Angels & Bikers

[updated]

One silver lining in the ongoing saga of the vile Westboro Baptist Church funeral protests is that wherever they go Americans unite against them. The Arizona State Legislature has passed a law preventing protesters to come within 300 feet of funerals. And Arizonans are organizing a counter-protest to keep the family and other mourners of the nine-year-old girl murdered this past Saturday, Christina Green, shielded from the hateful signs and chants of the Westboro clan.

Within hours of the church’s announcements, Facebook groups sprang up to plan actions surrounding the funerals that would keep the church members separate from the mourners.

Tucson just isn’t that kind of town, says Christin Gilmer, 26, referring to the actions of the church.

“For something like this to happen in Tucson was a really big shock to us all,” she said. “Our nightmare happened when we saw Westboro Baptist Church was going to picket the funerals.”

Gilmer and others are planning an “angel action” — with 8-by-10-foot “angel wings” worn by participants to shield mourners from picketers. Angel actions were created by Coloradan Romaine Patterson, who was shocked to find the Topeka church and its multicolored signs outside the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man beaten and left on a fence to die in Laramie, Wyoming.

Bikers will be there, too, as they so often are at these counter-protests:

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” said Glen Littell, who’s bringing a pack of bikers from the Phoenix Motorcycle Rider Group to Tucson on Thursday. “They’re a stench from a slaughterhouse. We’re just going to block the stench so the family can catch their breath.” […]

Littell has notified the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and has reached out to several other biker groups notifying them of their planned presence at Green’s funeral. He crossed his fingers that the Hells Angels would join them.

“Nothing says stand back and be silent like a Hells Angels presence,” he said.

Littell added that if the church moves on to picket other funerals, his riders will follow.

“We’re getting word there’s gonna be a pretty large presence of bikers,” he said. “Word’s spreading. And spreading quickly.”

With so much awful, rancorous division in this country it’s good to see people coming together in defiance of hatred. There is something beautiful to me in this battalion of angels and bikers come to shield the grieving. A bright streak of humanity in an otherwise dark hour.

Update.

Thanks to commenter JPL for this update:

KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) – A controversial Kansas church has decided not protest at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says church members will skip Thursday’s funeral of Christina Taylor Green.

Phelps-Roper was interviewed Tuesday by a station in Toronto, Canada, and is scheduled to be on a morning talk show Saturday. She says Westboro Baptist Church decided not to picket in exchange for the airtime.

Phelps-Roper says the group will picket the funeral Friday for U.S. District Judge John Roll and at the intersection where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot.

The Arizona Legislature unanimously passed a measure Tuesday banning protests at or near funeral sites.

The Topeka Capital-Journal first reported the church’s decision to skip the girl’s funeral.






196 replies
  1. 1
    kerFuFFler says:

    So inspiring——it dwarfs with its magnanimity the petty, selfish foolishness of Sarah Palin and her disgraceful blood libel posturings.

  2. 2
    Mike from Philly says:

    Good to know some things are still beyond the pale. But “Tuscon just isn’t that kind of town”. Which town welcomes these people or wants them? They’re universally despised.

  3. 3
    Bnut says:

    My favorite part of any Westboro protest are the calls from the right about how Papa Hate is/was a Democrat.

  4. 4
    meh says:

    too bad it took the death of a 9 year old girl to get it done.

  5. 5
    Ija says:

    There are other victims of the shooting. But they choose the funeral of the little girl to protest for maximum attention. They are just attention whores aren’t they?

  6. 6
    Ming says:

    thanks, E.D.

  7. 7
    mistermix says:

    @meh: This has been happening for a while at funerals for dead servicemembers, too.

  8. 8
    batemapa says:

    These people truly are the scum of the earth.

    i remember they came to my college campus a few times telling us we were all slutty, devil-worshiping fags and all going to hell. usually at that point two girls would go make out right in front of them…good ole college days! i remember once someone threw a pie at them.

    even when people tried to have serious debates with them, they were so irrational and hyperbolic about everything…sound familiar?

  9. 9
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Ija: They’re much, much worse than attention whores, but that’s certainly a part of it. It is so infuriating…I barely have words for it.

  10. 10

    One silver lining in the ongoing saga of the vile Westboro Baptist Church funeral protests is that wherever they go Americans unite against them.

    Well yes but there’s a reason! Because where the Westboro Baptist Church is concerned, the media has NOT “abandoned its moral mandate to stigmatize uncivil discourse.”

    This was basically the point of my post Monday.

    Somehow we’ve decided that the line in the sand is Fred Phelps’ “Thank God for dead soldiers” crap. THAT is the bridge too far. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck … not so much . The bar was moved and this is where it rests.

    I just wonder, if all this crap keeps up, where will the bar will have moved to in 15-20 years?

    Seriously. Wake the fuck up, people.

  11. 11
    Moonbatting Average says:

    @Bnut: I know, right? what a uniting figure “Democrat Fred Phelps” is!!

    For example: http://hillbuzz.org/2011/01/09.....com=331746

    Anyway, glad to see that people in this country can agree that picketing a 9-year-old girl’s funeral is despicable. That’s a high bar to clear.

  12. 12
    Alex S. says:

    I don’t even know why the WBC is protesting. I guess I understand why they did so at Heath Ledger’s funeral, because he played in a movie with FAAAGS. But what is their angle here? I guess it shows that they’re really just out for the damages and look for the places where they can most easily provoke people.

  13. 13

    Fred Phelps and his kids are lawsuit trolls, pure and simple. They do this in the hope that someone will get ticked off enough to throw a punch at one of them so they can then sue that someone for lots of money.

    I keep hoping that someday, one of the people targeted by the WBC takes the step of inviting Nate Phelps, the Phelps son who escaped Daddy’s brutal brand of Christianity, to appear at an event held at the same time as a funeral, but far enough away so that Daddy’d be forced to choose between screaming at his son and screaming at mourners.

  14. 14
    Athenae says:

    Fuck yeah, angels and fuck yeah, bikers.

    Mr. A and I were on the road once and came across a whole bunch of those Patriot Guard guys (and gals) on their way someplace, all riding together. We gave them the thumbs-up and they waved back.

    A.

  15. 15
    Sly says:

    @Alex S.:

    I don’t even know why the WBC is protesting. I guess I understand why they did so at Heath Ledger’s funeral, because he played in a movie with FAAAGS. But what is their angle here?

    WBC Ideology in a nutshell: Every public tragedy is a sign that God doesn’t like us anymore and will do horrendous shit to us until we start stoning sinners to death.

  16. 16
    batemapa says:

    @Alex S.: i think their thinking is that it is an event that will get national attention, so they go to spread their so-called message. that’s the only reason i can think of. of course they will say this is God acting out in anger for all the sinning we’re all doing, but no one buys that horse shit

  17. 17
    JRon says:

    @Phoenix Woman: Nate phelps’ story is fascinating sad and inspiring.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    I’m not trying to be contrary here but how are their demonstrations worse than what is occurring in our society on a daily basis? (fyi, their demonstrations do sicken me)
    Americans are willing to fight for their first amendment rights and
    defend those that spew vile but not defend the right to peaceably assemble. Is Rush’s brand of hate okay and Westboro Church not?
    Just to be clear I’m pleased that the families will be protected but I also think there are hypocrites among us. Maybe not on this site but they exist.

  19. 19
    stuckinred says:

    I stood with the Patriot Guard at a military funeral here in Athens the WBC showed up for. I met up with them early in the morning because I wanted to take the temperature before I got into some shit. They were mostly vets and, pre-teaparty, pretty right wing but they were disciplined. The main dude said, “ok, we all know what we want to do but we have to hold tight and simply block them from the funeral as much as possible”. It was done with as much dignity as possible but I’m not sure how much it helped the family. I was a small African American church and to have about 200 flag carrying white folks standing across the street couldn’t have been all that comfortable.

