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  • An Important Qualifier

    Posted by Shannon Love on September 12th, 2009 (All posts by )

    Via Instapundit comes a major (albeit British) media report that the Tea Party protest in Washington turnout could be as high as two million.

    As impressive as that no doubt upper-limit estimate is, I think that the raw number leaves out an important qualifier. To be  truly accurate, the report should say:

    Two million people with jobs

    Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.

    We can safely assume that for every individual who made it to the protest that there are dozens of people whose grown-up obligations prevented them from attending.

    That thought should keep Obama and Pelosi up at night.

    [update (2009-9-13 10:17pm): I should point out that I don’t think anyone really believes that two million people showed up in Washington. One percent of the entire U.S. population is 3 million people so two millions gets you two thirds of the way to one percent of the entire population. I don’t think there is a city in world that could handle that big an influx of people. Washington D.C. itself only has a population for 590,000 so having nearly four times the population of the city show up is really not credible no matter what the senior Democratic leadership thought. On the other hand, having hundreds of thousands of people, most who have never protested before, show up is significant and puts the tea party in the big leagues no matter how you cut it.]

    [update (2009-9-13 6:53pm): For unknown reasons, all comments by Hippeprof were deleted from the thread below. This issue is being investigated and we will try to recover the comments. If anyone else saw their comments disappear please email me at the link to the upper right.]

    [update (2009-9-13 8:02pm): 20 comments were found to have been removed by the spam filter. We have restored them and I will be cleaning up duplicates and removing the “hey, what happened to my comments?” post in order to keep the thread clean.]

    [update (2009-9-12-10:16): The technical problems have resurfaced. Your posts may not show properly. We may have to freeze the comments. If you have an important point to make  you can email at the link to the upper right and I will add your comment to thread manually as time permits.]

     

    115 Responses to “An Important Qualifier”

    1. David McFadden Says:

      I was there and saw a large crowd filling the open space between the west front of the Capitol and 3rd Street NW (3 blocks away). The crowd in that area was not tightly packed; being conservatives, they gave each other space. In comparison, at the last, lamentable inauguration a dense crowd filling the entire Mall was estimated at 1.8 million. So I would say that although it was an impressive turnout (they generally were, as you say, middle-aged and middle-class), National Partisan Radio’s statement that “tens of thousands” marched today does not seem inaccurate.

    2. marena Says:

      “That thought should keep Obama and Pelosi up at night.”

      Should is correct, but it won’t. They think that middle America is made up of gun clinging, bible toating idiots who don’t even vote.

      They are half right, and it doesn’t matter to them anyway.

      All that matters to them is money and power and they don’t see any difference between the two.

    3. Pam K. Says:

      It is true that these people look like they have jobs and are paying for family purchases. Why are the major networks ignoring this story or minimizing it? If I was an advertiser on one of those networks, those photos would start me reconsidering how to direct my advertising budget. What would happen if the people in this march decide they are fed up with being ignored by the press and start contacting the advertisers for the MSM programs? Seems like a logical next step to me. CNN has a miniscule headline saying “thousands” of protestors were in DC. Well yes; but it was lotsa, lotsa thousands!

    4. hippieprof Says:

      Two million? Even FOX news is only reporting “tens of thousands” and the photos I have seen support that estimate – a nice crowd, yes – but no more than Obama would typically turn our at a single campaign event.

      Sorry to deflate you – but this was no “King’s march on Washington” folks…..

      The “people with jobs” comment is offensive and unnecessary. You like to call liberals “elitist” – but I have rarely heard such an elitist comment from a liberal. To suggest that all Obama supporters are uneducated and unemployed?

      — hippieprof

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Hippieprof: I don’t see why the “people with jobs” comment is offensive. Leftist demonstrations tend to be dominated by organized agitators, often professionals (Acorn, ANSWER, union groups, etc.). I don’t see any comparable organized participation by conservative or Republican groups in conservative demos. I see, on the contrary, widespread promotion of these events among unaffiliated individuals. Certainly, t-shirt uniforms, mass-printed signs and obvious orchestration by extremist groups — all prevalent at leftist demos — are absent at the tea parties. Am I missing something?

    6. JoeCitizen Says:

      The only official estimates, from DC Fire Dept. is 60-70,000.

      A million, let alone 2 million, is patently absurd, as anyone who has any experience with DC demos could tell.

      Even the organizers were only claiming 1.2 million, and that has already been shot down by the source they

    7. Brett_McS Says:

      Politicians apply factors to any correspondence they receive, in order to estimate the number of constituents who feel the same way. A posted letter has a higher factor than an email, etc.

      People with jobs travelling from all over the country would represent a pretty high factor in this calculus. Since this was clearly the largest rally in Washington in decades (according to police), that would represent a big chunk of the electorate. And Reid and Pelosi will be worried because the only litter left on the ground afterwards (in stark contrast to the tonnes of garbage left on the streets during the Obama inauguration) was a dozen of so dog leashes.

    8. david foster Says:

      “Progressive” demonstrations are to a certain extent social events, which considerable numbers of people attend because it’s what’s done in their circle and, especially in the case of college-age people, to meet of the opposite sex.

      Since there is no long-standing protest culture among conservatives & libertarians, such motivations are largely to be less important among them and hence, the threshold of interest in an issue necessary to get them to come out is considerably higher.

    9. Shannon Love Says:

      Hippeprof,

      The “people with jobs” comment is offensive and unnecessary.

      This from someone whose handle contains “hippy”, a group of people not noted from for their strong work ethic.

      The observation was meant to be humorous but it is true. Leftwing demonstrations are dominated by college kids, unmarried professional activist and childless urbanite professionals. They’re not people ordinary mainstream people in the least. They belonged to a small subculture in which anti-Americanism, socialism and a veneration for European style elitist government is at the least an expected affectation.

      For example, the biggest pro-dictator/anti-democracy rallies of the past eight years were organized by International Answer which was formed by the leadership of the World Workers Party which was an openly communist organization. (Worse they were anti-revisionist i.e. Stalinist) They were joined by a laundry list of far-left organization most explicitly anti-American and all far divorced from the American mainstream. These types of people do not have ordinary lives and they don’t represent the American core.

      I find your complaint especially humorous because on every thread I have read on the subject of the tea party (and many of the parent post) contain boiler plate descriptions of the tea party activist as racist, ignorant, gun-clinging rednecks in thrall to corporate interest. Even when they do talk about real people, they pick out the most extreme individuals and paint them as representative.

      The media does as well. Imagine if every news story on the anti-demcrocy protest had started with, “Organized by self-described anti-American communist…” and you get the picture of how the media portrays tea parties.

      Leftists routine and casually accuse non-leftist of the most horrible crimes imaginable. Bush was accused of starting a war and murdering tens of thousands of people (or millions depending on which leftist is making the accusation) just to make money for his buddies in the oil business. One cannot imagine a more extreme accusation. Leftist made that and other almost as bad accusation as easily as they breathe and with just as little thought. Yet leftist react with great offense if anyone ever punctures their own inflated self-image.

      I would also point out that leftists often make a point of differentiating themselves from the mainstream. They continually tell us how they’re so much smarter than ordinary people, so much more “aware”. so much more creative, so much more “progressive”, so much more insightful etc. Most are fiercely proud that they don’t engage in the dull, uninspiring profit driven work that actually creates the material benefits of society and they sneer down at those who do. Instead, they devote themselves to the arts, intellectual pursuits and politics. You know, the proper pursuits of aristocrats.

      So no, I don’t feel to bad about implying that a group of people who all dream of being hippy college professors don’t have real jobs and real adult responsibilities like the rest of us.

    10. Letalis Maximus, Esq. Says:

      “…don’t feel too bad….”

      I would have gone. But I had to get back home and change out the clutch on my pick-up (and no, it does not have a gun rack in it, nor does it have tobacco juice stains running down the side) and try to save several hundred dollars in repair bills.

