Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rallying the faithful


I have no objection to the folks who gathered yesterday in Waynesburg, Washington and across the country to hold "tea parties" objecting to the way their tax dollars are being spent by the folks in Washington, D.C. Freedom of expression is one of the great elements of our nation. But let's call these events what they really were: almost purely political Republican rallies. One focus of this sudden anger and concern about fiscal responsibility is the financial stimulus package approved after President Obama took office. Isn't it interesting that very few of these people felt the need to protest when billions were being wasted under the most recent Republican president and, until a couple of years ago, a Republican-controlled Congress. Let's face it. This is the centerpiece for the Republican Party's efforts in next year's midterm elections. It's a populist, hate-the-government platform. And since the current government is led by Democrats, isn't this just perfect timing? If the economy continues to struggle along and people are hurting financially, it could very well resonate with the voting public. However, if the economy turns around and relative prosperity returns, well, they'd better look for another tack. I do take issue with one part of the local protests. Could you protesters just leave your kids at home, or with a babysitter, rather than exploit them as sign-holding props in a debate of which they have limited understanding? The kids in the photo that appeared in the Washington edition of our paper today (above) looked as if they wished they were anywhere but on those courthouse steps. Why not just let kids be kids? They can decide later whether they want to be opportunistic reactionaries.

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64 Comments:

Anonymous Steelersfan43 said...

I completely agree with you Brant. Continue to speak the truth because so many won't. I have been reading your blog for sometime now and love when so many post comments about how "ridiculous" you are on many topics but the reason they feel this way is because the truth hurts. Everyone claims to want it but when it is given to them they whine and cry. Make up your minds people. Continue what you do Brant, I appreciate it.

April 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of days ago, the P-G ran a piece about one of these teabagger extravaganzas, and it quoted a Washington, Pa. woman as saying she brought her kids so they could learn about "the difference between socialism and communism." Um, since when did wanting the Bush tax cuts to expire and top-end tax rates to go back to 39 percent qualify as either socialism or communism? They were 49 percent under that well-known pinko Ronald Reagan, and 91 percent under that Bolshevik Dwight Eisenhower.

It's also kinda funny that the Washington, Pa. teabagger event happened in front of the courthouse, the building of which was financed by...yes, you guessed it, tax money!

As many others have pointed out, taxes are the price we pay for civilization. Be a grown-up about it, for cryin' out loud.

--Brad Hundt

April 16, 2009 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember those people who protested the Iraq War several years ago? I believe they were shouted down for "not supporting their country" and told to "Love it or leave it!" Funny how the same thing doesn't apply to these folks.

April 16, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I remember the retort that conservatives don't protest because they have jobs...

Which makes tea party in Waynesburg all the more enjoyable since it was at 12 noon on a Wednesday.

Protesting isn't my thing... I'm not going to "take to the streets" for anything... but if you want to do that, go ahead... You are going to look ridiculous to at least half the people who drive past regardless of what you are shaking your sign about...

The irony is enough to sustain me until the next code pink outbreak, though...

April 16, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Kurt Bruner said...

Brant,
My friend.
You're full of crap.
The only reason you took offense to the kid in the photo was because it was a Republican event. Just admit that you hate Republicans like others around here. Indeed, that would be very refreshing.
Would you really have the same reaction if the youngster was holding an Obama or Clinton sign? Come on.
I think not.
If he was holding an Obama sign at least he'd be "heading down the right road." Am I right?
Is there any difference in dragging your kid to a political rally or dressing them up in Steelers or Penguins' gear to have them root for their favorite team.
Just because you don't agree with these parents on bringing their children to the event, that doesn't make you right.
And wasn't it only a few months ago that it was the Dems that were leading the "hate-the-government" charge.
I respect your opinion and your service to the country. And while I agree with you on some issues, I just had to add my two cents about this.
Thanks,
Kurt Bruner
Entertainment Editor

April 16, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I don't think kids should be dragged to any event where they're being used to help make a point supported by their parents, especially if they're of an age at which they can’t truly understand what they're protesting. That's one of the reasons I'm against indoctrinating children with religion at a young age. As for protests, I don't really care if they're rallying for gay marriage (something I support) or for a ban on all abortions (something I oppose). I just don't think it's a place where little kids should be strategically placed front and center. And I think there's a big difference between strapping a protest sign on your kid and decking him out in a Penguins sweater to attend a hockey game.

