The Urban Archipelago

Tanglebones wrote:

...there is an implication that the actions of the left (vulgarity, intimidation at protest events) are comparably bad - because they affect him and his.

To be fair to the counter-protestors, there wasn't any intimidation indicated in the story. Just vulgarity and showing up to counter-protest.

Tanglebones wrote:

@Bloo - I think there's a false equivalency being created between the worst of the left, re: abortion, and the worst of the right. While jdzappa isn't out there bombing clinics, assassinating doctors, and terrorizing women with images of aborted fetuses, there is an implication that the actions of the left (vulgarity, intimidation at protest events) are comparably bad - because they affect him and his.

Given that jdzappa was pretty detailed about the incidents he was talking about, that's really left up for the reader to infer that he's trying to compare those specific incidents with bombing and physical assault. But, as much as I disagree with his posts about 90% of the time, I'm going to go ahead and note that he was 100% spot on about predicting the reaction to it. The point was to illustrate that people are pretty harsh in the other direction, too, but everyone seems to be very quick to try and just ignore it because it's not as bad.

There will always be extremists. Take religion. I'm agnostic and just want to go my way. But there are atheists out there who want to tear down all religions, brick by brick. Just as there are religious zealots who want to burn me at the stake as a heathen.

To Clover's point, is it more work to try to work with/convert the extremists in the rural areas or would it be better served to push them out through expansion? Unfortunately I don't think the "blue" areas can outbreed them. The good news is that all of this is likely moot over time. The trending indicates that people become more socially liberal over time (at least until new prejudices crop up).

Bloo Driver wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

@Bloo - I think there's a false equivalency being created between the worst of the left, re: abortion, and the worst of the right. While jdzappa isn't out there bombing clinics, assassinating doctors, and terrorizing women with images of aborted fetuses, there is an implication that the actions of the left (vulgarity, intimidation at protest events) are comparably bad - because they affect him and his.

Given that jdzappa was pretty detailed about the incidents he was talking about, that's really left up for the reader to infer that he's trying to compare those specific incidents with bombing and physical assault. But, as much as I disagree with his posts about 90% of the time, I'm going to go ahead and note that he was 100% spot on about predicting the reaction to it. The point was to illustrate that people are pretty harsh in the other direction, too, but everyone seems to be very quick to try and just ignore it because it's not as bad.

Ok, let's talk about it! Lefties counterprotesting are mean. They say mean things in pursuit of a political goal, which has strong emotional resonance with many of them. That's mean. Oftentimes, they say sarcastic, cruel, or hurtful things.

Nevin73 wrote:

To Clover's point, is it more work to try to work with/convert the extremists in the rural areas or would it be better served to push them out through expansion? Unfortunately I don't think the "blue" areas can outbreed them. The good news is that all of this is likely moot over time. The trending indicates that people become more socially liberal over time (at least until new prejudices crop up).

Yeah, I think this is a really interesting point that the article doesn't really get into well enough. Are we wanting to build "blue" strongholds according to general liberal ideas, or according to the specific permissiveness of today? Values and prejudices change generation by generation, so it does kind of stifle the idea of winning in any case. If you asked someone described at liberal in 1910 if two guys should be married, what do you think their answer might be?

The fact that progressive and liberal behavior is generally more and more permissive with each generation (in America, anyway, not as a world history) does really play into the bad arguments about gay marriage leading to animal marriage and so on. Setting up a "better" place in a city isn't really an endzone, it's a constantly moving goal.

Tanglebones wrote:

Ok, let's talk about it! Lefties counterprotesting are mean. They say mean things in pursuit of a political goal, which has strong emotional resonance with many of them. That's mean. Oftentimes, they say sarcastic, cruel, or hurtful things.

And sometimes they set fire to a bus full of pro-life folks. Sometimes off duty cops will assault peaceful pro-life protesters. While I am not going to argue that the "score card" is even down the middle, I will reiterate that the point was not a score keeping measure. There's a certain level of "extremely unacceptable" that both sides reach. It's curious that you're trying to say jdzappa is trying to infer one cancels out the other, when you could just as easily be accused of trying to say since one is worse than the other, the lesser one is alright by comparison.

