Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When Does a Wookie-Suit Become Evening Wear

I'm beginning to understand the fascination that sociology holds for some people. I came across an AP piece today that was originally published on Sunday, Prosecutor: Agent infiltrated Christian militia. Since it's an AP piece, I won't tempt their wrath by actually quoting from it, I'll instead quote one of the commenters (at the time of this writing there are 12,443 comments):
the comments are a @#$%load more interesting than that waste of time "story/non-story"
three unspecified arrests of unspecified persons for unspecified crime/s in unspecified places, insinuating that unspecified persons may belong to an unspecified militia.(a 2nd amendment right) oh my! - Pooh, 967+/194-
The last number, 967+/194- is the "approve/disapprove" rating given by the readers of the comment. I'm in agreement with "Pooh." Others were as well:
Could this article be any more vague? Jeesh. Not news worthy without information. John B. 3/28 1:04pm 2036+/419-

what did they do,couldn"t make much sense from the article - Richard 1:10 pm 1733+/324-
That was apparently OK though, because it didn't prevent many from commenting on what they thought it was about.

The truly fascinating thing about the comments, though, was not so much what was said, but the tone and to some extent the approval/disapproval ratings.

From a quick sampling, I call the ratio about four parts anti-government/pro-liberty, two parts pro-government anti-right, and about one part each of neutral and "WTF, over?" (those being comments that leave you scratching your head wondering WTF the commenter intended to say).

Here are a few representative samples from immediately after the story posted:
Tea party terroists strike again. - Paul 3/28/10 1:29pm PDT 364+/724-


It aint over until they bust and waterboard Glen Beck - Knight 3/28/10 1:34pm PDT 514+/708-


You can stop all this nonsense by shutting down RUSH LIMB, glen Beck, Hannity, you know what just shut dow FOX NEWS...Radio and TV people are useless. Bunch of people sitting on their arses expressing their oppinion that I don't give darn about.. - David 3/28/10 1:47pm 363+/648-


just another tea bagger republican who dosen't want to pay his taxes like the rest of us. he wants to operate his illegal meth labs and illegal distilleries to making his moonshine and raping his nine year old cousin doing the lords work by being fruitful and multiplying and claims the government is infringing on his freedoms and rights and stocks his pantry with guns and bullets and bibles instead of food. he buys them with his welfare check.hallelujah praise god bubba now past me that bottle of moonshine and that mexican ak-47 . i think i see them damn government revenuers coming i can't tell though i can't see to good shouldn't have taken that last hit of meth. - Daffy22 3/28 2:02pm 148+/329-


They are nuts, the REPUBLICANS, are promoting rage, Palin say the REPUBLICANS are tie to the TEA PARTY, and the TEA PARTY is evil and to me they are dangerous, every time they start up, there is more more killing, more harsh words, they are lack of moral value, just because some did not want HEALTH PLAN, doesn't mean the rest of AMERICANS did not want it, just cannot satisfied very one.

THE AMERICA WAY IS DEMOCRATIC WAY, just be glad, happy and enjoy it
I didn't format any of these. They're taken verbatim from the comments. Note their scores.

From the other side:
Why do you, whichever of you, say derogatory things about Tea Party people? I have not gone to a Tea Party meeting, but the last time I looked, this still was The United States of America, operating under the Constitution. These people have every right to rally and say basically whatever. That's America. I will say this, the history of America has always been one set of ideas competing against another. Another side of America is that sometimes it has come to a face to face confrontation. I hope it doesn't, but I would expect many of the Tea Party types to be there if it comes to it. The idea of America is a free flow of political ideas. Try and stop that, and something else may flow. That's our history. - William 3/28/10 1:49pm 657+/125-


Oh (expletive deleted) wonderful. The last thing we needed right now was for the Obama administration to turn the paranoid delusions of the extreme right-wing crazies into reality. One would sincerely hope the FBI had actual evidence of actual crimes committed or planned. If not, this is just pouring gasoline on a fire.
I hear the government sent troops to confiscate an illegal arsenal in Concord, Mass., and they ended up in a running firefight with the local militia. Oh, wait- that was April 18th 1775- the "shot heard 'round the world" that began the American Revolution. - Ostlandr 3/28/10 2:05pm 334+/92-


Let me get this straight. Muslim terrorists threaten and kill thousands of Americans and Homeland Security tells us not to call them terrorists. A Christian militia group THREATENS muslim groups and the FBI and Homeland Security perform raids around the country rounding up these "terrorists" to protect who? Whose side are they on? - Scorchin_blues 2:08pm 322+/102-


When arrests are made, indictments, especially federal, should NEVER be sealed. Our government is totally out of control. But then, Waco proved that. - WillamK 2:10pm 255+/58-


Meanwhile, radical Muslims are living in Virginia right in the shadow of our Nation's Capitol. And Barack Hussein 'I'm not really a Muslim, I'm just named after one of the most revered Muslims, and both my father and step-father were both Muslims and I spent my developmental years living in Muslim countries' Obama turns a blind eye. - M 2:11pm 266+/118-


The mighty Homeland Security Forces, under the auspices of our Beloved Leader Barak Hussein Obama, have swooped down on the evil heartland of America and apprehended 3 very suspicious Bible readers who also owned guns and were concerned about so many Jihadists allowed to festoon the urban areas of our nation. Wow.....I wish I could have seen them slide down from the ropes of their black helicopters and bust through the windows of those bungalows with their automatic weapons. I makes me proud of this what this country has become. Janet Napolitano warned us about these evil I feel so safe. - Shannon - 2:13pm 232+/97-


Everyone in the USA should own a gun to protect themselves from the power hungry - Opps did I say that 1:20pm 1356+/393-
Personally, I have to say I share Daphne's position on this story:
My level of trust in the government has reached such a low point that I am seriously doubtful that the militia people recently arrested actually did anything criminal. I’m inclined to believe that they’re nothing but political scapegoats to further the White House meme that white, Christian, right-wing protesters are dangerous extremists.

I know, that sounds nutty, but I still remember the murders committed by our government at Waco and Ruby Ridge the last time a Democrat administration went on this sort of witch hunt.
Could be wrong, but I remember (I think) John Ross in Unintended Consequences saying something on the order of "You can always tell which militia member is an undercover Fed. He's the one agitating for violent action," or words to that effect.

Anyway, I don't think that the comment thread to that article is representative of the general public, but I do think it may be representative of the politically active subset of that group.

Which means that the "Tough History Coming," as Peggy Noonan put it so long ago, appears to be coming closer.

Read that piece, and think on Billy Wilder's words.

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