Thursday, May 7, 2009

More on the Sussex County Community Organized Regiment (SCCOR)...

...and it will hurt, because it pretty much bashes the stereotypical and unfounded beliefs of those who have been trying to make it into a rightwing extremist organization (hello jason, nemski, anonone, and so forth) that should be under surveillance by the Feds....

Nancy Willing posts a piece by Judson Bennett, who actually attended the SCCOR meeting at which John Atkins and Colin Bonini spoke. You should read it all, but at the very least I commend to you the following snippets:

I was there for the sole reason of learning first hand exactly what this group is about, its goals, and method of operation. Ron Macarthur, a reporter from the Cape Gazette was there, as well, and I'm sure he will be presenting his perspective for the local newspaper.

The way I see it, contrary to rumors and innuendo, this growing group is neither a regiment, a quasi military group, or a radical organization of any kind. It is merely a group of ordinary, like -minded, hard working Sussex County citizens from a variety of back grounds who are seriously concerned about their financial futures and how this aspect of their lives is affected by both local and national politics. SCCOR (as it is called) is basically a conservative, political organization (not necessarily all Republicans ) for all intents and purposes whose members believe fervently in the constitution, are deeply concerned about the way things are going under the Obama administration, and indeed want to bring about political change. The organization and its members definitely intend and hope to be a viable political force in Delaware that will affect the outcome of future elections. They have already formed a PAC Fund called SCCOR-PAC which has begun to raise money and will contribute to political campaigns in the next election cycle.


Ah, but they've called themselves "a regiment," they've used American flags and crossed rifles as part of their iconography, they quoted Michael Savage ... and we all know how to read between the lines.

Face it, folks: there are still a few shreds of the US Constitution left, and there are those of us (like me, not even subscribing to their political beliefs or goals) who are going to keep calling bullshit every single time you employ your Absolutist rhetoric in an attempt to demonize other American citizens who have committed no crimes, and threaten--even by implication--their rights to free speech and free association.

Be as derisive as you like about their agenda, but stop pretending that you have even the slightest evidence that these people are anything except what they have presented themselves as.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, I suggest you, and Judson, tune in to the Bill Colley show on WGMD, 3-7pm, and listen to the daily rhetoric of Bill and his callers. And make note of the daily program fair that this station offers: Limbaugh, Savage, Ingraham. Then you might come to a different conclusion, a conclusion that suggests to me the forerunner to the formation of a genuine militia.

One does not need to have an "absolutist" attitude to be concerned about this group.

Having not attended any of their meetings, I acknowledge my information is incomplete, so I will withhold a final judgment until I know more. On WGMD, I already know enough!

Perry said...

Well known local blogger Nancy Cleveland had this post up, which I think might give you some flavor for the SCCOR organization:

"# Nancy Cleveland Says:
April 27th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

There you go again, generalizing about “you people”, Bill! Trust me, there are many out here in the real world…so-called liberal, libertarian, conservative, republican and dems who “get” Joe’s point. The only time I care to listen to your tirades these days is in the car and I’ve heard you, when on a rant, say how all your phone lines are lit. That may well be…(what do you have…twenty, ten, five?) but the voices then heard, on a daily basis, are the same voices, the same people, same group of malcontents. You may have raised voice to the Bush bailouts but that was about all…for everything else your political preferences and cronies believed in, when anyone else ranted in opposition you were among the first to call treason, name-call and tell people to leave because they were un-American yet few seemed to seek an insurrction. Well…I stopped customarily listening to you when you began urging people to stock their pantries, fill their water jugs, “enough dry goods to last you for about a month, at least” like you were actually planning a revolution; when you were calling…begging for a militia in Delaware and hoo-rahing your followers who couldn’t call in quickly enough to tell you they couldn’t wait for you to start “their” own militia, they went nowhere without their guns, “I have two in my pick-up and the wife has hers in the car”. You lauded and applauded them until you were finally able to promote your sccor. No, it may not be yours, exactly, but I wouldn’t doubt for a minute you are an integral part of that little organization. When anyone HAS called to call you on it and your proposals, you’ve shut them off and advised anyone else with a similar attitude not to bother for you’d do the same to them….still name calling. You can deny it…you usually do when it’s something negative pertaining to you/your ’show’ and your sheep but besides hearing it from you I’ve heard what you’ve said repeated by others. At one point you mocked some caller, infering how could this group be bordering on ‘anarchy’ when they are discussing victory gardens, planting fruits and veg etc. Sure…that’s the benign aspect. But what about the call for people who know anything about firearms, ammuition, the making of ammunition and casings etc. to contact this harmless group? I agree…the idea may be “harmless”, the concept of being prepared ‘harmless’ but these rants smell of not just looking for trouble but hold a great possiblity of inciting it. You DO seem bent on instilling fear but I have to say possible fear of my government has become much less, recently, than possible fear of the neighbours who would follow a Pied Piper. You gave JoeMomma an answer of sorts but couldn’t help notice that you danced a pretty little sidestep to what seemed to be his primary points. Perhaps, contrary to your declarations, the majority of us really do have much joy in our lives, more faith in humanity than those of you always seeing a bogey-man and ducking for cover with your beans, cans and guns. Generally unhappy and discontented people never have been able to stand the idea that others have no problem at all finding happiness or contentment in an everyday life so make it a goal to throw a damp squib on them.
"
http://www.wgmd.com/blog/2009/04/26/the-pandemic-memo/#comments