Bloo Driver wrote:

And sometimes they set fire to a bus full of pro-life folks. Sometimes off duty cops will assault peaceful pro-life protesters. While I am not going to argue that the "score card" is even down the middle, I will reiterate that the point was not a score keeping measure. There's a certain level of "extremely unacceptable" that both sides reach. It's curious that you're trying to say jdzappa is trying to infer one cancels out the other, when you could just as easily be accused of trying to say since one is worse than the other, the lesser one is alright by comparison.

jdzappa's level of "extremely unacceptable" is exercising free speech in a way he doesn't like. I f*cking despise the actions of pro-life counterprotesters that use posters of fetuses, and shout down/intimidate protesters. But it's still free speech. I'm not going to say it's "extremely unacceptable" to exercise it.

And the bus article seems light on actual arson. Is there a follow-up that has any substantiation, rather than just implications?

Doesn't the fact that "the scorecard" isnt down the middle make this a textbook case of false equivolence? If the point is that there are jerks on both sides, then fine. Thats not news to anyone. If the jerk/arson/murder factor strongly leans to one side, can't we just say "yeah, these two things aren't the same"? Doesn't that strike down this modern obsession with both sides being eternally the same?

Tanglebones wrote:

And the bus article seems light on actual arson. Is there a follow-up that has any substantiation, rather than just implications?

What do you mean, light on actual arson? The article and the ones it links to mention in updates that the bus was confirmed by the fire department to be hit with a bottle full of rags and flammable liquid. I've watched enough 80s movies to know what that is. And yeah, I guess people just throw that sort of thing at buses for regionally well-known anti-abortion churches for no particular reason. Happens all the time. Just like folks will bomb abortion clinics because, well, they like bombs. Not because they have any particular stake in the issue.

Tanglebones wrote:

jdzappa's level of "extremely unacceptable" is exercising free speech in a way he doesn't like. I f*cking despise the actions of pro-life counterprotesters that use posters of fetuses, and shout down/intimidate protesters. But it's still free speech. I'm not going to say it's "extremely unacceptable" to exercise it.

You're mixing up things. I'm the one who used that phrase, all jd did was say "those guys make douche moves, too" with his examples about the protesters. He didn't say they should be stopped or disallowed to voice their opinion, and neither did I.

Bloo Driver wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

And the bus article seems light on actual arson. Is there a follow-up that has any substantiation, rather than just implications?

What do you mean, light on actual arson? The article and the ones it links to mention in updates that the bus was confirmed by the fire department to be hit with a bottle full of rags and flammable liquid. I've watched enough 80s movies to know what that is. And yeah, I guess people just throw that sort of thing at buses for regionally well-known anti-abortion churches for no particular reason. Happens all the time. Just like folks will bomb abortion clinics because, well, they like bombs. Not because they have any particular stake in the issue.

Tanglebones wrote:

jdzappa's level of "extremely unacceptable" is exercising free speech in a way he doesn't like. I f*cking despise the actions of pro-life counterprotesters that use posters of fetuses, and shout down/intimidate protesters. But it's still free speech. I'm not going to say it's "extremely unacceptable" to exercise it.

You're mixing up things. I'm the one who used that phrase, all jd did was say "those guys make douche moves, too" with his examples about the protesters. He didn't say they should be stopped or disallowed to voice their opinion, and neither did I.

Sorry - misread the article. Actual arson, noone actually injured, and an assumption of political motivation that isn't substantiated in the article is what I should have said.

Bloo Driver wrote:

And sometimes they set fire to a bus full of pro-life folks.

The bus, owned by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy, was damaged early on Saturday morning. Windows were broken and the bus was set on fire. The Rockford Fire Department is investigating the incident as arson, but there are no witnesses and no suspect at this time.

?

Sometimes off duty cops will assault peaceful pro-life protesters.

