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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:13 AM
Original message
Rioting -- the last desperate act of powerlessness
Through the years, I and many others wondered why Blacks took to the streets rioting, looting, destroying THEIR community, THEIR property, THEIR neighbor's possessions.

These events seem to follow blatantly catastrophic and dehumanizing events -- whether it be the senseless killing of an innocent or an outrageous verdict handed down by an insensitive and biased jury.

I think rioting is the last desperate act of powerlessness. All of that energy has to be released, and if it burns down the very bed you sleep in, so be it.

These events also seem to happen in cycles.

I feel another one coming on. But this time, it won't be limited to African Americans.

The Republicans are sowing the seeds for our spring, summer, fall and winter of discontent.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. read your history
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:20 AM by CatWoman
I don't think your'e comprehending what I'm saying.
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Rockerdem Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Talk like this makes us look silly
The GOP constantly makes hay will fringe talk like this. Rioting is for deadenders. I lived through the 60s and the riots did nothing productive.

Theres no need to be so down. Look, in the last year, we have built an infrastructure for a political comeback. We finally have a good man running the DNC. We have developed an awesome new fundraising capability - a clean one. And we FINALLY have a radio network to counteract the lies from the right. Sure, there is a lot of work to do. But remember, there is increasing friction in the GOP. 2006 might not be a barnburner, but it might hold a pleasant surprise.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. You know, when someone comes at me
saying what I have to say makes "us" look silly and that wer'e on the fringe -- my brain shuts down.

You could be speaking Latin for all I know.

You're not looking at the substance of my observations.

You jumped in here with both feet telling me how rioting is counterproductive, etc., and doesn't solve anything.

I didn't start the fire. It was always burning since the world was turning -- Billy Joel.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Deleted message
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. She expressed it as opinion
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:47 AM by Walt Starr
so you railing against her is to tell her she has no right to express an opinion as an opinion!

and surreptitiously calling her a liar for expressing her opinion is wdownright against DU rules!
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Rockerdem Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
33. Bull - I said no such thing
I neither called, nor insinuated, that anyone was a liar. All I have said is that irresponsible talk about rioting makes our party an easy target for parody, because of the flakiness of the thing. Somewhere, Howard Dean, working his tail off, is rolling his eyes.

Chins up, people. We have turned the corner. Roll up our sleeves, and have much to do. Stay focused on 06 and 08, where we have a real shot at turning this around. And if you see any punks throwing rocks on Saturday, make sure to distance yourself from them. Our enemies will use them against us.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #33
42. Your precise words back atcha
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 01:08 PM by Walt Starr
"its blarney on St Pat's Day"

blarney n. - deceptive nonsense

deceptive adj - causing one to believe what is not true or fail to believe what is true; "deceptive calm"; "a delusory pleasure"
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. LOL! I never said or insuated anyone was a liar, Pal.
It's just that you are causing one to believe what is not true.

Good one, Walt. :smoke:
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #44
64. Was it your earlier posts that got "deep-sixed"? Gee...wonder why?
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Rockerdem Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #42
55. Thats a lame stretch
LSD can produce "deceptive nonsense", without any evil intent involved.

Look, Walt, at a juncture like this, talk if riots is harmful - seriously so. If we want to be marginalized, just keep this crap up in public.

What do you think would happen if you were invited into see the new DNC Chair, and after greetings, said something like "All of that energy has to be released, and if it burns down the very bed you sleep in, so be it" along with "I feel another one coming on. But this time, it won't be limited to African Americans"?

I hope to god that Dean would immediately call security and escort that person to the door.

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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Sorry, you are absolutely wrong and Catwoman is 100% correct
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 01:54 PM by Walt Starr
Watching what occurs in history to predict outcomes is key to every aspect of hujman existence.

Those who forget to learn the lessons of history most often repeat them!

and saying something is "blarney" is to call it a LIE.
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Rockerdem Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. You can judge by the context of my posts that I meant no such thing
"Blarney" has a lot of meanings. You chose to ascribe the worst. And someone else reported it as such. Low.

My former respect for you is gone forever. Ill tend to stick with other party optimists in the future, and leave the black trenchcoats for the depressives. Peace.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. Well, "blarney" is defined as follows....
Answers.com
<http://www.answers.com/blarney&r=67>

blarney (blr'nē) pronunciation
n.

1. Smooth, flattering talk.
2. Deceptive nonsense.

===========================
Source: WordNet (r) 1.7
<http://dict.die.net/blarney/>

blarney
n : flattery designed to gain favor sweet talk]
v : influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or
flattering; "He palavered her into going along"
---------------------------
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Blarney \Blar"ney\ (blr"n), n. castle near Cork.]
Smooth, wheedling talk; flattery.

Blarney stone, a stone in Blarney castle, Ireland, said to
make those who kiss it proficient in the use of blarney.

Blarney \Blar"ney\, v. t. d);
p. pr. & vb. n. Blarneying.]
To influence by blarney; to wheedle with smooth talk; to make
or accomplish by blarney. ``Blarneyed the landlord.''
--Irving.

Had blarneyed his way from Long Island. --S. G.
Goodrich.


----------------------------------

Which defintion do you wish to be applied to your comments today?
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #59
90. Well, WE'LL take Walt over YOU anyday.
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 09:03 PM by TankLV
WE never have/had any respect for you to begin with!

I think the riots were the final icing on the cake that brought the progress the kick start it needed.

Sometimes peace works. Sometimes action works.

When they are all focused on JUSTICE it is all good.

Fighting opression, injustice and criminal activity is always good.

Period.

And in case you haven't noticed, this country was FOUNDED and CONSECRATED on "riots" - a REVOLUTION and CIVIL WAR that were entirely JUSTIFIED, TIMELY, and NECESSARY, don't you agree?
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. Have you paid attention?!?!
We're ALREADY marginalized. The media has subtly demonized us to the point that any critique of Bushco and the current economy results in us being labled as some sort of wild-eyed neo-Marxists.

Riots? I could see it. Look at the recent multiple killings in Georgia and Wisconsin. People are simply pissed and our society is sick for it. There's only so much anger, frustration, hopelessness, and despair one can realistically live with and function. Downsizing, peak oil, unemployment, the Iraq war, bankruptcy reform, millions walking around without medical coverage; how much more can people take?
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #58
143. So now we
have sympathy for murdering nutjobs? Psychos?

Leave me out of it. These people are either a) crazy or b) seriously evil or c) both. And we want to use them as examples??

Frustration really is driving some of us bonkers.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #33
45. you know, that's how we ended up in this shitty predictament
always worrying about what "they" will say or think about us.

All summer, the pundits and the GOP speculated constantly about the amount of Bush bashing the left would do at the Democratic convention.

They then in turn bashed the left long, hard and unmercifully at the GOP convention.

So pardon me if I don't share your concern over what "they" think about me.

"They" can all kiss my black ass.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #45
97. I believe in diversity
My ass is white and they can kiss it, too.

"Be a good girl, honey, don't make waves."

"Don't complain, just do it."

"Don't make a scene, or you'll embarrass everyone."

"I know it's not fair, but just put up with it."

"If you don't like it, you know where the door is."

"We don't need any troublemakers."

"If you'd just do as you're told, I wouldn't have to hit you so hard."


They can kiss my lily-white, over-50, unemployed, and mad as fuckin' hell ass.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #97
130. Ditto
For this some off my best friends got their asses shot off? No way, I owe it to them to do what ever it takes, and yes the street is a viable route now. Go look at that wall (or any of the myriad other monuments to sacrifice littering our landscape) and ask yourselves how many of those people were there to ensure a "great business environment"? PM me if you need help with the answer!
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ProudToBeLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #33
78. stop using howard dean's name in vain. Thank you nt
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #33
88. Why would you care what other people think of "us" ?
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 06:35 PM by Kurovski
For someone who names themselves Rockerdem, you seem overly concerned with other people behaving themselves.

Bare with me on this: Rioting is peaceful demonstration that has gone ignored one time too many.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #88
99. Pretty good definition.
HOWEVER, please remember that a lot of less-than-peaceful stuff that goes on at protests and rallies happens at the hands of agents provocateurs, people who work (and are paid) by the OTHER side (law enforcement, the government, and perhaps allied forces these days such as private security firms) who are sent in specifically to stir things up so that:

1. The cops have an "excuse" to crack down
2. People can get arrested and worse (beat up on, pepper-sprayed, rubber-bulleted, etc.)
3. Thus the protesters and their issues are discredited
4. Potential protesters for possible future events are discouraged from participating
5. "The people" side with law enforcement and against the protesters and the issues get muddied if not buried altogether
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #99
108. These things are real problems, Eloriel.
What I especially despise in the media, is how much they will ignore protests and their message, only to focus on the violence.

Good to see you, Eloriel :hi:
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sierrajim Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #88
104. You better get a dictionary
No that is not a good definition that was utterly preposterous Rioting is violent vile thing.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #104
106. I have a dictionary. Look up "figure of speech" in yours.
:-) Welcome to DU!
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
126. Chins up, people. We have turned the corner
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 06:24 AM by burythehatchet
Didn't you hear?

Who else uses that term a lot....we've turned the corner....lemme think, I'll get back with you.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. makes us look silly to whome?
-
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ArkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. Who is whome?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. ok make that whom
or alternatively: "who"

(english is not my native language)
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mordarlar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. Comeback? Are you serious? UGH.
Do you seriously think they got as much POWER, as they did this time, because they ran a better campaign? The evidence IS CLEAR and rampant. They STOLE the election.

Do you honestly believe they would go through the trouble to STEAL an election, in a SUPERPOWER, only to use the STOLEN power to CLEAN UP THE SYSTEM? To make it fair. To potentially GIVE BACK the power and control?

If we stood a chance of an honest election, Kerry would be sleeping in the WH.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. Yeah, the Brooks Brothers' riot in Fla 2000 sure made them look silly
even scared a moderate member of the USSC into voting for Bush.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #29
110. You got a way with words, nothingshocksmeanymore.
And I like it.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
63. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
81. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
areaman Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #81
150. No
Rioting, and resorting to violence does nothing to actually solve problems...it only creates more.

You seem to be suggesting that violence is a healthy tactic, and one that should be encouraged, and I strongly disagree with you.

Just because rioting is a part of our reality doesnt mean that its a good part, or one that should be advocated. I understand that many people may be "tired of the same old bullshit" but how does resorting to violence really make them any better than people that they are against? It doesnt.

I have to disagree again when you say that people who are against rioting are "spineless cowards." In fact, in my opinion, anyone who resorts to force or violence are the biggest cowards of all. Deal with problems directly, dont create more.
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Lizzie Borden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #150
169. Rioting is something people resort to
when they percieve that they are not being heard.History is full of examples.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
177. The riots did nothing????? Do you think the freedom marches did nothing?
You don't think that the riots in Chicago did nothing? Wrong.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #177
187. seems some people here missed their history classes....

