Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html en-gb 30 Mon 22 Sep 2014 05:10:52 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=99#comment155 155 lucy"Tea Party is actually helping America and stands for Americans, as Tea Party is all American..."....unless those americans happen to need healthcare, be gay, not be christian, support a woman's right to chose or actually think taxes when used well can be the most economically effective way of providing services to citizens.But then again people like that are "un-American" ,right?ps I understand the TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already .... but d oyuo realise the Boston Tea Party was not about taxation, but about representation..... oh silly me. None of that matters compared to the rhetoric and spin now does it. Tue 02 Nov 2010 20:13:27 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=98#comment154 RomeStu wrote: And it's not "no matter what the Tea Party does..." but what it actually is doing and stands for that gives me reason to dislike it.----------------------------------------------------------------------Tea Party is actually helping America and stands for Americans, as Tea Party is all American...Sounds like Tea Party merely isn't your 'cup of tea.' Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:54:42 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=98#comment153 153 lucy - I didn't mention the GOP. I have a lot of time for fiscal conservatives, but they seem to have died out since the early 1980s.And it's not "no matter what the Tea Party does..." but what it actually is doing and stands for that gives me reason to dislike it. Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:33:18 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=97#comment152 Rome Stu wrote: I would have less problem with the Tea-party / religious right if they actually gave a $%&# about anyone except themselves and displayed a little more of the goodwill and peace espoused in the book they tout so loudly to be the truth.------------------------------------------------------------------------Just admit it, RomeStu. No matter what the Tea Party or GOP does, you don't like it, do you? Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:23:50 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=96#comment151 145 Andrea"It isn't sensible debate. But who knows? If a Jesuit priest can formulate a theory of a "day without yesterday", you might find some rather interesting reasoning. It's not all as simplistic as you imagine."I have lots of time for philosophy, but very little for the sort of dogmatic trash spouted to justify actions and beliefs "because we believe it". Every religion justifies itself "just because", but that does not mean it should be taken seriously. Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:18:26 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=96#comment150 150 catsandbadgers"He [Obama]only *seems* left because so much of the country has moved to the right on social issues while absolving themselves of any social responsibility to their fellow citizens."____________________________This is one of the most aposite comments I have read in a while. Bravo.I would have less problem with the Tea-party / religious right if they actually gave a $%&# about anyone except themselves and displayed a little more of the goodwill and peace espoused in the book they tout so loudly to be the truth. Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:08:10 GMT+1 catsandbadgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=95#comment149 Well, it's nice to see that the TEA party supporters have come out with their affiliations to a religion to which many of us do not belong. I would have said Christian, but that insults many sects of Christianity which do not feel as they do. This pretty much underlies why there is such conflict. They worship a book and their personal interpretations of it, rather than the teachings of that book (especially missing out the NT, which *should* be the heart of Christian sentiments), the ignorance of the history of the religion they claim to observe, and the willingness to impose upon the rest of us a value system that the US Constitution explicitly states cannot be established by government. I am also outraged at many of the things going on in my country. I am offended that corporations are given rights that individuals aren't. I am appalled at the difference in pay business leaders compared to the workers. I am infuriated that all citizens do not have the same rights, and that skin color, sexual preference, and economic status can greatly skew the effectiveness of the justice system. I am horrified and angry that Fox news and MSNBC can both claim to be reporting in a balanced fashion when clearly they do not.And I am saddened by people who are so simplistic in their reasoning and understanding and unwillingness to look at actual facts. For example, Obama is not all that left-wing, by the standards of the last 75 or so years of US politics. In fact, on some issues, he is considerably to the right of not only past Democratic presidents, but even a couple of GOP ones, e.g., Eisenhower. He only *seems* left because so much of the country has moved to the right on social issues while absolving themselves of any social responsibility to their fellow citizens.Oh, and also, I'm really annoyed by the repetition of really bad explanations of what "feudalism" is. Ignorantforeigner, I really like your comments, but you're totally wrong about that. It's an explanation that has become commonplace, but anyone who studies the period (I'm a university professor and a medievalist) will tell you that that interpretation has been rejected. For some very basic updating, try reading Elizabeth AR Brown, "Tyranny of a Construct" in the American Historical Review in (I think? ) 1974. Or Susan Reynolds' response and elaboration in her, "Fiefs and Vassals." Tue 02 Nov 2010 16:18:49 GMT+1 Iapetus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=94#comment148 75. At 3:59pm on 31 Oct 2010, Oldloadr wrote:"You have no empirical proof of evolution or the age of the universe or the planet (the last 2 aren’t that important, anyway)."Yes, we do.And they are important - not least because a politician who denies either of them is clearly ignorant (and unwilling to learn), and/or ignoring facts that conflict with their beliefs or ideology, neither of which are good attitudes in anyone with public power. *Especially* if they are making decisions on education, environmental, or health policy. Tue 02 Nov 2010 12:15:58 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=94#comment147 143. At 6:05pm on 01 Nov 2010, AndreaNY wrote:***********"By the way, I could say the same of democrats. ..."[[Perhaps so, but it's a non-sequitur. We weren't talking about the Democracts, whatever their faults or strengths may be.You were criticizing my view of the Tea Partiers.I find a lot of it intellectually dishonest. They're long on platitudes, buzz words, sound bites, and code words, but, as far as I have seen up to now, almost bereft of substance.When you show me some actual substance there, I'm prepared to change my views. So far ? Not so much.Your liking for them baffles me.You have clearly gone to good schools.You have clearly achieved things in life on the basis of ability and merit.You have an ability to write with clarity that just isn't all that common.So how can you have the time of day for a group that worships at the feet of Sarah Palin???That just baffles me.There is no substance there at all. Nothing other than a Godzilla-eats-New-York sized ego with a gargantuan talent for self-promotion.(last night she graciously offered her services to the nation, if the nation should ask ...)Literate people cringe when she opens her mouth.No ability. No merit. No academic achievement. No Nothing.Zip.You embody everything that this vacuous woman is not. Everything she represents, everything she stands for, is the opposite of what your writing says you are.Yet you are sympathetic to the cause.That just baffles me.]][[watch them moderate this one.]] Tue 02 Nov 2010 03:46:46 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=93#comment146 BTW, religion is not about being sensible. Religion is about belief: you believe it or you don't... Mon 01 Nov 2010 22:20:43 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=92#comment145 strontium 35,Thanx for the verses.--------------------------------------------------------------------RomeStu wrote: Brilliant. And we wonder why it is impossible to engage in sensible debate with these people.--------------------------------------------------------------------The reason why its "impossible" is because sensible to us is unsensible to you and unsensibile to us is sensibile to you... Mon 01 Nov 2010 22:19:56 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=92#comment144 44. RomeStu:Well, I imagine if I asked that questions of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs etc etc etc I'd get the same answer .... "because we believe it to be true".This does not constitute sensible debate to me.***************It isn't sensible debate. But who knows? If a Jesuit priest can formulate a theory of a "day without yesterday", you might find some rather interesting reasoning. It's not all as simplistic as you imagine. Mon 01 Nov 2010 18:49:27 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=91#comment143 142 andrea"Actually, if you were really interested in sensible debate, you would have asked how it is that Christians can make the claim that their Bible is "the word". Instead, you say something negative about "these people", which does illustrate how hard it is to engage in sensible debate."Well, I imagine if I asked that questions of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs etc etc etc I'd get the same answer .... "because we believe it to be true".This does not constitute sensible debate to me.(And for the record my words "these people" includes dogmatic adherents of all religions.) Mon 01 Nov 2010 18:38:27 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=91#comment142 134. Interestedforeigner:"Show me where any one of them has laid out a credible plan to balance the books, and I'll change my views.Show me where any one of them has laid out a credible plan to reduce taxes that won't make either the budget deficit or the recession worse, and I'll change my views."***********By the way, I could say the same of democrats. I don't think anyone has the full answer. I do know the focus should be on jobs. We need to work backwards from there, if only temporarily. Then the focus should be on competing in 2020 not going back to the prior century. A lot has changed since then. Even Keynes might adjust his thinking were he here today. Maybe we'll get lucky and find another "modern" thinker with some answers more applicable to the world today. Mon 01 Nov 2010 18:05:29 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=90#comment141 136. RomeStu :97 Oldloadr wrote"4. The Bible is the whole truth that God wants us to know, whether we, or He, likes it or not. ..........5. The Koran, on the other hand, is a collection of plagiarisms written by a guy that was trying to get a system where patriotism and piety are synonymous."_________________________________So the whole argument comes down to the idea that your holy book is God's true word and their holy book is made up.Brilliant. And we wonder why it is impossible to engage in sensible debate with these people.complain about this comment***********Actually, if you were really interested in sensible debate, you would have asked how it is that Christians can make the claim that their Bible is "the word". Instead, you say something negative about "these people", which does illustrate how hard it is to engage in sensible debate. Mon 01 Nov 2010 17:41:31 GMT+1 mike http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=89#comment140 Mr. Powermeeerkat,What exactly are you talking about? Has the Obama Administration made any moves to confiscate guns? No! I am an American and a gun owner and I have no fear what so ever that it will be taken away from me.I pity all those fools that ran out and bought 5-years worth of ammo right after Obama was elected. I guess you idiots got punked by the NRA and gun manufacturers... Obama was partially correct: some Americans DO cling to their guns and Jesus like a security blanket because they're paranoid, scared little babies..And some of us gun-owning Christians understand that a gun is a tool, not a symbol of patriotism, and our faith allows us to interact with the whole wide world WITHOUT being afraid.Powermeerkat whined:127. At 10:49am on 01 Nov 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"After the night of the "Long Knives" in June 1934 which saw Rohm and the SA's power broken, the party moved to ban civilian ownership of guns. "Guess which political force and which American leaders are trying to emulate what Adolf H. and NSDAP did in that regard.[not that Stalin and USSR Communist Party didn't do exactly the same] Mon 01 Nov 2010 17:38:49 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=89#comment139 134. Interestedforeigner :"I'm not holding my breath."