Pharyngula

The FBI is cracking down on a Christian militia group that has been threatening to assassinate police officers and overthrow the government. There are nuts like this scattered all over the place; they collect guns, dress up in military gear, and play war games in the woods. They have no chance of succeeding in their aims, but are so delusional the believe they are the vanguard of a coming revolution. Why? Because God tells them so. These fanatics are typically deeply immersed in Christian End Times mythology.

Read their statement about their aims. They are “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive” — by making pipe bombs and planning acts of terrorism.

It’s wonderful that the government is finally treating these kooks as what they are: dangerous, seditious criminals. But one thing you have to recognize is that there are a lot of Americans who think losers like them are simply heroic. If you look at the comments on the Freep article, there are lots of critics — I think it’s a good sign that more and more people are getting vocal in ridiculing the militia hate groups — but there are also lots of crazies. Here’s a sample:

Just once I wish the Michigan Militia would bring out the multiple 50 clibe3r machine guns they own and teach Obama’s Gestapos they phucked with the wrong group of sheep. My weapon gets confiscated only from my cold dead fingers. Would someone please read article two of our US constitution to these looney toon Democrats? before we start the revolution again

Hey Feds–Concentate your investigations on the Politicians of The city of Detroit.You guys start fooling with the Militia,your going to get another Oklahoma City

These raids are likely trying to “stave off” an announcement due Mon, Mar 29, regarding the total dissolution of the U.S. Corporation which has been ignoring the constitution, and reverting our country back to the original REPUBLIC in which it was founded. We become “sovereign citizens” who control our govt, and not vice versa. All 50 states were served papers, plus the military and Supreme Court on Friday. The military is onboard. This means freedom FINALLY for all Americans from the IRS and many other wonderful changes. It appears “the powers that be” and the Rockefellers don’t want to lose their vice grip, thus the raidsprior to Monday’s announcement of the changes. Each person in office must take an oath to the common law and the constitution, or be fired immediately. Many brave citizens behind the scenes have helped in this effort to free us.

More gun-waving psychos, more terrorist threats, and more delusional nonsense. This is what we get for keeping the citizenry stupid and ignorant.

By the way, it is Monday, 29 March. I await the announcement of the dissolution of the US.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    By the way, it is Monday, 29 March. I await the announcement of the dissolution of the US.

    Those comments read like they are the products of a 15 year old in their mother’s basement who has one too many copies of Soldier of Fortune magazine.

    Problem is, I think the only part that is wrong about my thought is the age of the author.

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    March 29, 2010

    And my cold dead fingers will never relinquish my gun. So there, I one-upped you.

    I don’t care about the Rockefeller’s Vise (I think “vice grip” is a Freudian slip) Grips or pliars, but I’m certainly watching for their black helicopters.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  3. #3 Cuttlefish, OM
    March 29, 2010

    For toxic Christian nuttery
    It?s hard to beat the Hutaree;
    I?d say it to their face, except I?d rather not get shot.
    A branch of Christianity
    With double the insanity?
    In mental evolution, they?re the land that time forgot.

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/onward-christian-militias-marching-as.html

  4. #4 Glen Davidson
    March 29, 2010

    Oops, “pliers.” I doubt I’d ever written the word before in my life.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  5. #5 kaylakaze
    March 29, 2010

    Someone should remind them that the only president ever to order the confiscation of firearms is GWB.

  6. #6 daveau
    March 29, 2010

    And He said to them, ?When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?? So they said, ?Nothing.?

    Obviously, ’cause they had guns.

  7. #7 Givesgoodemail
    March 29, 2010

    Oh, they’re out there, and if they weren’t so laughable (big egos, tiny shortcomings), they might even be a tiny bit scary.

    Like here. And here. And here.

    Shit. March 29. Does that mean this gets cancelled??

  8. #8 gaiaslastlaugh
    March 29, 2010

    I await the announcement of the dissolution of the US.

    Me too. I need to go to the bathroom, and am out of toilet paper.

  9. #9 blaisepascal
    March 29, 2010

    Strangely enough, I was just reading Article II of the US Constitution the other day. I don’t think it says what they think it says.

    I bet they think it begins “A well regulated militia…”, but it actually begins “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

  10. #10 Jérôme ^
    March 29, 2010

    > By the way, it is Monday, 29 March. I await the announcement of the dissolution of the US.

    Obviously, it has successfully been staved off.

    By the way, this is one way that religion should deal with rapture: treat it as something that should *not* happen. And then, instead of making a fool of yourself with failed predictions, you can congratulate yourself (and all coreligionists) for once more preventing the Rapture from happening.

  11. #11 pacheco
    March 29, 2010

    It’s good news that the Hutaree cult members have been caught and charged with planning to murder cops. If they had been accused of child rape, inciting anti-Semitism and using violence to suppress dissent and the pursuit of knowledge, they could have gotten away scot-free for centuries.

  12. #12 Shala
    March 29, 2010

    I love you Cuttlefish.

  13. #13 JCB
    March 29, 2010

    What do these nuts need .50 caliber machine guns for? I understand the whole Second Amendment thing, but really–military grade weapons? Are they planning to repel an invasion from Canada or something?

  14. #14 VoiceoftheGods
    March 29, 2010

    Obviously he meant Monday March 29, 2021. or possibly 2027. Just like the rapture conspiracy theories can always be pushed back once they fail to happen.

  15. #15 Ron
    March 29, 2010

    How could you write such an insensitive, hurtful blog on this, the 99th anniversary of the army’s adoption of the M1911 — the first love of every freedom-loving American?

  16. #16 heff.myopenid.com
    March 29, 2010

    @ 9 Yes, they have confused “Article II” with “the Second Amendment”.

    @ 11 I can see the “inciting anti-Semitism” and “using violence to suppress dissent and the pursuit of knowledge”, but is there any evidence that the GOP regularly engages in child abuse?

    @ 13 No, Canada is not their concern. They want to overthrow the U.S. government.

  17. #17 raven
    March 29, 2010

    Some people claim the xian fundies are merging with the militia movement. To produce a group twice as crazy and much better armed, I guess.

    These kooks can get violent.

    One in Pittsburg killed 3 cops, the pilot in Texas who suicided his plane into the IRS building, the MD assassins, and so on. A steady background of murder.

    Of course, the big goal for them to top is still Oklahoma, McVeigh, 168 dead.

    BTW, if god is all powerful, why does he need machine guns, pipe bombs, and suicide vests packed with explosives?

  18. #18 Physicalist
    March 29, 2010

    Question: What do these nutters mean when they rant about the U.S. being a “republic”?

    . . . reverting our country back to the original REPUBLIC in which it was founded.

    I noticed this in a lot of the crazy pro-violence rants in FoxNexs comments (bad habit to start, don’t go there) right after the health care bill passed.

    I’d have thought that being a republic means that we’re a constitutional representative democracy. But, of course, the right wingers were screaming about passing a bill that was “unpopular,” so it seems that they’re pissed that we’re not a direct democracy.

    (Yes, if I were smart I wouldn’t try to understand them, . . . but I just can’t help it sometimes.)

  19. #19 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    Are they planning to repel an invasion from Canada or something?

    No, one from Washington DC

  20. #20 jefrir
    March 29, 2010

    What is it these kinds of groups have against the IRS? I mean, I can understand not particularly liking tax collectors, but ating like they’re some sort of evil conspiracy is a bit odd.

  21. #21 NewEnglandBob
    March 29, 2010

    What a combination: mental midgets with dangerous toys.

  22. #22 SteveM
    March 29, 2010

    re 16:

    @ 11 I can see the “inciting anti-Semitism” and “using violence to suppress dissent and the pursuit of knowledge”, but is there any evidence that the GOP regularly engages in child abuse?

    It was a jab at the Catholic Church who have been doing these things and covering them up for centuries and then blaming the victims for taking too long to speak up about it.

  23. #23 Sili
    March 29, 2010
  24. #24 kevin.boyce
    March 29, 2010

    In other news, final steps was taken in or near Washington today to complete the merger of the US Government with TMZ General Corp. This former zinc bush@@@{{{{{ NO CARRIER

  25. #25 Seti
    March 29, 2010

    Hey, these guys are defending FREEDOM. And you can’t argue with that. No, I mean you really CAN’T argue with that!

  26. #26 Givesgoodemail
    March 29, 2010

    @10: “Obviously, it has successfully been staved off.”

    Don’t get too optimistic. The day’s not over yet.

  27. #27 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    50 cal machine guns? Can I haz getz one for my Moke?
    Cant tell the difference between these folks and mahound’s boys

  28. #28 ckitching
    March 29, 2010

    Are they planning to repel an invasion from Canada or something?

    No, but if these nuts had any power, I’m sure they’d be at the forefront of an invasion of Canada. Gotta liberate them from their awful socialist government! Let’s ignore the fact it was democratically elected, that doesn’t mean anything to these nuts. They’re right, they know they’re right, and anyone who disagrees with them is an enemy that needs to be destroyed by any means necessary.

  29. #29 JeffreyD
    March 29, 2010

    Last update I saw, on DailyKos indicates that at least one of the charges is actually sedition. Glad the law enforcement people are finally calling it like it is.

  30. #30 dutchdoc
    March 29, 2010

    Have you seen their rank system?

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    http://www.hutaree.com/rank.html

    These hooter-ies made my day!

    (It’s all poe, right? These guys aren’t for real, are they?)

  31. #31 Swintah1
    March 29, 2010

    Oh, don’t worry about us. Us non-seditious types are pretty heavily armed as well.

  32. #32 Free Lunch
    March 29, 2010

    The commenters on the Chicago Tribune‘s breaking news article seem to be heavily populated by folks who don’t want a self-identified group of Christians to be called Christians in news articles.

    It’s not as if these dangerous clowns have not been around for years. Where was the outcry before now? Do I get to decide who is Christian?

  33. #33 JCB
    March 29, 2010

    I just find it really hard to understand why anybody needs a .50 caliber machine gun. It’s way too much weapon for personal self-defense, and it would be totally useless for hunting (unless your goal was to take out a whole herd of deer at once). The reason I bring this up is that gun-rights advocates always argue that the Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own any kind of gun they want. But the Second Amendment was written when people armed themselves with single-shot muskets that took several minutes to reload. I’m pretty sure Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and the rest of the framers of the Constitution never even imagined weapons that could fire several hundred rounds per minute. Is it really un-American to suggest that extreme interpretations of the Second Amendment like this one need to be reconsidered?

  34. #34 Brownian, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Are they planning to repel an invasion from Canada or something?

    With assault rifles? Seriously?! The fools!

    My friends, I’ll tell you this: when some goon has tossed his gloves, pulled the back of your jersey up over your head and is feeding you uppercuts, the best you can hope for is that the poutine in your belly will keep you on your skates until the ref calls it and gives you your much needed 5-minute major.

  35. #35 black-wolf72
    March 29, 2010

    I’m optimistic the FBI will be tracking the IP addresses of those who posted comments like those cited by PZ.
    Black suits are way cooler than camo.

  36. #36 peter.jeaiem
    March 29, 2010

    Article II is about the presidents powers. The idiots confused it with amendment 2. The latter in its entirety states:
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

  37. #37 raven
    March 29, 2010

    DETROIT ? Nine suspects tied to a Midwest Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then attack a funeral using homemade bombs in the hopes of killing more law enforcement personnel, federal prosecutors said Monday.

    Looks like they had fairly elaborate plans to kill as many cops as possible.

    Shooter Wearing Bulletproof Vest Guns Down 3 Pittsburgh Officers …Apr 4, 2009 … Shooter Wearing Bulletproof Vest Guns Down 3 Pittsburgh Officers, … The last Pittsburgh police officers killed in the line of duty were …

    The bar is low in the current wave of violence. The guy in Pittsburgh only killed 2 cops.

  38. #38 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    These hooter-ies made my day!

    Oh good call. You know that these folks probably eat at Hooters at least 3 times a week.

  39. #39 heironymous
    March 29, 2010

    I don’t want to conflate the two. But were these guys Teabaggers?

  40. #40 chembob
    March 29, 2010

    As I said in a diary about this on DailyKos, I lived 45 years in Oklahoma, moved to Nevada, finally ended up in Michigan. And I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen so many ignorant racist hillbillies as there are in the suburbs here and, in particular, western Michigan. Seriously, I don’t know how these people are being bred in such large numbers and how they can be so fundamentally stupid and out of touch with reality. I find it a bit odd, actually, that they’ve outdone Oklahoma in the whacked out, grab the guns, shoot the commies, atheists, jews and anybody who’s not a Christian, nutjob category.

  41. #41 timrowledge
    March 29, 2010

    50 cal machine guns? Can I haz getz one for my Moke?

    As in ‘mini moke’? I wouldn’t recommend a 50 on one of those; likely to roll it right over and make like a tumbleweed. Try a Range Rover instead. They do a fine job as impromptu APCs and have the advantage that they can *actually* go off road and make your escape.

    No, but if these nuts had any power, I’m sure they’d be at the forefront of an invasion of Canada. Gotta liberate them from their awful socialist government!

    That’s the Coulterite policy. During a terrifying accidental viewing of a few minutes of fuxnoos a couple of years ago (I froze and couldn’t hit the remote button) I actually saw her arguing for an invasion of Canada.

  42. #42 TGAP Dad
    March 29, 2010

    I actually used to live in the little craphole of a town these nuts call home (Clayton, MI). If Michigan has an anus, it’s in Clayton. It strikes me, in retrospect, as a completely friendly setting for nurturing this kind of organization. It’s isolated (when “going into town” means Adrian or Hudson, yeah, you’re in the boonies), religious with a dominionist streak, and well-armed.

    I thank FSM that I’m not acquainted with any of these nuts. Along with the constant religious harassment by the student body, abetted by the faculty, there were several presentations at the public school to proselytize. I’d rather be tied down while crows pluck out my eyes than go back to that s**thole. Fortunately, my family moved out of that armpit after about 2 years.

  43. #43 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Just once I wish the Michigan Militia would bring out the multiple 50 clibe3r machine guns they own and teach Obama’s Gestapos they phucked with the wrong group of sheep

    The Gestapo was the secret police. So Obama has several secret police forces? Wow.

    I’m wondering exactly who these Gestapos have fucked with and in what way. I own guns and as yet nobody from the government has showed up to take them away, or even introducted legislation to take them away, or proposed legislation to take them away, or even proposed legislation to require me to register them or in any way restrict their ownership.

    The Second Amendment is in about as much danger as a beef cow at a vegetarian’s convention.

  44. #44 Michelle R
    March 29, 2010

    @TGAP dad: Oh owch. You have my sympathies.

    These places scare me.

  45. #45 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: raven | March 29, 2010 12:25 PM

    Some people claim the xian fundies are merging with the militia movement. To produce a group twice as crazy and much better armed, I guess.

    These kooks can get violent.

    One in Pittsburg killed 3 cops, the pilot in Texas who suicided his plane into the IRS building, …

    The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building was neither a Christian kook nor a militia cook. If anything he was a leftist kook.

  46. #46 JohnTR
    March 29, 2010

    Don’t you just love the jihad envy over at WND?

    HOMELAND INSECURITY
    Indictment: Christian militia plotted to kill cops
    Charges follow FBI raids over weekend on locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana
    –Associated Press

    WND.ARCHIVES, DEC. 15, 2009
    WorldNetDaily Exclusive
    Meanwhile, Muslims teach how to slit throats
    Jihad maneuvers taught at New York compound
    –WND

  47. #47 Butch Pansy
    March 29, 2010

    “…dissolution of the U.S. Corporation” sounds like the kind of anti-fascist rant I can veer off into sometimes: BushCo being a prime example; the recent SCOTUS ruling on corporate person-hood and free speech has inspired a few more said rants; the lack of a “public option” in the latest health care legislation is more than a little pro insurance corp.

    The delusional loon who wrote that comment probably meant “Constitution,” not “Corporation,” I know. Since it seems that language skills are necessary for full consciousness (how much pre-verbal memory do you have?), he’s not likely to wake from his coma anytime soon.

  48. #48 oinonio.myopenid.com
    March 29, 2010

    Can’t we label them religious terrorists? Or is that only for non-domestic far-right kooks?

  49. #49 raven
    March 29, 2010

    LIE-speaker:

    The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building was neither a Christian kook nor a militia cook. If anything he was a leftist kook.

    thisweek.com

    What are Stack’s politics?
    Hard to classify, but it’s safe to describe him as “anti-government.” His suicide “rant” primarily attacks the IRS, but he also trashed GM executives, the Catholic Church, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D, NY), George W. Bush “and his cronies,” Arthur Andersen and accountants generally, and drug and insurance companies, among others.

    Did Stack identify with the Tea Party?
    There’s no evidence one way or the other. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart says Stack’s screed sounds in line with “the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement,”
    while Drew M. at the conservative site Ace of Spades says Stack’s views “seem [Lyndon] LaRouchian and/or [Ron] Paulian.”

    The aptly named LIE-speaker lies again. The Austin suicide bomber is anything but leftist. He fits in nicely with the Teabaggers and the Ron Pualistas.

  50. #50 Aquaria
    March 29, 2010

    It appears “the powers that be” and the Rockefellers don’t want to lose their vice grip, thus the raidsprior to Monday’s announcement of the changes.

