Public health warning: much much more McArdle-blogging beneath the fold. But take heart – this may possibly be my last and most definitive statement on the topic. I certainly can’t imagine that I will want to write at length about this any more.
Megan McArdle objects strongly to my suggestion in comments that her writing is generally pernicious and that I really should be doing more to combat it. Well – it would have been rather odd if she had cheered me on enthusiastically, but I still think this is worth a response. First, I’ll excerpt what she says, and then I’ll respond.
This in the comments to a post in which Henry Farrell accused me of rank hypocrisy by juxtaposing something I wrote yesterday with something that I wrote close on eight years ago. Mr. Farrell was unaware that I had publicly retracted these remarks, and apologized for them, two years ago.
Did he “care whether he was right on the facts or not”? It seems to me that if he had, he might have taken the elementary step of asking me, before he wrote the post, whether I still supported what I wrote all those years ago. At the very least, he might have thought, “well, eight years is a long time and there’s always a small chance that she’s changed her mind”, and hedged a little, rather than launching the all-out frontal sarcasm assault.
When his error was pointed out, rather than simply graciously admit that he had misjudged me in this instance, he resorted to talmudic readings of what I said in the comments thread to that long-ago post, rather than tender an apology. Yet no matter how you read those comments—and I think Henry is reading them extremely selectively—that doesn’t really change the fact that I already said years ago that I oughtn’t to have written it. Is this the shining example of “caring whether one is right on the facts” that I am supposed to emulate?
You’d think he’d have at least interspersed a few posts between mote and beam . . .
And then, lots more on C.S. Lewis and charity, which I invite you to click through to if you really want to read about C.S. Lewis and charity.
The problem here is pretty straightforward. Megan McArdle believes that we would all benefit from more intellectual charity in the exciting cut and thrust of the blogosphere. There is indeed a plausible case for this. What there is not a plausible case for, in my opinion, is more intellectual charity towards Megan McArdle. It is doubtless upsetting to be told that your work is intellectually pernicious, even by someone whom you perhaps do not care about, or for (as a sidenote since Ms. McArdle suggests that I “dislike” her, it is not so much her that I dislike – I have no very strong views for or against – as her writing). But as Randall Jarrell sarcastically observed long ago, when an editor remonstrated with him for a cruel review of bad poetry.
I had thought a good motto for critics might be what the Persians taught their children: to shoot the bow and speak the truth; but perhaps a better one would be Cordelia’s love and be silent.
While there is an excellent case for intellectual charity when one is dealing with someone whom one does not know, or who usually seems straightforward, intelligent and honest, it is positively harmful to intellectual life to extend such charity to people who engage in persistent obfuscation and shoddy argument over a period of years. There, far better to shoot the bow.
And there is just such a pattern of lousy argument followed by obfuscation, denial, I’m-sure-I’ll-shortly-get-around-to-giving-you-my-devastating-comeback-argument-soons and No!-what-I-was-really saying-even-though-it-completely-contradicts-plain-language-readings-of-my-words in McArdle’s work, as can be seen if you read through some of the debates that she has been involved in over the years. Here, I provide a few examples, with only very short discussions, since this is already going to be a monster post (I also want to discuss the apology she is upset about, and its background, in some detail). I link only to the examples that most easily come to mind, usually because they involved me and other commentators at CT. Other readers may have their own particular favorites in her broader ouevre.
(1) The spanking Eric Rauchway incident where she told us that “Alex Tabarrok takes Eric Rauchway to the woodshed and spanks him so hard my butt hurts. As a general rule, it is a bad idea to title an exceptionally misleading and/or ignorant post “Stop lying”. ” Unfortunately, it turned out that this was neither a ‘misleading’ or an ‘ignorant’ post. Alex Tabarrok had in fact gotten his facts completely wrong, rendering his argument worthless. McArdle did promise an update to Rauchway back on November 10, 2008. However, as far as I am aware, she never in fact provided one (I have done a Google search which has come up with nothing; if I am wrong, I have no doubts that she will inform me). As a general rule though – if your butt hurts after a butt-spanking incident, it is a good indicator that it is you who has been spanked.In McArdle’s defense, Tabarrok (who was the worse offender here), has himself yet to substantively respond or apologize himself for having impugned the competence of a colleague on the basis of his own stupid mistake, seeming to prefer to pretend that the whole sorry incident didn’t happen.
