Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns is a . . . Sham

This is in reply to Roberta Ecks who responded to yesterday’s post.

   1) You are correct. No one owns the words "occupy" or "tea party." There has to be more than coincidence in the use of "occupy" for this particular action. Given the nationwide actions under that rubric—agree with the sentiments or not—to use the name for a gathering of any sort of political implication is to try either to use it for that momentum or to discredit it. Either way, if Mr. Hallgarth does not agree with the ideals of OWS, he should not use the word. Because if his use of the word is to take advantage of a phenomenon in which he does not believe, he is intellectually dishonest. If he does so to discredit the movement, the wrongfulness of his using the "occupy" is even more intellectually dishonest.

   2) I feel confident with the evidence in regard to the National Alliance reference. I have a printer. However, my liberal (I know, you probably wince at the word "liberal") arts education (major in poly sci) was short on computer tech. DePauw had one computer in 1973, my first semester. It was the size of a small house and had all the memory of one of today’s smart phones. When you make reference to a tool I can use on Windows, I will look up some tutorials to address that problem. Thank you for that criticism. And yes, calling anyone and political name is serious. Again, I will refer to Mr. Ogden’s column. (We co-host a web show, as you probably know. You really think Paul is level-headed? See, I read your blogs, too. He read that one. Now he is pumped up.) The sources are there. I am confident that what I wrote is true.

   3) Go and exercise your First Amendment right to free assembly. (We also have that right protected by our own Indiana Constitution.) I will not be there. 11 p.m. is rather late, the purposes of the event are questionable based upon the person who perceived a need and called for them (as I think my two previous blogs make clear), and I am not comfortable with the idea of so many people armed around so many people who are drunk. Yes, I too live in Broad Ripple (although not the now-more-trendy SoBro where you reside). In most of the bars here, at least a few of the people carry. This is Indiana.  

   4) Did you write, in reference to my invitation to debate private gun ownership: "Basic, intrinsic human rights are not up for debate, pal"? Unfortunately, today, in many instances, basic, intrinsic human rights are not up for debate. Those rights are taken away without discussion. One point I would like to debate is whether firearms are an effective means of self-defense against tyranny. I think it could be (and has been by some) argued that was one reason the Framers wrote the Second Amendment. Please don’t castigate me for suggesting open discussion and debate of the matter. Also, if you watch the show "Civil Discourse Now" I do not remember addressing opponents as "poor deluded fools." I have not condescended to anyone. (Well, maybe Paul once or twice, but hey, I couldn’t help it. Oh, and perhaps Carlos May, but he went to Wabash and we were doing the debate on the day our respective alma maters played for the Monon Bell, and please do not remind me of the score of that game.)  Open discussion and debate (and what political candidates engage in is not debate but posturing) reduces tensions and educates. If you wish to advance your belief in gun ownership, take me up on my invitation.

   5) I will drop, for now, the neo-Nazi from the title because several people, such as you, have voiced support for the gathering, indicated you will attend, and expressed disgust for Nazis (and, by extension, neo-Nazis). I continue to maintain the matter was a sham because of the reasons stated in my previous two blogs. It still is a sham to the extent it employs the word "occupy" in its title.

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Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 26, 2011 at 8:31am

(A few typos got by me, the worst being "jobs they can get" instead of "jobs they can't get" when bringing up the self-reported lack of funds of many in the original  Occupy [Placename] movement.  (Well, original if we don't count the Bonus Army, who were rousted from their Occupation more harshly than any of the current groups -- see how far civil society has come?)

     Earlier, I refer to "the Broad Ripple even" and it should be "event."  That'll learn me not to work 9+ hours and then try to compose on the fly!

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 25, 2011 at 10:43pm

   (Part 2, first posting got clipped, picks up 2nd para. of item 4.)

oppression and tyranny, the kind of oppression that waves a knife or a revolver in your face and demands your money, the kind of tyranny that grabs you down an alley, rips down your jeans and violates you.  A handgun is just as useful in the hands of a 98-pound secretary as it is in a six-foot, physically-fit soldier's hand, just as useful from a wheelchair; it's a way to say NO! and be heard.  One hopes without necessity of firing a shot, but if a decent, average person is threatened by someone who won't keep the common peace, who doesn't respect the freedom of others to their own lives and their own property, I know which one I'd rather have get shot.

     If guns are banned, criminals still get them.  Great Britain has a stringent ban on handguns and tough rules on the kinds of firearms they do allow, and bad guys still get guns.  It's an island (okay, several), and they're still getting guns.

     For all those reason, a debate over imposing a ban on handgun ownership by law-abiding persons is, in my opinion, the same as debating the merits of chattel slavery or compulsory religious practices involving human sacrifice.

     I don't think you see it that way, or you wouldn't bandy about the notion of a ban so blithely.

