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Offensive Tea Party Signs
April 17, 2009 12:59 AM   Subscribe

Offensive Tea Party signs
posted by 5imian (191 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
First series of images, second-to-last pic: guy stands behind a placard reading

"Barack Obama supports abortion, sodomy, socialism and the new world order
...so did Bill Clinton(D) and George W. Bush(R)!"

What kind of person do you have to be to consider George W. Bush a socialist? I mean, who would this guy accept as president? Double-Hitler???
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:13 AM on April 17, 2009 [38 favorites]


"Our tax money given to Hamas to kill Christians, Jews, and Americans."

Well, well! People seem to be coming around to the idea that the United States isn't a Christian nation after all. Plus, Lipton and Sharpie sales must have gone through the roof this week. Consider the economy fucking stimulated.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:19 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


What hath talk radio wrought?
posted by telstar at 1:25 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'll bet that the FBI isn't following these right-wing terrorists around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:29 AM on April 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Somewhere in there and also on Andrew Sullivan's blog (you need to scroll down quite a bit) is one that says:

"The American taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's ovens."

For me that represents the perfect overlap of being indefensibly offensive and unambiguously fucking stupid. So, an ideal New Republican, I guess.
posted by rhymer at 1:35 AM on April 17, 2009 [32 favorites]


Christ, what assholes.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:37 AM on April 17, 2009 [24 favorites]


Get ready for another 3 years and 8 months of this.

Might be a good time to invest in a defensive firearm...
posted by dopamine at 1:38 AM on April 17, 2009


37 years and 8 months

inshallah
posted by mrt at 1:45 AM on April 17, 2009 [79 favorites]


Can we institute a new acronym for SLHF ("Single Link Huff Post") that will be as shame-baiting as SLYT? Please?
posted by ford and the prefects at 1:45 AM on April 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


I kind of liked the guy carrying the pitchfork and the sign that said, 'Next, guns.'

And, frankly, the kids signs lamenting being left with the bill for massive debt spending are pretty fucking spot on. I'd take the concerns of their parents seriously if they'd been marching since Reagan, though.
posted by rodgerd at 1:47 AM on April 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


defensive firearm

He who controls the guys with the guns controls the argument.

I can only hope these clowns haven't white-anted[1] the Federal security apparatus to any great extent. That would make life . . .suckful.

[1] term I encountered in Churchill's writings . . . "to infest like termites"
posted by mrt at 1:49 AM on April 17, 2009


Stop the souring.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:52 AM on April 17, 2009 [44 favorites]


I think that the Tea Party movement is juvenile and incoherent, but the fact that a series of free-to-attend protests with no defined cause beyond a vague dis-satisfaction with bailing out banks attracts fringe elements proves what, exactly? The anti-Bush/anti-war protests had some anti-globalization elements who were equally as out of touch with reality as these people.
posted by Spacelegoman at 1:53 AM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


The anti-Bush/anti-war protests had some anti-globalization elements who were equally as out of touch with reality as these people.

These tea-party Ron Paulists are well-armed and psychotic. I'd be more worried about these yahoos, than a handful of hipsters reading Adbusters.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 AM on April 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


I believe they are peaking too early. I doubt that they can maintain this level of panicked vitriol until even the mid-term elections.
posted by Zipidoodle at 1:59 AM on April 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


with the bill for massive debt spending are pretty fucking spot on

No they're not. Economics is a subtle art, not science, and nobody who's not an ideologue can say with any great certainty whether what intervention that has been done this past year has been too much or not enough.

I was FOB in Japan in 1992. 16 years later they're more fucked now, partially for demographic reasons and partially for the immense stupidity of mal-investment that occurred in the late 80s.

In my lifetime the US has experienced sharp recessions with the oil shock, the double-dip recession of the early 80s, the post-80s Bush recession, the post-Clinton dotcom-bust recession, and now the present Bush recession, which is largely a hangover from the debt orgy that largely won him reelection in 2004.

The important thing with spending is that it goes to capital improvements (or avoiding capital destruction, same thing). Two trillion of debt now to avoid a Japan-style GDP tailspin is arguably a good investment.
posted by mrt at 2:00 AM on April 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Stop the souring.

You evil, evil man.

Mwah.
posted by Kinbote at 2:01 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


but the fact that a series of free-to-attend protests with no defined cause beyond a vague dis-satisfaction with bailing out banks attracts fringe elements proves what, exactly?

IMO these are the cries of the right, attempting to regain a voice at the table of power. We saw this same organizing in their opposition to the bailout package of last fall.

These are the dust-motes around which the right hopes ressentiment and continued opposition to Obama's agenda grows.

These people are protesting the Obama tax plan, the Obama health plan, the Obama stimulus spending plan. Being anti-Obama isn't "out of touch with reality", it's political.
posted by mrt at 2:05 AM on April 17, 2009


I believe they are peaking too early. I doubt that they can maintain this level of panicked vitriol until even the mid-term elections.

So you turned 12 after the end of the 90's, huh?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:10 AM on April 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's going to be a long 4 years, isn't it?
posted by cj_ at 2:11 AM on April 17, 2009


I'm not much surprised or worried about these -- any country with 300 million people can always come up with 300 one-in-a-million complete loons for any political demonstration -- but I do hope someone on the left tracks this stuff and has it handy when the right shows pictures of loony left-wing demonstrators as evidence that only the right is sane.

Out of curiosity, however: when people gather at a demonstration like that and someone hoists an over-the-top bit on loonosity (like, for example, the "white slavery" sign in these pictures), do more moderate people on the loon's side ever try to shut down the loon so he doesn't hurt their cause? Buy the sign from him, then destroy it? Lead him down an alley, then mug him and snatch his sign? Tell him they're driving to a secret place where he can meet the opponent face to face, then strand him at a Denny's outside town and tell him to wait for their signal?
posted by pracowity at 2:44 AM on April 17, 2009


These tea-party Ron Paulists

I'm not too plugged into any of this, but I gather the original idea was protesting enormous transfers of your wealth to banks, which strikes me an extraordinarily good thing to protest. Then it apparently got hijacked by a bunch of yahoos.

You're showing, by the way, the exact same kind of thinking that we all decried in the early 2000s.... "oh you just say that because you're a liberal". "Ron Paulist" is exactly the same thing; you're categorizing these people so that you can conveniently ignore everything they say without having to spend any actual thinking time.

Some of what they're saying is right. Ignore them entirely at your profound peril.
posted by Malor at 2:46 AM on April 17, 2009 [18 favorites]


I was FOB in Japan in 1992. 16 years later they're more fucked now, partially for demographic reasons and partially for the immense stupidity of mal-investment that occurred in the late 80s.

You can't avoid fallout from large-scale malinvestment. You just can't. Japan tried to dodge theirs, suffered for twenty years, and they're STILL having their final collapse. All their interventionism saved them no pain at all. All it did was defer and magnify it.

The malinvestment is done, it's over, the wealth is spent. Trying to bail that out is literally throwing good money after bad. It's already been lost, and trying to do more of the same stupid stuff that got you in trouble, in essence doubling down on the original bet, is only a short-term palliative that solves nothing, but guarantees even bigger problems down the road.

The important thing with spending is that it goes to capital improvements (or avoiding capital destruction, same thing).

The capital is destroyed; the wealth was spent on things that we don't actually need. The economy was fooled into overspending by too much money being made available. Doing more of the same will not make the original stupidity less stupid.

Two trillion of debt now to avoid a Japan-style GDP tailspin is arguably a good investment.

The two trillion of debt will cause a greater tailspin than NOT taking on the debt would. The problem IS too much debt, way too much of it.

You can't solve a debt problem with more debt. It takes savings and production.
posted by Malor at 2:56 AM on April 17, 2009 [18 favorites]


Some of what they're saying is right. Ignore them entirely at your profound peril.

Perhaps they would be right, and perhaps regular folks could take them seriously, if only they were threatening violent sedition and shrilly crying "white slavery" during the Bush years.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 AM on April 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm hoping all this tea party stuff will cause mainstream opinion to react by warming towards King George and beginning to see him as standing for enlightened economic management with progressive leanings.
posted by Phanx at 3:08 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, but Obama's not doing exactly the same thing. Bush spent $1.4 trillion on tax cuts for the rich and another trillion or so on Iraq (when all is said and done). The grandkids aren't going to get much from either of those. Well, RICH grandkids might get something from the former. But Obama's spending on some things that the grandkids might actually benefit from: better education, smarter energy usage, high-speed rail, general infrastructure, health care. And hey, even the POOR grandkids can make use of all those things.

I don't ignore these folks, but I do see them for what they are: tools for the wealthy Republicans who control the party, who are irritated that it won't be solely the rich folks benefiting this time.
posted by jamstigator at 3:17 AM on April 17, 2009 [15 favorites]


3 7 15 years and 8 months.

That's the minimum time it'll take the Republican Party or whatever party arises from its ashes to become politically viable again. Unless of course, this Army of Assholes make good on their promise of a Second American Revolution Civil War, but their chances of success at that aren't very good either. However, they will cause as much damage as any group of domestic terrorists possibly can in America, declared war or not.

I've said before that I will NEVER purchase a gun for any purpose other than to specifically murder someone (and if nobody has provoked me to that yet, I probably never will). But I will upgrade all reasonable security on my life and most valuable possessions (which looking around me, ain't much).
posted by wendell at 3:18 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of what they're saying is right. Ignore them entirely at your profound peril.