(2) The Health Care as Rationing debate. This took place over a long series of posts, which I don’t dare to try summarize. But I will give a free Crooked Timber subscription to anyone, including Ms. McArdle herself, who can find good supporting evidence within those posts for the propositions that:
Holbo’s response to me consists of abstracting away all of the potential problems with national health care, and then demanding to know why I don’t support it—I mean, apart from the fact that if millions of poor people die, there will be more room on the subway for me.
Mr. Holbo’s answer is that I am an evil idiot who hates poor people, doesn’t understand how markets and governments really work, and is philosophically incoherent.
(except for the last bit, which Holbo happily cops to ). It’s far easier to argue against straw men than, you know, what people have actually argued. But I would have thought myself that it would grow increasingly dissatisfying over time.
(3) The Smithfield Meatpackers contretemps, in which Ms. McArdle devoted a number of posts to defending a palpably dishonest Economist story which defended Smithfield’s record on employing undocumented workers, without ever mentioning the inconvenient fact that there had been a legal determination that Smithfield had in fact been an abusive employer. The level of indignation and illogic in Ms. McArdle’s replies (I refer you in particular to the partisan hackery and Soylent Green conspiracy theory claims discussed here ) was such that I’ve always suspected that she wrote the offending article herself.
(4) My personal favorite: The Great Tax Debate. Wherein, Ms. McArdle starts by telling us that “What most of us are really in favor of is higher taxes on other people. If we wanted higher taxes on ourselves, we’d give the money to charity,” and finishes by telling us that what she was actually saying was “people aren’t interested in increasing their own taxes; they’re willing to pay to increase other peoples’ taxes.” Even though this latter claim is nonsensical, it does allow her to reinterpret the apparent plain language meaning of her original post in argumentatively convenient ways. However, the really nice bit is when she responds to the fact that she has completely misunderstood collective action theory (she has claimed that it “generally applies” to situations where ” the outcome is binary” – this is flatly untrue in ways that are obvious to anyone who knows the basic literature in collective action theory), by acknowledging that ‘Binary was perhaps an inelegant choice of words.’ Such chutzpah is almost worthy of admiration. Almost.
I could provide more examples – but I hope this list at the least provides sufficient resources for those who wish to investigate the intricacies of Ms. McArdle’s style of thinking and argumentation. Now onto the apology that she reprimands me for having treated so cavalierly. The reason that I was not especially impressed by this apology is because of its manifest inadequacies. It’s as much apologia as apology. Let’s take a look.
The apology, entitled “Let’s get this out of the way,” begins thusly.
I suspect that I shall spend the rest of my life being pursued by lefty bloggers who think that linking this six year old post is a substitute for argument. Nonetheless, it occurs to me that while I have repeatedly dealt with it in various places, I probably haven’t here. So here’s the deal. I’m going to talk about it now, because it was, frankly, a pretty stupid thing to write, and mea culpas are good for the soul.
The fact that she explicitly has mixed motivations for writing the apology – she both wants to apologize and to try to take the issue off the table, needn’t concern us unnecessarily. Most public apologies have mixed motivations of this sort – that an apology has strategic advantages does not mean that it is necessarily insincere. But from here on in, it starts to go downhill.
I have yet to see anyone deploy it against me who could even vaguely be accused of acting in good faith. On the other hand, there are readers in good faith who are surprised by it, and I think I owe them an explanation.
If she really did say something that she has since acknowledged was ‘creepy,’ it is an unusual run of luck indeed that everyone who has criticized her for this post has done so in bad faith. But why does she think that they have been in bad faith? It is because they haven’t mentioned that she only wanted two-by-fours to be used pre-emptively against violent protesters.
This discussion is foreshadowed by McArdle’s disavowal of any sympathy for ‘rioters’ (nb that in the following, I am not carrying out what Ms. McArdle’s friends used to refer to as a ‘fisking’ – i.e. I am not excerpting every word in order and responding to it. I do try to include everything pertinent – readers who spot stuff that I miss are invited to tell me so).
