9/12 Protests

Yesterday, somewhere between “tens of thousands” and “two million” people flooded the nation’s capital to protest somethingoranother.

Thousands Rally in Capital to Protest Big Government (Jeff Zeleny, NYT)

9-12 protest NYT

Amanda Lucidon for The New York Times

A sea of protesters filled the west lawn of the Capitol and spilled onto the National Mall on Saturday in the largest rally against President Obama since he took office, a culmination of a summer-long season of protests that began with opposition to a health care overhaul and grew into a broader dissatisfaction with government.

On a cloudy and cool day, the demonstrators came from all corners of the country, waving American flags and handwritten signs explaining the root of their frustrations. Their anger stretched well beyond the health care legislation moving through Congress, with shouts of support for gun rights, lower taxes and a smaller government.

But as they sang verse after verse of patriotic hymns like “God Bless America,” sharp words of profane and political criticism were aimed at Mr. Obama and Congress.

Dick Armey, a former House Republican leader whose group Freedomworks helped organize the protest, stood before the crowd and led the rallying cries in nearly the same spot where Mr. Obama took his oath of office eight months ago. “He pledged a commitment of fidelity to the United States Constitution,” Mr. Armey said, suggesting that Mr. Obama was in violation of what the founding fathers intended the size and scope of the government to be.

“Liar! Liar! Liar! Liar!” the crowd shouted back, echoing the accusation that Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, hurled at the president three days earlier during his address to Congress.

The demonstrators numbered well into the tens of thousands, though the police declined to estimate the size of the crowd. Many came on their own and were not part of an organization or group. But the magnitude of the rally took the authorities by surprise, with throngs of people streaming from the White House to Capitol Hill for more than three hours.

Lashing Out at the Capitol – Tens of Thousands Protest Obama Initiatives and Government Spending (Emma Brown, James Hohmann and Perry Bacon Jr. – WaPo)

Tens of thousands of conservative protesters, many complaining that the nation is racing toward socialism, massed outside the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, angrily denouncing President Obama’s health-care plan and other initiatives as threats to the Constitution.

The crowd — loud, animated and sprawling — gathered at the West Front of the Capitol after a march along Pennsylvania Avenue NW from Freedom Plaza. Invocations of God and former president Ronald Reagan by an array of speakers drew loud cheers that echoed across the Mall. On a windy, overcast afternoon, hundreds of yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags flapped in the breeze.

“Hell hath no fury like a taxpayer ignored,” declared Andrew Moylan, head of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union, urging protesters to call their representatives. The demonstrators roared their approval. “We own the dome!” they chanted, pointing at the Capitol.

The demonstrators are part of a loose-knit movement that is galvanizing anti-Obama sentiment across the country, stoking a populist dimension to the Republican Party, which has struggled to find its voice since the 2008 elections.

Tea Party Protesters March on Washington – Thousands March to U.S. Capitol to Protest Government Spending, Health Care; Many Chanted ‘You Lie’ (Russell Goldman, ABC)

Thousands of conservative protesters from across the country converged on the Capitol Saturday morning to demonstrate against President Obama’s proposals for health care reform and voicing opposition to big government, what they say is over-the-top spending.

Carrying signs depicting President Obama as Adolf Hitler and the Joker, and chanting slogans such as “‘No big government” and “Obamacare makes me sick,” approximately 60,000 to 70,000 people flooded Pennsylvania Ave, according to the Washington DC Fire Department.

Organized by FreedomWorks, a conservative activist group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, many of the protestors were affiliated with the Tea Party movement, grassroots demonstrations that began across the country last spring to protest Democratic tax policies, and government bailouts of the banking and auto industries.

The big blogospheric debate seems to be over crowd size. FreedomWorks apparently quoted ABC News as reporting the crowd size at “1 million to 1.5 million” and others claimed as much as 2 million. ABC issued a report denying that it ever said anything of the sort: “At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as “tens of thousands.” The fact of the matter is that nobody ever has a very good idea how many people attended these things and, since the fiasco of the “Million Man March,” the Capitol Police have wisely stopped providing estimates.

Suffice it to say: A whole lot of people showed up. Michelle Malkin has crowd photos and there’s no refuting that the turnout was simply massive.

What’s more interesting to me is not how many but Why? Matt Yglesias does what pretty much everybody does when there’s a big protest from the other side: Point to the yahoos.

I wouldn’t want to tell you that the majority of the people I saw at this morning’s tea party were such hard-core patriots that they felt the need to walk around waving flags of treason and slavery:

9-12-protest-confederate

Still it did strike me as noteworthy that your basic tea party crowd isn’t the sort of crowd in which a Confederate flag is unwelcome. I feel like if you’d tried to bring this to a health care rally, folks would have gotten upset. But the tea parties, like a lot of big time conservative events, are a very racism friendly environment. This guy, for example, clearly isn’t so much the type to march with a racist shirt on as he is the kind of guy who’d march with a shirt ridiculing the idea of anti-racism:

9-12-protest-guns

As was the case with the bulk of the protesters, there was very little sense that anyone had any actual specific complaint with Obama’s health care proposals. That one woman loves the confederacy. This guy thinks guns are great and diversity is stupid. Many protesters feel that abortion is murder and/or that Barack Obama is in league with terrorists. But nobody had a sign urging the president to adopt more stringent cost control measures, or slamming the concept of regulations to require insurers to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Now, as a Southerner, I tend to have a more benign view of people waving Confederate flags or wearing pro-gun T-shirts. Some of them are racist yahoos, to be sure, but most of them are just decent folks taking pride in a way of life they feel is under assault.

Regardless, however, Matt’s right about the last part:  There’s not one single thing motivating all these people.  They likely have vastly different policy preferences even on the central issue that supposedly ties them together: opposition to Big Government, whose era is not in fact over.  I would simply add that this is true of all mass protest movements.

We on the Right have always made fun of these protestors — which have, until now, been almost exclusively the province of the Left — because, frankly, there are always a lot of yahoos in the crowd.   There are always plenty of signs and t-shirts and epithets shouted that would make the organizers cringe because they take away from the intended message and make the protest seem less serious.  (Matt Welch, who is very sympathetic to the Tea Party cause, points to a man carrying a sign saying “Stop spending our tacos. I love tacos.”  I have no idea what inspired that but it’s epic.)

On the Left, there seem to be a solid cohort who will show up to protest anything; they’re damned near professional protesters.    With the Tea Party protests, we may finally be seeing their analog on the Right.

It’s unfair, regardless of the loose cause that motivates them to show up, to criticize the “movement” because individual protesters seem unable to articulate why they’re there.  Most people really can’t do that.  And people who show up to protest are usually motivated by emotion rather than cold logic.  They’re simply angry at the direction they think they’re country’s going and want to vent their frustrations and show that they’re not alone.  Welch nails it:

Political rallies are no place to seek the subtle truth, nor feel particularly glowing about your countrymen, and today was no different in that regard for me. But the meta-fact about a huge anti-Obamanomics protest eight months into his term is certainly significant, and very little of what I saw made me fear that Alex Pareene will be blown to smithereens by a suicide hijacker from Arkansas.

Malkin’s got my favorite photo:

hell no party

Not only is the sign defiantly funny — and decidedly not Astroturfed — but it’s a great crowd shot of a bunch of regular Americans getting together to express their displeasure with their government in a civilized manner.  Protest rallies aren’t, so to speak, my cup of tea.  But there are worse outlet valves for the inevitable frustrations of a huge and incredibly diverse country.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. odograph says:

    In the top photos yesterday there was a guy with a sign which read “when you trade freedom for security, you get neither.” It drove the point for me that while I agreed with many of the signs, where were these people in the Bush years?

    How is Obama “taking away our freedoms” when it was Bush who rolled out warantless wiretaps?