  20. 20
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Alex S.: The girl was Catholic.

  21. 21
    gnomedad says:

    @Alex S.:

    I don’t even know why the WBC is protesting.

    Their formula is that America is being judged by God, mostly for tolerating teh gay, and therefore they can celebrate anything bad happening to anybody as God’s judgement.

  22. 22
    E.D. Kain says:

    @stuckinred: I can see this, but there is something kind of amazing about it you know? The solidarity of it all.

  23. 23
    bemused says:

    Sick, creepy people. When I first heard of them, a little searching unearthed their hatefag websites (plural) and their extreme obsession with just about every sexual practice there is from the common to the most, ahem, unusual. Thinking about all the time they must spend on researching and talking about this stuff made me gag.

  24. 24
    stuckinred says:

    @E.D. Kain: It has to be done but we should fool ourselves into thinking it will help the family.

  25. 25
    stuckinred says:

    Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
    They lowered him down as a king
    But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
    That fired the gun
    He’ll see by his grave
    On the stone that remains
    Carved next to his name
    His epitaph plain:
    Only a pawn in their game.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Southern Beale: You said it better than I. You’re right, the bar has been moved so far that who knows where it will stop.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @E.D. Kain: If all that comes out of this is the “solidarity” that Fred Phelps is a vile scumbag, but Rush Limbaugh is a political commentator whose views are discussed on the nightly news, then I despair. I see precious little daylight between Phelps and Limbaugh.

  28. 28
    singfoom says:

    Ugh, but I hate the WB idiots. It is a shame shame shame that they hail from my home state of Kansas.

    What I don’t understand is how they can afford to do all this funeral picketing. Don’t they have jobs?

    Or are their jobs connected to WB and it’s mission to purge America of teh ghey?

    I hope they get the same kind of warm reception in Tuscon that they got in Oklahoma. It would be a pretty horrible thing if someone slashed their tires. ;)

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Phoenix Woman: This is exactly it.

  30. 30
    E.D. Kain says:

    @stuckinred: At this point there is very little that will help the family, I realize this. But it’s certainly better than letting the protesters do this in plain view. It’s something, however small.

  31. 31
    stuckinred says:

    @E.D. Kain: That’s why I did it.

  32. 32
    Bob says:

    Given your libertarian inclinations I’d think you would find the AZ law overreach.

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.c.....ssouri.php

  33. 33
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Ija: “There are other victims of the shooting. But they choose the funeral of the little girl to protest for maximum attention. They are just attention whores aren’t they? “

    No, they are looking for conflict to incite people to do something stupid so they can sue them blue over over it. It’s how they make their money. They don’t do it for their god, they do it for the potential payoff. From what I have heard, Fred has been sucker punched in W.Va and at another recent funeral they had their tires flattened and couldn’t find anyone in that town to fix their tires.

    Neither event gave them a chance to cash in and I hope their bad luck streak keeps going strong. I hope nobody gives them cause to sue at this event but I also hope that someone gets another chance to bring them some more bad luck without them being able to cash in on it.

    I would call them scum but I don’t want to slander scum.

  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:

    Yes, the WBC folks are despicable.

    Can we at least note in passing that the law passed by the Arizona Legislature is blatantly unconstitutional?

  35. 35
    bkny says:

    i hope there’s enough of a turnout of angels/bikers to encircle those assholes. that would be awesome.

  36. 36
    batemapa says:

    @JPL:

    Americans are willing to fight for their first amendment rights and defend those that spew vile but not defend the right to peaceably assemble.

    I don’t think you’ll find many people that will not defend the right to “peaceably assemble”. that’s why people stage a peaceful counter-protest. it’s not the fact that they assemble that is the issue for people, it’s the times and places they choose to assemble. not to mention the fact that they emotionally attack family and friends at their most vulnerable moments.

    and no, i do not find this to be vile and rush to be ok. in my mind, they are two sides of the same coin.

  37. 37
    stuckinred says:

    @burnspbesq: Well that sure is the first time they have done that huh?

  38. 38

    Please, the Phelps people picket soldiers’ funerals too, you know. It has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with going wherever the cameras are and yes, trying to initiate lawsuits so they can reap big judgments which finance their national hate campaign.

    They were going to picket Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral too, don’t forget.

    It’s all about the headlines, the TV cameras, and the money.

  39. 39
    Donut says:

    I’m totally on board with private citizens taking action to keep WBC assholes away from any funeral. I think that is the best and most appropriate and most effective response to this event and others that Phelps and his bigot fanatics want to try to “protest”.

    But I’m a liitle uncomfortable with the state making a law restricting freedom of assembly, for two reasons.

    1) said assembly rights are (duh) part of the Bill of Rights, and as hateful as the WBC fucks are, their right to assemble should not be infringed. This is re-creation of the infamous “free speech zones” that so many Democratic party members were rightfully pissed about when GW Bush was in office. It was wrong from a Constitutional stand-point then, and I think it’s wrong now to codify free speech zones

    2) Phelps and his shitheel followers have and will use the existence of suchcrestriction

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @batemapa: You are preaching to the choir and I’m in that choir. We should be appalled by all the vile and that’s the point that I was trying to make. I agree with Kain’s post but I thought it was an odd post coming from someone with libertarian leanings.
    Maybe enough is enough.

  41. 41
    Scott says:

    Phelps doesn’t actually believe anything he says. He doesn’t hate gays as much as he says he does. He doesn’t hate America, he doesn’t hate soldiers. I seriously doubt he even believes in God anymore.

    His only ideology is provoking people to get them to do something he can sue people for. That’s the only thing he believes in. He’s still scum of the earth, but he’s not being scum because of hate, he’s being scum because he wants to get rich off lawsuits.

  42. 42
    pablo says:

    Hell’s Angels! One word…. ALTAMONT!

    Keep Sonny Barger at arms length!

  43. 43
    Peter says:

    A friend just posted this on FB. I can’t speak to its veracity, but it does seem to make sense in terms of clarifying their main motivation. I’d be interested to see some data on the amount they actually earn, though.

  44. 44
    stuckinred says:

    @pablo: Sonny has throat cancer.

  45. 45
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bob: They have the right to assemble 300 feet away from the funeral. I’m not at all uncomfortable with that. If funerals were held inside, they would not be able to get inside whatever building it was in. I see no problem keeping them out of the vicinity of mourners.

  46. 46
    singfoom says:

    @burnspbesq: So it’s a constitutional right to be a raging GIANT fucking asshole at someone’s funeral?

    It just restricts the protests of said raging GIANT fucking assholes to be 300 feet away from the funeral. Isn’t that distance a good enough compromise?

    The law isn’t preventing their speech, it’s just giving a buffer to the poor families.

    Personally, were I at a family member’s funeral, if someone protested it for whatever reason, I would assault them. I understand that’s exactly what they’re after, but I don’t think I could prevent myself.

    Seriously, the WB protestors should be shunned by all decent human beings.

  47. 47
    aimai says:

    @singfoom:

    PHoenix Woman beat me to it but there’s been a lot of discussion on the net and in the real world that the Phelps main source of income and the actual focus of their “work” is to create lawsuits against individuals and municipalities that try to block them from protesting. essentially its a variant on the old “slip and fall” lawsuit con. It is believed that the Phelps clan, all self taught lawyers, routinely sue individuals (assault and battery) and municipalities (not protecting the Phelps’ first amendment rights etc…) and by winning these cases end up with more money than they started out with. Some think that is the entire raison d’etre of their behavior. Others think its both crazed hate and purely mercenary.

    aimai

  48. 48
    someguy says:

    This is great. But who can we get to similarly protect us from Republican ranting?

  49. 49

    @Bob:

    Given your libertarian inclinations I’d think you would find the AZ law overreach.