:hi:
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
185. I grew up in NYC in the 60's, and
the biggest riots I ever saw was when the electricity went out.

I don't think the rioters were rioting over any particular outrage. They were rioting because they were greedy bastards who thought they could get away with breaking windows and stealing other people's stuff.

I had and still have no sypmpathy.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. yeah, compliance will solve all our problems.
rioting and revolution has never changed anything for the better.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I wonder about the quickness and dismissiveness
of that rebuttal.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
52. how's that?
i was lazy and felt like exadurating. a little.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. I wasn't talking about you...........
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
37. Rockerdem maybe this will help you understand:
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 01:00 PM by King Coal
CatWoman is not advocating rioting. She is say that with all of the discontent coming down the pike, it may very well occur. Kimo sabe?

on edit: I had the wrong guy in the subject line.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #37
57. Odd, isn't it?
How hard it seems to be for some to distinguish between observation and advocacy.

I'm utterly perplexed as to how observing a historical fact (singular events sometimes trigger rioting which represents pent-up anger over a whole suite of things) is going to "make us look bad." I suppose I may be overstating a bit by calling it "fact," although I think it's a pretty broadly accepted analytic.

To me, the original post stands more as a warning than anything else. It might do the powerful well to pay a bit of attention to the nature of the powder keg at the end of the fuse they are so anxious to light.

But then, as others have observed, there's a distinct possibility that they know, and eagerly anticipate the explosion. "I wouldn't mind a dictatorship, as long as I'm the dictator," said Dear Leader.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
60. Um... say WHAT??
rioting and revolution has never changed anything for the better

You have got to be f*cking kidding. Hey man, you forgot the sarcasm tags... I hope. Revolution never changed anything for the better? What nationality did you say you were? Did you learn any history, American or otherwise, in school?

Dirk
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. calm down, Precious
:hi:

I do believe he was being sarcastic :D

If not, kick his ass :D
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
80. But-but-but...! (splutter)
How dare I fall for somebody's too subtle sarcasm??

Hi. Long time no see. Like my new name?? :*
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #80
138. LOL
OK, it's catchy!!!

:loveya:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #14
129. Touche'
No doubt lost on intended target.

Julie
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think you're right. Riots are the end result from a trigger after an
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:19 AM by Walt Starr
extended period of outrage fatigue.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
159. America is already in an EXTENDED PERIOD of OUTRAGE fatigue...


and bush* and his reTHUGlican minions keep heaping on more and MORE OUTRAGE every single day lately.....


all that's needed is a "trigger"....some 'little' incident that sets off the entire REVOLUTION

(reTHUGlicans will call it a "riot", as they ususally do, because "riot" inflames emotions and tags their "little meme of insignificance" to the REVOLUTION that THEY created)...


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ArkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. Watch out you might get what you're after
Cool babies strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait 'til the party's over
Hold tight we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Here's your ticket pack your bag; time for jumpin' overboard
Transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are
Fightin' fire with fire

All wet hey you might need a raincoat
Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty five degrees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame
Go ahead

My house S'out of the ordinary
That's right Don't want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nothing yet
Everything's stuck together
I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire

Burning down the house
Burning down the house
Burning down the house
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
92. Life During Wartime..
Life During Wartime
by Talking Heads
album:

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, couple of visas
don't even know my real name
High on a hillside, trucks are loading
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.
I ain't got time for that now

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peanut butter
to last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers
ain't got no headphones
ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time?
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard
I can't write nothing at all
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
I'd love you hold you, I'd like to kiss you
I ain't got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
we blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives
or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle so many times now
don't know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender
we make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving
you ought to get you some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions
then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day
whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace
the burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness
don't want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don't take no chances
you better watch what you say
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
5. point was it wasn't THEIR community, was it?
As another poster reminded us recently, there was the whole thing about the Korean markets being perceived to rip off the community -- and their prices are a rip-off in my view -- and the Korean store owner who got away with killing the 16 year old with a shot to the back of the head. On camera.

Then you had Rodney King being beat up. On Camera.

And yet nothing was done. How do you feel it's YOUR community when outsiders are coming in, taking the money and committing gratuitous crimes of violence while they're at it. You don't feel it's YOUR community so much any more.

People -- all people -- really do try to be tolerant and really do put up with a lot before they snap.

The conservation movement is a breeding ground of communists
and other subversives. We intend to clean them out,
even if it means rounding up every birdwatcher in the country.
--John Mitchell, US Attorney General 1969-72


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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. good point, Amazona
thank you.
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Butterflies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
6. I agree with you about the reasons for the past rioting
but I don't see it happening anytime soon because most Americans are sleeping through all of the crap that's happening. I wish the truths would get out in the mainstream, but without more understanding of what's happening in this country I don't think there are enough people to get the momentum going for rioting. I may be wrong though.
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
135. I think it's building in the general populace
I heard a 60-something average American, a general follower of the status quo, say that "The only thing that is gonna change the current situation will be a revolution" That blew me away.

As a waitress, I hear all the rumblings and they have really changed since the election. People are getting really pissed and coming to a slow boil.
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #135
172. I agree...
I've overheard people who do not appear to be wild-eyed radicals, yet they believe the only solution is revolution.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
10. Nobody Cares...Let Someone Else Do It
I'd think this was coming if I saw lots of protests and heard widespread discontent. I'm not seeing that...only message boards with lots of frustrated people all talking at each other, few talking to each other. We also have a national party that is in a state of suspended animation, just at the time when we need it to help develop candidates and fund races that will lead to Democrats winning elections.

People don't give a shit. Period. They'd rather watch American Idol or Michael Jackson or still bitch that Kerry won the election or LIHOP, MIHOP, IHOP and NOHOP...very amusing reading that keeps the hate radio venom spewers with plenty of material.

I've been to several college campuses over the past year and you couldn't tell there was a war or that anyone on these campuses were in danger of being the next cannon fodder. I'm not even seeing as many anti war signs as I did a year or two ago. I've never seen the Democratic party and those on the left so disunified and unorganized as I see right now.

Everyone only concerned about their special interests and then as long as they don't have to do more than bitch or post on message boards about them. I've posted numerous times trying to find people who are working on Congressional campaigns or doing party building...the elements so badly needed to attempt to turn the tide in this country, and I can count the number of replies I've gotten on one hand...and those reports are very promising.

If this is the "revolution" coming, as John Lennon said in 1968, you can count me out.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
50. What you are saying is precisely why Catwoman is prescient here...

The longer people sit on their asses and are apathetic about what's going on around them, the more the constructive options for change slip away from us.

In the past, we could fend off rioting by nipping problems in the bud before they become big problems, which allowed for constructive change from within.

If we allow our system to be corrupted to the point where there is no avenue for constructive change, and the sheep finally wake up and discover that their house is burning down, that's when they'll start rioting.

Sure, you and I would like to solve it now before it gets to that stage, but I think she's right that a big period of violence is heading our way that will make the 60's look like the 50's. There is a *LOT OF ANGER* that is brewing now. Hopefully it can be constructively harnessed soon. Otherwise those forecasting armageddon might be accidentally right.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. Historical PHOTOS: burning down the military recruiter's buildings
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:40 AM by diamond14



in ONE WEEK, May 1970...THIRTY ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) buildings were BURNED TO THE GROUND on college campuses ALL ACROSS AMERICA....ROTC is a THE military recruitment tool...



Kent State University ROTC building in flames...May 2, 1970



and these students stayed up all night to PREVENT fire trucks from reaching the fire....they are 18 to 19 years old...the same age as most of those being KILLED in Iraq today....
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #12
107. Yes, and this is what happened
...two days later:



They are perfectly willing to kill you. Make no mistake. This kind of protest is for the most courageous among us. It is not casual. It is not for fun. These are evil bastards who play to win.
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anitar1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #107
121. And Their Toys For Crowd Control
have become much more deadly. They are ready for rioting, IMHO
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #107
141. none of the KILLED students were protestors....if they had PROTESTED
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 12:28 PM by diamond14

perhaps they would have survived (who knows!)...at least, the facts show that NO protestors were KILLED, only those who continued to go to classes...the student who waved the black flag at the Ohio National Guard was shot in the wrist, and survived...


The students who were KILLED were located a long long distance away from the protesting students. They were not involved in the protests and were simply walking to classes. Some of the wounded students were protesting at the time they were shot, but not all. Most were just going to classes.

--------------------------------------

Among the 76 Ohio National Guard soldiers stretched across the hilltop, only about a dozen members of Troop G -- the death squad -- stood calmly aiming in a firing line. They killed four Kent State University students and wounded nine others. One wounded victim, Dean Kahler, remains paralyzed as a result.

Then they turned and marched away from the bloody mayhem. The shooters got away with murder and never spent a day in jail.

http://alancanfora.com/9.html



Allison Krause
killed 343 feet distant


Sandy Scheuer
killed 395 feet distant


Jeff Miller
killed 265 feet distant


Bill Schroeder
killed 390 feet distant



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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #141
181. And your point in reference to my post is?
ONG Troop G shot and killed 4 innocent people. Whether or not they were involved in the protest is immaterial. The troops fired on American citizens.

It would have been bad enough if they had been actual protestors, but the fact that they were simply bystanders makes my point even more loudly that these are evil bastards we're dealing with. They will kill if it furthers their aims. It makes no difference to them who they kill.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #12
111. And that nonsense led directly to the tragedy of May 4.
(n/t)
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #111
113. many colleges STILL won't let military recruiters back on campus

military recruiters can wander around OFF-CAMPUS, but not ON-CAMPUS...although they keep trying to get back in....all these years and with THIRTY BUILDINGS UP IN FLAMES, must have made an impact....


ahhhh...students were certainly much braver in those days....willing to STAND UP....all that courage seems to have disappeared today....







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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #111
142. HISTORICAL IMPACT of Kent State: MAJOR changes in America
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 12:36 PM by diamond14
it was a watershed event: MAJOR event that changed the course of America...the students that protested at Kent State are truly American Heroes, as much as those 60 brave Patriots at the Boston Tea Party...


HISTORICAL IMPACT OF KENT STATE

and THE NATIONAL STUDENT STRIKE

-- MAY, 1970 --


According to a national scientific study by the Urban Institute in May of 1970, the Kent State massacre was the single factor which triggered the only national student strike in US history. Over four million students protested and over 900 US colleges and universities shut down during the effective student strike.

President Nixon was pushed to the point of physical and emotional collapse and he promptly withdrew his US military invasion of Cambodia. The tide of public opinion shifted against the war in Vietnam. The historical impact of Kent State and the national student strike of May, 1970, remains recognized as crucial in US history.

Dr. George Katsiaficas of the Wentworth Institute in Boston is the leading expert about the impact of the Kent State massacre and the national student strike of May, 1970. He has written the introduction to my soon-published memoir available online here in April of 2005.