    LOL What is this? 1941?

    The Rockefellers? Really?

    I didn’t know they still had such an iron grip on the country, the economy, Illuminati, or however it works in this moron’s microscopic brain.

  51. #51 Swintah1
    March 29, 2010

    @ #33

    I just find it really hard to understand why anybody needs a .50 caliber machine gun.

    Oh, not needs: wants. 50 cals are 500 dimensions of awesome. The only reason more people don’t have them is:

    They’re tremendously expensive.
    The mount is tremendously expensive.
    The rounds are tremendously expensive.
    Finding a range to fire on is tremendously difficult – and expensive.

    You get the point.

    Look up a 50 cal on youtube – and remember that the only evening entertainment in the Midwest boonies is Walmart, movies, and blowing things up in the back yard.

  52. #52 chicagomolly.myopenid.com
    March 29, 2010

    jefrir @20: “What is it these kinds of groups have against the IRS? I mean, I can understand not particularly liking tax collectors, but ating like they’re some sort of evil conspiracy is a bit odd.”

    Yes, they’re more than a bit odd, and yes, they do see an evil conspiracy. A big part of Wingnut mythology holds that just about everything the federal government has done since the start of the 20th Century is unconstitutional (when they’re not praying or drawing up assassination lists they’re interpreting the Constitution). For instance: Article I Section 8 gives Congress the right to lay and collect ‘Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises’ which must be uniform for all the states. These are all indirect taxes that aren’t levied on individuals; customs duties are levied on goods, and must be the same from state to state. During the Civil War Congress passed an income tax to fund the thing, and in 1895 the Supreme Court voided it because it was a direct tax on individuals and the rates would necessarily vary all over the place, so it violated Section 8. Then, as part of the Progressive Movement, in 1913 the 16th Amendment was ratified, which allowed that evil wicked communist fascist (Republican) dictator Teddy Roosevelt to force an income tax on us, and we got the IRS to collect it. So the wingnuts refuse to recognize the 16th Amendment, claim the income tax is really unconstitutional, the IRS is illegal, so let’s go start shootin’!

    Well, you asked.

    O, here’s one for nothin’. That same year, 1913, the states ratified the 17th Amendment, which changed Article I, Section 3 to allow direct election of Senators. More of that Progressive stuff. And wouldn’t you know, right after the Affordable Care Act was passed, a Republican in the House said we should dump that direct election business and go back to the days when Senators were picked by the State legislatures, which would stop the corruption.

  53. #53 cairne.morane
    March 29, 2010

    “The military is onboard. This means freedom FINALLY for all Americans from the IRS…”

    Well, if we got rid of the IRS that would pretty much eliminate the US military. So then what?

    Yet more evidence (if any is needed) that these people have no fucking clue how government works. These are obviously the same morons decrying government-run health care and wanting medicaid expanded.

  54. #54 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Raven, I was unaware I had a reputation for lying here.

    Even the section you quoted supports my point, which is that Stack was not a tea party kook or a dominionist kook. As you pointed out, his politics were all over (and mostly kooky). But I recall from reading his suicide note that he was dissatisfied with Obama for not doing enough for social justice, which is why I said if anything, he was a leftist kook.

    So while it might not be any more correct to identify him with the left than the right, I really don’t understand your extreme reaction to my post.

  55. #55 Die Anyway
    March 29, 2010

    I “collect guns, dress up in military gear, and play war games in the woods” in order to prepare myself to fight off the Christian militias should they ever actually start something.
    But, rather than them fighting the government, what I’m more worried about is Sara Palin getting elected and turning these militias loose on us non-believers. Am I just being paranoid?

  56. #56 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building was neither a Christian kook nor a militia cook. If anything he was a leftist kook.

    The American Left Wing does not rant about how taxes are ruining this nation. Nice Try.

  57. #57 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    @Die Anyway #55

    what I’m more worried about is Sara Palin getting elected and turning these militias loose on us non-believers. Am I just being paranoid?

    that would only happen if Sarah could figure out how to make a personal buck off of it.

  58. #58 Doktor Zoom
    March 29, 2010

    I see that their forum has now been found by 4chan. Page 1 is OK, but page 2 is NSFW. Anonymous will either shut them down or start an alliance based on their shared love of mudkipz.

  59. #59 Carlie
    March 29, 2010

    Notice that when it’s Americans, it’s a “militia group” rather than a “terrorist cell”.

  60. #60 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: JCB | March 29, 2010 1:05 PM

    The reason I bring this up is that gun-rights advocates always argue that the Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own any kind of gun they want. But the Second Amendment was written when people armed themselves with single-shot muskets that took several minutes to reload. I’m pretty sure Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and the rest of the framers of the Constitution never even imagined weapons that could fire several hundred rounds per minute.

    The problem with this argument is that the framers wrote long before the internet or even the teletype. One could make the argument that because they couldn’t imagine the written or spoken word being transmitted around the world in fractions of a second, the government should be able to restrict internet speech. The response to that argument, I’m sure you’ll agree, is hell to the no.

    The fact remains that the Second Amendment doesn’t explicitly say Americans have the right to keep and bear any kinds of weapons they want. The Supreme Court agreed when it upheld the right of the federal government to restrict the ownership of machine guns.

    (And a nitpick: a trained British soldier could load a musket in 12 seconds, not several minutes. Still, 5 shots per minute is quite a bit different than thousands of rounds per minute.)

  61. #61 Tugboat Complex
    March 29, 2010

    Up until a month ago, I lived 7 miles from Clayton, Michigan. As a previous poster alluded to, it’s a very small village. There is only one road in and out of town. 2000 census data list 326 for the population. That’s a tad more than I would expect. This group is but a tiny slice of the crazy pie in these parts. After reading all this today, I walked down to pay my landlord and saw a fresh tea party poster and NRA membership renewal letter on her desk. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it, Fox News blasting behind her.

  62. #62 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom | March 29, 2010 1:59 PM

    The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building was neither a Christian kook nor a militia cook. If anything he was a leftist kook.
    The American Left Wing does not rant about how taxes are ruining this nation. Nice Try.

    Read Stack’s suicide note. He did not fit into the kook box the media tried to put him in. He fit into a different kook box.

  63. #63 raven
    March 29, 2010

    LIE-speaker:

    Raven, I was unaware I had a reputation for lying here.

    Even the section you quoted supports my point, which is that Stack was not a tea party kook or a dominionist kook.

    Tea Party Twitters ?God Bless Joe Stack American Hero??So Does …Feb 19, 2010 … God bless Joe Stack an american herohttp://bit.ly/3kIUEv #tpp #sgp #912#TeaParty #tcot #p2about 3 hours ago from Twitterizer …

    Folk Hero Push For Andrew Joseph Stack – Hit & Run : Reason MagazineFeb 21, 2010 … Who dreamed they saw Joe Stack last night? … is similar to that we’re hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement. …

    Because you were just lying. You are still lying. BTW, the Teabaggers think Joseph Stack is a great hero. They have adopted him and think what he did was a noble act. They say so often.

  64. #64 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    heironymous said: ‘I don’t want to conflate the two. But were these guys Teabaggers?’

    Kinda sounds like those statements that begin with, “I don’t hate gays, but…”

    truthspeaker said: ‘…the government [hasn’T] …even proposed legislation to require me to register them or in any way restrict their ownership.’

    While there is little chance it will actually become law, there has been Federal legislation introduced that would place many more restrictions and regulation on gun ownership in America.

    raven said: ‘The Austin suicide bomber…fits in nicely with the Teabaggers and the Ron Pualistas.’

    Yes, he fits nicely with whatever political bogeyman one wishes to associate him with… because he was nuts. Nutty kooks rarely have a consistent point of view about anything much less politics, where just about no one is consistent.

  65. #65 Physicalist
    March 29, 2010

    Indeed, there are some bits of Joseph Stack’s thought that would fit in quite well with our conversations:

    . . . zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful ?exemptions? that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the ?best?, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the ?big boys? were doing (except that we weren?t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God).

  66. #66 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnTAiIRbRIpbzIZTtwLDKEdcE21mgEUtpI
    March 29, 2010

    Wow. People actually defending Timothy McVeigh. What exactly are the Michigan Militia supposed to do with those .50 cal machine guns? It’s not like a WWI era “Ma Deuce” is going to be useful against, say an M1 Abrams or an AC-130 gunship. Talk about bringing a knife to a gun fight.

  67. #67 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    BTW, the Teabaggers think Joseph Stack is a great hero. They have adopted him and think what he did was a noble act. They say so often.

    That is completely irrelevant to the statement you were disputing. All it shows is the Teabaggers didn’t read his manifesto either.

    Stack’s suicide note/rant is here:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0218102stack1.html

    His complaints about the IRS are that it gives working people the shaft while letting big business break the laws. He also complains about the tax exemptions churches have. He also complains that people in certain technical fields are exempt from being paid overtime.

    (These are all sentiments I agree with, but unlike Stack I don’t think the way to address them is to A) file fraudulent tax returns, B) not file returns at all, or C) fly a plane into an IRS building and kill people).

    And he ends with this:

    The communist creed: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

    The guy definitely wasn’t a teabagger.

  68. #68 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    Read Stack’s suicide note. He did not fit into the kook box the media tried to put him in. He fit into a different kook box.

    Did, if you can call ita suicide note. Also read his not much older stuff. The dude was plain old CRAZY, not Crazy for one particular ideology. That’s why I said “He’s not in the left”, not “He’s in the Right”.

    Because you were just lying. You are still lying. BTW, the Teabaggers think Joseph Stack is a great hero. They have adopted him and think what he did was a noble act. They say so often.

    Citation Needed. If true… god damn, they’re retarded. Well, they are anyway, but moreso.

  69. #69 timrowledge
    March 29, 2010

    Seen on another blog – the following description for the win
    “Teahadists of the tealaban”

  70. #70 shonny
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: Givesgoodemail Author Profile Page | March 29, 2010 12:01 PM

    Oh, they’re out there, and if they weren’t so laughable (big egos, tiny shortcomings), they might even be a tiny bit scary.

    Like here. And here. And here.

    Shit. March 29. Does that mean this gets cancelled??

    Hm. My experience is that their short-comings totally eclipse their egos. To the extent that they (the short-comings) run the full gamut.

  71. #71 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Die Anyway (@55):

    SRSLY? You’re part of an anti-militia militia? Who knew such a thing existed?

    But, rather than them fighting the government, what I’m more worried about is Sara Palin getting elected and turning these militias loose on us non-believers. Am I just being paranoid?

    Well, maybe just a little bit paranoid. If Sarah Neither-Plain-Nor-Tall (or any of her ilk) were elected, she would by definition be Commander In Chief, and the regular military would report to her. Either they’d be on her side <shudder>, in which case she wouldn’t need no stinkin’ militia, or they would recognize a president who would use military force against her own citizens as illegitimate, and in that case they’d kick some militia ass!

    What scares me more is that the Teabag Wing might, after failing to achieve power legitimately, foment revolution among the militia, whether deliberately or simply as a byproduct of their overheated rhetoric.

    In any case, I think the regular military would easily defeat any armed uprising¹ (repeat after me: Red Dawn is baseless fantasy)… but having it happen at all would be horrifying, and would pose a real threat to the future of our nation.

    ¹ IANAL, but I am curious: Anyone have an opinion about the legality/constitutionality of using the military against a paramilitary uprising of U.S. citizens ocurring within the borders of the U.S.? I’m assuming here that we’re talking about a broad-scope action — a nascent civil war — rather than a localized attack that could reasonably be characterized as criminal or nonmilitary. Enquiring minds want to know!

  72. #72 raven
    March 29, 2010

    raven said: ‘The Austin suicide bomber…fits in nicely with the Teabaggers and the Ron Pualistas.’

    Yes, he fits nicely with whatever political bogeyman one wishes to associate him with… because he was nuts. Nutty kooks rarely have a consistent point of view about anything much less politics, where just about no one is consistent.

    NYTimes.com:

    But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom.

    Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack?s credo ? rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.

    Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack?s crime. ?It?s sad the incident in Texas happened,? he said, ?but by the same token, it?s an agency that is unnecessary.

    Joseph Stack is the new Teabagger hero. He is also a hero to some Republican politicians. Scott Brown and Steve King among them.

    Stack is the right wing’s kook and killer. Embrace your inner murderer proudly rather than trying to lie about it.

  73. #73 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    (repeat after me: Red Dawn is baseless fantasy)…

    And it’s getting a remake. Fuck Merika, man. Why do people think it’s real? Oh yeah, apocryphal quotes from a Japanese General and wish fulfillment.

    ¹ IANAL, but I am curious: Anyone have an opinion about the legality/constitutionality of using the military against a paramilitary uprising of U.S. citizens ocurring within the borders of the U.S.? I’m assuming here that we’re talking about a broad-scope action ? a nascent civil war ? rather than a localized attack that could reasonably be characterized as criminal or nonmilitary. Enquiring minds want to know!

    If they could be shown to be seditious, pretty much no problem whatsoever. The problem would be that Congress may refuse to declare war, so the president would THEN have to behave extraconstitutionally. Then again, in the face of armed conflict, MAYBE the REpublicans would grow a virtuous bone in their bodies and just eat not election next term.

    REmember, during the Civil War, it was the opinion of the administration that the CSA was always American Citizens, and that they had no legal right to secede (Therefore, they were still Citizens of the Union, because they’re not citizens of anywhere else and they can’t renounce their citizenship like that).

  74. #74 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    @Bill Dauphin, OM #71 Obama has rescinded pussy communists after bush partially dismantled it

  75. #75 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Raven (@72):

    Joseph Stack is the new Teabagger hero. He is also a hero to some Republican politicians. Scott Brown and Steve King among them.

    Stack is the right wing’s kook and killer.

    Yeah. Regardless of whether you think Stack would have agreed, his story will inevitably be the one the radical right is writing for him. His unavailability to “correct” the record is his own doing.

  76. #76 Aquaria
    March 29, 2010

    When, as part of the Progressive Movement, in 1913 the 16th Amendment was ratified, which allowed that evil wicked communist fascist (Republican) dictator Teddy Roosevelt to force an income tax on us, and we got the IRS to collect it.

    Uh–No.

    Yes, Roosevelt was a supporter of the income tax, but the resolution proposing the Sixteenth Amendment was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification in 1909, during the Taft administration. It was ratified in 1913, only a month before he left office. His Democraticsuccessor, Wilson, would essentially get the IRS up and running.

  77. #77 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    While we certainly don’t live in a police state complete with the Gestapo, per se, there is plenty to fear from our ordinary police, who grow bolder and bolder in a time when SWAT teams busting down the doors of non-violent people suspected of possessing a few grams of a natural herb are lauded and glorified on TV as heroes in our war on drugs. It’s even scarier to know this woman could not get justice (thus far) in the courts.

    It would be one thing if police used their vaunted ‘flash-bang’ grenades and busted down doors to increase the safety of those involved, such as in a hostage situation, but everyone knows the primary goal during drug raids — especially when the suspects have no history of violent crime — is the preservation of evidence.

    Everyone knows they should be polite and courteous to police if detained; the problem is we shouldn’t have to be as long as we are following lawfully issued police orders.

  78. #78 JCB
    March 29, 2010

    truthspeaker,

    You’re right–using that line of reasoning, you could also argue that since the founders never envisioned the invention of automobiles, the government should be able to make laws restricting car ownership. Thanks for pointing that out. :)

    The point I was trying to make was that developments in weapons technology have changed the landscape considerably since the time the Bill of Rights was written, and we ought to take that into consideration when discussing the Second Amendment. I used to be a staunch right-winger, and I remember reading articles arguing that it was unconstitutional for the government to restrict the ownership of assault rifles. They made it seem like it was unreasonable for the government to be concerned about average citizens carrying M-16s or AK-47s. I think events like the North Hollywood shootout bear out that concern. And those bank robbers were only carrying AK-47s. A .50 caliber machine gun would obviously do a lot more damage.

    I’m not saying the government should sweep in and crack down on everyone who owns a weapon capable of firing multiple rounds per minute. But I am saying that blind adherence to the Second Amendment, without any consideration of the variety of guns available today, is dangerous.

  79. #79 Aquaria
    March 29, 2010

    Oh, and Taft was an enthusiastic supporter of the income tax.

    I would have said a huge supporter, but…

    Well…

    It might not have been clear what I meant by huge in his case.

  80. #80 Insightful Ape
    March 29, 2010

    So, liespeaker, how does hatred for the IRS make anyone a left winger?
    Last time I checked the libertarian were considered right wingers.

  81. #81 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Aquaria (@79):

    ;^)

  82. #82 InappropriateSusan
    March 29, 2010

    Overheard: “Why is Obama concerned with Christians in the woods with guns? He should go after real terrorists.”

    WTF.

  83. #83 bcoppola
    March 29, 2010

    I might have said this before, but:

    Who else here remembers when Michigan had a rep as a pretty progressive state?

    (sigh)

  84. #84 simonator
    March 29, 2010

    Dutchdock, that is indeed a riot. especially since they probably have nearly as many ranks as they have members.

  85. #85 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    raven said: ‘Joseph Stack is the new Teabagger hero. He is also a hero to some Republican politicians. Stack is the right wing’s kook and killer.’