    11. Shannon Love Says:

      Joe Citizen,

      The only official estimates, from DC Fire Dept. is 60-70,000.

      Even so, that pretty impressive for people with jobs and responsibilities who don’t from subculture in which protest are part of the social calendar.

      The important thing is that with these protest, the ratio of people not at the rallies but who the ideas of the protestors is much higher than in your average leftwing protest in which the ration of professional activist and protestors is much higher.

    12. Jim Treacher Says:

      Imagine that, someone calling him- or herself “hippieprof” doesn’t think yesterday was a big deal.

    13. Sgt. Mom Says:

      And for every protester (with a job!) who was on the Mall on Saturday, how many were there who wanted to be there, but couldn’t afford it, had family or jobs commitments that couldn’t be set aside. Ten, fifteen, twenty?
      The mainstream media ignores this at their peril. I don’t think political strategists for either party are ignoring it, or blithely concluding that protests is all the Tea Partiers can and will do.
      2010 is just around the corner.

    14. Mike G Says:

      Democratic protesters have jobs. How else would SEIU order them to protest and issue them signs?

    15. claude Hopper Says:

      Hippieprof: Correct and resubmit

      “To suggest that all Obama supporters are uneducated and unemployed?”

      Options:

      To suggest that all Obama supporters are uneducated and unemployed
      1) is an insult.
      2) is an elitist putdown.
      3) omits the college profs who can’t write a simple sentence.

    16. Marty Says:

      Estimates of 60-70k are ridiculously low. A third to half that many were waiting in line at the porta potties midway through the rally.

    17. Firehand Says:

      Go here
      http://michellemalkin.com/2009/09/12/yes-the-picture-is-real-nutroots/
      Take a look at the bottom, first the screenshot and then the crowd estimate schematic below it.

      ’60-70,000′ my ass.

    18. tyouth Says:

      Hippieprof said: “The “people with jobs” comment is offensive and unnecessary. You like to call liberals “elitist” – but I have rarely heard such an elitist comment from a liberal. To suggest that all Obama supporters are uneducated and unemployed?”

      Rarely hearing an elitist comment from a liberal may be because they are more rarely elite. A liberal protest crowd is younger and has a greater number of individuals in it who will profit, monetarily by the adoption of the cause they protest for or against. A more conservative crowd (“people w jobs”) will have fewer of these types of people.

      Older folks are more practical and are more balanced in their outlook having observed history and learned in the slow but efficient institution of “hard knocks”. The conservative crowd are not union members or special interest groups who will benefit from object of the protest. The conservative group will generally want to be left alone and desire maximize personal freedom without wanting something additional from on high.

      So it is fair, IMO, to call the conservative crowd “elite” although I doubt few individuals in the crowd would describe themselves that way. Being elite isn’t a bad thing hippieprof.

    19. Conor Says:

      “hippieprof”

      Wow, I cannot imagine a more non-productive position than a former hippie academic.

      Let’s bet he/she teaches liberal arts at a small NE college. Something like social studies or English lit. You know, one of those fields in which you can find a job, unless of course, it is teaching.

    20. JorgXMcKie Says:

      There are no ‘official’ crowd estimates in DC any more. I believe the Park Service used to provide them years ago but stopped when the ‘official’ numbers became a point of contention and acrimony.

      However, there are ways to compare. For instance, an anti-war rally on Sep 23 (I believe, might have been 24)in 2004 was held in the Ellipse. By comparing the area covered by the crowd (it is measurable) to the space taken up by a human body, it’s obvious that the crowd ‘reported’ by the MSM as “over 100,000” couldn’t possibly have been more than 40,000 and given human unwillingness to be packed like sardines was almost certainly more like 25,000.

      You can also estimate crowd density from overhead shots. Even in ‘packed’ crowds each individual seems to take up about 1.5 to 2.25 sq ft of ‘floor space’. Call it 1.75 on average. Find the area covered by the crowd, divide by 1.75 and you have an upper limit.

      I’ve been ‘counting crowds’ since my undergrad days in the 60s, when I first noticed *gross* overestimates of crowd size. I have come to the conclusion that this can be traced to two causes: first, most people have never, ever, been in a crowd of any real large size, so they tend to overestimate when confronted with “a lot’ of strangers; and second, people tend to overestimate how many people agree with them.

      Thus, I found typical overestimates of from 3-10 times the ‘upper limit size’ of crowds.

      As an example, clear back in ’68 at U of Illinois, the student paper estimated a crowd in an anti-war demo at 3000, when physically there was room for no more than 1000 (@ 1.5/sq ft) and more probably there were only 800 (@ 1.75/sq ft).

      The MLK rally probably had 450,000 (1.75/sq ft) from pics showing how much of the Mall was covered, and the Million Man March had around 650,000. The Pro-Life Roe v Wade certainly had 1.2 million.

      We can also estimate by cameras that show people passing. Check out the beginning of a marathon. The first few can ‘run, but after a couple of hundred in front, all contestants are *walking* past the start line, *and they’re NUMBERED!* We *know* how many go past.

      Comparing this to the intersection cameras at the Tea Party yesterday, there must have been in excess of 500,000.

    21. Maxwell Jump Says:

      It’s kind of interesting how 250,000+ people show up to protest against Socialism/big government/out of control spending and it’s scorned and downplayed as a joke, or non-event.

      Yet for 8 years 1,000 anti-war/Bush protesters are showing the will and discontent of the American people against the rising tide of Right Wing extremism and the obvious machinations of the Right, and Bush, to impose a theocracy on the American people.

      Funny that. And the MSM wonders why it’s dying.

    22. Chester White Says:

      Some group on Constitution Avenue was counting people as they went by.

      They stopped at 450,000.

    23. Anonymous Says:

      “A liberal protest crowd is younger and has a greater number of individuals in it who will profit, monetarily by the adoption of the cause they protest for or against.”

      It’s ironic that this won’t be so in the case of health care. The “rich” will soon be tapped out and the only place left to go to pay for the old – that group that eats up 80% of all health care money – will be the young. If there was ever a group that needs education about not demanding things that are completely against their self-interests it is the young.

    24. Parad E. Makewater Says:

      After the protesters left I was walking my dog down the mall, as I habitually do, and I saw a empty Coke can thrown on the ground next to a tree. I decided right then and there that I can’t support the protesters because look what they do to the environment! So I emailed Barack to let him know that I now support him and the Dems 100%.

    25. biff Says:

      Hey hippie prof (and other former Hippies):

      How does is feel to be a staunch supporter of the….(gulp)…establishment.

      How far they’ve come. Dismissing, qualifying or excusing government abuse, mismanagement or corruption. Belittling fellow citizen protestors. Standing up for the government!

      It used to be about the music, man…

    26. cjm Says:

      who’re you gonna belive — hippieprof or your own lying eyes? there are multiple sources of video and still images showing what is clearly hundreds of thousands of people there. keep denying what’s really going on, it’s what the left does best (that’s why their plans always work out so well).

    27. Dave Says:

      As for the count, I thought in D.C., anything over 25 people constituted a Million.

    28. T Thomas Says:

      JorgXMcKie is right: Most people are REALLY bad at crowd estimates. The tendency to overestimate is rampant, especially once bad numbers are set into place and everyone uses those as a yardstick.

      Here in the Motor City, the Detroit Free Press has been made a pet cause out of deflating these massive counts by local music festivals and such. A few days ago there was a story about a free family festival that had regularly been claiming weekend crowds of 1 million and up; this year they moved to paid admission, with a charity component that necessitated a legitimate audit. Real attendance turned out to be like 50,000 a day. (The actual crowds weren’t notably smaller — just the number itself.)

      Same with a yearly techno festival here, which was claiming 1 million plus. They finally moved to real tickets, and the real number turned out to be more like 60,000 total, if memory serves.

