October 10, 2004

Yard Signs and Vandalism

My wife asked if it would be okay with me if she put up a John Kerry For President sign in front of our house. Of course, I said. Why should I have a problem with that? She lives here and she’s voting for Kerry.

I told her we ought to put up two yard signs, one for Bush and one for Kerry. It would have been the only way to reflect my position on the presidential race, let alone hers. (This was when I was still undecided.) It’s still kinda sorta true even now that I’ve settled on Bush. I plan to vote a split ticket this year. The Republicans get my White House vote and the Democrats get the rest.

Then she said something that didn’t surprise me one bit: “Whatever we do, we should not put a Bush/Cheney sign out there by itself.”

I didn’t have to ask her why she thought that. We both live in the same neighborhood and we both have eyes. There are no Bush/Cheney signs on anyone’s lawn. Every single last sign is for Kerry. And there is plenty of vandalism and graffitti around. Our corner grocery store had an American flag spray-painted on it. The 50 stars were replaced with a Nazi swastika. The New York Times newspaper box on the corner has “Lies” spray-painted across the front of it. Handbills from the neo-Stalinist International ANSWER have been stapled to telephone polls for years. I saw a poster a few hours ago accusing the United States of genocide. Someone set up an “Impeach Bush” headquarters just down the street. They hung a poster in the window that declares the president is a terrorist. Someone threw a molotov cocktail at a Starbucks.

Don’t get the wrong idea. There is only one neighborhood in the entire city where I would rather live. (That would be NW 23rd, for those of you who know Portland.) My own neighborhood is great. It has everything I want: new and used bookstores, coffeehouses, nice restaurants, microbrew pubs, movie theaters, corner groceries, the whole urban works. Our neighbors are friendly decent people. The staff at the local hangouts know my name and what my “usual” is. But there are just enough jerks around (anarchists, mostly) who think this is Berkeley.

We made the right call when we decided putting a Bush/Cheney sign in the yard would only be asking for trouble. Just now I turned on the local news and saw that the more-conservative neighborhood next to mine (we’re talking a distance of six blocks away) was vandalized last night. Those who put a Bush/Cheney sign in their yard woke up and saw “Fuck Bush” spray-painted in huge white letters on the sides of their cars.

Portland isn't the only place where this sort of thing is happening. Someone in Madison, Wisconsin had an 8-foot by 8-foot swastika burned into his lawn next to his Bush/Cheney sign. Someone fired shots at a Bush campaign office in Tennessee.

Roger L. Simon has been writing recently about “secret” Bush supporters. Moxie wrote about her experience coming out of the conservative “closet” in Los Angeles.

What a contemptible election season this is. People who live in a democracy aren’t supposed to be afraid of announcing who they will vote for. Radical leftists aren't the only jerks in the country. Maybe the same sort of thing happens to liberals in conservative cities like Dallas. I don’t know. If so, I haven’t heard about it.

UPDATE: I figured this was going on somewhere. A Democratic Party office in Louisiana was vandalized and torched - twice. Also, an anti-Bush protestor was kicked by a delegate at the Republican National Convention. Nice election we got here.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 10, 2004 10:02 PM
Comments

And you are going to vote for him after your post below on the Second Debate?
Amazing.

Posted by: David Sucher at October 10, 2004 10:10 PM

David,

What about my post below makes you think I should be a Kerry supporter?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 10, 2004 10:15 PM

David,

Cool urban stuff on your blog, by the way.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 10, 2004 10:19 PM

Michael,

This is exactly how the fascism starts. Not thru the Patriot Act but thru a thuggish intimidation.

And now people are affraid to put pro-Bush car bumper stickers, to put the pro-Bush lawn signs on their property, express their pro-Bush opinions amongst their friends and/or professional contacts. And they rationalize exactly like you.

Long live the left wing of the Democratic party and their ilk.

Posted by: marek at October 10, 2004 10:22 PM

Handbills from the neo-Stalinist International ANSWER have been stapled to telephone polls for years. I saw poster a few hours ago accusing the United States of genocide.

The single biggest reason I am voting for Bush is because of the enemies that he's chosen; and who've chosen him.

Those who put a Bush/Cheney sign in their yard woke up and saw “Fuck Bush” spray-painted in huge white letters on the sides of their cars.

Before the Iraq invasion, I was ambivalent about Bush. I didn't even vote for him; But the hatred streaming from the anti-Bush camp since he got elected, and since the Iraq invasion, has driven me and perhaps millions of people into his camp. If only these gentle happy people knew how detrimental to their cause their hatred really is.

I now find the Left, these gentle happy people, these compassionate people of deep understanding, to be DESPICABLE, and that's not something I would have thought or said even 3 years ago.

Posted by: David at October 10, 2004 10:22 PM

This is turning into the nastiest election I think I have ever seen. I went to the republican headquarters and picked up a yard sign and bumper sticker about 10 days ago. They are still in my car because I'm almost afraid to put that sign in the yard.

Why are the democrats getting so violent this year and why isn't Kerry addressing it and asking for it to stop?

I have heard these stories over and over and it is always the democrats attacking the republicans.

Posted by: Cathy at October 10, 2004 10:23 PM

ps. I haven't put a Bush/Cheney sticker on my car because I don't trust the peace loving Libs not to vandalize my car; I can't afford free speech it seems.

Posted by: David at October 10, 2004 10:25 PM

"Maybe the same sort of thing happens to liberals in conservative cities like Dallas. I don’t know. If so, I haven’t heard about it."

It has happened. But the incident rate appears to be 1-10 or so. Maybe even less than that.

I believe Dean Esmay had a post up about it.

This kind of suppression of dissent ironically echoes the brownshirt tactics of the people that Bush supporters are accused of being. Its a mad, mad world.

I wonder how bad the riots will be if Bush wins.

Posted by: FH at October 10, 2004 10:34 PM

Definitely the nastiest election I have ever seen. I'm in a deep red state, so I dont see all this stuff this first hand. All the peace rallies I go to hoping to see the outrageous crap I see on C-Span? I come away disappointed. The most firey sign I see is something like "Bush and Rumsfeld are out of control!"

Personally, the worst I've gotten is a friend saying "You're a smart guy, why are you a conservative?" As if intelligence and conservative opnion is somehow mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Moonbat_One at October 10, 2004 10:46 PM

MT,

Put the Bush sign up and let people know, or see, that you own a shotgun (if you do, if you don't well...I like the Mossberg .20). That oughta deter the vandals.

Posted by: spc67 at October 10, 2004 11:14 PM

I have just about made up my mind to get a Bush/Cheney sign for my front yard.

I work second shift so I am home and awake from about 1 AM until about dawn, my landlord lives next door and has been working on the outside of my house during the day and he is one of us. ;-)

Actually what I really want is a sign I saw sometime back but can't recall which site.

It said "Vote like the lives of your children depend on the outcome. They do!"

Anyone know who has that one for purchase?

Posted by: Daniel Kauffman at October 10, 2004 11:22 PM

Moonbat,

I'm in Ohio which is a "Must Win" state for both Bush and Kerry. It has become their battleground. Every day it seems one or the other of them is within an hours drive of my home and things are heating up. I find it very uncomfortable.

A few weeks ago a soldier, PFC Foster Barton, was home from Iraq on a 2 week leave. After visiting the amphitheatre in Columbus Ohio to attend a Toby Keith concert he was attacked and severly beaten outside the theatre. He was wearing an "Operation Iraqi Freedon t-shirt." Witnesses have testified that his attacker was screaming profanities and making crude remarks about U.S. soldiers. If you want to read his story you can find it at http://www.merrymadmonk.blogspot.com

It sickens me to think of it.

Posted by: Cathy at October 10, 2004 11:24 PM

Marek: This is exactly how the fascism starts.

Well, maybe, but the overwhelming majority of my neighbors do not behave like that.

One of my neighbors (that would be Mike Bortin) in now in prison for kidnapping Patty Hearst. I actually hired him (before I knew what he had done) to sand my hardwood floors when I first bought the house. I wrote about this incident here.

He's a freak, though. I'm not going to jump to any overly large conclusions based on this sort of thing. We're talking about the fringe.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 10, 2004 11:31 PM

I live in San Francisco in the Castro district. I'm going to vote for Bush.It is like being in the closet all over again. Since people assume I'm voting for Kerry, they reveal what they are thinking. I wouldn't dare put a sign on my window or my car. I used to be a liberal, but my migration from that point of view has only been hastened by hearing the crap flowing from the mouths of my inclusive, diverse, tolerant, conscious neighbors.

Posted by: EssEmm at October 11, 2004 12:21 AM

Some people who hate Bush are bad.

Ergo, Bush might be OK after all.

Did any of you people take a course in college that imparted critical thinking skills?

If so, have you given much thought to applying those skills to politics?

Just wondering.

When it really comes down to it, bumperstickers and lawn posters are known to be the LEAST effective way to get a candidate elected. The more civil of your opponents (and that would be the overwhelming majority, by the way) can respond with a higher voter turnout, so it can often backfire.

And when it really comes down to it, democracy in America employs this cool invention called "secret ballot." Nobody has to know your true leanings. And this drives pollsters crazy, because until the count is done, nobody really knows the outcome for sure.

Crazed leftists might be spurred to vandalize if you come out toward the right in the wrong neighborhood. That's bad, but ... on the other side, they don't have to resort to such tactics. Rather, they can dump bales of money into projects like a media blitz to falsify John Kerry's war record. And which is ultimately more vandalistic to civil discourse? An isolated Bush for President sign-burning, or television air-time across many states devoted to lying? I would say that the outrage is misplaced here.

Posted by: Michael Turner at October 11, 2004 12:35 AM

Michael Turner,

The Kerry ads, along with the ads for and against every other politician in the history of the universe, are misleading and insulting. Welcome to politics.

How's Japan, by the way? You're lucky to be so far away from the rest of us during this nasty election, believe me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 12:41 AM

FYI: Your blog doesn't render properly in my Firefox browser. Your comments box is up at the top left of your blog and I can't see half of what I'm typing because the cursor goes our of view for a bit towards the right of the comment box.

Anyway... I live in Wilsonville. I have a Bush/Cheney sticker on my car and haven't had any problems. We have a neighbor behind us that has a Kerry sign in her front yard and she drives by our house each day to get to her own house and she waves at me each time she sees me. She sees plainly that I have a Bush sticker on my car.

So, it's not everywhere. I think where you find it most is in urban areas, where "family values" are not as commonly subscribed to. We live in a very suburban area, as you know, where home ownership is high, people have families and people are working to make their lives better. The people that do the crap you're talking about are people who have nothing in their lives worth being proud of or loving, like children and God. So, they have to find their belonging in hating those that DO have that type of thing in their lives.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Dan Sherman at October 11, 2004 01:06 AM

You probably won't hear about much vandalism coming from the right these days, at least not by comparison. I say that not because it never would happen as it has happened, for evil exists on all sides for sure. I say that because this is the season of desperate leftists lashing out in fear, afraid of what lies in store for their cause. It is certainly true in the world I am from. I see the behavior in friends and family members. I also have witnessed this before during Reagan, make no mistake it is worse, people on the left are losing their wits about themselves. During Reagan we had a Democratic House and regained the Senate in 1986, and that dampened it some. Now with the Republicans in control of all branches of Government, though by narrow margins, and add the smell of Vietnam in the air (with other elements I have not the time to introduce), then we have the foundation for such times as these.

Now another reason I feel so sure it is worse than any time in not only your lifetime Michael, but mine as well is fairly simple. My father I have described before as a "Driving Miss Daisy Jew" from Atlanta. He recently said that he had not seen such rancor in politics since the Sixties and Seventies. He has said before and confirmed recently that the South is at least as tolerant to divergent views by comparison to the North these days. The old stereotypes of the South are pretty silly to apply as well. My father lived in a segregated Georgia back in the 50's and a segregated Virginia in the 60's. I have relatives in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, and Washington D.C. I also have them in the South from Virginia to Florida. They are all Democrats but on a whole I feel they have better political wits about themselves in the South these days. To put it clearer, my relatives in Georgia are Democrats and would have no fear declaring for Kerry or raising a sign. I know a Republican where I live or further North would not be as lucky. I would give myself a 99% chance for my property to be vandalized if I put out a Bush/Cheney sign. But to be fair it is a pendulum that will always swing, and I suspect it will swing again, but right now the liberal left is not where the preponderance of voices of reason are, the progressive right is. Just my opinion, but not an opinion steeped in ignorance I assure you, yet it is also worse today because of the polarization of the Political Parties. I will predict the polarization will not continue and whichever side behaves the most civil will become the majority. I know for me that incivility more than ideology is what most influenced my decision to hop of the train of liberal-left I was raised on. For me I will go wherever the group as a whole remains the most civil, right now it is on the liberal (progressive)-right.