April 16, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like wasting money on a million teabags and the fuel it took to get to the rally points hwen it could have been used to actually make a differnce somewhere. No matter theri political affiliation, they chose atupid way to protest. Where were they when Bush was blowing trillions under the table on Iraq?

April 16, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I guess billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to corrupt and/or incompetent companies is just their "cup of tea."

April 16, 2009 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Kurt Bruner said...

I just hope when our photographers capture young children holding Democratic Party signs at a future events that those shots also will be published in the print edition.

April 16, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another point that needs to be made is all these teabaggers should have been taking to the streets in 2001, begging Bush not to cut taxes on the top-earners if they were so concerned about debt and deficits. We were running a surplus when Clinton left office, and that certainly would have been a prime time to start paying down debt.

And when we were fighting two wars during Bush's tenure, where was the call to raise taxes in order to keep our children from inheriting debt?

If the parents of those kids hate federal spending so much, they'd better not apply for federal student loans when the time comes around to send them to college.

--Brad Hundt

April 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Kurt... I spent a few minutes googling photos from anti-bush protests and haven't found any kids yet...

It's probably because democrats abort their pregnancies ;-)

LoL... that seriously came to me while I was writing this... effin' muse!

April 16, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I had no trouble with parents taking their kids to political rallies and even handing them signs during the last election. Where I draw the line is blatantly using young children as props in a contrived handwringing pageant of this sort.

April 16, 2009 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for civlization."

That's rich.
At what point is it enough?
The stimulus money that was sent out isn't keeping states and local governments from continuing to raise taxes and tack on more and more user fees.
Yet we don't see any attempts to scale back government agencies. And, yes, Bush is to blame for that as well. He was hardly a fiscal conservative.
As for Clinton and his surplus, we're paying for that now as part of the tech and housing bubbles that burst.

April 16, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

"At what point is it enough?"

Logically, I think 100% is the correct answer...

What do you think the magic % is?

Honestly, I think the current rates would be sufficient... if anyone in the world actually paid them... Raising the top marginal rate to 39% effectively raises the ACTUAL rate paid by those in that bracket to like 18%

If people actually paid the % for the bracket they are in, it would all be smooth as canned gravy.

Which is yet ANOTHER reason to simplify the tax code... maybe we will get a flat tax in Obama's second term... and then we can watch the right protest that, too :-)

April 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flat tax'll never happen because too many CPAs, accountants, lawyers and IRS employees depend on the morass of forms we have to wade through every year.

April 16, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt, yes their is a BIG difference in dragging your kid to a mindless event like a Steelers pep rally because the chances are that if they are successfully brainwashed into being football fans, they will do less damage than if they are brainwashed into joining a political party because Daddy wanted them to.

April 16, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

By the way, just wait until the old cape and trade ponzi scheme the Dems have come up with goes into effect.
You think people are complaining now, wait until their heating and fuel bills go up 100 percent.
But that's not a tax on the poor, no.
Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

Two studies…one from the CBO, the other from MIT. The two predict, if the Cap and Trade provisions of new Obama budget are passed, every American family, rich or poor will be forced to pay as much as $1,600 to $3,000 a year on energy.

April 16, 2009 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, many of the protests (not Washington, PA, it was organized by Irey, not the teaparty groups) were non Republican and had signs against GW Bush.
It is actually a danger to the Republican party because many of these people are pushing for a third party.
You are basically acting like a democrat shill though.
The funny part is that even the local Dems are moving AWAY from Obama and the administration. The reason is that the moves against coal and natural gas have put their viewpoints at odds with both the working class here and those with business interests. The money from the shale will make this area rich and the loss of jobs at Consol due to Obama's plans endanger this regions future. Hence as one of my dear liberal friends(who supported Obama btw) stated today, "we all have an interest locally in stopping Obama". Even your newspaper (and hence you and Hundt man's) jobs will benefit from the defeat of his energy and tax policies.

