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Enemies

I've always tried to make a distinction between "opponents" or "rivals" or "antagonists" and "enemies." (I've not always been successful, but I do try.) To me, I don't like to think of my fellow Americans as "enemies." That's a very powerful word, a very loaded term, and I tend to reserve it for those who clearly have our nation's harm in mind. I really don't like applying it to fellow citizens, and only do so in the most extreme cases.

But I'm really starting to reconsider that. Which does not make me happy.

In the last couple of days, some members of the left have done some truly despicable things. First, in Madison, a Fox News reporter was covering the union protests at the Capitol when he was assaulted. Next, the adolescent punkass shitheels of "Anonymous" decided to take an active role in American domestic politics, and launched DDOS attacks against the group Americans For Prosperity and Koch Industries' web sites.

Now, generally, this sort of shit isn't that new. Despicable people do despicable things all the time, from both sides. It's lousy, but it happens. You deal with it.

Of late, it's become a partisan game to play. When one of these jerks does something, you call out their putative allies and demand they condemn it. They can't be silent, because that can be taken as assent. No, they must immediately speak out against it, dropping whatever else they might be doing at the time. For example, the "birthers" -- those who challenge whether or not the circumstances of President Obama's birth disqualify him from holding the presidency. Every now and then, especially when they're saying or doing something that actually does challenge President Obama in some way, conservatives are challenged on the subject of the "birthers" and pushed to definitively address that issue -- which oh-so-conveniently changes the subject from their entirely-different criticism of Obama.

It's a trap. And the smart ones have figured out to just reject the trap, to not get lured into playing the "you must condemn it" game. Which is why I'm not asking or expecting anyone to waste a bit of breath talking about how awful the assault on Mike Tobin is, or how awful the adolescents of "Anonymous" are for their actions.

But for christ's sake, you don't have to cheer about tit and egg it on.

When Stephanie Miller and Media Matters' Eric Boehlert find Tobin's assault hysterically funny, they are explicitly endorsing the attack. And when The Daily Kos rejoices in the DDOS attack against those they have declared as their enemies, they are explicitly endorsing that attack.

If those are the new rules, then so be it. If  this is the new standard, then it is. If this is the current playbook, then by all means let both sides use it.

As the saying goes -- those that live by the sword, will die by the sword.

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Comments (41)

The latest rage seems to be... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

The latest rage seems to be to say that these denial of service attacks are 'just boycotts' . . which is about as inaccurate as it is possible to be. A boycott would be where YOU YOURSELF make a decision to not buy or utilize someone else's services and encourage others to join you.

A Denial of Service attack shows the flaw in the analogy in its very name. It is denying OTHER people the opportunity to make the choice to consume a product themselves and making that choice FOR them.

It would be like someone 'boycotting' McDonalds by sneaking in at night and arc-welding their doors shut.

What did I say yesterday?</... (Below threshold)
epador:

What did I say yesterday?

I don't know, what DID you ... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

I don't know, what DID you say yesterday, and in which comment thread?

Is it just me or are Ace an... (Below threshold)
ElectricPhase:

Is it just me or are Ace and Powerline being DDoSed at this very second? I haven't been able to load either page this morning.

There are still those who b... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

There are still those who believe in playing by the rules. It's those 'extremists' - aka hypocrites - who are acting out. They are the ones who need to be isolated and ignored. When they want to 'engage' - you simply tell them to piss off.

Again, the independent vot... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again, the independent voter is noticing the rank hypocrisy of the media in the covering of this irresponsible action of the unions and the paid protesters. The Tea Party is portrayed as the angry, racist, violent group when this scene going on now has captured many acts of violence by union members against media and any counter opinion. The democratic members in the WI house shouting "shame, shame" to the republican members while the dem's wore the union orange tee shirt proved the dem's are bought and paid for by the unions.

The left has made this fight about being pro union or against it when it is not about that at all. The fight is about saving the state of the state.

The haters are out in full glory now. Walker has to hold fast as do all the republicans. If they don't, there will be no change to fiscal sanity anywhere. ww

So...lowering yourself to t... (Below threshold)
Timmer:

So...lowering yourself to the level of Media Matters and The Daily Kos makes it better...how?

