Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On chanting in Greenfield

I am a graduate of Greenfield High School and so I took special notice of the fact that police were called to a school board meeting. I haven't lived in Greenfield for over 30 years but it's always been a rather colorful community.

Apparently the problem was that the number of teachers who wanted to attend a meeting in which the board would consider work rules exceeded the capacity of the room. The board felt it could not change the location because of requirements of the open meetings law which, of course, requires notice of a meeting's location. In response, the teachers started to chant and shout but order was ultimately restored.

This prompts me to ask a question that I have asked before: What's with public chanting?Do we really think that, if we repeat the same silly doggerel over and over again we will finally persuade someone? Or is this just the adult (and political) equivalent of a child's temper tantrum?

16 comments:

clemster said...

I agree it is more like a temper tantrum. Frankly, how can a teacher on one hand claim to be part of a professional elite, and then carry on this way. Watching union goons shouting and cursing in public is the last thing that will convince me that their opinions are relevant.

morninmist said...

Its a Rovian tactic that Walker fans do all the time.

BTW-what was your stand on the open meeting laws that The Republicans violated in passing the Budget repair bill.?


....This prompts me to ask a question that I have asked before: What's with public chanting?Do we really think that, if we repeat the same silly doggerel over and over again we will finally persuade someone? .....

morninmist said...

PS. I know what the WI SC ruled-.

Hizzle said...

moninmist, here are the relevant posts:

http://sharkandshepherd.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-05-31T10%3A32%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=20

http://sharkandshepherd.blogspot.com/2011/06/inital-thoughts-on-yesterdays-decision.html

Anonymous said...

And here is a cogent rebuttal, hizzle.

illusorytenant.blogspot.com/2011/08/oml-convenient-to-my-rhetorical.html


"Do we really think that, if we repeat the same silly doggerel over and over again we will finally persuade someone?"

Silly doggerel, nonsensical chanting is for union thugs! /sarcasm


Seriously? Your statement comes off as pompous. Would you have the same criticism if a conservative group repeatedly and in unison quoted the Founding Fathers or certain words fundamental to their cause, or is such sneering only for reserved for those whom you fundamentally disagree?

Anonymous said...

"Frankly, how can a teacher on one hand claim to be part of a professional elite, and then carry on this way. "

Thanks for making a sweeping generalization. Whenever a person's livelihood is being chipped away at, threatened, or outright taken away from them, they will act in a variety of ways. Their behaviors, while boorish to some, does not reflect their overall character.

I'm sure you would idly stand by and not make a peep if you were in a similar situation.

Dad29 said...

Middle School Forensics Rules!

Tom said...

@morninmist - Really? All the time? I'll admit I've seen tea party rallies where people were shouting slogans. However, I have not seen any tea party group, or any group of "Walker fans", disrupting public meetings or trying to drown out liberal speakers.

clemster said...

Tom, you're exactly right. I took part in the support Walker rally on a Saturday in the spring, and nowhere did I see Walker supporters comparing teachers to Hitler or Nazis, and yet that signage was all over the Capitol lawns, held by union goons. As far as sweeping generalizations, when have we seen union supporters calling for civility and reason? Never. Ben Franklin said, "to remain silent when one should speak out, makes cowards of men". Remaining silent while mobs attack Walker is cowardice, and deserves to be called out as such.

Anonymous said...

"I have not seen any tea party group, or any group of "Walker fans", disrupting public meetings or trying to drown out liberal speakers."

Then you are not looking very hard enough.

tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/tea-party-town-hall-strategy-rattle-them-stand-up-and-shout.php

talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2009/08/memo-details-co-ordinated-anti-reform-harrassment-strategy.php?page=1



"As far as sweeping generalizations, when have we seen union supporters calling for civility and reason? Never."

Never? Never, ever? Well, when people are fired up in a crowd, regardless if you a Tea Partier or a union member, one will preach civility but will attack viciously. Individually, I think there are a number of people who disagree with the tenor and tone of those messages, regardless of the side one supports.