April 17, 2009 at 3:46 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Frankly, I would welcome a viable third party and have spoken about how my views would dovetail nicely in many ways with a libertarian candidate. A party that preached fiscal conservatism and at the same time stayed out of people's lives on social issues (abortion, gay marriage) could have quite a bit of appeal to moderates. To say that these tea parties were not Republican-oriented, however, is a stretch. Jon Stewart had a funny piece last nice with a clip from Fox News showing one of their talking heads saying, "Hey, we're not sponsoring these tea parties," while behind the talking head was a display with the banner "FNC (Fox News Channel) Tea Parties" showing Fox-sponsored tea parties across the nation. Methinks they doth protest too much.

April 17, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anybody faint at the teabag rallies? Having a few stand-ins (or fall-overs ?) in the crowd was a sure attention getter about 12 months ago at political rallies. I was outraged that the political figures were taking advantage of these people who were being dragged to those there political rallies, only to faint and get their images on TV. I just cannot believe that any political movement would choose to take advantage of anybody in this way.

April 17, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's all just continue the status quo and force the next generation to deal with our problems. That leaves us free to bitch and die without doing anything except bitching and dying. Don't make me pay more now or use less energy or drive a more efficient car or tackle the tax mess or the health care mess or the political mess. Let Obama reverse all the Bush policies and then let his successor reverse all his, then let his succesor's successor reverse the reverses, ad infinitum. Someone will find an answer. And if they don't, hell, the terrorists will blow us all up or poison us. And if they don't, hell ... the world is gonna end soon anyway.

April 17, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Blah, blah, blah.
Frankly, I'm tired of all the gloom and doom BS from the man-made global warming crowd.
The government shouldn't be in charge of forcing people to use less energy or different forms.
If somebody can come up with something that's more profitable and efficient, it will sell.
Meanwhile, Al Gore and his cronies can continue jaunting around the world on private jets taking money for preaching that the sky is falling.

April 17, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These rallies were totally code for "we hate our new black president." You were right on the mark, Brant. At least in pro-life rallies, you can respect the viewpoints of others who truly believe in their cause. Where were these right-wing whackjobs when Bush signed the first stimulus package? People need only to look at the creators of these protests - Fox News and Glenn Beck. 'Nuff said.

April 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Nobody was happy about that stimulus package, either.
Quit race baiting.

April 17, 2009 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Nobody was shaking posters after that stimulus package either... they were too busy saying that one of the two presidential candidates was:

a muslim, not born in the US, a socialist, a manchurian candidate, a friend of terrorists, going to destroy the country, going to end america as we know it, going to open the gates for terrorists to overrun us, going to have a tea party with Iran, going to take your guns, building a secret army of brownshirts, etc...

April 18, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellispes, people (Republicans) were complaining about Bush's stimulus package. I remember during one gathering that was all they could talk about, the stupidity of it.
The media's representation of the viewpoints and actions of these individuals is wrong.
The ability to organize on a short notice during a Presidential campaign is nill. It happened afterwards, but it would have happened EVEN if George W. had continued.
It was then and still is unpopular amongst Republicans.
The goal is truth, not political propaganda from both sides, it gets so old.
See for those on the other side it feels the same as the stuff you complained they were doing.
Though Obama seems to want to reach out a great deal to Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. I wouldn't call it a tea party, but serious discussion (not snarky comments) and debate over whether this is a wise course is a good thing, not bad.

April 18, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you seriously think the same people would have been teabagging had McCain been elected? There was protest during the Bush administration but I did not see the hate there is today. It is Un-American.

dg

April 19, 2009 at 1:52 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

You can say that they were upset with Bush's spending... but apparently they weren't pissed enough to take a day off work and have a hoot'n'hollerin' at the courthouse...