According to an article linked to the link

In a 9-minute video Bullis shot of his protest and posted on YouTube, Hixson asks if the camera is rolling, then looks into it and says, “Welcome to our first annual water fight. I hope you brought your camera, and I hope you brought your water pistols, because today you’re going to get wet.” An argument ensues, and Bullis says, “It’s assault if you squirt us.”

Squirting someone with a water pistol, while rude, isn't exactly beating someone up.

bombsfall wrote:

Doesn't the fact that "the scorecard" isnt down the middle make this a textbook case of false equivolence? If the point is that there are jerks on both sides, then fine. Thats not news to anyone. If the jerk/arson/murder factor strongly leans to one side, can't we just say "yeah, these two things aren't the same"? Doesn't that strike down this modern obsession with both sides being eternally the same?

I'm done speaking for him but I'm just going to reiterate that the point was not to dismiss one way or the other. Just highlight that there are other incidents, as well. The point he was making was that the generalization cuts both ways, and it was a poor idea to make those generalizations. Of course, the only proper response to that is to nitpick at how equal those are - which, again, sets the tone of dismissing the lesser problem. Excellent work, everyone!

jdzappa wrote:

2. When I was in uniform in downtown Seattle, I was at times targeted with really nasty looks and behind-the-back comments for no reason I could tell except I was military. There's a very strong anti-military, anti-law enforcement subculture out here, which helps to explain why Washington state has seen a spike in the number of cops being targeted and assassinated.

Versus the rampant fawning the military gets pretty much anywhere else in this country?

I don't know how many times I've been on a flight where the cabin crew announced that there's some soldier on board and everyone is supposed to cheer for them. This isn't wartime Britain. That soldier didn't just single-handedly wipe out a terrorist cell. In fact, his actions--hell, his mere presence--as an occupier likely inspired the next generation of fighters who will try to kill more Americans.

After learning that nearly 9 out of 10 soldiers believed their mission in Iraq was to "retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks" and nearly 8 out of 10 thought they were there to stop Saddam protecting al Qaeda in Iraq" I've taken a rather dim view on the military and the caliber of people it attracts. And that was before they started to let in high school drop outs, drug users, and criminals to make their recruitment numbers.

On top of that all, it's very likely that the kid in uniform is very likely there because of financial incentives, not some sense of patriotism or duty.

Or perhaps it's just the fact that, according to surveys of troops, they are overwhelmingly conservative and, until very recently, some 60% self-identified as Republicans. That's compared with the low teens percentage of soldiers who identify themselves as Democrats.

And all of that is before the massive financial drain the military and its little wars put on everyone in this country.

As far as your accusation that Washington state cops are being targeted and assassinated, you really need to provide support for your claim. Google says there's only been single killing of a cop in Washington this year and that was by meth user with a long history of violent crime and dozens of arrests on his rap sheet. That doesn't sound much like a lefty.

jdzappa wrote:

3. My wife's family is heavily involved in the pro-life movement, but they are always peaceful and respectful of the other side. Meanwhile, during the annual March for Life at the state Capital, the counter-protesters show up with signs accusing all Catholics of being child molesters or saying nasty stuff like "keep your hand out of my c@#t." Yeah, it's great having to explain to your 10-year-old what see you next Tuesday means. The best part? Those college kids get academic credit from Evergreen College (a public university) for being total a-hats.

Do you honestly expect that protests or marches about one of the most divisive topics in the country are going to be completely calm and respectful, let alone a great place to bring your child?

And you're also forgetting that while your particular group of pro-lifers might be peaceful and respectful, the anti-abortion movement as a whole has not, unless you consider clinic bombings, the murder of doctors, and causing women untold psychological trauma peaceful and respectful.

As for your dig about Evergreen College, the only bit of information I could find about that was a quote from the head of the Washington State March for Life in an article on rabidly anti-abortion "news" web site. Of course, the only course I could find on Evergreen College's web site was one about Howard Zinn, a historian that conservatives love to hate because he presents our history without waving the big foam "We're #1" hand, that mentioned nothing about getting credit for protesting. And even if it was true, I really doubt the college told the students which side of the protest they had to be on to get credit.