      The thing is, until the paper made an issue out of it, nobody had really questioned these insane numbers. To somebody in a packed crowd over a broad space, it can FEEL like “a million people.” Furthermore, organizers and others invested in an event (including police, who get manhours out of it) have an incentive to shoot high. So add that to the ongoing “arms race” among promoters and organizations to trump each others’numbers, and you’ve got a recipe for hugely inflated counts.

      I love, love, love the idea of a million people showing up in DC to decry big government. But that is, alas, a very dubious number.

    29. hitnrun Says:

      2 million might not be right, but it’s sure closer than “60,000 to 70,000”.

    30. T Thomas Says:

      “2 million might not be right, but it’s sure closer than “60,000 to 70,000″.”

      That picture you linked to — is that supposed to disproving the “60,000 to 70,000”? Because it doesn’t. The crowd pictured in that photo would fit into a big football or soccer stadium (where they’d actually be tightly squeezed together, unlike their density there).

      Look: I am not a political foe here. I am on our side. But it doesn’t serve anybody to keep pushing unrealistic figures, which will only wind up turning the conversation into a math argument, rather than a debate about the issue at hand.

      The bottom line is that the number wasn’t “sure closer” to 2 million — not yesterday, and not for any other DC event. You don’t need to be in a protest-count arms race with lying leftists. Just be happy that a lot of Americans want America to be America again. That’s what we should be celebrating here, regardless of raw numbers.

    31. hippieprof Says:

      Hey folks – I love the abuse – please bring it! All it does is reinforce the point I am trying to make and simultaneously diminishes the point you are making. You can’t buy better publicity that that!

      Let me spell out my point a little more clearly….

      — Conservatives like to maintain that liberals are “elitist” because we apparently think we are better than anyone else.

      — Conservatives on this blog are claiming that their group is employed and hard working – compared to those in the liberal camp who are apparently a bunch of lazy unemployed welfare queens.

      — In claiming that they are employed and hard working compared to Liberals, Conservatives are in fact claiming that they are better than the rest of us – and are themselves elitists.

      — Conservatives are hence hypocrites.

      QED

      — hippieprof

      P.S. Claude – It is perfectly acceptable to use a sentence fragment as a stylistic tool. Like this.

      P.P.S. If anyone wants to go head-to-head with me on work ethic – like I said – bring it. You seem to be ready to make a lot of assumptions about me based on little information beyond stereotypes.

    32. picturerock Says:

      Shannon Love, that was the most lucid, accurate and concise description of the mindset of a liberal I have ever read. Kudos!

    33. Parad E. Makewater Says:

      Hippieprof,

      I think what posters here mean is that there is a difference in being employed by, say, an actual business, rather than ACORN, MoveOn.org, or groups like that. Beneficial employment vs paid deployment, both can be considered employment, I suppose, so you’re right that people shouldn’t accuse the Left’s protesters of being unemployed.

    34. dr. luba Says:

      “A third to half that many were waiting in line at the porta potties midway through the rally.”

      Well, considering the tea bag demographic, it was probably prostate issues……..

    35. renminbi Says:

      Leftists go to unpaid demonstrations to get a piece of *ss.

    36. hippieprof Says:

      Parad says: “I think what posters here mean is that there is a difference in being employed by, say, an actual business, rather than ACORN, MoveOn.org, or groups like that. Beneficial employment vs paid deployment, both can be considered employment, I suppose, so you’re right that people shouldn’t accuse the Left’s protesters of being unemployed.”

      I suspect you are overestimating the amount of “paid deployment” going on. I have attended Obama rallies with a lot of other well educated and gainfully employed professional colleagues. We do exist.

      I also suspect you are underestimating the degree to which special interests – particularly the private insurance industry – are funding the tea party movement.

      — hippieprof

    37. hippieprof Says:

      Renminbi says: “Leftists go to unpaid demonstrations to get a piece of *ss.”

      Yes – and rightists have to go to Argentina on state funds to get it…..

      — hippieprof

    38. Anonymous Says:

      I was there and I’m unemployed. I was protesting because I WANT to get a job, and cap and trade, healthcare, etc will make it much more likely that employers spend their money on lawyers and compliance fees than on salaries. As Reagan said, the best social program is a job.

    39. Jonathan Smith Says:

      I was there. It was a first for me as for many if not most. The crowd was large, everyone was polite, upbeat and CIVIL. We were not an angry crowd. Certainly no mob.

      I heard from Juan Williams at FOX News this morning that we simply did not understand the issues. Apparently only he and the elites that agree with him are intelligent enough.

      I beg to differ. They do not understand. We, the American people, understand the issues quite clearly. We do not like what’s happening to our country. We do not trust the politicians. They twist the truth and sometimes lie to keep their jobs and their power. We pay attention to what they do. We do not trust their words.

      We the people are not the subjects of our “betters”. We WILL be heard by the priviledged class in congress and the white house. We rejected the King and nobles in 1776. We reject the nobility in Washington today. Then we used force of arms, today we use our votes. Pray that we have been awakened in time.

    40. Parad E. Makewater Says:

      “the private insurance industry – are funding the tea party movement.”

      In a way, again, you’re probable right. They aren’t taking all our money, unlike what the government is planning, so we still have money to pay our own way to these kind of events.

    41. hippieprof Says:

      Jonathan said: “I beg to differ. They do not understand. We, the American people, understand the issues quite clearly. We do not like what’s happening to our country. We do not trust the politicians. They twist the truth and sometimes lie to keep their jobs and their power. We pay attention to what they do. We do not trust their words.”

      See – here is where you don’t completely get it.

      You claim to represent “the American people.”

      You don’t. I am an American just like you – and you and your group certainly do not represent me or people like me.

      You have every right to your opinion and you have every right to have a protest march – but please don’t try to claim that you are somehow “more American” than I am.

      — hippieprof

    42. Shannon Love Says:

      Hippeprof,

      – Conservatives like to maintain that liberals are “elitist” because we apparently think we are better than anyone else.

      Everyone chooses their actions based on their own personal sense of right and wrong. We choose those actions because we believe that doing so makes us a good person. It follows that we believe of selves morally superior to those who chose ethically opposite actions. I certainly feel morally superior to Fascist and Communist and have no qualms about saying so. That does not make me an elitism.

      Elitism is grounded a lack of respect for the decision-making ability of other people. It is the belief that you belong to some group whose decision-making abilities are so far above the norm that you deserve disproportionate influence over society and individuals.

      It is your contempt for the ability of ordinary people to run their own lives without your superior insight that makes you an elitist. Your entire ideology is based upon the concept that ordinary people cannot manage their lives without people like you continuously overriding ordinary peoples decisions as you see fit. Every leftist’s policy that doesn’t touch upon sex is simply a prescription for transferring the legal authority to make decisions out of the hands of individuals and into the hands of a state sanctioned elite.

      Pick a program and look at who you think should make the decisions in it: Social Security – government. Education — government. Jobs — government and government granted monopolies. Environment — government. Health care — government big time. Any attempt by non-leftists to redistribute wealth and decisions making authority to the people, such as with vouchers programs, private retirement saving etc is viciously attacked in favor of a program that leaves the control in the hands of people you ego identify with.

      That is why you are an elitist. Such thinking is ingrained in your world view at the foundation level. You cannot think of society in any other terms than as small groups of elites fighting over who controls the sheep. Heck, you even believe that the tea party is pure corporate astroturf because you can’t conceive of ordinary people taking political initiative without the prodding of some powerful elite group.

      By contrast, non-leftist ideologies such as libertarians, classical liberals and even Republicans believe that individuals can and should make their own decisions. They do not believe that peoples decisions should be constantly overridden by intellectual and moral superiors. They respect other people and believe that one should not impose one’s own decisions on them using the violent coercive power of the state.