I still shouldn’t have written what I did. Not because I’m particularly sympathetic to rioters—which is what people who think it would be fun to turn a peaceful protest into a violent scene are The proper response to such people is to restrain them, by violent force if necessary. I certainly hope that if I were standing behind such people at a protest, I would have the physical courage to jump on them and use my 140 pounds of bony mass to wrestle them to the ground.
We certainly hope so too. But let’s continue.
As an aside, I note that riots certainly aren’t necessarily the fault of the protesters—I was at an ACT-UP die-in in Philadelphia around 1991 that turned violent because the coffin some of the protesters were carrying tipped over onto the barricades, and Philly’s trigger-happy police interpreted this as an attack. Needless to say, we were the ones who got beat on, not them. I mean “we” only in solidarity—the police tended to focus on the folks with the nose rings and the purple hair.
And now we start to get to the important bits.
I shouldn’t have written it because even if whacking a rioter in the head is necessary to stop the riot, it’s not funny. It’s not funny even when the rioter is a total scumwrangler who is deliberately wreaking mayhem—any more than it is ever funny when a thoroughly repulsive criminal gets raped in prison. To the extent that either the state or private citizens are forced to use violence to prevent violence, it should always be more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger. This is not amusing.
The problem hence, is not that violence against mayhem-wreaking scumwranglers is unwarranted – it is that one shouldn’t laugh at it, but instead treat of it in grave and serious tones. This is indeed the bit that I should have known about and responded to when writing my own post. But let’s continue. McArdle apologizes for having written it, explains that she had been in her “mid-twenties” (in fact she had just turned thirty), was exploring the new medium of blogging, and was “more than a tad overemotional at the thought of my city getting another dose of random ideological violence.” She then goes on to tell us that
But the way it’s used in the blogosphere is, for want of a better word, pathetic. Those who link it never, ever mention that it referred to violent protesters, even when they have to do some exceptionally creative editing to avoid that fairly central fact. Indeed, they often explicitly state that it referred to peaceful protesters, even though there is no possible reasonable reading of that post which interprets it as randomly exhorting violence against people who were lawfully marching in protest of the war. I have been a peaceful protester, though obviously not against this war. Moreover, my boyfriend at the time was a peaceful anti-war protester; I can assure you that I didn’t want him damaged, and since the relationship continued for years afterwards, I’m pretty sure he didn’t think so either. That post is supposed to impugn my character. What does it say that the people who link it are invariably either outright lying, or
deliberately misleadinginflicting creative omissions on their readers?
McArdle does provide us with the original post in its entirety (although she accidentally omits some italicizations, which I have reinserted, since one is quite pertinent).
Diane E. has a link seeming to indicate that the scruffier element of Saturday’s peace rally is planning on demonstrating for peace by, er, wreaking mayhem. Nothing says “Stop the Madness of Western Imperialism” like a white college student from Winnetka opening a can of whup-ass on some Korean vegetable stand!
So I was chatting about this with a friend of mine, a propos of the fact that everyone I know in New York is a) more frightened than they’ve been since mid-September 2001 and b) madly working on keeping up the who-the-hell-cares
ifI-get-hit-by-a-truck? insouciance that New Yorkers feel is their sole civic obligation. Said friend was, two short years ago, an avowed pacifist and also a little bit to the left of Ho Chi Minh. And do you know what he said? “Bring it on.”
I can’t be mad at these little dweebs. I’m too busy laughing. And I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it’s applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.
Unfortunately, however, some of the relevant context for the post is missing from the historical record. For she has told us earlier that:
Diane E. wrote the sadly now defunct Letter from Gotham blog. Though her politics—indeed, like mine—changed in those first few post 9/11 years, I think it’s safe to say that she would have a very pungent reaction to anyone calling her a neo-con loving warblogger. The post is now gone, but any of the libertarian antiwar bloggers should be happy to confirm that Diane E. was not a rumormongering warhorse who hated peace. The post was written in response to a credible belief that there were antiwar protesters who thought it would be fun to get a little WTO on New York.