    I guess that’s why I’m going to be put off and not that sympathetic to the Beck crowd. They only wake up when it’s a black liberal to fear.

  2. G.A.Phillips says:

    I guess that’s why I’m going to be put off and not that sympathetic to the Beck crowd. They only wake up when it’s a black liberal to fear.

    Typical race bating liberal.

    Dude what does his pigmentation have to do with him being a idiot, he is a puppet for anti American progressives, and not much more, Used for his skin color, and celebrity.

    I guess that’s why I’m going to be put off and not that sympathetic to the Beck crowd. They only wake up when it’s a black liberal to fear.

    It takes some time and some major alarms to go off for some wake up but thank God for fox news hiring Beck and getting his message out.

    When will you wake up ODO, and see beyond the fog of indoctrination?

    Glen Beck makes the point of this protest and the solution….

    END THE CORRUPTION ON ALL SIDES AND RE FOUND THIS COUNTRY!!!!!

  3. Pete says:

    Odo, conservatives are guilty of moral relevancy, no doubt. Yet, they are now responding to a simmering unease about the size, arrogance, inefficiency and reach of the federal govt. Hell, even if it were McCain now pushing for this govt. reach into our lives, my bet is the unease would have grown; perhaps not to the level we see. When people lose half their net worth and their jobs, the fear turns simmering to boil. And to conservatives, the ideas promoted by this administration add fuel to the fire. Not sure why you don’t understand the passion.

  4. Dan Collins says:

    I wonder how many people would think that their participation was organized by Freedomworks? If people want to know how we really got here, they’d be better off checking out Dana Loesch’s post at Big Government.

  5. odograph says:

    You gotta remember, I know this guy who actually tells me that my belief in racial equality is “communist.” This of course colors the way I see other protesters.

    But even if you want to leave that out, I think you should tell me why the protests didn’t start under Bush. The big budget deficit expansion began under Bush. The big takeover of the financial industry began under Bush.

    Why didn’t Beck and Fox turn on Bush at that point?

  6. odograph says:

    That’s a good argument, Pete, though I don’t buy all of it. In a McCain government, I think the Fox machine would still be defending “their” government.

    They would not have become “the network in opposition.”

  7. Dan Collins says:

    odograph, I don’t know about Glenn Beck and Fox, because I don’t watch them, but I can tell you that there were a lot of us screaming Big Time when the Bush bailout came. You don’t seem to recall, either, that the Dems were in charge of Congress for the last two years of Bush’s term, and that Bush and others had attempted to put the brakes on Fannie and Freddie, which fueled so much of the housing bubble. That said, to listen to Obama carp about the debt he inherited while knowing that within months he had quadrupled it makes me sick.

  8. odograph says:

    Thanks Dan, for the thoughtful answer. If you really want to track it down you can see the mortgage share held by Freddy and Fannie before, during, and after the crisis. I’ve given some links in the past. Basically they were pushed out of the market as creative financing and bond traders took over. When a loan broker had a choice between a staid Freddie or Fannie style loan, and slamming someone into a creative product with a high commission, they took the high commission.

    OK, here is a graph:

    http://real-estate-and-urban.blogspot.com/2008/09/charles-calomiris-and-peter-wallis.html

    As that blogger says, watch the pink line fall, starting around 2000, as the bright blue line climbs.

    The sad thing is that Congress basically ordered them back into the breach when those creative loans started failing. To protect (their friends in) the private and creative firms, they had Freddie and Fannie buy up bad loan obligations on the secondary market.

  9. odograph says:

    (it was those Asset Backed Securities, ABS, that blew up the credit system.)

  10. Sandra says:

    A friend that was at our house on Saturday had a co-worker down in the District (working, Federal Law Enforcement) estimates OVER a million.

    Funny was “HOW LITTLE COVERAGE” there was on the local news about this. I know of a few that came from out of town that are planning to “crash” the Lefties rally, after all they are here now, why not.

    There was more of PBO giving a speech somewhere and the crowds there, than what was happening in DC.

    Next time, it needs to be done on a WORKDAY, not weekend, oh wait, these are all the people that actually DO WORK, and DO PAY TAXES!

    What would happen if the tax payers (the ones that do not get their with-holdings plus as a tax rebate) went on strike?

  11. Dan Collins says:

    Fair enough, odograph, but where’s the clawback on Franklin Raines? Why is Jamie Gorelick an Obama advisor?

  12. odograph says:

    I have never been a fan of Federal intervention in the housing market. I’ve never even thought that there should be a mortgage interest deduction on our tax forms. It perturbs the market. A decision to rent or buy should not be driven by the government. I tolerated things like veterans loans, but was never a supporter of Freddie or Fannie (or Ginnie or Sallie).

    So I’d be fine with winding them down, and mortgage deductions, and even developing a more sane long-term capital gains system (that does not penalize mutual fund owners relative to home owners).

    I only protest the Freddie and Fannie link to the credit crisis because I think they were … like a criminal who did not commit this particular crime ;-). Keep looking for the real bad guys.

    Possibly the obvious villains were the rating agencies, an interesting storyline:

    http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/04/29/credit-crisis-101-blame-the-credit-rating-agencies/

    Oh … on why Washington loves Freddie, Fannie, and housing subsidies … it’s an easy vote-getter for both parties. Bush did his “ownership society” speeches too.

  13. Dan Collins says:

    I agree with you about that. Another, related question is whether such institutions ought to be allowed to lobby or finance campaigns. I guess maybe we ought to ask Rahm what he thinks.

  14. odograph says:

    I think they got away with it when they were “independent” and so it really reduced to corporate lobbying at that point.

  15. Finally, photographic evidence that there were two actual black people at this rally. That proves rage-filled, bile-spitting loons aren’t all racist. 99.9% sure, but not all.

  16. Dan Collins says:

    Rahmbo got wealthy sitting on the board of directors–yes, when they were committing Enron-style accounting to inflate bonuses.

  17. Dan Collins says:

    Don’t sweat it, Michael, they weren’t “authentic” black people. And there wasn’t anything racial about 93% of black voters going for Obama, either.

  18. Herb says:

    It’s interesting how the Tea Parties have morphed from a specific anti-stimulus animus to a more general and vague anti-Obama impotent rage. Despite the crowd size (helped by it being Saturday perhaps?) it doesn’t seem like a movement that’s gaining steam so much as one that’s losing focus.

    I’m curious about this statement, though, James.

    Some of them are racist yahoos, to be sure, but most of them are just decent folks taking pride in a way of life they feel is under assault.

    What way of life are we talking about here?

    Are we talking about the golden age of the confederacy, you know, separatism, slavery, and treason? The good old days of Jim Crow? Or something else?

    It’s always struck me, as a bonafide union sympathizer, that if the “way of life” represented by the confederate flag is under assault…it goddamn well should be.

  19. Dan Collins says:

    Whereas Che shirts at an anti-Bush rally? Charming.

  20. James Joyner says:

    What way of life are we talking about here?

    Are we talking about the golden age of the confederacy, you know, separatism, slavery, and treason? The good old days of Jim Crow? Or something else?

    While race no doubt motivates some, it’s mostly about culture. Society is decidedly more secular and they’re religious. They have a primordial attachment to their guns and think their right to keep them is in danger. Our culture is more sexualized, profane, coarse, and impersonal for a whole host of reasons. That’s not going to change and I don’t even lament most of it but I understand why people are angry.

    And they’re no different from the “we’re losing the America that I love” sentiment that comes from urbanites and lefties during Republican administrations.

  21. James:

    I spent much of my childhood in Virginia and some of my adult years. I’ve never bought the lifestyle argument.

    The pattern in the south goes back to slave days when poor (non slave-holding) whites were impoverished by slavery but given a fig leaf of self-respect based on race. “I may not have much but at least I ain’t a n—.”