      It is perfectly acceptable to use a sentence fragment as a stylistic tool. Like this.

      Yes, I imagine that in your world, clear and concise communication is not as valued as style. Form over function is the core of leftist academia.

    43. Parad E. Makewater Says:

      “Yes – and rightists have to go to Argentina on state funds to get it…..”

      Yeah, it sucks that we can’t have it imported directly into the Oval Office, or make a short trip to Malibu and get it for free.

    44. Boyd Says:

      Prof;

      QED? Let me take a shot at clarifying your sylogism. You’ve mixed together Conservatives, Liberals, elitists and hypocrites in a manner that is decidedly not QED. Looks like a classic “Fallacy of the Four Terms” syllogism (Aristotal must be rolling over in his grave) to me.

      These are proper syllogisms.

      People who are elitists claim they are better than others.
      Conservatives here claim they are better than others.
      Conservatives here are elitists.
      or;
      People who make claims about others behavior that they themselves do are hypocrites.
      Conservatives here are making claims about others behavior that they themselves do.
      Conservatives here are hypocrites.

      Only these don’t work either. For any syllogism to work the first general statement must be true at all times. The problem for you is that you are not defining elitist properly. It doesn’t just mean claiming that certain behaviors are superior to others because it is certain that some are (unless of course one is stupid enough to fall for post-modernism). When I as a Conservative claim someone is being an elitist I am saying that the person not only believes they deserve favored treatment because they are superior to me but that they believe they deserve favored treatment because they are superior to everyone – even people on their own side. The exasperation you see from the Tea Partiers is that they see a political class who is, by this definition, elitist. All of them.

    45. Tatyana Says:

      How’s this for you, HW? Do these people look like they were hired by “community organizers? Or taken from Social Unrest 101 at a local community college, with promise of course credit?

    46. Tatyana Says:

      It seems that I can’t post picture in comments. OK, go look here, for plenty of them taken by a participant.

    47. Mike G Says:

      Park Service seems to think it was the biggest crowd in DC ever. Will it really be a win for the Obama agenda if it gets demoted to 2nd, 3rd or even 10th?

    48. Biff Says:

      I don’t think there is a city in world that could handle that big an influx of people. Washington D.C. itself only has a population for 590,000 so having nearly four times the population of the city show up is really not credible no matter what the senior Democratic leadership thought.

      That influx is not as extreme as you might think. The US Census estimated in 2005 that commuters cause the population of Manhattan to fluctuate by more than 1.2 million every working day (and the figure was higher in the past), and Washington, DC by nearly half a million every day.

    49. T Thomas Says:

      “Park Service seems to think it was the biggest crowd in DC ever.”

      See, this is the sort of thing that is FAR more meaningful and helpful than any raw number.

      (That said, do you have a citation?)

    50. Shannon Love Says:

      Hippiprof,

      I also suspect you are underestimating the degree to which special interests – particularly the private insurance industry – are funding the tea party movement.

      I realize this is an article of faith on the left which you are compelled to believe in by you elitist outlook and contempt for ordinary people. However, for those of us not in your little church, do you have the least shred of evidence this is the case? Or is this just you crypto-Marxist outlook forcing you to assume that it there? Some names and numbers would help those of us who rely on hard data to make a decisions.

      I would note that you think that having insurance companies involved in the political debate undermines its integrity but you have no problem with compulsory unions doing the same. You seem to have no problem forcing people to join unions if they want a job. You have no problem letting the unions claim they “represent” the people forced to join. You have no problem forcing people to pay dues and you have no problem denying those people an accounting of how those dues are spent or how the decision to spend them is made. You have no problem forcing people to choose between funding politicians and activist they disagree with strongly and having a job.

      You have no problem doing this because your elitist outlook tells you that forcing people into unions if they want to work is, in your opinion, the best thing for them and therefore you have no moral or practical qualms in doing so.

      And we come back to the unique quality of the tea parties. Protest done by unions are funded and organized by a state mandated institutions that extorts money from workers and spends it as (in the ideal case) the majority of “members” deem best and to hell with the individual. This gives them a built in logistical system and millions and millions of dollars with which to produce large crowds.

      The tea party people by comparison are decentralized individuals privately organizing without benefit of state ordered funding and infrastructure. Even if funding from the evil insurance companies is not entirely mythical, so what? People would still need to decide to show up and protest. At best those evil capitalist just provided the means to get there.

      That is, unless your the kind of person who nothing but contempt for intellect of ordinary people and believe that their minds can be easily changed by anyone writing a check. But that would be elitist wouldn’t it?

    51. hippieprof Says:

      So – my last comment here was captured in the spam filter, and it has yet to be posted here. I am not sure exactly why.

      It is possible that there is some limit to how many posts can be made in a day – and I have simply made too many.

      It is also possible that I have been placed on a “persona non grata” list and my comments are no longer welcome here.

      [

      That would be sad. I came here not to shout insults but to engage in some rational conversation. I have indeed taken my share of insults, but I have attempted (not always successfully) to not respond in kind.

      If I have been banned from the site only the moderator will see this anyway.

      If I have not been banned from this site, I hope we could continue this conversation civilly – and perhaps with a little less ad hominem thrown in.

      You are also welcome to join the discussion on my blog – comments from all sides are welcome and encouraged there. You can get to it by clicking on my name.

      Here is to come continued discussion.

      — hippieprof

      [Comments were trapped improperly by the spam filter, now corrected– Shannon]

    52. rtw Says:

      I agree with JorgXMcKie and TThomas that crowd estimates by participants tend to be way too high.

      Last night, there was an easy way to see exactly what a closely-packed crowd 100,000 looks like, by turning on the OSU-USC game. Every now and then, the TV would show a blimp shot of the packed stadium. 100,000 is a hell of a lot of people. So, for anyone who was at the rally at its peak (I got there late), how many stadiums would the crowd yesterday fill? One-half? One? Two? Five? Ten? Twenty?

    53. joe from Lowell Says:

      On the other hand, having hundreds of thousands of people, most who have never protested before, show up is significant and puts the tea party in the big leagues no matter how you cut it.

      Indeed it would be, if there was any reason to believe hundreds of thousands of people showed up.

      The CD Fire Department appears to be the only agency to release an estimate. They put the figure at 50-60,000.

      In other words, less than the number of people Obama addressed in Denver. Far less.

      Or, about 1/30 the number of people who attended the inauguration.

    54. joe from Lowell Says:

      “I realize this is an article of faith on the left which you are compelled to believe in by you elitist outlook and contempt for ordinary people. However, for those of us not in your little church, do you have the least shred of evidence this is the case?”

      Do you mean like the big sign reading “FreedomWorks” on the podium? The fact that FreedomWorks chartered the buses? That kind of evidence?

    55. joe from Lowell Says:

      Hitnrun Says:
      September 13th, 2009 at 9:59 am
      2 million might not be right, but it’s sure closer than “60,000 to 70,000″.

      The flags in DC weren’t flown at half staff yesterday. You’ve been had.

    56. T Thomas Says:

      “The flags in DC weren’t flown at half staff yesterday. You’ve been had.”

      Uh, yeah, actually, they were.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/32813988#32813988

    57. T Thomas Says:

      “The flags in DC weren’t flown at half staff yesterday. You’ve been had.”

      Uh, yeah, actually, they were.

    58. renminbi Says:

      The flags were at half staff commemorating 9/11 according to Michelle Malkin.

    59. joe from Lowell Says:

      ABC News reported that the Metro Police estimated the crowd at 2 million – ACCORDING TO MICHELLE MALKIN.

      So, you’ll forgive me for needing a second opinion.

    60. Tyro Says:

      They stopped at 450,000.

      450,000 people come to DC every weekday to go to work. The traffic congestion it creates is an absolute fiasco, 5 days a week. By contrast, Saturday morning I drove to downtown DC without hitting any traffic at all.

