Ethics Heroes: North Carolina Democrats

gop-firebombing

Someone firebombed a Republican Party office in North Carolina over the weekend, and added some graffiti telling “Nazi Republicans” to leave town. Police are investigating; I don’t know why, since Donald Trump, responsible and fair as ever, already announced that the Clinton campaign did it.

trump-tweet-ncInspired by a tweet from University of North Carolina’s School of Information Science’s Zeynep Tufekci, David Weinberger of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Technology launched a campaign on GoFundMe to rebuild the ruined office. He wrote on the fund’s page,

“As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible. Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs.”

The fund reached its goal of $10,000 within 40 minutes, and closed with a final total of $13, 117, from over 552 decent, democratic, compassionate, ethical  Americans. Said Weinberger, “The funding campaign was a way of saying out loud that we are all in this democracy together, and that we stand together against those who would destroy it through violence and intimidation.”

This is the way a democracy is supposed to work.

Ah, those were the days…

Then there  are the bitter total war partisans like the Democrat who tweeted,

“I’ll donate to @NCGOP if they promise my donation won’t be used to keep trans people out of bathrooms and black people out of voting booths.”

That nice: terrorism is acceptable when it’s directed against those with whom you disagree.

Funny; you’d think someone like that would be voting for Donald Trump.

_______________

Pointer: Amy Alkon

Graphic: NBC

66 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, Philanthropy, Non-Profits and Charity, The Internet, U.S. Society, Unethical Tweet

66 responses to “Ethics Heroes: North Carolina Democrats

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    (shrug) So if Hillary’s health gives out on her I can’t post the song “Ding-dong ,the Witch is Dead?”

  2. Other Bill

    Fire bombing?

    Is the Southern Poverty Law Center on the ground helping find out who did this?

  3. Chris

    Jack:

    That nice: terrorism is acceptable when it’s directed against those with whom you disagree.

    I’ve seen the type of reaction in that tweet a lot, and it bothers me, but I think that’s an unfair reading. The tweeter isn’t saying or implying that the bombing was acceptable. They’re just saying they’re not going to give their money to an organization that they view as oppressors. I think that attitude is wrong in this case–the money is going to help them rebuild after an attack, it doesn’t make them any more effective at their mission than they were before–but it’s not saying terrorism is justified.

    Other Bill:

    Fire bombing?

    Is the Southern Poverty Law Center on the ground helping find out who did this?

    Does the Southern Poverty Law Center typically investigate crime scenes and help identify groups that commit terror? My understanding is that they catalog hate groups and violent extremists. They’re not investigators. They do keep tabs on some left-wing hate groups, though, such as the New Black Panther Party.

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/black-separatist

    • If you oppose terrorism, then you support all victims of terrorism, and do what you can to erase the harm caused by terrorism.

      • Other Bill

        You missed my sarcasm, Chris. They won’t touch this fire bombing with a ten foot pole.

        If they’re keeping an eye on the New Black Panther Party, they’re doing a better job than the Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch DOJ.

        • Chris

          I didn’t miss anything. Why do we always talk past each other? Your sarcastic dig doesn’t make sense unless you think SPLC typically investigates and helps identify right-wing extremists before the police figure out who the attackers are. That’s not their job–that’s the job of the police. What the SPLC does is identify hate groups after they have acted. (And actually, most of the groups SPLC catalogs are non-violent.) You were implying a double standard that doesn’t exist.

          • Other Bill

            Chris, google criticism of Southern Poverty Law Center sometime.

            I’d guess the reason we’re always talking past each other is you’re an enthusiastically orthodox progressive and I’m not?

            • Chris

              I’m well aware of the criticism of the SPLC. It’s bullshit. Most of it comes from groups that have been identified by the SPLC as hate groups, and they understandably do not want to be held responsible for the hate and bigotry they promote.

              SPLC is very transparent about why they label hate groups hate groups. If there is a certain group you think shouldn’t be on that list, let me know why. I guarantee I can give you a good reason, and it will be a reason clearly listed by their site.

