It’s My Tea Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To

April 9, 2009 at 1:24 am 47 comments

Before MSNBC’s Keith Olberman started razzing him, I had never heard of Fox personality Glenn Beck. Then, on another blog I caught one of his videos:

Some may say Glenn is patriotic to the point of weeping. Some may say he is unhinged. I tend to think he is a master showman in the tradition of Morton Downey Jr. and Jim Cramer. The man you watch because you’re not quite sure what he will do next. However, Beck is exploiting a mood in this country held by a small but vocal minority that if unchecked and encouraged could prove more troublesome than mere entertainment. As we dig deeper into Glenn’s rhetoric and that of his 9-12 Project we see themes that, in my opinion, depart from reality. The question is how many people in history have followed the lead of a madman to very destructive ends?

Let’s start with this whole notion of the Tea Party (to which Beck devotes an entire page on his web site). Sorry folks but Barack Obama is not King George III. I find it particularly disturbing that there is a growing theme in this country that government, particularly the head of state, is the enemy. We do not have taxation without representation. On the contrary, Barack Obama and the Democratic majority were ELECTED by Americans who wanted what is now being delivered. There are precious few surprises in the direction this country is taking. Obama has not done a 180 from his campaign promises. If any fault can be found it might be that Obama has not been as moderate as some might have hoped and has let the Democratic congress go too far left. But it is hardly a 180. Americans are getting what they sent their representatives to do. These are not the dictates of a monarch.

The 9-12 Project is a pun of sorts, suggesting that we all must return to the way we were the day after we were attacked by Al Quada, one nation against a common enemy, and that there are nine principles and 12 values that should guide us. The 12 values don’t particularly bother me. They are:

  • Honesty
  • Reverence [toward what? This one I'm not so sure about.]
  • Hope
  • Thrift
  • Humility
  • Charity
  • Sincerity
  • Moderation
  • Hard Work
  • Courage
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Gratitude

With the exception of reverence, I can’t argue with these as decent values for all Americans to share. It’s when we get to the 9 principles that things get a bit sticky (italic statements are mine):

1. America Is Good.

Ehhhh, no America is not always good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
Glen follows this up with a quote from George Washington implying that our country is founded on a belief in God. Hogwash. Despite protests to the contrary, this is a secular country with the occasional bow to religion in the form of, for example, our currency (“In God We Trust”).
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Fine no problem there.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
What I fear is a tacit call for insurrection.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Nice idea, no argument there.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
A veiled excuse to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Another call to keep the poor in poverty.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
This is true so long as the disagreement does not take the form of insurrection or treason.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
This is not new news but this concept in the wrong hands can spell real danger for our country.

There is an undercurrent in much of this rhetoric that our government is in need of such massive change that we the people must wrest control back from it. The 9-12 crowd seldom gets right down to advocating overthrow (violent or otherwise) but the mood is still there and it’s troubling.

Within the past two weeks I stumbled upon two communications that clarified for me how off the hook some of this nouveau patriotism has gone. The first was a blog so disturbing that I will not link to it here. The blogger is a man down on his luck, terminally ill, jobless and soon to be homeless. He has decided that what ails America is money (our financial system) and government (our set of rules). His solution is anarchy. His method, so he says, is violent protest. He makes it clear that he is willing to be a martyr and he has called on his readers to join him in a rampage that is only alluded to (an explicit call to violence might get him arrested, I would gather). It would be fine to write this fellow off as a disturbed individual but he is the extreme that arises from this 9-12 Project–re-invent-America-in-your-own-image movement.

The other communication came in the form of an e-mail from a reader named “Bones”, no doubt probably intended more for my conservative writing partner The Rigorist, than for me. The e-mail had nothing but a link. A link to the 9-12 Project Petition. Here’s an excerpt:

We the People, in seeking Redress of Grievances, as is our right under Amendment I of the United States Constitution, ask this question of each branch of Federal Government:

“Where in the Constitution do you find authorization for each and all of the following?”