      Anyone who was around during Obama’s inauguration can easily see the contrast: on that weekend, the entire landscape and pace of the city changed with all the visitors gathered in huge crowds. This weekend was a typical DC summer weekend. A day when there are thousands of protestors coming to DC is called “Saturday.”

      50-70,000 people is a decent accomplishment. Be happy about it. Trying to say it was much more than that is just providing evidence that you don’t know how to count, and you don’t want to expose that sort of flaw in public.

    61. T Thomas Says:

      Joe From Lowell: I posted a link to MSNBC’s report from yesterday, complete with images of the half-staff flag. It’s sitting in moderation (because it has a link, I guess), but you can head over to MSNBC’s site to see it yourself.

    62. KD Says:

      I was in DC yesterday and many still had there flags at half-staff from Friday’s 9-11. The 60K to 70K is totally bogus and way under. At around 1:00, perhaps the height of the crowd, the crowd would easily have filled several football stadiums. In addition, the crowd estimate cannot be done on only a single picture. When I arrived at noon, a flood of people were going down to the Capitol on Pennsylvania Ave, and about an equal number were coming back from the Capitol. Many had already been there since 9 or so and were departing (a good number of elderly and folks with children) to go home or eat. So, to really estimate the total in attendance, you have to also consider those who came earlier and left after being their for several hours, and those who showed up later in the day as well.

    63. KD Says:

      To Tyro’s point, I can’t agree. I drive to DC every morning, and the traffic is bad, but not a fiasco. Once I get across the bridge, it’s only a few minutes through the lights on 14th Street to get to my office building. It was about the same yesterday. What’s more, people typically come into town to go to work within a an hour or two of the same time every morning. That means a lot of people coming in at once, which creates the traffic bottleneck. The Tea Party rally wasn’t like that. A lot of people came earlier, but then a lot of people kept coming throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Traffic was heavy flowing both directions, not just one way. People were coming and going. It would be interesting to see Metro numbers for Saturday morning and early afternoon, compared to a Saturday where nothing much was happening in DC. Anyone know where to get those, if possible?

    64. Xero Says:

      With jobs!!eleventyone!! Hahahaha, I get it, ‘cuz ‘libruls’ don’t have jobs.

      So much for the “its non-partisan, people here fro across the political spectrum” bullshit spewing from Glenn Becky’s mouth.

      When you are reduced to tired, disproved stereotypes in lieu of factual turnout numbers, your turnout was dismal. More Naruto fangirls showed up at dragon*con than hatriots attended the big Exploit 9/11 Bash.

    65. joe from Lowell Says:

      I think it’s interesting how both the originally-assumed huge turnout, and the revised numbers indicating a much smaller turnout, both demonstrate the superiority of conservatives to liberals.

      Let me guess: a medium-sized number, as well as the complete absence of any turnout, would have proven that same point.

    66. Anonymous Says:

      “joe from Lowell Says: The flags in DC weren’t flown at half staff yesterday. You’ve been had.”

      I watched the crowd from this website yesterday:

      http://www.trafficland.com/city/WAS/

      The flags were flying at half staff and the crowd was as represented in the photos.

      Joe is either a lying, or making false claims out of whole cloth. Joe needs to go back to watching “loose change” and keep his expertise limited to how fire can’t melt steel.

      Also – the two million estimate came from the DNC on Friday, before the event – perhaps to claim the lack of that number to be a failure?

      Event organizers, actually counting people on the route, reported 450,000 had passed as of 12:00 noon – 1 hour before the event was to start.

      That is an impressive number of people to show up.

    67. T Thomas Says:

      With jobs!!eleventyone!! Hahahaha, I get it, ‘cuz ‘libruls’ don’t have jobs.

      It’s weird that you take this little “I get it” angle, as if the “jobs” reference had been left for interpretation. In fact, it had been immediately explained: “Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.”

      In other words, if you wish to rebut the “jobs” point, the real thing is sitting there ready to be contested. You don’t have to write “I get it” and insert your own interpretation to shoot down — not when the writer’s ACTUAL interpretation is sitting right there primed for your rebuttal.

      So much for the “its non-partisan, people here fro across the political spectrum” bullshit spewing from Glenn Becky’s mouth.

      “Nonpartisan” doesn’t necessarily equal “from across the political spectrum.” Of course “liberals” aren’t fighting against a liberal initiative. But Republicans, Democrats and independents might be.

      When you are reduced to tired, disproved stereotypes in lieu of factual turnout numbers, your turnout was dismal.

      Care to outline the logic involved here? Especially given that the writer DID use a “factual turnout number” and not merely “tired, disproved stereotypes”? His fact (2 million) may have been wrong, but he used one. Either way, what’s the logical line that runs from “using stereotypes” to “dismal turnout”?

    68. Sigh. This is T Thomas. Says:

      With jobs!!eleventyone!! Hahahaha, I get it, ‘cuz ‘libruls’ don’t have jobs.

      It’s weird that you take this little “I get it” angle, as if the “jobs” reference had been left for interpretation. In fact, it had been immediately explained: “Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.”

      In other words, if you wish to rebut the “jobs” point, the real thing is sitting there ready to be contested. You don’t have to write “I get it” and insert your own interpretation to shoot down — not when the writer’s ACTUAL interpretation is sitting right there primed for your rebuttal.

      So much for the “its non-partisan, people here fro across the political spectrum” bullshit spewing from Glenn Becky’s mouth.

      “Nonpartisan” doesn’t necessarily equal “from across the political spectrum.” Of course “liberals” aren’t fighting against a liberal initiative. But Republicans, Democrats and independents might be.

      When you are reduced to tired, disproved stereotypes in lieu of factual turnout numbers, your turnout was dismal.

      Care to outline the logic involved here? Especially given that the writer DID use a “factual turnout number” and not merely “tired, disproved stereotypes”? His fact (2 million) may have been wrong, but he used one. Either way, what’s the logical line that runs from “using stereotypes” to “dismal turnout”?

    69. T Thomas Says:

      Well, I’ve now wasted far too much time unsuccessfully submitting comments here. I enjoy the blog (as much as I enjoy Shannon’s comments at Reason), and I appreciate the fine-print warning about the spam filter, but seriously — if it’s this much trouble to participate in the conversation here, it’s not worth it.

      [The problem with the spam filter has been fixed — Shannon]

    70. Shannon Love Says:

      Joe from Lowell,

      Do you mean like the big sign reading “FreedomWorks” on the podium? The fact that FreedomWorks chartered the buses?

      And the evidence that FreedomWorks is supported by insurance companies is what exactly? Given that FreedomWorks dates from 1984 that makes it rather dubious that it nothing but the tool of insurance companies. I don’t suppose you have a canceled check from an insurance companies or the like?

      You can’t legally have a large demonstration without some organization taking responsibility for it. It stands to reason that a non-leftist demonstration would be organized by a non-leftist organization. Unless you have a crypto-Maxist outlook that says that any and all non-leftist are pawns of evil capitalist, the mere presence of a non-leftist organization means nothing.

      I must point out the dual standard as well. You have leftwing organizations of long standing funded by compulsory unions, wealthy leftist, trust funds, government grants, communist wackos etc and you feel those are perfectly legitimate expression of the people’s will.

      Suppose corporations did fund people’s travel expenses for their own benefit. Would that make the people’s voices any less legitimate?

    71. joe from Lowell Says:

      I watched the crowd from this website yesterday:

      http://www.trafficland.com/city/WAS/

      The flag in that photo is at full staff. You’ve yet to provide any reason to believe it was at half-staff yesterday.

      The official order, from which federal buildings would have taken their direction on how to fly the flag, did not indicate that it should be flown at half-staff on 9/12.

      Also – the two million estimate came from the DNC on Friday, before the event – perhaps to claim the lack of that number to be a failure?