    WORD

    This is why Libertarians annoy me. With all due respect to Kain, I have yet to meet the Libertarian who is not a constitutional hypocrite. You know, like how it’s never government overreach to tell me what to do with my own body, for instance — but it IS an overreach to tell Dow Chemical what to do with their waste. Or, let’s legalize pot but not heroin or meth.

    This AZ law clearly puts Libertarian ideology in a pickle. Naturally they’re all avoiding talking about it. And I’m surprised the ACLU hasn’t picked up the case, the way they defended the KKK’s right to assemble.

    Libertarians seem to always recognize the limits to the free hand of the market, they just can’t seem to admit it publicly.

    And as I noted earlier, clearly SOMEONE thinks hateful rhetoric is inflammatory, or they wouldn’t have passed this law to begin with.

  50. 50
    E.D. Kain says:

    @burnspbesq: Similar laws have been passed across the country. I don’t think the Constitution will suffer too much for it. Nobody is shutting WBC down – they’re just moving them a small distance.

  51. 51
    Donut says:

    I’m totally on board with private citizens taking action to keep WBC assholes away from any funeral. I think that is the best and most appropriate and most effective response to this event and others that Phelps and his bigot fanatics want to try to “protest”.

    To be clear I have not one iota of support for Phelps and WBC, ok?

    But I’m a liitle uncomfortable with the state making a law restricting freedom of assembly, for two reasons.

    1) said assembly rights are (duh) part of the Bill of Rights, and as hateful as the WBC fucks are, their right to assemble should not be infringed. This is re-creation of the infamous “free speech zones” that so many Democratic party members were rightfully pissed about when GW Bush was in office. It was wrong from a Constitutional stand-point then, and I think it’s wrong now to codify free speech zones

    2) Phelps and his shitheel followers have and will use the existence of such restriction of the First Amendment to further politicize this and other events. By making law aimed directly at Phelps, I al afraid it gives him a chance to legitimize himself and his organization.

    Better to let the bikers and other private citizens confront these assholes rather than make laws that are questionable and challengeable.

  52. 52
    stuckinred says:

    How bout the bikers and angels keeping the fucking cameras away from the WBC fucks?

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Funerals are necessarily routinely held “outside” in that people are usually buried in cemeteries which are “outside.” Not only that but the mourners generally have to get into the building (for the service) and out again to the cemetery (for the burial). 300 Yards from which point will prevent the parents and mourners from seeing these people? Plus also too 300 yards itself is, of course, a “government regulation.” Just thought I’d mention that fact.

    aimai

  54. 54
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    “I hate Illinois Nazis!” — Elwood Blues.

  55. 55

    @aimai:

    …essentially its a variant on the old “slip and fall” lawsuit con.

    New York Times had a story recently on a lawyer guy who has basically made millions of dollars suing spammers and reaping in the judgments. Nice work, if you can get it. Wish I’d thought of it first.

    :-)

  56. 56
    E.D. Kain says:

    @someguy: I wonder if you actually mean this or are just being glib? Do you think anyone really needs to be protected from their opponents’ political ranting? I think there is a very serious difference in cordoning off an area for the families of those who have been murdered and laws infringing on the ability of people to speak their political opinions freely. If that makes me a hypocrite fine. I’ve never claimed to be a die-hard libertarian anyways.

  57. 57
    batemapa says:

    @JPL: yeah i understood what you thought about it, i was just struck by that sentence i quoted. i think we’re on the same page as far as this is concerned

  58. 58
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Donut: I think you’d run into some serious physical confrontations if the protesters and counter-protesters were allowed to come right up to the funeral. This is perfectly sensible from even just a crowd-control perspective, and something done routinely for exactly that purpose at plenty of events.

  59. 59
    Bud says:

    I remember when these sick people protested at the gay rights march in DC in 1993. I saw them reduce a mother whose son had died of AIDS to a sobbing heap on the grass.

    There are times when I wish I could believe in hell because I want these m-f-ers to go there for eternity.

  60. 60
    stuckinred says:

    They also picketed the West Virginia miner’s funeral service. Ask John how that went.

  61. 61

    @E.D. Kain:

    Perhaps the free market will create a “full-service” cemetery offering private, gated entry to mourners and large walls to protect from prying eyes of the protestor/media whore variety? Why I’m shocked some entrepreneur hasn’t already thought of this!

  62. 62
    Dork says:

    “Nothing says stand back and be silent like a Hells Angels presence,” he said

    And if just one of those bikers breathes too heavily on the church scum, they’ll sue the living beejesus out of him. That’s how they make their money. That’s why they do these faux-protests.

  63. 63
    E.D. Kain says:

    @aimai: Yeah, I get that. I understand why funerals are held “outside” (why the quotes?). I was making a point.

    This thread is taking an ironic twist.

  64. 64
    Ash Can says:

    @singfoom: Burnspbesq is right. In a nation where one’s fingerprints almost literally need to be on the murder weapon itself before one can be charged with incitement to murder (unless the targets are elected officials), people can be as assholish as they want, when they want, where they want. There’s precious little legal recourse.

  65. 65
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Southern Beale: Do you think perhaps allowing this thread to devolve into an argument over markets might be in poor taste? Just sayin’.

  66. 66
    mistermix says:

    @burnspbesq: Can we also note in passing that the AZ law was based on an Ohio law that was upheld by the 6th circuit and is now in front of the Supremes? So perhaps not as blatant as you think.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....lation.php

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Southern Beale:

    It’s all about the headlines, the TV cameras, and the money.

    They have so much in common with Sarah Palin, don’t they?

  68. 68
    Donut says:

    @Kain

    I thought you supposedly lean libertarian? What about civil liberties? Keeping these folks a great distance from the funeral site is not difficult to do – as has been proved already at other events where private citizens effectively marginalized and silenced Phelps and friends. I don’t understand or accept the need to involve any government/police agency in enforcing a societal more that can be handled well and peacefully otherwise.

    Let the bikers handle it. There is no need to legislate this.

  69. 69

    @E.D. Kain:

    I think you’d run into some serious physical confrontations if the protesters and counter-protesters were allowed to come right up to the funeral.

    They do at military funerals and it has been peaceful. See the Patriot Guard Riders.

  70. 70
    Xenos says:

    @Dork: What are they going to do? Put a lien on his hog?

    There must be plenty of judgement-proof people willing to brave the dreaded Phelps legal guantlet. I can’t imagine for a minute that such addled people are competent lawyers.

  71. 71

    @E.D. Kain:

    No, I don’t think it’s in poor taste, why do you?

  72. 72
    Bob says:

    @Southern Beale: I would not be shocked to to see ED pen a post here someday titled “Why I’m Not a Libertarian.”

  73. 73

    @mistermix:

    SCOTUS has not issued its opinion yet on the military funerals, has it? I was looking for that.

  74. 74
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Donut: Don’t you think it is less likely to result in violence if there is a police-enforced boundary? Nor do I see the Phelps crew’s civil liberties being violated. They are still able to protest, just a small distance from the actual funeral. I guess I’m just a hypocrite, but in this instance I suppose I just don’t care.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Southern Beale:

    New York Times had a story recently on a lawyer guy who has basically made millions of dollars suing spammers and reaping in the judgments. Nice work, if you can get it.

    I’d sure like to know how this guy manages to secure judgements from spammers. ISPs will be interested in this, because what spam does is essentially drive up everyone else’s cost of ISP service, as ISPs have to expand their email handling capacity and bandwidth to facilitate the parasite spammers. This is classic cost shifting by honorless, integrity free vermin.

    How many resources to web sites like Balloon Juice have to set aside strictly to deal with spammers? The moderation system, for example, has to be there, with a bunch of dedicated CPU cycles, to deal with spam, not with hate speech.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @mistermix: If the Supremes uphold that law, it will do a great deal to shore up my faith in our legal system.

