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20 Minutes before Beck (Updated)

"Racism, racism, fight, fight, fight/Workers of the world unite"--a Communist leafleteer provided some zest for the Glenn Beck rally and handed out fliers to bemused participants.  In my mere 20 minutes at the rally (I had a lunch engagement) I heard little from the stage and saw less, save the apparently middle to upper-middle class crowd, very thick just NE of the Lincoln Memorial.  I have no way of estimating its overall size, except to observe that where I was it was denser than, say, the Fourth of July crowd.  I did hear numerous complaints about the sound and the lack of a view, as many people left, but maybe the audience further back had better sound and perspective on the stage.

In case someone else hasn't made this obvious point, I note that the Lincoln Memorial unites the Beck crowd, the counter-rally, and the original civil rights March on Washington through its presentation of simple justice.  After all, it was Lincoln who defined slavery as "you work, I eat."  That was at the heart of his attacks on slavery in the 1850s, and it is the moral precept that condemns slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and compulsory redistribution of wealth today.  And it is the logical deduction from the proposition that all men are created equal.  The Communists and others who don't share American principles would have a different view of the matter. 

UPDATE:

On the methodology of counting crowds:  Consider this photo analysis.  That's fine as far as it goes, but this is like taking roll at the start of class and ignoring all the students who sneak out (and others who come in later).  As I came in, around 11 a.m., I saw innumerable folks leaving, some complaining they could not see or hear.  Others may have found the heat too hard to take.  Yet they should count as attendees, too.  Many more people were coming in than leaving.  So the count needs to take into consideration the total numbers who were there throughout the day--not just a static snapshot of the event.  Maybe some (overly clever) social scientist (a new-bred economist) has devised a methodology for doing this.  So my total count would exceed the static count at the crowd's greatest size by a considerable factor.

Categories > Conservatism

Discussions - 57 Comments

Imagine for a second if conservatism's current public intellectual (Beck), glasses on and chalk in hand, were handed quotes of this nature from Obama, either Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or the next Van Jones - whoever (and don't scoff at the prospect of such sophisticated language from my examples - Beck and Palin are your keynote speakers) - you know he'd be screaming about Stalin and bursting blood vessels on-screen, probably dousing himself in gasoline, and predicting FEMA camps and the imminent demise of the USA:

"The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people of all nations, tongues, and kindreds."

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

"All that harms labor is treason to America. No line can be drawn between these two. If any man tells you he loves America, yet he hates labor, he is a liar. If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool."

"And, in [as] much as most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government."

"The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself."


Back to Professor Beck: "Uniting all working people! 'One-World' Government folks! 'Combined action'!!! - Folks, let's be clear - this guy is pushing "social justice" and Communism!!" Know the code and read between the lines here, it's not too hard, really!"

"Big government! (Public Schools! Charities!!) Wow! Whoever said this stuff is obviously some sort of vermin, a disease!!!! Governmen should "do things" for us! America, we need to eliminate this disease, or we will die!"

(My Beck quotes are imagined and improvised, but hardly far-fetched for anyone who's actually listened to or watched him - the quotes he's reacting to are real, from Abraham Lincoln.)

The big difference between Liincoln and your would-be critique can be found here: "The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people of all nations, tongues, and kindreds." (emphasis added) That makes all the difference in the world between Marxists and leftists of today and those who rallied on the Mall yesterday. And the horrific collapse of the family among blacks especially (among all other Americans) is a major ill of American society. The theory of Marxism is to abolish the family--and this legacy remains on the left today, stronger than ever in the gay rights movement. We saw it in practice in the Soviet Union, with its ghastly policy on orphanages, an evil only now being dealt with.

Sigh... The point wasn't that Lincoln WAS some sort of Marxist, just that he publicly espoused some fairly radical pro-labor sentiments (Seriously, first family, then labor second - where's Jesus Christ of America, or Beck's Mormonism for that matter?) and that, if Beck would be offered such statements - at least in connection to anyone on his enemies list, if not beyond those people - during one of his ridiculous "classes", he would be warning us that the individual who uttered or wrote such words would be fundamentally dangerous to the country. Any honest observation of Beck's M.O. would have to conclude that he would react as such to those statements from Lincoln.

Last I checked, the United States has a divorce rate of around 50% (using typical layman's parlance, not demographer's). That's the result of a successful Marxist underground movement, I suppose, one which has actually done most of its damage in conservative "red" states and among born-again Christians?

Anyway, whether conservatives wish to see Beck as their modern-day Lincoln or MLK Jr., it's beyond absurd either way.

I never made such a comparison and you know it: I've never seen Glenn Beck's show on tv--I don't get Fox. I can't and won't play your game.

Good thing, since a) I didn't say you made such a comparison [Beck makes those comparisons himself, and more - he's also likened himself to Thomas Paine] and b) I have no "game", nor invited you to play...

and a little historical update on Karl Marx: He never worked a day in his life. He lived off his friend Engels' very rich and capitalistic family business. He was given a house through inheritance. Marx was a second-hander who lived off the producers - those who risked everything, worked hard and make lots of money - Marx was nothing more than a bum - a bum well-loved by the liberals in this country.

