35 votes

The insanity in Oregon is a glimpse of our very dark future

23 comments

  1. [5]
    dubteedub
    Link
    This post seems to be a good culmination of all the events over the last few days first detailed here....

    This post seems to be a good culmination of all the events over the last few days first detailed here.

    https://tildes.net/~news/eqg/oregon_governor_sends_police_to_find_missing_republicans_bring_them_to_capitol

    Here is another from Vice that includes details the Senators have raised over $40k to help pay for their $500 / day fines, so even that meager punishment is now made irrelevant.

    What drives me nuts is how nearly every other source is downplaying or failing to mention at all Senator Borquist's threat to murder state police sent lawfully to find him, not to mention how he is supported by armed "militia" groups.

    Yes, this tactic has been done a few times in the past by Dems and Republicans alike, but none of them have threatened the lives of government representatives sent to bring them home.

    After these threats, it seems like it would be appropriate to involve the national guard.

    23 votes
    1. Cosmos
      Link Parent
      Wasn't this an episode of House of Cards? I remember Frank dragging senators into the chamber in handcuffs. I never realized how close we were to having that happen in real life.

      Wasn't this an episode of House of Cards? I remember Frank dragging senators into the chamber in handcuffs. I never realized how close we were to having that happen in real life.

      6 votes
    2. [3]
      Dogyote
      Link Parent
      Eh, that's only 7 days of fines. Is the money still coming in or is it petering out?

      the Senators have raised over $40k to help pay for their $500 / day fines, so even that meager punishment is now made irrelevant.

      Eh, that's only 7 days of fines. Is the money still coming in or is it petering out?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [2]
          blake
          Link Parent
          80/11 = ~7 (there are 11 senators)

          80/11 = ~7 (there are 11 senators)

          7 votes
  2. [7]
    Ephemere
    Link
    This sequence of events clarifies something I had often wondered about - one argument in favor of the second amendment you often hear is that firearms are necessary to defend against government...

    This sequence of events clarifies something I had often wondered about - one argument in favor of the second amendment you often hear is that firearms are necessary to defend against government tyranny. How is that 'tyranny' usually manifest? In the form of the police enforcing laws.

    In general, folks pushing the above argument also seem to be extremely pro-police. So therein seemed to be a contradiction.

    Except the events in Oregon I think shows that there is no contradiction at all. These folks are extremely pro-police only until the moment they are at odds, in which case the death threats come out.

    15 votes
    1. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [4]
        NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah. The culture around guns is the main reason I never got into it. I have several family members who were competitive in shooting sports back in India and it would have been something I was...
        • Exemplary

        I'm a gun guy, but I've never really fit in with gun culture folks; I'm a little too left to make many friends at the range.

        Yeah. The culture around guns is the main reason I never got into it. I have several family members who were competitive in shooting sports back in India and it would have been something I was into, but the culture around guns here is absolutely noxious and suffuses every part of it. I have no interest in spending time with most of these histrionic, perpetually terrified people. Even the non-NRA friendly ones, like the John Brown Gun Clubs, still seem to have this weird streak of redemptive violence running through them. I am never gonna buy a gun with the fantasy/hope of having to use it on a person. It's profoundly fucked up that this is the fantasy being sold to.

        I think a big part of the problem is that there is no actual articulation of what a socially acceptable norm around gun use/ownership actually is. The arguments are mostly self-defeating or posit a nightmare world of routinized violence that rejects the entire idea of society and a social contract, so of course fascists love it.

        All the rhetoric around it is literally just focused on the 2nd Amendment, which isn't actually making a positive case for gun ownership so much as a rebellion against having to exhibit any social awareness at all. Let that sit for a few generations of new gun owners and wean them on mass media that glorifies redemptive violence against otherized "criminal" classes and basically all you have are people driven by irrationally exaggerated fears and a streak of adolescent power-fantasy.

        At this point, the imagery of gun ownership is so toxic that I feel like I'd be a social pariah among most of my friends if I actually got one, even though I'm mostly just interested in vintage pieces with historical significance. Probably for the best, as once the seal breaks with a "collector" hobby like that it's hard to stop blowing money. I guess I'll stick to fountain pens and mechanical keyboards. . .

        Edit: I actually think Ian Malcolm's bit in Jurassic Park really hits my thoughts about American gun culture. People usually focus on the "could/should" part at the end, but for me the important bit is what leads up to it.

        If I may... Um, I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here, it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table]

        There is no positive, socially cognizant vision for gun ownership in America. It's driven entirely by the drive to consumerism and sold by stoking irrational fears and the promise of a power-fantasy to allay them. But when people buy these guns there is no requisite sense of having a weighty responsibility or needing to exercise any discipline or effort to attain it. It's not like martial arts or even archery where you have to train and keep up with your training. You just buy it and you can spit a million rounds downrange and be as loud and "powerful" as you want with no respect for the essence behind what it is you're doing. It, like all consumerism, is geared towards appealing to people's most childish drives and motivations and that's just incompatible with anything that has actual social-responsibilities that come with it.

