Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>More fun down on the border</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Thursday, March 10, 2005

More fun down on the border

Yee haw! Things are heating up down south, although there's no fire yet. Apparently a county supervisor, Paul Newman (no, not that Paul Newman), had the audacity to ask the vigilante group planning to patrol the border next month to apply for a permit for what they call a "peaceful demonstration".

A Cochise County supervisor is calling for enforcement of zoning codes that could affect a planned gathering of volunteers to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, saying local government needs to "minimize the potential for violence and property damage."

Supervisor Paul Newman wants the county to regulate the monthlong series of protests and patrols by a group of volunteers from across the country who say they plan to assist the U.S. Border Patrol.

Newman called for the enforcement of zoning codes, which require organizers of large gatherings lasting more than a week to get land-use permits. Organizers of shorter events are required to obtain temporary permits. "By not enforcing our zoning regulations, we are not only putting our citizens at risk, but we are also sending the message that we are intimidated by the threat of the invasion of our county by gun-toting vigilantes," he wrote. "I believe we need to make it clear that that is not the case."

Apparently, this is too much for Dissin' Chris (whose bio I outlined in a post on March 4th), who doesn't want anyone to know who the "gun-toting vigilantes" are, in fear of reprisal. He let loose with both barrels in his newspaper last week, calling Newman basically everything he's been called himself.

"You know I can’t remember a time when I felt more that an elected official should be removed from office. If the tables were turned, comments like Mr. Newman’s would have the A.C.L.U. filing a lawsuit and the Southern Poverty Law Center would have Mr. Newman added to their list of hate mongers. It is clear that Mr. Newman harbors deeply rooted hate for law abiding citizens who have a different opinion about a serious issue that affects the value of every American’s citizenship and civil liberties,"

I hope Mr. Newman is tarred and feathered by the county attorney and I’ll certainly back any recall that constituents might want to initiate in an effort to get this lunatic, fascist out of office. I mean, what is he afraid of - citizens stopping the flow of illegal drugs making it harder for Americans to acquire cheat marijuana along with their cheap labor.

Mr. Newman’s statements represent a most vile and despicable defamation of character of American citizens. Mr. Newman’s comments are a blatant example of the travesty of hate speech meant to create fear and panic in the community, even though he states that is not his intent.

Mr. Newmans’ hateful hyperbole and slanderous prejudicial comments that create bias in the public opinion are egregiouly irresponsible for a public official. Mr. Newman should be ashamed of his comments that are based in fear bred from ignorance.

Mr. Newman’s ignorance and hate speech will now create even more panic in the general population. Mr. Newman is obviously ignorant of the fact that a majority of participants in the project are retired law enforcement officers and military veterans who have no intention of enforcing any laws or taking the law into their own hands.

The participants will engage in nothing more than sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars to spot suspicious illegal activity and report to the proper authorities and to provide lifesaving aid to individuals in need of assistance.

Well, that might be close to the truth. Substitute rifle scopes for binoculars and it sounds more realistic. At least for the "retired law enforcement officers and military veterans" that I know.

Newman responded in a Letter to the Editor in Chris's newspaper, and believe it or not it was printed. Here are some excerpts from his response:

Imagine my surprise when I read... that I had made a "vicious, discriminatory attack on citizen’s participation in a peaceful assembly…" Nothing could be farther from my intention. This just goes to show you that ugliness, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Please let me try to make my position clear for all who have an open mind to consider, not construe.

I have asked for permitting only to ensure that the County is apprised of the... project activities so that we can take prudent steps to prepare for a group of 1,000 visitors, its impact on County services, and its potential to affect the health and safety of us all. Getting a permit does not in any way silence the group. All the county government seeks to understand is the who, what, when, where, and how of this month-long special event.

In response, [he] accuses me of harboring a "deep-rooted hate" of people who have an opinion different than mine. He calls me a "hate monger" and a "lunatic fascist," he wishes I would be "tarred and feathered," and calls for my recall. Sometimes, leadership involves stepping courageously into controversy. The only thing that I seek in this matter is to insure that the... project follows the law during their stay in Cochise County.

I personally disagree with the underlying philosophy of the... project and I do not approve of the tactics the group is using to further their vision for America. However, I defend their right to express their opinions and to assemble. You may disagree with my attempt to provide some sort of oversight of that assembly in order to ensure public safety, but I trust that reasonable citizens will take [his] comments attacking me with a grain of salt. In a democracy there is always room for open discussion and dissent. That is what democracy is all about. That is what [he] is supposedly defending. Oh, the irony of it all.


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