Posted by: Samuel at October 11, 2004 01:57 AM

Hi Michael et al -

First of all, I don't have any problems accessing your site with Firefox at all (Ver 1.0 Preview Release).

Second: what's been covered here is indeed the way that fasciscm starts. I've lived 20 of the last 24 years in Germany and did my graduate degree here, spending a significant amount of time on the development of fascism and on de-nazification after the war.

One of the key points in the development of fascism in Germany was how few people were really involved in political intimidation and how well it worked in a cultured society. This is one of the paradoxes of fascism in Germany: you have an incredibly cultured society of post WW1 Germany and yet in just a few years the thugs of fascism are in control.

Such thuggery is often an act of individual desperation at first, when, for instance, a returning veteran of WW1 sees the Kaiser being denigrated at a communist rally and decides with a few drinking buddies to go beat up people hanging up political posters.

It is when it becomes policy that the seed of fascism is formed: the idea that your side can ignore the rules of civilized society because its goals are so much nobler and better, that opponents are subhuman ("You're smart, how can you be conservative?": i.e. only the stupid, those incapable of thinking for themselves, those who are therefore lesser endowed and ultimately less than human) and therefore it's okay to beat a few up or humiliate them in public in order to achieve a goal.

Saying that it can't happen in the US is a fantasy: fascism can develop anywhere. All it takes is a group of people willing to go to extremes and to cross the line. And it takes acceptance by the population that the line can be crossed with impunity.

It's often done with the best of intentions and generates enormous feelings of empowerment and sweet revenge for disenfranchised and powerless people who are desperately searching for meaning in their lives. This most definitely includes intellectuals and academics, and indeed support for fascism in Weimar Germany came strongly from these elites, who largely also avoided fighting in the war.

I'm not going to draw any analogies here between Weimar Germany and the current US becuase they don't hold water: there are too many differences and at the end of the day I don't believe that the US population is too beholden to authority that fascism could truly arise here, let alone on the basis of a racist ideology.

But let's be honest: trashing someone's car because they dare to support someone else is fascistoid behavior; publicly humiliating someone (burning a swastika on their lawn) is fascistoid behavior; denigrating someone's intelligence for not holding the same political views is fascistoid behavior; caricaturing a politician as an animal (Bush as chimp) is fascistoid behavior (as it denies the humanity of the person targetted).

Those affected should be pressing charges to the fullest of the law and not letting the police off the hook when they don't want to get involved. They need to demand that their representatives, regardless of party affiliation, come down like a ton of bricks publicly on events like this and point out to their supporters, regardless of who they are, that this is not acceptable. And any local politician worth his/her salt needs to come out swinging against this sort of behavior. Where are the press releases condemning this stuff, where are the press conferences?

Because if they don't they are aiding those who would subvert the republic as we know it: if you don't stand united against the beginnings of fascism, but rather ignore it and even reward it (by letting those involved believe that they can get away with it), then you are aiding the development of patterns of political behavior that no one, I think, wants.

John

Posted by: John F. Opie at October 11, 2004 02:19 AM

MJT,

"Radical leftists aren't the only jerks in the country."

True, there are many right-wing jerks. But wouldn't you admit that the left-wingers tend to be more dangerous? C'mon- deep in your centrist slightly Bush-leaning gut, can you admit that? Nobody likes to make generalizations, because it makes you sound like a prejudicial blowhard. But I choose not to ignore the obvious in cases like this. To say, "well yeah, but they've got jerks on both sides" draws a false moral equivalence. It's not fair to lump right-wing jerks into the same pool of jerkiness as left-wing jerks. I'm not a fan of either, but I'll readily admit that radical lefties are way worse than any righties.

Samuel,

"I say that because this is the season of desperate leftists lashing out in fear, afraid of what lies in store for their cause."

Fear, indeed. And what's the most common cause of fear? That's right- ignorance. How many left-wing war protesters have read a book about Islamofiscists or Saddam? I'll bet almost none. In fact, I'd bet many of them think that Saddam was just some guy without WMD's who wound up as Cowboy Bush's latest victim. I'll bet lots of them think that Islamofascists are just misunderstood poor people who are sick of being enslaved by the US "big-oil, big-empire" policies.

How many of those protesters know how our military fights our nation's wars? I'll bet it's fewer than 10%. Most of them probably think that we just roll in and kill everyone in town- but every now and then we've gotta take some prisoners so we can molest them and take some nudie pix. Seriously, how can anyone argue with CBS and Michael Moore?

Their fear is driven by ignorance.

The ignorance is a product of their reluctance to face the world's realities (it's easier to pretend the bad guys aren't there) combined with our sensationalist media (sex and violence, baby- show me the money!). The radical lefties are so ignorant, they don't even realize who they should be afraid of. It's sad, but it's no justification for vandalism or violence.

Posted by: $lick at October 11, 2004 02:29 AM

$lick: It's not fair to lump right-wing jerks into the same pool of jerkiness as left-wing jerks.

I am well aware that it has been many years since the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But perhaps you'll forgive me for not yet having forgotten it.

I think Samuel is basically right about the pendulum. Before Oklahoma City and the right-wing militias we had the SLA (see my own personal run-in with the SLA above) and the Weathermen. Before the Weathermen we had the Klan.

The fact that George W. Bush is in the White House seems to have calmed the right-wing crazies. That could change in one month.

I think you're right that the radical left is more thuggish right now. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think it has much to do with any salient feature of left-wing politics that doesn't also exist on the right. Both the far-right and the far-left are just plain sinister and are always ready to erupt when provoked.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 02:47 AM

I live in Plano, a fairly conservative suburb of Dallas, and I wouldn't dare put a Bush sign in my yard or sticker on my car.

Also, I'm having a similar problem with the site in Opera. It's been this way for a few weeks. The permalink page stops at the bottom of the left column, right under the "Powered by MT" banner. I think you have an extra /div screwing up the formatting -- IE is (unfortunately) much more forgiving of HTML errors.

Posted by: Mason at October 11, 2004 03:28 AM

Michael (and the Unabomber?), the "far right" has been demonized as Nazis, but from a libertarian perspective, there are big gov't folk, and small gov't folk.

Unfortunately Bush, unlike Reagan, is NOT really a small gov't person now; but Kerry is worse on the economy. And the Kerry's Lie about the Moral Superiority of peace (and genocide) instead of fighting evil has become the Politically Correct elitist base.

The Leftists have had a near monopoly on their version of the "moral high ground" since Nixon, Ford, and Carter left SE Asia. This PC big gov't group-think has become the elite establishment -- and Bush is challenging it. In this twisted respect, the elite PC want to "conserve" their own big gov't moral superiority; and are willing to use violence to avoid coming to terms with their own contradictions.

Kerry just recently spoke of wanting to "go back" to a time when terrorists were not a huge threat. This is the historical "golden age" delusion that usually accompanies conservative violence -- but now it's from Roger L Simon's Boomer generation.

Last week I wrote about Concordia and its suppression of free speech (an Israeli), because of its acceptance of (anti-Israeli) violence.
http://tomgrey.motime.com/1097174244#352802

What you see in America is intimidation, by PC nazis, in a real physical sense, though near its mildest so far, like the intimidation by Iraqi terrorists against pro-democracy Iraqis.

Supporting Kerry is supporting the PC induced violence. The "end", getting Kerry elected, is justifying the means: intimidation, faked documents in the media, heavily publicized lies (Wilson) and almost unmentioned corrections, & even voter fraud.

Bush haters support Saddam, implicitly, but deny it.

Bush has been smeared, but Kerry not: Kerry has NOT signed Form 180; his own eyewitness reports about his actions are little better than the many other Swift Vets whose eyewitness reports disagree -- and I know witnesses disagree.
At least until Kerry addresses Christmas in Cambodia (Kerry LIED, often, to get votes), and who wrote the Action Report for his first purple heart (and when), his service should have a lot more scrutiny than the Leftist press has given it.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 11, 2004 03:49 AM

I have a 17-year-old car that's worth nothing to anyone but me, but I wasn't game enough to put a 'Free Iraq. Give Peace a Chance Afterwards' sticker on it early 2003 because I knew my only form of independent transport would be trashed. Same goes for my run-down rented house. In Australia we are experiencing the same phenomenon as you guys - the Left feels as though it's had its teeth pulled so it's using its fists and feet instead. It's ugly and depressing to listen and watch people you've always respected behaving like thugs. I understand they're frustrated, but that's as far as my understanding goes.

Posted by: suzanne at October 11, 2004 03:54 AM

MJT,

Your response made me think of that clock analogy. I can't remember who came up with it- Dennis Miller? It was about how you can relate political views to a clock. 12:00 is mainstream America- what most rational centrists think. Republicans lean to varying degrees to the right (1, 2, 3) while Democrats lean to varying degrees to the left (11, 10, 9). The punchline was that by the time you got to 6 o'clock, it doesn't matter how you got there- you're an A$$hole. So yes, McVeigh, the militias, and the neonazis are firmly implanted at the 6 o'clock position and they're terrorists. Fortunately, they and their far-left brethren are few in numbers and hold no credibility in mainstream America whatsoever. I guess my feeling is that there's a lot more dangerous radicals between 6 and 9 than between 6 and 3. It sure looks that way at least.

Posted by: $lick at October 11, 2004 04:03 AM

MJT,

Before you do anything else, go and read this excerpt from the Road to Serfdom:

http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

And take a look at this Nazi propaganda:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb54.htm

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/haken32.htm

Naziism is not impossible in America. In fact, I see a number of common factors in pre-Nazi Germany and contemporary America.

And the very first step towards Naziism is the triumph of collectivism over indiviudalism as the prevailing political ideology. Once otherwise good people embrace this concept, a certain kind of logic takes hold. This logic can take on a life of its own in spite of the best intentions of the people who believe it.

Now take a second look at this quote from Hilary Clinton:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/06/28/politics2039EDT0165.DTL&type=printable

Hilary Clinton is not a fringe figure. She is about as mainstream as you can get. Now I have no doubt whatsoever Clinton had only the best of intentions when she made this chilling statement. But the first step towards fascism is the embrace of collectivism. And Clinton has embraced collectivism. The Democrats have embraced collectivism.

No, the rise of political violence among the far left is not at all a surprise to me. It is perfectly predictable. The acts of political violence we are seeing are not the actions of a fringe, but rather a vanguard. It will get worse unless we reverse the collectivist worldview that has taken root on the political left both in this country and around the world.

And we must do this both at the national and international level. That means we must reverse the expansion of the federal government. And it also means that we must resist collectivist transnational organizations and protocols like the UN, Kyoto and the ICC.

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 04:34 AM

MJT,

What does the Democrat party stand for anyway. They destroy families, they destroy American values, they take from the worker and give to the bum to appease their guilt, they make excuses for crimes so no one has to take responsibilty, they are hell bent on taking this country down so it is equal with the rest of the world. The truth is if you look through history the Republicans always propose things the Dems oppose things. A Republican president cuts taxes and fixes other problems and protects America, When the dems get elected they reap the benefit of policies of the Reps before them then they muck it up when they have to actually come up with something of their own, Clinton is a good example of this. The weakening will only get worse under Kerry, in the 2nd debate he said he will reduce our "nucular power", he says he will give Iran atomic fuel for peace, oh yeah, lets give the single biggest Terrorist nation an excellerated nuke program, great idea! Although Bush is too liberal for me I would vote for him over any Dem especially a far leftist like Kerry. I see people on this site saying Bush is lying about Kerry's record in Vietnam then why doesn't he release all of the info about it Bush released all of his even the ones Dan Rather made up. I live in NJ where we put up with those "great Democrats" like McGreedy, yet I see no Kerry signs around my area but I do see a lot of Bush/Cheney signs go figure.