Here are key facts from the research of Dr. George Katsiaficas regarding the historical impact of Kent State and the national student strike of May 1970:

http://alancanfora.com/15.html

a few -snips-, but PLEASE look at the entire long list of HISTORICAL IMPACTS...http://alancanfora.com/15.html

--public opinion polls indicated the tide of public opinion shifted against the war;

--Nixon and the Pentagon were forced to seriously de-escalate the war, remove US troops & negotiate peace in Southeast Asia;

--only a few days after Kent State, President Nixon limited the US invasion of Cambodia to 35 kilometers inside Cambodia & two months maximum duration;

--within two months the US troops withdrew from Cambodia;

--on August 5, 1970, Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton was released from prison;

--only a few months after Kent State, Congress rescinded the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing US forces in southeast Asia;

--Congress passed the WAR POWERS ACT preventing the President from invading a country without the approval of Congress;

--according to Nixon's aide H.R. Haldeman, "Kent State marked the beginning of Nixon's downhill slide toward Watergate";








Alan Canfora...shot in the wrist... survived the massacre



destroying company property.....riots and rebellion, an American tradition, as shown, at the BOSTON TEAPARTY....the result: military attacks on Patriotic Americans....
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #111
182. It led to significant change in Americans' attitude toward the war
...in Indochina. Nixon won by a landslide...by promising to get us OUT of Vietnam. Remember "Peace with honor?" I sure do. I grew up in a houseful of Republicans and they did not want to see us lose a war, though they could see the hand writing on the wall as plainly as anyone. Nixon promised something approaching victory, while they saw McGovern as promising to get out no matter how much it might bruise the American ego.

Nixon did pretty much what McGovern would have done, albeit far more slowly and with a helluva lot more spin. The course of history was changed in large part because of what the students did. They were heroes of the highest order. They risked their lives to make this a better country. It was the essence of real patriotism and it is by God NOT nonsense.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
13. It's easy to organize by taking over existing organizations if you want
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:42 AM by bobthedrummer
a popular movement as opposed to rioting. I agree with your subject line throughly, CatWoman.
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Rainbowreflect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
20. I think you speak the truth.
When people are pushed & pushed & pushed some more they will explode. It may not be logical to destroy your own home, but it may just be human nature to react like that when they believe/feel they have nothing to lose.
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. That's why I've been scoping out the rich part of town
Come the time I know where I'm going :), forget about burning down my part of town, I want the sons o bitches responbsible for this mess to feel it.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
76. good thinkin'
:thumbsup:

I'm with ya on that.

:)
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LeftofU Donating Member (421 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #21
124. I'm with you....
time to cash the check.
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Catt03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. We can reframe it
call it a "revolution". And yes, revolutions have been successful.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. these were all called "riots", not revolutions
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YIMA Donating Member (166 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
23. So, if I'm understanding this correctly....
There will come a point that our political opposition pushes us to the point where we storm their Bastille.

OK, I can agree that has been proven throughout history.

So, what happens when we regain power again and our political opponents feel like they've been pushed to the point where they storm our Bastille?

Does it ever end?
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. well, look at Bill Clinton's impeachment
I considered that "storming our Bastille".
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YIMA Donating Member (166 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. That didn't answer my question.
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 12:09 PM by YIMA
So, I bloody your nose and you break my arm. Then, it's my turn again to hurt you. And then you retaliate again.

I'm tired of fighting and defending. Aren't you?

Maybe there is no answer to my question.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. *sigh*
yes, I'm very tired.

You know when it will end? Hopefully when the American people rise up and say, "enough"!!!!!!

they did that in a way following Clinton's impeachment by voting out the biggest impeachment cheerleaders/House managers.
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YIMA Donating Member (166 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Could be.
"Hopefully when the American people rise up and say, "enough"!!!!!!"

According to many Republicans I've read making commentaries over the past few years, that's what they claim the American people have done regarding liberal fiscal and social issues, they've said "enough".

I don't think there's an end. After this phase is over, there will be another springing up. Everyday I grow closer to accepting that reality. Maybe that's how life is meant to be.

Thanks for the post and the thoughts. Like to stick around but I've got obligations which call me away.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #31
91. I used to think that the "over-reaction" of the French and Russian
revolutions were horrible.

But in light of the nightmare we live today, I've completely understood their reasoning and support it.

That is how JUSTICE will prevail. Buy eliminating the snakes of opression and injustice and those that would support it once and for all. And to for those on the side of truth and justice to be forever vigilant.

Those that fought and won the American Revolution and Civil War decided long ago that reason and friendly discourse simply no longer worked - and they were entirely correct and justified.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
144. No. Iit never does.
The oppressed become the oppressor. Human nature does not change. And someone is always on the short end of the stick.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
27. There WILL be a breaking point, it's just a matter of time.
Gross injustice after gross injustice cannot continue indefinitely. Sooner or later, it's all going to come to a head and break.

I think the Republicans actually WANT to foment rioting, knowing that groups will destroy their own nests, and giving cause to use military force against the unruly - (poor, brown, anti-establishment, fill in the blank.)
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
74. Scary but true..
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 03:23 PM by walldude
this is why I think old style protests and old style revolution will not work anymore. They(neo-cons) control everything. I have heard from people in the military that for years they have been doing psychological testing on soldiers to see if they can get them to fire upon American citizens.
It's time to start training and preparing for an electronic revolution.
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aaronnyc Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
30. "Rioting- the appropriate response to Laker's championships"
Black youths in LA, understandably frustrated by years of poor basketball, had no choice but to express the emotion they felt about winning their first championship in a decade by doing the only logical thing... setting cars on fire.

In America we riot for two reasons: as a protest against political oppression and when our teams win the championship. In reality, both reasons are complete bullshit; people riot because when in a large group where emotions are high (be those emotions due to political anger of sports happiness,)anti-social behavior can be extremely exhilarating. Expressing your anger towards Bush by overturning some poor guy's car, makes about as much sense as any sports riot.

Claiming that we are rioting as a protest against injustice, simply gives ourselves an excuse to get an adrenalin rush doing something which we would otherwise deem to be immoral behavior. Not only does rioting fail to produce a successful result, but it often ruins completely innocent people's lives.

Admit it, more often than not, the true motivation of the people rioting is that it's fun.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. Bingo
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #43
48. you both need to educate yourselves
http://blackhistorypages.com/Riots/

and not use these instances as a comparison for that dumb shit that happens when a sports team wins.

Yes, those guys are into it for "fun", but you need to separate "fun" from this phenomenon.

Please also refer to the link in Davsand's response below.

How the fuck can you compare the two?

People are always out looking for fun and ways to rob, steal and destroy -- sports games and championships just provide an easy cover.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #48
79. A difference of opinion
Rioting is nothing more than mob rule. Whether the mob has a noble purpose or not is irrelevant IN TERMS OF THE MOB. It's one thing to recognize legitimate grievances, but it's quite another to legitimize illiberal means of expressing those grievances. The basis of our civil society is that government (federal, state, or local) retains a monopoly of force (let's not bring 'the natural right of rebellion' into this thread, please, because that's an entirely different can of worms). It is not up to individual citizens to use force as a means of expressing their grievances, whether those grievances are legitimate or not.

This is not an argument for people to shut their eyes to problems in American society. Any policymaker would be a fool to simply denounce a riot AND THEN continue to ignore underlying problems that contributed to a riot. It may seem contradictory, but people can address underlying problems while denouncing mob action.

Regarding the title of your reply, please don't assume that people who disagree with you lack the necessary information. Reasonable people can, and do, read the same book/magazine/whatever and come to different conclusions.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #48
170. great idea...but doubt they'll make the effort..
.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
32. I said this on another thread...
but will repeat it here.

I think that we have reached the point where massive, non-violent, civil disobedience is in order. Whether it's national strikes, sit-ins, or mass arrests I think the time has come.

When I think of the size of the DC protests -- man, I would love to see every one of those protestors walk over to the White House, sit their butts down and refuse to move. I would love the country to see 10s of thousands of protestors arrested in our nation's capitol on the evening news -- they need to see something that will shake them from their stupor.

Sadly, the images that changed the 60s weren't the ordinary protests, they were watching as blacks sat at counters with whites screaming in fury behind them, they were of a little black girl trying to walk home from school and being followed by an angry mob, they were of dogs and firehoses and Kent State and San Francisco State and Berkeley.

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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. Yep. As a avid anti establishment advocate of the sixties,
I'm thunderstruck by the INACTIVISM over the BLATANT abuses in America today!!

Late 60's/early 70's we spent countless hours petitioning, marching, protesting, rallying. Sit ins, riots, you name it. Some people were killed many arrested. It was a time of change and it was worth every step taken. What the hell is wrong with people TODAY?

My Gawd, we FILLED the streets and campuses to overflowing! WE got stuff DONE.

I think the generation behind me has become complacent (except for the enviromentalists) and spoiled. Let someone else do it..it doesn't affect me...I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I'm too afraid of going to jail for my principles, we'll just "wait for the next election and vote them out",

JEBUS H. CHRIST!!!

My ankles are nearly broken, my bones are rotting, I can hardly breath....BUT I WOULD go out (albeit in my scooter) and yell, shout, make noise, protest with others--if marches can get organized. Me going alone will end me in jail and no one will ever know any fucking thing happened. :wtf:
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #39
171. Vietnam=THE DRAFT. Iraq=NO DRAFT. Want Riots?=DRAFT NOW.
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
34. "Rioting" IMHO is an act of rebellion
Rebellion is an outward expression of agency...taking command of a situation when other outlets of expression have failed.



One person's "riot" is another person's rebellion.

Time for a teaparty, I think. :nuke:
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #34
46. yes, the BOSTON TEA PARTY....destruction of company property...

a very FAMOUS political protest...to this day, these BRAVE AMERICAN PATRIOTS are honored and revered in our Nation's history.....


they got out there and DESTROYED the tea from the British East India Company...a KEY point in the American Revolution...with a boycott that dropped sales for the British tea from 320,000 pounds to 520 pounds.....and it only took 60 Americans to do this....



There, three shipsthe Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaverwere loaded with crates of tea. The men boarded the ships and began destroying the cargo. By 9 PM, with only one incident, they had smashed 342 crates of tea in all three ships and had thrown them into Boston Harbor. They took off their shoes, swept the decks, and made each ship's first mate attest that they had destroyed only the tea. The whole event was remarkably quiet and peaceful.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_tea_party
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kk897 Donating Member (829 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #46
82. there was another Tea Party recently...
Some voter rights advocates either late last year or early this year dumped boxes of fake ballots into Boston Harbor, I believe. I remember getting email about it before it happened, but of course saw no coverage of it after it was supposed to happen.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #34
178. Yep, the teaparty was a riot.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #178
188. a REVOLUTION or a RIOT, depends on who controls the news...


and who is writing the stories....
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
35. humiliation leads to terrorism
I've been collecting alot of different data to put together something comprehensive on why the votes in the ME don't mean democracy. In part, it's because democracy must be cultural, not just governmental.

