Friday, September 01, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - Civility and Disagreement
On April 20, in downtown Washington, a constituency previously not heard from (or not listened to) turned out in impressive numbers. Its representatives looked respectable. They conducted themselves with dignity. They had a grievance. The only thing missing was an intelligible demand.

P.J. O’Rourke, Peace Kills
When passion collides with civility, civility loses.

A case in point: Mayor Rocky Anderson's 2005 and 2006 responses to President Bush visiting the United States. When Utah did not erupt in spontaneous revulsion, the mayor took it upon himself to organize protests against the President's presence. (Unanswered and unexplored is the question of what city resources and employees were used to organize these protests. Seems like a job for some enterprising reporter out there. Too bad the local newspapers - the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News - don't employ any.)

Now what, exactly, they were protesting about on Friday is unclear. The Iraq war, Israel, Palestine, stem cells, abortion, dry itchy skin, that the sun was shining - the signs had a host of reasons. In truth, they were a rabble looking for a leader. They found a cheerleader instead.

All that was clear is that the mayor of Salt Lake City did not want the President of the United States to feel welcome in his city. And that's just sad, reflecting a lack of respect for the Presidency and basic manners.

The next time a Democrat complains about how Republicans have taken the civility out of politics - you may want to remind them of this pathetic episode. An episode where the outraged passions of a decided few, a few that have made their feelings clear and known since the election of President Bush since the election of 2000, were elevated over the need for decorum and civility.

Not that the aggrieved elite care, but we all lost something with this.

Questus Supplemental - Tyler's Florida Adventure
The beginning of the week found me on business in Orlando. It also found Tropical Storm Ernesto en route to Orlando.

Let me be honest. I do not handle stress well. Especially when I find myself on the flight to Florida with several Red Cross volunteers heading down to open shelters - in Orlando.

But it all worked out. The storm weakened and slowed, and I got out without any delay. My business trip was a failure - so now I have to return.

But that is not happening until hurricane season is over (say, January) at least a couple of weeks.

Recommended Reading
Victor Davis Hanson, "The Waiting Game."

Cliff May, "Iraq Lessons."

Jonah Goldberg, "Give Bush a Break."

A couple of pieces on unions for Labor Day by Deroy Murdock and Mark Mix.

Thought of the Week
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist."
John Adams

Churchill Quote of the Week
"The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. The come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage-earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians ... Nothing can save England if she will not save herself. If we lose faith in ourselves, in our capacity to guide and govern, if we lose our will to live, then indeed our story is told."
Sir Winston Churchill


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Rocky has always cared more about his own agenda than representing his constituents. I think that his decision not to run for mayor hinged on the fact that he's finally ticked off too many Salt Lake residents.

At 6:25 AM, Blogger Deanna said...

I would like to clarify that Rocky Anderson did not organize any of the rallies in Salt Lake on August 30. He was invited to be on the program of both the afternoon and the evening programs. A collective group of individuals and activist organizations came together in early July and began the planning process. Rocky had absolutely nothing to do with it, except to accept the speaking invitation and offer input on the program itself. Everything else was handled by volunteers and donations of equipment by local businesses obtained by the efforts of those volunteers. I know all this because I started off on the planning committee and continued to monitor it peripherally (when I had to step back due to other obligations that arose) and actively participated in the rally itself .

To even hint that city resources were used to organize these events is absurd and is a slap in the face to the hundreds of collective volunteer hours that were spent putting together those programs - by folks from one end of the policitcal and religious spectrum to the other who are dissatisfied with the current U.S. Administration. Please research the facts before making such allegations.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Deanna -

First of all, thanks for stopping by. (And I apologize for taking so long to reply.)

The reason I suggested that Rocky may have had a more active role than merely speaking is last year's email (on a SLC govt. email address) suggesting that a protest needed to be organized. To me, that implies the mayor wanted to do more than motivate. (I'm suspicious that way.)

It's a fair question to ask, and if things are as you explained, there's no controversy. But that would be a good subject for a reporter to report on. I continue to wait in vain for such a story.

And I have to disagree that hinting is absurd and a slap in the face to the protesters. I am perfectly willing to admit I am wrong, when proven to be. But the mayor has not been above using city resources to make political statements before (and that's not unique to Rocky or Democratic politicians, either), and an examination of whether any city resources were used to organize this protest is not uncalled for.

And with all due respect, I am not convinced the protesters represent as broad a representation of Utah as you suggest. But we shall have to agree to disagree here, because I lack the resources to sponsor a decent survey.


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