The extremists and hypocrit... (Below threshold)
Matt:

The extremists and hypocrites are the modern equivelant of the National Socialist Party's old Brown Shirts or the old communists Bolsheviks. Used as shock troops, but deniable and easy to discredit if the public does not accept their actions. They are used to shut down opposing views and to intimidate others into aquiessance. Ignoring them ultimately plays into their hands. It should be seen as non-viloent (with exceptions) terrorism. Give us what we want or we will hold your schools, infrastructure, government etc hostage.

Re: "So...lowering yourself... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Re: "So...lowering yourself to the level of Media Matters and The Daily Kos makes it better...how?"

No, not lowering to their subterranean standards. But instead recognizing and admitting that some of those with a different political bent are bat-shit crazy, not to be taken seriously, and cannot be reasoned with.

The left doesn't realize it but the high ground they thought they occupied no longer exists for them. And they're too wrapped up in hate and stupidity to realize it.

But I like to cheer about t... (Below threshold)
914:

But I like to cheer about tit?

The political right has its... (Below threshold)
Roy:

The political right has its assholes too, it's just that the left has a much bigger share of them.

But I like to cheer abou... (Below threshold)
Tim:

But I like to cheer about tit?


And I like to egg it on.

I don't see this behavior a... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I don't see this behavior as new and my response is as it has been allalong. For instance, it doesn't matter where the people were when they were dancing in the streets as the Wold Trade Center fell... those who danced were and are my enemy.

So now the loony lefties are exposing more about who they really are, what they truly believe, what their goals are, what kind of world they seek. It's no surprise to me, other than they have let the vail drop so low.

I'd like to apologize to th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I'd like to apologize to the readership of Wizbang for being a weapons-grade asswipe over the past few months, and promise to do better. I've been dealing with some rather intense personal issues, leading to tremendous frustrations (who knew I'd be one of the few people utterly unaffected by Viagra, Extenze, and Beano?), and I've been taking it out on you folks. I appreciate the tolerance you've shown me, and now that I've found a good therapist who's helping me accept my shortcomings, I expect to be considerably more sociable in the future.


Whoops, that wasn't hyper's... (Below threshold)

Whoops, that wasn't hyper's original comment. Let me retrieve it from my personal records:

Anonymous are heroes because the Koch brothers are explicit enemies of
the working class. And as for "dying by the sword", that's just
hilarious. Are you aware of any right-wing hacktivist group capable of
inflicting that sort of harm against groups aligned with progressive
causes? I'm not, and it's not really surprising as hacking requires a
certain level of intelligence to do properly.

DAMN those rogue hacktivists who must have struck at his comment...

Well, if they were going to hit anyone, at least it was someone who encourages that sort of thing.

J.

The Democrat Underground wa... (Below threshold)

The Democrat Underground was cheering the AFP takedown, too. "Free speech for me, not thee" is the "progressive" motto.

The political righ... (Below threshold)
The political right has its assholes too, it's just that the left has a much bigger share of them.

Can't say I've ever seen anyone on the political right engage in or endorse and cheer on DDOS attacks. Also, there are no political right "haxors" websites to speak of. This is all because the political right actually believes in freedom of speech for everyone, even those who disagree with them. Disagree with a liberal/"progressive" and you'll find your freedom of speech quickly and forcibly taken away.

Wow. Stephanie Miller is j... (Below threshold)

Wow. Stephanie Miller is just a useless sack of crap, isn't she?

Oh noes!! A blog administra... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oh noes!! A blog administrator edited a comment that mocked his mock-worthy remark that Anonymous and their ilk are somehow in line to get their comeuppance from their ideological counterparts--despite there being no evidence whatsoever that said counterparts even exist, let alone feel any compunction to rush to the aid of those poor beleaguered Koch brothers.

You purport to be some sort of libertarian, Jay Tea, so I don't understand why you would harbour such ill will towards a group of people whose modus operandi is opposing authoritarianism, corporatism, and other sinister varieties of heavy-handedness.

"...and other sinister vari... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"...and other sinister varieties of heavy-handedness."

Hey, good news. hypertrichologist is one of us on something - union thuggery.

Yeah, unions, the gravest t... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, unions, the gravest threat to the American worker since Bolshevism.

I'd laugh if I knew you weren't joking.