**********And I'm certainly not holding my breath until you acknowledge that "uncertainty" with respect to taxes and regulations plays a role in companies' investment decisions. I heard on Bloomberg Radio (financial news) the other day that there are something like 70+ committees working on 200+ regulations -- and that's just for financial reforms (or some portion of them). In other words, they're being drafted while we speak. Nothing is written. You don't have to be good at math to calculate the effect on business decisions of regulations that haven't yet been defined.Every single day I hear people talking about how businesses don't know what's coming down the pike. Every single day, it's the same story. And yet...Democrats' position on tax cuts seems to be stunted, ending at "No tax cuts for the rich". With that kind of mindset, it's no wonder they cannot understand how tax cuts might influence the behavior of people other than the middle class.Eventually, we'll see some movement on taxes and regulations to ease uncertainty. It just won't be done by democrats.Would you be willing to consider unpopular tax cuts if it meant job creation? Mon 01 Nov 2010 17:38:10 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=88#comment138 Ref# 131If you seriously believe the Tea Party candidates will be able to achieve all this, it's no wonder you believed Obama when he made all his promises. __________Sorry, I forgot. You guys don't do irony at anything more than a basic level.In case you need it explained, I was highlighting the extreme views of the candidates that this movement has put forward in the name of "small government". Mon 01 Nov 2010 17:22:55 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=87#comment137 135. At 2:21pm on 01 Nov 2010, strontiumdog007How ironic that you should post this.I just finished posting a comment on the other string about the origins of feudalism, and feudalistic societies, and here is a posting describing the duties of an owner of slaves to his serfs, and a classification of the status of serfs, and change of status of serfs on the basis of marriage.Which, of course, makes the ambiguity of "these people" in Stu's last sentence in 136 even funnier.Sometimes the absurdity of these things passes beyond surrealism. Mon 01 Nov 2010 15:34:29 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=87#comment136 132. At 1:33pm on 01 Nov 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:"Anarchists do not believe in the rule of law, whatever the size of the government, which of course they would desire to be no government at all. As you point out, that means the law of the jungle."So haven't you just said that anarchists DO believe in "the rule of law" albeit -jungle- law? Or do you insist that "rule of law" has to involve courts and barristers with robes and wigs?But I take your point and apologize for pushing the argument and being silly. "For the weak to survive, they have to seek the protection of the strong. ... This is the power structure of feudalism, and it is the natural outcome of anarchy." We're all pressed for time in the blogosphere of course, but still: there does seem to be a rash of astonishingly oversimplified historical analysis on this particular thread. How can anybody possibly thumbnail feudalism without at least a nod to the role of religion and Holy Mother Church (of whatever flavor)? You'd have to work much harder to convince me that feudalism is a "natural outcome of anarchy." It sounds to me awfully similar to the claim that anarchy is a natural outcome of capitalism. (Which may, of course, be absolutely -true-!)Just kidding.The conversation is interesting though. Mon 01 Nov 2010 15:20:01 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=86#comment135 97 Oldloadr wrote"4. The Bible is the whole truth that God wants us to know, whether we, or He, likes it or not. ..........5. The Koran, on the other hand, is a collection of plagiarisms written by a guy that was trying to get a system where patriotism and piety are synonymous."_________________________________So the whole argument comes down to the idea that your holy book is God's true word and their holy book is made up.Brilliant. And we wonder why it is impossible to engage in sensible debate with these people. Mon 01 Nov 2010 15:13:52 GMT+1 strontiumdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=85#comment134 LucyJas do don't know the bible that well heres some quotes that cover sex slaves, infidels, and homosexualityLev 20:13 "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death." Deuteronomy 17:2-5: "If there be found among you...[a] man or woman...[who] hath gone and served other gods and worshipped them...then shalt though bring forth that man or that woman...and shalt stone them with stones, till they die." Mark.7:9-13 "Whoever curses father or mother shall dieExodus 21:7-11 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. Mon 01 Nov 2010 14:21:02 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=85#comment133 109. At 8:15pm on 31 Oct 2010, AndreaNY wrote:"There's too much money to be made in the media. And you can thank yourself and others who react to them the way you do for all the media attention they receive."__________Andrea, You went to a good school, and you have a fairly hefty income. You can add and subtract as well as anyone else here.In all the discussion that has taken place on this board, have you seen so much as a single posting here, or even any news story in the broader media, from any Tea Party supporter that lays out an arithmetically credible proposal for dealing with any of America's financial problems?Show me where any one of them has laid out a credible plan to balance the books, and I'll change my views.Show me where any one of them has laid out a credible plan to reduce taxes that won't make either the budget deficit or the recession worse, and I'll change my views.I'm not holding my breath. Mon 01 Nov 2010 13:42:10 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=84#comment132 re: 75 oldloadr "Christians believe that Islam is a counterfeit religion founded 600 years after Jesus ascended into heaven. Naturally, folks with no God-based faith will see similarities between the real thing and the imitation." Don't you dare claim to speak for all Christians, you bigot.You are easily offended by those who mock your beliefs, and yet are eager to mock and deny the faith of others. Sick and sad.The Tea Party is steeped in bigotry and chauvinism like this. It is to my mind simply an inversion of the worst excesses of leftish political correctness; the right has learned well the language of victimhood and resentment. So not mad, but certainly ugly. Mon 01 Nov 2010 13:41:58 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=83#comment131 116. At 10:33pm on 31 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:"Sorry, but small government in the limit -is- no government, and that's anarchy. And anarchy leads to, well, anarchy. Might-makes-right. Law of the jungle. Every man for himself. In short, Paradise according to Ayn Rand.""And that's not "feudalism.""__________Both Libertarians and Liberals believe in small government, but both also believe in the rule of law, whatever the size of the government.Anarchists do not believe in the rule of law, whatever the size of the government, which of course they would desire to be no government at all. As you point out, that means the law of the jungle.For the weak to survive, they have to seek the protection of the strong. So, in return for physical security, they surrender their liberty and become serfs, in thrall to the local warlord. All rights and privileges held by his vassals and their underlings, they hold through him; all obligations are owed to him personally; he (and exceedingly rarely she) exercises the power of life and death over them as their sovereign lord.This is the power structure of feudalism, and it is the natural outcome of anarchy. Mon 01 Nov 2010 13:33:37 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=83#comment130 130. PartTimeDon:"Lets just wait and see how quickly social issues take to hit the agenda if a significant number of tea party candidates are elected. After all, after they've repealed Obamacare, abolished the DOE, Social Security, Medicare and the Fed (Ron Johnson - senate candidate Wisconsin), they'll have some time on their hands to worry about the declining moral standards on the nation."***********If you seriously believe the Tea Party candidates will be able to achieve all this, it's no wonder you believed Obama when he made all his promises. Mon 01 Nov 2010 13:21:40 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=82#comment129 Ref# 125Democrats tried to drag the abortion issue into this campaign and failed. Jobs and the deficit trump abortions right now. Obama ran on a platform that tried to make the economy a force for social justice. I'd say that Americans just want the economy to be used for employment right now. They want jobs from it not social engineering._____________________All of which seems to suggest that the Tea party is in fact just the shiny big pink ribbon that the GOP has put round the same old product. A smokescreen to hide from the blame.After 2008, most political commentators believed that the republican party had to move towards the centre to become viable again. Fiscally the tea party hasn't moved them, but socially it has done just the opposite and lurched to the right.Lets just wait and see how quickly social issues take to hit the agenda if a significant number of tea party candidates are elected. After all, after they've repealed Obamacare, abolished the DOE, Social Security, Medicare and the Fed (Ron Johnson - senate candidate Wisconsin), they'll have some time on their hands to worry about the declining moral standards on the nation. For example:-Considering the economic havoc of removing the statute of limitations on child abuse to be of paramount importance. (Ron Johnson again)-Considering AIDS education to be "a platform for the homosexual community to recruit adolescents" (Christine O'donnell - senate candidate Delaware)-Believing abortion to be wrong even in the case of sexual assault (O'donnell again and Joe Miller - senate candidate Alaska) Mon 01 Nov 2010 13:03:12 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=82#comment128 # 127 powermeerkat wrote"Guess which political force and which American leaders are trying to emulate what Adolf H. and NSDAP did in that regard."I have no idea.If you are attempting to make a point about US political leaders you think are emulating Hitler and the Nazis, why don't you just name them? Mon 01 Nov 2010 11:00:48 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=81#comment127 A choice between right and righter._______________According to whom?MK: Obama. Kucinich, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are all extreme lefties.And Franken, Pelosi, Reid and Waters are...? :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))) Mon 01 Nov 2010 10:51:58 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=80#comment126 "After the night of the "Long Knives" in June 1934 which saw Rohm and the SA's power broken, the party moved to ban civilian ownership of guns. "Guess which political force and which American leaders are trying to emulate what Adolf H. and NSDAP did in that regard.[not that Stalin and USSR Communist Party didn't do exactly the same] Mon 01 Nov 2010 10:49:17 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=80#comment125 GeoffWard, (#114. At 9:56pm on 31 Oct 2010)“... Gentle rules are a good thing ...”Translation: Censorship is a Good Thing. Mon 01 Nov 2010 10:45:47 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=79#comment124 123. PartTimeDon:"That the movement is overwhelmingly comprised of social and fiscal conservatives is relevant and needs to be considered by voters who support small government but not for example a ban on abortion."************Democrats tried to drag the abortion issue into this campaign and failed. Jobs and the deficit trump abortions right now. Obama ran on a platform that tried to make the economy a force for social justice. I'd say that Americans just want the economy to be used for employment right now. They want jobs from it not social engineering. Mon 01 Nov 2010 10:18:32 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=78#comment123 Darren Stephens, (#118. At 00:14am on 01 Nov 2010)"... By Eurpopean standards he's not even left of centre. US politics doesn't have a left wing ..."By Eurpoean standards perhaps. But this is an American election. Mon 01 Nov 2010 10:17:55 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=78#comment122 The tea party movement may have been founded on the principle of small government. But those within the movement who are elected on Tuesday will still need to pass judgement on all the other issues and concerns of government.That the movement is overwhelmingly comprised of social and fiscal conservatives is relevant and needs to be considered by voters who support small government but not for example a ban on abortion.Can anyone come up with any wedge issues between the Tea party and existing congressional Republican policy? Or is this just really well applied lipstick? Mon 01 Nov 2010 09:34:44 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=77#comment121 120. Russ Williams: And we're to believe it's the Tea Party which is "fearful"? Judging from the reaction to the Tea Party -- and even Sarah Palin for that matter -- I'd say we have quite a lot of reactionaries. Mon 01 Nov 2010 09:06:31 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=76#comment120 ref #119reincarnation wrote:118. Darren Stephens"US politics doesn't have a left wing."My son gets his first vote as a US citizen this week. A choice between right and righter._______________According to whom?Obama. Kucinich, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are all extreme lefties. Mon 01 Nov 2010 08:41:27 GMT+1 Russ Williams http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=76#comment119 Curt Carpenter @ 