April 19, 2009 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, the time to organize was an issue. This took months of planning and it was not HATE, cut the crap that is a hardly hidden attempt to say that anyone that criticizes Obama is racist.
It is intellectually dishonest and serves no purpose but to fan the flames of legitimate debate. The same people debate gets nowhere. Would the left protest against the continuation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan with Obama in office? Seems like they have quieted down. Does that mean they are now for it? Of course not. But when the goal is to promote one's viewpoint rather than search for truth, that is where we end up.
Those that practice politics as an art look at the real reasons for actions, not those that fit their agendas. Otherwise they make themselves blind to reality and hence make mistakes in judgment.
It is as the left has said repeatedly during the Bush admin. NOT un-american to protest.
All of this is the result of a natural thermidorian reaction to the "change" that Obama promised. Too far in any direction leads to reaction, it is what makes this system work so brilliantly. It also controls the wild swings that governmental change could bring, to insure that the Republic survives each of these situations.

April 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Say what you will about your own motivations... but I would be willing to bet that the groups protesting on the 15th would have a higher statistical propensity toward racism than the general population... Remember in the primaries when West Virginia exit polling had 25% of respondents saying that "race" factored heavily in who they voted for? That's 25% of the general voting population (18+)... I would damn near guarantee that the tea party crowds in the same districts index higher on racial issues than the respondents in the primaries.

That's not to say that race is a motivating factor for the protests... No, I would say that a misinformed fear of the evil socialists, degenerate gays, and antiamerican left is the prime motivator for that... What I am saying is that racism tends to be more pervasive in groups that rally around THOSE issues.

I am not the protesting type... but if you recall... those who protested the Iraq war, torture, warrantless wiretaps... were often told to "love it or leave it..." I would never deign to suggest that of those who are politically aligned differently than me... but geez, it sure seems to be an appropriate response, given the number of times I had to hear it for the past 80% of a decade :-)

Well, not me, per se... I voted for Bush in 04 and campaigned for him in 2000...

April 19, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now we see the tea bag protests have a racial flavor. There is no end to the excuses some will conjure up to bash a protest against spending. Oh sure, I see the argument is that there were no protests when Bush was in office. Clearly the spending patterns have changed. To deny this simple fact is to turn face on what has happened in the past couple of months. And, no, it was not a protest against the tax rates, as some suggest. Tax rates are the same now as last year. The issue is the SPENDING, SPENDING, and more SPENDING! Many of us did not support the Bush Administration's spending either. But the rates of spending has ratcheted up to level far surpassing anything in the past several years. Don't start a rebuttal with the Iraq war -- won't work with me. The war on poverty has cost five times per year of the Iraq war, and yet, the present Administration feels it is OK to increase the spending on welfare and social programs. One cannot argue against the Iraq war spending, and not argue against the social welfare programs, to be consistent. Some of the so-called stimulus money is a simple path to increase the spending on these social programs, money that will unlikely ever be withdrawn.

The racial overtones in these comments need to be withdrawn. The WV statistic is hardly a block in any foundation to support such a statement.

April 19, 2009 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

If I had to bet a body part, I'd bet it on Ellipses' contention.

April 20, 2009 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

The war on poverty has been continued by every president, dem or rep, since it was initialized...

How about we reframe this question?
Specifically, what spending do you oppose?

The reason I ask is that there absolutely must be some spending in both the stimulus plan and the budget that you are in favor of...

The reason that we keep bringing up the war is because it is SUPER expensive to wage war... We have paid and/or borrowed for that expense for 6 years now... and what do we have to show for it?

I agree that the amount of money being spent is huge, but I am in the camp that says that it is imperative that we make these investments.

And this is what I have seen, from my perspective:
One president spent a huge amount of money on a war that did not yield us anything of lasting benefit and when people protested or voiced disdain, his base hunkered down and waved their flags and suggested that you are either with us or against us, love it or leave it, put on a skirt and move to France, etc...