Juan Cole argues authoritarian regimes are not breeding grounds for terrorists. Rather it is a combination of weak governments and some form of humiliation of the people.

Another article says that historically, people do not rise up at the lowest point. Rather, when things start to turn a bit, economically for sure, the people then gain enough confidence to make change.

Which would go with what I learned in Sociology 101, corporations prefer dictatorships because they are stable. Also kind of explains why Republicans don't really want good economies, the people would demand power which is the exact opposite goal of the Republican elite.

http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/comments/c539.htm
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
36. Yes, I understand what you are saying.
It's what happens when people whose backs are against the wall finally have enough of it. The energy has to go somewhere, the fight to survive. I hear ya.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
38. You are not crazy, Catwoman.
Isnt this pretty much the nature of human behavior? I think MOST people will roll with it until it gets to some undefined breaking point. It might be film on the news of someone in your community being beaten by the police, it might take somebody beating on your kid, it might take somebody in YOUR facewhatever the break point actually is, you will ultimately fight back against your antagonist with whatever means you have available t that time.

Rioting is not peculiar to any one group of people here in the US. We have seen riots done by various ethnic groupsincluding whites. One of the more destructive and deadly riots was in East St. Louis, Illinois, and it was a white thing. The city has YET to recover.

For an education about the rioting in East St Louis in 1917 you should read this:
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ibex/archive/nunes/esl%20history/race_riot.htm

I think you WILL remember it when election time rolls round again, and you WILL think about it when you live your day-to-day life afterward, but most people will act AT THAT TIME if they are angry enough. I also think that anger IS growing daily.

I wish I could say you are being a wingnut, Catwoman, but you arent. Its coming and it will be ugly when it blows.


Laura


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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Thanks, Laura
:hi:

I believe the term for the catalyst is "significant emotional event".
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. It will always follow several other events, usually.
A series of events seems to be the usual rule. I don't think any riot (or any social movement, for that matter) ever comes up simply based on one event. I can't name one riot or any insurrection that came about based on one isolated event. That point is what a lot of people miss, I think.

You see footage on TV of protesters out on the streets, and you never assmue it is based on just one guy's opinion or just one single event--you just know it has deeper roots than that. I fail to understand why riots aren't universally recognized for what they are in the same way...

I think there is a kind of maxiumum misery load that finally hits people. You can call it an emotionally significant event, you can call it a break point--any term works--as long as it recognizes the events that led up to that moment that created that level of misery, frustration, and anger.

We really have been cursed by having to live in interesting times--eh?


Laura
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. Detroit riots were caused by the ECONOMY and the mercenary police force
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 01:58 PM by diamond14



brutality, an all-white mercenary force that lived in the suburbs and had no connection to the communities they brutalized....it was exacerbated by the HUGE influx of heroin from Vietnam...similar to the massive amounts of heroin now flowing into American cities from Afganistan.....


the 'trigger' was the brutal arrest of a few guys drinking beer on a HOT Detroit night...police called it an illegal 'blind pig'...common on my street in Detroit (Snowden Avenue, McNichols and Schaeffer on the NorthWest side)..."blind pig"... it was just people SELLING beers to their neighbors, because they couldn't afford to pay BAR prices (and don't pay the normally heavy bar drink TAXES)...most any apartment building you live in, has someone who'll sell you a beer (or give you one, but you insist on paying for it, or chipping in for a small get-together)....much like Rodney King, the beatings were aired on Detroit TV....


the all-white mercenary police force lived in the Detroit suburbs and came into the city for daily brutality....that has changed now, since MANY American cities require that their employees LIVE inside the city that they work for....

there were MANY MANY White people involved in the rioting...the economy was SO BAD, due to the Vietnam WAR-profiteers sucking the economy dry, like today....no jobs, so EVERYBODY got out there to steal a TV set, or a couch, or whatever...many people believe the lie that it was ONLY inner city BLACK neighborhoods that were looted and ONLY by Blacks...my own neighborhood, an integrated, but about 60 % white neighborhood, was looted also...all the stores were broken into... and my next door neighbor, the father of three children, was SHOT TO DEATH....it wasn't an all-Black riot, and it wasn't only inner-city...it was a BAD economy, war-profitteers bleeding our economy, the Vietnam WAR, no jobs, and a big influx of heroin from Vietnam (coming inside the body bags on daily military flights), similar to the heroin massively flowing into America from Afganistan today....


IMO, somethings going to give in bush* economic/WAR/heroin importation programs....all the kindling has been prepared by the bushites, and it's just needs a little bitty SPARK....
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #38
179. I agree with you both, Laura & Catwoman
I am actually surprised nothing has happened before this...maybe the stage of disbelief is still holding paople back...but the anger is boiling hotter and anyone who doesn't see it & feel it is well... where the hell are they living?

I wish it didn't have to go this way, but all of our other options are being taken away piece by piece and too many are still clueless til it all whacks them in the face...

I still can't believe this is supposedly the same country I grew up in ...it sure took a hard right turn of the path we were headed. damn.

DR
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
51. Thinking more about this... They hate us. Just as Blacks were hated by
some elements in the South and in other areas of the country where it was "covered over." The hatred seems to be part of our culture. We Americans always need an enemy.

Right now the 51 percent of the country who doesn't give these thugs "legitimacy" in the polls is the enemy. They hate us and eventually they will push too hard.

They are already trying to pit us against each other the "Left Wing Loonies" against the "Mainstream Demcrats" who supposedly need to mover further rightward to embrace the Bush False Doctrines.

If they can't split us they may feel that eliminating us is the better way to go.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
65. Sorry I've got to agree with CW.
This time it won't be just minority brown people. (In the last LA riot, although it took place in an African American neighborhood, many hispanics and Pacific Islanders joined in.) Also, there are many poor whites, with too many guns, who are also feeling disenfranchised.

Although, I think many of the whites are still suffering Stockholm's syndrome, hanging on to the last vestige of hope that * is their savior, when it finally kicks in that they have been had, watch out. I can almost see a civil war erupting.

My community is a microcosm of the situation that is breeding it. When you enter my county you are surrounded by beaches, hotel and restaurant areas for tourists, upscale vacation homes and further back in the county horse ranches, only the rich can afford, and wineries.

Now, huddled alongside the railroad track and hidden in groves of eucalyptus trees are all the trailer parks the service workers live in with their families. Many of these people work two and three jobs to make ends meet.

Now there will never be riots in my area because there isn't a large enough population here and it's not so crowded that people get on each others nerves, but this same scenario is played in a larger scale in the more urban areas of this state and many other states.

Not only will there be riots, but I'm afraid ethnic cleansing because the neo-cons are covertly encouraging racism to further their agenda, and from this will come civil war as a very worst case scenario if it can't be contained in the early stages.

:tinfoilhat: Although I am wearing my tin foil hat, I also have lived a long time and through all of the civil unrest of the sixties and beyond. The conditions are still there that caused the very first riots of the sixties.
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #65
93. Pissed off people + gun ownership + a flashpoint =
revolution.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
66. Here's something to consider:
Almost without exception in post-WW2 America, "riots" fall into a very specific grouping that actually does not include "the last desperate act" of those rioting. And, because it is an interesting issue, and there are plenty of great books regarding the influences that create a climate where riots can and do occure, I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word .... in fact, anyone taking college courses such as sociology should follow up on this.

Riots occure when a group of people who are either marginalized or oppressed begin to see things having the potential to improve. That potential may or may not actually occure .... but what is important is the group of people in question believe things are going to improve in some significant way.

Then things get worse. And then riots break out. The related issue is that in these cases, those who riot tend to restrict the area they destroy .... and the limit is their own territory. On rare occassions, they move slightly beyond their territory.

The other thing to noteis that all of the conditions in that territory mix to create a keg. These conditions -- including both the marginalization, oppression, and the potential to improve, create a powder keg.

Then, the event that serves notice that the promise of improvement is hollow, acts as a fuse. Light that fuse, and the powder keg explodes. And you need only to read Malcolm X to understand this. Note that those who disliked Malcolm accused him to attempting to light that fuse in America; of course, he didn't do anything but recognize it, and point out it existed. I'm pretty sure that friend CatWoman is merely doing what Malcolm did: point out the powder kegs.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #66
134. Odd.
I thought someone might respond.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #134
162. Just now read this thread
Been too busy rioting to do much computoring. Add to that the complication of trying to teach myself to touch-type, on a Dvorak arrangement; the long anticipated, blinding typing speed hasn't kicked in, yet.
As usual, your hammer strikes square and true, very few owl-eyes.
I lived through, but participated little in, the enlightenment of the sixties and early seventies, choosing a longer route- more deliciously painful, I suppose.

I don't really think we are anywhere near the bang point, yet. That doesn't qualify as a vote one way or the other, given my own track record, but I suspect the internet provides an additional safety valve, overall, that the most outraged will be a little slower to sizzle than they were forty years ago.

You provide an education.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #162
165. It changes the discussion ....
...when people understand what riots have actually been .... almost without a single exception .... since the end of WW1. But I recognize that discussing what riots actually are is not as fun for the majority of people, as discussing what are fantasies that project what we wish riots were.

I would also add that anyone who has ever been involved in anything close to a riot would never advocate it as a method with the potential to bring positive change.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #165
173. And yet we stumble from crisis to crisis
and riot to riot, always betting on the come card, hoping tomorrow will be better than today.

We always forget that our favorite method for solving problems is not to solve them, directly, but to get a bigger problem. This works but uses up a lot of money, time and people.

Those who are rioting are not mugging for the camera. The whole thing is unpredictable, explosive and deadly.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #173
175. I haven't seen many riots lately.
At least not in the United States. I'm glad that I haven't.

I tend to think of the US as more of a huge version of an extended family. There are family members with a wide variety of backgrounds, having different values. But some of the worse assholes in the extended family -- loud mouthed jerks who want to start fights they don't dare take part in; quiet crooks who will steal from their neices and nephews; and guilt-ridden fundies who think sex is evil -- think they run the family.

We don't need a family brawl. We just need to behave in a manner that takes any "power" away from them.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #175
186. Although there haven't been many riots in this country in the
last decade or so, my point (if I even have one- I dunno- hunt around, must be one here, somewhere) is that it seems as though the human creature must ultimately resort to violence. If the difference between two anythings- cultures, people, governments- is large, or can be manipulated to appear that way, the only outlet is violence, be it riot, war, or worse. I despair of there ever being a way to restrain those needing violence as some sort validation of their existence.
The job of peacemaker is ever larger than that of the general.
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Jesus Saves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
67. I don't know if some DUers
could peel themselves away from their computers long enough to actually riot.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. what self respecting DUer would pass an opportunity to
bash America?
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Jesus Saves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. of if they did
would they be so out of shape their rioting would consist of walking up and down the block once or twice?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #70
83. you so silly.
:hi:
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. I dunno -- you tell me
looks like Jesus has been laying down on the job.