    These are the people who filled the enlisted ranks of the Confederate army — poor whites who had nothing but their whiteness. They died in their thousands so that rich slave holders — men who used slavery in part to ensure the on-going poverty of whites — could live in luxury.

    This is the backbone of the southern white self-image still, today. “At least I aint . . .” This is not to say racism is unique to the south: it clearly isn’t. But this particular mind-set, this false self-image based entirely on race, is a southern phenomenon.

    That’s what the Confederate flag is about. They’re still poorer than most Americans, still less-educated, still sidelined culturally, but at least they aren’t black.

    Now these people are faced with the ultimate challenge to their ragged self-image: the President of the United States is black. He’s smart, urbane, intellectually accomplished, has a lovely wife and family. And to make matters worse they’re hearing that this isn’t some anomaly, it’s the shape of the future: America as Hispanic, black, Asian, gay . . . all the things southern whites aren’t.

    But at the heart of it is race. Thus always.

  22. DavidL says:

    Somebody should tell Matt Yglesias that the Civil War is over, and we are at peace. Does Yglesias fly into rage when somebody displays evidence of Native American, Japanese, Italian or German heritage? I for one do not.

    Locally, Rochester, NY, we have both German and Italian festivals. I don’t go to either, but neither to suggest those who attend either should be consisdered as potential subversives.

    It seems that libards like Yglesias confuse friends with enemies. They seem to hold that while we should pretend we not at war with militant Islamists, we should act as if we are war with our own citizens, who happen have cultural roots for which Yglesias does not seem care. Petty and pathetic.

  23. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Ode, who did Bush wiretap? You? If you would get in the habit of telling the whole truth rather than just portions which fit your arguement, you would find holes in that arguement. Now we will see if you are able to tell the whole truth about who was wiretapped and in what situations was that allowed. Ode, you seem to have a problem with Bush. Unfortunately, Bush is no longer President. If you want to get out the memory book. How many Americans died at the hands of our government, in America, due to the actions of the Government. Now compare that number to Clinton. How many Cuban boys were sent back to the dictatorial nation of Cuba under Bush? If anyone does not know or understand what the big gathering of regular people in Washington DC was about. Notice it was unfunded. No union involvement. Just folks spending their own money to come the seat of government to tell their representatives they are on the wrong path. If you fail to understand that, wait till Nov 4, 2010 and you will be really confused.

  24. Our Paul says:

    I for one, kind of liked this:

    Now, as a Southerner, I tend to have a more benign view of people waving Confederate flags or wearing pro-gun T-shirts. Some of them are racist yahoos, to be sure, but most of them are just decent folks taking pride in a way of life they feel is under assault.

    And what pray tell is the way of life that is under assault? Are these decent folks so dense that they do not understand that the Confederate flag is offensive to many, and that its display at any political rally has a very specific connotation? And do you think this is a reasonable response:

    While race no doubt motivates some, it’s mostly about culture. Society is decidedly more secular and they’re religious. They have a primordial attachment to their guns and think their right to keep them is in danger. Our culture is more sexualized, profane, coarse, and impersonal for a whole host of reasons. That’s not going to change and I don’t even lament most of it but I understand why people are angry. (My italics, OP)

    For those who wish to get a flavor of the type of folks who attended this protest march, and the types of posters and flags Dick Armey’s minions handed out, both the New York Times and the Washington Post articles, quoted by our host have photo galleries. They are well worth a perusal for those who wonder what decent folk, who are less sexualized, profane, coarse, and impersonal, look like. I also recommend those collected at BAGnewnotes, which have a bit more bite to them.

    My own heartfelt kudos Our Lady of the Pom Pom Dance who managed to unearth and then snap two racially diverse folk sitting with a white guy. It is nice to know that despite in all the other photographs available, where neither youth nor folk of color could be found, the event was multicultural!

    Bah, humbug, where is Tangoman when we really need him? Somebody should stand up in defense of Armey and FreedomWorks and TeaBaggers…

  25. DavidL:

    It is absurd to pretend that history simply stopped one fine day and all its echos died out.

    These are the facts: the white race in this country enslaved, sold, beat, tortured, raped and murdered the black race. Much the same to native Americans.

    So no, no, no, waving the Confederate flag is not the same as German-Americans donning lederhosen and drinking good German beer. The better analogy would be German-Americans carrying swastikas, or Italian-Americans holding aloft pictures of Mussolini.

    You’ll notice those things never happen. Because Germans understand what the swastika means and Italians understand what Mussolini was about. The key difference is that white southerners are either ignorant or dishonest. They refuse to accept the facts and cling instead to myths.

  26. Herb says:

    While race no doubt motivates some, it’s mostly about culture.I understand why people are angry, too, but what I don’t understand is why they think their culture is under attack.

    Religion? Even lefties have religion. Not only that, but differences of opinion, in many ways, are the hallmarks of American religion. (Heck, we can’t even agree on the exact nature of the trinity and we’re going to come to a consensus on the proper place for the Christmas creche? Yeah, right.)

    As for guns, it seems to me that this one is more complex. Sure, there’s a cultural aspect, but there are also public safety concerns. In the sense that gun rights are under “attack,” it’s not to disarm and subjugate people under a tyrannical government. It’s to balance constitutional legal rights with responsible “best use” practices.

    If we’re talking media, hey…we all get the same cable packages, even if we don’t watch the same channels. If they don’t want to watch coarse and sexually explicit True Blood, see what’s on Lifetime. That one exists is not an attack on the other. That there’s room for both is a testament to the strength of our larger national culture (a national culture not much respected by confederate flag wavers, I presume).

    I guess I just think the cultural threat does not warrant the siege mentality. It all seems somewhat hysterical to me. Especially the confederate flag business.

  27. G.A.Phillips says:

    But at the heart of it is race. Thus always.

    Thanks to the democratic party.

  28. JKB says:

    Well, getting lost in all the race baiting over a one flag and a guy who likes guns is the fact that tens of thousands of tax paying citizens with jobs, kids and all sorts of adult responsibilities took time to go to DC to express their displeasure with the way the politicians are taking the country. These weren’t a bunch of college students trying to occupy themselves on a weekend, these people had yard work and home repairs that needed doing but they put them off tell the beltway crowd to stop mucking things up.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Somebody should tell Matt Yglesias that the Civil War is over, and we are at peace. Does Yglesias fly into rage when somebody displays evidence of Native American, Japanese, Italian or German heritage?

    If such evidence included symbols that stood for treason and racism, then yes, people would be justified to fly into a rage…

    Thanks to the democratic party.

    Yes, of course…because if it weren’t for the Democratic Party, race would not be a factor at all in this country, right? Did you huff glue much during your days working in the porn industry…

  30. An Interested Party says:

    These weren’t a bunch of college students trying to occupy themselves on a weekend, these people had yard work and home repairs that needed doing but they put them off tell the beltway crowd to stop mucking things up.

    Oh, I see…so the legitimacy of any protest has nothing to do with the message of the protest itself, but, rather, whether or not the majority of protesters have stuff to do back home…I guess yard work and home repairs are more important than writing papers and studying, huh?

  31. Herb says:

    These weren’t a bunch of college students trying to occupy themselves on a weekend, these people had yard work and home repairs that needed doing but they put them off tell the beltway crowd to stop mucking things up.Why does this impress you?

    There’s going to be thousands of people today forgoing their yard work and home repairs today…as they descend upon the nation’s NFL stadiums.

    If we were basing things on crowd size alone, we’d have to conclude that football is more important than opposing the Obama administration. But of course, we shouldn’t base things on crowd size…

  32. G.A.Phillips says:

    When liberals get desperate they pull out the race card.
    They try to change the subject and pull out the race card.

  33. Our Paul says:

    I would like to point out to the readership, that like DavidL (September 13, 2009 | 11:52 am), I am also from Rochester, NY.