  77. 77
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Southern Beale: We’re all entitled to our sense of what qualifies as poor taste.

  78. 78

    I don’t know why Kain thinks it’s in poor taste to discuss “markets” along with … I dunno, tragedy and death and whatnot? Isn’t that what Ayn Rand’s dispassionate “virtue of selfishness” ideology is all about? None of this squishy emotionalism, that mamby-pamby feminizing liberalism that wants us to “care” and provide “safety nets” and offer “understanding and therapy” to criminals. It’s all very clear and cold and analytical. Death is a business just like everythng else, and Libertarians have been pushing to deregulate this industry like they are every other industry.

    Don’t give me this “oooh that’s in poor taste” claptrap., ED. The entire Libertarian philosophy is in poor taste, if you ask me.

    Now I’m off to run 4 miles. IN the snow. Uphill. Both ways.

    ‘tootles.

  79. 79
    Scott says:

    @Xenos:

    I can’t imagine for a minute that such addled people are competent lawyers.

    Go read this.

    What this guy describes are not addled people. They’ve thought this all through. They know exactly what they’re allowed to do, and they do not go beyond that. They don’t do anything that will hurt their potential lawsuits.

  80. 80
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bob: I’ve never claimed to be much of a libertarian, Bob. The most I’ve ever said is that I am a “reluctant libertarian”. I’m distrustful of power. That’s the core of my political philosophy.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @E.D. Kain: I have to go with Burnspbesq on this one. The Westboro people are the scum of the earth; I think their motivation is primarily financial, which, in my view, makes them worse than true believers, but I have very serious concerns about restricting speech. Have doubt that this legislation restricts speech. I think that counter-protests are the way to deal with this. One counters speech with speech not restrictions.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I’m distrustful of power. That’s the core of my political philosophy

    Yet, E.D. your first instinct, in yesterday’s long discussion of the foreclosure crisis, was to go after the weakest party in a foreclosure, the homeowner, instead of examining the motives and tactics of those with the power, the banksters.

    It looks to me like you like power plenty. Your distrust is highly conditional.

  84. 84
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You might be right. But I would have concerns that without some boundary you’d have serious physical clashes. Don’t lots of events put up such boundaries? Could the police set up a boundary without a law set up at the state level? I don’t honestly know.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @singfoom: Yes. There is a Constitutional right to be a raging fucking asshole at someone’s funeral or anywhere else. Sadly, it is important that shitheads like these get to express their rights so that we can all maintain ours.

  86. 86
    stuckinred says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Hey, what was that “national guard” crack about automatic weapons last night?

  87. 87

    it’s good that people are stepping up to protect the grief stricken, but there’s a little too much kumbaya here for my taste. Presumably many of those “angel wing” people bear responsibility for having elected noxious politicians (Brewer, McCain->Palin, etc.) whose rhetoric and policies (e.g., lax gun laws) contributed to these murders in the first place. (I wonder how many of the angels and state legislators are actual Tea Baggers.)

    I would feel better about this if it were accompanied by evidence of serious soul searching on the part of the AZ electorate.

    oh, and by the way:
    Two Dead Since Arizona Medicaid Program Slashed Transplant Coverage

    these were not only deaths by spreadsheet, but deaths by *faked* spreadsheet, which in some ways is even more horrible than the deaths from the deranged shooter

  88. 88
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You know what – that wasn’t my first instinct. I was actually just feeling very combative and touchy. I was in a bitchy, argumentative mood. I was wrong.

  89. 89
    shortstop says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Well yes but there’s a reason! Because where the Westboro Baptist Church is concerned, the media has NOT “abandoned its moral mandate to stigmatize uncivil discourse.”
    This was basically the point of my post Monday.
    Somehow we’ve decided that the line in the sand is Fred Phelps’ “Thank God for dead soldiers” crap. THAT is the bridge too far. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck … not so much . The bar was moved and this is where it rests.

    Meanwhile, this post stays up on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page while every comment remotely critical of her is removed within two minutes:

    “It’s ok. Christina Taylor Green was probably going to end up a left wing bleeding heart liberal anyway. Hey, as ‘they’ say, what would you do if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a kid? Exactly.”

    Sounds like satire to me — but Palin’s moderation bulldogs clearly don’t know that.

    Where’s the outrage?

  90. 90
    Bob says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I’m distrustful of power. That’s the core of my political philosophy.

    Seems to me that you are endorsing a very intrusive use of state power. But, just to be clear, I favor such laws.

  91. 91
    singfoom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Listen, I believe heartily in our constitutional rights, but this law falls along the same lines as the exception to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

    I don’t think anyone’s civil liberties are being violated by moving 300 feet from a funeral in terms of a protest.

    I think there’s a nuance there that makes it quite different from the “free-speech zones” of the Bush era.

    So, I’ll agree to disagree. I can see how you get to that idea, but I’m not bothered by this very narrow law.

  92. 92
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yes. There is a Constitutional right to be a raging fucking asshole at someone’s funeral or anywhere else. Sadly, it is important that shitheads like these get to express their rights so that we can all maintain ours.

    I guess the question for me is this: is that right being restricted simply by saying they have to be 300 feet away? They are still allowed to protest, at the funeral, but at a certain distance.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    I approve wholeheartedly. While I don’t see much of a qualitative distinction between “far right” groups like the WBC and the mainstream Republican/Tea Party, I’m glad there’s at least one hate group that can unite the entire country against it.

    I do have one question;

    Bikers will be there, too, as they so often are at these counter-protests:

    As someone who doesn’t know anything about biker or Hell’s Angels subculture, what’s the link between them and counter-WBC protests, e.g. why is it that they’re “so often” at them? Just wondering.

  94. 94
    JPL says:

    I might be wrong but I think this was Kain’s feel good post.
    I’m pleased that the families are going to be protected.

    Personally I have a lot of anger at Gifford’s opponent who had a shoot em up fund raiser. Personally I have a lot of anger at Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s opponent for using targets with her initials in the middle. For me it’s difficult to access what is more harmful to society. I do understand that WBC is more harmful to the families though and I’m glad that issue has been addressed.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @E.D. Kain: A boundary between protesters and counter-protester is doable as a public safety measure. You are right that, in this charged emotional climate, physical clashes are likely in the absence of some separation. At Klan rallies and counter-protests (I used to see those every once in a while when i lived in Columbus, Ohio) the police use a line of cops and/or a temporary fence. Ultimately though, the best countermeasure is restraint and dignity by the counter-protesters. Altamont aside, I would not be surprised if the bikers did a good job of steady on the front lines.

  96. 96
    shortstop says:

    @E.D. Kain: And none of us has to explain our opinions. Here we go again.

  97. 97
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bob: I don’t think it’s that intrusive. It’s not telling people what they can say, it’s simply moving them a little ways away so that they can’t say it so close to a grieving family.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    E.D., you’ve committed a grave error..by admitting it.

    You can’t be the ombudsman for glibertarians here anymore.

    You’re a traitor.

    Welcome to civilization. Good to have you.

  99. 99
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: but I have very serious concerns about restricting speech.

    Here’s a question, OO: What Phelps is doing in this case is using a non-political event to make a political point by protesting (well, and to hopefully get smacked around enuf to sue). Why should the boundaries of free speech be extended to include, rather than explicitly exclude, private activities that aren’t political in nature? (Or maybe this is better: what is the legal basis for having an overly broad, rather than appropriately restricted, application of what types of activities constitutes free speech?)