Grow up, Scanlon (D.O.). Try reading a serious book about Lincoln instead of hitting the lefty websites for some quotes taken out of context.

Craig:
About that "divorce rate of around 50% (using typical layman's parlance, not demographer's)": That's misleading, as it calculates the percentage of all divorces (many have been married more than once), but in fact far less divorce occurs among those have married once, typically for life. In other words, most people marry only once. Also, the older they are, the less likely couples are to divorce.

See http://www.divorcerate.org/

"Imagine for a second if conservatism's current public intellectual (Beck) . . ."

I don't think any mainstream conservative leaders consider Beck "conservatism's current public intellectual" - I may give you that he's a mouthpiece of the current movement, but calling him the main public intellectual of conservatism is incredibly disingenuous (or incredibly stupid if you actually believe it).

Andrew, he's certainly the biggest conservative name to head a university (Beck U) designed to serve the average American/"Real American" demographic. But whatever, if you take issue with that designation, drop it.

So, imagine if Beck were handed quotes of this nature from Obama, either Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or the next Van Jones. What do you think he'd do, how do you think he'd react??

As for the numbers on the rally (and it's amazing how concerned someone who hasn't even watched Beck before appears to be with the turnout), Beck puts the attendance at up to 650K, the always-level-headed Michelle Bachmann put it at over a million!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/29/AR2010082903889_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010082903985

Hell, just lookin' at those pictures, I'd say at least a cool billion were there!

I return to the core issue, quoted from original post, with emphasis:

The Lincoln Memorial unites the Beck crowd, the counter-rally, and the original civil rights March on Washington through its presentation of simple justice. After all, it was Lincoln who defined slavery as "you work, I eat." That was at the heart of his attacks on slavery in the 1850s, and it is the moral precept that condemns slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and compulsory redistribution of wealth today. And it is the logical deduction from the proposition that all men are created equal. The Communists and others who don't share American principles would have a different view of the matter.

Through tea parties (and other longings unknown to political consultants) Americans show a hunger for what is essential in America, what makes it an exceptional nation. That message is more important than its messengers.

And this contradiction certainly seems noteworthy:

Palin, at the Beck rally:

"I must assume that you too, knowing that no, we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want, we must restore America and restore her honor!"

I guess that's her idea of "non-political." Okay. Still, if anyone's actually paying attention and trying to figure out what their marching orders are from these leaders, then this is where it gets confusing. Just the night before, Glenn Beck went onstage at the Kennedy Center and said this:

"We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. [applause] And it has nothing to do with this city or politics! It has everything to do with God almighty!"

And my first comment here was entirely pertinent to what you wrote, Mr. Thomas (even if it wasn't just a passive approval of the gist of it).

Beck - and "the Beck crowd" - are quite happy to run through a whole string of weak, ridiculous associations and false premises to make just about anyone or anything they don't like "fascist", "Communist", "socialist", "totalitarian" and so forth - to a hyperactive degree that I think would even make Joseph McCarthy himself blush, and should make Jonah Goldberg blush (but somehow hasn't, whenever he's sat idly by as Beck took his mangling of history and ran with it). Beck's probably got a special program planned on the communist domination within the National Park Service - and why that agency is dangerous, destructive to America, and filled with "parasites", "leeches" and "vermin" (to use some of his favored terms).

My point was that Lincoln, while offering a great, simple definition of chattel slavery, also expressed, in some detail, some very pro-labor sentiments, on numerous occasions. Sentiments that make it clear that his ideas about freedom and liberty were not limited to chattel slavery; they extended to working people, unions, and labor strikes, and would hardly read just like a pamphlet from the American Enterprise Institute, or something from the Beck University website (or anything of the Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin variety, either - no matter how much they might wish it were true - case in point here:).

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp

So there's more than a little irony there (aside from the amazing coincidence about this all taking place on the same date, in the same place that MLK Jr. gave his "I have a dream" speech).

And such statements (as those that I offered), if given to Beck today as ideas expressed from anyone in the Obama administration, or a Congressional member (esp. if they have a D after their name), would almost certainly give him a field day with his spectacles and chalkboard. Obviously.

And here you are, Black Plague / Pestis, one of those Lincoln quotes, in its full context, from the lefty website Google books:
http://books.google.com/books?id=EPmfzxRags0C&pg=PA271&lpg=PA271&dq=lincoln+%22Labor+is+prior+to,+and+independent+of,+capital.+Capital+is+only+the+fruit+of+labor,+and+could+never+have+existed+if+labor+had+not+first+existed%22&source=bl&ots=lBeeWJRH2I&sig=YgcqqPlxOspN2dQM4_AGdHhchIw&hl=en&ei=7iB8TPnyMciLswawq5CzDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBEQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=lincoln%20%22Labor%20is%20prior%20to%2C%20and%20independent%20of%2C%20capital.%20Capital%20is%20only%20the%20fruit%20of%20labor%2C%20and%20could%20never%20have%20existed%20if%20labor%20had%20not%20first%20existed%22&f=false

Lincoln being pro-labor (but even more pro-family) does not put him on the left, especially today's left. Marx's admiration for him does not turn him into a leftist either. He had a lot to say about resentment of success and defense of private property and its acquisition.