    Sounds to me like he’s your new hero. If you say it loudly and often enough even you might start to believe it…

    raven said: ‘Embrace your inner murderer proudly rather than trying to lie about it.’

    You are working very hard to associate this horribly twisted and vile man to those with whom you don’t agree politically. Do you honestly believe even a small minority of those who call themselves Tea Party patriots glorify Stack, his manifesto or his final depraved act in this world?

    Your political convictions must be weak indeed to require so much dogmatic rationalization…

  86. #86 Gus Snarp
    March 29, 2010

    They’re immanentizing the eschaton!

    Seriously, don’t they know all the people in the movies who want to bring about Armageddon are the bad guys?

    And why is it these guys always think they’re guns are going to be useful against the government? If they actually managed to start a real revolution no one would take the weapons from their “cold dead fingers”, they’ll just drop a missile on them from a Predator drone and destroy them and all their weapons in less than a second.

  87. #87 Flex
    March 29, 2010

    The fact remains that the Second Amendment doesn’t explicitly say Americans have the right to keep and bear any kinds of weapons they want.

    Actually a couple of tidbits from history makes the language and intent of the Second Amendment much more understandable.

    First, there was no standing army when the Federal Constitution was written. The U.S.A. relied on local militias for ideological and financial reasons. In fact, while militias were under the command of state governors, under article 1, section 8 of the Federal Constitution the US Congress could federalize the state militias and put them under the power of the POTUS. (Try telling one of the modern local militias that the Federal Constitution makes the POTUS their commander-in-chief and watch their head explode. They probably haven’t read Article 1, Sec. 8.)

    Second, until 1903 every state, and in fact most towns had state militias. I’ve seen newspapers from the 1870’s describing local Independence Day Parades and the various local militias which were marching in them. In many cases it was expected, and often required, that every able-bodied man in a town would belong to a militia.

    In 1903 all local militias were rolled into what we now call the National Guard. It appears that at that time compulsory joining of a local militia was dropped.

    With these concepts in mind, it is easy to see why putting the Second Amendment in place was necessary to ensure a body of troops was available to defend the U.S.A. from invasion.

    However, times have changed. We no longer rely on a citizen’s militia for defense. Which is not, in itself, a reason to take away the firearms of responsible citizens.

  88. #88 Citizen of the Cosmos
    March 29, 2010

    Ok, I have to ask. What on Earth did Obama do to make these wannabe terrorists so angry?

  89. #89 Aquaria
    March 29, 2010

    Bill, #81:

    :::Giggle::::

    Another history geek, I see.

  90. #90 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2010

    He was born to a black man.

  91. #91 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    Flex said: ‘…it is easy to see why putting the Second Amendment in place was necessary to ensure a body of troops was available to defend the U.S.A. from invasion.’

    “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson)

    Cherry picking is easy for either side of the debate…

  92. #92 atheiststoday
    March 29, 2010

    Here is a video outlining the list of demands the militia purportedly sent:

    Crazy Militia Lady

  93. #93 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    PZ Myers @ 90 said: ‘He was born to a black man.’

    Citation please…

  94. #94 Brownian, OM
    March 29, 2010

    And why is it these guys always think they’re guns are going to be useful against the government? If they actually managed to start a real revolution no one would take the weapons from their “cold dead fingers”, they’ll just drop a missile on them from a Predator drone and destroy them and all their weapons in less than a second.

    Yep. Guerrilla forces are almost universally made up of people who’ve faced real oppression for years and have been hardened by it. If the greatest hardship you’ve faced is that your latest five-minute rant about “socialised medicine” meant you had to go five minutes without cramming a Miller Lite and a handful of Steak Ums in your goddamn maw, I don’t see you lasting all that long against any modern military force, no matter how many times you listen to Johnny Horton.

  95. #95 raven
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten the Teabagger troll:

    Do you honestly believe even a small minority of those who call themselves Tea Party patriots glorify Stack, his manifesto or his final depraved act in this world?

    Sure. Why not? The Teabaggers and the Republicans made Joseph Stack their hero. They said so themselves. I just posted a bunch of quotes from teabaggers and Senator Scott Brown, R Mass. and Rep. Steve King, R Iowa.

    It’s no secret that the Teabaggers hate the USA and would destroy it if they can. That is their whole point.

    It’s no secret that they saturate their meetings and other communications with violent rhetoric.

    When groups theaten violence and start being violent, there is only one thing that people like you can do. Lie and keep on lying. Just don’t expect anyone to believe your lies.

  96. #96 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten, you can’t be that naive.

  97. #97 Celtic_Evolution
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten

    PZ Myers @ 90 said: ‘He was born to a black man.’

    Citation please…

    I was watching this gameshow the other day where a woman had to find and collect 3 rubber balls on a stage…

    The catch? She was wearing goggles that were painted completely black.

    I think she still had clearer vision than you.

  98. #98 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson)

    I don’t give a damn what he had to say about guns! Jefferson also said “The tree of liberty must sometimes be refreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants”! That’s gone over really fucking well for South America, wouldn’t you say?

  99. #99 Anti_Theist-317
    March 29, 2010

    “And why is it these guys always think they’re guns are going to be useful against the government? If they actually managed to start a real revolution no one would take the weapons from their “cold dead fingers”, they’ll just drop a missile on them from a Predator drone and destroy them and all their weapons in less than a second.”

    Why dont we just do this in:
    Iraq
    Afgan or other such areas?

  100. #100 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    March 29, 2010

    Make fun of these people all you want – they deserve it and they are, generally, incompetent. Of course they won’t lead a new revolution or overthrow the government.
    But one of them blew up a government building in Oklahoma City with a rented truck and a couple hundred dollars’ worth of fertilizer. I believe the death count was 168.
    They’ve killed several abortion providers.
    I may be the only firearms authority among the Pharyngulites (I’ve held a couple of private security jobs that required extensive firearms training – don’t ask, I can’t tell), but don’t laugh at that .50 caliber rifle.
    They’re accurate out to about 3 kilometers, and they will defeat the armor of a bank truck, a presidential limo or anything else short of a heavy battle tank.
    Anybody who buys one of these rather expensive and unwieldy guns has the ability to do some very, very serious damage.

  101. #101 Antiochus Epimanes
    March 29, 2010

    I have an inkling about why rural Michigan is so packed with ignorant wackos. I was born in a Detroit suburb myself, and still have lots of relatives in nearby towns. Our family story was pretty typical: hillbillies who moved north in the ’40s and ’50s to work in industrial plants. This worked for decades ? apparently all but $8 of my birth costs were paid by Ford ? and allowed thousands of hardworking but ignorant and bigoted yahoos to buy mass-produced tract houses. Those who bought in and around Detroit itself (or other large industrial cities) moved again when desegregation hit, heading out to the all-white countryside.

    So the mouth-breathers prospered, and bred, but most didn’t get much smarter. Then the industrial economy collapsed, and many of these families couldn’t find work, make the mortgage, or pay off the Buick. Ignorant of the economic forces driving that change, they started looking for scapegoats. And, of course, some people (mostly Republicans, in my experience) were only too happy to feed them ideas: “It’s them nasty blacks/A-rabs/Mexikens takin’ your jobs. It’s all the big-gummint liberals who ruined your economy, and now want to tax you to pay for abortions and handouts to Welfare queens.”

    Lots of people believed this, and retreated to sulk about it, getting more apocalyptic and conspiratorial by the year. Now they’re broke and have nothing to do but run around in the woods dreaming that Jesus will give them a job if only they take back His country from the multicolored liberal traitors. They get to have End Times and Civil War rerun fantasies at the same time.

  102. #102 raven
    March 29, 2010

    COMMENTARY
    Tea-party-style rhetoric boils over into violence

    By EUGENE ROBINSON
    Washington Post

    Let?s not pretend anymore that the tea party movement is harmless. The right to protest is one of our cherished American freedoms. But there is no right to vandalism, no right to threaten lives. Someone is going to get hurt unless those who lead the movement ? and those who exploit it ? start acting like responsible adults.

    What are the chances of that?

    It was Sarah Palin, the Eva Peron of the tea party crowd, who used Facebook to target 20 Democrats who voted for health care reform, indicating their districts? locations on a map with the cross hairs of a rifle scope. It was Palin who wrote on Twitter: ?Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ?Don?t Retreat, Instead ? RELOAD! Pls see my Facebook page.?

    At least 10 House Democrats have had to request additional security. Glass doors and windows were broken at the district offices of Reps. Louise Slaughter of New York and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. Vandals have damaged Democratic Party offices in Wichita, Rochester and Cincinnati.

    And Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, whose last-minute compromise on abortion funding guaranteed final passage of the reform act, has received a flood of abusive phone calls at his office and home. Someone faxed him a drawing of a noose. One caller simply said: ?You?re dead. We know where you live. We?ll get you.?

    The Teabaggers routinely use violent rhetoric. Obama as president has received more death threats than any other president. They were publicly calling for his assassination before he was even elected.

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that calls for violence result in…violence. Which is what is happening. At least 5 Democratic offices have been attacked recently.

    Then we have the Pittsburgh 3 cop killer, Joseph Stack the Moslem terrorist imitator, Scott Roeder the MD assassin, more murders in Arizona, and now the 9 Xian militia wannabe cop killers.

    Hard to say when and where this is all going to end. Or how many the right wing extremists and christofascists will end up killing. Timothy McVeigh’s record of 168 dead is there for the taking.

  103. #103 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Citizen of the GalaxyCosmos (@88):

    Ok, I have to ask. What on Earth did Obama do to make these wannabe terrorists so angry?

    Hmm… let’s take inventory, shall we? Obama…

    1. Actually believes that “all men are created equal,” and thus have an equal right to…

    2. “[L]ife, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and that that means things like access to health care, hope for some degree of material security, and some measure of protection against the more rapacious aspects of the market.

    3. And believes that the government ordained and established in the Constitution has the power to do something in support of those rights, and in order to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

    4. Plus which, he has that fabulous tan, no doubt a result of his childhood in KenyaHawaii.

    Now, Nos. 1 through 3 are things pretty much everyone on the left (even center left, even by the relatively illiberal standards of the U.S.) shares, and the right is always pissed off whenever those goddam-socialist-pinko-commie-fags are in charge. But if you want to know why it seems so much more intense, and so much closer to the ragged edge of violence, than it has in the past — even more so that with that dope-smoking, skirt-chasing, draft-dodging SOB Bill Clinton — then I think you couldn’t go far wrong by paying a bit closer attention to No. 4.

    Dang, Merle… He don’t look much like us ‘tall, do he?

  104. #104 Insightful Ape
    March 29, 2010

    So, teabagger troll, why wouldn’t Mr Stack be your hero? His actions seem to perfectly match your philosophy given the reason you cite for having guns.

  105. #105 Tulse
    March 29, 2010
    PZ Myers @ 90 said: ‘He was born to a black man.’

    Citation please…

    I take it you’ll only accept the long form version?

  106. #106 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    PZ Myers @ 90 said: ‘He was born to a black man.’
    you are the biologist here, splain that to me
    oh and fuckoff the people with no sense of humor jumpin on mwsletten

  107. #107 Gus Snarp
    March 29, 2010

    @Anti_Theist-317

    Allow me to clarify. We have done this in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course you can’t get them all, but insurgencies, while difficult to defeat, also suffer heavy casualties with lots of collateral damage.

  108. #108 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten (@93):

    PZ Myers @ 90 said: ‘He was born to a black man.’

    Citation please…

    Hmmm… do you mean to be declaring yourself a Birther here, or merely denying that racism is a factor in anti-Obama rhetoric?

    Either way… idiot!!

  109. #109 Celtic_Evolution
    March 29, 2010

    you are the biologist here, splain that to me

    *sigh*. Cause you need to be a biologist to understand that statement? Please.

    oh and fuckoff the people with no sense of humor jumpin on mwsletten

    Oh go fuck yourself, bobroxley. What the fuck does a “sense of humor” have to do with pretending that racism isn’t squarely at the heart of the tea-bag movement?

    So being pig-ignorant of that issue is somehow funny? I don’t get it, either.

  110. #110 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    Hmm… let’s take inventory, shall we? Obama…

    1. Actually believes that “all men are created equal,”

    Unless they’re gay, of course. He is explicitly against same-sex marriage, but at least he was up front about that before he was voted into office. But of course this exception would hardly endear him to the teabaggers.

  111. #111 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    @celtic_evolution #109 herman cain is a racist? news to me

  112. #112 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Aquaria (@89):

    Another history geek, I see.

    Well, that, plus I caught a hint of resonance with the conversation in another thread. I came within a gnat’s whisker today of chastising Walton (entirely tongue-in-cheek) for calling himself a dumpling. Do we really want to be encouraging that sort of body-image commentary? <GrinningDuckingRunning>

  113. #113 Insightful Ape
    March 29, 2010

    Somehow I fail to see the “humor” in the teabaggers’ rants. I am sure it must be just me, though.

  114. #114 Celtic_Evolution
    March 29, 2010

    @celtic_evolution #109 herman cain is a racist? news to me

    I’ve come to expect this from you, broboxley, but really? Are you fucking kidding me?

    The response given by PZ:

    He was born to a black man

    Was to the very broad question asked by Citizen of the Cosmos at #88

    Ok, I have to ask. What on Earth did Obama do to make these wannabe terrorists so angry?

    Now… either you can point out to me where the name Herman Cain appears in that specific question, or you can quit being an asshole.

  115. #115 Anti_Theist-317
    March 29, 2010

    ‘These people’ have guns and god. Most likely they want to kill you – they are dangerous.

    I know they are ignorant and delusional. But I am not sure I understand the attitude which does not view them as a threat,

  116. #116 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Paul (@110):

    …Obama…
    1. Actually believes that “all men are created equal,”

    Unless they’re gay, of course.

    If I weren’t conscious of the fact that I speak from a place of heteronormative privilege, and therefore lack the standing to do so, I’d counsel patience.

    Call me pollyanna, but I believe Obama knows in his heart what’s just, and is limited by his sense of what’s politically possible. I really do get (and share, to the extent that I’m capable) gays’ frustration at how slowly change is coming… but it’s hard for me to imagine who we could’ve elected in 2008 who might have brought change in this area any faster.

    I believe DADT will be entirely gone NLT the end of Obama’s first term, and assuming he’s reelected and the Dems don’t completely melt down in Congress, I think we’ll see all federal prohibitions against gay marriage gone by the end of a second term, regardless of what Obama’s private opinion may be. By 2016, my daughter’s cohort will be in their mid-to-late 20s, and we’ll be on the precipice of a profound generational shift WRT gay rights: No aging politician will be able to change that, and Obama (nor, IMHO, any leading Democrat) wouldn’t want to try.

  117. #117 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 29, 2010

    But ChristianityTM is a religion of peace.

  118. #118 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Semi-OT to history geek Aquaria: Speaking of presidents from the olden days, Google Justine Lai (note that results may be NSFW). She’s an Asian-American artist whose major project is a series of paintings of herself having sex with the American presidents, in historical chronological order (IIRC she’s up to 15 or 16). They’re actually better paintings than you might be imagining, and I find the project interesting in ways I can’t quite articulate (aside from the titillation inherent in sexual images, I mean). It ends up feeling more like serious, even political, art, and less like porn, than you might expect.

    FWIW, my favorite so far is Lincoln.

  119. #119 Physicalist
    March 29, 2010

    FoxNews’ version of this is too funny (no, I haven’t kicked by bad habit yet).

    The ONLY mention of the militia group being Christian come in the following quotation

    According to investigators, the purportedly Christian Hutaree militia view local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel as a “brotherhood”.

    I can’t stop laughing. Really gotta stay away from Fox.

  120. #120 j-brisby
    March 29, 2010

    Funny thing about the Second Amendment…it doesn’t mention guns. In fact, guns aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution OR the Bill of Rights. The right to own a gun simply doesn’t exist.

    It does, however, state that militias should be well-regulated. So let’s get some regulation, can’t we?

  121. #121 gr8hands
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten @93 – Wonderful! I laughed out loud! Poignant, pithy and perfect. No wonder a few . . . ahem . . . people were confused.

    Tulse @105 — good follow-up!

  122. #122 otrame
    March 29, 2010

    Approximately 99 percent of these guys are a bunch of pathetic losers. They have suffered (quite legitimately) from the end of Industrial America where a man could make a pretty decent living for his wife and kids in an 8-hour factory job and that job was there for life. That man’s kids now have to have both adults working full time to afford a half-way decent life. They aren’t willing to put in the time to get the education they need to get a better job because people used to be able to have a good job even without an education and they think it should still be that way. Many of them thought the eager loan officers offering them a mortgage on a house they couldn’t really afford was a great guy. They are under employed, under educated, and they have never learned that just because someone tells you what you want to hear, that guy is not a friend and may not be giving you good advice. They blame “the banks” (with considerable accuracy) for losing their house. They have been told over and over that it is “the government’s” fault and it is the “liberal’s” fault and our country is in big trouble and….