  100. 100
    Superluminar says:

    @ED Kain
    FWIW, i don’t think you’re being hypocritical – IANAL but keeping a group a few hundred yards from another group does not appear to me an imposition on their rights. Also too, good on you for mixing it up here in the comments. You come on for a lot of (deserved) criticism when you don’t defend your (loony ;-) ) arguments here, you deserve praise and encouragement when you engage IMO.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @singfoom:
    @E.D. Kain:

    I think this may very well be an agree to disagree moment. I understand the limited nature of the intrusion on free speech. You understand the importance of the principle. I don’t think it quite rises to a “Shouting fire” moment, and it appears that you probably do. I think the principle is important enough that, aside from separation between the parties, I would not go with further restriction. As an aside, if I lived in the area, I would be there with the counter-protest.

  102. 102
    stuckinred says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: the Patriot Guard are not Hell’s Angels. Shit, Hell’s Angels aren’t even Hell’s Angels anymore.

  103. 103
    shortstop says:

    @mistermix: There have also been a number of court challenges to “protest pens” at national political conventions and campaign rallies. None, as far as I know, has succeeded.

    There’s also the space limit on protesting at clinics which provide abortions. That was created using the RICO statute, though, which is not the case here, right? Perhaps our attorneys can weigh in on that.

  104. 104
    Bob says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I don’t think it’s that intrusive.

    Nor do I. But I bet the folks from WBC, and many others, do. Good arguments against such laws have been made above. For the moment, I’m just happy to have you in the big government tent.

  105. 105
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If I could get down there I would be too, but I’m about five and a half hours (without rush hour traffic) from Tucson and it’s just not in the cards with the baby and what-not.

  106. 106

    @Chris:

    e.g. why is it that they’re “so often” at them? Just wondering.

    See my link above to the Patriot Guard. They are there because WBC pickets soldiers’ funerals. It started in response to that …. they only show up at the request of the families though.

  107. 107
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Superluminar: Thanks. I’ll try to defend more of my loony arguments in the comments more often…
    @Bob: I don’t think it’s even all that ‘big government’ but I’m a squish so who knows?

  108. 108
    scav says:

    I am so late to this game, but can I just announce semi-OTishly how that woman sure has a screaming talent for insisting on being the bride at every wedding; the corpse at every funeral and the victim in any massacre? Blood libel when not only was a Jew the primary target but a child is dead? Grab that spotlight girl, ignore the dying turkeys behind you!

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @stuckinred:

    Old active duty army joke:

    “The convoy will move out at 1800 hours. That’s 6PM National Guard time”.

    While I’m sure that any National Guardsman would understand what was meant by a “crew served weapon”, most civilians would not. So the snarky explanation. Military types..even ones long gone from the ranks, such as myself…get really touchy about precise terminology (“that’s not a gun…it’s a weapon, private!”) so it’s a play on that.

  110. 110
    Felonious Wench says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Do you think perhaps allowing this thread to devolve into an argument over markets might be in poor taste? Just sayin’.

    When I heard about the people making angel’s wings and the bikers riding in, that was the first time I cried over this. I understand, E.D. The fact Phelp’s Lawyers for Satan were going to picket the funeral made me physically ill. Seeing people not stand for it and come together was a catharsis for me.

    Adding to it…work with me here, people…

    WBC’s venom has actually HELPED the movement for GLBT rights in the U.S. When Westboro shows up to picket funerals of murdered gay teenagers, servicemen and women, and now an innocent 9 year-old girl, the fact that they hate GLBT people that much, it’s proven a point for the rest of the country. We’ve said these people were out there for years. Having a face, a name, seeing the signs, became the symbol of homophobia that was needed. No one can shrink away from it and say “Come on, it’s not that bad.”

    If nothing else comes out of this tragedy, it’s introduced the rest of the country to things we’ve been saying all along. The rhetoric is BAD. The right can play defense all they want, but it’s out there in the general discourse now. Everyone is paying attention to the story. And give the general public a little bit of credit; except for the fringe of the right, they turned their back on Palin a long time ago. All of this has just reinforced why. It’s damaging the right, though we may not see it, locked on blogs and viewing polls. Look at how the moderates around you are responding to this.

    No, they don’t think the rhetoric inspired the shooter. But it doesn’t mean the rhetoric doesn’t bother them.

  111. 111
    batemapa says:

    @Chris:

    As someone who doesn’t know anything about biker or Hell’s Angels subculture, what’s the link between them and counter-WBC protests, e.g. why is it that they’re “so often” at them? Just wondering.

    i think originally the bikers went to counter the WBC at soldier’s funeral, as i think bikers typically are very patriotic. once they saw how crazy and vile WBC was, bikers started countering them wherever they went.

    again i think that is how they started to get involved, but i don’t really know for sure

    EDIT- see comment 69 for info on the Patriot Guard Riders

  112. 112
    stuckinred says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, I was RA and spent about 3 months of my tour in Vietnam in guard unit from Rhode Island.

  113. 113
    Bnut says:

    I wish some people who comment here would just write “Fuck you ED” and be done with it.

  114. 114
    Barry says:

    @Sly: ” until we start stoning sinners to death. ”

    Good idea – can I get the first throw in at Fred Phelps? I’ll look for an especially jagged rock.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater: The issue is that we cannot truly know what a person’s goal is. It is akin to the idea that is better to let 100 guilty men go free that it is to convict one innocent man. Better to permit speech that is offensive than to potentially ban core political speech. Then one also gets to the idea of who makes the decision. One of the places where a slippery slope argument really does apply is First Amendment jurisprudence. I know I just through a few brief answers up there rather than a well argued paragraph, but I am still a little groggy from the stupid cold I can’t shake. I can approach it again later if someone else doesn’t pick up the cudgel for me.

  116. 116
    water balloon says:

    Hell’s Angels providing security? What could go wrong?

  117. 117
    stuckinred says:

    @batemapa: Yep, I was surprised when I went back into our local paper and saw that the action I was involved in was almost 6 years ago.

  118. 118
    gpleigh says:

    It’s a shame they can’t ALL just go away, including the media, and leave this family in peace.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stuckinred: I vaguely knew that. I was just looking to forestall any Altamont arguments.

  120. 120
    stuckinred says:

    @Bnut: Typical Jarhead solution! :)

  121. 121
    mark says:

    E.D. – do you know fuck all about what the Hells Angels are? They’re an international criminal gang that debates ‘ganglang vs execution’ when they shoot somebody. So they should stay the fuck away from this issue.

    A guy I went to high school with was shot and killed by them. He was an innocent bystander in their long-running war with another biker gang. They’ve killed innocent 9-year-old kids too. You are as naive as they come.

  122. 122

    I’ve seen it claimed that the Westboro Church does this in hopes of being assaulted and suing the assailant.

    I don’t have the ability to investigate this, but it strikes me as the only rational explanation for their actions. And even hateful nutcases have *some* kind of rationality behind them (even if it only makes sense to them).

  123. 123
    stuckinred says:

    @mark: With their guilty and no contest pleas, six of the 11 defendants accused of racketeering offenses once again illustrated the power of America’s most notorious motorcycle outfit. Courtroom observers then watched as the ATF’s wide-ranging racketeering case against 42 Hells Angels members vaporized like a cloud of Harley exhaust.

    Three bikers died in the brawl at the 2002 Laughlin River Run. Dozens of Hells Angeles and Mongols were caught on 16 security cameras shooting, stabbing, hammering, wrenching, punching and kicking each other. It was the stuff of a Peckinpah splatter flick with unprecedented camera angles.

  124. 124
    piratedan says:

    give St. Sen. Sinema some credit. I’m sure that she believes that its unconstitutional and an infringement on free speech, but it will have served its purpose to prevent the protests from taking place before the Westboro lawyers can begin filing suit to strike it down. Call it playing dirty FTW. Think she’s simply trying to ensure that those services have to go through a minimum of discontent.

  125. 125
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bnut: Hey you can always write that if you want to…

  126. 126
    Bnut says:

    @stuckinred: Every time he posts it’s the same thing: people trying to catch him with semantics and word-play. “You aren’t a libertarian after all!” “All libertarians care about are themselves!” “You raped my dog!” Get some new material people.