I would go further than you do: the notion that "you work, I eat" applies to immigration issues, as well as the welfare state and slavery.

I had little interest in Beck, but you have spurred me to take him more seriously.

I would not place Glenn Beck in the pantheon of conservative voices. He just happened to strike the right note and the right time. That's all. Frankly, I think he's going to overreach on the religious language and alienate a portion of his audience. But we'll see.

But, that said, it does not mean the note is wrong for the times. There is a need to return to a sense of honor in this country. I'll dispense with the religious rhetoric, though I could easily make a case for how Beck is right in many ways.

There is considerable dishonor in this country, and by that I mean the whole spectrum, from bad manners all the way up to the utter loss of shame.

There is something going on ... a groundswell of sorts. It may not manifest into electoral victory this fall, and it may be extinguished by a heavy-handed use of power by the controlling elite. But there's something going on. It's unlike anything I've seen in my 50 years on this earth.

We will either weather the storm and go on, or we will crash and burn. The cynic in me believes we'll see the latter.

Craig Scanlon wrote: "Last I checked, the United States has a divorce rate of around 50% (using typical layman's parlance, not demographer's). That's the result of a successful Marxist underground movement, I suppose, one which has actually done most of its damage in conservative "red" states and among born-again Christians?"

No, it's the result of our culture confusing "love" with "desire." In today's world, what one desires is thought to be good, because desire must be good. That's absurd, of course, but watch any few minutes of MTV and you'll see that portrayed over and over again.

We as a society have utterly lost the notion of "love" being a concept of doing what is right and good for the other. We do what is right and good for ourselves, defined by the satisfaction of our immediate desires.

Our culture -- secular and religious -- is so eaten up by by selfish impulses that it's almost impossible to explain the concept of sacrifice being of benefit to he who sacrifices. Every "spiritual" expression in today's world is about selfish acquisition. "Eat, Pray, Love" -- ultimately an expression of doing what's best for me. Satisfy myself and others benefit from the scraps from my table.

Beck is somewhat ham-fisted in his message, but the underlying premise of needing to return to a more solid foundation of existence is proper. I doubt very much it'll result in much real transformation because we're simply too practiced in turning everything into a competition for self-glory.

"I had little interest in Beck, but you have spurred me to take him more seriously."

Sure, Ken - right. Well, it's about time you got on board the S.S. Crazy! The Ashbrook Center knew of Beck's greatness way back in '06!

As for all of America's Marxist left destroying the family, I think the memo was lost somewhere, because I can count on 3 fingers the number of people I know who refer to themselves as Marxist. Two of them are married with kids, and the other is engaged.

Here are some good interviews with the Beck rally audience:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8PmEjxUfg

I was really struck by how many people there claimed to not know - or actively denied - the fact that Beck has described Obama as a racist. Maybe nobody really pays attention to him, they just like his tone of voice, his schtick, and his cock-sure attitude?

It's also amusing how the one guy's statements about Islam and 9/11 match this political satire almost perfectly:
theonion dot com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

And lastly, here's a great leftist take on how wonderful it is that it's getting harder and harder to raise a family in America today:

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/147976/how_conservatives_and_the_gop_destroyed_the_%22traditional_family%22_they_claim_to_treasure/?page=entire

Don in AZ: Have you actually seen John Stossel's ridiculous ode to "Greed" before? He's not exactly a leftist. Not to mention all of the conserva-libertarian Ayn Rand garbage that extols it in various ways.

Sorry, that last comment was me (for those who didn't guess as much)...

I don't know Craig those words could have come from Obama or some other pro-Arab communist.

No, I've not seen Stossel's "ode to Greed".

I'm not sure what your point is.

As for your link, it seems the thesis there is if we just had more re-distribution of wealth the American family would be on more solid ground.

Okay. If you (and others) say so. That's the magic pill that cures all social ills.

Money is like oil ... it makes the gears of life turn easier. No question about that. But it does not, by itself, generate stronger marriages.

Craig, what have you done recently to make sure your income is no more than the theoretical average if we smoothed the wealth of the U.S. across all people?

Seriously. Anything? Nothing is stopping you. There's plenty of charities that would be happy to re-distribute your wealth. You don't need the government to take it from you ... you can volunteer it up right now.

Do you?

Don, did you see the Lincoln quote I posted earlier in which he identified charity as a "legitimate object of government" which requires "combined action" since "people can not do [it], or can not well do, for themselves"??

Here it is:

"The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself."

There you have it - how often does "The Party of Lincoln" take that one seriously?

You can find Stossel's "Greed" show on Youtube.

Here's his "Greed is good" article:
http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2006/04/26/greed_is_good

Now please excuse me while I go take a shower after going on the Townhall site...

