SigSpace - Stupid People http://www.sigspace.net/?q=taxonomy/term/78/0 en Don't let the door hit you on the way out. http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/667 <p><a href="http://blog.thenewstribune.com/military/2009/10/02/watada-discharged/">Watada Discharged</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>The Army discharged Lt. Ehren Watada on Friday, writing the final chapter on the case of the most prominent military officer to refuse a deployment to Iraq.</p> <p>Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek confirmed that Watada, who had refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006 with his Stryker brigade because he believed the war was illegal, finished outprocessing shortly before noon Friday.</p> <p>The Department of Justice dropped an appeal in May against a judge's dismiss key charges against the lieutenant, effectively leading to Friday's dismissal. Watada submitted a resignation request "for the good of the service in lieu of general court martial" at the end of June, Piek said.</p> <p>The Department of the Army approved that request in September, and the remaining pending charges against Watada were dismissed late last week.</p> <p>Piek couldn't confirm the type of discharge, citing privacy laws, but Watada lawyer Kenneth Kagan said it was granted under "other than honorable conditions."</p></blockquote> <p>Why aren't we allowed to call it a "dishonorable" discharge any longer?</p> <p>I expect to spend a chunk of my allowance on good whiskey when we finally get rid of <a href="http://www.sigspace.net/node/596">one of our <em>other</em> problem children</a>.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/667#comments Iraq Stupid People US Army Wed, 07 Oct 2009 03:55:22 +0000 sig 667 at http://www.sigspace.net Will I remember? http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/661 <blockquote><p>The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.</p></blockquote> <p>Sometimes I think I ought to spend my writing time exclusively documenting things that I know, so that thirty years from now, when the political machines have finished rewriting history, I'll still have something true and good to read about my nation.</p> <p>The quote above comes from my commander in chief--via <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124744075427029805.html">a column by Liz Cheney</a>--who apparently believes that the world cast aside the Soviet regime and its policies much as children on a playground may reject a rope swing in favor of a basketball--"This no longer amuses; let's do something else." In doing so, he dismisses the thousands and thousands of Americans (and our allies) who dedicated (and occasionally lost) their lives to our security during the Cold War.</p> <p>The disconnect from reality is stunning--or would be if the last few months hadn't made me somewhat numb to it.</p> <p>In April, I <a href="http://chroniclesofgeorge.nanc.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=32111">posed a question</a> on the bulletin board I used to frequent asking whether our President had so far turned out as everyone had hoped. I think it a little telling that other than "hope" comments, the highest praise offered him at that time was that he wasn't W and thus wasn't in the news all of the time for his gaffes. Apparently, the bar for our nation's leadership is pretty low.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/661#comments History Politics Stupid People Wed, 15 Jul 2009 03:03:03 +0000 sig 661 at http://www.sigspace.net Perverse thoughts http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/653 <p>I've recently subscribed to <a href="http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/">Victor Davis Hanson</a>'s feed after seeing him constantly quoted in some of the other blogs I read. I appreciate his ability to succinctly summarize some of the same problems I keep running into:<br /> <blockquote>I do not understand at all this going into debt for almost another trillion dollars, and then immediately promising to balance the budget soon (like blowing off your foot near an emergency room), or how “stimulate” differs from “borrow”, or why the more noble victim is the one who sought to borrow too much for too much house and then defaulted, rather than he who chose to borrow less for less house and paid his mortgage on time each month and now subsidizes the less responsible. (The former apparently will still have the larger house, the latter the smaller.)</p></blockquote> <p>That from <a href="http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/perverse-thoughts-about-this-perverse-recession/">Perverse Thoughts About This Perverse Recession</a>, which I recommend in its entirety.</p> <p>We live in interesting times.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/653#comments Economy Politics Stupid People Wed, 25 Feb 2009 15:26:09 +0000 sig 653 at http://www.sigspace.net E-mail to a Lieutenant http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/652 <p>CCed to the company commander and the outgoing readiness NCO, because we're nipping this problem in the bud right <em>now</em>.<br /> <blockquote>Ma'am,</p> <p>Regardless of how unhappy you may be with whatever situation in which you find yourself, heaping verbal abuse on my SPC is inappropriate and unprofessional. In the future, if you feel the need to swear at us over the phone, please request that SPC [name] pass the phone back to me so I can hang up on you instead.