116: "TEA party apologists are positively -eager- to deliver their ridiculously over-simplified histories of fascism past. Why is that, do you suppose?"Ooh, another ad-hominem attack, attempting to show guilt by (implied) association... Didn't see that coming(!) And you've tried to use that to denounce historical fact without even the slightest attempt to engage the issues raised.Remember, Curt, you're the one who brought up fascism. Twice. Care to explain what the similarities are between the small-government/free-market Tea Party stance and the socialist/nationalist policies of the Nazis (as detailed by andyparsonsga in post 111) and Fascisti are? Or do you just want to make some more snide references, with a nod and a wink to let people know that you're Right-On and should be believed without evidence?Fine, so you've been to entirely peaceful rallies, but there were people with guns, which clearly scared you. I hate to point out that that's not only legal, but a constitutional right in the US. So, what's so bad about the Tea Party? That they use their first and second amendment rights in a way that you, personally, disagree with? How terrible. Mon 01 Nov 2010 06:44:58 GMT+1 reincarnation http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=75#comment118 118. Darren Stephens"US politics doesn't have a left wing."My son gets his first vote as a US citizen this week. A choice between right and righter. Mon 01 Nov 2010 00:27:21 GMT+1 Darren Stephens http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=75#comment117 You have to laugh. Two things strike me: the first is the quote,"Speak for yourself Obama, we are a Christian nation, we are a Christian nation, whatever Obama says"Not according to the US constitution, you're not. Second is the man calling Obama a "communist". Fact is, most Americans wouldn't know a communist if he walked up to them in the street and bit them on the backside (to steal from a Frank Zappa quote). Obama's not a communist. By Eurpopean standards he's not even left of centre. US politics doesn't have a left wing. The choice is whether you want moderate right wing (like Obama and moderate elements of the Republican party) or swivel-eyed loons (like the truly terrifying Palin). The polarisation of debate is truly terrifying, and that most of those at this Tea Party gathering hadn't heard much of Stewart's position, but were still prepared to rubbish it, says much about the state of US political life. Mon 01 Nov 2010 00:14:27 GMT+1 Bro_Winky http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=74#comment116 The “Tea Party” is nothing more than an uninformed shill for corporate lobbyists rather than a populist party. A recent survey found that only 2% of their members knew that their taxes actually went down under Obama. For a party named after a tax revolt, that’s pretty sad. Just another example of people being manipulated to vote against their economic interests I guess. Sun 31 Oct 2010 22:46:23 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=73#comment115 Listen: the TEA party isn't crazy, or humorous, or irrelevant. It's dangerous. And I say that as someone that's attended their rallies in two of the reddest or red states, listened to a moderate Republican office holder get shouted down and bullied by the TEA party faithful in a -real- "ad hominem" attack, and noted enough handguns in the crowd to feel uncomfortable with their prominently displayed expression of will-to-power.That's my message, and I'm sticking to it. God help us all if these people find a "strong leader."Meanwhile, I hope at least a few readers here will note that our happy TEA party apologists are positively -eager- to deliver their ridiculously over-simplified histories of fascism past. Why is that, do you suppose? What's the fascination, boys?===========PS: "Contrary to Curt's comment, Anarchists do not want small government. By definition, they want no government (which, or course, eventually leads to feudalism)." Sorry, but small government in the limit -is- no government, and that's anarchy. And anarchy leads to, well, anarchy. Might-makes-right. Law of the jungle. Every man for himself. In short, Paradise according to Ayn Rand.And that's not "feudalism."I think you may be in denial about the possibility of limit arguments in political discourse. Or are you proposing some sort of continuity paradox? Never mind: the margins are too small to contain the proof. Sun 31 Oct 2010 22:33:22 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=73#comment114 MagicKirin wrote @ 112: "... I listened for a few minutes on the radio to a typical liberal pundit. Faye Morrison is one of these analysts with her nose up in the area on the superiority of liberal agenda and her *defication* of Obama."Would that be dedication, deification or defecation ? Sun 31 Oct 2010 22:15:49 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=72#comment113 LucyJ wrote @ 62: "... then why is it on American blogs you can say whatever you want but on British blogs like this one of BBC, many comments get censored?"........Hi Lucy,we have an Editorial control of comment that tries to keep people on-topic and nice to each other.Thus, if I talked about English tea parties, the differences would be too great and you would be deprived of my lyrical descriptions of Earl Grey, cucumber sandwiches and cream cakes. Similarly if you said your President should be hung by the neck because he was black, the BBC would rule you out of order, and I would be deprived of your insight.Gentle rules are a good thing.Regards, Geoff. Sun 31 Oct 2010 21:56:45 GMT+1 andyparsonsga http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=71#comment112 44. At 12:02pm on 31 Oct 2010, Russell Jones wrote:"... Cut taxes? OK, but then you have to cut schools, police, military. And will fiscal conservatives like that?"OK, but then how about not increasing taxes or keeping spending at lower levels rather than increasing it with more and more pork barrel spending, new and bigger "entitlements" or cutting down on rampant Federal waste?"Healthcare? Fine, but who is going to tell 85 million uninsured Americans that their lives aren't important enough to save?"Where did the number of 85 million come from? Even in the left's wildest ramblings they could only conjure up 47 million, which when analyzed came down to less than 10% of their number? If the problem is less than 5 million, which I agree is far too many, why not expand Medicaid? If the problem is the rules laid down by insurance companies, then fine do what most of the population wanted and enact legislation to curb insurance company abuse. Why didn't the Federal government bring in health insurance portability and allow insurance companies to operate across State lines? That at least would have created competition and lowered costs. Hell, why didn't they bring in tort reform, the largest single cause of healthcare rises over the past 30 years? Instead, we got a 2,000+ page piece of legislation that very few of the legislators even bothered to read and that among a whole rake of other things imposes a mandate on every citizen that they must purchase something from a private company or face some form of penalty."I'm a left-leaning Brit, but would have the same criticisms of a single-issue Democrat. Because it's not the politics that worry me, it's the absence of any rational, joined-up plan. Democrat, Republican or Independent, you need to understand that a nation is a big, complicated system. You can't just snip out the bits you don't like and expect it to keep functioning."I admire your candour, however why can't you snip out the bits that don't work and still expect it to function? A nation doesn't necessarily have to be a big, complicated system, there would certainly appear to be an abundance of nations that appear to do fairly well without the heavy hand of government in just about every aspect of its citizen's lives. It appears to me that the Federal government is made big and complicated because the players within government want it that way, government is, in and of itself, self perpetuating. As an aside the US was formed as a "union of Sovereign States" and the Federal government's role in that was intended to be a hell of a lot smaller than it has grown to be."End of opinion: but can I just remind Americans that their constitution separates church and state. So if you love the constitution so much, stop talking about God as though He supports your politics."The term "separation of church and state" is an offshoot of the original phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. Jefferson was responding to a letter that the Association had written to him whereby they expressed their concerns about the Constitution not reaching the State level. The Fourteenth Amendment did not yet exist, thus leaving the States vulnerable to Federal legislation. In Jefferson's letter, he was reassuring the Baptists of Danbury that their religious freedom would remain protected, it was a promise that no possible religious majority would be able to force out a State's official church. The original text reads: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." The phrase itself does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. Sun 31 Oct 2010 21:39:55 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=71#comment111 Before the Patriots Viking game.I listened for a few minutes on the radio to a typical liberal pundit.Faye Morrison is one of these analysts with her nose up in the area on the superiority of liberal agenda and her defication of Obama.But too many media types can't identify with the common sense and the real world concern of Tea Party members.Neither can the Obama since they have lived most of their live in the public sector or phony 300K manufactured jobs Sun 31 Oct 2010 21:29:56 GMT+1 andyparsonsga http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=70#comment110 2. At 00:39am on 31 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:"Didn't the moderate right in some country in Europe get challenged by a group of right-wing extremists (I won't use the word "fanatics", although as I recall it came to that) some eighty-odd years ago? And didn't the moderates back then think they could keep a lid on that radical wing of their party? Wasn't the attitude "let them blow off a little steam! What was the harm in a few parades and rallies anyway -- even if a few communists and other people we don't much like get their heads cracked."And didn't the whole thing end badly for just about everybody, left, right and center?I think people in the U.S. that can had better wake up and pay attention."I take it you are attempting to compare the Tea Party movement to the Nazi party in Germany. Perhaps you should have done a little more research into both the Tea Party movement and the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Worker's Party), which prior to a name change in 1920 was known as the DFuetsche Arbeiterpartei (German Worker's Party). Setting aside the obvious links in the party's name to socialism, which given their extreme enmity towards communism, could hardly be called socialistic there are a few other differences.In 1920 Adolf Hitler publicly proclaimed the 25-point Program of the Nazi Party and it remained the Party’s official program. The 25-point Program was pro-labour with the program among other things championing the right to employment, calling for the institution of profit sharing, the confiscation of war profits, the prosecution of userers and profiteers, the nationalization of trusts, the communalization of department stores, the creation of a national education program of all classes and an end to the dominance of investment capital. Not something tha Tea Party seem to advocate.Part of Hitler's appeal to a frightened and demoralised German middle class was his promise to revive the economy. He did this by effectively taking over the economy and embarking on a massive government takeover of industry as well as large public works programs. Not something the Tea Party advocates.Hitler advocated and built a "civilian security force" - the SA which later evolved into the SS (Schutzstaffel). Not something the Tea Party subscribes to although on July 2nd 2008, then Senator Obama did say "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."A further decisive step in the Nazi seizure of power was the "Enabling Act", which granted the cabinet (and therefore Hitler) legislative powers. The Enabling Act effectively abolished the separation of powers, a principle enshrined in the German Constitution. The Enabling Act, termed for four years, gave the government the power to enact laws without parliamentary approval, to enact foreign treaties abroad and even to make changes to the Constitution. The legislative bodies of the German states soon followed in the same manner, with the German federal government taking over most state and local legislative powers. Hardly something that the Tea Party is famous for advocating.The Nazi Party and the German state gradually fused in 1933–39, as the party arrogated more and more power to itself at the expense of professional civil servants and its citizenry. This led to increasing inefficiency and confusion in administration, which was compounded by Hitler's deliberate policy of preventing any of his underlings accumulating too much power, and of dividing responsibility among a plethora of state and party bureaucracies, many of which had overlapping functions. The fusing of party and state is not something the Tea Party advocates either.Many Nazis held with Röhm's (the leader of the SA) socialistic views on the economy and his claims that the real revolution had still to take place and took the "socialist" element of "national socialism" seriously. Although Hitler had no real sympathy for Röhm's view, beyond transferring power from churches to the State, many of the well-armed working-class militia of the SA demanded that the Nazi regime broaden its attack from political activists and Jews to include the capitalist system. Again, not something the Tea Party movement advocates.After the night of the "Long Knives" in June 1934 which saw Rohm and the SA's power broken, the party moved to ban civilian ownership of guns. Definitely not something that the Tea Party advocates.So, apart from the (still) totally unproven claims of rampant racism within the the Tea Party movement, the peaceful, non-violent rallies and meetings that haven't seen any litter left, let alone any "heads cracked", save for the documented attacks on Tea Party members by members of the SEIU and professional agitators and protestors, what other similarities to the Nazi party can you come up with? Sun 31 Oct 2010 20:42:14 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=69#comment109 60. At 3:02pm on 31 Oct 2010, Oldloadr RE 55. At 2:39pm on 31 Oct 2010, Sara71 wrote:“To not allow such would be to infringe upon both the politicians right to practice his/her religion and would also infringe upon the right of the electorate to know what faith system informs that politicians conscience.”Politicians do yield to the electorate and force religious notions on the population as a whole.One need only list: "The Defence of Marriage Act," which is pushed by “Christians” who care more for Leviticus than what Jesus said.Attempts by believers to substitute religious dogma for science in the public schools [Creationism and ID are not equal to science, the bible view is purely religious and does not belong in public schools, it belongs in Sunday schools.]