Of course, if you really were upset about your tax dollars going to universities who push partisan politics, you'd be up in arms about places like Liberty University or Oral Roberts University who use tax dollars to churn out Christian zealots with dubious law degrees who, thanks to conservative support, get fast tracked into government positions well beyond their capabilities.

Saying "I'll get accused of false equivalency" and then engaging in false equivalency is hardly being prescient.

jdzappa wrote:

the Stranger...basically stated "f#$k the South"

I have to be honest and say that's been a personal belief of mine for some time. Certain individuals excepted, of course.

@Bloo - I think there's a false equivalency being created between the worst of the left, re: abortion, and the worst of the right. While jdzappa isn't out there bombing clinics, assassinating doctors, and terrorizing women with images of aborted fetuses, there is an implication that the actions of the left (vulgarity, intimidation at protest events) are comparably bad - because they affect him and his.

@ Tanglebones - just to clarify, I recognize that there have been anti-abortion extremists who have stepped over every moral and legal bound. Those guys are equally condemned by most people in the movement. I was just pointing out that in this particular situation, the pro-life crowd was completely respectful and civil in their protests.

My talk about violence was mostly aimed at the Northwest anarchists who have done a lot of damage to businesses, scientific research labs and conservative churches. Sure, it's mostly attacks against property - for now. These kind of things can quickly escalate though, especially when you're attacking businesses in broad daylight.

Getting back to the Stranger, I'm well aware that the Stranger writes provocative stuff to get a rise out of people. After all, in another article they basically stated "f#$k the South" and condemned everyone in an entire region. The truth of the matter is most conservatives are decent, non-hating people just like most liberals are. I think the average conservative is demonized for the actions of a few idiots.

@ OG_Slinger - Really I'm not sure what to say. Most of the military men I know have done things in the service of their country that civilians who hate and dismiss them as losers could never even contemplate, much less do. It's still an honorable profession in my eyes, and the average trooper out there on the front lines does everything they can to help the local civilians. The one thing that anti-military haters don't realize is you don't have a choice when you go to war. Both Bush AND Obama have ordered our troops into dubious situations for political gain. But if you're ok with the military ignoring such orders, then you're ok with no civilian control of the military.

jdzappa wrote:

Getting back to the Stranger,

Thank you. While I do blame you for baiting people into a wholly unrelated and galactically redundant "one side is/isn't as bad as the other" debate, I don't blame you for the dreadfully predictable reaction that followed will inevitably continue for pages.

I'm well aware that the Stranger writes provocative stuff to get a rise out of people. After all, in another article they basically stated "f#$k the South" and condemned everyone in an entire region. The truth of the matter is most conservatives are decent, non-hating people just like most liberals are. I think the average conservative is demonized for the actions of a few idiots.

That may be true, but again, this isn't what the article is about. As decent and non hating as conservatives may be, the Stranger points out that even the nicest conservatives hold values antithetical to Progressives'. Specifically, views on women's equality, gun ownership, labor, and environmental protection.

So yeah, as clover pointed out, it's a little tough to digest an article where the main point is "f*ck those nice, decent people in rural areas, our culture will triumph," it's not wrong.

jdzappa wrote:

The one thing that anti-military haters don't realize is you don't have a choice when you go to war. Both Bush AND Obama have ordered our troops into dubious situations for political gain. But if you're ok with the military ignoring such orders, then you're ok with no civilian control of the military.

I'm not sure that lack of choice can be said to apply to anyone who has signed up since we invaded Iraq.

OG_slinger wrote:

As far as your accusation that Washington state cops are being targeted and assassinated, you really need to provide support for your claim. Google says there's only been single killing of a cop in Washington this year and that was by meth user with a long history of violent crime and dozens of arrests on his rap sheet. That doesn't sound much like a lefty.