Posted by: Barney at October 11, 2004 05:30 AM

I have to wonder if these radical groups are funded by monies procured from the UN/Saddam Oil-for-Food scam?

Or perhaps the Tides Foundation?

This is a theory but, if we were to follow the money we might be in for a real eye-opener as to the real motives of the extreme left.

My guess is that the extreme radical left is not going to stop their subversive tactics when the election ends.

The cause of the radical left core is not about bringing down Bush, it is about bringing down America.

Posted by: syn at October 11, 2004 05:43 AM

Michael,
Slightly off topic, but your comment above seems to indicate that you believe McVeigh was a right-wing wacko affliated with militias, and the motivation for the horrific OKC bombing was somehow a right-wing fringe event.

I am not so sure about the motivations of McVeigh, there is a deeper story line here, I suspect. There are credible reports of his deep disillusionment from America over the Gulf War, and some indentification with Iraqi victimhood. The investigation was driven by career-oriented prosecutors who wanted to convict and execute a perpetrator, period, and many strands of the investigation were dropped, to pursue that "success".
Doubtless McVeigh was guilty, but did he have Iraqi or Arab terror network assistance? Quite possibly, we will never know... his quick execution closed a lot of doors that might have led to the complete truth.
The right-wing militia story could have been partly true, partly cover for a more complex truth, but the party line served a political purpose for the Justice Dept. and administration that drove the prosecution.
I think a healthy skepticism about the OKC bombing is in order, just as it is about the World Trade Center bombing's provenance.

Posted by: Seppo at October 11, 2004 06:09 AM

I'm in the middle of Pennsylvania's "Alabama", the great rural centre. The anti-Bush to anti-Kerry vandalism ratio seems, based on reported numbers, to be in excess of a hundred to one - seven hundred stolen or destroyed B/C signs for a half-dozen or so K/E. (Of course, there's bound to be reporting bias in those numbers, but they're the numbers I have.) The RNC has distributed three times the number of signs as compared to 2000, and there's still a four-hundred-family waiting list in the county for the next shipment. But the county is still bare of B/C signs, but covered in K/E signs.

I was doing door-to-door the next valley over, and the Republican base is nervous. If it's this bad up here in the mountains, what could it be like down in the cities?

Posted by: Mitch H. at October 11, 2004 06:12 AM

From what you have described, Michael, let me ask you this: how long have you lived in Multnomah Village? :-{)}

I used to live in the much-looked-down-on North Portland, over near Portsmouth and Lombard. If someone got caught vandalising a car or tearing out a yard sign, we'd not bother with the Portland Possum Delivery. Same thing with burglars, and they knew it.

Posted by: the friendly grizzly at October 11, 2004 06:14 AM

I now find the Left, these gentle happy people, these compassionate people of deep understanding

I always found folks on the left out of touch with their inner pig. That's scary. If you aren't aware of your own potential for mayhem, there is little chance of keeping it under control.

Posted by: chuck at October 11, 2004 06:18 AM

Look what your man's up to now:

By Mark Mazzetti, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.

Posted by: kc at October 11, 2004 06:45 AM

Why are the democrats getting so violent this year and why isn't Kerry addressing it and asking for it to stop?

I guess you missed the video of the Young Republican kicking the snot out of a female protester at the RNC.

Posted by: kc at October 11, 2004 06:47 AM

Well, I'm in Ohio and I've seen both.

One of my friends had a "Support Our Troops: Vote Bush Out" sign. This was back in May.

Vandals destroyed various items on their porch, and left tire tracks through their yard, where they had tried to run over the sign. This happened multiple times.

As my friend put it "I don't even care about the sign. I care about the lawn. My roomate is the one thats into politics."

Now, here's the best part, and what I recommend all victims of political vandalism do.

Take Personal Responsibility!

Since all the attacks had taken place during the night. Mike wrapped himself in a dark blanket, behind the shrubbery. He waited until about 4:45 (after 3 liters of Pepsi), and sure enough a car drove by twice, parked across the street and someone got out and headed towards Mikes car. he knelt down and Mike decided that was enough. He tore out of hiding and pelted the culprit with balloons filled with blue paint.

The cops showed up within a few minutes and took the man into custody. The culprit was a 63 year old man. He said that he didn't like their political signs and was going to 'teach them a lesson'.

My friends, we are in a divided time, when politics are no longer in the domain of intelligent discourse and debate. I've been personally accosted by extreme Christian supporters, my friend William (pro-Bush) has been acosted by anti-war people.

Its not just the left, its not just the youth. Apparently insanity is rampent across the entire country. But, why is this?

I think it has to do with dogma. (I can hear it now... "Oh tosk and your dogma"). However, think about it for a minute.

The Christian Street Preacher (or whatever he was), truly thinks that he KNOWS what is true and since I disagree with him, he KNOWS that I am wrong. Now, in his case, he didn't get violent until I tried to have a conversation with him. He began preaching, I pointed out some other views and he lost it. He couldn't let me make a point, because it would bring into question what he 'KNEW' to be true.

I think the same is true of the political vandals, they are so dogmaticly correct, that they are unable to see anyone disagree with them.

I live in a rural community about half an hour north of Columbus, there is about a 50/50 split between Kerry/Bush signs. I saw one cute sign which said "WMD's This Way" and had an arrow pointing into the woods. I almost wrecked the car laughing. However, I have not seen any signs of violence or vandalism there. One of our near neighbors has a Huge Bush sign in their yard (the sort that is about 10" thick, made of plastic and lights up. It's probably 3'x5' and its really silly looking. It would look great hanging in a Bush campaign HQ, but not leaning against a tree in Delaware, Oh.

However, its been there for weeks, and though there are a good dozen Kerry signs within a stone's throw... no one has thrown a stone

I hope it stays that way.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 06:52 AM

About two months ago, I happened to catch a letter to the editor from a woman who said her Kerry bumper sticker was ripped off her car, but that's about it.

Down here in very Red SC, the yard signs tend to be about 50/50. Almost all the signs concern the senatorial race between Jim DeMint ® and Inez Tenenbaum (D). Very few people put up political signs down here, mostly because it's considered impolite to broadcast your political views to strangers.

Posted by: Matt Ward at October 11, 2004 06:54 AM

My father, who lives in Kansas, has had two John Kerry bumper stickers taken off his car. Not exactly violent intimidation, but not exactly virtuous either.

Posted by: Jeff Davis at October 11, 2004 06:56 AM

Hey, Michael.
This is more in line with your last post, so I apologize for asking here, although I believe any question re slow disraveling of civil political discourse is related to the issues of the current election. Basically I find myself in the same boat as you or many others, supporting Republicans on the foreign policy but uneasy with their domestic - specifically social - agenda.

The biggest obstacle to me making up my mind - I'm still undecided - is that with Bush as president Republicans will control both congress and White House and thus will be able to define the judiciary for more than a generation, up to Supreme Court and through the court of appeals.

To me that issue is as important as the war of terror and I find it disappointing that it gets so little discussion.

Posted by: D at October 11, 2004 06:57 AM

"the AFL-CIO has promised to dispatch thousands of election monitors to battleground states to watch for any hint of trouble at polling places."

I found this somewhat chilling. Union thugs "monitoring" polling places?

Posted by: Priscilla at October 11, 2004 06:57 AM

I live in North Dallas, and when I go cycling in the morning, I count roughly an equal number of Bush and Kerry signs.

In fact, I have seen several street corners where someone had put up a Kerry sign (making it very prominent), and on the other side of the street another would erect a Bush sign to counter.

Posted by: Eric at October 11, 2004 07:10 AM

Thanks about the blog.

And about your vote: A very large part of the job of a President fighting Islamofascism -- in the very broadest sense, as I do not think that Iraq was a timely part of that war -- is explaining our actions, step-by-step.

Any and every war is a two front war:
1. fighting the explicit enemy and
2. keeping the home-front focussed on why the war & its sacrifices are required/important.

Your post seems to say that Bush cannot communicate (maybe doesn't even really understand?) why we are in Iraq. That means that he is not able to maintain the pressure, keep the war "popular" etc etc to win the peace. That means to me that he must be a bad war leader. A war leader must rally the troops at many levels. Bush is not capable.

I posted on this a long time ago: "Is Bush the man to carry out the Bush doctrine?"

My answer then and now is "No."

So as the Republicans do not seem capable to me of winning the peace (and maybe it simply wasn't wuinnable to start) it seems prudent to me to bring in a relief team -- Kerry et all -- which may be able to salvage something. Kerry will, as a reality and for better or worse, be stuck with Iraq. Maybe he can do better. Maybe not. But the current team is not serious about fighting Islamofascism.

Posted by: David Sucher at October 11, 2004 07:12 AM

Michael,

I live in the Dallas area, and a neighbor, two houses away has a Kerry bumper sticker on his old Toyota. No one has bothered the sticker or car. I just moved home to Texas from Minnesota, and I was scared off putting a Bush sticker on my car, after hearing vandalism reports in the Twin Cities.

In Mesquite (TX), I do see a good number of W '04 stickers on back car windows, but I am learly of having one, given the political climate on the left.

If President Bush wins, perhaps there will be rioting in Portland, SF, and Berkeley (as well as Province Town).

Posted by: Jim Bender at October 11, 2004 07:31 AM

Yes, KC, I missed that video. Do you have a link?

Back on topic, I think what we're seeing is the end result of years of referring to terrorists as "insurgents" and "rebels" by most media outlets. By sanitizing the people who use terror tactics, our press press made these tactics more acceptable to the poor impulse control crowd.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 07:32 AM

And yes, preview is my much-neglected friend....

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 07:35 AM

I get the feeling that most republicans view vandalism and thuggery as something to be ashamed of and therefore don’t practice it as readily. I also get the feeling that most of Mr. Kerry’s supporters hold no such sentiment.

Posted by: Glenn Pezzillo at October 11, 2004 07:52 AM

David,

I partially agree with you- I think Bush could be MUCH better at communicating his intent, vision, purpose, et all to the American people. However, I don't agree that this makes him a bad war leader. I am one of the troops that he needs to rally and I'm telling you that he's done a fine job (despite the fact that he was thoroughly ridiculed for thanking us on the aircraft carrier last May). I'll bet the farm that FDR would have done a better job. But this doesn't mean Wis a bad war leader. It means that he's really good at one aspect of war leadership, and he's less good at the other.

As for your "maybe we should take a chance with Kerry" approach- WHOA THERE!!! I was ready to give Kerry a chance. I'm a centrist, and I wanted to see if maybe Kerry would be a "better" war leader. Well, here's the case he made for me:

-As your Commander in Chief, I will ensure that you have everything you need to win the wrong war at the wrong place blah blah....

-As your Commander in Chief, I will insult the countries that are WILLING to help our cause (calling them bribed and coerced window dressing) and I'll be sure to undermine the legitimacy of the man who's leadership is one of the most critical factors in getting you guys home (i.e. Allawi sucks).

-As your Commander in Chief, I will disregard the mistakes we made earlier in the war (speedy training of ISF), and repeat them often.

The list goes on. A recent Army Times poll showed that 75% percent of us want to keep Bush. Is it hard to understand why? Not to me. Kerry would be an AWFUL war leader. He's already proven it!

Posted by: $lick at October 11, 2004 07:59 AM

"Before Oklahoma City and the right-wing militias we had the SLA (see my own personal run-in with the SLA above) and the Weathermen. Before the Weathermen we had the Klan."

But how many people were in the milita movement?
How many in the SLA, or the Weathermen (or the ELF)?
And how many in the Klan?

Seems to me that the numbers would reveal a much greater propensity toward nastiness on the right.

Posted by: Tano at October 11, 2004 08:07 AM

Mark,

I think its more simple than that. I think that people may no longer have the basic respect for one another, that protected civilized political disagreement.

How many times, even on the blogsphere, has a simple political discussion turned ugly? I know that I've been called some pretty nasty things by right-wingers, and (embarassingly) I have been pretty nasty a time or two myself. Is it possible, that after the mass media sludge and smear fest, which we've clearly seen since the Clinton administration, Americans no longer have respect for the political system?

Respect for the political system, would, I think, mean that every American Respected and Supported every other American's right to vote (for whomever they choose).