A stopped clock is right twice a day and a clock running backwards is right twice as often (think about it). There is no peril in ignoring this movement based on willful ignorance and bigotry while determining for ourselves what is right and what is wrong about what the current government is doing.
posted by wendell at 3:24 AM on April 17, 2009 [20 favorites]


We should have teabagged these right-wingers before they teabagged us!
posted by orme at 3:32 AM on April 17, 2009


A coworker of mine thinks this is part of a right-wing strategy to make crazy the new normal by keeping this up through the mid-term elections and beyond.

I think these people are frightening, and should be taken seriously in that they could pose a threat to our communities at some point if their hysteria and desperation gets even more out of hand.

But I just don't see this hysteria resonating with very many Americans. I know there is a strong conservative streak in this country. But what these rallies - at least in tone - seem so anti-conservative, in that the revolutionary rhetoric and borderline appeals to violent action are very radical. I don't see this campaign, despite the publicity, becoming a movement or shaping the mainstream political debate in a direct way.

My take on this campaign is that it is an attempt to prevent the right-wing base from slipping into apathetic withdrawal during this Democratic moment.

I expect that right-wing organizations are using these actions to not only lift the morale of their defeated culture warriors, but also to enlist new conscripts for a movement-building effort that draws on the existing infrastructure (think tanks, direct mail, voter databases with demographic crosstabs) as well as lessons learned from observing Obama's presidential campaign.

Also: there's plenty to be critical of in the Obama administration's performance so far, but I think an unintended consequence of the hysteria is that more level-headed criticism could get drowned out.

Also: teabags. An invitation to ridicule if I ever saw one. Way to think it through, people!
posted by univac at 3:51 AM on April 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Blazecock, I'm pretty sure that's the wingnuts that attached themselves to the idea. Again, my exposure to these guys is indirect, but Paul himself doesn't seem to be advocating violence or secession in any way. He's mostly pointing out that we're taking on vast amounts of public debt to benefit a few oligarchs, with the side effect of further moving the economy toward dependence on government largesse. Smaller versions of this have happened many times, all over the world. The consequences range from 'bad' to 'dire'.

Don't confuse the relative sanity of the guys saying, "hey, debt has really severe consequences, and we're just digging our hole deeper" with the whackjob dittoheads. The people who listen to Limbaugh are clueless and stupid. Paul doesn't seem to be. He's not a hypocrite; he's been talking about our excess spending for as long as he's been in office. He was highly critical of the bailouts when Bush was doing them, too.

The dittoheads are safe to ignore. But don't call them "Ron Paulists", because they're mostly too stupid to even understand what he's saying.

Honestly, I have trouble figuring out what the Tea Partiers want. It looks to me like a classic example of what would make a bad revolution, people who just want to wreck and take, instead of build. There's no unified vision of creation, just destruction. That's the easy part: they seem to have forgotten the hard part.
posted by Malor at 4:02 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Dunno what that was. All I saw was a bunch of hateful men with little penises.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:11 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


The always-entertaining Ed of ginandtacos.com went undercover at one.

from the link:
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! I AM SO MAD ABOUT MY ENTIRELY REASONABLE TAX BURDEN WHICH IS THE SMALLEST IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD AND WILL GET SMALLER THANKS TO THE NEW PRESIDENT!

(If that guy's not a MeFite, he should be.)
posted by Jorus at 4:25 AM on April 17, 2009 [29 favorites]


Might be a good time to invest in a defensive offensive firearm...

FTFY
posted by HuronBob at 4:29 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Economics?! No no, go back to mocking the signs.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Only at Huffington Post (and perhaps in McCain's brain) the election is a close run thing
posted by mattoxic at 4:32 AM on April 17, 2009


a tea party participant passed my Obama stickered car on the highway after the event in Lansing (no, I wasn't attending, just happened to be on the highway at the same time)... Mom, Dad, and 12 year old daughter made a point of slowing down and plastering their idiotic sign against the window so I could read it.

I smiled and ran them off the road ok, not that, but almost...
posted by HuronBob at 4:33 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Remember Descent the highest form of patriotic.

Oh man, that's classic. And the tricorn hat. This only possible way to make that sign better would be a slight modification:

Remember Descent with modification the highest form of patriotic.
posted by DU at 4:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


As much as I hate kids being used by their parents to further their own political agenda (what your 10 year old has already chosen with no input from you to embrace your political party? really now?) the sign 'we the people' with Republic and Democrat crossed out is exactly the right message.
posted by litleozy at 4:37 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Surely this piece of posterboard that I spent 15 minutes scrawling on will be the end of the Obama Administration.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:46 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


PontifexPrimus: "What kind of person do you have to be to consider George W. Bush a socialist? I mean, who would this guy accept as president? Double-Hitler???"

You know who actually was a member of a socialist party? Single Hilter.
posted by Plutor at 4:58 AM on April 17, 2009


It's fun to mock the retarded, but there is so little sport in it.
posted by moonbiter at 4:58 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing that worries me the most is that they've been arming up at an alarming rate -- enough to create a run on ammunition that they then say is proof that Obama wants to take away their guns, with the proof being that they can't find ammunition to purchase. Because they already bought it all. Causing them to get all-the-more hyperbolic about buying whatever guns and ammo they can find wherever they can find it. I wish I owned stock in Remmington, right now, but this concerns me. These gun crazies also tend to include a not-insignificant subset of wacked out white supremacists and meth addicts who are already beginning to show signs of wigging out and shooting up the place.

Frankly, it HAS caused me to consider arming up defensively, myself. I used to be a gun owner, but made them go away when I had children. Slowly re-thinking that this month.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:59 AM on April 17, 2009


This is what you get when you don't have socialist education.
posted by srboisvert at 4:59 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


In War And Peace somewhere Tolstoy points out that, really, when it comes down, nothing in this world is shocking; it is merely what it is. I don't think these signs are offensive, per se, although that may be because I'm incapable of offense anymore. They're just evidence of foolishness, but it seems like there's not much that's remarkable about that. It's really more sad than notable.
posted by koeselitz at 5:02 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


A coworker of mine thinks this is part of a right-wing strategy to make crazy the new normal by keeping this up through the mid-term elections and beyond.

Somewhere on MetaFilter (within the past six months or so?), a term was used to describe how, when people do outlandish things, they move the boundary between normal and abnormal. What the hell was that useful term?
posted by pracowity at 5:04 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know who actually was a member of a socialist party?

Gah. This drives me insane. 70 years ago, an insane authoritarian fascist mis-used the word "socialist" to euphemise his brutal dictatorship. Ever since then, people with an axe to grind against actual socialism have had this handy hobby-horse to jump on at a moment's notice.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:05 AM on April 17, 2009 [22 favorites]


Malor: Some of what they're saying is right. Ignore them entirely at your profound peril.

Ech - there are some people to whom I'm willing to listen carefully and take a few things here and there and think hard about.

These people are not them. 'Ignore them entirely at your profound peril?' This seems like a pretty weird brain-flip you're asking me to do; 'sure, they're mostly raving nutters, but keep watching for the one that's wise - if you don't pay attention to him, you're screwed!'

I think what you mean is something more like - 'don't write off a whole category of ideas just because these nutters are espousing them.' In which case my previous strategy - ignoring them entirely - just might be the best one, since I really don't care if anybody else I meet and might respect or listen to happens to 'agree' with the nutters.
posted by koeselitz at 5:07 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think that believing they're wrong/misguided/bought out and co-opted by an astroturf lobbying firm headed by Dick Armey and by politicians with a 2012 agenda like Newt Gingrich means that ignoring them is the best strategy.

To me, "ignore them at your own peril" is actually a good reminder that pretending that these elements do not exist in current American politics, or that they're of minimal concern and readily dismissed as lunatics, or that they do not have the capacity to get really huge and out of hand really quickly, is not ignoring the "yahoos" or "nutters" or "zombies," or whatever you want to call them -- it's ignoring American history.
posted by blucevalo at 5:35 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


What the hell was that useful term?

The Overton Window?
posted by absalom at 5:47 AM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Better.
posted by rokusan at 5:52 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


To me, "ignore them at your own peril" is actually a good reminder...

I agree. They are completely wrong and yet their viewpoint has been the topic for, what, two weeks? They've successfully gotten a narrative about "high taxes" out there, despite the fact that we have among the lowest taxes and Obama just lowered them.

The GOP hasn't "gotten crazy". They are still using the same old technique they've used for decades: The Big Lie. Say it often enough and loud enough and it becomes the truth.
posted by DU at 5:55 AM on April 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Thanks, absalom. That's it.
It describes a "window" in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on an issue. Overton described a method for moving that window, thereby including previously excluded ideas, while excluding previously acceptable ideas. The technique relies on people promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous "outer fringe" ideas. That makes those old fringe ideas look less extreme, and thereby acceptable. The idea is that priming the public with fringe ideas intended to be and remain unacceptable, will make the real target ideas seem more acceptable by comparison.
posted by pracowity at 5:57 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


A stopped clock is right twice a day and a clock running backwards is right twice as often (think about it).