Craig, you are a typical liberal. When asked a specific question, you attempt to redirect.

Do you voluntarily give up whatever "excess" wealth you have? If not, why not?

What Lincoln said is all fine and well ... and everything hinges on the phrase "but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities."

Granting the point that government may have a role in some charitable activity does not mean it should be involved in all or even most..

For example, I could make the case that the NEA, NEH and CPB are all charities, and unnecessary ones at that. Particularly CPB ... in this age of a thousand cable networks, there's absolutely no need for "public broadcasting."

But my dismissing those does not mean I want to leave starving babies in the gutter.

I am reluctant to feel too sorry for many of the people demanding public assistance when they have iPhones and the monthly plan those require. It's clear this society has simply allowed its definition of what's "necessary" to bloat. We don't need to subsidize an ever expanding list of "necessities."

"Craig, you are a typical liberal. When asked a specific question, you attempt to redirect."

Hey, here's a question that I asked a while back, which nobody's touched:

"So, imagine if Beck were handed quotes of this nature [like those from Lincoln] from Obama, either Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or the next Van Jones. What do you think he'd do, how do you think he'd react??"

So, let's have the questions answered in the order they appeared in the thread.

You've passed the 2,000 word milestone.

Why would Obama, either Clinton, Pelosi, Reid, or "the next Van Jones" be inclined to speak those words?

"So, imagine if Beck were handed quotes of this nature [like those from Lincoln] from Obama, either Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or the next Van Jones. What do you think he'd do, how do you think he'd react??"

My guess is Glenn Beck would probably seek at first to refute them, rather than take them on seriously. But Beck is Beck and is hardly the true face of serious conservatism.

Now imagine that handed to a Thomas Sowel, or a George Will, or Peter Robinson. There you'd likely get a more sober appraisal of Lincoln's comments within the context of Lincoln's time, and within the context of our present times.

Okay ... I've answered your question, despite my not participating in that portion of the thread.

Your turn -- what do you do to level your wealth to the country's mean so that you can live by the standards set forth in that link you gave?

"Craig, what have you done recently to make sure your income is no more than the theoretical average if we smoothed the wealth of the U.S. across all people?"

"Do you voluntarily give up whatever "excess" wealth you have? If not, why not?"

"What do you do to level your wealth to the country's mean so that you can live by the standards set forth in that link you gave?"

Please settle on one question.

You also appear to be assuming that my wealth is above the mean (or average - again, please decide which one). If it's not, then it's difficult to give wealth away to "level" it - up - to the mean (or average). I'm guessing that you're taking a Don-in-AZ-centric approach to things. That wouldn't really surprise me, even after your mini-sermon about love, selfishness, and self-absorption.

This is worth a read:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120371859381786725.html?mod=fpa_mostpop

Craig, I'm a rare breed in America ... I'm a net tax payer. And by that I don't mean after my refund there was taxes paid. No, I mean I'm one of the very few in this country that pays far more into the government than I get back in any form of benefits. Last year: $55K net taxes paid to the federal government.

In addition, I contribute to a variety of charitable causes, well above the pittance rate of well known liberals. Tens of thousands. I've sponsored children overseas for years; I readily help those on the street who ask for it.

Am I rich? No, hardly. I live simply, I work hard, I don't take foolish risks with my money, and I give back where I can, in funds, time and thanks to God.

The point is this: I'm not all that "centric." Somewhat, I'll confess, but I take strides to recognize it and be humble before the Lord.

What about you? You seem a troll who comes onto web sites such as this and looks to stir up controversy and strife. Why do you do that? Is there an element of "Craig-Scanlon-Centricity" in that? Answer: yes. Very much so.

Over the years I've run into people like you on every single Internet forum covering every conceivable topic. All the same. You hide behind your keyboard, poke sticks at people to get a reaction, then duck and cover when others poke back.

Now go do something good with your life, okay? Seriously. Stop trolling and go do something to better mankind.

Don,

If I'm remembering correctly, didn't you claim to be a millionaire a few months back ...?

In addition to your other wonderful qualities, you're apparently a liar, too. Hmm ...

Have a great life, Craig.

The world is a worse place because of people like you.

You might want to consider professional help. Seriously.

The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself."
There you have it - how often does "The Party of Lincoln" take that one seriously?

You seem to have confused the contemporary Republican Party with the Ayn Rand Institute.

I apologize to all on this comments board. I allowed myself to rise to the bait. In so doing I expressed myself in a prideful and contemptuous manner.

I am not ashamed of my achievements in life, but I should not express them out of pride or anger or malice of any form. A darker place in my soul got the better of me.

Don in AZ, I am full of human sympathy for what happened to you in this thread.

Do you all suppose we could find a Republican who would roll government back to that Lincolnian position? "In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere." Isn't that still a position held by many Republicans? I like it. Of course, we are presuming that when Lincoln spoke of "government" in those quotes he was referring to the federal government and not some other level, like the local level, especially when he was speaking about a "community of people".

