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i love the smell of moonbats in the morning

[See update(s) at the bottom for more info on the subject]

Someone thinks I am an admirer of fascism just because I think John Gilmore was an idiot for wearing his "Suspected Terrorist" button on an airplane.

fas·cism n. often Fascism 1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.

In his two comments on the post in question, the writer summons the words of Norman Mailer to dispute my thoughts (scroll down to Prototype), tells me to read 1984 and invokes 1930's Germany.

Oh, how I love when the moonbats come crawling out of the woodwork and profess to know everything about you from one single entry on your website.

In much the same way he accuses right-wingers of blind loyalism, the moonbats subscribe to the same blind loyalty to the stalwarts of their movement. They repeat ad naseum the same mantras heard over and over, they quote the same tired passages from the likes of Mailer, Moore and Chomsky, and they never, ever look beyond what's right in front of their faces.

Gilmore's wearing of that button was nothing more than him stating "Hey, look at me, I'm here to cause controversy!" That was most likely his only statement. I do understand the sentiment behind the words "suspected terrorist," in a way everyone is suspect these days. But I have better sense than to disprupt everyone around me in order to make my views known.

And that is the problem inherent to the far left these days. They care about no one but themselves and their message which, when it boils down to the bottom, is nothing but I Hate George Bush. They will firebomb houses (see, ELF), yell epitaphs at little children in parades (see, Israel parade in NYC), destroy public property (see, G8 protests), support suicide bombers (see, Adam Shapiro), and now, after chastising the Republican party for holding their convention in New York so close to September 11, they are planning on staging "massive" protests in New York on that day.

They do not care about anyone but themselves and their "this makes me feel good, so why not?" attitude. When the counter-culture hippies of the 60's said If it feels good, do it, this is not what they had in mind.

Speak your mind all you want, I have no problem with that. Protest, chant, yell, shout your dissent from the rooftops. You are allowed to do that in this country. But when your activism and grandstanding is only a front for your penchant for pushing buttons, and when those pushed buttons cause all kinds of havoc for many people, the point of the action becomes moot and you become just another blatant example of the selfishness of the far left.

I am not a fascist. I am just someone with a sense of common decency.

UPDATE: Jim sent me a link to this message board which is dealing with the same topic. There's some good debate there by Charles of Six Different Ways, who pretty much sums it up with the line that Gilmore should have been given the opportunity to "weigh his right of expression against the rights of the other passengers."

I did say the airline went overboard. But Gilmore did not care about the rights of the other passengers.

For more insight, scroll down to the 3:37 a.m. post on that link where Charles (who is a liberal, I believe, as well as an attorney), posts on the legal aspects of the case.

UPDATE 2: For some background info, Gilmore is a multimillionaire and one of the people behind Electronic Frontier Foundation.

See this Reason article for more info.

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Any idiot who feels it's "funny" to make a joke in an airport or on an airplane, knowing full well that there ARE no jokes at airports any more, is indeed an idiot. If the best old Bobobrain can do is wear some canned button that makes no statement at all, other than "I wasted two bucks on this to make a fool of myself in public" deserves all the negative treatment at the hands of the airport authorities they can dish out.

The airport authorities are the LAST people I'm going to start proclaiming my rights to. I do want to reach my destination, after all.

for all my personal gripes against airport security, i still have the good sense to know that these are still people just trying to do a job and acting like a total jackass and giving them a hard time isn't going to do anyone any good. if you intentionally harass them or try and stir the shit with childish antics, you deserve to be escorted off to a nice quite room and strip-searched several times with a full body cavity search just so you'll think twice before you try that shit again.

Michele, I'd say you have a sense of uncommon decency. Brava!

Your sense of uncommon decency makes you a FACIST!

Oh but I'm afraid that I must disagree with you, Michele. Sometimes the moonbats will see far, far away with their glazed over eyes. At least 25% of the time, you can ask them to tell you about the military bases on the moon, and they will.

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/yami/

Centralization of authority: to a one party state masquerading as a two party state (although now with the flack that the Democrats have gotten from the liberals even they aren't behind George Bush's war anymore).