            • While it makes perfect sense that Chris would likely support the reasons for all or nearly all of the inclusions on the SPLC Hate Watch list, what I cannot quite understand is what group exactly would Other Bill feel should NOT be on that list?

              Christian Identity groups?
              Anti-Homosexual groups?
              Holocaust Denial groups?
              The Pepe the Smug Frog Fan Club? 😉
              White Nationalist groups?
              Anti-Muslim groups?
              Anti-Immigration groups?
              KKK?
              Neo-confederate groups?

              Strangely, and in my view, the Conservative set has a general dislike of the radical activist and their Marxian program, and yet, more or less, these Conservatives have no way to articulate a position in favor of any of the more outrageous anti-American positions.

              From an article critical of SPLC:

              Quoting V. Lenin: “We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth… We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

              The article continues:

              “Herbert Marcuse, a German Communist scholar of the Marxist Frankfurt School, formalized this notion in a 1965 essay titled Repressive Tolerance; Marcuse argued that the First Amendment was insufficient in addressing the Left’s need to be heard. In racist, imperialist, oppressive America, their message would always be ignored. It wasn’t fair, he argued. Marcuse’s answer was to shut down the opposition:

              “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left… Not ‘equal’ but more representation of the Left would be equalization of the prevailing inequality.

              “While most of us have never heard of Marcuse or his theory, his idea was enthusiastically embraced by the Left. Marcuse himself was an associate of Julian Bond, an SPLC board member from its founding. Marcuse and Bond were co-founders of the leftwing newspaper In These Times. They both served on the National Conference for New Politics and were involved in other radical activism.

              “Marcuse’s “Liberating tolerance” found its most practical application in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which systematized the tactics of hate, ridicule and vilification to shut down opposing voices. While most leftists have memorized this tactic and we witness it every day in media and politics, I think it is the SPLC’s raison d’être.”

              • Other Bill

                I just think they have a strong tendency to label as hate groups or terrorists most anyone who doesn’t, in their opinion, toe the progressive line. I think they want to control thought by limiting discussion. They’re one of those groups that has become self-perpetuating.

                Put it this way: If the firebombing was done by a gay rights group, do you really think the SPLC would really call the on it? I think not.

                • Other Bill

                  In other words, I think they’re biased and their bias renders their judgment suspect at best.

                  • I am always inclined to keep probing. It likely annoys people. If so, excuse me.

                    What I don’t quite understand is how you could actually label as bias their distain for anti-homosexual groups, anti-gay groups, white supremacist groups, and the rest. Are you saying you do not have bias against David Duke and those who articulate a ‘racialist’ position? Maybe you see the SPLC as merely over-zealous but that their cause is correct.

                    I am in a different boat of course. I do define racialism and racial objectivism. I am a white nationalist (with many qualifications). I am completely opposed to the normalization of homosexual attitudes. And though I do not think like most of these people who live much closer to the earth and also better represent the ‘real America’ and the America of the Founders, I support Christian Identity groups and sort of prefer the straight-up bigotry of Middle America to the hypocritical pretentiousness of the more ‘sophisticated classes’. And I am Jewish-critical (and I am one). My views (as Chris has accurately noticed) are the stuff of Hate Watch lists.

                    If one is not with the Progressive Left, who is one with?

                • Chris

                  I just think they have a strong tendency to label as hate groups or terrorists

                  Nice conflation there! I almost didn’t notice. But there is actually a very big difference between a “hate group” a “terrorist,” and SPLC does not consider them the same thing.

                  anyone who doesn’t, in their opinion, toe the progressive line.

                  Anyone? That’s a very strong statement, and easily disproved. Is the Republican party labeled a hate group by the SPLC? How about the CATO Institute? How about Heritage?

                  If the answer is no, doesn’t that disprove your claim that they label anyone who doesn’t toe the progressive line a hate group?

                  Can you give any actual examples of groups that are on their list that shouldn’t be?

                  “Put it this way: If the firebombing was done by a gay rights group, do you really think the SPLC would really call the on it? I think not.”

