Become a Socialist, Its Easy as Pie!

Apparently believing government should in some way regulate business makes you an automatic socialist.

Hmmm.  So that makes me one.  And yet I oppose “Socialist Roads”.

A socialist opposing socialist road taxes?  How dash clever of me.

Or perhaps not everyone who criticizes Ron Paul is a socialist.


Real Cowardice From the Far Right: Threats vs Free Speech

I was reading another thought provoking post by David of Orcinus about hate.  Specifically, about a neo-nazi who made a clear threat against an African-American journalist:

A white-supremacist Web site angered by a Leonard Pitts Jr. column alluding to the murder of a white couple posted The Miami Herald writer’s home address and phone number — leading to threats against the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner.

When Herald Managing Editor/News Dave Wilson asked to delete the address and phone number, site editor Bill White replied: “We have no intention of removing Mr. Pitts’ personal information. Frankly, if some loony took the info and killed him, I wouldn’t shed a tear. That also goes for your whole newsroom.” 

As David notes, this isn’t about speech, it is about violence:

This is not a free-speech issue. Threats and intimidation are crimes in every state, and a crime by its nature is not a form of protected speech. I’m not certain why authorities haven’t taken White’s threats seriously, but their inaction, unfortunately, speaks volumes.

It is common to hear right wing pundits rhapsodize about various bits of violence being perpetuated against reporters, editors, entire news organizations.  What I don’t think they realize is precisely what they are saying about their own positions and character.  When faced with an argument you disagree with, there are a number of ways you can tackle it.  Like head on, for instance.  Or in the case of a far right idealogue, you do your damndest to engage in personal attacks and borderline threatening behavior.  Then when someone criticizes you on the issues, you shrilly claim any such commentary is attacking you, while avoiding the issues.

The only people who fall for that are already on the ground in a stupor.

Upon reflection, these tactics are horribly ill suited towards actually moving people to vote.  What you have instead are Republican voters who eat around the gristle of these antics, and vote based on issues that are important to them.  Eventually some get fed up with more hard fat at the expense of real meat, and vote opposition.  Worse, this line of attack opens you up to a royal whooping should your opponent have a shred of rhetorical savvy.

What would happen if the tables turned, and Mr Pitts published Mr White’s personal information in the paper?  Would Mr Pitts be fine with that, or would he immediately start whining and sue?

The position of a neo-nazi is one built out of a deep seeded sense of inferiority that desperately clings to a group identity to provide the recognition life has not afforded.  This fear and angst can fuel very hateful speech and action.  But it also makes one extremely vulnerable to a well orchestrated counter attack.  Mr White is a coward, and the need to appeal to violence against an individual, rather than directly address the offending commentary on its own merits, broadcasts just how full of shit he really is.

If the only thing you have left is “I hope someone shoots reporter/justice X”, you’ve got nothing, and you are letting the whole world know it.  Don’t expect the world to sit on its haunches and let that pass.