Stringent economic control: like the Fiat dollar that fluctuates to suit the Federal Reserve and aid in the increase and decrease of cost of living, tax all the way down to the city level affecting health care and state run facilities for homeless or sick or elderly.

suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship: can anyone say Martin Luther King Jr.? or our last presidential election - who is the governor of Florida again? huh... hmm - thats a tough one.. let's see the Blank Panthers in Chicago the bombings of abortion clinics, whose the Vice President now- i forget, but well, whoever he is I am sure he is looking out for OUR best interest?

And the one that we have been talking about now!!! : typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

If you don't like those examples of a totalitarian state maybe you could look to the atrist of your modern culture - you know artists? like the people that Hitler had destroyed in his fascist nation because they threatened his power over the working class? which of course in this country is the middle class, kept survile and mostly ignorant on a steady diet of American media and lowest common denominator entertainment... Artists like George Orwell, or maybe even Alber Huxley, ever read Heinlein or how about farenheit 451? Maybe you could check out Watership Down or this funny little book called Animal Farm.

and stand by my current opinion - and are continued contact is only helping to reafirm it. I am lumping you in with these right wing conservatives because this is the pedastal upon which you were standing high and tall when I came to your site and all of sudden, as soon as you come under some attack you instantly explain your seperateness and how I don't know the REAL you and how I took no time at all and assumed I had you all figured out. Well - its your website! Its your online PUBLIC persona - you created it! If Im misinterpreting something then maybe its in your delivery!

[trollbait]

I'm sorry - must've missed the latest rash of book burnings and public executions of artists. Darn. And I so love the smell of charred flesh.

I'm well pleased that you've managed to pay attention in 9th grade English, Prototype. Why don't you come back after you've made your way through a couple of college level humanities courses and tell us what was on those reading lists?

We'll be duly impressed with your intellect. I promise.

[/trollbait]

This prolly shouldnt be left out either:

you: "Making a statement is fine. Making a statement that is going to mess with the plans of 300 other people is idiotic."

Me: "Making a statement that affects everyone to the point where they talk and start to make a difference is the ONLY statement a human being should be making. If you wanna live your life safely preaching to the choir about all the things that you all agree and never do anything about then you are merely touching on YET ANOTHER socially aprehensive breakdown of the American culture. What horrible, vicious, callous, apathy on the part of those who commented about - oh all those hours lost waiting on that plane having it turned around blah blah blah - Probably the same people who would tell a suicide to jump so that the police could clear the streets and they could go back to work!

Which happened right here over the interstate less than a week ago.

you know, I don't think your a fascist because a fascist knows that they are a fascist you are a tool and a by-product of pre-fascist society that already exists and is currently controlling our government"

Get off your high horse.

This isn't about free speech or book burning or anything of the sort.

Even if I subscribed to all your notions of freedom, I would still have been mighty pissed off if I were a passeger on that plane and this jackass decided he was going to use my flight to make his statement.

Yes, I read all those books you speak of.

I guess that project I did against book banning for two years running would fly in the face of your accusations, but why bother even explaining it to you?

Now go back and read your Socialist Manual for Idiots so you can throw some more tired fallacies at me.

FASHUS

amdit your as fashus

ProtoType: "Making a statement that affects everyone to the point where they talk and start to make a difference is the ONLY statement a human being should be making.

The point of such things is to try to get people to agree with you. The only thing this guy did was make a bunch of people angry with him and therefore less likely to listen to the point he's trying to make.

Do you see where the problem lies?

for those concerned about possible violations of free speech, read this...

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/nj/taylor2003-07-14.htm

Gilmore may have been "inconvenienced" -- this guy's future is possibly being impacted. Will you get as passionate about a more serious incident?

Prototype:
You seem to not understand the limits of free speech. What if you invite me to a party at your house and I start espousing my "right wing" thoughts? I continue pressing my theories and easily ridiculing your idiot views to the point where both you and your other guests are upset and affended. Are you saying that you don't have the right to throw me out?

Ivy, that just goes to prove previous points I made here that the liberals are just as adept at squashing free speech as the wingnuts on the other side.

Once again, my taking issue with Gilmore's selfish act of defiance does not mean that I am against free speech.

Oh my God, this is why I can't stand being a liberal sometimes. Every time I try to express a rational thought, I either get jumped on by a pack of rabid conservatives or, worse, supported by idiots who think that calling people fascists for expressing an opinion is a valid form of debate.