                  I don’t know. I haven’t seen any gay rights groups on their list of hate groups. But then, I’ve never heard of a violent or overtly hateful gay rights group. There are left-wing groups on there such as black separatist groups and environmental groups, so it isn’t unheard of for SPLC to label left-wing groups as well.

                  • The “Hate group” tactic is otherizing advocacy based on the SPLC’s perspective, Chris. If you oppose abortion, and support the rights of the unborn, you hate women. If you oppose affirmative action and the demonizing of police, you hate blacks. If you were raised to believe homosexuality was a sin because your church believes that, you hate gays. If you think the immigration laws should be enforced, you hate foreigners. If you believe that entitlements are profligate, you hate the poor. If you don’t buy into the phony stats on the “gender gap,” you’re a sexist bigot.

                    It is the equivilent of ad hominem attacks: bypass any debate by declaring the advocate evil. By its own methods, SPLC is a “hate group.” Surely you see that. The device links any advocacy that opposes a narrow band progressive viewpoint as the equivalent of the KKK and Nazis.

                    It is amazing to me that you don’t see that.

                    • Chris

                      If you oppose abortion, and support the rights of the unborn, you hate women.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they

                      If you oppose affirmative action and the demonizing of police, you hate blacks.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they oppose affirmative action and the demonizing of police.

                      If you were raised to believe homosexuality was a sin because your church believes that, you hate gays.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they believe homosexuality is a sin.

                      If you think the immigration laws should be enforced, you hate foreigners.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they think the immigration laws should be enforced.

                      If you believe that entitlements are profligate, you hate the poor.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they believe that entitlements are profligate

                      If you don’t buy into the phony stats on the “gender gap,” you’re a sexist bigot.

                      Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they don’t buy into the phony stats on the “gender gap.”

                      It is the equivilent of ad hominem attacks: bypass any debate by declaring the advocate evil.

                      You know better than this. You have reprimanded commenters here for using the term “ad hom” in the same way you are using it here. SPLC does not “bypass debate” by using the term “hate group;” they back it up with plenty of evidence. The argument is “don’t listen to them because they are hate groups,” the argument is “They are hate groups because of the things they do and say, and here are the receipts.”

                      By its own methods, SPLC is a “hate group.”

                      Absurd. The SPLC does not target anyone because of their race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexuality, or even political orientation. They target specific groups who do. Your argument is essentially, “Why don’t they tolerate intolerance?”

                      The device links any advocacy that opposes a narrow band progressive viewpoint as the equivalent of the KKK and Nazis.

                      It is amazing to me that you don’t see that.

                      I don’t see that because it isn’t true, and you haven’t given any evidence that it’s true. You’ve accused them of labeling “any advocacy that opposes a narrow band progressive viewpoint” as a hate group, but they don’t do that; if they did, their list would be a hell of a lot longer and include much more moderate Republican groups. (You’re also saying that calling something a “hate group” is the same as calling them “the equivalent of the KKK and Nazis,” which is equally ridiculous.)

                    • Nope, you can’t give me busywork as punishment for exposing exactly how the SPLC works. I’ve read the whole SPLC list within the last four months. Of course there are groups that specialize in white supremacy on the list, but calling extremist beliefs “hate” is just a way to squelch free speech and advocacy, and many of the groups only seem hateful because of how the SPLC frames them.

                      Here, I’ll do to the site and see what I find in the “A’s” to answer one of your questions..Okay, we have this:

                      American Border Patrol/American Patrol

                      SPLC calls it “one of the most virulent anti-immigrant groups around.” It is an anti-ILLEGAL immigration group, which SPPC makes the equivilent of hate. They are extreme, and their rhetoric is harsh, but their basic position is that unrestrained illegal immigration from Mexico is destructive and culturally dangerous. TRUE.

                      Thus there is the example you asked for with this: “If you think the immigration laws should be enforced, you hate foreigners.” Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they think the immigration laws should be enforced.

                      And you misused “ad hominem.” Designating a group that uses the term “hate group” to cause adversaries to discard the message because of the messenger a “hate group” is accurate, a diagnosis. I’m not saying that SLPC’s substantive positions on issues are wrong because they do this. I’m saying that when they use the term “hate group” to tar opposition, they are in fact a hate group, and they are.