    The only women whose face was stamped on a U.S. coin, was from Rochester, NY. Frederick Douglas lived, wrote, and died in Rochester, NY. They were collaborators in the suffrage and individual freedom movement. As friends, they disagreed on the need for the temperance movement. I firmly believe that if alive, they would give DavidL the right to speak his mind, but would point out that labeling folks as libards does not advance the proper use of the English language…

    I also suspect that they would gently point out to him that his not attending our Italian and German festivals has nothing to do with folks waving Confederate flags, painting the face of the Joker on the likeness of our first multi-racial President, or waving yellow flags emblazoned with a snake and Don’t Tread on Me. One has to wonder whether folks from New Hampshire were pleased with this display…

    Trust me, Rochester has always had a crazy left as both Ms. Anthony and Mr. Douglas showed. It is nice to see that DavidL his holding down the fort for the right.

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    Good God do I ever miss the old Herb…..

  35. anjin-san says:

    and that Bush and others had attempted to put the brakes on Fannie and Freddie

    If it makes you feel good to pretend that the disaster of the Bush economy is somehow the fault of Democrats who took control of Congress in 2006, well, stay with your fantasy. But most folks are aware that 5 year interest-only ARM’s peaked in 2005.

  36. Wayne says:

    “Are these decent folks so dense that they do not understand that the Confederate flag is offensive to many”

    Are you so dense that you don’t understand that it is a symbol of rebellion, self reliance, Southern Country living, and defiance against too much federal intrusion in one’s life to many people.

    “These are the facts: the white race in this country enslaved, sold, beat, tortured, raped and murdered the black race”

    Blacks did the same thing to whites and blacks throughout history. They are still doing it today in Africa while we have gone past that.

    “How is Obama “taking away our freedoms”

    By trying to pass socialist programs including forcing everyone to have health care and putting it in a government program. Talking about the need for truth in the press while members of his party are talking about bringing back the fairness doctrine that targets his oppositions. Talk of mandatory community service.

    Then there is the massive spending and many of us have spoken out about it during the Bush years but now that Obama has run up the deficit in one year more than Bush and all other presidents combine, many more are speaking out .Also remember the reason many of the cuts that we wanted to do in the Bush years were block by Democrat’s filibuster.

  37. Dan Collins says:

    anjin-san,

    Bush began trying to put the brakes on Freddie and Fannie in . . . 2000. Infamously, Barnie Frank and other Dems felt that Fannie and Freddie were over-regulated.

  38. Wayne says:

    What I find interesting is comparing the numbers and the coverage of the “Million man march” to this protest.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Petty and pathetic

    An expert speaketh. But really, what can we expect from someone who is a… bithead groupie?

  40. G.A.Phillips says:

    Gee I wounder what Frederick Douglas would think of our first Black multi-racial President or better yet what the libtards have done to the black race Americans?

    I wonder how he would feel about abortion and the murder of 1 out every 2 black babies and who came up with it and who now supports it.

    I wonder, I wonder…..

  41. Lunacy says:

    I live in the deep south. Have all my life. My parents were yankees though so my culture isn’t entirely southern culture.

    I’m not overly fond of the stars and bars, though I have known people who were not racist argue for its symbolism as something other than “keep darkie down”.

    But the real reason why I don’t condemn folks who use this symbol is quite simple. I believe in free speech, even if that speech is offensive to some.

    I will never wave the confederate flag. But I’ll never tell someone else that they can’t either.

    Lunacy

  42. theresa m says:

    does anyone in all of america remember the universal trade agreement ??? did anyone in america protest the trade agreement ? in the last 25 years are jobs slowly left the united states to other foreign countries . no jobs no health insurance did anyone protest ????? citizens have lost a majority of jobs in the last 25 years . the universal trade agreement was not for our benefit !it was for big business that didn’t have to pay you a salary any longer and no health insurance any longer . so who really doesn’t want to foot the bill for healthcare ???? obama was not in charge 25 years ago he is just trying to straighten out this nightmare . god bless you obama !!!!!!!1

  43. Grewgills says:

    I was born and raised in the heart of dixie and everyone I grew up with fully understood the racial message sent with the confederate flag. Some chose to hide behind the fig leaf of “it’s about our culture” but the racial message was always there. A strong indicator of what the confederate flag is about in modern society is when those flags started popping up on state houses throughout the south.

  44. JKB says:

    so the legitimacy of any protest has nothing to do with the message of the protest itself, but, rather, whether or not the majority of protesters have stuff to do back home.

    I said nothing about the legitimacy of past protests. My point was that when people disrupt their lives to register a protest it is more significant than those who protest to “be involved” or have something to do.”

    The message of a protest has nothing to do with its legitimacy, how far out of their way the protesters had to go does. But, of course, on the left with your professional protesters and paid picketers, you’d not want to acknowledge that protesting as a job is less legitimate than protesting as a self-funded citizen.

  45. odograph says:

    “[Odo], who did Bush wiretap, you?”

    without the legal process (I was ok with secret approval by judges, per the law), we’ll never know

  46. Wayne says:

    thersa
    “did anyone in america protest the trade agreement ?”

    Yes. Very few major legislation hasn’t have people protest against it. Although the US has been the number one booming economy in that time period until this year which I believe Switzerland has taken the number one spot.

    Grewgills
    I guess you and me have kept different company. Yes some are racist and prejudice as there are in any group including hippie groups but most that I have found who are proud of the confederate flag are proud for what I said and not the racist elements that some try to apply to it.

  47. Pete says:

    Theresa, look to the Internal Revenue Code for the culprit in America’s loss of jobs. Look to lobbyists and politicians unaccountable to the voters for America’s loss of jobs. Look to the cozy relationships between BIG government and BIG business. Support the Fair Tax!

  48. odograph says:

    thersa
    “did anyone in america protest the trade agreement ?”

    Yes. Very few major legislation hasn’t have people protest against it. Although the US has been the number one booming economy in that time period until this year which I believe Switzerland has taken the number one spot.

    The interesting thing was that, at the time, it was our financial services sector that was booming, and making up the gap. There was some discussion at the time about whether that could work long-term. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say the boy-geniuses on Wall Street said “oh yeah!”

    Now we have a crashed financial sector, employment back to 1990s levels, even though there are 3+ million more working age Americans available to … do something with their time.

    There is also some discussion amongst economists about how big a financial sector we really need, and how much is healthy. The fundamental job for these folks is to allocate resources efficiently, to the best investments. Unfortuntately, after they’ve got that job covered, they tend to try to make more things work … like AAA bonds backed by no-doc loans.

  49. sam says:

    It would have been more powerful had the crowd assembled before the Lincoln Memorial and listened to Dick Armey give his “I Have an Inchoate Dread” speech.

  50. TangoMan says:

    I know this guy who actually tells me that my belief in racial equality

    I’m at a loss for what that even means. Diversity is an antonym for uniformity.

    A decision to rent or buy should not be driven by the government.

    I agree. Also, the government shouldn’t be involved in trying to remedy racial and ethnic disparities in home ownership levels.

    Yes, of course…because if it weren’t for the Democratic Party, race would not be a factor at all in this country, right?

    Dude, the Democrat Party is built on racial alliances, racial and ethnic identity blocks, racial spoils, racial grievances, etc. All of these factors are a cancer on the body politic. They divide rather than unite.

    Are you so dense that you don’t understand that it is a symbol of rebellion, self reliance, Southern Country living, and defiance against too much federal intrusion in one’s life to many people.

    Why should the Left be granted a monopoly on cultural and linguistic misappropriation? The word gay used to mean being happy, now its been misappropriated to mean homosexual people. Is it so hard to understand that the Confederate Flag has a different meaning to many of those who now wave it?