Already mentioned this--he wasn't talking about state cops, but the four Seattle cops who were targeted and killed in 2009. I don't think it's accurate to call it an assassination, as the guy who did it was completely bonkers, and basically a career criminal out on parole from Arkansas, and it doesn't help explain anything or what it has to do with Washington State as a whole. So yeah it's a Swiss cheese argument at best.

jdzappa wrote:

@ OG_Slinger - Really I'm not sure what to say. Most of the military men I know have done things in the service of their country that civilians who hate and dismiss them as losers could never even contemplate, much less do. It's still an honorable profession in my eyes, and the average trooper out there on the front lines does everything they can to help the local civilians. The one thing that anti-military haters don't realize is you don't have a choice when you go to war. Both Bush AND Obama have ordered our troops into dubious situations for political gain. But if you're ok with the military ignoring such orders, then you're ok with no civilian control of the military.

I'll admit I'm torn on whether to support or condemn the troops that, as you pointed out, are only doing the task they've been ordered to do.

I was exceptionally disappointed in the military brass for not protesting the invasion of Iraq. Not as in committing mutiny, but as in resigning en mass to protest a dubious invasion plan that they knew would put more American lives in danger and endanger the success of the entire operation. General Shinseki was right and yet he was left out to dry by his fellow officers. As a result, the military knowingly invaded without enough troops to secure the peace, meaning that everything that happened in the chaos after the invasion hangs on their head.

As for the average trooper, I can sympathize with the folks that were in the military at the time of 9/11 because they had no real choice in the matter. However, I can't feel the same way about someone who's joined the military in recent years because they had full knowledge of what they were getting into and that they weren't really fighting terrorism or protecting Americans. And if they honestly thought so, it just shows how ignorant they are of what's actually happening. Once they join they kind of become part of the problem because, as you pointed out, they have to obey orders.

No matter what the people on the front lines might think, they really aren't helping civilians. Every kind gesture they may do, every school or soccer field they build is countered by their own actions, such as killing civilians who don't stop at checkpoints, bombs or shells that go astray, kicking down doors in the middle of the night to arrest a family member for the crime of not wanting an occupying force in their country, and more. Heck, just by talking to civilians our troops are turning them into targets for retaliation. And all of that is before you get to the all the inexcusably evil things some members of the military have done, such as rape and murder.

And on the political level, its our national obsession of "winning" and all things military has prevented a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Frank political discussions about the lack of actual achievable objectives and the desire to bring the troops home were shut down by claims of Republican hawks that to do so would be equivalent to "surrendering to terrorists," cause us to "lose the War on Terror," or, perversely, dishonor the soldiers who had died in action as if the only way to honor a fallen solider was to make sure that more of his buddies were put in a position where they could be killed or wounded.

jdzappa wrote:

My talk about violence was mostly aimed at the Northwest anarchists who have done a lot of damage to businesses, scientific research labs and conservative churches. Sure, it's mostly attacks against property - for now. These kind of things can quickly escalate though, especially when you're attacking businesses in broad daylight.

The problem is that you said exactly not that.

There's a very strong anti-military, anti-law enforcement subculture out here, which helps to explain why Washington state has seen a spike in the number of cops being targeted and assassinated.

You made an exceptional, intentional claim, and are running away from it full-speed when fact-checked. The verbal harassment sucks, but that isn't in the same hemisphere as an on-going assassination spree.

jdzappa wrote:

Getting back to the Stranger, I'm well aware that the Stranger writes provocative stuff to get a rise out of people. After all, in another article they basically stated "f#$k the South" and condemned everyone in an entire region. The truth of the matter is most conservatives are decent, non-hating people just like most liberals are. I think the average conservative is demonized for the actions of a few idiots.

As I read it, pointless name-calling and genital-waving aside, I would think that ceding what political control of rural areas the Democrats have would be seen as a positive by Republicans. The idea seems to be to allow conservative governance sink or swim on its own, without interference from liberal government programs. Liberals would essentially do the same thing with more urban areas. The author clearly believes that liberal policies will succeed and conservative ones will fail, this is the opportunity to test out which side is right.

jdzappa wrote:

My talk about violence was mostly aimed at the Northwest anarchists who have done a lot of damage to businesses, scientific research labs and conservative churches. Sure, it's mostly attacks against property - for now. These kind of things can quickly escalate though, especially when you're attacking businesses in broad daylight.

After thinking about this for a bit, I'm going to have to ask for some examples.