                      Don’t make me debunk your convenient definition that holds that only animus against government designated protected groups qualifies as hate. I’ll stop referring to SPLC as a hate group when they stop being the official otherizing organ for the left, and win arguments with facts and principles.

                    • Chris

                      Nope, you can’t give me busywork as punishment for exposing exactly how the SPLC works.

                      You “exposed” nothing; you made accusations, none of which you backed up/

                      “I’ve read the whole SPLC list within the last four months. Of course there are groups that specialize in white supremacy on the list, but calling extremist beliefs “hate” is just a way to squelch free speech and advocacy,”

                      I can’t tell what you’re saying here. Are you saying calling white supremacist positions “hate” is invalid? If so, why? It is true.

                      American Border Patrol/American Patrol

                      SPLC calls it “one of the most virulent anti-immigrant groups around.” It is an anti-ILLEGAL immigration group, which SPPC makes the equivilent of hate. They are extreme, and their rhetoric is harsh, but their basic position is that unrestrained illegal immigration from Mexico is destructive and culturally dangerous. TRUE.

                      Thus there is the example you asked for with this: “If you think the immigration laws should be enforced, you hate foreigners.” Please give me an example of the SPLC labeling a group as a “hate group” because they think the immigration laws should be enforced.

                      You completely left out the stated reasons SPLC designated them as a hate group, and you are soft-pedaling their positions to the point of meaninglessness. Here’s the link to the explanation of why they are labeled a hate group. It is NOT because they “think the immigration laws should be enforced.”

                      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/american-border-patrolamerican-patrol

                      And you misused “ad hominem.” Designating a group that uses the term “hate group” to cause adversaries to discard the message because of the messenger a “hate group” is accurate, a diagnosis.

                      I don’t know what you’re trying to say here.

                      I’m not saying that SLPC’s substantive positions on issues are wrong because they do this. I’m saying that when they use the term “hate group” to tar opposition, they are in fact a hate group, and they are.

                      My head hurts. You’re articulating two totally irreconcilable positions here:

                      1) It is wrong to call anyone a “hate group,” save for maybe the KKK and Nazis

                      2) The SPLC is a hate group.

                      Which of these two positions do you actually believe?

                      Don’t make me debunk your convenient definition that holds that only animus against government designated protected groups qualifies as hate.

                      Since I never articulated such a definition, you won’t have to do any such debunking.

                    • What? This is a crime against language and logic.

                      1. I’m saying that the list includes actual white supremacy groups. I don’t accept the term hate group, and the reason is how the term is used and stretched by SPLC, among others. Based on their rhetoric, radical pro-abortion groups hate “pro life” groups. “Hate” is wielded as the left’s tool of isolation, but it is a non-partisan emotion.

                      2. “You completely left out the stated reasons SPLC designated them as a hate group.” No, I didn’t. They call it a hate group to unfairly tar the non-politically correct position, and then bootstrap by cherry-picking rhetoric. Those quoted passages are hyperbolic but no more hateful the DNC screeds I get about Republicans and Donald Trump. The “invader” analogy is not “hate”–it’s scaremongering, but not logically invalid. You just proved my point. If you really think this is “hate speech”…

                      “A misguided immigration policy and a hostile force on our border are threatening the bonds of our union. If she is to survive, America needs leaders who will fight for her. Leaders who will control our border. Leaders who will repel invaders. Leaders who will put an end to the cultural cancer which is eating at the very heart of our nation. America and her western civilization must be rescued if she is to make her date with destiny in the twenty first century.”

                      …Then you are part of the problem. Was Ted Kennedy engaging in hate speech when he said…

                      Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.

                      No, just irresponsible, exaggerated, over the top scare-mongering—just like the American Border Patrol quote.

                      3. I’m saying, and clearly, you just don’t care to process it, that “hate group” and “hate speech” is a slur, and that the SLPC uses it to unfairly “win” policy debates by denigrating the messenger rather than the message.

