


davy, the more you try to center this on you, the less interested anyone should be. Koresh raped a young girl, according to the victim, not the FBI. The other children were offered by their parents, according to their sworn testimony, because Koresh ordered them to as their religious leader. Every libertarian publication that I'm aware of came to his defense, as usual, because that's really who they are.
posted by Brian B. at 9:35 PM on March 17, 2007


davy wrote: And by the way, you know who was NOT a child molester? Hitler! Are you proud to be in such wonderful company?

So you admit you are?
posted by Brian B. at 9:40 PM on March 17, 2007


The stupid arguements are deep in this thread.

The Stupid Arguement Gnome must have passed this way.
posted by Balisong at 9:50 PM on March 17, 2007


Okay, I'm convinced. My fellow Americans, let's set up death camps Detention Centers for everybody accused of being a Nazi and/or pedophile. And let's define "Nazi" to mean "anybody who thinks white gentiles are somehow superior" and "pedophile" as "anybody capable of having sex with someone under the legal age of consent".
posted by davy at 10:04 PM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow Davy, gunning for the 08 elections much?
posted by kid ichorous at 10:09 PM on March 17, 2007


Looks like davy forgot to answer the question.
posted by Brian B. at 10:12 PM on March 17, 2007


No, Brian B., I do not admit I'm a pedophile. (Actually, truth be told, I'd demand proof of age of anybody who looked under 25 simply because that'd be a relatively simple way for my enemies to set me up, whether or not I could ever get it up for somebody who was only 17.) Now, please prove to us you're not a pedophile -- and I mean definitive scientific proof not just "sworn testimony."

And kid ichorous, do you think that platform would get me elected? (Maybe if got elected President on that promise and then did all I could for universal health care instead...heh heh heh...)
posted by davy at 10:39 PM on March 17, 2007


And kid ichorous, do you think that platform would get me elected? (Maybe if got elected President on that promise and then did all I could for universal health care instead...heh heh heh...)

So you'd be like a GWB run in reverse? Promise more executions, give us more healthcare? :)
posted by kid ichorous at 10:52 PM on March 17, 2007


I need more enemies who try to 'set me up'. Seriously, my enemies always try to shoot me, or stab me, or go to their manager over me. It's a real drag. I need a Machiavellian antagonist who is willing to play the Othello to my Iago.

I mean, what's a guy got to do to get an honest enemy in this day and age? Really, do I need to take out a classified ad or what?

[no idea who's side I'm taking here, I just liked the idea of calling out my perfect enemy.]
posted by quin at 10:55 PM on March 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, this has certainly gotten weird.

That said, how in the hell can anyone think that what the FBI/ATF did at Waco was justified? Yes, Koresh was a crazy dude. No, that doesn't mean the FBI passive-voicedly "had to" slaughter everyone in that compound. That's the attitude that has gotten America into the state it's in today -- the government "had to" imprison Padilla without a trial, in clear violation of half the Bill of Rights, even if by some accounts he has now, literally, lost his mind in solitary confinement.
posted by bardic at 11:02 PM on March 17, 2007


Brian, I don't think anyone here is out to write a hagiography of Koresh. The real point of contention is that he could have been nabbed without such loss of innocent life and trampling of civil liberties. You know, just like we can fight terrorism without unwarranted wiretaps and torture renditions?

And if I can't appeal to your sense of propriety, at least recognize the futility of combating cults, terrorism - hell, anything - this way. Brutal methods only churn sons-of-bitches into martyrs.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:12 PM on March 17, 2007


"...throughout Clinton's administration, Ruby Ridge was touted, along with Waco, as a symbol of a Democratic administration turning our government into big brother..."

Yeah, lotta crickets when you talk about civil liberties today around GOPers. What's odd is how many people actually seem to believe it's the kind of person that matters - or rather - the party affiliation of a person and/or their labels that matter instead of any kind of principle. (As amply proven by some assholes in this thread)

And even given that - ok, Republicans are the kindest, sweetest most noble leaders in history - are they going to be in power forever?
Unbelievable how short sighted and 'my team' oriented some folks are.

But many folks are fat, dumb, and happy so they can get away with shooting their mouths off about how wonderful Bushco is (and, I'd argue, how wonderful Clinton was) without truly examining the foundations of their allegiances (or opposition).
What happens when it's your door, and it's your kid and it's your ideas that are questioned?
But no one ever thinks it can be them.
'Cos, y'know, THEIR ideas are the right ones after all. And the government wouldn't use force on them. They stand for all the 'good' stuff. Surely over-exuberant men with guns can see that, right?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:15 PM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


That said, how in the hell can anyone think that what the FBI/ATF did at Waco was justified?

I haven't seen one shred of evidence that they did anything wrong yet besides go after a stash of guns that has a massive political lobby machine behind it. You may as well justify the Oklahoma City bombing while you are at it, because Timothy McVeigh listened to the same AM talk tripe that brainwashed you.

And if I can't appeal to your sense of propriety, at least recognize the futility of combating cults, terrorism - hell, anything - this way. Brutal methods only churn sons-of-bitches into martyrs.


There are about three here who think Koresh is a martyr, so you can appeal to their sense of propriety when you take a break from idolizing Koresh.
posted by Brian B. at 1:01 AM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


You may as well justify the Oklahoma City bombing while you are at it, because Timothy McVeigh listened to the same AM talk tripe that brainwashed you.