    And they still haven’t figured out that they have bought into a view of the world that encourages fear instead of education, and makes heroes out of murderers and they continue to support the very people who are causing most of their troubles. Out of greed for power and money comes the constant rhetoric of fear. Famous people tell them the country is on the brink of disaster, and since they themselves are on the brink of disaster, they believe it. Famous people tell they they are “better” than the ones with good jobs. Famous people tell them that “they” are going to take what little they have left and give it away to people who are lazy (and probably not white). They listen to it. The “enemy” is carefully explained to them, so they know who to hate. People who try to explain what is really going on, people who try to help, are labeled “traitor”. They have been used and abused and they have been taught that the users and abusers “really love them”.

    Most of them (that 99%) are nothing but talk. If they were capable of actually accomplishing anything they would be out doing it, not playing soldier in the woods. Unfortunately, every once in a while a genuine nut job listens to them and then somebody gets hurt.

    And meanwhile, the people who encourage the violent rhetoric and continue to lie to them are raking in the money and power and when one of the nutjobs succeeds in really hurting a bunch of people, not one of them will think, “That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been pushing the fear card so hard for my own personal benefit. This is partially my fault.” Not one.

  123. #123 Celtic_Evolution
    March 29, 2010

    mwsletten @93 – Wonderful! I laughed out loud! Poignant, pithy and perfect. No wonder a few . . . ahem . . . people were confused.

    Tulse @105 — good follow-up.

    Wow… ok… I looked at mwsletten’s post again…

    And BOY do I feel stupid… if that was a joke, it sailed right over my ahead… and I humbly apologize to mwsletten for being such an obtuse, clueless prick, and equally to broboxley for not getting that he was pointing that out to me.

    I have no excuse. I’ll take my lashes as deemed fit.

  124. #124 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    C_E (@123):

    No lashes for you, I think. Some of us recognized the possiblity of a Birther reference and even so didn’t see any reason to laugh. I’ve just skimmed over some of mwsletten’s other contributions to this thread, and don’t see where they establish any context for HIlarity.

    I don’t think the Birther thing is funny. I don’t think denying the racial aspect of anti-Obama activism (which is a perfectly plausible reading of mwsletten’s comment; it’s the poster’s fault if intent isn’t clear) is funny either. For that matter, I don’t think hounding people for citations is usually funny (personally, I reserve it for claims that are both very specific and questionable on their face; this isn’t a journal, nor a court of law).

    No doubt I will now be accused of being humor-deficient, but I don’t think that’s generally true. I will confess, however, that I find it difficult to wring big yucks out of the seething cauldron of paranoia and racial hatred that U.S. politics has become these days. YMMV.

  125. #125 llewelly
    March 29, 2010

    PZ Myers | March 29, 2010 3:09 PM:

    He was born to a black man.

    *sigh* Another leftist in furious denial of the basic differences between Men and Women.

  126. #126 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    cretin_evolution

    What the fuck does a “sense of humor” have to do with pretending that racism isn’t squarely at the heart of the tea-bag movement?

    dont you even read your own posts? I was responding to that quote that Herman Cain prominent teabagger is labeled a racist by you. I simply remarked that it was news to me.

  127. #127 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    If I weren’t conscious of the fact that I speak from a place of heteronormative privilege, and therefore lack the standing to do so, I’d counsel patience.

    Call me pollyanna, but I believe Obama knows in his heart what’s just, and is limited by his sense of what’s politically possible.

    You miss my point. I do not call into question his “heart of hearts” re: the proper application of justice, even though he has gone even further than Bush when it comes to executive secrecy putting lie to “greater transparency” (he used to say nice-sounding things calling out Bush for abusing executive secrecy, but he’s actively furthered the practice).

    I was referring to his statement:

    “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    Now, there’s evidence that in the past, even as a Christian he supported same-sex marriage. But anyone that can say the above, even if it’s solely a lie meant to gain political capital, is no friend to enlightenment values (among them all men being equal). There’s pragmatism, and there is selling out on your values/principles. It would be better to say nothing than to say what he said, if he was really just being inactive on that front in order to curry favor/capital. It would be no better than saying that atheists aren’t really Americans, because you thought it would get you a few points on your favored legislation.

  128. #128 gr8hands
    March 29, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution @123 — That is what distinguishes us from theists. Your courageous statement admitting the possibility of being wrong, and apologizing.

    How is that possible? To do something moral without god in your life? Oooh, right. For almost a moment I forgot that having god in one’s life actually makes it more difficult to be moral.

    (Personally, I don’t think you should castigate yourself over this, as it is a minor matter.)

  129. #129 MadScientist
    March 29, 2010

    @JCB: The 0.50s are obviously for fighting allah “The Beast” (as he was known to his harem). Those BB’s, 0.22, and even 0.30s have no effect on allah. Allah is also immune to the effects of Holy Water – he’s such a bitch to fight – and watch out for those super attacks of his.

  130. #130 ThirdMonkey
    March 29, 2010

    “I just find it really hard to understand why anybody needs a .50 caliber machine gun.”

    Two words: “Zombie Plague”

    QED

  131. #131 tomdoc
    March 29, 2010

    The sad thing there are a lot of americans, including many elected officials who believe all of this end times crap i.e anti-christs, raptures, jesus coming down to earth on a cloud etc. etc. I even remember (sorry can’t remember his name)watching a congressional hearing on CSPAN over global warming when one of the congressmen pulled out his bible opened it up to revelation and said we didn’t have to worry about global warming since “the earth will come to an end when god says it comes to an end.” and this idiot is an elected official.

  132. #132 Alchemist
    March 29, 2010

    Well, it’s after 5. Since the government doesn’t accomplish anything after 5pm, we should be safe.

  133. #133 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmrL6noj-3o7YNPfHz8mNM4mCH4r8MSVRw
    March 29, 2010

    these folks may be ignorant and delusional but they were right about one thing: de ebil gubmint finally took away their guns and their freedom!

    … thank cthulhu!

  134. #134 raven
    March 29, 2010

    The sad thing there are a lot of americans, including many elected officials who believe all of this end times crap i.e anti-christs, raptures, jesus coming down to earth on a cloud etc. etc.

    Try Sarah Palin, the Theothuglican VP candidate as well as current Tea Party leader.

    Plus she believes the earth is 6,000 years old, evil witches exist and have magic powers, and hordes of demons roam the earth possessing people and causing problems.

    In for a penny, in for a pound. If someone is going to believe some crazy fundie xian nonsense, might as well believe all of it.

  135. #135 ktesibios
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: Butch Pansy Author Profile Page | March 29, 2010 1:27 PM [kill]?[hide comment]

    “…dissolution of the U.S. Corporation” sounds like the kind of anti-fascist rant I can veer off into sometimes: BushCo being a prime example; the recent SCOTUS ruling on corporate person-hood and free speech has inspired a few more said rants; the lack of a “public option” in the latest health care legislation is more than a little pro insurance corp.

    The delusional loon who wrote that comment probably meant “Constitution,” not “Corporation,” I know.

    No, he probably meant “corporation”. There is a popular notion among the patrons of the Alcoa Haberdashery Shoppe that the USA went bankrupt in 1933, or maybe in 1871, and the whole place was mortgaged to the “international bankers” or “Rothschilds” or whatever codeword for “Jews” happens to be in vogue at the moment, and that the gummint is in fact a corporation which administers the property on behalf of said Jews.

    This also includes the belief that all US citizens are legally slaves and that a birth certificate is actually a bond and that if you recite the correct magic words you can cash it in for gold.

    These are also the same yahoos who freak out about legal documents with names spelled in all caps, gold fringe on flags and like to insert punctuation into their names, e.g. “Christopher-Earl: Strunk in esse” in the belief that this somehow deprives the US government of all jurisdiction over them.

    See here:http://www.serendipity.li/jsmill/us_corporation.htm

    for a good example of this delusion, or just search on the term “freeman on the land” to have your computer filled with guanophrenic spew.

    The mythology of paranoid conspiracism is so richly detailed that it ought to make a fertile field of study for academic folklorists.

  136. #136 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Raven and Insightful Ape:

    First of all, I’m a social democrat, not a teabagger. If I were going embrace my inner murderer, it would be Andreas Baader.

    My only point about Stack is that, while the teabaggers may be embracing him as a hero, he was not on their side. If you were to try to cram him into the left-right spectrum that the American press would have us believe describes every political viewpoint, he would have been slightly to the left just because he claimed to favor progressive taxation, taxation of churches, and health care reform. Obviously he wasn’t nearly as leftist as, say, the Symbionese Liberation Army. More obviously, the idea that every political position can be plotted on a left-right axis is ludicrous – as Stack’s beliefs show.

    But I only brought him up because Raven claimed he was a teabagger, and that shows sloppy research on Raven’s part, abetted by the way the press covered the Stack story.

    I haven’t said anything about why I own guns. They’re actually for shooting deer, not for overthrowing the government.

    Go back into any other thread I’ve posted in. How many “lies” have I told on Pharyngula?

  137. #137 AlisonS
    March 29, 2010

    I was unaware that inmates in mental health facilities had access to computers. Silly me.

    As far as invading Canada to get rid of our socialist government, the ignorant twits should be aware that we currently have a right-wing government. More’s the pity.

  138. #138 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    @otrame #122: I think your analysis is right on the money.

  139. #139 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: AlisonS | March 29, 2010 6:10 PM

    As far as invading Canada to get rid of our socialist government, the ignorant twits should be aware that we currently have a right-wing government

    What you consider right-wing they would probably consider socialist. Did they immediately repeal universal healthcare upon taking office? No? Then to the fraction of American dittoheads who actually have a vague idea what socialism is, they’re socialist. To the rest, it would enough that their leaders on TV and the radio called the Canadian government socialist. They don’t know what the word means, but they know it’s bad.

    Someone (on the internet) once called me a socialist because I said people should be able to grow and sell their own marijuana.

  140. #140 TK
    March 29, 2010

    A lot of people here have commented on a lack of need for such guns. I agree, there is no need for a .50 cal machine gun. But as the point has been made, this is the USA, and we are allowed to want shit. We have forms that allow us to buy the shit we want and to use that shit responsibly.

    The sad thing is, there may eventually be a need for heavy duty weaponry by the populace. Not to defend against our government or invading foreign powers, but to protect against Christian domestic terrorist groups in the near future if they ever decide to get so bold as to coup.

    It’s quite sad that many people have beliefs that fall in line with party values to the very last party platform. That goes just as much for the left as it does the right. Unfortunately, most of the people who are interested in firearms also happen to be the types to think they should revolt against the current government.

    And yes, people, assault rifles are actually quite fun to fire. Go to the range and see for yourself.

  141. #141 Teddydeedodu
    March 29, 2010

    Sorry OT but this has got the be the funniest exchanges between a Christian school counselor and an atheist parent. I got it from Ed Brayton’s blog:

    http://www.27bslash6.com/easter.html

  142. #142 Legion
    March 29, 2010

    Paul:

    Now, there’s evidence that in the past, even as a Christian he supported same-sex marriage. But anyone that can say the above, even if it’s solely a lie meant to gain political capital, is no friend to enlightenment values (among them all men being equal).

    Not so long ago, blacks were still being openly discriminated against in the military, and the idea of interracial marriage was still considered shocking.

    There were people , like Paul, who were justifiably pissed at their elected officials and the glacial pace at which the hoped for change was taking place.

    Change did happen. It happened then for blacks, and it will happen again for equality in the military and in marriage. But these changes won’t come to soon for the people most adversely affected by the current state of affairs.

    Our take? DADT will be repealed within the next three years and marriage equality will on it’s way to becoming the law of the land in the next seven years, providing Obama gets a second term.

    So it doesn’t matter that Obama has to say stupid things now, in order to achieve a greater good later. It’s called political reality. Should we be happy with it? No, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get things done.

  143. #143 mwsletten
    March 29, 2010

    Ah yes, anytime I want to learn the secret political hearts and souls of men I come to the Pharyngula comments section. Some here have a better grasp of who and what I am than I do — it’s like going to an old-fashioned church revival meetin’!

    I don’t agree with everything most Tea Partiers believe, I don’t agree with everything most Liberals believe; I don’t agree with everything most Republicans believe; and I’m guessing what I just said is true of the majority of people in America.

    I do believe the vast majority in America — no matter their political beliefs — are good people who have no intention to harm anyone or foment violence against those with differing beliefs. Could we survive otherwise in a society armed with millions and millions of firearms?

    Every movement has its share of screwballs — does anyone here believe left-leaning liberals are incapable of violence? Reports of such abound on the Interwebs — just use Google.

    Does anyone know how many Republican congresscritters and Senators have requested additional security because of an increase in violent threats? Is it possible that dirtbag politicians on both sides stand to gain political points from martyrdom?

    Some of you come here to read PZ’s posts about religious hate while at the same time shout and gnash your teeth about those horrible Republican and Tea Party monsters who are all crazy revolutionaries, all armed to the teeth with HUGE .50 cal machine guns, all ready and willing to throw bricks and shout racial slurs at passing blacks and buy planes to crash into innocent Liberals and destroy America, ALL, ALL, ALL…

    No one here knows a thing about me except that I posted a few comments that aren’t in 100% agreement with the prevailing political ideology and all of a sudden I’m a gun-totin’, racist teabagger waitin’ for the next revolution. And this from members of a group whose lives and thoughts are purportedly ruled by reason and logic.

    I guess it’s easy to hate when your ‘enemies’ are all so foul.

    This is why you should avoid politics and stick to religion and science, PZ. Political rabidity like that displayed by some here doesn’t further the interest of Americans. Indeed, it is the reason we don’t have a functioning bipartisan government — unless, of course, you believe Republicans are the only ones at fault…

  144. #144 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    The sad thing is, there may eventually be a need for heavy duty weaponry by the populace. Not to defend against our government or invading foreign powers, but to protect against Christian domestic terrorist groups in the near future if they ever decide to get so bold as to coup.

    Um, no? They don’t have tanks, and they probably don’t have any serious body armor.

    It’s quite sad that many people have beliefs that fall in line with party values to the very last party platform. That goes just as much for the left as it does the right. Unfortunately, most of the people who are interested in firearms also happen to be the types to think they should revolt against the current government.

    Actually, I couldn’t care less what the democratic position on Gun Control is. I was convinced of the need by it by someone who I can most assuredly tell you is not a democrat.

    Heck, Democrats aren’t really that pro gun control. Though maybe that’s just that my memory is short and we have bigger things on the table right now.

  145. #145 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    So it doesn’t matter that Obama has to say stupid things now, in order to achieve a greater good later. It’s called political reality. Should we be happy with it? No, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get things done.

    Nice lecture. I don’t disagree with any of it, really. I was just pointing out that no, Obama isn’t who we might hope he is. He really doesn’t consider all people to be equal. He is explicitly against same-sex marriage. Political expedience is an entirely different thing. He considers straight people worthy of “pursuit of happiness” through marriage, and gay/lesbian/bi people not worthy.

    That is all. I don’t have a horse in the race. I’m not even angry. Somewhat irritated, sure, and I find the stance offensive. But mainly, Bill just said something that I felt I needed to respond to. I feel it gets lost too easily that while Obama is better than Bush, he’s still a Christian (and less liberal than many of those, even). Not that we should treat it as an unforgivable flaw, but it’s not something we should ignore. Especially when it comes to saying all people are equal. He simply doesn’t believe that. It’s more sad than anything else.

  146. #146 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    Um, no? They don’t have tanks, and they probably don’t have any serious body armor.

    Blackwater.

  147. #147 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    Ah, mswlettem, thanks. I hate going a day without my false equivalence.

  148. #148 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    It’s never going to be profitable for Blackwater to hit the US military (Unless we start getting a truckload of these types of outfits, and they all get hired by the same folks)

  149. #149 Peter H
    March 29, 2010

    @ #120

    “Funny thing about the Second Amendment…it doesn’t mention guns. In fact, guns aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution OR the Bill of Rights.”

    You must be the only person on the face of the earth to not understand that the term “arms” in the 2nd Amendment means and has always been taken to mean “FIREarms” specifically and solely. To refer to one’s personal firearm as a gun in no way alters that fiream’s attributes or the protection of ownership guaranteed its owner under the Constitution.

  150. #150 IanM
    March 29, 2010

    Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive

    Fuck the meek! Christ was all about the guns.

  151. #151 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Paul (@127):

    You miss my point.

    Maybe so… but then again, maybe not.

    I was referring to his statement:

    “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    Yup. Now here’s my conundrum: How do I say that I don’t think he actually believes that all that strongly without implying that my president, whom I support and whom I firmly believe to be an honest man, was being disingenuous?

    Read the quote again: He begins by identifying himself as a Christian… full stop. Then, after making it clear that there’s a separation between the religious and the political, not just in the public square but in his own views, he goes on to explicate what he takes to be the Christian position on marriage. Even when he refers to “my religious beliefs,” it’s not impossible to read that as meaning “this belief system with which I identify myself” rather than as a specific personal endorsement of a particular belief within that system.

    As an example, I was a practicing (by my own lights, anyway) Catholic for years, and all during that time I would’ve proudly (OK; I got better) declared myself to be a Catholic and also said that the Catholic tradition, my church, forbade the use of any form of birth control. And yet, since the day (19+ years ago) that my daughter was born, I have not one time had sexual intercourse without using birth control.

    I know this seems very hairsplitting and lawyerly… but keep in mind that Obama is both a lawyer and a politician — a Chicago politician, at that. I said I thought he was an honest man, and I do think that… but I also think he knew that if he were to be a change agent, first he had to win.