Agreed. And a clock that has one hand moving forward and one hand moving backwards is right three times as often. A clock that has spider-like hands moving in every direction is right countless times. A clock that has only one hand that is generally right but that one hand is very shaky and keeps wiggling back and forth could be right thousands of times per hour. A clock that has no hands at all could actually be right all of the time and we would never know. A clock that is exactly one hour behind is never right unless you move it to another time zone, then it is right all the time.
posted by flarbuse at 5:58 AM on April 17, 2009 [79 favorites]


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:08 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.

Huh, a mod must have deleted the comment you were quoting.
posted by DU at 6:16 AM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


What kind of person do you have to be to consider George W. Bush a socialist?

Ah yes, good old Steve Lefemine, one of the more interesting political figures of my home state. What can you say about someone who believes the Constitution Party is too liberal? Honestly, I'm not sure what he believes or wants, short of attention. I've considered voting for him purely because no one can be that nutty without being a false flag for some other group.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:24 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.

T-shirts from outer space? I never saw one of these in person, on the internets, or in a photo, or anything, and Sarah Palin was 24/7 in-your-face for 3 solid months. and yes, it would have struck me as offensive. "* is a cunt" is offensive, and meant to be, 100% of the time. What is your point, here?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:24 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


if only they were threatening violent sedition and shrilly crying "white slavery" during the Bush years.

You must just hang out here - because there have been people talking about the violent sedition (and sometimes while claiming because they are the white slavery class)

Oh, and ANY "protest" is going to have 'off message' people. The free Mubmi signs as an example. Go to Ron Paul Rally centric websites OR Democratic Underground and both will, somewhere, have a comment (or 2) about the off-message elements or how 'the crazies' need to be shut down.

The effective way to protest the banksters is to stop being in debt to them. Pay off your Credit Cards and don't use 'em. If you are paying 'too much' in taxes, stop working as hard. Both things you can control.

If you'll excuse me I'm back to listening to the song "Taxman" by The Beatles.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:28 AM on April 17, 2009


i've always wanted to go to an abortion clinic/tea party/peace rally and stand with a sign that says "i don't care either way about the issue, i just want to hold a sign", but that requires courage to stand in sprinkling rain, conviction to stand in one spot holding a sign and not move, and a certain deafness to block out everyone else who might have an opinion that is not riding the fence.
posted by the aloha at 6:29 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think this one was in support of DC voting rights. Taxation without representation, motherfuckers!
posted by exogenous at 6:30 AM on April 17, 2009


Do I think many if not most of these people are at least partially-brainwashed talk radio zombies? Yes, of course.

Is it likely many of them are borderline-literate and completely wrong about the facts? Indeed.

Do I think every single one of these people has the right to go out there and make noise? Yep.

Ridicule of dissent is a tactic of assholes, and guess what? It's possible to be or support the party in power and exercise that power effectively without being a total asshole. The way to counteract idiots with a poor grasp of facts is not to alienate them but to educate them.

Can we at least hold off on being complete and utter dicks to -- and by implication give attention to -- these wingnuts until the point at which they try to put someone in a political office?
posted by majick at 6:48 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.

I never saw such a thing, though I imagine they'd sell quite well.

But I'll just quote it here for Google's benefit. Doing my part, and all.
posted by rokusan at 6:50 AM on April 17, 2009


...an insane authoritarian fascist mis-used the word "socialist" to euphemise his brutal dictatorship. Ever since then, people with an axe to grind against actual socialism...

Even better, if if you happen to be an aspiring authoritarian fascist, it's ridiculously easy to say "No way, I'm not like that guy at all."

For proto-fascists, it's really the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by rokusan at 6:53 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


but the fact that a series of free-to-attend protests with no defined cause beyond a vague dis-satisfaction with bailing out banks attracts fringe elements proves what, exactly?

That a lot of people are ready to go insane at the slightest provocation simply because a black man is president?
posted by jonp72 at 6:54 AM on April 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


"* is a cunt" is offensive

I know! Everyone knows that * is an asshole.
posted by cl at 6:55 AM on April 17, 2009 [38 favorites]


The always-entertaining Ed of ginandtacos.com went undercover at one.

I was there as well. Ed's description of the teabaggers: they're like the Greek army at Troy - highly armed, poorly educated, and a significant number of them have come in a big horse.
posted by logicpunk at 6:57 AM on April 17, 2009 [17 favorites]


Ridicule of dissent is a tactic of assholes

We're not ridiculing them for dissenting. We're ridiculing them for being a) stupid and b) assholes, with a frequent side of c) screaming racists. The idea that dissent alone is what provokes the mockery is stupid and facile, and you should really re-examine your reading of this thread if that's what you think is going on here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:01 AM on April 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


"We're ridiculing them for being a) stupid and b) assholes, with a frequent side of c) screaming racists. "

Ah yes, perhaps we can douse this barely smoldering, well-buried tinder of dumbassery with this gasoline of attention. Even stupid assholes are allowed to go out there and make stupid assholes of themselves if they want, but doesn't it seem prudent to give them as damn near no attention as possible so they don't have control of the conversation?

Seriously. I get the urge to ridicule, I really do. But the appropriate response to stupid racist assholes seeking press is not to give 'em press.
posted by majick at 7:08 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.

Which is why you went right ahead and replicated the offensive comment for a whole new set of people to read, reflect upon, and enjoy! Bless your heart!
posted by blucevalo at 7:23 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, perhaps we can douse this barely smoldering, well-buried tinder of dumbassery with this gasoline of attention.

Quick, someone delete this FPP before the news media find out about the teabaggers and put them center stage for 10-14 days!
posted by DU at 7:23 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I thought Obama was supposedly wrong when he said they cling to their guns.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


What, we're suddenly posting offensive protest pictures after ignoring them for 8 years?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Quick, someone delete this FPP before the news media find out about the teabaggers and put them center stage for 10-14 days!

I take it you don't watch Rachel Maddow.
posted by oaf at 7:36 AM on April 17, 2009


But "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" shirts weren't offensive. Gotcha.

Haha! You know what else is offensive? "Dick Cheney is a popped hemorrhoid" shirts. I mean, really, "Dick Cheney is a popped hemorrhoid" shirts? You want to be seen wearing a shirt that says "Dick Cheney is a popped hemorrhoid"?

In summary "Dick Cheney is a popped hemorrhoid" shirts are offensive.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:41 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


But the appropriate response to stupid racist assholes seeking press is not to give 'em press.

I disagree. You need to ridicule them and then document the ridicule. David Duke might have ended up as governor of Louisiana if dozens of people hadn't documented his insane racist rantings over the years.
posted by jonp72 at 7:49 AM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


and a significant number of them have come in a big horse.

Noted.
posted by zippy at 7:49 AM on April 17, 2009


1. The day when people can't parade in public with offensive signs about the President, America will be in even worse shape than it is now.

2. I suspect these people embarrass the majority of Republican voters. (God, I hope so.)

3. If it was President McCain's hand-picked Wall Street operator funneling billions to his old cronies, you'd be pretty pissed off yourself.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:55 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's another tea party sign that calls Barack Obama a "Kenyan," while simultaneously evoking a vintage Homey the Clown reference.
posted by jonp72 at 8:06 AM on April 17, 2009


I believe that these are actually the most offensive tea party signs.
posted by serazin at 8:09 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


a tea party participant passed my Obama stickered car on the highway after the event in Lansing (no, I wasn't attending, just happened to be on the highway at the same time)... Mom, Dad, and 12 year old daughter made a point of slowing down and plastering their idiotic sign against the window so I could read it.

Ssee, this is the problem I mostly have with Republican politics. I think, sure, parts of it have to do with money and power and shit like that, but for the most part, most Republicans just treat the government like it's a big football game. They don't care about what the tax structure really looks like or who's putting us in debt or whose fault this all is --- they just want their team to WIN, and for the other guy to get humiliated. They don't realize, to paraphrase, that "THIS ISN'T A FUCKING GAME."
posted by fungible at 8:13 AM on April 17, 2009 [16 favorites]


The malinvestment is done, it's over, the wealth is spent. Trying to bail that out is literally throwing good money after bad.

I am not sure whether bail-outs are good or bad, but I think that investments in infrastructure and health care that Obama is proposing are wise -- good both in the short-term, as a boost to the economy from spending, and the long-term, as an investment that will continue to pay off for the country.

Compared to the previous administration's spending policies, particularly deficit-spending on the Iraq war and its consequences, well, I'm happier with these.
posted by zippy at 8:13 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


The idjits weren't really protesting taxes, they were protesting losing the election.

I can't wait until Obama's tax plan takes effect next year and most if not all those corporate sponsored "tax rebels" find out their taxes have gone down cause they don't make $250 K a year.

And I apologize for Gov. GoodHair Perry - he's such a bad joke. The governor of Texas is mostly a figurehead anyway. The Speaker of the House runs the state.
posted by Tena at 8:15 AM on April 17, 2009


Gah. This drives me insane. 70 years ago, an insane authoritarian fascist mis-used the word "socialist" to euphemise his brutal dictatorship.

Actually, it wasn't mis-use. Fascism represents one end of the political spectrum, Communism on the other end. What bugs me are people who use the two interchangeably. Like suggesting that socialist policies will turn us into the Soviet Union without realizing that, inherently, that doesn't make sense.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:17 AM on April 17, 2009


"The capital is destroyed; the wealth was spent on things that we don't actually need. The economy was fooled into overspending by too much money being made available. Doing more of the same will not make the original stupidity less stupid."