      Perhaps that’s why Michelle Malkin quoted it, and why Shannon repeated her quote, but I doubt it.

      Event organizers, actually counting people on the route, reported 450,000 had passed as of 12:00 noon – 1 hour before the event was to start.

      Ah. The event organizers. Hokay, then. They’d certainly have no reason to inflate the numbers. Unlike the DC Fire Department, which…uh…well…uh…aren’t they in a union or something?

      You know, you wouldn’t be in this embarrassing position if you hadn’t taken a completely unsourced, wholly implausible number from Michelle Malkin’s web site and repeated it unquestioningly.

    72. Larry the Cable Guy Says:

      Two million people with jobs.

      Right.

      More like 70,000 people with blow jobs for Glenn Beck.

    73. joe from Lowell Says:

      And the evidence that FreedomWorks is supported by insurance companies is what exactly?

      Here you go. With citations. That was remarkably easy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreedomWorks#Funding

      Given that FreedomWorks dates from 1984…

      Um, no. FreedomWorks was founded in 2004, via a merger between Citizens for a Sound Economy and Empower America. “Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America Merge to Form FreedomWorks,” U.S. Newswire, 22 Jul 2004.

      You can’t legally have a large demonstration without some organization taking responsibility for it. It stands to reason that a non-leftist demonstration would be organized by a non-leftist organization. Unless you have a crypto-Maxist outlook that says that any and all non-leftist are pawns of evil capitalist, the mere presence of a non-leftist organization means nothing.

      So now you are acknowledging what you earlier denied, that the rally was organized by FreedomWorks. Good. Of course, FreedomWorks didn’t have a “mere presence.” Rather, they chartered the buses, and their sign graced the front of the podium. This is remarkably dumb lie to tell, Shannon. FreedomWorks has been bragging about its sponsorship of the teabaggers for months.

      Suppose corporations did fund people’s travel expenses for their own benefit. Would that make the people’s voices any less legitimate?

      You seem to think so, since you’re going through such contortions to try to argue that this corporate-funded astroturf group did not sponsor your teeny, tiny, itty-bitty little march.

    74. Tyro Says:

      KD, my experience with DC traffic is coming from the north and you have the traffic backed up on 29 and 270 in a big parking lot. I assume that northbound 395 looks the same on a typical weekday.

      My experience saturday was no traffic, plenty of street parking, and little evidence of the protesters outside a few people getting ready and organized by union station. If the reverberations can’t be felt north of the mall, then it’s just another saturday in DC.

      Universally, the estimates are in the 10s of thousands. It looks like a few people, including Michelle Malkin, got punk’d by someone throwing around a “2 million” claim, but anyone who was in DC during the inauguration knows that such a claim is bogus. DC only has 500,000 people to begin with. Any claims that the population doubled in DC on Saturday without anyone noticing does not pass the smell test.

      Be happy with what you did; don’t try to make it into anything more than it was.

    75. GUYK Says:

      well, I would have went but see, I was coon hunting the night before and I had to dress out the meat and clean them guns I cling to. Besides I would have missed that religion I cling to on Sunday. There wuz a lotta us unedumacated rednecks what wanted to go but they told us we couldn’t take our deer rifles….

    76. cjm Says:

      to the leftists posting here: we don’t need your confirmation of anything. since when have leftists been right or honest about anything?

      and the only one cutting deals with insurance companies is obama.

      what is actually happening is the formation of a new electoral block, from the 60 – 70 percent of the voting public that isn’t ideological. both major parties are irredeemably corrupt and the tea parties are drawing from both of them. but you guys keep telling yourselves it’s all about bush; i.e. keep following orders, stay on the scent trail like good little antlings.

    77. joe from Lowell Says:

      since when have leftists been right or honest about anything?

      Most recently, we’ve been right and honest about the turnout at the 9/12 demonstration.

      Prior to that, we were right about the administration ordering torture, the absence of WMDs in Iraq, and the lack of ties between the Iraqi Baathist regime and al Qaeda.

      and the only one cutting deals with insurance companies is obama.

      No no, Obama’s cut deals with the drug companies, the hospitals, and the AMA. The insurance companies are his major institutional opponents.

    78. KD Says:

      Tyro, I come in from the South on 395. It’s not a bad commute. People coming in Saturday were doing so with multiple people per car (people don’t usually attend these things alone), unlike your typical work-day traffic, which, except for the underutilized HOV-3 lanes on 395, is one person per car. People also took Metro, of course (just like they would on a weekday).

      In any case, while I agree with you that 2 million is plainly wrong, to say only 60K to 70K is way under reporting the crowd and wrong too. This was not a normal Saturday of protesting. It was far beyond that, and the police force there should be thankful that the crowd was a well-behaved, mature bunch. There were very few of them compared with the crowd or what you’d expect to see for that size crowd. As for the reporting, given the number of people on hand, the media presence was thin too, thus explaining why no one has a solid analysis of the numbers or is ready to give one. Instead, we get repeated reporting of “tens of thousands,” which anyone could truthfully say, since “tens of thousands” works for any crowd overs 20,000. And we also have, apparently, someone in the DC fire department having said a number, but no information explaining how they derived it. For all we know, he or she simply made a finger-in-the-wind guess. Reporting, without more, “tens of thousands” unfairly insinuates something short of six figures. The people who showed up clearly numbered north of six figures. I’ve been to enough football games to know that the crowd present on Saturday would not have fit into a single stadium, if even two or three.

    79. Lesley Says:

      From ABC News:
      Conservative activists, who organized a march on the U.S. Capitol today in protest of the Obama administration’s health care agenda and government spending, erroneously attributed reports on the size of the crowds to ABC News. Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, the group that organized the event, said on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as “tens of thousands.” Brendan Steinhauser, spokesman for FreedomWorks, said he did not know why Kibbe cited ABC News as a source. As a result of Kibbe’s erroneous attribution, several bloggers and commenters repeated the misinformation.

      So 50,000-70,000 becomes an erroneous 2 million. Then Shannon here, citing no data, suggests making believe all 2 million have jobs.

      How you people face the mirror in the morning is anyone’s guess.

    80. rls Says:

      I like the math angle. I poached this from Vodka Pundit:

      “A pretty dense crowd is about 1.8 people per square meter, and the National Mall alone is about 125 hectares, 1.25 million square meters. So that would be 2.3 million people.”

      So you get what…..plus or minus 10% and that does not count the continuing influx replacing those that left.

      London papers had it at 2 million…some one mentioned that the fire department had it at 1.5 million. All I know it was definitely a sea of humanity.

    81. Lesley Says:

      I am also at a loss to understand how people like these could be gainfully employed. I certainly wouldn’t want a single one of these goofs even serving me a hamburger. Ick.

    82. joshlbetts Says:

      I was there. Hotels booked full. Metro full. I’ve said this at other places, but I know what 100,000 people look like from OSU games. This crowd was of an order of magnitude greater. Easily 2 million. People weren’t just in the square, they were outside the square, surrounded the platform. Only saw one unaffiliated cameraman and reporter in the crowd during the march. We were 40 minutes from dc and our hotel was booked. A helicopter flew over, but couldn’t tell if it was from a news organization.

    83. KD Says:

      I’ll retract at least part of my last statement, because it looks like NBC did a little independent work to reach its own estimate, reporting hundreds of thousands. http://www.freedomslighthouse.com/2009/09/nbc-report-says-their-people-estimate.html

    84. winfernal Says:

      The event was covered more than once on C-Span, whose cameras mingled with the well spaced crowd. 2 million or even a half million my Aunt Fannie. Hyperbole and lies – just what we’ve come to expect from this bunch. And did you notice that the ONLY flavor available was vanilla?

    85. Parad E. Makewater Says:

      Well, it seems the vanillas are the only ones who are aware of the rocky road we are headed down.