                      I’ll call SPLC a hate group because by its own methods and rhetoric, it is one.

                    • Chris

                      Jack, the SPLC defines a hate group as a group with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” The SPLC does not do that. So no, the SPLC is not a hate group by their own definition, and neither do any of the groups or people in your analogies.

                      I admit the explanation for the American Border Patrol designation isn’t quite as compelling as many of their others, but I’d say “scaremongering” about an entire class of people is pretty close to hate, and often leads so directly to it that there isn’t much of a difference–were Germans who were afraid of Jews taking over Germany unless something was done not hateful? Once the difference between that and the breathless scaremongering about a Mexican “Reconquista” from the ABP?

                      Even if they shouldn’t be classified as a hate group, that’s one example of many, and hardly invalidates the term entirely.

                    • I am not interested in what the SPLC says it does. I’m interested in what it does, and how it defines “hate group” by its actions. The anti-illegal immigration group, American Border Patrol, I used as an example does not oppose legal immigration of Mexicans. Thus the group cannot oppose groups based om “immutable” characteristics. Since SLPC doesn’t in fact follow its official definition, we can’t call that the true definition it uses, correct?

                      I said I didn’t care to go through the whole list, said I’d pick a group that was being called a “hate group” by SLPC to blunt its political position using only the A’s, and I did.

    • Chris said, “My understanding is that they [Southern Poverty Law Center] catalog hate groups and violent extremists.”

      I’m quite certain that the group and/or individual that did this is part of a love commune that is pushing for world peace. [sarcasm emoticon]

  4. Spartan

    “That’s nice: terrorism is acceptable when it’s directed against those with whom you disagree.”

    To be fair, he wasn’t condoning terrorism – he was just stating the circumstances under which he would donate.

    Who was the Democrat who said that? Just some random person on the internet?

    • Just the circumstances under which he would demonstrate opposition to terrorism by undoing the harm done by terrorism. It’s like saying that I’ll give to the families of 9-11 when the US stops oppressing Muslims.

      That was just one of many such tweets, by a social media user.

      • Spartan

        I’m slightly confused. I’m not giving to the Republican Party. I don’t think it means that I support terrorism. And, for the record, I could see myself donating if they got rid of Trump and put up someone decent.

        • The Fund is a Democratic led fund to rebuild a firebombed building, not a contribution to the Republican Party.

          • And a symbolic fund, designed to signal the mutual respect for principled debate that democracy requires to function, unlike its malfunctioning for the past 8 years.

            Attaching policy conditions to that macrocosmic objective rather misses the point. next step: Republicans saying, “We spit on that money. When Democrats stop trying to foist a lying, corrupt totalitarian on the nation, then we’d accept the contribution!”

            Sigh.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Spit nothing. We take a big, thick, fat greasy SHIT right on it. The next four years is devoted to stopping this corruption any way we can.

              • zoebrain

                That’s up to you. You have every right to do so. And your words will be repeated on DNC ads far and wide. No need to editorialise. They proclaim beliefs you are proud of, and utterly uncompromising in.

                The DNC can say that they tried.

                From a propaganda viewpoint, there’s something to be said for a fanatic and irrational nailing of colours to the mast. ISIS has had some success with this approach.

                There’s also something to be said for the appearance, if not the substance, of being the voice of sweet reason. Of reaching out to opponents, and not demonising them as eternal enemies in a blood feud.

                I’ve made my call. You apparently have made yours. Time will tell who’s right, and I have no guarantee it will be me.

                I do predict though that fanatics always end up falling out, and fighting amongst themselves over issues of ideological purity.

                • “The DNC can say that they tried.”

                  Tried what?

                  • zoebrain

                    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-trump-reaction-to-orange-county-nc-firebombing–20161017-snap-story.html

                    Tried to restore decent, civil behaviour.

                    Being rebuffed by words such as “Spit nothing. We take a big, thick, fat greasy SHIT right on it. ” Is only to be expected from the GOP of today, it’s something those on the Right do now, but you have to try. Many, most, on the Right aren’t like that, rational people can disagree.