  51. odograph says:

    Half a sentence from me: “I know this guy who actually tells me that my belief in racial equality”

    And a full sentence from TangoMan: “I’m at a loss for what that even means. Diversity is an antonym for uniformity.”

    Seriously, the difference is between equal opportunity and equal outcomes.

    I believe that moral human beings, regardless of political stripe, should accept equal opportunity as a good thing. None of us picked our parents. We all start the game with a mixed set of strengths and weaknesses. This so cuts across race as to make race just one factor among many, along with wealth, beauty, intelligence, .. and mere height.

    Now, once we get out there and compete, I’m OK with things ending unequally. I think Donald Trump is kind of an idiot, but I don’t begrudge him his wealth leveraged mountain of debt.

  52. TangoMan says:

    odograph, if you mean equal opportunity then why not say that instead of racial equality? We have equal opportunity today, there is no legislative apartheid in America.

    I believe that moral human beings, regardless of political stripe, should accept equal opportunity as a good thing.

    I certainly agree. Perhaps the fellow who thinks your belief in racial equality is communism doesn’t know that when you use your code words you actually mean equal opportunity rather than equal outcomes. OK, I’m not privy to the context of your conversation with that fellow but from how you’ve characterized it it sure doesn’t seem outlandish of him to infer a strong odor of communism from your phrasing. If the guy is not an idiot then perhaps the confusion originated with your erroneous equation of racial equality with equal opportunity.

  53. odograph says:

    I’ve had a few (too many) conversations with the guy. He’s one of those who believe some races are more intelligent, and therefore more deserving, than others.

    I think “racial equality” is a fair tag for the notion that we are all born naked into this world, and withing the bounds of the crap-shoot that is life, with equally varied endowments.

  54. TangoMan says:

    I’ve had a few (too many) conversations with the guy. He’s one of those who believe some races are more intelligent, and therefore more deserving, than others.

    As I noted, I’m lacking context on your conversations. That said, there is no dispute that some races (groups, not individuals)are more intelligent than others but for this guy to take an objective fact and derive a conclusion as to who deserves what or more is unsupportable. He’s deriving an “ought” from an “is.”

    I think “racial equality” is a fair tag for the notion that we are all born naked into this world, and withing the bounds of the crap-shoot that is life, with equally varied endowments.

    I think that you’re muddying the waters by injecting race into your notion. Diversity implies difference, difference is a way to describe variance. When you have differences you don’t have equality.

    Why is racial equality a better formulation than equal opportunity, where the government treats every citizen as an equal before the law and does not favor one group over another or hinder one group over another? Racial equality is illogical and doesn’t describe the concept you say is at the heart of your view, while equal opportunity is a coherent logical phrase and it’s clear in its meaning.

  55. Why should the Left be granted a monopoly on cultural and linguistic misappropriation? The word gay used to mean being happy, now its been misappropriated to mean homosexual people. Is it so hard to understand that the Confederate Flag has a different meaning to many of those who now wave it?

    Just so I know, when does the meaning of the swastika get to be redefined by Germans?

  56. TangoMan says:

    Just so I know, when does the meaning of the swastika get to be redefined by Germans?

    Dude, you make it too easy.

  57. Tango:

    Are you really that dumb?

    You don’t see a difference between the swastika in Hindu mythology and the swastika as used by the 3rd Reich? Really?

    I know Republicans are pathologically averse to dealing honestly with matters of race — except of course to race-bait for votes — but that was just kinds stupid.

  58. Gustopher says:

    Disregarding the racial thing, I’m pissed that they’re using 9/11 as prop in their idiotic teabaggery.

    How is opposition to taxes, health care reform, big government and negroes in the White House a response to an attack on one of the most liberal cities in America? A city that generally stands opposed to the teabaggers on nearly every issue the teabaggers are protesting.

    Creepy little teabaggers should show a bit more respect for those who died that day, and do their little teabagging thing on some other day, not link it to 9/11.

    Teabaggers hate unions, how about labor day weekend?

  59. TangoMan says:

    You don’t see a difference between the swastika in Hindu mythology and the swastika as used by the 3rd Reich? Really?

    Similarly, you don’t see a difference between the Confederate Flag flown by those individuals, over a century ago, fighting to preserve slavery and their descendants who reject slavery and instead embody the flag with different meaning?

    Hindus see different symbolism in the swastika than do Nazis. Those who reject slavery see different meaning in a flag than those who fought, amongst other reasons, to preserve slavery.

    Are you prepared to visit the sins of the fathers onto the sons? You seem quite accepting of the notion that Hindus are different from Nazis, well so too exists a difference between the sons of today and their ancestors of yesteryear.

  60. TangoMan says:

    I’m pissed that they’re using 9/11 as prop in their idiotic teabaggery.

    Do you think that you’re convincing anyone when you invoke sexually derogatory terms? Would you listen to anyone who regularly characterized liberals as c**ks**kers or m***er**ckers?

  61. Tango:

    So bottom line, you’d have no problem with Germans marching through the streets of Berlin carrying the Nazi flag so long as they claimed it was all about a “way of life?”

    How about if a group of American Muslims decided to parade through the streets of Washington waving the Hezbollah flag, or perhaps nice blow-up photos of Osama? Because after all, they weren’t personally terrorists, they just wanted to honor a “culture?”

    You’re being dishonest which is why you aren’t doing very well in this debate.

    The Confederate flag is not a flag of the south or of a lifestyle. It’s the flag of the armed forces of a self-proclaimed nation that attempted to destroy the United States so that it could defend and perpetuate a profoundly evil regime.

    It is used precisely because it is a racist symbol. The people who display it intend it that way. The rest of us who see it know full well that’s what it is. It is the preferred symbol of the Ku Klux Klan. It is a preferred symbol of Aryan Nations and other white supremacist groups.

    So cut the bullshit. We both know the truth.

  62. Bruce Majors says:

    The British press said this:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1213056/Up-million-march-US-Capitol-protest-Obamas-spending-tea-party-demonstration.html#ixzz0QyLai4Rr

    I went to anti-nuclear and anti-draft registration marches in the 80s, and the gay rights march in the 90s.

    This was bigger. You can tell the mainstream media are lying. The Washington Post for example, usually gives actual estimates from the Park Service etc. But today its headlines just said vaguely “tens of thousands.”

  63. Bruce:

    The Park Service stopped doing estimates after the “million man march.” They realized they were getting in the middle of political spin.

  64. TangoMan says:

    So bottom line, you’d have no problem with Germans marching through the streets of Berlin carrying the Nazi flag so long as they claimed it was all about a “way of life?”

    There exist cultural processes that aim to reclaim or redefine cultural symbols or words. For instance, there are efforts in the Black community to reclaim a certain pejorative. If the Germans were intent on stripping the symbolism from the swastika and were committed to imbuing it with a different symbolism, then I wouldn’t see anything wrong with such an effort.

    I don’t believe that Southerners who find symbolism in the Confederate Flag are committed to reinstituting slavery. I think a good many of these folks have romanticized their history, have strengthened in their resolve from being losers in a war, cling to a regional identity as a form of gentle rebellion, etc.

    Look, I’m not from the South and I don’t really care about the issue, but I am aware of the cultural vectors that apply to symbolism and I see it playing out here. In fact, the longer these “teabagging” sexual insults persist the greater the odds of the meaning of “teabagging” changing in the public mind and that meaning would change by having the TEA Party members embracing the phrase as their own and thus stripping it of its insulting nature. Another case in point, when people hear the word “gay” they rarely think it means happy, instead they take the meaning as referring to someone as homosexual or something that is lame, loser-like. The concepts underlying the word “gay” have changed, and if it’s possible there it certainly is possible that the meaning of the Confederate Flag has also changed over time.

