Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick Hits: August 18, 2009

* Who would have thought that 90% of all bills would have traces of cocaine on them? I never would have thought it. Granted, it can happen in a lot of ways, but it seems like maybe drug problems are more sizable than we want to admit. Given that cocaine is considered a white, upper middle class drug, is it any surprise that it is the overlooked drug problem in America? I guess the sniffing dogs are suffering the consequences now.

* Can anyone else see how these "open carrying" "protestors" could escalate to something else far worse? It seems to me that it is more of an intimidation tactic than anything else, trying to keep liberals from counter-protesting or challenging them. But what happens when the left starts showing up with open guns? Is the right trying to provoke a civil war over President Obama? Or do they just think the war metaphors they are using are just good rallying cries and are just ignorant of its implications?

* I am starting to believe the health care debate isn't about health care at all. The right isn't even engaging in a debate per se as much as a line of constant distortion. I am starting to think it is all about "taking down Obama" and not in a good way, which is greatly concerning to me. I think the radical racial and anti-government elements are taking over in a way that it wouldn't surprise me to see an attempt on the President's life this year. I pray not, but look at where the anti-Obama hate rhetoric is coming from: the South and the Plains states; the place where race and anti-government militias thrive. And that worries me because of the potential for things to spiral out of control, if they haven't already. Let's pray cooler heads prevail.

* If you aren't working to cut your costs, to limit your credit cards, and to build up your savings, through smart investments in your home, car, etc., then you aren't learning from the recession. Look for tax credits and rebates for things like waterless water heaters, solar panels for your home, and more that will cut your costs in the long run. The economy needs consumer spending but it needs to be smart consumer spending, not spending for the sake of spending. Make your dollars more efficient.

* More and more, I am becoming shocked by the number of people who can't follow basic directions. I went to send money the other day and a person couldn't figure out a basic moneygram form. It was pretty complex, being labeled and all. People simply don't want to take the time to read directions anymore. I guess that puts me as a good hire for a new job because I can actually read a set of directions and follow them. That's pretty sad if that is a key criteria for being hired instead of just an expectation of the entire workforce.

* Today, I emailed and wrote letters to my Congressman and Senators on Health Care, worked on a presentation for Wednesday night, and prepared for my vacation in seven days. What actions did you take to make the world or your life more like you want? We must act each and every day to make the world and our lives the way we want it. What will you do today? What will you do tomorrow? Design your life, and then take an action.

Tonight: Relationship Rule #2

7 comments:

william said...

Tony,

Why are you so afraid of people exercising their rights? If people have the right to open carry then what is your fear? It is fact that states with open carry and/or shall issue concealed carry permit policies have lower violent crime rates than states that prohibit such liberties? And why does free speech scare you? Have there been credible threats against the president? To me this sounds like you are trying to instill fear in people. I appreciate your views, even though we frequently disagree, keep up the good work.

Tony K. said...

I normally don't comment on posts, I prefer to let people talk. But let me explain, my commentary is based on a few things:

1) Carrying semi-automatic weapons to a presidential event is incredibly uncommon in recent history, much less to have it done not just once, but twice during the same presidency and all in the first 7 months is a major sign. This isn't about rights at all, it is about what is expected and what the changes signal.

2) I frequent a ton of political boards. Not all of them do I discuss issues with my views, some I do so with other views because it allows me to understand other views better. The numbers who say things that are very... threatening are shocking. The signs at some of these rallies are also threatening, not simply with political views but also racial views that are threatening. I believe the Monitor article actually even quoted one which wished death upon not just the President but his whole family.

Now, if you want to minimize that, that is your choice. I choose to try to speculate about possibilities that the symbolically constructed realities offer us based on their entelechial trajectories.

That is one thing I do. Maybe the question you might ask yourself is why there is a sudden need to bring weapons to a political event that didn't exist over say the last 50 years of politics? What is different now? And why now? What is the outcome desired by doing it?

Maybe that will help you understand my commentary. Is there a flaw in my argument or do you simply wish to divert from it? You act like I am trying to scare people, but you don't explain any flaw in the argument. Hmmmm.

william said...

The flaw in your argument is the assumption that being armed equates to intimidation or will escalate to violence. Some states actually believe you have the right to defend yourself and allow law abiding citizens to be armed for that purpose. My guess is the people that were armed are armed on a daily basis. The notion that these people will suddenly start shooting each other is ridiculous and is contrary to all data with regard to armed, law abiding, citizens. I seem to remember a great deal of hatred directed toward Bush. Did it make you think there would be an attempt on his life? When the burned him in effigy? When they rioted at the GOP convention? When they destroyed businesses and properties? Or were those events just people exercising their rights? Or are you only concerned when people are peacefully exercising their rights to disagree with Obama? Just curious.