Why don't you open a "healing and fitness" camp?
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Jesus Saves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. How about a rioting emoticon?
Sorry if I sound jaded - I'm just in a mood where I'm down on this whole internet political stuff.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. Got news for you man...
When the revolution comes it's not going to happen in the streets... It's going to happen on your computer screen. And for a person who used Jesus Saves as his screen name you do an awful lot of generalizing and pre-judging people. I may be on my PC alot but I actually WORK for a living, I'd bet money my hands are alot more scarred and calloused than yours...
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Jesus Saves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #75
77. I beg to differ
The revolution won't happen on any computer screen. It's all a mirage pal.

And I'm not passing judgment on anyone's soul, ok? The whole notion that a Christian has to be some kind of opinionless wallflower is just plain wrong.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #77
96. and yet still here you are.
Do all christians lack the irony gene or is it just you?

RL
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Jesus Saves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #96
103. no illusions
I'm here to pick up some information, and for entertainment.

I don't believe this is a 'revolution' of anything.

IMO.
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TheWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #103
131. Glad to hear you find all of the stuff going on in the world Entertaining
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 08:06 AM by TheWatcher
You should enlist and go fight in Bush's War.

I'll bet you'd be REALLY Entertained then.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #77
147. It won't?
I seem to recall three- three- seperate thefts of critical financial and SS information recently.

You don't think that information can be used to foment a digital revolution? Think again. With that information, I could wipe you out financially for the rest of your life, and stick your kids with a bill after you're gone.

Information can be a potent weapon, and we here are thus heavily armed.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #69
85. For a supposed Christian you're pretty judgmental.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #67
87. oooohhh...insightful!
:eyes:
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #67
160. Says the man with 360 posts in 10 days...
:shrug:
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Tactical Progressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
73. Things break down
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 03:22 PM by Tactical Progressive
not when the situation becomes terrible, but when people lose all hope that it will ever get better.

When that happens, you're right, people go to extremes and it's not always rational.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
84. I don't think we have much choice left. We passed HAVA
and gave them our voting system, and I don't think they will give it back except to DINO's.

Something has to give, they have stolen our country. I feel different than I have ever felt, even after the passage of the medicare bill, the bankruptcy bill, the election, all of it.

I don't fell like participating in this system any more. Most of us are only one or two generations out of poverty and we still have living relatives that can teach us how to get by with very little expenditure.

I just don't want to support anyone with my money any more but me, I'm voting with my wallet.
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kk897 Donating Member (829 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
86. ALWAYS Do the Right Thing...
I love that movie, and I think it really shows how a riot can start. As I posted on another thread of a similar nature, I feel like throwing a garbage can through a plate glass window right about now, but it would be an act of vandalism, not a symbolic gesture of taking political power into my own hands. You need a bunch of people behind you before it becomes a political act.

I actually see riots a little differently than most here. I think that many riots are essentially a group of people, together, saying, "we HAVE power and this is the only way you are going to see that we have power, since we've tried everything else to little effect." Or, in short, GRRRRRR! PAY ATTENTION!

I'm a pacifist by nature, and I certainly wouldn't want to see people seriously injured or killed, but I wouldn't necessarily frown upon a group of folks who wanted to Fight the Powers that Be through intimidation or something along those lines. A benign riot... ha! Like that would happen. But a lot of people certainly believe that extreme circumstances call for extreme action, and I can't say I don't admire them to a certain extent.

I'd like to see people rising en masse, filling the streets with chanting and yelling, fists upraised and madder than hornets. I'd like to see these people stand tall and angry in front of their state capitols and in front of the White House, refusing to back down, glaring, smoldering, flexing some muscle. I'd love to see them not just marching, but STOMPING--stomping hard enough to light up seismographs across the world.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
89. I've had that thought several times lately.
It'll be a bitch when it comes.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
94. Didja ever look deep, deep within, underneath your own
rage at something?

Everytime I have done that for myself, explored what was under any RAGE I felt (not just anger, but the rage -- you know what I mean), I found a profound sense of powerlessness. Whether I WAS powerless in the given situation or not was actually immaterial, since this is the type of case where perception really IS everything.

It's been quite instructive, though.

:hi:
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
95. I agree completely
It's unfornunate that the Republicans want to have riots - but they are doing everything they can to get people into this mode of "powerlessness". Republicans note: there are at least 100 million of us.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
98. Anyone watch "Mighty Times" on Sundance?
Edited on Thu Mar-17-05 11:54 PM by Carolab
Told the story of Rosa Parks and the beginning of nonviolent resistance by Dr. King.

Although the blacks in Montgomery were bombed and killed in the streets, they still refused to ride the buses and refused to retaliate with violence. After more than a YEAR of walking, biking and hitchhiking around, desegregation ended.

No riots. Peaceful resistance.

We have to think of smart ways to boycott and bring attention to the causes we celebrate, like the heroes in Montgomery.

Guns and violence are not liberal values.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #98
100. You are right - the "riots" should be non-violent
I'm gonna say it that way so that it is understood that the action will be taken as a result of a mass sense of powerlessness, but INSTEAD of having the typical mindless rioting response, we will apply pressure in a non-violent and legal way that will garner a much stronger response. It will happen.
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #98
112. Something a few of us are suggesting:
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #112
114. Cool idea. Can we call it "National Peace Day" instead though? n/t
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #114
115. Part of our message is creativity....
....and what it is called should be reflective of that. We have zero 'pride of authorship and no interest in controlling the endeavor.'

We just want the outcome to be massive inter-ruption of the status quo using methods that simultaneously achieve community building, promotion of awareness, and true support for those who have suffered gravely, and a preparedness for the next "day."

Because, after the first "day" on 2 May 2005, we intend to have a network that is so efficient, that with less than 24 hours notice, we can launch another "day" and another and another -- random, but persistent. We will achieve the economic impact and do much good, at the same time. That is the plan.

Please promote the objectives and spread the word through your networks.

Peace.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #115
116. I see. Sort of a "do your OWN thing day"?
Whatever averts feeding the machine?
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #116
117. Bingo! And, whatever might also....
...feed those in need; help those who have suffered because of all the lies; .........

We Can Do This. Over And Over.

I call it compassionate disrupting. Maybe I should TM that before "Gannon" or Bu$h does :evilgrin:

Peace.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #117
118. I really like this. A mass mobilization of citizen conscience. n/t
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:55 AM
Response to Reply #118
119. Thank you and ....
....if you can, please post your excellent comments as part of the primary thread. We'd like to get 'traction' as early on Friday as possible and encourage folk to begin using their personal email lists to spread the word.

We are also encouraging artists to develop an icon along the Pueblo knot theme -- a representation of a rope with 5 knots, followed by 2 and then 5. Then, in the future, all we would have to have in the content of emails is that type of icon, e.g., 6 followed by 1 followed by 5 and everyone would know what to DO on June 1 2005!!

Peace.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #114
125. I really Like this IDEA! It is the first thing that
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 04:44 AM by ClayZ
has given me a flicker hope in a long time. "MAY 2" and then we just "MAY" do it again and again.

We will be in the streets with our whole family (thats 13 now with kids spouses and grandkids) on Saturday!

PEACE FLAGS FLYING.

Seattle is still a little touchy after WTO. The last several protests were quite peaceful.






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seventythree Donating Member (904 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #98
120. agree
and I don't want to bash America, so sorry Cat-woman (?), I guess I am not a self-respecting Du'er -- I want to make it better.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #120
164. the irony is lost on you.
and the sarcasm.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #98
163. no, not yet...but I will....

.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
101. SEND NOTES TO THE HANNIDATE PEOPLE!!
This is a link to the "Hannidate" site gallery. Pick a person as your "date" and send them a copy of an enlistment form as a requirement before you will date them http://www.hannity.com/gallery/Hannidate2005/

It's a riot seeing their response!

(doesn't work with those already in military :D )
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Zen Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #101
102. That's a great idea - I sent a couple tonight
:D
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #101
105. Oh come on...share a few!
It's the least you could do after linking us to those angry, miserable people.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
109. Brilliant, heartfelt words, and very true.
When American citizens and their needs are continually disregarded, harmed and dismissed in such continuous actions, what are the American citizens to do otherwise?

The American Revolutionaries did the same thing towards the tyranny of the British and they are of course our heroes today.





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CindyDale Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
122. Riots and revolution don't do much - organized resistance does
The American revolution was an exception because the colonies were already basically governing themselves. Most other revolutions were a disaster and brought more oppression.

Those who have brought about real change, for example, King and Gandhi, did it with work, self-discipline, and organization.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #122
132. Organization.... that's how the Pukes did it.
They have organized. We on the other hand......
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OfTheTaco Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:16 AM
Response to Original message
123. I think that we
Can do more Gandhi like things and such, or the all powerful boycott, no money for the greedy.
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
127. I agree
it's a big pressure cooker out there in reality land, we all know how this story ends
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
128. Yeah, I feel one coming on too.
Only this time it will be like Tienamen Square. The MSM will be blocked so the sheeple will never see the tanks, guns and soldiers in the streets killing protesters. Just like Beijing. The stage has been set. Their ducks are in a row. This one isn't going to be pretty. :scared:
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
133. I Don't See Any Wide Spreads Riots On The Horizon..
Certainly nothing to match the riots after Dr. King's murder...


I guess we can bookmark my post and see the folly or foresight of my prediction...


I really don't see what riots accomplish..... The only way a riot can be successful is if they represent the will of the people, i.e if the masses support the rioters and not the authorities...


That's why the student riots in France in 1968 were such a threat to the French system because they were joined by nine million striking factory workers...


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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #133
139. Actually I think the riots in 91 played a big role in Clinton being
elected in 92. It wasn't just in LA but in Cincinatti, Detroit and elsewhere after the Rodney King verdict
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William Bloode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
136. I personally see nothing wrong with a bit of a riot....
I think it can be useful to bring attention to pointed problems. My only problem is rioters should be more selective of their targets. They should lash out and damage the object of their frustration.

I have actually put a lot of thought into training people for protests and riots. Training in some type of discipline, use of things like the shield wall etc. This will limit the power of the forces trying to quash the rioters. Also provide for a better selection of targets, i.e. ravage Walmart not the small family owned store, tear down the police department not the fire department, burn a swanky upscale hotel not someones humble home.

And yes i am a bit of a militant if you couldn't tell.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #136
137. Let Me Know First...
"burn a swanky upscale hotel not someones humble home."


I like to take my eighty seven year old mom to nice restaurants to celebrate important occasions... Sometimes they happen to be in swanky upscale hotels...
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areaman Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #136
149. what?
Why would you be advocating violence and destruction of property? What kind of a solution is that?