</p> <p>Alternately, if you would prefer to communicate politely, I can try to resolve your problems.</p> <p>Thanks,<br /> SSG [Sig]</p></blockquote> <p>Next week should be fun.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/652#comments National Guard Stupid People Sat, 21 Feb 2009 02:48:05 +0000 sig 652 at http://www.sigspace.net Destimulation http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/648 <p>Via Sarah at <a href="http://tryingtogrok.mu.nu/archives/282477.html">Trying to Grok</a>, I found a lovely <a href="http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YjcyODIyZGM2MGU1ZDdkNDgxZDc3OTNjYjM4ZDY1ODI=">article on NRO</a> about some of the contents of the "stimulus" package currently before the Senate. Truly mind-boggling stuff. Leaving completely aside the question of whether the federal government <em>should</em> be funding some of these things at all, there are billions and billions of dollars in funding that won't add a single non-government job to the economy.</p> <p>An excerpt that particularly offends me:<br /> <blockquote>Setting aside this obvious sop to Democratic constituencies, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund is problematic in that it creates a moral hazard by punishing the thrifty to subsidize the extravagant. California, which has suffered the fiscal one-two punch of a liberal, populist Republican governor and a spendthrift Democratic legislature, is in the worst shape, but even this fiduciary felon would have only to scale back spending to Gray Davis–era levels to eliminate its looming deficit.</p> <p>. . .</p> <p>The great French economist Frédéric Bastiat called politics “the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” But who pays for the state bailout? Savers will pay to bail out spenders, and future generations will pay to bail out the undisciplined present.</p></blockquote> <p>WA is looking at a pretty substantial budgetary shortfall, despite the fact that tax revenues are up. I have read that our state budget has increased by 1/3 during the Gregoire administration, though I haven't verified that for myself. Why should other states be taxed to pay for our poor fiscal management? And why should I be taxed to pay for California's idiocy?</p> <p>This is where a large federal government takes you. This is where you go when you say that nothing is beyond the reach or responsibility of the national government. It's why we had a federal system in the first place. It's not robbing Peter to pay Paul; it's robbing Peter and Paul to fund community-based law enforcement initiatives to prevent robbery.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/648#comments Economy Politics Stupid People Fri, 06 Feb 2009 19:52:15 +0000 sig 648 at http://www.sigspace.net E-mail scams, post-OIF http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/646 <p>Maybe these aren't new to anyone else, but this is the first I've seen of it:</p> <blockquote><p>For Your Attention:<br /> The Managing Director/Owner</p> <p>REF: IRAQI RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS - VARIOUS SUPPLIES.</p> <p>Hello, my name is MUZAHIM al-BAJAJI; this is an urgent Contract Invitation<br /> from Iraq . My benefactor in the new PM Al-Maliki regime is the Director<br /> General of the Budget Department/Debt Management Office (DMO) of the<br /> Ministry of Finance. He has mandated me to seek for your co-operation in a<br /> multi million Dollars worth of contract supplies on various goods and<br /> equipments:</p> <p>Civilian Aircraft.<br /> Hospital Equipment.<br /> Water Treatment Plants.<br /> Agricultural and Irrigation equipment.<br /> Crude Oil Mining and Shipment overseas.<br /> High Tech and Telecommunications equipment.<br /> General Air Purification and Filtration.<br /> Heavy duty construction and Earth moving Equipment.<br /> Machinery and Metal Tooling.<br /> hydraulic equipment and air hydraulic pump<br /> Medical equipment &amp; Health Products<br /> Computer Products, Hardware &amp; Electronic Equipment.<br /> Waste Disposal Equipment.<br /> Air Pollution Control.<br /> Building and Estate Management.<br /> Bullet Proof doors.<br /> Buses and Cars for ultra modern urban transportation network.</p> <p>If your company is capable of supplying any of the above-mentioned items,<br /> then kindly respond immediately DETAILING YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS<br /> AND EXCLUSIVE E-MAIL and a scanned attachment of your well articulated<br /> TENDER. As soon as we receive these, I shall get back to you with all<br /> details exclusively. The final decision would be predicated upon your<br /> Company’s capabilities.</p> <p>Regards<br /> MUZAHIM al-BAJAJI<br /> Program Management Office.<br /> NB: 100% upfront is paid for all supplies</p></blockquote> <p>The "from" domain is pnri.dost.gov.ph, but the "reply-to" domain is live.com.</p> <p>At least it's novel. I was getting tired of the huge sums of money being offered to me, a random intarweb stranger, and I think it's rather telling in this economy that the scammers are promising not free money, but lucrative post-war reconstruction contracts.