        19 votes
        1. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [2]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            When your entire window into the real world is based on what you see on TV it'll do that to you. Lots of heroes whose main claim to heroism is gunning down otherized "bad guys." And as bad as it...

            Anyone who ever wishes to use their firearm on a person has a screw loose, or severely underestimates what taking a life does to a person.

            When your entire window into the real world is based on what you see on TV it'll do that to you. Lots of heroes whose main claim to heroism is gunning down otherized "bad guys." And as bad as it was with TV and movies, video games lean into this even harder. On top of that, add in news that constantly talks about crime and "a border crisis" and it definitely rots people's brains after a while.

            I remember being on a tour group in Europe when they warned us to watch out for pickpockets. Two of the guys in the group immediately started talking about how they hope someone tries to pick pocket them so they can beat their asses. Like. . . why? Even if we assume beating the shit out of someone for the cash in your pocket is an appropriate thing to do, why look forward to going through the trouble of doing it? Even if you win a street-fight handily, you're still likely to break a few bones in your hands or cut yourself or get bitten. It's not something to look forward to.

            But people are weaned on TV where they think brutal violence can be dished out without real consequences. Folks just get up from concussions and go straight back to doing whatever they were doing rather than having their mental faculties impaired for months or years. People get hurt, convalesce for a bit, and are back up and good as new; while in reality broken bones basically never heal back the same unless you're lucky, and little cuts and lacerations will definitely leave scars. You don't walk away from stuff like that without it leaving a mark.

            12 votes
            1. programmerpoet
              Link Parent
              There's a French philosopher/writer named Baudrillard who wrote about this phenomenon in a paper called Simulacra and Simulation. He coined the term 'Hyperreality'. It's a bit dense and hard to...

              There's a French philosopher/writer named Baudrillard who wrote about this phenomenon in a paper called Simulacra and Simulation. He coined the term 'Hyperreality'.

              It's a bit dense and hard to read, but there's something interesting there about how people's perceptions of reality are more real to them than... Well, reality. And, even more confusingly, it's not just that TV (or other fiction) is a model of reality that we need to distinguish each other from, but rather that the fiction itself becomes reality.

              It touches on the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but in a broader, societal sense. It's hard to understand what the consequences of the hyperreal are, because reality is so heavily influenced by it that calling the hyperreal false doesn't even really make sense anymore.

              The cultural impact of having so many people who truly believe that others are always out to get them - and, in turn, also that they need to be 'strong' enough to fend them off - shapes our society to the point that it becomes a cultural touchstone; something that everybody understands.

              And it becomes the frame/mindset that everyone has going into every situation. Suddenly, global health organizations are out to get you. Or the concept of fair taxes that can benefit everybody is suspect, because why would anybody help the general public in a world where everyone's out to get each other?

              Note that I'm not arguing that television is ruining the country. Instead, I'm more interested in how public perception is formed, and how culture is influenced by it - and how that, in turn, becomes the reality (or at least, a part of it) for all of us, to some degree.

              11 votes
          2. ubergeek
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I own couple of guns, but my remington 700 is the one I grab for fun shooting. It's very versatile too, being designed to deal with varmint. I used an m16a2 and a4. A lot. Never felt the...

            Yeah, I own couple of guns, but my remington 700 is the one I grab for fun shooting. It's very versatile too, being designed to deal with varmint.

            I used an m16a2 and a4. A lot. Never felt the need to carry one or own one after my service. It seems those most interested in them are either prior service who cant get over the fact that the PRIOR is the key term there; or people who wish they could play military.

            3 votes
    2. [2]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      You'd also be very hard pressed to get a decent number of people in agreement over what constitutes tyranny. The people making threats this case, for example, are doing so directly against a...

      You'd also be very hard pressed to get a decent number of people in agreement over what constitutes tyranny. The people making threats this case, for example, are doing so directly against a fairly and democratically elected governing body, over an anti-pollution bill.

      If civilians started taking up arms against a tyrannical government, I honestly believe that a similar number would take up arms in favour of that government.

      7 votes
      1. unknown user
        Link Parent
        That is what happens. That is Turkey in the '70s, right and left wing factions started killing each other and becoming militias and guerrillas. Anybody born in the 60s and before have clear...

        That is what happens. That is Turkey in the '70s, right and left wing factions started killing each other and becoming militias and guerrillas. Anybody born in the 60s and before have clear memories of these fuckers murdering people they knew or terrorising schools and universities they read. This all lead on to the coup d'état on 12 Sep 80, which stopped that violence but it did not only mean mass incarcerations, torture and forced disappearances; it installed a fear of politics and state in thise generations and brought about a constitution with fascistic undertones which brought about the demise of our democracy in the past decade, and we're basically still recovering from the trauma of 12th of September as a country.

        Guns don't solve nothing. They can't. They never have. They can't protect you either.

        3 votes
  3. stephen
    Link
    So there's that... The reframing here is that the posting of threatening memes will be the start of the next American Civil War. Despite at first being pretty silly to consider because the memes...

    In Idaho, where some of the lawmakers have supposedly fled, the state’s 3 Percenters group was similarly willing to defend the Republicans as well, posting threatening memes on its Facebook page.