Listened to the same radio shows? Good enough for me.
posted by brundlefly at 1:17 AM on March 18, 2007


Wow. Nice to see that when davy's unstoppable crazy meets Brian B.'s immovable crazy, we all win.

Where, Brian B., did I ever idolize Koresh? I said he was insane. But the ATF/FBI freaked out and got a lot of innocent children killed.

And funny how you haven't seen "one shred of evidence." That's one of the side effects of burning a building down to the fucking ground.

Anyways, I applaud you for not taking the time to read what anyone actually quoted in this thread. /salute
posted by bardic at 1:20 AM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


*quoted = wrote
posted by bardic at 1:21 AM on March 18, 2007


I haven't seen one shred of evidence that they did anything wrong yet besides go after a stash of guns that has a massive political lobby machine behind it.

I think that the fact that a jury acquitted all the Waco survivors is evidence enough for me that things were done "wrong". I feel similarly about Ruby Ridge, especially considering the multi-million dollar settlement the government paid out to the survivors.

The goal of effective regional law enforcement is to move crime away from your area or obtain convictions. The goal of effective national law enforcement is convictions. The death of suspects may be a byproduct of such efforts, but certainly shouldn't be approached as the goal.

I have talked to a couple of police officers about Ruby Ridge, and Waco, and they felt that the FBI and ATF screwed up.

The reason Libertarians embrace Waco and Ruby Ridge, is that they feel that first, second and fourth amendmendment rights are the core issues here, not the personalities involved (disgusting as they are).

That said, clearly Randy Weaver bears some responsibility for his actions in the seige, and David Koresh responsibility for his actions as well.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:17 AM on March 18, 2007


I have talked to a couple of police officers about Ruby Ridge, and Waco, and they felt that the FBI and ATF screwed up.

I can second that. Anecdotal, of course, but cops are kind of hard to figure politically -- they tend to be more libertarian than outright Republican, although they vote that way because the interestes usually coincide.

Usually. Again, it would be nice for people to wake up and realize that Bush II's presidency has been all about empowering the Fed, via the Executive branch, as much and as often as possible. Anyone who still thinks the Republican party is the true home of "conservatism" is highly deluded.
posted by bardic at 2:25 AM on March 18, 2007


Anybody who thinks I idolize Koresh as a martyr is a self-deluded moron. What I'm saying is simply that the FBI should not kill people for being Christian fanatics -- nor should anybody kill Brian B. for being a self-deluded moron. This does not mean that I like, support or agree with Koresh and/or Brian B. That is, I fully support Brian B.'s human right to continue expressing his moronic self-delusions, even if Brian B. will not extend the same tolerance to me and my views. If Brian B. refuses to tolerate my toleration of him that's his own damn problem. (Is that clear enough, Brian B.?)

And bardic said "cops are kind of hard to figure politically -- they tend to be more libertarian than outright Republican." I don't get it: how can somebody be noticeably libertarian and still be a cop? How are y'all defining "libertarian"?
posted by davy at 7:56 AM on March 18, 2007


Anyways, I applaud you for not taking the time to read what anyone actually quoted in this thread. /salute

I read the part where those who don't molest children were Godwinized. Of course, he admitted to nothing. I didn't read your take on that one, but you called me immovably crazy for opposing a crazy person who sides with you. You should learn to distance yourself from creepy rude trash if you want to be taken seriously as a nutbag posse of conspiracy theorists.
posted by Brian B. at 9:29 AM on March 18, 2007


"cops are kind of hard to figure politically -- they tend to be more libertarian than outright Republican." I don't get it: how can somebody be noticeably libertarian and still be a cop? How are y'all defining "libertarian"?

In theory there is nothing contradictory about it. It really depends on the nature of the government, as law enforcement is only as good as the laws they must enforce. I don't see how one can be a libertarian and work for the DEA or the Federal Government. A beat cop is different, it's the drug war that weeds out many libertarians/government minimalists. It has to be hard ruining lives over laws you personally object to.

I am heavily critical of law enforcement, but the guys over at L.E.A.P. are doing good work
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 10:15 AM on March 18, 2007


From down here quin will never suspect I am stalking him in the shadows.
posted by bystander at 2:48 AM on March 19, 2007


/Looks around

Is there someone out there?
posted by quin at 9:56 AM on March 19, 2007


Brian B., you are hilarious. Thank you for the chuckles, squid-raper!

And Gnostic Novelist, clearly our definitions of "libertarian" vary: by my lights "libertarian cop" is oxymoronic.

But whatever. It's officially Spring and my li'l mutt is happy.
posted by davy at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2007


And Gnostic Novelist, clearly our definitions of "libertarian" vary: by my lights "libertarian cop" is oxymoronic.

I admit that I loose libertarian very loosely.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:12 PM on March 21, 2007


davy : It's officially Spring and my li'l mutt is happy.

Do tell. Is the li'l mutt photogenic? Can we see pictures to make an assessment of our own?

I'm not saying your li'l mutt ain't a happy dog, but lacking proof, all you have is your word. Now, if you are willing to provide photographic evidence that he/ she/ it is happy, I'll be more than pleased to agree with you. But in the absence of pictures, all I can say is that your mutt is only probably content.

Yeah, I'm asking for doggy pictures.

Gimme.

posted by quin at 11:40 PM on March 21, 2007


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