Is trashing a yard sign any different, than telling someone that they support Saddam or Terrorists if they DON'T support Bush?

Even in the most silly things, partisan "Get 'em at any cost" politics seem to be the rule. Look at the 'Pengate' silliness from a couple wees ago. While some people, like David, maintained that it 'could be', even in the face of illogical circumstances. Others (esp at LGF) had damned the man and gone well into the realm of fantasy (it's a secret PDA where someone typed the answers for him). The fellow who runs LGF, in his first article, promised to be the 'first to apologize' if he was wrong about Kerry cheating.

Instead, when enough evidence came out to prove the situation... he gladly stated that he WOULD NOT apologize.

Is attempted character assination any different that yard sign vandalism?

In a country that prides itself on Free Speech and Tolerance, I find very little support for either in this political climate, from either side.

Unless a new 'center' party arrives soon, I would imagine that it will only get worse.

Posted by: ratatosk at October 11, 2004 08:08 AM

Rather, they can dump bales of money into projects like a media blitz to falsify John Kerry's war record. And which is ultimately more vandalistic to civil discourse?

Matt,

You've got some nerve to accuse the Bush campaign of falsifying Kerry's records. In fact, the complete inverse is true.

The only falsefied records were the ones put forward by CBS and it's Liberal producer Mary Mapes of Bush's Gaurd service.

Bush has released all his records; why won't John Kerry? Why wont he sign Form 180? What's he hiding?

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 08:25 AM

I think there is a certain thuggish type of person who gets involved in politics and enjoys the intimidation/vandalism stuff. I also think that these type of people are pretty evenly distributed across the political spectrum.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 08:29 AM

I am well aware that it has been many years since the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But perhaps you'll forgive me for not yet having forgotten it.

Michael,

Are you comparing crazed Liberal Kerry supporters to the OK City bombers militia? If yes, then you do realize that righwing militia are so few in numbers that they don't even show up on the radar. They're fewer in numbers than Nader supporters, by far. Yet crazed Lib Kerry supporters are a huge minority of this country.

It's a ridiculous analogy Michael. I'm so sick of people pulling the OKCity bombers out of their little grab bag, as if it's an example of crazies on both sides. THEY'RE NOT ON OUR SIDE.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 08:32 AM

Yet, I would argue, David, that one guy with a right-wing millitia view, did far more damage than a hoarde of anti-Bush people destroying yard signs.

You may not like the fact that McVeigh was somewhat closer to your side of the political spectrum, just like most Left-Wing folks aren't all that happy that some of the vandals are closer to their side of the political spectrum.

Demonizing and denigrating either side is an exercise best left to lesser men than us, my friend.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 08:37 AM

A couple of data points on vandalism--I was living in Los Angeles and put a "Free Iraq" sticker on both cars pre-invasion, never had a problem. Since then I've moved to Fort Worth and I'm seeing a fair mix of W and Kerry stickers. I attend a unitarian church (very few W voters there) and I haven't heard anyone complain about vandalism.

On the larger picture, I'm getting scared by the unwillingness of many people to engage in real debate, as opposed to trading rants. I've gotten responses along the lines of "how dare you try to change my mind!" Doesn't bode well for reforming a consensus.

Posted by: Karl Gallagher at October 11, 2004 08:38 AM

First, I too am using Firefox version 1.0 pre-release and am having no problems with your pages.

Second, I live in the West Hills area of Portland. Thankfully, there is very little vandelism in this area, but none the less, I'm too nervous to put up my Bush sign or my sign supporting measure 36 (the anti-gay marriage measure for those outside our state). The farthest I've allowed myself to go is a rather nasty anti-Kerry sign that I have in the back window of my car (pasted inside so it can't be defaced). My car is in the garage at night so I don't worry about what will happen to it overnight and it's old enough that if someone wants to do something to it when I'm out and about (say in a parking lot), I'd have to look real hard to see the damage (at least there is one advantage to driving a bit of a beater).

However, yes, the level of hatred, especially in this city (Portland Oregon) has gotten out of hand this year. While there are a few bad apples parading around under the republican banner, they are outnumbered at least 5 to 1 by the bad apples waving the liberal, democrat banner. In the end, it just becomes one more reason why I won't vote democrat, I don't identify with those folks.

Posted by: mike from oregon at October 11, 2004 08:41 AM

Most people .. on both sides ... are unwilling to really discuss things in an open-minded fashion. This isn't politics, it is human nature.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 08:43 AM

The rightwing militia example is SO STUPID it boggles the mind. Why? Because it's not mainstream. Mainstream conservatives wouldn't even be seen in the prescence of these people.

Can Libs say the same thing about their thugs? No, thier thugs ARE the mainstream.

For mainstream Left "incivility", let me give you an example, because it's mainstream Left, not crazed militia types that you fools think are "examples" of rightwing incivility.

Last week saw a nationwide rash of attacks on local Republican headquarters. Crowds of protesters went inside private offices and took over. They would stand on the furniture, stop workers from doing their jobs, and shout obscenities over bullhorns. In some cases, they also vandalized the premises and assaulted office workers. Observers had been puzzled as to who was behind the attacks. Now we know. The AFL-CIO co-ordinated the twenty takeovers.

http://www.local6.com/politics/3785861/detail.html

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 08:46 AM

Mike from Oregon...I guess everyone reacts differently when their own pet ox is gored...I can't imagine vandalizing a candidate sign, but if I saw an anti-gay sign on someone's lawn, I would probably react the same way I would if I saw a "Down with Jews" sign...and that reaction would not be pretty :-(

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 08:46 AM

Demonizing and denigrating either side is an exercise best left to lesser men than us, my friend.

Tosk,

that kind of moral equivalency, far from being a sign of intellectual superiority, is actually just intellectual laziness. If there are destructive tendencies in the culture of either the Left or Right, they need to be addressed, not brushed aside by saying they all do; they don't.

You can't prove that they're all guilty of it by comparing the OK City bombers to the AFL-CIO. Conservatives REPUDIATE the militia and David Duke types; but Liberals invite their thugs to sit at the dinner table witht them.

They're not analogous, and it's intellectually lazy to brush those differences aside.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 08:51 AM

Tosk:

Is trashing a yard sign any different, than telling someone that they support Saddam or Terrorists if they DON'T support Bush?

Actually, yeah. The first is not only suppression of speech, it's vandalism. The second is hyperbole (at best) or flat-out nuttiness (at worst). I see a qualitative difference; of course, your results may vary.

Otherwise, I agree that the problem is the "by any means necessary" attitude creeping into grass roots activists. The Center can react against it by punishing the tactics; the Clueless Left is courting a huge smackdown this November.

What irritates me is how we got to this position. The press needs to stop being soft on terrorists. The parties need to police their freaks more agressively. My Congressman needs to be smacked down by his peers for saying the Bush administration is taking America "into a snake pit of fascism." (His Crown Heights constituents won't smack him down; he's too entertaining, and brings home the pork.)

Will any of these things happen? Not as long as the Clueless Left thinks it keeps losing because the masses are stupid and need to be protected from themselves.

End Rant.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 09:04 AM

David,

Yes there are problems on both sides, but how do you plan on addressing human nature?

There is a decent cross-section of citizens who can engage in useful and constructive political debate. There is a much larger cross-section who are tied to the dogma of their party and are busy picking at the straw in their opponents eye, while missing the very large rafter in their own eye. Out of that group are hatched a slimy minority who , instead of picking out the straw, try to jam it in further and poke out the eye of their opponent.

I have no use for either party (as I've said before) and this is a perfect example of why. I don't buy into the Liberal dogma, or the liberal acceptance of stupid vandalism. I don't buy into Conservative Dogma, nor their acceptance of stupid attempts to smear Kerry by any means possible (Pengate for example).

I do not, and would never support someone destroying the property of another. On the flip side, I'd never support someone making libelous accusations against a political figure. Especially, if once proven wrong, the accuser simply refuses to say "I was wrong, sorry."

Think about it, my friend. They may seem different to you, but I see them as different outlets of the same basic psychological problem. Humans want to be right, no matter what it takes.

One wonders which is worse... but I think they're the same.

(Unless you're telling me that you and the Republican Party now refuse to go to LGF, since they refused to apologize for their slanderous accusations against Kerry.)

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 09:07 AM

Yes, KC, I missed that video. Do you have a link?

Mark: try this:

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/gopcon/wabc_090304_protestruling2.html#

Click on the link entitled: "Video: Protestors Hit Garden Floor, One Kicked by Delegate".

And if that doesn't work for you, just g00gle "GOP convention kicking protestor video" - there's no shortage of sites that are carrying it.

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 09:09 AM

The parties need to police their freaks more agressively.

The way I see it, both parties have large constituencies which are both (a) prone to nuttiness and (b) essential to that party winning elections. The Democrats have the "hate America" crowd, and the Republicans have the "radial religious right" crowd. Democrats have a congressman comparing Bush to Hitler. Republicans have a Senator comparing gays to kletomaniacs and pedophiles.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 09:11 AM

Mork, of course there's no excuse for that kind of behavior.

And that kind of behavior is no excuse for the excesses of the Left.

Tell you what, I'll make you a deal; I'll get in the face of any Republican acting obnoxiously towards Kerry supporters if you'll do the same to anyone acting obnoxiously toward Bush supporters. Deal?

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 09:20 AM

Two very simple question:

How many posts and comments have you all seen that explicitly express a fear of vandalism of their property for posting pro-Kerry sign?

How many posts from "closet democrats" have you seen?

Now compare these numbers vs. the other ones.

Perhaps the Bush supporters are more neurotic than Kerry's? Or just more wussies?

Posted by: marek at October 11, 2004 09:28 AM

Mark,

I'll do one better. I'll get in the face of anyone who acts obnoxiously, right, left, up, down, whatever.

We are all Americans, we have different views about some things in politics, but we should all have the same basic respect for each other. As an American, I would think that sensible Americans should stand against looney/obnoxious Americans no matter which side of the aisle they want to sit on.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 09:30 AM

marek,

Or, they may just be more plentiful here than Left-wingers.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 09:31 AM

Tosk, good answer. I'll join you.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 09:31 AM

Mark,

:)

Thanks!

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 09:36 AM

Tosk,

More numerous only on MJT? What about Simon's site? What about cases reported by Instapundit?

Posted by: marek at October 11, 2004 09:39 AM

Tosk,

Is trashing a yard sign any different, than telling someone that they support Saddam or Terrorists if they DON'T support Bush?

Absolutely. One is an act of totalitarian violence that violates free speech and property rights. The other is an expression of free speech that you happen to disagree with. If you ever managed to extricate yourself from the quagmire of moral equivalence, you might possibly gain the minimal level of critical thinking skills needed to recognize the difference.

Furthermore, the "activist" conducting acts of political violence against private property is travelling down the same cold-hearted logical path of collectivism that others have tread before in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He is acting in accordance with his collectivist creed that states the collective is superior to the individual. Once you grant superiority to the collective, there is no individual right that is sacred and inviolable up to and including life, liberty and property.

Left wing totalitarian collectivists are attacking our fundamental free speech and individual property rights. And when the right of property is left in ruins, and the right to free speech has been curtailed by the concept of "hate speech", the rights of life and liberty will soon follow. The difference between the leftist political vandals in this election cycle and the collectivists who gave us Soviet Communism and Naziism are in degree, not in kind.

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 10:00 AM

Tosk,

Yet, I would argue, David, that one guy with a right-wing millitia view, did far more damage than a hoarde of anti-Bush people destroying yard signs.

Who has done more damage to free speech and property rights? McVeigh was a random nutjob who killed a lot of people. But he didn't do any lasting damage to the fabric of civil society. If anything, the Oklahoma City bombing marked the end of the militia movement. OTOH, the leftwing collectivists who are attacking property and free speech rights are shredding our civil society. If they continue unchecked, they will spawn a thousand McVeighs.

The right question is NOT what damage HAS been done. The right question is what damage WILL be done. And if we keep going down the collectivist path, the damage will be enormous.