  127. 127
    GregB says:

    Meanwhile in the Middle East things are getting hinky.

    All of the Hezbollah ministers have quit the Lebanese government due to the Hariri assassination probe. Thus toppling the government.

    Also Egypt has warned Hamas that they need to stop missile and mortar attacks on Israel or face a renewed assault.

    Iran has jailed a dozens of Christians in a political crackdown.

    Renewed religious attacks in Nigeria.<–Not in the Middle East

    Tunisia gripped by riots and unrest.

  128. 128
    stuckinred says:

    @Bnut: 5X5

  129. 129
    pablo says:

    @stuckinred: Yeah, Sonny may have cancer but he is still riding, AND also in “bidzness”!

  130. 130
    mark says:

    @stuckinred: they run roughshod over many parts of Canada and have been convicted en masse up there.

  131. 131

    It works. The community in and around Harrisonville, Missouri stood up against their hate last November.

  132. 132
    GregB says:

    FWIW.

    Blood libel is number 9 in the Yahoo search list.

    Yahoo also has front-paged the Sarah Palin story.

  133. 133
    Bnut says:

    @water balloon: The area around the Hells Angels club in NYC is just about the safest part of the entire city.

  134. 134
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bnut: I think I mistook your first comment. My apologies.

  135. 135
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @stuckinred:

    Damn, the system keeps eating my comments.

    You were one of the very few NG types to deploy as a unit to Vietnam, then. The political wisdom at the time was not to make Vietnam a real war by mobilizing the National Guard.

    In retrospect, the Army thought this was a bad idea. So they created the “roundout” concept as a means to force the politicians to mobilize the NG if they wanted to engage in any large scale military commitment.

    Also, avoiding having the NG be a refuge for military age males to avoid serving in the shit. See Bush, George W. and Quayle, Dan.

    The idea being to avoid the entire “no win war” scenario of Vietnam by forcing the NG, and therefore the country, to be involved in it.

    We’ve seen how well that notion has worked out in Iraq.

  136. 136
    Bob says:

    @Bnut:

    people trying to catch him with semantics and word-play.

    Christ on a crutch! Words are all we got.

  137. 137
    Peter says:

    Phelps’ disgusting spiel unites Americans so throughly, that at times I wonder if maybe that’s his actual intention, and all the rest of it is a con towards that goal.

    It’s a nice thought, but I’m pretty sure that he’s actually really that awful.

  138. 138
    JD Rhoades says:

    When these WBC idiots picketed Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral, I think five of them showed up. Number of counterprotesters blocking their view: 300 +.

    God bless the angels, the bikers, and the people of North Carolina.

  139. 139
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, I didn’t expect a 50-word-or-less definitive take down, you know? But the issue seems to me to be this: why extend the right of free speech in the form of organized protest to private activities that aren’t political in nature. I realize that there are semantic ambiguities and a certain vagueness to this, and that it shifts the burden to the protester to actually establish that he’s within his rights to protest. But still, it just seems to me that private activities of a non-political nature (say, a funeral service, a wedding, the sexual activities of consenting adults) ought to be in some sense protected by something more forceful than societal norms regarding civility. And I was wondering what the downside of a restriction like that would be.

  140. 140
    batemapa says:

    @water balloon: haha i know, right? Just ask the rolling stones how Altamont turned out with the Hell’s Angels as security…that pretty much ended the 60s and the hippie days therein

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater:Basically, the downside is that some “good” speech will end up being banned by any regulation that targets “bad” speech because any regulation is but a blunt instrument. As a result, in order to maximize “good” speech, we need to put up with “bad” speech.

  142. 142
    stuckinred says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Right, I was RA with a tour in Korea before the Nam and got transferred in. They called up the guard after the MLK assassination and sent 8 units the the Nam. The 175 outfit from Bardstown, KY got over-run and torn up pretty badly.

  143. 143
    stuckinred says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Right, I was RA with a tour in Korea before the Nam and got transferred in. They called up the guard after the MLK assassination and sent 8 units the the Nam. The 155 outfit from Bardstown, KY got over-run and torn up pretty badly.

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @stuckinred:

    When I was on active duty, in the 80s, the Army was getting serious, based on those terrible ‘nam experiences, about the NG being actually trained to go into combat and not being a weekend party experience.

    But, and my comments indicate it, there was still a great deal of skepticism from the full timers about how ready to go the NG guys were. It was pervasive…especially amongst the NCOs, who used comparisons with NG troops as “motivation” for their own.

    The plan seems to have worked because the NG units called up for Iraq have requited themselves pretty well, for the most part, and a lot of the old prejudice amongst the active duty types seems to have been dispelled.

    The problem now is that they’re all in this mess together, while the rest of the country goes shopping and vacations at Disney World.

  145. 145
    shortstop says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Doesn’t the church mostly consist of Phelps and his daughter with a handful of other people wandering in and out at odd times?

    They are beyond despicable, and I feel deeply for the families at the funerals they attend. But they are a very small outfit, and every bit of attention paid to them is attention not paid to the far more common and widespread rhetoric of violence, armed revolution, secession, coups, blithe comparison of Obama and Democrats with history’s worst monsters, etc. etc. coming from the right.

    I’m not going to spend extra time worrying about Fred fucking Phelps that should be spent addressing this: the violent messaging from the right is widespread and embraced by actual members of Congress, governors, candidates for national public office and leading media figures. Continually focusing on the two-bit WBC allows the mainstream media — and bloggers — to “come together” in a “spirit of unity” against something really terrible but very limited in scope. Meanwhile, great gobs of other rhetoric that goes way over the line of civil discourse gets ignored. Because WBC is so extreme, it sucks the oxygen and lessens awareness of and attention to mucho other stuff that was until recently unthinkable. That’s not good.

  146. 146
    JPL says:

    from http://www.kold.com

    KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) – A controversial Kansas church has decided not protest at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.

    Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says church members will skip Thursday’s funeral of Christina Taylor Green.

    Phelps-Roper was interviewed Tuesday by a station in Toronto, Canada, and is scheduled to be on a morning talk show Saturday. She says Westboro Baptist Church decided not to picket in exchange for the airtime.

    Phelps-Roper says the group will picket the funeral Friday for U.S. District Judge John Roll and at the intersection where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot.

  147. 147
    AuldBlackJack says:

    A libertarian with a soft spot for vigilantism, quelle surprise.

  148. 148
    E.D. Kain says:

    @JPL: Well that’s good news, and confirms many suspicions about the point behind these protests – more airtime indeed.

  149. 149
    matoko_chan says:

    @Bnut: but every time EDK posts is THE SAME FUCKING THING.
    How are we supposed to react to this fucking glibertarian assclown?
    Deconstructing his word salad is all we got.
    the westboro baptists are ED’s homies justa same as the bankstahs.
    and all the weasel words in the wide wide world wont obscure that.
    and Cole STILL gives him a podium to spew toxic disinformation.
    times up Cole.
    ED is not a “good guy”. He is an an intellectual whore talking in circles and trying a headfake to show hes just like us.
    hes not just just like us.
    He justifies crap.
    He defends failed paradigms.
    HE PRETENDS THERE IS REASONABLE CONSERVATISM.
    Conservatism is a failed paradigm…..its so dead its 90% necrotizing tissue like the Westboro BAPTISTS.
    He is just as toxic as Douchebag under the layer of fake imjustlike you comradery.

  150. 150
    Carl Nyberg says:

    E.D. Kain, why are you giving WBC publicity?

    What do you have to say on this that isn’t being said by others?

  151. 151
    Bnut says:

    @matoko_chan: I don’t think you are allowed to use the term “word salad”. Although this particular hacker haiku was at least understandable.