Actually, the problems are specifically in the amount of leverage the banks were allowed to carry, and the securitization of risky loans into AAA-rated investments. Pumping in liquidity when a huge amount of money is evaporated is called Keynesian economics, and it's not the same thing. I don't agree with everything that's going on, but Obama's last speech was correct. The problem now is nobody is spending, which is causing downward pressure on prices, adding to layoffs, which further put downward pressure, which can turn into a deflationary spiral (and that is very, very bad, much worse than inflation). The government is the spender of last resort. The mistake that was made in the '30s was that we simply waited too long to start stimulus, and it wasn't enough.

Hey, I'm pissed off, too, but railing against spending and borrowing being used to stop the bleeding is not really getting to the heart of the matter when you're talking about macroeconomics.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:18 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Actually, the problems are specifically in the amount of leverage the banks were allowed to carry, and the securitization of risky loans into AAA-rated investments."

To clarify, the leverage was allowed but only through deregulation, and the false ratings and much of the risky loans are actually fraudulent. Fraud and lack of regulation are really the major problems, not spending and borrowing specifically, as those are merely symptoms.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:22 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


all those corporate sponsored "tax rebels" find out their taxes have gone down

Facts? The truth is what Rush tells them.
posted by DU at 8:25 AM on April 17, 2009


Looking at those pictures, my first thought was that Obama should sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I don't think I've ever seen so many poor children forced to work and pay tax in all my life.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:31 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Remember, the dumbest one percent of the USA is still three million people.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:31 AM on April 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


I know! Everyone knows that * is an asshole.

Christ, what a wildcard in a search string!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:53 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


But the appropriate response to stupid racist assholes seeking press is not to give 'em press.


Ignoring racism doesn't make it go away.
posted by shmegegge at 8:53 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Even better, if if you happen to be an aspiring authoritarian fascist, it's ridiculously easy to say "No way, I'm not like that guy at all."

For proto-fascists, it's really the gift that keeps on giving.


[citation needed]
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:54 AM on April 17, 2009


We're ridiculing them for being a) stupid and b) assholes, with a frequent side of c) screaming racists.

I thought it was because of d) Not having such a 'tax money is being wasted' protest back when Bush II was spending money to bail out the banks. Or when they didn't show up and protest the day after The Pentagon announced they could not account for 2 trillion dollars. Or when the S&L like Silverado got bailed out. Or when The President said 'deficits don't matter' Or .......

Can 'we' make sure 'we' have all the sound bites of the Republicrat elected officials saying 'something must be done' so that when they are back in power 'we' can play 'em back and mock 'em?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:02 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Man, the first few months of Obama's presidency have gone like this for me:

"Wow, these republicans are really angry. I hope I didn't look that stupid when George W. was president."
*a few days pass*
"Oh wow, that's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time."
*more days pass*
"Dear god, what the fuck are these people smoking?"
*weeks pass*
"Okay, they couldn't possibly get any dumber than this."
"Oh god, why did I look at fox news? Now I have to THINK about them"
*weeks*
"Oh god, surely this is the dumbest thing I have ever seen on a sign/website/internet forum"
*weeks*
"surely this..."
"surely this..."
"surely this..."
posted by tehloki at 9:05 AM on April 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


I know that the UK's apathetic towards politics as a whole (aside from 'fuck the politicians they all suck' which, at present, is broadly correct) so maybe I'm just completely unable to connect with the idea of a mass rally of people angry at someone getting fairly elected by a majority, but I'm completely unable to believe most of these pictures. Not for them being mad at a President but the sheer hubris and scatching level of some of the signs. Surely asserting in all seriousness that someone is a baby-eating rapist is tantamount to libel, somewhere along the way? It's boggling.
posted by stelas at 9:16 AM on April 17, 2009


scathing
posted by stelas at 9:17 AM on April 17, 2009


Americans still can't make tea for shit, I see.
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on April 17, 2009 [15 favorites]


"Congress Shred Your Taxing Scholiast Policies NOT MY CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS!"

Seriously, if one more Congressman writes notes in my ancient manuscripts, I'm going to fucking lose it.
posted by JimmyJames at 9:21 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Fascism represents one end of the political spectrum, Communism on the other end.

if the political spectrum only goes left to right, then yes.
the political spectrum, however, also goes up to down. both fascism and communism are statist. fascism and communism at the up end with libertarianism and anarchism on the down.
posted by the aloha at 9:26 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This drives me insane. 70 years ago, an insane authoritarian fascist mis-used the word "socialist" to euphemise his brutal dictatorship

The NSDP was in fact somewhat proto-socialist until Hitler had Roehm and his SA put to the sword in The Night of Long Knives. That action purged the socialist faction and Hitler was free to stay in bed with the very conservative Heer and industrialists.

Since socialism is state control if not ownership of industry it is fair to say that the Nazi system was socialist I guess. But to compare Hitler's Third Reich and Stalin's Soviet Union to the social spending of the US, Canada, or Europe is just another example of the teabaggers' bitesized insanity.

These people are really clueless in a complex world.

Interesting factoid I came across recently: the Scandinavian countries and France actually have a higher bond rating than the US enjoys right now, implying they have sounder economies.
posted by mrt at 9:28 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


God, I misunderstood the nature of these protests.

Upside: Had gay sex.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:29 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm thinking that this may very well be the end of the Republican Party. I doubt any of us have been alive long enough to have seen what it looks like when a political party withers on the vine and dies off. It probably looks a lot like this. Look what has transpired for them: a bad election, followed by a disasterous election, with a strong opposing political leader in the White House, combined with a fairly rapidly shrinking demographic due to exclusionary ideology (gays suck, blacks suck, latinos suck, women suck, non-Christians suck, etc). If you leave enough groups of people feeling like you think they suck, well, you end up not getting enough votes to win.

Now I'm not saying that this is the end of two parties. From the ashes of the Republican Party may arise something else more demographically viable. A power vacuum will eventually be filled by something. But I think it really is possible that ten years hence, we'll all look back at this time as the beginning of the death knells for the Republican Party.
posted by jamstigator at 9:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


krrlson: What, we're suddenly posting offensive protest pictures after ignoring them for 8 years?

You've been a member here for six and half of those eight years. That's a lot of time to create an FPP on the issue, if you think it was interesting and important. You're part of the "we" that ignored them. Why did you never put that in an FPP for us?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


both fascism and communism are statist. fascism and communism at the up end with libertarianism and anarchism on the down.

Only in theory. In reality, libertarianism (and probably anarchy) end up being oligarchies. I.e. statism only with corporations instead of a nominal government.
posted by DU at 9:36 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Americans still can't make tea for shit, I see.

At least a lot of the floor-sweepings referred to as "Lipton" are ending up where they belong. There's an upside to everything.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:56 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


What, we're suddenly posting offensive protest pictures after ignoring them for 8 years?

August 20, 2003

October 31, 2007
posted by zippy at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, serazin. I didn't realize until now that Obama makes a much sexier Hitler than Bush did.
posted by rokusan at 10:12 AM on April 17, 2009


Ok, I was willing to ignore these protests, but this one just crosses a line. The "poli-" in "politics" comes from "polis"="state/city," not "poly"="many." And either way, it's Greek, not Latin!
posted by albrecht at 10:23 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hey, cut the kid some slack--she's probably home-schooled.
posted by box at 10:27 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Are there any yetis in the house? Anyone? Followers of slack? Hail Bob? Anyone? Anyone?

You kids should go listen to some of the back catalogue of the Church of the Subgenius radio shows. There were several selections where they would get the wackadoos together and get them all higher than Jesus and just let them ramble. They'd go on about the banker conspiracies, the government black helicopters, the whole shebang. The weirdest thing was hearing about these "Tea Parties" and thinking it was something Ivan Stang came up with as a lark and then it grew legs and started morphing into some weird evil afterbirth that wouldn't die when the drugs wore off.
posted by daq at 10:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seriously. I get the urge to ridicule, I really do. But the appropriate response to stupid racist assholes seeking press is not to give 'em press.

I'd be inclined to agree, in most circumstances. But not in this one. And I'd like to address your earlier point about ridiculing these people.

I met a German tourist in Iceland once shortly after the dragging death in Jasper, Texas caught the attention of the world. We were talking about the incident, and of how the Klan were going to march on the courthouse, that counterprotestors were expected to show up en masse, and the police were afraid of violence breaking out. The German thought this was disappointing. "You don't respond to lunatics like the Klan by resorting to violence, or even taking them seriously, because that just strengthens their resolve, and makes them feel their fight is worth something. Rather, you should ridicule them." He then started describing how when neo-Nazis hold rallies or marches in Germany (this was the late 90s, and these gatherings were apparently more common in the former East Germany), throngs of counter-protestors would show up staging mock rallies of their own, ridiculing and belittling the racists. He sincerely believed this tactic contributed to their shrinking numbers.

The parallel between these two situations is the same dynamic. Ignoring these idiots won't make them go away, and engaging them in any serious manner - violent or non-violent - only legitimizes their message. The best tactic is to mock and ridicule them endlessly. They are fringe and should be treated as such.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:20 AM on April 17, 2009 [22 favorites]


What, we're suddenly posting offensive protest pictures after ignoring them for 8 years?