As for the "Northwest anarchists" I'm assuming that you mean groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. Those groups have done property damage to businesses and labs. And the likelihood of things escalating quickly to the injury and death of people (which is what I assume you meant) is not very great considering that those groups have been operating for more than 25 years and yet they've never actually killed anyone.

For the vandalism of conservative churches, the only example I could find that matched your description was an incidence back in April where several windows at the Mars Hill Church were broken and the church claimed it had been done by a "gay rights group."

Of course the only evidence for that was that someone sent an anonymous email to a local news station in which they referred to the people who broke the windows as "angry queers."

The last I checked, one incident (and an incident that hasn't officially been linked to what you might consider "hardcore leftists") isn't a pattern.

Now take a look at what conservative groups have done.

We know that anti-abortion forces have a long and much celebrated track record of damaging property through arson and bombs. More importantly, though, they have escalated things.

They killed eight people, tried to kill 17 more, kidnapped three people, assaulted 153, and made nearly 400 death threats. And they did all of those things in about the same period of time those "Northwest anarchist" groups have been active.

The same can be said for conservative militias and groups. The worst incident of domestic terrorism on record, the Oklahoma City Bombing, was committed by people who, for all intents and purposes, were conservatives. In fact, they share so many beliefs with mainstream conservatives that it's really hard to tell the difference between the two, especially today with groups like the Tea Party, who talk freely about watering the tree of liberty with blood.

The conservative record of vandalizing churches isn't much better, especially if it involved a black church. While no one likely knows how many black churches were burned by conservatives in the 50s and 60s, it's not like they've stopped since then. The last wave was in the mid-90s when dozens of black churches were burned. Some idiot in Massachusetts even burned a black church because he was pissed that Obama was elected President.

All of those burning and vandalism is a pattern and it's one that also extends to the storm of protests, vandalism, arson, and even death threats that went with the proposed mosque near the site of the World Trade Center in New York as well as mosques throughout Tennessee and Michigan.

So, given all of this, I really have to wonder why you seem so ready to assume the worst of what "hardcore leftists" might do while overlooking or excusing what conservatives groups have actually done.

The $64,000 question, of course, is why is there such a difference in the willingness to commit violence between the two groups and what does that say about them?

Seth wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

I'm well aware that the Stranger writes provocative stuff to get a rise out of people. After all, in another article they basically stated "f#$k the South" and condemned everyone in an entire region. The truth of the matter is most conservatives are decent, non-hating people just like most liberals are. I think the average conservative is demonized for the actions of a few idiots.

That may be true, but again, this isn't what the article is about. As decent and non hating as conservatives may be, the Stranger points out that even the nicest conservatives hold values antithetical to Progressives'. Specifically, views on women's equality, gun ownership, labor, and environmental protection.

So yeah, as clover pointed out, it's a little tough to digest an article where the main point is "f*ck those nice, decent people in rural areas, our culture will triumph," it's not wrong.

And that's the heart of the article, I think: the only 'condemning' beyond words being advocated for is to stop the liberal intranational intervention. Paleo likes to bring up the Realist school of foreign policy, and I can see some parallels here. The fact is, no matter how nice and decent those conservatives in rural areas are, they're screwing up our government. Maybe the reason they are pushing their agenda on the national stage is because they feel threatened by the 'national' government. They keep asking for States Rights, so maybe just give it to them, and they'll leave our Cities and our Blue States alone.

The other point I thought the article was trying to make was that doing so doesn't mean giving up on progressive causes--that in fact, a more effective strategy than the current direct political and ideological confrontation would be a strategy based around economic attrition.

You made an exceptional, intentional claim, and are running away from it full-speed when fact-checked.

Sorry hadn't had chance to respond. The Lakewood shooting of the four officers was just one of a series of targeted cop shootings that happened around the same time, prompting an all-out call for new laws:

http://www.examiner.com/article/wash...