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 10:11 AM

Tosk,

A little additional something for your severe case of relativism:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110005741

Posted by: marek at October 11, 2004 10:15 AM

To answer your question. Yes this stuff does go on in Conservative cities like Dallas (where I'm from. Nothing ridiculous, but there have been major complaints, especially in the more rural parts of Texas, of Kerry/Edwards yard signs being stolen and cars with Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers being scratched up and the stickers ripped or damaged.

About 2 weeks ago I was changing my tire in a Mall parking lot and some guy in a truck pulled up beside me and asked 'Are you really voting for John Kerry?' pointing to my Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker. I told him Yes and he said 'You piece of shit!' and then tried to debate with me from his car. Eventually he drove off but I was fairly scared while he was there. I didn't know political views could be so dangerous in this country in this day and age.

Posted by: Epitome at October 11, 2004 10:32 AM

Syn: I have to wonder if these radical groups are funded by monies procured from the UN/Saddam Oil-for-Food scam? Or perhaps the Tides Foundation?

They're anarchists. There are about 200 anarchist "activists" in my city. No one pays them. They're just assholes.

Fifteen years ago we had skinheads instead of anarchists. No one paid them, either.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 10:34 AM

Priscilla: Union thugs "monitoring" polling places?

Since when are AFL-CIO guys "thugs?"

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 10:39 AM

As someone who just bought a house in Berkeley, I know the feeling. I have to bite my tounge about my neighbors big light-blue UN flag.

She doesn't mean anything sinister about the UN flag. It doens't mean winks to genocides in Rwanda or the Sudan, and it doesn't mean Oil-For-Food kickbacks to the tune of several million. It's the IDEAL of international cooperation, dialogue, and sweetness-and-light. If I were to point out all of the UN's failings, I'd come off as a big jerk (and she's a sweet-old lady, which makes it harder...).

Don't get me wrong on this. I'm no Bush supporter either secret or otherwise. But I sure as hell will not put up a Kerry sign. I'm a Liberal Hawk (very Hawkish) and feel like I have no electoral home.

-Lonely in Berkeley (we're not all anti-Semetic neo-Stalinists or pro-Fascists here....)

Posted by: Narmer at October 11, 2004 10:45 AM

I meant BILLION! (Should'a previewed)

Posted by: Narmer at October 11, 2004 10:47 AM

Priscilla,

Sorry. Nevermind my question to you. I just saw David's link to bad AFL-CIO behavior.

Sigh.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 10:48 AM

Michael,

"Since when are AFL-CIO guys "thugs?"

Will the following provide a partial answer:

http://www.rantburg.com/page2.asp?D=10/11/2004#45640

Posted by: marek at October 11, 2004 10:48 AM

Well here's an example of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters being torched twice.

I deplore it on both sides. It's indefensible regardless of who is doing it.

Posted by: Randy Paul at October 11, 2004 10:53 AM

Well here's an example of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters being torched twice.

So basically vandals who happen to be anti-Kerry, who are anonymous and not affiliated in any official way with the GOP, are the equivalent of the Democratic AFL-CIO.

This is what I mean by the Libs/Democrats having embraced thuggery.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 11:20 AM

Well, David, neither of us know that, do we?

Michael, your link to the kicker is the same as the link to the arson incidents. In fairness, we don't know for sure that the man was a delegate, but he was at the convention and kicked a woman lying on the floor.

Here's another link.

Posted by: Randy Paul at October 11, 2004 11:26 AM

I am well aware that it has been many years since the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But perhaps you'll forgive me for not yet having forgotten it.

I think Samuel is basically right about the pendulum. Before Oklahoma City and the right-wing militias we had the SLA
**************************************************
Point of fact? I by no means claim the militias are angels, but the truth is McVeigh TRIED to join and was not accepted.

Posted by: Daniel Kauffman at October 11, 2004 11:47 AM

Randy: Michael, your link to the kicker is the same as the link to the arson incidents

Whoops, thanks. Will fix.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 11:57 AM

Does anyone know of a central database (hopefully non-partisan) tracking incidents of political vandalism? I would love to actually plot out where and when it is happening. Thanks.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 11:58 AM

"Marek: This is exactly how the fascism starts.

Well, maybe, but the overwhelming majority of my neighbors do not behave like that."

Maybe not, but enough do to intimmidate it.

And those who don't - how upset about it are they? Any of them howling for the police to find and throw the proverbial book at the vandals? Any of them putting up Bush stickers in the same spirit that gentile Danes wore yellow stars?

If not, things really are getting kind of scary.

I

Posted by: ralph phelan at October 11, 2004 12:00 PM

I'd like to see a bumper sticker that has a red elephant on one side and a blue donkey on the other and in the middle something like "We are all Americans"

I'd put that on my car.

Posted by: http://www.mikesilverman.com/log.html at October 11, 2004 12:02 PM

Since when is infiltration and disruption considered acceptable political behaviour in America? That's exactly what happened at the GOP convention. And when people respond to this thuggery out of frustration, they're considered the guilty ones.

In my opinion, every single protestor and disruptor who paid for their thuggery with bumps and bruises got exactly what they asked for. You don't walk off the sidewalk into somebody's house and harrass the home dwellers and not expect to painfully get thrown out onto the pavement on your ass.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 12:05 PM

Seems to me what we have is a nasty election, and probably magnified by anecdotal evidence of bad behavior on both sides. I don't believe anyone has really kept track of egregious conduct by either party. And if they have the only test would be to compare the current behavior with past behavior to see if it significant (a Chi-Square test for the statistics folks). I find the reliance on anecdotal evidence a bit scary--much of this sounds like the "big" story several years ago about the rates of burning of black churches in the south. When analyses of were done of fire department records, it turns out there was no wave of arson.

Full disclosure: I am supporting President Bush in this election.

Posted by: RogerA at October 11, 2004 12:07 PM

Apparently, some of you misunderstood what I meant, so let me please clarify:

Any sort of voter intimidation is unbecoming an American. Intimidation by vandalism is inexcusable. I have no sympathy for anyone who would deface someone's personal property, because they chose to make use of their freedom of speech.

However, the right-Wing's current campaign of 'If you're not for Bush, then you're for Terrorism". Is, to my thinking, an equally unbecoming act of intimidation. Freeedom of Speech, like all other freedoms, must be used thoughtfully. I will never think that someone 'can't' say "A vote for Kerry is a vote for Terrorism", but I do think that it is a poor use of that freedom.

Overall, they seem to be symptoms of the larger issue, to wit, politics are no longer the domain of intelligent discussion and comparison of the issues. They are fast degenerating into mindless acts of character smearing and bullying.

Its not moral equivelence, I'm not saying that its ok 'because', I saying that both are unacceptable, if we're going to have a thoughtful political process.

Your reality may vary, I suppose.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 12:11 PM

It could be a lot worse.

It's not 1860.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 12:12 PM

"In my opinion, every single protestor and disruptor who paid for their thuggery with bumps and bruises got exactly what they asked for."

The the Lord sayeth unto Peter: And if they come into your political rallies, thou tshalt kick the shit out of them, for God is Love.

David,

You approve of physical violence when someone disagrees with your political views? So is it ok for me to kick the shit out of someone who brings flip-flops to a Kerry Rally?

Animals respond with violence when they think that their territory is being encroached upon, one hopes that humans are beyond that.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 12:17 PM

Mike Silverman, is this close to what you want? (Thinking about starting a Cafe Press store to sell a finished version of this....)

Get Along Bumper Sticker

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 12:33 PM

KC,

Since you've brought up the "protesters" who tried to disrupt Bush's speech at the RNC, I'd like to ask a question. Is it a valid tactic to infiltrate the DNC and RNC convention to create disruptions during acceptance speeches? Should this become the standard for all future conventions?

I was annoyed at the television coverage and the reporter who stated, “they were just exercising their first amendment rights” (not an exact quote). I was annoyed that the democrats said nothing to condemn it. For some incoherent (to hard core leftist) reason, I feel that if someone would have pulled this garbage at the DNC, that the press would have been all over W to denounce it (and I believe he would have.)

Joe Trippi advised him to denounce this sort of attack before the RNC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5850834/

I couldn’t find anything from Kerry, what about you?

Posted by: OldManRick at October 11, 2004 12:33 PM

Yes Mark, exactly!

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 12:37 PM

Any other comments on the bumper sticker? I'm absolutely serious about selling these, and feedback would be appreciated before I do the work to make the final product.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 12:40 PM

Mark,

I'll buy some!

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 12:40 PM

Mark,

That's a great bumper sticker. I'm not a bumper sticker kind of guy, but if I were I would buy one.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 12:49 PM

So, here's an interesting thought.

How many Americans vote for a cannidate because they dislike the people who tend to associate themselves with a cannidate?

I think that I'm basing my vote on my feelings about the cannidates, but I do find myslef occasionaly reading posts on here and thinking "I'm glad I'm not in their party" (and that covers both parties).

How many people let that feeling dictate their decision about the election?

The reason that I ask this is because I try to remain focused on Personal Responsibility. I don't think that Bush should apologize for some asshole burning down a DNC shop, I don't think Kerry should either (for an RNC shop). While I find the Christian Right to be distastful, I try not to judge Bush by their actions. However, I'm sure it must play a part in my decision, even if subconsciously.

Electing Kerry, or electing Bush, is not the same as electing the nutjobs on the extreme side... (unless they decide to pander to that extreme), so I wonder how much weight is given to these extremists. Surely, I can't imagine Bush telling people to kick women and I can't imagine Kerry telling people to vandalize the RNC. I doubt either of these men would support actions like this, and I doubt that they would think the other capable of supporting such acts.

So whats the opinion here? Do people let extremists dictate their vote?

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 12:51 PM

When are the usual suspects ever going to tire of the "But the other side stinks worse!" argument?

Don't you see how lame this is? Even if we were to accept, arguendo, that the "the right" was worse, that there was more physical intimidation coming from their side, that cuts no ice as far as the original subject, which was physical violence coming from the left.

Do you people honestly not understand the basic "Two wrongs don't make a right (no pun intended)" concept?

And tosks's attempt to equate rhetorical overkill with physical violence is just a masterpiece of . . .I don't even know what.

Oy.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 11, 2004 12:56 PM

You approve of physical violence when someone disagrees with your political views? So is it ok for me to kick the shit out of someone who brings flip-flops to a Kerry Rally?

Tosk,

no I don't approve of physical violence, but I don't consider it thuggery when someone is provoked into it by infiltrators and harrassers. I think the guy who kicked her should be charged with a misdemeanor, but the gal who provoked him was rightly thrown out on her ass, and she should be charged too.

Re flipflops, showing up at a rally isn't the same as infiltrating a closed event, like a convention, which is private rented property. And waiving flipflops isn't the same as harrassment and distruption.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 12:59 PM

Tosk: How many people let that feeling dictate their decision about the election?

I don't, but it does help me decide that being Independent is better.

On a related note, I find that I have the most respect for other people who gravitate toward the center no matter which side they are on. Jeff Jarvis, for example, is voting for Kerry. I'm not. But I would much rather read his blog than listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 01:03 PM

I haven't time to read through all 100 comments, but one thing that struck me like a blow was the admonition to stay away from the streets on an election day in Central America. That was my first glance at how ugly elections could be.

When you think about it, the most powerful postition of the most powerful nation on earth is being decided and we are appalled at the vandalism. This is not to be an apologist for those who are acting violently, but in the large historical picture, how amazing is this? We have an election to hold, and then a war to win. What we are fighting for is certainly worth keeping for our grandchildren, and theirs for many generations. It can be squandered so easily.

Posted by: D'Loye Swift at October 11, 2004 01:10 PM

People love to blame politicians, but we are the people who put these people in office, then we don't require any accountability from them even though they work for us. All problems in America can be blamed on the people not the President. We excuse these politicians for wrong doing that we would never excuse ourselves for. Most not all anti-war people are Anti-Bush even though Kerry's plan is the same as Bush except with more troops ,allegedly, but they hate Bush more so its ok to vote for Kerry I guess. Its like the vandals, they would rather be cowards then enter the real world and admit they just like to Hate.

Posted by: Barney at October 11, 2004 01:15 PM

On a related note, I find that I have the most respect for other people who gravitate toward the center no matter which side they are on.