Great idea...when you're angry about something, just go out and destroy things and incite violence. Ya, that'll really accomplish alot.

It amazes me when the very same people that get all pissed off about war end up resorting to violence.

If you destroy a Walmart what have you done? Nothing. All you have done is create some drama, commit a crime, and deface property. I understand the fact that you might disagree with their specific policies, but dealing with those policies in the ways you are suggesting is childish and ridiculous.

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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
140. Destructive riots include destructive people
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 11:33 AM by PATRICK
When tugs are present and motivated on either side or both I think it is far from the constructive ideal of "street democracy" as King and Gandhi tried to discipline it. Carnage, cannibalism of your own property, mobs committing atrocities, police or hired thugs on a counter rampage- it is another manifestation(with power and violence) of the evils that brought social order into disrepute in the first place.

The French revolution, the Russian revolution are more models than a colonial breakaway which really characterized the American Revolution(itself no stranger to fratricide and ruinous disorder). Democratic reformers move in to restore the nation and limit aristocratic power. Repression, then taking it to the streets unleashed horrible violence that put power in the hands of new extremists and absolutists with more violence and reactions. French riots continued well into the Nineteenth century with whatever idealism they could muster and the state becoming better at manipulating and defeating the blind beast even with the aid of the Prussians. Dictators use mobs too since they are a neutral beast whose only hunger is rage.

Gandhi came up against the big ethnic split ironically among two major religions that verbally promote "tolerance" but in different ways. The last one to do Gandhi effectively in a big way here was MLK. The riots tried to claim more credit for legislative reforms.

Riots. You don't want them. Massive demonstrations that can't be countered by mob passions financed by the dark side are very possible and barely tried here. The illusion that people cling to is the media although deep down I think MOST people know they are being sold a bill of goods, like any smoker knows cigarettes are killing them. Action, information and mass exertions outside the ballot box(but constantly building on the grass roots) must be worked at. The EASY answer of rioting or trusting some Great Leader will not work, the workable answers are not easy. Trusting some champion to carry our couch-bound butts back to democracy is self-contradicting and hypocritical.

What's the next theoretical desperate answer after rioting ceases to titillate? Suicide?

America never was an ideal democracy, not even close actually. So as interesting as the fantasies of reliving doomed history are let's just get to work getting people committed to the highest stakes, at the very least, personal and racial survival.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
145. ROVE PRAYS FOR RIOTS AGAINST BUSH POLICIES
The more riots, the more backlash, and the better the Repugs will do in local, state and federal elections. If we want to totally kill all prospects for the dems, lets have some riots.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #145
146. like this one? which resulted in MILITARY attacks on Patriotic Americans
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 01:01 PM by diamond14
DESTRUCTION of Company Property...the BOSTON TEA PARTY...which led directly to the American Revolutionary War, as the Company was pissed and came to kill us...these are American Heroes...



but, I guess by your logic...we shouldn't do anything at all...because it might upset KKKarl rove....


get a grip....


or this


military recuiter's building UP IN FLAMES at Kent State, May 1970....THIRTY military recruiter's buildings were BURNT TO THE GROUND and BOMBED all across America, in May 1970...




the Property Destruction, led to MAJOR changes in America...it was a BIG TURNING POINT....


HISTORICAL IMPACT OF KENT STATE

and THE NATIONAL STUDENT STRIKE

-- MAY, 1970 --


According to a national scientific study by the Urban Institute in May of 1970, the Kent State massacre was the single factor which triggered the only national student strike in US history. Over four million students protested and over 900 US colleges and universities shut down during the effective student strike.

President Nixon was pushed to the point of physical and emotional collapse and he promptly withdrew his US military invasion of Cambodia. The tide of public opinion shifted against the war in Vietnam. The historical impact of Kent State and the national student strike of May, 1970, remains recognized as crucial in US history.

http://alancanfora.com/15.html

a few -snips-, but PLEASE look at the entire long list of HISTORICAL IMPACTS...http://alancanfora.com/15.html

--public opinion polls indicated the tide of public opinion shifted against the war;

--Nixon and the Pentagon were forced to seriously de-escalate the war, remove US troops & negotiate peace in Southeast Asia;

--only a few days after Kent State, President Nixon limited the US invasion of Cambodia to 35 kilometers inside Cambodia & two months maximum duration;

--within two months the US troops withdrew from Cambodia;

--on August 5, 1970, Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton was released from prison;

--only a few months after Kent State, Congress rescinded the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing US forces in southeast Asia;

--Congress passed the WAR POWERS ACT preventing the President from invading a country without the approval of Congress;

--according to Nixon's aide H.R. Haldeman, "Kent State marked the beginning of Nixon's downhill slide toward Watergate";




NYU...May 1970...speaking truth to power


some call it RIOTS and other REVOLUTION....but it's an AMERICAN tradition with long-standing root...OUR Country was FOUNDED on RIOTS AND REVOLUTION....


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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #146
148. Well, lets see...
Somehow I don't think most people will feel that violent riots against Bush falls in the same political and ethical category as the Boston Tea Party. Most Americans don't equate Bush with the British colonialists. And we don't have a Jefferson or Paine today.

Regarding Kent State, which I remember well, are you nuts? Do you remember who was elected President in 1972 in a landslide? We can't always count on the fortuitous occurrence of a Watergate, ya know?

ROVE AND BUSH WANT RIOTS AGAINST THEM. THEY KNOW THEY WILL BENEFIT.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #148
151. dribble dribble dribble....
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 02:06 PM by diamond14


.....and most Americans think that Iraqis had "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and those Iraqis ATTACKED us on 911...nothing would surprise me about what "most American's think"...

------------------------------------------

America is BUILT on RIOTS and REVOLUTIONS...it's an American Tradition....

at the very beginning...major property destruction, as proud patriots destroyed the cargo on THREE Company ships...


from the riots in St. Louis (nice overview, above on this thread)


to the UNIONS in Detroit...with a long long violent struggle against the Company....




to Kent State and the flaming destruction of 30 military recruitment buildings on Campuses ALL ACROSS AMERICA....keeping the military recruiters out of public colleges to this day...




to CIVIL RIGHTS....and it wasn't all PEACEFUL stuff...but Main-Stream-Media love their Martin Luther King tributes, pretending that the entire Civil Rights movement was the peaceful King speech on the National Mall...which give MSM the chance to miss the entire Civil Rights struggle....fluff stuff...


Malcom X, 1964
However, when asked to comment upon the JFK assassination, Malcolm X replied that it was a case of "chickens coming home to roost" that the violence that JFK had failed to stop, and at times refused to rein in had come around to claim his life. Most explosively, he then added that with his country origins, "Chickens coming home to roost never made me sad. It only made me glad."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcom_x

----------------------------------------

America has a LONG LONG and glorious history of RIOTS and REVOLUTIONS, and anyone denying that has been affected by bush* PROPAGANDA history books...bushites are good at the Main Stream Media propaganda....most Americans don't know anything about the American Revolution at all...

Americans know NOTHING about Kent State (the government line for the massacre was: OUTSIDE COMMUNIST AGITATORS were KILLED and it was just and righteous killing...REALITY: all were STUDENTs at KSU, and those KILLED were going to classes)....

most Americans couldn't tell you about the Union Struggles, the Human Rights struggles, the Civil Rights struggles in American History....and the re-writing of American History Books by lynn cheney and the 'american enterprise' STINK TANKS should be a BIG CONCERN to all Americans....

-----------------------------------------


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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. Exactly and...
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 01:56 PM by libnnc
our history of consumer revolt.

In the 1770s, according to my friend and former professor in her book Purchasing Identity in the Atlantic World: Massachusetts Merchants, 1670-1780 (Cornell University Press: 2001) in her chapter titled: "A Return to Homespun" she writes:

Goods already spoke a latent political message by denoting status and power, particularly for the merchants and their allies who dominiated social and economic life in Boston and Salem. When the revolutionary leaders Samuel and John Adams brought together non-importation and non-consumption agreements with opposition ideology, important finery came to represent both dangerous economic obligations to British traders and a 'decay of virtue'. Many colonists recognized 'the riches and luxuries of the East'...Samuel Adams repeatedly reminded them that 'luxury and extravagance are...destructive of those virtues which are necessary for the preservation of liberty and the happiness of the people.' For many, the only solution to preserving American liberties was a return to homespun.



There's great power in consumer activism.

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CindyDale Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #152
153. Wow! What a terrific quote! n/t
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #153
157. Thanks, I'll tell Phyllis you said so...
she also talks about the fact that among the Boston Elite the "return to homespun" thing was very popular. "In the 1760s, graduates at Harvard, Yale, and the College of Rhode Island appeared at commencements sporting suits made of homespun cloth. For a new generation, homespun was in vogue."

...yes I'm shamelessly plugging her book
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #152
154. question: how do you make those grey boxes surrounding the print?


it looks SHARP !...and thanks for your input...I fully agree that consumer REVOLT is a BIG PART of creating CHANGE....
:hi:
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #154
158. it took me fifteen minutes to figure out that damn box thing...
click on the HTML lookup table link. You have to do it manually...that's why it took me so long...
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #151
155. START A RIOT
Make Rove's day.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #155
156. blah......
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 02:58 PM by diamond14


:puke:

encouraging people to "start a riot for KKKarl rove" is obscene...what kind of insanity is that idea?
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #156
166. Grow Up
Nixon was reelected in 1972 with a fucking landslide in part because of Kent State and other riots. Don't you think Rove knows this? Of course, he would like to see rioting. Why is that hard to figure out? (Now lets see another brilliant response.)
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #166
168. so now, YOU want us to START A RIOT for KKKarl rove, because


richard nixon won the election in 1972.....




glad you clarified that.....


but IMHO, your response indicates TOTAL INSANITY....way off the deep end....
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #166
176. you sure have a humongous chip on your shoulder
not enough sleep? hungry? fight with the spouse?
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #151
161. More like Drivel Drivel Drivel
our friend is VERY obvious. :eyes:
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #161
167. Drivel Drivel beats
Poo Poo. On the other hand blah blah is inferior to pip pip.
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #167
174. I smell something
it smells like
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #174
180. Hmm
We've all probably studied the life of Gandhi. The way he led people to civil, un-violent protest, was brilliant, compassionate, and wonderful. I am a citizen though, of a different Nation. Our people are incredibly diverse (which is one of America's greatest strengths).

I am also a young man of a different generation. Yes, this is the generation of rap music, loud cursing, swears, the degradation of countless things, women, morality. I do not believe morality is subjective, I do not believe that nothing is absolute.

Now... I agree, eventually, people are probably going to get really pissed off and explode. But can you imagine the body count? How many innocent people will die as a result? Because, if we cannot stop them with peaceful protest, and acts of civil disobedience, it is likely to mean the end of our world as we know it.