1. The redistribution of property by force and subterfuge; and the unequal application of tax laws amounting to punitive action against certain groups of American People and providing favored status to other groups

2. A paper money system that is morally and economically equivalent to counterfeiting

3. Willful and purposeful devaluation and destruction of American currency

4. Deploying military to fight undeclared wars

5. Targeting and labeling law-abiding American citizens as domestic terrorists

6. Declarations that disagreeing with policy is unpatriotic or disloyal to our country

7. Intrusions into the privacy of law-abiding American citizens

8. Perpetual massive indebtedness to foreign countries

9. Infringement upon the rights of the People to keep and bear arms through oppressive regulation and taxation designed for the very purpose of infringement

10. Passing laws and taxes without deliberation and without reading the legislation; said action is tantamount to the American People not having any representation

11. Enacting ex post facto laws and Bills of Attainder

12. Granting Constitutional rights and privileges to illegal aliens and prisoners of war

13. Funding mercenary organizations that engage in voter fraud and paid harassment of law abiding American citizens

14. Maintaining and deploying armies in peace time on United States soil

15. Unprecedented and arbitrary federal power, through the United States Treasury, for government intervention into, control of, and confiscation of, private property, private industry including but not limited to banking, insurance, manufacturing, farming and other sectors of the private economy (current and proposed)

16. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law (proposed)

17. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law (proposed)

18. Acts regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press (proposed)

via 912 Project Petitions.

The list is to a small extent bipartisan. Items 4 and 7 started on Bush’s watch. That is beside the point. What is troubling is the perpetuation of myths such as item 9 which spews the ridiculous notion that Obama wants to take your guns away. However it is the tone, more than the specifics that trouble me. It’s like a bunch of people went on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg but came back unaware that they are back in the 21st century. It’s like these folks are in some sort of time warp where Obama is King George III and a new revolution is necessary and imminent. It is truly like we are feeding and nurturing a growing and vocal minority of madmen.

Economic distress is one of the leading causes of broken marriages and it is also a leading cause of broken countries. History shows that a country demoralized by economic woes can turn in very dangerous directions. The tearful calls of Glenn Beck and people like him to join Tea Parties and protest our oppressive government might have played well a few years ago when our vulnerability was not so great. I fear now that this rhetoric borders on treason and if left unchecked may inspire consequences far worse than failed banks, high unemployment and national debt.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bob Evans-aka Metsguy  |  April 9, 2009 at 3:01 am

    “Rutherford Lawson said: “We do not have taxation without representation. On the contrary, Barack Obama and the Democratic majority were ELECTED by Americans who wanted what is now being delivered.”

    Wrong, Rutherford. Barack Obama won the election as a result of 90% of black Americans voting for him, many of whom voted for him solely on the basis of him being a black man. Also, as a result of having garnered 90% of the 18-28 year old demographic.

    When one News team in New York sent a reporter out to interview random black folks on the street following the election, nearly 100% of those interviewed demonstrated a near total lack of knowledge as to the issues that were in contention during the election, as well as the political affiliation of many candidates running in other races.

    I await a post from you on the fact that Obama bowed in homage to the Saudi King during his recently concluded overseas trip. What is your take on that?

  • 2. Tex Taylor  |  April 9, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Rutherford,

    You do recognize that Glenn Beck now incredibly popular and Keith Olbermann a neurotic bump on Glenn’s ass? Hell, ESPN fired Olbermann for his neurosis and insecurities. The guy is a total loser and creep. Why do you listen to this coward? He never leaves the comfort of his failed show.

    On the other hand, Beck is incredibly entertaining, incredibly funny, and I believe before it is over with, will surpass anybody at Fox in popularity.

    Despite protests to the contrary, this is a secular country with the occasional bow to religion in the form of, for example, our currency (”In God We Trust”).

    Endowed by Our Creator with Certain Unalienable Rights…do you consider our Declaration of Independence the ‘occasional bow’?

    Doesn’t sound too secular or the occasional bow, considering our Bill of Rights come from our Creator and not government. The purpose of our Government is to protect those rights.

    Spin it how you wish “R”, but his country was never intended to be a secular nation.

    And I’ve been telling you and the Rabbit insurrection is coming…time, they will be a changin’. :wink:

  • 3. Rutherford  |  April 9, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Bob, I usually try to muster enough respect for my readers to not label their comments utter nonsense but in this case, the shoe fits too well for me not to say it.

    You cannot possibly believe that Barack Obama could have been elected (by a majority, not a plurality) without the votes of A LOT of white people. Furthermore, you have to acknowledge that in recent elections white democrats also owe their popularity in large part to the black voting block. I might also ask what do you have against the 18-28 year old demographic? Do they not care about the issues?

    Your second paragraph only restates an obvious point about the relative ignorance of Americans in general. More people can name the four hosts of American Idol than can name the first four Presidents of the United States and this ignorance is hardly limited to the black community.