I think it is human nature to gravite towards extremes. Those who work hard against these instincts and instead move towards the center, and try to understand the opposition and try to have an open mind about issues are truly saints, and are the oil that makes the engine called constitutional democracy actually run.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 01:17 PM

How many Americans vote for a cannidate because they dislike the people who tend to associate themselves with a cannidate?

Tosk,

I went from ambivalence about Bush 3 years ago to defending him in the face of what I considered irrational Bush hatred. Bush hatred was probably the single biggest factor in my giving GOP and conservative viewpoints the chance they deserved.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 01:17 PM

Free speech is alive and well in Portland: we had our U.S. flag stolen right off of our house this year. The night before 4th of July. (Though it was a Saturday night, so I like to hope it was just "kids".)

Michael, what do you consider the center? There's not just one or two axes of practical political issues, there's a bunch, and I think that makes the concept of the "center" invalid. Tell me someone is "in the center", and I still don't know what his politics is.

Posted by: Brad Williams at October 11, 2004 01:41 PM

""A vote for Kerry is a vote for Terrorism", but I do think that it is a poor use of that freedom."

I really do believe that a President Kerry would follow policies that would be far better for the Islamofascists than those a Bush administration would follow. I don't think it's a "poor use" of freedom of speech for me to express my view. I don't think it's a "poor use" for me to express it in a shorter, catchier way.

It may be a bit innacurate. How about if I say "If Kerry wins our enemies will celebrate." I think that statement is true. Why shouldn't I say so?

Posted by: ralph phelan at October 11, 2004 01:56 PM

Mike Silverman -

Maybe you don't understand - it's not an anti-gay sign. It would be (and some folks have them) an organized group supporting a state constitutional amendment saying marriage is ONLY between one man and one woman. I support that amendment, it doesn't mean I'm homophobic.

Posted by: mike from oregon at October 11, 2004 02:00 PM

Brad Williams: Tell me someone is "in the center", and I still don't know what his politics is.

That is very true. There are different kinds of centrists. Andrew Sullivan and I are both in the center, but our politics only overlap by 2/3. (He is more "fiscally conservative" than I am, but we are both hawks and both socially liberal.) One of my relatives is a centrist and she and I only overlap in our politics by 1/3. (She is a fiscally conservative, socially liberal, anti-war Democrat.)

What I like about "the center" is that will find many people there who don't always agree but are nevertheless reasonable and thoughtful people. I don't learn anything from partisan hacks, but I learn plenty of new things from people on both the center-left and the center-right.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 02:14 PM

Eric,

Do you understand the similarities between physical abuse and mental abuse?

I am not excusing, or saying 'Yeah, but', I catagorically reject any physical vandalism, be it from whatever side. Physical scare tactics in order to influence political views is unamerican.

However, I also think that individuals who use mental scare tactics, to influence political views is equally unamerican. The most important part of America, I had always thought, is tolerance and respect of freedom.

I will probably not vote for Bush come November, but I'm not going to tell people that a vote for Bush is a vote for Big Business, or that a vote for Bush is a vote for Christian Extremists (even though I may personally hold that view). It is not appropriate, it's a blatent attempt to scare people into voting for the other side.

I propose that the mentality that causes people to act without respect physically, is not far removed from the mentality that causes people to act without respect verbally.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 02:21 PM

mike from oregon,

"Maybe you don't understand - it's not an anti-gay sign. It would be (and some folks have them) an organized group supporting a state constitutional amendment saying marriage is ONLY between one man and one woman. I support that amendment, it doesn't mean I'm homophobic."

I don't care whether it makes you scared of gays or not. If it's a sign expressing your wishes that you don't think gays should have the same marriage rights as you do than it is an anti-gay sign.

Posted by: Epitome at October 11, 2004 02:35 PM

Maybe you don't understand - it's not an anti-gay sign. It would be (and some folks have them) an organized group supporting a state constitutional amendment saying marriage is ONLY between one man and one woman.

Sorry -- I misunderstood. Theres a big difference between a sign saying "vote yes on prop 2112" or "vote no on measure ZZ" and signs like these.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 02:37 PM

Well, I'm all for State Level votes regarding gay marriage. Each State needs to approach its citizens and ask for their opinion.

Once the opinion has been decided (and made it whole through the great American system of checks and balances), then you can move if you don't like the decision.

This is the way that it should be done, not by a federal constitutional admendment!

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 11, 2004 02:37 PM

Tosk,

Nick Kristoff makes the case that Bin Laden prefers Bush:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/09/opinion/9kristof.html?ex=1255060800&en=085d738545841a96&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

Is Kristoff abusing free speech? Or is he making a case? The only reason you don't like it when the right asserts that Bin Laden prefers Kerry is because the right has the better case. And since you have the weaker case you want to change the debate by trying to draw equivalence between free speech and political violence. That is patently absurd. You should be embarassed to even make that argument.

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 02:42 PM

I would never vote for President based on what our enemies think. I vote based on what is best for America.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at October 11, 2004 03:02 PM

Not precisely election related, but a playground behind a mosque in Texas was firebombed last month.

Was that really the first time you heard about the RNC delegate?

Posted by: Katherine at October 11, 2004 03:16 PM

Tosk--I apologize for picking a nit here, but I don't think there is such a thing as a federal constitutional amendment in that any amendment originating in the US Congress, in addition to being passed by 2/3 of each house, still has to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures--having said that I do agree that let the states come up with their own criteria.

Posted by: RogerA at October 11, 2004 03:19 PM

Have any of you bothered to ask WHY it is that people are so angry at Bush that they would trash his lawn signs? While the actions are not justified, the sentiment behind them certainly is.

Posted by: Jason Buckley at October 11, 2004 03:23 PM

Whatever, Jason.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 03:33 PM

Hmm, so this "Lesser of Two Evils", frying-pan-or-fire election of yours is breeding civil disobedience and anger? Could that be because there is no real choice at all? Kerry and Bush are from the same elite, the same country club top 5 percent of the population. They both got into Yale. They both know how much yacht insurance costs.

The average working-class American has absolutely no power except his voting rights (and many don't even have that, if they've ever been convicted of a felony!). What the fuck is a swing state? (Pardon mon Français!) Should whole states be partitioned between two ruling parties? Heck, the whole idea of political parties is B.S., if you ask me or the writers of the Constitution.

I am rambling so feel free to flame me if you feel the need. Still, I think that the whole "anarchists vandalizing campaign signs" is a symptom of general political malaise, not a warning of a dangerous future. When your vote is worthless or when corporations are pulling the strings and you're disenfranchised, what else is left? You might as well get out the spray-paint because your voice has been silenced. You don't count.

Besides, Michael, your country has many more problems than just rowdy coffe-drinking teenagers burning lawns. You've got a trillion-dollar+ debt, two wars on the back burner (3 if you count the hunt for Al Qa'ida), staggering job losses in the manufacturing sector, a president who is reviled in the world & despised by a majority of humanity, and an education system that is inaccessible to most of your citizens (unlike tiny dwarfish nations like Cuba!).

In other words, worry about the real issues, not civil disobedience.

Any thoughts?

Posted by: Jeremy Brendan at October 11, 2004 03:59 PM

Have any of you bothered to ask WHY it is that people are so angry at Bush that they would trash his lawn signs?

Who cares why. It doesn't justify your violence, therefore it's irrelevant.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 04:01 PM

Jeremy,

In 1900 50 percent of Americans worked on farms. Today that is 4%. The economy always changes over time. Eventually 4% or so of us will work in manufacturing. The rest will be doing easier work that is safer and more fun. That's the way it is.

As for what the world thinks, I care a lot more what the Afghanis and Iraqis think of Bush (and what they will think of him in 5 years when the insurgency is history) than what a bunch of spoiled, has-been, ungrateful, dictator-coddling effete Western Europeans think.

They hated Reagan and were woefully wrong about things then, and they hate Bush and are woefully wrong today.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at October 11, 2004 04:18 PM

Ratatosk wrote:
"Any sort of voter intimidation is unbecoming an American.
...
However, the right-Wing's current campaign of 'If you're not for Bush, then you're for Terrorism". Is, to my thinking, an equally unbecoming act of intimidation. Freeedom of Speech, like all other freedoms, must be used thoughtfully.
...
Overall, they seem to be symptoms of the larger issue, to wit, politics are no longer the domain of intelligent discussion and comparison of the issues. They are fast degenerating into mindless acts of character smearing and bullying."

Kerry Stumps for Black Voters at Churches
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-elect/2004/oct/10/101004500.html
"November 2, the power is in your hands, hands that once picked cotton," Jackson said.
Added Sharpton: "Everything we have fought for, marched for, gone to jail for - some died for - could be reversed if the wrong people are put on the Supreme Court."

I'd add some of my own commentary, but I have to run off to a Plantation Management seminar at my church.

Posted by: YetAnotherRick at October 11, 2004 04:24 PM

However, the right-Wing's current campaign of 'If you're not for Bush, then you're for Terrorism". Is, to my thinking, an equally unbecoming act of intimidation. Freeedom of Speech, like all other freedoms, must be used thoughtfully.

That's no more an act of intimidation than saying a vote for Bush is a vote for "Haliburton", or for "oil."

You can disagree with it, but to call it a form of censorship is completely ridiculous. If I think you give aid and comfort to terrorists, and tell you why, that's me excercising my rights to free speech; and you're welcome to tell me why you don't give aid and comfort to our enemies. But don't censor me please.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 04:39 PM

“However, the right-Wing's current campaign of 'If you're not for Bush, then you're for Terrorism’.”

I personally do not even slightly question your motives. Your support for John Kerry is almost certainly one made with the best intentions. Nonetheless, I’m convinced that you are indeed helping the terrorists. This is how I describe your predicament:

“If you're not for Bush, then you're unwittingly aiding the terrorists."

Posted by: David Thomson at October 11, 2004 05:03 PM

Tell me someone is "in the center", and I still don't know what his politics is.

He's someone that doesn't believe in an abortion for convenience sake, but would never force a woman to have a baby that might kill her or is the result of rape/incest.

He's someone that believes that the majority of the poor are working hard to make a better life and that the majority of the well-off are more than happy to help out but deserve to keep a lot of what they earn. If poor he expects nothing but the opportunity to succeed, if well-off he realizes that another's success not only does not come out of his own, but will benefit him as well.

He's someone that will not tolerate others being judged by anything other than their own words and deeds.

He's someone who, while understanding of the plights of others in the world and supportive of aid, puts his and his neighbors children's future first.

He's someone who realizes that argument and watchdogging from the left helps keep business honest, parks beautiful, water drinkable and air breathable but that business ensures our quality of life.

He's someone who understands that while it may not be his choice, his neighbor has as much right to keep guns as he has to speak out and that his neighbor's decision may one day be what allows him continue to exercise any of his rights.

He's someone that understands that the Constitution guarantees the Opportunity to pursue happiness, but doesn't guarantee getting it.

He's someone that can't believe that supporters of either candidate believe calling suporters of the other candidate stupid, greedy, fascist, communist, traitorous, bigoted or weak will win them the support of him or his neighbors.

He's someone that realizes that 90% of Americans are "centrists" but that the 10% on the extreme left and right have convinced the other 90% that they believe differently from from one another.

Posted by: crionna at October 11, 2004 05:04 PM

Mark

Since my wife agreed with me that a Bush/Cheney sign might evoke wrath in our neighborhood we decided it was most fair to put out neither. (MJT you henpecked man you... just kidding!). I showed it too my wifw and she thought it was great and we would gladly settle on this one.

Posted by: Samuel at October 11, 2004 05:17 PM

Jeremy,

One more BIG problem we have is a man running for President who compares terrorism to prostitution and illegal gambling. One that considers terrorism a nuisance and thinks we should just get back to where we were before..

Sounds like a major problem to me unless you are in denial!

Posted by: Cathy at October 11, 2004 05:21 PM

Mark

I showed it too my wifw

should more correctly have said...

I showed it (your bumper sticker) too my wife

"It" could almost imply anything, egads!

Posted by: Samuel at October 11, 2004 05:27 PM

Mike Silverman -
Exactly, I too, would disagree with the kind of signs that you linked to. Yes, these are merely "Vote Yes on Measure 36" signs.

Epitome -
Yes, I do NOT believe that gay marriage is correct. I have many reasons that do not include Biblical arguments. However, to go into it would be way off topic in this posting.