I should have specified that I consider this a major spike in the number of cop shootings. And it's not just a state problem but a regional problem. Officer murders is up, despite the overall violent crime rate being down. Furthermore, the number of ambushes on officers is way up. Police officials are calling some of these ambushes straight out assassinations. I'll also further clarify that I'm not blaming one political side or the other for this, just decrying the breakdown of the social fabric.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/us...

http://www.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedit...

We know that anti-abortion forces have a long and much celebrated track record of damaging property through arson and bombs. More importantly, though, they have escalated things.

They killed eight people, tried to kill 17 more, kidnapped three people, assaulted 153, and made nearly 400 death threats.

Seth already called me to task for getting into a tit-for-tat spat, and he's right. I just had to respond to this comment which seems to imply that the majority of pro lifers support violent extremism. All of those horrible incidents were the work of sociopathic individuals acting on their own initiative, without any sort of backing or support from the millions of non-violent protesters. This isn't a situation like Islamic extremism, where wealthy patrons and government sympathizers actively support terrorist cells, and where those terrorists are seen as heroes among many of the populace.

BTW, according to Gallup polls, a majority of Americans feel like me - they want to keep abortion legal but still see it as overall a moral wrong, except in cases of saving the mother or rape/incest. That's hundreds of millions of people who oppose abortion on demand yet do so respectfully, which really highlights how much of a fringe element the crazies really are.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147734/am...

jdzappa wrote:

All of those horrible incidents were the work of sociopathic individuals acting on their own initiative, without any sort of backing or support from the millions of non-violent protesters.

Bull.

jdzappa wrote:

Sorry hadn't had chance to respond. The Lakewood shooting of the four officers was just one of a series of targeted cop shootings that happened around the same time, prompting an all-out call for new laws:

http://www.examiner.com/article/wash...

I should have specified that I consider this a major spike in the number of cop shootings. And it's not just a state problem but a regional problem. Officer murders is up, despite the overall violent crime rate being down. Furthermore, the number of ambushes on officers is way up. Police officials are calling some of these ambushes straight out assassinations. I'll also further clarify that I'm not blaming one political side or the other for this, just decrying the breakdown of the social fabric.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/us...

http://www.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedit...

Except there's two problems with this:

1) You first explicitly tried to link the officer deaths to politics in your area when you said this:

jdzappa wrote:

There's a very strong anti-military, anti-law enforcement subculture out here, which helps to explain why Washington state has seen a spike in the number of cops being targeted and assassinated.

It's exceptionally clear from your statement that you believed folks on the left--"hardcore leftists" and "Northwest anarchists" to use your own words--were responsible for those killings when that was absolutely untrue and simply a figment of your imagination.

What you weren't trying to do is talk about a national trend of increased violence towards police. That's something you just Googled to obscure your original statement and deflect it to a larger regional or national issue.

Except that's not true either.

According to the FBI there were only 10 police deaths in the entire West in 2011. That's tied with the Northeast. The South, however, racked up 29 police deaths and the Midwest had 21.

If you were to look at those numbers and compare it to a Red/Blue political map, a reasonable conclusion you could draw was that conservative red states like to kill cops. That is also completely at odds with your original statement.

That leads me to the second problem.

2) There is no breakdown of the social fabric. Yes, officer deaths have increased, but only to a four-year high.

If you actually look at the long-term data, you'll see that the number of LEO deaths today are about the same level as they were in the 1960s.

1950s: average of 117 deaths
1960s: average of 156 deaths
1970s: average of 230 deaths
1980s: average of 190 deaths
1990s: average of 161 deaths
2000s: average of 164 deaths

Once you factor in population, however, a different trend emerges:

1950s: 0.0710 LEO deaths per 100,000 population
1960s: 0.0810 LEO deaths per 100,000 population
1970s: 0.1070 LEO deaths per 100,000 population
1980s: 0.0802 LEO deaths per 100,000 population
1990s: 0.0616 LEO deaths per 100,000 population
2000s: 0.0556 LEO deaths per 100,000 population

That's right. There's been a 30 year trend of fewer LEO deaths (even through the violence of the crack epidemic in the 90s) and the last decade has been the safest in 60 years.

The sky isn't falling. Society isn't collapsing. Criminal gangs of hardcore leftists aren't running around the streets ambushing and executing cops.