  65. I don’t believe that Southerners who find symbolism in the Confederate Flag are committed to reinstituting slavery.

    Not slavery. Even the KKK doesn’t talk about bringing back slavery. They’re just racists. The Confederate flag isn’t being repurposed or re-imagined, it’s still symbolic of racism and white supremacy. Find me a single black southerner who flies the stars and bars.

    The GOP has been playing footsie with racists since at least 1968. They profit from racism while loudly denying it exists and pretending not to know what it means when someone waves a Confederate flag.

    The moral pretenses of the GOP are a joke so long as they refuse to deal honestly on this.

  66. odograph says:

    When I was young, and before my brain aged, I scored 98.5% on a standardized intelligence test. That is, statistically speaking, 1.5% of you might have scored above me. Why should I think race is a significant issue?

    Now, I hasten to add that even with my 98.5% score, I don’t think intelligence tests are particularly important, or even that they tell us that much useful about our lives. All sorts of important things, like honesty and morality and adventurousness and trust are not even on that scale.

    But basically I think our poor measure of intelligence (by “test”) is enough to dispute any flaky race-based claims.

    … and of course brains age ;-), and we may not have the scoring ability we once had.

  67. frankenstein says:

    these debates make me laugh…

    as a registered socialist, if i hear one more of you teabaggers call anything going on right now “socialism” i swear to god- its nothing close; NOTHING!

    obama gave 95% of america tax cuts, whats with the crying about taxes?

    america is rated last of ALL the modern nations in terms of healthcare, and we pay more for it too. we are the last to adopt a public system.

    do you guys drive on the interstate? yeah, thats some more socialism for ya

  68. hcantrall says:

    I was born and raised in Southern California so I’m new to this rebel flag issue. But, I’ve lived in the south for several years, Atlanta previously. I recently moved to Tampa, FL. Driving south down I-75, on the way down to Tampa, one can see the largest confederate flag flying that I’ve ever seen. I honestly find it hard to believe that this would be allowed if it really stood for what you’re saying it stands for Mr. Reynolds. Who would do that if it really stood for that? It has to be something else.

  69. frankenstein says:

    hcantrall,

    im also in tampa, fl, so ill give you the info:

    they have been trying for years to get that flag taken down, but since its on private land, they havent been able to.

    there has been huge outcry to take that racist shit down.

  70. Our Paul says:

    There is a slow and tedious dance that participants of this blog have been engaged in Lunacy (September 13, 2009 | 01:31 pm) which centers on the rights to “free speech” and the issue of civility in an open forum. The issue of free speech has been codified within our laws. Civility addresses one way we can utilize free speech. To wit, from our mutual friend:

    The term civility refers to behaviour between persons and groups that conforms to a social mode (that is, in accordance with the civil society), as itself being a foundational principle of society and law. Generally, civility is a social virtue that involves self-control or moderation and contrasts with pride, insolence, and arrogance.

    There is more in the Wiki post, worth a quick read.

    The disruption of town hall meetings lead to a post by our host, and subsequent post and thread over the boorish behavior of Republican’s during the President’s address to Congress. My view is rather simple: Democracy cannot survive without civility. Neither anger, nor “free speech” is a reasonable excuse for disruptive and hateful behavior, period.

    Turns out that symbolism is a form of speech, and it can be used in to advance one’s cause, or to “identify” a cause. Thus, correspondent Wayne (September 13, 2009 | 01:19 pm) chastises me for failing to understand what the Confederate banner is:

    a symbol of rebellion, self reliance, Southern Country living, and defiance against too much federal intrusion in one’s life…

    Indeed, I cannot disagree with him. In the context of the Washington tea party demonstration, the flag is a symbol of rebellion. The crowed is expressing that the elected government is invalid. It assuredly is a symbol of defiance against the federal government. I am old enough to remember it proudly flying at Little Rock when Eisenhower ordered the integration of the High School. It might well symbolize Southern Country living, but so do black share croppers. If I had a choice, I would surely pick the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of self reliance before I would even consider the stars and bars.

    The reason why President Obama is such a dangerous individual is that he advanced the thesis that in a democracy we can disagree, But, we should do this with civility, and we should examine each others arguments. In his Commencement speech at Notre Dame the President raised the question of doubt. Without out doubt he said, our thinking becomes rigid, we are unable to expand our thinking.

    Thus the question is not whether “free speech” should be preserved, of course it should. The question is whether it can survive in an uncivil society. History, all the way back the Greeks and Romans, has taught us that it cannot.

  71. hcantrall:

    You’ll notice something in Atlanta. There are a lot of black people and none of them are flying the Confederate flag. 100% of those flying the flag are white.

    If it’s just about “southern culture” why do you suppose all those who fly the flag are white?

    In state after state blacks have pushed to have the flag removed from official use. Why?

    And in every state where the flag has become controversial the supporters have been white conservatives? Why?

    And if it bothers black southerners why do you suppose so many white southerners insist on the flag?

    Open your eyes and see what’s there.

  72. TangoMan says:

    But basically I think our poor measure of intelligence (by “test”) is enough to dispute any flaky race-based claims.

    I agree, poor measures of intelligence are sufficient to dispute flaky race-based claims, so that’s why we should rely on reliable and valid claims of intelligence to support solid race-based claims.

    Not slavery. Even the KKK doesn’t talk about bringing back slavery. They’re just racists.

    I don’t know what this means. Racism now has so many definitions, the most prevalent being anyone who bests a liberal in an argument. So, are you stating that everyone in the South who beats liberals, a rare breed in the South, in arguments are now racists?

    So, if not slavery, what legislative proposals are these racists wanting to put forth that will restrict the freedoms of certain classes of people? Define for us what you mean by racist.

    Find me a single black southerner who flies the stars and bars.

    This observation is immaterial. Find me one white WASP who attended Obama’s Black Marxist Church. Blacks and Whites belong to various subcultures, many of which don’t overlap. Southern White culture likely doesn’t overlap Southern Black culture.

    The GOP has been playing footsie with racists since at least 1968.

    Have you looked at Democrats lately. More racists voted for Obama, as documented by exit polls, than voted against him. Vast swaths of Democratic policies are predicated upon racism.

    The moral pretenses of the GOP are a joke so long as they refuse to deal honestly on this.

    When you boil this tripe down to its essence, you basically saying that in order to deal honestly with this issue the Republicans have to abandon race-neutral policies, abandon coalitions that form around ideas, and embrace the Democratic modus operandi of pandering to racial and ethnic groups. In other words, Republicans must exacerbate racial and ethnic divides in order to meet with your seal of approval. No thanks.

  73. floyd says:

    It is clear that once more all you need do is wave a red flag and the Bull will be “herd”.

  74. anjin-san says:

    Are you prepared to visit the sins of the fathers onto the sons?

    Not necessary. The sons who fly the Confederate flag are embracing the sins of the fathers on their own…

  75. floyd says:

    Michael;
    There were only two black people pictured above, and you construed that to mean that everyone else there was a racist!
    There was only one small Confederate battle flag pictured and you drew the same conclusion.

    Was your purpose obfuscation, or do you simply get most of your exercise jumping to conclusions?

    The issue here is not about the oppression of the South centuries ago, It is about the coming oppression of the whole country, which you openly support and from which you have successfully diverted attention.

  76. I don’t know what this means. Racism now has so many definitions. . .

    Exactly: you don’t know what it means. Or you don’t want to know what it means. All you know is that it is politically disadvantageous to deal with it seriously. So you waste time with transparent ploys.

    Neither of us should be about excusing evil for partisan reasons. My reaction to Rev. Wright was to condemn him, no holds barred, no equivocations. I don’t need to win elections with people who hate America.

    But you do need racists to win. So you excuse and you shuffle around and you play dumb and you throw dust in the air.

    It is shameful.