Perry

Perry said...

I failed to sign my name to the first post.

Perry

Steve Newton said...

Perry, I appreciate that you always sign your name, but.... wouldn't it be easier just to break down and get a free blogger account under your name?

Just sayin' :)

I'll answer the substantive issue later today (I'm cheating at a meeting right now)

Anonymous said...

You're wrong on this one, Steve. While on the surface much of the membership appear benign, there is a large undercurrent of fringe members that grows each day.

I was teasing one member the other day after his tirade against the communist Obama. When I asked this fellow where he was headed....to the community victory garden.

meatball

G Rex said...

So I guess my membership in the Kiss Army got me on the watch list? Can't I write it off as a youthful indiscretion?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

So you declare that some of Delaware Liberal writers are "knowingly lying" when some offer an *opinion* about the message we believe a far-right website is expressing by "reading between the lines."

But is perfectly acceptable for you to infer "by implication" that Delaware Liberals bloggers "threaten...[the SCCOR's] rights to free speech and free association."

So while you condemn inferring by "reading between the lines," you're perfectly okay to declare that some Delaware Liberal writers threaten free speech and free association by what you interpret to be "implication."

So, what we are both describing are conclusions "that can be drawn from something, although it is not explicitly stated" (the definition of implication).

I suggest that you not be so quick to condemn others' opinions simply because they are drawn by implication when you have shown that you are quite willing to express opinions drawn in the very same way.

And apparently, more commenters here seem to agree with the "Delaware Liberal" interpretation of the SCCOR site than with yours. And please don't bring out the argument that you have to read every word and discussion board on a website before you can have an opinion on it. Just no.

anonone

Steve Newton said...

A1
Your sophistry is at a particularly low level today; I suppose that happens to everybody occasionally.

jason repeatedly makes what he purports to be statements of fact regarding SCCOR, such as the fact that they are "secessionist" and plan to "revolt" against the government.

When challenged on repeated occasions he has never been able to substantiate these charges with anything resembling evidence. He doesn't say that's his interpretation; he asserts these things as fact. That's my definition of knowingly lying.

Jason has also called this group "an ATF shootout waiting to happen," has advocated their surveillance, and that they should be disarmed and put in jail. Hyperbole or not, this is an attempt to influence other people to reduce the acceptable limits of protected political speech and freedom of association.

As for whether other people agree with my take, I am surprised that you would raise that as a standard for decision-making. You have often maintained your own positions despite a majority of other commenters attacking them.

It's not my problem that you refuse to go read the material--it's yours. I've done homework, I've looked at competing opinions, and I have discussed this group with half a dozen people who have direct knowledge. In other words: due diligence.

SCCOR is undeniably fringe. So what? Unless I missed it, the Constitution has never been amended to restrict 1st Amendment rights from fringe groups unless they actually break the law, or explicitly conspire to break the law, or engage in the kind of speech that stands outside the protections of the Bill of Rights.

Other people appear to have forgotten that.

Save your indignation.

Anonymous said...

Sophistry? How dismissive.

Jason expresses his *opinions* of SCCOR strongly; and others have similar views, though not expressed quite as strongly. Therefore, by Steve Newton's implication, we are all a threat to free speech and free association.

One might even say that "hyperbole or not, this is an attempt [by you] to influence other people to reduce the acceptable limits of protected political speech and freedom of association."