Then, a question I wish I could ask Lincoln -- without capital, what does labor work on or work with? How do you have the one without the other?

'Tis the point.

Common provision was a feature of public policy prior to 1929, but on a different scale, at a different balance of loci, and making use of different modalities and criteria of eligibility.

1. Prior to 1914, the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product was (per Stanley Engerman) commonly about 0.1 accross the set of occidental countries.

2. In the United States, this ratio stood at 0.03 prior to 1929.

3. With the large exception of veterans' benefits, common provision was a function of state and local authorities.

4. The Victorian era was a time when 'indoor relief' was modal, and people were cared for in public institutions (e.g. workhouses, orphanages, asylums, &c) or provided for by public agencies (schools).

5. Public schools at that time were much more subject to community control and discretion. The professionalization of teaching, the consolidation of schools, our officious judiciary, the public sector unions, and the 'service' of vocational pols were all in the future.

6. 'Pauperism' (i.e. the homeless) is in our own time a problem sufficiently small that philanthropies can handle it nicely.

7. I do not know about where Craig Scanlon lives, but the Republican Party anywhere I have lived has yet to propose shutting down the child protective and foster care service.

Correction on point #2: this ratio (with regard to the central goverment) stood at 0.03.

Wow, Don, perhaps you went off the rails there a bit, eh?

For the sake of the Ashbrook scholars, I really, truly hope that classes at Ashbrook aren't some mirror of this blog and the echo chamber mentality that seems rather pervasive here.

Don, NLT is a blog where politics, society, and public policy matters are discussed. The bloggers allow readers to post comments. I read the blog and then I offer my thoughts. Unsurprisingly, since I more often than not indicate that I share less than complete agreement with the bloggers, I am called a "troll" and accused of trying "to stir up controversy and strife." It's a standard (if boring and trite) method of dismissing and minimizing the opposition. What world do you live in, Don? One where everyone around you just nods their head and agrees with you on everything? Well, good for you, I guess.

"You hide behind your keyboard, poke sticks at people to get a reaction, then duck and cover when others poke back."

As opposed to you, Don in AZ? Are you offering us photos, your home address, and phone number? Not that I recommend that, of course. The whole point here is ideas and civil discussion (you seem to be having a hard time with that last part), so Don in AZ is just fine with me - the same as "Reader #1477" to me. I care about what you think and say, not what your name is or all of your impressive personal details.

Hiding behind my keyboard? It's not like I'm making any kind of threat or wild boast. We're just talking here.

Duck and cover? How so? Who's been more restrained in this thread? You just can't seem to resist name-calling and stuff like this:

"The world is a worse place because of people like you.

You might want to consider professional help. Seriously."

You were the one who took it to a personal level, Don. Read through the thread and explain otherwise.

Of course that wouldn't stop Kate from offering her "human sympathy" for "what happened to you in this thread" - gosh, Don, it sounds like you've been truly victimized !!!

Anyway, I did appreciate these thoughts from you (in order offered):

"Beck is somewhat ham-fisted in his message, but the underlying premise of needing to return to a more solid foundation of existence [Yes, well as long as we keep things as vague as "a more solid foundation of existence" I guess nearly everyone can agree on that!] is proper. I doubt very much it'll result in much real transformation because we're simply too practiced in turning everything into a competition for self-glory."

and

"Craig, I'm a rare breed in America ...

In addition, I contribute to a variety of charitable causes, well above the pittance rate of well known liberals. Tens of thousands. I've sponsored children overseas for years; I readily help those on the street who ask for it.

Am I rich? No, hardly. I live simply, I work hard, I don't take foolish risks with my money, and I give back where I can, in funds, time and thanks to God.

The point is this: I'm not all that "centric." Somewhat, I'll confess, but I take strides to recognize it and be humble before the Lord."

Oh so VERY humble! It's like a complete overdose of humility !!

You get the last word Craig ... all yours. Goodbye.

Actually, I think Glenn Beck is doing a lot for the country right now, but I do find his show irritating at times. For instance, I didn't appreciate the Mormon history lesson the other day (i.e., Hebrews in pre-Columbian America), or his ignorance about the Hagia Sophia (i.e., a mosque built atop the ruins of a Christian church -- NOT).

Would it kill the guy to hire some knowledgeable consultants as fact-checkers? His political analysis is often astute, but he is clearly no Renaissance Man. Such sophomore ignorance only gives ammo to his enemies.

I didn't mean that Don was victimized; though you can be vicious, Craig. Venomous was a word used elsewhere. When I have stopped to wonder about you, I have wondered if you live alone and are lonely. Who would put up with you in real life? When an argument goes against you, or you have no real argument that holds together coherently here on the blog, you go on the attack and the argument can become personal. That is typical on blogs. Sometimes it is typical in marriage or family, and that is sad.

