I have some rather uncommon and unpopular political opinions.
About two weeks ago President Obama came to Phoenix to address the VFW national convention. As with everywhere else he goes, there were protesters. Several of them were armed, including one 28 year-old Christopher Broughton who carried an AR-15 rifle slung on his shoulder. Maybe you heard about this. I learned his name from Stephen “The Bird” Lemons in the latest issue of the Phoenix NewTimes. Broughton had been keeping his last name secret, but the Arizona Republic apparently figured out what it was. According to Lemons, this rifle slinging was a publicity stunt organized by Phoenix area libertarian activist Ernest Hancock to get some traffic for his website, FreedomsPhoenix.com. He says that Hancock deliberately picked a black man to quash the notion that this armed opposition to Obama and his policies has something to do with race.
I find this armed protest thing rather amusing. I’ve often wondered why protesters aren’t more frequently armed where it’s legal. I thought about this a lot during Bush’s presidency. I’ve wondered how Secret Service and Homeland Security thugs would respond. It elicits a wide variety of responses in people. It seemed bizarre when the cable news people made a big fucking deal out of the one armed guy protesting an Obama visit in New Hampshire. Apparently this is not widely known, but there are a bunch of libertarian dorks living in that state who do everything armed. These guys are harmless:
I can’t get through the entire video, nor can I imagine why the man who made it might think anyone would want to. Clearly, they’re harmless dorks. They do sometimes get arrested, but never for anything violent. I think the Ernest Hancock crowd is made up of almost the same kind of dorks. I’ve seen video of Christopher Broughton himself and he’s so painfully libertarian-nerdy that I can’t watch more than a few seconds.
Lemons blasts the poor dork:
“I don’t want to be Joe the Plumber,” he told the [Arizona Republic]. “I don’t want to be famous.
But Broughton, who, according to the Federal Elections Commission, once gave moonhowlin’ liber-tard-ian Congressman Ron Paul $300 for his presidential run and who listed his profession as “tech mold/apprentice mold maker” (dare to dream!), was singing a slightly different tune during his appearance on conspiracy mave Alex Jones’ radio show.
Nah, Broughton wasn’t copping to his last name there, either. But he was reveling in the attention from Jones, a man who believes the “global elite” regularly gather at the Bohemian Grove retreat in Norther California to worship Beelzebub or some other occult deity, a man who believes the swine flu vaccin is poison meant for the masses, and who has been a huge supporter of the insanity that 9/11 was an inside job by the George W. Bush administration.
Lemons is starting to really irritate me. I’ve been reading the NewTimes since I came to the Phoenix area. It’s considered a left-ish rag but has always been far from perfectly “progressive.” The articles tend to be opinionated, but not necessarily in the way you’d expect (unless it’s a story about Joe Arpaio). I like this paper and wish more people would read the important articles, but I’m tired of Lemons. He’s a sort of intellectual bully, making readers feel like they’re stupid if they don’t agree with him. It’s a technique that’s sadly effective, much more so than reasoned debate. I not really big on the rifle-carrying, but so what if some harmless dork wants to do this? So what if he doesn’t want people to know his name? So what if donated $300 to Ron Paul’s campaign.
Actually, I take some issue with that last one. I’m a fan of Ron Paul and I have been for several years, but I don’t condone electoral politics and making that contribution seems pretty foolish. Perhaps he has nothing better to spend money on. Ron Paul is the only honest and principled person in either house of congress. I don’t always agree with him, but I have so much respect for him that I really think I see him as a hero for everything he’s done and everything he’s tried to do. He was one of 66 members of the House to vote against the USA PATRIOT act, saying “It’s my understanding the bill wasn’t printed before the vote—at least I couldn’t get it. They played all kinds of games, kept the House in session all night, and it was a very complicated bill. Maybe a handful of staffers actually read it, but the bill definitely was not available to members before the vote.” I could go on and on about why he’s so wonderful, but my point is simply that nobody who calls him a “moonhowlin’ liber-tard-ian” deserves to be listened to. In fact, anyone who uses either of those “words” about anyone can’t be taken seriously.
I do not hold Alex Jones in such high regard, but the global elite do in fact gather at least once per year at the Bohemian Grove, the deity they make a presumably fake sacrifice to is called Moloch, and the swine flu vaccine of the 1976 did far more harm than the virus itself (which was supposed to kill a million people). The US government tries hard every year to scare all Americans into get a flu vaccine, even though it doesn’t appear at all effective. Why? Jones is the type who automatically ascribes a reason to everything government does. I’m much more likely blame stupidity, incompetence, and short-sighted selfishness than malice, not because people in government aren’t malicious, but because they’re stupid, incompetent, short-sighted, and selfish.
Regarding 9/11, I don’t believe the official story, but I don’t presume to know what actually happened, and at this point I don’t really care. It is very clear to me that our “leaders” are perfectly capable of murdering thousands to spend more of our money on the bombs, tanks, and airplanes that their friends make. How else can you explain the stupid wars our military is involved in? As General Smedley Butler titled his famous book, war is a racket. I think the problem with the hole “debate” is that many or most Americans would prefer to believe that the people who wield tremendous power over us actually care about us and would never murder us. A comforting thought for which there is no evidence. Believe what you want to believe if it helps you sleep at night.
Lemons finishes with a question:
Would Broughton and Ernie Hancock and Alex Jones applaud if someone went Lee Harvey Oswald on President Obama[?] I’m guessing the would as long as they weren’t implicated in any way.
The nation is slouching ever closer to a really ugly bout of violence cheered on by gun crazies and self-described “patriots.” Remember back in the day when it was considered bad manners – no matter if you hated the guy or not – to wish ill on the presidents?
Man, how far we’ve regressed.
I don’t think they’d applaud. I think they’d get nervous. I would. I really didn’t like the way the executive and legislative branches reacted to the events of 9-11-2001, and I’m sure I wouldn’t like the reaction to an assassination. It’s been a long time, and a lot of things have changed. I wouldn’t feel at all sad though.
Anyway, as I read that column, I realized that I’m a nut to many people, or I would be if they knew what I really think about the world. Lemons thinks I’m a nut. I think he’s a childish dick.
Can someone please proof-read this for me?