                    Enough don’t though to make the Republican party the party of Trump, and Trump the public face of the Republican party. Coarse. Oafish. Fanatical. Uncivilised.

                    I don’t think this is a temporary situation. Its not that reasonable people have become inflamed with passion driving them temporarily bonkers – as happens every 4 years on both sides. It is that the mask has slipped, it was the thin veneer of sanity that was the pretence.

                    Not of the majority. But enough so that Trump is the nominee.

                    • Nope. The guys (the DNC and the Left) who are directly responsible for the hyper polarized and uncivil mess that our political discourse currently is don’t get to be given any sort of credit for “trying to restore civility”.

                      Please. That’s laughable.

                    • Chris

                      Nope. The guys (the DNC and the Left) who are directly responsible for the hyper polarized and uncivil mess that our political discourse currently is don’t get to be given any sort of credit for “trying to restore civility”.

                      Please. That’s laughable.

                      Well, thanks for showing that you’re unreachable by reason, infected by partisan bias, and a hypocrite. You blame “the left” entirely for our current state of uncivil discourse, but have nothing to say for the Republicans who have helped elect Trump, the most divisive and uncivil candidate in at least 50 years. You refuse to give any credit to efforts from people on the left to promote bipartisan outreach, such as this donation, while at the same time decrying them for promoting incivility.

                      That’s not laughable, that’s sad.

                    • Nope. Doesn’t fly. I don’t have to say anything about the Republican camp now picking up the standard where the civilization eaters left it. It is deplorable but I don’t have to mention it when I’m demonstrating that Zoe’s entire attempt at pretending the democrats are some sort of high road takers is ludicrous.

                      But nice try though. Doesn’t stick however.

                    • zoebrain

                      Don’t care who goes high, who goes low, what’s important is that we reach out. Forget appearances or whose fault it is, there’s a problem, let’s fix it.

                      After the fix, by all means play blame games in an attempt to prevent repetition, but fix first.

                    • Chris

                      I don’t have to say anything about the Republican camp now picking up the standard where the civilization eaters left it. It is deplorable but I don’t have to mention it when I’m demonstrating that Zoe’s entire attempt at pretending the democrats are some sort of high road takers is ludicrous.

                      In this particular instance, the Democrats are taking the high road, and you are taking the low road. But the fact that you refer to us as “civilization eaters” pretty much tells me you’re never going to see it that way.

                    • texagg04 said, “civilization eaters”

                      I’ve never heard that phrase before. You should send a definition to urban dictionary – seriously.

                      I posted a couple of definitions there, my favorites are “Trumpaigning” and “Perfect Political Storm”.

                    • Alizia Tyler said, “I’ve got one: to Zoltarize.”

                      Submit it, it’s a bit of an inside joke but heck they might take it.

      • Chris

        It’s like saying that I’ll give to the families of 9-11 when the US stops oppressing Muslims.

        Which would be stupid and petty, but still not an endorsement of terrorism.

          • Yeah, it most definitely implies that the suffering of the 9-11 families was deserved. And as soon as the “it was deserved” connection is made you have an endorsement of *what* they deserved.

            So it isn’t “pretty close”. It’s there. And Chris is wrong.

        • It could be an ‘endorsement of terrorism’ and it could also be just one of many different attempts to ascertain causation. If we start from the assumption that it is very difficult to ascertain causation, because of our tendency to lie to each other and to ourselves, depending on alliances, it can be assumed that the *stories* we cobble together or that are cobbled together for us to *explain events* is likely twisted.

          It is simply a datum of understanding that when in a military operation — take any one and examine it — that many many families suffer. Can they ever be said to be *deserving*? No 9/11 family could be described as ‘deserving’ suffering. Yet it is possible to undertake an ‘examination of the causes’ that led to the attack which will likely reveal unpleasant truths, and truths that will not be allowed to be seen.

          Lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie and keep lying! Weave lies into the breakfast cereal. Tell beautiful guilded lies to the children. Weave garlands of lies and place them lovingly on the necks of the Heroes.