  77. G.A.Phillips says:

    The reason why President Obama is such a dangerous individual is that he advanced the thesis that in a democracy we can disagree, But, we should do this with civility, and we should examine each others arguments. In his Commencement speech at Notre Dame the President raised the question of doubt. Without out doubt he said, our thinking becomes rigid, we are unable to expand our thinking.

    But of course his exaggerations,non telepromtered moments,um’s, butt’s,ah’s friends, history, and blame are off limits, along with his bills, czars,birth certificate, home work(his donkey ate it) community organizations, faith and other beliefs.

    Did I mention that he is an abortionist, and that abortion was a progressive movement to control the black and yellow population in this country, and that he supports it, for political reasons.

  78. TangoMan says:

    But you do need racists to win. So you excuse and you shuffle around and you play dumb and you throw dust in the air.

    Dude, the racists are deeply embedded within the Democratic Party:

    Race of Candidates Was…

    Most Important Factor (2%)
    OBAMA 58%
    MCCAIN 41%

    Important Factor (7%)
    OBAMA 52%
    MCCAIN 47%

    Was Race of Candidates an Important Factor to You?

    Yes (9%)
    OBAMA 53%
    MCCAIN 46%

    Was Race of Candidates a Factor to You?

    Yes (19%)

    OBAMA 53%
    MCCAIN 45%

  79. Bruce Majors says:

    You poor idiot little Obama whores. You aren’t able to honestly debate the issue of the bankruptcy of all the retirement and social welfare programs that you have used to monopolize and loot peoples’ livelihoods and savings. You aren’t actually able to honestly debate Obama’s drives to expand state power and reduce individual liberty (99% of you don’t say a peep about Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush’s middle east wars, his surveillance programs, his violations of civil liberties, his own appointees organizing boycotts of the advertisers of journalists critical of the Odumba regime, organized from inside the White House).

    So you have to smear all Obama critics as racists. It’s all you’ve got. You were so sure your shiny new black Barbie would be a magic talisman that would protect your moves to fascism from criticism. It worked against the Clintons and McCain. But it is not working now. Only your own brain dead sheeple are susceptible to this charm. And you are angry about it. All of you whores, from high school drop out Janeane Garafalo to stuttering pig porkpie Gibbs chant your flatulent mantra.

    Your days are numbered bitches. You are losing the elections in 2010. And I think we may see citizens tribunals and guillotines eventually, where you may meet justice for your crimes against humanity.

  80. odograph says:

    I agree, poor measures of intelligence are sufficient to dispute flaky race-based claims, so that’s why we should rely on reliable and valid claims of intelligence to support solid race-based claims.

    So when it’s all said and done, Tangoman wants us to think there is such a thing as “fact-based racisim” but that at the same time, the Confederate flag is not a symbol of it.

    I don’t think the data is at all solid, but what do I know, I only score 98.5

  81. odograph says:

    BTW, aside from the data there is another disturbing thought there, in the phrase “why we should rely” on racial studies.

    Why should we rely? These data tell us nothing about the people we will meet today, and how we should interact with them, as individuals. Any one of us may meet someone who “scores” higher, or lower, from any race.

    I think the right thing to do is to listen to everybody, because anybody can have a good idea, anybody can be right

    … and anybody, no matter how smart, can be dumb.

  82. Digger says:

    I don’t think the data is at all solid, but what do I know, I only score 98.5

    TangoMan must be in that 1.5%

  83. sam says:

    @Tangoman

    Southern White culture likely doesn’t overlap Southern Black culture.

    Hmmm. I wonder about that. When I was in bootcamp in the Marine Corps (an extremely dislocating experience — as it was intended to be), one thing I noticed was that the guys who bonded the quickest were southern blacks and southern whites. And this in 1958. It seemed to have been rooted in a shared culture, even in those benighted times.

  84. Truth and light says:

    Funny thing about flags popping up on domes across the south, being used to illustrate republicans as racists.

    SC had a confederate flag on the statehouse dome. Went up in 1963 for the centennial of the civil war, but never came down.

    The flag was put there by the Governor at the time: Democrat “Fritz” Hollings. He later sucked at the teat of Government for many terms as a Senator for SC. Re-elected by Democrats over and over until he recently decided to retire to his exclusive Isle of Palms estate. You would know the Isle of Palms when you arrived there, by its pricey real estate and uniform complexion.

    The flag was taken down by David Beasley, a Republican governor.

    The NAACP continues to boycott the state for flying the flag in its current location: a Confederate dead memorial on the state house grounds.

    Fritz Hollings has never been publicly called out to account for his role, and refused to offer support for removing the flag from the dome.

    And the bulk of the NAACP still pull the lever for Dems in SC, blissfully unaware of how they have been made rubes by the Democrat party.

    So tell me again who supports racism?

    Truth is a bitch when it doesn’t fit the narrative.

  85. James says:

    To the liberals who say where were these guys when Bush was instituting warrantless wiretaps and exploding deficits:

    WHERE ARE YOU NOW THAT THE WARRANTLESS WIRETAPS CONTINUE and THE DEFICITS HAVE TRIPLED?????????????????????????????????????????

  86. odograph says:

    re. wiretaps, I am technically a moderate, but I have given money to the EFF over the years. I’m pleased that they are fighting the good fight in court.

    http://www.eff.org

    On Obama …. or as Bruce (is he serious?) says above:

    You aren’t actually able to honestly debate Obama’s drives to expand state power and reduce individual liberty (99% of you don’t say a peep about Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush’s middle east wars, his surveillance programs, his violations of civil liberties, his own appointees organizing boycotts of the advertisers of journalists critical of the Odumba regime, organized from inside the White House).

    I think on average Obama is winding those wars and surveillance programs down, and where he’s not I suspect that it is organizational push-back.

    It may take more than 8 months.

  87. odograph says:

    (It might be harder to get the camel back out of the tent than to let him in, in the first place.)

  88. odograph says:

    On debt, can protesters have an honest conversation about government debt ratios in OECD countries?

    http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=GOV_DEBT

    What makes them similar and what makes them different? How bad is ours in this crisis compared to the others?

    I notice that the socialist Scandinavian countries have lower debt than we do, why is that?

  89. frankenstein says:

    since the “certain races are more intelligent and thats a fact” seems to keep coming up…

    there is no genetic justification for classifying people into races. the concept was rejected by biologists long long ago.

    no group of people that you can identify as a particular race has been shown to measure any different than any other race in terms of intelligence

    “im not a racist, cause i dont think we should use the data to discriminate” [paraphrased]
    you are a racist and you sir, are an idiot for not looking into the “facts” you throw out. oh wait, i wonder why you wouldnt look into a “fact” about blacks being biologically inferior? i believe research has shown that people who believe they dont discriminate based on subtle racial “facts”, do often show significant racial biases.

  90. Our Paul says:

    You really seem to have a thing about abortion, G.A.Phillips (September 13, 2009 | 11:35 pm). It seems that every other post OTB’s readership is presented with a short rift on how Obama is an abortionist, to wit:

    Did I mention that he is an abortionist, and that abortion was a progressive movement to control the black and yellow population in this country, and that he supports it, for political reasons.

    The problem that you, and others of your ilk face can be found in the electoral shift of ’08. The higher the level of education, the greater the shift to Obama. My advice is the take a bit of time and review Paul Graham’s short essays Writing, Briefly and How to Disagree. Both essays will avoid an embarrassing paragraph such as this inanity:

    But of course his exaggerations,non telepromtered moments,um’s, butt’s,ah’s friends, history, and blame are off limits, along with his bills, czars,birth certificate, home work(his donkey ate it) community organizations, faith and other beliefs.

    Trust me, both of Paul Graham’s essays will prove helpful on this earth, and when you reach heaven and will have to present a cogent argument as to why you deserve a seat on the right side of the Lord.

  91. Our Paul says:

    Odograph, my good man I question your slur that the Scandinavian countries are socialistic. Socialism involves control of both the means of production and the means if distribution of goods or services by the central government.