Depends. You mean the couple that are *actually* offensive, like the guy with anti-jewish slurs on his sign, or the rest of them, which are mostly just unpleasant-to-look-at nekkid people and self-identified communists? Because no, those don't seem particularly newsworthy.

And speaking of ignoring things: anyone know if good ol' Bill O'Reilly is calling for the teabaggers to be arrested on national security grounds, like he did with the anti-war protesters?
posted by Amanojaku at 11:36 AM on April 17, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: Knoxville Clowns Kick Nazi Ass
posted by odinsdream at 11:40 AM on April 17, 2009


And speaking of ignoring things: anyone know if good ol' Bill O'Reilly is calling for the teabaggers to be arrested on national security grounds, like he did with the anti-war protesters?

Ha! Yeah.
O'Reilly began by talking about the protests in all 50 states today by people who are opposed to “entitlement spending.” (I didn't see that on any sign.) Claiming that President Obama always had an “entitlement vision,” O'Reilly said that the “class warfare” (didn't see that on a sign, either) has been successful for the President, but that the Tea Party protests are “valid.” Valid to offer complaints and whines but no solutions? As Howard Fineman said tonight on Keith Olbermann's Countdown, “This does not a Party make.” He also said that if Republicans think this is the “next big wave . . . it doesn't add up.”
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:47 AM on April 17, 2009


I think it really is possible that ten years hence, we'll all look back at this time as the beginning of the death knells for the Republican Party.

This is a point amplified by one of the more interesting revelations in Michael Wolff's recent Vanity Fair piece on Rush Limbaugh's domination of the GOP (and incidentally this is probably the first time I've ever used the phrase "interesting revelations" in connection with anything by Wolff).

Here's the key passage:
The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising, according to Sinton—the Fox News audience, likewise, is in its mid-60s: “What sort of continuing power do you have as your audience strokes out?”

You can begin to make plausibly large statements about the end of—or at least a crisis in—conservative media. “There are fewer advertisers, fewer listeners, shrinking networks, shallower penetration,” says Sinton. “A lowering tide lowers all ships.”

What’s more, it’s the Internet that is the fast-growing and arguably more powerful political medium—and it is the province of the young and liberal. The only sensible market view of conservative talk is that it will contract and be reduced, in the coming years, to a much more rarefied format.

And yet, by the end of Rush Limbaugh’s fractious month of calculated outrage, his audience was back up to 20 million.
Wolff, for his part, chalks the audience bump up to good old-fashioned showmanship, which is probably partially the case. I wonder, though, whether this isn't also the kind of final flare up of a fire that's exhausted its fuel, the last burst of heat before it fades entirely to ash. Doesn't the intensity of it - its incoherent conviction, its fraudulent, self-contradictory certainty - suggest a kind of senile rage at the dying of the light? Never mind mocking these morans - if not for the still-fresh memories of Bush & Cheney, couldn't you almost pity them?
posted by gompa at 12:14 PM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wolff, for his part, chalks the audience bump up to good old-fashioned showmanship, which is probably partially the case. I wonder, though, whether this isn't also the kind of final flare up of a fire that's exhausted its fuel, the last burst of heat before it fades entirely to ash.

I'd like to see the Rush listeners who are under the median age broken out by geographic region. If it lines up with other polls, it still spells trouble for the GOP. A regional party doesn't win elections.
posted by DU at 12:22 PM on April 17, 2009


I didn't realize until now that Obama makes a much sexier Hitler than Bush did.

I'd hitler it.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:41 PM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around this "family values" obsessed Republicans/Libertarians naming these demonstrations TEABAGGING parties.

That's just false advertising.
posted by jnaps at 12:41 PM on April 17, 2009


I think I am out of the loop and I am blaming it on being in Alaska but, the last time teabagging came up in my life, it was all about plopping your nutsack on someone's forehead (NSWF)
posted by Foam Pants at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2009


What are these people going to do to protest Earth Day? Toss salad?
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


That's why I don't go to protests. I actually agree with part of the main premise (what Malor said about bailouts), although I'm fairly ambivalent on taxes/welfare. I could go there and protest the bailouts, but then I'd risk appearing in a photo between a "Stop spending our future generation's money" sign on the left and a "Support our troops" [for a couple trillion $ a year] on the right side. And possibly someone with a sign saying something like "Jesus hates Obamas and dinosaurs".

It's like that time when I went to a protest in college about, IIRC, a party ban on campus, and suddenly the organizers start chanting "impeach FHC [current president at the time], out with the IMF, down with capitalism!".

The truth is: Large scale protest organizers are usually rabidly extremist assholes. The mass is largely composed of manipulated people for whom a shouted slogan or a catchphrase on the radio is a complex piece of philosophy. And a sizeable chunk of people that are too crazy and rabid to be organizers. And then you have the people in the middle who really showed up because they thought about the subject and agree on the nominal topic of the protest, and just look confused and embarrassed when they see the kind of people they're hanging out with.

I prefer to do it the right way: Express my outrage on the internets
posted by qvantamon at 3:07 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're showing, by the way, the exact same kind of thinking that we all decried in the early 2000s.... "oh you just say that because you're a liberal". "Ron Paulist" is exactly the same thing; you're categorizing these people so that you can conveniently ignore everything they say without having to spend any actual thinking time.

Some of what they're saying is right. Ignore them entirely at your profound peril.
posted by Malor at 2:46 AM on April 17 [11 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]



I wish I could favorite this 200 more times.
posted by Espoo2 at 3:19 PM on April 17, 2009


Espoo2: Fiat favorites are what got us in this mess. Say no to favorite inflation.
posted by qvantamon at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2009


elwoodwiles FTW!
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2009


I like how some people are equating protesting an unnecessary immoral war that killed tens of thousands of innocent women and children and was based on a pack of transparent lies to protesting simply removing the tax breaks of the upper 10%. The 10% of our most coddled spoiled petulant rich retards. Thus "forcing" them to fork over money to pay back the collapsing ponzi schemes that were their fault in the first place.

Yeah. It's exactly the same as that.

Once again fuck these idiot republicans. They are stupid as shit. But. Hey. I support their right to demonstrate that fact to the world.
posted by tkchrist at 5:42 PM on April 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wish I could favorite this 200 more times.

You can. Becuase he's said essentially the same thing in 80% of every thread. Just go back favor retroactively.
posted by tkchrist at 5:45 PM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spoiler: even the Ron Paul crowd and hardcore libertarians are pissed about the Republicans co-opting it the protests.

For instance, this anarcho-capitalist guy is accused of being a liberal because he wants to do away with taxes and wants the free market to run everything. While people on Metafilter would beg to disagree with that proposition, don't forget - this protest was supposedly for people who found Obama to be a socialist and generally protesting in favor of the free market. This person did just that but to the extreme and he was accused of being a liberal saboteur.

LewRockwell.com attacked the fact it was co-opted by Republicans as well and for those not familiar, Lew Rockwell Column is pretty much the place for hardcore libertarians.

Hell, even Alex Jones thinks the Tea Party protests are part of the New World's Order plan of global domination. And this is a man who hawks water filters for people paranoid that the government is poisoning the water with mind control drugs.

Point is, it's not like people who protest because they are genuinely concerned about the growth of government and increased taxes are the same people who think Obama is a member of the Bohemian Grove and that he is under the control of the Nine Jew Bankers, the Illuminati, the Mickey Mouse Club, etc.
posted by champthom at 5:53 PM on April 17, 2009


Libertarians are the worlds biggest political frauds.
posted by tkchrist at 5:56 PM on April 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


What are these people going to do to protest Earth Day? Toss salad?

On this day, they counter global warming propaganda with the Hot Karl Party?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:06 PM on April 17, 2009


I use to be a libertarian, then I realized the world doesn't revolve around me.

But since I was certain that it should revolve around me I became a Republican.

But I'm feeling much better now.
posted by Mick at 6:15 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Libertarians are the worlds biggest political frauds.

Some are. Some aren't. Depends. Active state or minimal state libertarian? Anarcho-libertarian? Socialist Libertarian? Green libertarians? Left leaning libertarian? Libertarian with a capital "L" (the libertarian party proper)? Libertarian with a little "l" (the general approach to individual rights)? Libertarians that are like 'old school' liberals? Neo-Liberals? Some of them? all of them? What?

Keep in mind, I am a self identified libertarian (left leaning, active state) and I basically posted this for the lols. These people are *mostly* idiots. (Needless to say, I was NOT at the protests and i disagree with the protesters on about 98 percent of the issues) I am not saying your painfully blanket statement isn't entirely false, but I think it could use a bit more qualification.
posted by 5imian at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


even the Ron Paul crowd and hardcore libertarians are pissed about the Republicans co-opting it the protests.

I don't see why they're surprised. Fox News gave the Tea Party millions of dollars worth of free news coverage out of proportion to its numbers. FreedomWorks, founded by Dick Armey, sponsored a lot of these protests. You'd think that defenders of property rights like the Paul-ists and the Libertarians would respect that the Tea Party protest has been bought and paid for by GOP flacks. Ron Paul had a little anti-tax Tea Party, but unless he copyrighted that as his intellectual property, I don't think he or his followers have room to complain.
posted by jonp72 at 6:41 PM on April 17, 2009


I think it really is possible that ten years hence, we'll all look back at this time as the beginning of the death knells for the Republican Party.

