Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A whole bunch of local issues all thrown together...

... because somehow they all seem to fit--at least in my addled mind.

First: Brian Shields has become the Sussex County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Delaware. I am inordinately pleased, because both knowing Brian and reading The Mourning Constitution convinces me that Brian understands marketing, understands the need for a wonkish grasp of local political issues, and has the detail-oriented staying power to build an organization slowly and thoroughly. Bad news: he's eventually going to have to buy a suit now.

Mike Matthews is considering getting out of the blogging game, because he perceives that Down With Absolutes might well have cost him a desireable job. Mike: you can't run away from the work you've done because it might offend potential employers. And you don't want to. What you really want to do is expend the energy and time to start a second, completely different type of blog (possibly even political but not necessarily) that highlights a different kind of Mike Matthews approach. Because what they need to know is that you're more than this century's answer to Hunter Thompson with a cable modem. You've said over and over again that we all take this form too seriously; well, a potential employer wants to know what happens when you do take it really seriously.

In reading the comments about Mike's potential departure at Delawareliberal, I couldn't miss jason's derisive comment about John Atkins and Colin Bonini choosing to address the Sussex County Community Organized Regiment, which may or may not be a brilliant political move, but it was this part that grabbed my attention:

As you may recall SCCOR is the secessionist SC group that wants to revolt against the Obama police state.

Now here's the problem: there is nothing even vaguely secessionist, or violent, or extremist in the material on the SCCOR website--and jason knows it. Are they so socially conservative that they'd think I'm one of the bad guys because I support gay marriage? Absolutely. Do I want to go trolling there for converts to the Libertarian cause? Not really. But these folks are American citizens--cranky, unlovely, and working hard within the system to elect the candidates they want to elect. Jason has every right to oppose their agenda and even to make fun of them. But when he knowingly lies about them in terms of lumping them into the same category as violent rightwing extremists, he does his own cause no good. Not good blogging.

This opinion, obviously, will upset the usual suspects.


Anonymous said...

Well, let's see here...

S.C.C.O.R stands for
Sussex County Community Organized Regiment.


A regiment is "a permanent unit of an army typically commanded by a colonel and divided into several companies, squadrons, or batteries and often into two battalions" or "an operational unit of artillery."

Now how could anybody possibly think they are secessionists? Maybe because they aligned themselves with websites such as "www.restoretherepublic.com" and have quotes from the wingnut extremist Michael Savage?

Yeah, Steve, we can read between the lines. And we know about "plausible deniability."

But anyone who can call Mike Matthews "this century's answer to Hunter Thompson with a cable modem" clearly doesn't have his literary judgment running on all cylinders tonight. We need to keep that in mind when you say Jason "knowingly lies."

Really, you need to get out more.


Anonymous said...

Now here's the problem: there is nothing even vaguely secessionist, or violent, or extremist in the material on the SCCOR website--Please grow up.

1) The "R" stands for regiment.

2) Crossed guns in the logo.

3) Michael Savage quote.

These guys are ATF shoot outs waiting to happen.


Brian Shields said...

I'll stretch out the khaki/polo wardrobe as much as possible. Some may say I already have and it's time to go up a size.

When I do go buy a suit, you can guarantee I will look more uncomfortable in it than Sam Wilson at the Sussex County Council.

Thank you for the kind words. I will do my best.

Steven H. Newton said...

Oh yeah, guys

1) "reading between the lines" means you get to indict people not for what they say but for what you imagine they might be saying by what they don't actually say

2) your use of the word "regiment" to declare them violent makes about as much sense as nemski condemningt resistnet for Keep Your Powder Dr

3) They quote Michael Savage?

That's it?

You not only have nothing, you have become parodies of yourselves.

a most peculiar nature said...

If I lived in Sussex County, I'd definitely be a part of SCCOR. Their community garden project is right up my subversive alley.

Anonymous said...


Nobody used the word "violent" until you did.

It is pretty clear as to what this group is about. To imply that their is "nothing even vaguely extremist" on their website is dishonest. To write as you do that they are "working hard within the system to elect the candidates they want to elect" when there is not a single word about any such thing on their home page is much more "reading between the lines" than anything Jason or I wrote.

So maybe you're trying to get some traffic to your blog. I understand that. But there are better ways to do it than writing that Jason is lying. His interpretation of the site is much closer to the truth than yours is.