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/646#comments Iraq Stupid People Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:18:12 +0000 sig 646 at http://www.sigspace.net Some things are just funny, and you need to get over it. http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/645 <p>My wife shared an item, and then I saw the Slashdot article on it: <a href="http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09%2F01%2F20%2F1517212&amp;from=rss">Sniping Could Be the Next Killer iPod App</a>. Basically, it's a rail-mounting system for an iPod with ballistics calculation software on it, so you can have it mounted on your rifle.</p> <p>Kind of cool. Not something I would likely spend my precious coinage on, although I wouldn't mind having the rifle.</p> <p>As is usually the case, Slashdot is good for lots of knee-jerk reactionary commentary, with the occasional insightful remark. And, of course, lots of jokes in poor taste--that is to say, funny jokes.</p> <p>The reactionary stuff is the most entertaining, though. A <a href="http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1098203&amp;cid=26535937">typical example</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Anyone who has ever taken a human life doesn't crack jokes about it. unless they are a cretin or a sociopath, or have never actually taken a human life</p> <p>so if you found the headline funny, please self identify as moron or psychopath or ignorant, and go about the rest of your day, content in the fact that you know a little bit more about your personal failings</p></blockquote> <p>In response, I can only give the following:</p> <p>Q: What's the first thing you feel when you shoot a civilian?</p> <p>A: Recoil.</p> <p>Humor at its finest.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/645#comments Humor Stupid People Weapons Thu, 22 Jan 2009 04:38:11 +0000 sig 645 at http://www.sigspace.net Afghanistan, NATO, and Bill Arkin http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/629 <p>People who have perused my site--or talked to me for more than 3 minutes--know that I can occasionally be a little bitter about the whole state of "the other war." I didn`t go to Iraq--I went to Afghanistan. When I was preparing to go back in late 2005, a lot of people were astounded to learn that we were still there. Wasn`t that a done deal?</p> <p>In a way, I`m somewhat gratified to see that it`s making a comeback in the public consciousness, though I really wish it were for a different reason.</p> <p>This morning my Google News page was infested by a piece by Bill Arkin. Where have I heard that name? Oh yes. That`s the asshat that prattled on about our <a href="http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/11/obscene-ameniti.html">obscene amenities</a> last year. Today, he`s prattling on about Afghanistan. I`ll say this for Bill: he makes his opinion clearly and unambiguously.</p> <blockquote><p><a href="http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2008/02/afghanistan_america_wrong_euro.html">Afghanistan: America Wrong, Europe Right</a><br /> Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is again beating up on Europeans for not doing more in Afghanistan, a now familiar theme in his blame-anybody-but-us strategy.</p></blockquote> <p>It goes on to talk about the recurring theme in Afghanistan--a lot of troops not doing a hell of a lot of actual fighting--and then lambasts SecDef Gates for seemingly trying to apply the Iraq methodology to Afghanistan when in fact these are completely different, and what Afghanistan needs is more non-kinetic ops.</p> <p>I`m reposting my reply here because I have no confidence that it will still be there later:</p> <blockquote><p>I spent some time with a small American detachment working on a Canadian-run FOB near Kandahar in late 2006. Under their NATO commander, the Canadians could not engage in any "offensive" operations, meaning that they sat on the FOB and watched insurgents move and transport equipment through their area.</p> <p>The Americans, under a US Army captain, would do "recon by fire"--that is, finding the bad guys by driving around until we were attacked--at which time we could call for a quick reaction force. This was the only time the Canadians could do anything other than purely defensive measures. I don`t know what the commanders thought, but the joes loved us for it. They could see what was happening right in front of them. </p> <p>Non-kinetic operations cannot take place in the absence of security. Security requires boots and the ground and active engagement of the Taliban remnants. You won`t build any nations in a place where people are beheaded for selling Americans cigarettes, and letters are spread promising death to entire families should anyone accept humanitarian aid.</p> <p>We saw what happened early last year when NATO decided not to hold the previously-secured Musa Qah`leh. A "gentleman`s agreement" with the local Talibs resulted in the town becoming a major Taliban stronghold--from the same district center that we had occupied (and fortified) weeks earlier. Taking it back required a price paid in blood.</p> <p>If Secretary Gates were advocating some other strategy, no doubt you would be castigating him for not heeding the lessons learned at such cost in Iraq.</p></blockquote> <p>I`ve bitched about NATO in Afghanistan before. <a href="430">Here</a>, I talk about Musa Qah`leh, which had to be retaken after it was essentially given back to the Talibs. Comments posted later at Blackfive about the Dutch approach resulted in <a href="435">this</a> exchange.