In other words, expressing an opinion that a particular website is advocating violence "by implication" is a threat to free speech and association but accusing another website of actually being a threat to free speech and free association "by implication" is perfectly acceptable. I guess that's why Jason called it "Newton's Law."

Notice that I did not say that you were wrong in interpreting the SCCOR website as you have. I simply pointed out that most of the commenters on your site are closer to Jason's interpretation of it than yours. It doesn't make either "right." Readers can judge for themselves.

I am glad that you took the time to read everything on that site to arrive at the conclusion you did. Frankly, I don't need to spend time reading mediocre websites that celebrate mixing guns, flags and hatred of liberals like me. I get their message.

We are going to disagree here; that's fine. But here is a serious question for you:

Do you feel that it is acceptable to use hyperbole and other rhetorical techniques to reduce the socially acceptable limits of protected political speech and freedom of association?

I am not asking about reducing legal rights; we both would agree that is unacceptable. I am speaking of "socially acceptable limits" - for example, using derogatory racist or ethnic terms is certainly legal but is not socially acceptable. Marches by the KKK are legal but not socially acceptable in most places. Are the social forces that make those types of speech and actions unacceptable wrong?

anonone

Steve Newton said...

Of course I am dismissive: you repeatedly fail to come to grips the with the reality that jason does not interpret, he asserts things as facts that he cannot prove. And he advocates government intervention based on his "facts". So when you actually deal with that instead of lecturing me on the straw man arguments that you keep insisting we talk about instead, I'll stop dismissing you.

As for your "serious" question:

Do you feel that it is acceptable to use hyperbole and other rhetorical techniques to reduce the socially acceptable limits of protected political speech and freedom of association?Hyperbole and other rhetorical techniques are protected political speech; they are acceptable under the Bill of Rights whether I like them or not.

The problem with your question is that this is not what's happening here, and we both know it. Your socially acceptable is being used as a blind to slowly criminalize and demonize constitutionally protected speech and association by political minorities.

Who gets to decide what is socially acceptable, A1? The majority? If so, the Nazis committed no crime in depriving the Jews of their rights and their lives, because what they did was socially acceptable to the majority of the people in Germany between 1933-1945.

People who want to use (or advocate the use of), or even threaten the use of, the coercive violent power of the State to curb those who might commit violence on their own, and whose views are in the political minority have no claim to moral superiority.

They are the equivalent of the supposed pacifist who calls the police to shoot the intruder in his home because he doesn't think it is moral to do so himself.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Most of the examples that you cite are Jason asserting his *opinion*, e.g. "an ATF shootout waiting to happen." Maybe you read that as an assertion of fact, but I don't. He is perfectly welcome to express his other *opinions* such as advocating "their surveillance, and that they should be disarmed and put in jail." Those are opinions. Neither you nor I need to agree with him.

The rest of your response seems to fade into wandering; maybe it was late.

You wrote, "your socially acceptable is being used as a blind to slowly criminalize and demonize constitutionally protected speech and association by political minorities."

That is clearly a distortion. I specifically said that it should not be made illegal. I am pointing out that social pressure can and is used to make certain speech unacceptable in political discussion (like racial epithets).

You then write, "Who gets to decide what is socially acceptable, A1? The majority? If so, the Nazis committed no crime in depriving the Jews of their rights and their lives, because what they did was socially acceptable to the majority of the people in Germany between 1933-1945."

Well, I could invoke Godwin's law, but I won't. Suffice to say that equating the question of whether of not social pressure should be used to suppress speech to the Nazis killing Jews is ludicrous. Speaking of sophistry...

You then write, "People who want to use (or advocate the use of), or even threaten the use of, the coercive violent power of the State to curb those who might commit violence on their own, and whose views are in the political minority have no claim to moral superiority."

Fine, I agree with most of that. I'd also add that people who call others, en masse, threats to free speech and free association for expressing strong "fringe" opinions also have no claim to moral superiority.

anonone

Shirley Vandever said...

I find it interesting that people seem to want to meet with SCCOR to "see that they are about".... Jud Bennett, Atkins, and others.

I do not see the same interest in, oh let's say, an ACORN meeting. I wonder how one would be welcomed with the same inquisitiveness. Honesty? Perhaps an agenda? Or perhaps, under questioning, an outright dismissal.

Curious.