          Tell the truth and suffer.

  5. “As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible. Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs.”
    _______________________

    As I mentioned to Jack somewhere else, I have been reading up on the the War of Independence. I think I am reading a fairly main-line book (1933) called ‘Revolution 1776’ by John Hyde Preston.

    ‘No matter the result, this is not how Americans solve their differences’.

    Bwahaha ha ha HA! That is a perfect lying statement! It is thoroughly and absolutely UNTRUE. It is false to its core. The whole country began as a result of a series of deliberate misunderstandings (mistatements and deliberate distortions) and by asserting a contrary will, and a will designed to undermine any sort of fair and sensible agreement (between the Colonies and the Home Government). American solved their differences by cheating, lying, subverting and not to mention smuggling and other such criminal enterprises. And the motive for doing this was, even by George Washington when he took up the cause, significantly pragmatic and for lucrative purposes.

    Self-interest, deliberate lying, falsification and money-interest: if one does not take this into consideration one will fundamentally misunderstand the American.

    Hold onto those guns boys and girls. Misrepresent what the other says and get other people to believe you. If you need to get completely violent and awe your opponent with your capacity for violence, why toss a B61-12 bomb on them.

    Excuse me, I’ll stop. It is just that when one looks to the origins one sees a very different story and truth than the one that *we* seem to tell ourselves.

    And it is the same patterns that one notices, resurging, in the present. America’s ‘Eternal Return’. 😉

    • zoebrain

      Concur. But that was then, this is now.

      Tell a lie about Freedom and Equality long enough, and people not only start to believe it, they start to actually implement those ideals.

      That’s the meta-history of the USA.

      It’s why while correcting the legendary history so it aligns more closely with the facts, it’s important that we keep those fictional legends alive, not as records of what has gone before, but as things to aspire to in future.

      • I think at times that I and by extension *everyone* suffers from the illusion that we can actually understand *what is going on*. I feel at times that I have an optimism that I might come to an understanding that I can say is *real* or *solid* and I am inclined to keep pushing forward to achieve understanding. Then, at times, I feel I do gain greater understanding. But at another moment I wonder if this is not a vain self-deception. The only things that I can know about, or dominate with my understanding, are entirely local, and I mean in my very immediate environment.

        Now, it would seem that, and thinking of America, we are all the objects of causes which we can rarely ever *see* and *understand*. In fact when one considers ‘causation’ I think it is safe to say that we are always under the influence of causes about which we are *ignorant*. This is not a very pretty picture for the individual who craves awareness.

        Below, on this thread, Zoltar speaks about the ‘ignorant ones’, the average people. Yet they could never, not ever, be expected nor relied on to *really* have any understanding of the world and the world of effect on them and in them. We see them and we see their relative ignorance. But I’d suggest we *project* onto them what we intuitively realize about ourselves: we understand next to nothing. We pretend to *knowledge* that we do not have.

        As an example (and only because I have been thinking of this) we attempt to come up with an explanatory narrative that explains sufficiently ‘Trump’. And we overlay *it* and *him* with one narrative and then another and no one of them seems sufficient. What is the ’cause’? It is impossible to ascertain. Because it is too many causes all at once, and many of them *invisible* and perhaps even *unknowable*.

        I have begun to get curious to read Noam Chomsky’s new book “Who Rules the World’:

        “In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Chomsky argues that the USA, through its military-first policies & its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe & wrecking the global commons. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the expanding drone assassination program to the threat of nuclear warfare, as well as the flashpoints of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan & Israel/Palestine, he offers unexpected & nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet.”

        If this is so, and I think the Machiavellian stance will often yield the most fruit of understanding when one considers ‘systems’, I am very curious to understand the links back into history and those that go directly back to the Constitutional Era, the Revolution of 1776. These men were, as far as I am able to tell, involved in tremendous self-deceptions and at the same time were sending letter to each other back and forth in which they plunged into the essence of truth and value and political goodness. And all the while they were simultaneously, and boldly, pursuing their own personal interests. What is the core message here: it has to do with hypocricy.