</p> <p>I am a lowly E-5. Far be it from me to advise SecDef Gates on what he should push NATO to do. But it doesn`t take a rocket scientist to see that a lot of countries are not interested in shouldering a fair share of the dirty work--not even a model rocket scientist.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/629#comments Afghanistan Stupid People vox veterana War on Terror Fri, 19 Dec 2008 01:37:51 +0000 sig 629 at http://www.sigspace.net Why it matters http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/621 <p>[Originally posted at Vox Veterana on 26 JUL 07.]</p> <p>Tim`s article about <em>The New Republic</em> and "Scott Thomas" (now known to be PV2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp) has generated some interesting discussion in the comments. A few questions have been raised, however, which I feel are deserving of a more complete response than is really suited to comments.</p> <p>Actually, the more I read, the more I foam at the mouth. This particular issue is pushing a lot of my buttons. I`ll try to be restrained and polite and measured and all of that garbage--we don`t want to discourage commenters when we`re just getting started. You can get invective anywhere, after all.</p> <p>Knows the Guy writes--<br /> <blockquote>It doesn`t bother me that maybe the stories didn`t happen to him or people he knows. I`m sure there are things like that happening over there. </p></blockquote> <p>One of the reasons that people are sure that "things like that" happen over there is because they read about them in reputable magazines. It`s one thing to write "stories," and it`s quite another to write factual accounts which people will assume to be, you know, factual.</p> <p>Because of my experience--which, alas, doesn`t include much <em>New Republic</em>--I`m quite sure that things like that are not happening. Isolated idiots dishonoring themselves and their countries? Yes, absolutely. It`s no secret that the Army is playing a bit of a numbers game and can`t afford to be too picky. However, I am equally certain that not a single one of those incidents--had they occurred--would have gone without a severe ass-chewing (at the least) or UCMJ action (more likely).</p> <p>A further question--<br /> <blockquote>If Scott lied or exaggerated or whatever about his stories, then what? Are people`s lives at stake because of his stories?</p></blockquote> <p>To risk repeating myself (from the comments), it matters a great deal to the people who have thrown in their "lives and sacred fortunes" with the coalition forces against the militant forces. Our foreign policy is being decided in large part by weathercock politicians deriving their views from polls, driven by public opinion, driven largely by--surprise!--media coverage. If the public starts believing garbage like this, our already tenuous chances to stay long enough to help these people will dry up and blow away. And those people are dead--everybody who helped us, everybody who smiled at us, everybody who shared tea with us, and a lot of others who happen to live nearby.</p> <p>Don`t believe me? Remind me to write about the guy who was executed by the Taliban for selling us cigarettes.</p> <p>Another assertion:<br /> <blockquote>I read that story and see young men being torn apart, mentally, by what they have to go through on a daily basis.</p></blockquote> <p>But it doesn`t bother you that it`s a lie? There are thousands of real stories by real soldiers--I can tell a few myself, complete with photo documentation. Why couldn`t <em>TNR</em> print some of those? I`m having a hard time coming up with a reason that doesn`t involve a political agenda or just sheer laziness, honestly. It should bother anyone when outright lies are printed as "fact" for a political agenda--no matter what agenda it is. It bothers me that a politically neutral segment of the population--our military--is being exploited and demonized and lied about.</p> <blockquote><p>These stories are tragic, true or not, and Scott is just trying to convey that tragedy to those who don`t know it firsthand.</p></blockquote> <p>Spock`s death in <em>Star Trek II</em> was tragic. I freely admit that as a kid I started bawling when Scotty`s bagpipes started up at the funeral scene. But tragic or not, it was fiction. Didn`t happen. There is enough real tragedy in this war--both by and against our servicemembers--without making stuff up.</p> <p>I do see this as an affront to American servicemembers overseas and at home--everyone who has served in this conflict. It`s an affront to the professionalism and integrity of every joe over there. It`s a vicious slander on the NCOs and officers of PV2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp`s unit who supposedly saw these things and did nothing.</p> <p>Most of all, it`s a slap in the face to people who really are "being torn apart" by what they see and do--and yet still do their job professionally, according to the laws of land warfare, theater rules of engagement, and the orders of their leaders. It is not just a lie, but a vicious lie, and I have no qualms in saying that Private Beauchamp has brought great disgrace and dishonor upon the Army that allowed him an opportunity to serve his country--an opportunity that was wasted on him. He is a case study for what happens when soldiers fail to internalize the Army values, and I don`t want him in my uniform.