Saturday, March 12, 2011

A war of ideology

11:45 AM

Tea Party activists, otherwise known as Western Mass 9/12 Project, swamp the usual peace protesters in Hamp's city center late this morning.

Maybe they will pay downtown Amherst a visit one of these fine Sunday afternoons...

Downtown Amherst (any Sunday afternoon over the past 35 years)

Let's hope demonstrators never go this far for attention


Anonymous said...

Increasingly, on a national level the "tea party are racists" narrative falls by the wayside as all lies eventually do. And what is revealed is that we are as much for individual sovereignty as the abortion rights and NWO resisters are. I have met Christian conservatives, Libertarians, Classical Hippies*, colleges students, minorities, and working class moms at the rallies.

I am however thus far disappointed that the fierce individualist New Englander mentality has not utterly rejected the simplistic and transparent smear of a truly grass roots, leaderless, and yes, genuinely populous, movement.

(*as opposed to the fashionable, trendy, neo-hippy populating our campuses.)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the "tea party is wealthy" narrative will start to take hold.

Don't care whom you've met at rallies. The message is clear: "I've got mine, so to hell with the community. Just cut my taxes and f-- the rest of you."

S.P. Sullivan said...

The 9/12 folks were in Amherst a few weekends ago. I pulled over with my stereo recorder and SLR and tried to interview them, but they said they were just packing up and that I should've come earlier. So it goes.

LarryK4 said...

How dare they.

I'm just a lowly blogger, so I simply did a "drive by" shooting (with my just-below-SLR status Kodak 950 easycshare camera, but it has the same optical zoom as most SLRs); my daughter was impatient to get to the Westfield Children's Museum.

LarryK4 said...

Not sure why this is not posting but an Anon has tried 4 times (bounced to my AOL email) so I'll try posting it:

"Perhaps the "tea party is wealthy" narrative will start to take hold.

Don't care whom you've met at rallies. The message is clear: 'I've got mine, so to hell with the community. Just cut my taxes and f-- the rest of you'"

disappointingly, your dismissive comments support the assertion made in my second paragraph.

what i know of the movement goes way beyond people i've met at the rallies. and my understanding about the proper role of government and the freedom all of us claim to strive for (yet few actually seem to want) is far from the talking points of the statists who are threatened.

they are commonsense ideas that even someone with a phd. can grasp.

i humbly suggest you reevaluate your beliefs about what the tea party is about. either way i wish you well.


(correction on previous post: i meant populist movement.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:58 p.m. is scrambling desperately to find some new smear because he's terrified they might be right.

Anonymous said...

I'm not terrified they might be right. Much of what they have to say is patently stupid.

I AM terrified that they might win.

By the way, you CAN accept some of the social critique of these folks, about single-parent households, about teenage pregnancy, etc. and reject their proposed solutions, which seem to be essentially various forms of not-so-benign neglect. If we are going to turn this country around, we need to recognize how far down the tubes culturally we've gone. But the turn-around is going to take a combination of infusions of government money and the vigilance of a drill sargeant, in other words, various forms of the public-private partnership, a Marshall Plan for America. I'll believe that the Tea Party is a broad-based movement when I begin to hear about Tea Party rallies in devastated inner-city locations: not gonna happen.

These are people who are trying to wrap their own outspoken selfishness in the flag and in imagery of the American Revolution.

Hey, it just might work, and we might travel quite a ways down the rabbit hole these folks are digging. Americans have shown an uncanny ability to dupe themselves on a number of fronts, such as Ronald Reagan's favorite delusion, the old Laffer curve, "if we cut taxes, we will raise revenues." Right......right down to zero. Yup. That makes sense, for over 30 years now.

And they call themselves "fiscal conservatives".

Ed said...

The message is clear: "I've got mine, so to hell with the community.

No, it is that "I know I will never get mine, I am damn tired of paying for you to get yours, so go f*** yourself/

If the March 31st strikes come to anything, you are going to see calls for the use of deadly force -- and likely see it used....

Anonymous said...

I agree Ed I worked 70/80 hour weeks for many years to provide my family with some of the things we could never afford. I don't mind helping a hard working person that's down on their luck in this economy. But, to heck with this
4th and 5th generation "Down on our luck people". My mom worked her tail off to get off welfare, so I witnessed the ability of it being done. And, yes if you don't want to work and are sponging the system "Go **** yourself". Oh, and by the way I currently work two jobs one full time and the other almost full time so suck it up.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18 AM:

You are not getting how deep the problem is. I think that it's great that you have a work ethic, and I'm sure you know who to thank for that.

There are subcultures and communities in this country in which the young people are 3d generation dependents of the state. There is no one with a work ethic as far as their eyes can see. You may not believe that, but it's true.

With those social and cultural conditions, someone or some government entity has to be in loco parentis. The Tea Party pretends that these children don't exist. These kids are standing in a hole not of their own making, and only government (or government partnered with others) can dig them out. We can take this effort on now or wait until it has multiplied and metastasized further. But ultimately our country's future depends on our facing up to it; we are literally and figuratively bleeding away human potential in our inner cities.