    “This is what the start of a civil war looks like,”

    So there's that... The reframing here is that the posting of threatening memes will be the start of the next American Civil War.

    Despite at first being pretty silly to consider because the memes are stuff like frenworld baby speak. But it's not so dissimilar a trajectory from other countries where online propaganda has lead to mass street violence. I don't see why "It couldn't happen here" is a valid basic assumption any more.

    8 votes
  4. [2]
    idlestopfeather
    Link
    There is an awful lot of anger on the internet about this, but one thing I haven't seen discussed at all is the business of referring it to the voters in the form of a ballot initiative. That one...

    There is an awful lot of anger on the internet about this, but one thing I haven't seen discussed at all is the business of referring it to the voters in the form of a ballot initiative.

    That one thing seems to me to be the most important part of the whole issue--in fact, the Democrats specifically put an "emergency clause" in the bill to make sending this to the voters particularly difficult. It really smacks of trying to ram something through while they have the majority, instead of actually representing what Oregonians want for their state.

    The minority is unanimously against the measure and wants to send it to the voters to decide. The majority is bent on passing it no matter what, and has taken actions to make it specifically difficult to put on the ballot. The minority stages a walkout, stalling the bill. The majority then sends the cops...yet somehow are portrayed as the bastions of the democratic process?

    Personally, I think everyone involved in this is a great disappointment. Ballot initiatives exist specifically to deal with highly contentious issues like this--it seems to me that intentionally trying to keep the public out of it is a bigger deal than a walkout.

    2 votes
    1. ubergeek
      Link Parent
      Um, we send representatives to work on issues like this. Reducing pollution is hardly something you need to send to the public... nevermind that the majority does write the legislation, and the...

      Um, we send representatives to work on issues like this.

      Reducing pollution is hardly something you need to send to the public... nevermind that the majority does write the legislation, and the minority needs to work inside of that framework, instead of stomping their feet.

      If the minority wanted the ability to turn it into a referendum, they should have been at the table.

      11 votes
  5. [6]
    Somebody
    Link
    The militias are appropriate in this instance. The liberals used an overt threat of force in an attempt to influence political change. That's outlandish. You don't force lawmakers to vote at gunpoint.

    The militias are appropriate in this instance. The liberals used an overt threat of force in an attempt to influence political change. That's outlandish. You don't force lawmakers to vote at gunpoint.

    2 votes
    1. alyaza
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      there is literally zero circumstance in which paramilitary threats are an appropriate or reasonable response to being told to do your fucking job and vote on a climate bill instead of throwing a...
      • Exemplary

      The militias are appropriate in this instance.

      there is literally zero circumstance in which paramilitary threats are an appropriate or reasonable response to being told to do your fucking job and vote on a climate bill instead of throwing a tantrum because you lost a series of elections and the people voted in a government which seeks to pass that sort of thing, lol.

      and don't give me the "BUT THE PEOPLE DON'T WANT IT UNDERNEATH THAT" retort to that one, please and thank you. the oregon republican party can't have it one way federally where the "people" wanted donald by -2% but he gets to do whatever he wants because he has a "mandate" and then have it the other way at the state level where democrats have had a trifecta since 2013, which somehow is not a mandate for some reason even though the democrats also have a near-supermajority in both chambers.

      13 votes
    2. unknown user
      Link Parent
      That is not a militia. That is terrorism, not much different from what many terrorist organisations that plague the world peace today.

      That is not a militia. That is terrorism, not much different from what many terrorist organisations that plague the world peace today.

      3 votes
    3. [3]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      Would you apply that logic to all situations where the police are following a lawful order - that armed resistance is appropriate? If not, why is this situation different?

      Would you apply that logic to all situations where the police are following a lawful order - that armed resistance is appropriate? If not, why is this situation different?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Somebody
        Link Parent
        Of course not. This situation is different because it involved the threat of force (aka violence) to promote political change. That's wholly unacceptable regardless of which position you're...

        Of course not. This situation is different because it involved the threat of force (aka violence) to promote political change. That's wholly unacceptable regardless of which position you're supporting.

        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          If the police were being used to influence the direction of the vote in any way, I would unequivocally agree with you. To my understanding, they are simply ensuring that the legislators are...

          If the police were being used to influence the direction of the vote in any way, I would unequivocally agree with you.

          To my understanding, they are simply ensuring that the legislators are present to vote in any way they choose, or indeed to abstain. They are ensuring that the mutually agreed process takes place, regardless of the outcome. I'm not against a law that says "elected officials must arrive for scheduled votes" and I would entirely back that enforcement even if it gave a majority to positions that I abhor. I can see the argument against it, but if that is your position then it's the place for legislative change.

          If the police or legislature start using their powers to direct the process, rather than to protect its impartial integrity, I agree that everything I just said becomes void.

  6. elcuello
    Link
    This is not Chernobyl but some Years and Years shit...

    Something is building in our politics and now I wish I hadn't watched that series about Chernobyl. We may be exceeding the tolerances of all our systems.

    This is not Chernobyl but some Years and Years shit...

    1 vote