Tony K. said...

First, what you miss is that there are patterns of behavior that create somewhat predictable outcomes (with some deviation). For example, at conventions, there is a history of protesting that did not actually create violence against the political figures but rather worked to create a political spectacle (to borrow Murray Edelman's phrase).

Now, if we follow that same line of logic, then the showing up around a President with a gun has a certain historic outcome. I don't recall, and apparently you didn't point out any situations whereby guns have historic similarities to those "riots" or protests to create the logical trajectory you are trying to create.

Second, you never have explained why guns at events now, and not in the last say 50 years. What makes this time unique? What is the purpose of wearing them now? They didn't bring them to Kerry campaign events. They didn't bring them to Bush events. They didn't bring them to Clinton or Bush 41 events. So why now? While you try to deconstruct my argument, you fail to create a plausible counterargument. No one disputes those rights nor that they have been around for centuries, yet there is not a history of wearing them in the open at Presidential events in recent history is there?

Additionally, this is a town hall on the topic of health care. I am not sure how bringing a gun and wearing it in the open becomes relevant at the event, especially when Obama has not made any attempt at taking away gun rights.

Given that gun rights are not on the agenda, it makes no sense to bring it, especially given the history of not bringing guns and guns in the open to political events. That leaves other motives up for grabs and given the signs referencing harm to the Obama family, not simply the President (something Laura, and the Bush kids never faced), intimidation and attempts at harm become the logical conclusion.

That doesn't count the online conversations I reference.

william said...

I disagree that people being armed at events like this is new. I think the media making it news it what is new. These same people go to their city council meetings armed. They go to the bank armed. They go to the grocery store armed. Now if the media ran a story tomorrow about people showing up at the local grocer armed you would assume that this is a new phenomenon when, in fact, it is not. During the Mccain campaign there was an event in KY, the secret service would not allow people to be armed at the event. Mccain himself had no issue with law abiding concealed carry permit holders being armed at his event but it was prohibited inside. Outside people were allowed and did, in fact, continue to be armed. So I don't agree that this is something that has only occurred since Obama was elected. It only seems new to you because the media is reporting it as a news story.

Gun rights, like abortion, are always on the agenda. Obama has made no secret that he does not support private ownership of handguns. There are alot of people in this country that believe he will try to curtail the rights of private citizens to own arms. It is happening now in CA with restrictions on ammunition purchases and controlling who can sell ammunition as well as finger printing requirements to purchase ammunition. This is an effort to abrogate the state and federal constitution. Oh yes, gun rights are definitely on the agenda.

Tony K. said...

First, it is interesting that in the GW years, even having a sign that said something unfavorable forced people to either face arrest or be moved to a "free speech area" often half a mile away from the event, but an open gun is something the right must fight for. Interesting to see where the priority lays.

Second, the statement strains credibility to act as if it has been going on for decades. During the Bush years to imagine a protester, much less one with a gun would be let anywhere near the event is just not true. It would have been all over the news, if no where else, it would have been on Fox and Rush. Yet, it wasn't. This is a relatively new behavior in modern America. Heck, a guy had a gun legally in a public place that happened to be near where LBJ was going inthe 60s, not even his event, and the secret service was all over him and it was all over the media. So this isn't a black thing, it isn't a new thing for media to cover, it is the reality that where the president is at, guns are not brought for protests.

Third, carrying a concealed weapon is different than carrying an assault weapon openly. Concealed is not to make a political statement, it is not to intimidate because no one sees it. To have it openly is not for defense but more likely to intimidate because of the message it sends.

Additionally, there is no reference in the first 10 pages of a google search to the KY claim you make searching "guns at political events" or "history of guns at political events."

Finally, President Obama hasn't done anything in California on gun rights, that is a state issue being approved by a Republican Governor. President Obama has supported gun rights but also has indicated that there may be some smart limits, for example, rocket launchers really don't fall under the 2nd, but hunting rifles clearly do under Obama's previous statements. But given that this was a health care rally, the gun serves no purpose other than to create a political spectacle of intimidation.

william said...

Here you go Tony.

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/stories/whas11_local_080515_nra.10380f6af.html

I also found a story that indicates the white house does not have a problem with people exercising their right to openly carry. At least not yet. You can read the story here.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/19/politics/washingtonpost/main5253131.shtml

The only violence I have seen so far has been SEIU members beating down a black conservative man passing out buttons and using racial slurs against him. Perhaps the peaceful protesters are armed to protect themselves from those on the left?

With all that said, I think you and will respectfully disagree on this. I really do enjoy your blog, it is thought provoking and your positions, although I disagree with many of them, are well thought out.