    As for the Obama bow, I can now see that this is going to the new piece of foolishness that conservatives seize upon. I’m not going to write a post about it since it is nonsense. Obama bowing to the Saudi King was either correct from an etiquette perspective, or it wasn’t. I don’t know frankly. If he made a blunder, it is no worse than George W. Bush giving Angela Merkel a friggin shoulder massage.

    Bob, you need to do some serious reevaluation. I’m no baseball fan, but when is the last time the Mets won the World Series?

  • 4. Marc  |  April 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Tex, you’re alive?

    Also, Rutherford, the ultimate firing back at the insanities of Glenn Beck and the hypocrisy of his 9/12 project is in Colbert’s spoof of it. I’m sure you can find it on Comedy Central, merely look for the video of Colbert wearing a gas mask and touting a shotgun.

  • 5. Rutherford  |  April 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Tex, Jerry Springer is wildly popular also. Do you want him calling the shots on our Nation’s future?

    The America as secular nation debate is an endless one. Were some of the founding fathers religious? Of course. Did they have the common sense to keep religion separate from government? Damn right they did. When “I believe in God and He is the center of my life” becomes one of our nation’s fundamental tenets we have gone from democracy to theocracy. Yell all you want about the piousness of the founding fathers, we ain’t a theocracy. Simple as that.

  • 6. Rutherford  |  April 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Hey Marc you need to stop by more often. Tex and the other delightful conservative thorn in my side, Dead Rabbit have, to my great pleasure, taken up permanent residence here. They keep me on my toes.

    This is the video Marc is talking about:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/223279/march-31-2009/the-10-31-project

    While this next one is not the video you’re talking about, you HAVE to watch it. I nearly died laughing … particularly at the end (pardon the pun) of the video.

    “America, take a good, hard look at your gut and ask yourself: how far up your own ass are you willing to go?” — Steven Colbert

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/218576/february-11-2009/truth-from-the-gut

  • 7. Marc  |  April 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Rutherford,
    don’t take my not commenting personally. I still read, though the reality is I often have less to say about those people with whom I share a number of opinions with.

  • 8. Tex Taylor  |  April 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Tex, Jerry Springer is wildly popular also. Do you want him calling the shots on our Nation’s future?

    Except I think you would find the same folks watching Jerry Springer are generally watching Keith Olbermann, not Glenn Beck. Have your forgotten Jerry Springer is a good lib?

    Your analogy only holds if the same demographics also hold. And I’d be willing to bet some serious dollars with you they don’t.

    P.S. – When I read this:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/just_53_say_capitalism_better_than_socialism

    More than a tea party is overdue. And when you make comments about our secular society, you’ll forgive me when I say I welcome the overdue…

    Sometime soon, we will see if us chickenhawks are really chicken, huh “R”?

  • 9. dead rabbit 2.0  |  April 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Beck is simply trying to breathe some new life into the beleaguered state of current conservatism. Nothing more.
    How shocking. Your gut reaction is to stifle the man’s blow horn. How charitable of you to point out Beck’s “undercurrent” for us all, and then install your blog entry with your own “undercurrent”: That Beck’s speech is dangerous to the nation and must be muted? Big Brother finds it treasonous, does he?
    Why? Because you disagree with his benign points?
    Unfairly, you then post a random email spewing fodder from an anarchist. As if anarchism is the electricity zapping through Beck’s little mini-manifesto. Far from it.
    Beck is an emotional guy. I’ve seen him ball once on air over the murder of a Hispanic teenager. Where I grew up, grown men don’t cry. There’s no crying in life! Well, at least not in public.

    How hypocritical that you all of sudden are taken back by emotional politics: Obama’s bread and butter!
    Truth be known, the Dead Rabbit is also somewhat taken back by emotionalism in politics. I find it creepy because it reminds me of of fascism and demagoguery. You know what? It scares much more when it puts a man in power instead of improving television ratings.

    I told my union to go fuck themselves a week ago (literally….yes, I am hated at work). Obama comes out with a plan that Tex would salivate over when it comes to Education. It is bar none, the most threatening plan to our union ever uttered by a president, Republican or Democrat. Yet, because of emotionalism, our union leaders refused to call it for what it is. Only one person, the highest in our union, called me aside and conceded the truth.

    I have no doubt Timothy McVeigh wing nuts will pull some dastardly shit. Tex thinks a courageous army of soccer moms are going to call to arms and take back the nation. Ridicules! For conservatives, who were oh so mute while Bush was running a tax payer credit card for anything and everything to get all Thomas Pane on us now is laughable. Why do you think Libertarianism is flourishing so much right now? Because of blind devotion to President Bush by those who should have known better.