    Fortunately, the myth that Sweden is a hot bed of Socialism has kept their women safe from marauding Republican politicians whose sexual desires are exceeded only by their need to stand firm on family values and need to do the Lord’s work by outlawing abortion.

    For your reading pleasure, and in honor of your contributions to OTB, I give you an Olympic competition Between Canada, Sweden, and the US on twenty-five Indicators of Social Development.

  92. Dave Schuler says:

    I can understand that today’s Southerners are proud of their great-great-grandparents. I’m proud of mine, too. I’m proud of my great-great-grandfather who was a captain in the Army of the West which defeated those folks’ great-great-grandfathers all over the South. I’m also proud of another of my great-great-grandfathers who joined the Illinois militia in 1861 at age 14. They and their comrades preserved the Union and, not coincidentally, abolished legal slavery in the United States. Lincoln may have issued the Proclamation but it was the Union Army that made it a fact.

    I think it’s time for the children of the Confederacy to keep their pride at home.

    Saturday’s protest would assume more importance if it weren’t so nihilistic. We know what many of the protesters are against: taxes. It may be bad news for them but they’re going to continue to pay taxes come what may. And the foundations of the fiscal insanity that is our federal government were laid nearly 50 years ago. It’s late in the day to be protesting it now.

    But what are the protesters in favor of? I don’t really know.

  93. Lew Waters says:

    Michael Reynolds: “Find me a single black southerner who flies the stars and bars.”

    Black leader defends Confederate Flag, responds to violent attackers

    In defense of his Confederate pride

  94. odograph says:

    I’m mostly Danish myself, Paul. They (we) are also extremely suspect, with our bike riding, and belief in non-material happiness.

  95. Our Paul says:

    Bicycles and non material happiness, Odograph? What next, that Paul Elvstrøm enjoyed sailing?

  96. Carlos Tevez says:

    The turnout was almost incomprehensible. See SBABG’s photos from where they were you can’t see the end of the crowds.

  97. TangoMan says:

    there is no genetic justification for classifying people into races. the concept was rejected by biologists long long ago.

    This folk misinformation runs very deep. I’m amazed at how successful the liberal creationist propagandists have been at making this propaganda nugget so pervasive. Time for science to set the record straight:

    Without knowing how the participants had identified themselves, Risch and his team ran the results through a computer program that grouped individuals according to patterns of the 326 signposts. This analysis could have resulted in any number of different clusters, but only four clear groups turned up. And in each case the individuals within those clusters all fell within the same self-identified racial group.

    “This shows that people’s self-identified race/ethnicity is a nearly perfect indicator of their genetic background,” Risch said.

    So when it’s all said and done, Tangoman wants us to think there is such a thing as “fact-based racisim”

    I never said anything about “fact-based racism.” You’ve now resorted to conflating racism with physical anthropology, population genetics and other academic disciplines which study human differences. That’s a heck of a stretch.

    Why should we rely? These data tell us nothing about the people we will meet today, and how we should interact with them, as individuals. Any one of us may meet someone who “scores” higher, or lower, from any race.

    You are absolutely correct. Why don’t you get on the horn and convince liberals that they should heed this advice? I’m fully in support of the notion that race should be removed from public policy. However, when liberals are dead set on leveraging racial demagoguery to advance their political agenda, then I’m fully in support of injecting data and analysis centered on race to stop their demagoguery. If they point to racial wage disparities that they claim exist in order to bring about income redistribution and to expand the role of government regulation in our lives then I’ll bring data which demonstrates that the racial income gap disappeared back in the 1970s (when cognitive ability is controlled.) If you don’t want to have to confront these kind of findings then start working on dismantling the Democratic racist apparatus and then I’ll have no need to introduce findings that give you fainting spells.

  98. Squid says:

    Saturday’s protest would assume more importance if it weren’t so nihilistic…But what are the protesters in favor of? I don’t really know.

    You really couldn’t find any thread binding these crowds together, Dave? How about personal liberty? Freedom from government meddling in our affairs. Being treated as responsible adults who can look after ourselves, our families, and our friends and neighbors, and not as helpless wards of the State.

    Or perhaps you’d prefer something a little less idealized and a little more concrete: money. People are waking up to the fact that the productive classes are being robbed to the benefit of the poor and the very rich. They’re also suddenly aware that their children and grandchildren are being bequeathed debts that will soon exceed a decent-sized home mortgage. What’s nihilistic about defending one’s children?

    Most of us believe that government, especially at the Federal level, is a necessary evil. At one point, the necessary part was maximized, and the evil was minimized. In recent decades, that balance has gotten far out of whack. I’ll bet you a dollar that any one of the protesters you cared to interview would agree that the Tenth Amendment needs a lot more respect.

    And the foundations of the fiscal insanity that is our federal government were laid nearly 50 years ago.

    The frog was being boiled slowly up ’til now. Bush’s deficits made a lot of people upset, but not enough to march. Obama’s quadrupling of those deficits in the course of a few short months is what turned up the heat so that people realized the seriousness of the problem.

    It’s late in the day to be protesting it now.

    It’s never too late to speak up in defense of liberty. Rather than chastise those whose eyes were shut, perhaps you might applaud that so many are now waking up.

  99. Grewgills says:

    I guess you and me have kept different company.

    I saw this at school, scouts, church, work, and even from some family. Among my friends not so much.
    That is not to say that their stated reason was racial (the stated reason was almost always lost culture). The thing is that lost culture had racism at its heart. Most of those displaying the flag would say they were not racist, but when talking about it would then go on to say something to the effect of, “I don’t mind the blacks its just the n…” or some other such.

    Similarly, you don’t see a difference between the Confederate Flag flown by those individuals, over a century ago, fighting to preserve slavery and their descendants who reject slavery and instead embody the flag with different meaning?

    Can you explain the timing of the mass reappearance of the confederate flags on statehouses throughout the south? Does that timing comport with it not being about race?

    You seem quite accepting of the notion that Hindus are different from Nazis, well so too exists a difference between the sons of today and their ancestors of yesteryear.

    The Hindu usage is not a direct reference to Nazism whereas flying the Nazi flag would be. Do you really fail to see the difference?

    There exist cultural processes that aim to reclaim or redefine cultural symbols or words. For instance, there are efforts in the Black community to reclaim a certain pejorative. If the Germans were intent on stripping the symbolism from the swastika and were committed to imbuing it with a different symbolism, then I wouldn’t see anything wrong with such an effort.

    The use of the confederate flag is not analogous to either of those examples. If there were a serious effort underway to strip the confederate flag of its associations with racism and treason that might be different.

    Funny thing about flags popping up on domes across the south, being used to illustrate republicans as racists.

    No it is illustrating that the flag was/is a racist symbol. At the time that the flags sprang up the democratic party had a contingent of dixie-crats that were/are social conservatives. The majority of those members left the coalition with the passing of civil rights legislation.

  100. anjin-san says:

    How about personal liberty? Freedom from government meddling in our affairs.

    Perhaps you could fill me on how Obama is undermining personal liberty, cause I am a bit unclear on that…

  101. An Interested Party says:

    And I think we may see citizens [sic] tribunals and guillotines eventually, where you may meet justice for your crimes against humanity.

    Oh my…who gets to play Madame Defarge? Phyllis Schlafly, perhaps?

  102. An Interested Party says:

    Hmm…all this talk about the Confederate flag…I wonder if anyone would be waving around the Stars and Bars at any of these protests if the president were a white man…

  103. deathbymedia says:

    I have done my own study base on a devised stationary methodology and calculation which you can find here.

    It’s backed by visual evidence (pictures and clips) all available in the same entry, plus determining the boundaries of the rally and calculation of the final tally derived from the density of the crowd at each given block. My calculus puts the figures around 130k up to 160k.