Posted by: mike from oregon at October 11, 2004 05:45 PM

He's someone that can't believe that supporters of either candidate believe calling suporters of the other candidate stupid, greedy, fascist, communist, traitorous, bigoted or weak will win them the support of him or his neighbors. - crionna

How about crazy?

"I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind." - John Edwards

Posted by: d-rod at October 11, 2004 05:53 PM

Jeremy Brendan:Blah blah blah...You might as well get out the spray-paint because your voice has been silenced....blah blah blah...Any thoughts?

Yeah, you don't know jack about my country. Maybe you should get yourself an education.

In the meantime, quit telling me our education system is worse Cuba's. A person such as yourself reared in a more sophisticated place ought to know better than to write something so asinine.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 06:02 PM

Jeremy Brandon,

When your vote is worthless or when corporations are pulling the strings and you're disenfranchised, what else is left?

There's always suicide bombing, eh?

/sarcasm

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 06:05 PM

Cathy

You left out the "nuisance" part off Kerry's ill spoken utterance (to put it kindly). This implies of course implies "Police action" and not "War", a very pre 911 perspective if you asked me so I very much agree with you.

What is the truth? Think about it. John Kerry talked about the "global test". Yet the real point and question is this. Kerry likes to point out that in 1991 that Dubya's father, President Bush (41), went to the UN, secured a coalition that Kerry has said acts as the "gold standard" for building a coalition, yet Kerry voted against that very resolution! Where is the media on this? The media is either stupid, has their heads up their posteriors or are the liberal flacks that Bernie Goldberg says they are. (I propose a combination of the last two.)

Now the only conclusion I can draw from this is the following, and I will tell you this is generous to Kerry. In 1991 Kerry was behind the curve of even most moderate liberals on this and blew it, he should be forced to say as much because if he isn't then he will be left open ended on his actions today. Pre 911 even political hawks tended to underestimate terrorism and view it as more of a police action. So here is my theory, Kerry is always one or two steps behind the eight ball on this. In the 1991 liberal conventional wisdom was "sanctions", conservative conventional wisdom was "police action". Post 911 the conventional liberal wisdom has been raised to "police action" and conservative conventional wisdom has been raised to "war".

Now a former Democrat like myself hears John Kerry compare terrorism to "prostitution", "illegal gambling" and a "nuisance", and then hears the post spin of "No Kerry meant reducing such to a nuisance through hard defeat." And I say, "That's crap!" All those terms are terms that reflect his state of mind. Post 911 he is now gone from "sanctions" to "police action", but conservatives and sane liberals (of whom I include myself) say "war". Unfortunately I don't trust the base of the Democratic Party to support Kerry if he was to follow Bush's policies, but further I think Kerry doesn't see us at war either. I see it like this, if the terrorists could have had a nuclear weapon instead of a jet then they would have used it. One person has going after states as part of his policy one doesn’t. All the arguing by Democrats saying there are countries of a much greater threat than Iraq doesn't impress me, because it carries no promise of them being more resolved or hawkish then this President. John Kerry's bilateral talks with North Korea and supplying Iran nuclear material aren't the answers for me that is for sure.

Posted by: Samuel at October 11, 2004 06:14 PM

Mark: I'd buy that bumper sticker!

For my 2 cents: Living in a "purple" area of Philadelphia, there is still much more anti-Bush verbal sentiment. I have not seen any B/C bumper stickers on cars parked around here. However there are plenty of K/E stickers along with all the other anti-war stickers. In addition, in the next block over almost every house (and we have row houses so it's pretty compact) is sporting a K/E sign in the window or on the front door (no front yards here). I would not put a B/C sticker on my car; nothing really concrete, just a bad feeling I get.

Posted by: BeckyJ at October 11, 2004 06:33 PM

BeckyJ

Purple area of Philadelphia? Remove that Purple part of the State then Bush wins by 5-10 points. I suspect your purle area is about as purple as the suburbs of the nations capital that I live in. I expect a 2-1 vote favoring Kerry. Becky that is the very definition of Blue.

Posted by: Samuel at October 11, 2004 06:39 PM

Jeremy Brandon writes: In other words, worry about the real issues, not civil disobedience.

The stories MJT linked to in the thread entry:

Wisconsin had an 8-foot by 8-foot swastika burned into his lawn next to his Bush/Cheney sign.

&

Someone fired shots at a Bush campaign office in Tennessee.

Swastikas, vandalism and gunshots = civil disobedience?

I guess breaking and entering is just another form of peaceful protest too.

As someone who's barely supporting Kerry as it is, these crackpots are making that decision more difficult by the hour.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 11, 2004 06:45 PM

Another Bush/Cheney campaign office vandalized by the Gentle Happy People:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002059735_webbushoffice11.html

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 07:06 PM

SoCalJustice,

As someone who's barely supporting Kerry as it is, these crackpots are making that decision more difficult by the hour.

If you think things are bad now, wait until after the election. Right now, the crackpot wing of the Democratic party is on its best behavior. But after the election, the real clash for the soul of the party will begin. And guess which side will be empowered if Kerry wins? The crackpots.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/10/10/INGEF94FCU1.DTL

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 07:07 PM

You know, if Bin Laden is alive and kicking back in a cave somewhere in the Hindu Kush, he must really be pleased. He doesn't have to destroy us. We're perfectly capable of doing the job on our own.

9/11 looks more and more like a lightning strike in an old growth forest that ignited all the dead a decayed ideological debris accumulated over decades. Will the wildfire consume the forest, or will it burn itself out?

Posted by: HA at October 11, 2004 07:23 PM

Samuel, Did you read Rudy Giuliani's remarks, that he made on a conference call today, in relation to Kerry's latest comparison of terrorism being a nuisance and comparing it to Prostitution and gambling?

It is really good reading, if you havent seen it, you can find it at powerline.

Posted by: Cathy at October 11, 2004 07:50 PM

Did you read Rudy Giuliani's remarks, that he made on a conference call today, in relation to Kerry's latest comparison of terrorism being a nuisance and comparing it to Prostitution and gambling?

It's funny, having lived in Manhattan through 9/11, I thought that my mayor was the last person in the world who would stoop to using terrorism to score cheap political points.

I guess the old Giuliani ambition has gotten the best of the old Giuliani candor.

Sad.

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 08:06 PM

I thought that my mayor was the last person in the world who would stoop to using terrorism to score cheap political points.

Perhaps Kerry's plan is to legalize terrorism, along with prostitution and gambling, and then tax it, along with other victimless vices.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 08:14 PM

Mork, Giuliani is not the one who made the hidious remarks. Kerry did that. Giuliani is just stating his opinions of them. Is he not allowed that right?..

Surely Mork, even you can't buy into the idea that terrorism compares to prostitution and gambling? Where is there a comparison?

People gamble and participate in prostitution because they want too. Victims of terrorism are victims of the worst evil in the world..

Posted by: Cathy at October 11, 2004 08:21 PM

Cathy - you know, you're not going to convince me, and I know that I'm not going to convince you, so let's just be honest with one another, shall we.

You know that Kerry did not say what you are implying that he said, don't you.

So does Giuliani.

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 08:25 PM

Wimps :-)

The first election I ever noticed was Goldwater vs. Johnson, 1964. We all thought trashing the other side's yard signs and the like was fun. Of course both sides would get together afterward to compare triumphs, so things may have changed a bit.

But people who think the election is uncivil should read more history. You can start out with some of the things Washington got called... not to mention Lincoln. I'm old enough to remember some folks with long memories discussing Roosevelt, with accent on the "cuss." It's also worthwhile to spend a moment looking up the original meaning of the word "libel."

We've all gotten spoiled by the illusion of gentle goodwill caused by having an ideologically monolithic media as gatekeepers for political info. Now that there are other methods, we're returning to the days of handbills and pamphlets. But the stuff going on in the streets, cool it with the complaints, guys. By historical standards what's going on now barely qualifies as "vigorous debate."

Regards,
Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at October 11, 2004 08:54 PM

You know that Kerry did not say what you are implying that he said, don't you.

Mork,

do you think that terrorism can ever become just a "nuisance", even if the numbers are reduced? Is that what Kerry will say to the victims of terrorism? Hey, chill out, it's just a nuisance.

I think the comments reflect Kerry's response, when asked if 9/11 had changed him, that no, it hadn't. Yes, John Kerry actually responded that 9/11 hadn't changed him.

That's why terrorism, in his mind, can someday be a just "nuisance" under the Kerry plan (whatever that is). The man, and Libs in general, JUST DON'T GET IT.

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 09:04 PM

Well, David, you would maintain, I assume, that we are in a war that eventually we will win. When that happens, don't you think that, by definition, terrorism will have been reduced to something less than the threat that it is now?

That's all that Kerry is saying: we will prevail against terrorism to the point that it is no longer a mortal threat.

It's that fucking simple. I really don't know if you are being mischevious because you see the prospect of political gain (as if our efforts here are of any consequence whatsoever) or whether you are really suffering from the hysteria that you appear to exhibit.

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 09:12 PM

Why Terrorism Could Be Just a "Nuisance" to John Kerry"

THE NEW YORK TIMES ACCIDENTALLY REVEALS KERRY

"…When I asked Kerry how Sept. 11 had changed him, either personally or politically, he seemed to freeze for a moment.

When Kerry first told me that Sept. 11 had not changed him, I was surprised. I assumed everyone in America — and certainly in Washington — had been changed by that day. I assumed he was being overly cautious, afraid of providing his opponents with yet another cheap opportunity to call him a flip-flopper. What I came to understand was that, in fact, the attacks really had not changed the way Kerry viewed or talked about terrorism — which is exactly why he has come across, to some voters, as less of a leader than he could be."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/10/magazine/10KERRY.html?oref=login&oref=login&oref=login&pagewanted=print&position=

Posted by: David at October 11, 2004 09:14 PM

MT- Please explain why Portland has so many leftist/islamic nutjobs...I'm curious.

My opinion is that GW's election in 2000 and his portrayal as an evangelical nutjob by the media has levelled out the right. There's virtually no r/w militia/KKK activity anymore.

Sadly, many liberals are all about the short-term, emotional satisfaction of violence against property. The first week of november isn't gonna be good for them.

Posted by: Raymond at October 11, 2004 09:43 PM

Mork:

That's all that Kerry is saying: we will prevail against terrorism to the point that it is no longer a mortal threat.
It's that fucking simple. I really don't know if you are being mischevious because you see the prospect of political gain (as if our efforts here are of any consequence whatsoever) or whether you are really suffering from the hysteria that you appear to exhibit.

One rich Saudi prince. One cash-strapped North Korean dictator. Once 100' yacht. One mini-copter. One nuke. One city.

It's that fucking simple.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 09:46 PM

Raymond: MT- Please explain why Portland has so many leftist/islamic nutjobs...I'm curious.

I don't know that Portland has any Islamic nutjobs let alone "so many." I know a few Muslims, am good friends with one of them, and they're all pretty normal well-adjusted people near as I can tell.

As for the leftists, I don't know. That's just the way Portland is. Other parts of the state (except for Eugene) are more conservative.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 11, 2004 09:51 PM

What are you trying to prove, Mark? That you're more pious than me?

Or are you saying that Kerry is wrong because we will never prevail against terrorism to any worthwhile degree?

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 10:18 PM

No, Mork, I'm trying to prove you're not thinking.

Question, Mork: In my formulation above, what point lends itself to most cost effective intervention?

Follow-up: How do you deal with that weakest link?

Think. Don't feed us fucking platitudes.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 10:26 PM

Mark, I don't know what the point of your question is, or what it has to do with what John Kerry said, but the answer is easy: kill or capture the relatively small handful of non-state actors who would be inclined to and capable of launching such an attack.

Attacking states costs us more than we gain, and civil defense can never thwart a determined and resourceful adversary.

Posted by: Mork at October 11, 2004 10:49 PM

Mork, that's where you fail the test. How do you quantify the "relatively small handful of non-state actors who would be inclined to and capable of launching such an attack."

Who in the world has the money to buy a bomb from a bad actor? In other words, who has the means? Who has the motive? Who has the opportunity? Who knows?

Ah, but the potential supplier pool for the really hideous stuff is much smaller. And that's something you can target.