    The down side to Democracy can be summed up by that excited young black woman who said to millions of cable viewers upon Obama’s victory that she “will never have to worry about paying her mortgage again”. Dumb fucks vote. We get dumb fuck government. In a democracy we deal with dumb fuck governments until we vote for new dumb fucks. You damn right I believe in Beck’s #4. That’s what makes America, America! How contradictory you are Rutherford! You start by saying America isn’t good, yet pick Beck apart point by point with essentially a statement on how we should blindly spread our butt cheeks for government.

    However, all that being said, remember the dead rabbit has ears. They are like those that were on Rutherford’s first family TV set back in ’56. Dead Rabbit is at home picking up all signals. If Obama decides to trounce on the core values of this country, and take action that is clearly not in the constitution, all bets are off. He will come close. But, ultimately, he wouldn’t dare. I thank dudes like Glenn Beck for that.

  • 10. Alfie  |  April 9, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t follow Beck and others since I don’t have cable and a brain. I find the Tea Party thing to be a laugh for more than the following two reasons. #1 I’m from Boston and we did a tea party back in the day and we did it right. #2 Protest protest protest. Listen numb nuts people know you’re unhappy the real deal is what are you willing to do about.
    Now onto Rutherford. I find your commentary on #’s 4,6,7,&8 interesting.
    I’d say #4 is more about wanting to be in charge of ones children(s) destiny as opposed to “turning” them over to the state. Although I appreciate there are extremes for sure parents are better than a bureaucrat. For example I routinely exempt my child from school based sex talks. That’s my job and not one I shirk from.
    The keeping the poor poor thing is a little out there don’t you think ? I could go on and on but was wondering whether you were serious or playing it kinda fast for literary reasons.
    And now I earn the wing nut label. Insurrection isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It has many benefits not the least being allowing other citizens to stand up against insurrection. Again a post doesn’t afford the indepth interpersonal communication thing but are you really in fear of a revolution or something ?

  • 11. Alfie  |  April 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    oops that should be ..have a brain. talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

  • 12. Rutherford  |  April 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    oops that should be ..have a brain. talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

    I’ll comment on your main comment later but I had to give an immediate chuckle to that. :-D

  • 13. Bob Evans-aka Metsguy  |  April 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Your response to my comment is taken in stride, Rutherford. I’ll allow my comment to stand on merit without a rejoinder. Other then to say that your ad hominem as to my baseball allegiance is glareing.

    It occured to me, though, to enlighten your community, to the fact, that, my arrival at your blog resulted from your “pimping” of my blog, calvinists4conservatism@wordpress.com.

    To my knowledge, you have yet to have actually “contributed” a single comment in any of the numerous threads at the C4C blog, since it’s inception in December of 2007.

    In terms of addressing your rejoinder as to what I have “against the 18-28 year old demographic,” a response from me can be found in my comments in the, “Guide 2 Games: Making Video Games Moral?” thread in the June archives at my blog, which is actually administered and “overseen” by “Objective Scrutator, a man who is little understood in the blogosphere, but for whom I have a great deal of respect. He’s a man who is, beyond doubt, in my estimation, very much in the Spirit of God, despite his “warts”. If only I could magically excise my own worts. It is written that, God selects the “afflicted among His “chosen” to disseminate His Word, “Lest we boast.”

    Although, admittedly, my remarks in the thread I have cited, apply to only a small percentage of the 18-28 year old “demographic,” I think you will, nonetheless, agree, that this group represents a significant minority of folks within that group. I refer, of course, in that thread, to the “brain dead” among this segment of American youth.

    My appologies for abrogating my genuine intention at the outset of this post to “…allow my comment to stand on merit without a rejoinder.” I have merely “gone with the flow.”

  • 14. dead rabbit 2.0  |  April 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Mets should be feared this year. Santana, Beltran, that fast shortstop, David Wright….I think its predestined they win it all!!

  • 15. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 12:18 am

    I know where you’re coming from but sometimes it does get lonely out here when my “supporters” sit silently while I get pummeled. :-) But hey, I guess it builds character.

  • 16. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I wasn’t really making a statement about Springer’s politics. I was simply pointing out that mere popularity is no qualifier for leadership.

    Indeed, when John McCain and Sarah Palin started acting like Springer in last year’s campaign, I found it quite disturbing.