Hube said...

So maybe you're trying to get some traffic to your blog. I understand that. But there are better ways to do it than writing that Jason is lying.That must be how DL gets the majority of its visits, then.

Anonymous said...

I recommend, Steve, that you listen to WGMD, especially Bill Colley on from 3 to 7. Since you are out of range, you can get them on streaming audio at wgmd.com. You may conclude that they (WGMD and SCCOR) are about as radical right as you will find anywhere, and that Jason's speculation is probably accurate.

a most peculiar nature said...

speculation is probably accurate."Speculation" and "probably" are probably more dangerous than anything else. People obviously haven't been to the site.

Steven H. Newton said...

Perry writes
To write as you do that they are "working hard within the system to elect the candidates they want to elect" when there is not a single word about any such thing on their home page is much more "reading between the lines" than anything Jason or I wrote.Unfortunately, Perry, you didn't both to examine the discussion boards, which I did--reading every single comment that has been posted there. You'd have to register to do it, but obviously jason did that or he would not be receiving their updates. Read the legislative agenda sections and--guess what?--you will find exactly what I said is there.

Nobody use the word "violent" until I did? Horseshit. Jason has repeatedly said that they should be monitored by DHS as ATF as a potentially violent rightwing extremist organization.

Fact: jason has continually and knowingly misrepresented the content on their website to make them appear like a violent group, accusing them of planning a "revolt," accusing them of being "secessionist" [which is neither mentioned or advocated there].

As for Bill Collie's radio show: it's a different animal, but still, no matter how noxious you or I may find it, protected political speech.

You'll notice how this debate has drifted:

Jason makes unfounded charges not based on anything written at the site.

I call him on it, multiple times.

You all defend him, not based on anything substantive at the site, but on your prescient ability to "read between the lines." That's OK--you can be as derisive about their politics (which are, frankly, pretty damn wack-a-doodle), but when you get to the point of seriously advocating government surveillance or accusing them of plotting violence--ALL OF WHICH JASON HAS DONE--then you'd better step up to the plate with some actual evidence.

Or is Constitution shredding only a bad thing when other people do it.

You may have the last words, A1 and Perry, because to be honest you've pretty much revealed yourself as apologist hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

when I read the posts on Del Liberal,

I see people that are prejudiced and vindictive with those who have opposing viewpoints

In reference to Mike Matthews, and job hunting,

people will hold personal opinion and politics against them, in spite of their work ethic and abilities.

Does that define prejudice?

Del lib is just a clique, and easily ignored by a mouse click.

Anonymous said...

I meant Del 'Liberal'

Anonymous said...


Perry didn't comment on this thread. For the record, you quoted my writing as Perry's.

I was referring to the use of the word "violent" in this particular thread; not in other discussions or threads.

I did not sign on to their website, nor would I. My hats off to you for reading their discussion boards. I think that that would be just too painful for me.

However, the site can pretty much be accurately judged by its home page. I am not advocating for their surveillance; and Jason can speak for himself. But I think that Jason's interpretation of what that site is really about is more realistic than yours.

If there were pictures of ballot boxes and discussions of elections and candidates, then I might agree with you. But it is instead focused on guns and flags and writes that it is intent on working "to ensure the survival of these United States of America" as if America's survival is somehow threatened in a way that guns, not ballots, will protect it.


Steven H. Newton said...

You're right about Perry; somehow I got it conflated with a comment on another thread.

You are free to "interpret" iconography any way you want. But it sure would help your case to be able to cite something--anything--that they have said that supports your claim that they are anything besides extremely disaffected social conservatives. Anything.

Jason's conscious misrepresentation of the facts of their material, when juxtaposed with his call for them to be watched (and in one comment, jailed) is something that deserves to be called out.

Since you didn't read the comments in the discussions that leaves me in an interesting position: how do I have a conversation about the substance of a site that you condemn as too painful without being willing to read it? It's a win-win for you, because you can then assert absolutely anything you like without having to validate it, such as your opinion that jason knows better than I do what's in a site you haven't completely examined.

I really expected better. I didn't expect you to agree with me, but I expected at least the intellectual consistency to admit that there's no credible evidence beyond "reading between the lines" to justify your stance.