So – she apologizes, apparently sincerely, for thinking that violence against mayhem-wreaking scumwranglers was funny, even though they’re scumwranglers (it’s worth drawing attention to the gradual transformation over the years of laughable “little dweebs” that you can’t even be mad at, into mayhem-wreaking “rioters” and “scumwranglers” who are self-evidently a threat to life, property and civilization; they must have been eating all their greens). She does not apologize for her belief back then that “rioters” need to be “restrained” with “violent force, if necessary,” perhaps by “whacking a rioter in the head … to stop the riot.” And she feels hard done by – none of the bloggers who link to the post ever mention that she is only referring to “violent protesters.” And if only we could read Diane E.’s post, we could see that there was “a credible belief” that we were going to see a WTO-style ” dose of random ideological violence.”
I do have good news for Ms. McArdle – the original Diane E. post that she thought was lost to posterity, has been located. Very likely, Ms. McArdle is unaware of how valuable archive.org is in retrieving such lost historical moments. Unfortunately the news gets less good for her from there.
I enclose the Diane E. post that McArdle was relying on in its entirety at the bottom of this post for people who really want the full context. There are a couple of general observations worth making. First – that Diane E., whether she was a “war-horse” or not, was clearly and emphatically a rumor-monger, contra McArdle. Indeed, I could think of many less polite descriptions of her attitude to truth than “rumor-monger.” Second, that Diane E.s writing in this post reaches Pam-Geller levels of batshit crazy. Myself, I would not be swift to describe a post like this as a justifiable basis for “credible belief.” But then I’m not Megan McArdle.
The key bits from the report that Diane E. is raving on about as evidence of planned mayhem are as follows (if I have made any significant omissions, critics should feel free to point them out, using the material that I have provided below for their convenience).
Then there are those who will seek a more creative outlet, avoiding the pens and hoping to sow chaos all over Manhattan. The Net features discussion of such tactics, honed at past free-form protests, as using cell phones to coordinate splinter actions. Of the currently 29 UFPJ-sanctioned “feeder” marches – by such groups as the “Queer Anti-War Contingent,” the “Interfaith Ministers for Peace,” not to mention the “Anarchist Red & Black Contingent” and the “Anti-Capitalist Bloc” – how many might break up like mercury in a dish, blobs going off on their own rather than being shunted into the pens? As former Brooklyn DA and Congresswoman Liz Holtzman told me, “It’s tough to distinguish [regular] walkers from marchers.” One contributor to the NYC Indymedia Center Web site called for “a tactical plan for widescale CD [civil disobedience] throughout Manhattan. This could include surprise ‘people’s inspections’ of various corporate and governmental sites, traffic lockdowns, a mass die-in, street theatre, prayer vigils, snowball fights, you name it. It’s time to be both bold and creative. Let’s transform Feb. 15 into a carnival of peace and resistance throughout Manhattan all afternoon. Save the protest pit for last call.” This is among the more temperate postings. Another stated mildly, “We can’t settle for tired megaphone speakers inside a protest pen encircled by police – we gotta bust out into the streets.”
So, what evidence do we have that college student rioters are planning a “can of whup-ass on some Korean vegetable stand,” to use McArdle’s memorable description? Diddly squat. What does this tell us about rioters’ plans to … er … riot? Again. Diddly squat. The protesters plans are explicitly to “transform Feb. 15 into a carnival of peace and resistance.” There are a number of proposed actions – but the only one that can be even faintly thought of as violent, is the proposal to have snowball fights. McArdle’s source of wisdom, the indefatigable Diane E., rants that this isn’t peaceful protest. But it obviously is. All of these actions are taken from the standard repertoire of peaceful disruptive protest. Many of them are certainly massive pains in the arse. None of them would seem to me to be forms of violence that would justify pre-emptive whacks in the head.
There is a later bit that talks about how there might be some hooliganism associated with the protests.
As endorsed by Judge Jones on Monday, the city has seemingly transformed a largely self-policing, follow-your-nose chant-and-sing march along any route the city might choose – UFPJ having abandoned its goal of marching by the UN - into an unpredictable and potentially chaotic cat-and-mouse struggle. Any rampant hooliganism will besmirch the peace movement, true, but also black the eye of civil liberties in a country touting itself as a democratic example to the world. And, to the degree that news cameras focus on cops tussling with some kids decked out in anarchist regalia or some shattered plate glass rather than on throngs tramping by under a Unitarian or Queer or Labor peace banner, that apparently suits the authorities just fine. … With effective, massed dissent an intolerable visual spectacle as war approaches, the city now invites struggle on both ends of a nightstick.