@ #80 Can you drink as you want in a dry county? Are you saying that that is OK, but it is wrong for the federal government to prod the states into equalizing laws like drinking age to hold down highway mayhem? I remember the toll in injury and death when local teens would drive to a neighboring state with a lower drinking age. Sun 31 Oct 2010 20:19:53 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=69#comment108 106. Interestedforeigner:12. At 07:01am on 31 Oct 2010, Jeremy Clarkson wrote:"Don't forget one thing. Tea Partiers are not career politicians. They did not make politics their life career ..."___________I'll be sure to remember this comment, and laugh, the next time I see Sarah Palin or Glen Beck on TV.****************There's too much money to be made in the media. And you can thank yourself and others who react to them the way you do for all the media attention they receive. Sun 31 Oct 2010 20:15:38 GMT+1 JClarkson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=68#comment107 #106"I'll be sure to remember this comment, and laugh, the next time I see Sarah Palin or Glen Beck on TV."Indeed. But before you do so, check the facts. Sarah Palin is a registered Republican, the last time I checked and as far as as Beck goes here is what Wiki has to say about him:"Glenn Lee Beck (born February 10, 1964) is an American conservative radio and television host, political commentator, author, and entrepreneur. He is the host of The Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show that airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks; He is also the host of a self-titled cable-news show on Fox News Channel."Apparently you have a different definition of what a "career politician" is. By your definition, Jon Stewart is probably at least a tenured Senator :D Sun 31 Oct 2010 20:10:35 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=67#comment106 96. Russ Williams:"Here's a thought for you, and people like you on the political left, how about you try debating rather than ad-hominem attacks on your enemies. Tell people why the US federal government should be 30% larger now than it was in 2008, and let them make up their minds whether they think the extra tax burden is worth it. The Tea Party is largely a response to the shrill and politically-correct cries of "racism" and "Nazis" directed at anyone who doesn't toe the Progressive line - people have finally woken up to that trick. Would that the same were true here."***********Amen and thank you. You did, however, forget "Selfish!" which is usually the name flung when someone doesn't agree to increased taxes. Sun 31 Oct 2010 20:04:06 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=67#comment105 12. At 07:01am on 31 Oct 2010, Jeremy Clarkson wrote:"Don't forget one thing. Tea Partiers are not career politicians. They did not make politics their life career ..."___________I'll be sure to remember this comment, and laugh, the next time I see Sarah Palin or Glen Beck on TV. Sun 31 Oct 2010 19:11:19 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=66#comment104 5. At 01:39am on 31 Oct 2010, Sara71 wrote:"Social conservatism has a strand that would seem to be perfectly happy to use state apparatus to enact [[i.e., impose?]] its policies [[i.e., religion-based views of morality?]] on others.""This is anathema to fiscal/political conservatism that would prefer as little government interference as possible, regardless of the agenda."------------7. At 02:51am on 31 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:5. At 01:39am on 31 Oct 2010, Sara71 wrote:"I think there are three types of tea partiers: the fiscal/government tea partiers, the social value tea partiers, and the ones who are both."I think you're indulging in wishful thinking, apologetics and characteristic "conservative" befuddlement."A person who "would prefer as little government interference as possible, regardless of the agenda" is an anarchist, not a conservative." "I don't think anyone has actually SEEN a fiscal conservative in the United States in at least fifty years. They're the unicorns of American politics."____________Sara, you've got it exactly right.The point is that fiscal conservatives (like me) are classical Liberals.Social conservatives are not. When you boil it down, social conservatives are effectively Tories, with the place of the monarchy being replaced by religion.A classical Liberal believes that government has no business interfering in the lives of citizens other than to correct market failure and to address collective action problems in economics.That the state should be a vehicle to impose religion-based morality on any citizen is to deprive citizens of liberty without establishing a rational basis for government action. Since that is contrary to liberty, of course Liberals find it anaethma. It is why classical Liberals have no patience with social conservatives.In any case, like a Libertarian to some extent, by definition a classical Liberal wants the smallest possible government.This actually distinguishes both Libertarians and Liberals from anarchists. Contrary to Curt's comment, Anarchists do not want small government. By definition, they want no government (which, or course, eventually leads to feudalism).----------I also agree with Curt's comment on the rarity of genuine fiscal conservatives, at least insofar as it applies to the Republican Party.George Bush, Sr., may have been the last one to have held office as a Republican, but when he tried to do the fiscally conservative thing - put America's financial house in order - he was pilloried. In terms of fiscal conservatism and responsibility, Bill Clinton was streets ahead of both Ronald Reagan and Junior Bush.Part of the reason I like centrist Democrats - and in that I would include President Obama, the ranting and ravings of others here notwithstanding - is because they do in fact have a history of trying to balance the books.I like centrist Republicans (i.e., "Country Club Republicans"), too, but they are now generally called "independents" as far as I can tell. The social conservatives have all but driven them out of the Republican Party. Thus, in the US, people like me have no political home.To a fiscal conservative, balancing the books is the bread and butter of government. If you can do that with low taxes, too, well that's cherry pie for dessert. But you don't eat dessert BEFORE the the meat and potatoes.On that score, in the last 40 years the Democrats have a much better record than the Republicans.----------A difference between the Libertarians and Liberals is that, for Liberals the term "smallest possible government" means the smallest possible government having a size consistent with its duties to maintain smoothly functioning markets.Of course the classical Liberal thinkers of the 18th century, who founded the United States and wrote its constitution, wanted religion kept out of government. Anything else is simply contrary to liberty.Which, of course, is why when it comes to public policy classical Liberals have no patience with social conservatives, who they regard (correctly in my view) as an inherent threat to democratic norms and institutions. Sun 31 Oct 2010 19:08:52 GMT+1 a little revolution http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=66#comment103 It's true that people identifying with Tea Party activism are rightly angry, but your logic--"They're mad as hell, but that doesn't make them crazy."--ignores the facts. What many of them say and do is beyond the realm of sane and rational, and as a group (however nebulous and ill-defined) they do not repudiate the insanity.Moreover, their own rhetoric makes it clear they've not thought carefully about their opinions. To call Obama a communist insults my intelligence. Why? Because I know what communism is, and I'm not convinced Obama is even left-wing, let alone a communist. Cheering for the Constitution while remaining woefully ignorant of what it says--we're NOT a Christian nation according to the Constitution--is nothing more than prideful ignorance.If Tea Partiers--and they do treat it all like a big drunken party where anyone can say and do anything without consequence--if they want to be taken seriously, they should apply some serious rationale to their behavior. Jon Stewart actually agrees with much of what they claim to be angry about. He's just appalled--as am I--at how they choose to express themselves. It's foolish and counterproductive and decidedly undemocratic.The neocons and Fox and all the rest of the authoritarian right have whipped half the country into a delirious frenzy. When all is said and done, most of them are going to wake up with a hell of a political hangover and be thoroughly embarrassed for their behavior. Sun 31 Oct 2010 19:00:33 GMT+1 BK http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=65#comment102 Tea Party: Thankfully, most people in America are not the East Coast elite, holierthanthou's who tend to make up the leadership of the liberal parties...these hypocritical, Sophists, are symbolic of the targets of the original "tea party" which was a rebellion against: royalty and its unquestionable rule, the Church's collaboration with royalty and the use of the mysterious ways of God, as well as guilt to control and to enslave the population, inability to control local affairs against capricious long-distance interference, and taxes which bore no resemblence or relationship to the "services" received from the "royalty."While I'm not a "tea-partier" I am thankful that there are people willing to be outraged publically; people who are not so sophisticated, elite, and detached that they are "above" acting absurdly in the face of the Absurd. The arrogant behavior of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and others in the controlling party deserves a "tea party" response if only for its perfect symetry and the willingness to balance the Absurdity of the Left aka "The Audacity of Hope", with the absurdity of emotional demands for the individual rights and liberties which brought us here.This country cannot live through another damaging socialist regime such as that damage perpetrated by FDR, which the country is still struggling to shed. Obama, Carter, and FDR are clearly the most fiscally and socially destructive American Presidents in modern times, pandering "hope" at the cost of individual freedoms and fiscal health. Sun 31 Oct 2010 18:35:42 GMT+1 mabelwhite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=64#comment101 Actually it is a simple instance of left/right side of the brain - specifically the right anterior frontal lobe, where cognitive humour function resides. Tea Partiers generally aren't right side of the brainers.http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/122/4/657.full http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec16/ch210/ch210a.html Sun 31 Oct 2010 18:27:07 GMT+1 archaeobee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=64#comment100 Interesting debate........which seems to have boiled down to a tit-for-tat discussion about the relative freedoms two countries have!!! Oh - and the usual religious thing too....I suppose an interesting aspect to explore is whether a tea-partyesque movement could ever happen in Britain. It is important to point out that the whole Tea Party thing is based on fear - fear of change, losing current comforts, fear of being taxed more, fear of immigrants etc. And this is something Jon Stewart clearly recognises.Do we have that same degree of fear in Britain? Well I suppose we do - many tea party chaps are exceptionally racist, but go to any pub Essex-way (or even here in Cardiff) and you'll hear a snippet of the same fears. But I wonder why we don't have such a vociferous section of society that expresses