Hyper -If you kill... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

If you kill off all those evil capitalist enemies of the working class peoples - IE the folks who actually run companies and hire people -

Where are the proletariat supposed to get jobs from? We're well past the point where it'd be possible to move back out on a farm.

I really think you need to leave that ideology alone. It may have sounded good to the peasantry in Russia, but it's lacking in modern applicability.

Killing them off? Huh?... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Killing them off? Huh?

I'm all for rich, successful people being rich and successful--I aspire to have a shit-ton of money one day. Why not, right?

But I don't see why embracing capitalism and meritocracy means having to defend evil pukes who spend millions of dollars lobbying against environmental standards and workers' rights. They're oligarchs, not capitalists. They outspend George Soros by a wide margin on trying to game the system.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

So if you don't mind rich s... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

So if you don't mind rich successful people being rich - why would you label them 'enemies of the working class'? Do you believe that there's only a finite amount of money in the economy to go around, and that somehow those 'millions of dollars' spent lobbying disappear completely from existence?

More rights, more regulation - you can always want 'more' - but it doesn't always yield good results.

Let's take it to a ridiculous extreme - let's write it into the Constitution that all employees of any business can retire at age 60 with a guaranteed federal pension of 95% of the average earnings of their last 5 years of employment.

How long is such a 'right' sustainable? What would be the effect on tax rates to provide such a 'right'? What would the effect on businesses be to provide it?

Let's add another regulation - that the exhaust from any motor vehicle HAS to be breathable direct from the tailpipe to the lungs, no dilution allowed.

How practical is such a requirement?

Yeah, I'm taking things to an extreme here and I'll admit it - but is there ever a point with rights and regulations where people can agree "Okay, that's enough."?

And what happens when the regulation and rights become unsustainable? We're already broke as a nation - $2 tril income, $14+trillion in debt, and with entitlement programs looking at trillion dollar deficits for a decade or more to come. As you pointed out, we're in trouble.

How is the answer more spending, more regulation, and more entitlements?

hyper ...the reaso... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

hyper ...

the reason you don't find many conservative hackers is simple ... they respect property rights ...

In fact I'd bet that the people whose job it is to defeat scum like anon are mostly conservatives ...

fyi .. DOSS attacks don't take much intelligence ... in fact thats their point, they are brute force attacks ... they aren't even a hack ... kind of like burning a bank to the ground to get to the money ... no brains required ...

I didn't imply that more re... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I didn't imply that more regulation is always a good thing. The Koch brothers, on the other hand, are opposed to any and all regulation, it would seem. They're the sort of vampires that fought against anti-child labour laws in the early 20th century. And they are the worst astroturfers in your country, putting any such liberal/progressive organizations to shame. All of the groups they fund purport to operate at an arm's length, but they aren't fooling anyone who bothers to spend two minutes looking into the matter.

As for spending being a good thing, in the short term it is the most effective way of creating jobs. Your country's problem is not fiscal insolvency, it's structural unemployment. The United States can sustain a massive deficit (ask Reagan! ask any Republican ever, for that matter!); it cannot sustain a level of unemployment that is typical of left-leaning social democracies with robust safety nets.

Jeff, how are they scum? Were they scum for attacking the Westboro Baptist Church's site? Were they scum for attacking credit card companies that were complicit in denying donations to Wikileaks, trying to clamp down on free speech? They're doing a bad thing to bad people.

By the way, the people whose job it is to defeat "scum" like Anonymous may or may not be conservative, but they don't seem to be very fucking good at their job, do they.

Like, seriously, the Koch b... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Like, seriously, the Koch brothers are the worst people in the world.

The press release highlighted a clause in recent Wisconsin state legislation that, according to Anonymous, "would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process".

If that's what capitalism is all about, then capitalism is practiced exclusively by shitty people.

http://anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=585

"Like, seriously, the Koch ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"Like, seriously, the Koch brothers are the worst people in the world."

Whoa! Wait a minute. it wasn't that long ago you and your lefty blogger friends were saying Bush 43 was the worst person in the world. And before that it was Newt. Or was it Wolfowitz? Anyhow, since they're all still alive how can it be the Koch brothers now?

There are a lot of worst pe... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

There are a lot of worst persons in the world.

I use the name hyperbolist, Old Guy, because I have a penchant for hyperbole. I stubbed my toe yesterday and declared that it was the shittiest thing that ever happened to anybody. Not technically true, y'know?