  • 17. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Jeesh, that’s a mouthful from the Rabbit. Lemme see if I can address the key points:

    1. I don’t mind emotionalism in politics if it is genuine. I found the emotions conjured up by Obama’s candidacy to be genuine and inspirational. I find Beck’s emotionalism manipulative and calculated. Call me cynical but that is what I see.

    2. You got a bit confused between two points I made and in defense of “Bones” I must correct you. Bones was not an anarchist. Bones sent me a link to the 9-12 Project Petition. The anarchist was another individual entirely whose blog I read and who is headed down a very dangerous road.

    3. I don’t think my post had an undercurrent at all. I think I made my point quite explicitly. However I do think you have struck upon the great riddle in this experiment we call democracy. When is the free speech that we all cherish over the line and in the treason zone? Tough call I think. I’m not ready to say that Glenn Beck is committing treason — heck that would be taking the buffoon a bit TOO seriously. But Americans being the dumb f**ks you think they are, I worry that enough may get caught up in the hysteria to do real harm to themselves and others.

    You don’t have Glenn Beck to thank for any moderation you see in Obama. If Obama has even heard of Beck, I’m sure he finds him a mildly entertaining ass. Obama has common sense. That is what you have to thank for him not turning into King George III.

    I never said America isn’t good. I said it isn’t good by default or by assumption. It is good through our vigilance to be good. Beck’s tenet makes a blanket assumption that we are good without the action it takes to be good.

    Finally, I wasn’t around to see the family rabbit ears in 1956. I was born in 1961 so don’t age me bro! :-)

  • 18. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 12:53 am

    I’m quite sure that Beck, tears and all, would never say he wants to keep the poor poor. I’m quite sure he doesn’t. The problem is that the natural consequence of the “don’t force me to be charitable” theme is that the poor do remain poor. The progressive tax is by definition a redistribution of wealth and to my mind a good idea. I take Beck’s tenets concerning this a rejection of any redistribution.

    There’s insurrection and then there’s insurrection. Nothing could be worse for this country than to have a population of sheep who unthinkingly follow the lead of the powerful. The question at hand for me is whether or not we are capable of intelligent opposition. When Beck talks of FEMA camps and shows Nazi marches on a screen behind him as he criticizes our government, I don’t call that intelligent insurrection.

    I don’t fear opposition to the government line. I welcome that debate and I find it healthy. I fear insurrection by madmen and I find some of the rhetoric afloat these days somewhat mad.

  • 19. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 1:15 am

    It occured to me, though, to enlighten your community, to the fact, that, my arrival at your blog resulted from your “pimping” of my blog, calvinists4conservatism.wordpress.com.

    Bob, I’m puzzled like crazy by this comment. How did I pimp your blog? I did just surf to it (replacing the @ with a . so I didn’t end up sending you email) and at first glance found it entertaining in an incredible sort of way. Please elaborate on this because I’m lost. (You are right that I’ve never commented there — because I don’t recall ever seeing it prior to your posting its address here today. I do recognize the handle Objective Scrutator since I think I encountered him in ChenZhen’s Chamber and called him anything but objective. LOL)

    I’m not sure about the correlation between 18-28 year olds playing video games and their ability to make a wise decision in the voting booth. I’d have to see some studies before I weighed in on that.

    By the way, you and/or the Scrutator kinda lost me the minute I read the subtitle of your blog referencing Sarah Palin. It is obvious that by such reference you are looking to appeal to the far right wing politically, and the over-zealous ultra-religious, socially. That is your right but it isn’t exactly my cup of tea. (I had to use that phrase sooner or later in this thread since Tea Parties is the main theme. :-) )

  • 20. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 1:19 am

    LOL Rabbit, I’ll defer to your knowledge of baseball. Perhaps the Mets have a chance this year.

    Oh Rabbit … I forgot to address one thing from your comment. I don’t understand why Obama’s education plans have you in an uproar. Doesn’t he plan to fund it more? That’s a bad thing?

  • 21. Tex Taylor  |  April 10, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Call me cynical but that is what I see.

    I don’t call you cynical – I call you biased; real biased. That’s why I have never taken your opinions too awfully seriously because I’ve always thought “R”, excluding your good humor and the ability to convey a thought clearly, the bottom line is your still just another pagan that parrots the Obama, Huffington Post and MSNBC talking points.

    In a much smaller world, you have the same problem most of the MSM does – your thinking is incredibly shallow because you never really ventured far out of your comfort zone. You practice the liberal group think that is so rampant in parts of America today because somewhere along the line, you came to the conclusion your way the best way without complete information.