    I’m in the middle of listening to an audiobook biography of Abraham Lincoln, and while I’m only halfway through the story, it’s already clear that Lincoln had to do the same sort of tightrope-down-the-sidelines WRT slavery and abolitionism: Lincoln was a lifelong, and very passionate, opponent of slavery, starting long before he came to national prominence. But he had to be at great pains not to be seen as an “abolitionist,” because they were considered dangerous radicals by the political mainstream, and he temper his words so that even as he championed the Declaration’s insistence that “all men are created equal,” he didn’t seem to be suggesting that African slaves were the social equal of white Americans, because that idea was anathema even to many of slavery’s most committed white opponents. The result is a legacy of speeches that can quite easily be quotemined¹ to “prove” that Lincoln was no friend to the Black man… and yet, he really was the Great Emancipator, and it wasn’t just an accident of history, either: That’s what his whole public life always pointed to, even when he found political camouflage expedient.

    Like Lincoln, I think Obama is tiptoeing down the sideline to an eventual touchdown (albeit, one can only hope, without needing a horrifyingly bloody war to get there).

    Of course, this may all be wishful thinking on my part. It may be the Obama really is personally committed to the idea that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. But even so, I don’t think it confirms this…

    But anyone that can say the above, even if it’s solely a lie meant to gain political capital, is no friend to enlightenment values (among them all men being equal).

    …because I think the Enlightenment value (assuming that we, unlike the Texas SBOE, accept Jefferson as an Enlightenment thinker) most important to this issue is the separation of politics from religion, which Obama’s comments as you’ve quoted them affirms. I don’t think Obama really believes (in his aforementioned heart of hearts) that God doesn’t want gays to be able to marry… but even if he does, I trust him to keep that belief separate from his making of public policy on the issue.

    There’s pragmatism, and there is selling out on your values/principles. It would be better to say nothing than to say what he said, if he was really just being inactive on that front in order to curry favor/capital.

    I disagree: I don’t think the most passionately urgent could actually be moving any faster on this issue. DADT and DOMA are statutory matters, not amenable to unilateral executive action; did you watch the healthcare debate? And if we take the quote you provided at face value, it means that any progress is a matter of Obama subordinating his personal religious beliefs to a more universal, secular view of social justice (which would, IMHO, be praiseworthy). If, OTOH, I’m right about it being a matter of a candidate’s lawyerly circumlocution, then what’s going on is that he’s moving the pro-gay agenda under cover of some degree of political stealth. Either way, it doesn’t amount to him selling out gay people to curry political favor.

    In any case…

    It would be no better than saying that atheists aren’t really Americans, because you thought it would get you a few points on your favored legislation.

    …there’s nothing in Obama’s record on this issue that’s even close to Bush’s infamous exclusionary comments about atheists.

    I still think gay rights will make huge strides during Obama’s tenure. You may want to say it would happen anyway, due to generational trends, and everyone clearly has a perfect right to be frustrated that it takes as long as it will no doubt take (hell, we should all be frustrated that reform is needed at all)… but I believe it’s going to happen, and on Obama’s watch. And I don’t believe anyone else in the Oval Office during these years would have, or could have, done anything any faster.

    If history proves me wrong on this, I will be abject in my apologies.

    ¹ Just to be clear, I am not accusing you of quotemining, Paul.

  152. #152 ckitching
    March 29, 2010

    Um, no? They don’t have tanks, and they probably don’t have any serious body armor.

    You miss those stories about Christian soldiers bullying and abusing their power around adherents of other religions? It seems they’re already trying to take over the military.

  153. #153 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution #123 no apology needed, good man ye are then.

  154. #154 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    Bill,

    to justify my reading, and the difference between what he said and what you said (which I think you’re conflating:

    As an example, I was a practicing (by my own lights, anyway) Catholic for years, and all during that time I would’ve proudly (OK; I got better) declared myself to be a Catholic and also said that the Catholic tradition, my church, forbade the use of any form of birth control. And yet, since the day (19+ years ago) that my daughter was born, I have not one time had sexual intercourse without using birth control.

    Saying “I’m a Catholic” doesn’t say you believe birth control should be illegal. Sometimes people hold positions contrary to dogma. The quote I provided has Obama follow up the “I am a Christian” with him explicitly stating his beliefs hold marriage to be a male-female relationship. He doesn’t say “I’m a Christian and Christians believe marriage is between a man and a woman” like you seem to be hoping/inferring, he explicitly states that his personal religious beliefs hold that marriage is between a man and a woman. Do you really not see the difference?

    I disagree: I don’t think the most passionately urgent could actually be moving any faster on this issue.

    I wasn’t making the argument that he wasn’t moving fast enough. Seriously, I get separation of powers (although the executive could order to quit actually enforcing it, but that’s another matter than repealing DADT), and I didn’t even bring up DADT or insurance benefits to same-sex spouses or any of the other points that could be harped on. I was arguing that he has explicitly stated that he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, and that fundamentally shows that he does not accept the principle of all men being created equal. Whether or not he uses his religion to justify or inform his belief does not change that he stated it as his belief. That is all.

    …there’s nothing in Obama’s record on this issue that’s even close to Bush’s infamous exclusionary comments about atheists.

    No argument. But what you seemed to be implying is that in that statement he was throwing gay people under the bus temporarily. I don’t see my analogy as invalid, although I’ll admit it was deliberately provocative. And if that reading was accurate, it’s only a difference in degree and not in kind.

  155. #155 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    You miss those stories about Christian soldiers bullying and abusing their power around adherents of other religions? It seems they’re already trying to take over the military.

    Apparently unsuccessfully, given the reaction by top brass to both Trijicon sights and gay marriage.

    But yes, I’m aware they’re trying

  156. #156 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Posted by: Peter H | March 29, 2010 7:06 PM

    @ #120

    “Funny thing about the Second Amendment…it doesn’t mention guns. In fact, guns aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution OR the Bill of Rights.”

    You must be the only person on the face of the earth to not understand that the term “arms” in the 2nd Amendment means and has always been taken to mean “FIREarms” specifically and solely.

    Not solely. People still used swords back then. “Arms” means “weapons”. They’re synonyms.

  157. #157 truthspeaker
    March 29, 2010

    Anyway, this isn’t about gun control. These arrests weren’t for gun ownership violations, they were for planning to murder police officers.

  158. #158 Peter H
    March 29, 2010

    @ #156

    I can just envision the farmers of Lexington-Concord standing up to British regulars while carrying swords. Or even the plowshares they were beaten from. A swift kick well-placed can be a formidable weapon. I should hazard the guess that every single court challenge to or defense of firearms ownership has followed the advice, “Never take a knife to a gunfight.” (People still used swords in the Civil War and even later conflicts. Said conflicts were never noticeably influenced by overgrown cutlery.)

  159. #159 ckitching
    March 29, 2010

    People still used swords back then. “Arms” means “weapons”.

    People still use swords today, too. Machetes and cutlasses still have uses, even if killing now typically falls to firearms. Then there are the unholy fusions of the two called bayonets (although I guess it technically turns the gun into a spear more than a sword).

  160. #160 dnbarabash
    March 29, 2010

    Peter H @ 158.

    Funny you should mention Lexington-Concord in that context. The militia on the front line was that of Acton not because its guns somehow fired faster, harder, or more accurately, but because they were the only local militia in which every member’s gun had a bayonet. Swords? Meh. Guns? Alright. Guns with sharp pointy blade-a-majiggers on the end? Now you’re talkin’!

  161. #161 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Paul:

    [@145] I was just pointing out that no, Obama isn’t who we might hope he is.

    Who’s this “we,” Lindbergh? Obama is exactly who I thought he was — an intelligent (and thoughtful, which isn’t exactly the same thing), articulate, humane leader who is as progressive/liberal as any we could reasonably imagined actually electing — and I never harbored any unrealistic hopes beyond that (noting for the record that hopes are distinct from dreams). It was the scoffers on the right who portrayed Obama as a messianic figure and his supporters as cultish followers, but even when I was knocking doors for him on a cold, raining Super Tuesday evening, I never imagined he was perfect, nor some sort of Ideal Liberal®. If he had been Dennis Kucinich, he would’ve gotten about as close the the White House as… well, Dennis Kucinich.

    [@145] He really doesn’t consider all people to be equal.

    I don’t see anything in his record that supports this as a broad assertion. By which I mean…

    [@145] He is explicitly against same-sex marriage.

    …he’s declared a personal, religious preference for so-called traditional marriage (and you know my reservations about even that), but it does not follow that he will not treat all people as equal in his public policy, because he’s repeatedly affirmed the separation of religious and political ideas, not only in the public arena but also in his own thinking.

    [@154] He doesn’t say “I’m a Christian and Christians believe marriage is between a man and a woman” like you seem to be hoping/inferring, he explicitly states that his personal religious beliefs hold that marriage is between a man and a woman. Do you really not see the difference?

    I see a difference between your characterization and the actual words you quoted:

    “…I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    It seems to the grammar of this utterance places “my religious beliefs” in parallel to “that tradition.” My assertion was that “[e]ven when he refers to ‘my religious beliefs,’ it’s not impossible to read that as meaning ‘this belief system with which I identify myself’ rather than as a specific personal endorsement of a particular belief within that system,” and I still think that’s at least as fair a paraphrase as yours. The point being — and here’s where my comments about my erstwhile Catholicism were, indeed, on point, I think — that one can identify oneself with a religious tradition without having a doctrinaire commitment to every aspect of that tradition. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that most believers, most of the time, differ from their church’s doctrine in some respect. I don’t know for sure that’s the case for Obama in this instance, but you equally don’t know for sure that it’s not.

    In any case, I don’t think it really matters, because…

    …he has explicitly stated that he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, and that fundamentally shows that he does not accept the principle of all men being created equal.

    No. It shows (if true) that he does not accept that all relationships between people are equal. It’s possible to infer from that position that he denies the equality of all, but it’s also possible to dispute that inference. Personally, I see no evidence that Obama disagrees with the Declaration, and I don’t accept this as “proof” that he does. But anyway…

    Whether or not he uses his religion to justify or inform his belief does not change that he stated it as his belief. That is all.

    No, that is not all: He “stated it,” if anything, as his religious belief, and explicitly not as a public policy position “informed” by religious belief. When the time comes, his policy position (don’t mistake any candidates’ campaign comments for his or her ultimate legislative strategy) will be what his policy position will be. If it’s weak, or if it’s nothing, I’ll be just as pissed as you… but I don’t see any reason to be preemptively pissed before the game has been played.

    At the end of it all, what leaders do matters infinitely more than what they privately think. I still expect that the gay rights agenda will be in far better shape at the end of his tenure than at the beginning and that it will be in better shape than it would have been in any plausible alternative’s hands over the same period… and it’s not 100% clear to me that you even disagree with that. If that prediction turns out to be true, it really won’t matter what was in his private thoughts. In fact, if it turns out, after the fact, that he has made landmark progress despite his own private reservations, wouldn’t that be a profile in courage, rather than an occasion for criticism? Don’t we want our leaders to be able to put the public good above their personal weaknesses and prejudices?

    This is by no means a perfect president… but so what? He’s a damn sight better than any of the alternatives, and still in the running to be the best of my lifetime. You really think that isn’t all I hoped for?

  162. #162 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    If he had been Dennis Kucinich, he would’ve gotten about as close the the White House as… well, Dennis Kucinich.

    Dennis Kucinich is actually in the White House as we speak. He’s the House Elf. However, he’s a magical elf, so people have trouble finding him when they try to just find him.

  163. #163 scidog
    March 29, 2010

    if you think they are insane in writing you should hear them on the shortwave radio broadcasts.try Radio Liberty sometime,it’s just not the guys selling gold coins and water filters its the ones with the message that the end is near and if you have been thinking of doing something do it now,which i take as a call for a act of terror.

  164. #164 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Rutee (@162):

    Funny!

    Except… you know, in the Harry Potter universe, house elves are essentially domestic slaves… which makes your scenario just a skosh disturbing, no? ;^)

  165. #165 Katharine
    March 29, 2010

    Paddle faster, I hear banjos.

  166. #166 broboxley OT
    March 29, 2010

    @scidog #163

    its the ones with the message that the end is near and if you have been thinking of doing something do it now

    the end (of self) is always near so do what you want to do is how one should live life at all times not terrorism. You could be dead tomorrow or 50 years from now. Dont count on the future being there for you, may not work out. On the other hand If I knew I was going to live so long I may have taken better care of myself but nah…. but I lived my life with my choices and still do so.

  167. #167 Notkieran
    March 29, 2010

    To TK @ #140:

    >And yes, people, assault rifles are actually quite fun to fire. Go to the range and see for yourself.

    Not as fulfilling as getting high accuracy in single shot, though.

  168. #168 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 29, 2010

    Except… you know, in the Harry Potter universe, house elves are essentially domestic slaves… which makes your scenario just a skosh disturbing, no? ;^)

    Common mistake if you use grammar on the tubes. House elves are slave labor. The House Elf is a title and position, which he fills. Granted, it’s not a big one.

    <:D

  169. #169 Cowcakes
    March 29, 2010

    link HUTAREE; Christian Warrior

    Oh look the international sign of the complete nutter, an almost unreadable web page

  170. #170 Crudely Wrott
    March 29, 2010

    Ha! I didn’t read past Cuttlefish @ 3 so it’s highly probable that I’m not the first to wonder aloud:

    They are Christians, evidently quite seriously observant believers.

    They worship an entity that not only made the whole world and sky and everything but also directs each and every physical, chemical, electrical, optical, nuclear, sub-atomic and quantum event in real time. Also has time to worry about little Mary’s sniffles and Uncle Gus’ mean streak all while balancing the rest of mankind’s affairs with Harlem Globetrotter dexterity on the tip of but one finger while talking trash to dat ol’ debil.

    Am I right so far? If so, given the unplumbed and unplumbable resource they have at hand, an entity of spectacularly numinous talent, for which the conducting of the waltz of the galactic clusters is a mere amusement, a throw away gag, they are really, really convinced that it needs their help????

    Their popguns and firecrackers??? Bunkers? Bunkers!!?? Geeze, Archie’s probably turning some high revs right about now. /groucho

    This is another of a long series of examples that I have observed of what happens when a boy’s brain stops maturing at twelve while his body matures quite happily alone.

    The good news is that most of these poor souls are only harmful to individuals belonging to family and local community. County jails are lousy with them. The bad news is that some of them are more than capable of causing mayhem and bloodshed on a significant scale and of putting up a serious fight against anything less than specially trained law enforcement people.

    As much as I love my freedom to be contrary and unusual, and yours and yours and yes, even yours, I’m glad these yahoos have been hauled in. Their freedom does not include threatening mine or yours, nor our lives.

    For some reason I just recalled the Black Hole of Calcutta. Wonder what brought that up?

  171. #171 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 29, 2010

    I’m just grateful that a post about crazies does not reference Texas for a change.

  172. #172 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    …he’s declared a personal, religious preference for so-called traditional marriage (and you know my reservations about even that), but it does not follow that he will not treat all people as equal in his public policy,

    You’re reading more than is there. I’ve said fuck-all about his public policy with respect to gay marriage. I pointed this out explicitly last post. All I’ve said is he believes a straight man should be free to marry whoever he loves, whereas a gay man should not. This is his religious belief. I don’t buy your argument that “my religious beliefs” is equivalent to “my religious tradition states”, as they clearly focus on different aspects (what you, religiously, believe, and what the tenets of a religion happen to contain). One can’t disagree with one’s own religious beliefs, while one can disagree with the tenets of one’s stated religion.

    No. It shows (if true) that he does not accept that all relationships between people are equal. It’s possible to infer from that position that he denies the equality of all, but it’s also possible to dispute that inference.

    Oh please. Make the same argument for miscegenation. It will sound just as silly. How is denying certain groups of people rights you freely grant other people not treating them unequally?

  173. #173 Crudely Wrott
    March 29, 2010

    @170:

    The good news is that most of these poor souls are only harmful to individuals belonging to family and local community.

    You call that good news, Wrott? Wassamatta you?

    ‘Cause I realize someone’s gonna jump on my poor phraseology. For the record, I am using “good” as a comparative term to contrast with the later stated “bad” news. Honestly, I’m not insensitive, just a poor on-the-fly editor . . . or perhaps just a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup!

  174. #174 paulmurray
    March 30, 2010

    @55 “what I’m more worried about is Sara Palin getting elected and turning these militias loose on us non-believers. Am I just being paranoid?”

    No. When anything happens that leftists are likely to protest, the cops routinely deputize and issue riot gear to swathes of exactly these kinds of people, who on the day proceed to act pretty much the way you would expect.

  175. #175 Cowcakes
    March 30, 2010

    I just had a longer look at these nutters website and drew the conclusion that if:

    They were training in the desert.
    Wore funny rags instead of funny hats
    Had a slightly different imaginary friend

    they would be locked up in Gautanamo Bay and go by the name of Taliban.

  176. #176 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    @ Paul & @ Bill

    You might want to compare the situation with Canadian politicians. Trudeau, Mulroney, Chrétien, and Martin were all practising Catholics. They all took the position that whatever they believed privately about sexual rights, this should not interfere with what policies they pursued. Under their leaderships, homosexuality was decriminalised, abortion was legalised, the ban on gays in the military was overturned, and same-sex marriage legislation was passed–even though (for some of them at least) they were threatened with discipline from the Vatican.