I think we're going to look back at the 2001-2009 period as the beginning of the death of the USA as a first-world nation. So much of the country is, or is behaving like, a developing nation. It's all around: homeless, violent, hungry, , jobless, hopeless, jailed, drugged... it's horrible, a collapsing, failing society.

Don't get me wrong: things are pretty much just fine if you happen to live in one of the big, liberal cities. But so much of the rest of the nation is falling apart.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on April 17, 2009


"Ron Paulist" is exactly the same thing; you're categorizing these people so that you can conveniently ignore everything they say without having to spend any actual thinking time.

Not really, considering that Ron Paul is as much of a fucking racist as his bigoted followers who show up in several of these photographs.

The only ones not spending any actual thinking time are the ones who give him and his White Power brethren credibility, just because they don't think rich people should pay taxes in proportion to their obscene wealth and are willing for forgive his hatred of minorities in exchange for money.

Still, in America's race to bottom, it costs nothing to favor Paulist agenda.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 PM on April 17, 2009


The new regime declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution, disbanded congress, banned political parties, and imposed strict censorship on the press — all in the name of turning back _______’s socialist experiment and rescuing the country from international communism.
from another thread
Beware your ammo-purchasing batshitinsane citizens, my friends. It has happened before, it will happen again.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 PM on April 17, 2009


(er, that's refering to the Pinochet history found in the FPP link)
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 PM on April 17, 2009


Simian: I consider myself a left-libertarian but we're like 1% of the libertarian spectrum, if that, and the right-libertarians detest us more than neoliberals I think.

I don't mind if the right-libertarians consider them the real libertarians. I have more of a chance altering the direction of the Democratic party than I do the LP, because right libertarians are indeed the biggest frauds (or self-deluded schmucks) on the political spectrum.
posted by mrt at 12:06 AM on April 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Still, in America's race to bottom, it costs nothing to favor Paulist agenda.

You're doing it again, Blazecock -- you're conveniently ignoring everything they're saying because of some things you don't like. That entire post was a screed and a smear; you're not thinking about the issues at all, you're just piling on the hate.

I can't argue very intelligently about what Paul wants or doesn't want, because I don't know the man at all well. I've read a few things he's written about money and the economy that struck me as profoundly sensible, but that's about the limit of my knowledge.

But I can tell you that a lot of the Tea Partiers have nothing whatsoever to do with white power or racism or any of that -- they're simply pissed, mightily pissed, that we're being sold out to support criminally negligent banks. We're being forced to take on massive public debt because of a few greedy assholes. And things aren't really even changing -- we've gotten to the point now that we explicitly guarantee that if you're too big, we won't hold you responsible for your failures, but instead will ride to your rescue. This is incredibly corrosive to free enterprise, and is very much worth protesting.

But instead of actually using your brain, instead of THINKING about what they're telling you, you just fall back on the hate. You sound like a liberal Anne Coulter, and it's ugly.
posted by Malor at 2:58 AM on April 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


You sound like a liberal Anne Coulter, and it's ugly.

I'll admit that I don't really care much about giving credibility to his views on supply-side economics when he thinks that certain other Americans are subhumans.

If that's the cost for not ignoring Ron Paul's well-documented racist screeds and his demented, well-armed and equally racist minions, I think I can live with your ad hominem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:30 AM on April 18, 2009


Blazecock, that doesn't matter in this discussion. Whatever his other beliefs are, using them to scorn entirely separate people who are upset about one of the largest thefts in history is low-quality, sloppy thinking.

You're making generalizations about massive groups of people, ones that don't even vaguely fit your abstraction, and then dismissing them as subhuman and not worthy of respect.

You claim that they do the same thing, which makes them 'racist minions'. By your own argument, then, you yourself are a form of racist. Instead of tying your hate to skin color, you despise anyone who happens to agree with Ron Paul about anything.
posted by Malor at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2009


The teabaggers were not "massive groups" of people, and a whole lot of them are clearly selfish, racist, stupid people. I've watched a number of videos and hit a lot of sites, and there were very, very few people involved that should not be characterized in this manner.

They are a fringe group of mostly hateful, greedy people who if allowed to overly influence our culture will destroy two hundred years of progress toward an equality-based, freedom-based society.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 AM on April 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


By your own argument, then, you yourself are a form of racist.

Calling me a racist because I don't like a particular group of bigots that are the subject of discussion makes you ridiculous. That's about as much as I have to say to you on the subject.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:42 AM on April 18, 2009


you're conveniently ignoring everything they're saying because of some things you don't like

OK, how about a reason to mock Ron Paul based on what he actually says: He wants to kill the FDA.
posted by DU at 8:49 AM on April 18, 2009


Ron Paul isn't a racist! He just paid for the publication of racist views and signed his name to them, in a newletter named after himself!
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on April 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is warning that the economic downturn may be fuelling a rise in the numbers of right-wing extremist groups in America.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:07 AM on April 18, 2009


OK, how about a reason to mock Ron Paul based on what he actually says: He wants to kill the FDA.

If his desire is purely ideological -- that is, just because it's a bad thing for government to make sure that products are safe -- then yeah, that should be mocked. That form of libertarianism flat does not work. Just ask all those children in China with kidney damage from melamine.

There are people in the world who would use pregnant mothers as building material if they were legal and ten cents cheaper than lumber, and libertarianism doesn't handle those cases. We're just not mentally capable of dealing with societies of hundreds of millions of people; we can't track reputation in such large groups. Those who want to be deceptive can get away, quite literally, with murder in a fully free-market society.

So, yeah, if that's the reason, mock away. if the reason is either because he doesn't think the Constitution grants that power, or because he thinks the FDA is corrupt (which they are) and should be eliminated, I'd say he's wrong, but should be engaged and reasoned with, not dismissed.

I've gotten into a weird position here, in that I'm very slightly defending a guy I don't know much about, because my thinking at least partially tracks with his. I guess I'm trying to point out that there's a whole spectrum of opinion, and rejecting all of it wholesale because there are loonies about is a bad idea.

It's like how the WTO protestors break a few windows and instantly monopolize the conversation -- you get a few "JESUS HATES FAGS AND OBAMA" signs and all rational discourse goes away.
posted by Malor at 10:18 AM on April 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


that we're being sold out to support criminally negligent banks.

I'll admit that the $400B or so that we've borrowed to lose on TARP assets is questionable.

But I do find the analogy that the banks are the cardio-pulmonary system of the economy somewhat convincing. We've had two great experiments last decade -- 1929 here and 1989 in Japan on what happens when an economy's banking system is allowed to fail.

(There is a third example with Finland but that is several orders of magnitude smaller).

So it might cost a trillion or two to save the system. While the following is something of a fallacious argument, this is less than the cost of taking out Saddam and if we see preservation of GDP and wealth-creation of jobs it'll prove to be a helluva lot less waste of money.

Reasonable people can argue about the moral hazard of not BKing most of the equity holders of the too-big-to-fail institutions, and if the teabaggers confined their demonstrations to that then they would not be worthy of derision.

The teabaggers go far, far beyond that. Their message is political anti-Obamaism and attempt to portray the traditional big-D Democratic neoliberal agenda -- public works, progressive and mildly redistributive taxation, and government involvement in social services -- as either Hitlerian or Communist. If these people had a rational argument about this then there wouldn't be derision.

Their fears are irrational so so is their politics.

And it wasn't the banks that were "criminally" negligent -- they were just taking advantage of the system allowed under the previous laissez-faire/laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez pro-business administration. The real criminality came from the people the Bush team put in power 2001-2008. Funny that most of the teabaggers no doubt preferred McCain over Obama.
posted by mrt at 10:43 AM on April 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm very slightly defending a guy I don't know much about, because my thinking at least partially tracks with his.

This is exactly what Ron Paul (and the "libertarian movement") is counting on.
posted by DU at 2:01 PM on April 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, those people up there who bash "Ron Paulists" are totally buying into that agenda.

Think about ideas, not just about people.
posted by Malor at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2009


It doesn't matter which side you're on in a war, as long as you're the one selling the bullets.

I'm off to start my posterboard fabrication business.
posted by aliasless at 8:33 PM on April 18, 2009


And it wasn't the banks that were "criminally" negligent -- they were just taking advantage of the system allowed under the previous laissez-faire/laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez pro-business administration.

Which means you need to demand regulation, not oppose it. The banks did not fail because of too much regulation: they failed because they were under-regulated. Sane laws that protected the nation for fifty years were pecked away by parakeets of greed&sup1.

Likewise, the Georgia peanut deaths and the Maple Leaf listeria deaths in Canada were the result of too little regulation, again because the laws were loosened and inspections reduced. Same with bridge failures and levee failures. And so on and so forth.

If you do not regulate the important things — Wall Street, food chain, building codes — the crooks and liars and cheaters absolutely and always will fuck us over. It's the law of the wild jungle.

polite language.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:06 PM on April 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: I shaved my balls for this?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:39 PM on April 19, 2009


OK, how about a reason to mock Ron Paul based on what he actually says: He wants to kill the FDA. If his desire is purely ideological

Ron has went with 'not in the constitution - not gonna vote for it'. And the FDA would be 'powers the states should have' kinda thing.

So yea - ideological. That ideology also brings along pulling the military outta all foreign soil, no executive orders, wanting to be rid of the IRS, auditing the Federal Reserve, and I'd bet the exemptions/special laws for say Major League Baseball would also get a once over.