Michele is absolutely correct. Any reasonable message from the left is getting drowned out by idiots who think that destroying other people is the right way to protest.

I still think that the airline was wrong to make a big deal out of this. I still think that we are veering terribly close to a police state. But I can also see Michele's point that Gilmore wasn't exactly an innocent bystander, and that his actions were at the very least an inconvenience to others--making him an ass in her opinion.

I can respect that without resorting to calling her a fascist. Why can't you, ProtoType?

I don't want to judge a book by it's cover, or a blogger by his blog, but I am guessing that part of the reason is that "ProtoType" is both very young (by the syntax displayed on his webpage I'd say early to mid-teens) and not exactly in the top of his class, and that he has just been introduced to the wonderful world of Politics You Think Your Parents Won't Like. Or he could be a mentally disturbed fifty year old. As they say, no one knows you're a dog.

On the internet, that is. (What is it with me not being able to finish sentences these days?)

Prototype, you need to head back to the drawing board. Unless your purpose is to make a complete ass of yourself, in which case you are doing quite well.

(Hint: calling people who disagree with you 'fascists' or 'a tool of fascists' is not very effective unless you just want to be a wild-eyed fanatic trying to fufill his fantasy ideology by railing against SOMETHING you can call an enemy and feel better about yourself.)

If I were the pilot of a passenger plane, and if I knew who John Gilmore was, I would probably not want him on my plane. Like ProtoType, he sounds like an hysteric, someone who panics easily about small things and is overwhelmed by emergencies.

Hysterics can endanger the lives of other people on airplanes, and even on the ground. The far left’s reaction to 9/11 and the aftermath seems to be a succession of panic attacks. They’re not helping anyone.

Point about the Republican National Convention being in NYC: This was done to BOOST THE NYC ECONOMY, scheduled at a time when tourism was down and things weren't so good here. NYC actively solicited the RNC (and the DNC for that matter) for that reason. The convention brings millions in revenue to the City and is a good thing. As for the timing, well, the elections are in November. Is that a right-wing plot too?

Didn't hear the same kind of squalling when the Hollywood hypocrites were thinking of moving the Oscars here. (thank goodness that never happened, they were all too chickenshit to come to New York then).

Oh my. Discussions like this always leave me feeling very tired and annoyed.

Why is it so hard to understand that calling someone an idiot for some statement or action of theirs, or saying that they shouldn't have uttered said idiotic statement or committed said foolish action isn't a violation of their free speech? Whatever happened to societal consequences? If the university/corporation/newspaper you happen to be employed by, or the voters of the district you represent, or simply the public at large thinks what you've said or done makes you a moron who should be shunned/fired/ignored, etc, your free speech has not been violated by suffering those consequences.

Free does not mean without responsibility.

Of course, seeing as how so many people in public life these days are merely children in adults' bodies, I can see how such responsibility is lost on them.

That was pretty stupid and the airline has the right to deny him access to their airplane (as a private company). This is called a PR stunt and it worked. I like the EFF but hope they didn't sanction this bit of stupidity.

Anyone who called Michelle a fascist is an arsehole. Nuff said.

I'm not any kind of leftist. I understand that this is not a First Amendment case. And I'm not going to call Michele any rude names, even though she called Gilmore a rude name.

But here's the thing I don't understand. Why is it that Gilmore is the ass, and not the pilot?

True, we've only heard Gilmore's side of the story. Probably we'll never hear the airline's side of the story, probably because they know very well it would make them look stupid. But from the facts we have available, I'd have to say Gilmore's actions were perfectly reasonable, the cabin attendant was a twit, the pilot was a prick, and it was the pilot's decision that inconvenienced the 300 other passengers, not anything Gilmore did.

So what am I missing?

Bruced, I'm guessing that what you are missing is the pilot's side of the story. Believe it or not, once you are in an airplane, you are no longer completely in control of your situation: the pilot is. I believe there are regulations governing what passengers may do on airlines that have to do with the comfort and safety of all. Of course, in these days of kneejerk litigation where the idea that rights no longer have to be partners with responsibilities, people seem to think that an airplane is more like their own living room, if not their own bathroom.I can still remember when there were dress regulations for passengers; or at least, no self-respecting person would be seen getting on an airplane dressed the way people do now --- and it would never have occurred to them to act obnoxiously while in flight. But those days are over now, and we are supposed to be glad we are no longer under such restrictions (white gloves for ladies, ties and suit coats for men, and so on).