Now, we have a president spending a ton of money on things that we desperately need... not just to maintain our competitive edge (alternative energy), but to maintain our level of civilization (roads, bridges, etc)... and the same people who hunkered down to defend our pricey war are coming out against this peaceful, thoughtful, and much needed investment that actually adds value to America.

So... again, what spending, specifically, are you opposed to?

April 20, 2009 at 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know anybody has bought into the Obama spending plan when they start using "investment" instead of "spending." Hook, line, sinker, ...

April 20, 2009 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I specifically used the word "investment" to draw a distinction between spending on war (which yields no "thing" that can be used to our benefit once the war is over) and spending on infrastructure and technology (which continues to benefit us for years to come)...

Call it whatever you want... but answer the question first.

April 20, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time Ellipses. Anyone who is still a Republican after the past eight years has to be a moron and couldn't possibly comprehend any of your perfectly-stated arguments.

April 20, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon of 3:55. No, they are not morons, they are "domestic terrorists," according to Homeland Security. It must be terrible to have that label. I know I surely wouldn't want to be on their list.

April 20, 2009 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

You sure do like to make that leap from a "specific few" to "all"

We went from saying that Armed Forces Veterans are statistically more likely to join fringe groups that advocate and act out domestic terrorism to saying that all republicans are Tim McVeigh... I'm guessing you didn't do all that well on that part of the SAT where it says that some quarks are snogs and all snogs are zirkles... therefore, all quarks are zirkles: true, false, not enough info

But what would you expect? I don't recall anyone saying that you are a racist if you don't agree with Obama... just like nobody is saying that all republicans, veterans, christians, or people in Oklahoma are domestic terrorists.

April 21, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

How about this one?

You are 17 years old and in high school. Your parents become enthralled by the new casino and start spending an inordinate amount of time (and money) there... Pretty soon, there's no money left, and your parents are in debt.

Just about this time, you get an acceptance letter from Harvard. You are ecstatic... of course, it's freakin' Harvard!

Your parents, however, tell you that you can't go to Harvard because they blew all their money at the casino. You tell them that they are retarded... if you get into Harvard, you go to Harvard... You tell them that you can get student loans to pay for it. They say that it's 50 grand a year!

"You will be paying 1,000 bucks a month for 30 years!"

I'm sure you see the parallel... you are saying that we can't spend money on something valuable and worthwhile because we already spent too much money on something frivolous, irresponsible, and reckless.

April 21, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Ellispes, you implied that those opposing Obama are racist, then claim that it was only a few people. Be honest, cut the crap. If you believe that is the main motivation, realize that there will be a response from those that disagree. Cut the snarky crap and stand up and be a man.
Don't pull the your anonymous stuff, since most of the bloggers here don't reveal their names, just fake names. That is no more open than anything else.

April 21, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I very clearly said that the tea party attendees are probably racist at a higher rate than the general population. They also probably eat more cheese in a can, per capita than the general population. They more than likely index higher on singing mounted fish, "Who Farted" t-shirts, and Dale Earnhart stickers than the general population.

I also clearly said that I DON'T believe that racism was the PRIMARY motivation...

In fact... here it is:
"That's not to say that race is a motivating factor for the protests... No, I would say that a misinformed fear of the evil socialists, degenerate gays, and antiamerican left is the prime motivator for that... What I am saying is that racism tends to be more pervasive in groups that rally around THOSE issues."

As far as "being a man" and the anonymity issue... I don't know what the hell you are talking about, Mr. Anonymous.