But again – this is not exactly strong evidence of planned riots. If one wants to suggest, as 2008-McArdle does, that she was terrified of an outbreak of “random ideological violence” that was in some sense comparable to September 11, one needs to do better than broken windows and “police tussling with some kids” (rather than vice-versa).
And indeed, this proved a problem for McArdle back in 2003. As dsquared pointed out to her back then:
The “mayhem” referred to appears to refer to such actions as “walking down the street” when told not to by the police.
To which Megan McArdle replied by telling us that anyone who tried to push through a barrier was going to get into a tussle with the cops and that:
Announcing that you’re going to walk on the street where the police tell you not to is announcing that you’re going to start a melee.
And then started in on anecdotes about the many rallies she had been at, how going through barriers invariably involved knocking down police and so on. This claim, like many of her convenient arguments-from-personal-anecdote, happens to be untrue.
So what does all of this tell us? First – that there are some fundamental problems with her apology (which is why I didn’t respond to it in the abjectly respectful manner that she clearly believes it deserves). To use her own words, she is inflicting some “creative omissions” on her readers.
She is correct to observe that she only claimed that the 2 by 4s and other forms of violence should be visited on the heads of violent protesters. But much of what she says about those purportedly violent protesters is untrue, and was clearly so at the time. She falsely claims that her beliefs were based in a credible source, indicating that there was a risk of widespread random violence on the day. See the source, and judge it for yourself at the end of this post. Her claim about college students opening whup-ass on Korean vegetable stands, or anything of the sort, appear to be entirely of her own invention – the relevant plans were for a (doubtless highly annoying) “carnival of peace and resistance.” And when she was called on the dearth of evidence of actual plans for violent mayhem, she fell back on a personal-anecdote-based claim that anyone who wanted to get out from the police cordon was necessarily looking for a “melee.”
This tells us two things. First, and most obviously, it calls her apology/apologia into question. There are many creepy elements to her original post which she appears to prefer not to discuss. I think Salient’s discussion of this in comments is excellent, and since this post is already horribly long, I see no reason not to make it longer by quoting him at length.
McMegan has an operative definition of ‘violence’ which allows her to say the things she does. This operative definition is, I would say, insane. My definition of ‘violence’ differs from hers. I, for one, distinguish between “Lenin-style violence” and “walking through a police barricade without their permission.” McMegan confuses one with the other, equivocating these examples.
Whatever. We know what she’s doing. … . She’s intentionally equivocating between violence and civil disobedience, because she enjoys the thought of enacting violence against a particular subgroup of people she finds distasteful, namely civil disobedients. So she confuses their behavior with the behavior of violent thugs until someone explicitly calls her out on it, at which time she pretends she knew all along, and dissembles until the equivocation is buried under murk. Oh, she was really just talking about . She buries her comments about pushing past police equaling violence under a mound of further blather, including things that contradict any conceivably reasonable interpretation of what she said earlier.
She can very plausibly be read as having a definition of violence that is either insane, or is deliberately chosen so that she can cheer on horrific acts of violence against victims on the grounds that, in some weird technical sense, those victims were ‘violent.’
Megan McArdle has equivocated an act that I have done—walking through a police barricade, bumping shoulders with police—with Lenin-style violence. She has equivocated civil disobedience—which I have practiced—with violent rioting—which I have acted against …. McMegan has advocated, with palpable relish, that police act violently against people who do things that I have done.1
I would add that the creepiest aspect of her original post is its emphasis on pre-emptive (her italicization; not mine) violence against protesters. When your definition of violence by protesters is highly elastic, and you believe that it should be pre-empted with a good beating, you’re setting things up for some very nasty outcomes. She doesn’t disown this in her apology – instead she doubles up on the benefits of violence (conducted with very grave and serious faces) against those she considers to be violent protesters.