Why those people who are upset with inflammatory dialogue being uttered by their brethren at those rallies, but are unwilling to call them out publicly, probably has everything to do with a perceived injustice and the call to maintain solidarity.

And that behavior is indicative of ALL protest groups who claim they are civil, but their rhetoric and actions say otherwise.

Tom said...

@Anon - yeah I guess if I don't regularly read rags that use terms like "teabaggers" I might not have caught those few isolated incidents and a "tea party friendly group" channeling Saul Alinsky. I'm still waiting for any kind of proof that "Walker fans do [it] all the time".

Anonymous said...

Tom, thanks for glossing over my point. Tea Partiers are just as likely to organize rowdiness when protesting compared to any other group. The proof is right there in front of you!

I'm sure you skip over writings that refer to "teabaggers" just as much as those postings which call unions "thugs", right?

Because, after all, it's true that ALL unions and their members are criminals. /sarcasm

Ellen said...

Prof. Esenberg,
About chanting, I sent an email to the ACLU asking what they thought about people assembling - not to present their views, but solely to *silence* speakers with their screams, chants, noisemakers, etc.
They wrote back saying they couldn't give legal advice, (which wasn't what I was asking for.)
Strange that a group that has no problem deciding that inmates have a right to taxpayer dollars for their sex-change operations is reluctant to opine on a current free speech issue.

Anonymous said...

Ellen, there is NO legal issue for the ACLU to tackle in your hypothetical situation; therefore, they have no reason to get involved. A group of people using specific tactics to drown out a speaker could be considered boorish by some, but this action is within the bounds of the law the last time I checked. Perhaps you should email James Troupis and see what he has to say about the matter. He is tight with a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

Anonymous said...

Anon, there was an excellent reason for Tom to 'gloss over your point'. It was a bad, inaccurate point that morninmist made and you defended. The tactic is ages older than Rove and Walker fans do not 'do it all the time'. Shouting down has been a common union practice since unions were begun in the US. To call it Rovian rather than union is somewhat of an insult to those that have used it to such good effect.

The fact that you can find 2 instances of tea party rabble rousing on the internet (where, of course, everything recorded is fact) is not all that surprising as there are splinter groups from any political movement of any size. I am quite sure I could find a reference to a person with a teacup up his bum if I searched hard enough. That would hardly make 'teacupping' mainstream would it? Further, the references you found were plans for shout downs at political functions(by groups "...sympathetic to the Tea Party" according to your first link) which, while annoying, is not what most people of common sense are most incensed at lately, especially after it has clearly stopped being an effective tactic in the first place.

"Because, after all, it's true that ALL unions and their members are criminals. /sarcasm"

What a lame statement. How does that comparison fit with the charge that union goons/thugs/employees(use your choice) use temper tantrum(unionian?) tactics. I did not see the comment(s) that accused anyone, much less the the union members of being criminals. Perhaps you should have tacked '/stupid' rather than '/sarcasm' at the end of your last paragraph...
Tuerqas

Anonymous said...

"It was a bad, inaccurate point that morninmist made and you defended."

I wasn't defending that point. I was countering the claim made by Tom at 8:57 a.m. Read for meaning.


"What a lame statement. How does that comparison fit with the charge that union
goons/thugs/employees(use your choice) use temper tantrum(unionian?) tactics."

When Tea Party activists shout at a demonstration, they are "adults". When union members engage in the same conduct, they are "children".


"The tactic is ages older than Rove and Walker fans do not 'do it all the time'."

Carefully re-read my 10:24 a.m. post and refer to the coordinated efforts to "drown out" the opposition by Tea Party groups as cited in the link. BOTH groups are EQUAL to the task.


"I did not see the comment(s) that accused anyone, much less the the union members of being criminals"

Then you're blind or being obtuse. Take your pick.