April 21, 2009 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody could have ever guessed Obama was going to start his presidency by legalizing all abortions, in fact encouraging them. Nor did any of us realize Obama was going to bombard the economy with "Earmarks" coming out of our ears. Wasn't he going to end many wasteful earmarks? And then came all the bailouts, causing the rich to get richer. How funny is that? Weren’t the rich going to be “sharing” their wealth? And for anyone to say that there have been no tangible benefits from all the billions of dollars spent on this war is also ridiculous. Has there been an attack on this country since 911?? I feel very safe everyday living in this country because men and woman in the Armed Forces have lost their lives defending it. Terrorists would be in our back yards perched to kill us if nothing was done. Maybe Obama could have gone over there and reasoned with the terrorists, and made some friends? Are people really that naive? Obama is going to ruin this country. Like Dale said, just wait until some of these tax breaks from the Bush Adm. expire. We are all going to be living in tents to pay for the all the, highest historic spending of all time. (Higher than from all the previous presidents combined.) The Tea Parties across this country are not because of racism. They are because a scheming, lying, deceiving president is destroying this country one bad decision after another. Fiscal responsibility, as Brant often says, is the key to prosperity. Not spending money we don’t have..

April 21, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I have neither the time nor the inclination to respond to each and every piece of information (or outright lies) in that last post, but I will say this (you can move your lips if it helps you to comprehend it): The war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and the terrorists. As we eventually learned, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and they had no intentions of attacking us. Saddam was a bad guy, but toppling him has only strengthened Iran and its influence in Iraq. And bad as Saddam was, he led a secular dictatorship that did not permit people like Muqtada al-Sadr and his ilk to run rampant. Our war CREATED a haven for terrorists in Iraq that did not exist before we went in there. Virtually no one objected to our military operations against the terrorists in Afghanistan. What people find disgusting is the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives spent on an unnecessary war in Iraq.

April 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The highest historic spending of all time"? Where did Anonymous dig that factoid up? You ever heard of World War II? How do you think America's participation in that was paid for?

Was that something you read in the Weekly Recorder?

--Brad Hundt

April 21, 2009 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellispes, I never said about being a man in regard to keeping your identity secret, it was in regards to your attempting to call people racist and get away with it. It is crap, it is dishonest and it shows.

April 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Ellipses was not suggesting that everyone at those rallies was a racist, or even that race was a prime motivator for their activities. What he said was that the group in question probably had a higher percentage of racists than the general population. And on that, I would agree, just based on experience, observation and some past polling data regarding those who opposed Obama in the election season.

April 22, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

If we could get beyond the very primary point regarding mathematical probability...

Using the same reasoning, I could very easily say that Brant has a higher propensity toward racism than someone from Burlington, VT due to his being from Claysville... which has a higher concentration of racists than Burlington does. Clearly, Brant is NOT a racist... but if you took a sampling of men aged 45-64 from Claysville, put them into a bag and pulled one out at random, you would have a better chance at pulling out a racist than if you repeated the same experiment elsewhere.
You would also have a better chance at pulling out someone:
Wearing camo
Driving a pickup truck
Owning a 30-06 rifle
Not having cable or satellite tv
Who has a blue-collar job
Who did not go to college

These are not disparaging statements, but statements that are true to the demographic makeup of the group. It's just like if you randomly selected an art student, you'd have a higher probability of selecting a homosexual than if you randomly selected an FFA kid.

Anyway... back to an earlier question... what spending, specifically, do you guys oppose?

April 22, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant have you and ellispes ever written about left wing protests that there is a higher percentage of eco-terrorists, people that hate Christians, and possible terrorists or even anarchists. I doubt it, the goal is to paint with a brush and then deny it.
Be honest about the goal, the world has awoken to see thru this crap that media has pulled for years on all sides.
It serves no purpose but to inflame.

April 22, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I don't think that I have been involved with blogs, forums, or message boards long enough to have been able to write about left-wing protesters at the time they were protesting.

You are absolutely right, though... The left-wingers are comprised of some crazy people with idiotic ideas as to how the world works.

I can't speak for Brant... but the next time that there is a nationwide left-wing protest... I'd be happy to point out the ill-informed, hypocritical, ridiculousness of the whole affair...

On second though... I DID write about the ridiculousness of left-wing protesters... I recall writing my recollection of being stuck in an intersection during the protests of Dick Cheney's visit to W&J a few years ago... I am pretty sure that I implied that the the "Lesbians for Kerry" were just as retarded as the "Sportsmen for Bush."