    I used to believe it was malicious. Recently, I have decided it is really as simple as you’re not terribly worldly – even though you would believe your far more seasoned than your conservative opponents. Your information about your detractors comes from your world of TV and blogging. Your information you base your personal opinions on is one-sided because it is all you have been exposed to, other than hearsay.

    As example you call Beck a buffoon, and yet admitted as recently as yesterday, you don’t even know much of Glenn Beck. You’re just parroting liberal opinion because it is all you know and since Beck on Fox News, therefore he must be a traitor.

    If you don’t think Obama isn’t aware of everything said on Fox News, you’re even more naive than I thought. I’ll guarantee that President Paranoia and his army of goosestepping goons from the Clinton Admin monitors every show on that station.

    “R”, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I understand you guys far better than you will ever understand me. I don’t know if I convince the majority of Americans, as I think most now so blind and weak, but you guys from the left aren’t near as complete as you think. :wink:

  • 22. Rutherford  |  April 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Recently, I have decided it is really as simple as you’re not terribly worldly

    You’re absolutely right, I’m not. But where your analysis falls apart is that there are lots of folks more worldly than I who are also more liberal than I. You mentioned arrogance in your comment and yes indeed it is the height of arrogance to suggest that anyone who opened their mind and saw the complete picture would be a conservative.

    My conversations here and in the Chamber have convinced me that liberals and conservatives differ not in how much information they process but through what prism they process it. Where I see a single mother down on her luck needing public assistance, you see a welfare cheat. Where you see a businessman who should be able to enjoy the full fruits of his labor, I see someone who can contribute to the public good to a greater degree than others.

    As for Glenn Beck, how many episodes of his show or how many videos of him do I have to watch before I earn the right to call him a buffoon? I’d bet Rabbit’s left testicle that you haven’t ever sat through a full hour of Keith Olberman yet I know what you think of him (not entirely undeservedly btw).

    Of course Glenn Beck is not a traitor but a fool can still inspire other fools to do things that go beyond mere foolishness. That’s my fear.

  • 23. Alfie  |  April 11, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    My conversations here and in the Chamber have convinced me that liberals and conservatives differ not in how much information they process but through what prism they process it. Where I see a single mother down on her luck needing public assistance, you see a welfare cheat. Where you see a businessman who should be able to enjoy the full fruits of his labor, I see someone who can contribute to the public good to a greater degree than others.

    There’s a conversation I’d welcome be it as an observer, or preferably a participant.

  • 24. Rutherford  |  April 12, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Alfie, I’m glad you feel that way and ultimately I think most of the conversation threads on this blog revolve around these differing views of the world.

    I think if you look at some of the threads on ChenZhen’s chamber and you see some of the less-than-productive dialog that went back and forth between me and Tex (and to some degree Dead Rabbit) it is probably due to very bad assumptions on both our parts. I viewed Tex as a blow-hard bully and he viewed me as a liberal-brainwashed-idiot with malicious intent. Fortunately we have evolved. Our respective views of life will never put us on the same side of the fence for the most part but I’m pleased to say that at least here in my home, we are having civil debates that while they may not resolve anything, they keep the brain cells firing. And at least for me, they occasionally point out where I might be wrong.

    I love the debate that this blog inspires on its good days. While I secretly long to be “discovered” by the Huffington Post or some other larger venue, for the time being this forum brings me tremendous satisfaction and that comes largely from seeing people present opposing views in compelling and entertaining ways!

  • 25. Tex Taylor  |  April 12, 2009 at 1:27 am

    “R”,

    I hated Keith Olbermann when I listened to his screed on Sportscenter for years and heard more then than I needed hour upon end. I bet I know more about him than you do – including his firing from ESPN. He’s a neurotic dolt whose rating are abysmal – especially with the election over.

    It’s not the prism we see through. It’s the fact I don’t think you capable of discriminating between right and wrong, good and evil, a fraud and someone actually down on their luck.

    The fact you think I see every single mom a welfare cheat is laughable, being for a time my wife and I had a single mother living with us. We supported both her and her child for six months, never asking for anything in return other than she complete her education.

    Can you say the same?

  • 26. Rutherford  |  April 12, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Andrew Sullivan’s take on it: he sees no threat, just tremendous silliness.

  • 27. Rutherford  |  April 12, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Can you say the same?

    What can I say? You’ve got me again.

