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The Epistemic Closure of progressives to their violent union thugs

The Epistemic Closure of progressives to their violent union thugs

There are multiple videos shot by different people, including a local news station, showing union members in Lansing yesterday engaged in violent actions against Steven Crowder and others at the Americans For Prosperity tent.

The videos were shot from several angles and sides of the tent. 

The union members are seen cheering as their members walked on the collapsed  tent as people in the crowd screamed that there were people still inside.  A few of the more responsible people in the crowd cut through the tent and lifted its sides looking for people trapped.

The videos are quite clear.  Even Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake noted the obvious yesterday, VIDEO: Michigan Protesters Tear Down Americans for Prosperity Tent:

Earlier today AFSCME reported that 10,000 people showed up at the state capital in Lansing to protest the passage of Michian’s “right to work” law by the Republican dominated state legislature. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to throw up an anti-union tent in the midst of that is anybody’s guess, but Americans for Prosperity did, and the video above shows it being torn it down.

Yes, indeed, the video posted by Hamsher does show the tent being pulled down by union members.  I have taken a screen shot of the Hamsher post at one of the moments in the video showing union members pulling the tent down:

Yet this overwhemling evidence has not stopped the Lansing Truthers from claiming this all is a Koch conspiracy.  Here are Hamsher’s updates to her original post, noting that one of Firedoglake’s own bloggers was spreading the conspiracy theory:

Update: Marcy Wheeler reports that “witnesses say the Americans for Prosperity people were trying to provoke union members to violence, and witnesses reportedly saw AFP people loosening the ropes on the tents so they would come down.”

Update II: Chris Savage from Eclectablog says that Americans for Prosperity tore down their own tent, and promises video soon:

Ed Schultz of MSNBC is on board helping spread the conspiracy.

Nice Deb has a collection of links and videos, including this video shot from inside the tent as it was pushed down from the outside, as someone on a bullhorn asked protesters to “Please step away from the tent.”

Progressives need to admit that they are in bed with thugs, and then come to grips with what that means for their political philosophy.

Update:  @scrowder Gets the Left’s ‘Plate Glass Window’ Treatment and Leftist Blogs Go Into ‘False Flag’ Mode, Mainstream Media Goes Silent.

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Okay…Seems to me that this inexcusable violence from the Vapid Regressive Louts was brought on by Sarah Palin saying “aiming” and “crosshairs” and..and..and…
George W. Bush killing thousands of Bad Guys and…Cheney being at KKR/Halliburton and Gabby Giffords being shot and stuff.

Got it?

“Progressives need to admit that they are in bed with thugs, and then come to grips with what that means for their political philosophy.”
What is the source of this “need”?
The flaming liberals who run this country, who call themselves progressives, have lying at their core. They never have to tell the truth and they never have to admit anything. Their lying is supported by their media arm, the mainstream media, and is accepted by enough low information voters to keep them in power, nationally and in many blue states.

[…] Thugs Attack Conservative Group, MSNBC Wonders if They Did It to Themselves Legal Insurrection: The Epistemic Closure of progressives to their violent union thugs Michelle Malkin: Linked by Legal Insurrection and Michelle Malkin, thanks! Share […]

Do you suppose all the Heightened Rhetoric (TM) by the left about the evil Republicans, the evil Rich, and the evil Tea Party trying to kill women and children might have contributed to this violence? We need to find out *why* these “laborers” committed these acts of violence (allegedly!). We need to understand them better. We need to sit down with TrumkaHoffaStern, reach across the aisle to them, and try to understand the reasons for their violence.

By the way, has anyone heard from TrumkaHoffaStern about these acts of violence? Have they denounced the violence yet? Has anyone asked?

In the wake of this violence, I think it’s important to ask: What did Barack Obama know? And when did he know it? I think the American people deserve answers to these questions.

Every despot needs an army.

If only there was a conservative MSM channel… think of the audience it would reach. It’s a big opportunity for someone.