The data contradicts your belief that the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

jdzappa wrote:

Seth already called me to task for getting into a tit-for-tat spat, and he's right. I just had to respond to this comment which seems to imply that the majority of pro lifers support violent extremism. All of those horrible incidents were the work of sociopathic individuals acting on their own initiative, without any sort of backing or support from the millions of non-violent protesters. This isn't a situation like Islamic extremism, where wealthy patrons and government sympathizers actively support terrorist cells, and where those terrorists are seen as heroes among many of the populace.

BTW, according to Gallup polls, a majority of Americans feel like me - they want to keep abortion legal but still see it as overall a moral wrong, except in cases of saving the mother or rape/incest. That's hundreds of millions of people who oppose abortion on demand yet do so respectfully, which really highlights how much of a fringe element the crazies really are.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147734/am...

Except I never stated or implied that a majority of anti-abortionist supported violent extremism. I merely pointed out that people who were against choice were way more violent than the "Northwest anarchists" and "hardcore leftists" you mentioned.

And, no, you don't get to wave away all those acts of violence by claiming they were the independent acts of sociopathic individuals (unless, of course, you want to explain why the anti-abortion movement has attracted so many mentally disturbed people).

In addition to the numbers I cited before, followers of the anti-abortion movement has been responsible for nearly 6,500 acts of violence against abortion providers since 1977. There's been 15,000 incidents of hate mail or harassing phone calls. There's been 400+ threatening emails. There's been 650 bomb threats and 170 fake bombs.

At what point does the sheer number of incidents of harassment of and violence towards abortion providers become a trend instead of the independent acts of what must be thousand and thousands of sociopaths? At what point does the anti-abortion movement as a whole take responsibility for the actions of the people that it winds up with it's rhetoric?

Since you mentioned Islamic extremism, I just have to point out the simple fact that if it were Muslims who were throwing up those number of violent incidents and threats against abortion providers instead of Christians, the anti-abortion movement would have been branded a terrorist organization long ago.

As for the poll, you forgot to point out that there's a rather large difference between saying you're against abortion when asked and actually going out march at a rally or protest your local Planned Parenthood.

Once you do either of those things, you've become an outlier.

The largest anti-abortion group, the National Right to Life Committee, only boasts a membership of a few hundred thousand people. That's a tiny, tiny percentage of 100 or so million Americans who say they're against abortions when asked by a pollster.

Their members aren't the mainstream in the debate over abortion. They are the fringe element.

jdzappa wrote:

BTW, according to Gallup polls, a majority of Americans feel like me - they want to keep abortion legal but still see it as overall a moral wrong, except in cases of saving the mother or rape/incest. That's hundreds of millions of people who oppose abortion on demand yet do so respectfully, which really highlights how much of a fringe element the crazies really are.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147734/am...

Or they're more like me or my wife or most pro-choice people I've ever met - they would probably never have an abortion but want it to be legal. The majority of Americans don't want an abortion but want it to be legal and readily available. To quote a recent article, the only good abortion is my abortion.

Has anyone, ever, in the history of such things, ever put forward a "Rock on, Abortions Rule! Abortions are the best! Everyone should get one!" line of rhetoric or reasoning? Any pro-choice person I've ever met, myself included, felt as bombsfall outlines above.

Frau Totenkinder does. Abortions fuel her power.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Has anyone, ever, in the history of such things, ever put forward a "Rock on, Abortions Rule! Abortions are the best! Everyone should get one!" line of rhetoric or reasoning? Any pro-choice person I've ever met, myself included, felt as bombsfall outlines above.

I believe Señor Hombre de Paja has made this argument on more than one occasion.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Has anyone, ever, in the history of such things

Enthusiastic endorsements of abortion are inversely proportional to the availability of abortions. As time has gone by and the availability of abortion is more of a normalized issue among younger people, those who are pro-choice feel less like they have to champion it.

It's like if you asked a bunch of people if they are going to vote, a bunch might say I don't know or no. If you asked a bunch of people if they should have the right to vote? Another story.