    86. joshlbetts Says:

      winfernal Says:
      September 13th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

      Horseshit. I met african americans, hispanics, and asians. YOUR the liar.

    87. joe from Lowell Says:

      London papers had it at 2 million…

      London papers that went to press before the rally began.

      some one mentioned that the fire department had it at 1.5 million.

      The DC Fire Department’s estimate was 60-75,000.

    88. toad Says:

      Oh the left will denigrate and ignore the tea party movement. The Democrat majority in congress will probably use “reconciliation” to ram through a take over of the health care industry.

      Then they’ll find out that the tea party was just the top part of an ice berg and it was the “nice” part.

    89. joshlbetts Says:

      http://patriotroom.com/article/aerial-shots-of-912-v-inauguration-912-wins-

      Media counting FAIL.

    90. winfernal Says:

      My, my, Joshlbetts has her knickers in a twist. Interesting that horseshit (which, incidentally, is not a word – get spell check) gets upper case treatment, but ethnic categories do not. Also the contraction of you are is YOU’RE, not YOUR, you sub-literate moron.

    91. joshlbetts Says:

      winfernal Says:
      September 13th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

      I don’t wear knickers, asshat. Facts are a bitch, aren’t they? Try twisting the pictures I linked in my previous post. Looking forward to YOU’RE response.

      : )

    92. Randy Says:

      joshlbetts,

      Thanks for the link to the pictures clearly not of the tea party rally. Read the comments and the updates.

    93. cjm Says:

      winfernal, i bet you know how to spell “pedant”

    94. Anonymous Says:

      Damn. Thanks Randy.

      Yep…I also noticed the the sun is too bright. It was overcast and a lot of Gadsten flags. A sea of flags, actually. Anyway, when we have official pictures (there was one helicopter), what I said will bare out as true.

    95. Dan from Madison Says:

      I just ran in the Chicago Half Marathon today. There were 20k people in it so by just a little mental extrapolation remembering that mass of humanity and looking at the photos of the tea party, I am guessing that the tea party had at the very least 20x more people.

    96. Anonymous Says:

      http://patriotroom.com/article/aerial-shots-of-912-v-inauguration-912-wins-

      Thanks Randy.

      The picture isn’t correct. Not enough yellow. There were a sea of Gadsten flags and the sky was overcast. There was a helicopter flying around, so if “official” pictures are released, my estimate will bare out.

    97. joshlbetts Says:

      http://patriotroom.com/article/aerial-shots-of-912-v-inauguration-912-wins-

      Thanks Randy.

      The picture isn’t correct. Not enough yellow. There were a sea of Gadsten flags and the sky was overcast. There was a helicopter flying around, so if “official” pictures are released, my estimate will bare out.

    98. Flubber Says:

      Liberals: “Obama got 1.8 million for the inauguration, we know this for a fact–google it! Go Obama! We also know it’s impossible for more than 250,000 extra people to fit into Washington so the Tea Parties were less than that. In fact, they were probably more like 50,000 because someone said that and we like that number, even though the pictures from the inauguration and the Tea Party protest are amazingly similar. And you conservatives just suck, anyway.”

      Do I have that right?

    99. winfernal Says:

      While Joshlbetts dries the spittle from his keyboard let me answer Cjm’s inquiry: I do indeed. I also know how to punctuate a sentence, something, I see, that is beyond your limited skills.

    100. Shannon Love Says:

      Joshlbetts & Winfernal

      Watch your language. No one is impressed you can curse on the internet.

    101. joshlbetts Says:

      http://patriotroom.com/article/aerial-shots-of-912-v-inauguration-912-wins-

      Thanks Randy.

      I looked again and noticed a couple of things that don’t match. The picture isn’t from yesterday. Not enough yellow. There were a sea of Gadsden flags and the sky was overcast. But, if “official” pictures are released, my estimate will bare out.

      Winfernal,here’s a better link for ya, buddy.

      http://michellemalkin.com/

      Don’t be a hater.

      : )

    102. phifl63 Says:

      Yes, I will be civil. Thank you. The qualifier “with jobs” is the kicker. Leftists and liberal protestors do tend to be filthy, unemployed hippie types, and low-life minorities. Please let us not stop calling a spade a spade. If the shoe fits, you wear it. Sorry if anyone is offended, but trying to deny that the barbarians are past the gate and among us is foolhardy and did not work for the Romans. New Orleans during and after Katrina shows us what savagery awaits us if we continue in our denial. The D.C. protestors reaffirm my faith that decent, civilized citizens still dominate our country.

    103. Shannon Love Says:

      Philf63,

      Leftists and liberal protestors do tend to be filthy, unemployed hippie types, and low-life minorities.

      That’s not true. If it was, they wouldn’t be dangerous. Instead a lot of them are well but miseducated upper income and highly articulate and persuasive individuals who believe themselves on a sacred mission to save the rest of us from our own worse natures.

      Those are the dangerous ones.

    104. cjm Says:

      a pedant says what?

    105. hippieprof Says:

      First, thank you for restoring my comments – I was worried I was being censored. I came here simply seeking rational dialogue on the issues – and I am happy to see that can continue.

      This having been said, I note that Phifl63 says: “Yes, I will be civil. Thank you. The qualifier “with jobs” is the kicker. Leftists and liberal protestors do tend to be filthy, unemployed hippie types, and low-life minorities. Please let us not stop calling a spade a spade. If the shoe fits, you wear it. Sorry if anyone is offended, but trying to deny that the barbarians are past the gate and among us is foolhardy and did not work for the Romans. New Orleans during and after Katrina shows us what savagery awaits us if we continue in our denial. The D.C. protestors reaffirm my faith that decent, civilized citizens still dominate our country.”

      So – that does not strike me as rational conversation. I work with hundreds of clean, well groomed (I am an exception in that way), highly educated and gainfully employed people – most (but certainly not all) of whom are left of center.

      Shannon gets it closer – he acknowledges we exist – but sees us as dangerous.

      I am curious why I would be considered dangerous? I encourage people to think and critically evaluate issues. I have come to my own conclusions about certain things – but I certainly don’t feel that is the only possible set of conclusions. I would certainly never try to force my conclusions on another person.

      So – is discussion of opposing viewpoints really dangerous? I would suggest that believing so puts you a lot closer to totalitarian dictatorship than you might find comfortable.

      — hippieprof

    106. Jesse Taylor Says:

      I appreciate the fact that Phifl63 talks about savage, low-life minorities who will apparently eat each other, rape and pillage and, instead of taking any offense at this, Shannon points out that the real problem is the educated white people who aid and abet them.

      But no, there’s no racial element at work here. At all.

    107. Truth and light Says:

      Joe says:

      “http://www.trafficland.com/city/WAS/

      The flag in that photo is at full staff. You’ve yet to provide any reason to believe it was at half-staff yesterday.”

      I don’t have to provide you anything, but I did provide the link to the DC traffic cams those disputed pics were taken from, and my testimony that I witnessed those images as they happened.

      Either way it is more than you provided, which was just speculation.

      Was I using too many big words there?

      Good, Now run along, the grownups are busy talking here.

      Be sure to respond with lots of name calling, and lies about who I work for, or how racist I am. I can hardly wait.

    108. Shannon Love Says:

      Regarding Philf63,

      I considered deleting his comment because they did skirt the line but because of the problems with the spam filter I elected to engage him instead. I did so based on the premises that:

      (1) He was making a sweeping generalization about the bohemian faction of the left in the same manner that leftist say that, “everyone in the tea party movement is racist.”

      (2) I presumed his references to low-life minorities meant the racist political machines that dominate and destroy cities like New Orleans, East St Louis, Detroit, Washington D.C etc. I presumed he meant the people who support and encourage such machines and who see society as something that owes them and from which they can take from at their choosing. I presumed he meant that in the same way when leftist say that Republicans are dominated by neo-nazis or the Klan, that all white people are racist or that all men are sexist etc.