Likewise, the Georgia peanut deaths and the Maple Leaf listeria deaths in Canada were the result of too little regulation, again because the laws were loosened and inspections reduced.

Where the laws 'loosened' or was there non enforcement? I'm rather sure that laws do not get reduced, humans only ADD to the laws with new ones...rarely sunsetting the old. Enforcement is usually selective.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:03 PM on April 20, 2009


I'm rather sure

Yeah, that's a much better source of information than learning to read and looking it up for yourself.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:43 PM on April 20, 2009


In the case of the Wall Street gambling, it was because laws were reduced. In the Maple Leaf/Georgia Peanuts case, because stupid government cutbacks reduced inspections. I mean, really, what did those cutbacks save? 1/50000th of the total expenditure? Fucking stupid, that.

IMO it's about damn time that people recognized that in order to have a safe, healthy society, we need to cough up some dough. There are just too many creeps and cheats to be able to trust that voluntary compliance can work.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 PM on April 20, 2009


I now understand that 'another' tea party is planed for Sept 12th. Wonder if the counter protesters can get on message to ask all the tea baggers to ask about the $2 trillion that was announced missing on Sept 10th 2001.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:00 AM on April 21, 2009


In the case of the Wall Street gambling, it was because laws were reduced.

Yes. Agreed. Hence my 'rarely sunset' statement.

In fact a rule of thumb/canard should become 'if a law is removed - look real hard at the future fraud'

In the Maple Leaf/Georgia Peanuts case, because stupid government cutbacks reduced inspections.

The law was not changed. Thus supporting the idea that laws are additive as a general trend.

Selective enforcement - the way for the citizen to get around the 'lack of interest' was to be able to appeal directly to the county grand jury. DAs tend to run interference and stop such direct grand jury appeals.

There are just too many creeps and cheats to be able to trust that voluntary compliance can work.

It could work:
1) The court system would have to be willing to accept complaints from citizens
2) Penalties would have to become things like a 'corporate death sentence' - a willingness to pull a charter
3) software to track boycott issues and an actual willingness to boycott. Yet Wal-mart proves that price matters thus stunting the boycott option.

Regulation is problematic (in the US) as far back as George Washington - AKA the Whisky Rebellion and his willingness to create the tax to protect his distillery. Other examples would be the regs. on cheese that closed the 100's of small dairy processors or the upcomming animal tagging law. $15-$25 a chicken to get an RFID chip injection OR a $30,000+ retnal scanner. Even if you have 15 chickens YOU want to later kill (6 to 20 weeks later) to eat. If a regulation is crafted to protect a lobbying interest and put a smaller operation out of business - what's the penalty for the lawmaker(s) who craft and past such a regulation?

Creeps and cheats exist on the regulation side of the equation. What level of punishment needs to exist to deter them? Who effectively regulates the regulators?

Yeah, that's a much better source of information than learning to read and looking it up for yourself. posted by Pope Guilty

Ya could have posted links shows the laws being repealed. Or even scholarly work showing that more laws get repealed than written. You could have been an actual SOURCE of information.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:28 AM on April 21, 2009


Regulation is problematic

You know what, I'll take regulation's problems over turning the clock back to before labor law, food and drug law, environmental law, and business law.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:54 AM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know what, I'll take regulation's problems over turning the clock back to before labor law, food and drug law, environmental law, and business law.

We got plenty of law. Of the last 3 cited items, repeal of Glass-Steagall is the only 'back before' argument that might work. Cept for the part that most of the actions would be covered under other laws like, oh say fraud.

Equal enforcement is what is lacking. Unless you want to argue that each and every one of us *ARE* actually equal under the law, so all that is needed is better law and not better enforcement.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:08 AM on April 21, 2009


Where the laws 'loosened' or was there non enforcement? I'm rather sure that laws do not get reduced, humans only ADD to the laws with new ones...rarely sunsetting the old. Enforcement is usually selective.

No, actually the inspections were left to the states as part of a deregulation effort. The state then failed to inspect or looked the other way.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:26 AM on April 21, 2009


There are just too many creeps and cheats to be able to trust that voluntary compliance can work.
It could work:
1) The court system would have to be willing to accept complaints from citizens


Yah, that could work. If you're willing to let people DIE before problems get fixed. You know, like what happened with Maple Leaf and the Georgia Peanut scandal and countless other cases where companies slack off.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:37 AM on April 21, 2009


Yah, that could work. If you're willing to let people DIE before problems get fixed.

That does seem to the be level one is left with unless one wants to go with pre-crime.

And the punishment for the firms that cause death - what should that be? What should be the punishment if you worked at the firm, were informed of the law and knew (or should have known) said law was not followed? I'm betting both Maple Leaf and Georgia Peanut had employees who knew the law was not being followed. If they kept their mouths shut they got paid - what level of possible punishment would change that behavior? What bucks the "no one likes a tattle-tale" training of ones youth?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:14 AM on April 21, 2009


I'm betting both Maple Leaf and Georgia Peanut had employees who knew the law was not being followed.

As far as the Georgia/Texas peanut case goes, the plants' own independent testing was showing numerous problems. M&M/Mars even refused to do business with them because of conditions at the palnt and the results of their own testing!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:11 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


- Yah, that could work. If you're willing to let people DIE before problems get fixed.

- That does seem to the be level one is left with unless one wants to go with pre-crime.


Is "pre-crime" some kind of libertarian newspeak for "crime prevention", "safety regulation" or "law enforcement"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:41 PM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you get prosecuted, it's conspiracy. If I get prosecuted, it's pre-crime. Next question?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:50 PM on April 21, 2009


Next question?

What's the deal with instructions on Handi-Wipes? "Tear open packet, unfold, use"? What is that? Who needs that kind of instruction?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:52 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


An interesting article on "the special interest state."

I don't necessarily agree with the arguments in the article and would be interested in seeing a rebuttal.
posted by exogenous at 3:33 PM on April 21, 2009


Is that basically arguing that it's all FDRs fault and Reaganomics will save us?
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on April 21, 2009


That does seem to the be level one is left with unless one wants to go with pre-crime.

Or the government could adequately fund the regulatory agencies and their public health and safety inspectors.

There used to be a pretty good system of inspections and regulations. Then various governments (and especially conservative ones) hacked and slashed hell out of both the regulations (goodbye, EPA!) and the inspectors (the USA only needs two meat factory inspectors, right!) because it was so very important to reduce tax rates. Of the upper 1% wealthiest people, of course: to hell with the public good.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:19 PM on April 21, 2009


I don't necessarily agree with the arguments in the article and would be interested in seeing a rebuttal.

I don't think there's an argument to be rebutted as much as a history lesson to be taught to correct the revisionism shot through the "history" in the link. The USA made progressive choices about how to implement its constitution as society evolved and grew more industrial and urban. Some are bitter about this turn even after 100 years and would like to turn back that clock.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:12 PM on April 21, 2009


hacked and slashed hell out of both the regulations (goodbye, EPA!)

Errr, last I knew the EPA still existed. How have you come to the conclusion that the regulations have been 'hacked and slashed'?

and the inspectors

On that point there is agreement. Changing the law is far different than changing enforcement.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:57 AM on April 22, 2009


Errr, last I knew the EPA still existed. How have you come to the conclusion that the regulations have been 'hacked and slashed'?

You have got to be shitting me. Did you live in a cave this past eight years?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:26 PM on April 22, 2009


You have got to be shitting me.

Nope.

Did you live in a cave this past eight years?

Nope.

The total word count of the EPA regs would have to have dropped. The IRS has all its old forms/regs on line. I have no idea where to look for old EPA rules without dropping alot of coin at lexis/nexus.

The question on the table was 'How have you come to the conclusion'. Too bad for a fact based conversation you can't answer the "how" with a word count.

Based on the rules and regs I've seen over the years - laws don't get removed often. A simple proxy is word count of the laws.

Rather than asking about shit in caves, can you provide the reasons for your statements?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:37 PM on April 22, 2009


I'd say do your own damn research, but I suspect you'd continue to bullshit me.

The Environmental Protection Agency's pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration, with the number of prosecutions, new investigations and total convictions all down by more than a third, according to Justice Department and EPA data.

The latest outrage came last week when the Environmental Protection Agency released its new standard for ozone, the primary ingredient in smog. The administration lowered the standard that regions must meet to comply with clean-air rulesfrom 84 parts per billion to 75, which seems like progress until one considers that the EPA's panel of independent scientists had recommended a standard no higher than 70 parts per billion.

Johnson approved pesticide testing on human subjects, lowered the monetary value of a human life by $1 million, reduced air pollution reporting requirements for corporate farms, and altered a chemical risk-assessment program that has slowed analysis to a crawl.

“EPA has fought every call for a safety standard for perchlorate in drinking water, prompting Congress to introduce measures compelling the agency to do so. Now, with less than two weeks left in power, the Bush team has come up with a last-minute ploy – another study that will amount to a delaying action.”

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that will allow coal companies to bury streams under the rocks leftover from mining.

According to a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 900 employees of the EPA feel like their work has been interfered with for political reasons; sixty-percent of those who responded to the Union’s survey encountered some form of executive manipulation.

It was announced in early February that several EPA research libraries are to be shut down due to a $2 million cut in funding out of a total $2.5 million budget.