But we don't know what else this fellow was doing to attract attention. I somehow doubt a mere button would have bothered anyone. We shall see,

Michele, I agree with you. However, you probably didn't mean "yell epitaphs at little children." I'm a nitpicker -- sorry. But malapropisms undermine the strength of your argument.

To those who think Michele is a fascist -- God help you if you ever face a real fascist. Choose your words a little more wisely. Using hyperbole like that makes you look like an idiot and convinces no one.

"True, we've only heard Gilmore's side of the story. Probably we'll never hear the airline's side of the story, probably because they know very well it would make them look stupid. But from the facts we have available, I'd have to say Gilmore's actions were perfectly reasonable, the cabin attendant was a twit, the pilot was a prick, and it was the pilot's decision that inconvenienced the 300 other passengers, not anything Gilmore did.

So what am I missing? "

What you are missing is knowing what it is like to be responsible for a few hundred people and making decisions under a time constraint with not enough information. What the airline was lacking was a spokesperson who could articulate what must have been going through the pilot's mind. I don't know for sure either but if I were the pilot, this would be going through my head:

There is a passenger on the airplane who is making a statement that he is a suspected terrorist, is he an idiot or someone with an agenda? Let me try something, sir, "would you remove the button please." "No." Ok, definitely has an agenda, what else is he planning on doing? Is he going to pretend to light his shoe to create panic? Will he cause panic by pretending to take someone a hostage? Is he an actual terrorist who is running a double bluff so he or his cohorts can boast later that he was stating right out front that he was a suspected terrorist and the airline chose to ignore the sign? What to do? Assume worst case and try to get him off the aircraft or assume that nothing is going to happen and continue?

You might think what Gilmore did was reasonable but that is all from having, if not perfect knowledge, at least more information and less to worry about than the pilot. Gilmore initiated the situation and the responsibility for the inconvenience that the other passengers suffered is his.

This is from my own personal lexicon, but:

"Fascist"-Anyone who is trying to make a hippie do something he/she doesn't want to do or tell them an unpleasant truth.

D

Perfectly reasonable? Bruce...what you missed is what would have been a more reasonable alternative.

Pilot: "Sir, your button is causing me concern for this flight. Please remove it."

Gilmore: "Well, I think you're being unreasonable but if you insist, I'll remove it rather than cause a major and unnecessary inconvenience to the 300 other people on this plane. However, please give me your name so I may address this silliness with your superiors."

Instead, Gilmore escalated the dispute at the expense of 300 fellow passengers...people with rights and agendae every bit as valid as his. In other words, he was selfish by failing to balance his rights and desires against those of 300 others.

Bruce, you are missing a sense of appreciation and professional responsibility. You state, "I'm not going to call Michele any rude names, even though she called Gilmore a rude name." Well, bravo for you, you did not call Michele a rude name but it didn't take long before you insulted the crew whose side of the story you never heard but with easy called the cabin attendant a "twit" and the pilot a "prick"!
To answer your question, "what am I missing?" Well, in addition to consistency, you lack respect and appreciation.
Do you really think a flight crew gets up in the morning and ask themselves, "who can I harass today?" I am sure they would have preferred to simply get the passengers to their destination without incident. Do you think they like the additional stress and responsibility that have been added since 9-11? Airline crews are professionals with demanding jobs and a real responsibility- anyone who is responsible for others understands the dynamics of what transpired without question, you obviously are not in such a position.
"Probably we'll never hear the airline's side of the story" and you are probably right, Bruce, because there is nothing to tell, it is a no brainier! Who in their right mind would ware such a button after 9-11? How inconsiderate of Gilmore! Did he not think the crew would have to address this? Did he think passengers would feel safe and comfortable in his presence? Was that suppose to be funny? I would not see the humor if I were a passenger! Would you? Really?
Thank God the crews are receiving additional training to notice and respond to such details! It will be this eye for detail that prevents the next attempted terrorist attack, maybe even saves your ass Bruce! Will you be appreciative and respectful enough to thank them then?
-daughter of a pilot

Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page