Volume 1501, Number 5
Al Qaeda tactics
The Fairview Park Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting illustrated “terrorist tactics” as a preferred approach to problem solving. No dynamite or swords, though, just raucous rudeness and name calling. But the purpose was the same — to intimidate those who disagree by attacking them personally.
The specific issue for the committee was requesting more information about the feasibility of developing playing fields (no concrete, just grass) in the section of the Park currently occupied by the Model Trains hobbyists. That represents about 20% of the Park that might be shared with youth sports.
In reality, it would be the children of today’s soccer players, or perhaps their grandchildren, who would first enjoy the fields: if the study shows playing fields are possible, and if the committee recommends considering playing fields, and if a wet-season (after the drought) survey shows playing fields won’t harm any Fairy shrimp, and if the Parks & Recreation Commission chooses to study the fields, and if they recommend playing fields in their updated plan, and if the City Council approves their inclusion and gives them a high-enough priority, and if the City staff finds funding, then final plans could be drawn up, approvals solicited, and grass-planting started. In that period of time many, many changes to City demographics, game equipment and dirt moving methods will happen so the final outcome isn’t even marginally visible right now.
The question, again, was can playing fields be built to coincide with the model trains? Not should they be built, but can they be built.
However, for a group of activists, collecting data about fields is the moral equivalent of mortal sin or maligning the prophet.
Like the disparate groups of radical Muslims, activists don’t agree about much. Some of them think “natural” means the Park should revert to the trash dumping site it was a few years ago. Some think it means supporting plant overgrowth like that in the adjacent Talbert Park. Many just demand the committee “keep it natural” insuring that the committee will always be sinners to one cluster of activists or another.
They agree on tactics, though. The agitators in the audience jeered, cheered, cursed and catcalled, the chairman resigned in protest over playing fields even being considered and one member noted that she believes serving on the committee has been a complete waste of her time.
A further example of the “Al Qaeda” approach — attack and threaten nonbelievers — is the commenter who upbraided former CC Candidate Ramos for “betraying our trust.” Ramos had said he was in favor of keeping the park undeveloped. (This was during the time that “Bubbles* and the Bubbletts” were warning that Righeimer’s developer friends had their heavy equipment staged and fueled, ready to pave the ponds and build apartment and sports facilities as soon as the committee “authorized the development.” Truth isn’t their strong point but their misstatements are strongly pointed.)
Ramos was one of five committee members voting to get more information about the feasibility of playing fields before making recommendations to the P&R Commission. So, the complainer, and Bubbles of course, consider Ramos an infidel.
Do the agitators, haters, and chronic complainers have “Anti-Everything Qaeda” membership cards and secret handshakes? Or do they just recognize their brother believers by their rhetoric? Should they be considered “terrorists” or just “bullies?” Perhaps “non-fatal-threat terrorist” would be a more accurate sobriquet**.
* Nickname discussed here
**A sobriquet (noun) is a name that describes the character of someone or something — a nickname
1 The spelling of the terrorist group in this post has been changed to that used for the Islamic radical terrorist group to clarify any obscurity the deliberate misspelling introduced. We know of no known terrorist group with a name spelled “Al Quaida” nor any labeled “Anti-everything Quaida.”
2 We’ve received complaints about comparing folks who verbally attack opponents for disagreeing with them to folks who physically attack and kill opponents for the same reason. It is intended as hyperbole — those facing Muslim extremists are certainly threatened with far more harm than those facing Alinsky-like “activists.”
Alinsky noted that hurting people was more effective than attacking ideas or institutions. He didn’t advocate shooting opponents or blowing them up.