Under pressure from the chemical industry, the Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed an outspoken scientist who chaired a federal panel responsible for helping the agency determine the dangers of a flame retardant widely used in electronic equipment.

The Bush administration signed off on a controversial 11th hour repeal of the stream buffer-zone rule this week, an environmental law which since 1983 has prohibited surface coal-mining activities within 100 feet of flowing streams.

Last week, it was revealed that an Environmental Protection Agency office had lowered its official estimate of life’s value, from about $8.04 million to about $7.22 million. …This is the first time that a government agency has ever reduced the “value of a statistical life.”

And finally, read this: Smoke and Mirrors, the Subversion of the EPA.

The Bush administration hacked and slashed EPA budgets and laws, placing people's lives in greater danger. Quit wasting my fucking time, you useless troll.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 PM on April 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


FWIW I suspect the teabaggers did indeed spend the last eight years in a cave.
posted by Artw at 11:27 PM on April 22, 2009


I'll note that you didn't actually compare the actual laws, you use other peoples opinion pieces on the web as your cherry-picking source.

In the interest of dialogue, I'll work with it.

The Environmental Protection Agency's pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration,

Enforcement. Not the actual written law.

The administration lowered the standard that regions must meet to comply with clean-air rulesfrom 84 parts per billion to 75, which seems like progress until one considers that the EPA's panel of independent scientists had recommended a standard no higher than 70 parts per billion.

So they made it better, but not as good as it was recommended? Decreasing the amount backs my position that laws tend towards restriction not relaxation.

Johnson approved pesticide testing on human subjects...

Johnson doesn't have the power of law - just enforcement.

Bush team has come up with a last-minute ploy – another study that will amount to a delaying action.”

Bush doesn't make law - just signs it so this one is policy/enforcement.

last-minute rule change by the Bush administration.

Bush doesn't make law - just signs it so this one is policy/enforcement.

some form of executive manipulation.

Congress - laws. Executive - enforcement.

research libraries are to be shut down

Not law. Bean counting budget administrative stuff.

Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed an outspoken scientist

Staffing decisions != law.

The Bush administration signed off on a controversial 11th hour repeal of the stream buffer-zone rule this week,

Rule is an enforcement guideline.

Environmental Protection Agency office had lowered its official estimate of life’s value, from about $8.04 million

And that life value is a law where? Nope more enforcement decisions.

Smoke and Mirrors, the Subversion of the EPA.

This content requires the version 10.0.12 of the Adobe Flash Player.

Quit wasting my fucking time, you useless troll.

I understand your anger. Its quite common really.

You've been told you live under the 'rule of law', yet you see laws being broken and the well connected not being punished. That is the power of enforcement - allowing the well connected to avoid punishment and allowing the connected to use the force of law to attack their opposition.

You've been upset over the actions of government for some time here on the blue. And that's a fine thing, plenty they've done is worthy of anger - but when you have been corrected and you lash out with 'useless troll' - do consider looking looking inward and ask "was I wrong and that's why I'm pissed".
posted by rough ashlar at 5:10 AM on April 23, 2009


FWIW I suspect the teabaggers did indeed spend the last eight years in a cave.

I did see a 'the congress should read the bills' sign - so at least one was not 'in a cave'. What caves have internet access to downsizedc.com or even Micheal Moore's 911 film where he has the congressman say 'no we didn't read the patriot act - who had the time?' (or something like that)

And for all the outrage over the taxes - why not the same outrage after Don's announcement about the Pentagon having lost 2 trillion? (alas, I can not find a post on the Blue for the Sept 10th press conference. Too news filter-y I guess)

From 2000

And, she added, they “cannot produce an audit trail of information.” What this means in plain English is that, unlike virtually every American business and nonprofit organization, the Pentagon does not operate with such rudiments as double-entry bookkeeping.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:21 AM on April 23, 2009


The total word count of the EPA regs would have to have dropped. The IRS has all its old forms/regs on line. I have no idea where to look for old EPA rules without dropping alot of coin at lexis/nexus.

I think you are confusing legislation with regulation.

The clean water act and clean air act and environmental protection act, still exist and have not been hacked nor slashed, that's the legislation. The enforcement of those acts of congress is up to the executive branch. The way that they decide to enforce those laws is called policy and the minute details about how the enforcement will work is called regulation. Regulation gets changed every five minutes by the agency publishing a Notice. You find these changes in a publication called the Federal Register. Each volume has about, oh, 75,000 or so pages and we are up to volume 74 or 75 now. In that 5 million or so pages are numerous regulatory changes from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, ect.

Back to the legislature part though. Yeah, that does remain. The clean water act said that all US waters would be clean or in the process of being cleaned by 1983.

1983.

Things were going pretty darn well in the 1970's. Lake Erie actually has fish in it and doesn't catch fire any more. Then guess what happened in the USA? The Reagan Revolution. So much for clean water by 1983.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:35 AM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


From http://www.martenlaw.com/news/?20090318-epa-rule-review-process
Agencies such as EPA have increasingly used guidance documents, which are informal policy documents that do not have the force of law like regulations, but reveal how an agency will interpret and enforce statutory or regulatory provisions.

the force of law like regulations
posted by rough ashlar at 5:36 AM on April 23, 2009


publication called the Federal Register.

Thanks. I knew there was a place - now I have to decide how much I care about showing someone who has shown they are willing to remain ignorant that the regulations were 'slashed and hacked' via word count. But going from volume 59 to 74 is supporting my position that the weight of the law increases over time.

Then guess what happened in the USA? The Reagan Revolution. So much for clean water by 1983.

Funny thing - laws and dates. I could never figure out the whole 'government wants to take our guns' spew. Then one day, I caught a reference to a Kennedy (or perhaps it was not him but back 'then') era law. That law was calling for a peaceful world and it was planning on not only getting rid of guns but nuclear weapons.

As far as my meager interest and searching went - said law was never repealed and from what I can tell, not really working toward enforcement. Odds are someone has a compilation of various laws that exist which are not being enforced - such is the product of the tendancy for laws to not be repealed. There used to be a site called stupid laws and it featured "You cannot "worry a squirrel." (La Crosse)" Said site also mentioned how Wisconsin ruins the "pitchforks and torches" mob with "It is a class A misdemeanor to wave a burning torch around in the air. "
posted by rough ashlar at 5:55 AM on April 23, 2009


As far as my meager interest and searching went

Yeah, I'm starting to think "troll".
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:34 AM on April 23, 2009


"I refuse to look anything up, but will critique your responses in detail."
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm starting to think "troll".

Do trolls ride hobby horses?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2009


But going from volume 59 to 74 is supporting my position that the weight of the law increases over time.

One word on this - something you need to know about legislation is that a great deal of it is comprised of amendments. Not in the Bill of Rights sense, but rather, in the sense of
Article IV

1. Where previously it is written " ... and the stop sign shall be painted red two times per year, once in spring and once in summer" it shall now read " ... and the stoplight bulbs shall be inspected every six months"
or even
Article IV

1. The sentence " ... and the stop sign shall be painted red two times per year, once in spring and once in summer" shall br stricken from the law.
and so on. Measuring legislation by word count is a bit like weighing sculptures to judge their artistic value.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:49 AM on April 23, 2009


Measuring legislation by word count is a bit like weighing sculptures to judge their artistic value.

Considering a response to 'laws increase' is 'no they don't - look at the hacking and slashing' - there is a whole lot of artistic value judging going on.

Word count is at least a yes/no measure VS claiming 'hacked and slashed' analysis of law.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:29 AM on April 23, 2009


One problem with your word count is that they have to issue Federal Register Notices to remove language just as they do to add it. Sometimes creative writing is necessary to avoid having to enforce a law, so you might actually get a larger, longer regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations to say you aren't going to do something.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:36 AM on April 23, 2009


Considering a response to 'laws increase' is 'no they don't - look at the hacking and slashing' - there is a whole lot of artistic value judging going on.

Word count is at least a yes/no measure VS claiming 'hacked and slashed' analysis of law.


Except when those added words do hack and slash.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:40 AM on April 23, 2009


Sometimes creative writing is necessary to avoid having to enforce a law

Choosing not to enforce.

(now here's where this is going to get fun)

so you might actually get a larger, longer regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations

If the "force of law like regulations" is the case - then you have civil servants writing law. Writing law is what Congress is supposed to do.

Guess when people say the Constitution is "a goddamned piece of paper." they mean it.

(But hey who's shocked. The guy on the $20 bill didn't bow to the ruling of the supreme court.)

words do hack and slash.

Emotive words - hack and slash. No amount of evidence will be able to convince idealogues who use such language over something that is supposed to be cut and dry like law.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:51 PM on April 23, 2009


Guess when people say the Constitution is "a goddamned piece of paper." they mean it.


Who says that?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:32 PM on April 23, 2009


Guess when people say the Constitution is "a goddamned piece of paper." they mean it.
Who says that?


Its like some people have been in a cave without access to the internet over the last 8 years.

http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF8&q=constitution+a+goddamned+piece+of+paper

(although http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_president_bush_call_the_constitution_a.html makes a case as to "no" - to be fair and balanced.)
posted by rough ashlar at 8:38 PM on April 23, 2009


Oh, I thought you meant that guy. The guy who shredded it as well as the EPA regs.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2009


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