</p> <p>If you don`t see it that way, I`m not sure what else I can possibly say to convince you. Words like "honor" and "integrity" still mean something to some of us, and a lie is a lie no matter whom it helps--or harms.</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/621#comments Media Scott Thomas Stupid People vox veterana War on Terror Fri, 19 Dec 2008 01:03:43 +0000 sig 621 at http://www.sigspace.net Intolerance notes http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/612 <p>I used to be very active on a discussion forum sparked by the <a href="http://chroniclesofgeorge.nanc.com">Chronicles of George</a>; I was one of the very early members of the forum, and the first appointed moderator. I consider many people there to be good friends, and have stayed with, drank with, and gone shooting with a number of them. But I don't visit much lately; my life experiences have taken me in a very different direction since 2001, when I was an underemployed computer nerd, and it's harder and harder for me to relate to the general narrative there. In particular, I got tired of sifting through the pointless digs at President Bush et al to find the interesting discussions.</p> <p>But I do visit, and there are some good long-running threads that I like to read from time to time. One of them is called <a href="http://chroniclesofgeorge.nanc.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=23461">Intolerance Notes</a>, and dates back to 11 April 2006. It's a collection of links to stupid people being intolerant, for the most part. Discussion often ensues.</p> <p>Why post about this now? Because <a href="http://chroniclesofgeorge.nanc.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=23461&amp;postdays=0&amp;postorder=asc&amp;start=225">I poked the bear</a> by posting some stories about the virulent counter-reaction to CA's Proposition 8, including one about death threats made against Prop 8 supporters, an alleged assault against two of the same, and the Huffington Post-led effort to prosecute the LDS church for violation of laws governing its tax-exempt status.</p> <p>As in the <a href="http://www.sigspace.net/node/602">commentary on the MVO picture</a> and again in my wife's <a href="http://deltasierra.livejournal.com/201502.html">post-election blog post</a>, Hasufin (one of the current mods on CoG) took me to task, largely by arguing against things I didn't say. I'm sure he would characterize the discussion differently, but they're linked, so you can decide for yourself (but I hope you have a lot of time to read, because we do go on so).</p> <p>One of his statements (not to me) sticks out as I re-read the thread:</p> <blockquote><p>As I've said above, and repeatedly, calling the gay community's reaction to prop 8 as "intolerant" is fundamentally flawed. It is intolerant in the same way you're intolerant of someone breaking in to your home or assaulting your person.</p></blockquote> <p>I do not believe that voting for proposition 8 is equivalent in any way, shape, or form to physical assault.</p> <p>But <a href="http://www.jhopsf.org/">this is.</a></p> <blockquote><p>Last Friday night (11.14.08) our team of thirteen people, mostly ranging from eighteen to twenty-two years old, left the house around 5:30pm to head to the Castro District as we have done for the majority of Friday nights for the past three years. Over the course of the week we had actually been out in the Castro every night, singing and worshiping in the neighborhood. This night we arrived at Castro and 18th Street, with one guitar to simply worship and bring the presence of God to the Castro District. We understood that since Proposition 8 had passed it would seem instigating to talk with people, so we decided to only play the guitar and sing rather than to engage with anyone on the streets.<br /> . . . </p> <p>     During the event people lunging through the crowd to get at us hit a couple of our girls in the face. </p> <p>     Then a man picked up one of our Bibles and started to walk away with it. A girl from our team walked out of the circle after him and said, "Excuse me that is our Bible. Could I have that back please?" He turned to her and said "no" then hit her on the head with the Bible knocking her to the ground, then began kicking her legs.  A man from the crowd pulled him off of her. A police officer then came and detained the man who hit her. One officer asked the girl on our team if she would like to press charges. She said "No. Tell him I forgive him."<br /> . . . </p> <p>The people in the crowd were shoving us against the wall blowing the whistles in our ears so close that we could feel the spit from the whistles hitting our faces. Around that time we began to sing "Oh the Blood of Jesus."  