    It’s possible (especially for liberal Christians) to compartmentalise and say “my tradition, my church teaches x, but people should have a right to make choices according to their own beliefs”.

    Now, Obama may or may not be a Christian (he could hardly say publicly that he was anything else), but who really cares if he privately thinks that [religious] marriage is a sacred bond that can only be between a man and a woman, if he also believes that that is a private choice that should not be mandated by the government? It’s much like a pro-choice woman who wouldn’t choose to have an abortion herself.

    “Certainly, many of us in this House, myself included, have a strong faith, and we value that faith and its influence on the decisions we make. But all of us have been elected to serve here as Parliamentarians. And as public legislators, we are responsible for serving all Canadians and protecting the rights of all Canadians.

    We will be influenced by our faith but we also have an obligation to take the widest perspective — to recognize that one of the great strengths of Canada is its respect for the rights of each and every individual, to understand that we must not shrink from the need to reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of Canadians in an evolving society.” – Paul Martin, when introducing the civil marriage act.

  177. #177 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    I should add, that of course I wish (as I’m sure you do as well) that no politician had suffered religious indoctrination which labels homosexuality as as a sin. Or any religious indoctrination at all. Better to have a purely secular and rational morality which sees sexual relationships between consenting adults as none of anyone else’s business and marriage between two people as only a familial and civic institution whatever the sex of the people involved. But I’ll take those politicians who can act for the betterment of all citizens despite whatever indoctrination they received or dogmas they pretend to adopt to get elected (at least for religion, not an issue here in Canada in any case).

  178. #178 Snoof
    March 30, 2010

    I just find it really hard to understand why anybody needs a .50 caliber machine gun.

    Two words: “Zombie Plague”

    Woah. What kind of zombies do you have that need a .50 cal to take down? Zombified dinosaurs?!

  179. #179 Cimourdain
    March 30, 2010

    Woah, woah, woah people. Isn’t this “stereotyping”? And that’s bad here right? Don’t the Vast Majority of Moderate Christians condemn this? Aren’t there Complicated Root Causes? And how can you really say that this is because of their Faith anyway?

    Isn’t that what certain members are supposed to be saying?

    *crickets chirping*

    It appears I am, once more, proven right.

  180. #180 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    Woah, woah, woah people. Isn’t this “stereotyping”? And that’s bad here right? Don’t the Vast Majority of Moderate Christians condemn this? Aren’t there Complicated Root Causes? And how can you really say that this is because of their Faith anyway?

    Isn’t that what certain members are supposed to be saying?

    *crickets chirping*

    It appears I am, once more, proven right.

    Please point out to me where?

  181. #181 Cath the Canberra Cook
    March 30, 2010

    Is being born to a black man anything like a virgin birth? It seems equally biologically improbable.

    Hey, do you remember that brain twister about the boy who was in a car accident with his father, and when they bring him in, the surgeon says “I can’t operate on him, he’s my son!” How is this possible? Who is the surgeon? Whoo, mind bending…

  182. #182 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Cimourdain is like a stopped clock. If you presume he is wrong, you will be right 99.9% of the time. Liberturds are that way. They fail to remember all the times they and their morally bankrupt philosophies where shown to be wrong and harmful. And their ego far outstrips their intellect.

  183. #183 Cimourdain
    March 30, 2010

    Rev,

    To put it simply if this was a post about the Sudanese genocide where two million animists and Christians were slaughtered, or about any of the Jihad training camps in the US, or about the 46 killed in Nigeria recently, or about people being put to death for Apostasy in Iran, or any number of things where there’s, you know, a real threat, then you’d not be able to move for excuses and rationalizations. And when you pointed out that the excuses were nonsense, you’d be buried in howls that it was wrong to stereotype.

    Yet not in this case. I wonder why that is?

  184. #184 SQB
    March 30, 2010

    Hey, do you remember that brain twister about the boy who was in a car accident with his father, and when they bring him in, the surgeon says “I can’t operate on him, he’s my son!” How is this possible? Who is the surgeon? Whoo, mind bending…

    Reminds me of the following:

    While visiting England, George W. Bush is invited to tea with HRH, The Queen. Mr. Bush asks her majesty what her “real” leadership philosophy is. HRH replies that it is quite simply to surround herself with intelligent people. George W. then asks how she knows if they are truly intelligent.

    “I usually do so by asking them the right questions,” says the Queen. “Allow me to demonstrate.” She then phones Tony Blair and says, “Mr. Prime Minister, please answer this question: Your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or sister. Who is it?”

    Tony Blair immediately responds, “Certainly, the child would be me, ma’am.” “Correct. Thank you and good-bye, Mr. Prime Minister,” says the Queen. She hangs up and says, “Did you get that, George?”

    “Yes, your Majesty. Thanks a lot. I’ll definitely be using that one!”

    Upon returning to Washington, Mr. Bush decides he better put the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the test. He summons Jesse Helms to the White House and says, “Senator Helms, I wonder if you can answer a question for me.”

    “Why, of course, George, What’s on your mind?”

    “Uhh,” says Mr. Bush, “your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?”

    Helms hems and haws and finally asks, “Can I think about it and get back to you?” Bush agrees, and Helms leaves. Helms immediately calls a meeting of other senior Republican senators, and they proceed to puzzle over the question for several hours, but nobody can come up with an answer.
    Finally, in desperation, Helms calls Colin Powell at the State Department and explains his problem. Senator Helms poses the question “Now lookee here, son, your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?”

    Powell answers immediately, “It’s me, of course, you dumb cracker.” Much relieved, Senator Helms rushes back to the White House and reports, “It’s Colin Powell!”

    Mr. Bush replies in total disgust: “Wrong, you dumb shit, it’s Tony Blair!”

  185. #185 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    I’m feeling kinda conflicted about how this impacts my view on gun control.

    On one hand these kooks clearly should not have access to firearms. Like, ever. But at the same time, if the crazies manage to hit the black market and try to assault my home, I’d like to be able to fend them off while the police are on their way. Keep them outside and whatnot.

    But then again, these kooks are probably crazy enough to where a gun wouldn’t scare them away, so that kinda falls flat. I hope they don’t have a chapter in Florida.

  186. #186 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    or any number of things where there’s, you know, a real threat,

    what’s your definition of a real threatTM?

    then you’d not be able to move for excuses and rationalizations.

    Do you have an example on which you base this mindless assertion?

    And when you pointed out that the excuses were nonsense, you’d be buried in howls that it was wrong to stereotype.

    What the fuck are you on about? Are you just bored and looking for someone to argue with?

  187. #187 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    To put it simply if this was a post about the Sudanese genocide where two million animists and Christians were slaughtered, or about any of the Jihad training camps in the US, or about the 46 killed in Nigeria recently, or about people being put to death for Apostasy in Iran, or any number of things where there’s, you know, a real threat, then you’d not be able to move for excuses and rationalizations. And when you pointed out that the excuses were nonsense, you’d be buried in howls that it was wrong to stereotype.

    Yet not in this case. I wonder why that is?

    I didn’t see anywhere in that post where you pointed out the stereotyping going on?

  188. #188 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @Kobra #185 now until these folks broke the law, they were entitled to have weapons. One could govern that since a marginal portion of the population is not mentally stable enough to have access to weapons so no one except the authorities should have access. However that is collective punishment. I would much rather we live where any law abiding citizen can own whatever he wants.

    Your other concern was could you hold them off until the police get there? The police would get there much faster if you killed, maimed and disarmed them first. Police are going to be very careful approaching an active gunfight. So when thinking about these situations its better to have planned out what to do in an emergency prior to ever having an emergency.

  189. #189 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    #188,

    However that is collective punishment.

    Why? Never thought of not being allowed to own a gun as a punishment here in France. I much rather live here where it’s difficult for everybody (apart from the government) to get hold of a gun.

    You gun advocates in America are seriously nuts.

  190. #190 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    @188: I said guns, not weapons. :P

    Gun control is not sword control.

  191. #191 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    I would much rather we live where any law abiding citizen can own whatever he wants.

    So you’d be OK with the ability for any private citizen to own a small, rocket launch-able nuclear weapon were it available, just cause they want it?

  192. #192 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    @191: Normally I’d be on your case screaming “Slippery slope!” but that is undoubtedly within the lines of what he said.

  193. #193 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    So you’d be OK with the ability for any private citizen to own a small, rocket launch-able nuclear weapon were it available, just cause they want it?

    Have you been playing Fallout 3?

  194. #194 R. Schauer
    March 30, 2010

    This militia of xtians reminds me of the Forrest Gump saying, “Stupid is as stupid does!”

  195. #195 Peter H
    March 30, 2010

    Just a followup: My basic point above (#149 & following) is that I’m not aware of anyone ever seriously considering that the term “arms” in the Second Amendment refers to anything but firearms.

  196. #196 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution #191 as long as one has the training, the ability to secure it properly and all of the required epa permits why not?

  197. #197 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    @196: You realize that even a small nuclear weapon is more than enough to kill hundreds of people and render an area uninhabitable, right?

  198. #198 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    @191: Normally I’d be on your case screaming “Slippery slope!” but that is undoubtedly within the lines of what he said.

    Exactly… it was the absoluteness of the statement that made me present such an obviously outrageous scenario.

    I can only assume broboxley supports some level of control of what weaponry can and can’t be regulated or made available to the general public. And in my opinion, broad statements like “a responsible citizen should be able to own whatever he wants” is absurd.

    So, quoting Capt. Jack Sparrow, “So we agree on terms now we’re just haggling over price”. If reasonable people can agree that there should be some limitation as to the availability of weapons or guns to the general public, what criteria should be used to determine it?

    For me, I would draw the line at weapons that fire automatic rounds in rapid succession, since it is my view that they provide no function that the basic right to carry arms should protect, IMHO (hunting, sport and self defense). These weapons are meant for a single purpose: to kill as many people as possible in the smallest amount of time possible. Having these weapons available to the general public is a clear detriment and danger to that general public, as would be a “nuclear rocket launcher”, and should be regulated as such.

    It may have been lost in the prior arguments that broboxley and I have gotten into over the whole gun control issue, but I don’t necessarily advocate complete abolition of all guns. I don’t like them, personally, but I know and respect many responsible gun owners and hold no grudge against their desire to own them for the purposes of hunting and sport shooting. I’m not 100% sold on the need for small handguns for self-defense, but I’m more willing to hear the argument for them than I am for the high-destruction guns I mention earlier.

  199. #199 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution #191 as long as one has the training, the ability to secure it properly and all of the required epa permits why not?

    I know you’re just trying to stand by your point at all costs, but… seriously?

    So no-one with proper training, and all the required permits, blah blah blah has ever had their weapon accidentally discharged, with the occasional result of injury or death?

    You still want to stand by that utterly stupid response?

  200. #200 Cimourdain
    March 30, 2010

    Kobra,

    At the risk of being boring, there are how many guns in the US? I just don’t think you’re getting that genie back into the bottle.

    Celtic,

    Do you have an example on which you base this mindless assertion?

    Since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll indulge you.

    When I pointed out that the Sudan is a classic jihad-genocide, Rutee breezily asserted that that’s just the way Africans behave, got nothing to do with Islam.

    When Malik Hassan killed thirteen people and wounded thirty-three others, multiple commentators here rushed to deny that there was anything Islamic about his actions.

    When Iran executed a couple of Apostates, luminaries like KG persisted that there’s nothing Islamic about that, they weren’t being killed for being apostates, no sirreee!

    And so on.

    And all of those idiotic claims were heavily larded with squawks that it’s wrong to stereotype!

    Yet here – silence. Fascinating, isn’t it?

  201. #201 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    Have you been playing Fallout 3?

    Heh. Actually, no… as much of a gamer as I am, I’ve never really enjoyed first-person shooter games. Although for a while I did play Halo, moreso because I was intrigued by the storyline than anything. Haven’t played any of the sequels though.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “gaming violence” wank, I love the “Age of Empires” series, “Dungeon Siege”, “Neverwinter Nights”, “Diablo”, etc… and those things are all about death and destruction on a very large-scale basis… i just don’t care for the first-person shooters so much. It’s a personal preference thing.

  202. #202 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    @201: I’m the same way. The only FPS game I actually endorse is Half Life.

  203. #203 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    Fallout 3 is more than a first person shooter. It has tons of well written story and is really a RPG. It’s a great game. Took me a while to finish it though as I don’t seem to have much time for games any longer.

    Picked up Dragon Age and Mass Effect too, both are good though I’ve barely been able to touch either of them.

  204. #204 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    Kobra,

    At the risk of being boring, there are how many guns in the US? I just don’t think you’re getting that genie back into the bottle.

    Celtic,

    Do you have an example on which you base this mindless assertion?

    Since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll indulge you.

    When I pointed out that the Sudan is a classic jihad-genocide, Rutee breezily asserted that that’s just the way Africans behave, got nothing to do with Islam.

    When Malik Hassan killed thirteen people and wounded thirty-three others, multiple commentators here rushed to deny that there was anything Islamic about his actions.

    When Iran executed a couple of Apostates, luminaries like KG persisted that there’s nothing Islamic about that, they weren’t being killed for being apostates, no sirreee!

    And so on.

    And all of those idiotic claims were heavily larded with squawks that it’s wrong to stereotype!

    Yet here – silence. Fascinating, isn’t it?

    Humm, maybe it’s me but I still don’t see anything in there that points out the stereotyping here in this thread.

    That’s doesn’t mean it isn’t there, I’d just like you to point it out.

  205. #205 Kobra
    March 30, 2010

    @203: When I stop being a broke, penniless bastard I’ll have to check it out, then.

  206. #206 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    @203: When I stop being a broke, penniless bastard I’ll have to check it out, then.

    You should. Plus they released new content for it fairly regularly.

  207. #207 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    When I pointed out that the Sudan is a classic jihad-genocide, Rutee breezily asserted that that’s just the way Africans behave, got nothing to do with Islam.

    So, you asserted something without evidence and got called out for it… got it… thanks for clearing that up.

    When Malik Hassan killed thirteen people and wounded thirty-three others, multiple commentators here rushed to deny that there was anything Islamic about his actions.

    See above.

    See… the difference here is that there is no doubting that the actions being carried out by this group are a direct result of their christian beliefs… they admit as much quite readily in their own proclamations. It’s not a stereotype if the group admits that’s the reason for their actions, you moron.

    See the difference between that and you simply asserting shit cause it “seems that way to you”?

    You can make the same argument in defense of this group that was made in the points you cited… you can try to make the case that it was not their christianity that was responsible for their actions, but that might be hard to do considering they themselves make that claim.

    But ya know… go for it anyhow if you’re just in the mood to be a pissant.

  208. #208 Notkieran
    March 30, 2010

    Snoof @#178:

    >What kind of zombies do you have that need a .50 cal to take down? Zombified dinosaurs?!

    Someone called?

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1248964599329.jpg

  209. #209 raven
    March 30, 2010

    cimourdain the psychotic time vampire troll:

    Woah, woah, woah people. Isn’t this “stereotyping”? And that’s bad here right? Don’t the Vast Majority of Moderate Christians condemn this?

    Cimourdain is a psychotic troll who is never right. A Graeme Bird class kook who can babble for hours. It isn’t a good idea to feed him if you have a life because he doesn’t. He is trolling right now looking for victims to suck some life out. A vampire of your time.

    No it isn’t stereotyping. This is a post about violent Xian terrorists and their plans to kill as many cops as possible. Not about Dafur or Moslems.

    I did survey the xians for their reactions although it was predicted and predictable.

    1. The most common, They weren’t True Scotsmen, or rather True Xians. An excuse in other words.

    2. A fair number called them heroes and martyrs. It was all Obamas fault and the government’s fault and the commies and “those” people are at the gates.

    3. A fair number did the Cimourdain troll, change the subject thing, and started babbling on about the moslems and how it was all their fault that Xian terrorists want to kill cops.

    4. Some xians did condemn them. Not all that many and not all that coherently but you could see the rusty gears in their heads turning as they tried to think it through.

  210. #210 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    Fallout 3 is more than a first person shooter. It has tons of well written story and is really a RPG. It’s a great game. Took me a while to finish it though as I don’t seem to have much time for games any longer.

    Picked up Dragon Age and Mass Effect too, both are good though I’ve barely been able to touch either of them.

    OK… I’ll give Fallout 3 a look when I get a chance…

    I just picked up Dragon Age… haven’t even opened it yet, despite having it like a week now… and that’s the problem. 10 years ago I would have had that game all but finished by now after spending several weeks up till 4AM… now it takes most of my free time just to keep up with Teh Endless thread… ;^)

  211. #211 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    I just picked up Dragon Age… haven’t even opened it yet, despite having it like a week now… and that’s the problem. 10 years ago I would have had that game all but finished by now after spending several weeks up till 4AM… now it takes most of my free time just to keep up with Teh Endless thread… ;^)

    I know what you mean.

  212. #212 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    What kind of zombies do you have that need a .50 cal to take down?

    Speaking of taking down zombies, and just to drag this thread even further off topic, the frikkin “Plants vs. Zombies” game for my Iphone has me completely addicted.