Secondly, it provides a good example of her habitual mode of argument on these things. Start with a stupid and/or offensive claim. Get attacked. Come up with qualifications, alternative arguments (from anecdote, preferably, since they can’t be disproven), claims that what you really meant was this, hyperbolic distortions and whatever else you want. Get upset and outraged that people don’t treat your obfuscations with the respect that they truly deserve. And then repeat as often as necessary.
1 I would qualify this. McArdle doesn’t directly call (as far as I can see) for police violence against protesters who try to push through barriers. However, this is at the least a highly plausible reading of her statement that “I’m not saying that New Yorkers are going to attack people for breaching the police line, nor should they. It’s the job of the police to control things,” when taken together with her emphasis on pre-emptive violence, and her claim that anyone trying to go where the police doesn’t want them is looking to start a melee.———————————————-
[Retrieved post from Letter from Gotham below]
I WAS AFRAID OF THIS. Someone named Daniel Forbes, in an online Marxist rag called Progressive Review, informs us of the planned mayhem in the upcoming protest parade. Of course, he blames it all on Judge Jones’ decision, but I know leftists better than to swallow that rancid baloney. Excerpts:
With Monday’s ruling against an orderly, nonviolent protest march anywhere on the streets of Manhattan this Saturday,
S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones has steered the City of New York towards chaos.
Lie. How? This is simply an admission that they were planning to use violence all along. They don’t get what they want, they threaten. How typical of the radical left.
Though event organizer United for Peace and Justice states its willingness to follow any route the New York Police Department designates, the only legal option at hand is for anti-war demonstrators to be massed in tightly controlled police pens stretching far up First Avenue north of the United Nations.
Lie. Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is a reasonably large, open-air space. “Tightly-controlled police pens” sounds like “cattle cars.” What he should say is that rally-participants will be restrained by police barriers—standard operating procedure in a large public gathering.
Of the perhaps 100,000 people corralled
Lie. Nobody will be corralled.
there – stationary, cold, unable to hear or see the program directly, unable to duck out without difficulty for coffee or the Port-o-John
Ah, gee. No coffee and no visit to the Port-o-Potty! To a latter-day leftist from an indulgent Western country not being able to do exactly what you want when you want is Naziism. Seriously folks, the only coffee available nowadays in NYC is Starbucks, so Judge Jones is doing them a favor by preventing them from patronizing the Evil Zionist Capitalist Howard Schultz!
Then there are those who will seek a more creative outlet, avoiding the pens and hoping to sow chaos all over Manhattan.
Here we get to the point.
The Net features discussion of such tactics, honed at past free-form protests, as using cell phones to coordinate splinter actions.
Honed at past free-form protests? Then why should I believe you ever intended to march peacefully?
Of the currently 29 UFPJ-sanctioned “feeder” marches – by such groups as the “Queer Anti-War Contingent,” the “Interfaith Ministers for Peace,” not to mention the “Anarchist Red & Black Contingent” and the “Anti-Capitalist Bloc” – how many might break up like mercury in a dish, blobs going off on their own rather than being shunted into the pens?
As I have already said, no one is going to be penned up. But to answer the question, can anybody possibly believe that the “Queer Anti-War Contingent” and the “Anarchist Red & Black Contingent” was planning to come to NY to protest peacefully? Hell, no! No way in the world they didn’t want to turn this into a violent, Davos-like spectacle, surging through the streets in battle formation.
So much for the bullshit about comparing this radical leftist chaos “march” to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! So much for comparing the “Anarchist Red & Black Contingent” to the Westchester County Hibernian Bagpipers!
As former Brooklyn DA and Congresswoman Liz Holtzman told me, “It’s tough to distinguish [regular] walkers from marchers.”
I think it’s really easy to distinguish peaceful pedestrians from members of the Anarchist Red & Black Contingent heaving bricks through shop-windows.
One contributor to the NYC Indymedia
Indymedia, I should have known…
Center Web site called for “a tactical plan for widescale CD [civil disobedience] throughout Manhattan. This could include surprise ‘people’s inspections’ of various corporate and governmental sites, traffic lockdowns, a mass die-in, street theatre, prayer vigils, snowball fights, you name it. It’s time to be both bold and creative. Let’s transform Feb. 15 into a carnival of peace and resistance throughout Manhattan all afternoon. Save the protest pit for last call.”