Making government the enemy simply ignores the problem.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 5:05

Clearly, what you know about the tea party goes no further than the simplistic rhetoric of of your Progressive leadership. Using the tired "won't somebody please think of the children" defense is, if I can borrow a phrase, a red herring.

Nobody in a serious discussion about reform wants to abolish social programs. Nobody wants to return to the 19th century with kids, and disabled, in the streets begging for... uh, "change."

But your solution seemingly is to make some of us more poor so as to make others a bit less poor? How is that ethical? And all the while not solving the unsolvable (by government) problem of poverty.

IF you did know anything about the ideals of the tea party (no caps, it's not a political party) you would know it's not about class warfare (although Progressives want it so); it's about individual sovereignty and the tyranny of government overreach. Those who align them selves with the tea party movement likely want to solve the same social problems you do but don't believe the answer is yet more government intrusiveness.

Taxation and regulation is how the government keeps us in check. If they want us to do more of something they lower the tax or subsidize it; when want us to do less of something they hike or impose a tax. Taxation is necessary but the government has been wielding it like a weapon and (most importantly) been overstepping the restrictions of the Constitution in the process. Remember that the Constitution doesn't give us any rights. It specifically tells what the government cannot do to us.

The government IS, as Thomas Paine said, in its best a necessary evil, and in its worst, an intolerable one.

By the time this administration is done with its one term it will have accumulated more debt than ALL other administrations combined while simaltaniously eroding our liberties. As Penn of Penn and Teller once said: one of these days Obama won't be in office and someone who voted for him will have in office someone they don't like. But that someone will have all the powers you gave to Obama. Think about that.

This is We The People against Them.

Anonymous said...

I once again agree, I am sorry to see the 4th generation of welfare reliants coming up. But, where are the role models to break the chain going to come from?

Even Bill Cosby recognizes how the role models of his ethnical group are letting themselves and the one's around them down.

Everyone needs to stop blaming the world around them for their plights, do something for themselves, and stop looking for someone else to do it for them.

I cannot and will not stand idle and watch my children go without all because we need help people that haven't worked a day in their life.

Blame the world if you like, just keep your pan handling paws out of my pockets!

Anonymous said...

Nobody wants to go back to the nineteenth century?

I would like to lock you all in a room with all 5 seasons of the HBO series The Wire playing on a loop. Inner city America is a world far worse than anything Charles Dickens ever imagined.

The bottom line is this: the private sector is not going to train high school dropouts so that they can become taxpayers. So they will live and have children in perpetuity on your dime: either in the form of a government check or in an incarceration setting. Either way, the money is coming from you. The numbers of those folks are growing every day.

The old adage about the difference between giving a person a fish and teaching the person to fish has never been more relevant: only government gets us out of this mess. So beat your chest, bathe us in your rhetoric, sneer at us "progressives", but you are in a hole and you are still digging.

The true tyranny is in the cramped horizons and limited expectations of people completely cut off from the American Dream, and the need to support these folks as unproductive people is going to suck the life out of this country.
So sit in front of your computer and fume if you like, but the problem is metasasizing as we speak. I understand that you want to sound tough and hard, and think that compassion has gotten us into this mess. Well, compassion is going to be the only way out.

Anonymous said...

It's not about who's to blame. That's where you are confused. It's about how to solve the problem. You can't turn uneducated people into productive taxpayers who give back to their communities by simply sneering at them.

Yes, these are people who have never worked a day in their lives. And they are having kids far faster than you are. Once you have condemned them in this way, then what do you want to do? We don't solve problems with rhetoric.

How much of this country do you want to have to steer away from? We really are becoming a banana republic, with wealthy people with private security details, with an equally large number of people either living on a government check or selling drugs, and another group in the middle getting squeezed. Do you really think that tax cuts and Adam Smith's "hidden hand" are going to turn this around? How?

Sure, middle class anger is justified, but where does that get us? Let's face it: the rich are not pulling their weight relative to other periods in our history, like, say, the Eisenhower Administration?

Yesterday's Eisenhower Republican is today's "socialist". Ike wouldn't have a chance in today's Republican Party.

We need to stop quitting on the potential of individual human beings so early in their personal development.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Ed. Deadly force. That's the answer. Every good democracy shoots its own people when they try to speak their minds and voice dissent.

Afterall, democracy has nothing to do with haveing a voice.

Right, Ed. And you are just a guy who never leaves the ivory tower, too scared to actually get a teaching job, not that anoyone would ever hire a dick like you.

Steven Barrett said...

I wouldn't go so far as to smear the entire Tea Party movement as "racist." Duped? Used? Manipulated? Yep. After all, it's been nothing but creation of the brothers Koch, and their puppet Dick Armey, who, along with a lot of help and hot-air publicity from Glenn Beck and that grossly unfair, and oft-unhinged "news" network he's still currently employed by, practically pulled a Branch Rickey move by creating a political farm team system for the GOP.

I'm just waiting till this "Get the gov't out of my Medicare/Medicaid" crowd gets the fog of Koch Industries-induced hyper-Constitutionally Correct Only nonsense out of their heads. Untill then, we'll spot this bunch a mile away with their powdered wigs, breeches, waistcoats n' tricornered hats. Handsome looking bunch of (political) rubes, no less, though.