      Of course, maybe I was wrong in my presumptions going both ways. Maybe I’m trapped by hysterical ranting bigots on both sides.

    109. bandit Says:

      The “people with jobs” comment is offensive and unnecessary

      To whom?

    110. Shannon Love Says:

      Hippiprof,

      I am curious why I would be considered dangerous?

      The same reason that Communist were more dangerous than Fascist. Fascist were obviously hysteric, domineering and dangerous who convinced people by overt emotional appeal to group identity. Communist by contrast were often calm, articulate and convinced many very intelligent people that they not only intended good for everyone but also knew in detail how to do so. In the 30’s and 40’s few non-German Americans and almost no individuals educated at elite universities fell for Fascism but tens of thousands fell for the siren song of Communism. Thousands of those became active agents for Stalin all the while emerged in fantasy about what Communism and Stalin actually were.

      In short, articulate people who make cogent and logical arguments based on faulty premises are much, much more dangerous than inarticulate people who can’t make logical arguments at all.

      (Of course, the examples of Fascism and Communism are just extreme examples used to highlight a point. I don’t mean that you or anyone else in this discussion is either but I know I must make the ritual statement to that effect because someone will automatically accuse me of doing so.)

      In your specific case, you have a flawed premises about the wisdom of investing ever more and more power in the state and in giving politicians more and more control over our day-to-day lives. In each policy area, you can make an articulate and cogent argument for why we should surrender control to people who share your values and beliefs. Your skills at articulation can convince people that do not examine your premises closely that events will unfold as you predicted.

      Contrast this with a bohemian with overt hostility to traditional American values. Most people will simply dismiss their overwrought and emotive arguments out of hand. They have little impact on the broader public debate.

      I encourage people to think and critically evaluate issues.

      No, that is what you think you are doing. If you did that, then your views and the people who listen to you would be constantly shifting and evolving. Your political ideas would change almost as fast as scientific ideas. Instead, we see massive historical stasis in leftist thought. Your not critical about anything you believe, you simply apply critical tools as means of marketing and selling your ideas.

      In fact, if looked at objectively you (and other leftist) use emotional arguments, bigoted stereotypes and other forms of non-rational debate. When someone disagrees with you, you are quick to slap a derogatory label on them so you don’t have to answer their questions. You engage in sweeping generalizations of millions of people. You require people who disagree with you on any subject to accept responsibility for actions and statements of anyone else in the entire world who also disagrees with you. And so on…

      You are part of an arrogant and unreflective subculture that reflexively stereotypes and denigrates others as casually as people in the south used to use racial slurs. Just like those people, you are shocked and confused when someone points it out to. Just like those people, you are completely unaware of the anger and resent that builds in individuals from years of such bigoted abuse. Just like those people, when someone finally snaps and says something intemperate you explain the remarks as being an innate nature in the mold of the old white southern saying, “The n*gger in them always comes out in the end.”

      This is why you constantly run into angry and even abusive non-leftist. You have dumped on them for decades to the point they no longer feel they need to treat you civilly as well.

    111. tyouth Says:

      whew, Shannon! Nice rant, I’d buy you a drink….

    112. woobie Says:

      Wow shannon, you mean people who confuse tyranny with losing an election can’t figure out how to fix a comment thread? Oh, that’s just shocking.
      You assholes already proved you can bring the noise. This weekend was for you to prove if you could also bring the numbers. Congratulations on your epic FAIL.

    113. hippieprof Says:

      Shannon…. wow…. I am honored. I really don’t think I have ever been accused of being dangerous before…. it puts me in great company. Socrates… Darwin… Jesus…

      OK – before someone misinterprets my tone and accuses me of arrogance, let me get to my point.

      You say (regarding my claim that I encourage critical thinking): “No, that is what you think you are doing. If you did that, then your views and the people who listen to you would be constantly shifting and evolving. Your political ideas would change almost as fast as scientific ideas. Instead, we see massive historical stasis in leftist thought. Your not critical about anything you believe, you simply apply critical tools as means of marketing and selling your ideas.”

      Shannon – I am just amazed at how well you know me. We have never met – and have only exchanged communications twice. Astounding.

      I don’t really need to justify my beliefs to you – but when I see such amazing misconceptions I feel compelled to correct them.

      I began my adult life well right of center. Certainly I have shifted to the left, but that has been a long slow process of analysis and reevaluation. You probably doubt my sincerity here – but I have the voting record to prove it. I voted for Reagan twice – and in fact I have voted for more Republicans over the years than Democrats. I called myself an Independent for quite a few years – and I really only started calling myself a Democrat over the last 8 years.

      You tell me that I am “part of an arrogant and unreflective subculture that reflexively stereotypes and denigrates others.”

      Wow – take a look at what I have written on this thread. You won’t see any denigration. It also seems to me that it is you who is stereotyping me, not the opposite.

      I don’t know you at all, so I have nothing to go on here – but I do wonder. Have you had a similar shift in ideology over your lifetime? Just curious.

      As always, thanks for the conversation.

      — hippieprof

    114. Al Reasin Says:

      My quick and dirty estimate:

      PA avenue was covered from Freedom Plaza to the Capital; that is about 1 mile (WH to Capitol 1.2 miles) of people on a street 6 lanes wide or 80 ft from Googe data. A mile is 5280 ft x 80 ft at 2.5 sq feet per person (Obama’s inauguration number for the mall) gives us over 168,960 people just there at any one time. This human traffic lasted for 3 hours from the media. With the average human walking speed of 3 miles per hour, that is 168,960 people passing a point every 33 minutes or over 3 hours being 9 x 168,960 = 1,520,640. Although, like me not all people started at Freedom Plaza. Many went directly to the Capitol for good “seats” and not all came down PA Ave. The police also asked the protesters to leave the plaza two hours early. Nor does it count the time after 12:30 when people were still arriving or the people on the sidewalks along PA Ave. So the number of 1.5 million may be low.

      Now what happen if congress ignores us. Many I talked to are worried that congress will ignore us. That may be helped by the minimal coverage by the media, even FOX concentrated on the Yale student’s disappearance said my wife, who could not attend, and by the low media estimates of participants; 10s of thousands stated FOX, not 100’s of thousand or millions as was more likely the case; 1.5 million from different police officers questioned.

      So what if congress ignores us? Well, we would not want to emulate Shay’s Rebellion if at all possible. While it awakened the politicians of the time to the limitations of the Articles of Confederation, it cost 4 Patriots lives and many more wounded. I can imagine if the same sort of armed insurrection started how this Administration would react; an excuse for martial law and sedition acts as was done during President Wilson’s Administration for just criticizing government. A reported 100,000 people were arrested, including the Socialists Party’s presidential candidate, for their freedom of speech exercise.

      I worry that if our “march” on DC Saturday will not stop ObamaCare or even if the government option is dropped, the economic freedom issues (i.e. mandatory health care requirement under government mandates) and civil liberties (i.e. IRS held financial and doctors/hospital held medical records released to the government) will remain in some form. I don’t trust the conference committee’s outcome even if the Senate bill is milder in appearance.

      What is a better example is the Income Tax Revolt in Tennessee in 1999. Oh, you didn’t hear about that revolt; neither had I since the MSM seems to have neglected to report much on this and it was before blogs were well known, so go to Intapundit’s report at http://glennreynolds.com/?p=8 for some details. We should be prepared to follow that example set in Tennessee after the governor and legislature proposed to vote in a state income tax in 1999. The governor and legislature backed down and to this day TN is income tax free. As with MLK tactics, perseverance does win when you are right.

      With the reported 26,000 TEA Party organizations in our great country, we could make life difficult for those cloistered in DC.

    115. hippieprof Says:

      Here is a really interesting take on the origins of the crowd overestimation….

      http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/09/size-matters-so-do-lies.html

      — hippieprof