Note to self: when hyper sa... (Below threshold)

Note to self: when hyper says "like, seriously," he's not really serious.

And folks, note that hyper endorses the DDOS attacks by "Anonymous," which means he believes that there is no place or room for debate on issues -- might makes right, and there's nothing wrong with simply silencing your opponents through brute force.

So don't debate him -- just observe as I apply his philosophy on him and silence him through brute force.

J.

"Koch out spends Soros". Th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

"Koch out spends Soros". That is like saying Koch beats his wife more than Soros.

It amazes me that the left nimwits do not see the inherent corruption in Public Sector Unions. I mean, come on. Giving taxpayer money away for votes while the union people work off tax money? That is an incestuous relationship. ww

hyper, who has no problems ... (Below threshold)

hyper, who has no problems with aggressively silencing web sites of people he disagrees with, whines because a blog editor chooses to remove comments on his own web site.

Consider it instant karma, hyper. What I'm doing is pretty much what you endorse -- but with the limitation that I'm not shutting you down anywhere but at this site, where I hold the legal and moral authority.

This is PRECISELY what I meant by the "sword" remark. You endorse this sort of thing, you get to experience it firsthand. Ain't that wonderful?

J.

And everything hyperBS post... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

And everything hyperBS posts looks like a nail...

Oh here it is Ryan M, it wa... (Below threshold)
epador:

Oh here it is Ryan M, it was two days ago.

I would argue that the natural history of such action is to progress, and direct confrontations, albeit in initially unbalanced (as in the thuggery against newscasters in Cairo), they can rapidly progress to mob against mob when each side feels threatened and empowered by their previous actions. Only a wily leader and subordinates can circumvent the civil bloodshed that follows. Currently we're lacking in that category.

1. Posted by epador | February 27, 2011 11:06 AM | Score: 1 (1 votes cast)

Oh the Horror! Oh the Hammer!

Capable != willing, in all ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Capable != willing, in all cases.

"...which means he belie... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"...which means he believes that there is no place or room for debate on issues -- "

I learned that a long time ago when he declared that why yes! there should be discussion of conservative principles in universities, but it should not be given any importance and should be minimal.

I've also learned if we were just more like Canada everyone would be happier.

One constant I always took note of was that Hyper sees himself as an individual and judges the rest of us collectively.

Um, the "Fox journalist att... (Below threshold)
wizzy:

Um, the "Fox journalist attacked" portion of your post needs to be researched further. There are claims that it's phony. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/fox-buses-in-footage-from-sacramento-to-make-union-protesters-look-violent-video.php?ref=fpblg

First, in Madison,... (Below threshold)
First, in Madison, a Fox News reporter was covering the union protests at the Capitol when he was assaulted.

Assaulted? Sigh.Go to about 48 seconds in to see this "assault".

http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/video-of-alleged-assult-on-fox-news-reporter-by-wisconsin-protesters-video

If that's assault, then walking through a semi-crowded mall on a Sunday morning is a mob riot.

Whereas I'm sure that bunch of conservatives bravely throwing a woman to the ground and stomping on her at Ron Paul's rally was "patriotic peaceful assembly".

But there I am, comparing apples to apples again, even though the apple that's kind to the Right clearly must always be innocent.

OH, so hey!Since y... (Below threshold)

OH, so hey!

Since you all are for great standards and high integrity in journalism, you'll now all call for Fox to admit their poor journalist wasn't really assaulted, right?

So, how about it?

(crickets)

Let me repeat, since Hyperb... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Let me repeat, since Hyperbolist seems to have completely failed to address it. . .


The latest rage seems to be to say that these denial of service attacks are 'just boycotts' . . which is about as inaccurate as it is possible to be. A boycott would be where YOU YOURSELF make a decision to not buy or utilize someone else's services and encourage others to join you.

A Denial of Service attack shows the flaw in the analogy in its very name. It is denying OTHER people the opportunity to make the choice to consume a product themselves and making that choice FOR them.

It would be like someone 'boycotting' McDonalds by sneaking in at night and arc-welding their doors shut.

JayIf this is so c... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Jay

If this is so called citizen journalism; I`m done, I can`t read this bilge anymore........pure drivel




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