those fears.Of course there's the BNP/EDL. But they are largely derided - though they do have very much in common with the tea party (except for their rather thuggish male dominance). Maybe aspects of the Tory party have such fears - and reading the Daily Mail certainly shows that. However there is no similar grass-roots movement in Britain - certainly not with the numbers and media coverage (i.e. money and a lovely supportive network) the tea party has.The difference is fairly obvious. Although many people in Britain don't like aspects (or even most) of their government there is clear desire to make it work either nationally or locally whoever is in power. There is a distrust of extreme views (left or right) and of religious dogma of whatever flavour. In effect we want our government to work - for good or bad we trust the system we have.The tea party seems to have no clear agenda except that what the Americans have right now is wrong, not working and that they need to go back to a purer form of the American dream - whatever that is - laced with a heady cocktail of christianity. This is something we just don't or ever will have in Britain - we have no British dream, just a fluffy rose-tinted view of our past and a realisation that we made a hell of a lot of mistakes too!! Maybe the tea party is nothing more than a restatement of 'traditional values' - a reaction fighting against inevitable change that most countries in the world have accepted, indeed welcomed!!!!!!Oh - and to the geezer who said there's no empirical evidence for evolution, or the age of the universe. I'm afraid there is - plenty! Sun 31 Oct 2010 18:20:20 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=63#comment99 49. At 1:30pm on 31 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:"But President Obama knows the truth because he said it himself. The same anger and frustration that led to him being swept into power kicking the Republicans out is still very much alive and well and angrier and more frustrated than ever. This same sentiment can sweep him and the Democrats out of power just as easily."__________On this, we are agreed.I do find it troubling, though, that so many voters seem to have such very short memories.We all have our crosses to bear, but why President Obama should be left carrying the can for the Junior Bush recession is beyond all logical understanding to me. It seems to me they are about to restore to office the very same bunch (and the very same policies, apparently) that got America into trouble in the first place.Yes, a problem with short memories. Sun 31 Oct 2010 18:11:44 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=62#comment98 cats wrote: Me, I agree with Oldloadr that I'd pay more for pretty much anything if it meant that people were working for a fair or at least minimum wage in safe conditions. But many people don't feel that way.-------------------------------------------------------------------------It doesn't matter how they feel. The laws the law. The govt. is supposed to uphold the law, regardless of if a corp or someone wants cheap labor.------------------------------------------------------------------------cats wrote: And honestly, I am very ambivalent about immigration laws that do more than check to make sure people aren't dangerous criminals. It smacks too much of "now that we're here, no one else can have the benefits of living in a country that we tell others is the best and freest around."-----------------------------------------------------------------------Each and every single illegal immigrant over the age of 18 is a criminal.It doesn't matter whether someone considers them 'dangerous' or not. A criminal is a criminal. The law is the law. You bend it for some, you have to bend it for everybody and before long, there are no laws.If an illegal is under the age of 18, they were probabaly brought or sent by their parents and they should be deported immediatly, but not charged as an adult.If the govt. catches a pregnant illegal woman trying to cross our border illegally, the govt. should charge the pregant woman with two criminal acts and not one, as there are two illegals and not one...If there is a car crash by drunk driver and the drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, the driver is charged with two counts of murder...so why not charge a pregnant illegal with two counts of criminal trespassing and deport immediatly? Sun 31 Oct 2010 18:08:02 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=62#comment97 cats 92 wrote: I think you missed my point that most of the immigrants, legal or illegal, whom I have met have indeed spoken English, at least enough to get by and work.------------------------------------------------------------------------Okay, so most of the legal and illegal immigrants you have met do speak English, that's good. Especially if they have to drive to work.Most of the illegal immigrants I have met don't speak English.And you also missed my point that there is a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants- those who follow American laws and those who enter our country illegally and break our laws...can't you see that legal and illegal immigrants are not the same, cats?That legal means they came here legally and that illegally means they have no right to step foot on our soil? Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:57:31 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=61#comment96 86. At 5:30pm on 31 Oct 2010, Russell Jones wrote:81 # LucyTrue about the Koran, but look what the bible says about killing homosexuals, allowing slavery, and child abuse (it's considered the act of a "righteous man", see the story of Lot in Genesis)._______________________________________________________________You certainly read a lot into that passage to prove your point:1. The daughters’ ages are never given.2. The daughter’s conspire to get their father drunk because they fear the end of their blood line.3. The recorder (traditionally Moses) of this sad chapter in Lot’s life makes no editorial comment on the righteousness of the incestuous act to which you refer. 4. The Bible is the whole truth that God wants us to know, whether we, or He, likes it or not. If you understand the premise of the Bible, you don’t have to leave any of it behind to live a good prosperous and quiet life. In fact the only controversy that you would face would be when you come across those who believe (wrongly) that it is their right to not here what you have to say about the Bible, Christ and Christianity. 5. The Koran, on the other hand, is a collection of plagiarisms written by a guy that was trying to get a system where patriotism and piety are synonymous. 6. On your bit about homosexuals, the Bible also says to stone adulterers. The Bible says throughout that all sin, in the end is punishable by permanent death (Hell). It also teaches that faith in Jesus Christ justifies the sinner and frees them from the punishment they deserve. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:56:11 GMT+1 Russ Williams http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=60#comment95 Curt Carpenter @ 2: You might want to learn some political history before spouting off and making oh-so-witty fascism analogies. Those wealth-redistributing, social-equality-fixated, nationalising, welfare-state-supporting "right-wing extremists" of the 20s and 30s were, shock horror, centre-left politically. "Right-wing" in that context means "to the right of Lenin": the Communists viewed Fascists and other Socialists as a threat to their constituency and wanted to create an artificial distinction.Here's a thought for you, and people like you on the political left, how about you try debating rather than ad-hominem attacks on your enemies. Tell people why the US federal government should be 30% larger now than it was in 2008, and let them make up their minds whether they think the extra tax burden is worth it. The Tea Party is largely a response to the shrill and politically-correct cries of "racism" and "Nazis" directed at anyone who doesn't toe the Progressive line - people have finally woken up to that trick. Would that the same were true here. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:52:35 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=60#comment94 ref #79 catsandbadgers wrote:@ 69, 70, and 73There is NO official language in the US. Period. Me, I think communicating in multiple languages is a good thing. And I know very few immigrants (and I grew up in areas with tons of Spanish and Chinese -- both Mandarin and Cantonese -- speakers) who, if they don't themselves speak English, have friends and relatives who help them. I've got relatives who move back and forth between Spanish and English all the time. I speak German with my daughter sometimes just for privacy. Doesn't mean we can't speak English. We just don't always feel like it.(There may not be an official language but English is the language of the U.S. It's on the currency, liscences passports etc. I agree knowing more than one language is good but almost every immigrant group chose to learn english as soon as they arrived)We are a nation of immigrants, and there wasn't much in the way of restriction when most of the immigrants from Western Europe came over. If you want to be really particular about it, every American citizen is benefiting from the fact that a bunch of people who used better technology and a willingness to take from people they considered to be savages. Do I think we need to all move back to our countries of origin (even were that possible)? Of course not.Would I prefer that we had a sensible immigration policy and that people didn't come here illegally? Of course.But we don't, and there is not one of us that doesn't reap the benefits of the underground economy that depends on illegal immigrants, largely from Central and South America. So I think it's hypocritical to blame illegal immigrants who are simply trying for a better life (and most, incidentally, paying into our Social Security and tax system) when we are not willing to root out the causes: people who take advantage of the cheap prices and people who hire illegals and often subject them to terrible working conditions. Lots of people are breaking "our" laws. It's just easy to put the blame on the people at the bottom of the food chain.(First the illegal immigrants take far more out they put in. Look at some of the hospitals where they frequent)Also? the power of labor unions has been largely gutted. Me, I'm private sector myself. Don't resent at all that our military, postal workers, public sector teachers and professors and school employees have good benefits. I just think we all should have them. I've lived in the UK and Germany, and paid far higher taxes, had far better public services, and had far less government intrusion in my life than I do in Virginia. I also lived in California before and during the Reagan era. Taxes were very high, compared to most of the rest of the country. California had an amazing school system and again, good public services in general. (When the labor unions were gutted the economy was far better off. Along with Soros the most frequent non govt employee to the white house has been the head of the SEIU, a very parasitic group which egages in voter intimidation)But anyway, you all prove my point. What you think of as "American values and traditions" are simply YOUR values and traditions. You're welcome to them, but you're dead wrong if you think that you are in some way defending the country and its values. And I'm going to defend your right to express those values, as much as I'm going to defend the rights of gays to marry and every citizen to have adequate health care and clean air. What I would like to see from the TEA Party is a focus on things that are really wrong and damaging -- not labor unions or "big government" -- but government that is so dramatically influenced by big corporate money, the funding of their own politicians by plutocrats like the Koch brothers, and religious-, homophobic- and racial bigotry. To my mind, those are the real dangers.(Well the Tea Party won't because they disagree with you. They know that labor unions (an archachic concept like the knight and squire system is obsolete) and big govt are the problem. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:52:06 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=59#comment93 Lucy, I mis-spoke about the bible encouraging killing homosexuals. It does explicitly say it's an abomination. So I'm just correct about it encouraging slavery and considering incest and child abuse "righteous". The homosexuals aren't physically threatened, just called names and reviled. How very admirable. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:50:57 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=58#comment92 We're getting perilously close to "Hitler" alalogies. Let's not go there. My final comment: I can understand anger and frustration. But I think we can (hopefully) all agree that a calm, clear-headed attitude is the best way to confront a problem. Panic and screaming doesn't help. And we've all heard that two heads are better than one.So my hope is that we can take some of the heat out of the debate, and all of us try to work together for the common good. Hopefully that won't make me a communist or elitist in anybody's eyes. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:45:45 GMT+1 catsandbadgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=58#comment91 LucyJ@84 and Oldloadr@83First, I think you missed my point that most of the immigrants, legal or illegal, whom I have met have indeed spoken English, at least enough to get by and work. That they don't choose to speak it as their primary language is up to them. I knew plenty of Anglophones in Germany who chose not to learn German, and it did make their lived harder. That's true for immigrants to the US as well. So I'm calling straw man.In terms of the government not enforcing laws -- it has to enforce those laws for everyone, I agree. But it's entirely disingenuous, or perhaps just naive, to think that this is possible when voters blame the government for the very sorts of things that happen when that underground economy is damaged. Food prices go up, and all of a sudden it's the government's fault. You can't have it both ways. Me, I agree with Oldloadr that I'd pay more for pretty much anything if it meant that people were working for a fair or at least minimum wage in safe conditions. But many people don't feel that way.And honestly, I am very ambivalent about immigration laws that do more than check to make sure people aren't dangerous criminals. It smacks too much of "now that we're here, no one else can have the benefits of living in a country that we tell others is the best and freest around."It's like living in gated communities or sending your kids to private schools because you can afford to - I can understand the sentiment, but I'm not sure it's the best way to have a safe community where people know each other. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:45:29 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=57#comment90 Russell wrote: look what the bible says about killing homosexualsCan you please write the exact verse?In the Bible, it says that two men or two women physically together is wrong, but I have never ever read a verse that promotes killing because of such...? Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:40:22 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=57#comment89 Sara71 @ 3You are correct and your points seem to get drowned out amongst the noise in this blog. There seems to be too much emotion and not enough reflection. American society seems to be polarised politically for decades. It seems the political system isn't helping, in fact one could argue that it is the problem. And I thought British politics was supposed to be polarised. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:39:07 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=56#comment88 85. At 5:25pm on 31 Oct 2010, dceilar wrote: they want to force their idea of the State, their idea of government, and their idea of God down everyone else's throats. As far as the tea baggers are concerned it's their way or the highway.____________________________________________________________________And how does that differ from Obama's health care shove? It’s actually very American to be very sure of the righteousness of your convictions… Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with that and, of course, neither does Reid or Pelosi… Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:35:33 GMT+1 qmrfc67 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=55#comment87 @64"They are scared"My conversations with Tea Partiers leads me to think that this is the absolute crux of the matter.What they seem to be most afraid of is change, as a generic thing, not Obama's "change"They grew up in a world where it was just assumed that everything American is bigger and better than everywhere else. We are a nation of Yankee fans, we expect to win the world series every year and if we don't we scream to fire the manager.Only a small minority of our present population has memories of the 30's so most of us define the world as post WW2. We came out of that conflict with the only intact industrial base anywhere in the world and for 40 years or so enjoyed a position of absolute growth and dominance. That has radically changed in the last 20 years as Asia has emerged and Europe has recovered and now South America is starting to fulfil it's potential. It's like the Royals and the Twins and the Cubs got new owners and they are challenging our dominance.To many of the Tea Partiers it seems the blame must rest with the Federal government. I am as critical of many Fed policies as the next guy but I don't blame them for all the ills that assail us.If we cut the size of government by 50% tomorrow (if it could be done without creating chaos) and balanced the budget overnight it wouldn't solve most of the problems we face.We would still have expensive and inefficient health care, a transportation system based on outdated technology, an inefficient power grid, crumbling infrastructure, uncompetitive labor costs, poor primary education etc etc. Our biggest enemy has been our past success which has lulled us into a false sense of security. Loosing that sense of security is what scares us and the Tea Partiers need to stop screaming "It's your fault" and go look in the mirror. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:34:03 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=55#comment86 Curt 82 wrote: So the question is: can the TEA party, "strong leader or leaders" and all, make the trains run on time?------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, as of right now, our modern day situation is that we have Dem President Obama, so if lots of Tea Party are elected, the question is, can President Obama and the Tea Party work together to make the trains run on time? Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:33:48 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=54#comment85 81 # LucyTrue about the Koran, but look what the bible says about killing homosexuals, allowing slavery, and child abuse (it's considered the act of a "righteous man", see the story of Lot in Genesis).No text from such a different time can be totally morally appropriate to our times. We independently decide which bits to follow and what bits to ignore, based on other factors - the general moral climate, influence of our local community, following charismatic opinion-formers. The "morality" of religious texts is always open to interpretation or question, and can't improve on a reasoned, rational response to modern life and modern problems. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:30:57 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=53#comment84 Curt @ 7A person who "would prefer as little government interference as possible, regardless of the agenda" is an anarchist, not a conservative. And the last thing a so called TEA party conservative is is an anarchist. He is rabidly PRO-government as long as it's HIS KIND of government, happily PRO spending as long as it is on HIS KIND of project -- like a good war, for example -- and has no interest whatsoever in shrinking anything at all if he has a share of it himself.I agree with your comment that the tea baggers are pseudo-anarchists. They are actually authoritarian - they want to force their idea of the State, their idea of government, and their idea of God down everyone else's throats. As far as the tea baggers are concerned it's their way or the highway. It all sounds, ironically, very un-American; and seems, as I understand it, to go against the spirit of the constitution.Is the tea movement a reaction against rising non-European immigration and the displacement of the white Anglo-Saxon protestant hegemony? Inquiring minds want to know. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:25:52 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=53#comment83 cats wrote: So I think it's hypocritical to blame illegal immigrants who are simply trying for a better life ------------------------------------------------------------------------First off, how is it 'hypocritical' to punish a criminal for the crime they committed?Second off, I blame illegals for committing the crime of entering our country illegally, but I mostly blame our govt. for not deporting illegals nor protecting our borders, leaving us open to illegal invasion of foreigners, including potential terrorists...Regardless of how many agriculture, etc. benefit from illegal cheap workers, the govt. is supposed to uphold the law...Third off, what's the point of having laws if illegal foreigners don't have to follow them and Americans do? Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:14:05 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=52#comment82 79. At 4:39pm on 31 Oct 2010, catsandbadgers wrote:"... and religious-, homophobic- and racial bigotry. To my mind, those are the real dangers."_____________________________________________________________Es tut mir leid, Frau, aber, Englisch ist die Wirts-Programmsprache. So, learning a 2nd language is a good thing. We agree. So why do the illegals seem to be less then interested in learning the language of money in the US? Then they would know the 2 languages that cover most of the land mass of the planet. Just because we benefit from illegals doesn’t make it right. I would be willing to pay $5/head for lettuce if it meant it was picked by an legal worker actually getting minimum wage. Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:08:10 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=51#comment81 67. At 3:21pm on 31 Oct 2010, LucyJ wrote:"... You don't want emotion to take over reason/common sense and you don't want your leader or leaders to be too overemotional, either, because that could be seen as weak. However, there does need to be some emotion. Tea Party is emotional and passionate, hostile and angry, but only because they care... "I think we would have heard almost the exact same sentiment in Rome in 1936. So the question is: can the TEA party, "strong leader or leaders" and all, make the trains run on time? Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:56:37 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=51#comment80 Russell wrote:the differences between the bible-belt Christian right and the Taliban seem very small and subtleWell, one major difference: radical Islamic terrorists are out to harm and murder any Westerner or 'infidel' they can...Islamic terrorists also harm and murder Muslims who are not extremist or radical enough...Christian right-wing does not want to harm or murder anyone, but they do believe in self-defense...So this very 'small and subtle' difference is a matter of life of death...Also, look at what the Koran says that believers should do to non-believers or 'infidels' Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:55:59 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=50#comment79 78. At 4:21pm on 31 Oct 2010, Russell Jones wrote:"... well I'd feel less free in the bible belt than I do here in England. That's opinion, not fact, but it reflects the impression that middle-America projects to the world."_________________________________________________________________Well, as has been discussed here, the UK presents a less than free image to the world when it comes to expressing ideas (apparently that image is also distorted from what you say). I haven’t spent any time in the UK since the 80s so I’ll take your word for it. There is no place on Earth that is freer than the Bible Belt. Except for a few back water hold-out counties (that you’ll never find unless you go looking for them), you can drink and carouse and bar-hop (pub-crawl) to your heart's content. You can hunt and fish and you can drive into town with your firearms and even stop and have a chat with the sheriff without fear of being hauled off for having illegal weapons. You can listen to any kind of music you want and... you can go to Church every Sunday and nobody will make fun of you for following a myth. You can express your religious convictions and not be arrested. If you grew up there, you know to be polite to other people and to not make fun of them for their faith views and you know it’s childish to get offended because somebody told you what their faith is all about. It only took a few minutes out of your life, it didn’t kill you and you now know more than you did before the encounter. Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:52:26 GMT+1 catsandbadgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=50#comment78 @ 69, 70, and 73There is NO official language in the US. Period. Me, I think communicating in multiple languages is a good thing. And I know very few immigrants (and I grew up in areas with tons of Spanish and Chinese -- both Mandarin and Cantonese -- speakers) who, if they don't themselves speak English, have friends and relatives who help them. I've got relatives who move back and forth between Spanish and English all the time. I speak German with my daughter sometimes just for privacy. Doesn't mean we can't speak English. We just don't always feel like it.We are a nation of immigrants, and there wasn't much in the way of restriction when most of the immigrants from Western Europe came over. If you want to be really particular about it, every American citizen is benefiting from the fact that a bunch of people who used better technology and a willingness to take from people they considered to be savages. Do I think we need to all move back to our countries of origin (even were that possible)? Of course not.Would I prefer that we had a sensible immigration policy and that people didn't come here illegally? Of course.But we don't, and there is not one of us that doesn't reap the benefits of the underground economy that depends on illegal immigrants, largely from Central and South America. So I think it's hypocritical to blame illegal immigrants who are simply trying for a better life (and most, incidentally, paying into our Social Security and tax system) when we are not willing to root out the causes: people who take advantage of the cheap prices and people who hire illegals and often subject them to terrible working conditions. Lots of people are breaking "our" laws. It's just easy to put the blame on the people at the bottom of the food chain.Also? the power of labor unions has been largely gutted. Me, I'm private sector myself. Don't resent at all that our military, postal workers, public sector teachers and professors and school employees have good benefits. I just think we all should have them. I've lived in the UK and Germany, and paid far higher taxes, had far better public services, and had far less government intrusion in my life than I do in Virginia. I also lived in California before and during the Reagan era. Taxes were very high, compared to most of the rest of the country. California had an amazing school system and again, good public services in general. But anyway, you all prove my point. What you think of as "American values and traditions" are simply YOUR values and traditions. You're welcome to them, but you're dead wrong if you think that you are in some way defending the country and its values. And I'm going to defend your right to express those values, as much as I'm going to defend the rights of gays to marry and every citizen to have adequate health care and clean air. What I would like to see from the TEA Party is a focus on things that are really wrong and damaging -- not labor unions or "big government" -- but government that is so dramatically influenced by big corporate money, the funding of their own politicians by plutocrats like the Koch brothers, and religious-, homophobic- and racial bigotry. To my mind, those are the real dangers. Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:39:50 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=49#comment77 LucyI'm not a legal expert, and can't answer your questions. But in the UK we do have conspiracy laws, and what you describe (discussing and planning a crime) probable comes under conspiracy. As for theocracies, I'm not claiming you ARE a theocracy. I'm simply saying that from the outside, the differences between the bible-belt Christian right and the Taliban seem very small and subtle. We were discussing freedom: well I'd feel less free in the bible belt than I do here in England. That's opinion, not fact, but it reflects the impression that middle-America projects to the world. Maybe that's why we kinda like Jon Stewart on this side of the pond: he seems to have a more nuanced, subtle and "European" world-view than representatives of the TEA party do. I hope I haven't condemned him with those words! Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:21:03 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=48#comment76 Russell wrote: I honestly don't think there's anything to be gained by arguing about relative freedoms between two of the freest nations on earth.Well, we just like to debate a lot for fun. But anyhew, I agree that USA and UK are two of the freest nations on Earth and that it makes us both incredibly lucky and fortunate... Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:03:43 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=48#comment75 65 Russell wrote: In the UK we can say what we please as long as (a) it doesn't encourage violence or hatred, and (b) it's not libellous. But that's not censorship of ideas, thoughts or opinions. It's just protection of civil order, and from lies. I think that's reasonable, and almost identical to the USA. I honestly don't think there's anything to be gained by arguing about relative freedoms between two of the freest nations on earth.------------------------------------------------------------------------So if a preacher preaches that homosexuality is wrong due to the Bible's teachings and should be discouraged in non-violent way, would this be considered encouraging violence or hatred in UK?In USA, we have modern day skinheads, some of whom are pretty racist. They have the right to say many things, but they don't have the right to take action or become violent.There was a case not long back in which members of a private militia in Michigan were arrested because an FBI or CIA had infiltrated them and recorded a conversation in which they were joking about killing cops and luring more cops after the first cops death. They did have legally registered guns and weaponry. However, despite the talk, this militia never said they were going to do this plan for sure and they never actually took any actions to do it.If someone talks or jokes about doing a crime, has the weaponry legally to do so, but takes no action and does not actually do anything, is this a crime?If anyone notices, majority of homegrown terrorists USA has caught recently, the FBI has been in on it and let the terrorist press the button or think they are about to really harm people, so they can show the terrorist really went through with it that way there is no question they intended to do so, therefore get a lot of jail time... Sun 31 Oct 2010 16:01:45 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=47#comment74 68. At 3:31pm on 31 Oct 2010, Russell Jones wrote:Rather than quote points to argue, just look back at #68 as you all read this.1. I know many in Europe like to compare US Christianity to the Taliban or some other ME theocracy, but, trust me on this one, we ain’t even close. I currently live in a ME Theocracy (as you would see it) although it’s not as bad as Saudi or Kuwait and Christians, in some ways, are less stifled here than many parts of the US where the ACLU have run amuck. All that said, just remember, you will never go to jail in the US for not adhering to the rules, especially since generic Christianity has very few rules in common that can be seen from the outside. However, where I live now, you can go to jail for up to 30 days for eating, drinking or smoking in public from sunup until sundown during the Holy month of Ramadan.2. It wasn’t a Bishop that brought down Carter, he’s a Southern Baptist, we don’t have Bishops, but the rank and file Church members turned on him (with some preaching, I admit). The point is, even the Roman Church in America seldom speaks as one voice except on abortion.3. As far as Christianity being a myth, there is no way to convince someone on this side of eternity of what they don’t want to believe, but remember, whatever your world view is; it requires faith. You have no empirical proof of evolution or the age of the universe or the planet (the last 2 aren’t that important, anyway). I do have an empty tomb, but I can’t prove that to you. I did notice that you were careful to say some would call Christianity a myth, but those same people should consider that if it’s not a myth, than to ignore the precepts of Christianity while trying to govern justly is foolish.4. Christians believe that Islam is a counterfeit religion founded 600 years after Jesus ascended into heaven. Naturally, folks with no God-based faith will see similarities between the real thing and the imitation. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:59:50 GMT+1 steelpulse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=46#comment73 The American People! I will stop right there Mark because the mythical oneness of "The American People" would not like what I had to say. But on a lighter note - I tell myself - the citizens of the USA are not all impatient for change and make the bi-annual changes in the hope that "this lot" or "that lot" will do better for them. I sympathise but wonder if more co-operation between the two Parties and a modicum of patience by everybody may have helped the recovery? Patience? What do I know?I was up a for a game - although poster Number 10 - not scrabble. I nicked those signs for a few anagrams though. Jon Stewart's Daily Show has Moments of Zen you know, The American People who allegedly want everything "Now"! If not "now" - zen? I do. Humm! Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:58:00 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=46#comment72 64 cats wrote: but they don't like or trust recent (and especially Hispanic) immigrants, and expect them all to "be like us."-------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, its kind of hard to like or trust millions of people illegally in your country, especially when your President's actions show that he favors foreign illegals over Americans...If you mean "be like us", as in learn our language and follow our same laws, yes, we expect them to be held to the same standard of laws as us. Sadly, President Obama and the Dems want to give millions of illegals citizenship, which proves they hold them to a higher standard of different laws than Americans, because if they held us to the same standard, President Obama and Dems would make the illegals follow the same laws as us, which includes deporting people who enter our country illegally, which means they have no right to be on our soil.Absolutely no right.Its really pretty outrageous when you think about it. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:48:55 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=45#comment71 ref #63 and 68Most of the country not just the religous right turned against Cater. Why because he supports left wing dictators (Castro and Chavez) and terrorist groups like Hamas and HezbollahWe hate Carter because he is the greatest traitor to have worn a military uniform since Benedict Arnold. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:48:44 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=44#comment70 46. RubberNutz:"The Tea party are not racist. They are just just easily terrified by the media. They need to be engaged with, not lampooned."************On the contrary, I don't think they have enough respect for the media to be influenced by it. Or are you referring to one network having an effect on our entire country? And on independents?Democrats have their own special fears (ex., of big business). As I write, Americans are being told by democrats to be afraid of what will happen if republicans gain a majority. It is wrong for Obama to be creating more fear and anger right now just to advance his party. The last thing he should be doing is going around the country spreading negativity. He stokes their fears, then he ponders it, clueless about his and democrats' role in it. That's some insight he has. More politician than leader, he is. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:46:17 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=44#comment69 ref #64But most of all, I have no respect for people who operate from a position of privilege and entitlement, and that's what I see in the TEA Party and its members.If I saw a commitment to a larger community, including the people we don't like, perhaps I'd think differently, but honestly? All I'm seeing is 'me, me, me' and a dangerous tendency towards defining the rest of us as Others. Not convinced, me.______________That attitude is what I see from the selfish strikers in France who want a continued free ride. Most Tea Party people disagree with more goverment handouts and understand people are going to have to sacrfice.The ones opposing are goverment workers unions, labor unions and those who subscribe to big goverment. And in this economy the one group who has not have to sacrfice is the public sector worker.Cut their salaries to market rate and end their pensions and cadillac healthcare and see if they can feel what the priivate sector worker feels. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:46:07 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=43#comment68 64. At 3:15pm on 31 Oct 2010, catsandbadgers wrote:they say that one of the country's strengths comes from its 'melting pot' history -- but they don't like or trust recent (and especially Hispanic) immigrants, and expect them all to "be like us."____________________________________________________________________Did they really say they were against Mexican Immigrants, or did they use the term illegal allians? There is a difference to those of us that actually think laws are important, like the waiting in line to immigrate instead of jumping the Q. Did they really say they wanted the "Immigrants" to be just like us, or did they say that they should have to learn English, just like the German immigrants and the Italian immigrants and the French immigrants and the Vietnamese Boat people and the Chinese who built the transcontinental rail road and the Japanese who fought bravely for the US in WWII even after a Democrat administration locked them in concentration camps and... Maybe got the picture... Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:36:58 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=42#comment67 Oldloadr #63I think you just made my point: they all have to be demonstrably religious (whether they believe or not) and preferably Christian or Jewish. Mormon is OK, but Islam definitely isn't, and I can't think of a single Hindu or Atheist. The Church turned against Carter, as you point out. That speaks volumes. In Europe, the idea that a bishop could (or would) have influence over an election would be met with outrage. Faith is a matter of personal opinion, it should not be a contributing factor in the political life of a nation.It may be hard to gear this, but many people in the UK think the USA's obsession with God is comparable with many "extremist" middle-Eastern states. You have an insistence on religious conformity that is similar to that of the Taliban. I'd say you lacked their violence, but you do have a HUGE murder-rate, have been known to carry guns at political rallies, and have a deep-seated distrust of anybody who is "anti-American" that is reminiscent of the Talib hatred of all things "anti-Islamic". I don't feel comfortable with any nation being so controlled by what many people consider to be a myth.  Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:31:41 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=42#comment66 Although some are worried that Tea Party may turn extreme or radical, the Tea Party's emotion and drive is because they care. It is better to see people angry, hostile and caring about their future than to see people quietly accepting a fate in which they take no part, just go through the motions, and not caring, not having any emotion at all.You don't want emotion to take over reason/common sense and you don't want your leader or leaders to be too overemotional, either, because that could be seen as weak. However, there does need to be some emotion. Tea Party is emotional and passionate, hostile and angry, but only because they care... Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:21:15 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=41#comment65 62. At 3:05pm on 31 Oct 2010, LucyJ wrote:Then why is it on American blogs you can say whatever you want but on British blogs like this one of BBC, many comments get censored?_______________________________________________________________Great question, Lucy! Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:19:57 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=41#comment64 Lucy #62Lucy, the decision to moderate a forum or not is up to the website, not the nationality. Thus site is moderated to preserve the quality of debate and filter out abuse, propaganda and spam, not to censor ideas or opinions. In the UK we can say what we please as long as (a) it doesn't encourage violence or hatred, and (b) it's not libellous. But that's not censorship of ideas, thoughts or opinions. It's just protection of civil order, and from lies. I think that's reasonable, and almost identical to the USA. I honestly don't think there's anything to be gained by arguing about relative freedoms between two of the freest nations on earth. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:15:33 GMT+1 catsandbadgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=40#comment63 I work with a lot of people who are attracted to the tea bag candidates, and these are the things I've noticed about them, for what it's worth:They are scared, mostly of the actual effects of the things they claim to value. For example, they say that one of the country's strengths comes from its 'melting pot' history -- but they don't like or trust recent (and especially Hispanic) immigrants, and expect them all to "be like us."They complain all the time about lack of government services like good roads, speedy snow removal, and underfunded schools, but they think that they are overtaxed.They believe that people like Sarah Palin, who makes an awful lot of money and lives a far different life to theirs, is just like they are. They haven't traveled very much, and are scared to do so.They are overwhelmingly some sort of non-denominational self-identified Christian, but don't actually attend church very often, if at all, and aren't really clear on the contents of the Bible, especially the New Testament (i.e., the part with Christ's teachings), and are pretty ignorant of the history of Christianity.They are also ignorant of the Constitution, its contents, and its historical context.Also, They drive bigger, more expensive, newer gas-guzzling cars, and have worked big car payments into their budgets.They have big houses and lots of expensive electronic toys and gadgets. They take a couple of vacations a year.When I show them the relative costs of, say, single-payer health care to our expensive private insurance, they don't want to know, because it would mean more taxes -- even though it would be a net gain.When I pointed out that the place we work gave raises that benefited them more than me (and I don't make all that much, but faculty still make more than staff), they still complained because it wasn't enough. They say charity should be private, and there shold be no welfare state -- except when they are the ones who have fallen on hard times, because THEY deserve to be helpedThey say they can't afford to give to charities, but have things I would consider luxuries. At least, those are the TEA Party people I've met. Frankly, I can't sympathize with the fear of a loss of toys. I can't understand why people who make $25k-$35k a year think that not continuing the Bush-era tax cuts on people who make $250k and above will affect them negatively. I really don't understand the disconnect between wanting services and not wanting to pay taxes. I have no sympathy for people who hire yard services that depend on underpaid Hispanic laborers, and then complain about 'those Mexicans trying to take our jobs and stealing our benefits.' I don't have any sympathy for people who don't believe that the freedoms defined in the Constitution and its amendments are not equal to all. I really don't understand how people can think some amendments to the Constitution are valid and others aren't, or that any amendment is something the Founders (can you name one?) wouldn't have wanted.I have no problem with thinking conservatives. I have no problem with people of ANY faith, as long as they don't try to push their faith on me. I do have a problem with the cognitive dissonance that seems inherent in the rhetoric spewed out by Fox news and most of the TEA Party candidates I've heard and seen. I do have a problem with any group that offers blame, but no workable solutions. But most of all, I have no respect for people who operate from a position of privilege and entitlement, and that's what I see in the TEA Party and its members.If I saw a commitment to a larger community, including the people we don't like, perhaps I'd think differently, but honestly? All I'm seeing is 'me, me, me' and a dangerous tendency towards defining the rest of us as Others. Not convinced, me. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:15:22 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=39#comment62 57. At 2:47pm on 31 Oct 2010, Russell Jones wrote:The political influence of the Church is so great that it's impossible for those people to stand for office. For all practical purposes the USA is a theocracy._______________________________________________________Personally, I wish what you said was true, but it’s not. Not nationwide, anyway. In spite of your perception of our “Theocracy,” we have had a Jew nominated for VP by a major party. Several presidents who were nominal Christians at best (Reagan comes to mind) and several homosexuals have held various offices, a few even in Bible Belt states. So there is anecdotal evidence against your Theocracy claim. Conversely, the religious right has turned on outspoken Christians who didn’t walk the walk (e.g. Carter). Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:09:37 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=39#comment61 Adso 18 Having lived in both countries it is evident to me that Englishmen are far freer than Americans.------------------------------------------------------------------------Then why is it on American blogs you can say whatever you want but on British blogs like this one of BBC, many comments get censored? Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:05:25 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=38#comment60 "Unlike Sarah Palin she also gave a solo performance of the national anthem, with heavy emphasis on the line "one nation under God" and less politically explicable weight on the word "stars".As pmk pointed out, Mark Mardell mistakenly mixed up the words of our Pledge of Allegience and the Star Spangled Banner...There is a difference, Mark... Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:02:22 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=37#comment59 55. At 2:39pm on 31 Oct 2010, Sara71 wrote: But when politics, and thence laws, are inspired by religious teaching, thought, and opinions, that effectively forces people to live under a religious law, laws made by those who are not elected. If you'd like a good primary document to read, I suggest James Madison's speech "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessment." It was a speech to the Virginia House of Delegates in reference to a bill introduced to pay for religious teachers. Madison laid out 15 separate reasons why such a bill was unnecessary and dangerous. As the primary author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I am sure Madison would have had a pretty good idea of what those documents intended. _________________________________________________________________A law requiring Virginians to pay religious education teachers is a little more extreme then what has been discussed and within the spirit of the prohibition in the 1st amendment. Although, at the time of ratification, 7 out of 13 states had state sponsored religion I don't see how that can be compared to a politician proclaiming his/her faith and informing the electorate that their faith informs their intellect. To not allow such would be to infringe upon both the politicians right to practice his/her religion and would also infringe upon the right of the electorate to know what faith system informs that politicians conscience. Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:02:09 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=37#comment58 Jon Stewart is, in general, a pretty funny guy, as is Colbert. Both have said very inspiring words to help rally people and sometimes its fun to laugh at how insane the politics has got.At the same time, America is still looking for that bright shining star, that politician or group of politicians that can make things right, bring the people together through setting bipartisan goals (and away from divisive issues) and push our economy through to the next level.When we get our act together, perhaps then we will be able to start transitioning to green energy, but we have to be stabilized first.Although the Jon Stewart rally was fun and good for people to express themselves; after the rally, Jon will go back to Comedy Central and the people will still deal with our problems. Jon is a commentator. If he wanted to be politician and make a difference that way, he would.We want a leader who will stick with us, defend us, never apologize and decrease unemployment. We don't want a leader who is merely a tv personality, which is why some don't want Palin or Stewart as President.I don't know who the Presidental candidate will be for Repub 2012, but I can see Bobby Jindal running for Vice possibly. He is Indian American, which gives diversity, but he is also easy to understand/speaks good English/clearly American born and raised, and although he is just one person, many people were impressed with how much effort and time he and many others spent on the Gulf oil spill with the people and clean-up crews, etc. when he could have abandoned them, but he never changed his stance that everything was worth it for the future of Orleans and he was there for them when they needed him most. Jindal is one of those moderate Repubs, not far left or right Repub.If not Jindal, I could see someone military going for Vice Pres (not John McCain, though, due to his age), as some of our best elected leaders, like Eisenhower, were involved in military and understood just what it is the govt. is asking our kids to do.The election will shape things up, but America is still waiting for a breakout leader; the 'one'.President Obama has done his best, but because of his stances on divisive issues, has caused a reaction in which while many people still like him as a person, many don't feel connected to him the way they previously did because the divisive issues have garnered more attention from the President and the economy needs a sure, sound, clear plan.However, in an ironic twist, the Tea Party/Independent/GOP may just help President Obama out, because if elected, they will bring him down to Earth and maybe Obama will become more moderate and a better President.In return, it may bring the other party more moderate, as well... Sun 31 Oct 2010 14:59:32 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=36#comment57 Howard Beale shouted "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more". But this was in a film, and in films the network is allowed to kill-off its frontman if he goes crazy.I guess this Tea Party is society's safety-valve and, as such, it serves a useful purpose. Concerned but not crazy (?). But what if it gets to believes its own retoric as a new political philosophy, and pushes its own candidates for election to senate and the Presidency? .... then the USA, and US-life-as-we-know-it would have real cause for concern. For it would change everything, including what it means to be American. Sun 31 Oct 2010 14:54:41 GMT+1 Russell Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/tea_party_not_so_mad.html?page=35#comment56 Oldloadr #54Factually, you're right, but practically you aren't. When the US has a number of Islamic or atheist elected officials, then you'll be factually correct. At the moment it's politically suicidal to NOT display a faith in a Christian or Jewish God. Sure, the US is a religious country - extremely religious from a European perspective. But there are a large minority of non-religious voters (or voters from other faiths). The political influence of the Church is so great that it's impossible for those people to stand for office. For all practical purposes the USA is a theocracy. Sun 31 Oct 2010 14:47:46 GMT+1