  213. #213 raven
    March 30, 2010

    Actually so far not a single Xian church has condemned the Hutaree wannabe cop killers that I’m aware of.

    Probably won’t. There is no such thing as the xian religion, there are many xian religions that have nothing in common. They all hate each other.

    The Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Mormons and so on look at end time terrorist cults as not their religion and not their problem. Correctly.

    The fundies either think the hutaree are heroes or are too embarassed to even pretend they saw them. Don’t forget that 24% of Republicans think Obama is the antichrist. When your world view is that warped, anything no matter how violent, sick, or evil seems to make sense.

  214. #214 OurDeadSelves
    March 30, 2010

    Rev.:

    Picked up Dragon Age and Mass Effect too, both are good though I’ve barely been able to touch either of them.

    You need to play ME2 right freaking now. I finished it about a week and a half ago and I’m still telling everyone how completely and totally awesome it is*!

    Plus, you know, alien sex.

    *And bear in mind, I hated the first one.

  215. #215 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    Now, Obama may or may not be a Christian (he could hardly say publicly that he was anything else), but who really cares if he privately thinks that [religious] marriage is a sacred bond that can only be between a man and a woman, if he also believes that that is a private choice that should not be mandated by the government?

    He can believe whatever he wants, and the important thing is what legislation comes out of it. But if he has made a show of stating in the past that not all men* are equal (i.e. deserving of the same legal rights), he doesn’t deserve the moniker of “believes all men are created equal”. That’s all I was saying, it only got dragged out because Bill insists that differential treatment doesn’t tell you anything re: whether one believes people are equal or not.

    *Sorry for the gendered wording, but I’m just sticking to the Declaration verbiage since it’s how this started.

  216. #216 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution #198 okay you want to know what I think a reasonable control law would look like.

    To me I would like to (own again) a 45 caliber thompson. Some others I cant afford like a BAR, and just for grizzins a .75 recoilless. They are not much good for anything except killing people or practicing your aiming skills. Dunno where you are from but to me full auto rock and roll is a lot of fun. It also keeps the neighbors honest.

    We did have the legal ability to own without special permits all of the above. It (to me, personal opinion) that it was a fear of the general populace by the authorities that led to the first ban.

    I know that in todays climate these laws will not be repealed but I personally think they should be repealed.
    My 2 cents

  217. #217 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    Oh, and please don’t bother with Cimourdain. The only reason he’s posting right now is to accuse Pharyngula of being sympathetic to Muslim terrorists. It’s generally his only goal when he posts here — point out how you don’t take the Muslim threat seriously enough, and point out how you condemn Chrisitans for doing evil things while being too scared to do the same to Muslims.

  218. #218 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Paul (@172):

    I’ve said fuck-all about his public policy with respect to gay marriage.

    ??

    The conversation we’re having is about what a president (i.e., a public leader) thinks about an issue of public interest. If you don’t think we’re talking about public policy, I don’t know why we’d bother to continue: If he weren’t in a position to shape public policy, why would anyone (outside of his own immediate family and friends) give a rat’s ass what Obama thought?

    In any case, Obama himself puts the distinction between public policy and private belief on the table in the very quote you used as Exhibit A.

    I don’t buy your argument that “my religious beliefs” is equivalent to “my religious tradition states”,

    It was really offered more as a possible alternative reading than an argument, but in any case…

    One can’t disagree with one’s own religious beliefs,

    Heh. Spoken like someone who’s never been in the position of trying hard to “believe” in a faith that contradicts your secular inclinations. I’ve been there, and you’d be shocked at how good people get — especially really smart people like Obama — at the mental gymnastics required to rationalize dissonant ideas. Obama’s case is complicated, of course, because he faces an array of relatively merciless public expectations regarding faith. But Ibis3 (@176) has put it well:

    It’s possible (especially for liberal Christians) to compartmentalise and say “my tradition, my church teaches x, but people should have a right to make choices according to their own beliefs”.

    Now, Obama may or may not be a Christian (he could hardly say publicly that he was anything else), but who really cares if he privately thinks that [religious] marriage is a sacred bond that can only be between a man and a woman, if he also believes that that is a private choice that should not be mandated by the government?

    In addition, keep in mind that people don’t spring from their mother’s womb fully formed as either Jeffersonian democrats or noxious bigots: Most of us, for most of our lives, are in the middle of a journey of personal discovery, and that journey is very rarely linear or regular. If I recall his biography correctly, Obama came to his Christian faith as part of his search for his identity as a Black man. That is, his Christianity may be as much a matter of cultural self-identification as it is a matter of personal spiritual revelation. There’s no way of knowing to what extent his thoughts or feelings are shaped by Christian doctrine, nor whether he truly has a “personal relationship with Jebus”… but his public behavior, and his public-policy positions, to date suggest that God is not particularly his copilot.

    Note that I am not suggesting Obama is lying when he calls himself a Christian, nor am I saying it’s anything as crass as superficial polticial pandering; I am suggesting that he’s trying to be a Christian because he thinks he’s supposed to be one, perhaps because he thinks church membership is an important part of the American Black experience. I am also reminding you that there are vast numbers of “believers” who identify as Christian for social, or cultural, or familial reasons, but whose lives and actions are in no significant sense shaped by that belief.

    One of the occupational hazards of reading Pharyngula regularly is that the True Believers™ — the people who really do hear Jebus whispering in their ear all the time, and whose every action is intended to Do God’s Will® — are vastly over-represented, and the vast swaths of American churchgoers for whom “belief” is a casual, possibly obligatory, matter. People who would without hesitation identify themselves as Christian, and as members of a specific Christian denomination, and who would identify themselves with a specific set of “religious beliefs”… but whose life outside of actual church services is almost entirely unaffected by those identifications and beliefs. I’ve been there, too.

    But all this speculation about what might be in Obama’s head or in his heart is really nothing more than amusing chit-chat, because the only thing that really matters is what he does. On this issue, we don’t know yet what that will be, but I have a hopeful confidence that it will be consistent with the principles enshrined in the Declaration. I believe Obama has an overriding commitment to the equality of all people… and I chose that word advisedly: I think his philosophical belief in equality will ultimately override any personal feelings or religious doctrines he might hold that come in conflict with it.

    It’s like what I said about myself when we were talking about Gyeong Hwa’s sad talk with his sister: It doesn’t matter how I might personally feel about the aesthetics of gay sex, because my commitment to the idea that “all [people] are created equal” entirely overwhelms any personal discomfort I might feel about something that doesn’t seem “normal” to me, personally. I’m not arrogant enough to think my feelings have any controlling relevance… and I don’t really think Obama is, either.

    Really, I suspect you and I are in “violent agreement”: I don’t think you’re really arguing that Obama won’t be, on balance, good for gay rights, or that anyone else we might have elected instead would have been better, are you?

    I have no illusion that anyone — ever — will embody the perfect solution to all our social problems. My desire is to make the world as much better as possible, every time we have the opportunity to make it better. Imperfect as he is, it seems by the evidence to date that Obama answers that desire quite admirably indeed.

  219. #219 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    To me I would like to (own again) a 45 caliber thompson. Some others I cant afford like a BAR, and just for grizzins a .75 recoilless. They are not much good for anything except killing people or practicing your aiming skills. Dunno where you are from but to me full auto rock and roll is a lot of fun. It also keeps the neighbors honest.

    And do you feel that you’re desire to have and shoot these weapons, which you yourself stated “aren’t much good for anything except killing people or practicing your aiming skills”, should supersede the the fact that they are a detriment and danger to the general public? (And yes, you can make that argument about hunting rifles, but hunting rifles serve an actual functional purpose that automatic weapons don’t, beyond being efficient human killing machines.)

    I’d wager firing a rocket launcher might feel like a lot of fun as well… doesn’t mean I think my shit-for-brains ignorant neighbor (who is about as wreckless a gun-owner as I’ve ever come across… despite having all the licenses, etc he needs to own all the guns he wants) should have the right to own one just cause it’s fun.

    As for where I’m from, I grew up in a white Irish inner city neighborhood in Boston, saw plenty of gun violence there, went to school during the busing and integration era in Boston, now live in the middle of hunter’s paradise in rural Finger Lakes area of NY and was married into a family of avid (and quite responsible) hunters. So I’ve got experience first hand of a wide variety of gun-friendly environments.

  220. #220 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    @ Paul #215 Couldn’t he just have been either a) saying what he thinks potential voters want to hear or b) attributing the notion that there is an inequality in relationships (not the people) to the tradition to which he’s signed on, as a way of avoiding saying what he really thinks because of (a)? In other words is it not possible that he actually does believe in complete equality and would, in a “perfect world” like to see federal same-sex marriage legislation?

    After all, he actually came out and *said* that he was in favour of a public option for health care but was unable to drive that through (and just look at how much his approval ratings have suffered for the little he did accomplish). It seems to me that if you asked him privately, he’d likely be in favour of universal public-paid healthcare, but when asked by the media he said that such a system was inappropriate for the US. He just won’t go on record with his true views. (That’s how I read it anyway.)

  221. #221 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    dammit… your not you’re in #219.

    Oh well… :-|

  222. #222 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution #219

    And do you feel that you’re desire to have and shoot these weapons, which you yourself stated “aren’t much good for anything except killing people or practicing your aiming skills”, should supersede the the fact that they are a detriment and danger to the general public?

    yes it should supersede any detriment because they cannot become a detriment until I myself become a detriment as your irresponsible neighbor has.
    I know that this is not a widely shared view

  223. #223 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    yes it should supersede any detriment because they cannot become a detriment until I myself become a detriment as your irresponsible neighbor has.

    I know that this is not a widely shared view

    Not only is it not widely shared, it’s selfish and socially irresponsible.

    So until you can somehow ensure for me that everyone in the country can be prevented from being irresponsible, I’ll continue to make the case that it’s in the best interest of the general public to limit the types of guns that are available.

  224. #224 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Paul:

    One more response, and then I’ll let it be:

    That’s all I was saying, it only got dragged out because Bill insists that differential treatment doesn’t tell you anything re: whether one believes people are equal or not.

    I think you misunderstand my position. I’m not saying I think Obama’s support for “differential treatment” doesn’t tell you anything about whether he believes in equality. Instead, I’m saying that I don’t think Obama in fact supports “differential treatment,” regardless of whatever he says about his religious beliefs, because the controlling fact is that he does believe in equality. Lots of us — really anyone whose view of the world has any color or nuance — entertain potentially conflicting ideas: What matters is not that the conflicts exist, but how we resolve them.

    And marriage isn’t as simple an issue as you make it seem: Yes, marriage is a right… but it’s also a social construct, and a tool for organizing our society, particularly in economic terms. And marriage is also a tradition with hundreds, if not thousands, of years of cultural inertia behind it. Fixing that problem is inherently an engineering problem — and a damn tough one — not a matter of pure principle.

    I absolutely support total marriage equality, and sooner rather than later, but I don’t imagine that everyone who disagrees with me, or who has an approach that’s different from mine, is fundamentally a traitor to the larger principle of human equality.

    BTW, my preferred solution would be to abolish civil marriage as we currently know it altogether, and replace it with a new institution that would embody all the same economic and partnership rights, but entirely without reference to sexual preference or behavior, or to emotional commitment (and, it should go without saying, without reference to religious faith or promises). It would be possible to characterize that position as me advocating the stripping of existing rights on an unequal basis… but do you imagine that what I’ve said about marriage invalidates my belief in Declaration principles? It’s also probably true that my ideal solution is entirely politically untenable now or in the foreseeable future: If I therefore do not advocate for the reforms I actually (personally) prefer, would you say I’m being disingenuous, or that that means I don’t truly believe in equality?

    I mentioned the analogy to Lincoln earlier, and I think it really is instructive: Slavery absolutely contravenes the principle of equality (of course!), but Lincoln was at pains to make sure everyone knew he was not an abolitionist. Furthermore, he made plenty of speeches in which he appears, superficially, to be denying the equality of white and “negro” Americans. Was he a traitor to the central principle of the Declaration? On the contrary: He spent most of his political career explicitly extolling the Declaration values (and the Declaration itself), at a time in American history when that was (surprisingly, to me at least) a controversial and politically risky thing to do.

    And Lincoln hated slavery throughout his life, and always worked for its end, regardless of appearances. His political career, which one might be able to characterize as weak and unprincipled on the issue of slavery, was in fact calculated at every step to make the most possible progress toward ending slavery. In the end, equality was the single principle that fundamentally guided Lincoln, no matter what the immediate exigencies of politics or personal feeling might have been at any one moment.

    I have confidence that Obama is similar in this regard. My confidence is, of course, no guarantee of anything, but it is what it is.

  225. #225 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    Heh. Spoken like someone who’s never been in the position of trying hard to “believe” in a faith that contradicts your secular inclinations.

    Seriously? I spent the first 22 years of my life as an Evangelical Christian. I spent 8 of those years fucking horrified I was going to burn in hell because I didn’t hear the voices like everyone else did. Fuck you. You say “True Believers” are overrepresented here lending to bias bias me, but you let the overrepresentation of people raised in a secular household bias you towards other posters.

    Aside from that, yes, like most of our kerfuffles it seems we are mostly in violent agreement.

    The conversation we’re having is about what a president (i.e., a public leader) thinks about an issue of public interest. If you don’t think we’re talking about public policy, I don’t know why we’d bother to continue: If he weren’t in a position to shape public policy, why would anyone (outside of his own immediate family and friends) give a rat’s ass what Obama thought?

    You brought up his beliefs. I disagreed with one part. The fact that you wanted to have a policy debate and projected that onto my text doesn’t mean I was a willing participant in a policy debate.
    You really have been projecting more on my words than I put there. And as a result I’m forced to defend my statements, and it just keeps going. To see if we can finish this off, I’ll repeat how this started.

    You said:

    Hmm… let’s take inventory, shall we? Obama…
    1. Actually believes that “all men are created equal,”

    I said:

    Unless they’re gay, of course. He is explicitly against same-sex marriage, but at least he was up front about that before he was voted into office. But of course this exception would hardly endear him to the teabaggers.

    The whole rest of the tangent results from you defending Obama’s actions from a public policy perspective. I didn’t say anything negative about his public policy (I could, but it wouldn’t be anything original or insightful). I was speaking about his beliefs. This was in response to you making a point using his beliefs. I don’t care to get into a debate about how he achieves his policy perspectives. If I did, there are better places for that. I simply made a statement about his beliefs and defended it.

  226. #226 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    I should add that I could have been clearer. I said “against same-sex marriage” where I could have said “believes that gays/bisexuals do not deserve the freedom to marry who they love”, emphasizing the belief aspect. But like I mentioned, it was an off the cuff observation that he doesn’t really believe everyone was equal, not intended to be the opening salvo of a policy debate.

  227. #227 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    @ Paul #225 I’m in violent agreement for the most part too. But where I disagree is that you can’t know about what he really believes. What he’s said to the press is not necessarily a good indicator of his true beliefs. Moreover, what he’s actually said doesn’t necessarily lead to your conclusion even if he meant exactly what he said (e.g. he could believe that “marriage” should be reserved as a religious institution, and that everyone, *being equal*, should have access to ‘civil legal domestic partnership’ or some such thing).

  228. #228 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    But where I disagree is that you can’t know about what he really believes.

    If that’s the argument being made, then we’re back to throwing people under the bus for a few percentage points. If you’re willing to say you believe something abhorrent, I’m willing to assume you’re not lying and dislike you for it. “Maybe he doesn’t really mean it” is silly. One shouldn’t say anything in public that they aren’t willing to defend. If he says he believes something, you do him a disservice by assuming he’s lying. This is what motivated my earlier “he may not be what we wish him to be” to Bill, as it seemed he was doing the same thing so many in the liberal blogosphere have done over the last year — subconsciously projecting their own biases and ways of thinking onto Obama. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar, and sometimes a religious bigot is a religious bigot. I’ll give credit where credit is due for one going against their bigoted inclinations to pass fair legislation, but that doesn’t make bigoted statements not bigoted statements, or mean that their stated beliefs are not their actual beliefs. But now we’re talking policy again. But there’s really no way not to when the idea being forwarded is “maybe he’s just saying he believes it but doesn’t really”.

  229. #229 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    Hit send too early.

    (e.g. he could believe that “marriage” should be reserved as a religious institution, and that everyone, *being equal*, should have access to ‘civil legal domestic partnership’ or some such thing).

    That’s a fair point. But there would be far more legislative legwork to have civil unions that carry the same weight as a marriage, and it seems even less likely for that to happen then to just make marriage a gender neutral affair. I suppose I have too hard a time picturing government getting out of the marriage business (which is really my preferred solution, much as Bill suggested above) to consider a politician seriously suggesting that arrangement.

    Bill,
    Missed this the first time around.

    It would be possible to characterize that position as me advocating the stripping of existing rights on an unequal basis…

    Seriously? Was abolishing slavery treating people unequally since the right to own slaves was stripped on an unequal basis?

  230. #230 Pareidolius
    March 30, 2010

    All this talk of guns and militia boys makes me a bit misty . . .

    In my 20s, my ex-partner and I left San Francisco with some friends for a ranch outside Stanley, Idaho. It was the 80s, AIDS was ravaging the cities and we were burned out on our ad agency lives, on way-too-early funerals, and on the shallowness of city life in general.