Or, we can sit around and lament that the left-leaning media isn’t covering stories like this one.

Come now…

The President of the United States, via his spokeshole of boyish looks, assured us that there was nothing here.

“Blood” could mean SO many, totally innocuous things, after all. Saying “There will be blood” could have been referring to a drive to collect live-saving bodily fluids. See? An act of charity and benevolence!

You Teabillies are so crazy, with your wild delusions, when even Nappy Jan of DHS has identified you as the violent ones.

(do I seriously need a sarc tag?)

“Progressives need to admit that they are in bed with thugs, and then come to grips with what that means for their political philosophy.”

You really expect them to act honorably? Thuggery is their stock in trade, they’ll never admit it because they don’t have to because no one will call them on it.

What would Harry Reid do if the situation was reversed? Probably go onto the floor of the Senate and condemn the acts calling all R’s barbarians or some other press grabbing descriptive. What are the R’s going to do? Nothing except wonder why their opponents have no conscience or morals, they’ll rarely call them on it, and even if they did, no one would report it.

Progs are saying that Crowder “provoked” the union goons so he got what was coming to him. When it’s noted that Tea Partiers never attacked lefties in similar manner, progs say it’s only because “liberals” are too nice to be provoking Tea Partiers and too high-minded to be carrying around video cameras to film “propaganda” of Tea Partiers attacking nice progs.

Yes, they’re actually saying that.

Oh, wow, look at the comments to Jane Hamsher’s article.

Free speech for me, but not for thee? These people approve of violence against people who disagree with them. These people are unAmerican.

No wonder the voters in Michigan chose to throw the bums out.

Palin did it.

[…] This is why it’s absurd when people bemoan the insularity of the conservative media, as if this is a phenomenon found exclusively on the right. The left-wing blog world comes up with insane theories all the time, and the latest one–that the Americans for Prosperity tent was not ripped down by union thugs in Michigan, but actually by AFP supporters–is a classic: […]

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

When Chris Matthews gets around to analyzing the racial ethnicity of the union thugs who committed the violence, he will make a huge deal of pointing out that they are a “monochromatic” bunch of middle aged white guys. Then he’ll conclude that they are not really protesting about issues they care about, but instead they are angry that we have a black president and they are frightened that someday white people will not be the majority. Then Al Sharpton will affirm what Matthews has said by astutely pointing out that these union thugs never behaved this way until we had a black president, so obviously they are a bunch of racists.

At least that’s how it would go down if they treated the protesters the way they treated the Tea Party.

Bill, the video clip you posted yesterday that allegedly shows Crowder being punched was edited to delete scene that shows union guy who threw punch knocked or fallen to his knees near Crowder before the punch was thrown. You should post the full clip as did Sean Hannity.

    Why? What difference does that make?

      Steve Diamond in reply to Crawford. | December 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      That’s a good question and one that as an academic committed to truth Bill Jacobson should answer. Why was the tape edited to eliminate this scene and why did he only post the edited version?

      But watch the full tape, linked here: http://stephen-diamond.com/?p=4267

      It is reasonable to conclude the union guy thought Crowder knocked him down, although it is unclear how he ended up on the ground. Notice also that Crowder came up to the guy first and raised his hands and in fact touched him first.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to Steve Diamond. | December 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        “academic commitment to truth” — nice. The video I posted shows the man getting up from the ground, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_F3oev06i0&feature=player_embedded#t=39s. I noticed it immediately before your comment. As to what he thought happened, I can’t read his mind, and neither can you, but he was very aggressive and in Crowder’s face before that, and even if he thought he was pushed he didn’t have a legal right to come back with punches to the face. So as the previous commenter said, it makes no difference.

          Steve Diamond in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

          Whether it makes a difference depends on how he ended up on the ground. I think it is reasonable to conclude that he thought Crowder had something to do with that. And, as far as I can tell from the full video (which you still have not provided to your readers) Crowder touched the union guy first.