  • 28. Rutherford  |  April 12, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Oh to clarify … you’ve got me on the hosting single mother thing, not on the ability to tell right from wrong, goo from evil, etc. :evil:

  • 29. Rutherford  |  April 12, 2009 at 1:36 am

    LOL good goo from evil goo! :evil:

  • 30. Tex Taylor  |  April 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Rutherford my old friend, goo is exactly what you do support, Freudian or not. :wink:

    Do you ever quote anybody that:

    (1) Isn’t working for a failing cable network?
    (2) Isn’t writing for a failing editorial – Atlantic or Time?
    (3) Isn’t penning for a failing newspaper NYT?
    (4) Isn’t masquerading as comedy under the guise of lefty politic (Comedy Central).

    I swear I don’t remember one time somebody as bright as you wasn’t listing a source from MSNBC, Commie Central, the NYT, Newweak/Time magazine, or the Huffington Post.

    I feel the need to expand your horizons.

  • 31. solar1  |  April 13, 2009 at 11:57 am

    4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
    What I fear is a tacit call for insurrection.

    I think He’s talking about laws that would prohibit spanking, home schooling, say in what goes on in schools (such as sex education, evolution, homosexuality).

  • 32. Rutherford  |  April 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I told my union to go f*&k themselves a week ago

    OK Dead Rabbit, I’ve heard a few more debates on Obama’s education plans so now at least I may be able to understand what you’re talking about if you elaborate.

    Hopefully, you’re subscribed to this discussion thread. Either elaborate on your gripe here or even better, send me a post on the subject (sans profanity) to rutherfordblog@gmail.com and I’ll publish you as a guest writer. After volunteering to take over ChenZhen’s Chamber, how can you refuse an offer like this? ;-)

  • 33. Rutherford  |  April 14, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Solar, you may well be correct and if so, it still shows incredible paranoia on Beck’s part. I don’t see anyone threatening to take away parental rights.

    Last time I looked, parents are still free to teach their kids that contraception is bad, you can get pregnant off a toilet seat, that any similarity between human and simian biology is a pure coincidence and that all gays are evil and will go to hell eventually.

    That’s what I love about our country. In few other places are people free to be so friggin ignorant. ;-)

  • 34. Bob Evans-aka Metsguy  |  April 14, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I’m less than semi-literate with computer technology, Rutherford, so I don’t really understand why you constantly appear in my comment box only to knock important and relevent comments out of the box. It ticks me off when current topics get buried just because your name appears in the comment box. You say it’s innocuous. I don’t comprehend that, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    You said: ” By the way , you and/or the Scrutator kinda lost me the minute I read the subtitle of your blog referencing Sarah Palin. It is obvious that by such reference you are looking to appeal to the far right wing polititcally, and the over-zealous ultra religious, socially.”

    Are you familiar with allegory, Rutherford? How about symbolism or metaphor? Did it occur to you that Objective Scrutator might be saying, by virtue of placing Sarah Palin’s name on the masthead, that, as long as a candidate is basically qualified otherwise, who the candidate is, is less important than that that person is also intent on restoring to our country a sense of godliness and also a modicum of traditional American values. In the last election, Sarah Palin happened to be the candidate who most closely measured up to that criteria.

    Again, though, those best familiar with Objective Scrutator know that, as a Calvinist, and bible literalist, he is given to heavy allegory and metaphor, much in the tradition of the great John Bunyon, the famous 17th century Calvinist who is a household name among theologians and historians. Thus, my assertion in my previous post that, Objective Scrutator is, “little understood in the blogosphere.” We discuss this extensively at C4C in the “Bob Evans Beautiful Analogy” thread Of January 24, 2009. Objective Scrutator’s inspiration for this thread was prompted by my comment in the “Why Donut Retailers Must Be Destroyed” thread of January 18, 2008.. That’s right, “Destroyed” is allegory.

    Regarding your impression that C4C readers are “over-zealous” and ultra religious socially, that’s a gross misconception. We’re down to earth family men and women who are simply fed-up with the brazen antics of militarant atheists. So much so, in fact, that we’re determined to make our voices heard.

    To get a good feel for that, please read the November 24, 2008 thread at C4C titled: “Richard Dawkins Takes Another Life.”

  • 35. Rutherford  |  April 14, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I’m less than semi-literate with computer technology, Rutherford, so I don’t really understand why you constantly appear in my comment box only to knock important and relevent comments out of the box.

    I’m considerably more than computer literate and I’m puzzled about your gripe but I do have one possible clue as to what you’re getting at. Assuming the email address you provided with your comment is legit, I will write you personally to try to resolve this.