I agree with your analysis, but it makes me very sad. Yes, the vast majority of young people in this Country today aren't afraid of guns, and they aren't afraid to use them. And it is the young who will fight these battles. It is the passion that will lead them.

And history will again repeat itself. There must be another way. I am doing everything I can to calm people down, get them to listen to reason. As long as we, each of us, can lead by example, and give our best effort... we can make peace, even with the neocons.


And there's my two cents. :)
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #180
183. I think you're responding to the wrong post.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
184. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

<1849, original title: Resistance to Civil Government>

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.

This American government what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient, by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it. Trade and commerce, if they were not made of india-rubber, would never manage to bounce over obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way; and if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievious persons who put obstructions on the railroads.

But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at one no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which the majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation on conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents on injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniment, though it may be,

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;

Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where out hero was buried."

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as the rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be "clay," and "stop a hole to keep the wind away," but leave that office to his dust at least:

"I am too high born to be propertied,
To be a second at control,
Or useful serving-man and instrument
To any sovereign state throughout the world."

He who gives himself entirely to his fellow men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them in pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.

How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.

All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution of '75. If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them. All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counter-balance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is that fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army.

Paley, a common authority with many on moral questions, in his chapter on the "Duty of Submission to Civil Government," resolves all civil obligation into expediency; and he proceeds to say that "so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that it, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniencey, it is the will of God... that the established government be obeyed and no longer. This principle being admitted, the justice of every particular case of resistance is reduced to a computation of the quantity of the danger and grievance on the one side, and of the probability and expense of redressing it on the other." Of this, he says, every man shall judge for himself. But Paley appears never to have contemplated those cases to which the rule of expediency does not apply, in which a people, as well and an individual, must do justice, cost what it may. If I have unjustly wrested a plank from a drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself. This, according to Paley, would be inconvenient. But he that would save his life, in such a case, shall lose it. This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people.

In their practice, nations agree with Paley; but does anyone think that Massachusetts does exactly what is right at the present crisis?

"A drab of stat,
a cloth-o'-silver slut,

To have her train borne up,
and her soul trail in the dirt."

Practically speaking, the opponents to a reform in Massachusetts are not a hundred thousand politicians at the South, but a hundred thousand merchants and farmers here, who are more interested in commerce and agriculture than they are in humanity, and are not prepared to do justice to the slave and to Mexico, cost what it may. I quarrel not with far-off foes, but with those who, neat at home, co-operate with, and do the bidding of, those far away, and without whom the latter would be harmless. We are accustomed to say, that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow, because the few are not as materially wiser or better than the many. It is not so important that many should be good as you, as that there be some absolute goodness somewhere; for that will leaven the whole lump. There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing; who even postpone the question of freedom to the question of free trade, and quietly read the prices-current along with the latest advices from Mexico, after dinner, and, it may be, fall asleep over them both. What is the price-current of an honest man and patriot today? They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for other to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give up only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them. There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man. But it is easier to deal with the real possessor of a thing than with the temporary guardian of it.

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.

I hear of a convention to be held at Baltimore, or elsewhere, for the selection of a candidate for the Presidency, made up chiefly of editors, and men who are politicians by profession; but I think, what is it to any independent, intelligent, and respectable man what decision they may come to? Shall we not have the advantage of this wisdom and honesty, nevertheless? Can we not count upon some independent votes? Are there not many individuals in the country who do not attend conventions? But no: I find that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted from his position, and despairs of his country, when his country has more reasons to despair of him. He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as the only available one, thus proving that he is himself available for any purposes of the demagogue. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought. O for a man who is a man, and, and my neighbor says, has a bone is his back which you cannot pass your hand through! Our statistics are at fault: the population has been returned too large. How many men are there to a square thousand miles in the country? Hardly one. Does not America offer any inducement for men to settle here? The American has dwindled into an Odd Fellow one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness, and a manifest lack of intellect and cheerful self-reliance; whose first and chief concern, on coming into the world, is to see that the almshouses are in good repair; and, before yet he has lawfully donned the virile garb, to collect a fund to the support of the widows and orphans that may be; who, in short, ventures to live only by the aid of the Mutual Insurance company, which has promised to bury him decently.

It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even to most enormous, wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too. See what gross inconsistency is tolerated. I have heard some of my townsmen say, "I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico see if I would go"; and yet these very men have each, directly by their allegiance, and so indirectly, at least, by their money, furnished a substitute. The soldier is applauded who refuses to serve in an unjust war by those who do not refuse to sustain the unjust government which makes the war; is applauded by those whose own act and authority he disregards and sets at naught; as if the state were penitent to that degree that it hired one to scourge it while it sinned, but not to that degree that it left off sinning for a moment. Thus, under the name of Order and Civil Government, we are all made at last to pay homage to and support our own meanness. After the first blush of sin comes its indifference; and from immoral it becomes, as it were, unmoral, and not quite unnecessary to that life which we have made.

The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it. The slight reproach to which the virtue of patriotism is commonly liable, the noble are most likely to incur. Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform. Some are petitioning the State to dissolve the Union, to disregard the requisitions of the President. Why do they not dissolve it themselves the union between themselves and the State and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury? Do not they stand in same relation to the State that the State does to the Union? And have not the same reasons prevented the State from resisting the Union which have prevented them from resisting the State?

How can a man be satisfied to entertain and opinion merely, and enjoy it? Is there any enjoyment in it, if his opinion is that he is aggrieved? If you are cheated out of a single dollar by your neighbor, you do not rest satisfied with knowing you are cheated, or with saying that you are cheated, or even with petitioning him to pay you your due; but you take effectual steps at once to obtain the full amount, and see to it that you are never cheated again. Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divided States and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

One would think, that a deliberate and practical denial of its authority was the only offense never contemplated by its government; else, why has it not assigned its definite, its suitable and proportionate, penalty? If a man who has no property refuses but once to earn nine shillings for the State, he is put in prison for a period unlimited by any law that I know, and determined only by the discretion of those who put him there; but if he should steal ninety times nine shillings from the State, he is soon permitted to go at large again.

If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

As for adopting the ways of the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then? But in this case the State has provided no way: its very Constitution is the evil. This may seem to be harsh and stubborn and unconcilliatory; but it is to treat with the utmost kindness and consideration the only spirit that can appreciate or deserves it. So is all change for the better, like birth and death, which convulse the body.

I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.

I meet this American government, or its representative, the State government, directly, and face to face, once a year no more in the person of its tax-gatherer; this is the only mode in which a man situated as I am necessarily meets it; and it then says distinctly, Recognize me; and the simplest, the most effectual, and, in the present posture of affairs, the indispensablest mode of treating with it on this head, of expressing your little satisfaction with and love for it, is to deny it then. My civil neighbor, the tax-gatherer, is the very man I have to deal with for it is, after all, with men and not with parchment that I quarrel and he has voluntarily chosen to be an agent of the government. How shall he ever know well that he is and does as an officer of the government, or as a man, until he is obliged to consider whether he will treat me, his neighbor, for whom he has respect, as a neighbor and well-disposed man, or as a maniac and disturber of the peace, and see if he can get over this obstruction to his neighborlines without a ruder and more impetuous thought or speech corresponding with his action. I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name if ten honest men only ay, if one honest man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this co-partnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. But we love better to talk about it: that we say is our mission. Reform keeps many scores of newspapers in its service, but not one man. If my esteemed neighbor, the State's ambassador, who will devote his days to the settlement of the question of human rights in the Council Chamber, instead of being threatened with the prisons of Carolina, were to sit down the prisoner of Massachusetts, that State which is so anxious to foist the sin of slavery upon her sister though at present she can discover only an act of inhospitality to be the ground of a quarrel with her the Legislature would not wholly waive the subject of the following winter.

Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible. If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, "But what shall I do?" my answer is, "If you really wish to do anything, resign your office." When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned from office, then the revolution is accomplished. But even suppose blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man's real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.

I have contemplated the imprisonment of the offender, rather than the seizure of his goods though both will serve the same purpose because they who assert the purest right, and consequently are most dangerous to a corrupt State, commonly have not spent much time in accumulating property. To such the State renders comparatively small service, and a slight tax is wont to appear exorbitant, particularly if they are obliged to earn it by special labor with their hands. If there were one who lived wholly without the use of money, the State itself would hesitate to demand it of him. But the rich man not to make any invidious comparison is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it. It puts to rest many questions which he would otherwise be taxed to answer; while the only new question which it puts is the hard but superfluous one, how to spend it. Thus his moral ground is taken from under his feet. The opportunities of living are diminished in proportion as that are called the "means" are increased. The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor. Christ answered the Herodians according to their condition. "Show me the tribute-money," said he and one took a penny out of his pocket if you use money which has the image of Caesar on it, and which he has made current and valuable, that is, if you are men of the State, and gladly enjoy the advantages of Caesar's government, then pay him back some of his own when he demands it. "Render therefore to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God those things which are God's" leaving them no wiser than before as to which was which; for they did not wish to know.

When I converse with the freest of my neighbors, I perceive that, whatever they may say about the magnitude and seriousness of the question, and their regard for the public tranquillity, the long and the short of the matter is, that they cannot spare the protection of the existing government, and they dread the consequences to their property and families of disobedience to it. For my own part, I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State. But, if I deny the authority of the State when it presents its tax bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end. This is hard. This makes it impossible for a man to live honestly, and at the same time comfortably, in outward respects. It will not be worth the while to accumulate property; that would be sure to go again. You must hire or squat somewhere, and raise but a small crop, and eat that soon. You must live within yourself, and depend upon yourself always tucked up and ready for a start, and not have many affairs. A man may grow rich in Turkey even, if he will be in all respects a good subject of the Turkish government. Confucius said: "If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are subjects of shame." No: until I want the protection of Massachusetts to be extended to me in some distant Southern port, where my liberty is endangered, or until I am bent solely on building up an estate at home by peaceful enterprise, I can afford to refuse allegiance to Massachusetts, and her right to my property and life. It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. I should feel as if I were worth less in that case.

Some years ago, the State met me in behalf of the Church, and commanded me to pay a certain sum toward the support of a clergyman whose preaching my father attended, but never I myself. "Pay," it said, "or be locked up in the jail." I declined to pay. But, unfortunately, another man saw fit to pay it. I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster; for I was not the State's schoolmaster, but I supported myself by voluntary subscription. I did not see why the lyceum should not present its tax bill, and have the State to back its demand, as well as the Church. However, as the request of the selectmen, I condescended to make some such statement as this in writing: "Know all men by these presents, that I, Henry Thoreau, do not wish to be regarded as a member of any society which I have not joined." This I gave to the town clerk; and he has it. The State, having thus learned that I did not wish to be regarded as a member of that church, has never made a like demand on me since; though it said that it must adhere to its original presumption that time. If I had known how to name them, I should then have signed off in detail from all the societies which I never signed on to; but I did not know where to find such a complete list.