          Even if it were reasonable to conclude that he thought Crowder was involved in his own stumbling over an object, his videotaped response – multiple punches to Crowder – was not at all reasonable, but instead was outright illegal.

          So, your point is that you have no point.

          William A. Jacobson in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

          I’m comfortable that the numerous videos posted here present an accurate picture of what happened, including the guy who punched Crowder in the face having gotten up off the ground. But that’s why we have comments, so people who think they know better can tell me why. And readers can click over to the links in the comments and decide for themselves whether the extra second (literally) showing the guy getting up from the ground makes a difference.

        Is it your habit to slug the first person you see whenever you trip?

TrooperJohnSmith | December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Based on this logic, the next time “peace protesters” lie down in front of a train carrying weapons or whatever they’re against, they should just be run over instead of removed.

The ONLY critter not seen as an endangered species by the Left is the “strawman” (scientific name: ‘Democratticusbullshitii’).

You misinterpret them. They do not actually believe their folks aren’t violent. They SUPPORT the violence, and are running interference to keep the violent from being punished.

It seems that people who pride themselves on being “nuanced” thinkers sure are susceptible to conspiracy thoeries.

    Crawford in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The claim of “nuance” is, in reality, a pseudo-intellectual mask for choosing to believe an unbelievable lie.

    Like “Steve Diamond” above.

      Radegunda in reply to Crawford. | December 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Steve Diamond wants us to believe that one guy surrounded by scores of angry, aggressive union goons decided to pick a fight with one of the goons, and then go out and lie about who started it, knowing there would be video available.

      Crowder was facing one guy, with the goon (Camago) a slight distance away, yelling at another guy and being jostled from behind by various people. That’s evidently how he got knocked down. And that was just an excuse for him to punch Crowder in the face multiple times.

      And he probably wants us to believe that the goon in the yellow jacket who grabbed Crowder by the collar from behind must have felt threatened by him as he tried to enter the tent. And that the people who knocked over the tent with people inside of it must have felt threatened by the tent.

Can you imagine the furor if somebody said about the Battle of the Overpass, “why anybody would want to hold a UAW leafletting drive on a pedestrian walkway into an auto plant whose owner hires security guards expressly to beat union organizers up is anybody’s guess, but the UAW did, and these pictures show them getting the crap beat out of them”?

I hope this thuggery leads to waning support of unions. If they had some reasonable argument, and could present it without fists and threats of blood, that would be another matter.

Professor, if you get a chance to cover or reference the legal issues in this matter, it would be appreciated. I’ve been a RTW supporter since the CWA vs Beck in 1988. The ruling upheld RTW, but required payment of dues to the amount covering collective bargaining costs. The new MI law precludes even that portion of dues.

In a free market, contracting labor (not to include government, more below) should be allowed. Hence, MI’s RTW law might be opposed to such a contract. My question is, do unions supply labor, or are they some other entity that gets gov’t preferential treatment? I suspect the latter, which is why I support MI’s new law.

I think gov’t employees should be prohibited from forming unions, as this is an assault on the taxpayer who is unable to sufficiently represent himself in the negotiations. It’s a huge incentive to corruption of lawmakers who represent the taxpayers. FDR, the liberals’ liberal, opposed gov’t unions.

No one here will care, but both the New York Times and the Washington Post now have called into question the edited video used by Crowder. The Times notes that on Fox News last night a longer version of the video clearly shows the guy who punched Crowder had been knocked down. Crowder himself agreed on the show and on his twitter account that he pulled the guy away from the tent.

    punfundit in reply to Steve Diamond. | December 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    What? The New York Times and the Washington Post called a Fox News guy a liar? Say it ain’t so! The New York Times and the Washington Post called a Right to Work guy a liar? Get outta town! The New York Times and the Washington Post is defending union violence? What is the world coming to?

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