    We envisioned (and created for a while) a sort of rural butch/queer Mecca where we could have dogs, horses, guns, a barn-disco and drag-quilting bees. A place where the healthy could find a job locally, or work on the land. Most importantly, we all wanted to create a place where those of our friends suffering with AIDS could get away and convalesce. Sure we were apprehensive of the crazies up there, but we were big, strong, young and had money, Land Cruisers, guns, Akitas and fabulous taste.

    What we found was a weird patchwork of New Agers, Dominionists, Cowboys, Militia Nuts, Movie Actors, Native Americans and Farmers. While we found that we were largely accepted by the community at large, we were mostly just left alone to “do our thing”. We did, however, get visitors.

    Without exception, the queerer representatives of each of the above categories would hear about “them boys up on the ridge” and end up making their way to The Ranch looking for a little sump’n-sump’n.

    Seriously, I think the big, butch boys of the then nascent Idaho Militia were the most frequent habitues of our homo homestead, and, if memory serves me correctly, the most eager to please, shall we say.

    Good times.

    It was an amazing 8 years but by 1990 the ranch was sold and we were all back in the Bay Area. It seems like a weird Brigadoon now. And while I do think there’s a book in there somewhere, there’s also a lawsuit or two as well, so maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut about the details . . .

    PS. You can never know how much I love that the Governor of Idaho is named Butch Otter.

  231. #231 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Paul:

    I really did mean to drop this, but you seem so angry that I’d really like to try once more. Hopefully I’ll make it better, not worse; at least, please accept that as my intent.

    Seriously? I spent the first 22 years of my life as an Evangelical Christian.

    So? Then I’m not sure why you find it hard to accept that somebody might stand up in public and say “my religious beliefs are…” when something different is truly in his heart.

    But breaking away from the church of your youth isn’t quite the experience I was talking about. Instead, I was talking about people who’ve joined a church as an adult for whatever reason (to search for one’s identity as a Black man; to share one’s fiancee’s faith; because someone you care about has been very persuasive…) and are trying hard to really believe what they’ve decided to profess, but without abandoning the ideas they’ve always held dear.

    Fuck you.

    Dude. If anything I’ve said has seemed like a personal attack, please accept my apology; nothing was intended that way. AFAIK, we’ve just been talking politics… which brings me to:

    You brought up his beliefs. I disagreed with one part. The fact that you wanted to have a policy debate and projected that onto my text doesn’t mean I was a willing participant in a policy debate.

    I only ever mentioned his “beliefs” in the context of policy, including that very first comment that you responded to: The reason I mentioned his belief in equality (along with Nos. 2 and 3 on that same list) among the reasons people are so angry is that those people don’t want to see public policies that favor equal treatment of those they don’t recognize as their equals. At every stage of the conversation, I’ve indicated that my only interest in Obama’s beliefs was in the context of policy. So to the extent that you kept replying to me, I did, in fact, undersatnd you to be “a willing participant in a policy debate.” Forgive me for not understanding how you were understanding our exchange.

    I don’t actually agree (for reasons I’ve already explained at tedious length) with your assertion that his statements about his personal beliefs (or maybe just his church’s beliefs) on the subject of marriage mean broadly that “he doesn’t really believe everyone [is] equal,” but I also don’t care: He could privately believe that Apollo drives the sun-chariot across the sky for the specific purpose of delighting invisible pink unicorns, and it wouldn’t matter to me in the slightest, if he were nevertheless leading us toward a fairer, more just, more progressive society.

    And, until events demonstrate otherwise, I persist in thinking he is doing that.

    With that, I really will leave off. Honest, I didn’t mean to upset you.

    Postscript: In the process of attempting to post this (and finding that my session had timed out, and signing back in, and…), I saw #229, which was not visible when I wrote the above. So one last bit:

    It would be possible to characterize that position as me advocating the stripping of existing rights on an unequal basis…

    Seriously? Was abolishing slavery treating people unequally since the right to own slaves was stripped on an unequal basis?

    I’m quite sure that very argument was made by the proponents of retaining slavery, back when that was the most important question in American politics: That abolition would be wrong, in part, because it would unequally strip southerners of their “rights.” A crazy argument, of course, but that was sort of my point: Policies that are — or can be characterized as — unequal in their immediate effect may yet serve the larger cause of greater equality in society. I didn’t mean to push the analogy too far, but that’s what was in my mind.

  232. #232 Shala
    March 30, 2010

    Fallout 3 is more than a first person shooter. It has tons of well written story and is really a RPG. It’s a great game. Took me a while to finish it though as I don’t seem to have much time for games any longer.

    Ever try the original Fallout or Fallout 2? They’re even better.

  233. #233 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    Ever try the original Fallout or Fallout 2? They’re even better.

    Yes played them both. And I really think #3 stacks up.

    But it’s hard to replace the fun I had playing those two back in the day.

  234. #234 Shala
    March 30, 2010

    But it’s hard to replace the fun I had playing those two back in the day.

    Mm. I’m trying them with the unofficial patch, since they fix a few 100 bugs or so. Really helps make it seem better.

  235. #235 GravityIsJustATheory
    March 30, 2010

    My weapon gets confiscated only from my cold dead fingers. Would someone please read article two of our US constitution to these looney toon Democrats? before we start the revolution again

    Is that a rant about the supposed illegitimacy of President Obama’s election?

    Or have they failed at being gun-nuts so badly that they got the name of the Second Amendment wrong?

    (Either seem plausible, although at least the latter would be amusing, rather than the depressing familiarity of the former.)

  236. #236 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    Dude. If anything I’ve said has seemed like a personal attack, please accept my apology; nothing was intended that way.

    The only thing I took offensively (even if you didn’t mean it like that) is the “you don’t know what it’s like trying to square religious beliefs to secular inclinations that don’t line up”. If you didn’t get the memo, that can be a long, drawn-out process even for young people leaving their faith. Atheists get enough of that “you just don’t know what it’s like to be religious, so you can’t understand how I feel” shit from the Christians. Not about to let it slide here.

    As for the rest, we basically agree in some cases and mutually don’t care about the rest.

  237. #237 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    @ Paul I don’t really understand how come you want to take any politician’s word at face value. They say what they say because they think it will help them get power or stay in power. The bad politicians want the power for it’s own sake or to get rich, the good ones want power in order to make positive changes in society. That’s not to say that what comes out of their mouths are always lies, just that sometimes they have to make compromises, especially when they are more extreme in their aims than what an ignorant populace will condone. As citizens, all we can do is vote for the politician saying the things closest to what we believe and hope that, should they get into power, they’ll be able to move in the right direction. Only in hindsight, once a politician’s time is over, will we know what his or her true beliefs were, what their ideal policies might have been, and what results they actually got.

  238. #238 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    I don’t really understand how come you want to take any politician’s word at face value.

    I don’t. But if a politician says “I don’t think black people should be able to vote”, I think it’s unreasonable to assume that it’s more likely they simply are lying to curry favor than assuming that they are, in fact, telling the truth. Moreso when they voluntarily belong to an organization that is against black suffrage.

    That’s not to say that what comes out of their mouths are always lies, just that sometimes they have to make compromises

    And I don’t get why you assume that in this case it’s the latter instead of the former. Why is your assumption more plausible or valid than mine?

  239. #239 Knockgoats
    March 30, 2010

    To me I would like to (own again) a 45 caliber thompson. Some others I cant afford like a BAR, and just for grizzins a .75 recoilless. They are not much good for anything except killing people or practicing your aiming skills…
    I know that in todays climate these laws will not be repealed but I personally think they should be repealed.
    My 2 cents – broboxley – Emphasis added

    To me, you’re a fucking nutter.
    My 2p.

  240. #240 Ibis3
    March 30, 2010

    And I don’t get why you assume that in this case it’s the latter instead of the former. Why is your assumption more plausible or valid than mine?

    I’m not assuming, I’m waiting for the evidence. What a politician does is more valid an indicator than what he* says (when running for or while in office) when determining what his beliefs are. And of course, what he believes personally is actually pretty much irrelevant to me when compared to what he accomplishes.

    *(substitute ‘she’ when appropriate)

  241. #241 Gregory Greenwood
    March 30, 2010

    This is nothing short of terrifying. All those jokes about the ‘American Taliban’ have a sinister (not to mention disturbingly literal in light of the planned use of IEDs) new dimension in the light of this story.

    It appears that Christian fundamentalists are determined to prove that they have every bit as much raw crazy as their Islamist opposite numbers.

  242. #242 Paul
    March 30, 2010

    What a politician does is more valid an indicator than what he* says (when running for or while in office) when determining what his beliefs are.

    This doesn’t apply in the realm of religious beliefs, unless his religious belief is that certain things should be US law. You’re ignoring the case of secular religionists, who while they may believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, could recognize there is no support for such a requirement in law. This does not change their beliefs, it is just possible for people to recognize that religious beliefs are not sufficient grounds for law. I do have hopes that Obama will follow this route.

  243. #243 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @knockgoats we live in different countries from different times. If you think these xian talibs are bad the ukraine families the faught the nazis and then the russians before fleeing for their lives in the late 50’s would have quietly buried their wannabe asses under the manure pile.

    That was back in the day when the kgb was actively hunting them over here and they were the ones that taught me to shoot. I know they had a fifty full auto around the place. They might have had a recoiless.

    They worked hard saved their money and sent the fist generation americans thru college and into suburbia. Thay also thought gramps and gran were nutters.

  244. #244 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    broboxley…

    that entire post at #243…

    has what all to do exactly with what knockgoats posted at #239???

    Perceived threats from foreign assassins is supposed to make me believe it’s ok to stockpile high-powered automatic weapons, and furthermore restrict the regulation of such weapons so that any gomer can get one with the right license and forms (and of course money)?

    Sorry… not swayed. Not even a little.

  245. #245 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    They worked hard saved their money and sent the fist generation americans thru college and into suburbia. Thay also thought gramps and gran were nutters.

    And since we’re apparently firing off anecdotes in support of our viewpoints, here’s mine:

    An ex-girlfriend of mine’s mom was from a poor farm family… she worked hard and saved her money and sent her daughter to college. She also was convinced that she had a tracking device installed under her skin when she had a routine surgery done, and that the dairy farm up the road was working for the government and spiking the groundwater with mind-control chemicals. She used to sneak on to the farm and take pictures through the windows of the farmhouse. She also slept with a loaded 12-gauge and once shot a hole through her bedroom door when her father came from next door to check on her when he heard her screaming in her sleep. Missed his head by about 12 inches. She swore it was “the illegals” working at the farm come to kill her.

    She was a nutter. Had nothing to do with the fact that she worked hard enough to put her kid through college.

  246. #246 MrFire
    March 30, 2010

    broboxley OT,

    You think it’s okay for private citizens to own nuclear weapons.

    How is a private citizen supposed to discharge one?

    You realize your position is crazier than that of Terry Nichols?. (You have to go to near the very end, around 4:30, for the relevant section)

  247. #247 MrFire
    March 30, 2010

    My fail @246; I meant James Nichols.

  248. #248 Cimourdain
    March 30, 2010

    Celtic,

    Ah, yeah. A genocide performed in the classic Jihad manner, conforming to all the classic precepts on Jihad, claimed by its perpetrators as Jihad – isn’t Jihad.

    Nice to see that refined Pharyngula morality out in force:

    A bunch of losers running around the midwests…

    Is way more important than…

    Two million dead.

    Hey, they’re only Africans, right?

    Rev,

    That’s technically true – but neither was pointing out that Malik Hassan was acting in perfect accord with Islamic teachings “stereotyping” and the little bootlickers still screamed their empty heads off.

  249. #249 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    That’s technically true – but neither was pointing out that Malik Hassan was acting in perfect accord with Islamic teachings “stereotyping” and the little bootlickers still screamed their empty heads off.

    Right but I can’t figure out why chose this thread to bring it back up if there wasn’t technically stereotyping here.

  250. #250 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @Celtic_Evolution goats nutter is a perfectly acceptable citizen elsewhere. I am assuming from the 2p he is from the commonwealth somewhere and was anecdotally describing a different viewpoint from his. He is certainly entitled to his opinion.

  251. #251 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @MrFire #246

    How is a private citizen supposed to discharge one?

    well first you need a high explosive shaped charge to slam the sphere of uranium evenly into the plutonium plug hard and fast enough to get a reaction going. How else are you going to do it?

  252. #252 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Fuck everyone! I just cannot feel safe and secure unless I know I can blow up my town and leave it a radio active wasteland for thousands of years to come if I feel threatened by a sound outside my window.

  253. #253 MrFire
    March 30, 2010

    broboxley;

    erm, I am vaguely aware of how a nuclear weapon operates.

    I was asking how a private citizen is supposed to discharge one without waking up the neighbors. That kind of ‘how’.

  254. #254 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    customary typos above

  255. #255 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    Arguing that private citizens should be able to have nuclear weapons may be the dumbest argument for anything I’ve ever heard, anywhere, anytime.

  256. #256 KOPD 42.7 FM
    March 30, 2010

    Reductio ad absurdum doesn’t work when your opponent is absurd.

  257. #257 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Arguing that private citizens should be able to have nuclear weapons may be the dumbest argument for anything I’ve ever heard, anywhere, anytime.

    Shit, I do not trust them in the care of nation states. Yes, including the one I live in.

  258. #258 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    @MrFire #253 sorry, I just couldnt resist :-)

  259. #259 broboxley OT
    March 30, 2010

    well if one needed to regulate nuclear weapons in private hands and I am not really a fan of regulations
    neutron only tactical to the boundaries of the owners property. Yearly inspections, ongoing training and a Nuclear sticker on the mailbox. No launch capability handheld only. Only allowed to practice at the local landfill on high holidays after dark but before 11pm. Yeah, I could live with that

  260. #260 Pareidolius
    March 31, 2010

    Okay, their website is awash in scary nuttery, but if you dig down into their BEASTWATCH page you’ll find this, which was surprisingly funny . . .

    The beast’s number (humor)

    670 – Approximate number of the Beast
    DCLXVI – Roman numeral of the Beast
    666.0000000 – Number of the High Precision Beast
    665.9999954 – Number of the Pentium Beast
    0.666 – Number of the Millibeast
    /666 – Beast Common Denominator
    666 x sq. rt (-1) – Imaginary number of the Beast
    1010011010 – Binary of the Beast
    1-666 – Area code of the Beast
    00666 – Zip code of the Beast
    1-900-666-0666 – Live Beasts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. (Must be over 18)
    $665.95 – Retail price of the Beast
    $710.36 – Price of the Beast plus 6.66% state sales tax
    $769.95 – Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
    $606.66 – Price of the Beast at Wal-Mart
    $566.66 – Price of the Beast at Costco
    Phillips 666 – Gasoline of the Beast
    Route 666 – Way of the Beast
    666 F – Oven temperature for roast Beast
    666k – Retirement plan of the Beast
    666 mg – Recommended Daily Allowance of Beast
    6.66 % – 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank ($666 minimum deposit)
    6-6-6.xls – Spreadsheet of the Beast
    Word 6.66 – Word Processor of the Beast
    666i – BMW of the Beast
    DSM-666 (revised) – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
    668 – Next-door neighbor of the Beast

    And to think I said that extremists are humor impaired.

  261. #261 Kagato
    March 31, 2010

    well if one needed to regulate nuclear weapons in private hands

    IF???

    neutron only tactical to the boundaries of the owners property. Yearly inspections, ongoing training and a Nuclear sticker on the mailbox. No launch capability handheld only. Only allowed to practice at the local landfill on high holidays after dark but before 11pm. Yeah, I could live with that

    Dude, what’s this nanny-state fascist arms-control bullshit? Who are you to deny me my God-given right to own a megaton nuclear weapon? I have a right to defend my property, and what better deterrent to would-be attackers than the ability to vaporize every living thing within a 3-mile radius? How am I supposed to defend myself against my own government if they’re allowed to out-gun me? And just because it’s designed to exterminate an entire population center doesn’t mean I can’t own one for other legitimate personal uses. Sure, I don’t have the space myself, but I know a guy who has this city and he says I can take my nuke down there and obliterate it any time I feel like blowing off steam.

    So you can take my tactical nuclear warhead when you pry it out of my hot, dead, dangerously irradiated hands!

  262. #262 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 31, 2010

    Pareidolius (@260):

    Funny. My home ZIP Code is 06066, which I’m fond of calling the ZIP Code of the Beast!

  263. #263 mwsletten
    March 31, 2010

    As is usual, once you get away from the hype and fear mongering, the truth is always much more mundane

  264. #264 Rebelest
    March 31, 2010

    It had not started out like this, said Donna Stone, David’s ex-wife.

    ?It started out as a Christian thing,” Donna Stone told reporters at the preliminary court hearing Monday morning. “You go to church. You pray. You take care of your family. I think David started to take it a little too far. He dragged a lot of people with him. When he got carried away, when he went from handguns to big guns, I was done.”

    ?He dragged a lot of innocent people down with him,” said Donna Stone, whose son was legally adopted by David Stone and was among those indicted. ?It started to get worse when they were talking about the world’s gonna end in the Bible.?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100329/ts_csm/291267

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