     It's also not practical; it'd work like Prohibition or The War On (some) Drugs, empowering a criminal class, turning a significant number of otherwise law-abiding persons into criminals, and so on.

     Self-defense is a basic human right.  Grandmothers ought not be required to be easy prey for thugs.

     ...Which brings us to risk.  I wear a seat belt in cars.  I have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.  I keep a blanket, a candle, a change of clothes and such in my car.  I have first aid kits.  I don't expect to have to use them, but if I need them, I want to have them.  I try to know how to use them.  Likewise guns.  I don't expect to be needing one -- but I don't want my last thoughts to include, "If only I had a fire extinguisher.  If only I could stay warm.  If only I had a gun."  It's even why I got my first cell phone.

     I did kind of bark at you; but to my ear, your proposal reads like "Resolved: that women should be put back into purdah and kept there by force of law."  Um, no.  Not gonna go.


     5. It's a pretty safe bet most people are disgusted by Nazis.  I think the term is so strong that, like "murderer," "rapist" or "child molester," it should be used only when justified.  --And why resort to shorthand when there are so many other ways to point out loud, violent racists?

I don't agree with your labeling the OBRw/G effort a sham over the use of "occupy," as I wrote earlier.  But we're getting down to opinion rather than fact -- I disagreed with your objections to the local "Occupy Indy" assembly using advertising to fund their web presence (what, the same people holding up signs about student loans they can't repay and jobs they can get should somehow magic into existence the payment for a website? They should be silenced if they can't?  The Internet is cheap but you have to feed a dime in the slot every now and then.  Finding a non-coercive way to accomplish it was clever of them) and that, too, is a matter of opinion; we're neither one of us in a position to tell them what to do.  

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 25, 2011 at 10:41pm

     Fair enough, Mark, and certainly worthy of reply.

     (Point-by-point, mostly, but I want to start with a useful bit of Windows trivia. I think it is a tool you might do interesting things with. It uses what Bill Gates did to the old "Print Scrn" button.  Press it and it grabs a "snapshot" of what's on your monitor.  Then open up a program like Paint, click "Edit" you will see that "Paste" is not grayed out.  If you click on Paste, the screen snapshot will appear and can be manipulated like any other image.  It's still not perfect proof, a very patient and talented person could edit the image subtly enough to probably get away with but it is quite useful when dealing with ephemeral and oh-so-editable web postings).


1. There's probably less to his use of "Occupy" than meets the eye.  It's all over the news. it's become a bit buzzwordy for "visible public action" and so there it was, ready to be picked up and used.  I very much doubt anyone is going to mistake the Broad Ripple even for the camped-out self-described 99-percenters.

     2. Let's see, I got the computer-tricks out of the way, that leaves the "liberal arts" mentions -- I don't wince because "liberal" in that context doesn't describe politics; William F. Buckley had a nice liberal arts education, for instance. (That's where all those pretty words came from -- when he and Gore Vidal could debate without losing their tempers, it was a treat even if I disagreed with both of them).

     Alas for the possibility of my winces, I'm neither conservative nor liberal, being a more-or-less anarchocapitalist (which might lead us into another discursion -- another time, perhaps?).

     I do think Paul Ogden's pretty level-headed, especially as Indiana Republicans run.  You...I'm still working on that judgement;  in item four, I'll address a specific area of concern.  You've provided evidence of reasonableness in other areas and have been nothing but civil to me.

     I have seen some of the source material and posted screen captures of the ones that struck me as most reliable.  I still have some room for doubt, as one is several years out of date and the other -- "Spice" and similar-acting substances (if that was what was on offer via the eBay listing) are questionably legal.  While I am of the opinion that involvement with it suggests questionable  judgement, it's lacking in supportable proof of anything but poor taste. 

     Did not know you and Paul had a webcast.  Late last night, it began to dawn on me that you had some sort of media program and I had resolved to look into it.  (You must, then, have found one another at least a little levelheaded).


     3. Fair enough.  11 is late and there's no reason for you to expose yourself to what you feel is a risk.  (See item 4 for  more about risk).

     If SoBro is trendy now, someone needs to tell my street; we're a quiet bunch.  I have lived in BR for years but only as a renter.  I came into a little cash, added money I had saved and bought as much house as I could afford in 2007 (not much), just in time for the bottom to fall out.  So it goes and being both cheap and pessimistic, I managed to buy at a price that kept the loan rightside up withal.


     4. Yes, Mark, that was me, snarling at your offer to debate a basic human right.  Just because some rights, in some places, are yanked without discussion, that doesn't mean the rest of them are on the table, it means the ones already threatened, reduced or undermined and whittled away to empty promises (4th Amendment, anyone?) need to be reclaimed by the people.

     Firearms, small arms, effective against tyranny: they certainly slowed down the two most powerful militaries in the world in Afghanistan.  But that is not the only reason they are a basic right (we can hash out the Militia Clause another time); they are the single best means of defense against one-on-one op


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