This clip is making the rounds now:
As I noted on Facebook when someone shared this: “I get it, believe me, but it’s kind of ironic that when people on Fox get their dander up, their zinger amounts to: ‘It’s like Obama’s thugs think Mexicans are more important than cattle!!’”
In case that’s too opaque for some of you, let me spell it out: It’s ironic to simultaneously get mad at the feds for “not enforcing the border” and also be outraged at this “tyrannical harassment of a rancher.” The standard crew at Fox isn’t opposed to feds with guns ripping apart families and ruining people’s businesses in general. (By the same token, as the people at ThinkProgress have so aptly demonstrated, the left-liberals don’t care about the little guy and fighting the power either, as general principles.)
In contrast to my wisecracking (one of my posts involved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–you had to be there), a Facebook Friend decided to vent her frustration in satirical song:
==> William Grigg has a long post tracing the history of the federal government and recalcitrant occupants. He likens the current standoff to Wounded Knee. (HT2 Frank C.)
==> Ben Swann is reporting that there may be a deal between the BLM and Bundy.
A correspondent lets me know that he spent 90 minutes yesterday making phone calls, expressing his support for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and encouraging the BLM to stand down. For those interested, the BLM’s number is (775) 861-6400, the Nevada governor’s office is (775) 684-5670, the Sheriff’s Office is (702) 671-5822, and the office of Senator Dean Heller is (775) 686-7720. (Note that the governor and Sen. Heller have both publicly condemned the BLM’s tactics.)
(Note: If anybody has trouble with these numbers let me know.)
On Facebook on April 1, I said something like, “Christmas is the one day of the year when we use our hearts. April Fool’s is the one day we use our reason.” I don’t think people got it; a lot thought I meant, “Sit around and brainstorm on a really good prank.” No, what I meant was, if you see a report of something on any day of the year, exercise some skepticism before filing it away as a “fact.”
Anyway, I’m trying to follow my own advice with the Nevada Bundy Ranch standoff. For example, a lot of people in my social networking circles are relaying matter-of-factly that the BLM has shut off local cell tower service and that a commissioner said people coming in to help should make “funeral plans.”
Well, on the cell phone claim, this story has an UPDATE that says:
[Update #3] We are hearing that cell service is not down and a member of the Bundy family has been contacted to verify that cell service is up and working. No explanation given as to why it was not working for some and seems to work fine for others, other than possibly hot spot issues. Will update if further information becomes available.
And as far as the commissioner saying incoming supporters need to prepare for a funeral, the source of that is a Facebook post by Utah commissioner Darin Bushman who wrote:
I was just told by commissioner Collins of Clark County NV that all of us folks from Utah are a bunch of “inbred bastards” and if we are coming to Clark [County] NV to support Cliven Bundy we all “better have funeral plans”. We should “turn our asses around on mind our own f-ing business”. Now there’s some classy leadership for you.
Now maybe the guy really did say that; here’s media coverage of the incident, and the writer doesn’t quote Collins as denying that he uttered those words in his private conversation.
Anyway, I just wish everybody would exercise a tad of due diligence before hitting Share or especially making a “meme” poster with “facts” that might not even be true. It takes literally a minute to Google something and see how plausible it is, or what the broader context is.
Over the past few days, whenever I jump in the car I check NPR to see if they even give a passing reference to the fact that there could very well be shooting in Nevada at any moment. Nope. And it’s not like the rancher standoff is being displaced by coverage of Ukraine; there are all sorts of “human interest” stories about a novelist realizing her potential as a woman in India etc.
In that context, I was intrigued to see that ThinkProgress has weighed in on the matter. As you can imagine, my Facebook Friends are somewhat skeptical of the federal government’s position on this issue. So it was interesting (from a sociological perspective) to see the 180-degree-opposite perspective from Ian Millhiser, in a post they titled, “Armed Right-Wing Militia Members Descend On Nevada To Help Rancher Defy Court Order.” My favorite part is the caption under the opening photo: “A protester kicks a police dog during an altercation between law enforcement and supporters of a Nevada rancher.”
If shooting does start, my Facebook Friends will obviously call it murder by the BLM. ThinkProgress will exclaim with horror that Tea Party racists have used their chests to ruin perfectly good bullets.
==> If you’re in the Jersey area, Murray Sabrin is hosting a symposium on the income tax on April 17. Details here.
==> Gene Callahan on the meaning of faith.
==> Rob Bradley (founder of the Institute of Energy Research) has another article at EconLib on Enron.
==> Wendy McElroy thinks it trivializes the term to say the US has a “rape culture.”
==> The CIA openly admits it is funding research into geo-engineering. Some of you need to email them and say, “No you’re not. That’s an absurd conspiracy theory.”
==> Here’s a sentence I never expected to type: Adam Kokesh and Josie the Outlaw talk about the benefits of a compassionate approach to bringing the liberty message to police officers.
==> I’m gonna throw you guys a curveball: I really liked two recent posts by Daniel Kuehn. In this one he argues that Bryan Caplan is walking down a dangerous path when he (Bryan) laments that the government didn’t follow Simon Kuznets’ recommendation to take military expenditures out of GNP calculations. In this one, Daniel points out that a female pay gap isn’t a myth; rather, one might deconstruct the reasons for it. If that seems like a goofy distinction to you, look at his reductio ad absurdum: “The black unemployment rate is a myth because if you control for unequal education, terrible treatment by the justice system, and differences in a family structure a whole lot of it seems to go away! Also must not be caused by discrimination.”
UPDATE: Daniel Kuehn has a new post discussing Steve Horwitz’s piece on the male/female pay gap. (Also Daniel says he can’t leave comments here for some reason; he’s not “staying above the fray,” even though that might be wise.)