        Everyone lies and everyone is lying. We do not seem willing to *tell the truth* about the Systems of which we are a part and thus complicit. But if that is so in respect to the External World, how much more so it must be toward the Internal World? Thus we lie at the most fundamental level of Being (dasein). It is our way of life. It is what we do.

        I sort of begin to have a different empathy and even understanding of Metaphysical Truth Communities: those fringe groups that form in history with some doctrine, some Weltanschauung which offers to the benighted soul an Explanatory Narrative. We surround the baby and the child with Comforting Explanatory Narratives and coo him into pleasant sleepiness. But is it not an adaptive strategy that we require a Narrative ourself, even if it is only slightly fact-based?

        • zoebrain

          For once I agree with you, in the essentials anyway.

          • Well, that’s positive.

            (It is a total conspiracy that keeps me time and again from getting to Comment of the Day. A rigged system in which I am bound to snatch defeat right out of the mouth of success …)

            • Alizia Tyler said, “It is a total conspiracy that keeps me time and again from getting to Comment of the Day.”

              The fact that something like that even popped into your head is interesting; the fact that the thought lingered long enough to even be considered as something worthy of being posted is a bit more interesting; the fact that you actually took the time to type the thought and post it here for everyone to read is quite telling.

  6. Wayne B

    Well obviously the Republicans firebombed the place themselves so they could have a Reichstag moment and “unfairly” blame the Black Lives Matter Movement. Another example of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy! (tongue firmly in cheek).

    • Not so tongue-in-cheek for some that actually believe it.

      Personally since it seems like the ends justify the means is now a way of political life (and life in general) for the supporters of both Clinton and Trump, I wouldn’t put it past either side to do this.

    • Did you read the claims that the Democrats did this so they could start the GoFundMe as a PR stunt showing what good people they are?

    • Just saw this in multiple places on Facebook; “In 1937, the Reichstag in Berlin was set on fire. Hitler blamed an opposing party. This was a pivotal moment in the rise of Nazi Germany.”

      Are the perceived parallels warranted?

      Are the implications warranted?

      • zoebrain

        The simplest explanation is usually correct. Could this be a mini Reichstag? Not impossible. Far more likely though is thst it is exactly what it appears to be.

        The Democratic GoFundMe campaign is more likely to be a politically calculated move to de-fang the issue. Certainly it was effective, and obvious. But again, more likely to be an instinctive reaction to try to neutralise the venom and appeal to the angels of our better nature.

        What matters most though, regardless of whether it was cold political calculation – as it would have been if I were involved – or more worthy reasons, it was the right thing to do. Ethical. Never let your ideology or reasoning get in the way of doing the right thing. That would be my reply to those who understandably don’t wish to donate.

        The GoFundMe had already closed before I could put my own money in. Not quick enough. My attempt was not for any altruistic reason. Ok. Maybe a little bit, one of the times when pragmatism and idealism don’t fight one another.

        • zoebrain said, “The simplest explanation is usually correct… Far more likely though is that it is exactly what it appears to be.”

          “Probably” true.

          It’s quite interesting that the level of political distrust that has been building over the last 25+ years has led to the point where this is the outcome of something like this; heck, just the fact that the fire bombing happened at all is a likely sign of things to come but the level of distrust is so very thick that we (the USA) may be irretrievably broken.

          Again; my only hope these days is that I’m proven wrong about what might happen to our short-term future after this election is over.

  7. Propaganda reigns supreme and this incident will play out as propaganda for both sides and push the rhetoric to a new level of bull shit.

    When will ignorant people learn; maybe they’re really just stupid.

  8. Al Veerhoff

    So what appears to have been an act of generosity and an attempt to console an aggrieved group actually had a sinister purpose, to undermine the political arena. (Think of the Battle of the Crater.) Can’t we all just go out for a beer and stop talking past each other about politics?

  9. I’ve got one: to Zoltarize. 😉

    To Zoltarize: “to come down on someone with such moral force that they shrink up like a raisin and disappear into their own raisin-shadow”.

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