My sympathy for Don was in how he came to be responding in the argument. About becoming prideful and contemptuous, as he put it, writing things that he found ugly while making a defense. The argument in this thread took him and carried him away to a place he did not like or maybe exposed a piece of himself that he considered vile. He might have thought it didn't exist or that he had erased it from himself by an exercise of the will. Yet there he was, trying to give as good as he got and he didn't like it I am sympathetic in that I got there, too, and didn't like it or myself. If we cannot write on the blog with detachment, grace, and humor, then we, some of us, would rather not write and respond at all. What happened to Don was only a human response, a rising to the bait, as he said, and so, my sympathy is human. I think that I knew just what he meant. I might be wrong.

Kate, you have it just about right.

I allowed pride and contempt to overtake me. I do not set out to be that way. But I do fall prey to it.

Colossians 3:5-11 ... truly, if I could snap my fingers and have it be so, that is exactly what I'd want to be.

I had the opportunity to engage Craig with grace and humor and I failed. That's a blemish on me, not him.

Yes, of course we own our failings and it irks us to fall short of what we would be if we could be. We all fall prey to such things since there is no sin but that which is common to man. We all have our particular sins which most easily beset us.

Anyway, I got there, too, a few weeks back, feeling disappointed with my responses and blemished. I think if we cannot write nicely we should not write at all.

The guys on the front page are still good, with or without comment on the back page.

"I didn't mean that Don was victimized; though you can be vicious, Craig. Venomous was a word used elsewhere. When I have stopped to wonder about you, I have wondered if you live alone and are lonely. Who would put up with you in real life? When an argument goes against you, or you have no real argument that holds together coherently here on the blog, you go on the attack and the argument can become personal. That is typical on blogs. Sometimes it is typical in marriage or family, and that is sad."

Kate, please point out what I said (especially in this thread, especially to Don in AZ, who apparently acted so badly because I was "vicious" or "venomous" in some way) that was, in any significant way, "personal". Please. I've read through all of my comments, and the closest thing I can find is when, after Mr. Thomas disingenuously claimed that I had inspired him to take Beck more seriously (I hope he takes him as seriously as John Moser does - kudos to John for putting Beck at arm's length after Beck's promotion of Elizabeth Dilling's work), I welcomed him to the "S.S. Crazy" [referring to Beck's fan club] - that was a bit uncivil, but really, can anyone defensive of Beck (or FoxNews for that matter) be so concerned about civility and decorum; that's rather dubious, I think. Anyway, other than that comment (in reply to Mr. Thomas, not Don), the only other thing I wrote that could be called personal was where I wondered if Don was being "Don-in-AZ-centric", since he was asking me a question about charity (with the obvious implication that I was less generous), and wondering how much money I've given away to bring my wealth DOWN to the average (or median, depending on which version of the query we're going with) of all Americans. Why was Don assuming that I had wealth above the average or median? I took a guess that it was because his wealth was above those lines, and he lived among those with similar wealth, so he simply assumed that mine must be as well.

Still, saying "Don-in-AZ-centric" - that doesn't strike as excessively "personal" and definitely not "vicious" or "venomous".

Again, Kate, can you point out how I've acted this way?

What have I written that even came close to saying this:

"The world is a worse place because of people like you.
You might want to consider professional help. Seriously."

???

(forgot this)

How was Don saying that (about me making the world a worse place, etc.) him "trying to give as good as he got" ??

Did I say anything even remotely as personal or vitriolic as that?

With appologies to Art Deco for word count.

There are ways to count that crowd, for the right price you can use DGI (digital globe) or GEOY (Geo eye) but it helps if you contract them in advance otherwise they don't get as many pictures. With enough advance notice and by booking both competitors in the digital sattelite espionage market you could likely get high resolution pictures in 15 min increments.(according to an analyst of DGI in an article on business espionage, and second derivative Google earth.) folks didn't like the fact that GEOY's pictures of the Obama inauguration put the crowd closer to 700-900k given density. This is probably why the government got out of the crowd counting business. I would think that if you have a picture confirming snapshot 700-900k mark you could safely postulate 1.4-1.8m for the Obama inauguration given folks who come and go.

It strikes me that one problem would be figuring out the number of people in DC who are usually on the mall.

This number should be subtracted I think, and I am not sure that folks comming late or trying to witness it for curiousity sake should be counted.

If I were a proffessor I am not sure I would let those comming late or leaving early sign in on for attendance purposes. That is a question of discretion.

I actually think you could break down crowd counting into several categories, in a way analogous to the breakdown of unemployment.

Given these sorts of problems I think you would want to hire DGI and GEOY and have some portion of compensation tied to whoever can get a picture showing the greatest crowd density. This may then lead DGI and GEOY to do some of the work for you. They will be trying to predict when the crowd will be at its greatest and to do this they will use patented information.

You get enough pictures at high enough resolution in enough points in time you can start to make good guesses.

While satellite images are objective the fullness of the number of folks counted in a matter of discretion and subjective judgement. If you "Objectified" those subjective judgements then you would have different measures. In the case of the Obama Inauguration the left-leaning analysts would play up the broadest measures of crowd counting and get to 3 million. The narrowest measure would be the snapshot by GEOY showing 700-900k given computer based density calculations. If you really wanted to be obnoxious you could take a picture in the crowd showing room for baby strollers excetera thus signalling lower density, and in bad faith assume that density was lower, say 500k.