I have paid no poll tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated my as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up. I wondered that it should have concluded at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never thought to avail itself of my services in some way. I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was. I did nor for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar. I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax. They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons who are underbred. In every threat and in every compliment there was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand the other side of that stone wall. I could not but smile to see how industriously they locked the door on my meditations, which followed them out again without let or hindrance, and they were really all that was dangerous. As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.

Thus the state never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior with or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves. I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live? When I meet a government which says to me, "Your money our your life," why should I be in haste to give it my money? It may be in a great strait, and not know what to do: I cannot help that. It must help itself; do as I do. It is not worth the while to snivel about it. I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society. I am not the son of the engineer. I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to nature, it dies; and so a man.

The night in prison was novel and interesting enough. The prisoners in their shirtsleeves were enjoying a chat and the evening air in the doorway, when I entered. But the jailer said, "Come, boys, it is time to lock up"; and so they dispersed, and I heard the sound of their steps returning into the hollow apartments. My room-mate was introduced to me by the jailer as "a first-rate fellow and clever man." When the door was locked, he showed me where to hang my hat, and how he managed matters there. The rooms were whitewashed once a month; and this one, at least, was the whitest, most simply furnished, and probably neatest apartment in town. He naturally wanted to know where I came from, and what brought me there; and, when I had told him, I asked him in my turn how he came there, presuming him to be an honest man, of course; and as the world goes, I believe he was. "Why," said he, "they accuse me of burning a barn; but I never did it." As near as I could discover, he had probably gone to bed in a barn when drunk, and smoked his pipe there; and so a barn was burnt. He had the reputation of being a clever man, had been there some three months waiting for his trial to come on, and would have to wait as much longer; but he was quite domesticated and contented, since he got his board for nothing, and thought that he was well treated.

He occupied one window, and I the other; and I saw that if one stayed there long, his principal business would be to look out the window. I had soon read all the tracts that were left there, and examined where former prisoners had broken out, and where a grate had been sawed off, and heard the history of the various occupants of that room; for I found that even there there was a history and a gossip which never circulated beyond the walls of the jail. Probably this is the only house in the town where verses are composed, which are afterward printed in a circular form, but not published. I was shown quite a long list of young men who had been detected in an attempt to escape, who avenged themselves by singing them.

I pumped my fellow-prisoner as dry as I could, for fear I should never see him again; but at length he showed me which was my bed, and left me to blow out the lamp.

It was like travelling into a far country, such as I had never expected to behold, to lie there for one night. It seemed to me that I never had heard the town clock strike before, not the evening sounds of the village; for we slept with the windows open, which were inside the grating. It was to see my native village in the light of the Middle Ages, and our Concord was turned into a Rhine stream, and visions of knights and castles passed before me. They were the voices of old burghers that I heard in the streets. I was an involuntary spectator and auditor of whatever was done and said in the kitchen of the adjacent village inn a wholly new and rare experience to me. It was a closer view of my native town. I was fairly inside of it. I never had seen its institutions before. This is one of its peculiar institutions; for it is a shire town. I began to comprehend what its inhabitants were about.

In the morning, our breakfasts were put through the hole in the door, in small oblong-square tin pans, made to fit, and holding a pint of chocolate, with brown bread, and an iron spoon. When they called for the vessels again, I was green enough to return what bread I had left, but my comrade seized it, and said that I should lay that up for lunch or dinner. Soon after he was let out to work at haying in a neighboring field, whither he went every day, and would not be back till noon; so he bade me good day, saying that he doubted if he should see me again.

When I came out of prison for some one interfered, and paid that tax I did not perceive that great changes had taken place on the common, such as he observed who went in a youth and emerged a gray-headed man; and yet a change had come to my eyes come over the scene the town, and State, and country, greater than any that mere time could effect. I saw yet more distinctly the State in which I lived. I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are that in their sacrifices to humanity they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a few prayers, and by walking in a particular straight through useless path from time to time, to save their souls. This may be to judge my neighbors harshly; for I believe that many of them are not aware that they have such an institution as the jail in their village.

It was formerly the custom in our village, when a poor debtor came out of jail, for his acquaintances to salute him, looking through their fingers, which were crossed to represent the jail window, "How do ye do?" My neighbors did not this salute me, but first looked at me, and then at one another, as if I had returned from a long journey. I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mender. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended show, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour for the horse was soon tackled was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.

This is the whole history of "My Prisons."

I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow countrymen now. It is for no particular item in the tax bill that I refuse to pay it. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. I do not care to trace the course of my dollar, if I could, till it buys a man a musket to shoot one with the dollar is innocent but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance. In fact, I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get what advantages of her I can, as is usual in such cases.

If others pay the tax which is demanded of me, from a sympathy with the State, they do but what they have already done in their own case, or rather they abet injustice to a greater extent than the State requires. If they pay the tax from a mistaken interest in the individual taxed, to save his property, or prevent his going to jail, it is because they have not considered wisely how far they let their private feelings interfere with the public good.

This, then is my position at present. But one cannot be too much on his guard in such a case, lest his actions be biased by obstinacy or an undue regard for the opinions of men. Let him see that he does only what belongs to himself and to the hour.

I think sometimes, Why, this people mean well, they are only ignorant; they would do better if they knew how: why give your neighbors this pain to treat you as they are not inclined to? But I think again, This is no reason why I should do as they do, or permit others to suffer much greater pain of a different kind. Again, I sometimes say to myself, When many millions of men, without heat, without ill will, without personal feelings of any kind, demand of you a few shillings only, without the possibility, such is their constitution, of retracting or altering their present demand, and without the possibility, on your side, of appeal to any other millions, why expose yourself to this overwhelming brute force? You do not resist cold and hunger, the winds and the waves, thus obstinately; you quietly submit to a thousand similar necessities. You do not put your head into the fire. But just in proportion as I regard this as not wholly a brute force, but partly a human force, and consider that I have relations to those millions as to so many millions of men, and not of mere brute or inanimate things, I see that appeal is possible, first and instantaneously, from them to the Maker of them, and, secondly, from them to themselves. But if I put my head deliberately into the fire, there is no appeal to fire or to the Maker for fire, and I have only myself to blame. If I could convince myself that I have any right to be satisfied with men as they are, and to treat them accordingly, and not according, in some respects, to my requisitions and expectations of what they and I ought to be, then, like a good Mussulman and fatalist, I should endeavor to be satisfied with things as they are, and say it is the will of God. And, above all, there is this difference between resisting this and a purely brute or natural force, that I can resist this with some effect; but I cannot expect, like Orpheus, to change the nature of the rocks and trees and beasts.

I do not wish to quarrel with any man or nation. I do not wish to split hairs, to make fine distinctions, or set myself up as better than my neighbors. I seek rather, I may say, even an excuse for conforming to the laws of the land. I am but too ready to conform to them. Indeed, I have reason to suspect myself on this head; and each year, as the tax-gatherer comes round, I find myself disposed to review the acts and position of the general and State governments, and the spirit of the people to discover a pretext for conformity.

"We must affect our country as our parents,
And if at any time we alienate
Out love or industry from doing it honor,
We must respect effects and teach the soul
Matter of conscience and religion,
And not desire of rule or benefit."

I believe that the State will soon be able to take all my work of this sort out of my hands, and then I shall be no better patriot than my fellow-countrymen. Seen from a lower point of view, the Constitution, with all its faults, is very good; the law and the courts are very respectable; even this State and this American government are, in many respects, very admirable, and rare things, to be thankful for, such as a great many have described them; seen from a higher still, and the highest, who shall say what they are, or that they are worth looking at or thinking of at all?

However, the government does not concern me much, and I shall bestow the fewest possible thoughts on it. It is not many moments that I live under a government, even in this world. If a man is thought-free, fancy-free, imagination-free, that which is not never for a long time appearing to be to him, unwise rulers or reformers cannot fatally interrupt him.

I know that most men think differently from myself; but those whose lives are by profession devoted to the study of these or kindred subjects content me as little as any. Statesmen and legislators, standing so completely within the institution, never distinctly and nakedly behold it. They speak of moving society, but have no resting-place without it. They may be men of a certain experience and discrimination, and have no doubt invented ingenious and even useful systems, for which we sincerely thank them; but all their wit and usefulness lie within certain not very wide limits. They are wont to forget that the world is not governed by policy and expediency. Webster never goes behind government, and so cannot speak with authority about it. His words are wisdom to those legislators who contemplate no essential reform in the existing government; but for thinkers, and those who legislate for all tim, he never once glances at the subject. I know of those whose serene and wise speculations on this theme would soon reveal the limits of his mind's range and hospitality. Yet, compared with the cheap professions of most reformers, and the still cheaper wisdom an eloquence of politicians in general, his are almost the only sensible and valuable words, and we thank Heaven for him. Comparatively, he is always strong, original, and, above all, practical. Still, his quality is not wisdom, but prudence. The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency. Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing. He well deserves to be called, as he has been called, the Defender of the Constitution. There are really no blows to be given him but defensive ones. He is not a leader, but a follower. His leaders are the men of '87. "I have never made an effort," he says, "and never propose to make an effort; I have never countenanced an effort, and never mean to countenance an effort, to disturb the arrangement as originally made, by which various States came into the Union." Still thinking of the sanction which the Constitution gives to slavery, he says, "Because it was part of the original compact let it stand." Notwithstanding his special acuteness and ability, he is unable to take a fact out of its merely political relations, and behold it as it lies absolutely to be disposed of by the intellect what, for instance, it behooves a man to do here in American today with regard to slavery but ventures, or is driven, to make some such desperate answer to the following, while professing to speak absolutely, and as a private man from which what new and singular of social duties might be inferred? "The manner," says he, "in which the governments of the States where slavery exists are to regulate it is for their own consideration, under the responsibility to their constituents, to the general laws of propriety, humanity, and justice, and to God. Associations formed elsewhere, springing from a feeling of humanity, or any other cause, have nothing whatever to do with it. They have never received any encouragement from me and they never will.

They who know of no purer sources of truth, who have traced up its stream no higher, stand, and wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution, and drink at it there with reverence and humanity; but they who behold where it comes trickling into this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more, and continue their pilgrimage toward its fountainhead.

No man with a genius for legislation has appeared in America. They are rare in the history of the world. There are orators, politicians, and eloquent men, by the thousand; but the speaker has not yet opened his mouth to speak who is capable of settling the much-vexed questions of the day. We love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire. Our legislators have not yet learned the comparative value of free trade and of freed, of union, and of rectitude, to a nation. They have no genius or talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufactures and agriculture. If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations. For eighteen hundred years, though perchance I have no right to say it, the New Testament has been written; yet where is the legislator who has wisdom and practical talent enough to avail himself of the light which it sheds on the science of legislation.

The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which I have also imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.

http://www.constitution.org/civ/civildis.htm
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