Assuming you don't prefer platitudes to fucking simplicities.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 11, 2004 11:36 PM

The current violence , mostly from the PC Left, is in response to intellectual challenges to the PC assumptions.

I do believe those that oppose the Bush Doctrine of exporting democracy DO, implicitly or unthinkingly (or not), support terrorism.

I also believe, very strongly, that those who, in 1971, advocated Peace in Vietnam, meaning an end to US fighting, were also advocating communist takeover, and then genocide. Like Kerry.
Not that the 60's anti-war folk advocated in favor of genocide, but that the policies they advocated DID, IN FACT, result in genocide. And those who argued for more war, to fight evil communists, were accepting some 200 US body bags a month (72, 73).

The PC thought police claim that the morally superior position was Peace (and unspoken genocide). Today’s violence is occurring as the PC group-think is being challenged. It has become the established position, and usually enacted into law (like the pro-abortion Roe "amendment") – therefore the established PC folk want to conserve these laws. In this respect they really are “conservative”, and even “reactionary”.

The pro-life folk, now almost all Reps after the Dems excommunicated them, have long included some members who were so rage-filled at the abortion policy that their hate lead them to destroy abortion clinics. How many have been bombed? Maybe 10 in the last 10 years? I think actually less, but not sure. The Reps, and the vast majority of pro-life folk, have denounced this excessive, and illegal, level of opposition.

The PC Dems are only now facing up to more serious intellectual challenges to their verbal dominance, and losing arguments based on facts. For many years, PC verbal intimidation has been enough to at least make those who disagree be quiet -- this is finally ending. And the PC emperors have little real intellectual clothes. (Not all Rep or anti-PC emperors are as well clothed as they claim, either.)

Blogging is helping to point this out!

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 12, 2004 01:56 AM

Military overwhelming supports Bush:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25656-2004Oct11.html

And how can you blame them? John Kerry did everything within his means, both legal and illegal to lose Vietnam. Now he is doing everything he can to lose Iraq.

John Kerry and the Democratic party have decided that they have to undermine they Iraq war in order to win this election. They have done this with reckless disregard for the good of the country. In doing so, they have divided us so thoroughly and so deeply that I don't know if the wound will ever heal. They have resurrected the Vietname Syndrome. And they created an Iraq Syndrome to go with it. They are bringing disaster down on this country.

Posted by: HA at October 12, 2004 04:13 AM

Mike - I know of many people whose Kerry signs have been vandalized. And their homes as well. I also know people who have been threatened because their car sports a John Kerry bumper sticker. In Portland. Downtown. So I would not assume this is one-sided, even in Portland.

My family in the Midwest has been accused of being pro-terrorist for having Kerry signs.

Sick either way. Voters should feel safe expressing their views.

Posted by: karrie at October 12, 2004 05:29 AM

I'm less worried that Kerry would regard terrorism as a nuisance, than terrorists would regard Kerry, if elected, as merely a nuisance.

Posted by: Deuce at October 12, 2004 05:56 AM

Portland Islamic Radical Round-Up:

The Portland "Seven":
Maher "Mike" Hawash
Ahmed Bilal
Mohammed Bilal
Jeffrey Leon Battle (Ahmed al-Mahi Ali)
Patrice Lumumba Ford
Habis Abdulla Al Saoub
Martinique Lewis

Others:
Ali K. Steitiye

Falsely accused Islamic radical:
Brandon Mayfield

http://www.oregonlive.com/special/terror/index.ssf?/special/terror/pdx_archive.html

I don't think that's particularly exceptional - they had the one cell that was training to fight in Afghanistan. We have the same issue where I live (D.C.), in the Virginia Suburbs, a cell training to fight in Kashmir.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 12, 2004 06:15 AM

Okay, I am obviously naive and live in too small of a town (80,000+ depending on if the students are here or not). I have heard of nothing like this going on in our community and it is a total surprise to me... it makes me feel sick.

I have been lurking here at your blog lately at the recommendation of Gideon Strauss, and I appreciate your candid and thoughtful posts.

Posted by: Kris at October 12, 2004 06:55 AM

I know a few Muslims, am good friends with one of them, and they're all pretty normal well-adjusted people near as I can tell.

Michael,

I was a real multi-culti in college, and I had several muslim friends from elite families in Pakistan, palestine, and the UAE, Bangladesh; all well-educated and with a future. I loved them as much as I've loved any friend. And they were all "moderate"; or so I thought until the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushie. I was appalled when every single one of them cheered the fatwa and insisted Rushdie had it coming to him.

I was far too young and stupid and naive to fully understand islam and muslim culture, that's why I was so shocked by it. It wouldn't surprise me any more though.

When you say your muslim friend is "normal" and "well-adjusted", it's all relative. Take it from me, he's fully capable of surprising you.

Posted by: David at October 12, 2004 07:38 AM

the Bush Doctrine of exporting democracy

Is that what history will record as "the Bush Doctrine"? I thought it was rather stated by Bush on 9/11: "we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." I.e., those states who support terrorism are just as worthy of extinction as the terrorists, and should either shape up or expect a visit from our missiles and our Marines.

The administration completely abandoned the principle of the Bush Doctrine when they continued the tradition of urging Israel to "show restraint" and allow her mortal enemies to exist.

If they had stuck to the Bush Doctrine (starting with the replacement of Powell), I imagine something like: there would now be craters in Tehran and Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and Syria would be asking us how high we would like them to jump.

Posted by: Brad Williams at October 12, 2004 08:26 AM

Right Deuce -- it is the likely perception, by the terrorists, that Kerry is weaker, which will make them bolder.
And democracy supporters less confident.
Making terrorists more secure, more successful, more powerful.
Resulting in more pro-democracy deaths (both US and Iraq).

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 12, 2004 08:29 AM

Tom Grey: The current violence , mostly from the PC Left, is in response to intellectual challenges to the PC assumptions.

I am 99 percent certain that the vandalism in Portland does not come from the PC left. It comes from the radical anarchist "black bloc." They live for stirring up trouble and acting like assholes around town.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 12, 2004 09:16 AM

David: When you say your muslim friend is "normal" and "well-adjusted", it's all relative. Take it from me, he's fully capable of surprising you.

He already has surprised me. I've known him for two years. When I told him I was going to Libya he asked me if I am Jewish. He asked me this because he was going to advise me to keep my mouth shut about it in Libya. What surprised me is that he was a good friend of mine for two years and obviously would not have cared if I said that, yes, I am Jewish. (I'm not.) The racist Baath Party propaganda he grew up with didn't stick much. He also told me the person he hates most in the world, after Bashar Assad, is Yasser Arafat.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 12, 2004 09:22 AM

I can't go as far as saying that "a vote for Kerry is a vote for terorism." But, I have big problems with his line of thinking, or with the way I interpret his line of thinking..I have too wonder, which of those two are the most correct at times.

I also think that terrorist will think Kerry is a victory for them. Not that he agrees with that but I think it will happen. Remember the people dancing in the streets on 9/11 at our horrible tragedy? I wonder how many will dance in the streets if Kerry is elected claiming it a victory for them?

Does anyone else worry that we are voting based on our beliefs and opinions of (1) specific thing rather than looking at the whole picture?

There is no whole picture with this elction. I have had people say "I'm voting for JK because he will do more stem cell research." Period! Ok, so stem cell is your big priority, what about all the other issues. They don't care about them, their mind allows for one aspect and that seems to be all it can handle. Those same people don't watch the debates or read any current news, because, God forbid, they might learn something they don't want to know about their candidate. And, it happens on both sides. They have connected with one of these two guys on (1) issue and it becomes all they see. What a cop out! We are so full of self-importance that it makes me wonder.."What the hell did we learn about 9/11?"

I had a mother that passed away after more than a decade of having her mind totally destroyed from Alzheimer's disease. Stem cell research means something to me also. But, it can't be the deciding factor in an election when there are so many important factors that have to be weighed in.

Is it to much to ask people to just get over what they personally think about one damn issue and look at an entire picture and then make your decision based on what you learn from doing that?

Sorry for the rant. But, that's how I feel.

Posted by: Cathy at October 12, 2004 09:40 AM

I can't go as far as saying that "a vote for Kerry is a vote for terorism."

I can because Kerry will treat it as law enforcement, not war.

When Kerry made his "terror as nuisance" comment, he prefaced it by saying that his background was in "law enforcement"; and that's when he made the gambling, prostitution, terrorism as nuisance analogy.

John Kerry will take us back to the Clinton days of dealing with terror as a crime, rather than dealing wit it as a war. That, and his comment that 9/11 hasn't changed him, leads me to believe this guy just doesn't get it. I don't think the Dems get it.

Cheney was right; vote for Kerry and risk another 9/11.

Posted by: David at October 12, 2004 11:01 AM

Re. Nascent fascism - from Drudge:

Kerry Senior Advisor Chad Clanton to SINCLAIR Broadcasting: 'They better hope we don't win' [said on FOX NEWS DAYSIDE]...

Posted by: marek at October 12, 2004 01:35 PM

I am 99 percent certain that the vandalism in Portland does not come from the PC left. It comes from the radical anarchist "black bloc." They live for stirring up trouble and acting like assholes around town.

I started to agree, and somewhere earlier someone mentioned skinheads years ago (and still now). But such folk are looking for reasons to be jerks, for a social "supportive emotion" that allows them to think they are being Big Tough Guys, doing the (good) dirty work that others are too chicken to do. What, no AFL-CIO dockworkers or other "union toughs" in Portland?

I think at anti-capitalist rallies (Seattle) your percentage goes down to only some 80-90% non-PC folk; and if they can be violent against big (bad) corporations, why not against those corp. supporters?

It is emotionally similar to KKK against blacks, Nazis against Jews, Hutus against Tutsis, Serbs against Albanians. Us (good guys) against them (bad) -- based on who we are, not on behavior.

By the way, if you can give a percentage estimate about vandal composition, which I'm very comfortable with, why are you unwilling to give an estimate of the chance that Iran gets nukes in the next 4 years?

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 13, 2004 03:10 AM

For Mike Silverman, and anyone else interested:

The Radical Center

A bumper sticker telling both sides to play nice.

I'll add variations over time, but I (finally!) figured out Illustrator and I wanted to get the first up quickly.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 13, 2004 08:06 AM

"Left-wingers are more dangerous."?

They vandalise signs. Right-wingers vandalise nations.

Fascism does not start with political violence. How ridiculous. It was an element in the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany, yes (but not so much in Japan), but this is because fascism worshipped force as a means to an end. Sounds familiar, huh?

Posted by: Dr Zen at October 13, 2004 10:14 PM

Michael:

As an avid reader of your blog, I'm disappointed by your "Ad Hominem" attack versus my academic prowess. "Get an education"? That is a cop-out. I could be Noam Chomsky but it wouldn't matter one bit.

My arguments are distinguishable from my level of education completed.

FYI: I'm studying Journalism at a largely proletarian Canadian University. Yes, I'm trying to become part of the "Liberal Media" that Bush so proudly ignores. "I get my news from people who know about how the world works...my advisors". :)

Cheers & Let's keep the speech free & poignant.
JB.
http://jeremybrendan.blogspot.com

P.S. A "liberal" case for Bush? That's like saying a Marxist case for Hitler, or even a Republican case for Kucinich.

Posted by: Jeremy Brendan at October 18, 2004 09:16 AM

Just FYI, my mother-in-law's Kerry signs have been vandalized and stolen in Natchez, Mississippi. Nothing major, but you don't live somewhere where it could go the other way. Unfortunately, it does and it's like that anywhere the balance is skewed, it seems.

Posted by: Scott Partee at October 19, 2004 04:29 PM

Oh no!

Someone might steal your sign?! That IS appalling.

Say, how many billions of dollars have we thrown down the blackhole that is Iraq? 1,100 American lives and 35,000 Iraqis. And you're put upon because someone might put a poopy in a sack and leave it on your doorstep?

Any comments on the Bush plan to deploy 2,000 GOP operatives in Ohio to intimidate Dem voters or Florida's 360-to-1/black-to-hispanic purge list?

Nah?

Okay.

Just as long as your lawn is safe, then democracy prevails.

That's pretty much the beginning and end for most Bush supporters...

The health, welfare, and sanctity of their lawns.

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