We more or less know that the top end estimates of the Obama inauguration using the sort of broad standards that Thomas would want used for Beck came in at around 3m, Beck probably comes in at around 1m using that measure. Consensus for Obama comes in at 1.8m and consensus for Beck comes in at 600k.

The 600k comes from counting folks on Lincoln Memorial and Washington monument showing total snapshot numbers at low range 220k, high range 300k and giving Beck the Obama multiple of 2x.

So low range consensus for Beck would be 440k, low range consensus for Obama would be 1.4m with high range on both at 600k and 1.8m respectively.

Raw data snapshot would be 220-300k on Beck and 700-900k on Obama.

Of course as Ken Thomas points out he couldn't hear much at the Lincoln Memorial, and while I am sure the whitehouse had better preparations for the Obama inauguration some portion of the Obama crowd likely could not see or hear, but where likely there en masse.

So the news agencies in the photograph studies mainly focused on the reflecting pools or counting crowd size in an area that could fully benefit from hearing Beck.

This area would not include the Lincoln Memorial or Washington monument, it would actually only include a small portion of land given the reflecting pool is in the way. The maximum capacity of the area in question is 215k, the comfortable capacity of the area is probably 80k(sociologist say that Americans value personal space and begin feeling infringement on personal space at 1 person per 2.5 square meters, thus the 80k) as you crowd up over 80k some folks who just want more space tend to leave or spread out and depending upon interest levels, heat, body odors, the tipping point on comfort varies but can be estimated at above 80k which was the CBS news estimate on a snapshot yielding 87k+-9k and ABC which said over 100k.

I don’t think CBS news is out of line here. But note that if we are just doing a snapshot of this area a “million man” march would be impossible. Well nothing is impossible, but it would be a Japanese game show or a Guiness book of world records type feat to get over 215k and these people would have to be greatly compensated for such density. I suppose that is where the politics of large numbers matters… folks came together and braved the discomfort of elbow to elbow quarters to hear or be counted for X. The Obama inauguration didn’t get the full 215k in this area. What you really had were tons of people coming and going and spreading out because of heat, B.O. cramped quarters, inability to hear or other reasons. Call it the urban sprawl of crowd counting.

One way perhaps to measure a crowd like this is to see what it does for business and hotel vacancies, the change in volume of airline traffic, the congestion of roads, parking garages, and a host of additional second and third derivative plays on the Glenn Beck crowd.

All of which is big business, the derivative play on these sorts of questions and data is certainly companies like DGI and GEOY, both companies are used by Google which via google earth is the source for pajamas media.

The too clever social scientists who can do this crowd and traffic counting espionage, work for Google Analytics, DGI or GEOY and exactly how they would go about doing this sort of work is both heavily patented and a trade secret.

Also, just to see how far we can push the really clever social scientist meme, would it not be possible to consider Glenn Beck as a man of the "left".

That is Toqueville once proclaimed that Washinton D.C. would never be a great city situated as it is in the middle of a swamp.

"The Americans have traced out the circuit of an immense city on the site which they intend to make their capital, but which up to the present time is hardly more densely peopled than Pontoise, though, according to them, it will one day contain a million inhabitants. They have already rooted up trees for ten miles around lest they should interfere with the future citizens of this imaginary metropolis. They have erected a magnificent palace for Congress in the center of the city and have given it the pompous name of the Capitol."

I mean forget about the debate on million man crowd sizes in Washington, here is Toqueville mocking americans who think that the city itself will ever hold that many!

Back to how Beck is really a leftist. Technically his speech was about restoring honor, presumably some argue that it gets away from the tea party notion of fighting the encroachment of big government.

But if you really want to become an "overly clever" social scientists you follow the spirit of Tocqueville in contemplating monuments.

The derivative effects of the Glenn Beck rally are quite simply to briefly boost or provide a stimulus to aggregate demand in the Washington D.C. area. There is no action which can take place in Washington D.C. that really works to bring about a smaller federal government. It is impossible to donate money to the heritage foundation without proping up government. Obviously legally not everything and everyone in D.C. is a state actor, what then is the truth of the metonymy?

Supposing Don is from Arizona, had he the money he paid to "Washington" he might have spent or invested it in a way that would rebound to the advantage of folks in Arizona.

When we say that Washington is inneficient don't we partially mean that a portion of our taxes go to feed the regulatory agencies? We speak of all that is lost in friction, and while "gridlock" is good...how incredibly annoying that we must pay for the bennefit of nothing happening! That Washington crowds out and shrinks the tax base of the states while pushing upon them various underfunded mandates?

Isn't it conservative then to look upon the "growth" of Washington, metonymically even as a cancer and all which aids it as a carcinogen?

Thus the debate concerning Glenn Beck in terms of how many people he drew to Washington DC. Glenn Beck did boost aggregate demand in D.C. The worse things are or are perceived to be, the more a need for "change" is felt the greater the demand for Carcinogens which help fuel the growth of business and government as business in Washington.