  152. 152
    ACE5 says:

    Anyone who is threatened by WBC should check with local police to see if they have been issued a permit to demonstrate (if the jurisdiction does do permits). WBC gets the permits in order to look all nice and legal. If there is no permit, then the likelihood of their coming is almost nil.

    PS: Dealing with WBC, a la the Toronto radio station, just gives them more PR and a chance to spew. Even if a battalion of good folk are there to combat them, they’ll at least get to state their “rationale.”

  153. 153
    LABiker says:

    Not that I’m advocating violence, but some people should grab some baseball bats and beat the living shit out of those assholes.

  154. 154
    sukabi says:

    @Southern Beale: yes, they do think it’s inflammatory… 4 members of the Republican party in AZ RESIGNED their posts and cited fear of the Teaparty because of threats…

  155. 155
    Quiddity says:

    Where does the Westboro church get the money to go around the country and protest?

  156. 156
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: those are your fellow christians, EDK.
    they are homophobic racist creationist climate change deniers, just like the majority of the “conservative” movement, you cheap whore.
    you sold your soul to your WEC/Socon co-religionists along with the rest of the glibertarians.
    the GOP is A RELIGIOUS PARTY naow.
    The right cant field a candidate that doesnt endorse WEC doctrine: creationism, ensoulment, homophobia.
    time for the soi disant libertarians to pay the piper.
    cant shake the devils hand an’ say you’re only kidding.
    the socons fucking own you.
    this is where the party ends.

    its like we say in dog world.
    whoever feeds the dog, owns the dog.
    you are the socons bitches naow….and you both belong to the bankstahs.

  157. 157
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Quiddity: By winning lawsuits against people or communities that violate their rights. They are a lawsuit generator, not a church.

  158. 158
    matoko_chan says:

    Do you know why EDK is just the same as Douchebag?
    Sully links them both.
    Sully is quite simply a conservative shill, that does the occasional non-atruistic head fake towards gay rights and Palin.
    he cant admit he was wrong about trig, lol.

  159. 159
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Carl Nyberg: There are various schools of thought here – ignore them, don’t give them attention is one. That’s very valid. But also, I think, in a country where we have free speech and no hate speech laws, it’s important to denounce this sort of thing. I think either argument is valid.

  160. 160
    matoko_chan says:

    @Bnut: i dont do word salad.
    ahm chanese.
    here is a translator.
    heres another.
    ;)

  161. 161
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: but they are your peeps, ED!
    every post you make is the same.
    Shorter EDK: this ________ (insert incident here) is BAD, but those are not REAL christians/libertarians/conservatives (choose one) and imjustlikeyou and Big Government is the root of all Evul.
    now please have the decency to go AWAY and stop wasting our time and Cole’s generosity.
    you have had like 50 chances to prove you are not a fucking glibertarian weasel word spinner, and you have FAILED every time.
    fuck off and DIAF.

  162. 162
    Carl Nyberg says:

    E.D. Kain:

    I think, in a country where we have free speech and no hate speech laws, it’s important to denounce this sort of thing.

    And I suspect you went fishing for something non-controversial after getting batter for what you wrote yesterday.

    Find a beat. Learn it. Stick with it. Write about it. Learn from your audience. Update your ideas as you get more information and encounter persuasive arguments.

  163. 163
    sukabi says:

    @E.D. Kain: denouncing it is fine, legislating against specific gatherings is stupid… reminds me of the nonsense with Terry Schiavo… truly legislative, political over-reach.

  164. 164
    Nick in PA says:

    Sure thing, Kain. Americans are just the best, rilly! Exceptional, one might say! Because it takes a special people to come together against fucking scumbag lunatics who scream “God sent the killer” at a funeral for a nine-year-old!

    U-S-A! U-S-A!

    This might be the lowest bar ever set.

    Wake me when we come together against your pals Beck and Limbaugh.

  165. 165
    Superluminar says:

    I dont think the previous m_c post should stand as the last word on this, especially as the commenter in question is hardly in a position to criticise others for posting the same thing 50+ times… To say that EDK is on board with these dickwipes is to completely misread everything he’s ever written, but i guess that’s par for the course with you…

  166. 166
    Tonal Crow says:

    Once again, our politicians’ first thought when confronted with vile speech is to ban it. And instead of carefully considering the implications of such a ban, they rush it right into law.

    Cowardly anti-American Liberty-haters, every one of them.

  167. 167
    matoko_chan says:

    @Superluminar: im not a frontpager.
    i was willin to give to give EDK a chance.
    i even linked a piece he wrote about Beck and the Fisher King and the Red Knight and that guy that shot the policemens cuz he listened to Beck and learned O was going to take our guns and put us in re-education camps.
    Cole said he had “some good ideas”.
    well im done, an’ i think most of the sapients here are too.
    actually…….this piece is THE OPPOSITE of the crapology EDK bored us with on Giffords would be assassin.
    Read it.
    that isnt the ED we have here naow is it.

    This is what worries me about the Right’s various fearmongering talkshows, and Glenn Beck and his show on Fox News in particular. When he warns that Obama is going to take away our guns, or that the government is building FEMA concentration camps for American citizens, I worry that people might just take him seriously – deadly seriously – and, like Edwin, take matters into their own hands. Most people won’t, of course, though the Tea Parties are a testament to the widespread confusion in America today, and such mainstream acceptance can be even more dangerous as it helps the crazies further legitimize their delusions. This seems to be the case with Richard Poplawski, who shot three police officers dead in Pittsburgh earlier this month.

    what we have is an intellectual whore that sold out to the jesushumpers, a spinmeister for Glorious Capitalism and the bankstahs, a wholly owned glibertarian subsidiary of “conservatism’.
    And notice….Cole hasn’t said boo to me…….cuz IM FUCKING RIGHT and you dumb cudlips all know it.

  168. 168
    matoko_chan says:

    @Carl Nyberg: shorter Carl: L2P (learn to play), scrub.

  169. 169
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Carl Nyberg: Find a beat. Got it. I suppose this is the advice you give everyone here, right?

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @E.D. Kain: Dude, it’s better than beat it. Amirite?

  171. 171
    sukabi says:

    @E.D. Kain: no, he’s been asking you very nicely to please do some actual research and try and learn something… not to keep hanging on to your “ideology” like it’s the answer to all man’s ills.

    There are ideas and beliefs. Ideas evolve and change, beliefs are set in stone and don’t change regardless of evidence to the contrary. You seem to have beliefs.

  172. 172
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: how about a response on why the views you held in 2009 when you wrote “Glenn Beck and the Red Knight” have changed to the mealy mouthed apologia for the rights incitement rhetoric you vomited up here on Giffords would be assassin?

    did you write this?

    As Dave Niewart notes, nobody is trying to silence the right-wing fearmongers pundits. But they are playing with fire, and it’s high time they were held accountable for that – by their corporate sponsors, their viewers, and the companies, like Fox, who air their shows:

    Did you link Dave Niewart and agree with him?

    The point is not to silence the people saying these things, but to point out how grotesquely irresponsible they are — in the hopes that they will cease doing so, and start acting responsibly. It’s their choice to use irresponsible rhetoric. It’s not just our choice but our duty, as responsible citizens, to stand up and speak out about it.
    And make no mistake: Rhetoric that whips up irrational fears among the public, that demonizes and dehumanizes and scapegoats — that’s irresponsible rhetoric. And we are calling the American Right on it.

  173. 173
    Richard W. Crews says:

    I would actually like to see a disguised group of bikers wade in at their protest; KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS!
    That’s right; violence.

  174. 174
    Richard W. Crews says:

    I’m pretty sure I would, and I’m a 62 year old Hippie!
    I believe in communicating with people in languages that they either understand or react to the way I want them to.

    have a PEACE of this! said the Hippie.