Here you go:
http://criticalview-ellipses.blogspot.com/2009/04/2-cars-2-protests-1-conclusion.html

April 22, 2009 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I absolutely believe there are nut cases on both fringes. Are you more likely to find an ecoterrorist or an anarchist at a left-wing rally? Sure. But I don't run across a lot of Christian haters. I think you'd have a much better chance of finding them at a Hezbollah rally in Lebanon. There are people in this country who don't want Christian "values" to be the law of the land, but I don't think there are that many active haters. The reason for the focus on the tea parties is that it was a nationwide event heavily promoted by conservative media outlets.

April 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only very occasionally post on this blog, but I have to say the bashing of the Weekley Recorder is bull.

I'm not a conservative, and although I don't agree with most of his viewpoints, I have to say that at least Cody Knotts stands up for what he believes in.

I've noticed that O-R employees regularly make disparaging comments about his paper (and believe me, I've heard the O-R referred to as a "rag" often enough too).

Don't forget, Mr. Knotts played a significant (I think) role in dragging down perhaps the most corrupt public official in the history of Washington County, while this newspaper declined to pursue negative stories about the person.

I think the photo a couple of years ago of Pettit relaxing in the O-R offices - with his feet up and hands behind his head no less - shows that he was clearly comfortable at the O-R, which overlooked decades of wrongdoing.

You may object to the use of anonymous sources, but that's no excuse for allowing two out-of-town papers to take the ball from you when you had plenty of opportunities. I see the O-R also isn't afraid to bash Steven Toprani (see today's story, which doesn't even mention Ellis). Shame on you guys.

April 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Pettit's campaign website showed that wonderful ad that the Observer ran praising his work as a paperboy for the Observer-Reporter. Just like police, protecting your own.

April 22, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point - I forgot about that. That brings to mind the Web site during the election that cut down Pettit pretty bad - I wonder if anyone ever found out who did it. Is it still on the web?

April 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

In response to the anonymous poster a couple of posts back: Though Cody and I clearly do not agree on many issues, I've praised his efforts on multiple occasions. And I do think he played a significant role in highlighting allegations that brought about Pettit's election defeat. However, the suggestion that the O-R was somehow "buddy-buddy" with Pettit or in his pocket is delusive. My guess is that the photo you saw of Pettit was taken during a candidate interview. Those tend to be very relaxed, and we generally don't subject the person involved to bright lights and Chinese water torture. Also, I, personally, have no objection to stories based on anonymous sources, provided the source is reliable and the information he or she offers can be confirmed through other channels if there is any doubt about its veracity. Finally, the claim that we somehow “bashed” Steve Toprani in today's edition is total bull@$#%, and it damages your overall credibility when you say something asinine like that.

April 22, 2009 at 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant buddy, you need to read the comments people are leaving, no one has read it any other way but as a bash of Toprani's actions, so it ain't bull.

April 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

It clearly is bull, anonymous little buddy. And I looked at the comments on both stories related to the Smith cops. There was a total of one that somewhat suggested a mistreatment of the DA. One. Since about 30-some-thousand people got this edition of the O-R, that suggests to me that maybe 29,999 had no problem with the way the story was written, and one delusional idiot is trying to find a "bashing" where none existed. You're making yourself look like a boob here.

April 22, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so obvious when Cody Knotts writes comments in self-defense of his sleazy writing and poorly-written newspaper while pretending to be one of his supporters. It always sounds exactly the same.

April 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

It took a little while for me to catch up to speed here... I guess since Brad Hundt mentioned the WR, that's what spurred the whole anonymous thread thing... Anyway... is there another "story" about this that I'm missing? Because the 2 stories linked to on the home page only have a total of 7 comments... the preggo teens managed over 10 times that many...

Has Pettit been charged with something yet? I wasted some bandwidth last year trying to get someone to tell me exactly what he did that was so horrible... and all I got was "he's dirty," "he's corrupt," "he took that dead drug dealer's stuff."