That is in a new-economist way if I could think about raising such a banner on behalf of both labor and capital, I would consider Detroit to metonymically be the city of labor, and I would set out to describe all the factors and villians which led to its demise. Why by various twists and turns did Ford start out paying his workers a "living wage" tied to inflation and productivity gains, and how did washington begin to do the same with federal employees without a comparably real measure of productivity?

Now Washington is bailing Detroit out, but as much as folks may demonize "labor" it seems to me that Washington grew at its expense. In otherwords it seems clear as day to me that the Unions deserved the pay they received, but nevertheless had to sometimes make concessions when due to taxes on raw products detroit couldn't be as profitable.

Metonymically Detroit works, Washington eats. While I am not from California I can immagine a future where conservative rallies are held in a prosperous Sacremento, to protest the bailouts of long time stalwarts Google and Apple along with an infrastructure bill to support the lower middle class San Jose residents.

Perhaps a future Don in NM would enlighten us as to how San Jose became corrupt.

This isn't all that fair, there is an accepted meaning to right and left and Craig is disappointed in my glib suggestion that Beck is somehow on the left.

But I can immagine a pro-limited government right wing that took the idea seriously enough to effect a complete ban on activities that would have derivative consequences whose benefits accrue primarily to Washington.

All this really requires is that you consider the direct and immediate impact as more lasting and significant than the ideological message or noise.

Building a mosque near ground zero is thus good for New York. It becomes even better if you are anti-Hamas and believe that some of the funds that would have gone to Hamas would go to building up the mosque. In addition the mosque paid the highest bid for the land, thus freeing up capital for another competing secular purposes. New construction is New Demand in New York.

This is why if you are really pro-Hamas you should be against the Mosque in New York, and if you are really anti-government you should be against the Glenn Beck rally in Washington D.C.

If you are pro-Hamas you know that money that goes to the Mosque in New York doesn't end up in Gaza.

If you are pro limited government you know that the money that goes to stimulating the Washington DC economy simply feeds the cancer.

I know Beck raised a lot of money for the wounded warriors project, but had folks really wanted to they could have cut out the "middle man" saved massive transporation and hotel costs and sent in a much greater amount. 5.5 million is probably less than 1% of the amount spent by 600k people.

Rhetorically we know that supporting a Mosque near ground zero, and disaproving of a rally that raised $5.5 million for the wounded warriors project is political suicide.

Suicide on the conservative world view anyways.

But the conservative view should be to encourage the Saudi's to build expensive mosques in the United States as a way to bolster the economy, this is especially the case if you think it would otherwise be allocated to Hamas and Hezbollah(of course it is always frightening to figure out what might persuade them that this was a more efficient expenditure.)

Basically otherwise you support not spending money in New York and spending it instead on Hamas in Gaza.

It is the liberals like Helen Thomas who should oppose the Mosque, because liberals in New York aren't going to convert to Islam so it is a waste and the money could better be used for humanitarian purposes in Gaza, since Hamas while terrorist does spend 90% of its budget on education(religious) and healthcare services.

If you are conservative without vested economic interests in Washington you don't like the Glenn Beck rally because it misalocates the money of the type of people who would spend it better in their respective local communities rather than in boosting demand in Washington D.C.

I have said a bunch of things that I would need to futher clarify, but I am more persuaded than ever of a gap between rhetoric and derivative impact.

What? I'm confused.

"When I have stopped to wonder about you, I have wondered if you live alone and are lonely. Who would put up with you in real life? When an argument goes against you, or you have no real argument that holds together coherently here on the blog, you go on the attack and the argument can become personal. That is typical on blogs. Sometimes it is typical in marriage or family, and that is sad."

And that, Kate, was obviously personal. I don't recall having ever mentioned or speculated about your marriage (or lack thereof, since I don't really know or care what your marital status is).

You're turning reality upside-down, it seems.

Perhaps we all might profitably abandon this discussion.

Translation: Let's spare Kate the embarrassment of going through the comments and seeing who has actually been pushing things in a personal direction here.


And when one's primary contribution to a discussion is doing some silly word count, well, I can understand wanting to abandon it.

Kate can take care of herself, and it is not worth it to me to wade through your verbiage to adjudicate between your competing claims.

My point is that the discussion, which started with something fairly inconsequential (a diary entry about the most recent rally organized by Glenn Beck) has grown rather distended. It has now degenerated into a discussion of who did or did not extend personal insults to one or another participants. I think that be an indication that the discussion has run its course and is best abandoned.

I agree. I've confessed where I went wrong and I've apologized.

Craig, if you didn't pick up the apology as including you, let me correct that here -- I apologize to you for my behavior and my words. They were without grace and without humility.

Don, I appreciate your unambiguous apology (thank you) and gladly accept it.


Art - the best way to abandon a comment thread discussion is to....stop typing.

G'night Gracie.

Your pro-Arab.

People deserve good life time and mortgage loans or just college loan can make it better. Because people's freedom bases on money.

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