Friday, September 23, 2005

The Friday Furo Questus

Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita should make landfall this afternoon. Keep those who live there and those evacuating in your thoughts and prayers - they are going to need all the help they can get.

For news, try this post for a good summary of news sites; and here is my take on its effect on oil and gas prices.

Questus Furore: All The Virtues I Dislike
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is at it again.

The good mayor, in between firing communications directors, scaring off secretaries, and using city funds to build statues without authorization, has sent another email encouraging everyone to attend a big anti-war rally this weekend. He also attempts to justify his stand, although I'm not sure he accomplishes what he set out to do:
Those who referred to my participation in the rally as "unpatriotic," "rude," or "inhospitable", or those who disparaged the thousands of good people who participated in the rally as "nutcakes," fail to distinguish between a theocracy and a democracy.
Theocracy? Um, could someone in the City-County Building go check the Mayor's office? I think there may be a carbon monoxide leak.

And while I can understand him taking issue with some of the comments, I think greeting the President to your city by organizing a protest against him is not exactly the model of hospitality.

And as usual, the flak the mayor took the last time is everyone's fault but his own:
Although none of the media reported it...
Ah yes. The original political impulse; when you start taking flak from the public, blame the press. It gets better:
Although none of the media reported it, the large crowd at the rally cheered loudly when I called upon them to express our support for our troops and for veterans who have sacrificed so much for our remarkable freedoms. It is clear to those who attended the rally that our troops have been unnecessarily put in harm's way by a President who failed to tell us the truth about why he was taking our country to war and a Congress that abrogated its constitutional responsibility by handing to the President its war-making powers. We now know that intelligence was manipulated to reach the result desired by President Bush and his advisors - and that the factual assertions made by President Bush in justifying a war in Iraq were false. We want the truth - about why we are in Iraq, about how we are going to get our young men and women out of Iraq, and how the US is going to be better off, rather than be less safe and secure, because of President Bush's war.

My remarks at the Pioneer Park rally addressed more than the tragic war in Iraq. I spoke about the total absence of fiscal responsibility by President Bush and the Republican Congress, who have frittered away the Clinton surplus of billions of dollars and built up enormous, historic deficits - all while members of President Bush's ultra-wealthy class were given huge tax cuts, and Vice-President Cheney's friends at Halliburton have ripped us off for billions of dollars...

...I spoke about my love for our city - and of how furious I am at the President's disdain for our cities and those who live in them.

...I spoke about President Bush's demonstrated contempt for working people, reflected in his opposition to an increase in the minimum wage, which is lower in buying power today than the minimum wage in 1955. I also talked about the outsourcing of good jobs to other nations due to Bush's trade policies, creating an even greater chasm between the very wealthy (i.e. George Bush and Dick Cheney's classmates) and the middle class and poor in our country. As I said in my presentation, "Those of us who believe that government ought to be of the people, by the people, and for the people - and not just run by and for the benefit of Halliburton and the rest of the very wealthy - we've got a message here today: 'We're not going to take it any more!'"
So, we now know that the Mayor apparently belongs to

And, a tad more:
So, according to a United States Senator, a newspaper editorial board, and a number of vocal critics of my participation in the rally, only support of the status quo or complacency is "patriotic." Their view is that I should have had the decency to just keep quiet.
That would have been nice.
That's not going to happen.
Yeah, I figured as much.
As Elie Weisel said, "There are times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." As the Salt Lake Tribune said in this connection, we not only have the right to raise our voices; it is our duty.
Spare me the martyr pose, Mr. Mayor; you took flak from your constituents exercising their First Amendment rights. You weren't persecuted. You wanted to take this stand, now deal with it.

This email, to my mind, reveals a man of questionable character. His eagerness to embrace wild-eyed rhetoric as fact (count the Halliburton references in the email, for Heaven's sake) does not suggest a willingness to seriously debate the war in Iraq or anything else. Rather, he is dreaming of a world with no George W. Bush and is hysterically angry that he does not live in it. (And they have the gall to call themselves the "reality-based community." Yeah, if reality was on acid.)

Mayor Anderson is an unserious man in a serious time.

With the nation reeling from the pummeling of the Gulf Coast and watching the impended landfall of an equally horrible Hurricane Rita, one could question the timing of these protests. Any reason they couldn't postpone?

Well there is one big reason. As Mayor Anderson's email demonstrates (me, I, my, me...), it's all about them. They march for themselves.

Let's look at some of these weekend "nation-wide" rally organizers, shall we? From Instapundit:
SPINNING THE PROTESTS: I recommend that readers google the names of people mentioned in the press accounts of this weekend's antiwar protests. I looked up Brian Becker, who's mentioned in this Washington Post story by Petula Dvorak. To be fair, Dvorak at least mentions the ANSWER connection, but a quick Google search of Becker's name finds that he's been praising the "Iraqi resistance" and denigrating U.S. troops since the beginning. It would appear that he's not so much "antiwar" as just on the other side.

It would be nice if Dvorak's article, and others, made that clearer, instead of offering the sanitized treatment of ANSWER that it does. The Post, however, has a history of whitewashing these folks.

For those who have forgotten, here's some background on A.N.S.W.E.R. and its related groups by David Corn. Here's some more, and here's Michael Lerner's piece on antisemitism in the antiwar movement, written after he was banned from an antiwar rally at A.N.S.W.E.R.'s behest.

If there were an authentic antiwar movement in this country, it wouldn't have to rely on the services of fringe groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. to provide organization and cadre.
But with them you have the appearance of a movement, and so the media and politicians come a-running.

I do not intend to start a debate over protesting; while I firmly believe the instrument has been blunted by overuse in the last few years, it is your right.

It is also your responsibility to exercise it properly.

And I do not wish to contend with those who oppose the Iraq war or even the War on Terror. I think you're wrong, and you probably think that I'm wrong. There's nothing either of us can say that will change the other's mind.

But beware the company you keep. Be aware of those whose protests you are attending, and what they say and believe. I'm not talking about the guys in tin foil hats; you can't help some of the hangers-on that show up. I'm talking about the people and organizations organizing and funding these protests. By attending their events, you are supporting them and their causes, which may not match your own. Do you really want to?

Recommended Reading
VDH: "Amnesia."

Editors of National Review: "Paying for Katrina."

Rich Lowry: "Female Chauvinist Pigs."

Patrolling the Front
Bryan (e.gage) has been pretty active, including this piece on pork. All I have to say Bryan, is that Congressional pork is an old game that knows no party loyalty. But you might like this.

Jamo (J.M.) found an interesting movie trailer.

Nathan is advocating ultimate golf.

Spencer (The Unknowable) is doing a little tech blogging.

And I (Tyler) finally have a little model-railroad blogging going. (I know what you're going to say. Quiet. If it doesn't sound interesting, don't click the link.)

Thought of the Week
"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you."
Eric Hoffer

Churchill Quote of the Week
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
Sir Winston Churchill


At 1:09 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

If Rocky would sit down and shut up, he might just get re-elected. Therefore, I silently applaud every time he opens his ego-twisted mouth to reveal the putridity that is Rocky. The bigger the fool, the more fun election time will be... for his opponents.

Thanks for the column, Tyler.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger e.gage said...

damn, that's a long post.

porking may know no political party loyalty but right now it's the republicans in power and thus, they are to blame. when the democrats are in power (which the way thing are going will probably be the next election) i'll blame them.


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