Things grew more intense and the crowd came in closer around us shoving and pushing us. Some men from the crowd began grabbing a few of the young men on our team inappropriately, sexually assaulting them and trying to take down the pants of one of them. When that began the young men with us quickly pulled all the girls into the middle so that no one could get to them. </p> <p>     The intensity of the mob around us grew until finally the police had to shove the crowd off of us and they made a wall between the crowd and our group. There was one moment when a man from the crowd around us pointed out Roger, the leader of our team, and said, "I'm going to kill you!" An officer overheard and said to him "What did you say!?" The man said "nothing." And the officer replied, "I heard what you said." </p> <p>     Then one officer said to Roger "Do you want to leave?" and he replied, "We would like to stay" because we knew we had the freedom to be there. A few minutes later as the crowd was growing quickly the officer said to Roger "I am sorry, but we need to get you out of here because we fear for your life, you no longer have a choice." Roger turned to our team and explained that we were going to honor the police and follow them. The officer came back, asked us where we were parked and told us we would be moving out in five minutes. At that point there was somewhere between 15 and 25 police officers. They surrounded our team and escorted us to 20th and Eureka Street where our van was parked. As they were escorting us to our van the crowd followed our team and continued to scream and threaten us.  They even threatened to follow us all the way home. As we were being escorted out a man with a news camera showed up and began filming us. (Later we found the footage on KTVU, a local news station in the Bay Area) They had reported that we were doing a religious march regarding Proposition 8, when in all actuality we were being escorted out of the Castro.  Realizing the hostility of the people who were still following us, and their threats to "follow us all the way home" we covered our license plate with post-it notes that a guy on our team had in his wallet. We did this so that they could not identify our vehicle later. We then loaded our entire team into the van and drove home. The time when we left was 8:30. </p></blockquote> <p>See some <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrRxFoBSPng">video of the event</a>.</p> <p>Setting aside the wisdom in insisting on your rights once a mob forms up, what were they doing that deserved this kind of response? Is this "understandable" because of the provocation of singing in the street? Is tolerance for other viewpoints, other people's beliefs, only important when it's the Christians who need to be tolerant? Is their right to visit a neighborhood and sing--not as a political action or a counter-protest--abrogated because it infringes on other people's rights not to be offended?</p> <p>Hasufin has not made that argument, nor do I expect him to. He's a very reasonable guy whose thinking is, in my opinion, clouded by this perception that the Christian world is out to get him. It must have been that time we tried to burn him at the stake when he stayed at our house--oh wait; that didn't happen. He also feels quite passionately about what he sees as a fundamental civil rights injustice, and I can hardly fault him for standing up for that.</p> <p>But to excuse away threats and alleged violence against Prop 8 supporters as "understandable" is beyond my comprehension. On the 19th of this month, he wrote that I was "implying that there are gay rights mobs attacking people who they think voted for prop 8" but that such things simply weren't happening. I hadn't (to my knowledge) implied any such thing, but it didn't take me five minutes to find it once I started looking--and the events described above had taken place <em>five days earlier</em>.</p> <p>I thought Michael Medved put Proposition 8 <a href="http://michaelmedved.townhall.com/blog/g/90d6b763-2ed8-43cd-92a3-29a550b3e311">into perspective</a> nicely:<br /> <blockquote>First, Proposition 8 “outlawed” nothing --- it “banned” nothing. The Proposition, echoing a prior decision of the voters of the state in Proposition 22 eight years ago, added 14 simple, unequivocal words to the state Constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”</p> <p>The “previously legal same sex ceremonies” (authorized by four justices of the state supreme court in a divided decision a mere five months ago) have not been “outlawed.” Contrary to the tenor of the report, no jack-booted state troopers will come crashing down doors to bust-up the tender and loving commitment ceremonies of same sex couples. Even before the court decision, civil unions were available with identical rights to marriage, and those civil unions are still available after Proposition 8. The voters cast their ballots to eliminate confusion in the Constitution (confusion introduced by meddling jurists), not to interfere with private behavior of any kind. It’s absurd and dishonest to suggest that the proposition “outlawed” anyone’s relationship or expressions of love.</p> <p>. . . </p> <p><strong>The frequently repeated charge that the vote represents a triumph of bigotry amounts to one of the most insipid distortions in recent press history, fomenting rage in the gay community that will only serve to alienate activists even further from the voters in the American mainstream.</strong></p></blockquote> <p>Head. Nail. Hammer.</p> <p>It's not the wacky conservatives who are given over to insane rage. We didn't see any riots when Senator Obama won the presidency--just a lot of bitching and moaning, and the consumption of a fair bit of red wine. But where is the outrage when people are getting attacked in the streets, when small businesses are <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-elcoyote15-2008nov15,0,4504577.story">intimidated</a> into paying off mobs?</p> <p>Sig</p> http://www.sigspace.net/?q=node/612#comments Civics CoG Politics Religion Stupid People Sat, 22 Nov 2008 19:42:03 +0000 sig 612 at http://www.sigspace.net