  • 36. Rutherford  |  April 15, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Bob, regarding the rest of your comment, you’ve given me a good deal of homework to do. I will take a peek at the threads that you cite within the C4C blog. Still I think you’d have to go far to justify a defense of Sarah Palin, particularly as some sort of symbol. Symbols can get derailed by this nasty little thing called facts. The fact is Palin was way out of her league to be a VP candidate. Her religious practices bordered on spooky and her role within McCain’s campaign was to bring out the ugliest aspects of McCain’s followers. I think those who supported her could not see beyond the symbolism.

  • 37. solar1  |  April 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Rutherford,
    I actually wanted to comment on more, but I ran out of time.

    I don’t see anyone threatening to take away parental rights.

    You should pay more attention. Their are always people trying to outlaw spanking, evolution is becoming a mandatory curriculum (and any debate of evolution is strictly forbid and laughed at), Religion is also increasingly being laughed at, and while parents can teach at home, their advice seems insignificant when faced with the liberal cesspits that are our Colleges and are becoming our schools.

  • 38. solar1  |  April 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    That’s what I love about our country. In few other places are people free to be so friggin ignorant.

    I agree, only Europe and America could support all the tree hugging, lawsuit loving, and wellfare living (plus other assorted wackos) crazies that we have here. I believe I wrote a short post on it.

  • 39. Rutherford  |  April 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I think what you are perceiving is an antipathy to anti-intellectualism. THAT is my fear currently … that our country is embracing anti-intellectualism at its own peril. Over the past 20 or so years, it has become increasingly fashionable to call intellectuals wimps and sissies. Meat and potatoes has become waaaay over rated.

  • 40. rigorist  |  April 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Bob Evans,

    Have no concern that Calvinist doctrine is unknown or unrepresented here. I am a Primitive Baptist, Old School, Strict and Particular.

    I, however, seem to have cause for concern and I am certainly embarrassed by your remarks at the top of these comments. Your ‘go with the flow’ defense is for naught here. We, you and I, do not ‘go with the flow’. We do not ever ‘go with the flow’.

    The ignorance of the manner of Christianity at the foundation of our country is ubiquitous. Any ignorance here is my fault, not his. I am given to argument, conflict, and have made a special vow to never defile the Gospel of peace to advance my vices.

    May God keep you close.

  • 41. rigorist  |  April 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    “Any ignorance here is my fault, not his.”

    should read

    “Any ignorance here is my fault, not Rutherford’s.”

  • 42. The Red Pill  |  April 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Rutherford, tell us some more about taxation with representation.

    Who represents my children, who can’t vote yet, that will be taxed to pay for this mess?

    Who represents my grandchildren, who have yet to be concieved, that will be taxed to pay for this mess?

    In fact, who represented me, when Republicans were literally kept out of the negotiation process for all of this spending?

    If telling yourself that we have taxation with representation makes you sleep better at night, then more power to ya. But you are deluding yourself. Fiscal conservatives are not being represented in this country. We’re being marginalized in Congress, we are being marginalized by the President, and we are being marginalized by the liberal public.

    And when we try and organize and protest, you liberals cry like babies shedding tears of faux anger.

  • 43. The Red Pill  |  April 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    ” have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

    A veiled excuse to keep the poor poor and the rich rich. ”

    Read the words slowly, and comprehend each one.

    The pursuit of happiness. That is all that is guaranteed.

    What you want is to remove the words “pusuit of” and guarantee everyone happiness. The Framers didn’t design things like that.

    There is no guarantee of happiness. There is only a guarantee that a person will get their fair shot at achieving it. And that should come from hard work and determination, not handouts from a liberal government who relies on people being victims so it can turn their strife into votes.

  • 44. Elric66  |  May 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    “We do not have taxation without representation.”

    Really? If my state was fiscally responsible, why should my tax dollars go to another state like CA which is fiscally irresponsible?

  • [...] a Glenn Beck instigated protest march on Washington took place on September 12. This was a tie-in to Beck’s 9-12 initiative which was designed to bring back the sense of common purpose that we had the day after the 9-11 [...]

  • 46. Ron  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Sounds like Rutherford is afraid of the people becoming self aware and wanting to take America back from the control of the government. It’s OK, Rutherford, the return of self responsibility will make America stronger. The government can’t survive without the people, but people can certainly survive without the government.

  • 47. Rutherford  |  December 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Ron, welcome to the blog. It’s an interesting coincidence that you share your name with the President most associated with your philosophy, Ronald Reagan.

    If I had more faith in the intelligence of the masses, I might agree with you. I’m not there yet. :-)

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