Jim Henley, I’m calling you out. This is peaceful protest?
This is among the more temperate postings. Another stated mildly, “We can’t settle for tired megaphone speakers inside a protest pen encircled by police – we gotta bust out into the streets.”
Again, I ask, is this peaceful protest?
Writing in ZNet online,
Znet, I should have known…
Brian Dominick, an emergency medical technician from Syracuse, NY, noted his phone message to New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that, “permit or no permit, we will march.”
Then he’ll be breaking the law, and he’ll be arrested.
He added, “This latest clash between the streets and the elites is at this phase neither cataclysmic nor revolutionary, but it is certainly momentous.”
Actually, it’s none of the above. Petty street thuggery is petty thuggery; it’s been around since the year one, and accomplishes nothing.
One rally participant disagrees with threatening violence (which proves that those who are bent on it have a choice in the matter, as always):
Ted Glick represents such groups as the National Lawyers Guild and the Green Party. An organizer of Saturday’s demonstration, he disagreed about taking it to the streets, saying in an interview, “I doubt there will be a breach of police barricades – it will be absolutely peaceful and nonviolent. We’re not looking for a confrontation, but to manifest the views of millions of people.”
But he says: “But to the extent they don’t cooperate with those of us with a history of organizing peaceful demonstrations, then they put a lot of stress on what can happen.”
He issues a few soothing bromides and then disclaims responsibility for what he might bring about by his own actions.
By phone, Brian Dominick, a veteran of many demonstrations,
Er, you’ve already described him
wondered about an exit strategy – both citizens’ and the cops’.
The NYPD has a lot of experience in these matters, and if you just listen to them and work with them, all will go fine.
While he’s helped organize medical facilities at prior demonstrations, he’s just coordinating buses for this one. Based on his experience, he speculated that, “With hundreds of thousands of people at what was planned and promoted as a march, they will have that expectation.
It’s your fault if you promised something you couldn’t deliver. Don’t expect me to believe (with your cell phones and laptops provided by your upper-middle-class parents) that every person attending this rally doesn’t know about the judge’s decision. This is poppycock, even by Marxist standards.
What, are the police somehow going to manage to say we have to leave in very small groups and disperse us a few at a time?
That’s what they do when there’s hundreds or even a few thousand people. But unless the police want to keep us penned up
How many times do I have to say, there will be no pens?
there for hours on end, it’s going to be chaos.
In reality, there’s going to be a march.
People will be at a rally pumped up for it, and that’s the natural inclination.”
Restrain yourselves. As Katherine Hepburn said to Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, “Nature, Mr. Allnutt, is what we were put on earth to overcome.”
As endorsed by Judge Jones on Monday, the city has seemingly transformed a largely self-policing, follow-your-nose chant-and-sing march along any route the city might choose – UFPJ having abandoned its goal of marching by the UN - into an unpredictable and potentially chaotic cat-and-mouse struggle. Any rampant hooliganism will besmirch the peace movement, true, but also black the eye of civil liberties in a country touting itself as a democratic example to the world.
No comment. The Marxist lies keep coming, like garbage out of Fibber McGee’s closet.
And, to the degree that news cameras focus on cops tussling with some kids decked out in anarchist regalia or some shattered plate glass rather than on throngs tramping by under a Unitarian or Queer or Labor peace banner…
Blah blah blah blah. Where’s the shattered plate glass coming from? Peaceful marchers?
With effective, massed dissent an intolerable visual spectacle as war approaches, the city now invites struggle on both ends of a nightstick….
Both ends of a nightstick….did he just make that up, or is it his most-used macro? Blah blah blah.
Just go read the rest.
Thanks to Bill Quick for the link to the article.
NOTE: The NYCLU appealed Jones’s ruling Wednesday morning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In an oral decision Wednesday afternoon, Judge Jose A. Cabranes upheld the city’s ban, saying his ruling applied to Saturday’s demonstration only.
UPDATE: “On Friday, we made contact with NYPD’s Intelligence Division and confirmed that the New York City Area has been at the “ORANGE” alert level since September 11, 2001.” This is quoted directly from an e-mail from my building’s security/logistics manager.
posted by Diane at 12:30 PM