  175. 175
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: you could have just linked that post.
    but you didnt, because EVERY FUCKING THING you weasel word here is weaksauce apologia for a failed paradigm, for conservativism.
    you are a hypocrite, a spinner, and a liar.
    you’re McMegan with a dick, Ross Douchebag without the rubber suit and gloves.
    DIAF

  176. 176
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    The Hell’s Angels have killed and beaten a lot of people in the Montreal area, as I know from direct experience. They are not a blessing in any way.

  177. 177
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @mark: This guy is telling the truth on this… the absolute truth.

  178. 178
    honus says:

    “Nothing says stand back and be silent like a Hells Angels presence,”

    Unless it’s the Pagans at Stompin’ 76. (You whippersnappers from Appalachia can ask your parents about this. Now get offa my lawn)

  179. 179
    Cyrus says:

    @matoko_chan:

    How are we supposed to react to this fucking glibertarian assclown?

    Agreed. Kain’s day job is at the Washington Examiner, somewhere between WorldNetDaily and Fox News for right-wing hackery, and he fits right in there. Here’s a fun game: guess which of the following quotes was written by E.D. Kain and which was written by the Examiner’s current top columnist of the day, Michelle Malkin.

    “To date, there is no public evidence that accused shooter Jared Loughner was in any way motivated by the national rancor over illegal immigration and the Arizona law”

    or

    “[Sarah Palin’s] ‘target map’ is entirely unremarkable. It has been used in one form or another by countless politicians. The language of violence in our political discourse is unbecoming and tasteless, but it rarely leads to actual acts of violence.”

    I suppose that might not be totally fair of me – the quotes aren’t on exactly the same topics, and after all, I’m sure Michelle Malkin isn’t their top columnist every single day – but still, personally, I’m pretty sure that anyone who isn’t a disengenuous hack shilling for right-wing nuts would have to be very desperate indeed to take a paycheck from the Examiner. And Kain seems competent enough that he could write for someone else if he really wanted to.

  180. 180
    sukabi says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: maybe it’s their libertarian streak that ED finds appealing…

  181. 181
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: lissen motherfucker.
    jus answer my question.
    what has changed since 2009?
    YOUR GLIBERTARIAN PAYCHECK?

  182. 182
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Cyrus: My “day job” is not at the Washington Examiner. I’m paid a pittance for blog posts there, on a post-by-post basis. It is pocket money.
    @matoko_chan: I honestly don’t know what your issue is. I believe our last email exchange was amicable enough. What has changed since writing the Glenn Beck post? Mainly I came to believe that these entertainers have less actual influence on people than we think. Of course I wrote this a couple days ago:

    The Knoxville Unitarian church shooter, David Adkisson, can certainly be defined as a right-winger. And his violence could be more believably ascribed to a set of noxious, hateful beliefs taken to the most fearful conclusion. Adkisson told investigators he carried out his attack because he believed all liberals should be killed for destroying America. He was deeply homophobic and racist and, finding himself unemployed and increasingly angry, eventually turned to violence. When we warn of right-wing talk radio and a ‘climate of hate’ influencing people, it’s people like Adkisson that we worry about, not people like Loughner whose deep end appears almost wholly self-made. Adkisson’s breakdown, however, was obviously influenced by right-wing opinion makers. In his home police found:

    Liberalism is a Mental Disorder by radio talk show host Michael Savage
    Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism by talk show host Sean Hannity
    The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly

    I think it’s unfortunate so many people on the left turned so quickly to blaming the political environment for the Tucson shooting, but I don’t think it’s wrong for anyone to question the proper norms of discourse in this country. And if conservatives can’t do any better than the vitriol of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, then American conservatism is going to implode.

    While I would never advocate censorship, I think it is very appropriate to expect our political and cultural leaders to denounce the sort of rhetoric that leads people like Adkisson to enter a church and begin firing a shotgun indiscriminately during a children’s play because he has been led to believe that liberals are destroying America. He may be crazy, but that’s exactly the point. Crazy people will take seemingly innocuous language and ideas and twist them in ways that were never intended. Best to avoid this in the first place, especially in a world of semi-automatic weapons. I realize there is no way to guard entirely against this sort of thing, but we could start by not portraying our political opponents as enemies who must be destroyed at all costs in order to save America.

    You might find things to nitpick in there, but I hardly think your characterization of me, in your many stalker-like comments, is fair.

  183. 183
    matoko_chan says:

    it has occurred to me that im being verry disrespectful to a Front Pager.
    it will continue.

    Dr. Scott: You don’t want to hurt anyone.
    Samara Morgan: But I do, and I’m not sorry. It won’t stop.

    my characterization of you is fair.
    you are a glibertarian spinner and and intellectual whore.
    and you better get Cole to ban me like you threatened, because i wont stop calling you on your bullshytt.
    and neither will the other sapients here.

  184. 184
    E.D. Kain says:

    @sukabi: I’m pretty sure I’m not ‘hanging on to my ideology’ in that manner.

    @Omnes Omnibus: You are indeed!

  185. 185
    E.D. Kain says:

    Also, the block-quoting system here is puzzling. I do not know why some of my quotes go bold on me, but there it is.

  186. 186
    matoko_chan says:

    i gave you a chance.
    everyone here gave you a chance.
    you FAILED.
    naow go away.

  187. 187
    matoko_chan says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m not ‘hanging on to my ideology’ in that manner.

    hahahahahahahahahahaha!
    moron.

  188. 188
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: and im not a stalker– im a griefer.
    if i was a stalker i would grief on your other blog posts besides here.
    try to be culturally relevent.

  189. 189
    licensed to kill time says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Also, the block-quoting system here is puzzling. I do not know why some of my quotes go bold on me, but there it is.

    TIP:

    The trick is to either start your blockquote directly under a line of text OR to type two underscores, hit return, THEN start your blockquote.
    __
    It’s the empty line that makes it go bold.
    __
    The two underscores in empty lines between paragraphs will also hold your blockquote together, and will not show up in the finished blockquote.

  190. 190
    matoko_chan says:

    Everyone will suffer.

  191. 191
    Tonal Crow says:

    @licensed to kill time: Now that’s the most useful thing I’ve ever learned here ;-)

  192. 192
  193. 193
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @E.D. Kain: FYWP is why. You have to put two underscores between each paragraph, and you have to say something before the blockquote and after it, with no spaces between paragraphs. Complicated, I know.

    I am squishy on this issue as well. I am not a free speech absolutist, and I believe that the collective (community) good sometimes outweighs the individual right. Where to draw this line? I don’t know. But, we have done it in other areas, so I don’t see why we can’t at least discuss the options. What the WBC church does is cruel. Yet, if a mourner in his or her grief was to punch one of the WBC church members, that would be considered assault. Police are not allowed to entrap people into committing crimes they otherwise would not commit, and I see this as similar. The WBC sets up camp and is begging people to commit a crime, so to speak (or break a law).

    By moving them away from the funeral, they are still being allowed to speak, but they are not intruding on what is a private affair. Like I said, I’m squishy on this issue.

    I also agree that if it just exacerbates the divide between what is not acceptable (WBC) and what is (Rush and his ilk), then it’s not a good idea because it’s just masking the real problem.

    ETA: And, of course, since I’m so damn verbose, someone beat me to the blockquote response.

  194. 194
    sukabi says:

    @E.D. Kain: I’m pretty sure others might view that differently… but we’ll see how things evolve.

  195. 195
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Tonal Crow: @E.D. Kain:

    De nada. I don’t comment a whole lot, but I read a lot here and I have learned these tricks from monkeyboy, Steeplejack, Hal and others.

    I know the correct WAY to comment, now I just gotta work on some content!

  196. 196
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Inviting the Hell’s Angels into an already tense situation?

    Might not be the best idea of the day.

Comments are closed.