I'm not trying to be a dick about this... I have lived in WashPa all my life and I honestly don't know what exactly it is that Pettit is alleged to have done that was enough to garner universal scorn... Mention his name and everyone rolls their eyes, but nobody can seem to say exactly what it is that he did that was wrong...

April 22, 2009 at 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My guess is that the photo you saw of Pettit was taken during a candidate interview. Those tend to be very relaxed, and we generally don't subject the person involved to bright lights and Chinese water torture."

Brant, it sounds like you're making a reference to the current political Obamination of water boarding? Are you actually AGAINT water boarding terrorists? The information the military was seeking, saved Americans lives! I am so sick and tired of wampy-pamby elected officials making such a big deal of how we mistreated these terrorists. Whose side are you on? These same terrorists beheaded Americans. You can see it online. There has to be so many more reasons why we went to war, none of which had anything to do with WMD’s. What punishment should we have enflicted on those who were responsible for flying planes into the Twin Towers and killing innocent Americans? None, they are all dead...But what statement were they making? We had to make our statement. You don't MESS with the US!! Our intelligent agencies are NOT going to reveal everything to the American public.

These elected officials who want to prosecute the water boarders should be sent to prison for treason...What a tremendous waste of time and money. It's all lawyers, guns and money...

April 23, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Actually, I was making no reference whatsoever to waterboarding. You need to take your meds.

April 23, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I had to remove a post there. Let's be careful with the unsupported accusations. What we can say at this point about Pettit is that his use of jailhouse snitches is under scrutiny, and questions have been raised about his contacts with county jail inmates, with a particular focus on a woman named Tiffany Ryan. The U.S. attorney's office, the FBI, state police and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division all have been involved in an ongoing grand jury investigation.

April 24, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the post on April 22nd @8:19AM by Ellipses, how did you determine that anyone between the ages 45-64 would be more racist than those in the same age group living elsewhere? Why not Waynesburg or the Wind Ridge/Rogersville area? How about Avella, sure is a lot of pickups and people wearing camo's there. I was raised in the Claysville area and while not saying your assumtions incorrect, let me say that the race issue was something that I never heard about while growning up. However, while I was employed by a large corporation in downtown Pittsburgh for several years, I was shocked at some of my co-workers attitudes toward people of color.Also, while pulling all those things out of your bag, you forgot to mention that those people are overwhelmingly Republican.

April 24, 2009 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant by his own admission, he was a suspect in the murder of two men and he is again being investigated in same homicide. Ellispes needs to get off the net and into life on the streets to understand how and why people feel the way they do about John Pettit.

April 24, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Anon... you could probably say the same thing about those rural areas you mentioned... I chose claysville specifically to show that Brant, who has given no indication that he is a racist, would be statistically more likely to be a racist... the point was, when you apply probability to a group, you aren't making a definitive statement about individuals in that group. You are quantifying a likelihood of something... but when you make that statement, people inevitably come out saying "I'm not a racist, so your presumption is false."

Take race out of the equation... put 9 german shepherds and one rottweiler in a room... the room is populated predominantly by german shepherds... if you pull a dog out at random, you will most likely get a GS... The rottweiler may be saying "he thinks we're all german shepherds... I'm not a GS, so he is wrong."

This is so far off course, though... that it's irrelevant at this point.

And to the other anon... I worked with "poor" people for 6 years in downtown washington... These were ex-cons, rehabbing drug addicts, regular drug addicts, and borderline homeless people... People who were pretty well in tuned with the criminal elements of washington... I asked several of them, specifically, why people don't like Pettit... They sure as hell didn't like pettit, but damned if they couldn't come up with a specific reason why.

I'm sorry I can't be out pounding the pavement... I am in an office in upper st clair all day...

But I HAVE been in a position to get good information on the subject... and it is ALWAYS some vague aire corruption, but nothing specific.

His dependence on jail house snitches may be procedurally unsound... or he could have placed too much of the emphasis on that testimony rather than on physical evidence or whatever... And I am sure not going to be the one person swimming upstream and defend the guy... but on the other hand... There really isn't much to defend him against!

April 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

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